Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Game Of The Year & Recap

Another year has come and gone, but the world keeps turning, and players keep gaming. This year saw me grapple with two titans of gaming, logging well over 150+ hours with each, even discounting time spent AFK or spectating or browsing the in-game store or auction house. What, pray tell, could those games be?

My Game of 2012: Dota 2
Runner-Up: Diablo III

Of course, anyone reading this blog over the past year or listening to Call Of Podcast would probably have been able to guess one or the both of those. Neither should really come as much surprise, if I haven't had much to say about Diablo since putting it on a back burner in August.

The real surprise to me, personally, has been just how deep Dota 2 has gotten its hooks into me. It's about as deep as my personal life these days (full-time job, child, spouse, etc.) will allow for the sort of thing to happen. It's nothing like what it might have been like during the days when I could binge on FFXI for entirely self-destructive amounts of time; it's a more responsible admiration as opposed to an outright addiction or obsession. I also harbor no delusions of grandeur; I will never be a great player of Dota 2, but I can try to at least be decent at it, and as long as I feel like I'm doing well in-game, playing it is high in the ranks of satisfying experiences I've had with video games. So, bravo Valve, Icefrog, the Warcraft III modding community, Blizzard, and everyone else who had a hand in bringing the game to be over the years. It's heady stuff.

If not for that game, Diablo III would easily have taken the top spot. I've had a blast with it. It's not Diablo II, and it's not Diablo, either--it's something new and modernized, and for me, it works. It works very, very well.

Past years' picks, for reference:
2011: The Witcher 2/SpaceChem
2010: Mass Effect 2/Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
2009: Demon's Souls/Red Faction: Guerilla
2008: Metal Gear Solid 4/Gears of War 2
2007: BioShock/Halo 3

And as for the progress on the backlog? Well, here are the games (liberally defined) I finished this year:
BioShock 2
Minerva's Den
Max Payne
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Legend of Grimrock
Diablo III
Diablo III (Nightmare)
Diablo III (Hell)
The Walking Dead Ep. 1
Thirty Flights of Loving
The Walking Dead Ep. 2
Moon Base Alpha
Diablo II
The Walking Dead Ep. 3
Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising
The Walking Dead Ep. 4
Fallout 3
The Walking Dead Ep. 5
Assassin's Creed III

23, all told.

Past years' totals:

The backlog is as big as its ever been, it seems. This time last year I was planning on a 2 out, 1 in completion policy. I amended that later to straight 1 out, 1 in, and then decided that books knocked off the booklog would also count as 1 out. That may be lenient, but I'll stick with it for now. There is the additional guideline of not buying a game unless I want to play it right away, which seems to have been successful, recently. Looking at the Pile o' Shame now, I'm not sure that it'll ever get back under control, or how to tackle it. I could resurrect the Resolution idea of trying something new each week, but that sounds like homework, to be honest, and not very attractive.

I don't have a New Year's Resolution of any type at the moment, really, other than the same stuff as every year--try to be fit, eat healthy, read more, write more, etc. Perhaps I'll add to that to try to play more games from the backlog. We'll see how that goes.

Oh, can't forget the Booklog! I finished one book since beginning the initiative recently:
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

There are still plenty of titles on that pile, as well.

Happy New Year, everyone, and game on!

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