X of the Year
The end of the year is approaching, so now is probably the most appropriate time to go through my favorite games and music of the year.
Next-Gen Game of the Year: Destiny: The Taken King (PS4)
Destiny players are in a weird spot. There certainly are a lot of things to complain about, but at the end of the day, I’ve played Destiny more this year alone than I’ve played any other game in the past. I think I just value the things this game does right so highly that I can overlook the complaints I have about it as minor nitpicks. I also got to find other people to play with on a regular basis, and running the raids (specifically Vault of Glass and King’s Fall) has been a ton of fun.
I don’t play it as much as I used to because I’ve exhausted most of the content that’s in the game right now, but it’s still the default game I’ll play if I want to kill some time by playing a video game, because I know it will be guaranteed enjoyment.
An honorable mention goes out to DARIUSBURST Chronicle Saviors, because how often do you get arcade-perfect shmup ports on consoles nowadays? I will get my 1cc one of these days.
Handheld Game of the Year: Monster Hunter X (3DS)
I’ve been over why I like this game so much not too long ago, so I’ll keep this short: I’ve gotten further into the game, and once you realize how the quests are structured near the end of the story, you’ll get a big goofy grin on your face.
They could have just shipped the game without any system changes and it would have been a great fan service release, but the fact that they went in and revamped a lot of the system to remove pain points is just icing on the already delicious cake.
Retro Discovery of the Year: Sonic 3 & Knuckles (Genesis)
I played through the entire Genesis Sonic trilogy earlier this year, and came out the other side absolutely in love with Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The music is banging, the stages look amazing given what they were working with, and each zone has a clever gimmick that puts a smile on your face.
I almost forgot that I beat this game this year, because I beat it on January 13th, but had I not realized that, this would have gone to Castlevania Chronicles on the original PlayStation.
Album of the Year: Caracal by Disclosure
While I was familiar with Disclosure prior to this year, it’s my love for their short-lived radio show on Apple Music’s Beats 1 that really made me go all in this year. While a lot of the show was focused on promoting this album and the guest artists which appear on it, they also played a variety of genres beyond the garage and deep house you’d expect, which was fantastic.
Unlike most albums, it isn’t a question of which songs you like and which songs you skip; on Caracal, it’s a question of which songs you love and which you merely like. Superego (feat. Nao) is probably my favorite track.
Vaporwave Album of the Year: ＢＬＵＥ 光 by トリニティー無限大
Because vaporwave is quite an acquired taste, I decided to split it from what is more universally considered to be music.
I’ve been over this on the podcast, but vaporwave is great for escapism and it’s also great for focusing on work. トリニティー無限大 is a side project of the prolific vaporwave artist t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者, who is unknowingly responsible for a huge spike in my productivity since I’ve discovered his music. This album is great set-it-and-forget-it BGM for your workday. It manages to be really good while not really having any elements that will distract you from your work.