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Published on January 8th, 2017 | by IceCube

2016 Video Game Awards

In this years’ edition of Gamebug’s Video Game Awards, we’re keeping this simple: The Best 5 Games of 2016. Check’em out!

5. Fire Emblem Fates

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Meanwhile in portable gaming, there’s some cool games coming out that us big-screen folk are missing out on. In this case, it’s three games: Conquer, Birthright & Revelation, all released at the same time for an epic 3-game adventure. While the total game time is large, the game quality of this JRPG matched with beautiful anime artwork and clean turn-based combat. It also features a great, purpose-driven story, which is hard to find in this genre.

4. Inside

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I didn’t think developers, Play Dead Studios, could possibly match the awesomeness of their previous game, Limbo. I was wrong. This grim and bleak side-scrolling adventure is endlessly intriguing. From the minute you start running, you’re engaged in a thought-provoking adventure, filled with clever puzzles and heart-pumping escapes. It draws you in with mystery and traps you with original concepts and brilliant parallax visuals. I can’t deal with arty concepts for the sake of being arty – but this game is exquisite art with a purpose.

3. Overwatch

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This first-person multiplayer shooter was the first of its kind to convert a hater like me into the genre. Yeah, I generally don’t get the appeal of the online COD clones, but Overwatch not only cleans up many of the pains of online gaming, it also looks good with super-clean and colourful graphics. The variety of characters and their roles and unique abilities provide an outlet for those like me who struggle shooting accurately in these games. Each match you play has different feels, there’s a good progression system, and it’s loaded with smart gameplay nuances that fix some of the pains in most online military shooters.

2. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

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Was there really any doubt we’d see this in the list? There shouldn’t be. Nathan Drake’s latest adventure is a masterpiece… again. Don’t ignore it. Just don’t. The third-person Indiana Jones-like, treasure-seeking adventure is somehow even more impressive than its predecessors, leading the gaming industry with benchmark-setting graphics, gameplay and story.

1. Dark Souls III

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Dark Souls III is not “the game for everyone” that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is, but after lengthy consideration, I’m going rogue and hailing it the game of the year, for two reasons: 1) If you experience the game from start to end – despite the usual trying difficulty – it is BEAUTIFUL. Actually, all of the games in this series are beautiful in dark gothic kinda way, and this game is simply icing on the cake.  2) As gazillions of dollars enters the video game industry, the true-born “hobby-to-hero” game developers out there have been replaced by suits with marketing degrees, and the result is an industry of hyper-realistic games that play the same, look the same, and lack imagination. The more I think about what Dark Souls adds to the triple-A console market, the more I realize how suddenly-awful and boring our triple-A gaming options would be without it. The Dark Souls trilogy is THE saving grace in a gaming market that is dictated by integrity-free investors who put their dollars into Call of Duty’s and other titles they overheard their kids mention once. Politics aside, Dark Souls III earns this spot. It is the best experience in gaming, from it’s imaginative themes, to it’s stunning visuals, to it’s deep combat gameplay, to it’s level designs, to it’s clever online system, to it’s gripping nature, to it’s unique… everything.

Which-games-missed-out-and-why (in one sentence):

Street Fighter V – Looked cool, but super limited gameplay moves and serious lack of modes.

Far Cry Primal – A silly game.

Tom Clancy’s The Division – Can’t deal with the horrible female character customization options.

Quantum Break – Loved the story and overall direction but struggled to get into the tired “time manipulation” thing and most of the casting choices.

Star Fox Zero – Ok, but didn’t match the impact of the original SNES version.

Battleborn – Lost the war against bitter rival, Overwatch, and failed to salvage itself with stingy single-player modes.

Doom – Great soundtrack, but openly dissed the impact of story in video games, so, fail.

Homefront: The Revolution – Yeah, buying the title rights from the late THQ (former publisher) was a mistake.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst – A real shame the story and script was so poor.

No Man’s Sky – I don’t understand why people were so shocked by how bad this game was, nor why the hype was so high in the first place.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – I’m the biggest fan of the prequel, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but this sequel was missing the ‘spirit’ that made it feel so special.

ReCore – Was gonna praise this underrated game until the end boss access required replaying every tedious challenge room in the game with a top score.

Forza Horizon 3 – A perfectly worthy top 5 game for racing fans out there.

Mafia III – Might be the worst game I’ve ever played with the worst characters I’ve ever seen and the worst premise ever conceived and worst sequel idea to ever be decided.

Gears of War 4 – I loved the Gears of War series and loved this game too, but the truth is I was kinda done with it before, and those feelings hadn’t changed after beating this one too.

Battlefield 1 – Kudos to EA for continuing to move Battlefield away from futuristic soldiering, but at the end of the day it still has the distinct stench of just another Battlefield game, so, yawn.

Titanfall 2 – A much better effort than before and bravo for cutting the arrogance and making a single-player campaign this time.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – The game was badly scarred from the moment they called it “Call of Duty”.

Dishonored 2 – This game is so sexist, I can’t believe you can only choose to play as one of two blokes. (Yeah, I know)

Final Fantasy XV – No, I don’t enjoy playing a JRPG for hundreds of hours as… an Emo rock band?

Watch Dogs 2 – I defended the first game hard, but even I could see this sequel was a terrible idea from the start.

Dead Rising 4 – Sequels, sequels, everywhere. Sequels, sequels that I don’t care.

The Last Guardian – A nice little emotional journey that scrapes outside the top of our list.

 

 

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