Games I Finished in 2013

New Year, new list!

List items

  • I was surprised by how much I loved this game! Tied with Gravity Rush as my favorite Vita experience. If you like puzzle platformers, and own an Vita, highly recommend you pick this up. 20 bucks, but a very lengthy and often tricky game.

  • Looks damn good on the Vita. A pretty rote Uncharted experience though. Too much unnecessary touch screen bullshit as well.

  • The gameplay part of this was super fun, but holy fuck does the story go downhill after the midpoint. They crafted some interesting characters with a good setting, and just completely squander the whole thing. And there's just weird plot holes for miles that I guess we're supposed to fill in with "wacky tribal drugs".

  • Maaaaan, the puzzles in this game get devilish near the end.

  • Picked this up for $10 off Games on Demand, and ended up spending a good 25 hours beating the game again (after playing the PS2 version back in the day). This game still holds up well, and is a ton of fun. Probably my second favorite Rockstar joint, behind Red Dead Redemption. I really hope they revisit this game and make a sequel.

  • Some rough edges, but a lot of dumb fun, especially in multiplayer.

  • Great little $2 eShop game! Cool graphical style and western theme, good music, and fairly challenging platforming. Apparently this is on iOS/Android as well, can't imagine trying to control the game on those platforms.

  • This might be my favorite of all the LBP titles. Uses all the Vita features super well, all while having robust creation and online features just like its PS3 counterparts.

  • Probably the best Resident Evil game since RE4. Looks and sounds good on the 3DS, too. Plays pretty alright, even without the Circle Pad Pro, very reminiscent of the old tank controls.

  • Want to play a less funny Portal with no sense of place in a bunch of same-ish environments? Well, I have a game for you! Some sound puzzles and mechanics, but everything around it is bland. This game even made me hate John de Lancie by giving him terrible dialogue to say all the time! Goddamn you, Quantum Conundrum.

  • Great way to kill an hour. Browser games have come a long way! Giddy up, little doggies! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • Want to play a really shitty version of Super Monkey Ball, but even worse? Well, I have a game for you! ;)

  • The Vita touch mechanics for squishing/stretching the katamari are interesting, but underutilized, and not enough of a change for this long-running series. A fleeting, pretty okay experience.

  • A subtle examination of race relations and the crushing monotony of everyday life...or 100% unfettered Japanese FMV madness. You decide!

  • Another delightful Sly Cooper experience, very similar to the previous games. Kind of wish Sanzaru would have tried to modernize/update the series a bit and/or put their own spin on things, but I can see them not wanting to upset current fans. More analogous to Halo 4 than DmC on the "new developer creates new entry in an existing franchise" spectrum.

  • Played through the PC version of this in 5 hours or so. Pretty cool take on the match-X formula, the RPG elements make it pretty addictive.

  • Had a fucking blast with this game. The perfect mix of Kojima weirdness and Platinum insanity that explores the post-MGS4 world in an interesting way. The combat and sword slicing is just complicated enough to be a ton of fun.

  • 5 dollars well spent. This game is a ton of fun - a nice tight platformer with a retro look that actually plays like a retro game. Managed to go from the top to the bottom of the tower on Normal after 3 or 4 hours of playing. Definitely will keep playing this some more.

  • Neat little puzzle game.

  • An excellent Vita version of Stardust HD. The touch & motion based minigames aren't that fun, but the core gameplay is as fun as ever.

  • For some reason, I got 2/3rds of the way through this when I first bought it years ago and then quit. Ended up getting this out and finishing my playthrough on the default difficulty, and then immediately played all the way through again on Hard. Still an amazing rhythm game!

  • A pretty cool turn-based puzzler for only $3. I was really hoping the final level would be you defending Satan in court, but alas.

  • Pretty much improves on the first in every way. Feels like Gaijin set out to do what they wanted, and make a kickass "runner" game.

    I think my favorite part is the alternate character named "Captain Video", who looks like Commander Video's frumpy dad. Were people accidentally calling Commander Video "Captain Video" at some point, and this is their silly response? Either way, pretty rad.

  • Internet, you crazy! This is a super fun video game.

  • I was originally not into this because of the focus on vehicles, as opposed to the original, which was motorcycles all the way down, but ended up having a good time in spite of that. The PS3 version seems to have a bunch of bonus cut content which is way harder, and I'm enjoying thoroughly.

  • Definitely the bottom of the God of War barrel. The elemental combat was less complex and interesting, lots of repeated fights against the furies, not as many cool setpieces, I could go on. I even managed to break the scripting a handful of times, which almost never happens in these games. The saving grace is that the MP is pretty fun and I've enjoyed that.

  • I didn't know DS games were region free and that Hotel Dusk had a sequel that wasn't released in NA, but I'm glad I learned both! This game tells a great story that both stands on its own, as well as having some interesting connections to Hotel Dusk, especially with regards to fleshing out Kyle Hyde's relationship to his dad.

    There's also a music box puzzle in here that uses the DS hardware in the craziest way, and took me way too long to figure out.

  • Fantastic game, as advertised.

  • This was alright. Picked it up on sale for $5, got about that much fun out of it.

  • What a weird thing.

  • This game is pretty awesome.

  • After all the mixed talk about this game, I had to know for myself. I think it's a little better than Vinny gave it credit for, but still not great. A decent little 10 hour distraction.

  • This reboot turned out way better than I expected. A few too many QTEs and sections where you just push up, but the platforming and combat in what feels like a pretty open world were top-notch. The story beats were pretty solid until things started getting "explained", I was really hoping the explanations behind everything were going to be more grounded in reality.

  • The game goes on a little long, but it was still charming and fun as heck. I'm not going to complain that we finally got a sequel to the underrated gem that was Luigi's Mansion.

  • Another solid Netherrealm fighting game. I don't have as much of an affinity to DC characters as say, MK characters, but this is still a lot of fun. The crazy super moves and environment interactions really give the game a lot of flavor.

  • Surprisingly engaging, for a game about a bunch of rectangles. I actually found myself caring a lot about the characters due to the excellent writing and narration. Even with the platforming being so stripped down, they find a lot of ways to make it interesting with interactions between the multiple characters and their powers.

  • This game was such a letdown compared to the first two in the series. I had to force myself to play through the second half of the game, in spite of its extreme boringness (which is probably the worst sin a game can commit). It's all just "go here, do this" while fighting enemies who all just immediately run towards you; if you don't have a close-combat weapon like a shotgun or ripper on you at all times, you'll die over and over again. It's a shame because the weapon crafting is interesting and I wanted to experiment, but I found myself get killed if I did. Blechhhh.

  • A really neat atmosphere and exploration heavy game with a huge world to traverse.

  • A little bit of a one-note affair in terms of mechanics, but there are a decent amount of modes, and it works well as a handheld game with the large amount of short levels. The puzzle solving is still satisfying, though.

  • For some reason, wasn't feeling this game at first, but something clicked and I ended up having a pretty great time with this. There's a nice mix of single-player and co-op puzzle platforming with a fun variety of MP modes that provide a lot of fun to be had. Once you've unlocked all the weapons and found which multiplayer modes are your favorite, I find that helps a lot. Plus collecting all those head shapes (there are a ton!) is pretty addicting.

  • A cool little adventure game with a very satisfying and interesting ending.

  • This was pretty alright. Some good bow action!

  • A pretty fun Western romp. Yay good Techland!

  • This game has Suda 51 weirdness and style in spades, but as happens often, the gameplay is just not up to par. On top of that, there are some nasty difficulty spikes, and the final boss is controller-throwingly hard. Man, F that last boss! Took me 3 different days of attempts to finally pull it off.

  • If it wasn't obvious that I'm spending the summer going through my backlog, it should be now :P This was actually fun enough that I ended up playing through the game in one sitting. I got my ass handed to me when originally playing through this game, so bumped it down to Easy. Still surprisingly challenging!

  • A pretty fun action RPG with some Zelda-ish elements like dungeons, puzzles, and a sick chain (read: hookshot) that can do all sorts of cool stuff. The story is your classic love story, guy saves girl sort of thing, but with some elements and mechanics that give the story more weight than you would expect.

  • Never played this back on the Dreamcast, but a pretty awesome shmup! Not a ton of games in this genre I love (Ikagura, Radiant Silvergun, Sine Mora, Akai Katana), but definitely add it to the list. The rotation and option mechanics are cool, good soundtrack, and just the right amount of challenge.

  • Finally beat this game! Having it in the Vita made me play it more often, it turns out. Pretty fun.

  • Finally beat this game! I had finished all but the last couple levels around the time it came out, and got sidetracked for some reason. The announcement of the PSN version made me go back to this and play a bunch, including finishing the game. Still totally kickass with a fantastic soundtrack.

  • What a fantastic little game. Unique gameplay mechanics really excite me, and Gunpoint has them in spades. Manages to be well-written and funny, too!

  • Really fun and challenging stealth puzzle platformer.

  • I feel like everything that needs to be said about this game has been said. Hell of an experience.

  • Not really a game you can "beat", per se, but I've already played 60 hrs of this, with no intention of breaking my daily(-ish) ritual yet, so I'm gonna add it to this list.

  • Glad I saw the trailer for this game here on GB, wouldn't have known about it otherwise. Ended up being a ton of fun, with Terraria-style digging and Metroid-like upgrades.

  • I love this game. I don't know if it's fun, per se, but it manages to turn such a mundane, bleak task into something so interesting; the way new mechanics are slowly introduced makes everything more and more stressful as you go along. There's definitely way more narrative than I expected, and you get to make a lot of meaningful choices, both big and small. I've seen 5 of the 20 endings so far, and plan to keep going at it. Glory to Arstotska.

  • Yet another game that I started on another platform, but didn't actually finish until I played the Vita port. A little too much backtracking, but still a solid, gorgeous action game.

  • The Nintendownload Xpress continues.

  • Glad this finally got cheap enough for me to purchase. Really, really enjoyed it. Iterated on the things from Metro 2033 that they needed to (i.e., combat, stealth) while still not losing what makes this now-series great.

  • An okay little parody of old JRPGs, even to the point of being pretty grindy and having way too many random encounters. Falls into the trap of thinking parody makes bad game design okay. I did appreciate some of the humor, though, so there's that. The sequel to this looks a lot better, so fingers crossed.

  • Glad I didn't play this until they patched in button controls. Seems like it would have been even less fun.

  • This game was pretty okay. I thought the combat was a lot of fun, and really held the game together for me. The characters and setting had potential, too, but the storytelling really goes off the rails by the end.

  • Oh, pure unfiltered joy, how I love thee. That "Black Betty"-styled music level in this game is just the best.

  • What a silly fucking thing. I'm glad this did so well for Ubisoft, I'm definitely into these weird spinoffs of AAA games (see: RDR Undead Nightmare, Infamous: Festival of Blood). Had a lot of fun with this while it lasted.

  • I thought this game was better than reviews gave it credit for. It sets up a cool world and tells an interesting story. The combat fleshes out pretty nicely, with you being able to set up your own combos and unlocking more powers over the course of the game.

  • Was not expecting this game to be 45 hours long, but it was. I'm pretty proud of myself for finishing a lengthy jRPG; it's a genre I love, but every game is so damn long and I don't have a ton of time these days. There weren't as many memorable characters or story beats in this game versus Bowser's Inside Story, but the battle system and weird dream stuff was still engaging enough that I finished the game, so that says a lot.

  • A neat little indie puzzler. The aesthetic ties into the nature of the puzzles really well. But holy crap, the last level is almost impossible to figure out without a walkthrough; I don't feel bad for having to look that up. Reminds me of that Gateways puzzle game, which has a similar difficulty spike at the very end.

  • I really, really liked this game, more so than I expected. The storytelling conceit of the narrative is awesome and makes for some cool surprises and gameplay moments. The shooting feels good and the skills you get over the course of the game (which you can obtain quicker by playing better) are interesting.

  • I certainly took my sweet time finishing this game; I guess I never wanted it to end :) Will definitely be in my top ten for this year.

  • What a great little game. This is the most fun and joy I experienced playing a game this year, matched only by Rayman Legends, I would say. The platforming probably could have been a little more difficult for my tastes, but a minor qualm. It was still completely engaging from start to finish, due to the varied environments, unparalleled presentation and animation, and excellent writing & voice work. And there's just so much of all that good stuff too; the game is basically constantly narrated by either the narrator or your sidekick from start to finish, and there's even a funny description of every single head that you can go read, if you so choose. Case in point on the funny writing: When you finish the game, you get a notice that says, "The credits have been added to the final act. Lots of hard-working folks helped make Puppeteer, and now you can pretend to care about them anytime you like." I laughed pretty hard, and then got sad afterwards :/ Not nearly as many people will play this game as it deserves.

  • This is the first EDF game I've ever tried to play, but I had a good amount of dumb mindless fun with this. Lots of missions, and trying to get new weapon drops and leveling up your character is engaging enough, especially if you play online with others.

  • It was a bit of a time sink (55 hrs!), but I finally brought the story of GTAV to a close. There seemed to be way more actually interesting side-activities/missions to do this time around, which is why I kept getting side-tracked. Narratively, the overall character arcs didn't have as much development as I wanted (Michael and Trevor sure yell at each other a lot), but I still really enjoyed interacting with the characters - the excellent voice acting and writing probably helped with that. Had a really good time with the newest iteration of this series.

  • Only took me an hour or so to play through, but it was quite fun. Thanks for the heads up on this, Scoops!

  • Even though I think a lot of the individual aspects of Beyond were better than Heavy Rain (no out of place accents, some better performances, graphically is nicer), I found it kinda boring in comparison. There's something about the central mystery of Heavy Rain I found far more engaging than Beyond, even with the plotholes in Heavy Rain. The other big difference for me was that the choices in Heavy Rain actually felt like they mattered in the long-term, while Beyond dumps all that stuff at the very end.

  • All the superpowers and crazy shit was fun, but I still enjoyed The Third a bit more. Probably didn't help that a lot of stuff was rehashed here. The story missions especially seemed more bland. Enjoyable overall, and still some genuinely funny moments.

  • Really neat game, the algorithm they are using to generate random levels is pretty impressive. I started the story mode way back when this came out over the summer, and am now finally finishing it, because holy crap does it get difficult near the end. I had to pace myself and only play a few levels every time I booted the game so I didn't get too frustrated. Fuck the optional post-story, aptly titled "The Masochist" chapter though :P

  • Another solid Phoenix Wright entry. Some cool mechanics (primarily analyzing the feelings and emotions of witnesses) tie together another crazy set of cases.

  • A little short, but a nice return to form for the series. I really liked the Clank-exclusive puzzles, I wish there were more of them. It's okay though, I'm going to start playing through again on challenge mode :)

  • A really dumb game that's pretty fun! If shooting mind-controlled dinosaurs and riding a unicycle powered by dynamite sounds good to you, you'll probably be into this game.

  • This game should have stayed on the NES with my good memories of it.

  • The story mode is pretty dumb but fun. I feel like this is an under-rated fighting game, with some mechanics that are easy enough to learn, but there's enough depth to get into. I guess I see why the corny SEXY LADIEZZZ aspect might turn people off though.

  • What a wonderful and creative little game, with a surprisingly affecting ending. The Vita is used quite well to allow You to interact with and change the game world in a lot of fun ways. One of the best games of the year.

  • [insert joke about 10 games better than Brothers] ...now that that's out of the way, I thought this was quite a good game. It manages to tell an affecting story about the titular brothers' adventure on the strength of its mechanics and emotive characters without any dialogue whatsoever. The beautiful art direction doesn't hurt either.

  • Man, the checkpointing system is super broken in this game. The fact that enemies respawn is super dumb, and has messed up some of my runs multiple times. But barring that, I was still able to have some of that puzzle murder fun that only Hitman can provide. This series really hinges on its level design; there are some good ones in here (Blackwater, Chinatown, wrestling match) and some stinkers (any of the protracted levels where you're running away from 100 soldiers over a long period).

  • Great Zelda game! Really gets rid of all the unnecessary fluff that isn't exploring the world and conquering dungeons. A very lean experience (in a good way) that gets right to the heart of why you come to a Zelda game.

  • Picked this up for 5 bucks, figured that was cheap enough to give it a try. It's not a perfect character action game, but I liked it more than Alex, based on his review. The humor is very goofy, but I found it hit for me more than it missed. Lots of dumb dick jokes that are whatever, but there are some genuinely funny goofs that made me laugh.

  • Had a great time with this, definitely the best of the Ys remakes on PSP so far. Not terribly innovative, but an incredibly fun and well-polished experience. Sometimes that's all you need. Perhaps...one of my favorite games of the year?!?! :)

  • I thought this was better than reviews indicated - but for a Metroidvania-style game, backtracking sure is a pain, mainly because of the map design. Trying to represent a 3D space with a 2D map is not a good idea by any means. The boss encounters were harped on by reviewers as being pretty terrible; there was a little trial & error with figuring out their weak points, but nothing terribly egregious. With better execution, this would have been a pretty fantastic game.

  • This is a cute, weird, imaginative little experience that I quite enjoyed.

  • This game is hard as hell...finally beat it after owning it for about a year.

  • Perhaps the biggest surprise of 2013? I was worried after not being able to bother finishing AC3, but this game was a lot of fun.