I don’t remember the dates so I had to look at my history, but here’s the list of video games I played in 2016, though not all of them were necessarily released this year. I’m going to talk about my opinions of the games in the paragraphs after the list, but I won’t be posting any spoilers, so don’t worry about that.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva X
Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC
Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 1
Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 2
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Tales of Zesteria
Ys: Origin
Ys: Ark of Napishtim
Final Fantasy XII: Lightning Returns
Tales of Symphonia

Pokemon Moon
Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX
Pokemon X
Pokemon White 1
Pokemon Black 2

Pokemon Go
Mario Run
Pokemon Shuffle
Tales of Link

I’m still playing Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, but the year’s not over yet. I eventually dropped every iOS game I started, which is not surprising for mobile games. I finished every game I started on Vita, Steam and NN3DS, except Digimon, which I’m still playing, I’m on chapter 15 out of 20.

Now let’s talk about expectations, a common theme in these end of the year blogs. For these mini lists, I’m excluding the mobile games and focusing on the full PC and handheld games.

Most anticipated games that didn’t meet my expectations:
Hatsune Miku Project Diva X
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2

Like I said, those games were really good, they just weren’t as good as the games that came before. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 added a lot of great extra content, but I still enjoyed the overall experience Dragon Ball Xenoverse 1 more. Xenoverse 2 has more extra side quests and super saiyan 3, but Xenoverse 1 has a plot that’s more to my personal taste and the DLC were delivered while they were still relevant. I finished Xenoverse 2 before the DLC arrived and still haven’t gone back to play it. Both games are really good, I just prefer Xenoverse 1.

As for Hatsune Miku Project Diva X, this case is a little more objective. They added a story mode that was very redundant, since playing the songs without the plotless dialogue in between is a lot more fun anyway. A lot of the songs were remixes of previous songs and they Vocaloids that are not Miku were really lacking songs. In Hatsune Miku Project Diva F2, one of my top favorite games, Miku has the most songs, but the other Vocaloids have enough songs so that it doesn’t feel like they’re being ignored. Kaito doesn’t have a single solo song, and you know there’s something wrong when I say that’s not even my biggest critique. My biggest issue with the game is that they randomized the items that you obtained rather than giving you points to buy them. This means you have to play the same songs over and over to maybe get a new item. Project Diva X is by far my least favorite out of all the Hatsune Miku games I’ve played so far (3 for the Vita counting X and 1 for the NN3DS). The reason why I say it’s still a good game is because if I take it all by itself it gets a pass, but compared the the previous 3 games it’s so much worse. It feels like this game was an experiment that failed miserably, but is still somehow kept alive by the sheer cuteness of the Vocaloids. Unlike with Xenoverse, where my preferences were based on personal taste, with Project Diva I seem to be with the majority in saying that the new way to obtain items by RNG ruined a big part of the game.

The Final Fantasy XII series has great characters but the storylines don’t always catch my attention, the only exception being the second one with it’s time travel story. I didn’t include Lightning Returns on this list because my expectations for it were okay and it was an okay game, but for the 2 games on the list, my expectations were much higher.

Most anticipated game that met my expectations:
Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC

It took a long time for this game to be translated but it was worth the wait. I loved every minute of it. Even if I hate reading, the story was so good and everything fit so well with the first game I didn’t skip a single text box. I replayed the first game before this, which I highly recommend, since this is a very direct sequel that starts less than 24 hours (in game) after the final event of the first one. The character development and story are great, it’s hard to pick a favorite out of the two. A certain twist at the end felt a bit cliche, but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the game. Like most other Trails games, it was open ended in many regards, but it at least resolved the stories of its main protagonists in a satisfying way. Trails in the Sky is still my favorite game out of all the Legend of Heroes games I’ve played (7).

I would have included Pokemon Moon here too if not for the fact that my second favorite Pokemon, Meowstic, isn’t in the game. None the less, I did enjoy it very much. Ys: Ark of Napishtim was another game that I expected to be awesome and was indeed awesome, though a bit shorter than expected, still very enjoyable.

Games that I enjoyed more than I expected:
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Ys: Origin

Dust: An Elysian Tail looked like an okay game with pretty art. I didn’t expect it to be as great as it was. Though it has a good story, the parts that I enjoyed the most were the gameplay and humor. I loved the dialogue and jokes between the characters, the references to videogame tropes and the fast paced action. This game may not be super famous, but I highly recommend it!

Ys: Origin is a prequel to the other Ys games. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much because the main story isn’t about Adol and instead of exploring different areas, the goal is to climb a tower. I expected it to be light on plot and repetitive, but I should have known that the Ys series wouldn’t disappoint. Each area of the tower was unique and varied and I played the game twice with different characters learning more about their stories. The plot was good, the gameplay was lots of fun and Origin lived up to the quality of the later Ys games.

Pokemon X, White 1 and Black 2 were games that I knew I would enjoy, hence why they’re not on the list, but I haven’t played Pokemon since Sapphire and I did enjoy getting back into it more than I could have expected. The only generation I still haven’t played is Diamond and Pearl. I’m hoping for a remake of those as they’ve been doing with the other generations. I also want to mention Digimon, since I wasn’t expecting a Digimon game for one of the systems I have at all and it was a pleasant surprise. The game isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely been fun.

It’s hard to pick a favorite game of 2016, but these would have to be my top 3:
Pokemon X or Pokemon Moon
Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC
Dust: An Elysian Tail

Pokemon is at a tie, they both have things I really like about them. I never really got into Z moves or mega evolution, so those things are not on the lists. I love Ys, it’s still one of my favorite franchises, but Napishtim is no Celceta and I didn’t play Memories of Celceta this year.

Pokemon X:
Charizard (in battle)
Professor Sycamore
More interesting rival/friend characters
More Pokemon
Got me back into the franchise

Pokemon Moon
More Eevee
Professor Kukui
Better antagonists
No HMs
Played at the same time as friends

My gaming plans for next year:
Finish Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth either at the end of this year or early next year.
Play the Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 DLC.
Play all these Steam games:
Destiny Warriors
Fairy Fencer F
Labyronia RPG
Labyronia RPG 2
Legend of Mysteria
Secret of Magia
Tales of Berseria

Other games I want to play but haven’t bought yet:
Hatoful Boyfriend Holiday (Vita)
Steam wishlisters I’ll probably buy on their next sale.

Gaming hopes for next year:
Final Fantasy XV for PC (probably won’t happen for a few more years)
Something from the Ys series for Vita or Steam
Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remake for the NN3DS

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