- Ninety-nine percent of my gaming this year has taken place when I should been in bed. But that didn't stop me, even when it should have. These five games did the most to keep me from getting enough sleep this year. As always, this is a list of games were are important to me this year, not some kind of authoritative, objective list of the best games of the year.
- Dark Souls - I've owned Dark Souls for close to two years now and I never beat it. The difference between this game and every other one in my collection is that I'm still trying to beat Dark Souls. I don't know that a game has ever gotten under skin the same way. No, I'm not playing it the "right way". I've read every wiki, forum, and guide I could find. I watched so many videos. But that doesn't mean anything when you have a controller in hand and have to execute everything you've learned. Dark Souls is an unforgiving teacher. And I love it dearly because of that.
- Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan - When I played D&D, I was always the DM. I didn't mind. I liked getting friends together to play. But the part I didn't tell anyone about was that I really liked to make maps. EO4 is a gift to my map-marker heart. An old-school, Wizardry-style dungeon crawler, I haven't played a game like this since Might & Magic II and The Bard's Tale. Funny that a genre you might think long dead could be alive, well, and just as good as you remember from thirty years ago.
- Gone Home - From the moment of heard about the Fullbright Company, I knew that I wanted to follow them. Gone Home was exactly what I hoped it would be. It seemed to be a direct response to everything I wanted out of Bioshock Infinite. I enjoyed wandering through the house, finding out what happened to my (Katie's) family over the last year, and hoping that I would find them okay. I can't wait to see what the team does in the future.
- Saints Row IV - Considering how much I loved Saints Row The Third, there was no chance I would pass up SR4. Although in some ways it felt like an add-on to SR3, it ended up surpassing the older game in many ways. I would have trouble returning to Steelport without having access to superpowers any more. The game was pure joy from beginning to end.
- World Of Warcraft (Private Server) - I make the distinction here because playing an MMO in a world with only one player is a very strange experience. The economy is non-functional and the several quests and characters are all kinds of buggy. But turning the nobs on the server to suit my needs, whether it is weakening elite mobs or turning up reputation gain (because screw reputation grinds), is really gratifying. No, it is not the same. But exploring an Azeroth that no longer exists (the server is set to patch 3.3.5a) is a different kind of treasure.
- Honorabe mentions Super Hexagon and Bioshock Infinite came pretty close to making the list. It has been a very strange year for gaming, but I'm super happy to have such variety.
- So, what were your favorite games this year?
© 2013 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.