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GET OUT: According to J.R.: Best games of 2012

By by j.r. ortega/jrortega@vicad.com
Dec. 26, 2012 at 6:26 a.m.


The year 2012 was definitely a hot year for video gamers across the world - particularly for fans looking for sequels to all their favorites.

But which games are the best, and more importantly, where would we rank them?

This is always a difficult question to answer, as each game caters to a person's personality and taste. However, there is no denying blockbuster games when looking at the large followings and sales.

Here are the fives games that should have been on your gamer radar this year:



No. 5 - 'Mass Effect 3'

The first "Mass Effect" hit the gaming market hard in 2007. The game was an instant hit. Then "Mass Effect 2" was released in 2010 with much success. And had even better success this year with the release of its final installment. The game is BioWare's third-person shooter, sci-fi games in which Commander Shepard tries to save the galaxy from the reapers, a race of machina. The game plays, of course, smoother than the others with its sharper graphics, enhancement in multiplayer options and the refining of the battle system. The storyline continued strong, though many have gone to the forums upset over the trilogy's ending.



No. 4 - 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3'

"Call of Duty" is one of those timeless games that keeps getting better and better as time progresses. I first tried this series in 2004, when "Call of Duty: Finest Hour" was released on PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Since then, the game has become fine-tuned, and of course, more graphically capturing. "Modern Warfare 3" is not much different from its predecessor, but again, offers more scenarios for those addicted to its online multiplayer and doesn't disappoint.



No. 3 - 'Halo 4'

What can I say? It's hard not to rank this among the top five in my book. I first started playing "Halo" my freshman year of college and haven't stopped. If it had been possible, I would have majored in it. I can't say much for the story line's campaign mode (to be honest, I've never played through the story) but I can speak volumes of its multiplayer functionality. Leveling up and customizing your characters has become much stronger. Then, there is the forging of maps, which was introduced in "Halo 3." That, too, has become much stronger and easier to handle. I know there are plenty of gamers who like "Halo" and plenty who don't. Therefore I've put it at No. 3, even though I spend some weekends keeping in touch with college friends through "Halo's" online multiplayer.



No. 2 - 'Elder Scrolls' vs. 'Skyrim'

I've been a fan of role-playing games since junior high. I've really only played "Elder Scrolls: Oblivion" and "Skyrim" (though I haven't picked either up in a while). The open-world environment, which was also present in "Olivion," continues in the cold world of Skyrim. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and the possibilities feel endless. Really, I've easily put more than 100 hours on "Oblivion." From playing what I have of "Skyrim," I really have no complaints. The world of "Skyrim" is vast and will definitely give hours of video-gaming pleasure.



No. 1 - New 'Super Mario Bros.' U (Wii U)

How can you go wrong with a plumber continuing on his adventure across the Nintendo's zany Super Mario World? You can't, really - I've tried. This is just a classic that warms the hearts of kids and adults. The game side scrolls, like all the old favorites, except now, the world is more vibrant and the music is a bit quirky, but familiar. Personally, I've enjoyed the Wii systems simply because of the "Super Mario" series. Other than that, I'm not so much drawn to it. But buying a Wii U just to play "Super Mario" games is a definite must.

J.R. Ortega is a self-proclaimed gamer who works at the Victoria Advocate. He has his favorites, but also plays some of the newest games on the market. He can be reached at 361-580-6504 or jrortega@vicad.com.

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