Best of 2013

This year left me pulled into two different directions. I found myself both hating this year and loving every moment. On one hand we all loss the wonderful Ryan Davis, a loss that hit me harder than I thought the loss of someone I had never met could. On the other hand I found myself working and doing something I enjoy and that could really open a world of opportunities for me.

Thankfully video games were around for me to lose myself in. Whether it was after a long day and hoping to forget the world around me to as a fun adventure with friends. Here's hoping 2014 will be even better.

List items

  • Recently I've heard a lot of talk about how Infinite let some people down. I couldn't stop playing Infinte, the ending and story left me perplexed and intrigued, and the overall trip through Colombia was engrossing. The setting, the songs, and the design all transported you to another world and when you finally put down the controller and figure it all out you only want to jump right back into that world.

  • I'll admit it, I don't like Defender. Resogun, however, hooked me. It helps it was free with PS Plus but it doesn't make it any less fun to play. It's perfect to play while waiting on a download or install. You can play for a few minutes, trying to beat a high score, or for an hour or two playing through the whole game all over again. Not a show horse for the new systems but a fun and addicting arcade game you wouldn't expect.

  • Driving a motorcycle that shoots flames and has blades attached to the front making a trip through a crowd of zombies much easier is just plain fun. A teddy bear with a boom box, guns, and grenade launcher that attracts zombies right before it mows them down is just plain fun. Dead Rising 3 finally makes itself more accessible for me and marks the first one in the series I put serious time into.

  • I had high hopes for GTAV especially after the story of GTA4 really grabbed me. Five was certainly a different bag of tricks but the three switchable characters and freedom within the world was all I needed. I maybe didn't love the entire ride GTA took me on but even with the black eye that is GTAOnline I still think this was one of the best of the year.

  • I've enjoyed Pokemon games but I had burned out on the constant releases and little changes. X/Y provided the quick fix I wanted. Including every pokemon, the trade options through online, and the speed fixes to the game design really helped the game evolve and adapt to more modern sensibilities.

  • I played Rogue Legacy way way too much. Slowly learning the strategy of each monster and are within the castle was more like solving a puzzle than playing an action game. Even after finishing it I wanted to erase my save and start all over again.

  • Before NBA2K14 the only basketball games I picked up were the few SNES games my brother had back in the Bulls heyday. Since then I've all but ignored any organized basketball. Now, mainly through the myCareer mode, I'm learning the ins and outs of the NBA and even watching a bit of games on TV. It isn't a game for anyone but the balance between sim, the gentle learning curve, and the deepness of the game make for a great package.

  • Payday is best played with a group of friends and that's precisely how I went through it. With a few people willing to look past its bugs and flaws you can hone your skills and try over and over at the perfect heist. Failure's sting hurts but those few moments of a great bank robbery or jewel heist are exhilarating.

  • The best part about some games are their willingness to break themselves. The Stanley Parable will get you thinking all about how games are played and the philosophy of player choice. All those deep thoughts are wrapped in a warm and joyful package that's hard to put down.

  • With two new consoles sitting in our entertainment set-ups we need new games and neither console gave us much to work with. Zoo Tycoon added that dose of whimsy and fun you sometimes need from video games. Full of bright colors, dumb fun, and a surprising level of depth for a simple animal management game.