2016, what an infamous year. A lot of bad stuff happening in the world at large, so let's find some good in the small hobbies I have.
Gaming wise, I really enjoyed Trillion: God of Destruction on the Vita, and Digimon Cyber Story on the PS4. Bravely Second wasn't perfect, but had a lot of content and kept me playing for almost 80 hours. Hyrule Warriors Legends also ate up a ton of my time, and is improved from the Wii U release (but can still be made better).
Dex was a game that I had not heard about until around its release, and was pleasantly surprised at how much fun it was. It was a great mix of 2D, RPG and action game, and I would encourage people to check it out. Lastly, I have to point out the wonderful visuals of Shantae and the Pirate's Curse. The artwork and animation is top-notch and it's impossible for me not to gush about them. Half-Genie Hero looks great too, but I haven't had the chance to play it yet.
On the toy front, we have the latest Transformers line: Titans Return. A few years ago, I realized how much I like the idea of a robot that turns into a vehicle that a smaller robot can ride in. This entire line is about that, and they are some really cool toys! They have some really good interactivity with each other, since you can swap heads, some weapons become little vehicles, or even attach on to the larger ones as turrets! Yes, it makes me feel like an 8 year old, but it's cool.
Light FX Kylo Ren! He's really cool looking, and fun to use in the game.
In pro wrestling, we even got a new promotion! What Culture, who have gained a big following for their wrestling related shows on YouTube, launched their own promotion, WCPW. While there are some minor issues and some silly stories, they have also highlighted some really great talent that I would not have been able to see before. The first match I saw with Martin Kirby and El Ligero was fantastic, as was their rematch. It quickly made me a fan of theirs. I'm also a fan of Joe Hendry's song parody entrances.
On the WWE side, Shinsuke Nakamura really impressed in his debut match, and it is great to see AJ Styles there, too.
Movie-wise, I saw Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens earlier in the year, and enjoyed it a lot. I don't like J. J. Abrams, but he made a good Star Wars movie. I know the movie came out in 2015, but I saw it early 2016, and it came out on DVD/Blu-ray then too, so it counts.
Along a similar vein, Deadpool was just as funny as I hoped it would be, and my wife and I enjoyed that movie as well. At the end of the year, we also managed to see Rogue One with our family (my parents took us all out to see it), and we really liked it too. A bit too much "American action movie", but still good.
Probably the worst game-related things this year was the canceling of Disney Infinity and the closing of the main studio. A lot of people lost their jobs through no real fault of their own, which is always bullcrap. The series got better with each entry, and several of the figures are fantastic. If they were more open to what figures worked in what playsets, and didn't overproduce 2.0, it would probably still be around. After seeing Rogue One, I would have loved to get a playset and figures for it (especially K-2SO, my brother from another mother). Hopefully they make a console version like the PC's Gold Edition, which just has everything included, no need for figures. It's an idea I had in my now-scrapped article about how to salvage Disney Infinity after they shut it all down. I'd gladly pay a few bucks to have that on a console.
Another low point in gaming was Exile's End. Wow, did that game take a great genre (Metroidvania) and just mess it up. On the whole, there were too many games that seemed to focus on absurd difficulty, instead of making it balanced or fun. I don't want games too easy necessarily, but I don't want to make my fingers bleed just to get through a dungeon.
If you read above, you may be surprised to read this, but sadly, the Transformers Titans Return line also has an entry on this side of the line. While the figure look cool, and are really fun, the quality control on them is inconsistent at best, and bad at worst. I've had way too many issues with loose joints and other things that I haven't had an issue with on this large a scale. The
In movies, I have two main contenders for horrible movies I saw in 2016. First is Jem. Yes, it came out last year, but it was released for sale this year, so ha! The movie is bad...terrible, even. It has very little to do with the original cartoon, but also feel like how they would update the story for a modern and smartphone obsessed audience. It's also terribly cliche, and felt like it was automatically written by a computer program. I'm surprised I made it through the whole thing. However, it wasn't the worst movie I saw this year...
That honor goes to Batman v. Superman.
"Are you serious bro?"
Quite. At least Jem had logical progression, even if it felt way too fast. The movie flowed from one scene to the next and didn't feel jumbled. It also clocked in at half the time of BvS, which is another plus. Batman v. Superman was just a mess. It wasn't interesting, plot points didn't make sense, it was long, and filled with stupidity. There were only 2 parts I enjoyed, the famous Batman in the warehouse scene, since it was entertaining and he straight-up murdered people, and when (SPOILER) Superman drives the spear into Doomsday while impaling himself. The whole 4 hour train wreck was not worth the 5 minutes of decent. It's just not a good movie.
Well, for one, there were a few reviews that were suspiciously absent from my site, mostly because I didn't get codes for them. It's not really an entitlement issue, but when a company is really good about giving you review codes, it's jarring when they "run out" all of a sudden. It's nitpicky, but it was sad that there were a few games I was very looking forward to that I ended up not reviewing. One day I may get to it, once I have purchased my own copies.
I might as well mention the Nintendo Switch here. I like the idea behind it, but until we have some hard facts, I can't be fully excited. Given Nintendo's track record of the 3DS and the Wii U, I expect the battery life on the Switch to be abysmal. Both players being able to use half of a pad is a neat concept, but very much limits what you can play like that, plus those are probably way too small for my hands. The commercial was also very millennial-centric, but I think that group has moved on from console gaming, so it feels weird to appear to market toward them. I'll still reserve full judgement until I try one out, but I am cautiously optimistic about the whole thing.
So long 2016, don't let the door hit you on the way out, and I'm glad we never have to see each other again. Here's hoping 2017 is much better. Happy New Year!