Games Played in 2013!
88 games later...
88 games later...
Many critics have warranted this game a play, but are really hesistant to recommend another (or even a third for that matter). Having been the first game I played in 2013, I have to say that I respectfully disagree with this sentiment. I can certainly see where the game would have benefitted from a run button and maybe even a skip feature, but I delve so deep into the game that any section I had seen before was not exactly an issue. Telling a tale of 7 deadly sins really brought an interesting perspective. Perhaps some of this could have been played with a heavier hand, but the charm and wit of the writing is surely an experience this year that is unforgettable. Highlights for me were the Twins' storyline and the Hillbilly's puzzles. I enjoyed my time with the game, as it fit the exact craving I needed before going back to college.
I played this game for roughly 2 days straight until I beat it. Usually with iOS releases I wind up sinking hours upon hours within the first few days, pushing towards completion. This game was no exception, as I pushed my score up after every go. Having upgraded all of my items, I don't really have another game on my phone that I felt progression was fair and balanced.
This game is deep. On some levels, I can see almost too much of a similarity with Journey, which left a slightly sour taste in my mouth; however, as Journey was a somewhat guided experience, I felt as though this was more open ended. What you choose to do is of your own free will. What you see is all due to your choice of seeing it. There are many facets of life that we miss out on because we choose not to explore and let the seasons guide us along. I found a lot of comfort with this game. The sound design could not have fit better. I only wish there was more to do, but then again, maybe I just haven't looked hard enough? A brilliant metaphor.
What an unexpectedly charming game! The art style was absolutely gorgeous and the puzzles were just hard enough to keep me interested. I felt like it was a good time to finally get into it after hearing about it so much from Tim Schafer in the Double Fine Adventure documentary. I really enjoyed the hint system as well, which kept me moving along but still challenged me to think for myself. Definitely one of my favorite adventure games in recent memory!
This game is interesting. And short. I don't know if I can recommend it to anybody but I don't feel like my 30 minutes was wasted. It took an interesting subject and presented some eye-opening concepts. I was enamored by the style of the game and the narrator's perspective (or lack thereof) really kept me intrigued. Worthy of your time if you're into the dark mysteries behind traumatic accidents.
Citadel DLC: Some can say the ending of the Mass Effect series was met with some anger. While I personally respected how Bioware chose to end the game, I actually had a fairly stern stance on how I was going to approach the DLC - I wasn't. I had no intention of playing the Shepard storyline again, I was respectfully done with it. But then I remembered how much I loved the universe. There are no other games in this generation, or in recent memory, that have entranced me as much as this place. This DLC was the PERFECT way to send off this plot-line, even if it made no sense in the canon. I think that's actually why it works so well to be honest. This Christmas Special of DLC is the best content that I've ever played in this series. It takes itself very lightheartedly and plays with the characters. This allows them to tay in their personalities, but react to situations that are both insane and hilarious. This DLC is made up of moments - these weirdly captivating ones. Drunk Grunt in the shower. Mordin's datapad. Traynor's sexy talk with EDI. Shepard's "I should go" moment. The ENTIRE party. Finally, the Mass Effect series let its hair down and it shows. This made for one of the most memorable experiences I've had with a series to date.
Reminiscing about this game is honestly a challenge. I cannot say that there was any one moment from the campaign that stuck out to me. The entire game was just one solid piece of content from start to finish, and I mean this in the best way possible. Forgetting about the cognitive dissonance to Lara's mindset and her actions, this was easily one of the most polished experiences I've had in a while. Whether this was due to the incredibly smooth bow mechanics or the finely tuned upgrading system, I simply had a seamless experience. I was quite impressed by the fact that the game seemingly ha no loading times. Of course this was probably done while Lara was making her way through the many cracks and crevices in the land, but this was neve disjointing and honestly added to my enjoyment. I was able to play this game somewhat straight through to the end. The only reason that I actually looked at the clock was to make sure it wasn't getting too late, and even then I told myself "Just one more section," until I reached the intriguing conclusion. The narrative is not the game's strongest quality, as the twist is fairly obvious, but I think there is a lot to be said with the maturing of Lara as a character. Maybe some of her actions are disjointing, but by the end of the saga I certainly felt as though a legend was born. I cannot compare this to how Tomb Raider used to be, as I never had the chance to dabble in those worlds, however, I can speak for the modern gamer in that Tomb Raider is one that everyone interested in third-person shooters should check out. The series steps confidently in the rightest of directions and only leaves me wanting more out of the series. I'll gladly be raiding more tombs in the future, even if they multiplayer is straight out of 2006.
The more I play video games and reflect upon them, the more I realize I have two passions: games that tell a beautiful tale of deep emotion and games that are, for lack of a better phrase, batshit INSANE. I'd hope you can tell which category Metal Gear Rising may just fit in. Let me tell you about the best part of this game: ZANDATSU. The amount of power this game quirk provides the player is astounding. Maybe you can't cut everything, but you can certainly cut enough to your heart's content. Did I just chop that Gekko into 252 pieces? HELL YES. Did I just slice off that caution tape covering a poster on the wall to reveal a VERY healthy and attractive female? OH YEAH. If you're looking for a grand story that will give you more than a feeling, then turn away now. If you're looking for an all thriller, no filler tale of a cyborg badass, THIS IS THE GAME FOR YOU. Seriously, one of the tightest gaming experiences on the market right now. It makes me want to become a chef.
Surprisingly charming and just straight-up fun to play, Sonic Generations was certainly a good palate cleanser in a world full of guns and gore. I can't say the game is perfect - Sonic games usually fall very short when trying to rekindle what makes them feel so special - BUT I can say that this is easily one of the best attempts to date. I've never had too much enjoyment out of Sonic games, mainly because my patience for the series usually dies after the Green Hill Zone, though, this was a simple game that brought some decent challenge without any blood being spilled. Surely there were some frustrating moments due to a lack of any cohesive explanation for the final boss battle, however, this doesn't detract from the multitude of other challenges the game offers. The writing is fairly stale, along with the story, but you know you don't come to Sonic for the story. You come cause you want to run REALLY FAST, and DAMNIT, THAT'S FINE TOO.
Very rarely can a reboot truly capitalize on the strengths of its origins with the modern conceptions of solid game design. DmC is one of those games. Whether we're discussing the brilliant fighting mechanics, the consistent barrage of welcomed multi-purpose weapons, the snarky yet humble attitude of our new Dante, or the hilariously interesting narrative, this experience is one that I certainly will not forget by the end of the year (and for years to come). The premise is ridiculous, the action is over-the-top, the level design is BRILLIANT. Even if your fingers can't manage the SSSensational rankings in the combat, there is still SO MUCH FUN to be had. One stretch of area, bookended by an unforgettable boss battle really proves that the re-imagining is not simply for money, but for a new fountain of brilliant ideas. I wouldn't want to go into any detail to spoil these memorable levels, but I will say that I'm sure this kind of innovation will be a source of talking points for years to come. For those worried that Devil May Cry is now ruined, please, please, PLEASE GIVE THIS GAME A CHANCE. Idle hands are the devil's playground, you know.
Vergil's Downfall DLC: I couldn't ever tell you that Vergil's Downfall is a terrible piece of content - it's certainly not. What I can tell you is that is did not enrapture me as much as the main storyline. Vergil's strengths in combat are completely different from Dante's, and I'm glad this is the case. You can easily tell they are brothers by the way the characters control, however, in an obviously biased belief, I had more fun as Dante. This can easily be the opposite for anyone else, which is one of the reasons why I think this should be played by any DmC enthusiast, however, I didn't hit my stride with the character until the last mission of the content. Of course one can certainly go back and replay this 2-hour long chunk to really fine tune their experience - this just isn't the case for me. The actual narrative is one of redemption, and is a story worth telling, but could have tied in more pertinent themes found in the main experience. The storyboard nature of the cutscenes feels a bit on the rushed side, though it doesn't detract too much from what the player is visually accustomed to. If you're a fan of the reboot, give it a go - the mechanics are still as solid as ever. I'm just saying that this might push you back to more playtime with Dante, but hey, that's still one hell of good time.
MORE INTO MY VEINS... PLEASE! After much anticipation and dejecting delays, BioShock Infinite was plagued with expectations seemingly higher than its setting: the sky. After all this time, there's absolutely no doubt that this game exceeded this limitation. Rekindling an atmosphere that made the original BioShock a definitive favorite of mine this past generation, this masterpiece takes that narrative style and runs ever so confidently with it. At first, I was skeptical of the skyline combat and worried it would be too fast and hard to handle. Au contraire, I WAS WRONG - REALLY WRONG. The battles to and from the skyline were absolutely my favorite parts of the game. Enemies, though plentiful, could be dealt with in a plethora of ways, keeping combat fresh and dynamic. I don't think it's a surprise to say that the story was one that I'll be thinking about for years to come. All of the puzzle pieces that it lays out and eventually connects let me both satisfied and wanting more. A very specific realization gave me chills. Another bottomless decision made me frown. THIS GAME MADE ME FEEL THINGS AND I GOT TO BLAST GUYS IN THE FACE WITH A SHOTGUN (while electric crows attacked them). This will undoubtedly be one of the few games I return to, not for achievements, but to see what hints I initially had no context for. My genuine interest in seeing the tale between Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth play out again and again and again should only speak to the strength of the engaging tale.
The Knife of Dunwall DLC:
Initially, I had returned to Dunwall as Daud to revive my skills as a ghost of an assassin. Upon completion of the first mission, I found my style to have caused both death and alert - something I had aimed for. I realized that I had played the original with the same constraints and honestly found much stress and agitation in this play-style. I quickly decided High Chaos was my goal and the game immediately quickened its pace. Dishonored is a well-executed and stylish journey. "Letting my hair down" and just running through the streets gave me a definite rush. I was having fun! HOWEVER, this particular piece of DLC, though intriguing in its story elements, was not exactly compelling for me. I feel as though my joy could have just as easily come from the main game, rather than this content. DEFINITELY worth a shot if you're into Dishonored and want more out of the universe - it just ultimately fell a little flat and was over before I could even... blink.
After hearing how much of a following this game has received in the past, I couldn't pass up a deal on the XBL Marketplace for $5. The beginning of the game definitely peaked my interest in terms of story telling, but I happened to find the gameplay rather dull. I thought the light mechanic was brilliant, however, the enemies rarely vary by the end of 6 episodes. HOWEVER, the end of this game was absolutely worth my time. Utilizing some truly intriguing mechanics into the usual combat left an overall positive impression on me. I don't regret any of my time with the game, yet I do feel as though it just may not be my favorite thermos of coffee. Worthy of trying though!
The Signal DLC: Taking my absolute favorite parts from the first game, this piece of DLC truly captured what I thought was the game's creative strength: the writing (and I don't mean this literally). The mechanics introduced at the end of the main game were utilized throughout this entire piece of content, making it an absolute recommendation to any fan of the game. Though on the short side, it was a worthy investment, especially after I was worried that it would not live up to my low expectations. Though it didn't push the story too much further, it was a signal worth finding.
The Writer DLC: Easily the best episode in the entire game! The strengths of this game are ALL highlighted here as the story literally develops before your eyes. Blending both solid game mechanics and a compelling narrative, this is what Alan Wake is all about. This is so good that it makes me wish the core campaign was tighter, however, I'd say the last 3rd of the game plus these two pieces of DLC is what the original Alan Wake should have been. SO GOOD!
Perfect for throwing a podcast on and chewing through the battles. This little gem was given to me for free through some advertisement that is currently slipping my mind, but it was a fun and enjoyable ride for the few hours I put into the campaign. There is certainly more vairety that I would have liked in the weapons - it seems as though some of the upgrade paths actually are a detriment to your battlefields, but the ability to jump into a turret that you placed down is an awesome feat. Mixing tower defense with third-person shooting/driving, the game brings a unique tilt-shift perspective to the mix. Definitely will return to this once I make my way through all of my other single-player experiences.
This is a stupid, stupid game. I love this game. Now I was not born in the 80s and haven't truly experienced this era, however, a lot of what I grew up with was born out of that decade. Nostalgia factor aside, this game is rad. My completionist personality was given manageable collectibles and a dumb, but entertaining story-line. The setting is what makes the game an absolute joy. Some complain of the overall haze, but it's obviously intentional and only makes me want to see what lies beyond. From the cheesy drum beats to the ridiculous dialogue, I thoroughly enjoyed my blast from the past.
Minerva's Den DLC: I love Rapture. I love the water. I love the atmosphere. Hell, I even love the ugly faces of the splicers. Dipping back into Rapture was something I couldn't pass up after playing Infinite a few days prior. Minerva's Den was content that I just never got around to for some reason - it made no sense, since I could never get enough of Rapture. Short enough to not get tedious, but just long enough to bring back all the good times I had with Rapture. A touching story with an awesome new ion gun... I got my fill. This may be the last time I spend in Rapture, but I'll always have a special place for the home of Andrew Ryan in my gaming heart.
American Nightmare is a better game than the original Alan Wake. I don't mean this as a narrative, but it certainly plays better. Taking what I felt to be the weakest part of Alan Wake - the mechanics and shooting - and tightening them up, American Nightmare succeeds at broadening its appeal through action. I don't believe this to be a step in the right direction for the series, however, it certainly is not an experience that I wish I didn't have. With improved shooting comes an interesting addition of arcade mode - it's clear that the developers knew what they tweaked. I'd like to see more mechanics similar to the ending of Alan Wake in future installments, but I definitely think this was a competent attempt at appealing to a mass market. Mr. Scratch is also pretty freakin' creepy.
THIS GAME IS POOP... LIKE A REALLY GOOD POOP. Excretion jokes aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of humor and solid gameplay mechanics in this platformer from the Behemoth. Oozing with personality, the crisp and detailed art direction elicits both laughs and reverence. Upon booting up the trial version on Xbox Live, I was already enamored by the visual fidelity of the characters. Having put hours upon hours into their last hit "Castle Crashers", I was certain that this title wouldn't let me down - and I was right. The control was tight, the levels were challenging (toward the end - holy crap, chapter 8 encore level 2...), and I sincerely could feel how much passion was put into the design. Such smart level design really made me feel both bewildered and empowered in the very same moment. PLAY THIS GAME (if you're into platformers that is). Seriously, I can't recommend this title enough.
I will never finish Dark Souls. I think that's rather clear after 13 hours of playing the game. I wouldn't pin this to the game's difficulty however. As I play games that I wouldn't normally touch, I learn more about myself - about why I play games. Dark Souls takes patience and dedication, and lots of time. I don't necessarily come to video games for a full-time job. That's not to say that this is a bad game - it's absolutely solid... ALTHOUGH, it's absolutely not for me. I definitely enjoyed my time with the content - made it to roughly level 37 or so - but the grindy nature mixed with truly disappointing story payoffs is not an appealing allure. If I do come to RPGs (or games in that ballpark), I want a compelling narrative and universe (see Mass Effect). When Dark Souls 2 comes out, I'll certainly try to dip my toes into that - as it is supposed to have a much more mass appeal. Much of what frustrates me about this game is that the mechanics are solid, but not explained very well. There is a sense of discovery that is truly innovative and the multiplayer notes are certainly a great touch. Maybe I'll return to it one day. Though I do like "accomplishing" things in games, I feel as though this time could be spent elsewhere, and applied to a real-world setting instead.
400 Days DLC
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