[As Read on GIO.]
Analyzing Lesser Known Games
That were Released in 2013
Hey there everybody. Sorry for the lack of content over the past week or so. I’ve been pretty busy and not up to much in terms of gaming lately anyway, save for a few hours here and there replaying some older last gen titles. As you may have already ascertained from the title of today’s blog, we will be discussing some of the games I played and enjoyed to some degree during 2013 that aren’t exactly excellent triple-a titles, or as well known as they probably could or should be. Some of these titles you will have no doubt heard of, thanks to Game Informer coverage and that of other sites. However, some of them you may not have heard much on, but I will discuss a bit more in here, so that is perfectly acceptable. I suppose, to some degree, this blog will take the same format as my ‘favorite games of 2103’ blog, where I list the game and a a few interesting things about it’s gameplay and other details, before moving on to the next one on the list. These won’t be numbered or anything, but they will have a slightly definitive order (from January to December) in terms of release or re-release on another console or for computers in some cases. Now, let’s not titter and more, and let’s get this show started!
Anarchy Reigns (PS3/360) January 08, 2013
Anarchy Reigns is an interesting game in that it combines many classic gaming aspects with those of today’s gaming in the ‘next age’ as well. Releasing earlier last year, the game hosts a plethora of Platinum Games’ characters from their action titles- ranging from MadWorld to Bayonetta, and is basically a massively multiplayer brawler, to some extent. Sixteen players can enter multiplayer matches in classic deathmatch modes or cooperative survival ones and either fight it out or form alliances to vanquish monstrous foes together. It’s received some mostly decent reviews with an average MetaCritic score of 73 from critics and a 7.8 from players. All in all, it’s at least an exciting and insane game.
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan (3DS) February 26, 2013
You know, it’s really sad, but I feel like in the wake of such excellent handheld adventure stories as Shin Megami Tensei IV and Fire Emblem Awakening, people pretty much just forgot about Legends of the Titan this year. I mean, it’s received excellent scores as well, with a MetaCritic average of 84 from critics and 8.7 from players, has an excellent story and flavorful characters, and is all around an awesome story in general for many reasons. I loved this colorful adventure, and also the excuse to play another game in the series as well.
Machinarium (Vita) March 26, 2013
Although the game itself released a longer while ago for PC, the re-release of the game on the Vita seems to fit just as well, and has received just as many good scores it would seem as well. Machinarium is an indie puzzler and revolves around the story of a robot on a scrap heap making his way back towards the city in order to figure out just what the heck is going on there. Definitely a fun, if short, little game to play, with some interesting puzzle aspects and story twists as well. The game did pretty well on MetaCritic with critic reviews of 88 and player ones of 8.4 as well.
Sacred Citadel (Win, PSN, XBLA) April 17, 2013
Sacred Citadel is a far cry from a true Sacred 2 sequel, and it definitely has its flaws, yet it is still an interesting and decent game not without merit. It has a nice little art style, and though it isn’t the same kind of game at all as Sacred 1 or 2, it is an interesting brawler as well. It strikes me more of an old fashioned game in the guise of a new, current gen one. The story is pretty simple and mostly nonexistent throughout, telling you to choose your character, join the rebellion against the orcs, and protect your realm essentially. But in this case, it’s probably better to go with the ‘less is more’ mentality instead of coming up with a convoluted and ultimately bad story just to have one. Taking sides with your cooperative partner is much more fun than playing solo ever could be. The game did decently as shown by MetaCritic where critics gave it a 63, and players gave it a 6.1 overall.
Grid 2 (Win, PS3, 360) May 28, 2013
The first Grid game was an excellent racer, and for the longest time, I thought it was going to be the only one in the series, which would’ve been a real shame. Thankfully, five or six years later, we were gifted with a highly anticipated sequel which was shortly glossed over in terms of sales, despite a terrific graphical and quality-related performance. Despite a few things that could’ve been included in order to make it a more dynamic racing game, such as changing weather and day to night cycles continuously throughout, the game has few actual flaws, and controls very well in terms of handling. It received some pretty good reviews from MetaCritic critics with an 82 overall to the less than excellent player reviews average of 6.6 overall. I for one definitely enjoyed the game.
Remember Me (Win, PS3, 360) June 04, 2013
Remember Me was one of last year’s most conflicting games in terms of review scores. Many people enjoyed it moderately, and pretty much just as many people thought it was pretty mediocre. Not many thought it was outright terrible and completely without merit however, which makes rating it for many pretty difficult indeed. I myself actually enjoyed it enough to give the action/brawler an 8/10 which is pretty good, despite it recognizable flaws in design and gameplay. It had so much promise, delivered on some, but failed in other avenues. The Neo-Parisian setting was pretty neat, and the combo system an interesting sidetrack to follow, but for the most part it received decent marks on MetaCritic with a 72 from critics and 7.4 from players. Definitely an interesting action title to check out for cheap money.
Zeno Clash II (PSN) July 23, 2013
Zeno Clash I is undeniably better than the sequel, but the second game, which released midway through last year also manages to at least somewhat exciting in some aspects as well. Though I wouldn’t consider it to be a very polished game, it is an admirable attempt to create a sequel to an already out of the genre fighting game, give it a story twist or two, and give it a new coat of paint as well. For a smaller developer as well, it is quite a remarkable feat, and I enjoyed it enough to recognize that as well. It received decent MetaCritic marks from critics with a 65 average, but still hasn’t garnered enough player attention to get an accurate reading consensus. If it helps, I gave it a 6/10 myself, and the fighter is a decent gaming attempt.
Lost Planet 3 (Win, PS3, 360) August 27, 2013
Though ultimately each successive Lost Planet game in the series has gotten worse, it hasn’t been for lack of looking good in previews, or being a promising idea. While I’m still waiting for a true sequel to the first game, which is definitely the best in the series thus far, though still has plenty of issues- Capcom is at least trying to change things. I mean, the whole idea of being able to fight larger and larger Akrid with your mech in LP3 was promising, even if the game itself was inevitably bogged down by bugs and terrible other issues, and none of the multiplayer modes were very worthwhile at all, nor was any coop. Though the first game has been the only one to ever be marginally fun with multiplayer, and the second to be the same with coop, the third is just kind of meh…but it isn’t from lack of action moments, as there are plenty of those. It’;s a mediocre game and story, but for sheer thrills, it’ll mostly deliver, so for a cheap price and easy unlockables, you may as well pick it up. MetaCritic critics gave it a 61 and players a 5.7 average, though I’d give it a 6/10 overall.
Arma III (Win) September 12, 2013
Arma III may have many of the same issues as its predecessors and some issues during development to offset that, but it is still very much the series to go to for a realistic story and gameplay in sim shooters, beating out greats like Red Orchestra as well. The third game, which released after some developmental turmoil this year may not have the greatest scores, or as good as the second, but this sequel updates the outdated interface and despite AI issues, provides an excellent Clancy-like story and gameplay as well. It’s tactics at its best, and fully mod supportable as well, which further improves the lasting quality and gameplay. MetaCritic critics gave it a 73 overall, and players gave it a 7.2 average score.
Warface (Win) October 21, 2013
Despite lower scores that the studio’s works may normally get, Warface is a rewarding and good looking free to play, non-pay to win first person shooter to look at, and a pretty decent Crytek game as well. Coming off of marginal successes with the Crysis series, it’s good to see the developer getting a free to play game out there as well, and a competitive one at that. Despite a mostly small community, it is a pretty good game and a testament to what can be done with free to play genres as well. Shooters like Quake and other arena competitive ones could work well this way as well, as this shows. Rewarding teamwork and cooperation is an excellent method of utilizing experience and skills as well, and that is exactly what Warface’s missions do. It received decent MetaCritic scores with a 63 from critics and despite trolled 2.9’s from players, I gave it a 6/10 overall.
Ys: Memories of Celceta (Vita) November 26, 2013
Memories of Celceta is yet another excellent storytelling role-playing game for handheld devices this past year, showing that though 2014 may be dubbed the ‘year of the RPG’ last year was certainly the ‘year of the handheld RPG.’ MoC is actually a revisiting of the events of Ys 4, and takes the story in a slightly different direction, though it includes many of the same characters. Which i love definitely, as both are excellent games indeed. Expect more conspiracy and betrayal, with all-new twists and some still expected old ones to return as well. It’s an excellent story, and appropriately received MetaCritic scores of 85 from critics and an 8.8 average from players.
Space Hulk (iOS, PC) December 05, 2013
Space Hulk was certainly a very promising if not convoluted idea. It’s set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and is essentially a board game strategy game game based upon a literal board game based upon a game game. As if that wasn’t confusing enough. Anyway, the game itself is a turn-based strategy game in 3D that supports single and multiplayer modes, and recreates the board game experience on game platforms. It’s actually quite harrowing and claustrophobic, since it’s set in a derelict space graveyard populated with so-called alien ‘genestealers’ your marines must face down and defeat. It’s pretty action packed for a turn-based game as well, and calls to mind classic turned-based strategy titles such as Fallout in some ways. MetaCritic gave it some decent critic reviews of an average 62, though players have yet to come to a consensus. I gave it a 7/10 if that helps.
There were many other lesser known and lesser played and lesser enjoyed or rated games that released last year, but these were just some of the ones I enjoyed the most out of their respective months of play, and ones I wished to share in a little blog as well. I’ll admit, some of them weren’t great by any means, but others- such as Etrian Odyssey IV, Grid 2, Arma III, and Ys, were quite excellent indeed- at least in my, and many others’ opinions. Now, feel free to make your own opinion regarding these games- if and when you play them, assuming you haven’t already. However, just remember what a beautiful thing speech is, and please feel free to comment if you do have or have had the chance to experience any of them. Now, remember to have a great day gaming, writing, or doing whatever it is you guys do in your spare time.