By Jeff Neuenschwander / February 21st, 2014
It takes more for a game than just being good to be a candidate for an award. Ultimately, it takes multiple people playing a game and agreeing that it’s good for something to make a finals in anything. So while you may play a game that may be the best game you’ve played all year, that may not be the opinion of others who haven’t played the game. But there’s also the games that were good but not necessarily good enough to make a finals.
Either way, this is our list of games that we individually liked that didn’t make a final for the 2013 oprainfall Awards. These are games that may not necessarily be the best but are games that we feel shouldn’t be forgotten. They will also be accompanied by a short summary from one of our fine staff members on why they nominated it for this list.
Without further ado, here is the 2013 Snub List…
Nominated by Steve Baltimore, Lead Reporter
One of my favorite titles of last year had to be Hyperdimenion Neptunia Victory. This one has a returning cast of great characters, a wonderful story, and a few minor gameplay tweaks to make the combat system even better than in the previous title.
Neptune finds herself stuck in Gameindustri’s past, and without her goddess powers. She will have to find some help in some familiar looking friends if she is to find her way back home. The series is famous for its spoofing of the game industry as a whole and this entry is no exception. You put all of this together and you have one of the grandest and most humorous adventures of the year. I mean, it has Neptune. What more could you possibly want?
Nominated by Karli Winata, Staff Writer
Dontnod didn’t make Remember Me because they wanted to fulfill a want. They made it because they had an idea and wanted to develop it. That’s it. They weren’t trying to widen awareness for a product. They weren’t trying to capitalize on a brand name.
Remember Me is a product of an original idea. What happens after that is all too common for a game, or really any venture, that risk developing something new. The finished game lacks the level of polish and design that other, well-established franchises have. The combat system is a little repetitive. The dialogue is uneven. The level design can be obtuse and is badly remedied by having the game artificially tell you where to go next.
Yet there are kernels of goodness in Remember Me. The world of Neo-Paris is vibrant, deep, and full of interesting stories. The customizable combat system has untapped potential. The underutilized Memory Remix manages to serve as both a storytelling device and a game mechanic, a rare feat in video games. And the music is unlike anything else.
We are so conditioned by “Triple-A” games that we forget how messy new ideas like Remember Me can be. No, it was never going to make any Game of the Year lists, and its sales tanked if VGChartz is to be believed. But Remember Me succeeded in doing something else altogether. It reminded me that good ideas take time to become great.
Nominated by Phil Schipper, Staff Writer
FORCED is a fast-paced PC combat game, full of puzzles, traps, and hordes upon hordes of vicious enemies. The developers did some creative designing in order to make a fun single-player experience, but where it really shines is in the multiplayer. Whether local or online, players have to choose their class and skill set carefully, then work closely with the others to complete the mission—and survive. Getting more skills requires you to beat levels within the scope of seemingly impossible time limits and special challenges. The difficulty stacks higher and higher as you go on, and the only way to win is through quick thinking and well-planned teamwork.
Nominated by Dalton McClain, Staff Writer
When people think of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games, a lot of people think of games like League of Legends. To me, my favorite by far has to be Dota 2. Dota 2 is the stand alone sequel to the Defense of the Ancients (DotA) mod for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. While League is pretty fun and easy to play, I think that Dota 2 offers more of a challenge. One reason is the rewarding and punishing systems in Dota. Dota 2 is more punishing for being under leveled and having a bad choice of items, but the goals are a lot more rewarding. Every time you kill someone in Dota, you level up and get a fair amount of gold which both help your chances in gaining better items and leveling up your skills to become more powerful than your opponents. All around, Dota is both a fun game and a challenging one. It requires you to play a lot in order to get better, defeat your opponents, and secure your victory! And remember guys, always keep farmed and carry on!
Nominated by Hailee Kenney, Editor
One game I think was conspicuously absent from our award nominations this year was Gone Home. I feel it deserved a nomination for Best PC Game or, at the very least, Best Downloadable Game.
Gone Home crafts a lovely and engrossing story, and does so through some awesome environmental storytelling a la the audio logs from the original BioShock. The player guides Kaitlin, a young woman returning home in 1995 after some time abroad. She finds her family home deserted and a mysterious note from her younger sister Samantha. As the player guides Kaitlin through the house, there are environmental clues all over which allow the player to unravel the mystery of what happened to her family while she was away. Some objects and areas trigger a narrated entry from Samantha’s diary, but other clues are much more subtle
The game features some unique environmental storytelling along with an engrossing story and more than a few mysteries. On top of that, it does a great job of tackling some issues almost never dealt with in video games, and ultimately tells a realistic and believable story. All these reasons are why I believe Gone Home deserved a nomination in the 2013 oprainfall Awards, and would strongly encourage those of you who seek out games with a strong story to check it out.
Nominated by Jeff Neuenschwander, Co-Editing Manager
There is a serious bug that appeared once I started playing through a second time. And that’s a shame because this is a great game. The gameplay is at its best for the series. The music can be periodically switched out for any other soundtrack in the series if it gets too repetitive. Characters are fun to be around. The story is a bit short-sighted and could’ve been more but that shouldn’t stop you from giving this game a chance.
I would explain some more, but I feel a bit silly knowing that there’s that glitch getting in the way the second time through. Marvelous, whoever you have working on this series now, get them to fix that Hold glitch, please.
Nominated by Jeff Neuenschwander
I promised myself that I would only write up two of these. I had a tough time deciding between either Guacamelee! and Evoland. While I did enjoy my history lesson in the evolution of action-adventure games and RPGs, there is no way I can say no to a luchador that can turn into a chicken.
The platforming in this game is top notch. Seriously, there aren’t many other platformers that that play this well. The music is great and fits the Lucha Libre vibe perfectly. The design is my personal favorite for 2013. And the plot is just as crazy as everything else going on in the game. I highly recommend this game if you’re looking for a good laugh.
What do you think? Did we snub a snub? Let us know in the comments what game you liked that didn’t receive any Award support.
dota 2ForcedGone HomeGuacamelee!Hyperdimension Neptunia VictoryOpRainfall AwardsRemember MeRune Factory 4