This has been a great year, and it seems like a lot of the community is not taking the time to stop and smell the roses. There have been so many posts about this console cycle being too long, about the low quality and quantity of games being released this year, about Giant Bomb not being as great anymore, politics, and so on. Now granted a quick look at my forum history will quickly show you that I am just as guilty as all of you at being a jaded ass-hat from time to time. However, this year has been really fantastic and I wanted to list some of the things that have made this year so fantastic to me.
The PlayStation Vita
The PlayStation Vita is amazing. The promise of playing console games on a portable device has actually been fulfilled. Mortal Kombat on the Vita is a perfect example, it plays exactly as well as the console versions did even if it did not look as good. I use the thing for everything from listening to podcasts and watching youtube videos to browsing the web, playing video games and watching Netflix. It really is the all in one portable device, and it is such a damn shame that Sony has (had?) such a shitty marketing team for the system.
Some Fantastic Games
This year has seen the release of some fantastic games. Soulcalibur 5 once again gave players some fantastic tools to create there own fighter and the fighting itself is still as fun as always. While I do believe that the gem system in Street Fighter X Tekken is totally dumb, the game is really fun if you completely ignore the gem and just have some 2 v 2 action with 3 other local players, with strategies and decisions about whether or not you should tag out coming up constantly. Lego Batman 2 breathed some much needed new life into what was becoming a stale series. The open world is as fantastic as the cast of characters. Trials Evolution was a ridiculously addicting game when trying to beat your friends times.
Some Time to Clear the Backlog
Yes, while there have been some amazing games that have been released this year there has not been a large quantity of them. This has given me time to go back and play some of the great games that I have had on my radar but never got the chance to play. The first Assassins Creed is very underrated in my opinion and I had a great deal of fun playing through it. Saints Row 2 was an amazing and wacky game with a great story, fun missions, and an insane amount of customization. Alan Wake was quite the unique experience that was fun and suspenseful from beginning to end. Ico was a fantastic journey that was also one of the most unique games that I have ever experienced. I am also currently making my way through Bioshock and am really digging it.
The Golden Age of Superhero Movies
We are currently living in it. The Amazing Spider-Man saw the web swinger finally done justice on the big screen. While not without its problems, it had a fantastic cast and a Spider-Man that wasn't afraid to tell some jokes. The Dark Knight Rises saw the Nolan Batman trilogy get a fantastic conclusion, and while not everyone loved it, it was my favorite of the series. And of course, there was the big one. The movie that comic fans did not thing could be pulled off on the big screen (but always hoped for). The Avengers. The Avengers was such an amazing film that I actually went to go see it three times in theaters (twice in 3D), and I had trouble convincing myself to just wait for the blu-ray instead of going to see it again. Seriously, if you had shown me (or anybody) this clip ten years ago they would have shit their pants:
A Bright Rest of the Year
There are still a huge number of great games that are going to be coming out this year (more then I am going to be able to play this year), like LittleBigPlanet Vita, FIFA 13, Resident Evil 6, Boarderlands 2, Assassins Creed 3, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, LittleBigPlanet Karting, Halo 4, Forza Horizon, New Super Mario Bros. U, ZombiU, Lego City Undercover, and Scribblenauts Unlimited. And of course, the game that people who grew up with the original PlayStation have wanted since forever, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royal. Haters are always going to hate, but this game has me crazy excited and I don't give a flying fuck who doesn't share my excitement.
Hype for the Future (2013 and Beyond)
Then of course there are all the other games to look forward to further into the future. Tearaway, The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, DMC, God of War: Ascension, the next Super Smash Bros., and of course the new consoles that are coming out from Sony and Microsoft. And then there is the continuation of the golden age of comic book movies to look forward to, with the Days of Future Past film, the Marvel Phase Two films, the SHIELD tv show, and the possibility of DC stepping it up and giving us a Justice League movie. I am a man who enjoys the feeling excitement and anticipation almost as much as when the thing finally arrives, and there is plenty to be excited about.
The here and now is great. Next time you are feeling jaded or sad or any emotion other then ecstatic, take some time to realize just how lucky you are to live in this day and age with so many wonderful forms of entertainment. So what do you say? Are some of you grumpy sour pusses a little less sour after doing some personal reflections of all the great thing you've experienced this year? What are some of those great things you have experienced this year?