Welcome to the Best of Kotaku, where I round up all of this week's best content.
Above is proof that if there's anything to do with Portal and cats, you know I'm going to post it. And I have the creator, JustynaDorsz, to thank for supplying me with one.
Moving on to our Best Of content this week, we kick things off as usual with a comment from the community.
Our favorite comment of this week comes to you from naru-joe93 on our Talk Amongst Yourselves forum:
After writing this in an almost fugue state of tiredness, it probably came out incoherent, but fuck it! I put the god damn work in so here it is!
I see a lot of people on gaming forums say "this was a bad year for gaming". It was, but only for AAA games. It was rife with disappointment from, previously, great series' (I'm looking at you Resident Evil 6, Ass Creed 3, and Mass Effect 3!!!); things got increasingly sleazy as it became common practice to have online passes, and dlc that should have been in the main game (leviathan, being—according to Brad Shoemaker, who didn't beat the game until a week ago—a revelation for ME3s ending); and the constant stream of uninspired games reached an all new level of staleness. Through all this, I found myself defending AAA games, most likely trying to rationalize plucking down 60 bucks on things that left a bad taste in my mouth.
Knowing my sister was going to get me Far Cry 3 for xmas got me excited, as it was one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2012. But once I popped in the disc, I felt myself yearning to play FTL; a game I spent 5 bucks on, but will spend 100s of hours getting lost in. But wait, I also have They Bleed Pixels, Snapshot, Hotline Miami, Mark of the Ninja, and a pile of other indie games I'm aching to play, and will, because its not the same old bullshit, the bullshit being grand, yet HUGELY unfocused projects from AAA developers. Eventually I will play Far Cry 3, but, sadly, not for quite some time
This is where casual and AAA vs indie and hardcore come in. Before I started writing this, my idea of casual vs. hardcore was a game like wii sports vs a game like call of duty. In reality, call of duty is the most casual gaming series ever conceived. It's made specifically for the highly sought after 18-35 demo, which mostly consists of bros who buy 2 games a year. It's sad to see AAA publisher try so hard to appeal to a group of people who could give less of a shit; it's diluting the diversity of games out there. Even ambitious games like Spec Ops get bogged down by the publishers need to include competitive multiplayer in every game with shooting (an example coming out next year is the last of us)
In one sense, the AAA games industry is very similar to the Hollywood system of spewing out explosion after explosion, the important difference is that movies cost 10 bucks, and AAA games cost $60 dollars (you could say movies also have money to make from both theaters and the home market). So while movies movies will profit, games will not because the people the games are being made far aren't going to buy them.....
And its killing the industry......
More studios closed in 2012 than ever before, and looks like that trend will continue. (that's all I have to say on that subject, because this will become much longer than it already is).
As a life long gamer, someone who considers it a great passion, I'm tired of it all. I'm tired of mindlessly killing wave after wave of mindless clones, not because I think its immoral, or causes violence, but because it's become so fucking boring. Every game is morphing towards the COD ideal, and will never mimic the success. In an industry like games, risk reward is key to making a profit, and AAA publishers feel a large risk will yield a large reward, and it almost never does.
In the end, I just don't see myself buying a next gen console if the trend of sameness continues. I think steam big picture, a decent computer, and a gamepad will do me just fine, and the same will probably yield true for a lot of other passion gamers
Stephen Totilo takes a look back at 2012 through the lens of his gaming experiences. More »
Brian Ashcraft recalls all of this year's best cosplay. More »
Mike Rougeau explains how a higher frame rate could actually work well in a film like Avatar 2. More »
Kirk rounds up the best surprises from the past year. More »
Mike tells us about the hidden, apocalyptic story in Little Inferno. More »
Owen Good decides that, spoilers, there's no sports game of the year. More »
Mike wonders what's going on with the ressurected Black Isle studio. More »
Mike has a few ideas for the sequel to Dark Souls. More »
Patricia Hernandez rounds up a bunch of alarmingly odd end-of-the-world confessions. More »
Mike tells us about the online shooter ceasefire, and the one gamer who is completely against it. More »
Quintin Smith shares fives awesome board games people are playing in 2012. More »
Stephen Totilo, Luke Plunkett and Kirk Hamilton get into the most epic of debates on Assassin's Creed III. More »
Sarah Elmaleh wants people to be affected by games, and the art in them. More »
Patricia shares deeply personal stories of her memories with violence, both real and virtual. More »
Kirk rounds up a bunch of our articles that show how strong a year 2012 was for PC gaming. More »
Owen rounds up the year's most heated controveries. More »
The Status Of Microsoft and Sony's Next Consoles. Plus: A Whole Bunch Of This Year's Gaming Secrets.
Superannuation covers this year's meaty rumors of Durango and Orbis, as well as some other newly uncovered information. More »
Tina Amini rounds up this year's games, comics, shows and movies with zombies in them. More »
Owen rounds up the year in sports video games. More »
Patricia learns to value the easy difficulty mode in video games. More »
Tina rounds up all of Kotaku's best stories in 2012. More »
Jason visits the Xseed office to share with us how the company brings Japanese games over to the U.S. More »
Sam Sattin tries to find the rules for the perfect video game, and it ends up being a lot like finding love. More »
Jason has some ridiculous, some not so ridiculous predictions for JRPGs next year. More »