Well I finally did it, I finally sat down and went through all of the glorious games I got the opportunity to play. I didn’t, or should I say couldn’t, just pick one game, I had too much fun through out the year. I’m going to name my six games of the year as well as giving some honorable mentions.
And here there are in no particular order The Clash of the Nerds Games of the Year;
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: I don’t know if there has ever been a game talked about so much by the gaming community other than the actual game play than Metal Gear Solid V. Running up to the release of this game it’s developer Konami axed the game’s creator Hideo Kojima and the removed his name from the box art.
There was so much leading up to the release that we were wondering if it was any good. Well when the game came out we found that yes it was indeed a fantastic game, unfortunately it wasn’t a completed game (there is a whole third act left out of the game, click here), but for me that doesn’t detract from the overall game at all.
I had a blast playing this game. It had a lot of fun story moments to it without overbearing like Metal Gear Solid 4, and the gameplay was just great. They fact that you could play this game a number of ways, guns blazing, or stealth, or somewhere in between. This was a brilliant choice by Kojima, he let the player decide. It’s fantastic that I can play a game one way and you can play it another and we end up with two different experiences.
Splatoon: Splatoon was a wonderful surprise from the house of Mario. I was completely shocked on how much I liked this game. It was a nice inventive First Person Shooter that introduced a ton of new game play mechanics into the genre. My favorite being the fact your goal is to cover up most of the map in your color ink and killing the other team wasn’t your objective. Also turning into a squid to swim in the ink as well as refill your ammo was a great addition as well.
I’ve had more fun with this game as competitive multiplayer shooter than any other in the past couple of years. It’s a lot of fun, it’s balanced, and something anyone can pick up and have fun with.
Fallout 4: What’s to say about this game that hasn’t been said. This was another great Bethesda game, unlike a lot of people I did not have any glitch problems with this game. No corrupt saves, nothing, well I think it froze once.
I feel Bethesda took what they did well with Fallout 3 and Skyrim and improved upon it. Gun play and aiming seemed to improved upon as well as the V.A.T.S system seems to be more accurate. This was just a vast improvement over Fallout 3. One thing I will commend Bethesda on is that they took what fans loved about Fallout New Vegas, a game they did not develop themselves, and added it into 4.
What is great about Fallout 4 is that you can play the game at your own pace. You can bowl right through it, do a bunch of side quests, and any combination in between. I’m one of those folks who is very story driven (it’s the writer in me) so I like to plow through a game. In the above mentioned Metal Gear, I mostly did story missions while only doing some side missions that intrigued me (fuck you mine clearing), but with Fallout I found myself, at first, doing only story missions, but then I got caught up in a ton of side missions. When I finally completed the final story mission I believe I was somewhere close to 100 hours played. Some of that was from missions, but also I found myself walking about Wasteland Boston trying to find some of my favorite haunts when I’m at my home away from home in my second favorite city in this Union.
Rock Band 4: Harmonix is back and unlike Guitar Hero they didn’t mess with their time tested formula, everything you loved about the original games are there with a new tour feature that has you choosing between different paths which adds a quirk to the game, but let’s be honest the real fun with this game is multi-player. Getting your friends together and singing and playing is the point of this game. When the first three games came out pretty much every party I threw at my house eventually made it’s way to the Xbox and Rock Band. This game is just as fun as the others and I feel the instruments are much better and more responsive.
Batman Arkham Knight: If you didn’t get this game on the PC than you know how much fun it is. Every Arkham game from developer Rocksteady has made you feel more and more like the Batman and this game was their perfect Swan Song. The pacing of the game is fantastic and (with the exception of all of the Riddler Trophies) I completed every side mission in the game. The DLC (unlike most games) has gotten me to come back for more with each release. As a die-hard Batman fan I loved the game greatly, my only complaint is that there are too many Batmobile missions, and this one is very minor, but it would have been awesome to have a co-op option, since you know there is Catwoman, Nightwing, and Robin in the game, not to mention Azreal.
But gliding through the air as Batman and dropping in on a group of thugs and just beating the shit out of them is one of the greatest stress relievers in the world. Rocksteady perfected the gliding mechanic to the point where one of your missions is to track down Man-Bat and take him out mid-air, which by the way, is my favorite of the side missions.
Super Mario Maker: I’m extremely close to naming this the Clash of the Nerds Game of the Year because it’s just so much fun. Not only is it entertaining coming up with levels, but going online to play other creations from around the world is just great.
This is one of those games that’s fun for all ages even though that sounds cliched as hell, but it’s true. Us older gamers who have literally grown up with Mario will love the familiarity of playing the classic NES Mario games as well as getting a chance to create their own.
Also new gamers (like my seven year old son) can hop in there and have a blast playing and creating. Of course he’s in that generation that is in love with Minecraft so games that allow them to create they’re instantly engaged in. After his homework he’ll hop on the couch and just use that Wii gamepad to create a new level and then he’ll challenge me to beat it. For a 7 year old he’s come up with some punishing levels.
This is a game I keep coming back to whether it’s to play a few levels or create my own. Unlike the other games on this list (except Rock Band) you don’t really have to invest a lot of time to get enjoyment. You can literally drop in for a few minutes to tweak a level you made, or just play a couple of levels, unfortunately this game has a way of sucking you in when you only really intended to play a few minutes of it.
So there is the first annual Clash of the Nerds Games of the Year. Did any of these games make your list? What game did we leave off that you feel deserves to be up here? Let us know in the comments below, and have a safe and fun New Year.