Best of VG247 2013: staff and reader picks from our featured article archive

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 07:17 GMT By Staff

On busy days, VG247 produces in excess of 60 news articles every 24 hours – but that’s not all we do. Here’s some of the gems from the 2013 back-catalogue that you may have missed while drowning in an ocean of headlines.

We know why you come here, all 3.1 million of you – for the rapid turn-over headlines that are gaming media’s bread and butter. But sometimes you want more than the facts, as quickly and completely as possible; you want opinion, analysis, the complete picture, and maybe some more amusing swearing than our generally editorial-free news reporting allows. All that, and you want it in a form that lasts slightly longer than the time it takes you to find a seat on the bus.

One of these days we’ll have a special place where you can find all that stuff, and read yourself into a coma whenever you fancy. For now, we have this – the best of VG247 in 2013, where the category “best” may or may not be entirely identical to “what we actually remember doing”.

News round-ups and in-depth coverage

Steph is the original “all in one place” poster girl.

Let’s kick off with the core – our core business, that it. Steph is our global news editor, and produces more of what you read on the site every day than any of us. Her comprehensive and inclusive approach to event coverage means the rest of us get up in the morning and know instantly what’s going on in the world. Some examples from 2013 include her comprehensive rundown of BlizzCon 2013 news and more recently her all-in-one-place Spike VGX coverage.

Her complete report on the sale of THQ’s major properties was one of the first and most detailed to appear online, updating almost upon the instant new information appeared. Basically: if there’s a major event on in US waking hours, Steph is watching it, and making it as easy as possible for you to get every piece of information within moments of it becoming available.

Not every round-up is immediate, though; since well before the reveal of Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, Dave has somehow found the time to maintain an exhaustive archive of all news, rumour and fact related to Hideo Kojima’s latest.

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Steph travelled to New York to cover the PlayStation 4 reveal for us. We pride ourselves a bit on our exhaustive coverage of the event, which was made possible thanks to the combined efforts of our remote unit and the team at home.

Following the reveal, Steph interviewed Sony UK boss Fergal Gara with calm dignity, despite her initially tepid reaction to the new console.

Meanwhile, Steph took full control of the Xbox One reveal later in the year, doing the work of about three staff all on her own. Because she’s a champion, and never stops until everything you want to know is lined up in one place.

Pat, who spent most of this year in a cave shouting vague instructions at us while he continued his apocalypse preparations, did emerge briefly to take a look at the new hardware at E3. Sony dominated E3 for the first time in years, and the boss man was lucky enough to get a chance to speak to SCE Europe boss Jim Ryan in the immediate wake.

The interest in new hardware was so high this year that we felt comfortable spending more time on techy stuff than we’ve been able to in the past; Pat got all Engadget on the PS4 and Xbox One controllers at E3.

After E3, the console wars got really heated and it looked like Microsoft had been caught with its pants down. Brenna argued eloquently that gamers would flock to pick up the Xbox One anyway, but Microsoft shocked everyone by reversing almost every unpopular aspect of its policies. You patted yourself on the backs, but Pat pointed the finger at Sony, whose merry refusal to change anything at all was as surprising as it was effective.

Apart from all that, Dave’s analysis of the PS4’s reveal struck chords with readers, as did Brenna’s emotion-driven welcome of a new Sony box to her lifetime of fangirl devotion.

Opinion pieces

Dave produced oodles of editorials and opinion pieces this year, and on a few occasions really stuck the boots in. He’s not afraid to challenge industry practices like high digital pricing and microtransactions, and even lost his temper a bit over the industry’s refusal to facilitate him telling you what he thinks of its games

He tells you anyway; and this breakdown of Call of Duty: Ghosts’ multiplayer not being the be-all and end-all was one of the first opinion pieces not to quietly wank all over the latest shoot-a-thon.

Pat stood up and called Grand Theft Auto 5 a bit of a mess; he’s not the only critic to have done so, and is scary enough that the shrieking horror of the core doesn’t bother him, but we still enjoyed posting it as a headline for 12 hours.

In fact, unpopular opinions have been something of a trend this year; Pat kicked things off pretty early by suggesting he’s too old for hack and slash games, something widely interpreted as “hack and slash games are stupid” and railed against mightily, and Brenna had the temerity to say Devil May Cry fans are a pack of whingers and would have been savaged near to death if she weren’t made of sterner stuff than, for example, the average Devil May Cry fan.

Later, Brenna came home drunk and tried to write a Battlefield 4 promotional event disclosure statement about industry excess, which somehow got published. Some of her friends still aren’t talking to her. It has some great sentences, though.

In her continuing devotion to things nobody wants to read about, Brenna also repeatedly proved that she thinks way too much about Zynga. Again.

And the rest

Sam chats with Ubisoft Toronto boss Jade Raymond.

Sam has produced a great deal of excellent video content this year; if you don’t tune into his Let’s Plays and gameplay edits, you’re missing out; he’s a genuinely funny bloke. Trying to pick out a few of these videos to highlight is a hell of a task, as they’re all pretty great, so we just asked him what he was most proud of this year. His answer: this magnificent three part interview with Jade Raymond, one of the chief creatives on the original Assassin’s Creed and now head of Ubisoft Toronto.

Watch part one here, and then head on to part two and part three.

When staff can’t be arsed getting out of bed to travel to events, VG247 calls on the services of a talented team of freelancers. Although these plucky individuals are too numerous to name, we did dredge two delicious examples from our memories. We’re very lucky to have at our beck and call the superb Stace Harman, who is not only an excellent and original writer, but also an officer and a gentleman, as evidenced when he donned a spandex suit and did a dance for us. Not even kidding.

More seriously, Alex Donaldson sat down and charted the history of NeoGAF, en enormous undertaking which naturally had to be split into three parts – here’s the second and third chapters. This one of the largest and most weighty interview features we’ve ever fronted, and we were very pleased to pry it out of Alex’s grip.

Finally, and very much in the miscellaneous category, our intrepid Australian reporter and default indie editor this year accidentally volunteered to write a feature all about sex in Tale of Tales’ Luxeria Superbia.

Now it’s your turn

That’s all we can remember, despite weeks of nagging back-and-forth emails, and a quick and dirty reader consultation. But we’ve produced well in excess of 16,000 articles during 2013, so if there’s something that sticks in your mind that we’ve missed, by all means, share. We enjoy praise, who says we don’t.

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