(Note: I normally wouldn’t post a draft like this a year late, but I couldn’t bear the thought of my terrible “tier” puns in the leftovers section going to waste)
To paint a fully accurate picture of my 2015 in games, I felt the need to write up the games that I either didn’t finish, or aren’t finishable in the traditional sense. Some of them may have been game of the year contenders had I finished them, others, I played long enough without finishing to know that the would not be.
The Late Bloomer
Xenoblade Chronicles X is the first game I will mention that I did not finish. I may have it categorized as such because it was released so late in the year, but it is really unfinished because after a healthy 30 hours, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed very much of it. I felt similarly about Xenoblade Chronicles before this, but felt I had just enough interest in the story to see that game through. X is structured very differently and in a way I can’t say I like too much. It is an impressive game in a lot of ways, but very little of it actually makes me look forward to playing it.
The Puzzle Tier
I am beyond ashamed of the number of hours I spent on Pokemon Shuffle. So ashamed that I wish I could delete its entry on my 3DS playtime log. I don’t even like the game. I am sick with myself whenever I think of how much time I wasted getting everything in the game. The only way I could feel worse is if I had spent money on the game, because everything it offers is a complete ripoff. Pokemon Picross is at least a decent enough game (it’s hard to screw up Picross), and its pay option is at least more or less the equivalent of buying a (slightly overpriced) game. On the other end of the value spectrum entirely is Puzzle & Dragons Z + Super Mario Edition. There is a lot of game in this reasonably priced package, even if it is dead last on this list of three in terms of hours I spent playing by a significant margin.
I don’t play very many multiplayer games, but I would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t mention Rocket League. It is simple, pure, pick up and play fun in the same way Pong is, along with crazy, advanced, skillful depth for those who dedicate themselves to it. This is my pick for “Game-ass Game of the Year” even if I personally didn’t play it for more than a day or two.
The Wish I Was Tier
I really, really wish I had played more of Invisible, Inc. I have a healthy amount of reverence for Klei Entertainment after Mark of the Ninja, but none of their other games really appealed to me until Invisible, Inc. The 1-2 hours I played was everything I had hoped for. Unfortunately, the idea of playing the game made me anxious enough to never go back to it, even though the game itself isn’t even that taxing. It was just enough to keep me away and I feel like it was my loss. Also included in this tier to a much lesser extent are Wasteland 2 and Pillars of Eternity. I actually played a decent amount of Wasteland 2; enough to make me realize that maybe I was more a fan of the idea of an isometric RPG revival via Kickstarter than the actual games. As such, Pillars of Eternity received a much shorter leash. Both games probably deserved more of my time, but I suspect they are not really for me.