Happy July! We’re now over half way through the calendar year of 2016. All things considered, it’s been a top class season for gamers. We’ve had some well received AAA releases, a ton of great indies and a few surprises. Flaws aside, it’s been a fun ride, but what counts as our favourite moments so far? So what do you think Mark will pick?
There’s an absolute bumper crop of games that could easily make this list. There’s even more that will make it by the end of the year. To say we’re spoilt for choice these days is a the ultimate understatement, but it makes narrowing down a list such as this increasingly more difficult. It also means I have far less time to devote to my favourite past time than ever before, especially with Netflix and YouTube to entertain me. Anyway, with that aside, there’s a few key releases that have so far made by 2016 all the more enjoyable.
I’ve name dropped Superhot a few times now and for good reason. A clever combination of puzzle solving, shooting and slow motion time mechanics, it’s the perfect antidote to Doom’s endless blood letting. Unfortunately, it’s still missing on the Xbox Live Australia store as of the publication of this article, but those elsewhere should definitely give it a shot if they’re looking for something different yet somehow familiar.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
Kinda obvious, right? I reviewed this one a little while ago and it deserves to have some of the spotlight in what can only be described as the quietest year in Nintendo history … outside of all the NX/Pokemon Go stuff, of course. Kirby is a wonderful platformer full of colour and smile inducing action. Anyone looking for a reason to continue using your 3DS should pick this up.
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Doom as much as I did, but the single player campaign delivered some exciting moments, bone crunching combat and plenty of references to the original series. Though the multiplayer didn’t catch fire in the same way, the campaign had enough moments to put a smile on my face in ways many other shooters haven’t for a good while.
It might not have been the platform game of the year we were hoping for, but Unravel introduced us to a character and a world full of endless emotion. The tale of Yarney will forever go down as a rollercoaster not in its gameplay but in its story, there’s certainly very little out there like it. Niggling platform issues aside, this still hit the right notes for me, and hopefully we’ll see more of the little red yarn guy that could sometime in the future.
The other PN2 team members have mentioned some of the games that just didn’t click with them. As much as I could list a fair few, there’s only one game that disappointed me more than any other this year so far.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s still some enjoyment to be had in Ubisoft’s open world shooter, but there’s so much more that could have been accomplished here. The potential to create an eery adventure, a setting that unsettles as much as enthrals, fell by the wayside rather early once we all figured out the mechanics and the rather un-original combat. I did enjoy the early moments, but it didn’t take long to settle into boredom, and that’s never a good sign.
Mark Isaacson is a freelance journalist and editor of PN2. Go say hi @Mark_D_Isaacson