Obligatory 2012 Game of the Year Blog

I actually don't feel strongly about my list this year. I was unemployed for a good portion of 2012, and that prevented me from playing some big titles that I'm interested in. I don't have a Wii U or a Vita, so there's that, too. I also am having some trouble deciding in a particular order for some of these games, but I'll try my best!

    10. Katawa Shoujo

Katawa Shoujo was released at the right time - I had just gotten laid off, and my gaming laptop crapped out on me. I still had the school laptop leftover, but my options were limited.

The experience could get a bit uneven, dragging at some points but having genuinely touching moments in others. I also recall being pretty engaged during Emi's path, but thoroughly bored during Shizune's, so there's that, too. The game's content will make many people uncomfortable, but if you have an open mind, there's not much else quite like it. But why is it on my list? Katawa Shoujo was very well-produced for a free visual novel. A pleasant soundtrack and a lot of content made for a memorable experience, although the experience was an inconsistent one (see Kenji).

MattyFTM's blog did stick with me, and it's what nudged me, and many other GiantBomb users into giving it a try. Katawa Shoujo sparked a lot of conversations from GiantBomb users who didn't tend to play visual novels, so that is significant.

9. Guild Wars 2

I played more of Guild Wars 2 than World of Warcraft, or any other MMORPG, for that matter. I'm still relatively inexperienced to the genre, but the dynamic events and streamlining of the questing sure made it easier to loot and level up. The fact there's no subscription also made it easier for me to come back to it. I always liked exploring in MMOs, and there's plenty of that here.

8. Super Hexagon

There's something oddly hypnotic about Super Hexagon. It has that same effect Super Meat Boy has of losing, but picking yourself back up with the “one more game - I can do this!” mentality. It really shows how you can make an engaging title with a simple premise.

7. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

I'm not happy with how the game ended, but Virtue's Last Reward is still worth playing. For the record, I don't think this is as good as 999. Now if only Aksys would address the 3DS save bug...

6. Rhythm Heaven Fever

Rhythm Heaven still has the same charming minigames and catchy music.

5. Tales of Graces f

Oh man, remember when this was my avatar?

I really liked the combat of Graces. Gaining ability points by dodging encouraged switching between offensively and defensively. Not having to worry about losing TP also streamlined it a bit.

4. Kid Icarus: Uprising

I was really surprised at how hilarious and self-aware Kid Icarus: Uprising ended up being. It's not the kind of humor you see from Nintendo.

3. Journey

Journey sure makes you go through a flurry of a emotions in a short amount of time.

2. The Walking Dead

I don't think there was a ever an episodic game where I was dying to find out what happens next, akin to a TV show. The Walking Dead succeeded in making me try reading the comics and checking out the show, although I think I prefer the game's narrative.

1. Xenoblade

I finished Xenoblade right around the time I got around to finishing Final Fantasy XIII. Both are JRPGs, but accomplish different goals. The linearity and the pacing of Final Fantasy XIII bugged me, and here was Xenoblade, which was much more open and gives you a shows you the full extent of the combat much sooner. Furthermore, it did it all on Nintendo Wii, a platform that doesn't tend to see games of this scope. And lastly, I still find myself listening to certain songs from the soundtrack months after I finished the game.

Miscellaneous 2012 Games

Oh man, remember when this was PixelPrinny's avatar?

-I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed playing Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love. I know, this was not released in 2012, but I just got to it this year. It's probably the closest thing I played to a new Ace Attorney. It doesn't help that Capcom hasn't localized the newest Ace Attorney...

-Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World is a bizarre experience.

- I didn't care for Asura's Wrath or The Last Story.

12 Comments
12 Comments
Edited by Apathylad

I actually don't feel strongly about my list this year. I was unemployed for a good portion of 2012, and that prevented me from playing some big titles that I'm interested in. I don't have a Wii U or a Vita, so there's that, too. I also am having some trouble deciding in a particular order for some of these games, but I'll try my best!

    10. Katawa Shoujo

Katawa Shoujo was released at the right time - I had just gotten laid off, and my gaming laptop crapped out on me. I still had the school laptop leftover, but my options were limited.

The experience could get a bit uneven, dragging at some points but having genuinely touching moments in others. I also recall being pretty engaged during Emi's path, but thoroughly bored during Shizune's, so there's that, too. The game's content will make many people uncomfortable, but if you have an open mind, there's not much else quite like it. But why is it on my list? Katawa Shoujo was very well-produced for a free visual novel. A pleasant soundtrack and a lot of content made for a memorable experience, although the experience was an inconsistent one (see Kenji).

MattyFTM's blog did stick with me, and it's what nudged me, and many other GiantBomb users into giving it a try. Katawa Shoujo sparked a lot of conversations from GiantBomb users who didn't tend to play visual novels, so that is significant.

9. Guild Wars 2

I played more of Guild Wars 2 than World of Warcraft, or any other MMORPG, for that matter. I'm still relatively inexperienced to the genre, but the dynamic events and streamlining of the questing sure made it easier to loot and level up. The fact there's no subscription also made it easier for me to come back to it. I always liked exploring in MMOs, and there's plenty of that here.

8. Super Hexagon

There's something oddly hypnotic about Super Hexagon. It has that same effect Super Meat Boy has of losing, but picking yourself back up with the “one more game - I can do this!” mentality. It really shows how you can make an engaging title with a simple premise.

7. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

I'm not happy with how the game ended, but Virtue's Last Reward is still worth playing. For the record, I don't think this is as good as 999. Now if only Aksys would address the 3DS save bug...

6. Rhythm Heaven Fever

Rhythm Heaven still has the same charming minigames and catchy music.

5. Tales of Graces f

Oh man, remember when this was my avatar?

I really liked the combat of Graces. Gaining ability points by dodging encouraged switching between offensively and defensively. Not having to worry about losing TP also streamlined it a bit.

4. Kid Icarus: Uprising

I was really surprised at how hilarious and self-aware Kid Icarus: Uprising ended up being. It's not the kind of humor you see from Nintendo.

3. Journey

Journey sure makes you go through a flurry of a emotions in a short amount of time.

2. The Walking Dead

I don't think there was a ever an episodic game where I was dying to find out what happens next, akin to a TV show. The Walking Dead succeeded in making me try reading the comics and checking out the show, although I think I prefer the game's narrative.

1. Xenoblade

I finished Xenoblade right around the time I got around to finishing Final Fantasy XIII. Both are JRPGs, but accomplish different goals. The linearity and the pacing of Final Fantasy XIII bugged me, and here was Xenoblade, which was much more open and gives you a shows you the full extent of the combat much sooner. Furthermore, it did it all on Nintendo Wii, a platform that doesn't tend to see games of this scope. And lastly, I still find myself listening to certain songs from the soundtrack months after I finished the game.

Miscellaneous 2012 Games

Oh man, remember when this was PixelPrinny's avatar?

-I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed playing Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love. I know, this was not released in 2012, but I just got to it this year. It's probably the closest thing I played to a new Ace Attorney. It doesn't help that Capcom hasn't localized the newest Ace Attorney...

-Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World is a bizarre experience.

- I didn't care for Asura's Wrath or The Last Story.

Posted by me3639

Damn i really want both Zero Escape and 999 on PSN already.

Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

I love Katawa Shoujo, it is my GOTY and am pleased that is getting recognition on more lists then I would of figured. Shizune's route is my least favorite by I was never bored with it.

Some the praise towards Guild Wars 2 makes me want to give that game a try. Don't think that will happen though. I would like a MMO to spark me in ever a fraction of the amount WOW did.

Tales of Graces F is great, nice pick. I like the combat a lot too.

Online
Posted by PixelPrinny

Random name drop!

I should prolly try playing through Xenoblade again. It's not fair to it that I finished Last Story but put Xenoblade on the back burner when it's the superior game. But goddamn is the single-player MMO feeling ever strong in that one.

Posted by AjayRaz

today i was waiting for a lift and i planned to play Super Hexagon on my phone for a few minutes but ended up playing for like an hour and draining half of my battery

i can confirm that it is a good game

Posted by InfiniteGeass

You played Sakura Wars this year too? That game is really awesome.

Posted by Apathylad

@PixelPrinny said:

Random name drop!

I should prolly try playing through Xenoblade again. It's not fair to it that I finished Last Story but put Xenoblade on the back burner when it's the superior game. But goddamn is the single-player MMO feeling ever strong in that one.

Some people would argue that The Last Story was the much better game, but I dunno, I just didn't get into it. If you rush through it, you could probably finish Xenoblade in about 60 hours.

@InfiniteGeass:

Gemini's really sweet. She made steak sandwiches for me! T_T

@AjayRaz: I still play it occasionally, although I haven't made much progress on the third difficulty.

Posted by InfiniteGeass

@Apathylad: Gemini is best girl in that game. Probably followed by Subaru, although she might not be a girl. Or maybe she is. I dunno.

Posted by Hailinel

Nice list! You and are seriously making me consider Tales of Graces F.

Posted by byterunner

Nice List. Hmm, I am currently playing through 999 right now and I got it and Virtues Last Reward for Christmas. So I have VLR on 3DS. What is this Save bug you speak of.

Katawa Shoujo was an awesome game. It was an interesting experience for me, never heard of it but sounded really cool. So i downloaded it, played the first section, and didn't play it for like 3 months. Came back, and played it religiously for like 2 weeks. Sadly, because of me not knowing, the game ended on a sour note. For the first two runs of the game I ended up with Emi and Lilly stories. Excellent, I proceeded to get a guide though Rin's Story which is by far the highlight of that game, than did Hanako, and, Sadly, finished it off with Shizune...Sigh, man that Shizune story is....not nearly as good as the rest. I wont rant on with it, but man was I pretty bummed by it. Also, that music, it has such a normality or quaintness to it. I just fucking love that soundtrack.

I'm looking forward to playing Kid Icarus, another game I got for Christmas, that stand. OP

Xenoblade hasn't sunk into me yet. I got to the first city thing, but I have this urge to do everything possible, but man it has that bad mmo feel that everything is gigantic so that it extended the time you play it. but its a single player game, and I have this horrible habit where I keep switching from English to Japanese, always going like "man, I need to hear what this character sounds like in Enligh or Japanese," And than me taking forever to tell which one I like. Or how I hate hearing Japanese Gibberish while I'm in combat. I don't mind most of the male English VA, but man that girl you meet. Man, it gets on my nerves so quickly.

Guild Wars 2 is another game I like playing, but just didn't sink into me. When it launched, there was some major FPS issues I had with the game. Thankfully now, I can play consistently at around 45-50 fps. But man, there ain't no one in the lower level area to play with. it feels so barren.

Posted by Apathylad

@byterunner:

Basically, your data can get corrupted if you save in the Pressure Exchange Chamber (PEC). There might be other places where it can happen, but read more about it here.

Posted by elessarLOTR

@Apathylad: OK. I've always had this weird disconnect with visual novels and calling them games. Reason being is that most don't have any actual "gameplay". I haven't played Katawa Shoujo because the routes for most of the characters were spoiled to me my by the internet. Now don't get me wrong I love Visual Novels. So much I carry a 32 gig flash drive filled to the brim with them. I've actually have been getting a bit insecure with Patrick playing 999 because i'm wondering if he's going to play more VN, then inevitably watching anime, and then we finally have a man on the GB crew who isn't ashamed to say he likes anime.