Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
User avatar
Exhuminator
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 11573
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:24 am

What's your 2015 Game of the Year?

by Exhuminator Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:30 am

Image
Image

Well here we are at the end of 2015, with only about two weeks until 2016. It's now a good time to start the annual GotY thread. (Here's last year's GotY thread that also links to previous years: viewtopic.php?f=44&t=48003 )

So what's your own personal BEST GAME ya played in 2015? It can be a game that legit released in 2015, or a game that released whenever but you just happened to actually play it in 2015. Please tell us WHY it's your GotY!

Here's mine:

Image

Brandish: The Dark Revenant
(Released for PSP & Vita in the west by XSEED in 2015.)

Official site: http://www.brandishpsp.com/
PSN store page: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games ... nt-psvita/
NeoGAF's OT: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=970142
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandish_ ... %29#Remake

Alrighty so Brandish: The Dark Revenant, best dungeon crawler not named King's Field. This game consists of two parts, Ares mode and Dela mode. I reviewed both modes in the Games Beaten thread of this year. But for those who care to read why I choose this game as my 2015 GotY, I have reposted those reviews here...

Ares mode review:
Image
In 1995 Falcom released a SNES game entitled "Brandish". Brandish at its core concept was an excellent idea. In Brandish instead of the player rotating to traverse dungeons, the dungeon itself rotates around the player. Unfortunately crippling graphical decisions rendered its implementation completely disorienting. Had Falcom utilized Mode 7 to rotate the game's world around the player smoothly, instead of snapping it in 45 degree increments, Brandish would have been much more popular. Well 14 years later, Falcom decided to remake Brandish for the PSP. This time calling the game "Brandish: The Dark Revenant" (henceforth: B:TDR).
Image
This remake recreates the original game in polygons, making rotating the world around the player a smooth affair, thus no more disorientation. Not only that, but an onscreen mini-map is always present. With these two simple but vital changes Brandish is finally able to shine as the brilliant idea it always was. B:TDR's primary gameplay is what I call "Ares mode". This is the original SNES game recreated on PSP. Every dungeon, enemy, boss, etc. is present in Ares mode from the original game. After you complete "Ares mode", "Dela mode" unlocks. I have not started Dela mode yet. But I intend to soon. I should note here, Dela mode is exclusive to the PSP version with its own new dungeons. It doesn't exist in the SNES original. In 2014, XSEED localized B:TDR, and it is now available on the PSN store. That means you can play it on PSP, Vita, or PSTV.
Image
So one day Ares the warrior and Dela the sorceress were fighting. Dela was furious because Ares had killed her master, he did so for a bounty on her master's head. Dela cast a huge fireball at Ares, but missed him. It destroyed the ground beneath their feet and they both fell into a huge abyss below. They landed in a mysterious place, which turned out to be the remains of a long sunken kingdom that still remained cursed. Due to being separated, they put their fighting aside. It became more vital for both Ares and Dela to escape this deep dark cavern of despair, one floor at a time. As they crawled individually out of the ruins, they both had their own adventures and misfortunes, but sometimes crossed paths temporarily. Slowly the history of their new environment and its cursed kingdom began to become known to them. But I won't spoil anything here!
Image
What do you do in B:TDR? You crawl dungeons son. And I mean you are going to be crawling dungeons like you've never crawled dungeons. That is what you do in B:TDR, and that is all you do. And this game is not easy. Not even remotely easy. B:TDR requires the player to pay full attention at all times as to what they are doing, or this game will kill the player without so much as blinking. Oh yes, you will die in B:TDR, you will die a lot. But every time you do, you'll likely bounce right back into the action, eager to clear just one more floor. What are you doing while you clear these floors? Fighting monsters, finding treasure, seeking keys, solving puzzles, drawing maps, falling in pits galore, setting off deadly traps, casting magic... yes, all that down home dungeon cookin' like Grammy use to make. Except you will die. A lot. Oh sure B:TDR doesn't start off too hard, but once you reach the Dark Zone, that is when the real game begins. And that's about 10 hours of crawling just to make it that far. Luckily you will find shop keepers to sell you upgraded equipment and items, and the occasional sidequest too. Did I mention your swords break? That there's invisible doors? That no matter how many levels you gain, spike traps and pit traps always take the same percentage of life away? Also, BOSSES. This game has bosses and they don't mess around.
Image
So why approach such madness? It's true, B:TDR is not for the average gamer. It's not even for the average RPG lover. This is a hardcore dungeon crawler for crazy people. But if you are crazy like me, you will love B:TDR. You will love the feeling of victory you get every time you clear a floor with your map 100% complete. You will relish figuring out the infamous tile puzzle in Tower 9F, all by yourself. This game is seriously fun for the far and few between gamers who are up to the challenge. Do I have any complaints? Let's see... I love the gameplay, controls are perfect, atmosphere is top notch, graphics are great, story is good, difficulty is excellent, and the music is amazing. Ah! The music. While the music is amazing, there aren't enough tracks to go around. You will hear the same music track for each area of the game, and that means you will hear it looping for hours on end sometimes. So yeah, there we go, my one complaint with B:TDR is that I wish there were three times as many music tracks.
Image
Anyway. If you enjoy tough dungeon crawlers and games that refuse to hold your hand, give Brandish: The Dark Revenant a try for PSP. The game even gives you a review sheet of your performance after you beat it, going so far as to give the player a custom completion title (mine was "calculating savant"). Ares mode took me 17 hours and 45 minutes to beat. Now I'm off to see why Dela was always so cranky.
Image

Man I loved this game. Possibly GOTY for me right here.

Image

Dela mode review:
Image

So let's say you are one of the five people who bothered to play Brandish: The Dark Revenant in English. And then let's imagine you managed to beat Brandish: The Dark Revenant as Ares. Congratulations! Now, are you ready for a TRUE challenge? What's that you say? Ares mode WAS a true challenge? Ha ha, you haven't seen anything yet son. Take on Dela mode.

Image

After all, what was Dela doing while Ares was bumbling his way through the dark? Walk in her shoes and find out why poor Dela was always so cranky every time Ares ran into her. Can you guide Dela from the deep abyss through seemingly insurmountable challenges into the light of the day above?

Image

So how is Dela mode different than Ares mode? Core design concepts. Remember that Ares mode is the original Brandish, but Dela mode is exclusive to the PSP remake. That means when Falcom made Dela mode, they had the experience of creating three more Brandish games after the Ares mode dungeons. That experience shows, because Dela mode's dungeons are far more clever in design than Ares mode. But clever doesn't mean easier.

Image

Dela mode is easily five times harder than anything you'll face in Ares mode. How hard is Dela mode? I'll put it like this. You can save at anytime, and load your game whenever you want. You have Retry bread, which when eaten allows you to create a checkpoint wherever you like. And even with save anywhere and checkpoint anywhere, Dela mode still manages to be brutally difficult. Absolutely.

Image

If I had to describe Dela mode in one sentence, I'd say something like "if you combined Dark Souls with Zelda". That's about the gist of it. You've got clever switch puzzles like you'd see in Zelda, then you've got vicious beasts and deadly traps like you'd see in Dark Souls. That said, quite a few of the puzzles in Dela mode are far harder than anything I've seen in Zelda, so bear that in mind. My least favorite part of Dela mode are the timed pit jumping sections. Rooms full of pits that open and close in difficult to discern patterns, that you must jump across extremely quickly and precisely. Because falling means landing in a basement floor that you must work your way back up from. Every. Single. Time. That sort of thing requires the ability to suppress rage and focus your inner samurai chi with steely resolve.

Image

I won't mince words folks, Dela mode represents the most difficult action dungeon crawler I've ever played by a mile. And I've crawled more than a few dungeons in my time. But for every instance I was crushed by a boulder or scorched alive, I was also enticed by clever warp mazes or fantastic battles. Every time I cleared a floor I felt a tangible surge of pride. Because admittedly, this is not an experience for everyone. I'm not trying to sound elitist, I'm just being honest. The average modern gamer wouldn't make it past the first floor of Dela mode, because they just wouldn't have the patience or brain power. (Nor would they have unlocked Dela mode in the first place for that matter.) But I'm betting you're not an average gamer are you? If you pride yourself on overcoming hardcore challenges, and can appreciate game design that respects you as an intelligent human being; do not pass on Brandish: The Dark Revenant. It won't hold your hand, but it will hold your heart.

Image

It's made by Falcom so you know it's good!

-----

So what's YOUR 2015 GotY racketboys and racketgirls?
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
User avatar
Ack
Moderator
 
Posts: 20875
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: What's your 2015 Game of the Year?

by Ack Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:52 am

Thank you for that font.

As for me...I don't know. I'm never good at picking favorites. There have been numerous games that impressed me in 2015, some old, some new: the Catacomb series, System Shock 2, Loom, Anachronox, Shadowrun(SNES), Shadowrun Returns, Tower of Guns, Descent, Ultima I...

And that's just the stuff I beat. I had to set it aside, but I absolutely loved Warhammer 40,000: Rites of War, and I'm now playing Payday 2 with buddies and having a blast.
Image
Image
I have a movie review website now: https://moviereviewsbyamook.com/
User avatar
noiseredux
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 37870
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:09 pm

Re: What's your 2015 Game of the Year?

by noiseredux Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:07 pm

my favorite 2015 game was Heroes Of The Storm. I never thought I'd have any interest in a MOBA. But I've spent many, many hours on HOTS this year.
Image
User avatar
Pulsar_t
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:38 am

Re: What's your 2015 Game of the Year?

by Pulsar_t Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:19 pm

I haven't played MGS5 or Xenoblade WiiU, so I'm still undecided on the AAA front.

Since This War of Mine came out late last year, this year's "indie" award from me goes to Dropsy.

Image

2015 continues the trend of AAA games playing it extra-safe, with indies here and there really trying to push things forward (an example is Monstrum, a procedurally-generated horror game that is limited in scope but big on potential, if a sequel ever materialises)
Thy ban hammer shalt strike Image
User avatar
Markies
128-bit
 
Posts: 818
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:29 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: What's your 2015 Game of the Year?

by Markies Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:51 pm

I have a good idea of what my Game of the Year will be, but I'm not ready to commit yet. I usually like to create a Top 10 on New Year's Eve, so I'll make sure to post it here as well.
Image
User avatar
laurenhiya21
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1116
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:20 pm
Location: Wash-a-ton

Re: What's your 2015 Game of the Year?

by laurenhiya21 Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:16 pm

I bet if I declare what my current GOTY is I'll play something in the next few weeks that tops that, so I'm going to wait a little bit before doing so. I mean, it's going to be difficult for a game to impress me more than that but you never know.

(also, why is the girl in the picture saying "Poop"? :lol: )
Image
User avatar
Exhuminator
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 11573
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:24 am

Re: What's your 2015 Game of the Year?

by Exhuminator Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:34 pm

laurenhiya21 wrote:(also, why is the girl in the picture saying "Poop"? :lol: )

The game she's playing with her friend shows a teddy bear and a rabbit chopping people up with axes. I felt it was a very appropriate picture.

-

Folks in general I realize it can be hard to point at one single game you played this year, and then say it was the very best one. If you start to think about it too hard you'll likely get hit with the dreaded analysis paralysis. So, just casually ask your head place what's your best 2015 game, and the first name your head place regurgitates in your mind's internal hearing ears, type that one. It's alright.

If not, poop.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
User avatar
TSTR
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 5656
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:55 am
Location: Durham, NC

Re: What's your 2015 Game of the Year?

by TSTR Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:37 pm

Exhuminator wrote:If not, poop.

sage advice :mrgreen:
User avatar
BogusMeatFactory
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 6770
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:16 pm
Location: Farmington Hills, MI

Re: What's your 2015 Game of the Year?

by BogusMeatFactory Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:51 pm

Game of the Year was hands down, Undertale for me. The hype was real for this game and it really took me by surprise. I tend to be a bit more critical of highly praised games and came into Undertale ready to really dig into it and over analyze the game and find its faults. Little did I know, the game was so engaging for me that I could not see the flaws, even if they are there.

Few games have sparked such emotion in me. With its brilliant dialog and charming character design, the game makes you feel for the people around you. Add to it a delightful combat system that can be both hilarious, terrifying and heartwarming. There isn't much like it and I can safely say that it was my game of the year.

A close second for me was, Her Story. This FMV investigation game had you sifting through police interrogation footage to figure out if a woman really did murder her husband and why. You used key words used in the clips to unravel more and more, digging deep into her psyche and realizing that there is so much more going on. It created a natural unfolding of the story that seemed unique for each person and that really seemed novel and engaging. This was an FMV game done right and really ranks up there for one of my all time favorites.

This was a good year for my type of games.

As for a retro game of the year, that would go to Earthbound. Another RPG that invoked a broad range of emotions for me and, even though it was slow to warm for me, ended up being monumental in the payoff at the end. Coming into it as a new father, I found the 4th wall shattering concept putting me in the place of a parent taking care of these kids and watching over them, an experience a bit different than others who experienced it at a kid. It really touched me and stoked my always warm heart. I loved it.
Ack wrote:I don't know, chief, the haunting feeling of lust I feel whenever I look at your avatar makes me think it's real.

-I am the idiot that likes to have fun and be happy.
User avatar
Gunstar Green
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:12 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: What's your 2015 Game of the Year?

by Gunstar Green Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:35 pm

Probably Rocket League. It's the definition of easy to play, difficult to master arcade fun. It's also a player vs. player game that actually made me want to play it which is something that hasn't happened to me in a long time.

I also really enjoyed Rebel Galaxy. Freelancer gameplay with a space cowboy universe. The whole thing was just delightful. It's one of those games that feels like it was made just for me.
Return to General Gaming

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests