THIS YEAR’S RULES FOR GAMES TO BE CONSIDERED FOR NOMINATION
(List of games eligible for this year’s awards)
– THE GAME MUST HAVE BEEN PLAYED FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR
– THE GAME DOES NOT HAVE TO HAVE BEEN ORIGINALLY RELEASED THIS YEAR
BEST GAMES PLAYED IN 2012
I started out 2012 with getting the idea of buying a bunch of the Guitar Hero games I never played since I played GHII in 2006. I picked up most of them for super cheap and played four of them. I found I really enjoyed playing a large majority of the tracklist for World Tour much more than any of the other Guitar Hero games I’ve played and felt that was more than enough to name it one of the best games I’ve played in 2012.
While I have always admired and respected the Virtua Fighter series, I never was truly able to get into any of the games even though I’ve played and owned all of them except Virtua Fighter 3. I did get into it more when I played Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution, but Final Showdown is where it really clicked for me for the first time. I’ve been playing Lei-Fei as my main since he debuted in VF4, but in Final Showdown he really feels like a much more fleshed out fighter than in any previous game. That combined with a bunch of other smart tweaks to the mechanics has made Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown my favorite in the series by a long shot.
This game was my very first Prince of Persia experience. I really enjoyed the platforming acrobatics of the Prince along with the excellent combat. It made for a very fun, replayable experience which I felt was the heart of what this game was all about. I know this game has gotten much hate because of the attitude change of the Prince and the whole “baditude” style that permeates from it, but if you let that get in your way of enjoying this great game, then it’s your loss.
Initially I was very concerned about this game’s quality before it was released, but after playing it I can safely say that it is yet another solid effort in Platinum’s short, but mostly illustrious career. The story was surprisingly fairly interesting and the gameplay mechanics were more simplistic than some of Platinum’s other games, but were still fun nonetheless. Add to that many great online multiplayer modes of varying types and you have an excellent face-bashing good time!
A game this old should have no right to still play as awesome as it did when it was originally released, but Devil May Cry does just that. Incredible combat and great boss battles highlight a game that deserves every bit of the praise that has made it a legend throughout game history.
Some might ask why I would honor a title that is simply all the classic 1990s Dooms in one compilation. While I have played these games when they originally came out, I haven’t done so since the 1990s and playing them again via Doom Classic Complete reintroduced me to these classics. It made me realize just how great these games were and how significant they were to the history of the game industry. I have immensely enjoyed playing them again for the first time in a long time and it is very clear when it comes to shooters: they don’t make ’em like they used to.
– Umihara Kawase Shun (DS)
– Devil May Cry 4 (PS3)
– Marvel vs. Capcom: Origins (PS3)
– Wolfenstein (PS3)
RUNNER-UP: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver. (PS3)
Jake Kaufman’s fantastic soundtrack not only includes the expected remixes of some of Double Dragon’s most memorable tracks, but also creates a number of new ones that fit in perfectly with Neon’s 1980s vibe like “Jungle Neon” by faux 80s pop band Mango Tango. Also, let’s not forget the awesome end credits tune “Dared to Dream” by the villain of the game, Skullmageddon.
SURPRISINGLY GOOD GAME
RUNNER-UP: Dead Nation (PS3)
Considering the deplorable quality of new beat-’em-ups during this generation I was pretty apprehensive about how Neon was going to turn out. Good thing then that the throwback masters at WayForward didn’t disappoint and probably created the best beat-’em-up of this entire generation.
GUILTY PLEASURE OF THE YEAR
RUNNER-UP: Yakuza: Dead Souls (PS3)
I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that Evergrace was a good game, but I will say that in spite of how easy it was, how fairly unsatisfying the combat was, the bizarre soundtrack, bad localization, and horrible voice acting I still somehow enjoyed playing this game way more than it had any right to be enjoyed.
MOST DISAPPOINTING GAME
RUNNER-UP: Rock Band (PS3)
Prior to Street Fighter × Tekken’s release I was quite excited for it. It looked like so much fun with all of its cool looking Tekken inspired juggle combos and awesome returning characters like Hugo, Rolento and new ones like Poison! Unfortunately, the game has a lot of mechanics that just aren’t useful like Pandora, Quick Combos, and even supers a lot of the time because spending the meter on to extend combos via tags is usually better. I also didn’t like the use of having a small chain combo system along with the typical Street Fighter link combo system because it becomes too difficult to not accidentally do the chain combo string. In the end, I’m not saying the game is bad, but it wasn’t nearly as fun or good as I was hoping for.
WORST GAME PLAYED
RUNNER-UP: Gungrave: Overdose (PS2)
When I heard about this game and up until I played it I thought it would be a good take on the action genre I love so much. Good is what this game definitely isn’t unless you find enjoyment in boring tedious slogs. Alvion clearly forgot the put the fun in Malicious.
GAME OF THE YEAR 2012
RUNNER-UP: Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (Xbox/PS2)
When I decided to play the first Devil May Cry this year, I was expecting a game that wouldn’t quite hold up to the standards of the very action genre that this game spawned in the first place. I can say without a doubt that my fears were unfounded because not only does Devil May Cry hold up, it holds up supremely well! It feels like it could have been released this generation let alone 11 years ago. It just goes to show that some games get it 100% right the first time out of the gate and as we all know, you can’t beat 100%.