I've only played 4 games that were released (and re-released) this year, so my list is really short. Also, because this crap is really long I decided to release the gam-I mean post in two parts. So Part 1 is going up first while Part 2 is coming last, ya idgets.
In order of when I played these:
Launched May 13th
This is one of my most-anticipated games from 2015... Just a cool factoid, nothing more to it. Kinda like the game itself, huh lol... No, really.
I have mixed feelings for DOOM. Part of me loves the presentation, but another part dislikes the shallowness. Once you dig through the surface there's not much else to sift through. This game is meant to be a cornerstone for a future franchise, and this restricted approach I think greatly benefited it. But for me personally I really wanted a more in-depth story, and something more than sheer bloodshed for the sake of living up to the series' shtick.
There's also some non-transformative gameplay elements. The Chainsaw grinds through flesh, but what comes out is a mixture of unexpected holographic ammunition. Where this comes from is never explained. The same goes for every other enemy you brutalize with executions: it just gets old after a while. Though DOOM is meant to pay homage to the original games where allot of things aren't explained, like ammo, health, and powerups just laying around wily-nilly so I guess it's forgivable. I still don't like silent protagonists with great power, though.
Anyway I'd go on, but this isn't a full-fledged review. I like DOOM, but it's not GOTY material for me. The game got old really quick, and I wanted it to be over close to its actual end. Bravo to id for being bold.
Resident Evil 5
Re-released on June 28th
This is kind-of a joke entry, and I don't care. Sue me.
Resident Evil 5 is a timeless classic during the transition from the series' juggernaut-era with Resident Evil 4 to the laughing-stock-era with Resident Evil 6. The game has a larger emphasis on action, and nonsensical plot elements (like Chris Redfield gut-punching a frickin' boulder to get it to move ), but is still a valid third-person horror game in comparison to Resident Evil 4. Albert Wesker is one of the best antagonists in all of gaming.
IMO, Resident Evil was at its prime with 5, and I hold both 4 and 5 in equal regard. Jumping in for a re-release is certain, but the fact that it did not *launch* this year means it cannot be GOTY of 2016... right? RIGHT?!?
Pokemon Sun & Moon
Launched on November 18th
Who didn't see this coming? OK, I didn't see this coming. Sue me again.
I got back into Pokemon this year after more than 10 years of absence with the Virtual-Console release of OG Pokemon Red Version from waaay back in the day. Generation 1 boyee. Then came Pokemon GO, but I wasn't having that hollow Pokemon experience. So I got into Omega Ruby, a REAL Pokemon experience. Nostalgia's hot, yo. I've got allot of gripes with OR, but I had a really good time. If you had asked me at the end of 2015 what my opinions on Pokemon were, I'd say something along the lines of, "Whut? Dat childreens gam? GTF OUTTA MA FACE WIT DAT!" or something. I'm paraphrasing here.
It wasn't hard to get back into the groove with Pokemon, and by the time Sun & Moon launched I was already somewhat of a reawakened semi-pro (don't battle me though, I suck). However... I know how Pokemon is. They pander to both their young audience (supposedly) and "Genwunners" AKA Generation 1 fans (not really Genwunners though, just a joke... don't kill me). Omega Ruby is chocked full of hand-holding, and totally inane plot-points that I hoped were not carried over into Sun & Moon... And unfortunately they did not refrain from doing it in the slightest.
After the devastation caused by Pokemon GO there were ALLOT of old fans returning to the franchise, so I can see there being justification for the hand-holding in Sun & Moon. However the degree they go to get their points across to the Player is laughably bad, and far too complex. It's a genuine representation of taking a step forward, and stepping backward two. There's points where I feel like they're about to break through the cliches of the series... and then they buckle, and follow through with those cliches. Stop teasing us if you're not going to do it, GF.
This crap seriously impacted my experience, but the "stepping forward" parts are really good. This is the first Pokemon game where the world feels ALIVE. Where Pokemon don't feel like mere tools for the Humans, but living parts of the world they hail from. I won't spoil anything in particular except the Pokedex, which is surprisingly dark and primal - especially for a "childrens" game.
Anyhoo, these games feel like iterations rather than innovations. They're both good and bad, but not GOTY material. This is the last time I'll forgive Pokemon for doing that kiddy crap... Well, after the Generation 4 remakes. Or the trio game on the Switch. "Eclipse" or something.