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RPGamer's Best of 2016 Awards

MacstormMacstorm Ysy St.Administrators
edited February 6 in Latest Updates
After a long year full of unique RPGs, the RPGamer crew has taken the past month to deliberate and is now ready to share our top RPGs of 2016. We are once again proudly presents to you the most complete RPG awards.

Awards
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Comments

  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    Yaaaaaaay Overwatch Trails of Cold Steel II for being our GotY. One day I will get to that series. One day.

    I clearly fail at RPGs. I didn't finish a lot last year and what I did wasn't that great. T_T
  • lolwhoopslolwhoops happy accident HalifaxRPGamer Staff
    edited February 6
    *darth vader voice* Nooo!

    Actually, I'm ok with this. I need to stop procrastinating and just play Cold Steel 2 already. Bought it day one, have been keeping like a treasure until such time that I really need it.
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  • RealityCheckedRealityChecked Member Full Members
    Nice write-up.

    I agree with ToCSII as the best, although I found it the weakest of the ones that have come West lately.

    I agree with Setsuna (letdown). I think your description of 'lacking punch' was spot on. It had moments it tried to frame as emotionally charged, but there wasn't anything there.

    I disagree with Bravely Second. It was a letdown for me. Most reviews I've read seem to comment that it solved the issues of the first, but I saw the same repetitive stuff, this time wrapped in a less interesting story.
  • Fowl SorcerousFowl Sorcerous Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff
    and once again Scott sneaks a 'damn' into features text. one more and it's fair game for the rest of the staff and I move on to other naughty-ish words.
  • ChickenGodChickenGod Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderators
    edited February 6
    Nice finally seeing this year's Best of Awards. I'm especially happy Cold Steel got the love it deserved, and I'm actually really surprised Grim Dawn got a nod in the PC category as well. Kudos for giving Tokyo Mirage Sessions an honor as well as the entire category could have been skipped over since there wasn't any real competition going for the Wii U.

    Glad FF15 didn't take anything major, as the more I reflect on the experience, the worse I feel the game is as a whole. Out of all the selections I wish FF15 didn't take third in Story, and instead got that or higher in Dialogue, as the only successful moments in my opinion are the slice of life segments with Noctis and the gang.

    Theres not many games I have any interest in that I haven't played that show up here, other than Dark Souls 3 and Mankind Divided. It'll probably be awhile before I get around to either of those. I also actually liked Final Fantasy Explorers, granted I played with a party of 3 or 4 players at all times, so that really served to spice the experience up. As a single player RPG its probably not that entertaining. This is the only year I can recall where I actually played a game in the "Worst RPG" category so thats kind of funny in and of itself.
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  • Severin MiraSeverin Mira News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff
    I'm disappointed the rest of the staff didn't show Go Shiina love. Also no Non-RPG mention for Steins;Gate 0 but as Nyx's squeeing for Overwatch did outmatch mine for S;G 0 I suppose I'll allow it :P

    But yay Trails.
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  • imercenaryimercenary Member Full Members
    Best PC award is sadder than the Best Wii U award.
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Hands off the parfait! Administrators
    I'm somehow both surprised and not surprised by the love given to Pokemon Sun/Moon. :)
    I disagree with Bravely Second. It was a letdown for me. Most reviews I've read seem to comment that it solved the issues of the first, but I saw the same repetitive stuff, this time wrapped in a less interesting story.
    I've heard so much about Second supposedly having a poorer/less interesting story, that I was very pleasantly surprised when I did play it. Yew is a far more effective and likable main character than Tiz. The story is better paced, and I'd argue better written. I'm not even sure if I can say Default had a more original story than Second. One twist about 2/3 way into the game and some near the end completely blew my mind, just as much as Default did.

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  • ultranessultraness Member Full Members
    I'm glad to see at least one website give a major award to my favourite game of the year, Trails of Cold Steel 2.
  • Lord GolbezLord Golbez Member Full Members
    Trails of Cold Steel II seems like a good choice. I'm still working my way through the first one though. Strangely, I haven't played any of the picks for the 3DS, but then I don't think I've played many 3DS RPGs this year (at least from this year), despite having played a number of 3DS games. Only one I can think of is DQ7. Kind of weird that didn't get a nod at all, but whatever. I've never played a Pokemon game, but I don't think it's my kind of game. Fire Emblem might be more up my alley, but it seems too punishing. Bravely Second, I'll probably go for if I enjoy the first one through to the end (I put it down some time ago and have to pick it back up again.
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  • ClixClix Listmaster Full Members
    Fire Emblem might be more up my alley, but it seems too punishing.

    You might want to try Awakening, then. It has varying difficulties and a casual mode that you can play around with to get use to the series without the full burden the series has become infamous for.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Clix wrote: »
    Fire Emblem might be more up my alley, but it seems too punishing.

    You might want to try Awakening, then. It has varying difficulties and a casual mode that you can play around with to get use to the series without the full burden the series has become infamous for.

    Yeah, Awakening/Fates provide a great deal of control over the difficulty that can probably fit almost anyone's preference, they've really done a fine job with that.
    and once again Scott sneaks a 'damn' into features text. one more and it's fair game for the rest of the staff and I move on to other naughty-ish words.

    Man, you should hop on an episode of Q&A Quest where my foul New England mouth goes largely unchecked.
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  • Lord GolbezLord Golbez Member Full Members
    Awakening sounds like it might be good for me. Fates sounds like a pretty big investment, because it's 3 full games and it seems like only one of them has the easier settings.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Awakening sounds like it might be good for me. Fates sounds like a pretty big investment, because it's 3 full games and it seems like only one of them has the easier settings.

    Incorrect, they all have the same difficulty options. Conquest has more challenging maps and less side stuff to use for grinding so it can be more difficult, but still easy on the easier settings. While it is true it is three full campaigns, there really is no requirement to play all three as they are completely independent of each other.
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  • ShayminShaymin The Gratitude Pokemon Halifax, New SealandFull Members
    If anyone comes at you about Worst RPG, you have my sword. Good lord, that was a piece of *HONK*.

    I wish I could free up both the money (to grab it at Canadian prices) and the time (to play) ToCS 2, but I still haven't finished the first one.
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  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    No they all have the easier settings, just one of them has more challenging maps
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Shaymin wrote: »
    If anyone comes at you about Worst RPG, you have my sword. Good lord, that was a piece of *HONK*.

    I think we would have your sword and MANY others
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  • Lord GolbezLord Golbez Member Full Members
    Wheels wrote: »
    Awakening sounds like it might be good for me. Fates sounds like a pretty big investment, because it's 3 full games and it seems like only one of them has the easier settings.

    Incorrect, they all have the same difficulty options. Conquest has more challenging maps and less side stuff to use for grinding so it can be more difficult, but still easy on the easier settings. While it is true it is three full campaigns, there really is no requirement to play all three as they are completely independent of each other.

    It also seems rather telling that the easiest mode is called "normal mode." I usually choose normal mode anyway, but in a series that's notorious for killing off your characters like Fire Emblem, I would probably inclined to choose an "easy mode" if it were offered. I'll trust when you say the easiest mode is pretty easy, but naming the easiest mode normal and then having three hard modes does not inspire confidence. That's a Dark Souls kind of move.

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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited February 7
    Wheels wrote: »
    Awakening sounds like it might be good for me. Fates sounds like a pretty big investment, because it's 3 full games and it seems like only one of them has the easier settings.

    Incorrect, they all have the same difficulty options. Conquest has more challenging maps and less side stuff to use for grinding so it can be more difficult, but still easy on the easier settings. While it is true it is three full campaigns, there really is no requirement to play all three as they are completely independent of each other.

    It also seems rather telling that the easiest mode is called "normal mode." I usually choose normal mode anyway, but in a series that's notorious for killing off your characters like Fire Emblem, I would probably inclined to choose an "easy mode" if it were offered. I'll trust when you say the easiest mode is pretty easy, but naming the easiest mode normal and then having three hard modes does not inspire confidence. That's a Dark Souls kind of move.

    well the difficulty is two choices, not one. I thought there was something below normal but I could be wrong. Anyway, you choose what I guess would best be called enemy difficulty, then you select how death is handled in the game, either classic (permadeath), casual (back for the next battle), or phoenix (units revived at the end of EVERY turn). So even if there is nothing below normal, normal + phoenix mode is SUPER easy.

    While I'm on Fire Emblem, I should note I found Fates to be a far deal better than Awakening, and would absolutely recommend it over the former as a starting point.
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  • Lord GolbezLord Golbez Member Full Members
    edited February 7
    Phoenix sounds cheap as hell, so I'd probably go with casual. I'd even potentially be willing to allow permadeath if death were fairly rare, it didn't make me miss important story sequences, and it didn't make me fight a battle of attrition where I always feel in a worse spot for the next battle due to surviving the previous battle but with permadeaths.

    Which version of Fates do you find better? All of them? One in particular? Or the three as a whole (for the price of 3 games they ought to be better than Awakening when taken as a combination)?
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Phoenix sounds cheap as hell, so I'd probably go with casual. I'd even potentially be willing to allow permadeath if death were fairly rare, it didn't make me miss important story sequences, and it didn't make me fight a battle of attrition where I always feel in a worse spot for the next battle due to surviving the previous battle but with permadeaths.

    Which version of Fates do you find better? All of them? One in particular? Or the three as a whole (for the price of 3 games they ought to be better than Awakening when taken as a combination)?

    I like conquest the best, followed by Revelation. I'd consider Conquest better than awakening on its own. Full disclosure though: I got the special edition cart with all three scenarios (and first played the Japanese version of Conquest).

    As for Permadeath - character important to the main plot don't actually die, they just get injured and can't be used in battle anymore (or something like that). Permadeath can be brutal, its an acquired taste. Being a big fan of Shining Force, Hard + casual was a great combination for me.
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  • hyperknees91hyperknees91 Member Full Members
    I'm not very convinced on the reasoning to nominate FFXV in the story category. It's easily the worst part of the game and has been the most backlashed bit due to how much content was clearly cut from it and how rushed it is (Even the director admits this). Even if you indulge in the side material it doesn't really help that much. Like you guys said, the execution is sorely lacking and it might be one of the most poorly told rpg's I've ever experienced.

    Clearly RPGfan and you guys got something out of it that I didn't, but I'm not sure how its any better then Fire Emblem Fates mess of a story either.

  • Lord GolbezLord Golbez Member Full Members
    Please. I haven't gotten through FFXV and I doubt the sotry will be all that, but even the first few chapters I've gotten through show much better narrative execution than anything in FFXII.
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  • hyperknees91hyperknees91 Member Full Members
    Please. I haven't gotten through FFXV and I doubt the sotry will be all that, but even the first few chapters I've gotten through show much better narrative execution than anything in FFXII.

    Well the beginning is fine, most people agree on this. The problem occurs later but I won't spoil anything.

    I agree FFXII was also very sloppy, which is why I wouldn't nominate it for best story either. I'd be surprised if you still held that opinion by the end though.
  • bulmasanbulmasan New Member Full Members
    Please. I haven't gotten through FFXV and I doubt the sotry will be all that, but even the first few chapters I've gotten through show much better narrative execution than anything in FFXII.

    Well the beginning is fine, most people agree on this. The problem occurs later but I won't spoil anything.

    I agree FFXII was also very sloppy, which is why I wouldn't nominate it for best story either. I'd be surprised if you still held that opinion by the end though.

    I'd say FFXV has more chemistry than narrative story. The relationship between the main characters is great. The story is nearly invisible without outside sources (and even then it's garbled).

    FFXII lost the story around the middle of the game. I always thought the ending was setting up for a sequel that never happened.
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    bulmasan wrote: »
    The relationship between the main characters is great.

    And you've answered your own question about how it ended up in the list for best story.
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  • bulmasanbulmasan New Member Full Members
    edited February 10
    Wheels wrote: »
    bulmasan wrote: »
    The relationship between the main characters is great.

    And you've answered your own question about how it ended up in the list for best story.

    I wasn't the one who asked the original question. Nonetheless, saying that's the reason FFXV ended up on the "best story" list is admitting that there isn't a clear story. Someone just liked the characters. Maybe there should be a "most likeable characters" category.
  • SlayerSlayer Member Full Members
    Good stuff. Nice feature. I'd like to try Trails but my ps3 & ps4 backlog is nuts! Work sucks!
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    bulmasan wrote: »
    Wheels wrote: »
    bulmasan wrote: »
    The relationship between the main characters is great.

    And you've answered your own question about how it ended up in the list for best story.

    I wasn't the one who asked the original question. Nonetheless, saying that's the reason FFXV ended up on the "best story" list is admitting that there isn't a clear story. Someone just liked the characters. Maybe there should be a "most likeable characters" category.

    The story isn't just a ton of magical shenanigans and an empire, a major party of the story is the journey and experience of the four main characters. Besides that, unclear story isn't an immediate determination of bad either. Though you have to take in all FFXV related media to get the clearest picture of things, it's still entertaining throughout.
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  • Lord GolbezLord Golbez Member Full Members
    Wheels wrote: »
    Besides that, unclear story isn't an immediate determination of bad either.

    That depends. Mystery and intentional ambiguity can be present in a good story, although they are often a bad thing nevertheless. Anything else is just screwing up in telling the story. So yes, that would be an immediate determination that it's a bad story. Just as the story isn't just a ton of magical shenanigans, it's also not just some idea someone had. If they can't tell it properly, it's a bad story.
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