DarkFury's forum posts

#1 Posted by DarkFury (369 posts) -

I've spent 2 months thinking about my favourite games of 2012, having played the hot new winter releases, revisited the games I rated highest throughout the year, and also invested some time on 2012 releases that other people seemed to be smitten by but which had passed me by. Right here I've got my final personal Top 10, as well a list of other HIGHLY RECOMMENDED games that I've put the spotlight on recently.

In January I will be finishing up some of the stragglers as well as making some other recommendations (my 4/5 rated list), but this list is the final version, as I've spent enough time deliberating it and trying everything out until I was happy. So without further ado, I give you my Top 10:

Final List

1

Max Payne 3

WEEK 6

2

Far Cry 3

WEEK 5

3

Journey

WEEK 2

4

Halo 4

WEEK 6

5

Hotline Miami

WEEK 1

6

Fez

WEEK 3

7

Forza Horizon

WEEK 3

8

The Walking Dead

WEEK 5

9

Dishonored

WEEK 1

10

Sleeping Dogs

WEEK 5

My list is full of games that got my heart racing. When Max Payne 3 released in May, I had the best time playing through that single-player story, and simply couldn't get enough. I played countless hours of multiplayer, and returned to the single-player again, loving it all the more. I felt pretty sure back then that the game would remain my favourite for the year, and it has. That is to say nothing of the high quality of the rest of 2012's releases, as Far Cry 3 came and entertained me far more than I had thought it would. The core gameplay is the most fun to be had this year, though I personally felt that Max Payne's overall package provided me with more quality time and higher highs.

2012 has been the best year yet for download-only releases. I have 4 unbeatable games on my list, all unique and thoroughly entertaining. My favourite series returned with a bang, delivering an awesome campaign and arguably the best Halo multiplayer to date. I got thrills out of Playground's debut, and can't wait to see what the UK racing supergroup dev team will get up to next. 2 new IPs round out my list, and delivered awesome experiences in 2 of my favourite genres, stealth and urban open-world action.

Honorable Mentions

Mass Effect 3, Binary Domain, The Witcher 2, Borderlands 2, Trials Evolutions, Alan Wake's American Nightmare, SSX

My top 10, as well as these 7 honorable mentions all received the spotlight in my Games of 2012 blog - check it out here

Time Over!

ZombiU, Assassin's Creed III, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Mark of the Ninja, Darksiders II, Hitman Absolution, Yakuza Dead Souls

These are the games that I own and see potential in, but that I didn't get to complete or spend enough time with to spotlight and ultimately judge against the rest of my GOTY list.

#2 Posted by DarkFury (369 posts) -

2011 Games I played in 2012:

  1. Rayman: Origins
  2. Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  3. Forza Motorsport 4
  4. Super Mario 3D Land
  5. WH40K: Space Marine
  6. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
  7. Killzone 3
  8. PixelJunk SideScroller
  9. Q.U.B.E.
  10. Motorstorm Apocalypse
  11. Red Faction Armageddon
  12. Homefront

I played The Witcher 2 on X360 this year, which released on that platform in 2012 but on PC in 2011. I've spotlight-ed it in my GOTY blog but if it is to be considered a 2011 game, it'd be high on last year's list.

#3 Posted by DarkFury (369 posts) -

With one more week until the end of the year, I've still got quite a few games to get through. Here's my penultimate post, featuring the games I've played enough that are worthy of the spotlight.

WEEK 6

Mass Effect 3

  • Released: March
  • Giant Bomb Score: 4/5
  • My Score: 5/5
  • Quick Look

Mass Effect 3 is quite an achievement. An end to a sci-fi trilogy is a huge challenge, especially when the series has been about player choice. At some point I have to sit back and commend Bioware for wrapping it up, despite my misgivings about the way it was handled. It´s here where I remind myself that what I love of the game isn´t anything to do with the ending, but with the journey there. Meeting up with characters from the first and second games, Exploring new locations and engaging in much more chaotic and climactic battles than in series past.

The combat and general gameplay mechanics are also improved, though I did feel that the framework in use since the original gets stretched uncomfortably at several points. Multiplayer was an entertaining diversion though nothing incredible. I think its impressive that the game held together as well as it did, against the odds.

Max Payne 3

  • Released: May
  • Giant Bomb Score: 4/5
  • My Score: 5/5
  • Quick Look

Max Payne 3 hosted the lion´s share of my favourite gaming moments this year. I was so exciting about getting to continue Max´s story, and when it arrived I found in it everything I had hoped for. The upgrade to the physics engine and masterful animation system made diving about so very exhilarating, and coupled with the solid cover mechanic it made Max manoeuvrable despite his heavier frame, a necessity given the increase in difficulty in this third outing. I found that difficulty to be very well balanced and a fun challenge - enough that it was the only game of the year that I played through for a second time on a higher difficulty level.

I loved the story and the variety in locations, I thought the colour separation-style to the cutscenes fit really well, and thought the voiceover from Max throughout gave the experience an extra dimension. The atmosphere throughout is thick, the mood is perfectly pitched and everything is so damn cool. The soundtrack by HEALTH is a masterpiece.

I found myself hooked on the multiplayer too, and sunk over a hundred hours into it, maxing out my level and prestiging to go around again. In its heyday around time of release, it was brilliant with enough players to keep full sessions going for long sessions played into the night. The DLC is still being trickled out to this day, and with double and triple XP weekends coming around at a regular pace, there are usually just enough people online at any time to get a good hour or two in. Max Payne 3 is the complete package for me this year, and hit all the high notes.

Halo 4

  • Released: November
  • Giant Bomb Score: 4/5
  • My Score: 5/5
  • Quick Look

I´m in deep with the Halo saga. More than 10 books deep. All the games deep. Hundreds of Halo 2 online and clan match gaming deep. Halo 4 is my jam, and I´m really happy with how it turned out in the hands of the guys at 343 Industries. They made one the best Halo campaigns in the series, which takes the story to some interesting places and keeps the 30-second gameplay loop working its magic even with new enemies and weapons in play. I think the main complaints I have are with the lack of freshness on display - those new elements are very similar to what is already available - and with the lack of explanation around the Didact, a new antagonist for the series that is given no real introduction, as if everything should already know who he is. This is coming from someone half-way through a trilogy of books solely based on the Didact and the life and times around which he rose to power.I will let them off under the expectation that the go all out for Halo 5.

For the multiplayer, 343 seem to have learnt from the competition and modernised the game, for the better. Spartan Ops is also a grand idea (episodic multiplayer story with cutscenes, set after the campaign´s conclusion), and I really want to jump back in in the new year. Oh, and for crazy multiplayer shenanigans, Halo is still the place to be. Evidence can be found in the Community Nights hosted by us around the game´s launch.

Spelunky

I loved Spelunky because every attempt through the randomly generated cave system was a new adventure that taught me new lessons that I could put into practice straight away. Encounters with new enemies would prepare you for future match ups, breaking your neck from a fall too far would teach you your characters limits for next time. The game is ruthless but not unfair in a way that will turn you off. You need to be cautious but also have the skills to react at a moment's notice. The feeling of progress and personal development will keep you playing, and you'll live for the runs that have you survive for entire worlds, riding on some crazy adrenaline high that sees you beat the odds and make it through.

The Witcher 2

  • Released: April (on Xbox 360)
  • My Score: 5/5
  • Quick Look

The Witcher 2 starts off as the best RPG I´ve every played. The world and in-fiction is dense and impressive, the combat mechanics are unique and tactile, and the game looks gorgeous. It is however a shame that I felt the game had hit its high mark around half way through, and never reached that same height for the rest of the game. Things got slower, the story started to drag and my interest waned. However, I have fond memories of some of the earlier moments and characters that I still recommend it to anyone, even those, like myself, who would normally be intimidated by a straight-faced RPG. Well done, Poland.

Alan Wake's American Nightmare

  • Released: February
  • Giant Bomb Score: 3/5
  • My Score: 5/5
  • Quick Look

An atmospheric trip through Alan Wake´s mind, borrowing gameplay mechanics, characters and quirky Remedy humour from the 2010 game and using it in a very unique fashion. The game´s 3 locations are visited several times as Alan picks up more manuscript pages and his story starts coming together. Not everyone appreciated this and felt like it was lazy design, but I thought it was very well done, and gave me more of what I wanted - more Remedy, more creepy Alan Wake atmosphere and more Poets of the Fall.One of the best XBLA titles of the year.

Current List

1Max Payne 3NEW
2Far Cry 3vv (WEEK 5)
3Journeyvv (WEEK 2)
4Halo 4NEW
5Forza Horizonvv (WEEK 3)
6Hotline Miamivv (WEEK 1)
7Dishonoredvv (WEEK 1)
8Fezvv (WEEK 3)
9The Walking Deadvv (WEEK 5)
10Mass Effect 3NEW

Max Payne 3 takes the crown, Halo 4 slots into 4th and Mass Effect 3 takes number 10. Spelunky, The Witcher 2 and Alan Wake´s American Nightmare do not place.

This isn´t the final placing, I still need to spend some more time deliberating and also have a short stack of other games to spotlight at the end of the week.

#4 Posted by DarkFury (369 posts) -

Sorry duder, big thread already rolling for this topic over here.

#5 Posted by DarkFury (369 posts) -

I definitely think being sold a true/better ending is THE WORST THING.

#6 Posted by DarkFury (369 posts) -

Max Payne 3, played through SP multiple times and got hooked on MP.

#7 Posted by DarkFury (369 posts) -

I buy more games than I have time to play them these days. My 'To Be Completed' GB list is 250+ strong.

#8 Posted by DarkFury (369 posts) -

@Kiri90: Thanks for following. Will dedicate some time to Mark of the Ninja when I can.

Thanks also to and for the comments. Will keep up the blogging!

#9 Posted by DarkFury (369 posts) -

I've had difficulties dedicating time to this, but I still want to reach a conclusion, so here are some more awesome games.

WEEK 5

Far Cry 3

  • Released: December
  • Giant Bomb Score: 5/5
  • My Score: 5/5
  • Quick Look

I finished up Far Cry 2 less than 6 months ago. After having lived on shelf for a few years, I decided to get through it and ended up having a ton of fun, despite the game's many limitations - traversal seemed slow and arduous, missions weren't particularly exciting, there wasn't much variety in what you could do. Far Cry 3 is everything that it's predecessor wanted to be and more, and brings back the original's tropical island setting. On top of that, it takes you on some wild rides and its story is, for the most part, enjoyable despite some missteps.

Whatever you find yourself doing, it is always entertaining. The core components hunting, driving and combat are all brilliant, and the variety of mission types will keep you on the hook for a long time. Crazy stuff will just happen as you go about your business as pirates and mercenaries clash against the jungles resident wildlife. The game also features one of the best characters of the year in Vaas, whose dramatic performances are frightening. I did not expect Far Cry 3 to be as good as it is, you can see the components from Far Cry 2 here, but the way they all work together elevates FC3 to greatness. One of the best of the year.

The Walking Dead

  • Released: April-November
  • Giant Bomb Score: 5/5
  • My Score: 5/5
  • Quick Look

The series'conclusion got its emotion hooks into me, I'll admit it. I'll avoid spoilers here, but suffice to say that the journey you take with these characters is perilous and at times moving. TWD is an episodic game done right, and the time between the release of each episode left me just enough time to have a true hunger to dive in for another 2-4 hours of tough decisions and dire situations. The gameplay is nothing special, but that isn't why you're playing. It's another zombie story, but is a fantastic use of the theme. Its also the best game Telltale has made in modern times, and leaves you sympathising with characters, and feeling truly torn up about the choices you're making. If you haven't played it yet, I'd advise that you do not take in all 5 episodes at once - that sounds like it'd be a little too much to handle.

Sleeping Dogs

  • Released: August
  • Giant Bomb Score: 4/5
  • My Score: 5/5
  • Quick Look

I think Sleeping Dogs'sense of style is what sets it apart. Though it isn't the best as far as open city action games go, the hong kong undercover cop story and characters keep it entertaining whilst the high speed driving, incredible on-foot combat and traversal systems and strong licensed soundtrack will keep you playing far longer than the limited mechanics should allow. I dove deep into Sleeping Dogs, unlocking every achievement it had to offer, and generally had a blast kicking fools in the face, dumping them in the trunk of my car and then driving top speed through the city whilst listening to Flying Lotus.

Current List

1Far Cry 3NEW
2Journeyvv (WEEK 2)
3Forza Horizonvv (WEEK 3)
4Dishonoredvv (WEEK 1)
5Hotline Miamivv (WEEK 1)
6The Walking DeadNEW
7Fezvv (WEEK 3)
8Sleeping DogsNEW
9Borderlands 2vv (WEEK 4)
10Binary Domainvv (WEEK 2)

Far Cry 3 takes the current top spot, The Walking Dead slots into 6th place, and Sleeping Dogs takes 8th.

Trials Evolution and SSX drop out of the Top 10.

WHAT ELSE?

Left to Complete

This list is of the games that I am trying to complete, or at least play for enough time to reach a qualitative conclusion on. From what I have seen and played so far, they could all be Top 10-worthy, so I have 3 more weeks to get stuck into them:

Hitman Absolution - I'm a big Hitman fan, and although this new one is more Splinter Cell than Blood Money, I'm still having a great time so far.

ZombiU - My first Wii U game, and after having lost a 3-hours experienced survivor, I need to get back in there and keep on going.

Assassin's Creed III - This one is picking up flak from everywhere. I need to sink some considerable time into it before I can draw my own conclusion.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown - The game I'm least likely to love out of the bunch due to its genre, but I want to give it a real go.

New Super Mario Bros. U - Arrived yesterday, my last NSMB game was the first for NDS (last Mario game was 3D Land).

Mark of the Ninja - Didn't stick much time into it originally but looks like something I should enjoy a lot more than I initially did..

Darksiders II - Maybe a little too much Darksiders for the year as I played the original in January, but we shall see..

Spelunky - Fell in love with it upon release but haven't returned since. Doubt I will 'finish it' but could certainly consider it for GOTY.

And?

There are other games that I have finished but have yet to feature. I need to return to them and sink more time in before I can reach my final decision on them. They include Halo 4, Mass Effect 3 and Max Payne 3. So yeah... could be close. See you next time.

#10 Posted by DarkFury (369 posts) -

@NakAttack: "If you do the vertical grip it feels like someone else is playing."