EG Postmortem: The REAL top 5 February 2013 video games

Up until now, Essential Gaming has focused entirely on the games we were looking forward to. But what about when one of those games comes out and doesn’t live up to the hype? That’s why we’re starting the Essential Gaming Postmortem — an examination of where we were right in our choices and where we were oh so very wrong. At the end of it all, you’ll have a new list of five games you should’ve checked out this month.

First, we urge you to take a look at the original list for February’s Essential Gaming. Once you’re up to speed, read on to see how each of the games stacked up.

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Fire Emblem: Awakening

Fire Emblem: Awakening delivered on everything it promised and has quickly become one of the most enjoyed games on the 3DS. Aside from some snafus surrounding low numbers of physical copies in the US, Nintendo seems to have a real winner on its hands. Now it just needs to figure out how to make this franchise sell as well as its other iconic properties. Fire Emblem: Awakening is not only an outstanding strategy title, it’s a killer app for the 3DS that could potentially move units if marketed properly.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

The cross-buy promotion did indeed tempt many players to grab the PS3 version, but Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time still didn’t sell as well as other releases in popular Sony franchises. That doesn’t mean it isn’t an exciting entry in a franchise that was dorment for too long. In fact, the gameplay and presentation became the focus of critical acclaim, and the bright spots far outshone the downsides in this revitalization of one of Sony’s flagship franchises.

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Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3 has proven to be the most divisive game of the franchise to date. While casual players of the series have praised its cooperative play and exciting shooting segments, the hardcore fans have spent the month lamenting the loss of Dead Space‘s horror roots. For those just looking for a fun third-person shooter, however, most will agree that Dead Space 3 is a great pick.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

Hoo boy. When the original Essential Gaming list was made, we struggled on whether we should include Aliens: Colonial Marines or Crysis 3 as the list’s token first-person shooter. We went with the former, and… wow. The final product featured uninspired campaign design and was plagued by several glitches. The hefty day-one patch released by Gearbox didn’t do much to alleviate the issues of this title that quickly became the source of many jokes for games journalists on Twitter.

Read Brian Shea’s critique on Alien: Colonial Marines.

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

While Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance worried many fans of the series, the stylistic departure from the typical Metal Gear formula proved to be a hit with fans and non-fans alike. The frantic pacing and the frenzied action kept players’ pulses racing, and the narrative, which ranged from over-the-top to flat-out bizzarre, pleased fans of the swordsman Raiden. While the title may have been overlooked by many this month, it has left an impact on many players already, and deserves a spot on any gamer’s shelf.

Read Stu Strock’s character study of Raiden in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

So without further ado…

Revised Top Five February 2013 Video Games List

  • Fire Emblem: Awakening
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Dead Space 3
  • Crysis 3
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

So, we went 4 for 5 in our original picks. Not too bad, but knowing what we know now, it seems almost laughable to have included Aliens: Colonial Marines in the original top five of February. The addition of Crysis 3 was a no-brainer after jettisoning Aliens, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t have to earn its spot. By providing luscious visuals, awesome hunting mechanics and outright fun missions, Crytek’s shooter showed gamers that it belonged next to the biggest game releases of February 2013.

If you missed out on any of the top February 2013 video games, believe it or not, you can still play them long after launch! Not only that, but Amazon has already lowered the prices of several of them.

What February 2013 video games were your favorites?
About Brian Shea

Brian Shea is VGW's Editor-in-Chief and one of the founding members of the site. In addition to leading the team at VideoGameWriters.com, he contributes such regular features as “Shea’s Say,” "Eleven Things," "Commercials from the Past" and “Essential Gaming."
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