The Games Andrew Reiner Finished In 2016

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The Games Andrew Reiner Finished In 2016

Something remarkable happened in 2016: My four-year-old daughter became engrossed in console games. Thanks to her growing interesting in my favorite entertainment medium, I saw a number games through to the end that I normally wouldn't have, but I'm glad I did. The two good games she had me play were Unravel, the yarn-based platformer, and Lumo, an isometic puzzle-platformer that she ended up calling "Witch Game" since the protagonist looks like an adorable little magic caster. She also made me play one terrible game: Snoopy's Grand Adventure, which may be one of the most uninspired things to ever use Charles Schulz's character.

Video Game Trends That Haven't Gone Away

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Video Game Trends That Haven't Gone Away

With 2016 officially gone and 2017 upon us, it's natural to look at where we are and what got us here. The past is prologue as they say, and that applies to video games. Taking a look back at some of the summations in our year-end issues of Game Informer reminds me that the past is all around us.

Combing through the last six or so years of Game Informer Magazine's year-end awards, I was not only reminded of how many great games we've been spoiled with in that time, but some of the events that were important at the time, and which are still big issues today.

Japanese Development – "Floundering Japanese Development" was number 6 on our Disappointments list for this year, highlighted by Keiji Inafune's broadside against the stagnant Japanese development industry and the ascendency of the West. Inafune was right on the mark at the time, and sadly, it's a situation that still largely persists.

The Best Achievements And Trophies Of 2016

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The Best Achievements And Trophies Of 2016

Whether you love them, hate them, or forget they exist until they pop on your screen and interrupt your game, achievements and trophies are (literally) a required feature of all PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam games. I fall into the love camp, and these are some of my favorites from 2015.

The achievements and trophies I find most interesting aren't the ones that mark your progress in a storyline or reward you for attaining a certain number of headshots. I like the ones that force you to think outside of the normal functions of the game or reward you for doing something weird.

Follow the links to see 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 best achievements and trophies.

Game Informer's Top Scoring Game Reviews Of 2016

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Game Informer's Top Scoring Game Reviews Of 2016

Game Informer reviews tons of games every year, but only a select few are able to obtain special commendations reserved for the highest scoring titles. Games that earn an 8.5 or 8.75 obtain a Game Informer Silver award, while a score ranging from 9 to 9.5 earns that game a Game Informer Gold award. While most of the best games of the year fall into that range, the most elite titles ascend to the next level to earn a Game Informer Platinum award (9.75 or 10 score).

To help you keep track of the best of the best, we've compiled all of the top scoring games of 2016 here. Check out the games we've thought are the best of the year so far, and if you want to learn more, you can read the full review with a simple click-through. Also, be sure to save this page so you can check back each month to see which new games we think should be added to your "must-play" list.

For more of our favorite games from recent years, head to the links below.

Game Informer's Seventh Annual Glitchie Awards

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Game Informer's Seventh Annual Glitchie Awards

With rising budgets and team sizes, creating video games continues to get more expensive and difficult. Rarely does a game release without a significant day one patch that features critical, last-second changes. But every once and a while we encounter a glitch or bug that puts a smile instead of a scowl on our faces. 

We celebrate these hilarious, immersion shattering mistakes each year with The Glitchies. As with every year, it's tough to beat the animation and physics fails from EA Sports' FIFA franchise, which has already been inducted in the hall of fame. FIFA once again put forth an impressive effort, but we found several other great bugs worth sharing as well. Enjoy!

Warning: Game Informer is not responsible for content on YouTube links. Language may be unsuitable for minors.

Why Dishonored 2’s Selectable Protagonists Are Secretly Its Greatest Asset

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Why Dishonored 2’s Selectable Protagonists Are Secretly Its Greatest Asset

Heads up, friends: spoilers for the original Dishonored (but no major spoilers for Dishonored 2) lie ahead.

Dishonored 2 has been out for almost two months now and in that time received a great deal of (earned) praise for its gameplay systems, story, and dark world. However, one quality of the game I’ve noticed not get its due is developer Arkane’s decision to let you choose to play as either Corvo, the protagonist from the original Dishonored, or his daughter, Empress Emily Kaldwin. And so I wanted to spend some words talking about why I think letting players have that choice between these characters isn’t just a “oh neat” but instead a brilliant design decision that feels like an integral evolution of the series’ choice-oriented design. But to get there, we need to talk about how and why the original Dishonored works so well. Let's dive into it.

The Coolest Pokémon Cards We Pulled From 100 Booster Packs

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The Coolest Pokémon Cards We Pulled From 100 Booster Packs

I grew up loving Pokémon cards. Though I was never an avid player of the trading card game itself, I spent a large percentage of my allowance on starter kits, theme decks, and booster packs. Though I stopped after the base set was retired and eventually sold all of mine off, thinking they would never hold value over the years (the real money's in the 10,000 baseball cards in my basement, right?!), I've since longed to rebuild my old collection from the ground up.

Unfortunately, authentic cards from the base set have skyrocketed in value, meaning that if I want my old Charizard back, I had better prepare to pay out the nose for it. I wrote off my desire to rebuild my collection as something that would never happen unless I strike it rich, but when the Pokémon TCG announced that it would be celebrating the series' 20th anniversary with a new retro-facing expansion that enhanced and reissued a big chunk of the base set cards, I was immediately sold.

Before the aforementioned XY – Evolutions expansion released in the States, I decided to get a headstart on my new collection. I read that the Pokémon TCG: Generations expansion focused heavily on the original 151 monsters, so I bought more cards than I should have.

Super Replay – The Worst Sonic The Hedgehog Ever

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Super Replay – The Worst Sonic The Hedgehog Ever

When I decided to turn the 12.31 Super Replay into an annual event, I knew the focus needed to be on bad games. People enjoyed watching us suffer; that was the hook that stood out. We used Overblood as the foundation for the type of game we were looking for each year. Blue Stinger, Illbleed, And Martian Gothic were all games that delivered a similar stench. They were perfect selections for the annual Super Replay.

When Tim Turi left Game Informer to work at Capcom, I realized this Super Replay event wouldn't be the same without him. He played through all of these bad games, and, well, I don't think it would have been fair to continue on without him. Out of respect to Tim, we are moving away from the survival-horror angle, and are falling back on my original pitch: it needs to be a bad game period.

As it turns out, there are many different flavors of terrible video games, and I think we found another example in Sonic the Hedgehog that is every bit as enjoyable, campy, and unbearably bad as the original Overblood. The game is simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog, but it's often referred to as Sonic '06. It's developed by Sonic Team for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and is another failed attempt to give the blue speedster new life.

Replay – The Sims 2: Castaway

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Replay – The Sims 2: Castaway

The Sims is the rare video game franchise that appeals to both the hardcore and the non-gamer. It has spun off in a million ways, and this week we look at some of the stranger adaptations with a special guest.

Andrew Reiner, Ben Reeves, and I are joined by Michael Jaques, who donated to our Extra Life efforts in November to secure a guest spot on Replay. He's a huge Sims fan, which lead to our decision to play some of the series' more obscure spin-offs. We check out The Sims: Castaway, which places Sims characters of your creation on a desert island, followed by a much different Sims experience for part two.

Thanks for watching Replay in 2016! We're excited to keep playing old games in a new year.

Funny To A Point – New Year's Resolutions For The Gaming Industry

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Funny To A Point – New Year's Resolutions For The Gaming Industry

2016 has come and gone, which means setting aside old grudges and looking to the future. For many, that means coming up with a New Year's resolution, a personal pledge to guide them toward a healthier and happier life throughout the year (or until they come up with a good excuse to blow it off after the first week of January).

I'm something of a master at coming up with New Year's resolutions – so much so that I don't stop with myself! This year I decided to lend my expertise to the gaming industry, by writing out resolutions custom-tailored to the biggest developers and publishers. So happy holidays, and you're welcome!

On an actually serious note, thanks to everyone who read, shared, and commented on this completely ridiculous column this year. See you in 2017!