How exactly do you have a game that did not even win its own category as game of the year? I am not going to get into whether I agree or disagree with your choice, but that just does not make sense. So another game is the best Wii U game of the year, Mario is not even the runner up, and yet its the best game of the year?
Hello everyone, and welcome to my personal Game of the Year Awards for 2012. I somehow skipped last year, so I want to make sure that I don't do it again this year. Just a couple things you should know before you start reading this entry. I do my awards based on the games I've played in THIS year, not the year of which the video game was published. If you see an old game given an award, don't freak out. I just do it differently. I also DON'T give awards to games I haven't yet played, so you won't be seeing Mass Effect 3 or Halo 4 anywhere in here. I don't get into the genre specific or technical awards simply because I don't put as much thought or energy into these awards like I used to, although I will have some miscellaneous awards I want to give out. Lastly, my Game of the Year for 2012 is not eligible to win its corresponding platform award so that another candidate has a chance. Now, on with the show!
Xbox 360 Game of the Year
Mark of the Ninja took me by surprise, because it wasn't even on my radar. I actually ended up getting it free from DefaultPrime.com since I review for them. The game was simply a lot of fun, and it had some excellent stealth action mechanics combined with great level design. The presentation of the game was also superb, making most of the game pitch black, like any ninja sneaking around in the dark ought to be.
Runner Up: Halo Reach
PlayStation 3 Game of the Year
I really enjoyed Max Payne 3, and I wanted to give it a better score, but there were a few problems that kept me from doing it. Last Man Standing didn't work like it was supposed to all the time, and the general game as a whole felt a little older than it should have been. The cover mechanic ended up changing the feel of the game, but it was still appreciated if you weren't daring enough to fly through the carnage in Bullet Time. Also, the lousy laser sighting was just unforgiveable. Even with all the game's shortcomings, it was still quite enjoyable and had just a phenomenal presentation. I guess the only real flaw of the game was that it took so long to come out.
Runner Up: Sleeping Dogs
Wii Game of the Year
Now, this is going to immediately strike you as unfair, but remember, I did say that my GOTYs are for games I've played within that year, regardless of publication date. Sadly, I've only played one other Wii game this year, so Super Paper Mario sorta wins by default. I played Super Paper Mario immediatley after playing the first two, so I was understandably disappointed by the game's shift in direction. Although changing from 3D to 2D perspectives was novel at first, it did grow rather tiresome by the end of game. Plus, I don't think it was as well written as the previous two Paper Marios. Still, I did end up liking it for what it was.
Runner up: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
3DS Game of the Year
A clear cut winner for this category, Miracle Mask was not only my 3DS GOTY, but also my personal favorite in the series. It was the breath of fresh air that franchise sorely needed. Although the basic gameplay stayed relatively the same, the revamped presentation thanks to the 3DS's power gave the game so much more life. Plus, I really enjoyed the expedition segments of the game. The story also was more moving to me than I had anticipated. My only regret is that I don't check in every day for all the free daily puzzles the game gives me.
Runner up: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
PS Vita Game of the Year
Beautiful. Simply beautiful. That's all I can really say about this game. I knew I wanted to wait for the Vita to come out when I wanted to buy this game, because for one, paying 60 dollars for a platformer seemed ridiculous (oh the irony, because I bought New Super Mario Bros. U nine months later), and playing platformers on a handheld just seemed more natural to me. The Vita's screen made this game that much more gorgeous, oh, and it was a HELLUVA lot of fun to play as well! Fantastic level design, and very challenging, and it kept all the terrific wit and humor the series is known for. Michel Ancel should be very proud.
Runner up: Uncharted: The Golden Abyss
Wii U Game of the Year
40 bucks! BAM! Take THAT New Super Mario Bros. U! *ahem* The affordability isn't the major reason why the game won Wii U Game of the Year. It's because it's an extremely solid kart racer that surprisingly isn't a Mario Kart game. I never did get around to playing the original, but I did play the demo and from what I played was solid. The sequel was just a lot of great fun thanks in part to the diversity in level design. Transforming to take on new changing paths the tracks was fantastic. It was just a real shame that it took so long for Nintendo to release the patch to fix the problematic glitches.
Runner Up: Assassin's Creed III
Now, before we get to the Game of the Year 2012, I'd like to do a few special achievement awards.
Most Disappointing, Heart-Breaking, Gut-Wrenching, Piss-Poor Piece of Shyte Game of the Year
Wow. The game was doomed for failure in its conception. Who would have thought Namco would have made such a bonehead decision to sell a shell of a game and then charge for the rest of the tracks and cars. I have an unconditional love for Ridge Racer games, so I put up with the fact that they're basically the same every year, but what was done with this game was just beyond cruel. The only reason why I owned and played it is because I got it as a gift. Since I didn't pay for it, it made the sting of having to pay for the "passes" easier to bear. The core gameplay was still fun in that classic Ridge Racer sense and it was a good looking game, but I could only race Single Races and Time Atttacks so many times. I needed a career mode... I pray very hard that Namco will release a proper Ridge Racer for the Vita sometime in the future.
Biggest Mixed Reaction Game of the Year
I love it. I hate it. It's a piece of shyte, but it's also bloody brilliant. The atmosphere is amazing, but that FOOKING cricket bat, man! Holy hell, I have never felt so torn about a game in years. When you think of Demon's Souls with zombies, you think, "Wow, this should be a lot of fun!" But when you have shoddy melee combat like ZombiU has, it's not so much fun trying to recover your stuff from your last body. Still, as much as you glower at the game for its fault, you find yourself enveloped its gloomy surroundings. Before you know it, you're addicted, and you're determined to see just how much farther you can get and how much more ammo you can bring back to the safehouse until.. GOD DAMMIT CRICKET BAT!
Best Movie Licensed Game That Doesn't Suck Total Ass
True, there have been better Spider-Man games. There have been better Spider-Man movies. But for Beenox to return Spider-Man back to the open sandbox of New York City was greatly appreciated, even if they did a horrible rendition of the Big Apple. Still, the sense of web slinging was fantastic, even if it wasn't as tight as Spider-Man 2's. I was also very happy that they got a real voice actor to voice the Webhead, because I just can't stand that Andrew Garfield. I managed to enjoy the game so much, I played through it a second time, and that doesn't usually happen much these days.
Game I Wanted to Play the Most This Year But Never Did
The game sounds like a blast. Unfortunately, I just haven't been able to find much time to play games that are as long as Bethesda's right now, but I've just been told they're only the publisher, so it's not as long as I thought it would be.. I would have really loved to find some time to play it, because it'd give me a reason to turn on my 360 again. I've got to remember to keep it mind for next year.
Now finally, what you've all been waiting for!
Game of the Year for 2012
It has been 16 years since new Mario has launched with a Nintendo system, so it's good to have the old plumber back on day one. True, a lot of people wished it was a Super Mario Galaxy 3, or a true successor to Super Mario 64 (which the Galaxy series really is), but regardless, this is the finest form Mario has been in 2D since Super Mario World. For starters, it helps just from the fact that game will kick your ass and then give you a wedgie. This was a much needed change of pace from the ridiculously easy New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the 3DS. Nintendo FINALLY displaying in high-definition meant that the game looks absolutely beautiful. The level design was also varied and challenging, but my only major complaint was that it was extremely shy on suits. I long for the day when a Mario game comes along with as many powers up as Super Mario Bros. 3 had... Still, I loved this game to death, and being able to play on the tablet controller while lying in bed is one of those reasons I'm glad I own a Wii U.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it. If you have problems with any of my picks, then you can:
New Super Mario Bros. U is the best New Super Mario game, due in large part to its vastly-improved level design and also its new modes and features actually add something new to the mix. It's no Mario World, 64 or Galaxy, but a major step in the right direction for the "New" sub-series.
As for a Mario with as many power-ups as Mario 3, I think both Galaxy games covered that ground.
Kid Icarus: Uprising is my personal favorite 3DS game for 2012. Still, Layton is too charming and accessible for casual players to pass up.
I own Rayman Origins for the PS3 and it was just outstanding. I didn't know what I was getting myself into and one could practically call it an impulse buy, but I'm so glad I took the plunge. Let's just say I'm really bummed Rayman Legends is a Wii U exclusive (b/c I currently have zero intention of buying a Wii U)...well, at least that's good news for you!
Sonic All-Stars RT....just picked that up today, actually. It reminds me so much of DKR in some ways - that was the personal draw - and it looks positively stunning. I'm really eager to test it out tomorrow. This year has been so light on game purchases for me. This one could very well make it to the top.
@drummer131 You will enjoy it! But I warn you, it's HARD!
@JustPlainLucas I earned 1st place in all of ModNation Racers' Career races and earned Golds in all of MotorStorm Pacific Rift's Festival races and got a Platinum trophy for 2010's Hot Pursuit. I'm ready for another hard racer, lol.
@drummer131 I've yet to play Pacific Rift, but I have completed the first MotorStorm and the ModNation Racers on the Vita, along with Hot Pursuit so I know how hard those are!
I can get onboard with just about everything but Mario as GOTY. Maybe if it wasn't the same game that I've played dozens of times before I would be totally cool with it but when Nintendo is making JUST Mario/Zelda/Metroid (and the occasional Pikmin) I get tired of it. Nintendo needs some new IP before I can even respect their old ones.
Exactly. Nintendo needs to make a new "Mario" or "Zelda" because I've played those games a million times. I love the old games but they need something fresh along with the classics. Nice username btw.
@vault-boy One Pikmin game in nine years is occasional?
Anyway, what's the gripe with established franchises? So long as they present new ideas, who cares if its old faces? Mario Galaxy was one of the few games (the other being Portal) from last gen that I feel exuded newness.
Besides, it's not like Sony or Microsoft do otherwise (Halo 4, LittleBigPlanet Vita, God of War 18 or whatever it is coming up, Bioshock 3, I could go on).
@vault-boy Well, I still highly enjoy Mario games, and NSMBU ranks among the highest of the 2D Marios I've played.
I didn't like it either at first, hated the idea of not being able to kill everyone and get a good ending and stopped playing for awhile, nothing about it really blew me away. I started again just to hurry up and finish it so I could trade it in while it was still new-ish and fell in love with it. Just gotta find your play style I guess. The story, listening to guards banter about how they are terrified of you, the versatile powers and freedom to choose. Amazing game.
Well, had you played Dishonored, it would have been your Game of the Year. Now, bite MY shiny metal ass! Cricket Bat!
@Albaficas He has an opinion???? How dare he!!! He should obviously think all Mario games are the same, just like every certainly not biased Sony and Microsoft fanboy.This is preposterous.
@Albaficas Munch...Munch...Well that wasn't so bad.
Sorry, but I feel compelled to disagree with you on Miracle Mask being the best Layton story yet. The presentation certainly delivered. But the story and its twists are very predictable by the start of the last chapter (not epilogue). I guessed who the mysterious guy was way ahead of time. It was too obvious and boring for a main twist.
The honor of best Layton story for me goes to The Unwound Future no doubt. I've cut back on gaming and only consider playing non-sports games for boring weekends and storylines that are as good as a best-selling novel (games that are driven by plots ala Hotel Dusk or sequels to franchises like MGS). So trust me, storylines are high on my enjoyment factor for games. I even cheat on the puzzles and buy Layton games simply for the story.
The Unwound Future just had me stunned by the revelations of the final chapter. Caught me completely by surprise. The ending was also very touching (as was Diabolical Box, but the twists weren't as good). Just epic.
If you want to discuss both plots in detail please feel free to msg me on here. Though kindly note that I don't sign in very often. But I will sign-in around this time tomorrow if you reply to this comment and confirm your willingness to discuss the plots. Thanks. Good list overall.
P.S. My 3DS game of the year is Kingdom Hearts 3D. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
@Aero5555 Yeah, I can totally understand that. Miracle Mask was a bit predictable, but it didn't stop it from me loving it as much as I did. I just have a soft spot for stories that focus on troubled friendships. You are right that Unwound Future was fantastic, but its twists just became a little too ridiculous for me by the end. As for Kingdom Hearts, I'd love to play that game, but I'm so far behind in the series it's not even funny. I haven't even finished the first KH on the PS2. :(
About super mario bros,those mushroom thingies remind me of something rather disturbing,some I wouldn't want to describe out loud .
this is how the GOTY awards should be made more often expecially since they are the reviewers opinion and we all know it after all.
it is only the critics who write for the e mags who pretend that everyone who reads them thinks they are the final authority and believe that their decision is the final word in gamin
Not bad. Not bad at all.
Mark of the Ninja is on my wishlist on Steam. And I'm hoping for a PC version of Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed to hit Steam as well.
*Nice Bender pic. Totally captures dude's personality.
@DarkDiminionX Rayman Origins is indeed an awesome game. I purchased this game months ago on Steam for $14.99 and is pleasantly surprised by how good it is when I finally got around to playing it. =)
Your complaints about Max Payne 3 are entirely based around your skill and knowledge of the game. The laser sights can be turned off with Select on the PS3. You can shift your view while in last man standing to shoot around obstacles with the dpad. Grenades can be shot in mid air. The swat men have no protection for their legs, and die quickly that way. I think the cover mechanic should have been taken out entirely.
I'll guess you didn't get around playing any DS or PSP games to have GotY on those, because correct me if I'm wrong, but they got more interesting releases than the Wii this year (although I can't quite asure that for the PSP no paying much attention to its library anymore)
@nunchuk28 Yeah, I only played one DS game which was Golden Sun: Dark Dawn and one PSP game which was Half-Minute Hero. Didn't feel GOTYs were necessary for them.