Countdowns · Reviews

The Top Ten Video Games of 2016 Written in the Year 2017

As years go, you can’t get much worse than those known by “2016” and “2017.” I’m not going to elaborate: we all know why almost everything sucks. My trade has always been escapism, and I’m not altering my path just yet.

Part of the reason I put off writing this thing that I promised when I wrote last year’s mega list is I grew tired of lists. I hate viewing them. I hate writing them. I hate thinking about them. I can’t really stop myself from thinking about them. And I especially can’t stop thinking about the promise I made that I’d write my definitive top 10 sometime this year.

Well, it’s almost time for me to start thinking about what my favorite games of 2017 are. I guess it’s time to write this fucking list.

  1. DOOM
  2. Overwatch
  3. Dark Souls III
  4. Titanfall II
  5. Pokemon Sun
  6. Super Hot!
  7. Odinsphere Luftreiser
  8. Hyperlight Drifter
  9. Pokken Tournament
  10. Enter the Gungeon

For detailed thoughts I would like to pass you to my old mega list here. The order of this list is meaningless–I don’t classify DOOM as a better shooter than Overwatch or Titanfall 2, for example, nor do I think the indie games on the list are worse than those classified as “Triple A.”

These are my favorite games–ones that really stuck with me through this year. I’ve gone back and enjoyed Overwatch the most throughout the year, though I’m really fucking sick of loot boxes right now and this is all that game’s fault. Every event attracts me. Every event I grind for the skin I want, and I don’t get it. So I’m salty about loosing to full teams of try hards, playing with hanzo mains, and I open up a loot box just to get sprays and avatar pictures. This halloween I pulled this amazing Zenyatta skin, and then proceeded to not play the rest of the event. Gotcha fuckers!

cultist-zenyatta-overwatch.jpg
Player.One

I beat DOOM in the year 2017, and I think that game is amazing. The work id did to recreate the world while incorporating what made everything great is stunning. No, I’m not talking about the multiplayer. Obviously that was trash. The singleplayer–that is the definitive DOOM experience. Take the multiplayer, and take snapmap, and put them in the “neat ideas” category right next to other failures like Battleborn and For Honor. Then spit on that trash can, lite it on fire, and throw it off a fucking cliff. DOOM’s singleplayer rules, hands down. I find myself wanting to revisit that thing for another playthrough all the time. If you like FPS games you owe yourself at least one playthrough especially if you have any experience with classic Doom titles.

Carrying on that tradition–Titanfall 2 was a complete FPS package. Multiplayer was amazing. Singleplayer was fantastic. It surprised on every level, offering a thrilling ride that always served to entertain. I began to see the bottom once I idiotically prestiged in the multiplayer, causing me to loose all of my upgrades and rewards. But my memory of that game is still strong, and like DOOM I urge all FPS fans to try this thing out if they haven’t. Especially those who are past COD fans sick of the same shit.

I have felt pretty sick of Souls lately. I’ll lapse, and give some of my time over to more Bloodborne, or Dark Souls III, and of course I’m doing a playthrough of the first Dark Souls over on my dead YouTube channel WhiskeyShotguns (it’s not actually dead subscribe for lawls), but I always walk away with the feeling that I’m retreading old grounds. Of course, I am retreading lost grounds. But I always feel like I’m wasting my time doing so. Of course, I am wasting my time. But this paragraph is fucking stupid Dark Souls III is a great conclusion to my favorite franchise from last generation and when I go back to it I am reminded how well done this game was. It may feel like the developers lifted too much from the first game. It may also be annoying as piss to play if you just want to rush the game to build a new character. But it’s still a really good Dark Souls video game.

Just STOP acting like Souls is a benchmark for difficulty you fucking HACKS.

monster hunter is like dark souls
It’s Like Dark Souls twitter

Speaking of HACKS, Super Hot! is a masterpiece. It’s a new concept, it’s a quick and interesting playthrough, and it’s always in the back of mind as something I want to return to. Super Hot! has a look and a feel that few games can muster, and the fact that modders went ahead and built Super Hot! modes in other video games such as Quake and DOOM and Unreal Tournament proves how innovative of an idea this is. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT.

Suns are hot.

When Pokemon Sun and Moon were announced I couldn’t give a shit less. Like every video game where I couldn’t care less, I began to care when it released and everyone was playing and talking about it. When I played through the game I had a blast. It was what I wanted in the Pokemon franchise, and that was something new. Sure, you are kinda fighting gym leaders until you build a team strong enough for an elite four. But every game has been a carbon copy up till now, and the basic variation of game progression makes this game feel new. It also makes the world feel more real, and more alive. I grew to really love the location, the characters, and the new Pokemon on offer. Which is funny, because seeing previews of the new Pokemon didn’t impress me at all.

Until I saw my now favorite Pokemon of all time, that is:

incinaroar
WarGreymon43

A HEEL WRESTLING POKEMON. I MEAN. COME ON.

Pokken Tournament is just what it sounds: Pokemon combined with Tekken. Kinda. It’s a lot like an anime fighter, with insane flashy moves breaking balance in favor of fun and fanservice. Every character plays different enough to make matchups fun, and I had a blast attempting to best my friends’ mains (just use lucha pikachu, actually. It turns out that’s always the solution). It’s a Pokemon fighting game designed for fans of Pokemon, and for fans of fighting games it’s a fun game that doesn’t necessarily call for a lot of technical ability.

Also, Lucha Pikachu blatantly uses a Stone Cold Stunner.

lucha pikastunner
tiny cartridge

It does such that this game insists that you use the WiiU pad when playing 2 player multiplayer. Especially considering they designed a fight pad specifically for Pokken Tournament. Again, the game isn’t very technical, so you don’t need the best controller to play. But still.

Also, I really wish they put in more fighting types. Sure, it would be absolutely boring if it were only fighting types, so I’m not calling for that. But it’s a fighting game. It just makes sense! We really don’t need to see two different kinds of Pikachus even if one version dresses like a luchador and pops sick stunners! We don’t need that! We do need that.

I also didn’t need another fucking roguelite. But I got it with Enter the Gungeon, which has great gameplay, fun randomized gun drops, and a really cohesive and entertaining art style. You’re shooting bullets.

No.

You’re shooting bullets. As in the enemies you are fighting are actual bullets, who are walking around, smiling, and shooting at you, the player.

The gameplay feels amazing, especially with the dodge roll, and I found it highly addictive for the small time I was into it. These days, I hardly ever touch it. The games all take a little too long for a roguelite like this. I want to get in and out–because most of the time I will not win a game, I will fail. I want to start a new game and see if I get more chances. That’s on me, though. Plenty of people play this and rank it up there with Binding of Isaac and Nuclear Throne. Maybe I should return to it some day. I think I will.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is, essentially, a remaster of a game that came to PS2 back in 2007. It is special to me because I always wanted this game, passed on purchasing it the several times I had the opportunity to purchase the game for very cheap at my local Wal-Mart, and then low and behold here’s a much better version released on the sony Playstation 4 releasing 9 years later. Hell yeah! The game is a perfect RPG beat-em-up with an amazing art style, wonderful music, and quite a compelling story dripping in norse mythology. It’s not exactly literature, but I find myself actually paying attention and somewhat caring about the characters in a way I never thought I would. The combat feels great. The motion is quite fun. This game is a great release, even if it’s a rerelease, and I feel it deserves a spot on anyone’s top 10. If you ever wondered about this game, or Vanillaware games in general, I implore you to give it a shot. At least when it’s on sale. Rumor is Dragon’s Crown is coming to PS4 soon. I hope they give it a comparable remastering, but even if they don’t that game will also become a must buy and I cannot wait!

Hyper Light Drifter is a benchmark in indie games, pixel art, and retro revival. It feels like a SNES in difficulty, atmosphere, and yet the look and music are unrivaled by other indie projects today. This thing is fucking incredible. The gameplay is fun: exploration, esoteric puzzles gets in the way of the action at times. And that action begins to outwear its welcome after a few hours. However that doesn’t matter because the presentation is so fucking unrivaled. I am not a graphics guy. I am a music guy, but I don’t usually let soundtracks rule my game choices. Hyper Light Drifter doesn’t give a fuck. It is so good in these departments it cannot be ignored. It puts other retro revival pixel art projects to shame: almost to the point that anymore attempts seem utterly futile. When you peek behind the curtain, at the creator of the game and his condition, and how that relates to the game’s story and themes, the game gathers this meaning that few games can match outside godly examples such as Silent Hill 2 and Godhand.

That last word was a joke. You should play Godhand, regardless, but moreso you should play Hyper Light Drifter. It’s amazing.

Alright those are games I liked. 2016 was such an amazing year in video games, I was so sure it could not be topped.

Then 2017 came. HOLY FUCKING FUCK. I could write you a list of ten indie games alone.

Here’s to you, video games. Keep distracting me from the utter shit pit going on outside my thin walls.

11/07/2017

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