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Cool Games Light Played In 2016 That He Liked A Lot

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After some consideration, I decided to make a top games of 2016 list as well. I figured it'd be a good warmup before I start writing my yearly top music albums list thing that I usually do elsewhere.

Honorable Mentions

Deathstate (PC)

A bullet-hell twin-stick shooter rogue-like with a lovecraftian pixel art style where they do the aiming for you.

I've always had trouble with twin stick shooters because I never had enough spacial awareness to dodge enemy bullets and properly aim my own at the same time. Deathstate alleviates that problem by auto-aiming towards the enemy nearest to you, so all you have to worry about is getting close enough to them while avoiding their bullets. The rogue-like aspect is also neat, where you collect artifacts that affect the type of bullets you shoot and organs which affect stats such as health, damage, and movement speed, all of which reset when you die.

It's a fun game to play in short bursts, with one full run usually lasting about 25 minutes for me. This one is an honorable mention because it was originally released in 2015 and I only bought it recently during the last Steam sale at the end of the year, but I can tell I'll be playing this game for a while, even if it's only a little bit at a time.

Pokemon Sun (3DS)

It's Pokemon. You know the drill.

After my initial reaction to the new Pokemon designs (ranging from "meh" to "eww") and expecting more of the same gameplay with just a fresh coat of Hawaiian paint, I was pretty much ready to skip Sun & Moon like I did X & Y. But, after some deliberation, I decided to go ahead and buy it anyway. Worst case scenario, I would just beat the Elite Four and resell it afterwards. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised (but not enough for me to place it in the actual list).

Sure, most of it is essentially the same old Pokemon turn-based RPG gameplay, but they changed the elements just enough for it to feel fresh again. They got rid of HM moves, got rid of gym leaders and replaced them with what are essentially boss battles (a first for the main series), added a more robust Pokemon groping simulator, and not to mention a few more minor tweaks. Also, Team Skull is probably my favorite "evil" gang so far. I still plan to resell the game after I'm done with it, but I definitely got more enjoyment out of it than I expected.

The Actual List

#5 God Eater Resurrection (PC)

A monster-hunting action game with a very anime coat of paint. Originally on the PSP but remastered for PS4, PSV, and PC.

I really enjoyed Monster Hunter Freedom Unite on the PSP, and when I found out that God Eater was essentially Anime Monster Hunter I could not click that download button fast enough. Much like Monster Hunter, you make a custom character to go on missions with up to 3 teammates (either actual people or AI) and hunt big monsters with a variety of big weapons you can choose from. Once you kill those monsters, you can get parts that you use to make better weapons to kill MORE monsters whose parts make EVEN BETTER weapons to-- you get the idea. Rinse and repeat. Unlike Monster Hunter, it has a plot that's set in a post-apocalyptic world filled with ANIME characters who fight in skimpy clothing and a sophisticated bullet-editing system to create various types of bullets you can shoot if you choose to go long-range.

This remastered version adds more weapon types, more costumes for your character, more AI teammates, social links, and an ability system that gives buffs or perks to your character and/or teammates. All in HD. Definitely worth replaying if you've only played it on the PSP. This is #5 because I've technically already played this game before, but it's still one of the better games from 2016 that I played. Looking forward to playing its sequel when I'm done.

#4 Aragami (PC)

A stealth action game in a Japanese setting where you sneak past and/or discreetly kill enemies using cool shadow-based powers.

In Aragami, you play as a shadow ninja spirit who was summoned by a captured princess to help free her from her captors, an evil clan who wields light-based magic. Generally, your goal is to get from point A to point B in a level, with various paths to take. Standing and patrolling within those paths are a variety of guards and henchmen from said evil clan. Because they wield light magic and you are essentially just a shadow wearing rags, they instantly melt you if you attack them head on, so your only choices are to sneak past them or silently assassinate them without sounding the alarm. You get a few different shadow-based powers to help you along through the levels, such as teleporting between shadows, creating shadows to teleport to, becoming invisible, and making corpses disappear to prevent other guards from getting suspicious.

I really like this game because it makes me feel like a magic ninja. It's fun to observe the guards, plan out your route and make adjustments on the fly when things go unexpectedly. There are achievements in each level for not getting detected, and either not killing anyone or killing absolutely everyone, which unlock new costumes for your shadow ninja to wear. It's definitely not an easy game and requires a lot of trial and error the first time you go through the levels, but it's really satisfying once you get the hang of it. There are, however, some bugs I've encountered that sour the experience, such as guards not going where they're supposed to, or alarms never turning off even after you've retreated to a safe zone. I would probably place this game higher if I had never encountered those bugs.

#3 Furi (PC)

A third-person action boss rush that's part twin stick shooter and part close-range fighting with a very, well, stylish art style.

What first made me interested in Furi was its distinct neon art style, with character designs by the same guy who did Afro Samurai, and its stellar music by Carpenter Brut. The actual gameplay was the one part I was iffy on. Like I mentioned in the Deathstate entry, I have a hard time playing twin stick shooters. Add to that, close-combat segments with precise timing and I was feeling pretty intimidated.

However, after giving it a try, I was surprised how good and smooth the controls felt. For the shooter segments, aiming at the enemy was easy enough considering there's only one target you need to aim at. For the close-combat, it was pretty much just learning enemy attack patterns and countering when you have an opening, or even outright parrying their attacks completely, something I was already used to doing from playing Monster Hunter and Dark Souls.

So, in the end, Furi was super fun to play for me, and while there's not much replayability except for harder difficulties, I enjoyed the one playthrough I did of it immensely.

#2 Dark Souls III (PC)

An infamously "difficult" third-person action game with RPG elements set in a gothic fantasy world.

I jumped on the Dark Souls hype train after the Prepare to Die Edition of the first Dark Souls was released. After really enjoying it, Dark Souls II and Demon Souls, Dark Souls III was one of the few games I was really looking forward to playing in 2016.

I wouldn't call the gameplay difficult per se, but it definitely doesn't hold your hand at all. You're expected to be observant of enemies and your surroundings and not just rush in and mash the attack button. It's usually a fair cop when you die... usually. The environments are really stunning, and I ended up going though the areas again just to look at the views using binoculars. The music makes a return to form after the blandness that was Dark Souls II, with a lot of memorable boss tracks (my favorite is the Abyss Watchers').

Some would say Dark Souls III did a lot of things better than the previous entries and did a lot of other things worse as well. I would agree, but I'm not going to go over them because that would be a super long review in itself, so I'll just say that I immensely enjoyed Dark Souls III and have bought the Season Pass for its DLC.

#1 Monster Hunter Generations (3DS)

The original monster-hunting action game, but with new flashy moves and play styles and one of the largest roster of monsters in a single game to date.

It was kind of a toss-up for my #1 game between Dark Souls III and Monster Hunter Generations, so I decided to just compare play times. I never actually payed attention to my total playtime in either of the games, so I was really surprised when I learned I had put 134 hours into Dark Souls III and 309 fucking hours into Monster Hunter, holy shit.

I touched on it in the God Eater entry, but the main gameplay of Monster Hunter is basically just an eternal cycle of "kill monsters => get parts for weapons and armor=> make better weapons and armor => kill bigger monsters => get better parts ad infinitum".

You go on missions alone or in a team of at most 4, with your target usually being one or more big monsters. Research and observation is a big part of playing the game effectively. You learn how the monsters move, how they behave, how they attack, what their strengths and weaknesses are, which armor abilities are better to use against them, etc. There are over 10 weapon types you can use and each of them plays very differently, which means loads and loads of replayability. Experimenting with each weapon, gauging how effective it is against each monster, mastering them and creating all the different weapons and armor made from all the different monsters.

With little to no story, it really does come down to how much you enjoy the gameplay. And for me, with a combined 309 hours of gameplay over 2 characters in just a few months, I'd say I really, really enjoy the gameplay of Monster Hunter, and I haven't even mentioned the new shit they added just for Generations, fuck! You get new flashy finisher moves for each weapon type that do a lot of damage but tend to be hard to pull off, and you can play as the companion cat hunters that you usually take with you in solo missions. There are a lot of cameos from NPCs of previous games, a lot of throwback quests that used to be in previous games, a cool spin on monster variants that are the Deviant Monsters, and an overall better online experience!

Even after doing pretty much everything there is to do in the game and stockpiling a majority of the materials, I still find myself coming back to it just to hunt monsters for fun. Fuck, I love this game.

Well, there's my list. I sure gushed a lot about Monster Hunter, huh.

Good list. Shit you made me realize I completely forgot to pick up MHG and also that we never got an Arpegi MH session down

I actually tried emulating the original god eater once.

But psp emulators weren't stable enough during that time so I couldn't play it.

Nice list and great write up man!


--- Quote from: Swagmaster on January 08, 2017, 07:33:36 AM ---Good list. Shit you made me realize I completely forgot to pick up MHG and also that we never got an Arpegi MH session down

--- End quote ---

Wow yeah, I completely forgot we wanted to do that, back when 4U was the newest one.

--- Quote from: PriomBlazer on January 08, 2017, 09:05:34 AM ---I actually tried emulating the original god eater once.

But psp emulators weren't stable enough during that time so I couldn't play it.

--- End quote ---

Give it a try, man. I'd guess you'll probably like it.


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