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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 102: Beyond Two Souls, Arkham Origins, ZombiU, and Link Between Worlds

Now that 2013 is winding down it's time to catch up on some of the hot new holiday releases, covering the latest David Cage......thing....in Beyond Two Souls, Barkham Origins, ZombiU, and The Legend of Zelda Link to the Past 2, also known as Link Between Worlds. Featuring Richard Naik, Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Sinan Kubba, and Tim "coitus" Spaeth.

00:00-00:03 - Intros

00:03-00:32 - Beyond: Two Souls

00:32-00:56 - Batman: Arkham Origins

00:56-01:15 - ZombiU

01:15-01:46 - Link Between Worlds

01:46-close - Thumbs

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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.

Need for Speed Rivals Review

Like Dogs Chasing Cars

Need for Speed Rivals

HIGH Narrowly escaping a pursuing squad of police cars and power drifting into the safety of my hideout with hundreds of sounds of speed points under my belt.

LOW For an open world driving game, there are not nearly enough alternative paths and emergent gameplay moments that use the geography.

WTF The non-ironic gritty and serious tone of the "story."

Deadfall Adventures Review

Raiding tombs, but not a Tomb Raider

Deadfall Adventures

HIGH the first time I came across mummies fighting Nazis.

LOW too much combat in the latter half.

WTF how do the Nazis keep getting ahead of me in locked tombs?

CastleStorm Review

Storming the gates of great design

Castlestorm

HIGH Figuring out the castle editor.

LOW Coming to a dead stop in the hair-pulling ‘Homecoming’ level

WTF Why have I never heard mention of this game?

Saints Row 4: Enter The Dominatrix Review

Everybody Walk The Dinosaur

Saint's Row 4 Enter the Dominatrix

HIGH The ‘deleted scenes’ premise and the stellar ending.

LOW The gameplay in the missions is kinda lame.

WTF The whole thing.

While the Saints Row franchise has always been irreverent and over-the-top, those who only see it as crazy are selling the series (and its developers) short.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Preview

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

By and large, I am not a card game player.

All of my experience with card games comes from a brief attempt at Magic: The Gathering in high school and a lot of bored Saturday mornings with Yu-Gi-Oh! when I was too lazy to change the channel.

Random attempts to enter the genre have usually defeated me with dense rules, obtuse jargon, constant mechanic changes, and the prospect of buying hundreds of dollars worth of cards. None of these things attracted me as a potential new player.

Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death Review

Well-seasoned but stringy

Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death

HIGH The fight against the tentacled rain god Chaac.

LOW The escape event in the crumbling ruin.

WTF Where did this guy get all these helicopters?

Sword of the Stars: The Pit Review

You Won't See Bottom

Sword of the Stars: The Pit

HIGH Using psychic powers to crush foes in a cloud of shrapnel.

LOW Going five levels in a row without finding a single bullet.

WTF I starved to death because I didn't eat for an hour? Do I have a tapeworm?

Batman: Arkham Origins Review

Holy bat-mulligan, Batman!

Batman: Arkham Origins

HIGH a strong premise, great story beats, and Deathstroke.

LOW it’s super buggy, and counters/takedowns don’t always work.

WTF why can’t I pummel Deadshot until he’s unconscious?!?

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