Army men? Soldiers? Space men? Spies? You can keep that crap. I am and always will be a platformer guy. 2012 was good for everyone, but it was especially good for my fellow platform fans with its bounty of great games to pick from. The independent side of the industry did more to support the genre this year than the big guns did, but I'm fine with that. Really, it doesn't matter where it came from as long as it's good.
And our 5 nominees for Destructoid's best platform game of 2012 are all good. And, this year, beautiful. And a lot of them were also pretty difficult, wouldn't you say?
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Dust: An Elysian Tail took a long time to reach us, but the wait has most certainly paid off. Few Xbox Live Arcade games are superior, and most of them pale in comparison. At times it can get a touch repetitive, and there are a handful of exasperating moments, but this is nonetheless an arresting game that offers more (and offers it well) than the average XBLA title Yes, it's full of anthropomorphic rabbits and foxes, but if that stops you from playing, that'll be your loss. You'll be missing out on a fine action-platformer, the likes of which we don't see enough of these days.
If anything was worth going furry for, Dust is it.
Read the full Dust: An Elysian Tail review
FEZ may not look quite so unique these days, but once you start playing it, you'll notice how its quality, ingenious level design, and lovable personality keeps it in the upper echelons of indie gaming. Its minimalist approach hides just how much thought and care went into the overall package, and I cannot begin to wrap my head around how Polytron designed some of those levels. All told, this is an incredibly memorable adventure, with visuals and music that will be stuck in your head for a long time, and ideas so effective, they can draw a smile from all but the most soulless among us. Truly, a wonderful little game.
Read the full FEZ review
Journey will take two or three hours to complete, and for $14.99 there are doubtless those who will feel cheated. Those who fall in love with what this odyssey has to offer, however, will find that the memories are more than worth the entry fee, and will likely be tempted to play through at least once more. Besides which, this is a game designed to be played in one sitting, from beginning to end, in order to appreciate the full scope of one's pilgrimage and the wonderful way in which it escalates from humble beginning to rousing end. This is not a game for those who view length as the primary measure of a product's entertainment value.
Read the full Journey review
New Super Mario Bros. U
New Super Mario Bros. U is a great little platformer that kicks off the Wii U launch with a bang. Players know exactly what they're getting with this one -- an entertaining and incomplex bit of gaming that provides challenge and smirks in equal measure. While certainly a "safe" game to launch with, it is by no means unremarkable, and the only people who would fail to have fun are those with a fundamental aversion to Mario or platformers in general. Literally everybody else would find it incredibly difficult to dislike this one ... even if some of those latter stages will make them temporarily despise it.
Because nobody likes lava levels. Nobody
Read the full New Super Mario Bros. U review
Some of you will have not needed to see this or any other review to know that Spelunky is well worth its $15 asking price. For everyone else, you owe it to yourself to, at the very least, go download the demo or even grab the original PC version to get a better understanding of what this game really is.
All of the additions for Xbox Live Arcade -- most notably, new graphics and sound, competitive multiplayer, and cooperative play -- come together to flesh out what was already impressive in its earlier stages. To avoid Spelunky is to miss out on an incredibly satisfying, well-designed game.
Read the full Spelunky review
Congrats to all the nominees! We'll be announcing the official winner on Friday, December 14. In the mean time we want you to tell us which game this year was the best platform game. Plus, be sure to go vote in our Community Choice Award for your favorite game of 2012.
Check out all our other categories and nominations:
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