By Apathylad 11 Comments
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
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.
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.
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
-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.