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A look back at 2012's most wanted games

1:00 PM on 01.04.2013 // Allistair Pinsof

Remember Last Guardian?

The staff of Destructoid are a bunch of chiseled yet humble geniuses that make the world better every day through our humanitarian efforts via gaming news and features. The only flaw that can possibly be said about us that we aren't psychic. Yeah, it's a real bummer.

No where is this clearer than in looking back at our annual most wanted feature, where we list the game(s) each of us are anticipating. To be fair, the aim of these features isn't to state our predictions for biggest commercial successes but to share our enthusiasm for upcoming titles. In any case, we were pretty on point in 2012 with most of our (admittedly safe) predictions becoming true.

With our most wanted 2013 list only a couple hours away from posting, now seems like a perfect time to reflect on our 2012 list: the ones we nailed, the ones we were horribly off point with, and the ones that never came out.

These are the games where our expectations were happily met by glowing reviews from Destructoid and other sites. Overall we were "right" about 21 out of 27 games.

What we said in January: Prior to playing the beta, I wasn't so sure about Diablo III. All these years later, could it compare to the fond memories we have of its predecessors? My doubts disappeared almost immediately. It's funny how quick I was to forget that Blizzard takes its sweet time for a reason.

What we said in our review: Even if it's not a perfect game, there's something special about Diablo, and it's something that keeps people playing beyond just a basic addiction to loot. That I've already sunk over 40 hours into the game in just over a week and I'm not even close to being bored of it yet is a testament to the magic of Diablo, and something that can't be ignored. [8.5]


What we said in January: Arkane Studios make the type of games I like to play. It so happens that these are the type of games that rarely get made these days. Beyond Irrational Games, Bethesda, and Valve, no developer wants to take the risk of spending years crafting a rich, varied world that you can explore. It takes time, money, and a whole lot of skill. And, finally, Arkane have all three of these, which is why I think Dishonored will shape up to be one of 2012's most memorable single-player games. That, and I was blown away when I saw it in action at QuakeCon last year.

What we said in our review: Dishonored is that game of 2012. It's the big intellectual property that comes to retail and shows up the competition by being bold, original, and -- more importantly -- brilliant. [9.0]



What we said in January: Jenova Chen, Kellee Santiago, and their studio thatgamecompany made a name for themselves with their 2009 PSN title, Flower. It was a fundamentally simple game that nonetheless elicited passionate emotional responses from players, and few (if any) other titles since have matched it in those respects.

What we said in our review: Journey's interactive, visual, and aural elements work together, rather than fight with each other, in order to provide a flowing, seamless, influential, and utterly exhilarating experience.   

This is interactive art. This is how it's done. [9.0]


What we said in January: See what happens when a company digs out its ears and listens to the fans? It was pretty much like pulling teeth with Nintendo, but now Xenoblade Chronicles is on its way to the US. Sure, I could have imported the European version, but having a cheaper option is always nice.

What we said in our review: I am incredibly grateful to Xenoblade Chronicles, for it has rekindled my love for console JRPGs, a love that had been systematically throttled by the likes of Square Enix and tri-Ace for the past few years. [8.0]


What we said in January: I could probably talk about Far Cry 2 all day. Despite all its failures and unrealized ambitions, its design supported player agency and offered nonlinear gameplay in ways that few games even dare to try, much less realize with a modicum of success. Allowing the player to approach a situation from any standpoint with any strategy and essentially design their own experience in such a vivid and immersive game world made Far Cry 2 an exciting step forward for the medium. 
What we said in our review: One of those rare games where I feel no mode has been damaged by the inclusion of any others, Far Cry 3 is a well-rounded package that provides a mass of content clearly produced by developers who cared deeply about what they were doing. Far Cry 3 is going to be the last major mainstream release of 2012, and after quite a spotty year, I can at least say this industrious triad of amusements ends the past 12 months on a high note. [8.0]


See also:

Rhythm Heaven Fever
Retro City Rampage
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Gravity Rush
Max Payne 3
Lollipop Chainsaw
Borderlands 2 
Resident Evil Revelations
Paper Mario
Pokémon + Nobunaga's Ambition
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
Quantum Conundrum
Guild Wars 2

These are the games we got horribly wrong. We aren't gambling people for a reason. Sorry if you purchased any of these. If you did, you should have read the review first, ya dummy!

What we said in January: I genuinely love the Kinect system and have managed to maintain a high level of optimism for it, but the games designed typically suffer from a severe lack of complexity. Developers are still testing the boundaries, seeing what design implementations work with full-body motion controls and which do not. For my money, I have long maintained that the solution lies in combining the control options of Kinect with the traditional controller. 
What we said in our review: At its core, it's a basic mech game with a "realistic and gritty" feel to it that you've seen a million times before. Maybe at some point, the Kinect requirement can be patched out of it. Until then, piloting these Vertical Tanks even while sober may result in a loss of brain cells. [3.0]


What we said in January: This game looks like an absolute delight, and is a shoe-in first-day pickup for me. A delightfully vicious little puzzle game in which two differently sized creatures have to escape from various Saw-like traps, Escape Plan marries intricate environmental puzzling to beautiful, stylized graphics to create something very unique looking. The protagonists, Lil and Laarg, are some of the most unusual game heroes I've seen in a while, and the ability to play around with them using touch controls ought to make for some remarkably tangible characters. 

What we said in our review: Escape Plan never aims to be anything more than a showcase of the PlayStation Vita's touch controls, but said controls are so insensitive and poorly implemented that the best it can hope for is to be used as an example of what not to do when designing a Vita game. [4.5]


What we said in January: Oh shut up! Dynasty Warriors is the greatest game series ever developed, and anybody who says otherwise is a thieving liar! In any case, Dynasty Warriors NEXT looks to inject some fresh ideas into the franchise, utilizing as it does every single mode of input the Vita boasts.  

What we said in our review: Awful obligatory minigames aside, there's a solid game to enjoy at the core. You'll just have to be a really big fan to suffer through the dire moments. [6.0]


What we said in January: Pikmin and Overlord fused together in the fires of Hell, set to music that makes you want to whip your hair around in a headbanging fury? Smart dual stick controls, big bosses and hilarious dialogue move this title to the top of my launch list. Where do I sign? I'll sign in blood!

What we said in our review: It may not be the best-looking game in the Vita's launch line-up -- and it's definitely lacking in the variety department -- but the frantic gameplay and the insane death metal soundtrack help take the sting off. [7.0]

See also:
 The Last Story
I Am Alive

Many of our anticipated games have moved on to 2013. Even worse, some of them we haven't heard from in a long time. Let's check back in and see what's going on.

What we said in January: I haven't watched an episode of South Park in about a year. Outside a couple episodes, it's never held my interest (You Have 0 Friends" was the last great one). The episodes typically start off with a good premise, but then run that premise into the ground through repetition and dull writing. Yet, here I am looking forward to Obsidian's attempt to RPG-ify the beloved brats and bring new life into Matt Stone and Trey Parker's ever-aging lovechild.

Last update: There was an awesome new gameplay trailer at the Spike VGAs. The game now has a release window of Spring. Hopefully, we'll hear soon and THQ will manage to get it out without collapsing (we believe in you!)
The Last Guardian

What we said in January: It wouldn't be a "most anticipated PS3" list without The Last Guardian, right? This game's numerous and lengthy delays -- I've put it on this list for three straight years, now -- haven't reduced my anticipation for it at all. What does have me somewhat worried is the departure from Sony of the project's visionary director, Team Ico's Fumito Ueda; at least he'll finish the game, and at this point, we're still assuming that that'll happen this year.

Last update: They're working on it or so we have been told. 

What we said in January: I played the game at E3 and absolutely fell in love with its crisp visuals and addictive gameplay. I can't wait to play more of Luigi's Mansion 2 when it comes out later this year!
Last update: Chad Concelmo, who wrote the above piece, now works for Nintendo's PR. 1) That shows how much can change in a year. 2) TELL US WHEN THE GAME IS COMING OUT ALREADY, CHAD, WON'T YOU!?? 
See Also:
Dragon Quest X
Killzone Vita
The Last of Us
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
BioShock Infinite
Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney
Rodea the Sky Soldier
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Allistair Pinsof,
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