25 Best Games of 2012
It's been quite a year in the world of gaming. We've helped a little girl survive the zombie apocalypse, gotten our revenge as a supernatural assassin, and climbed to the tops of colonial America's infant cities. We've laughed, we've cried, and we may have even chucked a controller or two in frustration. But now it's all come down to this moment -- when we crown the games that left the biggest marks on us during the year. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Arcade Sushi's 25 Best Games of 2012.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out
One of the handful of mobile games to make it onto this list, The Simpsons: Tapped Out deserves a spot because of its ridiculously addictive farming gameplay and gorgeous hi-definition 2D graphics. What started out as Homer destroying the town of Springfield via a nuclear blast, turned into one of the most popular freemium games in the market. Factor in all of the great holiday-themed updates and you've got a title that will keep the masses tapping for a while. We'd love to tell you more, but we're too busy getting Moe to smuggle endangered species into town.
This pugilistic powerhouse swept us off of our feet and became our reigning king of infinite runners. We had no idea what to expect from Rocketcat Games' fist-fueled adventure, but we sure as hell liked it. And honestly, when you have a game with lazer-breathing raptors, a demented dwarf that fights bees, and huge fists made of rocks, what's not to like? Punch Quest beat our expectations' faces in, and we couldn't be happier.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning had some very big names tied to it, like R.A. Salvatore, Todd McFarlane, Grant Kirkhope, and Ken Rolston. These people alone were enough to get us interested in the game, but it helped. No, Reckoning's gameplay is what got us hooked. While it may not be as celebrated as Skyrim, this massive game gave us the freedom to explore a beautifully rendered world and fight in seamless ways that mixed all kinds of play styles. The only downside was that our frail human bodies needed sleep, otherwise we would have played this game 24/7.
What would this list be without a little love for the 3DS? Crashmo is the sequel to 2011's surprise downloadable hit, Pushmo, and it brings something new to the addictive puzzler -- gravity! That's right, you have to factor in dropping blocks when you move objects around to help Mallo solve puzzles. This little title can have you rearranging blocks for hours on end, with little regard for anything else, which is why it deserves a place on our 25 Best Games of 2012 list.
PC, Mac, Xbox Live
This indie gem was as brutally hard as it was charming. We might even say that this platformer blurs the line between fun and punishment, giving us a gaming experience that we like to call 'funishment'! Adventurers could barely take two steps without being killed by a slow-moving bat or being impaled by wall spikes, but the feeling of accomplishment that came from making it to the exit made all of the headaches worth it. This game definitely made sure you earned your whip and adventuring fedora!
Xenoblade Chronicles was one of the Wii's swan songs and also one of the best RPGs available on the console. It pushed the boundaries of the Wii's graphical capabilities and exceeded many players' expectations. The story might seem like your typical JRPG fare, but it handles everything with style and panache. Couple in some solid voice-acting, an excellent battle system, and a few plot twists, and you've got one shiny send-off for the Wii.
Subatomic Studios LLC
What list would be complete without a representative from the tower defense crowd? Fieldrunners 2 was the excellent sequel to the already-stellar Fieldrunners game. This title gave us even cooler towers, more badass toys, and maps that kept us tapping for ages. It may have been a tower defense game, but there was no way we could protect ourselves from its sheer awesomeness.
New Super Mario Bros. U
No, the 'U' at the end doesn't stand for University, so don't try to scour the internet for an admissions page just yet. This latest escapade for the Mushroom Kingdom crew features a lot of the same gameplay we've loved for years, but now we've got the added bonus of being able to play with a 5th person on the Wii U gamepad. This added team member could lay down blocks to help their friends or to stun enemies, bringing a whole new dimension of fun to the game. The more the merrier, we always say!
Mark of the Ninja
PC, Xbox Live
If you told us you never wanted to be a ninja, then we'd probably call you a liar. Or a pirate-wannabe. Either way, we wouldn't believe you. Mark of the Ninja was a slick, 2D indie game that had us sneaking around like harbingers of death waiting in the shadows. The cartoony style went surprisingly well with all of the stealth action and we can't wait to see if it'll get a sequel.
PC, Xbox Live
Not only was this Trials game amazing, as most of the games in the series are, but now you could play in Excite Bike-like multiplayer. It's always a good time when a game's physics are the biggest hurdle, and Trials Evolution was no different. Whether you were into creating your own courses or just making your dude's head slam into a flaming barrel, playing Evolution was a joy.