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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 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)
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.