Features// SPOnG's Games of the Year

Posted 3 Jan 2013 16:28 by
During the buttending few days of last year, the SPOnG office turned into a bit of a war zone. Instead of sitting down to pass presents and discuss what 2013 has in store for us, we sat around the big table and glared at each other.

Tim (our editor and chief) then asked the question: “So, chaps, what were your games of the year?”

He then shouted his at us before retreating to the bunker he’s set up in the basement to await ours and to look forward to the upcoming 2013 GOTY feature that will follow this.

As much as we’d like to think that a ‘game of the year’ is down to opinion, it doesn’t stop us screaming out why everyone else is a “fucking idiot” and why the game we have chosen is the only clear answer.

As an attempt to stop this yearly madness we have decided that for 2012, we will all announce our own personal GOTY and we’ll let you decide who has it right and who is completely out of touch with gaming as a medium.

So here it is. The SPOnG Staff Game Of The Year Choices. Enjoy.

Tim Smith
Well that's 2012 done with and I've got to say that in 2013 I can't see myself buying many AAA titles. Frankly there are only so many reboots, reimaginings, Kickstarts, retreads, homages, sequels, prequels, tie-ins and trite ideas this old brain can handle. This is why my 2012 GOTYs, appeal to me.

They are in no real order, Ni No Kuni: The Wrath of the White Witch. Oh stop shouting, I know it's out in 2013. It's not my fault that I am in a job whereby I've already played it and loved it and want to play it again but can't wrench it from the hands of my partner, the good Dr Name Witheld to Save Her Embarrassment.

Sure, it's Studio Ghibli’s hand-drawn animation with a heart-warming story and magical creatures and some confusion. And sure it's Japanese and therefore I look like the gaming equivalent of a Hipster-Douche, but learn to deal. But it's lovely and at my age, well, you can't handle too much BOOM. PEW PEW! DIE MUTHAFUCKA!!

Give me a break though, I also had to play Syndicate (which I slammed here).

The other GOTYs in mine (and the good Dr's) world include a game with Journey in the title, and also the huge and wonderful Unfinished Swan.

The first one is, indeed, the beautiful and unpatronising Journey rather than the tedious and kinect selling Fable the Journey, which I thought Svend was very kind to in his review.

Unfinished Swan comes from the minds over at Giant Sparrow and is simply a game that reinstilled in me the desire to play video games outside work, for hours on end on my PS3 (which I bought, well, the good Dr bought it... I bought the Xbox 360 and copy of Forza 4 and Limbo that I play interminably, either way, no free Doritios or Mountain Dew consoles in my house).

I am not going to describe it in the same way as I wouldn't describe a good pudding or a dream about sex. It is imaginative, it does not hold your hand, it does not make you full of hate fantasies. It makes you obsess about paint rather than bullets. I love it.

I worship Journey from ThatGamesCompany. It is a platform game. It is what made me play platform games on 8-bit hardware before you were born but it looks like I imagine planets that my great-great-great-great grand niece might discover will look. It is beautiful and almost tactile with a story that you tell. I am going to use the word quintessence here to really cap off my reputation as a hipster-Douche; it is the quintessence of what gaming can and should be.

Shame that all those shooty-bang-bang-pew-pew-drivey-fast games make all the cash really.

Now go away and leave me alone.

Mark Johnson
Senior Writer

I've had to double-check that my choice for Game of the Year isn't just me kicking back against a late-console-cycle games industry with a bad case of sequelitus. But... no. I'm not just being a grumpy sod. Dishonored (which I reviewed here) is a truly excellent entry into the list of 2012 must-have games, and one that I'm sure will stand out from this generation's offerings when we look back at it in the years to come.

Dishonored didn't reinvent the wheel, but it did offer a fantastic blend of stealth, action and strategy, mixed in such a way that it really stood apart from anything else in the genre(s).
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