Let's all happily put 2016 in the rearview and get 2017 started. I played everything under the sun in 2016
, but actually finished very few games. We'll see if this year fares any better.
FINISHED IN 2017
- Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood. A
- This one will likely just be ongoing for the next couple years. Get to the end of the story, grind for gear, wait for next patch/expansion. Rinse, repeat. (all the hours)
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (3DS) - February 6 - A
. I technically "beat" this last year, but have gone back through and beaten the "Ultimate Score" for every song and unlocked every character. Now it's finished.
- Nier Automata (PS4) - March 28 - A-
. I finished the first two endings, and started the third. Enjoyed it, but it hasn't quite blown me away yet like the previous game did. Will keep going for the other 4. (28 hours, so far)
- Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4) - April 4 - A++++
. I never expected to enjoy this, and came away completely thrilled with it. Possibly my favorite game of this generation, so far. Incredible world, an amazing heroine, a brilliant story, and engaging combat. Just stellar all around.
- Gridiron Solitaire (PC) - April 23 - B+
. A wholly engaging game of football, played via solitaire. It gets dinged a point or two for some wonky AI, but a hell of a lot of fun. Played through a full season (13-2) and won the GFL cup. 23 hours.
- Dreamfall Chapters (PS4) - May 15 - B+
. A wonderful story with amazing dialog and incredible voice work. Unfortunately, it got bogged down by an absolutely awful engine. Still, it was a very satisfactory ending to a series I started nearly 20 years ago. 20'ish hours.
- Nex Machina (PC) - June 30 - B+
. Robotron meets Smash TV meets current-gen graphics. A chaotic blast.
- Guild Wars 2 (PC) - Sept 28 - A
. Finished the base game with a Revenant. Lots of fun, even if the game seems to go out of it's way to be obtuse and difficult to figure out. After 80 hours, I'm still not sure I really know how to play my class. Oh well, it's still fun. On to HoT and PoF, eventually.
- Y's VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (PS4) - Nov 14 - A=
. Far more fun than I ever would have expected. Excellent combat, interesting story, likeable characters, fun exploration, and wonderful music. A total surprise, but a very welcome one. 37 hours.
- Valley (PC) - Dec 5 - A
. An absolutely amazing journey matched with incredible visuals and a fantastic story. Came completely out of left field and I totally loved it. 5 hours.
- Madden 18 "Longshot" story (PS4) - Dec 23 - B+
. Far more fun than I expected. While I usually just suck at Madden, playing through this story was a blast. Excellent digital acting and interesting characters really helped sell it. Doubt I'll spend much time with the rest of the game, but the story mode was worth the price of admission.
- Everybody's Golf (PS4)
- Lineage 2 Revolution (iPad)
- FIFA 18
Played and Quit/Gave up on
- Dragon Quest VIII (3DS). Turns out my tolerance for old-school, grindy JRPG's is very low these days. Got about 15 hours in before getting bored.
- Neverwinter (PS4). While it's the best console MMO not named FF XIV, the end-game grind just isn't very fun in this one, and there's absolutely zero sense of community.
- Dragon Age Inquisition (PS4). Got about 50 hours in before wandering off to other things.
- Uncharted 4 (PS4). This series just does not click with me, at all. I just get bored every time, even though the productions values are off the charts. Around 8 hours.
- Zelda: BotW (WiiU). Couldn't hold a candle to Horizon Zero Dawn. Just seemed so dull in comparison, with no interesting story or characters to speak of. About 6 hours.
- Skyforge (PS4). Quite fun, actually, until I glanced at what it would take to actually advance. The grind was absurd...no thanks. 12 hours.
- Personal 5 (PS4). Everything about this game just rubbed me wrong. The characters, the combat, the style, the story, I actively disliked all of it from the get-go. 4 hours.
- Mass Effect Andromeda (PS4). One of the worst beginnings to a game in recent memory. It got a little better once you get off the starting planet, but never really got into a good story groove like previous games. Got bored around 15 hours in.
- Elder Scrolls Online (PC). Grabbed the Morrowind expansion, which was pretty fun. May go back to it later in the year. 60 hours.
- Final Fantasy Tactics A2 (3DS). Got about 20 hours in before burning out.
- Pocket Card Jockey (3DS). Possibly the best $7 I've ever spent on a game. Amazing title that is an absolute blast. One of my favorite all-time handheld games, even if the RNG can get a little gnarly at times.
- Torment: Tides of Numeria (PS4). Too dense, too much detail, not enough space in my brain to have the patience with this.
- Everspace (PC) - Roguelike, in space. Sounded neat, was pretty boring in practice.
- Dragon's Dogma (PS4). Third time's the...fail? The difficulty spikes in this game (even on Easy difficulty) are insane. I just don't think I have the patience for it. 12 hours.
- Divinity 2 (PC). Made it out of Ft. Joy, then stalled. The lack of any sort of instruction or direction on quests is infuriating and basically killed my interest to keep playing. 10 hours.
- Destiny 2 (PS4). Fun single player, but I'm not nearly good enough to be successful in an MP shooter. 20 hours.
- Culdcept Revolt (3DS). Alternately tremendous fun and 3DS-throwing frustration. Ends up being entirely luck-based, no matter how well you prepare your deck. AI almost never seems to land on your upgraded tiles, but I almost always land on theirs. Frustration won, in the end. 15 hours.
- Star Ocean The Last Hope (PS4). Decent combat and it looked good, but a boring story, annoying characters, and a host of minor annoyances kept it from clicking.
- Hand of Fate 2 (PS4). Interesting ideas, but it all felt so...small. Confined world, small battle arenas, everything felt claustrophobic.
- Icewind Dale (iPad). Got about halfway through before getting frustrated. Too difficult for me without cheats. 10'ish hours.
- Hellblade (PS4). A audio and visual masterpiece, but it's really just not terribly interesting once you get past the "wow" factor. Combat sucked, the puzzles weren't fun, etc. I got the final area and just wasn't all that interested in finishing it. 5 hours.
- NHL 18 (PS4). I'm not sure how they did it, but they found a way to make hockey boring. The stilted and awkward voice work and shoddy presentation didn't help much.