The Best Games You Missed in 2012 – Part 1

games you missed in 2012

2012 was a year chock-full of amazing games. Not only did we get to play a number of groundbreaking blockbuster titles like Far Cry 3, HALO 4, Mass Effect 3, and Assassin’s Creed 3, we also received a smattering of unique and creative independent titles like The Walking Dead, Mark of the Ninja, and the award-winning Journey.

Unforunately, because of the almost overwhelming amount of games to choose from, there were a number of truly great titles that went unnoticed and never achieved the sales they deserved. The next couple of games are the best console titles you missed in 2012.

Check out part 1 The Best Games You Missed in 2012 – Part 1 after the break.


Warriors Orochi 3

Now I know people might call me crazy for putting Tecmo Koei’s Warriors Orochi 3 in this list, but I have to say, out of the dozens of games I’ve installed and played on my PS3, Warriors Orochi 3 saw the most play in 2012. I’ve unlocked everything there is to unlock (hundreds in fact) and spent almost 100+ hours on the game. Yet, here we are in 2013 and I still find myself playing it for hours on end.

Warriors Orochi 3 represents the slow but steady evolution (and culmination) of Koei’s longest running hack & slash crossover franchise. Warriors Orochi 3 boasts 132 unique characters; all coming with unique movesets, voice acting, and multiple costumes.  It also features a three-character switchable strike team, a deep weapon fusion system, and even guest appearances from Ninja Gaiden’s Ryu Hayabusa, Warriors Legend of Troy’s Achilles, and Trinity’s Nemea.

Seriously; the next time you’re having a really bad day, load up this bad boy and lay waste to thousands of historical figures from both the Three Kingdoms and Shogun Empires.



One of the most visually engaging rhythm/shooter/racer games on the PS3, DYAD looks and feels like an acid trip, putting together the best parts of Child of Eden, REZ, and Audiosurf into one multi-sensory package. Everything you see and hear correlate to every move you make in the game. In a way, I was a musician and DYAD was my instrument; each of the levels I played made me feel like I was performing a song through my movements and gameplay.

You could look at DYAD as a racer, but compared to traditional racing games where you’re only following one track, DYAD presents you with a number of ways to build momentum and build your own soundtrack throughout its levels. And at its fastest speeds, DYAD works like a puzzle overwhelming you with information and music interaction, you’ll only have a split second to decide on your next move.


Sound Shapes

Again another example of the unique and creative crowd-sourced games available for the PS3 and PS Vita. Sound Shapes is perhaps one of the most important games to come to Sony’s new handheld. Part instrumental app and part game, this platformer allowed players to create their own levels, their own music and share them online.

The pre-packaged levels and music are of top quality including contributions from Deadmau5, Beck, Jim Guthrie, and even the Capybara team (Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery). Sound Shapes also boasts a long shelf life because the Sound Shapes community continually creates new levels and improves on top-favorites. Built-in content can be used as assets to create new levels and uploaded online for everyone to play and enjoy.


Sleeping Dogs

Originally a sequel to Activision’s True Crime franchise, Square-Enix picked up the game and brought us one of the most engaging open world games of 2012. It was so good in fact that it launched to much critical acclaim (especially for a new IP). It wasn’t just another GTA clone, though; Sleeping Dogs separated itself from the pack with an engaging story, relatable characters, a brutal fight system, and a living, breathing, open-world Hong Kong.

The combat system is successful because it was a mix of Arkham City’s multi-opponent system, with a deep well of real world martial arts moves. In addition to that, driving is tight and responsive, making traversal from mission to mission, or just driving around Hong Kong a joy. Hell, even the race missions were fun to play, and I usually avoid those in other open world games.


Papo & Yo 

If you haven’t played the PSN exclusive Papo & Yo, then you’re missing out on one of the most emotionally-charged games ever released on the PlayStation Store. Created by Montreal-based Minority Media, Papo & Yo is one of those rare video games that generate empathy from the player because of its well-written story, relatable characters, and metaphors to real life. Not only did it entertain players with its gameplay, but it also shined a light on social issues that are almost never touched upon by our interactive media.

It’s a sad yet beautiful game, made all the more effective by its narrative and social statements. If you’re looking for a game that’s deeper than most you’ve ever played, then Papo & Yo should be your next purchase.


Spec Ops: The Line

Spec Ops: The Line flew under everyone’s radar because it was released about the same time as other, blockbuster games. It played pretty much like every other third person shooter on the market, but it brought with it a powerful story, deep characters, and a serious insight on the effects of war on a soldier’s psychology. It was also one of the first “shooter” games that made people hesitate on pulling their triggers. 

Spec Ops: The Line also differentiates itself from other games with “moral compasses” by having you decide on courses of action that are oftentimes morally ambiguous. Even decisions with the best of intentions will have drastic consequences not only to the people around you, but on your character’s psyche as well.

There you have it folks, part one of our list of the best games you missed last year.  Part 2 will be up on Friday, February 22!

What about you? Which 2012 games  flew under your radar that you’d like to try this year?

(I originally wrote this piece for SonyRumors.Net) – Part 2 is a strictly JTM article.

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming.

Posted on February 20, 2013, in Best Of 2012 Awards and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I put spec ops at my number one game of 2012, admittedly I’ve missed out on a few of these!

    • Spec Ops was an amazing game wasn’t it? Too bad the gameplay was just okay and couldn’t catch up to the story and characters. Which of the games listed do you want to try next?

      • definitely Papo and Yo, I’d never even heard of it before, but it looks great graphically and if what you’ve said about the plot is true, its more than worth a shot!

      • Im glad that you’re willing to give it a try! It’s one of my favorite games of all time and hopefully you’ll like it too

  2. Really need to get around to all of these…

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