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Data Centre Analyst - Southampton University

February - Deadpool

Nothing too interesting happened for me personally in January, but in February saw the release of Deadpool. This was a movie 10 years in the making, and thanks to some leaked test footage, Fox gave the go ahead for the movie to be produced. After the announcement that the movie would be rated R and that Ryan Reynolds would be playing Deadpool, people started to hope that we would get the Deadpool we deserve. A couple of trailers later, hope turned into anticipation as it looked like the studio had captured the comic book essence of the anti-hero. Releasing on Valentines day, there were a number of parody campaigns to get non Deadpool fans into watching the movie. The end result? One of the funniest movies of the year, with shed loads of violence, tons of fourth wall breaking. A story not as grand scale as other Superhero movies, but a great origin story. Cannot wait for the sequel.

Bravo Deadpool
Bravo Deadpool

March - Daredevil Season 2

This was one of the best seasons for any superhero show, unlike the first season there was no slow build up. Right from episode 1, sinister things were afoot in Hells Kitchen. We were introduced to the devastating and brutal Punisher, who now will have a spin off of his own. Furthermore Electra was brought to the fold, and her relationship with Daredevil was intriguing as both had their own beliefs and motifs when it comes to taking down evil. The fighting again was top notch, with one scene in particular standing out, where everything looked to be taken in one shot. The stakes were higher in season 2 and the aftermath of it has left me with much anticipation for season 3. Its a shame it will not be coming out in 2017, but worry not Daredevil will appear in the new Defenders series.

Worth getting a Netflix Subscription for
Worth getting a Netflix Subscription for

April - Captain America Civil War

The hype for this movie was un real, based on one of the biggest story arcs in Marvel universe. There was a lot riding on this movie, as for the first time in the MCU, heroes would be divided and will be fighting within. Adding to the hype, saw our friendly neighbourhood finally join the Avengers. His inclusion did not disappoint and was a personal highlight for me, add to having the best superhero fight sequence ever made on the big screen. This movie delivered and then some, all the while making sure The Cap, was still the main plot focus of the story and giving us a great start to Phase 3 of the MCU.

Epic
Epic

May - Uncharted 4.

Until this game came out, I had only owned an Xbox one. The uncharted series were the one thing that I wished was available on Xbox, so when number 4 came out, I went out and bought a PS4 with the Nathan Drake collection. I played the previous 3 first before starting number 4. So my experience of playing the concluding chapter for Nathan Drake would be felt the way Naughty Dogg would have wanted me to. This game had incredible graphics, from the vistas to buildings crumbling to the large set piece moments and getaway scenes. It really made use of the extra power the PS4 had, to give a true cinematic experience. In terms of gameplay, there was nothing truly remarkable brought in, more fine tweaking on the established gameplay elements. Bar a few pacing issues, the story wrapped up really well, with some great nostalgic moments. One of the best games to come out in 2016.

It is like playing a movie
It is like playing a movie

June - Conclusion of Dressrosa Arc (One Piece)

Now I know the manga completed this story a long time ago, but for those who strictly watch this anime. This was one incredible but very long journey. Starting way back in 2015, we saw Luffy and his crew arrive at an island where people and toys lived side by side, where there was an annual coliseum competition taking place where the winner would get the Flare Flare fruit, previously owned by the deceased Ace. Furthermore the crew were working together with Trafalgar Law to take down "The Joker" who is a weapons arms trader. A number of key characters had their back story explained and one of the greatest villains of all time was introduced in this arc. This was a very emotionally driven arc, and a lot of webs were un tangled in the overall main story of One Piece, furthermore a character returned to the series much to the fans joy. The ending was a destination thoroughly worth embarking on the journey for, and rivals the great 'Marine Ford' Arc.

Was one hell of ride
Was one hell of ride

July - Pokemon Go

I am someone who still buys the mainstream titles that come out on Nintendos handheld, so to see a game come out for our smartphones where we can go out and catch the creatures got me feeling like a kid again. Yes, the game is more of a glorified AR game. But it got people to get out of the house and explore and meet new people and make friends. New communities were made on social media, even local businesses that had Poke-Stops were getting involved. Inviting players to come inside and rest while eating food at special prices to commemorate the game. There were a few downers, where people were taking the game too seriously and going to places where they shouldn't be, or not paying attention to the road and other hazardous locations. But overall the game was a huge success, coming out at the perfect time of the year and getting people more active. It is not being played as much now, but Niantic have released a few key updates like new Pokemon and trading systems to get people back on the game. I imagine, bigger things to come in 2017.

August - Red Dead Redemption Backwards Compatible

Although the game was available to play on Xbox One in July. I actually got round to playing it in August, this was one of my favourite titles of last generation. Ever since backwards compatibility was brought for the console, this was the one game I was dying to play again. The best Old West game made and one of the best open world games to be created, it was a great nostalgic throwback to be playing as John Marston again. If you somehow never played this game, get it now for your Xbox one, a perfect time to be playing it as well, as Rockstar have already released a teaser for its sequel.

September - Fifa 17

I never bought last years title, as I didn't feel there were much improvements to the game to warrant spending another £40 on, aside from playing online with my friends. But this year the developers included a proper story mode, where you play as a young up coming player for a Premier league team of your choice. You get a real insight on what its like trying to make it as a pro, and some of the struggles a young player has to go through to establish them self in the team. It wasn't as long as expected, and overall there wasn't that much depth either. But it was an exciting addition to the franchise and one I expect to evolve and grow in future titles. Furthermore, the frostbite engine was added. So now players looked and animated even more like their real life counterparts. The overall gameplay had a mini overhaul to, this years title isn't as reliant on having pacy players and defending has been made much more strategic and responsive. So when you score a goal, you really had to work for it.

October - Titanfall 2

A big fan of the original that came out in 2014. Respawn developers answered practically every questions fans and critics raised for improving on the original.

A real campaign was added, which was surprisingly good. Very different to other FPS games of this genre, with a nice personal story between a Pilot and his Titan.

In terms of multiplayer, new modes were added. Bounty hunt being one of the standouts, where you have to cash in money you have made from killing players and other enemy targets after each wave. More Titans, all distinct with varying play styles. Now able to customise them along with your weapons, this was the Titanfall we should have got in the first place. Its a shame EA did not market this game correctly and released it in between Battlefield 1 and Call Of Duty Infinite warfare. As commercially the game did not do as well as it deserved, so if you missed out on this game, I implore you to pick it up and give it a try.

November - Final Fantasy 15

A game ten years in the making, I have already written an article on my thoughts on this game. But I will summarise here, if you like RPG games and love exploring open worlds. Then this game is for you, it has its flaws but overall you will get a memorable experience with a satisfying ending. From hunting giant creatures, riding Chocobos to fishing. There is a lot of variety in this game, and offers quite a challenge after you have completed the main story.

Exploration as its finest
Exploration as its finest

December - Star Wars Rogue 1

The movie that finally answered the question on why the Death star had such an obvious weak point. In terms of quality, it did not quite match up to the Force Awakens, well for me personally. But there were a number of memorable characters and one line in particular that will forever be part of the Star Wars folklore amongst the fans. You had your typical Star Wars set pieces, Darth Vader. makes an appearance for a few scenes. In those scenes he steals the spotlight, and reminds you how much of a sinister villain he was, a great prequel story for Star Wars fans

Other highlights

  • Announcement of a new open world Spiderman game developed by Insomniac
  • Trailer for the upcoming Spiderman Homecoming movie for next year
  • Trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2
  • Jungle Book movie
  • Dr Strange
  • Gears of War 4
  • Luke Cage

Those were my highlights, what were yours?

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