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List of Games Beaten in 2015

New year, new list. I've made so many of these "games beaten in [year]" lists now that I've actually run out of things to say. I mean, it's all the games I beat in 2015.

Tell you what: I'll keep this particular list free of Back to the Future II references and we'll call it even, OK?

Additional: Many of the games on this list got far deeper analyses in a couple of daily blog series this year, specifically Mento's May Mastery and Go! Go! GOTY! in May and December respectively. I'll link to them here to make further reading easier.

End of Year Statistics! I forgot to do this last year, but they're always fun:

  • Total Games Completed: 53 (down 14 from last year! I did play a lot of huge RPGs though)
  • 2015 Games Completed: 13 (getting a top ten was easy this year)
  • 2014 Games Completed: 17
  • 10+ Year Old Games Completed: 4
  • Games Started But Not Finished: 10 (Notable "meh"s include: Fantasy Life, Papers Please, Roundabout and Deception IV: Blood Ties)
  • System Breakdown: PC (36), PS3 (11), 3DS (3), N64 (1), DS (1), Wii U (1). (Consoles making a comeback next year.)
  • First Game of Year: Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (still playing it daily since Xmas of 2014. Still am, sorta, when Pokemon Picross and Badge Arcade aren't taking up my daily 3DS allotment.)
  • Last Game of Year: Technobabylon. (A very worthy last addition for Go! Go! GOTY!. Of course, I still have a few games from that feature left to wrap up for 2016...)

List items

  • 02/01. I... think I beat Curtain Call? I got to 20k Rhythmia and an event happened and then the staff credits rolled right after. I'm certainly not done with this game yet. The Quest Medleys are addictive stuff, and I want to get more characters and songs unlocked if I can. I suspect I'll just be playing this on and off for the rest of the year. (5 Stars.)

  • 13/01. I like the setting and story well enough, but the engine and mission design are still as busted and uninspired as ever. I doubt I'll be touching another AC again, not unless there are some major improvements besides "more boats". (3 Stars.)

  • 06/02. God damn was this game perplexing. Not necessarily to play, as Square-Enix has this Final Fantasy business down to an art, but simply everything about its existence is anathema to common sense. I racked my brain trying to understand this game over six blogs, so I'd recommend you check those out. Good music though. (4 Stars.)

  • 16/02. I think I might finally be done with open-world games, you guys. The expansive Himalayan Republic of Kyrat really took it out of me. Well, I say that, and then Just Cause 3 comes out and all my firm declarations of open-world cessation fly out the window with a grappling hook attached to a jet fighter. (4 Stars.)

  • 20/02. My first 2015 game. BUD's gallivanting around with his horticultural happenings certainly sets a high bar for the rest of the year. Like a 1000m high bar. Boy howdy, don't play this game if you have a thing for heights... (4 Stars.)

  • 02/03. I both hate and love these MGS games. Have I now joined the general population in that regard? Only one core game left to go (at least until September). You can do it, Drew! Remember the basics of CQC! Or just the buttons in general, failing that! (3 Stars.)

  • 16/03. Reviewed this one. It's one of the weaker Guild games, but I think there's a lot to enjoy here. Get used to hitting metal to a rhythm. (3 Stars.)

  • 17/03. I was apprehensive about the new Might and Magic reboot because it went pre-VI, ignoring all the cool panoramic ones I was far more familiar with. It's a solid game if you're into this kind of old-school dungeon crawler. Preferred it to Grimrock at least. (4 Stars.)

  • 22/03. A cute little RPG that takes the player through an extended video game history lesson, moving from black and white all the way up to PS1 pre-rendered backgrounds. The game essentially becomes FFVII for its final act. (3 Stars.)

  • 26/03. An homage to the princess-raising genre that was a thing a decade or so back. The added wrinkle here is that everyone is plotting to kill your oblivious royal heroine. Well, until she starts nuking fools with forbidden magic. (3 Stars.)

  • 14/04. Got an itch to replay this one which eventually lead to an enormous blog series to plumb its depths. I'm at the point now where I never want to write a single word about it ever again, so... (5 Stars.)

  • 23/04. An adorable 3DS puzzle game from HAL that gets really fun in the late-game once it runs out of tutorials. A surprising amount of thought went into this, for as minimal as it appears. (5 Stars.)

  • 25/04. Seriously impressed with Obsidian's Infinity Engine throwback and am looking forward to additional sequels in this universe. Another game I couldn't stop writing about, whether it's that three-part blog series or my review. (5 Stars.)

  • 28/04. To be more accurate, the second half of Broken Age. It didn't do the game any favors to be broken up, as it turns out, as that second half seemed to go by a lot faster and have a handful more problems. (3 Stars.)

  • 30/04. I'm not sure how "beaten" this game is, but I did unlock all the plane (or Rauser) parts and take down a blimp so I'm going with that as the finishing line. It's a great little Arcade game, the sort Vlambeer are known for. Nothing too substantial, but I get the sense that wasn't the idea. (4 Stars.)

  • 03/05. May Mastery Days 1-3. (4 Stars.)

  • 09/05. May Mastery Day 8. (4 Stars.)

  • 11/05. May Mastery Day 9. (5 Stars.)

  • 12/05. May Mastery Days 4-5. (3 Stars.)

  • 13/05. May Mastery Days 12-13. (5 Stars.)

  • 15/05. May Mastery Day 14. (4 Stars.)

  • 16/05. May Mastery Day 16. (4 Stars.)

  • 18/05. May Mastery Day 18. (5 Stars.)

  • 23/05. May Mastery Days 21-22. (4 Stars.)

  • 23/05. May Mastery Day 23. (4 Stars.)

  • 27/05. May Mastery Days 25-27. (4 Stars.)

  • 28/05. Like Super Mario 64, this was another replay inspired by the possible future reemergence of games of this genre. Sometimes you just need a little reminder of why these games matter. And matter they do. (5 Stars.)

  • 05/06. A boat was built. And there was much rejoicing. Addictive little Match-3 game that's every bit the draw its predecessor 10,000,000 was. (4 Stars.)

  • 09/06. May Mastery Days 28-30. (4 Stars.)

  • 28/06. This one took up almost my entire June. It's an immense testament to proper RPG worldbuilding and giving the player plenty to do, and the DA2 combat's been refined to be less focused on spawning endless waves of mobs. It's an impressive game, the best BioWare has created in a while, though it sits between the arguably better huge open-world RPGs Xenoblade and Witcher 3. (5 Stars.)

  • 04/07. An important game. Short, but important. Almost exonerates the FMV era of adventure games, and it's to that era's chagrin that they couldn't come up with something as simple and clever as this instead of throwing money at bad cyberpunk props and Christopher Walken's salary. (5 Stars.)

  • 08/07. The new Strider reboot has a number of issues, such as a nasty one-two punch of some bloated level design and a lack of any sort of fast travel, but the combat flows well and it still retains that classic Arcade Strider feel. Seems like that's what they were aiming for. (3 Stars.)

  • 09/08. I've spoken at length about this one. I can see what all the fuss was about back in '08 with all its GameSpot 10/10 ratings and various approbations, but personally it felt like MGS2 in that it was plagued with a few game design clunkers between the moments of brilliance (as well as perhaps a few more cutscenes than it strictly needed). I'm starting to wonder if MGSV is genuinely going to be the first wholly good one of these. (4 Stars.)

  • 22/08. I reviewed this one. Click this box here to go to its wiki page and check the reviews. In short: a big improvement over the original due to lots of mechanical enhancements, a character development overhaul and an ending that didn't suck. The greater sense of exploration that came with its non-linearity was a welcome change too. (4 Stars.)

  • 27/08. While it has dated a little with its lack of modern conveniences, like a limited rewind function for when you wipe out seconds before finishing a race, I can certainly see why this game is held up as the gold standard for Arcade-style racers. While I'd never consider myself an expert at racing games, I still completed all the Burning Routes and acquired all the single-player trophies, and that speaks to both its accessibility and to its enjoyment (the latter because I wouldn't have bothered otherwise). (5 Stars.)

  • 27/08. I've beaten Terraria before, but I restarted from scratch when the 1.3 patch and all its new additions came around. Now that I've slain its new colossal boss and am rocking a ridiculous fire sword-whip thing that kills most bosses in seconds, it might be time to put it away again. (At least until Xmas, since I hear there's a dumb seasonal snowman event to partake in...) (5 Stars.)

  • 01/09. Despite a few unfortunate bugs, some unnecessary combat and knowing the twist beforehand, I found The Fall to be an engrossing sci-fi adventure that intelligently explores identity and especially as it pertains to computer AIs that must obey strict rules of conduct. I look forward to seeing where future installments of this series head. (4 Stars.)

  • 06/09. Block puzzle SpaceWhipper thing with boars. Surprisingly engrossing. Like Toki Tori 2, there's something about the idea of combining puzzle gameplay with the exploration-heavy SpaceWhipper genre. (5 Stars.)

  • 18/09. I'd let the third Suikoden game take on this mythical property as a lost gem because it was the only one to elude a PAL release (and continues to do so, mostly). It's really only the fourth best in the core series; its additions of multiple protagonist viewpoints and mix-up of the combat system offering their own strengths and weaknesses. (4 Stars.) (Well, 108 Stars, but 4 for the game's rating.)

  • 20/09. Disappointing, but then I don't know what I was expecting. Indie SpaceWhippers have grown by leaps and bounds since the early days of the still-excellent Cave Story and Aquaria. This short, barebones throwback feels like it should've been made even further back. (2 Stars.)

  • 07/10. Like a fair number of people, I'd imagine, I was a little intimidated to get into this gritty post-apocalyptic shooter with its many systems and bleak Eastern European presentation. It's absolutely worth the investment though. I'll give it some time and then carve out a few weeks for Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat. (5 Stars.)

  • 11/10. Another absurdly brief Indie puzzle-platformer thing that doesn't quite get all the mileage from its teleport gun mechanics that it should've. Fine game, but nothing vital. (3 Stars.)

  • 15/10. Hate to say it, but I think Shadowgate's time has passed. This reboot gamely tries to preserve what people fondly recall of the MacVenture original with a fresh coat of paint (it's a beautiful game; every screen looks like a Frazetta painting) and a few modern convenience features, but that archaic game design is still hard to swallow after decades of progress. Some throwbacks work better than others, I suppose. (3 Stars.)

  • 16/10. Came in with zero expectations and came out pleasantly satisfied with a selection of smaller retro games centered around GameJam themes. Just two or three of the seven games included would've made this bundle worth the asking price. (4 Stars.)

  • 26/10. While creating levels and risking whatever pops out of the user-generated "100 Mario Challenge" mode are fun enough already, this game really found its footing with how creatively the internet entertainment industry has been exploring it. I can't think of any game that has spawned better video content from LPers this year. (5 Stars.)

  • 07/11. There are times when Yakuza 3 felt like a slog, especially for a completionist like me that has to do every fetch-quest and mini-game, but there's really nothing like its brutal brawler combat out there. It sits on this odd intermediary stage between something like Sleeping Dogs or Batman and an actual fighter. No matter how many random hoodlums you bump into, the versatile ass-kicking never got old. (5 Stars.)

  • 14/11. A brilliant deconstruction of JRPGs, one of the funniest games since Jazzpunk and easily my front-runner for Best Soundtrack of the Year. Undertale has been hyped to shit by everyone who has played through it, and with good reason. (5 Stars.)

  • 21/11. I reviewed this one, but it's a inessential if still quite good "core" Ratchet & Clank game, in the sense that it doesn't do anything weird like Deadlocked or All 4 One. I wanted to get it out of the way before the reboot next year, and it was worth the brief time I spent with it. (3 Stars.)

  • 30/11. The first game covered by Go! Go! GOTY!. A truly excellent old-school graphic adventure with plenty of great writing and convenient mechanics, if nothing particularly ground-breaking. It's like comfort food for genre fans. (5 Stars.)

  • 02/12. The second game covered by Go! Go! GOTY!. I'm generally lukewarm on masocore retro throwbacks, but I can appreciate Castle in the Darkness for being a good one of those. Its tough sequences and occasionally unfair checkpointing made me curse more than a few times, but after Dan and Jeff's Mario Maker levels I'm getting used to it. (3 Stars.)

  • 06/12. The third game covered by Go! Go! GOTY!. Does what it set out to do, which is to remake Shadow of the Colossus with both its core "how the hell do I kill this thing?" puzzle-bosses and atmosphere of desolate loneliness intact. Not a whole lot of substance beyond that though, and jogging back to the boss that just killed you each time is always a chore though I appreciate that they wanted to give you the option to try another one. (3 Stars.)

  • 07/12. The fifth game covered by Go! Go! GOTY!. A beautiful coming-of-age story with an endearing central relationship - either platonic or romantic at the player's discretion - with some neat puzzles revolving around a time-rewind gimmick. Happy to have played all five episodes within days of each other: I don't think I could've tolerated waiting so long between them. (5 Stars.)

  • 11/12. The seventh game covered by Go! Go! GOTY!. Another classic point-and-click adventure with some contemplative sci-fi themes and some intelligent ideas for puzzles, even if they're not always terribly difficult to figure out. I think Wadjet Eye's VA game is getting stronger too, or maybe I'm imagining it. (4 Stars.)