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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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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Everybody Hates Smash Bros

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I’ve been in love with Smash Bros since its debut on the Nintendo 64. The game married Nintendo’s best franchises in a brawler that felt unique, accessible and downright fun. It was a love letter to Nintendo nuts.

Now, four games later, we have Smash Bros for Wii U: a game that knows exactly what it is and who it’s for. Almost everyone is going to recognise at least one character assembled here. However, Smash 4 is also a game that many fans misjudge as a party experience that anyone can love. I used to think this, and at one point it might have been true. The sad fact is, Smash 4 is a lot easier to hate than it is love. How did this happen? Let’s take a look.

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My 2014 in Games

So, 2014 right? What a year it’s been. A year of twists and turns, ups and downs, and extended stationary periods where nothing happened.

New Year, ‘New Me’ clichés aside, 2014 gifted me more time than usual to play video games.

I didn’t play a lot of new releases, so this isn’t a list of the best 2014 games. These are, quite simply, the games I played last year. Some are new, some are sold, hell, one isn’t even a video game!

In no particular order, this was my 2014 in games:

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