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2012 Summary

Journal Entry: Thu Jan 3, 2013, 1:47 PM

Here's my annual thing which I do for my own amusement, and also as a genuine journal which I can look at again in the future, so I don't expect anyone to read all of this heh. ;p

2012 was better than 2011. To be honest I'm kind of annoyed at the lack of progress in things, for example, the job market is terrible compared to when I first went to university, or even in 2010 (a reprieve of sorts before economic things got troubled again).

In a way I wonder what the hell I've been doing during the year, but I'd rather have the bland and uneventful compared to bad stuff actively happening like the year prior. Sorry that probably won't mean much as these days I don't like to go into major detail of less-than-ideal happenings in my life.

Thanks to one of my friends I've been introduced to airsoft and its money draining properties. But it's all in good fun as I really needed some sort of active hobby, as golf has been hit by the ton of rain this year! The new cinema and supermarket in our town has been a godsend. Finally we no longer have to drive to Wigan or Bolton to see stuff so the amount of films I've seen has skyrocketed this year. As for the supermarket on the same retail park, well there's already a stupid amount of similar stores within a few square miles but this one is easily accessible by walking (no skirting the high speed bypass).

The family has also seen some visits from overseas relatives, namely my mum's cousin and husband who live in the US (both UK born, now US citizens with near fully american children), and a somewhat distant relation from Australia. The former stayed with us for two days after Christmas so we had more guests to entertain over more days than usual (I did manage to escape for an New Year's Eve party though). Now I can finally get some peace and quiet and get building my model and working on an art trade properly!

Ok the usual list of stuff. Like always when I say "Game of the Year" I mean it's the best I have experienced this year, not necessarily released in 2012.

Game of the Year
I know what it should've been but frankly it just doesn't deserve it. So the title goes to Skyrim instead. I got this at Christmas 2011 and began to play heavily until about April 2012. Over 2 main characters (a Breton Mage and a Dark Elf Thief) I've spent ages exploring and taking in the endless scenery. As with any Bethesda games it benefits from modding up to add some more depth to the perks, combat and item system but even in vanilla Skyrim the amount of things to do is almost intimidating. But it does rely on recycled assets considering the scale, so repetitive aspects crop up no doubt. However I always say you only get as much as you put in to a game like this. Learn the mechanics, exploit every single bit of customisation, heh even head canon/mildly roleplay and you can connect with your character much more. I now have Dawnguard so that's giving me more to do (as if I ever finished the original stuff) and I'm considering a 3rd character too. Warriors are the only ability group I've not experienced deeply, but pure fighter bores me to tears. The only tactics being whether you hit them with a sword, mace or axe. Pff. So I'll have to splice some magic in I think to keep things interesting.

Oh that other game mentioned? Yeah it's Mass Effect 3. It's not inherently bad, and I enjoy the multiplayer from time to time (despite housing some of the most weapon/class elitist pricks I've seen since TF2). But it is a rushed game suffering from corporate meddling. Oh yeah and the ending pre Extended Cut was dire. Post EC and Leviathan I can accept Destroy and maybe Control but so many stupid things remain as result of writing themselves into a corner and astonishing misjudgement on how to conclude a story in a satisfying manner. The rest of the game is good to decent; many great scenes and enjoyable combat, marred by some hammy dialogue and teeth gritting whitewashing/demonization of past events to make everything fit the paragon or renegade option. So many missed opportunities.

Away from that, some other mentions include Mount and Blade: Warband for keeping me busy for a few weeks. Indeed fun for battles (especially knife-edge sieges) but very grindy to achieve anything meaningful, plus the computer hates you and effectively has free troops, money and food.

I went through Dragon Age Origins again. Plus the expansion, Awakening aka: "Oh man that texture seam on her face looks pretty bad, why did they- AGGGHH OH GOD!!!"

Honourable mentions to KOTOR I & II (again) Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts (err again), Tropico 4 (again!) and Dawn of War II.

Book of the Year
Post-university I've got out of the habit of reading a lot. So this year I've only read a few things in full. It may as well go to The Island of Sheep, the final book in the Richard Hannay saga (of 39 Steps fame). Skyfall's final act reminds me hugely of this a good way! Also I read Carmilla, the book that inspired Bram Stoker to do Dracula. F/F in the 19th Century, blimey! Besides that I'm chipping away at some Allan Quatermain stories since I love colonial Africa as a setting for novels.

Film of the Year
The new cinema has allowed us to see lots of stuff in 2012, so much that I probably can't quite remember all. But here's a quick summary.

-War Horse: Yes! Finally some big budget WW1 action. Cheesy due to its origin as a children's book but nailed the setting perfectly.

-John Carter: Visually impressive but ultimately dull and bloated.

-Men In Black 3: Better than the 2nd. Enjoyable, unremarkable.

-The Avengers: As far as superhero stomp fests go this one was done pretty well.

-The Amazing Spider-Man: Didn't connect with me much. I have no time for whiny teens anymore. Not bad, pretty average.

-The Hunger Games: I've not read the book and I'm certainly not the target audience. The whole thing was decent but utterly bizarre.

-Total Recall: The original is silly but massively enjoyable. This remake is just stupid. Notice the rebels don't actually do anything since their attacks are faked by the government. What are they doing in their wasteland HQ then?

-Dredd 3D: What a splatter fest. Yet...actually very well done. A real surprise.

-The Dark Knight Rises: I can appreciate that it is good and loved by many but it never hit the right notes for me.

-Skyfall: Miles better than the last bond film! Down to earth and very well crafted. My film of the year!

All Glory to the Hypnotoad by Barbiesocks Mass Effect Stamp: N7 by Cokomon Give a llama, get a llama by AskGooroo Yes-Man Stamp by artemispanthar .: Read the comments :. Stamp by Beti-Kot

  • Reading: Hunter Quatermain's Story
  • Watching: Dara O Briain's Science Club
  • Playing: Skyrim (with Dawnguard)
  • Drinking: Pepsi Max
Lorcan0c Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've never been able to get into Airsoft really. My parents are the hyper-paranoid over protective types who worry I'll hurt someone else, or myself.

I honestly don't know if I can pick a favourite game of the year, they all had their ups and downs. But ME3 and Halo 4 were definitely the most emotional experiences for me. I've not played Skyrim, mostly because after Fallout 3, I just have a problem with free-roam RPG's. But I just went through the Omega DLC yesterday and really enjoyed it.

Ah, Dawn of War II. I loved that series until Retribution. Don't get me started, it's not a rant I enjoy making.

John Carter was..... ugh. See Avatar is just about my favourite movie ever, mostly because of the experience it gave me. Through it, I was able to get into art, meet friends, etc. So it literally has changed my life in some way. John Carter was a very BLATANT attempt to cash in on its popularity, and it failed, it failed horribly. By trying to emulate the most successful film in history, it became the LEAST successful, losing Disney over 150 million...

The films I most enjoyed were Avengers and Dredd 3D. Actually as a fan of the source material, the comic books, I'd have to give my movie of the year pick to Dredd, if nothing else for how well it was adapted. Minimalistic, but that's a blessing nowadays.

If I have to give a worst film of the year award, it'd be Prometheus. Hands down the worst sci-fi film, or even film of any kind, that I've ever had to sit through.

I haven't seen Skyfall, sadly, but I intend to snag it on DVD when it comes out. My elder brother is a huge fan of it. I got him the soundtrack CD of the film for christmas, and he was really pleased.
Avrin-ART Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heh much appreciated for reading all of that!

My parents didn't really mind about playing airsoft, but buying my own Thompson SMG required some negotiation.

I agree with the emotional experience of ME3; one thing I do admire is the 'end of days' feel and the sense of gathering chaos across the galaxy. Such a shame things kind of fell apart originally, I really hope BioWare has learned some hard lessons and gets back to its old self.

For me, I loved DoW II for the most part although there came a point when things became repetitive, and Terminator armour stomping cover spoiled the tactics enjoyed in the early stages of the game. I have the sequels but haven't got them installed on my Steam account yet.

I'd imagine Avatar resounded like that for many people here. A perfect storm of new cinema tech, stunning CGI and coming after a drought of decent big budget Sci-Fi. My viewing experience suffered from sitting right up at the front of Manchester's IMAX (bad neck, motion sickness from 3D which I've never experienced since) so watching it on TV let me appreciate it much more oddly enough. Whilst I didn't think John Carter was terrible, it just never got going in a meaningful way. Too long, too dull.

Never saw Prometheus, but I follow Mark Kermode, film critic of BBC Radio and know it's deeply divisive. My cousin loved it...but then again he loves every film he goes to see it seems. :hmm:

Skyfall is good for similar reasons to Dredd I'd wager. For a Bond film it's quite grounded in reality and benefits a lot from not being overly flashy, which isn't to say there's no action but it's generally pretty believable and appropriate for the setting.
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Submitted on
January 3, 2013