Ahhhhhh, so CLOSE on two of my votes being the GOTY. Ah well ^.^ Also, I'm very sorry this is too long to read.
Before getting into this massive post, I just want to briefly touch on the one of the above I didn't play, THE 2012 Game of the Year, The Walking Dead.
The problem with EXTREMELY popular narratives in games (especially in today's day and age of Twitter, YouTube comments, etc.), is massively impactful plot twists and narrative moments don't have a long shelf life in being kept secret. Plus, by the time I really started following along in the hobby beyond my own interests, it had been years since release.
Because of this, the crescendo of this game will never be topped in this genre with Telltale no longer what it is. I've never cared for this style of game (the only one I've played being Tales of the Borderlands and even then I feel meh on it), so I have absolutely no desire to ever go through the entire game. (Plus, the notorious tech issues...)
With that out of the way, getting into Mass Effect 3, I'm just going to go ahead and get this out of the way:
(Looks left, right, then back left)
The ending isn't the worst thing ever.
CONTEXT! I didn't get into the series until some time after this game came out. One day, I was sitting in an Xbox Live Party with some friends who were talking about it (So I knew Shepard's fate, but didn't really pay that much attention) and one of said friends tried HARD to sell me on not just 3, but the entire trilogy as a whole. Likening it Star Trek with psychic powers, I got the trilogy and I'm happy I did. It's become one of my favorite trilogies ever.
But as for the rest of the game, I loved the stakes kept getting higher (though by the time I DID reach ME 3, I felt it bizarre that we have Earth attacked at the start then not come back until the climax). I loved visiting the Turian moon Palavan and the Asari homeworld Thessia. I think Kai is an EXCELLENT villain to despise, and the Illusive Man being frustrating in being blinded by his motivations (Though I DO feel robbed if you go ultra Paragon). And finally, I mentioned when talking about Borderlands 2, there was another game that had a DLC that rivaled Tiny Tina's on being my favorite, and the Citadel is that DLC. The story isn't THAT great, but it's the Party that's so memorable. Having everybody there possible, all interacting with one another gave me the best version of one of my favorite Huberisms: CULMINATION. The feels after that party after spending three games investing in everyone. Chef's kiss
I know I JUST did this with Dishonored, but again, it makes me happy to share my enthusiasm with others who like the same games I do. So here we go again! Massive shout-outs and high-fives to: @Sazime, @Exist-2-Inspire, @bard91, @Shoulderguy, @Hidz, @paulmci27, @Lotias, @Hazz3r, @Capnbobamous, @naltmank, @ffff0, and @Brandon_Reister !
So that the first half of this novel about the top 2 is over, onto my full list!
- Borderlands 2
- Mass Effect 3
- Halo 4
- (Honorable Mention) Uncharted: Golden Abyss
- (Honorable Mention) Resistance: Burning Skies
- (Honorable Mention) Assassin's Creed III
- (Honorable Mention) Kingdom Hearts: Dream, Drop, Distance
- (Didn't make the cut) Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault
To touch on those that didn't make it in ascending order:
Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault is a major disappointment. Tower defense has never been my thing, and the crucial elements that give the franchise heart (Vast and wacky weaponry, endearing narrative, diverse planets, etc.) were all missing. Everything is just not good, and rivals Size Matters as my lowest ranking R&C game. And the fact this was developed by Insomniac blows my mind. Finally, you can't start a new game from scratch. Just replay story missions from a menu on a pre-existing save. So it suffers this same problem as Crackdown and Sunset Overdrive.
Kingdom Hearts: Dream, Drop, Distance is... trying, on both patience and rationality (and that's saying something for a Kingdom Hearts game). The forced "drop" mechanic of switching between Riku and Sora is initially jarring, but isn't that bad when you get used to it. I liked how you could see every story from two different points of view, but the Dream Eaters are one of the series' most useless things. Gameplay of jumping off the nearest wall CONSTANTLY to deal the strongest attacks just isn't fun. And the most aggravating thing is the out of NOWHERE difficult spike when you reach the final world. It's RIDICULOUS how there's no real grinding opportunites in combination with poor balancing. I played this game for the first time as the PS4 re-release port... and it's frustrating.
Resistance: Burning Skies is the most through-and-through "Fine" game there is on the Vita. I love the franchise, but this game is short and has a forgettable narrative with a self-contained faceless character, despite how fun it is to fight Chimera on the go. Sure, the gimmicks of the touch screen for set pieces and melee is a bummer, but it's a solid, quality FPS for a portable, and that's good.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss is my favorite Vita exclusive (I didn't play the Vita much). But it's more Uncharted and it's enjoyable. Clearly an outlier by coming out post 3, but taking place pre 1, much like Resistance, it's a great franchise on the go. Some of the story moments are kind of stupid, but what's Uncharted without its campy aspects. Really like this as a mindless one-off.
Finally, the last game on my list and my number 4 pick is Halo 4. And when I think about this game, I think of friends. The campaign is... eeeehhhhh? Shrugs Shoulders What I think fondly of is spending SO much time in Forge or private lobbies with friends, messing around on weird maps and bizarre game modes. Multiplayer is what it is and while I do have a couple of nice moments in mind, for the most part, it's whatever.
WHEW. That SHOULD be my last post in this thread (pending the recap stats) so all of the thank yous to anyone who has read a sentence of this and to @Axel for once again giving us such an enjoyable time! Until the 2019 thread!!!