12 Things to be Excited About in 2012

By Matt Peters

This year is scheduled to be one of the biggest of note in the world of comics, video games, and all-around geekiness. We here at Pads & Panels would like to give you twelve reasons that 2012 will be awesome. Let’s hope our Mayan overlords don’t return from outer space until we get to experience most of it. Take a look below for some of the highlights:




Game of the Year

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC)

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks – Developer: Bethesda Game Studios

The fifth game in the now well-established Elder Scrolls series, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a game that simply must be experienced. No other game released this year shares such a massive scope or breadth of gameplay. After an impressive initial sequence, players are drawn into a world that has a life all its own and in which the threat of savage dragon attacks looms against a backdrop of a bloody civil war.

Although players will find numerous quests available to them, it is oftentimes the random encounters in the game that are most memorable. Each is full of unique moments that will make for interesting discussions among fellow gamers, and this is truly one of Skyrim’s biggest strengths. The game succeeds in telling a compelling story but also gives the player just enough freedom to make each individual’s journey his or her own. Previous rough areas in the series, such as inventory management, have been given elegant solutions, while side quests are seamlessly interwoven in the main story. There are seemingly hundreds of places to explore. It all amounts in one of the best gaming experiences to be had. (more…)


Title: Singularity

Platform: 360 (PS3, PC)


Publisher: Activision

Developer: Raven Software

Rating: ★★★★☆

Review By: Eric Stuckart

I might not be the bravest soul out there when it comes to video games or movies, but if I have to shut it off for the night, the developers must be doing something right. Singularity started getting to me early on, and I must say I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Even though the game’s creepy vibe wore off, Singularity plays out like a compilation of gaming’s greatest shooter gimmicks of all time, and boy is it an enjoyable ride. But we’ll get to that in a moment. (more…)


Title: BioShock EVE Hypo Syringe

Company: NECA, ThinkGeek

MSRP: $15.99

Review by: Kevin Haverty

NECA continues to create detailed replicas and finally allows gamers to get their hands on EVE Hypo Syringes outside of a visit to Rapture. In BioShock, the EVE Hypo Syringe allows the player to shoot up glowing blue EVE that powers the plasmid abilities. The replica syringe is about a foot long, and a button on top activates a led light to give it a blue glow.

NECA nailed the art deco/steam punk style of the syringe. The artwork is complete with scratches and tarnishing as if it was picked up off the floor of Point Prometheus. It makes a great gift for fans of BioShock. Sorry diabetics and heroin addicts, but the needle is solid plastic, so it won’t be able to replace a real syringe.

For more info,

Pads & Panels received the product courtesy of ThinkGeek for review purposes.


Title: BioShock 2

Platform: 360 (Also PS3, PC)


Publisher: 2K Games

Developer: 2K Marin

Rating: ★★★★☆

Review by: Kevin Haverty

It’s time to revisit Rapture in BioShock 2. It has been eight years since the events of the first game and Andrew Ryan’s old political rival, Sofia Lamb, has taken over. Gamers take control of Subject Delta, a Big Daddy, as he must get his Little Sister, Eleanor, daughter of Sofia Lamb, back before he slips into a coma. Augustus Sinclair, a businessman of Rapture, directs Subject Delta and fills him in on some of the changes that have taken place. (more…)


Title: “Challenge Rooms” DLC for Bioshock

Platform: PS3

Publisher: Take 2 Interactive

Developer: 2K (Boston/Australia/Marin)

Review by: Bill Jones

PlayStation 3 owners without an Xbox may have had to wait a bit longer for the amazing game that is BioShock, without anything notable added to the core experience. And that’s just fine, as the original game is an experience better left untouched.

PlayStation owners were rewarded with their patience, however, with the ability to purchase the exclusive “Challenge Rooms” for $10. The downloadable contest comes in three parts, separating the puzzle and combat elements of BioShock. The only thing that is not there is story, and players receive a disclaimer right off the bat that it doesn’t play into the themes of BioShock, but rather offers additional entertainment with the game’s engine, settings weapons and characters. (more…)