My last non-personal post took a look at the Misses of the Year. Let’s turn that around, and look at the Hits of the year. Those games, some highly touted, some snuck up on us, but all of them earned significant attention and playing time in the year gone by.
Rocket League – Talk about a surprise game on the list. Rocket League is the first eSport title that would be classified as a proper sport. Soccer with automobiles. Watching some of the high level play was great, but it can equally be fun watching six newbies try their darndest to get the ball in the goal (Trust me, it isn’t that easy.)
Rise of the Tomb Raider – This is a DESPITE hit. Rise of the Tomb Raider was a great game taking Lara Croft back from the more combat oriented games of the recent past to a more exploration-based format. The game is beautiful, tough and challenging without being unfair. The despite part is the fact that if you’re a PS4 owner, you still have another year to wait to play this game. They may have received a significant exclusitivity bonus from Microsoft, but I can’t think it’s good to have approximately half your audience locked out for this length of time. It’s a short term profit, long term debit situation.
Fallout 4 – A couple of folks have criticised this game as being less sweeping than either of its predecessors (Fallout 3 or Fallout Vegas), but the game provided a good amount of challenge, and for someone who has lived near Boston all their life, some great scenery (seeing Diamond City, nee Fenway Park was an amazing thing). Oh and did I mention Power Armor? Because that was pretty sweet.
Tales from the Borderlands – It sounded ridiculous when it first came out. A graphic adventure based in the shoot em all setting of Borderlands? But here’s the thing. It was just enough of a bizarre combination to go together pefectly. And not only that, Telltale Games did a really nice job in telling a very compelling story with a lot of room for player choices to affect the story. Let’s put it this way.. as a result of this game series doing so well, I didn’t immediately laugh when Telltale announced Minecraft Story Mode, but instead said “Ok, let’s see what they can do with it.”
Super Mario Maker – Basically the ultimate Mario game. Allowing folks to make their own Mario levels and share amongst friends is a wonderful thing. And the amazing thing is, it’s not just the nearly-impossible to beat levels people make that make this so fun, but level creators have made thematic levels that approach or even exceed the wonder and style of existing Mario games. The sheer amount of choices in visual style, character, etcetera, makes this not unly the ultimate Mario game, but the ultimate Mario-STYLE game.
Splatoon – When the concept was announced, it was derided as a “Kiddy FPS” where people shoot paint at each other. Guess what? IT WORKS. Matches are usually exciting and frantic as one side tries to claim more territory then the other by covering the map in paint. It’s kinda like a minimalist first person shooter, but that doesn’t take anything away from the quality of the game play.
David "SirFozzie" Yellope is the operator of the "An 8 bit mind in an 8 Gigabyte World". (an8bitmind.com) While not QUITE yet at the stage of waving his cane and telling the kids to "get off his lawn", he does admit he owns three canes.