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Friday, February 15, 2013

Yearly Gaming Analysis: 2012

2012 was a year of pleasant surprises. Who knew that I would actually get into iOS gaming via my iPad 2 only to discover the plethora of incredible games available for the platform? I would never have guessed that the PlayStation Vita would become a part of my Game Library but it did happen. The spouse and I could never agree on expanding the family until we welcomed Yoshi into our lives and that decision was definitely the most important and life-changing one made last year that truly enhances my existence outside of gaming.

There was that one constant gaming force that never seem to run out fuel after all these years by the name of League of Legends for the Personal Computer. As you will see later in this report, it was the most played game of 2012 and was pretty much light years ahead of the other titles in my Game Library in terms of play frequency. Though it's obvious that my love for this game knows no limit, I will choose a different game to highlight as my favorite PC game for 2012. But if you are one of those individuals who have not played this game, you are really missing out. Sign up for your free summoner profile by clicking here and start playing the game. The best thing about LoL? It is 100% free to play. The fact that LoL is the most played title across all platforms over the past 3 years for me should tell you how incredible this game truly is.

This analysis will include all games that were inducted in 2012, even if the games were released prior to that year. The brackets shown in the number counts signify the difference between 2011 and 2012. I hope you will find this report informative and an entertaining read.


---HANDHELDS---

iPAD
Total Year Inductions: 78 (+78)

NINTENDO DS
Total Year Inductions: 9 (+6)

NINTENDO 3DS
Total Year Inductions: 9 (+6)

PLAYSTATION PORTABLE
Total Year Inductions: 4 (+3)

PLAYSTATION VITA:
Total Year Inductions: 6 (+6)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Super Stardust Delta
Developer: Housemarque
Induction Date: 11/03/2012

A game the makes that low resolution OLED screen look good.

The funny thing about this is that an iOS game would have taken that honor if I didn't have the Vita. It's quite obvious that 2012 was the least exciting year when it comes to the handhelds. Still, that doesn't mean that Super Stardust Delta got picked by default because it certainly very deserving of its prominence. Super Stardust on the PlayStation 3 is still the best digital download game for the system and this sequel builds upon the same addictive meteor-busting mechanics with better graphics, a more balanced weapon system, and even nastier end planet bosses. The only thing bewildering about it is the fact that it should have been released on the PS3 itself already.

Disappointment of the Year:

I wished that there were more great games that I could pick up for my Vita, that's for sure. Things are getting a little scary for the ironically named handheld and I sense an impending doom. Oh well, at least I will be able to play plenty of PlayStation Portable games on it.


---WII BRAND---

NINTENDO WII
Total Year Inductions: 12 (+9)

WII U
Total Year Induction: 1 (+1)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Fortune Street
Induction Date: 10/13/2012

Things are happy and prosperous... to the winner that is!

Wii games didn't get much playtime last year but the most memorable one out of the bunch was indeed Fortune Street. It's a Monopoly-inspired board game featuring Nintendo and Square Enix characters. Of course it's not even close to Culdcept quality but it was the only Wii game I got last year that actually accrued some actual play time. Many would argue that The Last Story and Xenoblade Chronicles really spiced up 2012 for the console but I didn't find the time to invest in them since they both couldn't grab on to me like this game did.

Disappointment of the Year:

The official death of the Nintendo Wii. Technology doesn't make the game: It's all about creativity. I have several great examples of this. First, Shadow of the Colossus on the PlayStation 2. The PS2 had no business running a game that ambitious but it did. I didn't see any technical shortcomings. I only saw the bravery of those involved in creating that game and the artistic beauty that came out of it. Second, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It still remains as the best looking game Nintendo has ever made thus far and it was a Nintendo GameCube game! Nothing on the Wii looked that good, not even The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword! Lastly, the Wii U. Yeah, the Wii U is more powerful than the Wii, we all know that, and from all that crazy tech that we got they made... New Super Mario Bros. U? Even Nintendo Land doesn't look all that impressive. The same goes with all the third party releases.


---PERSONAL COMPUTER---
Total Year Inductions: 254 (+131)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Diablo III
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Induction Date: 05/15/2012

Now with PVP.

The hate surrounding this game is rather monumental but I personally do not have a problem with Diablo III. It's certainly not perfect but it doesn't have to be for it to be fun. Of course it helps that the game is the best looking action role playing dungeon crawler to date - it makes Torchlight II looked like something made 10 years ago - but the distinct classes with their awesome skills and abilities encouraged me to play trhough the game over and over again. The auction house is a cool addition to the game but to me, nothing beats actually finding those rare drops myself even if it means that it may take me like... forever perhaps? Still, I did spend a lot of in-game gold to purchase those armor dyes from the AH however... Got to keep my characters color-coordinated.

Disappointment of the Year:
Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit
Developer: Arkedo
Induction Date: 10/29/2012

The early screenshots and video footage of this game looked zany, crazy, fast-paced, insane, and perhaps even potentially brilliant. The premise... So deliciously evil! The bunny prince of hell, Ash, got his scandalous, embarrassing secret exposed to 100 denizens of hell so you get to control him exacting revenge upon those poor souls. The random, stylish violence that Ash enacts upon his targets are often time nonsensical but they are always pretty darn funny. Unfortunately, that is the only fun thing about this game. Running around the 2D levels gets boring very fast because there's little to do besides trying to get to the next target to kill. Since not all of them feature epic battle to the death unlike something like say Shadow of the Colossus where each encounter is majestic, the sense of real accomplishment is not really there. It's a shame because I really do want to love this game because of its silly sense of humor and tasty high definition 2D graphics but how could I when the simplicity put me to sleep every time I attempted to continue playing the game.


---THE PLAYSTATION BRAND---

PLAYSTATION 2
Total Year Inductions: 3 (+1)

PLAYSTATION 3
Total Year Inductions: 36 (-9)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Induction Date: 12/05/2012

We need more guardians... A lot more!

A multiplayer online battle arena on a console you say and it's actually playable? Yes, this game is a miracle for sure though I really do think it could have been a lot better than what we are presented with. To get the most enjoyment out of this game however you do have to make sure that you play against the bots, whether alone or with other players, to unlock all the characters as well as the advanced items to equip them with so that you will be competitive once you actually play against other players. I tried the matchmaking game a couple of times and it was obvious that this game would match you with anyone available even if they are of higher rank so save the annoyance and frustration and just enjoy the game until you are ready for that. GoMe is a significant console release because it proves that MOBA is possible on the console. The next console MOBA developer should remember one thing though: add keyboard and mouse support to help with the game's overall design and playability. Just because it's on the console, it doesn't mean we can't have mouse and keyboard support when it's appropriate. It's like saying PC games shouldn't use game controllers for games that would play better using them and I will always mark the person who says such a thing as mentally-challenged or in other word, an idiot.

Disappointment of the Year:

Actually, 2012 was a good year for the PS3 so I don't have anything negative to say about the console. I actually love how the PS3 got a lot of light gun shooting games like The House of the Dead and Resident Evil Chronicles series last year thanks to the Move controller and I surely hope that we get to see more of them before this awesome console gets abandoned by Sony. I really think that the PS3 could last another 5 years or even another 10. Well, the possibility that 2012 may be one of the final years of the PS3 is actually rather disappointing.


---X-BOX 360---
Total Year Inductions: 14 (+1)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Eschatos
Developer: Qute Corporation
Induction Date: 11/05/2012

A Wonder Price for something quite wonderful.

Year after year after year after year, the 360 is only made significant in my gaming life thanks to the help of Japanese shoot-'em-ups. If the developers of these fine games could just tell me that they will start making their games available cross-platform, well, I can then just eliminate the possibility of ever owning the next gaming console from Microsoft. While a game like Sine Mora offers a prominent technological leap as well as an unusually high production value for the genre, Eschatos is easily the superior game thanks to its faster yet somewhat offbeat pace. The weird camera angles and those crazy UFOs help in giving the game a more distinctive flavor as well. Eschatos is an exciting deviation from your usual Cave affair, that's for sure.

Disappointment of the Year:

While the PS3 had a pretty interesting 2012, things were somewhat uneventful on the 360. I do find it very disappointing that Microsoft still hasn't abolish that requirement of paying money to access online multiplayer. It's a disgusting, outdated practice. If only there were enough LIVE Gold subscribers out there who would stop their subscriptions cold turkey like I did two years ago. That would be the only way to force Microsoft to change their filthy ways...


---INTERESTING TIDBITS---

MOST PLAYED GAMES OF THE YEAR:
Games that have been played for 10 days or more within the year:

Diablo III did put up a good fight but it was still no match for LoL.

TOTAL NUMBER OF GAMES PLAYED: 437 (+123)
15.4% of the entire Game Library as of 02/15/2013

TOTAL NUMBER OF GAMES INDUCTED: 426 (+233)
15% of the entire Game Library as of 02/15/2013





HOLD ON TIGHT TO YOUR PC THIS YEAR AND HAPPY GAMING!

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