Review Of The Year 2014: November

November wasn’t all that long ago, so you probably all remember most of what happened. For those of you with a limited attention span or a problem with your short term memory functions, here’s a little summary. We’ll start, as we always should in these circumstances, with the weather.

The year’s general trend for warmer conditions persisted throughout November as the blindingly obvious symptoms of the impossible-to-dispute progress of climate change continued to make their presence felt. Even though the last week of the month was generally a little drier across the UK, rainfall was up in most areas when measured against the average for this time of year.

So, basically, it was not as cold as it should have been and it rained quite a lot. That’s pretty much the story of the year’s weather so far and unless we get a really bad cold snap or a few feet of snow in the next couple of days, expect this year’s whole weather story to be basically summed up by that one sentence. I guess we should be grateful the weather doesn’t try to kill us like it did in New York state, where some areas got over five feet of snow. Still, think of the snowmen you could build.

The world’s conflicts continued without regard for their ultimate futility or their cost to humankind. Israel and Palestine is an annual fixture on the list of conflicts that just won’t stop and November 2014 saw a fresh round of rockets and retaliations. Likewise, the euphemistic references to “instability” in the middle-east continued with civil wars and terrorist insurgencies in Yemen, Iraq and beyond. There were also insurgencies in Afghanistan and Nigeria, as well as war in Northern Pakistan and the continuation of conflict in Eastern Ukraine where Russia seems to be settling in nicely to Crimea and surrounding Ukrainian sovereign territory.

In slightly happier news, there was an air of celebration in Berlin, where they marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. See? It’s fun when we stop fighting and pull down the infrastructure of war. Everyone gets cake and we can have a bit of a party.

In other news that begins to hint at a possible future for humanity, the Church of England decided that women should be allowed to be bishops.

In the world of sport, Lionel Messi scored a goal that broke La Liga’s goal scoring record and then three days later he scored a hat trick that broke the Champions’ League goalscoring record. He’s a bit good. Someone else who is a bit good is Lewis Hamilton. He won his second F1 World Championship in between Messi’s record breaking net-busters.

It wasn’t all good news in the world of sports though, Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died two days after being struck in the head by a bouncer while playing for South Australia.

As you would expect, November is a hot month for video game releases. Call of Duty is the traditional November big-hitter and Advanced Warfare seemed to be more popular with critics than a Call of Duty game has been for a few years. It came out nice and early in the month, and its online modes worked, which is more than can be said for the half-broken online modes in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Despite that bundle being an exceptional resource for Halo fans, the multiplayer barely worked and then didn’t work at all and finally, it just about functioned a little bit, as long as you don’t mind it getting the results of matches wrong.

Assassin’s Creed Unity seemingly tried to get one over Master Chief by being even more broken at launch. It wasn’t content with poorly functioning online elements, no, Ubisoft strived to ensure that their single player mode was just as comically dysfunctional as online. A series of hastily released patches improved things in all cases but the publisher’s assumption that the game-buying public would simply put up with unfinished games being released has left a sour taste for many.

It’s not all disappointing news either: November saw the release of Far Cry 4, Dragon Age Inquisition and the new generation versions of GTA V. All three are great, huge, open world games that serve as an example of what can be achieved. We also got LittleBigPlanet 3, Super Smash Bros. and Watch Dogs finally released on Wii U.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4KW0OBCtz4

Most of the gaming news centred around the broken nature of the big games that were released in the month and the subsequent patches that were released to fix them. Sony was preparing for its Experience event the following month by announcing plenty of new indie games for their platforms and starting to tug at the nostalgia with videos like the one above.

Microsoft announced that the Xbox One was doing really rather well, after a price cut tripled its sales. Just Cause 3 was revealed as being a single player only experience, without micro transactions and we heard that there’s set to be a new Tony Hawks game on consoles next year.

Tune in tomorrow for the final month of the year, revisited. Hopefully, you’ll remember most of that though.

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