Lizzy's Five Favorites of 2015

Lizzy's Five Favorites of 2015

2015 was one of the best years for video games in recent memory. Between the announcements and the actual releases, I spent a significant portion of the year giddy with excitement.

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Nice article! I need to be less cheap and play more games the same year they come out so I can actually have meaningful opinions about this sort of thing.

*sigh* Have you even looked at the list of backwards compatibility games for the XBO? Can anyone explain to me why it's something to be excited about yet? This isn't something good yet. It's an announcement that the future *may* be good while at present the list is crappy with mostly garbage games and the few that are decent are usually games that have already been re-released on the current consoles. Calling it a favorite of 2015 is like giving out a Nobel Peace Prize before someone does anything just because their "words iz gud".

At best it's like you're saying your favorite of 2015 was like 4 or 5 games from 2008. Either this was a sad year or methinks this may have a lot more meaning for you than for most of us. Then again, I still have a 360 sitting there collecting dust should I ever want to go 7 years into the past.

Had it just been total backwards compatibility for all games then I would agree with you. But a handful of old but popular games amongst a sea of garbage doesn't get me all a flutter with gratitude. Rainbow Six 2 wasn't even all that popular so for most of us that isn't even considered to be a member of those elite top tier games. Solid and fun, sure. But just over average depending on the console you played it on.

Lightknight:
*sigh*

Let me follow that sigh with my own: *sigh*.

It's someone's wildly subjective five 5 things of a given year. She could've put four loading screens and the font of an active download reminder as her faves, and that'd be beyond question.

As for backwards compatibility? I have an XB1 on the way, and whilst it doesn't really mean anything at the moment that I can play one of my faves - Fable II - across the next gen (given I can just shove the disc into the 360), it's nifty that that option will be there for the future. The feature certainly needs to be supported by MS, though, and I hope both last-gen Dragon Ages and the ME trilogy make it onto the list.

Darth Rosenberg:

Lightknight:
*sigh*

Let me follow that sigh with my own: *sigh*.

It's someone's wildly subjective five 5 things of a given year. She could've put four loading screens and the font of an active download reminder as her faves, and that'd be beyond question.

Are you under the impression that subjective evaluations are not up for dispute? Are you aware that the belief that murder is wrong is itself technically subjective? Though I'll grant you this is just favorites in video games and not something philosophically ruinous.

Saying: "OMG, I got to play a 7 year old game (2008) on a current gen system" suddenly makes this the third best thing of the year warrants some dispute. I'm not saying the call to make more games playable on the XBO is bad, I'm just saying that it came up horribly short this year. Maybe next year it will actually deserve a mention.

As for me, just like you say below, all I have to do is pop a disc in my 360 and I've got everything I need. So far, the XBO has decided to put all of their "exclusives" on PC including hinting at the new Halo titles going that way too. As someone who has always had a gaming PC, this has utterly killed my desire to buy the XBO whereas the PS4 maintains true exclusives for the time being. So unfortunately my 360 isn't getting replaced by its newer brother any time soon. Had it been 100% backwards compatibility then maybe this wouldn't have been the first generation I failed to buy the new Microsoft console.

It's a shame Microsoft didn't instead produce a first party IP that was worthy of this list. As for everything else on Lizzy's list here, I'm not seeing anything that has objectionable disputes to be made. Just this one.

As for backwards compatibility? I have an XB1 on the way, and whilst it doesn't really mean anything at the moment that I can play one of my faves - Fable II - across the next gen (given I can just shove the disc into the 360), it's nifty that that option will be there for the future. The feature certainly needs to be supported by MS, though, and I hope both last-gen Dragon Ages and the ME trilogy make it onto the list.

This is just what I'm saying, the idea could be nifty in the future. Hence why I said placing faith in it now is like giving a person a Nobel peace prize because of what they say they're going to do rather than for what they've done. Things get really awkward if the laureate then proceeds to use the prize money to construct a death ray in order to achieve absolute regional peace.

Would you really call it a top five of the year just because Fable II happens to be on it?

Lightknight:
Are you under the impression that subjective evaluations are not up for dispute? / Though I'll grant you this is just favorites in video games and not something philosophically ruinous.

Like I said; someone could put a menu screen as one of their favourites, and it wouldn't be up for dispute. Or, rather, there would be absolutely no point in doing so (beyond an exchange of 'I like X', 'Well I don't like X'), particularly taking into consideration perspective.

But given 'random faves lists are there to provoke discussion', I guess I'll have my strings pulled and discuss something...

Saying: "OMG, I got to play a 7 year old game (2008) on a current gen system" suddenly makes this the third best thing of the year warrants some dispute.

Actually, it could be argued that's a profoundly important thing. Gaming as a medium and as a dumb-dumb industry is trapped in a cycle of partitioned gens, and its memory is appallingly short. It barrels forward, but tends to forget about learning from the past. Ideally, just as with literature and cinema, the 'past' should be preserved.

So it could be argued backwards compatibility is a heinous feature to leave out. Therefore its inclusion is more than sentiment for personally favoured games, it's about preservation of legacy and history.

I'm not saying the call to make more games playable on the XBO is bad, I'm just saying that it came up horribly short this year. Maybe next year it will actually deserve a mention.

But this was the year the feature was introduced - so it can easily be seen as being notable, surely.

Would you really call it a top five of the year just because Fable II happens to be on it?

Not just for one game, no, but the feature as a whole is very welcome, and even now there are a handful of games I'll certainly be playing (in some cases restarting to finish for the first time; hello Mirror's Edge!) again next year, just with the Elite pad instead of my battered old 360 pads.

If they announced all of BioWare's games would be supported (minus DA:I, obviously), plus, I dunno, Dark Souls, then I'd probably be whacking it on a list. If Liz cares enough about a certain game or games, then it makes sense for her to pick it (I probably share her fondness for Vegas 2. yeah, I preferred the earlier Rainbow games, but I still sunk ages into that game, splitscreen and single-player).

As for my own Top 5 of this year: I couldn't compile one, as I'm not entirely sure I even bought a new game this year... Well, other than Telltale's Game Of Thrones and the first episode of Life Is [Hella, Like,] Strange.

Darth Rosenberg:

Lightknight:
Are you under the impression that subjective evaluations are not up for dispute? / Though I'll grant you this is just favorites in video games and not something philosophically ruinous.

Like I said; someone could put a menu screen as one of their favourites, and it wouldn't be up for dispute. Or, rather, there would be absolutely no point in doing so (beyond an exchange of 'I like X', 'Well I don't like X'), particularly taking into consideration perspective.

But given 'random faves lists are there to provoke discussion', I guess I'll have my strings pulled and discuss something...

Lizzy isn't some rando. Had Lizzy slapped garbage in the list then it would have been a point of contention and outside of her character. I also wouldn't have bothered commenting if I don't enjoy her work. Same reason I scoffed a Jim Sterling for adding the iOS fishing game he put on his list a year or two ago for some very strange reason. But at least he also told me about the Stanley Parable that year too...

Saying: "OMG, I got to play a 7 year old game (2008) on a current gen system" suddenly makes this the third best thing of the year warrants some dispute.

Actually, it could be argued that's a profoundly important thing. Gaming as a medium and as a dumb-dumb industry is trapped in a cycle of partitioned gens, and its memory is appallingly short. It barrels forward, but tends to forget about learning from the past. Ideally, just as with literature and cinema, the 'past' should be preserved.

So it could be argued backwards compatibility is a heinous feature to leave out. Therefore its inclusion is more than sentiment for personally favoured games, it's about preservation of legacy and history.

Had Lizzy presented the point as this then it would be a lot less arguable. However, I still must point to the extremely limited attempts that were made in 2015 and that this may peter out to nothing in the coming year/years. So I repeat the whole Nobel Prize analogy.

The reason for this generation's break with the past was to migrate to the x86 architecture. In doing so, they have basically ensured that future generations should be backwards compatible without qualm and the ability to emulate will be much easier (in a time where it should become necessary to play classics if such a time comes around). The cost of this was that the previous generation was left out unless actual coding was done for each specific game. It is far more valuable to change things now so that this won't happen again.

Microsoft isn't actually flipping a switch and turning on backwards compatibility. They're just hand coding a series of old games to be playable now, aren't they? What difference does your point make if the VAST majority of titles get left behind?

I'm not saying the call to make more games playable on the XBO is bad, I'm just saying that it came up horribly short this year. Maybe next year it will actually deserve a mention.

But this was the year the feature was introduced - so it can easily be seen as being notable, surely.

This was also the year that many games were slated to be released like No Man's Sky. Does that mean they should have had a chance on the list even though they won't be enjoyable until next year? If they had said, "Guess what, suckers, now all 360 games are playable on the XBO", then hell yeah. But instead they've given us a meager assortment of mostly crap games and a promise that next year will be better.

Would you really call it a top five of the year just because Fable II happens to be on it?

Not just for one game, no, but the feature as a whole is very welcome, and even now there are a handful of games I'll certainly be playing (in some cases restarting to finish for the first time; hello Mirror's Edge!) again next year, just with the Elite pad instead of my battered old 360 pads.

Yes, the feature is welcome. But the current form of it just isn't worthy of praise.

If they announced all of BioWare's games would be supported (minus DA:I, obviously), plus, I dunno, Dark Souls, then I'd probably be whacking it on a list.

Yes, if they had better games then it should be slapped on the list. But this point we agree on.

If Liz cares enough about a certain game or games, then it makes sense for her to pick it (I probably share her fondness for Vegas 2. yeah, I preferred the earlier Rainbow games, but I still sunk ages into that game, splitscreen and single-player).

Is there really no game that came out this year that doesn't beat out Microsoft's porting of games from 2008? Does anyone know how they're actually enabling backwards compatibility? Are they having to code to enable it or what?

 

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