2015 Was A Good Game Year –
As we approach 2016, each member of the myGamer staff will be compiling a list of their favorite games of 2015. Whether you agree or disagree, please share your comments on each article in the comments section below. Keep in mind, we obviously did not play every game released this year, and other titles will still be released this calendar year (like Xenoblade Chronicles X), but these are just a handful of titles that we think you might want to acknowledge.
This year I wanted to focus on a couple of obvious titles but also highlight a few games you probably missed, skipped, or didn’t even know about.
Here are a few of my favorite games of 2015 in no particular order.
The Legend of Zelda – Majora’s Mask 3D (3DS)
When the 3DS first launched, Nintendo needed quality software to back up their stereoscopic 3D handheld so they ported Star Fox 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, popular N64 titles. Soon thereafter, fans were clamoring for a Majora’s Mask 3D remake, another fan favorite N64 game, and Nintendo finally answered that call a few years later. Launching alongside the New 3DS model, complete with 2nd analog nub, I was excited to replay Majora’s Mask, the black sheep of the Zelda series, but was more impressed with the willingness Nintendo put forth to re-develop and re-publish this fan craved game.
Nintendo took the time to acknowledge some of the flaws with the original release, whether they were technical restrictions or by design, and fix them with this enhanced port as I highlighted in my review. The redesigned save system and YouTube-like Sheikah Stone hint system make Majora’s Mask more playable than ever. And since it launched with the updated New 3DS hardware, it takes full advantage of that second analog nub to make controlling the camera as fluid as possible.
Even if you are a weirdo who doesn’t like Zelda games, Majora’s Mask is still worth playing because it is so far out there. The repeating time mechanic, giant boss battles, the lack of Zelda, the mask system, and ton of deep side quests separate this spin-off into its own category. Oh yeah, and it is really dark game. That ominous moon and mask transformations can give anyone nightmares.
amiibo Tap (Wii U)
amiibo Tap is Nintendo’s way of saying “thank you” for buying their amiibo figures. This free Wii U download uses any and all amiibo to randomly unlock portions of classic games from the Virtual Console service. In other words, it is simple excuse to buy and use more amiibo.
The games that become unlocked are random and do not necessarily have any correlation to one another. For example, scanning a Mario amiibo might unlock the original Legend of Zelda or scanning the Ike amiibo might unlock Kirby’s Adventure. The kicker is the built-in check point system that each unlocked game contains. Once the original Metroid is unlocked, for example, that same amiibo can be tapped to move to the next checkpoint that the developers set up. So you can play Metroid from the beginning but tapping that amiibo to the Wii U Gamepad again will instant warp the player to the Kraid fight, then the Ridley fight, then eventually the Mother Brain fight. amiibo Tap does all the work for the player, allowing the user to play the best portions of these games they might not have ever played.
I explain this in my full written review, but the player can also secretly access other parts of select games. Simply pause the game in Mario Kart or F-Zero, boot yourself back to the main menu, and whammo – you can play any track you want. Granted, the player is restricted to a time limit but each tap of an amiibo creates an entertaining experience.
Mercenaries Saga 2 (3DS eShop)
Released under the radar, Mercenaries Saga 2 is a fantastic and unexpected TRPG that is accessible enough for any newbie to enjoy while addicting enough for genre veterans to fully appreciate thanks to balanced gameplay.
For more on why this downloadable title is so great, check out my full review. For only $5, you will be hard pressed to find a better TRPG. Circle Entertainment makes consistently great games and Mercenaries Saga 2 is a must download if you own a 3DS.
Halo 5 (XBOX One)
Ever since Halo: Combat Evolved launched with the original Xbox, I have been addicted to the balanced gameplay. From a multiplayer point of view, unlike CoD where the player that unlocks the most/best perks by spending the most time with the game has an unfair/unbalanced advantage over newbies, Halo has always been about balance. Everyone starts with the same weapons and abilities which puts skill at the forefront. The new REQ system is a way to optionally reward the player during the massive Warzone matches and gunplay is tighter than ever since every single weapon can be scoped. Spartans can now ground pound, constantly sprint, hover in the air for a few seconds, and dash in any direction at any time. The updated mechanics feel like they belong on Microsoft’s most advanced system to date.
The campaign has the welcoming 4-player co-op feature, it lacks a dedicated matchmaking option and ends completely open ended, leaving the player to anticipate Halo 6. Even if the campaign is played solo, AI teammates accompany the player but disappointingly don’t really help out in any meaningful way. Sure they will revive you on occasion when you are down but you cannot count one them to take out the baddies when you want them to. As flawed as the campaign is, it is still enjoyable as each stage often features branching paths with secrets to find and Achievements to unlock. The story didn’t even line up with the commercials that played in the months leading up to Halo 5’s release. However, the staying power of the Halo franchise has always been about the multiplayer experience and Halo 5 continues with balanced and entertaining gunplay.
At the time of this writing, I have spent over 150 hours into MGSV. The kicker is, I still want to keep playing; saying I am addicted is an understatement. In fact, I have not been this addicted and this passionate about a single title in a long time; it is so good.
I’ve been a fan of Metal Gear since the original, pouring hours into each title since. That said, I think the Phantom Pain, specifically the ending, is an unforgettable swansong especially if this indeed Kojima’s last game. What amazes me the most is that Kojima has made one continuous cohesive plot that not only spans decades of fictional time but also a couple decades of real time through several console generations. While I do not want to provide any spoilers, the way Phantom Pain ties directly into the first Metal Gear on MSX/NES was completely unforeseen, shocking, and mind blowing. Again, I have been a dedicated fan from the being, my gaming alias is SquallSNAKE after all, but my mind was blown by the Phantom Pain gameplaywise and storywise. MGSV:PP is my game of the year, hands down, and will continue to keep playing into 2016. Motherbase needs to keep growing after all.
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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