Alex Quevedo  - Best of 2013

I got my hands and eyes on a fair amount of games in 2013. But games I completed? There were only a handful.

A major chunk of my work here at SmashPad is spent covering any events I can–namely, WonderCon and Comic Con International. But hey, occasionally I’ll get in a review with the rest of these great guys! So on the whole, I’ll transparently tell you that I played less than 10 complete games and that contributes to this shorter list. Toward the tail end of this past generation, I intentionally held up on purchases. I was getting prepped to head toward the newer generation. I’m excited to see how the new generation starts expanding horizons from various levels- social and gaming from Sony; media domination (maybe?) from Microsoft. I find it pretty exciting considering what I’ve already seen from this new generation. Still, this past generation and year provided me some great gaming times.

So on that note, kindly join me in reviewing my top games for 2013:

Dead Rising 3

4. Dead Rising 3 – Xbox One

I was a bit hesitant going into Dead Rising 3. The first Dead Rising was great, but it took me a while to get around to Dead Rising 2 because I just couldn’t get very excited. But I gave Dead Rising 3 a chance to be one of my Xbox One launch games and I certainly didn’t regret it. It solved  a lot of the problems that the first two games had and made for a much more enjoyable experience. The gameplay wasn’t too wonky and flowed fairly well- with the exception of close-quarters melee with other survivors around. But of course, the most impressive aspect was the sheer amount of zombies that could be placed on screen at any given time. In my review of the game, I mentioned I would stand among a sea of zombies just to marvel at the sight. I wasn’t exaggerating. It looks great. And the blood certainly spills great, too.

Tomb Raider

3. Tomb Raider – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Tomb Raider wasn’t a series I grew up with to much familiarity. I would get my hands on one of the games here and there, but there wasn’t much consistency. But the reboot certainly captured my attention with the newer type of attitude they injected into the character and my intrigued certainly paid off. Tomb Raider was a fantastic journey in the shoes of a young Lara Croft. She wasn’t a full bad ass. It was a developing character in a sticky situation and the more I played through it, the more I found her to be a believable character. So I was excited to hear that Tomb Raider will be making its way to current gen consoles in 2014. It’ll help bridge the game to Lara’s next adventure which I’ll definitely be waiting for.

Grand Theft Auto V

2. Grand Theft Auto V – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Looking around random sites and commentaries, it seemed a lot of people had some issues with Grand Theft Auto IV. I couldn’t fully relate, as I thought it was a pretty solid showing, though the expansions weren’t super fantastic. But then I played GTA V and felt a bit differently (I still like it, though). Five is how a Grand Theft Auto game should be. It provided a fully realized, functioning world and classic GTA mayhem. It was a perfect blend. I loved the use of three protagonists, but I’m not sure if they can necessarily use the same trick again. The story was even solid, a good feat for a story based on knocking off banks. GTA Online also took some chances by creating a sub-world and it seems to be going over well among most players.

Bioshock Infinite

1. BioShock Infinite – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

The original Bioshock is one of my favorite games of all time. It was simply marvelous and more than worthy of the perfect score we gave it at the time. I can’t quite say that Bioshock Infinite is going to displace its predecessor, but it’s not a game I anticipate forgetting. As the series progressed, Bioshock had heavier shooter elements involved, which I appreciated as it appeals to my play style. So from a gameplay standpoint, I loved the game’s balance. But the story. That story and its twists. When truths are revealed, I was nearly speechless. I don’t often get such a reaction elicited from me by a game, but this one just pulled me in that deep. And for those types of reasons, it was my top game of 2013.

And so ends my favorites of 2013. I’m excited to see what 2014 is going to bring- Titanfall, Watch Dogs, and Destiny are just three of the games I am very much looking forward towards. And as always, I’ll look forward to bringing you any advanced looks from various conventions!