Tuesday, 25 December 2012

That was the year that was: 2012

A lot can happen in 12 months. 2012 has been a tough year for certain studios, one where we've lost the legendary Sony Liverpool (formerly Wipeout developers Psygnosis), troubled publishing house THQ, and even good old Eurocom (who gave us The World is Not Enough, easily the second best Bond game on the N64). The U.K games journalism scene nearly tore itself apart over rows about integrity, while Kickstarter launched its British operations with mixed results for industry veterans Molyneux, Braben, and the Oliver twins. Speaking of Molyneux, his studio 22 Cans faced no end of issues with their controversial debut project Curiosity, which at one point had the man in tears. E3 proved to be an oddly compelling car crash of conferences, with Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo jostling to outdo each-other in the let-down stakes. Perhaps most sadly of all, 2012 saw the closure of some of the best loved games magazines on the market, a depressing indictment of the state print media finds itself in these days. Rest in peace Nintendo Gamer, PSM3, Xbox World, and in the U.S the Official Playstation Magazine and the legendary Nintendo Power; you'll all be sadly missed. And of course we can't forget the sad passing of the Gamesmaster himself, Sir Patrick Moore. So long and thanks for all the cheat codes.

At least as a legend he'll live forever

But with death comes new life. The next generation of home consoles sorta-kinda launched at the start of this month with Nintendo's Wii U. Sure it may not be as powerful as the PS3, but we were so starved for new hardware we'll take whatever comes our way. In March the government finally popped its thumb out and offered the U.K games industry some long overdue tax breaks, the benefits of which will hopefully be felt as we move further into the next gen. A personal highlight of the year came in raising over £200 for Sick Kids Save Point through my 24 hour gaming marathon. Never in my wildest dreams did I think people would sponsor me to do something so daft, so I can't express how grateful I am to everyone that supported the cause. I'm already planning for next year.

And, believe it or not, I managed to play some games outside of that as well. Not as many as I'd hoped to, mind, but a couple of decent ones. long-term fans of the blog, if such weirdos exist, might remember me counting down my top ten games of the year around 12 months ago. I stand by the feeling that in 2011 we were truly spoiled for choice when it came to quality titles, which made picking a top ten a fairly easy task. I haven't been so lucky in 2012. Through a mixture of not playing enough games, not owning the right systems, and good old fashioned shite releases, tossing out ten games of the year would be impossible. I'm having to settle for five, which better reflects my feelings without having to resort to padding the list out with games that don't really deserve to be there. Nae luck, Playstation All-Stars.

So in the next few days leading up to new year's eve, look out for five upcoming posts on my games of the year. All being well I'll have the first up tomorrow, and the final one up before we ring in 2013. What a rush that'll be, eh? Christmas is coming a little bit ea... Oh wait no, that's not right at all. Er, merry Christmas! Disregard that I'm clearly not as organised as I thought I was. Oh well!

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