It's been an exciting year here at Screen Play blog.
The biggest news, of course, was the departure of the blog's founder, legendary games journalist Jason Hill. In July, Jason handed the blog over to me, reducing his own input to the regular Monday morning review and discussion.
Taking on a video gaming blog full time has been a huge challenge, and I have learned a lot in a short time. I look forward to returning in 2013 with more video gaming news, interviews with the talented people who make them, and robust discussions among the Screen play readership.
For now, however, Screen Play is taking a four week break, as it does every summer. We will be back with a fresh review from Jason on Monday 21 January 2013. Until then, comments will remain open, though they are unlikely to be approved on any predictable schedule.
Before I go, however, some housekeeping. Screen Play blog's Game of the Year, as voted by Screen Play readers, is Mass Effect 3, taking 17.5% of the vote. Second place holder is Far Cry 3 on 15.2%, then XCOM: Enemy Unknown in third place with 10.9%. Runners-up who just missed the podium were Borderlands 2, Dishonored, Guild Wars 2, and The Walking Dead.
In no particular order, my own top five for the year are:
Journey - Short but perfectly-formed, an incredible achievement in merging art with game design.
Far Cry 3 - The story had all kinds of problems, but the joyous chaos of the sandbox made up for it.
Hotline Miami - Violent and strange, but a game that feels important, a milestone of video game art.
Mark of the Ninja - Sheer perfection in every aspect. Art, design, sound, and story flawlessly merged.
Dishonored - It took time to get to know it, but I eventually came to recognise its brilliance.
Don't ask me to pick a single Game of the Year from among those five, because I don't think I could.
So now, I go. Thanks everyone for welcoming me as the new writer of Screen Play. It has been a great honour and a humbling challenge to follow in his stead, and I look forward to continuing in this role next year.
I hope you all get to spend time with people you care about over the coming week, and also find time to catch up on your unplayed pile of games.
See you in the new year.