TrueEnglishGent's (slightly late) Games of 2012!

Posted by MachoFantastico (4308 posts) -

Better late than never, right? Whilst I had intended to write this up around New Years, certain things occupied my time so my inevitable list of games that made 2012 all super and that, is finally here. Now I'll be the first to admit, I've gone off the idea of calling one specific game my game of the year, so instead of a numbered order you'll find a selection of games that made 2012 a year to remember for those of us who do love our video games Yes most of the games on my list are boringly predictable (Damn them, for being so darn good) but I hope there's one or two that you might agree with or might even be worth your future consideration. I'm not sure what it is about creating a list at the end of each year, it's like something we have a deep driven urge to do. Anyway, shall we begin?

List in no particular order (also lists are boring!).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of all the games I played in 2012, none quite scratched that meaningless itch of constant loot and shooting dudes in the face than Gearbox Software's outstanding Borderlands 2. Having had a distant appreciated for the original Borderlands, while at the same time a deep rooted hatred for how downright boring shooting guys in the face was, I watched Borderlands 2 with a tinge of caution and anticipated thrill, fuelled by a need for loot, loot and even more loot! Thankfully in pretty much every way, the fine guys and gals at Gearbox Software didn't just iron out all the rough edges found in the original, they went and made a hell of a fun shooter, one of the best in years even. Having already invested 70+ hours into one character already (no where near as much as some folks I know), having only just started to mess around with the downloadable content and having yet got around to playing the new game plus, guarantees I'll be playing Borderlands 2 for many months to come. I love it!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh SSX, it's most probably ironic that the whole selling point of having 'realistically mapped out' mountains in your game ended up hurting the final product. Don't get me wrong, the amount of 'drops' is stupendous and delightful, but when a great many of those drops are sort of... well boring and infuriating it's a damn shame. As is the games split personality, neither gritty realistic extreme snowboarding game nor SSX Tricky reborn, it didn't really know what it wanted to be. Though the Mount Eddie DLC was proof enough which I prefer, more SSX Tricky, less Deadly Descent please. So okay, SSX had it's problems, but that's not to take anything away from the fact that SSX was bloody good fun and the return of a franchise that should never stop being part of the release calender. Let's hope we see more SSX on the horizon... *cough*Tricky*cough*

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, the so called Japanese Gears of War. In the year in which I played both Sega's bizarre futuristic robot murdering third-person shooter and Epic Game's manly, shouty lambent murdering third-person shooter, I know which I'd prefer to chatter on about. Binary Domain was created by Toshihiro Nagoshi, the man behind the equally awesome Yakuza series. But unlike the Yakuza games which have a tendency to drag on until your eyes explode, Binary Domain was able to hook me until the very end with a story that surprised me with intrigue and characters that were both equally irritating and awesome... at the same time. Seriously, have you not seen Cain, the French speaking robot who kicks-ass. Then there's Big Bo, who deserves a honourable mention in his own right. In many ways it was the games Japanese-ness (is that a word? It is now) that I adored the most. Does Gears of War 3 stop you in the middle of a mission to protect a party member who needs to use the bathroom facilities whilst being attacked by robots programmed for murder? I think not, and that's why I love Binary Domain, cause it's SWEET!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why do I play video games? I've asked this question many times over the years and I've never been quite sure of the answer. Some play to rack up high scores, others to achieve rare feats or prove they're the best. Me? Well for me it's all about the experience. Now putting the whole games are art debate to one side, I'm not quite sure what to say about Thatgamecompany's stunning, beautiful and spectacular PSN exclusive game Journey that hasn't already been said. Breathtaking visuals, twinned with one of the greatest soundtracks I've ever had the honour of listening to (a bazillion times). Journey is a game that speaks for itself, a game I fell in love with and still adore even after experiencing it for the seventh or eighth time. It's still as magical as you randomly meet up with a strange fellow player and communicate through simple chirps and skiing down sand dunes. It is without a single doubt, one of the greatest experiences I've had in video games and if this list were in order of awesomeness, I think it's fair to say that Journey would be in my top two. Journey is proof enough just how magical games can be, touching you on an emotional level few games can hope to achieve.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I hate zombies! So if you'd have said to me a year ago that Telltale's The Walking Dead would be in my list of games of 2012, I'd have most probably grumbled some inaudible speech in disapproval. Yet here it is, The Walking Dead. Despite having had no interest in the television show after season one and my aforementioned hatred of all things zombie, The Walking Dead was a wondrous achievement. Coming off the back of the simply awful Jurassic Park game, there wasn't a great deal of faith in Telltale's ability to turn The Walking Dead into anything other than another familiar point and click adventure game. Yet somehow, some way they were able to create one of the most memorable gaming experiences of the year... no of this generation. It's not a technical wonder, it certainly had it's flaws on all systems, but that's not really the point. The Walking Dead proves the power of good storytelling, something so many games choose to ignore these days. From the emotionally charged relationship between Lee and Clementine to the gut-wrenching decisions you have the make along the way, The Walking Dead pulls at your very heartstrings constantly until it makes you weep like a baby. Telltale did a superb job of creating a constant stream of tension, the never knowing what might happen next, always leaves you on the edge of your seat. Then there's that ending... oh that ending! Simply spectacular. While I have a dislike for lists, I'd be happy to call The Walking Dead my game of 2012.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So there it is. Five games might not be a whole lot and I certainly played a great many more, some of which might have deserved to be on this list. But I dunno, I feel there's something more natural about picking the five games that meant the most to me and while 2012 wasn't quite a spectacular year for video games, it certainly had it's fair share of memorable releases. So I hope you enjoyed it to. Roll on 2013... wait we're already here... dammit!

Thanks for reading.

#1 Posted by MachoFantastico (4308 posts) -

Better late than never, right? Whilst I had intended to write this up around New Years, certain things occupied my time so my inevitable list of games that made 2012 all super and that, is finally here. Now I'll be the first to admit, I've gone off the idea of calling one specific game my game of the year, so instead of a numbered order you'll find a selection of games that made 2012 a year to remember for those of us who do love our video games Yes most of the games on my list are boringly predictable (Damn them, for being so darn good) but I hope there's one or two that you might agree with or might even be worth your future consideration. I'm not sure what it is about creating a list at the end of each year, it's like something we have a deep driven urge to do. Anyway, shall we begin?

List in no particular order (also lists are boring!).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of all the games I played in 2012, none quite scratched that meaningless itch of constant loot and shooting dudes in the face than Gearbox Software's outstanding Borderlands 2. Having had a distant appreciated for the original Borderlands, while at the same time a deep rooted hatred for how downright boring shooting guys in the face was, I watched Borderlands 2 with a tinge of caution and anticipated thrill, fuelled by a need for loot, loot and even more loot! Thankfully in pretty much every way, the fine guys and gals at Gearbox Software didn't just iron out all the rough edges found in the original, they went and made a hell of a fun shooter, one of the best in years even. Having already invested 70+ hours into one character already (no where near as much as some folks I know), having only just started to mess around with the downloadable content and having yet got around to playing the new game plus, guarantees I'll be playing Borderlands 2 for many months to come. I love it!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh SSX, it's most probably ironic that the whole selling point of having 'realistically mapped out' mountains in your game ended up hurting the final product. Don't get me wrong, the amount of 'drops' is stupendous and delightful, but when a great many of those drops are sort of... well boring and infuriating it's a damn shame. As is the games split personality, neither gritty realistic extreme snowboarding game nor SSX Tricky reborn, it didn't really know what it wanted to be. Though the Mount Eddie DLC was proof enough which I prefer, more SSX Tricky, less Deadly Descent please. So okay, SSX had it's problems, but that's not to take anything away from the fact that SSX was bloody good fun and the return of a franchise that should never stop being part of the release calender. Let's hope we see more SSX on the horizon... *cough*Tricky*cough*

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, the so called Japanese Gears of War. In the year in which I played both Sega's bizarre futuristic robot murdering third-person shooter and Epic Game's manly, shouty lambent murdering third-person shooter, I know which I'd prefer to chatter on about. Binary Domain was created by Toshihiro Nagoshi, the man behind the equally awesome Yakuza series. But unlike the Yakuza games which have a tendency to drag on until your eyes explode, Binary Domain was able to hook me until the very end with a story that surprised me with intrigue and characters that were both equally irritating and awesome... at the same time. Seriously, have you not seen Cain, the French speaking robot who kicks-ass. Then there's Big Bo, who deserves a honourable mention in his own right. In many ways it was the games Japanese-ness (is that a word? It is now) that I adored the most. Does Gears of War 3 stop you in the middle of a mission to protect a party member who needs to use the bathroom facilities whilst being attacked by robots programmed for murder? I think not, and that's why I love Binary Domain, cause it's SWEET!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why do I play video games? I've asked this question many times over the years and I've never been quite sure of the answer. Some play to rack up high scores, others to achieve rare feats or prove they're the best. Me? Well for me it's all about the experience. Now putting the whole games are art debate to one side, I'm not quite sure what to say about Thatgamecompany's stunning, beautiful and spectacular PSN exclusive game Journey that hasn't already been said. Breathtaking visuals, twinned with one of the greatest soundtracks I've ever had the honour of listening to (a bazillion times). Journey is a game that speaks for itself, a game I fell in love with and still adore even after experiencing it for the seventh or eighth time. It's still as magical as you randomly meet up with a strange fellow player and communicate through simple chirps and skiing down sand dunes. It is without a single doubt, one of the greatest experiences I've had in video games and if this list were in order of awesomeness, I think it's fair to say that Journey would be in my top two. Journey is proof enough just how magical games can be, touching you on an emotional level few games can hope to achieve.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I hate zombies! So if you'd have said to me a year ago that Telltale's The Walking Dead would be in my list of games of 2012, I'd have most probably grumbled some inaudible speech in disapproval. Yet here it is, The Walking Dead. Despite having had no interest in the television show after season one and my aforementioned hatred of all things zombie, The Walking Dead was a wondrous achievement. Coming off the back of the simply awful Jurassic Park game, there wasn't a great deal of faith in Telltale's ability to turn The Walking Dead into anything other than another familiar point and click adventure game. Yet somehow, some way they were able to create one of the most memorable gaming experiences of the year... no of this generation. It's not a technical wonder, it certainly had it's flaws on all systems, but that's not really the point. The Walking Dead proves the power of good storytelling, something so many games choose to ignore these days. From the emotionally charged relationship between Lee and Clementine to the gut-wrenching decisions you have the make along the way, The Walking Dead pulls at your very heartstrings constantly until it makes you weep like a baby. Telltale did a superb job of creating a constant stream of tension, the never knowing what might happen next, always leaves you on the edge of your seat. Then there's that ending... oh that ending! Simply spectacular. While I have a dislike for lists, I'd be happy to call The Walking Dead my game of 2012.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So there it is. Five games might not be a whole lot and I certainly played a great many more, some of which might have deserved to be on this list. But I dunno, I feel there's something more natural about picking the five games that meant the most to me and while 2012 wasn't quite a spectacular year for video games, it certainly had it's fair share of memorable releases. So I hope you enjoyed it to. Roll on 2013... wait we're already here... dammit!

Thanks for reading.

#2 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -

Good selection of games here, Borderlands 2 was my GOTY, but I never did as much as you did. I played Borderlands right before Borderlands 2 though so thats why. Also SSX is also awesome, can't believe nobody mentioned it on the GOTY deliberations.

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