et geekera’s Ten Favourite Games of 2016

We’ve reached the end of another year and I forgot to do last year’s list because I didn’t set aside enough time for it. I’ve been busy in real life and crafting a small niche on YouTube as a retrogaming let’s player. I’m trying to craft myself more time to write but winter is a bad time for that since I have to add snow shoveling to all the other day-to-day that I do.

Picking the top game for the etg top ten list was surprisingly difficult for last year year. 2016 was a top-heavy year for games. Even to this day, I think it’s a toss-up between Uncharted 4 and Overwatch for Game Of The Year but if you tried to make an argument for Doom or Ratchet & Clank or Stardew Valley or Dark Souls 3, I could completely understand it. I’m not sure that there’s the same depth in games as you get beyond the top ten so I’m not going to call. Look at 2015’s top fifteen, for example. Top to bottom, it’s an astonishingly good list of games. I don’t think that I could put together a list of fifteen or sixteen games this year that I think is as good as 2015’s.

So better late than never, here is our list of our ten favourite games of 2016. They may not be the best games of 2016 but they are the ones that I loved the most.

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NASCAR Heat 2 Review: Racing Through the Pack

NASCAR is one of America’s biggest spectator sports in terms of TV viewership and live attendance but you wouldn’t know this based on its video games. While the likes of the NFL and FIFA have massive video game franchises and the NHL and NBA also have reasonably popular games, NASCAR all but disappeared from the gaming after EA dropped its NASCAR license.

After a period where Eutechnyx had the license and the most noteworthy game they released was Ride to Hell: Retribution, 704 Games picked up the license. Partnered with Monster Games of Dirt to Daytona fame, the new NASCAR games has a bigger presence on NASCAR broadcasts and is getting in the hands of big gaming critics. So while it looks like the series is on the right track commercially, is it on the right track when you turn a wheel in anger? Having reviewed Eutechnyx’s last effort in 2015 (and understanding how that company also released Ride to Hell: Retribution), I can definitely say that the on-track product is heading in the right direction too.

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Haven: Just Passing Through Review

One complaint that kept coming up from fans of Haven during the show’s run was that the show had ignored the source material for a large portion of its run. Lip service was paid to the Stephen King novella The Colorado Kid early in the show’s run before The Kid was the focus of Season Three. Then it was ignored for Season Four and Five-A.

However, Just Passing Through, the seventh-to-last episode of Haven, started to pull The Colorado Kid back into the Haven mythology after a lengthy time off.

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Haven: Perditus Review

Has Haven been turned on its head? Well, did last week’s episode turn Haven on its head more than the fog wall, everyone in town getting Troubles, and Duke’s multinational adventure? Probably not. The good news is that this week’s episode might have an even more ridiculous Trouble but it’s starting us on the path to the series finale.

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Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 Review: On the Podium

In the year since I reviewed Motorsport Manager on mobile, Christian West went from mobile game development star to management sim superstar. He’s now the founder of PlaySport Games which developed and released Motorsport Manager on PC and used that as the basis for the new Motorsport Manager 2.

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Haven: Wild Card Review

After a fairly story-light outing in Enter Sandman and some fairly unimportant episodes in the overarching Season 5 narrative to start Season 5B, Haven made a hard turn back into the mythology of the show and the show-long story of curing the Troubles in Wild Card.

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Battlefront II Reducing Hero Prices, Keeping Loot Box Based Progression

A little over 24 hours after its community team scored the worst received comment in Reddit history, EA and DICE have responded to the criticism of the cash-grabbing practices in Star Wars: Battlefront II by announcing changes to the pricing of the unlockable hero characters in the game.

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EA Tries to Defend Battlefront II, Gets Most Downvoted Comment in Reddit History

Gamers have been vocally opposed to the industry’s move to introduce more microtransactions and loot boxes into games, especially when they can upset the balance of a competitive multiplayer experience.

This battle between the gamers opposed to constant and unbalanced microtransactions and publishers who are putting millions in their pockets through said microtransactions has come to a head in the run up to Star Wars: Battlefront II. EA’s defense of their progression through loot box acquisitions and the advantage of paying to progress was so bad that it is the most disliked comment in the history of Reddit.

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Life is Strange: Before the Storm – Episode Two Review: Fire Walk with Me

Life is Strange: Before the Storm started in the same way that the original did in that it spent the first episode building a new (but familiar) world in Arcadia Bay. After its first episode, the original Life is Strange quickly blossomed into an amazing Game of the Year winning game thanks building onto the characters, relationships and world that Dontnod established in the first episode.

The real challenge for Deck Nine, who have created their own world inside the Life is Strange story, isn’t establishing the new story, characters and relationships. Their challenge is matching Dontnod’s ability to build that world. It’s as tough a task as any but Deck Nine certainly did a damn fine job of it in Episode Two.

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Haven: Enter Sandman Review

So my return to Haven to finish the series and see more John Dunsworth didn’t get off to the best of starts. My Dunsworth mission actually went worse this week since he and Richard Donat weren’t in this week’s reviewed episode of Haven. Instead, Haven tightened its focus to Audrey and Charlotte in Haven and added another character to Duke’s adventures outside of Maine.

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