Author’s Note: This was sitting years in my drafts. I thought I might as well publish it.

Well this post is quite late, but I couldn’t let this tradition die out just yet, so here it is, my reflections on games I finished in 2015. It was quite a fun year for me, even if I didn’t finish all that much. I just finished 16 games and completed 3 last year, which is a drop over the previous two years where I had managed over 20 beaten games in each of those years. Oh well at least 2016 is looking better already! But regardless, even though I only finished a handful, I did have a lot of fun with them:

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The Best Gaming Discovery of 2015
Splatoon (Wii U)

Splatoon isn’t really an under the radar sort of game, so you may be wondering why I consider it my best discovery. Well truth be told, I knew about Splatoon but I wasn’t even going to be getting it and least of all playing it. Shooters were never my cup of tea. But then so many of my backloggery friends started playing it that I got quite tempted and bought it. Took me until August to actually play it though! I mainly did not believe the game would be as much fun as it turned out to be, and that is why it’s my best gaming discovery of 2015. I discovered I can enjoy shooters too~ The single player, while more like a tutorial into the game, had quite a memorable final boss, and on top of that the game has so much charm and heart. Callie and Marie’s banter is adorable~ Those two really do give the game so much personality. Although the hip and happening gear, or in the game’s terms, the fresh gear, also add a lot of cute charm to such a charming game. I’m really glad I gave this game a chance, it did not disappoint. Even better is our weekly Splatoon nights keep me and my friends playing continuously~ Plus the Splatfests hosted by Nintendo every 3 weeks also add a much needed change of pace to online interactions. It has been a ton of great fun in 2015 and now 2016 as well~ I’m so glad I took the chance on it! (more…)

The unfortunate news broke late Sunday evening in my timezone and hit me quite unexpectedly. I have so much respect and admiration for Mr.Iwata. It was obvious in a lot of his personal touches, Iwata Asks, Nintendo Direct, and Nintendo now reaching out to more third party developers, that he loved gaming and Nintendo. So I thought I’d play Balloon Fight as tribute to the late Nintendo’s president since Mr. Iwata had personally worked on the programming for this early NES game.

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Sorry for the low quality. It’s taken on my camera. The red balloon fellow is you. The other 5 are enemy ballooners whose balloons you have to pop.

The game isn’t particularly long. I believe I finished the Player 1 game in under 2 hours. However I used save states to help me along since you only get 3 lives before you are sent back to the start.1 Without save states the game would have taken me much longer. I did however wish to finish the game and write this blog post within this week, so I cheated a little. If you’ve played Balloon Fight before, you know the game is endless, so you may be wondering how I “finished” it to begin with. Mainly I mean I finished all 12 unique phases of the game. After phase 12, the game starts looping back to phase 4 (albeit the counter doesn’t loop, so the game calls it phase 13 and so on). (more…)