Much of what makes the Walking Dead amazing is actually smoke and mirrors, but that doesn't make it any less of something amazing. Many people have already said why The Walking Dead is fantastic, so I won't go on for too long, but it is so damn refreshing to see a game that has a mature story. Sure there is some hollywood bullshit going on with parts of the plot (like shooting a gun through a pillow to lessen the noise, etc), but the journey it takes the characters and you the player on is like no other in all of gaming.
I've enjoyed Fighting Games since Fatal Fury back in the day, but was never really all that good at them. This year I took it upon myself to change that somewhat and honestly I think I'm a better person because of it. Skullgirls was the game that I chose though so many fighting games came out this year.
Why Skullgirls, well it attempted to do something that really few fighting games actually attempt. Teach you how to play them. It's not prefect yet, but Skullgirls is a step in the right direction in making a super complex genre understandable to more people. Especially now since it has been patched for PS3.
Say what you want about the character design (personally that's the one thing I'm not a fan of,) but the animation and art style is fantastic. The music is great, and the game controls wonderfully.
Hopefully now that it has been patch more people will check it out and a scene will start to form around it.
The first Orcs Must Die was a fun game but a bit lacking in content. OMD! 2 fixes that by having a ton of base content and a lot of nifty DLC. It's not just a map pack like some people have claimed. There has been a lot of reworking how certain traps function and a much better progression system. The addition of multiple playable characters adds the potential for some really diverse play styles, but the current game doesn't quite get there.
I've spent a lot of time finding various and previously unthought of ways to complete the game's many levels. There's some much flexibility and possibility in how one could complete a level that makes this game a real joy.
I first encountered this game on the Steam Autumn Sale and decided to pick it up since it was cheap and sounded vaguely interesting. It originally released in 2011 in Japan, but came to the rest of the world in 2012 so I figure it counts for this list.
I wasn't expecting much, honestly, maybe some decent gameplay and a reasonably riffable anime-nonsense story. However I found the gameplay to be beyond decent. This game is just plain fun and it gets more fun the further you play into it. Over the last couple of days it's been just about all I've been thinking about. The different ways I could combine skills, the various strategies to overcome the bosses. It was a truly refreshing surprise and that's why it's so high on this list.
Journey is an experience of the "Hero's Journey" that cannot be done in any other medium. At first I was skeptical of the game and wanted to dismiss it as pompous artsy wank, but found it to be a wonderful and moving experience. As I played and messed around less and less until I was completely enveloped in the game.
Now when I went back to it, I found some unfortunate bugs and was able to fall outside the world which really ruined that play through for me. But still, few things can compare to that first time through the game. Simply wonderful!
Tower Defense + RPG, Defender's Quest is a great twist on the TD genre. This a game that one could put a lot of time into and still find some challenge. The story isn't half bad either with its multiple endings and little twists. Sure it looks like a free flash game, but there is enough content here to justify the price.
While it doesn't have much in common with it, FTL really reminded me a lot of the old genesis game StarFlight. It's much simpler than StarFlight, but it really scratched that itch for me. The combat is fun, the universe is interesting, and the random nature of the game makes it almost forever replayable. Because of this game and 2010's Flotilla, I just really want a new Starflight though. hah.
The Mass Effect series has always been painfully flawed. Between the first game's terrible combat and the second game's lack of a real plot, there was bound to be some problems with the third installment. And there were! Namely how terribly small the galaxy feels and how the game was very clearly rushed.
Somehow, however, they did get some things right. Enough things right in my mind that the game deserves a spot on this list. It's far from perfect, but the same can be said for the rest of the series.
Here's hoping that Mass Effect 4 is a Noir detective story where you play as a Turian C-Sec officer set soon after the First Contact War... Oh... A boy can dream!
Many people will say that a puzzle game should not be about execution rather than logic. I feel that there is room for both. Quantum Conundrum is a great example of a puzzle game that tests your ability to execute a series of things as well as think about how to solve them logically. While it's not always successful, it attempts to make the player solve puzzles on the tip of their toes and that's actually pretty cool.
It's ending may have been a bit anti-climatic and it's DLC is pretty frustrating, but still it is a solid game with some interesting ideas.
McPixel is dumb. Really dumb. But kind of amazing too. It distills the point and click adventure genre to its purest form and manages to be hilarious while doing so.
Use your keyboard!
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