GOTY 2017: Reflecting on My Worst of 2016 List

Originally published on Trevor Trove on December 25, 2017

A few years ago, I started taking the opportunity to reflect upon my previous year’s lists during the Trevor Trove Game of the Year wrap-up. Would I still immediately slip into a rage-filled tirade upon seeing the titles I deemed the worst of the worst in the last year? Would I have changed my best of ranking around? Did I think about these titles at all in 2017, among what could arguably be considered the best year in gaming history?

So let’s begin with a review of my “Worst of 2016.

Last year’s list began with a handful of Dishonorable Mentions: things that were terrible but not quite worth making the list of the 5 worst games of the year. Those mentions were:

The Controls for the Last Guardian
The Story and Characters for Final Fantasy XV
Pokemon GO’s Missed Opportunities
NES Classic’s Supply Chain Failures

In a very interesting sign of the times, three out of four of these are actually being addressed. The Last Guardian controls were not fixed (and having played through the upcoming Re-Remaster of Shadow of the Colossus, it just doesn’t seem like a priority for those games), but all of these other examples would look wildly different if I stumbled upon them in 2017.

On the other hand, Square Enix has spent the entire year expanding the story and characters of Final Fantasy XV with extended sequences, as well as Gladiolus-, Prompto-, and Ignis-centric DLC designed to fill in the gaps of the story when those respective party members leave. Aside from previewing Episode Gladiolus at PAX East, I have not personally explored any of these additions, but Alexa Ray Correa and Brittney Brombacher of What’s Good Games have been appreciating them throughout the year (though they were admittedly much more connected to the characters and story to begin with).

Similarly, Pokemon GO has been continuing to support the game, adding another couple of generations of Pokemon to the mobile game, as well as advanced customization features, and raid battles for the more legendary Pokemon. Both of these amount to a case of “too little, too late” for me as I have no inclination of returning to either one but I applaud their efforts for trying to make things better, even if I also partly despise them for not having included much of this content at launch in the original product.

Lastly, with the announcement of the SNES Classic and initial backlash at how badly the pre-order sales of that product were rolled out, Nintendo – to their credit – came out and said they would be supporting the supply of those products much more and would be gearing up to re-release the NES Classic in Summer 2018. So good for Nintendo for fixing this one. Maybe I’ll nab one afterall, in order to set it next to my SNES Class and Atari Flashback systems.

Moving on to the list itself…

5.    Broforce – I really haven’t thought much about Broforce this year. And I’ll admit that seeing it on this year, there was a pretty even mixture of appreciating the time I had with it but also residual frustration at how buggy it was. No idea if that was ever patched out, but considering it was a port of a years-old game at the time, it should’ve been fixed before launch.

4.    Mighty No. 9 – Another game that didn’t occupy my thoughts in 2017. The recent Mega Man 11 announcement drew a lot of comparisons to Mighty No. 9 since they’re leaving the pixel art style behind for a more 2.5D approach. It’ll be interesting to see how Mega Man’s proper return is received. Will it be loved or loathed? Probably loved, even if it’s not great. 2017 proved nostalgia is a powerful thing…

3.    Fire Emblem Fates – My main gripe here was that Fates was sold as three separate titles, despite sharing an identical first half of the game. The way the they shoehorned in the Awakening mechanic of pairing off your warriors and fighting alongside their offspring was also really poorly handled. I pretty much stand by this a year later. I sat out this year’s Fire Emblem re-release (Echoes) and played the mobile game for about a week before bailing. A decent turn-based strategy game, but it would seem playing Awakening was the way to go and if I ever want to revisit the series, I should just play that one again.

2.    LEGO Marvel’s Avengers – Fortunately for Tt Games, this didn’t keep me from returning to the series, as I picked up and played through the Harry Potter Remasters this year, Platinuming both. But the movie tie-in game last year was definitely their weakest outing yet. I praised their LEGO Marvel Super Heroes game at the time, but have yet to hop into LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2. There were too many other things worth playing this fall. I have every intention of hopping into it during a 1st-half-of-2018 lull though and, likely, adding another LEGO Platinum to my PSN Profile.

1.    Lemmings Touch – Ha. Despite not thinking about this game once all year, finding it on this list immediately brought back the rage I felt for this aggravating offering. All the credit in the world to the 554 people on PSNProfiles who have the Platinum for this game because I couldn’t stand its imprecise controls for another second.

All-in-all, not an incredibly rage-inducing list. A few games that fell well short of their potential or were just misguided in design. Nothing overly egregious I suppose. Did 2017 fare as well? Check back on December 30th for my Biggest Disappointments of 2017 list. And we’ll be looking back at my Best of 2016 lists tomorrow.

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