Top 10 Things to look forward to in 2012 (5~1)

Counting down to 2012, there are plenty of great releases within the tech, gaming, music and entertainment industry to look forward to. Let’s take a look at the top ten slices of awesome that 2012 will bring.

As this is a large post, it has been split up into two posts:

Please bear in mind that this post counts down from 5 to 1. If you haven’t yet taken a look at the 10 to 6, please remember to view those first by clicking here

5

The Dark Knight Rises
Type: Movie/Action
Date: 20th July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises comes in fifth place on this list probably because of the comic book geek within me and the fact that Arkham City was such an impressive game. After the success of second installment, The Dark Knight featuring Heath Ledger as the Joker, it’s no surprise that this movie is topping several “most anticipated movies of 2011″ lists.

Admittedly, there are many themes of Arkham City/Asylum that I wish were part of Chris Nolan’s Batman but compared to several other superhero full motion video movies (particularly DC), Nolan does an excellent job and I have no doubt that the next installment will be very entertaining.

For the third installment of the Batman film series, Christian Bale is joined by Tom Hardy as Bane and all-time babe, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.  Never been a big fan of Catwoman so no big deal to me but let’s hope that Hathaway takes some tips from Arkham City where Catwoman was  portrayed perfectly. Bane on the other hand will be an interesting addition of brute strength.

Here’s something I’ve noticed: In the first movie the main villain was Ra’s al Ghul whose fighting style incorporated agility and speed; in the second installment, the Joker’s intellect was his main weapon using puzzles and illusions to his advantage; and now Bane is thrown into the works – Raw brute strength up against the Dark Knight? Hell yes.

If you haven’t yet seen the trailer for this movie, then please get out from under that rock and watch it below:

4

Game of Thrones Season 2
Type: TV Series/Drama & Action
Date: April 2012

This year, season one of the Game of Thrones TV series based on the novel blew our minds away with its complex multi-leveled plot and vivid characters. Nudity was a common element in the series but was often done so artistically and sometimes gave the audience a sense of realization as to what age the TV show was set in. Although I have not yet read the book, fans of the novel have generally given Benioff and Weiss’ creation two thumbs up.

The finale of season 1 ended with several cliff-hangers making myself and probably most of the fans of the shows extremely eager to learn what happens next. The first season only revealed a handful of the 7 kingdoms so along with the drama going on, I am so looking forward to seeing the other kingdoms.

As long as the series follows the same mixture of elements it had in season 1, the second season will be just as good or maybe even better. 

3

Sony Playstation Vita
Type: Game/Console
Date: 23 Feb 2012

During the 2011 E3, Sony had a lot of explaining to do after their servers had been taken down due to an unauthorized breach claimed by famous underground hacking group, Anonymous.

Not only were they able to shrug this event off with a joke, but they also announced the new successor in Playstation’s portable series – the Playstation’s Vita.

When I was young, I played games like Pokemon and Zelda finishing them with ease. Inever realized how much time I spent on my Gameboy until glancing and my large collection of unfinished games. The PSP and DS were great during uni days but interests in these handhelds died down when smartphones brought gaming to us. Who needed these handhelds anyway when we had iPhones and iPads with an almost infinitely large library of games? Well, after years of trying all these games, the touch-based controls will just never compare to our old friend, the D-Pad. This is one reason I’m deeply interested in getting back to a handheld and hopefully immerse myself in a very addictive RPG.

Let’s not forget that the Vita will boast 3G support meaning on-the-fly multiplayer; a 5-inch OLED multi-touchscreen, a motion sensing system I probably will never use, and front/back VGA cameras. To add to this, we can definitely expect some new connectivity features between the Vita and the PS3 with the current maturity of the PSN. The only issue I’m having with this so far is that the 3G model is currently priced at $575 USD on Play-Asia for a Japanese release. This is almost twice as much as a PS3! I hope that the release in Australia will be a bit reasonable and based on the current gaming market here because that is a little steep for my liking especially since I like to spend heaps on buying random games (that I never finish)

2

The Avengers
Type: Movie/Action
Date: 4 May 2012 (AU)

So what makes a movie so good that it takes second place on a list over Apple’s latest product, a new handheld gaming device and even Batman?

  1. An all-star cast of Robert Downey Jr, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and many more (including the cameos);
  2. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to oversee the direction of the movie;
  3. six of the greatest superheroes on the silver screen finally joining up to form a team dedicated to defending the world on a universal and multi-dimensional level;
  4. finally seeing something I’ve been dreaming about since the Ultimates comic.

I’ve heard that the Ultimates will heavily influence this movie and this is one of the major selling points for me. If you didn’t already know, the lineup will be Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. I still reckon Pym & Wasp need to be a part of the Avengers but I guess adding too many characters would make it confusing. A cameo by Spiderman is also very much desired since he’s actually an official member of the Avengers (and the Fantastic Four) in many of the Avenger/Ultimates universes.

The way this movie came about was genius. Having secret scenes after the credits of the movies for each of these superheroes (except Hawkeye who unfortunately got a short cameo in Thor) contributed to the massive hype and eventual build-up to this movie.

The only thing I can predict that may go wrong is how these actors will perform together: With this many main characters, it will be difficult to build on each of them – Yes, each of the characters have already been developed in their individual movies but a) we don’t know much about Hawkeye who actually has an extremely emotional history and b) the movie can’t just throw us into a setting with zero character introductions. So the main obstacle for the writers will be balancing the character development and the action. Fulfilling the wet dreams of millions of comic-book fans and movie buffs will be a tough job – But most of the recent Marvel movies have been doing great (ever since they stopped casting idiots like Toby Maguire as Spiderman).

Now, when will DC bring the Justice League to the silver screen?

1

Diablo III
Type: Game/RPG
Date: Q1 – 17 Jan 2012 (rumoured)

It’s been a long countdown but we have finally gotten down to number one. There is no contender when it comes to what the most anticipated thing will be for me in 2012.

Blizzard focuses on quality and quality alone. and no one can ever question them – If they say “Sorry, we’re delaying the release of this game till next year”, we just nod our heads and go “yeah, they probably have to iron out some things, it’ll be worth the wait” whereas we’d be raging our arses off if the next MGS was delayed by a day. It seems that we have this unspoken trust in Blizzard to produce awesome games. And who can blame us what with the quality of Blizzard games that are still being played today despite being over a decade old (Yes, I’m talking about Starcraft and Diablo II).

Development of Diablo III commenced in 2001 and we’ve come a long way since. Expectations have changed and we’ll be looking for something that will revolutionize the MMORPG world since World of Warcraft. Yeah, that’s right – Although Diablo III has much less role-playing aspects and more focus on dungeon-running than massive PvPing, Diablo III’s main competition is Blizzard’s WoW. This is actually good news though, because Blizzard has the template of the most successful MMORPG to work from and knowing this company, they will take a step further to differentiate Diablo III from WoW.

Currently, five classes have been announced: Witch doctor, Barbarian, Wizard, Monk, Demon Hunter. Which will you be?

The term epic is often overused these days but this trailer proves that epic can only describe but a fraction of what’s to come.

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