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:Year In Review 2016: Simon Does – Staff Writer

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Top 10 Gaming Releases/Events

By Simon Does – Game Reviewer

So as this wonderful year decides to wind down, the ball is to drop at midnight tonight, it’s a night such as this where the reflection upon events that have happened this past year are thought about once more. Through ups and downs, thick and thin, we stand together as we all think about items and releases that have affected us all in the year of 2016. This is just a mere list of my top ten releases/events that were important to me over this year.

10: Konami’s Cash Out

Konami has become the bane of some developer’s existence; a company that had major breakthroughs in the world of gaming stretching from the NES to the PS4 has gone from a Triple A company to a hollowed shell that will do anything for money; and their biggest cash out? Metal Gear Solid and arguably Castlevania, however I will focus on Metal Gear Solid as it is one of my personal favorite series, and the amount of BS surrounding it lately has been intolerable. Much, much earlier than the posting of this article Konami announced something that when initially seen would have become groundbreaking—they released footage of cut-scenes of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater running on Kojima’s Fox Engine. It looked far more beautiful than I had ever seen before…then the camera panned out and it was a Pachinko machine announcement. Out of everything Konami has done in recent years from halting all development on Triple A games to its Big Brother-like tactics of monitoring and punishing employees, this by far and away was the biggest insult to receive from them.

9: Skyrim Remastered

Few things can compare to the powerhouse that is Bethesda, all the way back to Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind to the new Doom, this company has never failed to deliver. This year was no exception. In addition to continued support of Fallout 4, the company released the masterpiece Skyrim in a new remastered form and it has never looked more beautiful. Everything looks more colorful, the world feels more expansive than ever seen before. Clearly the development teams at Bethesda know what they are doing, especially for PC players as the game was given away for free if you owned the PC edition as well as the DLC. Long live Bethesda.

8: Battlefield 1

EA continues to deliver with its high energy fast paced Battlefield games, and Battlefield 1 was no exception to this streak. Taking place in World War I, the game has a rather odd but intriguing story mode. The game consists of different “War Stories” told by different men on all sides of the war during different times, leading to a captivating story. But who cares about a story? It’s Battlefield; everyone is here for the multi-player and the craziness of it has not let up. You still have everyone from the new players to the battle hardened veterans pulling off insane stunts, such as having your combat plane blown up, however you escaped just at the right moment and parachuted down, but midway through your buddy catches you and you become his co-pilot/gunman on the spot. Crazy stuff man.

7: Super Mario Run

Long time veteran Nintendo has finally decided to jump into the mobile industry in a big way. They had already experimented with their game Miitomo, and it was extremely popular upon launch, but slowly lost traction; however, announced earlier this year was Super Mario Run. An iOS exclusive, the game’s main premise is of course as the name implies, running. It sounds simple—that’s because it is—and really that’s all I have to say on this one. I’ve tried it, liked it, I would recommend you do too.

6: No Man’s Sky Legal Issues

This one didn’t really impress me, as much as it did make me laugh constantly. Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky was under investigation for false advertising. When it was announced years ago it was promised feature after feature, and when release day rolled around, people found out extremely quickly, pretty much immediately, that the game they forked over $60 for was not going to deliver its promises, so of course an investigation ensued. However, there is a little bit of silver lining for Hello Games—they were cleared of almost every accusation and the developers continue to update the game, albeit the major updates slowly.

5: The Announcement of the Nintendo Switch

Nintendo made a surprise announcement back in the middle of November. They stated that in a few days’ time the Nintendo NX would finally be revealed, and once it did, it sent the social media and business world spiraling. The thought of it was almost inconceivable, the ability to play a home console style game in the palm of your hand? That’s Nintendo. They innovate to improve the overall happiness and feeling of the gamer, and I can’t wait to get ahold of new information on January 12 and my own console sometime in March.

4: Pokémon Sun and Moon

There are an impossible amount of things that I could say about this release, but let me narrow it down to a single fact. You need this game. Game Freak pulled out all the stops on this title and it shows with every little detail in this game. From the new Hawaii-inspired region to an NPC trainer seeing me through her legs when she was stretching and initiating a battle, this game is built smarter than most and more fun than others. This is the definition of an age-defying game series, and this game was a prime addition. Bless you Game Freak, bless you.

3: Overwatch

Do you have $30 to spare? A good-ish computer with good-ish internet connection? Then I’m sorry friend, you need this game. Overwatch has become the definition of addiction, eating up hours upon hours upon weeks of time for any member of the community. The gameplay is quick, action and team oriented, and it will make you happy, sad, cry, and so angry you break something important. You’ll come back however, they always come back and shove more and more hours into this game. Blizzard knew what they were doing when they were working on this game, and their train of success shows absolutely no sign of stopping.

2: The Man, the Myth, the Legend: Hideo Kojima Returns

During E3 2016, the theatre that the Sony Conference was being held would dim, white floor panels would appear, and the visionary for the gaming world would stroll down it and needlessly introduce himself as Hideo Kojima, a former Konami employee and the creator of so many worlds that tens of millions would come to enjoy and love. Not only did he introduce himself, but he announced his next project that has many upon many people drooling for more information. He titled it as Death Stranding and it will see the return of actor Norman Reedus as the protagonist. It was later announced at the VGA’s that Mads Mikkelsen would be joining the cast in a short trailer featuring director Guillermo Del Toro. Little else is known on the project other than it will be a PS4 exclusive.

1: Stardew Valley

I’m sorry, but considering I have over 400 hours clocked into this game, it just had to be my number one choice for gaming in 2016, in my own opinion. This game has actually been the reason I’ve cancelled plans with friends and a date once, and I almost have no regrets about it. If you enjoy yourself some Harvest Moon and have been dying to get it on PC, get this game; you will never regret it and you will find yourself lost for hours on end tending to your farm, mining, fighting, or even looking for that one item that only appears twice a year just to make that one NPC happy and build a stronger relationship with them. Going into the game I thought it was monotonous and boring, but after an hour or two I was completely captured by this game’s beauty and integrity. So if there was only one other game for you to receive for the rest of your life, I would recommend this game (at least until Death Stranding comes out).

Happy New Years 🙂

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