Posts Tagged ‘moments’

Best of 2019: Top 10 Movie Scenes

Now we arrive at the year’s most stacked and probably most fun list. I had a shortlist of 28 scenes from 31 movies to whittle down to ten, and it’s been a good time reliving these well-constructed moments of tension, emotional catharsis or just plain fun at the movies. But while sifting through the shortlist I had a wild realisation: 2019 was a real good year for movie songs. I’ve got three of them on the main list and two in the honourable mentions, but worry not – there’s plenty of other stuff too. Including, obviously, lots and lots of big fat spoilers.

Proceed with caution.

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VR BEST OF 2019 DISCLAIMER

This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. To agree with me 100% is rarer than an EA game without microtransactions. Respectful disagreement is most welcome.

MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD!

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10. All Hands on Deck – Shazam!

Like quite a few people out there, outside of Batman and friends I’m not a huge DC guy. There’s an awful lot about DC Comics characters that I don’t know. I also did not keep up with a ton of the marketing for Shazam! So I had no idea that the titular character has a super-powered foster family in the comics with whom he fights bad guys. But it didn’t take long for the movie to charm me – and make me well up a bit – with its regular human foster family plot. The movie’s portrayal of believably flawed kids living together in a community held together by a ridiculously patient couple really, really got me. So when the finale places a bunch of dominoes in a row in order to set up that power-dividing moment, it felt triumphant and earned. The fight afterwards is incredibly cheesy and a bit too neatly staged, but it was hard to care. I was having too much fun.

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Best of 2019: Top 10 Disappointments

Sadly, 2019 was a particularly great year for gaming media and enthusiast media channels to grab quick reactionary views, such was the glut of controversies great and small throughout the industry. The year also offered its fair share of dud movies that had promised something bigger and better. Luckily, this list only has ten slots, so I’m just going to focus in the things that let me down based on my own personal expectations, a.k.a. the pieces of entertainment media most relevant to me. So expect a bunch of tiny things (with one exception) that probably won’t matter to you.

Super keen to get this over with and start on the positive stuff tomorrow.

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VR BEST OF 2019 DISCLAIMER

This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. To agree with me 100% is rarer than an EA game without microtransactions. Respectful disagreement is most welcome.

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10. So why did Crackdown get delayed again?

Crackdown 3 at last saw the light of day as a real, released product in 2019. Hard to believe it was announced five years ago at E3 2014, promising an ambitious competitive multiplayer mode with 100% destructible environments using “the power of the cloud”. The game’s initial release window was 2016, but complications with that cloud system pushed it to November 7th, 2017 – the same day as the superpowered Xbox One X. That delay brought the need for cloud computing into question, but most of us on the customer and enthusiast side weren’t exactly qualified to draw any conclusions about that. The focus of the marketing was now on the game’s campaign anyway – featuring Terry Crews!

But then the game missed its last real hype window when it was delayed out of the window of X launch title and into late 2018. Which apparently wasn’t enough, because it actually came out in March of this year. Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast playing the game, but nothing about it feels particularly cutting-edge or screams “this needed to be delayed”. There is always a reason for these things, of course, and I’m glad the game wasn’t outright cancelled, but until some candid interview with a former Microsoft executive spills the beans years from now, I’ll be left wondering just what on earth was going on behind the scenes for all those years. The series deserves better.

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Best of 2015: Top 10 Gaming Moments

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It follows that an insanely good year for games means an insanely good year for gaming moments, and that was definitely true for 2015. From incredible story beats that stuck in the heads of many, to smaller touches that blew away expectations, to personal milestones unique to each player, this year bred positive videogame talking points at a wonderfully consistent rate. Here are the ten that stuck out the most for me.

Most of these are not story-related, but there are spoilers here for certain games.

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VR BEST OF 2015 DISCLAIMER
This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. If you actually agree with me 100%, that’s weird. Cool, but definitely weird. Respectful disagreement is most welcome.

SPOILERS DEFINITELY FOLLOW.
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10. What Makes You S.P.E.C.I.A.L? – Fallout 4

I didn’t get very far in Fallout 4, for a swathe of complicated reasons that can easily be summarised in the phrase “It wasn’t for me.” But that doesn’t change the fact that the game handles its weirdly lengthy install in a classy, fitting and very entertaining way. Armed with a grainy filter straight out of a 1950s movie theatre and some superbly drawn black and white animation, the game introduces you to each of the seven sections of your in-game skill tree via a series of whimsical – and brutal – vignettes that are great fun to watch. Depending on the speed of your hard drive and the platform on which you play, you may find that the length of these consecutive clips matches up almost exactly with your install time, which is a nice bonus.

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Best of 2015: Top 10 Movie Scenes

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Even in a year when my free time was spent on more games than movies, this still remains my favourite list to write. 2015 delivered some genuinely amazing movie scenes that stayed long in my memory, and I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. From short-and-sweet bursts of stunning cinematography to long, drawn-out stretches of nerve-shredding cinema, this past year brought us plenty of moments worth talking about.

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VR BEST OF 2015 DISCLAIMER
This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. If you actually agree with me 100%, that’s weird. Cool, but definitely weird. Respectful disagreement is most welcome.

SPOILERS DEFINITELY FOLLOW.
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10. Day of the Dead – Spectre

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An entertaining opening action sequence in a James Bond movie is hardly unusual, even in the less popular movies from the franchise. The one that kicks off Spectre sticks with the trend, presenting the illusion of a single tracking shot that follows Bond and his local companion through the streets of Mexico City. Only diegetic sounds and a simple, steady percussion track score the build-up as Bond moves into a hotel room and out of his disguise, triggering a gloriously over-the-top sequence of explosions, falling buildings, an intense hand-to-hand battle inside an airborne helicopter, and a ludicrous moment involving a well-placed couch that sets the stage for the kind of 007 movie in store.

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Best of 2014: Top 10 Movie Scenes

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Here’s my favourite annual list once again – my personal top ten movie scenes of the year. These are the moments within 2014 films that drew real reactions from me, mostly either of the teary-eyed or the “That was so sick!” nature. Even if they come from otherwise poor movies, I will still remember these cinematic moments, and if they come from otherwise good movies, well those movies just go up a level and look all the better for it.

Naturally, this is the most spoileriffic list of them all, so please proceed with caution.

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VR BEST OF 2014 DISCLAIMER
This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. If you actually agree with me 100%, that’s spooky. Respectful disagreement is most welcome.
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10. The Final Blow – Godzilla

Jeez, I mean – just… Just LOOK at that shot. Badass doesn’t even begin to describe the moment when Godzilla finally bests the “MUTO” menace in his 2014 return to the big screen. It almost makes up for all the flaws in the rest of the movie. Almost.
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Best of 2014: Top 10 Gaming Moments

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Videogames are built on moments, whether those moments be built right into the fabric of the game or simply emerge from the experience of discovery and/or sharing gameplay with others. They are the difference between games you simply play and games you remember. 2014 was positively packed with instances that made gamers start conversations with “How good was it when…” These are the ten that stick out the most in my mind.

MASSIVE SPOILERS FOLLOW for a number of story-focused games, so be warned.

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VR BEST OF 2014 DISCLAIMER
This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. If you actually agree with me 100%, that’s spooky. Respectful disagreement is most welcome.
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10. Final World – Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Throughout the majority of my time with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, I wasn’t exactly paying attention to the story set-up that gave DK and his friends the motivation to traverse the game’s gorgeous and tough levels – I was simply enjoying the challenging gameplay flow, the sweet level design and the satisfying boss fights. That was until the final world, when I realised I had been island hopping rather than just exploring different parts of the same island like in the first DK Country Returns on Wii. I realised this because, after spending most of the game waiting for the “Freeze” part of Tropical Freeze to show up, it suddenly appeared in the form of the entire original DK Island. Each of the 8 worlds from the Wii game appears as a single level in this world, complete with returning music and signature design elements mixed with ice level tropes. A really *cool* touch from Retro Studios.
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My Top 10 In-Game Pokemon Moments

We are now mere hours away from the long-awaited (there’s an understatement) first ever 3D entries in the main Pokemon video game series, Pokemon X and Pokemon Y. To celebrate and, quite honestly, to kill some time while enduring the wait, I decided to have a look back at some of my favourite memories the series has given me in-game. I use the term “in-game” to mean anything taking place during the game’s story (that is, anything before and possibly immediately after the Elite Four), as opposed to, say, any awesome competitive battles I have had the pleasure of participating in using EV trained, IV bred fighting machines.

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10. Patrat, the Purpose-Built Annoyer – Pokemon White

Nearly every Pokemon release has been an inherently multiplayer experience for me, because in my book that’s the way it was designed to be played. There is a tradition among my close friends and family who play Pokemon that whenever a new game comes out, we try to get together and play the first few hours alongside one another, battling after the first gym and sometimes after the second as well. As a result I try to catch and train Pokemon that my fellow players aren’t likely to pay attention to, just to make the battles more interesting. Never has this been more true than at the start of the fifth generation of Pokemon, when I caught a super-common Patrat and trained it to the mid-teens solely because its movepool seemed deliberately stacked with the most annoying moves possible. Detect, Sand-Attack, Bite, Hypnosis… I mean, really, how could I not? In our first battle Patrat was my highest-level Pokemon and I used its full irritating potential against my brother, only to dump it in a box forever afterwards. If not for that tradition, I wouldn’t have looked twice at the caffeinated chipmunk for my in-game team.
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