Ah, my personal game of the year choices. As usual, work and home life take up the majority of my time, and so it is only when I get to cut into my sleep that I can enjoy some video games. However, I did get to some good ones this year. Here is my top seven:
7. Year Walk
Moody atmosphere. Legitimate jump scares on iOS. Very creative companion app that was actually fun to read and was well incorporated into the late game. I really liked this one, and I don’t particularly like scary games.
I didn’t think it was the super emotionally resonant app that Brad was making it out to be, but I did enjoy it. Journey affected me more last year, but this was a nice game.
5. Nimble Quest
Wait! A mind-numbingly simple iOS game like Nimble Quest is higher than the sacred Brothers on my top seven list? Yep, it is. This is a simple game and doesn’t take too much concentration to play it, and that is why I like it. It is the best game to zone out playing while I listen to the Bombcast (and other podcasts).
4. Beyond: Two Souls
I never played Heavy Rain. I really can’t remember why I bought this. It didn’t really pull me in at first. But, I’ll be damned to hell forever, eating nothing but worms if I wasn’t telling the truth about that homeless sequence being one of the best story sequences in a videogame that I’ve ever played. I’ve never been put in a situation like this in a game before, and I’ve never had a single situation in a game affect me like this one did. There were other good moments in the game too, but each one seemed to fall apart in the middle somewhere. The Navajo Ghost section started with a lot of potential, but went stupid at some point, And the expedition to the Korean military base started well, and had its moments, but ultimately caved in because of the gameplay. But damn, that homeless sequence was nearly perfect and resignated with me even after I played it a second time with different results.
3. Borderlands 2
Yeah, it’s from 2012, but it’s still my favorite game this year to play with friends. The DLC this year had its ups and downs, but ultimately it’s about the company you keep and I like playing this game with friends.
2. Bioshock Infinite
The big daddy that every fan of Bioshock was waiting on - for the record, I wasn’t a big fan of Bioshock. But, I fell into all the hype for this game and just had to play it when it came out. I didn’t regret it. Everything that I didn’t like about Bioshock was fixed in this game, or at least changed enough that I liked it more here. And the story is one of the best I’ve seen in a game. I don’t agree that the story falls apart in the end. It did require me to stop and think about it for a while, but I got all the loose ends worked out in my head. That is what I liked most about it; it made me keep thinking about it for hours, days, even weeks after I finished it. Only a well composed masterpiece can do that. I thought the combat was fun too.
1. The Last of Us
Now we are talking about the best story in gaming history (my own opinion). What a great accomplishment. In taking elements from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and adding in a slightly-more-believable zombie story than your typical zombie hash, the writers were able to create a post-apocalyptic world that I actually believed (as much as you can believe a world with zombies). But, it was the way they used the camera in scenes (see my 2013 Retrospective blog for more details), the natural dialogue the characters used, and the use of hard cuts that really reflected the story the writers wanted to tell. I need more games like this that have storytelling that might rival most modern movies.
Also, I thought the combat was entertaining. I only found it frustrating when they threw a lot of zombies at you at one (see the warehouse in the Winter sequence). I found it very enjoyable to throw a broken bottle to attract the enemies, then hit the group with a molotov cocktail and watch them burn. Strangely satisfying.
Now for the The Game I Played the Most, But Didn’t Make the List Because I’m Not Sure if I Hate it or Love it award:
I started playing B3 in November this year for the first time. It quickly became the only thing that I played. I loved it…. And, it made me angrier than any other game has ever.
What I loved: I was so pulled in by it that it was nearly the only thing that I played for the last two months of this year. I’ve found very few things more satisfying than getting a knife kill on a veteran player with a kill streak. However, that feeling may be matched by the feeling of pure joy I get when I kill someone that is trying to get me, five times in a row!!!
What made me hate it: Well, I’m just not the best at it, and when I find myself pitted against a group of players that play the game better than me, the frustration mounts to a level that makes my wife ask me to shut the game off before I have a heart attack. I’m not usually like this; I’m normally calm and joking when I play a game. But, B3 gets the best of me sometimes and I find myself throwing tantrums like I haven’t since I was in diapers.
Oh, but I love this game!!!
No, but it made me so angry that I had to ban myself from it for the past week…. What has it done to me?
Games I missed that I wanted to play:
Super Mario 3D World (don’t have a Wii U and don’t plan to get one)
Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (don’t have a 3DS and may get one)
Fire Emblem: Awakening (don’t have a 3DS and may get one)
Most anticipated for 2014:
Not a game, but I’m looking forward to picking up my PS4 in 2014. Now for the games:
1. Fallout 4
Oh Lord, just give me my Fallout in 2014!!!! I will have a PS4 by then and I want it!!! Enough said.
I’m looking forward to playing with with friends just like we did with Borderlands 2. This looks like a prettier, more robust, Borderlands with a cool artstyle. As long as it delivers on what it has promised, this could be on my GOTY list for some time to come (fingers crossed).
3. Metal Gear Solid 5
This may not come out in 2014, and that is okay; I want it to be perfect. That still doesn’t change the fact that I really want to play this thing.
4. Pixel Junk Monsters 2
I put this game on my list each year in hopes that it will come true. Oh Pixel Junk, please stop making those stupid rhythm games - or whatever it is that you’ve been making instead of Monsters 2 for the past few years! I want my Monsters 2!!!