First of all, I should probably give credit to DarkFury - whose blog template I have completely copy/pasted, as I loved his formatting.
Now I am really not a fan of "Game of the Year" discussions, as I believe that games can be played and enjoyed outside of the year they were created and the best game released between January and December is completely irrelevant. Look how many games are released in August compared to November to see how pointless a calendar year is as a measurement.
To be able to do this post, I admit I had to rush at the end of the year to be able to comfortably say I have played all I wanted to play to be able to make a definitive list. I failed to do this (see "Regrets" at the end of the post).
I also made the decision to omit Rayman Origins - which although was released this year on the Vita, the format I played it on - it is a direct port of a 2011 game. If it was on this list it would have probably come in first place, to be completely honest, which is why I mention it here.
Either way, I love a good gaming debate, so here is my Top 10 games of 2012!
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Max Payne 3
FTL: Faster Than Light
The Walking Dead
Far Cry 3
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
I can't express how close the gap is between my 1st place and my 10th place here. I spend a long time tweaking the order of this list and simply had to stop somewhere. Even more heart wrenching were the games that didn't make it to the list at all, which I have decided to not even start naming - as there were too many. I'm clearly not very good at this listing business.
Regrets, I have a few...
There is a large list of games that I didn't get the opportunity to play this year, but these are the ones that tear away at my soul with guilt, as I should have played them before the year was done. This should give you an idea of the games that were intentionally omitted from my Top 10 - or were ignored completely.
So that title might be a little misleading. It didn't literally take me 3 years of constant gameplay to finish, of course.
I bought GTA4 on launch day, back in 2008. I've never been a huge fan of "open world" games. I often feel that these games use these worlds to artificially extend the length of the game. When I first played GTA4, I felt it was extremely guilty of this. The game quickly existed solely for a dip-in-now-and-then multiplayer game with my friends, until they got bored of it and went off to finish the single-player. I however, did not.
Since then I've picked the game back off the shelf several times, starting from scratch, in a desperate attempt to TRY to enjoy the game. See what all the fuss is about. It even became my New Year's Resolution for 2011. A Resolution, I am glad to say - I have kept.
Briefly, I want to mention things I hate about GTA4. Things that contributed to me giving up on the game so many times. I hated the "friendship" mechanic. No Roman, I do NOT want to play darts with you. I don't care if that means I get a little thumbs-down icon when I tell you to bugger off. I despised that when I failed a mission (some of which are up to 20 minutes long), I have to start again. No checkpoints. I hate that so many of the missions could be failed by a freak of nature. That guy you are meant to be following? Oops, a truck just ran him over. I also wasn't keen on having to drive across the entire map to get to my next objective at times.
However, now I am done and I have to say that not only am I at peace with GTA4, but I actually loved the game. It is now a game I will look back at fondly. I did what some call a "golden path" playthrough - ignoring most of the side stuff, unless I really fancied it at time. I just wanted to see the story and enjoy the main missions. Around the 15-20 hour mark, I was utterly hooked. Niko's story is unique, intriguing and genuinely moving in parts. Rockstar are brave storytellers and go places narratively that I don't think I've seen any other developers dare to.
There are moral decisions that have to be made on a spur of the moment, which can radically change the direction of the story. You may not like the outcome. You will have to live with it. Harrowing stuff.
Not sure if I am going to dive straight into The Lost and the Damned, but I certainly bought it. I bought the Ballad of Gay Tony too. I'm looking forward to it.
Finally got round to playing and finishing Bayonetta today. Holy hell that game is batshit crazy and in the most damned awesome way possible. I loved the shameless classic Sega game references and sudden genre changes.
I had a lot of other games on my playlist, but I think Vanquish just got bumped way up. I played Infinite Space too recently - PlatinumGames might just be in danger of becoming my favourite studio.