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Tag: The Last of Us

D.J.’s top games of 2014

D.J.'s top games of 2014

If I were to start predicting my game of the year lists in January of that year, I think I’d usually be able to get at least one or two games correct. There’s often a notable game from a favorite developer or series that seems like a safe bet—sure things like Monster Hunter, Metal Gear, or anything by Yasumi Matsuno. Had I guessed at 2014’s list I would have struck out completely, which is disappointing because it means some of the games I was most looking forward to ended up falling short of my expectations. On the other hand, so many fun and surprising games appeared last year that I had no trouble filling the empty spaces.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order)

Titanfall

Existing somewhere between Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament, Titanfall is one of the freshest first-person shooters I’ve played in years. The giant Titan mech suits, sort of a democratized version of other games’ killstreaks and vehicles, may be the feature attraction, but I found the parkour-inspired, out-of-mech movement system to be the real star. I quickly reached a point where I’d only climb into my Titan if I really had to—it was too much fun running on walls or discovering a new aerial route to the next objective.

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VGH #136: Tom Cruise Will Remember This

VGH #136: Tom Cruise Will Remember This

Matt returns with a shocking announcement about Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 2. Randy decides the new Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy feels familiar, but that’s OK. Meanwhile, D.J. stunt casts the recently announced Last of Us movie. And we all can’t wait to rent PlayStation games over the Internet!

There’s also a little chat about puzzle games and blacksmithing.

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VGH #133: Fo’ Free

VGH #133: Fo' Free

We’re all just waiting for our titan to fall—that is, Paul and D.J. spend some time with the elusive Titanfall beta on PC, and What They Think May Surprise You! Randy and D.J. have experience highs and lows in The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC and Steel Diver: Sub Wars—some emotional, and others because they’re in a submarine. Finally, D.J. explores the sultry side of Bravely Default and doesn’t know what to make of Yasumi Matsuno’s Unsung Story Kickstarter.

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D.J.’s top games of 2013

D.J.'s top games in 2013

For me, 2013 was a year full of surprises, whether that meant discovering quirky games that hadn’t been on my radar, or realizing that the way I approached and enjoyed games had changed. It was a year when I tried to escape the constant stream of flashy new releases in favor of richer, less transient experiences. It was a year where I finally decided I had lost patience (for the most part) for overhyped, triple-A blockbusters that are too often just a different coat of paint on last year’s model. It was a year about learning how to play in new ways, learning how to die, and learning how to sew pants! These are my most unforgettable games from that year.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order)

BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

Emerging out of the original BIT.TRIP Runner on the Wii, Runner2 is firmly on my list of best sequels of all time. The solid running/jumping/kicking gameplay is back and expanded to make each stage (and, in turn, the intertwined soundtrack) a complete delight. While the original tended to be pretty unforgiving, Runner2 provides plenty of ways to tailor the game to your level, whether it’s a straightforward easy/hard setting, taking a more difficult route, or just opting to squeeze in fewer bonus-inducing dances—but why would you want to do that?

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Randy’s Top 10 Games of 2013

If there’s a common thread that runs through my favorite games of 2013, it’s that the traditional “console gaming” experience just didn’t cut it for me in 2013: a full half of my list is made up of portable games and two of the others are, at this time, available only on a PC. There’s only one console exclusive, no next-gen games, and not a single Xbox or Wii U game to be found. Based on this, I’m left to conclude that my favorite releases of 2014 will only be playable on a Texas Instruments graphing calculator or, God forbid, the OUYA.

Without further ado, here’s my list:

10GH10. Gone Home
My heart swells every time I think back upon my time with Gone Home: with zero on-screen characters, developers The Fullbright Company somehow managed to create an exploration-based game about music, family, youth, and perhaps most surprisingly, love. It all worked, too, in a way that these themes almost never work in video games. I was moved by how real the Greenbriar family felt to me as I wandered around their home; in a lot of ways, they reminded me of my family. Gone Home is, to me, an accomplishment simply because of how rare and intimate that kind of experience still is in gaming.

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VGH #106: Community Grooming

VGH #106: Community Grooming

It’s tougher than ever to fit lengthy gaming experiences into our crowded schedules. We discuss what we do when faced with the 60-odd-hour JRPG, whether it’s the developers that should be more considerate, and what’s truly important for us to get out of our precious gaming time.

In the Hangover, Randy selflessly throws himself on top of The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, D.J. saves the world many times in Half Minute Hero, and Paul… well, Paul’s still doing his Animal Crossing thing.

Also, we reveal the most shameful games in your backlogs in Viewer Mail!

Special thanks to listener DontJudgeMyADD for suggesting this week’s topic by way of his article, “Gamers need more choices to scale game experiences.”

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VGH #103: Flying Toasters!

VGH #103: Flying Toasters!

We’re playing The Last of Us (still spoiler-free!) and wondering if sometimes games try too hard to be… game-y? We discuss finding a proper mix of gameplay and narrative as games become more cinematic. Also, Randy spends his summer vacation memory hacking and punching dudes in Remember Me‘s Neo Paris.

We’ve also got your comments on retro games, Illumiroom, and more Animal Crossing!

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VGH #102: Out and Proud

VGH #102: Out and Proud

Are you a closet gamer? (It’s OK, you’re among friends.) In a special combo topic from listener Robop1g, we’re picking apart the concept of “gamer shame” and seeing how far we have to turn the clock back before games become unplayable. And—as long as we’re coming out of the closet—we go on a bit of a tangent and confess our biggest movie shames.

In the Hangover, we’re playing Mighty Switch Force! 2 on 3DS and experiencing different types of zombie survival in State of Decay and The Last of Us. (Don’t worry, no spoilers!) We’ve also got your reactions to Microsoft’s surprise Xbox 180!

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