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Yours Truly's 2012 Game of the Year Awards

2012 was when the event horizon of AAA design tore itself apart, and the entire "preseason list" of ringers imploding left the field open for some very strange GOTYs.

For me though, it was another year as any other.

List items

  • 999 was an almost intellectual exercize for me: puzzles, hyper-clever game design tricks, and a plot that was so well-done it came out on top in the media it exists in by actually making even more sense the more you knew and the more you thought on it.

    VLR is several steps above it. Quality of life changes (necessary for the game's quality and not for sheer laziness's sake), better soundtrack, more puzzles, more endings, more crazy, more fucked.

    The lone downside is the save bug on 3DS for a couple Escape rooms. This almost cost it 1st.

  • Ah, the joy of a new Matsuno game. Like a fugue in video game form, he and his team made such a restricted, low-dimensional idea for a game as "single-player table top RPG" and made it sing. Remember: "From restriction: Strength". Magnificient soundtrack. Delicious dialogue. Involved battle system that takes several distilled features from desktop gaming and uses them brilliantly for player agency.

  • As serene and uncaring as the dungeon that you traverse, LoG is a wonderful throwback to the DCs of old, where victory is in the hunt and effort. Very thoughtful puzzles, layout, and sound effects, plus gets points for pulling off the wierd "dancing" combat and end boss without tripping up.

  • My First Pokeymans game, and I see now where the hype and addiction comes from. It's the incredibly deep character building and combat that kept me coming back day after day beyond just beating the Champion to refine my team and take my rookie effort on-line. There's a lot of great monster designs to bring into one's fold too.

  • hile this scared many shitless with it's player responsibility and gloomy doomed narrative, I found it a fine TBS to complement my veterancy in the field. Permadeath is nearly mandatory for balance, too. Mulitplayer I didn't go into, but I've heard mediocre things from it.

  • If only the voice actors didn't seem nauseous from what came out their mouths...

    If only the characters were written by people who had actually met another human being before...

    If only the music wasn't random notes at its best when not noticed... woulda been my GOTY as the combat and character building are absolutely flawless. To play this is to be completely bored to by the mediocre ARPG combat that plagues games from then on. Fast, deep, with several features to make the RPG part deeply involved in the strategy.

  • Bought this during a drought cuz hey, my PSP still worked, Atlus is good for it, and hey, an SRPG! This is a very tightly wound game with a number of interesting opennings to break the game wide ass open with custom death squads, which, like a good tactics game, requires it at points. Snappy dialogue, too.