Welp. I was a dingus last night and completely forgot about Animal Crossing New Leaf!! Instead of bumping off Hotline I’ll just make it a top 11 list.
11 - Hotline Miami (PS3) - This spot could’ve gone to a bunch of indie/download only games I played last year, but this one is fresh in my memory so it made the list. I actually beat it in two sittings, but it was a hell of a ride.
+Awesome art style / graphics
+Loved the soundtrack
-Some parts were frustrating
-Nothing happened with that chick you saved
10 - Tomb Raider (PS3) - Just finished this one the other night. I’ve heard people compare this game to Uncharted (which I’ve never played for more than 15 minutes) so maybe I should check that out.
+Enjoyed leveling up the weapons and learning new skills
+Some cool looking environments
+Stealth killing everyone with the bow
-Lara screaming and whining for the first few hours, ugh
-Frame rate sucked at times
-Puzzles (and actual Tombs..) were few and far between, and usually stupid
9 - Fire Emblem Awakening (3DS) - Could’ve easily been number #1 if I was more into strategy/RPGs and didn’t give up after a while haha. A must buy for any 3DS owner.
+Story, gameplay, characters, pretty much everything is awesome.
-Damn son this game kicks your ass
8 - Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS) - Completely forgot about this game when I first wrote this list, and I think I know why. I had to block it out of my memory in order to move on and play other games haha. Awesome though, easily could be higher on the list. Actually looking at this a day later I could change up the whole thing haha. Anyway, for me Animal Crossing reaches a state of addiction on portables that the console versions just can’t capture. I put a ridiculous amount of hours into Wild World on DS and did it all over again here.
+Best visuals of the series, 3D looks good
+Still as addicting as ever! GOTTA GET ALL THE FURNITURE. ALSO BUGS
+Being the mayor changed things up a decent amount
+/- Online is fun and improved over the DS version but messages are still limited to an insanely low amount of characters….WHY?? The next one better have voice chat
-I ran out of storage space within a couple weeks. In the next game, let me have a damn storage shed for christ’s sake. I’d be more willing to keep playing.
7 - The Last of Us (PS3) - Kinda struggled on where to put this one. I have not played many games (ever) where the story and cutscenes were the main reasons to keep playing. The combat and what I guess you could call puzzles (getting a ladder 10 times, getting a plank for Ellie 10 times) got old after a few hours. The story and acting was definitely great though (kudos to Naughty Dog), and I did like upgrading the weapons and the (spoiler) flamethrower. Mainly using the flamethrower on humans haha
+Graphics / Art Design
+Some fun varied scenarios
-But mostly repetitive gameplay
6 - Pokemon X/Y (3DS) NEW POKEMANS WOOO
+Still my favorite RPG
+718 monsters and they all look awesome in 3D (kudos to GameFreak, insane amount of work)
-No (stereo)3D outside of battles was a letdown
-Story was pretty basic
5 - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Wii U) - Wasn’t sure if this should count cause it’s a re-release but damn.
+Art style holds up flawlessly, looks like it could be a brand new 2013 game
+Some of the best music in the series
+Actually uses the Wii U GamePad in a way that made other controllers feel inferior; not having to pause to access the inventory and map was awesome, and I don’t think you can really appreciate it until you play the game for a few hours.
–Still a little light on dungeons and difficulty
4 - Pikmin 3 (Wii U) - I shuffled around spots 2 - 4 a few times, it really was a toss up. I’d probably have a better idea if they all came out towards the end of the year but it’s been almost a whole year since #2. Anyway..
+Gorgeous environments and design
+Gameplay is still fun as hell and hasn’t been copied by any other game out there.
+Wii Remote master race
+/- Battle and challenge modes are fun but I would’ve been more likely to come back if it was online
3 - Super Mario 3D World (Wii U) - Another game I struggled with ranking. Could’ve easily been number two, maybe one. I feel like I still need to play this more to get a final impression, despite completing every level and collecting every green star…idk.
+Multiplayer 3D Mario! (With SMB2 characters!)
+Fun powerups (more double cherry pls, that thing is awesome)
+Insanely hard last couple levels
-Felt like the focus was on multiplayer and most of the game was slightly less fun solo
-Level timer was occasionally annoying
-Beginning was super easy
-Forced GamePad on some levels, felt that would’ve worked better as an optional fifth player (like in NSMB U)
2 - Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS) - Yep. Luigi’s Mansion. Soak it in. I will say I have a very powerful nostalgia for the first game. It was the first GameCube game I played (the first system I ever got on launch day) and it was one of the first videogames that my younger brothers (11 and 13 years younger) ever played. I was hyped beyond belief when this was revealed and Next Level Games knocked it out of the park. The charm, fun puzzles, secrets, humor were all there and for the most part better than the first game.
+Art style really pushes the 3DS and the game really pops in 3D.
+Charm, humor, the game just made me smile.
-A little less creepy than the first, bigger focus on just being goofy.
- Mission structure is really the only thing I didn’t like. Coming in and out of the mansions was OK, but I didn’t like the focus on completing the missions quickly to get a higher rank. In this kind of game I want to go slow and examine every little detail of the levels. Not speedrun through. Anyway, play this damn game if you have a 3DS. They better make a third!
1 - The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS) - In the end it was an easy decision. This is the most enjoyment I’ve gotten out of a game over the last year easily, probably much longer than that. Pretty much a perfect game, don’t bother reading this just play it!
+Changes to classic Zelda formula made things feel fresh
+Looks and plays super smooth (60 fps in 3D)
+Fun starts immediately, no lengthy intro sequence like the last few console games
+The freaking music!!
+A bunch of collectables
-Some of the dungeons were a little annoying, idk I’m just trying to find a negative when there really aren’t any haha.
Honorable Mentions: The Wonderful 101, Disney Infinity, Mario and Luigi: Dream Team, HarmoKnight, and a bunch of other 3DS eShop games (there were a lot, damn that 3DS, so hot right now)
2013 Games I still plan to buy/play more of: Rayman Legends, Deus X Human Revolution, Sonic: Lost World, Injustice: God’s Among Us, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Well that ended up being pretty long. Here’s to 2014.