2012 Community Game of the Year - And the winner is...

This year for me was most significant for a move towards spending more of my gaming time on an iPad, and less on a laptop PC. When the iPad is available, it just feels like so much work to get out the laptop (also the laptop is definitely starting to show its age). I already generally prefer more action oriented games on console, so the opening up of great board game strategy options on iPad is really eating away at my desire to game on the PC. I’d still like to see some more meatier PC-like strategy games come to the iPad (especially a good Civ/4X type, or something like Crusader Kings 2), but for now the asynchronous play of board game adaptations is scratching my strategy itch aplenty.

1. Summoner Wars (iOS) – This is the game that finally got me to venture out of my tendency for shyness and join in the multiplayer fun. Played in leagues on a couple other sites (QT3 and Pocket tactics) and organized a tournament for it on GWJ. Just a great game, and a great implementation. Every turn feels like every choice matters, 8 fairly different factions to learn, different deck builds to try out. I’ve played nearly 200 games of this since July and still encounter game situations I haven’t seen before.

2. Ascension (iOS) – I was late to the party on this one, only joining in after it went on sale in August. Similar story to Summoner Wars, played in a tournament here at GWJ, just started playing in the league at QT3 (and anyone here who isn’t getting enough games should head over there, lots of active and skilled players). The increased randomness can sometimes make it feel a little less satisfying than Summoner Wars, but also keep things more varied, and also make the learning curve on strategy even longer. I just recently cleared 200 games of this, and rapidly increasing.

3. XCOM (PS3) – I was never a huge fan of the original, because it always felt like there was a bit to much clutter and work to get to the interesting parts. This game felt like it streamlined out the parts that I found annoying and let me focus on the good stuff. Not sure about the replayability, but that isn’t that much of a concern to me on a game where a single play through takes 20+ hours.

4. Mass Effect 2 (PS3) – I was pretty late to finally give this a shot, but got it for Christmas last year after finally being convinced I should give it a shot. The companions and story were a lot of fun, and found the gameplay surprisingly decent as I am not the biggest shooting game person.

5. Mass Effect 3 (PS3) – I am mostly ambivalent on the ending, but found the game up until then pretty good. I felt like the gameplay was a little bit of an improvement on 2, but that might have been because I think I chose a class that better fit me. I found the companions a bit less interesting than Mass Effect 2, and the most effective story beats were mostly about call backs to characters from 2 (Mordin/Tali/etc., not that this is entirely a bad thing). I could easily see flip-flopping these two games in my rankings.

6. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3) – This game was very much a right place right time game. I was feeling like a good action RPG when this came out, and it ate up 70-80 hours. The combat was just really fun, and there was plenty of game to explore.

7. 10000000 (iOS) – This was a really great little game. The combination of the match 3 elements with the endless runner/dungeon crawl elements was perfect. The gameplay worked out to nice 2-5 minute chunks that could be fit in to occasional breaks whenever, or repeated for hours at a time.

8. Torchlight 2 (PC) – I enjoyed Torchlight quite a bit (played through it at least twice), and this was an improvement on what already worked. The gameplay felt like there were more options, and the environements more varied. Plus, I got to play with a ferret wearing aviator goggles and a backpack as my companion.

9. FTL (PC) – A great new variation on a rogue-like strategy game. It didn’t suck me in to the extent that it did some other people, but I think that was mostly a matter of timing. I am just at this point much happier using my iPad than my PC, so having to get out the laptop is an extra barrier PC games have to overcome. If this came out on iPad I would buy it instantly, and probably play it more.

10. Don’t Run With a Plasma Sword (iOS) – One of the many endless runner variants, this is the one that worked best for me (and I played several of them quite a bit). A story mode, and endless mode with several different difficulties, upgrades. Most of these are becoming fairly standard, but it just worked perfectly for me here.

Honorable Mention: Warlock:Master of the Arcane (PC), Jetpack Joyride (iOS), God of Blades (iOS), Epic Knight (iOS), Punchquest (iOS), Neuroshima Hex (iOS), Kingdom Rush (iOS), Angry Birds Star Wars (iOS)

IHateDRM wrote:

1) Hotline Miami
At first this was going to be much lower on my list, but the combination of music visuals and gameplay just works perfectly, something I can say about only a handful of games, three of which came out this year.

Are you sure you aren't a sock of StrangeBlades?

Now that the last podcast is up, here's my list!

1. The Walking Dead
2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
3. Dishonored
4. Journey
5. Mark of the Ninja
6. FTL: Faster Than Light
7. Far Cry 3
8. Dragon's Dogma
9. JOHANN SEBASTIAN JOUST
10. Hotline Miami

Minarchist wrote:
IHateDRM wrote:

1) Hotline Miami
At first this was going to be much lower on my list, but the combination of music visuals and gameplay just works perfectly, something I can say about only a handful of games, three of which came out this year.

Are you sure you aren't a sock of StrangeBlades?

So that's where my sock went.

1. FTL: Faster Than Light
2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
3. Legend of Grimrock
4. The Walking Dead
5. Mass Effect 3
6. Dishonored
7. Mark of the Ninja
8. Diablo III
9. Endless Space
10. Hotline Miami

Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition would be on this list if I hadn't first tried it last year.

Of this list, I completed all of the top five, and No. 8. Not bad, for me.

IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/files/imagecache/article_image/article_images/unityplayer175x17575.png)

I know it was an unbelievable year for gaming because even though I don't feel like I played that much, it's still a hard list to narrow down.

In no particular order, I love these 10 games.

1. FTL (PC)
2. XCOM (PC)
3. Dishonored (PC)
4. Mark of the Ninja (PC)
5. Teleglitch (PC) (you might not have heard of this one! It's amazing and has a generous demo. Go look.)
6. Diablo 3 (PC)
7. Torchlight 2 (PC)
8. The Walking Dead (PC)
9. Rhythm Heaven Fever (Wii)
10. Super Hexagon (iOS / PC)

Runners up: Hotline Miami, the latest builds of Minecraft, Fez, Dust: An Elysian Tale, Frog Fractions.

garion333 wrote:

Those of you not writing ANYTHING kinda suck. ;)

Oh yeah? Well, you, uh, dress funny.
To get into it:

1) Saints Row the Third
Ridiculousness that always seems to opt for "why the heck not?" in its design decisions. More polish and visual appeal by far than 2 even if, at its heart, a lot of the ridiculousness was already there. I'm not actually sure it's fair to include this since I started playing it in 2011, but I went back to it in 2012, so it counts, right?

2) Borderlands 2
Not a big fps guy, but toss in a loot fest and I'm down. Didn't get a chance to play the first one coop and never finished that one, but this one sucked me in in a big way. 2 characters at lvl 50 and a 3rd on the way there.

3) Mass Effect 3
Not as fussed about the ending as a lot of folks seemed to be even with its flaws, I still really liked it. If you look at the smaller subplots (mordin/genophage, tali/legion) rather than the overarching reapers plot, it holds up pretty well.

4) Journey
Not one I go back to really, but the first instance of "communication" with a nameless stranger is a kind of magical thing that I'd never experienced in a game before.

5) Far Cry 3
I think it benefits from being thought of more as a "first person assassin's creed with guns" than the comparisons with skyrim and far cry 2. Taking outposts is super fun, story missions not so much. That (in the outpost assaults) stealth is viable and yet you have the option to just blow everything up when you get spotted is great. Kind of a sniper's dream in that enemies are all present and accounted for (for the most part don't just magically spawn in when you get close enough) so you can engage at ridiculous ranges with the right scope/weapon.

6) Fez
Beautiful instance of bait and switch IMO (you think you're getting a perspective based puzzle platformer, when what you're looking at after the first ending anyways is more akin to myst). Normally you might feel slighted when a game does that to you, but it worked for me.

7) Glitch
A beautiful quirky browser MMO that never got a fair shake due, in part, to being mired in flash (and not easily portable to mobile). Kind of a sidescrolling animal crossing thing that shut down recently.

1. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (Maybe one of my favorite JRPGs)
2. Hotline Miami Favorite "indie" title. (Soundtrack is awesome)
3. Persona 4: The Golden (A release that is so good.)
4. Dishonored (A great game and a great stealth game as well.)
5. Skyrim (Sneak around and stab fools.)
6. Binary Domain (A great shooter)
7. X-Com
8. Mark of the Ninja
9. Xenoblade (A great JRPG with too many side quests. "What a bunch of Jokers")
10. Far Cry 3

Honorable Mentions
Ys: Origin
Torchlight 2 (I didn't play enough of it)
Ragnarok Tactics (PSP)
Mass Effect 3 (The ending was okay. Felt rushed)
Darksiders 2 (A little long but the combat was great)
Hit man: Absolution (Its an okay Hitman game. Not a great one)
Spelunky (Loved the freeware version and glad to pay for its HD version

Rearranged some stuff.

Dear people with lists of less than 10:
If you add Secret of the Magic Crystals to your list to fill in a gap, ClockworkHouse will slowly go insane.

wait wait wait wait wait.

500?

five hundred?

14 straight days?

*looks at Ken's steam profile*

holy sh*t!

Um, I vote for KoA:R as my number 1 as well. I didn't play it but I think it's worth my support because... damn, Ken... damn.

#2 is XCOM but 500 hours... I got nothing.

#3 is Torchlight II.

#4 is Secret of the Magic Crystals because, while I own it and have yet to play it, it's already given me so much joy.

#5 is JSJoust because GD, that game is insanely fun.

#6 is Ascension on iOS

#7 is Summoner Wars, also on iOS.

#8 is having babies and no time for anything else.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Dear people with lists of less than 10:
If you add Secret of the Magic Crystals to your list to fill in a gap, ClockworkHouse will slowly go insane.

Quintin_Stone: Equine Aenus Enthusiast

Ok, my top 10, primarily driven by getting both a new computer and a PS3 this year.

  1. Mass Effect

    Yes, the first one. I finally got hardware capable of playing it this year, and it lived up to all expectations. It's just a world I wanted to spend a lot of time in. This gets my top game of the year because I'm so looking forward to going through the whole series. The second one is queued up for next year.

  2. Brutal Legend

    My surprise hit. After all the mediocre reviews I just adored Brutal Legend, and think it was criminally underrated. The first RTS I've ever finished and a wonderful love letter to the music I grew up listening to.

  3. Awesomenauts

    Finally! A MOBA for the likes of me. This is a wonderful game and I hope other people who, like me, are interested in MOBAs but not the community or the RTS thing give Awesomenauts a try.

  4. Marvel Vs. Capcom 3

    I spent the first half of this year all in on fighting games, and while I tried a lot of them, this is the one that's primarily stuck. It's a completely insane and essentially broken and unbalanced game, but it's also totally over the top and a total blast. There's a reason you get people at LoL matches holding up posters saying "When's Marvel?" I just got UMvC3 for Christmas, so I'm looking forward to digging in to the expanded roster.

  5. Assassin's Creed 2

    I'm about halfway through this and it's lived up to all expectations. This game is the one that convinced me that open world games are much more to my liking than I'd ever guessed.

  6. Heavy Rain

    I played this with my wife, and it was a great experience. I didn't think QTEs could be interesting, but Heavy Rain pulled it off. I hope we see more games like this that are mature in a mature way and not in a tits and gore kind of way.

  7. Majesty

    The second RTS I ever beat, and I loved it so much that I also finished the expansion. This game fit me perfectly, and I'm looking forward to playing the second one at some point soon. Since the mobile version has been a big hit (which is also where I got to play it first) I'm hoping I'll see more.

  8. Bioshock

    I loved this, and it lived up to what I wanted from a System Shock 2 sequel, but somehow in comparison to Mass Effect or AC2, it felt kinda flat. I wanted more of an open world rather than the railroading I ended up with.

  9. FTL

    FTL is awesome and I love it, but somehow I've been distracted away from it, which is why I'm rating it so low. I want to go and play more of it though, and I should return to it next year. I also have yet to get beyond sector 6, so I suck at it.

  10. Crusader Kings 2

    I'm still on my first game of this, and thus still trying to learn it, which is why this is at the bottom of my list. I'm intrigued and I'm excited to get to the point where I feel like I've got some real understanding of how to achieve my goals.

Ravenlock wrote:

5. Teleglitch (PC) (you might not have heard of this one! It's amazing and has a generous demo. Go look.)

They mention roguelike on their front page. I buy. Never head of this. Sounds cool.

I'm going to have to go back and edit my list a bit... I've played a couple of games in the past week (damn you, Steam and Amazon sales!!), and some of them just have to make it on there... Tweaked my list on page 4 to add Bastion, Saints Row, Botanicula, and Arkham City and AC: Revelations. Should be good, now.

01. Saint's Row: The Third
02. Skyrim
03. Guild Wars 2
04. Borderlands 2
05. DayZ (before the hackers invaded)
06. Legend of Grimrock (have yet to finish, got distracted)
07. Alpha Protocol (have yet to finish, got distracted)
08. Dead Island (only started recently, have yet to finish)
09. Atom Zombie Smasher
10. Mortal Kombat
11. Secret of the Magic Crystals*

[size=6]* don't actually own it, but Skyrim ate a giant chunk of my gaming time so I don't have a full 10, and I want to see if Quintin's plan works[/size]

Stengah wrote:

* don't actually own it, but Skyrim ate a giant chunk of my gaming time so I don't have a full 10, and I want to see if Quintin's plan works

You count funny!

My Top Ten
1) Superbrothers: Swords and Sworcery EP
2) Lego Batman 2
3) PixelJunk Eden
4) Mark of the Ninja
5) Journey
6) The Secret World
7) FTL
8) Guild Wars 2
9) Torchlight 2
10) Stacking

Special Mention That I Had To Uninstall After Losing Three Nights And Realizing That I'm Not Single And Twenty Years Old Anymore
Civ V

Honorable Mentions That I Haven't Had Time To Really Dig In To Yet This Year, But Am Looking Forward To Playing More Of Soon
Catherine
Saints Row the Third
Crusader Kings II

How did Civ 5 not make the list? Losing sleep 3 nights seems like it would be #1.

Minarchist wrote:
IHateDRM wrote:

1) Hotline Miami
At first this was going to be much lower on my list, but the combination of music visuals and gameplay just works perfectly, something I can say about only a handful of games, three of which came out this year.

Are you sure you aren't a sock of StrangeBlades?

Well I guess if I have to be a piece of StrangeBlades underwear that's probably one of my options...

And as for why Hotline Miami is my game of the year, well... In a way it almost wins by default. And what I mean by that is, every other game this year had some kind of major flaw that I just couldn't look past. Hotline Miami just didn't. There's nothing about it I would change. everything in that game does exactly what it needs too with out getting in the way of anything else. And yeah I can say the same thing about Journey, but the problem with Journey is that I already had that experience with Okami. I had already played a game that was so just... Achingly beautiful. And Hotline Miami is the exact opposite. Where as Journey and Okami are life affirming and comforting. Hotline Miami is disturbing and terrifying. And to me that's just as much of an accomplishment. And the reason I say it wins by default is that any other year I would have given it to something like Mass Effect or Persona, but because nothing immediately jumped out at me this year I had to really think about what I want out of games, and this year at least I wanted something new and Hotline Miami was the only game to give me that. And so almost by default, its my game of the year.

Dryden wrote:

Special Mention That I Had To Uninstall After Losing Three Nights And Realizing That I'm Not Single And Twenty Years Old Anymore
Civ V

This is exactly why I don't own Civ V yet

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Stengah wrote:

* don't actually own it, but Skyrim ate a giant chunk of my gaming time so I don't have a full 10, and I want to see if Quintin's plan works

You count funny!

I do. I edited the list because I forgot that I actually played a console game this year (Mortal Kombat), but forgot to fix that part as well

1) XCOM
2) Mass Effect 3
3) Torchlight 2
4) FTL
5) Penny Arcade 3
6) The Walking Dead
7) Diablo 3
8) Frog Fractions
9) Kohan 2: Kings of War
10) Crusader Kings 2

Boom, roasted.

1. Crusader Kings II
2. Civ V G&K's
3. X-Com
4. Warlock
5. Fallen Enchantress
6. FM2012
7. Secrets of the Magic Crystals *for my daughter who loves to play with her horses*

Penny Arcade 3 might have made my top 10 if I'd gotten the time to play it more. I really liked what I played so far.

Ordered by fun quotient:

1. Bulletstorm (PC) - Ridiculous but well-done fun. The Saint's Row 3 of shooters. Also, the best in-game explanation for experience in a shooter that I've ever seen. I've gone back to it since this list started, and it's moved up to first place. Take that as you will.

2. Saint's Row the Third (PC) - The Bulletstorm of open world games. Take 15 minutes (though it'll probably end up being more like 2 hours; just sayin') and go cause some mayhem. Buy some neat threads, shoot some dudes, fly a spaceship, go all Katamari downtown, light pedestrians on fire at the behest of a giant-headed mascot, listen to some surprisingly good dialog from some impressively peculiar characters; it's allll good.

3. SSX (360) - Awesome. Feels just about perfect as a racer/high score chaser. It's a big improvement over the last couple of iterations of the franchise, and a heck of a lot of fun.

4. Punch Quest (iOS) - A recent obsession, but a truly fun runner, with depths that I know I haven't plumbed. And hattes.

5. Borderlands 2 (PC) - Shiny and loot and shooty and funny and "just one more mission"-y.

6. Rocksmith (360) - Because it's rocking out. For realz.

7. Ascension (iOS) - Quite possibly the game that I've put the most time into, and the game that has given the best air-punch moments (during the GWJ tourneys)

8. Batman: AC (PC) - An evolution of something great. It did all the good Batman-y things that AA did and did them more. That's a good thing.

9. FTL (PC) - Late addition to the list - only gifted to me on the 27th - but I'm already hooked and afeared for what it's going to do to my other games' time.

10. Skyrim (PC) - Epic and yadda yadda yadda. Great game, but not as pure fun as the other things on the list.

Top 10 of 2012

1. Mass Effect 3 - Just amazing from start 2 finish. Yes, 2 was better, and there are many things that could have been improved, but I can't lose perspective of how great a job Bioware did with this.
2. FTL - never expected to love it as much as I did. Just infinitely replayable, such a joy to get lost in for one more fight.
3. XCOM: UFO Defense - Firaxis captured Civilization's one more turn addiction in XCOM.
4. Warhammer 40K: Space Marine - I swear I'm more of a fantasy setting guy. How did my top 4 end up all sci-fi? Space Marine is the manliest game I've played all year.
5. Walking Dead - The only reason this hasn't placed higher is because I'm still working through it, but I've played enough of it to put it at least this high.
6. Star Wars: The Old Republic - I totally get why people are turned off by this game. And yet this MMO captured more of my time and interest than WoW, LoTRO and GW2 (all of which I like). I can't explain it, but it did and I proudly back this game.
7. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - The Italian in me demands that this make the list. Too similar to AC2 to place higher, but still enjoyed it.
8. Alpha Protocol - A very, very underrated game. I recommend everyone pick it up on a Steam sale and try it out.
9. Batman: Arkham City - This game deserves to make the list based on Catwoman's tight costume alone. I mean the fighting...no I don't.
10. Dragon Age 2 - Another very underrated game. Great story and excellent character design and dialogue. Yes, not as good as 1 but still loved it.

Honorable Mentions:
Defense Grid: The Awakening
Limbo
Skyrim
Diablo 3
Rebuild
Plague Inc.
Civ V: Gods and Kings
Bastion
Shogun 2: Total War
WoW
LoTRO
GW2

Game of the Year, 2012 - The Last Story - Developed by Mistwalker, published by XSEED. My full impressions here.

JRPGs were once my favorite genre, but they got too popular in the late 90s and began down the path to stagnancy that so frequently tempts after a mega-hit (Final Fantasy VII in this case, Modern Warfare in 2007, World of Warcraft in 2004). People whispered, then shouted, about how JRPGs were old news, lazy design, juvenile, you name it. To my dismay, I began to agree. Then, in August, The Last Story changed all that. It experiments more over the course of a 25 hour adventure than the rest of the genre has in ten years. The breadth of gameplay experiences is staggering, the characters are well handled. The narrative is intriguing and maintains a great pace. Lazulis Island is dense and nuanced, but not overwhelmingly so. Combat is fun and changes frequently. Even the competitive and cooperative online portions are worth playing (on the Wii!). I like this game so much I bought a second copy for a friend I know would appreciate it* (more on that later). Not some cheapo Steam gifting, either.

2. Dragon's Dogma - It's a challenging open world game that features one of the three best combat engines of the last five years. It's the first time I felt a game give me the agency, environments, and enemies to recreate the battle scenes from the LOTR movies. Great game overall, only marred by being a smidge too long and a bit too ridiculous in spots.

3. Syndicate - This shooter oozes style and backs that up with solid gunplay and stellar cooperative missions. The single player campaign is short but sweet, unfortunately only fully blossoming in the final hour. But that co-op is just addictive. Four skilled players can make the most seemingly overwhelming tasks trivial when everything is clicking and it just feels amazing.

4. Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy - I would have laughed in June if you told me this July release would be one of my favorites of the year, enough by itself to justify my 3DS ownership. It's rhythm nirvana for a Final Fantasy fan. Some people say the RPG elements aren't deep enough, some say the goals aren't well defined enough, but in the rhythm genre the gameplay should be the sole draw, and every design decision here was made to build upon that solid foundation.

5. Trials: Evolution - Having never played a Trials game, this was an amazing surprise. There's not a lot to say about the game, because the appeal is at such a base level. Interesting mechanics + ingenious level design always works. Added kudos for the user generated stuff.

6. New Super Mario Bros. U - I had never liked a NSMB game, so I'm surprised this one speaks to me like it does. I think it's the return of the koopa kids and the airships that did it. There are just a lot of really clever platforming moments and unlike some Mario games it doesn't take 5 hours to get to them.

7. The Walking Dead, Season 1 - I don't think this is quite the revelation others do, but it's still damned good. Strong characters that you can love or hate, excruciating circumstances, and an ever-lurking dread propel one of the most compelling narratives I've seen in a game. It would be higher on my list if the game actually gave the player as much agency as the game wants you to think it does.

8. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - Damn shame about what happened to 38 Studios. They stuffed this interesting world with an overwhelming amount of content, to the point I'd call it too much. But the main beats were all well done, and for that it gets a nod. The class system and combat were wonderfully varied, but unfortunately not as deep or flexible as Dragon's Dogma.

9. Mass Effect 3 - This game is fun, and the mechanics are the best in the series. I am a mechanics-first guy. I don't think the situation with the ending was ever worth the outrage. As overrated as I think the whole series has been, I always play a Mass Effect game in about a week, and to keep my undivided attention they have to be doing something right.

10. Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack! - Last minute edit! The levels are inventive and the core mechanics are engaging and versatile. It's held back by some terrible tilt controlled levels, but I can't ignore the charm and craft on display here. Propers to merphle for pushing me to play it.

Next up, this list is the FTG,OTY2012 (f*ck that game, of the year 2012)! Get hype! Deduct points from these if you're really my friend, Clocky!* Bribes and treachery! Now spoiler tagged for the faint of heart.

Spoiler:

1. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Goddamnit people. For a full year I heard about this game like it was the second coming, an amazing revelation in RPGs, etc. Nobody told me that the actual gameplay mechanics don't work together! Nobody told me the characters (who I like in the books) would be totally unlikable! Nobody told me the "rich, fully realized world" was actually the equivalent of about two areas in Dragon Age: Origins. f*ck this game, and f*ck the reviewers for not telling me about these flaws. I want my 20 hours and innocence back!

2. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier - I don't think I've gotten so little out of a $60 purchase, ever. I played 5 multiplayer matches and two single player missions. There's just no hook.

3. Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Hoo, what a kick in the balls. I actually kind of liked FFXIII. So when I heard this one addressed many of the issues in the first game, I was anxious to try it. Apparently the issues that needed addressing were cohesion and solid character work. The game lacks any focus and devolves into a fan-fictionesque garble of nonsense almost from the word go. Christ, I hope Lightning Returns is better, but I wonder. Minarchist is right about this one.

4. MLB 12: The Show - I've heard for years and years that this is the best baseball game on the market, but the PSP versions were kinda poopy and I didn't own a PS3 so I couldn't play them. I got a Vita recently though, so I got this with it. Man, terrible. Terrible! The batting and pitching mechanics just couldn't be worse. All this has going for it are its looks.

5. Nexuiz - I always try shooters if I can, so I downloaded the trial on 360. Twice. Neither time did pressing start actually get me past the "press start" prompt. I hit that goddamned start button for like three minutes. What the fuuuck.

6. The Banner Saga (multiplayer beta) - So, I was hooked by the art style, the creators naming Final Fantasy Tactics as a major influence, the setting. I love the poster I got for pledging $50. I don't at all like what I've seen from the beta. Slow moving combat with no feeling of strategy or agency. Here's hoping the full single player release is better.

7. FTL - This game isn't bad, actually, it's just not for me. I'm not good enough with M+K input to play it effectively and I don't have the required mentality for the kind of game this actually is, where you're supposed to play it over and over. The troublesome part of that design, IMO, is that games like this, Civ, and XCOM require too much buy-in to each playthrough. A rhythm game, if sh*t goes wrong for one track, that's only 3-4 minutes. This one's dedicated to Q-stone

8. Crusader Kings II - I haven't actually played this game, but Tboon deserves some comeuppance for the picture he posted, plus all the PC master race business :P

Finally, and briefly: Games I Wish I Played (at all/more) from 2012.

Mark of the Ninja, Darksiders 2, ZombiU, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Doom 3: BFG Edition, Asura's Wrath, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Sleeping Dogs, Xenoblade Chronicles, Rhythm Heaven Fever

1. Mass Effect 3
2. XCOM
3. FIFA 13
4. Walking Dead
5. Civ V: Gods and Kings
6. Torchlight 2
7. Black Mesa (Half-Life Source Engine Mod)
8. FIFA 12

I'm conflicted with my list this year. There are a ton of great games that came out that I haven't gotten to yet, many of which I'm sure will be up in my top 10 when I get around to them. As it stands, here are my favs from the year:

1 - Mass Effect 3
2 - FTL
3 - Star Wars MMO (PC)
4 - X-Com (PC)
5 - Saints Row 3 (PC)
6 - Kingdoms of Amalur
7 - Rune Factory Frontier (old game for Wii)
8 - Torchlight 2
9 - Spec Ops the Line
10 - Warlock Masters of the Arcane

Games I had the most fun with - playing Mario Cart, Kinect Party, and Dance Central 3 with my 4 year old

Games I own that I just haven't gotten to yet - Witcher 2, Walking Dead, Orcs Must Die 2, Crusader Kings 2...need to make some time.