Games of 2015

The year 2015 has ended, which inspires a time of reflection. 2015 was another great year for video games. The PS4 and XBox One are in full swing, and developers brought some of their best work to the consoles in 2015. Of course, PC gaming continued on where the old generation left off, and it actually seems developers are paying more attention to PC. Looking back, I’m able to pick out eleven games (once again) that I played over the course of last year. There were a few stragglers I ended up playing, but didn’t make the list for one reason or another. This list isn’t in any particular order, and, like years previous, the categories are all unique.

Made This Cold Heart Feel

Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons (PC)

Number of hours played:        2.75
Number of achievements earned: 4/12
Number of screenshots taken:   69

I got you, bro.

Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons was the first game I kicked off the new year with. I marathoned it over two days, and finished it. I loved every moment of the two brothers’ adventure. It was also a very emotional game for me. I tip my hat off to the developers for making such an emotionally compelling game. It also didn’t hurt that the gameplay of controlling two characters with one controller was fun and interesting.

Beep! Beep! Varoom!

Need for Speed Rivals (PS4)

Number of hours played:        59.25
Number of achievements earned: 26/26
Number of screenshots taken:   18

The guy on the left was like, “Wee! I’m going so fast-ah fuck!”

Need For Speed Rivals is one of my favorite racing games. I absolutely loved Burnout Paradise (which is my favorite racing game), and have played through that game a few different times. So when most of the developers from the Burnout series make a Need For Speed game, I perk up a little bit. Yes, I loved Need For Speed Hot Pursuit (2010), but I think I like Need for Speed Rivals a little more. Rivals isn’t as good as Burnout Paradise, but it does scratch the itch a little bit. Rivals is a very beautiful game, and racing around at high speed is a blast; crashing your opponents is an even bigger blast (hehe, puns). I even put up with grinding for all of the trophies, and I enjoyed it! I will say, playing as the racer is a lot more fun than playing as the cops. If they do another one that’s similar, I hope they balance the cops to be more enjoyable to play as.

Nazis. Nazis everywhere.

Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC)

Number of hours played:        19.75
Number of achievements earned: 32/50
Number of screenshots taken:   67

Hello, there fellow Nazi… I’m a Nazi, too… not a freedom fighter… fuck it! I’m going to blow your brains out.

I didn’t pay much attention to Wolfenstein: The New Order before it came out. Even when it was released, I didn’t care. However, the video game community kept talking about this game, so I bought it on sale. I’m so glad I did! First, it’s a beautiful game. Second, the running and gunning feels so good, and makes me a little nostalgic for old school shooters. Third, the story is actually very well done. The story is self aware in a way that’s interesting. Yes, it’s Nazi’s taking over everything and you are the only one who can stop it, but it makes sense when you play the game.

How High Can You Get?

Far Cry 4 (PC)

Number of hours played:        56.5
Number of achievements earned: 39ish/57ish
Number of screenshots taken:   163

Look at this mother fucking elephant! It’s taking a god damn bath! How cool is that shit!?

Far Cry 4 just does open world right. Far Cry 3 was one of my favorite games from 2013 (that’s when I played it, but it came out in 2012). When I heard Far Cry 4 had everything I loved about 3, and it was better, I had to play it. My favorite part of Far Cry 4 is still liberating outposts, and the various ways you can accomplish that. The Himalayas provide a great environment to run around with much more vertical exploration than 3. The addition of the gyrocopter makes moving around fun, and the grenade launcher makes raining explosions down on your enemies a piece of cake. The villain is also fun, but I don’t think he’s as good as Vas from 3; however, he is more fleshed out. The best ending to the game can be done in 15 minutes.

Remaster of a Remaster 1

Halo: The Master Chief Collection – Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (XBox One)

Number of hours played:        14.5
Number of achievements earned: 29/???
Number of screenshots taken:   52

I’m going to poke this guy’s ass with my needle… damn, I’m immature.

I finally got around the playing through Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary from Halo: The Master Chief Collection. When I first got an XBox One, it came with Halo: The Master Chief Collection and I told myself that I was going to play through the Halo games again. I only got around to playing through Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary in 2015, but I still plan on playing through the rest of the games in the Collection. First off, the remaster is looking pretty good, and the visual tweaks help with the exploration. They don’t make games like this anymore, and the open areas can be hard to navigate from the original game. The upgraded visuals help out with this. The upgraded visuals also make the repetitive corridor sections a little bit easier to swallow, but those are still tedious. The A.I. in Halo: Combat Evolved amazes, but not in the best way. I can die at a section because I get overwhelmed by enemies (and because I’m not that great; some might say I suck) several times over, but I can get frustrated and say, “Fuck it!” and then proceed to run past the enemies to the next checkpoint, and be fine. I don’t hate the game; I actually had a lot fun revisiting this classic, but the mechanics are showing its age. It’s still a fun shooter.

Still Really Fun Again

Dishonored (PC)

Number of hours played:        54.75
Number of achievements earned: 69/80
Number of screenshots taken:   142

If I could, I’d murder this statue.

Let’s pretend that I didn’t talk about Dishonored in 2014. I still think it’s really fun. So much fun I bought it again on PC with all of the DLC. I actually hadn’t played the last story DLC, The Brigmore Witches, and I felt it was time. However, I didn’t just want to do a quick playthrough of the DLC. No, I replayed the main game three times to get all of the achievements, Knife of Dunwall twice to get all of the achievements, and then played through The Brigmore Witches twice to get all but one achievement; I enjoyed every single second. I should get all of the trophies for The Brigmore Witches on PS3. I should do the same on XBox 360 for the entire game.

Another Replay

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PC)

Number of hours played:        4
Number of achievements earned: 20/50
Number of screenshots taken:   28

Hey look… a heli-ma-copter. I wonder what it’s doing?

I figured I might as continue what I started in 2014 and play through Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 again. This year I’ll finish the trilogy, probably. I don’t have much to say about it. It’s a fun, mindless shooter, that scratches the itch that only Call of Duty can. I am surprised I remembered a lot more about this game than I would have thought. Things like the snowmobile chase scene, the suburb, and D.C. all stuck out again. The set pieces of this series are amazing.

Exercises My Creativity

Super Mario Maker (WiiU)

Number of hours played:        6.25ish
Number of achievements earned: NA
Number of screenshots taken:   16

This is a good example of using almost everything you can in a level. Looks fun, ‘miright?

As you might know, I loves me some Mario. I also loves me some Super Mario Maker. I don’t create a lot of levels, but I like to think the levels I do upload are of a higher stock… but then I play some of other people’s levels and my mind gets blown. Most of the time I get disappointed by the “Stand here and do nothing” and “Look! I made a shitty level!” levels, but there are lots of hidden gems out there. Nintendo just did everything right with this title, and they keep putting out updates that adds free content. Giving gamers the ability to create their own levels using the physics from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. is a great idea.

Old School Classic

Super Mario World (WiiU)

Number of hours played:        3.5
Number of achievements earned: NA
Number of screenshots taken:   13

Yoshi has the look of a dinosaur who’s lived a full life and wants to end it… in that pit.

To get some inspiration for Super Mario Maker, I played through Super Mario World. It had been awhile, and I like to go back to this game. It’s still one of my favorite 2D Mario titles. It’s neck and neck with Super Mario Bros. 3, and I can’t decide which one is better. There’s something about the physics of Super Mario World that makes it a joy to play. Definitely a timeless classic in my book.

Best Ninth Major Installment in a Series, Probably

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (PS4)

Number of hours played:        72
Number of achievements earned: 50/50
Number of screenshots taken:   99

Look! I found a screenshot I didn’t use in the previous post.

I already talked about Assassin’s Creed Syndicate in a previous post. It was one of my favorite games from this year. Right before I played Syndicate, I started to play Assassin’s Creed Unity for the first time, and that game almost made this list. However, I got a few hours into Unity, and I just didn’t care. There was so much I didn’t like about it, and just gave up, and that doesn’t happen very often, especially since Assassin’s Creed is one of my favorite series. Luckily, Syndicate came around and I played it in spite of Unity. If the next game is anything like Syndicate (let’s hope not too much alike; I do want some innovation in the series), then the future of Assassin’s Creed will be good.

I Can Get Higher!

Just Cause 3 (PC)

Number of hours played:        60.25
Number of achievements earned: 42/47
Number of screenshots taken:   92

The only thing this screenshot is missing is the wing suit.

Just Cause 3 slipped in just in time to make the list. I loved Just Cause 2, and Just Cause 3 is natural progression of the series. Just Cause 3 actually trims the fat from Just Cause 2. I put 200 hours into Just Cause 2, and a little over 60 hours in Just Cause 3, and I feel I accomplished a lot more in 3. At first, I thought the wing suit wasn’t much of an addition to the game. But the more I played, the more I realized how much useful the wing suit was, and how much it added to the game. There’s a part of me that wants to get all of the achievements, but I’ve tried to get five gears on all of the challenges, and some of those are frustrating to get even three, so that’s probably not going to happen. The only thing I didn’t like about this game are the glitches (the game yelling at me that I need to reconnect to their servers, and the game just crashing every few hours) and the driving physics are still atrocious.

2015 Gaming Statistics

Total number of games played:       20
Total number of hours played:       588.75
Total number of gaming sessions:    295
Game with most achievements earned: Dishonored (69)
Most played game:                   Minecraft (163 hours)
Personal game of the year:          Far Cry 4

Looking back, 2015 was an interesting year. Many of the games are open world games, but that’s not really a genre anymore; it’s more of a feature of the game. It seems the same trend is continuing in 2016. For some reason, I played a lot less indie titles last year. I guess I played Minecraft and Binding of Isaac in 2015 and didn’t feel the need to mention it. However, I have a backlog of indie games I hope to play this year. I also hope to play more couch coop games with friends this year. I’m playing one now, and having a blast. As far as playing games, I’m off to a good start this year. I’ve already completed the story of a game, and I’m in the process of playing two other games. I also hope to continue on with Modern Warfare 3 and Halo 2 this year. I wonder if I’ll have more than eleven games on next year’s list? I guess we’ll see.

I want to thank you for reading. I put a lot of hard work into this post. I might be a little late, but I hope you have a happy 2016.

– Royfuss

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