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My Best of 2019
The Honour of the Knights : Spanish Edition
My Best of 2018
A North-South Divide is out now!
Project Starfighter - The game vs the book
Intrepid's Canadian Rockies
My favourite video game couples
A North-South Divide
My Best of 2016Fri, 30th December 2016
Every year, I like to create a list of the books, music, games, and movies that I enjoyed the most. In the main, the items will be from that year, but not all the time (especially in the case of books). Below are my picks for 2016.
Best Book: Mr Mercedes - Stephen King
Honourable mentions: A Darker Shade of Magic - V. E. Schwab, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke
I must confess that I read fewer books this year than I intended. I was getting most of my reading done while commuting to London, for work. But as I don't have to do that any more, the speed of my reading has taken a bit a nosedive. Even so, I did manage to read some cracking titles. My favourite this year was Stephen King's Mr Mercedes. I've generally only ever read horror by King, but thought I'd give his crime novel a try. I came away pleasently surprised. The back and forth cat and mouse between Bill Hodges and Brady Hartsfield worked very well, and seeing the villian's POV did nothing to reduce the tension of the story. The book comes highly recommended.
I also enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic. The style meant that the story followed quickly, and maintained a fast pace throughout. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was a very different kind of book, the writing style inspired being 19th century stories. It was certainly a very intriguing novel.
Best Album: Blossoms - Blossoms
Honourable mentions: Gameshow - Two Door Cinema Club, Viola Beach - Viola Beach
Over the course of the year, I had heard a lot of Blossoms' music on 6 Music, and very much enjoyed all the singles they put out. I found the album measured up just as well, with the non-single tracks being equally as strong. In fact, the singles aren't even the best ones on the album. Texia is one of favourite tracks on the album, one that caused me to stop and think, Wow, what track is this??? After I found that I had decided to listen to the album several times in the few days after I had got it, it was plain that this was my favourite album of the year.
Two Door Cinema Club came back with a great album after what I felt was a somewhat middling second album. Viola Beach, too, delivered a superb album, and were destined for great things. A great loss.
Best Single: Burn the Witch - Radiohead
Honourable mentions: Spectre - Radiohead, Blackstar - David Bowie
I loved Radiohead's Burn the Witch from the first moment I heard it. Those strings! It's very a haunting, dark, powerful song, and the music video is truly something to behold. In addition, Radiohead dropped their unused theme to Spectre. It was another dark track that I felt would have made for an incredible opening to the latest Bond film. David Bowie's Blackstar was another track that I enjoyed hearing each time it played on 6Music. At its full length, it is close to 10 minutes long, and doesn't bore for one second.
Best Film: Captain America: Civil War
Honourable mentions: Rogue One, Deadpool
I didn't get to the cinema very much this year. There are various reasons for this, but there was one film I had to see at the cinema - Civil War. In my humble opinon, the Captain America films have surpassed The Avengers in terms of superhero action movies. There was so much to love in the film. It was packed with action, was funny, had plenty of great moments (I'm annoyed that I discovered that Spider-Man was going to be in it before I watched the trailer; spoilers are becoming so ubiquitous these days). I highly recommend the film if you've not seen it.
Rogue One was incredible. It is without a doubt one of my favourite Star Wars films. It was dark, willing to take risks, and easily the best pre-Episode 4 movie out there. It will be interesting to see what the other two spin-off films are like. Oh, and Deadpool was hilarious. Give that a watch too, if you've not seen it!
Best Game: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Honourable mentions: Dark Souls III, DOOM
The final entry in the Uncharted series was my top gaming pick of 2016. The game was superb throughout, being a very personal story of Nathan Drake's last adventure. It was funny, emotional, a technical marvel, and picked to the gills with Wow! moments. If anything, I did miss there being a supernatural element this time around, but it was clear that this was meant to be a story that focused on the human element.
Dark Souls 3 was, as expected, incredible. The difficulty was once again just right to present a strong challenge (with plenty of frustration to boot!), but have the player yearning for more, even so. The biggest surprise of the year for me went to DOOM. I didn't have high expectations of the reboot; I'm not a big fan of first person shooters in general, and tend to stick to the old school games (such as the 90s Dooms, and Quake). Upon playing the demo of DOOM, I realised that id had created an old school shooter, that had zero pretentions about what it was. An absolute blast, and such, such fun.
My Best of 2019
My Best of 2018
My Best of 2017
My Best of 2015