Top 10 Best of 2015
This week, we had to flip a coin as we were at a tie between the Top 10 Spherical Objects and this list. Either that, or we would have went for what I would have suggested: The Top 10 Best Spherical Objects of 2015… But that was a bit of a mouthful to say. This list won the toss and boom, we’re doing a list on our personal Best of 2015. Now, before we get into this one, let’s just explain what we mean by Best of 2015.
To be the best, it’s got to be appreciated above all the rest. These are things that Joel and I have both experienced in some way, shape or form and we’ve put their categories down so you can see for yourself what’s what. We do a lot of different things here on GeekOut, so this was quite a tough one for us both. Still, we think we’ve made a strong, comprehensive list and I hope you can agree with some of them for yourself. There’s some things which are very GeekOut orientated, but most of the things on here are general and can be appreciated by everyone. Let’s go for it, for the last Top 10 of 2015.
10.Event – Kitacon
Tim and I both attended Kitacon at the Birmingham Hilton this year, and it was fantastic. It may not have been the best convention of the year, but we both loved it. The parties, the people, the panels and events, we seriously love conventions and Kita is up there with the favourites. It was my first ever return to a convention, my biggest of the year, and I loved every minute.
Oh, can we get the milkshake bar and street food back next year? Seriously the Hilton did us proud, I know Kita will be smaller next year (Karnival y’all) but it would be great if we could bring that back. And can someone e-mail Professor Elemental and invite him back too? I know we need to change things up and make things different for those of us who have been to Kita before, but there’s just some stuff that made this year so awesome you can’t just give it up now.
9.RPG – Titansgrave
Just edging out Mathew Mercer’s own series, Critical Role (also on Geek and Sundry), both are tabletop role-playing games played by voice actors and internet celebrities, but Titansgrave was more readily digestible in the forty minute slices rather than three or four hours. It also had better production value, but that’s incidental to the entertainment value, it’s just a little harder to squeeze hours of someone else’s D&D game into a busy life.
Titansgrave is based in the AGE tabletop system, and the game run by Wil Wheaton is supported by beautiful artwork by Jan Wessbecher, which forms a stylish backdrop against the ridiculous exploits of Hank Green, Alison Haislip, Laura Bailey, and Yuri Lowenthal. It’s some typical role-play shenanigans, in-jokes, awful roles, and some truly memorable moments. If you missed this series, fill the time between Christmas and New Years with some epic gaming.
8.Event – GeekOut Christmas Meetup 2015
Our GeekOut Meetups had to make this list, not for egos sake but more because it’s one of the things we’ve been the most enthusiastic about here on GeekOut. It had to make a small feature if nothing else, but we felt this one was truly above and beyond what we thought was possible for them. We had a whopping 33 people attend the event, which isn’t our largest number but we had a lot of new people and regulars mingling alike. This is a great step for Geekdom in the South-West of England. What we’re most excited about was the enthusiasm for some of the new members showed for the new activities we threw in as well as things such as the merchandise.
For me, it showed that we were a community. We weren’t just a group of people who got together, we are a full community of wonderful geeks. Gender, sexual orientation, disability – Nothing mattered. We were all in that pub for one reason: To enjoy being geeks together. Couple this with a lovely talk from Kim and Phil of 1001Up for the Gamely Giving event next year, it felt like we were not just a great community, but a caring one too. Thanks everyone, you made 2015 go out fantastically. Much respect to every one of you.
7.Game – Quiplash
- One person hosts on their pc or laptop. Only one person needs to own the game and others can join in. Once the host has started the game, it generates a 4 letter code for you.
- Players head over to Jackbox.tv and they put in their 4 letter code and their nickname for the session.
- Players and the host wait until everyone has entered. The host then presses the “Everybody’s In” button.
- The PC/Laptop will then read out the question, courtesy of a pretty darn cheesy announcer.
- Players are connected via their own PC, Laptop or even smartphone device.
- They type in an answer to the question.
- When all answers are submitted or time runs out, people are placed in “head to head” bouts over the questions. People have different questions and are placed randomly into head to heads. No one else can see who put the answers up, but everyone who wasn’t in that round gets to vote for the winner.
- There are also “Audience” slots, so spectators can take part in the decision too.
- The person with the highest score after 3 rounds wins.
We wanted this to get a feature in our Top 10 because we love it during our GeekOut meetups. Okay, it’s not groundbreaking, but it’s a lot of fun and it’s probably the easiest game to take to a party if you have a laptop. It always gets the crowds laughing and I’ve got Jason to thank for introducing me to it. Honestly, it’s a great fun game so do look out on Sundays for his stream. Plus, you get to be as vulgar or as “silly”… or even as serious as you’d like. You get to make the answer up entirely yourself. No cards, just all down to you.
6.Meme – JUST DO IT
DO IT! Just DO IT!
Don’t let your dreams be dreams. Honestly, Shia LaBeouf is a little bit mad, but that’s why he’s sort of become the internets favourite actor this year. He came out with this truly hilarious meme where he stood in front of a green screen and just shouted at people to, well, do it. The result? A lot of laughs, a lot of people shouting “DO IT!” and probably the biggest meme of the year. It’s glorious and it’s silly, just like a meme should be.
Now, perhaps this wouldn’t have been so good if it wasn’t Shia LaBeouf? But I don’t care, because it’s resulted in us getting some hilarious parodies, such as the below video of Shia LaBeouf live. He is an actual cannibal, did you know? (Not really). Check out the video below and the original DO IT video above. Both are worth the few minutes of your time!
5.Film – Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Of course, how could we not put this in here? This year was truly year of Star Wars. If you looked to your left, there was an R2D2 staring you in the face. When you looked to the right, this new villain called Kylo Ren was there waiting to strike. No matter where you turned, the media, the shops, even your typical streets, you were adorned with something that featured Star Wars to some degree. Then the film itself came out and the world breathed easier.
After the acquisition by Disney, it appears the latest in the Star Wars franchise was a major success. J.J. Abrams, you can rest now. As for me, I’ve yet to see it: But I’m going to see it today, Boxing Day of all days. So, let us know in the votes below – Have you seen Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens yet?!
4.Game – Undertale
This must have been the biggest surprise hit in the gaming world for 2015. Undertale is one of the smartest games you’ll ever lay your eyes on. Forget that massive franchise that is Five Nights At Freddy’s, the moment Undertale came out, it took all of the indie video game attention. It’s one that many people say: Just play it, don’t let us spoil what it’s about… So I think I’ll do the same. You enjoy yourselves now.
So you want to progress through the game do you? But you don’t like fighting enemies? Don’t worry, you can just progress by not hurting anyone. You can play the entire game down to the book by what the game tells you, or you can disobey the rules. You can decide to not fight anything and still succeed. One thing is for certain, it’s spawning a lot of memes over on YouTube and this game is worth a look. A lot of people are calling it the modern Earthbound, which is no small praise.
3.Anime – Assassination Classroom
There’s no doubt that for me, hands down, the best anime of 2015 was this masterpiece, Assassination Classroom. It’s such a great game, that I’m really looking forward to it returning in 2016 for the next season. Having read a lot of the manga that accompanies the anime, there’s not too much missed out, but the anime is way behind on the manga. This is actually a good thing to me, as it means when they come around to do all of the episodes, it can be animated well.
Also, Korosensei might be the most brilliant character created. To give you context, he’s an alien who has come to Earth to destroy it. The government instead noticed that he really enjoys teaching, so they gave him a job to be a teacher for the E-Class, a bunch of students who weren’t doing so well in the perfect school system. The E-Class however are instructed by the Government to become assassins along with their usual educational activities. Why would their government ask this? Simple: To kill their teacher, Korosensei. Korosensei actually means (roughly translated) “Teacher who cannot die”. Also he’s an octopus.
2.TV – Daredevil/Jessica Jones
The television event of the year wasn’t even on TV. Daredevil and Jessica Jones were a pair of Netflix original series produced for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, about a pair of heroes working at the street-level in New-York in the aftermath of The Avengers. I think this – along with House of Cards and the battery of other Netflix originals – move could be the start of the death of conventional broadcasting, although only the start.
The Marvel Defenders series began with a pair of dark, dramatic, and definitely not family-friendly shows. I’ve already reviewed them both so I won’t go into detail, suffice to say that they were each in turn the best dramas I’ve ever seen, drawn from the bleaker depths of the Marvel comic universe, and dragged into the gloriously into the MCU.
We still have Luke Cage and Iron Fist to go, the big team up at the end, and by the sounds of things we also have a second series coming for Daredevil. 2016 is gonna be good you guys.
1.Film – Mad Max
Oh we’ve loved the hype for Star-Wars, and it’s breaking some records that’s for sure, but this year has been filled more than ever with both hype and fallout from another returning cinematic favourite. George Miller seriously escalated the Mad Max series with his thought provoking visual spectacle that blended action, story, characterisation, and one long car chase that featured a freaking flame-thrower guitar!
I left the cinema feeling like I’d watched a film made with insane amounts of passion, but one that left many stories untold, and I think we are all hoping to see the those stories told, or at least many of us don’t want to see it end just yet. There are rumblings of a sequel, and considering how deeply Fury Road impacted on the public consciousness I really don’t think they’ll stay as rumbles for long.
Film of the year, and so far as we’re concerned geeky “thing” of the year, Mad Max: Fury Road is an absolute must-see.
Whilst we think all of what has happened in 2015 has had its share of ups and downs, these next two have had more than their share of them.
Meme – Sullivan’s Theorem
The Imgur album entitled “When You Become A Smart Troll’s Personal Enemy” detailed the story of one idiot’s crusade to fill Facebook with his well deserved opinion, only to be smacked down in his own comments by some rude so-called friend who thinks he has the right to berate him with logical arguments, maths, and needless agro.
Trolls are the bane of the internet population, saying spiteful things just to get a reaction out of people who are just trying to go about their day and do their thing, like spouting homophobic remarks, rating films a perfect 5 out of 7, and hating on immigrants.
Idiots – real idiots – have got it coming, and it came a knocking for this guy. Sometimes the trolls are the good guys, and that’s a sad fact.
Science – Philae Lander
Last year we landed a probe no bigger than a washing machine on a moving lump of rock! There’s no metaphor that can adequately exaggerate what scientists achieved this year. For a minute it looked like we goofed (and I am not talking about the shirt) when the probe landed sideways and couldn’t pick up the solar energy to start sending signals, but this year it reawakened, gaining just power to do a little of what it set out to achieve.
This was a huge international project to land eyes on the comet Agilkia that took us an entire decade from launch to landing, and we have learned a lot about the comet. This was one of many stand-out moments in science this year, and we seriously recommend having a look at the awesome things we’ve accomplished.
This year has been a whirlwind of activity and the above are our personal Top 10 from 2015. It’s been a mammoth of a year and to see it go by is sad now, it’s like losing an old friend, as we’ve had a lot of really good things happen. We’ve met some incredible new people, we’ve managed to interact with so many of you. We go to conventions and you’re there and you know of us and you too believe in GeekOut and the idea of being a proud geek.
Thank you everyone, this has been the last Top 10 of 2015. Do you agree or disagree with our personal choices? What were your personal choices of the best of 2015?! Let us know all that you’re feeling in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter. Finally, don’t forget to vote for the first Top 10 of 2016! We can’t wait to see you on the other side. It’s less than a week away now. Best of luck in the new year!