Wednesday, December 26, 2012

EXP Podcast #204: 2012 Games of the Year

Alas, the year has come to an end! With 2013 around the corner, what better time to look back on some of our favorite games from the past year. In Experience Points tradition, Scott and I discuss each of our three favorite games of 2012. What makes our lists? Will we continue the trend of sharing the same Game of the Year? Listen and find out!

Also, what are your favorite games of 2012? Or even your favorite "things", period? We would love to feature it on the podcast. Find out more here!

To listen to the podcast:

- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
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Show notes:

SPOILER WARNING: Our picks are listed below!

1. Journey
2. The Walking Dead
3. Borderlands 2

1. Journey
2. The Walking Dead
3. Papo & Yo

- Runtime: 39 min 09 secs
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. I'm surprised no one mentioned Mark of the Ninja or Dust: An Elysian Tale! Though The Walking Dead and Borderlands 2 totally gets my vote!

  2. I just realised that SpaceChem was actually out in 2011... but it still counts as one of my favourites for 2012, damnit, because that's when I found out about it.

    But yeah, Journey. Not just for the powerful connection with other random people - but also the sheer beauty of the world visually, musically, and the soaring emotional arc from the snow to the top of the mountain. Did you ever see anything more glorious in games than that moment joyfully sliding past the setting sun?

  3. As always, great work! I'm always happy to see a new EXP episode in my feed :D

    Just wanted to wish you guys a happy beginning of the year, thank you for your devotion to the podcast, and say that as far as system sellers go, Half Life 3 is probably only second to Halo. You could be quite correct in associating the Steambox to HL3 :D

  4. Thanks for the comments, folks! Great choices all around, choices we'll highlight in an upcoming podcast.

  5. 1. Journey
    The temple level in particular is one of my favorite gaming experiences of all time.

    and the surfing level when it switches to the sunset 2.5D, just beautiful...

    2. Shadow of the Colossus HD
    Released in 2011, though I didn't get around to it until 2012. I also never had a PS2, so I missed out on the original. I could go on for pages why this is game is amazing, but its been covered well enough by everyone else.

    3. Space Pirates and Zombies
    I was considering putting Shadow of the Colossus as #3 as well, just because. This one however has to be on here for the amount of time spent playing (133 hours according to Steam). Some of that time was admittedly afk mining, but hot damn. For something produced by only 2 people it is an incredible game. Its not going to be appealing to everyone, but it pushed all the right buttons for me.

    Borderlands 2 would probably be in contention for #3, but I didnt start playing it until last week. I am really diggin it so far, but there are some aspects that I find a little annoying.

  6. Great list. Is it odd that I envy the your experience of playing Colossus for the first time?

  7. Not at all, I lament the fact that I will never again be able to experience that first time again either. I still love just riding around and getting lost in that world, like a vacation for me.

    Interesting side note: Time Attack mode in Shadow of the Colossus almost ruined the game for me. I found that while the challenge in of itself was fun, finding that optimal path to the weak spots, it was counter to everything I loved and found "immersive" about the experience as a whole. I had to stop after getting most of the normal mode attack complete, not because it was too difficult, but because it was creating a superficial layer reminding me it was a game, rather than a world I was exploring. Having access to the additional gear was novel at first, though I think they could have implemented this in a much better manner. It also got me thinking in retrospect how much "achievements" had somewhat spoiled some games for me in the past. Maybe a good topic for a show! (I cant be arsed right now to go back and check the archives)

  8. My top three for 2012 must be: 1) Journey, 2) The Walking Dead, and 3) Dishonored - closely followed by Mark of the Ninja. Journey was a sure winner for me - the others are good but don't come even close to Journey for me :-)

    Its a good thing that The Walking Dead has such an appealing story though, or else I wouldn't have stuck with it. That game is the single most buggy release I have ever played. I started out playing it on the PC - where the saving didn't work on my 64-bit Win 7 setup, so I had to start completely over a couple of times. I then switched to iOS which was also full of quirks - but I presevered because the storytelling was just that good :-)