Delicious and Excellent Concept Awards
The very best in media, rated by yours truly
The 2012 Delicious and Excellent Concept Awards
So the good news is that we didn't all die in a horrible fire last year. We survived the Dawn of the Final Day. This is spectacularly unsurprising. I apologise for the obligatory 2012 references, but it was a good excuse to use the second worst font ever (remember Chiller?). Let's get on to the real topic of discussion - the best of the Delicious and Excellent Concepts to come out of the nonpocalypse (I'm totally coining that phrase)!
Album of the Year, 2012
There's been a substantial amount of good music released this year. This makes a very nice change to the drivel that pours out from Radio 1 every weekday morning. Of course, it's mostly still shit, but some good does occasionally break through from the wave of ear-crushing disappointment: Band of Skull's Sweet Sour, or Alex Clare's Too Close of the infamous lying IE9 advert. Mancunian electropop quintet Swiss Lips also released a couple of brilliant songs, such as U Got The Power. Unfortunately, Sweet Sour is only half good, aside from Too Close, Alex Clare's The Lateness of the Hour is awful, and Swiss Lips still haven't released an album.
There were others for consideration. Van Halen bounced back onto the scene with the brilliant A Different Kind of Truth. The always weird, occasionally brilliant electric-rock group Shaka Ponk released another intriguingly strange album entitled The Geeks and the Jerkin' Socks. As I Lay Dying showcased a decade of metalcore in Awakened. Queen-influenced indie band Fun released a mostly decent effort. But the eventual winner of this most prestigious award goes to Passion Pit - Gossamer. Simultaneously the most cheerful and miserable album in the world, it's a beautiful piece of music, and it beats out their previous album, Manners, by some distance - which is no small feat at all. Despite the rather depressing lyrics, you always come out the other side with a smile on your face.
Game of the Year, 2012
Ultimately, it's been a disappointing year in terms of videogames. That's not to say there haven't been good games - very good games, in fact - but they've been few and far between and you can see the struggle for innovation as the current generation slowly stutters to a halt. The release of the Wii U will hopefully shift Microsoft and Sony into gear for E3 this year, as the Xbox 360 did nearly 7 years ago. By the time this generation is truly done, it'll probably be one of the longest on record.
Having not bought a Wii U (I would like to, but out of principle I refuse to pay nearly £300 for it - the second it comes down in price you'll see me change my mind) I can't comment on games like ZombiU, New Super Mario Bros. U and NintendoLand - so unfortunately, they don't come into consideration this time (although they all look superb).
So that leaves the rather scattered array of triple-A games scattered across the year. And, to be honest, Borderlands 2 stands head and shoulders above them all. It doesn't push the boundaries of creativity, by any means - but just like its predecessor, the humour, variety and entertainment factors are second to none.
Film of the Year, 2012
I don't think I can honestly remember a year in which I watched so many good films, or wanted to go to the cinema quite as often. The roster for 2012 was simply astounding. Looper, Lawless, Ted, The Campaign, Prometheus, The Hunger Games, The Hobbit, Killing Them Softly, plus some great looking films that I haven't managed to see yet - Seven Psychopaths, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Dredd.
The top place is a hard fought battle between three films, as you may find with many real critics too, and not just a web developer with a shitty awards ceremony on his blog. The Avengers was the first to arrive, and it perfectly combined action and humour, turning four average franchises into one truly brilliant film. Then in the summer came the final chapter in Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. A brilliant film marred by a few plotholes, and an anticlimactic end to one of the best villains seen in any film.
The winner, is - of course - Skyfall. Although it may not be as good as Casino Royale, that's nothing to be ashamed of, and it's not exactly far off. With a brilliant villain, plot, and some of the best cinematography that I've ever seen, it's a thoroughly deserved victory.
TV Series of the Year, 2012
I've not honestly watched that much television this year, having been too engrossed in BlogalongaBond, work, reading, gaming and sleeping. But when I have it's been one of two television series: Archer and Game of Thrones. Season 3 of Archer was brilliant in every sense of the word, but Season 2 of GOT managed to surpass the first in every way - something I thought almost impossible (before I read A Clash Of Kings, that is).
Looking forward to in 2013...
Although it would be really difficult for films to match up to this year's success, there are some brilliant looking ones on the horizon: Wreck-It Ralph and Django Unchained's UK release, and the second instalment of The Hobbit promises to be just as good as the first.
We have the third series of Game of Thrones, with the Red Wedding looking likely (if you don't know what I mean, for the love of Ned Stark don't Google it!). It should be unfairly good.
Gaming-wise, almost every other blog in the world will be jizzing themselves over the incoming Grand Theft Auto V - which, although sure to be good, isn't the highest on my list. Personally I'm more looking forward to Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, Metal Gear Rising (I think) and the brilliant looking The Last Of Us. However, the thing that excites me most about 2013 is E3 - now that Nintendo have made the first move in the game of consoles, either Microsoft or Sony - or maybe even Steam - will have to come up with something to stem the tide that will inevitably come when the Wii U lowers in price. And I think - from whatever company - it'll be pretty special.