GOTY 2012

This year I mostly ended up playing games that came out last year, but I did find my way around to playing some 2012 games. The list is a bit funky, because I give Journey some praise exceeding its placement. Thats more about me recognizing what it is, and still placing it within what I really liked from this year.

HONORABLE MENTION: GAMES FROM 2011 THAT RULED:

Saints Row The Third might be one of my favorite games of all time, I dearly wish I had gotten to it sooner, as I'm STILL playing around in it.

RAGE. I love the feel, aesthetic, and scope of this game. I feel it was unfairly judged due to just looking like a pretty Fallout. It also had a dumb ending, but I still really loved it.

Skyrim. I kind of came around on this after finally sitting down and dictating where I would and would not go. Wandering did me no good.

List items

  • I haven't thought this hard about games in awhile and its kind of readjusted how I look at what games are and what they can be. The shooting is competent (I actually appreciate how enemies take a realistic amount of bullets) but its really the story and decisions you make that make this thing rise above, even if those decisions don't mean a whole lot.

    If you played it, you'll know how much the choice between the two hanging men fucks with you. There are only two ways that logically plays out, but the implications of what's happening just drills so deep in your head when you think about it.

    I mean, overall, this isn't the game I had the most fun with, its also not the best game I played this year. It is the most important game I've played this year, and I can't really place anything else above this.

  • There's a moment in this game where you realize is working much deeper than it appears. Characters are introduced, emote, grow, and even die over the course of this game. The fact that this game also had amazingly tight combat is almost just a bonus. While the actual designs are goofy and reminiscent of bad anthro art from a 13 year old with an odd fixation with the burn tool, it becomes easy to look past that with its fluid animation and great sense of humor.

    Its probably a bit cliche, but likening this to a Don Bluth film is entirely on the nose. The cutesy demeanor hides a funny and charming story with dark turns and danger. You should seriously check this out if you've been on the fence at all.

  • The Earth level sucks, the fat librarian fight sucks, and the ending is a little lackluster. The rest of the game, however, is a slick playing action RPG with great magic skills, a fascinating loot system (Your weapons can eat each other!), and the world of Darksiders is even more fleshed out with awesome characters and gorgeous environments. I'm already really bummed out Joe Mad has left Vigil, but the state of THQ means I might not see a Darksiders 3 or 4 to wrap up the story they've started.

    It might be Battle Chasers all over again, but I can't deny all the fun I had in this game.

  • There is a ton of everything in this game. Its kind of hard to describe, the voice acting, humor, and story are all fantastic and light hearted. The gameplay is solid and crazily customizable.

    Honestly, even if it were just a rail shooter, I'd be fine with that. But then you lose out on the nifty multiplayer and weapon fusing/trading/gem creating/ stuff. The difficulty slider will hopefully set a new standard in modifiable difficulty for games to come, its just really damn cool and efficient.

    I love you Sakurai.

  • The ending wasn't that bad. I also kinda sorta didn't like Mass Effect 2. This game pretty much fixes every problem I had with ME2. Your decisions in ME1 finally matter. Wrex's and Ashley's presence are felt, all of your squadmates who could have lived or died are represented here, you can cure the genophage (!), resolve the Quarian/Geth conflict (!!), you can watch Tali get drunk and bitch about Miranda and her fat ass (!!!) .

    I don't really care about robot plants or the literal deus ex machina. I got to shoot cans in the citadel with Garrus, I got to listen to Vega talk about his love of dinosaurs, and I witnessed the Illusive Man realize I was right all along. It was a satisfying end to a bumpy experiment of a trilogy.

  • Yo dawg, this game is hella anime. You are a girl with a badass mech unit who becomes the second president of Neo Japan. This is just the first cutscene (which is an anime). After which you proceed through a Zone of the Enders esque -not quite rail gun- game about purifying the world from an evil force. Its like if Michael Bay wrote Okami or something. Also various random Japanese citizens thank you via tweets in game. When a divorced 41 year old mother of two tells you you're awesome, you know this game is awesome.

    Its only $8 or something on the eShop, and if its not really your style, try out AeroPorter (from Yoot Saito, the Seaman creator) or Crimson Shroud (from the dude that made FFTactics and worked on the Ogre Battle games, which are all really good or something). They're small scale games from some of the most talented dudes in Japan, and were all part of the Guild 01 release in Japan. I love the idea of more of these bite sized pieces of Japanese quirk and genius.

  • ITS REYN TIME.

    Something about effective modernizations of stagnant formulas, fascinating relationship trees, unique fantasy/scifi setting, Dunban, I don't know. All you really need to know is that you're a bunch of jokers and that its always time for Reyn.

  • I haven't even touched the story stuff, since I haven't finished P4 proper (which I've had since it practically came out) but the gameplay is fun, and I get to mess up dudes as Kanji with a folding chair. Dreams do come true!

  • I'm positive you've either heard enough to know why Journey is special, or at least played it yourself to find out.

    It really is quite a pretty game with a gorgeous final crescendo. Games have always been an art, but Journey is easily one of its masterpieces. Why is it so low you ask? I can recognize what this means to many other people and how elegantly it presents itself even if it didn't strike me in the same powerful way it did others. Its like recognizing "Starry Night" is fantastic while still being more of a "School of Athens" duder.

  • Its more Suda51 craziness, though perhaps more tame and plodding than Shadows or Heroes. I still enjoy the madcap humor and style that oozes out of this game, the unlockables and replayability focus do add quite a bit to the short story mode.

    Suda games still have some of the greatest boss battles out there.