411 Games Top 5 12.29.12: Top 5 Things in Gaming In 2012
Posted by Sean Garmer on 12.29.2012
From WWE '13 and The Walking Dead to Far Cry 3, Mass Effect 3, sports games seeing a revival and more, the 411 staff breaks down their top 5 things in gaming in 2012!
Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there, this is simply the best of 2012.
5. The Wii's Last Hurrah - It seemed like The Last Story, and Xenoblade Chronicles were not destined to come to the States. Fans complained, clamored and signed petitions. 2012 their requests were answered when both Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story saw their way to the U.S. Take your pick, both JRPG's were great and what the Wii had been lacking, too bad they came at the end of the consoles life, seemingly being the Wii's last breath.
4. Dishonored - The influence of Bioshock was obvious on this one, yet the elements it implemented and the story was very well done. Arkane Studios and Bethesda have already commented on Dishonored being a new franchise. The game can be played either stealthy without killing anyone or the opposite going on a killing spree. An enjoyable and more importantly new game and one of the better ones in 2012.
3. Persona 4: The Golden - The Vita might be floundering to put it best, but it indeed did find its killer app in Persona 4: The Golden. While it is a PS2 port, the game is so damn good I for one don't mind revisiting it. Demon fusing, dungeon crawling and a game that will punish you if you don't exploit your enemy's weakness. All now in portable form.
2. X-COM: Enemy Unknown - I traded in Resident Evil 6, and used those funds to buy this. Best decision I've ever made! I never played the original X-COM because I very rarely play PC games. This game is as much a strategy game as can be. One misstep, and you are screwed, permanent death for your soldiers and you have to be watchful with funds. This game is as hardcore as they come, my only regret is never having played the original.
1. Far Cry 3 - The surprise of the year! The past two entries did not exactly set the world on fire. Far Cry 3 showed vast improvements, an open world setting and RPG elements. Making this the game to play in 2012 and I for one did not expect it.
Lee Jones (Reader Voice)
5 - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - A damn shame we won't be getting a sequel to this, or at least not by the same team that made this game. Kingdoms felt like WOW-lite, which is good cause I don't think I ever got a WOW character past level 28. This game wasn't a genre changer but what it did it done well. I still need to check out the 2 DLC packs at some point but I'm saving that anticipation for a rainy week.
4 - Mass Effect 3 - The fact I had no problem with the ending probably helps this get a place. Sure it wasn't as good as the 2nd entry but it still had an epic story, I don't think any moment in gaming this year topped the genophage conclusion for me, it felt epic in every sense. Multiplayer didn't suck which surprised me and got regular additions. Mass Effect will be hailed as gaming Star Wars for probably the next decade, I just can't see anyone topping the amazing world and characters the series has given us.
3 - Borderlands 2 - I'd like some guns, why yes I will take the side of guns, go large? Hell yeah. This game knew what fans wanted, more borderlands. I didn't change the formula much but improved on the first in every way. Well maybe not on the DLC but its still got time to pick that up. Handsome Jack was a fun bad guy and the story made some bold choices in the last third.
2 - Rainbow Moon - For time spent in game this would be my game of the year. It was a blast to the past for me, taking me back to the old school RPGs I used to love. I really miss the old squares on the battlefield, often wishing more games would return it but alas it seems to be a thing of the past. Massive amount to do and explore and you only discover most of the map in the last hours of the main story giving you near double to do post game. Levelling up is fun as you never know how your characters are going to grow but they often (but not always) get better attacks after each significant area. A great game, please go try it.
1 - Far Cry 3 - What a world, I think thats the thing I most enjoyed about this game, outside of Skyrim its probably maybe favourite, even overtaking the great Red Dead Redemption (a game they surely used as inspiration). Far Cry 2 was okay but plagued by some glaring faults, this game removed all the them, leaving my game of the year. Hunting is fun and very meaningful, leveling up is rewarding without ever becoming overpowering, and we all know that Vaas rules. One massive grip though is that of the 2 endings, one of the REALLY FUCKING SUCKS! And remember I didn't mind Mass Effects. The hours flew by with this title and I've got my fingers crossed that a single player expansion will follow.
Sean Garmer (Games Zone Reviewer and Games Top 5 Organizer)
5. WWE 13: After changing the gameplay system in WWE 12 for the better, but having lackluster content caused last year's iteration of the yearly franchise to sink. So, THQ came back with WWE 13 and re-introduced the "Attitude Era" to the world as the main gameplay mode. They also somewhat improved Universe Mode, made the online community much easier to use, and I think just an overall better game.
4. Alan Wake American Nightmare: I actually went back and played the original Alan Wake before playing this and I enjoyed the heck out of this game. I loved the more action feel to the gameplay mixed in with the story, which was once again very well told. The villain in this game was tremendous and watching his videos on those old TV's made it a much more enjoyable experience. The arcade mode was a nice extra that really helped give an added reason to play the game as well. I thought it was well worth the small price on XBLA or PC to play the game.
3. Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning: I absolutely loved this game and it is weird because I usually don't play games like Skyrim and Oblivion. I think what makes this different is that the combat in Kingdoms of Amalur is awesome. I've never wanted to just spend time doing quests so that I could keep fighting mindless drones because the combat system keeps building you up and you can also change your fate whenever you please, which makes the game even more fun. I just hate that 38 Studios had to get shutdown and we may never see a sequel to this.
2. Sports Games having a revival: I know people hate hearing about this but I think I pretty much enjoyed the crap out of every sports game I played this year. From Madden 13's change with the new physics engine to SSX terrific reboot. NBA 2K13 was once again king of the mountain of sports games with another superb offering and FIFA delivered another stand out performance with small changes to their engine that made the game better. I should also note that EA successfully rebooted the FIFA Street franchise this year as well. So, if you throw in MLB The Show being awesome too, I think sports games have done pretty well for themselves this year.
1. The Walking Dead invades your mind: I love the TV series, I need to read the comic books and graphic novels, and I love point and click games. So, Tell Tale made a game that was right up my alley. But that's not all, the story in this game is absolutely touching #For Clementine, come on you know you did everything you could to make sure she was ok in that game. Clementine and Lee were probably the two best written characters in all of gaming in 2012 and hats off to Tell Tale for doing that.
Dirtsheets.com A website started by two of the Triple Threat Column writers. Not only is it the permanent home of this world famous column but it has recaps done by me, wrestling news, and other columns.
Wrestling 2 the Max Podcast A friend and I started our own wrestling podcast. Go listen to episode 18 and tell us what you think. New Episodes come out every Sunday Morning. We reviewed TLC and gave out a Christmas Wish List for WWE to fulfill for 2013, and did our weekly stuff with SmackDown, NXT, and Superstar of the Week too.
Well, there are no actual releases on this New Year's Week. So, that does it for this week's Gaming Top 5. I hope everyone has an awesome New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Hope to see you back again in 2013.