Review: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes/The Phantom Pain (PC)

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Top 5 Friday: My Top 5 Games Of 2014.

This my final Top 5 Friday of the 2014 so I’ll be picking my favorite games from this year.  Now because I’m not terribly big on convention, I’m not limiting my choices to games that came out in 2014, I’m simply choosing the games I enjoyed the most in 2014, regardless of when they were made.  So, without further ado, here they are:

  1. Broforce

Broforce is one of those games that just speaks to my sensibilities.  As a game, it a bit short (although it’s still in early access so hopefully there is more to come), but everything about it makes me smile.  The fast-paced action, the random bros, the tongue-in-cheek humor.  It’s all so wonderfully silly.  Depending on how much more is added to the game in 2015, don’t be surprised if you see it on this list again.

  1. The Wolf Among Us

I have a confession to make; at the time of writing this, I haven’t actually finished The Wolf Among Us yet.  It’s on my list of to-do’s but I’ve been incredibly busy so I simply haven’t gotten to that last episode yet.  Still, even without finishing the game I have to put it on this list.  The main reason for doing so is that The Wolf Among Us has reinvigorated my interest in adventure games single-handedly.  I was not a fan of The Walking Dead, so when I decided to give The Wolf Among Us a shot, I didn’t expect much.  Boy was I surprised.  The aesthetic of the game, the nature of the world, it all really worked for me, and it helped me to remember that there can be more to a game than just shooting stuff.

  1. Dark Souls II

There is little doubt in the mind of any fan of the Souls series that Dark Souls II the least innovative and interesting of the series.  Even still, the worst Souls game is better than most of the other junk out there.  And in a year full of games who’s potential seemed to go woefully unmet, Dark Souls II  was a game that I poured hours upon hours into and enjoyed thoroughly.

  1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

In what has to be my Is This Really Happening moment of the year, I’m saying with 100% honesty that I really love Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.  The campaign is pretty cool, and Kevin Spacey does a great job bringing some gravity to it and the combat is as tight as it’s always been.  The real star of the show here is the unique twist that the exo-suit allows for.  The horizontal cover shooting that the series has become known for (and hindered by in recent titles) is upended by double jumps, dashes, and hovers.  The double jump all by itself breathes enough new life into the series that it feels like a new experience.  With Advanced Warfare, the series feels a bit like an Unreal Tournament game, but with a far more grounded combat experience.

  1. Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Diablo fan, so it should come as little surprise that this is my number one pick.  You know who it did surprise though?  Me.  Coming into 2014 I had pretty much given up on Diablo 3.  The problems with the game’s economy had crippled it so badly that there was very little fun left to be had.  With some shrewd changes to the gameplay and loot systems though, the game was able to be reenergized.  The expansion not only fixed the existing problems but it added a new class, new abilities, new loot, and new monsters to slay.  In addition, the team has introduced seasons which captivated me a lot more than I was expecting.

Miscellaneous Monday: What’s Your DESTIN(Y)ation?

Today I thought I’d change things up a bit.  We here at the Chi-Scroller have lots of thoughts about all things gaming, and beyond.  Our interests go far beyond just our never ending PC vs. console debate.  So starting today (and possibly) each week, we’ll be sharing whatever random tidbits are on our minds.  So, here are some things I’ve been dying to mention on the blog that haven’t made in yet.

Diablo III is a really good game.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen a game that was so iffy at launch grow into such a beautiful flower.  With the removal of the auction house, the addition of rifts, bounties, and paragon levels, and now with the new seasons mode, it’s definitely a game worth checking out again.

As much as I claim to love Dark Souls, I have to admit that I’m just a tad disappointed after watching the gameplay trailer for Bloodborne.  I mean, ok, it looks awesome.  But it also looks and sounds an awful lot like a Dark Souls game.  That’s fine I suppose, but isn’t it time that From Software branched out just a little bit?  Don’t get me wrong here, I’m still going to play it (if I get a PS4 or it comes to PC), but I just really hope that it’s bigger step in a new direction than DSII was to DSI.

I was having a conversation with my wife the other day wherein I mentioned that I felt like movies were becoming very boring and that TV shows were becoming a far better form of entertainment.  There are so many great shows on, or getting ready to debut, that I just don’t know what to do with myself anymore.  We’re both big sci-fi / fantasy fans, so stuff like The Strain, The Leftovers, and Doctor Who are all right up our alley.  Plus there is Gotham and Constantine to look forward to, not to mention Grimm and Sleepy Hollow.  If that stuff isn’t up your alley, True Detective is incredible, Elementary is a hoot, and Netflix keeps the hits pumping with House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.  With all this fantastic TV, I really don’t miss movies at all.

We are officially eight days away from the release of Destiny, the game that seems destined (OH YEAH!!!) to be the talk of 2014.  I won’t be picking up the game on day one, but I am extremely interested to watch the zeitgeist.  I’ve been paying attention to details of that game only from afar, so there’s still a lot I don’t understand about how the game actually plays.  I’ve heard that it’s kind of Borderlands meets World of Warcraft meets Halo.  We’ll have to see though, but with Watch Dogs, another of 2014’s supposed big hitters feeling not so much like a home run, I’m really curious to see if Destiny fulfills it’s…wait for it…destiny.

It’s only September but I can’t help but be starting to feel hyped to cover this year’s game of the year race.  Last year our blog was very new when all of that happened, so we didn’t say too much about it.  This year though, I fully plan on weighing in myself, as I’m sure Chris does as well.  So far my frontrunner for game of the year though…Threes.  Ok, probably not, but still.  That game is fantastic.