So 2012 flew by and we had quite a few game releases. I played as many as I could afford and this is my top ten of the ones I played. Some are blockbuster titles that wowed me, whilst others are crazy ones that entertained and excited me too.
10. Bad Piggies
In my 10th and squeezing in past a lot of other worthy games is Bad Piggies. This brilliant little spin off title features the pigs from the Angry Birds series. It has you creating weird and wonderful machines in order to get to a goal. Some drive you there, others fly and some even blast you to the finish. There are a few additional goals like completing it in a certain time or collecting an object. The highlight though has to be the sandbox mode in which stars are scattered around a level and you have to create a machine to collect them anyway you can. This really brings your imagination into play as you can create pretty much anything you want and test it out as many times as you’d like.
In 9th is the amazing Xbox Live Arcade title that is Fez. The 2D platformer turned 3D features a rotating function that both amazes and confuses me as I fail again to get where I need to go. The puzzle elements the 3D adds are brilliant and you can spend hours finding hidden content. It took me ages to work out the hidden language of the world and I still haven’t found everything. It’s a bargain at 800 MS points and I think everyone should play it. Oh, and it’s called Fez because the magical hat gives you the power to rotate the world and I’m with the famous doctor on this “Fezzes are cool”.
8. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations
8th is Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations. I’m not a big fan of fighting games, but I enjoy this franchise in general and the anime is awesome. Also, the dynamics of the fighting make it easy to pick up and play so I felt like I could actually compete. The character roster is also amazing, bringing some of the most popular characters in the series in both a younger and older version of themselves. With each character comes some special Jutsu’s and it’s awesome to see them put into action.
7. Kid Icarus: Uprising
My first 3DS game comes in 7th place, the spectacular Kid Icarus: Uprising. Not only does it look amazing in 3D, it plays extremely well too. After getting used to the initially fiddly controls, I was off flying and battling the forces of evil. The flying sections are great and remind me of the old top down shooters. The ground sections also stand up to the challenge with some clever level design and extra areas. There are so many stages too and with unlockable weapons and bonuses you want to go back and play them over and over. I would have been happy with just the solo gameplay, but they added an excellent multiplayer mode which really shows how good the 3DS is and brought the whole package onto another level.
6. Darksiders 2
I was really surprised when I first played Darksiders 2 at how good it is. I bought it as an impulse buy and it has really stood out as one of the better adventures of 2012. I didn’t play the original much, but this feels completely different. Death is much more agile and this brings with him some platforming and light puzzle solving. The combat flows much better and the levelling system was a nice new addition. Some say this game steals ideas from others, and at times this feels true, but who cares? This game brings them together and makes something awe-inspiring. It’s very deserving of its 6th place.
5. Forza Horizon
The jaw droppingly beautiful Forza Horizon takes my number 5. The setting is a fictional Colorado, and it’s stunning, from deserts to forests and even a giant dam scattered around an open world, it’s one of the most picturesque games I’ve ever played. The cars are stunning too, driving an Aston Martin DB5 around as the sun reflects off the paint work is simply jaw dropping. Throw in the awesome forza physics, a solid sound track and some crazy events (you race against a plane!) and you have one of the most enjoyable games of the year, perfect for relaxing or hard core racing.
4. Mass Effect 3
The controversial Mass Effect 3 makes it to 4th on my list. I got this quite late, but I did put over 50 hours into the demo, and I really enjoy it. I know people complained about the ending, but that’s only a tiny part of this game, if you look at it as a whole, it’s shockingly brilliant. The story, gameplay, soundtrack and graphics are all top notch and the Kinect was used as an optional aid which actually worked! The highlight of this game for me though is the multiplayer, it suckered me in. It has that “1 more game and I could get this item” appeal. It keeps me coming back for more. I’m so glad they added it, I know it’s essentially a horde more, but it’s so well made and is great to be working with people to overcome situations, rather than constantly fighting each-other. Plus some free multiplayer DLC is always nice (although if you buy it pre-owned you need to buy an online pass).
3. Trials Evolution
An office favourite takes my number 3 – the topsy turvy Trials Evolution. I just can’t seem to stop playing this one; it’s so simple yet complicated at the same time. All you’re trying to do is get to the end the quickest and with the least faults on a motor cross bike, but the levels are so well designed that you just want to keep playing. With a plethora of content created by both Red Lynx and the community it just keeps growing. One of the best XBLA titles out there by far.
2. Halo 4
It’s no secret I love the Halo franchise, I put way too much time into Halo Reach, so when the time came for Halo 4 I was so excited. A new developer took on the epic task of creating it, but we were in safe hands, 343 Industries proved they can make the game theirs, but still keep to the Halo way of things. They added a whole new planet, new enemies, new weapons, new armour abilities and even perks, but it still plays just like Halo. It’s more arena style than traditional shooters and I really love the new fast pace. 343 also decided to add Spartan ops (at the cost of firefight, which I do miss sometimes) which is a series of videos with 5 missions tied to it for you to play. It’s released weekly and eventually will pretty much add another campaign to the game. It’s a brilliant addition and hopefully they will make a second series to keep the community interested.
1. Guild Wars 2
The one thing that can beat Halo to my number 1? Guild wars 2! Wow, just wow. Arenanet really outdid themselves. I loved the original game and this is on a whole other level. It still keeps quite a few of the basic principles from the first one though and for that I love it. It’s an epic MMORPG with almost endless customization options for your character. I soon found myself diving into the story of what happened after the first game choosing what I want to do and where I want to go. I found dynamic events which trigger at random times and change the world around you, fought huge dragons, giant ogres, magicians, pirates and all manner of other creatures. Swam for the first time too, and the underwater combat didn’t feel clunky. I even tried crafting, but it was too complicated for me at forest and I just wanted to explore the amazing world. Even after you have explored the world and completed your main quest, there’s a load to do, dungeons, side quests, collecting epic armour and weapons. You can even start another character or try out so Player vs Player games, there is so much in this game it’s insane.
I bought a new PC to run this game and I’m so glad I did, played on the highest graphics it’s the prettiest game I’ve ever played. The world is so diverse, one moment you’re on a snowy mountain, the next in an enchanted forest and the next in a desert. The World vs World vs World is pretty damn amazing too, petting whole servers against each other in a battle for supremacy It’s a technical marvel, I wish I had the time to sink even more hours into it and I know when I do, I won’t be disappointed.