The Games of 2012


It’s hard for me to decide how long this review is going to be before I get started on it. I feel like I didn’t play as many of the new games that came out this year just because of financial restraints. On the other hand, I also started using my Gamefly subscription more to fill in the gaps that I wasn’t willing to pay full price for. I’m also a little bit worried that I won’t have enough games to complete a bottom three, just because my precious time and money could not be wasted on untested, shitty games this year. Hopefully I’ll have plenty to talk about, but there’s only one way to find out…

JANUARY

FINAL FANTASY XIII-2

I fully intended to play this game; so much so that I actually purchased it and everything. The reason I never got started was because I still haven’t beaten FF13 yet. I started playing it when it originally came out, and then started from scratch again when this game came out, determined to finish a review of it and move onto the next game in the series. I have lost interest both times before actually finishing. One day, FF13-2… One day…

FEBRUARY

THE DARKNESS 2

I actually purchased this too … and still haven’t started playing it. I’VE BEEN BUSY!!

KINGDOMS OF AMALUR: RECKONING

AHA! A game I actually beat! And it was … thoroughly mediocre. There’re a whole lot of side missions, and a whole lot of dialogue to sit through, and all of that is written by some guy that nerdier people than myself know. I, however, don’t know him and don’t care to listen through novels worth of dialogue that is not that interesting in the first place. It’s a decent enough game, but certainly not worth a full purchase … unless you find it for $10 bucks like I did.

UNCHARTED: GOLDEN ABYSS

I was very excited about this game (as I am with all the Uncharted games), but I was not nearly as excited about the Playstation Vita at first. Eventually, I bought a Vita in the Assassin’s Creed Limited Edition bundle, and this game was the only game I was really concerned about getting. How was it? …I’ll let you know. I haven’t finished Assassin’s Creed yet. I’ve been told by my roommate that it’s really good though.

MARCH

MASS EFFECT 3

I am apparently a liar. I looked briefly at the 2011 reviews and saw that I said I would definitely be playing this game. Eh… not so much. Not because of the game, but because I seemingly completely forgot it existed.

APRIL

DISGAEA 3: ABSENCE OF DETENTION

I haven’t gotten this game yet, but I desperately want it. I have an unnatural obsession with this game series.

PROTOTYPE 2

A decent enough game. It’s a little repetitive, and I never was really able to muster more than an hour at a time, but it was solid fun. It also looked pretty good, and it was pretty easy achievements. It’s worth checking out if you can find a cheap enough copy.

MAY

SNIPER ELITE V2

I was pleasantly surprised by this game. I assume my friend Phil let me borrow the game because he expected such a thing, and he was right for once in his life. The story is simplistic and the graphics aren’t always what we’ve come to expect in this generation of gaming, but the satisfaction I gained from watching one of my shots go through someone’s skull in slow motion never dulled, even when it happened over and over again.

JUNE

LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES

It’s another Lego game! …Take that for what it is. It’s good, and definitely right up a kid’s alley, but it’s not dissimilar from every other Lego game I’ve played in the past. Just this time, it’s Batman and other DC superheroes. Basic gameplay and basic story – and I was a little bummed that they made the characters talk when they’ve been so successful making the other games tell a story in an amusing way without it thus far – but there is some stupid, silly fun to be had in this game. And easy achievements! I’m sure it will be super cheap soon enough. You can give it a go when that happens.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

My strange desire to play this game nagged at me for a long time. I had the strange desire because I’ve really liked some of the Spider-Man games in the past. It nagged at me because I wouldn’t buy it because it’s been a very long time since they’ve made one of the good ones. What did they do this time? They made another mediocre one, but one that had the free-roaming gameplay style that I wanted. Overall, I enjoyed playing the game enough because of the gameplay, but the story was really plain, and was also basically the not groundbreaking movie with more cross breeds. It’s okay, and probably worth a rental, but not much more.

SEPTEMBER

Quite a break here, right? It’s almost enough to make you think I had a life during this period. (Psst. I didn’t)

OCTOBER

JUST DANCE 4 and DANCE CENTRAL 3

If I had ever reviewed one of these games before, I would suggest that you take that review and change the music on it. Then add one to the number in the title.

ASSASSIN’S CREED III: LIBERATION

I’ve always loved Assassin’s Creed. But every handheld game (of course, I’m referring to the one other handheld one that I played) has been an utter disappointment. I have not completed this game, but it has blown my expectations for the handheld Assassin’s Creed games out of the water, while simultaneously not really being as good as any of the console games. It handles a lot like the Assassin’s Creed with the addition of the Vita’s second analog stick, but there’s not a whole lot going on in the story, and most of the missions involve changing Aveline’s costume and going to kill something. At least from what I’ve played so far, it’s not the greatest game, but it is a good game, and it’s the best Vita game I’ve played so far. It’s also the only one I’ve played so far.

NOVEMBER

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II

I’ve made it no secret that I’ve decided to boycott the Call of Duty games. They typically have next to nothing interesting going on in their single player campaign because they know that no one is really that interested in playing it. They tend to do a lot of good with their multiplayer, but that has bit me in the ass too. I bought the last two CoD games, and never really played Black Ops online. And I didn’t even open my copy of Modern Warfare 3. That caused me to decide to completely boycott this game. …That being said, I received the game as a Christmas present, and so I played it. The story is fairly solid, though not at all groundbreaking. They did make a few changes to the gameplay, and they all work well in favor of the game. It’s fun, though I’d say it’s a little easy for its own good. It’s also fun that they take it a bit into the future while also taking us back into the past, so we get to use some tried and true weapons and also use some futuristic weapons, some of which seem far fetched and others that seem realistic. I have not ventured into multiplayer yet, but I would say that what I’ve played of the game so far has made me not disappointed to own the game.

LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE VIDEO GAME

I haven’t played this game, but I assume you can take my review for Lego Batman 2 and exchange the word “Batman” with the word “Aragorn”.

HITMAN: ABSOLUTION

I look forward to playing this game … when I can find it for about $30.

THE WORST GAMES OF 2012

FIFTH WORST

Medal of Honor: Warfighter (2012)MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER

When I rented this game, I wasn’t expecting much. With a name as bland as “Warfighter”, what should I expect? A mediocre game! DELIVERED! The story of the game was too long, it offered no appreciable innovations to the first person shooter genre, and the graphics were occasionally subpar. I’m sure they invested a good amount of their time into the multiplayer, but I invested none of mine into it. I just rented it to see if it was any good, then I beat it in a couple of days and sent it back, relatively unsatisfied. It’s not awful, but it’s probably only worth picking up if you can find it for about $10.

FOURTH WORST

Dishonored (2012)DISHONORED

This game disappointed me, but it also helped prove me right. People need to stop using hyperbole when talking about things with me. If you’re going to set this game up to me as mind-blowing – so much so that I’ll actually invest my monies into it – then it had damned well better be. It had better not be okay, and then just devolve into repetitively cutting throats. And the goddamned game better not try so hard to make me feel shitty for doing cutting those throats. You put it into the game! Maybe YOU’RE the bad person! Not me for realizing that the least frustrating way through a stealth game is to take the bad people out of the equation. Bad people can’t be bad anymore when their blood is no longer in their body.

THIRD WORST

TWISTED METAL

A pretty disappointing game that I probably shouldn’t have bothered expecting anything out of in the first place. This game was my own mistake because I put it on a Twisted Metal (2012)list for my birthday and it was gifted to me by my sister. I should have probably known better. My sister doesn’t game, so she wouldn’t know better. The game did remind me of a simpler time when all a game really needed was some goofy cars and explosions, but the problems of the game became more and more annoying over time. There were some frustratingly difficult parts in the game, and the game has no interest in telling you how to play it. And, to top that all off, you can probably knock it out in a few hours and then have no reason to play it. It has multiplayer, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. It had Twisted Metal Black to download along with the game, but that only really served to remind me that lots of games don’t age well. I can see some potential for this game to be entertaining when split-screened with your friends, but that does not justify its price.

RUNNER UP

Kinect Star Wars (2012)KINECT STAR WARS

I never got around to finishing this game, but I did play a good deal of it. I only bought the game because there was no other way to purchase the special edition R2D2 Xbox 360 without getting this game to come along with it. I even tried to trade in the game after I purchased the console, but the game wasn’t in Best Buy’s systems yet. So I decided to play it instead. The regular gameplay was fine enough, but a little repetitive. I did feel like I actually had full access to all of my midichlorians though. So what was the problem? This game shit all over my childhood! You seriously gonna have Han Solo dance in the carbonite chamber before he gets frozen? To a poorly parodied version of “I’m Riding Solo?” Fuck that shit! Those were not good times for old Han.

THE LOSER

SSX (2012)SSX

Oh that’s right, I DID want to kick a game in the nuts this year. That game was SSX. I only played this game because I remembered playing it when I was younger and really liking the simple fun of the series. I played this game and found that fun did not hold up anymore. There was no story and I got extremely bored of the gameplay in about a half hour since it was the same thing over and over, and that one thing was not even very fun. The game looks okay, but really has nothing else going for it.

THE BEST GAMES OF 2012

HONORABLE MENTION

The only game that almost made my top five for this year was Sniper Elite V2. It was a pretty fun game and surpassed any expectations I could’ve had for a game that I had never heard of that came out completely under my radar.

FIFTH BEST

Max Payne 3 (2012)MAX PAYNE 3

I had been a fan of the Max Payne series since its beginning, and I still enjoyed Max Payne 3, but it was a bit of a trudge in more than one part. Mainly, Max himself. Such a whiny bitch for someone that is killing hordes of his enemies like he was the Armageddon the Mayans were talking about. The story was good, but the dialogue suffered from Max Payne’s inescapable moroseness. So morose was he that it actually took away from my enjoyment of the extremely quality gameplay. I knew I would love that much, with all the jumping through windows and firing in slow motion. I just could’ve enjoyed it much more if Max would just shut the fuck up.

FOURTH BEST

Halo 4 (2012)HALO 4

I give this game extra credit for blowing my expectations for it out of the water. This was the first time the fate of Master Chief had been left in non-Bungie hands, and 343 tore it up. I’ve only played the campaign thus far, but I thought the story was really good, and even had a surprising bit of emotion to it near the end. Before that, it’s not much more than going from computer terminal to computer terminal, and I could resent that because it’s a version of my life with more guns and aliens. But the game looks GORGEOUS. Best looking Halo game so far by leaps and bounds. I bet the multiplayer is even good. Maybe I’ll give it a go.

THIRD BEST

Assassin's Creed 3 (2012)ASSASSIN’S CREED III

I’ve always loved Assassin’s Creed. Every console game thus far has been right up my alley. This one was as well … with a few notations. I loved the story and felt that it came a lot closer to home (as it physically came closer to home) by actually happening during a time period I would actually have any knowledge of. And I’ve always liked the way the Assassin’s Creed games play. Running over rooftops and stabbing necks with wrist blades is always good times. It’s like Dishonored if Dishonored didn’t punish you for playing the game the way it was designed. What did kind of punish me was how many glitches I encountered in the game. I ran into invisible walls, jumped onto walls instead of running in the direction I was trying to tell Connor to go, and on one occasion something in the game fired me up into the air, sending me crashing to my death. Still, the game was awesome when these things were not hindering my enjoyment.

RUNNER UP

Far Cry 3 (2012)FAR CRY 3

This was probably my most anticipated game of the holiday season, and it did not disappoint. All the Far Cry games are graphically fantastic, and this one held up its end of that. And you can also expect the landscapes in Far Cry to be huge, lush, colorful landscapes with tons of things to explore. The stories of the Far Cry games are typically unimpressive, but I actually liked the story of this game … mainly because there was one. And it was good too. I especially liked any parts of the story involving Vaas. My roommate did good by getting this game for me for Christmas.

THE WINNER

Borderlands 2 (2012)BORDERLANDS 2

When it came to the best game of this year, there were a few games it could be, but only one game it’s gots to be. I have already beaten this game as well as all the available DLC for it so far, and I’ve also played a good amount of time with all 5 character types available to me, but I still haven’t produced a review for the game because it’s so good that I have not yet decided that I’m over it. It is so good! The story is as fun as I’ve come to expect from my time with the first game, but they also actually put a few surprises and a few emotionally impactful moments. And on top of that, it’s an excellent first person shooter with RPG elements, and that is pretty much my two favorite game genres. This game is awesome. You need to buy it.

These are my opinions, but I would love to hear yours. Just like with the movies of 2012, I would love for you guys to leave me a comment telling me what your top and bottom 5 video games of 2012 were.

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people. Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense. Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated. You can also add me on FaceBook and Twitter. Don’t forget to leave me some comments. Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Dishonored (2012)


We All Start With Innocence, but the World Leads Us to Guilt.

Dishonored (2012)The true inspiration for today’s review was that terrible holiday known as Black Friday. Technically, it started a while before that with a number of people telling me how awesome this game was. But that didn’t actually inspire me to buy the game because it still didn’t look that interesting to me, and them talking it up was only going to make it worse. But there was something that could make it better. It could go on sale for $25 on Black Friday. And it did! Now, I hate Black Friday, and if it was my choice I wouldn’t have been there at all, or this game would have to wait for me until about 1 pm because there’s no way in Hell I’d get up early for it. Since I was forced to be there, and I was in the vicinity buying a game I wanted much more than this, I decided to relent and pick up a copy of Dishonored, developed by Arkane Studios, published by Bethesda Softworks, and including the voices of Chloë Moretz, John Slattery, Billy Lush, Susan Sarandon, Lena Headey, Brad Dourif, and Carrie Fisher.

We are the bodyguard of the Empress of Steampunk world. Our name is Corvo Attano and our voice box was apparently damaged at a young age, rendering us completely speechless. This becomes problematic when the Empress is murdered in front of us (because we’re also very bad at our job) and her daughter Emily (Chloë Moretz) is kidnapped (because we’re EXTRA bad at our job), and we are unable to tell people that we didn’t do it. We get all nice and framed for this, but we get freed by a group of Loyalists, led by Admiral Havelock (John Slattery). Then we are set on a mission to shake up the corrupt government and free Emily, the rightful heir to the throne.

You people need to knock it off with the whole overenthusiasm thing. You talk up a game that is “Okay” at best until it is made out to be the game of the year and the game can only suffer for it. I think the problems I had with the story made for the bulk of my problems with it. Actually, it was more how the gameplay changed the story, but we’ll get to that after a few other points. The first thing that struck me is that the story is kind of bland and mostly about political conspiracies, and anyone that knows me knows that there’s not a whole lot I find more boring than politics. The idea of the silent protagonist feels a little antiquated now as well, and it seems like it would have at least helped with some of the problems my character got into because of it. They say that the purpose of the silent protagonist is to get the player more involved with their character, but that hasn’t really proven to be the case, has it? I didn’t give two flying fucks about Corvo. I didn’t feel like I was him, nor did I get particularly involved in his story. If you really want to get me involved in a game, you need to make one about a guy playing video games, masturbating, and occasionally writing reviews that one or two people read. Then again, I wouldn’t buy that game either, and anyone else that did might get too depressed by it. And the other side of that argument is that there are plenty of games that have protagonists that speak that I got involved with. Ezio Auditore talks, Marcus Fenix talks, Nathan Drake talks. When my roommate asked me what my 5 favorite games would be, 4 out of 5 of them had protagonists that speak. The only one with a silent protagonist in that list was Final Fantasy 7. How about you have a great story to get me involved instead? There were also tons of things in the game that annoyed me because they didn’t make sense. When I was walking the streets on my way to a masquerade ball, why would guards attack me when I was wearing a mask? If that mask is good enough for the guards at the party, the other ones would surely have known about it or I’m sure half of the guest list was killed on their way to the soirée. And why did the guards keep trying to kill me after I exposed the Lord Regent and they took him to jail? Shouldn’t they all have figured at that point that I was framed?

I need to talk about the gameplay before I can combine it with the story to tell you what really annoyed me about the game. The gameplay itself was fine, but it’s really nothing I haven’t seen before. It feels like it wants to be, but it isn’t. And it ends up being a little boring to me, as most stealth games are. You have to do a really good job on your game to make stealth games feel like more than just waiting in shadows for someone to turn their back. They added in some powers, like the Blink ability, that makes it interesting when you can teleport behind someone to stab them up good. But if sneaking didn’t work out for you, there didn’t seem to be much by way of consequences for it. Fighting was fairly easy at first, being not much more than block and stab. Later it gets a little more complicated because the enemies dodge more and have guns, but fuck them ‘cause I can stop time now. The upgrades to your equipment never seemed to help that much, but the upgrades to your powers maybe helped too much, making the game a little too easy when you could see your enemies through walls, teleport right behind them, freeze time if you were in a pinch, and call in an army of rats if that wasn’t working. Also, the AI wasn’t that bright, which adds to the easiness. There was one part where I was flat out spotted by a number of guards and I backed up, falling down about 10 feet off a ledge where I could hear the guards say, “I guess it was nothing.” Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. The biggest problem with the gameplay I had was that I couldn’t play it for more than an hour at a time without getting so bored I had to turn it off. I’m sure the game wouldn’t take that as a compliment, and it wasn’t intended as one.

The biggest problem I had with the game was how the gameplay affected the story. They let you know about halfway through the game that killing people turns the story dark at the end. Fuck that shit! Killing these enemies just makes sense. A: it’s mostly self-defense because if any of them see you, they will try to kill you. B: it makes the game easier because you don’t have to keep watching out for them after they’re dead. C: it’s more fun! All I heard about this game before I bought it was that it was basically about cutting throats. That is literally all I knew about it before I played it. Then you’re going to punish me by making me corrupt an innocent little girl and make everyone hate me and be shitty to me because I played the game the way that makes sense? Fuck you! The Spiderman game I’m playing now doesn’t punish me for webbing people and punching them in the face. Assassin’s Creed doesn’t wag its finger at you for stabbing the people that deserve it with your wrist blades. I understand punishing me for killing innocents, but I wasn’t doing that. At the end of the game, the formerly nice boat driver that took me to my missions was so shitty to me he pretty much said he hopes I get killed, and just to help that along he’s going to fire his gun to get the attention of everyone on the island before he departed. And Emily is drawing pictures of me standing atop a mountain of corpses with a sword dripping with blood as she talks about how she’ll kill anyone that opposes her when she becomes Empress.

I don’t have very much to say about the look of the game. It looks good. I had no complaints. It’s just a Bioshock-esque steampunk world, but it’s so bland and dark to set the mood that it ends up being visually disinteresting and adding to the boredom I already had for the game.

This is also not a great game for achievements. I’m leaving the game with just over 300. Most of the achievements are for completing missions without killing anyone and without getting spotted. I find that course of action too frustrating and boring to actually make an attempt at it. I probably would if I found the game more interesting, but I just don’t care. I was vaguely interested in finding out what would happen to the ending if I had played this game the shitty way, but that question could be answered by a quick trip to YouTube. It wasn’t worth it.

Dishonored suffered from the high expectations set by the people I know. Seems to be a running theme in some of my reviews, doesn’t it? This game was okay, but certainly not as spectacular as some people acted like it was. The story was pretty good if you’re into that kind of thing, and the gameplay is fine but in no way innovative. But I’ll tell you what no one told me: this game is, in fact, not at all about stabbing people and slicing throats. Go into the game with that idea and the game will hate-fuck your skull. Instead, play this game if you like falling asleep while waiting in the shadows to hug someone that’s trying to kill you until they fall asleep and you can move on. That’s how the game wants you to play it. Also, I guess the other option is to just not play it. I’d recommend that one. Especially with it still at $60. I paid $25 for it and I didn’t think it was worth it. But I am going to trade it in for $15 dollars, so I recommend buying it when you can find it for $10. Dishonored gets “It can take one to sublime heights or harrowing depths” out of “Are you chasing something, or running away?”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people. Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense. Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated. You can also add me on FaceBook and Twitter. Don’t forget to leave me some comments. Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.