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Sunday, 29 December 2013 14:16

Gaming Furever Alpha Game Awards 2013 Featured

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     2013 has been a pretty exciting year not just because of new video games, but new consoles as well! There's been plenty of great games (and some pretty terrible games) and as we move into 2014, our staff here at GF have been deliberating on some of the best games of 2013. We've had all kinds of discussions and cast our votes for the games we feel deserve to be considered the “Alpha” of their pack! These are Gaming Furever's 2013 Alpha Game Awards! As mentioned earlier, the winners of each category were voted upon by our staff of content creators. With many fantastic nominees, many of which were chosen by our staff as well, we did not make these choices lightly. Without further delay let's get this show on the road!

     Nintendo has pretty much put all of it's eggs in the Wii U, but there actually was a new release for the original Wii here in the United States! Pandora's Tower, one of the three JRPG's that was petitioned by fans for an international release finally made it's way to the states. Because of this we'd like to honor Pandora's Tower as the best Wii game of 2013! Congratulations Pandora's Tower for your victory by default!


Pandoras Tower box artwork


    Let's move onto Nintendo's current generation console the Wii U. Much like last year, the Wii U has seen a lot of criticism. However, even in the face of new consoles from Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo and other developers have still shown that there's plenty of reason why a Wii U is still a device worth having in your home.


The nominees for best Wii U game of 2013 are...

Pikmin 3
Super Mario 3D World
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
LEGO City Undercover
Mighty Switch Force! 2
The Wonderful 101

The Alpha Game Award for Best Wii U game of 2013 goes to... Super Mario 3D World!

SuperMario3D Box

    There have been critics that have said that Mario is too old hat, a relic, a character that doesn’t have an new tricks up his sleeve anymore. Super Mario 3D World is here to give those critics a white gloved middle finger to their faces! I could write up an entire article talking about why this game is so awesome but for now I'll settle for just saying this game has some of the best examples of platform game level design. New power-ups and abilities that put plenty of new spins on the Mario-style game play, including the super adorable cat suits. Not to mention that the first time since “Super Princess Peach” do we get to see gaming's first princess run and jump through a Mario game. If this game doesn’t make you want a Wii U, I don't know what will.



    Continuing on with Nintendo's 3DS which has still proven to be the juggernaut of hand held gaming despite critics who would say that most people have moved on to mobile devices to get their portable fix. Once again Nintendo proves critics wrong as 2013 has been one heck of a year to be a 3DS owner.

The nominees for best 3DS game of 2013 are...

Fire Emblem: Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Pokemon X/Y
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
Shin Megami Tensei IV

The Alpha Game Award for Best 3DS game of 2013 goes to... Pokemon X/Ypokemon boxart xy

    A lot of people may look at Pokemon X/Y as being an old game with new graphics, but there's a lot more to it than that. The additions of Mega Evolutions add a welcome layer of strategy to the battles. And of course, there's nothing wrong with new graphics, especially when everything looks so darned good! X and Y show that the wizards at Game Freak still know what they're doing and if you haven't dipped your toes into Pokemon's pool yet, this is certainly a good place to start. With its addicting game play and online features that will have you and your friends training, battling, and trading the night away it's no wonder we've declared Pokemon X/Y the best 3DS game of 2013!


    Moving on to another console manufacturer, Microsoft has certainly had their hands full this year as they have been getting the brand spanking new Xbox One released. But before we talk about Microsoft's new television box, there's still plenty of games that came out on the ever popular Xbox 360!


The nominees for best Xbox 360 game of 2013 are...

BattleBlock Theater
Gears of War: Judgement
Charlie Murder
Motocross Madness
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds

    The Alpha Game Award for Best Xbox 360 game of 2013 goes to... Charlie Murder!


    From the makers of the Dishwasher Dead Samurai games, Ska Studios applies their unique art style combined with classic video game mechanics in this arcade style beat'em up. The set up for this game alone sounds awesome enough to warrant looking into it as you play as band members of the titular punk band “Charlie Murder” in their quest to save the world from darkness, demons, and their former band mate now turned evil overlord. Throw in the ability to level up your heroes, equip them with all kinds of stat boosting clothing, and tattoos that grant special moves and you have a stylish game that's guaranteed to please.


    The Xbox One, Microsoft's all-in-One console for entertainment, with many robust features that allow you to watch TV and movies. But who cares about that? We want games darn it and thankfully Microsoft and others managed to deliver with some pretty eye catching exclusive titles to show off the power under the Xbox One's shiny new hood.


The nominees for best Xbox One game of 2013 are...

Killer Instinct
Dead Rising 3
Crimson Dragon
Ryse: Son of Rome
Forza Motorsport 5

The Alpha Game Award for Best Xbox One game of 2013 goes to... Dead Rising 3!

Dead Rising 3 Cover Art

    Capcom sure did get a lot of criticism from fans when it revealed it's latest entry in the Dead Rising series. Thankfully Dead Rising 3 has shown that is still has all the personality and goofy charm of it's predecessors while stream lining some of the mechanics to provide a great experience. There have even been fans who have said this is the best entry in the series yet, and it certainly deserves the acclaim as our best Xbox One game of 2013.


    Our final console manufacturer, Sony has had a busy year not only with the unveiling of the PS4, but they've managed to deliver plenty of quality titles for the PS3, giving many folks good reason to have a PSN plus subscription. Truly Sony has learned from past mistakes and certainly wants to earn a place in every gamer's heart. Starting off with the PS3 Sony has had quite a strong year with some outstanding exclusive titles.


The nominees for best PS3 game of 2013 are...

The Last of Us
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Dragon's Crown

The Alpha Game Award for Best PS3 game of 2013 goes to... The Last of Us!


    Naughty Dog certainly has come a long way since the days of Crash Bandicoot on the PS1 and The Last of Us is certainly a crowning achievement. Naughty Dog has refined many of the ideas and techniques they’ve used in the Uncharted series and have created something truly stunning. The jaw dropping visuals are not only some of the best on the PS3 but quite possibly the best visuals period. Despite all it's beauty there's a lot of grim, dark, and very bleak story telling in this game that is certainly told well. With memorable characters, astounding voice work, fantastic animation, tight controls, and engaging game play it's no wonder The Last of Us won our votes in a land slide for best PS3 game of 2013.


    While many still see Nintendo as the eight hundred pound gorilla of the portable gaming market, Sony is still holding it's own with the PS Vita. This powerful piece of hardware has been given a lot of support from Sony thanks to it's cross-buy promotions and the instant game collection for PSN Plus subscribers.


The nominees for best PS Vita game of 2013 are...

Ys: Memories of Celceta
Killzone: Mercenary
Soul Sacrifice

The Alpha Game Award for Best PS Vita game of 2013 goes to... Tearaway!

Tearaway boxart

    Media Molecule once again gives us a game that not only stands as a great piece of artwork with its construction paper atheistic, but also gives us a rather inventive game with Tearaway making great use of the various features of the PS Vita hardware. While other games make the things like the touch screen and rear touch pad feel like a gimmick, Tearaway feels like something that was perfectly crafted to make use of what the PS Vita has to offer to the point where you couldn't see this game being done on any other platform. It's clever, brilliant, engaging, and gorgeous which is why it's our PS Vita game of 2013.


    When people think back on E3 of 2013 people are going to remember how Sony stole the show with it's PS4. A sleek, slim, powerful console set to give players new experiences and allow anyone to stream and share their game play with the world. While most of the PS4's launch line up has been comprised of third party titles, there's still a good number of exclusives to entice all of us to play on Sony's new console.


The nominees for best PS4 game of 2013 are...

Killzone: Shadow Fall

The Alpha Game Award for Best PS4 game of 2013 goes to... Resogun!

Resogun logo

    Remember when the term “Shooter” was used to describe a 2D side scrolling genre? I know some of us here at GF do, and thankfully there are still games being made in this day and age that remind us how awesome old school games can be. Using the power of the PS4 to put a new spin on the classic shooter formula, Resogun gives you fast and addictive game play all while looking so darned pretty.


    Despite new consoles, the ever evolving PC is changing not just for better graphics but for more accessibility. With more user friendly hardware and services like Steam, just about anyone these days can build their own PC and enjoy plenty of quality games. The indie market in particular has been thriving being able to give players a variety of unique experiences that many big time publishers would be afraid to market.


The Nominees for best PC game of 2013 are...

The Stanley Parable
Gone Home
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Rogue Legacy
Paper's Please
Risk of Rain

    The Alpha Game Award for Best PC game of 2013 goes to... The Stanley Parable!

The Stanley Parable Intro 00

    A lot of us here have played video games for a good long time and each of us had our minds bended, twisted, and toyed with as everything we knew about gaming was brought into question, then insulted. Yet we kept coming back for more of what isn't really much of a game, but more of an experience. I'd describe more about what the Stanley Parable is like but as many critics have discovered this isn't a game you can simply explain, but you must experience. Also, dat narrator.


    Moving along to what is quite possibly the biggest category of games that see multiple releases across both PC and many of the current consoles. Because of the massive amount of quality games, it was tough to decide on building the list of nominees for this year's Multiplatform award. But at the end of the day our staff was able to make the difficult choices of what games get nominated and of course which game is our winner.


The Nominees for best Multiplatform Game of 2013 are...

BioShock Infinate
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Tomb Raider
Battlefield 4
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Metro: Last Light

The Alpha Game Award for Best Multiplatform game of 2013 goes to... BioShock Infinite!


    The city of New Columbia is a stunning and beautiful place to behold, filled with wonder and awe inspiring sights. But there's a dark and disturbing side to this beautiful city in the clouds as you fight not only for your survival but to help free a young girl from her imprisonment here. BioShock Infinite was proof that you can do more with a first person shooter than simply deliver mindless action. While the gun play is fantastic, you'll certainly stay for the mind bending narrative that is told as you experience it first hand. BioShock Infinite is certainly a great thrill ride, but it's far from mindless as we award it as the Multiplatform Alpha Game of 2013!



    While we've been giving awards to some of the best new games of this year, there's also been some very impressive content seen in this year's expansions. Whether you bought it in a box or just downloaded it, these expansions gave us fantastic additions and gave us more of what we love from some of the games they were made for. In some cases, these expansions and add-ons almost made us feel like were playing an entirely new game!

The Nominees for best Exspansion/DLC of 2013 are...

Civilization V: Brave New World
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm
Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault of Dragon Keep
BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea
XCOM: Enemy Within
Dishonored: Knife of Dunwall/The Brigmore Witches
Saints Row IV: How the Saints Save Christmas

The Alpha Game Award for Best Expansion/DLC game of 2013 goes to... Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault of Dragon Keep!

TinyTina DragonKeep

    If I had to say anything about Assault of Dragon Keep, it'd be the number of times where I felt like I was playing a game radically different from Borderlands 2. The medieval fantasy world that Gearbox crafted those this particular expansion is unlike anything seen in Borderlands before. All of this while keeping with Borderlands hilarious sense of humor taking jabs at table top RPG's, MMO's, and geek culture itself. Despite all it's crass humor, at the end of the day Tiny Tina's Assault of Dragon Keep manages to be heartwarming with it's story and characters.


    As much as we love many of the games we've awarded, we can't help but love some games for it's anthropomorphic characters! From Sly Cooper to the various residents of Animal Crossing we all love to see more fur in our games. It wouldn't be Gaming Furever if we didn't honor the best Furry game of 2013.


The Nominees for best Furry Game of 2013 are...

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Wolf Amoung Us: Episode 1 – Faith
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Pokemon X/Y
Super Mario 3D World
Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus

The Alpha Game Award for Best Furry game of 2013 goes to... Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time!

Sly Cooper - Thieves in Time Cover Art

    It was good to see a new entry to the Sly Cooper series with the power of the PS3. While some would agree this may not be the best game in the Sly Cooper series, Thieves in Time still proves to be a competent game. Sly is still just as smooth and likable as always along with his partners in crime Bently, Murray, along with past members of the Cooper clan as they travel through time. With great voice acting, animation, and plenty of witty writing, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is our favorite Furry game of 2013!


    We've been giving awards for a lot of the games we love but now we must take a moment to recognize a few of the colossal failures of 2013. First up we just have to recognize the most disappointing game of 2013 that got our hopes up only to drop the ball in spectacular fashion. Every year there are a lot of games that have a lot of hype. Some games live up to some of their potential and wow us with their delivery. But more often than not there are games that fail to live up to their hype and excitement and only serve to let us down.


The Nominees for Most Disappointing Game of 2013 are...

Aliens: Colonial Marines
God of War: Ascension
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

The Dog Turd Game Award for Most Disappointing game of 2013 goes to... Aliens: Colonial Marines!

Aliens Colonial Marines Limited Edition Pc Cover

    We love ya Gearbox and we never blamed you for Duke Nukem: Forever, we knew that wasn't your fault. We just can't excuse you guys for this screw up. We know there were a lot of other studios involved in this fine mess like Time Gate who may no longer exist now, but we all know that this game was your fault Gearbox. We were all blown away by that fantastic looking trailer with those impressive graphics, that according to various sources, would not be possible on today's hardware. Yet Gearbox told us all this is what the actual game was and we all believed it. We all wanted to believe it. At the end of the day what we got was a buggy mess of a game and a lot of Gear Box, Time Gate, and even Sega pointing fingers at each other wondering who was responsible for this foul up. Congratulations Gearbox for crushing every Alien fan's gaming dreams.


    Now we move onto the worst of the worst, the games that are buggy, busted, broken, and flat out terrible. These are the games you give to people you can't stand, who will only think of you as a bigger jerk in return. These are the games that get everything wrong, and it's amazing some of these things get released. While some of the worst games of any given year may go unnoticed because of how atrocious they are, for some titles in this category they were too awful to be ignored.


The Nominees for Worst Game of 2013 are...

Aliens: Colonial Marines
Ride to Hell: Retribution
R.I.P.D. The Game
Barbie Dreamhouse Party

The Dog Turd Game Award for Worst game of 2013 goes to... Aliens: Colonial Marines!

Aliens Glitch

    You seriously screwed up Gear Box. It wasn't enough that Gear Box had the most misleading trailer in video game marketing, but the game turned out to be so darned broken with crumby AI, poor graphics, shoddy animation, and frustrating game play just to name a few issues. I know a lot of movie-based games are terrible, but this game had every advantage to be competent. Instead Aliens: Colonial Marines turns out to be just another piece of boring and broken garbage that we've seen from just about every other movie tie-in game. Congratulations Aliens: Colonial Marines, all of our other nominees for Worst Game of 2013 are better than you. Think about that for a while.



    Now it's time for the moment we've all been waiting for, to award the very best game of 2013! It's been quite a year for the video game industry and studios both big and small gave us rich and wonderful game play experiences. Some of this year's games are going to be titles that we'll remember for decades to come. Whether it was the jaw dropping visuals, fantastic sound tracks, engaging game play, or a spell binding story, these are the games that got everything right. However, only one game can be crowned the winner.

The Nominees for Best Game of 2013 are...

Charlie Murder
The Last of Us
Super Mario 3D World
Pokemon X/Y
The Stanley Parable
BioShock Infinite
Dead Rising 3

The Alpha Game Award for Best game of 2013 goes to... The Last of Us!

Runner Up: The Stanley Parable


    It must be said that during our voting for best game over all, our votes were tied between The Last of Us and the Stanley Parable. Even during our tie breaker, votes were close which is why we make an honorable mention to the Stanley Parable as our runner up for Alpha Game of the Year. While it was not an easy choice, at the end of the day The Last of Us stands as our winner for the best game over all of 2013.

    While this wasn't an easy choice for our staff  it was still clear to see that The Last of Us made quite an impact to those who have played it. Our hero Joel is a broken man struggling to survive in a very broken world. While at first glance it's easy to see Joel as a typical hard ass, there’s so much more to him than that. He's far from being a nice person and at times can be down right heartless, but when you witness what the world around him has become and the challenges he faces you learn why he's become this way. Along his journey he's accompanied by Ellie, a teenaged girl who's seen little of what the world is like outside of the barricaded walls of the safe zones. She never comes off as annoying or in the way. Along the way she helps humanize Joel as a character. Without spoiling the whole thing, the way their relationship evolves over the course of the game, and their interactions, help sell you on both their bond and the extremely dark world in which they live. Even the gameplay, with a heavy focus on survival and resource management, help reinforce the notion that this is a fundamentally savage and inhospitable place to live. Topped off with arguably one of the best game endings in a long time, The Last of Us certainly earns its place as Gaming Furever's Alpha Game of the Year.

Overall, 2013 has been a pretty good year in gaming, as shown by our impressive lists of nominees. May 2014 also be a great year in gaming. Happy new year, readers!

Read 3246 times Last modified on Monday, 30 December 2013 15:01
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