I've always hated the new year. I usually close out the previous year feeling like I could have gotten more done in the one that had just passed. The new year just exists to remind me about how much time has passed me by. How much time I didn't spend playing video games!
But this year wasn't a complete bust in the gaming world. I did manage to play plenty of great games. A few of them even left some lasting impressions on me. While I might hate the new year and all of the challenges it brings, I can feel confident in carrying the praise of these select few games on my shoulders.
7. The Unfinished Swan
This might be a stupid thing to say in a game of the year posting, but I hated The Unfinished Swan. The story fell flat for me and the gameplay was too short and simple in my opinion. But the painting mechanics of the first level and the construction level completely saved it. While I didn't like the game overall, those two areas were some of the most interesting I had seen all year. And that earns it a spot on my list.
6. Epic Mickey 2: The Power Of Two
Epic Mickey 2 does have it's share of problems. Namely how insanely hard it is to figure out where you're supposed to go. But I can ignore those problems because overall, the game is fun. When I play games with the youngins', I usually find myself getting bored with the simplicity of it all. But with Epic Mickey 2, I'm able to play throughout the full game's story and even find enjoyment in the game's puzzles despite how poorly the game points you in the right direction.
5. Way Of The Samurai 4
The fact that Way of the Samurai 4 was a download-only title is a clear sign that the world was supposed to end on the 21st. The game boasts so much customization and alternate endings that you could spend the better part of a week trying to see everything it has to offer. While some of the gameplay design choices are weird by American standards, I still hate you if you haven't bought this game yet.
4. Sleeping Dogs
I'll be honest. I knew absolutely nothing about Sleeping Dogs going into it. I was actually surprised when it was revealed the main character was a cop in the beginning of the game. That's how little I knew about it. Not only was the story and acting top notch, but the gameplay didn't disappoint either with what can best be described as a Chinese Batman GTA feel to it. Seriously, play this game at some point in the year ahead.
3. Final Fantasy XIII-2
I find it hard to believe myself, but I ended up enjoying Final Fantasy XIII. Sure the first 20 hours were terrible, but it really shined after that point. Where FF XIII failed in the gameplay department, Final Fantasy XIII-2 more than made up for it with all of it's various fixes and tweaks. It could have even been my GOTY if the story wasn't absolutely awful. But thanks to the overuse of time travel and the lack of any returning characters apart from worst character of the year, Hope, it must accept the bronze medal of 3rd place.
2. The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead was very nearly my choice for game of the year. The game had a great emotional impact and it really made me feel like my choices mattered. It did everything perfectly fine. But the more I think about it, the more I'm kind of put off by the game's illusion of choice. The game certainly achieved what it set out to do, but now that I've read online that all of your choices would end up practically the same I'm just unable to give it game of the year. Its still fantastic and you should play it, but I can think of one better game.
Yup, I've come crawling back to Journey. No matter how long I've thought about it, I just can't find any reason to not give it my personal game of the year nod. I played it for hours and hours. I got the absolute most the game had to offer and that feeling hasn't gone away over the months like it has with The Walking Dead. I'm even listening to the game's soundtrack as I type this. You absolutely have to play this game if you want to have the best game 2012 had to offer.
While all of these games were great and are all well worth a playthrough, I couldn't help but notice their little flaws; the things that detracted the game's overall feel to me. Of course, these problems don't make the games bad; they just made them less great compared to Journey in my eyes. Thank you all for reading and have a happy new year!