Favorite Games of 2015: What a Strange Long Trip It’s Been

dialogueWell, 2015 is over. It was… a year, I guess. Everyone else seems to be doing these kinds of lists, so I thought I’d rattle a short one off myself. Because I have a blog. And that’s  what blogs are for. Meaningless lists. So here are some games that I liked that happened this in 2015.

Life is Strange

Someone told me the other day that they weren’t sure if they should play Life is Strange because they weren’t into visual novels. This stumped me for a second because not only do I not like visual novels either, I hadn’t thought of LiS as a visual novel before. But I guess it kind of could be. Just in 3D with full character control and time travel-based puzzles. And less anime. As much as I’ve spent the past year ‘defending’ Life is Strange as a puzzle-adventure game, it really is one of those new-fangled ‘interactive-stories’ and the few puzzles take a back seat to interesting characters, relationships and plotlines.

And I enjoyed every bloody second of it. I even cried. A lot.

Games where challenge takes a backseat to telling the player a story aren’t for everybody, but I guess I’m one of the people they are for because, other than a bit of a disappointing ending, I can’t really say a whole lot negative about LiS. Dontnod was apparently having financial troubles during the development of the last episode, which really shows at the very end, but everything up until that point was just incredible.

This game made me buy a Polaroid. Please play it.


Undertale frisk

Look you already knew this would be on my list. It’s on everybody’s fucking list.

As we both know that this is the fifth blog post verbally fellating Undertale that you’ve read this week, here’s the gist:

Pros:

  • Done by that guy what which did music for Homestuck that one time.
  • Interspecies lesbianism.
  • Made GameFAQs forum posters really salty for like a whole week that one time.
  • Made by one guy in GameMaker Studio yet is winning tons of awards, by extension, finally bringing socialist revolution about in the games industry.
  • Spawned a bunch of new kinds of skeleton porn that I’m not sure should exist.

Cons:

  • The skeleton friendzoned me.
  • I no longer can use being poor and alone to excuse my mediocrity.

Fallout 4

My favorite AAA release of the year. And I’m not just saying that because I’m the type of fan that keeps a mason jar of bottle caps next to my bed, labeled “for the apocalypse”. I mean, I do do that, but that has nothing to do with my enjoyment of Fallout 4. Probably.

Despite the game’s technical aspects being pretty mediocre for the year it was made, the game world was still really well put together AND I experienced much less Bethesda* than I did with Skyrim. Although I know that my experience wasn’t universal and quite a few people did suffer the usual gauntlet, I still can’t deny that my experience, at least, was generally great. The writing was decent, even though the game really tried its hardest to railroad you into playing a specific kind of character. I could have definitely done without that now that I think about. Adding voiced protagonists in exchange for limited roleplaying options seems to be a popular trend in Western RPGs over the past few years and I’d really like it to not be.

But whatever, I still had a lot of fun and got to romance like 5 people. At once. Including a robot.

*Read: Game breaking bugs.


Cities: Skylines

The SimCity 4 sequel we really deserved. What more is there to say?

It’s challenging, it’s pretty, and it has absolutely nothing to do with EA Games. Skylines is the first city sim in my experience that has actually been better than the competing genre monopoly SimCity. Not that that’s hard, considering that abomination EA released in 2013, but still. I’m not kidding when I say that Cities: Skylines is the SimCity 4 sequel we should have gotten years ago.

And it’s also just $30.


Yep. That’s it. That’s 2015.

If there was something that you desperately feel should have been on this list and wasn’t, please feel free to contact me via twitter and I will happily walk you through the steps of setting up your own goddamn blog.