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Veteran Member - Level 12
Normally I write up a "Best of" post for the cream of the
year's gaming crop. However, I only bought three new releases this year.
Everything else was secondhand, on sale, or old. It wouldn't be honest for me
to pretend I know which games are the best this year. I didn't play them.
Instead, here is a list of the five best games I played this
year. It's got a good mix of new content and stuff that some of you played a long
time ago. This list is in no way comprehensive or authoritative. It's
just a couple great games. There's also a nod to the best of television and
film at the end. I'm no film critic, so take it with a grain of salt. Or don't.
Either way works.
Anyway, here are the best games I played this year.
I was initially planning to skip Dishonored. A questionable
new franchise and early reports of short campaign length made it sound like a
poor purchase. Then I saw it in action. Dishonored is a superbly designed game
that allows for a stunning amount of play styles. Whether you're on a Liam
Neeson-type killing spree or as stealthy as a ghost, there are so many ways to
accomplish your goal that the game requires at least three playthroughs to see
everything. Any game that makes you feel this much like a master assassin deserves
I've never played Rayman before this, but after this game
you can consider me a fan. Rayman Origins is an honest-to-God triple-A
platformer that doesn't have the word "Mario" in the title, something we rarely
enjoy. Throw in gorgeous graphics, a catchy soundtrack and stellar co-op and
you've got a great reason to grab a friend for some gaming.
Oh, Civ V... how you lure me back to your sweet nurturing
bosom with the siren song of world domination time and time again. Only you
understand how to balance complexity and understandability. Only you make the
logistics of an empire fun. Only you know how to make a game quite this
addictive. Stop it, you. You've already convinced me to play again.
The Witcher 2 is a difficult game to discuss because it's
hard not to fall into a slush of superlatives. Phrases like "amazing combat
system," "wildly branching story," and "best RPG in years" get thrown around
and then the person listening thinks you're exaggerating. Let's avoid those
phrases and just say The Witcher 2 is a very good game. Now that it's out for Xbox and PC, there's no excuse to miss it.
Team Fortress isn't like other shooters. Where Call of Duty
and Medal of Honor are busy being "gritty," TF2 takes pride in its own silliness.
Want to kill people while wearing goggles that paint the world in rainbows and
flowers? No problem. Want to stab somebody whilst sporting a snazzy top hat?
Step right up. Even better, it's free to play. There's really no reason not to play Team Fortress. Unless you
hate fun. In that case, I can't help you.
Mass Effect 3 was reviled for its ending. This was correct.
The ending was terrible. But even a bad finale couldn't bring down the other
twenty hours of polished gameplay and amazing storytelling. BioWare knocked my
socks off with the story of Shepard's final struggle against the Reapers.
Everything is on the line, and the game never lets you forget that.
What makes Mass Effect 3 even better is that BioWare took
the few errors from ME2 and fixed them. Unencumbered weapon choice, better
teammate AI, and improved customization make the third entry the best in the
series, gameplay-wise. Add that to the kickass new multiplayer mode and you
have one hell of a trilogy-ender. Mass Effect 3 is by far the best game of 2012.
Even with that ending.
I must have looked like an idiot watching the first episode
of The Legend of Korra, sitting there
with a great big stupid grin on my face. I couldn't help it. Seeing the
anticipated follow-up to Avatar: The Last
Airbender was just too awesome. Korra
does almost everything right: It reboots the franchise in a steampunk future
with a new Avatar, new supporting cast, and new villain. The compressed
storyline makes every episode count and gives Korra a focus Airbender lacked.
It's the single best television show I've seen this year, by the standards of
kids and adults.
Yes, this is better than The
Dark Knight Rises. Ridley Scott's quasi-prequel to Alien is weird, creepy, and horrific. In other words, exactly what
we want from a sci-fi horror flick. Exploring distant planets and researching
the strange Engineers creates interesting scenarios. Unfortunately, these
scenarios usually end in a gory fashion. One particular scene in the medical
pod left an unforgettable impression. For great visuals, a decent cast and
strong fiction, Prometheus beats out
So, what did I forget? What were your favorite games this year?
I absolutely agree with Rayman Origins! Never played a Rayman game in my life and suddenly this game took me by storm. There are few games that are so simple which I have spent so much time in. No ranking system or anything of the sort. Just simple collectibles and frantic yet fun platforming gameplay.
As for Mass Effect 3, I remain unconvinced. Sure I loved the game when I played it (until the conclusion obviously) but I haven't played it since. Mass Effect 2 I completed many times over out of a simple love for the game whereas I can't say the same for the trilogy's finale. It's a sad truth which I cannot totally explain. It's a weird moment when a game I loved so much turns out to be so unfulfilling.
XCOM is my GOTY followed closely by Halo 4. Nice pick with Prometheus.
I love seeing Prometheus get some love. It was flawed, sure, but it was everything I was hoping for in a sci-fi horror film. Fassbender in particular was incredible.
I highly disagree with you about Prometheus. I'm a huge Scott Ridley fan, all of his work, but Prometheus was cliched, with a terrible cast of two dimensional characters (all of whom were dumb), it had trouble linking itself to the world of Alien in a concrete fashion. Fassbender was a fantastic character, the lore appears to be deep (if unexplored), the questions it brings up are excellent, the visuals are impressive, but all that can't save it from falling on a decent tone.
Completely agree on Mass Effect 3, though I thought the ending was brilliant, even the original.
I love that you included Dishonored. Today it is very difficult to introduce a successful francise since there are so many greats out there like Elder Scrolls, Halo, and Mass Effect. But this game became my GOTY real quick. Even if the campaign is short, the story had plenty of twists and back stories to keep me content at the end of it all.
I have personally yet to decide whether my GOTY is Mass Effect 3, or Assassin's Creed 3. Although, I will say I'm in the minority that didn't hate the ending to ME3.
ACIII and XCOM for me.