The holidays have arrived and another year has come to a close – luckily, 2016 was a year that offered gamers the chance to experience some incredible and remarkable titles each and every month.
As the year winds down and 2016 draws to an end, the DualShockers staff collected their thoughts on some of their favorite moments from throughout the year – the games we loved, the events we went to, and the experiences that made us all proud to be gamers in 2016. We also shared what we’re looking forward to in the year ahead, and how 2017 can (hopefully) live up to what this year offered us for gaming.
Leif Conti-Groome, Staff Writer
With the usual set of delays and cancellations that plague the industry each year, it was nice to see one of my most anticipated games come back from the dead this year, Allison Road. The game has had a very interesting journey ever since the pre-alpha video released in June 2015.
It’s too much to go into detail here, but it’s been through a Kickstarter campaign and through a publisher. After the game was unceremoniously dropped in June, I was amazed to see it revived by the original creator in August. Updates have been semi-regular on the Allison Road Twitter page and I’m really hoping this indie horror title will see the light of day at some point. Something good has to come from the tragic loss of Silent Hills, and this psuedo-spiritual successor would be an excellent homage to the brilliant P.T.
Tyler Fischer, Staff Writer
2016 has been a great year. I platinumed one of my favorite games of all time: Bully. I got to revisit Geralt and ride Roach one more time in The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine. I even got to send Nathan Drake off over the horizon with one last hoorah. But most importantly, I was able to carry over my title as the Top Rocket League Trash Talker into 2016, where the trash talking only got better. Shout out to Money_MAMziel for pushing and inspiring me to new trash talking heights.
There were also just a lot of great games: Uncharted 4, The Banner Saga 2, The Final Station, XCOM 2, Stardew Valley, Hearts of Iron IV, Overwatch, Inside, Oxenfree, Firewatch, Titanfall 2, Dishonored 2, The Last Guardian, Darkest Dungeon, and many, many more.
As for 2017 (in regards to gaming), I’m probably most excited for Mass Effect: Andromeda, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Prey, Hello Neighbor, Tokyo 42, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, and of course Windjammers. Oh, and that little guy the Nintendo Switch is coming out. Yeah, that’s happening.
Tomas Franzese, Staff Writer
My favorite gaming moment/announcement of 2016 was the announcement of Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite at PlayStation Experience. As a gigantic comic book and video game fan, I was overjoyed when the next game of this great series was announced. I got Marvel vs. Capcom 3 shortly after release in 2011 and played a ton of it with my brother, and truly began to appreciate this fighting franchise.
While I was hearing tons of rumors and speculation about a new Marvel vs. Capcom game in November, I didn’t believe any of it. It just seemed to unlikely because Marvel was now owned by Disney, and they didn’t really seem to care much about the console market, but I guess those rumors turned out to be true. Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite has quickly become my most anticipated game of next year. The early gameplay videos for it seem promising, so I hope the game can live up to my expectations and deliver a very solid fighting game experience that brings this classic fighting game franchise back into the fold.
Azario Lopez, Staff Writer
2016 brought plenty of exciting game related announcements and releases. I feel that my favorite was finally being able to continue The Legend of Heroes series with Trails of Cold Steel 2. Getting the chance to spend another 80+ hours with the characters that develop over one of the greatest RPG stories ever told was time well spent. Looking forward to all the RPG series coming in 2017 including Atelier Firis and NieR: Automata! BRING IT ON!
David Lozada, Staff Writer
It’s no secret to friends of mine that I have a love/hate relationship with the Pokémon series.
Growing up with Silver, Gold, Crystal, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, I feel like I evolved with the franchise throughout the years, going through grade school, middle school, and high school during that same time period. The games were like childhood friends, in a sense, because they were worlds I could belong to when I didn’t feel like putting up with the real one, and something familiar I could turn to when everyone else turned me down.
Fast forward to present day and the franchise is still a friend to me, but one that stopped growing up. While I moved on to attend college, Pokémon moved on to prettier visuals, but did little to convince me that it matured. I played Black, White, and their sequels, and couldn’t help but quickly become bored. The same feeling lasted with me as I played X and Y, and now I’m reluctant to play Sun and Moon because, at a glance, it’s the same tired game for me.
But that could be a good thing. I think it’s best for human beings to never lose grasp of their childhood imagination, because without it the world lacks a lot less life. Knowing this, I can’t say that Pokémon games aren’t anything less than good – they’re just not for me anymore. Nintendo knows what they’re doing, and keeping the franchise kid-friendly is what makes most sense to them.
It’s all of this and more, then, that I thought about as I stood on a long line braving the cold in anticipation of Nintendo New York’s 20th anniversary celebration of the franchise this past February. Once inside, me and my 20-something year old friends hugged a giant Pikachu, won TCG cards, and bought lots of merch. Most importantly, we couldn’t help but feel like kids again, and its that passion that matters, even if the games themselves stay stuck in the past.
Nintendo’s 2017 is going to be interesting, to say the least. Personally I’m most excited to see what they’ll be able to pull off with the Switch and what games they’re cooking up with come launch day. The rumors will keep swirling, but we’ll only learn more for sure come the new year, and I can’t wait to be blown away. Impress me enough and who knows – I might even play the next Pokémon game on it.
Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor
2016, more than any other year, filled with me more hope and joy from my favorite pastime than ever before. In a year that saw landmark releases like Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Overwatch, unexpected surprises like DOOM, wonderful indies like Firewatch and Inside, and the long-awaited releases of The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy XV, the fact that I’m still trying to catch up on what 2016 had to offer should speak to both the hard work of those that makes games and the quality of the games released this year.
Aside from the game’s released this year, 2016 also brought out some memorable moments that I can’t wait to see come to fruition in the next year. In 2016 alone we saw the first glimpses of Hideo Kojima’s bizarre (in a good way) Death Stranding, the announcement of the highly-anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2, and the reveal of the Nintendo Switch – a moment that feels like it’s been years in the making.
Despite playing (literally) dozens of games a year, moments like these in 2016 are the ones that I live for. They’re the moments that reignite my own passion in both playing and writing about games and keep me looking forward to what’s coming next, and I can’t wait to see many of these moments happen.
As far as 2017 goes, I’ll be eagerly awaiting to get my hands on the Nintendo Switch and see what Nintendo’s next console has to offer (which I’m hoping is lots), along with many of the titles that I just can’t wait to play and experience for myself: namely, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Persona 5, Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Red Dead Redemption 2.
Giuseppe Nelva, Editor-in-Chief
My favorite gaming moment of 2016 is…all of 2016. It was an outstanding year for gaming, with games that have finally been released, in real and tangible form, after so many years of being little more than dreams.
Being old enough to have lived the outset of gaming, every day I find reasons to be impressed and awed by how far we have come. We can lose ourselves in massive, fantastic worlds, connect with lovely characters in stories that make us smile, laugh and cry, and experience different cultures through the work of developers from every corner of Earth.
I feel that many don’t realize how fortunate we are to live in this era, as gamers. Personally, I consider myself blessed for every step gaming allows me to make within every world developers create for me.
Doubtlessly, 2017 will bring even more of this, with NieR: Automata, Gravity Rush 2, Ace Combat 7, Ni No Kuni II, new expansions for Final Fantasy XIV and Black Desert Online, and many more. I’m looking forward to another year in which I’ll have countless reasons to be happy and proud to be a gamer.
Kenneth Richardson, Staff Writer
2016 will likely be best remembered as the year the epic wait for Final Fantasy XV finally came to an end. As splendid as that is, the year also marked the 20th anniversary of the Pokémon series and Nintendo definitely made the occasion special.
Pokémon GO created a tidal wave of hype and drew millions of fans, old and new, with its titanic launch back in July. Everybody and their mother was talking about the game. Pokémon Sun and Moon would become the fastest selling Nintendo releases ever later in the year. All the while, we’ve had a continuous stream of distribution events, new TCG releases, virtual console releases and so much more that many will undoubtedly recall 2016 as the year of #Pokemon20. See our Pokemon love letter for related reading.
2017 looks to be an exciting year indeed. The titles I am most excited for include NieR: Automata, Persona 5, Dungeon Travelers 2-2 and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite among others. I look forward to seeing more of the Nintendo Switch and seeing more pronounced PS4 Pro exclusive features in games.
Resellers are having a field day with the NES Classic Edition; I wonder how soon Nintendo will alleviate the stock issue. I know it’s a long shot but it would be amazing to see more of the Final Fantasy VII remake and Kingdom Hearts III. I’m also interested in seeing what support for the PS Vita will be like into the new year. Of course, the Oculus Rift and especially the PSVR are still new, so hopefully we’ll get to see stronger VR releases next year as well.
Steven Santana, Staff Writer
One of my favorite gaming memories came late in the year. Having finally purchased Overwatch two weeks ago, I only played a few rounds alone and enjoyed it. However, a friend invited me to her party which was then absorbed by another and we soon had six people all in party chat with headsets sharing jokes and game information.
This continued for three nights in a row as we exchanged some members but always seemed to be online in the evening despite our time differences. As I look forward to 2017, I wonder if another multiplayer game will eat up our collective time and be as much of a joy to play both socially and competetively as Overwatch has been for me this past month.
From us here at DualShockers, we thank you all for your readership and support in 2016 and wish you all happy holidays! We hope you enjoy your holidays with plenty of video games and good times, and see you all in 2017.