Each year everyone has their top 5 or 10 game list they build. Sometimes it’s put on a major website like IGN or Polygon, other times fans make their list and put it on their own respective site for the enjoyment of having people look at their opinions, like I am doing. The one thing we all have in common though, is the Honorable mentions list, as these games barely made it off the list after much though/arguing and even though not in the “top # games of 2015” there is still a need to mention them. As with every list, these are just my opinions and while I didn’t play every game this year this list just represents what couldn’t make it into my top ten.
Fallout 4 is a game many people have on their top 10 list. It is a new entry into the series and is a hell of a lot of fun. The shooting in this game is substantially better than its predecessors, yet it still retainsthe V.A.T.S system for those who like it. The character customization is awesome, as you can look online to see a ton of really well done remakes of actors, characters, and wtf-ery, case and point I have a ‘Dick Tracy” character, while my friend is running a Nicola Tesla character for the fun of it. Once into the game, there is a big world to explore and if you enjoy the nitty gritty of base building, weapon upgrades and min maxing your stats, Fallout 4 will have you covered.
The reason it did not make my top 10 is because I didn’t find it had the focus or powerful draw of say Witcher 3 or Destiny. Blasphemy you might say, but Fallout 4 was best when you were exploring an area with both immediate danger, and the promise of more danger AND exploration right around the corner. Playing on PS4, I found the game to be sluggish at points while walking aroung and really sluggish sometimes when big battles happened. The load times of the game were atrocious, which REALLY took me out of the experience every time I played it so using the fast travel system was not my first choice if a destination was close enough to walk to. I want to re-iterate, I don’t think the game is bad, its just a poorly optimized experience.
I really enjoy Lego games, and brick in which I built my childhood in general. It is fun to bash around in a world like Middle Earth or next to the Avengers tower as cute and fun Lego versions of their respective characters. Lego Dimensions keeps that fun tradition alive with its mix and match of both building lego’s, ie the portal and all vehicles that come with certain character packs, and the traditional ‘lego game’ gameplay that has been around for a while now. Dimensions has a plethora of worlds to jump into already, then you add the character packs that add new worlds, like the DC universe, Simpsons, and Ghostbusters, you then expand your gaming time and fun by hours. I am looking forward to seeing some avengers for Lego dimensions as I wan to fly around as Thor if possible.
The downside to Lego Dimensions is twofold, one which you cannot actually fault the game for. I was moving, so I had packed a lot of my stuff up minus my consoles, so the Lego dimensions game took a back seat near the end of the year. Before my move however, I found myself REALLY invested in the game for the first couple of weeks, as it would be in my weekly rotation of things to chip away at, which was blast. However after that, I found myself less and less interested in the game as new games were coming out, my backlog started to peak my interest more, and my Gandalf broke (the base with the RFID chip). The Gandalf issue is probably the majority of the reason as it stopped me from progressing in some area’s while I got it replaced. Once the original trio were back together again I just had other interests sitting at the forefront of my mind. Still really enjoy this game, and will be going for the platinum this year as its at the top of my backlog list.
Metroidvania returns in winning form! Axiom Verge instantly reminds you of the Metroid/Castlevania days with its beautiful art style and tight platforming. as you navigate mind blowing levels as you battle bosses with a unique weaponry and look for secret area’s throughout the map. This game hits a lot of the same nostalgia beats like Shovel Knight, and it pulls them off with similar excellence. When I was heavily into the game, I was obsessed with looking for secret rooms, and trying to figure out the best way to traverse the map to be quicker as I jumped back and forth. A must have title for Metroidvania fans, and one I am looking forward to going back to.
Sadly, the reason this is in the honorable mentions is primarily due to my lack of travels. I play my vita mostly when I travel, or late at night in bed. With my move across the country it got a lot of use, but I was engrossed in other games so Axiom Verge didn’t get any more play. The issue I find with having this game as my constant Vita title (I feel its more at home on Vita), is due to the lull you can get into with traversing the map. As good as it looks, and as enjoyable as the combat is, sometimes I feel that the game lags in pacing when there is nothing to combat, or very few enemies to combat. The boss battles are fantastic, and are the highlight of the game for me, I just find I need a bit more stimulation to play this game constantly
Dragon Ball XenoVerse
What can I say about Dragon Ball Xenoverse that hasn’t already been said. . . . oh a lot? Alright then lets get at it. This game, much like j-stars victory vs or any other anime inspired beat-em-up is a staple in my roster of games. I love the sillyness and the fan service a lot of these games have, and it allows me to fight with and against my favourite characters from their respective universe. The reason I choose Dragon Ball over the others was its character creation and world hub where you could see other people. Its such a ridiculous premise to have all these people in one area and doing missions that it makes me smile, even now as I think about it. Such a fun title, and one I plan to revisit this year.
As much as I get enjoyment from this game though, I found after a heavy investment of time right off the bat I found myself eyeing other games both new and in my backlog to give me a fresh experience. Dragon Ball Xenoverse is fun, but I found that playing it for too long was actually a detriment to my enjoyment. As more and more games game out, or existing games were put in the forfront of my mind, my Vegeta clone languished more and more, until I uninstalled the game for more room, to play Shadows of Mordor. If you like the crazy fighting games, I highly recommend this game, and any of the other anime fighters out there, especially since they are cheaper now due to the passage of time.
With that, the look back on 2015 is over. Lots of great games I didn’t even get to mention as well as some “triple A” games that I didn’t think lived up to the promise, but I try not to dwell on the negative. 2016 has a metric ton of games coming out that I want to play and I look forward to writing and talking about them here.