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My Top 10 Games of 2012: I like the games you hate!

So I finally compiled my list of the top ten games of 2012. Every game on this list I absolutely adored for one reason or another, but looking down it I realized most of them were not that well received, at least not in the Giantbomb community. Never the less, I thought it would make an interesting list.

2011's 2012 Game of the Year: Saint's Row The Third

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I played a ton of Saint's Row the Third back in 2011. But I played even more of it in 2012. I love this game so deeply it barely makes sense. I mean, most open world games I find to be a hassle to play and just not fun (cough GTA cough.) Saint's Row though grabbed me and didn't let me go. I mean I can now count the open world games I love on two... maybe three fingers. This and Assassin's Creed.

Number 10: One Piece Pirate Warriors

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Trust me, I usually don't give a rats ass for Dynasty Warrior type games. In fact I actively dislike them. They usually look graphically muddy and I just don't find them interesting to play. But take that concept and apply it to one of my favorite anime's ever with a faithful reproduction of the show's visuals and you've got me interested. This game was loads of fun to play. I even decided I wanted a physical copy of it and imported it from the UK. Was worth it.

Number 9: Dead or Alive 5

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I also usually don't like 3D fighters in the vein of Tekken. I'm more of a 2D kind of guy, like Street Fighter 4 or Marvel vs Capcom 3. My main issue with games like Tekken is that the life bars are so short by default and there is very little X-Factor come back tension moments for me. What I like about DOA is the counter system which can help a good player come back in a spectacular way by countering hits over and over until victory. It has that 2D style tension in it. Plus, boobs.

Number 8: Persona 4 Arena

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Man I love Persona 4. In fact I love the Persona series in general. A real unique style of RPG with some of the best characters around. So if you tell me that you're making a fighting game based on the those characters, all I have to say is bring it on. The fact that so much of the single played ended up being a canonical sequel to Persona 4 was just icing on the cake. A great way to continue telling the story of the characters we love, while working on Persona 5. Here's hoping that that game has as much style as this does.

Number 7: Lollipop Chainsaw

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Those crazy people at grasshopper are... well, crazy. They make some of the funniest, weirdest games I've played this generation, so I was already looking forward to this game. The graphics were top notch in my opinion, at least artistically, and the story was goofy fun. Plus Michael Rosenbaum voiced a dangling head. A dangling severed head. Yes.

Number 6: Resident Evil 6

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Almost everyone in the Giantbomb community hated this game. But I just couldn't see it. I played through the game expecting some real shitty stuff, but was pleasantly surprised at every corner. The graphics were pretty top notch and the set pieces were really epic. I would recommend this game to every one if only to play Leon's campaign which was my favorite. I loved Resident Evil 4, thought 5 was pretty good, but this game just blew it out of the water for me. It was so good, that it was all I played for a couple of weeks following it's release.

Number 5: The Walking Dead

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Three zombie games, back to back. Who'da thunk? I really like the Walking Dead TV series, but I know that the comics are fairly different. However for as much as I enjoy the TV series, I thought to my self the source material must be pretty good then. So the Walking Dead based on the comics by Telltale sounded pretty awesome to me. Despite the hiccups the game had, it was an incredible journey filled with a lot of really tense moments. If this is how adventure games are going to be handled in the future, then I say bring them on.

Number 4: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask

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A real gentleman can solve a billion puzzles without breaking a sweat. Plus he wears a snazzy top hat. Professor Layton was the game that sold me on the DS and was pretty much the only reason I bought my 3DS. The game is as charming as ever with clever puzzles that take advantage of the 3D. Plus it's just good to have another adventure with good old Hershel. I'll be sad when the 6th and final game is released. I wonder if that Ace Attorney x Layton game will be any good though...

Number 3: Assassin's Creed 3

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Again, another game released this year that seems to have gotten a lot of unwarranted hate. Sure there was some clunky stuff with the menus, and I beat the game without even knowing the assassination contracts were still in the game. But it was great looking, great playing and the story was pretty good. I think most people really disliked the ending because it seemed to them that it didn't resolve much. But the way you have to look at it, is that it's another cliff hanger like in Assassin's Creed 2. This is surely not the end, and it sets up something that could be way cooler; fighting the First Civilizations, while maybe trying to bring Desmond back?

Number 2: Mass Effect 3

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Another game where the hubub about the ending really soured the experience of many. Not me though. I thought the ending was perfectly fine, even before extended cut. I mean, when people say your choices in previous games made little difference, I think they have to be crazy. All your choices led to resolving the problems of the Quarians and Geth, or the Genophage. As for the ending, I expected my Shepard to sacrifice himself anyway. I couldn't imagine him just solving this and going back to normal. The only misstep in this game in my opinion was not including From Ashes and Leviathan in the game proper. Seriously, how could you not have those in there...

Game of the Year: Persona 4 Golden

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I had a really tough time deciding whether I wanted this, or Mass Effect 3 as my game of the year. Both were incredible games, and I felt a bit weird choosing a game that came out a few years back as my 2012 game. Ultimately though, the DLC missteps of Mass Effect 3, and the amazing additions to Persona 4 Golden made me choose it as my 2012 game of the year. All the new scenarios are so clever and full of fan service and all the tweaks to the game so smart that I felt like I was experiencing the game all over again for the first time. If you don't have a Vita yet, you should get one, if only for this game alone. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll bufu. Damnit Vinny.