A Year in Reflection (GOTY 2016)

It’s that time of the year again, the season of exchanging presents and spending time with family. With school out, it’s a wonderful time to catch up on some of the best games of the year. You might notice that I haven’t really been keeping up with updating the site in recent months. I’ve been pretty busy with training (I’m still serving in the Singapore Armed Forces) so I haven’t gotten much time to play. In 2015 I beat a whopping 34 games whereas in 2016 I only beat six: Three Fourths Home, Her Story, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered, Dark Souls III, and Life Is Strange. Before I talk about Kantaloupe’s Game of the Year 2016, I want to give a couple honourable mentions.
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Review: Bloodborne

Developer: From Software | Year: 2015 | List Price: $59.99 | Buy from Amazon

bloodborneJust a couple months back, I played and beat my first Souls game, Dark Souls by developer From Software. It wasn’t an instant love affair, but I’ve since found myself hooked by the franchise and yesterday I beat the newest game in the series, Bloodborne. It was really nice to finally be able to play a game of this sort that ran so well, considering I played Dark Souls on an old laptop averaging a measly 15 frames-per-second! Bloodborne was a wonderful experience from start to finish that really solidified my love for this franchise. Little can top the “flawed masterpiece” that Dark Souls was upon release, but Bloodborne’s refinements to the formula really do a lot to give that landmark title a run for its money.
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Review: Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

Developer: From Software | Year: 2011 | List Price: $19.99 | Buy from Amazon

Dark SoulsIf you’ve read some of my other videogame reviews, you’ll know I have a tendency to play games on hardware that really shouldn’t be allowed to play games. I reached a new level when a couple of weeks ago, I bought Dark Souls on the recommendation of a friend. My Sony VAIO running Windows XP didn’t even meet the minimum requirements this time! But after some lowering of resolutions and disabling of textures using DSFix I was able to run the game at a solid 15 FPS most of the time (except in Blighttown!). And last Friday, after 25 days and 62 gametime hours, I finally beat the game! Now beating Dark Souls is not like beating any other game. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’ve beaten a video game that did not want me to beat it. Dark Souls is known for its notoriously hard gameplay, and playing it offline solo, I can certainly validate that sentiment. Dark Souls is the kind of game you don’t feel bad looking up guidance for, because it’s so darn hard even when you know exactly what to do!
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