Ah, 2013 was quite a year for us gamers. Both Microsoft and Sony revealed and released their brand new consoles, the Xbox One and the PS4 respectively, another E3 came and went and we finally took our first steps onto the moon...wait wrong year...
That's all well and good, but that's not the stuff we truly care about, is it? Of course not, it's the games that matter the most! I thought it was a pretty good year for games, there were plenty of hits, here's looking at you, The Last Of Us, and there were a few misses, *Cough* Colonial Marines *Cough*. I see a few people telling us what their top games were, but I'm just going to go through every game that I did play this year and give them a mini-review. There are three rules I'll be sticking to when doing this:
- This will be for games that I played in 2013, so I can include games that were released in previous years, but I never had the chance to play until this year.
- I will only be reviewing games that I completed, so you won't see me writing about games I have yet to complete, like GTA V, or games I couldn't finish because I got bored or didn't enjoy them, like Bioshock Infinite or Far Cry 3.
- I'll be giving each game a rating out of 10. I'll be very strict with rating each game, because I feel as though nowadays people feel as though a 7/10 is a bad score. It's not. If I give a game 9/10 it better be damn near perfect, and if I give a game 10/10, it better be perfect. In my experiences, there is not a single perfect game I have ever played.
So with that out of the way, let the reviews begin!
The Nintendo 3DSXL
I know it's not a game, but I thought I might as well give a review of it since it was my biggest gaming related purchase this year. I never bought the original 3DS, so I can't compare the two. Did I like it? Hell yes. Should you get one? Definitely.
I was wary about getting it, I was debating whether to get a 3DS or a Vita, and while I don't have a Vita, I feel as though I made the right choice. It feels good in my hands, the 3D is surprisingly great and there is a wide range of games to choose from. It's a prefect successor to the DS and I can't wait and see what 2014 will bring the 3DS.
The biggest problem for me is the battery life. Most of the time I get 3 hours of gameplay, 4 if I'm lucky. While I'm usually never far from my charger, it can be annoying for long journeys or if I forget my charger wherever I go.
Rating Out of 10: 8.5/10
New Super Mario Bros. 2
I got this free with the 3DS, so I wasn't really expecting much, I wasn't planning on buying it at all, but I can never turn down a free game!
I'm going to be honest with you, I'm not a massive fan of the 2D Mario games, to me they're just the same everytime, especially with the New series of Mario games. While it was a neat distraction for when I didn't have any other games to play, as soon as I bought Animal Crossing, I never played it again.
It's very short, I completed it in about 3 or 4 hours and while I know there were a lot of collectibles and hidden levels throughout it, I had no interest whatsoever to go back and get them all. I don't mind short games if they were fun or if I know I'll play through them again. NSMB2 was no one of them.
It was a good looking game though, I'm a sucker for colourful games, and in that respect NSMB2 did not disappoint. The controls were great too, which is to be expected in Mario games. Too bad the whole package just didn't work for me.
Rating Out of 10: 4.5/10
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
As soon as I bought this I thought to myself,"Well, there goes my life for about two months."
How right I was.
I bought it the day it came out and I played it everyday for the next two months. As the days past the amount of time I played decreased until it was about 5 mins a day, but nonetheless, I still played it everyday. That's one hell of an accomplishment, I honestly can't think of another series except maybe Pokemon where I played it everyday for a few months. Animal Crossing is something that you either love or hate, you'll play it and you'll become addicted or else you won't play it at all because it doesn't interest you. I'm one of the many who get addicted. There is something relaxing about planting flowers, adding to a fossil or bug or fish collection, making your perfect house and heading to a tropical island to find the rarest beetles to put some bells in your pocket.
It looks good, the 3D effect works well. There's not much to say here. If you liked the others, you'll like this. If you didn't, you won't like it.
Rating Out of 10: 7.5/10
Pokemon X & Y
If you know me, you know Pokemon is one of my favourite, if not my favourite series of all time. I love this game, I started a new game in it and I haven't lost any interest. Mostly because I got a Cyndaquil yesterday!
Pokemon is a lot like Animal Crossing in the way that if you didn't like any of the previous games, I doubt you'll like this one. If you do like the series, you may think this is one of the best games in the series. I did.
It brought around a massive amount of changes to the series. It was the first in the main series to be on the 3DS and with it brought full 3D graphics with 3D models, a brilliant new region, mega-evolution and the introduction of the destructive Fairy-type! One of the best things for me though was the brilliant soundtrack. It's almost like someone at Gamefreak learned how to play the guitar! I love it.
While there wasn't a large amount of new Pokemon introduced, the majority of them were great in their own ways. The new Eeveeloution Sylveon was a staple on my team before I started a new game, along with Clawitzer and Noivern.
The only problem with the game is the post-elite four game, there was very little. Sure it had the Looker side missions and the Battle Maison, but that was it. I was hoping for something similar to the Pokemon World Tournament or maybe an island similar to the one in Platinum. I guess we'll have to wait until the inevitable Pokemon Z or X2 & Y2 before we get a fleshed out endgame.
Rating Out of 10: 8.5/10
DMC: Devil May Cry
I thought this game was treated very unfairly, people who hadn't even played this game were shooting this down purely because of Dante's new look, I actually prefer this look. Looks a bit like me when I get my hair cut...
It was my first purchase of 2013 and I thought it was a pretty good purchase. It looked amazing and the gameplay was smooth and fun. The world was the best thing about the game. The city looked great but whenever Dante was dragged into Limbo the game really stood out. The plot was surprisingly strong too. I loved how the world elite and most powerful were actually demons, controlling the population through more modern methods like drinks and controlling the banks. It was funny and I enjoyed every minute of it.
The weird thing was after playing it twice I had no intention of going back into Limbo city. I haven't played this since March, but I may give it another whirl soon. I suppose the biggest problem with it was that there wasn't much replayability, which I look for in a game.
Rating Out of 10: 7/10
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Oh boy, this is tied up with another game for my game of the year. I frikin' love this game, it's crazy. Once I finished I had to take a few minutes just to contemplate what the hell I played.
I gameplay was extremely fun, every time there was a cutscene all I wanted was to get back into the game so I can go back to slicing bad guys. The Blade Mode was a fun mechanic, I wasn't expecting it to work at all but I was pleasantly surprised. The story is just as silly as any other Metal Gear game, but the best thing about it was Raiden. I didn't like him at all in MGS2, all he did was moan, but in MGR he turned into a complete badass, catching daggers with his feet and back-flipping all over the place.
This game was so close to being perfect for me, the only problem was the camera, it struggled to keep up during some of the fast action sections.
Oh and the soundtrack is awesome, just thought I'd throw that out there.
Rating Out of 10: 9.5/10
The Last of Us
This here is the other game that is tied with Metal Gear Rising, it too is near perfect.
What else can I say that hasn't been said before? It's got universal critical acclaim, and it deserved every bit of it. The writing, the story, the gameplay, the voice acting, the music and the art were all amazing. Along with Mass Effect 3, Borderlands 2 and The Walking Dead Season, it was the only other game that gave me a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye once I finished it. The relationship between Joel and Ellie was the highlight of the game. I really cared for each character and every time there was a sad scene I was devastated.
The problems I had with these games were minor, the two main problems I had took away from the immersion. When I was facing Clickers, Ellie had a tendency to run out in the open and make a lot of noise. I was disappointed when I found out the Clickers were only focusing on Joel. I know making the clickers be attracted to Ellie making noise would have probably made the game much more difficult, but we would never know until we tried it. The second was when facing against humans, mostly when they came in large numbers, this was something I felt would be unrealistic and doesn't compliment the rest of the game at all.
Rating Out of 10: 9.5/10
Saints Row IV
When I first saw this when it was revealed I was a bit wary, seeing as I was still enjoying Saints Row The Third and that the game itself was originally just going to be DLC. When I got the game though all those worries were behind me.
You can do so much in this game, really. I modeled my character after Heath Ledgers Joker. Name another game where you are the President of the United States, there are aliens, you're inside a simulation, you have super powers and Terry Crews is in it. I like Terry Crews...
The biggest surprise for me is how strong the story was, it was sharp, witty and there were few moments were I wasn't smiling due to pure joy. The voice acting was great, and the music choice was great. There's just something so satisfying about flying through a city while "What is Love?", "The Touch" or "The Boys Are Back in Town" is playing on the radio.
The side missions were a bit repetitive but I enjoyed them nonetheless. Insurance Fraud with super powers is amazing.
The biggest thing about this game though was that it was one of the most fun games I have played in long time. I feel that games nowadays aren't focusing on being fun, but instead try to be cinematic and emotional. Hell, even though The Last of Us is one of my favourite games this year, I wouldn't call it fun. It's Like calling The Road fun. It's not, but it's still an amazing book and film.
Rating Out of 10: 9/10
Games I have started and will complete:
- GTA V
- XCOM: Enemy Unkown
- Batman: Arkham Origins
- Max Payne 3
Games I have started but don't want to finish:
- Bioshock Infinite
- Far Cry 3
Games I have yet to start:
- Fire Emblem: Awakening
- Rayman Legends
- Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus
- Torchlight 2
- The Wolf Among Us
- Killer is Dead
Games I will eventually get:
- Ni No Kuni
- Assassins Creed IV
- Battlefield 4
- Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
- Legend of Zelda: ALBW
- About 5 others I can't think of at the minute...
I was a good year for me, the biggest disappointment was how few games I actually finished, which is something I hope to correct in the coming year.