Note: I have changed this post from when it was originally made by adding in two new games at the back end to make the list go to twelve. I have also added in a new paragraph of games that almost made the list. Then there is the LittleBigPlanet code that in 20+ comments no one even seemed to acknowledge. I am putting up the code here, take it if you want just please notify me so that I can cross it out. Or not, not like there are to many people itching to get their paws on it.
Yes, I know there are an ass-ton of these blogs out there so to alleviate some of my guilt and make me feel like less of an asshole I have decided to give away a code for a LittleBigPlanet Beta Vest. I believe the code is North America only
, so only ask for it if you use a North American PSN account and actually own either LittleBigPlanet 2, LittleBigPlanet Vita, or LittleBigPlanet Karting (and actively play the game). I will give it to the first dude (or lady) that wants it.
Here is the code: 35HN-C9NK-EDAB
Amazing games I played this year that weren't released in 2012.
Before I get into my top ten I wanted to give a shout out to all the fantastic games I played this year that were not released this year. The most notable ones were BioShock, Alan Wake, Assassin's Creed, Saints Row 2 and Sly. BioShock had a beautiful setting and and the way it told its story was magnificent. The twist was also great (I'm surprised I never had it spoiled). Alan Wake had fun gun play and light mechanics and a story that continually left you wanting more. The atmosphere, while never scary, was always tense and made you feel uncomfortable. Assassin's Creed was also a neat story and having the boss fights be assassinations made the game feel like nothing I had ever played before. Saints Row 2 is one of the best games I have played this generation. It is crazy, fun, and extremely customization. The story is balls to the wall crazy without ever going full retard. I am currently playing through the Sly Collection (just beat the second boss in the first game) and I have to say I am surprised just how great this game is. The gameplay holds up perfectly and it feels great to play a 3D platformer that doesn't star a plumber.
Games that almost made the list.
This was an amazing year for video games, and narrowing down a top twelve was pretty damn tough. Some of the games that almost made the cut include Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD, Retro City Rampage, Deadlight, and Fifa 13 (Vita), Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation, and Mortal Kombat (Vita). Tony Hawk HD is still as great as it has ever been, and collecting all the items in the single player and playing graffiti online is good fun. The inclusion of some local multiplayer and maybe a few more stages would have been enough to push it into my proper top 12 list. Retro City Rampage is a fun little open world game with tons of jokes and fun gameplay. It is great, just not better then anything on the proper top ten. Deadlight started out great, and while the platforming sections and fighting other humans later in the game wasn't anywhere near perfect, I have to commend the developers for trying to keep the gameplay fresh even if the controls were not as tight as they could have been. I would love to see a sequel building upon the fantastic foundation in place. Fifa 13 on Vita is portable futbol. Is it as good as the console release? No, but it is portable futbol and portable futbol is pretty damn awesome. Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack was one of the best launch games for the Vita and every bit as fun as the console release last year (which nabbed a number 3 spot on my GOTY last year). However, I was personally disappointed that DrinkBox Studios decided to make another game so similar to the last. I was hoping that the Tales from Space name would take on the same meaning as The Twilight Zone or American Horror Story, with each new entry being it's own self contained wacky adventure. This disappointment was enough to knock it of my list proper. Assassins Creed 3: Liberation takes it's time getting started, but once it does it is pretty damn fun. I have not finished it yet, thus preventing it from making my proper top 12, but the technical hiccups probably would have kept it off anyway. Mortal Kombat on Vita was such a great game that I felt the need to review (it is the only game I have reviewed). It is everything a portable game should be and is easily my #13. And now, without further ado, my top twelve games of 2012.
With Lego Batman 2 Travelers Tales did to the Lego franchise what Telltale did to the adventure genre. It re-imagined just what one of these games can be. It has an open world and tons of playable superheroes that have different abilities. I don't even like the DC Universe all that much (am more of a Marvel guy) but this game makes exploring the world and tracking down those gold bricks fun. It also has some awesome voice work, winks and nods galore for DC comic fans, and is completely playable in local co-op. If you are a fan of super heroes, you owe it to yourself to pick this game up and give it a shot.
Angry Birds is pretty damn fun. A franchise like this doesn't blow up in popularity for no reason. The franchise has always been great for pick up and play experiences, and that remains true in Angry Birds: Star Wars. The new Star Wars based abilities given to the birds are great, from Luke using his lightsaber to Han firing out three shots with his blaster or C-3P0 exploding into a bunch of pieces. The story itself is done with stills which do a good service to source material (damn right Han shot first, Rovio knows its shit!) and the soundtrack is also great and Star Wars themed. The levels also contain nods to the movies, like the level in the Death Star that features the garbage compactor. If you have the means to play it, go play it. It is only $3, the best bang for your buck you can get.
The controls in this game are just like a normal Ratchet & Clank. The camera is (unlike All 4 One ) at a good distance behind the player and the platforming feels just like a main entry in the franchise. The story is funny and the villain is a nice throwback that fans of the old Ratchet & Clank games will appreciate. The new tower defense elements are neat and fit in nicely with the gameplay. This is the best cooperative Ratchet & Clank game yet. If you have a buddy to go through it with (locally or online) and you are a fan of the series then I cannot recommend this game enough. It is hard and short but amazing while it lasts.
The LittleBigPlanet aesthetic is beautiful. Sackboy and his world look so amazingly charming that it is hard to play this game and not have a smile on your face. Below this beautiful aesthetic layer lies a solid kart racer. The controls are ridiculously simple making it very easy to just pick up and play. The level editor is much better then it was in ModNation Racers and making a basic track is fairly simple. The karts are made out of normal household items adding to the charm. This game is fantastic in both local and online multiplayer and is a great game to just unwind with.
This is modern day excitebike . The levels are all challenging and in some of the later stages downright frustrating. However, this just makes it that much more rewarding when you finally finish. Comparing scores and trying to get a better time then your friends also adds to the fun and helps you get through some of the tougher sections since it gives you the reassurance that it is in fact possible to pass that particular obstacle. Racing online is also great and the goofy levels made are fun little distractions.
My most anticipated game coming into the year was not as hot as I had hoped. The multiplayer was pretty much busted at launch and they just took too long to fix it. That said, the single player campaign is tons of fun. Blowing up other cars is as fun as it has ever been and the boss battles are all huge and and intricate. The FMV cut scenes are also impressive and appropriately twisted. The local multiplayer is also the best in the franchise. The levels are gargantuan in size and the cars and weapons all have a unique feel.
Asynchronous multiplayer and multiplayer. This game does both so very beautifully. Driving through billboards and hitting speed traps trying to get the best score is great fun. The multiplayer is also wonderful as it moves at a consistent pace and you are never doing the same thing for too long. The way that autolog tracks everything and lets you see how you rank with your friends makes it feel that much more competitive. I spent a large amount of time just trying to get the highest score on my personal leaderboard for everything from races and speed traps to billboards and pursuit scores. It is like you are playing with someone else at all times and that is pretty damn cool.
This game has an adorable single player campaign filled with some of the most charming characters you will ever see. The levels are beautifully detailed and the soundtrack is equally impressive. It was as true in LittleBigPlanet Karting as it is here: The aesthetic is gorgeous. The touch controls also feel perfect and included mini-games are also awesome. This is arguably the definitive LittleBigPlanet. In terms of playing by yourself, the series has never been better. The platforming feels the same as it does on the PS3 but the added front and rear touch control open up the types of gameplay that can be experienced. The included levels are more then enough to put it on this list, the level creator and user generated content are just icing on the already sweet and delicious cake. And being able to download and save any user created level for use when you are not in a WiFi area is a great addition.
As someone who used to always visit the library to read "Give Yourself Goosebumps" books, I have to say this game was just like one of those. It is an interactive story, and an impressive one at that. You really start to feel attached to certain characters and will regret some of the decisions you make. The gameplay itself is ridiculously simple making it a game everyone should experience at least once. I have a million more things I want say about what makes it so fantastic but I fear that in saying more I would spoil this amazing story.
The shit finally hit the fan. Zombies, bio-organic weapons and evil scientists are all out to create a new world order and it takes seven protagonists to try and prevent shit from getting out of hand. The story is appropriately over the top and this is really what these games have been building to since the start. Once you change the settings and choose the laser sight option, it plays like a better version of RE5 (which was a better version of RE4). Things like sliding, quick shots, and melee at any time give you more options with how you want to take out the enemies. The stories all had a different tone and pace and it felt like four different games. Then there is the mercenaries which is as addicting as ever. This game is different, amazing and my number 3.
To call this game Uncharted Portable would be a disservice. This is the Uncharted game, the best in the series. The combat is just as great as in previous games, but the exploration and characters are outstanding. Drake has someone with him throughout almost his entire adventure, which means the great banter never stops. It was also great to see other characters refer to Drake as "the professional". He knows his shit and in this game they really do acknowledge it. There is also a lot of traversing without any over the top set pieces. Then there is the ridiculous amount of treasures to unlock, charcoal rubbings to do and scraps of paper to put together to make a bigger image. In this game, more then in any other Uncharted game, you feel like a treasure hunter.
The gameplay. This is what makes PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale my game of the year over everything else I played this year. It plays like no other fighting game ever released before. Every character plays differently and has a different strategy of how you use them. Because the only way to kill your opponent is with supers, it leads to some very tense moments in stock matches especially. Then there is the customization. You can change everything from you intro and outro to your taunt and victory music, making your character truly your own. I actually spent more time on the Vita version then the PS3 one, but it plays the same, and the online community is the same, and that is pretty damn impressive. But once again I want to stress how fantastic the gameplay is. The controls are simple, and combos don't require any ridiculous button inputs. However, the strategies are deep, and knowing when you should use your super, when you should roll out of the way, and who you should focus on taking out first all make the mind games at work really fantastic. I had more fun playing this then any other game this year, and thus it gets my number one spot.