Category Archives: Gaming Subculture

Best in Gaming 2015

I know it’s pretty late for yearly reviews, but better late than never, right?!  2015 was a year that I probably played more games than watched anime.  Well, other than One Piece, which I am still in the process of catching up on.  It was a pretty turbulent year for me on a personal level:  new job, new city, new friends and lots of traveling.  I also closed out some ties last year that were weighing me down and am, so far, happier.

Gaming last year was great, though.  Last year I discovered that I enjoy story in gaming more than any other aspect.  My choices from last year reflect that – each of these had some impact on me on an emotional level.  So here’s my picks for the year.  If you are more interested in gameplay than story, these may not apply to you as much.

5.  Pillars of Eternity

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While I never got around to beating it, Pillars of Eternity seems like an easy shoe-in for my top 5.  The storytelling was consistently witty and fun.  I was entertained.  Enough said.

4.  Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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While there are definitely things flawed about MGSV, like, I don’t know, it not being complete, Kojima’s final Metal Gear game definitely qualifies as one of my games of the year.  As the finale in the story of Big Boss, the story ties together the Metal Gear games brilliantly.  Were things retconned?  Sure.  Was it an afterthought?  Absolutely.  But the fact that Kojima was able to construct something to tie together the Metal Gear games which honestly has a quagmire of a plotline?  Outstanding.  I’m so glad to see Kojima rid of Konami’s grasp and look forward to what he creates in the future.

3. Undertale

Credit:  http://momoppi.tumblr.com/
Credit: http://momoppi.tumblr.com/

Did I like the gameplay?  Nope.  Did I like the graphics?  Hell nope (hence why they aren’t even pictured).  But was it the best story I played on an emotional level?  100%.  Absolutely.  It’s a ten.  Definitely.  The story was outstanding.  The characters were personable, believable, and funny.  The personalities came out despite the lack of skill put into actually creating the game itself.  The only reason this game isn’t higher on the list is because it limits itself by restricting graphics and gameplay to prehistoric levels.  It’s a pet peeve of mine and I got past it.  It was well worth it.

2. Tales from the Borderlands

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So first things first, I’m not a huge fan of the Borderlands games.  They’re over-glorified FPS games with loot scavenging tendencies with very little interesting plot.  This isn’t a typical Borderlands game.  I’ve recently discovered that I’m a -huge- fan of the Telltale games and this is definitely a Telltale game before it is a Borderlands game.  Sure, there are some in-jokes that I missed since I never have finished a full Borderlands game, but overall the game was quirky, entertaining and, at times, epic.  Our heroes are of the most unbelievable sort and seeing their evolution is outstanding.

1.  Life is Strange

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While Life is Strange was definitely a journey into Hipsterville, I got attached to its characters more than any other game last year.  There were reasonable twists in the story that I didn’t expect and I was legitimately torn between several options in the game.  There was plenty of foreshadowing for the eventual spiral out of control the game presents.  So yeah – I valued the story greatly.  It could occasionally get sophomoric, but it was definitely something that kept me glued to my seat.

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Witcher 3:  I always get bogged down in these games by side-quests, but genuinely enjoy the plot.
  • Splatoon: Enjoyable gameplay…but that’s all there is to it.

Disappointments:

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X:  I bought a Wii U for this game.  I have not made it past the main menu screen because the text is moronically small.