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Re(1):Game of the Year: 2012 Dragon Edition
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It's more of a list of "what I played this year". I'm actually surprised I played that much! [b]2012 “It’s not you, it’s me” Award[/b] : Max Anarchy I enjoyed the demo quite a lot, but then I didn't import the game, thinking “hum… it would be too expensive, maybe the next time I have a big order from Japan…” The next day, my flatmate appears with a free copy that probably magically rained from the sky upon him. I maybe played one hour...? I'm not even sure we redeemed the preorder code for Bayonetta that was in the box. I feel like a very bad Bayo fan. I would really, really like to like the game, it’s just… something prevents me from even touching it. I don’t understand. I'm sorry Max. [b]2012 Least Disappointing Crossover[/b] [b]Bronze Award:[/b] Street Fighter X Tekken In that case, it’s not me, it’s definitely you, Capcom. I spent all these years looking at Tekken thinking “I like the characters, but I can’t stand the game, if only I could play with them in a Street-Fighter kind of engine”, and when the thing finally happens, I just can’t stand the game more than an hour. How could that possibly happen? The game even has Kuma doing an R.Mika cosplay! Capcom, I am extremely angry at you. If the game has one thing to be remembered for, it’s that it proved Capcom fighters don’t go well with the DLC concept. If the original game had been released without the DLC, had been loathed by everyone, and then Capcom had done like always and released the 12 characters along with the 2013 update in a new game called “Super Street Fighter X Tekken”, the backlash would have been almost unnoticeable. [b]Silver Award:[/b] Gyakuten Layton On paper, the crossover made sense. After playing just the intro, it’s obvious the concept couldn't work at all. Trying to keep the flavour of both games by cracking the crossover into two separate dynamics seemed a good idea, but in fact, it requires you to play a Layton game AND a Gyakuten game at the same time. In fighting games, crossovers cater to at least the fans of the organizing company who receive new, foreign characters, while the fans of the other company are welcome to join in for a while, leading to a wider potential public than you would have had with a regular, non crossover title. Here, you actually have to at least like BOTH franchises to go forward: especially in the case of the Gyakuten segments, who are as well written as anything written by Takushu (My eternal love to you) but can be very polarizing. I know a few people who would just drop the game there and never come back. As for me, I’m OK with the minigames, but could someone kill Layton and his twink, please? But, well, it’s still the occasion to meet Takushu again after the brilliant Ghost Trick. Oh, and speaking of which: I also give a [b]2012 Nelson “Ha! Ha!” Award[/b] to Level 5, a company I never liked, whose success I never managed to understand, and it seems this year was the year everyone joined my bandwagon. Hurray! I suppose that means now I'm supposed to start liking them. Damn it. [b]Gold Award: [/b]Playstation All Stars Battle Royale PS ASBR, the gift that keeps giving. From the premise to the first videos to the hypocrisy of “Smash Bros? Never heard of it” to the character choice… everything was fantastic from beginning to end. It even had Seth Killian and Lupinko spoiling the roaster in advance! And all that enjoyment for free! It could only have been better if the PSN had been hacked again when the game was released. [b]The 2012 “Just according to Keikaku*” Award:[/b] Diablo 3 Nothing, not the sales numbers, the quality of the final product, the flaws, the outraged reactions all over the internet, the server issues at launch, the Torchlight comparisons, the tons of salt and trolling and other “What a shitty game, I only played it 200 hours and never came back, I'm never buying another Bizzard product” reactions, nothing at all was surprising in the least. Oh, maybe the writing succeeded in being worse than expected. [b]Best browser-game now that I managed to stop playing Kingdom of Loathing with the help of God and my therapist, a.k.a. Best game my employer paid me to play instead of working at the office that would not be KoL[/b] Bronze Award: [URL=http://www.nekogames.jp/g.html?gid=PRM]Parameters[/URL] Silver Award: [URL=http://www.hojamaka.com/game/mamosui_list.html]Mine Sweeper RPG[/URL] Gold Award: [URL=http://www.a10.com/action-games/knightmare-tower#ref=preferred]Knightmare Tower[/URL] Special mention to Triple Town, but since it’s a Facebook/Google+/whatever other stuff I’m not aware of, it probably should be in a category of its own. [b]The 2012 Most Questionable Expansion Award Bronze Award:[/b] CiV Gods&King The problem with strategy games is that it’s difficult to improve your game (once it has reach an acceptable balance) without adding more layers of complexity. Hence the necessity to start at the most bare-bone level (thus angering fans because your new games doesn’t have X or Y), and then build up on top of that. Each new thing you add raises the amount of necessary micro-management of your thing, and Religion, while far better implemented than in Civ 4, sometimes dangerously topples into tedious territory. Fortunately, it can be ignored, turned off, and moreover, CiV retains the magic of the “one more turn” endless chain of micro-objectives that actually makes me scared of playing a new game. I think that fear is very much what ex-addicts feel when they get too close to their previous drug of choice. Will the next extension add even more complex and annoying micro-management? More than probably. While I get it day one? I'm already playing it IN MY MIND. [b]Silver Award:[/b] Dark Souls Prepare to Die Come on, From. That’s not an expansion, that’s just two zones you added without much link to the rest of the world. I'm not calling that an expansion, I just call it “new marketing plan to capitalize on the great word-of-mouth on the game and sell even more copies”. And then I just give you all my money. [b]Gold Award:[/b] The Binding of Isaac: Wrath of the Lamb I have never seen any better illustration for “more=/= better”. By adding even more stuff, more enemies, more floors, more bosses, more items, the expansion actually broke a game which had an perfect balance of strategy, random elements, risk vs reward… the expansion added so many things that the random elements just breaks everything. Some of the bosses are also way too strong to appear that early, more broken item combinations but even less likely to appear with all the new stuff… Just roll a dice; you’re either the king of the world or stand absolutely no chance and can reset without even trying to go through a couple of floors. Farewell, my 2011 GOTY. I loved you. [b]The 2012 Heir of the mystic sword “Katana” of the clan “sensei” of the legendary ninja “Shibuya Power” Award:[/b] Mark of the Ninja. OK. The game is great, the controls are great, the level design is great, the art is great, but OH GOD JUST SHUT UP WITH YOUR SHITTY WAPANESE NONSENSE. It’s probably the equivalent to Bastion last year: I would have enjoyed the game much better if all the characters were mute and there was no plot. Except Mark of the Ninja is a far better game, and except that even Bastion's narrator didn't annoy me to the point I had to stop playing after an hour. “Let me tell you the legend of the Yin NO I WONT JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP. [b]Game I enjoyed better than Mark of the Ninja even though it lasts 15 minutes at the same time:[/b] Thirty Flights of Loving Yes, that’s how you tell a story. it’s not even a real “game” in the sense you just follow the path to look at the next sequence, but everything it tried was done perfectly, and as a side note it didn’t make me want to punch through my screen. Note for 2013: any story-driven game where no one talks gets an instant 50% bonus in my book. [b]Best Point-and-click game of 2012:[/b] Edna&Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes I wonder if I should put The Walking Dead here, but there was very little thinking required in that. I just watched my flatmate playing through it, and don’t think I missed anything. Harvey’s New Eyes, on the other hand, is the kind of game you would think directly taken from the Monkey Island-Maniac Mansion era. Only german people could do that. The first half of the game is perfect, just like an old rusty game, with clever writing, enigmas and solutions. The second half is OK too. That was a very pleasant surprise, and I don't even like point-and-click games to begin with! [b]Worst plot element that need to die and never come back after 2012:[/b] that character you relied on through the game is actually only in your mind Guys. I understood Bruce Willis was dead when I saw the trailer of the Sixth Sense, and I actually thought that was intended and the big surprise of the movie was that actually, he was not really dead. 13 years later, the plot device hasn't gotten any better. Let’s just agree to stop that and never use it again, OK? [b]Best fighting game of 2012:[/b] Jojo ASB It has everything: it looks good, the trailers are dynamic and fun, the systems look cool, and the threads on 2ch are bubbling with life, rumours, speculations, hoaxes, flame wars about tiny fanwank on the colours of a character's shoelaces… And we can speculate about the final game for days without any limitations! It’s like reading about the new KOF back in 2000!!! At that point, who cares if Hermes’ faster dash is actually slower than Hol Horse’s back dash, or if Whamu’s overhead is minus 5 frames on hit. There’ll be plenty of time to be disappointed and complain whenever the game will be released. Right now, I'm enjoying the game at its fullest. [b]Best game of 2011 I played in 2012:[/b] Dark Souls [b]Best mod of 2012:[/b] Durante’s fix to play Dark Souls with higher settings on PC. My computer is far from a powerhouse, and yet the performance improvement is incredible. I could buy a new computer just to play that game at max settings. The game is just GORGEOUS. [b]Games that almost were my GOTY but failed by a narrow margin[/b] [b]Dark Souls[/b] Circumstances made it miss the line twice in a row. I think I’ll pay for it in my next reincarnation or something. Still one of the very best games ever produced, and, I’m not overstating anything. [b]X-Com[/b] There is absolutely nothing bad to say about X-Com. Nothing. That’s how good the game was. I enjoyed every second of it, every minuscule micro-objective that kept me playing like a Civilization game, and all the times I went to bed at 3AM after saying “OK, I’m just waiting for the next science project to be completed”. [b]Bravely Default[/b] Also best Final Fantasy game of the year, and of the decade. If Maou managed to escape his twisted time loop, that would be his GOTY of 2004. [b]GOTY 2012: TOKYO JUNGLE[/b] This game probably comes from the same parallel universe that Maou is from. There, it’s probably a classic arcade game where you just try to live as long as possible with your single credit, that has just got ported as a retro classic on Sega’s new console. Video games allow you to do stuff you couldn't usually do IRL. Jumping over buildings, punching through mountains, send your enemies to the Chaos Dimension… But the best games are those that make you do stuff you didn't know you wanted to do. Tokyo Jungle made me play as a rabbit dressed-up as a Village People-construction worker to go kick stupid Pomeranian dogs in the nuts in front of the train station. Tokyo Jungle made me dance the Fantasia ballet with an Alligator family through downtown Shibuya. Tokyo Jungle made me curse at my baby lion because the spoiled brat wanted to eat pterodactyl today. Tokyo Jungle made me think “I’m really eating like a swine” and then notice that I was, actually, playing as a swine. Tokyo Jungle made me count the calories I was eating to check if I grew up to be a BOSS human. Tokyo Jungle made me walk in the streets with my 5 ostriches sisters and we were running after all the cats of the neighbourhood to pick at their eyes. If anyone has any kind of valid argument on why this game shouldn't be the best thing that came out of the videogame industry this year, I’d be interested to hear it.
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