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Thread: 2012-The Year in Review

  1. #1

    Default 2012-The Year in Review

    Been toying with this idea for a long time, but with 2012 ending in just over 4 hours (where I live at least), there was precious little time to post this in actual 2012. Basically it's an idea of looking back on the year in terms of fiction, all the good stuff, bad stuff, discussing why we think it's good/bad. Movies, games, novels, etc.

    So yeah, kicking off the bat. I've read/played/watched much more that was actually released this year, but...well, for instance, the best film I saw this year was actually Citizen Kane (yes, never got round to seeing it until now, bite me), but there's not much point discussing a film released so long ago. So, keep in mind this isn't just an ego trip. I'm just as interested to read other people's reflections - preferably confining it to this year, but if need be, it can extend further. Got stuff to discuss, but as that stretched over 4,000 words, thought it better to let other people have a chance, as to what they did and didn't enjoy this year. If people are onboard with the idea, I'll copy/paste. If not, the article can be left to fade away.
    Last edited by Hawki; 12-31-2012 at 07:00 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 2012-The Year in Review

    The best movie I watched this year was Shawshank redemption. Like you Hawki, a great movie some how passed me by.

    Best game I played (or had the most fun with) would probably be Skyrim...That was 2012 right, or am I losing it? Anyways, I put something like 210 hours into it without progressing in the story line at all (climbed that big hill). Never beat it though. Maybe this year :P

    Best show I watched was a documentary called HOME. Amazing cinematography! A little too biased towards Europe, but whatevs.

    I also played the Axis and Allies board game for the first time this year....and now i'm obsessed :P. Also, I tried magic cards too



    I can't really think of much in the way of bad stuff. I guess that's a good thing :P
    My biggest regret though would have to be that 2012 was a bad year for me physically. I severely sprained my ankle (drunk) and in turn got out of shape. I lost my 6 pack, and now I have a small gut. No one wants to see an army guy with a gut lol! So i'll have to work on it in the new year!


    Happy New Year SCL-ers!
    528471_458660360863551_348798426_n.jpg

    542994_486005978132146_1281568039_n.jpg
    KCCO

  3. #3

    Default Re: 2012-The Year in Review

    Sorry to hijack this thread, but what happened to the main SCLEGACY page? I get 500 internal error..I don't see any news regarding the site at all here.


    Quote Originally Posted by dustinbrowder View Post
    You are very weird man. Have you no logic?
    And again you had to be pretty big noob about PC not to know about the change, I mean even the birds on the trees knew about it.

    ...Its like calling throwing stone an athletic competition. Get a grip man and don't write nonsense...
    Shot put anyone?

  4. #4

    Default Re: 2012-The Year in Review

    Ever since SCLegacy got a new skinning system (dec 9th) it's been down....

    "All legends have a beginning. But a Legacy lasts".....until you get a new skinning system, lol
    KCCO

  5. #5

    Default Re: 2012-The Year in Review

    Quote Originally Posted by hyde View Post
    Sorry to hijack this thread, but what happened to the main SCLEGACY page? I get 500 internal error..I don't see any news regarding the site at all here.
    There's a place for that.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 2012-The Year in Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Carsickness
    Best game I played (or had the most fun with) would probably be Skyrim...That was 2012 right, or am I losing it? Anyways, I put something like 210 hours into it without progressing in the story line at all (climbed that big hill). Never beat it though. Maybe this year :P
    Was released at the end of 2011 actually, but hey, close enough. Never played it myself though I'm afraid. When it comes to RPGs, I'm more a fan of "a story told in a world" rather than "the world is the story," which is what Bethesda's style is. Nothing wrong with said style, just not something I enjoy that much.

    Concerning games, of all the games I played this year, only two were actually released this year, but are both the worst and best games I played. I know this'll probably get me lynched, but the worst for me was Halo 4. Vented my spleen elsewhere, but suffice to say, story was a letdown, and the gameplay felt like a regression beyond even Combat Evolved. Best for me was...Diablo III. While it's a game that I think there's a lot to dislike, and with good reason (always online, RMH, lack of PvP and customization), I found there was just too much to like, both in terms of gameplay and story/lore. Discussed this to death also, but in spite of all its flaws, D3 was the game that provided me with the most fun this year. And yes, before you ask, I have played the previous games, playing through them sequentially before I started D3. Go figure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carsickness
    Best show I watched was a documentary called HOME. Amazing cinematography! A little too biased towards Europe, but whatevs.
    Saw a few documentries this year, but can't really remember them too much. In terms of shows (live-action, cartoons, etc.) that were actually released this year (e.g. watched season 1 of A Game of Thrones on dvd recently, but it wasn't released this year), best would be The Legend of Korra for me personally, the last 5-10 minutes of the season aside. Worst would be Red vs. Blue, season 10. Yes, it's machinima rather than a show, but it doesn't change the fact that it's heartbreaking what the series has become, to the extent that I made a concious decision after watching season 10, episode 10, to simply stop watching. Burnie Burns can suck it.

  7. #7
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: 2012-The Year in Review

    Not much of a gamer, but I did peruse a lot of TV shows in 2012.

    Lost - 8/10. Everything was awesome. 'Cept the ending. Favorite characters were Desmond/Charlie.
    Stargate SG1 - 9/10 One of my favorite sci-fi's of all time. Jackson, Teal'c, and O'Neill are legendary.
    Caprica - 7/10 I love me some BSG. Caprica was decent, and I'm still going through Blood & Chrome.
    Farscape - 9/10 Highly underrated. Scorpius is one of the best villains I have ever seen.
    Stargate Universe - 9/10 Its cancellation marked the end of the golden age of sci-fi. This show did so many things right, yet gets so much flak. It was realistic and you get a true sense of exploration/wonder - the goal of all sci-fi. For example:
    1) Aliens that aren't friggin humans. I know the CGI was cheap at times, but thank god for the effort anyway. I would have lost my shit if aliens in every other galaxy were just more dressed up humans.
    2) Barren/desolate planets & a crew struggling to survive.
    3) You are actually traveling the universe to find the source of the ordered/intelligent signal emanating from the cosmic microwave background. This was just awesome.
    Outcasts - 7/10 Well, it's not atrocious. That counts for something. :P
    Earth 2 - 8/10 A hidden gem. No FTL, no aliens coming up with bigger & more powerful space lasers each episode. Just survival on a new planet.
    The Tudors - 9/10 - I would kill for more shows like this. It will spark your interest in the actual Tudor dynasty. An interesting period of history to be sure.
    The Walking Dead - 7/10 - One of the darker shows I've seen, but the writers picking on elderly people (Dale & Hershel) is a dick move. :P

    Tried a few episodes of Star Trek the original series. I'll save it for later. Tried Doctor Who (modern version), Alphas, and Dresden Files. Couldn't get past the first episodes. Caught a little bit of Breaking Bad, which looks like a fantastic show that I'll watch someday.

    Right now I just watched the first episode of Lexx, probably going to stick with it. It's kind of weird, but has nice music.

    As for games:
    ME3 - 9/10 - A great universe, awesome music, great writing.
    D3 - 5/10 - Better story than WoL, but the dialog was atrocious. Game itself is not worth 60 dollars - no way. I beat inferno recently, but I still wish I could get a refund. I think Blizzard's business plan is to try to get you to sell your gear on the RMAH to recoup the money you spent on this game. It's actually quite clever, so cudos for that. :P

  8. #8

    Default Re: 2012-The Year in Review

    >cudos

  9. #9

    Default Re: 2012-The Year in Review

    2012 didn't really catch my eye in terms of new releases (games, movies or TV). I typically don't go for new releases straight away since they inevitably become somewhat disappointing quite quickly (eg: D3 proved that again for me. It was fun at first but get less so as I played and thought about it more).

    The only "new" things I liked this year were released about a year or more ago or were a continuation of a particular TV series.

    For games, I enjoyed Fallout: New Vegas and the Witcher 2 for not treating me like an imbecile in their writing and Batman: Arkham City for the sheer joy.

    For TV, Gradius has made me realise how much I've sorely missing some good sci-fi. That said, my tastes in TV are somewhat more eclectic. As of this year I've started getting into Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones to name but a few. I couldn't really say which is my favourite because they're too different in their own ways to compare.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  10. #10

    Default Re: 2012-The Year in Review

    Only able to respond now. Seems the thread has become primarily TV-centric, so in light of the tv shows mentioned

    Stargate: SG-1

    If someone asked me in casual conversation how I felt about SG-1, my response would be somewhere along the lines of “okay…I guess.” SG-1 and I have a weird history. Saw the movie first, saw SGU when it came out (more on that later), had previously seen a single SG-1 episode sometime in the 1990s, bought the entire series on dvd, watched said entire series in the interim between me completing my last uni unit and actual graduation. And at the end of it, my response could be summed up as “huh…that was fun…I guess.”

    I’ll ignore how SG-1 blantly contradicts a plenthora of material from the original movie, the changes ranging from the understandable (different actors) to the iffy (changing Ra’s species to the goa’uld) to the unnecessary (Creek Mountain becomes Cheyenne Mountain for…some reason). I’ll ignore how it feels like I’m watching a different show that lacks the feel of the original film and the novel sequels. Looking at SG-1 on its own, it’s a show I feel is…okay. Character-wise, we have archeatypes. Archeatypes that develop, but are still archeatypes. I think there’s a good level of humour in the show, but it also goes a bit too far IMO how the Jaffa seem to be universally afflicted by stormtrooper syndrome. It’s as if the show was trying to have it both ways at times, a fun ‘good guys beat/evade bad guys’ series on one hand, yet trying on some level to convey that it was a war, and people die…just none of the heroes. We’re repeatedly TOLD the goa’uld are this evil empire that could wipe out Earth at a thought, but that never really comes to pass. Apophis tries, fails, then the whole Tau’ri thing is forgotten until Anubis shows up, who’s conveniently defeated by an Ancient superweapon. There’s got to be SOME reason why Earth is still standing throughout the series, but…I dunno. I feel it should have gone one way or the other.

    Something else I noticed with SG-1 is…well, “Resident Evil syndrome” isn’t really a word, but I’ll put it this way. The level of Tau’ri technology goes as you’d expect it to go. Logically. The problem is that logic doesn’t mesh all that well with the old feeling. If I was to sum up the ‘theme’ of SG-1, it would be exploration/the human journey/insert similar term here. It’s a theme I feel defined SGU to its end, a feeling that SGA lacked (and SGI as far as I can tell), and a feeling I feel was lost somewhere along the way. I think it was lost around the time the Prometheus turned up. No longer do we have to go through the stargates, with only a faint indication as to what’s on the other side. No longer are we searching for the next horizon. No, we’re flying around in starships that can go so fast that it makes me wonder why the Ancients even bothered with stargates in the first place (apparently a million light year trip can be completed in a few weeks, so…well, do the math). And it became increasingly clear that this was becoming less a story about human discovery because the majority of humanity is in the dark, always will be, and will never see the full fruit of the Stargate Program in our lifetimes. Yay.

    These probably come across as nitpicks, but I’m afraid they’re what I think of with SG-1. The main problem is that I’m not sure what SG-1 wanted to be past a certain point. Yet on the flipside, I think it was a good series overall. Definitely found its stride a few seasons in, and kept it until around season 6-8 IMO. Liked the characters, liked the early feeling, liked a setting where humans being found left, right and centre actually made sense in the setting itself. Enjoyable series, but not one of my favourites.

    Stargate: Universe

    While I’d label SG-1 as the best Stargate series because of its general quality, SGU would be my favourite. I say this because of the huge difference in quality between seasons 1 and 2. Season 1 was dreary, boring, and just plain uninteresting. An entire season to set up the fact that life on Destiny sucks, is hard, there’s tension, and…well, Atlantis can suck it. Lucky bums got a ZPM while Destiny’s crew won’t be getting any lucky breaks. Season 2 however, was where the series hit its stride IMO. And unlike some other shows that were faced with cancelation, went out with dignity.

    seems to be the least favourite life-action Stargate series of many fans and I can understand why, how it was a change from the formulas of SG-1 and SGA. Still, looking on SG-1 and SGA in hindsight, I’d say that in a way, it was more of a return to formula. SGU had the old theme of discovery, and unlike SG-1, never lost it (SGA sort of had it too I guess…for about one season). It had aliens that actually looked like aliens. For a show that gave the feeling of being on a budget (e.g. the Destiny set is far less complex than the Atlantis set seemingly), it’s amazing that the aliens (at least the n’kai) looked as amazing as they did. And unlike Atlantis, it also gave a feeling of isolation. I wouldn’t go as far as Gradius in saying that this is the goal of all sci-fi, but if this was SGU’s goal, then it certainly achieved it.

    So yeah. Not the best Stargate series IMO. Dreary first season and some character development felt off even in season 2. But hey, it did a good job, it did what Voyager didn’t (actual crew tension) and pulled off the concept of ‘God’ in the setting far more subtlely than Battlestar Galactica did.

    Farscape

    Got the first two seasons on DVD recently. Only seen two actual episodes before this and a host of sfdebris reviews. Maybe in a 2013 retrospective I can share more thoughts.

    Outcasts

    Couldn’t get past the first few episodes I’m afraid. If I was to sum up Outcasts, it would be “Firefly without the interesting characters.” And as someone who didn’t find Firefly’s characters all that exceptional in the first place…well, go figure.

    The Walking Dead

    By all rights, I should love the Walking Dead, and I…well, like it, at least. At the least, I like its concept. Zombie films/games usually focus around a specific event, usually the start of an outbreak. The Walking Dead begins (for all intents and purposes) after the beginning. We don’t need to see how it began. Just have to see how people cope. Neat idea, and I think it’s pulled off well. Watched the first season, and enjoyed it. I didn’t make it to the second though. A because DVDs are expensive in OZ, b because I realized something – there’s only so far this idea can go IMO. When does caring about the characters become apathy? Come what I’ve seen of later seasons, the world still sucks, the walkers are still around, people die, new people arrive, and…yeah. That’s life. Which is the point of course. But still…

    This isn’t really a criticism. Maybe watching all of season 2 will change my mind. And certainly I enjoyed Telltale’s game, even if I’m only watching playthroughs. But while not a bad series, it’s one that didn’t enthuse me enough to automatically purchase season 2.

    Star Trek: The Original Series

    Of the three Star Trek series I’m familiar enough with to rate, TOS comes somewhere in the middle. Watched the first two seasons ages ago, haven’t got the third yet. It’s further convoluted that the Abrams film got me into Star Trek, yet looking at it, I see it as more a film of Star Trek only in name. But as for TOS itself…

    Honestly, I think it holds up surprisingly well. It has shortcomings, namely graphics, makeup, and kind of some hookiness (quatloos!) that while not bad in itself, could turn other people off. But I think TOS stands up because it’s a series that I think is very era-reflective. It reflects attitudes to space flight that existed in the era, as well as the Cold War being mirrored by the Federation-klingon conflict (and to an extent the romulans). Neither side is entirely in the wrong or right, and it reaches its end in The Undiscovered Country. But even taking TOS on its own, I still think it holds up. Has its share of iffiness, but also its strengths. Characters conform to archeatypes but the dynamic between Kirk, Bones and Spock works well. And given the context of the mission statement, the serialised nature worked well IMO. It’s a big galaxy, anything can happen, and there doesn’t need to be some overarching plot for it to work.

    As I said, not my favourite Star Trek series. But it has some of the most memorable episodes of all the ones I’ve seen, and I think it’s a show that still holds up today. And even if it didn’t, it’s a show that very much reflects the time in when it was written.

    Doctor Who

    Because of different tastes, I won’t call Doctor Who an example of what science fiction SHOULD be. However, I say with all conviction that DW is an example of what science fiction CAN be.

    Like Star Trek, Doctor Who is what I feel is a period piece. Had its origins in a similar timeframe, but its style goes back to earlier science fiction. A time where realism was pushed aside for imagination. This is a very general statement, but…well, I’ll put it this way. Star Trek is War of the Worlds. Reflective of concerns in a given time period, Star Trek representing the Cold War, WotW representing imperialism. In contrast, Doctor Who is more along the lines of Journey to the Centre of the Earth. More concerned with imagination than realism. So while DW doesn’t go out of its way to explain the mechanics of its universe, it’s not a universe I feel it has to. It’s a universe where imagination overrides logic.

    This is a generality of course. Journey to the Centre of the Earth was written with knowledge available at the time, and DW does have its own guidelines for the rules of time travel and other science facts. But then again, I’m not sure if I can call DW strictly sci-fi. It’s a show that defies categorisation. It has a constant feel, yet the context regularly shifts depending on time and place. While I prefer the Davies era to the Moffat era, both are quite solid. Like Tennant and Eccelston more than Smith, but still like them all. Acting’s great, visuals are great, writing is great, and above all, imagination is great. Even the worst DW episode still falls into the “okay” category.

    Something else I’ll say is theme. Looking at the above series mentioned, I’d say the theme of Stargate is “discovery.” The theme of Star Trek is “betterment.” Doctor Who is a mix, and more. Things are discovered, there’s always something to discover, some things terrible, some things beautiful, but I think Eccelston echoed the essence of this when he ventured that if he had to attach a theme to DW, it would be “to respect life in all its forms.” In terms of betterment, it’s a rare show where the human condition can be analysed (which is a key factor of sci fi by some measure), but isn’t the focus. Humans are humans. Humans aren’t “special.” Humans aren’t “bastards.” DW doesn’t conform to either trope, but can still analyse both with the Doctor as an outsider. To praise the virtues, and to be disgusted when the darker side of humanity comes through.

    For Doctor Who, if I had to sum up it up in a single word, it would be “imagination.” Boundless imagination. In terms of ideas, in terms of creature design, in terms of what its entire concept represents. So while the best sci-fi of all time can’t be stated objectively, I say subjectively that DW is easily my favourite sci-fi tv series.

    A Game of Thrones

    A fantasy series rather than a sci-fi series, but meh, whatever. I’ll specify that yes, I have read the books, all of them bar A Dance With Dragons, and I should be finishing that in the near future. As for the tv series, I’ve seen season 1 on dvd, and will be getting season 2 on dvd as well. So how do I feel about it?

    Well, I’ll get the negative stuff out of the way. First of all, the sexposition. Yes, I said “sexposition,” not “exposition.” Anyone who’s watched the show will know what I’m talking about but suffice to say, it’s unnecessary. We don’t need it for the show to be ‘gritty,’ the writing’s already good enough that we care about the characters and their motivations, and…I’m sorry, but if I wanted to watch a porno, I’d watch a bloody porno. Not Loras and Renly discussing how and why Renly should be king while…well, you know… Don’t know if it exists to the same extent in season 2, but I hope it doesn’t. And there’s the fact that it feels like the books a bit too much at times, but this is a very minor gripe, and that can be a good thing.

    Overall, I like it. I don’t know if the series will last long enough to cover all the books, but I certainly like what’s been covered so far. The acting’s good. The sets/visuals are good. The writing’s good. It’s faithful to the books, but isn’t afraid to do its own thing. It’s a show that can’t show massive LotR battles, but doesn’t have to. We don’t need to see the Lannister/Stark battles in themselves towards the end of season 1, because the horrific effects and aftermath are conveyed appropriately. War is war. Life sucks in Westeros, and it sucks even more now that there’s a civil war going on. All in all, if Lord of the Rings was the triumph of the fantasy genre on the big screen, then A Game of Thrones is its triumph on the small screen.

    Merlin

    Limiting this discussion to live-action tv series in the fantasy and/or sci-fi genre, and further limiting it to stuff that was released this year or was mentioned by one of the other posters, Merlin is all I’ve got left to discuss. Series 5, specifically.

    Series 5 of Merlin feels a lot like what Voyager was to Star Trek. A season/series that could have/should have been great, but was afraid to seize it. Yes, it was the last season and an arbritarily declared one as such. So naturally, plotlines would have to be wrapped up, right? Well, sort of. It’s here that the lack of foresight really shone through. Saxons are an enemy now. Many years have passed since season 4, but Mordred is the only character who reflects this physically. Guinivere is corrupted by Morgana…but is restored two episodes later. There’s a build-up to Mordred betraying Arthur, but while tensions increase between him and Merlin, him turning on Arthur is confined to a single episode that makes it less like a stand for the druids/Morgana, and more like a temper tantrum because his girlfriend was executed when by all rights should have been executed anyway.

    I don’t want to nitpick too much. Obviously it’s a show without the budget to show Camlaan off in all its glory, but it doesn’t help when it’s conveyed the way it is. It doesn’t help that Morgana declaring war on Camelot feels hollow because she technically did so two seasons ago (continuity, what’s that?). And the ending, and the character development or lack of it by said ending…ugh.

    Merlin could have been more. It could have taken risks, should have given the characters the send-offs they deserved. Not what we got.
    Last edited by Hawki; 01-06-2013 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Copy/paste error.

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