Looking back at 2012, looking forward to 2013

As all of you know I have all of the current-gen systems except the Vita and the Wii U. For me, this year was all about the 3DS. Let’s review my 2012 gaming experience by console.

Nintendo 3DS

Remember my 3DS list from the previous blog post? Let’s take another look at it:

  • Crosswords Plus
  • Harvest Moon 3D: A Tale of Two Towns
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 3D
  • Kid Icarus Uprising
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
  • Super Mario Land 3D
  • Dead or Alive Dimensions
  • Tales of the Abyss
  • Samurai Warriors Chronicles
  • The Michael Jackson Experience 3D
  • Ridge Racer 3D
  • Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning
  • Tetris Axis
  • Heroes of Ruin

All of the bolded games were bought this year. Except for Super Mario Land 3D all of them were purchased either the day of or within a few days of their US release. I held off buying SML3D until after New Super Mario Bros. 2 was released though I planned to get Mario Kart 7 at the same time. I ultimately decided against getting MK7 since (still) I haven’t finished Ridge Racer 3D yet.

The games that hold the console record for shortest time between purchases this year goes to Crosswords Plus and Harvest Moon: A New Beginning. I bought them a day apart, buying WWE 13 (Xbox 360) with Crosswords Plus. The games that hold the record for longest gap between purchases are Heroes of Ruin (bought on release day) and HM:ANB (bought last month). I as of today I’ve cleared Tales of the Abyss 3 times. I cleared Kid Icarus Uprising’s Story mode in a week’s time. It’s taken more of a backseat for much fo the year due to time spent with other games.

Of the games I’ve bought this year I’d say all except Metal Gear Solid 3 3D are must-haves. This is the 3rd time in almost as many years MGS3 has been re-released so…yeah. The game is a departure from the other 3 main games in the series (MGS 1, 2 and 4) so it works as a stand-alone game on the 3DS.

If asked “which games should I go out and buy it today?” it’s a tie of these two games:

and

Anyone who knows Namco-Bandai knows they will not release a Tales game unless they’re sure it’s gonna be profitable. We were lucky to get this game and Tales of Graces f (PS3) this year. The only way Namco will release more games from this awesome RPG series is if there are strong sales from the games they have released. Considering I had much difficulty finding copies of TotA 3DS on store shelves throughout the year that’s a great sign of things to come!

KIU won Game of the Year for some game sites and magazines, which comes as no surprise. Released 25 years after the original Kid Icarus, one could easily say Pit’s appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl was the catalyst that gave us KIU. The promos in the KI universe leading to the game’s release tells me this certainly won’t be the last we’ll see of Pit.

I saw buy them both. Both games have replay value and a likeable cast of characters. KIU also comes with AR Cards and has Online Play so…yeah.

Xbox 360

My only Retail purchase was WWE 13. See the blog post I did for more on the game. Even so it’s great to just pick up and play. This year the 360 officially replaced my Wii as my main Console system. 9 out of 10 times if I was using my Xbox 360 I was watching Netflix or an Anime I either bought from Xbox Live or on DVD (see my Anime Blog for more on that). Much of my gaming time was spent with Tales of Vesperia, clearing it twice and working on number 3. I also bought all three Fable games in the Spring and have yet to get halfway through ANY of them (lol).

I’m not into Halo. I’m not into Assassin’s Creed. I’m not until Battlefront. I’m not into Black Ops II. As I said in one of my early blogs I don’t like to waste money when buying games. I only buy games I know will give me lots of replay value.

PC Gaming

Due to my signing up for Blizzard’s Annual Pass last November, by default World of Warcraft takes the crown for my most played game of 2012. On average I spent 3.5 hours a day playing WoW though during the summer (July and August) the average was 10.75 hours a day. I’m gonna back up a bit and explain what the deal with the Annual Pass was since it seems there was some confusion by many who signed up for it and later opted out.

Those who signed up for the Annual Pass got ALL of the following:

  • Those who signed up for the Annual pass got the Tyrael’s Charger Mount
  • Diablo III Standard Edition Free of charge ($60 Game)
  • Guaranteed Invite into the Mists of Pandaria Beta
  • Increased chance of being selected for future promotions

The main stipulation of the Annual Pass was you agreed to keep your WoW subscription active for a full year. That’s it. No extra fees or anything. The six-month subscription I bought in April took care of my usual challenge of keeping my WoW active through the summer. While 2012 will likely go down as Blizzard’s most difficult year regarding WoW and Diablo III these last two months have shown the pendulum is definitely swinging the other way. After a nearly 8-month hiatus of new content Mists of Pandaria went live in September. See my blogs on it for more.

Diablo III, which many had been looking forward to for YEARS drew controversy before it was released. The reason: The Real Money Auction House (RMAH). Despite years if telling WoW Players “No Real Money Transactions EVER” they introduce it with D3. The likely reasoning for this is to show its WoW Base WHY they don’t want real world money in Azaroth: It broke the economy in D3 as expected.

Shifting gears away from MMOs I bought Civilization V and its expansion Gods and Kings last month via Steam. The “always on” requirement to play the steam version forces me to buy a retail copy of the game. I can see no reason a game with no online play should have lag. I bought a new high-end laptop computer last month and that helped confirm it’s definitely not anything wrong on my end. All I can say is lesson learned >.>;

Nintendo Wii

Admit it, you never expected to see anything new from me in light of my announcement of not getting its successor, the Wii U. After holding out for a year I finally bought a new copy of Xenoblade Chronicles earlier this month. For me it was like when I bought Tales of Symphonia (Gamecube): “Why did I wait to buy this game?!”

Without a doubt Xenoblade Chronicles was the last big game released for the Wii. Considering I bought it a month AFTER the Wii U was released I can appreciate it more since the attention of many has shifted to the Wii U. Many but not most. I was relieved to see almost all my contacts on Gamefaqs, Court Records, Serenes Forest and Fantasy Anime were not getting a Wii U either.

Why have so many Nintendo Fans been dissing Nintendo’s online interface from the beginning? Here’s the main reasons:

  • Friend Codes: In order for you and a friend to play with each other you had to exchange Friend Codes. Until you added each others’ friend codes you could not play with each other. The DS was the worst offender, requiring a friend code PER GAME. This was a real pain when I had 3 DS Consoles (a DSi and two DS Lites) and had to rememberto only play a game with a specific console or the friend code would reset. Thankfully the 3DS, Wii and Wii U are one friend code per console but still it forces people to use the internet if they don’t know people nearby with their game/system. One thing Xbox Live does that I really like is being able to friend people you meet in online games. They have to approve it on their end of course but unlike Nintendo they’re more open to people making new friends online.
  • Virtual Console: Not gotta lie, when word first broke on the Virtual Console I thought “So this is their answer to ROM Sites.” As we’ve since learned it’s had no effect on a number of popular ROM Sites I will not name since I will be talking about two I use in the near future (!). For those who either haven’t touched a Nintendo system in the last 8 years or never have period, here’s how it works. Basically one can download select games released on older Nintendo and Sega consoles (NES, SNES, Sega CD, Genesis, etc.) onto their Wii/Wii U. Notice I bolded “select games”. Nintendo is VERY selective of what games are released. MANY games have been released but a few games including Earthbound (the game with Ness in it) never was. The 3DS equivilent is about the classic handhelds (GBA, GBC, Game Gear, Game Boy) though 12 NES games have been released since last fall.
  • One Download at a Time: This is something Xbox and PS3 owners are quick to point out given you can que multiple downloads on BOTH systems. Not only are you limited to one download at a time but you can’t do anything until the download is completed.
  • Virtual Currency: To be fair they moved away from this model starting with the 3DS and use real-world money–likely due to states like mine wanting to collect the sales tax. It is interesting to note Microsoft uses a combination of both MSP (Miscrosoft Points) and real currency in XBL. Full games are purchased with currency while everything else including Movies are bought with MSP. The Playstation Network (PSN) uses only currency.

That’s the long and short of it. It certainly didn’t help the Wii had limited storage from the start. The system updates in recent years helped with that but still you were limited if like me you bought alot of games from the Wii Shop Channel. The Wii U offers compatability with External Hard Drives but in my book there’s no reason they couldn’t have done this for the Wii U. Having migrated games from the DSi to my 3DS I do NOT want to sit through trnasferring my purchases from one console to another again because Nintendo is too cheap and/or lazy to have a universal system where you can simply redownload all of your purchases on the new system. Both Microsoft and Sony let you do this free of charge on their consoles.

…I went on a tangent there. Anywho, 2012 marks the end of an era for me. for the first time in my 24- year gaming experience I will not buy a new Nintendo Console.  The 3DS will likely be my last Nintendo Handheld as well. Both Sony and Microsoft have shown they can change with the times. Yes I’m aware of the new Super Smash Bros. Game coming out. That might coax me into buying a Wii U but the game’s a good 2-3 years away if I had to guess.

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