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The Year of the Games 2013

A screenshot of The Last of Us

The simple fact is that picking the best game released in a given year is impossible. Even if someone managed to come up with some way to soundly measure an experimental 7-day FPS made by a small team against an open-world AAA game, nobody has the time in their lives to really give every possible candidate a chance. It's certainly a task that's beyond me, so I asked Mattie Brice, Michael A. Cunningham, Denis Farr, Darren Forman, Brad Gallaway, Brendan Keogh, Cameron Kunzelman, Kris Ligman, Gene Park, Lana Polansky, Eric Swain, Zolani Stewart, John Vanderhoef, and Dan Weissenberger to lend a hand. Here, without further adieu, are the games of the year.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 101: Video Game Music

The podcast gets rythmic on us as we talk game music, some of our favorite tracks, why game music is special, and what has been lost as games have evolved from their technologically limited origins. Featuring Richard Naik, Chi Kong Lui, Michael "Mac" Cunningham, and special guests Dylan Collins and Matt Hunter from the A Jumps B Shoots podcast.

00:00-00:02 - Intros

00:02-00:12 - A little chat about our musical backgrounds

00:12-00:27 - Games that we hate, but love the music

00:28-00:48 - With the technological evolutions over the years, has game music lost something compared to it's restricted roots?

00:49-01:04 - Name something creative that a game has done with its music that drastically altered your opinion of said game

01:05-01:31 - Some of our personal favorite game songs/soundtracks

01:31-close - Thumbs

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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 100: The Centennial

Sinan Kubba is joined by the full house of Brad Gallaway, Chi Kong Lui, Mike Bracken, and Richard "Ouya" Naik to celebrate a historic fixture in the history of the GameCritics.com podcast: The grand return of the Horror Geek. Oh, and 100 episodes of a podcast that's been like a pair of tattooed knuckles, offering both love and hate for all things gaming.. Yes, one knuckle's been slightly bigger than the other. Okay, not slightly.

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Consoleation: All good things...

Consoleation: All good things...

After more than 12 years of writing about console video games—ranging from game reviews to sales analysis—I am officially "retiring." I use quotation marks because I can't really retire from something that I didn't really do for a living… but it's been more than 25% of my life, and the time has come to hang up my keyboard and step away… for good, this time.

Arkham Origins, Swap Force, Phoenix Wright and Gravity

Batman: Arkham Origins Screenshot

For review, I've been playing two games at once… Not my favorite thing to do, but it is that time of the year and they aren't at all alike, so playing one is kind of like taking a break from the other. The first is Batman: Arkham Origins, as mentioned in the last post. I'm finding this is a very interesting title on many levels, but not necessarily for the reasons that you might expect.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 99: Question Time

With 100 percent more GameCritics.com podcast regulars than last time, the almost significant Episode 99 delves into Pokemon X/Y, Etrian Odyssey Untold, How to Survive, and Demon's Souls. Then it's question time, covering everything from favourite Final Fantasy magic systems to the issues surrounding the Barkham Origins embargo. All of this in the allegedly capable hands of Sinan Kubba, Brad Gallaway, Richard Naik, and special guest Michael "Mac" Cunningham.

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How to Survive, DKCR 3D, Phoenix Wright, Arkham Origins, Wonderfalls and Super Fun Night

How to Survive Screenshot

If you haven't been paying close attention it's probably been pretty easy to miss, but I would like todraw your attention to a recent Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) to release called How To Survive, from Eko Software.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 98: Big Red Potion Reunion

Sinan Kubba, joined by just one GameCritic in the form of Brad Gallway, takes the opportunity to have a Big Red Potion reunion by bringing his former co-host Joe DeLia and Eurogamer's Jeffrey Matulef onto the show. The quartet take a dazzlingly irreverent (and temporally irrelevant) dash through the games they've been playing, covering The Last of Us, Saints Row IV, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Ico, Wordament, Asura's Wrath, and The Wolf Among Us.

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Pikmin 3, Army of Two, Super Mario 3D Land, Castles in the Sky & Tinman Games

Pikmin 3 Screenshot

Anyway, 2013 is a strange year. It's now October, and ordinarily I'd be up to my neck in review games at this time, but I'm actually drifting between assignments with nothing really due… I'm never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, though, so I decided to jump into a few things that have been lingering on the backlog.

A World of Canyons

Tales of Xillia Screenshot

Playing Tales of Xillia made me think of Final Fantasy, which was probably not the intended effect.

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