In an age where videogames on last gen consoles (we’re talking not even 3 years ago people….) are seen as “Classics”, we at Secret Geek don’t feel it’s too soon to get nostalgic about 2015 and all the great nerdiness that was on offer.
In this article, we are going to be looking at the teams favourite bits of 2015 and breaking them down into four catagories. Watch, Play, Read and Collect.
The”Watch” category will cover anything that moves on a screen, movies, TV series, twitch.tv streams and moths at night time.
“Play” is games, games and games! Because we love videogames.
“Read” will be books, comics, blogs, websites and graphic novels, anything with words and punctuation and junk.
And “Collect” is our stand out item, merch, action figures, collectibles, toys, gadgets… you get the picture.
Whilst most of the content was released in 2015, there will be a few things dropped in there from years gone by that our team re-discovered over the span of those twelve months and wanted to share with you. So without further ado, lets get into it…
Ben and Jay – Daredevil
Ben – “Big fan of Daredevil and I even sort of like the film (yea I know very strange) so excitement was at full when Daredevil was announced for Netflix, I can’t fault this show at all the fight scenes are epic and the story was gripping.
I loved matt Murdoch but also the supporting characters where outstanding I loved foggy and Karen and Vincent D’Onofrio nailed Kingpin.
Daredevil was a huge success and has paved the way for many other Netflix/Marvel shows originally marvel was planning on doing Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage/Iron Fist and then linking them all up with a Defenders season all in hell’s kitchen but thanks to the high viewer numbers with Daredevil we are now getting treated to another Daredevil season with the punisher, a full punisher season and recently announced another Jessica Jones season. Marvel TV is looking great and I’m looking forward to things to come.”
Jay – “I think everyone forgets this came out in 2015 as it’s just become such a solid staple of what a good show is and nearly everyone has seen it. Re-watching it in the month before Jessica Jones debuted, made me realise that nothing has come close to it in 2015. Dark, gritty, funny, action packed and gory. You know your first season is good when the only way you reckon you can top it is to add The Punisher for season 2.”
Kris – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Not only the best film to be released in 2015, but now one of my favourite films of all time. Better than the prequels, better than Return of the Jedi. My third favourite Star Wars film. This movie surpassed all my expectations, and then some. I laughed, I cried, I was left speechless, and wanting more. A strong and exciting start to the new trilogy.
Adam – Adam has put the work in and provided you lucky readers with multiple selections, you can thank him later!
Favourite Movie : The Skeleton Twins
Kristen Wigg and Bill Hader tell this wonderful take of a brother and sister both going through some of the toughest emotions that a person can go through. Its a real roller-coaster of emotions and had me on the verge of tears to quickly laughing (The scene with Starships “Nothings going to stop us now” is definitely a highlight). Although this film did come out in early 2014 it only really appeared on my radar in 2015 and I only got round to watching it mid way through the year. I’ve watched it 3 more times since then. Its easily one of my favourite films of all time now.
TV Show: The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt
I am fairly sure Netflix have King Midas locked up in a basement somewhere. Everything they touch seems to turn to gold. Sure there is House of Cards, BoJack Horseman, Better Call Saul and all the others but in 2015 I really enjoyed The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt. I don’t know if we can call it under appreciated but I feel it was certainly overlooked. Its a wonderful comedy and its just good 20 minute episode easy watching. The characters themselves do a good job and Ellie Kemper does a wonderful job of portraying the naïvety of a girl who was locked in a bomb shelter by a crazy Pastor for most of her childhood life. Its really quite dark subject matter when you think about it and yet it was turned around to be one of the funniest comedies I watched in 2015.
Emily Krumlinde needs more attention on Twitch. Her stream is always good watching, I originally heard about Queenie when she was featured in a video for DreamHack back in 2013 and I have been following her career since then. She’s recently left MyInsanity and is playing under the banner for GreenManGaming. Its an interesting move. She interacts with her viewers on a regular basis and the steam has a very chilled atmosphere about it. She regularly plays Starcraft 2 which she plays at a Masters level as Protoss and Heroes of The Storm but that is by no means an exhaustive list so head over to http://www.twitch.tv/queene and give her a watch!
Dale (sHitman) – twitch.tv with honourable mentions.
Twitch is love, Twitch is life. It has overtaken my want for a TV package. It has all but ended my Netflix subscription. It is a monster of entertainment for videogame lovers. And more recently, it has launched a “Creative” channel for the art lover in you. I have my favourite streamers I subscribe to and tune in to on a daily basis but anyone with a reasonable rig and a decent internet connection can get involved in streaming so never be scared to delve into the low viewer channels and discover a whole treasure trove of entertaining buggers doing their thing solely for the enjoyment and love of it.
My recommended channels are –
twitch.tv/Kiwion – Kiwo, as she prefers to be known, plays all sorts of weird and wonderful games. I discovered her through DayZ but have since spent many an hour watching her play indie games, RP in the Arma III mod – “Altis Life”, play ARK and the odd party game with fellow streamers. More than anything, her personality really comes accross and contributes to some cracking content.
twitch.tv/Kdwolf77 – He is the nicest guy on twitch, in my opinion. No curse words, great interaction and just an all round good dude.
twitch.tv/MrBlack0ut81 – Themed nights, such as ‘Talking Tuesdays’ and ‘World War Wednesdays’ let you know what to expect when you’re joining his channel, the guy is by far one of the best videogame content creators. He has personality by the bucket full, always has a smile on his face, is unbelievably skilled in most games he turns his hands to and has one of the coolest communities around him.
twitch.tv/BobRoss – Fucking BOB ROSS! I don’t know how many of you will remember, but waaaaay back when I was a kid, early 90’s, I used to sit infront of the fire on a Sunday morning and be mesmerised by this Afro clad artist creating masterpieces right infront of my eyes. The way he talks about his work is so gentle and loving, it’s impossible not to be in a good mood whilst watching. Unfortunately, since then, Mr.Ross has passed but thanks to Twitch Creative, his legacy lives on in the form of marathons of re-runs of his show, “The Joy Of Painting” every Monday. I challenge you to check it out, read the chat and not be thoroughly entertained!
for more streamers worth checking out and more details on some of the ones listed, check out my past blog post here – http://www.thesecretgeek.co.uk/?p=320
Ben – Mario Maker
Epic game, if you don’t like Mario you have no soul.
The concept of this game put me off a bit at first I love Mario games and have been playing for years but designing and making Mario levels did seem complicated and hard to do so I didn’t know what to make of the game when it was first announced.
I was very wrong, the game made it very easy to make brilliant Mario courses from 4 different Mario time lines and share them with your friends, the game gave you a certain amount of tools per day and until you had used them you didn’t get more. This was great for learning how to use each part of the game and also kept me excited for what was to come next. I spent a lot of time on this game when I broke my leg back in august and made some great courses and uploaded them up on the internet for friends and strangers to play. My only gripe with the game WAS that you couldn’t put
down checkpoints, so if you made a difficult level and someone dies they would have to start all over again, but with an update you can now add checkpoints making this game in my opinion perfect!.
Kris and Jay – Mario Kart 64
Kris – “Ok so I’m well aware that this game was not released in 2015. It actually came out almost 20 years ago. But what can I say, I’m not a gamer. I play on strictly old school consoles, and Mario Kart 64 has remained a firm favourite of mine for many years now. Mainly because it is the game of choice to throw down with your buddies when having a drink. I picked this for my game of the year as I have particularly fond but hazy memories of me and my Talk Nerdy co-host JB playing this drunk in a pub in Leeds this year, and me losing in a very spectacular, very publicly humiliating way. I blame the straight rum I was drinking, that JB wasn’t.”
Jay – “I know that didn’t come out last year however, I think I played it more last year than any previous year barring when it actually came out. My friends got a N64 and on I went to see if I still reigned supreme. And boy, do I still reign all you muthafuckas! Kris and I even went into a bar in Leeds which had it on and I sent his ass back to medieval times. I am WARIO and I AM going to win.”
Adam – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Its The Witcher 3. Its probably most peoples game of the year and for those whom it isn’t, just haven’t played it yet. It’s a massive, immersive, gorgeously crafted RPG from CD Projekt Red and with so many RPGs being released in 2015 I think it shows the quality when this one rose to the top. The quests were great, with a notable mention to the Red Baron quest line. That one was messed up! It looked gorgeous and the attention to detail in this game is just at another level. It ran pretty well on my PC and with patches it only improved. The developers frequently patched out little tiny fixes here and there. It just became polished to an absolute shine. Easily my favourite game of 2015 and I am looking forward to seeing what CDPR do next…we are still waiting for Cyberpunk after all.
sHitman – DayZ
You guessed it. DayZ. I’m not going to go into all it’s short comings, it has a lot. But no other game have I got near 3000 hours in and still have new experiences every time I play. And I didn’t play any other game as much as this in 2015. So I will keep it short. DayZ is my pick. In the words of Taylor Swift – “Players gonna Play, Play, Play, Play, Play and the Haters gonna Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate”.
Ben – Marvels Star Wars Run
I don’t read books, comics are my thing and if you are reading this then you will probably of read some of my comic picks of the week or comic blogs so for my read I went down the comic path.
Lots of good comic runs this year that I have enjoyed but my pick would have to go to Marvels new Star Wars run, I have picked this up from Issue 1 along with a number of the tie ins such as Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Lando and enjoyed them all a lot. The artwork is always fantastic as a big star wars fan I always love the story arcs and they always seem to fit into time lines between the movies nicely.
The first event and tie in was between the star wars run and Darth Vader named Vader down has just ended so if you wanted to go pick up an issue now would be a good time or I’m sure they have some good TP out now well worth going to read.
Kris – Siege
Siege was a 4 issue mini series from Marvel Comics, which was a spin off from the main title of Secret Wars. Although I thoroughly enjoyed reading the main story, and thought an excellent job was done with it, for some reason Siege just struck more of a chord with me. Not only did it enhance the experience of following along with the Secret Wars storyline, but it expanded on the “history” of Battleworld and The Shield, in a way that was executed brilliantly. The decision to use different artists for the giant 2 page spread flashback scenes was genius, and was one of my favourite parts about the book. It had time travel, it had kick ass heroines, it had a legion of Cyclops clones! The story, the characters, the art, the ideas behind it, the concept, everything about this book was perfect in my opinion. I was so impressed, and unexpectedly blown away. I can’t recommend this book enough. Not only one of my favourite reads of the year, but one of my favourite things I’ve ever read.
Adam – Steve Jobs Biography by Walter Issacson
I am often mystified by Steve Jobs. I am a Windows and Android fanboy. I personally don’t like his products but he managed to create this buzz around his products. I do admit I was originally mind blown by the Ipod the first time I used one. The idea having so much music on the go was insane to me! He was also a very complex man in his personal and business life and its well documented that he could be a bit of a tyrant. There is the whole débâcle surrounding his daughter Lisa who he denied was even his for many many years. This book was a great read and a wonderful insight into one of the most prolific designers and CEOs of our generation.
Jay – SAGA
Completely and utterly unputdownable. Every trade I bought I had read within an hour. Now up to date on issue 32 as I write this, I’m still hooked. It is magic. Everything about it is near perfection. The art, the story, how the story is told, the characters, the dialogue, the chemistry between the characters, the tones and at the centre of it all I still find myself asking; who’s the bad guy? You know you’re telling a story well when the heroes are obvious but their antagonists are portrayed so transparently that you find yourself understanding their plight too. I don’t want anything bad to happen to Marko and Alana, but I don’t want their enemies to die or fail that badly either. When a comic makes you think about all these things, the story and the depth of how that story is being told, you have something very special.
sHitman – Hunter S Thompson
Taking it waaaaaay back to the 60’s/70’s with my reads of ’15. The only two books I actually read in 2015 were Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (not just a Jonny Depp Movie) and Hell’s Angels: The Strange And Terrible Saga Of The Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. If fancy reading about one man’s dive into the gritty dark side of 60’s and 70’s America whilst in the pits of a life long drug binge, all the while trying to write articles and books for some of the largest publications of the time, then pick up just about anything from Hunter S Thompson a.k.a Dr.Gonzo.
Ben – Lego Star Wars Millennium falcon
Everything is awesome! Lego is amazing esp Licenced lego.. So many good Star Wars/ Superhero sets but my pick of the year would be the new force awakens Millennium falcon, It comes with the mini figures Chewbacca, Han solo, Finn, Ray, bb8 and two bad guys took around 5 hours to build and is awesome. I don’t really know what to say to add to this but if you’re a lego Fan and a Star Wars fan this is a must own, hard to pick up now as every time Lego bring out a Falcon they do seem to sell out fast!
Kris – Skeletön Crüe T-Shirts/Care Packages
Shout out to my bros in Nashville, Tennessee! Been supporting these guys throughout 2015 by downloading their free podcasts and regularly purchasing their exclusive t-shirts. The graphic designs on these shirts are sick, and all encompass some form of Horror, Punk Rock or Nerdy parody or theme, which all of the above are right up my alley! The Reverend Jay Leal always hooks me up and puts together a sweet little care package with loads of cool extra free shit, like exclusive posters, badges, stickers and all sorts of comic book related paraphernalia. Go buy some t-shirts for yourself, and check out their weekly comic book podcast, Comic Crypt over at SkeletonCrueBrand.com
Adam – Pipboy from the Pipboy Edition of Fallout 4
Its basically just a plastic housing but the fact you could own a real pipboy is pretty damn awesome! You download an app to your phone and then place the entire phone in this plastic housing that looks like a pipboy and slap it on your wrist and boom! You’re now a vault dweller! Most games nowadays come with some sort of in-game content if you buy the special edition. Mostly just skins or some XP boost. The Fallout 4 PipBoy Edition takes limited collectors editions back to what they should be and the fact the app even syncs with the game means you can use it! Its not just some statue that’s going to sit on your shelf and get dusty.
Jay – My Back to the Future 2 Marty McFly Hat.
Seeing as this was the year that now sees all of the Back to the Future films set in the past from this point in our lives, the planet went crazy. And who could blame them? It’s a film everyone has quietly adored and 2015 was the year to shout about it. It is pretty much well known the passion I have for these films (I’ve got a delorean tattooed on my chest, so you could say things are pretty serious yeah) and this year was like a dream you have when you’re a child. I sat in 2 real life Deloreans this year. I own Back to the Future comics. I have a model hoverboard and got to watch the second film on the big screen with friends, family, real ale and pizza. What better way to pay sentiment to 2015 than purchasing Marty’s hat from Forbidden Planet and giving it pride of place next to my computer.
sHitman – Mass of Marvel merch.
So my pick is more a sentimental thing than anything. My girlfriend, throughout 2015, has amassed me a HUGE Marvel collection spanning from POP figures, t-shirts, belts, bags, and even bedding. She has hooked me up with all sorts! What a good egg! My stand out piece, though, has to be the Iron Man mouse I use on this very PC. In the classic red and gold colours with eyes that light up different colours indicating the DPI setting, It looks amazing and has seen me through many an hour of gaming.
So how about that then? All of our top stuff of last year. Quite a lot for a small team eh? Let us know about your Nerdy Nostalgia in the comments!
“It’s never too late to enjoy shit from the past, today. Again. Create memories of the future and remember them tomorrow and junk…” – sHitman – Right Now, from the past.