We’ve got two days to the end of 2016, and while we’re still reeling from the tragic loss of the great Carrie Fisher, it’s time to come together and bring the year to a close on a happier note. So we got our Geeks to give their take on what we consider the best of the past 365 days. Because we’re not a democracy, there is no voting and therefore no single winner for each category.
Below are our picks for Comics and Games, while our picks for Movies, TV and Gear will come
tomorrow morning whenever I get around to it.
Best Comic of 2016
To qualify for this category, the comic must be published in 2016.
DC Universe: Rebirth #1
This single issue filled long-time DC fans like myself with so much hope. Crafted by an all-star team of writer Geoff Johns and artists Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis and Phil Jimenez, it tried its best to tidy up all the mess earlier reboots had done to the DC Universe. If you look at this as a single issue, it’s a terrific story with more than a few memorable moments for old fans such as the return of Wally West and a nod to the Legion of Super-Heroes. Unfortunately, I wasn’t blown away by the subsequent Rebirth titles but I’m still hoping DC stories will improve in a big way in 2017. (Melvin Yong)
The Resident Tourist
Troy Chin’s The Resident Tourist series of comics is a profoundly personal and authentic autobiography on his life as a Singaporean. Now into his eighth part, Troy shares his NS experience in the late ’90s when he was holed up in Sungei Gedong camp as part of the 42nd Singapore Armoured Regiment. His experiences will resonate with those who feel out-of-place in Singapore society. For one, Troy’s choice to pursue his passion as a comics illustrator fascinates people, yet confounds them because he shuns the stereotypical typical path to success despite his educational background. You can purchase the book online from BooksActually. There is also an ongoing promotion until 31 December where you can obtain a 40% discount while using the code “GRINCH40”. (SataySauce)
Archie: Volume One
I still like how it’s a very good update from what we were used to 10-20 years ago. Almost meta. (Kakita)
The Wicked + The Divine
My comic of the year would be Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s The Wicked + The Divine. A fantastic (and fantastical) look at pop culture, this year has been full of amazing twists and turns. The duo also continue to push the medium, as can be seen by the recent issue #23. The Wicked + The Divine 1831 was an amazing side story that just showed how much material there was to be mined out there.
That said, Sonny Liew’s The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye might have won this year – if it didn’t already win last year. 🙂 International release ftw! (Direcow)
Marjorie Liu’s first creator-owned comic work, but you would never have guessed it because of how good it is. After years of writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy and comic book superheroes, Marjorie now gives life to a familiar yet distinct anti-hero protagonist in Maika Half-Wolf. Monstress is both dark fantasy epic and political allegory, and Marjorie has found the perfect collaborator in Sana Takeda (they first teamed up together for X-23), whose obvious manga influences bring a brighter energy to the comic. An Image series with two female creators, one Asian-American, one Japanese, creating a world where many of the leads are women of colour? It’s a story worth re-reading. (Peter Lin)
Best Video Game of 2016
To qualify for this category, the video game must be published in 2016.
Lanterns: The Harvest Festival
Since I don’t own a gaming console and work only on a Mac, my digital gaming choices are pretty limited but I do play my fair share of iOS games. My pick for favourite new gaming app would be Lanterns: The Harvest Festival. Based on the award-winning boardgame, this is a simple tile laying, set collection game with lots of depth and strategy. It’s asynchronous, making it extra fun to play with friends online. (Melvin Yong)
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is the latest in the turn-based strategy series which started back in the early ’90s. Players found a civilization in 4000 BC, and then lead it through different technological eras through to the 21st century. Newcomers to the series are likely to find the game inaccessible because of the fairly-intricate game mechanics, in which players must balance the competing needs for technological development, commerce, infrastructure, diplomacy, and war. However, to veterans of the series, the development team strove to re-invent aspects of the game. Civ 6 introduces the concept of districts, allowing cities to develop comparative advantages over others. Also, units of the same type can now be combined into a larger corps and armies to make it easier to surround enemy cities and conquer them. (SataySauce)
XCOM 2 slightly ekes out Civ 6 as my pick. From my earlier review, “I don’t want to oversell it, and I don’t think I can. For anyone who loved XCOM, and honestly for anyone who even enjoys turn-based tactical games, this is a no-brainer. Between the awesomeness of the game, the awesomeness of the mod support and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) the awesomeness of the story, I can’t (at present moment) think of any game that will wrench the title of ‘personal favourite game of 2016’ from XCOM 2. It is my Force Awakens, and my Mad Max: Fury Road.” (Kakita)
Quite simply, Overwatch. No other game is quite so easy to play, yet contains so much depth – both in terms of story and gameplay. That people are still often sharing videos from the game shows how memorable it is. Blizzard’s done an amazing job, from seasonal events, to an ARG to launch a new character. Can’t wait to see what’s next!
That said, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Civilization VI, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier and XCOM 2 all showed just how you can do a sequel right. You know, I have so many other games I want to highlight, but we have space limits. 🙁 (Direcow)
MARVEL Avengers Academy
No mobile app took up more of my time (and money) this year than MARVEL Avengers Academy. Avengers Academy honed freemium gameplay to an art. Can you enjoy the game without paying developers TinyCo a single cent? Sure! But there’s just so many great premium characters, so many events and quests that would be significantly easier, just by paying money. And when you look at the quality of the game, the star-studded voice casting, including Priyanka Chopra as Kamala Khan, Alison Brie as Black Widow and Alexandra Daddario as Janet van Dyne, you’re compelled to shill out more than a bit of cash to show TinyCo your appreciation. (Peter Lin)
tomorrow soon for our Best of Movies, TV and Gear!