#1 Edited by alanm26v5 (543 posts) -

I didn't see a thread, direct me if I missed it, etc. What's something in gaming that surprised you the most, in a good way? It could be a specific game that came out of nowhere or an overall industry trend or piece of news. Here's some of mine, and would love to hear some of yours.

Surprisingly good game:

Rogue Legacy

. I didn't hear about this game or the studio behind it until the quick look. I normally don't play anything resembling a rogue-like because I like progression systems and hate that feeling of starting over completely after every death. The feeling of challenge and thinking you've hit a wall, only to break through that wall by getting a few more upgrades or just getting better at playing the game was amazing. And what followed on the other side was an ever bigger challenge, that just kept ramping up (for the most part, new game+ boss scaling was wonky at times) Not only did I become completely consumed by this game and played through new game +3, but it got me to test the waters in a style of game that I normally ignore as not for me. I went on to play

FTL: Faster Than Light

because of it and had a blast with that too, despite not being able to beat the final boss ship. Next up,



Surprising trend: Lots of really good

Nintendo 3DS

games. I'm mainly play games on a PC, and get a console or handheld for those few exclusives, and I always wish that I could play those few portable games on a bigger screen with a controller, Gamecube GBA Player style. I bought a 3DS last year but largely ignored it, but this was the year that justified the purchase, and then some. I played my 3DS this year way more than any console, and if I discount MMOs I probably played more 3DS than big budget PC games. I recently locked in my top ten list for the year, and in a year with a ton of great games coming out everywhere, three out of those ten games were on the 3DS. And additionally there are four games that I didn't get to this year but probably would have been in contention for my top ten.

Surprising news: Steam Family Sharing: While it's not out of beta yet, and not completely perfect and bug free, the concept is really exciting to me. I have a younger brother in college who also follows Giant Bomb closely and tries to keep up with current games. We both have built up a Steam library with hundreds of games. What usually happens is one of us will play a game, really enjoy it, and convince the other they need to buy and play it too. Not only does this present an opportunity to save some money on games, it's also a really great way to try out a game before you buy it, whether to see if you like it or how it runs on your system. If only this had come out 2 years ago...

#2 Posted by Hunter5024 (6281 posts) -

I thought Gone Home looked like bullshit, but it ended up being pretty cool.

#3 Posted by LackingSaint (1970 posts) -

Is this just games that came out this year, or in general? As far as in general, I started playing Dark Souls with the intention of understanding the intense appreciation a lot of people have for that game. Instead, I ended up falling in love with it myself, which was a nice surprise given how averse I usually am for unforgiving games. It's just so interesting!

As far as this year? Probably The Last of Us. Got it on a whim because I heard good things, didn't enjoy it at all for the first few hours, was about to write it off then pushed through the weird early sections and now it's easily my GOTY.

#4 Posted by AMyggen (4424 posts) -

I'd agree with Rogue Legacy. I didn't really expect much when I bought the game, but I must've put 40-50 hours into that game. It just plays so damn well!

#5 Edited by Danteveli (1287 posts) -

I was surprised with how much fun Call of Juarez Gunslinger was and how cool Saints Row 4 ended up being (I was thinking its going to be quick cash in on SR3).

#6 Posted by Emoney244 (182 posts) -

Pokemans Y for me.

#7 Posted by probablytuna (4116 posts) -

I'm surprised the new consoles are doing super well.

#8 Posted by hermes (1723 posts) -

I know its not a popular opinion, but DmC.

Considering the last game of the franchise that interested me is almost 10 years old, and I never cared about Dante as a character, I was ready to write the whole franchise down...

#9 Posted by ToTheNines (976 posts) -

The Wolf Among Us. I didn't think I would like the premise at all, but I did. More than the walking dead.

#10 Posted by JesterArbo (94 posts) -

I would also say that DmC was my biggest surprise. I didn't like this series at all but got mildly interested when I found out that Ninja Theory was making it. The game ended up being in my top 5 for the year with great combat and a ridiculous/fun story.

#11 Posted by thefishofwisdom (26 posts) -

Hey you. You should play Dark Souls.

- Younger Brother

#12 Posted by gerrid (397 posts) -

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Call of Juarez: Gunslinger when I wasn't really expecting much but a satisfying shooting gallery. The storytelling and unreliable narrator was really interesting and the setting and atmosphere had that old-west charm. It's really well made and didn't outstay its welcome either, like most FPS tend to do.

I guess I was also shocked that Ubi managed to turn it around after AC3 and make Assassins Creed 4 actually fun and good? I wasn't expecting it to be anything but another mess of systems and meaningless collectibles - and while a lot of that is still in there - the sailing and the characters are good enough to carry it through.

And although it wasn't released this year, Velocity Ultra on the vita really took me by surprise with how much I enjoyed it. It's just come out on Steam so even if you don't have a Vita you can be surprised too. The levels are short but perfectly crafted - it reminded me a little of Rayman Origins in the way that there is a perfect run through every level, and you slowly come to see how to achieve it, and that is very satisfying.

#13 Edited by vinsanityv22 (1066 posts) -

Ducktales Remastered. Was announced, completely out of the blue, back in March and everything about it was great. Bringing back a cherished game? Having Wayforward update it? Releasing it on-time? Awesome in every way. Good on Capcom.

Killer Instinct for the Xbone - can we just agree to call it KI3 or something, to avoid confusion? I'm no Double Helix hater, but - like Obsidian - they do tend to underperform. So it was a nice surprise to see that they more or less delivered a killer (no pun intended) fighting game in Killer Instinct. Even if the lack of content at launch probably helped. Having a game designed to continually evolve instead of half-assing a game to make a ship date definitely suits them, it seems.

Sega buying Atlus. And Sega deciding to leave them alone, as they're doing a great job.

Persona 5, Tales of Xillia 2 and Zestiria announced, as well as Xenoblade 2 (X). It's good to see some non-Final Fantasy JRPG's providing some excitement going forward in that area.

Sly Cooper 4: Thieves in Time. Best game in the already-amazing series, and coming from a relatively unknown developer? That's surprising. Didn't skip a beat; felt like Sanzaru had been developing these games the whole time. Bravo guys. Just wish Sony did a better job promoting it. In fact, they seem to have screwed over every non-PS4 game they put out this year. Beyond Two Souls, Puppeteer, Rain, Killzone PSVita, Sly, Ratchet Nexus, God of War Ascension... did they market ANYTHING in 2013? I know a big console launch is going to take priority, but damn Sony. Fuck.

Remember Me. Sure, it's not as good as it should be. But Dontnod's first game is awfully impressive nonetheless. And is really fun to play. And is, without a doubt, one of the most gorgeous games I've seen this past generation, period. I know some people above me have said DmC, but I was pretty confident Ninja Theory would deliver on that since their track record is pretty perfect. But Capcom delivered some pleasant surprises this year in other ways, and Remember Me was definitely one.

#14 Posted by KaramonD (67 posts) -

Dota 2. I NEVER thought I would enjoy this kind of game as much as I have. Also, ac black flag was way better than I thought it would be.

#15 Posted by Angouri (239 posts) -

@gerrid said:

And although it wasn't released this year, Velocity Ultra on the vita really took me by surprise with how much I enjoyed it. It's just come out on Steam so even if you don't have a Vita you can be surprised too. The levels are short but perfectly crafted - it reminded me a little of Rayman Origins in the way that there is a perfect run through every level, and you slowly come to see how to achieve it, and that is very satisfying.

Velocity Ultra was released in July of this year... the original Velocity for PSP came out last year. And I agree, it was a remarkable game!

But in terms of surprisingly good gaming moment: the last 5 levels of Rayman legends. Anyone who is claiming that that SM3DW is creative hasn't seen the insanity Ubisoft put out. Rayman Legends is fantastic, and its music levels are some of the best platforming I've ever experienced.