GregHorrorShow: Game Awards 2013


Well what a year it’s been for gaming! With the arrival of new consoles in the Autumn we were left wondering whether the support would still be there for the PS3 and if you needed convincing you only had to look at The Last Of Us, Beyond: Two Souls and Gran Turismo 6 to see there is life in the old dog yet.

As the PS4 didn’t arrive until November 29th (and I didn’t receive mine until early December) nothing for that platform will be eligible for this year’s awards (as they run November to November). Also there were a few games I held off of so I could get the superior PS4 version, namely Assassin’s Creed IV and Battlefield 4, so they also won’t feature.

We start with a new award, that recognizes the fact that I simply can’t play every game within the year. The ‘Missed Gem’ award goes to a game from the previous year that I didn’t play until this year but feel would’ve warranted a mention last time out if I had played it in time.




WINNER: Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead (Season 1)

Everyone has rightfully raved about The Walking Dead. I’m one of them (check out my review) and I can safely say it was a fantastic experience. It’s a point and click adventure game, which wouldn’t normally be my cup of tea but the story here is soooo good. Highly recommended.




Winner: Grand Theft Auto V (Multi Character Selection)

GTA V was a trend setter in many ways but one of the most impressive aspects of the game was the way you could switch between the main characters at will. With a button press you would be pulled to an overhead view of the map, moved across to wherever the other character was and then plonked down to them. This in itself isn’t a completely original idea, Driver: San Francisco had a similar mechanic that allowed you to swap between vehicles. The difference here are the little character vignettes when you land with a new character; Franklin pulling his friend away from a fight, Michael finishing a coffee and tossing the cup away or Trevor… well God knows what Trevor will be doing! This small touch gives you a real feeling that the world of GTA V is continuing around you at all times. It’s a very nice mechanic.


  • Crysis 3 (Multiplayer Highlights)
  • Bioshock Infinite (Skyhooks)
  • Metal Gear Rising (Precision Cutting)




WINNER: Mass Effect 3: Citadel

The ending of Mass Effect 3 left a bad taste in many people’s mouths, even with the update Bioware released. If that was the case for you, or if you just loved the game/series then give the Citadel DLC a spin. This is the ‘Christmas Special’ of Mass Effect, a set of side missions that see you fighting off enemies, carrying out a heist and planning a party for your crew… Yes, that’s right organizing and hosting a party 🙂 It. Is. Awesome. And great fan service. The Walking Dead: 400 Days also deserves a mention as it carried on with the hard choices of season 1 straight off the bat, even if the characters were new. Soul Sacrifice on Vita was supported with a ridiculous amount of free DLC post launch which was all really cool so make sure you check that out as well.


  • Battlefield 3 – End Game
  • The Walking Dead – 400 Days
  • Soul Sacrifice – Various Free DLC Packs



Hotline Miami 1

WINNER: Hotline Miami (Vita)

Enough people were raving about it on PC last year but 2013 was the year I finally got my hands on Hotline Miami – the super fast, super violent and super challenging top down kill fest. I absolutely loved this game and don’t know anyone who played it that didn’t get hooked. The Vita version looks super crisp and the soundtrack is awesome. Most of the games in this category I played on Vita (though all of these were on PS3 as well) with some great titles like Guacamelee, Thomas Was Alone and Lone Survivor. Another pleasant surprise was Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon – it had Robocop’s gun in it! ROBOCOP’S GUN!! 🙂


  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
  • Guacamelee (Vita)
  • Thomas Was Alone (Vita)




WINNER: Infamous: Second Son

Well, the clear winner for this in my eyes was Cyberpunk 2077 but it turns out that isn’t arriving until 2015 so I had to have a rethink! A new Uncharted has me interested but so little is known about it at this stage, same goes for Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture. The Witcher 3 and The Order: 1886 are definitely on my radar and No Man’s Sky looked awesome at VGX earlier this month. For me, at the moment, it has to be Infamous: Second Son. The game looks so damn good up close (I wasn’t allowed to play it but watched a hands off level playthrough) I could barely believe it. I’m hyped for this one, roll on March.


  • The Witcher 3
  • The Order: 1886
  • No Man’s Sky



*Warning Contains Strong Language*

WINNER: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

I’m not sure I need many words here, as someone who grew up in the 1980’s… just watch the Blood Dragon trailer to see why it won 🙂 GTA always has great trailers and the below is no exception, super use of music as well. Love this Last Of Us one, not always a fan of live action stuff but this is clever. And Killzone always looks amazing, Shadow Fall is no different.



Last Of Us

Killzone Shadow Fall




WINNER: Persona 4 The Golden

If you’d told me a year ago that a Japanese RPG would win my Vita Game Of The Year in a year when a Killzone title came to Vita, I would’ve called you a liar. I haven’t really ever played a JRPG before but then again Persona 4: The Golden isn’t like other JRPG’s. Like The Walking Dead this is a game all about your relationships with characters (Oh Chie) and P4G grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go. Don’t let the fact Killzone: Mercenary didn’t pick up GOTY deter you from grabbing it if you have a Vita – it’s the best handheld shooter ever made. Soul Sacrifice was another title I might not have played on a home console but it just seems like a great fit on Vita and it’s really fun in short bursts. Tearaway was a beautiful game that put you in a superbly realized papercraft world and utilised all of the best Vita features. A charming game.


  • Soul Sacrifice
  • Tearaway
  • Killzone: Mercenary




WINNER: Beyond: Two Souls

It was a pretty close run race in this category with four superb looking games. The Last Of Us probably came closest to nabbing this with it’s fully realized, if grim, world and characters but while the animation of Beyond: Two Souls might’ve been off at times, graphically the game was stunning. Especially impressive considering they were using actors that people recognize and could more easily spot any faults. Also the fire/flame effects were majorly impressive. Los Santos in GTA V was such a wonder to look at sometimes I would just stop and admire the view – I can’t wait to see what Rockstar deliver on PS4. And while it was stylized, Bioshock Infinite created a beautiful world in Columbia and then filled it with dark, interesting people. Definitely a world to be explored and experienced.


  • Bioshock Infinite
  • GTA V
  • The Last Of Us




WINNER: Bioshock Infinite

There have been some great stories to play through this year and again The Last Of Us came very close to taking this award but this year’s winner is Bioshock Infinite. A title that had me guessing throughout and while I thought I had the twist sussed it turned out to be one of many that, by the time the credits rolled, left me reeling. As I uncovered more and more clues while playing through it was satisfying to put the pieces together. I thought Crystal Dynamics did a great job with the Tomb Raider reboot but the story was strongest in those opening few hours and fell away a bit beyond that. Those few hours though… what a ride. DmC was one of my more pleasant surprises this year (all round in fact) and I enjoyed the game’s story of greed and corruption and thought the world they’d created was very fleshed out.


  • The Last Of Us
  • Tomb Raider
  • DmC




WINNER: Persona 4: The Golden (Vita)

This was a really difficult category to decide on – all four of these are great scores that you should definitely check out. GTA V was the surprise for me as I didn’t expect the score to be so awesome and well suited to the heist aspect of the game. The Last Of Us and Bioshock Infinite were more subtle but packed a big punch when necessary. However the award goes to Persona 4: The Golden for it’s crazy, fun and memorable score, which includes a few songs written for the game that are used during battles. There were plenty of other great scores worth checking out from this year, I’d also recommend Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Beyond: Two Souls.


  • GTA V
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • The Last Of Us



Hotline Miami 3

WINNER: Hotline Miami (Vita)

I mentioned Hotline Miami last year because I’d heard the soundtrack but hadn’t played the game. Nothing can quite prepare you for what is one of the most powerful collections of tracks in gaming. The songs here perfectly capture the feel of the game and lend a kind of hypnotic vibe to proceedings. Absolutely brilliant. The Grand Theft Auto games always have stellar licensed material and GTA V is no different, featuring great songs across lots of different radio stations. Bioshock Infinite‘s use of tears to play songs was inspired, especially as it also featured ‘Columbia’ versions of them all in game as well. And Far Cry 3, well that M.I.A use was brilliant and the Skrillex track fitted so well with the mission it was used on – just good solid choices.


  • Far Cry 3
  • GTA V
  • Bioshock Infinite




WINNER: The Last Of Us

This was another tough category this year as so many games delivered massive performances in terms of acting. The Last Of Us though is a deserving winner, with Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson bringing most to the table with solid support from, among others, Nolan North. Baker delivered another fantastic performance as Booker DeWitt in Bioshock Infinite alongside the excellent Courtnee Draper. Steven Ogg as Trevor gets GTA V a mention just on his own and alongside his other cast members helped to make our stay in Los Santos a memorable one. I suppose when you hire big name actors like Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe you expect big things but as we’ve seen in the past bringing Hollywood to games doesn’t always work out. Luckily for us with Beyond: Two Souls it did this time and Page’s delivery and commitment to the role added real depth to her character Jodie Holmes.


  • Bioshock Infinite
  • GTA V
  • Beyond: Two Souls




WINNER: The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us is one of those games that has to be played to be believed. Titles such as Uncharted 2 and Journey carry the same gravitas and The Last Of Us can be added to that list of games that anyone with a PS3 should play. The journey of Ellie and Joel during the game is astounding and the world is a brutal, beautiful place to (carefully) explore. The Clickers were hideous enemies and the fact they could kill you in one hit just made things worse. Everything works here – the scarcity of ammo/supplies, the confined spaces you’d find yourself in and also little touches like finding the after effects of horrific events and finding out the mini storylines contained within. While GTA V and Persona 4: The Golden are totally different styles of game I stuck almost 60 hours into each of their single player offerings this year, which is a testament to their quality. And while the combat did drag at times in Bioshock Infinite, overall it was just such a great game that you can’t do anything but recommend it.


  • GTA V
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Persona 4 The Golden (Vita)





It says a lot about the opening 6 months of 2013 that during that time my most played online games were Killzone 3 (2011), Mass Effect 3 (2012) and Battlefield 3 (2011). The one new thing I played in this time was Far Cry 3, which had a nice co-op online mode and handled really well, in terms of feel of weapons etc. Then June hit and The Last Of Us arrived, with it’s new and fresh idea of what multiplayer could be. Run and gun was out, scavenge and hide was in. I had some very tense rounds of this immensely underrated online offering. Killzone: Mercenary offered Vita owners a glimpse of what an FPS title could do online and it was very fun, despite a few issues with spawn point locations. But the award this year goes to GTA Online. Finally released in October it was… well, broken to be honest. But now that it’s (mainly) fixed it is an absolute blast. Whether doing scripted missions or just messing about with friends it has been some of my most memorable online gaming in the last few years.


  • The Last Of Us
  • Far Cry 3
  • Killzone Mercenary (Vita)



TheLastOfUs 2

WINNER: The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us takes this year’s award – a combination of it’s superlative single player and fantastic online offering is more than enough to justify it’s win. All four nominees are outrageously great games and well worth playing. Bioshock Infinite‘s mix of bright, vibrant colours, stylised graphics and dark, sinister undercurrent make for a compelling game and while Persona 4: The Golden shares some characteristics with Irrational Game’s title it also has a wealth of depth that left me stunned. In GTA V Rockstar have created a living, breathing love/hate letter to L.A that will keep you gripped and amazed both online and offline.


  • GTA V
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Persona 4 The Golden (Vita)



So there you have it!

There were plenty of other decent games that didn’t get nominated but I’d still recommend. Titles like Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Rain and Puppeteer to name a few.

It’s also been a good year for Vita owners with titles like Retro City Rampage, Guacamelee, Hotline Miami, Thomas Was Alone, Stealth Inc., Lone Survivor and Spluenky making the jump over, along with exclusives like Persona 4 : The Golden, Soul Sacrifice, Killzone: Mercenary and Tearaway. It was nice to see a Vita game crack the nominees list for Game Of The Year for the first time as well.

So what have you guys been playing? What have I missed? What was your favourite game this year?


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Guacamelee! – Review (Vita)

Guacamelee Main

Guacamelee! harks back to an older generation of gaming – not only with a similar style to the old Metroid games but also with a level of difficulty (on Normal) that is a strong challenge at times.

The game tells the story of Juan, a farmer who dreams of being a luchador but has never got anywhere near his goal. When the President’s daughter is kidnapped by an evil skeleton named Carlos Calaca, Juan sets off to rescue her.

Soon he has inherited a luchador mask which gives him powers that can help him on his way. You don’t have all of these powers to begin with though, you will need to earn them as you progress through the game.

Juan’s mask gives him a lot of wrestling moves that can be used to take out opponents, ranging from punch attacks right through to Suplexes and Piledrivers. You can string basic moves together fairly easily but to really master the combo moves takes a lot of practice (or at least it did for me).

Guacamelee 1

The biggest power you’ll use is Juan’s ability to switch between the living world and the dead world, which brings some interesting mechanics into play. For example you might need to jump off the platform you’re on and switch to the other world before you land so that the next platform appears. This leads to some challenging, and frustrating, moments because you really do need to get the timing perfect to beat these sections.

Enemies also use this mechanic so there might be four enemies on screen but two of them might be in the living world and two in the dead world. You’ll need to switch between the two worlds as you fight, which is cool and keeps things interesting. Items or enemies in the other world are shadowed out so you can plan your strategy accordingly.

Graphically Guacamelee! is stunning. I loved the cartoon style and it looks super sharp on the Vita’s OLED screen. With lots of vibrant colours and interesting character design, this is a game that delivers on style. It has a great sense of humour and contains a host of in-jokes for the gaming community.

Guacamelee 2

You can tell a lot of love has gone into making Guacamelee! and the game is a fantastic addition to the Vita line up. It’s available on PS3 as well (on Cross-Buy, so whichever version you buy you get both) so if you don’t have a Vita you can still check it out. Be warned though, Guacamelee is no push over and you will need skill and patience to make it through to the end of the game.

Rating: 8/10

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The Playstation Vita: Great Expectations?


There seems to have been a slight shift in opinion on the Playstation Vita recently, with lots of people moving away from the longheld negative perception of the device.

Nevertheless, everyone still has a different sticking point – it doesn’t have any games, it costs too much, I won’t have time to play it etc. I will dispute the lack of games comment below but the rest are valid arguments, depending on your situation.

I think the biggest problem the Vita had was one of perception – shown off as a ‘PS3 in your hands’ it meant the device was always going to struggle to meet expectations if the software line up wasn’t stellar.


I personally didn’t have an issue with the launch line up but the gap between big titles was just too long. It certainly isn’t as bad now and Sony’s play for the indie market also means you’re getting some top quality, smaller games in between those triple AAA PS3 style experiences.

As for those who say PS3 style games don’t suit a handheld device, I have to disagree. I had no problem playing things like Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed or even Metal Gear Solid in smaller snatches of time. Especially as the Vita has a suspend button that means you can switch off temporarily instead of having to power the console down.

So let’s quickly bust the myth that the Vita has no games. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I believe what these people mean is the Vita has no games *they want to play*. That isn’t the same thing as actually having no games.

GravityRush 2

Here is a list of Vita games I would recommend. This isn’t a list of every game available but consists of titles I feel are worth your money. I’ve noted in brackets where a title is only on Vita:

  • Unit 13 (Vita Only)
  • Motorstorm RC
  • Everybody’s Golf
  • Lumines
  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita Only)
  • Super Stardust (Vita Only)
  • Resistance Burning Skies (Vita Only)
  • Gravity Rush (Vita Only)
  • Metal Gear HD Collection
  • LittleBigPlanet Vita (Vita Only)
  • Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation (Vita Only)
  • When Vikings Attack
  • Need For Speed: Most Wanted
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Rayman Origins
  • Retro City Rampage
  • Persona 4 Golden (Vita Only)
  • Guacamelee
  • Soul Sacrifice (Vita Only)
  • Sine Mora
  • Thomas Was Alone

Most of these titles on their own may not sell you on the system but I do feel there is enough of a library building up to make that initial outlay worth it. Especially when you factor in something like Playstation Plus, which gives you free Vita games every few months.

I can see the argument that a lot of those aren’t Vita exclusives but for me titles like Guacamelee and Thomas Was Alone were not games I’d sit at home and play on my PS3. So I probably wouldn’t have played them (certainly not at this stage) if I didn’t have a Vita.


Looking forward to E3 next month, it’s clear the Vita will have a bigger role than ever. With the upcoming PS4 aiming to have every title also playable on your handheld I imagine there will be an uplift in Vita sales towards the end of the year.

The Vita was always going to struggle in a market that has seen smartphones/tablets eat away at some of the more casual gamers in the space. When initial expectations weren’t met, more and more gamers were reluctant to take the plunge on a Vita.

The next few months will be a perfect time to get involved though. With a possible price cut at E3 and with more great games in the pipeline (I cannot wait for Hotline Miami and Killzone: Mercenary) the future is looking brighter for Vita after a rocky start.


What do you guys think? Any other Vita owners out there – what are your thoughts on the Vita and the ‘lack of games’ for it? If you haven’t got one what would entice you?


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