Games I wish I played (or played more) in 2013: DMC: Devil May Cry, Gunpoint, The Typing of the Dead Overkill, Antichamber, Cart Life
Most Overrated Game of the Year: Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons: I guess the best thing you can say about this game is it’s bad in the same way that a lot of “art” films are. That’s a big step for the world of gaming. That doesn’t mean I have to like this, though.
Game I Would Have Liked Even More If I Had Friends Of the Year – Divekick: Man I enjoyed the hell out of Divekick. Too bad it’s hard to find an opponent of equivalent skill.
Biggest Disaster of 2013: Sim City: No brainer.
2013’s Old Game Of The Year: Mass Effect 3. It’s weird to say this about a Mass Effect game, but the multiplayer is really one of the best online experiences I’ve ever had. It’s simple but full of variety and you can be successful doing it a lot of different ways. The support through the first half of 2013 kept me addicted to this game until early summer.
Now for the Games of the Year:
10. SteamWorld Dig is a GuacaComplex-style 2D throwback Dig-Dug game in which you dig, and dig, and dig some more, into depths almost as deep as my soul.. Except instead of finding pain and sadness as I find when exploring my own inner-self, I found joy in finding the various tools and loot that allowed me to reach the bottom. It’s short, but that’s probably good since my hand was pretty tired from all that digging.
9. Resogun moved up and down my list a lot while I was trying to put together this list. On the one hand it gave me moments of absolute pure joy and accomplishment. On the other hand, it just didn’t really stick with me long term the way these types of games usually do. It’s basically up-ressed Defender, which, is pretty great (some people have said “Defender on a Cylinder but Defender was always on a cylinder, idiots). The shared video of this game caused my aunt (who had an Intellevision at home that I always played when I would go to her house) to admire my skill, which, was a nice feeling. I have low self-esteem and need the reinforcement.
8. Rogue’s Legacy zapped hours of my life away. It was always so tempting to just try one . . . more . . . life. I didn’t always like the controls and in the end the wasted-runs started to get frustrating but overall, awesome stuff.
7. The Last of Us managed to tell an interesting story about one of the most boring, overdone things in media right now: Naughty Dog Gameplay. Damn the first 30% of this game is a major chore to play through. By the end, the gameplay does occasionally get fun (once you have access to enough tools and they aren’t in the mood to strip the tools away from you), but I nearly quit long efore I saw that; only the interest in the story managed to keep me going. I’m glad I did though. Yeah, it’s a zombie story. But it’s a good zombie story, with strong characters that the game made me care a lot about. I’m not a big graphics guy, but the people come pretty close to looking like people, and the detail in the environment is crazy. I was never able to get over Naughty Dog’s problems in Uncharted, but Last of Us made me finally respect them.
6. Assassin’s Creed IV is dumbbbb. The missions get worse every game in the series, and the puzzles have gone from fairly intricate codebreaking in Assassin’s Creed 2, to a shitty version of frogger in Assassin’s Creed. But damn did I enjoy playing this game. Piracy is a lot of fun, and I sunk hours into it. After the debacle of Assassin’s Creed 3, I probably would not have bought this game if I wasn’t desperate to have any game to play on my PS4, but I’m glad I did, the series was totally renewed for me.
5. Ni No Kuni makes me want to say “fuckkkkk everyone who loves Drippy.” Drippy was the most annoying thing in the game, and the part where you have to visit his town made me want to cry. It made me feel like less of a human being when I was aware of the fact that people were non-stop raving about how funny and quirky this character was. Giving a dude a welsh accent and making him grumpy doesn’t make him funny. What the fuck is wrong with humanity? Anyway, Ni No Kuni is a lot of fun. The earnestness of the story is appealing, and it’s proof that video games don’t have to be dark and brooding to tell a meaningful story. I love turn-based RPG, so that was fun, and it’s cool that in 2013 people are still doing new things with that, and the gotta catch them all nature of power recruitment is very satisfying.
4. Grand Theft Auto V would’ve been the game of the year many other years. The faithful recreation of Los Angeles (where we all live) warmed my heart and made me home sick. I thought Rockstar did a pretty good job with the stories, and splitting the narrative amongst three people was smart; some of the things that other people hated were the things I loved, which is not something you can usually write about a game. Also, spreading the story amongst three people helped stave off the Rockstar Late Game Malaise right up until about the end. The online isn’t that interesting, but, whatever, I don’t play these games for multiplayer (although, it is a bit of a surprise how uninteresting it was after Red Dead and even GTA IV managed to do it better). The biggest knock on this game is “it’s not GTA: SA” but I really don’t think that’s fair.
3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds initially seemed like it was going to be an up-ressed version of Link To The Past, which I would have played, and would have loved, but Nintendo wasn’t satisfied with that. Naw, they somehow worked Tom Nook into the game, which managed to completely shake up the formula, making the game feel both original and nostalgic. The items and the exploration are all fun again, and all feel like they have a purpose; I just couldn’t have lived with myself if I didn’t rescue all the Maiamais. My only complaint is that most of the dungeons were dead simple. Maybe it was time to go back to basics, though.
2. Bioshock Infinite is a game that a lot of people have spent a lot of time trying to justify why they like it this year. But they shouldn’t. I’m not going to apologize for liking this game. The combat isn’t as intricate as Bioshock 2, and gets a bit repetitive because of that, but I can’t think of any other problems I had with the game. One play-through wasn’t enough, and as soon as I was finished I had to go back and beat it again. That just isn’t the type of thing I normally do. Booker and Elizabeth’s song beneath the saloon, some of the things you find in tears, and the ending were amongst the best moments I’ve had in gaming this year, or other years.
1. Animal Crossing: A New Leaf is inarguably my game of the year. They talk about games like Gears of War with giant muscle dudes as being Wish Fulfillment. But naw. Naw, this is my wish: to be a cutesy, over-sized headed boy who lives in a town of animals suffering from the entire spectrum of the DSM V in the most inviting way possible. I’m not afraid to admit that I am the type of dude who plays Farmville. Even while playing some mothafuckin gangsta shit games, I’m still often in need of some game that involves mindlessly pointing and clicking every day. Animal Crossing gives that mindless pointing and clicking purpose. I guess it’s true that it’s still fundementally the same game it was on Gamecube, but I don’t give a fuck. The few minor tweeks they made from the last game has turned this from something I played a month to something I’m still playing every single day seven months later. I love this game more than most people I know.