usagi704′s BEST GAMES PLAYED 2013 Awards

THIS YEAR’S RULES FOR GAMES TO BE CONSIDERED FOR NOMINATION

(List of games eligible for this year’s awards)

– THE GAME MUST HAVE BEEN PLAYED FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR
– THE GAME DOES NOT HAVE TO HAVE BEEN ORIGINALLY RELEASED THIS YEAR

BEST GAMES PLAYED 2013

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When it was first announced that Ninja Theory would be developing the newest entry in the Devil May Cry series, I was skeptical. I felt their other action oriented titles like Heavenly Sword and Enslaved, while good, weren’t particularly great. Much to my surprise they were able to pull off an entry in the DMC series as if they’ve done it before. Perhaps it was Capcom’s guidance that helped them get the exacting standard of action gaming that is Devil May Cry, but they did it and DmC is an excellent entry that rebooted the series in a way that was fresh, yet familiar in the ways that mattered.

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Another year, yet another awesome action game by the masters of the genre, Platinum Games! Somehow they keep churning out the best action games and manage to make them all feel unique from each other. This time it’s a Metal Gear spinoff letting us play as Raiden which I’ve been wanting to do since his appearance in Metal Gear Solid 4 and it is glorious! It has all the crazy, over-the-top hallmarks you’d expect from Platinum including scenery chewing, hammy voice acting that I love! The Zandatsu mechanic is so rad there’s nothing else that needs to be said.

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The Tomb Raider series has had a long history, but I never played any entry until this year. Tomb Raider: Legend was the one recommend by HartKnight and I have to say it was a very impressive game! It reminded me of the Prince of Persia series in general gameplay because there’s a sizable focus on platforming as well as action with a dash of puzzles to be solved. It was a good mix of gameplay styles that all worked well to form a cohesive whole that I highly enjoyed!

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Once I picked up a PS Vita in early November I just happened to download the Zen Pinball 2 client and purchased the Super Street Fighter II table to see what it was all about. Before I knew it I was score chasing my friends and bought 9 other tables! I then spent most of the next month beating all friends on all 10 tables. It’s safe to say that Zen Studios knows how to craft some fun and imaginative pinball. My favorite tables are Moon Knight, Thor, Fear Itself, and Infinity Gauntlet.

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I was so sure that Dark Souls wasn’t going to quite live up to Demon’s Souls in my mind early on, but thankfully I was dead wrong. It turned out to be better in a few ways that mattered beyond the more open world structure since I actually liked the hub structure of the first game. Dark Souls lives up to Demon’s Souls in every way you could want and then some!

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A great licensed game based on a movie that has decent voice acting and good beat-’em-up action with a web slinging mechanic that is still completely exhilarating to use to swing around the city.

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For most of July and August I was in a gaming slump, not knowing what to play or feeling like playing much of anything. Fortunately all I needed was a big dose of the old school in a new release and that game was Dragon’s Crown. The best part was adventuring with up to four friends and taking down the bosses together, but you could even do it alone with up to three AI partners if so desired. It was just the jolt I needed to get the passion for gaming back!

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Mega Man Zero 3 (DS)
Payday: The Heist (PS3)
Resogun (PS4)

BEST VISUALS

• Dragon’s Crown (PS3)
• Killzone: Shadow Fall (PS4)
• Resogun (PS4)
• Knack (PS4)
• Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3)

RUNNER-UP: Resogun (PS4)

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It’s kinda funny that there’s so many PlayStation 4 nominees for this category yet the one that wins is the gorgeous Dragon’s Crown for PS3. When I played this game I could not believe how breathtaking the artistry of the game was! So full of color and all beautifully painted by the unmistakable George Kamitani it easily takes the award for Best Visuals this year!

BEST MUSIC

• DmC: Devil May Cry (PS3)
• Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3)
• Tomb Raider: Legend (PS2)
• Daytona USA (PS3)
• Resogun (PS4)

RUNNER-UP: Resogun (PS4)

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I used to hate dubstep, but have since grown a taste for it within the last year or so and I really enjoyed DmC’s electronic/dubstep soundtrack. I felt it all worked for the style and mood set in this reboot of the Devil May Cry series. My favorite track is from the Lilith’s Club stage.

BEST FIGHTING GAME

• Vampire Resurrection (PS3)
• JoJo no Kimyo na Bouken: All-Star Battle (PS3)
• Chaos Code (PS3)
• Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (PSV)

RUNNER-UP: JoJo no Kimyo na Bouken: All-Star Battle (PS3)

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The unassuming little fighter Chaos Code really surprised me. I liked the mix of Capcom’s Marvel Vs. series and SNK’s King of Fighters in its DNA which made it a great melding of two fighting game styles that worked well. While I really enjoyed the fanservice of JoJo ASB, I have to say that the far more in-depth awesomeness from FK Digital’s Chaos Code was great.

MOST SURPRISINGLY GOOD GAME

• DmC: Devil May Cry (PS3)
• Rogue Trooper (PS2)
• Payday: The Heist (PS3)
• Zen Pinball 2 (PSV/PS3)

RUNNER-UP: Payday: The Heist (PS3)

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When deciding to play Rogue Trooper, I didn’t expect much, but I was quite surprised by how solid of a third-person shooter it turned out to be. It’s definitely not a looker even for its release year, but if you’re looking for a good shooter for your PS2 or Xbox that you may not have tried, give Rogue Trooper a look.

MOST DISAPPOINTING GAME

• Moon Diver (PS3)
• Mega Man Zero 4 (DS)
• MechAssault (XB)
• Super Stardust Δ (PSV)
• Killzone (PS2)

RUNNER-UP: MechAssault (XB)

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After coming off of the what I consider to be the best in this series, Mega Man Zero 3, MMZ4’s additions to gameplay (Zero Knuckle) and the narrative are all decidedly worse. Compared the its immediate predecessor, Mega Man Zero 4 fails on almost every level to be an entertaining entry in the series.

WORST GAME PLAYED

• Moon Diver (PS3)
• Jetpack Joyride (PS3)
• Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi (PSP)
• F.E.A.R. 3 (PS3)
• Knack (PS4)

RUNNER-UP: Jetpack Joyride (PS3)

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What’s supposed to be a spiritual successor to Strider by some of said game’s original staff, but with up to 4 player multiplayer, ended up being a boring mess of a game in spite of its initial decent impression.

GAME OF THE YEAR

RUNNER-UP: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3)

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After playing Demon’s Souls two years earlier, I just didn’t think it would be possible for From Software to match the majesty of that first game, but they surpassed it in many ways. The versatility of the combat was upped, the scope of the world was hugely increased, the bosses even more memorable than before, and the lore just as captivating. All this and still with a difficulty that finds the perfect balance of challenge and reward. Just like two years ago, I have to award From Software’s second Souls entry Game of the Year just as its predecessor. Praise the Sun!

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5 thoughts on “usagi704′s BEST GAMES PLAYED 2013 Awards

  1. I’m about a fifth of the way through the DMC missions, but my first impressions tell me that I can see your point.

    Yay for Revengeance, yay for Spider-man 2, yay for Tomb Raider: Legend! All games I’ve played and enjoyed. I haven’t played the others, so I’ll take your word for it 🙂 I am intrigued that Arkham City didn’t make it on the list though.

    • I did notice you were playing DmC because of Backloggery recently. Seems you’re enjoying it. All the hate it got was ridiculous, based on nothing more than how Dante looked. I do prefer the original Dante in look and personality, but this one was still well done for the most part and the game still plays like a Devil May Cry game with its own sense of style.

      Arkham City, yeah… it’s a great game, don’t get me wrong, but I just felt the changes/additions didn’t add anything. I felt it was simply another Arkham Asylum with a lot of pointless side missions and a ton of pointless cameos just thrown in for the sake of it.

  2. The only entry that I would relate to regarding your nominees is Dark Souls (since I’ve been in a slump as far as 2013 releases go). I bought the title during its release in 2011 and since learning about its sequel from last year, I motivated myself to finish it before then. (I did the same for Demon’s Souls prior to DS’s release back then as well.)

    Luckily I finished it before taking part in the sequel’s beta last month, but aside from all of these, Dark Souls was a fantastic dungeon-crawler. It’s just too bad I already named it Game of the Year back in 2011, lol.

    And yes, my GOTY post is currently in the works.

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