Published on December 29th, 2016 | by Ricardo
GOTY 2016 Ricardo’s Top 5
2016 has passed us by like a hurricane filled with rusted knives, abrasive sand, and stinky poop. What a stinky year, indeed.
Except for video games!
Yeah, a lot of good games came out this year. So many that, again, with an “adult peoples” schedule, I found it a little hard to keep up. Therefore, as might be evidenced by the title of this thing, these are just the five most affecting games to ME this year. There were some I wanted to include, sure, but dammit I’m sticking to this Top 5 constraint.
I’m a man, and that’s what men do. So let’s get down to business to defeat the Huns.
5. Street Fighter V
Street Fighter V was and continues to be a damn mess. This game launched with hardly enough features and content to justify its $60 price tag (most would say it didn’t). And between “baked in” frame delay, spotty online and some questionable decisions concerning DLC, Street Fighter V is easily a contender for most disappointing game this year.
So why is it here, then? Well because Street Fighter is still that game franchise that makes me feel all tingly in my pleasure centers; take that however you wish. From EVO in July to here in December in my new apartment, my affection for this game and this franchise does not waver. Through all the mess is still an amazing fighting engine with great new ideas and some of the most beautifully realized character design– from a graphical standpoint at least. I love Street Fighter, and although V is flawed, I couldn’t help but have it consume much of my gaming time this year.
4. Let it Die
Where the hell did this game come from? Suda 51’s Grasshopper Games studio pumped out the free-to-play Let it Die for the PS4 this year and it gave me almost everything I was looking for in Dark Souls 3: Tense, stakes driven gameplay, weird and often obtuse multiplayer online components, crazy world and character design, it’s all here. That’s not to say that Dark Souls 3 wasn’t a great game, but the neon, surreal, dadaism of Let it Die grabbed me in a way Miyazaki’s dark medieval fantasy didn’t.
Plus, Uncle Death may just be my new favorite character in any game. Wild, senpai.
When you want to talk about affecting gameplay, few games have gotten under my skin like Firewatch. That’s because I don’t think Firewatch is so much about its narrative as it is about presenting you with the human condition and with the idea that all people are flawed. The adult mind is inclined to make terrible decisions and to run from responsibility, and Firewatch feels like taking a syringe full of that crippling humanity and injecting it right into your central nervous system. To say I had a few questions about what kind of person I was and what kind of life I was living after playing this game would be an understatement. That won’t be everyone’s journey with Firewatch, but it was with me.
2. Monster Hunter Generations
Another year, another Monster Hunter. It’s easy to say that Generations is a half-step; a refinement of the formula rather than a full-fledged new installment. And although that’s not entirely incorrect, goodness gracious does Generations bring a lot to the crowded Monster Hunter table. Hunting styles are a fantastic way to refine one’s playstyle, Palicoes add a fun and useful dynamic to the MH grind, and the “Fated 4” monsters are not only some of the coolest ever designed, but provide a great goal for even a beginner to strive for.
MHG was also the first game I ever played multiplayer and holy hell do I see what I’ve been missing. The monotony of gathering becomes exponentially more fun with a friend, and the dynamics of a hunt are on a whole different level with another person involved. While I’m not certain it reaches the full package potential that 4 Ultimate did, Generations is a fantastic game and the easiest point yet for new players to get intro’d to this awesome franchise.
This isn’t a surprise. You know how good this game is, so really what can I say about Blizzard’s multiplayer team shooter that hasn’t already been said? Overwatch hits so many pleasure centers, hits so many landmarks of what makes a great piece of MEDIA that it’s hard to deny it as anything short of a masterclass. Certainly time will tell where Overwatch eventually lands on the list of all-time great games, but even should the game falter in prevailing years, the litany of amazing characters and memories created here will live on.
Beyond anything, that’s a future we can all fight for. After all, the world could always use more heroes.