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The Best Games of 2016 Part 2: The Best of The Best

The Best Video Games of 2016

This was tough.

2016 had so, so many stellar games that almost any list would essentially leave out a few favorites. However, we combed through our personal gaming archives, had several heated discussions over email and in person, swapped a lot of skeptical hippo memes and finally managed to narrow it down to a select few candidates.

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Does Playing a Certain Type of Video Game Character - Good or Bad?

Video Game Characters

Is there a revenge element to the plot?), so there aren’t any direct plot spoilers here. You only need to avoid reading the post if you don’t want to know whether a character or game’s situation is morally ambiguous or complicated.

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Why Hasn’t There Been a Great Movie Based on a Video Game?

Silent Hill Movie

When I saw the roller-coaster-like movie Gravity, I was surprised to realize that I occasionally felt like I was watching a video game on a giant screen. The film fluidly changed perspectives back and forth from third to first person, often framing the action as a game would, and the focus on challenging environments presenting life-and-death decisions almost constantly was also very game-like.

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When Is It Time to Give Up Mid-Game?

Stop Playing Mid Game

When it comes to games with stories, I’m a completionist. I’m a story completionist rather than a gaming completionist—once in a long while I’ll aim for 100% completion in a particularly great game, but mostly I’m content to do the main content and a selection of the side quest-y stuff. 

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The 10 Best Mech Games of All Time – Part 1: Target Locked

Mech Battle Video Games

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Diamonds in the Rough: Awesome Parts of Awful of Games

The Good Parts of a Bad Video Game.

I played Thief this month when I got it free for PS3 from PlayStation Plus. Thief is not a great game. It’s mostly a pretty mediocre game, especially if you’ve played the far superior Dishonored.

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Why Keep the Flawed Masterpiece GTA V So Stupid, When It Could At Least Be Irreverent and Clever?

Grand Theft Auto V

I recently finished a fifty-five-hour playthrough of Grand Theft Auto V. It is a brilliant achievement. It’s a ridiculously fun game. It’s also a very disappointing game.

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Metroid and The Last of Us - Has a strong Bond!

The Last of Us and Metroid NES

Spoiler warning: This post contains spoilers for The Last of Us (little ones), the Left Behind DLC for The Last of Us (big ones), and, well, 1987’s Metroid.

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Shh! The Message Behind Gaming as a Male or Female Character

Mass Effect Trilogy

A lot of role-playing games (RPGs) new and old let you pick the sex of your character (male or female) before you start. Which is awesome. I’ve played Mass Effect with both Maleshep and Femshep characters and got two games’ worth of quality voice acting for the price of one. 

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Has Mainstream Gaming Gotten Less Patient?   

Retro Gaming      

I remember a time in about 1991 when I borrowed Super Mario Brothers 3 from a friend for a weekend. I wanted to beat it before I gave it back, but this being the relatively early days of console gaming,

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Does Interconnected Game Play Work / And How So

Games and interconnection

 In the last couple of years, interconnected games in which player actions in one game affect options or situations in another have started to pop up more frequently than usual.

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Rarer than Unicorns: Escort Missions That Deserve Saving

The Last of Us

As I discuss in a related post [here], escort missions are usually terrible, bringing otherwise fun games to a screeching halt with shoddy mechanics, annoying characters, and terrible AI.

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Bioshock Infinite vs The Last of Us: A Look Back Part 2

BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us - best story games ps3

As Part One [here] of this article explained in more depth, this is a showdown between Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us, two of my most anticipated and most satisfying games of seventh generation of gaming. My comparison is based not on replay value or how the games have aged, but on how influentially they’ve stuck with me a year after my initial playthrough of each. 

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Bioshock Infinite vs The Last of Us: A Look Back Part 1

BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us - best story games ps3 

Bioshock Infinite & The Last of Us were easily my personal most anticipated games of the seventh generation of gaming, so why not revisit them in order to make them fight to the death for my long-term affections? In the tradition of the Old School Game Vault blog’s earlier comparison of Bioshock Infinite to the original Bioshock. 

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Can Gameplay Have Spoilers Like Stories Can?

 Video Game Spoilers

            I remember how stunned I was when I played through FINAL FANTASY VII for the first time and got to the part where, in a cutscene, the player-character and fan favorite Aeris/Aerith was impaled and killed by the villain Sephiroth. I had invested in the character both in terms of story and gameplay/RPG character development.

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BioShock 1 “Rapture” Vs. BioShock Infinite “Columbia”

BioShock, BioShock Infinite

Just finished a re-play of BioShock Infinite the other day. There are so many reviews and gamers calling BioShock Infinite one of the best games every made for the PS3.

I’ve been so excited to actually have time to re-play this masterpiece “Its hard to make time with kids” Lol... I have played the first two games in the series so; I have truly enjoyed the under water world of rapture.

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Balancing the Old and the New in Video Game Sequels

Gaming Sequels

I started playing Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones for GBA yesterday, and while on the Fire Emblem Wiki I glanced over the summary of the game’s reception, which went something like this:

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Don't Worry Video Games Can't Influence You, Can They?

Racist Video Games

In another post, I argued that videogames (like all expressive media) influence the world but that, cumulatively, their influence is more likely to be positive than negative because games can show us new. 

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Who Killed Grand Theft Auto IV, and Got away with It?

Grand Theft Auto IV

I recently finished a playthrough of the amazing (if flawed) Grand Theft Auto V. It got me thinking about why my experience of it was so, so far away from my disappointment with GTA IV. This post is about why, despite my desire to like it, GTA IV finally drove me away. A follow-up post will explain why GTA V won me over as an amazing if still sometimes maddening game.

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Let's Dive into XCOM’s Enemy Within Compelling Story

Video Game Story Xcom

            Partway through XCOM: Enemy Within (the expanded version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown), I realized that its video game story would never work in a movie.  It wasn’t that the premise wouldn’t work – alien invasions are hardly confined to video games—it was the way the story was being told. There was absolutely no attention being paid to characters’ personal lives.

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