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Opinion

Game Of The Year 2016 - Best Role Playing Game

Darkness falls.

Role Playing Games remain the backbone of the software release schedule, and despite the fact that the Japanese development scene has been waning for a number of years, they’re still the masters of this particular genre. Both of our two finalists were developed in the Japan, with each of them sequels in a hugely popular franchise. They couldn’t be more different though, especially in terms of combat, with the exacting action of the Souls series going head to head with an all-new action-orientated take on the Final Fantasy framework.


Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III represents the culmination of just how far From Software and Hidetaki Miyazaki have come. Lessons have been learned from all games, resulting in the finest controls, most visually stunning entry in the series. One look at the snow covered areas is enough to show just how wonderful it looks. Enemy designs vary from area to area, with intimidating warriors that can harass you from rooftops, or monsters guarding bridges that must be toppled to progress.

We also have some of the best designed boss battles in the franchises history, and yet Dark Souls III manages to have the smoothest difficulty curve. This could of course be due to experience, but no encounter felt truly unfair in the early stages.

And then there’s the overarching lore, which is hidden among item descriptions, that perhaps gave me more of an incentive to take down a particularly hard boss later on. If this is how Dark Souls ends, it’s a terrific send off.

– Dave

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV really had no right to be as good as it turned out to be. The subject of one the the most tumultuous development cycles in modern gaming, the disparate parts somehow pulled together to bring us a fresh re-imagining of the Final Fantasy franchise that was just referential enough to the games that had come before it.

What marks it out as being particularly revolutionary was the way in which it handled the RPG party system, and the resulting narrative strands that came from their interactions. Prince Noctis and his retainers, Ignis, Gladiolus and Prompto, aren’t just cookie-cutter genre stereotypes, and nor do they simply play a game of follow the leader as happens in so many other RPGs. By the end of your playthrough you’ll know so many small details about each of them, and you’ll discover that they’re quietly amongst the most well-written and well-rounded characters in a modern RPG. The details may not be life-changing, or even that interesting, but there are few games that make you want to spend an extended amount of time with the cast.

Besides the unexpected successes, Final Fantasy XV continued the series’ penchant for generation-leading visuals, and it looks simply stunning, with a huge open-world that stretches out in front of you for miles. The fact that you can either traverse them by Chocobo, or take a more relaxed drive while the scenery zips by makes the whole thing all the more enjoyable.


In the end, our 2016 award for Best Role Playing Game goes to:

Runners up in alphabetical order

  • Bravely Second: End Layer
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright
  • I Am Setsuna
  • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine
8 Comments
  1. Tony Cawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    I love me a good RPG but I haven’t played any of these. I’ll be looking forward to getting the wtcher and ff at some point.

    Comment posted on 28/12/2016 at 16:52.
  2. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    I was expecting Witcher 3’s expansion to win. Am glad Dark Souls III got the award. Out of curiosity, was Skyrim:Special Edition disqualified from the list due to it being a remaster/port or was it considered?

    Dark Souls is taking a break. That much is confirmed but From have flipped flopped on it a lot and i think, Hidetaki Miyazak has said ask him in 5 years time if he wants to do another Souls game.

    But it is the one game of 2016 that told Microtransactions and other bs that is the norm to shove off.

    FF15, I kinda would disqualify it just because they are patching in story stuff and to me, that comes off as an incomplete game that got delayed to avoid a day one patch, got a day one patch and still isn’t fully completed as a product.

    Oh man, I’ve just realised how long it could take for me to install and download the fecking patches when I get in hopefully 2 years time. FFS.

    Comment posted on 28/12/2016 at 19:12.
    • Jim Hargreaves
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      As a remaster, we couldn’t really throw Skyrim into the mix.

      Comment posted on 28/12/2016 at 19:44.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        Thought so. Was just curious to see if that was the case or not. Some sites will give it RPG/Release etc.. of the year awards and that is always a bad thing to give a remaster to as it’s well, a remaster. I feel that remasters don’t fit into awards beyond Remaster of the year. And even that is a very hard catergory due to that being sparse.

        Comment posted on 28/12/2016 at 19:56.
    • freezebug2
      Member
      Since: Dec 2008

      Say whut? Two years time before joining the current generation?
      You said 2017 would be “my year” so for the sanity of Bunimo and countless other innocents why not go that extra mile to get the job and join the fun!
      If I’ve misinterpreted the coded messages then sincere appologies but otherwise Silly Steven :P

      Comment posted on 28/12/2016 at 20:47.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        It’s purely an internet reason. I know I will get a job in 2017. Whether I can earn enough to move into a place of my own, get decent broadband and upgrade to the current gen is another question.

        Comment posted on 29/12/2016 at 13:50.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        By that, i mean, I rather wait until I have proper internet then risk buying a PS4, find out that some games are unplayable without bloody patches, get real annoyed, do a giant wall of text that is then countered by another wall of text which forces me t do another wall of text etc. That and Overporn is something I would want to play. Seems fun.

        Bloody state of the industry! What was wrong with the simple idea of popping in a game and playing it? Consoles are meant to be a cheap alternative to PC! Not slowly become PCs to the point where it is quicker to install the PC version then the console version!

        I blame this on the Daily Mail! Damn paper causes everything to go to crap! They also cause cancer.

        Comment posted on 29/12/2016 at 14:59.
  3. Starman
    Member
    Since: Jul 2011

    DS3 is a worthy winner, though I haven’t played any of the others!

    Comment posted on 29/12/2016 at 18:25.