Games I've played in 2013.
Games I've played in 2013.
After all the backlash this game got I was worried but, surprisingly, found it way more enjoyable than most seemed to. I loved the world, the new elements like hunting and building the homestead. I'm a sucker for American history and Connor felt like a nice change of pace for the series. Overall, really enjoyed it, did almost everything in the game except for a few naval missions.
A lot like the first game I loved so much. The loot is still appealing, the guns feel great, questing is addictive. The writing in this game seemed more annoying than the last time, characters just spout out memes and inane chatter but the core gameplay is so good I would suffer through just about anything. I'm bummed to say I didn't complete every sidequest (had about 10 left before I returned it to Gamefly) but maybe someday I'll pick up a copy and max out my character.
I appreciate what this game is trying to do by combining elements of games like Super Metroid and Ikaruga. The exploration and sense of place this game creates is wonderful. I described the artstyle as jungle-Tron. It really is beautiful to look at. However, after about halfway through the game I must admit I got tired of the red/blue mechanic and often felt more frustration than fun.
What can I say that hasn't already been said about this game? It's a delight. The 3D is great, the platforming feels right, the levels are wonderful- it's Nintendo at the top of their game. When I first got my 3DS I only had Mario Kart 7 and was feeling a little so-so on the handheld overall. This game, however, totally justifies the 3DS for me.
A better game than RE6 which just seems mindblowing to me. The game feels perfectly crafted for a handheld with shorter-levels, episode re-caps, claustrophobic scares, and great use of 3D. It's impressive that Capcom managed to make a game that feels so at-home on the 3DS yet never made me feel like I was playing a lesser-than entry in the series. Revelations felt scary, diverse, and a true sequel in one of my favorite franchises.
Wrapping up episodes 3, 4, and 5. Touch choices and an overall sense of feeling shitty doesn't make for a bad game. While I don't agree with many critics that this is the best game of 2012 (I think the actual PLAYING of the game is boring and laborious) the story really was something to behold. Caring as much for Clementine as I did was unlike anything else in a game I played before. Great characters, crushing twists and turns.
Game ranks up there with Journey as another short-lived but beautiful, artful experience. Loved the art and twists on mechanics. I would have liked to spend more time in this world but for the purposes of the story they were trying to tell it felt right.
Being a huge Metal Gear fan I knew I had to check this out. While I enjoyed a lot of what this game had to offer including the combat (zandatsu and the cutting mechanics are really cool), I didn't find myself as enthralled with the story and brevity of the experience. Raiden has been redeemed as a character for me since MGS4 and while I dug certain plot-points, overall I couldn't shake the feeling that this seemed like a rescued project. Still, Platinum did a good job salvaging it and I'm glad we got this game in some form rather than nothing. This game also reminded me a lot of No More Heroes in terms of structure. Go to a mission, fight waves of enemies, get to a big boss battle, repeat.
Being a huge Dead Space fan, it was as close to a sure-bet as you can get that I would like this. I was nervous about the co-op which I've skipped for my fist play-through and stuck with single-player. The atmosphere is the same Dead Space I've come to love with beautiful, horrifying environments with changes to gameplay systems that feel... 90% at home with the franchise. The new weapon crafting system is fun but the universal ammo brings an end to being frugal with your shots. I've also found this to be a bit too easy on Normal and not as scary as previous entries. Still loving the combat though and hope it gets harder on higher difficulties.
A short but sweet little iOS game. It's creepy, emotional, and innovative. The puzzles aren't necessarily the most inventive in the genre, but exploring the world and savoring the lore makes this a very memorable app. Combined with the Year Walk Companion app which really adds to the story and gameplay, this was time and money well-spent. I can't think of too many games who spread puzzles across two apps like this one did.
I was blown the hell away by this game. I loved it way beyond my expectations. Going in, I was looking for a game kind of like Uncharted but having tried to play recent TR games like Underworld, I was skeptical they could get the character movement and action right. Boy was I way way wayyyy wrong. This game has quickly shot up to not just what I predict will be my game of the year but one of my favorites this generation. This was a long time in development and you can really feel the five years of work when you play it. Lara is beautifully acted by Camilla Luddington, the story is a mix of Lost and classic Tomb Raider mysticism, the action is wonderful, the exploration is the best parts of Batman Arkham Asylum. Essentially this game turned out to be a mix of all the things I like: Lost, Batman, Uncharted, exploration, great storytelling, and more.
I love the way it hides it's loading by having Lara crawl through tight spaces.
I love the UI, the choice of fonts, colors, and design elements.
I love the action and shooting with the bow is super satisfying.
I love the over-the-top action sequences even though some of the were frustrating.
I love the set-pieces.
I love the mystery of the island.
I love the characters like Roth.
I love the nod to dual-wielding pistols.
I love how it leaves things open for a sequel.
I love this game.
The thing I liked most about this game is the variety of gameplay throughout the missions- one minute you're rounding up hobos and throwing them into a garbage truck for disposal the next you're re-playing the infamous dam level from TMNT on the NES. It felt like every story mission was going to offer something very different and, for 62 stages, that was essentially true. The graphics, the loving nods to pop culture, everything just screams attention to detail and a profound respect for the source material. The writing is subversive, ridiculous, and funny. My only issue when playing this game was the final boss which had a difficulty spike like no other. After about an hour or more, I finally beat it but didn't necessarily feel great about it once the adrenaline subsided. Still, this was a loving tribute to my childhood and I'm simultaneously thankful and blown away that one dude made it.
For a $3 iOS game it's hard to complain when something is so clearly developed to work towards the strengths of the platform. It's great in short bursts, the tilt and touch controls are very cleverly done, and the music & graphics are great. While I agree the game is fun, I'm a bit confused as to why it's getting as much hype as it is.
Played this as part of the massive HD God of War saga collection. Considering it was originally on the PSP, I was surprised by what they managed to do. A little light on boss battles and you can tell the usual scale/scope was toned-down for the handheld but overall this was a nice, short but sweet, surprise.
Really got burned on this one. The touch controls on the iPhone are pretty lackluster and while I appreciate how ridiculous the story is, I was let-down by this. I bought it because I am a huge Suda 51 and Grasshopper fan but this wasn't their best effort.
Got this for free with PS+. I only went through the game once with a set of characters and while you can certainly go back through to experience new sections, I just didn't find the puzzles interesting enough to want to go back in. There are definitely some clever moments and the writing is funny without being overbearing, but I wasn't blown away. However, for a short little puzzle game I think that's ok. Enjoyable but not memorable.
Heard so much praise for this back in the early Vita days. It's a fun little platformer with some nifty puzzles here and there. However, I don't think I loved it as much as some seem to. That's not to say it's bad- it's actually quite good. I like the art style, the platforming physics seem right on and I enjoy how they mix up the various mechanics (gravity, magnetism, etc.)
An incredible world was built. A mind-bending sci-fi story was told. A connection was made between Booker and Elizabeth. Themes of racism, nationalism, blind patriotism, fanaticism, religion, and more were explored. Jaw-dropping set pieces were... exploded. Combat mechanics were mastered. I tried my best to savor every moment of this game, knowing my first experience with it would be unique. I loved the combat, particularly how the outdoor arenas had a sense of verticality to them, integrating the zip-lines and Elizabeth's rift/warp ability. The guns felt better than the original Bioshock though I found myself sticking with 1 or 2 of the vigor abilities, rarely seeing a need to diversify my strategy other than for variety's sake. The gear also felt like a missed opportunity, at least with my play-style. Rarely did I come across a new piece of gear that felt like it made any great impact on my odds against the bad guys. The enemies in this game didn't stick out to me as much as something like, say, the Big Daddy. The Handyman was a pushover though I did like the Patriot automatons. While I liked the story and larger themes at play, I felt like the issues brought up in the first half tapered off as the game went on and got progressively more focused on the sci-fi aspects. Still, the ending was a treat to experience.
Played the Vita version which looks gorgeous thanks to the handheld screen. The style has stood the test of time, for me. Still love the art and music. However, I really hate the mission structure because there's nothing more annoying than failing one of the VERY LONG levels because you couldn't find the last tag. Also, the cops are way too aggressive in this, makes playing a bummer. So while the mechanics haven't aged gracefully, it's still nice to see this game again and appreciate what Sega was going for back then.
Finally booted it up once it went free for PS+. Writing this after my first night playing, managed to clear out the first stage and defeat Phalanx. Didn't lose any souls but I did die once and have to go retrieve them. Right away, I can see what people love about this game. The combat is tough but fair, just takes getting used to the animations. The difficulty is going to be a problem for me eventually because I just don't have the patience or time to devote hours that'll be "wasted" if I lose a bunch of souls. Going to stick with it as long as I can because the world is intriguing.
After 46 hours, I managed to beat this game and it was truly one of the most rewarding experiences I've had with a video game. While the initial hours with it are tough, the game almost decreases in challenge the further you go. It's difficult but only if you're careless or reckless. By the end of the game I found myself rarely dying, stocked with plenty of healing items and plenty powerful. Still, I was in awe of my final hours and immediately started a New Game+ file to tinker with from time to time.
This game makes a great first impression. It's full of character, it's funny, the ghost hunting/vacuuming mechanic is fun, and exploring the spooky mansions is a good adventure. Some inventive boss battles and excellent 3D make it worth checking out. However, I did find the last two-fifths of the game to overstay its welcome a little bit, combined with an infuriating multi-phase end boss. Still, glad I finished it. At about 12 hours it's quite a lengthier adventure than the original and, because the mechanics do get stale after awhile, I can see why the first was so short.
Vita version and it looks gorgeous on the handheld. There's a lot to like about this game's style- the animated cutscenes are spectacular (though, a bit of compression artifacting is seen on the Vita) and I love the Saturday morning cartoon-vibe. However, the gameplay structure feels a lot like a PS2 game. I wish they'd had fewer characters because they break up levels into character-specific stages, complete with different abilities. The problem is that some are more fun than others. Classic Sly stages are the most fun while Bentley's hack mini-games are a chore.
Finally got this with PS+. I'm sure Rockstar has a few tricks up their sleeve with GTAV but, after playing this game, I think they've got their work cut out for them. Now, to be fair, I think the mission structure in this game isn't anything groundbreaking. There's the "tail this guy to point X but don't get caught" mission, the "chase this guy on foot" mission, the "steal car X, evade the cops, and drop it off at the garage" mission, and so forth. However, United Front has done a tremendous job building a world that feels vibrant, dynamic, and grounded in its own bizarre reality. Not only that- it's FUN. Where other open world games often feel like a slog, this game keeps fun front of mind, cutting out a lot of the cruft that makes GTA games a bit tedious.
Since the original N64 Paper Mario game, each sequel has gotten further from being an RPG. Following Super Paper Mario, Sticker Star continues that trend. I actually like the sticker battle system, the writing continues to be fantastic, and the playfulness with characters and story is charming. It can feel a bit busted when it comes to stickers but overall it's a fun game. I actually don't mind how lacking it is in RPG mechanics but I wouldn't have minded a bit more character building.
Shadow of the Colossus HD. Re-playing the game for the bajillionth time. Still great. Still one of my favorite games of all-time.
Despite some clunky animations, I thought the combat (especially the way you can customize your combos) was good. The story and world were interesting though I think the lead character was a huge missed opportunity. It's rare to have a female protagonist and Nilin felt really flat to me. I liked the game and the combat clicked for me most of the time but holy hell does this game come to a screeching halt near the end when they decide to throw wave after wave of enemies at you. Not fun at all. Apart from a few bad moments though I enjoyed my time with it.
I was in awe of Naughty Dog's commitment to story and character development and their devotion to detail in crafting amazing environments. Mechanically, I liked the stealth in this game and felt like my survival was earned. However, more than once, I hit roadblocks where I was restarting encounters over and over again- ending the fun. While I enjoyed the ending, I also felt it was messed up pacing-wise by two steep enemy encounters that didn't feel appropriate in the moment. Issues like that aside, this game is a technical marvel and a beautiful expression artistically. Amazing to see a game like this come out with AAA standards, production values. A hell of a gamble.
I had high hopes for this game but overall was left disappointed. The story had the potential for something cool but the more paranormal elements got in the way. What was most-interesting about the Metro world were the human factions, vying for scraps of power and surviving- not the weird shadow alien things. Gameplay is a mix of what felt like rote corridor shooting and clunky stealth sections. I eventually got used to the stealth but was hoping for something more. Nevertheless, I dug the style, it looked good, and the post-nuclear apocalypse setting was neat.
Free with PS+. Decent campaign with good shooting, a nice mix of gameplay (standard FPS mixed with some showcase moments like piloting a fighter jet, etc.) and a predictably laughable story. Haven't had much of a chance to try the multiplayer but that's mostly because people have been playing it for years and I'm not in the mood to be that far behind.
I really like exploring this game with its vast Metroid-style world. The platforming isn't my favorite thing in the world, which is a shame because that's 99% of what this game has to offer. The story is often frustratingly cryptic and the writing is lazy. I wish the game offered some more direction and smoothed the rougher edges for the sake of convenience. For example, if you have an active quest and activate an additional one- you must go back to the first quest-giver in order to reactivate it. I wish you could simply pause the game, navigate through a quest menu, and reactive, rather than traveling back to the person. Little things like that add up and make what seems like a cool enough game, that's absolutely beautiful, into one I have no desire in finishing.
Got through the first world, up until the part where the game tries to bilk you for money constantly. Upgrades, power-ups, unlocking the next world (or grind previously-played levels), etc. Would've happily paid $5 to just play the game like I did the original but they've designed this sequel in such a way it's no longer fun. What a shame.
Took a while to jive with the mechanics but once I did I really enjoy the stealth/assassination gameplay. It's my first Hitman game so the story is over my head most of the time but overall it's simple enough to follow. Some of the encounters have me hitting my head against the wall but others are really well crafted, fun to pull off. Enjoyed it overall yet, strangely, kind of wish it was a bit shorter. Felt like it dragged since the mechanics don't change up much from level to level.
Most of the games by Gaijin seem fun until I actually play them. Usually, I rage-quit in a huff due to punishing difficulty and lack of checkpoints. Runner 2 is tough but the checkpoints, though sparse, are a welcome addition. It's a fun game and I see why the concept warranted a sequel. Whether I finish every level speaks more to my unwillingness to deal with the difficulty rather than how fun the game is itself.
I've been a fan of Suda 51's games since Killer 7 debuted on the Gamecube. I've stuck with him through 2 No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned, and the lackluster Lollipop Chainsaw. That last game was the first 'miss' for me, as a fan. Killer is Dead maintains what I love about Suda games, a beautiful art style, insane story, and bizarre world with unique characters. However, like his other gaming misses, Killer Is Dead fails to execute on gameplay when it matters. The combat is fun but lacks the depth of even the likes of Remember Me. I'm not looking for Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden levels of complexity from this sort of action game, but there's really not much going on here. Level designs, as well, though beautiful-looking thanks to the art, are essentially lifeless corridors. Enemies are usually bested by the same tactics and bosses were a breeze, for the most part. I had just enough fun with the game to keep me going as a Suda fan but it's obvious to me he's slipping, relying too heavily on his out-there shtick and not enough on solid gameplay design. As far as the story was concerned, I love the world he created but felt it was too disjointed, it never gelled like it did for games like Killer 7. Hope the teams at Grasshopper take some time and are able to craft a game that plays as good as it looks.
Playing on the Vita with surprisingly annoying touch-based cursor controls. Rather than just have you tap on what you want, you have to glide your finger on the front or reach touch panels to move a cursor. Just makes the experience feel very much like a port and not one engineered to work best on Vita. The game's art is beautiful which is no surprise but the puzzles are from a by-gone era of adventure game esoteric design. The jazz musician's instrument is broken? Of course you use the robot cat on it to solve the puzzle! Not all puzzles are unintuitive but most are obtuse enough to leave me feeling frustrated, even when solving them, rather than smarter.
Creepy little iOS game that's short on time-played but big on atmosphere. It's impressive how much creepiness got packed into such a little game with old-school graphics. It's a simple experience, though, one that's not really challenging or particularly complex. The story, however, is interesting and the ending- including your choices beg for interpretation. I was disappointed though once I realized, early on, that there was no real threat. I wish the scare-factor had been increased as it was quickly apparent you're never in any real danger but, then again, that's sort of the point.
Finally got around to playing this which I wanted to for a long time considering all the hype it's gotten. For an open world game, well, I question the need for an open world. The beginning is slow to get rolling but once it does it's impressive how much variety they throw your way. I didn't find it as hilarious as some people seem to but it got its share of laughs out of me. However, it never struck me as the end-all be-all masterpiece it's been made out to be. Perhaps that's a you-shoulda-been-there thing and it might've been more impressive had I played it when everyone was going crazy over it. Still a lot of fun though, there's no denying that.
I really wanted to like this game. The art style is cool and the puzzle concept is novel. But there's something missing about the execution. The stages are broken into 10 individual puzzles that, once you know the solution, can breeze through in short time. However, controlling the action and having it all work is another thing altogether. I left the game feeling frustrated, knowing that I was able to solve certain puzzles but felt hindered by manipulating the controls fast enough. Just not what I expected.
The Vita finally has an FPS worth fighting for. This felt nearly on-par with the console counterparts. I've played Killzone 2 and 3 and enjoyed parts of Mercenary more than sections of those two games. It looks absolutely gorgeous, especially on the handheld. The missions feel like a console game though, I am sure there's a lot of game dev trickery going on here. If anything feels lacking, I guess it's the sense of scale/scope the console games feature. Still, the campaign was a lot of fun and the multiplayer is really enjoyable. I love being able to play MP in bed or on the go. It really delivers on what I expected when I first got my Vita.
This was a really amazing iOS game. I loved the puzzles, it was unlike any game I've played before. It perfectly translates the real-world game of physical puzzle boxes to the phone. Not only that, I really dug the Lovecraftian style, setting, story. There's not much of it there but it gives the puzzling just enough extra flavor to keep you going. One of the best iPhone games I've played because it feels so well-suited for the device. It's inexpensive, extremely clever, and a lot of fun.
I've been a NimbleBit fan since Tiny Tower, which was one of my top games of the year when it came out. I enjoyed Pocket Planes though my interest in it waned faster than I expected. I wasn't a fan of Nimble Quest, a rare misstep for them. Pocket Trains harkens back to what I liked about Pocket Planes but with added complexity. However, I can't tell if the complexity is really just me grappling with some of the added restrictions. You can only use one train on a line, etc. One thing's for sure, the Nimble Bit guys have really honed this particular F2P game. It's engineered to let you have fun but boy oh boy I bet people drop a lot of real money on fake in-game bux.
I went into this with some trepidation. I'd never really enjoyed a turn-based game, especially a strategy title. I have to say I really enjoyed this, despite some of the framerate issues on the PS3. The game is heavy with mechanics and many of them feel slightly out of reach in terms of my comprehension for a long time. In fact, I played for several hours before I realized I had to satisfy certain main objectives to progress the story. Still, once I finally understood all of the complexities, I saw it as the brilliantly design game it is.
Talk about a polarizing game. The reviews for this are all over the place but I'm glad I fall into the camp of those who enjoyed it. I enjoyed the story but was mostly in awe of the ambition, performances, and technical (graphical) achievements. The story has issues in certain places but I enjoyed it enough to say it's a worthwhile experience. Nobody is really making games like this besides Quantic Dream and I'd much rather play something that falls short of its lofty goals than the same old shit. Jodie is a beautiful character and there's no denying I made choices based on what I thought SHE would want- not what I, as a player, decided. That's a sign of powerful character building to me. Some argue the choices you make don't matter but they're looking at it only in terms of changing the plot or game in the traditional videogame sense. Your choices DO matter if they matter to you. I didn't take revenge on the kids who were mean to Jodie because it's what I felt she would do. The result is the same- the scene ultimately ends and doesn't impact the ending, etc. but the choice mattered to me.
I have to admit I have a lot of fun with this game. Just like the platforming in traditional LBP, I admit I've been screwed over by some wonky physics bullshit. However, just like any other kart racer, the tracks are fun- the action is manic. Actually, the track design and art direction have been the most enjoyable facets of the game. Some gloriously imaginative work going on there.
This might go down as the overlooked gem of 2013. I was really in awe of the constant charm, whimsy, and unbridled imagination packed into each level. The game reminds me of LBP in many ways but the platforming mechanics and gameplay are much more interesting, better executed. There's still an element of floatiness to it all and there were a few times I was unsure if I'd make a jump as a result. But the vision of a puppet show is so well-done, so fully-realized, it's hard for me to let a few minor snags spoil the whole adventure.
When I heard the devs behind Year Walk had another game out I jumped on it without hesitation. It's a bold game, innovating on iOS like no other I've played. Device 6 really plays to the strengths of the platform. It's so designed FOR the iPhone itself it gets sort of meta, in a way. Really enjoyed it, some puzzle roadblocks and frustration aside. Not sure if I enjoyed it or Year Walk more but there's no doubt they're both some of the best games I've played all year. For $4 you can't ask for a more intelligently-designed experienced. Slick presentation, cool Lost-esque atmosphere, unique gameplay, pretty damn impressive for iOS.
Picked this up on PSN for Halloween spooky-time gaming. Always wanted to try the series. It is definitely creepy and, in my opinion, holds up pretty well all things considered. It looks stylish enough that the aging PS2 graphics look fine and the mechanics are still unique. I'm actually surprised more games haven't come in this style. Certain ghosts are creepier than others and a lot of the terror was gone once I realized I can run past most encounters. The end boss is a nightmare- with an annoying slog through enemies before you have to repeat if you die.
The perfect marriage of mechanics and style. This game is balanced so well- it's crazy how each level is tuned to be just difficult or frustrating enough that it takes you a certain amount of time on average to get through it. But you always do! It wouldn't be enough if it just looked and sounded as cool as it does-- underneath is a really smart set of mechanics propelling the game forward and making it something truly special. Can't wait for the sequel.
Save for the very first title and an errant PSP or mobile game out there, I've played every entry in the series-- and all fairly close to one another. It speaks to the quality of the gameplay loop that I'm not tired of the series. I'm a rare fan of AC3, I enjoyed the wilderness and American setting so much the bugginess and other issues didn't get to me. AC4 feels like the teams got the time they needed to make a finished game. Unlike 3 which felt rushed, AC4 is expansive, deep, and I have yet to encounter a bug or glitch. Quite the achievement for an AC game! But it's not enough to say the game is good because it's bug-free. The pirate hijinks are a perfect fit for the series and I am absolutely addicted to upgrading my ship, boarding others, and being just an all-around badass buccaneer. The main missions could use greater variety-- I feel like I've spent more time trailing people and hiding in bushes than most AC games. Still, it just... might... be the best game in the series in terms of world and gameplay. I don't necessarily love the out-of-the-Animus stuff, missing the storyline with Desmond & Co. that propelled the previous entries forward.
Really loved the way this game married storytelling with gameplay. The style and shooting mechanics are perfectly-suited for what becomes a short, but very sweet, experience. Managed to run through it in two sittings and enjoyed it very much- well worth the sale price I picked it up for (about $3).
The game is a technical marvel for the Vita, taking advantage of the handhelds many features while looking absolutely stunning. The slavish attention to detail in creating the paper world is the most admirable trait. The platforming left me feeling a little bored. Combat is simply and exploring isn't ever much of a challenge. But challenge is the point, I suppose. Tearaway is more concerned with being charming than engaging in anything too complex gameplay-wise. It's a good game but didn't hit me on the same level it has other Vita owners. It's the best example of the device can do given the way it so intelligently uses features like the rear touch-pad. No doubt one of my favorite-looking games of the year, I appreciated that nothing felt out of place in this universe.
My first Kickstarter game and it's a good one. The atmosphere the team managed to create on the iPhone is remarkable. I love the look, style, and story. The one-touch controls work which is something to behold given what a challenge it was to create. That said, I did find myself moving Hope by mistake when I meant to pan the camera. Still, it's such a treat to finally be able to play this. Excited for episode 2 though I'm not exactly thrilled this is being broken up into installments nor was I happy with the length of ep. 1. I suppose much of the time spent in this first chapter was spent introducing the world and mechanics so I'm willing to overlook its brevity.
This game just gets so many things right. The combat is deep and complex in all the best ways, apart from some convoluted controls (though it seems almost necessary given how many options are at your disposal). I can't imagine playing the old-school Devil May Cry games after this. Ninja Theory have yet to make a game i didn't enjoy. There's an unrelenting sense of imagination going on here and, apart from some bad platforming, I love it. The levels always look unique though I can't help but notice they're often following a similar design structure of floating platforms just re-skinned from stage to stage. Still, if nothing else, the Fox News boss fight is the best I played all year.
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