2012 - Missing Games
If you discount my spell of summertime apathy, my appetite for video games has never been greater. Unfortunately, despite my enthusiasm, I just don’t have the time available for gaming that I used to. I have taken to rushing through games in an effort to fit in as many as humanly possible, instead of savouring them and sizing up platinums as I once did. My backlog has remained relatively manageable, however. I hope to finally play Dragon's Dogma in the New Year, but a packed first quarter means that it'll be a while before I get around to Kingdoms of Amalur, Witcher 2, Virtue's Last Reward and whatever is sat under the Christmas tree.
For every game that I rushed or backlogged, there was another that didn’t make it that far. These are the games that I didn't have the time, motivation or coin for, titles that were left unclaimed in digital baskets. Under the right circumstances, some of the unloved may eventually make it past checkout, but the vast majority of these near-misses are destined to be unplayed and forgotten. Of last year's collection of missing games, which included Dead Island, Battlefield 3, Catherine and Rage, only the excellent Rayman Origins found its way into my collection, thanks to a Vita port at a price I couldn't resist.
If the internet is to be believed, then I really should have made time for Dishonoured. While it may have received its fair share of end of year awards, and is already available for a wallet friendly £20, there is something about Dishonoured that has failed to inspire a purchase. I do not doubt that I’d enjoy stealthing up some steam punks, but I have been put off by the grey industrial setting, overly familiar game style and unappealing character design. It is difficult to completely dismiss such a well-loved and significant game, and chances are I will eventually buy Dishonoured, if only to condemn it to the must-play-but-won't-play pile, where it may keep Deus Ex: Human Revolution company.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown isn’t my typical kind of game, but I like to invest in a time sink every now and again. If the year were a couple of months longer, I’m sure I would have eventually raised a squad of X-Comers named after Sopranos characters, but as you are probably aware, it's not. I thought I’d be playing Borderlands 2, but the closer we got to launch the more I began to question exactly how much I enjoyed the original. I loved the looting and the bizarre sand box, but its repetitive nature grew stale far too quickly and the humour consistently fell flat - hence no Borderlands 2. I was never going to play Halo 4, but it probably deserves a mention anyway, right?
I am fucking sick of zombies, even Japanese ones, but it seems that I'm in the minority. I have lost count of the number of people - I tend to lose count at around four - who have recommended that I play Telltale's Walking Dead. Despite not being a fan of the point and click genre, I made an effort to try the demo but it only served to confirm my reservations. Despite the universal praise and GOTY love, I'm quite content to let this one pass me by, unless of course a fifth person recommends it, at which point I'll be forced to re-evaluate.
While I may have little interest in the undead, ZombiU was the lone Wii U launch title that had me considering Nintendo's latest console, if only for a millisecond. There was never any real danger of my buying a Wii U at launch, though I regret missing out on the excitement of being among the first to discover the latest console. Next spring seems as good a time as any to buy a Wii U, but that could all change if the PlayStation 4 is confirmed for late 2013. Two new consoles within nine months might be a bit much, especially if the PS4 comes with a ludicrous price tag, which is pretty much a given (the PS3 launched at £425/$689 in the UK).
With my PS3 HDD near bursting and having no shortage of new retail games to play, I skipped a number of downloadable titles in 2012 that I had intended on playing. I was excited for both Joe Danger 2 and Unfinished Swan, but they arrived at the busiest time of the year for new releases and were quickly forgotten. I had really enjoyed the Xbox Live demo for Sine Mora earlier in the year and was very pleased to learn that it would be ported to the Vita, but just like Jet Set Radio HD, it remains unpurchased. Moving platforms, I was dead set on downloading Grasshopper's Liberation Maiden and Yasumi Matsuno's Crimson Shroud on the 3DS - my love for Matsuno design outweighs my disinterest in table top RPGs - but they remain untouched and the eShop unused.
With a shit tonne of new games coming in 2013 - January-March will be unseasonably busy - and the likelihood that the next generation of home consoles will start proper later in the year, the odds are stacked against any of the above games getting a look-in in the near future, regardless of discounts and plaudits. I guess you just can't play them all.
What games of note did you miss this year, and what are the chances of you catching up?