SheAttack’s Games of the Year: 2015 Edition

0
1267

Say goodbye to 2015, but before we do, the staff here at SheAttack would like to reflect upon our favorite games of this year. Just like last year, because we have so many varying tastes on the website, we’ll be discussing more personally what our favorites were and how they captured us versus making an arbitrary list of games for each staff member to choose from. Hopefully this article helps you to familiarize what type of gamers we are. Without further ado, these are the games we loved best in 2015. 

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X was announced in January 2013 and grabbed even the most skeptical of gamers by the collar. On December 4th, this baby was finally released for the western market – and what a glorious day it was. Without a doubt, Xenoblade Chronicles X is living up the expectations many had for the title. The open world scale and design, enemy diversity, and the overall feeling you get of being on an unfamiliar planet after Earth’s destruction by alien forces really comes together and brings you in. As a person that does not play RPGs nor games as large as Xenoblade, I was overwhelmed in the beginning. When I became accustomed to the grandiosity of planet Mira and the battle system, I felt myself falling in love with this game. As a person that doesn’t have the time I wish I did, planet Mira is now my home after a stressful day at work. I want to live here forever and forge the path for human survival. Xenoblade Chronicles X is a standout hit for me and will likely go down in history as one of my favorites.

Next year I’m looking forward to Ratchet and Clank, Horizon Zero Dawn, The Legend of Zelda Wii U, which was on my list last year which I’m still awaiting, and possibly Quantum Break.

-Nia Pierce

Undertale

under3

Undertale, a new cult classic, came out of nowhere to become my Game of the Year. I’ll always be a lover of RPGs and the recent wave of choice-based games makes me want to cry of excitement. However, Undertale takes the cake this time rather than a big title. Undertale takes choice to a whole new level in some ways. Unlike other games that base it on dialogue choices, Undertale is based on your gameplay style and that choice actually does matter rather than in games where choice is just to make you feel like you’re influencing the game. Are you the type to kill everything in your path? Then be ready for a heck of a ride because your actions influence how characters react to you and even who the final boss is along with a few things I’m not willing to spoil. Undertale also shows how great games can be when you put love into them. Undertale was completed by one person and that is incredible in itself. It shows what can happen when there’s a half decent plotline too and that slapstick humor isn’t necessary to make games funny. It has three different routes (not endings), pacifist, neutral, and genocide. The game’s genocide route hurts even more after playing the pacifist and neutral routes, which gives it a replay-ability value many games lack. You actually learn more about the world by playing each route so even if you’re going through the same areas, many things become different. It’s a beautiful example of game design as an art form and it questions what we’ve become used to in video games in a way I didn’t expect. That’s why it’s my pick for Game of the Year.

For 2016 titles I’m looking forward to, there’s Pokemon GO (of course), Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Fire Emblem Fates, and any indie games that come out of the works to show up the bigger titles!

-Rebecca A.

Since it was announced I was sure Fallout 4 was going to be my GOTY, but then a little white pixelated Pomeranian came along and blew everything out of the water. Toby Fox’s amazing indie hit Undertale won my heart and SOUL in a mere 6 hours with its excellent story and fun gameplay. I don’t want to say too much (it should be experienced first-hand without spoilers if possible) but it’s a wonderful deconstruction of video games as a genre, is loaded with memorable characters, and has a soundtrack that I’m still listening to on-repeat even after 3 months. As something I find myself comparing even my most beloved triple-A titles against, I literally cannot recommend a game more.

-Al C.

Bloodborne

bloodborne

Without question, Bloodborne is my Game of The Year for 2015. It had everything I desired in a video game; a great atmosphere, soundtrack, combat and game mechanics, boss design, and most of all, a lot of challenge that was rewarding. With the exception of Ori and the Blind Forest, no other game kicked my butt this year like Bloodborne did. It tested my patience and had me throwing my controller more than a few times, only to pick it up and say “Okay, one more time. I got this.” How rewarding and satisfying it was to beat the bosses in this game. There were many nights where I just couldn’t put it down.
Not only did I put about 130 hours into playing Bloodborne, but I also spent even more time researching its story and lore. The game didn’t hold my hand and explain everything. I had to know the story; I had to find out and my research did not disappoint. What a fascinating game! I knew the moment I started daydreaming about Bloodborne while I was at work, that it was the one. I would think about how I could play a certain area better or beat a boss I was stuck on and then I would anticipate going home so I can try out my newly formed strategies.

What more can I say after that? Bloodborne is a game I will always refer to from now on when talking about the best games I have experienced. It’s officially a “Greatest Hit,” and more than deserves to be my Game of The Year. Next year I’m looking forward to Dark Souls III, Uncharted 4, Horizon, Mass Effect, and Unravel.

“We are born of the blood. Made men by the blood. Undone by the blood.”

-Erica A.

Fallout 4

fallout4

Bethesda. Bethesda never changes. Fallout 4 marks the famous developer’s first foray into the next generation, and it is a resounding success; but what else would you expect? The company seems to be one of the last to release their games on their schedule, so it’s always a special thing when a new one comes out. Like Skyrim before it, Fallout 4 boasts an overwhelming amount of activities and missions to keep you from your family and loved ones for alarming amounts of time. There’s also a main storyline if you’re into those. With vastly improved combat and controls, solid graphics, and a huge, densely populated world to explore, Fallout 4 is easily my game of the year. Now please, Bethesda, make another Elder Scrolls!

Looking forward to 2016, The Division (please come out this year), No Man’s Sky, Uncharted 4, Doom 4, and Mass Effect Andromeda are my most anticipated titles.

-Brent C.

Life is Strange

lifeisstrange

I never would have thought that my pick for game of the year in 2015 would have come from the French game developer responsible for the highly disappointing 2013 title Remember Me, but life can be…strange. Life is Strange became a cult hit with a dedicated fan base this year, thanks in part to its two lovable main characters, Max and Chloe, as well as its compelling interactive decision-based story. The game revolves around Max’s newfound gift of rewinding time, and using this ability to change the world around her in repeated attempts to save her best friend Chloe. I don’t think a game has ever gotten me so emotionally invested until now, and I cried like a baby multiple times during my first play through. What is most poignant and impressive in Life is Strange is the final decision the players must make. You can either deal with all of the destruction you’ve wreaked on the planet due to your rewind abilities and have your hometown destroyed – killing everyone you love besides Chloe or, realize that saving Chloe is futile, and sacrifice her by undoing every change in the time line you ever made. It’s a terrible decision that makes you come to the conclusion that trying to change the past will never lead to any good, and Chloe was unfortunately destined to die in the beginning of the game, regardless of whether you like it or not. The choice to ignore reality and the “true ending” of the game is the most powerful decision a video game has ever let me make.

By far, my most anticipated game of 2016 is Mirror’s Edge Catalyst! The original Mirror’s Edge game from 2008 was one of the very first games I purchases for my PS3, and it has become a favorite title of mine to this day. I’m also really looking forward to the new Star Ocean entry, as well as Mass Effect: Andromeda, Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted 4, and MAYBE FINALLY Final Fantasy XV.

-Gabby N.

Until Dawn

UntilDawn4
Until Dawn was an incredibly well written game.  It takes the idea of a heavily narrative branching game and intensifies it with what the developers have coined, the butterfly effect. You all know the classic scary movie trope in which five or six teens visit a cabin in the woods and find themselves running from a serial killer. Until Dawn tried their hand at this dangerously clichéd theme and blew everyone away. I loved that a decision I made early on affected who survived in the end. My favorite thing about this game though, has to be how Until Dawn kept the movie aspect of the script intact and added their own interactivity. I’m still gushing over the fact that some well-known actors and actresses were used as character models! This game expertly weaves popular culture and interactivity to create a brand new experience for all players.

The game I’m looking forward to for 2016? Final Fantasy 15 (hopefully)!

-Anna M.

Mortal Kombat X

mortalkombatx

Mortal Kombat X brought something that everyone could enjoy to the table in 2015, making this pick my game of the year. 8 months later and I’m still able to pick up new things in the game, run into more than worthy opponents on matchmaking, and I’m still loving the constant flow of DLC characters and content. Mortal Kombat X didn’t feel like some rehash of the Mortal Kombat universe that we already knew. Infact, it feels like a fresh look into the world we already knew. With its brilliant cinematic presentation, best story mode in a fighting game to date, and new gameplay mechanics, it’s going to go down as one of the best in the franchise. For the first time ever, you are able to pick which fighting stance works best with you. It’s a feature so unique and necessary that there is no way that any gamer could possibly get bored with this game.

The fact that the MKX comic initially lead up to some new facts behind the lore of this MKX universe brings infinite ideas that can be crossed over into the game, and with the brilliant team working at Netherrealm Studios we have more possibilities than ever with it’s unique barrage of extreme MK Kombatants. I love many of the new kombatants and it’s really refreshing to see what our new gen of MK fighters can bring to the fight including the offsprings of Jax Briggs, Sonya Blade & Johny Cage, and even Kung Lao’s superior nephew. The new fighters also stepped onto the scene with such fierceness that they will be more than welcomed in any other MK addition and we also can’t forget our love for the horror movie icons that kick butt in Earthrealm too. With rock-solid combat, an expansive roster and a story you could get sucked into, MKX will go down as a classic for all gamers to remember.

In 2016 I am most looking forward to Street Fighter 5, Poke’mon Go, DOOM, Allison Road, Outlast 2, and Quantum Break (It better happen)!

-Krystal C.

2015 was full of interesting things that could appeal to any gamer. Some of them were even surprises that went under the radar. If your personal game of the year wasn’t one of ours, comment and express why it was your favorite?