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The 28 Video Games That Defined 2013 (For Better or Worse): Part 1

12/28/13 11:00am

Hello everyone. Madhero here. As you can see on your calendar, 2013 is almost over, and boy o boy, was it a good year for video games. When I first posted about wanting to do the Games that Defined 2013, I could not imagine the response it would get, not to mention the sheer variety of games. Heck, while we may have 28 games, you won't see games like Stanley Parable, SimCitry, Brothers, or Ni no Kuni. That's how insane the amount of great (and not so great) titles that came out. Part 2 will be up on a later date (before 2014, I can promise you ), but now, enjoy the first part of the 28 Video Games that Defined 2013 (for better or worse)!

Aliens: Colonial Marines - The Stickman     

There's a golden rule in the world of Gaming, "The longer you have to wait for a game, the less likely it'll be worth it...unless it's made by Nintendo". This rule almost always turns out to be accurate regardless of genre, publisher or console, but still we always get our hopes up for these long anticipated releases even though the likelyhood of disappointment is higher than the likelyhood of joy. One studio has taught us this more than any other recently, first came the car crash that was Duke Nukem Forever a couple years back, a game 15 years in the making turned out to be little more than a crude reminder of why we don't live in the 90's anymore beyond the very basic principals of time, and secondly came the 7 year atrocity that was Aliens: Colonial Marines, a game that reminded us of many sad truths about the industry, and obliterated the reputation of one of the more community heavy "developers," Gearbox Software.

To understand the sheer assholery of Colonial Marines, you have to look back to when it was first announced back in 2006 as the first of several new Alien franchise titles to be announced/released by new I.P holder, Sega. It wasn't until partway into 2008 that we finally got a true glimpse, but even from the early announcement, the promise of a AAA Aliens title from a trusted developer like Gearbox made a lot of people very excited. When it was revealed to be a sequel to Aliens? When we were shown these gorgeous screenshots that just seemed...too good to be true (Funny that)? FUCK. YES. This was the Aliens game...hell, the Aliens product people had been waiting for! It looked great!

And theeeenn...we heard nothing...in fact it wasn't until 2010, after the release of the new Alien vs Predator (Which turned out to be the first one out the gate despite less development time), after the release of Borderlands, and after the shock reveal of Duke Nukem Forever that we got out next glimpse at the game, in the form of 5 screenshots...and...DAMN DID THEY LOOK GOOD! ALLLRIGHT! And then, at E3 2011 the game was officially re-revealed and put back into the release schedule, with a truly stunning trailer, AND a jaw-dropping hands-off demo being shown off to the masses, peaking the excitement yet again, the wait was almost over...early 2012...here we come!

Aaaannd..then it got delayed...and then delayed again...and then Borderlands 2 came out...and then...FINALLY...the actual, final release date for the game was locked down for February 2013, but...inbetween all the initial amazing trailers and footage and the release, the quality of what we were showing had started to decline, not noticeable to everyone, but certainly to me and many other excited fans, the visuals seemed to have taken a huge plunge in the final months running up to launch, and people STILL hadn't had hands on with the game! Uh-oh...so, it was about January this year where I started to have my doubts as to whether or not this was going to be worth the wait, so I didn't pre-order it, and then the reviews came...and it was a disaster!

The game didn't look or play anything like Gearbox had promised, or even shown off in trailers/demos, it was buggy as hell, poorly designed and, despite the promise of a 'true sequel' from 'true fans' of Aliens, what we instead got was a true mess, going so far as to not only damage the Aliens brand and the brands of Sega and Gearbox, but also to damage the very film it professed to loving for SO LONG. And then we found out it wasn't even made by Gearbox, instead it'd mostly been outsourced to another inexperienced studio, and then we found out Gearbox had been accused of siphoning money from Sega to fund their own Borderlands I.P, which if true, would explain why they managed to make both of those games in less time than the shitty Aliens game they'd been working on for OVER 5 YEARS.

Colonial Marines was a disaster...a lie, a sham of a game and a shameful display of greed by a studio that tried so hard to come across as down to Earth and community friendly. We were lied to, both verbally and visually by Gearbox Software, the game was trash, it was panned and now resides in the bargain bins where it belongs. Instead of giving us a crowning hallmark of Sci-Fi Horror gaming, we got a shady cash in on a popular brand. To think that less than half a year after its release Randy Pitchford went on a live talkshow and laughed off the disaster makes me sick to my stomach. Aliens: Colonial Marines defined 2013 because it showed us NO studio can truly be trusted, promises and integrity mean NOTHING in big business, no matter how hard they try to convince us otherwise, and NO game is worth waiting almost 10 years for, even if it has got Aliens in the title.

Animal Crossing New Leaf - dudesterravensfan     

"I haven't really played too many games from 2013. Mainly because this was more of a year of me catching up on games I haven't played. From the games I've played (Stanley Parable, GTA V, Pokemon Y) I feel most obliged to talk about Animal Crossing: New Leaf

I'm going to say this right here, Animal Crossing: New Leaf isn't close  to being the most innovative game of 2013. There are way more deserving games of such a prestigious title. But I would be lying if I said this isn't one of the most immersive games I've ever played. It is the definition of an experience.

In case you don't know, Animal Crossing is about you moving in with your animal neighbors and doing day to day tasks, whilst it runs on an internal clock. Sounds like nothing special, right? That's kinda the beauty of the series: it's so simple and so enjoyable it puts a smile to your face.

Some small adjustments like improved character models (may not sound like much, but it's a big deal for the series), a few new characters like your assistant Isabelle or Reese and Cyrus of the ReTail shop. And of course, you are the mayor of your town (in my case it's called Arlen, like from King of the Hill) which adds ways to design your town your way and putting up shops and public sights. It adds a few more minor things like the Island and the extremely implemented SpotPass and StreetPass for the 3DS.

And there are always secrets to find and you can do normal things like fishing, bug collecting, improving your house, giving gifts to your neighbors, talking to neighbors, and more. There is so much content in this it shifts from being a game into an experience. It's one of the most immersive games I've ever played and it focuses on the player and what the player wants. It may not be the best game ever or of 2013. But it's one of my personal favorites."

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag - ​Kaibaman41     

Assassin's Creed, a franchise whether you love or hate it has given us a lot of good times, but when the third of the franchise launched, it almost killed it due to random desynchronization bugs to well a lot of bugs and an unlikeable protagonist that was Connor Kenway...and of course the death of a certain Modern Assassin left many fans regardless if you liked or hated him in shock.

Enter Assassin's Creed 4. A game that fans wanted the 3rd titled game to be. by that I mean it kicks ass in every way! If you thought Ezio Auditore was badass, just wait till you play as Edward Kenway. 4 enhances the Naval Battle system of 3 and kicks things to high gear with a power level of over 9000! The World map is huge, you can hunt Legendary Ship, find secret Treasure like a Bad Ass Ninja Pirate you are.

Take it from me lads Assassin's Creed 4 is a game that defined 2013 in a good way.

Beyond: Two Souls - ​Ferret75     

I’m aware that David Cage’s past video games, which are indeed games and not films despite what some people might like to pretend, have received mixed opinions due to their cinematic elements, story narratives, and different kinds of controls than what are more commonplace. But whatever others may think, I really loved his latest title Beyond: Two Souls, and enjoyed its unique presentation that it had to offer this year. Beyond: Two Souls is a story-heavy game that explores the life of Jodie Holmes and a spiritual entity Aiden who is linked to her, and despite her best attempts to be a normal person, she has to gradually come to terms with this connection that changes the entire course of her life. We traverse emotional moments in her memories ranging from her early years of alienation from family, to failed attempts at fitting in with other members of society, to homelessness caused by trying to flee forces that seek to use her, and all throughout these various instances we can piece together a story that shows a strong coming-of-age tale. We also participate in physically enduring moments of her life such as government-organized missions in the CIA, to the intermixing of the physical world with a parallel spiritual realm, and even to moments of conspiracy within high-ranked organizations. And we interact with various other areas of her life, all while making choices through controlling not one but two characters within the same scenes.

One of the defining things for Beyond: Two Souls for me was its narrative, which was partly due to its excellent actors. Especially with people like Ellen Page and the Green Goblin himself, Willem Dafoe (who previously didn’t really think much of video game stories). Without giving spoilers, I’ll just say that the performances in the game moved me, such as with Jodie’s true loneliness caused by fleeing from a government that seeks to use her, or with the paranormal researcher (and surrogate father figure to Jodie) Nathan Dawkins’ personal struggles with his own family. Many of the outcomes of the scenes are affected based on decisions that you choose between, such as letting an embassy mission end with success or purposeful chaos, choosing to get violent revenge for harassment at a party or walk away in sadness, impacting the ways that Jodie can cope with being alone, affecting the stability of a paranormal complex, and various other scenes. Most chapters can be played in different ways, and several events affect later sections of the story not only through dialog, but sometimes with endings like the life statuses of certain side characters. And while the controls do still involve quick time events, the psychic gameplay from Aiden increases the number of ways that you can affect settings, and it also leads to some fun moments including a surprisingly unexpected stealth mission which makes good use of the spiritual abilities.

It’s particularly fun from a narrative perspective to participate in a scene where Jodie and Aiden are at odds with one another; you end up role-playing the two characters and try to find a balance between both sides while staying true to their wants. The characters grow up side by side, and they transition between disliking one another to relying on each other for their continued existences. Aiden is simultaneously Jodie’s main reason for many of the troubles in her life, and also her greatest protector from the people who seek to exploit her. I also liked the nonlinear ordering of story chapters, although I can see why some might not as much; for me though, it improved the pacing and let the story be like an exploration of memories with location variety.

But at the end of the day, Beyond: Two Souls is a game that will probably continue to divide some people due its gameplay conventions that might deviate from the norm, or maybe due to unique reactions on the narrative. Personally though, I found it both fun and expansive. The visuals including the performance capture are strong, the soundtrack is memorable, the acting is great, the narrative covers various themes ranging from corruption to self-identity, and the gameplay has its mix of fun but also emotionally impacting moments. I felt strongly for Jodie and wanted to help guide her through her life, and it was great getting to play a role in that. And the close relationship she had with Aiden was one that I will remember for a long time. Beyond: Two Souls was and still is a really memorable game for me that I consider pretty unique, and I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing more storytelling experiences like this one in the future.

BioShock Infinite - Sidesmash     

For the longest time, video games have had a very miscalculated relationship with the presence of “High Art” within its boundaries. Not the mere title of “art,” mind you, but the presence of art’s ultimate form. The industry, as well as its community, has struggled with the notion of its products being taken into the same consideration for artistic study as something as powerful as Ingmar Bergman’s Persona or Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” The aura of “maturity” had not settled with the medium and its makers as of the beginning of this year, despite so many outspoken critics, developers, and gamers saying otherwise. The blockbuster triple-A installments in popular franchises didn’t have as much to say as the less popular independent titles that had some “artistic merit,” or at least defined under the popular connotation for the phrase.

This year, however, something felt… different.

Among the many fantastic titles that enraptured the video game enthusiasts of the planet, one game finally held the merits of both the triple-A and independent sub-industries; in other words, a blockbuster that genuinely meant something surfaced from the depths of development.

That game was BioShock Infinite, a rousing adventure that not only guarantees the beauty and bombastic bliss of an amazing first-person-shooter, but also simultaneously questions the very nature of our existence and the paths we take while on this planet. What does it mean to have free will? Are we truly the ones who pull the strings of our own destiny? Is the will to choose all just an illusion? BioShock Infinite drags all of these layered questions into the light, forcing the player to come to terms with the role they play as main character Booker DeWitt and the meaninglessness of the choices they make.

O, and the cover songs are excellent.

An array of incredible imagination and attention to detail, BioShock Infinite excels in all areas of modern game design: Its gameplay mechanics all serve each other beautifully and in turn culminate in a phenomenally fun experience; the powerful display of creativity presents an amazing eye for authenticity and surrealism; and its protagonist and his companion make for one of the most powerful pairs in all of video games. But more than anything else, BioShock Infinite completely embraces the uniqueness of the video game medium, creating an experience that simply cannot be read, watched, or heard: it must be played.

Bioshock Infinite is not the first game to bring such powerful ideas into a mainstream title, nor will it be the last. But its release marked the first time that those in love with the video game medium collectively looked up and saw a beautiful glint of light in a sky of doubt and uncertainty; a glimpse of a future in which video games are taken just as seriously as the finest piece of literature or cinema. And, for the very first time, no one doubted its legitimacy. 2013 was a year of hope for a better tomorrow for the video game industry, and BioShock Infinite proves that the industry’s fight for legitimacy will one day come to an end, and the victory will go to the army with the controllers in its hands.

Dead Space 3 - ​MadHero15     

The game industry often places itself in a sense of pity. O, game budgets are getting too high! O, we don’t make enough money! O, we get pirated all the time! Please buy our games! PLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEASE! It seems all everyone can think of is making games as big as possible, not thinking about the fact that not all games have to do Call of Duty style business.

Cue Dead Space, a franchise that has shown to be somewhat of a revival of the AAA horror genre. Sure, it took many cues from Alien and Event Horizon, but it was a wonderfully realized horror game. The 2nd one went into more action territory, but was still firmly a horror title, this time adding a more psychological edge to it.

3? Well they decided to screw all of that. At E3 2012, it was revealed to be more action based than ever, with large set pieces taken straight from Uncharted. It seemed the scares had disappeared. Not only that, but now co-op was a thing (cause everything is scarier with 2 people right), and one of the things gamers seem to hate the most right now: MICROTRANSACTIONS! Furthermore, an EA representative said that Dead Space 3 had to sell 5 MILLION COPIES in order to survive. How much did 2 sell? Not even close to 3. It seemed like a failed mission, and everyone could see that, and sure enough, it was.

2013 saw many so called disappointments, with Tomb Raider probably the biggest example of them all. Its true that game budgets in the AAA market continue to expand, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to go all out. Dark Souls was a game that had a limited budget and sales target, and ended up being a HUGE success. Dead Space 3 tried to appeal to everyone, and ended up being just another action game on the market, alienating its former fanbase.

That’s ultimately why I think it defines 2013. Its an example of trying to expand a game to make it something its not, and then self destructing in the process. Many IPs have fallen cause of this trend, and I hope game designers learn not to go big or go broke. Let Dead Space be Dead Space and let Call of Duty be Call of Duty. Horror ain’t dead you know, just look at Outlast.

DuckTales: Remastered - Prowler64    

Remade games played quite a large role in the market in the second half of the year. With The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker being re-released on the Wii U to Sonic 2 getting a new level that wasn’t in the original game, remakes were popular this year. Despite that, it was a huge surprise that Capcom were remaking the NES classic when it was announced back in March. What we got was a magnificent nostalgia trip, with updated cartoony graphics, catchy updated music still with chip tunes as an essential part of it and a story line that filled up a couple of plot holes the original game had. brentalfloss finally got his question answered; how is Scrooge supposed to breathe in space? With oxygen filled gum of course!

I never got the chance to play the original game on NES. I had only seen the ScrewAttack team playing it and enjoying it on Screwin’ Around. I told myself that at some point, I would play this game. I was excited when the game was first announced – almost as much as Craig was! When I eventually played it, I spent a whole night beating it (on easy because I wanted to beat it in one night). I loved it, and apparently a whole lot of other gamers who have never played this style of NES-hard game loved it as well.

The remake itself played in a near identical way to its original game, with a few tweaks in each level and some extra interaction to explore the levels further. On top of that, two new levels were introduced to the game. One is a tutorial level to introduce newcomers to the concept, and a difficult final level. On top of that was a gallery with original and new art and music, and even art from the show. As an extra bonus, you can swim in the money bank (and get an achievement for it)! The game felt like it was true to its roots, the TV show. The cutscenes came across as if they were just an episode of the show.

To really understand how Ducktales: Remastered represents 2013, watch brentalfloss’s “Just One Duck” video. This game bought ‘classic’ gamers together to share memories and play new games together, and it brought new gamers together as well. Even as a one-player game, this game is a great game to show off to other people and play with others. The community feel and playing with others that the best games attempted to achieve this year. DuckTales: Remastered represented 2013 in ScrewAttack’s Iron Man of Gaming alongside Killer Instinct. If you saw the reaction when it was revealed you knew that this was going to be a game that was going to be well remembered for how it represented 2013.

Evoland - Bigjoe91     

2013 was a strong year for retro-gaming enthusiasts. We’ve seen more remastered classics, Kickstarter spiritual successors and more ports than we can count. Another particular genre could be called the homage. Evoland definitely comes across as the prime ambassador of this genre.

Embracing the proposed theme of Evolution and classified under the action-adventure banner, Evoland starts off in the skin of an unnamed hero on a 2D grayscale plane surrounded by two treasure chest. Only one direction is available, forcing you to claim the right-hand chest. This reward will grant you the power of going left. Opening the left-hand chest will open up all 4 directions and your first taste of adventure. Navigating through that familiar looking forest, you will start noticing many more chests that each unlock different basic features such as enemies, music, color, attacks, story, all brilliantly showcasing the evolution of the action-adventure genre. The evolution continues until you reach 3D graphics and orchestral versions of the early chiptunes. Along the way, you will meet companions, ride airships, travel a wasteland Diablo-style and even play a few games of the obligatory optional card game.

So why pick Evoland out of all the amazing indie games Steam keeps spurting out on a daily basis? I learned a lot playing this game. Not about the history of video game development, but about the industry, about game design, about myself. Evoland deserves its time in the spotlight, even with its flaws.

First of all, as mentioned above, Evoland clearly presents itself as an homage, but not without creativity. The evolution process within the game screams innovation as it explores a gameplay mechanic never seen beforehand. Not only does it feel fresh, but the increasing features also greatly vary the actual style of the game. One moment, you are slashing bats and pushing blocks on a 2D plane and the next you’re summoning a giant dragon against a boss; and it makes sense! Unlike many games based on old titles, Evoland feels new, but familiar. You can, with good reason, argue that most of the evolution takes place in the first few parcels of the game, but it will allow for young and old to immerse into the world presented to them.

Unfortunately, when trying to stir up familiar feelings in the player, Evoland often falls into some tropes of its own. Like many homage titles, it tends to float along the border of plagiarism presenting enemies that need no introduction and some other that just don’t relate to the story. Despite the creativity of the general idea of the game, the characters, enemies, locations, dialogs lack originality. The level design stays on the simple side, barely escaping tediousness thanks to its short completion time. The story comes off as nothing more than a last minute excuse to give meaning to the otherwise bland protagonist. Some shameful references to internet memes are included, as if to cash in on a trend that has already passed.

Even if you wished for more out of this game, you will learn to love the game for what it is: a true homage to video games. And although the short completion time and the obvious potential for expansion to the very modern era of dialog choices and open world will leave you wanting more, this game will stick in your head. Whether you remember it as a love letter to your favorite games, the greatest fan project you experienced in the current year or even your personal game of the year, you will remember Evoland for its original ideas and its nostalgic roots. Just like many, MANY, other titles this year. That, my friends, is why Evoland defined 2013.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon - Noble Team 1     

Blood Dragon to me defined 2013 as it just seemed like such a dumb comcept that was surprisingly real. While parodies are nothing new to gaming, it seemed so strange that the follow up to Far Cry 3, which looks like a game that has a pretty serious tone, would be a game that truly feels like a greatest hits album of 1980’s action movies. Once this game came out it still seemed like some strange joke that Ubisoft wanted us to believe, but it worked out as many people enjoyed the cheesy nature of Blood Dragon more than its predecessor.

As for the actual game itself. Well, I say it’s so much fun as while it plays tribute to 80’s action movies, its gameplay should be very comfortable to a modern gamer. I found myself addicted to just killing any object within my range as that meanT more experience, and that meant an even deadlier Rex Powercolt . If you ever wanted to have a ninja star that shoots out a laser that causes enemies to explode or see a Blood Dragon completely wreck a base just so you can capture it for your own purpose, then there isn’t a better choice than Blood Dragon.

Fire Emblem Awakening - ThePonchoNinja     

2013 has been a great year for video games, and for the Fire Emblem series, it is no exception. Fire Emblem: Awakening is one of the many games that defined 2013 for mainly two reasons:

1: After a decade since its release in the West (which felt like an eternity), the franchise is FINALLY getting some of the recognition it deserves, and it has become better known to a wider audience! I guess you could say many gamers have been...AWOKEN to a great series? Eh?.....That was awful, I'm sorry...

2: More importantly, it saved the franchise. The developers had decided that if FE: Awakening didn't sell well enough, they were going to discontinue the series. I.E. FE: Awakening saved the series from death...but at what cost?

All the games before Awakening (including Sacred Stones) had a very linear progression; for those of you who know the series, you had to be careful about the choices you made. Everything from purchasing weapons/items, leveling up your characters, etc. stuck with you throughout the campaign. So if you spent all your gold on weapons early in the game and couldn't find a means of acquiring many funds after, your supplies would run low, and your situation would be dire. If you relied mostly on your paladin throughout the game instead of trying to raise your puny level 1 archer or fighter, then you would suffer consequences later on as your paladin wasn't as strong as he/she originally was. As a result, you would probably start over or throw away the game in frustration.

Awakening breaks down and simplifies a lot of the gameplay formula to a point where it is almost reminiscent of Shadow Dragon, but at the same time, incorporates elements from later entries (open world from Sacred Stones) and adds some completely new ones (pairing-up system). The game also gives players the choice to play it on “Casual Mode,” where permadeath is turned off. You can also leave a level at anytime; something you could not exactly do in previous installments. Some of these DLC chapters are levels specifically made to farm, E.G. “The Golden Gaffe” to acquire more gold and “Exponential Growth” to grind and level up your characters. Having this kind of free roaming ability and replayable DLC chapters make a HUGE impact on how the overall formula of how Fire Emblem is played. The choices you make don't exactly have the same consequences as previous titles. These choices in game design also help make the game much more accessible to newcomers; the accessibility for newcomers is also one of the elements that Awakening is praised for.

Fire Emblem: Awakening is a fantastic game, but I can't help but feel that some of the praise it receives is unfair, especially when compared to entries like Shadow Dragon, or even Radiant Dawn (yeah, I said it!). So did Fire Emblem: Awakening define 2013 for better or worse? Well, both really. While it's great to see the series is getting more recognition and that it's going to stick around (for now at least), I can't help but feel slightly disappointed and fear of what path it might head down in later installments. I.E. if the challenge/reward elements are sacrificed for the sake of accessibility, statistics, and numbers.

Forza Motorsport 5 - APPL3JU1C3     

How do I define 2013? Well here's how I experienced it; the year Nintendo got their shit together. Seriously, the Wii U got out of its initial drought phase with games like Pikmin 3, Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World, and the 3DS became more than just a relevant platform, it became THE relevant platform, delivering on both quantity and quality. But Nintendo consoles currently make up less than a third of relevant platforms at the moment. So how do I define 2013 for the other consoles? Well, I do so using Forza Motorsport 5.

Let me get one thing straight, Forza Motorsport 5 is not the worst game of 2013, far from it. In fact, you could say this is quite unfortunate for this game, because it isn't a particularly bad game, yet at the same time it manages to embody everything I dislike about gaming in 2013.

Lets start with the genre. It is a car sim. With this in mind, lets go back to E3 of this year. If you weren't swept up with Sony stating that you can play used games on a PS4 (keep this in mind for later on), you would notice that there were a lot of car sims (Driveclub, Gran Turismo 6, Need For Speed Rivals, The Crew). This emphasis on such a tired genre reminds me of the seventh generation's focus on first person shooters, which seems to have simmered down as of recently. If the car sim genre does become the next big genre, I will be disappointed, because car sims simply aren't any fun. The learning curve is far too steep for newcomers, and once you do get into it, you realize that mastering the controls was the only challenging part of the game. Surely a good game should be easy to play and difficult to master, not the other way round! And this is just a personal complaint, but if you have a DeLorean DMC-12 in the game, this should be incredibly fun to play, not the worst car in the game.

Back to Forza 5, this is pretty much the same as previous Forzas, in fact, there is LESS to do in Forza 5 than in Forza 4. The only thing new about this Forza is the games new pronunciation (Fort-sah, instead of Four-zah).  This was an Xbox One launch title. In fact, you could say that this is the main attraction (alternatives include Killer Instinct: buy every character separately, Quick Time Events in a Roman setting & every multiplatform release of Q4 2013). The Xbox One is a flawed console. It relies too much on being a multimedia system, it is too expensive and the less said about the whole DRM/Xbox 180 fiasco the better. But one story I remember regarding Forza 5 being an Xbox One title was that you would have to download a piece of mandatory DLC to play the game, because the developer was not prepared for the 'Xbox 180.' This is a flaw in the game, and it just looks bad for Microsoft.

But the real stinker about Forza 5 are the microtransactions a.k.a. the worst trend gaming is currently following. Developers noticed that mobile and browser games were ripping their players off, so they decided to follow their lead and let this gaming disease infect your favourite games, such as Dead Space 3, Final Fantasy and, you guessed it, Forza Motorsport 5. But Forza 5 takes this one step further, by having prices that would be laughable, if it weren't such utter shit. To buy an in game car from the in game store, you use in game credit, earned either by playing the game, or paying for it. So how much real life money does an in game car cost? 60 US Dollars.

60. US. Dollars.

WHAT???

Can I remind you that the game itself, without any additional cars is 60 US Dollars, so the game with ONE additional car is 120 US Dollars. But hey, I mentioned the ability to unlock it in game, without any extra funds. So how long does it take to unlock one car in game. 60 hours. So pay too much or play too long. What a load of crap.

So there you have it, humble reader. This is why Forza 5 to me is the game that defined 2013. It is an uninspired car sim on Xbox One that contains the bane of gaming. I hope you enjoyed my 2 cents.

Foul Play - theweirdomaxim     

Foul Play is a perfect example of how game became so entertaining, yet so simple and unique. It made it in such a way that the games you play are fun, and it also made it possible to get simple, yet challenging rewards, such as “Get 50 Combos on a certain place.” Yet, it's not "easy" to get those. It will test your skills, but it won't test it to your death.

It is also a good example that I want to complete this game. I am a gamer who has a very rare habit about wanting to complete a game 100 percent. Why did I want to do in this game, and other 2013 game as well.

1: It is fun and addicting.

2: It is plausible to do it without making you frustrated to death.

And some you may think, "I can't do it." But you can without even knowing! For example, "Hanging in the wire" is an achievement in the game, where you need to be in air for 15 seconds or more without touching the ground. At first I try to do it, but later on, without knowing, I did it!

I believe that 2013 was, not only the year of Luigi, but the year where genres like indie, not only made games so much fun, but so entertaining as well, yet keeping it so simple. I have played many games this year, and yet I feel like I did not get confused, instead, just memorize moves or something related, and did not even need to pause the game and see the Instructions, and still trying to complete games that I want to!

I love to play it just like that, and 2013 did it.

Gone Home - The Windwaker     

Gone Home was a game that seemed to come out of nowhere. Arriving on August 15th of this year, all that I had heard was that this game was extraordinarily well done and was receiving widespread critical acclaim. That was it. I didn’t know a genre and I wasn’t completely clear on what the overall premise of the game was, but I was intrigued. I wasn’t even a PC gamer, and there I was starting up my journey through an empty house that genuinely had me terrified. Where was everyone? Why are there notes scattered across each room and why are these doors locked?

I began exploring, expecting something to attack me or drag me to my doom. No such thing happened. I just walked around the house, collecting notes from my little sister who had disappeared along with our parents. The mystery slowly came together as my exploration of the house became more thorough, and before I knew it, I was completely hooked on Gone Home.

After searching every inch of that house and actually finishing the game, I just sat back and smiled. The storytelling techniques, the nearly perfect dialog and an incredible attention to detail made Gone Home a fantastic and heartwarming journey that I’ll not soon forget, and I believe that it defines this year for several reasons. This game surprised the industry; it surprised gamers in general. And, for me personally, this year was absolutely full of surprises. From games not being as good as expected (Aliens: Colonial Marines or maybe even Call of Duty: Ghosts) to games like these that came out of nowhere and shocked the hell out of us (like Fire Emblem: Awakening or Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus) this year was full of fantastic surprises.

Furthermore, Gone Home had a phenomenal story, as did many of the biggest AAA games we’ve experienced this year. Games like BioShock: Infinite and The Last of Us are proof of this. Finally, this has been an amazing year for the video game industry, and much like Gone Home, this industry has refused to hold anything back, supplying us with unforgettable moments and great content throughout the year. Regardless of what game defines it, this year will truly go down as one of the industry’s finest.

Grand Theft Auto V: Gear12     

2013 was a big year for gaming. It was the last year of the console generation, some serious and intelligent conversations were started, and a number of highly anticipated games were released. This includes the game I'm talking about today: Grand Theft Auto 5. By all accounts, this game was going to be massive. It boasted a huge open world to explore with about 100 hours worth of content. Anticipation was at an all-time high when Rockstar released a long trailer that explained all of the cool new features and mechanics that fans and newcomers alike could enjoy. It looked like it was going to send the current gen off with a bang. Needless to say, many people were very excited for GTAV's release.

A few days before its release, the embargo was lifted and all of the big sites released their reviews. As was to be expected, the game received glowing praise on almost all fronts. But there was one review that stuck out amongst all of the other ones: the one from Gamespot, written by Carolyn Petit. She gave the game a 9/10, praising the game's graphics, gameplay and writing. Except there was one little niggling flaw that she found with it: the game was a little sexist at times. Upon reading this one line, a hurricane of condensed burning rage erupted in the comments section. Carolyn was accused of everything from simple bias to using her review for liberal political activism. Comments were made about the fact that she was not only a woman, but a transgender woman. She was threatened with various unspeakable things that I cannot in good conscious rewrite here, and were thankfully removed by GameSpot's vigilant moderators.

So why do I bring this up? Well, I believe that GTA V defined 2013 because its reviews brought out the absolute worst that the gaming community had to offer. Despite all of our talk of maturity and progress, GTA V showed that we can still be as toxic and hostile as before, maybe even more. No matter what you may think, sexism and representation of women is an undeniable issue within the games industry, and should absolutely be called out when it happens. The very idea that sexism is somehow okay "because it's GTA" (which is nonsense) or "because it's satire" (which by my understanding, it wasn't) is downright depressing. It's time for the industry, and the gaming community, to realize that women are just as human as anyone else, and that doubting or downright insulting or threatening someone because she's a woman is just wrong. If GTA V is any indication, we still have a long way to go with that. We apparently still don't understand subjectivity, satire, sexism, or basic human decency. It was a sad day for gaming 

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And that's it for Part 1. Don't forget to take a look at Part 2 when its out, which will feature games like Pokemon, Last of Us, and much, much more, so stay tuned! For now, what was your Game that defined 2013? Please tell so in the comments! Also don't forget to subscribe and share and stuff. Stay tuned for Part 2!

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