Monday, December 30, 2013

Archile's End of the Year Awards 2013 Part 2

 Time to finish the fight.
 Without further ado, here are the last 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.
 Nominees:
 Nominees:
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.

 Winner:
 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.

 Playstation 2 Game of the Year:
 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
 Nominees:
 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.

 Winner:
 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.

 Nintendo DS Game of the Year:
 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.
 Nominees:
 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.

 Winner:
 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.

 Nintendo 3DS Game of the Year:
 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.
 Nominees:
 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.

Winner:
 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!

 Nintendo Wii Game of the Year:
 Not a whole lot of Wii games, but everyone of them were incredibly memorable.
 Nominees:
 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.

 Winner: 
 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.

 Playstation 3 Game of the Year:
 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.
 Nominees:
 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.

 Winner:
 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.

 Worst Game of the Year:
 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.
 Nominees:
 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.

 Loser:
 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....
 Nominees:
 Xenogears
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger 
Pokemon Y 
Xenoblade Chronicles

 Winner:
 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.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Archile's End of the Year Awards 2013 Part I

 Oh, I'm doing this. I'm so doing it.
 I played over 89 games this year. Reviewed 85 of them, 3 of them were my Megaman Spectacular, so I decided not to count them, and the other one I started it way before I begun the Of Swords and Joysticks project, but finished it recently(As in, right now). That's quite a load, according to my backloggery, this is the first year since starting it that I finished with a positive ratio! Although that's probably due to certain studies-related issue during the first semester that gave me a hell of a lot of free time. Regardless, these are the wonderful 89, conveniently graded for my viewing pleasure:

Nintendo Wii
Metroid Other M 5.0
Xenoblade Chronicles 9.0
Punch-Out!! 9.0
Trauma Team 9.0
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword  8.0
Samurai Warriors 3 7.0
Kirby's Epic Yarn 5.0
Fragile Dreams: Farewell, Ruins of the Moon 7.0
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law 2.0
Pandora's Tower 6.5
Donkey Kong Country Returns 8.5

Playstation 1
Kensei Sacred Fist 4.0
Cardinal Syn 3.0
Alundra 7.0
Strider 2 8.0
T.R.A.G. Mission of Mercy 7.0
Alundra 2 7.5
T'ai Fu 8.0
Ergheiz: God Bless the Ring 9.0
DarkStalkers 3 8.0
Destrega 5.0
Xenogears 9.0
Dragon Valor 7.5
Chrono Cross 8.0
Dynasty Warriors 5.0
Bushido Blade 2 9.0
Rival Schools 9.0
The Legend of Dragoon 9.0
Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition 5.0
Breath of Fire IV 5.5

PlayStation 2
Ar Tonelico: Memory of Elemia 6.0
Street Fighter EX 3 5.0
Xenosaga III: Also sprach Zarathustra 7.0
Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2 6.0
War of the Monsters 8.0
Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore 8.0
Robotech Battlecry 7.5
State of Emergency 5.0
Justice League Heroes 7.0
Kengo: Masters of Bushido 5.0
Way of the Samurai 7.0
Dynasty Warriors 2 4.0
Forever Kingdom 5.0
Dynasty Warriors 4 6.0
Okage: Shadow King 7.0
Minority Report: Everybody Runs 5.5
Eve of Extinction 6.5

PlayStation 3
Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon 7.0
Dynasty Warriors 7 7.0
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 10
Injustice: Gods Among us 8.0
Dynasty Warriors 6 6.0
Street Fighter IV 7.0
Zone of the Enders HD Collection 10
Dragon Ball Budokai HD Collection 7.0
Tales of Graces F 8.0
Genji: Days of the Blade 5.0
Tales of Xillia 7.0
Dungeon Siege III 8.0
Journey Collector's Edition 9.0
Warriors Orochi 3 9.0
Risen 2: Dark Waters 6.0
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune 4.0
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves 8.0
Uncharted 3: Drake's Fortune 9.0
Bulletstorm 6.0
Anarchy Reigns 9.0
Killer is Dead 9.0
Asura's Wrath 9.0
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate 7.0

Nintendo DS
All Kamen Rider: Rider Generation 7.0
Tetris DS 8.0
Bakugan: Rise of the Resistance 5.0
Dragon Ball Kai: Ultimate Butoden 7.0
Megaman Star Force Leo 7.0
Megaman Star Force 2 Zerker X Ninja 4.0
Megaman Star Force 3 Black Ace 8.0
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 9.0

Nintendo 3DS
Star Fox 64 3D 7.0
Tekken Prime 3D Edition 6.0
Kid Icarus: Uprising 7.5
Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition 9.0
Blazblue Continuum Shift 2 5.0
Dead or Alive: Dimensions 8.0
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D 5.0
Pokemon Y 8.0

Gamecube
Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters 6.0

PC
Evoland 7.0
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger 9.0

 RPG of the Year:
 I've played RPGs ever since Quest 64 introduced me to the genre, it was love at first sight. This year I played lots of great ones, which made reducing the list to 5 a bit tough.
 Nominees:
Xenogears: Every bit as good as I remembered it.
 The Legend of Dragoon: I didn't like it too much when I was young, well, that has changed. This game was fantastic, I liked it even more than Chrono Cross, one of my older favorite RPGs.
 Pokemon Y: While it's more of the same, it's really friggin' good. I'm still playing it, as in right now, breeding and hatching eggs for trades, brings me back to my Pearl days.
 Tales of Graces F: Even for Tales of standards, this game was really good, and on many fronts, superior to Xillia. Hubert was fantastic.
Xenoblade Chronicles: This game is massive, its scale is almost unmatched by any other JRPG. If you can see it, you can get to it. Bonus points for being made by the same people that worked on Xenogears, in some ways, it felt like a Spiritual Successor.

 Winner:
Xenogears. Of all the RPGs I've played, none stuck with me more than Xenogears. Even though I'd played it many times before, even though it felt like Xenoblade all over again... It still felt fresh. The story is as dark as it gets, and while the second disc is very much a disappointment, the overall product is fantastic.

 Action Game of the Year: 
I played a surprisingly large amount of action games this year, and most of them were really good too! Another list that was hard to bring down to five.
 Nominees:
 Killer is Dead: Another Suda 51 masterpiece. With a plot that lends itself for many different and entirely valid interpretations, a unique visual style mixed with that Suda 51 crazyness... This game is nothing short of genius.
Zone of the Enders HD Edition: Supposedly this port, at release, wasn't very good, but I know nothing of that, as the patched version that I played was flawless. At least ZoE 2, but who cares about ZoE 1 anyways?

 Anarchy Reigns: A Fighting game disguised as an action game. Even though finding matches online was nigh impossible, when you got in one, it was pure bliss. And the Single Player Mode was great by itself. Everything about this game felt so good, the physics, landing blows, character designs, the cheesy dialogue... I loved Anarchy Reigns.
 Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception: I hated Uncharted 1. Uncharted 2 was really good, and Uncharted 3 just did what Uncharted 2 did even better. While some of the changes felt a bit iffy, like the unnecessary melee system, the setpieces were twice as epic as Uncharted 2, even if sometimes they felt as if they were tied together by very loose threads.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger: I didn't really expect to like this game, but I loved it. It felt very arcadey, a good thing in my book, the way it told the story, with on-the fly corrections by the narrator was very original, it looked awesome too. Bonus points for mixing real cowboy history with fantasy.

 Winner:
 Zone of the Enders: HD Collection. Zone of the Enders 1 is as mediocre as it gets, but Zone of the Enders 2 is every bit as good as it once was. One of the smoothest mech games ever created, the action and epic set pieces never stop coming. The word epic defines this game, from taking down an entire battleship fleet by yourself with the giant Cannon, to the war on the dessert, and later getting the 0-Shift and feeling like a total badass... one of the greatest games ever created.

 Adventure Game of the Year
I didn't play a whole lot of them, so getting this list done was pretty fast and pretty easy as I knew from the outset which were the better ones.
 Nominees:
 Fragile Dreams - Farewell Ruins of the Moon: The most depressing game ever created? Maybe not, but one of the most depressing games I've ever played, poor Seto just can't catch a break. The game rises above it's mediocre gameplay thanks to it's setting and the way the story is told, plus, feelings.
 Dragon Valor: As underrated as it gets, the game is a very solid action-adventure hybrid, with a novel premise of haunting dragons with each subsequent generation of the Dragon Hunting family.
 Journey: Collector's Edition: Feelings. The game lasts about three hours, but you'll never spend three hours in a better way. A unique visual design with impossibly pretty backgrounds and simple, but engaging gameplay. It also includes two other games.
 The Legend of Zelda - Skyward Sword: I'm not the biggest Zelda fan, but I loved Skyward Sword. Some of the most original dungeons in the franchise(The TimeRocks anyone?), fantastic visual design, finally well-developed characters that you actually get to care for? The controls take a bit of time to get used to, but once you do it's smooth sailing from there.
Alundra 2: Alundra was a very frustrating, but pretty good game. Alundra 2 is almost as frustrating, but even better. There's new puzzles, and the gameplay was overhauled completely, it no longer feels like a Zelda clone.
Winner:
 Journey. Best. Three. Hours. Of. My. Life.

 Fighting Game of the Year:
While my interest in fighting games is a waning a bit, surprising since it is, or maybe used to be, my favorite genre. I played plenty, many of them on the PS1(And many of those were mediocre!), but there were some great ones.
 Nominees:
Darkstalkers 3: Street Fighter Alpha with monsters, that's the gist of it. Considered by many as the true precursor to the VS series, while it feels very much like Street Fighter, it has it's own mechanics that make it a very different game. 
 Ehrgeiz - God Bless the Ring: This is not your traditional fighting game, which is not to say that it's a bad fighting game. Developed by Namco, creators of Tekken, as a collaboration with Squaresoft, it was one of the first 3-D arena based fighter, and it's as good as it was unique. It also has a great Rogue-like RPG mode in which you have to go deeper and deeper inside a dungeon.
 Rival Schools: The game is so good, it needed two discs to contain it's greatness. Actually, the second disc has a rebalanced console-exclusive version of the arcade game. Fast paced, with a unique roster and the tight Capcom-gameplay that Capcom games used to be known for, plus, no shady DLC practices, make this one hell of a great game.
 Tekken Tag Tournament 2: The culmination of all that is Tekken. Over 50 characters, with very few clones, that bring together almost every character from the series, plenty of customization options, a great tutorial for newbies, lots of little details like every character speaking in his or her native language and it looks fantastic to boot make this a phenomenal game.
Bushido Blade 2: The most unique fighting game among the nominees, Bushido Blade has no life bars. It's a very slow paced game, in which every move must count, as your first move could be your last.

 Winner:
 Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Tekken has perfected it's gameplay throughout 7 different entries and over 10 years. Add to it over 50 characters, every fan-favorite returning to the arena.... this is a Tekken fan's dream come true.

 ??? Game of the Year:
A category for those games that are just too damn hard to classify. I didn't play many of them, which is why it's rather short.
 Nominees:
 Trauma Team: A game about different doctors. A game that has you with different type of operations and specialties, from orthopedics to surgery. I didn't expect to like this game. I did. I fell in love with it's cast, and the story was pretty interesting.
 Asura's Wrath: The kind of game I'm always complaining about, the kind of game that tries to be a movie, but in this case, I didn't mind. This is the best Shonen anime you'll never see.
 Punch-Out!!: Not my type of game, but the care that went into it is undeniable. Some of the best graphics on the Wii, alongside challenging pattern-recognizing fights make it a bit unique among the Wii's library. 
Tetris DS: So many modes, and Nintendo decorations are everywhere. This is the best version of Tetris ever created.
Winner: 
 Asura's Wrath is everything that is wrong with the industry now a days: Made by Capcom, a lot of DLC that includes the true ending of the game, all which was made before the game was shipped, tons of QTEs and a very disappointing game-to-cutscene ratio. Despite all of that, I loved it. It's the greatest shonen show never created.

 Licensed Game of the Year:
Games based on many different franchises. I didn't play a lot of them(Lucky me, I guess?) and some of them were downright awful(Harvey Birdman anyone?) but a few stood out among the rest....
 Nominees:
 Robotech - Battlecry: I don't know much about the Robotech franchise, but I do know that this is a great game.
 All Kamen Rider - Rider Generations: Like Kamen Rider? Like Beat'em ups? This is your game. A huge cast of characters, even if most are very clone-ish, each one with his special moves from the series he comes of. While a bit short, it's very replayable.
 Dragon Ball Budokai HD Collection: Budokai 1 is only worth it for the Story Mode, Budokai 3 on the other hand has a pretty dull story mode, but a fantastic gameplay engine. Budokai 3 is probably better than Burst Limit to be honest.
 Dragon Ball Kai - Ultimate Butoden: Has a story mode that is as good as Budokai 1's, however, while Budokai 1 has aged poorly, Ultimate Butoden's gameplay is pretty decent. Plus, it's the first Dragon Ball game that lets you customize existing characters with items!
Injustice - Gods Among Us: Remember the disaster that was Mortal Kombat VS DC? Netherrealm Studios took everything that they learned from their latest game and produced Injustice. It's a much faster game, and while you can tell that uses the same engine, the gameplay is like night and day. It also has an awesome story mode.

 Winner:
 Injustice: Gods Among us does so much right, and so little wrong. It has a very decent roster filled with fan favorites(Even if they went a little over board with Batman characters) and a fantastic story. If you are a DC fan, you need this game.

 Biggest Surprise:
Some games you just don't expect too much from. Maybe you expect to little from them but they surprise you. In this year, I had a lot of the former and very little of the later, luckily. Even Xenosaga 3 was somewhat decent, even if it made as much sense as Saint Seiya.
 Nominees:
 Fragile Dreams - Farewell Ruins of the Moon: I expected a survival horror game, and during the first minutes of the game you are lead to believe that such is the case... and then misery begins to befall Seto, over and over again. It had such a depressing storyline, the feeling of loneliness was what prevailed over any other.
 T.R.A.G. Mission of Mercy: I've always wanted to play T.R.A.G., and I got so much more than I thought I would....
 Call of Juarez - Gunslinger: The last Call of Juarez game was universally panned by everyone. And this was a downloadable game, expectations were low. And then I played it, this game is so much better than it deserves to be.
 The Legend of Dragoon: While I played this game a lot when I was a kid, I never really loved it, heck, I think I hated it a bit. Color me surprised after I played both this and Chrono Cross and found out that I loved LoD. 
Bakugan - Rise of the Resistance: I bought this game because it was priced at 5 bucks. I expected garbage. Turns out it's a pretty decent Tower Defense game.

Winner:
 T.R.A.G. Mission of Mercy. After I finished this game, the first thing I did was search for similar games. This went on for many days as I couldn't find anything similar. This is how much I loved this game, it surprised me both in how it played, it has tank-like controls in an action game, and how much I liked it. I'm still searching for a similar game....

 Character of the Year:
There were plenty of memorable characters this year, but these were the ones that stuck with me after the game was over, shame I couldn't get more than five spots.
 Nominees:
 Mavda(Pandora's Tower): The mysterious old woman that aids Aeron in lifting Elena's curse. She's always very mysterious, and probably knows more than she lets on, but you'll never know, not until the end. She had a fantastic visual design, the voice acting was spot on and the part she played worked very well.
 Asura(Asura's Wrath): Do not make him angry, and whatever you do, do not make his daughter cry. Probably the strongest, and angriest, character ever created, he looks incredible no in small part thanks to the visual style they used, making his skin(and the rest of the demi gods) look like lacquer, and the visual design is very fitting for him. Characterization and Voice acting was phenomenal, the ultimate shonen hero.
 Hubert Ozswell(Tales of Graces F): By far, the most memorable character from Tales of Graces, Hubert was Asbel's shy and timid little brother. After being sent away, since his father didn't want both sons fight over his title to tear them apart as it once did between himself and his brother, he returns grown up and turned into a completely different person. He is strong, brave, a leader, he looks down upon everyone and always has a very serious straight-to-the-point demeanor. Which is why it makes it so cute when he develops a crush for Pascal, the most light-headed character in the cast, and she happens to be a bit older than him too, figures he likes them mature. The English Voice acting helped solidify his personality, his part in the Theater Play optional-scenario will never, ever be forgotten by me.
 Mondo Zappa(Killer is Dead): A Suda 51 character in a list made by me, this is surprising and new. Mondo Zappa is different from most of the other modern Suda 51 lead characters, as he is always very, very serious. He does get a few moment when he breaks the fourth wall, but the lines are always delivered in the same calm manner as he usually talks. However, he does have a mysterious past that haunts him, and his whole character arc from the start of the game 'till it's end is nothing short of memorable. Mondo Zappa might not be one of Suda 51's finest, but it was one of my favorite characters I met on 2013.
Zelda( The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword): For the first time in a Zelda game I've played, I've actually felt compelled to rescue Zelda. Zelda was given development this time, she was give a friendly relationship with Link since the beginning of the game, you are made to care for her since the very start. And she grows, she develops. In a Zelda game. Oh, and she's a total cutie.

 Winner:
 Hubert Ozwell. This was very close between Asura and Hubert, but in the end, I went with the most original one, as I liked both almost the same. While Asura is your typical shonen protagonist time a thousand, Hubert had a much fresher story. His reasons for changing were explained, you could also, if you explored, find more about his relationship with his foster father and why he was given away. Hubert is a very deep character, with his fair share of internal struggles, should he protect his homeland or fight for the town that raised him? Should he look for his foster father's best interests or the city's? He has a hard time finally opening up to his brother, Asbel, and his mother, but he does mellow out in the end, even if he still remains a bit of a jerk.