STUFF I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2015
By Rory Campbell on January 26, 2015
ecently, on the Podcast, we discussed a few things to look forward to in 2015. I figured I’d formalize my own personal list a little more. This doesn’t include everything I’m excited about this year, just a couple selections that I’d like to say a word or two on.
1. The 100: The 100 is starting back up in 2015 and I can’t wait. I was very impressed with the first season and so far the second season has been going strong. They’ve handled their premise well (something that’s hard for a show where the central idea is so clearly defined). The 100 has accomplished something significant by tackling some fairly ambitious themes but still maintaining its easily digestible viewing experience.
2. Marco Polo: The first season of Marco Polo didn’t meet the strongest of receptions. However, I really think it’s a special program. I, like many others, would compare it to Game of Thrones, but I don’t believe it comes up short in that contest on many meaningful levels. In some ways, it’s a little more stylistic in its approach, but it grounds itself well by choosing a definitive protagonist.
3. Lost Girl: Lost Girl is continuing to air its fifth and final season in 2015. As I’ve said before, Lost Girl is a show made for the fans, and I really appreciate that. Lost Girl may feel rather typical in its early monster of the week approach, but that’s where the routine ends. At heart, Lost Girl is not a traditional show.
4. Elementary: This show is ignored by a lot of folks in favor of Sherlock. Both are loyal to the literature in their own way, but Elementary commits more to being a classic detective show. Far less cinematic than its BBC counterpart, Elementary feels distinctively made for television. This isn’t to say it’s better or worse than Sherlock, but it should definitely be given a chance by more viewers.
1. Chappie: Of Neill Blomkamp’s work, I’ve only seen District 9 and Elysium. I enjoyed District 9 but had a fairly bland reaction to Elysium. I’m very interested to see what Chappie brings to the table. Some excellent work in both television and film have been spawned by the exploration of technologically produced “humanity”, and I very much hope Chappie joins the ranks.
2. Entourage: I’m a huge fan of HBO’s Entourage. For those unfamiliar, it was a comedy program that ran a satisfying eight seasons. It follows fictional movie-star Vincent Chase as he and his friends attempt to find their way in the world of filmmaking. There are a few reasons why Entourage is special among its contemporaries. First of all, it is among the rare brand of comedies which is truly devoted to being funny, as opposed to explicitly telling jokes. Also, for a show with such a light tone, it managed to real like a surprisingly down to earth exploration of character. And, lastly (I could go on for a while), it chose as its main character the movie star’s best friend, taking a less obvious, but, ultimately, very clever mode of storytelling.
But that’s all about the television show. The film is coming out on June 5. I mentioned the show ran a satisfying eight seasons partly because it was an entirely satisfactory conclusion. It will be quite the filmmaking challenge to design a condensed experience that picks up the plot and entertains viewers who are unfamiliar with the characters’ history. I’m looking forward to this one, not just as an Entourage fan, but as someone who admires ambition.
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: I have extremely minimal experience with The Witcher franchise. Just one of those series I never really got to play in any significant amount. But, I’m a huge fan of RPGs with well-developed universes, and I’m hoping that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will absorb me in the way I’m told the others would.
2. Batman: Arkham Knight: I haven’t yet played Arkham Origins, but I loved the first two Arkham games. Simplicity is really the key. Simple combat with a simple upgrade system. It frees players up to focus on the narrative and enjoy exploring the Batman universe.
3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: The Metal Gear Solid games bring a very unique brand of storytelling to the stealth genre. They also deliver a somewhat unorthodox artistic style. On top of that, the voice acting has a very distinctive flavor. Actually, The Metal Gear Solid games don’t do anything normally. But, that’s part of their charm. To my mind, the real strength of these games has always been the environments, which make for some of the best stealth gameplay I’ve ever experienced. The real drawback has always been the controls. You’d think that awkward controls, being such a fundamental part of the game experience, would be a major detractor, but the game is strong enough that it’s been able to power through it. That being said, I wouldn’t mind if they implemented some changes.
4. Tekken 7: The Tekken series has always featured my favorite fighting games. Some people find them slow, but the pace has always been just right for me. We haven’t seen a new Tekken for a while (even longer for me since the last one I played was Tekken 5 (I don’t count Tekken Revolution)) and I’m excited to get back to this series. Tekken joins games like those in The Midnight Club series, in games I’ve been waiting a long time to see another entry in.
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