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Haven Editorial: Zacerons 2016 game awards

Zacerons 2016 game awards

2016 is officially over. Therefor I can now make a list about the best games and worst games of 2016. This list is proof that 2016 was good year indeed. The hand picked games from this list is all based on the ones I’ve reviewed this year.

2016

No man’s sky:

An under-engineered, over hyped piece of software. Which runs like a three eyed, one legged man, hobbling on thin ice. Needless to say it runs terrible and I can’t get it above thirty frames per second. Despite everything setting all the settings to low. There is also that terrible loading whenever I start the game. Despite what Hello games will have you believe. That pesky star journey is a loading screen. It even says, loading shaders at the bottom. Slow loading times is a good indication that the game code is crap.

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“Fix the damn performance issues already!”

Overwatch:

I still play it despite my short temper, questionable aiming abilities and my raging murder boner. It’s a game about holding an objective against colorful weirdos, with skills on par with mine. Whom are more concerned with chasing kills and trashing scenery, than to push the wagon up a hill. Yes it is fun, terrible and awesome, all at the same time. 

 

“Murder, death kill and chill.”

Everspace:

Rogue lite meets space exploration, with a high probability of fiery death. While being having an armada of murderous and very angry lizard people son my tail. As I traverse the randomly generated galaxy. It is the most beautiful rendition of space I’ve ever seen within a game.

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“How to make space look fantastic.”

Enter the Gungeon:

Charming and fun, where everything is a pun related to ammo or a gun. A game about exploring randomly generated dungeons and killing bosses, while trying to get the gun that can erase the past. Hard to wrong with a sizzling hot, table flipping bullet hell.20160420200000_1

 

“Fun with puns and guns.”

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun:

Ninjas flip out and kill people, it is a proven scientific fact. At least according the interweb. Around the time of fire arms, where the shogun ruled and Japan was almost peaceful. A cleaver ploy to reignite the war is brewing and a team of ninjas are set out to thwart it. Someone finally decided to make a top down stealth game, I’ve not seen many of those since Commandos was new.

20161209153853_1“Best stealth game of the year.”

Xcom 2:

Aliens have taken over the earth and the resistance needs my help, in order to liberate Earth. This game improves on everything the previous release did and a lot more.  Though adding a mission timer was probably not the smartest thing to do. Overall a fun turn based strategy game.

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“Damn aliens, always digging holes in my backyard.”

Owlboy:

It took nine years to get it done and I’d say it was worth it. It looks fantastic and is immensely  fun to play. Starring Otus; A boy, whom also is an owl, with a flying cape and several useful companions, fighting menacing mechanical pirates.20161030235823_1

Worth the wait

Redout:

Strap yourself into a rocked, held aloft with anti gravity. While trying to avoid a fiery death as the track blast by. It’s the fastest and most polished racing game I’ve played in 2016. It’s just fun speed through a loop at 300 km/t. The music is good as well and apparently it can be used with virtual reality.

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“High octane crash and burn.”

Earth Defense Force 4.1 Shadow of new despair:

Finally a proper EDF game on pc. A last I can smash the bug horde under my heels,  without slowdowns and horrible performance issues. It’s one of the few third person games where you actually face down an overwhelming horde of enemies. 20160725160931_1

“EDF! EDF! EDF!”

The Incredible Baron:

While not the most played game on my list, it does sport a very good soundtrack, which I’ve been listening to a lot. Especially when writing my list for games of 2016. The game it self is not bad at all and looks good. It’s just not my cup of tea. Despite the quirky fun characters.20160804095119_1

“Kick ass music.”

The Final Station:

All aboard the man train to Armageddon. It is a fun game about managing a train, explore abandoned locations and keeping passengers alive, while the nefarious plot unfolds.20160825001136_1

“Quit dying on me, I’m trying to adjust the cabin pressure.”

Clustertruck:

The floor is lava is a simple game about not touching the floor.  Only this time around the the floor is composed of speeding trucks and questionable physics. It’s fun as long as you can manage extreme first person platforming.20161003183511_1

Bird of Light

A very fun run and jump game, with a deep and slightly depressing story about a very real problem India is faced with.20160724194007_1

 

“Slow motion matrix jumping is awesome.”
May 2017 be an even better year for games than 2016.

Njål Sand

Haven Editorial: Published Broken Promises and Lies

Haven Editorial: Published Broken Promises and Lies

crashI’ve hung around the gaming scene for a long time and it’s jungle out there. A wild overgrown forest filled with vicious predators, known as fake promises and lies. Gaming companies seems to live in the legal twilight when to comes to people taking action. There are a lot of expensive products, that just flat out fail to work or have missing features. Most of the time it’s the big AAA publisher that is to blame, since they usually want to push the game out as fast as possible.

Here is a list of games. Products that would have been illegal if it was anything but a game. As far as I can see there are no real regulations. It does not help that most stores will not accept refunds on an opened game, where the plastic has been unsealed.
There is only one way to show the big companies what does and does not work. The shareholders only look at numbers and trends, so talk with your valet and listen to reviews. Due to personal preferences I will not do a top list, I find them rather stupid.

Hellgate London is rogue like 3rd person game with random drops, cool classes and flashy skills. Much like Diablo. However at launch is was a broken mess of bugs and glitches. At one point I ran into a wall that could not be passed to complete the level. Players could not see each other and a bucket load of things to be worked out. Eventually they got around to fix it, and got shut down about a year later. I wonder what EA was thinking when they allowed the game to be punished.

Saints Row 2 on PC is a horrible, horrible port that should never been sold to the public. At a certain point the save file got corrupted and the game got unplayable and such cases are well documented.

Batman: Arkham Knight is a story of its own, especially on PC. Good luck making it work. If nothing else there was a serious market backslash. They ought to fix the framerate drops at some point right?

ET on the Atari. They just did not care. They got blinded by money and everything around them turned to a pile of poo. It also fucked up the gaming industry hard.

Driver 3, another well documented case of releasing a faulty game. At least they got a real good kick in the bollocks. But I don’t think they have learned much since then. Anoticable bug includes driving under the city.

Anachronox: A fun game, with a fantastic setting. At some point Eidos got tired of the developers taking too long. Which meant they published a half baked product that is still buggy. At one point movie sequences started repeating themselves when backtracking.

Dai Kantana got hyped, promised a lot and failed to deliver anything remotely close to what was expected.

Aliens Colonial Marine is also a very notorious example. Just look it up on Youtube and marvel at the false promises and the bugs.

Sonic 2006 sucks more than a two legged donkey and runs like one. I wonder why it got published at all.

No man’s Sky is the latest thing we love to hate. Which encapsulate all the issues of broken promises and a buggy sub par product at launch.

Duke Nukem Forever became a mediocre first person shooter. Where the gameplay was boring and the player could pick up shit and throw it at the wall. Not to mention that it took ages for it to actually be released at all.
Mind you, this also holds true for indie developers. If your product is a steaming pile of manure, expect harsh criticism!
Njål H Sand