Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition Review!

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Check out my full review of the original Guacamelee! here.

If you’ve been following NBF for a while, you know I’m a big fan of Guacamelee!, the Metroid-vania style 2-D platformer from Drink Box Studios. The art is gorgeous and, like the game, Mexican-themed. The main characters, Juan and Tostada, are both luchadores, so you know I loved the diversity. I was actually just wishing the game was on PS4 the other day.

As if they heard my prayers, Drink Box has released Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, a souped-up version of Guacamelee! for the PS4, Wii U, 360, and Xbox One. The game is currently available for $14.99, and for just a little cheaper if you’re a PS Plus member.

First, for anyone a little younger than myself: you might not get the Super Turbo Championship Edition thing. It’s basically referencing Street Fighter and games of that ilk that used to re-release games with new editions (instead of DLC like we’re used to now). The voice that announces the title, the lighting flashes, and the trailer were all a Street Fighter reference. Guacamelee! STCE also pokes fun at quite a few other games; feel free to leave any Easter eggs you find in the comments.

What’s New?

DLC

Guacamelee! STCE includes the DLC levels and costumes from the previous game, although the costumes aren’t free – they’re purchased with in-game silver currency. Don’t worry too much though: one of the new costumes is based on a piñata, and gains more money, so unlock that one first!

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The other new costume is a badass Mayan warrior costume that works with the Intenso power.

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Tostada

Tostada’s storyline has also been expanded, and she now appears throughout the game, making her feel a bit more important. In fact, the two new locations, Canal de las Flores and Pico de Gallo, shed some light on her past. This was very important to me; as you may remember, my previous review touched on the weakest aspect of Guacamelee!, which was the plot and treatment of women.

Enemies

Along with the new locations, there are also elite-level versions of enemies and a new boss, El Trio de la Muerto. The previous enemies are now stronger, more numerous and (I’m pretty sure) more intelligent, as I ended up in a standoff with a boss who refused to move until I came out of the corner. I was quite impressed.

Intenso

The Intenso power is interesting and seemingly the studio’s excuse to up the difficulty level of the game for single players. I say that with love, as I’m enamoured with the difficulty of the game. On normal mode, Guacamelee! STCE is just a smidge less difficult than the classics we played growing up. On hard mode, the game easily keeps up with the difficulty levels of the games of yester-year. Intenso makes the characters move faster and hit harder, allowing the game to rain enemies down upon your hapless character.

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Perfecting

Finally, a lot of loving little touches were added, such as the ability to have more than one save spot; Independent Dimension Swapping, which was extremely helpful for co-op; and refined graphics and animations. There’s also a new environmental hazard: the red glitter. What could the red glitter possibly entail? It’s lava. Long story, but it’s fun. And frustrating.

What I Didn’t Like

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The plot is still pretty weak, although I can see (and truly appreciate) that they tried to give Tostada more of a background. Juan still felt like a mystery at the end of the game.

I also don’t love that I have to re-earn the costumes from previous DLCs. However, I can see that this is a compromise aimed at people who didn’t necessarily play the original game, while still giving those of us who purchased the DLC the items we previously gained. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Speaking of which, I do think that some folks who already own Guacamelee! and all the DLC will feel miffed that they have to purchase the game again, instead of being allowed to simply buy an upgrade. However, again, I think this would have been logistically challenging and perhaps impossible to fix, so I’m not holding it against Drink Box Studios.

Final Verdict

Score: A

The game looks lovely and plays better than ever. I’m so happy I can play this gorgeous little game on my PS4 now!

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Guacamelee! is Coming Back Better Than Ever!

As you may remember, I’m a huge fan of Guacamelee!. I even cosplay as Juanita, one of the DLC skins from the game.

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If you need a refresher, Guacamelee!  is a 2D brawler/platformer that alternates between the worlds of the living and the dead. It’s beautifully inspired by Mexican culture and features a local co-op. Check out my review of the original for more details.

I was pleased to learn that Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is coming to the PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Wii U. I also love that they chose to follow the ancient fighting game tradition of having a stupidly long name.

Check out the trailer:

Dat Street Fighter callback…

The game will come out on PS4 on July 1st in North America, and then on the other consoles and in Europe on July 2nd and will cost $14.99.

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New Features

New Features for the Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition Include:

  • Expanded Story – An expanded version of the game that includes new content and all DLC from the original
  • New Game Areas – Players will ride boats through the Canal of Flowers to save a besieged fishing town, and avoid lava as they climb through the fiery Volcano
  • New Boss – Face off against the deadly Trio of Death, a three-headed skeleton that lives in the Volcano, who helps the evil Carlos Calaca build his skeleton armies
  • New Abilities – Maximize destruction with the powerful new INTENSO combat mode and dish out scrambled pain with powerful Chicken Bombs. Plus, swap dimensions independently in co-op play using the new Shadow Swap ability.
  • New Enemies – Lethal new elite-class enemies that want to chokeslam luchadores to sleep
  • Support for multiple save slots
  • Dual currency system that supports permanent item unlocks

Color me excited! My only concern is that a lot of folks who bought the PS3 version will feel left out, so I hope they eventually have a discount for PS3 owners to upgrade (DLC or an expansion to purchase).

Welcome to El Infierno: Guacamelee’s New DLC Review

Less than a month after releasing their first DLC, DrinkBox Studios announced the new level “El Infierno” for the amazingly fun PlayStation exclusive Guacamelee!

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Plot

“There are farm animals and luchadores wandering through my workplace and I have no idea who to complain to about this.” – Skeleton worker.

Players battle skeletal enemies in the bureaucratic nightmare of the Devil’s domain, where tortured souls are given never-ending paperwork and the Devil is too chicken to hit the elevator button to his office without your help. See what I did there? Chicken?

I enjoyed that the set-up for the level was intriguing and clever, per usual from the DrinkBox team. I recommend talking to every skeleton you see.

Gameplay

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Their last DLC was a costume pack, and this DLC gives us a new level of challenges complete with unlockable costumes. There are also seven new trophies. I’ll warn you though, it is not a traditional new level like many of us would want. Instead, we have a basic level filled with seventeen challenge rooms. Each challenge room has the opportunity to score a bronze, silver, or gold medal. The medals unlock the new costumes, and the new costumes make the levels easier, if you’re smart about it.

If you’ve played Guacamelee through and won the super special chicken ability, these levels may actually seem too easy for you, with only two or three providing a real challenge. However, since you only need ten medals each to win the costumes, you can actually just skip the hardest levels completely, leaving only the truly masochistic or trophy hunters to take on the challenge.

Personally, as a less-skilled brawler who can never remember her combos, I found the challenge to be perfect. On my first quick run through of the levels, I snagged nine bronze, two silver, and one gold before getting frustrated and walking away. For a player of my level, this new DLC provides a few hours of content, as you constantly return to get a higher score. For a more skilled player, I’d say there’s about two hours of game time if you unlock everything on gold.

Costumes

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  • El Portero – a soccer goalie with a keen eye for style and a devastating throw
  • Alebrije – harness the awesome power of these dream creatures to deal epic destruction, but players beware of the massive damage they will sustain themselves
  • Diablo’s Suit – Drain the life of enemies while looking good enough for an interview on Wall Street

Get the Alebrije costume and turn into a chicken. Try not to squeal with joy.

Final Verdict

Guacamelee! El Diablo's Domain DLC 5

Score: A-

El Infierno is worth the price point of three dollars, offering continuing challenge to Guacamelee! lovers and pretty new costumes for fashionistas.

El Infierno is available now as a cross-buy download on the PlayStation Network and PlayStation Vita for $2.99 in North America and in Europe for €2.49/£1.99.

Review: Guacamelee!’s First DLC: Costume Pack

Luchadores can now return to their hometown of Pueblucho dressed in eye-catching styles thanks to Guacamelee!’s first DLC, code-named Costume Pack. Normally, I wouldn’t review a costume, pack, but a.) I love Guacamelee! and b.) One of the costume packs affects Tostada, the female character.

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So remember how I complained (mildly) about not being able to play as just Tostada unless I’m player two in my review? Well, now I can! Or as Juanita! JUST AS GOOD.

Additionally, the color schemes stay the same for player one and player two, meaning not only can I play as a blue Tostada, but player two can be a hot pink Juan! Or Tostado, the sexy, mummified Juan. The packs also come with matching outfits for the chicken transformation.

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Besides just being pretty, the costumes change combat abilities, and there are new trophies available based on those abilities. You know my favorite is the trophy for beating Calaca as Juanita.

Character skins

POLLO LUCHADOR

Players will love the soothing caress of an always-regenerating health meter just as much as the soothing caress of their full-body chicken suit. Is that velvet? Just try to ignore the fact that stamina doesn’t regenerate as quickly.

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SKELETON

Undead luchador not undead enough for combatants? Become even MORE undead! Gamers can tear through enemies with the implacable stamina of an angry, brittle bone-person, but don’t expect much help from health pickups.

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IDENTITY SWAP

Cats are barking and dogs are meowing! Tostada is dressed as a brawny wrestler! Juan is spooky and bandage-wrapped! These alternate forms of the main characters have tougher punches, but can’t throw for beans.

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Trophies

Costume Pack offers luchadores new challenges and trophies that make getting platinum look like child’s play. Put on the Skeleton-suit in the terrifying Caverna del Pollo, explore the countryside looking for the Chicken brothers, or showdown against Calaca while wearing only bandages to earn even more trophies.

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Final Verdict

Score: A

While it may not be new levels, this is solid bang for your buck. It costs the same amount as normal costume packs do, but actually includes changes to gameplay styles and trophies for the costumes, so I think it’s totally worth the $1.99 price tag!

Also, can someone help me cosplay Juanita? Please and thank you.

Sweet, Delicious Challenge: The Guacamelee! Review

This game is freakin’ awesome.

What game, you ask? Why, Guacamelee! of course! Guacamelee is an indie, 2-D platformer from DrinkBox Studios that melds features of Metroid, Outland, Castlevania, the cartoons of our childhood, and a healthy dose of The Emperor’s New Groove into one solid, action-packed game.

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Inspired, vaguely, by Mexican culture, the game doesn’t take itself too seriously and hopes you don’t either. Players control Juan, a wannabe luchadore. Or, in my case, they play player number 2: Tostada, a luchadora. But I’ll get to that feminist stuff later.

Lovers of old-school platform gaming will delight in the many, many callbacks to other games, from Mario to Zelda, Megaman to Castle Crashers.

Gameplay

The core gameplay revolves around moves used in both combat and platforming. They’re color-coded and have awesome names, including the words derpderp and goat, so you know I was a fan. Enemies include all types of skeletons. Big ones, small ones, giant ones, fishy ones: the undead are out in full force.

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Moves involve smashing, grabbing, and pile driving enemies into pieces, along with a dimension switch mechanic similar to that of Outland.

The puzzles and boss fights were actually pretty challenging, which is such a refreshing change of pace from the norm of repetitive battles or constant guidance. Guacamelee! features the Metroid-style open-world, which grows even larger as you gain new powers and backtrack to old areas. Sometimes my mind was just blown by what I was doing. These are the kinds of games I love: the ones that are challenging enough to give you a sense of accomplishment when you play well.

The game was probably about five hours long for a normal person, but I’m a loot maniac and a sucker for treasure hunting, so it took me about seven hours to get 80% completion. I felt that this was a good length for a game with such a thin story, but I’d love to see more levels added as DLC in the future.

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The game offers boss fights that are actually challenging in the old-school way: learning to read your opponent, memorizing patterns, and learning by dying repeatedly until you figure something out. I missed this! And it is the perfect kind of game for a handheld like the Vita so that was another excellent decision, especially with the ability to cross save and cross play.

As for combat itself, the game has a surprisingly robust combo system! I got to the final level of combos before I finally walked away, but I managed to impress myself with the length and complexity of combos I was able to learn. And they helped! The further you progress into the game, the more combat tactics will come into play, as wave after wave of enemy, some with shields and some in other, untouchable, dimensions, delivereth the smacketh down on you.

Plot

“But Sarah, you ALWAYS put plot before gameplay in your reviews! What’s up?”

Well, I’m glad you asked.

You see, I want you to understand that this game is amazing and that I loved it, so I put the happy stuff first. The best part of this game truly is the actual gameplay, followed closely by the art and ambiance.

The plot, on the other hand, is the same tired, boring old trope dressed up in its fiesta best: rescue the princess from the bad man.

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This is an indie game, so I could go light on the criticism here. Guacamelee! clearly isn’t out to change the world. It’s fun and challenging. So why did I have such a hangup? Well, along with the plot, there’s the way women in the game are portrayed and talked about. A quick sample:

  • El Presidente’s daughter is sought after for her great beauty, not for any real reason. Although it is mentioned that she was studying at the university, the men talk about her beauty, while only the women in the game talk about her intelligence (with another woman just calling her a Trout all the time. Long story). She also has a huge (unrequited?) crush on Juan, for no explicable reason.
  • “I’m a simple girl, and I’ll never love a monster like you!” <- wut?
  • The bad guy’s girlfriend is not only treated like crap and punished by being sent away, but she is also constantly attempting to seduce the hero. Oooh, how creative.
  • The main villain complains about nagging women.
  • Tostada, the second player, isn’t given a backstory in the game and is completely ignored in dialogue (but hey, she’s there! Props for that).
  • Your trainer talks about your mom. In that way.
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Until you convince him to spare her

Once again, I want to reiterate that I think this game is fantastic, but this was definitely the sour note in the chorus. I’m still pretty stoked that I get to be Tostada at all, so I’m not taking it out on the studio. This is more like the “I’m complaining because I care about this game and want it to go to college and grow up to be a productive citizen” kind of deal. It’s also just odd, because the hilarious dialogue made it clear that these folks know how to write.

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The one interesting thing about the plot has to do with the ending of the game. There is no real resolution or discussion of what happened to Juan, who is treated like a second class citizen because, inexplicably, he is not a luchador. But there is no moral at the end, no need to say, “Hey you guys, it’s not fair that you love me now that I’m a luchadore!” That doesn’t happen. He just revels in it until the end, not seeming to care that he had to conform to their standards to be accepted. It seems especially odd because the beginning of the game had lots of foreshadowing that something’s not quite right with Juan, but it is never looked into – we only get a brief flashback that doesn’t explain much. That, along with a few other choices near the end, were pretty bold, so there was some great potential here for intrigue.

Art and Sound

The art is lush and gorgeous. I spent an inexcusable amount of time checking out the backgrounds and moving slowly through the game to let my eyeballs soak in the bright, beautiful glory that is Guacamelee!‘s art. I especially loved the little touches like Aztec shields and swords on ancient warriors and the motif of the hero holding the woman on a mountain top. The color schemes and little signs in the background were also perfect touches. The details were gorgeous, and I loved finding the HUGE amount of Easter eggs in the game.

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The music was very Mexican-sounding, though that doesn’t mean it’s authentic. I found it rather repetitive and annoying after the first thirty minutes or so, which is unfortunate and made me feel bad for not appreciating horns more.

Another interesting choice was the lack of voices as well as the lack of voice or written speech for Juan, the protagonist. I probably wouldn’t have noticed that Juan didn’t speak, except that people kept asking him questions, and sometimes pretended that he had answered…but mostly reacted as if Juan kept silent. It was pretty strange.

On the other hand, putting on ridiculous voices and reading the other character’s lines was immensely entertaining. And, as I mentioned, the dialogue was mostly fantastic, with characters making me laugh out loud at some of the things they said. For example: “Like an orphaned cabbage, you rolled straight into my trap.”

Multiplayer

Playing with friends is fun and natural. There is something supremely satisfying about brawler style fights with friends along for the ride. I also loved solving puzzles cooperatively: that moment when you figure something out and you get the hi-five going – you can’t get that by yourself…easily.

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Sharing the screen was the right way to go, and as I’ve mentioned, I was overjoyed that player two is a female character. The only time it gets difficult are with moves that come later in the game, especially with dimension flipping. Fortunately, only one team member needs to make it to the next section, as it will automatically teleport the other player to the beginning of the next area if one person makes it.

Final Score: A-

My hangups with the plot and trope-d out women are nothing compared to the amount of sheer FUN I was having. Guacamelee! is not only eye candy, it’s challenging in a refreshing way. I can’t wait to dive back in with my friends!

Guacamelee! is out now for the PlayStation 3 and Vita for $14.99.

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GDC 2013: Preview: Guacamelee!

Guacamelee!, the little Drinkbox Productions game that came out of nowhere and suplexed my soul, is a whimsical platformer drenched in Mexican imagery. It also reminded me a little of Outland (which was one of my favorite games) due to a polarity system utilized in the game, and apparently reminded everyone else of Super Metroid. I played Guacamelee! at GDC, where they were nominated for an Excellence in Visual Art award at the IGF awards (they ultimately lost out to Kentucky Route Zero).

Check out the trailer after the jump:

Plot

“Carlos Calaca has kidnapped El Presidente’s daughter, and he plans to sacrifice her in order to merge the World of the Living with the World of the Dead.

Juan, a normal guy who stumbles upon a Legendary Luchador mask, must find the strength and courage to become the Hero he’s always dreamed of being, and put a stop to this. Not for you, not for Calaca, but for El Presidente’s daughter, the most beautiful girl in all the world.”

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I’m not in love with the plot, as it features the stereotypical tale of a man trying to get his princess, but hey, the gameplay is almost good enough to ignore the fact that we are only going through all of this because the president’s daughter is beautiful, not because, oh, I dunno, she created a new recipe in her lab that cures cancer and she’s the only one who has access to the cure… *continues to rant for a few moments*

Gameplay

The gameplay is where this game really shines, showing off its signature “Metroidvania Brawler” action-adventure influenced platforming. Guacamelee! takes standard Super Metroid-like platforming and adds wrestling moves, the power to turn into a chicken, and portals into other dimensions.

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Like Outland, the world opens up to you more as you learn additional moves, meaning you will often backtrack or revisit levels to access new locations.

The fighting moves are also used as part of the platforming, something that took a few tries for me to get used to, but this is the kind of game that has a level design that leads you to the answers, so I never felt too lost while playing.

Did I mention you can turn into a chicken? And that doing so makes you want to yell with joy as you zip across the screen? Well, you can.

Co-Op

There is also a co-op mode. Co-op players share the same screen, with Player Two controlling Tostada, a female luchadore. I immediately traded controllers with the friend I was playing with so I could be the badass luchadora.

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Playing co-op was fast, fun and hectic. Interestingly, only one player needs to make it to the door to the next stage for both players to progress. I like this mechanic, because it will allow a more unskilled player to tag along with you, and also creates a small element of chaos, since the players need not necessarily work with each other. Look, what I’m trying to say is that I may have done some horrible things to my co-op partner in my desperation to reach the end of the level. Sorry, bro.

Art and Sound

The game takes place in a Mexican-inspired world, and the art and music reflect that. I loved the music, and it created a wonderful sense of urgency in the demo. As for the art of the game, well, it was nominated for an award in that area! The colors pop brilliantly, and I’m reminded of old school cartoons while looking at the stunning, almost paper mache-style characters and levels. Guacamelee! is certified eye candy.

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When, Where, How Can I Get This Game?

Guacamelee! comes out April 9 for $14.00 on the PS3 and PS Vita, with a cross-buy feature, no less! Buy one and you get the other copy for free. Also, there’s a cross-save function, meaning you can start on your PS3 then head out into the world on your Vita with no time lost. You can also use the Vita as a controller while playing on the PS3, with the screen showing off the map.

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I’m so excited about this game, especially with the under-representation of Latino characters in games. Now we have two new superheroes to add to the list of diverse game characters. Viva la Guacamelee!

What do you think? Are you planning to pick up Guacamelee?

Lady Gamer’s Choice: Best Games of 2013

The ladies of Nerdy But Flirty have compiled a list of the best games of 2013. What makes this list different from other best game lists? It’s for girl gamers, by girl gamers.

Check it out and let us know what games you’d pick!

Best Indie Game

Guacamelee

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This one was really hard. 2013 can definitely be called the year indie became a big deal. Gone Home, Knock-Knock, TowerFall, Don’t Starve, Guacamelee, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons all made it to our list. This year, we’re giving it to Guacamelee, for being one of the few games to focus on another culture. Guacamelee had beautiful art, awesome gameplay, and a fun spirit.

Best DLC

Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep

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Another tough decision here, between the Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep DLC and the Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC. Both are blatant fan-pleasers, but one was just too witty, too self-aware, and too hilarious to ignore. The Tiny Tina DLC for Borderlands 2 is the best DLC of 2013, and is my personal favorite DLC of all time.

What we have here is a DLC for an irreverent shooter, taking one of the most polarizing characters and digging into her psychology, to the tune of a D&D game. It is glorious and truly captures the sadlarious style we love about Borderlands.

Best Shooter

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

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Unlike the previous two categories, this choice was difficult for the lack of choices. Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghost didn’t appeal to a single one of us. So which shooter took up our love this year? Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is an amazing new adventure/re-skin of Far Cry 3 (already a pretty great game) featuring tons of cyber enhancements, 80s clichés, and huge, angry dragons. If you haven’t played it, go buy it right now.

Best RPG

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

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This year was a strange one for RPGs. Most of the RPGs this year were JRPGs, which we didn’t feel too strongly about. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen was great fun, but felt too much like an expansion to capture the title of Best RPG of 2013. The only real standout was Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Ni No Kuni is the lovely collaboration between Studio Ghibli and Level-5 that combines charm with challenging gameplay. It was the critic’s darling when it came out, and no other RPG released this year even came close.

Best Action Game

The Last of Us

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Some great action games came out this year, including Tomb Raider, The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, and Assassin’s Creed IV. Although Tomb Raider was great, The Last of Us just took the cake. The atmosphere of the game was so spot-on that I had to take breaks because the tension got to be too much to handle. With some awesome female characters, a heart-wrenching story, and solid gameplay mechanics, The Last of Us really delivered (it was our ‘Most Anticipated’ last year).

Best Adventure Game

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller

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Our intrepid adventurer Kelsey reviewed quite a few adventure games this year, but the one that really stuck out to her was Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller. With a great story and a compelling (and female) main character, we’d be remiss not to award this game with our Best Adventure title.

Best Xbox 360 Game

Bioshock Infinite

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Bioshock Infinite is hands-down the best Xbox 360 game of 2013.

Best PS3 Game

The Last of Us

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The Last of Us was the obvious choice for best PS3 game. We loved it and it looked gorgeous.

Best PC Game

Bioshock Infinite

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Just too gorgeous not to win.

Best 3DS Game

Pokemon X and Y

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Animal Crossing was great, but we had to give it to Pokemon X and Y, due to the large number of addicted friends we have.

Best Mobile Game

Everlove: Rose

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Our favorite mobile game this year was easily Everlove: Rose. While not the most complicated, it was the most engaging and had an intriguing premise.

Best Music

Grand Theft Auto V

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Although we almost picked Contrast for that AMAZING electric swing, in the end, we had to give it to GTA V. GTA V is the kind of game that makes you wish you could have those radio stations in real life. I also may have an unhealthy obsession with Bootsy Collins.

Best Female Character

Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite

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We had a bit of an argument about the best female character. While some of us were big fans of the reboot of Lara Croft, the other camp fell in love with Disney Princess-esque Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite.

In the end, we had to admit that this version of Lara is not her strongest, and thus Elizabeth is our Best Female Character of 2013!

Best Male Character

Trevor from Grand Theft Auto V

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Although we weren’t a fan of the game, the best male character of 2013 has to go to Trevor from Grand Theft Auto V. I hated him. I loved him. I shook my head and said “classic Trevor.” His character was so multi-faceted, and so bat-shit-crazy, that he manages to even overshadow the other two main characters. Whatever their names are… 😉

Best Child

Ellie from The Last of Us

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There was no question that our Best Child Character of 2013 would go to Ellie from The Last of Us. Ellie is a delightful mix of rebellious spirit, pouty teenager, enthusiastic child, and thoughtful woman. She’s strong, weak, and everything in between.

I loved seeing such a nuanced character in a game, and loved it even more that she happened to be female. I hope other game companies are taking note of how Naughty Dog treats its female characters, and how their sales are not hurt by this development.

Most Anticipated Game

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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Our meeting to discuss the games of the year revealed a surprisingly unanimous Most Anticipated game: Dragon Age: Inquisition. Although we all felt burned by Dragon Age 2, BioWare has been very vocal about listening to fans and acknowledging faults. We can’t be faulted for hoping they bring us the true sequel to Dragon Age: Origins. I’m also really looking forward to Titanfall, but I was out-voted. >_>

Most Girl-Friendly Game

Tomb Raider

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Last year, Mass Effect 3 was an easy choice for most girl-friendly game of the year. This year, our choice wasn’t as obvious, but in the end, it has to be Tomb Raider.

Although not everyone liked this more sensitive Lara, her journey from unprepared girl to hardened survivor is something that a lot of women can relate to. So many of us are survivors of something, and we’ve become so strong as a result of our trials. It’s a theme that really resonates, and Camilla Luddington did an amazing job expressing the fear and then gradual resilience of young Lara.

Game of the Year

The Last of Us

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We’ve enthused enough about The Last of Us for it to be our obvious choice for Game of the Year. With its strong story, challenging gameplay, and wonderful cast of characters, The Last of Us truly gave us everything we wanted, and some things we didn’t even know we wanted!

Did we miss your favorite game? Let’s hear your arguments for best games in the comments below!

Check out our choices from last year!

Gamer Girl Gift Guide – What to Get Your Girl Gamer for Xmas!

It’s that time of year again! What should you get your gamer girlfriend (or daughter, sister, mom, etc.) for Christmas? It depends on what they like! Check out my Gamer Girl Gift Guide from last year even more ideas.

xmasgamergirl

Consoles and Handhelds

First, we have to point out the elephant in the room. Your gaming lady most likely wants a current gen console, if she doesn’t already have one. Find out if she’s a Sony fangirl or a Halo head and get her an Xbox One or PlayStation 4. These bad boys are PRICEY, but love has no price tag, amirite?

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$400, available at Best Buy and GameStop

If she’s into Pokémon, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, or the like, I recommend getting her a 3DS or 3DS XL. I do NOT recommend getting her a 2DS. If she already has a PS4 but not a Vita, go with the Vita instead.

Games

Not really into spending a month’s rent on a system? No worries, there are plenty of awesome games out right now; you can save the new console present for Valentine’s Day. 😉

But how will you know what game to get her? I have a handy guide to walk you through it.

If She Likes Zombies

If your gamer girl loves zombies, she’ll probably love The Last of Us. Heck, even people who don’t like zombies have fallen in love with this game. The Last of Us also boasts some awesome female characters, such as Ellie, Tess, and the leader of the Fireflies.

Click here to buy!

Click here to buy! From $29.98

If She Loves Disney Princesses

Bioshock Infinite might not sound like the place to go for your Disney lover, but make no mistake, Elizabeth is a Disney princess. This game was a strong contender for game of the year, looks and sounds gorgeous, and has excellent gameplay mechanics.

Click here to buy - $19.99

Click here to buy – $19.99

If She Loves Indiana Jones

The reboot of Tomb Raider takes a look at Lara Croft before she becomes the super-tough chick we all know. Although some people were disappointed with this younger version, I personally really enjoyed watching her turn into the hardened survivor. In the meantime, there’s a beautiful island to explore and secret tombs to unearth!

Click to buy - from $17.99

Click to buy – from $17.99

If She’s a Pokémon Master

Nothin can come between a girl and her Pokémon. Get your lady Pokémon X and/or Pokémon Y!

Buy it here - from $35.64

Buy it here – from $35.64

If She Likes Big Boats and She Cannot Lie (and Pirates in General)

The Assassin’s Creed series made a move for the high seas in AC3, and perfected that new gameplay mechanic in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. If your honey is a big AC fan who has every game, you may want to consider getting her an art book or the comic tie in.

Buy it here - from $45.99

Buy it here – from $45.99

If She’s a Batman Fan

Well, then again, who doesn’t like Batman? Batman: Arkham Origins is the latest in the rebooted and totally awesome Batman video game series. The gameplay is solid, and it’s even fun to just watch someone play the game.

Buy it here - from $32.00

Buy it here – from $32.00

If She Liked Heavy Rain

If she enjoyed Heavy Rain, pick up Beyond Two Souls. If she didn’t like Heavy Rain, don’t get this game for her. David Cage games are not for everyone.

Buy it here - from $29.97

Buy it here – from $29.97

If She Likes to Kick Butt

If your gal is into fighting games, give Injustice: Gods Among Us a go, especially if she liked the reboot of Mortal Kombat or is a fan of DC comics. The tie-in comic is also surprisingly hilarious, so be sure to pick that up for her as well!

Buy it here - from $27.93

Buy it here – from $27.93

If She Likes to Boogie

There are tons of fun rhythm games out there, from Rock Band to Dance Central – or even Zumba Rush. Remember, you’ll need a Kinect, Move, or Wii to play these games, and some require other peripherals as well. You also need A LOT of space in your house.

If She Ships Indie

There are SO many game options for your indie gamer. You can also check out a ton of cool Kickstarters going on to get even more indie with your game giving. Here are a few indie game recommendations (most of them are platformers):

I could go on and on. I love living in the time of indie games…they’re often so creative and fun!

And there’s always gift cards!

I hope this list made Christmas shopping a little easier for you. If you need more ideas than just games, be sure to check out our other Gift Guides for all things geeky!

Check out our other awesome holiday content as NBF celebrates the joy of being a geek during present season!

San Diego Comic Con 2013 Wrap Up and Pics!

Hello, my lovely readers! Did you miss me?

I’ve just returned from San Diego Comic Con, full of con flu and ready to write articles. I had a blast this year, and I’d like to take a moment to give a shout out to the rest of the Nerdy But Flirty crew for holding it down, despite this being a crazy weekend for all of us!

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Crystal and I as Elektra and Pirate #23.

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Jess and I.

We had some exciting announcements come out of SDCC this year, so here’s a few. Be sure to check out our daily wrap-ups for more SDCC news.

  • The Batman and Superman movie was confirmed at the Warner Bros. panel
  • Cobie Smulders will reprise her role as Agent Hill for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • The Avengers sequel has a name and a villain: The Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past footage was revealed
  • EW’s Women Who Kick Ass Panel was supposedly awesome and I want to find it on YouTube
  • Glenn (Steve Yeun) will voice Wan, the first avatar in The Legend of Korra
  • Ubisoft unveiled the new comic Assassin’s Creed: Brahman
  • Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland is being revived by IDW
  • Gail Simone will be writing Dark Horse Comics’ Tomb Raider series.
  • Loki was there

Other than that, I got to meet some awesome folks, dance the nights away, and nerd out as Juanita from Guacamelee. Only two people at SDCC recognized me though. 😦

I also hung out on the Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag pirate ship. They interviewed me, but I’m pretty sure it’s too terrible for them to post anywhere.

assassinscreed4comiccon

Like our Facebook page to check out the rest of the SDCC pictures!

Console and PC Games

Console and PC Games