My #2 Game of the Year is by far my most played: Blizzard’s all-star MOBA, Heroes of the Storm.
My Top Ten Games of 2015
#2 Heroes of the Storm
If you follow me on twitter you’ve seen my automated Daily Play reports courtesy of Raptr. You’ve probably noticed that a day rarely passes that I haven’t played Heroes of the Storm.
There’s usually a few games a year that I settle in as my primary multiplayer outlet with friends. This year it started with Evolve in February, which we were all excited about. Like most it fizzled out after a few weeks. Things were dire for a few months until Blizzard emerged onto the crowded MOBA market with their own take on the genre, starring all the heroes and champions of Diablo, Starcraft, Warcraft, and even the Lost Vikings.
Long have I disliked the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre, which has all but supplanted my beloved Real-Time Strategy. I tried DotA 2 for a few hours and it just didn’t click, despite my friends really enjoying it. Games were too long and the learning curve too steep, leading to endless frustration.
Leave it to Blizzard to finally craft a MOBA experience I could get behind. By shortening matches, streamlining leveling, and offering multiple levels and objectives, Heroes of the Storm is the easy to play, hard to master MOBA that I’d apparently been waiting for. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2015: #2”
The Marvel Cosmic event of 2009, War of Kings, is a grand payoff for several years worth of intergalactic warfare and crossovers.
With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.
Thanks in large part to trade paperbacks and the digital convenience of Marvel Unlimited I can make relatively quick progress, and I’ll write down my Final Thoughts for each collection here on my blog. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!
Writers: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Artist: Paul Pelletier
Issues: War of Kings #1-6, Secret Invasion: War of Kings, War of Kings: Who Will Rule?*
*I also read the following tie-ins: X-Men: Kingbreaker, Nova Vol. 5: War of Kings, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: War of Kings Book 2
The cosmic side of the Marvel Universe – which is to say, everything other than Earth, had been carefully designed by the writing team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning for several years before War of Kings hit in the Summer of 2009.
Beginning with the catastrophic Annihilation event in 2006, the wider universe had been in a state of flux and terror. Combined with intriguing story seeds spinning out of X-Men: Deadly Genesis and Secret Invasion: Inhumans, War of Kings represents the sweeping payoff for several different factions, series, and events. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, with the same great artwork by Paul Pelletier from previous cosmic events. But fully understanding War of Kings requires several years worth of Marvel comics stories. Continue reading “Marvel Comics Final Thoughts – War of Kings”
Another full-fledged stand-alone expansion to Starcraft II, another great reason to return o the Koprulu Sector.
Playing new standalone expansion Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void is like slipping on a comfortable pair of slippers, or ordering your “usual” at a frequented restaurant. Knowing what you’re going to get is comforting. Legacy of the Void relies on your familiarity and love of Starcraft to create an enjoyable, if cheesy, campaign. And there are enough new features to warrant a return to the war-torn Koprulu Sector.
The astonishingly gigantic open-world RPG Xenoblade Chronicles X is my #3 Game of the Year for 2015!
My Top Ten Games of 2015
#3 Xenoblade Chronicles X
I’ve gained a real cynicism and disdain for Japanese games over the last decade. JRPGs were and are among some of my all time favorite games – back in the 90s.
Since then I’ve largely fallen out of love with them. Their storytelling goes in increasingly bizarre and goofy directions, and my distaste for anime is exemplified by grating cutscenes, voice-work, and writing that was previously the marquee of cutesy pixels and simple text.
So, it’s a pretty damn big deal that not only did I enjoy Xenoblade Chronicles X, but that I’ve ranked it so high on my Game of the Year list. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2015: #3”
It’s a thrilling major boss battle as the PCs wage war in the heart of Cragmaw Castle against the bugbear chieftain and his army!
Watch our sessions live on my YouTube channel every Sunday night beginning at 9:30pm Central. Subscribe and catch up on previous episodes!
Occasionally real life can get in the way of gaming. Which is to say, I’m incredibly thankful that I have the means and time to play online role-playing games with friends at all. The weekend before Christmas was crazy busy for me, which means I had exactly zero prep time for this week’s D&D session. I’m still always ahead in my planning, so I can technically hit the ground running any week, but there’s a solid hour or two of planning out dialogue sessions, intro recap, and notes to myself for the week.
I didn’t have a chance to do any of that this week, as you can tell from my terribly rambling recap at the beginning. The party also happened to go into Cragmaw Castle, a major dungeon area, through a side entrance rather easily, and found themselves in the final boss room of the dungeon right at the beginning of the session. Roll for initiative! Continue reading “D&D 5E – “Lost Mine of Phandelver” Session 14 Recap”
Bethesda’s giant open-world RPG sequel Fallout 4 is my #4 Game of the Year in 2015.
My Top Ten Games of 2015
#4 Fallout 4
Fallout is among my favorite gaming franchises, with Fallout 2 one of my favorite games of all time. Though I ultimately prefer my RPGs in old-school tactical format (a tease for my #1 Game of the Year), I’ve always enjoyed Bethesda’s massive open-world RPGs. Nothing excites me more than exploring a big world, and Fallout 4‘s post-apocalyptic Boston is satisfyingly gigantic.
More important than just being large is density of content, something that Bethesda has really improved upon with each entry in the Elder Scrolls and Fallout games. You can hardly walk anywhere without finding something interesting, whether it’s a full-on dungeon location or a simple truck with some loot. The world is full of stuff yet still feels appropriately desolate, and most importantly, dangerous. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2015: #4”
The surprisingly awesome 3DS monster battler Yo-Kai Watch comes in at #5 on my Game of the Year list.
My Top Ten Games of 2015
#5 Yo-Kai Watch
Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are.
On the surface Yo-Kai Watch is another monster-collecting Pokémon clone aimed at kids. It has already become a massive franchise hit in Japan in the last few years, from toys and comics to movies and anime.
The Nintendo 3DS game really stands out thanks to some unique gameplay that owes more to Dragon Quest Monsters than Pokémon. The semi-open world, modern urban setting is a huge breath of fresh air in a stale JRPG genre. I also really respected the theme of helping people with their various problems rather than just trying to be the best, like no one ever was.
Pokémon Y made #3 on my 2013 list, and I’ve been playing and enjoying those games for well over a decade. I jumped into Yo-Kai Watch with all the skepticism and eye scrutiny, and came away with one of my favorite games of the year. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2015: #5”