Tagged: of 2012

Everything I played in Q4 2012

Is this desperation for new platforms to play on? Backlash to the mobile games I hate on my phone? Or was it just because Katy got a job? A little of each, I suspect, brought us to buy both the 3DS XL and the PlayStation Vita this quarter along with some other stuff. Here’s the gist of all the games I played in Q4:

The Nintendo 3DS XL
I’m still flying high on the free stuff, enjoying the daily shaking for Play Coins and StreetPassing with Katy. It’s a very Nintendo experience but one that’s got more tricks than just glasses-free 3D. I like the random surprise StreetPasses, the actual Friends list, the AR games and even the eShop. The damn Pokedex app is even drawing me towards my first Pok-experience.

Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy for 3DS
I love, love, love the art style and the gameplay/progression is fun but I had forgotten about the DLC situation. Fully experiencing the game would cost another $60 making the game I already paid for feel like a demo. It’s a bummer and makes me not even want to play.

Dishonored on Xbox 360
It’s been so many years since anything got this close to Thief that I’m willing to forgive Dishonored’s stealth shortcomings. Overall an enjoyable playground of situational exploitation with an alternate ending that’s well worth the trouble of replaying the game to see.

Tekken 3D Prime Edition for 3DS
I haven’t touched Tekken since Tekken 3 and with a brand new 3DS I happily jumped on this for the clearance price of $8. The 3D, CG movie is a hilarious bonus and though the game itself is missing the silly character endings there’s still loads of fighting to enjoy. Online multiplayer is a laggy mess but the Special Survival mode is perfect for bite-sized fits of pugilism.

Wreckateer for Kinect
It’s the Angry Birds for Kinect that you really wanted! The motion controls are surprisingly good here and the physics-driven destruction feels satisfying. Bonus points for nods to Giant Bomb in the dialog.

Intel Discovered for Kinect
This free FMV “game” is painful to watch and even more so to “play”.

The PlayStation Vita
A confluence of fortunate events led me to get an 8gb, 3G Vita for $180. It’s a shame there isn’t more support for the thing because it’s a pretty slick package of technology that almost magically interplays with the PS3.

Treasures of Montezuma Blitz free for PS Vita
It’s a clone of Bejeweled Blitz but it’s one of console gaming’s first free-to-play apps and damn fun regardless. It’s so captivating that I’m regularly seeing the colored jewels flipping back and forth in my sleep.

Reality Fighters for PS Vita
I got this on clearance and though it’s a pretty spammy, possibly unbalanced fighting game it packs plenty of neat AR tricks and fighting styles to be a good bit of fun.

Frobisher Says free for PS Vita
It’s WarioWare for the Vita and its wonderful Brithish-ness had me literally falling over with laughter. A great tech demo and a great game to play with a group.

Dynasty Warriors Next for PS Vita
Another clearance find, this streamlined DW makes for a fine handheld experience with short battles and touch screen/AR tomfoolery. Could be a good entry point into Dynasty Warriors as the console titles rarely show up cheap.

Pid on Xbox 360
Love the look (and especially the sound) but it’s a challenge to play and not just because it’s designed that way. Load times after every death add up and the control never feels suited to the precision the game requires to progress.

Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove for 3DS
I got this on sale (with a toy figurine) from Natsume and boy am I happy I waited for a discount. It’s terribly cute with its pastel halloween world and the animations are darling but there’s SO much talking and precious little rhythm gameplay. It’s slow going that I’ve only been able to handle in small doses.

Halo 4 on Xbox 360
A friend came to visit, took a nap and left me with a chance to play Halo 4. I haven’t touched the series since Halo 2 and I’m astonished by how little changed. The elaborately gargantuan production has boiled the personality out of the series leaving a shriveled, boring husk of sci-fi schlock.

Too Human on Xbox 360
I’m happy to own a piece of gaming history that Silicon Knights has been forced to erase. Controversy aside this game of techno-vikings could’ve been a fun loot-fest but the analog stick combat feels more like I’m pointing at enemies instead of deftly defeating them.

Hot Shots Golf World Invitational for PS Vita
A perfectly fun and competent game of golf. I only wish felt more like Mario Golf which is where I’ve spent most of my video golf time over the years. The Vita features are cute but inconsequential and thankfully don’t interfere with simply golfing and unlocking new clubs, balls, courses and play styles.

Quantum Conundrum on PlayStation 3
Back on PlayStation Plus as a birthday gift I was eager to jump into “that game by that one person who worked on Portal”. Sadly it’s just more test chambers only without the clever writing, atmosphere or likeable personality.

Sonic the Hedgehog on PlayStation 3
Another Plus freebie, I once again played Sonic’s debut adventure for trophies. As disruptive and hip as it may have been in its day the blue guy sure isn’t very fast looking back now. Most of the game is spent sussing out how not to die and slowly bypassing obstacles.

Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition on PlayStation 3
This is honestly the first Resident Evil game I’ve played since Code Veronica on Dreamcast. The series is still just as illogical and nonsensical. Usually I love bizarre Japanese design but since RE2 every entry has put me off. This one was no different.

Max Payne 3 on Xbox 360
A fantastic and fitting Max Payne game! Rockstar honors what Remedy created and takes it forward. Maybe a little too far forward as the game drags on to the point I could no longer believe in the reality the first half of the game establishes so well.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss for PS Vita
The game routinely impresses with visuals on par with its PS3 counterparts. It also has the not-quite-great combat of the other games too, made even harder by the Vita’s tiny thumbsticks and tinier heads to aim at. The Vita touches are novel and don’t pop up often enough to be annoying but I found the touch climbing to be super useful. The game does drag on for a while and the story/dialog is weaker than Naughty Dog’s but overall it was a fun and playable Uncharted on the go.

Spec Ops: The Line on Xbox 360
Mediocre shooter gameplay and some rough visuals are the only thing dogging this otherwise fantastic story of how far a man will go to justify his beliefs. Great writing, great performances and a twist I didn’t see coming that leads into several endings I didn’t expect either.

Hotline Miami on Steam
A fantastic, frantic and brutal top-down “puzzle slaying game” which I would love to play more of if it would ever load up on my PC again.

AKB1/149 Love Election Box: Powered by -Open Me- for PS Vita
I love the augmented reality puzzle boxes of ‘Open Me’ that I saw at E3. This isn’t nearly as clever but it does let you maneuver around a giant box covered in AKB members on a physical photo hunt. It was also free, don’t judge.

Spelunky on Xbox 360
The time finally came (thanks to Bing) to dive into the updated version of the PC classic I’d been playing throughout the year. I came around on the new art style and music and found the game even more addictive and hopelessly endless.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception on PlayStation 3
After finishing Golden Abyss on Vita I wanted to finally play Uncharted 3 despite warnings from friends online. What a mess, it’s the National Treasure of video games. How did this happen to Uncharted!?

Don’t Starve on Steam
Another roguelike, this one mashing up the terrors of life in Minecraft with the constant resource gathering and farming of Harvest Moon. It has become terrifyingly compelling as the beta continues to evolve and looks as if Tim Burton had drawn children’s books.

Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack for PS Vita
This pseudo sequel retains the charming 50’s aesthetic and the cheeky references but it also retains the focus on platforming mechanics which made the original game less than stellar. More Katamari “absorb everything” please, and less run-from-the-lasers precision jumping.

Bioshock 2 on PlayStation 3
I finally got into this one after Sony offered it up on PlayStation Plus. I wasn’t interested in a Big Daddy’s tale or a sequel to BioShock but the world of Rapture is still captivating and the exploration and combat satisfying. And that Sophia Lamb is one foxxy villain!

187 Ride or Die on Xbox
I made Katy play this “Mario Kart in tha Hood” and got hooked all over again. Poorly written early 2000’s gang slang accompanies moderately entertaining kart combat. It’s fun in small doses.

R-Type Command on PSP
I went back to my favorite hex-based strategy game late this year to archive it for the internet. Watch it here.

Kinect Party for Kinect
It’s another clever helping of Kinect tech demos but it’s largely lost the magic on the second go-round. About 2 minutes on each “game” and I was done. Eh, at least it was free.

Outlaw Golf: 9 (and More) Holes of X-Mas on Xbox
Another game I got back into after forcing Katy to play it for YouTube, this duo of Blockbuster exclusive holiday golf games are crass and not always clever but remain entertaining yuletide traditions. The second one is even supported on the 360!

Far Cry 3 on Xbox 360
A great early-game villain, a volatile tropical island and a strict adherence to the first-person perspective put Far Cry once again on its own level. I thought the story was fine, even daring in some spots but overall the experience has kinda dragged after the first 25 hours or so.

Retro City Rampage on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita
It truly is Grand Theft Auto for the NES and it’s chock full of smart 80’s cultural references. The cross-play on Vita is neat as well but after all these years of waiting the game just isn’t a whole lot of fun.

Art of Balance TOUCH! for 3DS
I like physics and I like balancing puzzles so when I finally got some 3DS gift cards I pushed past the crazy $7 price tag and jumped in. It’s another gorgeous Nintendo exclusive from Shin’en that’s fun and clever in small, portable doses.

Karaoke on Xbox 360
Happy to see Microsoft and iNiS keeping the Lips legacy alive, now in true pay-for-time karaoke booth fashion. The selection is much bigger than any karaoke experience before, it’s simple to use, SmartGlass works well, and it has an unlock path that could keep even me coming back to sing poorly again and again.

Of 2012: The Compliments of Bing Award

I have been shouting the praises of the Bing Rewards program pretty much all year. It replaced the horrid Club Bing which had you play word games to earn points to cash in towards really old Xbox games and kitchen appliances. Now all you have to do is sign into Bing with your Live account, do a few clicks each day and almost every month you’ll have 400 free Microsoft Points. It doesn’t sound like much but here’s everything that Bing has fully fronted the cost of in 2012:

Of 2012: The Games I Played the Most

I’m never quite sure how much faith to put in these stats. Who knows how much time I spent with these games on pause or idling behind a window full of work. But Raptr went to all the trouble to tabulate what it could so who am I to argue? Here’s my top five (err, six… no, make that seven) most played games of 2012:

  • Terraria (81)
  • Mass Effect 3 (78)
  • Fallout 3 (74)
  • Dishonored (55)
  • Trials Evolution (44)
  • Fez/Dust (20)

Early on I was putting a ton of time into Terraria at work. I made a lot of strides in the “2D Minecraft” and even started wiring up traps to guard my home, until my wrists utterly failed. Between replaying the end game to see out the multiple choices and logging an astonishing (for me) 26 hours in multiplayer, Mass Effect 3 came up second most played.

Another year, another old Fallout game. I didn’t even explore all of the DLC that came with the Game of the Year edition and I still spent 74 hours in the Capital Wasteland of Fallout 3. Some of the Achievements in Dishonored required multiple playthroughs but, for once, it was a task made much more fun thanks to the numerous ways each level can play out.

Earlier in the year I was also on the hunt for top times and Achievements in Trials Evolution. Perfecting the Gigatrack and completing courses without using the brakes were tough but also enlightening, showing me whole new ways to play the game. Rounding out the list are both Fez and Dust which each ate up to about 20 hours for very different reasons.

Everything I played in Q3 2012

Summer continued much like the Spring with lots of cheap downloads, more PlayStation Plus titles and a return to some old games I’d forgotten I even owned. Here’s the rundown of just about everything I played in Q3:

Haunt for Kinect
Microsoft added another square of advertising to the Xbox Dashboard and gave away Haunt for free just for clicking it. It’s awkward to walk in place to move around but lends itself well for spooky moments. I found myself slowly creeping down a hall in search of a mysterious phone. It’s a virtual haunted house carnival ride for kids is about the best I can say.

SimCity Social on Facebook
Excited for the legitimate SimCity sequel, I fell into Social’s Facebook game like many others. If it weren’t utterly torn apart to be sold back to you it could’ve been fun. Like any other social game it requires you to pay or bug everyone you know to play.

Renegade Ops on PlayStation 3
As much as I love the intricate details and destruction I really can’t stand playing this bombastic isometric twin-stick shooter. I knew that much going in but it was offered up to PS Plus members and I hoped the full game might be more fun… it wasn’t.

Trine 2 on Xbox 360
The entire game is dazzling to watch but only the first few hours are any fun. Too many unrefined mechanics get thrown in and bog things down.

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX on PlayStation 3
I already played the hell out of this on Xbox last year but was more than happy to tear it up when it showed up on PS Plus. A great combination of new and old arcade designs.

Kinect Disneyland Adventures for Kinect
Katy liked this when we rented it so I made it part of her birthday surprise. It was allegedly part of the PlayFit app on Xbox that tracks physical activity across Kinect games. It never did, and so I stopped awkwardly running around Disneyland embodied by a 9 year-old.

Free Kinect junk for Points and Props
Because they can’t honestly charge people for Kinect games anymore, Microsoft trotted out new adver-games. Stride’s Micro Lab Challenge had some neat object scanning and end-game dance videos and NASA’s Mars Rover Landing looked absolutely stunning while being an incredible pain in the ass to play well.

Spy Fiction on PlayStation 2
After having bought two copies of Swery’s directorial debut over the years I finally loaded it up. It’s a shameless crib of everything Metal Gear Solid with Swery’s charming brand of madness woven throughout.

Toki Tori on Steam
I bought this for super cheap during Steam’s summer sale because my computer can’t run anything but pedestrian 2D platform/puzzlers anymore.

The Binding of Isaac: Wrath of the Lamb on Steam
This was also super cheap during Steam’s summer sale and the first time I’d really got into Isaac. Something clicked this year and I finally came to appreciate the roguelike.

Wizorb on Steam
No matter what you do to Breakout it’s still Breakout and it still only works best when quarters are on the line. Love the art style and concept but I came to hate playing it.

Runabout 2 on PlayStation
News of a 3DS sequel led me back to the original and finally to Runabout 2 that I’ve had for years. It continues the tradition of bizarre, branching path, time-critical, action racing that only the Japanese can deliver.

Just Cause 2 on PlayStation 3
Another PS Plus bonus, I had already played some of this on Xbox and loved it. I dicked around on PS3, blowing up more stuff and raising chaos but needed the hard drive space and time for other games.

Spelunky free on PC
I couldn’t justify the $15 for the Xbox version and I love the pixel style of the original more anyways so I dove in at home and at work. It’s brutal, one-life-to-live, roguelike platforming that keeps me blissfully on edge.

a return to Eternal Darkness on GameCube
Katy and I watched a documentary about H.P. Lovecraft and it moved me to go back to Eternal Darkness. Yup, it’s still great, spooky and trippy fun that gets way too easy once you get the tome.

Kyuiin on PlayStation
I won a free Japanese PS1 game from Raptr, this one being a 2D sidescrolling shooter with kids who get sucked into a nightmare world and fly around on vacuum cleaners.

The Walking Dead 1 and 2 on PlayStation 3
The game lives up to its source and that’s both good and bad. The tension and characters are good but all your choices always boil down to the worst possible situations. I wound up not caring what I did because it’s Walking Dead and nothing ever goes well. Only played because PS Plus gave ‘em to me.

A World of Keflings and Avatar Famestar on Xbox 360
Microsoft rolled out their meta-meta achievement system, Avatar Famestar, so I checked it out on the only game we already owned. It adds weekly incentive to revisit old games and rewards you with more Avatar gear but didn’t drive me to stick with it.

Outland on PlayStation 3
I was always interested in the “Ikaruga as a platformer” concept and thanks to PS Plus I got to dig into it. It looks gorgeous and plays well but I just wasn’t in the mood to see it through.

Bloodrayne: Betrayal on PlayStation 3
I love Wayforward’s art design but hate the way their games control. While I was willing to give Bloodrayne a second chance through PS Plus I was more than happy to immediately delete it again.

Dust: An Elysian Tail on Xbox 360
The only good thing about Summer of Arcade was this wonderful little MetroidVania adventure with gorgeous art, a slick combat system (if a little repetitive), and a story to tell.

New Xbox 360 Dashboard Beta
I was so desperate for improvements to the Xbox Dashboard that I signed up for early access to the Fall update. Sadly it didn’t do much to address the sea of ads and managed to introduce even more sleaze. Pins are handy and Internet Explorer is functional but loading data is still a time wasting chore and Kinect continues to pick up unwarranted voice commands. This is the year that I officially turned against the Xbox 360.

glorious Road Rash and ESPN eXtreme Games on PlayStation
Messing around with live streams and capture hardware I spent a few days with these games and they’re both still excellent, fast, crunchy old arcade brawling racers.

Hono Bono Sangokushi Beta on PC
Of course the first MMO I really like would be in Japanese! An adorable, colorful spin on the Three Kingdoms with turn-based battles, recruitable teammates and its own FarmVille-esque social game built in. I really wanted to stick with it but not being able to read any of the text eventually drove me away.

Domino Rally on Wii
I was always interested in this game as a spiritual successor to Mr. Domino and when I found it on clearance, I bit. Sadly it is a shallow, linear game with little connection even to dominos themselves. Some really crazy stuff unlocks but getting to it requires slogging through a pretty boring game.

deBlob 2 on PlayStation 3
Another clearance find, this game bursts to life in colorful graphics and sound but it’s so hand-holdy that I gave up less than halfway through. Buy this for kids and watch them play it instead.

Pinball FX2 Vengeance & Virtue pack on Xbox 360
I played Pinball FX2 throughout the year but picked up this excellent pack of tables on sale. Moon Knight and Ghost Rider are both excellent, intricate tables with a lot of stuff to see and do.

Double Dragon Neon on PlayStation 3
My love/hate relationship with Wayforward continues as the style of Neon cracked me up but the actual playing was slow and boring. Their emphasis on animation priority in action games is always a bummer.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game on PlayStation 3
This was my last “freebie” on PS Plus and a game I’d played a ton of on Xbox already. It’s still a great, brutal 2D beat-em-up with beautiful art and music.

Mark of the Ninja on Xbox 360
Every bit of Tenchu or Splinter Cell done in 2D. I’m not crazy about the art style but the animations are satisfying and there’s always multiple ways to approach each encounter.

DropTowerDefenseR free online
I had my fill of tower defense with the original. Everything since has been a bore but I’ve come to like a few unique variations like this side-on 2D take. I found it on Pinterest of all places and got hooked on it for about a week.

FTL: Faster Than Light on Steam
The harrowing survival of a roguelike meets TWO kinds of space sim as you try to keep your crew and ship alive while constantly outrunning an armada. Despite its simplistic look it’s an incredibly tense game of strategy, skill… and luck.

Puzzle Arcade on Xbox 360
Katy has played more than me but for a digital jigsaw puzzle game it’s surprisingly captivating.

Dustforce on Steam
I finally got to play Dustforce thanks to a Humble Bundle and found out that even with a controller I just don’t like the way it feels. Great soundtrack though!

Tokyo Jungle on PlayStation 3
Not at all the game I was hoping for, it took a while to grasp its strict rules and roguelike tendencies to randomly punish you but I finally came around to enjoy it.

Of 2012: Weird Japanese DLC that isn’t from Capcom

Here’s a few quick and highly specific categories that have nothing to do with one another. I asked for award suggestions online but only Mr. GamerParent himself responded. I’m also happy to report I spent very little on DLC this year, most of which was on sale. And finally, look at all the weird Japanese stuff I played! Most of it wasn’t released in 2012 but it was almost all new-to-me and wonderfully atypical.

Best Capcom game that isn’t Monster Hunter

  • Dragon’s Dogma

DLC I actually paid for

  • Binding of Isaac: Wrath of the Lamb on sale
  • Pinbal FX Vengeance & Virtue pack on sale
  • Rhythm Party Song Pack No. 5
  • Trials Evolution: Origin of Pain on sale

Honorary Japanese Weirdness Award

  • AKB1/149 Love Election Box: Powered by -Open Me- (2012)
  • Tokyo Jungle (2012)
  • Hono Bono Sangokushi (2012)
  • Tekken 3D Prime Edition (2012)
  • Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy (2012)
  • Dynasty Warriors Next (2012)
  • Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove
  • Dinosaur Hunting
  • DropTower DefenseR
  • 3DS AR Games
  • Runabout 2
  • Spy Fiction
  • Hard Corps Uprising
  • Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce
  • Leedmees
  • Kung Fu Rider
  • Kyuiin