Top of 2017

I use “End of the Year Best Of” lists and future award shows as my way of figuring out what I missed in media. When I look back at 2017, I consumed a ton of media in various mediums. So with the start of the new year, I’m going to continue my yearly tradition of listing some of the highlights for me. So if you’re looking for something you may have overlooked, feel free to use this list to help you find something new in 2018.

Video Games

This year was a bit strange for me and video games as I played some amazing games from previous years. With that in mind, my game list for this years’ releases is a bit empty. Even so, I did end up playing some great titles this year. Here are my top games, split into two categories: AAA or large budgeted games and indie games. I should note that for me, I look at the developement team behind a game as indie as opposed to the publisher.

Top Indie Games

  1. Rakuen
  2. Golf Story
  3. Blaster Master Zero
  4. Sonic Mania

Top AAA Games

  1. Super Mario Odyssey
  2. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  3. Mario + Rabbids

Game of the Year

Rakuen

This is the first year I’m picking a game of the year without any restrictions. Originally, I did the split above because I play games on both sides of the development spectrum and I didn’t want any games to fall through the cracks. This year is different because it’s the end of the year and I can’t stop my mind drifting back to Rakuen. Luara Shigihara created a game that hits a very important first for me: It’s the first game that I wish I could figure out a way to share with my mother. My mom isn’t really into video games. She understands what they are and had let me explore all I could in the gaming world when I was a kid. One of my happiest memories was when my mother gave me a Gameboy. Over the years, I’ve found various “geeky” things I can share with my mother. It’s typically works that I believe transcend what people tend to assume the medium is capable of. Rakuen is that game I want to show my mother, but don’t know quite how. It’s easy to play a jazz cover of a video game song, a Studio Ghibli film, or a documentary about a forgotten punk band. It’s a little bit of a challenge to try and pitch playing a ten hour game, but I’ll figure it out because Rakuen is that important to me. Shigihara basically made a game that I don’t think I’ll quite get over. It joins a very select few games that made me laugh, made me cry, and shows why games are Art.

Music

As it turns out, I listened to a lot of new music in 2017. I was introduced to some new acts in all genres of music. With this in mind, I’m going over my usual top five. It has been a great year for music, so here is the list.

Top Albums

  1. Satellite Young by Satellite Young
  2. Mellow Waves by Cornelius
  3. Family Swing by YMCK
  4. Paradise EP by DBOYD
  5. Exit Plan by Fear of Dark
  6. Extra Credit by Megaran
  7. Downtime by Dual Core
  8. Rakuen Official Soundtrack by Laura Shigihara
  9. Super Mario Odyssey by Koji Kondo, Naoto Kubo, and Shiho Fujii

If you need a sample of each, here is a playlist of all my top music of 2017

Album of the Year

Mellow Waves by Cornelius

When I heard Cornelius was coming out with a new album, I was excited to say the least. I was so excited that when I learned the album would come out about a month ealier in Japan, I quickly bought some iTunes credit for my Japanese account and preordered it so I didn’t have to wait. I’ve never done that for an album, game, or movie. I’ve played Mellow Waves for everyone I can, from friends who aren’t big into Japanese music to family who don’t even know what to make of Japanese music. It’s my top album this year and probably on my short list for “Albums I’ll Spin Anytime.”

Single of the Year

“Ordinary World” by The Hit House

I’d feel real bad if I didn’t mention The Hit House’s redition of Ordinary World. I still love the story behind how it came to be. To quickly explain, we have to flash back to E3 of this year where Bethesda released a trailer for their game The Evil Within 2. While the trailer would show no gameplay, it had this short, haunting version of Duran Duran’s Ordinary World. I’d learn that the creators of this version were The Hit House, a company who is responsible for plenty of music on trailers and commercials. It was not only perfect for the trailer, but one of my favorite reditions of the song. The internet seemed to agree too and now we can get the version on the soundtrack and everyone can stream it above.

Movies

Movies are a big part of my life. It really doesn't matter if it’s a documentary or an amazing fiction film. 2017 was a great year for films. Here are few that I loved over the year that you all should check out.

Top Movies

  1. Blade Runner 2049
  2. Viva Amiga
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  4. Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond — Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton
  5. Coco

Movie of the Year

Coco

If you had asked me about a month earlier, I would have said Blade Runner 2049 was my top film of 2017. Now though, I have to go with Coco. Last year, I had said Zootopia was one of the most important movies you could watch that year and Coco continues that tradition. It was strange seeing myself in a way up on the screen. I wish it had happened when I was a kid, but I can’t quite explain how excited I am to know the next generation of strange kids get to have that Coco moment. Hard to explain, but if you’re Mexican or just a bit off, you’ll get it.

TV/Web Series

TV is kind of a weird one for me as I tend to consume alot of online content, but with the line between what’s considered television and online video blurring more each year, my list reflects that.

Top TV/Long Web Series

  1. Rwby Vol 5
  2. Mr Robot Season 3
  3. Ducktales 2017
  4. Stranger Things 2

Show of the Year

Ducktales 2017

While Mr Robot Season 3 was excellent and well worth a watch, the Ducktales reboot was something I didn’t think I’d end up loving. I had no problem with Disney rebooting the series, I just wasn’t quite sure what angle they’d end up taking. Pretty much everything of the original series was improved, updated, and actually made better. From the nephews having individual personalities, to just the dropping of future stories line hints, I’m looking forward to new episodes of Ducktales in 2018.

And thus concludes my year end take on various media. Looking towards 2018, I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to talk about in games, movies, and more. I’m going to be writing more this year on music and other media, so if you like this sort of thing or just want my take on things, share this article and give a follow here on Medium. Here’s to 2018 being an awesome year.

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