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My Gaming in Review - Biggest Surprises of 2013

Posted by tylerh1701, 09 December 2013 · 944 views

So, like someone else who posted here, I'm a CAG and therefore I don't get to a whole lot of games when they release, or even soon after. I've only played a handful of games released in 2013, so it's not really fair for me to do any type of "Games of the Year" post or anything of that nature.

Rather, I'll just be mentioning a few games that I played over the course of the year. This first post will be my 3 biggest surprises of the year, as in games I was surprised how much I enjoyed them. Some or all of these games may make a return appearance on my favorite games of the year list.

#3 Biggest Surprise - Ratchet and Clank HD (PS3)

I never really owned a PS2 growing up, therefore I've missed quite a collection of games. It also means that all the PS3 HD Collections that have been released over the last couple years have been a total godsend for me. I finally got around to playing the original Ratchet and Clank a few months ago, and I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. First off, everything held up great. Visiting new planets was always enjoyable and the mission structure was varied enough that they never felt like simple fetch quests or collect-a-thons. I enjoyed going back and re-exploring old planets after I had new gadgets and the characters were charming and fun. I can't wait to diver further into the series.

#2 Biggest Surprise - The Unfinished Swan (PS3)

I've been fairly vocal that I'm not a huge fan of "experience" games like Journey and Flower. When the gameplay isn't compelling, I find myself checking out of the game fairly quickly. That's why I had my concerns with The Unfinished Swan. But when it went on sale for $3.75 on PSN, I couldn't resist it. And I'm glad I took the leap. Like those previously mentioned games, The Unfinished Swan's main goal is to tell a story and create an experience for the player. However, I found the unique method of exploration (which is basically throwing paintballs at walls) to be a lot of fun and the puzzle elements in the game were just enough to keep me hooked without ever causing frustration.

#1 Biggest Surprise - Velocity Ultra (PS Vita)

When I bought Velocity Ultra, I knew it looked intriguing. On the outermost layer it looks like a shoot-em-up, but I had done enough research to know that it had several other facets, including racer-style levels and even some puzzles. What shocked me the most with Velocity Ultra is how well it blended all of these elements into an extremely addictive game. What was once a cheap looking PS Mini is now one of my absolute favorite games on the Vita. I had a blast playing through the 50 level main campaign, and had ever more fun going back and getting a "Perfect" Gold medal on every level. The satisfaction that came with acing some of the speed levels was great. I was proud to make Velocity Ultra my 14th Platinum Trophy.

Well that's all for now. Coming up next are my 3 biggest disappointments of the years. Like the name implies, I'll be talking about the three games that I had super high hopes for that let me down in one way or another.

Also, just as a reference, here is the full list of games I've completed (or at least played extensively) since January 1, 2013:

Spoiler





I got The Unfinished Swan when it was on sale, too, and I enjoyed it quite a bit myself.  It was very unique, and it was a good length; it ended before it got boring.

 

I'll be interested to see if Darksiders 2 makes your list of top disappointments.  That game was a huge letdown for me.  I loved the first one, but the second one just didn't do anything for me at all.

Velocity Ultra is great http://www.gameenthu...velocity-ultra/  and I forgot that Unfinished Swan came out this year.

I got The Unfinished Swan when it was on sale, too, and I enjoyed it quite a bit myself.  It was very unique, and it was a good length; it ended before it got boring.

 

I'll be interested to see if Darksiders 2 makes your list of top disappointments.  That game was a huge letdown for me.  I loved the first one, but the second one just didn't do anything for me at all.

Length on Unfinished Swan was prefect.

 

I haven't fully reviewed my list for disappointments yet, but Darksiders 2 is the probably #1 candidate just based on my memory of what I played.  So many things added to the game that didn't need to be added.  Also, the glitches and invisible walls everywhere.

 

 

Velocity Ultra is great http://www.gameenthu...velocity-ultra/  and I forgot that Unfinished Swan came out this year.

Sweet, I'll check out your Velocity Ultra video.  Unfinished Swan came out late 2012 I think, but I didn't get a chance to play it until this year.

Velocity Ultra is great http://www.gameenthu...velocity-ultra/  and I forgot that Unfinished Swan came out this year.

Looks like you were playing the PS3 version, nice.  I would definitely rebuy it if it had a separate trophy list, but unfortunately they went with shared trophies for some reason.  :(  Also the touch screen teleporting on Vita is pretty nifty.

3 picks, 3 games I haven't played.  Well done.

 

I guess that's mostly true, I did play Unfinished Swan but could not get in to it.  I'm not sure what the trick is to enjoying it since so many people do.

3 picks, 3 games I haven't played.  Well done.

 

I guess that's mostly true, I did play Unfinished Swan but could not get in to it.  I'm not sure what the trick is to enjoying it since so many people do.

Getting out of the first area probably helps.  The white and black at the beginning was probably the least fun I had.

BEST level: white/black,rest of the game should have been w/b.

 

3 terrible games

1.The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct terrible ending,gameplay etc

2.Remember Me sony made the right choice(cancelled in 2011)

3.Beyond: Two Souls play Heavy Rain instead(Jodie can't die)

BEST level: white/black,rest of the game should have been w/b.

 

3 terrible games

1.The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct terrible ending,gameplay etc

2.Remember Me sony made the right choice(cancelled in 2011)

3.Beyond: Two Souls play Heavy Rain instead(Jodie can't die)

#1 I'll never play.  #2 is in my backlog.  :-(  #3 I just ordered from Amazon for $10 :-(

I loved the Ratchet and Clank series on PS2.  I was very happy to play them all again after all this time.  It had been the right amount of time so that I just had vague recollections of the games.  I am looking forward to playing Into the Nexus soon.  We needed another proper Ratchet game and not the garbage ones like All 4 One and Full Frontal Assault.
 
I always seem to decide to play something other than The Unfinished Swan.  I need to change that soon.
 
Ill have to look into Velocity Ultra.  I have never heard of it before now.
 
I got TWD: SI from Gamefly last month and had planned to play it for the trophy competition I was in.  I ended up sending it back once I read all the different things you had to be worried about missing to get the trophies.  I can deal with an easy game as long as I do not have to worry about a bunch of crap to try to get all the trophies and can mentally check out while playing it.  I am glad I never started it.
 

I did not think Remember Me was that bad, but it was not outstanding.  The main thing that annoyed me was the combat.  If you want to rip off Batman then do it right and not half ass it.  If I see an exclamation point I should be able to dodge immediately, not dodge some random amount of time after depending on what enemy type is attacking me.

 

I have yet to play Beyond, but I plan to get it from Gamefly.  I am sure it will be like Heavy Rain and I will like it as an interactive movie but think that it sucked in terms of gameplay.

Glad another person found joy in HD collections. I did have a PS2, but I usually only played the first game in the series, like Sly Cooper 1, so the HD collections offered some new experiences for me while also being able to play them in HD is great.

 

All these HD collections coming out also opens up new comers to the (classic) series out there from 2 generations ago now. Not to mention the value, usually 2 or 3 games for $40 MSRP, and sales just make them that much better.