My Gaming in Review - Biggest Surprises of 2013
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: