games / Columns

The Gaming Rs: The Right and wRong of 2017

December 20, 2017 | Posted by Stewart Lange
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild

Hello everyone and welcome to another shiny edition of the Gaming Rs! It’s certainly winter here in Bonnie Scotland, as the walk to anywhere is icy as hell and death lies just around any turn, either through falling and landing on your neck, or just the icy grasp of Jack Frost taking you. It’s not really that bad, though but we’re a very dramatic lot. I’m sure there’ll be some of you in the comments who regularly hike to work through feet of snow, while I’m complaining about the train station platform being slightly slippery. Woe is me. I’ve had a busy week in the run up to Christmas, which is maybe why you haven’t seen me review much on the site, but there are a few coming so fear not. I’m about to start working on my PUBG one, so look forward to that. Not got a huge amount to talk about this week, so i’m going to give out a few year awards of my own after talking about it last week. Hope you enjoy it.

Reader Feedback:

Last week, I was talking about the Game of the Year Awards, with Zelda cleaning up and Nintendo revealing the new Bayonetta. But first…

Saffin: What did you think to Mastodon? I’ve always liked them on record but been bored live. Binned them off last night to go watch Creeper instead.

This was following the news that I went to see Mastodon. I loved them. If you follow me on Instagram (@outafterdark216, if you’re interested) I posted a picture of my 5 favourite gigs of the year, and Mastodon were a late entry. The new stuff sounds so damned good live. Back to the games, you damned nerds.

Keepcrom: Good article, I’m glad to see that Nintendo has learned from their mistakes and that the Switch is doing so well. But come on man did you really just say Norman Reedus has done nothing relevant since Boondock Saints when he’s been a major character on The Walking Dead since the first season?

Yeah dude, I was just being a dick. I thought the Walking Dead fell off a cliff after the first season, I personally made it halfway through season 4 before giving up entirely. He’s absolutely the best thing about that show.

Billyblaze: I didn’t care about the Bayonetta announcements I kind of wished they gave us more details on the X series coming back and Metroid Prime 4

This was answered in the comments for me, I totally agree with this sentiment:

Gary G: Metroid is gonna get it own Nintendo Direct. Probably several

Also from Gary G:

The hype I have seen about that Bayonetta announcement is crazy. I didnt know that many people cared about Bayonetta and I think it will just get bigger after new players actually play 1 and 2 since probably no one played 2 with it being a Wii U exclusive. Nintendo made the announcement at a perfect time instead of throwing it into a Nintendo Direct they made it when there was a Gap in News for new games. Nintendo is learning from the Wii U mistakes

But the biggest thing for me from the announcement is the porting over of Bayonetta 2. Because it shows they are willing to port over games that deserve to be played but really never were with no one owning a Wii U . Im hoping Donkey Kong, Captain Toad and Yoshi are next. I just wish Xenoblade Chronicles X was ported over before Xenoblade 2 games out

I cannot wait to replay the first Bayonetta before getting into the second and then pacing it out until the third is released. I think Xenoblade X coming out before 2 would’ve been a bit too much and as much as I agree with you a bit, I would much rather see great new games come out for the Switch than overlooked Wii:U games. Maybe a virtual console release as a compromise?

Crackhead_Bob: I’ve never been big on Kojima games either. Like, technically they’re fantastic games. MGS1 was a stunning game at the time it released, and that trend has pretty much continued through the entire series.. but I just don’t enjoy the gameplay. Stealth games are not high on my favorite genre list..and then interspersing the playable segments with cutscenes that regularly drag on for 10 minutes or more, thanks but no thanks. P.T. was awesome though. Konami really dropped the ball when they cancelled that.

Bayonetta 3 is a pretty big get for the Switch. I assumed with the recent PC port of Bayo 1 that it would be multiplatform from here on out. It’s most definitely a helpful series for Nintendo to have in their stable as the Switch still tries to shake the casual friendly reputation they got from the Wii, Personally I’m looking forward to Metroid Prime and a new non-mobile Animal Crossing (shut up, it’s the only way I know how to make friends)

I think the Switch has already shaken the image of the Wii U with the likes of Skyrim, LA Noire and Doom being ported across already. The Bayonetta trilogy will also help, plus an inevitable Metroid of some sort, plus I’m keeping all my fingers, toes and testicles crossed for a Fallout: New Vegas remaster for the system. Just give me that, please. I’ve been good this year. Ish. And don’t worry, I can’t even make friends on Animal Crossing so you’re one up on me there.

Let’s have a look at what I enjoyed a lot, and not so much from the year in gaming for 2017.

The Right:

I’m going to put it out there, I think the best thing in 2017 is just how much choice there has been for the title of Game of The Year. We’ve seen Edge Magazine crown this year’s Zelda game, Breath of the Wild as the best game of all time. Honestly, I struggled to get into it but I’m certainly not going to tell anyone that they’re wrong. Much as I don’t want anyone to tell me that I’m wrong in my choice for 2017’s Game of The Year- Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Now featuring a Predator mode, Wildlands is easily the most I’ve played as well as the most fun I’ve had with a video game this whole year. Now, I know it’s not the best game of the year from any real standpoint. It’s quite repetitive, but it is really pretty and for Ubisoft, fairly bug free. The reason I enjoyed Wildlands so much was due to playing regularly with a group of friends. We’re still playing it when we can now. Making up the rest of the shortlist, though, I have a Super Mario game. That’s right, in the running for my own GOTY 2017 is Odyssey, a fact even more surprising given that I grew up a Sonic guy and until the Switch, haven’t owned a Nintendo console I’ve not given up on extremely quickly. There are so many contenders this year that no matter what your tastes are, you’ve been spoiled for choice. Given that last year didn’t feel quite as full as this, it’s certainly been a fantastic year for gaming.

The wRong:

It’s a drum I’ve beaten into the ground since coming back to 411mania, but this year has been maybe the worst in history for the evil micro-transaction. Seemingly everyone was at it in some way, from the well-documented scandal of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and the fact it would cost thousands of dollars to unlock all of the content; to the continuing lottery of the Ultimate Teams. With EA leading the greedy charge, they were by no means the only company doing it. With pay to win obvious across many games, from Assassin’s Creed Origins all the way to For Honor and even to the WWE Accelerator (which we did agree on this very column a few weeks ago is the lowest of all of the evils), it’s sadly just become an expected part of the gaming industry. It’s becoming the gaming industries equivalent of paying for pornography. Nobody will admit to doing it, but enough people must be that it’s only growing bigger and bigger. Pun unintended. With money being printed so easily, we’re seeing less and less need for innovation in the gaming industry, which is likely a huge part in the success that Nintendo has had this year. I understand that Nintendo offer Amiibo which give otherwise unavailable in game content, but you at least got a little figurine. It’s not even close to the disgusting lottery of chance presented by the loot box system. In 2018 we all need to take a stand, tell everyone you know to stop buying this crap. It’s not real and your virtual NHL or FIFA team will be gone quicker than your next wage unless you just say no. Maybe it’s time for people to be addicted to drugs again like when I was a youngster.

The Ridiculous:

If 2017 wasn’t the year of the micro-transaction, it could certainly be remembered as being the year of the terrible, out-dated movie tie in video games. We kicked off the year with Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Mega Battle. Not exactly a tie-in with the reboot of the franchise, this was the beat-em-up game we could’ve had way back in the 90’s when the show first hit our screens. Unfortunately, not even being on the Sega Saturn could have saved this from being a terrible game with next to no redeeming qualities. May saw not only one, but two horrible movie tie in games that are years too late to capitalise on any real relevance to anything. Friday the 13th took the formula from Evolve and actually did it properly (although that isn’t real praise in the slightest) with a team of players taking on a big bad monster who is far more powerful than they are. In this instance of course, it’s Jason Voorhees that you have to take down and the only way to do it is a convoluted checklist of menial tasks. Do them without being killed and you’ve “won.” Even more ridiculous than this is the very real worst game of 2017 contender of Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days. A game which should have been known as “bloody awful,” there’s genuinely nothing redeeming about this game in the slightest. Thankfully, it’s not something I paid for and I hope none of you did either. Playing like a dreadful version of Hotline Miami with a rather odd rewind function that really, really didn’t work, Bloody Days is best avoided.

That’s all for this week, I’ll be back in another week for some kind of Gaming Rs, whatever that may be given the whole Christmas thing, but regardless of your beliefs or how you celebrate, have a great and safe few weeks over the season. Leave your own votes for best and worst things about gaming in 2017 in the comments and I’ll reply to them all in 7. Until then, have fun and remember, don’t be a dick!