My 2 Cents GOTY 2013 and other useless nonsense

What will you remember from 2013? Will it be(Finally) the launch of new consoles, exciting New IPs, Upgrading or building your first PC, the gamer entitlement lawsuits, day one patches, console wars, constant forum posts of “This game isn’t that good” or “Wii U is Dead”. Is it the 50th preview video of your most anticipated game, finding a game no one even discusses, is it the announcements that never came, or the announcement we never saw coming? Whatever or however you remember 2013, it is always good to come to a place like GB that I would almost say is like a second home. The community and personnel provide a lot of entertainment I am greatly appreciative. Thanks for another good year and looking forward to more in 2014. Happy New Year and Cheers!

If you have noticed a recent trend a lot of writers on sites when discussing their GOTY lists apoligize to large fan bases to soften their actual choices. For example, last year Jeff proclaiming Persona was probably the GOTY, even though he didnt play it, and this year Patrick saying Mario 3D was his GOTY until just last week. I dont have any fans, but if i did, i would apologize to The Last of Us and Bioshock infinite as i never got around to playing them, but if i did, i am sure they would have easily been a contender for my GOTY.

Other awards and Predictions

Nintendo Prediction- Remember prior to the Wii U release everyone was asking when gamepads would be sold separate and when the system would allow for multiple gamepad access? Well, that ship has sailed but not Nintendo's brilliant marketing of hardware. They will announce a newer gamepad this year, probably not much more in resolution, but it will be bigger maybe 7"-8" inches and sold seperatley. Every time i hear people discussing the use of the gamepad they are using it as a tablet in bed, or on the couch watching TV so why not capitalize on what seems to be its main use. Oh yea, this is just a guess but there will be a Mario game or 2, and probably some more full price HD mods of Wii games coming to the U.

Jeff Gerstamn Quote of the year- During a podcast Jeff was asked about the condition of his home after drew had talked in length about keeping his home very clean. Jeff's answer, "Lived in....currently not of fire"

Jeff Gerstman aka Debbie Downer- No one playing Phantasy star Online or Trackmania anymore and he's never recovered.

Best Quicklook- Anarchy Reins was one of the very first Quicklooks of the year and is still an automatic goto if i need a laugh.

Workaholic Award- Patrick "Scoops" Klepick. Seriously, get this guy some help. I still say his old counterpart at G4, Nikole Zivalich would be a welcome voice to help balance some of the testosterone in the room.

Microsoft Prediction- I will be shocked but MS has been testing a few things recently that can only mean cross play between Xbox one and windows 8. And i dont mean just smart glass, im talking PS4/ Vita type cross platform gaming. The architecture and the money is now there to utilize this option and if they continue to ignore PC gaming its simply their loss. Imagine Titanfall or Halo 4 with PC players vs Xbox one how can it not be done?

Best Mod- S.t.a.l.k.e.r. Misery 2.0 brutal, just plain brutal. I have to also mention the mod community for Fallout NV. I played though again with about a dozens mods installed and it was such a completely different, better experience. Simply amazing.

Stop, Please - The yearly, and bi yearly releases just go away for a while and we will welcome you back with open arms in a decade or so. Also, negative forum posts and those who feel some sort of entitlement. Im sorry but please get a life.

Free advice for GB Crew- Look, this site is awesome but is becoming a drag to visit. The forums are mostly negative, Jeff is the poster child for the constant negativity and during any of the live shows no one looks like they want to be there except Vinny and Drew. We all have bad days, we have jobs and lives, but Fuuuck some professionalism and positivity goes a long way. It has been such a negative atmosphere i have visited less frequently and been watching some Lets Play sites that are what GB used to be fun, funny and with personalities that are entertaining. Lets hope GB can turn it around in 2014.

Best Early Access game - Underrail Im really not one to jump into a game pre alpha but i think for $10 it's ok and I enjoyed a lot of what it has to offer especially if you are a fan of Fallout. The economy is completely unbalanced and i spent probably 10 hours trying to hack the hex code to no success. Fortunately the game has seen enough profit to grow from a one man operation to now a small team with constant updates.

Looking forward 2014: Everything

Who am I?- SWM, edumacated, semi professional, zero debt as always, routine oriented, never complacent, enjoy a beer or 2, no allegiances, first console APF TV, and lover of smart, intelligent, good looking, desperate, lonely women.

#1 Tomb Raider

Remember all the early previews for Tomb Raider and the negative reactions? That's what makes it even more incredible how they were able to completely turn those early previews around into an excellant action packed experience. A lot of people want to dismiss the game for it being a clone of Uncharted but if you are going to do a reboot copying one of the best franchises and developers in the world is a good place to start. The overlooked aspect of the game is the developer themselves Crystal Dynamics. CD have released some good games but nothing close to what they accomplished here. Hopefully this was just a preview of what they are capable of and cant wait to see more.

#2 Sly Cooper and Thieves in Time

A majority of the games we play are very stressful. If you are not cheating death yourself, you are making decisions on who dies and who lives, where should i put my points, do i need this shield or that, etc. Thank god for games like Sly Cooper. I have never played any of the previous Sly games before so maybe im a little over excited for this title but wow, what a fun great looking game. I am dissapointed that it isnt getting more recognition becasue for all the negativity surrounding a lot of titles this year, i cant think of too many that were more polished.

#3 The Swapper

Science fiction is one of my favorite genres whether it is in games, movies or books but i am also a sucker for Twilight Zone, Outer limits like writings. Take those elements mix that all together with some of the best visuals, clever puzzles and one of those very stressful endings and you end up with one of the best games this year.

#4 Path Of Exile

I know some are still out there saying FTP wont last, you can pay to win, they are not good game, etc. Play Path of Exile and you will completly change your mind. I have been playing POE for close to a year now and I am probably giving it a few points for being FTP but it should. While everyone is whining and crying over $60 titles here is a strongly executed ARPG with great visuals, satisfying combat and community that makes it a fun game to visit. The telling sign as a FTP game that has no gaming buffs, is you WANT to give them money for such a great game.

#5 Shadowrun Returns

If you think about it Mass Effect is sort of a Shadowrun clone. Mix together a human with creatures around the galaxy, in this case earth, band together and solve problems. Shadowrun is a little more complex than that, but it is defiantly a world that is interesting from the start. I had apprehensions becasue all of the dialogue is text based but the writing is strong and i found myself reading out loud giving a lot of characters a voice. The combat is X-com inspired and solid with a deep enough community and workshop installed that i will keep coming back for a while. A strong foundation that can only grow into something really special in the future.

#6 The Stanley Parable

The brilliance of The Stanley Parable is the simplicity to finish the game in 4 minutes, or to seek out everything this game has to offer which could be a few hours. Its not really a game in the normal sense as it really is the definition of experience. Again, another title with strong writing and perfect narration. Also, probably the funniest game this year and a genre that needs more titles.

#7 Brothers A Tale of two Sons

Here is what we know about brothers, you either like it, or hate it. Thats too bad becasue it is a great game that took a chance on something different. Some people want the same thing every year, i dont. It also had the best moment for me this year when the brothers are tied together and are swinging around the outside of the Castle. I never thought that control scheme would work, but it worked flawlessly as did most of the game itself.

#8 Aarklsah Legacy

If i told you i know of an RPG that is not open world, has minimal customization, no quests page, no point distribution, and a limited skill tree would you be interested? If you said no then you may be missing out one of the best tactical RPGs of the last couple of years. Aaklash Legacy is abut one thing and one thing only, combat. You can set it up as you like(Pause anytime, or RTS), but in order to survive you will have to plan every encounter perfectly becasue the game is brutal even on normal difficulty. What a huge gamble by Cyanide studios to basically strip away what you think an RPG NEEDS to be successful and focusing their time on perfecting a rewarding battle system. Another game that seems like the foundation for something that could be more in the future.

#9 Bionic Dues

Bionic Dues to me is this years FTL, but no one played it. Its a robot turn based strategy game that can be played either with saves or permadeath. Basically there has been an robot uprising and your goal is to take on 30-50 missions in order to build up your army for the final confrontation. Its totally addicting with some great music, solid customization and rewarding choice.

#10 Ni No Kuni and The Wrath of The White Witch

The last couple of years i always pick a genre i never played or have not played in a while. Last year i played my first MMO and this year i played what is essentially my first and last JRPG. Though i think true JRPG fans would even dismiss Ni No Kuni, but what we could all agree its a great game with flaws. The game is set up for absolute success it has strong characters, beautiful visuals, an absolute musical masterpiece, and a solid story, but its just the combat for me was a little of a turn off. I still enjoyed my time with Oliver and Mr Drippy but my future JRPG endeveours will be shelved for a while.


My 2 cents:

Yes, the Dude(r) has left the building.

Yes, change sucks. I had to recently move (Job transfer) to a small town outside Philadelphia from Minneapolis and im still living in a hotel 4 weeks later. That’s ok becasue I know things will get better as I was in the somewhat same position 8 years ago when I moved from Ohio to Minneapolis. Just as things will improve on my side, it’s the same for GB.

I can still remember controversy, the initial move to the new office in the basement, the sale of Whiskey media, the loss of some of the best talent around, but no matter how many times their was sadness they always continue to entertain and that’s why I keep coming back. But make no mistake, times they are a changing. Lives are changing and this is an opportunity for GB to seek out some (young)fresh talent. I submit just a few names I think would add a lot of value with their personality, writing, audio and video presence.

Matt Kessler/Matt Bodega. You knew this guy has to be on the list. He’s the illegitimate son of Jeff and/or Ryan. He already has a love/hate relationship with the GB audience, ala P.K., and he was an intern, I think twice? Just listening to him play DOTA 2 with Brad recently wishes for some more Kessler. More Kessler would not be a bad thing.

EpicSteve- This is the darkhorse on the list as I haven’t seen too many videos, other than when he was an intern, but this guy has been working his ass off and doing some really good writing. He has been active in the GB community for a long time and in case of a zombie apocalypse there will be someone in the office who actually knows how to shoot a REAL gun.

Nikole Zivalich- One of my favorite talk shows about video games was once Feedback with Adam Sessler. It was an entertaining show but what stood out and made it different was the female voice offered by Nikole and Morgan Webb. Sure, there are a few other shows with female journalist but I thought Nikole was entertaining and articulate when discussing games both good and bad. IDK, maybe im crazy but I would kind of compare her to PK, and not surprising they shared the G4 set for a while before he moved onto EGM. I really don’t know how a female would work in the GB office, but with all the talk the past 6 months of females in the VG business what better way for GB to break down their own walls and add a strong, talented female voice.

David Jaffe- Hell, why not. There is no one ever short of talking and expressing their opinion not to mention he looks like he would fit in perfectly.

Because the other person I would recommend is already working I will just say I think GB needs a full time PC reviewer/discussion. Im talking about mods, free to play, indie, IOS, etc. I know these are discussed briefly but I don’t think they get the time deserved. I hate to say it but Gamespot does a pretty good job on covering some of these things. I don’t want to watch Gamespot, I want to watch GB.

I would like to hear if any of you have an idea of who you would like to see join the GB team, or ideas for new content on the site.

This is just my 2 cents and as no value whatsoever.