My conquered games list of 2015.

It's that time again...

Since 2008, I've been keeping a record of all the video games I've beaten over the year. Mainly because I like lists. But also because I can figure out what I played as the year passed. Most importantly, whether or not I agreed with the consensus, or felt I was the outlier who actually (dis)liked a certain game. But also because I like opinions as well as lists.

"Conquered" in this case means beat the game and saw the credits. This mostly applies to single player games. This doesn't apply to multiplayer games don't have a fixed campaign mode, like Warframe or Payday 2. Sometimes I beat a game more than once. Other times I beat it with a mod, or co-oped the game with friends. This list also includes any DLC, if available.

I tend to have a massive backlog of stuff dating several years old, so don't expect many 2015 games on this list.

PREVIOUS YEARS: 2013, 2014

List items

  • (Beaten on PC. Beat the co-op campaign first on January 4, the main campaign on January 6, and the New Game+ campaign on January 8.)

    The Darkness II really caught my interest. I never played the original game, nor am I familiar with the comics. But I liked it because of its scoring system, where doing unique kills rewarded you more points, much akin to Bulletstorm's "Skillshots" system.

    While we may never get a Darkness III, I totally wouldn't mind playing a game in the same vein.

  • (beat Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage on January 5, Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep on February 23, and Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt on March 7. I had already beaten the game and Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty back in 2014.)

    I already talked about Borderlands 2 on last year's list, and not much has changed. It's a diablo-like with unique classes and somewhat funny writing. Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep actually made me like the character just a bit more, even if that DLC was making fun of D&D-style games and other medieval stuff.

    I enjoyed this, in spite of the weapons not being interested. Alas, that's the downfall of Diablo-like action games that we've yet to solve.

    Me and a few friends have been slowly tackling the DLC and Headhunter stuff before we eventually move on to Pre-Sequel. I heard from said friends that Pre-Sequel fixes some of the issues this game has, and it makes me want it just a bit more.

  • (Beaten on PC, January 11, 2015.)

    I wrote about this on my blog. It's an awful budget military FPS made by a company notorious for awful budget military FPSes. Oh well, not everything's a winner.

    Budget first-person shooters are a dime a dozen sort of thing. Lots of garage developers making stuff like these games. None of them will dethrone the big heavy hitters, but they'll probably break even enough to make similar games on the cheap. These are the games nobody really talks about, and are fascinating as hell to me despite their quality.

  • (Beaten on PC, January 13, 2015. Beaten entirely in co-op.)

    I've never played a Gauntlet game 'til this one. While it's bare bones and somewhat lacking in content, it makes up in it's arcadey style. It's built for replay value, having your classes upgrade and get unique skills.

    The big downside is its content. There's three worlds, and once you go through them there's not much incentive. Replaying them on harder difficulties, or getting the chance to upgrade your dude by shooting food, killing enemies or using your powerups seem to be the way the game is set up, and if you're expecting something deeper, you'll want to look elsewhere. Though if you just want a quick pick up and play sort of game, this'll scratch that itch.

    Here's hoping they add more areas, and I don't mean more Coliseums. Like actual areas to mess around in. That'd get me back to playing it.

  • (Beaten on PC, January 23, 2015. Beaten entirely in co-op.)

    Now I know why people were praising this one when games like Underworld were underwhelming. A fun co-op game with challenging puzzles and fun gameplay. If you haven't played this, you really should.

    A lot of this game is designed for upgrading your dude, doing puzzles with your co-op partner to unlock relics or health upgrades. Even doing challenges can give you unlockable skins.

    The downside was Totec, your spear/shield co-op buddy. He's voiced by Jim Cummings, and it's probably one of the few times I'd say they made a poor casting decision. Totec's voice doesn't match the look of the character, basically. Though it's not a dealbreaker, just a bit off-putting.

    The fun part is the DLC. There's Challenge arenas if you're into that sort of thing, but there's also DLC to replace Totec and Lara with either Raziel and Kain from Legacy of Kain, or Kane & Lynch. Kane & Lynch is especially funny as hell, since the game is rated T, all their swearing is completely censored, which makes it funnier than it has any right to be.

  • (Beaten on Genesis, February 2, 2015. Played on the game's anniversary.)

    This is the best Sonic game. Combined with Sonic & Knuckles, you have the best Sonic game out there, and is the only right answer to "the best Sonic the Hedgehog game." (Sonic CD is also an acceptable answer, but *NOT* Sonic 2. If Sonic 2 is their favorite, they need to stop snorting the dust.)

    Playing this for old time's sake was quite fun, even if I was really bad at it. Sonic 3 has a final boss exclusive to the original game that kicked my ass and made me lose all my lives and continues, getting him on literally my last life. Killing him made that oh-so-satisfying. (Though, the boss doesn't appear if you play S3&K, unless you play as Knuckles.)

  • (Beaten on PC, February 15, 2015. Ended up getting the "Harvest" ending.)

    The last time I beat this game was five years ago, on PS3. Itching to play something "different," I tackled this one again.

    I can understand why people loved this game. Rapture has an amazing world and atmosphere attached to it, its 1950s aesthetic along with period-appropriate music made the world feel interesting and alive. Especially places like Arcadia.

    I will tackle the other BioShock games, but I heard less-than-positive things about both the 2nd game and Infinite, so my expectations will be set accordingly. Like everything new I play. :P

  • (Beaten on PC, February 28, 2015. Ultra Violence difficulty.)

    It's fucking Doom. What is there to really say about it? A game that popularized the FPS genre as we know it. Action packed, fun as hell. I remember playing Episode 1 more than the others (didn't get the full game legitimately until years later), so I'm still rusty on where everything is in the later episodes.

    I will say Thy Flesh Consumed, Episode 4, is a real pain in the ass. After having to struggle through the first level (Hell Beneath) with no medkits, and the pain that is Perfect Hatred, which gives you a breather 'til you get to Against Thee Wickedly, which I'm god damn amazed I even beat it without cheating. Though Unto the Cruel, the final level of the episode, is a great action-packed finisher.

    Basically, play Doom. Preferably as close to the original as possible. Either through DOSbox or a source port, like Chocolate Doom, prBoom+ or Doom Retro. ZDoom will also work but it's got a lot of bells and whistles to it and not really the most "ideal" Doom experience to me.

  • (Beaten on PC, March 3, 2015. Ultra Violence difficulty.)

    Naturally since I beat Doom, I had to tackle its sequel. Unlike Doom which I hold very near and dear, I don't hold Doom II with as much acclaim.

    They added enemies, which is great considering the somewhat sparse amount of enemies in Doom. Problem is most of the new enemies are annoying in some fashion. Chaingunners do massive hitscan damage and show up in massive groups on Ultra Violence difficulty, Archviles can undo your progress while making it hard to kill (unless you know the trick to dodging their attack), and don't get me started on Pain Elementals.

    It also doesn't help a fair share of the levels like The Citadel, Nirvana, and The Chasm are poorly designed and mostly unfun. The last few stages just feel like an absolute slog to play through. A shame, really. On the bright side, the new Super Shotgun feels oh-so-good despite it breaking game balance a little.

    I may sound like I'm saying "Don't play this," but you should play Doom II despite my complaints. It's more Doom, for those who want more action, this is for you.

  • (Beaten on PC, March 10, 2015.)

    March might as well become "Throwback FPS month" for me. Thought since I played Doom, might as well play the game that started it all.

    Wolfenstein is very maze-like, which gets confusing in the later episodes. At its core it's a simple shooter, with simple levels, limited amounts of enemies, and hunting for keys and secrets.

    Wolfenstein also does jump scares better than any survival horror game. I got spooked several times going through mazes, hearing the sound of Officers yelling "SPION!", enough to make you lose health and spam bullets everywhere.

    The last level on episode 6 is a real pain in the ass, especially if you start with a pistol. A dozen enemies await, and will pretty much wreck you if you're not prepared. But once you get past it, killing the final boss is so satisfying. Beating Hitler in episode 3 is also pretty damn satisfying.

    If you're used to other shooters, it might take a while to get used to. Play it with a source port like ECWolf, which gives you an automap that isn't in the base game. Makes a lot of the levels less frustrating to go through!

  • (Beaten on PC, March 20, 2015.)

    I will admit I am not a Star Wars fan. I have barely seen the original trilogy. I regrettably saw Episode I in a theater (to be fair, it was a class field trip.) Thus I wasn't expecting much out of this game except a solid shooter. and boy, I was right.

    Thank god this is one of those side story games where it doesn't require watching the movies to understand. There were a few parts that were quite annoying, and the lives system took a little getting used to for a guy like me who abuses quick save and quick load like a crazy man.

    The game does get tough though, especially on later stages. Eventually you're fighting the titular dark forces, sometimes in pairs, and if you don't got the right weapon equipped, they'll wreck you pretty damn quick. I had to kick it down to Easy for the last level because I had went through about 90% of it only to die in the last area.

    But seriously, this is a good game. Even if you're not a Star Wars kind of guy, this is still a fun shooter with some good use of the franchise. I actually wanna try out the other ones.

  • (Beaten on PC, March 24, 2015. Beaten entirely in co-op.)

    Serious Sam II is... something. At times it still does the throwback feel of throwing loads of dudes at you and to eradicate them with all the things in your arsenal.

    But then it throws in gimmicks like vehicle sections, going through mazes, walking through cold areas where you slowly lose health until you find a heat source. The last few levels are game show-esque where you're rushing through checkpoints. It really feels like Croteam had a bunch of ideas and rather than picking one and rolling with it, decided to mash them all together all at once.

    It's not awful, but there's a reason people remember the First/Second Encounter more than the later games. Worth playing co-op with friends on the cheap.

  • (Beaten on PC, March 28, 2015. Beaten on Nightmare difficulty.)

    Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake are probably the three games that got me interested in FPS games. Naturally after playing Wolf and Doom, Quake was not far behind.

    Quake is a different beast. Being one of the earliest 3D shooters, it's got 3d movement, frenetic Doom-like pace, and a bunch of mish-mashed things that you think wouldn't work together, but they do. Ogres mixed in with soldiers. Bases that transition to strange castles. Shotguns, nailguns and the Thunderbolt. There's something about Quake that does this that I've yet to see any other game do as well.

    It's a shame this is the end of the "glory era" of id. John Romero would leave, and much like a singer-songwriter duo splitting, the two would never be the same.

    Speaking of John Romero, I still never played Daikatana...

  • (Beaten on PC, March 30, 2015. The later episodes beaten on June 14 and 16, 2015.)

    Everybody remembers Wolfenstein 3D. I don't think many remember Spear of Destiny. That's a shame, I think it's a more cohesive game than Wolfenstein 3D.

    Having only 20 or so levels to work with makes it feel it has a bit more polish. But it's the same as Wolfenstein 3D: Open doors, find keys, kill dudes in your wake. But it's a great prequel to Wolf3D.

    Eventually I grabbed the Steam release that had the bonus episodes. There's a more comprehensive thing on my personal blog, but there's a lot of bullshit puzzles and lots of blue. No wonder they've become "lost" episodes in recent years.

  • (Beaten on PC, April 14, 2015.)

    Wolfenstein 3D was a pretty good game. Now think of a game on the same engine, but with interesting features like friendlies, one-way doors, and the option to go to any level you already conquered at any time to grab goodies.

    That's Blake Stone, basically. It's a really interesting, innovative game that should've gotten more attention. It's a shame that a game like Doom basically killed any similar FPSes.

    The one big downside is that it ends on a slight cliffhanger, to be continued in Planet Strike, the game's sequel. I'm hoping that game's more interesting, much like Spear was a bit more refined than Wolfenstein 3D.

  • (Beaten on PC, April 29, 2015.)

    I hold a nostalgic memory for Vice City. I was a dumb teenager and grabbed this off the internet ten or so years ago. Eventually I bought this legitimately and beat it, though on the original Xbox years ago. Probably around the time GTA4 came out.

    I love the setting, I love the atmosphere, I love the 80s style it has. It's a shame it goes into the common problems of GTA games: Violence, sexism, racism, the works. If GTA does something impressive, that's making you play as a villain fighting against other villains.

    One more thing: Fuck flying missions, and fuck boat missions. Most of my frustration came from those. Either that or Messing with the Man, which I beat by shooting an M16 at a Police helicopter. Though, watching a lot of speedruns of this game made it easier to "cheat" the game in some missions, making parts trivial, so I can give it that.

  • (Beaten on PC, twice: Once on May 7, 2015 co-operatively, another on May 13, on New Game+, Veteran difficulty. Later beat the Desperate Escape DLC on August 18.)

    I remember hearing this got a lot of flak originally. Now that it finally purged itself of GFW Live and got on Steamworks, me and a friend decided to co-op it, and it wasn't completely awful.

    At times, RE5 seems more like it's dredging up all the things people remember about RE4 (Foreign buddy who dies, creepy-looking henchman who becomes a mutated being, even down to the mutant being just a variant of the existing Las Plagas). That isn't necessarily *bad*, it just makes it look less creative compared to what RE4 did for the entire series.

    It also has very ham-fisted "cover" mechanics, as if they heard complaints of "Why is there no cover system, Capcom?" without seeing what both Gears of War and Uncharted did for that system, opting for a somewhat cumbersome experience.

    The co-op is probably the greatest thing this game has going for it. It's not amazing, but it's fun to roam around this with a friend, rather than relying on the AI to try to do things. It just feels more atmospheric.

    Hopefully I can try the Untold Stories stuff eventually, because I enjoyed this game enough to go through it twice. One of these days, I will get other Resident Evil games, or maybe go back to RE4 since it's been a long-ass time.

  • (Beaten on PC, May 9, 2015.)

    If Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold was Wolfenstein 3D, then Planet Strike is its Spear of Destiny. A smaller, more compact experience, with "new" aliens (reskins of existing enemies), a new weapon or two, and an interesting map feature.

    The problem is that by this time, people were rolled fully into Doom fever, and Doom II was on the horizon. This game didn't have a chance on the aging Wolfenstein 3D engine, especially since it's mostly the same as Aliens of Gold.

    Still worth playing if you're looking for an obscure old-school FPS fix, though.

  • (Beaten on 360, May 24, 2015.)

    Back in 2012, I picked this game up for cheap. I gave up on the next-to-last RTS mission before the game's end. After watching a let's play of someone going through the PC version, I decided to give it a try and beat it.

    About three years and a week after I got my last achievement, I conquered the world of Brutal Legend, and got my first 360 game beaten this year.

    I've got a confession to make: I never played much of Double Fine's stuff. Bought Psychonauts on a Steam sale and never played it, and I've played demos of Stacking and such, but never really got to get the "experience" of a Double Fine game in its entirety. This game is a practical love letter to metal and hard rock, and even if you aren't into the Real Time Strategy stuff, it's still a solid game.

  • (Beaten on PC, June 5, 2015.)

    2013-14 was a weird era where old FPSes from the 90s were given remakes. Rise of the Triad from last year is probably the best example of getting the old school FPS vibe "right," as it were.

    Shadow Warrior is much like Flying Wild Hog's last game, Hard Reset. A Painkiller/Serious Sam-esque shooter where you kill loads of dudes with various weapons. The game's core mechanic works on not just killing with skill like with Bulletstorm, but it also has a fairly solid melee system. Using Ki powers with your sword is oddly satisfying, and if you wanna rack up loads of karma to upgrade stuff, you have to change things up constantly. Whether it's aiming for headshots, explosive traps, or just using sword powers, it makes each battle interesting. Except the charging enemies whose weak point is on their back, those guys can go fuck right off.

    It also helps that this game pretty much gives a middle finger to the original game's lame story of "Duke Nukem 3D but with an asian knockoff protagonist" by going with demon realms and different locations, making it stand out that much more from other FPSes.

    I hope Flying Wild Hog gets to return to Shadow Warrior someday, this game was surprisingly enjoyable and refreshing.

    (Bonus points for Devolver getting the "right" version of Stan Bush's The Touch. It always irked me when games like Saints Row IV got the rerecording from a few years ago rather than the cheesy synth-rock version of the 80s original.)

  • (Beaten on PC, June 10, 2015.)

    This game is if Far Cry 3 and Every Single 1980s Cliche came together and made a sloppy goo.

    Now I liked Far Cry 3 for what it did, and I love Blood Dragon for basically simplifying everything down to its bare essentials. No hunting for pelts to craft stuff, no crafting herbs, just simple action that's so ridiculous it hurts.

    Even though the game was fairly short (about 6 hours for me), I loved it because I got 100% fairly easily, and it made for a fun experience. I don't know if I want a Blood Dragon 2, but I totally wouldn't mind seeing more smaller, bite-sized sequels to the modern Far Cry formula. Not every game needs to be a 60+ hour, 500 item collectathon.

    Side note: It's funny how it points out how dumb tutorials are and how Rex Power Colt mentions hoping that he never has to "find any fucking flags/feathers," but the joke doesn't quite work when it's poking fun at yourself, Ubisoft. That just makes it more self aware that it's all bullshit and you don't intend to change that.

  • (Beaten on PC, June 20, 2015.)

    There's promise in a game like this. Legendary could've been a great FPS where all hell broke loose. Instead, the developers look like they played Half-Life, went "I CAN MAKE THAT TOO" but did it without any nuance or thinking things through.

    Like your main character, a successful graduate of the Gordon Freeman school of character development, activates Pandora's Box and gets only a handful of powerups throughout the game, like sucking up souls, healing yourself, doing a force push, that sort of thing.

    It doesn't help 70% of the game takes place in the same area, only for it to briefly go to London for a locale change before returning back to New York for the finale that builds to and ending alluding to a sequel that will never happen.

    I wonder if Spark Unlimited's other major shooter, Turning Point Fall of Liberty, is worse than this.

  • (Beaten on PC, June 20, 2015. Beaten entirely in co-op.)

    What?! a 2015 game on this list?! Color yourselves shocked.

    This is a shorter, more compact version of Saints Row 4. No customization, no radio music, a few cameos of characters from past games, and a story that seems kinda slapped together with a few decent jokes here and there. It's not spectacular, but if it goes on sale for cheap, it's worth a spin.

    I said this before about Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and I'll say it here: I want more of these shorter free-roaming experiences. Not everybody can hoof through a 60+ hour game. I got about 90% of the stuff after a few hours, and that's a fine length.

    I liked Saints Row IV despite it getting *too* goofy at times, and I think the series needs a break if they're gonna pump out mediocre side-games like this.

  • (Beaten on PC, June 23, 2015.)

    This really amounts to being a poor man's Uncharted. References to it, a lot of the levels being reminiscent of those games, that sort of thing.

    I'll give Semaphore, the Saudi Arabian game development studio credit: They tried. Oh boy, did they try. It's a shame we'll probably never see Episode Two ever, but for the $1 I paid for this, I got a couple hours of what amounts to a "bollywood" Uncharted.

  • (Beaten on PC, July 8, 2015.)

    After playing Unearthed, I needed a palate cleanser, and playing another Uncharted-like game was a good idea.

    This game gets a bit unnecessary on the violence front with loads of blood and horrific visage. (At one point, Lara's wading through a pool of blood and bones.) However, it does have a fair share of exploration and finding goodies, and I liked the Metroid-esque system of getting new weapons and features and going back to past areas to unlock new things.

    I've only played one Tomb Raider game in the past, 2006's Legend (the last time they rebooted the series), and this was better than that in many ways. Here's hoping Rise of the Tomb Raider (when it comes to PC next year) keeps the same Metroid-like mechanics while having Lara raid more than optional tombs.

  • (Beaten on PC, July 23, 2015.)

  • (Beaten the main campaign and the Ryder White DLC, on PC, August 6, 2015.)

  • (Beaten on PC, August 16, 2015.)

  • (Beaten on PC, August 23, 2015. I played the Atomic Edition which adds one additional episode, through the Megaton Edition re-release.)

  • (BEATEN ON PC, AUGUST 24, 2015.)

  • (Beaten on PC, August 29, 2015. Played through the Megaton Edition re-release.)

  • (Beaten on PC, September 21, 2015. Played through the Counter-Life mod.)

  • (Beaten on PC, September 25, 2015.)

  • (Beaten on PC, October 3, 2015.)

  • (Beaten on PC, October 8, 2015.)