et geekera’s Ten Favourite Games of 2017

It’s kind of amazing to hear talk along the lines that 2017 could be one of the greatest years in gaming history. Nintendo has to take a lot of credit for that. Many weren’t sold on the Switch concept, especially after the initial sizzle reel but it’s turned out to be a big hit for Nintendo, both critically and commercially. According to GOTY Picks aggregation, 188 of 276 game of the year awards went to Nintendo exclusives which is amazing dominance of the industry. I’d say the Switch thing has worked out pretty well for them.

But as we wont to do around here, it’s time for us to go through et geekera’s favourite games of 2017.

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Life is Strange: Before the Storm – Episode Three Review: The Things We Do For Love

A prequel story has plenty of challenges associated with it. You have to tell an interesting story that people want to play but you can’t step on the toes of the original while backing into characters, setting and plot that builds into the original story. Fans will want a little fan service but not too much because that would be distracting.

The first two episodes of Deck Nine’s Life is Strange prequel came close to stepping on the toes of the original. At times, it feels like it changes Chloe and forces the relationship between she and Rachel Amber to get us to a particular choice-determinant scene in Life is Strange: Season One. However, when focusing on its own characters and world in Before the Storm, Deck Nine hits the right notes and makes a game that feels like a proper Life is Strange game.

The final episode would have to be the trickiest of all for Deck Nine. They have a three-year gap between Before the Storm and Season One which they need to lay the building blocks for but not seamlessly lead us from one to the other so we can account for the passage of time. Fortunately, they pulled that task off. The rest of the episode might be a bit more contentious.

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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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