2012: A Year in Reviews

Considering the world is ending on Friday, I figured I should go ahead and post this data that I've been compiling all year. Well, at least the reviews data. I'll have a slew of user-related data in a couple weeks...if we're still alive.

As you're all aware, it's been a crazy year on Giant Bomb. Despite this, the guys churned out nearly 100 reviews. For a crew that is primarily just three dudes doing reviews, almost two per week seems like a lot. There's not a whole lot of analysis with the data I'm presenting here, admittedly, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. It's basically just a bunch of colorful wedges, pies, and bars. Feel free to embiggen them as well.

I've livened things up a bit by including some of the best user-created art from this year. If you love the Persona style renditions of each staff member, send all of your thanks to . And if you love the pixelated stuff at the end, you can send your praise to .

2012 is the first year that someone wrote more reviews than Jeff. With everything that went on this year, it's pretty amazing that there were only 5 fewer reviews on the site in 2012 than there were in 2011.
The 2012 Reviews MVP. You may think Alex hates everything, but he dished out more 5-Star reviews than anyone.
Brad knocked out 26 reviews this year (22 last year). He seems to have been more conflicted this year compared to 2011 considering 77% of his 2011 reviews were 4's & 5's, while this year his 4's & 5's consisted of less than half of his total.
Looks like Jeff liked most of the games he reviewed this year. That one 1-Star review? Black Ops Declassified on Vita.
If you want to know about flashlights, dragons, pomeranians, blinking, and zombie survival, then Patrick is your guy.
And if you're into tennis, pills, lane changing, alien autopsies, and stabbin' fools, then Ryan is your go to guy.
Has anyone seen these guys lately? They must be busy doing something. Something important I would guess.
The breakdown of stars is actually quite similar to 2011. Cool Baby approves.
Strangely enough, 36% of the games reviewed in 2011 were Xbox 360 games as well. Keep in mind that there's some overlap on this one. For example, Gotham City Imposters counts towards XBLA, PSN, and PC based on which releases Brad played for his review.
Oh, you don't like pie charts. Well, here's the same data in bar graph form.
I'd bet money you would not have guessed that February would've had the most reviews in 2012. A bunch of stuff came out in February, but the release of the Vita is what really pushed that number up above every other month.
Lastly, here's a look at reviews per year since the site launched.

The Raw Data

GameForScoreByDate
All Zombies Must DiePS3N XBLA3Brad1/12
Saints Row: The Third - GenkiBowl VIIX3602Jeff1/24
NeverDeadX3602Alex2/2
Kingdoms of Amalur: ReckoningPS3 X3604Jeff2/7
Darkness II, TheX3604Alex2/7
Resident Evil: Revelations3DS3Brad2/8
Gotham City ImpostersPS3N XBLA PC4Brad2/11
Super Stardust DeltaPSVN4Jeff2/13
Uncharted: Golden AbyssPSV3Jeff2/13
Lumines: Electronic SymphonyPSV4Jeff2/16
Wipeout 2048PSV3Jeff2/16
Rayman: OriginsPSV5Alex2/16
WarpPS3N XBLA3Brad2/17
Escape PlanPSVN3Alex2/17
SyndicatePS3 X3605Jeff2/21
Touch My KatamariPSV3Alex2/21
Grand Slam Tennis 2PS3 X3603Ryan2/22
Alan Wake's American NightmareXBLA3Patrick2/22
Rhythm Heaven FeverWii5Alex2/22
Asura's WrathX3604Brad2/25
SSXPS3 X3604Alex2/28
Mass Effect 3PS3 X3604Jeff3/6
JourneyPS3N5Alex3/13
I Am AliveXBLA2Brad3/14
Street Fighter X TekkenPS3 X3603Jeff3/19
Ninja Gaiden 3X3602Alex3/23
Ridge RacerPSV2Jeff3/27
Sine MoraXBLA3Brad3/28
South Park: Tenorman's RevengeXBLA1Alex4/4
Kinect Star WarsX3602Brad4/5
Splatters, TheXBLA3Alex4/13
FezXBLA4Jeff4/16
Trials EvolutionXBLA5Brad4/19
Pinball Arcade, TheXBLA iOS4Jeff4/20
BloodforgeXBLA2Alex4/25
Mortal KombatPSV5Jeff5/1
Minecraft: Xbox 360 EditionXBLA4Brad5/9
Max Payne 3X3604Ryan5/14
Prototype 2PS3 X3603Jeff5/18
Diablo IIIPC5Brad5/22
Game of ThronesX3602Alex5/23
Dragon's DogmaPS3 X3603Patrick5/24
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future SoldierX3603Jeff5/30
Gravity RushPSV3Alex6/11
Civilization V: Gods & GeneralsPC4Alex6/18
Steel Battalion: Heavy ArmorX3601Brad6/20
Spec Ops: The LineX3603Jeff6/29
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super HeroesX3603Brad6/29
SpelunkyXBLA4Alex7/3
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy3DS4Brad7/5
Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard, TheX3604Brad7/10
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HDXBLA3Jeff7/18
DeadlightXBLA3Brad7/31
Expendables 2, ThePS3N2Alex8/3
Persona 4 ArenaPS3 X3604Jeff8/7
Sound ShapesPS3N PSVN5Alex8/9
Darksiders IIPS3 X360 PC4Jeff8/14
Sleeping DogsX360 PC4Alex8/14
Papo & YoPS3N3Alex8/17
Dust: An Elysian TailXBLA5Brad8/20
Transformers: Fall of CybertronPS3 X3603Jeff8/21
HybridXBLA4Brad8/23
Rock Band BlitzXBLA4Ryan8/27
Madden NFL 13X3603Alex8/27
Tekken Tag Tournament 2PS3 X3604Jeff9/11
NHL 13X3604Alex9/12
Borderlands 2PS3 X360 PC4Jeff9/18
Mark of the NinjaXBLA5Brad9/21
Fire Pro WrestlingXBLA2Alex9/26
Tokyo JunglePS3N4Patrick10/1
Resident Evil 6X3602Brad10/3
DishonoredPS3 X3604Patrick10/8
NBA 2K13X3604Alex10/8
Fable: The JourneyX3603Brad10/9
Forza HorizonX3605Jeff10/12
XCOM: Enemy UnknownPS3 X360 PC5Ryan10/16
007 LegendsX3602Alex10/18
Doom 3: BFG EditionPS3 X3603Brad10/22
Medal of Honor: WarfighterX3603Brad10/27
Need for Speed: Most WantedX3604Jeff10/30
WWE '13PS3 X3604Alex10/30
Halo 4X3604Jeff11/1
Assassin's Creed III: LiberationPSV3Alex11/2
Hotline MiamiPC5Alex11/5
Assassin's Creed IIIPS3 X3604Ryan11/6
Call of Duty: Black Ops IIX3604Jeff11/13
Call of Duty: Black Ops DeclassifiedPSV1Jeff11/14
New Super Mario Bros. UWiiU3Brad11/18
Nintendo LandWiiU4Brad11/18
Hitman: AbsolutionX3604Alex11/19
ZombiUWiiU4Patrick11/20
Walking Dead, ThePS3 X360 PC5Alex11/26
PlayStation All-Stars: Battle RoyalePS3 PSV3Jeff11/27
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?!3DS3Alex11/29
Far Cry 3PS3 X360 PC5Brad12/4
Family Guy: Back to the MultiverseX3601Alex12/4
56 Comments
58 Comments
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Edited by spankingaddict

Ryan's gotten lazy about reviews , I see . Though , quick looks are the main focus .

Great job

Posted by Marino

@spankingaddict said:

Ryan's gotten lazy about reviews , I see . Though , quick looks are the main focus.

Nah, not lazy. Just has other duties now.

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Posted by Fredchuckdave

3-4 is much better than 4-3

Posted by Marino

@Fredchuckdave said:

3-4 is much better than 4-3

Huh?

Staff Online
Posted by RecSpec

Just like last year with the 3DS, it doesn't feel like the Vita came out this year.  
Great read, glad to see that there were only 5 less reviews than last year, especially considering that Giant Bomb has pretty much been rebuilding all year.

Posted by Fobwashed

That is some hot, hot data.Thanks for the breakdown =D And goddamn that persona art is nice. . . Someday, I will return -____-;;

Posted by Fobwashed

It may be something just godawful to put together, but any thoughts on doing one of these for QuickLooks? I'd just like to know who's been in how many though you may be able to take it further down the rabbit hole and also chart who's been in them with who this year to find out if there are any stand out pairings. Or has it already been done? In which case. . . . I'm an idiot.

Posted by dvdhaus

Man there are games on this list that don't feel like they came out this year. Warp, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Gotham City Imposters, and SSX all feel like they came out a long long time ago. This year was packed with great releases all year.

Posted by Mento

That last graph would suggest how much better this year's been in comparison to the previous four, if you assume that 2009's 5-star column is only higher because the year had way more reviews in general. I hadn't really noticed, but I guess it's been a year of happy surprises and sleeper hits more than big stand-outs like last year's Skyrim. I imagine a few of those 5 star reviews came about because of how unexpectedly good the games they pertained to turned out to be. And - barring my deliberate attempts to decrease the overall quality level - it's evidently been a good year for Giant Bomb fan art as well.

Talking of which, your reviews per staff member pie charts inspired me to make one for myself. Now I have no regrets for the end of the world:

Moderator
Posted by fuzzybunny566

@Marino said:

@Fredchuckdave said:

3-4 is much better than 4-3

Huh?

3 defensive linemen and 4 linebackers

Posted by Marino

@Fobwashed said:

It may be something just godawful to put together, but any thoughts on doing one of these for QuickLooks? I'd just like to know who's been in how many though you may be able to take it further down the rabbit hole and also chart who's been in them with who this year to find out if there are any stand out pairings. Or has it already been done? In which case. . . . I'm an idiot.

It's not a bad idea. Would be fairly time consuming though to start from scratch. Might be something I can do for 2013 by accumulating the data as the year goes along like I did for this. I'm not going to be able to do achievement data anymore with the new site, so QL stats could fill the gap.

@dvdhaus said:

Man there are games on this list that don't feel like they came out this year. Warp, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Gotham City Imposters, and SSX all feel like they came out a long long time ago. This year was packed with great releases all year.

A lot of the indie/downloadable games feel like they came out forever ago to me because I saw them every six months at PAX for three years in some cases.

@Mento said:

Talking of which, your reviews per staff member pie charts inspired me to make one for myself. Now I have no regrets for the end of the world:

Stick people are people too.

@fuzzybunny566 said:

@Marino said:

@Fredchuckdave said:

3-4 is much better than 4-3

Huh?

3 defensive linemen and 4 linebackers

Okay...I understand football defense, but if that's what he meant, what does it have to do with any of this?

/confused

Staff Online
Posted by Robitt

@Marino said:

@Fobwashed said:

It may be something just godawful to put together, but any thoughts on doing one of these for QuickLooks? I'd just like to know who's been in how many though you may be able to take it further down the rabbit hole and also chart who's been in them with who this year to find out if there are any stand out pairings. Or has it already been done? In which case. . . . I'm an idiot.

It's not a bad idea. Would be fairly time consuming though to start from scratch. Might be something I can do for 2013 by accumulating the data as the year goes along like I did for this. I'm not going to be able to do achievement data anymore with the new site, so QL stats could fill the gap.

I actually started doing this, but have not finished. Catalogued over 400 QL's. Might finish it someday! But from "early" data, Jeff & Ryan are by far the most common pairing. They are also in the most QL's overall. I think this pattern would hold up even if you added all the other ones, but can't be sure! Haven't done any kind of breakdown by year or something fancy like that yet.

Posted by EpicSteve

GLORIOUS DATA!

Edited by Snail

Huh. They probably missed out on quite a handful of games with the whole CBSi acquisition, so that sort of explains the slightly less amount of games reviewed, but it doesn't necessarily explain why the number of four-stars reviews has been drastically decreasing each year, while the number of three-star reviews increased slightly since last year. Are there less good games now? :O

We also had four 1-star reviews this year, and only two of them were by Alex! Shocking statistics.

Thanks for doing these.

Posted by Winternet

Pie charts return to save the day. Great stuff

Posted by SgtSphynx

Quite an interesting bit of data. Good stuff.

Posted by zoozilla

Man, Alex's activity is pretty impressive, considering he's on the other side of the country.

On the other hand, maybe that means he spends less time dealing with piles of cardboard boxes and sticky vintage games.

Posted by BBAlpert

Mmmmm data, delicious data...

Posted by Bulby33

I found it surprising that Ryan only reviewed 5 games this year considering he's the best writer of them all.

Posted by SgtSphynx

Hasn't Ryan been spending a lot of his time in meetings?

Posted by freakin9

hoof, I'm dizzy from the effort to actually take in any of this information.

Posted by Pop

Alex was a beast this year, I can imagine him writing a review while untangling a pair of headphones. Great job Marino, from that last chart 2009 was the year with the best games in giant bomb history.

Posted by Y2Ken

Thanks for doing this again Marino, always interesting to read. Alex doing work as usual.

Posted by joshthebear

Mmmmmmm, data.

Posted by chilibean_3

Neat. Thanks for throwing this together.

Posted by NekuCTR

@Marino said:

@spankingaddict said:

Ryan's gotten lazy about reviews , I see . Though , quick looks are the main focus.

Nah, not lazy. Just has other duties now.

Plus he has always had the duty of editing the podcast which takes a lot of work, and when you really think about it is the most important thing on the site.

Posted by thevigilanteoflove

I didn't realize Ryan only wrote 5 reviews this year. That's crazy to think about, but whatever he is doing instead of writing reviews is obviously important. I guess when I listen to the Bombcast and they all discuss the games they played, I kind of feel like any of them could write a review for any of these games. I sometimes forget who wrote which ones.

Posted by hollitz

I get a lot more of out quick looks and bombcast discussions than I do out of reviews.

Edited by Grissefar

@hollitz said:

I get a lot more of out quick looks and bombcast discussions than I do out of reviews.

Yeah man, for me the reviews suck pretty much a dick. After listening to them talk about the game on the podcast and in the Quick Look, the review becomes really obsolete. It doesn't fit in on the site at all, and it makes me think of all the crazy stuff they could have done on video instead.

Posted by me3639

Nice job.

Edited by FTomato

@Grissefar said:

@hollitz said:

I get a lot more of out quick looks and bombcast discussions than I do out of reviews.

Yeah man, for me the reviews suck pretty much a dick. After listening to them talk about the game on the podcast and in the Quick Look, the review becomes really obsolete. It doesn't fit in on the site at all, and it makes me think of all the crazy stuff they could have done on video instead.

I remember someone mentioned in a podcast or a jar time that the reviews get a lot of hits, so it's probably still worth doing them.

Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff

These are the best graphs I've ever seen.

Posted by moffattron9000

@Marino: Great work as always gathering an insane amount of information. If I can offer one piece of advice however, try and use a 2D pie chart instead of a 3D one because the sections at the back seem considerably smaller then the ones at the front, and for the Alex one it initially looks like the 3 star section is bigger than the 4 star section.

Posted by Claude

The fuck's wrong with you Ryan.

Posted by Marino
@moffattron9000 Someone complained about this last year, but I personally don't see what the big deal is. For one, the example you give with Alex involves 2 sections that are very close in size. So even in 2D it's almost indiscernible. Secondly, I've clearly labeled each chart with value and percentage. Thirdly, the 3D charts aren't as boring looking.
Staff Online
Posted by Phatmac

Wonderful graphs man!

Posted by amir90

Nice job man!

Posted by LackingSaint

Man, I miss Vinnie doing reviews.

Posted by Cold_Wolven

What a way for Alex to start a year of reviews than with a copy of Never Dead, still waiting on that QL.

Posted by dannyodwyer

Bravo on doing this. Super interesting.

Posted by Falconer

I feel Ryan is pulling double duty (heh, duty) as Giant Bomb's PR person now, basically, so I can understand his low number of reviews. I wonder how the stacked early release schedule next year and the new consoles at the end will effect review numbers (aka, the normal distribution). Will it look kinda like a double bell curve? Will overall number be up from this year, or about the same? Guess I have to wait a year to find out.

Posted by Vexxan

Thanks for sharing all this data in this neat format, nice job!

Posted by 24thDoor

So since he does most of the reviews now, can we finally get Alex some proper review score cartoons? The smirky commando for all 1-5 star games just isn't cutting it.

Posted by Marino
@24thDoor

So since he does most of the reviews now, can we finally get Alex some proper review score cartoons? The smirky commando for all 1-5 star games just isn't cutting it.

1. The cartoons are going away with the new site.
2. Someone made some a while back.
http://www.giantbomb.com/alex-navarro/72-61949/now-its-cartoon-review-alex/35-551273/
Staff Online
Posted by 24thDoor

@Marino: No cartoons on the new site? Well... shit.

Posted by Marino

@24thDoor: It's been a long time coming.

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Posted by Bartz

@Marino said:

@24thDoor

So since he does most of the reviews now, can we finally get Alex some proper review score cartoons? The smirky commando for all 1-5 star games just isn't cutting it.

1. The cartoons are going away with the new site.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Posted by WMoyer83

I like the art. Where can I find more?

Posted by Apparatus_Unearth

Alex is a reviewing motherfucker.

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