Thanksgiving weekend is here at last (for those of us in the States that is), so the time has come to once again step back and reflect on what in our lives that we have to be thankful for. It probably goes without saying that anything to do with gaming should be pretty far down on that list for most of us. However, since this is a site dedicated to our shared of gaming, it feels fitting to take a moment to talk about a few of the games we’re thankful for. Honestly, it was kind of hard to pick just a few from the great many that I’ve played over the years, but I settled on picking the ones that have had the most impact on the me that’s living in 2015. They’re not all perfect games, but they are games that have been important to me in one way or another these past several months.
Destiny – Yes that’s right, my first pick is Destiny; one of the most controversial games to have been released between this year and the last. Now, I’m not going to deny that the game has a lot of problems, because it absolutely does. It’s a game I’ve gotten extremely frustrated with from time to time, and it’s one that I even quit outright for a couple of months early this year. However, I’m thankful for it nonetheless because it’s a game that’s enabled me to keep having fun with friends I don’t really get to see in-person all that often anymore. Since we all play Destiny, we all can still get together and have fun even though we’re now living in different parts of the country. So in that respect, the game has been a bit of a blessing.
Fallout 4 – Because I’m honestly just happy to have more Fallout to enjoy. Parts of the game are janky to be sure, but that old Fallout charm is still there! Plus now the world is more dynamic and interesting than it’s ever been! I’m also happy that it sold so well too. I was kind of nervous that interest in Fallout might have waned in the years between New Vegas and this latest entry. So, it was very much a relief to see the excitement for and subsequent success of the latest entry in one of my favorite series!
Mario Party – For being the game that my friends and I can cut loose in. It’s been a long-running joke on the internet that Mario Party is a friendship-ender, and from my own experiences I can see why. It’s a game where things are said and deeds are done, but thankfully for us that’s always just been part of the game. Once it’s over, everything is cool and all that’s left is the good time we all had mercilessly messing with each other in our bids for supremacy in a virtual board game! I’m thankful for all the good times, but I will very much caution others who are considering playing it. If you’re going to play, just make sure there’s an understanding that whatever happens in Mario Party stays in Mario Party!
Super Smash Bros. – for being the one and only fighting game that I’m actually good enough to smash my bros in! I’m kind of cheating here in that when I say “Super Smash Bros.”, what I really mean is the whole series. I’ve never been good at fighting game you see, I just can’t get my head around all the button combinations and the meta that one needs to know to be anywhere close to good. Smash bros is different. It just makes sense to me. I know Smash has a meta of it’s own, and on the global scale I probably fall pretty deeply into the low-skill portion of the bell curve. That said, I’m at least good enough to incite a mass groan whenever I pick Yoshi as my fighter, and that’s good enough for me!
Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D – For giving me an excuse to dive back into Majora’s Mask again. Well…if I’m being totally honest, I never really need an excuse to play one of my all-time favorite games. Really, I was just happy to see Majora’s Mask get some well-deserved attention after all these years, and it was cool to see a slightly different version of the game. In fact, playing a version that streamlined out some of the wonky-ness was really a novel experience. Oddly, I did miss the old save system, but I love that there’s a version out there that can more easily show people just why some of us see this game as the best in the series.
Transistor – Speaking of all-time favorites, I’m grateful for having played Transistor because…well for a couple of reasons actually. Firstly because it’s the first game in a long time that I can easily call a favorite. It just really clicked with me you know? The combat is slow, but tense. The story is delivered in a way that I didn’t even know was possible, and it’s pretty darn good on top of that. Its music is a haunting mix of calm and forlorn, and it’s an absolutely gorgeous game to boot! I can’t think of the last game that made me launch into gushing rants like this! It’s also the game that finally got me to “pull-the-trigger” so to speak and finally get into game videos. They’ve got a long way to go, but it’s finally started!
Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt – This last one is a bit of an odd addition to this list, and to be honest I wasn’t sure if I should include it or not. You see, I haven’t actually played Witcher 3. I’ve heard that it’s been an excellent game since day 1 and has only gotten better as CD Projekt Red continually supported and added onto it, but that’s all I know about it. However, even though I haven’t played it yet, I’m really grateful for its existence and the absolute success it has enjoyed. In this age of pre-order bonuses, micro-transactions, and $50 season passes for unannounced dlc, it’s incredibly gratifying to see a game and studio seeing unquestioned success by simply putting out a quality product. It’s even more gratifying to see that same studio use that product to show that they really do care about their supporters. It’s all too rare to see these days, so I grateful for it even though I haven’t played it.
What games are you thankful for this year? Did they have a positive impact on gaming or are they dear to you for another reason?
[Header image captured by Hatm0nster.]