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Robert Lashley: My Vote: The Breakdown

By Robert Lashley on January 12, 2017 | Columns | Comments

My Vote: The Breakdown

I read a lot of news. I also read a lot of columnists. Some of them are from other game media outlets but a lot of them have nothing to do with videogames at all. I like to keep myself well informed and improve my skills in the process. To do so I believe it is important to pull from a variety of different media sources. For those of you that keep up with sports you may be aware that the Baseball Writers Association of America just recently cast their votes for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. These ballots aren’t public but a lot of writers do make their vote known to their readership. This usually leads to all sorts of conversation on why someone should or should not have been left off of a ballot. In that spirit I thought it would be an interesting idea to go over my votes for our recent Best of 2016 Awards. That and I promised someone in a previous column I would. Without further ado.

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Best Mobile MMO or RPG

I voted for Pokemon GO. It’s hard to argue that this game wasn’t transcendent and didn’t become a cultural phenomenon. It wasn’t necessarily the greatest game but RPGs in general struggle on mobile. While it’s popularity has clearly waned it is still popular with certain demographics. Even though it was marred with hardware shortages for the Pokemon GO Plus companion at release, which is clearly a bit of a let down, this release had a halo effect on all other Pokemon software titles on the 3DS. Nintendo also saw a 19% increase on 3DS hardware sales year over year. That’s tremendous. Oh and Niantic had about $600 million USD in revenue off the game in the first 90 days with about $115 of that going back to Nintendo. Pokemon GO was clearly a win for everyone.

Best MOBA or Battlegame

SMITE. Admittedly I’m not the best MOBA player. I enjoy them from time to time but in general they just aren’t my thing. Like basketball, or soccer. In small doses they are tolerable but you’ll never see me watching it on TV. Still there is something about SMITE that captivates me.The third person perspective so close to my natural state while playing MMOs is undoubteldy a large part of that. Hi-Rez has continued to update the game and while League of Legends and DOTA 2 probably have no need to fear of being dethroned as kings of the MOBA by this title it is my clear cut favorite.

Most Anticipated RPG

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Maybe it’s just nostalgia but I’m truly excited to see what Nintendo can do with this franchise. We have already seen some dramatic changes with the survival system (cooking) and weapons with durability. Bundle that with additional RPG elements that haven’t been seen since The Adventure of Link and I think they are onto something special. We will find out more in March.

Most Anticipated MMO

New World. Sure there are a lot of MMOs in development that are currently backed by crowdfunding but how many are being developed by mulitbillion dollar corporations that have been known to throw millions of dollars at an idea to see if they can make it work? One and that’s New World from Amazon Games Studios. Amazon has a lot to prove and definitely wants to get into the lucrative games business. Money doesn’t always equal success but Amazon has slowly, and quietly, accumulated the talent to go along with that funding that they should be able to make whatever they can dream up.

Best Expansion or DLC for a RPG

The Witcher III: Blood and Wine. This was a great send off for Geralt of Rivia. The Witcher 3 and both of its expansion truly were in a class of their own when compared to other RPGs in 2015 and early 2016. You can see my review for Blood and Wine here.

Best Expansion or DLC for a MMO

I went with Legion for World of Warcraft. It was really good out of the gate. Only time will tell if it holds up but there wasn’t an overly crowded field to choose from either. Now we can only hope they release more than patch 7.2 before skipping to 8.0. I’m not going to hold my breathe.

Best New MMO

It would have been impossible for me not to vote for Black Desert Online. Never mind the fact the game is gorgeous. The sheer number of innovations when it came to the crafting and the economy was enough to give this game the edge.

Best Overall RPG

I went with Final Fantasy XV. I loved this game. Sure it wasn’t perfect but nothing ever is. This franchise also had a rabid fanbase. They were either going to love or hate this game. I find it worthy of the praise. You can check out my review of it here for more insight. It will make my vote more than obvious.

Best Overall MMO

This was the most difficult choice for me but in the end I went with Final Fantasy XIV and one of the deciding factors was communication. Hands down Square Enix does a fantastic job with communicating their goals and vision for the game with their community. That and their consistent cadence of updates put them over the edge compared to World of Warcraft. Warts and all they did the best job in 2016.

In a sad bit of news since my list of the 3 games I anticipate the most for this year was published one of them has already been cancelled. Scalebound has hit the cutting room floor. Thankfully this was the game I was looking forward to the least but man the hits just keep coming for  Platinum games. First the terrible year that was 2016 with the release of substandard games Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard, and the terrible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan now this? For their sake I hope Nier: Automata is a hit. Platinum games is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. If Nier flops too this could be their last.

Currently playing:

  • MMO: Black Desert Online
  • Other: Tales of Berseria 
Robert Lashley / Rob is a Staff Writer and jack of all trades for MMORPG.com. When he isn’t blinding people with the glare from his head in front of a camera you can chase him down on Twitter, PSN, XBL, and Nintendo @rant_on_rob.