Feature | Gaming Picks 2016 Recap

Can’t believe how fast this year has come to end. More or less, I’ve fulfilled my promise of being more focused on what I’m playing, numbers show that (more games finished and more playing time for each game I’ve played) and I expect to continue this trend next year. I still haven’t controlled my backlog, but at least postponed some one day buys because, honestly, I have no time to play them.

If I review my last year’s post, I can see that some games haven’t been released yet, like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Gravity Rush 2, New Everybody’s Golf, Persona 5, Mass Effect Andromeda, Rime (development problems and publisher change), What Remains of Edith Finch (this is coming soon with new promising publisher, Annapurna Interactive), Dreams… Still have to play games from 2015 like Rise of the Tomb Raider, which I’m going to start soon or Fallout 4, which probably I’m not finally buying. And if I look to the list of games released this year and that I would like to buy, I feel a bit overwhelmed: Doom, Final Fantasy XV, Watch_Dogs 2, Dark Souls III, Far Cry Primal, World of Final Fantasy, Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4 … And others that for different reasons felt off my radar: Overwatch (everybody loves it, played beta and open weekend, but I’m a bit limited in only multiplayer games), Battlefield 1, Mafia III, Deux Ex: Mankind Divided… Overall, watching all the releases, it has been a great year, including some games with long troubled developments and that ended quite well, like Doom, Final Fantasy XV or The Last Guardian.

Speaking about what I’ve actually played, I’m really happy with the last 12 months with games like Ratchet & Clank, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Dragon Quest Builders, Oxenfree, Inside, Bound, Firewatch, The Witness or, can’t believe this, The Last Guardian. And also have enjoyed some divisive games like No Man’s Sky or Tom Clancy’s: The Division. Honestly, it’s hard to find a game that I can’t enjoy, and I think that’s good, because I never intended to be a game critic. In addition to new releases, I also played some old games like Max Payne 3 or Ridge Racer 7, but I still feel that I had too many good old games to play. I hope to improve this next year.

This year also has seen some changes in blog’s design. After some tests, I changed in March to this new format and I really like how it looks (even if I’m always a bit unsecure with these things), specially mixed with some good featured images. Also changed video thumbnail design and its intros and I continue updating some old posts. It’s the part I enjoy more, even if I’m not a designer. I still have to improve my writing, being more clear and informative, but also trying to improve my English. Comparing new and old posts, I think that the evolution is clear, at least texts are longer than they used to be.

And now, time for a more detailed analysis:

STATISTICS

First, some cold numbers:

VIDEOS

New

87

Views / Minutes

53.000 (+15%) / 90.000 (+8%)

BLOG

New posts

50

Views / Visitors

4.100 (+5%) / 1.615 (+18%)

GAMES

Played

88 (51 for the first time)

Finished*

26

* Includes remasters, couldn’t resist playing Gravity Rush on a big screen or The Last of Us, more polished and with photo mode.

As you can see, blog continued growing even if sometimes it takes a bit longer than expected to have the content ready and can’t update as regularly as I would like. So, thank you!

In the video part, I was really surprised with the increase, most of the videos I’ve uploaded this year have really low (almost zero) views so I was expecting a decrease. I think the offer is really big and my content isn’t different enough. Will try to improve the quality, but I’m not going to change to make voiceovers or show myself playing games and commenting, not my style.

MOST PLAYED GAMES

  1. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  2. Tom Clancy’s The Division
  3. Dragon Quest Builders

This is a completely objective list, nothing to say except that is unusual the absence of sports game in this list. I’m playing football games less and didn’t buy a new one for second year in a row, there aren’t new tennis games (playing Everybody’s Tennis PS4 port right now and having a great time, by the way) and still waiting to New Everybody’s Golf. And even if NBA 2K16 was given away for PS+ subscribers, I didn’t play it too much. Still playing DRIVECLUB (it’s may fourth more played game) but didn’t played the excellent (and difficult) Dirt Rally as much as I would like.

BIGGEST SURPRISES (ALPHABETICAL)

I’m very happy with most of the games I’ve played this year. I continue mixing different genres, but with probably the exception of Dragon Quest Builders (and it isn’t very complex) there aren’t games with deep gameplay mechanics in all my lists.

I had good vibes with Dragon Quest Builders when it was announced, but never expected to have so much fun playing it. The mix of Dragon Quest story and character designs, with the world building abilities works perfectly. The story mode is great, because it helps a lot and works like a big tutorial, but without being boring. I had doubts with it because every chapter you start almost from the ground, but it’s like having 5 games in one, all with the same basis but with different challenges and setting.

I’m not trolling with Knack. After all I read, I had a good time playing it, always considering that the game is more a brawler than a platform game. And another surprise, a sequel coming soon. Apparently they’re adding more variety to combat, more exploration and platforming, so if they release with a lower price, something similar to what they did with last Ratchet & Clank, it can be a good success.

And about Titanfall 2, I decided to buy it after reading that the campaign was great. And truly is, with some great original gameplay mechanics, varied situations, moments that catch you by surprise and a character, BT, that is more human than most of the humans. I will certainly replay it next year and in the meantime, I’m also playing online a bit.

BEST GAMES PLAYED (ALPHABETICAL)

Overall, I probably enjoyed this year more than before. I already talk about Dragon Quest Builders, so I will focus on the rest of the list.

I’ve played Oxenfree recently and I was thinking about putting it also as a surprise. Loved the game start to finish. The art, music, story, characters (with great evolution and background development) and meaningful choices

I’m really happy with the success of Ratchet & Clank. The game is essentially a remake of the first one, but with a vastly improved gameplay based on the latest good iterations of the franchise and with some of the most beautiful graphics I’ve seen in a long time.

Still have to finish The Last Guardian, but already has given me many moments I will never forget. And a big part of all the feelings come from Trico, probably the best and more special creature ever created.

And I think I’ve already everything about Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. A great ending for one of my most loved franchises. Beautiful, top performances by the cast, improved shooting mechanics in more open arenas, a multiplayer that I really enjoy. One of the best games ever, my most played game of the year as I already said and still wanting to play it again everytime I see a capture of the game.

Special Mentions:

 

MOST VIEWED VIDEOS AND POSTS

Naughty Dog’s Logos video continues being most viewed video of the channel, increasing more than 50% from previous year. Probably, Uncharted 4 launch helped:

As I commented before, new videos haven’t been very successful, the only one with more than 200 views has been a short making of about Primal, PS2 classic re-released for PS4 (curiously, a video with almost zero work):

And like past year, the post about classic game “Pang” has been the most visited post of the blog. Probably I should make more posts like this one.

 

2017

After E3, I decided to be less concerned about future game, its delays and unfulfilled promises. I’ve a lot of games to play, so I’ve decided to focus more on what I can really play. Actually, next year I’m not going to make a Pre-E3 feature. I loved PlayStation conference this year, it was presented in a way always thought was going to work best: games, games, games… But let’s be honest, those game will be released in 2018 and those shows are a bit smoke and mirrors.

But still I get a bit hyped looking what is arriving really soon. First months of 2017 look very promising, with games like Gravity Rush 2, Resident Evil 7, Yakuza 0, Horizon: Zero Dawn, NieR Automata, Nioh, Persona 5… And then we have other big games like Mass Effect Andromeda, Red Dead Redemption 2 and many more. I’m sure that with all these games plus some still have to play (Doom, Watch_Dogs 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Dishonored 2… ) and some big and small surprises we always have, will bring us lots of great gaming moments next year. Because, in the end, this is about games and having fun with them. I hope I’ll never forget this. And, of course,

Happy New Year!

Advertisements

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Happy new year! Good to see that the blog is growing. I wonder why Pang is so popular when compared to coverage of newer titles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GamingPicks says:

      Happy New Year! I can’t explain what happens with Pang, just two days into the new year and the pattern is already repeating xD. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s