Another year is ending and the gaming season is winding down and as the holidays approach companies focus more on pimping out what they have instead of actually making shit. It’s like having a group of prostitutes standing on the street corner trying to outdo one another for attention. The little kids point and scream at Black Ops 3 demanding to have their go at it while the parents worry it may be a little too old and dirty. To be fair, it is, out of all the girls in the lineup Blacks Ops has had its turn with more people than any of them and believe me they have not been kind; if you do it with the lights on you’ll really see how poorly the old girl has aged with missing teeth and probably a couple bullet wounds. Instead of bashing games I didn’t play because I’m not a machinist I will rate the games I actually did play that were released this year; and there are a lot of games that should thank god they didn’t come out this year, I just didn’t get around to them until recently. So here is my best 5 and worst 5 games in 2015. There is also no Metal Gear because I haven’t made it that far into the backlog yet.
Is this really what it has come down to? At Worst 5- Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
So while not entirely terrible it has become painfully obvious that the entire Assassin’s Creed franchise has been in a steady decline since Brotherhood; with Black Flag being the obvious exception. I can’t help but feel like Assassin’s Creed is just going through the motions now, more concerned with profits than the actual game. Not to mention this game was very dull and played more like a cross over between Batman and GTA San Andreas than an actual Assassin’s Creed game. Maybe the DLC will mix things up a little but it won’t be enough to save the game. Just like I hope Uncharted 4 does I really hope Assassin’s Creed raps in up in the next couple games before its tired song and dance get really depressing and drops dead on my living room rug.
A ray of light from an unexpected source. At Best 5- Stray Cat Crossing
Yes it’s an Indie game from Steam, yes it is a short game with pixels big enough to pick out individually and yes it cost me a fraction of most my games. You know what? I just don’t care anymore. I don’t know if it’s old age or dementia but I find myself drawn more to indie games than anything else lately; probably because indie developers have the ability to be creative and aren’t constantly being whipped for straying a little bit from the same old formula. I’ll gladly promote any game I think actually deserves it if it can just bring me a couple hours of enjoyment. Unlike some games I spent days playing and after all was said and done my only thought was ‘Why the hell was I playing that?’ Either way it was only a few bucks on Steam so screw it; original, fun, creative, colorful and a story deeper than ‘a dude hunted down a dude for shooting another dude he may or may not have had homoerotic fantasies of’.
I think I preferred Ghostbusters on the NES. At Worst 4- Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters
I admit I don’t know what I was expecting from this; I assume much like when I bought the anime Samurai Gun I was swooned by an impressive intro but missed the disgusting mess underneath. I played games on Flash or the Sega 16 with more gameplay than this. Stumbling blindly around a map shooting into the dark gets annoying really fast apparently. The enemy AI wasn’t predictable but it wasn’t very logical either, so any form of strategy goes right out the window. A top down game with action similar to the US Dragonball Z live movie, everything is just colorful burst of air with a handful of what can loosely be called ghost. I was really hoping the story or animation would make up for things but it kind of fell flat as well. While interesting at first it goes on so long with so many loosely connected parts forced in just to introduce new characters that you will most likely never use it becomes more tedious than anything.
Bring on the funk, bring on the funk. At Best 4- Persona 4: Dancing All Night
Just to vent a little, I am still super pissed Atlus dinged my YouTube channel for copyright bullshit when I put gameplay footage up all the time. However, I can’t deny that I enjoyed this game. A weird twist on what is usually a RPG it still worked a lot better than that bizarre fighting game. Rhythm games have always been a guilty pleasure but due to scarcity and quality I find it difficult to find my fill. This game however easily filled that hole and provided me with a use for my PS TV. I felt the music was getting a little repetitive since multiple songs were just remixes of the same song or two. However, it still had a beat to it that I could groove to while playing; something I haven’t done since DJ Hero, Hatsune Miku or the dubstep gun from Saints Row. While things graphically could be a little more diverse as well it still brings the old Persona Golden crew to life.
The latest crossover game with a pile of shit. At Worst 3- J-Stars Victory Vs+
I enjoy crossover games because it is a rare chance to see characters from entirely different worlds fight it out; the same reason I used to write fan fiction celebrity death battles. This however is just a sad abomination of a mashup. Don’t get me wrong, it offers a wide variety of characters old and new which is fun; learning characters from classic manga and some of my old favorites (Toguro redeemed himself in the end right?! TELL ME I’M A GOOD PERSON!). Everything else about the game was so pathetic though, graphics were ass, gameplay was barely functional and the story made me want to put a gun to my head. I don’t know what the plan was for this game but I can only pray that it wasn’t taken very seriously during development because there is no way any designer could respect this mess. Maybe some of the specials were kind of cool but the never ending repetitive fights and bizarrely meaningless RPG elements killed that real quick.
A miracle in the long played out zombie genre. At Best 3- Dying Light
So I kind of struggled to give this to Dying Light or Until Dawn which I both enjoyed for the similar reasons. I decided against Until Dawn though just because it is so linear and if it wasn’t for the completely misleading curve balls I would have had it figured out before the first dead teen. Dying Light on the other hand is like a breath of fresh air in the rather stagnant zombie genre. While it was just as predictable, there is something refreshing about Batmaning up the side of a building to power bomb a zombie. It is an intriguing mix of shooting, parkour and RPG elements but it really does work well together. I should have dropped it a bit lower in the rankings though since the game was plagued with so many bugs in the first few months after release. I had to replay the entire game three times in order to finally get everything to platinum despite the bugs; after the first time I knew exactly what to get, do and upgrade to become unstoppable right away. Unlike Ether One however the game was not unplayable and now it is mostly fixed anyways.
WHY THE HELL DID I PAY MONEY FOR THIS?! At Worst 2- The Order: 1886
Again I struggled whether to give this to The Order: 1886 or Mario Party 10; both were so slim in anything that could be described as gameplay I felt cheated afterwords for paying full price. Mario Party 10 was still enjoyable for what little it had though and I had fun screwing over friends; hell if it had a multiplayer mode it would probably be in the Best lineup. On the other hand The Order: 1886 spent months playing itself up as some huge new franchise which should have set of any number of warning bells. In the end it turned out to be some miserable short piece of crap that tried to justify its own existence by explaining how nice it’s completely static graphics look. I can just hear it now in a whiny nasal filled voice ‘C’mon guys! Why are you being so mean to me! I have all these highly rendered stickers all over me! You can’t touch them but for 60 dollars you can look at them from a distance.’ Graphics do not make a game; hell as long as I can distinguish one thing from another graphics are the last thing on my mind.
As long as you’re not playing the PC version. At Best 2- Batman: Arkham Knight
Easily one of the best trilogies ever made (we do not talk about that one) the Batman game really stepped up the bar for games; at which point every other major developer immediately stole what made Batman great. While Arkham Knight kind of started to get out there a bit you have to admit it was an awesome ride and anyone who says they didn’t enjoy the Batmobile is lying. Arkham City is still by far my favorite because there was no way to predict that ending and the endless stream of villains was great. Arkham Knight is still great though and really works that Joker angle and keeps you asking ‘will he won’t he’ until the end… could have used some more popular villains. I’m not sure if the Manbat or Joker jump scare freaked me out more. What I respect the most is that the creators knew when to cut their losses and put an end to a good thing; while disappointing it is still better than watching it dance itself slowly to death like some games.
Ghost peppers in my asshole would hurt less. At Worst 1- The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
I put some of the blame on myself, I’ve never been huge on MMORPG games but still there is little correlation between this travesty and the Elder Scroll series. What I hate the most is how so many people had so much better gear because they could afford to buy in game currency. What the hell point is there in playing a game you’re going to buy your way through anyways? Not to mention there was little to nothing I loved from actual Elder Scrolls games in this; where the hell is the Assassin’s Guild?! Not to mention that it is damn near impossible to do many things alone, you either have to be way over powered or attack by the dozens to do anything. The biggest problems I ran into though was how half the time I couldn’t even connect to the server, something that may be fixed over time; then there was the ungodly amount of memory the game took up on my system… in day one! How the hell are the day one patches almost as big as the game itself?! This game is a poorly conceived mess many years in the making (time that could have been spent on a real Elder Scrolls game) that won’t really appease gamers or MMORPG fans.
The long awaited return of the prodigal son. At Best 1- Fallout 4
If you have read any of my work in the last year this should be as obvious as it gets. I’m still pissed it didn’t manage to pull down any rewards but it has been a long time coming. While a bit harder and functionally a bit different from the last two it is still great. I feel like the ending let me down a little since it was so much simpler than previous endings that described how you tore shit up for everyone; but this is a minor thing that doesn’t really bug me in the grand scheme. There are a lot of little changes though, good and bad, but it still doesn’t bring down the overall experience. Not to mention that Fallout is known for great DLC which will start coming early next year, I have my season pass already. Like the great sandbox game it is, it learned from the mistakes of its previous games and added on to that. No amount of hype I give this game could be fair or accurate so I can only suggest you find out for yourself.