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Sunday, December 27, 2015

My Top 10 Favorite Games of 2015

I will say for gaming, even though this was a pretty good year, I still personally loved last year better. There was just more for me that year since Bayonetta 2 and Smash 4 came out which have became some of my favorite games in general. This clearly was the year that indie developers got to shine again as there were some big deals going on with Shovel Knight since he got an Amiibo which was a surprise. For once it did feel like some indie developers were dancing with the bigger and way more established companies. Now I will be saying this, I do know have a Playstation 4 and I never have gone Microsoft, so there are things I’m going to miss. Either way, I still have plenty of games to play since the Playstation 3 is easily not done yet and Nintendo always knows how to make me happy in many ways.

Honorable Mentions

Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition
As I said before, I did get to miss out on some titles. I still did not get to play this game personally yet, but come on this is first time we got the real Devil May Cry back since the original 4, that was 2008! So seeing Capcom care about the original and clearly better Devil May Cry was a big thing for me. Where I thought Bayonetta would be the only real continuation for Devil May Cry action, Capcom re-releases Devil May Cry 4 with ten times more content. There are more challenge modes and the best parts comes with three new playable characters marking the first time Lady has been playable in the series. Then there is Trish, who is fine, but Vergil is back… somehow, but who cares its Vergil! I do know my brother has a Playstation 4, but it just feels weird just showing up at his place just for that game, but a good friend of mine is getting one as well and he is one of my recording partners… hmmm.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
For those who do not know, Xenoblade Chronicles is what I feel is the best RPG around. It takes ideas of the new, old, and even its own to create a blend of perfect ideas. The action/turn-based combat was genius and with moves having special properties and abilities, it made the fights fast paced and kept you thinking. Now if you told me this was going to be on a handheld system, I would say no way. At the time the normal Nintendo 3DS is about a bit stronger than a Gamecube I would say. Now with the New Nintendo 3DS we got something more on a Wii powered system, but not still quite there yet. This is why Xenoblade Chronicles 3D was a big surprise because this game already used most of the Wii’s CPU and again people bog the game down because it could have been on other systems. Personally I feel this was made more of the game’s original image and just having the better CPU could have toned that down a bit. Still porting Xenoblade to a handheld was no easy task and it is amazing how it was done. Now the character models got a bit bleaker. The game still runs the same though and the environment look as lovely as the Wii game and add that little 3D it actually helped out some of the visuals. So overall this was a well done port to a handheld system as I am happy that something like Xenoblade got to get another chance to be released.

Tales of Zestiria
Now this could have been number ten because I simply do love the Tales series in general. Xillia 1 and 2 were some of my favorites and I could was on par with my absolute favorite, Symphonia. So when Zesteria was coming out, I was actually a bit disappointed. Now I still do enjoy the game, but the reason why it is not on the list is because of how it is in the end. The story is a tad bit off with characters just kind of flying around as this sort of reminds me of Symphonia Dawn of the New World where characters in your party would just leave. Now there are times where it was done well, but there were points that I felt ripped off. I can say the story of this one did bog down the game a bit because of what it establishes with humans and these spirit like beings. Also for the most part the game feels too easy! I give credit that the new mechanics are fun and it does help some of the exploration which Xillia could have had, but the fights felt like nothing at times. I do like a bit of difficulty with my games and mastering RPG’s or even action games feel satisfying. Zesteria is still a fun game and I still wanted to talk about it, but it seems a step backwards for where the franchise is going. At the least I can say there are still technical achievements with this game and how fluid transitions can be and how many models the game can run at the same time. So maybe for the next game is can follow more of Xillia, but keep the achievements Zesteria had.

10. Blazblue Chrono Phantasma Extend

Now onto the top ten list itself and I know this is simply an extension of an existing game, but the thing is that is great for fighting games. Blazblue and Guilty Gear get extensions just like Street Fighter does, but the content that is added really helps justify why this is a new release. For Blazblue they added many more story scenarios and two more fighters one being new and the return of a veteran. There are even great character changes like Makoto got the really great buffs so I’m happy to see her finally have a better chance against top tier characters. Then the added gag endings were fantastic as the previous version really did not have as much as the series previously had before. This still doesn’t reach that similar number, but the new gag endings were all fun. There was even another gag ending on the Vita version as well. So it may just be an extension, but it is a great one still and I cannot wait for Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator.

9. Codename Steam
Codename Steam pretty much continues an idea that Valkyria Chronicles had with real time and turned based strategy mechanics. Now the good news is that Valkyria is continuing, but for the time being I thought it was dead. Codename Steam finally gave me a proper Valkyria game on a handheld system because personally I only loved the first one which was on the Playstation 3. The other two were PSP games and they fell flat compared to the console version in my opinion of course. What Codename Steam does right is that there are many unique characters to use and all have their own special abilities that can help in the battlefield. You can even go back to previous maps and play them with different units because each map has tons of collectibles and getting them can be hard while you are trying to get the best score as well. So having new allies to help out with that ordeal does help the game with how long you can play it for. The overall theme and tone was really out there and it felt fresh compared to other games that can fall in the similar category like XCOM. The game even knows when to bring in new and awesome moments like the time President Lincoln brings his giant mecha to the fight. Overall it was a fun and unique title that I hope can be worked with again to tweak out some of the issues.

8. Undertale
I bet everyone is going to be talking about this game as even I am. For the most part I tend to stay away from the PC gaming, but I got a bit more into it this year. Undertale got my interest because of the overall tone it had. This felt like Mother (Earthbound) and there hasn’t been any new one since Mother 3, which we still cannot get, legally. So Undertale continuing that legacy of unique RPG’s is something pretty important and it knew how to make itself stand out. First off, I love the combat system and by that I mean the “do not fight” combat system. You are dodging attacks and many attacks have different properties so the game makes sure to keep throwing new things at you. Then the overall story is quite funny and touching at the same time. Now I’m not going to talk about the game being a bit open about certain topics because that is not I want to focus on. The game simply keeps an open and yet silly story that can easily drag anyone into its world. Then there are many secrets to find and having optional endings is also a nice touch. Undertale is different and even though it easily takes inspiration from the Mother series, it clearly establishes its own image.

7. Huniepop
Now here is the other PC game I got to this year. At first I simply watched people played it because a girl like Luchajin makes the best commentary for a game like this. Now I have to make this statement here, this is not a game for everyone. First off, it is M-rated and you can even get uncensored versions for it, so it does get to an A rating which does not even exist anymore. So yes the game can be quite pornographic and people bash on it for some misogyny. The thing is that, the game knows it. The game creates a feeling of self parody to itself and sometimes the dating world is full of that, people who just want to get some action. This thing does happen and with the game itself knowing that quite well, it makes some really funny moments and really lets the characters feel as loose as possible. The in game characters do not feel generic even if they play around with stereotypes, they all got something special about them and it really does make its own impact. Also to give credit the puzzle game itself is interesting and with what it adds, it is pretty much a great new edition of Bejeweled. This was simply a fun and silly game and man it was interesting to show to other people because of what reactions can occur from it. For the most part I always have people laughing along with me.

6. Splatoon 
Now onto to even more porn we got squid boys and girls spraying ink everywhere… I mean this is Splatoon a brand new IP from Nintendo that takes on the multiplayer shooter genre. I can easily say people were impressed by it since critics are calling it the best shooter of this year and one of the most unique ones in a long time. My experience with shooters is not the best, but I do remember the early days of Quake, Doom, and even Goldeneye 64. I can say Splatoon really brought back that special love I had for shooters in the past. Sure it is not gory as the others I mentioned, but it reminded me of why I loved shooters back then, they were doing something brand new. That is the thing when some shooters were beginning; they had to make sure to stand out. Splatoon simply takes that image in a more kid friendly area and add in many cool mechanics and a great online connection. For the most part whenever I played the game, the online worked perfectly and I had many great matches. Teamwork is key and being able to have different weapons does give tons of room for new things to happen. Now it does suck you cannot have parties or anything like that so you can keep playing with the same people, but I do love how things keep getting switched up meaning you have to adapt to what you got. The the single player campaign may have been easy, but the level and boss designs were fantastic for showing what the game can do with its mechanics. I can easily see Splatoon becoming a much bigger IP in the future, especially if sequels get made.

5. Yoshi's Woolly World
Another game that is a bit on the easier side, but again this is where level designs just work so perfectly. This new Yoshi game crammed in many things that made previous Yoshi games good and added in some stuff from Epic Yarn to make Yoshi Wolly World. Many levels had something new to them and it was fun figuring out what to do by simply playing the game and not having the game force feed you. The best example would have to be the Chain Chomps in this game. They are yarn monsters that you can trap by using yarn balls and use them as wrecking balls. The thing is that you can let them free whenever you want and they will follow you. This just made many levels open up with what you can do and there are many more examples of how the game works like that. Also the game is simply a great time for just relaxing and enjoying the cuteness that are Yarn Yoshis. Each one is way too cute and being able to play as many as like 50 or more just makes picking your favorite Yoshi so hard to do. Even the boss fights had some fun little puzzling things about them so overall the game is the perfect example of learning new mechanics and having a blast with it.

4. Under Night In-Birth Exe Late
When I first heard of Under Night I was not expecting much because the two main characters looked generic and not that special. Then I got to see more of the characters and I was sold when I kept seeing more of the game itself. The mechanics in this game are fast, fluid, and easy to pick up. I will say it combines the great beginner feeling from the Persona fighting games, but mastering it felt like Guilty Gear levels of difficulty. There are many moves which can be evolved into special moves, so remembering special moves is easy since they are extensions of motions to do the normal variations of them. Then there is the system where you can perfectly cancel your frames and move onto more attacks to finish combos off with. Even when you activate it then it can create more damage for those attacks. The EXE bar is interesting because you fight to get the more energy from your foe. It can be done by who is clearly winning or by how you move on the stage. There is then your usual energy bar, but you can combine that with the EXE bar to unleash much stronger attacks that follow the same motions for every character so again remembering moves is not hard if you want to change characters. I am happy to see this game even getting published under an official company and it is even getting a sequel so I hope the best for this new fighting game franchise.

3. Transformers Devastation
For a long period of time I have been waiting for an awesome Transformers game. Personally I am only okay with previous games like the 3rd person shooter games. When I heard Platinum of all companies was making a Transformers game I was ecstatic. Now the game is short even for a usual Platinum game, but man the content in the fighting engine was amazing. It combines the best of Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising and even adds new things that I hope Platinum can add to their franchises. You get to choose between five playable characters as each one is unique in how they fight. This is also based on generation one Transformers which is my favorite era of the franchise. We even get to see the old designs again as I love them! Even the characters we get to see in this game were most of my favorites like, Wheeljack, Grimlock, Optimus, Megatron, and Soundwave. Now you only play as Autobots which I hope there will be a time I can play as Megatron, but overall the five playable characters had enough already to satisfy me. The boss fights were intense as I got to finally have the fights I always wanted against Devastator and they made an awesome fight for Soundwave, Shockwave, and Megatron. The weapons customizing and changing was the best part of the game because you can really change up the variety with these different types of weapons. They even have shooting mechanics which remind me of Vanquish with fast and fluid shooting.  Again it may have been short, but I can easily keep playing it over and over again because this is what my childhood has been waiting for!

2. Super Mario Maker
The Mario franchise is the single most important thing in all of gaming. When the series started on the NES, it saved gaming in general. Now we can finally celebrate the 30th anniversary where people can create their own Mario levels. Now I am not the best creator as most of those types of games do not get my interest. Mario Maker though really shows how easy it is to make levels even if they are short you can still make some magic with that. Even if you are not that great at creating you can still experience the game thanks to people being able to upload their levels online. Everyone is making amazing levels and experimenting with many new things. The game is even adding more content which means the lifetime for this game is going to be longer than Splatoon. The game even adds some nice touches of Amiibo costumes and sample courses so you can get the feel of the game and soon add your own special touches to some. The level of freedom with this game is large and I cannot wait to see what more awaits the many creators making levels right now.

1. Xenoblade Chronicles X
Now everything comes back to Xenoblade. As I have said before Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii is my all time favorite RPG. The spiritual sequel for this game finally came out and I have been waiting for this longer than Bayonetta 2 and Smash 4. Now I can say it will not top the original Xenoblade, but it does hold a lot of great content since this is my number one here for this year. The combat system is completely upgraded and the AI for both allies and foes will keep you on your toes. Allies can help you with recommending moves that can topple foes and leave then wide open. They can even just work with other allies in your party, so not everything is tied upon you. The freedom of class changing is great as you can go to any class on the tree and switch at any time. This then opens up what moves you can have, but thanks to certain missions you can have certain skills be attached to certain weapons types. Personally I love the Raygun classes because I can be a hard hitter with my big blasters, but also be a great support unit thanks to having a knife and keeping some great healing moves. Then there are the mechs in the games called Skells and this just opens the combat up even more and it helps with exploration. By the way the exploration is as open as the first Xenoblade and exploring is way more rewarding thanks to setting probes. You can get money and another type of currency which helps out shops so you can get better gear that way. There are many story missions, affinity missions, normal missions, and even basic missions where you do many task. Now I will say getting stuck in story and affinity missions do stink a bit which can force who is in your party, but the game does warn you about that. This is still a pretty hard RPG to master, but picking it up and having fun is easier than the original. I can definitely say that I’m really feeling it!
Next year I know my big games will be Fire Emblem Fates, SMT X FE, and Mario and Luigi Paper Jam since I love Intelligent Systems and knowing I am getting four of their games for 2016 really makes me happy. Persona 5 will be coming out which is going to be a big deal for many people including myself. Some other ones would be Star Fox Zero and the new Metroid Prime game. Also the final Smash DLC will be out then and I know I’m going to try hard to be a great Bayonetta player! Guilty Gear gets a new version of its game as I really want to play as Jack-O the most. Then I am really interested in what Zelda Wii U will have to offer along with the official announcement of the NX.

1 comment:

  1. did you get Fire Emblem Fates yet? I got all 3