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  1. 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!
  2. This year has seen some pretty big game releases, and there's no doubt in my mind that there will be plenty of arguing when it comes time to crown the game of the year for 2012. I just think people will be arguing over the wrong games. Sure, we've seen a lot of stellar $60 releases this year. But when it comes right down to it for me, the digital titles will reign supreme when it comes time to announce the game of the year. Just which digital titles do I think are most deserving? Read on to find out. Journey Let's just get right down to it. I loved Journey the most out of any game this year. The way the story was presented, the ability to explore and find more of the world's backstory through hieroglyphs, just overall everything about it was great to me. We even gave it one of our highest ratings of the year in our review. But of course, people did find faults in the game. The main problem being that game completion times usually clocked in at about two hours and thirty minutes for most players. I'm not like most people when it comes to Journey however. Yeah, I loved it. So what!? When Journey did release to the public earlier this, I went a wee bit overboard with it. I wrote three different articles about it, beat the story nine times and played for countless hours searching for anything else the game had to offer me. In my mind, Journey is my personal game of the year, but when it comes to the overall vote of the gaming community, I'm going to have to count it out. There were plenty of people who disliked the length of the game or just couldn't get into the story. It was the same way with me for the Unfinished Swan. When the game released, it was getting rave reviews. Nines across the board. Every review I read said it was like the next Journey and how it could even be game of the year. I played it and ended up hating it. The story didn't interest me and the gameplay was flat. Of course, my opinion of the game is the odd one out this time. Tokyo Jungle When I made the mistake of buying The Unfinished Swan, I also made the great choice of buying Tokyo Jungle. Now before we go any further, yes I'm aware of the fact that Tokyo Jungle came out on a disc in Japan. But here in America it was a digital title, so shut it! No matter where I've traveled to on the internet, the one constant theme of every website (including our own) was the universal praise of Tokyo Jungle by its userbase. Even here at Game Podunk I was being told that I had to buy it first and foremost, which is just insanely strange... Let's just say things get weird Not because it is a bad game, but because it is a weird game. Who would have guessed a game about random wild animals surviving in the apocalypse would turn out so popular? While I'll admit the game gets kind of repetitive due to repeating challenges, but there is no denying how addictive the game is. After countless hours trying to get my pig to live for a hundred years I still haven't even come close to unlocking everything the game has to offer. Considering the price paid, it is one of the most worthwhile games on the PSN. But where it excels in fun, it lacks memorability. It is certainly a contender for GOTY, but I can think of one other digital title that could beat out both of the previous titles mentioned. The Walking Dead This is it. This is my personal choice for game of the year. For those of you that haven't played The Walking Dead yet, let me explain just why it is so great. First of all, the game's choice system. While I enjoyed the story in Heavy Rain for the most part, I never felt like my choices mattered in the end. I was watching a story play out, but I had little control over it. In The Walking Dead, I feel like every single choice I make has an impact on the story and characters. I know that isn't always the case, but more often than not I'm in total control of how my story plays out. This has led to some pretty crazy outcomes. We shouldn't care so much about them, but we do! The game, of course, has multiple paths, but if you were to go to a forum and say you were going to redo a part, you would be scolded. The player base believes you're only cheapening the effect of the game's story by trying to get a better outcome. Along with having a story so great it's actually frowned upon to try to change it is a cast of characters you just might end up caring about. A rarity in most games these days. If you were to look at any website discussing the game you would find people actually arguing over their own choices, regretting that they lost people along the way and angry about being betrayed by others. Everything that has happened to them on their journey is entirely because of they choices they made and it just kills them when they see they've failed their group in some way. Any graphical problems the game has are instantly trumped by the fact that the game has actually made people care. Sure they're problematic at times, but that's easy to overlook when the game is this good. While it may seem far fetched to think a digital title could become the game of the year, I really don't see why they should be left out of the running. What do you think? Why not post in the comments below and let me know? As always, thank you for reading.
  3. The Walking Dead, based on Robert Kirkman's comic book series, is a critical and commercial success worthy of its many award nominations. As The Walking Dead television show prepares to enter into its third season, the rumors have begun to swell after the accidental, albeit unsurprising, announcement confirming the show is to receive a fourth season. The television series' success also spurned interest from game developers, finding itself as the subject matter for a First-Person Shooter from Activision scheduled for release in 2013 and a five-part episodic series by TellTale Games which is currently being released. TellTale's treatment of The Walking Dead has truly captivated its audience by creating an interactive experience with a heavy narrative and a wide range of emotion. TellTale Games announced the fourth installment of their series is scheduled for digital distribution in October, but also noted that the full retail version announced earlier this year will also be seeing an official release this year. Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 owners will be able to purchase a disc-based copy of the game for $29.99 when it drops onto retail shelves December 4th. Fans of The Walking Dead adventure may be expecting a conclusion to the critically-acclaimed adventure title in December, but may not necessarily receive absolute closure. TellTale's Senior Marketing Vice President has hinted in the past that this series will not be their last The Walking Dead project, but whether the announcement speaks to the series continuance with a second season featuring the same cast or a completely different story is still up for interpretation. Have you been keeping up with TellTale's The Walking Dead Game?