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.