Welcome to the second week of our look back at TSA’s top 100 games of 2013. We’ll save you from a long introduction and head straight into the games, starting with Army of Two: Devil’s Cartel at 75 and ending with Tekken X Street Fighter. The title should give you a clue to the remaining three…
75. Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel
The previous Army of Two games were received with a positive, though not fantastic reception and it seems that The Devil’s Cartel didn’t manage to elevate the series to new heights, sitting at a mediocre score of 54 for Xbox 360 and not much better at 58 on PS3.
It’s a bit of a shame that EA Montreal hasn’t managed to move the IP forwards in terms of gameplay or narrative, with it remaining a dumb but fun co-operative shooter. In fact, Aran explored just why games like Army of Two are needed, saying that the “dumb, fun spectacle” that is Army of Two actually works in this case.
Somewhere along the line the message apparently became that gamers want mature stories with big emotional impact. It’s hard to disagree with that, I do want to play those kind of games. However, the thing is, I don’t want that in every game, just like I don’t want every movie to be a Saving Private Ryan or Shawshank Redemption.
He puts forward a good case for the game – it sounds like gaming’s answer to the myriad of popcorn action movies that are exceedingly popular. It doesn’t seem to have emulated the success of those movies, however, as it charted at sixth in the UK on its week of release, before dropping down to fifteenth and then falling off the charts completely.
74. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
The latest instalment in the Animal Crossing franchised has proved very popular, scoring an impressive 88 on Metacritic with many postive and few mixed reviews. It has also been flitting between second and fourth place on the UK charts for the past six weeks, right behind blockbuster PS3-exclusive, The Last Of Us.[drop]In New Leaf, you take on the role of Mayor, making decisions and steering an emerging town in a direction of your choosing. Your job is to keep the citizens happy, while fishing, catching bugs and even digging in order to raise money and develop. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a very fun simulation of an idyllic life in an animal-populated town with few worries.
I absolutely adore the game; it’s pure Nintendo and an engaging, addictive handheld experience that I keep going back to. I can’t explain exactly what brings me back – I’ve tried, putting my thoughts into about 800 words or so and yet still being unable to say why I want to keep visiting my town.
I don’t know why I’m playing Animal Crossing, and I don’t know why I want to keep playing every single day. But you should play it too; it’s really fun.
I’ve sent my 3DS away for repair and I actually miss playing it every day; I think that attests to the quality of the game, even though it didn’t manage to reach anywhere near to top of our list.
73. Dead State
Dead State is an intriguing turn-based RPG set in a post-apocalyptic zombie-filled world, coming to PC in December of this year after meeting its Kickstarter target back in 2012.
The game is developed by DoubleBear Productions and is the studio’s first title, so it could make or break them depending on how popular the game is. It seems to be taking a more serious approach to the tired zombie genre, inspired by post-apocalyptic films such as Children of Men and real-life events such as the devastating Hurricane Katrina, rather than “zombie shooter-type games.”
It’s all about scavenging for resources, exploring the world, dealing with the other survivors and managing a shelter. It’s an open-ended experience, with the story changing depending on where you go and who you meet. It looks as though it could be good, but we’ll have to wait another few months before we find out.
Terraria released on the PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Arcade this March, almost two years after its original launch on PC. If you’re not sure what it is, then imagine if someone got Minecraft and flattened it, turning it into a sidescrolling, exploration-heavy adventure game.
It was met with positive reception, with the score of 80 on Metacritic matching the 8/10 score in our review. Aran praised the addictive gameplay, re-playability and creation aspects, though found that there was no-one playing online and that it took some time to get into.
Terraria is a simple game that is hard to master, and one that can easily consume your time. The only stories here are the ones you create, either by yourself or with others, and there’s a chance to construct some real masterpieces.
Maybe that was my problem; I got the game for cheap on PC but it never managed to draw me in after an hour or two of playing, perhaps I should give it a few more hours and see if it clicks, though I’ve had similar issues with Minecraft.
The game is out now on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 and will be coming to mobile devices as well as tablets and the PS Vita at an unconfirmed point in the future.
71. Tekken X Street Fighter
I wish I had more to tell you about Tekken X Street Fighter than I do. While Street Fighter X Tekken released in 2012, this game has seemingly dropped off the grid.
It looks as though it’s going to be a next generation title now, with one of the few updates since the initial Top 100 post being that they are “changing & considering platform strategy”. This came just weeks after the announcement of the PS4, so it looks as though they’re aiming to release on that in the future.
What we do know about TxSF is that it will feature Tekken’s 3D fighting gameplay, visual style and characters from both franchises, though only Jin and Ryu have been confirmed in the initial announcement, with no roster updates since.
Let’s hope this game sees the light of day on next gen hardware, as it currently looks as though it’s being developed by three people in a darkened room with no outside contact whatsoever. Otherwise something would have leaked, right?
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow lunchtime for another five game recaps to digest!