Hello again gamers! It’s time for GamerVets’ annual best and worst list. We only really got our game site up and running in late 2011, so this year is really our first real annual compilation. Unlike my fellow GamerVets and mainstream game sites, I don’t buy many games. I’m one of the cheapest gamers out there and only buy ones I really like (solid franchises and good demos). I’ll play my share of free demos and betas though.
On one hand I’m going to focus on this article and keep going till I finish it. On the other hand, it’s Sunday Dec 23 5:40 pm EST as I type and there’s a few NFL games still going on. I’m in an office pool against my boss’ son for the finals! My team has finished their games and he has 4 players still playing. I’m winning and can hopefully hold him off. $300 on the line. Hahaha! Here’s a screen capture right now. I’m Shreveport Pirates. Air Rodgers for the win baby!
Edit: I’m done tweaking my article (7:35 pm EST) and the last few NFL games finished. I won 96-85! 300 beaners baby! They better all pay up as I know the commissioner took the “collect money after” route. I’m not worried about my coworkers, but the couple “outsiders” who joined.
Best Games of the Year
I don’t care what anyone says. Despite endless naysayers and whiny babies, the best game to me in 2012 is Black Ops 2. You got that right. Thankfully, Treyarch is back at the helm as they made solid World at War and Black Ops 1. For all the hype Infinity Ward got, what’s so great about their games? Call of Duty 4, Modern Warfare 2 and 3. Compare the studios. I’m going to skip the ancient Call of Duty 2 and 3. Treyarch games…. solid gameplay, solid stats, great maps. Infinity Ward…. too fast paced (MW 2 and 3), rat in a maze maps (MW 3), crap stats (all), endless killstreaks (MW 2 and 3). Don’t get me wrong, I kick ass in CoD and love killstreaks, but even I’ll admit it gets too stupid sometimes.
Black Ops 2 multiplayer is toned down from previous games. Whereas the MW games are endless lightweight runners, this game has better balance. The maps in BO 2 are a little on the small side, but all game styles can do well: camper, runner and snipers. You need variety in shooters. I hate snipers, but they haven’t really been around, since WaW.
The game has lots of stats built right into the barracks, good theatre mode, scorestreaks, bot mode and among the best changes ever…. Pick 10 class system.
The best $1 I spent all year. You’ll see my MegaCity review here. It’s an XBL Indie puzzle game where you have to strategically plant good and bad real estate pieces to clear rows. It’s fun, smooth and easy to learn. I think one guy made it and here’s his site – ColePowered Games.
It’s too bad the Indie section has so many garbage games because you might miss the real gems. Indie games can come in bunches so if you don’t check the game list regularly, a solid game might be pushed off the latest 20-30 games list which show up in the marketplace browser. The only way you’d know it is if you read game sites or do a random search and luck out seeing it and trying it. I’m too lazy to check again, but I believe his site says MegaCity is also on iOS so grab it there if you prefer.
Worst Games of the Year
Don’t say I don’t offer options because here’s a batch of shooter trash. The shooter genre seems divided into a a few camps: Call of Duty, Halo, Gears, and Battlefield (I hate BF, but can respect its scope). And then there’s the wannabe crowd of just about everything else where both corporate suits and marginally talented programmers trying for a piece of the pie.
Put it this way, I’d rather play MegaCity than any of these games: Syndicate, Sniper Elite V2, Ghost Recon: Future Solider, Spec Ops: The Line, Counter-Strike: GO, Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Aside from some reason needing a subtitle in the game’s name, there are so many things wrong with the games I listed I’d need 3 pages to recap. Or just click the links. Everything from bad graphics, sloppy gameplay, lousy sound, terrible HUDs…..
….. Worst HUD
An easy choice. Whichever guys at Starbreeze Studios worked on Syndicate’s HUD must have been high. Maybe in their haze of confusion the HUD was crystal clear, but to sober folk the HUD was the dumbest interface I’d seen for as long as I can remember. It’s bad enough there’s so much text on screen, but then the bad frame rate and the HUD constantly whizzing in and out of view is atrocious.
Oddly, you’d think with so much stuff on screen the text would at least be easy to decipher. Nope. I play on a 60″ plasma, yet half the data is barely legible. I guess the programmers didn’t realize that standard font size 12 looks fine in Word or Excel when someone’s face is 2 feet from a screen. But making a game with the same font size with gamers playing 8-10 feet away is a no-no.
Not even from a game company, but Ohio State’s Marching Band! I checked out some of their other shows and it’s crazy how complex and fantastic their routines are!
No official next gen 720/PS4 news. It’s December 2012, the underpowered Wii U is out (muted response from gamers), this generation has gone on for eons and game quality has barely budged. Rumour specs have been rampant lately, a few devs have churned out next-gen teasers, yet there is still no official response from Microsoft or Sony. I’m guessing they are waiting for E3 2013 to dish out the details, but gaming has become pretty stale lately. Aside from Skyrim last fall (which was still riddled with technical issues), I don’t see any games that make me go “Wow!”
I tried to jump on the bandwagon of profiteering by selling a Wii U. I thought I’d scrape up a cool $100-150 profit. No dice. I still have it for sale and nobody is budging. Tons of listings on Craigslist. The only response I got was this…. uh, no thanks buddy:
I even knocked the price down a few times and still nothing. I’ll return it in the New Year for a full refund. If this was Wii in 2006 it would be gone in no time. Wii U doesn’t seem to be selling as great as Wii and going by the early reviews, the games stink. The 360/PS3 version of multi-plats are worse on Wii U. The only upside is if you really like the tablet gameplay they add to it.
Major price drops and deals. For a list of deals I’ve done lately, see here. Desperate devs trying to sell games? Desperate retailers trying to get gamers? A combo of both? Who cares. If I can save money by getting pre-orders for $40 and great trade-in deals I’m happy. Maybe since around 2009(?), this generation has had so many pre-order deals, price drops and quick bargain binning. It’s like they are giving away games sometimes. For the frugal gamer I am, I hope this continues next gen.
Can developers stop with all the zombie and Minecraft clones? I don’t know what triggered it, but zombie movies and games have been around for decades, yet some reason in the past 3 years there are undead losers everywhere. Was it Left 4 Dead that started it? World at War’s zombie mode? Maybe a few popular zombie movies? It wasn’t Resident Evil as those games and Milla Jovovich movies have been around for ages.
Ok, I get it. Undead weirdos making a bee-line at innocent humans. Undead try to claw and bite victims. Humans run for the hills or fight back with shotgun blasts to the head.
Minecraft is the same. Pixely boxes, build and mess around in a sandbox game.
You want to see endless clones? Go check out the Indie section of XBLM and every 5th game is either a zombies or Minecraft wannabe. Check out Major Nelson’s Dec 3, 2012 online list. The indie section is filled to the brim with mining clones. A year ago, it would have been zombie games flooding the list.