So last week I gave the top 10 things I enjoyed all of 2016, this time around it’s time to countdown the top 10 things I’m looking forward to in 2017. I was hoping to have some anime on this list, but so much still isn’t dated for the rest of the year, so I can’t officially put them on the list. Anything listed has to have a solid release date, so because of that the only things on this list are games and films.
Anyways, let’s hop to it, shall we?
When the original film came out in 2002 (I don’t want to talk about the 2005 one with Ice Cube), I absolutely loved the film. It was funny at 14 years old thinking I was staring at a porn billboard whenever I’d see a big poster with the movie title on it, but that was probably the point of the film’s marketing, it got your attention. The stunts, the badass characters and fucking Rammstein performing in the movie, I was sold. And then they never followed through. So 15 years later, we’re finally getting Vin Diesel back in the Xander Zone and I’m more than ready for it!
Now hold on, folks. Yes, I am aware of the odds of this movie just being another bad anime-based film and when I watch this movie, I fully expect it to be bad. But from the trailers, I at least see some promise. Unlike the fucking Power Rangers movie, which continues to stress me out to the point I now have to see it so I can trash it, Ghost in the Shell at the very least is giving me reason to believe the writers, directors and producers actually gave two shits about the property they were using. Again, it’ll probably be bad, but hopefully it’s not too bad.
If I did this just after E3 this may be in the Top 3. But as time has gone on, it’s not that my excitement for Horizon: Zero Dawn has gone down, I’ve just become more aware of getting myself too hyped up. Now what relieves me a little bit is that the game has not been shoved down our throats like Watch Dogs and No Man’s Sky were, so there’s a lot of hope there. But I’m now a lot more jaded to big, shiny, new IPs, so instead of being super excited, I’ve tempered down my expectations for a game we just haven’t seen before. I hope it’s got GOTY potential like I said it did after I saw it at E3, but I’ll be walking into this game just looking for a solid 8/10.
If you played South Park: The Stick of Truth, you’ve been looking forward to this game since you finished Stick of Truth. And now, instead of poking fun at fantasy tropes, we’re now going to be playing through essentially a season’s worth of South Park episodes designated towards making fun of the Marvel vs DC rivalry. I cannot imagine this not being one of the most entertaining and funniest games of the year and the idea of the already solid battle system from Stick of Truth getting a huge upgraded is also a potentially fantastic addition.
This could be much higher, but I’m coming at this film the same way I did with the first. I still know nothing about Guardians of the Galaxy, I haven’t researched much into it since the first movie, because honestly I find much more enjoyment just sitting back and watching the films without knowing anything. After all, the first film for me was one of the funniest films I watched that year, I loved it. So with the second one looking to be even funnier with Baby Groot and Drax upping the ante, I’m sold and can’t wait to sit down and for two hours straight have a massive smile on my face.
A lot of why this movie now means so much is absolutely the passing of Carrie Fisher back in late December. It will be a very somber moment in the theater the first time we see her on screen and I imagine every moment afterwards almost being awkward. Aside from that depression, I was shocked by how much I actually enjoyed Episode VII, I fully expected to not necessarily hate it, but leave underwhelmed. Instead, I left excited and actually looking forward to a Star Wars film again (then Rogue One surprised us and holy shit I loved that too!). Now I’m just waiting for what I want to happen so bad: Rei turning to the Dark Side. Because she’s a bad girl…or at least I want her to be.
I know, I know, why am I putting a Spider-Man movie over Guardians and Star Wars?! Well it’s simple, for the first time in years, I actually trust a Spider-Man movie, because after Captain America: Civil War, they’ve shown that they can treat Spider-Man with respect and write him properly. Peter Parker as everyone’s friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man remains my favourite superhero, because I grew up with the 90s cartoon, the SNES video games, all that jazz, he was front and center. So for me to believe this movie is actually going to be amazing (pun half-intended), there’s no way I’m not putting this high on my list. It’s a biased list, come on!
Out of all the movies I’m going to see this year, this one holds the most value to me. Not because of anything specific to the film, but because this movie holds a place with my girlfriend and myself. The film is being written, produced and directed by Luc Besson, who also did the same for The Fifth Element, the film that my girlfriend and I watched together not long after we started dating and became really the film I associate with her and our relationship. So to actually have a movie coming out that I have to watch with her, instead of a movie I could watch with her, I’m super excited to bring her into the theaters and watch this movie like we’re nine years younger when we were first dating.
I know, you’re probably so shocked that this game is on the list and so high on it. Persona 4 is one of my favourite games, not just JRPGs, but one of my favourite games of all-time. So for me to have to wait this goddamn long for the sequel has be chomping at the bits and salivating at the opportunity to finally get to play a brand new Persona game and re-experience what was really the last JRPG to have me fully invested and immersed in its world. It’s to the point that I’ve pretty much looked at nothing related to the game, because I want to go in blind and learn everything myself, the same way I did with Persona 3 and Persona 4, when we lived in a time where there weren’t a hundred trailers and tens of thousands of informational videos on every single game.
And speaking of games I’ve looked at absolutely nothing on, here’s my #1. In the last decade, there has been no franchise out there that I have been more excited for, that I’ve enjoyed more, that I’ve talked about more than Mass Effect. Despite the questionable ending to the original trilogy, I will argue until the end of time how that trilogy was one of the best piece of game writing I may ever play. But if there was one thing I wanted to see from Mass Effect it was this:
I want a Mass Effect game where I’m not a warlord, a badass, a legendary soldier. I want to be an explorer, find new worlds, make first contact with new races.
I had no idea how fast a Mass Effect game would go that route. With Andromeda, that’s essentially what the game will be, a single-game story where you are the first explorers going outside the Milky Way. Which is exactly why I’ve watched nothing on the game, I want to treat the game the same way the characters will, I want everything I see to be the first time I see it, so that my reactions to it are unbiased and they’re not changed based on what I’ve seen videos or images on. And that potential is so exciting to me, a game that’s literally unknown to me. It sounds dangerous when it could be an awful game, but when BioWare has earned so much trust from me, to the point that even Mass Effect 3’s ending didn’t really burn any bridges at all with me, that means something. Because unlike a lot of pissed off players, I enjoyed the other 200+ hours I put in the game that the ending just wasn’t bad enough to break me out of that love for the prior time I put into it.
Thanks for reading this week’s top 10, hope you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to list the things you’re looking forward to this year in the comments below. Keep the conversation going!