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GotY Twenty 'Doz

One minute into 2013 - sure, this seems like the time to write this up!

In a year spent playing games mostly in the fine company of those who inhabit our nook of the community, newer games were not often the stars. Nevertheless, plenty of times I laid down the dough for some good old fashioned alone time with some new-fangled games, and despite this being a transitional year, I often came away thoroughly entertained.

List items

  • An incredibly tight blend of action and stealth in open world tied together with a degree of craft that I was constantly amazed by. As for the story, I try my best to evaluate it mainly on what it is rather than what it could have been - and what is it? Still pretty damn good.

  • Totally curative of all of stealth's woes - to the point where the game ends up becoming something else entirely adjacent to the genre's predecessors. That something else is something great unto itself.

  • This game is the pressure cooker of the Dynasty/Samurai Warriors series, taking years upon years of the by-product of quantity over quality game design and compressing it's wealth of content to a lovely diamond - albeit perhaps a still slightly flawed one.

  • The memorable and fascinating world crafted in the game is supported extremely well by it's solidly evolutionary mechanical underpinnings.

  • The story, while not exactly innovative, gripped me quickly. That, combined with some great gameplay and a interesting and beautiful world made this game a lot of fun.

  • It's pretty embarrassing that what has been written off as ostensibly a porn game would make this list. But fact is, that namesake is most certainly not what defined my time with it. Just a little Western sensibility is all this genre needed to make me understand what these types of games do for people, outside of the obvious surface implications.

  • Though incredibly flawed, this game has to be lauded for it's fearlessness to do something entirely different. It actively breaks the status quo in every field of how things should generally be handled in video-games and comes up with something uniquely interesting. The sense of dread imparted when trekking back to Gransys with only a lantern for sight is the sort of thing I really want to see more of in games.

  • This game is almost savant-like in it's genius. You have a medieval weapon - go have fun. Simple concept, simple objective, simply refreshing.

  • Really one of the most tightly designed multiplayer games I've seen in years. But besides that whole "being a really awesome game" thing, the attitude behind it's inception and the philosophy born out of that really refreshed me from these past couple years of increasingly prohibitive development.

  • Questionable design of the actual meat and potatoes of the action dampens the endearing concept a bit, but I'll be damned if watching my artillery rain hell down on a quickly approaching platoon of tanks does not strike me with awe.