[NSFW] Q&AmeCola: Favorites of 2012

[NSFW] Q&AmeCola: Favorites of 2012

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Rejoice, GameCola collectors! Q&AmeCola this month brings you nearly a full, mint-condition set of GameCola staffers. Fourteen to be exact, including four out of five rookies (that Brett Seeney is a rare numbered holofoil. Almost impossible to find. We’d be willing to trade a Nathaniel Hoover, a Matt Gardner and two Christian Porters if you come across one.).

This month’s burning inquiry is:

What was the best game you played in 2012?

Note, this does not necessarily mean the game was released in 2012.

Feel free to flip through these fine collectibles, starting with our featured new rookies—just try not to bend the corners.


anna

monkeyisland-1024x576

The best game I played in 2012 was Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, for the iPad. It was a lot of fun, even though I had no idea what I was doing at some points (that might just be because I’m not very smart). The way you could switch between the older graphics and the newer graphics was really cool in my opinion. I also really liked the puzzle solutions, even if I had to try a ton of different things before I finally guessed the correct item to give to who or what. Another thing I really liked was the witty sword fights. “How appropriate, you fight like a cow” was a popular saying to hear from me this past fall.


sean

magic

Without a doubt, my go-to game this last year was Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013. Great stuff. The devs managed to take all the things I love about MTG the card game and distill it down into an easy-to-swallow arcade-style masterpiece; it’s a great improvement over previous entries in the series. They release new deck packs periodically to keep it fresh, and the multiplayer is surprisingly reliable for a game with as many rules as Magic. If you’re like me and you like the card game but don’t want to be crammed into a room with that many nerds (and the smells that come with them), then pick up Duels 2013.


joseph

kidicarus

It’s a close call, and maybe a little out there, but Kid Icarus: Uprising was not only the most enjoyable, but also the most surprising of the games I played last year. Featuring an all-star cast of voice actors (with dialogue and everything!) and a script that was not only entertaining but freakin’ hilarious, I’m so glad I took the time to check it out. The levels were fun and creative, and the gameplay meshed really well with how the story was presented. I replayed so much of the game just to enjoy the fantastic music in context as well as the excellent writing. Having the on-rails flying sections went really well with the music because it could all be situational, so a cool part would always sound cool, and a tense part would sound ominous each time. Just listening to the music tracks invokes fond memories of playing through the entire levels. It was visually amazing too; all parts of the levels felt distinctly different from one another, and the game utilized the 3D well without overselling it. It didn’t really take me long to get used to the controls, and it was totally worth any minor hand cramps. At the time, it was the best game I owned on the 3DS and it probably will be for quite a while.


diana

okami-1024x576

Best game I played in 2012 would have to be Okami. I’ve poured over 100 hours of my life into that game and am still not at the final area—there’s so much to explore and do (plus I’m trying for all the stray beads). It also follows a kind of Zelda-esque style, with dungeons and bosses and gaining new skills during each one, but in a different way. It does something that Zelda (until Skyward Sword) didn’t do all that often—used a good deal of the different skills in each dungeon, instead of just limiting them to one specific area.

It’s a beautiful game (the art direction is stunning, some of the best and most creative that I’ve ever seen) and by far one of the most unique I’ve ever played. I mean, seriously, how many other games let you kill enemies with a Celestial Brush?


stu

isaac

Obviously, because it’s the best game of all time. The Wrath of the Lamb expansion kept me playing this little randomised gem all year long. Over 100 hours and still more to do. The art design and gameplay style merge to form a uniquely satisfying quasi-roguelike experience in a way that just tickles my johnson. And to think I’ll be doing it all over again when the remake comes out.


matt

ape_escape31-1024x768

I promise I tried not to pick this game. I thought of every alternative—CY Girls, Blood Will Tell, Neverdead, Tail Gator, Urusei Yatsura: Lum no Wedding Bell…but none of them come close. Not even slightly.

Every element of this fine-tuned ape-grabbing simian-snapping experience is tweaked to near perfection. Not only the smoothest I’ve played in recent years, but also the greatest perilous platforming pastiche I’ve played on the PlayStation 2. I made the effort to capture every monkey for a second time, all for a captivated YouTube audience, out of sheer passion for this wonderful game.

I would play through all of it again in a heartbeat if Sony were to release an HD collection. Actually, do I even need a reason?


mattg

persona4

In a year when I’m completely overwhelmed with games I want to play, it’s a bit ridiculous that I put the most time into and got the most enjoyment out of a remake of a game I’ve already played to death…but that’s exactly what happened.

Not only did Golden get a whole slew of new content, including a completely new dungeon to explore and new character relationships to develop, it added a whole new level of shininess to the whole experience. Everything is shinier! SHINY. Wasn’t convinced anyone would read the word correctly until I wrote it like that.

Oh, also, COSTUMES. Are you kidding me? I don’t know why, but being able to dress my characters up in various costumes is pretty much the greatest thing to hit RPGs since the non-random encounter. Which this game also has. Win-win-win.

…yes, perhaps my choice here is slightly against the spirit of reminiscing on first-time experiences, but since P4G is well on its way to being my favorite game of 2013, I’m calling inaudible. Inaudible? That’s the thing football people say when playing the game of football, right? Where football plays don’t count because…the ref didn’t hear them.

Oh, CHIE has the track suit from Bruce Lee’s Game of Death in this!! I mean, come on! Hwaa-taah!!


christian

persona3

I’ve been meaning to play Persona 3 since it first came out, but it was just never in the cards (ha! Get it, because the game uses tarot…cards…never mind.). Honestly I could pretend a long series of events has stopped me from playing this, but really it’s just because I was too lazy to dig my PS2 out of the basement and plug it in for the past five years. Thankfully it got released on PSN. See you in hell, effort!

I could have perhaps done without the fact that you only directly control the main character, and that the main character looks like an emo Lester the Unlikely. But, man, maybe I would have put in a bit more effort into playing this gem sooner if someone told me it was kind of like Pokémon, except instead of throwing magic balls in order to battle with the help of Beedrill or Steelix and going to Pokémon gyms, you shoot yourself in the face to battle with the help of Satan and the goddamn Whore of Babylon, and you get to (mild spoiler) go nail a girl who lives in a preternatural elevator. 160 hours well spent. A+++. Great eBayer. Would play again.

Now if only they’d stop putting the best versions of these games on handhelds.


daniel

fallout-1024x576

This is one of those games I kept hearing about around the ‘net for quite some time, and almost four years later I finally succumbed to this “vibe” that kept reminding me that I hadn’t played this one yet. I mean, I don’t know if this is one of those must-play games, but its influence has survived way after its release date.

Now that I’ve played Fallout 3, I finally understand what the fuss is all about. I got captivated by the whole post-apocalyptic Washington DC setting and its art-deco architecture. There are way too many things to do and places to explore, so I found myself lost in this Capitol Wasteland for weeks.

I didn’t mind that this game doesn’t have multiplayer or scoreboards; I didn’t even pay attention to its Achievements. I just wanted to live this experience on my own. Also, the chance of asking people, “what’s in it for me if I do that stupid chore for you?” is a nice addition to the kind of hero I’m playing in this kind of scenario.


jeff

tales_of_symphonia

Not surprisingly, the best game I played in 2012 was a game that was released in 2004. When I pulled it from my vivacious library, I figured it would just be a run-of-the-mill RPG that would keep me entertained until the next big Mega Man game in 2047. Turns out, I severely underestimated this truly grandiose adventure. Tales of Symphonia is one of the many games within the popular Tales series; it’s a pure RPG brimming with non-random, real-time battles and more character-developing conversations than a party at Burt Reynolds’ house. (Burt only has turn-based battles.) Though the game dialogue can be a bit cheesy at times and the voice acting a little corny, Tales of Symphonia was a very engaging game that spans multiple worlds, multiple discs, and multiple storylines all intertwined into what I consider to be the most entertaining game I played in 2012.


nathaniel

Morrowind-1024x768

If you overlook the 10-game Mega Man marathon my friend and I played, which accounts for seven of the best games I played in 2012, then I’d have to say The Elder Scrolls III…which is pretty much the only game I played in 2012. But I’m working on a review (which, at the current pace, is pretty much the only game I’ll review this year) that’ll tell you more than you need to know about my time with the game.

Oh, hey. The review wrote itself. Fancy that.


kate

skyrim_2.bmp-1024x576

After much deliberation, I’ve got to say that Skyrim was the best game I played all year. Even though it came out in 2011, I spent a majority of 2012 exploring the map, playing through the expansions, hoarding as many books as possible, and hunting down the Thalmor because they’re all jerks. Over the year, Skyrim was my go-to game, since I really wasn’t interested in any of the new titles until AC3 came out in October, and at that point I didn’t have time to play anything that required concentration. And besides, Skyrim is relaxing. You’ve got sumptuous landscapes to wander, soothing music to listen to, and plenty of NPCs with whom you can randomly pick a fight. What’s not to like?


michael

bowling

The game I played the most this year was bowling. Man, bowling is fun. It’s like online multiplayer, except in real life. Plus, nobody gets mad at you when you eat food while playing. Ten out of ten, would play again, but definitely not Wii Bowling, because that game is horrible.


paul

sakura

Few turn-based RPGs work for me, mostly because I have the attention span of—hey, what’s that?! Chrono Trigger worked, because I could see the enemies onscreen and therefore run away from them, thus avoiding tedious combat (see also: EarthBound); Dragon Warrior VII, too, because when I played it I discovered that I could just press X to win everything, so I would end up just tapping it repeatedly during the boring parts, while reading a book. Later I got bored of that, too, and it was the last time I ever read a book.

Sakura Wars takes a different, objectively better approach—it eliminates everything but the boss battles. The vast majority of the game is a visual novel, set in a 1920s New York City (with a steampunk backdrop, no less!), about a troop of singing-and-dancing stage performers who moonlight as a mech-assault death squad. When you aren’t trying to win the hearts of your fellow artistes, all of whom—even the 11-year-old girl—basically spend the entire game throwing themselves at you, you’re clambering all around the Statue of Liberty punching other robots in the head.

It’s probably the best RPG ever made.


Have a question you’d like answered in a future edition of Q&AmeCola? Out with it! Let us know in the comments.


Article rating: 7.25 BEARDS out of 10

About the Author

Christian Porter is the heartthrob of the internet-based boy band sensation, GameCola. His rugged good looks haunt your dreams and set your sinful parts afire. He makes Justin Timberlake look like Clint Howard. XBL: Slothbot // PSN: ToxoplasmaGondii // Steam: slothbot
Email: cporter@gamecola.net

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