top games of 2012

I’ve been meaning to post this here for a while, but I’m SO busy and SO important I just couldn’t find the time. If you follow stuff I write over at Crunchyroll, 90% of this list won’t be news to you, but nevertheless I feel the need to deliver my top games of 2012 here while that year is still somewhat visible in the rearview mirror.

As a bonus, however, I’ve added a game! Yes, that’s right. I’m delivering an exclusive addition to my very own blog. It’s at the bottom of the list. It’s Journey. I spoiled it, sorry.

jaw

Asura’s Wrath- I normally don’t love QTE-heavy games, but CyberConnect2’s buck-rowdy, anime-structured actioner made even the simple act of spreading your arms more exciting than most games’ grandest set pieces. The fight on the Moon alone is worth the ever-dwindling price of admission.

jki

Kid Icarus: Uprising The design here was not considerate to the way the 3DS is set up. That said, it’s the best time I had with the portable, unfriendly controls and all, and the rousing music perfectly complements Pit’s grandiose adventure.

jwd

The Walking Dead- If I had to pick the most emotional, memorable experience of 2012, this would probably be it. The Walking Dead made me care about someone other than myself more than any game has before it, and it also made me second guess even the most seemingly inconsequential decisions. What a punch to the gut.

jlc

Lollipop Chainsaw- Probably Suda51’s most welcoming game, and thanks to the writing of James Gunn, Lollipop Chainsaw manages to subvert a few glaring gaming stereotypes in the midst of truly addictive action. Could have done without a few mini-games, though. Baseball, begone forever!

js

Spelunky- It’s so hard! It’s so fun! Spelunky still has me coming back trying to best my previous runs, and that’s the essence of classic gaming right there. Sure, this actually came out on PC years ago, but dig the Xbox Live Arcade version if it’s new to you.

jsd

Sleeping Dogs- A stunning trip through the seedy Hong Kong underbelly that out-GTAs GTA.

jddn

Double Dragon Neon- Didn’t click with me until I initiated couch bro-op with a true bro. Dude, this game is so damn fun! Hits all the right nostalgic notes, but what a lot of folks overlooked is the replayability and the fun of maxing out powers and crafting the best bone-breakin’ bro possible. Killer tunes, too!

jrc

Retro City Rampage- Some of the jokes don’t stick, and some of the missions don’t fit, but overall no one could have asked for a more thorough and exciting love letter to video games past.

jf

Fez- What I love about Fez is it felt imposingly mysterious from the very beginning. It’s 2013 now and I finished the main quest a long time ago, and it still feels imposingly mysterious.

journey-16

Journey – I didn’t include this on my original list because I hadn’t played it yet. While there are still a few games I need to check out from 2012, I can’t imagine any matching the emotional highs of thatgamecompany’s sublime exploration of life and death.

More incredibly timely best of 2012 madness to come, probably!

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