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Hancock's top 10 games of 2012

Woah! A top 10 list! This list is actually different than the one I submitted to Hamza a while ago for the official awards, and to be honest, I'm still not sure I'm happy with it. There were a lot of quality titles that came out this year, and thus narrowing it down to 10 is impossibly hard.
All the cool kids are doing it! See?


^Those are some of the coolest kids I know!

Games I haven't played enough so unfortunately I can't put them on this list: Xenoblade Chronicles, Mark of the Ninja, Tokyo Jungle, Sound Shapes, Retro City Rampage, McPixel, Virtue's Last Reward. I'M SORRY TO ALL THESE GAMES

Honorable Mentions: Mario Chase (and I guess the rest of Nintendoland), New Super Mario Bros. U, Dishonored, Rhythm Heaven Fever, Hotline Miami, FTL

BOO THAT ENDING. But yay everything else! While the gameplay wasn't exactly the best in the series, there are moments in Mass Effect 3 that I will never ever forget (for good reasons). There are so many elegiac moments that left such a strong impression on me. Don't pretend like you didn't have likewise experiences! The entire Genophage mission was just…damn. Oh! And the moments with Geth shenanigans. So very delightful.

The Walking Dead was such a powerful and emotional story, but what I found most impressive was its ability to put up smoke and mirrors and make the player think that they had a profound impact on how the events unfolded. Sure, large decisions of character fate are sometimes left to the player directly in black and white decisions, but it's the grey decisions that have little impact that actually matter the most.

Great game, just lackluster gameplay.

Mmmmm. Competition at its finest. A solid blend of RTS and FPS gameplay combined with a great community really make this game stand out from the mundane and trite. I've talked about this game enough though, you should know to go out and play it by now. Feel free to add me on Steam if you want to get some games in!

Half fighter, half visual novel, completely satisfying. Whether you're just into fighting games or just into Persona 4, this game is perfect. However if you, like me, happen to be in that lucky group of people who love fighters AND Persona 4, you'll be in heaven.

DAMN The Real Texas is unique. I've never played anything like it, and I don't see myself coming across another similar game for quite a while. Talking with the various characters, solving the puzzles, and just exploring the world are magical experiences. Naturally, I have to give props to the wonderful soundtrack. Here! Give this track a listen while you read the rest of these words I wrote about other games I liked.

I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with strategy RPGs. The Shining Force series is one of my favorites of all time. I can't begin to describe how wonderful Final Fantasy Tactics is, especially that tasty remake.

XCOM: Enemy Unkown has rekindled that love in a way I didn't think a modern-day game could. Wonderful gameplay with characters I have grown unreasonably attached to makes this cake worth eating over and over again. I one day look forward to playing through the game on Classic difficulty with Ironman mode on. Oh how I look forward to that day.

Oh man, I was not expecting to have such a wonderful time while playing Legend of Grimrock. I didn't grow up on old dungeon crawler games like Dungeon Master, but now I almost wish I had. I thought the combat would grow old, but instead I found myself meticulously clicking on various weapons and summoning spells, creating a sort of ballet-inspired dance with my mouse.

Solving puzzles is what really makes this game shine, however. Playing this game before release was a gigantic blessing: there was no way for me to even try to Google any of the solutions, and I recommend you forgo doing so as well. I felt like a damn genius once I beat this game.

The following three games have changed the way I approach video games from now on. Journey is not only aesthetically pleasing, but the way it works in multiplayer is so gosh darn exciting. The emotional attachment I had with a nameless, voiceless character was astounding. For all I knew, their PSN ID could have been POOPxMANx420, but when I saw them get ate by the large monster after we had been through so much made me stop and mourn for a moment.

Naturally, when I found them again I was ecstatic!

Which then made it so much worse when they decided to quit the game on our last goddamn ascent. WHAT THE HECK, MAN!

Thirty Flights of Loving is a wonderful story, told in all of fifteen minutes. Linear storytelling in videogames has never really been a strong suit, especially as player choice factors more and more into the equation, but moving forward, I hope developers look at Thirty Flights of Loving as an example of how to eliminate the fluff.

Player choice is absolutely wonderful. Games like The Witcher and The Walking Dead have already proven that. Linear games still have their place, however, and they ought to thank Blendo Games for showing them the way to go.

It worries me that people won't play FEZ because they disagree with what Phil Fish has said in the past. It also worries me that people will play through FEZ once and mistake it for a charming platformer with no real depth and an interesting mechanic.

FEZ had enveloped my girlfriend and I for over 20 hours as we tried to get to the bottom of the meticulously detailed world. After pages of pages of notes and hours of wracking our brains, we eventually completed everything. Seeing the Internet at large trying to decode some of FEZ's secrets isn't something that happens often. Hell, I'd reckon this is a once-in-a-lifetime game. When FEZ is ported to PC, do yourself a favor and pick it up. Then do yourself another favor and don't put it down until you can understand EVERYTHING.
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About Patrick Hancockone of us since 1:38 PM on 08.24.2011

During the day, he teaches high school kids about history. At night he kicks their butts in competitive games like Rocket League, Dota 2, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike.

Disclosure: I've personally backed Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2, Dead State, SPORTSFRIENDS, Torment: Tides of Numera, and STRAFE. I have previously written for AbleGamers.com and continue to support them whenever possible (like HumbleBundle).

Feel free to hit me up at patrick]at[destructoid.com, or at @therealhancock

Xbox LIVE:Sonci
PSN ID:venusaurus
Steam ID:P-Dude
BattleNET:Patrick [841]
3DS Code:0516-7270-7386


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