My games of the year 2016 (GOTY 2016)

Best Action game

GOD EATER 2 RAGE BURST_20150308231448

God Eater 2 Rage Burst (PSVita/PS4)

Without a natural leader like Bloodborne last year, hard to choose between the three great ones today. But God Eater 2 Rage Burst somewhat stands out, because of its memorables momenta and heated battles. Full of adorable characters and playable in coop, it goes well beyond the hunting genre to become a great saga.

Runner-up : Fate Extella (PSVita) & The Division (PS4)

Best Shooter

Battlefield™ 1_20161110225149

Battlefield 1 (PS4)

In Spring, I would have bet anything on Overwatch for this title. But that was underestimating DICE’s efforts to make Battlefield not only innovating by its theme, World War I, but also a thrilling sniper experience thanks to the best TDM maps since I know the series. The remarkable atmosphere and the gorgeous graphics are just the cherry on the cake.

Runner-up : Overwatch (PS4)

Best Strategy game

kan-colle-kai-kuma

Kan Colle kai (PSVita)

Kan Colle kai is the new Advance Wars. The addictive management of units and the desperate defense of positions brought me tears of joy when the final trophy popped. Gifted with rich and unique design and having a game system as enjoyable as Pokemon plus outstanding challenge, Kadokawa’s game is one to remember.

Runner-up : Pokemon Sun&Moon (3DS)

Best RPG

p5-girls

Persona 5 (PS4)

Persona 5 being my first «true» Persona game (after Persona 4 Dancing All Night last year), I hadn’t how massive this series was. And here it is, the hype is 170% deserved, because Persona 5 is an RPG like you seldom see. Great narrative & characters, fantastic combat, dream-like design, deep game system, overflowing content… the new King of JRPG is here!

Runner-up : Tokyo Xanadu (PSVita)

Best puzzle game

roct

Rose and the Old Castle of Twilight (PSVita)

After a superb Yomawari, Nippon Ichi Software is at it again with Rose and the Old Castle of Twilight. Not adventure this time but pure a 2D platformer featuring lots of puzzles for hours of intense brainstorming, with far better controls than The Firefly Diary.

Runner-up : Ace Attorney 6 (3DS)

Best Sountrack

初音ミク Project DIVA Future Tone

Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Future Tone (PS4)

The tracklist in Hatsune Miku Project Diva Future Tone speaks for itself : in the 228 tracks, you’ll surely find dozens of your liking. Every J-pop style is widely represented, with a lot of novelties compared to portable Project Diva games (Hôkai Utahime, Gothic and Loneliness). Yet this PS4 game also features classics like Remocon or Envy Cat Walk.

Runner-up : Hatsune Miku Project Diva X (PSVita/PS4)

Best graphics

Tom Clancy's The Division™_20160320231035

The Division (PS4)

Open world of impressive scale, The Division is visually the most striking game I’ve seen this year. Ubisoft re-created New York with great realism and the post apocalyptic touch makes it an immersive experience.

Runner-up : Battlefield 1 (PS4) & Hatsune Mike Project Diva X (PSVita)

Best innovation

dva-b

Overwatch (PS4)

When Blizzard does something, it rarely fails. Overwatch is a competitive FPS like you’ve never seen before. Close to an RPG by its characters and skill mechanics, it allows for a great variety of gameplay blowing everything else in the genre. You’ve got an innovative set of roles like defenders (D.Va) or support characters of which the recently added grandma Ana is a stunning example.

Runner-up : Mary Skelter Nightmares (PSVita)

Best narrative

futaba

Persona 5 (PS4)

Persona 5 is the master of suspense and intrigue. The passion in those personal destinies, the will of the characters, the bond uniting them, all this conjugated with the onimous plot set by wicked elites is a delicious cocktail that you keep pouring during dozens of hours.

Runner-up : Tokyo Xanadu (PSVita)

Best atmosphere

rose-flashback

Rose and the Old Castle of Twilight (PSVita)

Nippon Ichi Software is at its best when creating dark and crooked universes. Rose and the Old Castle of Twilight is no expection and delivers gloomy art that chills the bone : blood, death and despair are the key elements here. The developments, the very logic of the game and the touching conclusion make it emotionally beautiful.

Runner-up : Battlefield 1 (PS4)

Best design

kan-colle-kai-akagi-room

Kan Colle kai (PSVita)

While Persona 5 sure blows things out in terms of design, I might stick to Kan Colle kai for this one. Really unique concept with risqué fan service included, Kantai Collection does a great job drawing friends and foes, and decorating your HQ is a lot of fun too.

Runner up : Persona 5 (PS4), Mary Skelter Nightmares (PSVita) & Pokemon Sun/Moon (3DS)

Best game you might never play

nagato

Kan Colle kai (PSVita)

I’m actually pretty sure you won’t play Kan Colle kai, unfortunately. Kadokawa has already announced that the game would be pulled back from shelves, further evidence that relations with the IP owner DMM.com aren’t exactly easy. You still have a few weeks to order an import version and a fat kanji dictionary with it.

Runner-up : none

Most disappointing

SWORD ART ONLINE: HOLLOW REALIZATION_20161126160806

Sword Art Online Hollow Realization (PSVita/PS4)

You’d need to be really incompetent or seriously cynical to keep this unwanted «title». Mr. Futami Producer of Sword Art Online games, must be this kind of guy. Incapable of keeping the progresses made in Sword Art Online Lost Song, he’s badly rehashed Sword Art Online Hollow Fragment with Sword Art Online Hollow Realization : romoved playable characters, boring linearity, thin storyline, outdated engine… everything indicates he wanted to maximize profits by minimizing efforts. This logic seems actually be going on with Sword Art Online vs Accel World, the first screens of which are horrendous. This time, my money will go the more capable and ambitious developers.

Runner-up : Summon Night 6

mini Platinum-trophy Game of the Year

p5-ca1

Persona 5 (PS4)

mini gold trophy Kan Colle kai (PSVita)

mini Silver_Trophy Rose and the Old Castle of Twillight (PSVita)

mini-bronze_trophy Tokyo Xanadu (PSVita)

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My games of the year 2015 (GoTY 2015)

Best Action game

Bloodborne™_20150328214637

Bloodborne (PS4)

Honestly, I haven’t clocked that many hours in Bloodborne, but there’s no doubt it should receive this award. Just in beating the first bosses, I had again sensations that I hadn’t felt since the first Devil May Cry. Difficult, unforgiving, non-linear but still fascinating thanks to a fine-tuned progression system : Bloodborne is an action game like you’ll probably won’t see again this generation.

Runner up : Senran Kagura Estival Versus (PS4/PSVita)

Best Shooter

STAR WARS™ Battlefront™_20151217203711

STAR WARS Battlefront (PS4)

Despite not being a very good FPS, Star Wars Battlefront is nevertheless a truly amazing Star Wars game. Made by fans for the fans, it is so accessible that everyone can join the party and re-experience the trilogy freely in the best graphics available.

Runner-up : Call of Duty Advance Warfare (PS4)

Best Fighting game

aya

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (PS4)

Easy third win for Dead or Alive 5 which comes back for a Last Round on new generation. Still unmatched in terms of gameplay, Team Ninja’s title also got exciting DLC collaborations like Senran Kagura or Legend of Heroes.

Runner-up : none

Best Strategy game

FE if2

Fire Emblem Fates (3DS)

Fire Emblem triples the amount for its triumphant return in the industry : three stories, three destinies. Although the ultimate scenario, Invisible Kingdom, is leagues ahead the first two in terms of content or originality, you have up the 200 hours of pleasure in this long saga.

Runner-up : Luminous Arc Infinity (PSVita)

Best RPG

ToZ a

Tales of Zestiria (PS3)

Unlike Xenoblade Chronicles X which is a failed JRPG, Tales of Zestiria cultivates the necessary aspects of the genre and achieves greatness. Ground-breaking, dynamic and intense battle system, lovable characters, polished humor and direction… it totally lives up to its lineage.

Runner-up : Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (PS4)

Best Puzzle game

Yomawari c

Yomawari (PSVita)

Altough it’s not its main objective, Yomawari comes with numerous puzzles that will demand some brainstorming from the player. A bit like The Firefly Diary before him, but actually achievable this time.

Runner-up : none

Best Music

FE Fa

Fire Emblem Fates (3DS)

Both richness and mastery are entwined in Fire Emblem Fates, which includes superb themes in both of its influences : with medieval classicism and Japanese folk melodies, there is more than enough to make the 3DS a mini-jukebox. And yet you must add to this truly unforgettable battle themes and a dynamic orchestration.

Runner-up : Tales of Zestiria (PS3) & Mega Dimension Neptunia VII (PS4)

Best Design

Rion

Tokyo Xanadu (PSVita)

Falcom’s design wins for the 2nd year in a row. It’s worth pointing out that there’s no bad character in Tokyo Xanadu : the main characters’ story is never commonplace. Everything else (world, costumes, enemies) is as detailed and stylish as ever.

Runner-up : Fire Emblem Fates (3DS) & Makai Shin Trillion (PSVita)

Best graphics

STAR WARS™ Battlefront™_20151119235333

STAR WARS Battlefront (PS4)

We could feel it and yes : Star Wars Battlefront makes the show like no other this year. The precise modeling, the utmost realistic effects, the rain of beams, the 40-player maps, the valiancy of the heroes… it was set to become the graphical prowess of 2015.

Runner-up : Blanc + Neptune vs Zombie Army (PSVita)

Best Atmosphere

Yomawari d

Yomawari (PS4)

No truly great narrative this year, so I shall inaugurate this new category in which atmosphere speaks more than words. I don’t particularly like the horror genre but I enjoyed the fear provided by Yomawari. Modest in graphics, great in the fear, this little 2D adventure game by Nippon Ichi Software plays with your emotions from back to front and with stunning mastery. Frightening by its cruel and misshapen yôkai, it can also by moving by its yet simple story. Best surprise of the year, definitely.

Runner-up : Lost Dimension (PSVita)

Best game you might never play

GAA

Great Ace Attorney (3DS)

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to fill this category and I’m glad about it. In a context where more and more games get localized, how not to lament Capcom’s unwillingness to go forward with Great Ace Attorney? It might be less polished than previous title, it still a compelling story drawn with style.

Runner-up : IA/VT Colorful (PSVita)

Best innovation

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Makai Shin Trillion (PSVita)

Although I’m still not sure of what to think of Makai Shin Trillion overall, there’s no denying it’s a one-of-a-kind. Tactical-RPG entirely focused at taking out the last boss, it also includes managing and scarifying several of your characters. Cruel but unique, Makai Shin Trillion is a very tricky UFO to play with.

Runner-up : Lost Dimension (PSVita)

Biggest disappointment

Seven

Sword Art Online Lost Song (PSVita)

Sword Art Online Lost Song is a fu** waste, even more unforgivable that the IP is booming and that the first one was a great surprise. I fell asleep on story and gameplay when I wasn’t just crying over the technical and game design issues. BandaiNamco better start from scratch for the next one.

Runner-up : Call of Duty Black Ops III (PS4)

Best DLC

Naraku

Senran Kagura Estival Versus (PS4/PSVita)

The DLC “season” of Senran Kagura Estival Versus was worth the investment. Each of the renowned guests, including Ayane from Dead or Alive, Ikki Tôsen‘s trio or Naraku & Kagura (those two coming from Senran Kagura Deep Crismson where they were NOT playable), have been designed and animated so perfectly that they end up more exciting to use than most of the base cast. Small mention also for Hatsune Miku’s wonderful appearance in Persona 4 Dancing All Night.

Runner-up : Persona 4 Dancing All Night

mini Platinum-trophy Game of the Year

FEF

Fire Emblem Fates (3DS)

mini gold trophy Tales of Zestiria (PS3)

mini Silver_Trophy Yomawari (PSVita)

mini-bronze_trophy Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (PS4)

My games of the year 2014 (GoTY 2014)

Best Action game

Samurai Warriors 4 (PS4)

Unwavering, the 無双 license (“Warriors” in the West) prevails this year thanks to epic and polished episode, delightful for the historian I am. And there’s more coming ahead with the spin-offs Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 and Samurai Warriors 4-II : the battle for power in Japan has not yet ended!

Runner-up : WatchDogs (PS4)

Best FPS

Destiny (PS4)

Winner by default, Destiny stands out in a faded genre. Its coop’ mode, its innovative game design and its enjoyable challenge make it a solid FPS. Even though it feels repetitive and fails to live up to Bungie’s promises, it’s a still a light in a depressed category.

Runner-up : none

Best Fighting game

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax (PSVita)

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax (PSVita)

Not as accessible as a Blazblue, Fightning Climax is no less, if not more, a delicious 2D fighter. Dream made true, it brings to life famous characters of Japanese light novels. Between Kirito’s classy moves, Shana’s effrontery, Kirino’s ludicrous cosplays and a some really welcomed surprise guests, that’s a lot of pleasure for anime fans.

Runner-up : none

Best Strategy game

Super Heroine Chronicle (PSVita)

Super Heroine Chronicle (PSVita)

Like above, Super Heroine Chronicle feels special by its casting entirely composed of anime characters. Graphically underwhelming, I still treasure it quite much just for the presence of Aria the Scarlet Ammo and Infinite Stratos characters. Unforgiving tactically speaking, SHC represents dozens of hours thinking every move, narrow victories, cunning bosses… T-RPG like you seldom see nowdays.

Runner-up : none

Best RPG

Child of Light (PS4)

The Master fell. Ubisoft’s westerners were able to take and transform the stereotypes of classic JPRGs to give birth to the most brilliant and magnificent RPG this year. True, it’s only 2D and small budget, but a great adventure filled with greats emotions.

Runner-up : Hyperdimension Neptune Rebirth1(PSVita)

Best Music

Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd & Sen no Kiseki II (PSVita)

Draw. I know, I’m a coward. But my blog, my rules XP With superb orchestration and wonderful lyrics as usual, Hatsune Miku had it in the bag. That would have been without Falcom’s tremendous effort in Sen no Kiseki 2. Adding to an already great original score in Sen no Kiseki, music in this second game never stops to be amazing all along the 100 hours of gameplay.

Runner-up : Child of Light (PS4)

Best Design

Legend of Heroes - Sen no Kiseki II (PSVita)

Legend of Heroes – Sen no Kiseki II (PSVita)

The other reason to pick Sen No Kiseki 2 despite the balance issues is Falcom’s ability to bring us a rich world and fascinating characters. The clever mix between history, fantasy and Sci-Fi never cease to impress, let alone having so many lovable playable characters.

Runner-up : Action Neptune U & Project Diva F 2nd (PSVita)

Best Graphics

WatchDogs (PS4)

WatchDogs (PS4)

With a much lively and realistic Chicago, WatchDogs shows a city like you rarely see in a video game and marks the early PS4 generation. Downgraded? Maybe, but such an immense game is nonetheless impressive.

Runner-up : Action Neptune U (PSVita)

Best game you might never play

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax (PSVita)

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax (PSVita)

Fighting Climax Online mode may be frustrating, I just want to get back at it and test my moves further in real conditions. Super Heroine Chronicle, hyper polished tactical enhanced by its multiple licences, left me unforgettable memories. There’s hoping that Sega and BandaiNamco draw some conclusions from Hollow Fragment’s success in the West and localize more of their PSVita line-up.

Runner-up : Super Heroine Chronicle (PSVita)

Best narrative

Sword Art Online Hollow Fragment (PSVita)

Even if it barely transcribes Fairy Dance’s storyline in its Aincrad part, Hollow Fragment brings a new approach with the Hollow Area scenario, and re-uses smartly the best elements of the first season.

Runner-up : Action Neptune U (PSVita)

Best innovation

WatchDogs (PS4)

Not only is WatchDogs gorgeous, it has also fresh and convincing gameplay. Action game in which you can win without firing a single gunshot, it is not like some call it a “GTA-like”. For a game that favors intelligence over violence, discretion over destruction, hacking over looting, this comparison is just a shameful insult. Ubisoft’s game re-invents open world action and we might have to wait some before finding a worthy “WatchDogs-like”.

Runner-up : Destiny (PS4)

Biggest disappointment

AR no Surge (PS3)

AR no Surge (PS3)

I had pre-ordered Ar no Surge in a hurry. Huge blunder, because this JRPG turned out desastrophic from back to front : underwhelming graphics, poor gameplay, astoshiningly boring narrative, it ends the Surge Concerto cycle like it started.

Runner-up : Fighting Princess of Arcadia (PS3)

Best DLC

Legend of Heroes – Sen no Kiseki II (PSVita)

The best DLC isn’t one! The latest update of Sen no Kiseki 2 brings more than any DLC while costing nothing. I wake up in the morning and Atlina, Crow, Chlotilda, Lloyd, Rixia, all those secondary/opposing characters you came to love become playable without asking for anything! This is what you call caring about your fans!

Runner-up : Project Diva F 2nd (PSVita)

 Game of the Year

 Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd (PSVita)

 Samuraï Warriors 4 (PS4)

 Hyperdimension Neptune Rebirth1 (PSVita)