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Thursday, 3 January 2008

BEST/WORST of 2007

flake A quick word before the actual post:

The snow doth cometh.

I have no idea what that means, but it sounds menacing and ominous.  But in reality it's not (quite) like that... basically it's been snowing for the majority of the day - that I've been outside anyway.  And seeing as seeing snow is a rare occasion for me; and likewise many others.  I thought I should say something about it.  Even if the "snow" is more like "hail snow" as my sister put it (WTF?).

Picture?  Nope, sorry.  Unfortunately, I have still failed to get my hands on an appropriately priced and-yet-awesome camera.  But no worries I will catch that rapscallion rabbit someday! I will get one sooner or later (probably later).

That ends this... er... before-post.

Now that 2007 has been and gone (by a few days) I'm going to make a list!  Why?  Because I want to... and all the cool kids are doing it and I'm cool, right?

...  right?

Anywayz, I thought it would be a good way to see 2007 in perspective... or something.  In any case, you can see the up/downs of my past year:

Note:  All the below are my personal opinions and there may be things that you feel that I have gotten wrong, but... STFU.  I really can't be asked to care.  And it should also be noted that I can express my opinion on something that I haven't done/watched/played.
Note#2:  I was meaning to post this on my New Year's Day post.  But never got round to due to some other more pressing issues I had to attend to.  But now you can enjoy!


Best thing to happen to me in 2007:

The summer holidays

>>Runner-ups:  The numerous parties, Getting my laptop...

I agree that it's a bit... general.  But what can I do?  I had a smashing summer holiday that could only ever be transcended by being able to take a whole year off!  Every part of it just shouts: 'w00t' into my mind when I look back at it.  From the parts where I didn't have to attend school to the holiday cruise to Amsterdam.  If you were in my position and didn't enjoy it, there's something deeply deeply wrong with you.


Worst thing to happen to me in 2007:

My early college timetable

>>Runner-ups:  GCSE Exams

There's one simple reason why GCSE Exams weren't the worst thing to happen to me all year.  It was a simple trade-off.  Sit an exam, get study leave.  Even though my study leave consisted of anything but studying...

What's bad about my college timetable is that I have to get to college at 9AM, which is a real bummer.  I thought I could have some extra lie-ins this year, but once again fate f***s me up again.  Technically, I could have changed it.  But I didn't want to.  Simple because of Friday, I had one lesson (in the morning) on Friday and after that it was plain sailing until next Monday.  Which means, essentially, that I get a 2¾ day weekend.  And add the fact that Further Maths only has one class which means I can't change that; it severely limited my options.  So, in the end, I decided to just leave it be.  If fate has decided that I must wake up early every day to have an education.  So be it.

Another irritating thing about my timetable is that I had no other lessons with friends from my previous school.  Hell, I didn't have anyone I knew in any of my lessons!  Granted, one of the things college is about is making new friends but that doesn't mean I should neglect my old friends so much (due to my timetable, this is kind of happening.  Although I do frequently some familiar faces).  Making new friends didn't pose too much of a problem to me; in media friendships were made quickly and it seems everyone has already separated into their own little groups (me included).  But yet there is a lot of outward-conversing within the whole group which makes media a very social lesson.  Maths too, our table alone was so talkative that we had to be split up.  Things seem to have died down a little now, but much talking still happens.  Computing and tutorial/General Studies were a different matter.  Due to the fact that the teacher talks most of the time in Computing, chatting is almost kept to a minimum (it's still there though), even so everyone does get along and we do speak to each other when out of lessons.  Tutorial/General-studies was very slow-going (and at times, absolutely agonizing), not to mention my complete disdain for it -I wouldn't go if I didn't need my EMA- things were progressing at the speed of evolution.  Things seem much better now, not as good as it could be but I guess it's better than nothing.


Best Console Game I've played in 2007:

Super Mario Galaxy

>>Runner-ups:  Halo 3, GH3  (Unfortunately I haven't had the pleasure of trying COD4 or Rock Band)

What else could it have been?  Ok, granted many could argue Halo 3.  But there are quite a few reasons why I chose SMG over H3.  Listed below.

  • Everyone thought the platforming genre was dead.  It seems nowadays that most of the big-hitters are FPS' (and the occasional MMORPG) and the platforming genre which was so prolific during the NES days have died out.  Until SMG came along that is.  It revitalised the platforming genre and injected some much needed awesomeness into it.
  • Online.  To truly get the full Halo 3 experience you needed to try online in all it's glory.  But for Super Mario Galaxy all you need is the game, a Wii, Wiimote, Nunchuk and a TV and you're ready to rock.
  • Super Mario Galaxy will be remembered as a classic.  Just like Mario 64 is.  Whereas all the FPS (Halo 3 included) will be superseeded by better, graphically superior games.  Don't believe me?  Just wait and see.
  • It's goddamn Mario.  Need I say more.


Best Portable Game of 2007:

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

>>Runners-up:  Pokemon Diamond, Elite Beat Agents

What more do I need to say?  Another staple Nintendo franchise to hit this list.  What was so unique about this Zelda game is that it was completely touch-screen controlled.  All the buttons did were bring up some menus.  Sure, a lot of people whined about it but you can't really see the magic behind it until you actually get your hands on the game.  And this is proper completely touch-screen not like the way that Animal Crossing wussed out.  For the first 20/30 minutes of playing the game I actually wanted to use the d-pad (that's what happened to me in AC) but seeing as there was no alternative I had to make do.  Eventually it becomes second nature, although rolling can still be a pain in the ass sometimes.  But in ditching the d-pad and buttons, it bought so much more to this game.  The way that you draw the path for the boomerang, or aim at where to shoot Link's arrows.  It all fits in amazingly, and in utilizing all of the DS' features in appropriate ways.  Nintendo have truly created a masterpiece.


Best Game that most people didn't buy in 2007:

Metroid Prime 3:Corruption

>>Runners-up:  Endless Ocean

I really think Metroid didn't garner enough attention or hype.  I have only seen about one or two MP3 TV ads compared to the considerable amount of SMG ads.  It was the first game to show that the Wii could play FPS' and paved the way for other great games.  It's amazing graphics and frequent awesome boss-fights meant that this game was the best in the trilogy.  Granted, it's boxart doesn't help it much and I thought could have been much better.  At first, the thought of back-tracking did put me off a little but it actually made sense to back-track most of the time.  And the way the world is put together makes it one of the most immersive games I've come across in a while.  Let me put into perspective how many people bought it.  More people bought Carnival Games than MP3:C.  Wait, wait.  To be honest, Carnival Games outsold most games on the Wii (according to PLAY.com).  Ok, here's a better comparison:

Currently, also according to PLAY.com.  MP3 is being outsold by this game and this game the latter game I haven't even heard of before!  I mean, COME ON.  So, my point is if you're out there looking for an awesome adventure game that also allows you to blast dudes into the face then get MP3.

MP3 Samus finally gets what she wants.  :)


Weirdest Situation I've been in, in 2007:

In bed with Ashley...

>>Runner-ups:  I don't remember anything that can remotely touch the above

I've probably been in some other weird situation in 2007, but the situation that wins is the one that is most clear in my mind.  And to think that happened just wee hours before 2007 ended.  If you want the full gist of that epic tale (told in a somewhat short post) read the New Year's Day Post.


Best Anime of 2007:

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

>>Runner-ups:  Claymore

Ok, let me first set the scene for which this astronomical, unmatchable and monumental game takes place...

Simon (they say 'Shimon' since they're like... all Japanese and stuff) is a shy, timid boy who lives in an underground village; all humans live underground due to this the "Spiral King" who keeps them there.  His parents had died a few years back by a freak earthquake.  The only person who treats him like family is the OTT (and sometimes nonsensical) Kamina.  Having been allegedly brought to the surface as a child before, Kamina strives repeatedly to reach the surface and reunite with his father.  Despite the village chief calling him stupid and insane for trying such a stunt; he perceives regardless and ends up in jail for his efforts.  Then something totally unexpected happens -which I won't spoil for you- and Simon has to use this robot-face mecha thing to fight back and they manage to break through to the surface.  What awaits them there is a great adventure of biblical proportions spanning universes...

Seriously, if you don't watch this you're losing out.  It is one of the best animes I've seen.  Period.  Even with it's phallic imagery (that arguably makes it better) and the odd "emo" episodes that happen 15/16 episode in.  This 27-episode anime is still the best you'll see around.  And the ending itself is 20 different kinds of awesome.  Nothing short of an breath-taking battle encompassing whole universes.

You can't argue with the Gainax Bounce.

Note:  For all of you asking about Naruto and Bleach etc.  I'll present you with one word:  FILLER.  Oh and this phrase:  PACE OF A DECREPID DEAD TURLE.

Best Manga of 2007:


>>Runner-ups:  666 Satan, Naruto, Bleach, One Piece

There's a reason why I deliberately didn't let Naruto/Bleach/OP win.  That's because they didn't start in 2007!  That's also slightly true for the above category.  It would be a bit unfair to stack up the newer titles with the well-established and large fan-based ones.  It'd be like dropping asking which is better:  A ninja or a carrot.

If you didn't answer:  Ninja... GET OUT! GET AWAY FROM ME YOU DWEEB!  For everyone else:  Carry on.

What's so good about Mx0?  Well, let me put it to you this way.  Kazumi (the main character) -yes, it's Japanese gain, but aren't most mangas?- fails to get into Seinagi High apparently because he was "laughed at" during the interview to get in.  Well, it was his fault really for saying that he wants to 'conquer the world' but after being kicked out of the school he got into he wants to get back to Seinagi.  He gets pulled through this barrier by this weird person and unwittingly gets pulled into the world of magic.  Due to some unforeseen and down-right unfortunate circumstances he has to stay as a student there with no magical powers.  While everyone is prancing around showing off their magic, he can do nothing else but pretend that he can do.  Oh and there's one more catch.  Everyone seems to be convinced he's some master of the arcane and possess Gandalf-like magical powers.  Obviously this is untrue, and it's all a misunderstanding but due to those "circumstances" others mustn't know.  So, during duels and such he only has his wit and intellect left to help him out.

Trust me this is funny.  But I should also make note that it can be quite disturbing.  On one of his "adventures" he meets this mandrake which somehow turns powerful and takes on the look of a naked woman.  Oh and she floats.  Granted you don't actually get to see anything (since her/it's hair covers practically 80% of it's/her tiny body), but I thought I should alert you to it.


Best New Website I've found (in 2007):


>>Runner-ups:  Explosm, DeathByPixel, GaijinSmash (ok, that last one Gavin may have introduced me to)

Why is Cracked so awesome?  I only really go there to do one thing, and that's to read it's "Today on Cracked" article (which is currently: Third Reich to Fortune 500: Five Popular Brands the Nazis Gave Us).  And it's a barrel of laughs to read, and is like a breath of fresh air if my day's not going to well -it happens to the best of us, even me.  But there isn't just that.  That's like the "craption contest" which is basically a caption contest but the aim of the game is to be funny and humorous while others can vote which wins.  It's definitely worth a browse around.

Explosm and DBP are both web-comic sites.  Explosm provides daily comics (in the form of stick figures) in interesting, funny and blatantly insane situations that only provides laughter, laughter and more laughter.  DBP is like the same, but it's production values are somewhat higher by applying actual people without sticks for arms (*gasp*) but is therefore limited to only a weekly release unfortunately.

And finally GaijinSmash is a blog that I'm sure I've mentioned before that also provides a laugh or two.  It's about this black guy living in Japan and he chronicles his many adventures there.  He is one of the main reasons the previously practically unheard of Japanese practice of "kancho" was released onto the internet, you've got to give him kudos for that if nothing.


Worst Trend of 2007:

Bad Sequels

>>Runner-ups:  The masses queuing up for products, "Higher-class citizens" accepting the power of the internet and exploiting it

Ok, I can't exactly say that what I'm going to be talking about is "bad-sequels" but they're really "worse sequels."

Everyone knows (you included) that generally the original version is always better - that's why sequels were spawned in the first place to milk that franchise until the industry bigwigs could milk no more!  Here's a list of sequels that I think are worse than there predecessors:

  • Spiderman 3  -  Venom joins the fray and this movie should have been the best with him in.  But alas he seems somewhat like an afterthought as he only comes in about... um... two-thirds into the movie.  I don't care about the Sandman, just give me the Alien-Symbiote vs Spider!  Oh man... that would sound wrong in any other context.  Even the video game versions of Spiderman 3 were worse than the previous two!
  • Shrek the 3rd  -  First of all.  WTF is with the name?!  What's wrong with "Shrek 3" I understand that it's meant to show that Shrek is going to be king, yada yada.  But it should just have kept with the original trend of naming.  Don't get me wrong here, I enjoyed the first film and the second film (maybe not as the first) and I think the third one is better than the second one but not as good as the first one.  Here's a formula to show what I mean:
    • Shrek  >>  Shrek the Third  >> Shrek 2  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>  All the Shrek video games EVER made.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:  At World's End  -  I'm gonna keep this short and simple:  The previous films were better.
  • Alien Vs Predator:  Requiem  -  Ok, I've got to admit that I haven't watched this film personally but from the reviews I've seen from multiple sources... it's not exactly scored high.

I think you've got the idea by now.  I'm not saying that all sequels that came out in 2007 were bad, I'm just saying that it was a pretty bad trend.


Biggest Delay of 2007:


>>Runner-ups:  SSBB, GTA4

Ok, there is a reason why I'm saying Spore is the biggest delay of 2007 instead of SSBB.  It's mainly because for Europe the probability that SSBB would have been released in 2007 (even if it was released in NA and JP) is very slim.  And something that didn't have a release date for us anyway can't really be delayed anyway!  But still, having it be delayed for NA means that it'll take even longer to get here.  And also I'm pretty miffed about the whole "still no release date for Europe" thing.

Spore on the other hand, had a vague~ish release date but wasn't really confirmed.  I'm really anticipating Spore and I really think it will be the best thing since The original Sims.  I use to play Sims/Sims 2 a millennia ago (subject to over-exaggeration) but have since stopped playing, but Spore looks really promising.  Through natural progression, it's proven that Spore will indefinitely be better than the Sims (since Will Wright is working on Spore and not Sims anymore - that's what happened with GH ¬ Rockband; Harmonix jumped ship band/instrument!).


Best Move of 2007:


>>Runner-ups:  Superbad, Rush Hour 3, Ratatouille, I am Legend

Ok, you probably say this coming.  Definitely one of the best film I've seen from the fighting, graphics, aggressive shouting and story - ok, maybe not so much story.  I don't care if Gerard Butler's body has been "graphically enhanced"... you may be saying that this is madness but I don't care.  Why?  Because...

THIS IS SPARTAN!  *Ferocious shouting*

And so ends my awesome list of awesome (and not so awesome) things of 2007.  I hope you've enjoyed the ride.


EDIT#1:  Added "Best Movie of 2007"

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