Welcome back to The JpSr388 Awards 2016; your not-actually-alternative to 2016 “Best Of” lists, where I nominate my personal winners of the year, along with the biggest losers, and honorable mentions.

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Thanks for joining me, and without further ado; the awards.


Winners

Hot Takes got me gaming more than I have in the past few years, and into some franchises that I’ve otherwise have missed. Even if I wasn’t always a fan, trying out so many new games was fun in itself.

The backlog, just less daunting than it was at the beginning of the year.

But more often than not it got me going into my backlog to play games. Spending money to review games every week gets expensive (I’m sure you all know), and relying on games that have sat unplayed to pad bigger reviews was a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

So much Pokémon merch! I can’t believe I’ve spent as much as I have on it.

The Pokémon Company handled the 20th anniversary of one of the world’s biggest franchises in a way that should be the envy of others. The Superbowl commercial. Pokémon Go. Pokémon Sun and Moon. A years worth of event Pokémon. Pokkén Tournament. Pushing the competitive scene like never before. Pokémon Generations. The sheer volume of merch and social media presence. There was something to satisfy casual players to hardcore fans and everywhere in between. Nintendo could learn some lessons on how to love an IP.

One amazing song after another. Madeon put on a really great, energetic show!

I went to so many amazing concerts this past year (and missed a few that I wish I’d gone to). Le1f, Madeon, Years & Years, Adele! So may shows, at venues that range from intimate (I was literally within arms reach of Le1f) to the gigantic Verizon Center in DC. I’m committed to continuing this trend into 2017, which I already know will include The Flaming Lips in March.


Losers

I could count on one hand the number of Triple-A Nintendo franchises we saw this year. And then I’d probably subtract the same number of for those franchises that under-performed. The Wii U didn’t see a new 3D Zelda and in 2016 the we got a well produced, but convoluted Star Fox reboot and a decent but unwanted Metroid Prime spinoff.

We all remember this, right?

Nintendo really bungled it with their IP, and here, on it’s deathbed, while sites across the universe have already given their eulogies, I too lament the last year of the Wii U.

With the rise of nationalism, among other less scrupulous ‘ism’s and people, we now stand at crossroads for humanity’s future. Maybe 2017 will decide it wants to go down the path towards enlightenment and Star Trek.

Honestly, get your shit together. SafeTrack was a terrible idea. At least you’ll be staying open and free after midnight tonight for all us drunk NYE partyers. Also you got my money for those 40th anniversary SmarTrip cards.


Honorable Mentions

We had a lot of games that we were excited for that... didn’t meet expectations. We had a few games that were exactly what we wanted. I know it’s vague to say, the gaming community is getting to peak-hype. A hype-saturation point. We were excited for Mighty Number 9, and we got an over-promised mess. Even big titles like No Man’s Sky released in what can only be described as a publicity and promises disaster.

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But games like Shanae: Half-Genie Hero, Yooka Laylee, and Shovel Knight show that Kickstarter and hype don’t always end in heartbreak. 2016 has shown us that hype can be had, but merely needs to be tempered. Indie games, made the bulk of gaming this year’s best titles and pulled double-duty filling a generally sparse release calendar. Thank you indie game developers.


Hope everyone has a good New Years Eve, and heres to another great year of TAY in 2017... Man. 2016. What a year.


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JpSr388 is a casual(ish) gaymer, hardcore Nintendo fan, designer & writer. He writes about what he cares about, and is always good for some opinions. Find his sexy ass on Twitter here. Or keep on the lookout for more editorial, QuickDraws, Hot Takes and reviews here.