2015 is about to end and before we jump over to the new year I wanted to do a post like this, highlighting games that have been my favorite during this year. Yes, everyone does it… but it’s fun, ok? The games are presented in no particular order. Let’s begin!
Taking the Souls games, making stuff faster and removing the defensive options of the previous entries? Sounds like a horrible nightmare – and it is! As someone who plays Souls game defensively, Bloodborne comes as a rude awakening and a breath of fresh air. It’s hard, you’ll die constantly, and you’ll be immersed in an atmosphere that many games wish they had.
While I finished the game’s three endings (by doing the cloud save file thing) I haven’t dived into the game’s extra areas, such as the Orphanate or the Nightmare Frontier. I did try the Hunter’s Nightmare (DLC) recently, but didn’t get too far before I was burned to a crisp. There’s still much to do in this nightmare, and while I may suck at it, I cannot deny the pull of this Lovecraftian horror masterpiece.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Boy, this is quite a pick. I’ll be blunt: MGSV gets a mention on the base of its fantastic gameplay – it’s tuned to delicious limits, it offers a true definition of an “open world” game, and it’s simply a joy to play. It’s a shame it is lacking in story, at least in-game – outside of it the story is pretty interesting.
The Konami-Kojima kerfuffle happened during the development, which hindered the game greatly. The game’s second chapter feels rushed, with story developments happening almost randomly; and in one of the most baffling moves, the third and final chapter isn’t even in the game, but is rather included in a half-developed form as a video feature that comes in the game’s Special Edition.
But I feel it still deserves a mention as one of the year’s top games, because like I said earlier, the engine/gameplay is simply incredible. Also, it’s the last Metal Gear that will be done by its Maestro, so…
Destiny: The Taken King
Destiny (year 1) was a fantastic game: finely tuned, interesting world/setting, a tantalizing idea overall. It just lacked a coherent story. Then came the DLC, and people started fleeing the game in droves; the extra content just wasn’t enough, and came with a few not-so-smart decisions about player progression. And then came the Taken King expansion, and the galaxy rejoiced.
A lot of stuff changed: new level method, new light method, a huge new zone to explore, new dungeons, new weapons and gear… and perhaps most importantly the game now had a focused story and its characters suddenly gained charm and life. The game felt new, and it still is one of my favorite things to play. I haven’t killed Oryx in Hard Mode yet, I suck.
The game’s recent switch to a free “event” schedule instead of paid DLC one is interesting to follow, though the announcement of next year’s “Destiny 2” has me a bit worried on what exactly it could be: another great expansion or a full new game?
Towerfall: Dark World
While Towerfall is a game from 2014, the Dark World expansion did came this year, and boy was it fun. We play Towerfall as a group of friends, be it cooperatively or competitively, and we have a hell of a time. The final boss of the expansion, the Impossible Horror At The Center Of All Creation (yes, that’s its name) has taken quite a few weekends, and we still haven’t beaten it as a group (though I did manage to solo it much later).
It’s not an online game, so don’t expect modern multiplayer features, but if you often gather with friends/neighbors/family and enjoy a great old school arrow-fest, you can’t go wrong with Towerfall.
If you haven’t at least heard of Rocket League, then you surely time-hopped the year 2015. It’s soccer with cars powered by rockets – it sounds dumb but it’s ridiculously fun! Given as a free game for Playstation 4 users who have the Plus service, it exploded in popularity. It’s now on track to becoming an eSport, keeps releasing maps and cars (the latter being DLC), and will soon an Xbox One release will join the PC and PS4 ones. You can play it online or offline (split-screen) and it has the honor of being the other (together with Towerfall) couch multiplayer game we have consistently played with friends during this year.
An 8-bit, 6-hour(ish) RPG where you don’t have to kill anyone? Hmm. A great sountrack? Hmmmmm. Twitter is raving about it? Hmmmmmmmmmm. Beats basically every other game in existence (including FFVII and Ocarina of Time) in GameFAQs meaningless yet oh-so-heated GOAT? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. This game can’t be that good, can it?
Yes, it is. And that’s I can tell you. It’s the last game I played this year (it was a gift on Steam) and I’m hooked. Not that I have played it again since finishing the game’s “good” ending, but it has simply stuck in my head. It stuck so much that I can’t bring myself to do the “bad” route. Actually, if I want to start a “bad” route I’d have to reset the save file, something the game itself asks you “not to do”, since you’d “destroy everyone’s happy ending”. Deep shit.
Last, but not least, I wanted to mention the first Final Fantasy XIV‘s expansion. It was an amazing moment of this year’s gaming entries. Awesome story, music, and… FUCK WAUKKEON AND MY ENOCHIAN.
Jokes aside, I still play Heavensward, even despite not agreeing with some of the recent decisions regarding content pacing or end-game difficulty. If you follow me on Twitter, you should have expected this to pop up in this list. And that’s despite the fact that they haven’t included Hildibrand in this expansion… YET.