Max Payne 3 is amazing. Seriously, go buy it right now if you even remotely like shooters. The gameplay is pretty much a perfect evolution of the previous Max Payne games and is incredibly satisfying whilst the story is superbly told, regardless of wether you like the occassionally intrusive cutscenes.
Highlight: Max's internal monologue is as darkly comedic as ever.
Runners Up: Dishonored & The Walking Dead
I'm torn here. This was definitely the year of the Superhero movie and The Dark Knight Rises/The Avengers are both too good to pick between. The best part is how very different they are, The Dark Knight Rises continues the Nolan Batman tradition of staying fairly grounded in reality while The Avengers is a balls to the wall action fest which is completely over the top in the best possible way.
Highlight: Commisioner Gordon's realisation of who Batman is at the end of TDKR/Mark Ruffalo making the Hulk into a character I don't completely hate.
Runners Up: Honestly not that much, Skyfall, The Master, Lincoln, Seven Psychopaths, Wreck It Ralph and Django Unchained would all likely fit here (or maybe even as the best movie) had I seen them but most of them haven't even been released in the UK yet and some I just didn't get around to unfortunately.
Breaking Bad would most likely top this list IF it had been the full 5th season, unfortunately we only got half of it so it felt a bit like having the first half of a movie, lots of set up and not as much pay off as fans were hoping for.Boardwalk Empirefell victim to this as well, with quite a weak stretch of episodes which had a lot of good but an equal amount of mediocrity. But it more than made up for it with an absolutely incredible pair of finale episodes.
Highlight:Al Pacino's (Stephen Graham) absolutely fantastic appearance and line delivery at the end of the penultimate episode. It was funny, shocking, badass and a perfect sign that "Sh*t is about to go down".
Runners Up:Breaking Bad, Homeland, Game of Thrones, Happy Endings and The Walking Dead (Season 3 of course, 2 can burn in hell)
Baroness's Yellow and Green album is an absolute beast. A double album featuring 18 songs of incredibly detailed absorbing music (I won't try and put a genre on it because I hate trying to classify music) that I've played constantly since it came out. It reminds me of Mastodon's Crack The Skye, a heavy band taming things slightly but not losing anything that made them special in the first place.
Highlight: The Yellow Theme leading into Take My Bones Away, an absolutely fantastic introduction to the album and what it's about.
Runners Up: The Money Store (Death Grips), Gallows (Gallows), Civil Disobedience for Losers (Indian Handcrafts), BLKLSTRS (Blacklisters) and Shallow Bed (Dry The River)
I got a Samsung Galaxy S2in June (fashionably late) because I wanted a great phone with unlimited internet but none of the rest of the guff that those contracts come with, why the hell do I need 5000 texts when I can use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger? So I got this and it's the first time I've had a legitimately good phone. This thing really is a beast and I look forward to upgrading to the S4 or whatever else is out by the time my contract is up. Mobile gaming still sucks though.
Highlight: Customising all the home screens with their own content specific wallpapers like some sort of mental person.
Runners Up: The amazing MSI laptop I got, I'd say it was the best but the RAM literally just died on me so that's soured it a little.
So here's some back story to this one. Baroness (who made my favourite album of the year for those not paying attention) were in a seriously bad bus crash in the middle of August after a 30 foot drop due to brake failure on the coach they were touring in. Almost everyone in the band recieved some sort of injury but frontman John Baizley recieved some of the worst, including a broken leg and broken arm. Now when I say broken let me stress that f*cked up would be a better description, titanium plates, staples, an 8 hour surgery, 7 different pieces of bone and extensive nerve damage.
Favourite Idiotic Notion
The Mayan Calender theory is one of the dumbest things that's ever happened. People were building up to this silly idea for years, and what happened? Nothing, not even a little bit of an apocalypse. How disappointing. Of course most sane people just talked about is a bit of a joke, but the fact that I've seen 3 or 4 news reports since the 21st with people saying "Oh yeah we were off, it's actually the 24th" just proves that there's some people out there with too much time and too few brain cells. Conspiracy theorists are going to change the date of apocalypses until one finally does happen, then they'll go "We told you so!"
Favourite thing I'm looking forward to in 2013
I'm going to make a really long rambling blog post about Kickstarter soon, and I've said it in a few threads, but I really can't wait to see how the whole thing plays out. Right now gaming media is nuts for it, it's empowering indie companies to shoot for the stars and it's changing the way games get funding. Is that good though, will everything turn to sh*t when gamers start riots because a game they funded ended up not being very good? We'll see, it's going to be an interesting year.