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Esteban’s Top 5 Games of 2013

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Posted December 31, 2013 by Esteban Cuevas in Features
Top 5

2013 for me was a great year for gaming as I was able to play more new games than I had in a long time. I played all kinds of games, ranging from Tomb Raider to Ni No Kuni to Antichamber. So picking five of the best games I played this year proved to be a tough endeavor. Therefore, these games are not in any particular order and there are still other games like Crysis 3 that I can recommend you play. However, if you want what I consider the best of the best, then here are my top five games of 2013.

DmC: Devil May Cry

I had never gotten into the Devil May Cry series but I was curious about this reboot since Ninja Theory was making it. I was a fan of Heavenly Sword and heard great things about their game Enslaved. This game got me interested in the franchise and I bought the HD Collection of the series afterward.

What this game does so well is make you feel powerful while also giving you a tactical challenge. The various combos and weapons that you always have at your immediate disposal put most combat systems to shame. Dante is also redone to be a more likeable character. At first he’s an arrogant punk but as the story progresses and the brevity of the situation becomes clear to him, he becomes much more empathetic.

The game’s biggest strength has to be the level design that warps and changes around you in a spectacular fashion and makes for some great fights and environments. The game only sold around a million copies but everyone should give this game a chance as it’s the best action game of the year.

BioShock Infinite

I wasn’t expecting BioShock Infinite to live up to the hype. At first, I didn’t feel anything spectacular about the gameplay and I still say one of the biggest problems with the game is that you are regulated to only two guns. However, the story, the characters, the visceral combat on the rails and while utilizing various vigors made for a wonderful experience that left me breathless at the end.

The world of Columbia is also something to marvel at. The place is wonderfully designed and every vista and building in Columbia can be stared at with awe. One thing that really makes me enjoy the atmosphere in BioShock Infinite is the remade versions of popular songs. “God Only Knows” is a special song to me and to hear it performed by a barbershop quartet was a real trip. And don’t get me started on the gospel hymn version of “Fortunate Son”. Chills, chills up my spine and down my arms.

If you haven’t played BioShock Infinite, give it a shot. There are a lot of haters on this game now but it although it might not be your all time greatest game, that doesn’t mean it’s still not an experience you need to have.

Puppeteer

Sony, stop releasing amazing titles and not promoting them. Puppeteer comes from Sony’s Japan Studio, known for the Ape Escape series and Tokyo Jungle and it’s unlike almost anything I’ve ever played. Sure it’s a platformer and some of the mechanics and aesthetics can resemble Little Big Planet, but the experience goes beyond its initial setup.

The game centers around these magical scissors that you obtain early in the game. These allow you to not only attack enemies but to traverse levels by cutting various things in the world, like leaves, clouds, and most importantly, seams. These will help you cover a lot of ground quickly. You’ll need this as levels will constantly change. The entire game has the framing setup of a marionette theatre and it makes for some colorful environments and various cool transitions in the levels.

Some may write this game off as being only for children, but although it has the aesthetic for children, it’s on the level of a Pixar movie, with great voice acting and solid story telling that allows people of all ages to enjoy. Get this game. NOW!

Grand Theft Auto V

I’ve only completed Grand Theft Auto III before this game. Vice City, San Andreas, IV, all the other games fell by the wayside eventually because I eventually got lost roaming around and the story eventually lost my interest. However, GTAV is something different. GTAV is more focused, more polished and more engaging than any of the other games in the series. Rivaling only San Andreas and Vice City in terms of gameplay, Grand Theft Auto V is a freaking masterpiece.

The game has not one but three protagonist that you can switch between at any time. Each character has their own money and special abilities, such as a powered up rage mode and bullet time. However, the real star of the game is the world of Los Santos. Modeled after Los Angeles, the city feels alive and resembles the actual city rather well. As someone who lived near Los Angeles, I often was able to point out where I was from real life experience.

What makes this one of the best games in the series is the mechanics. Gameplay is much like previous games, with the freedom to roam around and kill whatever you want with impunity. However, the controls feel so responsive and rewarding, especially the driving. There is always so much to do and explore. If you haven’t played this game yet, stop what you’re doing and pick this game up now! Oh and I’m proud to say that I finished GTA V. Quick tip: on the last mission, pick the third option. You’re welcome!

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

This game took me by surprised. I was late in liking Zelda, not really playing a Zelda game until around when Ocarina of Time came out but that game and the first game on the NES made me a fan. However, games in the franchise since then have let me down. Wind Waker felt too meandering in its sailing, Twilight Princess had an extremely long first area and I had no interest in playing the motion controlled Skyward Sword.

So when ALBW was announced, I wasn’t super excited. I should also mention that I have yet to play A Link to the Past. However, everyone was saying how good the game was so I rented it and promptly bought it from Gamefly because I was HOOKED! This game ditches the epic storylines that games like Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time had for a simple storyline and a focus on gameplay. The game feels good, attacks feel solid and the freedom from being able to rent all of the items is so liberating.

The painting aspect of the game is also so well implemented. It never feels like a gimmick and dungeons were built around with this ability in mind. This game gives me hope that Nintendo can still make fresh titles instead of the slog that recent Zelda and Mario games have been. Play this game!

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About the Author

Esteban Cuevas


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