Kit’s Best Games of 2012
When I first considered doing a best games of 2012 post I wasn’t sure I had played enough titles this year to put together a comprehensive list. Luckily my playtesting team was willing to pitch in and recommend some of their favorite games.
Mass Effect 3 – Xbox – ThronedWharf on playing Mass Effect 3 – “This is amazing! This is epic! This is…WHAT?? NONONONO! I have played this for years and blip – it’s over?? Khaaaannn!” The addition of the Extended Cut ending restored his equilibrium and he says he is now content to rank Mass Effect 3 as his best game of the year.
Skyrim – Xbox and PC – While Skyrim came out at the end of 2011, three releases of downloable content occurred during 2012. Dawnguard gave us vampires to slay (or to become – Skyrim is flexible), Hearthfire introduced player-buildable houses and the ability to
recruit minions adopt children and Dragonborn provided a massive addition to the game with the new lands, weapons, armors, enemies, spells and potion ingredients of Solstheim as well as a nifty homage to Morrowind. I will – never – be tired of this game.
Dragon’s Dogma – Xbox -If there had been no Skyrim, this would have been my favorite game of the year. Dragon’s Dogma is like an Mmorpg smashed together with Dark Souls and then blown apart and scattered all over a magical minefield. The game originally released with only one mode of play – ‘everything wants to kill you‘ – and the nifty bonus of getting your heart torn out in the opening scene. It is one of the few games I’ve played where night is more dangerous than day and where the skills and spells you choose to learn make a huge difference in how well you survive the game.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – Xbox – I am not sure why this game didn’t sell better but it was very big at our house for weeks. Your character wakes up in a pile of dead bodies in an underground charnel pit. No, really. You have to crawl and climb your way over the bodies in your bare feet. Kingdoms has a very stylized look with bright, vibrant colors and beautiful landscapes. The storyline coud be better and some of the quests are dull but you don’t always notice because the game has seriously awesome combat.
Dishonored – Xbox – Corvo, you are fun to play but I wouldn’t want be you. Dishonored has a gritty steampunk-meets-renaissance look and feel complete with swords and guns, hordes of rats, magic whales and women in pants. You play a bodyguard turned assassin (desperate times, desperate measures) in a city plagued by well, a plague. Having your choices and actions effect the storyline of the game has become a big thing in gaming but Dishonored takes that a step further. The more chaotic your actions (murder, etc) the darker and harder the game becomes.
Buddha Finger – ipad and iphone – Buddha Finger is funky, quirky and just a little addictive. You train with Shifu, the Buddha Finger Master and then you battle other martial artists by pressing the circles in order with your, yes you guessed it – finger. From the wild seventies hair and clothes to the complicated puzzles and martial art movie sound effects, there is nothing like it.
Pokemon Black and White 2 – 3DS – Okay, I know it wasn’t a true sequel. I know it uses many of the same areas, the same pokemon and a similar storyline to the original Black and White. I don’t care. I play Pokemon games to catch pokemon and Black and White 2 is a chance to play in the world of Unova but with many of the original pokemon from the previous games available to catch. It also has some new cities and items as well as battles with some old characters from the early pokemon games. My love for pokemon has no bounds..or taste.
Kid Icarus:Uprising - 3DS – Really, really weird. This game is full of pop culture and game culture references, wild graphics and a fourth wall that isn’t broken so much as blasted out of existence. The bizarre gaming controls make it a challenge to get started but once you get the hang of them it moves along pretty well. Unless you are left-handed in which case I recommend trading it in for Tales of the Abyss or something Mario-themed.
I realize my list is still short but it leaves room for you all to chime in with your favorite games of the year. Was it Angry Birds in Space, The Walking Dead or Halo 4 that kept you up for days and nights of feverish gaming? Post your own ‘Best of’ lists in the comments section.