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SpecialYear in Review

Gwonam’s TOP 5 games of 2016

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Ano­t­her year of gaming has pas­sed, and we’re now into 2017. While 2016 hasn’t been one of my favo­ri­te years life-wise for a series of moti­ves that I won’t descri­be here, for gaming it wasn’t a bad year at all. Okay, it wasn’t the best, but I’ve seen wor­se: we’ve had some good games out the­re. Befo­re we start my top 5 games list, I need to make a full descrip­ti­on of the games I will put the­re, just so we’re clear and the­re are no misun­derstan­dings: the­se are not only games that have come out this year, but that I’ve also play­ed. This means that the­re are no xbox one exclu­si­ve tit­les, sin­ce I don’t own that con­so­le, and also some games which might deser­ve a spot but i did not play yet (like titan­fall 2, dis­ho­no­red 2 or man­kind divi­ded, which i actual­ly own but i didn’t have the chan­ce to start it yet). With that said, let’s get star­ted!

The latest ent­ry in the popu­lar series

5. Poké­mon Sun & Moon (Nin­ten­do 3DS)

I’m a huge fan of the Poké­mon fran­chise but I was disap­poin­ted by the 6th genera­ti­on tit­les (X & Y and Ome­ga Ruby & Alpha Sap­phi­re), so I was loo­king for­ward to the­se games with a litt­le bit of skep­ti­cism, to avo­id get­ting disap­poin­ted. Sun and Moon are cer­tain­ly a huge impro­ve­ment over the last tit­les, and the future looks brigh­ter than ever for the series! The­se games are full of fun moments, but sur­pri­sin­gly the­re are still some dark parts, espe­ci­al­ly the poke­dex descrip­ti­ons (serious­ly look at some of them, they’re mes­sed up!) In my opi­ni­on they rea­li­zed that one of the moti­ves that some peop­le (inclu­ding me) love the 5th genera­ti­on games so much was becau­se of their focus on the plot, so they clear­ly tried this way for Sun and Moon and it worked out great­ly! It’s still not one of the best tit­les (I still pre­fer the remakes of Gold & Sil­ver and the 5th genera­ti­on ones) and it could have been even bet­ter if the deve­lo­pers had more time, but it’s still a gre­at Poké­mon game, and it cer­tain­ly deser­ves the 5th spot of my list.

Choo­se your side

4. Fire Emblem Fates (Nin­ten­do 3DS)

For this pick I’m inclu­ding all 3 ver­si­ons of the game into 1 spot: Bir­th­right, Con­quest, Reve­la­ti­ons. Yeah, I know, I’m chea­ting a litt­le… but hear me out ok? Ins­tead of what hap­pens with Poké­mon, whe­re a ver­si­on only chan­ges minor things, like the legen­da­ry mas­cot and the wild poké­mons that actual­ly appe­ar, Fates offers 3 dif­fe­rent ver­si­ons of the same game, with mul­ti­ple plot lines: Bir­th­right is the one adver­ti­sed for new (or inex­pe­ri­en­ced) play­ers of the series, being more simi­lar to Awa­ke­n­ing (the pre­vious tit­le) and being easier in gene­ral; Con­quest, on the other hand, is the har­dest one of all, being the one more remi­nis­cent of the older Fire Emblem games for its mecha­nics (which is why I feel this is best ver­si­on of the bunch); last­ly, Reve­la­ti­ons is an hybrid of the two, offe­ring the “true path” which com­ple­tes the plot­line and it’s bet­ter to be play­ed after the pre­vious 2 ver­si­ons, even though it’s a litt­le easier than Con­quest. Sad­ly the plot could have been so much, much more; but the game­play and the sound­track are so awe­so­me that I’m wil­ling to give it a pass. The­re are not many games that make spend over 80 hours on them, and Fire Emblem Fates is one of them, so it cer­tain­ly deser­ves the 4th spot on my list.

Des­troy­ing mons­ters never felt this good

3. DOOM (Play­sta­ti­on 4, Xbox One and PC)

What an unex­pec­ted revi­val this was! The new chap­ter of the series is bru­tal, vio­lent and gre­at loo­king! I didn’t have this much fun with a first per­son shoo­ter in years! Des­troy­ing mons­ters has never felt so good, the Doom Guy is back, fas­ter and stron­ger than it ever was. The gra­phics are also gre­at loo­king on the con­so­le ver­si­ons, but if you own a PC it gets even bet­ter. This is the age of por­tings gone hor­ri­b­ly wrong, so I’m glad that some deve­lo­pers are actual­ly focu­sing a lot of atten­ti­on on the PC users, while some com­pa­nies clear­ly choo­se to igno­re them or just give them an infe­ri­or ver­si­on (*cough cough* WB Games *cough cough* ). Serious­ly, go give this game a try if you can. You won’t reg­ret it. It also has mul­ti­play­er that it might not be the best ever seen, but it offers a map edi­tor! What modern trip­le A game gives you that nowa­days?

Total­ly worth the wait

2. Final Fan­ta­sy XV (Play­sta­ti­on 4 and Xbox One)

If you read about this game on some forums and/or soci­al net­works, most you will hear about this are com­p­laints on how about this game is not what they wan­ted it to be. What I will say to you guys as a review­er, but also as a fel­low play­er, is this: make your own opi­ni­on on a game befo­re you buy it. That’s what I did with Final Fan­ta­sy XV: if I deci­ded to lis­ten to tho­se comments, I would have never got­ten this game and it would have been a huge mista­ke for my life. I tried the demo and I fell in love imme­dia­te­ly with it: that game­play was enough to con­vin­ce me that I nee­ded to get this game as soon as pos­si­ble. I agree, the­re are some parts that could have been done bet­ter, but the good parts defi­ni­te­ly overs­ha­dow the bad ones in the long ones. The game­play is superb, the sound­track is gre­at as well and the level design is ama­zing! I spent most of my hours of game­play basi­cal­ly roa­ming around the map, not caring about the actu­al plot and I just wan­ted to see all of this game’s world! Ima­gi­ne the explo­ra­ti­on of Xen­ob­la­de X, with a game­play simi­lar (but abso­lute­ly not the same) to King­dom Hearts with a japa­ne­se “boy band” as main cha­rac­ters: that’s Final Fan­ta­sy XV. And I’m so glad I bought this game. So why isn’t it the 1st game of the list? Well, as I said, it’s not a per­fect game, and the­re is one more tit­le that pro­ved to be even more than this is.

Ano­t­her mas­ter­pie­ce from Naugh­ty Dog

1. Unchar­ted 4: A Thief’s End (Play­sta­ti­on 4)

Yep! You pro­bab­ly saw this com­ing a mile away, but how could have I not put this game on top of my list? Unchar­ted 4 is defi­ni­te­ly the best game that came this year: an abso­lu­te mas­ter­pie­ce. Naugh­ty Dog pro­ved once again that they know how to deve­lop gre­at games, and the Unchar­ted series has always been strong from the first game to the last. I felt that the third ent­ry in the series focu­sed more on the shoo­ting game­play than the actu­al explo­ra­ti­on, pro­bab­ly thanks to the gre­at recep­ti­on of the online mul­ti­play­er intro­du­ced in the second chap­ter, but thank­ful­ly Unchar­ted 4 came back to its roots. The world is abso­lute­ly beau­ti­ful and you can’t help but noti­ce that the­re are no parts poor­ly ren­de­red: every litt­le detail counts in this game. Explo­ra­ti­ons, gra­phics, puz­zle sol­ving, mul­ti­play­er, ama­zing game­play and a gre­at con­clu­si­on to Nathan Drake’s sto­ry­line: this game has all you could ask for and more. If you own a Play­stai­ton 4, you HAVE to buy this gem as soon as pos­si­ble. I don’t feel this will be the last game of the fran­chise, but I do belie­ve that Nathan Drake’s adven­tures are over: we will pro­bab­ly see a new main cha­rac­ter (Sam? A pro­lo­gue with Sul­ly? Who knows), but if this actual­ly is the last in the series, I’m glad they deci­ded to end it with this game. Congra­tu­la­ti­ons Naugh­ty Dog, you won my heart once again. Keep being awe­so­me at what you do.

Also known as SMT X FE

Bonus round: Tokyo Mira­ge Ses­si­ons #FE (Wii U)

I wan­ted to wri­te about this game, and I know this didn’t belong in a top 5 list, but this is pro­bab­ly the last exclu­si­ve game Wii U will ever get (the latest Zel­da will also come out on Switch, so it doesn’t count), so.. wha­te­ver, I’m put­ting a bonus pick as my way to say fare­well to this gre­at con­so­le, that deser­ved way more than it actual­ly got. As for the game its­elf, I never drea­med of a day whe­re I could see Persona’s mecha­nics com­bi­ned with Fire Emblem’s cha­rac­ters, wea­pons and balan­ce­ment! This game was a plea­sant sur­pri­se, and for me it felt like having 2 main Fire Emblem games in a year. The sound­track is pret­ty good, espe­ci­al­ly in batt­le and gra­phi­cal­ly it doesn’t look bad at all (con­si­de­ring that this is a Wii U game after all!) I hope that Atlus and Nin­ten­do don’t aban­don this idea and deci­de­to actual­ly expand on this fran­chise, which I feel has gre­at poten­ti­al for a spin­off series. Mean­while, I will say a huge thank you to the Wii U for the gre­at games it held, even if the­re weren’t that much they were some of the best exclu­si­ves I could ever ask for. Hope­ful­ly Switch will do bet­ter, and Nin­ten­do will hope­ful­ly make less mista­kes as well.

 


Well, here you have them: my top picks for this year! Your list is pro­bab­ly going to be dif­fe­rent from mne, but that’s the fun part: ever­yo­ne of us has their tas­tes in game­play and we’re all dif­fe­rent! Lem­me know what your picks for this year are!
Final­ly, I want to wish all of my fri­ends and readers of this web­site: hap­py 2017! May your year be fil­led with fun, joy and gre­at video games!

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