Posts Tagged ‘Ni no Kuni’

Here we are people. The big one. The 2013 Game of the Year. I won’t hold you up but *spoiler alert* GTA V is not on this list. Why? I didn’t think it was that great. It probably would have featured in a Top 20 list, but these games are better…

10. Saints Row IV

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The game that out GTA’d GTA. Saints Row has everything except the graphical polish. An absolutely banging soundtrack. Some of the funniest and most outlandish dialogue seen in a game in recent years. A brilliantly stupid and self-referential scrip. And most importantly it was a sandbox game that knew how to be a sandbox game. No invisible walls, no barriers. You want to speed like lightening across the map whilst cars explode and get telepathically thrown out the way? You can. You want to leap hundreds of feet into the air before gliding across an entire city only to hit the side of a building and then run up it vertically to the very top? You can. You then want to jump from the top of the building and levitate in the air before plunging down to the earth fist first and unleashing a nuclear blast that annihilates everything in its path? YOU CAN! You want to do all of this to Aerosmith’s I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing because you’re trapped inside an alien matrix and can therefore pick up radio signals in your head?? Guess what? YOU CAN!

9. Rayman Legends

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If Rayman has done anything this generation it’s reinvigorate a tired genre that most of us had left for dead. The 2d platformer. Indeed Rayman Origins had come just the year before and made what many consider to be the perfect example of the game type. So how do you improve on that? How do you make perfection more perfect? Well I don’t have the answers to these questions but someone at Ubisoft obviously does. Rayman Legends is not just an amazingly tough and challenging old school platformer. It is stuffed to bursting with extra content. It’s an amazing multiplayer game. There are online leaderboards complimented with a set of ever changing online daily challenges. Every single level has its own ‘invaded level’ a remix of elements from that world to form a super tough timed level that can only be completed by the most skilled and truly devoted players. There is a whole optional world of original Origins levels but given that Legends sheen. There are brilliantly funny rhythm action levels that have you jumping and punching to the beat of such classics as Eye of the Tiger. And a whole host of extras waiting to be unlocked. Seriously, if you want bang for your buck, the bang doesn’t get much louder than this!

8. Bioshock Infinite

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After a prolonged development period it really was starting to look like Infinite was going the way of the dodo. After constant delays and stories of people getting laid off things were starting to look bleak. However the day finally came when Infinite was released and it was magic. Evoking the same emotions of mystery, surprise, beauty and decay the original Bioshock had done years ago. Infinite was a game made for HD. It was stunning. And the effortless way in which Booker zipped around stages shooting both weapons and plasmids was mesmerising. The music and the art design also complimented each other wonderfully which just made this world, this Olympus, feel more tangible than anything that had ever come before. And that ending! Strap yourself in when those final scenes play out, your world is about to get turned upside down!

7. Tomb Raider

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Lara Lara Lara. You were so very very close! Close to what you might ask? Well, and I don’t say this lightly, but toppling Nathan Drake from his throne. As one of the most visually stunning and perfectly balanced games on this list Tomb Raider had all the right ingredients for a perfect action game. It was just missing two special little something somethings. And they were, interesting characters and a plot I could give a damn about. I don’t want to dwell on it but Tomb Raiders cast and story was a bunch of rubbish. Which is a real shame as everything else on the table, the action, the set pieces, the combat and the stealth were nigh on perfect. Hopefully there will be a bigger focus on tightening these bolts in the inevitable sequel! It’s good to have you back Lara J

6. Ni No Kuni

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This has been the JRPG I’ve been waiting years to play! Literally! Apart from Persona’s 3 and 4 which were released on the PS2, I can’t think of a single game in the genre that I’ve been as obsessed with since. FF XIII was terrible and XIII-2 was ok. Xenoblade was fantastic but a little drawn out. I wanted a classic feeling JRPG and I wanted it now! And boy oh boy did Ni No Kuni deliver in spades! One of the brightest and most beautiful games in recent years NNK was, and is, a wonder to look at. And when you look at the talent behind it it’s no wonder. Bought to you by Level 5 and Studio Ghibli this really is a match made in heaven. All the while evoking elements of Level 5’s previous game, Dragon Quest VIII, whilst retaining a unique identity entirely of its own, Ni No Kuni is a work of art. Pure and simple lovely charm with the edge of a tough RPG for the hardcore. Hundreds of hours of stuff to do, hundreds of side quests and hidden bosses to fight, this really is a game you live in. Putting the disc in is like opening the door to Narnia.

5. Legend of Zelda a Link Between Worlds

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I was very very sceptical the first time I saw a trailer for this Zelda game. Especially after seeing how well a 3DS Zelda game could run after the Ocarina of Time remake. Did we really have to return to old school top down Zelda? Well I’m so glad we did. If there is one thing that I need to remind myself of from time to time it’s that Nintendo don’t screw up their first party titles. A Link Between Worlds was at once nostalgic and new. The mechanic by which Link can turn himself into a painting and merge onto walls entirely turns the genre upside down and makes for some of the best puzzles in the series. The best and most precise Zelda game I have played in a very very long time! Well done Link! You deserve your place on this list!

4. Fire Emblem Awakening

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Not only one of the games of the year but, in my opinion, the defining game in this long running series. As I have mentioned before, this generation has seen a complete revival of the turn based strategy genre. And I do believe that Awakening is the pick of the litter. And probably the best game on the 3DS. Fantastic hardcore strategy that requires the player to really plan out their moves as permadeath is a very real threat. Beautifully animated and voice acted anime cut scenes that wrap around a fantastically told and well-paced story. A brilliantly addictive job system, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the early Final Fantasy games. And finally a game that really delivers on the 3DS’s street pass promise. That amount of interactivity and extras that you gain just by walking around town with your 3DS on standby pretty much makes this game infinite.

3. The Last Of Us

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Harrowing. Christ on a bike this game was distressing. Never mind the bleak, barren and desolate future bought to us by Naughty Dog. The characters themselves were dragged right through the shitter. So the Last of Us then. A third person action/survival horror game bought to you by the studio that is behind the exceptional Uncharted games. This game was a trial to play through. Not because of any sort of flaws in the design but because you yourself suffered with these characters. The emotional toll that this game took was staggering. I’m not going to go into any great amounts of details as I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you that haven’t played it, but the fact that my friend Kurt took half a day off of work just to come over to my house to talk about it as soon as I’d told him I’d completed it speaks volumes about the games story, atmosphere and character. Throw in a perfectly competent, tense and interestingly explored multiplayer and you’ve got yourself a winner. If you own a PS3 you owe it to yourself to play this game. It defines a generation.

2. Guacamelee

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Let’s get one thing straight. It broke my heart to put Guacamelee at number two. This had been my Game of The Year since first completing it when it was released in early 2013. Everything about this game is old school metroidvania style gameplay tweaked to perfection. I did do a full review of this game and you can read my thoughts on it here, https://bridgeburnergaming.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/guacamelee-review/

Suffice to say if you want a bright, beautiful challenge with interesting puzzles, fantastic combat, look no further than Guacamelee. Especially as of right now it’s free to download on the PSN if you are a PS+ subscriber.

So that WAS my game of the year. And if you’ve read the review then you must be thinking that it must have been something truly special and unique to topple Guacamelee off of its throne. And you’d be right….

1. Tearaway

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So here it is! Game of the year! Numero uno! The best of the best! And do you know what? I never saw it coming! There were certain games that came out in 2013 that you knew, just knew, were going to be on this list. Even before playing them you had a vague idea that Tomb Raider and Bioshock were going to be getting talked about come the end of the year. But not Tearaway. With little to no hype surrounding its launch and reading mute previews, I wasn’t even planning on buying this game. It was only due to the fact that Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet crfeators) were making this game that I had heard of it at all. Even the trailers and gameplay videos looked a bit dull. And then the reviews started trickling out. And what reviews. Many outlets even stating that this was the best game on the Vita! Better than Persona 4?! REALLY?! I knew I had to check it out.

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And I was so glad I did. This game is incredible. And it does two things very very well indeed. Firstly it breaks the third wall like no other game I’ve played. The game itself is a linear platformer which controls and feels very much like Psychonauts in places. However using all of the Vitas unique functions it puts you in the game. Literally. From introducing you as some sort of god character by using the front camera to continually have you in the sun looking down on proceedings. To having your actual fingers burst through the papery game screen to interact with the environment. The game also innovates. Constantly. You would be forgiven for thinking that this was a Nintendo game due to the amount of unique, new and interesting concepts it delivers. And none ever outstay their welcome.

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Finally the icing on the cake. As you may have garnered from the pictures, the whole of Tearaway is made of construct paper. And guess what? You can make everything in the game. everything. As you take photos of whited out characters and objects, you then unlock the actual craft paper print outs which are uploaded to a cloud account which you can then access and print off at your leisure. Name me another game that lets you do that!

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So there you have it. Suffice to say that this has without a doubt been one of the best, if not THE best, years for gaming. I could have easily done a top 20 for the best games released this year and still have had a tough time choosing which ones to include. And next year is looking even more crazy! What with last gen still going strong and the current/next gen consoles starting to pick up the pace who knows what’s going to happen?!? I can’t wait and I’ll see you there!

Happy new year from BridgeBurnerGaming xxx  

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Well then! It would appear I’ve got a week to wait until I can trade in some old fap and lay my hands on Bioshock Infinite and Sly 4. So what to do to pass the time? Well there was a game released way back in 2007 on the PlayStation 2 called Rogue Galaxy. An epic sprawling space opera made by those fine people at Level 5. It was a game that I always wanted to play but for some reason or another (money, chasing pussy etc.) I never did.

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Well I now have a week ahead of me with no new games to play. And after recently completing Level 5’s latest masterpiece Ni No Kuni I feel like I’m on a bit of a Level 5 bender. So I thought that there would be no better time to stick it in the old PS2 and give it a whirl!

I’m only an hour or so in and already started the time honoured tradition of listening to a podcast whilst I grind away and I must say I’m having a blast! The orchestral score is brilliant. The characters are bright, funny and interesting. The real time action oriented combat is responsive and different. Although not an entire world away from Level 5’s other two previous RPG classics Dark cloud and Dark Chronicle. And I’ve only just started touching the upgrade system (think Final Fantasy X’s levelling up grid but with items). And boy those beautiful cell shaded graphics! Think Dragon Quest VIII but with lasers and guns!

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So yeah, this isn’t really a review or retrospective. Just letting you know what I’m up to and what my coming posts are probably going to be centred on over the next week or so. There will still be a Random Retro Corner and maybe some posts from some guest writers. So plenty to look forward to! So I guess I’ll sign off by saying move over Mass Effect there’s a new…or old…Space Odyssey in town!!!