You may be puzzled as to why my list is much shorter than my fellow writers; in fact four games shorter. It is because during 2012 I’ve been playing catch up and working through my increasing backlog of games. While everyone was playing Borderlands 2 I had Borderlands 1 to play, while Lollipop Chainsaw cut up the industry I was indulging in No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise. The select few games on this list are all top notch and are available relatively cheaply due to being Indie titles or steam downloads. Listeners of the weekly PrimeCast can practically guess the no. 1 position #6-2 is fair game.
#6 On The Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 3
It was sad to see Hothead’s departure from the Penny Arcade franchise as the first two episodes were fun quirky RPGs with a battle system out of Mario RPG and a dark sense of humor from the minds of Gabe and Tycho. When Zeboyd (Breath of Fire VII, Cthulu Saves the World) picked up the IP I was ecstatic to continue the adventures of Startling Developments Detective Agency in 16 bits. What I got was an interesting battle system, some alright sprite work that reflected RPGs of old and a very confusing story. I can respect Holkins as a writer of jokes and wit but his stories are very very convoluted.
#5 Bar Oasis 2
I was alerted to Bar Oasis when the prequel/mini-episode Bar Oasis 1.5 was released for free onto iTunes. The game is like Cooking Mama mixed with the old school Root Beer Tapper with a splash of Phoenix Wright. The characters were charming and unique and mixing and pouring drinks was made immersive by the use of the iOS tilting mechanic. That free episode was enough for me to rush out to buy Bar Oasis 1 and when the winter sale came around I snatched up Bar Oasis 2. The sequel picks up straight after the mini episode and contains more of the drink mixing, customer serving and dialogue heavy gameplay as the prequel. I highly suggest trying Bar Oasis 1.5 to see if you’ll be a regular at Bar Oasis as I am.
#4 Thirty Flights of Loving
This game will take you 13 minutes to complete but will stay in your mind a lot longer. I’m still thinking about that damn game. Sequel to the indie cubecraft inspired assassin game Gravity Bone; Thirty Flights is more of the same but much more realised and expanded There isn’t much else I can say about this game apart from it doesn’t waste your time, it pays off by the bucket load and it makes me want to eat oranges.
#3 Counter Strike: Global Offensive
How can you improve upon the most popular mod in the world? Global Offensive’s answer is to streamline the process, integrate the gun game mod as an official game type, add ranked matches and most importantly keep the original modding accessibile to allow for more crazy game types and maps. It doesn’t conform to the more modern shooters like Call of Duty but sticks to it’s roots whilst upping the visuals and providing a more gradual learning curve for new players. Quick 2 minute rounds and smaller maps means that dead players won’t be out of the game too long and veteran’s will feel right at home with the familiar maps and guns.
#2 Hotline Miami
I felt like the Internet had gone psycho when they were gushing about this game. As an observer it looks like a gratuitous display of violence promoted by increasingly higher numbers, neon color scheme and a head bopping soundtrack. Getting a hold of the game on the winter steam sale and playing it for 5 minutes and I too turned into a neon gazed head bopping psycho. The mixture of a surreal storyline, arcade inspired UI and frequent call backs to Miami and the movie Drive, makes the game as equally interesting as it is addicting. If I could recommend any game on this list it would be Hotline Miami. One of the best games of 2012.
Fighting games have had a recent resurgence with Capcom just going crazy and releasing every old school fighter in their backlog in a vain attempt to claw back the fans. While nouveau fighters who didn’t grow up with these games can rejoice at the chance of re-living the games of yesteryear, they just don’t have the same WOW factor modern games have. Street Fighter began to feel too samey and Marvel vs. Capcom is too crazy for a normal person to even comprehend. This is where Skullgirls bursts in, riffing on an electric while her boobs flop about like two mounds of jelly. Finally something fresh and new in the fighting genre!
Yes it has 8 characters, yes there was supposed to be DLC and yes there are allegations of sexism. But Skullgirls is above all of that! The fighting system is fresh. It can be customized to your play style and the animation. OH THE ANIMATION! Hands down the most beautifully vibrant pixel art to grace my eyes. Skullgirls re-ignited my flames of passion for fighters which is why it claims my no. 1 spot for 2012.
Anthony is an Editor at Default Prime along with being the Manager and Engineer of their weekly podcast the Primecast. A Fighting Game fanatic, he could talk your ear off about Back to the Future, One Piece and Scott Pilgrim.
Currently he is a British bound Pharmacy Undergraduate.
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