Thursday, March 2, 2017

Console Glory! 2016 Year-In-Review

Image stolen from Skippy Sigmatic via YouTube. Pissed? Let me know and I'll take it down.

It's March, so I figured that now would be the absolute BEST time to do my 2016 year-in-review post! I'm horrible. Just like in previous years, I'll start by ranking the games I played that were released in 2016 and finish by ranking the games that were released prior to 2016. Here we go!

2016 Games

1. Furi - PS4 - A

Oddly enough, my game of the year is once again something that I got for free with my Playstation Plus subscription. Like Rocket League in 2015, Furi wasn't even on my radar as something I wanted to play, but I gave it shot because a) it was free, and b) I was intrigued by the music and visuals. That music and those visuals certainly are a treat, but the real meat of this game is the ultra tight gameplay and the steep-yet-fair challenge level. Loved it, got the platinum trophy, really can't recommend it enough! And don't sleep on that soundtrack either!

2. Doom - PS4 - A

After the debacle that was Duke Nukem Forever I certainly had my reservations about what a Doom reboot might look like in 2017, but I was thrilled to discover that my fears were misplaced. To be fair, Duke Nukem always kinda sucked, but yeah, this new Doom is really great. Amazing single-player campaign with enough classic elements to stoke nostalgia, yet several innovations that make it feel fresh. If you have ANY love for classic Doom and you still haven't given this a try, you really owe it to yourself.

3. Downwell - PS Vita - A

Yes, this game originally came out in 2015 on iOS, but it didn't get ported to console/handheld until 2016, so shut up. This charming, twitchy action platformer is so solidly constructed that I just couldn't get it out of my mind until I got the platinum trophy. Special shout out to the moody soundtrack that brought me back to the TurboGrafx-16 days.

4. Broforce - PS4 - A

Another game that was originally released for PC in 2015 but ported to PS4 in 2016. Fuck it, my house, my rules. Broforce is a tremendous and hilarious send-up/homage to 80s and 90s action films with rock solid controls and the perfect level of challenge. They could release new "bros" and levels as DLC forever and I'd probably play this gem until the end of time.

5. Final Fantasy XV - PS4 - A-

Final Fantasy makes its triumphant return as a gorgeous open world (and still very Japanese) RPG. With any game of this scope there are some nagging issues here and there - most notably its undercooked story - but it shines overall and ultimately feels worth the wait.

6. Rhythm Heaven Megamix - 3DS - B

7. Megaman Legacy Collection - PS4 - B

8. Worms W.M.D. - PS4 - B-

9. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright - 3DS - B-

Though I appreciated the effort that went into making this latest installment in the Fire Emblem franchise, this game just didn't grab me. I even tried picking it up again more recently, but it just feels like a slog. Good game, but not for me.

10. Mighty No. 9 - PS4 - C

Poor Mighty No. 9, things just really didn't come together for you, did they? Uninspired level and weapon designs, flat graphics and sound, and sluggy controls all came together to sink this promising title from the creator of Megaman. Still, it's not a complete disaster, and I wouldn't mind getting a sequel that does what it can to right the wrongs of this underwhelming title.

Older Games

1. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse - 3DS - B

My first experience with a Shantae game was quite a pleasant surprise! Shades of Metroid-vania and Megaman mixed with SUPER charming characters, visuals, and music have me thinking that I've been missing out on this series. Probably gonna have to get that newer PS4 title fairly soon!

2. Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational - PS Vita - B

3. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved - B

4. Shadow Complex Remastered - B-

This Metroid-vania title adds an air of modern military realism to the mix which results in a game that is well executed, if a little light on charm. I had a good time with this game overall, however, and I'm curious to see what a sequel might bring to the table.

5. Sega Classics Collection - B-

6. Tricky Towers - B-

7. Nidhogg - B

This simplistic-looking, yet strikingly deep 1-on-1 fighter definitely caught my attention, even as someone who generally sucks at fighting games!

8. Axiom Verge - C+

9. Ultratron - C+

10. Laserlife - C+

11. Galak-Z: The Dimensional - C+

12. Metal Slug 3 - C

I always thought I liked Metal Slug games - and they do bring a lot of charming aspects to the table - but after playing through this one start to finish I've realized that only the hardest of hardcore players would ever have a chance to beat this game without unlimited continues, and as such I've had to reappraise my appreciation for this series.

13. Q*Bert Rebooted - C

Poor Q*Bert. Your latest game kinda sucks. Generic, bland, really not much fun to play. Skip it!

Thanks for reading in 2016! I love you.

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