So, I guess I am going to end up doing something akin to a Best of the Year for 2012, though this isn't exactly going to be too long or too in depth (considering I'm well past the point where this could be considered relevant).
So, as always, I'm only going to talk about stuff from this list
, and only about things I actually played enough. However, for the worst, I'm going to have to talk a little about stuff I decided to skip and why (this will only go so far as to look at games I was actually excited for).
So the list of games I got around that were released last year is at the bottom, just to show what the competition for these categories was.
For fighting, turns out Skullgirls was one of the best in the genre this year, with a control scheme that works with the player to help you play. The only problem is the lack of characters and the fact that the combo list isn't included in the game. However each character is extremely fleshed out both gameplay wise and story, and the amount of sprites keeps the entire thing amazingly fluid. While I loved the fan-service of PABR, and P4A's story and simple controls really won me over, Skullgirls stuck with me the strongest.
The Darkness 2 was fun, Halo 4 was a great start to a new trilogy and did everything I wanted Halo to do for awhile, but Borderlands 2 won my love for the genre of shooters. Simply put there's a lot more to love in it than most of the rest and a lot less I hated. However, special mention must be made for High Moon's Fall of Cybertron, where if I'd played more third person shooters from 2012, it would have blown away the competition for its story mode. Another honorable mention goes to ME3's multiplayer, which despite the fact that I'm no longer enamored with it, it ate up a solid chunk of my life as well as the lives of my roommates who played alongside me.
Metal Gear Solid HD finally fixed Peace Walker for me, but the unchanging control scheme for 2 threw me off, meanwhile 3 has enough hours from my PS2 days that it can wait a bit longer before I touch it. Still, it didn't win top prize for stealth game of 2012. Assassin's Creed 3 lost it for a variety of reasons I've already talked about. While I'd love to give it to Hitman, it honestly is a game that's just a bit too user unfriendly for everyone if I'm judging this based on overall performance, which meant Dishonored gets it instead for its gameplay, aesthetic, interesting characters.
The action category is a tough decision for me. While Asura's Wrath was fun for the short time we were together, it ruined its good ending for a cliffhanger you had to pay to resolve. Meanwhile, Zone of the Enders is rather fun, but the voice acting is starting to grate on me. Gravity Rush was fun but needs a bit more work for its (hopeful) sequel. Retro City Rampage is a bit too confusing to really earn the top spot and Prototype 2 fell through towards the end on its story. Jak and Daxter would take top spot if I let the series compete so it was automatically out and the DMC collection unfortunately gets weighed down in certain areas by the source material. The toss up for this ended up being between Darksiders 2 and Lego Batman 2, where I ended up with a decision: unfortunately Darksiders 2 doesn't end up as strong as it was hoping to be but if it weren't for the cliffhanger of the first that will probably now never get resolved since Death did nothing to wrap it up here, Lego Batman 2 ends up edging ahead for the gold.
I ended up having to group a lot of things under the Adventure title, with things like point and click stuff sitting alongside puzzle focused games. So going through them, Quantum Conundrum is a Portal clone that came close but certain puzzles ended up not working out properly (the time stop sofa riding over lava ones). Zero Escape is a visual novel with some amazing philosophical ideas that form the plot line that started with 999, though sadly it's one of those games that I'm not certain I can recommend for everyone. Closure is a little too devilishly hard at points to the point it ends up being a game you return to throughout the year rather than really sit down an play through. The two stand outs in this category though were Journey and The Walking Dead, both of which managed emotional moments that are hard to explain. As such, I'm calling a tie, as they're too hard to really compare, with one using nothing but gameplay to tell the story while the other only used plot.
Last up we've got RPGs, where Borderlands 2 and Darksiders 2 were excluded for being on other lists. I'd love to give Legend of the Dragoon the award, but some of its mechanics haven't aged well enough. Tales of Graces f suffers from a few too many anime tropes and its original version that keeps it from being at the same level as the rest of its series. Lastly Mass Effect 3's ending wasn't as horrible as people made it out to be, and, like I tell anyone when I talk on this subject, Xenosaga 3 is a much worse example of a finale of a trilogy of sci fi games where a close cast of characters ends up in a final desperate battle with higher forces intent on bringing an end to life as we know it in the universe in what is part of an ongoing cycle for some unknown reason, since it was supposed to wrap up what was intended to end in 3 more games. In the end, my decision's simply going to be a toss up between ME3 or Persona 4 Golden, depending on your preference for WRPGs or JRPGs, as they both have a strong cast with gameplay that works.
Now, let's get around to talking about the things this year that just didn't work out.
-Asura's Wrath ended up too short, too easy, and had a hidden ending that required playing through the entire last stage again to see and resulted in the retconning of a satisfactory ending to create a cliffhanger just to bring up the fates of two characters, one of whom is abruptly killed off in it. Then, DLC was released with the last section of the game, meaning you had to pay to get your ending. This ended up overshadowed by the ME3 ending debate, but is arguably the worse offender.
-Unfinished Swan is overpriced for what it ended up being. I'm glad I got it on sale because while it does have a lot going for it, it never really amounts to anything, there is an entire section of the game that ends up just not being all that fun and defeats a lot of the exploration theme the game had running with it throughout for the sake of getting its message across. It focused more on being an interactive experience rather than a game, and unlike thatgamecompany, it just didn't work as well.
-Gotham City Imposters isn't really bad, but it's a TF2 clone that's using Batman for some quick F2P cash flow, considering it locks you out of a lot and earning the points for anything takes way too long. If you don't end up paying, you'll probably drop it and go back to TF2 if you need to scratch that itch.
-Both Amy and Silent Hill HD collection were utterly broken.
-In addition Survival horror's big name franchise, Resident Evil had an entry I had been excited for but instantly lost interest in once I saw footage a couple of weeks before the reviews buried it permanently to me.
-Neverdead was something I was watching since it was announced, even before the E3 that brought mass attention to it. I really wanted it to be good...
-I honestly thought Steel Battalion was going to be good and validate my beliefs that the Kinect had the most potential of the motion controllers that was just waiting for a proper use. Yeah...
-Sure, Spec Ops The Line's story worked out, but I'd been hoping for better gameplay from the earlier trailers.
-While technically not released yet, Overstrike was gutted of its personality this year and turned into Fuse. It could still be good, but I can no longer follow it till release.
So that's my best of the year by genre and some of the worst of the year in general in games. If you played anything worth mentioning that I should have checked out, I'm more than willing to hear about it.
-Playstation All-stars Battle Royale
-Persona 4 Arena
-The Darkness 2
-Transformers Fall of Cybertron
-Gotham City Imposters
-Assassin's creed 3
-Metal Gear Solid HD
-Zone of the Enders HD
-Devil May Cry HD
-Jak and Daxter HD
-Lego Batman 2
-Retro City Rampage
-Zero Escape Virtue's Last Reward
-Lone Survivor (I'm not making another category just for one game. Besides, The Walking Dead's here too)
-Tales of Graces f
-Mass Effect 3
-Legend of the Dragoon
-Persona 4 Golden