This year is about to end so here is one of my year- end post trying to summarize the year of 2013. I will be posting one each Monday throughout December, each taking a look into a certain area of entertainment. It shall be as an autopsy, digging through my guts to find what kind of popular culture I'd put into my digestive system during the year 2013. Or maybe it's more a list for myself to remember what I did spend my time on during the year.
I guess she’s an Xbox and I’m more Atari
But the way you play your game ain’t fair
Text from: Cee-Lo Green’s song Fuck You
I don’t think 2013 has been such a great year for video games. To be fair I haven’t been spending too much time playing any this year either, only four 2013 releases (referring to the four in the picture above) and apart from those most of the games were played on my Galaxy S3. I lend my PlayStation 3 to my brother so I haven’t used it very much lately, and the only computer I have is a cheap laptop that couldn’t play a game even with a gun pointed to its motherboard.
OBS: These are not reviews.
The Last of Us, which got some buzz a few E3s ago is a contender on a lot of people’s GOTY-list. If you haven’t already heard about the game, it’s set in a post-apocalyptic era where people got infected by some sort of parasite and got turned into something resembling the offspring of a garden gnome and a zombie (could this be a Romeo and Juliette meets Plant vs. Zombie spin-off?). Society crumbles and the game picks up many years after in a chaotic world that can barely manage to hold itself together. Anarchy and thievery lives among the infested ruins of mans former glory. Those who seek safety in some of the saved cities live under harsh rules and restrictions. In this world you are playing as Joel an old man who’s been beaten down one time too many and who has turned his back to the brighter sides of life. He’s being partnered up with the joyous teenage girl Ellie and pushed out on a road trip to potentially save the human race and beat the infestation. The game is beautiful and a lot of time has been spent on the detail of the enviroment. It can at times feel very tense and is a really exciting game. It can also feel just like your run of the mill Naughty Dog action/adventure game. I really feels like it was a sort of mod for Naughty Dog’s big Uncharted series, I don’t know that this is a bad thing per-say, but to say it’s uncharted with an old grumpy man and a young girl set in a broccoli-apocalypse really sums it up for those of you who like short summaries.
Grand Theft Auto V, the game for you who likes either freedom in a large beautiful sandbox-world and/or characters screaming sarcasm in your face for long stretches of time. Luckily if you happen to like freedom and hate screaming in your face sarcasm and social criticism you can always skip the cinematic sequences, although you won’t be able to skip the screaming that takes place as you drive from one checkpoint to the other in certain missions. I don’t know about you, but there came a time in my life where I stopped cheating and started to play the story mode “as it was intended” and watched every cut-scene as a well-behaved audience member, but I just couldn’t stand the dialog in this game and sometimes had to force myself to keep holding on to the controller and play the game. I might be putting in some extra strong hatred into this text just for some entertainment purposes, but this is the first GTA I’ve disliked. This is one of those video game-series I can remember were and when I played each installment. GTA I played at Ken’s house on his modded Playstation one. GTA III I played partly at my cousins and also I played it at my friend, and we made it rain tanks from the skies on his PC. Vice City which is my favorite in the series I lent from my cousin, the disc broke and my father gave him my Metal Gear Solid II game as punishment. San Andreas I played with a lot of friends in my room (many chairs were broken), and we used to turn of all sounds except the radio and only listened to the Country station. GTA IV I played for hours and hours, going online with a classmate from high school, shooting all the pigeons, and finishing it multiple times. I kept playing it regularly for many years, booting it up and casually driving around New York. So it’s weird to have a GTA game come out that I dislike as much as I dislike GTA V, and then I’m not mentioning the online part because I gave up and won’t return.
Thomas was alone is a downloadable game for Ps3, you control a collection of blocks and try to use their different abilities to solve levels and progress. This game has gotten a lot of talk and I just don’t know why, I thought it was OK, but not a very good game with nothing new to offer. There’s a British fellow narrating the game, there is some sort of meta-story in there aswell, and the game was developed by one man. I believe that it was one or several of these that might have contributed to this game being talked about so much.
Papers, Please is a game where you play as a border control agent and have to review everyone’s papers and deciding whether or not to allow them entrance to you land, Arstotzka. It took me about 4 hours to play through the game, and then I managed to get one out of twenty different endings. The story is very interesting, although I couldn’t make myself return to the game to try to get the rest of the endings. It’s was a very interesting and different experience during these four hours of play, though.
Except the four 2013 releases I’ve returned to and quit both Dota 2 and Minecraft. I haven’t played a lot of Dota 2 and I’m never going to play enough to get any good at it, but for some reason I played it semi-intensely for a short period of a handful of weeks. I got bit by the bug and then the sore healed as quickly and surprisingly as it had come. The same with the highly time-consuming and addictive game creation-Minecraft. Back when it first came out I used to put a lot of time in, digging tunnels, walking through the landscapes and building long stretches of railroad tracks. Then my save got lost as my old computer shut down permanently. I managed to get some time in and build a new world full of half-finished houses and vast square rooms in underground tunnels, but things weren’t like before and then I stopped playing.
And lastly, this was the year that I sat down and played through Batman Arkham City. It was when around the time Origins had come out and a lot of Batman talk was going on through out cyberspace that I decided to pick up my controller. I started a save on my already downloaded and installed game. I remember purchasing it when it was really, really cheap on Ps-Store and now was the time to play it. It’s a great game that continues to offer the same levels of quality that I remember the previous Arkham Azylum offered. You play as Batman (and Catwoman) running around the open world of Arkham City. The game includes a ton of Batman villains and is really a treat to play, for any fan or novice of the franchise.