by Matthew Thompson
Last week I talked about my Games of the Year, but I wanted do something a little less serious and a bit sillier for Part 2. So I have come up with some random other awards for gaming in 2013 in most cases as an excuse to talk about some other stuff that got my attention this past year (also these are in jest, so don’t take them too seriously if I happen to target a favorite game of yours!).
Most Hilarious Opening Sequence: BattleBlock Theater: Behemoth’s latest game didn’t hit me as well as I’d like. Castle Crashers it is not, but a fun time nonetheless. One thing there is no denying is its sense of humor which the opening cinematic represents perfectly. No need for me to explain it. Watch the video above and have a good laugh. It’s hilarious.
The “Should Stick to Being a Shooter” Award: Killzone: Shadow Fall: The latest entry in the Killzone franchise tries some new things. The shooting still feels great and stuff like more open level design and better tactical options via your portable drone are good ideas. What didn’t work were the moments where the game tried to break away from shooting. One sequence in Chapter 3 where you are moving around key type items had me bored to tears. And these seem to be littered throughout the campaign to botch up what could otherwise be a fun shooter. Stick to what you’re good at Killzone.
Best Breaking of the Fourth Wall: The Narrator arguing with Pikarina (Puppeteer): Puppeteer is a good game. Amazing original presentation, some very memorable boss fights, an excellent Halloween-themed world. One of my favorite moments of the game comes when the Narrator starts getting into it with your partner character Pikarina. I’m not usually a fan of games breaking the fourth wall, but Puppeteer embraces that from the outset with its puppet theater motif. So I couldn’t help but laugh when the teller of this tale started to fire a few shots at your little friend.
Worst Fashion Choice: Vergil’s hat (DmC): For all the shit that Dante’s redesign got pre-release, it was Vergil who ended up looking like the doofus. It’s almost as if Ninja Theory with all their cocky, devil-may-care (heh!) attitude relished pissing off fans and figured they’d up the ante with Vergil by giving him the goofiest looking hat they could find.
Best Item Descriptions: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon: This standalone expansion to 2012’s Far Cry 3 has laughs at every turn, even the descriptions for weapons and the like in the game’s pause menu. This is another thing that is best seen for yourself, so here is Blood Dragon’s description of the bow (I mean it was the “Year of the Bow” after all):
“It’s a bow. Seriously, if you need a description of what a bow does, maybe you should stop playing. Maybe read a dictionary. People who don’t know what bows are get shot in the eyeballs. “But a bow isn’t the future”, you’re whining. That’s why we put neon on it, because neon is the future. Hence, this is a bow of the future.”
The Shitty Friends Award: The Endurance Crew (Tomb Raider): One Tomb Raider-y thing I missed in the reboot is that feeling of isolation. Where it’s just Lara all alone exploring exotic locations and hidden tombs. So finding locations crawling with various human enemies when I arrive is not ideal. In the reboot not only do I have all these enemies to deal with, but some friends have tagged along on my adventure. Gah! It seems maybe CD realized the error of their ways partway through when they sent one character on a suicide mission for a wrench though. Maybe they’ve learned their lesson.
Level That Worked Way Better Than It Should Have: 20,000 Lums Under the Sea (Rayman: Legends): Swimming levels are rarely good. The same could be said of stealth sections when they are crammed into non-stealth games. Rayman: Legends laughs in the face of these gaming conventions with a spy-themed underwater world that is one of my favorite levels of the year. As I said around release, I’d gladly buy a downloadable stealth/platformer starring everyone’s favorite spy/princess Ursula featuring more of the goodness seen in 20,000 Lums Under the Sea.
Coolest Item: The Sand Rod (The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds): It was hard to not love the Sand Rod. An updated take on Spirit Tracks’ underrated Sand Wand, the Sand Rod allows Link to create pillars and walls of sand. When combined with the new wall-merging ability it really makes for some clever puzzles and uses resulting in my favorite dungeon in the game.
Best Palate Cleanser: Beyond Two Souls: When you play as many great games as 2013 threw at us, some might start feeling a little less good. I mean it isn’t as good as the last five games you played, so how good is it? That is when you pop Beyond: Two Souls in, whose odd controls, terrible camera and boring scenarios will make you realize how great all those other games you are playing really are. At least it’s good for something.
That will do it for my look back at gaming in 2013. Hope you guys enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!