It’s hard to believe that 2012 has come to an end, but what a great year it has been. Each year the offerings on the PlayStation Network just seem to get better and better and because of that it probably took me just as long to narrow down this list as to write it up. Leaving some of my favorites off was an incredibly hard thing to do, but after much deliberation here are my PSN Games of the Year (and a few honorable mentions to boot) in no particular order:
This was one of the games that I was anticipating the most since its announcement in 2011. As much as a music game as it is a platformer, Sound Shapes combines the two to create something unique to the senses and equally as enjoyable.
Having collaborations between some amazing artists and musicians led to awesome looking and sounding levels, with the Cities album by Beck being one of my favorite gaming moments this year. While my creative skills are pretty much non-existent it’s always surprising to see what kind of creations the community can make, that at times rival and maybe even surpass what can be found in the game.
Rock Band Blitz
Since 2007 I have been addicted to all things Rock Band buying every release and spending embarrassing, awesome amounts of money on DLC. Taking the familiar feel of the Rock Band titles and adding an arcade twist got me excited to play when it was first announced and that excitement was fully justified.
Sporting a great soundtrack, fun arcade mechanics and powerups, and neat social features with Rock Band World that actually had me booting up Facebook to use, Rock Band Blitz became an obsession when it was released. Going back and forth on Score Wars with Nick and some others proved to be a blast and the new in game goals to accomplish each week made it very easy to jump back in.
Retro City Rampage
I think it would be very interesting to get a total count on how many references/parodies I experienced in my play through of Retro City Rampage. Everything from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman, to Mario and Grand Theft Auto and everything in between (including plenty of Canadian references with PJ Fresh Phil, Video & Arcade Top 10, and Degrassi) constantly brought a smile to my face.
Even the graphical style and chiptune soundtrack are throwbacks to great games of the past. The game squeezes so much content in that I found it very hard not to be entertained while playing and its one of the few games this year that I actually spent enough time with to get the elusive 100% in.
While there may be problems with the Mini’s platform in general, the right developers can do some amazing things. Futurlab is one of those developers. They took the standard idea of the SHMUP, added interesting teleportation mechanics, and refined the controls to play perfectly.
The amount of content in this game rivals some of the bigger PSN releases this year and is simply one of the best Mini’s titles available; routinely taking my focus from the newest and brightest games I got on my Vita. With a native Vita version in the works for 2013, don’t be too surprised if Velocity makes an appearance on my list next year.
While I couldn’t even try to count the amount of hours I have played local multiplayer games growing up, I didn’t really switch over to online multiplayer this generation. So when Awesomenauts was released I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed it. Constantly while I was playing I would experience the “one more match” syndrome (especially if I lost) that had me staying up way into the morning at times and was the first multiplayer game that I actually hit the level cap, decided to prestige, and went right back in.
The 3 on 3 action is very enjoyable and it was fun to come up with strategies to take on the opposite team. The game also supports an awesome (for the lack of a better word) soundtrack that constantly gets stuck in your head. It’s just unfortunate that the PSN update shenanigans means the game is not getting patched as often as the PC version.
The Walking Dead
Telltale games have taken The Walking Dead IP and done something pretty amazing with it and the adventure genre in general. The only reason this isn’t in the list above is that I have shamefully only played the first episode so far…
Another amazing title from thatgamecompany which offers an incredible experience. The sense of loneliness and the fact that not a single word is said throughout the game just adds to the atmosphere and the way multiplayer is handled is incredibly innovative for a console game.
While this might be an odd choice on a GOTY post, I feel like I have to mention Treasure Park as it has been quite an addiction since its release. Very few days have passed since its release where I haven’t started it up at least once to solve and send a few puzzles.
Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack
One of the best (and cheapest) games at the Vita launch, Mutant Blobs Attack offers a great platforming experience with plenty of chuckles. The mild use of the Vita’s tilt and touch functionality fits well and the way the game ended was just the icing on the cake.