Archile Awards of 2013.
Playstation 1 Game of the Year:
2013 was a great year for my Playstation 1, I greatly expanded on my collection and played a whole lot of games that I loved as a kid. Narrowing this list down was tough.
Xenogears: One of the greatest RPGS that Squaresoft ever published, before turning into this shadow of what they once were. Also, the last great game Monolith Soft employees would release before cursing us with Xenosaga.
Rival Schools: A two-disc fighting game behemoth, the IP has so much untapped potential, Capcom really needs to go back to their roots: No DLC and no Outsourcing.
Bushido Blade 2: One of the most unique fighting games I played this year, just because it's different, it doesn't make it bad, on the contrary, this game was so good due to how different it was. It's a slower-paced game that most fighting game, where one mistake can cost you the entire match.
The Legend of Dragoon: This game was incredible, the gameplay was pretty different from the norm, and turning into Dragoons was way more fun than it should have been. It would also get pretty challenging.
Strider 2: It might be a bit of style over substance, but Strider 2 is a fantastic action game. Infinite credits make it a bit easier than what you'd expect from a Capcom game, but then again, it's an Arcade game port, so it was never fair to begin with.
Xenogears is a fantastic game that delves into subjects that few developers would delve into, religion being a a lie and god being evil, for example. As of now, Shin Megami Tensei became pretty mainstream thanks to the Persona series, but Xenogears was the first taste us non-japanese readers would get. And it's fantastic.
I did not play as many great PS2 classics as I expected, but I did play a lot of games that I enjoyed during my childhood. It was an OK year for my PS2, even if now I know that Dynasty Warriors 2 has aged very poorly
Okage - Shadow King: Impossibly quirky, incredibly funny and surprisingly decent, one of those games that is destined to fade into obscurity despite it deserving much more attention than it ever got.
Robotech - Battlecry: This game can get incredibly challenging. It also has some pretty nasty bugs, yet, non are gamebreaking. I don't know how faithful this game is to it's source material, but I do know that it's a fantastic game.
War of the Monsters: This is the game every kid that loves monsters wants. Gameplay is solid, and the presentation is top-notch, filled with love to the whole giant-monster/kaijuu genre. And even if you are not a fan, the game is good enough as to stand on it's own.
Dead or Alive 2 - Hardcore: Probably a better game than Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, the mechanics have aged pretty gracefully. It's also a faster game, and much more friendly to beginners, for fighting game fans, this is highly recommended.
Way of the Samurai: What the game lacks in length, it makes up in replayability. Y'see, there are tons of choices that change the outcome of many different events, some changer are veeeery large, while some can be pretty small. It's a great game and pretty unique too.
Okage, you deserve better. While the gameplay is as generic as it gets, the setting and the plot is not. Very reminiscent of Earthbound, yet another cult classic that deserved better. Okage was, technically, far from the best game I played on the PS2, but the enjoyment I got out of it made it earn it's Archile Award.
Whoa, it feels as if I had barely touched the DS this year. It's probably true, but I'm sure I played a couple of games in January, before I started the Of Swords and Joysticks project. Probably.
Megaman Star Force 3 Black Ace: Megaman Star Force 1 has aged somewhat OK, but Star Force 2 is just dreadful. Star Force 3 on the other hand remains the best one in the trilogy. Tons of different looks for Megaman, tons of ways to customize his abilities make it much more engaging than the others. And the story is the tightest of the bunch, shame the series was discontinued.
All Kamen Rider Generations: A fantastic beat'em up, since it was never localized, it's hard to recommend it to people that are not fans of Kamen Rider. The game is very simple, but what it does, it does it very well.
Shin Megami Tensei - Devil Survivor 2: Somehow, Atlus managed to top Devil Survivor 1. While the game starts off easier than the first, it quickly gets harder, much harder. This is a challenging SRPG in which you have to distribute skills and spells between your human characters, and make sure to fuse strong demon partners for them, and that's just half the battle, then you have to take your teams into the fields. Very fun game.
Dragon Ball Kai - Ultimate Butoden: Why would Bandai choose not to localize this one is a mistery. Solid gameplay, a lot of content, from a story mode that follows Dragon Ball Z in it's entirety, to a very meaty character roster and dozens of items to customize each and every character with. Dragon Ball fans would do well to get this game.
Tetris DS: This is the best version of Tetris I have ever played, by far. This is not simply "Another Tetris port", there's plenty of different game modes for Tetris fans to experiment with.
I'm gonna level with you. As good as the other four game were, none can even hold a candle to Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. This game should be on every DS owner's library.
I bought this console this year, so it was bound to get some use. Truth be told, every game I've played on the 3DS is far from a must-have. Hopefully next year I will get to play some.
Super Street Fighter IV -3D Edition: Back in my day, handheld ports used to be vastly different games from their console counterparts. SSFIV3DE is an almost exact port from the console version, which means to say that the most influential fighting game of the last generation can be on your hands by sacrificing some of the graphical flair. A fantastic deal I'd say.
Dead or Alive - Dimensions: Everything Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore is but better. Better graphics, more stages, more characters and updated movesets. It has the least costumes among any other Dead or Alive game, but they chose most of the good-non-fanservicey ones, and that's pretty cool.
Pokemon Y: The Pokemon you know and love(Or loath) now in full 3D. Seriously, that's this game in a nutshell.
Star Fox 64 3D: An upgraded port of the Nintendo 64 classic, made even better thanks to a couple of new extras. The core game was kept almost intact, and now it looks a thousand times better. Also, one of the few 3DS games I'd recommend playing in 3D.
Tekken 3D Prime Edition: A very lackluster port of Tekken 6, with a ton of features missing, they figured they'd make up for it by including that awful Blood Rebellion move. It didn't. Still, I am a Tekken fan, and I had way more fun than I should've with this game.
I almost went with Tekken, but then I realized that I spent much more time in Pokemon. Yes, it's the same game that we have been playing since Red, but is it such a bad thing? People despise CoD for being the same every year, but when you are that good, you don't need to change as much as to slowly perfect the formula. And while Nintendo actually took a couple of steps back, I've not much else to play on the 3DS!
Not a whole lot of Wii games, but everyone of them were incredibly memorable.
Fragile Dreams - Farewell Ruins of the Moon: Such a depressing game. Gameplay might've been a bit dull, but this is the kind of game that stays with you, it's so bleak, so sad... so engaging.
Trauma Team: This game is way better than it deserves to be. The game follows the point of view of six different doctors, each one with a different specialty. There's many ways to play the game, follow the time line as the story should go, focus on each doctor individually or play a little bit here and a little bit there... while it could've ended as a mess, Atlus somehow made it work. The gameplay is deceptively fun, the story is full of ham, while being entertaining... It's a good game, and one that makes the most of the Wiimote.
The Legend of Zelda - Skyward Sword: Every Zelda game is more or less a reboot of sorts of the last one. For Skyward Sword, they tried something different. For the first time, there's a really strong group of supporting cast members who get plenty of screen time and character development. For the first time in the series, you'll care for the character, characters that are no longer thin as paper. The gameplay was very fun too, even if there's a somewhat steep learning curve.
Xenoblade Chronicles: The whole Operation Rainfall Ordeal was worth it. We got at least two(And one that holds a deadly bug) fantastic games, Xenoblade being the better of the three. It's a huge game made by the people that worked on Xenogears, and it shows
Donkey Kong Country Returns: Gotta hand it to Retro Studios, they brought Donkey Kong back. They did it so well that it feels as if the old Rare had developed it. A challenging 2D platformer, the kind we used to have by the dozen on the SNES, powered by 3D graphics and the masterful hands of Retro Studios.
I wanted to pick Skyward Sword. I really did. But those awful, tacked on motion controls were just too annoying. It doesn't matter though, Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the best RPGs made last gen, and it's a Wii exclusive. The sense of scale never ceases to amaze, the story gets progressively darker and better as you go on, and there's over 100 hours of gameplay if you are willing to do every side quest. This game has become a bit of a rarity, but it's worth every penny.
As much as I hated last gen, PS3 was the console I spent the most time on. Many games were played, mostly good games, but there were a couple of not so fun games. I decided not to include HD ports, as they felt more like PS2 games than PS3.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2: The best Tekken game ever made. Ever.
Killer is Dead: Another masterpiece by Suda 51, this game is as unique as they get on the PS3. The story is as off-the-wall-insane as usual, while still making sense if you are willing to find it, a unique graphical style that's as surreal as the game itself and gameplay, that while simple, is fun.
Anarchy Reigns: It's hard to explain why I consider this game so good despite having such a crippling lack of couch-multiplayer. Basically, it feels good to play it.
Journey: I hate to use those stock phrases that journalists love to use, but Journey really is an experience that everyone should play.
Uncharted 3 - Drake's Deception: It's a bit unbelievable just how much Naughty Dog got our of the PS3. A visual treat, not just thanks to how it looks, but were the game takes you. It has some of the most incredible setpieces I've ever played in video games.
I'm a huge Tekken fanboy, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is the culmination of all that is Tekken. Namco will have a hard time outdoing themselves.
Thank god that I didn't get a whole lot of bad games this year. Mind you, the winner of the category is, probably, one of the worst games I've ever played, but as a whole, the bad games here are mostly just not very good and not downright awful.
State of Emergency: This game is not half as bad as people would lead you to believe. It's not good either, but you could do much worse...
Cardinal Syn: My first impressions? "Hey, it ain't that bad". Then I spent time with it 'till I finally gave up in frustration. This game is really bad. REALLY Bad. There's so many great PS1 fighting games, why even consider this one?
Dynasty Warriors 2: I loved this game so much, and when it was released, it probably deserved all the love I gave it. But now? You just can't play a new Warriors game and then go back, the amount of enhancements make this one look like garbage.
Harvey Birdman - Attorney at Law: How... how could you mess this up? Phoenix Wright is fantastic, you simply had to reskin it and release it. That's all you had to do.
Metroid - Other M: The game that kickstarted the Of Swords and Joysticks project, Metroid Other M was, at times, pretty good... and then a fews seconds later you'll be feeling vexed again. The game did a lot of things that conflicted with each other, which made it have an identity crisis of sorts. And the story was just awful, you can give Samus feelings without turning her into an stereotypcal anime girl. Nintendo, don't ever try this again.
Didn't even have to think about it. Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is an awfully unfunny game, and when your selling point is humor, you've got a problem. At least it's pathetically short, so the torture ends swiftly.
And the Archile Game of the Year Award goes to....
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
Was the any doubt? Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is among my top 10 favorite games EVER. This is what I look for in every fighting game, this is my standard of excellency. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was my favorite game of the year, and thus, my Game of 2013.