Game of the Year 2015 Day 1 of 3

Game of the Year 2015 Day 1 of 3

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2015 will go down as one of the better years in video games. I actually struggled to trim down my top 10 and nominees across all my categories.

Today’s categories feature two Nintendo titles that I didn’t spend enough time with despite the fact they’re in my wheelhouse.

The 2015 Game I Wish I Bought & Played In 2015

Winner: Splatoon

Splatoon Box Art

Nintendo’s third person shooter made waves with its unique and innovative approach to the genre. It looked interesting every time I laid eyes on it but as soon as I glanced at the price of $69.99, I was immediately turned off. The early criticisms concerning the lack of content fell by the wayside thanks to Nintendo’s continued support with free maps, weapons and modes.

I should have pre-ordered it with Amazon.ca’s E3 promotional discount but hindsight is 20/20.

Runner ups: Rise of the Tomb Raider, Until Dawn

 

The 2015 Game I Wish I Spent More Time With

Winner: Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker Box Art

Super Mario Maker should be an endless supply of platforming fun and I should have been tackling course after course but I haven’t. I played several of the pre-made levels and sampled a number of user created ones. I even made and uploaded a level but I haven’t played nearly enough to even give it a an honest review. As silly as it may sound, I think I would have played it more if I bought it digitally.

As for the other nominees? I spent a solid month or so playing Rocket League but it fizzled away as soon as the third quarter approached. Psyonix continued to support it with paid cosmetic items and free gameplay content but I never found the opportunity to revisit it despite my intentions.

It may seem a little silly to nominate The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in this category but I really wanted to play the expansion DLC.

Runner ups: Rocket League, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Checkpoint: Cowboy Bebop Edition

Checkpoint: Cowboy Bebop Edition

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I wrapped up the last piece of Cowboy Bebop content that I own last night. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie was the perfect cap on top of this fantastic series. I absolutely loved every minute of the series and I’m glad it left me wanting more.

I was worried that the movie wouldn’t do the series justice or would try to do too much. To my surprise, it was nearly two hours in length and the movie felt like an episode that was given room to breathe. The cast weren’t doing things that were out of character. The animation was treated with extra care but it wasn’t substantially different — again, it felt like an episode with a greater budget. It’s no wonder that people recommend that this movie should have been watched between episodes 22 and 23 of the series. I was worried that there would have been a disjointed and disruptive difference in quality and style between the movie and the series.

I wrapped up Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies’ “main set” of chapters but I decided to buy the extra chapter featuring Phoenix’s first case back after his hiatus.

Wind Waker HD is a genius remastering of the GameCube classic. It gives me a taste of what the game was like back then but it doesn’t dwell on it and then sends me flying through the game. I think they could do even more to highlight the the ways to expedite the sailing.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies iOS Review

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies iOS Review

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It’s been over half a decade since I wrapped up Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice. Since then, we had a couple of Miles Edgeworth adventures and the less than stellar Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game that only reminded me how much I missed Ace Attorney proper.

I could have played Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies when it made its North American on the Nintendo 3DS but Capcom Japan made it known that an iOS version of their game was launching soon. With a choice between a fair and logical digital distribution service and a borderline travesty, I chose to wait and hope for a North American release of the iOS version. That iOS release debuted in the second half of 2014.

I’m glad I waited. I’m sure I would have formed fond memories with the 3DS version as well but the jump to more capable hardware did wonders for the presentation. This is the best Phoenix Wright and the gang have ever looked.

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Game of the Year 2014 Day 2 of 3

Game of the Year 2014 Day 2 of 3

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There were plenty of disappointments in 2014. On the flip side, there were some genuine surprises for me as well. Kart racers, space shooters, Seattle and sports titles make their way into this year’s awards.

Most Disappointing Game of 2014

Winner: Destiny

Destiny PS4 Box Art

I’ve said my piece on Destiny, so I won’t repeat it again. Instead I’ll point you to towards Jeff Gerstmann’s excellent rant which echoes my sentiment.

If only I didn’t buy a digital copy…

Runner ups: inFamous: Second Son, Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Most of Surprising Game of 2014

Winner: Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 Box Art

I have to stress, this is a personal list and not one that reflects “the industry” per se. So yes, Mario Kart 8 was the most surprising game of 2014 for me. I tried to enjoy Mario Kart throughout its many iterations but none of them ever clicked with me. But I was drawn to Mario Kart 8 after its E3 2013 trailer and decided to roll the dice on it. I wasn’t disappointed whatsoever. What a fun a game despite the Blue Shell’s bullshittery.

Runner ups: FIFA 15, Hitman Go

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