The second annual Rhodes Review Awards are here! There was no Awards post last year, because I was busy with basic training. So, it’s not the 2nd straight annual, but it’s still the 2nd overall. Anyway, these are all of my favorite games, shows, movies, and comics that came out this year! Maybe the best, but definitely my favorites.
ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Winner: Matt Damon (The Martian)
Matt Damon isn’t my favorite actor, but he always does a great job in whatever he’s in. The Martian is no different, except in that he has to carry most of the movie himself. There are plenty of characters in The Martian, but I want to say that 75% of the movie is Matt Damon talking to himself on Mars. It takes a good script (taken from a good book) and a good actor to pull that off. Great performance.
Honorable Mentions: Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Harrison Ford (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Winner: Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Force Awakens put on a performance that has mesmerized audiences for the past couple of weeks. Everyone loves her. Or at least her character, Rey. She’s the #1 most popular actress on IMDB. She has given us a character that is funny, likable, honest, and a badass. I mean, she’s the complete package, basically. (She’s also beautiful, but that’s not why she gets my award. That smile!) That could come off as really cheesy if you have the wrong person in the role. But Daisy brings Rey to life. She gives her depth. She is the Star Wars hero that we’ve been waiting for. Maybe I’m blinded by my Star Wars fandom, but Daisy Ridley is my actress of the year.
Honorable Mentions: Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Amy Poehler (Inside Out), Jennifer Lawrence (Mockingjay Part 2), Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)
DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Winner: JJ Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
I knew Abrams would make a good Star Wars movie, but he surpassed my expectations. Bravo.
Honorable Mentions: Ridley Scott (The Martian), Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)
TV SHOW OF THE YEAR
I’ve never been a fan of Daredevil before, but I am now. Netflix and Marvel put together one kick ass show with amazing characters. Both heroes and villains are interesting. I can’t wait for season 2 with Punisher next year!
There were a lot of shows that I could put on the honorable mentions list, but I picked a few favorites.
Honorable Mentions: Agents of SHIELD, Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul, Doctor Who
ANIMATED TV SHOW OF THE YEAR
Winner: Star Wars Rebels
Okay, so, let’s be honest here. Star Wars: Rebels is the only animated show that I watch, but it’s really good, and would probably still be my favorite if I watched other animated shows. Rebels had a good first season, but it’s gotten much better in season 2 with the inclusion of Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, and Darth Vader. I especially like they’re actually working with the Rebel Alliance now. I definitely recommend this one!
ANIMATED MOVIE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Inside Out
I’ve only seen one animated movie this year, but it was a good one. I didn’t see Inside Out until it was out on DVD, but I wasn’t disappointed. It was Pixar at it’s best and who doesn’t love Amy Poehler in anything she does? Great movie.
MOVIE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens
Maybe I’m still blinded by my Star Wars fandom, but The Force Awakens was my favorite movie that I saw this year. It was fun, exciting, and had a great story. The mix of old and new was perfect. I loved everything about it. Yeah, definitely my movie of the year.
I feel like there weren’t a lot of amazing movies this year. It was much easier to make his honorable mentions list, compared to the TV show list.
Honorable Mentions: The Martian, Mad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mockingjay Part 2
PLAY OF THE YEAR
I haven’t seen many plays, but I did see Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch when I was in London this Fall. It was brilliant. I’m no theatre connoisseur, but it deserves my play of the year award for sure.
COMIC SERIES OF THE YEAR
Winner: Star Wars (Marvel)
I’m not going to pick one specific series for series of the year. What did I enjoy the most in comics this year? Anything Star Wars that Marvel has thrown out there. They kept me coming back excited week after week, some even being connected to others. I also like that there’s not too many series to keep up with, like in Marvel’s regular comic universe. If I did pick one series, it would be Star Wars: Kanan, though. I feel like it’s the freshest material out of the bunch.
Honorable Mention: Saga, The Walking Dead
NOVEL OF THE YEAR
Winner: Star Wars: Aftermath
Star Wars: Aftermath isn’t the only novel that I’ve read this year, but it’s one of the only news that I read. I read a lot for school, so I don’t always have time for novels. I read more comics, because there’s not as much of a time investment. However, I am much pickier about what novels I read, than comics.
So, Aftermath is my favorite novel this year, and it’s not just by default. It got some bad reviews, but I really enjoyed it. It’s got Wedge Antilles and a new group of heroes that join together to fight the remnants of the Empire. A common theme for Star Wars, but a good story all the same. The next one is even more promising, because they’ll be allowed to reveal a lot more now that TFA has been released.
FPS GAME OF THE YEAR
Winner: Star Wars: Battlefront (PS4)
At one point, I wasn’t even sure I was going to buy Battlefront, but I’m glad that I did. It might not have a campaign/story mode, but Battlefront does have a really fun multiplayer setup for Star Wars fans like me and my brother. I’ve had a lot of fun playing with him and with other friends and strangers online. The future only looks brighter with lots of DLC on the way. If they do make a sequel, I hope it has a story mode, though. The same game set during The Force Awakens with a story mode? That would be perfect.
Honorable Mention: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
ACTION/ADVENTURE GAME OF THE YEAR
Winner: Rise of the Tomb Raider (XBO)
I was able to get an Xbox One this Summer with the lowered prices and I’m glad that I did. One reason that I’m glad is because I got to play Rise of the Tomb Raider this Fall instead of next Fall. I really liked the first game in the rebooted series, but I LOVED Rise of the Tomb Raider. Lara doesn’t question her toughness anymore. She’s a badass adventurer and she knows it. Couple that with a really interesting storyline and I was hooked. You know it’s a good game if you can’t put it down. I hope they keep it going and start developing the next sequel!
Honorable Mentions: Batman: Arkham Knight, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
SPORTS GAME OF THE YEAR
Winner: Madden NFL 16 (PS4)
Madden wins by default, because it was the only sports game I played this year. Regardless of that fact, it was just as enjoyable an experience as always!
ADVENTURE GAME OF THE YEAR
Winner: Game of Thrones (PC/PS4)
Some episodes were better than others, but Telltale’s first season of Game of Thrones was still my favorite point and click game this year. I was always interested in what was coming up in the next episode and now I’m especially interested in what is coming up next season. I do hope some things go right for our heroes, though. That finale was BLEAK. Even for Game of Thrones standards.
Honorable Mentions: Life is Strange (PC)
BEST HANDHELD GAME OF THE YEAR
Winner: Majora’s Mask (3DS)
It wasn’t exactly anything new like A Link Between Worlds, but that’s OK. They took an old classic (and personal favorite of mine), revived it, and brought it to a new generation of Zelda fans. I really hope that next year’s Zelda game on Wii U takes some inspiration from Majora’s Mask.
RPG OF THE YEAR
Winner: Fallout 4 (PS4)
I don’t see a lot of places qualifying Fallout 4 as an RPG, but I think that’s what it is. The Wikipedia page says it’s an Action RPG, so I guess that’s a sub-category of RPGs? Anyway, I think Fallout 4 is an RPG, and it’s my favorite one that I played this year. It’s also the only one that I played this year, but no matter. It’s a great one!
CHARACTER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Evie and Jacob Frye (Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate)
The Frye Twins are an easy choice for my favorite gaming characters this year. Jacob gets on my nerves a bit, but I think that’s sort of the point. I get annoyed with my siblings sometimes as well. Not so much nowadays, but maybe being a twin is a little different. Anyway, they play really well off of each other. They’re not carbon copies of each other. It’s not like Ubisoft made a copy of the male character and put a female face on it. It’s two separate and fleshed out characters that you get to play as and it’s awesome. These characters and their story have made me positive about the Assassin’s Creed franchise again. I hope the next AC game (and the movie) are just as good as this one. If I had to pick a favorite twin, it’s obviously Evie. I identify with her much more than Jacob. She is mature and uses her brain, while Jacob is quite the opposite. Jacob isn’t dumb. He’s just immature and reckless. I’m much more of a calculating person, like Evie. If I were an Assassin, I’d definitely prefer stealth over power. But that’s the beauty of this game. You can choose your character for the appropriate situations. It’s a good gameplay device and a good way to experience both of these interesting characters.
Honorable Mention: Lara Croft (Rise of the Tomb Raider), Sole Survivor (Fallout 4)
DOG OF THE YEAR
Winner: Dogmeat (Fallout 4)
There was only one possible winner here. How can you not love Dogmeat?
MMO OF THE YEAR
Winner: The Elder Scrolls Online (PS4)
I’ve never been a big MMO guy. I never played WOW, like a lot of my friends, and the world did. The Old Republic is one that I enjoy more and more, but my favorite MMO that I played this year was TESO on the PS4. I’ve gone on some grand adventures in Tamriel this year and I’ll be jumping back in again soon for some more. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s a really fun game. I especially like how the game changes the world state for you. Like if you win a battle, most of the time that area will update and the enemies will be gone. I hate that about other MMOs. You finish a mission and it’s like you never even did anything. That’s just one reason that I enjoyed it so much. I don’t know what the game is like on the PC, but it’s a lot of fun on the PS4.
Honorable Mention: Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC)
DLC OF THE YEAR
Winner: Tresspasser (Dragon Age: Inquisition)
Tresspasser was my favorite DLC this year. It had a good balance of action and story stuff. More importantly, Tresspasser did a really good job of wrapping up Inquisition and simultaneously setting up a huge potential sequel. They have to make that sequel, right? Right?!
GAME OF THE YEAR
Winner: Fallout 4
There were some good games that came out this year. Surprisingly, Assassin’s Creed was one of them. But my favorite is Fallout 4. It’s my game of the year because the gameplay is great, the story is great, and there’s SO MUCH TO DO. It’s true value. These days games don’t always have much of that, but Fallout 4 is a great game that is packed with hours of gameplay. I can’t look past that. Not only that, but I bet there’s some awesome DLC coming that will make this awesome game even better.
Honorable Mentions: Rise of the Tomb Raider, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
MOST ANTICIPATED 2016 GAME
Winner: Mass Effect: Andromeda
Um, this is a no brainer. I hope it doesn’t get pushed back to 2017. I need new Mass Effect in my life ASAP!
Honorable Mentions: No Man’s Sky, Star Wars (Visceral Games), The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)
Those are all of my favorite things from 2015! How about y’all?