Monday, January 05, 2015

LiK's 20 Favorite Games of 2014 + Other Things

Note: I am gonna include games that were released before 2014 and they are listed in no particular order. I wasn't able to play everything in 2014 so there are a lot big games missing in this list. You might see them for my 2015 list though.

Steins;Gate (PC)- This wasn't really much of a game. It's purely a visual novel and what a novel it was. This game has one of the greatest stories ever told. Super smart and full of emotional moments. I was sucked into its world and loved all the characters I met. The Japanese VO in combination with the soundtrack was just perfect. I literally had tears welling up a few times. The twists and revelations were super well done. Even if you watched the anime, you should check out the game for all the additional scenes and alternate endings that are absent in the anime. It's a wonderful journey and definitely should be played by everyone who loves good science fiction. Superb. I can't wait to replay the localized PS3/Vita versions coming out this year.

DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (Vita) - What a revelation! One of the most intriguing stories with a bunch of really interesting characters dealing with a twisted situation. If you love game series like Ace Attorney or Zero Escape, you'll feel right at home. The music is excellent and is one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. Not only that, but the localization is one of the best. The English dub is fantastic and truly one of the highlights. It's awesome and everyone should check it out.

DanganRonpa: Goodbye Despair (Vita) - Oh hell yea! Props to NISA for bringing out the sequel only a few months after the original was released. The story is still crazy and dark. While I didn't fall in love with the new characters as much as the original, the way this story is connected to the original is pretty brilliant. Once again, excellent localization and the dub is even more improved over the original. My only gripe is that some of the new/altered minigames actually ruined the pacing of the class trials. They're a bit slow or hard to play. Anyway, if you loved the original, don't miss out on this. It's crazy.

Bayonetta 2 (Wii) - HOLY SHIT! This game was incredible. While I loved the first game, the sequel is a huge improvement over it. Not only do you get more crazier moments and insane bosses, but the way they're spaced out is pretty well done. Super exciting and fun to play. The combat is improved and smoother than the original. The story was actually pretty good too. The way they tied it to the original was very clever. My only gripe was that the final boss fight from the original was tons more epic than the sequel. But this is definitely one of the best action games ever made. Also, the first game was included which was a nice bonus.

South Park: Stick of Truth (360) - This was one of the funniest games I played in 2014. Some of the situations and moments were laugh out loud hilarious. I really enjoyed the writing and dialogue. While the gameplay got a bit stale towards the end, it was amazing to see how close this game looks/sounds like the show. It was really well done and anyone who likes RPGs and South Park will have a good time.

Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One) - Really fun and the story had some great revelations for fans of the series. I really liked all the weird/crazy weapons they came up with and the amount of zombies on screen at once was insane. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it and I welcomed some of the changes to the game progression.

Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One) - Super fun with some funny moments. It's a great looking game and full of color. I enjoyed the twists to the way certain missions and story beats were done. My only gripe would be that I wanted more side stories and some characters should've been fleshed out. But overall, it was tons of fun and I loved the light-hearted nature of the world. There were some genuinely clever ideas for some missions which I appreciated.

Dark Souls II (PS3/PC) - While this game was no where near as atmospheric and well told as Demon's Souls nor as challenging and well thought out as Dark Souls 1, it was still fun. Co-op is better and I enjoyed the improvements to the certain game systems that plagued the previous Souls games. But I wish the lore was better and I really wish the characters and bosses were more memorable. It's definitely missing that magic without the Miyazaki (original director) in charge. I'm not sure if I'll bother with the enhanced rerelease this year yet. Maybe...

inFamous: Second Son (PS4) - While this may be my least favorite game in the series, it was still fun and I enjoyed all the new powers. It's also visually impressive. I was particularly impressed with the lighting and animations. I didn't like Delsin much until the end and he's only likable if you stick with the Good side. Speaking of the characters, I wish they were more fleshed out. You don't really get a lot of side stories which was disappointing. But overall, it has its moments. I also recommend the standalone DLC: First Light if you want more. That was lots of fun too and had a better character.

Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4) - Really fun game with a surprisingly great story. I didn't think I would care about the characters but I did. I really enjoyed the stealth as well as the shooting. It had some really terrific moments worth experiencing. Killing Nazis never gets old.

Watch Dogs (PS4) - While people may like to cry about the graphical downgrades it received for final release, I still had fun with it. This game has the BEST gunplay I've experienced in an open-world game. Hell, the shooting was better than a lot of third-person shooters, imo. It's super tight and snappy. Traversal was also smooth as silk. I also really enjoyed messing with the enemies by stealthily hacking things to distract them or take them out. Those were pretty creative levels. While the story was blah and no one was really likable, the gameplay was fun and I hope we see a much better sequel as a result.

Destiny (PS4) - This might be my most played game of 2014. I literally played it for months since launch while ignoring other games in my pile. I really love the core shooting mechanics and this game actually got me to be social again with folks online. The Raids were a big part of that. Yea, the story is nonexistent, the mission designs are awful, the constant changes to the system from updates is a pain and the bugs/glitches are embarrassing. But there's something that's hooked me and I'm still playing it to this day. I play with a dedicated group of people and leveling the gear and getting the loot has been the new goals that's kept us playing. I'm also still loving the PVP as well. The way I've been playing this game reminded me of my days of playing Counter-Strike, Starcraft and Diablo II. I'm not sure when the spell is broken but even with all the flaws, I'm still addicted to this game.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4) - So they took the Batman Arkham games and combined them with the Assassin's Creed games and mixed them in the Lord of the Rings world and what do you get? Awesomeness. The combat was really fantastic and never got old. I enjoyed every new ability I unlocked. I also loved the Nemesis system which was a gamechanger. While the story wasn't the greatest ever, the way they tied the lore to the books/movies was pretty cool. One major gripe I had was this game's world wasn't very pleasant to explore. I wish there were more NPCs to talk to and more people to help. That would've helped the game's story a lot more. I look forward to the sequel.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS4) - Fantastic campaign. I really loved the spectacle and all the new futuristic powers and weapons. The story was a good popcorn flick and lots of fun. While I hated some of the QTE BS within certain sections, they were kept to a minimum. Kevin Spacey really added quite a bit to the story. It's also a beautiful game with some of the most realistic faces I've seen in a game. Whatever they used for the facial capture and rendering, keep using them. They looked damn good. I didn't bother with the MP so I have nothing to say about it.

Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS) - Really fun and polished game. This might be one of my fave Zelda games in the series. I loved the old school simplicity mixed with some modern changes. The music is excellent and the 3D effects were well done. Nothing else to say, it's great.

Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS) - What a great SRPG. The story was really well done and I loved all the characters in the game. The localization was great and added a lot to the dialogue. While I admit I dropped the difficulty down to Casual to enjoy all the optional dialogue and characters, it didn't take away from the fun factor of the battles. It's pretty damn cool how the story unfolds depending on whether you're male/female and who you choose to romance and form relationships with. Lots of replayability.

Ace Attorney Investigations 2 [Fan Translation] (DS) - Yea, I'm including a fan translation because this game was damn amazing. The story continues where the original AAI left off and the way it's told is even better. Better cases and revelations kept me going. The way certain older characters from the series were brought back was genius. It's definitely one of the best games in the Ace Attorney series and shows Edgeworth at his finest. And of course, the fan translation was pitch perfect. They captured the feel and sounds of the official localization perfectly. They even came up with some great English names and even did English VO with fans. Really impressive job! Grab this online and play it because it's a damn shame Capcom hasn't bothered doing an official English localization for this game at all. Fans shouldn't miss out on this.

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episodes 1 & 2 (PC) - I was actually surprised how little people remembered about this DLC since Episode 2 came out in 2014. Not only does both parts work together to form a really great story but it also manages to tie into all the previous games in the series really well. The gameplay is also refreshing enough in Episode 2 that it felt like a different game. If you're a fan of the Bioshock series, it's pretty much a must-play and great end to the franchise if they don't make anymore. The ending was bittersweet. Godspeed Irrational Games.

Blackwell Epiphany (PC) - The final game in the Blackwell series. It was great and the revelations were pretty shocking. The finest entry in the series. I've loved this series and it's sad that the creator had finally ended it. I love Rosa and Joey. They're great characters with a lot of heart and soul. If you haven't checked out this awesome series of adventure games, make sure to start with the first and play them in order of release. You're in for a treat.

The Wolf Among Us Season 1 (PC) - Really great new series from Telltale. While some parts weren't the best, I found myself enjoying the majority of the entire season. Lots of intrigue and interesting characters. I loved the look of the game and the music is excellent. I never read the comics but I will check them out soon all because of this game. I can't wait to see what happens in Season 2.

Most Disappointing Game

Halo: Spartan Assault (Xbox One) - Got this free from the Games with Gold deal and boy was I glad I didn't pay for this. Super disappointing game. The gameplay was fine but forcing limited ammo on a twin-stick shooter made it a chore to play through. The missions were also very short with nothing really going on. I was pretty bored by it and that's the worst thing I can feel about a game. Hopefully the follow-up is better because this was definitely not worth my time. Skip it.

Most Surprising

The Room & The Room Two (iOS) - I heard great things about these games but I was surprised how much I got into them. I got the first one free and I loved it so much that I immediately bought the second one. The game looks great and the touch controls were very intuitive. The puzzles were fun to figure out and the hint system was actually helpful without spoiling. Very well done. I look forward to anything else this developer makes.

Games I need to play in 2015 once I break my Destiny addiction

Dragon Age: Inquisition
Far Cry 4
Assassin's Creed Unity
Lords of the Fallen
Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright
Persona 4 Golden
Kickstarter games I backed

Thanks for reading.

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