Games completed in 2012
The games I completed in 2012
The games I completed in 2012
Catherine is one part puzzle game and one part social management simulation from Atlus - creators of the Persona series. This is a game that is certainly very different from most anything out there on the market. It's like playing an interactive romantic anime with mind numbingly difficult puzzles thrown in to have you screaming swear words at your TV set as you try and fail far too many times. All in all it was the story that kept me interested in this title, however it was a story that perhaps over stayed its welcome. When it should have ended - it continued and left a bit of a bitter test in my mouth as after this continuation it seemed to just fade out with very little in a way of big revolations at the end. There are 5 endings to the story - but based on how agonisingly difficult some of the puzzles are - I think it will be a fair amount of time before I consider venturing back into the crazy world of Catherine.
A solid game but in my opinion a little lacking on the content side of things. I remember in the original game having all kinds of side quests and being able to walk around (all be it very small) New York between missions. Sure it made things a little hard to navigate when you just wanted to get to the main story but it added a bit that in part's feels missing from the sequel. Over all though i was very impressed - a solid story, some fantastic voice work from the cast and a fun game that is certainly up to 11 on the carnage scale.
Finally got around to completing this having had it fall to the way side at the hands of the addictive multiplayer of Battlefield 3 and the puzzles and stress of Catherine. An interesting one with some nice ideas, shame it just feels a little hollow when you realise pretty much every scenerio in the game is near identical except for the location. A little more innovation would have been nice to make this a much more solid game. A great story and some good mo-cap and voice work does mean this is a very impressive game on both a story and character front though.
I wasn't actually going to buy SSX day one - but i'm really glad i did. The relaucnhing of this franchise is fantastic. Sure there are a few issues overall, but a gorgeous game with a great soundtrack and not to mention it's addictive as hell thanks to the ridernet features and global events which could leave you playing this game (on and off) long into 2012.
Say what you will about 'that ending' but you can't deny that Mass Effect is one of the great franchises of this gaming generation. The hours upon hours we've put into the life of Shepard are now sadly at an end. A great game - at times some questionable decisions from bioware - but overall I feel the game came to a satisfactory finale and the book of shepard should remain closed.
I dropped this title in August 2011 when I was one match away from finishing the 'story mode' of game. The reason? Forced narrative of a fight. Instead of allowing me to fight how I want to, I had to go through about 7 rounds of forced goals, the first of which was to 'survive'. So I simply had to move around the ring away from an opponent that was impossible to KO and had dam near max stats. I'm all for having a story in a game, but when it cripples me to the point where it makes the game dam near unplayable - i'm not impressed. I picked it up again and got through the torturous 'do what we say' rules and eventually got to KO the guy to complete the game. Overall the finale having me jump through hoops left a bad taste in my mouth.
With people in uproar about the ending of Mass Effect 3 - I'm surprised they wasn't more outrage for this games conclusion. WTF actually happened at the end of this game? I have no idea :/ This is a game I got for Christmas - its completion was long over due. I just feel the franchise (although great overall) doesn't hold my interest like it used to in its prime (AC2). It's more of the same really - very little has changed between AC Brotherhood and this one. With the series now moving to the American Revolution - I think this might be the stopping point for me with the series...we'll have to wait and see how AC3 comes along in the future.
The third game in the storm series for Naruto. Overall - a great roster of characters from both the original and Shippuden series, a great competitive multiplayer - a must have for Naruto fans. They did however drop the ball on the story mode which feels rushed and lacking in the epic moments found in its predecessor. Still a great offering for anime fans, especially if you have some friends online and they're willing to throw down.
A fantastic first game for the Vita (which I got in April). Rayman is a bright, vibrant and beautiful 2d platformer that has some great innovation and is a joy to play. A really amazing game which ticks all the boxes and has a great soundtrack to boot. A must have.
A fantastic return for Max Payne. Remedy may have left the drivers seat and let Rockstar take the wheel - but they certainly didn't disappoint. Rockstar's unique brand of game design is apparent and a departure from the last two games, but I feel they did a fantastic job rejuvenating the series and bringing it up to date. Playing on hard had me grinding my teeth at some of the scenarios - and replaying scenes over and over had a poor effect on such a striking cinematic game - but replaying on easy is the next port of call to deal with that. Overall a great shooter which drips atmosphere and is one hell of a ride while it lasts.
I got The Witcher 2 for PC before the 360 version was even on the cards. My PC could run it well. Fun however that I played a small amount then let it fall to the way side. Roll forward to the release of the 360 version and I restarted and played through to completion. Overall a very impressive game - gorgeous on the pc. A great story, great characters - however the combat can be rather unforgiving, but you either adapt or die. I felt the final act wasn't really The Witcher's finest moment - it seemed to dull out in my opinion. A great game which leaves things open for The Witcher 3, which should hopefully get a good amount of folks happy both on PC and 360
I was excited for Asura's Wrath since it was first announced at TGS 2010. It looked awesome. Overall - i'm glad i played it, but i feel a bit disappointed. The combat has no depth at all and the story is average at best. There were a few cool moments but overall this is a game that wishes it was an anime, and the DLC practices presented by this game of selling the 'true ending' leaves kind of a bad taste in my mouth.
I partially picked up a Vita in early April due to the huge and inexpensive back catalogue of psp games. I picked up both of the hand held entries into the God of War series for £7 each. Granted the game is a bit old now but the gameplay is still there. Does what it says on the tin really - a handheld God of War. I didn't find the game difficult at all (I think due to my extensive playthroughs of the 3 main entries in the series). Overall it was a well crafted experience which certainly has the pick up and play aspects at heart thanks to its regular save points and bite size chunks of brutal combat. That said I can't help but feel Kratos has had alot of games with very little in way of innovation. I'll be interested to see the difference between this and Ghost of Sparta - the second handheld offering from 'THE GOD OF WOOOR!'
The follow up to 'Chains of Olympus' on the psp, God of War: Ghost of Sparta makes some great strides into greatly improving the idea of a handheld adventure for Kratos. Where as the first game actted more as a proof of concept - Ghost of Sparta advances nearly every aspect of the original to present a much more enjoyable entry into the handheld market. Even from the opening level you can see the leaps and bounds that have been made in the gap between the first and second game. Truely an enjoyable if a little short / easy game. But for £7 i'm not going to argue.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss is the little train that can. Taking the rocket buster franchise to the handheld pays off as Nathan Drake goes globe trotting once more on a new adventure. A gorgeous game that proves the Vita can push out some stunning graphics (if only Sony would support it a little more). Overall the game could be considered as a 'proof of concept' for the Vita thanks in part to sometimes unnecessary touch screen controls and gimmicks - however the cast, the gameplay and the incredible chemisty and voice work help smooth over any ill will. All I can say now is - when are we getting the next installment?
A shoe in for worst game played in 2012. Xmen Destiny is an insult to both marvel and the xmen. 'Moral choices' go as far as 'pick good' or 'pick evil' and in the end it doesn't even matter. No consequences, no impact and next to no interest from me. One of the worst boss fights I've ever seen and all around under average on every level. Thankfully this game is short, but if you've yet to play it - avoid this game like the plague if you like or care about the xmen in any way, shape form or fashion.
Vanquish is a hard as hell game from Platinum games - creators of hard as hell game Bayonetta. But where as in Bayonetta I felt my skill could get me through tough situations, I was left a little stumped by Vanquish - so much so infact that I had to play this on easy. The first boss on normal was just brutal. The story was almost an after thought - especially the 'WTF' ending - the GB crew prepared me a little but I was still rather surprised with how the adventures of Sam Gideon panned out. Overall the game was fun to play and had some good mechanics - but there wasn't all that much in way of depth and the whole experience felt B-tier when compared to Bayonetta.
Besides a rather questionable rip off of the Metal Gear Solid theme tune found in the end credits, for the most part I enjoyed Binary Domain. A team based third person shooter with a storyline focusing on the idea of robots that look like humans infiltrating our society, I thought I knew where the story was heading but was pleasantly surprised to find myself having been following red herring's (clearly by design). Some very impressive cinematic moments were cheapened by questionable control and mechanic choices which made death and playing the scenes over and over lose their edge. For the price I paid however, the niggles are minimal and there's alot of fun to be had with Binary Domain if you're willing to give it a spin.
This is how an open world should be. A game in which I find myself ignoring the main missions in order to find or do side elements really shows the power of a fully realised open world. Where LA Noire got it completely wrong as you drove around a ghost town of nothingness, Sleeping Dogs offers you hours upon hours of side content. It doesn't hurt that the main story and missions are fantastic to boot. You're the undercover cop within the Chinese Triad, you're always walking a thin line of good and bad. I supose its a little bit hard to follow this premise as Wei Shen spends countless hours running over pedestrians, kicking in triads and generally causing mayhem in Hong Kong. Perhaps given a morality system with some choices on a par with those of the recent walking dead game episodes would of made this game even better then it already was. A truely great game that's a shoe in for being high up on my list come the end of the year.
With Vita gaining PSone classic support, I picked up Crash 1, 2 and 3 for £3.99 each. Overall this game took me way back to my youth and the utter amazement of the world that Naughty Dog created - it was fun to look back on the early work of the studio that would later bring us the amazing uncharted series. Bouncing up and down on a box I still felt the slight tinge of the excitment I had at first experiencing the magic of Crash. Still a fun and challenging game with a few signs of showing its age - but still a blast to play to completion.
I'm conflicted as to say when a Tekken game is 'completed'. Any other game would be classed as going through the story mode, yet the 'Arcade mode' of Tekken which could be said to be the story mode of this franchise takes me less then 10 minutes to complete. I'm striking a win in my column in this regard because I feel this is a completion as it were. The 'story' itself is bizare and more often then not pointless. It's a fighting game and a fighting game I excel at. Tekken Tag 2 is another Tekken. It feels like another Tekken, acts like another Tekken and overall its a good entry into the series - just don't expect much in the way of innovation. If you like the fundementals of Tekken - which FYI - I love. You can't go wrong.
I was incredibly hyped when this game was announced. I'm a huge One Piece fan, and where I got some enjoyment out of the game - I sadly found it was lacking in some respects. How could one game capture 10 years and counting of epic anime - the short answer is it couldn't. The game misses out huge chunks of content and even goes as far as changing the ending of a certain situation. Dynasty Warriors with a One Piece skin - it was still fun to play but clunky controls, poor design choices and general lack of many of the things that make One Piece one of the best anime's in the world left this game only middle of the road. I would have liked to have seen it shine, but sadly it fell short of the mark. As a fan of the show however - it was still a fun experience.
A throwback to the side scrolling beat em ups of old, Double Dragon Neon is an absolute gem found on both XBLA and PSN. The artwork and graphics really pop, the voice actting is light and amusing and the soundtrack is brilliant - all these elements combine to offer up a game that oozes charm. The combat is basic but rewarding and your progress in terms of leveling up always carries over so even if you die during a playthrough - you're still safe in the knowledge that you're getting more powerful and progressing. The whole thing can come across cheesey - but its suposed to be and this only helps add to the charm and humour on display. Various little extras are thrown in which show the studios behind this really appreciate the source material of the original. A great game all round and a blast to play.
It's not the bad game that a majority of the press are making out. Resident Evil has evolved over the years, and in your opinion - for better or worse - you simply have to except it if you want to enjoy this game. If you're going to play going "Where's the horror! This isn't RE 4!" then you're going to be disappointed. If not - you'll have a good time with it. The game was an enjoyable entry in the series. I played one campaign co-op and the other two solo. Each has its own pace and feel and all intersect with one another at times. There are great moments to be found in all. After these a fourth campaign unlocks where you play as Ada Wong - but this was so poor and tedious I put it down in favour of moving on while still liking the game - cause the good that's built over the first 3 campaigns is a little washed out as Ada's story feels rush - thrown together and generally a mess.
Having not played a wrestling game since WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2008, it had been a long time since I'd 'got out' of the yearly wrestling game cycle, the newer superstars and direction of the WWE in general had left me uninterested in the shows and games. WWE 13 peaked my curiosity due to the emphasis on the 'Attitude Era' - which was a time when I was firmly invested in the 'sport'. The more I heard the more interested I got. So colour me surprised with how much I've enjoyed this game. Having waited so long, the changes seem huge in comparison to the minimal jumps with each years iteration. The Attitude Era stuff is handled well and the roster available is for the most part good, but with a few holes where certain legends should rightfully be *cough* Ric Flair. Depending on what they do with the inevitable WWE 14 - I might find myself back on that yearly purchase track.
5 episodes and some of the most difficult decisions made within a moral choice system in any game. I'm man enough to admit - I cried at the end of the fifth and final episode - and i'm having a hard time justifying calling anything else my game of the year at the moment after having had such an emotional attachment to the characters and their fantastic story. Hands down this is a fantastic game - you can call it an interactive story if you like - but there's no denying so many triple A titles don't even come close to story telling this good.
With each new entry into the series - the cliffhanger endings are becoming more and more cliche and contrived. Not to mention that the 'Desmond' portion of the stories is become harder to follow and leaves me with a 'WTF' face. There's no denying however the skill and polish that most other aspects of Assassins Creed 3 shows. Moving away from Ezio, we move to the American Revolution and join our new hero Connor after...6 hours of tutorials. Connor's a great new protagonist, I just feel that they could have done more. The continuing trend of streamlining the gameplay mechanics leaves the combat feeling hollow and all together too easy. The frontier was a nice touch, but it just screams of that which came before it in Red Dead Redemption. There are some good characters, some great story beats and its a good game overall - but I feel the series needs a break, a longer development cycle and a reappraisal of whats important for the series.
A replay of a game which I feel really doesn't get enough credit. Dead to Rights Retribution is a gritty third person shooter where you play as a Dirty Harry style cop - Jack Slate - on the Streets of Grant City with his beastly dog Shadow. The music in places is down right moody and impressive - it suits the game's feel and direction. The combat is brutal and goes from shooting to hand to hand with smooth transitions and lightning quick reactions. It's a ton of fun and I wish more people went out of their way to play it - I'd buy a sequel day one - sadly I don't think the franchise will be getting another chance. If you can - pick it up cheap and just enjoy it for what it is, a brutal rollercoaster of an action game.
The thing I love about the Vita is the value added by the countless list of classic playstation games on offer for cheap on the playstation store. Metal Gear Solid is a game I've played through multiple times but still manage to enjoy every time. Helped greatly by the recent trailer for 'The Phantom Pain' - I find myself wanting to play through all the main MGS games which thanks to the HD collection featuring MGS 2 and 3 on the Vita - will probably be happening very soon. Metal Gear Solid still holds up as a great game even today, 14 years after its original release.
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