Before completing our annual overview that was mostly focused on gaming, we’ll have a quick look at articles that were neither about releases, reviews or announcements, but which could easily be headed “gaming-related features”.
It would be futile to mention all games in the many sales I covered. Suffice it to say that GOG received the most attention, not only because I received many review codes, but also because the DRM-free concept has to be supported. So big sales like the GOG Big Fall Sale, GOG Big Winter Sale, GOG Double Insomnia Sale were in competition with the usual Steam sale suspects. However, there were still some games only available on GOG and ideas like GOG Indie Piñata in which one would get a surprise game. The GOG and Bethesda Happy Holidays sale with the free game “Bio Menace” was a nice touch as well. With too many weekly promos to mention, only a few were discussed, like the Atari, Rebellion, Mount & Blade series and The Witcher Adventure Game, Timeless Adventures or DRM-free Valentines weekend promos. Some more sales were the Halloween Monster Hunt promo and Silver Bullets sale. As the games aren’t available for that price now, it doesn’t make sense to promote them as bargains, but simply taking a look at them, one might find interesting titles to add to the wishlist.
There were obviously other sales as well, with Humble Bundle the most well-known. However, they only got featured twice with Humble Weekly Bundle: Brawlers and Humble Weekly Bundle: Monochromatic, mainly because beat-em-up games and titles that are visually different are always cool to play and talk about. Let’s not forget Groupees, though. Even if their releases have always been a hit-and-miss affair with way too many casual, indie-look games which lack identity and good graphics, the Lovecraftian and Remute’s Does Time Really Exist? bundles were still nice to cover due to my affinity towards the classic horror author and because Remute had point-and-clicker Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb I remember very fondly from back in the days.
I know last year was full of GOG-related articles, but what can I do? It’s great to see this digital platform grow, as the GOG 1000+ digital games achievement and Bundle Tower shows. Another cool idea that will hopefully some day be possible with all titles was the GOG “reclaim games DRM-free style” initiative, giving the customer the freedom to use a registration code from certain titles one purchased in retail titles and then adding them for free to the GOG library. The GOG Galaxy project also became more prominent with the multiplayer stress test that gave users room to comment on the current stability of the system. It remains to be seen how all the achievements are added in the near future, but given the choice to play with people on Steam would become a bright future indeed.
Bringing more nationalities together in addition to new games developed in those countries was the topic of GOG Goes German and GOG Goes Russian…with Love. While it was certainly a great idea to have new games and the website’s news in various languages, it wasn’t so great to see the Commandos series disappear from German accounts. The same happened later with release news of Wolfenstein and Quake, an unfortunate but obviously understandable move, considering how strict (and ridiculous) German censorship laws are.
Not everything was about DRM-free gaming, though. If you were looking for some Nintendo figures to play with or to put on display as collector’s items, you were going to be disappointed with the Nintendo Amiibo sell out-sold out rampage. Few were produced, the demand was big, and people were upset as they sold on Ebay and Amazon for ridiculous prices. Those people would be even more angry at Nintendo, because today all the rare ones are available for less money, and the company is sitting on too many…
Episodic gaming came with Telltale Games, many companies followed suit, and it wouldn’t go away. There hadn’t been so many games released and announced for quite some time, and even A short history, the present and future of episodic games only scratched the surface of that whole business.
The Witcher Battle Arena “Friends and Foes” update was another interesting addition to the universe of Geralt of Rivia, one I haven’t tried out yet, but with the free-to-play model and CD Project RED’s expertise, this could be quite a lot of fun to play.
2015 was also a year in which I found time to write about titles appropriate (or not) for certain festivities. Happy Easter with Jazz Jackrabbit made me remember those great MS-DOS shareware days in which arcade gaming was as prominent on the PC as on consoles, with a fast-running-and-gunning rabbit being as much fun as a certain blue hedgehog running around and collecting rings.
Finding games which were themed around Christmas wasn’t an easy task with priced titles in Christmas 2015 games special, Part I, but there were certainly a lot of them in the freeware section to choose from in Christmas 2015 games special, Part II.
With this overview finally over and spanning almost two weeks, what were your favorite gaming moments? Or movie moments, or any others? What do you think about the overviews in general? Same procedure next year or something more concise and conventional as a “Best of”?
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