Saturday, January 2, 2016

Top Ten Best Second Entries

It's January 2nd still in most places in the world, so why not do a special list commemorating the day? SuperPhillip Central is once again entering the numbered spirit with a look at the best second entries in gaming history, much like I did with fourth games last August. These are my personal picks for the best games with the number "2" in the title. After you've perused my selections, go ahead and list yours in the comments below!

10) Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (PS1, N64, DC)


The original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was a revolution and brought back the excitement for extreme sports games, leading the way for titles involving snowboarding, biking, and much more. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 took everything great about the original and made it even better. This game introduced new gameplay and skateboarding mechanics to further chain combos more easily like the manual. With new additions to the series like a Create-A-Skater and a park editor to create your own skateboarding havens, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is still one of the higher regarded games in the series and a favorite of many fans.

9) God of War II (PS2)


Everything about God of War II was bigger and better. The same types of combo-focused combat was a part of Kratos's journey to seek revenge out of the betraying Zeus, the quick time events were there and accounted for, adding to the much more intense set pieces and amazing action, and the boss battles were much more plentiful than what was seen in the original God of War. Missing most of the flaws of the same game, God of War II capitalized on a great thing, making for one of the most satisfying action games of the PlayStation 2's colossal lineup, an it remains a fantastic game to play through, offering a steady level of challenge, interesting areas, and impressive set pieces.

8) Resident Evil 2 (Multi)


The Resident Evil series has seen many metamorphoses in it, much like the humans turned into zombies and other macabre monsters seen in the series. Resident Evil 2 brought the Resident Evil series to new heights, presenting players with two playable characters, rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, as they encounter creatures while they explore the hellish Raccoon City. Outside of the characters, the setting of Raccoon City itself was a star of the show, presenting an amazingly creepy atmosphere and several frightful moments. While the controls and some puzzles were the center of some criticism, there is no denying that Resident Evil 2 was a success and helped shape the series's future.

7) Halo 2 (XBX)


After the sleeper hit that was the original Halo: Combat Evolved, the second installment in the series was given huge expectations by fans. Thankfully, most of the expectations were met outside of the game's cliffhanger ending that was brought about by time constraints. Regardless, the campaign otherwise heralded plenty of positive feedback, allowing players to control both Master Chief and Arbiter within the duration of it. However, the big selling point was the online multiplayer, something that the original lacked, only allowing for local couch multiplayer. Halo 2 became the most played Xbox Live title for over two years before Gears of War on the 360 took its crown. A massive achievement, and quite deserved for this fantastic first-person shooter.

6) Street Fighter II (Multi)


An important game to the fighting genre if there ever was one, Street Fighter II was a revolution for the genre. Surpassing the original in more ways than one with many basic moves like throws and grabs being available in any stance, more characters, and more options, Street Fighter II and its multitude of ports on everything from the Super Nintendo to the PlayStation Portable remain popular to this day. It's for good reason, as the game balance is so well done, delivering action-packed 2D fighting with multiple moves, light, medium, heavy, and special attacks, and combos-- the latter being a first for the series. As you can see, Street Fighter II evolved the fighting game genre immensely.

5) Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Multi)


Whether you consider it a great example of storytelling and postmodernism in the gaming industry, or just a damn good game, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was a benchmark for complex narratives in gaming and great stealth-based gameplay. Offering a complicated story to invest yourself in, a new and super helpful first-person perspective for sniping and taking out enemies, a colorful cast of characters with shifting loyalties and attitudes, enemies that work in squads, a more impressive cover mechanic, and so much more, Metal Gear Solid 2 was an improved sequel in every sense of the word. Perhaps the biggest criticism came from taking control of Raiden, a character not as beloved as Solid Snake, to put it in friendly terms. Still, there are several reasons why Metal Gear Solid 2 remains a compelling and engrossing game despite this much contested flaw.

4) Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES)


Many games on this list do things bigger and better than their originals. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest made the original Donkey Kong Country pale in comparison to it. With its much more articulated and complicated levels, offering an abundance of secret bonus rooms and DK Coins, Diddy's Kong Quest offered several improvements and advantages over its predecessor. Whether it's the near perfect level design, the sensational soundtrack (one of my faves of all time), the unparalleled atmosphere, beautiful visuals, the enjoyable level gimmicks, the improved boss battles, the secret Lost World area, or many more terrific things about the game, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest remains one of my favorite Super Nintendo games on the system, and a superb platformer in its own right.

3) Mega Man 2 (NES)


Like Donkey Kong Country 2, Mega Man's second outing on the NES was a much improved title over its predecessor. Mega Man 2 is still regarded as one of the best Mega Man games in the Blue Bomber's storied existence. This is after dozens upon dozens of games released after the fact. The reason why? Sublime level design, creative Robot Masters (now eight instead of Mega Man's six, a tradition that would continue throughout the series and into the X sub-series), and an astonishing soundtrack are just a few of the reasons. Though not without its issues (one of the Dr. Wily stage bosses requires the use of the Crash Bomb, and if you run out of ammo before the boss has fallen, you have to kill yourself and resupply), Mega Man 2 continues being loved by fans of the Blue Bomber and gamers in general for obvious reasons.

2) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)


While the original Uncharted had many niggling issues that kept it from universal praise, it's hard to make a dent in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves' deserved reputation of being a well loved game. Whether it was the mega memorable and elaborate set pieces like the train, for instance, the amazing character design and personalities attributed to them, the fly-by-the-seat-of-its-pants story that kept players moving from jaw-dropping area to area, and the satisfying gunplay, Uncharted 2 delivered lots of excitement from its entire package. I hadn't enjoyed a Naughty Dog game as much as Uncharted 2 since the original Jak and Daxter and earlier than that, Crash Team Racing. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a beast of an adventure, and well worthy of its playful comparisons to the Indiana Jones series.

1) Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)


How could I not list one of my favorite games of all time as the number one best second entry? The sequel to the already tremendous Super Mario Galaxy brought forth several ideas and concepts that didn't make it into the original. Essentially, Super Mario Galaxy 2 was a compilation of all the ideas held over from Super Mario Galaxy. New power-ups like Cloud Mario, Rock Mario, and more, amazingly crafted levels and galaxies, tight, responsive controls, and a myriad of other gameplay goodies provided me and millions of other players hours upon hours of enjoyment. There aren't too many games that I can say have put a smile on my face each and every time I've popped the game into a system, but Super Mario Galaxy 2 is indeed one of them. Without a doubt, in this writer's opinion, one of the best games to have ever been created.

Friday, January 1, 2016

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2015 Awards - Top Ten Games of 2015

Here we are, ladies and gentlemen! Every list so far of the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2015 Awards has lead up to this moment. It's time to announce my top ten favorite games of 2015. To be on this list, I had to have played these games somewhat in-depth, so keep that in mind if some egregious omissions stick out at you. With that out of the way, let's get to my list of 2015's most awesome.

10) Trine: Enchanted Edition (Wii U eShop)


Starting off my list of favorite games from 2015 is a holdover from last year, but it first arrived on the Wii U eShop early this year. It's Trine: Enchanted Edition, a gorgeous 2D puzzle-platformer with an exquisite visual style to it, plenty of secrets to be found in its well crafted levels, and with the ease of use of the Wii U GamePad touch screen, magic casting and precision was all the easier. Trine: Enchanted Edition played great with both friends online and off, and it was a treasure of a title.

9) FAST Racing Neo (Wii U eShop)


The future is indeed fast with this next title. Shin'en's FAST Racing Neo came out in the middle of December, so it's the most recent game on this list. The game is a nice supplement to the lack of an F-Zero or even a Wipeout on gaming systems, though FAST is its own beast altogether. Through a clever shifting between phases, players can utilize boost pads with their vehicle, pending they're shifted to the right phase, either orange or blue. With sixteen fantastic courses, blistering fast speeds, and a hefty challenge, FAST Racing Neo delivered plenty of thrills and chills this past December.

8) Adventures of Pip (Multi)


I'm a sucker for a good platformer, as you'll see with this list if you don't already know me by now. Indie delight Adventures of Pip was one of these releases that had me enthralled with it from beginning to end. Through its charming cast of characters and humorous dialogue, terrific level design that had plenty of secrets to be found, and a unique gameplay hook, the ability to shift between bit forms, Adventures of Pip brought me hours upon hours of fun. It was a blast to play on the Wii U, but it's also available on other console marketplaces like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

7) Freedom Planet (Wii U eShop)


It's quite great that indie developers brought their A game in 2015. This list has four indie titles on it, which is a wonderful turnout. It shows that these smaller developers can easily rival those of bigger developers in fun games, and that a good game is a good game, regardless of who developed it. GalaxyTrail's Freedom Planet is a great example of this, a title that won SuperPhillip Central's Best Downloadable Game for 2015. The game was a derivative work, a Sonic the Hedgehog fan game, before the developer wanted to create something unique. The gameplay remains similar in some regards, but quite different in others. It all amounts to a game with fast platforming sections, slower action-focused areas, a lovely soundtrack and art style, and beautifully chaotic boss battles.

6) LBX: Little Battlers eXperience (3DS)


After waiting several years for the LBX game series to find its way to the West, LBX: Little Battlers eXperience for the Nintendo 3DS gave us Westerners a taste of what we had been missing out on that our Japanese friends have been enjoying for quite a while now. LBX on the 3DS had an engaging story and entertaining cast of characters, but the biggest luxury of the game were the robot battles taking place in a myriad of arena types. The customization options and different parts you could use for your LBX were overwhelming yet enjoyable. It'd take eons to use all part combinations. The fact, though, is that LBX was so much fun for me that I probably wouldn't mind taking the time to use all part combinations... Okay, I'm lying, but LBX was really good regardless!

5) Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)


Hunters unite! Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate was a long awaited game to get localized for the West, but to use a cliche, the wait was worth it. At the beginning of the game you're picking up mushrooms, while as you progress, the challenge increases ever steadily, presenting gigantic beasts to bring down. This isn't a game for the timid, as timing and patience are required to overcome the odds. Still, if hunting alone isn't your thing, you can always bring along some friends or total strangers for some local or online hunting action. Whether it's thinking up new strategies to take down a seemingly impossible behemoth or being addicted to crafting new weapons and armor, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has got the goods.

4) Splatoon (Wii U)


Many had clamored for Nintendo to release a competitive third-person shooter of some type, and what these folks received was a competitive third-person shooter with Nintendo's trademark spin to it, one that was accessible for beginners yet deep enough to keep players playing. The main goal of traditional matches in Splatoon was to coat the grounds with paint. While shooting goop out on walls didn't count for points, it did allow players to travel in squid form up walls, and anywhere else where paint was. Traveling around as both a squid and a kid were enjoyable, and the online play keeps getting better with more maps, gear, and weapons-- all free DLC. Add in a superb single player campaign, and you have the number four game on my countdown, Splatoon.

3) The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D (3DS)


When it originally released in 2000, I only played The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask a couple of times. I kept putting off revisiting the game due to the stress the game caused me to get certain events done in time before the three day cycle was complete. With the Nintendo 3DS remake of Majora's Mask, what I got was a more accessible game that ran great, had a much better and more consistent frame-rate, was decorated with bright, vivid colors, and a game that didn't stress me out anywhere near as much as the Nintendo 64 original. While it's still not a top five Legend of Zelda game for me, Majora's Mask 3D shines as one of my favorite games of 2015, and my favorite Nintendo 3DS game of the past year.

2) Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U)


A game that has rivaled a Super Nintendo classic for me, after having several predecessors that fell quite short in comparison, Yoshi's Woolly World brought forth the child in me, and made me enjoy its brilliantly designed worlds, full of hidden trinkets, secrets, and collectibles. Everything from the yarn and fabric presentation (such as the lava flow of background volcanoes being made up of rolling scarfs), infectious music, pinpoint precision platforming, jolly and adorable vibe of the game, and the great unlockables all add up to a 2D platformer that is as awesome to play as it is to look at. After less than perfect offerings like Yoshi's Story, Yoshi's Island DS, and Yoshi's New Island, it was a fantastic feeling to be playing a game that pretty much surpassed the Super Nintendo Yoshi's Island, something I never thought I'd utter.

1) Super Mario Maker (Wii U)


Probably the game I spent the most time with in 2015 was also the one that I enjoyed playing the most. It's Super Mario Maker, and I can't help but keep coming back to this delightful game. It's more than a game, though. It's a level creator to make Mario levels in. While that concept is by no means new, Nintendo somehow managed to make the arduous process of creating games and make it fun, accessible, and easy for anyone to do. Whether you're wanting to create articulated masterpieces of levels or just want to mess about with the level creator, fun is a few seconds away as soon as you pop in that Super Mario Maker disc into your Wii U. Even after several months of playing the game, I still see myself coming back to Super Mario Maker, playing others' levels, getting ideas for my own works, and creating some courses of my own. These reasons and more are why Super Mario Maker is SuperPhillip Central's Game of the Year 2015.

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So, there you have it! Super Mario Maker is SuperPhillip Central's Game of the Year! What games were your favorites in 2015? Let me know in the comments below!

Review Round-Up - December 2015

While a game I expected to be great, turned out disappointing...
Once again, I deliver a Happy New Year onto you! Before we wave 2015 goodbye completely, we have two items on the agenda to take care of. The second one will be later tonight, the climax of the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2015 Awards, where I will list my favorite ten games of 2015. The first matter of business, however, is the monthly recap of the previous month at SuperPhillip Central, the Review Round-Up! Let's take a look at all eleven (yes, ELEVEN) games that I reviewed last month!

December 2015 was a month of racers, retro reviews of both the PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance variety, and so much more! I started off with a trio of Game Boy Advance retro reviews: Konami Krazy Racers (B-), Drill Dozer (B), and Banjo Pilot (C+). I then moved on to my personal disappointment of 2015, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, hitting it into the net for a D+. Going from one low extreme to a high extreme, the game of the month for December was FAST Racing Neo, and it sped by with an A- grade.

Another Game Boy Advance game was reviewed with Bomberman Tournament (B-). Ending the month were five games on the PlayStation 2 that were reviewed: Ape Escape 3 (B+), Ty the Tasmanian Tiger (B-), Downhill Domination (B+), Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (C-), and I-Ninja (C-).

Will SuperPhillip Central hit 650 reviews this month? It might happen, but at the latest, next month, for sure! I hope you guys will stick with me on SuperPhillip Central to find out!

Konami Krazy Racers (GBA, Wii U VC) - B-
Drill Dozer (GBA) - B
Banjo Pilot (GBA) - C+
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash (Wii U) - D+
FAST Racing Neo (Wii U eShop) - A-
Bomberman Tournament (GBA) - B-
Ape Escape 3 (PS2) - B+
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger (PS2, GCN, XBX) - B-
Downhill Domination (PS2) - B+
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (PS2) - C-
I-Ninja (PS2, GCN, XBX) - C-

...A game I wasn't expecting at all turned out great!

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2015 Awards - Top Five Downloadable Games

Happy new year from SuperPhillip Central! I have but two more lists to share for the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2015 Awards. The second one is the special top ten games of 2015. However, let's dial things back a bit before I get ahead of myself. In an industry that is heading more and more into the digital landscape, and in one where mid-budget games are all but forgotten by big publishers, indie developers are propping these smaller sized games into the spotlight, and I couldn't love them more for it. 2015 was a big year for downloadable gems, and these five that I enjoyed most shined the brightest.

5) Elliot Quest (Wii U eShop, PC)


Taking elements from games like Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and Kid Icarus, Elliot Quest was a Zelda-style platformer that didn't hold the hand of the player at all. The world of Urele Island was yours to explore, gaining new information, weapons, and abilities, as you made progress through the towns, fields, caverns, and dungeons of the game. It's a much more beginner-friendly feel than Zelda II, but don't be fooled-- Elliot Quest could easily serve the player their butt on a silver platter if they weren't expecting it.

4) Rocket League (PS4, PC)


Rocket-powered cars and soccer? Sign me up! And so did countless other PlayStation 4 and PC players, jumping in to play this extremely exciting and riveting sports game sequel to 2008's Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. Combining elements of soccer and demolition derbies, Rocket League is a fast-paced action-sports title that makes the case for great gameplay triumphing over all else.

3) FAST Racing Neo (Wii U eShop)


It was a bit of a wait, but Shin'en finally came through with FAST Racing Neo, a lightning fast Wii U eShop exclusive that amazes with its gorgeous visuals, exquisite frame-rate, and of course, stellar and challenging gameplay. Through sixteen well crafted courses, three difficulties of increasing speed, multiple unlockable vehicles, online and local multiplayer, and a challenge for every skill level, FAST Racing Neo delighted me immensely... while kicking my butt to the curb with its difficulty. Despite this, I had a smile on my face the entire time.

2) Adventures of Pip (Multi)


Evolve and devolve between different bit forms with this tremendous 2D platformer from Tic Toc Games. As you change bit forms, different areas of levels open up to you, allowing you to progress in the game as well as find hidden townspeople to rescue. Each form that Pip can take possesses its own positives and negatives, making venturing through levels as much of a puzzle as possible. With excellent level design, tight controls, and lots of originality, Adventures of Pip is my second favorite downloadable game of 2015.

1) Freedom Planet (Wii U eShop)


Starring a cast of anthropomorphic animals, Freedom Planet is parts fast-paced platformer with slower paced action sequences. The game started as a Sonic the Hedgehog fan game before being transformed into a completely original work. Full of enjoyable platforming, creatively devised levels, and adrenaline-pumping boss battles, Freedom Planet was an entertaining romp from beginning to end. With free downloadable content coming in the future, this game continues to shine for Wii U owners.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2015 Awards - Top Five Platformers

The platformer is my favorite genre in gaming, whether it is the classic 2D or more modern 3D variety. It only makes sense then that I devote an entire top five list to the best platformers of the past year. Thankfully, like last year, there were more than enough platformers to consider for this year's list. Read on, and see which five platformers released in 2015 satisfied my need to run and jump the best.

5) Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash (3DS)


I ended up liking Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash a lot more than I thought I would. Annoyances like the level roulette and some vehicle stages hampered some of my enjoyment, but the gameplay and level design otherwise were so top notch that the overall product was more than entertaining for me. Using Chibi-Robo's plug to whip enemies, pull himself to faraway platforms, and interact with the environment were nice touches and great innovations to this 2D platformer. The levels were as creative as the challenging boss battles, especially if you wanted to find everything in the game, which isn't an easy task. It all makes for a 2D platformer on the 3DS that was way more likable than I was expecting it to be.

4) Adventures of Pip (Multi)


Like Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash, this next game appeared on my Top Five Biggest Surprises list. Adventures of Pip by Tic Toc Games was an atypical platformer featuring a really cool gimmick where the main character Pip would transform into different resolution forms, like 8-bit and 16-bit. Each form had its own benefits and drawbacks, and while transforming wasn't manually done (you had to hit a specific object to change forms), this allowed the developers to design levels that had you turning into the right form for the right task at hand. With multiple paths in levels, hidden townspeople to save, and incredible design, Adventures of Pip is my fourth favorite platformer from 2015.

3) Freedom Planet (Wii U eShop)


Did anyone call for a Sonic the Hedgehog fan game turned amazing unique platformer? Well, I actually didn't, and I ended up amazed by the end result that was GalaxyTrail's Freedom Planet anyway. With sizable levels with plenty of loops, curves, ramps, obstacles, enemies, and secrets, Freedom Planet satiated my hunger for a fast-paced, action-based platformer that got rid of a lot of the gripes I had with 2D Sonic, such as the more recent inclusion of various bottomless pits. Freedom Planet lacked those for the most part, offering challenge through tough boss battles, other platforming peril, and dangerous obstacles. Freedom Planet wowed me immensely, and it makes me excited to see how the recently announced sequel will shape up.

2) Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U)


I argue that this next game is almost as good if not better than its predecessor, Yoshi's Island. That might be blasphemy to some fans of the Yoshi series, but Yoshi's Woolly World is an astonishingly great game that rivals the fun, quality levels, and feel of the Super Nintendo classic. The levels are designed superbly, making those who seek out their secrets enjoy the game even more than they would already. The level of creativity developer Good Feel showed with this game is off the charts, and it's a sizable reason why Yoshi's Woolly World is one of the best platformers of 2015.

1) Super Mario Maker (Wii U)


While the game is more of a creator than a platforming game, Mario's platforming prowess in Super Mario Maker is still as fantastic as ever. The tightness and responsiveness of the controls is pretty much unmatched across all four game types available in the package. The added ability to create and play shared levels is an amazing bonus that has resulted in countless hours of playing and enjoying all the running, jumping, Goomba-smashing, Koopa Troopa-bashing goodness that is almost always found in the Super Mario series.

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2015 Awards - Top Five Most Pleasing Visuals

Generally in my reviews, I don't harp on graphics too much. They're important to an extent to get players invigorated and impressed with a given game, but they aren't the be-all, end-all. That said, 2015 was a year of beautiful visuals for gaming. This list of five is all about the ones that were most pleasing to me, and a good number of these might surprise you.

5) Splatoon (Wii U)


Nintendo is known for having bright, vivid, and colorful games for the most part. The publisher's games seldom steer away from the inviting aesthetic, and that is true with one of its new IP, Splatoon. The game is a treat for the eyes, especially when paint is flying every which way. Character models both friendly and villain are detailed and animated well, and everything has such a clean look to it. Splatoon is definitely a great looking game for the Wii U.

4) Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)


A game which has graphics that saw me dropping my jaw on multiple occasions, Xenoblade Chronicles X's beauty is attributed to the immense and expansive areas of the game, each teeming with life, detail, and wonder. Each area is full of gorgeous things to look at, and the draw distance is absolutely incredible. Standing on the top of a vista overlooking the background is awe-inspiring. It amazes me how the Wii U is capable of such good looking games.

3) Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (Wii U)


One of my favorite games with terrific visuals is Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. While the game was a step back from its predecessor, the Nintendo DS's Kirby Canvas Curse, what this Wii U sequel exceeds over Canvas Curse is its absolutely superb claymation visual style. Everything is devised up of brilliantly rendered clay-- the characters, the environments, the backgrounds, the platforms, etc. It makes for a game that has an unforgettable art style, and visuals that do a lot to please the eye.

2) Ori and the Blind Forest (XONE)


We haven't encountered the Xbox One much during the Best of 2015 Awards, but this entry changes that. Ori and the Blind Forest, a downloadable game for the Xbox One, looks and plays wonderfully. If there was ever a case for poetry in motion, Ori and the Blind Forest is it. The game is rendered so brilliantly and vividly that it looks like an animated movie (and I'm talking about those superior hand-drawn ones, and not those CG ones) come to life. Truly, a sublime looking game.

1) Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U)


Like Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Yoshi's Woolly World uses a specific aesthetic to create its worlds and characters. While Kirby used a clay aesthetic, Yoshi's Woolly World delivers a wholly woolly and yarn-y visual design. The colors are rich and saturated, the worlds are inviting, even the castles, and the characters made up of everyday objects like yarn, fabric, and things like coin purses, make for a game that has my favorite visual design of 2015.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2015 Awards - Top Five Biggest Disappointments

So much of the world of video games, especially online, is so negative and full of complaints. I've changed my tune on how I want SuperPhillip Central to paint the industry, so I've been doing more positive articles than ones where I complain. However, I'll set that aside for just one night for my annual tradition of picking out a handful of disappointments of the year. These can be games, events, lineups, and other things of that nature. Everything here is just my opinion, so if you disagree with any pick, just realize that nothing I say is anything but subjective and my own personal thoughts. With that, let's see what disappointed me most in 2015.

5) Sony's 2015 PlayStation 4 Lineup


Bloodborne is seemingly a really tremendous game, and it released early in 2015. There is also the brilliant Until Dawn to enjoy. However, other than that, disappointments like The Order: 1886 and sales disappointments like Tearaway: Unfolded were what PlayStation 4 owners were left with this year. It doesn't really matter to those who own PS4s, as third parties definitely picked up the slack, but as someone who is still waiting to dive in to the platform and loves Sony's first party games, there was no real reason to pick up a PS4 this year, in my opinion. That said, Sony doesn't really need to release games, as the PS4 will sell no matter what it seems. However, next year is already exciting to me, with games like Uncharted 4 and Ratchet & Clank. While 2015 wasn't the PS4's year to me, personally, the future looks really bright for the platform.

4) Devil's Third (Wii U)


Tomonobu Itagaki moved on from Tecmo and Team Ninja and formed Valhalla Game Studios. The studio's first project was Devil's Third, a game that saw many development issues, originally being a THQ property for the publisher went under. Nintendo ended up with the game to add to the Wii U's lineup of action games, and the wait for the release of Devil's Third, decidedly, was totally not worth it. Devil's Third is a collection of poorly designed missions ruined further by a clunky control scheme. Previews raked the game over the coals, and the reviews obviously didn't turn out well. It's a total shame and a big disappointment that Devil's Third turned out to be a turd of a game.

3) The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (3DS)


As someone whose favorite video game franchise is The Legend of Zelda, it hurts to type up this entry for the Top Five Biggest Disappointments of 2015. While The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is by no means a bad game, it's a mighty frustrating one. There is trying to playing the game with randoms, and being stuck with idiotic teammates who quickly foil any plans for fun you might have wanted. The single player isn't as bad as I was led to believe, but it gets incredibly challenging, and not in an enjoyable way, to micromanage three separate Links. This is particularly difficult when anything involving balancing platforms that tip over with too much weight on them comes into play. The level design is quite good, so is the humor, music, and presentation. It's just the frustration from playing the game was sometimes just not worth it.

2) Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival (Wii U)


This next disappointment feels like abhorrent example of Nintendo pushing amiibo before gameplay first. What you have with Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is a recipe for boredom, with a slow moving board game that delivers as many thrills and excitement as a piece of cardboard. Sure, the amiibo themselves look cute and are detailed well, but the actual game they're attached to is merely a ploy to get money from Nintendo. Obviously even great games are ploys to get money from companies, but this game just took it to pathetic and pitiful extremes.

1) Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash (Wii U)


The number one biggest disappointment hurt bad as someone who really enjoys Mario sports games. While the tennis gameplay is some of the Mario Tennis franchise's best ever, the egregious lack of content is utterly absurd. Online doesn't allow you to play against other people on your Wii U friends list, there is but one stadium total, there is only one real single player mode, and there is no real motivator to keep playing after everything has been unlocked (which just took me about five hours total to do). Again, the actual tennis is fantastic, but everything else shows that Nintendo rushed this game out just to have something for Wii U owners instead of Star Fox Zero, which was unfortunately delayed to 2016.

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