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Monthly Archives: December 2016

*Spoiler Warning*

Rogue One is the Star Wars Rebels finale we’ll now never get and it’s all the weaker for it. I shan’t lie, I wasn’t much of a fan of the film and a large part of that was that I didn’t care for the characters. In Rebels we have a crew that we already love and care about a great deal. So much of Rogue One’s story could easily have been theirs.

The parallels between the Rogue One and Rebels cast are fairly easy to make and not just because of physical resemblance. Many of the ultimate fates of the Rogue One cast would have been perfect for the Rebels characters. And I don’t just mean because they all die. For example, Donnie Yen’s character, Chirrut Îmwe, could easily have been Kanan. Not just for the blindness, but because that’s the sort of thing he’d do. Then, instead of having someone forgettable like Baze Malbus covering him, have it be Rex. Their deaths now mean something and feels like the natural conclusion to their characters arcs and relationship.

Swap out K-2SO for Chopper, Bodhi Rook for Hera, Jyn for Ezra and Cassian for Sabine and to my mind you now have a decent story with characters you care about. Now, they’re not exact analogues but tweak the story ever so slightly and it works. Ezra gets a message saying his parents weren’t killed, but were instead used as slave labour on the Death Star and somehow have managed to find out where the plans are. Hera stays with the Ghost on Scarif and goes down with the ship while Chopper sacrifices himself like K-2SO does, locking the door behind Ezra and Sabine.

The rest of the story then unfolds largely as it does in the film, only with Cassian now being Sabine we don’t get the Rebel Alliance being responsible murky shit like assassinations. I get that they wanted to make the movie “dark” but The Empire Strikes Back was dark without compromising the good guys integrity. We also know Saw Gerrara will be in Rebels season three, so we’ll actually have got to see him be an extremist rather than just be told he is.

With the nods to Rebels in Rogue One I’m sure that it’ll tie in quite closely further down the line, but imagine if Disney had kept their powder dry. As a culmination to the Rebels story it could’ve been incredibly powerful and one hell of a gut punch. Instead we got one of the biggest missed opportunities in Star Wars’ history.


As a poor man, I don’t play as many games as I’d like. Nowhere near in fact. Yet in spite of that I’ve still managed, on average, a new game a month so yay for me. With 2016 mercifully almost at an end, I thought I’d have a look back over what I’ve played and select some winners in some arbitrary categories I’ve come up with on the spot. Because bollocks to preparation.

Surprise of the Year
Contenders: Doom, Final Fantasy XV
Winner: Doom


Image from BagoGames

As much as Final Fantasy XV is a return to form, it has to be Doom. After some not unsubstantial concern before release, with an unimpressive multiplayer beta and slow looking gameplay previews, Doom turned out to be a masterpiece. Eschewing the approach of many modern FPS’s, Doom prioritised it’s single player campaign and was all the better for it. It wasn’t just a warm-up for the multiplayer a’la Call of Duty and Battlefield, but an honest-to-God story, one with plot and everything. The no-nonsense Doom Guy also had a surprising amount of depth, treating demons and allies alike (as well as robots, computer screens and machinery) with a disdain normally reserved for dog mess on the bottom of your shoe. Doom 2016 was everything that Doom 3 wasn’t. Well crafted, well balanced, engaging and above all a ton of fun.

DLC of the Year
Contenders: Destiny Rise of Iron, The Witcher 3 Blood and Wine, SWTOR Knights of the Eternal Throne
Winner: The Witcher 3 Blood and Wine

If this had been a standalone game it would probably be up there in many writers Game of the Year lists. As a coda to what I would say is the best game of the generation so far, Blood and Wine is as perfect a conclusion as one could wish for. Moving away from the war-torn, grim locales of the main game and Heart of Stone makes it almost feel like a whole new game, so drastic is the change in tone and atmosphere. Throw in vampires, court intrigue and Geralt’s continued befuddlement at the behaviour of the locals and you’re onto a winner. Combine that with a great story, achingly pretty new locations and it’s a wonderful send off for our rugged Withcer. You couldn’t ask for more.

Most Anticipated of 2017
On paper, 2017 is already shaping up to be a stronger year than 2016. Not to say 2016 was bad, just that a lot of the stuff that achieved critical acclaim didn’t appeal to me (I’m looking at you, Overwatch and Dark Souls 3). 2017 sees Rockstar returning to the Wild West in Red Dead Redemption 2, more piss-taking shenanigans in South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Link’s return to the home console scene with Breath of the Wild.


Image from BagoGames

But for my money the one game I can’t wait to get my hands on is Mass Effect Andromeda. I’m super excited to see where Bioware take the Mass Effect franchise. The early footage looks promising, with lots of lessons learnt from Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition. Replacing Commander Shepard will be one hell of a task, but one I trust Bioware to pull off.

Disappointment of the Year
Contenders: No Man’s Sky, Uncharted 4, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
Winner: Uncharted 4


Image from BagoGames

Right, now bear with me. I loved the first three Uncharted games. Even the third one which for some reason nobody seems to like anymore. When it came to the fourth entry, it just fell flat for me. The middle third is a meandering mess. Doing repetitive nonsense in Madagascar was bad enough, but following that up with a God-awful island hopping adventure that makes the jet ski sections in the first game look good was the final straw. It may not be the headline grabbing failure that No Man’s Sky was, but as an exercise in falling short of expectation I don’t think you can look much farther.

Game of the Year
Contenders: Doom, Rise of the Tomb Raider (PC), Final Fantasy XV
Winner: Rise of the Tomb Raider


Image from BagoGames

It came out on PC at the start of the year, it counts. In short, it has all the strengths of Uncharted 4, but with good pacing, less tedious set pieces and a more enjoyable story. If Tomb Raider 2013 was the perfect 8/10 game, this took it to the next level. Giving Lara more agency in the game helped to harken back to the classic Tomb Raider games, but without losing the sense of who this version of Lara was. She was still the same character we saw trapped on a cloudy island in the reboot, but with more knowledge and more of an edge. It suddenly didn’t seem so odd to see her gunning down mercenaries left, right and centre without batting a TressFX rendered eyelash.