Hello there – sorry for the short and unexplained hiatus, but I promise I’m back now!
All in all, I think the majority of us can agree that 2016 was a pretty shit year. But I don’t want to enter 2017 reflecting negatively on the previous year, so let’s take a look at my top picks of 2016.
Top Game of 2016
If you’re a long time reader of my blog, then you’ll know I’m a huge gamer girl (it’s not hard if you look at the index of articles I have written either). There have been some amazing games released last year (majority of which I still have to play) – I think much better than 2015 – so it is hard to pick an absolute favourite. I will give honourable mentions to Pokemon Go (played it’s probably one of my most played games of this year) and Final Fantasy XV (I played the demo at EGX and have only sunk in a hour and a half so far into the game, so I feel it wouldn’t be fair if I haven’t completed it yet to choose it as my favourite game).
My Game of 2016 has to be Overwatch. Much like Pokemon Go, I have sunk many hours into the game and very much enjoyed it. Usually, I not one for FPS games or online multiplayer due to my online experiences, but Overwatch has brought out the competitive – and somewhat salty – streak in me. One match in Overwatch one day can be completely different to a different day, and with the added collectibles via Loot Boxes/Crates (especially the timed event ones such as the Summer Games, Halloween and Winter Wonderland), and a huge variety of characters with amazing abilities, it’s been a refreshing experience and one that I will continue in the new year.
Top Movie/Film of 2016
Again, if you’re an avid reader of my blog, then you’ll probably know what my favourite movie of this year was – Deadpool. Now, I have written a review on it, so I won’t go into too much detail in reasons why, but here’s a brief list:
- The humour
- All the actors fit their parts
- It is – without a doubt – the closest comic-book-to-movie-adaption I have seen so far
- The story is one that has been done a million times, but is still interesting to watch
- Ryan Reynolds – that is all
If you want a great Marvel film different from the rest filled with belly-laughs, slick fighting and just overall, a great experience, Deadpool is the one for you. Oh, and let’s not forget Stan Lee’s AMAZING cameo in the film.
Top TV show of 2016
Believe it or not, I don’t really watch a lot of TV – mainly crime stuff like Criminal Minds, NCSI, Bones – all that good stuff. But I did watch Stranger Things after all the fuss was kicked up about it. It was hard to choose this or the UK’s series 2 of Missing, but Stranger Things gets the crown, simply because I binge-watched it within a few days.
I’m sure people are sick to death of hearing about the programme, so I’ll keep it short. Stranger Things is set in the 1980s of the good ol’s US of A when Will Byers – a normal 12 year old boy – goes missing. His disappearance then branches off into a whirlwind of different events, including the appearance of a girl with psychokinetic powers (Eleven). The show follows Will’s mum – Joyce, his older brother – Jonathan, Will’s friends – Dustin, Mike and Lucas – and the police department’s chief, Jim Hopper’s investigations into Will’s disappearance but something much dark lies underneath the surface.
Stranger Things pulls many influences of horror writers, directors and general culture but places it in such a atmospheric pace, it completely pays off rather than being watched for the sake of being a ‘good bad’ horror show. I’m looking forward to Season 2.
Top Book of 2016
I’m a huge reader, and I really wanted to cheat here by stating that the book Video Games Will Never Get to Play – which I wrote articles for – is my top pick, but I won’t. I’ve chosen a book that came out earlier this year and never heard of until I saw it in a supermarket called The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson.
The story follows two boys – David and Leo – both of whom are not ‘normal’. David holds a secret of wanting to be a girl, will Leo holds the secret of being kicked out of his previous school. David and Leo soon meet and slowly their lives entwine around eachother. Upon completing the book, The Art of Being Normal did not turn out the way I thought it would – there are some great twists and genuine emotional scenes of how David and Leo help eachother. Not only that, but gives a real eye-opener into the world of trans-gender, which is something I feel is an important issue.
Top Album of 2016
This a biased pick for a simple reason – I love Lady GaGa. But not just her music – her charitable ways, sense of humour, outspoken mindset and her fighting ways makes me absolutely adore her. Her music has helped me through some tough times and I always found enjoyable. Her new album, Joanne, is no different. Only, I feel that this album she truly wrote from the heart, especially the song Joanne in regards to her deceased aunt whom she never knew. My favourite song has to be Diamond Heart as she sings about her personal experiences without making you flinch in shock or sorrow.
Top Anime of 2016
What a surprise – I’m an anime fan too. Granted, I don’t get the chance to watch as much as I like (apart from at Christmas time), but I definitely watched more good anime this year compared to the 5+ years I have been watching it.
I didn’t watch Yuri!!! on ICE straight away – I started watching it not long after episode 6 or 7 aired after seeing my Facebook timeline fill up about it. Now, with anime, I only usually watch about 2 episodes a day, because that’s all I can cope with. But Yuri changed that – I watched all the episodes at that point in one evening, which is a rarity to me, because I like to take my time and savour many things. I should also mention I’m a basic otaku and a huge fan of yaoi.
But believe it or not, yaoi was not the big factor for me in watching this anime. OK, it was the second factor. The main reason why I loved this show was because it’s so original. I have never been a fan of ice-skating (I’ve actually never done it before), but watching the beautiful animation used to portray such an art mesmerized me. Overall, I loved the characters (apart from JJ and Chris – they’re the only 2 complaints I have about this anime), the setting and of course, the way it has changed history. It’s a beautiful anime that shows how self-belief and love from your supporters can go far.
Top YouTuber of 2016
Despite being a (not so well known) YouTuber myself, of course I watch a huge variety of others. Mainly Let’s Players and similar stuff – the YOGSCAST, Hidden Block, Normal Boots – and again, I am hugely biased but the YOGSCAST have always been my favourites. But be prepared for it – I haven’t chosen a YOGSCAST member this time.
Yungtown is probably not the most famous YouTuber out there, but is definitely one that is overlooked. He is a part of the Hidden Block gang and has a show called ‘Dem Games’, added with a few comedy skit videos such as Draw My Life and his well-known raps. The first time I ever watched Yungtown was actually on a PeanutButterGamer video for Zelda Month where they talked about the themes of Skyward Sword. After that, he was in a Caddicarus video for Ballz so I decided to check out his YouTube channel. And I still remember that video that got me hooked – his short review for Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Not because it was funny, or I agreed with all his reasons (I’ve never played the game, actually. Sorry) but because of how personal his reasons where. As a YouTuber, it’s easily to say “I love this game because I played it during my childhood” – I’m guilty of this when I recommend games. No – Yungtown explains how this game affected his childhood and his views of life growing. And thankfully, it wasn’t a one hit wonder – he also did it in his Pokemon Go review and showed off some of the most beautiful scenery I have even seen in the world (he lives in Tennessee).
But the most important reason why I chose Yungtown over Hat Films or PBG is because he confessed he made a mistake with some of his content – basically, the majority of his vidoes contain an underlying theme of ‘satire’ (I mean, he put Gordon Ramsey in the list of ‘Cancelled Characters from Super Smash Bros.‘) but he understood that it could make people feel uncomfortable or not take him seriously. So, he issued a video of apology and reworked his videos. To me, I feel that is very brave to put your hands up and say, “Yes, I have made a mistake and I’m sorry,” (Trump, I’m looking at you) and correct your mistakes. Plus, Luke (Yungtown’s real name) is a super nice guy – I sent him a message via YouTube explaining how his original song I Will Make It helped me through some really tough times I had experienced this year and he replied to me within a few days with such amazingly supportive words. We’re complete strangers, yet in that paragraph he sent me, he made me feel like we have been friends for years. Thank you, Yungtown, you honest made my year.
Special mention to YOGSCAST Hannah for reading out my Christmas Card on her Advent video – that made my Christmas.
So, there we have it. I’m glad that 2016 is gone and 2017 can be a new slate.
Let’s make 2017 a good one! Thank you to all of you who have read, commented, favourited and enjoyed my stuff. I will be sure to continue it into the new year.
Sadly, I can’t list all the great people we lost last year as there are too many, but RIP to all of them.