2015’s end is so close to becoming a part of our past forever and as I exhaust every “end of the year” style question that I can think of, I think of one more.

To me it felt like 2015 was not a huge year for game releases. However, it was massive for game announcements. We overuse a word like massive quite a bit, but without any hyperbolic intent I really believe that 2015 contained some of the most prolific announcements in video game history.

In the course of one year, we got a new Fallout game announced and released. Shenmue 3 is real. The Last Guardian hasn’t died the slow death that we thought it had. Final Fantasy VII is getting a remake. Koji Igarashi is allowed to make games again and his next Castlevania-styled game is on its way. I’ve barely touched on a lot of the amazing announcements that happened this year nor any of the major moments but I’m curious to know what everyone was most excited for.

I would say that my favorite moment in gaming this year was the announcement/Kickstarter for Yooka Laylee. Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite games of all time are Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie. To see that the core team is making a spiritual successor is something that excites me beyond belief. Even the extremely limited stuff they have showed off so far of the game makes me really think they get it and they have what it takes to make the next evolutionary step for a “Banjo” game.

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My answer is probably a toss-up between Shenmue 3 and the FF VII remake.

I don’t keep it much of a secret that I like FF VII. I like it a lot. It was the first video game that I got lost in. It was my first love.

Shenmue is another game that I spent hours getting lost in. They’re fundamentally different games (ok, they’re both different flavors of the general RPG experience), but it was a game that absorbed me nonetheless.

Fans have been asking SEGA and Square Enix to make these games for a long, long time.

We knew that an FF VII remake would happen. It’s a cash cow for Square Enix. It was really a question of WHEN.

Shenmue was a bit different. Lots of people wanted the story of Shenmue to continue, but the game was famously very expensive (at the time, shenmue was the most expensive game ever produced), and although shenmue and its sequel were cult hits, they were decidedly commercial flops. The question for Shenmue was not WHEN, but IF.

Both announcements were a bit of a surprise, and made me feel like “Wow, this is what it feels like when game companies listen to their fans.”

The finished products remain to be seen. After basking in the brief afterglow of both announcements, my cynicism kicked in, and I was back to the mindset of “I hope I’m not fucking disappointed by the final product.” but for a few moments, I felt like some small part of my childhood dreams had been answered.

Let’s hope my cynicism is all for naught.

I LOVED the Xbox One E3 announcements. They stepped up their game significantly. The announcement of backwards compatibility. Elite controller. New games. Very well done and gave me hope again. As lame as that sounds…

My favorite gaming moment of 2015 was when they announced the Steve Harvey VR for PS4.

But really, I’m not sure. There have been quite a few. I would like to say that the trailers for Uncharted 4 were my favorite. I think seeing the trailer for the game Unraveled really got me. It is a truly beautiful game and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

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I finally got to see gameplay for Doom, FF7 remake is a real thing, and I got to see the words Shenmue 3.

I’ve been waiting for Shenmue 3 since I beat the first two on Dreamcast years ago, so I’m going to go with that.

You should also take note of biggest disappointment. I’m sure all of us will say anything relating to Konami.

I’m probably going to steal Kyle’s here but in all honesty: Pokémon Go. I haven’t felt that giddy sense of childhood fantasy actualization in…well maybe ever.

Bringing these beloved characters into our world is everything anyone our age dreamed of growing up and its exciting to see technology make it happen.

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My immediate response to this question is Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, but it’s actually the moments that surround Bloodstained.

Since Koji Igarashi’s departure from Konami and his presentation at GDC 2014, I’ve been waiting to see what he would do. It seemed likely that he would follow in the footsteps of Keiji Inafune and Mighty No. 9, but the wait seemed eternal. Then suddenly, weird things started happening.

There was a Twitter account that popped up, @SwordorWhip, that had a similar logo to a teaser poster that was tossed out at a Mighty No. 9 PAX panel. The giant pentagram and the symbols within created a puzzle that led to a small viral marketing campaign which ultimately revealed the Kickstarter campaign for Bloodstained.

Those few days of wondering and excitement were the strongest feelings of hunger for something I forgot tasted so delicious. Bloodstained is at the top of my list for favorite moments in 2015, but the initial moment of knowing that this game was in the realm of possibility was elating.

More, watching the entire campaign unfold and seeing the video game industry turn its attention to my favorite game for a few weeks. The highlight of all of the attention on Igarashi and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was seeing the Japanese creator sit down with folks at Double Fine Productions and play through a good chunk of the game whilst providing insight and commentary.

Having Zelda delayed (again) bummed me out a bit. Especially after many games prior got delayed as well or even cancelled (R.I.P. Silent Hills), but nothing has warmed my heart and brighten my day more than seeing The Last Guardian revived at E3.

There’s just something about Team ICO that just makes me smile. They carry a certain charm and style with their games. I like how the scenery is a main character. Most games that have you go through a dungeon for the sake of fighting and getting loot. But in a game like Ico or The Last Guardian, the dungeon/castle/area itself seems to be enriched with much more. At least it feels that way to me. Like there’s a real purpose why this place exists. There’s lore within the walls. You have no idea what it’s all about and you have to find your way out. But on your way, you can take the time to really soak in the scenery as if it’s the most beautiful prison that was once a palace.

In my opinion, Team ICO is one of the few companies that has a small yet great track record. They take their time to release the game they want to make. You can really see the heart that’s been put into their games. Granted, I had trouble getting use to the controls of Shadow if the Colossus, but I can look past that. I use to own Ico for PS2 and never had a chance to finish it yet I was infatuated with it. I really want to sit down and complete all three games. It’s a bit odd how I can love a series so much that I haven’t even finished. The Last Guardian looks like its going to be charming, full of wonder as well as full of heart break. I wish that creature was real so I could keep it as a pet. Okay fine. I’ll settle for a plushie…

That’s it for us but we want to hear from you. It’s been an incredible year for video games and we want to know which moment is your favorite. Let us know in the comments section below.

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Posted by Joe Dix

Joe is the creator of The Free Cheese. He eats a lot of pizza and takes thousands of pictures of his pugs Oswald and Earl every day. He has a disorder that causes him to believe that he is Batman and his favorite video game is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

One Comment

  1. Profile photo of Joe Dix

    Kyle, I saw a trailer for Unraveled today and was reminded of the E3 announcement and how humble and sweet that guy on stage was. Totally took me back for a second and reminded me of the warm, gooey feelings I’ve got for Yarny and his adventure.

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