Game of the Year 2016 User's Choice

Yo this might get kinda personal I don't know let's see?

2016 has been a huge year for me in a life sense. I had my university graduation in April and started seeing a counsellor to help me work through my dysphoria etc. Later on in the year I started working through the bureaucratic processes related to starting hormone replacement therapy. Interrupting that process was me getting a dang job, which I'm still incredulous about how well that whole thing is going. I've gotten back on the HRT path in the last few weeks, getting some ancillary appointments out of the way. Now all I'm doing is basically just trying to hold on long enough to get my consent forms in.

So I guess what I'm saying it's been an extremely tough and busy year, so I didn't get to play all that much, but let's see how this list turns out anyway?

11-15 are unordered honourable mentions.

List items

  • I don't want to say too much about this game, to be honest. It might be one of the most meaningful experiences I've ever had with a game, maybe media in general?

    I cried a bunch playing this and it's the only thing on this list that was an absolute lock, both inclusion and position, from the very beginning.

    It's like $8, but is on sale for $4 right now and I really can't recommend it enough.

  • Hyper Light Drifter is real good shit. It is absolutely beautiful, the soundtrack is amazing, it just feels good to move around in. I still haven't finished it since there's still a few secrets I'm missing. Once I've tracked those down I'll finish this thing off, but jeez I love it so much.

  • I'm really conflicted on this one. I've dumped almost 300 hours in it and I still haven't finished all the missions. My daily routine is me logging in, getting daily rewards, checking Virtual PF battles, doing event FOBs, and if there's nobody to retaliate against, quit. If someone has attempted an infiltration on my base, I make it my mission to steal literally everything they own and give them the weirdest damn replay imaginable.

    There's some very distinct sections to this game, and they're of wildly varying quality. The start while resources are still tight and your equipment isn't amazing yet is an interesting challenge, even for someone who doesn't like low-information stealth. There's the exciting mid-period where you have all these cool new things to try which is fun. Eventually you end up where I am though: Where everything is either piss-easy (silenced tranquiliser sniper rifles are busted), or stupidly difficult.

    Backup Back Down was perhaps one of the worst missions I'd ever played in a videogame, until I attempted the extreme version.

    On some level I bring it on myself. I'm not satisfied unless I finish a mission doing all objectives in one run without killing anyone or getting spotted and it can make some of the harder missions just drag.

    Story-wise the game is kind of a mess at multiple points. The whole Quiet "reveal" that she is the assassin at the beginning of the game is terrible. The idea that Miller wasn't operating on that knowledge to begin with both left a bad taste in my mouth, and was just poor writing.

    Metal Gear has been something I'm conflicted on since like 2 or 3 so I guess this isn't all that much of a surprise.

  • The Witness is a bad game. This is a good one. (Yes I might just end up using this entry to complain about The Witness fuck you.)

    I really like these exploration-based puzzle games. Kairo, Antichamber, and to some degree I suppose Grimrock counts, and this is a very good one. The FMV is excellent all throughout, it lets you pick your character's shadow which is awesome, and it's just a pretty world to move through and explore. I vastly prefer this game's puzzles that always directly manipulate the environment, compared to The Witness' often orphaned panels. I might end up writing something later on about why I don't like The Witness, but I think I've already had that conversation with most of the people who will read this.

  • Got this last year during Christmas time, and I've been playing a bunch of it throughout this year and I've really enjoyed it. I don't know if I'll ever finish my hard mode playthrough, but I've enjoyed it either way. Even just wandering around and exploring is fun, especially with the game's wonderful soundtrack.

  • Hacknet is mother fucking stylish. It's no Uplink and is fairly linear, but that isn't that much of a problem when the game has a decent enough story and some well designed missions. The penultimate mission is probably the best use of Roller Mobster ever. After being disappointed by hackmud, I came back to this.

  • Devil Daggers is a weird game for me. On the one hand I wish my initial impression of "Oh man is this some spiritual successor to Hexen?" was correct, but I still quite like what it actually was.

  • I have not yet finished this because the way a conversation with a character went made me feel kinda shitty, but I've really enjoyed my time with it. I'll get back to it one of these days.

  • Salt and Sanctuary is exactly what you think it will be, but it executes on it do well got the most part that the lack of surprises really don't matter at all. If like me you kinda liked the first Dark Souls, but never got into the later ones, this is probably a good buy.

  • I like tactics games. I think Front Mission 3 is the best game ever made, and while I prefer point-based movement systems, XCOM's walk/run system is fine and works well here. Also Piper Faraday is hot.

  • Cibele is a really cool window into a certain part of videogames, or even just broad life stuff, that I never had any experience with. I never really played MMOs, and I've definitely never been in a relationship with someone I'd met through such a medium. I think I'd maybe get more out of it with those experiences, but it was interesting either way. Make sure you check out the bloopers in the game files.

  • Flipping tables is fun. Likely the best run-based game I've played all year (I'm not counting Devil Daggers, that's more survival). The puns are all top-notch, the gun references are pretty good. There's some annoying things with the way collision can work (wings don't let you fly over tables), but all up I've had a lot of fun with it.

  • I dunno it made me cry, ok?

  • It's pretty good, but I've kind of cooled (heh) on it over time.

  • I like this game but due to technical issues I never finished it. A real bummer. Would probably be in the top 10 were it not for that.