Another end of the year for gaming comes to a close, which means bloggers alike will gather and write their top 5 games of 2013 lists. This last month of 2013 marks the end of my first year as a video game blogger, meaning I finally get to join in with the other bloggers by writing my own top 5 games of 2013.
Admittedly, I mostly played games that I reviewed for the Koalition, and the ones I played in my free time were mostly games from 2012. As such, I had to search the deepest recesses of my memories to find the games that truly rocked my thumbs in 2013. Keep in mind that not all of the games I picked are ones I reviewed for the Koalition. If I left out a game, it’s likely because I’ve played it but felt I hadn’t played enough of it. I’m also picking games that I personally enjoyed. That said, here are my top 5 games of 2013. I hope you have a happy New Year, and I’ll see you in 2014.
Yes, I realize this game was released in 2012; however, I played it when it was released on PSN in 2013. Thomas Was Alone holds a special in my heart as a rookie game reviewer, as it is the first game in which I’ve awarded a 90 out of 100. Thomas Was Alone boasts some of the best characters, and they don’t even talk. I can still refer to each character by color , and I talk about them as if they were my friends--each with their own dreams and insecurities.
Infinity Blade still has some of the best, if not most addicting, touchscreen gameplay I’ve encountered on the appstore. The original Infinity Blade is incredibly fun, even though it felt like a tech demo. Since then, the Infinity Blade series has branched out to address the criticisms regarding its repetition, and Chair takes its closest step with Infinity Blade III. The game throws a variety of levels at you, and players can now fight what should have been included in the first two games: a dragon. Whether playing as Siris or Isa, it’s still just as fun to parry each enemy’s strikes.
While I awarded the Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures a 90 out of 100, I also recognize that the game may not appeal to everyone. It appeals to me because I’ve watched the Angry Video Game Nerd since I was a teenager; however, if a consumer had no prior interest in the Angry Video Game Nerd, then what reason does he or she have to play the Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures? I argue that the Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is more than just a game to appeal to fans. I believe the Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is an excellent, ball-smashingly difficult platformer that encapsulates everything that retro gaming and Cinemassacre stand for.
Fishing in video games typically doesn’t translate well beyond a minigame in The Legend of Zelda. Ridiculous Fishing, on the other hand, isn’t just about fishing; however, it captures the Zen that comes from fishing—albeit with more violence. The game follows a pattern that’s broken up into four aspects of gameplay: dodge the fish in order to gain depth, hook the correct fish while avoiding money-draining jellyfish, shoot the fish with an arsenal of guns, and buy new equipment that furthers exploration. Ridiculous Fishing has tons of species to find including cameos from other indie games such as Commander Video. If you’d like, you can spend time in Ridiculous Fishing’s built in social media website, Birdr, where you can experience most of the game’s story. Ridiculous Fishing also boasts some of the best controls on iOS. Combined with the addicting gameplay, it will take players months to return from a weekend of fishing.
Videogames can be about anything, and not too many AAA developers exploit this. They mostly stick to epic battles and sharp graphics to provide intense moments for the players. That said, Papers, Please has what might be the most boring—on paper, anyway—premise for a videogame, and it even has some of the dreariest graphics (they are appropriate for the game, though) in 2013; yet, it is the most intense game I’ve played in 2013. I wouldn’t describe it as fun, as it does capture the mundane lifestyle of a 9-5 job, but it is incredibly engaging. You play the role of an inspector who recently won the job lottery—meaning he can finally support his large family. The inspector has to process each entrant’s passport, stamping either “decline” or “accept.”
As you get into the mundane routine, the occasional alarm will suddenly sound, and pixelated terrorists will attack the border guards. As such, security becomes tighter, and you must adhere to stricter rules. With these stricter rules, you gain the authority to detain people as well as other shady privileges. Papers, Please will make you feel like a terrible human being. In one instance, a husband with a legitimate passport asked the inspector to allow his wife in, who did not have all of her papers, and she risked death if she returned to her home county. However, the glorious nation of Arstotzka offers crap pay, and you have have to feed a huge family. Arstozka only allows a few mistakes before they dock your pay, and anyone could have fake documents--tough luck, lady. Papers, Please offers even more morally challenging questions, and everything depends on whether you stamp "accept" or "decline." That level of intensity is incredible, considering it’s a game about stamping papers. This is why Papers, Please is number one for the my top 5 games of 2013.