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Top 10 games of 2012

I really don't know where we go from here. Adventure and real-time strategy are now genres getting attention in the mainstream media via games developed by major studios. Nintendo has farted out the rather underwhelming Wii U, Sony all but abandoned the Vita, and Microsoft continues to lose interesting exclusives and independent studios. Black Ops 2 and Max Payne 3 made me question if next-gen console games will even compare to these games on PC, while Journey made me wonder if what we really should be chasing is better art direction instead of higher-res textures -- I mean, YES we should be aiming for better art direction instead of higher-res textures (or, better yet, both!)

Most of all, I've been left wondering where my love affair with games goes from here. I've always devoured games at an alarming rate, but 2012 might have been the year that did me in. I played so many games I hated, finished so many games I barely enjoyed, and obsessed over far fewer titles than in 2010 and 2011. Before I paint myself as a negative Nancy -- or whatever the male equivalent is -- it must be said that there were many games I enjoyed in 2012. I had a list of 30+ titles that I narrowed down to these very special ten. Some of these are games I anticipated, but most of them I would have skipped entirely if not for my curiosity and endless appetite for games. I'm glad I took a chance on some titles that weren't exactly critical darling. Yes, I regret spending $60 on Resident Evil 6. No, I don't regret spending 20 hours in Teleglitch.

After the 100+ games I must have played in 2012, I have concluded that the answer isn't abandoning games but knowing when to put a lackluster game down and walk away. As a wet around the ears reviewer at Destructoid, I learned that it's not the money that gets us but the time wasted that no amount of money can get back. Here's to a new year of time better managed and less games to worry about -- because, let's be honest, there's going to be less than nothing to get excited about this summer. For now, here are the games I'd tell a clone of myself to purchase and play.


Honorable Mentions (15 - 11): Teleglitch, Spelunky, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Trials Evolution, Sleeping Dogs


The city of Dunwall feels alive in a way that few videogame environments do. Last year, critics talked about how exciting Deus Ex: Human Evolution's environments and freedom of choice were. Sure, look at that very thrilling grate you left untouched and that empty alley you left unexplored with that one NPC with that one line of dialog. I�ll let my bitterness toward that overrated disappoint be taken over by my enthusiasm toward Dishonored. It�s a game where rooms, scenarios, and characters have multiple sides to show but never all in the same playthrough. The story told in cutscenes is good but the story learned from the game�s books is even better. And yet, the best stories will come from player interaction.


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About Allistair Pinsofone of us since 6:03 PM on 04.27.2011

His name is Allistair. He lives in Austin. If he is ever in your city, please come visit him in his minivan. He has have many fresh diapers. No worries!
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