Michael’s Top 10 Games of 2012

Top 10
Last year, 2011, was a tough act to follow. Not only did we have oddball new IPs like Catherine, but we were also graced by titles like the bloody brilliant reboot of Mortal Kombat and the nigh-perfect Batman: Arkham City. It was a year that kept me regularly pleased with its quick releases. Such success almost damned 2012 to feeling inferior by comparison. To an extent, it sort of was, but the unpredictability of my favorite games was the true standout. If someone had traveled through time and showed me my top list of 2012, I’d probably laugh and call them a liar. Well, at least in my head because I’m not a dick. Little did I know that 2012 would have some fantastic surprises.
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Eric’s Top 5 Games of 2012

banner It’s that time of year everybody! You know, that time when we crank up the heater, regret all those Christmas cookies and wax how great and/or shitty a year it was. With that kind of reflection you just know that there will be all sorts of inane “Top X Whatever” lists. Well, I had a pretty good year and I’ve actually lost weight recently (seriously, my skinny jeans fit and everything!), but I will have to make a Top Games of 2012 list.

2012 was a pretty awesome year in gaming for me. Admittedly, for the first half of the year I pretty much just played with the abused dying prostitute known as  the PSP, but once spring came around all bets were off; it was a pretty back heavy year, so many of these are from the last few months. Without further ado, here is my top five games of 2012. Why only five? Because I have rigorous standards, and not just any game gets on my list! That and I mooch most of my new games from Kevin and Michael, so I didn’t play a whole lot of new games until a few months ago.
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Reflecting on 2012

Gaming had quite a busy year in 2012. Besides the excellent lineup of games, there were a few moments that ultimately defined the year for me and probably a lot of others out there. Rather than dissecting my favorite news story in a sort of list that would feel more organized, I’d rather have a sequence of these definitive moments laid out and thoroughly explained. Because no one likes half-assed work, right?
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Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale Review

PSABR
Platforms: PS3, Playstation Vita
Release Date: November 20, 2012

It usually happens when you’re young, but we’ve all wondered who would win in a fight between gaming icons. Kratos could probably kick Dante’s ass, while I’d bet that Sackboy could clean Parappa’s clock. Over the years, Sony has built a stable of memorable faces and mascots, ones they’ve finally decided to cram into one fighting game that realizes this fanboy’s wet dream. Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale is just what it sounds like: a myriad of gaming’s iconic faces clashing against each other in an arena-based fighting game. All-Stars could have been a cheap cash-in, banking on name alone, but it is a deep, rewarding fighter with a healthy dose of fan service.
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Platinum Hunt: The Walking Dead

WD platinum
Recommended Guide: If you need a guide for this, you might want to see a doctor.
Difficulty: .5/10

It’s straightforward. Just beat the game.

Alright, this game deserves a little bit more of an explanation. No matter what you choose along this twisted path, the digital hardware comes to you no matter what. Even though this is a welcome gesture for most people, it shows how much Telltale thought of their beloved game. If they tied the rewards to choices, it would probably make a good chunk of players make decisions they wouldn’t have normally made.
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The Walking Dead Review

walking_dead_console_hq
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, iOS
Release Date: December 11, 2012

Entertainment has a disturbing fascination with the undead. For movies, it usually allows for the director to artificially convey a despairing sense of hopelessness while games mostly bank on them being easy-to-program cannon fodder for those with limited attention spans. Of course, there are exceptions, but generally, these ideals lead zombies down a path of mind-numbingly cliché plot points and gameplay mechanics. For these reasons, I was abstaining from The Walking Dead, Telltale’s point-and-click adventure game set in the popular comic/TV show universe. Even though some of my fears ring true in The Walking Dead, the wordsmiths at Telltale have designed a brilliant and unforgettable game with a story and episodic structure that feel like a step in a bold new direction.
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Platinum Hunt: Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando HD

ratchet platinum
Recommended Guide: PS3Trophies.org
Difficulty: 3.5/10

Collecting stuff and causing big explosions to happen to be a few hobbies of mine. In the digital realm, few actions rustle my jimmies more than a hearty burst of explosive energy and collecting that last doohickey in order to achieve that last whatchamacallit. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando HD was built on these core tenets and getting that coveted Platinum Trophy was an achievement that didn’t even need to beg for attention. It just melded so smoothly with the gameplay.
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Hitman: Absolution Review

Hitman Absolution
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: November 20, 2012

Before Connor, Ezio, and Corvo, a bald, barcode-wearing assassin graced gaming with his somber, subtle, and soulless approach to killing his targets without a hair or bullet casing littering the scene. With his signature suit concealing his dual Silver Baller pistols, Agent 47 brought a new twist on assassinating and became iconic in his own right. It’s been six years since Agent 47 has been called to duty and with all the advancements that the aforementioned assassins have brought, he’d have to count on more than his enhanced abilities to maintain relevancy. Hitman: Absolution has injected all of the right serums to keep his signature style and add some new tricks to uphold his Silent Assassin rating.
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