January 01, 2017

My Best Games Of 2016

2016 has come and gone and while many gamers will start to look forward to the games of 2017, especially those that were delayed from 2016, it is always good to take a look back and think on the games that we played these past 12 months, so here are a few games that I really enjoyed. These are not ranked, or anything like that, they are just games that I wanted to keep playing.

For a series that is all about running and shooting demons, the last attempt at bringing the series back was less than stellar, so people were naturally wary about the new DOOM, but it was a fear that was not required as it was simply an amazing game.  Whenever the game through a new and often larger enemy at you, you also got a new weapon or ability to match it with, meaning you never felt like you were going to die. While the game was not perfect, it did bring forth so much potential, that I can’t help but being excited for the future of the series now.

From my review:
DOOM is about the best you could expect a modern version of this historic series to be like, it keeps the fun and fast nature of the game’s history intact, but adds in challenges and new ways of doing things to keep it modern. The single player suffers from too many things to track, which can slow things down and the gore kills will literally stop you dead, thankfully the multiplayer suffers from none of that.

Minecraft has been my game I play whenever I have 15 minutes spare, but don’t want to boot into anything to big, it has now been replaced by Dragon Quest Builders. While the game does through quite a bit at you to begin with, it eventually opens the Terra Incognita mode, where you can just build whatever you want. The charming music and character design, mixed in with the theme of Dragon Quest, you would not expect it to work, but it does, the entire game just works and I can’t begin to recall the number of hours I let fall away as I played it. If they do a second game in the series, hopefully they can expand it and make it even better.

From my review:
Dragon Quest Builders is a game that delivers players an RPG, but it does not bog down with pointless mechanics, it is simple that you can pick it up in a matter of hours. The annoyance of having to start over every time you move to a new location is a pain, but given that you don’t have to move on right away, you can explore each region at your own pace. This is a game that offers more depth than other building games, but keeps things light and fresh, letting players of all ages enjoy the experience.

SteamWorld Heist did release in 2015 for Nintendo 3DS and it was a great game there, but it was not until it released onto the PlayStation 4 that I could really fall in love with it. The game has the same artistic style and the same sense of wit and adventure that SteamWorld Dig has, but it managed to do something I never thought possible, make a turn based game fun to play. The game is an adventure, but you play through it taking turns with each character, but the fun comes from trying to nail that perfect shot, taking out the enemy on the far side of the room as they cower behind cover. Add into that, the fact that the game will randomly generate the ships the first time you get into them, meaning each playthrough is going to be unique.

From my review:
SteamWorld Heist is an amazing game, playing through this version brought me to 5 playthroughs total and I still love the experience. It is a turn based game, for those that don’t like that, but it is also an adventure game for those who want a little more from their turn based. Sharp character and world design stand out even more in HD, plus to top it off, the game is just fun to play. 

Forza Horizon 2 was a game I did not expect to like, instead I fell for it, so when the 3rd entry in the series was announced at E3, I was happy, learning that it was to be set in Australia, I was ecstatic. The team from England recreated Australia the way I know it, the trees, road signs, open fields and even the sights like the Great Ocean Road and Bondi Beach, but while they could have done that, I feel Australia as I drive around it, no matter the speed I am going through the world at. When you add local cars from Ford and Holden, it was the perfect blend of Australia, but filled with insane showcase events, speed traps, drift zones and stunts and while Blizzard Mountain is a stretch, I hope they release more for players to experience soon.

From my review:
Forza Horizon 3 is a game that without a doubt, ranks as one of the best racing games ever created, it continues the legacy of past games, but brings in much more than just some new cars. Australia gives a chance for new events and cars to shine, but at the same time highlights the country, if you are looking for the truest video game version of Australia, you will find it here. FH3 is worthy of your time, no matter how steeped you are in car culture, so jump in, start the engine up, crank up the radio and enjoy it.

This is perhaps the game I knew the least about going in, prior to playing Inside, I had not played Limbo, it was never a game that appealed to me, but something about the visual style of Inside grabbed my attention and never let go. I started playing it, thinking what was going on, what were the developers thinking, every scene and each puzzle made no sense, but as I continued pushing forward, something changed in me, it went from being this odd game, to being a living piece of art, I was stopping to watch scenes unfold before me, the other citizens of the world moving about at their own pace, some zombie like, others drones in an office, it was haunting in both what it showed and what it left for players to decide it meant for themselves.

From my review:
Inside is perhaps the single best modern example of games as art, it never forces you to accept its way of thinking, everything you see and do is all on you to understand. While the ending does not really feel like an ending, you would be hard pressed to find a game worthier of your time.

There were more games in 2016 that I enjoyed as well, but these 5 drew me into their worlds for various reasons, but I should given mentions to Pokemon Sun, Uncharted 4, Gears of War 4 and Quantum Break for all providing wonderful experiences. So that is 2016 done, here is too 2017

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