01.) Atelier Meruru (PS3)
Meruru has definitely been my absolute favourite this year. It's one of the few games I bought on day one. I've alway been a huge Atelier fan, I played all the games that got an English release so far except for the Arland series. As I didn't have a PS3 before and my brother bought his only last year, I had read a lot of reviews mentioning the differences in gameplay between the three Arland games (at that time only the Japanese version of Meruru was released and it got just announced for an US/EU release) and decided that I would have the most fun with Meruru. It sounded just like my cup of tea - micro management, a little bit of building development, turn based combat, item gathering and alchemy... no timed quests! The stories of the first two games were simple enough to catch up on via youtube, so the returning character's had also already grown on me when I finally got to play Meruru.
I loved every bit of it. The cute & fun characters, especially Meruru grew on me a lot. She was a fun heroine. She had a nice personality, was strong willed and not completely oblivious to the most obvious things (this is something a lot of the heroes in Japanese games / anime suffer from... and so annoying.) The gameplay was awesome. There were a few things I would have wished to be more comfortable when browsing through the alchemy menus, but all in all this was one of the most enjoyable games I ever played. I can't decide if I even prefer it over Persona 4 - I'll decide about that as soon as I spent some time with Golden in February when it finally gets released over here. :)
Anyway. If you own a PS3 and like Japanese RPGs and don't mind a little cuteness (and really, I get easily annoyed by the Japanese kind of cute - and this was absolutely bearable.. I even found it very much adorable.) then please play this game.
Oh yes. There's also the fact that Rufus is voiced by Takehito Koyasu in the Japanese dub. THE VOICE! (If you don't know who he is, google him and you'll see that he's voiced so many main character in so many major anime series and games... it's insane. But I can see why everyone would like to hire him as a VA. He's just awesome. ;>)
02.) Deponia (PC)
Since Point & Click Adventures have been my most favourite passion ever since I started PC gaming back in the year 99... so maybe you can imagine how hyped I was about the fact that the genre suddenly revived a few years ago, with Telltale, Daedelic and Wadjeteyegames pushing the genre a lot... oh, what utter bliss!
Deponia was one title I especially enjoyed last year. It was quirky and fun, had characters that were likeable.. and if not, they were interesting enough to keep you entertained anyway. 8) Rufus is one of the most fun "heroes" I've seen in a game. The story was so fun and I just couldn't stop playing after I started (or we, as I play all P&C Adventures together with J ;>) and gosh, was I disappointed when it suddenly just ended with no real conclusion to the story... I instantly pre-ordered the 2nd of the triology.
03.) Chaos on Deponia (PC)
And boy, did I not regret that. Deponia 2 or Chaos on Deponia is even better than Deponia. More challenging puzzles, more great humour, more awesome characters and the best: PLATYPUS! Everywhere! *__*
Now I can't wait to play the third and final installment.
I can just recommend these two games to anyone who enjoys Point & Click Adventures. Even if the English translation is a bit... well, some translations are a bit too literal. At least in the first game - I hope they fixed that for Chaos. :)
Currently you can get the first one (for Steam) pretty cheap in the new Indie Gala Bundle! (Along with other great games like Magicka & Trine!)
04.) Journey (PS3)
This beautiful, shiny little gem of a game. I've had so much trouble explaining this game to my friends... because when you tell them: "It's a game where you run through a beautiful desert to reach a mountain!" it doesn't really sound that exciting. 8)
This "game" is about atmosphere and aesthetics. At least to me it is. Each chapter adds another layer of gameplay, gives you some vague story elements that you have to interpret yourself and bathes you in it's beautiful landscape. The music always suits the current scenery and adds so much atmosphere to the chapters...
Seriously. If you own a PS3, you have to own this game as well.
05.) Botanicula (PC)
By far the cutest Point & Click Adventure ever. By the same guys who made Machinarum, this relaxing short adventure is definitely something every P&C ADV enthusiast should have played. It's adorable and fun. Takes around 5 hours to finish and leaves you with a feeling of happiness.
The perfect game for a rainy weekend evening!
06.) FTL: Faster Than Light (PC)
Or: Frustration - The Game. 8) Don't get me wrong, I love this game. Yet I hate it too. :> It's easily one of the most frustrating games ever. One wrong move and you're dead. And at the beginning. It's somewhat of a turn-based spaceship RTS simulation with rouguelike and RPG elements....? It's easier to play than this sounds tho. 8)
I'll explain that in a full review one of these days... but it's definitely one of my most played games of 2012. It's addicting. One of these games that makes you think: "Just one more turn.. one more... then I'll be off to bed!" and suddenly you realise it's 4 in the morning.
07.) Pokemon Conquest (NDS)
I haven't finished this game yet.. I actually haven't touched it since a couple of months, but it's one of the game I want to get back to and finish this year.
I was so excited when it first got announced and even more so when the news got out that it would be localised! When I finally got my hands on it I was totally hooked. It's fun, the battles do not last as long as in most other SRPGs (which always bothers me a little tbh), some are easy, some more challenging.. the game got a got balance and it's so much fun to find the "Perfect Link" for your warlords.. and then conquer all of the wonderful Pokemon world... 8)
Yes, I definitely need to get back to this game soon.
08.) Torchlight II (PC)
Please note, that in this game, you do not have to be online to be able to play. And even if you play online and disconnect, YOU CAN JUST CONTINUE TO PLAY ANYWAY! :>
I'm not that far into the game, to be honest, since I'm playing online with a friend and it's hard to find times where both of us have a couple of hours to play, but it's fun. There's tons of loot. Tons of dungeons. Tons of enemies. Tons of difficulties. Tons of skills. This game will keep you busy for hours... but it also gets a little repetitive like all games of this genre. Three hours per week are enough for me, so it might take me quite a while to finish this game. XD
09.) Cherry Tree High Comedy Club (PC)
A fun little stat raiser / friendship sim.... not everyone's cup of tea, but definitely mine, since I am so into stat raising sims... 8)
And this is not your usual raise your stats to impress a girl/guy thing like Tokimemo, but instead you play a fun girl who is into comedy and wants to have her own comedy club in school. But for that she needs to recruit people, because you need at least three members to start a club! So you raise your knowledge in various "repertoirs" so you can talk about stuff that your recruits like. If you talk about stuff they like, they'll like you more and more and finally join your club.
The story is cute and fun, the game isn't too lengthy and stats carry over if you start a new game after finishing once. I liked the game enough to finish it twice. :)
10.) New Style Boutique / Style Savvy: Trendsetters (3DS)
I've gotta admit, I didn't play this game until this year and aren't that far in yet, but since it got released in 2012 and all... ;> It's just as addicting as the first one was and does a lot of things better! More clothes! More characters! BOYS! ...I wish this game had some sort of dating element too, haha... but I'm already pleased with being a great fashion store owner that gets to spend to personal time with her clients in the cafe or park from time to time. 8)
Next up: What I'm looking forward to...