I’ll be honest: I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from the past twelve months in terms of new entertainment releases. Let’s not forget that 2017 delivered the sequel to my favourite JRPG with Persona 5, gave me a new Nier game, brought me new material from The Upbeats, Major Lazer and Shobaleader One… heck, we even got a decent Sonic game in Mania. With all of this in mind I kind of expected the shortlist titled “Qazi’s Disposable 2018” to provide evidence of a “filler” year – one with plenty of content to enjoy but nothing on the same scale as 2017’s output. This is why I was so pleasantly surprised with the things that I’ve been enjoying in 2018.
Qazi’s Disposable 2018 – music
If the Qazi’s Disposable 2018 shortlist was in physical form it would be full of hasty scribbles and Tipp-Ex as new things regularly edged into old lists, and nowhere was this more apparent than when I was checking out new music. There are a few albums I simply couldn’t cover on this site because I was spending too much time listening to things and not enough time talking about them, but notables outside of the website include The Pack EP by the Upbeats/Truth, Deep News by Halogenix, Collapse EP by Aphex Twin and where’s the drop? by deadmau5. Whether you like layered melodies, big beats or atmospheric wobbles, there was a lot to enjoy – however, I think the best thing I ended up reviewing was No Tourists. It marked a maturing of The Prodigy and showed that they were willing to embrace their older electronic roots when Fat of the Land came so close to discarding them. Elsewhere, The Pack EP was probably the best thing that missed a review: four compact but punchy experiences that all have their own identity and are all worth listening to.
Qazi’s Disposable 2018 – gaming
As mentioned in my intro, I didn’t think there would be a whole lot of noteworthy titles in the gaming segment when shortlisting names for Qazi’s Disposable 2018. I couldn’t be more wrong. Dragonball FighterZ started the year with a bang, boasting some of the prettiest visuals of any game I played this year and maintaining an enjoyable balance of accessibility and depth. Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition finally finished the game’s transformation from a rushed-out mess to a fully-formed fighter. PSVR continued to remind people that the right combination of game and hardware can create an experience as intoxicating as Tetris Effect or the Wipeout Omega Collection update. Oh, and Celeste propelled itself from “that thing I bought with spare PSN change” to the top of my game of the year list because the difficulty is pitched so well and it’s wrapped up in some great presentation. (In hindsight, however, I think it runs the risk of beating you over the head with its theming… and although the writing gets praised for acknowledging a minority, there are a lot of smaller narrative elements that speak to other audiences. I’d argue that the broader themes of crushing self-doubt and glimmers of self-belief – things that everyone can relate to – are every bit as valid as the examination of anxiety and the exploration of mental health.)
Qazi’s Disposable 2018 – miscellany
As for other stuff? I ended up catching up with a slowly building backlog of Blu-Rays, returned to some old favourites via Amazon Prime and the like… and I sadly had no time to watch Die Hard on Christmas Eve (however, during the holiday I somehow ended up randomly discovering old episodes of Batman: The Animated Series on Amazon Prime, which was as entertaining as it sounds.) A special mention to Rampage – the Dwayne Johnson film based on the Midway arcade game – I ended up renting this digitally before it came out on Blu-Ray, and it’s the perfect celebration of Hollywood excess and dumb videogame setups.
Tips for 2019
So what have we got to look forward to? The third season of The Grand Tour will be released, so hopefully that will maintain the stronger format of the second series… In music, Major Lazer will release the Essentials collection in physical form (and – despite there being no indication of it – I’ll personally be crossing my fingers for The Prodigy to announce “No Tourists: The Remixes” or something similar…) With regards to gaming, Sekiro will be released and everyone will pigeonhole it into pigeonholes instead of praising the game for its own ideas, we’ll finally find out what Babylon’s Fall is about (because they’ll reveal more information and it won’t just vanish into obscurity, right? Right?) Oh and maybe I’ll follow up my Persona 1 rambling with a look at P2: Innocent Sin. Don’t hold me to that though.
Thanks to anyone who’s taken the time to read our content during 2018 – leave a comment if you’d like to let us know what your highlights of 2018 were, or if there’s anything you’re looking forward to next year.