2012 Year In Review: A Slow Year for Video Games

2012 was a slow year for me. At least as far as new releases go. Within this calendar year, I’ve only bought about 10 new releases across all of the systems I own. Instead of jumping from one new release to the next,  a of my game shopping and playing this year has been spent catching up on older releases, as well as some stellar downloadable releases. Trials Evolution and Mark of the Ninja in particular stand out.

I know that there were big titles throughout, and that tastes vary from person-to-person, but this has been the slowest gaming year for me in a long time. Things will likely pick up now that the Wii U is out and that more new consoles are supposedly on the way, but this year in general was a bummer. Was 2012 a down year for you too?

Trials Evolution: Origin of Pain DLC Review

As much as I love Trials Evolution, I haven’t played it since wrapping up my review. Once I unlocked the extreme tracks, which I will never have the skill to complete, I set the game down and moved onto other things. Sure, I could have kept myself busy all of this time with user-created tracks, but it just fell out of my rotation. The Origins of Pain DLC pack aims to bring players like me back to the fold with 36 new tracks, more skill games, and a hundred extra track creator objects to play with.

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Trials Evolution Review


Trials HD took XBOX Live by storm when it first came out in 2009. Though it did not have the name recognition of the games it launched with as part of the Summer of Arcade promotion, Trials HD won gamers over in a big way thanks to its wildly addictive gameplay. To this day, Trials HD still stands as the best-selling XBOX Live Arcade game of all-time. Where was I during all of this? Not playing Trials HD. After reading the impressions and hearing people talk about it on podcasts, the game really didn’t sound like my thing. In particular, everyone focused on the game’s soul-crushing difficulty, which did not sound appealing to me at all. Instead of getting in on the action, I took in the horror stories from the community as assurance that I was doing the right thing by abstaining.

Not too long ago, Trials Evolution came out and I was originally set to ignore it just like I did its predecessor. However, after some thought, I figured that I should at least give the demo a shot, as the series has cemented itself within the current gaming zeitgeist. Instead of coming away from the demo with just a point of view, I found a new video game love.

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Trials Evolution and Video Game Masochism

If you were to watch me play Trials Evolution, the last thing you would expect me to be having is fun. Oftentimes, I appear with a look of defeat; cursing at my TV as I screw up the same jump for the 30th time in a row. Over the course of a few weeks, I must have hit restart thousands of times, hoping that success was just around the corner. If I did not love this game so much, I would not put myself through the type of physical and psychological punishment that Trials Evolution puts me through. Despite the amount of fun I’m having (especially when I succeed after dozens of failures), most people would probably view this behaviour as masochistic.

It’s not very often that I’ll put myself through this type of suffering as part of the enjoyment of a game, but it happens if it’s the right game at the right time. Are there any games you’ve played that hurt so good? Let’s discuss in the comments!

One more thing of note. Trials Evolution review coming soon!

Now Playing: Trials Evolution


Having never played a Trials game before, I approached this game with a great sense of fear. Though I’ve heard a ton of positive things about the series, the one point that has always deterred me from giving the series a chance is the game’s supposed difficulty. Based on how everyone talked about its difficulty, it really didn’t sound like an experience I’d be interested in.

Recently, I gave Trials Evolution a shot, just so that I could be a part of the current gaming community conversation. In hindsight, I’m kicking myself for not trying this series out sooner.

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Splitkick’s XBOX Community Playdate


I just wrapped up taking part in a Splitkick.com Community Playdate, which was sponsored by Microsoft. Thank you to everyone from the community that came out to play with us and thanks to my new Splitkick friends for the warm welcome! I had a great time playing and chatting with everyone. In the future, I’ll promote any Splitkick events here so that you can join us for any future game nights!