My top ten games of 2013 that are better than Brothers

I finally got around to playing and finishing Brothers, which was my last game that I had any interest in playing in the year 2013. It was a fine, bite-sized experience, but the whole thing was over extremely quickly, and failed to make any sort of emotional impact on me. I present below my argument for ten games in 2013 that are better than Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons

10. Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies

Standard Legal Procedures

It's been along time since the rather mediocre Apollo Justice entry into Capcom's unique brand of anime-court visual novels, but Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies is a completely refreshing return to the quirky, lighthearted and murder-filled world of Phoenix and the gang. The new 3D models for the character portraits look absolutely gorgeous, and surprised me with how I actually preferred them to the old 2D animations of the DS entries. I felt the story didn't quite hit the heights of the original trilogy, but it still offers up some satisfying twists at the end, and actually develops it's main characters extremely well, most of the focus being given to new protagonist Athena, who fits right in with the rest of the cast and is just one in many memorable characters that litter the adventure. This game is easily recommendable to any fans of the series, but is also a perfect point to jump in because all of the plot threads introduced in this game are unique unto themselves, minus a few forced-in cameos from earlier games.

Why is it better than Brothers?

Phoenix Wright is definitely a better game than Brothers because of characters. You might be inclined to say "But Brother's wasn't about the characters! In fact all the language and dialogue was purposefully left out of the game to let the player easily use the brothers as a proxy for their own personal experiences!" but my personal experiences never involved me being able to directly control me and my siblings via analog stick. This really broke the immersion for me and caused me to have an unwavering hatred of the game before the prologue was over

9. DmC: Devil May Cry

Dante's Back, Baby!

Ninja Theory succeeded in making a reboot to the game that possibly took the least liberties with the franchise of any reboot ever, and still managed to piss an ungodly amount of people off. I don't see why though, because I honestly think this is the best game in the franchise since Devil May Cry 3. The combat feels great, with switching up your attacks at the touch of a button being both easy to understand and satisfyingly difficult to use in practice. It definitely has the best boss battles of any game to come out this year, and despite people saying that the game tries to hard to be "edgy", in reality it is far more in line with the goofy nature of the original games.

Why is it better than Brothers?

Brothers has it's share of giant, disgusting creatures, both friendly and unfriendly, but do you really feel threatened by them when they don't speak words? This is 2013, almost everybody on earth knows how to speak English, would it have been that hard to have the creatures scream out some expletives? This would have definitely made the game's messages of loss of childhood innocence and rough ascension into adulthood more prevalent, but as it stands, the lack of "Fuck You's" in Brother's feels like a an oversight and a sorely missed opportunity for something special.

If I could cry it would feel like this

8. Fire Emblem Awakening

Choir practice is a real drag ever since Gigantor joined

I have never been big for the strato', but after last years XCOM I deliberately put more effort into checking out a genre that I had previously neglected. This lead to me picking up Fire Emblem, and falling in love with it's complex systems and match-ups. Awakening has a disgusting amount of soldiers for you to recruit to your army and grind up levels with, each with their own unique stats and attributes, but throw in all the equipment management, class-changing, and being able to retain some passive skills from classes they have already leveled up in and you end up having a game that is delightfully overwhelming with it's scope. I'm obviously not an expert on the genre, but Fire Emblem Awakening is definitely a thoroughly enjoyable video game, with the capability of giving the player extreme satisfaction at a hard-fought victory with no causalities.

Why is it better than Brothers?

If there's one thing glaringly absent from Brothers, it's tactical combat. I think this could have been easily fixed, and if I worked for the game-factory that made Brothers, I would have definitely had them add random encounters into the adventure. This would have provided for a longer, more fulfilling experience, and offers the player an incentive to really care about the titular Brothers as they level up and gain more skills, giving them a direct agency into their overall development. A few goddamn romance options certainly wouldn't have hurt either.

7. Dragon's Crown

What it actually feels like to chew 5 gum

Dragon's Crown is extremely fun if you can convince some friends to play semi-creepy Japanese game with you, and the gameplay is probably the best the beat-em-up genre has ever seen. Each class has their own unique perks and abilities, so starting a new character feels completley fresh and makes playing the same levels over and over again never feel tired. It's a great game to pick up and play for 20 minutes at a time, making the Vita version the one to get in my opinion. Definitely way more worth picking up if you have friends along for the ride.

Why is it better than Brothers?

Brothers has the distinction of being the least sexy game ever made, which I think I speak for everybody when I say that is not why we come to videogames. We all come to videogames to have all of our pent up testosterone flow into our dicks simultaneously and explode out of our heads in the form of primal, guttural screams. Brothers failed to make me even a little bit hard, and if it did, I would probably want my Kinect camera to automatically contact the authorities.

6. Injustice: Gods Among Us

Clients in the profession of future-dentistry are hard to come by, and rarely worth the pay

I hate superheroes, but I love fighting games, specifically Mortal Kombat, so I decided to pick up Injustice: Gods Among Us. I must say that this game exceeded my expectations at every possible turn, providing simple fighting mechanics with a lot of hidden depth when it comes to chaining combos efficiently. The mechanics are simple enough for most gamer's to pick up quickly, which makes for a fantastic local multiplayer game. I don't play many games online, but the exception is fighting games, and this definitely sucked me in for a while.

Why is it better than Brothers?

Brothers could have been a great super hero orgin-story, but instead of turning into Spiderman you just perform spastic gestures while having a stroke for three hours.

5. The Last of Us

Jokes fail

The Last of Us is a the pinnacle of current-gen tech, providing one of the most distinctly beautiful experience I can ever remember in a video game, complete with a mature narrative that doesn't insult the player in the slightest,a and subverts expectation in all of the right ways to reach a conclusion that is devastating without feeling manipulative. The only reason I didn't place this higher is because the game-play wears thin by the end of the experience, and on the whole is less satisfying than the Uncharted series, but from a narrative perspective this game is pure dynamite, and it warms my heart to know video games are finally growing up.

Why is it better than Brothers?

It chills my heart to know that video games will never grow up. It's 20 fucking 13 and we still have a game based completely around moving a character with the left analog stick, the big innovation being that you can move another character with the other analog stick. Not only is this completely stupid, but it also makes it damn near impossible to snack on anything while playing Brothers because both of your thumbs are expected to be on the analog sticks at all times. In The Last of Us, its easy enough to twist your left hand in a way where your fingers can reach the buttons while still being able to manipulate the character around with your thumb, meanwhile your right hand takes a break to reach over to the Dorito bag. Good luck doing this in Brothers, a game that seems designed from the bottom up to make people starve to death.

4. Grand Theft Auto V

How I spent most of my time my return to San Andreas

Other than GTAV being the best BMX game of the last 6 years, it is also the best open world game. This is the most expansive, immersive, and exhaustively detailed world I have ever seen in a video game, and you can lose hours walking around doing not much of anything at all. If you do decide to delve into the story however, you will be greeted with the most entertaining and well-developed characters the series has ever seen. It can't be overstated how refreshing the lighter mood is in comparison to GTAIV, and the tone just feels right for the type of games that GTA has always been.

Why is it better than Brothers?

Brothers has a few cute attempts at vehicular sections, but the lack of Britney Spears on the soundtrack ultimately renders them completely unsatisfying.

3. The Stanley Parable

Videogames

The Stanley Parable is absolutely the best short-form video game that I have ever played, with a sense of humor that is witty while simultaneously providing a significant amount of philosophical context upon retrospection. I saw every scenario of the game play out about three times and was always able to draw new meanings out of what was happening, because despite it having a quirky surface, The Stanley Parable eventually brings up quite a few uncomfortable questions. The game is completely enjoyable without heading off to pretentiousville though, and is filled with clever banter and unexpected turns throughout.

Why is it better than Brothers?

This is 2013. Genuine emotions don't exist anymore without some form of detached irony to them, and trying to create a game based around these so-called genuine emotions is just an exercise in futility.

2. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Just look at it

I don't normally get all the way through JRPGs and consider them too much of a time-sink. Luckily, I had a friend living with me this summer, and it's much easier to play through an RPG when you can pass off the controller to someone else when you get bored. 80 hours later, I saw the credits roll on Ni No Kuni, and despite the last 20 hours completely destroying the combat systems that had been in place for the game prior, the game world is just so entrancing and looks absolutely amazing with it's cel-shading that it's incredible just to walk around and take it all in. Six months later, I just plugged this game into my system and lost a lot of hours walking around the world doing the postgame missions, and was shocked to find that I remembered everything about the game, from the rare crafting mineral farming spots to the specific components of alchemy. The game throws just about every RPG system in the book at you, but is paced so well that it never feels overwhelming, and by the time everything is unlocked you'll be navigating all the complex systems like a pro.Easily one of the best RPG's of the generation, and a great journey back into childhood

Why is it better than Brothers?

Because Brothers is a straight-up rip-off of this game. Not only does it also try to be a journey back into childhood, but the whole premise of Brothers, controlling two characters with both analog sticks, is covered in a mini-game for Ni No Kuni. Ni No Kuni did it first, and it's shocking to me that the industry as a whole is not up in arms about this. Brothers prides itself on innovation, but it is nothing more than a common thief. The game should be pulled off online stores for such dishonesty, and personally I can't believe that such a game got through the ESRB without being rated AO for frequent and pervasive LYING

YOU ARE BEING FED NOTHING BUT LIES

1. Bioshock Infinite

Hallelujah

I honestly cannot remember a video game narrative ever stringing me along so willingly as Bioshock Infinite did, and that's coming from somebody who was not even a fan of the original Bioshock. The setting of Columbia is rich with detail, and even though the game is ultimately quite linear, each area is filled with so much detail that I naturally wanted to explore, not for the promise of shiny collectibles, but just to see more posters and other hidden details put into crafting the spectacular world. The story is extremely well crafted, with massive amounts of foreshadowing that while seeming completely obvious in retrospect, are actually near-impossible to take as such until the game's conclusion is reached. Of course, people will complain about the timelines not making sense after drawing out numerous charts on the logic of the game, but the twists and turns really do make perfect sense in the context of the game's own story and how it's set up, and, simply put, no other video game this year pulled me in so completely, and out of reality, as Bioshock Infinite did.

Why is it better than Brothers?

I really don't think I need to explain myself any further. Brothers is a game that doesn't deserve to be on any top ten list of 2013 because I didn't like it at all.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

There is a lot to like about Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, a game that starts as a fairly innocent journey and increasingly leans toward more violent images in what progressively becomes a rather dark tale. The development of the relationship and dynamic of the titular Brothers has an amazing amount of depth despite no comprehensible dialogue being spoken, and even though the graphics are simple, the environments still manage to look absolutely beautiful. Ultimately, the only reason Brothers missed my Top Ten Games of 2013 that are better than Brothers list is that it just narrowly missed being better than Brothers

The Pinball Arcade

The Pinball Arcade didn't come out in 2013, but it is definitely my most played game of 2013. I've never been super involved with Pinball games before, but that all changed when Playstation Plus gave this gem away for free. My friends and I became obsessed, buying every new table that was released, as well as touring around my city to find the real version of our favorite tables to play. Eventually, my friend discovered a website called pinside.com, which allows users to register their locations as well as what pinball tables they own, and a few short emails later, I was in a man's house that lived a few blocks away from me playing a fully functioning Bride of Pinbot machine in his basement. Pinball is the ultimate party game. It's accessible, skillful, and a lot of fun to play when getting progressively drunker. Long live pinball culture.

Bubsy 3d: Bubsy Visits the James Turrel Retrospective

as i gaze into the screen i can feel my eyelids start to become heavier

the world outside continues to fade as the orange fur of the cartoo

n cat is all i see closer and closer his darting eyeballs seem to making direct eye contact with mei am not stari

ng at a video game, i am staring at my eventual death hesitantly

i enter the coffin, ready for what comes beyondplunging downdowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndowndown

37 Comments
37 Comments
Posted by Video_Game_King

Wait, what's up with that mermaid? Do mermaids in Vanillaware always have biological wedgies? How do they poop when their tail obscures their sphincter?

Edited by davidwitten22

That is an interesting mermaid. I guess I should give a commendation to Vanillaware for finding a way to make a mermaid have a human top half AND a human ass, as well as still having a fish tail and making it look not completely idiotic. That's pretty difficult, they have some good artists. Anyways this list has a nice gimmick, but I was upset when you dropped the "why is this game better than Brothers" section when you got to honorable mention. I was curious how you were going to explain how Brothers is better than Brothers.

Missed opportunity there.

Posted by csl316

Get the hell out of here.

(I like your list, I enjoyed most of those a great deal).

Posted by Animasta

Wait, how is Brothers almost better than Brothers?

are... are you a wizard?

Posted by Milkman

That lady has scales up her butt crack. Video games.

Posted by Turtlebird95

I'm disappointed by the lack of second person shooters. 0/1000001 would maybe read again if more weird ass mermaids.

Edited by TheManWithNoPlan

I just finished Ni No Kuni a couple of days ago and can whole fully echo your sentiment of just how better it is than brothers. Also, I forgot just how disturbing Dragon Crown's art style was.

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Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

Bioshoc infinite is bad and dang Dragon's Crowns art style is bad. Neat list though.

Posted by ike7779

Good list. There should be more games like Brothers but the game itself was definitely edged out by a lot of great titles this year.

Edited by DeadpanCakes

Oh man I forgot about Ni No Kuni (shame on me).

I disagree with Bioshock: Infinite being better than Brothers (Why? 'Cause I didn't enjoy Infinite), but I can definitely get behind all the others listed.

Posted by Demoskinos

I think this blog probably counts as art.

Posted by afabs515

That's a pretty good list. I don't disagree with any of them, except the ones I never played. They obviously suck if I haven't played them, but luckily, there's only like 2 of those.

Edited by Sin4profit
Posted by SecondPersonShooter
Posted by DarthOrange

Absolutely fantastic write up duder.


What it actually feels like to chew 5 gum

This one got me.

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Edited by Sin4profit
Posted by crithon

brothers is still pretty good, Brad is just trolling because the rest of the Giant Bomb guys are really aggressive on just doing dumb stuff.

Online
Posted by chrissedoff

Is this a joke?

Posted by Aegon

Oh man, there are gonna be a ton of these better than Brothers blogs aren't there. I feel like it's been barely any time since the last GotY blog burst.

Posted by Aegon

@afabs515 said:

That's a pretty good list. I don't disagree with any of them, except the ones I never played. They obviously suck if I haven't played them, but luckily, there's only like 2 of those.

-_-

Which two?

Posted by Flappy

Brothers has the distinction of being the least sexy game ever made, which I think I speak for everybody when I say that is not why we come to videogames. We all come to videogames to have all of our pent up testosterone flow into our dicks simultaneously and explode out of our heads in the form of primal, guttural screams. Brothers failed to make me even a little bit hard, and if it did, I would probably want my Kinect camera to automatically contact the authorities.

Right on! You totally have my attenti--

...being able to manipulate the character around with your thumb, meanwhile your right hand takes a break to reach over to the Dorito bag.

You lost me. You're one of those X-Bots, ain'tcha?

Posted by Fredchuckdave

Good list, except for Bioshock Infinite being higher than like 8 or so; but whatever.

Online
Posted by afabs515

@aegon said:

@afabs515 said:

That's a pretty good list. I don't disagree with any of them, except the ones I never played. They obviously suck if I haven't played them, but luckily, there's only like 2 of those.

-_-

Which two?

Dragon's crown and the stanley parable. I was being sarcastic in that initial post if that wasn't clear. I'm sure those are fine games.

Posted by GunstarRed

I wonder how many other people will use the "Better than Brothers" joke in their top 10 lists this year. Because I bet it's going to continue to be hilarious.

Ninja Theory succeeded in making a reboot to the game that possibly took the least liberties with the franchise of any reboot ever, and still managed to piss an ungodly amount of people off. I don't see why though, because I honestly think this is the best game in the franchise since Devil May Cry 3. The combat feels great, with switching up your attacks at the touch of a button being both easy to understand and satisfyingly difficult to use in practice. It definitely has the best boss battles of any game to come out this year, and despite people saying that the game tries to hard to be "edgy", in reality it is far more in line with the goofy nature of the original games.

I think The Wonderful 101 has something to say about this.

Posted by Claude

Wrath of the White Witch seems cool. Should check that out as I've heard some good things about it. Played Infinite, it was alright. Wasn't no Bioshock that's for sure.

Posted by StarvingGamer

You should have waited a few more weeks so you could create an even better top ten list of games better than Brothers. Or even top 20.

Edited by SharkEthic

The games I've played on this list are definitely all better than Brothers, and I'm 99% sure the games I haven't played are better than Brothers as well.

Posted by Petiew

I think this blog probably counts as art.

But is it better art than Brothers?

Posted by Yesiamaduck

That mermaid picture actually made me feel physically sick.

Posted by SecondPersonShooter

I wonder how many other people will use the "Better than Brothers" joke in their top 10 lists this year. Because I bet it's going to continue to be hilarious.

Ninja Theory succeeded in making a reboot to the game that possibly took the least liberties with the franchise of any reboot ever, and still managed to piss an ungodly amount of people off. I don't see why though, because I honestly think this is the best game in the franchise since Devil May Cry 3. The combat feels great, with switching up your attacks at the touch of a button being both easy to understand and satisfyingly difficult to use in practice. It definitely has the best boss battles of any game to come out this year, and despite people saying that the game tries to hard to be "edgy", in reality it is far more in line with the goofy nature of the original games.

I think The Wonderful 101 has something to say about this.

I don't have a Wii-U but I'm very, very close to buying one, it's between that and a PS4.

Wonderful 101 would be one of my initial purchases though and has a chance of getting retroactively added to the Better than Brothers list.

Posted by Demoskinos

Neat list. Also just have to say I enjoyed Jeff's trolling of Brad on the Bombcast a whole lot.

Edited by McLargepants

It's funny but the Ni no Kuni mini game was a much more interesting and challenging representation of the two characters two sticks concept. Suck on that, Brothers.

Posted by SecondPersonShooter

It's funny but the Ni no Kuni mini game was a much more interesting and challenging representation of the two characters two sticks concept. Suck on that, Brothers.

It's definitely way more challenging, I beat all the challenges by having me hold one half of the controller while my friend held the other. Some of those later challenges in the casino are damn near impossible to actually do by yourself, but if you have a buddy there to cheat your way through it it's a really fast way to make A LOT of money. Did you end up actually clearing those challenges yourself?

Posted by awesomeusername

So you DON'T like Brothers?

/s

Posted by ajamafalous

How is this list not blank

Edited by Minion101

Brothers is quick? I stopped playing it.

Edited by ArbitraryWater

"Better than Brothers" may be my single favorite Giant Bomb meme of this year. So don't be surprised when I steal all of this to make my own GOTY list.