2015 is just round the corner, and so I wanted to share with you the top 10 posts here on Hex from 2014. Whether it’s talking about playing a classic for the first time or getting excited about Kevin Spacey: we’ve delivered the opinions that “matter” to us and to you.
10. Opinion – Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. vs The Tomorrow People
There’s no denying that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has divided opinion, but after both series moving through a first season, S.H.I.E.L.D. remains (so to speak) and The Tomorrow People has headed to the big cancellation pile in the sky. The opinion piece looking at these two shows examined how the opening episodes worked and how didn’t.
9. Comic – Don’t. Cross. Luigi!
The release of Mario Kart 8 revealed alarming truths about the character of Luigi and whether he is the dark horse of the plumber brothers. His death stare menaced memes for weeks, and also gave small dogs nightmares every time someone booted up a Wii U, played Mario Kart 8 and looked back at replay footage that followed Luigi too closely. I’m guessing he was pissed because the game wasn’t named after him, but Paul B’s comic has other ideas...
8. Hanging out – The Gaming Lounge Torquay
Unfortunately, this little enterprise has now closed its doors for good, but when it was up and running, David Hurd found it was a fantastic provider of all kinds of amusements and fun in the shape of tabletop gaming. One thing that has happened in 2014 is that board game cafés and general tabletop gaming cafés have increased in prominence, helping to offer alternative activities to the usual stuff that you’ll find on your local high street.
7. Retrospective – Sorcerer (1977)
Earlier this year, Paul B and I took a trip to our local cinema to watch a 35mm version of William Friedkin’s most under valued film: Sorcerer. A journey into the depths of hell, on an existential level, the film never attained the critical acclaim that The Exorcist and The French Connection managed. My advice if you want to watch this: don’t buy the awful DVD pan and scan. There is a remastered version available on Blu-ray, but it’s currently Region 1 only.
6. Pile of Shame – Baldur’s Gate
The resident retro gaming enthusiast on the Nerds Assemble Podcast, Paul Wood, a.k.a. Retroid, admitted earlier this year that he had never played the original Baldur’s Gate. But that all changed in the summer when he finally delved into one of the game’s that truly defined BioWare way before Mass Effect was a thing. Baldur’s Gate is seen as a game that helped shape the PC RPG that we know today, so we were all a bit surprised to learn that Retroid hadn’t gotten round around to it until this year.
5. Review – The Amazing Spider-Man 2
I wrote the review of this, along with some help from Paul B. This film is perhaps one of our most poorly rated on the site from this year, and it was also a huge disappointment for many fans, who’d been hoping for something more after the first reboot’s slightly shaky start. Unfortunately, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 disappointed audiences on many fronts and had some really unredeemable plot points and antagonists. While not quite as bad, IMO, as Transformers 4, it wasn’t much better.
4. Opinion – OMG! that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Spacey Trailer
I said we’d be talking about Kevin Spacey at some point. So when that first trailer with Spacey came out this year, it was perhaps a moment in which I did get a few goosebumps and briefly think that I would like to play a Call of Duty game purely for the story. The Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer that sparked my interest so much has maintained it enough that now I’ve upgrading my gaming capabilities, I am likely to invest in a copy of the game just so that I can watch Spacey play another villain.
3. 5 Awesome LEGO & Star Trek Creations
There’s never actually been any official Star Trek LEGO sets, so fans have had to get creative under their own steam. In his post, Carlo Pandian looked at some of the most detailed recreations of Star Trek in LEGO and inspired us to think about what we could do to explore the final frontier in the guise of small, plastic blocks that can be turned into huge amazing constructions of geeky awesome.
2. Opinion – Why I dress down in Skyrim
My continuing obsession with Skyrim manifested itself in this recent piece looking at fashion and armour in Skyrim. For those who don’t know: I’m really picky about what my characters wear and find that armours are rarely designed in favour of female characters or players. And this is despite putting hundreds of hours into the videogame. I get that being the Dragonborn is more than just worrying about how you look, but dragon bone armour has never done any of my characters any favours on an aesthetic level.
1. Five things that still annoy me about Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII is an incredibly divisive game in the Final Fantasy franchise, with many preferring its predecessor over it. But even diehard fans of Final Fantasy VIII can identify that it has issues, from its magic system to the PocketStation integration that never happened for Western players, there was a lot to find in the game that could bug you as you tried to deal with its overly convoluted storyline.
Well, that’s it from Hex in 2014. We look forward to seeing you again in 2015: have a great New Year.