Goodbye 2015.  You’ve been really good to video games.  Probably a lot better than most were expecting.  And with the end of 2015 already behind us, we were (mis?)treated to my Best of 2015 list, which I think you should take a look at when you get a moment.  You never know, you might find a game you didn’t know existed was worth your time.  Hey, stranger things have happened (living rocks, anyone?).   So………….

HELLO 2016!!  Nice to meet you.  My name is Chris.  You can call me Heazie if you’d like.  It’s kind of a thing, but not really.  I hope you treat us with love and care.  Right now, in my estimation, it’s shaping up to be just OK, but, I’d love to be proven wrong. That’s where this article comes in.  Now, as obvious as this should be, I want to stress these are only reflective of me, and more than likely your list will be much different.  I can guarantee Austin’s most wanted are different.  I’m not saying he’s going to put together his own list, but in general.  Hell, we may even fight over some games’ worthiness.  It’s just what we do.  This also only includes games that have been confirmed for 2016 as of right now.  Who knows what could pull a Fallout 4 this year, or even get confirmed from what we thought would be a 2017 date?  Without further delay, let’s get on with the show.

Honorable Mention Title
Once again, I think it’s only fair to drop some shout outs to some games that are still on my radar, but not in the top 10.

 

In no particular order…

Honorable Mention Blues

I’m super stoked for this season to continue (and conclude).  I’m adding it here not only because I’m guessing/hoping every episode will be out by the end of 2016 – not a guarantee with these kinds of games – but also because Episode 1 was released in 2015.  I’m a little nervous, because that released in the summer and it’s already January.  What’s taking so long?  I play this on the Xbox One, and that was released after the Steam version.  Will new episodes release on both concurrently?  I’m not sure, and the developers are mum on any details for Episode 2.  It’s frustrating, but only in the “I really want to play this” way.  It’s not souring me on the game play or story.

 

Honorable Mention Walking

Continuing with the episodic motif we have The Walking Dead: Season 3 and the Michonne miniseries.  Michonne is on here because, well, Telltale pulled a Telltale.  They said Fall 2015.  Once that came and went without a peep, what did they do?  They pushed it to 2016.  What does that now mean for Season 3, which we all assume is in 2016?  Who knows?  All we keep hearing is the same info about Michonne and seeing as this is Telltale, we might only get 2 of the 3 episodes in 2016.  I’m still holding out hope for a 2016 release for at least Episode 1 of Season 3.

Annoying for sure.  More annoying in this regard simply because Telltale has been sitting on a few franchises (WHERE IS THE WOLF AMONG US SEASON 2?) in favor of announcing more partnerships and releasing other series instead.  Some people could argue those are not worth bumping these 2 over.  And they put salt in the wound because not only did they announce this miniseries, but they keep telling us info on Season 3 is coming AFTER that’s done.  We know they can get episodes out in a timely manner (Minecraft Story Mode is the proof).  It’s really frustrating, because it’s definitely time for more of this story.  Especially more frustrating because…

 

Honorable Mention Batman

…this new game was announced at last year’s Video Game Awards.  Yes, even after bitching and moaning about Telltale in the previous pick, I’m still looking forward to this.  I think Batman is an interesting character, but the world and his villains are what keep me interested the most.  Not much is known about this game other than the short trailer that was shown.  Is it more about Bruce Wayne?  Is it is about the early years of The Bat?  Later?  Somewhere in between?  Does it focus mostly on villains like the divisive Gotham TV series?   All that is still to be determined.  I’ll say this, though – with my growing frustration with Telltale, even though I am interested in this, I may just wait it out for a complete season big sale.  Something’s gotta give at some point, and this may be the start of it.

 

Honorable Mention Street Fighter 5

Where to begin with Street Fighter V?  I’m very intrigued with the game.  Sure, I continue to not really dig the art style they’ve adopted since SFIV, but the game play is still pretty solid.  And, yeah, I still am interested in the story, even though Street Fighter is never lauded for that.  Although, I remember reading that Capcom are taking notes from Mortal Kombat and are going to service that side of the  game better this time around.  So, yes, that has me looking in their direction more than I normally would, since my Street Fighter skills have plummeted off a cliff so fast I didn’t even know I was falling.  Plus, I like the way they are tackling DLC fighters this time around.  Everything is free to earn with in-game currency, or you can buy it with real world money.  It’s still unclear just how easy it will be to amass the in-game dough, but, assuming it’s not a “fuck you” in that it may be so hard to get that you just pony up the dough because you’re almost forced to, I applaud them for this.  I wager they anticipate the “good will” purchase with real world money from hardcore fans because we know Capcom will never re-release Street Fighter V like they have with previous SF games.  I think even M. Bison can get on board with that news.  Sucks it’s only on PS4 or PC, but, thems the breaks.

 

Honorable Mention MK

Keeping it in the family of fighting games, we’re hot off the heels of a really successful, really good, and really fun Mortal Kombat release in 2015 coupled with a DLC offering that was pretty damn good, too.  With the original Kombat Pack we got a mix of MK Universe veterans and “movie monsters” to add to the bloodshed.  Now, the recently confirmed (though we all knew was a thing) Kombat Pack 2, we’re getting the same thing.  Sort of?

Kombat veteran Bo Rai Cho returns to the alternate timeline events and joining him from the vets side is Tri-borg.  Remember how the cyborgs were a big deal in games past?  Well, that initiative seems to have been dismantled for good in the years leading to MKX.  Or has it?  Tri-borg is the embodiment of Smoke, Cyrax, and Sektor.  How it all works is anyone’s guess right now, but I think it’s pretty neat.  Hopefully we get some insight when he (they?) launches and it’s not just a “here you go; enjoy” scenario.  I’ll accept it, but, with MK being so story-driven, I’d love some backstory.

On the “movie monster” side we have Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ready to cut his way through the Netherrealm in what I’m assuming is in an attempt to get back home.  Joining him we have a Xenomorph from the Alien movie series, but this time, it’s with a twist:  it seems to have some Tarkatan blood in him.  I’m guessing it serves 2 purposes.  One, to connect him further to the world, and two, to give Baraka fans someone to look to for their arm blade fix (and a play style that’s easy/familiar to program for).  Whatever the case, I’m looking forward to all the players this time around.  Sure, I’d have preferred the oft-rumored Michael Myers instead of Mr. Chainsaw, but, maybe the business side can line up in MK11.

Release is early 2016, but no other info is available.  While you wait, take a look at the teaser to get in the murderous mood.

 

Honorable Mention Fallout DLC

I’m a major Fallout fan.  It’s not a secret.  There’s evidence everywhere.  Hell, I celebrated Christmas over a month early last year because of it.  So it’s no surprise that the Fallout 4 Season Pass DLC is super crazy high on the “NEED IN MY LIFE” scale.  Now, since it’s not a game, it’s just getting a mention, which goes for all the DLC mentioned today.  We have no idea what the Pass will offer, because apparently Bethesda has no clue either.  I think that’s a bit of stretching the truth, but, it is what it is.  If it’s mirroring the Fallout 3 and New Vegas approach, it’s worth the $30 price tag just on principle.  Meaning I’m hoping for 5 deep, interesting, and varied DLC packs to sink even more of my life into.  However, I am fully aware that the times have changed since 3 and New Vegas, so we’re probably getting 3 normally $12-$15 each packs that I pray are deep, interesting, and varied DLC packs to sink even more of my life into.  I should probably buy it sometime soon…

Yes, I have my issues with Fallout 4, but I still love it.  It scratches enough of the Fallout itch to have me addicted just the same.  Since we have almost no info, I’m not going to ramble on any further other than to say that this is one of the most anticipated things in 2016 for me.  And to that end, so is…

 

Honorable Mention Dying Light

…THE FOLLOWING!!  Man, what a weird, unexpected, and ultimately (hopefully) amazing turn of events Dying Light turned out to be in the end.  I say hopefully because The Following isn’t out yet, however, if what the devs are saying is to be believed, an expansion world that is just about as big as the main game with as many improvements as they are touting, this seems to be a hit already.  So big, in fact that they decided to increase the Season Pass price almost a year after it was launched because it became so involved.  It’s also a chance to see where it takes Kyle after what some would argue is a lackluster ending to the base game.  Which just by itself is a big reason to play it for me.

No one, Techland included, expected Dying Light to be as community driven, involved, and successful as it has become over the course of 2015, and because all the right stars aligned, we got something so great out of it.  To say this is one of my most anticipated things in 2016 is a huge understatement.  February 9th can’t come soon enough.  Maybe I’ll be done with Fallout 4’s base game by then?

 

Honorable Mention Umbrella Corps

Now we end on something that is kind of out there for me.  Huge fan of Resident Evil and zombies as I am, I’m not really into competitive multiplayer games, especially ones of a fast-paced nature.  However, I remain cautiously optimistic with this game, which curiously has no mention of the Resident Evil branding in it’s title.  Brilliant marketing strategy?  Possibly.  It’s a “budget” download-only title coming to PS4 and PC in early 2016, so perhaps distancing itself a little bit from the core series is the right move based off of the severely disappointing attempt in 2012 with Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.  I enjoyed what they tried to do story-wise with that title, but, game play-wise, uh, yeah, it just didn’t really work out.  So far, this seems to be online multiplayer only, and if they can really get the mechanics smoothed out, it could be a sleeper hit.  Like I said, I’m cautiously optimistic, and since it’s a part of one of my favorite series, it’s always going to be a blip on my radar, no matter what it is.

 

Top 10 Title

And now the main event of this piece – my top 10 most wanted games in 2016!!  You know…  As of right now.  Of course, this could change, and I’m sure I’ll mention as much as I can, if and when it does on our podcast, so listen every Sunday to hear more thoughts on the video game world from us.  

/InitiateMarioVoice

Here we gooooooo…..

 

Heazie EDITH FINCH

I have no idea what remains of Edith Finch, but I’m really interested in finding out.  As much as I felt let down by Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (my review), these kinds of games are still right up my alley.  I enjoyed The Unfinished Swan enough to beat it on both PS4 and Vita (though that isn’t saying much), and this looks to be a much more ambitious follow-up with just the right tone and story hook to really get my loins frothing.  The execution is still going to be key, but as of right now, they’ve got me eagerly awaiting Edith’s arrival so I can really dive in and try to figure out who she and her family really are/were.

 

Heazie MARIO & LUIGI

In recent years, the Mario & Luigi series as well as the Paper Mario series has been a real bummer for me.  Paper Mario: Sticker Star was an absolute mess in almost every way, while Mario & Luigi: Dream Team was a further devolve into boring/casual sequel-itis and mediocre at best.  With this game, since I am a fan of both series overall, this has me intrigued, although from what I’ve seen so far, I’m skeptical it can be a return to form.  I’m guessing it will be only slightly better than Dream Team, which isn’t a good thing, although I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt right now and again staying cautiously optimistic, which is why it’s on my list, but not high.  What can I say?  In my old age I’m trying to find the love again in the nostalgic series of younger Heazie’s life.  But, as I’m finding lately, with Nintendo specifically, that nostalgia is just fueling the further anger-filled fires.

 

Heazie LEGO Avengers

Surprise, surprise, a LEGO game is on my list!!  And a new LEGO Marvel game is not a bad choice, either.  Sure, I’d prefer a sequel to LEGO Marvel Superheroes, but, at the end of the day, it’s more Marvel in LEGO form, so I can’t be too upset.  I just think they are limiting themselves by having to stick to the movies, BUT, they probably took this as an opportunity to do a little less work in the long run by not having to create more than needed and then they can follow up with as many sequels as necessary for the other films to fit whatever narrative they’re going for here.  I almost can’t blame them.  So I won’t.  Unless the game drops and it sucks.

I was pretty disappointed with LEGO Jurassic World and how boring/generic it was.  They did not take good enough advantage of the property, and while it was still worth playing for fans of either LEGO or the movies, it was still a letdown.  Plus, I’m getting a little tired of the bad jokes in the cut scenes.  I know, I know, these games aren’t really aimed at me, but still, I’m hoping for a bounce back here.  And since this is (as far as I know) incorporating the TV shows in some way, I’m even more excited because I think Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. do not get enough credit for how good they are.  I just really hope they’re represented well with levels and such rather than just being able to randomly unlock a character and that’s that.  I’m nervous, though, because I feel like every TV character they’ve shown was also in one of the movies, so, this better not be a bait and switch scenario to get me excited for TV characters only to find out they are limited to Coulson and Peggy because they were instrumental to the movies.

As many reservations as I have for this game, the excitement far outweighs them right now.  With around 200 characters to collect and all the usual LEGO game tropes (fuck… there’s probably going to be racing brick missions…), I’m definitely ready to get back to a Marvel LEGO game.  Sans the X-Men, mutants, and anything Disney doesn’t own.  =o(    BUT, we ARE getting Butterball.  So, that’s cool, right?

 

Heazie Outlast

I’m prepared to be terrified, scared for my life, and alone, with nothing but my camera for company.  Again.  And as it turns out, so are a lot of other people.  Outlast was a surprise hit, helping to bring survival horror back to the forefront of the general public’s mind a couple years ago.  A hit on PC that eventually graced PS4 and XB1 and helped bring console players into the world of a reporter called upon to covertly investigate a mental hospital where experiments were being done to the patients.  Almost as soon as you get there, the shit hits the fan (literally?) and nightmares become reality.  I’m not saying Outlast started the first-person-run-away-from-the-monster game play, but it certainly helped make it popular since release.  That’s because it does it well.  It also tells a pretty involved story that you’ll likely want to see to the end, including the Whistleblower DLC, where you get the story of the man who summoned you to Hell itself.

All that said, Outlast 2 is an indirect sequel, living in the world of the first game, with new characters and locations to explore.  That doesn’t stop me from being excited.  If it plays like the original, all is well.  Sorry for that set up only to be led here, but knowing what you do about the first, if you haven’t played it, maybe now you will to get caught up for the sequel coming around Halloween.  You might even thank me.

 

Heazie Pokken

This one is kind of a wildcard for me.  I’m a huge fan of Pokémon and a mild, sort of lapsed fan of fighting games.  We don’t know too much about the Wii U version of the arcade game its based off of.  It’s coming at a weird, in-between time for Nintendo because the Wii U is a major flop, but Nintendo can’t really acknowledge that, and because everyone who even sort of pays attention knows Nintendo’s new follow up console, the NX, exists because, well, Nintendo was dumb enough to tell us.  Yeah, that’s the way to get people to support the all but dead current console – tell us the next one is close to release!!  So, yeah, this one is a tough one to pin down.

Knowing the controller it requires to play with at the arcade, this seems to be a very casual fighting experience involving Pokémon, and I’m kind of intrigued by that concept.  There’s just so much mystery around not only the game itself, but what they could do with the marketing to the amiibo to the possible DLC, that I’m almost as much interested in the periphery stuff as the game itself.  Pokkén Tournament is a giant, mysterious wildcard to me, which when it comes to Nintendo, typically ends up being a major disappointment.  I’m honestly just dying to find out which side of the fence it ends up on.

 

Heazie RE0

Of course the HD Remaster of a criminally underrated Resident Evil game is going to be on this list.  OF COURSE!!  This  game was inevitable to exist after last year’s great REmake release which made me a happy camper, so I’m even happier that we only waited a year for this one to come out.  Resident Evil 0 HD REmaster is set to release on 1/19/16 and will cost $20.  If you missed out on the original last year, you can buy a retail pack of both on XB1 and PS4 for $40 on the 22nd.  Well worth the price either way.

This is a prequel (duh) to the original Resident Evil and plays a bit differently than what we were used to at the time.  Essentially the same kind of game, and the typical 2 different characters you could control still exist, only this time, you control them both at the same time in the same play through rather than in separate plays.  You share resources and have to maneuver each character around the game in tandem to solve puzzles and defeat enemies.  It sounds odd at first, but in practice, it gets easier to understand and do once you do it, especially since you aren’t actually controlling them at the same time.  The other moves independently if you don’t have control over them, but you need to swap back and forth often to progress.  It also introduced another mechanic that hasn’t been seen since: dropping items on the ground instead of an item box.  This proved to be a bit troublesome for plenty of people.  Dropped those acid rounds you need so badly?  Boss kicking your ass something fierce you wish you brought along that first aid spray?  Story progress item you had no idea you needed not in your inventory?  Well, I hope you remembered where you left it and pray you can actually get back there, otherwise those are gone forever.  Before, you could drop items into a magical box and they’d be in every magical box you found going forward.  Yes, it’s video game logic, but it worked fine for this style of game.  Some people hated it.  Some loved it.  I can’t remember.  I can barely even remember if I liked controlling both Billy and Rebecca at the same time (I think I did).  It’s been almost a decade since I’ve played through the game, and I’m curious what that time has done to my skills and preferences.

This game was such a mixed bag of reactions when it come out in 2002.  I definitely remember loving it, and I also remember being part of a select group of people across the growing internet who did.  I think this has The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker syndrome.  People hated Wind Waker in 2003, but guess what?  Everyone seems to love it now and apparently loved it then, too.  Bullshit.  I remember.  I can’t remember my girlfriend’s birthday, but this shit I remember.  I’m super excited to see this game in beautiful HD.  Oh, and you can play as Wesker this time in a bonus mode.  Which I can’t wait for (please be unlocked from the start!!).  Yeah, with his super powers and everything.

Guys…  BUY THIS GAME.

 

Heazie Sherlock

This probably seems odd.  A Sherlock Holmes game?  Right?  I know.  It does sound weird, but hear me out.  I love this series.  I love adventure games and starting with Jack the Ripper on 360, the game that I believe was one of the first, if not the first, my girlfriend ever beat on console by herself (she’s not into video games), I’ve been super down with this series.  I’ve not played the PC only games (#ConsoleMasterRace) and as this is the final one, I’m even more excited, even if it’s bittersweet.  Note: I know I read somewhere that this was the final game in the series, but I’m starting to think that was a mistranslation somewhere that was corrected, because I can’t find it anywhere now.  I’m sticking with that for moment, just because it sounds cooler and more urgent in my mind.  I have to live there, so let me have this one.

Which reminds me: because I got her into these games, I still haven’t beaten the last one, Crimes & Punishments.  I have to wait for her to want to play them, and, lucky me, she hasn’t wanted to play it in over a year.  See, she got about halfway through The Testament of Sherlock Holmes and then gave up.  No clue why.  I thought the game was neat and fun.  She gives up on literally everything.  TV shows, books, games, everything.  The last game I decided would be played in tandem, where I play and she watches/helps.  I don’t know, I thought maybe it would mean we’d finish one for once.  I was wrong.  Again.  Story of my life.   If only Sherlock was alive today (and real), maybe he could figure her out for me, because after all these years I’m still walking around in the woods without a compass.

OK, my LiveJournal post is done, so let’s talk about the game.  If you’ve played any of the previous games you know that with each game the style gets updated and the game gets more involved and complex.  The production values are higher each time and the graphics get a nice overhaul, too.  Frogwares does a wonderful job each time they set out to make a new Sherlock game.  I can’t wait for this one.  Same with the Cthulhu game they’re working on.  The little they’ve spoken about so far has me hyped.  It sounds really cool, but that’s for another time.  I hope I can beat the “last” game soon.  Pray for me.

 

Heazie Crackdown

I loved Crackdown 1.  It was such a video game video game.  If you play video games, you know what I mean.  Crackdown 2?  Eh, not so much.  It’s weird.  They changed just enough for the game to feel really off and the story was a letdown for sure.  I did not beat the second one.  I tried, but I just gave up.  Maybe one day.  Games With Gold before launch, perhaps?  Crackdown 3 looks to bring it back to the roots of the first game and has taken criticism of the 2nd game to heart.  And if you’ve seen the tech demos at E3 and beyond, the game is looks pretty damn ambitious.  The power of the cloud is being realized, y’all!!  It’s essentially going to have 2 completely different modes because of it.   World destruction is such a major thing in this title the cloud computing is going to be pretty important.  I’m still stoked about the single player, of course, but in this kind of a game, multiplayer is not something I despise.  Co-op is definitely something I can tolerate, especially if the game is good, and so far, this open world, GTA-lite collect-a-thon is ticking all the right boxes.  Fingers crossed it delivers.

 

Heazie Rocket League 2

OK, hear me out on this one.  Yes, I’ve played this game to death on PS4, BUT, this game is so fun I think it’d be just as fun to play it to death on my favorite current gen system, too.  With it coming to the Xbox One in February, now I can play with more friends and family, too.  What can I say about Rocket League that I or someone else hasn’t already said?  Well, for starters, it’s finally coming to XB1 in February.  Damn it.  I already said that.  OK, uh, it’s going to have every update the PS4 and PC version has gotten.  Whether baked in or post launch, we don’t know yet.  Oh, and it’s going to have Xbox exclusive cars tied to Gears of War and Halo.  Who knows if that could expand in  the future?  I’m sure somehow that will.  I’m pumped.  No cross platform play with PC like the PS4 has, but that honestly doesn’t bother me.  Xbox Live is a vast and dense place. If the game does well, there’ll be plenty of people on.

Which brings me to my final point, one I’m going to continue to say:  if this game does not launch for free on Games With Gold like it did on PS Plus, I think there could be a huge backlash with the typical vocal Xbox fan base and potentially low sales because of it.  They’re going to look at the $20 price tag and unless they have paid attention or buy into hype, they’re going to yell until their fingers bleed.  And to be fair, if this game weren’t free, I never would have played it.  No amount of hype could have turned me.  So while I may be willing to pay now and essentially double dip, I’m not so sure the majority this targets will.  I’d love to see PS4 sales numbers with and without PS Plus, because I think that figure is going to be pretty telling one way or the other.  Do the right thing, Psyonix.  There’s a slight chance the goodwill you’ve built will carry over, but do you want to take that chance?  I’d rather you succeed than gamble and lose.  Besides, the fact it was free has directly influenced whether I will buy the DLC or not.  Were this not free, I almost assuredly would not have done that.

 

Heazie Quantum Break

Oh, boy.  Oh, boy, oh, boy, oh, boy!!  OH, BOY!!  This game was one of the first to be announced for the Xbox One and now it finally has a release date.  An apparent firm release date (if I wake up tomorrow and find it’s been pushed back I’m going to cry).  OK, yes, this isn’t Alan Wake 2 like I wanted, but this is Remedy.  They don’t make bad games.  They take forever to release whatever they’re working on and because of that, the games are great.  And I’m sure that if this sells well, not only will this lead to a sequel, but Alan Wake 2 is that much closer to being a reality.

The game builds on what they’ve done with Alan Wake previously with a TV show tie-in, but this time, the game is literally built around it.   Finish a chapter of the game and a full half hour episode of the TV show plays, and as far as I have seen, it’s from the prospective of the bad guys to flesh out the world even further.  It’s a concept that doesn’t get used enough – or at all, really – and I hope this ushers in more companies to dip their toes into the waters.  I liked it in Alan Wake and they’re going even further with it here.  I think it’s a pretty neat concept.  Plus it has Hollywood actors and such.  You know, for the cinephiles.  Couple that with game play sort of like Max Payne but with more time powers and I’m even further in Remedy’s pocket.  This is absolutely my #1 game I’m looking forward to in 2016, which isn’t too weird, because it was the #1 game I was interested in before the XB1 even launched.  And it launches right around my birthday, so, if anyone needs any gift ideas…  ***hint, hint***

Hopefully this game’s long dev time has done wondrous things for it.  But, guys, it’s Remedy.  They don’t make bad games.  THEY DON’T – FOREVER AND EVER!!  OK, now that I’ve written that it’s impossible for them to make a bad game.  You’re welcome.

 

Look at that, my most wanted 2016 games list has ended.  Give yourself a round of applause.  You made it this far!!  Unless you cheated and just scrolled through without reading.  Then you do not deserve applause.  Get back to me and I’ll let you know the punishment for doing that.  Thank you all for reading and if you are so inclined, leave a comment letting us know what your most wanted games or things in 2016 are.  I’m genuinely curious.  And share this with your friends so they can do the same thing because I want to know what theirs are, too.  And if they have a dog.  I really want a dog and I have to live vicariously through their happiness.  Please?

Austin’s Best of 2015

 

Thanks FOr Reading

Top 10 List 2

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