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SpecialYear in Review

Pat’s Gaming Year 2012

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Ano­t­her busy year whe­re I wish I could’ve play­ed more of the latest and grea­test tit­les but bet­ween work and fami­ly life less time remains for gaming and then add gre­at older tit­les avail­ab­le via PS+ and Steam sales and a tra­di­tio­nal top 10 is a litt­le too much.  So, I’ve selec­ted to pre­sent my Top 3 favo­ri­te expe­ri­en­ces from games released in 2012.

Writ­ten by Patri­cia

Mass Effect 3 (multi-platform – played on 360)

My most memo­r­able AAA expe­ri­ence this year was Mass Effect 3. The game­play impro­ved upon the pri­or incar­na­ti­ons and the sto­ry had enough depth to satis­fy the sci-fi lover in all of us. For such an ambi­tious scope whe­re a war with the Rea­pers rages across the ent­i­re gala­xy, Mass Effect 3 did a phe­no­me­nal job tel­ling a sto­ry of the races of the gala­xy stan­ding up to the Rea­pers against incredi­ble odds. The Ele­phant in the room is obvious­ly the con­tro­ver­sy over the ending. This isn’t the right venue for spoi­lers so I’ll just say it wasn’t a pro­blem for me. I under­stand tho­se that wan­ted a more varied visua­li­za­ti­on in the endings reflec­ting your cha­rac­ters histo­ry and choices made throughout the game or fran­chise. Howe­ver, the dif­fe­ren­ces implied by the endings are dra­ma­ti­cal­ly dif­fe­rent and much of the con­tro­ver­sy stems from being able to pull up all the endings in quick suc­ces­si­on via You­Tube. In short, I had one She­pard pro­pa­ga­ted from Mass Effect through Mass Effect 3 and the final choice I knew my She­pard had to make was satis­fy­ing and pro­vi­ded a gre­at cap to the Mass Effect expe­ri­ence.

Sound Shapes (PSN)

Sound Shapes

Sound Shapes was a PSN exclu­si­ve avail­ab­le via Cross-Buy for the PS3 and Vita. This was such a memo­r­able expe­ri­ence for me becau­se I love the sim­pli­ci­ty, crea­ti­vi­ty, and even the music its­elf. Cross-Buy its­elf adds to the enjoy­ment of this game for me becau­se I could switch back and forth bet­ween my por­ta­ble con­ve­ni­ent expe­ri­ence and my tv (and more import­ant­ly sound sys­tem). Coup­le in a level edi­tor, com­mu­ni­ty levels to extend the expe­ri­ence a litt­le and the ease of picking it up cold for a level or two and Sound Shapes offers a uni­que expe­ri­ence that will stick with me for some time.

Velocity (PS minis – played on Vita)

Velocity

A sur­pri­sing gem I play­ed this year was Velo­ci­ty pro­vi­ded on PSN as a mini. This took the expe­ri­ence of the year for me in the bite-size cate­go­ry. Though, bite-size accu­rate­ly reflec­ts its pri­ce, it doesn’t do jus­ti­ce to its scope. At first glance Velo­ci­ty seems like a stan­dard ver­ti­cal scrol­ling space shoo­ter, but the empha­sis on tra­ver­sal and explo­ring via the “Quarp” dri­ve (tele­por­ta­ti­on) con­verts a gen­re that can often just be a sea of pro­jec­tiles into a signi­fi­cant­ly richer game that inclu­des puz­zle ele­ments and almost plat­forming mecha­nics. Velo­ci­ty also comes with a ton of levels. All around this is a gre­at game to keep with you at all times becau­se you can pick up and play a board in no time but, given time, you can also suc­cum to the “just one more” mind set that can occu­py you for hours.

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