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My Favourite Games of 2015

Guess who left this post in their drafts for three months? Yup. Seems a shame to let it go to waste, so here’s my belated blog of my favourite games played in 2015!

Now, the twist with my list is it’s not limited to games released in 2015, I’ll be talking about my favourite games played in 2015. There are 2014 releases I can’t ignore, and a few oldies that definitely deserve a mention.

So! In no particular order, my favourite games of 2015:

Child of Light (PS4)

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I’ll be honest, I can’t quite fathom the words to describe just how much I loved this game. From the moment I booted up the game I was hooked. The soundtrack by far is what makes the game so special to me, it conveys exactly what is happening at that moment in the game and it actually made me cry a few times. The artwork is absolutely stunning and felt like I’d jumped into a watercolour painting. Each level brought something new to the story and each town, crumbling castle and forest looked nothing like the previous place you passed through. The flutter of Aurora’s wings and patter of her feet as she landed back on the ground just added even more to the elegance of this game. The gameplay is quite simple as a 2D platformer, but the inclusion of the battle sequences and ability to switch characters mid-battle certainly shook things up a little. Each character in Aurora’s party (all of whom I fell in love with) have their own unique battle specialities, and discovering how to use each character to your own advantage really helps during the battles, especially as the game progresses and the difficulty increases. If you haven’t had a chance to play Child of Light yet I highly recommend it, although if fairytales and rhymes aren’t your thing (the entire dialogue is written in rhyme..) then this game might not be for you.

Rocket League (PS4)

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I know, everyone has played Rocket League. But this list is my favourite games played in 2015, and Rocket League definitely has to make the list. I managed to nab Rocket League for free when it was one of the PlayStation Plus free games last year, and personally it was one of the best PlayStation Plus games of 2015. The amount of hours I’ve put into this game is, well, a lot. There’s just something incredibly satisfying about a car donning a mariachi hat with flowers flying out of the exhaust flying into an oversized football. Seeing as the game was free I bought the DLCs that were released over the months, which means more cars, more maps and more silly hats. Bloody brilliant.

Bioshock (Xbox 360)

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I might be scraping the barrel by adding this to the list,  I’d already played BioShock before 2015 but I’d never completed it. I KNOW. DON’T JUDGE ME. BioShock has been sat on my games shelf for years and years, then every time I’d go to play it I’d either be too busy to continue or wasn’t in the right mindset to play (something that happens a lot with me..), so I’d end up putting it back on the shelf to restart another time. I’m telling you, I’ve played that Medical Pavilion level too many times. It was only when I moved into my flat last summer and had no internet for 17 days that I decided it was time to go back to Rapture. It was kind of perfect actually, having no contact with the outside world (besides using my phone data sparingly for Facebook and Twitter) I was able to fully immerse myself in that underwater city. I took my time, looted every little piece of scrap from every trash can, corpse and container, and thankfully I was never spoiled on the ending, even after all these years. I bloody loved that game, so much so that I even made a few BioShock themed cross stitches:

Until Dawn (PS4)

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Although my review of Until Dawn was slightly average, I can’t ignore the fact that my first playthrough of this game was incredibly fun. Playing Until Dawn co-op with a friend in the middle of the night was exactly the way this game was intended to be played, and boy did we have a laugh. I’m a big horror fan – ghosts, ghouls, serial killers, zombies, aliens, you name it, and this game was jam packed with several horror genres: a ghost story, killer on the loose, being chased by an unseen spook through the woods, urban legends etc etc. Yes it was cliché, a group of teenagers staying in a log cabin when things go awry, but that’s why I liked it! However, like I mentioned in my review, once you’ve played the game through twice it starts to lose it’s appeal. Although there are several possible outcomes and twists to the story, once you’ve seen two or three you’ve kind of seen them all. However, this game earned a spot on my 2015 list as my first experience of the game was so much fun, I can forgive any niggles I had over it’s replayability.

Alien Isolation (Xbox 360)

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My parents bought me Alien Isolation for my birthday (December 2014) but I only started playing it in the new year. My God, my anxiety levels went through the roof! It’s quite lengthy for a horror survival game, taking almost 20 hours to complete, but it doesn’t scrimp on the quality to stretch the game out. I haven’t even reached the halfway point, but the lasting effect this game has had on me certainly deserves a mention in my 2015 list. I’m eager to get back on it and try completing it, but I may need a co-op buddy to help get me through, maybe even therapy afterwards..

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4)

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Another game that is potentially pushing it on my 2015 list, as I only got it for Christmas! However, I thoroughly enjoyed playing Drake’s Fortune over the holidays, completing it just before heading back to work in the new year. I never owned a PS3 so never got the chance to play any of the Uncharted franchise, so when the news came out last year that they were releasing The Nathan Drake Collection, well it got me very excited. My mum was also pleased that I asked for this game for Christmas, “3 games in 1! Bargain!”

Although the first game of the series felt a little dated, and I’m trying not to criticise a game that’s nine years old (even though that’s the same year BioShock came out but anyway…), I still really enjoyed it. I’m a lover of a story driven, puzzle solving, shoot-the-bad-guys action game, and Uncharted definitely fits the bill. Also – Nathan Drake. That charming bastard. He’s like a mix between Nathan Fillion and David Boreanaz, and I’m a little bit sad they never turned this into a “so bad it’s good” movie back in the day.

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Damn, Nathan.

Never Alone (PS4)

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What a lovely game. Never Alone was one of the free games on Playstation Plus this year, and was such a nice little treat. It’s a beautiful puzzle platformer, with a ton of stories about the culture and folklore of the Iñupiat people of Alaska. The premise of the game is very simple, but the input of history and actual stories from Alaskan natives gave the game a very special, almost magical feel. I haven’t completed it yet, which I’m quite glad about, as I’ve got some more time to enjoy this game.

The Order: 1886 (PS4)

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Now, before the comments start about how bad and disappointing this game is – I know. It should have been better. Of the game’s sixteen chapters – four of these were cinematic fillers with no gameplay at all. The game was short, the story was predictable, the ending was meh. However, I still enjoyed the game.

I bought The Order for £12, which may be what swayed my opinion, if I’d have paid the full £45 I’d probably be just as pissed off as everyone else. This is one reason why I wait until the hype is over – honest reviews are out, the price comes down, you get what you pay for. I bought this game as something to take my mind off recovering from surgery in November, and it done the job. It took me a week to complete, mostly because I couldn’t tolerate sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time due to the pain I was in, but it meant I was able to spread out the game a bit longer than I would have done otherwise. It truly is a beautiful looking game and I’m a sucker for Victorian-era London, with a nice dollop of steampunk and supernatural characters too. I might do a separate post with a longer review for The Order, as I’ve got a lot to say about the game!

So there you have it, my favourite games played in 2015! Sorry it’s three months late..

– AmyGames

Twitter: @littleamyhere

Etsy: Curly Stitches

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The Wolf Among Us – Game Review

A few days ago I completed The Wolf Among Us, and I’m saddened to say I was a little disappointed.

The Wolf Among Us is the third TellTale Games series I’ve played, the first being The Walking Dead, second Game of Thrones. I really enjoy their style of gameplay, and was lucky enough to buy The TellTale Collection on PS4 during the sale a couple of months ago.

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So, why the disappointment? The length of the game. It was just far too short! Each episode is divided into chapters, and after completing each chapter you earn a trophy. I found that I was gaining trophies at an alarming rate, completing chapters in ten minutes, with one chapter in the final episode being less than five minutes long. The ending felt incredibly rushed, and comparing the finale of The Wolf Among Us to The Walking Dead (which had me blubbing into my dressing gown..), it was surprising to think that the two games were from the same developers.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the game. I found myself invested in the characters: having a soft spot for the lovable rogue, Bigby, feeling incredibly bad for Mr Toad and his son, TJ, and hoping there’d be a little bit more going on between Snow White and The Big Bad Wolf.

The graphics are what you’d expect from a TellTale Game, and I absolutely loved it. Each scene looked like it had been taken directly from a comic book page, with the use of dark colours contrasting with vibrant purples and pinks. It reminded me of 80’s cop movies, especially with the emphasis on synths in the game soundtrack – not to mention the reference to the 80’s cop movie, Cobra, during the first scene of the game.

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Mongoose? How Sly, don’t you think?

One thing that gets two thumbs up from me? The intro. So. Goddamn. Cool. It definitely sets off the tone of the game – Bigby casually walking through the city at night, with nothing but his burning cigarette and beat of his synthy theme tune to guide the way.

As much as I was enchanted by the story of fairytale characters gone wrong, I definitely felt at some parts of the game that I was watching instead of actually playing. Yes, the Quicktime elements were there, and the decisions I made affected the way other characters decided to trust or speak to Bigby. However, something isn’t quite right when you can eat a whole meal and only have to push a button every so often. It was beginning to feel more like a TV show than a game.

During my playthrough and confusion at the shortness of episodes, I took to the internet to see if anyone agreed with me. It seemed a lot of people were just as annoyed as myself, but to add insult to injury most people had to wait months between episodes. I feel slightly privileged that I was able to jump seamlessly from one episode to the next, and I’ll be honest – I probably would’ve given up on the game if I had to wait so long for short episodes.

Overall? A pretty good game, let down by being far too short, a rushed ending and minimal gameplay. There’s news of a Season Two being released – which I’ll most probably play, but only when all of the episodes are eventually released. Fingers crossed Telltale Games spend a bit more time on Season Two, flesh the game out, and give these characters the story they deserve.

– AmyGames

Twitter: https://twitter.com/littleamyhere

Oh my Thor, I bought a PS4.

My friends, the day has come where I have become a proud owner of a PS4. *choir of angels sing*

I’ve been wanting to upgrade to a next gen console for a while now, and as much as I love my Xbox 360, the graphics quality just isn’t top notch anymore. Personally, the new games being released deserve to be played on a higher quality console, and you’re paying pretty much the same price for a game, whether it’s on 360, Xbone or PS4. The day will come when they decide to stop selling games for the Xbox 360, and I don’t want to get left behind! (Of course, it wont be in the near future. Microsoft get a hell of a lot of revenue from 360 players.)

Now I’m a very sentimental person, which is why it’s taken two years to even think about upgrading. But don’t worry, My 360 still has pride of place right next to my PS4. I’ve got a hell of a lot of unfinished games to play on it, and it’ll be played until it’s little green button fades to red.

The trouble it caused me to buy this damned console was incredible. I decided to buy it 2am Thursday night, but wanted it to be delivered to my friend’s house in London, as I was driving down on Saturday for a few days. He also has a PS4, and we had this brilliant idea of setting up two big TVs so we didn’t have to play Call of Duty on split screen. Genius.

Well my bank didn’t seem to like the idea of me trying to send a £300 console to London, rejected the transactions and wanted to call my house phone. By this time it was close to 3am, my parents were in bed so there was no way they could call me. I cancelled the order, and had one last try on Amazon. The console itself was a bit pricier, but as Amazon is a well used website I order from, it worked. It was also the only website offering guaranteed delivery on the Saturday, so it worked out quite well. Except for having to explain to the bank the next day that yes, those five transaction attempts were me.

The PS4 arrived in London before I did, and ahh, what a beauty:

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I had a really great time the past few days, the double TV set up was bloody brilliant. I stupidly forgot to take a photo, but believe me, it was gamer heaven. I only played Call of Duty, as I decided to keep Destiny for once I got home, but we also played the latest Telltale Games instalment, Game of Thrones.

Here’s the set up in my bedroom back home:

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I’m having to buy an ethernet cable and feed it through from downstairs, as the WiFi connection isn’t that great unfortunately. I’m not sure if it’s just slow tonight (I only got home about four hours ago!) but I’d rather get the cable set up to ensure I’ve got a good connection. Here’s the problem I had trying to download the Destiny update:

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Yes that’s right, THIRTY TWO HOURS. At that rate it’ll be ready Friday morning. Crazy.

Currently I have CoD: AW, Destiny, a few of the free monthly games downloaded, and I’ve just ordered Murdered: Soul Suspect. I’m eager to try Bloodborne, and I’m yet to play The Last of Me, so no doubt I’ll be buying those two games on my next pay day.

Any PS4 game recommendations or tips? Let me know! At the moment I feel like a right newbie, trying to work my way round the menu screen..

Expect lots of blogs from now on of me gushing over my PS4, or moaning about the bad WiFi connection. Either way, watch this space.

– AmyGames

Twitter: littleamyhere