Welcome to <em>8-Bits of Separation</em>, your weekly destination for everything video games. Call me Andrew, call me Silver, just don’t call me late for dinner. I’m your lovely, highly attractive, au naturel host and navigator on this crazy journey through the worlds inhabiting our favourite form of interactive entertainment. Before I bore you with a long-winded introduction, let us dive into the obligatory “best of the year” list that permeates every publication in January.</p>
I have a confession to make. I don’t have a Game of the Year for 2015. There were so many games released over the course of the last 12 months that each time I dived into one, there were already three or four battling for my attention. Plus, I took a lot of time to play through some classic games I missed out upon their initial release like Gravity Rush, Persona 4 Golden, and Tearaway (funny enough all for the PlayStation Vita). As a result, I’m finally getting a chance to play games that I missed, such as Batman: Arkham Knight and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, now rather than when they initially released.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Every once in a while I like to go out of my comfort zone and try a game/series that I’ve never played before. This past year, I committed myself to trying the Monster Hunter series with 4 Ultimate.
For a game series that is known for being unfriendly to newcomers, 4 Ultimate makes leaps and bounds in helping new players feel welcomed. The game eases you into the core mechanics and gameplay of Monster Hunter through its entertaining story structure. 4 Ultimate also makes gathering a party of hunters easy with the ability to play online.
Be it alone or with others, Monster Hunter is truly magical when it comes to besting its gallery of giant beasts.
As Nintendo’s first new IP in over a decade, Splatoon had a lot to live up to. Despite it being light on content at launch, Splatoon is a wonderful experience through and through.
The character designs are charming. The level and map designs are simplistic yet allow for an incredible amount of experimentation. The online multiplayer is easy to get into but hard to put down. Plus, the constant support of free updates, DLC, and special competitions called Splatfests have kept me coming back to Splatoon for months on end.
Yoshi’s Woolly World
Thought Super Mario Maker would be sitting here in the final spot. Well, news flash: it wasn’t the best platformer of 2015. That title belongs to Yoshi’s return to form.
There is so much love and joy packed into every corner of Woolly World, from the stunning yarn visuals to the superb level design. Don’t let the cute exterior fool you, Yoshi’s Woolly World offers hours of entertainment and challenge for all ages.
I can go on for hours on everything that I played in 2015, but that would far exceed the word count of this fine newspaper. All-in-all, 2015 was a great year for the video game industry and if everything goes right, 2016 could be even better. There are some industry-changing pieces of hardware and software on the horizon. What separates us from them is only 8-bits.