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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Well, LOOK AT THAT. ANOTHER TOP 5 LIST. Or, let's talk about the top five games of the year...

WHOO! So 2012 has come and gone, and the year has been quite profitable. At least for Nintendo, because I've bought a whole lot of games. I played a lot! I'm not going to lie. And now I'd just liek to run through my top 5 of the year.

This is, again, based on the games I played this year, so it's a bit skewed just because of the platforms I own. Apologies, but this should be a bit evident given most of the things I talk about.

So, let's start the countdown, eh?

#5: Nintendo Land (For the Nintendo Wii U)
Maybe it's just because I spent literally an entire DAY playing the multiplayer for this game, but Nintendoland had me hooked from the day I heard about it. It really is no Wii Sports, especially if you don't dedictate yourself to learning its intricacies, but it is extremely fun to play competitive and cooperative mutliplayer, and there's even enough single player to warrant playing the game by yourself. The Wii U seriously needed to have this game packed in, because it truly shows off how this device can work, at least, for party games. Only a few of the ideas for single-player games are really solid- but there's really only a few, in actuality. Still, what is there is absolutely awesome. This is the multiplayer, party game for the Wii U, it serves that purpose excellently... and it wouldn't really work online, in my opinion. It's important to play with friends.

#4: Crashmo (For the Nintendo 3DS)
 Mutant Mudds could have had this spot, but Intelligent Systems just smashed this one onto the eShop late in the year. Crashmo is Pushmo 2- but no, it's not more levels, because you can keep getting levels for Pushmo whenever you want. They revamped the environment/puzzle design completely and gave the game new twists, but somehow continued the learning curve from Pushmo, feeling new and complex enough in its early stages but nail-bitingly hard and confusing in its final stages. It is not only a great game, but an amazing sequel which makes me hope that the "Mo/Blox" series continues. There's no puzzle game quite like it- Pushmo doesn't even prepare you for the craziness that goes on here.

#3: Kid Icarus: Uprising (For the Nintendo 3DS)
It's a game that's extremely hard to recommend, but every time I find myself reminiscing about Kid Icarus: Uprising (played it at the beginning of the year, haven't been online for a while), the more I find reasons to do so. Everything about this game exudes quality, and it utilizes almost every function of the 3DS in some way. The story is lengthy and filled with wacky situations you would never even imagine- this game goes absolutely everywhere and you'll never expect what's coming next- and it's all supported by some wonderful voice acting. The rails sequences are what you'll play the story for, but the land mechanics are solid and provide the basis for a wonderfully engaging multiplayer portion, that truly feels balanced and fun, if not hectic and on the fly. Sakurai delivered with a truly interesting game to start the 3DS' climb towards a decent library.

#2: Resident Evil: Revelations (For the Nintendo 3DS)
I'm a bit surprised that this game should hit my top 5 list this year, especially over such an anticipated title like Kid Icarus. But the 3DS library did not start with Kid Icarus- this game came before it, and this game does just as smart things with not only creating a portable Resident Evil experience, but balancing itself between horror/tension and action/killing. I cannot make a top 5 list without it, and I love it too much to not show my appreciation. This is my first Resident Evil game, and despite not knowing or caring about the characters, the game gripped me on a fun and addicting level. I just played the crap out of it. And I enjoyed the co-op, and the solo runs on the co-op. Upon going through the story I was engaged because of the scared but Raid mode was just so much simpler, and arcade-y. I suppose that's it, the arcade nature the game gets when it finally strips away all the atmosphere. It's fun, it's got zombies, and you build yourself up from a scared survivor to a total badass.

#1: The Last Story (For the Nintendo Wii)
The RPG has always had a dangerous allure to me- the idea of stepping up and following the path of a character and getting immersed and involved with their choices. While Zael is, at times, a complete idiot, he represents a strange, diamond in the rough in a world filled with really tough choices. Nothing is perfect, people are racist, mercenaries are trash, and being a corrupt knight is considered a good life. It's a strange, run down medieval setting that has an underlying theme of advanced tech that's occurring beneath your feet. And it drew me in. It's engaging, immersive, and more of an action puzzler than a true RPG. Moving your character so that they attack, making sure you and your team mates are safe, and ordering their moves in advance to take down enemies- it's thrilling stuff, and don't worry- the game pushes you towards its goal by allowing you your precious grinding stations- and as you fight through the story, you'll realize something: The Last Story is just a damn good story and it's fun to play through. There's very few RPGs that manage to do that, especially in a 25-30 hour experience. It is EXTREMELY hard to make an action-packed RPG like that. But Mistwalker does it, and they do it to memorable music. The Last Story may not have a ton of content, but what it does, it does well, and feels like a nice, enjoyable package. A story.

And there it is, folks. Yep. All the games I played in 2012 that I could possibly think to put on a Top 5 list. No other ones that I could possibly mention.


GAME OF THE YEAR:     Xenoblade Chronicles                 

I could write another page and a half on why I love Xenoblade, but I have no doubt that it will forever be one of my favorite games of all time. I see myself playing and replaying this game forever, for all of those little places I missed before, for all the potential team building I would like to do. To explore once again, and to go through that wonderfully complex story again. To fix the mistakes I made last time. To listen to that AWESOME MUSIC again.

Xenoblade was a game I wanted to play so badly and I am very glad that Nintendo figured it out and brought it over to America. To say it met my expectations would be inaccurate. It destroyed my expectations. I was already fascinated by this game from just watching title screen videos. When I finally got it in my hands and grabbed hold of its combat system, exploration concepts, and character growth mechanics, I was sold. I now eagerly await what Monolith Soft will do next and I pray that Nintendo of America will consider localizing it, because I want to see whatever RPG they do next.

That's all I got, guys! Hope you all enjoyed. May this year be filled with better games!

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