The best games of the year.
Have you voted in the NZGamer.com Game of the Year 2013 Awards yet? Make sure you vote before January 20th - it's your chance to decide which games earn the awards, plus you could with $1,000 worth of games thanks to Orcon!
The PlayStation Vita, despite being a powerful, and great-looking piece of hardware, has been struggling in the market ever since it released. This is perhaps no better underlined than in this very article; not only did we not have ten "top" games to review on the system this year, we didn't post ten reviews full stop - so the list is made up of our top five (or seven, depending on how you count, as there's a three-way tie for 5th place) instead.
If that wasn't enough, news out of the US suggests that the number one game on our list (scroll down if you want to see it) sold just 14,000 copies in that territory in November (it came out late in the month - the 22nd - but those are still margin of error level numbers regardless.)
If you do own a Vita, however, you'll be pleased to know that the plucky system's library had some great games added to it this year. Before we break down the list as we saw it, here's the top ten as aggregated on Metacritic (remember, we don't get every game to review, which is why our top titles varies quite a lot from the one on Metacritic.)
In reverse order, for added drama…
From the review: "Playing one of a swarm of human clones in a testing facility, you have to get to the respective exits of a series of increasingly difficult levels by sticking to the shadows and avoiding detection by murderous robots. When you die - note I said “when”, not “if” - the game will taunt you with a cheeky message, and you’ll respawn as the next in an endless string of clones."
From the review: "It’s a bit of a shame that the Arkham-inspired side of this game doesn’t quite live up to what came before, but the Metroidvania aspect certainly does. And this is something for which a lot of genre fans will be grateful."
From the review: "Overall, this is a solid effort at porting Ninja Gaiden 2 – one of the best hack and slash titles of this generation – to a handheld. Unfortunately, it still has the poor camera and occasionally sloppy level design of the original, problems that are further compounded by the Vita’s small screen."
From the review: "If you’re new to the genre, this is a great place to jump in, and if you’re a fan there’s plenty here to keep you interested too. Some new levels would have been nice (there’s no new content on offer, unfortunately) but the 40+ that are here certainly represent a solid investment and will take some time to conquer, especially if you’re a perfectionist."
From the review: "Killzone: Mercenary is a seriously impressive game. It’s a little on the short side, and has a few little quirks all its own, but there’s no question that Guerilla Cambridge have delivered the goods. I still can’t quite believe the technical feats it accomplishes, to be perfectly honest. If you already own a Vita, get it; if you don't yet lay claim to one, the argument in favor of the console just got even more compelling."
From the review: "It looks good, has a great story (which is delivered by way of an outstanding cast of characters), and the dungeon-based gameplay (complete with its compelling Pokemon-like, rock-paper-scissors battle-pet combat system) is great fun. If you’ve been thinking about dipping your toes into the JRPG scene, you absolutely must put this at the top of your list."
From the review: "At worst, it’ll make you rethink the value of some of the system’s more “gimmicky” user input mechanisms; at best you’ll get to have your heart set aflame by one of the most adorable, charming, and genuinely moving game experiences to date."