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BAKOON's Top 10 Games of 2016

Destroy fire, revisit the PlayStation Portable, and explore the origins of the Frankensteiner in BAKOON's favorite games of 2016.

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Good Internet Boy BAKOON is also known as Bay Area artist Oliver Leach. In 2016, he was interviewed by ArtNews, which was cool. You may enjoy his online content via Twitter, Twitch, and Vine (for now).

Hello everyone. I wish I were a bird. It is time again for my favorite games, the Games of the Year. You might notice that several of the games in this list were not released in this calendar year of 2016. This is because I played more older games than newer games this year, and also because reality has no meaning anymore. Time is just a word. Bionic Commando can jump now. Truth and lies are interchangeable. Jamie Lee Curtis is still selling yogurt that makes you gotta take a crap, though.

So, here are the games:

10. Art Camion: Geijutsuden

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This is an 18-wheeler racing game for the PlayStation. All of the shoulder buttons are for yelling different things out of your truck window at the other driver. The music is glorious. At work I close my eyes and I am behind the wheel of that heavily pixelated and lit up Japanese truck and I just let loose...

9. Darkest Dungeon

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I finally got around to this and I instantly see why everybody was losing their shit/recommending it to me for so long. A linear team-based roguelike set in a series of terrible, filthy places. Lovecraftian in the right way (not just unspeakable cosmic obscenities, but their effects on the human mind as well), it is hard as hell and mean as a bad dog loose in Gamespot.

It also provides a good example of one of the more important lessons in adult life: all it takes is one asshole to fuck up a party.

8. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner - Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army

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I beefed in around 80 hours in this game over the course of a month and I loved the hell out of it. It is set in the same universe(?)/framework of monsters as everyone’s favorite JRPG series, Persona, but with an action hack-and-slash combat system, abandoning the turn-based thing. You play a spiritual detective in Tokyo in the '20s, investigating why red caped demons and their servants, animated corpses wearing stylized stormtrooper uniforms, are making a mess of things.

I was going to include Final Fantasy XV, but it is vague and kind of boring so far. In the SMT Devil Summoner, Rasputin, the mad monk, is a robot sent by the inter-dimensional time protection agency to make sure a giant Japanese naval ship doesn’t turn into a city destroying robot powered by the souls of people dissatisfied with early 20th century industrialization. Much better and worth your time. Action RPG Pokémon with penis monsters and killer tunes.

7. Star Parodia

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Or “Star Parodier” (after “Star Soldier”) is Hudson’s rip off of Konami’s shooter parody series Parodius. A parody of a parody of a parody. It is a top-down shooter, similar to Raiden or TwinBee. One of the ships, though, is the console itself, a PC Engine Duo. It is fun as hell. Trust me, folks, I would not lie to you about shit like this.

6. WTF: Work Time Fun

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A PlayStation Portable game from the brain butchers over at D3 Publisher. I’ve played it since its release in 2005, but this year I haven’t been able to stop. It is a mini-game collection that really hates you for playing it. At the completion of each mini game (which includes things such as “work on an assembly line in southeast Asia putting caps on ballpoint pens until your eyes hurt from the monotony of it” and “try not to jab an ice pick through your fingers”) you are given a small amount of money. You waste this money on capsule machines that give you garbage toys like rubber bugs and vampire teeth. The save screen is a photograph of a car filled to the brim with garbage. It is one of the better video games ever created.

5. Stardew Valley

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A story about a man who kills himself in his cubicle and, in his dying moments, has a dream of an idyllic farm life. Just typing the words Stardew Valley makes me want to go play a couple of in-game days. Such a pleasant experience.

How did he kill himself in his cubicle? Uncertain. Still looking for clues within the game. I don’t trust this wily Pierre…

4. Ignition Factor/The Firemen

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The two SNES fireman games. I played the hell out of these games this year and I couldn’t tell you why beyond my hatred for the concept of fire and my desire to play something fun. The Firemen is a fun shooter game where you murder sentient (?) fire as two cartoonish firefighter boys. Ignition Factor, a Jaleco joint that was called “Fire Fighting” in Japan, you have got to use some strategy. Pick which gear to bring, which lives are worth saving. Harrowing. All in all, a dope mouthfeel.

3. Everblue 2

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A 2002 game for the gentleman’s console, the PlayStation 2. You play a disembodied ocean boy named Leo who helps the citizens of an island through the power of finding garbage while scuba diving. It is very slowly paced in a way that I found really appealing. There is a shark at one point and you go inside several boats that have sunk. I played it to completion twice in 2016. You also see an octopus.

2. Let It Die

Suda 51 and one of the guys from Silent Hill 4 made a tower roguelike game. It is the best utilization of the “free-to-play” concept that I can think of: making it explicitly an arcade game. Each “life” is fifty cents. If you are patient, careful, and don’t suck, you won’t need to spend a dime.

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It plays better than something like this has any right to play. It is Azure Dreams with exploding heads and hockey stick murder. The violence is percussive and so, so appealing. I googled where the term “Frankensteiner" came from because of this game so it is educational as well.

Uncle Death is my favorite video game character since Baron Aloha in Jumping Flash. He went to the doctor and found out that he didn’t have any internal organs, just a lot of nasty gunky shit. And that is cool. Honorable mention goes to the Mushroom Queen. She has some of the most unnerving dialogue in any recent media that I can think of. Not even the content of it, just her delivery. It is weird!

1. Doom

They made a new Doom and they didn’t fuck it up. Immediately after I beat the campaign I started a new save on a harder difficulty level. That shit is unheard of. I can’t remember the last time I did something like that. Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts? Does that count?

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Doom guy was in Hell since Doom 2 came out. He learned how to do parkour during that time from some demons that were probably wearing fingerless gloves and form fitting messenger bags. They successfully extended the Doom guy’s movement into the Y axis. It is Mirror’s Edge at 2.5 times the speed, plus you pull people jaws off their heads and use them to rip their throat out. You did absolutely none of that shit in any of the Mirror’s Edge games.

I want to play New Doom 2. I want to play it as soon as possible. I want to kill that robot.

Predicting big things for this “Ouya” device in 2017, folks. Also predicting: Robocop 2 style ampoule drugs that will be injected into the neck, Funcoland relaunching, and no celebrities will die all year. In fact, no one will. Ever again! Happy gaming.