This month we’re celebrating Virtual Bastion’s 5-year anniversary by sharing our favorite memories of the site, blogging, gaming, and our online friendships. Join us as we take a trip down memory lane!
Any year is a good year to start a gaming blog, but starting one in 2013 was especially good. Maybe it wasn’t obvious to us back then, hindsight being twenty-twenty and all, but as we all likely remember, 2013 was a pretty darn good year in gaming. It certainly inspired us to write and share our stories and the stories of gaming. There seemed to be no shortage of topics to discuss, from new consoles to the games themselves to the ever-changing landscape of the gaming community. We tapped into all that new energy that first year and stockpiled enough to keep on writing and sharing. In the spirit of fun, I offer up here an “interview” with the year 2013 to find out just why it was a year to remember.
VB: So let’s get this out of the way first – those new consoles were a pretty big deal.
2013: Yes, surely! Among the biggest news of the year was both the reveal and release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Everyone knew they were coming, but to finally see them was truly exciting.
And what about the games that came with them?
Well, the exclusives for each console were a tad on the…let’s be honest…so-so side. On the Xbox One we had the likes of Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, and Ryse: Son of Rome. The PlayStation 4 offered up, among others, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack. Those maybe weren’t the most effervescent line-ups, but they were decent, right?
Fair enough. But what about after the PS4 and Xbox One came out?
Um, I’m pretty sure that the biggest game of late 2013 was Super Mario 3D Land for the Wii U. Or, if it wasn’t, it sure seemed that way. People had been waiting for that game for a while, since at least the beginning of the year, anyway
Oh, right! The Wii U was just celebrating its first year when the Xbox One and PS4 came out. Y’know, the Wii U had a pretty good 2013. New Super Luigi U, Pikmin 3, that HD version of Wind Waker…umm… uh… Wii Fit U?
If you look beyond just Nintendo-only titles, there are some good ones. Rayman Legends, LEGO City Undercover, The Wonderful 101…uh… Okay, so it took a little while for the Wii U to find its stride. Maybe we could talk about the Nintendo 2DS instead?
Did the 2DS come out in 2013?
YOU’RE the one writing, and you don’t remember?! Alright, so maybe it was released no too long before the big guns and was therefore overshadowed. But talk about a way to capitalize on Nintendo’s handheld market. It was quite an interesting ploy to get more games out to more players.
Speaking of having different ways to play games, let’s talk about the Ouya.
C’mon. You have to give the Ouya credit. In a world dominated by three gaming giants, it really sought to be something different.
Okay, sure. The Ouya did have one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever. And at least it didn’t live and die during my 12 months. It had quite a bit of potential early on, so it’s too bad that things didn’t pan out for it. I can’t even remember if it had any exclusive games…
Hmm…Soul Fjord, maybe?
Ha! That you remember, but not the 2DS?? Sad.
Anyway. How about we look at earlier in the year? Because most people would probably say that’s when you really shined.
Now you’re talking! I pretty much only need to say four words about that: The. Last. Of. Us. And…well, maybe a few more: Grand Theft Auto V. Also, Tomb and Raider. Not to be confused with chromosomes, there was also Pokemon X&Y. Oh, and how about a likeable Assassin’s Creed game in Black Flag? And then new entries in the Call of Duty and Battlefield series, surely. I could easily go on. DMC: Devil May Cry – that was one heck of a game. BioShock Infinite was something else. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was kind of a big deal. How about Tearaway? Different and very pretty…
Wait…the PlayStation Vita. It came out in 2013, too!
Boy, you aren’t a handheld gamer at all anymore, are you? Yes the Vita came out in 2013! Though…okay…I’m sure that some folks at Sony would like to completely forget about the Vita, as well. Still, it had (and still kind of has) a devoted fan base. Speaking of handhelds and fan bases, the Nintendo 2DS…
Haha, funny. Though it looks like we’re circling back around to new consoles, because they just dominated the year. And at the time, one big thing that everyone was talking about was their lack of backwards compatibility.
Yeah, the was a bummer then. After all, the Xbox 360 could play original Xbox games. But with the PlayStation 3, only a few early versions of it were backwards compatible., so it seems like Sony was already in the no-backwards-compatibility camp anyway. So with the PS4, at least, it, shouldn’t have been much of a surprise. Microsoft added the feature later on the Xbox One. But you have to ask, has backwards compatibility turned out to truly be a boon for the Xbox One now?
A great question for another discussion. So, actually, there weren’t any overarching gaming controversies of 2013?
Are you just pondering or actually asking? If there were, they frequently stemmed from the games. There was GTAV’s content, Bioshock Infinite’s departure from the BioShock universe, The Last of Us’s ending, The Stanley Parable challenging the very notion of “video game.” Though, also some problematic content there, too. Beyond games, well…there was also how people reacted to the Xbox One being named the “Xbox One.” And then there was those original list prices, with the PS4 coming in cheaper than the Xbone…er, Xbox One. Also, all those questions about what exactly Sony and Microsoft wanted their consoles to be, with Sony seemingly on the side of video games, while Microsoft leaned more toward general entertainment.
Yeah, the Microsoft vs Sony fandoms did seem to clash quite a bit back then. They still have their supporters and detractors today, but now it seems like everyone’s ready for the next big thing.
You can probably thank the Nintendo Switch for some of that. But that’s out of my territory. If you’d like to talk some more about the Wii U or…the…2DS…?
Oh, but look at the time! Sorry to have to wrap this up, but let’s thank 2013 for the enjoyable chat. It’s been a pleasure.
Happy to oblige. I’d like to think I was a pretty good year. Though I’m willing to bet that as far as things go for games and gaming, the best is yet to come.
Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favorite gaming moments of 2013?