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Valthir
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  Game(s) of the Year?
January 6, 2016 12:28:00 AM    View the profile of Valthir 
With it now being fully 2016 for every living person, I'd just like to take a look back on 2015 and see what everyone's GOTY is (or were, if you had multiple).

For me, my GOTY definitely has to be the Witcher 3. I've only played a tiny bit of the first two games, but this one pulled me in and held me. I'm sitting at probably close to 90 hours right now and I'm only around two-thirds to three-fourths of the way through and I have no intention of stopping. Even after I finish the main story, I probably will keep playing just to be in that world some more.

For W3, there are so many things about it that I love, from how deeply immersive and developed the quests are (from the smallest side quest to the largest main quest) to how well written and believable the characters are. Many games tend to feature pretty cut and clear moralities, with characters being very clearly defined. That doesn't exist here. It is very much a game of shades of grey and the choices presented to you reflect that, flipping your expectations on their head in some cases.

I'm normally not an open-world kind of person because most of the open-world games that currently are out there that I've played seem to just be a big massive landscape with a handful of points of interest thrown here and there. Outside of that, the world just feels barren and empty. Bethesda games take the brunt of my criticism in that regard, but other open world games like the Far Cry series aren't exactly much better. But with W3, everything seems like they transplanted it straight from the real world (aside from all the monsters, of course). The trees and grass react to the weather, peacefully still in the clear or whirling this way or that in a storm. There are animals, bandits, and monsters that exist in the world that you can chance upon and deal with as you wish. You can hear the wind, rain, and thunder, and hear and see people react to it.

It isn't without flaws though. Some of the gameplay systems, like combat or drinking potions, are a little off. The combat can seem ridiculously hard at times and ridiculously easy at other times, with little rhyme or reason to it. You have four slots to equip potions or food/drink in and you can't drink/eat stuff straight from the inventory screen. If you're the kind of player that uses a wide array of potions, you're going to be visiting the inventory screen a looooot. I did have a few graphical glitches, but those were usually fixed by reloading the game and rarely actually happened.



So, that's my GOTY. What's yours?
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  RE: Game(s) of the Year?
January 6, 2016 8:59:05 AM    View the profile of Drac 
2015 was probably the least gaming-intensive year of my life out of the past fifteen years or so, but I did get to play some. And given that I didn't get my hands on Fallout 4 until Dec 26th and only got about 6 hours in before the year ended, I can't really justify choosing it even though I'd like to. Maybe I'll fudge it over to 2016 by my personal reckoning.

With that said, I'll go an unusual direction and pick a free-to-play 3rd-person shooter: Warframe. Like I said, my gaming dossier is a bit thin this year. And I doubt anyone wants to hear about Madden, which is about my only other option.

If you're looking for a cooperative shooter with fancy particle effects, fun gameplay, lots of aliens and androids to obliterate in a scifi setting, and no particular need for a fleshed out story, Warframe is a great game for you. lol. It's not a well rounded game, I admit. But it's perfect for playing with a group of friends & voice chat. And the thing it really has going for it is one of the best upgrade/customization systems I've ever encountered in a game. There's basically no absolutely optimal setup for any of the game's many weapons, and few clear-cut optimal setups for its dozens of warframes. There's always room to tweak a strong setup to your playing style. And there's no weapon or small group of weapons that's just flat-out better than everything else. You get to experiment with all the weapons (Well, you're forced to more or less. It's tied into your level progression.), find the ones that suit you, and upgrade the heck out of them.

My personal favorite setup is the Rhino warframe (tanky as heck, excels at "normal" or physical attack types) with a heavily modded Boltor Prime (basically, an automatic crossbow with decent-to-good precision that can pin enemies to walls) and a tipedo (staff with a fancy double-sided blade at one end). And since you can customize all of your gear's color schemes with a huge palette of choices...all my stuff carries the obnoxious orange/blue/white color combo of the Denver Broncos. Because fan.

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  RE: Game(s) of the Year?
January 6, 2016 3:52:17 PM    View the profile of StOrMz 
I kinda hacked my picks up into genres:

I really enjoyed the newest expansion to SWTOR (actually, it's the first time i've liked the story line for that game). It was very well written and felt fresh.

Aside from that Dirt Rally is my pick for racing genre, even though it's technically still in beta. It's beautiful, accurate, and very sim like as opposed to the old arcadish feel they always had.

In terms of FPS/MMO, Star Citizen gets my pick for 'new FPS/MMO'. Alpha 2.0 is simply amazing and a real eye opening experience of what is capable with today's technology and a passion for what a game can be. It doesn't come out for a few more years (2017 or so) but it's already shaping up to be epic.

Aside from those, I don't think any of the other ones were that good. Drac nailed it with his first statement of 2015 being thin on substance.
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  RE: Game(s) of the Year?
January 6, 2016 4:00:01 PM    View the profile of Maroy 
I didn't get a chance to play very many AAA titles this year, but I think my GOTY was the quirky indie RPG Undertale.

The graphics threw me off at first, but the storytelling is surprisingly deep and the characters are well-written for the short time they're on-screen. The tagline of the game is "The friendly RPG where nobody has to die", and it lives up to its promise by including a non-lethal way of getting through every encounter. There's still a lot of mandatory combat, which consists of little "rhythm" and "bullet hell"-style minigames, which are pretty simplistic, but fun enough to keep you engaged. The mechanics of the game are all tied directly into the lore and metaphysics of the world, which leads to some very meta reveals towards the end of the game (I won't spoil them).

The game's only $10 on Steam, takes about 6 hours to beat, and has pretty minimal system requirements. I'd strongly recommend checking it out.
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Valthir
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  RE: Game(s) of the Year?
January 6, 2016 5:00:04 PM    View the profile of Valthir 
Drac: I've played Warframe before on my Xbox, but didn't really care for it. It was neat, but seemed pretty grindy, which I've never been a huge fan of. A friend of mine absolutely loves it though and for a stretch of a few months seemed to be playing it almost every day.

Maroy: I've heard a lot of good things about Undertale and maybe I'll eventually pick it up. Unfortunately, I have so many other games to get to before that though.
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Mongrel
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  RE: Game(s) of the Year?
January 10, 2016 8:01:37 AM    View the profile of Mongrel 
Was there ever any doubt that my pick would be Fallout 4? I lost a good portion of my life to that game. While I'm not crazy about the dialog changes compared to the previous games, there's still just a ridiculous amount of content shoved into The Boston Wasteland and while it's not quite as open ended as New Vegas was, it's still better than Fallout 3 in that regard. I've explored so much of the game and still occasionally walk around a corner and find something I've never seen before or a building I haven't explored yet.

For me the Bethesda style open world RPGs are about the best you can do. That said, Val and I have discussed this in the past and realized that we sort of want different things out of our games. In particular, I like Fallout 4 over Witcher 3 because while I love the story of Witcher (Just restarted the game,) I get most absorbed when I'm sneaking through Skyrim or The Boston Wasteland and creating, to some degree, the story of my character. In The Witcher, Geralt is a specific character I feel less that I am creating it than I am discovering it. There's nothing wrong with that, I really liked The Witcher and enjoy several games with strong central plots.

Also, Fallout 4 has the U.S.S. Constitution quest line which was just delightful.
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[This message has been edited by Mongrel (edited January 10, 2016 8:04:52 AM)]
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  RE: Game(s) of the Year?
January 10, 2016 9:39:54 AM    View the profile of Havock 
Fallout 4, hands down.
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Valthir
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  RE: Game(s) of the Year?
January 10, 2016 6:10:41 PM    View the profile of Valthir 
Mongrel wrote:For me the Bethesda style open world RPGs are about the best you can do. That said, Val and I have discussed this in the past and realized that we sort of want different things out of our games. In particular, I like Fallout 4 over Witcher 3 because while I love the story of Witcher (Just restarted the game,) I get most absorbed when I'm sneaking through Skyrim or The Boston Wasteland and creating, to some degree, the story of my character. In The Witcher, Geralt is a specific character I feel less that I am creating it than I am discovering it. There's nothing wrong with that, I really liked The Witcher and enjoy several games with strong central plots.

Boooo . . . wait, shit. You actually have sound reasoning. >_>
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