Mid Year Gaming Report – 2015

Let’s take a look at how 2015 has stacked up so far. I haven’t played every game released this year but I have played every game I wanted to play so this is my personal list. Expect to see a lot of PS4 titles as that has been what I’ve played most of this year.

I’m breaking this down in my Favorites, Surprises and Disappointments. First I’m going to talk about my disappointments for this year so far and move on to what have been my favorite titles in 2015. Remember, just because a game isn’t listed does not mean I didn’t like it, these are just the ones that left some sort of impression on me over other games for one reason of another.

Disappointments

Project Cars

Project CARS

I’ve covered this before but Project Cars was a disappointment for me. Looking past the fact that I went into it wanting an experience similar to Gran Turismo and didn’t get it, I still tried to get into the game that it was trying to be. The driving physics were good but the lack of direction and explanation left me not really know what I needed to be doing. Also the menu system was over complicated with a user interface that seemed to be put together by the programmers and not someone who knows what a good UI should look and feel like. Very pretty game but hard for me to get in to.

Batman Arkham Knight

BATMAN™: ARKHAM KNIGHT_20150628092201

First off, I don’t think this is a bad game. In fact I had a lot of fun with it. I still need to go back and 100% it and absolutely plan on doing that. I just couldn’t help walking away not fully satisfied with the game. The Batmobile was overused and in ways I would never have thought Batman would use it. For someone who doesn’t kill, there is no way the thugs you ran over, shot with rubber bullets, electrocuted or nailed with a missile survived. Batman rained vengeance down on those guys in a way not consistent with who he is. And it was mandatory.

I loved the Joker though. If it were not for him and his frequent appearances in the game I may not have kept going. The story was good but Scarecrow, whose character model was amazing, was not in the game enough. The Arkham Knight was shallow and forgettable. Many times when I think back on the game I forget about him and he is in the title of the game! The rest of the game was your standard Batman affair and that’s a good thing. There is enough to like about this game but my overall feeling was one of disappointment, even though I still recommend it to anyone who wants a good current gen action game.

 Surprises

Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat X_20150418134643This was a major surprise to me personally. As much as I’ve loved this series I found I could not get back into it as hardcore as I used to be. It may be due to the new characters and lack of some of the older ones. So it was a surprise that I just stopped playing after a few days. I picked it back up the other day and went through a tower. I had fun, but by the end of it I was ready for it to be over.

The Order: 1886

The Order: 1886_20150223165110I did what I rarely do and saw a few reviews before popping this in. And it wasn’t pretty. I was getting ready to roll my eyes and feel as though I just wasted $60. My first few minutes of the game didn’t do much to help things but shortly after I was loving it. I felt the game is a huge hidden gem on this console. It may be hard to consider it a hidden gem considering how much press this had prior to release but once it was in the wild the excitement quickly fizzled out. I, however, was loving the game. The voice acting, the cinematics, the writing was all great in my opinion. It’s short when compared to other games but long enough to tell the story without wearing out its welcome. A great long afternoon or weekend game. Definitely worth the current price as it’s dropped a lot.

Favorites

 Onechanbara Z2: Chaos

Onechanbara Z2: Chaos_20150724130225Let’s get it out of the way, yes it’s a bunch of barely clothed Japanese women with swords fighting zombies.  But that is not why I enjoy the game. That premise does give way to some jokes and humorous moments I admit and like I mentioned in my ESO review if I’m going to be looking at the ass of a character for hours during a game it may as well be female. However the actual gameplay is very, very fun. It’s fast, fluid and fairly deep with each of the characters having their own move set, specials, combos and abilities. It is a short, fun hack-n-slash that is a pretty nice step forward in the series. Oh yes, if you didn’t know this is just another title in a long running series starting in the PS2 days.  It’s hilarious, ridiculous and fun.

Dark Souls 2/Bloodborne

Dark Souls II LogoI’m putting these two together. I love both of these games. Bloodborne was an amazing new title and the re-release of Dark Souls 2 was just as good as the original in my opinion. Loved it. There isn’t much to say about these two games that hasn’t already been said.  Both are demanding action RPGs that need to be taken seriously but reward the players with a sense of satisfaction rarely felt now. It should be no surprise to find them here.

Witcher 3

Witcher_LogojpgI’m still playing through this game but so far I am absolutely hooked. A great continuation of the second game with nice graphics and a feeling of nearly limitless quests and story. Every turn is met with new things to look at and explore. Quests never feel overwhelming, the pacing is right and only rarely does an individual quest feel too long. My only complaint is that Geralt does not control well in my opinion. Too slow in combat for my liking and positioning him just right so a prompt appears allowing me to open a door, ignite a candle or loot something is often times annoying and an exercise in frustration. But the rest of the game far and away outshines my annoyances with it. I’m loving my trip back into this universe.

So that’s my snapshot of 2015 so far. There have been many, many more games released this year and I have played quite a bit but those are the ones that have had the biggest impression on me.