BEST GAMES OF 2013: CAPS EDITION 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO REDUX(Now with added dubstep!)

VIDEO GAMES. Boy aren't they great? Know what's even better? LISTS OF THE BEST VIDEO GAMES.

Hi, I'm N7. Thanks for joining me. I'm here for just that; lists and video games.

Before we begin, let's take a minute to remember the shittiest year of them all: 2013. It had some pretty great games, some pretty not-so-great games, but most of all, it was filled with heartbreak and disappointment. It seemed like just when 2013 couldn't get any worse, it, like dinosaurs(Apparently), found a way. Let's take a moment of silence to remember 2013 the only way it should be remembered: A giant pile of shit topped with more shit.

Now that that is out of the way, let's get to it.

5

Believe me, I am just as surprised. I was all but ready to hate this game since it was announced. A watered down Splinter Cell experience set to appeal to an even broader scope of people, least of all Splinter Cell fans? And no more Michael Ironside? Certainly a tough sell, for voice actors and me alike.

I was immediately taken aback by the flow of gameplay. The controls were so tight and responsive and Sam moved quick and confidently. It definitely gave new meaning to stealth action, but as I quickly realized, that is not a bad thing by any means.

I found myself lost in moving quickly through the battlefield, taking no prisoners and being too quick to take names along with them. By itself, the gameplay was rewarding. It asked nothing of you but gave everything in return. You could take your time and assess the situation, creeping around like a ghost, or strike quick and silently like the panther. It was so simple, but so enjoyable. I more often than not ended up replaying missions over and over again just because I was having too much fun trying new tactics.

The animations for Sam were a nice surprise as well. You can feel like a badass no matter what your play style may be; stealthy and lethal, lethal and loud, or just plain stealthy. Every slash of the knife, every fist thrown was tight in and of itself a treat to watch.

Because of this, I felt less intimidation from enemies than you probably should in a stealth game. I had no fear, bobbing and waving in and out of cover, taking down enemies one by one before their friends had any idea that I was there. And just like that, I was gone to the next area.

The one downside to the game happened to actually be the new voice actor who, for all intents and purposes, was certainly stacked against the odds. He seemed to do fine for most of the game, but had a lot of moments where you can see he was imitating Michael Ironside and it felt flat, like he was constrained and wasn't able to be his own Sam Fisher, and instead tried to be someone else's.

Regardless of this, Splinter Cell: Blacklist was easily one of the best games I have played this year.

4

This one shouldn't have been a surprise, but somehow that's what it ended up. After hearing all of the troubles Volition faced with their publisher going under, it was so refreshing to see Saints Row IV emerge from the rubble with as much personality as it did, even though most of the time it felt like it was relying on its predecessor just a little too much.

But that's no match for the sheer joy I found in both the gameplay and the story. The President of the United States of America, formerly a corporate titan, formerly a 2-bit gangster, is attacked by aliens and put into a simulation where he must rescue his allies and wage a Matrix war against his captors, to save his people, to save his world.

It's a concept as ridiculous as it is fun. The only thing I could think of most of my time in Virtual Steelport is how much they managed to recapture the feelings I felt from Spider-Man 2, in my opinion, one of the best open world games to date. In Saints Row IV you have powers, but not just that, you are powerful. The reality of the situation is, aside from how great it was to see Robocop's weapon as a submachine gun, or Deckard's pistol as a pistol, most of the time I spent fighting enemies were Superspeed meleeing them to see all of the incredible and overtly cool grapple moves which, by the way, did not fail to disappoint.

And let's not forget the soundtrack, which was pretty damn good too. But not only was it good, it was available outside of cars, but let's face it, no one drove in this game. Why drive when you have Superspeed? Let's not ask dumb questions, shall we?

3

If Assassin's Creed III was Sammy Hagar, that would make Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag David Lee Roth. Better.

Assassin's Creed III took the scene by bringing much needed updates to the series. You can now climb trees. You can now climb rocks. You can also beat the ever loving shit out of people. But also boats, and it turned out people liked boats a lot. So much so Ubisoft did the only thing that made sense, make a game about pirates.

The game starts off and you're Edward Kenway, a young privateer out on the seas with two goals in mind: Get money and fuck the police while you're doing it.

It was a refreshing change, since the prior games were either about legendary Assassin's or people struggling to understand the consequences of the Assassin/Templar conflict. Not this time, you're a pirate, you plunder and kill your way to the top, and no one can stop you or your ship, the Jackdaw.

Although the game starts off wonky, with Edward already doing what you would figure trained Assassin's would do(Climb viewpoints, accept Assassination contracts, stick to being stealthy), he does not belong to the order. It wouldn't be accurate to call him an assassin trained by pirates, since by the time you step into his life he's already a well trained fighter and ship captain.

But that's not what this game is truly about. It's about sailing the amazing(And huge) West Indies and finding ships to plunder. You can do all sorts of other things, like explore islands, collect sea shanties, which are little songs that you crew sings while sailing, even Assassinate whales.

The characters are quite dynamic and go through quite a few phases in their life, changing it up from the traditional characters that barely change(Like Claudia, Ezio's sister, who remained a teenager for roughly 40 years). These characters are dynamic, and evolve over the course of the game.

The game does have its faults though, like the lackluster combat system that seemed to ditch enemy health bars entirely, which require you to now go through the motions of attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, execution animation. You could hit an enemy 99 times out of 100, get interrupted, then have to hit him 99 more times. I ended up relying on my pistol because of this frustration, often times shooting enemies 4 at a time instead of wasting my time.

Another issue I had with the game are the lack of exciting animations like Assassin's Creed III. Connor was a beast, you can feel the weight of every blow that he lands on enemies. He makes it pretty clear he doesn't like them, and wants them dead in the most brutal of ways. Unfortunately, Edward's animations are pretty average and actually needlessly long(How many times do you have to stab them in the face, Edward!?) and flashy, but not anything to marvel at. You also do nothing spectacular with your duel-wielding swords. You almost want to make the argument that the majority of attention was spent on ocean exploration and ship battles, but you can never be sure.

2

There's not much to be said about this game that hasn't already. The Last Of Us does not fail to disappoint. A survival horror third-person shooter with a wonderfully crafted story, it was a refreshing change of pace from traditional "GO TO RUSSIA AND SHOOT NUKES AND SAVE THE DAY AND SAVE AMERICA" storyline so prevalent today.

It was solid to control, it had a lot of original ideas behind it to not only make the story incredible, but the gameplay as well. A main character that's not the best marksmen on the planet? A cinematic gameplay experience that creates situations you sometimes can't predict or plan ahead for. Enemies hear the click of your pistol when you are out of ammo, they use communication to overwhelm you, and they will beg for their life when the tables turn. Not to mention your helpful A.I partner, Ellie, who will actually throw bricks and bottles to distract enemies for you, and stab them with her pocket knife to help you in a pinch. It wasn't without flaws, but what great game is? Regardless of that, it all came together in a smorgasbord of atmosphere.

The multiplayer was probably the biggest surprise of all. You'd almost expect a watered down action oriented version of the singleplayer experience, but it was just as rooted in stealth, crafting and teamwork as you'd come to see in the story.

The supply system made sure it could carry the same dreary dread from the singleplayer, requiring you to get a certain amount of supplies to grow your camp, and if you fail to get the required amount, your people start to get sick and even die. It didn't mean anything important in the long run, aside from cosmetic unlocks, but it certainly made sure every battle was just as tense as it needed to be. And I was really into that.

Notable shoutouts include Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson's incredible performance as Joel and Ellie respectively, and of course, Naughty Dog for giving us another masterpiece.

While The Last Of Us was one of my absolute favorites not only this year, but arguably this generation, my absolute favorite game of the year must go to the one, the only...

Game Of The Year

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.

So long ago, there existed a game called Dragon Quest VIII: Journey Of The Cursed King, and it was easily my favorite RPG of all time. It had charm and as much personality as you could poke a stick with. Also the art was provided by Akira Toriyama which blew my underage mind.

Ever since then I have been waiting for an RPG to blow me away just like it did. I thought White Knight Chronicles could have been the answer to that, another Level-5 game, but it wasn't quite it. In fact, I didn't even really like that game. But many years later, Ni No Kuni was released and it blew me away.

A story that's light of heart, but not afraid to get pretty dark, the gameplay was much of Pokemon by way of Final Fantasy 11. Its combat is real time, but instead of fighting yourself, your main objective is to use little creatures named Familiars. But let's face it, they are Pokemon. They exist, they can evolve 3 times, and you can name them.

The combat system is as much about acting as it reacting. Always putting in or taking out one of your familiars to assess and address the situation, to ensure you are getting the best of your enemies.

As you fight, you can level them or yourself up, learning new skills and pushing them further along their evolutionary path, making them bigger and stronger.

It was a mishmash of gameplay that I've never seen before, and it works so well. Even better, the characters and the world surrounding it.

I had no expectations on what to find when I got my hands on this game. I had nothing. I was interested in an RPG at the time and decided to pick it up. And I am glad I did, because it left an impression on me, and makes me really excited to see what Level-5 can do with a sequel, maybe even on PS4.

That's my list. Thanks for reading. I really liked these games, and I hope you did too! (:

11 Comments

Hello Giant Bomb, my name is Ryan, and thank you

And I have been here for a few days over a year now. My lust for Giant Bomb(And since then, Whiskey Media), however, began long before that. I will que, December 3rd, 2009. The Joystiq Meta Review changed my life forever. It was here that I peered my hungry little eyes into the comment section. What did I find? What you can find for yourself here
 
I went, I saw, I was conquered. I had never seen a website in all my life that was both funny and informative. Just saying those words together, the swift sensation of TBS flushed over my entire being. Okay not really but the shit was hilarious and I've never seen something like that before. I was like, okay cool, this website might be special. I didn't know Jeff Gerstmann was behind it(Or even how to spell his name!) until someone mentioned it. I only knew Jeff like I'd imagine most of you do today: The guy who was fired for reviewing Kane and Charles Manson or whatever it was.
 
It was internet love at first site. No, not for Jeff Gerstmann. I only love him in the most professional way possible without becoming homoerotic or creepy, but we'll save that for one anti-depressant fueled blog post later. I lurked this website and I lurked it haaaaard(Just look at all them fuckin' a's). Of course, during this time, my father was dying of cancer. Safe to say, my life at that point was complete shit. Seeing someone you have spent your entire life with just, degrade, was not a fun process. Thankfully, Giant Bomb was a nice salvation. It was easy to go back two or three pages and catch up on some QL's, maybe even watch the Rogue Warrior QL again.
 
In fact, to be specific, I was watching the Celebrity Poker quick-look when I received word that my father was living his final moments. It was pretty terrible.
 
It wasn't until around my birthday that I signed up. I can't remember if I signed up on my birthday or not, but I do remember I subscribed on my birthday. This site was the shit. The community was the best and the worst all at the same time and the moderators didn't suck. It was weird how this site could have existed in any such capacity that I was unaware of it for so long. But I found it. And I found it haaaa-okay enough of that.
 
I remember I was so surprised when I got my shirt because it had taken so long getting here I completely forgot about it. Then I put it on. Oh my god. It was magical. How funny is it that the best shirt I've ever owned was one I got from this website? It was so soft, so comfortable, so perfect. It's my colors. I wear that shirt when shit is about to go south.  People can see the authority that shirt commands just rippling through my soul. It's perfect.
 
This shirt has seen a lot of hard times though. It's got a few tiny holes and the logo on both the front and the back are cracked beyond all hell, though still easily recognizable. When I die, I'm taking this thing with me. It's my soulmate. My soulmate is made by American Apparel.
 
The most peculiar thing I've ever experienced on the internet, however, is the fact that we can fucking swear the shit out of these forums at any given goddamn moment. You don't understand how amazing this is. I went to the forums I used to go to a long time ago and called one of my buddies, JOKINGLY, a stupid idiot-face. And I got a warning. I've called people worse things on this website and, a few days over a year so far, not a single warning. NOTHING. Like, the fuck dude. This place is a haven. Any other website, I would have been banned at least once by now. Or multiple times. Maybe even a dozen. Nope. Not a one.
 
So far, I haven't found anything bad about this website, except maybe the horrendous hatred people seem to have for Bioware. It's almost comparable to Reddit's supreme hatred for any religion. It's scary. But then again, this isn't a review for this website, so who gives a shit.
 
It was funny really, how shortly after I signed up, they announced Alex was leaving for New York. It bummed me out a bunch, because that guy is as cool as chrome wheels going 125 miles per hour down route 66. That shit is cool. It was like I was the cause or something. But time goes on, Alex is still here in some regard, and the site is still inspiring. I think if any other website had as dedicated a fanbase as you guys, well, never mind, because no other website DOES have a community so dedicated. So suck on that, commies.
 
I recently sent in the payment for my second yearly subscription at Whiskey Media, and I would like to extend my hand to not just the community, but the staff as well, for making something smoother and hotter than greased lightning itself, something sweeter than sugar , and more accessible than... a website?(Yeah, I got nothing)
 
So, no. This isn't as heartwarming as finding the absolute love of my life(Unless comedy counts, I like comedy a lot. I don't want to brag but I think we have something special), so, thanks. Thanks for making this husk of a man find comfort in the confines of virtual space. And thanks for being so tootin awesome :)
 

 Thank you Whiskey Media and co(In this case "co" stands for community!) (That's you!)
63 Comments

N7's Game Of The Year Extravaganza Now With Extra Content!

Presented by Sexy

EDIT: Added in Portal 2 since the editor seems to be working. And this is the finalized version of my GOTY list!

The end of the year. The end of the crazy magnitude of high profile video game releases. The beginning, however, to happiness, joy, and eggnog. It is also to the beginning to the Game Of The Year discussions. As Spike TV will be rolling out it's Video Game Awards tonight, I thought it would be fitting if I would put together my own list, instead of giving out specific awards, it would mostly be aimed towards video games I have enjoyed throughout the year.

I saw a couple other topics on it, so I figured why not. A couple of days ago I began to hunt down video games I have played, the ones I liked, what I didn't, and my overall Game Of The Year. And after quite a bit of work, quite a bit of typing and some image hunting, this is what I have to show for it.

It would be great if someone could read through this and give me their opinions. So if you will allow me, let us get this show on the road.

Top Four

Portal 2

For some reason I keep wanting to type this down as Portale 2. I don't know why.

O DEY YU R

Portal. A game that caught the world by surprise as being the pinnacle of innovation and in the process, being funny and witty and overall smart. It was unfortunate that I was never too interested in the first Portal, and when I did play it, I actually ended up not liking it. But I always knew what Portal was. It just never interested me much. Until Portal 2.

Portal 2 starts out being more or less the same, gameplay wise, and at the same time, it doesn't. It's an entirely new take on what the first game was and an incredible experience, crafted by minds smarter than you or I times a thousand. Portal 2 has charm in its very core.

The most awesome character ever

It was such a unique game to me, as I've never experienced a puzzle that stumped me for twenty minutes until I screw around and do something right. "Oh, you mean all I had to do was pick up this block and aim the lazer that way?". It's funny to think that you can dramatically overthink the puzzles in this game as much as you can. Knowing what Portal was, and seeing enough about it online to see for myself what it was, I knew how crazy and complex it could be. So when I would run into rather simple filler-puzzles, I would never be able to look at them at their face value, instead offering a much more methodical and intense look at what the outcome COULD be.

It does exactly what it sets out to do, and it does it right, in fact, better than most other games. It's such a simple yet unique little game that is loaded with so much charm, so much style, and so much personality, that it makes me wonder just how much black magic Valve had to use to forge this thing into existence.

And then there's Wheatly. I've never seen such an enigmatic and hilarious video game character in my life. Being the central buddy in the game, it was almost like he was responsible for the game being great. Him, Cave Johnson and GlaDOS are the main storytellers in this game, as Chell is just an empty husk which allows you to use her as an avatar to experience this world, much like Gordon Freeman of Half-Life glory. The supporting cast makes this game what it is, by instilling such unique personalities into everything they do. GlaDOS with her insufferably dark, yet hilarious insults. Cave Johnson for being an intense man-of-men and for having the voice of a champion. And Wheatly for being such a fun character.

Portal 2 is much more of a minimalistic game than I was expecting, but that's no indication on quality or length, as it was actually a pretty long game. And in being so minimalistic, there's not much that I can even think to write about. It's a game that you have to play to believe.

It has, by far, the most personality out of any other game this year. And is one of the best, no less.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I had never played a Deus Ex game before. Especially hearing bad things about the sequel turned me off completely. Like Mass Effect 2, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was it an an FPSRPG. And that was all I needed to be excited.

When I began the game, it was something very unreal to me... Mostly because it was pretty much a first person Metal Gear Solid. I had no idea if this is what the past Deus Ex games were like, but I was liking it so far.

He had style, he had flare, he was there. That's how he never asked for this.

The way the game presented the multiple paths to you were sometimes a problem; I wouldn't see a convenient manhole cover until I had already knocked out all of the sentries. That was an issue that happened to me all the time. As if the game were at one point supposed to tell you "HEY! HEY! OVER HERE!", but ended up not working properly. That was almost the entirety of my issue with the game, but other than that, I was pleasantly surprised.

The way the story plays out, you are just Adam Jensen. You were loving life one day, just having a ball with your girlfriend being a gravelly-voiced bodyguard. And then your life turns bad. Real bad. Your company gets raided by a group of Ghost In The Shell rejects, your girlfriend gets kidnapped and you get beat nearly to death, losing your arms, eyes, and almost your life. You're pissed. You're angry at the world and at yourself for letting this happen. You never asked for this. You never asked for anything. But here it is, in your face, and you have to deal with it.

I never asked for Otacon

But the game isn't about the first few hours into it, and cannot be summarized by what happens during those hours. It's later on down the line when you have to sneak into a police HD, it's when you're sneaking behind an army of thugs with nothing but a stun gun and your ability to sneakysnake around them.

I never asked to be cool.

This game can be summarized by one word: "Cool". This game is nothing but cool. Everything about it is just... Cool. The overall design is badass, the story, while pretty crazy at some points, is actually pretty good. The characters can be a little annoying(Adam in particular because he never asked for this), but they are pretty cool too, for the most part. But, in my opinion, what sets this game apart is the two directions you can take with it: Will you go in murderously gunsablazin, or non-lethally and stealthy? I feel it was exzecuted very well and it never really feels forced. There are some points in which you undoubtedly have to save and try again until you get it right, but that's just a part of the fun for me.

After 40 or so hours of the game and many a-sneakin', I was rather disappointed to see that I had killed three people by the end of it... Which was quite curious considering I never even used a single gun in the game, but it was still a pretty good game for me. It took the style and flare of the cyberpunk genre, introducing me to a series I had no idea about, and in the process being a pretty damn fun stealth-action RPG.

While not the best game ever made, it was certainly a game I'm glad I got the chance to finish. And certainly one of the best of the year.

Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception

Lookin' for love in all the wrong plane crashes

I remember when Uncharted: Drakes Fortune came out. The game didn't interest me because I didn't know what to think of it. I wasn't quite sure what it was. I kept being told "YOU NEED THIS GAME" by almost everyone, but I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out why that game was so great. And it wasn't until Among Thieves was announced that I need Uncharted in my life. I had never been hyped up by a trailer more than the Among Thieves trailer, which resulted in my decision to obtain Drakes Fortune under any means necessary. And so I did. And I love it so.

Two games later, my love for Uncharted is even more than I anticipated. With a video game version of a younger and much more charming Indiana Jones, it was hard for me to find any reason to hate it. The series had introduced characters that were so real in everything they did(Aside from mass genocide) that it was hard for me to NOT like them, even Flynn, the jerk. When I got my hands on Uncharted 3, I didn't know what to expect. I knew it was going to be more than I could imagine, and so my hype had maxed out and exploded all over my wall. It was a messy scene.

As I play Uncharted 3, I get immersed in this world of such deep realism. An entirely fictional world deeply rooted in mystical treasure and the dark void of the unknown. It was this modern day treasure hunter Nathan Drake that I was attached to. Him, all of his cohorts and everyone involved. Such deep natured people in this completely fake video game. It's an incredible achievement that everyone talks about nonstop, but it's ever so present in Uncharted 3. Charlie Cutter being one of the best new characters from a video game since Wheatly. And they do a great job with these characters until about the half way mark of the game, where some of these characters are never heard from again. Disappointing in almost every way possible, yes, but from the first few minutes of this game, you see immoderately the direction this game is taking: The relationship between Drake and Sully.

No jivin'?

It's pretty clear in the other games that Drake and Sully are the best of friends, but it isn't until Uncharted 3 that we get to see exactly what extent it was. And it was an amazing moment in the video game. Definitely one of the most heartwarming moments in any video game I had ever played before. It was this deep connection to Sully that you get to see, and even feel at times. It's these real characters, that you can feel for and care about, with an added layer of, well, love. As cheesy as it is, they definitely pull it off in such a fashion that left me almost in tears, and at the same time, completely crazed out in excitement that I got to see something like this happen. Long story short, it was a sweet addition that hit close to home.

The man of the hour! Mr. Charlie Cutter!

The Uncharted series is one built on cinematic grounds. Everything about the game is something straight out of a blockbuster movie. Uncharted 2 had a lot of that going for it, and with the set pieces in Uncharted 3, I thought they were better than ever. At least two parts in this game have left me absolutely breathless. The graphics, soundtrack, personality of it all comes out in full force in some of the best scenes I have seen in a video game. And the coolest part is, they're all playable. Every one of them is a fully playable chaotic mess of fun and more fun. Whereas some games would do what this does in a cutscene, Drakes Deception is fully playable and totally crazy, in a good way.

It's easy to get angry at Uncharted 3 for not matching the levels of Uncharted 2, but the sad fact is, Uncharted 2 was almost a freak accident. They threw everything they had at it and it ended up being one of the most beloved video games of its time, and an instant classic to many. Uncharted 3, on the other hand, took those same levels of creativity and added more to them and made them bigger and crazier than anything from the second game. Maybe they didn't go far enough in one place, and maybe they went too far in another. But the point being, Uncharted fans are dedicated and want only the best that they can get. And it's easy to resonate with. And yes, while there are a couple of pretty big plot holes that they never really seemed to go ANYWHERE with, it's easier to think of those things as shoot-and-forget plot devices that maybe they were hoping people wouldn't focus to much on. That didn't work out as well, to a negative effect on the game, and we may never know just what they were thinking.

Dysfunctional is their middle name

Whatever the case, I thought Uncharted 3 was easily one of the best games this year. You can't have what Uncharted has and not be the best. So yes, while Drakes Deception wasn't as good as Among Thieves, you might want to take a look at just how good Among Thieves was. You can't beat 100%, or so they say.

Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection

The infamous title

Metal Gear Solid games earn a lot of flak with each announcement, release, delay, etc. The story, too bananas for some people. The gameplay, too campy, not action enough. The cutscenes, too long. Growing up, I had never played the original Metal Gear Solid myself. I once saw a family member play it from beginning to the first Psycho Mantis encounter. Back when I was a kid, it was just a game to me. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing I thought I'd ever be interested in. And years later, I played Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty. It changed my life.

Sure, it's pretty weird to say a video game changed my life. I won't deny it. Sure, I may seem obsessed with it at times, but when I was a stupid kid who did nothing but say "OH DUDE THAT'S GAY HAHA YOU'RE GAY I'M GAY THE WORLD'S GAY", it was almost a revelation. It made me look at things differently, for video games. It almost, dare I say, woke me up. I had this new found passion for stories and creating. From the day I experienced Sons Of Liberty until the day I beat it, I was lost in a world of vivid characters with a deep compelling story that would shame even Hollywood. The pinnacle of storytelling for video games and interactive entertainment. It was this rich world where everything had a reason for being. Nothing had a face value; there was a reason for everything.

My idol.

And, suffice to say, I fell in love. With the characters, the story, the game, everything about it. It wasn't a game at that point, it was an experience to me. From that day forward, I knew that my place was in the creative department. I can't draw, I can't code, my mind would implode at the simple thought of what C++ is. My destiny was writing. I knew that one day, no matter what got in my way, I would do what my idol does: I would create. Hideo Kojima inspired me to want to write fiction. It was something I would have never found myself interested in had I not gotten my hands on Metal Gear Solid 2.

It makes me wonder what would have happened, had I not played Sons Of Liberty. Where would I be today? Surely I would have obtained this passion some other way, right? Who knows? The point being, Metal Gear Solid 2 had a major impact on my life, and made me put things in perspective for the first time.

Richard Gere...!?

And then Metal Gear Solid 3 game out. I remember going into Gamestop and getting Snake Eater and a strategy guide. I'm actually pretty sure it came with the guide somehow, because I've never found an interest in them. But anyway. For the next week, that game was my life. It didn't necessarily have as huge of an impact on me as Sons Of Liberty did, as I was already a somewhat mature individual who has at least SOME sense, but it was a fantastic experience and a master fictional craft that I will never forget about.

The characters, so complex and mysterious that I would WANT the game to explain them to me for hours on end. Gameplay so hell bent on hiding in plain site that you'd lay right next to an unaware enemy as the tension rises higher and higher until you feel like your heart is going to explode. A look at a fictional Cold War with fictional events that somehow manage to make room from the reality for it all to settle in.

It was a game, that, for a time, felt like it was designed just for me. I found it so perfect in every aspect that I just can never manage to forget it. It was a part of my life for a while and these games made impressions on me that I'll never let go.

The HD Collection also comes with the newest of the series; Peace Walker. Peace Walker is a weird game on many accounts. Going from full on stealth action and intense battles to micro-missions designed for co-op play. And the weirdest thing of all was the fact that it worked so beautifully. It felt exactly like a Metal Gear Solid game. Nothing was lost in translation from Portable Ops to Guns Of The Patriots to Peace Walker; but it had all of the best from both worlds.

Wanna know how I got these scars?

The ability to capture and recruit soldiers to build your own army and staff it with crew ranging from Otacon's father to the "mentor" of Solid Snake himself. Peace Walker bridges somewhat of a gap between Big Boss as a soldier, and Big Boss as a mercenary and it's more than welcome.

From recruiting soldiers, to fighting crazy bosses, to saving the world as only Big Boss can, Peace Walker is a hoot. On the PSP, I put in over 135 hours and I'm catching up rapidly on the PS3, and it feels even better with dual-analog controls.

Peace Walker struck a cord with me when I began playing it. From the first mission to the ending, I was so into it that I couldn't believe it was actually a thing. They had managed to take Metal Gear Solid and turn it into a pseudo-RPG. While, yes, Portable Ops did do all of this years before, it was regarded as the black sheep of the MGS games. Even Peace Walker makes no reference to it. And by all accounts, Peace Walker does it better. Being able to create your own Metal Gear is an amazing feature and the level of customization, while relatively linear, is welcome in more ways than one as it adds some personality to the game.

Make no mistake: While I'm not sitting here talking about how Peace Walker changed my life or praising it as a masterpiece, it's an amazing game on all accounts and one of my favorites of the entire series, as it shows the birth of Big Boss and Outer Heaven.

An amazing collection with three amazing games. Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection, while consisting of games which game outer years and years ago, is still one of the best games I've played this year, and rightfully so

Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2. What can be said about Mass Effect 2 that hasn't already? Aside from making me feel like no other RPG has managed since Knights Of The Old Republic, Mass Effect 2 was one of the best games I have ever played. Ever. In my life.

I made the right choice.

Aside from managing to capture what I loved so dearly about Knights Of The Old Republic, I actually hadn't followed Bioware at all since getting older and growing into adulthood. I had no idea who they were as a company, or as creators. I had no idea what to expect. So when I played the 60 Minute Trial on the Playstation 3, I had only managed to procure a little sample of the game, but it told me everything I needed to know to get unbelievably hyped up for the title, which released a mere few days away.

When the game came out, it was like a match made in heaven. Everything that I loved about Knights Of The Old republic was coming back, allbeit in a less than KOTOR way, and instead more of a shooter than the traditional RPG combat found in Bioware games. It was the charm, the style, the setting, everything about the game was aesteticly pleasing. But, not just the asthetics. It was the gameplay, the decision making, the squad chatter, the way you upgrade the Normandy, gain party members and interact with them. I was blown away completely by what this game presented. I could not comprehend how I could resonate with a game so much. There was not a single thing that I had an issue with, combat, story, or mechanic wise. It was unrelenting bliss for me to play.

Mass Effect 2 launched for the Xbox 360 and the PC the year prior, so I had plenty of time to hear about it. How "amazing" it was. Truth be told, I really hated this game before I played it because no one would shut up about it. And when they announced it for the Playstation 3, it was even more annoying that I'd have to experience it all over again. I was so wrong about Mass Effect 2, and I couldn't have been happier about it.

The sexy choice.

Mass Effect introduced me to a series I had no pertaining interest in. It introduced me to Bioware for the first time in years and brought back a deep feeling of nostalgia. It gave me more entertainment in one month than many other games have given me in years. And aside from never playing too much of the first Mass Effect, it has definitely secured me firmly on board the Mass Effect fanboy train, whose next stop at Mass Effect 3 has me more giddy than I think I've ever been for a game.

But all games have to end sometime, and end it did. Once I was finished with the game, there was only one more thing I wanted: More Mass Effect. Having the Playstation 3 version, I had all of the DLC(Up until Arrival), so there was nothing I could do to obtain more. I had everything there was, and that was kind of a bummer. It is a pretty crazy and maybe even irrational thought that buying DLC that I should have already had access to would have given me more than I would have experienced for the first time, but I was on a Mass Effect high that I didn't want to come down from. And after obtaining the Platinum trophy, purchasing Arrival and going through once at Femshep, I knew the only thing that could cure Mass Effect Fever was more Mass Effect. And when Mass Effect 3 was announced, it was Metal Gear Solid 4 all over again. Never have I been so hyped for a video game in all of my life, but that's a story for another time.

And that is why Mass Effect 2 is my Game Of The Year.

Notable Mentions

Fight Night Champion

Adolf Drago on the left

The newest iteration of the Fight Night series, Champion is a somewhat fresh take on the franchise as it makes introduction to a feature not found in any previous entries; A story. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for a boxing movie. Raging Bull, Rocky, you name it, I'm there.

While having a really entertaining story, it was a sad shame that the gameplay was limited to being nothing but a mini-game at that point. One fight forcing you not to use your left hand, the other fight using a dirty ref so the other character can cheap-shot you time and time again, and another fight forcing a cut to be opened in the first second of the fight. It's such a shame because the game was going so good for the first couple of fights, and then coming up short and having nothing to show for it.

But, it was a fun addition and one of the better games I've played this year. From fighting your rival, Adolf Drago, to putting away your girlfriends sleezy and corrupt father, Fight Night Champion is an excellent game.

Resistance 3

LOOK HOW DISTRAUGHT I AM

Fall Of Man launched with the Playstation 3 back in the dark ages of the generation. It was unlike no other, as people have said time and time again. It was this really solid shooting experience layed onto a great foundation coupled with a really interested story. And then Resistance 2 showed up, pretty much ruining everything the first had set in place. It burned a lot of people, and in my opinion, failed to live up to the hype.

So when Resistance 3 was announced, everyone started to grit their teeth. It's a safe bet that everyone was wrong about Resistance 3. It came out and basically gave the finger to its predecessor. It had even better shooting mechanics, really interesting set pieces and some extremely interesting story moments.

It would have easily been one of my top games of the year, had the campaign been too short compared to other games we have today. Being able to beat it in four hours by myself and in another four for co-op, Resistance 3 really go the distance. Make no mistake, that is no indicator of the quality found within the game, as it trumpths everyone else in terms of quality, just not quantity.

inFamous 2

I'm the DJ at the disco of Pain!

inFamous 2. Not much to be said about this game other than how much I loved it dearly. It was such a great game compared to the first, and it improved almost everything there was to improve. From changing Cole from some European raver to something a little more familiar and recognizable.

Not to mention the inclusion of some pretty awesome new powers and the User Generated Content part of it. The problem with inFamous 2 is almost ironic. The world is so full of live, and at the same time, it's so devoid of it. The effort and talent that went into the soundtrack, yet there's no much music in the open world part of the game, save for the cutscenes. Sometimes it got a little dull. And then there's the ending of the game which people managed to predict from a couple of weeks after the first inFamous. It just felt like a low blow to someone like me, who is a huge fan of the series.

There is a lot to this game, and at the same time, there's not. But like Resistance 3, this is no indication of quality or quantity, as this game is unrealistically polished in almost every aspect, and is a pretty long game. It just feels like something is missing.

Agree? Disagree? Comments and opinions? What is your Game Of The Year?

18 Comments

How to build a B-...Website?

So, a few days ago, I had an idea: I was going to make a website.
 
Weird as it is to say, I've always wanted a website. It's my "internet dream". I've been attempting here and there for years, since I was new to the internet. It actually ended up working out pretty well at times. I'd sign up for a free website and be amazed at all the content and flexibility I was given. But the reasons for those free websites often varied from joining a video game clan to making one for the hell of it. Since those days, my luck in finding free websites have been pretty much zero. All the good ones are gone, and I can't remember which ones I used to use.
 
The day of owning a website is almost here. I finally convinced some of my friends to get behind me and support this idea. To actually have everyone chip in with actual money(NO MORE FREE WEBSITES!!) and buy a website.
 
For the design of the website, the idea came to me from Giant Bomb, actually. I went through some of their older videos a few weeks ago and found their "How To Build A Bomb" videos, and in one of them, Jeff(Or Ryan, I can't remember) shows off their white board, in which they have actually drawn out how the website is going to look. I saw it. My brain registered it and realized what it was for. But for some reason, it just didn't "click" in my head until a few days ago, at like 3AM when I realized that I had opened up Photoshop and couldn't remember why. Then it hit me. I could actually design the website right there, or lay a general guideline to what it would look like.
 
I'm not quite sure why, but somewhere along the line I started to think that the only people who could "design" a website were, well, designers. Graphic designers, artists, coders, developers, you get the point.  I never really thought of how it could be done, only that you need the magical title of a creative person to make it happen. As it so happens, you don't actually need that.
 
So, for the days of recent, I've been working as hard as I could to churn out a design that looked fantastic. It needs to be fantastic, because I'm picky, and I figure if I'm going to actually do something, I'm going to try to do it right. Or, I'm going to try to get as far as I can before I realize that I'm not very good at this type of thing and whisper in the wind the cries of help that I so desperately crave.
 
Since I was a kid, I've always been about entertaining people. That bell rings true even today. I just like to make people laugh. And when I met my friend Edward in 2007, that expanded greatly. From telling jokes and being sarcastic, I ended up helping him write Machinima's that would end up getting viewed hundreds of thousands of times. We've since grown into great friends over time, even picking up a few extra people to our "posse" along the way. And in doing so, this website is going to be our headquarters. Our base of operations. A place to expand into something different over time, just like how one day Giant Bomb was just a website, and today it's an internet sensation leaving poser sites behind. A sensation outweighing even that of Bieber Fever. It expanded from video games to things like TANG, the Endurance Run, and just about anything else. For some people, it is the internet.
 
Our group have a bunch of things in common, one thing moreso than the others: Metal Gear Solid. We've all been lifelong fans of MGS. It's been my dream, personally, to get me an MGS website that's just about stuff, you know. Just stuff. But then I got to thinking, MGS isn't exactly a hot topic today. It's not much of an "in" thing to discuss, and most people would rather joke around and make fun of MGS than actually talk about it(Given, I'm not white-knighting MGS, people can do what they want). But to us, and all of the people we're associated with, we all share a passion for MGS. I know in my case, I absolutely wouldn't be into gaming if it wasn't for Metal Gear Solid(Sons Of Liberty, in particular). It was a great game.
 
The idea of MGS not being a "hot commodity" right now got me thinking. Since me and all of my friends are all huge fans of it, maybe the site doesn't have to just be about Metal Gear? Maybe Metal Gear Solid is just the foundation for what the website really is; our Headquarters. Our base of internet operations, or inter-ops, if you like Peace Walker.
 
The website would be where we can start new things. Create new skits, new Machinima, anything else we can dream up. The only problem being, where to start? How does one build a website?
 
Domain name? Done. Hosting. Done. Email addresses? Done! But how do you create the pixels and forge the code? That's the question I ask myself, the question I am now asking you.
 
It does sound kind of pathetic, even I'll agree, to say that I worked extremely hard on creating only this(Image below). And now that I have the opportunity to post it for reference, I do feel embarrassed that I've done what I've done. But it's merely an example I was creating that only my friends were going to see, to give them an idea of what the site might look like. So, yeah, it was never going to be seen by anyone other than four people. 
 

Personally, I think it looks fantastic. I am a huge fan of the design. Although, I wasn't finished with it, and it would need a LOT more work for it to even be passable as a GeoCity website. This is the most recent version. It's too big, but it's best to work big, that way you can make it smaller, if need be.
 
The thing I'm concerned about is, maybe this will NEVER be a website? Maybe this is only something I can look at and say "Well, at least I tried". I'd be hugely disappointed. Especially from seeing what you can do on the internet. I'm sure it CAN be done, just not how.
 
I was reading this tutorial about some guy making a website entirely with Photoshop, but I got lost almost immediately because my version of Photoshop is vastly different from the one he was using. Different enough to make it impossible to do exactly what he was doing, only because he had already created the code needed to make it a website, and I'd have to do exactly what he was doing, without doing my own thing and following his examples. So, that didn't go very well.
 
And on the subject of tutorials, it seems like I can never find one that relates to the specific question of "How do I take THIS, and turn it into code?". I'm not sure how it's possible, and I don't mean that as in "There's noooo waaay! :(". I mean that as in, how the hell do I do this?
 
I'm sure once I figured out how, it would be very simple. I'm not using this in my bullet-point conference(Not something I'm really proud of, but something that allowed me to learn certain things), but I'm really good at taking things other people made and tweaking the hell out of it until I get it right(Like templates and whatnot). I used to do that YEARS ago with Gaia Online profiles, and I used to be really good at it. But unfortunately, this is something of my own design and I can't just find a template and tweak it into this.
 
I heard something about Adobe Dreamweaver allowing you to take pictures from your harddrive and actually create the code by placing them around and designing the website visually while it creates the code for it. Something like having a disassembled website and using Dreamweaver to put it together.
 
Would any duder with the proper knowledge help a brother? I'm not quite sure where to start with taking that picture and making it into a code to use to actually have a website. I've got the basic design without any of the fancy trimming and added effect-pictures too, if that makes a difference. As I said, this was just an example picture. Like those billboards with an image of what the housing complex is going to look like after demolition.
 
Thanks for reading this, duders. I was originally just going to be like "YO I MAKIN A WEBSITE HOW I DO THIS", but that would have been a waste of space. I also like to explain things in great detail. I hear that's a bad thing sometimes.
21 Comments

Giant Bomb. Is. Awesome.

I've spent years on the internet, not really going to any specific gaming website. There's really never been one for me. It's always too "Herp derp super serious herp derp". I've never really found a fun one to be on. They are all too serious with little to no awesome features. This one has two that stand out: The infinite and expanding database of just about everything related to video games, and the Quick Looks. It's like Wikipedia had a baby with Raptor Zombie Mecha Jesus. You don't get more awesome than that.
 
The Quick Looks are often more hilarious than anything else I've seen, and also show me stuff about games that I would definitely want to know. The most important part about these QL's, is they are played by real gamers. Not "Herp derp benefit of the doubt". If it sucks, they're going to be like "Yeah, this game sucks". It's not an official statement by the GiantBomb review team or whatnot, but it's like a watercooler conversation.
 
Herp 1: "Hey Joe, does that game suck?"
Derp 1: "Yeah, this game sucks".
 
It's a nice change of pace that sets this place apart from the other sites out there. And while I'm not anyone special, it's really nice to find a site that's right for me and appreciate it. Especially with it's database and quests for level progression. What is this, a website or an RPG? GiantBomb crossed the streams, and it is glorious.
 
That's about it for this blog. Wouldn't you know it, my first blog is me, confessing my love for GiantBomb, and is actually quite pointless. But oh well. I appreciate GB and all they do!

Thank you, GiantBomb, for being awesome and right for me.

19 Comments