Five Big Surprise Announcements In 2015

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Looking back at 2015, we received many of the awesome gaming experiences we were promised. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt turned out every bit as awesome as expected, the team at From Software pushed us to our limits once more with Bloodborne, and Nintendo enabled us to bring our imagination to life with the intuitive creation tools found in Super Mario Maker. Each of those releases was anticipated heading into 2015, and while they helped define the year in gaming, 2015 will always be a year when several dream-come-true announcements were made.

With 2016 knocking at the door, we wanted to look back at some of the most exciting announcements that caught us by surprise over the past 12 months. 

The Return Of Music Games

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (December 31, 2015)

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (December 31, 2015)

With 2015 in the rearview mirror, this week was a time to reflect. From the best multiplayer games to the greatest tales told this year, plenty of blogs dissected the best games of the year. Let's hope 2016 also delivers great experiences.

Community Blogs For December 24 – December 30:

Thank You, Game InformerMightyMagikarp has reached 100 blogs published on Game Informer. To celebrate, he writes about his time on the site, what he's looking forward to in the world of gaming, and if he'll ever evolve into MightyGyarados.

Looking Back On Sony In 2015

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2015 was another year where the games division of Sony mostly played it safe with a solid line-up of exclusive games and downloadable content but also showcased some forays into virtual reality experimentation.

Let's examine the publisher's highs and lows this year.

Sony Ships Over 30 Million Units

Looking Back On Nintendo in 2015

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This was a hard, long year for Nintendo. There were stumbles along the way, including the tragic loss of its president, but there were also victories that demonstrated that Nintendo was thinking long-term and that brighter days may be ahead for the company.

Let's take a look back at Nintendo's triumphs, mistakes, and tragedies in 2015.

A Weak Year For The 3DS

Capcom's Stephanie Palermo Shares Her Top Games Of 2015

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On the lead up to Game Informer's Game of the Year awards of 2015, we've invited a number of the video game industry's influential figures to share their favorite games of the year.

Stephanie Palermo has been working the last seven years to establish herself in the games industry. A big fan of role-playing and horror games, Palermo started out pursuing her passion for video games by co-founding the website Spawn Kill, where she also served as editor-in-chief. From there, she decided to pursue a role working in public relations at Triple Point before finding her way to Capcom as a PR manager where she represents franchises like Resident Evil and Ace Attorney.

Here are Palermo's favorite games of 2015:

Making Room For The Vive – Valve And HTC Think They Have A Better Way To Do VR

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Making Room For The Vive – Valve And HTC Think They Have A Better Way To Do VR

Technology constantly reshapes the rooms in our homes. A few centuries ago, our living rooms were filled with fine artwork, musical instruments, and other worldly trinkets designed to impress and entertain dinner guests. But when the radio showed up – promising a steady stream of news and gossip from the outside world – we made room for it. When the television provided the opportunity to bring the cinema into our homes, we made room for it. When the personal computer promised to streamline our workload and plug us into a larger, connected world, we made room for it. Valve and HTC are banking on the idea that we’re ready to make room in our homes virtual reality as well.

For years, the creators of Half-Life and Portal have been developing a virtual reality system that is a little different than the technology Oculus and Sony have created. Valve’s VR technology asks users to open up a five-meter square of space in their home. In return it offers unparalleled head tracking and immerses users in unique virtual worlds. The technology is impressive, but will Valve be able to trade new worlds for a section of their users’ homes?

[This is an expanded version of an article that originally appeared in Game Informer issue 273]

Insomniac's James Stevenson Shares His Top 10 Games Of 2015

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On the lead up to Game Informer's Game of the Year awards of 2015, we've invited a number of the video game industry's influential figures to share their favorite games of the year.

James Stevenson is a community manager at Insomniac Games, and has been involved in the development of Ratchet & Clank, Fuse, and the company's upcoming slate of games. He's also a huge gamer, and is a great follow on Twitter for people looking for thoughts on different titles.

Five Things We Want In Destiny's Next Sparrow Racing League

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If you play Destiny, it’s likely that you at least took a shot at the inaugural Sparrow Racing League that ran throughout this month. Seemingly in response to player demand, Bungie crafted a dedicated racing game mode with two lengthy tracks to learn, and set us loose to learn the ropes of hitting high speed. We liked the addition, but with additional fleshing out, it could be a far more robust and full-featured game mode.

Like most gaming communities, those of us who play Destiny can vacillate wildly on how we feel about a new feature in a favorite game. The reality is often somewhere in between the extremes of hot and cold. Sparrow Racing League is no exception; the game mode has been a fun and surprising activity in recent weeks, but the sense of repetition, as well as gameplay inconsistencies, holds back the experience. 

It seems very likely that Bungie will bring back Sparrow Racing for a second season. When they do, here are five features, additions, and changes that would make it even better, as well as a bonus idea for how sparrow racing can expand beyond the league.