State of the Game: Recent Free Things

I’ve been a Playstation Plus subscriber for a few years now, but outside of a few key titles, there is little that I get overly excited to receive for free. For a time, I used to write about my experiences with these free games each and every month, but to be honest, there are months when I don’t have time to play them all or I have no interest in any of the titles. There has also been a recent change to the service, in that the Playstation 3 and PSVita systems are no longer supported, so we only get a couple of games per month, where there used to be times when we’d get cross-play PS3/Vita games and sometimes they were decent. Nonetheless, I took some time over the past week to check out some of the recent things we’ve seen through the service and thought I’d share some short thoughts on each. Let’s dig in, shall we?

Conan Exiles:

One of the offerings from this month, Conan Exiles is a title that I didn’t give a second thought to. The Survival Sandbox genre saw its height a few years ago, and I honestly never really got into any of the games despite picking up a few. As such, this wasn’t a game I was ever going to buy, but I tend to try out the free stuff given to us each month anyway. The first thing I noticed when firing up the game was that it doesn’t look very pretty. The character creation has some pretty ugly models, apparently there’s some nudity options which seem irrelevant, and the overall look of the game was muddy and overall unattractive. The introduction didn’t do anything for me. I honestly only ran around for ten minutes before uninstalling. It appears that it’s the same old shtick, but I assume there are things that set this particular survival game apart from the others, I just couldn’t be bothered to find out what those things were. I didn’t even take screenshots to share because it was that bad. I’d skip this one.

The Surge:

I was a bit more interested in The Surge on the other hand. It looked like a pretty decent Souls-Like but after learning that it was created by the same developers as Lords of the Fallen I wasn’t as enthused. I tried the latter at some point (wasn’t it free via Plus as well?) and felt that it was lacking compared to the Souls games, and didn’t play too much of it. This is still a case of a company copying a successful formula, but whereas with Lords it felt like a cheap, poorly made rip-off, in the case of The Surge the game feels like its own beast. I think the Sci-Fi setting is perhaps the reason for it not feeling like a cheap copy, but whatever the case is I actually enjoy this game.

You start off on a train to some sort of research facility, and it turns out your character is in a wheelchair. You venture further into the facility, where you get to choose your class, but it’s not so much a class as a couple of different job titles. I’m not sure what the differences are, but I went with the Lynx, which was tagged as being speedy and whatnot. I assume with the heavier class you might have different stats or abilities, but for now let’s move on — that’s what I did. You get a surgery which attaches this exoskeleton to you (though it looked quite painful since there was no sedation and quite a bit of nuts and bolts entering flesh) but the robots mistakenly say there is an issue with you and throw you in the trash pile. From there, it’s time to figure out what the hell is going on, as you are thrust into a scrapyard fighting sentient robots and talking to very few humans. The combat is action oriented and uses targeting and a variety of button presses to do things. You’ll get gear and implants that give you various abilities. It feels like its own thing, and it’s quite fun. I’d recommend checking this one out!

Path of Exile PS4:

Path of Exile obviously isn’t a new title, but it was just recently ported to the Playstation 4. Being a free-to-play title, this is available for anyone to download right now. I decided to download it just to see how an action RPG like this might perform on a console. My only other ARPG experience on a console was Diablo 3 on PS3, and I absolutely hated it. Action RPGs have been around for a very long time, and typically they are played on PCs with mouses, with click-to-move and click-to-attack mechanics that tend to not lend themselves well to play with a controller. I also have a long history with this title in particular, but only based on years, not time played. I helped to back it when it was in development, throwing some cash at Grinding Gear Games in order to play it early. I liked what I saw, but at some point I got on the Diablo 3 train and didn’t really play any other ARPGs for a long time. I’ve gone back and checked on PoE a few times since then, but haven’t ever done too much. So anyway, I downloaded and played for a bit the other day, and I have to say that this actually feels like a damn fine port!

Graphically the game looks great and it runs really smooth. I’ve seen games like this with a lot of action going on, on-screen at one time, bog down on consoles just because the processing power isn’t the same as PCs that released at the time of the console’s released. So this long later, you can imagine that the PS4 is a toaster compared to even my few year old gaming PC. Whatever the case, things look and play well. The controls are pretty intuitive, and it wasn’t too bad moving with a joystick as opposed to clicking a mouse. Instead, now you’ll be spamming that basic attack button but it feels pretty much the same. The menus are probably the only frustrating part, mainly because this game uses them quite often. You’ll want to manage your inventory, you’ll want to slot abilities into your weapons, to apply different effects, crafting, and navigating that huge skill tree. It feels like the game you already know, but stays fresh if you aren’t a grizzled veteran. I’d check it out if you’d rather play with friends on your console.

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition:

This one came out a few months back but I hadn’t gotten around to trying it. A typical First Person Shooter, Bulletstorm came out several years ago. I remember when it originally released it wasn’t met with the best reviews, and playing it for a bit now, I understand why. Graphically, it looks alright, and feels like its running on the Borderlands engine. I’m not sure if that’s the case, but it has graphical similarities. It’s a sci-fi shooter, with some hoorah bro nonsensical story line. It’s forgettable to say the least, and not intriguing enough to even pay attention to. This was a game that I went into feeling like I wouldn’t really care, and that turned out to be the case. The gunplay is fine. There are some cool parts where things slow down and you do some action movie stunts but overall it’s a pretty “meh” experience. I’d pass. I’ve uninstalled it.

Call of Duty 4 Remastered:

This was one of the freebies for Plus last month, and was honestly one of my favorite Call of Duty games of all time. I haven’t played much but I did check out both the campaign and the multiplayer. Unlike newer Call of Duty games, this one’s multiplayer didn’t have all of the skins and extra bullshit that has been shoehorned into the series over the years. Killstreaks were simple. The maps are still pretty memorable. I remember playing this on my PC for hours on private servers with differing rulesets, and though you can’t exactly do that now,  you can experience one of the better games in the series and that’s a plus to me. Playing through part of the campaign brought back a lot of memories as did murdering other players in multiplayer. I don’t think I would have ever paid for this, because it is pretty much just a visual update to a game that was already played years ago, but for free, it was a nice diversion.

That’s it for this round up. Happy Gaming everyone!

Bragtoberfest Week 2 Round-Up

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The first full week of Bragtoberfest finished up yesterday, and with it, we had more gaming, more blogging, and most of all, more bragging! The Path of Exile event saw more familiar faces join in the fun, with some new additions as well. The Axon flash game challenge finished with Jeromai taking the crown after dethroning me and Murf. Mr. Luvva Luvva is winning the Pix the Cat challenge that Murf put forth, and I just keep posting screens of my triumphant League of Legends games. It’s been fun, and there’s still a couple of weeks to go!

Path of Exile Event

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For the uninitiated, Path of Exile is a free to play (and I do mean free — no pay walls here) action-RPG set in the world of Wraeclast. If you’ve played Diablo, Torchlight, Marvel Heroes or any of the other multitudes of ARPGs, you’ll be right at home. If you haven’t played one in over a decade, you will feel at home still — provided the last one you played was Diablo II. It actually seems to draw more inspiration from that game than any other I’ve played since the late 90’s. Where it differentiates itself is in the HUGE passive skill tree, and the innovative currency trading system. Many an orb and scroll can be used to buy items (and given in exchange for items you sell), and they also have their individual effects, such as identifying items or changing stats on weapons and such. Skills aren’t very traditional either, in that they are tied to gems, and those gems have to be socketed for you to use them. They level up as you do, so keeping them equipped is the only way to grow in power. This can make for some interesting — or frustrating — gear management scenarios.

I gave a small recap of what happened in my last post, but I think that Jeromai’s word wall of a post is the best account of the day I’ve seen so far. I’ll just leave that here, and move on.

In lieu of listing more achievements earned here like I did in the last round-up post, I’m just going to re-link the spreadsheet of what I’ve tracked. Again, if I missed something you think you earned, let me know. Otherwise, I’m going to save that for a post towards the end of the month and hand out all the achievements when I do the final rolls for sweet, sweet loot. What can I say? I’m feeling lazy.

Post Round-Up

Jeromai has been participating whole-heartedly in Bragtoberfest, and for that I’m thankful. If only a handful of people take up arms to play games together from around the world, I’m doing my part towards creating world peace. Or something. Aside from the PoE recap I posted above, she also writes about Minecraft, Mountain, which is less of a game than a semi-interactive screensaver, and Tower Defense games such as Orcs Must Die and Defense Grid. Apparently I inspired the Orcs Must Die play, and we have toyed with the idea of playing the sequel in co-op mode if we ever get around to beating the first. Mountain was a gift from Doone for those of us who played PoE this weekend, and it’s pretty cool despite being one of those “it’s not really a game, games.”

Speaking of Doone, he also made a round-up post of his own with various achievements he’s earned in games he’s been playing. Kudos, keep ’em rolling in!

Simcha recalls our Strife event from the weekend prior, and also talks about Dragon Age: Origins in her latest post.

Mr Luvva Luvva writes about streaming Alien: Isolation, being a guest on Couch Podtatoes, and his triumph in Pix the Cat on PS4, per Murf’s challenge from last week.

Neri of Mama Needs Mana shares some of her achievement hunting stories from World of Warcraft in a Bragtoberfest post.

Welshtroll made a brief mention of the Strife event and the game Phantoms in a rather light writing week, for him that is.

Aywren writes about finally completing her house in ArcheAge. Apparently there is another writer on her blog as well, that goes by the name of Almonihah, who also bragged about beating the game Xenonauts. Congrats!

The Ancient Gaming Noob got back into bragging mode today with a post about hitting 130 million skill points in EVE. That sounds ridiculous, but when you play a game for 7 years, I suppose it’s doable!

Last but certainly not least, J3w3l wrote up a post about what types of things you can brag about when playing MMOs, and I think that’s great for this group, who is made up of MMO bloggers! I guess I forgot to throw out writing prompts before like I said I would, so there’s some for ya!

And that’s about all I have for this week’s round-up. This upcoming weekend is the TF2/Loadout event hosted by yours truly, so hit up Anook to sign up and I’ll see you there! No matter where you find yourself, happy gaming!

#Bragtoberfest #round-up #community #events #pathofexile

State of the Game: Playing & Watching

Another week down, more stuff played and watched. I mostly have blurbs this time around, because I spent the majority of the week playing League of Legends. I did play some other stuff as well as keeping up on TV shows so let’s jump right in.

League of Legends

I played a shit ton of League as I said. I mostly played ARAM, but did get some team builder matches in as well. As a result, I earned my support icon from the mode. support_iconI did end up buying one new champion, as I hit 4800 IP. Riot has been keeping up with their policy of dropping one champ from the 6300 tier down to the 4800 tier each time a new one releases, so there were some extra options. I was tempted to just continue saving until I hit 6300, but I ended up purchasing Fizz. I haven’t played him a whole lot, but in ARAMs where I got him (due to being in the free rotation) I did fairly well. Plus my end goal is to eventually own them all, so add one more to the pile. I believe at this point I still have 36 to collect. Meaning I own like 70-something. Not bad, but considering the amount of years I’ve played the game you’d think I’d have more. I had a rather good performance with Janna within the last few days, so I’ll just leave this here:

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I have been keeping up on the World Championship matches. This weekend I watched Samsung White utterly DESTROY Samsung Blue in the first semi-finals match on Saturday (early – 1 am) morning. Going 3-0, SSW will be representing Korea in the Finals. This morning I watched OMG and Royal Club as well; it was a better series, but RC advance to the finals for their second year in a row after a 3-2 victory. This will be the second year in a row we see a China vs. Korea final, with RC falling to SKT T1 last year. With the performances this week, I’m feeling pretty positive that Korea will take it all in the end, again.

Other PC Games

I gave a rundown of the newest Alpha build for The Forest along with some screens of a recent playthrough in this post.

I played some Starcraft II over the course of the week, finishing up a few more missions. I believe I am nearing the end of the Terran campaign, though it’s interesting the amount of missions you get to play the Protoss. Their missions help to break up the monotony of playing only one race for so long. I like the Terrans quite a bit more in SC2 than I did in the original. I didn’t like the Zerg all that much when I tried them in multiplayer, but I know that when I get to know them again in the campaign I’ll probably be back to loving them. I’m hoping to complete the first campaign within the next week or so.

I hadn’t touched Orcs Must Die in months (since I purchased really), but not so long ago I was gifted a copy of the sequel by Welshtroll and decided it was time I beat the first game so I could move on to the second. I played quite a bit yesterday, completing a handful of missions. I have a handful of levels left to beat, but also have expansion content because I bought the complete pack so I’m not sure how much I really have yet to do. Either way the game is fun for short bursts, or longer sessions. Hopefully by this time next week I’ll be ready for the 2nd game. I’m steadily moving through my backlog, despite not being able to focus on one game at a time 😛 The last mission I completed was pretty straight forward, but the one I’m on now where they introduce “the pounder,” is completely unfair. I failed twice, so I gave it a rest.

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Bring on the horde!

The Path of Exile event played out on Saturday. I was a little late to the group so I had to sit out for a little while. I played my Witch solo for a bit, and hit level 23 (I could have sworn she was a bit higher level than that). When I joined in with the group, I played a Ranger I had created previously but hadn’t used much. It worked out as everyone had created new characters and they were about level 6 at that point which was the same level as said Ranger. We played for a couple more hours and I leveled that Ranger from 6 – 14. I got to experience some of the newer content in that the boss battles were more intense, but also had some new instances/events added in from one of the expansions. I didn’t take any screens… I don’t know why I keep forgetting.

The past week’s flash game for Bragtoberfest was called Axon. Initially Doone posted a laughable score, and I beat that rather quickly, posting one around 25k. Next thing I knew Jeromai made a post where she had hit 66k, completely blowing my score out of the water. I commented there that I was done… but then I decided to take another stab at it.

It didn’t take long for Murf to answer back at over 98k, and then Jeromai iced it with 108k. Now, I’m officially done. Next week’s challenge might play out differently.

Playstation Plus

I totally skipped over doing my typical Playstation Plus post. It was mentioned a few times in my circle so I just let it ride. I did dive into the games though, beating Chronicles of Mystara in one sitting. It was ok, but would have cost a fortune in the arcade where it originated. Those games were purposely designed to rob you of your lunch money. I played some Spelunky as well, and though it’s fun it doesn’t seem to have anything going for it as far as using it in Bragtoberfest. Maybe the daily challenges? sort of unsure about that. Giving us Batman Arkham Asylum seemed dumb. They already gave us Arkham City (the sequel, which I never played). Would have made more sense to give us Arkham Origins, but either way I’ve already beaten Asylum so that’s lame.

On TV

Hell on Wheels – took a mid season break, not sure why AMC is so fond of doing this. Been good so far, lots of intense scenes between the new governor and the main character. Was shocked that Common’s character was still alive but he was not himself after indians nursed him back to health. Sad that he had to be put down.

Boardwalk Empire – final season has been slow moving, but the weird part is the fact that they keep delving into Nucky’s past.. like why didn’t they care to do that in the first 3 seasons? Watching Capone be an idiot is fun, I love the actor playing him, as he was good ol’ Tommy in Snatch and that’s one of my favs.

The Strain – Season finale just happened, sorry to say that the “master” got away. Crazy that he could withstand direct sunlight, didn’t see that coming. Great show, can’t wait for next season.

Sons of Anarchy – Shit is getting really thick. Not only is there a huge gang war brewing between the bikers, the chinese, the mexicans and the blacks, it seems that Jax has played all ends against the middle. This is typical for SOA, there’s always these backhanded deals going on, but it’s hard to keep up with who is doing what. Then Gemma is “taking Juice out of town to safety” and he catches on that she’s gonna try to kill him. He looked like he might kill her. Sad thing is that he’s in the shitstorm for doing things for Jax and for her… yet they want him dead. No idea where this is going, but oh yes, there will be blood.

American Horror Story – I can already tell that this season is going to be much better than the last. For whatever reason I couldn’t get into Coven, but Freak Show has already started off great. The special effects for all the freaks (though I think some bits of that isn’t special effects) are great (particularly the two headed main character). The creepy factor of the serial killing clown.. man it’s gonna be a good season.

The Walking Dead starts later today. I cannot wait. When we left off, the crew had just made it to Terminus, and the consensus among fans is that they are cannibals. This wouldn’t be the first time the subject had been broached in the walking dead universe (season 1 of the game had a nice little farm with em). With the crew locked up in a train car, who knows how they’re going to bust out. But Rick didn’t look too happy going in there. He’ll be back with a vengeance.

So that’s about all I have for this week’s edition. 1.5k words later, I’m spent.

#stateofthegame #roundup

State of the Game: Action Oriented

We now return to your regularly scheduled program.

Apologies for making the last State of the Game about movies n such, but I really didn’t game much so I had to fill it with something. I got back to gaming this week, revisiting most of the usual session based games, rekindling an old title, and jumping into a new one. I also tried a game that I picked up for free, but was less than impressed. Let’s start with that one, just to get the “bad” news out of the way.

Sniper Elite v2
So Steam offered this game for free for 24 hours the other day (probably to ramp up sales on the third game that just released). I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so of course I downloaded it. The name sounded familiar, but I definitely had never looked at this game as a “must have.” It’s pretty standard WWII shooter faire, though it’s third person. Having been expecting a first person experience, I was slightly disappointed. There isn’t a lot of difference between 1st and 3rd person shooters, save for camera angles, but in this case I feel that this choice hurt this game. For some reason the camera wasn’t really responsive and felt very clunky — especially in tight quarters. The story of the game is that you are a sniper sent to take out high priority targets, on operations that weren’t really covered in other WWII games. The gimmick, is that when you make a kill shot, the game slows down and a matrix-like sequence of the camera following the bullet ensues. Once that bullet hits its target, you get an x-ray view of the victim’s body, showing what vital organs your bullet exploded. While this is entertaining the first couple of times, it gets old pretty quickly. Fortunately there is an option to turn this off, but it still doesn’t save the clunky-ness of the rest of the game. Really, once you turn that feature off this game becomes extremely “more-of-the-same.” Apparently there is the option to use a gamepad, and I think that would make a big difference in the way things control, because it feels designed for the console. I didn’t actually try this though, because I had already uninstalled the game.

MOBAs and Etc.
I have been playing Hearthstone a little more sparingly as I had already mentioned. However, I finally hit my 1000 gold saving mark, which I feel is a good amount in preparation for Naxxramas when it releases. I know that the base part of the expansion is free, but the further wings are supposed to be available via in-game gold, and I want to be ready for that. Also, since all of the cards are going to be earned by playing through the single player campaign, I don’t have to worry about Arena runs to earn expansion cards. A few more gold and I’ll be back to Arena runs again.

I’ve also been playing Awesomenauts and even got in a couple rounds of League, but nothing really new to report there.

Path of Exile
If you listened to the Podcast, you’ll recall I mentioned having played Path of Exile a bit. I knew because I hadn’t played the game in quite some time that I wouldn’t really remember what I was doing with my existing characters, so I decided to roll a new Shadow. I had tried melee classes before, and though I felt that they weren’t for me back then, I ended up enjoying both the Shadow, and the subsequent Templar that I rolled. I haven’t played either beyond level 10 at this point, but I think I figured out why I avoided melee before. My old laptop ran the game, but not as optimally as this PC I’m using now. With the additional smoothness it’s easier to read enemy intentions, and that means dodging and jousting are more effective. I didn’t delete my other ranged characters though, so they’ll end up getting played again once I get back into the swing of everything. I’d like to see at least one of them through to the end of existing content, as there’s already talk of another expansion on the way. Here’s my lowbie Shadow:

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When I was playing my Templar, something cool happened. I was standing by my stash, and a higher level character came by and initiated a trade with me. I accepted, and he gave me a really sweet low-level item:

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It’s not as if this is something that I’ll have for a huge amount of time, but it was still nice of that player. The only disadvantage was that two of my ability gems required the use of either a mace or a staff, so that eliminated my using those temporarily. I still have them slotted, but I didn’t read the fine print until I was in the middle of battle. Because of the rarity of this item I was able to do enough damage with just basic attacks that it didn’t really matter on the loss of ability. I was missing the AOE though. I’ll upgrade when I can. Here’s the Templar for now:

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Marvel Heroes 2015
I’m not sure what blog I was reading, but someone was talking about Marvel Heroes and new stuff that was added because it’s been out for a year now. When I looked it up on Steam, I found that the title has been changed, adding in the “2015.” I’m not sure if that means they’ll be doing something like this yearly (like EA sports games?) or if that’s just the best that someone could come up with for the time being. Either way, watching the videos had me intrigued. It’s another free to play ARPG, but centered around superheroes. Despite there having been quite a few superhero MMOs — I tried DC Universe Online (but prefer Marvel characters) and Champions Online (different universe altogether, so nothing recognizable) and many superhero games (can’t remember the last one I really enjoyed) this is the best superhero game I’ve played. That isn’t to say that it’s doing something revolutionary, but that it’s just well done for the most part. There isn’t a pay wall so to speak; all of the heroes are purchasable via in-game currency, but other items and skins are pay-walled. It’s basically the same system LoL uses: get the champs for in-game cash, skins via RMT. My only complaint was that though there were a good number of heroes to pick from at the beginning, there weren’t too many that were my favorites. I’m sure they do that on purpose. Also, once picking your initial hero, you can’t play any others until you earn enough credit or use cash to buy another. So despite them making it seem like you get multiple heroes off the bat for free, in truth you only get one. In only a few hours of playing, I’m close to being able to unlock other heroes though.

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I started with Rocket Racoon, who is from Guardians of the Galaxy, and is a character I wasn’t really aware of in Marvel until I saw the preview for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie (apparently he was introduced in the 70’s, but I just missed it). He’s pretty cool, with turrets and lasers ‘n’ stuff, but I really want to play Spider-Man and Wolverine, among others. The game plays like any other ARPG, but is more hectic, if that’s even possible. It seems like the screen gets flooded with enemies all the time, particularly in open areas where other players are running around. Bosses are challenging, and mostly well known characters from the Marvel Universe. The talent tree is pretty straight forward and functions more like they used to in old Diablo games or even Torchlight.

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This was an ARPG designed to be an MMO though, so rather than having everything instanced and only interacting with other players in town like PoE, or playing completely solo with world chat like D3, you run into people all over the place. They’re in town. They’re doing the same missions you are. At one point a whole bunch of us were fighting the Rhino together, and he took a long time even at that rate.

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I’m over there hiding behind my turrets, my buddy Groot (summonable minion) is helping some others beat on him up close. Overall I’ve been having fun with it, and put more time in with it than PoE so far this week, but I plan to try and alternate between the two and my mood swings.

That’s all I have for this edition. See you again next week.

My Top Ten Games of 2013

I played too many games to mention this year. The ones that made the best impression were the ones I’ve already spoken of. There were many games that I played that didn’t release this year, so despite loving some of them, they won’t be on this list as they aren’t “current.” I also wasn’t playing any MMOs this year (at least not seriously) so there aren’t any of those on this list. Finally, these are mostly niche games, because I haven’t been buying mainstream games as they release, as much of the AAA titles on offer this year weren’t ones I was interested in, or couldn’t afford when they released. When I say “couldn’t afford” I really mean I’m a cheap ass gamer these days. So with all that said, on to the list (in no particular order):

The Last of Us:
This is one of the only two AAA titles I played this year, though it still wasn’t upon release. I picked up my copy of The Last of Us a few months later on sale. This was a game I couldn’t pass up, not only because I have loved nearly everything Naughty Dog has ever done, but also because it’s a survival horror game which is right up my alley. I only played through the game once, but the story was amazing and the game play equally fun. Multiplayer was more of the same, but was still enjoyable at times. I will probably go back and play this one again some day, as it really was a great experience.

Ni No Kuni: The Wrath of the White Witch:
I spent less time with this game than I would have liked, but still have strong feelings about it. I can’t say that I beat it or even got all of that far through the game, but what I did play was amazing and I will be revisiting it soon. Another AAA title that I got on sale, it was most definitely worth the $20 I paid. There are so many different systems from different JRPGs present here, that it feels like a mix of most of the RPGs I loved playing as a kid, on through my adulthood. I love all RPGs, but there is something to be said about the addictive nature of ones from Japan.

Dragon’s Crown:
This is the only game I couldn’t wait to have this year. I bought it shortly after release for full price. Granted, it was less money than a boxed $60 game, but still, this needs to be notated. I have recently posted about this game so I won’t go into reasons why it’s on my top ten again, but if you are a fan of side-scrolling beat-em-ups with RPG elements, this game will suit you.

Path of Exile:
PoE is the true successor to Diablo II. I say this without having played Diablo III, but I know enough about it to make that statement. Everything about it screams “Diablo II with slightly different systems and holy fuck look at that skill tree!” This game has been playable for more than just this year, but was officially released in 2013, so it makes my list. One of the best 3/4 view action RPGs of the year.

Rogue Legacy:
One of the two Rogue-likes that made this list (FTL would have too if it would have been released this year), Rogue Legacy is an awesome 2-D platformer that redefines death. Death means you will get new powers and possibly new disabilities, all of which are random along with the levels. I have progress pretty far into the game, and I would recommend it to anyone that owns a PC, and a controller. Controls are weak without one, and that’s my only disappointment.

Sword of the Stars: The Pit:
This is my other Rogue-like pick, and it is vastly different from the aforementioned title, but still good in almost every way. Permadeath is definitely a pro and a con, in that it is great to have to take responsibility for your actions, but it really sucks to get further into the dungeon than ever, just to die and have to start over. Still, I have had much fun with the game and have written about it multiple times. Grinding recipes is about the only part of the game that is overly frustrating, because some characters simply cannot hack machines for the messages needed. All in all a must-play.

Terraria:
Terraria released this year on PS3 (though I believe other versions were last year?). I haven’t made much headway with the game, and it is disappointing that there isn’t a way to connect with people that aren’t on your friend’s list. Aside from that, I have had fun exploring and taking part in gameplay that is far from traditional. I have explained my lack of experience with sandbox games, and this was the game that opened the door for me. If you like Minecraft, I’m sure you’ll like Terraria. Just make sure you have friends with the game, as multiplayer makes it more fun.

Dragon Fantasy Book 2:
Dragon Fantasy Book 2 is the sequel to (you guessed it) Book 1. Where Book 1 was an 8-bit adventure reminiscent of Dragon Warrior, Book 2 mixes elements from the 16-bit era, with combat like Secret of Mana or Chrono Trigger, a Pokemon-like pet collection system, and other goodies that remind me of being a kid. In the “good ol days.” I haven’t finished it, but it is on my to-do list and it recommended for old school JRPG nuts. Looking forward to seeing the next iteration, that is supposed to support an engine using 32-bit graphics. FF7 clone here we come 🙂

The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 1:
This was a recent release, so this goes without commentary. If you scroll down, the dedicated post should still be on the main page. Must-have for those of you who were fans of the first season. I just wish it wasn’t so short, and hope that future episodes make up for this lack of length.

League of Legends: All Random All Mid:
In the MMO world, people will select expansions in their “best of” posts, and as League is the closest thing to a Massive game that I’m playing, I’m going to consider this an “expansion” for all intents and purposes. ARAM was released this year, and became a dedicated game mode, like Dominion and Twisted Treeline before it. ARAM most likely consumed more of my game time than any other game this year. I played my share of other modes in LoL, but I think ARAM took the cake for hours played. The game mode is my favorite way to just unwind, without the pressure of having to win, as there is no leaderboard. I love League, and will most likely keep it in my rotation for a long time to come.

I read a post over on The Cynic Dialogues about 2013 being the worst year in (PC) gaming, and I was about to argue against that fact (except the author has comments disabled), but after delving through my posts, trophy lists and memories, it was difficult for me to put together this list of ten. I am now more inclined to agree with them, despite knowing that if I had a slightly better computer I would have been playing some games that I can’t run now. Also, being rich would help to buy some of the games that I didn’t touch this year, so my list might be a little skewed from where it could be. Still, here’s hoping that 2014 blows us away. I hope to get a PS4 and a new computer next year, so maybe I’ll have more options available to me and next year’s list will be easier to pull off.

Lastly, if you are anal like me, you can verify release dates for any of the above listed games here. Just so you know I didn’t cheat ;P