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God bless America! Land of the free, home of the glazed turkey that“s about to make its way into my belly on this great, fattening holiday known as Thanksgiving. But before we all go stuffing our pie holes with stuffing and pie, let“s take a moment to give thanks to all the things that make our lives worthwhileâ€¦ Did I say â€œthings?â€ I meant â€œgames.â€ Because let“s face it, that“s all we REALLY should be thankful for, right? Or maybe I“m just an ungrateful nerd. Either way, there are certainly loads of video games to be thankful for, many of which came out this year. Whether a series you love finally got that sequel you were waiting for, a new IP was introduced that blew away your expectations, or a game is just really, really good, it“s a fine year to be a gamer. So join me as we give our thanks to these 13 games that 2015 had to offer. Note: This list is in no particular order. They“re still numbered, though, because SHUT UP AND JUST GO WITH IT. #13 Story of Seasons First up is probably the only game that has an actual Thanksgiving. Well, okay, so it“s technically a â€œcooking exhibition,â€ but it“s on the 25th of Fall and is the only cooking festival in the game, so it“s pretty obvious that it“s this game“s version of Thanksgiving. Anyway, after Natsume decided to no longer work with Marvelous to produce new entries into the Harvest Moon franchise but still hold onto the license, leading the publisher to develop the worst Harvest Moon yet, Marvelous decided to create a new series called Story of Seasons. It“s basically the developer“s way of giving fans the game they REALLY wanted. Thank you, Marvelous. You really are quite marvelous. â€‹ #12 Yoshi's Woolly World Read our review Do you know how long it“s been since we last got a home console game starring Yoshi? I“ll give you a hint: Yoshi“s Story was the last one, and that game came out way back in 1997. Do the math. Yeah, it“s been a while. True, there HAVE been handheld iterations of Yoshi“s Island, but it“s nice to finally get a new Yoshi game that I can play on my TV. And boy is Yoshi“s Woolly World a â€œnewâ€ Yoshi game. As its name implies, Yoshi“s Woolly World isâ€¦well, very woolly. Seriously, just about everything is made of yarn. And in high-definition on the Wii U, it“s just plain gorgeous. Not only that, but several other factors make this a really great game in general. Thank you, Yoshi, for bringing me so much joy this year. â€‹ #11 Dragon Ball XenoVerse Dragon Ball Z is undoubtedly one of the most popular anime series of all time. And if you are a DBZ fan like I certainly am, then you“d probably enjoy Dragon Ball XenoVerse quite a bit. It“s basically a love letter to fans, allowing you to create your own character and traverse the DBZ timeline as you fight all sorts of notable villains, from Raditz to Beerus and even some GT baddies, granted you go get the GT DLC. Now, in no way is Dragon Ball XenoVerse a masterpiece of a game or anything. It should be said that on its own, it“s really not a game you need to go out of your way to play. However, as a fan of Dragon Ball Z, there is plenty to love about this game. It“s wonderfully entertaining for people who like the series, and for that I am very thankful. â€‹ #10 Rare Replay It“s pretty much unanimous at this point that Rare – the formerly legendary developer of some of gaming“s most beloved games, such as Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-Kazooie, and the Nintendo 64 adaptation of GoldenEye 007 – has fallen from grace in recent years. And it certainly doesn“t help that most of the team responsible for such gems have since left to start their own companies, with one of those companies working on a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, which goes by the totally different name of Yooka-Laylee. Of course, Rare certainly does realize that their best years are behind them. And as their way of celebrating their 30th anniversary, the developer has blessed us with Rare Replay. It“s an Xbox One game that combines 30 of Rare“s greatest creations (though there are a few stinkers in the mix) into one, incredibly solid compilation. It also costs a measly $30 (okay, we get it, you“re 30 years old). I“m happy buying just one of your games for $30, Rare. Giving me 30 for that price? Well, thanks for that. â€‹ #9 Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water When Nintendo first unveiled the Wii U back at E3 2011, anyone who was aware of the Fatal Frame series likely thought the same thing: â€œA Fatal Frame game would be PERFECT for this console!â€ And why shouldn“t people think that? If you know of the series, you know what I mean. So then it finally happens. About three years after the console“s release, we finally get that Fatal Frame game we were expecting, known in the states as Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water. Of course, considering how obvious a choice a series such as this being on a console such as the Wii U is, the fact that it was made isn“t really the surprising part of Maiden of Black Water“s release. It“s the fact that it was localized at all that was unexpected, since it“s not exactly all that popular over here. But alas, we got an English version (albeit a digital-only one), and I am quite thankful for that. â€‹ #8 Bloodborne Every console deserves a badass, exclusive new IP to call its home. For the PlayStation 4, that game is Bloodborne. It was originally going to be the launch title Knack, butâ€¦ Meh, that game wasn“t very good. Bloodborne, however, is fantastic. Not only is it a must-have for the PS4, but I might even go so far as to say that it“s a pretty valid reason by itself to get the console. For those of you unfamiliar with Bloodborne, let“s just say that if you like any of the Souls games, then this game is right up your alley. And if you don“t, then you“ll still like it SO GO PLAY IT ALREADY. Seriously though, Bloodborne has a lot to like about it, its H.P. Lovecraft inspiration only being one of them. It“s a masterfully crafted game, and I am so very thankful that it exists. â€‹ #7 Xenoblade Chronicles X In case you weren“t aware, I REALLY enjoyed my time with Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii. Naturally, I was ecstatic when I first saw the reveal trailer for its sequel (known simply as â€œXâ€ at the time). Xenoblade Chronicles X looks fantastic, and the more I see of it, the more excited I get for its release next month. Okay, yeah, I know, it“s not out yet so it“s not fair to have it on this list and blah blah blah. Look, as much as I like Xenoblade Chronicles, I have faith that Monolith Soft can deliver yet another awesome entry into the series. It certainly looks like it“ll be awesome, at least. Plus, this is my list, so shut up. Anyway, I still think it“s crazy that another Xenoblade was even made. But I“m not complaining. In fact, playing Xenoblade Chronicles X will probably be all I do in December. Thank you, Monolith Soft, for giving me that option. â€‹ #6 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Read our review To put it simply, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of 2015“s best games. Many people will agree with me on that. But wait, you“re saying you haven“t played the first two? Well good news! Turns out The Witcher and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings are both really good too. So, like, go play ”em. Of course, neither can quite match the awesomeness of the third game in the series, which is currently the series“ best. What makes The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt so great doesn“t narrow down to just one aspect, as it“s a fantastic package all around. Great gameplay, great music, a great story; it“s a pretty top-notch work of art. It“d be nice if the series continues, but whether it does or not, I“m thankful that I had the opportunity to play through not only The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but the other two as well. â€‹ #5 Splatoon Whether you are a kid or a squid at this particular moment in time, you“ve probably heard of the inkredible shooter known as Splatoon. After all, it“s Nintendo“s newest IP. But is it any good? Will it be able to join the ranks of Nintendo“s top dogs like Mario and Zelda? Is it worth buying a Wii U over? The answer to all those questions is a resounding YES. Seriously, Splatoon is one of the most creative games I“ve played in a while, and definitely the most creative shooter I“ve ever played, which complements quite nicely with the insanely fun gameplay, both in multiplayer and single-player modes. Splatoon“s fun factor and creativity also help this game, along with the massive level of charm the game exudes, stand out as, in my opinion, the start of Nintendo“s next hit series. And I must give The Big N my thanks for letting a game like this out into the wild. â€‹ #4 StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void It“s been a fun ride for StarCraft fans since StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was released five years ago. That game was definitely a worthy sequel to the original, even though you couldn“t yet play as the Zerg or Protoss. Thankfully, Blizzard didn“t stop there. In 2013, we got StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm – the second part of the StarCraft II trilogy, which gave us a Zerg campaign. And now, in 2015, we have at last been given the Protoss, thanks to the final piece of the trilogy known as StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Much like the base game and its Zerg expansion, Legacy of the Void is fantastic. As far as strategy games go, StarCraft II is probably among the best. And I am very thankful to Blizzard for allowing me to complete the full experience at last. #3 Super Mario Maker I have been a fan of Mario games ever since I was old enough to hold a controller and comprehend how it works. Super Mario World was my first, but I also had Super Mario All-Stars, which allowed me to play the ones that came before it without needing an NES. And growing up playing every entry into the main Mario series, I always admired the fantastic level designs. There were even times when I myself thought about how I would design levels. Enter: Super Mario Maker for the Wii U. Finally, designing Mario levels was no longer just a passing thought. Here is a game that is all about making levels. Not just one style either, but the styles of four different Mario games. And not only that, but you can even share your levels with the world, as well as play levels from other level creators. Super Mario Maker is a game I never even considered as something I would see released. But it exists, and it“s awesome. Thank you, Nintendo. â€‹ #2 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain If you haven“t heard the disheartening news yet, Hideo Kojima – father of the Metal Gear series and the would-be director of the ill-fated Silent Hills (the game P.T. would have become) – was let go by Konami. It sucks like a black hole, but at least the man was able to go out with a â€œbang.â€ In fact, his last game was quite possibly his best, and not only in the Metal Gear series, but of his entire career. That game is, of course, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. And I“m not exaggerating either. Just go check out the review scores. It“s a really, really, really good game. Hideo Kojima and his team are masters of their craft, and simply put, Konami is incredibly stupid for letting such amazing people get away. You will be missed, Hideo Kojima. Thank you for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and everything else you“ve ever given us. â€‹ #1 Fallout 4 It“s no Half-Life 3, but Fallout 4 is one of those sequels fans were hoping to hear news about year after year following the release of Fallout 3. I mean, sure, we did get Fallout: New Vegas, but it simply wasn“t enough. I dunno, I guess there“s just something about numbers that ups the hype factor for people. Sure enough, though, we got it. And Fallout 4 is every bit as awesome as we all hoped it would be (though it could use some patches here and there). Hell, news even broke out that a certain porno site lost a lot of traffic the day the game was released. So yeah, Fallout 4 is some serious business. And I can“t thank Bethesda enough for bringing the game into my life. Now if you will all excuse me, I need to go find Shaunâ€¦ â€‹ Do you agree with any of the games on this list? What games are you thankful for this year?
Jordan Haygood posted a article in FeaturesThanks to a group of Europeans stealing land from Native Americans once upon a time, people in the land of the free have a holiday where we give thanks for being able to consume very large amounts of food. This holiday is, of course, Thanksgiving. But as gamers, we have certain other reasons to be thankful. Whether a bad game got an overhaul and became good, a game was localized that we weren“t expecting to be, or a game is just sooooooooo good, there are plenty of games we can be thankful for. So let“s take a moment and give our thanks for 10 games that came out of 2013. Note: This list is in no particular order. They“re still numbered, though, because SHUT UP AND JUST GO WITH IT. #10 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Did you ever play Final Fantasy XIV when it was first released? Remember the disappointment? The anger? The murderous thoughts flowing through your mind? That wasn“t just me, was itâ€¦? Whether it was or not, there“s no question that many gamers were disappointed, and for many different reasons. So then Square Enix goes and listens to the angry letters and just sorta â€œrebirthsâ€ the game, breathing new life into it to create what is essentially the â€œA Realm Rebornâ€ version. And guess what – the game is good now! So good, in fact, that I must give Squeenix my thanks. 14 of my thanks. â€‹ #9 Fire Emblem: Awakening A fact you may not be aware of, Fire Emblem: Awakening was almost the very last entry into the series. Prior to that game, sales were spiraling downward with each new entry. But all that changed when this 3DS title became a massive success in both Japan and the U.S. One could say Awakening was a big â€œawakeningâ€ for the franchise. â€¦Okay, that was badâ€¦ But of course, the level of success this game was met with was met with for good reason – it kicks ass. If you think about it, this game kinda pulled a Final Fantasy, as it was almost the final game until it became more successful than expected. Though in Fire Emblem“s case, there were other entries before it, but that“s beside the point. And while we should all be thankful for this game being so good, I“m sure Nintendo themselves are very thankful for it saving their beloved franchise. â€‹ #8 Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Ever watched a Studio Ghibli film? You“ve sure been missing out if you haven“t. In fact, as a gamer who has been a big Ghibli fan since the days of Hayao Miyazaki“s Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, I“ve wanted to play a game made by the studio, in the same style as something they“d make, for a very long time. With Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, that dream finally became a reality. Obviously, Studio Ghibli didn“t create the game themselves, as Level-5 played a big part in its development, but still. It“s by no means a perfect game, but just the way it looks and feels gives me that Ghibli level of joy. And for that, I am truly thankful. â€‹ #7 EarthBound Sure, EarthBound actually came out for the SNES back in the 90s, but have you seen the price it goes for these days? You certainly can“t give anyone $100 and expect to walk away with the game, I“ll tell you that much. Well, maybe if they were old people selling it at a garage sale without doing any research, in which case BUY IT, BUY IT, BUY IT! Other than owning a legitimate copy, your only real option was always to, y“know, break the law. But in 2013, it finally happened. After gamers everywhere begged Nintendo for a re-release, whether through the Virtual Console on the Wii, Wii U, or 3DS, or just some collection thingy, the Big N finally gave it to us through the Wii U eShop. Thank you Nintendo. Now I can finally stop breaking the law. And for around $10, that ain“t bad. â€‹ #6 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies Remember the sequel to Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth? I wouldn“t be surprised if you don“t, seeing how Capcom refused to translate the game into English. And because of that, many gamers were wondering whether the 5th entry into the core series would suffer the same fate or not. Especially with Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney taking so freaking long. But alas, it happened. We were stuck with a digital-only release, keeping us English-speaking peoples from having a choice in the matter, but it happened. And not only was the game given a release that would allow to play it, but it ended up being a fantastic game in its own Wright right. Seriously, Capcom, I owe you one. Actually, I owe you about $30 plus tax. Which I paid. So I guess we“re even. Thanks anyway, though. â€‹ #5 PokÃ©mon X/Y PokÃ©mon was born way back in 1996. And ever since the first entries, whether you knew them as PokÃ©mon Red and Green or PokÃ©mon Red and Blue, the style of the following generations has largely remained the same, while receiving updates to accommodate the advancements in technology. And while the 5th generation, which included PokÃ©mon Black and White, followed by PokÃ©mon Black 2 and White 2, received a certain level of 3-dimensional upgrades, it wasn“t until the following generation that the series made its true transition into 3D. As far as 3-dimensional transitions go, PokÃ©mon X and Y was seamless. The series was transformed while not taking away all we (the fans) had come to love from the series. It was time for an upgrade, and Game Freak, Inc. not only pulled it off brilliantly, but ended up creating quite possibly the greatest PokÃ©mon generation to date. Thanks, guys, for making something so awesome. â€‹ #4 Tomb Raider There are times in a franchise“s life when its parents/guardians must make the decision to either keep it running the course it“s on or give it a reboot. And once Tomb Raider received its new guardians in the form of Crystal Dynamics, it seemed it was time for the latter option. And while some franchise reboots areâ€¦questionable (did you know Sonic “06 was intended to be one?), others manage to pull it off fairly well. In Tomb Raider“s case, we got a reboot that was actually a pretty fantastic game. No more was protagonist Lara Croft known as just some badass chick with some, uh, noticeable features; she was actually a deep, compelling character that the player could feel for (assuming they have emotions) in â€œTomb Raider Reborn.â€ The game still has its flaws, but I still found the game to be quite a bit better than the original. Thank you for making a successful reboot, Mr. and Mrs. Dynamics. I appreciate that. â€‹ #3 Rocksmith 2014 Before you call me a cheater for throwing a 2014 game into a 2013 list, hear me out! Rocksmith 2014 was most definitely released this year; in October, in fact. The name of this game/educational tool/jam session? seems to fall in line with all those sports games that have the following year tacked onto the current year“s game title. But that“s not what“s important here. What IS important is the fact that Rocksmith 2014 is just plain awesome. It“s essentially the same thing as Rocksmith, but turned up to 11 (see what I did there?). Seriously, never have I had such an easy time attempting to learn guitar while also having a similar level of fun as when I play Guitar Hero or Rock Band. What Rocksmith helps me accomplish, Rocksmith 2014 does better. And for that, I am grateful. â€‹ #2 The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Many a Zelda fan who was alive in the 90s will tell you that if they had to choose a favorite, they would choose A Link to the Past. Some will likely go with Ocarina of Time, but there“s no denying that A Link to the Past was a compelling game for a lot of people. So it“s exciting to see a sequel that takes place in the same world(s) (unlike the Oracle games and Link“s Awakening) and plays so similarly. And you know what? It might just be as good, too. Nintendo always has a knack for introducing new mechanics into a game, basing the game around that mechanic, and ending up with something truly magical. The whole Link drawing thing is actually really cool and adds an interesting level of challenge. There“s a lot more I could say about this game, but I“ll refrain from drawing out why I“m so thankful for this game. Just my saying it“s a sequel to A Link to the Past should be reason enough. â€‹ #1 Super Mario 3D World Back at E3, when Super Mario 3D World was first announced, many gamers were a bit disappointed by the way it looked. Unimpressed, a lot of people were asking Nintendo to just give us another Galaxy instead. But then more trailers were released, and people began giving their opinions a 180. And now that the game is out, we now know just how freaking fantastic this game is. Not only is Super Mario 3D World a really, really, really fun game for solo players, but when you play it with family and friends, the level of fun rises tenfold. Seriously, the sheer level of enjoyment I get from playing this game reminds me of why I got a Wii U in the first place. This game is bliss, Nintendo, and I am truly thankful for that. Do you agree with any of the games in this list? What games are you thankful for this year?
It's been a long war. I've fought many battles; up to three a day. However, I sense that it is nearly over, as the enemy has been greatly reduced in this war of attrition. THE TURKEY LEFTOVERS ARE NEARLY GONE! HURRAY! So, anyone want to share any Thanksgiving leftover stories, ideas, or recipes?