Game of the Year 2015 Day 1 of 3

Game of the Year 2015 Day 1 of 3

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

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

LTTP: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

LTTP: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

posted in: Reviews | 0

LTTP or ‘late to the party’ pieces are opportunities for me to catch up and write about games I missed out on the first time around. They may contain spoilers.

Super Mario 3D World was a fantastic game. One of the many reasons why I enjoyed it so much was the inclusion of the Captain Toad levels. They served as a break in the traditional 3D platforming action but quickly became a highlight in its own right for its charm and methodical puzzles. Nintendo noticed the reverence for the little treasure hunter and decided to flesh out the little hidden gem into a full game.

I heard it was a little light on content for a $44.99 retail title so I waited for a sale to pop up. For $34.99? I was happy with what was on the disc.

The game’s levels were split into four books. The first book consisted of straight forward puzzles but subsequent books steadily ramped up the complexity and demands of the bonus objectives. It’s the same approach that Nintendo implemented in its platformers; the challenge lies within the extras whereas the main course remained attainable.

I was a little surprised to discover that the Wii U Gamepad was required to play this game. Early on it simply mirrored the TV; I had forgotten about the other gimmicks found in Super Mario 3D World.

Using it as a view port to aim and fire turnips with was harmless fun. I was tolerant of the touch screen oriented levels but I was annoyed with the levels that asked me to blow into the mic. Asking me to blow into the mic to move platforms while darting across platforms surrounded by lava was awkward and cumbersome. I lost too many lives while trying to complete the challenge objective for “Magma Road Marathon”.

Treasure Tracker was best tackled in chunks. I could have finished a book’s main courses in a single sitting but I would have felt underwhelmed by the lack of challenge at the end of book. I found it more satisfying to taking on each challenge objective immediately after an initial run.

It’s tough to get upset over Treasure Tracker because it’s such a charming title. The cutesy mannerisms of the Toads and the expressions of Shy Guys and Charging Chucks were given such an incredible level of craftsmanship that I forgot that I was playing a Wii U title. The relatively limited scope allowed Nintendo to give each asset the five star treatment that we’ve rarely seen up close. It’s easily one of the best looking titles regardless of platform.

After Batman: Arkham Knight, I needed a palette cleanser to take my mind off the rainy grime found in Gotham. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker fit the bill perfectly. It wasn’t the most challenging or inventive of titles but the puzzles exercised the methodical part of my brain that I appreciated. “Okay. I need to manipulate this and that, then do this.” Working my way through those levels was relaxing, gratifying and put a smile on my face which is all I could ask for. You could say I could have achieved the same feelings through a mobile game like Hitman: GO or Monument Valley but there’s something special about playing a quality Nintendo game on the big screen.

Verdict:
I love it

Ratings Guide