January of 2012 wasn’t as impressive as it has been the last few years, but we here at Warp Zoned didn’t let that get us down. We were still busy playing demos, getting excited about the future, and – as always – digging through our backlogs to clear space on our shelf for all those new games. Read on to find out exactly what we played in the post-holiday gaming season.
After the absolutely great Januarys in 2010 and 2011, I was hoping gamemakers would make the first month of the year a blockbuster month for years to come. Sadly, that wasn’t the case in 2012. But I did get some new gaming in with Amy (if you can call that “gaming”). Between the poor controls and the broken saving system, Amy is already in line to be one of the biggers duds of 2012.
And after seeing Zynga profiled on “Rock Center With Brian Williams,” I began playing CityVille on Facebook (shut up!). It’s actually a more solid gaming experience than you’d expect from the house of FarmVille (seriously, shut up!). I just wish it had a better single-player component for those of us who can’t convince our friends to tend virtual houses and highways.
I spent most of January re-playing Final Fantasy XIII, starting up Assassin’s Creed, and revisiting my 3DS – mostly to play the Resident Evil Revelations demo, but once I was there, I remembered I was playing Link’s Awakening and dove back into that. But the real highlight of this month was the demo for Final Fantasy XIII-2, which was so strong and smooth that it made me even more impatient for… well… the day you will be reading this! You can see my hands-on preview here, or just wait until I inhale the game and write my review for the full story. Other than that, I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons, various board games, and skeeball. Free time? What’s that?
January saw the end of Star Ocean: First Departure and the inevitable end of Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Needless to say, I’m RPG’ed out this month. Surprisingly, that’s the majority of what I played – I got into a little bit of God of War II and also worked through some of the HD version of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Since the Star Ocean games are pretty lengthy, I didn’t play too many games in total, but I mean, come on! It’s only January!
January, January, January. So nice, I said it thrice. It was full of more handheld binging for me. I played a fair amount of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, perfecting my tactical skills. When I wasn’t trying like hell to keep my troops alive, I tried to maintain a steady heartbeat while playing Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3. Every time Baby Mario floats around in that bubble, screaming his lungs out, I have a mini heart attack. But nothing compares to the deep depression I feel whenever the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo ends. It’s shaping up to be a great game and I can’t wait to play through it. And I’ll try my best to not kill every questgiver I see in the game proper. Look, I even wrote a preview!
January was a month split right down the middle. After recovering from my London-induced hangover, I finally decided it was time to unleash Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. While I enjoyed it, I found it to be one of the most frustrating video game experiences of my 30 years, and I don’t think my wrists will ever recover from the sword play.
After completing that (and laughing when my Wii asked me if I wanted to play it again in Hero Mode, because I would rather chop off a testicle than suffer the ridiculousness that is Fi again) I turned my attentions to a pre-Christmas selfish purchase, Darksiders (under £10 – bargain). How had this game passed me by? It is absolutely perfect! It’s like a modern day Golden Axe. This has shot up to number three in my list of video games that need to be made into films (behind Assassin’s Creed and Fallout 3, just). I am so excited for the sequel, although I may savour my excitement and buy it for the Wii U. Time will tell.