This is the other backlogged post I have, then we’ll be into more recent things. At the end of January we did a Games of the Year show, and there are a few things I really enjoyed in 2015 that didn’t get much time on that one. Some of these made brief appearances on the blog, and some of them in the podcast; I consider all of these worth trying if you get a chance.
The subtitle of this game is “A slight case of spacetime continuum disorder”, and it does live up to that. It takes probably the best segment of the first Evoland (the time travel section where you’re moving between 3D and sprite graphics) and uses it as the central premise of the game. For most of the game you are moving between the past, present, and future, occasionally messing things up enough that it affects a later era. Where Evoland mostly stuck to pretending to be Zelda or Final Fantasy, Evoland 2 is less restricted, and borrows from things ranging from Street Fighter to Puzzle Quest (in addition to a core that is mostly Zelda). It also has a card game that isn’t a triple triad knock-off, and I really enjoyed it. This just barely missed the cut for top 3 last year.
Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games have generally been pretty good, and I would call the DS series (Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky) some of the best games with pokemon in them. The previous title, Gates to Infinity, was much less outstanding, but this one’s a return to form. For those unfamiliar, the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games involve playing as a pokemon, working through a series of randomly-generated dungeons towards some goal. This tends to be save-the world-type stuff, and a lot more story (and more serious story) than the main series. This one features all of the pokemon revealed at its release (all 720 of them) and features a story that is far better than the main games. It eliminates the random element of pokemon recruitment found in previous Mystery Dungeon games, which is nice, because there are plenty of other random things to worry about. This is my top 3DS game from last year.
I mentioned this a bit earlier. LBX is a solid mix of RPG and Robot Fighting game. Even though the actual robots are only about a foot tall, the battle system most de-emphasizes this by placing you on artificial terrain, so it feels like you’re still piloting giant robots. It has an obligatory tournament arc, and is full of other cliches, but it’s not really any worse for it. The story also goes a few places I wouldn’t expect for a kids game. Add in the large number of postgame activities, and there’s a lot here. Give this a shot if you like Level-5, action-RPGs, and/or customizable robots.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
This got revisited when I was going Star Wars crazy right before The Force Awakens came out. The Knights of the Fallen Empire content is one of the best pieces of narrative I’ve seen in an MMO, and some of the system revamps that go along with this (allowing you to use any companion for anything) were really appreciated. Changes to the leveling content also mean that you don’t need to do all of the (generally lower quality) side quests when levelling a character, and it gave me a chance to see some of the class stories that I did not have the patience to complete when the game came out. I’ll admit that other than the story content, there’s not a whole lot here that interests me, and the F2P model is still “please subscribe”, but it’s still worth checking out. The next chapter came out somewhat recently, so I’ll pop back in at some point to check that out.