Hey everybody, this is James B. Boss here to both wish you all a Happy Holidays and bring you my picks of 2012. This year has been an interesting run for a lot of video game titles and many of them were great hits, while some of them were either a gigantic blunders and some were just surprising or tragically unsung. I can go on about how the WHOLE year in gaming went but that would just be boring and it’s late, so without further delay, here are my picks.
I’ll start off with my blunder of the year because I hate ending things with a sour note. I would start by saying that Resident Evil is one of the best survival-horror franchises that I have ever played in my life and the one thing that I always wanted was a good Resident Evil game with multiplayer mechanics, so when I heard about Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, I was filled with joy and I reserved my copy right away, but when I finally got my hands on it and started playing it, I was greatly disappointed. The game’s story brings gamers back to the Raccoon City incident of Resident Evil 2 and 3 but the time the story is told through the eyes of the Umbrella corporation’s Spec Ops team. You can choose from one of six characters of the team to play as, and each character has their own unique set of skills that they can use to their advantage on the battlefield.
This is all fine and dandy but once you start fighting the more advanced enemies, (or B.O.Ws) some of these abilities become kind of useless. I honestly found myself using the Cloaking, Super Armor, Incendiary Bullets and Painkiller abilities most of the time. Speaking of B.O.Ws, I would like to talk about the zombies, because majority of the time, they are the only enemies that you encounter. It’s not until later one that you encounter the more familiar threats like Hunters, Lickers and the American Spec Ops forces. The Lickers are annoying because they can strike from anywhere and walk on the wall, while Hunters are the biggest assholes in this game, as they have attacks that can knock you down and once that you’re down, they can just maul and camp until you’re dead. B.O.Ws aside though, the most frustrating thing about this game was the stability of online play. This game is home to some of the sloppiest matchmaking I’ve ever seen. When you look for a game by yourself it doesn’t take that long at all but when you are in a group of four people, it takes an eternity. I once went to the bathroom for five minutes and when I came back, my party and I were still in the process of looking for a lobby. There were also times when I entered a game and chose my character but would spawn with a duplicate of my character. So I either mastered the art of the secret shadow clone technique or it was a bug. Spoiler, it was a bug. In the end, while had some fun with this game, it was fairly short lived. Even with the downloadable content to play as the American Spec Ops team, it still was not enough for this game to stand out as a memorable title. Playing this game was like buying a big tub of Strawberry ice cream that looked delicious but finally tasting it and getting a mouth full of Salmon sherbet.
Alright now for my surprise of the year and a surprise it is indeed. My surprise pick hails from the Nintendo 3DS library and it’s name is Code of Princess. The game has a simple plot; You are a princess who takes a legendary sword that was handed down through the royal family to destroy the forces of evil. The game play is a pretty traditional 2D beat-em-up-in-the-spirit-of-Final Fight game. You can choose up to four different characters in story mode but more characters can be unlocked by playing through the game.
One of the most appealing features of the game is its Multiplayer mode. You can play up to four people wirelessly using the Nintendo 3Ds’s wireless function and play through either versus mode to beat each other up, or you can help one another in the games’ story mode. Code of Princess also has RPG elements that allow you to strengthen you characters but strangely, you can only use your powered up characters in Story mode. The only drawback that I can think of for this game, is that there is SOME lag when you play with others. This is game is quite fun and I am glad that I decided to buy this game on a whim, because if I didn’t, I would have missed out on a really good game.
OK! It’s time for my super-ultra-awesome pick of the year. My top game of the year is none other than a game that I reviewed earlier this year and absolutely gushed over: Transformers – Fall of Cybertron. I chose this game because everything about this completely satisfied me to the point where I was left speechless. I remember playing the prequel, War for Cybertron and remember it being a great gaming experience but I was left hungry for more. When I got wind of the sequel, the first thing that went through my mind was the question of which characters they going to put in the next game?
My first glance of the new roster of who they included was interesting to me but the one who got my attention as soon as I looked at the list was the Dinobot leader, Grimlock. This blew my mind when I because not only was I a Dinobot fan butI always wondered how they would portray his character, as in Transformers lore, he wasn’t an @$$-kicking cyber T-Rex until he got to planet Earth. When it came time for High Moon studios to show off gameplay footage for Grimlock, they pulled out all the stops. It was amazing to see him in dinosaur form on the planet Cybertron and seeing him slash and rip Decepticons to pieces. The Multiplayer feature in this game was also satisfying as well. Character customization was back and players were able to create their very own Transformers once again. On a personal note, since I reserved my copy of the game, I got to play as big rig Optimus Prime, which mad it even more awesome. Fall of Cybertron was the game that I was waiting for as a fanboy and as a gamer. It delivered on EVERYTHING it promised; A great story, improved online and offline game mechanics and a buffed character roster. It may have not been this year’s best game but in my book it is a title worthy of a gold medal.
– James B. Boss