Games I've played thoroughly in 2012

Typical list detailing what games I've played in 2012. Good talk.

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Posted by dankempster

A great list that puts my paltry tally of fifteen games so far this year to shame. Guess I'd better throw down some relevant thoughts in a bullet point format - BAM! (that's the sound of said thoughts being thrown down - hard)

  • If Revelations is "more of the same", then that's fine by me. It's on my list of games to pick up, and I'll probably seek out a copy towards year's end, when the release of ACIII brings its price point plummeting down. In spite of seeing fifteen-or-so hours of Brotherhood at this point, I think ACII is still my favourite in the series so far. While Brotherhood makes some notable improvements to the gameplay (the city-rebuilding and Assassins' Guild stuff in particular are great additions), it feels a bit too confined to me right now.
  • I have the first three Broken Sword games and haven's touched any of them. I must rectify this soon.
  • We've already shared many thoughts about Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider titles, and Vagrant Story, so I won't retread ground we've already covered.
  • Good to hear you enjoyed Dante's Inferno. I remember discussing it with you a while back and mentioning problems I had reading some of the in-game text. Glad to know it didn't prove too much of an issue for you.
  • MGS3 is without a doubt my favourite game in the Metal Gear series. I thought the more open, more organic 'jungle' environments really played to the strengths of the series' stealth mechanics, allowing me to be really inventive and experiment with all the different tools at Snake's disposal. The boss battles were incredible, and I really liked the survival elements too. As for Peace Walker, I played that on the PSP and was amazed by just how much they'd managed to squeeze onto the handheld. If I'd been playing it on a console, though, I think the omissions would have been much more glaringly obvious. Again, I really like the strategic, base-oriented side-stuff. Kept me occupied for hours.
Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@dankempster: Thanks Dan! Let's see here...

Revelations is essentially more of the same, but I'm really fond of the quiet, sometimes reflective story. Ezio is a hard character not to like, and I think the game wrapped up his story beautifully.

The Broken Sword games are great "rainy day" adventure games for when you're looking for something breezy and not-too-taxing. They have their issues, but I've found that the good outweighs the bad. I need to pick up the fourth at some point.

With regards to Dante's Inferno, I had a helper for the initial few hours. I actually ended up just sticking entirely to the "good" branch of skills, since I couldn't read the text and figure out what did what. A six pack of beer is a great equalizer for being blind, as it'll attract just about anybody's help. Hah! The hard part for me was the latter half - I didn't have help with those arena fights, and the controls and "how to" tips were completely unreadable. For that part, I had to go on to GameFAQs (I think) and get some help.

I think MGS3 is nothing short of brilliant. While I'll always have fonder memories of playing MGS2 in my best friend's dorm in college while we blatantly ignored our respective girlfriends, I think MGS3 is by far the best in the series. Then again, I couldn't ever get far in MGS4 due to visual stuff with that "follow the civilian" mission very early on, so I can't qualify that game as a contender. In any case, I plan on revisiting MGS3 very soon to try to play it with some degree of skill rather than the usual blundering mess I make of MGS games the first go-around.

Posted by Slag

Damn your list makes me feel lazy.

39 is an impressive haul

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@Slag: I'm sorry to say that I've been unemployed since late 2009. My free time is unfortunately consumed by writing, reading, and games. Being legally blind in a very tiny town of about 500 makes it really hard for me to have much of a social life, so I spend most of my extra money on games. I'm not proud of this list.

Posted by Slag


Well I'm even sorrier I brought up a sore subject for you. That was certainly not my intent. FWIW I'm genuinely impressed, unemployed or no that's a number I've maybe come close to once. In particular There's a lot of adventure games I'd like to eventually play on your list.

I'm the kind of guy who has the OCD completionist in him as well as someone who likes data/spreadsheets. So I see a list like yours and frankly get envious.

I hear you on the economy, it's still a very rough market to find a job and from what I hear it's many times harder to do so in a small town. From what I can tell not only has this economy recovery been far weaker than recoveries past, but furthermore also been very geographically unbalanced. My city's economy fortunately for me happens to be fantastic, but the rest of the state might as well be in the Great Depression.

long story short, you are not alone my friend.

Hang in there fella.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@Slag: Sorry! That got personal. I'd had a few drinks at that point and was a bit melancholy. And here usually I'm a happy drunk. Eh, oh well. Things will work out eventually. I have no real marketable skills to speak of, but someone sooner or later will realize that I'm a super fast learner and can be a real asset given half a chance.

Yes, there are some adventure games in that list that should definitely be checked out. The obvious biggie for most people is Walking Dead, but I have to say, I really think the find of the year for me was that Pendulo pack. Individually, they might not have been the best games out there, but for fifteen dollars, I got a hell of a lot of good quality adventure games (once I got beyond the first Runaway, which was mediocre at best). Although I technically didn't play through them all in 2012, the Broken Sword games are worth a look too. Speaking of, I really wish that fourth one would come up on sale on GOG at some point.

Posted by D_Bones

Wow dude you played an impressive amount of games I are jealous. Also you have managed to excellently sum up many of your thoughts about said games in two or three sentences bravo. First off it's cool that someone played Crisis Core this year. As someone who never finished VII i had way too much fun playing that game, one of the few times i ever used my psp. Also your thoughts on War in the North and Amalur make me want to play them slightly more. I've never expected much from either based on the general bashing of them for various reasons but especially with Amalur I had my hopes up and they were let down. I'd be interested if I would enjoy it now that I have such tempered expectations.

Also i'm glad you enjoyed Sly, that series is in my opinion underrated considering how much people hyped up the other "big two" platformery cartoonish games of that gen (jak and ratchet). If you haven't i would seriously recommend you play Sly 2 which is in my opinion the highlight of the series. The shift from 1 to 2and 3 is big (it goes from fairly basic collectable level based platformer to open mapish platformer) but they nailed it in my opinion. Great list duder.

Edited by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@D_Bones: Hey, thanks so much! It's always great to get feedback on stuff like this.

Amalur's mechanics are so solid that I can overlook everything else about it. That said, it does have issues - namely, the story is pretty second-rate. I really do recommend people play it, though, and I genuinely hope someone somewhere down the line decides to pick up the rights and push out a sequel, spiritual or direct.

War in the North is a real mixed bag. I get really irritated that it creates these new characters and ideas, and then craps all over that idea by sticking so close to the story told in the trilogy. And there are points when the combat, especially in single player, feels broken, particularly in close knit stages. But there are some good action-RPG elements, too, and overall, it's a fairly solid game. Just don't go into it expecting a great game, and you'll be mildly surprised.

Of the two, I'd definitely say go with Amalur. The scope and ambition of the game is just breathtaking.

As for Sly, I've scratched the surface of the second one. It looks really promising, and will definitely be a game I check out sooner rather than later.

Posted by D_Bones

@Sparky_Buzzsaw: hm i guess my follow up question would then have to be why doesn't war in the north feel seperate enough from LOTR? See i thought because i liked the setting i would simply enjoy going north and even if i didn't care for the story or characters fleshing out that area would be interesting. For example i'm not sure where on the map you travel, do you get the actual middle earth map and they track your trek? Because that would be a nice touch. I know you are going after some evil sorceror but do you get varation in the setting/enemy types? I mean i'm not expecting a lot but i would hope they would at least utilize the adventure aspect and get you to travel to a lot of different places.

And yeah you've definitely put me back on the Amalur track...well I mean after ridiculous backlog of course but it's there lol

Edited by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@D_Bones: There are about six locations that you visit throughout the game, all of which are mentioned in the novels or are directly involved in the Fellowship somehow (like Bree). The story and characters are new, but their story is heavily invested into that of the Fellowship. If what you're interested in is an exploration heavy game, you're probably going to want to go with Lord of the Rings Online, which is a terrific game for adventuring through Middle-Earth. This one... well, some of it's really neat - there's a dwarvish underground city that looks good. But for the most part, it never strays too far from aesthetics from the books or other LOTR games. Whether that's good or bad, I leave up to you.