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I think that, despite the fact that we had less (in number) amazing titles released this year overall from last year, 2012 has still been a great year for gaming, with a couple games released that have gone probably into my top 20 games ever. Because of this, I thought I'd just go ahead and rate, in a list, the games I bought and beat in 2012.
(I am limiting this to games that actually came out this year, otherwise the list would double, because of I got a lot of old titles as well. :P)
12. Assassins' Creed III
This was my first foray into the world of Assassins' Creed, gameplay wise. While the game did have tons of content, the story wasn't really great IMO, and it was really marred by bugs. Read my review here.
11. Nintendo Land
Yes, I liked Nintendo Land more than Assassins' Creed III. While none of the single player games are much fun, the cooperative and competitive games more than made up for them. My brother and I spent many hours going through Zelda and Metroid, and we still need to complete Pikmin. Mario Chase and Animal Crossing were also great-I know I'll go back to this game multiple times, because it's a quick and easy drop in, play, and drop out. I really hope Nintendo does a sequel completely focused on more classic Nintendo licenses, like Kid Icarus, Fire Emblem, or Pokemon.
10. Alan Wake (for PC)
Not much to say here: loved the 360 version, got it when it came out on PC, still loved it.
9. Alan Wake's American Nightmare
While the characters and story in this game weren't nearly as good as Alan Wake, the improvements to the gameplay were a bonus. The experimentation with new weapons made the gameplay feel different, and the inclusion of Fight 'til Dawn mode added some more content to the game. Though, like I said, the story wasn't great, so I still haven't beat the PC version, and I beat the 360 version once (I've beat the original multiple times).
8. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
I love the Layton games, but I admit this game kind of fell off my radar because of Borderlands 2 and Dishonored. Overall I had fun with it, but it felt like it had much less content in it then the other games-the story was short, and I had pretty much all the mini games and puzzles done within a couple days. While it's not my favorite Layton, it does display the potential doe Azran Legacies, and shows that the 3D art style works for Layton.
7. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Despite the fact that Kingdom Hearts is one of my favorite stories, I didn't completely love this game. Some of the worlds weren't really as interesting as ones before, and the Flowmotion system wasn't completely well done, but it was a fun title, and set the stage for Kingdom Hearts 3 well.
6. Resident Evil: Revelations
The atmosphere was probably the best thing about this game-the story pay off was a little weird, but the overall game was a great showing of the 3DS' potential. I really hope that Capcom decides to put another title on the 3DS like this.
5. The Walking Dead
I've never read the comics, and I've only watched Seasons 1-2 of the show, but I loved this game to death while playing-like everyone else, I cared for Clementine, and I tried to do the best morality wise because I didn't want to disappoint her, or other characters. The ending put me at near tears (though I didn't bawl, which is odd, because I have for some other games. :P), and the journey to it was a great one. I can't wait for Telltale to put out Season 2.
4. Borderlands 2
While I never loved the original Borderlands as much as everyone did, that changed with this game. Admittedly, I haven't picked it up since I got Dishonored, because of the flow of games I got after that, but the weeks following the original release pretty much had me come home from school, turn on my computer, log onto Skype, start a chat with my friends, and stay on Pandora for the remainder for the rest of the day. While I do have the Season DLC pass, I'm waiting until next year to go back in, because I know once I do, it's going to be awhile before I get back out. A great and surprisingly heartful (at times) narrative, actual diverse gun choices, and great cooperative play make this an amazing game.
The original reveal GI reveal of this game had me interested, but not hooked. Thankfully, my friend gave this to me for my birthday, and well, I fell in love with it. A game where I actually liked stealth, combined with an amazing steampunk setting in the form of Dunwall, so many choices for gameplay, and pretty much the coolest looking mask ever (sorry Majora. :P), cement this game high on my list. I've beaten it twice, and plan to do so more.
2. Xenoblade Chronicles
This game, while a little off putting at times, was amazing-the distinct art style and draw distance, the amazing combat system, the engrossing story...I can rant about this game forever. Thank you, Operation Rainfall.
1. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
I got into the Zero Escape series a couple months before this game came out, when I got 999 for my birthday. The sequel on 3DS (and Vita) has usurped several other games on my overall list., and is now one of my favorite games ever. The challenging puzzles and branching but required storylines created an amazing narrative, which I won't ever forget. The only bad things about this game are the little quirky touch screen mess ups (which were rare), and the fact that the ending is a cliff hanger. I need the Volume Three, NOW. Read my review here.