2016 brought a lot of great games to life – games that players had been waiting for since before Barack Obama was president finally got to see the light of day, as well as numerous other titles that underwent extreme hype campaigns. No year-end wrap up would be complete without reflecting back and picking out our favorite title from the year – so some of the staff here at Mithical chose their top picks of 2016. Take a look!
Mithrandiel’s Pick: Hyper Light Drifter
Sometimes, in the midst of all the 4k resolution graphics, cinema-quality soundtracks and life-like 3D animated characters, it’s refreshing to take a step back. Hyper Light Drifter is my pick for GotY for a number of reasons: the lack of dialogue and text allows it retain a sense of mystery while still establishing a vibrant and rich universe. The gameplay is deceivingly simple, combining basic commands with gradually increasing difficulty that balances out beautifully. All of this combined with stunning pixelated landscapes and a haunting soundtrack made for the most well-rounded and enjoyable game I played all year.
While on the surface it doesn’t seem to offer much game time, diving deep to find all the hidden keys, weapons, outfits and monoliths can easily push your game time past the 20 hour mark. Interested in platinum? Prepare for an even greater challenge. Overall, Hyper Light Drifter is a fantastic title that surprised me with its depth, and impressed me with its environments. I also consider my interview with creator Alx Preston to be one of the highlights of our year.
Honorable Mentions: Final Fantasy XV, Uncharted 4
Rae’s Pick: Pokemon Sun/Moon
Well, I definitely want to give a shout-out to Mystic Messenger first. Between the unusual gameplay style, super-likable characters, and engaging storylines, it was really enjoyable and dragged me down into the deep dark hole of otome games. But I think I’d have to choose Pokémon Sun/Moon overall. These first installments of gen 7 were the rekindling that the franchise really needed. The transition into updated graphics is finally complete, with much more finesse than the first attempts of Black/White. Unlike its predecessors, it also immediately starts establishing character relationships and a storyline. Previous generations have been increasingly plot-oriented, but never with such charm or immediacy. The bonding system has really been highlighted this time – pokemon are clearly more than pets and battle tools. Getting rid of the HM system is just a cherry on top. I’ve always enjoyed the Pokémon series, but this is the first time in a long time that I’ve been genuinely impressed. It deserves all the hype it’s gotten. My most anticipated game is definitely Persona 5. There’s a lot I’m excited about this year, but I’ve never been let down by Persona, and I’m pretty confident 5 will meet my high expectations.
Archmage’s Pick: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
2016 has brought about a drastic shift in gaming for me. I’ve been unable to spend much time in front of my PS4 since it’s a shared system. My gaming laptop is on it’s last legs and BSODs on anything above Video streaming. My wife has requisitioned my Vita to play Stiens;Gate so that leaves me with my phone.
Fortunately, I have able to upgrade to an Android recently, RIP my Nokia Icon with no apps. This has opened me up to a world of gaming that I’ve heard much about but haven’t been able to experience for the last 2 years. I’ve played various mobile games, all that keep my interest for all of 3 weeks until they eventually get boring, I stop opening them, and eventually uninstall to get rid of the notifications. That is until I found Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius.
Brave Exvius is from A-Lim, Published by SquareEnix and Gumi outside of Japan. This isn’t Alim’s first foray into mobile gaming, their major success being the highly popular Brave Frontier. Alim used their base mechanics and adapted them with a Final Fantasy overlay giving us a wonderful time waster with Brave Exvius. If you’ve played Record Keeper, they use the same idea of summoning characters and villians of various Final Fantasy games ranging throughout the franchise from Warrior of Light from the original Final Fantasy all the way through Noctis from the most recent Final Fantasy XV. This leads to some interesting combinations of characters that you can mix and match to form either the most powerful Meta combination or just of characters that you like.
It’s not just the franchise characters that are good. During the main storyline summoned characters don’t play a part to the overall narrative. You have a central cast of characters who hold their own as great entries into the Final Fantasy series. You follow Rain and Lasswell on their journey to stop and evil force from destroying the Crystals that give life to this world. While that sounds cliché, which yes… it is, this narrative works as a backdrop for the characters themselves and the gameplay. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when you’re making a fun mobile game, you just need it to work; the story and dialogue in this WORKS. Rain is my favorite lead in a Final Fantasy game in a long time.
Brave Exvius, while hosting events and powerup rewards, boasts a linear storyline that is on par with old school Final Fantasy games. While nothing new to the series and containing many throwbacks, the story unfolds as a Celebration of all the good things Final Fantasy has given us through the years, while giving you many side quests to keep you busy after catching up to what’s been released so far of the story. Alim is also still releasing more content every month for the main story giving you much to come back to after completing bonus events.
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is the first mobile game that I’ve had a constant desire to play every day. This is enhanced due to it being a mobile game and not requiring me to dedicate 3+ hours just to get through a good portion of content. It being a mobile game means I can also suspend my current action and use any other features on my phone or just put it down for a bit, then pick it right back up where I left off.
If you have Android, IOS, or an Amazon device, I would highly recommend giving it a try. It’s Free to Play, so give it a shot, but you won’t be disappointed. Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, for me, is 2016’s Game of the Year.