Top 10 PC Games of 2015

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Perhaps getting more and more jaded each year, but haven’t had a chance to play many of this years big releases :(
That and a bunch of this years big games were only on console- bloodborne, until dawn, splatoon, xenoblade chronicles X, GH Live….
Still haven’t really had much incentive to buy a new console, especially considering how underpowered they seem to be, 20something FPS on games only a few years after release doesn’t really bode well for the future of the console. Majority of the games thankfully have had PC releases as well.

So without further ado, here are the best games i’ve played this year – emphasis on ‘I’ve played’, i’ll list a list a bunch of the big releases that I haven’t played at the bottom for reference.

 

#10 – The Beginners Guide

Walking Game // Everything unlimited ltd // £7

Something of an alternate game, The Beginners guide sends you on a rollercoaster of emotions and twists in the 90 minute or so runtime, while it’s undoubtably the least ‘fun’ game on this list, it’s (hopefully) fictional story elicits emotions rarely found on this medium, and that’s impressive in it’s own right.

#9 Fallout 4

Action RPG // Bethesda // £40

Yeah, sure, it’s more Fallout, it’s a good game, the base building stuff was a nice addition, as well as generally streamlining a bunch of stuff, the gunplay is more satisfying this time round as well which is always a good thing. Yet in true fallout fashion, at some point I left the game for a week or so and just found myself fed up and tired of it all, the 40something hours I spent with it were great though.

#8 Her Story

Puzzle? // Sam Barlow // £5

Surprise indie hit this year, Her Story did a lot of neato things we haven’t really seen before in video games, including lack of a proper video game ending, letting you simply finish when you think you are done. Her Story doesn’t hold your hand at all, doesn’t remind you what has happened or well… do anything aside from present a chopped up bit of video and let the player have at it. That said, the story and the unique way it unfolds is incredibly memorable, as instead of having key points of plot revealed to you, you have to piece it all together yourself, making you really feel like a detective.

#7 Keep talking and nobody explodes

Party/Puzzle // Steel Crate Games // £11

Oh man, best local co-op experience of 2015? I think so! KTANE is a truly genius game, and one that isn’t out of place at a party or small social gathering filled with ‘normies’. This bomb defusing puzzle game is equal parts accessible, challenging and hilarious, regardless of which side of the asymetrical gameplay you are a part of. For those unfamiliar, one player sits at the computer and defuses a complicated bomb with the help of experts – and by experts I mean your idiot friends sitting on the couch in your room with you, staring at an equally complicated defusal manual where they must use logic to decipher the correct steps to relay to the defuser.

#6 Invisible Inc

Stealth Strategy // Klei Entertainment // £15

I did a full review of it way earlier in the year, but Invisible inc was a surprise gem this year, with it’s turn based stealth action and roguelike features, Invisible Inc was metal gear solid meets FTL in the best of ways, providing a challenging but fair game with some great rewards and replayability for those that get invested.

#5 Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

Shooter // Treyarch // £40

Surprisingly, this year’s Call of Duty instalment is genuinely fun and the first title where i’ve truly enjoyed the multiplayer since MW2. There is some fair value for money here, with a full 4 player co-op campaign, zombies co-op campaign, dead ops 2, zombies, and of course the multiplayer (though good luck finding much other than TDM/Domination on PC). Guns in online seem fairly balanced and specialist weapons are less annoying than expected (though that flamethrower quite desperately needs a nerf), it’s still not as good as TItanfall in my opinion, but it’s probably still the best online shooter i’ve played this year.

#4 – Cities Skylines

City Builder // Colossal Order // £23

A fantastic city builder, after the fiasco that was the latest Sim City I think everyone was really gagging for this sort of game, and developer Colossal order’s stance on modding really helped push Cities Skylines to it’s maximum potential, with the community fixing all of the minor gripes people had issues with.

#3 Life is Strange

Story Adventure // DONTNOD entertainment // £18

I’m a sucker for a good time travel story, and Life is strange hooked me in from the first episode with it’s interesting approach to being able to see all of the decisions you can make. My biggest mistake was not waiting for all of the episodes to be out before playing it, but thankfully that’s now a non-issue. The plot is a real rollercoaster of emotions, in a good way, and though there were a few tedious segments which slowed down the pace of the game (i’m looking at you, bottles and stealth sections) LIS was a very enjoyable 10 hours or so.

#2 – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Stealth Action // Konami // £46

It was a painful shame that the latter part of the game wasn’t as good as the first, but thankfully the first 20 hours of the game are so good that you’ll probably be able to forgive it’s lackluster ending and unfinished story.

#1 – Undertale

RPG // Toby Fox // £7

Don’t let the very vocal diehard community put you off, Undertale is an incredible game – fantastic gameplay coupled with brilliant writing, lovable characters and a great soundtrack, the game is short but oh so memorable, and undoubtedly this year’s must play game, and game of the year. I was still getting chills down my spine listening to bits of the soundtrack weeks later.

 

Special mention: Grand Theft Auto V (PC)
Only just got released for PC this year, but obviously the game has been out for much longer than that, Seeing release in 2013 originally, 2014 for next gen, and 2015 for PC. I held out and didn’t play it until this year and holy shit the amount of content and sheer enjoyment packed into this game is fantastic, so glad I waited for this version. If I was treating this game as being released in 2015, it would probably be number 1.

 

Unplayed: Bloodborne, Witcher 3, Arkham Knight, SW Battlefront, Rise of the tomb raider, Rainbow Six Siege, AC Syndicate, Halo 5, Until Dawn, Rocket League, Pillars of Eternity, Mad Max, Xenoblade Chronicles X, GH Live, Amplitude, Helldivers,

Merry Christmas to all

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Jeez, that time of year again?

Got some nice things this year, parents got me a nice warm hoodie and the phone i’ve been using the last 4 months or so (Samsung Galaxy S6). Shirt from aunt, shirt and hat from little brother, and some tetris lights, guiness book of gaming records and… a jar of mustard? from the girlfriend.
Oh, I also got shovel knight from Sean, as well as downwell and Jackbox 2 from Henrik, the latter was particularly nice as it’s that time of year where we go visit family and friends.

 

Also got teased a bit by the national lottery, who sent me an email on the xmas eve morning like ‘YOU’VE WON… a lotto lucky dip’. Aww.

/uploads/

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Since MBA has been a thing, i created the file uploader and folder as a personal dumping ground for shit, sometimes if I can’t find my USB stick or if I need to store a program or file for use later, I just upload it and download it again later.
Something I didn’t think of however, are search engine spiders, which has recently managed to land me in some hot water.

I’m not entirely sure why, but for some reason, years ago I needed to move a document from X to Y for work so I threw it on my hoster, I actually even changed the file extension so it wouldn’t be obviously accessible. Then stupidly, I forgot to delete it – anyone who has looked in that folder knows there is literal years worth of garbage on there that has never been cleaned out.

Roll round to christmas this year, and apparently someone googled something that was in that document (a laptop serial number, why anyone would google this, is beyond me). Now heres the interesting part, a google bot analyzed this .txt file, realised that it’s actually an xls file, and then put the search results online.

For reference, this is what you would see if you opened the file up – http://meng.s-ul.eu/NZk9rxXh

So yeah, escalated up the chain somehow, and now i’m in some shit for saying bad things about work.
Let that be a lesson to y’all. Internet and google are watching.

I’ve hopefully fixed the problem since, after reading up on robots.txt and how the google bots work, so at least I learned something valuable today.

 

 

This is where it gets more entertaining however.

They have obviously been collecting evidence against me, and all of the presented evidence so far is from my /uploads/ folder…
Aforementioned evidence has random number filenames generated by my phone, and yet they have been found and presented, which leads me to believe that some poor soul has manually trawled through at least a few years of content in that folder.

That folder is where jpgs go to die, and honestly I feel sort of sorry for anyone who would go through and actually look at everything uploaded in there, because there was definitely a phase where people would upload big black dicks with odd filenames and try to get people to click on it (thanks boyce).

So to end this post on a lighter note, heres a small selection of stuff that’s in the folder, and probably things that someone at HR got to enjoy while on the job.

http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/hulka911ia.jpg
http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/psu20080207_073731_016.png
http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/2015-01-29%2013.57.31.png
http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/wataportal.jpg
http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/singit.png
http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/heavyflow.jpg
http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/DP%202013-06-26%2015-33-01-95.jpg
http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/mayaobviously.png
http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/ohlawd.jpg
http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/amazing1.JPG
http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/conqueredworldoffantasyae6.jpg
http://www.mengsbizarreadventure.com/uploads/cthulu.jpg

I dont even know who uploaded a lot of this stuff. As an aside, i’m pretty sad I couldn’t find our minecraft rendition of the twin towers exploding, I’m sure it’s on there somewhere though.

Life: December 2015

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Only two weeks into December and jesus christ what a ride it’s been.

The first few days of the month I was still in Germany enjoying the beautiful christmas markets with the gf, since then it’s been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs.

Work had been hectic, with long shifts forced by all of the businesses trying to desperately get their shit fixed before Christmas, had to do some overtime to get stuff done, which absolutely sucked since we essentially don’t get overtime.

Had some days off somewhere inbetween, and went to see Winter Wonderland in hyde park, which seems awfully big this year round, though at the same time it looks much more…commercialized? generic? I’m not sure how to describe it, but it just kind of screams ‘give us your money’ rather than ‘festive cheer’

This was shortly followed by a few days meeting gf’s friends and hilariously large extended family, we ventured into the middle of nowhere in kent (around canterbury maybe?), to a family house with like 2 kitchens, 2 lounges, and a small hall for a dining room – where approximately 30 people would sit for lunch, followed by 5 desserts, shortly followed by tea consisting of 4 or 5 different birthday cakes and crackers and cheese. yikes.

Then more recently (read: yesterday) I got into trouble at work for some files I uploaded years ago and forgot about, more on that later.
hopefully I don’t get sacked, as that’ll put quite the damper on Christmas and wouldn’t be particularly festive on my companies part, but they probably hate me anyway so who knows. I don’t really know what an anxiety attack feels like, but I can’t be too far off right now.

The rest of the month will likely be something along the lines of: Party at friend’s place, then dinner at dad’s side of family for boxing day, followed by dinner at mom’s side of family for Christmas day.

Munich 2015 – Day 4 – Füssen

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Overslept. On the agenda today was Fussen, home of the famous Neuschwanstein Castle – built for Ludwig II, but better known as ‘that castle that inspired Disney’s Sleeping beauty castle’.

We practically went straight from hotel to Munich central station to get aboard the train to Fussen, the ride would take 2 hours and send us far southwest of Munich, down towards the border near where Germany meets Austria. We also met a rather confused american on the train by name of Jared, who had evidently done minimal research on how to get to the castle, seemed a nice guy though.

Eventually we reached Fussen, and kind of guessed our way towards the castle, basically jumping on the first bus we saw that had castle in the description, it paid off though, and we were whisked 10 minutes through the town and dropped outside the tourist information center near the ticket office for the castles.

There are normally 3 options for getting to the castle, a 25-40 minute uphill mile trek, horse carriage, or a bus – however due to ice, we were basically left with only one option – the long walk up.

The walk was worth it however, we got to see Hohenschwangau Castle as well from afar, high upon a different hill, and then towards the end of the long trek, we got up and close to the main event for the day.

Neuschwanstein castle was as gigantic as it was picturesque, and was practically an exaggeration of what one would deem a fairytale style castle. After taking pictures of the outside of the castle, we headed inside for our guided tour, the tour itself was fairly quick and in a large tour group, but still impressive as we walked our way through the castles excessively glamorous interiors. No photography allowed unfortunately, but I can say that everything inside was just… excessive – intricately carved statues coming off everything, from support beams to bed poles, all walls painted with impressive murals, there was a hall which was (back in it’s time) lit by approximately 600 candles.

Munich2015-513

After our short tour, we headed back down to the town to catch the long train back, the plan being to head back to munich for some final christmas market shopping and a nice meal at a traditional style restaurant we had found the day before. There were trains going back to Munich at around 4:06, 4:20, 4:34 and 6:05…. we of course arrived at the station at 4:45…

So it was back to the town for a little walk around before the train came, the main shopping road was very festively decorated, with big tree and some form of castle as a backdrop to the already nicely lit street. Didn’t think i’d be able to last until Munich without eating, so I ended up having a kebab while waiting, the place affectionately describing themselves as the best kebab in Fussen when in reality the town was so damn small they were probably the only fast food in Fussen.

Train eventually came and we rode back to civilization, in time to catch the end of the christmas market (they close at around 8:45), bought some stollen for the family back home and window shopped a bit before deciding to head to the restaurant, I was pretty okay with just eating more street food for dinner, but being our last night out we thought we should have a nice sit-down meal to finish the holiday.

The restaurant was full. Oh. We rushed back to the christmas market to go for plan B – some sausages from the multitude of stalls that were selling them, however in the 5 minutes we were in the alley looking at the menu and being rejected from the restaurant apparently every single christmas market stall had decided to close up. Slightly upset, we kind of just wandered around the backstreets trying to find somewhere else we could maybe eat, when eventually by luck we found a place called ‘Ratskeller’, which offered a selection of sausages, along with blackforest cake, both of which I was pretty okay with eating.

The restaurant itself was underground, yet had a hearty and homely vibe, we gorged ourselves on their variety plate of sausages, which included nuremberg bratwurst, Munich wollwurst (skinless veal sausage), beef smoked beer knackbratwurst and schnapps bratwurst, and came on a bed of mash and sauerkraut (not keen on the sauerkraut) before heading back to the hotel to get ready for our departure on the next day (added some pictures taken on the flight back, because I could)

My first trip to Germany has been a memorable one, I’ll be back again sometime, if only for the sausage.