Written by Eric Layman
Category: News and Other Musings
Published: 03 July 2012
*Episode 53 is currently not published! Time Paradox!
Welcome to the Flap Jaw Space Power Rankings (text edition), a written recap of the dynamic perversion and informal melee that unfolded on the previous episode of Flap Jaw Space: The Digital Chumps Podcast. Power Rankings is a running segment where we continually update the ten best games of 2012 every episode. If you're new, there's quite a bit of nuance and havoc that goes into these deliberations, most of which you can read about in the origin story here. The important thing to remember is that Chris had this idea approximately one (1) week before the similarly themed concept from Polygon. So, without further delay,
THE FLAP JAW SPACE POWER RANKINGS – EPISODE 53 – JUNE 26TH, 2012
1 - Diablo III, as played on a Personal Computer by Chris and Steve
2 - Journey, as played on PlayStation Network by Chris, Eric and (somewhat begrudgingly) Steve
3 - Awesomenauts, as played on PlayStation Network by Chris and Eric
4 - Xenoblade Chronicles, as played on Wii by Eric
5 - Mass Effect 3, as played on Xbox 360 by Chris and Eric
6 - Fez, as played on Xbox Live Arcade by Chris, Steve, and Eric
7 - Trials Evolution, as played on Xbox Live Arcade by Chris and Eric
8 - Pushmo, as played on 3DS by Steve
9 - Twisted Metal, as played on PlayStation 3 by Eric
10 - Syndicate, as played on Xbox360 by Chris and Eric
Up for Nomination:
Recap: The first thing we did was move Awesomenauts down a few spaces. Mass Effect 3's extended ending didn't do it any favors, however Awesomenauts went from 60 to 0 when Diablo 3 came out and, pending any future DLC, might stay at zero and drop like a rock as the desolate summer of 2012 lurches onward.
A matter of debate arose as we wondered whether or not Gods and Kings, the first proper expansion to Civilization V, was eligible for inclusion in the Flap Jaw Space Power Rankings. In the end we resolved to qualify its status based on whether or not the additional content, as it works within the base game, made it a better experience than any other entry on the list. So, in short, there wasn't much of an issue. Unfortunately (and writing this four days later I'm still not sure how) Chris didn't feel the need to rattle the cages and by default conceded Gods and Kings probably wasn't as good as Pushmo or Syndicate. I'm not sure how long that logic will hold up.
Velocity is an exceptional PlayStation Mini intended for PlayStation 3 and PSP, but you can also get it to work on a Vita through trace amounts of inane bullshit (courtesy Sony). Minis don't have the greatest reputation but Velocity stood as an exception. It's a vertical shooter, but levels aren't merely completed by survival; you also need to use boost and go as fast as possible, pick up as many capsules as you can, try and kill everything, and exploit Velocity's neat and expanding arsenal of mechanics along the way. Given that I had only finished up to level 20 (of 50!) I didn't feel qualified to rank it alongside a list of games at least one of us had beaten, but to date Velocity is the best thing I've played on my Vita.
That statement also implies Gravity Rush, a game I included in my preseason top ten, failed to make a dent in the Power Rankings. I still haven't played it due to unrelated budget issues, but Chris has and he wasn't too enthusiastic about it. It seemed to fall into the Lathamian "That's cool, but I don't know" category about games we think are cool but don't know if they're one of the ten best at any given time.
Max Payne 3 was probably one of the best looking games I've ever played on a console. HEALTH’s exceptional soundtrack (best realized in the airport terminal sequence) also stood out as one of the year's greatest. While Max Payne 3 was loaded with detail that other games wouldn't even bother with, when the credits rolled it still felt like another disposable shooter - and it wound up being my catalyst for quitting the whole genre, for a while anyway.
This brings us to Lollipop Chainsaw, a game which is objectively mindless and stupid and openly celebrates every instance of that fact. In perhaps the best ever used of licensed music, Lollipop Chainsaw boasts a series of signature moments that few games can equal. I mean, you're essentially playing a glorified beat 'em up the entire time, but look at the context; a stupid Skrillex song is playing, super powered zombies are using boom boxes to power up regular break-dancing zombies while Juliet murders everything with a chainsaw, all of which taking place inside an arcade machine and in the middle of a live game of Breakout, complete with the ball wrecking shit left and right. I could talk about the virtues of Lollipop Chainsaw all day (read my review for an additional 1500 words) but, yeah, I Platinum'd the game, loved the hell out of it, and if it wasn't going on the list then someone probably wasn't leaving that room alive.
Which means Twisted Metal, our first #1 in the Power Rankings, waved goodbye. This leaves only Syndicate as the sole representative of the Power Rankings' inception in Episode 48. What are the odds that's going to stick around until the end of the year?
Next time we'll be talking Telltale's The Walking Dead, Kaleidoscope, more Diablo 3, and possibly Dawnguard if that knucklehead Nick Bishop comes back.
Previous Power Rankings: Episode 50 | Episode 51 | Episode 52