Which games of 2012 do you consider to be the very best of the year? Would XCOM: Enemy Unknown or Nintendo Land make your list?
Peter continues El33tonline’s series of editorials discussing the team’s favourite and most impressive games of 2012 with an eclectic and very decisive list of titles, from strategy games and hardcore RPGs, to family friendly collections, horrific action games and a delightful, inventive puzzle game for 3DS.
Find out which games Peter considers the best of 2012 below:
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
My game of the year, mainly for its perfect blend of atmosphere, strategy and simplicity. Firaxis have once again managed to make an engaging strategy game that doesn’t hurt my head like so many PC strategy games do. Old fans of XCOM should be pleased, and new players are in for something completely different.
Surprise of the year for me: I generally enjoy Nintendo’s family/party games and I was expecting something on that level from Nintendo Land. Instead, I got something much, much better. All 12 games included are good and could hardly be called ‘mini’ by any definition. I feel like I’ll be playing the Donkey Kong Crash Course game for months just trying to finish it. It will also be the standard in local multi-player games for a while, and I’m very happy about that.
Pokemon White Version 2
My most played game of the 2012, this is the Pokemon game that finally got me hooked longer than the initial 25 hours or so (RPG’s just about always lose me around the 25 hour mark when it feels like the new is the same as the old but with a bigger number). I don’t think I’ll catch ‘em all, but I’m on 100-odd and still enjoying it.
A sprawling open-world RPG that looks a lot like a Western RPG but with Japanese action combat mechanics. Fighting the big mythological beasts is very satisfying and the Pawn system is fun (even if they repeat themselves a lot). The sense of danger in the world is palpable, the feeling of walking around in the dark too far from home to go back and not knowing what was out there made the game feel like more of an adventure than I’ve had in a long time in gaming.
I tend to have more time for games that require shorter bursts of energy over a long time (see my top three) but Dragon’s Dogma is a game I will set aside a few hours for to really get immersed within.
The 3DS has had some great downloadable titles, and Fallblox (aka Crashmo) is among the best. It’s puzzle perfection, even though it suffers from the flaw of ‘no clear progression’ within each puzzle. Intelligent Systems has crafted yet another gem of innovation. You won’t see these mechanics in any other game on any other platform; they would still work without the 3D but it certainly adds a lot to the visualisation needed to solve each puzzle.
New Super Mario Bros U: Still wonderful. Still clever. Not quite as surprising as it was but well worth jumping around in.
Borderlands 2: The only FPS I played much of at all, it’s a romp that can’t be taken seriously. Enjoyable in singleplayer, great in co-op.
SSX: I love the exploration aspect of finding different routes, and the way you can get in the zone and do crazy tricks and sequences just like Tony Hawk’s back in the day.
Now for a few I have only played previews of but anticipate playing over the holidays:
Journey: So unique and enticing with superb art and music, this looks like an experience more than a game.
Resident Evil 6: My big action game of the summer. I’m very much looking forward to playing it, forget the haters.
If you enjoyed this feature, be sure to read the rest of the team’s top picks for most impressive games of 2012 (so far):