Games of 2016

Another year, another list. I played quite a few games in 2016, and I had a ton of fun. Looking at the list of games I played this year, twelve of them are worth mentioning for Games of 2016. This time I ordered the list in the order of when I played them. As with years past, each game gets its own category.

Stupidest Use Of Zombies (Zombies Scare Me)

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune – Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4)

Number of hours played: 13.25
Number of achievements earned: 34/54
Number of screenshots taken: 76
Games of 2016 - Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune – Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

Uncharted. Now with selfie mode.

I played through all three of the Uncharted games when they were released, and I told myself I’d play through them again. I never did go back and play them on the Playstation 3, but Uncharted: the Nathan Drake Collection on the Playstation 4 gave me a good reason to go back and play through one of my all-time favorite series. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune’s graphics are starting to show its age, even in this remaster, but it is still a fun adventure. I should have played Drake’s Fortune on Hard difficulty, but I was worried that the aiming issues that plagued the original release were in the remaster. Thankfully, it seems it was fixed in the remaster. Drake’s Fortune was really an ambitious undertaking for Naughty Dog. The pacing is almost perfect, juggling between combat, puzzle solving and platforming. Compared to Uncharted 2 and 3, Drake’s Fortune’s story isn’t great, but the characters are loveable, and the gameplay is fun. I’ve made another promise to myself that I will come back to this series and play it again.

Coolest Coop Story Book

Rayman Legends (WiiU)

Number of hours played: NA
Number of achievements earned: NA
Number of screenshots taken: 16
Games of 2016 Rayman Legends

It appears I’m tickling his pickle.

A friend of mine recommended Rayman Legends to me. I ended up buying it when I purchased New Super Mario Bros. WiiU, and Super Mario 3D World, because I needed games for the WiiU. Rayman ended up sitting on my gaming shelf for a few months. A different friend came over to my house and suggested we play a couch coop game. I was Mario’d out, so I decided to give Rayman a try. I’m so glad I did. The story book art style is charming, the soundtrack is whimsical and one of my all-time favorites, and the platforming is rock solid. To round it all out, it is one of the best couch coop games I have ever played. My buddy used the gamepad to control Murfy, who you control with the touch screen, and I usually played the platforming parts, because I like to run around, and jump to collect stuff. When people ask me what couch coop they should get to play with their friend’s, I say, “Forget Mario; go for Rayman Legends.” Rayman Legends made me take notice of a franchise that I never cared about. I look forward to what Ubisoft will do with franchise in the future.

Most Lazers Shot

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition (PS4)

Number of hours played: 41
Number of achievements earned: 32/44
Number of screenshots taken: 34
Games of 2016 Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition

I found some more dudes.

I’ve played a lot of Diablo III on the PC. It made my Games of 2014 list. When it was announced for the consoles, I really didn’t care. Then, Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition was released on Playstation 4. Reviews were saying how much fun it was on console, and how the couch coop was so enjoyable. I ended up tossing it on my Amazon wish list. I kinda forgot about it. Then I received it for a Christmas present last year. I decided to play through as a Wizard. I had a lot of fun, but I disliked playing through the story yet again. Thankfully, I have that out of the way, and now I can just do bounties and rifts, and never touch the story again. After Reaper of Souls came out, Diablo III became a really fun game, and it’s a really fun game on the Playstation 4 as well. It’s one of those games that I come home after a hard day at work, turn off my mind, maybe throw Malcolm in the Middle on a second TV, and play Diablo III while sitting in my recliner; its very relaxing. It just makes sense as a console game, and it’s my preferred way to play.

Most Unrelaxing Train Ride

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4)

Number of hours played: 19
Number of achievements earned: 40/53
Number of screenshots taken: 76
Games of 2016 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

I could use a sauna

I didn’t want to jump right into Uncharted 2 after Drake’s Fortune, because I thought I might get burnt out. However, the itch had been scratched after the first game, and I didn’t take too long of a break between the two games. For the sequel, I did start playing on Hard difficulty. Drake’s Fortune created the core mechanics of the series, and Among Thieves took that and blew everything off its hinges. The combat, platforming, and puzzle solving are all solid, and the pacing is spot on. Naughty Dog takes everything they learned from the first game, and polishes it up to eleven. Naughty Dog created a roller coaster ride with quiet puzzles leading up to action packed platforming, combat, and memorable set pieces. The Uncharted series is one of my all-time favorite video game series, and Among Thieves falls within my top five video games of all time. I believe every gamer should play this game.

The Sandiest Sand

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4)

Number of hours played: 16
Number of achievements earned: 42/59
Number of screenshots taken: 64
Games of 2016 Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

This was not what I was thinking when I wanted a sauna.

After completing Uncharted 2, I jumped right into Drake’s Deception. Drake’s Fortune sets up the core mechanics, Among Thieves perfects the formula and pacing, and Drake’s Deception tells an emotional story. The core mechanics are all polished here, however the pacing is slightly off, but certainly not bad. Drake’s Deception is less about the roller coaster ride, and more about the story, which is great, but I do feel it is not as good as Among Thieves. Drake’s Deception is a lot more emotional, telling the story of Drake and Sully.  Completing Drake’s Deception got me pumped to play Uncharted 4, but I haven’t gotten it yet.

Best Use Of Demonic Invasions

Doom (PC)

Number of hours played: 19
Number of achievements earned: 22/51
Number of screenshots taken: 82
Games of 2016 Doom

At first, I only had about 60 screenshots, but none of them usable because of motion blur. Once I disabled motion blur, I got this pretty screenshot. Fuck you, demon!

I almost skipped Doom. I didn’t really pay attention to it before it was released. After it was released, I noticed that it was getting really good reviews. I read through Arstechnica’s review and Polygon’s review, and my interest grew; I told myself that I would wait until a price drop. Then Markiplier started playing it, and I watched two of his videos from his series on it. I saw the run and gun shooting, no reload, and noticed that the levels were all battle arenas, and I was all in. I bought it right away. Doom feels so good to play. Every kill is so satisfying, and the movement is so smooth. And the music; it adds so much to the gameplay, and its right in your face. I can’t get enough of this game. Check out NoClip’s documentary on the Doom. Danny O’Dwyer does very good work, and he did an outstanding job on this documentary.

Best Use Of Adrenaline Built Up From Playing Doom

Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box (PC)

Number of hours played: 41.75
Number of achievements earned: NA
Number of screenshots taken: 23
Games of 2016 Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box

Fuck the police… oh, wait. I am the police. Well then, fuck you in particular.

I play through Burnout Paradise every now and again, and it was about time that I do it again. As much as I loved Doom, it turned up my adrenaline, and I needed to take a break every few hours, and let out some of that adrenaline. I thought Burnout Paradise would work well, and I was right. Burnout Paradise is kind of relaxing for me; the type of relaxing where I yell obscenities whenever I fail at something. But it feels good. I’ve completed that game a few times, and I needed to do it on PC, so I did. It still holds up really well. I wish they would make another one. I also want to note that this is the first game that I played on my Steam Link, and it worked really well.

The Game That Gives No Fucks

Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair (PS4)

Number of hours played: 58.25
Number of achievements earned: 7/52
Number of screenshots taken: 20
Games of 2016 Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair

Giant insects? Check. Friends in the guns? Check. Giant robot in a pimpin’ stance? Double check.

If you’ve never played an Earth Defense Force game before, there’s a few things you should know before playing The Shadow of New Despair. Almost everything about this game is awful. The graphics suck, the controls are terrible, and the story only exists in a B grade movie fashion. You play as a member of the Earth Defense Force (EDF). There are four character classes, and each one is completely different from the last, which is kinda cool. Your job is to save humanity from aliens. These aliens are giant ants, giant spiders, giant wasps, giant dragons, giant robots, and giant spaceships. You do this by blowing up every single building on each level, and then killing the bugs, because buildings get in the way of killing bugs. Along the way you unlock weapons and more health. There’s probably thousands of weapons you can unlock, and most of them are interesting, but useless. You can play with four other people, which I highly recommend doing. Almost everything about this game is bad, but the few things that are good make the game fun. It’s so satisfying to complete a level and unlock a new weapon, even if the weapon is complete shit. It’s also one of my favorite games to play with friends. If you played Earth Defense Force 2017 on Xbox 360 and liked it, you’ll like this one. I’m still playing this game with three other friends, so that play time is going to go up.

Best Pretty Chainsaw Kills

Gears of War 4 (PC)

Number of hours played: 10.5
Number of achievements earned: 26/75
Number of screenshots taken: 47
Games of 2016 Gears of War 4

I think he’s trying to tell me something, but I can’t hear him over the sound of chainsaw cutting out his insides.

Gears of War 4 was a slow build up for me. Before it was released I wasn’t too excited about it. But the more trailers I saw I got a little more exited for it. Hearing about the features, like cross platform buy between Windows 10 and Xbox One, and cross platform play between the two got me excited. The final straw was reading the reviews after it was released. Hearing about the technical mojo The Coalition packed into Gears of War 4 excited me, and I bought it. I loves me some 60 FPS, graphical benchmarks, and all that jazz. I have to say, I had a lot of fun. One thing I wished they left out of the trailers was the inclusion of Marcus Fenix. That would have been a lot more emotional of twist if they would have kept that a secret. Overall, I had a lot of fun with Gears 4. I skipped Judgement, so I had a little bit of an itch that only a Gears game can scratch. Gears of War 4 doesn’t stray from the Gears formula, but the franchise is in good hands with The Coalition. I’ve just played through the story, and look forward to playing some Horde with my friends once they get it.

Best Use Of The Line “… will remember that.”

The Wolf Among Us (PC)

Number of hours played: 8.25
Number of achievements earned: 30/35
Number of screenshots taken: 19
Games of 2016 The Wolf Among Us

We see two Fables making the Big Bad Wolf mad, as another fable does a badass pose in the background… I’m not sure why I described this screenshot to you.

The Wolf Among Us was an experience that I prepared myself for. I have Philips Hue light bulbs, and I set the colors to match the atmosphere of the game. I set the light on my keyboard to also match. I knew I had to play The Wolf Among Us in October, around Halloween. And so I prepared myself, and got ready to be immersed. I have to say, it worked. The Wolf Among Us was the first Telltale game I’ve ever played, and it was fantastic. The world of The Wolf Among Us is very interesting. You play as the Big Bad Wolf, who has to solve a grisly murder of a fellow Fable. Along the way, you interact with several down-on-their-luck Fables who are trying to make a living in the human world. It’s a dark game that keeps you hooked with each episode. It feels like your choices actually matter. I really hope they make a sequel.

Best Use Of Blood And Bacon

Blood and Bacon (PC)

Number of hours played: 2
Number of achievements earned: 11/36
Number of screenshots taken: 11
Games of 2016 Blood and Bacon

See, you want to shoot them right in the ass, that way they explode right into the meat grinder.

I watched Markiplier play Blood and Bacon and it looked like a ton of fun. It’s a coop, mindless, wave based shooter, and all you do is shoot pigs. Shooting pigs in the butt makes them explode. You then take exploded pig parts and put them in a meat grinder to get more ammo and items. Then, you rinse and repeat. It’s fun for the price, and it’s a hoot to play with friends.

Most Felonies Described In The Title

Grand Theft Auto V (PC)

Number of hours played: 60.75
Number of achievements earned: 20/69
Number of screenshots taken: 60
Games of 2016 Grand Theft Auto V

It appears I have committed several felonies.

I didn’t like Grand Theft Auto IV. It became a chore after a while, and it just wasn’t fun. Luckily, Grand Theft Auto V never got boring. I had such a blast, literally, in Los Santos. There is always something fun and interesting to do. I thought the switching between characters thing was going to be gimmicky, but it actually added to the fun of the game. I thought the story was the perfect GTA story with just the right amount of pop culture satire. They really did fix everything I didn’t like about GTA 4. The amount of detail put into Los Santos is outstanding. I completely understand how a game that came out in 2013 is still beloved and played to this day; I wouldn’t be surprised if lots of people are still playing it when GTA 6 gets released, whenever that will be.

2016 Gaming Statistics

Total number of games played: 23
Total number of hours played: 356.25+
Total number of gaming sessions: 171+
Game with most achievements earned: Uncharted 3: Drake’s 
     Deception – Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (42)
Most played game: Grand Theft Auto V (60.75)
Personal game of the year: Doom

I played a lot of remasters and sequels this year. Some people think that’s a cancer for this hobby, but I disagree. Remasters give me an excuse to go back and play great games, and sequels are usually better than the originals. Of course, I did play a few original titles. In the end, gamers need to buy fun games. It doesn’t matter who published a game, who developed it, if it’s a sequel, if it’s remaster; if it is fun and you think it’s a great game, then it’s time and money well spent. We live in an age that you should be able to know if you can enjoy a game before you buy it. Gamers have access to review sites, let’s play videos, demos, user feedback, and so many sources of information all at the tips of your fingers. I encourage every gamer to find a game critic who has similar tastes as they do, and read their reviews before buying a game. I encourage gamers to think critically about how much they would pay for a game based on the resources I just mentioned. There’s no reason to pay full price for a game if you think you will only get $30 of enjoyment from it. Sales, and Playstation Plus and Games For Gold free games are something gamers as consumers need to leverage.

Before I get off my soapbox, I think the game industry is healthy. Gamers, the consumers of video games, have most of the power. Today, many developers just want to make fun games; from the small indie developers to the big game studios, they just want to make games that are enjoyed by people. Sometimes bureaucracy and money gets in the way, but that’s the way of a consumer driven industry. If you are passionate about this industry, I implore you to look at the positives, not just the negatives. 2016 was a great year for games, and 2017 is shaping up to be even better.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I took all of the screenshots shown in this post. I also manually track my gaming statistics, and I like to share them with readers. After getting screenshots and statistics, I then write up this post, and edit it about a million times. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Have a happy 2017.