Who am I? I'm a guy who plays video games, talks way too much about comics and movies, likes Godzilla and Robocop, and lives up in Wisconsin. And yes. We get that much snow. Why should you read my blog? Because when I write I have fun, make up bullshit lists, and when I do get a little serious with some blogs I try to be insightful and use resources and facts to try and back up my opinion as much as I can. And if you don't follow my blog, I'll send you a picture of a sad kitten who wants some love.
Also, I tend to debate a lot and get up on a soapbox a bit from time to time. I like to debate for the sake of debating and I tend to find it fun to get other peoples perspectives on things, and sometimes I like to play devil's advocate a bit just for the sake of it. Basically, don't take me so serious sometimes even if it seems like I am being serious.
(And by people I mean an entire civilization where everyone thinks like me)
Since the calendar flipped to 2013 and we survived the apocalypse, most people are now doing their blogs about their personal favorite games of the year 2012. I was going to do these, and I had an interesting realization when I was trying to put this together – I haven’t really played that many new games this year. 2012 was primarily hold overs from 2011 for me, as well as trying to charge through a bit of my backlog (a quest that honestly will never be fulfilled).
I also skipped over a lot of popular titles from 2012. I avoided Borderlands 2 because I found the original Borderlands to be pretty dull and boring (except for Claptrap). I saw a little bit of The Walking Dead but it didn’t catch my appeal, same with Dishonored. I don’t really know why I skipped XCOM. I don’t really know what happened; maybe a lot of 2012’s games didn’t catch my eye, maybe I was just too busy doing other life stuff, maybe I spent too much time playing more Space Marine, Minecraft, and League of Legends.
However, I've definitely done enough gaming to warrant talking about my favorites from the year that was. So, without further adieu, let the awards commence!
Best HD Collection or Remake Devil May Cry HD Collection
The Devil May Cry HD Collection is my favorite thing of this category to come out this year. Why? Because Devil May Cry 3 is still the best action game ever made, and the original Devil May Cry holds up surprisingly well after 12 years. These two things alone completely negate the turd that was Devil May Cry 2. All three games got a very respectable HD treatment, yes the menu's are still technically 3:4 and DMC1's menu's still look low definition however those were things that were unavoidable.
Gotta give props to this collection for also updating the control scheme of the original Devil May Cry to fit more with the schemes the sequels used. The one thing that always held me back in regards to replaying the original game was its somewhat silly scheme (triangle for jump, in an action game, really?). The HD version fixes this issue and it's a little change that goes a long way.
Totally Sweetest Movie of 2012 The Avengers
What?! Did you think I, the guy who has movie related blogs sprinkled all over the place, wouldn't set aside an award for something unrelated to video games? How foolish of you. The Avengers was everything that superhero movies should be, delightfully fun escapism that has heroes doing hero things. Every actor in this movie feels like they're having a blast and they do fantastic jobs as their respective characters, the plot isn't unnecessarily thick, the special effects are fantastic, fucking everything about The Avengers is just great.
There were also a couple of times during this movie where I almost openly cheered, something I've never done at a movie before. The first being Hulk's “I'm always angry” scene with the awesome shot everyone circled together right after, the second being the scene where every hero teams up with another hero to do sweet ass hero stuff like reflect repulsor beams off Cap's shield. This movie could have fallen apart in several ways, it's a minor (awesome) miracle it worked out.
My Coolest Gaming Moment of 2012 Max Payne 3's airport shootout
Somewhat spoiler alerts go here, I guess. Near the end of Max Payne 3, Max finds himself in a shootout with bad guys in an airport while effectively on the precipice of catching the big bad guy. What you get for this segment is a long non stop gunfight down a long airport terminal while accompanied with some rather haunting music that fits in with Max Payne 3's over all theme. It tugs at your emotions in a way you wouldn't entirely suspect and ends up doing an amazing job in my opinion of making you feel some of the weight of what's happening around you while giving the chilling feeling that Max might actually find the death a part of him has been craving. It's quite possibly the best job a video game has ever done of making me feel like I'm literally within an action movie.
Overblown Controversy of the Year Mass Effect 3
This isn't the first time I've talked about the Mass Effect 3 brouhaha that erupted in regards to the ending of the game. Hopefully this will be the last I talk about it though.
It's really sad, in my opinion, that people let 10 final minutes ruin potentially hundreds of hours of great entertainment. People need to enjoy the journey as well, not just the final destination. I can understand being upset about certain creative decisions, but petitioning to have developers change the ending of their game to meet your demands is where I think things cross the line into “spoiled brat” territory. Demanding people change things after-the-fact also validates shit like what George Lucas did to the Star Wars original trilogy. Don't be that guy who validates George Lucas.
Game I Bought For All The Wrong Reasons Lollipop Chainsaw / Zone of the Enders HD
I'll admit, I bought Lollipop Chainsaw because I wanted a decent action game that had some nice looking jugs in it. What I ended up getting was a game that had a surprisingly decent story about objectification (and in a way you'd necessarily expect). To top that off, the actual game itself was a pleasant blast to play and, despite being on the short side, I don't regret spending sixty dollars on this title.
I got Zone of the Enders HD almost entirely for the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance demo. I'm still totally okay with this, because Rising looks like the sexiest game of 2013. I was sold after I did a sliding kick that sent three bad guys into the air simultaneously, went into Blade Mode, sliced all three of them into a million pieces, and then ripped out their Metal Gear Gatorade Electrolyte spines followed by promptly looking at the boss going “Now what!”.
Underrated Game of 2012 Darksiders 2
Darksiders 2 got pretty good reviews, however it didn't sell that well and when awards time came around for most gaming sites it seemed like Darksiders 2 didn't exist. This totally sucks, because Darksiders 2 was fun as hell. Darksiders 2 was a sequel that did a fantastic job of being different yet familiar to its predecessor. While the original Darksiders was a fairly linear Zelda/God of War mash-up, Darksiders 2 felt like a hybrid of Prince of Persia, Devil May Cry and a small bit of Dark Souls thrown in. While it wasn’t a perfect game (certain missions did drag on too long, and the ending was lame) I thought Darksiders 2 was still fun enough to warrant an award from me.
Game I Didn’t Play That I Wish I Did Asura’s Wrath
I remember everyones favorite Dtoider Occams calling Asura's Wrath “the best episode of Power Rangers ever” (paraphrasing). I was all on board the hype train for this game leading up to its release but was ultimately turned off when I found out the game was effectively “Quicktime Events: The Game”. Judging by its anime styled over-the-top nature, Asura's Wrath still looks like something I know I'd smile during. Given that it can apparently be found for cheap at used game stores I'll definitely need to pick this one up sometime in 2013.
Best Sequel of 2012 Halo 4
I’ll make no denials that I’m a fanboy of the Halo series. It was refreshing to finally be playing as Master Chief again after he had a bit of a vacation whilst the franchise produced ODST and Reach. My inner fanboy smiled when Cortana said “Wake up Chief, I need you”. In a way that line was reflective of my views of the Halo franchise leading up to 4, I thought Bungie reached their maximum potential with the franchise around Halo 3 and their subsequent contributions felt lacking and stale.
343 Industries took over control of the Halo franchise and, in my opinion, delivered the best game in the franchise since the original. Alien worlds felt alien again, the story had moved on from the (now played out) war against the Covenant & threat of the Halo Rings, The Flood were nowhere in sight, and the multiplayer finally took some steps in a new direction instead of feeling like a stale flavor of a familiar old doughnut.
Surprise Game of 2012 FTL: Faster Than Light
I love me some Star Trek, I remember having fun with Bridge Commander back in the day and also enjoying Star Trek Online for quite a while. I wasn't expecting too much out of FTL, what I got was a Star Trek-ish experience that I was craving. The game is appropriately old school in both its art style and its difficulty, seriously, this game will wreck you and wreck you fast if you're lackadaisical. FTL is a thrilling experience as well. There's quite a rush when you realize you have to seal a break in one room, fight a fire in another room, fight off a potential boarding party, and still fight the enemy ship simultaneously.
Game of the Year Max Payne 3
I wasn't really that into the Max Payne franchise going into Max Payne 3, but holy shit I loved everything about this game. Imagine if Bruce Willis and Zack Snyder made a movie, but instead of a movie it was a completely sexy game. In fact, if you want, just consider Max Payne 3 to be the ultimate Bruce Willis simulator. Graphically Max Payne 3 is gorgeous and was worth the hefty install on my hard drive (all hail the master race). Gameplay is like if Die Hard and The Matrix both had sweet games made out of them and those two games then made sweet midnight love and had a baby.
If you're a fan of more classic action movies then Max Payne 3 is probably up your alley too as the plot is about a down and out ex-cop who ends up in a situation where seemingly the entire world is after him (and of course the only solution is bullets). While the story isn't told in the classic comic book styled format anymore, like the previous two Max Payne titles, it's all presented in a style that honors the original format. Along with that, I personally think the voice acting is pretty suburb in MP3 although it's slightly less hokey than Max Paynes of the past.
I've already noted the stellar airport shootout earlier in this blog, but I'll note that this game features plenty of other pretty fantastic action moments as well. Overall, Max Payne 3 was pretty handily my most satisfying gaming experience start to finish in all of 2012.
Honestly, I kind of felt like 2012 was a bit of a down year. However that's not to say that some quality games didn't come out. If you haven't played any of the games I've mentioned above, go fucking play them! They're awesome! Video games, people! Now let's welcome 2013 with open arms.