Aaron Hummel is Level Up Times’ newest editor, joining the team on the hot Sony and Nintendo beats. Welcome him along with his game of the year list!
5) Uncharted: Golden Abyss
While the game does not feel quite as epic as some of the previous instalments in the series, Uncharted: Golden Abyss provides the solid gameplay of the main series on the Vita. For a launch game it was superb. It showed off all the neat new features of the Vita while carrying over the basic button scheme of previous Uncharteds. The story was equal to that of previous games. While the push for you to realise it was on the Vita is annoying the game is all-around fantastic. Great graphics, great music, and good atmosphere top off this cake of a great release.
4) Pokemon Black 2/White 2
As the Nintendo DS slowly dies off, Nintendo sent out their final salute to the console with what is arguably the best Pokemon game to date. While the graphics may be lost in this age of HD, the game makes up for it in other ways. The music is wonderful, something that every Pokemon game is blessed with. The gameplay is solid Pokemon gameplay, with the additions from the original Black/White games implemented much stronger this time around.
3) Assassin’s Creed 3
After playing the first Assassin’s Creed, you really get an idea of how great this game is. To be honest, I haven’t played the second game but after the love-hate relationship with the first game, this game blew me away. It feels more stable than the first, while also improving the graphics of the game. Best of all, it fixes the frustrating gameplay elements that I hated. When I say jump, he jumps eighty per cent of the time compared to the fifty per cent of the first game. So gameplay is great for what it’s trying to do, while the story is also a solid piece of work. The environments and atmosphere are wonderful.
2) Kid Icarus: Uprising
What is probably the most amusing Nintendo game of the last decade is also backed up by solid gameplay. While a lot of people avoided the game due to reviewer reports of “hand cramps” (more likely due to their congratulating each other on getting another review written about a game they had only played the first level of), those that did play enjoyed clever and funny script, a story full of twists and solid gameplay. A mix of classic aerial shooter and third-person ground shooter worked very well, especially when considering how lengthy the game was. A ton of features and a fairly good multiplayer mode put it right up there.
1) Resident Evil: Revelations
In a year that “Capcpom” would probably rather forget, with two other Resident Evil games reviewing significantly negatively, it is commonly forgotten about the first RE game released this year. Revelations was a beast of a game, pushing the 3DS hardware to produce probably the best looking game on the console at the time. An intriguing story, fantastic third-person gameplay and the creation of the perfect atmosphere sold this game. And you can enjoy the gameplay again and again in “Raid mode”, a multiplayer experience that can be done alone, or with friends and strangers online. Easily the best RE game released this year, and one of the best this year in general.
SPECIAL MENTION: Ratchet and Clank HD Collection
In what could be called the year of re-releases, I did purchase the Ratchet and Clank Collection to relive my favourite gaming series. Having played other HD remakes, this game was a lot less buggy than the others I’ve seen. While it was a bare-bones HD collection, I still got hours of gameplay, enjoyed the level design and the wonderful music all over again.
Best Voice Acting: Hades/S. Scott Bullock [Kid Icarus: Uprising]
Easily the best voice acting I’ve heard in a game released this year. He gets the emotions just right, a highlight of the game.
Best PS3 Exclusive: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
A slow year for Sony’s home console, and this is the only exclusive (non-collection, forget about Vita) I picked up for it.
Best Handheld Title Overall: Resident Evil: Revelations
A fun, addictive game laced with a great campaign and a fun multiplayer. Might not be the most portable, but still beats out most others.
Best Vita Exclusive: Uncharted: Golden Abyss
If I had have actually played other Vita games (though Battle Royale almost knocked this out), this would still probably be at the top maybe?
Indie Game of the Year: Mutant Mudds (3DS)
Great classic platformer with fantastic visuals albeit a difficulty that most would avoid.