Zero Punctuation: Top 5 Games of 2015

remnant_phoenix

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Apr 4, 2011
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It was hard for me to remember them all to discuss any, so I made a handy list: (You're welcome)

BEST
5 Bloodborne
4 SOMA
3 Witcher 3
2 Elite Dangerous
1 Undertale

WORST
5 Battlefront
4 Hatred
3 Godzilla
2 Alone in the Dark Illumination
1 The Order 1886

BLANDEST
5 Arkham Knight
4 Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
3 Rise of the Tomb Raider
2 Assassin's Creed Syndicate
1 Halo 3

Here's my thoughts...

-Wow, the Witcher 3, I wonder if the PC-Master-Race Witcher-Fanboys will gloat after the crap he gave 1 and 2.

-All the "Worst" are either new IPs or resurrections of dormant IPs while all the "Blandest" are longer-running series with recent past success (except for E.G.T.T.R.). Interesting pattern.

-I need to play SOMA and Undertale... No, I need to install Steam on my work laptop, and THEN play SOMA and Undertale.

-I was actually kinda looking forward to Rise of the Tomb Raider and Assassin's Creed Syndicate once I get a PS4. Now I wonder... I enjoyed Tomb Raider 2013 and I used be a big fan of AC; these games seemed right up my alley. But ever since Dark Souls, I've been craving games that are deeper, different, and more complex than most AAA mainstream games; I'm not sure about ROTR and ACS now...

-Everything I've heard tells me that Arkham Knight just isn't for me. This is another one of those things.
 

Richard Claus

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Sep 20, 2015
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undertale to me seems like a jrpg for people that don't like jrpg's. i did not see the appeal and walked away from it after about 2 hours of playtime. then i played through all of "barkley: shut up and jam gaiden" with tears of joy in my eyes for the entire duration of the game. come at me fanboys!

ot: "but yahtzee, sterling did the blandy bland list already" i shouted at my screen... and 5 seconds later he went ahead and set me straight. good man.
 

Lunar Templar

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Richard Claus said:
undertale to me seems like a jrpg for people that don't like jrpg's. i did not see the appeal and walked away from it after about 2 hours of playtime. then i played through all of "barkley: shut up and jam gaiden" with tears of joy in my eyes for the entire duration of the game. come at me fanboys.
>.>

2 hours is like most of the game, as an FYI. It only takes like 4-6 to beat.

SPEAKING OF!!!

OT: ok, that last second 'revivew' of Undertale just to get it in the running was probably the first time in a LONG TIME ZP has actually made me laugh.
 

Kanatatsu

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Nov 26, 2010
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It is impossible for me to adequately express how sick and fucking tired I am of the constant wankfest about Undertale.

Most overrated game ever, and it's not particularly close.
 

Level 7 Dragon

Typo Kign
Mar 29, 2011
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Well, my turn.

BEST:
5. Hotline Miami 2
4. Shadowrun: Hong Kong
3. Spirits of Xanadu (seriously, so many people overlooked this game)
2. Darkest Dungeon, even though it isn't finished yet
1. Undertale

WORST:
5. Arkam Knight
4. Battlefront, you look amazing, but nothing else.
3. Hatfall. Dammit, I like your work, Yahtzee, but I won't buy your collection of refences held together with spit.
2. Vendetta: Raven's cry. Imagine a pirate themed porno with all of the sex scenes and erotica cut out. Yes, it's that hilarious.
1. The Crew, simply for ads and microtransactions in a 60$ game. I used to like you, Ubisort

meh:
5. Call of Duty 9: Modern Warfare: Ghosts: Black Ops: Advanced Warfare: Nazi Zombies: World at War: Game of the year edition.
4. Assassin's Creed 6: We are out of ideas.
3. Minecraft story mode.
2. Every zombie survival early access game on Steam.
1. Order: 1886, they were to occupied with rendering every wrinkle on the character's face that they forgot to insert a compelling story or even original gameplay.

Honorable mentions:
The Uncanny valley is an interesting psychological horror game that aims high, but doesn't quite pull it off. Still a fun expirience on the weekends. Spot all the Steven King, Lovecraft and Jacob's Ladder references.

Downwell - a snacky arcade game with increasing difficulty and complexity.

Emily is Away - A Windows XP, dial up internet, 160p fly video themed nostalgia trip. A simple adventure game with remarkable presentation. Would love to see something simmilar, but more fleshed out.

The Consuming Shadow - the latest installment in the Chzo mythos by some really obscure auteur developer. One of the better roguelikes on Steam that nails the ominous tone and atmosphere. Sadly, it is weigh down by the lack of content and lack of modding support. I unlocked most of the modes and all of the characters in an evening, which didn't quite feel right. I hope Yahtzee continues experimenting on roguelikes, since he loves to jump genres and game engines. CS really needs a follow up or an expantion pack, kinda like FTL: Advanced edition.

Lovecraftian horror is based on the fear of the unknown, so it is detremantal for it be so familiar.
 

gorfias

Unrealistic but happy
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sneakypenguin said:
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.)
Oh man. I gotta get it. My wife is going to kill me for spending the money.

Level 7 Dragon said:
WORST:
5. Arkam Knight

meh:
1. Order: 1886, they were to occupied with rendering every wrinkle on the character's face that they forgot to insert a compelling story or even original gameplay.
Really? I don't own Order yet (figure it will be $5 soon and I'll pick it up for a lark) but compared to Batman? I'm not done yet but the new mechanic of driving around in the Batmobile, added to souped up graphics? I surprised you put the Order above Batman.
 

Radoh

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Jun 10, 2010
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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.
This was not a last second review of Undertale, considering he wrote one back in October.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/extra-punctuation/14860-Undertale-for-Best-Written-Game-2015#&gid=gallery_4930&pid=1

The mention in the video is likely just him trying to nip any dissenting arguments about him breaking his own rule for reviews.
 

Level 7 Dragon

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Mar 29, 2011
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Gorfias said:
#

Level 7 Dragon said:
WORST:
5. Arkam Knight

meh:
1. Order: 1886, they were to occupied with rendering every wrinkle on the character's face that they forgot to insert a compelling story or even original gameplay.
Really? I don't own Order yet (figure it will be $5 soon and I'll pick it up for a lark) but compared to Batman? I'm not done yet but the new mechanic of driving around in the Batmobile, added to souped up graphics? I surprised you put the Order above Batman.
Because I tried playing batman on my PC. Needless to say, I didn't play it for very long.

Order is functional, boring, yet functional. Every element of the game is polished to a mirror shine, yet it all feels lifeless and familiar.
 

Spider RedNight

There are holes in my brain
Oct 8, 2011
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It's not that I don't like Undertale... yes, I think it's over-rated and not worth all the praise it gets but itself as a game isn't a problem. Nooo it's the insufferable, idiotic fanbase - call me shallow or whatever but fanbases DO turn me off of shit. Also I'm STILL irritated that people are like "I've never seen anything like it before" and I'm like "OFF DID IT FIRST. EARTHBOUND DID IT FIRST."

Also I'm not a big fan of the characters. Can't put my finger on why.

I agree about Mehsassin's Creed though. And I didn't like Dark Souls I or II but I rather liked Bloodborne.
 

Samastic

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I agree with you 100% on Undertale being the best game of this year, but I don't agree with The Order: 1886 being the worst. I mean, I think Alone in the Dark is far worse than 1886, mostly because Alone in the Dark is a like a bad greenlight item. It was buggy as all hell, it didn't have a singleplayer mode that worked, and the game didn't even follow it's own title. At the very least, 1886 worked, and it looked good. It was still boring and had lackluster gameplay, but it at least worked.
 

Grampy_bone

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Dannyjw said:
I tried the demo for undertale and can only assume i didn't "get it".
Undertale is basically the "Oscar-bait" of videogames. Like Gone Home, It's main selling point isn't the gameplay or content, it's the ability to look down your nose at anyone who didn't like it.

You easily spot these games by how insufferably smug their fans are.
 

Dr. Crawver

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Nov 20, 2009
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The fact that I was wondering if undertale would make it here, only to have yahtzee open with that "review" of it had me laugh out loud so much that I had my neighbor tell me to keep the noise down (it's 1am). Honestly, the biggest laugh I've ever had from him. Loved the list, thanks for making it.
 

Steve the Pocket

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Wow, I'm dumb. When he dropped in that mock "review" of Undertale I thought it was supposed to be a concession for not putting it on the list, and that people would then endlessly debate whether that counted as naming it his real number one pick or not. Not that it was actually an excuse to actually put it on the list without breaking the rule.

Still think "Any game I've played and talked about in some form this year counts" would have been a reasonable compromise. Surely this isn't going to be the last time a game you didn't officially review impresses you enough to make the Top Five, and it'd be hard to come up with a creative way to get around the rule a second time. But I like how this game seems to be inspiring critics to inject some clever status-quo-breaking twists of their own into their year-end videos. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

As for the top 5 blandest list... I dunno, I'd say at least two of the games on the worst list (The Order: 1885 and Hatred) sounded more like he hated them for being bland. This gimmick worked better for Jim Sterling because he plays a lot more Steam Greenlight garbage and has more legitimately terrible games to choose from. It also might have been a good idea... two years ago, was it? When Star Trek, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Ride to Hell: Retribution reared their ugly heads.
 

SlumlordThanatos

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Grampy_bone said:
Dannyjw said:
I tried the demo for undertale and can only assume i didn't "get it".
Undertale is basically the "Oscar-bait" of videogames. Like Gone Home, It's main selling point isn't the gameplay or content, it's the ability to look down your nose at anyone who didn't like it.

You easily spot these games by how insufferably smug their fans are.
I'm stealing this. I never could quite put my finger on why everyone and their brother seems to love this game, and this is the best explanation I've found.

Honestly, it's those fans that ultimately killed my enjoyment of this game. I don't really like going into a game completely blind, and I hate it when people tell me to "Just play it! It's brilliant, but I can't tell you why because it'll spoil it for you"! Every time something like that happens, it colors my expectation of the game, almost always for the worse. It would've been better if I had simply found the game on my own. Maybe then, I could've enjoyed it for what it is, but I can't do that with this game's rabid fanbase trying to shove this game down my throat.

I'm starting to suspect that the game caught on because it tries to do almost everything different. But "different" doesn't necessarily mean "good". While I will sit here and preach about how important a game's story is until I am blue in the face, the gameplay is still important. The thing is, the only thing that the gameplay itself does well is being different.

Also, why is it that I always despise a game's soundtrack even though everyone else praises it? Undertale's music makes my ears bleed.
 

RedDeadFred

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May 13, 2009
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Dannyjw said:
I tried the demo for undertale and can only assume i didn't "get it".
There's not really anything to "get". It's just kind of funny with how it subverts expectations. Unfortunately, I feel that once the gimmick gets old, the actual gameplay becomes quite mediocre. Also, IMO a lot of the great humor is counteracted by the "haha, lawl, random" kind of humor. Sometimes I felt like I was playing a meme. I'd say it's worth playing since it's interesting and cheap.
 

Mikeyfell

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Aug 24, 2010
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I wish someone would actually tell me why they thought Undertale was good (Not someone who doesn't know what their talking about thanks) But I've only heard positive things that go along the lines of "Just play it without any information"

But it was frankly the most grating experience I had all year (Besides struggling through Life is Strange) After you strip out everything that made me want to rip out my fingernails Undertale is just a pretty good bullet hell game.

Not kissing up or anything but I thought Consuming Shadow was better than anything on that list
 

Enlong

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Richard Claus said:
undertale to me seems like a jrpg for people that don't like jrpg's. i did not see the appeal and walked away from it after about 2 hours of playtime. then i played through all of "barkley: shut up and jam gaiden" with tears of joy in my eyes for the entire duration of the game. come at me fanboys!

ot: "but yahtzee, sterling did the blandy bland list already" i shouted at my screen... and 5 seconds later he went ahead and set me straight. good man.
I'd say both of those games are best played by fans of the genre. They both take cracks at the tropes in the genre/medium. Though Barkley does it for comedy from end to end, wheras Undertale switches to drama when it wants.

And both, I feel, manage to do their combat in a more interesting way that a lot of other games in their field. When have you ever seen an RPG where your teammates were all as mechanically different as the ones in Barkley, for example?