Tag Archives: theft

Games of the Year-2013

25 Dec

Hello one and all, it’s the end of the year and that means it’s time for ranking various products side by side and figuring out which one is the best! Just kidding, I’m going to indulge in the new trend of picking, “Games,” of the year and telling you why a handful of games deserve more attention than the rest. So sit back and enjoy my ramblings as I recount the 2013 year in gaming.

Top 10 Games of the Year

10. Rayman: Legends

Not completely surprising but all the same this game is a testament to staying true to your-self. Michel Ancel keeps the colorful, cartoony spirit that was present from the first Rayman game from 1995 alive. A current example that not only is the 2D Platformer genre is alive, but that it’s also able to thrive and innovate in new ways. The main game is enough to warrant a purchase but the game is packed to the brim with musical levels that are some kind of magic and it even features a pseudo HD re-release of the first game. Here’s to more Rayman in the future.

9. Pokémon X/Y

Finally the Pokémon game fans have been waiting for since the old days of color. A slew of New Pokémon and a beautiful presentation come from developer, Game Freak’s, latest title. The one thing that’s been missing from Pokémon has finally returned i.e. effort. Interesting, fun, collecting and strategy gameplay with a traditional story will put older fans’ hearts at ease for the new generation of children entering into the Pokémon fandom.

8. The Stanley Parable

Don’t call it a copout but this game is one that can’t readily be explained. The epitome of non-games, The Stanley Parable satirizes current gen games while keeping with its own unique feel. Explore the office building where Stanley works as you try to find out where your fellow employees have gone all while the narrator keeps pushing you in the right direction, if you want to of course.  The narrator alone is something magical, but coupled with a game that always keeps you guessing this one is an immediate recommendation.

7. Papers, Please

There are games that are made by hundreds of people and still attain panning from critics and end up feeling like a waste of time. But the indie hit Papers, Please, which was made by one person, stands as one of the most unique experiences ever birthed from the mind of a creator. Experiencing a world through the eyes of a checkpoint guard puts things in perspective. Simple gameplay and a rustic presentation keep Papers, Please above the rung and in our heads as a source of intrigue.

6. Bioshock Infinite

After Bioshock 2, the lackluster sequel to one of the best games of all time, everyone was spinning in anticipation before the release of the latest foray into Philosophy: The videogame. Infinite presented a new look into the world crafted by the folks at Irrational Games which saw the player in the preverbal opposite of Bioshock’s Rapture. The opulent Columbia, a floating city in the sky filled with a living breathing society that the player gets to explore. Even though the gameplay may seem generic the experience as a whole will stand tall in the halls of gaming history.

5. Tomb Raider

Reboot the dying franchise by taking notes from more successful games in the genre, an amazing amount polish and keep its own “girl power” flavor and you have the best Tomb Raider game to date. Shrugging off the years of meme worthy campiness that the older games and Angelina Jolie put on and comes out like a glorious butterfly from the cocoon of mediocrity. Square Enix and the developers seem to love the series and while the game takes a more serious tone it’s all for the setup of a strong character so that future adventures can have that added, relatable layer in the newest addition in the action genre.

4. Injustice: Gods Among Us

What do you get when you marry the tight intuitive controls of street fighter with the colorful and diverse nature of the DC comics universe? One of the greatest fighting games in recent history Gods Among Us is an example of a company pouring its time and resources in what’s really important, the game, or more or less everything you see for the most part. The cut scenes are stiff and the story is old but the game is new and fun which is why it outsold.

3. Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus

Ending the year in a surprising little treat the good folks at Insomniac games delivered a short but sweet addition to the Ratchet and Clank Franchise. Into the Nexus is packaged as a sort of epilogue to the PS3’s “Future” series and stays true to the run and gun/platform gameplay. Complete with ridiculously fun weapons like a gun that turns enemies into snowmen while playing Jingle Bells and a new jetpack mechanic that made the game 10 times as fun as you live out your Looney Tunes/Rocketeer fantasy. A welcome return to form and a sign of goodwill that the franchise is still alive and will most likely thrive in the coming generation.

2. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

A lot can be said about this game but one factor remains clear and that is that this game is the shot of juice that JRPGs needed. Not adrenaline but “juice,” the juice of heart, effort, and a story that can stand among the greats. Ni No Kuni captures that same magic that made the old Final Fantasy games great. Able to balance pathos and levity and create a world filled with endearing characters brought to life by the beautiful artwork done by Studio Ghibli. The gameplay may be frustrating at times but it never gets old and here’s hoping that a franchise was born.

1. Grand Theft Auto 5

The latest in the world sized series that takes the best of the genre and makes the most of its seemingly bloated budget that has since seen turn a profit on at least five times the investment and for good reason. The parodied world of Los Santos and Pike County are the tremendous settings to the parody of California with deserts, mountains and a beautifully realized city are a gigantic playground for madness and mayhem. Three different characters to play with, the game never gets old and gameplay that addresses fun over function. A game that is a non-stop thrill ride that left its mark this year as the greatest.

Have a Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Here’s to a great New Year and may 2014 be a better time for all. Thank you for reading and as always I’ll see ya later!



Grand Theft(of time) Auto V

7 Oct

The Grand Theft Auto games, since the first release in 1997, have always been the poster child for the worst side of video game culture, the sex modification “Hot Coffee” scandal, the promiscuous artwork and the fact that the main action of the game and its identity is associated with a criminal offense.

But when a game is around as long as the GTA series, it has the ability to grow into a pop culture phenomenon to not only rival but also obliterate blockbuster movies in terms of sales.

GTA V, released on Sept. 17th, cost around $270 million to make and in the first 24 hours of going on sale it made $800 million dollars. Trouncing previous records set by the likes of Call of Duty: Black Ops which sold more $200 million in about a week.

The effect this game has on the population is immediately apparent, as numbers don’t lie. Grand Theft Auto V has instantly become the best-selling game of all time.

So, is it deserving of its success? Or is it just an overblown fluke of titanic proportions?


GTA V is the latest installment to the massive series, created by Rockstar Games and subsequent branch Rockstar North, and features similar gameplay and atmosphere from previous titles.

An open world game, advertised as being three times larger than any other map the team has developed, a do whatever you want action game, with guns, cars, planes, bikes, and a myriad of activities ranging from skydiving to tennis, all tied together by a coherent narrative.

The story itself puts the player in the shoes of three separate protagonists who live in the fictional state of San Andreas, and the city of Los Santos which mirror California and Los Angeles respectively.

Franklin, the black youth who’s tired of the small time repo work and has something to prove; Michael, the retired big time criminal whose materialistic family is driving him insane; and finally Trevor, the most deranged, frightening, and nasty videogame character to date.

As light hearted as the GTA series may seem this entry especially needs a gigantic red, “Not for Children or the Squeamish,” sticker plastered on the box art.

GTA V has intense scenes of gory violence, extensively horrid language, and an un-ironic handling of the satirized material found in games like these.

MINI-TORIAL-Everyone’s bad, so it’s okay to kill them.: One thing I’ve noticed about the GTA games is that I never feel guilty about a single soul. This could be that I’m a rational human being and that I’m not actually hurting anyone, or it could be that everyone you meet in the games, NPC or otherwise, are awful ugly people. You never see children or kindly old people, just a wide array of 30-something A$$-holes waiting to curse at you or flip you off for no reason. This of course makes it easier to expend these jerks as you revel in your own debauchery as one of the three awful human beings you play.But amidst the vulgar story and presentation there is a beautifully realized game. The city of Los Santos feels alive with the chatter of NPC’s, sounds of sirens music and driving cars makes you feel like you’re living in the world.

You can level up different abilities of each character by performing mini-games. A shooting range will improve weapon handling, as well as performing in triathlons will increase a character’s stamina.

Driving and handling vehicles in the game has been incredibly improved from the more “realistic” driving found in titles like GTA IV. The graphics are top notch, as the game squeezes every last bit of power out of the PS3 and Xbox 360. Buyer, beware though since this working of both systems has led to some major graphical issues.

On the PS3 the game will randomly crash or become corrupted to the point of being unplayable and requires a reinstall of the game data which can take up to 10 to 20 minutes at a time.

As for the Xbox 360 the game has to install the data from one disc and play it on a separate disc just to keep up, and if you install both discs the game will lag to a third of the games actual speed. The PC version couldn’t come sooner.

But when the game is playing successfully it’s easy to get lost in the world as you switch between the different characters and commit to different missions, the highlight of which are the Bank heists that allow you to plan out from different angles and let you make your own team to perform the job.

As GTA and open world games in general go this is the gold standard. While the story and character dialogue is hit or miss the game as a whole is fantastic, filled with time sinking side missions, a whole city to explore and three different perspectives in which to enjoy it, GTA V does indeed deserve its phenomenal success.