Oh 2014, how glad I am you're finally over, what a shitty year you were for me personally and while there was some fantastic stuff released this year, overall it was mostly a good but not great first full year for the new generation of systems, especially coming off the stellar 2013, but whatever, this is about remembering the good, not the bad, well o.k, maybe some bad. Anyways, on to the lists.
Well that's another year in the books and what a fantastic year it was, especially coming off of a mediocre 2012. This was the most difficult best of list to finalize in awhile, from top to bottom I enjoyed every game I played, even the ones that disappointed me in one way or another, making 2013 one of the best years in gaming for me. These are the games that stood out to me most, both positively and negatively.
01 - Troy Baker (Joel - The Last of Us/Male Boss 1 - Saints Row IV)
05 - The Lutece Twins - BioShock Infinite
04 - Kat - DmC Devil May Cry
03 - Ellie - The Last of Us
02 - Mary Read - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
01 - Elizabeth - Bioshock Infinite
03 - Rescuing Elizabeth from the tower - BioShock Infinite
02 - Homeless - Beyond: Two Souls
01 - The Outbreak (Prologue) - The Last of Us
Dead Space 3 - Awakened
10 - Transistor
09 - Tom Clancy's The Division
08 - Murdered: Soul Suspect
07 - Assassin's Creed Liberation HD
06 - Watch_Dogs
05 - Wolfenstein: The New Order
04 - Dragon Age: Inquisition
03 - South Park: The Stick of Truth
02 - The Evil Within
01 - Infamous: Second Son
What a great year to send off the last generation, here's to 2014 and the first full year of the next generation being just as good if not better. To anyone who read this, have a Happy Holidays and Happy New Years :)
Another year has come and gone and delivered some great games(ME3, Sleeping Dogs) and some disappointing games (Darksiders II, The Darkness II.) So its that time again where everyone tries to figure out what games they liked most and decide on their game of the year. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't able to pick up as many games as I usually do, only managing to get 10 games, but hey, it sure made doing a top 10 pretty easy. I was able to get all the games I really wanted to play heading into this year though, so that worked out. (EDIT- I got Far Cry 3 on Dec 27 and just finished it on January 2nd, I think that's just under the wire to make it on here.)
Darksiders II - I really enjoyed the first Darksiders and felt this was a disappointment on every level, the combat didn't feel as good, the platforming wasn't as polished, the story felt pointless with nothing major happening, the ending was the exact same sequel setup as the original and it takes 10 hours (first 3rd of the game) for the dungeon design to start getting interesting. I also prefer the first games zelda style setup of getting new items for each dungeon compared to the second games RPG style loot system, it just felt more rewarding. Overall its an alright game that never lived up to it's full potential.
Sleeping Dogs - This game is awesome, it's up there with Saints Row: The Third as one of my favorite open world games this gen. It easily has the best combat I've played in an open world game, the Arkham Asylum style fighting and slow-mo gun play was really well done and fun to play from start to finish, the driving was great, the story was enjoyable and built so damn well to the end that I always wanted to keep playing to see what would happen next and hey, diving from car to car and shooting out tires in chases never gets old. Can't wait to see what the developer does next.
Borderlands 2 - Pretty much wins by default since it's the only actual funny game I played this year, but even if I had played other funny games, I doubt they would compete with the great writing and crazy characters of Pandora.
Best Looking - Technical
03 - Far Cry 3 (PS3)
02 - Sleeping Dogs (PS3)
01 - Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360)
Best Looking - Artistic
03 - The Walking Dead
02 - Mass Effect 3
01 - Borderlands 2
Most Disappointing Story
03 - Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock - Even though it had flaws with the way its told, I thought the story of the eternity clock was a pretty good idea and they did a good job of giving a reason why you can't just use the TARDIS when ever you want. My problem is that they didn't do anything with The Doctor/River relationship. Doing a story that focused on River being with The Doctor instead of The Ponds was a great opportunity to shed more light on River's character and the bond she and The Doctor share and instead they do absolutely nothing with her, shes just there. I also didn't feel like the writing was of the same caliber as the show.
02 - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - The story starts out pretty promising and interesting enough with the main character rising from the dead and now being able to control their own fate and also the fate of others. The game does some neat things with that concept early on, but by the halfway point seems to forget that and just becomes a straight up hero has to save the world story. None of the characters are that interesting or memorable, the dialogue is uninteresting, choices are meaningless to the greater world and the ending felt flat.
01 - Darksiders II - The story of Death and what he was doing during Darksiders was a story that didn't need to be told and a story that adds nothing and sheds no light on any events of the first game. The one thing the story does at the end that you would think is important is just glossed over, so if the developer doesn't care, why should I. Overall, this felt like nothing more than filler, a story you would see in a handheld side story game. Play the first game then skip this and wait for Darksiders 3, hopefully that will actually be the sequel this should of been.
03 - Borderlands 2 - The fact that Gearbox was able to make a story as good as they did coming off the first borderlands is enough to make the list . Every aspect of the story is better, the presentation is better, the writing is great and funny, the previous games playable and non-playable characters are better used and more fleshed out, it has a great villain and the new characters are fantastic (two words, TINY TINA.) Props to Anthony Burch, Mikey Neumann and the rest of the writers for creating an enjoyable, funny story that also happens to have some depth to it.
02 - Sleeping Dogs - While it comes across as a "generic undercover cop infiltrating a gang" story, I felt like the writers did some interesting things with it. There are some pretty good twists, the characters are great, and the build to the end starting at around the half-way point had me wanting to keep playing to see what was going to happen next. The story of Wei dealing with being a cop wanting to bring down the gang and being a gang member wanting to protect his friends was pretty well done.
01 - Mass Effect 3 - This is my favorite story because of one thing, it wraps up everything I wanted wrapped up from ME1 and 2 in a satisfying way. Not only did they wrap up the individual character stories and the Reaper threat, they also resolved the Krogan/genophage story and the geth/quarian conflict. It's one of the most emotional games I've ever played, no other game has a cast of characters I care about more. Maybe I'm being a fanboy and am blind to all the problems that people say the game has (I admit that overall it's not as good and ME2 and has some polishing issues,) but at the end of the day all that matters is that I enjoyed it and felt like it was a great conclusion to a fantastic trilogy.
Most Disappointing Ending
03 - The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - My biggest problem with this one is that nothing is resolved and there's no sense of accomplishment. All the bad guys get away, Geralt is still a wanted man and the main villain of the story ends up being nothing more than a pawn of the actual villains making the option of a final fight with him feel anti-climatic to me.
02 - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - This ending just felt flat and anti-climatic. There's an alright final boss fight then a random look at somewhere with a voice over that basically says everything goes on happy ever after. For a game that had a premise of being able to change the fate of people and the world, its weird to have an ending that doesn't make you feel like you had any impact on anything.
01 - Darksiders II - I was expecting so much more from this game, but ended up with the SAME DAMN ENDING as the first darksiders, what the hell. They rush through the conclusion of the story just so they can reuse the exact same sequel set up. The only thing this ending does differently is having a vague set up for the villain of Darksiders 3. Oh and Earth is brought back, but the game glosses over that so it might as well never happened. A disappointing ending to a disappointing game.
Most Satisfying Ending
03 - Borderlands 2 - Having the choice of either killing Handsome Jack yourself or letting Lillith finish him off was pretty cool and I liked the set up for a sequel. It was also nice to get a sense of accomplishment when the credits were rolling instead of a damn "to be continued" ending.
02 - The Walking Dead - Like everything else in the game, Clementine is what makes the ending great. Seeing her break down and trying to come to grips with Lee turning was heartbreaking and made for one of the most emotional game endings ever. I just wish they didn't spoil Lee's fate at the end of Episode 4.
01 - Mass Effect 3 - Alright, was the ending perfect, no, there was some problems with the way it was presented by having alot of exposition all at once making it difficult for the player to take in, but was it as bad as people are making it out to be, not at all. I really liked the choice you have to make at the end and what the catalyst turned out to be. I liked how they don't show you how every little thing turned out and what happens with all the characters while still wrapping up what needed to be wrapped up. I felt like they give you enough knowledge to come to your own conclusion of where things go from here. I respect Bioware for trying something different by providing me an interesting ending that made me think instead of a typical "we win" happy ending and I thought they pulled it off well.
Most Improved Sequel
Far Cry 3 - I could not get into Far Cry 2 at all, I tried it and only played it for about an hour and it just didn't grab me. Fast forward to Far Cry 3 and I couldn't stop playing it, it's got some issues with the story/ending and didn't need to have the second island, but its still a fun game and a hell of alot better than 2.
Best Debut - Favorite new IP/franchise
Sleeping Dogs - Refer to "Most Surprisingly Good" and "Favorite Story" to see why I think this game rocks.
Best Original Score
03 - The Walking Dead
02 - Borderlands 2
01 - Mass Effect 3
Favorite Voice Actor - My favorite voice acting performances of 2012
10 - Nikki Rapp (Lilly Caul - The Walking Dead)
09 - Will Yun Lee (Wei Shen - Sleeping Dogs)
08 - Seth Green (Jeff "Joker" Moreau - Mass Effect 3)
07 - David Eddings (Claptrap - Borderlands 2)
06 - Matt Smith (The Doctor - Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock)
05 - Brandon Keener (Garrus Vakarian - Mass Effect 3)
04 - Ashly Burch (Tiny Tina - Borderlands 2)
03 - Ash Sroka (Tali'Zorah Vas Normandy - Mass Effect 3)
02 - Tricia Helfer (EDI - Mass Effect 3)
01 - Melissa Hutchison (Clementine - The Walking Dead)
Favorite New Character of 2012
These two characters are so diametrically opposed to each other, and awesome in their own unique way, I couldn't just pick one of them. So I made it a tie
Tiny Tina - Borderlands 2 - Tiny Tina is a character that is hilariously crazy, but she's not just crazy for the sake of having a crazy character, the writers gave her a back story that shows why she became who she is. Its that depth and the fact shes more than just a funny character that made her memorable for me and hey, it don't hurt that Ashley Burch provided the voice.
Clementine - The Walking Dead - Clementine on the other hand is a character that is grounded in reality. Usually I don't like kids in movies, t.v shows and games because for the most part they are annoying and have no character or personality. Clementine was different, I cared about her because she felt like a real person with a believable personality, she felt like a normal kid that you would see in real life and not the stereo-typical kid that is wise beyond her years. Alot of the reason Clem is great is not just because of the writing, its because of Melissa Hutchison, her voice actor, who delivered a fantastic performance that not only brought Clem to life, but provided the heart and soul of The Walking Dead. Without her, the game would of been nothing more than just alright
My 2012's 2011 Game of the Year
Alice: Madness Returns - I skipped this game when it originally came out last year because of the so-so reviews and really wished I didn't, it easily would of made my 2011 top 10, I loved it. The level design and art is great, the platforming is fun and I really enjoyed the combat. Sure the ending is disappointing but everything else is fantastic, really underrated.
Top 10 Games I'm looking forward to in 2013
10 - DMC: Devil May Cry
09 - Remember Me
08 - Metro: Last Light
07 - FUSE
06 - Aliens: Colonial Marines
05 - Dead Space 3
04 - BioShock Infinite
03 - The Last of Us
02 - Tomb Raider
01 - Beyond: Two Souls
So that's 2012 in the books. Overall it was a pretty disappointing year for me, games I was really looking forward to ended up being let downs and I wasn't able to get all the games I wanted to play, mostly Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Binary Domain being the ones I regret most missing out on. With heavy hitters like Bioshock, Dead Space and Tomb Raider and great looking new IPs like Beyond, The Last of Us and Remember Me, 2013 is looking like it's going to be a hell of a year that will hopefully make up for a lackluster 2012 and a great send of to the current generation of consoles.
Well it's that time of year again where everyone is making their top whatever of whatever lists, so while I'm not big into the whole blogging thing, I thought what the heck, why not jump on the bandwagon and create my own year end lists. Like most people, I wasn't able to play everything that came out this year, but I managed to play most of the heavy hitters. (If you're interested in seeing the games I managed to play, check out my2011 Games I Playedlist)
If you are someone who read any of this...A) Like I said, I didn't get to play all the games that came out this year such as Skyrim, Skyward Sword and Resistance 3 and as you can tell by the lists above, I have some tastes in games that don't match "popular opinion," so you are probably going to completely disagree with my choices and think I'm crazy, but remember it's my own personal list...B) Damn you must be really bored and have absolutely nothing better to do, but thanks for reading anyways