Zero Punctuation: Top 5 Games of 2015

mysecondlife

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I like the new format. On to the New Year! Really gotta try this Undertale thingy sometimes.
 

09philj

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I liked Undertale. It was genuinely funny all the way through, nicely designed, had an interesting plot, and at least had something in the way of challenge, unlike most indie games with an interesting story. Yes, it's mostly just an homage to Earthbound, but there are worse things to be an homage to.
 

PunkRex

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Hungryfreak said:
Silentpony said:
Just seems to me the #1 shouldn't be controversial, or at least should be a game that is universally loved. Amongst my group of friends, I honestly would say its a pretty tight 50/50 split over who thinks Undertale is worth playing or not.
I think that's an absolutely wrong attitude to have. For starters, it's a dude's personal list, so whatever ranks ranks.

Also, for a reviewer to cater to a preconceived notion of what is best is for them to make themselves redundant and thus unnecessary. Plus, something universally loved isn't necessarily the best, just on average inoffensive or some level of good. The first Marvel's Avengers movie is pretty universally loved, but for a lot of movie fans wouldn't rank anywhere close to as high as a film like 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is polarizing among people, but evokes a much greater reaction from its fans than the latest action blockbusters normally do. Undertale's controversy and fanbase woes come from the fact the the people who enjoy it really love it. It definitely doesn't click with some people, but a bunch of the players who do get it get really affected by it and then attached to it. It clicked for Yahtzee enough for him to break his own rule just to put it at the top of his list.

For disclosure, I'm a self-professed Undertale fanboy, so I do have that reason to defend Yahtzee's position, but I don't think that makes my point any less valid.
Well put, I tune into Yahtzee's vids to hear his opinions, not to hear the Wikipedia entry.

Art is meant to invoke a response, even if you hate it at least it gave you something to talk about.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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CrazyGirl17 said:
Woo! Extra-length video this time! Anyway, it's nice to see that a game like Undertale has to be doing something right when it could touch even Yahtzee's cold black heart...
I think it has less to do with Yahtzee's heart and more with the fact that, if you play games for a living, you come to appreciate quirky little novelties such as Undertale over the good, solid, but ultimately "been there, done that" games. Same reason once upon a time everybody fawned over Stanley Parable: it did something nobody had ostensibly done before, and called itself out for it.
 

Scarim Coral

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While I did read the written review of Undertale from Yatzee but I still wanted a video version of it (just to see the quirks of the imps and his cartoon version reaction and etc).
 

MrHide-Patten

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That's going to rustle a few jimmies, but from watching the Game Grumps play through of Undertale, it deserves all the praise it gets. Although it is probably the first instance I've ever had of being "spoiled", so it's best to play before you watch.

Granted, I'm going to play it once I've worked though my backlog and forgotten everything. Although I'll never be unable to unhear Rosses Skeletor voice, it's magic.

Yahtzee is free from copying Jim as he had it as a side article, not a proper part of the Jimquisition awards forbadum. Crossing my fingers for a Yahtzee guest appearance on the podcast though, although I don't think that the Australian times would be the biggest problem with how much they used/still do out vocalise Gav.
 

Thanatos2k

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Undertale is absolutely deserving of the best game of the year, and the lengths some people will go to in order to assure you *they* don't think Undertale is that good are just as impressive.
 

Bobic

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Michael Prymula said:
Hungryfreak said:
Silentpony said:
Just seems to me the #1 shouldn't be controversial, or at least should be a game that is universally loved. Amongst my group of friends, I honestly would say its a pretty tight 50/50 split over who thinks Undertale is worth playing or not.
I think that's an absolutely wrong attitude to have. For starters, it's a dude's personal list, so whatever ranks ranks.

Also, for a reviewer to cater to a preconceived notion of what is best is for them to make themselves redundant and thus unnecessary. Plus, something universally loved isn't necessarily the best, just on average inoffensive or some level of good. The first Marvel's Avengers movie is pretty universally loved, but for a lot of movie fans wouldn't rank anywhere close to as high as a film like 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is polarizing among people, but evokes a much greater reaction from its fans than the latest action blockbusters normally do. Undertale's controversy and fanbase woes come from the fact the the people who enjoy it really love it. It definitely doesn't click with some people, but a bunch of the players who do get it get really affected by it and then attached to it. It clicked for Yahtzee enough for him to break his own rule just to put it at the top of his list.

For disclosure, I'm a self-professed Undertale fanboy, so I do have that reason to defend Yahtzee's position, but I don't think that makes my point any less valid.
I always found 2001 to be a massively overrated borefest.
That's kinda HungryFreak's point though. To really hit people's top spot you have to appeal to their specific interests, interests which may not be shared by everyone. Whereas something that everybody loves will be 'less' people's absolute favourite, as in going for mass appeal, it doesn't appeal to their specific niche, and isn't as special to them. For example, my favourite game ever is Deadly Premonition. That, as a game, couldn't have been more perfectly constructed to fit my interests if I had gotten a degree in game design and made the damned thing myself. It is, however, very specific in the niche it fills, and to most people will just seem weird, and, from the purely objective standpoint of technical issues, borders on flat out broken. Most people will hate it. They are right to do so. I absolutely love it. I am right to do so. There is no objective truth to an opinion on art, some people love what some people love.

Undertale slotted perfectly into a niche that is pretty under-represented (the closest comparison everyone makes is the 'Mother/Earthbound' series, from 20ish years ago, most of which never made it out of japan), and nailed that niche so perfectly, that to the people in that niche, it felt like a godsend. I'm somewhat in that niche, and somewhat enjoyed Undertale (and certainly appreciated it for doing its cool, unique thing). It wouldn't be my top game, but I don't begrudge people for it, I see why they love it so much.

Also, let's not forget that his number 2 best was 'Elite Dangerous', the review of which he prefaced by saying (paraphrase:) 'I love this, but I'm weird, so you shouldn't trust this recommendation'. This is clearly his own unique personal opinions he is basing them off, which is great. That's what makes him interesting and worth listening to.

Silentpony said:
And Man said:
Silentpony said:
Just seems to me the #1 shouldn't be controversial, or at least should be a game that is universally loved.
That kind of thinking encompasses everything that's wrong with the "AAA" games industry. Why try anything different or unique or possibly polarizing (though as a fan of Undertale, I believe that the only reason the game is so polarizing is because its fanbase has exceeded Sonic levels of horridness, but I digress) when you can pick something safe that everyone can agree is good enough?
Really? You think throwing in a literal last second review for Undertale isn't playing it safe? You think Undertale fans would have been okay if he never even acknowledged the game?
Somehow I really doubt it.
You really think Yahtzee kowtow's to public opinion. He reviews games, usually negatively, for the gamer audience. The same audience that shits the bed when someone gives GTA 5 an 8/10 for not being high enough. He's been doing this for over half a decade. I think he's used to going against public opinion, and all the 'stimulating emails' it brings, to not be afraid of the response he'd get for not mentioning a game.
 

Darth_Payn

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Hey, I'm having fun with AC: Syndicate so far, even though it felt like they took features off since Unity. I got some sadistic glee from Yahtzee ripping on 1886 as the #1 worst. And what's this I hear about Jim Sterling doing a Blandest list? Are he and Yahtzee still friends?
 

Arnoxthe1

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If I had any complaints about Undertale, it's the "bullet hell" combat. I really don't like it and would have been incredibly happy if they had just stripped it out if you weren't going to fight. And it wouldn't even have been so bad but if you're doing a pacifist run, that means no XP, and therefore no leveling up. So your HP is sitting at 20, and your base defense at 0. The ENTIRE game. Yeeaaahhhh... Sure you can equip better and better armor and stock up as much as you can on healing items but that's really about all you can do.

Besides all that though... (I haven't beaten the game yet so please, no spoilers.)

I think a really telling moment about Undertale came when I reset my game after accidentally killing Toriel. Ack. So utterly sad. D:

But the game noticed. And reacted accordingly. And especially Flowey. OMG. Further props given for Flowey being one of the most disturbing unsettling things I've seen this year in games or movies. Hands down, even when I KNEW right from the very start that this guy was probably trouble. XP
 

crazygameguy4ever

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i really liked Batman arkham Knight on ps4.. maybe the tank battles are too frequent and new game plus mode is impossilbly hard, but other wise i really liked it. same for assassin's creed syndicate.. it's really, surprisingly, good
 

gorfias

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Michael Prymula said:
I disagree with all but one of the games on the "bland" list

Rise of the Tomb Raider is definitely one of my top games of the year.
It's on my radar. The last one was spectacular. I'm up for another go.

sneakypenguin said:
I disagree with the halo 5 being blandest. It was a refreshing throwback to arena shooters with balance and just tight tight gameplay.
On my radar too. I haven't even finished 4 yet though! Do you have the polished XB1 version of Halo 4? I wonder how it compares visually to 5.

And the new Batman game? Took no risks? They incorporated an all new Batmobile mechanic! Terrific fun and great to look at.

That written, while Battlefront 3 does not deserve to be on a "worst" list, I have to write, in a generaton that includes Titanfall, this is pretty thin stuff. I bought it anyway. It's Star Wars man!
 

Fractral

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rembrandtqeinstein said:
I spent a couple of months in Swindon on business and it seemed like a nice little town....what is so bad about it? Is it stuff I'm too american to get?
It's not a bad town. It's just dull, which is why it's a worthy mention on his dull list. I'm not sure why it's considered to be the epitome of dull towns though, when there are so many other contenders in the south east of England.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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Dannyjw said:
I tried the demo for undertale and can only assume i didn't "get it".
I played the entire game and I don't get it. I mean, I get why people like it. It's not an unlikable game. It does a few clever things and the writing is fun. But I don't get the massive praise like it's the best thing since sex. It's not in any way a representation of what's best about video games. Nothing about Undertale stayed with me after I was done with it.
But that's what opinions are for. I'm glad that so many people found an indie title so enjoyable. That's always nice.
 

sneakypenguin

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Gorfias said:
sneakypenguin said:
I disagree with the halo 5 being blandest. It was a refreshing throwback to arena shooters with balance and just tight tight gameplay.
On my radar too. I haven't even finished 4 yet though! Do you have the polished XB1 version of Halo 4? I wonder how it compares visually to 5.
I have the MCC with 4 it looks like the xbox 360 version really. In 5 the levels are a lot more expansive and everything looks polished as hell with a smooth framerate and good environmental physics. Levels don't really have invisible walls so if you wanna grenade jump to somewhere high you can and stuff like that. It looks great in game and the cutscenes are incredible. (almost too good so its a little jarring when you go from FF advent children levels of prerendered stuff to in game graphics.)
 

ZZoMBiE13

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Never thought I'd type these words, but "I agree with Yahtzee's views on Halo".

I've been a fan of Halo since the beginning. Loved it's story, enjoyed it's entire gameplay loop, I just really enjoyed it. And then 343 took over and has been jettisoning features that used to be considered core to the experience. One by one they go or get late releases like the FORGE mode.

For the first time since the series began, I have skipped a Halo game. And I highly doubt I'll be jumping back in. With 4 hour campaigns and making the theater and FORGE modes all but pointless afterthought I just don't think there is any steam left. And I never thought I'd feel that way.

Such a shame.