Nathan’s Top 5s of the Year

Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be sharing our top 5s of 2015, from everyone who writes here at The Lost Lighthouse. Here is Nathan’s Top 5 of everything he consumed this year.

So here it is my 5 top 5’s of the year. I have gone for Games, Apps, Songs, Films and TV Shows. I would’ve included comics but I haven’t read that many and I would’ve liked to have included albums too, but the app category will clarify why I haven’t. There will be a few honourable mentions too. I will note that some of the choices may not have been from this year, however they are films, songs or TV shows I have been introduced to this year. I have also split the games between apps and consoles as well.

 

App’s

5. Candy Crush – Soda Saga
I know a lot of you find this annoying because everyone plays it, but it is brilliantly addictive and keeps the mind going. Also has the added advantage of being offline which makes things useful when you’re in the middle of nowhere and want to play some games.

4. 9gag
If you haven’t been introduced to 9gag yet, I suggest you get on the website and you’ll never leave. The app version is a quick and handy way to see all the hilarious posts of the day. You will be forever entertained with 9gag.

3. Spotify
I have always shunned away from Spotify as I wasn’t a fan of paying monthly for music, however I got it for free with my phone contract and I have to say it is possibly the most used app on my phone. Mainly because I am driving everywhere but the new Discover feature is brilliant. Every week I get 30 tracks I may or may not have heard before. It actually turns out that all my top 5 songs are from Spotify Discover. I haven’t tried the Running feature yet though, because that involves running.

2. Monument Valley
The only paid app in this list, but my god is it worth it. This game (also available offline) is a puzzle based adventure game, where you have to traverse levels and move the environment around you in order to open up new paths and doors. It is absolutely brilliant and worth the price.

1.Fallout Shelter

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I think everyone played this game. I couldn’t put this game down for ages. My girlfriend had to pretty much give me her iPad so I could play it. What a way to keep you interested in Fallout 4 by giving you this little gem. Many of my friends have shown me their shelters and some of them are extremely impressive. Definitely my app of the year.

 

Songs
Honourable mention to August Turns Red – Wrecking Ball, love a hilarious metal cover of a pop song.

5. The Hunter – Slaves
Not my normal genre of music but there’s something very likeable about this song. It is Royal Blood meets Sex Pistols, with a bit of 90’s britpop thrown in. Truly brilliant if you’re angry and want something to sing a long to to get the anger out.

4. Rasputin – Turisas
I will say that I am a massive fan of a metal cover of a pop song. This is one of the many songs that appeared on my Spotify list this year. Turisas are a Finnish folk metal band (I never knew such a thing existed) and the cover of Boney M’s ‘Rasputin’ is brilliant. They’ve even thrown in an extra verse to be safe. Fantastic cover that everyone should listen to.

3. Drink – Alestorm
If you like Pirates and if you like drinking, this is the track for you. The song reminds me of a famous night out I had and every time it comes on I am reminded of that night. Guaranteed you will singing this loud and clearly when you have a few beers and rums down you and surrounded by good friends.

2. Sail – Devildriver
Another metal cover yes, but I feel that this song is the song that the original should’ve been. Sail originally by Awolnation is brilliant in itself, mixes a chilled out dance vibe with screaming lyrics. Devildriver took it and added guitars and heavier lyrics. You can’t hate the track, it is fantastic.

1.Cirice – Ghost


Now if you have heard of Ghost, you may be thinking good lord how can you listen to this. Ghost are a controversial band, with many songs about the devil and including satanic lyrics, however it seems like this is all an act (hopefully). Cirice is the song that first introduced me to Ghost and I have to say Meliora (the album) has managed to make its way into my desert island discs. I absolutely love this song and the album. Everyone should give it a listen, if you’re into that sort of thing.

 

TV Shows
Honourable mention to Kill La Kill, very good series and I’m sure it would’ve made the top 5 if I’d finished it.

5. Peep Show
I know the show just finished but I love Peep Show, nothing makes laugh out loud so hard than Peep Show. Odd-couple meets Britain. Mark and Jeremy would not be friends in real life yet they have struck this hilarious friendship together and their thoughts throughout the series are absolutely brilliant. The series ended quite weakly but it still didn’t stop it making my top 5.

4. Attack on Titan
The only anime in this list, but what a fantastic anime. Storyline is epic and it tugs your heart strings throughout and what an ending, literally cannot wait until the next series comes out. I did feel that the story jumped around a little too much but still, what a watch.

3. Sherlock
What? This is show is old. Yes I know it is but I’ve just started watching it this year and I really wish I hadn’t waited. What a brilliant series. Still trying to figure out my favourite episode from the whole saga. The Hounds of the Baskervilles? Maybe the one with Moriarty and the bombs? It’s a tough choice.

2. Game of Thrones
I’ll admit that this season of Game of Thrones has been a bit slow to start off with but still it doesn’t matter as it finished so strong with an incredible ending. Cannot wait for next year’s season to start *************************** (edit – Nathan said a bunch of spoilers) *********** Plus we’ll get to see what Bran has been up to, lazy bastard made no effort last season.

1.Narcos

Narcos
A Netflix original, but wow what a series. It follows the dealings of Pablo Escobar, the infamous Colombian drug dealer and the DEA agents trying to capture him. It is all based on true events which makes it brilliant and terrifying all at the same time. I enjoyed this show so much that I didn’t want to binge watch it, I wanted to make it last. Honestly stop any TV show you are watching and put this on instead.

 

Films

5. Blackfish
A documentary? Really? Yes, this does make the top 5. I  went to SeaWorld when I was younger, as well as Discovery Cove and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. However since watching this film, I actually now feel ashamed that I went there. It is a very in-depth insight to the cruel world that the Killer Whales endure whilst performing and what can happen when things go wrong and let’s face it, they’re called Killer Whales for a reason. Also a film with such a huge message to cause a $15 million loss to such a large enterprise.

4. Big Hero 6
I adore this film. Pixar kind of meets anime in a way, but obviously the film isn’t as successful as Inside Out, but I believe it is better. It is a film about a boy and a robot that tries to help and heal people. It should be noted that the robot is shaped like a large marshmallow. A classic Pixar film, definitely worth a watch.

3. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Of course this was in my top 5 and the only Marvel film to make the list. I’m sure Ant-Man would be in here but I haven’t seen it yet. It was nice to see the Avengers really struggle to being with and then completely overcome everything against all odds. Also I thought the introduction of Vision was a nice touch. Can’t wait for phase 3 to be in full swing, looking forward to the next Captain America film especially.

2. The Lego Movie
Yes I know this film was released last year, but I only saw it in January and I have been watching it all year. Everything about this film is awesome. Love the voice acting, Will Arnett as Batman is brilliant, as well as Morgan Freeman, but I have to say that Liam Neeson’s character was absolutely hilarious. A chair as a weapon of choice is brilliant.

1. Mad Max: Fury Road

Fury Road
This is it, the number 1 film of the year and I bet I’m not alone with this choice. Star Wars probably would’ve been number 1, but again haven’t seen it yet and I do plan to, but this film is absolutely brilliant. Not too dialogue heavy but filled with a huge amount of action, hilariously modded cars and a brilliant man who only plays the guitar on top of a huge lorry cab. I did think this film would be rubbish as it was a remake of sorts, however I was wrong, so very wrong.

 

Games
Honourable mention to The Witcher 3, game of the year, I imagine it is fantastic, just not my cup of tea

5. Sunset Overdrive
Probably not the best release this year, but I really enjoyed this game. It was colourful and fun throughout the entire thing. Also grinding on rails to travel is brilliant, and the weapons you had were hilarious. What a great game, but maybe not worth the full price when it first came out.

4. Evolve
One of my games on my top 5 to look forward to at the start of the year and I was 100% right. Running around trying to capture a truly terrifying beast or even better, be the beast and destroy all who try to stop you. It is tons of fun and really worth playing.

3. Dragon Age: Inquisition
I really enjoyed this game. Didn’t enjoy it at first as I was just stuck doing sidequests but then the storyline really opened up. The sidequests were fantastic too, I really did try my best to take down every dragon I could get my dirty hands on, just a shame my tactic is going in head first and hoping that I would deal enough damage to take it out quickly. I was right once, the rest I was dragonmeat.

2. Batmam: Arkham Knight
This was my number 1 game I was looking forward to this year, but only made number 2 on the list? Yes that’s right but don’t get me wrong, this is probably the best Batman game created, probably easily one of the best games ever created. The storyline is brilliant, keeps you going throughout the entire game but the sidequests were just as good. Chasing Firefly around the city, to uncovering a serial killer’s lair and taking him down. Also you have the Batmobile, or Bat Tank, enough said really.

1. Metal Gear Solid V:The Phantom Pain

MGSV
This was a shock to me, bought this on a whim because I enjoy Metal Gear Solid games. I’m still playing this game now, wanting to conquer all the sidequests, collect all the weapons and invade everyone’s base. Also there’s something gratifying taking down tanks with bazookas whilst listening to “The Final Countdown”. However it may be the last proper Metal Gear Solid ever made. Hideo Kojima is no longer working with Konami. He has said he will continue to create games elsewhere, but that may be a while yet. However, congratulations to Metal Gear Solid V:The Phantom Pain, you are my game of the year.

 

Nath

The Lost Lighthouse Xmas Top 10 Board Games Part 2

Welcome back readers! Today we continue our top 10 count down for The Lost Lighthouse Xmas Top 10 Board Games. Part 1 can be found here. We want more families away from the tv and playing together. Well, maybe some tv as well. So here’s our top 5!

5. Cosmic Encounters

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This was one of my first “modern” board game that forced me down the rabbit hole. Cosmic Encounters has all the ingredients needed for a great after Xmas meal game. Possibly the longest rules set of the top 10 but by no means unachievable to teach people, especially if you already know how to play the game. You are all alien races trying control the galaxy. Each of you draw a card that gives your aliens it’s own special rules, and the great thing is they go up in difficulty so you can keep it easy for people and just stick the green cards. You try to get your spaceships onto other players planets and once you hit 5 you win the game. If you haven’t picked this game up yet, please do! It’s amazing. 1-5 players, or more with expansions. For my full review click here.

4. Ca$h & Guns.

Possibly the king of party games. Certainly the top of my party game list. Ca$h & guns sees up to 8 players trying to dish out the loot after a bank heist, problem is, everyone wants the lions share. You all start with a hand of cards, some represent blanks, others bullets! You all, at the same time, place a card face down, then point your gun and another player. Some might get shot, some might not. Then people who haven’t been shot get to divide up the loot. And you do the same thing for a couple more rounds. Such a great game! And you get awesome foam guns!

3. Pictomania.

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Often referred to as Pictionary on speed, and rightfully so! Pictomania has up to 5 players trying to draw a thing/concept while, at the same time (!), guessing what the other players are drawing. The cards are set in difficulty so you can keep it simple if Nan has had a few too many snowballs! The laughter starts quickly and keeps building as you play. Trust me, drawing skills are not a necessity. 3-8 players. For my full review click here.

2. Dobble.

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Dobble was a surprise hit for me this year. I never excepted it to be so good. At it’s core, it’s a hardcore game of snap but it has so much more! There’s several variants included. You could crack this out at the staff party and within minutes people will be loving it! This is one of, if not the ultimate, stocking filler! For my full review click here.

1. Ticket To Ride.

Yes, it had to be. I’m making this a new Xmas day family tradition. Is it the best game on the list? Probably not, but it is the best game, to me, to get everyone involved. The theme is nice, the game takes minutes to learn and it lasts for just the right amount of time. It’s a simple game of building train routes and collecting points. longer the route, the more points, but if you don’t complete the route before the end of the game it will give you negative points. I’ve played Ticket To Ride loads of times, but if someone suggests playing it, I’m still super happy play.

Well we hope you enjoyed that. I can honestly, and full heartedly, recommend any of these games.

Have a great Xmas, and why not give one of these games a go with your family and friends!

What would you choose for your Xmas game?

Gary

Top 5 Games to Look Forward to in 2015

Nath tells us about the games that he is most looking forward to this year.

Now with the new year under way and the next gen consoles fully cemented in the gaming market, 2015 is looking like a very exciting year for the industry. I have been looking through the releases this year, even the TBA ones that may be put back even further and compiled a list of what I believe to be the best 5 games to look forward to this year.

 

5 – Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV is only number 5 for one reason, apprehension. I love the Final Fantasy series however I feel since Final Fantasy XII, Square Enix have lost their touch with them. I’m not sure what’s been going on, but I have found the storylines, characters and gameplay to be quite weak. Final Fantasy XII just didn’t thrill me at all, Final Fantasy XIII had an annoying storyline and some terrible characters and Final Fantasy XIV sounded like a complete disaster. I played it briefly, but I had invested a lot of time in Final Fantasy XI which I thought was amazing, but they just seem to scrap all the good parts of XI to make a disaster of a game.

(Editors note – Nath played XIV before A Realm Reborn, so maybe they fixed the game. But also maybe don’t release a broken game to begin with, and people won’t lose faith).

So what can we expect from XV? Well a new gameplay trailer has been released and it looks like the turn-based action has gone and they have taken on a sort of Devil May Cry option. This is exciting however the whole point of Final Fantasy was turn-based action, but I will go in with an open mind. I am more excited by this game than the other previous releases, so I am hoping the game lives up to the hype. However, I am annoyed that Square Enix are sitting there and not re-making Final Fantasy VII. It is the game everyone wants and surely you can skip the storyboard as the story doesn’t need altering. Release date is still TBA, but no doubt it could be 2016, here’s hoping it’s this year.

 

4 – Evolve

Evolve is a game I have been following a lot purely because I think the concept is brilliant. The concept is simple, there are 4 classes, Hunter, Support, Medic and Trapper. You must use your unique abilities to hunt, trap and kill a large monster in the game. Sounds pretty boring except the 5th player is the monster and there 4 to choose from Goliath, Kraken, Wraith and Behemoth, and your job is to stop the party from killing you. And that’s just the first game mode. There is also Nest, where you have to kill the monster’s eggs and the monster has to defend them, there’s Rescue where the team have to protect injured survivors, the monster has to kill them, there’s Defend where the team have to defend a power source, the monster has to destroy it and finally Evacuation which is the story mode of the game. All in all it looks likes a very good action-packed co-op game.

The release date is 10th February and you can only get the Behemoth monster if you have pre-ordered the game. Have a look at the trailers and the gameplay of it to see if this game is for you. There will certainly be a review coming for this game at some point.

 

3 – No Man’s Sky

This is a bit of a weird one, however it is one I am looking forward to. It is an open world adventure where you play a space explorer. You can interact with all the flora and fauna on every planet you encounter. There is also hostility and combat within the game too. You’re thinking this sounds like Destiny, however there is one massive catch. It is an infinite universe. Hello Games have created an algorithm that constantly generate planets. In total they have predicted that there will be 18 quintillion planets to explore. That’s 18,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in total and it would take you 5 billions years to explore them all. The whole point of the game is to get to the centre of the galaxy in order to become an even better space explorer. It can take between 40-100 hours to reach the centre if that is your main focus, but you should explore everything as you make your way to the centre.

This has a TBA release date too. It looks absolutely beautiful, definitely a game to watch out for this year, however you may not be able to play any other game if you try and complete this game.

 

2 – Doom

Now this is where I become a bit of a fanboy. I love Doom, I’ve loved every Doom game that has been released, every add-on. I’ve played every game level of every game, even tried nightmare mode very unsuccessfully but still I love this game. You can imagine how I felt when I heard there was a Doom 4, however it has dawned on me that Doom 4 is a reboot called Doom. I’m not sure if this means that it will be a reboot of the original or whether it is new gameplay, all I know is that iD is now owned by Bethesda so hopefully we can expect some big things. Some rumours have said that there will be sprinting, double jumping and mantling involved and just like the classic games, no regenerating health and no reloading. So we are looking at a reboot but with a few modern traits added. Apparently there was a gameplay trailer showed at Quakecon, however a video hasn’t surfaced yet.

Again this has a TBA release date so I can only assume that it could be pushed back, especially as there isn’t much information about it. However it is something I am hugely excited about. Lets hope there is more news to come.

 

1 – Batman – Arkham Knight

Now this has easily made number 1 on my list. I love the Arkham games. The first game surprised me, I didn’t think it would be any good, however I was wrong, so very wrong. This game was brilliant in so many ways, storyline, graphics and gameplay were fantastic which is rare among games nowadays. Arkham City introduced more villains and bigger area to explore, and was another brilliant game. This is the third instalment of the Arkham series, Origins is from a different developer. Arkham Knight is set in Gotham City, an environment 5 times bigger than Arkham City, the main villains are the Scarecrow, Two-Face, The Penguin, Harley Quinn and the Riddler. Shame there is no Joker, but still, he can’t have all the glory. You also have the Batmobile which is awesome, this allows you to move around the city with ease. There is also a new character created to be an antagonist called the Arkham Knight. I really, truly hope this game will be as good as its predecessors.

This game is scheduled for release on the 6th June this year. This game will certainly be reviewed and probably be the best game I will play this year. We shall see though, there are many other games being released this year that I am sure many other people will be excited about, however this is my top 5 and I will hopefully be able to play all of them thoroughly. I doubt I will have much of a life this year.

Nath

 

What games are you looking forward to this year? Let us know in the comments!