It has been a crazy year for games. We’ve had some controversies. We’ve had disappointments. We’ve had surprising releases that have taken the gaming world by storm. Since it is September, it can be a bit tough to remember the big releases from January to the middle of the Summer. I know for me I remember games that I’ve played during the year but I usually need to look at a list to see when that may have been. So let’s look back at 2012 so far and see the big releases.
- January: Final Fantasy XIII-2, Soul Calibur V
- February: The Darkness II, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Resident Evil Revelations, Tales of the Abyss, Twisted Metal, UFC Undisputed 3, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Asura’s Wrath
- March: Mass Effect 3, MLB 12 The Show, Street Fighter X Tekken, Journey, Tales of Graces f, Ninja Gaiden 3, Kid Icarus: Uprising,
- April: Xenoblade Chronicles, The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition, The Walking Dead
- May: Starhawk, Minecraft XBLA, Diablo 3, Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, Game of Thrones, Dragon’s Dogma, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Resistance: Burning Skies
- June: Max Payne 3, Gravity Rush, Lollipop Chainsaw, Quantum Conundrum
- July: The Secret World, Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, NCAA Football ’13, Heroes of Ruin, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
- August: Persona 4 Arena, Darksiders II, The Last Story, Papo & Yo, Sleeping Dogs, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, Guild Wars 2, Madden NFL ’13, Rock Band Blitz
Whew. That’s a lot of big releases. They may be more depending on experiences but for the most part, that is the list so far for 2012. The games that I put in bold are the ones I want to talk about. They are not necessarily my Game of the Year candidates but they have had the most impact on gaming so far this year.
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: You know, some people may think Mass Effect 3 had the biggest controversy this year. That is utter crap. Amalur went from hyped up RPG, released hit, great seller for a new IP, to a struggling studio, to dismantled all in a few months. That is just ridiculous. The saga of 38 Studios is one to remember because their ambitions overtook their wallet size and it bit them in the rear. It is a shame too because Amalur was a wonderful world with a great start. The MMO was shaping up to be vibrant and lively (I can’t say fun because we didn’t get to try it out). It’s a shame that a world created by people like RA Salvatore and Todd McFarlane will stay in limbo forever.
- Mass Effect 3: Alright, let’s get this over with. Mass Effect 3 was a surefire pick for my Game of the Year. It is still in contention. Despite the crazy amount of fan complaints and internet petitions, I for one enjoyed the ending. I don’t know if it’s because I understood it and accepted it or because I really bought into the Indoctrination Theory but what I can say is that this was an amazing end to the best new gaming series this generation. Hands down, Mass Effect is the king of this generation of consoles overall. Just sayin’.
- Journey: I have to admit, I have not played Journey. What I know is incredible, though. What I’ve heard is a simultaneous scream for joy from the gaming masses about a downloadable title being this good. This has been a pretty good year for downloading games. Journey is perhaps the best one this year. This game has single-handed raised the expectations of all downloadable games. I really need to get myself a PS3.
- Diablo 3: In the span of two months since this game’s release it went from my Game of the Year thanks to built-up hype to my biggest disappointment of the year. Diablo 3 is a good game. You can’t refute that. However, in the world of Diablo and these types of games, Diablo 3 is a bad game. The endgame is living on fumes with achievements and item grinding (at least until Paragon comes out), the auction house system has ruined any sense of wonder when you find an item. Legendaries and sets are worthless. The Real Money AH has been a shame since its release. Diablo 3 has a lot of issues but at least Blizzard seems intent on fixing it and making a better product post-launch. I’ll be keeping my eye on this one for a comeback later this year.
- Papo & Yo: You’ve seen Cassidee and Jason talk about this game. If any downloadable title has lived up to Journey’s expectations, it’s been Papo & Yo. This game also needs to be commended for its emotional and twisted reality based on the creator’s actual childhood. It is a wonderful take on a terrible situation. Papo & Yo can be fun and entertaining but you really get the most out of it when you peer deep into its themes and storytelling. Another must buy on the PSN. I seriously need to get me a PS3…
- Sleeping Dogs: What. A. Surprise. This game took me for a ride that I didn’t think that I would get. From start to finish, everything about Sleeping Dogs is nothing short of amazing. It is the perfect length with the right amount of content in the world to keep you moving, killing, escorting, driving, delivering, talking, and being an all around badass. BAD. ASS. Wei Shen is an amazing character to add to gaming’s lore. I’m completely serious when I say Grand Theft Auto V has a lot to live up to now.
As if you couldn’t tell by reading that, Sleeping Dogs is my current and most favorable Game of the Year candidate. I loved that game. The characters, world, story, and gameplay are just top notch and I cannot commend United Front enough for taking a failed project like True Crime and turning it into a surefire classic in gaming. You cannot miss out on Sleeping Dogs. Even if you aren’t a fan of open world games, this is just one game that can’t be ignored. If you play anything from the year 2012 right now, it should be this.
Even with that said, we still have so much to look forward to this year. September has some hits coming like Borderlands 2 and with scores coming out like 98%, 9.5, 9.0, I’m sure that will be a blast. Let’s take a look at what’s coming up.
- September: NHL 13, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Borderlands 2, Torchlight 2, Dead or Alive 5, FIFA 13, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
- October: NBA 2K13, Resident Evil 6, Pokemon Black & White 2, Dishonored, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, 007 Legends, Forza Horizons, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Assassin’s Creed III, WWE ’13
- November: Halo 4, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Call of Duty Black Ops II, Epic Mickey: The Power of Two, Hitman: Absolution, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
- December: New Super Mario Bros. U, FarCry 3, Hawken
As it always is at this point in the year, November and December still need to be fleshed out, especially with the Wii U heading to stores. We got a lot left coming, do you already know your Game of the Year? Or are you still looking forward to something coming up?