Best & Worst in Videogames — 2016

Part 3: Biggest Disappointment and Negative Experiences

Part 1: Games Related Highlights of the Year — Check out the first part with highlights of the last year.

Part 2: Best Game and Positive Experiences — Check out the second part with my personal favorite and other notable positive experiences.


Biggest Disappointment

Transport Fever

When Swiss forget they are making a game and not cheese full of holes, biggest one labeled: ‘Fun.’

I’m a big sucker for Transport Tycoon. Central European region in general has certain fetish for delivering and consuming those types of games. Finding Train Fever a while back was a very short ‘hook up.’

Steam Review of previous game Train Fever
Microsoft Excel plays better than this. The only good thing about this “thing” is that someone honestly tried to bring back Transport Tycoon and just failed miserably.
You can see that I have played it for measly 27 minutes and you might think that I didn’t give it enough time. I gave it 26 more minutes than it deserved if you ask me. Interface is just horrendous and makes everything difficult. Music is nowhere near the sweet MIDI jams from TT. Graphics are alright technically, but the world lacks life. Grabbed it on sale for $5 and still asking for refund.
Hey, they are working on a sequel so… maybe there’s still hope?

I really hoped! I was following the development, gulping each video Urban Games shown and the week before the launch couldn’t sleep properly. When the fever came it was 100% improvement over its predecessor. Which is similar to still shitting your bed, it just doesn’t smell as bad.

Speaking of odors, you can smell the very cold technical approach and the fun sucked out of everything that makes Transport Tycoon great. It hurts so much because of broken hopes. It hurts because you are afraid to hope anymore!

Other Negative Experiences

No Man’s Sky

Over promising happens to the most creative folk. No Man’s Sky was an impossible dream promised too soon by too few.
Peter Molyneux is the videogame legend of over promising. Sean Murray fell into the same steep hole. Both Peter and Sean are from UK — coincidence?!

Probably the biggest win/fuck-up of the year. One of the best selling videogames of 2016 ended up being one of the most hated. In an increasingly difficult times of players being more and more bitchy about every little thing, this did not bode well for Hello Games. The game felt and played like Early Access, but was never marketed as such. Sony’s hype and full price made it the hell it ended up being. That’s all really.

Hello Games shut themselves off from the hateful world and started to make amends by the end of the year. Good call and wish them the best for 2017!

Steam Review
If you want to see everything that is in the universe join NASA. They get to see more than you in this game.
The game certainly has some nice first impressions: sense of style, Spore like art generation, solid soundtrack, nice vistas… Then you start playing it. It’s shocking how quickly this game actually starts to feel little. Very quickly. No Man’s Sky is pretty much Peter Molyneux’s Curiosity. You keep doing the same thing over and over, because your inner whims keep pushing you to see, whether the game delivers towards the end. Sadly, you do it for the sake of it, not for the fun of it. It doesn’t deliver at all. There is no ending. There was barely a beginning to speak off.
If No Man’s Sky wouldn’t come out of the hyper marketed hype lead by Sony, it would be just one of many in the barrage of ever evolving Early Access games on PC. Positioned somewhere in the average middle, priced accordingly.

Pokémon Sun

Boring and bloated game, that should have escaped archaic Nintendo’s platform a long time ago, as proven by the abysmal success of Pokémon GO.
  • Run around small fully 3D levels (not the actual 3DS 3D, just regular 3D)!
  • Buy the same game twice to experience its entirety!
  • Wait for animations to play out or turn them off to get the classic experience (still enjoy the actual wait of in & out for each encounter)!
  • Have fun with the laid back and strangely perverse adults of fake Hawaii!

Overwatch

How a game generally adored, full of strong characters of Disney-like qualities, can have anything negative to offer?

Let’s talk about World of Warcraft.

For years designers at Blizzard have been trying to merge the story, the feeling of being a hero with player against player interaction. They tried left and right, up and down, but nothing worked. Then suddenly it hit them! Blizzard had this brief exchange in what I envision as a dark Satan praising room filled with Megadeath and Bat Blood Burgers.

*Symphony of Destruction pumping out in the background*
“What if we slowly rotate the strength of each character, until it’s crazy overpowered and players feel like heroes. Oh, never mind those that will have no chance, they’ll get their turn next month!”

In what seems to be the eternal quest of trying to find a balance, is actually very deliberate design choice to have everyone feel like a hero whatever choice or skill they might possess, even if it’s just for a little bit.

The same ‘communist’ design applies to Overwatch.


Civilization VI

“Hey did you call Jane, about starting on that UI?” — Civilization VI Developer, 1 hour before game release

Love the new art direction and streamlined gameplay, but why exactly do you feel the need to package separately what made your previous game complete? Ever worse, it’s the futuristic 2016 and we were really getting into some good user interface work, that didn’t seem like an afterthought. Not in case of Civ VI. C’mon!


Anything Witcher

Look — Witcher 3 is the best damn Action RPG one can wish for. Sadly it’s still Witcher.

Geralt is the least bearable character I have ever played as in the least likable fake dark age fantasy setting there is. Can you please stop wasting time making millions of fans happy, raking in nice cash on an established IP and bring in Cyberpunk 2077 instead… or even better a proper Star Trek experience the world is in dire need for and this whole genre would fit is so well.


Games of 2016 that’ll have to wait till 2017

Last year was incredibly fruitful and delivered so much entertainment in all sorts of media. Just like a good movie or a book you let sit to get properly ready for it, these are games I’m giving their own time.

  • 99.99% of VR experiences
  • Banner Saga 2
  • Dishonored 2
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Inside
  • Planet Coaster
  • Quadrilateral Cowboy
  • That Dragon Cancer
  • Virginia

This was the last part of The Best and Worst in Videogames — 2016 trilogy. Thanks for reading!

Agree, disagree? That’s why some sites still have comments!


Part 1: Games Related Highlights of the Year — Check out the first part with highlights of the last year.

Part 2: Best Game and Positive Experiences — Check out the second part with my personal favorite and other notable positive experiences