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Game of the Year 2012: Jordan's Picks


Jordan Haygood

As we move into the new year after successfully surviving the end of the world (thanks again, Goku!), it“s time to look back on all the fun times we had in our virtual worlds. There were certainly lots of games released in 2012 – some good, some bad, and some so ugly only a blind prostitute is willing to look at it. Which ones are worth playing, though?

 

With such a large slush pile of bad games that may or may not have something to do with Kinect or James Bond, there are plenty of gems for each game-playing platform that I find extraordinary. So let“s take a look at 2012 and pick out what I think are the most outstanding games of the year…from what I“ve played. Keep in mind that I haven“t played all gazillion games that came out in 2012, and this is just a list of the games I enjoyed the most out of what I played.

 


 

PC Game of the Year:

 

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Guild Wars 2

 

I haven“t exactly played too many PC games recently (now, if you“d like to buy me a better computer, we“ll talk), but out of the ones I have played, as far as PC exclusives go, none have given me as grand an experience as Guild Wars 2. With such a gorgeous world to journey through, unique systems to play around with, and a vast array of nice character classes, this game is fun from the get-go. But throw in tons of imaginative quests, a brilliantly-designed PvP system, and a crapload of other content, and this is one helluva MMO. And ya wanna know the best part? All of this requires a subscription of only $0!

 


 

PS3 Game of the Year:

 

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Journey

 

It“s not a 2012 Game of the Year list without Journey in there somewhere. And there“s a reason thatgamecompany's newest game is finding its way onto so many of these lists. As far as video games go in general, few have immersed me into its world as much as Journey has this year. It's not only one of the most beautiful games I've seen, and not only does it have one of the best co-op modes I've ever played, but the soundtrack... oh, that soundtrack! And you know a video game soundtrack is amazing when it gets nominated for a friggin' Grammy. That doesn't happen often.

 


 

Xbox 360 Game of the Year:

 

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Silent Hill: Downpour

 

It“s pretty much unanimous that the first three Silent Hills were the best, and many considered the series to have been going downhill since. With that said, Silent Hill: Downpour is exactly what the series needed to get it going back uphill again. With the survival horror genre having shifted directions, it took a while for the series to truly find the path it needed to keep modern gamers happy while also giving hardcore fans a true Silent Hill experience. It has its share of flaws, sure, but as a hardcore Silent Hill fan myself, I really enjoyed it.

 


 

Wii Game of the Year:

 

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Xenoblade Chronicles

 

The Nintendo Wii didn't see much in 2012, but that didn't stop it from having one of the console“s greatest games arrive on American shores, thanks to the efforts of Operation: Rainfall. Sure, The Last Story could be considered the Wii“s swan song, but compared to Xenoblade Chronicles, that is merely a duckling chirping. Out of all Wii games released in 2012 (yes, all four of them), none can hold even a drip of candle wax to Xenoblade. I already knew it was a good game from all the praise it got, but once I was finally able to spend 70+ hours exploring the incredibly expansive world, I realized that Xenoblade is by far one of my favorite experiences I've ever had on the Wii, and definitely the best one to come out of 2012.

 


 

Wii U Game of the Year:

 

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New Super Mario Bros. U

 

Unfortunately, I still need to buy a Wii U. That said, my lack of owning the console hasn't stopped me from playing a few of its games (I have my ways). And out of what I“ve played, there“s no denying that New Super Mario Bros. U is my favorite thus far, so it gets my pick for Wii U Game of the Year. While I for one love every entry into the New Super Mario Bros. series, many of you have your share of problems regarding them. And I understand that because none of them has been able to match my love for Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World. But after playing NSMBU, I think one of them has finally come pretty close. Whether you play solo or with four others, New Super Mario Bros. U is a great game every Wii U owner should own. Now, back to saving up for my own Wii U!

 


 

DS Game of the Year:

 

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Pokemon Black 2 / White 2

 

With the 3DS having picked up steam a while back, you“d think the DS would have been set aside long ago. Pokemon didn't think so, which is apparent by its love for the last-gen handheld throughout the year. One (or two, rather) such game is Pokemon Black 2/White 2. Of course, with what little the DS got in 2012, there really isn't much competition aside from Pokemon Conquest, but whatever. If you“ve played the first Black/White, you“ll pretty much know what to expect from this one. But that“s not to say it“s the same thing. I see it as Black/White after it took a few rare candies (oh there I go with the lame Pokemon jokes). If you're a Pokemon fan, this game is a no-brainer.

 


 

3DS Game of the Year:

 

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Kid Icarus: Uprising

 

It took about 20 years for our favorite little angel warrior to show his face in a game of his own, but when he finally returned, I couldn't have been happier. Kid Icarus: Uprising is a lot of things, and a lot of things handled really well. To put it simply, Uprising is a fantastic revival to a classic gem, and has a lot going for it as a fantastic game all in itself. And of course, it is. I mean, what list do you think this is? Sure, the game does have a few flaws, but they were obviously no match for the awesomeness this game exudes. Of all the quality 3DS games released in 2012, Kid Icarus: Uprising is the one I enjoyed the most.

 


 

PS Vita Game of the Year:

 

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Zero Escape: Virtue“s Last Reward

 

First off, I actually haven“t played the Vita version of this game. I played the 3DS version, though, so at least I played it. As for why I named Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward my favorite Vita game of 2012…well, that“s pretty much because I haven“t exactly played anything else for Vita that isn“t also for the 3DS. So, uh...I guess take my word with a grain of salt (or sugar, if you prefer sweets).

 

Second off, I did do my research before finalizing my decision, so there“s that too. As I understand it, the Vita version is just as good, if not slightly better than the one I played, so that“s something to consider if you own a Vita. Regardless of which version you play, though, Zero Escape in general is simply amazing. If I owned a Vita, I“d buy this version of the game just so I have an excuse to play it all over again…

 


 

Mobile Game of the Year:

 

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Rayman Jungle Run

 

If there“s one thing Rayman Origins did right, it“s everything. Well, as far as platformers go, anyway. Not only was it one of the greatest platformers this generation, but it even gives Mario a run for his money as one of the greatest platformers ever.

 

Speaking of running, if you liked Rayman Origins and have an iPhone or Android, Rayman Jungle Run is a game you must own. In fact, even if you haven“t played Origins, Jungle Run is a game you must own. Seriously, while I don“t think mobile gaming will ever truly take over the handheld gaming market, it“s games like this that make that a compelling argument. It's basically a game where our favorite man-without-limbs runs continuously throughout each level, giving you the task of making him not kill himself by getting him to jump, punch, and fly his way to the finish. This game is such a delight to play and definitely my most enjoyed mobile game of 2012.

 


 

And My Pick for Game of the Year...

 

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Xenoblade Chronicles

 

No matter how much I love each and every other game on my list, none of them gave me quite the year-defining experience that Xenoblade Chronicles did. Operation: Rainfall was right in petitioning to bring this game over because it truly is an amazing game. Not only is it the best Wii game I“ve played in 2012, but it“s also the best RPG I“ve played in a long while. But most importantly, Xenoblade was the game to come out of 2012 (even if others did get it beforehand) that I enjoyed the most, which makes it my official pick for 2012's Game of the Year.

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