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Entertainment Fuse’s Game of the Year 2015: Matt’s Top 10

"Our GOTY series begins with Matt's Top 10"
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Game of the year! Gonna try and keep this as short as possible though that’s gonna be rather difficult. Few games I played that didn’t make the list I want to talk about briefly. Resident Evil Revelations 2 was a huge disappointment for me. The first game made my top 3 a few years ago, but this game just messed up on every single level. Having now ruined a great spin off series as well as the main games after Resident Evil 6 I really don’t know where they go from here outside of remakes and that makes me very sad.
I had great fun in the beta for Rocket League but when the game actually came out it just didn’t click with me. This is nothing against the game per se; just never got into it outside watching a few videos. Really thought I’d get lost in this game but I’m glad it’s so well received.

I should love everything about Until Dawn as a huge fan of that style of game and obsessed with horror films. I just didn’t think it was that good. It started slow, had a very interesting middle but I really didn’t like the end. Also the frequent use of laughably bad unnecessary jump scares immediately turned me off this game. Good horror doesn’t rely on cheap scares.
And perhaps the biggest outlier for me is Fallout 4. I still feel like I don’t have a strong opinion on this game, after only 10 hours of playing. I kinda like the setting and world but the controls, player movement, absurd jankiness and glitches which are way worse than Skyrim have really got in the way of the experience for me so far. I’m gonna stick at it over the coming months, but for a game that I really wanted to become obsessed with it hasn’t happened at all so far.

Also wanna quickly list a few games I’m interested in that I haven’t had a chance to play yet: Life is Strange, The Talos Principle, Soma, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Rare Replay and most importantly;The Witcher 3. Now let’s begin the top 10 already.
  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

I’m as surprised as anyone that this game made my list. Not that I have anything against Call of Duty it just isn’t something I particularly enjoy. that much. After completely skipping Ghosts and Advanced Warfare I was in the mood for one of these and gave it a go as I really enjoyed the last two Black Ops. Also I haven’t even touched the campaign which is weird for me as that’s usually all I play. The last Call of Duty multiplayer I played was way back in Modern Warfare 1 so this may not even be remotely the best COD multiplayer but for someone who hasn’t played it for years and and has a group of friends to play with who are into it; I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. And I've prestiged for the first time in one of these games which I didn't think would happen.
  1. Splatoon

If this list was my favorite concepts of the year Splatoon would be 2nd. While it still makes my list as a game I very much enjoyed I was still disappointed with many things in Splatoon’s execution. Outside of poor UI and a short single player campaign (which was fantastic), being forced to the use gamepad online when the game supports pro controller for local multiplayer was very annoying. My biggest issue with this game though (and I’m speaking as someone who played at launch so I don’t know how prevalent this still is) is the matchmaking issues.
Trying to join a game and playing together with friends was almost impossible. After trying for about an hour we would usually get in the same game 2 or 3 times and sometimes we would even be on opposite teams. This just killed all the fun for me and the frustration ultimately made me put this game down way quicker than I expected to. It’s a shame because I loved the core gameplay of Splatoon and if this issues weren’t there this would have been way higher on my list.
  1. Shovel Knight

Yes this game may have first released a while ago now but it did finally come to retail for the first time this year which is where I picked it up. So much has been said about this game that I completely agree with. As soon as I started playing I immediately understood the hype. The visuals, the sound, the gameplay, the level design; everything is well well thought out and lovingly crafted. A special game that tickles your nostalgia perfectly while still be it’s own great thing.
  1. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Where I’m at in the UK this game came out right at the end of December last year. Considering that, I’m classing it as a 2015 game as it’s wonderful and deserves some attention on this list. I love when Nintendo do weird stuff like this. Captain Toad is a very simple game but isn’t overly easy and provides way more than I expected before playing. Getting all the goals in each level isn’t hard but it does provide a fun challenge and adds to the overall experience.
This game also had probably my favorite amiibo support in a game to date. Using a Toad amiibo, in each level a 8-bit Toad will hide somewhere and you must find him and tap him on the gamepad in each level. Its very simple but this game of hide and seek is just a fun little thing that gives you another reason to see all the wonderfully crafted levels once again. Captain Toad was just a joyful, relaxing game and really surprised me as one of my best experiences in gaming this year.
  1. Batman: Arkham Knight

This is a very interesting one to talk about. When I finished Arkham Knight I loved it. I questioned whether it was my favorite Arkham game to date and wanted more immediately. I dove straight into New Game plus and finished that and then made the mistake of going after the platinum trophy. Not that it’s hard (I got it) just super boring especially the much maligned Riddler challenges. But an even bigger mistake was buying the season pass.
In short it was a complete waste of money. None of the content has been worth playing so far and believe me as I put myself through every little bit of it. It’s a shame the bad DLC has gave me a negative opinion on this game now as when I first beat it I absolutely adored it and that’s why it’s on this list. Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to love it again but companies need to be aware of the effect bad DLC has on the fan base they are bleeding dry in the long run.
  1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

When this game was talked about in all the previews how it would be open world I constantly thought “Yeah right. You can’t do stealth in an open world.” I thought it would be very open, small areas like what we saw in Ground Zeroes and similar to what we see in Hitman games; but not a true open world. And then the game came out and they only went and bloody pulled it off. Gameplay wise, MGSV is one of the best open world games of all time. The way all the systems tie together, how the game slowly drip feeds you information so you aren’t overwhelmed at first with how much is going on. It’s a masterclass in so many ways.
I was wrong about stealth being impossible in an open world but this game more than any probably confirmed how hard it is to tell a story in one. In all the ways it succeeds as a videogame it perhaps fails as a Metal Gear Solid game. Story wise the game has an amazing intro and brilliant final act (in my opinion), but it was almost impossible to keep that going during the 70+ hours you’ll spend in the middle. I don't necessarily blame them but it’s just the trade off for amazing gameplay the game just lacks the narrative of the previous games. Having said that I wouldn’t change the time I had playing MGSV for anything and it’s even more of a shame we’ll never see the franchise take that next leap forward again.
  1. Destiny: The Taken King

Yup. I’m a Destiny guy. 750 hours and counting. While I’m more than aware of the game’s problems at launch I did think Destiny got a lot of unfair criticism last year and this expansion made my arguments a lot easier. In short, The Taken King made Destiny way better in so many ways. The content itself was fantastic with a great self contained story that brought me into the narrative more than anything Destiny did in the previous twelve months. Changes like being able to infuse any weapon/gear stopped everyone from looking/using the same weapons and let you find your own personal favorites. The new raid is incredible and they continue to be my absolute favorite things in gaming today. Just overall a really great package.
It’s still far from perfect and the latest wave of free, timed events in favor of bigger paid expansions personally has me worried, but it ignited Destiny once again for a few months after release while still looking to build going forward. Destiny was never as bad as some people like to make out, now it’s a brilliant game that any shooter fan should be at least giving a go.
  1. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

Nintendo’s recent obsession with polishing and re-releasing old Zelda games is perfect for me as I only recently discovered this amazing franchise and immediately fell under it’s spell. I had of course heard lots about this game over the years as it seems to divide opinion more than any other Zelda title. I don’t really care to compare to the others I’ve played so far except to say it’s a truly wonderful game.
I do like how so many concepts seem unique compared to the other games like the three day cycle that really make it stand out more than the others I have played. I loved the interactions with the villagers and side quests more here than any of Zelda and really didn’t want this game to end. I made sure I had helped everyone there was and collected everything before finally rolling the credits after over 50 hours logged. Having played them all so recently it’s very hard for me to judge favorites but this absolutely would be around the top of the list.
  1. Super Mario Maker

This is where things get real as I really struggled with the order of these last two games as I adore them so much. Super Mario Maker is the best concept for a Nintendo game ever and executed to 99% of it’s potential. The idea that Nintendo release the tools to make 2D Mario levels so we have an endless supply of new ones to play is the stuff dreams are made of. However it’s in the execution that turns that dream into a reality and the gamepad is the perfect tool for the job. I love my Wii U but the gamepad has been pretty much useless. ZombiU was the only game I played that I felt the gamepad made the experience better but with Super Mario Maker; the gamepad is vital to this game’s success.
How easy it is to just drop a goomba on a level, put a mushroom in a block and then with a press of a button immediately be playing that level is remarkable. It’s from this similar concept some of the most crazy and mind blowing Mario levels of all time have been born. Yes the filtering systems and finding levels could be slightly better but that’s a small gripe when Nintendo completely nailed something so incredible. My only fear is that with another console around the corner this game may die long before it’s time, as I want to be making and playing levels for years and years to come. Hopefully this won’t happen as Super Mario Maker is an incredible platform, an awesome concept and maybe Nintendo’s best game since Super Mario World.
Also if you play this wonderful game and want to play my best creation to date;
  1. Bloodborne

I should note that before I go any further I hadn’t played any of the Souls games before the release of Bloodborne. The videos got me intrigued as a huge horror fan as I loved the dark gothic style they were going for and wanted to give it a try. I will also say that hearing Dark Souls fans talk about these games made me actively not want to enjoy them. They just sound so stuck up about how they are hardcore games and games these days are too easy; like they deserve credit just for choosing to play one game series over another. With that out the way, Bloodborne is one of the best games I’ve ever played.
The gameplay is one that is kinda hard to get your head around. However once it clicks, it clicks big time and ultimately it’s the thing I love most about the game. When you die, it’s your fault. You messed up. Not because the game is inconsistent or bad AI or something else, you messed up. It’s this lesson that I love as every time you die you learn more about that specific enemy and you should take from that and learn from it.
Outside of gameplay the other thing I love is the world and level design. I genuinely can’t think of any game I’ve played that comes close to it. The way the game presents you with it’s world, no map, no markers, no NPCS to guide you. You simply have to explore and discover things on your own. And this creates an amazing atmosphere for the most part as you are scared of what might be around every corner. But also just experiencing all the gorgeous art in the environments and learning where everything is in relation to each other and slowly piecing it all together in your head. I love it so much. That feeling you get of playing this game for the first time I wish I could have over and over again as it was just an amazing experience.

Also The Old Hunters DLC was equally brilliant and DLC done exactly right. It added new bosses, lush new environments and some sick new weapons. Adding to what was already the best experience I’ve had on PlayStation 4 to date.
After finishing Bloodborne (And getting the platinum trophy, oh yes) I immediately picked up Demon’s Souls and had a wonderful time. The combat wasn’t as fun as Bloodborne as I love the fast pace of it but once again exploring the world was awesome. I haven’t touched a Dark Souls game yet but when I do I’m sure it will be a similar experience. But whatever happens Bloodborne will always be my first foray into this ‘genre,’ my favorite gaming experience of the year and my game of the year for 2015.


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