By Tyler Trosper / January 25th, 2017
2012: Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward
2013: BioShock Infinite
2014: Dragon Age: Inquisition
We here at Operation Rainfall enjoy a good story, whether it comes from an RPG, a visual novel, or an adventure game. The most unexpected games can contain plots that make us think, make us feel in ways we haven’t felt before in video games. The following are titles that stood out to us in 2016.
NA Release: July 14, 2016
Platform(s): PC, Steam
Though the game is well over a decade old, Muv-Luv finally made its way over to the West officially in 2016. Starting as a typical slice-of-life high school story, Muv-Luv quickly transforms itself into a sci-fi epic. Along with giant robots and killer aliens, the story evolves into a war story, revealing the effects and also that humanity, even faced with a common enemy, doesn’t always work together.
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
NA Release: September 20, 2016
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse is a retelling of the fourth main entry in the SMT series but through the eyes of a hunter cadet named Nanashi. While on a demon hunt, Nanashi is killed and resurrected by the demon Dagda. His price? Nanashi is now a “Godslayer.” Though the game is a companion to Shin Megami Tensei IV, Apocalypse stands as a better story than the original.
Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma
NA Release: June 28, 2016
Platform(s): 3DS, PlayStation TV, PlayStation Vita, Steam
When we said that Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward was the best story in 2012, we meant it. It’s no surprise to see its sequel, Zero Time Dilemma, on this list. Written and directed by Kotaro Uchikoshi, Zero Time Dilemma once again throws nine people in a locked environment in order to solve puzzles to survive. With new and returning characters, you care for a majority of the cast, making some of the decisions you have to make cruel and anxiety inducing.
NA Release: November 18, 2016
Surprised to see a Pokémon on the Best Story list? Along with its change to a tropical setting, Sun and Moon also changed things up with no gyms or Elite Four. With an unorthodox rival and a great cast of supporting characters, Pokémon Sun and Moon was a step in the right direction for the series.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
NA Release: September 6, 2016
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, PlayStation TV, PlayStation Vita
Picking up events a month after the first game, Trails of Cold Steel II continues to deliver the same depth and characterization the series is known for. The classmates of Class VII are wrapped up in a war they never wanted, and now they must band together to do what is right. Also, giant robots. You can’t go wrong there.
AND THE WINNER IS…
While the story starts off cutesy, the shift to science fiction throws characters you’ve grown to love into a completely different world. It’s interesting to see these established characters react, but it’s also interesting to see how they changed. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, the war within Muv-Luv is visceral and dark. Concepts such as post-traumatic stress disorder are handled very well. Even though the title originally released in 2003, the story of Muv-Luv is timeless.
2016 awards3DSLegend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IImuv-luvOperation RainfalloprainfallOpRainfall AwardsOprainfall game awardsPCPlayStation VitaPokémon MoonPokémon SunShin Megami Tensei IV: ApocalypseZero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma