2011-12-23

The Best Of 2011 – Here’s The Best Out Of All The Rest

by Yo Snyder

Yo

Favorite game of the year: Batman: Arkham City

Well, if like Will, we’re judging this by the game
we played the most (which isn’t a bad way to gauge it), then hands-down my
number one game of the year was Batman:
Arkham City
. It’s not just because I’m a Batman fan, but mostly because
this is an amazing game. It took everything that was great about the first game
and made it better. Then it added a fun, open-world sandbox for me to play in.
It was like a Zelda/Splinter Cell adventure with Batman as the star. The story
was easily one of the best told all year by a video game, with lots of fun
little thing for fans to really dig into. The side missions were awesome and
the huge number of Riddler trophies and challenges means I’m still trying to
solve them all. Super hero games are hard to do in the first place. Following
up a successful one with an even better game? That take true heroics, and yet
Rocksteady pulled it off. If you missed this one, remedy that situation at your
first opportunity.

Favorite movie of the year: Hugo

This one snuck up on me out of nowhere. I didn’t
know what to expect going into it other than the fact that the trailer looked
kind of interesting. I certainly didn’t expect to come out of the theater with
my number one film of the year, and yet that’s exactly what happened. Hugo reminds why movies fascinate and
thrill us. It’s a love letter to the movie fan in all of us, and it tells a
pretty compelling story of its own that has lots of heart and some great laughs.
Better yet, it’s a gorgeous looking film, even in 3D. I can’t think of any
other movie this past year that I actually recommended seeing in 3D, but Hugo was worth it. Best of all, it’s one
of those movies that leaves you feeling hopeful and optimistic as you leave the
theater. It explores some interesting questions like why are we here, what’s
our place in life? It’s a movie that leaves you in a contemplative but happy
mood when it’s over, and one that reminds you of why you enjoy going to the
movies in the first place. It’s been a busy movie year with some great movies
like Super 8 and War Horse, some really fun movies like Fast Five, epic ones like Transformers:
Dark of the Moon
, but in the end, Hugo
quietly came in and stole my heart; and I’m so glad it did.

Will

Favorite game of the year: Call of
Duty: Modern Warfare 3
.

This isn’t the game that I was expecting to choose
as my favorite release for this year, but I feel like I’ve played it enough to
condition me into thinking that. If you asked me 6 months ago what I thought my
pick would be, I would have gone with Zelda
Skyward Sword
, or possibly Battlefield
3
. When it came down to choosing I had to ask myself, “what game do I play
the most,” and the game play log doesn’t lie. Over 2 full days of game play, (I
seriously spent 50hrs on this?) logged into my copy of MW3 proves it as my
first choice. I think this is because it’s such a good multiplayer/shooter that
is moderately easy for anyone to pick up and go. I know I get a lot of flak for
picking MW3 over BF3, but I’m not a super gamer who can often handle my
shelters or buildings toppling down on me. MW3 looks great while providing a
nice selection between campaign, multi player, and special ops. I like the
variety of items available to customize your class and the weapons upgrades are
top notch. These are just a few of the major reasons why Modern Warfare 3 is my game of choice for 2011.

Favorite Movie: Captain America: The First Avenger

This was a hard choice taking into account the huge
amount of blockbuster movies hitting the screen this summer. I’ve always been
an advocate of the Marvel movies, even though there have been more than a
handful that I wouldn’t recommend to my closest friends. Captain America pleasantly surprised me with a thought out (but not
rushed) plot line, a love story that actually felt believable, and some of the
coolest special fx I’d seen all year. Captain
America
kept me on the edge of my seat and wowed my imagination to the
point of wanting to believe it was a true story. Best flick of 2011.

Stevo

Favorite Movie: Hugo

2011 was the best year to date for comic book films and
crazy fanboys like me. In a summer of
X-Men, Thor, Transformers, Harry Potter, Captain America and Green
Lantern…well, five out of six ain’t bad…I look back and wonder how it is that
none of them are my pick for favorite film of the year. If I had to choose from just that list there
is no doubt Captain America: The First
Avenger
would win but all of them released before Rise of the Planet of the Apes and somehow I walked away from that
movie with my mind blown because it topped them all. Don’t get me wrong, James Franco isn’t going
to be nominated for an Oscar for his performance…or any human actor for that
matter. However, Andy Serkis undoubtedly
deserves something for his role. I’ve
seen the film three times now and every time I watch it I am enamored with
Caesar the ape. Andy Serkis is brilliant
and I hope others catch on to his brilliance. Peter Jackson sure gets it and I can’t wait to see Serkis reprise his
role as Gollum in 2012’s The Hobbit: An
Unexpected Journey
(which should come as no surprise is my pick for most
anticipated film of 2012). If you know nothing about the previous Ape films
there will be some loss of love for most of the ape characters but for the
sci-fi/Apes film fans this one ranks on top and is definitely my pick for best
of 2011…

At least that is what I would have said until a couple weeks
ago when I was treated to one of the most brilliant films of not only 2011 but
in my opinion Scorsese’s career. Hugo is a film that will stand the test
of time for generations to come and reminded me why I love the movies in the
first place. The passion is overflowing
and there is not a wasted player in the entire film. Everyone in the film has a part to play and
each puts on one of their finest performances ever. From Sir Ben Kingsley to Christopher Lee to
Sasha Baron Cohen each character is vibrant, masterful and I hope Hugo wins the award for…EVERYTHING.   Do not miss this film. Oh, and see it in 3D…seriously.

Favorite game: Batman:
Arkham City

Yo already covered much of what makes this game so great.
All I know is I can’t stop collecting Riddler trophies. I mean come on, they’re
just little green, glowing question marks, and yet I’m obsessed with finding
them all. Plus this game tells one of the best Batman stories EVER; movies,
comic books, TV, whatever, this is the best Batman narrative in quite some
time. So yeah, if you’re looking for THE game to enjoy this holiday season and
beyond, Arkham City is the one.