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Top 20 Video Games of 2013 – Part 1

Top 20 Video Games of 2013 – Part 1

2013 has been an interesting year as far as gaming has been concerned.  Not only have there been some new and interesting games as well as sequels to popular franchises, we have also seen the release of new gaming consoles — both big and small.  The Sony and Microsoft juggernauts have unleashed their new machines and we have seen hints at the kind of gaming that is to come.  We have also seen smaller efforts try and gain a foothold such as the Ouya.  The writing staff have all cast their votes on what they feel were some of the best games that we have seen in 2013 regardless of platform preferences and loyalties.  Between all the votes, we have been able to craft an interesting list.  Here is the first part of Sound on Sight’s picks for the top 20 games of 2013 (starting at 20 down to 11).  The second part will follow in the next day or so.

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20. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

Developer: Sanzaru Games

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

(PS3, PS Vita)

Dust off your lock picking kits and dig out your canes, Sly Cooper is back in town. Picking up right where Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves left off, Thieves in Time is a sequel eight years in the making that takes players on an epic journey through time. After Sucker Punch Productions passed the torch to Sanzaru Games, Sly and the gang got a new look and a new lease on life. By taking advantage of the PS3’s new processing power, Sony added a new layer of fun through a cross-buy offer. Players who bought both the PS3 version were given a code that turned the Vita into a pair of x-ray goggles which revealed hidden items in the game. In addition to the stealth, thievery, combat, and exploration we are all accustomed to, new costumes and masks to aid gamers in their quest to restore the Cooper legacy and defeat Le Paradox. Though quick time boss battles might not be for everyone, the thief in all of us is sure enjoy Sly’s latest adventure. – Elizabeth R

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19. Diablo III (Console)

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment

(Xbox 360, PS3)

When Diablo III released for PC in 2012, it was met with mixed feelings. The main complaints surrounding the new auction house system which promoted low drop rates on legendaries, the ability to sell in-game currency for real money, and an ultimately broken economy. This past September, the game was re-released for consoles in a much more streamlined format, with the removal of the auction house and higher drop rates on legendary items. The result was a much more enjoyable and accessible game.

Unlike most PC to console ports, the game actually plays better with a controller too. By using a simple lock-on system and dodging via the right thumb-stick, your Barbarian has never controlled better. Though the single-player story is somewhat lackluster, Diablo really shines when played with friends. Coordinating the powers of each class as I hacked, slashed, and gloated over drops via Xbox Live has been some of the most fun I’ve had this year; and now with a release date on the upcoming expansion, Diablo III promises to entertain well into the future. – Matt N

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18. Remember Me

Developer: Dontnod Entertainment

Publisher: Capcom

(MS Windows, Xbox 360, PS3)

Set in the distant future in Neo-Paris, Remember Me has players controlling Nilin, a memory hunter with a bad case of amnesia. Using her unique memory remixing skills and impressive combat ability, she helps lead the Errorists, a revolutionary group who seek to take down the mega-corporation known as Memorize. The game mixes key elements from brawlers, puzzle games, and platformers and combines it with one hell of an interesting story. Remember Me proves to be a game that will not soon be forgotten. – Holly F

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17. Rogue Legacy

Developer: Cellar Door Games

Publisher: Cellar Door Games

(MS Windows, OS X, Linux)

Inspired by the classic game of Rogue, Rogue Legacy gives an interesting twist and breathes new life in the genre. As in Rogue, you are an adventurer delving into random dungeons for treasure and fame. Rogue Legacy is set up as a platformer and should your character die (the result of losing all of your hit points), a choice of three randomly generated heirs will be able to continue the quest. The good news is that any gold and upgrades to the manor are inherited but the trick of it is that no adventurer (heir) is created equal. Your heir could have conditions such as dwarfism, vertigo, color blindness, and so much more – all of which will affect game play. Some heirs will have particular talents and advantages which lend themselves to different styles of play as well. This game is decidedly difficult and frustrating but remains enjoyable as you strive, generation after generation, to clear out that cursed dungeon, defeat the bosses, and then their leader. – Pat B

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16. Super Mario 3D World

Developers: Nintendo EAD Tokyo / 1-UP Studio

Publisher: Nintendo

(Wii U)

Released one year after the console’s launch, Super Mario 3D World is the first must-own game for the Wii U – a powerful re-imagining that combines elements from virtually every Mario 2D and 3D platform before it. The level design, HD graphics, epic soundtrack and multi-player action is outstanding. Super Mario 3D World is a celebration of the beloved series, and a game that proves Nintendo isn’t yet fresh out of ideas. – Ricky D

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15. Dead Rising 3

Developer: Capcom Vancouver

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

(Xbox One)

There have been many games that have focused on the zombie genre but none have done it better than the Dead Rising series. With the advantage of being on the new hardware Dead Rising 3 seems to be the exclusive that most gamers want to get. The map is absolutely huge as you could fit the first two games in the massive city of Los Perdidos. Taking on the role of Nick Ramos you will fight against not only zombies but other inhabitants of this city turned hell hole.

One of the better improvements over the sequel is that you can combine weapons and vehicles on the fly instead of finding a workbench. And the best part about all this is you can choose what you can upgrade instead of it being randomly assigned! So you if you wanted more health off the bat you can sink PP points into that instead of getting something useless. With all these improvements, next gen graphics and a huge city to explore with millions of zombies it is clear to see why this game is one of the top games of 2013. – Tom R

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14. Beyond: Two Souls

Developer: Quantic Dream

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

(PS3)

Beyond: Two Souls gives players the unique opportunity to experience nearly the entire life cycle of a woman named Jodie Holmes, played by actress Ellen Page. She is a special person with a mysterious connection to an otherworldly being whom she names Aiden. The game jumps back and forth through time, allowing us to control Jodie at various stages of her life as she comes to terms with her abilities and the trouble that they bring. Like Quantic Dream’s other work, Beyond: Two Souls reinvents what it means to “play a game” and engages the player in one of the most interesting and heart-wrenching stories of this year. – Holly F

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13. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Developers: Nintendo EAD Group No.2 / Monolith Soft

Publisher: Nintendo

(Nintendo 3DS)

Animal Crossing has been a game that people have gone back to on the GameCube and even on the Wii. When it was announced that this was going to be released for the 3DS, gamers who loved the series went crazy. It was a game where you could create the town you wanted to live in as you were its newly appointed mayor.

What I love about the game is the progression of time as the seasons pass as time does. If you play this game in the winter the fields will be covered with snow. You can spend your time interacting with town folk, digging up fossils, or fishing making this one of the best games on the 3DS. – Tom R

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12. TowerFall

Developer: Matt Makes Games Inc.

Publisher: Matt Makes Games Inc.

(Ouya)

An Ouya exclusive that is currently making its way to the PC and PS4, TowerFall is fast paced archery arena combat game that never slows down. While it can be played locally, this game is best played with friends who are in the same room, preferably within striking distance. As soon as the word “Fight” appears arrows zip through the air at blinding speed. Alliances are formed and broken in a matter of seconds. There are four modes of play. Last Man Standing and Head Hunter tend to paint a large target on the leaders. Power ups to help players outlast opponents in Treasure mode, as well as items that effect the stage as a whole, like time distortion and walls of lava. Single player allows you to refine your skills of assassination. Perhaps one of the best features of TowerFall is the replay feature that allows you to see the final kill once again. But beware, your opponents can take this opportunity to learn your techniques and take you out in the next round. – Elizabeth R

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11. The Wolf Among Us (Episode 1)

Developer: Telltale Games

Publisher: Telltale Games

(MS Windows, OS X, Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, iOS)

Following on the immense success of Telltale Games’ critically acclaimed Walking Dead five episode video game, they’ve embarked on a new project. The Wolf Among Us is an episodic graphic adventure based on Bill Willingham’s Fables comic book series and, much like the Walking Dead focuses on character development and story as opposed to simple puzzle solving. The game is a point-and-click experience and the choices and decisions make through dialogue and action will shape how events will unfold. The are action sequences scattered through the game where the player responds to a series of quick time events but everything serves the purpose of the ongoing narrative.

In The Wolf Among Us, the characters and creatures were originally those found in fables and fairy tales that have fled their realm and sought sanctuary in mundane world which is located in modern-day New York. The character you play is Bigby Wolf, the sheriff of Fabletown who is essentially the Big Bad Wolf, now reformed. The story and action draws the player in along with it’s beautifully rendered graphics which is a graphic novel brought to life with it’s stark colors and tones. It’s easy to see that the success that Telltale Games had with their adaptation of the Walking Dead, is no fluke once you get involved with the first episode of the game. While no release dates have been announced for the remaining four episodes, it’s not difficult to imagine that the rest of the series could result in The Wolf Among Us receive equal critical acclaim in 2014. – Pat B

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Part Two