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Best of 2015

2015's been a year of challenges for me, so I'm mildly surprised to be sitting here at the tail-end of a year where I also managed to play almost 50 games.

But it's also a year in which I've been angry at games to an unprecedented level. I can't think of another year in which so many games shipped as broken - and people have been letting them get away with it, unlike last year, when the (less) broken games got crucified. What happened, guys?

And either way, we deserve better than this, and game developers deserve shipping better games than many of the biggest titles this year have been.

List items

  • This game is on fire. In many ways (Act 2. What happened? Konami. Why? Quiet's outfit.)

    But... it's also a beautiful mess that I have not been able to stop thinking about. (Quiet's character arc. The intro. The twist (yes, I liked it, even though I saw it coming). Quiet's humming. The best stealth game. The best open world game? D-Dog. D-Horse. D-Walker.)

    And even now, I'm sitting here thinking of the game. Of the story. It's great. It's a great game. Shame about the bad parts. But the amount of time I've spent thinking of The Phantom Pain this year, there's no way I could put it anwyhere but at #1.

    (And then there's that supposed interview about the blank page, which is threatening to

  • In 2013 I put Dontnod's previous game "Remember Me" on my 8th spot on my Game of the Year list, remarking "I'm going to make sure to look very closely at what Donnod produces next, because Remember Me was a unique experience that I will remember."

    2 Years later, here we are. When Life of Strange: Episode 5 ended, I was blubbering. It hit me hard as hell.

    And yeah, I'm going to continue keeping an eye on Dontnod.

  • I've been a great fan of "XCOM style games" since the original games were released. I put more time than is really reasonable into Terror From the Deep. I put a lot of time into Enemy Unknown a few years ago.

    And I did not expect Double Fine to produce an "XCOM killer".

    While the combat in Massive Chalice is more basic than that in other games in the genre, Massive Chalice's legacy system is brutal. It means that you are spending a lot more time caring about the individual soldiers. They mean something. You groom them to be the next regent, and then you realize that the only way to get out of the situation you've put yourself in is... to sacrifice the character you've spent the last couple of hours grooming. Oh well.

    In other words, Massive Chalice is :D

  • I'm torn about Undertale. I didn't have the experience a lot of other people had with it. I wasn't blown away. If anything, the Flowie fight pissed me off something incredible.

    But, at the same time, I can't deny that Undertale is clever. I can't that glint in it's eye. That wry grin as it jabs you in the ribs with it's elbow.

    Undertale is clever. And it's ok.

  • Her Story is weird. It grabbed me in a really interesting way - and I finished most of the game in one sitting, unlocking all videos.

  • Platinum made me feel like a kid watching cartoons again. It was awesome.

  • It's just a beautiful game. It's not my favorite of the Wadjet published games - but it's pretty good.

  • I played A LOT of Assassins Creed's this year (4). This game does many things very well.

    Like Evie. Evie is really good. But so is Jacob - even though I don't like him. They both felt like real people, with real motivations and goals. Possibly the best characters of the year.

  • This game is so ambitious. It's so cool. It's a bit broken in places... but I really like it.

  • I really like Uplink - and this feels like the closest we've gotten in recent years. It's not as deep, but it does a lot of clever things in the genre.