Games I completed in 2016

Shortest list yet; not a great year in terms of actually completing the games I bought. Ended up playing a lot of iOS free to play stuff and Beatmania IIDX (as Infinitas came out at the end of 2015).

A few surprises that year though - SMT4 Final was so much better than the original, Doom came out of nowhere and Refrain remains one of my favourite DRPGs if not actually my number 1. Ys VIII was probably my favourite overall game of the year though.

A couple of massive disappointments in Ryu ga Gotoku 6 (story, not the game bit) and Persona 5 though.

First year I added ratings; they're intended to reflect how I felt about the game when I finished it, not necessarily after any reflection. It might seem a bit harsh but they're all snap decisions.

List items

  • January - 4/5

    Fun little diversion for a couple of hours. Goes some interesting places, isn't too difficult and it makes it clear when you've seen everything.

  • January - 3/5

    I've got three of the endings. There's a better version of the good ending but the requirements are a bit too much for a the multiple hours of play I'd probably need. Good game overall but I lost too much time to crashes - three lockups which lost me multiple hours overall.

  • January - 5/5

    30 hours, nearly 70% completion. It feels like an extra "bonus" to keep us held over til 6 is finally ready but it fills out the Nishikiyama story and there's still plenty to do. The additions to the fighting styles make it the best version of the classic RGG system, since it looks like big changes are afoot. I can't wait until Thursday to try the new one out! [2017 note - that was a reference to the RGG6 demo which was included]

  • February - 5/5

    Short but full of style and the gimmick doesn't have time to wear out its welcome.

  • March - 4/5

    Making slow progress this year. This was really good, no idea why I dropped it originally. Nippon Ichi make the games faster and more intuitive to control each time around so you can concentrate on smacking enemies around and making the bar fill up to increase the numbers. The mostly silly plot helps with some great (in the Japanese at least) voice performances.

  • April - 3/5

    Good way to catch up with some videos and podcasts I'd had stacking up while on holiday. Silly story with some genuine laugh out loud moments and a battle system which lets you skip all the unnecessary fluff and animations to just get to the point that is making numbers become bigger numbers.

  • May - 4/5

    Took about 29 hours. Surprisingly good given the negativity I'd heard. The budget shows but it keeps going at a steady clip throughout and I liked the way that Personal Actions were handled this time around. I ended up liking pretty much the entire cast except the boring warrior guy.

  • May - 5/5

    Amazing. Best FPS I've played in a very, very long time. Completely unexpected as well, given the well-documented development troubles.

  • [Vita Plus version]

    May - 4/5

    A great upgrade. The ending makes more sense now and I liked the reintroduction of more characters from earlier in the series to tie it all together. Still plenty to do but I think I'll wait until the new Atelier announcement on the 28th before deciding what to do.

  • July - 2/5

    Good fun mostly but kind of fell apart towards the end. Good PC port, with some impressive visuals especially in cutscenes.

  • July - 3/5

    Worth the £3.75 I paid for it. Took about 5 hours but they stopped introducing anything new past hour 1. Combat had a good rhythm and I liked the executions but the super basic nature of it meant that it was wearing very thin by the end. The amount of videos we got instead of realtime cutscenes was extremely disappointing.

  • July - 5/5

    Took 48 hours or so. I think that it ended up outstaying its welcome towards the end but the final battle was actually one of the most fun challenges in the game, with a couple of system changes that made it more of a to-and-fro than other bosses without having to rely on massive immunity gimmicks. It definitely kept the challenge up much longer than SMT4 did, which became totally trivial about 15 hours in.

  • July - 3/5

    Definitely Remedy's weakest game in terms of the bit where you play it. Shooting and movement are fiddly, which the game is mostly aware of as they don't really put it to the test until the final boss fight - but damn, that fight is really annoying. I'm still glad I played it though simply because of its ambition. The TV series in it isn't great (though as usual Lance Reddick lifts the whole thing) but come on, it's a miniseries in a game! The time effects are extremely impressive at times, too. It stretched my PC a lot but it's pretty clear why when you see some of the things they have going on in the realtime part of the game.

  • August - 5/5

    50 hours. This only takes me one trophy away from the platinum, but that last one is basically "complete the post-game" so that's 10 hours at the very least! The reason this game works is the interaction of the game systems. The risk-reward of the carry over system cobmined with the limitations on how long you can stay out in a dungeon before the hurry up ghost completely wrecks you, the fundamental party formation differences that come when you start messing about with Covens, the character stat upgrades from rebirth, the way that wall breaking and everything else attached to the Reinforce system works, even the tacit admission that easy difficulty is where you want to be if you want to grind character levels. Sure, the story veers into pointless edginess too often (though it does earn it on occasion) but the voice acting carries it through. Surprise of the year, for sure, and it's easy to see how it kind of blew up on word of mouth.

  • September - 5/5

    Little under 45 hours in all. Starts off slowly but it does a good job of pulling you in. The Vita hardware suffers a bit from time to time - but I'd expect the PS4 version to be much better. I might check out Tokyo Xanadu EX+ next week as that should give a good idea of how that (and Cold Steel 3 next year) will run.

  • [Vita Evolution version]

    November - 5/5

    Took me about two and a half years to get through, but that's no reflection on the quality of the game. Combined with the knowledge gained from playing the two Cold Steel games (so far!) some of the more out-there elements didn't seem as silly as when I went through first time, and being able to play through with the voice acting is a big plus. I've got the Sora games lined up next; it'll be a long time before my Vita finally runs out of steam as a commute machine.

  • November - 3/5

    Clock says 102:02 but that didn't include replays. A great game almost the whole way through with just a couple of things that stuck out negatively, and they're right at the front of my mind. Maybe they'll end up fading back in time and only the positive stuff will remain, or maybe I'll just remain annoyed at how close it was to being entirely fantastic. I think the back third of the game feels quite rushed overall, and there are some scenes in the end which I thought seemed overly short for what the game was aiming for. Bullshit party wipes and burning out on the game happened multiple times too.

  • December - 2/5

    29 hours. The best playing game in the series. The worst plot and characters. Just didn't want to touch it after finishing it.

    This is two games in a row where I've been left really unsatisfied by the ending. Maybe I should take a break... but then I look above and see a bunch of games I've enjoyed throughout. Maybe I'll go back to Tokyo Xanadu.

  • December - 5/5

    Great shooting. Just super smooth control and levels fully designed around all the game's gimmicks. Only around 5 hours long but there was practically no dead time in there. I know it didn't sell that well but I'd definitely be up for another campaign like that.

  • December - 5/5

    72 hours. I think it might be my favourite Tales. Great cast, fun battles and a satisfying conclusion.