Kyle is a contributing editor for Destructoid with a love for all that is bizarre and Japanese in the world. Raised in these here Cblogs, Kyle likes shiny things, long walks on the beach, and raccoons.
We just doled out a mess of game of the year awards, and they're all lovely games. That said, they're not necessarily all my favorite games of 2013. So, in the interest of full disclosure or something, here were the games I voted for.
Honorable mentions: Tomb Raider, Ridiculous Fishing, Electronic Super Joy, Killzone Shadow Fall, Pandora's Tower, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Project X Zone
I feel like Rain came and went without many people taking notice of it. And that's really a pity, because it's a heartwarming and enjoyable adventure. I really enjoyed the early 20th century France atmosphere, with the accordion music, and the graphical effects with all the water were just lovely. The ending made me well up a bit too, but I didn't full-on cry like I did last year with The Unfinished Swan.
Dragon's Crown got a lot of buzz for being offensive and all that, but that kind of distracted from the fact that it's kind of a great game. Say whatever you want about certain aspects of the art, on the whole it's just gorgeous. Along with the music and narration, it transports you to this world with fun brawler combat and RPG elements. I think this is a game I'll be returning to for years.
The Bit.Trip series is just all kinds of amazing. Though my love for the Wii tempered in recent years, I was quite the fanboy at one time and these games were a big reason why. Then Gaijin Games comes back with Runner2 and took the experience from the original title to a whole new level. I'm not sure auto-run platformers get much better than this.
I make no secret of my love for Japanese role-playing games (or Atlus) and Shin Megami Tensei IV is an amazing JRPG. It's oldschool, and can be pretty brutal at times, but it's all worth it. I fell in love with the game the moment a demon requested that I poop with him when I asked him to join my party. Scatalogical humor, it's the quickest way to a man's heart.
Killzone: Mercenary is the best portable first-person shooter ever. Sure, there's not a lot of competition out there, but it looks and feels like a PS3 game. And in some ways it's kind of what I would have liked Shadow Fall (which I also enjoyed quite a bit) to be. The multiplayer is limited and the Vita doesn't have the best input for shooters, but the quality of the game itself is undeniable. Where others have failed miserably, it's amazes. Simply put, Killzone is my jam and Mercenary might be my favorite in the series.
I don't really like 3D Mario games. I don't really know what it is. I grew up with the Super Mario All-Stars and that's the Mario I like. Super Mario 3D World, though, it's a hybrid. And it's a total nostalgia trip. It takes what I love about the New series and turns the experience on its ear, really going the extra mile to make everything loads of fun. If you removed the stupid star collection bullshit, it would be near perfect. I fucking hate that crap so hard.
Back to the positive vibes: OMG I love all the Plessie levels. Also, Neko Mario. KITTIES!
You can read my thoughts on Tales of Xilliaat length here, but you probably won't. You probably just looked at the pictures in this article and then judged me and called me a weeaboo. Really, though. Tales of Xillia is amazing. I called it a modern classic. The characters are so endearing. The battle system makes grinding fun. The music is, well, I'm listening to it right now. Seriously, just go play it.
The Legend of Zelda; A Link Between Worlds is a very long title to type out, but it's also a wonderful entry in one of my favorite series ever. This portable marvel harkens back to what I loved about the franchise in the first place. Not only that, but the game really streamlines the experience, cuts out the crap, and manages to put a new twist on the formula too. Isn't that what people have been begging for? Definitely one of my favorites, right alongside my beloved Majora's Mask.
Is Fire Emblem: Awakening the best SRPG ever or is Fire Emblem: Awakening the best SRPG ever? Dude, I could not stop playing this. It consumed my life for a little while there. Everything from the way it looks, to the way it sounds, to the gameplay, to the wonderful localization is just HNNNNNG. Ugh, I love it. I love it. I love it. Just writing this makes me want to replay it. I don't care if you hate RPGs, or strategy games, or don't have a Nintendo 3DS. Get one. Now. Play Fire Emblem.
Speaking of games that I couldn't stop playing, The Last of Us has scarcely left my PS3's disc tray since the game launched. After going through the wonderful campaign, which really wowed me in ways that big budget AAA games rarely ever do, I gave multiplayer a spin and was hooked.
I hate to use this term, but it's visceral. It's a really violent game, set in a violent world with terrible people that do horrible things, and I love it. The storytelling brings it all together. I believe in it. The quality dripping from virtually every facet of the experience gives me hope. Joel and Ellie's journey was magical -- in a horrifying sort of way. I believe in Naughty Dog now. Man, I don't even like Uncharted.
The competitive experience brings me back week after week after week. I'm still playing this game. The emphasis on collecting resources is really interesting, and I particularly like the round-based best of seven mode where you only get one life. It makes sense within that world, where you're hanging by a thread and trying to scrape things together and will do anything and use anything to survive. It's pretty much the antithesis of the Call of Duty-like multiplayer experience that I loathe. So, therefore it's amazing.