The Best and Worst of 2016
By Ethan McIntyre
Well, 2016 is nearly over. It’s been a rough year, for many reasons (the most recent of which being the tragic passing of Carrie Fisher). However, despite all the bad, there were some bright moments. I’d like to take this time to reflect on some of the best (and worst) aspects of 2016.
Best Movie: Rogue One
This one is a bit tricky, because to be honest, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story isn’t actually my favorite movie of the year (that distinction goes to Captain America: Civil War). However, what sets Rogue One apart is what the film represents. I am a die-hard Star Wars fan. I have been for as long as I can remember. When The Force Awakens hit theaters last year, I was blown away by it, and hoped that the franchise had been reinvigorated. However, there was always a bit of doubt at the back of my mind. Maybe it was a fluke. I felt I had to reserve judgment until at least the second film came out.
Luckily, that film is here, and it’s great. While Rogue One has some flaws, it’s still an incredibly fun film and a worthy entry in the Star Wars franchise. This movie proved that Star Wars is back for good, and it managed to tell a story in the universe outside of the main Skywalker saga - that’s a huge accomplishment, and for that reason, it gets my pick as the best movie of 2016.
Worst Movie: Batman v. Superman
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we’ve got Batman v. Superman. What should’ve been a slam-dunk idea - take DC’s most iconic superheroes and put them together in one huge feature - instead became a bloated, confusing mess. While Ben Affleck’s performance as Bruce Wayne was a high point of the film, the actual character of Batman bared little resemblance to his comic book incarnation. Add to that a nonsensical script and Zack Snyder’s trademark gritty, joyless visuals, and you’ve got the cinematic train wreck that is BvS.
Wonder Woman was pretty cool, though.
Best Game: Overwatch
I imagine this game will be topping a lot of “Best Of” lists this year. While Overwatch doesn’t have much of a story, it does have a colorful cast of characters, beautiful visuals, and most importantly, extremely fun gameplay. Much like Rogue One, I don’t know if I’d necessarily call Overwatch my ‘favorite’ game of 2016 (after all, Deus Ex came out this year), but it’s certainly the one I returned to most. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of Blizzard’s shooter, and played many a fun match with friends. Therefore, I feel like I have to give it the prize.
Worst Game: Mighty No. 9
Mighty No. 9 was a game that seemed to have so much potential. A spiritual successor to Mega Man, created by the legendary Keiji Inafune himself? What more could a fan want?
Unfortunately, a troubled production and numerous delays took a clear toll on the game. The end result was a mess, with strange mechanics and a general lack of fun. While it was a small title, it was one I had held out a lot of hope for, and its failure was a huge disappointment.
Best Comic: DC Rebirth
The DC comics universe has needed a breath of fresh air for some time now (for about five years, in many people’s opinions). Despite the company’s huge roster of famous characters, their books were simply not holding the attention of many readers, most of whom were turned off by the grim and serious tone of the New 52. A change was needed.
Luckily, Geoff Johns delivered that change with an incredibly one-shot issue called DC Rebirth, which brought back some much-loved aspects of the pre-New 52 universe, hinted at much more, and generally brought a sense of fun back the comics. Most of the relaunched books have been great, and personally, I’m very excited at where the stories seem to be heading.
Worst Comic: Civil War II
Then, of course, there’s Marvel’s Civil War II event, which sees Iron Man and Captain Marvel fighting over the abilities of a precognitive inhuman. The whole conflict is ridiculous (Ulysses is far from the first precognitive character in the Marvel universe), everyone is acting out of character, and for an event called Civil War, there’s not much action. Factor in numerous delays and the relaunch of most of Marvel’s lineup (after only a year of the ‘All-New, All-Different’ branding), and it’s easy to see why this is my least favorite comic of 2016.