Gaming year in review: 2015

January 3rd, 2016

Happy new year everyone! It’s time for my annual gaming year in review! This where I give a brief review of every game I’ve played in 2015. I only count games that I hadn’t played before, are remakes, or have new content. I don’t count any replays that don’t have anything new to them.

Let’s start with my favorites in 2015! (As usual, these are from the games I’ve played in 2015, which may not have released in 2015.)

Favorite Single Player: Dishonored
I really enjoy stealth games, and the powers that you can get gives you creative and fun options. I also liked that the game offered several ways for achieving your task. There are usually multiple travel paths, and you can choose between lethal and non-lethal solutions. I ended up doing a few play-throughs (stealth & non-lethal, murder everything, and a mix of both) just to try different things out.

yir_dishonored

Favorite Multiplayer: Gigantic
We were part of the alpha, and we really liked the guardians concept and how it felt like a MOBA + shooter. The view was over the shoulder, and you had to aim your shots. Plus, the community was actually nice. (A friendly MOBA community? Mind blown.) Unfortunately, we stopped as it went into beta, but we did have a ton of fun with it and met many cool people.

yir_gigantic

Favorite Indie/Download: Binding of Isaac Rebirth
I spent soooo many hours on this game and then played it again for the Afterbirth DLC. This is a roguelike game, where you start over from the beginning every time you die. Every play through is a different experience since you get a random map with random enemies and items. I thought it was very well done and super addicting. The more you play, the better you get, and the further you can go.

yir_isaac


Here are the rest of the games I played in 2015!
(* = I beat the game. | ~ = There’s no ending, but I played a lot of it.)

3DS (4)

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
This takes place in the Animal Crossing world with its characters and items, but it just focuses on the home design part. It’s kind of nice that it doesn’t require the same dedication as a normal Animal Crossing game! Though it’s addicting at first and is incredibly cute, it gets repetitive pretty quickly.

* Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D
This was one of my favorites back in the N64 days, and I was so excited for a remake. The use of 3 days, the dark story, and the numerous side quests has always made this game stand out to me. I liked most of the changes, like the improved notebook and being able to forward to a specific hour.

Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
I just started playing this with my husband and mother-in-law! The single player is not well designed, but it’s fun if you have 2 friends to play with. I think it uses the “totem” idea (stacking your characters) too much though. It can be frustrating when the person controlling the totem gets you killed…

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my husband into this game! I was originally going to play this with him, but since he lost interest early on, I did too. I don’t have much to say about it since I haven’t done much.

PC (11)

* Alice: Madness Returns
I love the visuals, costumes, and story of this game, but the gameplay was mediocre. I think this game would have more potential if it didn’t have so many dumb ideas (like annoying mini games and meaningless collectables).

* Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
See above.

* Cave Story+
Cave Story is a fun game if you’re looking for something in the old school, retro style. I enjoyed it, and its music is so catchy. However, the inconvenient save points made dying really painful.

* Dishonored
See above.

Don’t Starve Together
I loved Don’t Starve during its early release, even though surviving was easy. That allowed me to really explore and build things, which was most of the fun. After its official release, the game changed and became harder. I tried Don’t Starve Together with my husband and staying alive in the beginning felt too stressful. It just made us miss Minecraft, so we didn’t stay on this for very long.

~ Gigantic
See above.

Heroes of the Storm
I’ve played MOBA-like games before, but this was my first time playing a DotA clone. Not really my type of game! The gameplay didn’t feel satisfying to me, and like many MOBAs, the player-base can be toxic. I got pretty tired of seeing people putting down their own teammates.

Monaco
We gave this another try, and it was a lot more fun when we got to levels that required coordination. Plus, adding more people helped too. The art style was hard to get used to at first, but after you get the hang of it, it’s one of those games where messing up ends up being funny instead of frustrating.

* Orcs Must Die!
I started this in 2014 and then finished up the Nightmare levels in 2015. I don’t usually play tower defense, but I loved this one since you control a character who runs around fighting and putting down traps. This game was really well-done, addicting, and challenging.

* Shank 2
The Shank series are sidescrolling fun and violent games. It’s nice how smooth the fighting feels because you can switch between all of your weapons with ease and very little delay. While I enjoyed Shank 2, it wasn’t interesting enough for another run through on Hard.

Super Meat Boy
I think this game is just going to be on my “playing” list forever. I keep picking it up, finishing a few levels, and then putting it back down. Love this game though! Definitely one of the best platformers I’ve ever played.

PS3 (1)

* Uncharted
Beautiful environments, interesting story, likable characters, fun jumping puzzles… BUT the combat was boring, annoying, and happened more often than I’d like. I liked the game overall, but I felt that the shooting parts were not very polished.

Xbox 360 (1)

Fable 2
I feel like this game will take me a while due to how many things you can do. I’m still in the beginning of the game, but this is one of my husband’s favorite games. I’m hoping I will like it too!

Wii (1)

Kirby’s Dream Collection
Though I love Kirby games, I had never played the first one before. Dream Collection has 6 classic Kirby games, which gave me a chance to play Kirby’s Dream Land. Kirby has come a long way since! I also replayed Kirby’s Adventure since that is one of my favorites.

Wii U (4)

* Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
The normal levels of the game are great and are better than the ones in Super Mario 3D World. They’re super cute, clever, and fun. I wasn’t a fan of how the bonus levels were just repeat levels or copies of 3D World though.

* Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
This game is ridiculously adorable. It plays in the same style as Canvas Curse where you draw the path Kirby should take. While creative, it can be frustrating when Kirby doesn’t move as you plan. I frequently flipped between liking the game and being really annoyed.

Super Mario Maker
There is finally an official Nintendo level maker! The Wii U gamepad is perfect for something like this, and it’s really fun to make your own level. While there are a ton of terrible levels being uploaded, there are also many gems out there to play.

* Yoshi’s Woolly World
I’d describe Woolly World as having the gameplay of Yoshi’s Story (N64) and the graphics and concept of Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii). I thought the game went overboard with its collectables, which the perfectionist in me couldn’t skip. It didn’t reach the high expectations I had, but it was a pretty decent game overall.

Result

I played 22 games, and of those, I beat 11 of them. Let’s look at the goals I had set for myself last year:

1. Play 30 games. Sadly, I missed this by 8 games :( A few games ate up a lot of my time! I spent so much time in Gigantic, Minecraft, and Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. I don’t think I played less in terms of hours, but I did play less games total.

2. Bring my backlog down to 40. Welp, playing less games means less off of my backlog. On the bright side, it’s under 50 games now (49), which is a slight improvement.

3. Buy less than 30 games. My only successful goal! I only bought 7 games myself, had 4 gifted to me, and 3 were free. That is a total of 14 new games in 2015.

As for goals for next year, I’m keeping the same ones! Well, sort of. I still want to play 30 games and bring my backlog down to 40. However, on the third one, I’m going buy less than 15 games instead of 30. Do you make any gaming goals? How was your gaming in 2015?

17 Responses to “Gaming year in review: 2015”

  • Kenny says:

    Good luck with your goals, Kat. I have a similar goal with books. Sigh. I am drowning in a sea of books I want to read.

  • Kayla says:

    I need to play more games! I always go through phases and will play non-stop for a few weeks and then nothing for a long time. My ex boyfriend bought me a 3DS which I’ve hardly played (other than Pokemon) so I’d like to get some more games for that. I might have to have a browse through your other gaming posts to get some inspiration!

    • Cat says:

      There’s a lot of great games for 3DS! I especially enjoy the Zelda games on it, Super Mario 3D Land, and the Professor Layton games.

  • Sarah says:

    Some of these look pretty fun. I have been interested in the Animal Crossing one but I think it sort of takes the fun out of the game. I guess it really depends on what you’re playing Animal Crossing for.

    This year I played more games than I have in a while with my stand out definitely being Life is Strange (http://allthe.me/2015/11/my-favourite-things-october-2015/) which is so beautiful and fun and amazing. I don’t generally play games like that but I was drawn in by the story pretty quickly.
    I’m currently playing Ori and the Blind Forest (a beautiful platformer) and also giving the Early Access of Hearthlands (a very complex world builder) a try.

    • Cat says:

      I enjoy the normal Animal Crossing games, but I feel like it requires a lot of time… time which I don’t have anymore, haha. It’s kind of nice that Happy Home Designer has some elements of it but doesn’t need to be checked daily.

      Life is Strange and Ori are both on my wishlist! They both look really good, and I hope to play them some time this year :D

  • Amy says:

    I keep buying games before I’ve completed (or even started) the ones I already own. I just don’t have enough time to play everything I want to play!

    I want the 3DS version of majora’s mask! And Animal Crossing. I have New Leaf but my town went nowhere. Most of the animals will have left now!

    Good luck with your goals!
    Xxx

    • Cat says:

      Aahh, I used to have that problem. That’s why my backlog is so large :( I’m doing a better job now of not buying games until I plan on playing them!

  • Uglyfish says:

    Cat, I’ve been so excited to read this post haha! I loved watching Matt play Dishonored, but playing it made me really motion sick. I tried to persuade Matt to stick with Non-lethal options but he just killed everyone…
    Gigantic sounds great! I’ve been put off so many MOBAs due to people being horrible (League of Legends is no fun anymore). That said, I’ve just signed up for the closed BETA for Gigantic, hopefully I’ll get to see it soon!
    I got Triforce Heroes for Christmas, and I’ve really changed my mind about it. I’m playing through single player for now, and it’s so dull but I’m really nervous about going online!
    I quite like Heroes of the Storm, but not as much as I liked League of Legends. I’ve got back into playing WoW, and I’ve started playing Hearthstone so I haven’t played HotS as much as I wanted.
    Good luck with your gaming goals! I’m aiming to not pre-order anything (that won’t happen) and to stop leaving games half finished. I’m really looking forward to Horizon Zero Dawn this year.

    • Cat says:

      I hope you get into Gigantic and that the community is how I remember it! Back in the alpha, the mods were pretty serious about kicking out toxic players, and many experienced players acted as coaches for new players. It was definitely more friendly than other communities I had been in :)

  • Nancy says:

    It looks like you played a lot of awesome games last year! I’ve heard great stuff about Dishonored. Stealth games are super fun because you can sneak up on enemies and easily defeat them versus having to hack and slash as a warrior.

    Animal Crossing sounds like a fun game! If I ever get a DS, the two games I would play would be Pokemon and AC X’D. I almost played Heroes of the Storm but it looked too much like LoL/Diablo @___@. But still looks like a fun game ;).

    Super Mario maker must’ve been addicting! I heard Mercedes-Benz teamed up with Super Mario to add the GLA as an add-on item (a car for Mario to drive in) XD.

    Good luck with your goals for the year! You go, gamer! ;)

    • Cat says:

      Yes, there is a special Mercedes Benz event course in Mario Maker! If you finish the level, you unlock the GLA as a costume. It makes it look like he’s driving a car, but it’s really a skin on top of him, haha.

  • Liv says:

    I’ve been wanting to play Dishonored for ages now but ever since I found out it’s stealth I put it away because I’m so bad at those, HAHA. Every time there’s a stealth section in an RPG I completely blank out. Ie. Silent Realms in Zelda Skyward Sword. AHHH.

    I “studied” The Binding of Isaac for my classes last semester and I love how it uses one concept we went over many times – procedural generation. The levels are automatically generated rather than designed one by one which is why they are random! I played a bit but kept losing though it’s really good! It’s also inspired by the original Zelda dungeons.

    I started playing Majora’s Mask 3D back when it came out but haven’t made any progress, though I’m so excited for it because I heard the improvements of the game make a classic just more exciting! As for Triforce Heroes, this is the first official Zelda game that hasn’t struck my interest mainly because I don’t have friends with the 3DS haha.

    Don’t Starve has amazing art direction but of course I couldn’t survive long which is why I ended up stopping the game but I hope to get back into it someday. I wish you could keep what you made to survive! Like Minecraft.

    One game I DID finish this year was Captain Toad and I also didn’t like the bonus levels at all. The main game itself was very creative and cute!

    I hope you get to play 30 games next year! That should be my goal to cut down the backlog I accumulated in the 7 months between college and grad school, but my goal this year is just to play one indie game for every month I’m not playing Final Fantasy X for my studies.

    • Cat says:

      The nice thing about Dishonored is that you can also play a “high chaos” style, which isn’t really stealthy :)

      There are a lot of Zelda references in Isaac too! Including “I am error” rooms, crawlspaces, and some of the items.

      Yeah, I agree about Don’t Starve. It gets pretty repetitive as you start over multiple times. That’s why we just switched back to Minecraft afterwards, haha.

      Good luck on your goals too! I already mentioned on your blog, but I really like the one indie game a month idea :)

  • Becca says:

    I know your goal was 30, but I am still super impressed that you played 22! Some games can take so long to finish so I am super impressed you played that many!

    We just have an Xbox right now, but I’d love to get a Wii or WiiU because I think some of those games are so cute and I would really enjoy! I like to play a bit more casually. :P

    • Cat says:

      Getting a Wii U would allow you to play Wii games too :D Nintendo does a really good job of including casual gamers. There are many great DS and 3DS games too!

  • Tess says:

    Props to you for being able to play that many games! I’m trying to count how many gaming systems you have… do you rotate through them? My hubby would never allow me to have more than two systems (I use the NDS and he has an XBoxOne). How did you like Legend of Zelda?? I would love to try that one day. Good luck on your goals for this coming year! :D Maybe you can do a semi-annual review!

    • Cat says:

      It just depends on what system the game is on :) If the game has a PC version, I’m more likely to buy it for that. Some are exclusive to certain consoles though, so I have no choice.

      By Legend of Zelda, do you mean the series or a specific game in the series? Most Zelda games are really good though!

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