Critical Miss: Top Five Games of 2012 #1

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I'm gonna take that invitation to disagree and use it to disagree strongly. First as others have pointed out saying that Thomas Was Alone out writes every other game ignores To the Moon, and I would also add katawa-shoujo to the "excellently written games" list. Second I remember in his Dead Space review Yahtzee mocked the game for trying to make us feel something about it's protagonist, comparing it to trying to make us feel sorry for a lamp because it fell down. This about sums up why I don't care about Thomas Was Alone, it is almost literally trying to make you feel sorry for a lamp, and asking me to feel something about a bunch of squares running around on a white background is a good to make me feel absolutely nothing. Although I was complaining about TWD and Journey being overly common GOTY picks, at least I can understand why people chose them, even if I disagree, but with Thomas Was Alone I'm left absolutely baffled as to how anyone can enjoy the tedious gameplay, let alone actually feel any emotion towards its story. I guess some people are just really easily driven to emotion.

Ignatz_Zwakh:
Huh, no Hotline Miami. Kinda surprised. Mostly due to how everyone else falls all over it.

Hotline Miami was great, but it just didn't click with me. I think it was the constant strobing light effects and the heavy 80's EVERYWHERE aesthetic that put me off.

octafish:
You all realise that To The Moon came out in 2011, right? I guess not. I liked it too but you can't put it in a list for 2012.

In the post-comic wordsy bit Grey said

With the exception of Telltale's The Walking Dead and Christine Love's excellent Analogue: A Hate Story, nothing released in 2012 (or 2011, or 2010, for that matter) comes close to matching Thomas Was Alone's narrative punch

Which is what people are reacting too.

Also if you wanna cheat a bit, it didn't come out on steam till early September 2012 (even though it actually came out in 2011) so it's fully possible that people might have been playing it in 2012 as if it were a new game.

MetalMagpie:

Bolt-206:
I'd probably be likely to disagree with the honourable mentions, 'cause I'm not sure how Skullgirls got there.

rhizhim:

Honorable Mentions:
The War Z

whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

I notice that "Mass Effect 3's Excellent Ending" is also on the honourable mentions list. Which makes me suspect there may be a fair amount of joking going on.

Jokes in a comic strip? Preposterous!

major_chaos:
I'm gonna take that invitation to disagree and use it to disagree strongly. First as others have pointed out saying that Thomas Was Alone out writes every other game ignores To the Moon, and I would also add katawa-shoujo to the "excellently written games" list. Second I remember in his Dead Space review Yahtzee mocked the game for trying to make us feel something about it's protagonist, comparing it to trying to make us feel sorry for a lamp because it fell down. This about sums up why I don't care about Thomas Was Alone, it is almost literally trying to make you feel sorry for a lamp, and asking me to feel something about a bunch of squares running around on a white background is a good to make me feel absolutely nothing. Although I was complaining about TWD and Journey being overly common GOTY picks, at least I can understand why people chose them, even if I disagree, but with Thomas Was Alone I'm left absolutely baffled as to how anyone can enjoy the tedious gameplay, let alone actually feel any emotion towards its story. I guess some people are just really easily driven to emotion.

First of all, it's "Top Five Games of 2012", not 2011, or whatever year KS was finished. Second, that is precisely the beauty of the game. It makes you feel something for RECTANGLES. There aren't too many games that can make that.

Now OT: I just had to create an account to congratulate you, Grey and Carter. This game was amazing from the first second and, for me at least, until the last one. I also had the same reactions with the other games:

wAriot:
Snip

As someone about 2 posts above me said, I was reacting to the part where grey says

With the exception of Telltale's The Walking Dead and Christine Love's excellent Analogue: A Hate Story, nothing released in 2012 (or 2011, or 2010, for that matter) comes close to matching Thomas Was Alone's narrative punch

I'm not saying KS should have been on the list, I'm disagreeing with the idea that TWA is some kind of unequaled masterpiece. Second the other point that I was making is that maybe some people could feel emotion for this game, I can't and the fact that others can confuses me to no end.

Thomas was Alone was actually made by Mike Bithell, not Mark Bithell.

It was also very good, and you should play it =D

What's the third game in the comic?

What is the third meh from? I don't recognize it.

Honorable Mentions:
...
Mass Effect 3's Excellent Ending
The War Z

Trolls.

Well, that was unexpected. What is it about depressing games which make me want to drink myself comatose that make game critics sing their praises? It's like The Academy nominating the feel-bad hits of the year.

Yesssss thank you for this!
I'm not one for tears, but Thomas Was Alone easily pulled some out of me.

The music is beautiful, the narration is spot on, the visuals are surprisingly good for a bunch of blocks, and by god if any character in any major video game had half of the character development those blocks did it would be hailed as a second coming.

I still will replay that internet scene... ;_;

Falsename:
I don't care what you did or didn't like... You write (bad) comics. Just focus on them, not your likes and dislikes because your opinion is as varied and opinionated as anyone. Are you a reviewer legitimately?

Sorry but these comics are pretty terrible. Wasn't there like a moment where some blonde guy was hanging the main character out a window or something then we just kind of.... moved on?

Retire, please.

You didn't see how that resolved?

I'd say "stop reading this comic, please" as a rebuttal to your ridiculous assertion that they should retire, but it appears you mostly already have.

Honorable Mentions:
...
The War Z

Unless you meant to include a DIShonorable section then I fail to see how the scam z made by banhammerpoint scammeractive with a metascore of 23 and userscore of 1.3 fits into this list...

It's no troll, this is a great game, and everything he said was spot on.

Okay, some of the Honorable Mentions were trolls.

Darth_Payn:
Well, that was unexpected. What is it about depressing games which make me want to drink myself comatose that make game critics sing their praises? It's like The Academy nominating the feel-bad hits of the year.

The main reason is that these games are proving that games CAN tell an emotionally engaging story BEYOND simply "These guys are evil because of reasons, kill them to win".

Rainboq:
I have to say, the one part that made gave me feels in Borderlands 2 was

Also, I have to agree with this, excellent choice.

OT: I never even heard of this game, I'll have to remember to look into it.

Zhukov:
I... I think I might have to hate you for all eternity on account of that second "myeeeh".

I'm sorry but this. Totally this! UNFORGIGABLBLE!!

Rainboq:
I have to say, the one part that made gave me feels in Borderlands 2 was

Also, I have to agree with this, excellent choice.

No! Nonononono.

Sam17:
What's the third game in the comic?

BehattedWanderer:
What is the third meh from? I don't recognize it.

Borderlands 2

Great that just about summed up all the things that weren't okay this year in just a few panels

Oh god. Yep. I only played Thomas Was Alone recently and when I went to review it for my stupid-ass videogame blog all I could think was THIS IS A MONUMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT IN STORYTELLING. In a year defined by such things... you're pretty right in saying it is, as far as short-form stories go, the best one. Plus the gameplay is supported by the plot which is supported by the gameplay, instead of one or the other taking precedence. That's important, and a lot of games with great stories just completely forgot about that.

1) Tybalt Leftpaw from Guild Wars 2. One of the most charismatic, entertaining personalities that I've come across in a video game. And, when he died, I shed more than a few tears. That was far better than some blocks. This is especially how cute he was when he transformed into a princess and kept talking about his "apples".

2) The War Z as honorable mention? Are you trying to purposely draw out an audience/flamebait here? That's go to be the single biggest rip-off game than those of Zynga that they actually rip off other companies. It's a giant cash in with very little to offer and a scam to it's customers.

It reminds me of something Don Hertzfeldt said a while back, about how you could create a romance between a red square ad a blue circle, and if you did it right, there wouldn't be a dry eye in the house.

Depending on how kind you're feeling, Thomas Was Alone is either a testament to gaming's storytelling potential, or a grim reminder of how far the mainstream games industry is from reaching that potential.

I'm all for the grim part.

Lucky me I'm in my backlog enjoying games of yesteryear, fairly literally, so most of the 2012 year of sucking out loud has passed me by. I've dabbled in things, deeply subfusc things, and for some darned reason Mass Effect 3 is just not thrilling me at all. I'm not excited, or moved, I'm just kind of underwhelmed, and found my groove in Civilization Revolution again (I like board games).

On the bright side, being behind gives me more filters through which I may better sift the more choice turds from the less offensive ones. Episodic games tend to slip under my radar, usually because I remember that games like SiN and Half Life are proof it's a bad format, and Stephen King's reflection on The Green Mile makes it truly evident as to how it really is about getting away with slipping more fingers in the up consumer's asses and looking like a hero. Maybe Telltale is on to something, maybe The Walking Dead is good stuff not meant to feel like rectally invading digits, and maybe I'll give it a closer look considering the accolades it's received so far now that it's going to be available as a meal rather than as a trickle of overpriced sustenance delivered through a needle thin IV line.

Either way I wish Gandhi would stop declaring war on me.

Man, I'm glad this made someone's Top 10 list. It's a very interesting and imaginative platformer - about blocks. BLOCKS. It brings games and narrative back to basics, and uses aesthetics as well as game feel back to basics.

Wasn't on my top 10 list, but I think I need to revisit it.

Certainly wasn't expecting that.

Thanks for that though! Gives us all something to think about.

Edit: no one is on you for

Mass Effect 3's Excellent Ending

?

lancar:
*opened post*
*read the Spoiler warning in big text*
*figured it meant the Mass Effect 3 ending clearly visible right underneath it*
*scrolled down to see the punchline*
*got The Walking Dead spoiled*

...

*sad bunny*

Walking Dead wasn't spoiled. Clem holds a gun and gets blood on her several times in the course of the game. That doesn't spoil ANYthing.

...deleting accidental repost...

Zachary Amaranth:

Sejborg:
"Myeh"? Don't you mean "meh"?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJGuSeidtew

There was a time before the Simpsons where people actually had different ways of saying essentially the same thing.

It was a scary time when memes were much harder to spread and people didn't just post "this" to express their opinions.

Looks like somebody's living in the past... Contemporise man!

doggie015:

Honorable Mentions:
...
The War Z

Unless you meant to include a DIShonorable section then I fail to see how the scam z made by banhammerpoint scammeractive with a metascore of 23 and userscore of 1.3 fits into this list...

Probably because of the entertaining non-game aspect of it. Mostly the news. :P

shadowmagus:
I have no idea what I'm missing...and can't tell if this is a clever troll to get me to try some obscure indy game or just an outright troll. Either way, I'm thoroughly confused here.

Same here man, I have never EVER heard of this game until now. Seriously at least the beginning of the original ending of ME3 had some emotional moments, and COMPLETELY dismissing The Walking Dead's ending assuming you went through the whole thing getting attached to the character of Clementine is just mind-boggling to me. I was damn near to tears by those last moments.

Vault101:
you know spoiler warnings arent all that great if you don't know what game they are for...*sigh*

This. the Walking Dead ending won't be the same now :(

I think I know what all the honourable mentions have in common:

I could be wrong.

anyways, I'll remember to get this game once I have money to spend.

I might be pretty late to the party here but I can not be the only one that noticed he drew a great big chode with rectangles there in the second last panel, can I?

OT: I don't think The Walking Dead deserved a myeh but opinions, I guess. As much as the TV show made me grind my teeth, the game was actually pretty good. Not 10/10 amazing like people make it out to be but I give it at least an 8/10 for making me give a damn about the characters.

deathbydeath:

ShirowShirow:
Huh. All I could think of while looking over that comic was...

"Dude. It was a sucky year to be a black guy in videogames."

Yes.

OP: While I appreciate the irony in your honorable mentions, I am curious as to whether or not Skulgirls was a part of that irony, and why/why not.

I'm interested in the game, but there's no PC release yet.

And now this is the excuse I needed to play Thomas Was Alone.

Im not normally on the whole pc train but I agree. I mean if I was black I wouldnt do that whole "Gaming hates gays,blacks,women thing that people do but Id prolly think. "Sure would be nice to have a cool black protagonist every now and then."

Thanks for the tipp. Bought it. Steam is kinda great for sth. like this because BAM now I have it.
Super.

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