Games Completed in 2012.
This list shall differ from my 2011 list in that the games will be listed in the order I complete them, whereas the 2011 list was in order of favorite to least favorite.
This list shall differ from my 2011 list in that the games will be listed in the order I complete them, whereas the 2011 list was in order of favorite to least favorite.
Well, I certainly wasn't expecting this to be my first game completed in 2012. Not that it was a bad game; far from it. I just didn't see myself playing it until later in the year. That being said, I enjoyed this game very much. It was a bit on the short side, but it was great fun from start to finish. It's gotten me on a dual-stick shooter kick at the moment. I really thought I'd be finishing Trine 2 first this year, but Renegade Ops hooked me and wouldn't let go until it the ride was over. Sorry Trine 2. I love ya, but you're going to have to wait a little longer. :)
Here is my second game finished this year. 2012 certainly isn't going in the direction I thought it was in terms of games I'm playing to completion. Speaking of completion, I believe this is the third or fourth time I've completed this particular God of War Game. BUT it is the first time I've played it in 3D! I don't need to tell you how excellent this game is, as I'm sure you've read it all before back when it first came out on PSP. The HD remake doesn't disappoint. Next up: Ghost of Sparta!
I finished both the PSP God of War games this week via their HD re-release. I enjoyed Ghost of Sparta quite a bit, and having finished it I have now completed all God of War games; several more then once. Ghost of Sparta now occupies my #2 spot in my list of favorite God of War Games. The story was great, and the Arms of Sparta are probably the best weapon out of all the GoW games. There was one thing that was very frustrating about Ghost of Sparta though; and if you've played it, you know what I'm going to say: Keres Wraiths. Those bitches are hell until you get the upgraded Arms of Sparta, then you can just chuck spears into their sorry asses until they die. Still though, they are diabolically hard on the more difficult settings, and without the Arms of Sparta they are an absolute nightmare; especially in groups.
Man, what a disappointment. Klei very obviously was putting all their eggs in the Survival Mode basket, while leaving the single-player campaign tragically short. It's only 8 levels!! Although it was good throughout, and the mechanics are very solid, the brevity of the campaign is unforgivable. Survival mode is fun, but for someone who doesn't play online or co-op of any sort, the mode has little value. I'm very disappointed in how Shank 2 turned out, content-wise.
Jesus. (no pun intended) What a trip this was. Although I don't condone it, this game would probably be pretty good to play while getting high. It has some seriously trippy levels, and the story might even make more sense with impaired judgment. Overall, I thought the game was decent. I must admit that religious history is a favorite subject of mine, so I am a bit biased towards the subject matter of the story. The combat was kind of sub-par, and don't even get me started on the platforming. Still, it wasn't so bad that I couldn't get all the way through the game. Not a great a game, but decent. The art style and sometimes outright insane looking levels are this game's strong points.
A pretty good RPG with a muddled story and excellent combat. This is one of very few RPG's where I actually finished the main quest. In most open ended games and non-linear rpgs, I tend to never go for the main quest, instead opting to do the myriad of other quests and activities usually available in the genre. This game was an exception.
It was mainly due to the fact that I didn't like any of the side quests (there were too many fetch quests and "go find this person" quests) but I did happen to do all the faction quests except the Travelers; which I didn't do because I wasn't playing a rogue character. The Warsworn (read: Fighter's Guild) quest line was actually quite good.
Another reason I focused on the main quest was because there simply wasn't much else to do that interested me. The world is not open-ended in a traditional sense, so there is no Elder-Scrolls-like exploration to do. (plus there are no mount's to make travel faster, just a sprint button which only marginally increases your speed) Plus this game has one of video-games most annoying features: invisible walls. It also has "unnavigable terrain." (read: large rocks, small hills and valleys, logs, blades of grass that are just a little bit too big) So my usual go-to activity in these types of games was out. I did find a little bit of solace in the game's many Lorestones, but not to the extent that I find in other games. (check out my blog post for more about those stones)
Anyways, the main quest was passable. It felt thrown together at the end, and most of the bosses were predictable and quite large pushovers. There were also no character's that I really felt connected to, with the possible exception of Arden. But just because he was a lovable drunk. No, despite having an impressive writing pedigree, this game fails to deliver in that aspect. Instead, the real star of the game is it's combat. It's not quite God of War level as some reviewers have stated, but it's far ahead of anything in the RPG category. It was a real joy fighting in this game, and oftentimes I actively sought out altercations just to experience more of it.
Overall, despite having top-name talent on the writing and artistic fronts, the game falls short in those areas. Many comparisons have been made to WoW's art style, and I agree very much so. But I can forgive these missteps based solely on the game's excellent combat. This game is what you would call a "solid 8."
And now, the calm before the storm that is known as Mass Effect 3.
Definitely not what I was expecting in the end, but overall a great game. I wrote a MASSIVE blog post about the ending, and the series in general which you can view if you want here:
Man, what a disappointing sequel. This game has been sitting on my shelf ever since it came out two years ago, when I happened to buy the collector's edition. I liked the first game quite a bit, and was hoping that the sequel would improve upon it. Boy was I in for a surprise. The story is terrible; the voice active is terrible; (even laughable at times) the combat feels worse; and it's incredible short, which might be a good thing considering how bad it is. It's like the whole game was made as an excuse to show you the (admittedly well rendered) cutscenes. The whole thing was an unmitigated disaster. I'm not sure what prompted me to play this game, considering the vast scope of my backlog of games, but I think it has something to do with having just finished Mass Effect 3 and being on a space/sci-fi kick. But anyways, this game was terrible but I'm glad to have it out of my backlog. Oh, there was one good thing about this game: It came with a cool little USB Flash Drive in the shape of Starkiller, which I still use quite regularly. So, thanks for that!
Continuing the streak of disappointing releases in 2012, we have Ninja Gaiden 3. I've been a fan of the series since the Xbox remake and could probably play through it on Master Ninja mode blindfolded, I've played it so much. However, I never did play Ninja Gaiden 2 for some reason. Anyways, while NG3 is drastically different from these two games, and overall several steps in the wrong direction for the series, it isn't as terrible as most sites make it out to be. It certainly isn't a 9 or 10 out of 10; probably not even an 8, but it certainly isn't a 4, and most certainly not a 2. I agree that the Tomonobu Itagaki-less Team Ninja made some terrible decisions and ultimately sullied the name of ninja Gaiden a bit with this release. That being said, everything isn't all bad. While nowhere near as hard as it's predecessors, it did have some challenging moments. However, a lot of these were challenging because of technical issues (I'm looking at you Kunai Climbing!) or poor design decision, not a genuine challenge. The lack of items; regenerating health after each battle; no weapon choosing; and the abundance of QTE's didn't help move the series in a good direction. The enemies were also quite generic, and the bosses disappointingly easy. All in all, if you're going into this game as a Ninja Gaiden fan, you're going to come out disappointed; but if you're going in as a fan of action games in general, you will still be disappointed, but slightly less so. I'm somewhere between the two.
I wrote a short story inspired by events I experienced while playing this game. You can read it here:
Needless to say, I liked this game. ;)
I'll admit, this was a bit of an impulse purchase. I was playing the demo while waiting for Journey to finish downloading, and having just played the demo of I Am Alive on 360 and being disappointed with it, I had money to spend because I was planning on buy IAA if it was any good. (which it wasn't) So, I went ahead and bought Closure. It has an interesting premise, and it was a pretty fun game. But I felt it wears out it's welcome a bit too soon. The whole light gimmick is explored to a fair degree, and unfortunately towards the end I was just going through the puzzles not because they were fun, but just to finish this game. Overall, a decent puzzle game. The story is also kind of...messed up. But I'll let you judge that for yourselves.
I finished DMC 1 from the HD collection recently. I had no previous exposure to the series, save for a few minutes spent with the DMC 4 demo a few years ago. i was never really drawn into the series when it first came out. I guess most of my PS2 action/adventure cravings were satisfied by God of War. After finishing the HD remake, my thoughts on the series are still pretty much the same; I could take it or leave it. I don't have a problem with outdated graphics, I can suffer through those. The ridiculous story, on the other hand, I have less tolerance for. Also, I found the supposed "star" of the game, the combat, to be quite clunky and not very satisfying. I was warned this may happen if I had played Bayonetta, which I have. (and enjoyed very much so) Regardless, I still remain wary of the series. I will, however, continue trucking along with the HD collection and shall suffer through what is considered the worst entry in the series, DMC 2 shortly. I doubt it will change my perspective of the series to any substantial degree. In fact, I have been told to just completely skip DMC2 and head straight to DMC3. But, my personality doesn't work that way. If there is an order of something, or a trilogy of games, I must play them in order. No excuses. (I'm also kind of afraid of DMC 3, because I know it is super hard and I found DMC 1 to be kind of frustrating in certain areas even on normal. ((This coming from someone who can play GoW 1-3 on the hardest difficulty without much trouble, and Ninja Gaiden 1 / Black on Master Ninja with similar results.))
If you are a hardcore DMC fan, or even just an average DMC fan, don't read this next sentence. I actually enjoyed DMC 2 more then DMC 1. (Heresy! Burn him!) As I've said before, I don't judge a games quality based on it's difficulty. And if a game hinges on all of it's merit on that one aspect, then it isn't a game I'm going to be interested in. The DMC series seems to do this. It has a laughable, pretty much non-existent story, no real lore to speak of, and nothing that merits it as a good game other then it's combat. The combat in DMC 2 is much improved over DMC 1, IMO. The enemies and bosses may be much, MUCH easier, but I feel that the game's animations and combat systems feel more fine tuned then in DMC 1; which is to be expected of a sequel. The only problem with the game (other then the story) is the enemy AI. Continuing on with the HD collection, I now embark on the notoriously difficult DMC 3. I'm not looking forward to it, but hopefully I've gained enough experience playing the first two games to make it through without too much trouble.
Anyways, so far my favorite DMC game has been this one. Feel free to burn me at the stake now.
I'm reminded of something children do when they learn a new word; that is, use this word in every sentence they speak with little to no regard to context or grammatical structure. Prototype 2 does this gratuitously with several words, but most often it is these two: "Fucker" and "Motherfucker." There are, of course, numerous situations in which "damn", "hell", "shit" and even "cunt" are used. But, by and large, "fucker" and "motherfucker" win the day. I'm not sure why there is so much cursing in this game. It's almost to the point of being funny, but not quite. I guess they were trying to make it seem "tough" and "gritty", but ultimately it just came out awkward. It's kind of sad because there were points when they were obviously trying to be funny, and they succeeded. I was laughing out loud and wiping the tears from my eyes during the computer scene early in the game. If they had perhaps focused on this aspect of writing more it might have made the game's script stronger. There is also a disproportionate amount of military jargon used. As gamers we are pretty well versed in the more common elements of this strange language, but Prototype 2 takes it to a different level; taking every available opportunity to inject jargon into almost as many characters' dialogues as they do with cursing. I'm not a soldier, nor have I ever been, but I'm pretty sure they don't say "I'm Oscar Mike" EVERY SINGLE TIME they need to tell someone they are in-route to whatever destination they were ordered to go to. Now, what does this have to do with the game-play? Not much. It's just something that stands out so much that is became my prime focus of attention during the later stages of the game. Why? Because there is pretty much no challenge whatsoever to this game. You can pretty well get away with just mashing the attack button until everyone is dead. And if you start to run low on health, you can either run away and lose your pursuers, which is remarkably easy, or eat someone, which is both disturbing and remarkably easy. Now, don't get my wrong, this game is leaps and bounds better then Prototype 1, (pun intended) not to discredit the original, because I thought it was a pretty good game. It just would have been nice to have some semblance of challenge in the game. Other then that, and the almost funny use of language and jargon, it was a pretty good game. I'm also quite pleased with the amount of and intervals at which DLC is being provided.
I'm going to go ahead and put this here, because you technically never finish Minecraft. Yes, it does have an "End" per say, but it's never really over. Just one more block.
I have to say, of all the gaming companies in existence, there is probably only one who could make the "Wild West" seem cool; and that company is Rockstar Games. I originally picked this game up way back when it originally came out, and managed to get a few hours into it at the time. Unfortunately, it was released around the same time as another triple A game and I was unable to complete it. Fast forward almost two years later, and I have finally completed this superb game. The "wild west" isn't really a popular theme nowadays. In fact, it's quite UNpopular. But that didn't scare Rockstar; they took a theme that is loathed by many people and turned it into something great. It was somehow cool to be a cowboy in RDR's world. I won't go into too much detail, or say anything that really hasn't been said before, but this is pretty much "GTA in 1910." A superb game that was incredibly addicting, well written and just plain fun. Now, since it's been a while since the original game came out, there has been a lot of DLC released for this game; most of which is multi-player focused, but there are a few SP focused releases as well. Not the least of which is Undead Nightmare, which I will hopefully get around to completing soon. But anyways, a great game and definitely one of my favorites that I've finished so far this year. Now, on to Diablo 3!
True, you never really complete Diablo..but it does indeed have an "ending," which I have seen. Therefore, it shall be included on this list. I finished my first "Normal" play-through with my Demon Hunter (aptly named Artemis) over the weekend. I am now simultaneously working on another Normal play-through with my Monk (aptly named Nazareth, or perhaps, not so aptly..) and a Nightmare completion with the aforementioned Demon Hunter. I was a bit surprised by how much ass kicking I was on the receiving end of in the first act of Nightmare mode considering I was tearing it up through Normal mode; even managing to defeat one of the last bosses without even getting hit! I guess they don't call it Nightmare for nothing. You'll also notice I'm not really making any mention of how I feel about the game. Suffice to say, it's good. Very good. VERY, very good.
This is by far the best LEGO game made, so far. Admittedly, I haven't played a LEGO game since the first Star Wars one, but I'm fairly sure they kept with the same formula for the most part. Either way, this entry is miles away from the first Lego Batman. It wasn't a perfect game by any means- I encountered quite a few bugs (mostly with AI, pathfinding and getting stuck in the level) - but very rarely did they cause me to have to restart a level or anything like that. When you go into these LEGO games, you have to keep your expectations in check. You should know that there won't be any terrible difficult battles or platforming sections; the puzzles will be fairly simplistic; and the story won't be life-altering. If you go in expecting too much, you will be disappointed, but if you go in expecting to have a few laughs, and to smash a whole bunch of LEGO sets, you won't be let down. I will say that this game might have been a tad bit ambitious, though. The open-world idea is good, but the scale is a bit large for a LEGO game. Not only are the load times substantial, but there just isn't that much to do in this huge world they have created. You are pretty much either smashing stuff, searching for gold bricks, or fighting "bosses" to unlock mini-figs. After a while, it can get quite tedious. Other then those issues, it's a solid game.
While this was a good game with some really original puzzles, it has to be the buggiest game I've played in years. I can't even count the amount of times it crashed or froze; and, of course, my save was corrupted during my first playthrough. I'd hate to think how bad it would have been had I not patched it...or maybe that's what cause all of the problems in the first place? Regardless though, it was a good game. I especially like the retro look of it, and the music is also fitting. While the "story" left much to be desired, and some of the puzzles were needlessly complex and involved, it still remains one of the best XBLA games.
Less then a week after completing Fez, another game has been completed and added to this list! I've always been a fan of Klei's style and have always finished their games left wanting more. (Especially Shank 2...Jeez that was a short one!) Their games are always very well made and a blast to play, but always so short. Well, with Mark of The Ninja I think they achieved just the right length for this kind of game. I mean, sure I'd love more of the same (Mark of the Ninja 2 anyone?) but I didn't finish this game four hours into it and left staring at the screen saying "That's it?" This was a thoroughly enjoyable game, and one of very few games that does Ninjas right. Yes, the story is laughable and pretty much completely ignorable, but that's alright. Really all we want is to sneak around and kill dudes; or, as I'm doing in New Game Plus, sneak around without being seen or killing any dudes- a task that is much more difficult then just killing any guys who get in my way, but definitely no any less fun. Also the voice actors for the guards are so hilariously Canadian, I can't help but chuckle every time one of them says "Go check that out" with their Canadian "out's." If only they would say "Sorry," "Worry," or the classic, "Eh?" Anyways...Mark of the Ninja: One of my favorite XBLA games this year!
I've liked this game for quite a while, and have never gotten a chance to play it all the way through until recently. I acquired a whole slew of pixeljunk games some time earlier this year through a bundle that was on sale in the playstation store. I like most all of their games, so it was a wise purchase. Dual stick shooters are one of my favorite genres, if done correctly, and this game is definitely done correctly; although it techinically isn't a dual stick shooter since there is a button for shooting, but still.. Anyways, it's a nice little game and I look forward to playing Shooter 2 soon.
Great game. I wrote a little write-up about it here: http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/poisonjam7/my-thoughts-on-xcom/30-96906/
Finally! I have completed this game after six years of being on my backlog! I even wrote a review for the occasion:
I'd really like to go back and Plat this one if I ever get the time. There are only a few trophies left which are entirely obtainable.
I am somewhat hesitant to put these next two games on this list, as I don't really count mobile/iOS games as games of the same caliber as the ones already on this list. Regardless, here they are.
Scribblenauts Remix was fun. Just more Scribblenauts, really, but this time prettier and with adjectives.
This game is quite fun, and can also be quite hard. The premise is also delightfully evil.
Weird as hell, but also quite good looking considering it's pixel art style. I also liked the tilting mechanic for entering combat and opening the megatome. The story was....weird, to say the least. Still, not a bad distraction. Play it on iPad if possible, it adds more to the experience I think.
Man...what another disappointing game for 2012. I think the AC franchise has reached it's peak; especially if this is the best they can do with three years development time. Now, this game isn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't as great as it should have been. It was quite buggy and in many cases just plain boring. The most fun I had in this game was actually with the Naval missions and reading the Animus Database-- two completely optional activities. The setting of this game had great potential, but I don't feel they capitalized on it. Also, the parts where Conner is speaking his native indian language are just completely retarded. Actually, I have a pretty big problem with Connor as a whole; he is a whiny, ungrateful brat and so naive it almost makes you think they were joking when they designed him, but unfortunately they weren't. It's sad to see such a promising franchise be run into the ground by yearly sequels, and when we finally get a "true" sequel with a pedigree such as the one attributed to this game, it ends up being just as disappointing as the last two half-assed games. I guess Patrice Desilets was right to leave Ubi when he did.
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