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20 Top-Notch Games That Prove Gaming’s Summer Drought Skipped 2016

No Man's Sky. E3


20 Top-Notch Games That Prove Gaming’s Summer Drought Skipped 2016

What drought?

I am Setsuna is a throwback to the golden age of JRPGs in the 90s, when games like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI were released. It takes a page directly from those kind of games with everything from its battle systems, to its sad and emotional story tones. For JRPG fans that own a PS4 or PC, it’s a title that shouldn’t be missed.

Double Fine brings their unique brand of humor back again for a quirky, 70s inspired space adventure. This metroidvania title has a ridiculous concept where you take control of a floating head that can attach itself to various bodies. It keeps the humor up the whole way, and has some smart puzzles that include this gimmick. Pick it up on PS4 and PC.

No Man’s Sky is easily one of the most awaited games of the year, with its promise of a virtually limitless universe with over 18 quintillion planets. It may be a bit different than expected, but this serene space exploration game will have you hooked with wondering what your next discovery might be. The PS4 and PC title has hooked us with its mystery and eerily beautiful planets.

The long awaited third chapter of the Zero Escape series didn’t disappoint this summer. Zero Time Dilemma, like its predecessors, tells a dark and twisted tale that takes time to unravel. It truly is a character driven game, with some shocking revelations for fans. Mix in even more smart puzzle/escape room gameplay, and this Vita and 3DS title will have you hooked.

There are plenty of strategy and grid based RPGs out there, but Grand Kindgom provides a fresh spin on the genre. Battles play out on a 2D plane, with your party made up of up to four characters ranging from warrior and lancer, to healer and wizard. Each class brings a unique strategy to battle, and you’ll need to plan carefully. Combine this with a cast of colorful characters, and tons of hours of gameplay, and you’ve got a summer RPG that you can easily sink yourself into.

Inside is a truly unique experience, and something you really should just dive blindly into. You take the role of small boy clad in a red shirt, as you explore a gorgeously dark and dreary world. Much of Inside’s story is ambiguous and left up to player interpretation, culminating in an unforgettable ending that you really have to see for yourself.

The Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem crossover didn’t turn out to be exactly the game everyone was expecting, but it certainly isn’t worse off for it. Tokyo Mirage Sessions is a colorful game all about the Japanese entertainment industry. Music plays a central role as the main characters fight against evil, while simultaneously striving to become performers. The Wii U exclusive is a charming title, with plenty of personality.

LEGO games have long been known for their own brand of slapstick humor, starting back with the original LEGO Star Wars games. The newest film, The Force Awakens, received its very own brick adaption this year. That humor and charm you’d expect come back, but even more than that the game contains original stories, giving fans some untold tales from the Star Wars series.

Sometimes it’s nice to have a game that you can just kick back and relax with. Abzu is exactly that, giving you a gorgeous underwater world to explore at your leisure. It has more than one thing in common with the indie hit Journey from thatgamecompany, but still pulls off a few surprises. it may be a short experience, but it’s definitely a calming one.

Monster Hunter started as a niche series over 10 years ago, slowly building popularity until it started hitting the mainstream in Japan and even the US. The latest iteration of the series, Generations, is a celebration, containing fan favorite monsters on top of new content. Add in playable Palicos, new weapons and new stances, and you’ve got one of the best experiences we’ve seen out of Monster Hunter yet.

Early Access has changed the way some games are developed, and fans recently got a chance to try out We Happy Few via Xbox One. There’s certainly improvements that can be made, but the new title from Compulsion Games definitely shows promise. We Happy Few is a uniquely dystopian world, with procedurally generated survival aspects. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of story campaign and improvements spring from this groundwork.

Insomniac may be best known for their flashy gun-toting games like Ratchet and Clank and Sunset Overdrive, but every once in a while the developer branches off to try something new. The new metroidvania title, Song of the Deep, is one of those experiments. Some control issues aside, the title is a gorgeous deep sea adventure, that carries a lot of heart with its story.

Furi a vibrant neon-infused game, built around the idea of a boss rush. The only enemies in Furi are bosses, linked together by story segments and other areas. It’s challenging, frenetic gameplay will keep you on your toes, while the visuals almost appear to pop off the screen. Even better was the fact that PS4 players could get the game for free with PS Plus during the month of July.

The game that took the world by storm, bringing back nostalgia from everyone’s childhoods and all that time spent with Pokemon. Niantic designed Pokemon GO in just the right way that it got people out of their house, exploring their city, taking gyms and of course trying to catch ’em all. It’s quickly become the most popular mobile game of all time, and a gaming phenomenon like we’d never seen.

This block title puts players in the role of a hacker from the 1980s, equipped with a top of the line hacking deck. This hacker then takes control of various agents out in the field, completing objectives to infiltrate buildings and steal documents. Tons of smart puzzle solving elements combine into something that almost feels Portal-esque in execution. It’s a puzzle title that’s worth the time for anyone that owns a PC.

The adorable pink puffball returned to the 3DS this summer with a brand new tool at his disposal, a mech suit. Planet Robobot shares a lot in common with the last handheld title, Triple Deluxe, combing the series’ traditional platforming and power absorbing with some new mechanics and tools. There’s nothing more satisfying than stomping around a colorful and cut Kirby world in a mech.

In 2007 the developer Vanillaware released Odin Sphere, which would become a bit of a cult classic RPG. This summer fans got a chance to return to the game, this time with and HD Remake. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir was a bit more than just a visual update though, it actually changed around the game’s systems and improved things, all to give players a smoother experience.

Boxboy was a big surprise from Nintendo last year, with its minimalist aesthetic and almost indie-like design. A sequel released this summer, adding on even more head scratching puzzles. BoxBoxBoy just ups the ante even more from the original, even adding on the ability to have two Box Boys on screen at once. It’s the perfect game to play with your 3DS on the go.

Telltale has brought the brand of storytelling to some high profile franchises already, like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. The newest title from the developer focuses on one of the most fascinatingly conflicted characters around, Bruce Wayne. Telltale’s Batman takes time to put in the shoes of both Batman and Wayne, trying to balance the social life of a big time millionaire with the vigilante justice of Batman.

Overwatch made a huge splash in the world of multiplayer games this year. Blizzard’s latest hero shooter is crammed with dynamic and memorable characters, not to mention incredibly tight gameplay and mechanics. It may not have released during the summer, but Blizzard has consistently updated the game, and tons of players have held strong with the game for months. On top of everything a special summer games pack was recently released, adding on a brand new game mode and Olympic outfits for each character.

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