Happy New Year!
I can’t believe it’s already January 2nd, 2019. I feel like last year went by way faster than usual and this year is just flying by already. I was going to post this Round Up yesterday but I got a vicious 24 hour flu bug (probably, most likely food poisoning) so I ended up spending most of my day in the bathroom (Happy New Year to me). It was also my wife’s birthday yesterday so I need to score some major brownie points this week to get on her good side again.
Anyway’s, 2018 was pretty awesome. Playstation had one hell of a year and 2019 doesn’t show any signs of slowing down for the entertainment giant. In January we’re getting the Resident Evil 2 remake and the long awaited Kingdom Hearts 3 for starters, and The Last of Us Part 2 will hopefully be out by the end of the year. Nintendo had a fantastic year as well, with the release of some major high profile games such as Mario Tennis Aces, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee/Pikachu. The only thing I played on my Xbox One last year was Fortnite so hopefully 2019 will encourage me to play some new stuff on the system. I went a bit overkill with the Christmas game sales and I’m currently playing Grand Theft Auto V (it’s $20 on the PSN store right now and I didn’t own it yet!), Spyro Reignited Trilogy and I just resubscribed to Final Fantasy XIV. My wife also bought me Red Dead Redemption 2 for Christmas. There are way too many things to play currently. We were also spoiled with some great movies and TV shows. You definitely can’t say there was no shortage of entertainment to be had.
Here’s to remembering some of the great things we watched or played in 2018…
A Quiet Place
John Krasinski (The Office, Jack Ryan) made huge waves in the horror genre with his directorial debut last April. A Quiet Place is the story of a family trying to survive in a world where alien creatures have taken over Earth and react violently and aggressively to loud noises. In order to survive, this family has to change their very way of living. It’s a different take on the end of the world story that we’re so familiar with and it’s absolutely heartbreaking and intense. Definitely a promising start to John’s future as a director and a movie you have to see. – NVJ
The Haunting of Hill House
The Haunting of Hill House came out of nowhere. I didn’t know anything about it going in and there was no hype surrounding it for me because I didn’t know it was releasing on Netflix. It ranks as one of the best TV shows of 2018 for me. It’s scary and carries some emotional weight (love me some of that emotional/scary stuff) and it’s definitely worth the ride. The final episode was a bit of a letdown, but it doesn’t hinder an otherwise excellent 10 episode season of a really, really great show. – NVJ
I started writing a review for this the day after I watched it (Dec 22nd) but Christmas and family and everything else took precedent and I honestly just forgot to write one, so here’s the short version… The DCEU has been struggling to find an audience since its inception with Man of Steel back in 2013. I’ve been a fan of pretty much all the movies so far which includes Man of Steel, Batman V Superman & Justice League (sorry Suicide Squad, you were only just ok), so going into Aquaman I was excited. It didn’t have to prove its worth to me, I just wasn’t sure what to expect from it. I’m happy to report that director James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring) has done the unthinkable. He has made Aquaman cool! I know DC gave Aquaman a rebirth with the New 52 and the character is better than ever, but for a first time movie outing for Aquaman, his film is a blast. The film moves at a breakneck pace from start to finish. There are some quiet moments peppered throughout but they only last a few minutes before some kind of explosion goes off and we’re thrown back into some insane underwater battle. James Wan was even able to flex his horror muscles during the terrifying Trench sequence where Arthur & Mera have to flee from thousands of these disgusting looking humanoid fish creatures. Aquaman is a promising entry in what looks to be a funnier and more vibrant DCEU. The future looks bright for this DCEU indeed. – NVJ
Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of a decades worth of Marvel films that began with the first Iron Man and that end credits teaser with Nick Fury talking about assembling a team. The whole idea was ambitious but it has paid off in spades for Disney and Marvel fans as nothing has even come close to being as big or bold in the superhero movie genre. With things looking bleak for our heroes at the end of Infinity War, hopefully we’ll see some kind of happy ending next April when the conclusion to this epic story, Avengers: Endgame, releases. – NVJ
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is great for kids and parents. It features a ton of pretty unknown Spider-Men and Women and comes together to create a cohesive and easy to follow story that features some great Easter eggs for veterans of Spider-Man comics and plenty of action and humor for newcomers to sink into. The animation is also amazing to look at. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is one of the last great films of 2018 and definitely one of the best films of the year. – NVJ
SSSS. Gridman was a fun anime to watch that brought the excitement of the giant robots fighting Kaiju genre back while still being super fun to watch. Also, That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime is a delightful power fantasy we all have had but with the twist being that it is about a low level monster, a slime. Both are definitely worth checking out. – TS
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth
The seventh expansion to Blizzard’s massively popular MMO, has taken over the household. Every spare moment my wife and I have is dedicated to running dungeons or trying to get our reputations up to unlock some of the new allied races. We’ve spent so much time playing that both our Horde and Alliance characters are prepared for the new raid that releases on the 22nd. This new raid has different things happening in it depending on what faction you play as which sounds amazing and could be something that ends up being a game changer. – NVJ
Spider-Man is one of the best superhero games ever. Swinging around New York is a joy in itself. I could honestly spend hours just navigating the streets and jumping across rooftops. The story is very well done and the prospect of a Miles Morales game (or both Peter and Miles swinging around in the next game) isn’t far off. The added bonus of being able to wear Scarlet Spider’s costume is the cherry on top. – NVJ
Red Dead Redemption 2
I had put off getting this one and now that I’ve played it for hours on end, I don’t know why I did. Red Dead Redemption 2 has consumed my life for the past two weeks. Arthur Morgan and his loyalty to Dutch and their band of misfits is a gripping story about the Wild West coming to an end, despite Dutch’s group living like it’s the good old days where you could rob banks and kill as you please. While the single player is fantastic, hopefully the online portion will become more fleshed out and surpass it like GTA V did with future updates. – NVJ
God of War
As a father, God of War hit me with an emotional punch to the gut. Watching Atreus and Kratos story unfold was engrossing, beautiful and insanely violent. The combat was excellent and God of War is also the only game I got a platinum trophy in 2018 for too, which is saying something I suppose. If you own a PS4, you definitely have to play this game. – NVJ
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Dragon Quest XI is everything I could have ever wanted from a modern turn based RPG. It brought back so many memories of those old school RPGs I used to play on the SNES and PS1 that I couldn’t help but smile the entire time during my 100+ hour playthrough. The characters were fantastic, the combat satisfying. Dragon Quest XI screams quality. If you’re a fan of JRPG’s this is a no-brainer. You absolutely have to play it. – NVJ
These are some of our favorites of 2018, what were yours? Let us know in the comments below and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
That’s it for The Round Up, until next time! – NVJ