In a year that was known to many as the year after 2012, 2013 cemented itself in calenders everywhere, before it had even begun. A bold strategy, to say the least, however 2013 brought with it not just seasons, time, and bills, but an armada of video games that demanded to be purchased, enjoyed, and resold, at a fraction of their cost, by gamers everywhere. The games I will list are not those games. These are the games you keep to remind yourself, on a daily basis, that you cannot be trusted with money.
Today I will be giving you a list of the most valued, and treasured games of any one person's collection of games. Indeed this list will not only rival DocSeuss' list but it will be infinitely better because of how great the games are that I own, because I own them. However, I will not be going over replacements to all the games he mentioned. In fact, if I don't bring up a replacement, just assume that you should never play them at all. Its safer for all of us that way.
Why bother playing Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons when you can play:
I do not own this game. Having played it, I can tell you many things about it that I have played, but not about the ending because I did not beat it. I couldn't. It was too marvelous. Where Brothers shines with its beautiful world and story, Remember Me gleams with its beautifully linear world, wonderfully boring story, and the fact that it is infinitely better than Brothers simply because I have played it. I have also played Brothers. I own that game. It was gifted to me by Rathorial.
Remember Me plays as if someone traveled through time and took the best parts of Brothers and made them better by not actually using them at all. A meta-move for sure by Publisher Capcom and the Developer Dontnod, whose name is a stark irony because I nodded-off through a lot of that game, it received raving, average reviews, saying that, 'Remember Me is an . . . amazing . . . game'.*
The combat in the game is second to none compared to other games that do it infinitely better. You can make your own combos, by sticking with the strict guidelines the game sets for you. Because free will is like an open mind; leaving a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded. This game is out to protect us from our own creativity, much like it protects us from actually platforming inside the game.
Taking the best parts of any platforming games, like walking and climbing, you are prompted to do so at any given time when you are able, much like in Brothers. Even if a building looks to be ascendable, without given the prompt to climb your hands become made of biscuits making climbing impossible. So, while this game explores the thoughts and memories from people who inhabit this world, the game is definitely not about exploring the landscape. Indeed, the developers cared more about guarding the game's environment rather than the minds of its citizens. A platforming game that hates itself, and the player, for being, and enjoying, respectively, platforming games. Truly the second-best quality for this game to have, and one reason as to why I love it unconditionally, and more so than Brothers.
Indeed the best part about having the game is that the game's case can be turned around, so that the spine is hidden from others who enter your abode. Upon seeing this, you can be sure that your guest will have the same wondering curiosity about what's inside the case as you had before you opened it. Thus, you can relay unto them the same message the game delivered to you about itself, and its world, whilst you played it: 'you don't need to concern yourself with this'.
That's why I wholly recommend Remember Me to people who enjoy anything that isn't fun.
As for Thirty Flights of Loving: Don't play it, ever. If you enjoy your brain not hemorrhaging then disregard everything that game is about. If the game is only about fifteen minutes long, set aside fifteen minutes to yell about how great you are. It'll be better that way.
However, when it comes to Tomb Raider and The Witcher, there is only one game I can recommend:
Two Worlds II
Set in the most boring realm of fantasy and make-believe, your character is thrust upon a quest to escape some prison, then continue on a journey, carefully crafted by the game developers, to ensure you stop playing after the first hour. If the combat and voice acting in Two Worlds held your attention like an arm-deprived man can't hold his anything, then Two Worlds II will gleefully melt your ear holes and eye sockets as you attempt to valiantly press alt-f4 as quickly as possible. Indeed, the prison you escape from is a metaphor for the game, telling the player the only way it can end is by melting your hard drive, or in your death.
While the improvements, from Two Worlds, in combat and story were yet to be seen, the first hour of Two Worlds II will blow you away — from your computer in search of something else to do. There isn't much about Two Worlds II that can be said, because language has not developed enough to convey the words to accurately describe the game.
Fear not, though. This game does challenge you to keep playing, whilst it also plays as a reminder that there are better games that you own. So if it's mediocre combat that interests you, and a story that makes little sense, I can assure you that plenty will be given to you by Two Worlds II — the sequel no one asked for, for the game no one wanted.
But I cannot recommend this game enough. It is the gaming representation of Skyrim's long loading screens, which serve as a way for you to think about life. In fact, the entire time I was playing the game, I couldn't help thinking how much better my life would be had I done something else. Thus, its rampant mediocrity aids you, the player, in furthering your life goals, by reminding you that your life will never be as bad as Two Worlds II.
Thank you, Two Worlds II, for everything.
When it comes to XCOM: Enemy Within, there is only one game I can vehemently recommend you play instead:
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
In the time before fedoras, there was the 60's. And after the 60's, The Bureau used them in order to stop the alien threat — during the 60's. In the prequel that no one really wanted when it became what it did, 2K Games had decided XCOM had become too popular and would be a true rival to the imagined-greatness of the Bioshock franchise, and had to be stopped, thus they put their greatest minds to work on a game that tried to combine the mystery of Mass Effect, and what a virtual turd would look like.
A culmination of years of effort, and different builds, they had created the game they knew the world would take from the bargain bins at Dollar General by storm — The Bureau was defecated!
In an effort to keep the game as tactically sound as possible, they made cover a requirement, unless you wanted to end up like the game at launch. Indeed, enemy bullets and projectiles will tear you asunder, while your bullets will harmlessly bounce off their faces, because headshots are totally meaningless for instantly killing an enemy. Thus, while you are on a bullet diet, your enemies are on bullet binges, demanding as many bullets be fed to them, via your gun, as possible before they go into an eating coma and are incapacitated.
Plus, by giving you a two-man squad of cannon-fodder, they ensured that the game was as Mass Effect-like as possible, while keeping the best parts of that game far away from you. Because you know you would rather play that game. Speaking of Mass Effect, you, and your squad, I believe, can use different powers during combat. Each power has a recharge timer, much like the biotics in Mass Effect, thus showing you how easy it is to copy a game, and how much easier it is to make it terrible. Just because you can copy something, doesn't mean you should, but forsaking that knowledge, they pushed onward creating the virtual answer for the question — "Why have Wonder Bread when you can have Best Choice?"
Having given this game just under an hour of playtime, I can tell you, that it is the best, terrible Mass Effect-style game there is. You can easily tell that there was little care or effort put into this game, as the game is full of level, and graphical, bugs, poor textures, and the fact that while engaged in conversation at XCOM HQ, my main character will brandish his sniper rifle in one hand and wave it wildly in the air. It seems, even in the 60's when you are in a position of authority it is necessary to constantly demonstrate your dominance, even if that means introducing the new secretary's face to the butt of your gun.
Hard times, demonstrated perfectly by this game that I found hard to put down — 10 dollars for. But, in the end, it was well worth the price, as it made me appreciate XCOM: Enemy Unkown and Enemy Within that much more.
Finally, instead of playing Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon:
Aliens: Colonial Marines
See that grenade pen in that marine's hand? He knows full-well what this game is about, and how to turn it all off. Aliens: Colonial Marines is an explosive, action-packed thriller that forgets everything the Alien series was about — in a good way! The tension so prevalent in the series has been replaced with ammo boxes. And, judging by the amount of boxes that are everywhere for no reason, the Alien franchise was the most horrific movie series known to mankind. You cant even see the poorly textured environment through all the ammo boxes!
Set in the time of Michael Biehn, Aliens: Colonial Marines is about a group of marines that war so hard at each other that they decimate two battleships and are forced to crash on the land of misfit games. Armed with only whatever you choose to wield, from your equipment screen, that you can access at any time, you, a handful of marines and all the ammo caches you can imagine try to prevent this game from ever happening. And you almost succeeded, until you realized that you were playing it. So close.
In a franchise about people doing battle with aliens, Colonial Marines does the only sensible thing by bringing in human adversaries, because you've never faced them before. Indeed, the game brings about a brand-new challenge to the player by introducing Weyland-Yutani forces, as they have the ability to pull a trigger, like you, which hasn't been featured in any other game. This, of course, adds strategic depth to Colonial Marines, since you have the W-Y forces that can shoot at you, and the alien threat can only engage in melee combat —
That is, until they introduced an alien that was actually capable of shooting acid at you.
"Brilliant," the developers of Colonial Marines said to themselves, whilst vigorously patting themselves on the back. "Why have only one enemy when you can have two nearly identical enemies to fight. No one has ever done that." Indeed they may be correct, as other developers choose to use their brains. And in an effort to further cast logic aside, Gearbox, or Timegate, or whoever actually developed the game, made attacking xenos with a combat knife, which is strangely resistant to the effects of metal-melting acid, a strategically sound and viable option if you hate yourself. As your main character declares loudly, while burning valiantly, "let's not do that again", after knifing a xeno to death, he will boldly stride up to another xeno and bravely impale it without a second's hesitation, punishing the alien for its hubris.
Truly, this is the game of the generation. No thought needs to go into it, while playing, as no thought was put into actually making it. It is one of the greatest shooters I have ever played because there is shooting involved. And running. Those two things were actually featured in the movie Aliens. Tremendous display of game-making skills and staying true to the franchise.
I applaud Gearbox, or Timegate, or whoever, for this wonderful shooter.
And those, ladies and gentlemen, are the games you should play. Gaming has come a long way from when it first started. We have seen glorious improvements made in not just graphics, but gameplay. For single-player games, story-telling, and writing, have increased significantly, as gamers want excitement, not something dull and lifeless where little thought was placed in how the game progressed.
And if you play the games I've listed for you, I can guarantee you won't be seeing any of those improvements. Enjoy!
*Full quote as follows: "Remember Me is an incredible testament to the amazing power of the human spirit, because not one person has given up on life after playing this jaw-droppingly mediocre game."