Game on!

Which 2012 games had you all thumbs? Joe Grif­fin walks you through the year

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FUN & GAMES 2012 -

The year could well be re­mem­bered as the last ma­jor year in the lives of Wii, PS3 and the Xbox 360. Some com­plained that con­ser­va­tive stu­dios are bid­ing their time for next-gen­er­a­tion machines from Nin­tendo, Xbox and Sony. But there were more than enough re­leases to be­guile gamers.

For Sony it was a bad year fi­nan­cially but a great one cre­atively. The PS Vita is a beau­ti­ful ma­chine that de­served to sell bet­ter, with im­pres- sive horse­power, pris­tine graph­ics and some fine first-party re­leases. PS3 ex­clu­sives such as Tokyo Jun­gle and Jour­ney were spe­cial, un­usual ti­tles.

Xbox’s con­troller-free Kinect found its feet, with fam­ily-friendly high­lights Sesame Street Kinect and Kinect Nat Geo. Some say Kinect is a bad fit for hard­core games, cit­ing Fa­ble: The Jour­ney. But it worked as an op­tional sea­son­ing for the likes of Mass Ef­fect 3 and Forza Hori­zon.

At time of writ­ing, Wii U has just hit the mar­ket. Spec­u­la­tion for the Nin­tendo con­sole was mixed, but I ex­pect it’ll have a long life.

Gamers of­ten com­plain that the in­dus­try is clogged up with se­quels, and 2012 heaved with fa­mil­iar names: ma­jor Nin­tendo games are usu­ally se­quels or re­boots; Xbox mar­quee re­leases in­cluded Halo 4, Forza Hori­zon and two Fa­bles. Sony gave us a new God of War, Un­charted and two Lit­tle Big Planet spin-offs. And PC gamers gob­bled up su­per-cheap clas­sics re-re­leased on Steam.

Still, there were some promis­ing new fran­chises, in­clud­ing Sleep­ing Dogs and Dis­hon­ored. And many of the year’s best games were small, low-key gems, such as the cap­ti­vat­ing plat­former Fez and the heart­break­ing point-and-click ad­ven­ture To the Moon. Dust was an en­gag­ing RPG, devel­oped al­most en­tirely by one man (ku­dos, Dean Don­drill).

Ir­ish com­pa­nies blos­somed and un­veiled en­gag­ing new games (P-3 Bi­otic) and promis­ing forth­com­ing ones (Kú, Twisted Faery Tales). Big name tal­ents Cliff Blezin­ski (Gears of War), Peter Molyneax (Fa­ble) and the Bioware doc­tors (Mass Ef­fect) changed ca­reers or stepped down.

2013 should be even more eventful, as a new gen­er­a­tion of con­soles and de­vel­op­ers pre­pare to fire their first shows across the bow.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.