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  1. 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: 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: Journey Official GP Review 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: Silent Hill: Downpour Official GP Review 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: 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: 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: Pokemon Black 2 / White 2 Official GP Review 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: Kid Icarus: Uprising Official GP Review 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: 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: 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... 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.
  2. Jonathan Higgins

    Game of the Year 2014: Jonathan's Picks

    Another year will soon be behind us. And while it may be easier to recall the many things that happened involving the gaming industry this year versus the games themselves, there are a handful of titles that many believe will stand the test of time. I've done my best to create a Top Ten List absent of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U (an easy choice for most) and Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (because I've certainly made my adoration for that franchise known around these parts). I've even made a last minute substitution! There are a myriad of honorable mentions (like Xeodrifter from Renegade Kid, which I didn't include because I'd need more time to think critically about how it compares to these others; and Bravely Default, the game I booted at the last minute), but without further ado... here are the ten greatest games I've played this year, and a few reasons why. 10. Kero Blaster After being in the dark for over a year, the newest game from Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya made its way to iOS devices and PC by way of Playism. There are many things that set this game apart from Cave Story (the game Pixel is known for), but the two games were born from the same school of thought. Some of these differences are actually interesting to learn about, like the fact that this game's level designs are Pixel's first collaborative effort, among other things. Kero Blaster makes my list because it feels like a natural evolution of one of my favorite games of all time. (Fun fact: I actually got to meet and interview Pixel at PAX East this year; it was the first time Playism attended a convention in the west.) 9. NES Remix 2 When the first NES Remix was announced and promptly released less than an hour later, I ate up the premise like a kid at a candy store. The small, bite-sized chunks of retro-gaming goodness were varied enough to be entertaining, and consistent enough to be completely addicting. The only problem with the first game was its lack of NES staples like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Kirby's Adventure. Enter: NES Remix 2. Indeed, it's more of the same. But this time, it featured all of the choices the previous entry was sorely missing and a bonus, backwards version of Super Mario Bros. in its entirety. NES Remix 2 makes my list because I have a problem. Here's to hours of my life gone by... 8. 1,001 Spikes Official GP Review Oh, my goodness. I don't even know where to begin with 1,0001 Spikes from Nicalis. It's like Indiana Jones for the truly sadistic at heart. You're going to die a lot. The game's platforming cruelty will push you to the point of madness. You're given 1,001 lives total, and if you lose them all... your only choice is to start all over again from the very beginning, forsaking hours of progress. The game auto-saves, so there's no escaping death. You're going to scream and say curse words in six different languages because of how many blatantly cheap shots this game lands on you. But if the kind of torture that makes LA-MULANA look like child's play is your idea of fun (like it is mine) then you're in for one wild, crazy ride. 1,001 Spikes makes my list because I'm a glutton for punishment. 7. Kirby Triple Deluxe True story: I've purchased every single Kirby game at launch since his debut in the early nineties. While that may show my age a little, his games have always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Kirby's Return to Dreamland, in my opinion, is a mark of how far the pink puffball has come since his grey-scaled origins. Kirby Triple Deluxe makes a decent portable follow-up to the Wii's successful entry. There are a great many things that hold the new 3DS game back from being everything it could be, but I still spent almost fifteen hours with the game. Kirby Triple Deluxe makes my list because, even if I felt like Return to Dreamland did a bunch of things better, I still enjoyed every moment I spent with the game. (And the Beetle Copy Ability is so ridiculously overpowered, too. You've got to love it.) 6. Tomodachi Life I don't think I'll forget the anytime soon. Prior to those ten minutes or so, I'd heard about the game, but I had no idea what it was actually all about. The game gets a special mention on my list, somewhere close to the middle, because it's actually one of the only games this year my girlfriend and I enjoyed together. Since your apartments can be populated with Miis of your choosing, since love and friendship are complex, and since you can even generate QR codes to send your Miis to other systems and make your stories part of your friend's island... this game makes my list because no one person's Tomodachi Life experience is the same. 5. Transistor Official GP Review Transistor, I think, proves a point that the developers at Supergiant Games are definitely not a one-trick pony. I actually played through Bastion for the first time this year (as a proper lead-in to this game) and I expected Transistor to be more like it, if I'm being perfectly honest. In this game's case, I was certainly happy to be wrong. I don't think I've seen a style of gameplay quite like it. It's one part action, one part... move-management, almost like a Strategy RPG because of its time-based mechanics. I know an idea must be good when it's easy to learn and possible to master, but hard to explain. And Red's story, soundtrack and world show off a unique sense of style that you don't often see. Transistor makes my list because even my friends are starting to memorize the lyrics to "Paper Boats". This game is destined to stick with me for a long while. 4. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call NES Remix 2 barely made the cut for my list this year because its premise is addicting. The latest Theatrhythm Final Fantasy game is on my list because of the same reasons; I'll admit that. But it's ranked quite a bit higher in my eyes because of how much it improves upon the game that came before it, as well as how much I still have to do in it even after thirty-nine hours of play. The Quest Medleys make sure you won't become excessively frustrated trying to unlock characters. Downloadable Content isn't afraid to venture outside of the mainline Final Fantasy music. I could go on. But Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call makes my list simply because I'm musically inclined, and this game marks what I hope is the beginning of many possible Square-Enix musical tributes. 3. Fantasy Life Official GP Review It's been a long time since I first started Fantasy Life. I've now Mastered three different lives, my review for the game has long since been written, and that game's script/sense of humor is still sticking with me, ladies and gentlemen. While it may take a minute for the game to hook you, and there are probably comparable games out there, when I'm thinking about how much fun I had in 2014, Fantasy Life is one of the three games that comes to mind immediately. And no one's more surprised as me that this is the case. The latest collaboration from Nintendo and Level-5 makes my list because, while its gameplay and ambiance are memorable enough, its script and the personality of its characters are what will make it truly timeless, in my eyes. 2. Rex Rocket Official GP Review Eat your heart out, Azure Striker Gunvolt. Don't get me wrong, that game is definitely fun. But you folks on the lookout for Mighty No. 9 next year, as well as anything from Comcept because Mega Man... I think you should look towards Castle Pixel while you wait. I keep coming back to Rex Rocket whenever I get the itch to play something inspired by Mega Man, because there's no better example without knocking on Inafune's door. My review should do most of the talking, but really... this game is so good that I now have eyes and ears pointed towards Castle Pixel for whatever they're up to next. Seeing as their next project is a Zelda-like...yes, please. Seeing as I had no idea this game even existed before attending PAX East... I'm happy that a game and a studio could be launched so high on my proverbial "things to look out for" list in so short a time. Rex Rocket makes my list for being everything modern Mega Man should be. 1. Shovel Knight Official GP Review When the Shovel Knight Kickstarter first went live, I figured the game would be good. If I had any idea how good, I would have put hundreds of dollars towards making this project a success. I beat the game a good number of times. I got the soundtrack and the t-shirt and heaven knows what else. While games like Rex Rocket and Fantasy Life ranked high on my list for their originality, and Tomodachi Life made it because it affected my lady as much as it did me... everyone who interacts with me regularly knows how much I love Shovel Knight. Most of the games on my list light a torch in homage to various games I love; Shovel Knight manages to take the torch and run with it. There is no better example of an indie studio taking the ideas of its backers and creators and turning it into something that can become the next great franchise than Shovel Knight, in my opinion. And that's why I consider it to be the greatest game I've played this year. And yes, even if Pokémon or Smash had made my list, I still think Shovel Knight would rank above them. It may not be the game I've spent the most time with, but it is definitely the game I've had the most fun with this year.
  3. http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Island-Game-Year-Online/dp/B008NAYASM/?t=slickdeals&tag=slickdeals&ascsubtag=8LKHIp0TEeK5lEI0s_I9Fgz9E1_W4hV3_0_0_0 *LIVE* PC Digital Download: Dead Island Game of the Year Edition $5 Source DVG *Starts 04/04/13* Looks like an $8 credit towards Dead Island Riptide might be added to sweeten the pot woot With the Dead Island Game of the Year Edition players get the chance to experience the full story behind the Banoi Zombie Outbreak. The GOTY includes Dead Island Maingame Bloodbath Arena DLC Ryder White DLC Blueprint "The Ripper" Weapon Get ready for your return to Dead Island, a paradise to die for!
  4. While 2012 didn“t mark the end of the human race, the release of the Wii U has made it the start of the end for the current console generation. Despite studios gearing up for the future, 2012 saw a slew of great games come out. It might not have been from cosmic destruction, but this year certainly went out with a bang. My biggest regret, and it“s a big one, iis that I haven“t played nearly as many of this year“s releases as I should have. I“ve done GOTY lists before, but never have I wished I had more to say than I have with this year. My list is small and humble, but for those interested, these are the five releases from this year that stand above all the rest for me. 5. Legend of Grimrock This is the odd-man-out entry on my list, being the only game that I haven“t beaten. That said, I don“t hesitate to call it one of my favorites this year. For someone unfamiliar with the old-school first-person dungeon crawler, Grimrock is a fiendishly hard and tense experience. It“s fun to play and builds a great atmosphere that, I“m not ashamed to admit, creeps me out a more than a fair deal. Challenging puzzles round out the experience, making for a game that“s definitely worth checking out if you can. Even after the main game is done, there are custom campaigns to check out on Steam Workshop. Hopefully, someday, I“ll be man enough to finish it and dig into the community content. 4. Scribblenauts Unlimited I haven“t had much experience with the Scribblenauts franchise before, with only a little time spent with the original game. The release of Unlimited on the PC made me want to see just how far the series has come and I definitely wasn“t disappointed. It“s simple, but being able to type out the words on a keyboard makes the experience all the more enjoyable. Solving the puzzles is definitely fun, but the most enjoyable aspect is seeing just how outlandish of a solution you can get the game to accept. It“s sort of a your-mileage-may-vary affair, as you can definitely keep using the same go-to items, but those looking for a fun and imaginative game can certainly make it one. 3. Lollipop Chainsaw Official GP Review Before I played Lollipop Chainsaw, I“d hesitate to call any Suda51 game good. I“ve always enjoyed what I“ve played, but none of them stood out as solid games on a fundamental level. Then Juliet came along. I“m a fan of the hack-and-slash genre in general and while Lollipop is on the simpler side of things, the presentation is top-notch. I“m also a huge fan of works that are self-aware; things that know what they“re good at and just go with it. The whole-hearted embrace of the B-Movie aesthetic is something I love and I had a blast playing through the game multiple times. It might not have the depth of something like Bayonetta, but Suda51 definitely delivered a satisfying experience. The amazing soundtrack didn“t hurt, either. 2. Persona 4 Arena Official GP Review I“ve always been a casual fan of fighting games, though never have been good at them or stuck with them very long. I“d also never played a Persona game until this year, when I played through both Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4, but it“s a series that really grabbed me with its story and characters. I got Arena just expecting a simple tie-in and was blown away by the depth of the content. I easily spent 30 hours going through the story mode and enjoyed it thoroughly. Even the new character, Labrys, is a great addition to the cast and has a good backstory. On top of pleasing the Persona fan in me, it“s also an amazingly solid fighter, especially as far as netcode is concerned. Arena is definitely no cash-in on a franchise“s name and I couldn“t be happier about it. 1. Katawa Shoujo Official GP Review Another first for me, this year marked the first time I tried out a visual novel. Katawa Shoujo is a game I went into with great reluctance and I was anticipating it to fail and flat-out offend. I think it“s hard not to go in with that attitude when you consider the general concept of the game and the origins of the project. Still, I started hearing many people, GP's own Marcus and Leah included, talking up the game and being genuinely pleased with it and decided to try it for myself. I“m glad I did and I“ve never been more glad to be wrong. I spent an emotional 50 hours going through all the content and was left with a great appreciation for a genre I“d never given much consideration before. It“s a wonderful, touching experience and, best of all, it“s free for you try at your leisure. Please do. There“s still a lot I regret not having played. Looking through all these lists definitely shows just how many wonderful games came out this year. There may be some repeats and stand-out favorites, but there are also a lot of differences as well. In a year that“s been painted by analysts as bad for the industry, I think these lists definitely prove that it“s been a fantastic year for the medium.
  5. 2013 is a day away but it feels like I still have so much left to do in 2012, at least where gaming is concerned. I've probably played more new releases in 2012 than any other previous year in my life-as-a-gamer. That said, my played to finished ratio is terribly out of balance and there are quite a few games that would have likely made this list had I played them before writing this list (Journey, Tokyo Jungle etc). Still, it was a fantastic year to be a gamer and here are a few of my personal favorites of the year. 10.Retro City Rampage (PS Vita, PS3, PC) It's a bit of a love-hate relationship for me with Retro City Rampage. On one hand the retro-GTA feel of the game coupled with the plethora of old school in-jokes and references make this game a blast to play. On the other the story and missions feel a bit lackluster to me, and I fail to find any interest in them so far. Still, for a game that has been in development as long Duke Nukem Forever it definitely has more to show for it. 9. Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir (3DS) Being a huge Fatal Frame fan, this was one of the first games I picked up for my shiny new 3DS. It's not a very good game all things considered but the niche Japanese horror style, and the use of AR, 3D and the 3DS's cameras make it a fun experience for fans of the genre. 8. XCOM Enemy Unknown (PS3,360,PC) I'll be honest, I've never played an XCOM game in my life. I have no idea what they're about. But people were hyping this game up as one of the best strategy games of the year, and seeing as it's made by Firaxis, the studio behind Civilization (another favorite of mine), I decided to give it a whirl when it popped up for under $20. This game is a BLAST. It's got all the elements of a deep strategy game mixed with faster pacing and style of an action game. Naming your squad members also gives it an added layer of depth as losing squad-member "Kawaii Khorne" (Nationality: New Zealand) to the alien scourge is alot more engaging than losing Joe XCOM. A must play for strategy lovers. 7. Silent Hill Downpour (360, PS3) Despite not actually having finished Downpour, I can still safely add it to my list of "good Silent Hill games". The tone of the game feels right, the combat and gameplay is clunky (As it should be). The rain adds a new layer of environmental decore to the game. It's not a perfect game, but it's a great entry into the Silent Hill series. 6.Uncharted Golden Abyss (PS Vita) Here's a title that I personally haven't even started. The little bit I HAVE played of it was on a friends system. That said, it still manages to snag a spot on my list because it does what Sony promised Vita games would do, bring the console experience to us on the go. It's not a watered down version of Uncharted with less features, or a shorter campaign. It's a fully capable entry into the series, every bit as good as it's console brethen. That alone puts it on my list. 5. Binary Domain (360, PS3, PC) Originally I brushed this off as just another third person shooter set in the future. But after giving it more of a chance I came to love this game despite its faults. At it's core it IS just a third person shooter but on top of that it tells a great story and shows wonderfully deep interaction between it's characters. You eventually come to like everyone in your squad (Well, except for Big Bo) and that just makes the events and choices that much more personal. 4. Walking Dead (360, PS3, PC) Not too much to say about this that hasn't already been said. Another great action-adventure game from Tell Tale with a much more emotional story than seem in their light-hearted Sam and Max series. While I got a bit chuffed at the fact that your choices ultimately don't affect the overall direction of the story the fact of the matter is, the story is excellent and you don't see many of this quality in videogames very often. And speaking of choices... 3. Mass Effect 3 (PS3,360,PC) Lets just get it out of the way. The ending was garbage. Even after they "fixed" the ending it still wasn't what most Mass Effect fans envisioned as the finale of the space adventures of Commander Shepard. Still the preceding 30 hours of gameplay were great. And while the third installment of the Mass Effect franchise goes in a very scripted third person shooter direction, the story and characters that you've grown to love over 5 years and 3 games are all there. 2. Persona 4 The Golden (PS Vita) I've been meaning to play Persona 4 for years now, but never got around to doing so. The Golden has finally gotten me to make the jump. And I'm sure glad I did. This is by far one of the best RPG's I've ever played, and perfectly suited to Sony's handheld system. This may be the only Vita game I've played so far but it already has justified my $170 purchase. 1. Sleeping Dogs (PS3,360,PC) You all knew this was coming didn't you? Sleeping Dogs takes everything I love about Hong Kong action movies and puts it into videogame form. It's got an amazing line up of top notch voice actors, the story is extremely engrossing and the gameplay is some of the most fun I've had in an open world game since Saints Row the Third. The visuals are jaw dropping, especially on a high end PC and the soundtrack is a wonderful mix of Chinese pop songs. I only had a few quirks with the game, mainly regarding the accuracy of the city compared to Hong Kong itself, as I am very familiar with the Streets of Hong Kong. But I can forgive it that because it truly was my GAME OF THE YEAR.
  6. 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 Official GP Review 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 Official GP Review 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 Official GP Review 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 Official GP Review 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 Official GP Review 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. 1. Journey Official GP Review 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!
  7. This year has proved to be a rather great year for video games. From new IPs to highly anticipated sequels, gamers of all kinds have been given plenty of great titles to play. While I haven't been able to play every game released this year, there have been a few that I just can't get enough of. For a title to be considered 'game of the year' material for me, it has to offer something special and keep me wanting to play it well past beating the final boss. Below are my games of the year in no set order. If you haven't had the chance to play these, I recommend you do so. Borderlands 2 What is there to say about Borderlands 2? If you loved the first one, then you will be pleased to know that the sequel is bigger and better. The humor is great and it offers so much more in the way of guns and gameplay. The four Vault Hunters are back but you don't get to use them. Instead, they're given important roles in the story and you get control over one of five new characters with their won unique classes. With the new DLCs being released and possible new characters to use, Borderlands 2 has been soaking up a lot of my gaming time. Guild Wars 2 I have to admit that outside of a couple of F2P MMOs, I haven't really given the MMO genre a shot. Guild Wars 2 just seemed to dazzle me with the different world events and being able to play with others no matter your level. While I did enjoy Diablo III when it came out, I lost interest in it once I completed the first playthrough. With Guild Wars 2, I can see myself putting in tons of hours just to uncover each nook and cranny in the vast worlds. Not to mention, the holiday events so far have been wonderfully handled with very few issues. Adventure TIme: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! This handheld title might not see a spot any other GOTY lists, but it makes its way on mine for two simple facts: the game's premise fits the Adventure Time style perfectly, and gamers of all ages will enjoy it. Its Zelda II-like gameplay is sure to please old school gamers. This is a game that appeals to not only fans of the show but gamers who enjoy the gameplay on their handheld systems. It's not too lengthy of a game but it's not one that can be finished within an hour either.