2016 – A year in Review

Shane: 2016 was a different year than I thought it was going to be. I had a lot of hope leaving 2015 on an entertainment stand point, but it feels like it didn’t really materialize the way I thought it would. Some of the things I was really looking forward to were: The Division, Final Fantasy XV, Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Civil War, Oculus Rift, PSVR and many more.

The Division – Although I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing The Division, it was very short lived. Infuriating glitches meant cheaters got good loot quickly and so dominated the Dark Zone (A PvP area in Central Manhattan). There has been a slew of new content but none that I have ventured into, although we will be looking at bouncing back into it in the near future.

Gave up on the Division
Gave up on the Division

Mike: I played quite a lot of the Division when it came out. It was basically Diablo with guns. Unfortunately it was killed off by a section of the player base whose sole intent was to find ways to break the game. Grief-ing, player kills for sport and lots of broken mechanics didn’t help it’s cause either. Some old friends started replaying the game after the last major patch and have reported that it has become the game it SHOULD have been when it was released so sometime in 2017 I’ll be taking another crack at it- I have the season pass so I’d like to at least get my moolahs worth!

Shane: Final Fantasy XV – I have been looking forward to this game for nearly 7 years (but really 10) I have followed every morsel of information on it. I have waited patiently for it to release and it finally did so in November! However, since it arrived I have only amassed about 2 hours of gameplay. I do plan on spending more time in the game but I was expecting to lose sleep trying to get through the game. I’m not sure what has me so held back in the game but alas I wait patiently for the game to capture me!

Final Fantasy XV: Worth the Wait?
Final Fantasy XV: Worth the Wait?

Mike: The earlier versions of the game (and all those teasers Square released) added up to a 10 year dev cycle. Reviews have been mostly positive and although I have only played an hour of it so far, I am impressed with the direction that the game is taking. I was preoccupied with World of Final Fantasy which has been the best mix of fun and nostalgia (or dare I call it Fun-tolgia!.. ok I doubt if that will stick but hey, worth trying eh?) so yeah… best FUN-tolgia I have had in years! It was like playing every FF game since 1 on the Famicom! Just look at this intro:

Shane: Batman Vs Superman – This movie always piqued my interest but was also on the reserved list of movies. After an OK experience with Man of Steel I was hesitant about what BvS would hold.  My initial reaction was a positive one, then I watched as the world tore the movie apart, all the while the sales numbers quickly rose. A financial success but one that remained divisive in the public’s eye. I enjoyed the movie as a whole but still worry about the future of the DC extended universe.

Say UNCLE.. errr I mean MARTHA!!
Say UNCLE.. errr I mean MARTHA!!

Mike: Unlike the scores of folks who saw it, I enjoyed the movie. There were some annoying parts like the way they portrayed the Joker… errrr I mean Lex Luthor- but overall it wasn’t the shitshow that people made it sound like. Hopefully the Justice League movie fares better.

Shane: Civil War – This movie had so much potential from the get go. Although it was a similar story to BvS and a reaction movie to the announcement of BvS, it could possibly shake up the entire Marvel universe. But, it held true and was another Marvel film mould success. It had the same kind of experience as any Marvel movie. Humor, action and a serious Captain America. It could have broken the mould and gone for something different but played it safe. Although a success and widely positive from the critics, it failed me on quite a few levels. I had hoped for a new experience from a Marvel film, it is what made Guardians of the Galaxy stand out, it was something new. But Civil War did not deliver.

Civil War: The Comic Book hero Saturation Wars
Civil War: The Comic Book hero Saturation Wars

Mike: I loved the fact that they brought together a lot of heroes into the movie. The movie was vastly different from the comics (shocker!) and I felt like the movie was mostly just pandering to the new superhero fan masses. I personally enjoyed Guardians and Antman more than the main titles these past few years.

I ended with the HTC Vive (after returning the Oculus) and the PS VR and although I thoroughly enjoy  playing on both systems – and so do guests at the house- the set up remains almost tedious enough to NOT want to play at times.  My favorites have been Batman, Tilt Brush, the Star Wars demo and the PS VR playroom.

Shane: VR – I ended up with both an Oculus Rift and a HTC Vive. The experience from both were amazing.  There were a few games I loved playing such as, The Climb and AudioShield, which both got a lot of play time. However the Oculus now sits, gathering dust and the Vive is with my girlfriends brother…..gathering dust.

The most game time I sunk was into Diablo 3 and Final Fantasy XIV. And with news of the next expansion, 2017 could be a great year for XIV. But that is for another post! I did have a limited encounter with World of Final Fantasy which was great……I should load that back up!

Maybe my hopes for the year were too high in general but it seems nothing really got to the level I was expecting. Marry that feeling with what was happening politically and also the amount of Celebrity deaths that occurred and 2016 can finish as quickly as possible in my opinion!

Mike: Like Shane, I was quite unfulfilled at the way 2016 turned out. I managed to log in quite a few hours in Overwatch, Hearthstone, World of Final Fantasy. But even with those and the others mentioned above,  I think that this is the year that I had done the least amount of hardcore gaming. On this last day of 2016, I’m trying to think of things that made 2016 special for gamers- and to be fair there were quite a few noteworthy games- but generally I’d say  it was MEH. So here’s to having an awesome 2017!

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