Giant Bomb 2018 Year End Review

Hiya folk! So this isn't the most timely of blogs, but for the past year or two, I thought about writing a blog that highlights some of my personal favorite Giant Bomb moments and videos from that given year. While is a great anime site, it can be hard to uncover those hidden gems and standout episodes, series, and playthroughs, especially when you go back a few years.

This has been done in the past through various “So you signed up for premium, now what?” style blogs and the Best of Giant Bomb series remains the best source for documenting many of the site’s greatest hits. With this, I wanted to write something to have a record of what stood out to me in 2018, in addition to giving the Bomb Crew an individual shoutout for making 2018 another great year of game bombin’.

Note: With some features that are shared across multiple people, I ended up attributing it to the person who I personally associate it with. Obviously many of these features are made better with the whole crew there and are not the work of a single person. Also worth mentioning, I haven't seen everything on Giant Bomb in 2018. If such-and-such game or stream isn't on here, there's a decent chance that's because I didn't watch it.

Staff Highlights:

Abby: Thirteen Deadly Sims

In addition to her being so goddamn funny, Abby continued to mix things up on the production end of GBeast and partaking in different features that wouldn't otherwise exist. The standout for me was easily Thirteen Deadly Sims. On paper this may feel like a left field series, but it turned out probably better than anybody could hope for. Having all of Giant Bomb family in one house and seeing Abby trying to spin way too many plates lead to so many great, unpredictable moments. Beyond that, I also just like The Sims, but never tried The Sims 4 due to that game's weird launch. So this was a nice excuse to finally to load up that game.....and lose a month of free time in the process.

Alex: Mass Alex

Alright, Alex drumming for 24 hours is actually the best thing that happened to Giant Bomb in 2018, but in terms of what had the bigger impact and general thing I would recommend people watch, that would be Mass Alex (AKA Alexy Quest). I honestly thought this series would never actually happen and it will always continue as this side gag until Alex snaps when he receives his 2,034th copy of Mass Effect 2. Now that it finally happened, I couldn't be happier. Also, as someone who never played Mass Effect 1, it's been great to finally see these characters and events I only know about through hearsay.

Ben: Breakfast 'N' Ben

As weird as it may sound, in a lot of ways, Ben feels like Giant Bomb West's unofficial wingman. He effectively runs the Giant Bomb Aftermath and sits in on so many features from Ranking of Fighters to Demo Derby. In addition to all of the other things he's done, Ben was also the single GB person I watched the most solo in 2018 between On the Mend with Ben and Breakfast 'N' Ben. These shorter, more laid back videos are a nice change of pace, especially when a lot of streams and features easily reach the 2 hour mark.

Brad: Breaking Brad: Super Mario Bros.

2018 was a banger year for Breaking Brad between finishing Rogue Legacy and Super Mario Bros. If I had to pick just one, I would ultimate recommend Super Mario Bros. It is one of those things where this is a seminal game that people haven't actually seen all the way through, between various speedruns and seemingly everybody using the warp pipe. Seeing Brad die again and again and eventually overcoming the later stages of the game was by far my favorite "Yeah Brad!" moment of 2018.

Dan: This Is The Run: Contra: Hard Corps.

All of the This Is The Run features--and most of Dan's brainchildren to be honest--are one of those things I never knew I wanted until I sat down and pressed play. This is more so with Contra: Hard Corps, because I, 1) Never really heard of this game before, and 2) Wasn't anticipating how batshit insane this game gets. It is just as funny--if not funnier--than the first Contra series, but only with a billion more explosions and bosses. In the moment, I also loved having a feature that had multiple, short-ish episodes in a given week.

Jan: Giant Bomb Travelogue: Copenhagen

Ooookay, real talk: Jan is the man. He's absolutely great. I will always be down for more Jan. That said......there wasn't really a Jan feature in 2018. Like, his production work is top notch and it's always a treat when he shows up in a UPF. I'm still hoping for Jan to get his own series and to sit in one more Giant Bomb content moving forward. Personally I would be totally down for some more PokeMONday Night Combat. But as for this list that talks about 2018, remember when Jan and Dan went to Copenhagen?! That was cool!

Jason: Ranking of Fighters

I was always down with the concept of Ranking of Fighters, and I will keep watching this series as there is so much more important science to be done (like evaluating Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel). I don't even really play fighting games anymore, but I'm always entertained listening to Jason and Company talk about them. That said, updates were always sporadic, until this past year. Looking back through all of the videos released in 2018, I'm honestly shocked by how much ground they covered. Simply put, this is the best year for a feature I've enjoyed since 2015. Hopefully 2019 is another great year for Science.

Jeff: Garfield with Gerstmann

When I think about the experience of watching Jeff play those PS2 era Garfield games, I kinda think about Mario Party Party. They are bad games that are a slog to play, but I can't help but watch them, and if I were to explain to my friends and family why I'm doing this, I wouldn't have a great reason. Garfield Lasagna World Tour and Garfield: Saving Arlene are baffling games that put me in a trance like state. Am I laughing because of how funny these videos are or because I've been listening to the incredibly odd soundtrack for 2 hours straight and I'm losing it? Maybe I just like seeing Jeff in pain? When you stare into the abyss, does Garfield stare back? I don't know. Lasagna.

Rorie: Extra Life 2018

Sir Matthew Rorie is always a gentleman and a delight. There is perhaps no better example of his gentlemanliness than his nearly 24 hour appearance during Giant Bomb West's 2018 Extra Life stream. Browsing the site, it looks like only the first 3 hours of their stream has been archived. However, Juho on YouTube has archived the entire stream if you want to listen to some fine poetry and normal conversations amongst co-workers for a good cause.

Vinny: The Exquisite Corps: XCOM Enemy Within

Just shy under a year in the making, The Exquisite Corps certainly is a journey. In a lot of ways, this feels like a continuation of Project B.E.A.S.T., where Vinny and Company have a goal they are trying to achieve. While these "project" series can run long and The Exquisite Corps is by far the biggest commitment on this list, it was still a blast to experience.

Best of Giant Bomb 2018:

And Hey, This Also Happened:

  1. All Systems Goku / All Systems Goku Special Edition: Live from Crunchyroll HQ at Anime Expo 18
  2. Breaking Brad: Rogue Legacy
  3. Demo Derby: Official PlayStation Magazine: Issue 59 / It's Britney, Brad
  4. E3 vs. GB: Dave Lang, Adam Boyes, John Vignocchi! (and Kessler)
  5. Extra Life 2018: Alex
  6. Extra Life 2018: GBE 2018 / The Quiet Man
  7. Game Tapes 08: Language Force Assemble
  8. Game of the Year: Holiday Specialtacular: Giant Rom 5
  9. Game of the Year: Holiday Specialtacular: Mario Party Party 11
  10. The Giant Beastcast: Episode 188 / Lasers and Feelings
  11. The Giant Bombcast: We're Sorry: Ten Years of the Giant Bombcast
  12. Giant Bomb Makes Mario Again
  13. Gotta God Hand!
  14. Jeff Gerstmann's Pro Skater
  16. Old Games: N-Gage X-Stream
  17. Playdate: Johnny Mnemoic
  18. Playdate: Sid Meier's Civilization VI - Rise & Fall
  19. Playdate: Total Distortion
  20. VinnyVania: VinnyStainia