As the year draws to a close, it’s time for the inevitable look back at the year’s most notable video game moments. And in 2017 there were many such moments, with the year being one of the very best in the last decade or so. But good or bad, what were the biggest things to happen this year?
We’ll start off with Tekken 7 and the moment every fan of the world’s greatest fighting game thought would never come. Kazuya finally got the chance to defeat his father, Heihachi. Last seen falling into lava in the latest story mode of the game, it’s hard to see a way back for Heihachi, much to the delight of Tekken fans. This marks a huge turning point in the series, and it will be interesting to see how things pan out next year.
Next up we have the Nintendo Switch, the hybrid console that has seemingly put Nintendo back in the game. Unfortunately, the switch ran into trouble with the left controller often failing to record player data when disconnected. The big news was that even though this was a massive issue, Nintendo didn’t immediately offer a solution. This was despite the recognition that the issue was caused by a manufacturing defect. However, they eventually caved in and offered to repair the faulty controllers. To say we were “shocked” at their initial stance would be what you might call a bit of an understatement.
PES 2018 made headlines this year with the news that Konami would include avid football fan Usain Bolt in their latest installment. It was an unusual turn of events, but it worked out well for them since it coincided with Bolt’s retirement and no doubt boosted their sales a bit. Bolt himself was delighted at the prospect of being featured in his favorite game now that his track career is over. But it’s not all video games and cocktails for the retirement of the fastest man in the world. He’s since teamed up with Kevin Hart to carry out some pretty madcap GameOn challenges for PokerStars.
One of the biggest flops of the year has to be Marvel vs. Capcom. The features in this much-anticipated release were a bit of a joke and the entire thing was a complete letdown. How any gaming company could screw up a title with so much potential is anybody’s guess, but we’re thinking some people may have lost their bonuses after that woeful attempt.
Another fail for the year was the epic disaster that was the Pokemon Go Fest. It was absolutely cringe-worthy, and we’re still trying to erase the memory of Niantic’s CEO John Hanke trying to get the crowd to cheer for the sunshine! Yes, it really was that bad.
Going back to Nintendo and its SNES Classic, we certainly didn’t realize what a treat we were in for. Yes, we were just as pumped as you were about playing all those classic games, but when we saw that the previously unreleased Star Fox 2 was packaged in the console, it was like every Christmas since 1996 rolled into one. When you play this game, it’s incredible to see just how far ahead of their time Nintendo was with this one. Why didn’t it ever come out in 1996?
But perhaps one of the biggest stories of the year involved Star Wars Battlefront 2 and the microtransactions. When the game came out, loot boxes were there in abundance, as well the ridiculously-priced locked characters. Fancy playing with Luke Skywalker? That will cost you two full days of grinding or handing over a fistful of your hard-earned real-world cash. It’s a complete disaster in PR terms and fans are not happy with EA Games. In fact, they’re still in the process of damage control.
Was it a great year for gaming? In one simple word, yes. But there were more than a few hiccups along the way. Hopefully, the debacle of the loot boxes featured in many of the year’s biggest games can be sorted out for next year so we can stop having to use real cash to unlock hidden features. And seriously, though, you have to play Star Fox 2 — it’s really that good.