Davis’s Five Highlights of 2012

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As 2012 comes to a close, we look back at the games released this year. While everyone wants to point out the obvious “best games,” there are others that stand out this year and deserve recognition. Here are the five highlights of the year for me, even if they aren’t the epic, Hollywood production titles everyone looked forward to all year.

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[Review] Tank! Tank! Tank! (Wii U)

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Anyone who’s been to an arcade will attest to an experience that simply cannot be replicated on home consoles and its appeal. However, with evolving hardware, it seems we are always getting closer to some of the niche hardware that arcade games require. One of the wackiest games in arcades right now, Tank! Tank! Tank! has come to homes courtesy of Namco Bandai and it brings the same type of party atmosphere in arcades home, as expected of any Wii U title.

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[Review] Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition (Wii U)

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With the exception of the Super Smash Bros. series, Nintendo’s consoles have been at a drought of hardcore fighting games as of late. The genre itself is hardly friendly to newcomers, whereas the Wii was widely known to be the equalizer – the console that pulled together gamers and nongamers alike. With the 3DS release of Super Street Fighter IV, it seemed that the family friendly game company once again had something to offer for hardcore gamers, and now it has done the same again by grabbing arguably the hardest of all fighting game titles already available on other consoles, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for the Wii U.

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[Review] Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper (Wii U)

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The release of a new console always ushers in a myriad of ports as well. For owners who already have the game from a previous console, it would likely be a dubious purchase, but it presents a grand new way for others to enjoy the title. In recent times, the Tecmo Koei’s Warrors series has received little love on Nintendo’s end, making Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper the perfect game to return to the red plumber’s console and give their loyal fans another chance to enjoy the series.

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[Review] Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward (Vita)

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It certainly is amazing how much our true nature reveals of itself in the tightest of situations. Under every day, pedestrian conditions, we all bear social masks that hide our true nature and intent behind every action. However, in the most secluded location, where our actions will not and cannot be judged, how would we act? Though we put so much effort into maintaining a public front, under stressful situations, we no longer have the mental stamina to maintain that front and our most embarrassing, malicious, and secret natures are bared for all to see. Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward explores that notion and does a wonderful job of making players question others and themselves, even at the notion of a virtual death or killing a virtual companion.

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[E3 2012] Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Preview

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Mario Kart dominates the niche genre of casual racing games. Sega had their first game in this genre with Sonic & All-Stars Racing, and now Sega is taking their second shot at it with Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. We were given the opportunity to try out a few levels at E3 and see what this newest installment is all about.

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[E3 2012] Project P-100 Preview

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Amidst the Nintendo booth at E3 this year, there was hardly a spot where we did not see a Wii-U console and an early build of a game that was already widely available on either the Xbox 360 of PS3. However, one Platinum Games title stood out, though it has been making less noise than most other titles. Despite not even have an actual name yet, dubbed Project P-100 as a working title, it’s already making our wish list for the Wii-U’s launch.

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[E3 2012] Pokemon Conquest Preview

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Pokémon Conquest is the upcoming release in the Pokemon franchise, and we were given a hands on look at E3 last week. Pokémon Conquest serves as a spin-off in the series and it takes on a whole new twist to the game that old fans will love, and new fans will fall in love with.

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[E3 2012] Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Preview

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Out of all of Square-Enix’s franchises, Kingdom Hearts is arguably the one that’s been around the block the most. There has been a different version available on practically every portable device since the series’ inception, and now it’s about to hit the Nintendo’s 3D portable. With a little over a month before its release, we check out the game at E3.

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[E3 2012] Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Preview

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Often with music rhythm games starting from the days of Dance Dance Revolution, players have pined for either licensed authentic music from artists ala the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series or tracks from other video games. Alas, the call for the latter has been answered with Square-Enix’s Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.

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