As we say hello to the 2020’s I thought I’d share some of my best moments of the decade. A lot has happened, there’s been plenty of ups and downs but across the things covered by Out of Lives most of it was good. Well, most of what I bothered with was good at any rate. So here is my totally non-scientific top 10 things of the decade.
10. Dragon Age: Inquisition’s Opening
You load the game, the menu screen appears. A bunch of soldiers and mages trudge along the snow-covered mountain path towards a temple in the distance. It’s picturesque. You select “New Game” from the menu and *BANG* a huge explosion rips through the scene and sends you into a humongous fantasy adventure. It’s fair to say I loved DA:I it was compelling, it was beautiful and it was outstanding. The characters, the world, the melding of even the little side quests into the larger narrative. I hadn’t experienced another game quite like it and I might not ever again.
9. Jade Bird
I spent most of this decade in a sort of musical slump. I fell out of love with music and it took a long time before I started to reconnect with it in a truly meaningful way. It all started when YouTube’s algorithm recommended a video to me by Jade Bird. Despite being new on the scene at that time, she’s become one of my favourite artists very quickly. Her place on the list was sealed when I realised this was where my musical reawakening started.
8. Playing With Mates
I’m sure they’ll laugh when they read this because I’m notoriously difficult to get online at times. But despite that, they’ve persevered and we’ve had some incredible fun as a result. From the early days of Ark: Survival Evolved when it was in early access and a bug resulted in the deaths of several Ankylos that took 15 hours to tame… each. To the countless hours spent mining the P’s (Painite, Platinum and Palladium) in Elite: Dangerous. And of course, our gradual rise in rank in Rocket League before dropping off a cliff for no reason. It’s been great fun and I hope that the 2020’s will deliver even more.
7. The Podcast Where Alfred Tried To Spoil Mass Effect: Andromeda
During Episode 75 of the Out of Lives Podcast, Alfred decided to go on a long rant where he basically spelled out the entire plot of Mass Effect: Andromeda. He did so without really using the right names, or places but it was still a fairly detailed blow by blow account of the first 20 hours of gameplay. Instead of cutting it out I embarked on one of the most ambitious editing jobs of my very short amateur career as an editor and beeped the details out. Leaving a hilarious rambling mess, full of beeps, that still makes me laugh when I think about it.
6. Crying Whilst Playing Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture
EGTTR is a beautiful looking game and a beautiful sounding one as well. The orchestral music and choir singing are wonderful and it’s all woven together with this emotional roller-coaster of a narrative. I cried a few times playing it. One moment that sticks out is when I followed the light of the old man into the church. That character reminded me of my grandfather who was seriously ill at the time. I heard his final moments, then stepped outside. With the music reverberating through my headphones into my soul, I looked at an incredibly detailed night sky. It was an incredibly touching moment and the tears just flowed.
5. Vault of Glass – Destiny
The early days of the Vault of Glass Raid were incredible. My friend Dale and I managed to pull together a random collection of strangers from across the globe to build a fireteam big enough to tackle the raid. The first week we were so under levelled we got one-shotted by the lowest tier goblins at the entrance. It took us almost a month to complete the raid with so many laugh out loud moments. The one I remember most fondly is HairyPickle failing repeatedly to jump across the large gap to the wall before the boss arena.
We’d been in the raid about 5 hours, it was 3am for both me and Dale and we came into an area with disappearing platforms to get across a massive gap to a wall on the other side. If you fell to your death at any point you had to start at the beginning again. And HairyPickle just couldn’t do it. He laughed, we laughed, we watched from the finish line as he fell again and again. I knocked Dale off the wall with my melee and he had to start again. Thus began the melee battle where we tried to knock one another off. Each time someone respawned they’d pass HairyPickle and rejoin the melee battle… hilarious.
4. The MCU
What a decade it’s been for the MCU. A truly remarkable feat of entertainment. Many have tried to replicate their model this decade such has been its success and most have failed spectacularly. Kevin Feige and his team at Marvel and all the directors, writers, casts and crews have achieved something monumental. Now they’re starting over I wonder if my list in 10 years time will still make mention of the MCU in a positive light.
I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts. Like genuinely far too many. There’s so many stand outs that I couldn’t pick just one to go on the list. Collectively they’ve been there to pick me up when I’m down, make me laugh when I frown and generally make the days a little bit nicer. So to Elis James & John Robins, John Zhu, IGN UK, Matt, Jess & Dave of Do Go On and so many others… I hope you’ll be with me through another 10 years.
2. The Wolven Storm – The Witcher 3
Naturally the whole game belongs on my list as it’s been my unironic GOTY every year since it came out. I can talk about that game for hours – and I have – but to pick a single moment that always stuck with me from the game, the most striking among a litany of brilliant moments, is Priscilla’s Song “The Wolven Storm”. The first time I sat in the tavern with Zoltan and watched/listened to that song took my breath away. A truly stand out moment.
“Hang on a minute.” I hear you cry. “Only number 2 on the list? Did I hit my head?” Well… no. I didn’t but I think you’ll find my number 1 is worthy of its place.
1. The Friends Made Along The Way.
Bit of a cliché but it’s absolutely true. The 2 year run-up to the PS4 and Xbox One launches defined a big part of the last decade for me. Seeking out the latest news and opinions on the upcoming consoles got me into a number of podcasts. That led me to some facebook fan groups and that led to my getting involved in stuff for Out of Lives. Every podcast, every article, every laugh that’s brought me has made a massive positive difference in my life.
I don’t know what the future holds, as I write this I’m in the midst of yet another home move, but I hope that once I’m settled this time…. It’ll bring plenty more podcasts, articles and laughs with everyone at Out of Lives.
Oh, who am I kidding? The Witcher 3 is actually my number 1 and we all know it. Still, coming second behind The Witcher 3 isn’t something to be ashamed of friends. Maybe for my 2030 list you’ll have made it to number 1!