The Worst Video Game of 2017 - Star Wars Battlefront 2
Thing is, EA then informed their shareholders that the decision would not affect overall profits, which means the decision to inject unwelcome loot boxes into BF2 was purely for an anti-consumer profit suck, to deplete the pockets of the dumb players who would happily throw money at the screen until they win. I can't berate a company for trying to make money, but EA took their tactics too far this time. It's not the desire to make money, it's the extent to which it affected the games mechanics and fairness in it's competitive modes.
The Best Video Games of 2017
Pokémon Go - Decent updates have meant that a lot of problems with the games are gettng close to fixed, and with the addition of raids and gen 3 pokemon, there's plenty to do for those who stuck around. Probably an idea to sack the community managers, though, we still remember Go Fest.
Kamen Rider Climax Fighters - This one is only ever going to apply to me, but this is a beautiful rendering of the Heisei riders all collected in one game, with easy and fun 'pick up and play' fighting gameplay, show accurate visuals and sounds and an honest to god, fully blow, proper English translation of this beloved Japanese property. It's goddamn cool to finally see this happen. It does suffer from limited game modes, segregated online servers and a small roster of playable characters though. Not perfect, but still great.
5 - Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy
4 - Stardew Valley
Anyway, this was easily the biggest gaming surprise of the year. I've never been too big on life sim games like Harvest Moon, but I have enjoyed them in occasional spats in the past. I haven';t truly got lost in one like the way I got utterly lost in Stardew Valley though. The 'just one more day' addictive nature of the gameplay just scratches a particular itch I never knew I had in a game. It's challenges you to plan your schedules and be prompt and efficient in order to make money, make friends and save your new home from the ever-encroaching hand of corporate misery. It's escapism in it's truest form, which is probably one of the core reasons why I decided to ignore the awful outside world and stick my head into this pastel pixel dream for almost 100 hours.
3 - Super Mario Odyssey
2 - Persona 5
1 - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild
Walk 10 feet > Collect three things > Fight the final boss if you wanna, you got this.
The games true worth, then, is in what you make the game. For me, BotW, was a non-stop cavalvade of gliding, flurry attacks, cooking and hating the rain. And I loved every single second of this wholly engrossing, immersive and dense game that honestly still feels mostly undiscovered. I played it first on the Wii U, but I'm gunning to see everything in my second playthrough on the Switch. It might take a while, but if that means prolonging the utter joy that was the discovery of playing this game, then I'm happy to make that dedication. It deserves the praise it was showered with wholeheartedly. It's just amazing.
The Worst TV Show(s) of 2017 - Inhumans/Powerless
DC, on the other hand, decided to answer the incredibly stupid question that nobody asked; "What if superhero show but no superheroes lol?". And they ended up with Powerless, otherwise known as 'The Great Mistake'. Essentially, they decided to quite literally make The Big Bang Theory but with the main premise being it takes place in the DC Universe. And it falls down every pitfall that I believe that TBBT goes in that EVERYTHING IS UTTERLY DETESTABLE AND I WANT IT TO BURN. First off, it totally wastes Danny Pudi, Alan Tudyk and Adam "Even My Batman Was Better Than This" West, the jokes do not land, the cast are a collection of unlikable assholes and there's a distant, cold sheen over the whole affair that should not be there, considering these people are supposed to be relatable people in a superhero universe. Luckily for us, NBC shit-canned the series before the series was even allowed to finish airing, meaning only 9 of it's 12 episodes even made it to air. This will go down as one of the greatest acts of mercy by a television company. Nobody shall miss this.
The Best TV Shows of 2017
The Punisher - Admittedly I haven't finished this series, but so far it's been a hell of a blast. Giving Jon Bernthal's version of Frank Castle his own series was a no-brainer, but it was always a difficult task thinking of what he could be going up against. What we've seen so far is an exploration of PTSD that's equal parts harrowing and entertaining, with the right amount of intense violence that we all want from someone called "The Punisher". It had better end with a minigun, though. Don;t tease me like last time, marvel, c'mon, give me the minigun.
Black Mirror - Your yearly reminder that Charlie Brooker is still a genius and NO I'M NOT BITTER THAT WE DIDN'T GET 2017 WIPE AT NEW YEARS WHY DID YOU EVEN BRING THAT UP I'M NOT BITTER I'M NOT BITTER AT ALL HAHAHAHAHAHA YOU'RE FUNNY YOU FUCKING FUCK.
5 - American Vandal
4 - Bojack Horseman, Season 4
3 - Stranger Things 2
2 - My Hero Academia, Season 2
1 - Rick And Morty, Season 3
The Worst Album of 2017 - Ed Sheeran, 'Divide'
But I want to highlight the two songs that irk me the most: 'Galway Girl' and 'Nancy Mulligan'. Now, I'm not Irish, I have zero Irish heritage and I've happily never paid 7 Euro for a pint. However, the way in which Ed uses the Irish themes of these songs as a self-insert fantasy is pretty atrocious. Again, I don't even claim to be even remotely interested by the intricacies of Irish folklore and traditional Irish music, but I know pandering when I hear it. And these two songs are pandering so hard that Beijing Zoo are trying to corral the released albums back into an enclosure ready for mating. Both of these utterly detestable tracks are just the worst kind of derivative faff that you get in pop music today, trying to wrangle an ear-worm out of bastardising time-tested cultural staples in an attempt to recycle what came before for greater profit.
That, and I just don't like it.
The Best Albums Of 2017
Carly Rae Jepson, 'Emotion: Side B' - There's a certain innocence to Jepson's work which I just appreciate in a pop environment that has not accounted for it's reservedness. 'Cut To The Feeling' was the upbeat happy hit we needed this year.
Queens Of The Stone Age, 'Villains' - A very welcome comeback from Josh Homme and co, it fails to scale up to Songs For The Deaf, but few things do. A great lead single made this the rock album to beat this year.
5 - Joji, 'In Tongues'
4 - Ninja Sex Party, 'Under The Covers, Vol. II'
3 - Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2, 'Awesome Mix Vol. 2'
2 - La La Land: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack