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Grethiwhaís GOTY 2013 Extravaganza!

I know what youíre thinking: Isnít it a little early to list off the best games of 2013? And if youíre not thinking thatÖ think about it! I mean, the Oscars havenít even happened yet: those people havenít necessarily had a chance to see all the nominated films yet, and they actually have some professional obligation to do so. I donít, and videogames are so much harder to get through besides! So youíre right, it is too early, and I havenít had a chance to play all the 2013 games Iím interested in yet, but goddamnit Iíve started playing 2014 games and I donít know when Iím gonna get around to buying stupid Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear Rising and I wanna make this goddamn list already so fuck off!

Er, anyway, 2013 was a ridiculously great year for videogames. So much good stuff! All ten of these games are A-level wonderful, wonderful games. To say nothing of what I left off Ė so much great stuff Ė including Pokťmon X which is possibly the best Pokťmon game ever because you can catch a Farfetchíd two hours in.

2014 on the other hand looks a bit dreary by comparison I must admit. But there are some interesting games coming. Since I still havenít done my most anticipated games of the year list yet either, Iíll try to mix them in with this list. Thatís like two lists youíre getting! You lucky dogs. And, as a bonus, howzabout I throw some other random 2013 Ďawardsí in as well? Iíve just changed the title of this blog from ĎSpectacularí to ĎExtravaganzaí.

Most Anticipated! #10! Shovel Knight!

Iím not a huge fan of all these retro-styled games, banking on nostalgia, because, well, I grew up with the N64 Ė Iím not nostalgic for those old games, and honestly I donít even really like that many of them. However, Shovel Knight stands out to me from amongst many of the other indie pixel art games Ė I sense, thereís real heart in this one, and talent, and it may be worth playing.

Random Award! Best Graphics!
Killer is Dead! If you skip the side-missions, Killer is Dead can be pretty fun (despite being by far the worst Suda game in terms of characters and writing). But thatís not the reason to play this game;†Killer is Dead is an extraordinary and sometimes hypnotic audio-visual experience, and though it wonít make my top 10 list in a year so packed with all-around excellent titles, for this it does deserve special mention.

GOTY #10! The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds!

Despite Legend of Zelda being my favourite game series, Iíve never really been able to get into the old top-down ones. Iíve never finished any of them. But this oneÖ Iím just about to do the final dungeon, and Iíve had a blast with it from start to finish. The dungeon design is fantastic, there are tons of cool secrets to findÖ Itís great, easily my favourite portable Zelda game after Phantom Hourglass.

Most Anticipated! #9! Persona 5!
Iíve never played a Persona game before but Iíve been long-curious to give it a shot. Now admittedly, my experience trying to play my first Shin Megami Tensei game with the new one last year on 3DS did not work out so well (er, I did not make it past the tutorial dungeon), but I still hold out hope that the spin-off series will be more my cup of tea.

Random Award! Best New Character(s) of 2013!

Grace and Savannah from Tokyo Crash Mobs!

GOTY #9! Super Mario 3D World!

2013 was great for couch multiplayer, thanksÖ mostly to this game. While I wouldnít go quite so far with my praise for it as some people Ė the game didnít do much that was truly new Ė absolutely I think itís the best of both worlds from Mario 3D Land and the New Super Mario Bros series, and, outside of Smash, it's probably the best multiplayer game Nintendoís ever made. Itís pure fun, and thereís been no shortage of people to play it with, living in residence now.

Most Anticipated! #8! Watch Dogs!
The Wii U version is still coming, right? Anyway, Watch Dogs looks damn neat, and Iím all for a big budget game that is not a sequel.

Random Award! Best Virtual Console Release!

Earthbound! Iíve made the decision not to count this as a proper 2013 game, to free up a much-needed spot on my list. But Earthbound was one of my most memorable gaming experiences of the year, and one of my top 2013 releases all the same. For some reason I could never get into Earthbound, playing it in an unofficial capacity on emulator several years back. And, Iíll be honest, if the Wii U VC didnít have its own save-anywhere feature, I could see this being a very frustrating game. But playing it now, like this, Iíve absolutely fallen in love with the world of Earthbound, and the characters, and Iím thrilled to have had the chance to play it in this capacity. Hopefully Mother 3 will finally get an official release soon too. What was that about GBA games coming to Wii U?

GOTY #8! Rayman Legends!

Rayman is the other wonderful couch multiplayer game Iíve been playing with friends a lot, and while most seem to be a bit more partial to Mario 3D World, to me Rayman is the much fresher game experience. Itís a brilliant platformer, itís brimming with new ideas, it makes far better use of the Wii Gamepad, andÖ itís a blast to play. Itís maybe the best multiplayer platformer Iíve ever played.

Most Anticipated! #7! Metal Gear Solid V!
While Iíve given up on ever truly understanding the story of the MGS games, I think theyíre some of the most technically impressive games around, I really enjoy the stealth gameplay, and I canít help anticipating the newest instalment.

Random Award! Best game from a different year that I played for the first time this year!

Chulip! A classic of the kissing adventure game genre! Okay, Chulip is marred somewhat by some series gameplay flaws, but I loved it so much despite that, and now that some time has passed since I played it, the good sticks with me far more than the bad. It could almost be one of my favourite games. You know what, Iím gonna write it a love letter:
Dear Chulip, I really really love you, Chulip. I love you very much. Please give me a kiss next time. End.

GOTY #7! Pikmin 3!

Pikmin 3 was my most anticipated Wii U game, period. Itís one of my favourite series, and I couldnít think of a better one to lead off Nintendoís first foray into HD gaming. I donít think Pikmin 3 is quite as perfect as Pikmin 1, nor does it have the sheer wealth of content that Pikmin 2 does (I was actually surprised when it ended so soon, I was still expecting to get the purple and white pikmin!), but it is certainly the most beautiful and polished Pikmin game yet, and absolutely one of the most enjoyable games Iíve played all year. I loved every minute.

Most Anticipated! #6! Mario Kart 8!

I havenít been this interested in a Mario Kart game inÖ some time. The Wii one was kind of lame, and I didnít even bother with the 3DS game. The best Mario Kart Ė the last great one Ė in my opinion, is the DS Mario Kart. They nailed that one. Except it was on the DS. And Mario Kart belongs on console, to be played in local multiplayer. Mario Kart 64 is hard to play nowadays; I want a new, definitive Kart game. And from everything Iíve seen of 8, it looks like thereís enormous potential there for this to be it.

Random Award! Game everybody loves I most want to slag off!
Heh, Iím not gonna make any friends with this award. But I canít help slagging off Fire Emblem: Awakening. Itís made me realize I do not like turn-based strategy games. Itís the same problem I have with Advance Wars. These games walk the line between boring and frustrating. Depending on the difficulty level itís one or the other. It never actually threatens to be fun. However, there is one thing that sets Fire Emblem apart from other games in the genre: the extreme wealth of inane chatterbollocks between missions. Itís worse than Mass Effect! Honestly, you guys!

GOTY #6! The Last of Us!

After Uncharted 3 I was no longer impressed by Naughty Dogís hallmark spectacle, and I was fed up with their annoying-ass characters. When I put The Last of Us in my PS3 for the first time however, it was immediately striking Ė this was something different, something special, and something from the heart. And itís not the story, why I like this game, though itís certainly compelling. I am perplexed by pop cultureís current interest in ďemotional zombie shitĒ (as Shinta once wonderfully put it), and I sure as hell didnít cry seeing Ellie pet some giraffes out of nowhere (though my dad did snicker a little when he entered the room at that moment), but no Ė it is the gameplay I like. I love the gameplay, the atmosphere, the tension and fear, the strategy, the design and graphics, the characterizations, and the story Ė itís the whole damn package. Itís damn near flawless from top to bottom.

Most Anticipated! #5! Super Smash Bros. for Wii U!

Whereas I feel the Mario Kart series is dying for a definitive instalment, I feel that the Smash Bros. series has already been perfected. That said, Smash is my favourite multiplayer game series Ė the best party game around Ė and I canít help looking more forward to this than the next Kart. And hey, maybe Travisíll be in itÖ Sigh. He wonít. But itíd be great.

Random Award! Fuck videogames; Best Music Album and Song of 2013!
The Next Day by David Bowie. I havenít really listened to any other 2013 music (besides the new Chameleons Vox EP), and I canít really be fucked to, but irregardless: OH MY GOD DAVID BOWIEíS BACK AFTER TEN YEARS AND AMAZING STILL!

GOTY #5! Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch!

Ni No Kuni is a game about a little boy who accidentally causes his motherís death. In his inability to cope with this situation, he dreams up a fantasy world in his mind wherein he may be able to bring his mother back to life in the real world, though we, the player, soon realize itís just a fantasy, and the game is most certainly not going to end with his mother actually coming back to life. This interplay between real and fantastic worlds calls to mind other Studio Ghibli works and especially Spirited Away. And like that movie, it is beautifully handled (and way less depressing than I describe). Ni No Kuni is a thoroughly enchanting game, everything I hoped it would be. And while I was worried the JRPG gameplay would be a dull grindfest, in fact I never found that, and I quite enjoyed the Pokťmon-style monster catching and fighting. Though Ni No Kuni came out in January, itís by far one of the most memorable games of the year, and Iím already wondering if I havenít placed it too low on this list. Too many amazing games!

Most Anticipated! #4! Fantasy Life!
Fantasy Life is that RPG where you can play as the postman if you want because why not. It looks like adorable fun. It was on my list last year, and I donít think Iíve actually heard anything about it since then. Someone localize it already!

Random Award! Best Movie of 2013!

The Next Day, starring Gary Oldman and the stunning Merriam CotillardÖ Even if I had seen more than a couple actual 2013 movies, I think Iíd still be pretty adamant that this Bowie music video is the motion picture of the year.

GOTY #4!Luigiís Mansion: Dark Moon!

Luigiís Mansion brought me back to the days of playing games like Super Mario 64 for the first time as a kid. Hereís a first party Nintendo game like nothing Iíve ever played before, but with all the polish, charm and brilliance of the games that made me fall in love with them in the first place. Iíve never played the original Luigiís Mansion; itís a new style of gameplay for me, and as fun and perfectly executed as any Nintendo game Iíve ever played.

Most Anticipated! #3! Hyrule Warriors!
I just started playing Dynasty Warriors 8 Ė my first foray into the series Ė recently, andÖ Iím not really sure what I think about it yetÖ But whatever, the idea of a Zelda-Dynasty Warriors crossover is so ridiculous and hilarious to me that I canít help it being one of my most anticipated games.

Random Award! Best Movie from a different year that I watched for the first time this year!

Love Exposure! The latest addition to my top ten favourite movies of all time. It is everything good forever. A wickedly funny and beautiful epic romantic bildungsroman about religion and perverts. I hate trying to describe it. And anyway itíll no doubt mean something different to everyone who watches it. Itís a four-hour long Japanese film but it feels like 2 hours. My highest recommendation.

GOTY #3! Animal Crossing: New Leaf!

Oh my god I hate this game. I played it for like 200 hours before I finally gave up on it. Iím still missing that one goddamn fossil. This game is so fucking addictive. I just wish it didnít take so long for Blathers to wake up, or for the Nooklings to sell me those damn fortune cookies. And of course Gaston moved out as soon as I stopped playingÖ Gaston! My favourite neighbour! Now some fucking prick I streetpassed has him. Son of a bitch. Anyway, the whole mayor thing was a stroke of goddamn genius, as itís made me feel as invested in customizing my town as my house and character. My town, which goes to ruin now without me. Jesus Christ.

Most Anticipated! #2! Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze!

Okay, this game did come out like 3 days ago. And Iíve already played the first world. But believe me, even before I played it, before it started getting 10/10 reviews, this was at the top of my most anticipated games list! DKCR is perhaps my favourite 2D platformer of all-time, I like it better than any 2D Mario or the like. And this looks like more of that. But even more fun and with the best enemy designs ever and also HD monkey fur. Now, playing itÖ so far so good. And one more thing stands out as a stroke of sheer genius: Cranky Kong is playable and Funky Kong replaces him at the store.

Random Award! Worst Sequel!
The sequel to my PS3 getting the yellow light of doom in December 2012! After paying 100+ dollars to get it repaired from Sony only to find Iíd permanently lost two and a half years of save data, and then having to redownload, one by one, every single game and piece of DLC of PSN Ė way over a hundred things Ė and reinstall all my disc-based gamesÖ Exactly one year later, Iím watching my new blu-ray of Love Exposure, and all of a sudden my PS3 craps out exactly like it did the last time. I was literally one day away from buying a harddrive to finally back up my data to (as well a bunch of games for it). I decided: Iím not getting it repaired, Iím waiting and maybe Iíll buy a slim in a couple years when theyíre like $100. Anyway, I bought a slim from a friend 3 days ago, and my mum got the old PS3 repaired by a third party for her to keep Ė it lasted about a week but I got my data backed up to copy to the new one. But just save data backs up apparently so I still have to redownload everythingÖ or not botherÖ IN SUM: Fuck Sony! <3

GOTY #2! Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate!

Though I did kind of abandon Monster Hunter prematurely to play other things (with the intention of returning to it), I still maintain that itís one of the most enjoyable and refreshing gaming experiences in a long time, and indeed the best online co-op game Iíve ever played, if not the best online game, period. What an enjoyable game, like nothing Iíve ever played, and addictive as all hell. Anyway, I wrote a thing about it when it was actually fresh in my memory you can read if you want.

Most Anticipated! #1! Whatever Onion Games is Working On!

This is a bit of a cop-out since there isnít an actual game announced and god knows if thereíll be something out this year, but I wanted to bump stupid Yarn Yoshi out of my top ten most anticipated games, and frankly there isnít one game that Iím as excited for as Iíd be if, say, Yoshiro Kimuraís new game were to be announced to be coming out. Anyway, have you seen the latest blog post Ė he revealed character designs for this mystery game and theyíre amazing. Thereís a guy whose face is shaped like an onion who also has one of those upside-down faces where his face is a different face when you flip it over. And also thereís a guy whoís an asparagus with a face and then another face on his butt. Also, naked mariachis. This is my most anticipated game.

Random Award! Best thing I bought with money in 2013!

Zatoichi blu-ray boxset! The Zatoichi movies are so consistently great itís ridiculous. Itís like the best movie series ever. And look at this boxset. Itís so awesome!

GOTY #1! The Wonderful 101

The Wonderful 101 is the best game on the Wii U, itís the best action game Iíve ever played, itís breathlessly paced, funny, spectacular and visually gorgeous, itís a totally unique combat system that only gets better and better as you get better at it, itís a complete game experience, huge yet so full of little details, and just when you think it canít possibly feel climactic in the wake of what came before, my god, that endingÖ What more can I say about The Wonderful 101, I feel like Iíve said it all before. Just buy it, if you have a Wii U and like cool videogames. Itís everything I want the Wii U to be about, and itís freaking awesome.

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About Grethiwhaone of us since 12:06 PM on 12.01.2010

PSN ID:Grethiwha


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