Xavier Woods is exactly one third of the tremendously positive, wonderfully ridiculous WWE stable known as The New Day. He also has his very own gaming channel, UpUpDownDown, which the Giant Beast squad had a brief cameo on this year. Head on over to Twitter and chant "NEW DAY ROCKS" in his direction at your earliest convenience.
I, Xavier Woods, otherwise known as “Handsome Austin Creed”, have come back for a third year to spread my immense love (and hatred) for the key video games that struck a note with me in the year of our Lord Raiden, 2015. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my work, let me list off just a few of my glorious accolades: In 6th grade I won the “Tuesday Tigers” bowling tournament; in high school I was a member of the Spanish Honors Society; I am currently working on my PhD; I play a level 50 bard in Final Fantasy XIV; I am a two-time and current WWE World Tag Team Champion; Yu Yu Hakusho is my favorite anime of all time; I’ll fight a man if he doesn’t agree that Topanga is the sexiest woman on this earth; I have a YouTube gaming channel called “UpUpDownDown” (which you should go subscribe to cause it’s hilarious); and finally (and most importantly), I am literally unbeatable in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. As far as Double Dash goes, I'll play money matches with whoever and you can help me pay off my student loans. COME AT ME!
Worst Game of the Year: Bloodborne
First off we have the award for absolute worst game of the year. Technically, this is the worst game of all time. This game brings nothing but shame to those who play it and those who enjoy it should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this type of evil into their hearts. I have never played a more aggravating and pointless game in my life. I downloaded it in order to do the multiplayer with a friend, but this multiplayer mode isn’t available from the start (first problem of many). So after seven hours of sitting and chatting with my friend in a party while we both tried to beat the first stage, I finally gave up and sat defeated. I wanted my $60 back and I’ve never legit wanted my money back for a video game. Well at least not since that horrendous Superman game on N64.
I love these Batman games. The fighting system is fantastic, and that’s always tremendously important in any game that has tons of fights within it. It plays pretty much like the previous Arkham games, which is nice considering I can’t stand when people try to fix something that isn’t broken. The new features like the Batmobile and all the sweet side missions made it pretty hard for me to actually stay on track with the main story. I’m totally a side mission kind of guy…
Run-through beat -'em-ups are possibly my favorite types of games, so that puts DMC 4 on my list this year. Normally I would sate my bloodlust with Dynasty Warriors, but this year it had to be done with DMC 4. Chaining attacks together and taking out huge numbers of enemies with badass combos makes me a happy man. Also, Dante is one of those characters who is way cooler than anyone else in his universe. He’s like the Fonz from Happy Days, but he kills demons and stuff.
This game changed my entire perspective of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Long story short: When I played the first Assassin's Creed back in the day, I didn’t enjoy it for whatever reason, and I just didn’t play the other ones. I tried the one on Vita and wasn’t into it. But this one, my god, when I played this one it was like I had been blessed with new life. I loved it. It even inspired me to go back and play the other ones, and I ended up loving them. On this one in particular, I really dug switching back and forth between Jacob and Evie. Also, the interaction between them as the game progresses feels like a real brother and sister dynamic. If my sister and I were assassins (just to be clear, we are not…), then I feel like this is exactly how we would be.
Duh, of course Metal Gear made the list. But it's not because of how amazing the game is. Obviously it's good! It made my list because of the sick '80s music that you can unlock. I cannot explain the bliss that I experienced sneaking up on soldiers, forcing information out of them and then murdering them all while “She Blinded Me with Science” is blasting in my headphones.
6. Her Story
Let's be real, if you have been keeping up the past few years of top 10 lists then you know your boy doesn’t only mess with console games. Her Story is one of the coolest concepts for a "game" that I've ever experienced. That said, if the content was no good then the game would have been the hottest of garbage. “Duh, Austin/Xavier/Whatever name you're choosing to go by today! If any game has bad content then it's gonna be trash!" I disagree with you, my friend who is reading this. Many a bad game has kept me interested due to having a bomb (good) soundtrack. But in Her Story, as you get deeper and deeper into this weird ridiculous story, you find these awesome twists and turns that make you wanna keep searching for more. Solid game that isn’t really a game, in the traditional sense of the word.
5. Fallout 4
Another "of course this is on the list!" choice. Don’t need to say too much about it. The game is really good and everyone is well aware. Moving on. OH! Wait, the Silver Shroud missions give me life. They are absolutely hysterical. Also, the fact that Diamond City Radio plays “60 Minute Man” is fantastic. It’s a song about “Lovin’ Dan” a man who will gladly love up on you if your man isn’t doing it right. And he will love up on you for exactly 60 minutes, no more no less, hence his moniker.
Ya boy loves some mobile games! My phone is more or less surgically implanted into my hand, so I've always got access to something. And the current something is Rollercoaster Tycoon 3. One straight-up payment and no microtransactions for a straight up PC port to my phone? Yes please! This game fueled many long nights in my history, so to be able to play it and build ridiculous theme parks while I'm on an airplane makes my day. Hours have gone into making sure my parks are clean and that everyone loves them. If you don’t love my park then I take it personally and I use my claw to drop you into the wastelands.
Squid… Yeah, I’m definitely a squid.
For being a super cute thing, Splatoon has no right to be as life-consuming as it is. Normally games that are in this type of cartoony world are fun for a bit but then get old after a run through. Splatoon can't stop and won't stop. The multiplayer has created some of my saltiest moments in 2015. That moment when you look at the map and you think that you won but then you realize that you lost by .2 percent because your roller didn’t get the back left wall… just the purest Salt. Regardless, changing from kid to squid to sneak up and blast your opponents with paint is a ridiculous concept that I have come to love. Add in the constant updates--stage changes, new weapons and items--and I'm hooked.
I love Mortal Kombat II. I love it. Mortal Kombat 3 was alright, and everything after was fine, but I just didn’t play them. But X… X is a different beast. These fatalities are some of the most disgusting displays of tearing bodies to pieces that I've ever seen, and I love it. The X-ray deal is fantastic and makes me wanna play Blitz: The League II. This game has ranked so high with me because it's beyond fun to play with friends. I travel with my PS4, and 9 times out of 10 we are playing this game. Getting a room full of people and yelling, screaming, getting hype is a favorite pastime of mine and this game lets me do that so I love it. Jax and Sub-Zero are my dudes, so try me if you see me!
1. Until Dawn
As you're reading this I am somewhere in the world slow clapping for everyone who had anything to do with creating this game. This is one of the greatest games that I have ever played in my life. It's akin to Heavy Rain (which was amazing), but the upgrade that I noticed is that people will sit and happily watch someone else play Until Dawn. I've now played through it six times, and I've watched people play through it three times. That’s nine times I've now seen it from start to finish. Its about 8-10 hour game depending on how fast you play it. That means that I've given anywhere from 72 to 90 hours to a game that is not an RPG and isn’t Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. This is unheard of. The last game I gave that much time to was Persona 4 Golden (96 hours).
It’s a teen horror movie, and full of all the great clichés of the genre, which is a big part of why it's so entertaining to watch. Also, I don’t think I have ever had so much hatred for a fictional character in my life. Emily is the absolute worst. She is pretty much what would occur if a piece of human excrement was given eyes, a nose, and a mouth. Just a walking talking piece of crap. She sucks. There is no punchline and this is not meant to be funny. She is the worst ever. EVER.
Well that’s my top 10 for 2015!
Oh, also! Final Fantasy VII came out on PS4 and iOS…. Yes I got both of them. And yes, I'm playing through it again on both. Don’t judge me. You know that’s like the best game ever, right? So, why deny oneself the satisfaction of using materia as much a humanly possible?