What You Cared About In 2012: Gamers Association Edition

Congratulations! You successfully survived the first week of 2013! Written any obsolete checks yet? Sustained any cringe-worthy jokes stating that Subject A hasn’t Verb B’d since last year? Undoubtedly so, but before we continue to traipse further into the New Year, I’d like to tiptoe back through 2012 for a moment. Together, of course, just you and me and all the local Internet on a condensed 12-month journey of the most-viewed areas around the site since I started writing here last January. As such, allow me to present the top 15 posts of 2012, complete with my musings on why these things received so much relative attention.


15) Free Halo Warrior Armor Red for XBox Live Avatar

Geoff Keighley Doritos

Check one for Halo, two for freebies, and you’ve got yourself an instant hit. Because we can’t ignore another way for us to customize that Avatar that always impresses every single person on our friends list. “Red Spartan armor?” they’ll say, “He must be the coolest!” We can even use the timeless image above to visualize this situation; you be the snacks and we’ll be the Keighley. Only with a less sour scowl of haunting internal anguish on our faces. And less controversy afterward. And…and how about we don’t play as Keighley anymore, okay? Right. Regardless, you like free stuff, we like free stuff, and everybody wins.

14) Why I’ll Never Subscribe to PlayStation Plus

Once upon a time I was deathly scared of my ever-expanding backlog that, even after an entire summer free from real responsibilities, I constantly failed to beat down. The result? A write-up explaining that the service would induce too much anxiety into my emotionally vulnerable frame of mind, and everyone else telling me to find some personal willpower and shut the hell up. Such is the Internet. Today, I catalog all of my games in a written list and embrace every single piece of it that I know I’ll never play. Oh, how I’ve grown…

13) EA’s Origin Giving Away Free Games for One-Year Anniversary

Everyone hates Origin with a rowdy “Viva la Steam!” rallying cry until the day it decides to give away a free game. And everyone hates Origin after a portion of its potential audience never receives the emails containing the promo code for said free game. Or as soon as a week passes and we all forget that we have Bad Company 2 claimed within a service we never open. Whichever comes first.

12) Why Slender Works

Much like Journey, Slender managed to extract a great deal of emotion from its players in a strikingly short span of time. With some of that classic Made In My Garage sheen slapped across it, this thing scared the bejesus out of anyone who dared to discover just what was lurking in those lonely woods. Plus, the download is free. (Are you noticing that trend, too?)

11) Top 10 Reasons To Buy Torchlight II (And 5 Reasons Not To)

I really, really liked Torchlight II. Understandably, I wanted to share the spectacle with all of you, but before I finished the full game for review. Instead, I skirted around that barrier and got straight to the point, proclaiming exactly why your Diablo-hurt self should snag it without a second guess. As this post nearly broke the Top 10 in popularity, here’s to hoping you did.

10) [See Below]

9) [See Below]

8) The Cruelty of Nostalgia

Isn’t she, though? The old times remembered so well, but that black widow has a bite to her. Take a peek at any Nintendo 64-era graphics you originally thought were quite pretty and you’ll see what I mean. Unfortunately, as it turns out, trashing on the Internet’s never-forgotten childhood makes it angry, bringing the merciless Comment Monster out with it. Many may have not agreed, but they sure cared nonetheless.

7) Ni no Kuni Demo Disappoints

Speaking of an angry Internet, have you tried this one on for size? To avoid that unsightly creature in the future, here are a few tips:

  1. DON’T say anything negative about a demo. Ever. You’re not qualified, and it’s probably not indicative of the entire game. Idiot.
  2. DON’T mention difficulty. Not once. You’re probably just bad at it. Butthead.
  3. DO praise every JRPG around. Always. Past, present, and future, because this is the game genre of kings. Fool.
  4. Studio Ghibli is untouchable. Make note. Punkhead.

6) Is the Wii U a Next-Gen Console?

A month and a half after launch and we still don’t really know, but I tried to decide back in October anyway. In any case, Godwin’s Law was quickly fulfilled in the associated comments as Sony was somehow pulled into the mix to be branded as Hitler. Translation: Statements about video game systems establish a battleground for another bloody outing in the ongoing console war. Fingers crossed that the release of that Steam Box becomes our own Hiroshima.

5) Preview: Two Hours with Torchlight II

Even as early as May I knew that Torchlight II would be my kind of jam. Considering the readership response, it seems as if we share similar tastes in fruity condiments for toast. Seriously, though, you already bought it, right?

4) [See Below]

3) How To Use a PlayStation 3 Controller as a PC Gamepad

Back to our trend that makes oh-so much sense! To the untrained eye, this is a simple-yet-nonspecial nerdy guide to PC tech. But to the budget-minded, it’s a portal into a new world of interactive entertainment that — and here’s the kicker — is entirely free. Well, free as long as you already own a PlayStation 3 controller. Close enough to truly free for it to become popular, at least, and a pretty cool little capability that most people will never know about.

2) The Most Overrated Games of This Generation

If it isn’t freebies they’re reading about, it’s controversial absolutes apt to piss people off. Such is this quick list, a straightforward survey of our editors at the time in which everyone happened to chime in with a big-name, triple-A, oh-no-he-didn’t-just-diss-my-Dragon-Age title. I’m starting to think this community actually enjoys getting mad. And not constructively mad, but obscenity-slinging mad. Eh, actually, that’s a complete lie: I started thinking like that years ago. Perhaps in an act of selfless mercy, though, our site actually crashed soon after this post arose and we lost the nasty comment stream as a result. Can’t say I miss it…

*drum roll*

1) Free Game From EA’s Origin!

A slick little display of near-symmetry, isn’t it? What with free Origin games nearly touching both ends of this countdown. In a promotion that was only supposed to affect a select few, EA apparently relied on a single one-size-fits-all promo code for everyone, and it wasn’t long before we realized anyone with an Origin account could use it to redeem a digital release for the lovely low cost of absolutely, positively free. And by now you know exactly what free means: people caring! Hooray! However, multiple giveaways later — both accidental and on purpose — and Reddit still hates Origin. Some things never change.


This is the part where your excited self scrolls down to see just what is there is to See Below, then? Alright, but it’s a tad embarrassing. Our Number 4, 9, & 10 most-viewed posts of 2012 were none other than…images. Pictures. Of video games. Kid you not, love. Respectively, there’s this generic snapshot from Super Mario Galaxy, Sonic sprinting away from the GUN truck in the now-classic City Escape opening of Sonic Adventure 2, and a SkyLanders Giants poster. Never ignore the power of Google Images, and let the good times roll. Cheers to an even better year in 2013!

Written by: Luke Frazier

Gaming industry addict. Twitter fiend. Unabashed lover of Kingdom Hearts. Other favorites include The Legend of Zelda, Portal, Bioshock, Journey, and peanut butter & banana sandwiches. Also, oatmeal. Let's be friends. @LukeAFrazier – Steam/PSN: GodAlliz

  • We like free stuff and being angry. – Internet