Ed has been hard at work planning a wedding, but in the meantime, has found time for some games this year. He’s planted and harvested in Stardew Valley, cooking under pressure in Overcooked, and what else? Well, you’re just gonna have to see where these games shook out on his list.
10. Super Mario Run
I may be in the minority on this but Super Mario Run is exactly what I want out of a Mario game, on a mobile device. I don’t want something deep or engaging, I don’t want anything with a ton of depth, I don’t want a standard Mario game on a phone. If I, or anyone else, wants to play a “Mario” game then they should play it on a device made for it. When I play games on my phone, it’s in quick spurts when I have nothing else to do. So for Super Mario Run to be super simple to control and be it’s own thing is perfect. $10 is a little steep for the amount of content in the game though, I would have rather it been priced at $5.
What a great party game. You’ll quickly find out whom in your group is a leader, a follower, and a troll. This game was one of the better couch competitive/co-op games I’ve played all year. It requires communication, teamwork, and creates some stressful moments. But everyone comes together in the end to create a better game plan. It’s unfortunate that there is no online multiplayer and is the sole reason why it’s lower on my list. If you’re on PS4 you can shareplay, but it’s not ideal and is just a band-aid for the missing multiplayer.
08. No Man’s Sky
Yeah, yeah, everyone gives this game a bad rep but judging the game based on what it is, and not what people expected it to be, it’s actually rather fun. Back when I was spending my time playing NMS, I would eagerly await coming home each night to hop back into the universe and discover new planets and creatures. Eventually I hit my wall and things became too repetitive. Plus the lack of an actual end goal put the brakes on quick. For this reason, the game didn’t make it’s way up higher on my list. I have not indulged in the latest updates with base building so this judgment is coming from prior to the Foundation Update.
I’m taking creative license with this list and re-listing Destiny again. There aren’t many games this year that kept me playing for longer than Destiny. The Rise of Iron was a good expansion, not amazing, but enough to bring me back in long enough to get a few more weeks out of the game. Everything still plays amazing which makes coming back to this game here and there such a treat.
06. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
If you know me well enough, you know I’ve never really enjoyed the Uncharted series. I’ve always recognized them for their technical prowess, I just could never get into them. Along comes Uncharted 4 and I was blown away at how much that game dug it’s nails into me. Something connected that the previous games were unable to do and I went through multiple play throughs. I had even got a small posse together to play Multiplayer with. It’s beautiful, the story is fun, and the controls are ok. All together, it was one of the more complete packages of the year.
Holy hell what a game. I’m sad to admit that I’ve still not finished it but with the time I have put into it so far, it’s quite amazing. The fast action and the glory kills make this game stand out over the waves of First Person Shooters. It’s pretty nuts how after playing Doom that other FPS games just feel slow and drawn out. The soundtrack is marvelous, except for the main theme. I was hoping for a great rendition or remix of the OG Doom theme I could rock out to; get my blood pumping. What I got was something I can only describe as “slow metal” that couldn’t hype up the action I was about to commit. This would make it higher on my list , but unfortunately I played these next four games.
04. Watch_Dogs 2
A surprise hit for me. I went in with mild expectations but quickly found it to have an enjoyable story, a fun open world to roam around in, and characters I didn’t hate. The side quests were interesting, the optional activities to do around the city were enjoyable and it never took me out of the game. The car physics could be worked on though, they don’t drive well and I always felt as if I was fighting poor controls. Even with that in mind, I still had an ok time doing driving missions. The soundtrack though, was simply terrible. There were maybe at most one or two songs that I enjoyed listening to. I either kept the radio on the classical station as background noise or to turn it off completely which is very disappointing in a game of this style.
03. Stardew Valley
87 hours of Stardew Valley and all 87 was well enjoyed. The game just hit the right nerves for me. From the farming, to the NPC social building, and even the cave combat, it all got me hooked. It was like playing Farmville and Animal Crossing without extended timers. That’s not saying it doesn’t have its own lengthy timers but there was just enough to do around the farm and with relationship building that it would keep me busy all in-game day to help pass time. The art style invoked a nice 16-bit presentation and that gave the game a very lighthearted feel to it. Well worth the #3 spot and possibly a 2nd purchase on the PS4.
02. Forza Horizon 3
My word what a driving game. Playround Games knocked things out of the park. The environment was diverse and the roads are all enjoyable to ride through. The car list is huge and the paints & decals are always a big factor in a Forza title. The game runs liquid smooth and the cars & world are jaw dropping. The showcase events are starting to show some age and may soon be overstaying their welcome, unless they can come up with something even more exciting than what they’ve already come up with. The whole racing air vehicles was novel in the first game but now it’s obviously structured so that close finishes will always happen. It takes the excitement out of it knowing that. Multiplayer is fun and cruising around the world with friends never gets old.
I had done a complete 180 on this game. Prior to release it was stuck in controversy over it’s piecemeal sales method and it kind of turned me off. Why would I want to wait months to be able to finish the complete game? I found out quickly that the Hitman series was made for this method and it helped keep the game fresh and constantly played on my PS4. having a new level to play just about every month gave me a reason to hop back into the world of assassination, just as the previous level was starting to feel dull. Having new and interesting weapon unlocks gave levels new life with new creative ways to play, getting unlockable suits definitely boosted the enjoyment of being silly in a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the mission structures allow for a wide variety of ways to play. The elusive targets add some great tension to the series forcing you to plan out and execute a hit with some skill to it. The contracts mode doesn’t do anything for me though and is just uninteresting. Escalations are a great idea plagued by long load times in-between stages of hits. I would like to see some sort of co-op play added where you and a buddy could work together on levels, it’s probably a big ask of IO to do but one I would celebrate whole heartily. Hitman quite literally has it all and it would be a major understatement to say that I’m excited for what they bring to season two. Who knows, maybe season two will top my list next year as well.