The year 2012 has been an odd year for gamers. Although we have seen some stunning titles release this year, some gamers would say it has been generally a very disappointing one. As the ripples of recession takes its tole around the globe, we have seen a number of big developers and studios taking a hit on their purse strings, forcing even the most stable of companies to hang up their joypads and close their doors.

Where larger studios have suffered in this pinch, more smaller developers have been blossoming, thanks to a new word on everyone’s lips in 2012 – “Kickstarter”. Since Tim Schafer’s “Double Fine Adventure” reached funding of over $3.3 million in the early months of the year, we have seen a number of new and veteran developers return to our gaming news, all asking for gamers to make their visions a reality with a small dollop of trust and a few notes from your wallet.

The flood of successful Kickstarter campaigns have shown that, with the right ingredients, gamers are prepared to pay well in advance to see a studio or an individual’s vision become a reality. Kickstarter has allowed gamers to flick the proverbial middle finger up against the larger publisher, or more specifically, against the franchises that continue to be served year-on-year to us gamers – governed by suits with eyes fixated on the financial bottom line. The year 2012 has seen game publication and development take an almighty turn against the tide that gamers have been used to riding for over twenty-odd years.

It didn’t stop with just games either. In a year where Nintendo’snew games console failed to excite the ‘core gamer in us all, a new and affordable Android-based console called “OUYA” fetched a crowd funded $8.5 million in August. The power has truly been given to the people (gamers), and this direction will no doubt be forcing the hand of next-gen hardware creators, who will be probably scratching their heads right now thinking what to do next.

So in this closing of the year 2012 the staff of Console Monster have reflected back on the games that have released throughout the year to bring you our2012 Console Monster Awards. So let’s get started by awarding our most favourite genre of all – Best Shooter.

Best Shooter of 2012

After much anticipation, it was time for gamers to don the Spartan armour once again in Halo 4. Gamers were a little nervous prior to the game’s release, due to its development being handed over to a different studio. But as soon as review scores came flooding out from the press, Halo fans breathed a sigh of relief, as 343 Industries did the series proud and delivered a breathtaking instalment to the franchise.

We gaveHalo 4-97%Click hereto read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Best Racer of 2012

With original developers, Turn 10 Studios, focusing on the next-generation of Forza Motorsport, it was up to developers at Playground Games to create a fresh new angle for the Forza franchise with Forza Horizon. Forza Horizon had the edge over its racing competition, thanks to its free-roaming yet structured gameplay, jaw-dropping visuals and a killer soundtrack.

We gaveForza Horizon-85%Click hereto read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Best Action Adventure of 2012

The previous Assassin’s Creed sub-releases were starting to get a little stale for gamers over the recent years, however Ubisoft have pulled the franchise back on top form with Assassin’s Creed III. Featuring an epic tale set during the American Revolution era, gamers continued the adventures of Desmond Miles in what is an explosive finale to his epic story.

We gaveAssassin’s Creed III-85%Click hereto read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Best Roll Playing Game of 2012

Mass Effect 3 saw much controversy from the gaming media and its fans for its ending, which just shows the love and passion for the franchise that has grown over the years. Now in its third and final chapter, the game continues its deeply driven story and gun-wielding action that will prevent you from putting your pad down until its very end, whilst you see out the last adventures of Commander Shepard.

We gaveMass Effect 3-90%Click hereto read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Best Sports Game of 2012

EA’s FIFAhas secured another crown in the sporting genre with its annual release of the football/soccer franchise. Now in its 20th edition to the series, FIFA 13 saw new features added that included Kinect and PS Move support as well as First Touch Control, new celebrations and the usual fresh lick of paint added to the game’s visuals.

We gaveFIFA 13-90%Click hereto read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Best Music Game of 2012

Annual releases of dance titles for the Kinect, Wii and PS Move platform seem to be becoming a bit of a trend these past few years, and in 2012 this trend hasn’t changed with the release of Ubisoft’s Just Dance 4. Featuring a new Dance Battle mode and a current track listing of up to fifty tracks, Just Dance 4’s more forgiving nature to its gameplay makes it our music game of the year.

We gaveJust Dance 4– 80% – Click here to read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Best Fighting Game of 2012

Like late busses, DOA5 came to our consoles in 2012 amongst a few other fighters this year. This ageing genre appears to be trying to find its feet again, with many franchises collaborating with each other to bring something ‘new’ to our screens. DOA5 isn’t to be excluded from this observation either, with guest characters appearing from SEGA’s Virtua Fighter series making it into the game. DOA5 still stands up against the more established fighters released this year to win our Best Fighter award.

We gaveDead or Alive 5-90%Click hereto read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Best Multiplayer Game of 2012

It was time to return to the barren wastelands once again with the release of the much anticipated title from developers, Gearbox Software, in Borderlands 2. Building on its original glory, the game didn’t bring anything exactly new to the table however, if it isn’t broken why try and fix it? The game delivered everything fans wanted from this sequel, and for some, a little bit more.

We gaveBorderlands 2-90%Click hereto read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Best Downloadable Game of 2012

Releasing as downloadable episodic content on XBLA and PSN, the video game of the popular TV series – The Walking Dead – took gamers on an emotional journey that has shown how episodic games can be done and how story in a game can be so successfully mastered.

We gave The Walking Dead Episodes– 93% – Click here to read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Best Downloadable Content of 2012

Skyrim – Dawnguard was the first official DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Revolving around an ancient prophecy and organisation of vampire hunters, this DLC had gamers exploring new locations, picking up crossbows and choosing to side with the vampire hunters or join the vampires themselves and even become a vampire lord.

We gaveSkyrim– 95%Click hereto read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Surprise of 2012

The Walking Dead: The Video Game surprised many gamers and showed just how episodic content should be created. Although its developer, Telltale Games, had attempted this many times, it had taken the killing of zombies to grab the attention of many gamers, who all decided to live out its five-part story between the months of April and November.

We gaveThe Walking Dead Episodes– 93% –Click hereto read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Disappointment of 2012

Built on the newly crafted Frostbite 2 Engine, acclaimed for its delivery of last year’s Battlefield 3 title, there were great hopes for EA’s Medal of Honor: Warfighter title. Sadly though, once the game released to gamers they were given a very poorly executed and disappointing edition to what used to be a leading franchise for the publishing giant.

We gaveMedal of Honor: Warfighter– 70% –Click hereto read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Console Monster’s Game of 2012

Who would have thought that a digital download, an episodic one at that, could rain all over thecompeting retail titles in 2012 and win our crown for the best game in 2012. In what seems to be a year for smaller developers to shine during this “in limbo” state between current-generation and next-generation of hardware, we see a small, yet emotionally deep, game win over our hearts this year.

If you are a fan of the TV series, you like zombies, or you just want to experiance a thrilling journey, you owe it to yourself to play through thismarvellousexperience.

We gaveThe Walking Dead Episodes– 93% –Click hereto read our review.

You can support the site and purchase this game from Play.com.

Console Monster’s One to Watch in 2013

Other than a new console announcement, Rockstar’s GTA V is up there as being one of the most anticipated game release in 2013. Based in modern-day LA and Southern California, GTA V is expected to be their biggest open-world game to date. Three criminal protagonists will be playable in next year’s big hitter. Each will go about their business until they are controlled by you, allowing you to use each of the character’s skills together in a single mission. It is going to be a blast – in all cases of the word.

You can support the site and pre-order this game from Play.com.

Happy New Year – See you in 2013!

So these are our games of 2012. We hope you have enjoyed our look back at the games of 2012. We would also like to hear your comments, so please do leave us those below too. Do you agree to our votes? What is your game of the year? Let us know.

With the increase in mobile gaming, the boom of Kickstarter-funded independent games and the pending next-generation console announcements, 2013 is looking out to be an interesting and exciting year for us gamers. So with a glass raised, we here at Console Monster like to wish all our readers, followers, family and friends the best of Christmas holidays, and a happy and healthy New Year.

Anthony Barker

Anthony is the designer, developer and owner of Console Monster. In his spare time, Anthony is a keen gamer who enjoys playing mostly First-Person Shooters and Racing games. When he is not developing games or tweaking this site, Anthony likes to be on the slopes snowboarding or hurtling down off-road tracks on his mountain bike.

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