2013 In Review – Musings on Games

I’ve already gotten down to the nitty-gritty of stats this year, but I wanted to talk a little more about gaming this year, including some of the best games I’ve played.  Yeah, I’ve already made a GOTY list over at Game Podunk, but this is a list of the best games I’ve played this year, regardless of what year they were released.  So, let’s take a look at ten completely awesome games I’ve played this year.  Don’t worry, I’ll only have short blurbs for the games, as not to bore you.  Also, this is in no particular order, as ordering things is really a lot harder than it seems.

MARK OF THE NINJA – This game was just fantastic.  So many tools to get past obstacles, and the story just took some amazing twists and turns.  Also, that ending was just perfect.
MONSTER WORLD IV – I heard about the game many times in the past, but never gave it a try until it came to XBLA.  It’s impressive how well the game has aged, and how fun the platforming and action really is.
FIRE EMBLEM: AWAKENING – A game I was hyped for a long time, and I was not disappointed.  I especially like how accessible it is to newcomers.  Also, having the marriage mechanic was quite fun.
ICO – It took me a long time to beat this, but it was fantastic.  The atmosphere and the way it was presented were great, and the HD treatment was very nice, too.
KLONOA – This platformer was charming and unique, and also became deviously difficult near the end.  I liked Klonoa 2 just a little more, but the original stands up pretty well.
CRIMSON SHROUD – What a wonderful world this game alludes to!  Better yet, not everything is spelled out for you, and filtered through the perspectives of the main characters.  It’s wonderful storytelling.  It helps that the game has an intriguing battle system that’s fun to play, too.
MEGABYTE PUNCH – When I bought and played this game back in Alpha, I didn’t expect it to be such a well-polished and downright fun game.  Best dollar I’ve spent in a long time.
BIOSHOCK INFINITE – The original Bioshock made me motion sick from the water effects, so I thought I would have to put the series down for good.  Thankfully, I could play Infinite because of its setting, and it brought a great story to tell.
POKEMON Y – Sure, it might not have much of a post-game to speak of, but the leaps and bounds it makes in the social area (which Pokemon games really thrive on) really makes up for that.  I do feel X was the superior version, though…
DISGAEA D2: A BRIGHTER DARKNESS – It bought my favorite protagonists back to the limelight, and the storytelling didn’t even rely on empty cameos, but rather new characters and themes.  Also, D2 streamlined grinding to make this a more enjoyable experience overall.

While we’re at it, let’s look at some of my disappointments, to be negative for a bit:

CODE OF PRINCESS – I honestly expected a way more fun brawler.  Instead, I was more or less forced to grind characters to survive the story chapters, which made me not even want to try another character.  Eventually I just maxed out strength as much as I could and bullied my way through the latter half of the title.
DRAGON FANTASY BOOK II – Book I was really quite fun to play, which makes it even more upsetting how unpolished and sometimes un-fun Book II would feel.  Misspellings and glitches were everywhere, and despite its short length the title felt like it dragged on.
THE LEGEND OF DRAGOON – Look, everyone says this is a great game, but it really has aged terribly.  Forget Final Fantasy VII; The Legend of Dragoon is in serious need of a remake.  I see a good game and an interesting world in there, it’s just buried under a god-awful translation and archaic gameplay.

Hmm, what else?  Most of this year in gaming has been pretty tame for me at least, so I don’t have too much else to say.  Sony’s E3 showing was mighty impressive, and the idea of the Nintendo Directs were cool, though really only the first few impressed.  The new generation of gaming is here, but it hasn’t built up much steam yet.  I finally got a Vita… and now I have to send it into Sony because it’s having problems powering down and going into standby, so that’s a bummer.  I got a game I was seriously hyped about (Fire Emblem: Awakening), an announcement to a few other games I was really hoping for (Bravely Default and Drakengard 3), and overall the year was great for gaming, though maybe not the best for RPGs.

That about sums up my musings!  I have another post planned for the end of the year, so stay tuned.

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2 thoughts on “2013 In Review – Musings on Games

  1. I think Legend of Dragoon is better off forgotten… entirely and left to the cult-following being, well, crazy. Honestly, I played that game a little under ten years ago and thought it was still pretty unimpressive even then (compared to other PS1 RPGs) outside of maybe the visuals and combat system for the time.

    Ugh, I really want to finish Ico, I keep getting distracted despite really enjoying the hour or so I played (I blame reviews and…. well, life), Also, I find that game incredibly fascinating to play nowadays since it is so atmospheric and rarely tells you how to do… well, anything.

    And yeah, I was pretty underwhelmed (and disappointed with SMTIV) as an RPG fan, even if obvious stuff like FE:A was great. Still, interesting year for gaming, even if I don’t agree with it being amazing.

    • gaiages says:

      I mean, I felt Legend of Dragoon had potential, but the world and all but two of the characters were severely underdeveloped and what little you did get you had to understand through dat translation. The combat was fun… until the end, really, because at that point you could do the button commands in your sleep.

      Also, I will admit it wasn’t the best year for RPGs. xD 2014 does look like it’s shaping up to be a far better year for them, though.

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