Each year, an array of video game titles are released, ranging from absolutely terrible to simply extraordinary. This year we were introduced to a great amount of diverse titles, including the incomparable story that is Undertale and the riveting RPG The Witcher 3. We even got to experience creating our own unique levels in Super Mario Maker, test our skills in the unrelenting Bloodborne, and stealthily undergo the open world of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Undoubtedly, it was a good year for the video game industry as well for players who enjoy taking a break from reality and diving into someone else’s story. With that stated, narrowing down to the most innovative titles was far from easy.
Bloodborne tells a tale of Yharnam, an ancient city plagued with an epidemic sickness spreading rapidly through the streets. In order to survive, you’re required to unveil unsettling truths and challenge intelligent enemies, which as you’ll soon discover, can be quite difficult.
Bloodborne is the kind of action RPG that causes an adrenaline rush as well as a fit of rage from its challenging combat. It’s the game that tests your patience and keeps you coming back for more, even if you just spent the past hour on a nail biting boss battle. Bloodborne brings upon its players one of the most satisfying feelings: accomplishment.
The feeling of triumph isn’t the only thing that makes Bloodborne a remarkable game. Its captivating architecture will completely reel you in, leaving you in sort of an awe-like state of mind. But you don’t want to get too caught up with the entrancing environment, especially when you’re up against an extremely powerful foe. One wrong button smash due to panic could lead you to an inevitable death.
You don’t come across a game like Bloodborne often. The effort and time you put into playing this game does not leave you empty handed, but rather engrosses you in an undeniable feeling of victory. Once you pick up that controller to play, you won’t want to put it down. That is unless you accidentally throw it half way across your room due to that inescapable rage.
But don’t worry, you’ll just pick it up and try again.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
With Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain being the fifth installment in its series, fans of the franchise anticipated what was to be unveiled, and many were more than happy with its results. The story follows the protagonist “Big Boss” (AKA Snake) leading a mercenary group, the Diamond Dogs. MGSV captivates players with its open world and excellent presentation of gameplay, compared to the series history of extensive cut scenes.
MGSV also gives its players the opportunity to run wild with their decisions which, ultimately, can cause substantial consequences. With that stated, its multitude of features can make each replay of the game an unpredictable one. To say the least, you happen to the story rather the story happening to you.
Sticking to its genre of a tactical stealth simulation, MGSV challenges all types of players. Sure, you can quietly venture through a mission undetected, but what is even more fun is luring your enemies into a deadly trap. In MGSV, how you decide to claim your victory is entirely up to you. There really is no right or wrong way. Well, for the most part.
With MSGV’s extensive but admirable gameplay, it does take some serious investment. But it is worth the time.
Super Mario Maker
With nearly thirty years of jumping on Goombas and racing through levels to defeat the relentless Bowser and save Princess Peach, Super Mario Maker takes an entirely new spin on the world of Mario, and it’s fantastic. Super Mario Maker shines light on innovation and allows players to design their own personalized levels which, to be honest, is pretty dang entertaining. Whether you prefer creating a level you can run through effortlessly or place an unreasonable amount of Koopa Troopas to bypass in order claim a triumphant win, the choice lies in your hands – literally.
Possibilities are endless and crafting levels is completely user friendly and straightforward, making Super Mario Maker playable to merely anyone. Encompassing a feeling of nostalgia, Super Mario Maker permits players to select skins from Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, and Super Mario World. If that doesn’t bring you back to when you tightly gripped that Nintendo controller in your hands, eyes glued to your box television, then I don’t know what will.
All in all, Super Mario Maker is a very enjoyable to play to those within the Wii U community, and its constant praise is well deserved.
The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3 tells the tale of Geralt of Rivia, a monster slayer set upon a journey to find the emperor’s daughter, Ciri. Well, that journey among many others along the way. With The Witcher 3 possessing such a massive open world, quests almost seem infinite. Hell, the main story can take around 200 hours to complete. So though you will have to invest some serious time into Geralt and his shenanigans, it is so worth it.
Not only is The Witcher 3 extensive in its world and story, but the beauty of the game itself is visually invigorating. The realism of the environment does not go unnoticed, but it’s more the personality that the characters are given that is so appealing. It’s hard not to fall in love with some characters you come across, but it’s also not difficult to dislike some of them either. Keeping that in mind, your preference is also Geralt’s preference, for who he likes and dislikes is entirely up to you.
If you’re a player that is all about experiencing Geralt’s story, The Witcher 3 offers a mode that automatically makes combat much easier. Otherwise, there are many perks that will make Geralt into the complete badass he’s intended to be, including the ability to craft items and new equipment. This something you will have to do often, but racing for ingredients can actually be pretty fun, especially with the world of The Witcher 3 constantly stimulating your curiosity as it is.
The Witcher 3 is pretty much everything you could want in an RPG — it entails combat, a captivating story, fun side quests, drama, and romance. So if given the opportunity to purchase and experience such a tale, I’d recommend you take it.
When I talk to people about Undertale, I usually get one of the following responses:
A) “Undertale? What’s that?” (as I roll my eyes at them in a displeased manner) or, B) “Dude. Undertale is one of the best games I’ve ever played.”
There is no inbetween, because everyone that I’ve discussed this innovative experience with absolutely loves it, and let me tell you why.
Undertale begins with a short synopsis on the war between the humans and the monsters, carrying you into the Underworld as a child who inconveniently becomes trapped there. At first glance, you wouldn’t think that Undertale is anything special, but everything about it is exquisite.
For starters, the visuals bring you way back, presenting a pixelated environment for its players. What’s so great about the graphical interface is that it fits so perfectly with Undertale’s unique style. It truly is unlike anything else, and it’s one of the only games of this era where the art is so simple yet so beautiful at the same time.
Not only does Undertale have such a distinctive style, but the humor the characters display actually makes you laugh out loud and the friendships you can make warm your heart. With that stated, Undertale has an option of either fighting your way through various comical monsters or sparing them and attaining friendship through a unique battling system, and the results of the game vary depending on your choices.
I can attest that Undertale well deserves the title of “Game of the Year”, for it truly is something special. I haven’t come across one person yet who has anything negative to say about their experience with Undertale. Tears are shed and laughter is constant throughout this one of a kind story. Needless to say, it really touches your heart.