John Sato’s Best Game of 2012

Picking the best game of the year was even harder for me than picking the best anime. I’ve played a pitiful few games that were published in 2012 so choices were meager. Additionally, most of the options I did have were indie titles, so my sampling of the years’ releases has hardly been thorough. In spite of this, I found a title I consider suitable, so read on for my last contribution to The Grass Feels Like Pants’ 2012 Retrospective!

I said in my previous post that it would be lame to give two awards to the same product. Lame as it my be, however, I still have to give the best of the year award to the game which was also the biggest surprise: Hotline Miami.

Now, please understand something. I haven’t played many games from this year, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been buying and playing games at all. I’ve spent 2012 playing releases all the way from the early 90’s up to last year, so I’ve seen a large portion of what the industry has offered in its lifetime. It’s based off of this and not so much the rest of 2012 that I made my judgment. I can’t say much for the quality of other games this year, but I can say that compared to most everything else that’s been released, Hotline Miami is one of the best video games of this century (starting 12 years ago), if not all time.

Granted, not everyone else will feel quite so strongly, but regardless it’s worth some praise. See, this is a video game. Hotline Miami is, in the truest sense of the word, a video game. It tries and succeeds to communicate a narrative that it shares with you. It has play mechanics and level design made to challenge, engage, and entertain you. It has an interesting, and certainly very vibe fitting visual style. And it has one hell of a strong sense of style. It does everything interactive media should: it tells the story it wants to while letting you advance it in a way that is entertaining and interesting.

Everything else necessary to elevate that to the best game of whatever period of time is accounted for it the wonderful execution of the game. All in all, Hotline Miami has been an unexpected but entirely welcome addition to the game industry. I would go on, but the last time I did it took over a thousand words for me to finish, and I don’t intend to bore you so horribly. Not everyone will love it as much as me (though I know many others will), but I would like to think my tastes are good enough that any game that makes it into my top three all time favorites is at least worth a try.

And that’s my pick for the best game of 2012. I’d like to thank my wonderful host and comrade Somewhat Mystia for letting me join in, and I hope you all have a great new year. Cheers!

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About John Sato

I'm a writing & math tutor who blogs about anime and video games.
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