My 2016 in Games

 

It’s been a great year (for games)!

So great, in fact, that I enter the New Year with a substantial backlog of titles I still want to play. I’m looking at you Hitman, Titanfall 2, Hyper Light Drifter and Super Hot.

There were some excellent games last year, and I’ve got 10 very special ones I’d like to tell you about. I’ve even ordered them this time – from best to best-er. Let’s get into it.

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Hyrule Hit List: Link’s Awakening

Link’s Awakening was the first Zelda game to break me.

I remember eagerly beginning my second ever Zelda adventure before stepping on to a plane bound for Spain. At nine years old, the game was challenging, but I had a lot of time between doing nothing by the pool and doing nothing by the beach to try and crack it. While the other kids my age were bonding at the various activity clubs the hotel offered, my brother and I were sat in the shade trying to minimise the glare of the sun on our Game Boys…

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Hyrule Hit List Majora's Mask

Hyrule Hit List: Majora’s Mask

Welcome to the first in a series of articles I’d like to call ‘The Hyrule Hit List’.

The Legend of Zelda is one of the most beloved and long-running franchises in gaming history. Every fan holds a specific game in the series close to their heart. For most people, their favourite is usually the game which got them into the series in the first place.  Mine was Ocarina of time. Is it my favourite? Well, I’m not sure I’m qualified to say…

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We’re going to play all of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Metal Gear Rising header

Metal Gear Solid is a strange series for me. I’m well acquainted with each of the games’ intricate storylines, shifting themes, production history, and the critical reception surrounding their release. There’s nothing quite like Metal Gear – I love the series and the impact it has had on the industry.

What makes it strange for me to talk about is the fact that I’ve only played Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – I’ve never laid my hands on any of the other titles…

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Morbid Curiosity – Alien: Colonial Marines

With Alien Isolation behind us, Rich and I sat down to play little bit of Alien: Colonial Marines.

Despite being in the same universe, the two games couldn’t be more different. We gave Colonial Marines an hour or time – an hour we’ll never get back.

That being said… please do watch and enjoy our hour-long video!

This video marked the first time using facecam footage. We used a GoPro to capture the video and I synced the audio from our mic in Adobe Premier – another first for me. I usually use Sony Vegas, but figured ‘what the hell’, I’ll give this a try.

Let’s just say I had…mixed results.

The Stacks from Ready Player One

Ready Player One Review

As someone who’s perceived to play a lot of games, Ready Player One is a book I’ve been urged to read for a long time. After hearing a number of conflicting opinions on the story, and learning that an impossible-to-film adaptation is in the works, I pushed myself to finally ‘read’ this book and see what all the fuss is about.

I can definitively say that I didn’t enjoy Ready Player One, but it did have fleeting moments which almost won me over. If nothing else, it left me with a lot I wanted to say. I guess that explains why this ended up being the longest review I’ve ever written…

Just a heads up: this article will spoil elements of this book, so if you care about experiencing the story for yourself, give it a read.

Ready to continue? Great, let’s get started.

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The Other Castle Podcast #2 – Three White Whales

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The-Other-Podcastle-Episode-2

The dust may have settled on E3 2015, but there’s a lot to be discussed. Dan and Rich reminisce about gamerscore, rank their top games from E3, and discuss Sony’s determination to capture the three biggest white whales in gaming.

Show Notes:

Dan’s Gamerscore

Rich’s Gamerscore

Microsoft’s Hololens demonstration

Horizon Zero Dawn

South Park: The Fractured but Whole

Just Cause 3

Doom

Super Mario Maker

No Man’s Sky

Xbox backwards compatibility reaction

The Last Guardian

Final Fantasy 7

Shenmue 3

Half-Life 3 confirmed

The Other Castle Podcast #1 – Monster Hunter Intervention

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The Other Castle Podcast 1

Dan and Rich have got a fever that only hunting can cure. Tune in to the first ever Other Castle Podcast where we discuss the knock on effects of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

Show Notes:

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for 3DS

Arekkz Gaming Monster Hunter 4 tutorials

The Circle Pad Pro

Dan’s most hated monster – The Khezu

Rich’s most hated monster – Stygian Zinogre

Rich’s future 3DS…

Monster Hunter X Trailer

 

Throwback Review: Kid Icarus Uprising

Kid Icarus Uprising could have been one of my favourite games of all time. If it had been released when I was a kid it might have resonated with me in the same way games like Super Mario 64, Banjo Kazooie or Crash Bandicoot did.

Kid Icarus Uprising is the pure embodiment of a ‘right-place, right-time’ sort of game. If it catches you in your gaming youth, it’s very likely to leave a lasting impression.

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Lego United Nations Timelapse

Here’s something a little different. Not quite gaming related – I know – but we had a lot of fun making this.

What you see below is a timelapse video that shrinks almost three hours into 11 minutes. My Girlfriend and I pointed a camera at our coffee table and carefully followed instructions to build the Lego United Nations.

We ended up with over 40 gigabytes of footage that we cut together and edited to x1100 normal speed.

If you find the construction of Lego as oddly hypnotic as I do, you should enjoy this.