What Did You Play? See you in Hell, 2013! (December ’13)

by John "ANC" Barnes on

The Year of Luigi drew to a close a few short days ago, and though festivities are being extended due to popular demand/letterbombs, it doesn’t change the fact that 2013 is dead and buried along with Uncle Phil. And Luigi.

Thus, it is time once again to reflect, muse, and otherwise bloviate about the games we played to close out the year.

**The Simpsons Arcade Game

X-Men Arcade**

Both of these classic Konami beat-em-ups were removed for sale from the PlayStation Network without warning last month, presumably due to expiring licenses. I thought I’d missed my chance forever, but it turns out that GameStop is still selling prepaid codes to download them, and they work just fine, as I soon found. Gameplay-wise they’re perhaps getting a bit long in the tooth, though still fun with friends, but presentation-wise they’re still pretty amazing. And I’m not easily impressed!

Oh wow, a blue car!

**Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Marvel vs. Capcom

Marvel Super Heroes**

Also removed from PSN, but with advance warning, and a nice sale price to boot, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 remains one of the craziest fighting games ever. I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time. Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, containing the other two games above, remains listed on the store for now. Even though MVC2 has every playable character from the earlier games in the series it plays somewhat differently and is lacking some of the charm. The smaller rosters of the predecessors means more focus was put into detailed backgrounds, endings, and secrets, giving them their own identity.

**Pinball Arcade


No surprise here.

I had something of a hot streak in Pinball Arcade, clearing a bunch of Wizard Goals that had eluded me for some time, and demolishing previous personal bests on several tables without really trying. It was as if I’d leveled up seemingly out of nowhere. Damn the video modes on Medieval Madness and Attack from Mars, though.

WarioWare: Touched!

Probably the weakest of the WarioWare series (not counting the DSi Ware game), but still decent. An alright showcase for the DS system’s capabilities 9 years ago but many of the microgames feel very same-y, something largely avoided in the other games despite simple controls. Still, plenty of humor, and the modes that mix together all the microgames at once help keep things fresh.

Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer

Somehow I stumbled upon a cheap brand new copy of this DS remake of the Super Famicom game, the second in the long-running Mystery Dungeon series, probably most known for the Pokémon entries in the West. Random dungeons, turn-based, finding loot, eating, dying, starting over, making tiny bits of persistent story progress- it’s a roguelike, alright (or procedural death labyrinth, as some folks are rallying to label such games for various reasons.) Haven’t won yet. It’s a good timewaster game. Nice music, too.

Super Hexagon

I’ve had this for a while on Steam, played it a bit and found it rather too hard to get into at the time, always intending to come back. After gifting it to a few other people since it was ridiculously cheap, I decided to give it another go. This is one of those games that you can feel rearranging your brain as you get better at it. It’s amazing to go back to the earlier levels (currently working on the third) and see how easy the stuff that gave you trouble seems now. Get good at this and then play it for people and blow their minds.

Windows Solitaire

I think I opened this up during a late night #studio64 chat session. Not completely unlike a procedural death labyrinth.

Now it’s your turn: What did YOU play?

[And yes, I borrowed that Simpsons joke on purpose. Come on, you know me better than that.]