Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to the “Cary’s Best Video Games of the Year 2012 SO FAR Awards Show!” I’m your host for this ceremony, with guest stars like Cammy, Pac-Man, Maya the ghost, Tepig, Tails, Pascal, Asha, and Taki (well, not really, but every awards show needs celebrity guests). Can you believe the year is already half over? At this time of year, I like to honor the best games that have been released in the first half of the year. Why? Well, the best games usually tend to be released during the second part of the year, due to the holiday season and all. So the games released during the first six months sometimes tend to be forgotten. So this is their chance to shine. Now, keep in mind that this is MY list only. No other outside opinions contributed. And since I’m only one person, I can’t play ALL the games out there, so some of your favorites might have been missed. So without further ado, here’s my awards show!
BEST FIGHTING GAME
“Now wait a minute,” you might exclaim. “How can you name this the best when Capcom went way too crazy and greedy with the DLC?” Well, first and foremost, there IS a better fighter that came out this year, BUT it’s getting an even BETTER award. So this one gets it by default. If you can get past all the crap Capcom pulled (which admittedly, is hard to do), the game is still pretty fun, especially if you like Super SF4. But really, the only reason why I liked it was because it had Pac-Man and Cammy in it.
It’s just a gimmicky game that uses the AR function of the 3DS. But I like gimmicky stuff and I like ghosts, so that’s why this one wins. Plus, I’ve always wanted to try a Fatal Frame game, and now I got the chance to, even if it really is just a spinoff.
Even though the game is just Final Fantasy Tactics with Pokemon in it, you have to admit that Nobunaga’s Ambition mixed with Pokemon is the weirdest cross-over game ever!
This music and rhythm game was done by the same folks who did WarioWare, so it’s just naturally weird. I don’t think I need to say any more than that. I can’t wait for the Final Fantasy 3DS music game coming soon!
BEST 3-D ADVENTURE
Yeah there really weren’t a whole lot of good 3-D adventures for me in the first half of the year. I’m sure a better one will get the award at the end of the year. Plus, I couldn’t decide whether to give this award to the PokePark 2 game or LEGO Batman 2. But it really boiled down to the fact that I’m more familiar with Pokemon than DC comic characters, plus the PokePark game felt more polished.
But this game is a fine choice, too. Especially if you like superheroes and have kids around. It’s too bad that travelling around Gotham City wasn’t easier, and the way you save wasn’t so wonky.
BEST 2-D ADVENTURE
Not a lot of good 2-D games in the first half of the year either, but I know there’ll be better ones in the second half. Sonic 4: Episode 2 is still a decent 2-D platformer, though. I do like the team moves with Tails, and just the fact that Tails is back in general. I also thought it was neat how the roller coaster level played a small little lick from the Twinkle Park song. I still agree with how SEGA has handled their episodic content, releasing it a year and a half after the first one. Only company I know that has gotten episodic gaming right is TellTale.
At first I just adored this game. I loved the 8-bit styled graphics, leisurely styled puzzle exploration, and Super Paper Mario/Crush-like gameplay. But then you got to the part of the game where the only way to win was to decipher cryptic messages on the walls that no one would be able to solve without a guide. Some of the walls even had QR codes. Yeah, I don’t want to have to own a smartphone to play this game. So it got taken down a notch or two in my awards show.
I love action RPGs, and the Tales series have some of my favorites. Graces was a lot of fun, and I think I even almost made it to the end before getting distracted by something else. And that’s always a good thing.
You know, this series is known for its suggestive themes, but I didn’t think they were THAT bad. It was more campy than suggestive, really. The game itself still has a fun sense of humor regarding making fun of game consoles, companies, and characters. And I guess I should also give a shout out to that Atelier Meruru game I reviewed, too, as it was fairly decent as well.
BEST ARCADE COLLECTION/REMAKE
Even though I reviewed it on PSN, the 360 version of Monster World IV is a better deal because it comes with two other Monster World games. But MW4 is worth it on its own. This lost Genesis game mixes 2-D platforming with Zelda style puzzles and exploration. If you enjoy games like Shantae, you’ll really want to download this. Still not sure? Just read my glowing review. I don’t know why 16-bit adventures captivate me so, but they do!
Not really an arcade collection, but it was nice to finally have this on a home console. And they added a few unexpected surprises, like the Japanese version of the game, so it was a nice treat.
It’s just a collection of Capcom’s downloadable titles. But it DOES have Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix on it, so that was nice.
GAME OF THE YEAR SO FAR
And now it’s time to announce my Game of the Year 2012 SO FAR. Taiko drum roll please…
See? I told you a better fighter than Street Fighter X Tekken would get an even better award. Even though I didn’t like the characters and single player modes as much as in SC4, the character creation mode was improved, and that’s one of my favorite parts. I spent a lot of time creating my own characters, and I bet later on I’ll come back and make more! As a novice with fighting games, I appreciate Soul Calibur’s more simplistic controls (but experts can master them, too). And as always, it looks great. If any of you have the 360 version, we should play online and I can show you some of the characters that I’ve made!
And that’s the end of my awards show! Would you watch my show if it were really on TV? What do you think of my choices? What were your favorite games in the first half of 2012? Let me know all this in the comments section. Later! –Cary