2015 has been an interesting year for me, to say the least. I’ve started new paths in my life, made new lasting friendships and of course played a lot of games! It’s been a year of constant change for me, and a lot of it has been spent figuring out what kind of person I am, and who I want to be going forward.
On top of that, I’m the sentimental type, so asking me to pick out my highlights of the year would be a monumental task because I attach significance to nearly everything, and I tend to attach specific feelings to every experience I live through. With that in mind, I do have some favourites to share with you, dear reader. I’ve chosen these not just because they stood out as some of the best media I’ve consumed this year, but also because of the impact they had on me as a person.
So without further ado, here’s my list of the Best of 2015!
2015 has been a fantastic year for gaming! We’ve had classic franchises like Fallout and Assassins Creed coming out with brand new gems, HD remasters of both recent classics like The Last of Us and old school nostalgia like Final Fantasy X, and not to even mention the genius indie titles being released like Undertale. However, if you were to ask me what stands out as the most influential game of 2015, and what one I’d recommend the most, there’s no better answer than Life is Strange.
Not only was it one of the first games I actually wrote about for The Arcade, it was one that stuck with me long after I’d finished the final episode.
You see, when I first began Life Is Strange a part of me wanted to hate it, due to the colossal failure that was Remember Me, DONTNOD’s previous big release. Fortunately, despite my best efforts, I loved this game, and the message it carried. Not only was the game filled with lovable characters and plot twists, the messages that it tried to portray about life in general, whether you have time control powers or not, and how changeable and unpredictable it can be stick with you long after the credits. A+ message for your new years resolutions, wouldn’t you agree?
Anyone who knows me already knows what’s coming here! Yes, it’s ‘Sober’ by BIGBANG! But hold on, I have legitimate, non-fangirl reasons for this one!
For those who don’t speak Korean, or don’t have the inclination to look up translations of the lyrics, this comes off as just a simple high energy song, well performed and catchy enough to have you belting out the chorus (however poorly) each time it comes on.
However, if you do understand the lyrics, you’ll see that the high energy feeling isn’t one of excitement or playfulness, but one of desperation. For me, it describes what it’s like to be deeply depressed and begging for something, anything to take you out of it for a couple hours, whether it’s medication, alcohol or any other combination you can think of. Not only is this a song by my favourite band, it’s a song that I can relate to and use to remember a time in my life when I wanted nothing more than to flick a switch and turn off for a little while, and it gives me the strength I need to just say no, and start belting out a chorus… however poorly. ‘Sober’ became an anthem of strength as well as just a catchy song to rock out to and with luck it’ll carry me through 2016 just as much as 2015!
Again, we’ve had a great year for films, but there’s only one movie of the entire year that literally left me unable to speak upon leaving the cinema.
For me, Best Film of 2015 goes to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. When I was growing up, I remember a lot of hours of me and my brother whacking each other with toy lightsabers, and as far as I can recall, Star Wars must have been the first truly nerdy fandom I enjoyed. As such, I went into The Force Awakens with some high, high expectations, pitchfork at the ready just in case we had to revolt against Jar Jar Abrams for ruining what little credibility was left in the series after the prequels. What I got instead was not only a fantastic movie with wonderful characters (who I cannot wait to learn more about), the most adorable little droid and of course a big rush of nostalgia to the original trilogy.
We at the Arcade have already said how much TFA reminded us of the originals, and it was a safe choice for the new trilogy if they wanted to avoid upsetting an audience that already had a big let down to deal with, but it took just enough risks to keep things fresh and interesting and keep the hype train going even without the fanboy shots of the Millenium Falcon and cameos from our favourite rebels. In short, The Force Awakens might not have been A New Hope, but it’s certainly given me some new hope for the series! And hey, if Star Wars can still be awesome even after Jar Jar Binks and Medichlorians, you can still be awesome after whatever upset you this year!