Reminiscing On The Year 2015

What I remember about my year 2015:

  • Visiting the Canary Islands (Fuerteventura) a couple of times.
  • Walking up Mount Snowdon in Wales.
  • Going to London to see Nightwish (Endless Forms Most Beautiful tour) at Wembley – The first Finnish metal band to play there and the final concert on the tour. They played the entirety of The Greatest Show On Earth.
  • Having fun at comic con. Meeting new people.
  • My cousin getting married.
  • Improving my baking skills. Becoming a master at assembling Battenberg cakes.
  • The start of the colouring book craze – I think it’s becoming an addiction.
  • Adopted a cheetah family through Born Free.
  • Our cinema went through a major revamp, adding a 4D screen and fitting extra comfy seating.
  • Fixing my computer and upgrading to Windows 8. Everything works so much better now.

Games I’ve played:

  • Bloodborne – My favourite game this year has been Bloodborne by From Software. It sort of goes without saying though, because I’m also a massive fan of Dark Souls. The combat was incredibly fun and the world design was amazing.
  • SOMA – Frictional games are another favourite developer. SOMA might have been simplistic in terms of its mechanics, but it really made me think about it for weeks afterwards.
  • Don’t Starve – I finally started to master this game and have reached past day 100. It’s incredibly addictive once you get use to it, plus I have it on Vita so I can take it everywhere I go. Been playing a bit of Don’t Starve Together too as I try to teach my friends how to play, but it’s incredibly chaotic.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved – The release of Jurassic World put me in the mood for more dinosaurs. I like survival games too and my collection has grown considerably with such titles over the past couple of years.
  • Minecraft – My friends and I got a server together and spent a good bit of time working on it together. Some of my creations can be seen here.
  • Until Dawn – This is probably one of the best interactive stories I’ve ever played. It felt similar to Heavy Rain and beyond, but the themes appealed to me more. I love that it mixed real and supernatural elements to create a mystery. The characters looked amazing too and despite being annoying stereotypes I came to really care for them.
  • Life Is Strange – Another interactive fiction with great characters. A very touching and thought provoking story, with the ability to rewind time.
  • Alien Isolation – This game has really surprised me in how much it hooked me. It took a lot of patience to play, but I really enjoyed it. Put me in a massive Alien mood too, so I watched all of the films as well.
  • Five Nights At Freddy’s – An unique horror experience with memorable characters, although I enjoyed watching it more than playing it.
  • Just Cause 3 – I still haven’t gotten very far in this game yet (I can’t stop messing about on it), but it’s really fun and Rico Rodriguez is amazing.
  • Undertale – A special and thought-provoking experience with a fun battle system and incredibly catchy soundtrack. The major point of this game is that you don’t have to kill anybody.
  • Soul Sacrifice – This game was one of the main reasons I wanted a PS Vita. It’s not as good as other games in terms of combat, but I love the themes and art style.
  • There Came An Echo – My first experience playing a game with voice activation. Including the voice of Will Wheaton.
  • Guild Of Dungeoneering – Very fun and addictive.
  • Darkest Dungeon – A slightly more gruelling dungeon experience. I’m still learning how to master this one.
  • Binding Of Isaac -I’m still not taken by this game, but I have a better understanding of why so many other people like it.
  • Bravely Default – I love this game, but still haven’t made it to the end yet as it gets a bit repetitive late on. Anyway, I’m just that little bit closer to being able to say I’ve completed it.
  • Dyscourse – A short story, but with lots of branching. I’ve only played it through once so far, but it seems like a solid experience. The art style is eye-catching too. Oh and there was a really cute cat, so what more could you need?
  • Amnesia: Memories – Another interactive fiction, with cute boys in it. 😛
  • Sword Art Online – I love the anime, so naturally I wanted to buy the game. Its not the most memorable of RPGs I’ve ever played, but it’s cool being able to interact with the characters from the show.
  • Star Wars The Old Republic – Completed a couple more characters. I think I only have two more left to go now.
  • Diablo III – I finally got around to giving this game a go. Not quite lived up to my expectations, but fun chaotic combat all the same.
  • Skyrim – I played a little bit more of this game. One day I’m going to stick it out for much longer. At least I made it up that mountain and learnt about dragon shouts this time.
  • Poltergeist – A puzzle game in which you have to scare people out of the house.
  • Civilization V – Played a lot of this with my friends this year. I feel like my knowledge of the game has improved. Research victory is my favourite.
  • Kitty Power’s Matchmaker – this game is pretty cheesy, but funny with simple and enjoyable gameplay.

Another one of my goals for the year 2015 was to make more time to play card/board games. It feels very different to playing video games and I love the social aspect of them. We’ve been playing a game almost every week and I’ve learn to play a couple of new ones including Pandemic, Cluedo and Hanabi. I also had the goal of appreciating my backlog of games more, rather than rushing out to buy new ones – I’m not so sure I’ve kept to this :P.

Books I’ve read:
One of my new years resolutions for 2015 was to read more. I’m still not entirely consistent, but I feel like I’ve gotten through more books than usual.

  • The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb – I started this series in 2014, but finished the final book at the start of the year. Overall I wasn’t massively keen on the book, but I did connect really strongly with some of the ordeals that the main character had to go through. The first two books had really interesting endings too, and at that I’ll leave this.
  • The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters – A book full of really useful advice when it comes to mind management.
  • Revan by Drew Karpyshyn – I’d been meaning to get around to this book for ages, considering that Darth Revan is one of my favourite characters from the Star Wars universe. Overall it isn’t my favourite Karpyshyn or Star Wars book, but it introduced a number of characters that you also get to meet in the game The Old Republic.
  • Darth Bane Trilogy by Drew Karpyshyn – I was really in a Star Wars mood by this point and continued onto the Darth Bane trilogy. These were fantastic books outlining the creation of the Rule of Two. I loved having the opportunity to get into the mind of a character turning to the dark side and it was interesting to see how my own feelings towards them changed throughout the story. The ending was also intriguing.
  • A Brief Guide To Star Wars By Brian J.Robb – Finally I finished my Star Wars reading off with this guide covering the creation of the films. It was a really interesting read and surprised me to find out that a lot of people didn’t believe that it would be as successful as it was.
  • A Girl In The Box (books 1-3) by Robert J.Crane – This was a free series for my Kindle about a girl that develops powers and has spent most of her life being protected from the outside world. I don’t feel inclined to continue onto further books with this, but it was a nice light read.
  • Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble by Lori L. Maclaughlin – I was given the opportunity to read and review this book. Really enjoyed it and particularly liked the focus on the sisters, both of which are interesting characters. Looking forward to the second book.
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – It’s a bit of an ambition of mine to get through some of the classic horrors. Frankenstein was a story that I’d seen in a lot of places and yet never knew anything about the source. A lot of these classic books are also free for Kindle. I enjoyed the themes within it thoroughly, and I think I’m also improving at reading this older style of literature.
  • Inside Apple by Adam Lashinsky – I still haven’t finished this book, but what I’ve read so far has been a really interesting look into the inner workings of Apple.
  • You’re Never Weird On The Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day – I really enjoyed this humours book about Felicia Day and her work towards creating The Guild. I could also relate to a lot of her experiences.
  • Game Of Thrones by George R. R. Martin – I finally decided it was time to delve into Game Of Thrones. It took up a large part of the year and I’m still part way through the 4th book (A Feast Of Crows.) Admittedly I’m starting to fatigue slightly and feel ready to move onto something else now, but overall I really like the series.
  • Mindfulness For Everyday Living by Christopher Titmuss – I’ve been delving into mindfulness a lot this year and have purchased a few books to help me in this pursuit. Its definitely been helping me with my stress levels and anxiety, and I’ve also learnt a few interesting things about Buddhism in the process too. Another goal for 2015 was to work on my confidence and I feel like I have been making some good efforts towards this.

Films I’ve Seen:

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Obviously, do I really need to expand on this one?
  • Jurassic World – One of my favourites this year. Fun light-hearted action. Was a bit disturbing in places too, and I think it left a massive impact due to being compared to places like Sea World. Got to see it in 4D as well.
  • Into The Woods – A massive surprise for me. I love the dark humour in this film. It also has catchy songs in it and the meaning behind it is thought provoking too.
  • Ant-Man – I wasn’t expecting much from this. The idea seemed a bit silly. It turned out to be a really good film with a lot of humour in it. Probably one of my favourites from Marvel.
  • Avengers: Age Of Ultron – I get the feeling that this film didn’t do as well as many would expect, but I thought it was really cool and probably enjoyed it more than the first one.
  • Inside Out – Cool concept, and the end bit with the cat really made me chuckle.
  • Minions – Gotta admit, I’m not a massive Minion fan (tire of seeing them everywhere,) but this film had some funny moments in it.
  • Cinderella – This film was a lot better than I was expecting it to be. I loved Helena Bonham Carter’s performance. Cute mice too. :3
  • Spy – For the most part I’m not much into spy movies (I haven’t even seen James Bond: Spectre,) unless it’s also a comedy. Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham were hilarious in this film.
  • Mortdecai – No where near the top of favourite films with Johnny Depp in, but I still have to go see everything with him in.
  • Ex Machina – I don’t think this is a film for everybody, but I found it really thought provoking and it’s definitely worth a watch.
  • Terminator Genisys – I’ve always been a big Terminator fan and I thought this film was pretty cool in how it recreates some parts of the original film.
  • Insidious: Chapter 3 – I managed to convince my partner to go see a horror film at the cinema, and it ended up being a return back to its scary roots. Lots of jump scares, but also some humour too.
  • It Follows – I finally found a film that genuinely disturbs me.
  • Krampus – A nice festive film and I’m interested in the folklore it’s based upon.
  • Crimson Peak – I was hoping for a more traditional horror experience in this one and I love anything Victorian. Unfortunately this film came up a bit short and the plot was a bit random.
  • In The Heart Of The Sea – I got to see this one before its release. It felt a bit long and drawn out in places, but I find whales fascinating.
  • Pan – I was disappointed with this film, but I really enjoyed Hugh Jackman’s perfermance regardless. Pirates singing Nirvana, what a hoot?
  • Self/less – Not a great film, but had an interesting concept behind it. In the effort to live forever the main character goes through a process of transferring their conciousness into a new body (only, it’s not all as it seems.)
  • Project Almanac – I don’t think this was as good as other similar films (like The Butterfly effect for example,) but it was an another interesting take on the consequences of time-travel.
  • Fifty Shades Of Grey – Yes, I’m going to admit to having seen this one. Not for me personally, but I gotta admit I’m interested to know what will happen next.
  • Pixels – Not a great film, but amused me all the same.

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About wallcat

I have a strong passion for computing. In particular programming for which I am able to use a variety of languages including C++, Visual C#, Blitz Basic, Actionscript 2.0, Python and Lua. I also enjoy web-design and have some knowledge of HTML/CSS, PHP/SQL and Javascript. As well as programming I have a strong background in art and enjoy drawing in my spare time. When I’m not sat at my computer I like to keep fit by going to the gym or using my exercise ball.

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