The Top Five Best Video Games Of 2015

2015 has been a bittersweet year for gaming. We’ve seen countless sequels, an overabundance of open-world games, the usual triple-A shooters, tons of Steam Greenlight asset flips, and even a few new IPs to polish off the list. While almost too many games found their way into our consoles and virtual libraries, only a few conquered my heart in any long-lasting way.

While this list is in no way a definitive list of the absolute best video games, I’ve painstakingly plucked five fantastic games from the herd that I sincerely believe deserve the highest of praise.

This list is in no particular order apart from the final pick; let’s begin.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Lara

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider is the only game on this list that I haven’t completed, and yet in the time I have spent with Lara, I am utterly enamoured by the incredible job Crystal Dynamics did with this sequel.

Tomb Raider got a lot of things right as a reboot, but it also had its set of flaws that held it back. Rise impressively fixed and improved upon every single aspect of the original reboot in such a way that it has become almost an instant Game Of The Year contender for me. I’ve done almost nothing other than play this game this past week.

From sprawling landscapes filled with relevant items to collect, to the treks through rich and detailed environments that feel as if they exist in a real place – rather than constructed stages for the player to trudge through without real context -, Rise offers nothing but joy throughout.

It’s also worth noting that Crystal Dynamics deserves praise for their take on open-worlds, as this world felt worth exploring amongst dozens of boring, dull worlds to grind through endlessly.
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Life Is Strange

I paid no attention to Life Is Strange at first. I had no interest in playing it and I assumed it’d be some weird Telltale clone. After my friend had spent hours talking about how excellent it was, I decided to buy it one night on a whim, hoping that this wasn’t just some hype.

It wasn’t. In fact, Life Is Strange ripped my heart from my chest and spat all over it, and I loved every moment.

The main draw to this story is that the characters are so incredibly well written. Every single person, minor or major, feels like a real person. They have distinctive personalities and characteristics that make them stand out in a sea of copy-paste characters. I remember everyone, even if some of them are a bit cliched, and that is rare indeed.

Chloe and Max have a deep, and complicated relationship and Max receiving her powers puts such a strain on not only her but everyone around her. The dialogue in the game is sometimes a bit silly but, for the most part, it is engaging and feels like you’re watching some indie flick.

The plot starts off very simple but soon delves into something bigger than you could expect. The whole time you’re sitting there questioning what is happening, only to get a sucker punch to the gut when the game reveals that you are in fact clueless about what is really going on behind the curtains.

It is all backed up by good voice acting, solid pacing, memorable moments and excellent music. A very attentive eye to even the smallest of details and countless references to pop-culture and even the state of Oregon leaves this game nearly oozing character.

Play it, but don’t read anything else about it.

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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void

I remember trying out StarCraft when I was in public school. I hardly knew how to play, but I adored the atmosphere and interesting mechanics. Fast forward to now and StarCraft is amongst my favourite franchises of all time.

Legacy of the Void is a perfect culmination of what the fans wanted and what Blizzard learned over the past several years making RTS games. They put a ridiculous amount of effort into this game, making sure that the story goes out with the biggest bang ever. From the brand new co-op mode to the epic campaign filled with varied missions and interesting characters, Legacy of the Void is not only the best entry in the StarCraft series overall but reminds everyone that the RTS genre can still be a heavy hitter.

But it doesn’t end there, as the biggest change to the franchise is how improved the multiplayer is.

Gone are the slow starts. Gone are the ultra-cheesy Protoss openers, and gone are the slow economic macro games. Blizzard has tried its absolute damnedest to make LOTV as fast paced as possible, and it’s almost too much to handle. Every second there are 50 things happening on screen, and you have to physically train yourself to adapt to it. The incredibly delicate balance of constructing buildings while simultaneously collecting resources, scouting your opponent to react to their next moves before they execute them, building an army, pushing your units into dangerous territory to keep the enemy suppressed and afraid, expanding your economy into new frontiers to reap new mineral patches, and using your mind to psyche out your opponent in a variety of devious ways all attribute to your success, and everything is now way faster.

The new units don’t help either, as they are game changers themselves. Protoss now have their form of a Baneling, yet regenerates itself upon destruction. Zerg has its trusty Lurker that hides beneath the ground, thrusting its spikes into the bodies of anyone standing in their vicinity. The Ravager launches deadly attacks into the sky, obliterating anything that stands in the way. Terran possesses the Liberator, a siege tank that flies and holds down a position like the beaches of Normandy, and the Cyclone that laughs in the face of cheesy Protoss that want to drop an Oracle at your main base three minutes into the game.

This multiplayer can be talked about endlessly, and that is all thanks to you, Blizzard. Legacy of the Void is a monumental achievement and the absolute best way to end your long-running story. I’ll be spending the next year or more playing this legacy, watching the Korean players with their 700 APM.

Ori and the blind forest

Ori and the Blind Forest

I haven’t cried during the opening sequence of a video game since The Last Of Us; until Ori came along and stomped on my heart, that is.

This breathtaking masterpiece transcends the medium and offers one of the best pieces of evidence towards the ‘games as art’ debate. The beautifully vibrant hand-drawn Pixar art, the varied, colourful, dramatic soundtrack that offers nearly every emotion on the spectrum. Or how about the terrific story or the old-school gameplay that shows Metroid and Castlevania how it is done? What about the nearly flawless platforming segments and unique take on 2D combat?

Everything about this game is memorable and inspired, and it is not only one of the best games this year but one of the best pieces of art I’ve ever experienced. It has an emotional weight to it that many games fail to have and it is a game that will make you think about it well after it is done.

Ori has that power over us all.

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Bloodborne

Bloodborne is a part of the long-running franchise that is the Souls series. Though it differs in name and mechanics, it is still very much a Souls game. As a spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls, one of the best games ever created, it had everything to live up to. It nailed nearly everything.

Bloodborne is easily recognizable with its exceptionally stylized, painstakingly well-crafted world. It takes gothic architecture and runs with it to a degree that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before in any video game. Winding roads of cobblestone covered in blood and disguised by fog, twisting corridors filled with tattered garb and signs of a once thriving society. Endless swamps and caverns and castles, all with their mysteries and shocking imagery to behold.

It utilizes Lovecraftian themes and puts the Miyazaki twist on them with the story-telling style of previous Souls games. It tells you to part ways with your best friend, the shield, and instead pick up one of the several firearms as you adapt to the new, visceral combat that is, even more unforgiving than previous games. It offers you ‘trick weapons’, transformable weapons that each require careful strategy to fully utilize.

The game has incredible creature design, with horrific foes you can only imagine in your worst nightmares. The world has a foreboding atmosphere so thick that you can taste it. The hair on your arms will stand up, your skin will crawl and turn to goosebumps, and your heart will pound so hard you think you are in need of medical assistance.

This game gives you emotional responses that not even some extreme sports could offer. It is a one of a kind experience and one of the best, industry defining video games ever to grace any of our consoles. It will be forever remembered and forever praised as it sits at the top of the tallest pedestal amongst the best classics we’ve ever had.

And yet, with all of that said, I was only referring to the original game. The Old Hunters expansion improved the game significantly, correcting nearly all of the biggest complaints fans had with Bloodborne.

Vicar Amelia
Before we say goodbye to 2015, I’d like to quickly drop a few honourable mentions that unfortunately missed the top five.

Splatoon – A fantastic and creative spin on the first person shooter. Full of character and interesting mechanics.
Yoshi’s Woolly World – The most adorable, happy and all around silly platformer this year. Maybe a bit easy, but infinitely fun.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – The best open-world game I think I’ve ever played. I didn’t play enough to feel good about placing it on my list.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D – One of the better JRPGs in recent memory.
Shovel Knight – An impeccable throwback to retro gaming. Only missed the list because it first released out in 2014.

 

8 Great Gaming Gifts this Christmas

Seven more sleeps until Christmas day is upon us once again. This wonderful day brings so much joy around the world. What it also brings is a lot of disappointment when gamers wake up to realise they have been gifted Devil’s Third or even the unthinkable Tony Hawks Pro Skater 5.

So, if you are still struggling to find a present for that lovable gamer in your life, then maybe these eight items will help keep them sufficed. All products below were found from myself scouting the internet combined with some personal items I have or wish to own one day. Hope this helps with your shopping woes.

Amiibo 

Any collectors or fans of Nintendo’s many IP’s would be delighted to receive a figure of their favorite character. Whether it’s Mario, Link, Pikachu, Samus, Fox or Marth, it’s very likely they’ll have a figure. Scan them into your Wii U for added content or just display them to make your friends jealous. With over 50 in the Super Smash Bros line, you may end up regretting the first one.

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Hyrule Historia

Zelda fans rejoiced once Nintendo agreed to shed some light on the infamous timeline. With Hyrule Historia, there was finally confirmation of when The Legend of Zelda games actually took place and, most importantly, in what order. For a detailed analysis on this, as well as how some of the greatest entries came about, this is a must for followers of the series.

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Milk Chocolate Games Controller 

A great stocking filler. A game controller completely made out of milk chocolate is sure to bring a smile to any sweet-tooth lovers. Slightly expensive for chocolate at around £3.99, but terrific for the presentation. Remember to brush your teeth afterwards.

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Pac-Man Ghost Light

Are you afraid of the dark? Well, fear no more as this Pac-Man ghost light will brighten up any room. With the feature to change into six different colors, this retro gift is a winner.

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Subscription to Loot Crate

The gift that keeps on giving. To keep any gamer happy all year round, how about giving them a subscription to Loot Crate? Every month, subscribers will receive a crate full of gaming goodies ranging from T-shirts to toys and every month is different. A bonus is that usually these products are exclusive to the company.

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First4Figures

For those willing to spend more than average, you could treat someone to a limited-edition figure. These statues are beautifully hand-crafted and completely unique to the industry. Including some some of the biggest franchises in gaming, you have Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Castlevania, Street Fighter, Legend of Zelda and Megaman. These hot collectibles tend to not hang around very long, so if you want one you better look for announcements and pre-order dates.

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Question Block Lamp

Ever wanted to punch a lamp? Well, now you can with this Super Mario Bros inspired Question Block lamp from 8BitLit. Just like in the Mario world you punch the bottom of the block to make it light up. Perfect nostalgic fun for any gaming room.

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Latest Video Games

So, this one should be obvious, but with an array of releases like Star Wars: Battlefront, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Super Mario Maker and Fallout 4, there is plenty on offer to keep your console busy for months. Shooter fans pick Star Wars. RPG fans wanting to devote hundreds of hours; Fallout 4 is perfect for you. Love adventure? Tomb Raider is right up your street. Finally, for creators everywhere, Super Mario Maker is waiting.


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So there you have eight gaming Christmas presents. Hopefully this will help with your decision making. What do you think is a great gaming present this Christmas? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.

Merry Christmas from Vgamerz

 

Why it’s Great to be a Gamer Right Now

Christmas may still be a few weeks away, but for gamers everywhere it has certainly arrived early. Assuming you have one of the two leading consoles or PC your blessed this winter with a stunning line up of mainly third-party titles. There is so much on offer currently that it’s hard to find the time to enjoy them all.

Starting off in early September we had the mammoth 200 hour plus Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. A solid outing for Snake receiving all around praise from critics and fans of the series. Then at the end of October Xbox owners finally got their hands on Master Chief’s latest adventure with Halo 5: Guardians. This time questioning the hero for his actions giving this exclusive a nice edge. Then on top of the story you have the multiplayer aspect which will merge your days into weeks making you lose track of time altogether.
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Start on November rolled around bringing plenty of presents including Bethesda’s latest entry into the Fallout series which dropped another 200 plus hour campaign into the mix. On the same date the follow up to 2013’s Tomb Raider was released for Xbox One. Two highly anticipated titles leading into the third week in November. Come the nineteenth we had EA’s Star Wars Battlefront. Whatever your opinion no one can doubt that the Star Wars universe has never looked so glorious. Planets like Hoth and Endor now look so immersive that it’s impossible not to appreciate them. With multiple updates coming in the near future, this is something we could all be playing for a crazy amount of time.

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Nintendo’s Wii U on the other hand has a tremendous library of games available for anyone purchasing the console this holiday season, however for those of us that bought the console earlier in its life cycle there is little to shout about. Yes 2016 seem’s to be growing with games but their ending to this year is nothing short of disappointing. At the start of the year we had a Zelda and Star Fox lined up, now we have a Mario Tennis and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival. Saying all this we have the much requested Super Mario Maker which can easily keep owners occupied until the new year. Creating and crafting levels until your heart contents is something that gamers have been dreaming of since the original Super Mario Bros. Now a reality its hard to put it down.

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These are just a handful of the stand out titles this winter so how is anyone suppose to enjoy all these? Normally we are treated to one or two major releases that stand apart from the crown, but this year it’s looking more like half a dozen. Unless your lucky enough to own all platforms and have the time to sink hours upon hours into all of these releases then sadly not every game can be played. This case is never-ending though as there is always another game to play. All these anticipated new games combined with every previously released title begs the question how we manage to say “I have nothing to play”. I’m not condemning others as I myself am guilty of this because when you sit down and think about it there basically an endless amount of video games to fall in love with. This is truly a gift and a curse.

Best New Games Coming Out in November 2015

Call of duty: Black Ops III

November 2015 is really going to be a hot month for the video game industry. There aren’t that many new games being released but the grand majority of the ones coming out are almost all part of big popular series. Check out the best new games coming out this month.

 

Best Games - Anno 22056. Anno 2205 (PC)

The sixth game of the Anno series is here with the Anno 2205, a futuristic city-building game with real-time strategy and economical simulation elements. The gameplay is quite similar to SimCity and as obvious, the whole objective is to build as much as possible but in a wise way. Besides building houses, players must produce goods and other utility buildings too in order to maintain an economical stability. Buildings can also be upgraded to improve their efficiency. On the other hand, citizens play a key-role – if they are satisfied, they will produce more goods; if they’re unhappy, they will produce less or even abandon your city.

Initial Release Date: November 3, 2015     Genres: City-Building, Real-Time Strategy

Developer: Ubisoft Blue Byte Mainz     Publisher: Ubisoft

 

Best Games - StarCraft Legacy of the Void5. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void (PC, MAC)

The third expansion of StarCraft II is coming by the name of Legacy of the Void, which will mainly focus on Artanis and the Protoss race. The new campaign will contain elements of diplomacy since players will have to work with different Protoss tribes and automatically making other tribes enemies and hostile. In the end, the objective is to acquire enough cohesion and unity to ensure the Protoss’ survival. As the previous stories, where Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan were the protagonists in both Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm respectively, now it’s time to unveil Artanis’ faith. This expansion will conclude the StarCraft II trilogy.

Initial Release Date: November 10, 2015     Genre: Real-Time Strategy

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment     Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment

 

Best Games - Rise of the Tomb Raider4. Rise of the Tomb Raider (PC, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Lara Croft is back for another extraordinary adventure on the Rise of the Tomb Raider, the second Square Enix remake of the series that started in 2013. In this new storyline, Lara will fight her way through Siberia in order to find the ancient city of Kitezh, an archaic symbol of immortality. The gameplay will be very similar to the one found in the previous game but with a more interactive environment, such as circumstantial day-night events, swimming abilities and tree climbing. There will also be an extensive crafting system that will allow players to create items by scavenging materials from plants and animals.

Initial Release Date: November 10, 2015     Genre: Action-Adventure

Developer: Crystal Dynamics     Publisher: Square Enix

 

Best Games - Fallout 43. Fallout 4 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Talking about extraordinary adventures, the Fallout series is also back with a non-linear open world and a whole new story set 200 years after the nuclear war. Fallout 4 will present a very similar gameplay to Fallout 3 but with a much more dynamic system. For example, there will be over one hundred dialogue lines and 12 companions that can be romanced. The game will also contain a layered armor and advanced crafting systems, which will offer players several hundreds of modifications and upgrades. One of the new main features of Fallout 4 is the ability to establish settlements inhabited by non-playable characters.

Initial Release Date: November 10, 2015     Genres: Action, Role Playing Game

Developer: Bethesda Game Studios     Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

 

Best Games - StarWars Battlefront2. Star Wars Battlefront (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

The eternal battle between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance will be back in the new Star Wars Battlefront. With truly next-gen graphics and slightly revolutionary systems, this new remake promises the ultimate FPS experience in the multiplayer world of Star Wars. The main point of the game is to capture reinforcement tickets or command points but to do so, players must perform a variety of conquering tasks, such as taking down mobile targets, capturing posts or simply killing everyone. The general world will be interactive and it will try to balance out factions when one is losing. Also, it can acquire certain points turning them into neutral posts.

Initial Release Date: November 17, 2015     Genres: Action, Shooter

Developer: EA Digital Illusions CE     Publisher: Electronic Arts

 

Best Games - Cod Black Ops 3 1. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Call of Duty: Black Ops III is bringing forward a new promising story with loads of science, technology, robotics and apparently, tons of zombies too. While the main campaign will try to be more challenging by presenting wider level designs, the multiplayer system will introduce several new features, such as the momentum-based movement system, that allows players to perform move actions like wall running and sliding while shooting their gun. A new character system called Specialists and a more advanced customization system are also coming up to bring endless personalized print combinations to in-game weapons, including specific portions of a gun.

Initial Release Date: November 6, 2015     Genres: First-Person Shooter

Developer: Treyarch     Publisher: Activision

Rise of the Tomb Raider: Prophet’s Tomb Gameplay

New gameplay for the upcoming Rise of the Tomb Raider was shown off at this year’s Gamescom. Things have been hectic, so just in case you might have missed it, you can gawk at the 13 minutes of Tomb Raider goodness below.

Lara Croft finds herself in Syria, with the demo boasting some visceral action, sharp visuals, plenty of climbing and the ubiquitous tomb raiding the series is known for.

New Rise of the Tomb Raider Poster Revealed

Developer Crystal Dynamics have revealed the second poster for the upcoming action-adventure game, featuring adventurer and series protagonist Lara Croft, in what can only be described as one of the most epic video game posters ever.

The poster is part of a four-part series of limited edition series, which was announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2015. The designer behind the posters is La Boca, an award-winning London-based design studio.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Second Poster

Co-Founder and Creative Director Scot Bendall had the following to say, speaking to the Major Nelson blog regarding the process:

“We tried to follow a similar process we undertake when working on [a] movie poster. Trying to find the essence of the story without being too descriptive, we always try to present an image in the simplest way possible.”

Bendall also revealed the inspirations and interpretations within the poster:

“We wanted the poster to have a feel of being underground, discovering something wondrous. Exploring and uncovering a hidden place for the first time in centuries.”

There are still two more posters to come before Rise of the Tomb Raider releases on 10th November 2015 for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. PlayStation 4 and PC releases are both slated for the fourth quarter and first quarter of 2016, respectively.

Rise of The Tomb Raider PS4 Edition Spotted

Rise of The Tomb Raider

Rise of The Tomb Raider

Rise of The Tomb Raider is supposed to be an Xbox One exclusive when it releases in November 10, although Microsoft stated that this exclusivity is for a period of time only so it is normal to see some retailers already posting PS4 pre-orders. This is what Australian technology retailer, Harvey Norman, did.

The listing is priced at $88 AUD (The Australian dollar) and the description is careful to mention this is the PS4 edition.

Synopsis

“Glimpsing into a dark world, Lara Croft is forged into a survivor in the Rise of Tomb Raider . In an attempt to understand what she’s witnessed, Lara Croft delves deeper into the mysteries of the Lost City and attracts the attention of a dangerous shadow organisation. For PlayStation 4,” we strongly recommend you to read all the description.

This action game is developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Microsoft and is the sequel to the hit 2013 Tomb Raider game. This game  will release on November 10 for the Xbox One while we are still waiting for any confirmation regarding the PS4 edition.

So, on which console will be you playing this game? Post your answer in the comment box below.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Release Date for Ps4 Rumor or Not?

Tomb Raider

As most of you know Rise of  the Tomb Raider is a timed exclusive for Xbox One and Xbox 360 with promise to release on the PS4 in the future. But what if I was to tell you that you could get Rise of  the Tomb Raider in less than a year for PS4? Well there a chance you might be able to do just that. There is rumor going around that the game will be released for PS4  in 2016 some time. Now this is just a rumor and we can’t be certain that it is true but from what I have heard and seen, It could very well be next year when we get our hands on the Rise of  the TR for PS4.

There are still two more posters to come before Rise of the Tomb Raider releases on 10th November 2015 for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. PlayStation 4 and PC releases are both slated for the fourth quarter and first quarter of 2016, respectively.

Read more here about online games.

Check out the video below, talking about the release date for the Rise of the TR for the PS4 and leave a comment on what you think.

Real or Fake?

Rise of the Tomb Raider Revealed

Tomb Raider

During the Xbox conference a Rise of the Tomb Raider reveal trailer was shown. The mostly CG trailer lasted only a couple of minutes, and no additional details were given.

Based on how well the last entry sold it isn’t surprising to see Laura Croft in a new game. The trailer talked about Laura’s mental state, and seemed to be more urban inspired than jungle, and may be a cool new direction for the franchise to go in.

Check out the trailer below to see for yourself the new Tomb Raider game:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kLAyzmWnk4