A few weeks ago Destructoid staff submitted lists of our ten favorite games to release in the past twelve months. Those lists were concentrated down to just five nominees. And Telltale's The Walking Dead emerged the victor. Now that it's past midnight and the calendar gods have decided it's a new year, I figured I'd share my picks because of REASONS. Too much beer probably. Also, Hamza did it and I endeavor to be more like Hamza. I've even purchased some Rogaine for my arms.
#10 Code of Princess
It's been a long time since I enjoyed a side-scrolling beat 'em up. For some reason though Code of Princess really struck a chord with me. Its colorful cast of characters, role-playing elements, bite-sized missions, and gratifying combat really won me over. Code of Princess is very much worthy of being billed a successor to Guardian Heroes.
#9 Persona 4 Arena
Fighting games. I love them dearly, but I'm so bad at them. It might be a while before I defeat anybody online, but at least I can trounce a computer. And hey! P4A lets me spend more time in this awesome world with these lovely characters. That's enough for me.
Ever since I got my hands on SSX at E3 2011 I've been in love. The asynchronous multiplayer, the bright visuals, the techno soundtrack are all wonderful. But what I really dig about it is that the game evokes the feeling of the older entries in the series while delivering something very cutting edge.
#7 Lollipop Chainsaw
Lollipop Chainsaw is probably my least favorite major release from Grasshopper Manufacture since Killer 7. And yet, I still had a blast playing it. Something about that studio's style and Suda 51's humor really resonates with me. I really appreciate how saccharine and arcade-y this game is. Short and sweet. (With some foul language) That's Lollipop Chainsaw in a nutshell. I'll play it over and over and again.
#6 The Unfinished Swan
I'd recommend this one to just about anyone, but it seems like a whole lot of people don't seem to terribly fond of it. I'm not sure why exactly, it reminds me of Portal crossed with Flower. That can't be a bad thing. It just can't. It also got me a bit misty-eyed at the end there. I went in expecting a decent first-person puzzler and walked away with a storybook tale that warmed up my cold, stony heart.
#5 Asura's Wrath
I still wonder how I fell in love a game that's made up of QTEs but it happened somehow. The episodic anime-style of the whole thing was so incredibly strange but managed to be very wonderful at the same time and I really appreciated how absurd the whole thing was. Very much one of this year's visual treats.
#4 The Walking Dead
How in the hell is a point-and-click adventure game on this list? A really strong narrative, that's how. It made me cry. Like a baby. That's never happened before. Not on account of a game anyway. Stupid adventure game logic aside, Telltale really did do something special with that story and those characters.
#3 Far Cry 3
As the follow up to one of my favorite games of all time, Far Cry 3 had some pretty big shoes to fill and I think it did so admirably. Sure the story leaves a lot to be desired and it's a whole lot more linear than I'd like, but I really dig the combat and role-playing elements Ubisoft Montreal added to the equation. I can definitely see why some are calling it this year's Skyrim.
#2 Binary Domain
In addition to just being a lot of fun, Binary Domain really made me reflect on society and what it means to be a person. I think Sega and Yakuza Studio really did a wonderful job at making what could have just been another dumb shooter a very cerebral experience.
Journey harkens back to an era where things aren't explained in mind-numbing detail. It points the player in a direction, sets them on a path and says GO! Everything else just kind of unfolds from there and it's pretty magical. Also as well also, in an age when every game has a dull, tacked-on multiplayer mode thatgamecompan makes me really hopeful for what multiplayer experiences can become.
Honorable mentions: The Last Story, Sine Mora, I Am Alive, Q.U.B.E.