Giant Bomb News

81 Comments

Dan Teasdale's Top 10 Games of 2013

Hey, Brad? Maybe don't read this list.

Dan Teasdale is the game designer responsible for Army Men: RTS, Destroy All Humans!, The Gunstringer, the majority of Rock Band games not featuring The Beatles, and the most important app of our generation, Super Drake Tracker 2000 EX. His current project, Roundabout, is scheduled for release next year.

Sorry, Brad. I found ten games I liked better than Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

To be honest, I actually found a couple dozen games that I liked better than Brothers, but that’s because I’m just the kind of guy that didn’t end up furiously weeping about painting a sheep or whatever was in the ten minutes of the demo I played.

I’m sure it’s a fantastic game once you’ve dyed a full collection of sheep sweaters, I just had too many games in the backlog to get through to see instead. I feel bad enough that I didn’t get to play New Zelda or New Mario enough for this list, or that the Pokemon bug didn’t bite me. It’s almost guaranteed that my 2013 Top 10 will be dramatically different in mid-2014.

My Tied-for-#11 Picks: Don’t Starve, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, The Novelist, Kerbal Space Program’s campaign mode update, Motocross Madness’ exploration mode, Antichamber, Tearaway, Peggle 2.

10. Divekick

I’m an old man unable to compete in the fast paced playboy world of eSports. The last fighter I was competitive in was Virtua Fighter 3, and even that was the slowed down PAL version. Divekick lets me dive and kick other people like I was twenty years younger. Essentially, Divekick is the horny goat weed of fighting games. It’s impressive that a flash game made by an alleged drunkard could have such depth and lasting value.

Why it’s better than Brothers: Has similar “two input” controls, but allows you to use them for diving and kicking instead of emotions.

9. World of Warcraft’s Timeless Isle

Wait, don’t close the tab, hear me out.

MMOs are about workout-like discipline. You must invest hours to get to max level, which lets you invest hours for items to be allowed to invest more hours in a dungeon.

If most MMOs are a long workout, Timeless Isle is a combination Cheesecake Factory/Sizzler all you can eat drive thru buffet. Purples drop continuously from chests on floating clouds. Boss Rares spawn constantly, and you don’t have to be in a group to get the rewards from the kill.

The best part is that it takes all of the things that made raids with guilds fun and condensed them down to something that you can log in for 10 minutes during a break. Timeless Isle makes hardcore play more casual than some iPhone games. It’s ridiculous and I love it.

Why it’s better than Brothers: In Brothers you have to get help to avoid a “killer whale-like fish”. In the Timeless Isle, you and probably twenty other people get to sprint after a rare shark called Evermaw and stab the crap out of him while shapeshifted as a monkey dressed in an old fashioned diving helmet.

(Yeah, I’ve hit the point where I’ve opened up the Wikipedia page for Brothers.)

8. Just Cause 2 Multiplayer Mod

This is a last minute addition, but it’s so good that it bumped Peggle 2 off the list. PEGGLE GODDAMNED 2, a game I am addicted to and have an unobjective stake in promoting because of my friends that worked on it. Just a few minutes of JC-MP is enough to convert almost anyone.

The premise is simple: take Just Cause 2, add 1,500 simultaneous players, give them bounties on their heads and optional events to compete in. It’s perfect. Even better, it’s free if you own Just Cause 2 on PC.

It’s what GTA Online should have been, and it’s ridiculous than an unofficial mod group nailed exactly what open world multiplayer should be instead of the multi-million behemoth stumble that was GTA Online.

Why it’s better than Brothers: In Brothers, you jump over some big pieces of ice. In JC-MP, you can jump off a floating airship nightclub to hijack a helicopter, then use that helicopter’s rockets to collect the bounties of a good dozen people who weren’t smart enough to jump off too - right until a cargo plane smashes into you from the side.

7. Tomb Raider

A late entry in the Year of the Bow, Tomb Raider made me want to shoot arrows everywhere more than any other YOTB entrant. I felt dirty using a gun. More importantly though, it returned Tomb Raider to a franchise that isn’t awkwardly embarrassing to talk about with people outside of video games.

Why it’s better than Brothers: Unlike in Brothers, Lara is an Actual Human Woman and not a spider pretending to be a woman whose sole point is to kill a dude.

6. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Black Flag is a game where I get to own a pirate ship and sail around exploring caves and climbing rocks. I guess there’s some weird assassin thing too, and a surprise early plot twist stolen from Blackadder Goes Forth, but that’s just the filler between me taking over the ocean and assembling a fleet of pirate ships.

Why it’s better than Brothers: One of the brothers is scared of swimming. Edward is basically king of the ocean. No contest.

5. Star Wars Pinball

I love pinball. I am not good at most pinball games, with the rare exception of Black Knight 2000 and Medieval Madness, both of which I am a champion at.

Right now, I am the best person on my friends list at the Empire Strikes Back table in Star Wars Pinball on PC, Xbox 360, and Vita. I’m sure I’d destroy everyone on PS3 too if I bothered to plug it back in. The table is nice, fun, and has a bunch of really great gameplay features, sure, but the ability for me to cross platform gloat is fantastic.

Why it’s better than Brothers: Unlike Brothers, it was not a part of the VGX awards.

4. The Last of Us

The Last of Us is good, but the last hour is what pushed it into top ten territory for me. It’s small things like Ellie not coming over when you call her, or just wanting the game to end at the giraffe scene so you don’t have to see the consequences of the journey. It sets in a thread of guilt that the ending few minutes punish you for in a way that I wasn’t expecting.

Why it’s better than Brothers: You want emotions? I’d buy that giraffe scene alone for $15 no questions asked.

3. The Stanley Parable

It’s really tough to talk about The Stanley Parable without spoiling any of it. There’s a demo out which is completely different from the game and worth checking out, so grab that!

Stanley hit all my weak points: a narrator that sounds like Peter Jones, a small world that’s dense and explorable even though it’s a Dear Esther-like, and a very specific side path which is basically just a huge middle finger for completionists.

How much better than Brothers is it? 8.

2. Papers, Please

As part of moving to the United States and becoming a resident here, I had to sit in many consulate waiting rooms in many countries. Some had culturally representative TV to watch like “Divorce Court”. Most were dozens of chairs on one side, some glass windowed booths on the other, and hours-long waits where you hear every conversation going on at those booths.

The majority of the people who sat with me for hours were rejected. One guy was denied entry to the US because one of the dozen forms he had was “expired”. There was no unexpired version of that form available for him to fill out. I was rejected once because I stupidly thought I could pay for my entry visa with “cash” or “credit card”, when the correct answer was “with a receipt from one very specific store hidden in the bowels of Nassau”.

Papers, Please is the Euro Truck Simulator of immigration, but even more brilliant than that because it’s actually fun. I got joy from detaining people and strip searching them. It turned me into everything I hated, made me love it for doing so, then slapped me across the face. The only reason it isn’t #1 is because I don’t think I can bear the stress to replay it for the alternate endings.

Why it’s better than Brothers: Papers, Please is a story about how you need to do terrible things to keep your family alive. Brothers appears to be about two kids that have no idea how to get to a Walgreens.

1. Grand Theft Auto V

Yeah, I know, big surprise. Sorry that this list wasn’t “My Top 9 Games and something to be different from everyone else who picked GTA or The Last of Us”.

The little touches are what makes GTA V for me. It provided a blueprint for multiple protagonists that next gen AAA is almost assuredly going to lift. They made me care about owning my own car in a game where you can steal anything. Holding forward to constantly loop up a fire escape is a tiny addition that’s fantastic. There are entire chunks of that map that are built out just to make the world feel cool--no missions in them, no secrets, just world building for the sake of making Los Santos feel real.

Yes, the story is weak in the middle and the online pales in comparison to JC-MP, but the world the main game exists in makes that irrelevant to me. I played GTA V for weeks after finishing it. It’s beautifully built in a way that only Rockstar North knows the secret sauce to. I’m actually looking forward to paying more money and playing it again on next gen/PC when that inevitable release comes out.

Why it’s better than Brothers: It’s a band of three brothers. By definition, it’s at least 50% better.

87 Comments
  • 87 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by Redbullet685

I still need to play Brothers

Posted by Phazon

Best premise for a list ever.

Posted by Stimpack

That Star Wars Pinball is so much fun! Great list, but what's Brothers?

Edited by Fear_the_Booboo

This is the best.

Online
Edited by Crushed

“My Top 9 Games and something to be different from everyone else who picked GTA or The Last of Us”.

Ironically, Dan is the first person on the site to give GTAV #1.

Posted by SecondPersonShooter

I did this concept first dammit, and I will not stand for the blatant plagiarism against me.

But, pretty good list, except Star Wars pinball I think is not very good and the physics are way, way off from what a real pinball table should feel like

Posted by csl316

Dammit, I can't argue those reasonings.

Actively hostile lists are fine by me.

Posted by Bobstar
Edited by JZ

I like this guy because he hates brad

Posted by jakob187

Teasdale wins. Flawless victory. Fatality.

Posted by Turambar

Oh man, this is fantastic.

Posted by Toxin066

I laughed, I cried, and I agreed with a good portion of it.

Posted by AURON570

You know.. I don't buy the "sorry I won't tell you more about the game because I don't want to spoil it, you'll just have to play it yourself". Why even say it? It completely begs the question, it doesn't help people who aren't already slightly interested in the game, and just shows that a person is too lazy/incapable to come up with good reasons why a game is interesting.

Also I don't see why spoilers are necessarily a bad thing. Spoilers are just information, sure having that information changes the story experience a bit, but that doesn't mean the new experience is worse. In fact it might even be better, since you can better evaluate your expectations, and see how the story is being built and crafted in light of the "spoiled" information that you now have.

Posted by TheIronYuppie

Antagonizing Brad in list form. Excellent.

Posted by kerse

I like this guy.

Posted by dr_mantas

Tomb Raider, Papers, Please, keep 'em coming.

Posted by Neonie
@kerse said:

I like this guy.

This.

Posted by Brendan

Hahaha

Posted by BlastProcessing

Dan Teasdale's list is my 2013 list of the year.

Posted by Dunkelheit

A+++++ article. A- list.

Edited by Efesell

@auron570 said:

You know.. I don't buy the "sorry I won't tell you more about the game because I don't want to spoil it, you'll just have to play it yourself". Why even say it? It completely begs the question, it doesn't help people who aren't already slightly interested in the game, and just shows that a person is too lazy/incapable to come up with good reasons why a game is interesting.

Also I don't see why spoilers are necessarily a bad thing. Spoilers are just information, sure having that information changes the story experience a bit, but that doesn't mean the new experience is worse. In fact it might even be better, since you can better evaluate your expectations, and see how the story is being built and crafted in light of the "spoiled" information that you now have.

I don't mind spoilers, finding details out ahead of time matters very little to me since I consider the lead up to these events just as important.

But it's a big deal to a lot of people and it's a real dick move to potentially ruin their experiences when you don't need to in order make a point.

Posted by Sen0r_Awes0me

Makes me want to do a 10 games better than Last of Us just to spoil that game and be a dick about it

Spoiler free antagonizing please

Posted by vikingdeath1

All of your "Better than Brothers" explanations are rock solid.

Posted by Fat_Tomato

Taking Brad to task!

Edited by CustomOtto

@auron570 said:

You know.. I don't buy the "sorry I won't tell you more about the game because I don't want to spoil it, you'll just have to play it yourself". Why even say it? It completely begs the question, it doesn't help people who aren't already slightly interested in the game, and just shows that a person is too lazy/incapable to come up with good reasons why a game is interesting.

Also I don't see why spoilers are necessarily a bad thing. Spoilers are just information, sure having that information changes the story experience a bit, but that doesn't mean the new experience is worse. In fact it might even be better, since you can better evaluate your expectations, and see how the story is being built and crafted in light of the "spoiled" information that you now have.

beep boop i am a robot spoilers are just information beep boop what is love

Posted by ZeroCrescent

Is... Is Dan Teasdale the prophesied Anti-Brad? I need to check the scriptures.

Seriously though, nice list

Edited by SuicidalManiac

@customotto said:

@auron570 said:

You know.. I don't buy the "sorry I won't tell you more about the game because I don't want to spoil it, you'll just have to play it yourself". Why even say it? It completely begs the question, it doesn't help people who aren't already slightly interested in the game, and just shows that a person is too lazy/incapable to come up with good reasons why a game is interesting.

Also I don't see why spoilers are necessarily a bad thing. Spoilers are just information, sure having that information changes the story experience a bit, but that doesn't mean the new experience is worse. In fact it might even be better, since you can better evaluate your expectations, and see how the story is being built and crafted in light of the "spoiled" information that you now have.

beep boop i am a robot spoilers are just information beep boop what is love

that was the best reply

Posted by Hangnail

Yo, what'chu got against Brothers?

Posted by hollitz

Most entertaining list.

Edited by NathHaw

Well, I'm glad I finished Brothers yesterday before reading this list.

Posted by MakeWitheFunny

This list is fucking hilarious and I'm seriously stoked by the premise for roundabout..... seems fucking stupid.

Posted by Phished0ne

How dare you slight Eruo Truck Sim 2 by implying its not fun.

Posted by Pirateogta

Nice to see GTA V get some love.

Posted by Humanity

Well played.

Online
Posted by rmanthorp

Killer!

Moderator
Posted by Nightriff

Fantastic list, I still want to play Brother though

Posted by Zaxex

It's a nice list and all - but what I really want to know, is how these games compare to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

Edited by BeachThunder

Brothers is my #11 game this year.

Posted by Even

Brothers appears to be about two kids that have no idea how to get to a Walgreens.

Hoooooly shit. That's fucking golden.

Edited by jimmyfenix

I keep saying it. Two Brothers > Brothers.

Posted by Castiel
Posted by mrfluke
Posted by THam

Woohoo, finally a list I can live with; not least because of GTAV and JC-MP being mentioned, but also a side-note of Euro Truck Sim (even though that wasn't mentioned in a good light, not that I even know whether or not that game was released this year, too drunk to find out :)). So thumbs up, Dan.

Posted by CitizenJP

Damn, shots fired! *PEW PEW PEW*

Posted by MormonWarrior

I didn't expect The Last of Us to really be as polarizing as it was. I've had beef with almost every Naughty Dog game so it didn't surprise me that I reacted the way I did, but hearing some people talking about it as the second coming of gaming and others completely disliking it, I feel better about it. Honestly, Dan loved the last hour, and it's really the last hour that pushed it completely away from my top ten forever. I loved the intro and the Ellie sequences and the ending was unexpected, but everything else I could do without.

Also, Brothers is great. I get that it's a joke, but you're doing yourself a disservice to assume that it's one thing when you haven't played it. Doesn't mean it'll resonate with you but...dying sheep? When do you ever do that except when trying to get an achievement? I didn't even know you could do that.

Edited by nccows

"You want emotions? I’d buy that giraffe scene alone for $15 no questions asked." is undoubtedly the best single thing that will come from any Game of the Year related material this year.

Posted by SatelliteOfLove

If most MMOs are a long workout, Timeless Isle is a combination Cheesecake Factory/Sizzler all you can eat drive thru buffet.

Roll on, Hedonic Treadmill...roll on.

  • 87 results
  • 1
  • 2