Every year for me, there’s a handful of games that I fall in looooove with. Just a few that I can’t stop talking and thinking about, that stay with me all year long, and probably well into the next. Where were those this year?
Now, hear me out. I really enjoyed a lot of games this year. My first run through Bloodborne was almost pure bliss. Those first few matches of Splatoon? Just, wow. My entire playthrough of Until Dawn? I couldn’t stop talking about it for like a week or two. But then I stopped. What happened?
I know I still love video games. I just played through all of Sound Shapes again, and that thing’s still just as wonderful as it was back in 2012. Hearthstone? I’m not as hooked as I was, but I still enjoy a weekly podcast about it, and pick up all of the expansions and enjoy it every time I pick it back up. My real favorite game this year? Probably the re-release of Dark Souls 2 on PS4. Hmmm.
2015 was filled with a ton of undeniably good games. Super Mario Maker is one of the coolest things Nintendo has done in a while, but just how much of a game is there? As fantastic as it is, couldn’t it have been quite a bit better? What do I actually want out of my favorite games of 2015? I have no idea, and I wish I could muster the enthusiasm for them to figure out why. Maybe I’ve just grown tired of the same stuff. Maybe some of the year’s best games (looking at you Bloodborne) are interesting, but watered down versions of better things that came before. Why have Until Dawn and Splatoon bounced off of me like teflon every time I’ve tried to remember the good games that came out this year in the past few weeks? I really, really enjoyed those when they came out, but I’m just not feeling that high on them anymore. They’re good games, and ones I’ll still come back to, and maybe on a revisit before GOTY talk I’ll find some more to love. But Dark Souls 2? Hell yeah I’ll still talk about that game, it’s fucking awesome. How about that giant fire Demon, right? And walking onto that vista out to see the Dragon Aerie? Ahhhhh, it’s so good. And Mibibli’s Quest? Danganronpa 2???? Fuck me, those were good. Where were those moments, 2015? Were they hidden deeper within The Witcher than I wanted to look? Are they still hiding in Fallout 4, which I’m still enjoying but kind of feel like I’m retreading Fallout 3? Is my real WOWOWOWOW moment hidden in a free indie game that I never found, or never had time to play? Probably. I hope so, and I hope I find them before my final end of year wrap-ups.
There have been a few standouts. Without ruining too much of the site’s Game of the Year stuff, Sonic Dreams Collection still gives me the same feelings I had when I first discovered it, and my party nights with Rocket League until 3am are still fresh in my mind. There are others, but even for those I don’t feel as strongly as I did of some of the last few year’s best. What was this year’s Kentucky Route Zero? Exactly nothing, at least, not of what I played.
I’ve heard more than a few people saying 2015 is the greatest year ever for video games, and it sucks to feel in the minority on this one. The amount of hype for Fallout 4 right now makes me desperately want to plug more than my current “measly” 20 hours into it, but I just can’t muster it right now. Yeah, I’ve enjoyed a lot of paint-by-numbers sequels this year, and that’s totally fine. But I love finding something new, something weird or different that I’ve never seen before. I think I may stick with playing more incredible user levels in Sound Shapes for now, thanks.
Let me love you, new games. I promise I want to.
At least we had Castle in the Darkness this year. Man, that one was real cool.