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#0: 12-22-2012 @ 03:22:48 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=4999#4999

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

It's that time of year again!  Time to reflect on the year, and to choose our favorte games!  Same drill as last year post "your favorite game of this year."  This is different from the normal "Game of the Year" title in the following ways:

  1. Any game you played this year is eligible, this includes games that were not released in 2011.  For example if you just now got to Skyrim, which came out last year, you can choose it here. 
  2. You are free to determine what qualities needed to win - we don't need to agree ahead of time.  This is your own favorite game.

Some important things however:  there are no categories, no second places, you have to think real hard about this and choose the ONE GAME you played this year that was your hands down favorite. And keep in mind that "Time played" doesn't need to mean it's your favorite.  Maybe you played something shorter that you found to be the most fun thing you played this year.  That should be what you go for.

You are permitted to list as many "Honorable mentions" as you wish for whatever reasons as you wish.

I know I personally am going to have a hard time with this one.  A lot of the games I was looking forward to this year weren't what I hoped they'd be.  That said there were also a few surprises.  I'll post this later in case other people want to contribute while I'm one to a movie, if not, my list will come later tonight! EDIT:  Posting now!

Honorable Mentions

Halo 4

Two years ago, when Bungie made it official that Halo: Reach would be their last Halo game, I figured the franchise was over for me.  As it was, I was kinda losing favor in the series.  I enjoyed Halo: Reach from a story telling stand point, and its star fighter level was awesome, but there were parts of the game that were frustrating.  So when Halo 4 was announced, I figured "NOPE," especially since Halo 3 is probably my least favorite game in the franchise.

As time past though, Halo 4 came out, to glowing reviews that said things like "This isn't Bungie's Halo, it's better."  After hearing that from a number of sources, my curiosity got piqued and next thing I knew, I had a copy.

Now as a disclaimer, because I don't want to play this in front of Kitty due to her simulator sickness, I haven't had time to finish this yet, so there's still time for 343 to screw it up for me.  So far though, Halo 4 does feel fun and fresh and good compared to Halo 3, and I'm having a lot of fun with it.  I've never been that big of a fan of The Chief, but his interactions with Cortana in this game really help to flesh out his character.  By the end of it, I may be a fan, and even if I'm not, I LOVE the new Promethean weapons and armor powers.  Auto-Sentry has saved my life quite a few times.

 

Uncharted: Drakes Fortune

I'm not sure if it's fair for me to include this or not.  This year was the year I finally played through this myself, but I had played chunks of it before helping dad with his playthrough.  Regardless, it was a great game to play while THRILLHO was still living with us, something with an interesting enough story and characters that people didn't mind it being on in the background while they did things.  Plus, Uncharted is just a fun game.  I wouldn't call it perfect, especially not with that horrible last boss sequence, and the gun play is still severely behind Gears of War or Mass Effect 2 & 3 IMO, but those games don't have the platforming or exploration and those are done well enough that they make up for the lack. 

EDIT UPDATE: Oh man!  You know what belongs more on this list the first two games I listed?

FTL: Faster Than Light

While I'm not the biggest hater of the perma-death mechanic, I'm also not its biggest fan. Despite and because of it though I love FTL: Faster than Light.  This cheap indie game delivers fun gameplay that is simple to learn but hard to master, and the game stays fresh from game to game because of all its randomness.  What really covers for the perma-death is the ability to unlock more ships and ship-variants by completing certain goals during a run. It gives you a way to have a lasting accomplishment eve if you don't beat the game itself.  

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

Just when I thought I was done with Sins of a Solar Empire, Rebellion delivers a set of updates that make it run, play, and look better than it ever has.  I love the new multiplayer rules available, as while I'm still not convinced of their usefulness, the Titans are a fun addition, if for nothing else than it is fun to watch them wreak havoc.  I also like the factions, the way they provide new flavors to play the same races we've loved without the utter shift break adding a 4th race to the game would have been.  Stardock and Ironclad did good on this one, and if you don't have it yet, and you like Sins, you should fix that.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

I've sang the praises of this game a lot, but to reiterate, I was a fan of the original game this was based on, and Firaxis' remake did not disappoint. Even if I wished the strategic layer was better, these are the most satisfying turn based battles I've played on a video game probably ever.  It's also a lot of fun getting attached to your squad and watching them grow in power over time.  XCOM is the real deal turn based strategy fans, and I can't recommend it enough.

Adam's Favorite Game of 2012

And the winner is (and you probably saw this coming)

Guild Wars 2

There were a lot of games I was looking forward to that disappointed me this year.  Neither Diablo 3, Torchlight 2, or Mass Effect 3 lived up to the expectations or hopes I had for them when I wrote last year's versions of these posts. And while I don't think Guild Wars 2 is perfect, it still delivered enough of what I wanted and expected of it to make it my favorite game of the year.

Ever since I first got my hands on the game, I could already tell how it was making me have unfair expectations for every other online RPG I'd play after it.  Traditional quest systems now feel route and unoriginal.  Mob-tagging feels archaic and dumb.  Being forced to roll a new character just to pay with my friends who might be 5, 10, or even 30 levels behind me feels absurd and a thing of the past.  These are the kind of thing I've wished have been a part of multiplayer RPGs since Phantasy Star Online, even if in my wildest dreams I couldn't imagine how it'd work.  In much the same way WoW made other MMOs before it feel last gen, I feel Guild Wars 2 has done the same to the MMO scene.

Now sure, I feel like some of Arena.net's experiments have gone better than others.  The personal Story, which starts out great from 1-20ish, feels like an utter flop to me after level 40 or 50 (whenever you start working with Treherene and the story becomes more about him and less about you) . And while I welcome the new challenge that doing dungeons in this game is, I am also frustrated by the lack of direction and guidance Arena.net has provided as to how to do these dungeons right.  Yeah the Holy Trinity is gone, but they don't give us a good idea of how to replace it, so it's nearly impossible to tell if you're failing because you brought the wrong builds or you are just doing the fights wrong.  It's a bit rough.

Still despite all the roughness, this is still a grade A MMO coming to us with no monthly fee, with the best art direction in the genre for some utterly beautiful scenes and moments.  There's tons to do even after you hit level cap without an endless gear grind, and despite the lack of monthly fee they have give us new content events every month since October. Arena.net is working hard to make Guild Wars 2 great, and it's my hope that as time passes, these issues I have will fade and the game will only get better.  Guild Wars 2 is my favorite game of the year, and I look forward to playing it more with each of you in the new year.

This post was edited by machvergil on December 24, 2012, 11:30 am


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#1: 12-26-2012 @ 08:17:21 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=5009#5009

DominionDominion

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  • Real Name:Mark
  • Joined:2010-01-22

I was actually in the process of writing up a blog post of my Games of 2012 when this popped up. I posted it Monday and figure it's fairly related to this topic as I do mention a top 5. I'll post some specific honorable mentions and a number one here later but for now if you want a review of games I played this year take a look here.


"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock and roll." Shigeru Miyamoto
#2: 12-26-2012 @ 11:31:46 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=5010#5010

St00fSt00f

  • Real Name:Steph
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Ok, here we go:

Honorable Mentions:

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

Not so much this particular variant of Sins, but I feel like the times I've played this year I've really "gotten" what it was all about. I finally felt sort of comfortable raising a force and charging across the universe. Liberating. Also lots of drones. Gotta love swarms of tiny things.

Limbo

I played this way back at the beginning of the year. Moderately difficult platformer with an interesting aesthetic. Not sure I would technically be able to say it had an interesting "story", but I was definitely invested in the wellbeing of my little dude. Not a long game, and if you can stand things as frustrating as Super Meat Boy, this should be easier.

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes

A whirlwind adventure that was simple to learn, tough to master. Sometimes it seemed like the fights weren't fair, but eventually you could figure it out. Also liked the little side puzzles to do, as I'm kind of a puzzle geek. Storyline wasn't the best I've ever seen, but entertaining. I also found it somewhat amusing that I spent the most time leveling up the guy I would later have to fight. Man that was a tough battle.

Terraria

Holy cow did this game eat my life away. Love it. Scratches that "build stuff" itch that I get rather nicely (for those who didn't know, I have finished construction on my world-crossing subway system, and yes it stretches from ocean to ocean through everything in between). Can't believe I found something to tear me away from it.

Guild Wars 2

Lovely game. Love the story, love the gameplay, love the graphics. Beautiful game and I know I'll be playing it for maaaaaaaaaaany years. Got a fellow and an attending to start playing it, and they love it. Usually looking forward to kicking around in there for a few hours, working on world completion (so glad they made it easier to explore).

 

And without further ado, Game of the Year 2012 goes to..........

Guild Wars

I talked about this with Nate for quite some time, and I really can't think of a game that defines the entire 2012 year better. Nate and I sunk so many hours into it this year -- we finished Nightfall, explored all of Elona, got some wicked armor sets, made it to 25 points on the HoM calculator, and put in tons of hours with Ted and Tuna (who I hope will eventually be able to join us in GW2). It was an awesome run, and something that basically took over free time for gaming earlier this year. Even now, while playing GW2, there are times when I say to myself "man, what if this were like GW?". I remember the good times we had stomping through the countryside doing vanquishes (over halfway done for Tyria!). I am excited that someone new wants to play GW so that we can go back and help them. I desparately want to go back. I think that says enough.

This post was edited by St00f on December 26, 2012, 2:33 pm


Canadians are my favorite mythological creature.
#3: 12-27-2012 @ 06:21:07 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=5011#5011

BountyHunterSAxBountyHunterSAx

  • Real Name:Ahmad Rasheed
  • Joined:2011-06-29

So when I looked at this topic I had to ask myself: "What games did I play this last year?" I started trying to dig up loads of games for the list and then it hit me:

If the game had left little enough mental impact that I wasn't readily able to recall it, then obviously it doesn't belong on my list. From there it was a simple matter of determining whether an individual game was before or after the cutoff date. . . and then a much more complicated matter of trying to decide what I had loved/hated the most.

I think in choosing this I really was answering not necessarily which game had the most 'spike-entertainment' value to me, but rather which game most defined my gaming for the year? Which game did I really feel the most affinity/commited towards? Because in fairness to all the games that make my honorable mention list, they all have had their moments and I thoroughly enjoy them all.


League of Legends

I don't know precisely when I started playing league. I assume it was ~1.5 years ago at this point. But I'd say that my interest and enthusiasm with the game took off more towards the middle of that and is still at a relatively nice place. I don't have to explain all the ways in which the game is good to you guys, you already know that. I think what I love the most about it is the fact that it is a TEAM game that manages to make every INDIVIDUAL of the team important. Games like Battlefield 3 are team games as well, but ultimately if you're doing well or not it never feels like you're an important part of the fight unless you are top-tier.
In a game like League? If you d/c for six minutes, your absence is very notable.
I got a lot more into PvP in this year than I was before, and have been in 3-4 different PvP groups now. Honestly? I never thought I'd like League as much as I love SC2. And while competitive 1v1 SC2 has a special place in my heart and is (IMO) still the best videogame 'duel' of its kind, I find I enjoy team-game LoL more lately, and this year overall.


Diablo III
Not sure that this belongs on my list; but then I'm not sure it doesn't and so it's going here. It was my first Diablo game. I loved this game. I got super-hyped for it, and I played it for something like a hundred hours in a week. It's definitely a case of a game that isn't as fun after-the-fact as it was 'in its prime'. And yes, always-online-DRM and Cash-auction house were irritating features. And yes, Inferno mode is insane.
But you know what? I still loved this game. And more than that, when they added paragon levels and nerfed inferno and I went back and played it again, I *still* enjoyed it. It's FRUSTRATING at times, and ultimately they put you on that pointless "get more gear" grind at the end. . . but my what a sweet trip it was. If I found out that all my D3 data was gone, I might well end up playing it all again - and THAT to me spells: 'awesome game'.


Saints Row: The Third
This belongs on a list of honorable mentions for reasons entirely different to D3. Whereas D3 was fun at first but now, in retrospect, its flaws outshine its strengths;   SR3 has had the opposite effect. It started off as a really fun game. The most fun I've had with a GTA-like game period. It takes all the things that were frustrating to me in GTA III and Vice City, and then replaces it with conveniences so that you can spend more time kicking ass. Sure it bends realism over a table and cuts its legs off -- but that's okay when the result is me having a great time.   That, plus Kanye West's 'Power' is just the perfect song for the game.
Perhaps most telling though: after THQ put it in the humblebundle I reinstalled the game and started playing it again. Six hours later I'm still having as much fun as I remembered. This game was great :).


There are many many other great games we've had this year; but none of them  really meant as much to me as the one I've ultimately picked to single out as my favorite.



My Pick: Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup. (v0.9 + v0.11)
Man, I can't believe I'm saying this. I don't think it's the best game of the year. Hell, I don't think it's even the best game on this list. But favorite? Yeah. It's kinda hard for me to look at it, REALLY think about it, and not agree that this is my favorite game over the last year.
That it's the game that's meant the most to me, that it's been the backbone of my gaming. I mean, apart from the ludicrous hour count I have in the game let's put it this way:

My first Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup video went up in early Dec. 2011. I started releasing 'weekly videos' more or less by christmas of that same year. Since then I've put up almost 200 dungeon crawl vids. I got my first win, then eleven more. I've run at least 8 categorically different race/class combinations each with a different approach to the dungeon. I've done a speedrun in under two hours.
But more important than all of that is just how much I've enjoyed myself doing it. Sure, there have been times where doing a crawl vid for the week was a chore. And yes, the sting of "and then you die, and there goes all your progress" bites. And yet, that all pales in comparison to how much fun I have working my way through the dungeon each time. I've created FAR more characters WITHOUT recording them than the ones I've recorded.

The game is really masterfully well done. It's biggest flaws (and inaccessbility) are all rooted in the fact that it is 100% a roguelike. Within that genre, it does almost everything right to make the game convenient and playable. The GUI is fantastic. Autotravel is a brilliant feature, and one in no other roguelike I've ever played. The game stops you from suicidal moves (ie: stabbing yourself, walking into deep water/lava) and gives you warnings before doing certain uber-dangerous things (ie: walking into a cloud of flame/freezing, auto-fighting at low hp or auto-travel while low-hunger, walking into excluded squares).  It uses a Ctrl-F feature to make searching the dungeon easy. The fact of the matter is that the game is quite playable, and 'luck' - especially for certain starting combinations - very manageable. Ultimately, death is usually your fault and usually because you got cocky.



It isn't the best game of 2012. But - for reasons I'm not sure I can fully explain or even understand myself - it's most definitely my favorite game of 2012.


-AHMAD


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