A Year of Gaming (October 2015 - September 2016)
Just for fun, I decided to keep track of all the games I finished for one year.
Here's the breakdown by platform:
3 (Xbox One)
1 (Wii U)
Total = 54 games
That breaks down to 4.5 games per month, or about a game per week.
Consortium (PC) – This was probably the biggest surprise. A really involving RPG with a few minutes of FPS gameplay pretty much tacked on. It's clear that the developers were over-ambitious given their budget and time constraints, but I think they did an amazing job with the atmosphere, background story, setting, and the real star of the show—choice. The actual “gameplay” effectively boils down to something like a 3D visual novel where you can move around. It was fun enough for me to play about 2.5 times to see all the different outcomes and dialogue options, and I rarely replay games. Can't wait for the follow-up, Consortium: The Tower.
Akiba's Trip (PS3) – A really fun action-RPG. Roughly evenly split between beat-em-up style combat, and text-box JRPG dialogue. The basic gameplay is pretty fun, and it's a treat to walk around the digital version of Akihabara. Where this game really shines is the wry, self-mocking tone with which it comments on otaku culture. The humor is quite meta, and I'll be darned if it doesn't work.
Watch Dogs (Xbox One) – I found this game to be under-loved. Sure, it uses the typical Ubisoft formula, but it has a gripping, mature story (not many games come to mind with human trafficking subplots), solid gunplay, plenty to do outside the main story, and nice graphics. It also makes excellent use of the Xbox One's impulse triggers, a feature that is severely underutilized by Microsoft. Hopefully now that they're pushing more PC content they'll update the drivers for Win10 to allow devs to use this feature on PC.
Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director's Cut (PC) – If I had to pick just one, probably my favorite game of the year. Fantastic writing and world-building that really makes you feel like you're playing a tabletop RPG brought to life. Involving combat, a great story that is neither too long nor too short, and beautifully drawn 2D graphics. The main story is wonderful, and all the characters in your party have big Mass Effect 2-style sidequests that involve their pasts. I can't recommend this game enough.
Super Castlevania IV (SNES) – I've played this game a ton throughout the years, but never sat down and forced myself to keep going until I beat it. Awesome side-scrolling action, tight controls, catchy music, and interesting use of the SNES' Mode 7 features. It's -ing hard for the average gamer, but not unfairly so. Very satisfying and a game that still holds up.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC) – this game. What a colossal disappointment. The gameplay holds up; it's a refined version of Human Revolution with few differences. But it's all in service of nothing. The story is uninteresting and goes nowhere, same goes for the characters. It's clear that they cut out content for either DLC or a future game. Either case is infuriating. Deus Ex is my favorite game series, and they did a great job with HR, but I've lost hope for future entries.
GoldenEye Reloaded (PS3) – This game kind of blows. I was really only interested in it for the Move support, which it did a decent job of implementing. The gunplay is... adequate, but the game overall is incredibly generic, and they did a very uninspired job of reinventing the GoldenEye mythos for a modern audience. I think the solid reviews of the original Wii version were a case of having little competition amongst FPS on the platform. Still not the worst Bond game I've played recently (007: Legends takes the win there).
Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One) – Another big disappointment. I actually really enjoyed Halo 4, so I was surprised to see people complaining about the COD-ification of that. This is much more COD-like! Something about the speed of the game, the (lack of) weight/feeling of the guns, and damage visualization are off—this just didn't feel like Halo. I also found the story to be predictable and uninteresting. Halo has never really been known for its charismatic heroes, but I found Spartan Locke and company to be unbearable. Multiplayer was fairly fun in its own right, but given this was the reason I bought an Xbox One, I was underwhelmed. Ended up selling my Xbox One after playing this.
Haze (PS3) – A lousy, generic shooter. I know that's kind of a trend in this section, but I love shooters, and have a pretty high tolerance for crap. This game sucks. I don't have much to say about it. It doesn't deserve in-depth, well thought out comments.
The Italian Job (PS1) – I still don't know if I hate or love this game. The floaty-yet-heavy-yet-squirrelly controls, terrible graphics, and razor-thin margin of error drove me nuts. It's like an uglier, shittier version of Stuntman (PS2). The only thing that kept me going was my assertion that I couldn't let the game beat me, and the promise I made to myself that I could break the disc when I beat it. It took hours of frustration, but I did it. Those shards of plastic were oh-so-satisfying to behold.
Fighting Force (PS1) – It's a really simple 3D beat-em-up, but I had a lot of fun with this. Surprised I didn't hear more praise for it. Reminded me of Die Hard Arcade. Well worth the 99c I spent during a PSN flash sale.
Zeno Clash 2 (PC) – An okay first-person brawler, not as good as the first. However, I thought the story was pretty clever.
Magus (PS3) – A lot of people describe this game as “so bad it's good”, which is true for about the first hour or two. After that, it's still bad, but not nearly as amusing.
Betrayer (PC) – A very minimalistic first-person action game. I loved the over-saturated graphics (I turned off the black-and-white setting) and sound design. You're kind of a supernatural detective; the story is delivered in brief snippets through objects you find and ghosts you interview. The combat is exciting at first, but after a certain point you're better off just avoiding enemies. Still, a surprisingly fun game.
Bioshock Infinite (PC) – Everyone knows this game is great, so I didn't feel like writing about it.
Rogue Warrior (PC) – Now THIS is podracing. “So bad it's good” is accurate here. Really stupid. Lots of profanity. Kinda fun. Can be beaten in less than 2 hours.
Thanks for reading!
EDIT: The full list:
Half-Life: Opposing Force (PC)
Half-Life: Blue Shift (PC)
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War (PC)
Bioshock Infinite (PC)
Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 1 (PC)
Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2 (PC)
Watch Dogs (XB1)
Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
Halo 5: Guardians (XB1)
Postal 2 (PC)
Postal 2: Apocalypse Weekend (PC)
Call of Duty: Black Ops III (XB1)
Akiba's Trip (PS3)
Blacksite: Area 51 (PS3)
Fighting Force (PS1)
Star Trek (PS3)
inFAMOUS 2 (PS3)
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (PS2)
Zeno Clash 2 (PC)
The Last of Us (PS3)
SOCOM 4 (PS3)
Devil May Cry 2 (PS2)
I Am Alive (PS3)
The Italian Job (PS1)
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PS1)
Son of Nor (PC)
Tomorrow Never Dies (PS1)
Rogue Warrior (PC)
Yakuza 4 (PS3)
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (PC)
The Bourne Conspiracy (PS3)
Deus Ex: The Fall (PC)
Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director's Cut (PC)
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (PC) [replay]
Quake IV (PC)
Omikron: The Nomad Soul (PC)
Lost Planet 3 (PC)
Consortium (PC) [x2]
GoldenEye Reloaded (PS3)
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
Dying Light (PC)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PC) [replay]
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC)
Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC)