Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Games of the Year - 2015

Well, it doesn't seem like five minutes ago I did the last one of these but the year is already over! It's been a busy one for me, and accordingly it has seen the least posts here at Red Parsley in the six years I've been rambling away here, but I've still managed to play a good variety of games on an ever-widening variety of systems.

Over the coming year I hope to continue this. I've started to feel a tad overwhelmed by the enormity of the indie/homebrew/doujin scene but I will continue to cover any titles that catch my eye in addition to covering old favourites and discovering new gems (hopefully at least) on the older systems. I also have a huge backlog of films and TV shows to review but I'll get through as many as I can.

Anyway, I hope you all, whether you are chance visitors or long-term readers of my page, continue to enjoy my various posts. Feedback is always welcome, positive or negative - what would you like to see more of or less of? In the meantime, here is the largely-pointless Top Ten Best Games I reviewed throughout 2015:

10. Super Bomberman by Hudson Soft (1993) - SNES

Only recently reviewed here, the first of the SNES Bomberman games wasn't quite as flashy as the PC Engine version that preceded it, but it was the introduction to the great series for many of us gamers here in the UK, and a mighty fine one it was too. Packed full of hours of manic blasting fun for one player or several. (full review here)

9. Vroom by Lankhor (1991) - Atari ST

I hadn't even heard of this one until I saw a fellow blogger post something about it, but a few weeks later and it was already one of my favourite driving games on the home micros. Unfortunately, an issue with the controls in one game mode puts true greatness out of reach but it's still damn good (and fast). (full review here)

8. Be Ball by Hudson Soft (1990) - PC Engine

This is another one I knew little of until recently. It's a rather unusual action/puzzle game which tasks you with dragging four coloured balls to the corresponding plates within a series of mazes. It can be quite tough but it's good fun too, and probably quite unlike any other game you've played before. (full review here)

7. DonPachi by Cave / Atlus (1995) - Arcade

Long have I heard gamers warbling on about Cave and their supposedly impressive shmups but this was the first one I got around to playing properly and... it's pretty impressive! It's a bit bullet-hell-ish but it's not as ridiculous as many examples I've played, and it looks and sounds great too. A top blaster. (full review here)

6. Streets of Rage by Sega (1991) - MegaDrive / Genesis

Nintendo might've hijacked Final Fight but us Sega fans didn't cry for long as we soon had the stonking Streets of Rage to make us forget all about Capcom's game. The graphics weren't quite as flashy but they were still good and it offered some truly awesome brawling action. And that soundtrack... (full review here)

5. Radiant by Hexage (2014) - Mobile

No, your eyes do not deceive you - one of my favourite games of the past year has been this humble mobile phone game! It's luminous, retro-flavour graphics are delightful as well as its decent ambient soundtrack, and the addictive blasty action offers a surprising amount of replay value too. (full review here)

4. Magical Pop'n by Polestar (1995) - SNES

The SNES was fab machine but an alarming number of its quality titles never left its native Japan for some reason. One of them is this, a wonderful cute platformy arcade adventure. Japanese text is kept to a minimum leaving players to revel in its sizeable and hugely appealing game-world. A real delight. (full review here)

3. Gauntlet 2 by Atari (1986) - Arcade

The original Gauntlet has long been one of my favourite arcade games and this sequel offers... pretty much everything that game did! On the downside there's little that's new here, but the upside is, essentially, a crapload of new Gauntlet stages, and for fans like me, that's most welcome. (full review here)

2. Test Drive Unlimited by Eden Games (2007) - PC

I actually first played this on a friend's PS2 and I'd been meaning to play it properly ever since. Soon after doing so, on the PC this time, I was hooked! It's set on an entire Hawaiian island and you have complete freedom to explore it in a wide variety of cars and take up all sorts of challenges. Awesome and immersive. (full review here)

1. OutRun by Sega (1986) - Arcade

What can I say about this one? Almost everyone who grew up in the 80's loves it, and that includes me. Indeed, it's almost single-handedly responsible for me even getting into video games to start with. Spectacular, even revolutionary in its day, and still great fun today, even without the nostalgia. (full review here)



  1. Some good choices in there. Nice to see some love for Gauntlet 2!

  2. Cheers :) I've always been very keen on the Gauntlet games. Well, the 2D ones at least!

    1. Have you played the Spectrum version of Gauntlet II? Superb stuff, don't think I played any Spectrum game more than that one!

    2. Yep, I had Gauntlet 1 on a tape of some sort and Gauntlet 2 on the Giants compilation. It was the first version I played of either. Me and a friend of mine had many arguments over the 'It Monster' :)

  3. I do have the PS2 ones but they never really captured the magic for me. However the new one on the PS4 is rather awesome.

  4. I don't have any of the current gen machines but I did find out just yesterday that one of the Lego games on PS4 (and probably everything else) has a Gauntlet mode or stage. It looks great :)