Games that were released in 2013 that I also played in 2013

In order for me to keep my thoughts in order when it comes time to maybe make a year end list.

List items

  • Learning the game's rules is an incredibly rewarding experience, one that more or less excuses some of the less awesome things contained within, like first person platforming and the occasional super-strict timing on a handful of puzzles. Deserves major credit for being a fully realized 3D puzzle game with a great visual aesthetic. It's really incredible that the game also more or less has a power fantasy at the end - in a game that features no combat whatsoever!

  • Is January the month of "the Best Looking Game"? These episodes are taking a really long time to come out.

  • This is a really good game, worth buying a 3DS for alone. The story is typical Fire Emblem - it's there and it moves the game along, but not the main attraction. The combat, however, is without a doubt the best in series. The relationship mechanics add another level of depth to an already deep SRPG and the potential level of min-maxing available with respect to the children is insane. Insane! The cutscenes look really great, especially in 3D, and the battle animations look good, though you can also just turn them off if that's your style. This game has a ton of options, too! It's obvious that just about every part of this game, from the art direction to the localization was a labor of love, the game is just wonderful. Seriously, go buy this game!

  • The Giant Bomb servers are always a good experience. I'm not sure that I like the track pieces or physics model as much as I like the ones from Canyon, but the tracks people are coming up with are still pretty wild regardless.

  • This game is really good too! It's a shame Drinkbox leans so heavily on internet references for humor, some of the writing in this is actually pretty funny. Gameplay is super solid, some of the challenges are legitimately hard, while the rest of the game is typically easy enough that your average to lower-skilled video game playa could complete it. The art style is immediately charming and looks gorgeous. The Alebrije in particular is a pleasure to simply behold. Here's to Drinkbox landing themselves a sweet gig with Sony soon, they really did a great job on this game and could probably do even better with some more funds and connections.

    Also, adding brawler mechanics to a Metroidvania? What a good idea! Seriously, the designer(s) there deserve(s) a huge amount of credit and I'd really love to see what they come up with next.

  • Yep, this game is pretty damn great. It's a really great case for big budget games still being a necessary and vital part of the industry as well. Little things about this game really sell me on it, things that you would absolutely never see in a game made by like 5 people for no money. There's not a hint of jank anywhere within the game - all of the animations are incredibly fluid, even seemingly inconsequential ones like moving around Ellie when you're both in cover. Joel, Tess, Ellie, and everyone else you run into over the course of the game are well-made, believable characters stuck into just about the shittiest situation you could possibly imagine. It's a subtle, gut-wrenching game about the zombie apocalypse with great, non-traditional characters. That sounds awfully familiar to a critical darling from last year, but I think this year's model is even better.

  • This game is stupid as hell and I love it. My own fighting game shortcomings have led me to some early matchup problems, but I'm super tempted to play this game for a really long time.

  • Does this even count? This game is awesome, but super janky and definitely has some problems. It's weird in an intriguing, this-is-a-Japanese-game way and it's got soul, which is a lot more than I can say for some other major titles this year. But really, the most important thing is that it's really fun to play. You can climb onto monsters and stab the hell out of them! It's great!

  • Some issues with the character art notwithstanding, this game is a lot of fun to actually play. Golden Axe with Diablo loot is a pretty damn good way to make a game.

  • This is really just Pokemon Y. So yeah, it's still grindy and slow like Pokemon games before it, but it's far less grindy and slow. The leap to 3D was handled fantastically, all of the Pokemon look really good, the towns are bright and colorful, and the player customization is enjoyable. The online features are pretty cool too, which is rad for someone like me who doesn't have anyone else to play Pokemon with. It may have basically all of the same flaws Pokemon has had since the beginning, but it does seem like the developers addressed some of them and this game is still a ton of fun to play.

  • This one, like the editions of this game to come before it, adequately satisfied my desire to play Magic without shelling out a substantial amount of money or interacting with real people. I do think that the decks in 2014 weren't as good as the previous year's, but other than that, this game is totally fine.