Monday, April 21, 2014

Yearly Gaming Analysis: 2013

I can't think of anything significant that happened to me in 2013 when it comes to my video gaming existence. At this point in my life, gaming is just there, a part of me. I did welcome the PlayStation 4 into my home and as I have previously stated in length, the PS4 - and I have no doubt it's the same with the X-Box One - really doesn't bring anything special that can supersede the experience I am having with Personal Computer gaming. The ultimate video gaming experience is no longer in the realm of console gaming and that has been the case for me for a while now. There is no such thing as "next gen" when it comes to gaming. It's about the now and PC gaming is the pure embodiment of that notion.

Outside of gaming, the one moment that will always stay with me was my family trip to Tiburon. It was so different. So personal. A much needed break from my overwhelming gaming habits. I think it's time that we take Yoshi to San Francisco and spend the whole day at the Golden Gate Park this year.

This analysis includes all games that were inducted in 2013, even if the games were released prior to that year. The brackets shown in the number counts signify the difference between 2012 and 2013. I hope you will find this report informative and an entertaining read.


Total Year Inductions: 5 (-73)

Total Year Inductions: 3 (-6)

Total Year Inductions: 10 (+1)

Total Year Inductions: 1 (-3)

Total Year Inductions: 8 (+2)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Solstice Arena
Developer: Zynga
Induction Date: 07/19/2013

It wasn't a glorious year when it comes to handheld gaming and despite the good number of inductions, only Solstice Arena managed to keep me coming back to the small screen. Since I am a fan of multiplayer online battle arena games, it's easy for me to like Solstice Arena. Since it is a free to play title, everyone should give the game a shot. If you think MOBA matches usually take too much time to finish, this game is perfect for you. The only problem with the game is that unwillingness to pay a single dime on the game means that it will take forever to unlock all the characters. The alternate skins, some of them are indeed amusing, are also pretty darn expensive so you would never see me using one one of them when I play this game again. Too bad this game also got released on Steam not too long after because I have only been playing the PC version since then.

You have probably noticed the huge difference in the amount of games that I inducted for the iPad last year. There are not a lot of great games on it. After a while, I stopped downloading them because I realized that these game would have the lowest priorities when it comes to time investment and the iPad has some serious internal storage problem - I own the 16GB model - and I can never have too many games installed on it. A lot of the more popular games on the iOS are now showing up on Steam as well so it is safe to say that I can just abandon the platform of any future additions unless I can find more action games that support the iCade Core arcade stick that I received just recently.

--- WII BRAND ---

Total Year Inductions: 8 (-4)

Total Year Inductions: 14 (+13)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Super Mario 3D World
Developer: Nintendo
Induction Date: 11/21/2013

Nintendo, who just couldn't wait to abandon the Nintendo Wii for some crazy reason, failed to realize that gameplay is the one thing that matters over everything else and the promise of quality Nintendo gameplay was finally delivered to their new console with the arrival of Super Mario 3D World. Could this game have been made on the Nintendo Wii? Easily. A high definition Mario game is definitely nice but I don't believe it was necessary because as pretty as this game looks, it owes that accomplishment to the overall art style and animation instead of the technology that backs it up.

Total Year Inductions: 251 (-3)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Developer: SCS Software
Induction Date: 01/13/2013

Being a truck driver may be the least exciting thing that one would like to experience in a video game but this game managed to make that very idea appealing and unexpectedly engaging. Who knew that many of us have chosen the wrong career track when sitting in a truck for many hours on end actually feels this mesmerizing? Well, just like any other aspect of life that video games try to simulate, everything is more forgiving and exaggerated here like the ease of getting away from strange traffic accidents and the condensed time and space. Still, when a game can convince you to steer a truck for one full hour in real time to complete just one delivery, you know that there is definitely something remarkably special about ETS2.


Total Year Inductions: 28 (-8)

Total Year Inductions: 3 (+3)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Induction Date: 09/01/2013

This game was not made just for the fans of the vocaloid Hatsune Miku and her friends but it was crafted with such polish and precision to become one of the most memorable music rhythm games ever made. I didn't even know who she was until I started playing the game and now, I am a huge fan. The elaborate, artistic music videos that accompany each of the intriguing songs made the game both an aural bliss - as long as you like Japanese music - and a visual treat. There were many times when I would just boot up the game just to sit back and let the music videos play: I still had a great time doing just that.

--- X-BOX 360 ---
Total Year Inductions: 6 (-8)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Ginga Force
Developer: Qute Corporation
Induction Date: 06/24/2013

Another year, another Japanese shooter dominating the top spot and it's another Qute Corporation's game for the second consecutive year. Though not what I would consider one of the greats, Ginga Force is an extension to the gameplay introduced by the superior Eschatos that came before it. The story mode is somewhat disappointing due to its heavy reliance on currency grinding to unlock different parts of the player's ship and the game's restrictive stage design where you can only play through one of them at a time doesn't help at all. Still, it's beautiful and fun, a shining beacon in the darkness that had engulfed the console for a while now. Ginga Force is quite possible the console's swan song until I am able to get that latest Dodonpachi that received a region-free release last year.


Games that have been played for 10 days or more within the year:

11.5% of the entire Game Library as of 04/21/2014

10.4% of the entire Game Library as of 04/21/2014

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