Best and Worst of the Year: Games
2012 has come to an end and 2013 promises to be a big year in the video game world. Before we get to the new year though we need to pick our personal best and worst games of the year. All in this nice neat article for you to read. Enjoy!
Worst Game of the Year –
Corey’s Pick: Black Ops II
How does this sound? 14 year olds screaming at you about how they are going to murder your mother and tea bag your corpse. Fun right? Yeah I didn’t think so either. This was my experience with Call of Duty Black Ops II. The immaturity that I witnessed while playing this game is unparalleled in any other entertainment medium ever. The personalized emblems that are customized to look like specific male body parts or skulls, animals, and/or any other thing you could think of being penetrating by said body parts is common place here. I understand that there is a huge audience that is enjoying this game but maybe for the time and place I am in my life this just does not appeal to me. These are all knocks on the multiplayer and some of you may say if you don’t like it then play the single player campaign. This is completely true, however the single player campaign is more of an after thought here and is obviously not the heart and soul of this game. If I am not going to be able to enjoy the main selling point of a game I cannot in good conscience recommend it. That is why it is my personal worst game of 2012.
Runner Up: Diablo 3
Jim’s Pick: Diablo 3
Mass Effect 3 was my worst game for a long time. Then I remembered the disaster of Diablo 3. I never finished this game due to me just getting extremely bored with it. The game didn’t really blow me away visually, and gameplay wasn’t upgraded at all from Diablo 2. This game felt more like and expansion pack on to Diablo 2. A definitely hopeful game that fell massively short from another surefire company in Blizzard. What has this world come to when you can no longer depend on companies like Bioware and Blizzard for guarantees?
Runner Up: Mass Effect 3
Mike’s Pick: Amazing Spider-Man
I will not give this to Mass Effect 3 because despite the franchise tainting ending, that was a fundamentally strong game that was the most compelling experience I had in gaming this year until the last ten minutes ruined the series forever.This game is a seven out of ten. It is not bad, but it is not good. I was hoping for a bit more form the return to the open world sandbox for Spider-Man but this game sadly is just ok. Web swinging and combat are painfully streamlined due to the much publicized Web Rush maneuver that basically allows the player to freely freeze time and practically teleport wherever they want at any moment. It’s a nice feature but a little too overpowered and it makes most of the other mechanics obsolete. The combat tries to imitate Arkham’s combo counter-based choreographed artistry, but doesn’t even come close to that level of polish.
Tony’s Pick: Mass Effect 3
An example of something that wouldn’t be able to live up to expectations set by both the developers and the fan community, Mass Effect 3 had some glaring flaws. Extremely watered down from how the series started out as a campy space opera TPS-RPG, most of the RPG mechanics are stripped down and any leftovers are very streamlined. It’s more Gears of War than either of the other games and the game is hurt overall by it. A broken quest system where you have to “overhear” people on the Citadel talking about some relic, artifact, heirloom or some other trinket that’s missing and you, as Commander Shepard, decide to take it upon yourself amidst the Reaper invasion that you have time and energy to waste in finding and helping them. They kept the annoying planet scanning from the second game despite it being the worst part of that game. The second game’s crew is completely relegated to guest appearances during your quest to save the galaxy. Let’s not forget the day one issue of not being able to properly import your Shepard’s face from the previous game. These are some of the issues with the game without even touching upon the controversial ending, which only showed how the general gaming media fails to report on something that should be painfully obvious not everyone might like.
A deus ex machina entity shows up in the last 10 minutes of a trilogy that spanned this entire console generation to offer you a choice between three supposed endings but even then all they are is the same generic ending sequence with a different colored wave of light that surges through the universe that winds up with some open ended cliche landing of your ship on an uncharted planet. There are a few really powerful and touching resolutions to some storylines during the course of the game, Mass Effect 3 just so happens to be an example of that cliche “the journey is more important than the destination.” Unfortunately, this is not how the series was marketed and the expectations of a rabid fanbase that Bioware has only themselves to blame for was too great for them to ignore, causing them to offer out free DLC to alter the way the game ending played out but by then the damage was done.
Dishonorable mention: Diablo 3
Best Game of the Year –
Corey’s Pick: Borderlands 2
For me it always comes down to one game that stands far and away above the rest. Last year it was Gears of War 3 and the year before that it was Mass Effect 2. This time around Borderlands 2 takes it’s rightful place along with my other past, best of the year winners. I thoroughly enjoyed the first Borderlands but how Borderlands 2 has improved on every aspect of that game is just remarkable. The environments are larger, the gameplay is much more balanced, the characters are more thought out and actually have depth, and the story is worth playing through over and over. The main reason for that is the writing. There was never a moment when I thought what I was doing was boring or pointless. In fact I found myself laughing out loud during most of the game. The main antagonist, Handsome Jack is one of the best villains in any video game ever. Even though I was dead set on killing him at the end I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say next. With so many games having play times of 5 to 10 hours, Borderlands 2 will keep you busy for ten times that easily. Gearbox Software, the developer of Borderlands also supports their games really well and having already released three DLC campaigns and a new character class they are not planning on stopping anytime soon. Speaking of not stopping anytime soon, I see myself playing this game well into 2013 and that is why this is my favorite game of 2012.
Runner Up: Halo 4
Mike’s Pick: Halo 4
So much content. First, there’s a decent solo campaign that manages to be more coherent and interesting than any other in the franchise’s history. Then, there’s Episodic co-op content that brings new stuff all the time. Add in the timeless competitive multiplayer and you get a game that will give you ample bang for your buck.
Runner up: Assassin’s Creed III
Tony’s Pick: Xenoblade Chronicles
This console generation has not been kind to the Japanese RPG genre. With even Square-Enix faltering with even their Final Fantasy games and Dragon Quest X being announced as an MMORPG, the king of the genre stumbled and with it even the lesser companies that developed them looked elsewhere to release games, most notably the Playstation 2 and Playstation Portable. Monolith Soft, having been recently acquired in the past few years, made a truly remarkable game in the genre and catching everyone by surprise with Xenoblade Chronicles. A truly ambitious game for the Wii, Xenoblade stars a diverse and likeable cast of characters that live in a world where the land itself is the deceased body of a god. Despite the SD limitations of the hardware, the game is still quite remarkable and shows off some of the most diverse and expansive environments on any Wii game with little to no loading time. An original combat system to the JRPG genre does away with Magic Points and instead is based around cooldowns and positioning as well as every character having their own unique moveset and abilities. The game also offers full voicework and the original soundtrack is one of the finest of the generation on any console. Truly one of the greatest games to be played, it’s almost criminal in how the United States nearly missed out on it.
Honorable Mention: Kid Icarus Uprising
Jim’s Pick: Borderlands 2
Jack is one of the best villains I have ever seen in any media be that books, movies, or games. I am a firm believer that a villain makes everything. This game takes that villain and adds some of the most fun gameplay that you will experience this generation of gaming. I spent hours on this game and still have more to spend on the future DLC that is coming out. The last time that I played this much DLC was probably Mass Effect 2, and that was my game of the year when I played it. Borderlands 2 is a game that needs to be played by anyone who plays games in my opinion(and even some that do not). The comedy that is mixed in make this game fun to play through numerous times so it never gets old.
Runner Up: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Tell us what some of your favorites were from 2012 in the comments below.
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