2013 was a pretty great year to be a gamer. The indie scene absolutely exploded, we had two brand new consoles launch, and there were more solid, quality titles to play than I had time for.
I did however have time to play some of them, and I've listed my Top Ten of 2013 below. These are not in order of my favorite to least, I just like to have everything in alphabetical order. The collector in my would have it no other way.
Now, on to the show!
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
I am admittedly not the biggest Animal Crossing player. I'd only ever played it less than a handful of times on the Gamecube and Wii, so as you can imagine I didn't have super high hopes of spending much time with New Leaf when it launched.
Boy, was I wrong. What happened next was a three week binge on nothing but Animal Crossing. I had to catch every bug, catch every fish, find all the fossils and make friends with everyone. I had to be the best mayor Animal Crossing had ever seen!
I haven't sunk as many hours into any game this year as I have for Animal Crossing, and this is why it made my list. Well, that and it's just fun as hell to play.
Fire Emblem: Awakening
I'm not sure what I can say about Fire Emblem that others haven't said before. In a nutshell, it's amazing. I felt like I had been missing something in my gaming life, I needed a game to challenge me, a game to make me want to care about it's characters in a meaningful way, a game that made me regret decisions made and really think about consequences of actions. Fire Emblem: Awakening did that, and then some.
Without a doubt the most addicting game I played all year. I stopped playing everything until I was finished with Awakenings story, I had to see it through, no matter how many tears were shed or how many loved ones lost. Simply, superb.
Lego City: Undercover
When I initially heard about Lego City: Undercover I was skeptical. People were saying it was basically, Grand Theft Auto but with Legos. You see, I've never been a fan of "open world games". I get distracted, lost, bored. I need linearity with my games. When I finally saw the trailer however, my mind was made. I had to have this game and I had to have it now!
Everything about Lego City: Undercover is just fantastic. The story is fairly cliche', you're a do good cop going after a bad guy. Basic stuff, it's everything in between though that makes Undercover such a special game. The writing is witty and fun, the missions are a blast and the unlockable characters and vehicles are just icing on the cake. There really is no other Lego game that does it better, well, other than....
Lego Marvel Superheroes
The only thing better than one amazing Lego game is two, and with Lego Marvel Superheroes, you have arguably the best Lego game to date, and a game that will be very tough to beat. Lego Marvel Superheroes is everything I've ever wanted out of a "superhero" game. Smart and funny writing, solid gameplay and more characters to unlock then you can shake a stick at. No really, you literally can not shake a stick at how many playable characters there are, I've tried, and I failed.
Everything about Heroes is top notch, the game looks beautiful, the character models are spot on with their comic book counterparts, the action is always goofy and full of laughs. Oh and did I mention replayability and hidden secrets galore? Because yea, there's also that.
Probably my biggest surprise of the year. Little Inferno was purchased as just "something to play", I never intended on falling in love with it. After my first initial play through though, it had me, and I was not expecting this tiny little fireplace simulator to tug at my heart the way it did.
Little Inferno seems simple and silly at first glance, that's just the icing on the cake, the real story is in the middle, in between all those combos and ashes, right where the cake is always the warmest. There's a deep story here, a sad story, and adult story, a story that didn't' leave me feeling particularly happy. It did however touch me, it made me feel and care about its little world, its little people and my little neighbor, even though we had never met.
Little Inferno wasn't the only game to sneak up on me and take me totally by surprise, just as Inferno did before it, SteamWorld Dig took me by the hands and wouldn't let me go. I had no initial thoughts or expectations going in, I simply bought it because it looked fun, like something I would enjoy. What I ended up with however was one of my favorite games of the year.
How deep does the mine go? What could possibly be down there? What was my uncle searching for? I had to know, I had to keep digging. I kept finding old relics on my journey, I was being upgraded, but for what? Why is all of this fantastic stuff down here? Must keep digging, must go deeper, must keep playing.
Super Mario 3D World
Look, I make no excuses when it comes to being a Nintendo fanboy. I love Nintendo, I love the house that Mario built. Nintendo games have this certain, charm about them. You know going in, that you're going to have a smile on your face. You know that you're going to play a game that has been polished, and then polished one last time, just in case.
Super Mario 3D World is the definition of a polished game. From the varying worlds, characters, level design and gameplay, everything about 3D World is platforming perfection. I could literally go on and on as to why 3D World is the best game of the year, but I'm pretty sure you already knew that. Wait, you did know that, right?
The Wonderful 101
Take a dash of insanity, sprinkle in some craziness, add a pinch of humor and voila, you now have The Wonderful 101. It's no secret that Nintendo is in dire need of help from 3rd party companies, Nintendo's own internal studios can only put out so much, enter Platinum Games. There are a lot of mixed feelings regarding The Wonderful 101, some people say it doesn't play well, the controls don't work, it's too hard or it doesn't make sense. I can understand these complaints, it's definitely not a perfect game, it is however an amazing journey through a bat-shit insane filled world with boss fights unlike anything you've seen before.
Once the controls click though, when you hit that moment when you finally "get it", everything changes. I'm not going to lie, the game is challenging, the camera can be a bit wonky at times, and you will possibly swear a whole lot, if you stick with it though, you will end up playing one of the most unique and simply fun games of all of 2013.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Two Zelda games made my list this year, the first was the phenomenal Link Between Worlds. I remember playing A Link to the Past when it first released, It was simply put, amazing. You can imagine then, my excitement when we first found out that we would be diving back into that world and that story.
A Link Between Worlds brings with it some very big changes to the Zelda formula. You can now rent items, go to any dungeon at any time, no longer are you constrained to follow a predetermined path, you can now make your own path. I have to wonder if this new "openness" found in ALBW will be present in the new Zelda game for the Wii U, it seems that the camp is decidedly split at this point. I for one welcome it, as I have not had nearly as much fun roaming the lands of Hyrule as I did in ALBW.
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
I had only ever played Wind Waker once before, it was on my Wii, a friend had loaned it to me. You see, when the GameCube was out I wasn't gaming, I had taken a break and was doing other things at the time, so when I found out that there would be an HD release of Wind Waker, I knew that it was finally time to jump back in and finish what I had barely started.
I remembered the game looking pretty fantastic when I had initially played it, I was not prepared however with just how different and amazing the game would look in HD. The entire world felt alive, the cel shading is absolutely gorgeous, it makes me wonder why more games aren't made in this fashion. Oh, and the gameplay and story? Yea, top notch, I can now see and understand why Wind Waker is such an admired and adored game.
Honorable Mentions: Luigis Mansion: Dark Moon and Tearaway.
So that's it I guess. 2013 was filled with an awful lot of Nintendo games for me. I swear that I do own other consoles, no really, I do! Dragons Crown was a lot of fun, Tearaway is amazing, Y's Memories of Celceta is pretty great in it's own right and I even sort of enjoyed Bioshock Infinite, just clearly not as much as everyone else seems to...
Anyway, I can't wait to see what 2014 brings, the Wii U seems to finally be hitting it's stride, the Xbox One and PS4 have some simply amazing looking games coming and the 3DS is going to continue to be my go to system, hell even the Vita gave me reason to finally take the plunge.
Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year! See you in 2014!
Hi there. How's it going? So, uh..nice weather we're having here huh? Yea, real nice weather there...
Look, I hate these intro things, you hate them, hell we ALL hate them, so why don’t we just skip to the good stuff shall we?
I've been on Destructoid for almost seven years now, joined waaaaay back in February, 2007 and have been pretty active with the community since. I started my time here as a front page lurker, eventually tried my hand at being an active member of the forums (oh dear god the forums..shiver) and then eventually found a home right here in the good ole CBlogs. Hell, some of you may even know me by my former name "ChillyBilly".
For those of you not familiar with me, let me briefly tell you a bit about myself. I'm what you might call...a collector. No, no that's not right.. what was it that Funktastic called me...? Oh, a hoarder! That's it; I'm a hoarder of video games and video game stuff. If its video game related, I have to have it. Posters, t-shirts, coasters, key chains, games, consoles, handhelds, postcards, stickers, Slurpee cups (yes, even Slurpee cups), I just have to have it. There was a time when I was pretty active on the Cblogs sharing my various Hauls for all of Destructoid to see (the links to the right should still work - if you're so inclined). I've slowed down a bit however, made a big move to a new state, started a new job and decided to focus my energy (and money) elsewhere for the time being. I still game and I still pick up the occasional gaming related item, but it's nothing like it was a couple years ago.
Oh! I've also been one of the guys who’s been writing the Xbox 360 Friday Night Fights posts for the past two years too! Yea, so that's kinda what led me to helping out Andy with the front page FNF stuff.
I love this community and I love when we all come together to play games on a Friday night, or Monday night, or Tuesday night, or Wednesday night or... well hell, I guess every night.
So I guess that's me. I'll do my best to make you proud, I'm always open to suggestions on different ways to get more people involved with the various community playdates here on Destructoid, and i'd love to hear some of your ideas on how we can make the Destructoid Friday Night Fights one of the main reason why people come to the site.
I know I'm no Andy Dixon, but don't let that stop you from yelling at me when I forget to add your game to the front page. I believe in consistency and I would hate to see Andy's good name tarnished by me doing a good job.
Thanks to the wonderful power of the Internet as well as the awesome fella that is Hamza I proudly present to you, "Bill".
A totally hot guy who is so freaking smart but is not geeky. Bill is witty and has a quick wicked sense of humor tinged with mild harmless sarcasm.
Quiet during the day but party animal on weekends, in a good way. He can have fun! Likes all kinds of sports, usually has mesmerizing bedroom eyes.
Bill is that hot guy in homeroom who doesn't know he's hot, which is why he's so dang hot.
If you are lucky enough to be friends with a "Bill", then consider yourself set for life. Bill is a loyal friend who will stick by you through thick and thin even if you are annoying the heck out of him or making him mad.
He is a peacemaker, calm, a "go to" guy but he can party it up with the best of them. He is accepting and non-judgmental, and kind-hearted to everybody. Bill is just awesome in every single way. Chicks dig him, guys are good friends with him, everybody loves Bill.
"Who's that guy in homeroom that's real smart, funny, and hot even though he doesn't think he's hot?"
"Girl, that is a Bill. You gotta stand in line like the rest of us chicks until it's your turn - he in deeemand. I best hook up wid dat awesome hottie fo sho."
The most amazing guy ever.
Seriously sweet, hilarious, so loving his girlfriend has no idea what to do with herself. He's the best person she's ever had the pleasure of being close to. He may be a bit jealous at times but it doesn't matter because he's got a ton of really good qualities.
Bill likes long relationships and is very good at knowing how to keep his girl. He makes you feel confident and able to be yourself around him. He has the ability to calm others. Super silly (: but always my favorite.
Example of Bill's awesomeness:
[b]A group of friends is arguing in the hallway when Bill walks in.
The arguing stops.[/b]
one who which is drop dead sexy has a massive penis and will punch anyone out who pisses him off. also bill has ill skillz in everything. Most people know him as a balla.
"Hey bill whats up? - Bill what are you doing tonight?"
This has been a brief look at Bill. A.K.A - ChillyBilly
It looks like it's that time of year again! What time, you ask? Why it's "adopt my avatar to take with you to PAX because I have too much stuff going on in my life right now to get there myself time", that's what time it is!
For years my avatar has been attending PAX, hiding in the shadows, protecting the innocent from the scum and evil of society. With my utility, er I mean...with my belt full of neat things, I am the avatar PAX deserves..no wait, I am the avatar PAX needs but..hmmm... I am the avatar PAX didn't know it needed and technically doesn't really need but would probably appreciate if it knew I was there!
Look at my avatar's manly physique:
Chest, chiseled. Face, bearded. Background, moody and dark. Sky, green? Or is that blue, it's kind of like a blue/green combo or something. Hell I don't know what color that is, teal maybe.
Anyway, Chest, chiseled, Face bearded, Muscles, muscly. I am the pinnacle of perfection and the strongest of the strong. My mind as sharp as tacks and my other features are just as sharp and sometimes tacky.
I will protect you as you wade through line after line, trying to score as much swag as you can. I will let no harm come to you as you approach the food area and pay $7.00 for a bottle of water and $9.00 for a slice of pizza. And I will protect you as you Street Pass with other's who may also be Street Passing because that seems like something people would do at a convention focused mainly around video games.
In closing, if you need protection from the seedy, under-worldly and often creepy people that may cross your path then you owe it to yourself to take my avatar with you.
I have sworn many, many times that I would slow my collecting down to focus on other things. I've also said that because I literally have no more room in my place to hoard all of this stuff and I think I may have to actually get a storage unit somewhere until I move to a bigger place.
As seen in my last Haul Blog, my intentions of slowing down have, let's just say, not been fully realized. I try though, I really do.
Occams has slowly become my go to guy for harder to find gems and games. It seems like at least once a week I get a DM from him asking if I am interested in X, Y or Z game. The thing is, nine times out of ten I AM interested in what he has, and that's not helping my situation any.
In this episode I will highlight some of the gems that Occams has found for me. Oh and there's a bunch of other stuff as well.
As usual, I will start with the older stuff and then move on to the newer games/swag/items.
First up we have:
Wildfire Electronic Pinball Now I already have one of these in the box but the actual game has several scratches on it, this one however (the one pictured above) looks brand new and doesn't appear to have ever been played (although I'm sure it has been).
Anyone who know's me knows that I love old school, classic consoles. I'm not talking NES/Atari stuff, I'm talking about those weirdo, obscure consoles from the 70's early 80's. Kind of like this one!
Unisonic Tournament 2000. I found this little fella sitting on a shelf in a Goodwill that I frequent, I'm not sure why I didn't take a picture of the box as well but rest assured It had one.
So that's pretty much it for the "older" stuff. Time to move on to the PS1 & PS2 games!
As a young gamer (in the 90's) I absolutely LOVED anything put out by Working Designs, that's why I was overjoyed when I stumbled upon this gem:
Alundra - I remember playing this when It initially released and am happy to finally have it back in my collection.
Hey, remember that whole thing about Occams always finding games for me?
.//Hack Rebirth, Reminisce and Redemption, all courtesy of Occams. dot Hack Infection was found at a used CD store I believe.
Shadow Hearts Covenant (Another Occams find) and Shadow Hearts From the New World
Wild Arms 3, 4 & 5 - also courtesy of Occams.
See what I mean? Here I am, trying my best to slow my collecting down and what does Occams do? He finds these awesome games that he KNOWS I HAVE TO HAVE! =)
Here are some Non-Occams finds:
Atelier Iris Eternal Mana as well as 2 & 3
Hey look! Some Atlus games!
Baroque, Magna Carta, Shin Megami Tensei Nocturn and ChoroQ
Here we have; Fatal Frame, the hard to find Jurassic Park Operation Genesis, Working Designs Growlanser Generations and Dragon Quest VIII
Grand Theft Auto III, Ghost Recon, X2 Wolverines Revenge, Tekken Tag Tournament, Soul Calibur II and Gran Turismo 4 - these were all found as a bundle at Goodwill. I love Goodwill bundle games, they're always so cheap.
Final Fantasy X, X-2, Ace Combat 5, Burnout Revenge, Rainbow Six Lockdown and Prince of Persian Warrior Within - another Goodwill bundle
Prince of Persia Sands of Time, Manhunt 2, Medal of Honor Frontline, 007 Everything or Nothing, True Crime Streets of L.A. and Mercenaries - the last of the Goodwill bundles for the PS2
I can thank Funktastic for these next few, he talked me in to going back to the store to pick up Grandia Extreme, while I was there I also found Grandia II and Grandia III
Here we have Viewtiful Joe 1 & 2 - one day I will get around to playing these games.
Zone of the Enders and Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3
Everyone loves Katamari! Right? Well if not you can still enjoy these pics of Katamari Damacy and We Love Katamari.
And last, but not least for the PS2 games we have the crème de la crème - Metal Gear Solid - Subsistence Limited Edition. I literally walked in to my local Gamestop one day and bought this, one of the guys I know who works there had it behind the counter for me. For you collectors out there, you don't want to know how much I paid for it (psst..it was under 25 bucks).
Well that's enough of the PS2 hogging all the limelight, it's time for the PSP to take it's turn on the catwalk!
Here we have; Patapon 2, the tough to find Monster Kingdom Jewel Summoner, Blade Dancer, Legend of Heroes III, Me & My Katamari, PoPoLoCrois and Maverick Hunter X
Next up is; Final Fantasy Tactics, Harvest Moon Boy & Girl, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Patapon and Shin Megami Tensei Persona
And finally we have; Shin Megami Tensei Persona 2 Innocent Sin & Hakuoki Demon of the Fleeting Blossom
Moving on to some PS3 goodies we have;
The Sly Collection & Resistance 3
Aliens vs Predator
InFamous 2 Hero Edition
Uncharted 3 Collectors Edition
Here's a neat little thing that I saved from dumpster hell:
Twisted Metal in-store Sweet Tooth Ice-Cream truck display
Oh and then this thing I stumbled upong
PlayStation 2 in-store display light. It lights up, that's pretty much all it does.
I think that just about does it for this haul blog, I do have a couple more things to share though before I go.
If there's one thing that I absolutely love to collect it has to be art books. You know who else loves to collect art books? Occams Electric Toothbrush. Know what else Occams likes?
I love these "10 things" posts, maybe this will turn in to like, an annual thing or something.
As like the others before me this blog will be a list of things (10 to be exact) that have to do with me, hopefully they will be both informative and interesting.
On with the show!
10. I'm 38 years old and I still skateboard.
Now, here's the thing. I'm a realist, I know what my body can and can't do. You won't see me on any half-pipes, dropping in on a foot of vert, those days are long, long gone. What you will see though is a fella pushing 40 cruising around the neighborhood on his skateboard, at peace with himself and totally in the moment.
My foot, my board.
Seriously, I've been skating since I was 12, it's a passion, it's my "thing", it's my "like riding a bike", something that I will do until I am unable to and something that I will never feel foreign with. True story; when I was a teen a few buddies and myself built a ditch ramp (mini half-pipe) in the woods behind my house, for a little over a year that ramp was the underground ramp that you HAD to skate if you were from the Central Florida area. We had amateurs, posers and pros skating that ramp, it will always be one of my favorite memories.
9. I am a huge Cure fanatic
Or as I like to call myself, a Figurehead (because I reject the "Curehead" label). I have everything that they have ever recorded, from LP's to mini discs, to CD's, VHS, DVD and BLu-Rays. I have seen The Cure six times live, which may not seem like a lot, until you realize that they hardly ever come over here to the States. My favorite album of all time is Disintegration, it also happens to be, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest albums ever made. It is absolutely perfect from the opening instrumentals to the finishing note.
8. I have been legally dead.
Here's another true story, one that I am more than proud to claim.
When I was a teen I worked alongside my father doing construction (family business), we were building a hotel for a golf course in Michigan, the weather was miserable, cold and rainy. All week it rained but since we had enough of the roofing and siding done we could work indoors, now we weren't far enough along to where no water couldn't get in, we were still working on concrete, as none of the interior stuff had been started yet. At the end of every day it was my job to roll up all of the extension cords, this was obviously because I was a glorified gopher (go for this, go for that) and I had to do all the shit work.
Long story short, one of the extension cords I was rolling up was sitting in a puddle of water, it also had a pretty nasty cut in to it which was exposing the inner workings. I'm pretty sure you can see where this is going. I grabbed the cord and then woke up in the hospital, hands, arms and part of my back burnt.
It wasn't until a few days later that I was told I flat lined and had to be resuscitated. Pretty neat huh.
7. Adam West picked me up and placed me in to the drivers seat of the original Batmobile.
This happened back in the 80's when we still lived in Detroit. Every year there was a huge auto show in Detroit at the Pontiac Silverdome that my dad would take me to. It had everything, tanks, concept cars, motorcycles, psuedo-famous people, and the creme of the crop, Monster Trucks!
During one of our last visits before we moved to Orlando the original Batmobile from the 60's Batman show was on display, Adam West was there signing autographs, I don't remember exactly why he put me in the car, but I do remember him picking me up and placing me in the drivers seat, I had a picture somewhere of me sitting in the seat with him kneeling outside but I haven't seen it in years. I would love to find that photo.
6. I caught a five foot long shark off the coast of Cocoa Beach.
One of the advantages of living in Florida, as well as having a dad obsessed with fishing, is that you have plenty of opportunities to catch fish. For a while we had a 24 foot Bayliner boat that we would take out of Port Canaveral (near Coca Beach). My dad used to shadow the tourist fishing boats because they would chum the water, meaning that all we had to do was throw out our lines and wait for the chum to take effect. We caught plenty of fish, Blues, Snappers, Amberjacks and yes, sharks.
Not gonna lie here, my dad hooked the shark, he got it on the line and he started fighting it, he DID however hand me the line after about five minutes so that I could bring in whatever the hell was at the end of it. Turns out it was a five foot Hammerhead. Took me well over an hour to bring in and eventually my dad had to step in to gaff him and get him aboard. It was a very proud moment for me, one because I caught a big ass fish and two because I could tell how proud of me my dad was.
5. I had a piece of metal lodged in my eye.
One thing about working construction, there's never a dull moment. I'll keep this one short, was working construction with my dad, cutting metal studs without safety glasses (cause I was a teenager and invincible), something "hit" my face, later in the day I couldn't stop rubbing my right eye. Later that night my dad took me to the emergency room, turns out I had a piece of metal embedded in my eye. Three layers of eye skin and one syringe later it was out.
I now have a noticeable black dot in my eye from where the metal was. Neat.
4. I'm a huge comic book nerd.
I've been reading and collecting comic books since before I can remember. Nowadays most of the stuff I read is all digital because it's just easier for me. My favorite titles are anything Batman, Groo the Wanderer, Usagi Yojimbo and Cerberus the Aardvark.
3. I collect more games than I actually play.
Most of you probably know this by now, I love to collect video games. I also love to play videogames. These days however my love for video gaming has turned more in to collecting than actual playing. For every one new game I play I "collect" 10 more.
As of this blog my collection stands at 1283 games, 34 handhelds and 31 consoles. Out of that 1283 I guarantee that I haven't played anywhere near half. It's become a sort of obsession, if I see a deal or a game that belongs to a series that I like or want I have to buy it. I actually have to purposefully go out of my way to avoid thrift stores, used CD stores etc because I know that I have a hard time controlling myself.
2. I'm a stay at home dad.
I bet you're wondering, how the hell can a stay at home dad afford to buy games all the time? Well, truth is I have a steady flow of income coming in. I don't have set hours, I don't have a boss. I work when and if I want. My fiancee teaches at a college here in Chicago and I take care of our daughter.
I don't think I could ever go back to a 9-5 job again, although sometimes I miss the structure of it all.
1. I love the Destructoid community.
Ask any Dtoider, who "knows" me, how much I love this community and I bet they will all say the same thing; "a lot!". If there's someone in need, I'll help out. If someone on staff needs someone to do the shit grunt work, I help out.
On my 3DS spotpass, when someone get's my Mii the message is "Destructoid.com". I absolutely love this site and I love this community. I know that I can and have been vocal before, in a not so positive light, but it's only because I want to see this community continue to grow and flourish.
Destructoid was my first online community and it will be my last. The friends that I have made here will stay with me forever, even if our friendships fade.
So anway, that's me in ten bullet points. I want to thank Bbain for getting this going with his "10 things" blog, I absolutely love reading all of these.