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Old 01-01-2017   #1
Don Chipotle
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Wherein the Best and Worst Games of 2016 Are Mentioned

Boy what a shitshow 2016 was, right? A lot of old celebrities died. A demagogue won an election and now the world is just waiting to see what it will take for supporters to see a flaw in their guy...or for the world to end if you're a doomsayer. Batman v Superman came out and its terribleness was second only to the somehow even worse Suicide Squad. I learned I need to have better choice in friends as someone I regularly play games with turned out to be both a Brexit and Trump supporter which made for some pretty awkward moments. Oh, and Mariah Carey committed career suicide live on television which was a perfect period on the dumpster fire of the year.

But hey, there were some pretty good video games amidst all the shit. There were some stinkers in the midst as well but I wanna go into 2017 positively so for now let's just dish about the games I enjoyed.

We're gonna follow the tradition of last year and if people genuinely care I'll actually put my top ten.


Let's go.


BEST PERSONA GAME



Digimon are the champions.

You might be thinking "Hey wait a minute, didn't a Persona-esque game by Atlus come out this year?" And yes, it did. But here is a game that might as well be Persona: Digimon Edition and I don't just say that because of the music posted but because of its whole aesthetic. The menus are very slick and have a yellow/black color scheme to them and the aesthetic of the game has a lot of influence to that particular Persona 4 style.

I'm not kidding when I say that one way you enter the digital world where the game's dungeon content is contained is by hopping inside a television. But even forgetting how similar in style it is to a Persona 4, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth is actually a legitimately good JRPG. There's an intriguing, mature story, there's a tactical approach to raising and evolving your Digimon, there's secret bosses that are challenging, and it's all wrapped up in a colorful, clever package.

This is a Digimon game made for the people, like me, who were into Digimon as a child and grew up to be fucking nerds. And it's great. The surprise game of the year, I'd say, in that I expected shit and got genuine gold.

BEST DARK SOULS GAME



How weird is it that Dark Souls became such a thing that games are now being compared to it? Like when you think about it, Dark Souls wasn't even the first game of its type but it has just become so accepted that a game can be described as 'Dark Souls-like'. Let It Die, a free to play PS4 game, is pretty much what happens when you let Grasshopper decide to combine the random generation elements of a rogue-like game and Dark Souls.

And it's fucking rad as shit.

Well actually there's kind of some technical issues and it's not the prettiest game and it sure isn't as refined or fluid as, say, Bloodborne or something but god damn if it isn't unique and fun on its own merit. Instead of just picking up your 'souls' when you die, your new character has to fucking FIGHT YOUR OLD ONE to assert dominance and claim whatever shit you had. You can send characters to other people's servers and games to steal from them like in MGS V only this is not nearly as annoying and shit. There's a character named Uncle Death and he's a grim reaper that skateboards and calls you senpai and it's charmingly bizarre and I love it dearly.

Also did I mention it's fucking free.

BEST GAME THAT PROVED GAMERS ARE MANIPULATED IDIOTS




Full disclosure, I haven't played this game nor do I really have any desire to. That said....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA H YOU FUCKING IDIOTS. Did you honestly think a small dev team, who prior to this made fucking JOE DANGER, would somehow reinvent the fucking indie game wheel? Sony, did you really think this would be the game to put your fucking horse on?

Cry foul on Sean Murray all you like but you fucking people are the ones who always say "DON'T BUY INTO HYPE" and then turned around and bought into this hype hook line and sinker.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHH AAHHAA


BEST DUMB GAME



I'M IN

The first Watch Dogs got a lot of shit for being a 'downgraded' experience or whatever but its biggest crime was being a fucking mediocre game that took itself far too seriously with its concept. Aiden Pierce was grumpy uncle Hacker Batman and the game was trying to tell a story with all the subtlety of a brick to the fucking face.

Watch_Dogs 2 opens with Marcus Holloway waking up from a drunken stupor in his underwear after being accepted into a group of hackers that look like they fell off the set of the seminal film Hackers. Watch_Dogs 2 is a vastly superior game to its predecessor because it embraces the inherent ridiculousness of its own mechanics.

Rather than be about avenging your dead whoever and being grim, the plot of Watch Dogs 2 is a bunch of hacker asshole kids want people to download their app, give them processing power, all so that they can essentially take down a company that keeps digital profiles of people. It's a bunch of kids angry that corporations are more interested in making money than in looking out for the little guy. The allusions to real world people are thin as all shit - for example there's an early side mission where you trick a pharmaceutical executive (who jacks prices up and who wants to buy a rapper's album for millions) into giving away money to charity. It's not subtle but it is a really funny bit all the same.

The characters are actually fun and quirky without crossing into that annoying territory. Wrench is a cool guy. My problem with the game is tonal in that since the point of the game is to essentially get Twitter followers by live streaming and fucking over assholes and corporations it makes no sense for there to be guns. Why does this fake Scientology organization have armed guards on patrol? More importantly, why would a bunch of shitty hacker kids want to go around murdering people to spread awareness of bad people? But when you play it like a hacker stealth game, using your drone and phone to cause cyber stealth chaos...it's legitimately enjoyable.

You're an alright game, Watch Dogs 2.

BEST NEW POKEMON



Lemme tell you about Tsareena, okay? Tsareena is the final evolution of new Pokemon Bounsweet and she's essentially a mangosteen tsundere oujo-sama. Her signature move is kicking people in a show of dominance and her secret ability makes Pokemon so sexually intimidated that they can't use priority moves in her presence. Tsareena carried my Moon team to glory and I will fight anyone who thinks there's a better new Pokemon. Fucking come at me.

GAME THAT INTRODUCED ME TO CANADIAN HARDCORE PUNK



This is a tower defense rhythm game with a soundtrack that is from every hipster's first album purchases. It's not great but it's fine. The best thing this game did was introduce me to the band Fucked Up, specifically the song Queen of Hearts and the subsequent concept album it came from which is a fan-fucking-tastic album that saw a lot of play in the year for me. The female chorus of Queen of Hearts is still my fucking ring tone.

THE UNCHARTED 4 AWARD FOR BEST UNCHARTED GAME



This game came out in 2016 on machines people actually give a shit about. I loved the Tomb Raider reboot and this sequel was miles better than that. Focused less on spectacle and destroying shit and more on actual survival (to...to an extent) here was a game that I loved just finding shit in. After the initial tutorial bits you're thrust into the harsh landscape of Siberia on a quest to discover some lost city before evil people do.

There's a decent amount of stuff to do in this game that all contributes to something, be it character abilities or furthering the lore of the various civilizations and cultures you run into over the course of the journey. Lara comes into her own as a character and exhibits more confidence and knowledge which I was glad to see.

This game was almost my GOTY because I fucking loved it so much.

The Tomb Raider Award For Worst Tomb Raider Game




I really did not like this game. It's not a bad game. It's an expensive one and it was clearly made with care and love but...I didn't like it much at all. The gameplay loop was unsatisfying and far too samey. Uncharted has evolved from a story telling perspective but not at all from a gameplay one. It tried to incorporate the stealth mechanics from The Last of Us but only half-assedly to the point where it was often easier to just shoot people - but then you have to deal with the floaty aim of the guns while the enemies have pinpoint fucking accuracy. Pretty much every platforming section involved someone finding a fucking box with wheels (In this ancient cave it's good to see an intact box with wheels that isn't rotted away!) that you push to climb a thing.

The whole game narrative didn't really work for me because of its premise. Call me old fashioned but when a game is four entries deep and introduces a long lost brother I'm done. The best moments of the game are the quieter ones that deal with Nate's relationships, specifically with best girl Elena and it's such a shame that so much of it feels like it has to justify Sam Drake's appearance and existence.

It's an initially engaging story sure but halfway through I just wanted it to be over because nothing about it was compelling enough on its own to make up for the short comings in every area. Once I finished it I forgot the details of the game like a week later.

In that sense, Uncharted 4 is the summer blockbuster of video games. Congrats, Naughty Dog, you finally met your goal.

BEST USE OF A WEEK



I like Stardew Valley. I loved it for about a week when all I wanted to do was play for one more in game day and then realized it was like three in the morning. Then after the daily grind became a grind and every day became more routine than fun I started to play it less and less.

Stardew Valley is a really well made game and I certainly enjoy it a great deal. But man. Maaaaan is it not wise to just go all in for a week because it'll burn you out on it. But hey, it's still damn good.

BEST FIRST IMPRESSION



Mafia 3 has a fucking amazing introductory hours. It opens with a documentary aesthetic about your character, Lincoln Clay, and constantly flashes back and forth as characters discuss the events while you play them out. It works amazingly well for establishing the tone, characters, and general setting of the era - complete with the best licensed soundtrack of the year.

The characters and the storytelling are better than the story being told, however, as what starts as enthralling and, dare i say it amazing, quickly become just a standard revenge tale. The game is cool and good and handles serious subject matter well but the opening hours are far and away the best thing on offer.

THE DUKE NUKEM FOREVER AWARD



I also haven't finished this game but the more I play it the less I want to. Like Mafia 3, this game opens fucking strong...if a bit unusual. The opening bit set to Stand By Me does a tremendous job establishing our four main characters and the subsequent opening chapter does a fantastic job introducing the world and game mechanics.

But as it continued I found myself caring more about hunts and side quests than progressing the story and by the time one of my party members awkwardly left my party for no reason just so a guest character could come through a dungeon with me then forced into a short, stupid scenario just to awkwardly get my old party member BACK with no explanation I learned why I wanted to just do the side shit.

The main story is bad.

Well, bad might be a bit harsh considering I haven't finished it yet but...it's really poorly told. My love of the main four characters is what will see me through to the end eventually but my initial positive reception to the game has become more..."Yeah this is a good game but it feels...rushed?" Which is odd considering the dev time but then considering the troubled dev cycle it becomes somewhat more clear.

Final Fantasy 15 is a good game. But I don't think it will rekindle the love of the series if people have fallen out of love with it recently. It does have my favorite moment in games, though, and that moment being just driving along the road listening to classic Final Fantasy tunes. It's the first game that I haven't used fast travel (other than when I intentionally force myself not to use it) both because of how fantastic it is to drive and listen to the nostalgic tracks and also because the load times on quick travel are fucking insane.

Don't call it a comeback, FF has been here for years.


MOST PLAYED GAME OF THE YEAR SO BY PROCESS OF ELIMINATION AND BECAUSE I WANNA WRAP THIS UP CONSIDER THIS MY GAME OF THE YEAR.



I fucking love this game. It hooked me in ways I didn't think possible for a game to do, to the point where I've put in damn near 200 hours since it launched and I bet I'll double that before this year is half over. Blizzard has made a fucking phenomenon here and I am hopeful for the future of the game. Already the game has seen a number of changes from how it launched, with the addition of competitive mode, new game types, seasonal events, new maps, and even two new characters AND a character overhaul. Overwatch is a game that clearly intends to have legs and I'm not only on board I'm fucking in the first car.

No game this year has provided me with such consistent enjoyment. Be it from playing with friends as we have a good time in quick play, doing placements and comparing numbers at the end of a season, or even just solo queuing and bearing witness to people that still think the game is about who has the most gold medals at the end of a match. Some times I'll end a session feeling angry over bad team mates, other times I'll end with a smile on my face. Either way, Overwatch has been the one game I've wanted to come back to day after day after day and it's a game I will continue to play well into 2017.

And you know, it might not be perfect and some of the balance changes are downright baffling...but considering the enjoyment I've gotten from it...I'm quite happy considering it my game of the year.





There you have it. If people are genuinely curious I'll actually put together numbers 10-2 so you can know what games were actually good this year.
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Old 01-01-2017   #2
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I don't think I played a single game that actually released in 2016.
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Old 01-03-2017   #3
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Does DLC count as a game? I'm gonna say "Yes" for the sake of actually having a list, seeing as most the games I wanted from this year I got for Christmas and haven't dug into yet.

5. TYRANNY

I only peeked inside the game for a few hours and already I'm starting to become more sadistic and depraved. I can't give it higher marks because I havent done much with it yet, so I can't say.

4. EUROPA UNIVERSALIS 4 - RIGHTS OF MAN

They got CK2 in my EU4 and I love it. The institutions system is a million times better than the alternative "Fuck you you get less tech for being anatolian or whatever" they had before.

3. CRUSADER KINGS 2 - REAPER'S DUE

https://i.redditmedia.com/78IO_47PgG...Mlc.png?w=497&

This would probably be my GOTY if not for the other two outstanding games that came out, and the fact that I'm weighing DLC differenly than real games.

Let me tell you about my first encounter with The Black Death. I had a character with a cheating wife that brought home two sons that looked nothing like him, but she was a Genius, so she was able to convince them they were his. His first real son got his mother's Genius trait, and would go on to be a fearsome force against a series of rebellions and wars against the Norse Empire. He would be killed in combat one day, but not before leaving a daughter behind, Elizabet. She, too, was a Genius, but would squander that genius on a hedonistic lifestyle, often getting shitfaced even when the emperor would be asking for her advice on issues. Then, drunkenly, she would whisper brilliant intrigue advice to the emperor, then go back to laughing and partying.

So, then the Plague comes around, and I'm set, I've got this black guy that came with my current character, and he can treat every disease on earth. As the black death reaches my borders, he dies of old age. FUCK. Then as everyone goes into seclusion, I wait, and hope for the best. The disease almost is about to go away, and then "Elizabet has died of the Black Plague." I feel like I've been shot or stabbed, and can't help but scream in agony. All while Porcupine Tree's Arriving Somewhere Not Here plays. This marriage of music and gameplay has caused this to be one of my favorite moments in my gaming history. And now CK2 is probably my favorite game, and Porcupine Tree's my favorite band, and Arriving Somewhere is my favorite song. I can't think of a comparable player-made experience in all my years of gaming.

2. OVERWATCH

I mean, everyone knows this game is great, but I think I've had a bit of a more amazing experience with the game than most. Not only is this my first competitive FPS, but when I first went into the Competitive mode of the game, my first two matches were filled with great people, communicating and joking with each other - even on the opposing team. After 4 years of League (which I no longer play) this was a goddamn magical experience for me, and this will remain one of my favorite games of all time for quite some time. The dev team are fucking angels sent to this earth by God to show the way of true game design, too.

1. FINAL FANTASY XV

Yeah no Droog, the game's goddamn near perfect. The combat's great, even the shitty characters grow on you by the end, and holy GODDAMN those summons. While CK2 may have had the most emotional experience of my year, the Leviathan fight is the most INTENSE experience of the year. And the villain is the best one since Jenova or Kefka. It's a really close one, but I'm giving GOTY to FFXV.

ANTIGOTY - PALADINS

It's Overwatch if Overwatch was made by a garbage studio. Let's put aside the similarities between heroes for a moment, and look at what this game has to offer over Overwatch:

- Items, like in League, that let your teammates customize their builds so that they suck harder than they would have otherwise due to many of them being noob traps.

- A Free-to-Play model that lets every retarded mexican kid with a keyboard swarm the servers and make communication impossible.

- Hackers in 50% of the games, and no actions taken against them.

- Enhanced toxicity due to their policy against banning paying customers, so it's League all over again.

There is ZERO reason to play this over Overwatch unless you're broke AF and literally would starve without those extra $40.
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Old 01-04-2017   #4
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Does DLC count as a game? I'm gonna say "Yes" for the sake of actually having a list, seeing as most the games I wanted from this year I got for Christmas and haven't dug into yet.
Only if you finally admit that that one writer on the Escapist or whatever who had a WoW patch as his top game of whatever year does indeed count and is valid.
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Patches don't count. DLC can be a game in and of itself - see the GTA series for an example of that. Paradox DLC tends to be more impactful than most other DLC out there.
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