The Richie Report: The Annual Anal Blahtrospective

Hello, Poppets and welcome to the Richie End of Year Report. It’s been a mixed year. There have been good games, great games and, of course, plenty of gash games but any game was a bonus as I’m pretty sure we were all meant to die screaming thanks to a solar flare sun tan. In your stupid fucking faces, Mayans!

On paper, 2013 had the potential to be absolutely amazing. There were some highly anticipated releases and, of course, the big next-gen head to head between Sony and the reigning champions, Microsoft. Also, the end of any generation usually brings out the best from the existing consoles so there was a lot to be hopeful about in 2013. Maybe the year as a whole didn’t pan out quite as well as it could have done but looking down the list there have been more than the usual number of Game of the Year contenders. So let us look through another year spent gaming and see if we can figure out what the fuck happened.

January, the Greek God of Tangfastics, unlike ten years ago is certainly more active than it used to be in the gaming calendar (thanks to Call of Duty shutting out the pre-Xmas spends for every other game). 2013′s version saw Anarchy Reigns, a low-budget roaming beat ‘em up from the ever-overrated Platinum Games, hit the shelves. Unfortunately the game’s decent fighting mechanics were all but ruined by some shockingly unfriendly time limits. DMC (Donut Man Considers) faired better, especially with Keegy T. Biggz. I played the demo and hated it. The fuck do I know?

In much more exciting news, the ever wonderful Earth Defence Force 2017 got a digital release on the PlayStation Vita. Did I like it? Does the Pope love the idea of Africans getting full-blown AIDS? Make that a resounding ‘yes.’

Despite the fact that there’s a fucking EDF on my motherfucking Vita, my most played January effort was the iOS gem, Little Inferno. Explaining Little Inferno takes more words than I have here but it’s basically a game where you burn things and smile a lot. It’s more of a statement about iOS IAP pricing than it is a game and yet is still one of the best games of the year anyway. Go figure.

February, the Italian word for ‘climate change’, saw the unwelcome return of gaming’s most boring series. Mos Keegz gave it a respectable six before falling into a deep, unpleasant coma.

Some fucking game called Raging Fist in Ken or something was released but I think it’s some sort of Anime thing and I like Anime as much as I like watching golf. Oh and a new Crysis came out too. Fuck that shit too, though.

The best thing about February was Aliens: Colonial Marines. Sure, it played fast and loose with the canon and was technically a bit ropey but as a piece of virtual LV-426 tourism, I loved it. It was a pretty decent co-op game which helps too. Tim the Enchanter wanted to blow it out the goddamned airlock. For reasons unknown.

March, the patron saint of lost wilderbeest, had a sudden, violent influx of boring games. There was the universally loved running about in the woods simulator, Tomb Raider, which finally saw Square Enix stop pretending that there was even any gameplay to the series, although Edwin Price loved it so much he went mad.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 remained unplayed by everyone in the whole world. Gears of War: Judgment managed to be even more dull than all the other games in Microsoft’s greyest series put together, don’t try telling that to Tiny Tim though or he’ll bite you.

Fans of the phenomenal The Walking Dead game were all dreadfully disappointed by The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. Worst of all was the reappearance of Army of Two, a series that’s deteriorating faster than Michael J. Fox in a Syrian hospital. I didn’t play Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel but Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Tim did.

April, the horribly disfigured sister of Queen Elizabeth that’s been living in a padded cell since birth, surprised no-one with such efforts of Defiance (a sort of Mum’s gone to Iceland version of Halo), Injustice: Gods Among Us (a DC comics-flavoured fighting game from the makers of Meh-tal Kumquats) that Little Keeg Planet rather liked and a truly dreadful XBLA version of Double Dragon 2 that got cancelled and then inexplicably released despite being the worst thing since sliced penis.

The most interesting game of the month was probably Dead Island: Riptide. I say probably because I’ve not played it yet despite owning it for ages. I loved the original though, even if everyone else hated it.

May, a month so unbelievably shit they named Queen’s guitarist’s entire family after it, made the Ethiopian famines look bountiful with only Metro: Last Light (apparently decent sequel to the not very good Russian-’em-up), Crash Time 5: Undercover (unlikely fifth title in the dreadful German Chase HQ rip-off series) and Resident Evil: Revelations which is to Resident Evil 4 what AvP: Requiem was to Aliens. Although Ric was a fan but he’s used to people trying to chew his face off. May can fuck off.

June, Sarpong, can only ever be described as a ‘mixed bag’ with the year’s potential worst game, Ride to Hell: Retribution, passing Deep Silver’s quality control checks by pretending to be a massive poo.

PS3 owners across the world rejoiced when The Last of Us got released to the sort of universal acclaim that would lead you to believe that it wasn’t just a slow, story-driven survival horror (of sorts) where basically fuck all happens for too long and then you get bored. On the plus side, the PS3 I bought just to play it got plenty of use thanks to Chime Super Deluxe.

Fans of the idea of playing Dead Rising with no fun elements were well-catered for with State of Decay, a highly-anticipated zombie survival game that was low on thrills but high on price, being priced at whatever 1600M$P is now worth.

The game of the month, and potentially the year, was Remember Me, a stylish third-person action Paris-’em-up that saw you kicking the fuck out of French people and mixing up their minds. Despite a lukewarm critical reception from everyone apart from We Built This City on Ric and Roll, the game was unbelievably fabulous.

July, the thinking man’s Pat Butcher, had little to offer. There was The Smurfs 2, which was a sequel to a game I didn’t know existed. I’ll probably be saying that about The Smurfs 3 and the clumsily-titled Turbo: Super Stunt Squad. Try saying that five times in a row after a sexual encounter with Jimmy Krankie.

Dynasty Warriors 8 also came out. Someone is fucking buying them. Was it you? I bet it was fucking you. Fuck’s sake.

August, the fat kid from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, was suitably bloated with chocolatey treats. Fans of awesomefun were catered for with Saints Row 4, a super-powered cross between Saints Row 3 and Crackdown. It was more fun than should be legal. Richie loved it but what the fuck does he know? Fans of XCOM got to be irritated beyond tablets with The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, an FPS take on Julian ‘the fucking man’ Gollop’s XCOM game. Disney Infinity combined epic pointlessness with dreadful price-gouging for anyone stupid enough to succumb.

Killer is Dead was kind of interesting. Well, when it wasn’t being a Japanese perv-fest. Get past the sketchy womanising though and Killer is Dead was a fun little hack and slasher. Even if it does prove that Suda 51 is NOTHING SPECIAL.

The saddest thing about August was seeing EA rape Plants Vs Zombies with IAPs, leading to Plants Vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time. It’s true though, it is about time. Specifically the fucking HOURS you have to plough into grinding that shit if you don’t want to pay TOP DOLLAR for fucking well-armed daffodils or something.

Fans of the classic 16-bit platformer Flashback also had reason to be sad thanks to the blaverage XBLA remake. That said, once you got past the initial wow factor of the animation and the first couple of levels, Flashback was never as good as Another World.

August’s best thing was Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Not as you’d expect a list of all the races Tom Clancy would like to wipe out now he’s done with the Mexicans and Chinese but rather the best game in the series since the first one. Blacklist combines great stealth, brilliant level design and a Hollywood-worthy plot to great effect. So much so that I’m still playing it now. Another genuine Game of the Year contender.

September, better know as Stop Wanking on Buses Month, saw the long-awaited return of the Diablo dungeon-crawling series with Diablo III. Everyone fucking loves the game, so you might too. I had a go of the demo and got bored when I realised all you do in hammer the X button a lot. That’s literally it.

The footballing titans, FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer, went at it again with a barely-instinguishable from last one FIFA 14 yet again trouncing Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 both critically and commercially.

The obvious standout title of the month was the incredible Grand Theft Auto V, an absolute behemoth of a game that seemingly uses magic to extract every ounce of power possible from the aged Xbox 360. Taking its cues from Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, GTA V delivers the most complete gaming experience possible while making the whole thing incredibly enjoyable to play. If you had shown someone this game during the Xbox 360′s launch you’d be burned as a witch. ‘I had the Tim of my life’ bummed it senseless, which is fair enough as that’s what I would have done too.

October, the most popular word in emo song titles, had its own GTA experience with GTA Online, a free multiplayer add-on to GTA V. After some teething problems, the game did the old Draw Something trick of being insanely popular for a couple of weeks before everyone realised that deathmatches and races against random cunts is about as much fun as going to Poundland without having your shots.

The PS3 got another highly-anticipated exclusive with David Cage’s Beyond: Two Souls. It apparently wasn’t very good. I was still too busy playing Chime Super Deluxe to notice.

The Wolf Among Us: Episode One – Faith seemed to pop up out of nowhere and was a worthy spiritual successor to Telltale Games’ magnificent Walking Dead series. This time the story comes courtesy of the Fables comic series (whatever) and is a modern take on fairytale lore. It’s a little depressing but, on the form of the first episode, this is looking essential.

Batfans were treated to Batman: Arkham Origins but I made my best joke about that in the last Richie Report while Battlefield, Assassin’s Creed and Angry Birds all got unwanted sequels too. The only interesting other thing this month was a new Typing of the Dead game. Unfortunately it was based on Overkill, the least enjoyable of the House of the Dead games.

No, no. No, no, no, no. No, no, no, no. No, no, no, November was piss-poor when it came to games. Call of Duty: Ghosts was apparently not very good. You knew that already but the fuckwits that love the series also thought it too.

Meanwhile, No Need For A New Need For Speed: Rivals was apparently released. I literally don’t care.

The big news this month was the release of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Now initially it looked like Sony were going to take all the marbles thanks to Microsoft’s design team deciding that their new console should eat babies and play Busted songs at you at full volume until you feed it at least six pints of your blood. Sony’s console on the other hand was happily being fitted with a blowjob attachment and a tea dispenser.

However, by the time the consoles made it into the shops, they were basically identical and the only difference was the launch titles. The choice was between no games on the PS4 or a load terrible ones on the Xbox. The shops were filled with consumer cannonfodder while we all sat back like Hannibal Smith with a plan to see what’s good in April when some actual proper games get released.

December is all about Christmas, chocolate and The Walking Dead: Season 2. It has apparently been released today. Time to get back into character and KILL ANYONE WHO GETS WITHIN A HUNDRED YARDS OF CLEM. I will feed you your fucking teeth, made up people.

All that remains is to check out the charts for the best-selling games of all year.

1. Grand Theft Auto V – a deserved top spot for most peoples game of the year.
2. Call of Duty: Ghosts – Over ten million people bought this. Think about that for a while.
3. FIFA 14 – Because new kits and updated names are well worth £40 apparently.
4. Pokemon X&Y – Oh yeah, the 3DS is a thing.
5. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – I don’t know anyone who likes this series.
6. The Last of Us – Overrated but atmospheric survival action game.
7. Animal Crossing: New Leaf – I don’t know what it is but Twitter will not shut up about it.
8. Tomb Raider – a nice walk in the jungle ruined by some terrible combat.
9. Monster Hunter IV – Japan’s favourite game series comes to Nintendo’s eye-mangling handheld.
10. Bioshock Infinite – Stylish but dull sequel to the stylish but dull originals.

That’s 2013 done. Merry New Year, poppets. Rest well for in January we dine. IN HELL.

Last five articles by Richie


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