2012 sure looks like it was a really great year for a lot of stuff! What did I think was the best of the best? Well, let’s see!
I did not actually play very many games in 2012. And I didn’t play any bad ones, so this list is far from complete. However, I am confident this does encompass some of the best games of the year regardless.
Game of the Year:
Kid Icarus Uprising (3DS)
As you may have read in my absolutely glowing review of this game, I find it hard to believe anybody could think that this isn’t one of the best games of this year. I find it to be the best; I even still play it today, playing my favorite chapters, grinding away to finally get the perfect weapon, and then battling out in multiplayer.
Mass Effect 3 (Wii U, PC, PS3, 360)
Despite my negative opinion of the ending (that was migitated by the Extended Cut, but my main complaint was far from erased), this game was an absolute masterpiece, and one of the greatest experiences of my life for 90% of it. Playing three games in a row where your choices matter and everything you do carries over is brilliant; I encourage all story-based games to do this, as it really makes the series experience that much more worthwhile!
Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)
This game, even though it’s on the Wii, is gorgeous, has great voice acting, an even better story, and an almost-addicting battle system. Everything I hate about JRPGs is addressed here, and I love it to death.
Spelunky (360), Fez (360), Nintendoland (Wii U), Pikmin 2 (Wii re-release) (yes I’m counting this, it deserves it)
This category is a bit bigger than the others, due to the fact I’ve seen a ton of movies this year in theaters; 18 in total (okay that doesn’t sound like much but it’s 15 more than I usually see). So There are a couple awards I will give here.
I don’t feel like I need to say anything, really. Avengers was one of the most perfect films I have ever seen, and I’ve never met a person who says much differently.
The Dark Knight Rises
It was everything I had hoped for and more; the most satisfying ending to any trilogy, really. I actually thought it was better than The Dark Knight, which is a very unpopular opinion, but it is mine. Bane didn’t top Joker as a villain, but the overall plot was fantastic, and the ending was so brilliant that I almost stood up and clapped after it was all over.
While the time travel mechanics were frustrating at times, they worked well, and they told a beautiful story of a man, his future self, and the fate of the planet. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis both did standout jobs here.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
While I simultaneously think it was one of the biggest pieces of trash this millennium so far, Ghost Rider 2 was absurdly entertaining in all the best ways. Even if it isn’t categorized as one, it was by far the best comedy I’ve seen in a long, long time.
Having not read the original material or seen the musical, I had no idea what to expect in this film, and wow, I was impressed. It was much closer to an opera than a musical, but that’s not a bad thing. Everyone in the film gave their best performances, especially Jean Valjean himself Hugh Jackman, and Russel Crowe was totally a good singer. I don’t care what anyone says.
Prometheus: Grand in scope, and the best kind of scary.
Dredd: It’s like a generic cop movie… but with great gritty comic book-vibes. My favorite action movie in a while.
Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: The much more light-hearted feel than Lord of The Rings makes everything much more fun to watch, with much less drama. It certainly isn’t better than Lord of the Rings, but it’s still a great film, and I expect the next two to be even better.
Skyfall: The best James Bond movie in years! And I never expected them to actually delve into the origins of the character. Woah.
Man With the Iron Fists: It was cheesy, it was violent, and it was a damn fun movie to watch. RZA’s Director/Actor/Writer/Soundtrack debut was great, and I hope he makes many more movies.
Other awesome movies: Men in Black 3, Amazing Spider-Man, Resident Evil Retribution
Joseph Gordon-Levitt- Looper – A fantastic performance in a fantastic film.
Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
Michael Fassbender – Prometheus
Tom Hiddleston – Avengers
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – The Dark Knight Rises (Yes, again)
Nic Cage – Ghost Rider 2
Best Visual Effects
Avengers: It was easy to forget that in most of the scenes of the movie, two of the main characters Iron Man and Hulk were just CGI creations.
Hobbit and Dredd are the runners-up. Both were certifiably amazing, as well.
The Hobbit wins this, which is easy to say considering it’s a Lord of the Rings movie. Man with the Iron Fist had a very unique and well-crafted soundtrack as well, and Avengers was top-notch.
There were an incomparable amount of amazing albums this year; I can barely pick my favorites outside of the top two or three. Hopefully I don’t forget any!
Album of the Year
Preschtale – C-Jeff
This musical odyssey was the most pure fusion of Prog Rock and Chiptunes, and some of the most fun stuff you’ll ever hear. It came out on January 1st, 2012, and it has been the by-far winner of this award for me ever since. Only one album reached its status, and got this award as well in an awesome tie:
One Year Older – Jit
All Homestuck albums are great (you’ll see more later, I promise), but this one…. (pff)… takes the cake. The closest any music has ever made me to crying. The Scratch and Skaian Shrapnel are the best of the album.
Induction – Svix: Wow. This thing is awesome, and is a great use of musical motifs. I usually am not a fan of autotuned/robot singing and all that, but Induction is completely different.
Comfortable Bugs – Bowman: Barely released a couple weeks ago,
Ithaca – Bowman: Bowman’s debut solo album didn’t make as much of an impact as Mobius Trip & Hardon Kaleido, but it was sure as hell great.
The Earthen Scar – Eidolon Orpheus: How Eidolon Orpheus could make an album out of a few original songs and some songs from a scrapped album is beyond me, but he pulled it off, and this fantasy journey is totally rad.
Blueshift – Protodome: Another late release, but this third entry in Protodome’s series of chiptune jazz albums is the most polished one yet, and even has vocal songs this time!
Fez – Disasterpiece: Atomspheric, ambient, and very peaceful. I love it.
We Are All Sattelites – Clark Powell: Plazmataz sure has a way of making music amazing, and this album is no exception.
Honorable mentions (No particular Order):
I Miss You: Earthbound 2012 – Ubikitune
Do Without – Screamcatcher
Homestuck Volume 9 – Homestuck
Omegalodon – RJ Lake
Genesis Frog – Albatross Soup
Nightlife Nightlight – hrmnzr
ColoUrs and Mayhem A– Homestuck
Stray Cat ~Walkabout~ – Cat Boss
ColoUrs and Mayhem B – Homestuck
Starhaven – Block Monster
Spelunky OST – Erik Suhrke
Chiptune Inferno – SuperVolcano
Spiritwake – Solatrus
Jazz and Masks – Cat Boss
Make Music, Throw Music: A Yoshi’s Island Tribute – Ubikitune
And a super-special shout out to Chiptunes = Win and its first three albums this year. I am looking forward to seeing the group expand this coming year!
2012 was a huge year for the comic industry, with the Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, and The Dark Knight Rises all coming out this summer, and in the comics themselves, DC’s New 52 relaunch completed its first full year, and Marvel’s Avengers vs. X-Men shocked the world. What were my favorites?
Comic of the Year
Yeah yeah, I had no indication that I was counting webcomics, but I am. Homestuck has only gotten better in its third year, as the end of the comic draws nearer and nearer, With its insane fanbase, monumental Kickstarter, and more storytelling scope than anything I’ve ever seen, Homestuck is the winner of this award for good reason.
Gunnerkrig Court: It’s slowly building itself up towards a gigantic climax, and though it isn’t quite at Homestuck level, it’s getting there. Tom Siddell’s writing is top-notch, and his art is beautiful.
Dinosaur Comics: Still the funniest comic ever, even with its gimmick being almost a decade old.
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Darths & Droids
Avengers vs. X-Men
Best Events of 2012
Not really in any particular order, nor are they actually the best things that happened this year.
Act 6 Intermission 3 (Homestuck)
Three nearly hour-long (each) flash games, along with one ten-minute ending movie, all released this fall in Homestuck, expanding the lore of the comic tenfold, introducing twelve new characters, and giving tons of character development to some of the major characters. I wouldn’t be surprised if these games alone convinced tens of thousands of people to start reading Homestuck, after seeing so much about it on tumblr and other places.
Humble Indie Bundle V
Yes, there had been many Humble Bundles before it, but this one was the one that catapulted the service into gigantic popularity. Four of the best games of this generation (Limbo, Bastion, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Swords & Sorcery) and one of the best games of last generation (Psychonauts) were on the table to start with, and it later expanded to include Super Meat Boy, Braid, and Lone Survivor. All for around 8 bucks, and it included their complete soundtracks and everything. I don’t think this bundle will ever be topped for several years, if ever.
The World Didn’t End!
Of course, this is the greatest thing to happen to us! The Mayans spared us…. Now, what other doomsday prophecy is about to pass that will definitely never come true?
This is… all of the awards I have. Thanks for reading, and have a happy 2013!!!!