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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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