So Many Games

2015 is the year of games.

I probably say this about most years lately, but I am seriously overwhelmed with all the awesome games that have been coming out, and will come out, in 2015.

The sheer number of games that I’ve been excited about, have been difficult to keep track of. So I kind of want to share my thoughts on games that I’ve played so far this year, and some games yet to come and why I’m looking forward to them.

So far, there’s been Splatoon, Her Story, Witcher 3, and Batman Arkham Knight that I’ve all been super excited for. Also a few games that I was surprised at, such as Grow Home, Fallout Shelter, and GTA V for PC.

And I’m currently playing “The Magic Circle” which I just found out about this week, which totally surprised me. Not sure how to explain this game. It’s like a game about an unfinished game?? But it works, and I’m very much enjoying it. Somehow I knew about the game a year ago, but I don’t remember where I found it from, but then I completely forgot, and happened to be subscribed to a YouTube channel that recently made a new video about it, and the game’s available now, so… Ok, cool! I’m digging it! It’s fun and funny. Seriously, i’m a bit confused about this game’s existence, but I think that probably just adds to the intrigue!

Splatoon (WiiU) is just oozing (hahah) with charm and it’s a lot of fun. One of the first multiplayer games that I’ve felt very comfortable with. I haven’t played as much as I would want to just yet, but I plan on it soon. Luckily, Nintendo is still strongly supporting it, so that’ll keep things freeeesh longer (Staaaay fresh!)
I already said my thoughts on Her Story. Go buy it.
Grow Home (PC) was a surprising release, came from almost nowhere. Really interesting game about collecting diamonds in this weird world. It’s just fun!
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PC) I got for free from buying a graphics card for the gaming computer I built, but I really wish I had actually paid for it, because it’s been a lot of fun, and there’s just SO MUCH stuff in the game. I feel like I’m nowhere near getting started, even though I’ve spent many many many hours playing.
Batman Arkham Knight (PC) I’ve spent 40 or so hours playing, and very much enjoyed so far, despite the controversy around it’s release and issues with the PC version. My issues with the game have been minimal, although some freezing/crashing have been had, auto-save has got me back right where I left off without issue. I finished the main game, and have collected 88% of the collectibles. May or may not go back to play through the New Game Plus mode. It’s a shame there was such issues with it at launch. You can’t even buy the game right now. It really is quite an awesome game, and I enjoyed it deeply, harking back to how much I enjoyed Arkham Asylum. They’re still busy “fixing” things for the people who had issues with it on PC.
Fallout Shelter (iOS) is a neat spin-off of the Fallout series, basically just a simply vault-management game. But Fallout. It’s free, it’s neat. Yay!
And then GTA V, I’ve already posted my thoughts about that game, although probably a bit outdated now, since that was for the PS3 version, when I’ve since played it on PS4, and now on PC. The PC version is definitely the best version of the game, due to the added time the developer spent on it. I have mixed feelings about the game. There are many parts that make me feel very uncomfortable, but in the end the whole thing just seems to work well, and is fun. I haven’t been able to get into the Online parts of the game. Mostly because I’m just not much of a multiplayer person. Although see Splatoon for exception.
There was a bit of hype around Kholat (PC)when it came out, and I saw a few bits of gameplay from YouTubers I follow (Jim Sterling and Markiplier of primary note). The game looked super interesting so I had to check it out for myself. It reminds me a lot of a game called Miasmata that I enjoyed several years ago. Basically, it’s you exploring a large world, and all you have to guide you is a map. Just like The Real World, the map doesn’t really tell you exactly where you are. You have to figure it out yourself based on your surroundings. You explore the area discovering things. In both games, there is an enemy-sorta that will come after you, but it’s really rather easy to avoid it, while just focusing on the story of the game. So yeah, how much I enjoyed Miasmata influenced my want to try Kholat. I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ve dug it so far.

The year’s half-way over, with a ton of great games already been released. Somehow, it seems that the 2nd half will contain an even larger number of games I’m excited for.

I’m a bit skeptical that all of the games will be released though, since half of the ones on my list do not have actual release dates yet.

Games with release dates are:

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture: August 11th
Mad Max: September 1st
Yoshi’s Woolly World: October 16th
Fallout 4: November 10th
Just Cause 3: December 1st.
(there’s also Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer, and Chibi-Robo Zip Lash that come out in October, which I’ll probably end up getting, but not necessarily “excited” about. Home design was always the part of Animal Crossing I cared least about, but maybe this game will change my mind. I absolutely LOVED the original Chibi-Robo game, and have been disappointed that it has never gotten a proper sequel, but it really will be nice to be able to re-visit the character. AND I MUST HAVE A CHIBI-ROBO AMIIBO. I simply must.)

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture captures my interest, because it looks great, and will be heavy on telling a story. I’m always keen on checking out games that aren’t afraid to do something different in a interesting way. The developer’s previous game Dear Esther was more just walking around without doing much, but seems like this game’s going to be interesting. Not sure how I’ll play it, since my PS4 is on loan to a friend. Maybe I’ll stick to watching a YouTube Let’s Play on this one. Disappointed that there’s no PC version..

The Mad Max game looks interesting. Looks a bit like RAGE, which I quite liked. This Max Max game is by the same developer that makes Just Cause, and I’m a bit fan of the Just Cause series. More on that in a bit. But this game looks pretty big and action-y, so heck yeah, why not? Not seeing any pre-orders available for the PC version, just the PS4/Xbone versions, which is kinda concerning, but there’s no reason to expect there to be an issue with the PC version coming out same day, right?

Yoshi’s Woolly World. What can I say? I’ve been a HUGE Yoshi fan for as long as I can remember. I grew up playing Yoshi’s Island on the SNES. (I must have been 6 or 7 when it originally came out.) I stunk at playing it at first, but then several years later I actually was able to go back and finish the game, and loved it. Definitely one of my all-time favorite games ever. Since then, I’ve been a Yoshi fan. I didn’t get much into the Yoshi’s Island 2 DS game that came out some time ago, but Yoshi’s New Island seems like a lot of fun, but I’ve been slow getting into that. Either way, looking forward to Yoshi’s Woolly World. The game is already out in Europe, which makes it all the more unfair that we have to wait until October. :(
But seriously, just look at it. How adorable is that? I’m going to try to get all three Yarn Yoshi amiibo. (Have I mentioned I may have an amiibo collection obsession? I may make a separate post on that later.)

Fallout 4. Well. I’ve been a fan of the Fallout series for quite a long time. Fallout 1 and 2 were probably the first “M” rated games I ever played. Which doesn’t seem like a big-deal ‘now’ but at the time I was probably 13 years old, so there was a sense that I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to do. Ooooh, I’m such a rebel. (But my mom actually did buy the games for me, so I totally had parental permission, and was deemed Mature enough to play. For what it’s worth.) Got both games in one bundle pack. Not sure what year that would be, I want to say 2001 or 2002.. I must have been in middle-school, and the only games I could play were when I was able to use “allowance” to get a cheap $10 jewel-pack game from Target. This one happened to have both games in a double-jewel pack, so it was like oooh, getting two games for the price of one, Smart shopping! Turns out, it was a very wise decision, because I really dug those turn-based tactical, dark, post-apocalyptical role-playing games. And the memory playing them has stuck with me all this time. I even participated in a forum online “roleplay” story set in the Fallout universe. That was probably right around the time I was entering high-school. Gosh I was such an awkward teen. (Still am awkward, but that’s a different story). I had a lot of fun on that forum. It kind of dissolved after awhile, though. Kind of a bummer. Anyway, I remember soon after I got Fallout 1+2, Fallout Tactics came out, and I couldn’t find it anywhere. Eventually, I was able to find it on one of the game end-caps hidden at the back of a store (probably also a Target), and ended up playing through and loving that too. It was very different from Fallout 1+2, but still enjoyable revisiting the universe created in those games. And then Fallout 3 is totally not like any of the other games, because it’s more first-person fully 3D game. I remember when FO3 game first came out, I couldn’t really afford it. Eventually it went on sale on Steam, and I was in the middle of nowhere at the time, and bought it for like $30. One of the first games I bought on Steam sale that I can remember. Haha! In hind-sight, $30 was a pretty high price to pay for a game on Steam Sale, but it was still more-than-worth it. I don’t think my computer at the time could even handle it, so it wasn’t until a year or so later that I was able to actually play through it. (If you know me, I tend to play “the long game” when it comes to actually playing games. I have many games that I am “in the middle of” but eventually get back to actually playing. Then I’m like “OMG I love this game, why didn’t I finish this sooner?” and it’s typically because there’s just so many other games that keep coming out. Like this year! But I’m also making a lot of progress playing through games. Even while balancing having an actual job! Me, with a job! Sometimes that still surprises me!

Anyway, long story short (too long), I am very excited about Fallout 4. And it was just announced out-of-the-blue not too long ago, so the hype is still strong. It looks great from what I’ve seen. And maybe now is a good excuse to go back and finally finish playing Fallout: New Vegas, which has been on the backlog back-burner for some time. I have Fallout 4 pre-ordered at Best Buy and Amazon, because I want myself that real-life Pip-Boy. Oh yeah.

Just Cause 3. Not sure which game I’m more excited about, Fallout 4, or Just Cause 3.
I got Just Cause 2 as part of a larger “Square Enix Game Bundle” on Steam, which included Batman Arkham Asylum (which also had a sequel released this year. See above.)
JC 2 was probably my first significant introduction to modern Open World games, and also fairly violent. (although in hind-sight, it doesn’t seem as violent as some other games I’ve seen recently). I’ve spent ~100 hours on JC2, going through the story, finding all the collectibles, destroying all the target destroyables, etc. It’s just super entertaining. Everything about the game just resonated to make a perfect game. And the new one sounds like it’s going to be punching a bigger punch, so I am definitely excited. Hype Hype Hype HYPE!!! Already pre-ordered.

Games that have do not have a release date, and may or may-not actually be released this year would be:
Torment: Tides of Numenera
The Witness
No Man’s Sky
Soft Body
The Room Three

Torment and Obduction are both games I backed on Kickstarter, and have been following for quite awhile. Torment: Tides of Numenera is a sorta-sequel to Planescape: Torment, which I enjoyed as a teenager. (Another game I got in a “combo jewel pack”, see above. This one came bundled with a game called “Soulbringer”, which fast forward to 2015, is available on Steam and I ended up getting there for nostalgia purposes). Planescape: Torment was another game from Interplay that I ended up really liking. (Was a big fan of Interplay before they fell apart. Icewind Dale is another game I really enjoyed). Not sure much about what Torment will do, but many of the same team that worked on Planescape: Torment are working on this one, so that along makes me excited. I liked the story involved in Planescape: Torment. A lot. The whole atmosphere of the game was just captivating and unique. They can’t use the name Planescape, since that is trademarked by a different company. Heh.
Obduction is made by Cyan, the same company that made Myst. If you know me, then you know I FREAKING LOVED the Myst franchise. Such an amazing franchise, even through the ups and downs. And the books. OMG I loved the Myst books. I loved the Myst books so much, that in 12th grade, we had to write 4 book reports throughout the year. Three of the reports I did, were on each of the Myst books. I think that speaks largely on how much I loved the books, and how awesome my English teacher was. So, now we have a new game by the same company, I’m definitely eager. There’s something really magical about being able to explore a world without a timelimit, and be able to just uncover the secrets the world has. Probably a reason why I enjoy Grow Home and Her Story, and why I’m curious about Everybody’s Gone To the Rapture. So yeah, Obduction will be great. I’ve enjoyed following the development of it through Kickstarter.

Firewatch. This game looks super interesting, and curious, and gorgeous. I am very interested in this game, and I’ve been looking forward to this game for a year or so. The linked trailer is from August 2014, but there’s much more newer stuff available, including some early-game footage, if you’re interested in looking. Another game that I’m excited for just diving in and soaking in the story.

The Witness. This game. I’ve been looking forward to this game for 2-3 years. It is absolutely beautiful adventure game. It looks like a sort of Open World huge Myst-like puzzle game crammed full of puzzles. This is a game by Jonathan Blow, the same guy who made Braid, which was another game I absolutely loved. It was supposed to come out in 2014, but now it’s supposed to come out this year, but I won’t be surprised if it slips to 2016 due to there still not being a release date for it. But the hype is strong with this one, and I’m excited for it.

No Man’s Sky looks interesting. A procedurally generated exploration/adventure game I don’t really know too much about this game, but it looks cool, and will be worth checking out. Look at the graphics. It’s gorgeous. I’ve often said that graphics aren’t the defining aspect of what makes a game good, but there are some games where the game’s emphasis is primarily on exploration, in which case just look at it. Being able to just freely explore a humongous universe that looks just so gorgeous. It just screams out to want to be explored. This game has practically been confirmed to NOT release in 2015, in which case it shouldn’t be on this list, but last I heard was that it was 2015, so it may be, may not be. Probably not. Still keeping it here.

Soft Body by Zeke Virant. I saw this game covered during E3 2015, and it instantly captured my attention.
“You are a beautiful, gooey snake, and you paint the world with your soft body.”
What else can be said?? Check out the linked video.

The Room Three, I just found out about today. While writing up this post. OMG I really liked the first two The Room games. Basically, you have these rooms with puzzle boxes, that you solve the puzzles to open the box, to discover more about what’s going on. It’s really quite mystical and just awesome.

So that’s about it. I probably missed something, but that’s ok. This post is long enough already.

“You don’t have to get every game.” Yeah, I’m aware of that, mother. I don’t get every game. It just so happens that a lot of games are all coming out in the same year that I’m interested in.

I’m not quite sure if that means more amazing games are coming out in 2015, or if it’s just that my taste in games has grown so much over the years to where I am more open to a wider range of games? Probably both. I definitely think “Just SO MANY great games coming out in 2015″ is a primary factor. Although it is also true that my range of games that I’ve come to play and love has dramatically grown over the years. In part due to the increase in the overall increase in quality of games that are released more often, and to it being easier to find, and buy games now, than ever before, with the growth of the internet and dominance of Digital game purchase/download/distribution.

No matter how you look at it, there’s never been a better time to be a gamer, than right now.