Review of the Year 2012: January

If you haven’t been around TSA for more than a year you’re probably not familliar with our Review of the Year. Every December we take a look back at the year that was, breaking it down month by month. Today sees the first in our series of twelve articles as we take you through what January had to offer. So sit back, stick your nostalgia hat on, and read on.

January 2012 did all it could to live up to its reputation as the quietest month in videogame releases. Right up until its last day, the month’s only notable releases were PSN and XBLA games like Amy, Puddle and Choplifter HD. Then, on the 31st, we saw Final Fantasy XIII-2, NeverDead and SoulCalibur V all come along at once.

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So the first month of the year was limited to downloadable games and, I think it’s probably fair to say, second-tier game releases. While Final Fantasy XIII-2 has that huge and dedicated fan base to pull on, it wasn’t the flagship release that other recent entries in that series have been and the review scores perhaps showed that: it currently holds a Metacritic rating of 79 on both PS3 and 360.

NeverDead had brief moments of joy but was generally considered to be distinctly average by reviewers, holding on to a Metacritic rating of 50 on PS3 and 52 on 360. SoulCalibur V, then, was perhaps the best received of the late January trio of titles (it scored 8/10 in our review). It ran with a huge marketing campaign that featured some great big close-ups of breasts and currently has a Metacritic rating of 81 on PS3 and 77 on 360.

Being the month before the Vita’s western release, the game news in January all had a bit of a portable feel to it. We saw some concern about the pricing for games, some shock at the pricing of memory cards and plenty of excitement about the new portable console’s imminence.

It wasn’t all about Sony’s latest handheld though, we also saw reports that the Wii U would be out in time for Christmas and that the next Xbox would have a Blu-ray drive and prohibit the use of pre-owned games. Oh, and January 2012 was also the month that ITV were found to have misled viewers by using clips from ARMA 2 and pretending they were an IRA attack from 1988. You know, 1988, when things looked slightly more pixellated than they do today?

On TSA, we did a bit of digging and unearthed the truth behind Capcom’s “No Hope Left” viral ad campaign and we spoke about SOPA and PIPA, the acts that were going through US legislative processes and caused many websites to black out in protest.

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9 Comments

  1. Really enjoyed FFXIII-2 but otherwise it was a bit of a pants month wasn’t it? This years isn’t looking much better, aside from the improved version of Gaiden 3

    • I really liked FFXIII-2 also.
      Never did understand all the stick it got tbh.

      • Same here. I still preferred XIII but XIII-2 was still a very enjoyable game.

  2. Love the extreme close up image there. Laughed my head off at ArmA 2 footage, legendary and b******* nonsense both at the same time.

    I kept track with a lot of the Vita announcements when I was at College (and clearly not a member) but I remember I found a review through Google news and thought oh, its that sixth axis again, they seem pretty fair. That’s when I started visiting more often and the Uncharted: GA review was pretty good.

  3. Ah yes, the 1980s also known as the pixellated years. Experts are still trying to find out what caused that era to become pixellated. Or ITV was trying to pull a fast one and believe that their views were idiots. Seriously, how did no-one catch that in editing as it’s not hard to mistake a game from the late 90s/early 2000s for real life.

    Neverdead had potential but they cocked it up and it turned out to be a crap game. I’ve seen some footage of FF13-2 and i don’t like it. Despise what they did to the chocobo theme although i do like Gauis’s theme. Was hoping that FF13-2 would be the last game related to FF13 as i would prefer to see a brand new FF instead of them dragging it out as i don’t really care for the characters in it. And the linear gameplay.

    So is TSA’s score for January a 6/10? I’ll grab my coat.

  4. Is it wrong of me to enjoy the quiet months? My backlog is killing me. This january is looking to be rather silent too, a bit of a shame for Wii U owners, but a barren time after release seems to be a recurring event.

    I didn’t buy any of last Januarys games. But the ARMA thing was awful. At least ITV knows where to get footage for the zombie outbreak on the 21st…

  5. MGS HD collection released on the same day as FF also. Otherwise a quiet month.

    • Good point! MGS was quite a big release as far as collections go.

  6. No mention of the weather conditions in this years review of the year articles Peter?

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