Games I Finished in 2012

I finished so few games in 2011 that I didn't even bother to make a list. Hell, I couldn't even fill out a top 5, let alone top 10 list for my favorite games of the year. Let's hope 2012 is a better year (? I don't know if me not having the time to play a ton of games is a good thing or a bad thing, but I feel out of the loop still). Only games I've played to conclusion count, and it doesn't have to be games released this year.

To be updated when I beat more games, and whenever I remember this thing exists.

List items

  • I can't remember if I finally finished this game at the end of last year or the very wee hours of 2012, so I'm sticking it here. Anyway, Dragon Age 2 was fiiiine. Well, two characters were fine enough to make the experience worth it.

  • Now I'm going to do the same thing for Skyrim. I'll go back and check my save file to make sure I finished this in 2012. The whole game was a multiple-hundred hour blur. And that was just my *first* playthrough. It's not often I play a bloody amazing game to the point where I burn completely out on it and have to put it away.

  • Not a "game" (I kind of hate when people refer to visual novels as games), but this thing became my obsession for the entire month of February and beyond. It's an amazing accomplishment with a sweet message and a ton of really awesome characters. You should try it.

  • Is it cheating to include this here? I've already finished it twice before. Oh well... it certainly took enough of my time, even powering through it at the speed of light, to get through one last time before Mass Effect 3. I did, in fact, play this game in 2012 and see its conclusion. Again. At least this time was my first time seeing renegade Spectre Dana Shepard treat the galaxy like her bitch.

  • Yep. Same as above. The continuing adventures of Desra Shepard: space badass. Who is, for some reason, madly in love with Kaidan, and refused to find out about Garrus' reach.

  • Mass Effect 3 was a pretty great way to end the series. The surprise that the Reapers were really the good guys was stunning.

    ... Damn it, I feel like I have to point out that I'm joking before someone thinks that's a real spoiler.

  • The puzzles aren't all that bad, but you could throw them out the door and just give me the good ole' Visual Novel aspect of this and I'd still call it one of my favorite things ever because of the fantastic characters and writing. In the style of the Infinity series of Visual Novels, the awesome part of this game is that moment where you've finally figured everything out, with the payoff of one final, triumphant story revelation and a true ending.

  • Not nearly the revelatory, heart-warming plots found in the rest of the Infinity series, but as a quasi-remake of the first title in the series (acting as the new first title in the series, unless my understanding is wrong), it's probably forgivable. There's still smaller chunks of those "oh my god" moments where some new piece of information clicks, and your understanding of the whole picture gets just a little clearer. Except, I don't really think I understand everything nearly as well as I did with Ever17 and Remember11, even with the cliffhanger "wtf" moment at the end of Remember11.

  • Damn. Another Mario game that taunts me by being a part of a series of games I'd have figured would be run into the ground by now, but continually comes up with mechanics that innovate and happens to have masterful level design. Okay, I do have one complaint: the levels are pretty short. That means that you never really get bored of any one level, at least. It's also the reason to own a 3DS, and the game that sold me on the idea of 3D (at least, lenticular 3D). Dear lord though, current 3D tech in any form hurts my eyes.

  • Getting back on the wagon with the Infinity series. There are two things about Remember11. 1) This is a brilliantly written story. You'll start out with the false pretense that this is another crazy Japanese Eroge game. You'll finish your first playthrough and say "huh, that wasn't at all what I was expecting." You'll do another and realize there's quite a bit more to this. Then you'll jump back and forth seeking every tidbit of information you can get, at which point you realize that there's significance and meaning behind every damn word in this story. And I'm not kidding. After dozens of times through, and after having picked it up again with a bit of a cool-off period, I only now feel like I'm beginning to grasp the depths of the story. 2) It maximizes the use of its medium greater than anything else I've seen. This story could not be told effectively in book form... That's why I love this visual novel so much, and why I wish more people would take the medium seriously here in America.

  • Very few story missions where I wasn't laughing out loud at some point. However, Saints Row the Third loses points with me because I kind of hated playing it. I never want to be given stupid random side stuff in this kind of an open world game ever again. It's all just tedious level grinding bull. But damn it, the parts of the game that are crafted are done so expertly.

  • I think Zero Escape fixes all of the actual gameplay gripes I had with 999. You never have to complete a puzzle more than once, they're generally more interesting, and you can even jump around to any part of the story at any time as need be. The premise is even more interesting, although the choice aspect is diluted by the fact that you have to see every branch of the story anyway. My only other gripe about it is that it may be too *much* of a direct sequel to the original.

  • After finishing Sleeping Dogs, I think it would be very difficult going back to play GTA IV. Everything about Sleeping Dogs is better. The fighting (especially), the shooting, the driving, even those pesky mandatory open-world collectibles. I really enjoyed Sleeping Dogs (enough that I finished it, which says a lot given how few of this year's releases I've gotten to. That said, I don't think it held onto me nearly as much as it seems to have with others.

  • Who'd have thought an adventure game could be so gripping? It might not be an example of where I'd like to see gaming go with branching stories, but it's the closest a video game has ever been, even if only because it hides its story branches really well. There's a reason I marathonned every episode after the first.

  • You know what? Strategy games have become my go-to genre. Hearing how brutal X-Com would be, I was shy to jump in even with the Firaxis Team B (not B-Team) pedigree. I'm glad I did, however. X-Com *is* brutal, but you can make it less brutal if you like. The difficulty compliments the hopeless tone of the game. And from a strategy gaming perspective, there's plenty of it in both the "action" sequences and the between mission trips back home to X-Com base. Ultimately, it turns out that X-Com is on my short list for game of the year (with the caveat that I haven't played a whole lot of this year's best games).