Welcome to my 2012 top five games list! It was particularly tough going to pick my five favourite games this year due to the high density of quality titles. Not the fact that I’ve only played five new games this year… at least they were all fantastic! It would be a pretty embarrassing top five if I had chosen to buy Hitman Absolution and Resident Evil 6 over some of these sparking discs of delight.
5. New Super Mario Bros. U – Wii U (30th November 2012)
Write Up: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/new-super-mario-bros-u/
New Super Mario Bros. U jumps in at number five and saved me from trying to force an art application (Colors! 3D) into the mix. Though even if I’d played one hundred games this year, New Super Mario Bros. U would probably still be hanging high thanks to the excellent level design which keeps the formula of collecting coins and jumping on Goombas feeling fresh. No empty corridors, constant barrages of cutscenes, and hand holding is an option for those who eat spikes too often, rather than for everyone. The limited Wii U gamepad uses and clinical art style stop it from being Ultimate Mario, but Super Mario is good enough for an end of year top five.
4. Sine Mora – Xbox Live Arcade, PSN (21st March 2012)
Write Up: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/sine-mora/
Sine Mora is a bullet hell shooter which has you dodging bullets without delay. Time is running out and the only way to survive is to kill. The novel approach to the shmup genre makes it feel fresh, and the stunning visual design and trance soundtrack immerses you into a world of politics, time travel, sex and betrayal. It never really makes much sense, but it manages to be gripping, haunting and above all else; fun. Even when the furry animal pilots are so miserable.
3. Beat The Beat Rhythm Paradise– Wii (6th July 2012)
Write Up: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/beat-the-beat-rhythm-paradise/
At number three is Beat The Beat, a two button game which has you marching birds, interviewing wrestlers and playing badminton in the sky with a dog and cat in planes. The magic is done by tapping to the beat, you can play it without the use of eyes! But when you see the bright explosions of colour bursting out on screen thanks to your actions, you’ll see it all flashing under your eyelids for weeks. And make the world outside too dull to bear. Donk Donk, Donk Donk, Donk aaaaa Donk Donk! Sorry, the beats still slip out sometimes.
2. Nintendo Land – Wii U (30th November 2012)
Write Up: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/nintendo-land/
At number 2 is the ultimate virtual amusement park, a much more pleasant venture than Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure Gamecube (It must be illegal to have this much fun). Here players partake in twelve Nintendo themed attractions and see how remarkable the tablet like Wii U controller is. Sneaking around as a ghost on the game screen while the TV players try to find you, piloting a ship with gyro controls while TV users battle it out as Bounty Hunters and use two different view points to pilot a ship around a course are just a few of the exciting gameplay variations on offer. Asymmetrical gameplay is the future for multiplayer gaming and 5 player is the new 4 player. Even a solo attendee will find fun as they tilt through crash courses, snipe with a bow and draw lines to eat fruit. Last one works better in action than in conception. Really.
1. Lollipop Chainsaw – Xbox 360, Playstation 3 (15th June 2012)
Write Up: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/lollipop-chainsaw/
And my number one game of the year is Lollipop Chainsaw, and not because I’m a pervert! This zombie slice em up is awesome fun, never taking itself too seriously and stuffing itself full of gaming goodness. Giant coins, special move meters and zombie bashing combos take us back to the early 90’s, but its a formula which is provides great giddiness when you lop off seven zombies heads in a row to be created by rainbows and sparkles. It isn’t gross at all!
With a witty story (director James Gunn takes control here and works his mad magic), mental characters (Nick the severed head boyfriend is one of the more normal characters on offer) and eclectic soundtrack (where else would you find The Human League and Children Of Bodom together?) this is a game which will bring a lot of memories. No way could I ever forget the part where you mow down zombies on a combine harvester to the Meat Spin song while drugged up on shrooms. It just isn’t going to happen.
And so there you have it. While I only played five games this year, they are five games packed full of imagination, style and fun that has got me back into my insomniac gaming ways. Maybe next year I’ll play ten new games…