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Denpa, Bayonetta, Riptide and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate merch!

Bayonetta Screenshot

I'm trying to make a serious effort towards trimming down my backlog this year, so I decided to give Bayonetta one more shot. I've started and quit the game twice before, but it comes up in conversation so often and in such positive terms that I'd feel like I wasn't doing my critical due diligence unless I gave it a least one more try.

Shogun Skulls, Denpa Men and Crash Mobs

The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave is a title I had been looking at in the e-shop since the day I picked up my 3DS, but I just wasn't convinced to buy. It was cute enough and it seemed weird enough, but the demo didn't sway me and I left it on my wish list for later.

Back to our regularly-scheduled programming...

DmC: Devil May Cry Screenshot

It feels like it's been a while since I've done a proper blog post, and there's a lot of stuff to catch up on, so let's get right to it...

Brad's Honorable Mentions of 2012

Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition Screenshot

So in the last post, you saw my top ten games of 2012. However, I think the last twelve months were fabulous for gaming overall. It seemed as though there were a neverending stream of titles that ranged from "pretty good" to "pretty great,"and I never had much trouble finding something that was worthwhile.

You can't always CYOA

Fallout 3 Screenshot

Something interesting I noticed this year was a trend of push-back against "choice" games in which the player did not get to control every outcome. The two biggest examples which spring to mind are, of course, The Walking Dead and Mass Effect 3.

Back to business!

Damnation Screenshot

Without fail, every single person I've ever asked about Damnation said it was utter trash, but the box was so intriguing and the subject matter (Steampunk/Wild West/Civil War/Robots/Magic) was just too much up my alley to ignore. I think I got it for something like $4, and at the time that I picked it up, the clerk literally told me that I shouldn't buy it.

Brad's Top 10 of 2012

Persona 4: Arena Screenshot

Another year, another breakdown of the year's best games…according to me. Before writing this list, I went back to my archive and looked over what I'd said in years past. The funny thing is that while plenty of folk were saying that the "big" games disappointed in 2012, I also found that to be true in 2011 and 2010. Perhaps the trend is becoming more noticeable now, but in hindsight, it definitely seems to be a trend that's been happening for a while.

TouchTalk, Volume Five

Nano Ninjas Screenshot

Welcome back to a semi-regular feature here at GameCritics.com: TouchTalk. While this series was inspired by one of my old features, the Bargain Basement, I've got an all-new focus for an all-new phase in gaming. Rather than highlighting discounted gems in the used section of a retail shop, I'll be reviewing downloadable mobile games and apps that you might want to check out… and maybe some that you'll want to avoid.

Holiday Leftovers: The listener comments

The Walking Dead: Episode One—A New Day Screenshot

This year we asked our readers and listeners for their top three favorite games of 2012. We also asked them for the single worst. Our intention was to tally the results and have a "popular vote" alongside that of our staff critics, but we got so many well-written rationales that it seemed like a shame to let them go to waste. As such, we've assembled these write-ups as a companion piece to our year-end podcast.

However, since we did not originally plan to publish these, we've removed the names from each piece to protect the privacy of the authors. We've also rearranged the order of the comments to make them a little more readable. (We may have done a little spell-checking as well, but we won't talk about that right now.)

In any event, we here at Gamecritics think that there's always value in hearing someone else's opinion. To that end, here are some of the reader and listener testimonials for The Best of 2012.

Lost in translation—Japanese PSN imports!

Vehicle Cavalier Screenshot

The good people at GungHo recently released six "classic" Japanese PS1 games on PSN. They are currently available in the "Imports" section for $5.99 each, and they're in their "original, unaltered" Japanese state, meaning that no localization work has been done on any of these. In the interest of disclosure, it should be known that GungHo PR sent me a code for all six games for the purposes of evaluation. It should also be known that I had never heard of any of these titles, so I was walking into all six with a totally clean slate.

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