Sidescrollers: The year in games 2013

"Dead Rising 3" features a giant bear. Credit: >??
“Dead Rising 3″ features not only a lot of zombies but a giant, armed bear.
Credit: Microsoft

2013 has been quite a wild and wooly ride for gamers. We got two new consoles, something called “Grand Theft Auto V” and a whole lot of games with zombies (plant zombies count). Let’s take a nostalgic trip through the year to see if nostalgia can even work on something that recent.

Best system of the year: Nintendo 3DS It wasn’t so long ago that wise and mystical games journalists were writing off the entire portable industry for dead. Too many tablets and phones, they said. People don’t care anymore, they said. Egg: Meet face. Nintendo’s 3DS had a gangbuster year filled with amazing titles, beating out not only Sony’s Vita but all of the home consoles as well.

Most zombies on-screen at once in 2013 or any year: “Dead Rising 3,” Xbox One This is what the next generation is truly about. Massive hordes of zombies! Let’s hope they can do that with prostitutes in the inevitable GTA VI.

Best game not enough people played: “Ni no Kuni,” PS3 This old school JRPG was designed by Studio Ghibli, the animation house responsible for Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. It’s really awesome. You should find it used and play it.

Best game a whole bunch of people played: “Grand Theft Auto V,” PS3/360 This new school murder simulator was designed by Rockstar, the developer responsible for GTAIV. It’s really awesome. You should boot it up and play it some more.

Biggest time suck: “Animal Crossing: New Leaf,” 3DS Yo dawg I heard you like life sims, so we put a fake life in your 3DS so you can live life as you “live life.”

Most cynical trend to grab parent’s money: That whole action figure thing that Skylanders and Disney Infinity is doing It’s like Pokemon if “catching them all” meant paying 20 bucks a pop.

Most accurate and depressing rendition of a soul crushing job: “Papers, Please,” PC This game has you analyzing the papers of immigrants who are traveling to and from a totalitarian regime. You sit in a dusty, tiny office filled with outdated equipment as you decide the fates of desperate people. It’s pretty fun!

Biggest surprise: “Super Mario 3-D World,” Wii U Trailers of this game were underwhelming at best, evoking a “been there, done that” vibe. Then it came out and blew everybody’s minds. Never count out the big red guy.

Well, that’s it. Goodbye, Xbox 360. Goodbye, PlayStation 3. Goodbye, 2013. As that hilarious elementary school kid once said on the day before holiday break, “See you guys next year.”



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