With 2014 behind us, it’s time to focus on all the cool stuff that is planned for 2015. And by the looks of it, 2015 is going to be a big year no matter what part of geek culture you occupy. There is truly something for everyone to be excited about in 2015. Our resident Monsters give their picks on what they are anticipating the most in the New Year. Enjoy!
2015 Music Releases and Possible Festival Lineups
2014 was a good year for music and festivals, but this year will be bigger and better!
With releases from Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison, The Smashing Pumpkins, Faith No More, and Radiohead, the festival headliners should be great!
For hip hop and R&B lovers, Kayne West, Vince Staples, Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean, and Run the Jewels will be pushing their albums on the circuit.
Modest Mouse, Father John Misty, My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, JEFF the Brotherhood, and The Decemberists will also be pushing their albums on the festival scene.
Not to mention the numerous new artist you will find. 2015 should be a grand year for music!
Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda Wii U
In a year overfilled with new game releases, there is only one answer for what to anticipate most. Nintendo is set to release a new console Zelda game in 2015. So, sorry to our other MoG contributors, but as right as you may be for anticipating your thing, my thing should be more anticipated.
In our world of annualization of every major game franchise, Nintendo continues to treasure its Legend of Zelda franchise. The result is that they’ve never released a bad one. Sure, Skyward Sword paled in comparison to Windwaker, but it’s not SS’s fault it has to directly compete with the second or third best game ever. Alas, that is another discussion for another day.
P.S. Stop believing Ocarina of Time is the best Zelda. It’s not.
Controversy aside, if Nintendo is committed to one thing, it’s preserving the sanctity of the Zelda series. Eiji Aonuma – Zelda director since Majora’s Mask – routinely proves he can innovate the series while maintaining commitment to the purity of what a Zelda game is.
For example, look at what he accomplished with 2013’s 3DS release, Link Between Worlds. Never has a Zelda been less linear or more true to form. That praise coming from someone who said, “Non-linear Zelda? That will probably ruin the sense of discovery that makes the games great.” Count me as one who was happily proven wrong.
With that experience in mind, seeing and hearing of an open world Zelda Wii U leaves me confident and excited that I get to play this game in less than 12 months.
And with a track record that now includes more than a decade of great success and minimal failure, count me among the ones who will hang their hat on Aonuma’s past success and trust that he will deliver greatness again. That is to say, I’m not watching any trailers or reading any previews. I’m simply waiting for the game to release so that I can buy it, play it, and love it.
Here’s to hoping it doesn’t get delayed.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
In our Best of TV post from a couple weeks ago, I wrote about how Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was one of my top choices for best television [shows] of 2014, but what I didn’t tell you was just how much of a recent convert I am to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU for short).
I mean, I’ve seen the MCU movies previously, however, it wasn’t until this past summer did I realize that all the movies, the television shows, the video shorts, etc., all intertwine into one larger picture. And it is with taking that information into account that I am super excited for the next installment into the MCU: Avengers: Age of Ultron.
[This next few paragraphs may contain slight spoilers for those who have not seen the extended trailer for the movie, have a general knowledge of the Avengers comic series, or haven’t already searched the Marvel Wikia for information.]
We know that separately Captain America, Iron Man, Phil Coulson, Black Widow, and Thor have had some pretty gnarly adventures since we last saw them together. However, this coming May, our favorite heroes (well maybe not Coulson), in addition to their other Avengers brethren of Bruce Banner (the Hulk) and Clint Barton (Hawkeye), will band together again to fight an A.I. villain whose intelligence continued to grow beyond that in which his creator gave him.
This movie appeals to me on many levels. Of course, it’s the next in the MCU, and it has all my favorite characters returning, however, it also addresses the real threat of technology becoming too smart, and ultimately trying to take over the world. Currently there is not a term other than technophobia, the fear of advanced technology or complex devices, that is aptly defined as a growing fear of a cybernetic revolt of high-tech machinery and equipment, but with the advancement of technology today, I am sure one will pop up soon.
So, yes, this Monster is surely looking forward to this movie as it just adds another element to an already growing universe of characters that I’m learning to love.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled to release May 1.
Atlas’ Persona 5
Based upon my picks for GOTY, I totally understand that I’ve already run the risk of looking like one of those geeks: the dissheveled guy you see at GameStop arguing with the cashier about which Fire Emblem: Awakening character will be my waifu or the niche forumgoer who complains about publishers censoring mini-games featuring anime girls.
I know that Persona 5 may only emphasize that opinion, but hear me out on this one.
The first time I played Persona 3, it was a game that was so unlike anything that I had ever played before. The mix of a life-sim and a dungeon crawler was already addicting enough, but the presentation alone was miles ahead any other game that I had played up to that point (both Western-RPG and Japanese-RPG).
At a time where technology was allowing games like Tales of and Final Fantasy to look and feel like the anime they always wanted to be, Persona 3 nailed the anime look while keeping out most of the cheese and corniness. After playing Persona 3 and delving into the rest of the translated Shin Megami Tensei backlog, I felt like a totally new gamer.
These games outclassed other JRPGs in every single department: story, music, art style, and especially gameplay (try playing through Lost Odyssey’s random battles after experiencing the lightning quick ones in SMT). Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne quickly became my top RPG of all time. It’s simply one of the most atmospheric, lasting, and unforgiving gaming experiences I’ve ever had.
Three play-throughs of the PS2 version of Persona 4, a 100% run through of Persona 3 Portable , and a platinum trophy in Persona 4 Golden later, it’s easy to see why Persona 5 is my most anticipated title of this year. I doubt that the game will dethrone the sublime masterpiece that is Nocturne, but I have no doubt that Persona 5 will be the top RPG that comes out this year.
Sting at Wrestlemania 31
2015 is packed with anticipation for new releases across every part of the geek culture spectrum.
You have indie rock royalty in Thrice coming back from hiatus to release their first new album since 2011. And let’s not forget the ridiculous 2015 that Nintendo is poised to have with the aforementioned new open-world Zelda, Starfox, and the new Xenoblade entry all on the way. Then there is JJ Abrams leading the Star Wars franchise back to the big screen with The Force Awakens, to the happiness of all geeks everywhere (except for the Star Trek ones maybe). And, finally, Batman makes his debut on the next-gen consoles with Rocksteady’s Arkham Knight, with him riding in on the Batmobile this time around.
All of those have my excitement for 2015 at an all-time high, but one event in particular has me more stoked then all of those mentioned above: Sting finally stepping in the squared circle at Wrestlemania.
Sting is the last true wrestling legend to not have a Wrestlemania moment. We’ve been so close in the past to having him walk through the curtain and receive the adoration from wrestling fans he deserves. We’ve seen every other major wrestling legend have their moment. Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Bret “Hitman” Hart, and “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels have all had the Wrestlemania spotlight shine on them. Now it’s Sting’s turn.
When Sting steps into the ring on March 29th, 2015 we will see one of the greatest wrestlers to ever live make his long awaited debut on the biggest wrestling event ever created. Whether it’s against Triple H, The Undertaker, or any other current superstar on the WWE roster, Sting has made his way to the WWE by his own path and terms. He has built his legendary career without any assistance from Vince McMahon and the marketing juggernaut that is the WWE. Which may very well be the most impressive part of this story, but that is another piece for another time.
And, if the rumors are true, this may be the last time we see Sting in a wrestling ring, in WWE or otherwise, as this might serve as his farewell match. If that is true, which I believe it is, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate one of the greatest careers in wrestling history than on a stage worthy to cap a storied career that deserves nothing less of being celebrated on the biggest stage in wrestling.
Sting at Wrestlemania is going to be huge. And in a year with a lot of big things going on, it’s Sting finally getting his moment on the “Showcase of the Immortals” that will make my 2015.