This year's installment isn't the most polished basketball title or even the best hoops title in general. But it's absolutely safe to say NBA Live has returned and will be sticking around as a contender, as long as it continues to take these positive dribbles forward.
Few levels provide much of a challenge, so breezing through the entirety of the game in a short period of time is more than likely, though for sub-15-buck price, it's not much of a lost and can be worth it if you're looking for a quick downloadable fix. But surely this blended concoction has sorely missed the bull's-eye of arcade perfection.
Slender: The Arrival has solid qualities, as well as some hit or miss tendencies, leaning towards the miss side. Undoubtedly, this one is under the horror classification and does its job throwing out its scary surprises, and for better or worse, there are still some accidental funny moments that you can't help but laugh at. (Thanks, Blair Witch Project, for your shaking first-person camera shots, classic.) By yourself, the game can be dull, but with a group of friends, beer in hand, in the right setting, it can be an entertaining short adventure.
It's fun to play the role of the bank robber and assemble a crew of thieves. It's not the greatest game nor the worst, so if you've never experienced any of it, it might be one to try. If you have, then you aren't missing much here, except for maybe a few new cool masks.
For Pro Evolution Soccer, its 20th anniversary brings in 2016 with a bang. The improvements and expanded gameplay comes as a bit of a surprise. Konami is showing that their push to the top of football greatness is fully in effect. It is safe to say PES 2016 is one of the best sports releases to the genre in recent years.
NBA Live 16 is made to feel accessible and simple. At least that's what the structure caters to. From in-game learning help to player development, it's all mostly basic. With this pause in progress, it will be interesting to see if Live will be able to rebound from a supposed "beating" it's looking to take once NBA 2K is released the same day.
This year's installment of Need For Speed isn't the end-all-be-all, but it has proven there are still great things to be offered to the genre. Each car is crafted extremely well both visually and audibly. Engines give strong roars as they power up for quick releases. Tires scream with a certain screech when pulling off the perfect drift. Through the nuts and bolts, getting to the core of the title, it's all mostly safe and directed in a simple form. It's a solid base to grow from—few complaints but few things to gush over.
Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is certainly the best title to the series to date, and it is fitting for such a send off, not just as an anime genre fighter but a solid fighting game in general. While mostly tooled for Naruto fans, it does make a strong run at grabbing newcomers as well. Ultimate NInja Storm 4 gives us one hell of a show, and there is no doubt the show shall continue, albeit tailored for an unknown future.
EA Sports UFC 2 has shown its improvements over its former self and continues to play the part. A mix of power and finesse, both in ring and out, there’s no doubt this is a solid pickup for folks interested in handing out beatings like their favorite MMA fighters do. With the Live Events regularly updating and Ultimate Team keeping a steady dose of online competition rolling in, this simulation will stay relevant over its life. As Bruce Lee, a DLC character for the game, would say: “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” For EA Sports UFC 2, it certainly seems survival is imminent.
Big on feature, major in community activity, and strong in replay ability, this year's Show certainly has done well. For Sony, like EA's Madden series, there are few to no challengers to the genre so success lies within their own hands. So the question is, if it ain't broke, will they still try to fix it, or if it is broke, do they still care to fix it?
Overall, Madden NFL ’17 is a breath of fresh air. The new running features give life to a stagnant aspect of the field, forcing players to play a more balanced style of game and highlighting game schemes many have forgotten about. EA has done a whole lot with the little they have. This year certainly has been one of the best in recent memory and it would be a shame to see a drop of in the future.