Game of the Year 2013 – Part II

What’s good, everyone? While I have a few days left in the year, I want to run down my personal pick for the 2013 game of the year. Now admittedly, I didn’t have as much time to sit and play as many video games as I would have liked, so I’m relegated to only talking about the ones I got any actual time with. For me, that’s two games in particular.

With all the hype surrounding the new console releases and high profile titles that saw releases this year, one game had my attention above all others in terms of hours devoted to it. Yes, the return of everyone’s favorite critter capture, battle simulator and kid-friendly expression of OCD; Pokémon X and Y

pokemon_xy_legendaries-1

At the time of this writing, I’m currently 500 deep into Pokémon X.  Granted, I play the game at a level that could be considered “competitive”, as I do a lot of the IV Breeding/EV training, moveset customization and SO much grinding in addition to the obligatory “catching them all”.  X and Y were the first forays of the long-running franchise into the higher-res world of the Nintendo 3DS and the game looks far and away better than its predecessors and there have been some tweaks made to stats and the Pokémon themselves. The most obvious additions being the new “Fairy” Pokémon typing and the inclusion of “Mega Evolutions” which allow certain Pokémon who are holding certain items to be able to change into a generally more powerful version of themselves. The core mechanics on the other hand, are just as intuitive and accessible as they always have been, and the Pokédex has been increased to a whopping 718.

Do I HAVE to catch them all?

Do I HAVE to catch them all?

While Pokémon X/Y has the most play time for any of my 2013 games, it’s by no means my choice for GotY. A true candidate of that title would need to have a little more than just grinding and appealing to my OCD. My choice of game of the year had it all: character depth, great gameplay, stunning presentation and a compelling story. My 2013 Game of the Year nomination goes to none other than  2K Games’ masterpiece, Bioshock Infinite.

bioshock_infinite_2

The story of Booker DeWitt and his quest to the floating city of Columbia to find and retrieve a young woman named Elizabeth with the ultimate goal of paying back an unpaid debt is one of the most interesting and addicting games I’ve played all year. As I said at the beginning of the interview, I didn’t have a huge amount of time for gaming in 2013, so I’m clearly missing a lot of very high-profile games like The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Batman: Arkham Origins and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. I should also point out that even now, I’ve still not played the first two Bioshock games, so I took a bit of a chance with Infinite based on reviews from friends and fellow bloggers, and I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed. The game immediately hooked me with its amazing scenery and period influenced music (phonograph version of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” for the absolute win”) and I then grew to learn more about the main character and his companion Elizabeth’s affinity for throwing him random objects… to the point where I was convinced that Booker’s last name was “Catch” and I wondered who this “DeWitt” character everyone was talking about was. 

For the love of God, Booker,  if you catch ANYTHING this entire game...

For the love of God, Booker, if you catch ANYTHING this entire game…

For me, the combat options this game offers are where it really excelled. The Vigors given to the player allow for new and inventive ways to kill people and encourage a bit of experimentation to see what kinds of powers you can combine. Additionally, Elizabeth’s ability to open tears to reveal things like turrets, cover and health add some spice to combat situations. Even Elizabeth herself always seems to come through in a pinch with some much needed health, ammo or salt (honestly, it’s almost like SHE’S the one running the escort operation). These elements add a level of depth and strategy to what could have just been another generic FPS combat experience.The only gripe I have, if any, would be that the variety of enemies is a little bit lacking, as they’re all either some from of law enforcement, rebels or machines. This is a mere nitpick though, and does nothing to take away from the overall majesty of the game and its world. Without going into any real details, the story pacing, explosive double crosses and reveals that give just enough detail to move the player along while still leaving the story open to interpretation, especially the game’s stellar ending. Definitely a must play (and finish) and my top candidate for 2013 Game of the Year. It also bears a mention Bioshock Infinite is to be one of the January free downloadable games for PlayStation Plus subscribers, so PS3 owners, you have even LESS of a reason to have not experienced this work of art.

Well, that about wraps it up from me for 2013. We’ve had a hell of a year here on Disk Read Error and I’d like to extend my gratitude to all the readers, subscribers and friends of the blog. Look for us in 2014. 

— Evo out.

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2 thoughts on “Game of the Year 2013 – Part II

  1. Your writing is as comprehensive as it is compelling. It’s almost as if you went to school for literature and have a passion for gaming… 😉

    Like

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