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Games I played in 2013

This year I shifted hard into PC-only gaming because I'm spending a lot of time in my study instead of in front of the main TV (which is being used a lot by the MiL who has been in town to help out with the adorable first baby).

Games I played this year:

Ittle Dew: Has some good Zelda-ish gimmicks and doesn't overstay it's welcome. Not a difficult game though (I finished with 4 hearts and didn't make much effort to find all the pieces for sure). Some funny jokes.

Shadowrun Returns: This was really good. There was chatter out there about the game being too short etc etc, but it actually takes some of the original SR1 modules and stitches them together into a game in a way that people who liked the pen and paper version will appreciate, and everyone else should just be able to enjoy for it's mechanics.

Tomb Raider: I replayed anniversary as well as playing the reboot this year, and re-started Legacy. The reboot is a really fun game on PC.

Bioshock Infinite: I played it at launch and then immediately replayed it in pretty much three marathon sessions over the course of the week.

Saints Row 3/Saints Row 4: I hadn't picked up a Saint's Row game but when 4 started getting a lot of hype on GB, I picked up 3 in a steam sale. I can't articulate everything that's awesome about SR3 as well as others. I remember playing through the new Deus Ex last year and listening to bombcasts about SR3, and still thinking, you know, this probably isn't my game. I was wrong, it's totally my game. I wrung every bit of gameplay out of it, and then immediately bought SR4 when it became available too. SR4 is a direct follow on to 3, so they're good play back to back. You might not be able to go back to 3 after 4 because of the radical redevelopment of the mechanics. 4 isn't as good a game as 3 was overall, but it has better game mechanics.

The Stanley Parable: I totally played that.

Black Mesa: Played all that was available of it (no Xen), including the uncut versions of on a rail and surface tension, intend to work my way through HL2 and episodes again (haven't played E2 yet). Half Life is still a great game, but what the hell's up with that story?

Ridiculous Fishing (Android): I surprised myself by playing games on an Android tablet this year. I binged on RF when it went into a Humble Bundle because it has great controls and consistent progression.

The Bard's Tale (Android): Fucking horrible. I loved TBT on Xbox, this is that game, but with shitty controls and an awful interface. Do not play.

Star Command (Android): Super fun, but when I got into the second playthrough I blew my orbs trying to set up my ship and wrote myself into the grave with no way to get any more orbs. Oops.

Rymdkapsel (Android): Interesting gameplay, but it escalates quickly to the point where the challenge is higher than I want. I like my real time strategy to be light on the combat and heavy on the exploration and building.

Assassin's Creed 1, 2, B, R, 3: I keep coming back to the AC games. Replayed the entire series through Revelations, and played 3 for the first time. The problem with 3 isn't that it's worse than the other games, it's that it didn't fix any of the things that had been broken in AC for years (jumping off things when you don't want to, not able to disengage in combat, combat scenarios inconsistent - sometimes you can take on 30 guys in 30 seconds, sometimes 2 guys will axe you to death) - and spiking difficulty. I still marathoned that bitch when it went into the holiday sale on steam. Sailing is fun, the weird captain kidd missions give you interesting scenarios that are colorful and exciting in all the ways the main cities aren't, and it gives an interesting spin on historical characters and scenarios. Unlike most people I liked Connor, but then I like watching films with subtitles (I suspect this is where it fell apart for a lot of people). The interactions between Connor and Heyward help to flesh out Connor as a character and mature him as an individual, and the homestead missions helped ground the game in humane ways. Up next will be the PC release of AC Liberation, then 4 when it goes on sale.

Far Cry 2/Far Cry 3/Blood Dragon: Far Cry 2 is still amazing. Far Cry 3 is cluttered and not fun, I quit after 8 hours. I played a couple hours of Blood Dragon and understood the joke, but didn't really "get it." I played FC3 after that, and hated it, so I'll probably go back to BD in 2014 to see if I have a better outlook on it. 3 is a bad game, it is full of so much clutter and crap and nonsense and text all over my screen. AC is kind of that way too, but AC is supposed to be that. My expectation for FC was completely set by 2, and it's a more austere experience about open spaces and barely-directed gameplay, not a series of dozens or hundreds of dots all screaming to be interacted with at every moment with no indication of their challenge level or structure.

Rogue Legacy: I gave it about 4 hours and didn't have as much fun as I hoped.

Punch Quest (Android): Better than Rogue Legacy, fun.

Fruit Ninja Puss in Boots (Android): Fun, but may not hold your attention very long if you're on the non-casual side skillwise, because you'll plow through the challenge mode, unlock all the extras, and achieve all the achievements in a couple hours.

Candy Box/CB2 (Browser): Candy box was interesting, but some of the later puzzles are so obtuse you might need the walkthrough. CB2 was not fun. CB ramped really quickly after a point and drove you to the end requiring you to use items and special skills to progress. CB2 felt more like a slog.

Time Surfer (Android): Fun and relaxing.

Dragon's Blade/Heroes of Larkwood (Winphone): I continue to play HoL kind of compulsively. It's an old school turn based RPG with optional online play (everyone kind of plays alone in a single world, you can assist other characters in battles, chat, and engage in clan ranking activities). I can't decide whether this is better or worse than Dragon's Blade (the predecessor game, basically the same storyline, but older school look to it and some of the mechanics are less developed, but you can ramp to a much higher level faster and some things are different like the way that thieves work).

Puzzle Quest 2 (Winphone): This game is way too hard. I still finished it, but I really enjoyed Puzzle Quest and PQ2 felt like a lot more work for less reward.

Wordament (Winphone and Android): Kind of fun diversion.

Spelltower (Android): Wordament minus the online tournament play. For those who prefer to search their words in privacy.

The Walking Dead Season 1: Didn't start the last episode, not sure I will. I enjoyed the series, but it's super stressful. I kind of hate the comic book (unnecessarily brutal), and don't watch the show, so your mileage may vary.

Cognition episodes 1 to 3: Didn't finish E4 yet, super stressful. Has some puzzles that I just couldn't figure out by any logical process towards the end of each episode. Otherwise great clicking adventure stuff.

Dance Central 3 (Xbox 360): I mainly got this for my girlfriend to use as an exercise (she also plays Zumba Rush a lot). It's fun for me, but I get discouraged when I'm barely choking out 3 and 4 star finishes at the first level and my GF is cranking out 5 stars on the hardest songs at the top levels. May signal a return to console gaming for me in 2014 or 2015.

There's sure to be some other stuff, but these are the main games that stand out to me. Maybe I should check my steam history and see what else I've finished. A lot of my gaming this year came in fits too, I have a busy/stressful work schedule and I was finishing up my MBA in 2013 so I didn't have as much time to play things at launch as I might have years ago.

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