Tag Archives: Volume

The Top 10 Videogames I Didn’t Get to Play in 2015

gd 2015 games i didn't get to play sad puppy

Well, lookie here. The year is done, and every single videogame that came out passed through my hands and by my eyes and got a firm, fair opinion. Er, no. That’s not true. Not the “firm, fair opinion” part, because I write what I feel and feel what I write, but rather the can’t argue with that fact that I simply cannot play every big or small game that drops over the course of twelve months. Perhaps one day, when I retire–you know, in something like fifty years, when people are playing videogames embedded in their eyes.

Right. Here’s a short bullet list of the previous entries in this annual Grinding Down fan-favorite feature (I think I’m its only fan, but that still counts):

With all that perfunctory introduction text said, onwards, towards the titles never to be touched, at least not until maybe next year or some time deep into 2017 when they are handed out as freebies on consoles or dumped together in a money-saving bundle…

10. Just Cause 3

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Considering I only began digging into Rico Rodriguez’s wild, chaos-causing antics in Just Cause 2 this past summer and haven’t even hit the 25% completion mark yet, I’ve got a ways to go before I try out that new, fun-looking squirrel suit in Just Cause 3. This new adventure continues to look like a fun time, but I’m in no rush to explore another mass of open, sprawling landscape with things colored red prime for exploding. I mean I could, but I shouldn’t. Not until all of Panau is fire and ash.

9. Rocket League

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I’m only mildly interested in soccer, having been forced to play it a whole bunch as a young boy, and I’m even less interested in cars. Which is funny when you consider that I’m currently shopping around for a new ride. So long as it has plenty of cup holders and working AC, I’m good. But enough about that. Rocket League evidently fuses these two elements to create a futuristic sport that is fun as all gets. I figured that I’d just never play this, seeing as I sided with getting an Xbox One over a PS4, but rumor has it that it’s coming to Microsoft’s bulky console soon enough.

8. Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below


I love the Dragon Quest roleplaying series, but am even more fascinated with its spin-offs, like Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime and Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker. I’ve never played a Dynasty Warriors game, as these seem too button-mashy for my thumbs, but this one comes with all the iconic and goofy trappings that the RPG series is known for, as well as many smiling slimes to slice. Color me, at the very least, intrigued; plus, it has a wickedly weird title, something I cannot resist and which can only be shortened to…DQH: TWTWATBB.

7. Life is Strange

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I have the first episode on Steam thanks a recent bundle from Humble Bundle, but I still don’t see myself playing this over the next day or so. Regardless, of all the episodic adventure game series that were happening this year, Life is Strange seemed to be the one garnering the most interest. Probably for good reasons. I really enjoyed the studio’s Remember Me and its time-rewinding mechanics, which I know play a part of this game’s plot. I’m eager to see what terrible choices I can make and who will remember what.

6. Volume

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While I might not have enjoyed the repetitive nature of Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions, I applauded the effort it took to stretch that content out into something bigger and better than just the ten or so training levels you easily handle in Metal Gear Solid. Volume seems to be a big fan of those levels too, at least from a style and gameplay mechanics perspective. Knowing full well how great of a narrative Mike Bithell was able to create for something like Thomas Was Alone, a simplistic-looking platformer starring colored shapes, I have to imagine there’s a good, cool-as-heck spy story to go along with Volume.

5. Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition


Over the course of 2015, I’ve played a few different match-three style puzzle games, some new and some old–and some of which I never even got to write about, though y’all already know my high and low thoughts on Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight and Pokemon Shuffle. That said, haven’t gotten around to Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition, which seems like your typical addicting match puzzle game, but smeared in all things Nintendo. I see nothing wrong with that. Evidently, this comes bundled with another Puzzle & Dragons game, one more slanted towards acting like a JRPG, and I see nothing wrong with that also.

4. Grow Home

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I’m not going to lie–I miss the days of character-driven platforming games, where the goal was often navigating an open space, while also collecting trinkets and thingamajigs to meet some required demand before hitting the exit. Every day I have to resist popping in my PS2 copies of Jak and Daxter or Ratchet and Clank, to remember what it feels like to jump from one colorful platform via a cartoony character to another. I assure you, it is satisfying. Anyways, out of seemingly nowhere, Ubisoft released Grow Home earlier this year, which stars a goofy robot growing vines and climbing higher into the sky. The graphics are stylish and colorful, and I am super curious to explore this world. Perhaps next year.

3. Her Story

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I don’t know much about Her Story, and I don’t want to know much about Her Story. That’s deliberate. From what I can gather, it is an FMV-driven adventure game where you play a detective, watching clips from taped interviews with a woman involved in some kind of crime. From there, it is up to you to don your deerstalker, take out a pad of paper and pen, and investigate further clips in a database by searching for key words and phrases. Sounds really awesome, especially since I’ve been listening to a lot Serial and watching Making a Murderer this week. The non-professional detective in me is eager to get to work and solve a crime with only my noggin.

2. Undertale

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Alas, I have not lived up to many of my promises in 2015. I was hoping to finally see Final Fantasy IX through to its conclusion, as well as get farther along on the lonely path that is clearing out all the Metal Gear Solid games (more on that in a bit). After those promises, there was another one, unspoken, but beginning to blossom…one that has sat inside my chest since May 2015, eating away at my heart. See, that’s when I, at last, got hold of a copy of EarthBound (as a digital download on the Wii U), a game which Undertale, as far as I know, takes a lot of inspiration from. I’d like to play the former before I touch the latter.

1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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I thought I was making good progress on getting through all these Metal Gear Solid games. In 2015, I finished replaying Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and experienced, for the very first time, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. In a way, I was on a roll, but then I hit Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. It’s not that Peace Walker is a bad game; in fact, it has some style to its cutscenes, but is perhaps bloated with far too many teeny tiny missions that take too long to complete, and everything is doled out at the pace of a snail on speed and too much caffeine. All of that is to say that I’m far from the end of it, and even then I still need to get through Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes before I dive into The Phantom Pain, which, from the little I’ve seen, is kind of similar to Peace Walker. Hmm.

So, there’s my list. Ba-dah-dum. It certainly contains some heavy-hitters from the last twelve months, though I’m just happy to not see Fallout 4 on here to tell y’all the truth. I’ll drop a few others that didn’t quite make the above cut, but are games I would have liked to try out this year, but did not: Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 4, Downwell, Happy Home Academy, Emily is Away, and Cibele. I’ll cut it off there for now because, really, truthfully, depressingly, the list is ever endless.

Now what about you reading this here blog of mine? Tell me a game or two that came out in 2015 that, for some reason, you didn’t get to touch whether because it is on a different console or your backlog is simply too massive or your mother declared it too violent for your pubescent eyes or whatever. Go on. Leave a comment. Curious minds want to know, and I’ll see everyone back here in December 2016 for another fantastically depressing list.

The untouched stealth games in my collection

GD more stealth games in the pipeline

I’m either just about done with Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater or totally done with it, now ready to bounce back to focusing on putting Queen Brahne and her big queeny bum in their respective places in Final Fantasy IX. That said, my recent time of crawling lovingly slow through tall grass or donning a gator mask and gently wading through a marsh past enemies has reaffirmed that I love stealth games. Sure, I don’t love them as much as I enjoy roleplaying games, especially the Japanese ilk, but I’d put them right under there in the number two spot, rubbing shoulders with point-and-click adventures.

Glancing over both my tangible collection of games and ever-growing digital stash, I realized I have a ton of stealth games still to play, still to compare to Snake’s skills and style from the Metal Gear series. Oh, and for those following along, the next three to conquer–Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes–will be all new to me; I hope I can get through them in time for the recently announced release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain this upcoming September 1.

Let me talk briefly about a few other stealth titles that I’m champing at the bit to try, but am resisting in order to not take on too many games at once. Hopefully I can experience all of these sooner than later.


A recent PlayStation Plus freebie for March 2015. CounterSpy is a 2.5D side-scrolling stealth game from Dynamighty, with a stunning, stylistic look. It comes across like you’re playing a Cold War propaganda poster. It’s not a traditional stealth game, but I’m looking forward to sneaking through enemy bases and stopping nuke launches without anyone being the wiser. It sounds like some of the camera angles can be problematic.


Another freebie for PlayStation Plus users, though I don’t remember if I downloaded it this year or late last year. Oh well. I have it on my PlayStation 3, and though many reviews were critical of Thief and disappointed in how it turned out, I still want to give it a try. The idea of shooting out torches with “water” arrows is amusing.


Let me come clean: I have not given Dishonored a fair shake. I have the game in two forms actually: the “Game of the Year” edition for PlayStation 3 and a free digital copy on the Xbox 360. Yup, I bought the game and then a few weeks later got a free copy. Whatever. I only really played it once and found the first true mission–where you have to eliminate High Overseer Campbell–a real disappointment. The stealthing is so clunky and finicky, and I totally flubbed my way through it, murdering more people than I preferred for a silent assassin. Maybe I’m terrible at Dishonored, or maybe I need more practice.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell

I’ve never read any of Tom Clancy’s Sam Fisher-driven books, but they seem like solid action-lead espionage adventures. Interestingly, the primary focus and hallmark of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell , especially the gameplay for the first game in the series, is a heavy emphasis on light and darkness. Players are expected to use shadows to their advantage. This sounds like a fun mechanic, similar to Snake’s reliance on camouflage in the jungle. Plus, I’ll take any chance I can to don thermal goggles and spot hot bodies from afar.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Look, I know that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is more of a military turn-based tactical alien invasion/planetary defense strategy game than anything strictly stealth-oriented, but there does appear to be some elements of stealth in the gameplay to appreciate. I’ve never been a huge fan of the RTS genre, but there’s something intriguing about this one, something that I did enjoy in Fire Emblem: Awakening–permadeath. That risk/reward of popping out from behind a rock and not instantly evaporating an alien, which results in your named soldier buying the farm.

Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark

Originally called Stealth Bastard Deluxe: Tactical Espionage Arsehole, the renamed Stealth Inc is yet another PlayStation Plus freebie that I downloaded and then never played. Its gameplay has been likened to both Metal Gear Solid and…Super Meat Boy. Not sure how the latter of that comparison works, but I’ll give it a whirl nonetheless. It seems to come packaged with a serious case of attitude, too.

Hitman games

Though I had a horrible time with Hitman: Blood Money, I still have a few more to try, such as Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and Hitman: Contracts. I’ve also only played the first level of Hitman: Absolution, so, much like how I treated Dishonored, I need to dig into this one a little more. I am a big fan of taking Agent 47 and dressing him up in a range of colorful costumes to get him through a scenario, but some of the mechanics from those earlier titles are a bit too wonky to grok. Like tossing coins and strangling dudes with wires, both of which I imagine are extremely important to master in order to remain undetected.

Lastly, there are some intriguing stealth games coming out later this year, such as Volume from Thomas Was Alone‘s Mike Bithell, Invisible, Inc. from those fine folks at Klei Entertainment that previously amazed me with Mark of the Ninja, and probably some others I either don’t remember or know they exist yet.

As you can see, there’s plenty of material for me to crouch-walk my way through, even if it takes me an eternity. If you can think of any other great stealth games I should try out, let me know, and I’ll add them to my mental list.