Best of 2016 – The Mental Attic

As I said a couple of days ago, next week is going to be a week off from content on the site and its various channels, as I need a bit of a holiday to recharge for the next year.

I also said in the past that I don’t do Best Game/Film/Series/Anime/Plushie/Gunpla of the year because I think they’re shortsighted at best.

But with how strange this year has been–there’s a reason Merriam Webster chose “surreal” as the word of the year–I decided it might be a good idea to look back at some of the best moments in the year for myself and the site. So join me in this little trip down memory lane for a very strange year!

Square-Enix Connection: I’ve often said The Mental Attic is a small fish in an impossibly large pond, and as such I don’t get much attention from the bigger developers and publishers in the gaming industry, since they look for content producers with a much larger audience than my own. So it was really cool for me, felt like a good step for the site, to join Square-Enix’s press mailing list, even more so receiving a press Review Copy (physical, no less) of the latest Star Ocean for the PlayStation 4, Star Ocean V: Integrity and Faithlessness. I loved the game, my first ever Star Ocean title, though many more despised it.

The rest of the year, Square-Enix pretty much ignored me for their other, bigger, releases, but I’ll still take it as a win!

Country-Hop…Again: It’s become something of a running joke in my World of Warcraft guild that every year I move to a different continent–some say it’s to stay away and one step ahead of another player, but it’s not true, as scary and weird as some of my guild mates are. But yes, I once again packed my life and jumped from one country to another, in fact the country I wanted to move to in the first place when I did my first country hop (it’s a long story). Been living in England for about 8 months now and hopefully I won’t have to jump to another country anytime soon…though Brexit did put a damper on my wildest plans and dreams, but let’s not go there.

The Alien Beast: I know, it’s a pretty damn dramatic title to just say “I bought an Alienware.” But I did, and it’s a beast. I keep thinking it’ll start asking me for the souls of innocents to power it.  Though it’s ironic that the first game I record since getting my new PC is Final Fantasy IV, a game that really doesn’t need the full power of my machine. With that said, I’m thinking of doing a few more graphically intense games in the coming year, though I’m still thinking about which one to do.

If you go to the meetup, you won't regret it!

If you go to the meetup, you won’t regret it!

First Meetup: With the move to England came another opportunity, to finally attend GeekOut South-West’s meetups. I’ve gone to a couple now and I’m going to another one next week for the New Year. If you’ve never been to one, I can’t recommend it enough. You’ll spend hours talking and playing with some amazing people, geeks of all fashions, in a really nice pub in Bristol. Every time I go, it’s a 4 hour trip from where I live, but it’s more than worth it.

Comic-Con: No, I didn’t attend the San Diego Comic-con, or PAX…I wish. But I did go to the MCM London Comic Con, my first Comic Con ever I believe, and even more that that, I went as press and joined interview panels. It was cool.

Gunpla: Had to mention it. I wanted to start some hobby crafting projects for the longest time and this year I finally took the plunge into Gunpla, aka Gundam Plastic Modelling. It’s amazingly fun and as my skills improve and I get better tools, I’m going to start doing some custom models that I hope you’ll think are awesome!

Lots of Editing: When I first did some Let’s Play series, I recorded audio and video together, with quality that shifted wildly between videos, since I did nothing to improve them, with only minor video cuts as edits. Some people liked them and others downright hated them. But in the past few months I’ve been more carefully editing videos, recording video and audio separately as well, giving me the chance to improve their individual quality before I splice them together. Nobody is watching, but I’m happier with the quality.

Lots of Stories: This one is a work in progress but in 2016 I did the write-up for a number of short story premises, with you guys voting on which ones you liked the most and wanted to read first. I have a few written and more to complete, but as I’m on the lookout for new beta readers, it’s going to take just a bit more time before I publish them.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong

I also went to the theatre and saw some cool plays!

Okay, that’s enough about me, so let’s talk about some of the best things I’ve seen, played and listened to this year. I won’t go into many details nor am I saying these are the best of the best of the year. I’m just saying I dig them:

Overwatch: Don’t even need to explain this one, right? I’m addicted to this game and love to play it as much as possible. Also love the comics, the shorts and everything in between.

DOOM: Lovely little FPS, extremely fun in its self-referential nature and extremely intense. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been shifting in opinion between this game and Shadow Warrior 2 as best FPS for me.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE: Love the game, the style, the music and songs and it’s the first time I’ve ever played a “Persona-like” game. It’s amazingly fun and I can’t wait for a sequel, because it damn well deserves one, with even more songs and fun combat. Also, can’t wait for Persona 5, but that’s another story.

The Little Acre: It’s just too damn cute.

The Little Acre

Awwwww

Wynonna Earp: Surprised me in how good it turned out to be, though I still have my issues with the show.

Stranger Things: I think I’m going to binge watch this again over the holidays. I just love the style and atmosphere and just how many references there are for a child of the 80s like moi.

Assassination Classroom Season 2: It made me cry with its powerful ending and with its wonderful comedy. A must-see anime most definitely.

The Sound of Silence, Disturbed Cover: The original song is fantastic, but this cover is powerful, really powerful. Can’t stop listening to it.

The Natural Heart, Miracle of Sound: Pretty much the same as above, this Deus Ex: Mankind Divided inspired song by Miracle of Sound is just amazing.

Luke Cage: The last episode had some issues but I loved the series, particularly its 70s Blacksploitation vibe.

Berserk: Nice adaptation of the Tower of Conviction arc from the manga. Can’t wait for next year’s continuation, which will have Guts don the Berserker Armour.

Mob Psycho 100: Hilarious, just incredibly hilarious. Imagine One Punch Man but with psychics. It’s by the same author, so if you liked that series, you’ll enjoy this one.

Gundam: The Iron Blooded Orphans: Season 2 more specifically, which ramps up the political and socioeconomic scheming and intrigue, something I always love in a Gundam series.

Warcraft: The Beginning: Shut up, I really enjoyed this movie, even though it’s a bit too busy, trying to cram as much lore as they can in a two-hour film. But I still enjoyed it, very much!

Berserk

The world needs more Berserk adaptations. Berserk Musou is coming to PS4 in Europe next year!!

So that’s all for 2016, it’s been a really odd year in many ways, but it’s on the way out! Let’s see what 2017 will bring! Happy Holidays, whichever those may be.

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