Nick’s 2012 Games of the Year Picks
Each of us might be looking back at the games we’ve played in 2012 and seeing unique trends. My five picks for Game of the Year are clearly a demonstration of what types of games I enjoy the most. You must first remember that since this is PSNStores, the games I’m going to tell you about are available ONLY on the PlayStation Network and not in brick and mortar stores.
Pinball Arcade – PSN/Vita
The Pinball Arcade is the most played game on my Vita. And the fact that it was one of the first #YOPO games (one price for both PS3 and Vita) means that I can enjoy it with friends and family on the big screen anytime I want. Sharing some of my high scores with friends has made for some pretty competitive stints.
While I’ve enjoyed my time with Zen Studios’ Zen Pinball 2 and its superior leaderboards, the digitally remade tables from my parent’s time are inspiring to me. I can appreciate the time and skill it took to make these tables without the use of computers.
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The Walking Dead – PSN
Simply put, this is the best offering to come from TellTale Games and a true testament to what they’ve learned from making their past titles: Jurassic Park and Back to the Future. There is no challenge to playing The Walking Dead, instead its an experience. Much like watching the show or reading the graphic novels, you must put yourself in the shoes of the characters you encounter and their lives are quite literally placed in your hands.
The most fascinating part of this game is making the decision to kill a character you may have become attached to in some way. The hardest part is realizing that some short term and some long term relationships will end.
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Retro City Rampage – PS3/Vita
Brian Provinciano is now as common a name to me as Jonathon Mak. Both are the creators of spectacular games meant for bite sized consumption. Retro City Rampage is another romp through nostalgialand that I needed. The only type of gamers that wouldn’t enjoy RCR would have to be anyone that doesn’t enjoy a Grand Theft Auto clone and people who hate games that look old.
I’ve read a few interesting stories where the writer was enjoying the game but a younger family member didn’t understand what he was watching being played. He couldn’t understand why this old looking game with completely unfamiliar retro references would merit a huge grin from the one holding the controller.
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Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD – Vita
The last time I played Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath was on the original Xbox with that fat controller and those oddly useful tiny black and white buttons by my right thumb. It was and still is an amazing game for the sheer fact that it is an awesome 1st person and 3rd person shooter. The entire game can be played from either viewpoint, but your individual play style and use of the strategic benefits of both contribute toward your overall experience with the game.
Your experience will be different than mine and everyone else’s. Where 1st person is tight and commanding, the 3rd person view is loose and free-roaming. You can plan your strategy while hiding in brush or behind a rock in 3rd person, and execute that plan with the precision of 1st person. Awesome HD graphics, unique use of creatures as ammo, odd inhabitants, and a pretty good story makes this one of my top five for GotY.
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Rock Band Blitz – PSN
This game gave me a new reason to redownload all my previously purchased Rock Band tracks. It also reminded me of Amplitude and Frequency just enough to make me whip out the old games and pop them into my PS2 for nostalgic purposes. Blitz didn’t reinvent the wheel with its gameplay in anyway, but it did show how smooth Rock Band could roll with a shiny new set of wheels though.
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So those were my Game of the Year picks for 2012. Could you tell what sort of gamer I am when it comes to my downloadable games on PSN? Do you agree or disagree with my picks? What would be some of yours? Lastly, have a safe Happy New Year and I’ll see you in 2013!