Friday, January 24, 2014

Games That Surprised Me In 2013

This isn't a list of games that came out in 2013, but games I played in 2013. Games in which I was surprised at just how good they were.

Intrusion 2

Fighting giant robotic snakes? Oh yeah!

Picked this up in a Humble Bundle. Hadn't heard of it before, and the video I saw for it didn't terribly impress me. But as I played it I started to have a lot of fun. But once I started sliding down a snowy mountain, sledding on a piece of wreckage from the mecha jet I just destroyed, all while trying to fight giant robotic snakes that are falling down from the sky, I knew this game was awesome! The game itself is much like Contra: pick up different weapons and ammo, and shoot enemies in any direction you can point your mouse in. There's also a few different things you can ride at times. The most fun though are the larger-than-life bosses. Their design, animations, and attack patterns are the sort of over-the-top fun I love.

Thomas Was Alone

Simple, yet beautiful

Another game I picked up from a Humble Bundle. You're a block in a blocky world, making your way to the other end of the level. This alone isn't that exciting, but what made this an amazing experience was the narrator. With his wonderful voice, the emotion he puts into his lines, and the script, these simple blocks become living characters that you gain an emotional connection to. I was greatly invested in the outcome of these characters, excited to hear each and every line the narrator delivered.
For a platformer with simple blocks, this game was surprisingly fantastic.

Legend of Grimrock

Protect me, gate I could squeeze through!

Do I even need to tell you that I got this from a Humble Bundle? Wait, I just did....
Most of the RPGs I play are JRPGs, where characters and stories are the driving factor to the game's progression. The only story in Legend of Grimrock is that you're some prisoners that were thrown into this dungeon. You make your own characters, which have no background story, no lines of dialogue, not even an explanation for what you did to get yourself thrown into Grimrock. So it's surprising to me that I still enjoy this game, finding myself coming up with imagined conversations between my four characters.
The battle mechanic is very interesting, as all four of your characters are in a square formation, and to fight you just have to click on their hands when near a monster.
There's also a lot of secret passages and hidden doors in this dungeon, so I end up looking closely at every...single...wall. And still it's loads of fun.

Dust: an Elysian Tail

Actually bought this one off Steam when it was cheap. Initially heard of it because the awesome Chris Niosi did the voice of a small character. The promotional video for it looked cool, so I gave it a try. One thing I was surprised at was that every line of dialogue is voiced, and voiced well. The story itself is actually kind of cliche, but the characters themselves are great. Fidget, as seen above, has a lot of lines that just makes me smile. And the artwork is simply beautiful! And the battle mechanics are loads of fun as well. Not a very long game, but a great one nonetheless.

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