I’ll be perfectly honest. I am surprised that I’ve gotten these things out on time. Anyway, it’s time for the last day of my year in review. Let me just say that 2012 has been a great year for games, both big budget and indie productions and I really hope this trend continues. Hit the jump to find out what impressed me enough to be labeled game of the year.
To get considered Game of the Year, you need to be somethin’ special. You’ve either got to play on my old memories (like Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, which would have been my contender for last year, did) or go above and beyond the expectations of not only your genre, but also the industry as a whole (Spec Ops, for instance). So, with that said, Grass Pants’ Game of the Year is… Guild Wars 2!
If you told me five years ago that I’d find an excellent MMO without a subscription fee or some nonsensical microtransactions, I’d call you a liar and steal your time machine. While the mechanics (go here, smack this until it dies, repeat) haven’t changed much, the way the game delivers them to you has improved vastly. While it’s still mostly hotkey-based, combat is more action-y than in any other game of the genre. Except for maybe TERA, but they make mages stand still and cast and be incredibly boring to play, so they can go away until that’s fixed.
Guild Wars 2 has also finally gotten rid of my two biggest problems in MMORPGs: Downtime and monthly fees. Gone are the days of needing to sit and eat or drink for half a minute because you got smacked around a bit in the last fight. When you’re out of combat, you almost immediately heal up. You don’t have quest hubs than you run back and forth to, you get all of your rewards either via the mail or automatically (loot excluded) after completing an event.
The monthly fees thing? Yeah, none of that. Blizzard is charging us (well, other people) 12-15 bucks a month for a game that gets some content roughly every three or four months. This is on top of the box price. ArenaNet, on the other hand, charges sixty bucks for the box price as the only required cost, and they’ve updated the game every month since September.
If you’re like I was and were put off at the idea of being guilted into playing something, definitely check out Guild Wars 2. It’s not for everyone admittedly, because some people just straight-up don’t like MMOs; hell, if you’re interested, let me know. ArenaNet periodically gives out trial keys (like they did with The Lost Shores November event), so I’ll try and get you fine folks one next time they roll around.
Anyway, 2012’s over and even if it wasn’t, I’m tired of talkin’ about it. Tomorrow, head back here as I ramble about my anticipations for the new year. Until then, thanks for reading, have a good’un, and thanks for making this Grass Pants’ best year ever. You guys take care.