Mington

Its beginning to look a lot like GOTY

Recommended Posts

I kind of gave up on defending Transistor. It clicked with me both mechanically and thematically in a way that few games do, but clearly that wasn't the case for a bunch of folks. I keep hoping they'll come back to it and add some more challenge rooms or some additional stuff, but it doesn't (so far) look like it's going to get the post release work that Bastion did.

I know I played several local co-op games this year, but it doesn't look like any of them were actually released this year. Seems like I'm usually behind on co-op games, as we just have a list of them and fire up whatever we are in the mood for, rather than pouncing on something at release like SP games. Probably because co-op focused games don't tend to have that zeitgeist element to it that other games do.

On Broken Age, the only reason I'm not considering it is because of part 2. Otherwise I'd seriously consider it GOTY material, as I think it's one of the absolute smartest and most subversive games ever made. In many ways, it's Feminism: The Adventure Game, and a whole bunch of people didn't even realize it. It was a critique of gamergate before gg existed (in name, though in spirit its been around for a long time). If you've played BA, or don't care about spoilers, read this piece. The spoilered excerpt below could have literally been in one of the many pieces written about gg.
 

That is the important message of Shay’s story. He is not a bad person, far from it. His instincts are to do good, but he is in a position of privilege living in a world where he is the most important person, everyone praises him, and he is shielded from any knowledge of the consequences of his actions. As the result, he ends up putting Vella’s life, and that of others, at risk.

In real life, unexamined privilege also has its consequences. There are ongoing discussions of lack of representation in games, harassment at conventions, and barriers to employment in traditionally “geeky” industries for anyone who doesn’t fit the white male mold. Trying to fight for equality, against the status quo, can feel like being Vella, fighting the monster that everyone has accepted. (“You want to kill the patriarchy? Why would you want to kill such a noble, endangered creature! Being sacrificed to the patriarchy is such a great honor!”). The Shays of the world continue to wage a battle against what they still view as attacks from an enemy ship in some vague galactic war, but that just makes the fight all the more worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Save for Broken Age: Act 1, I don't think I did either. This year I played mostly games in local coop, namely:

The Yawgh 

Rayman Origins

Lego Batman (one session)

The Inner World (a single player adventure game, but it's fun with company, too, maybe even more so)

 

Also played a lot of Guild Wars 2. Oh, and Ether One for a while. And also some of the results of the Kickstarter projects I backed, like Moebius (barely) and Tex Murphy: Tesla Effect (a lot more, but didn't finish it either).

 

Rayman Origins was probably the highlight of the bunch for me. If it has to be a game released in 2014, then...well, Broken Age, but it's incomplete so far, so..., but what's there so far is awesome!

 

Edit: Forgot that I also played the first three and a half chapters of The Wolf Among Us. It has been a while since I last played it, not sure I'm gonna finish it. Playing a sheriff but not doing much investigative work feels wrong. The few sequences where you have to piece clues together are ridiculously simplistic, especially a sequence in Chapter 2 stood out negatively. First chapter was great, the rest didn't reach the same standard.

 

Edit edit: Never finished Hack & Slash either. I waited for a patch to fix some of the egregious bugs, but it never came.

So, it seems like I played some 2014 games after all, though of them I only finished Act 1 of Broken Age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In this order I think:

 

Legend of Grimrock 2

An improvement of Legend of Grimrock's formula, which was also very good. If you ever enjoyed dungeon crawlers you must play this.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Aside from the stupid miner segment this game was an awesome exploration experience. Simply a gorgeous world interesting story to unfold.

Ether One

Also mostly a walking simulator with puzzles. Again a beautiful (styled) world to explore.

 

Honorable mention: One Finger Death Punch

This game is really well designed, the gameplay is really precise and smooth. It might look like crap, but it great to play, especially because it's just a 2 button game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strange, I think this is the first year where nothing really stood out. I played some good games, and, sure I could pick one out of that list, but something that stands heads and shoulders above the rest? Something that will remain in my memory until the end of time? 

 

Can't think of a single one, indie or AAA. Maybe the bar was so high this year and we just hit a really good consistent average, I'm not sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honorable mention: One Finger Death Punch

This game is really well designed, the gameplay is really precise and smooth. It might look like crap, but it great to play, especially because it's just a 2 button game.

 

I also enjoyed this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strange, I think this is the first year where nothing really stood out. I played some good games, and, sure I could pick one out of that list, but something that stands heads and shoulders above the rest? Something that will remain in my memory until the end of time? 

 

Can't think of a single one, indie or AAA. Maybe the bar was so high this year and we just hit a really good consistent average, I'm not sure.

 

The difficult thing for me is that the games that really stood out are so different from one another so I'm not really sure how I would choose among them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dark Souls 2 is my goty, there is simply nothing else i've played this year that i have consistently enjoyed as much, or even just played as much. The world building that people loved so much in the other Souls games feels a little wobbly here, but the underlying mechanics, both in pve and pvp, are well executed to such a degree that i cannot imagine going back to the first Dark Souls at this point. Dark Souls 2 is a better game, and i will stand by that.

 

Bonus mentions:

Lethal League is awesome and people should play it. It's such a stylish and tightly designed party fighter, and it doesn't hurt that it has virtually lag free online play.

 

Smash 4 is... You know, it's more of that thing you probably already like, and this time there's no tripping.

 

Spintires is a particularly befuddling thing to me, but i'm absolutely ensnared by it.

 

Earth Defense Force 2025 is a game i almost forgot came out this year. It's real dumb and real good, i had so much fun playing it.

 

Wolfenstein: New Order was pretty uneven, but it's slick and engaging and trying just so god damn hard.

 

2012 game of 2014:

Hey, i finally got around to trying to finish up the last few chapters of Fire Emblem: Awakening. That game is still awesome, it is still the best game on the 3DS.

 

Biggest disappointment:

The Evil Within, simply because the damn thing doesn't work, and i was really looking forward to playing it too. CTD's constantly and there are no solutions to be found on the internet, the PC version seems like a mess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mario Kart 8 is pretty excellent. Certainly wins Best DLC.

Dark Souls 2 would have to be up there, though I burned out on it a bit. The co-op side was totally unexpected and wonderful.

Crossy Road is a late entry as the only game to make me envious of my wife's iphone 6. Makes my lowly 4 look like I'm playing on a VMU.

But the Capital V, Capital G award for Best Video Game goes to Bayonetta 2. It's like a glorious video game simulator, that thing.

Special mention to Monument Valley.

My Old Game of the Year (MOGOTY) would be Ghostbusters. Low expectations may have helped, but I had such a great time with it. Harold Ramis died a couple of days after I finished it and for several days I was in a melancholy nostalgic funk. It's exactly the romp you want with those characters. All the voices, looks great. Nothing not to like.

Edit: to add 2014 games I haven't got to yet but think I'll like: Transistor, Jazzpunk, Shovel Knight, Captain Toad.

2nd edit: Sportsfriends! Persuaded me to buy 6 Move controllers - must be goty material!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Dark Souls 2 and Shadow of Mordor are the clearest standouts for me this year, with Dark Souls 2 taking the crown by quite some margin.

Divinity Original Sin was a lovely unexpectedly good surprise as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I kind of gave up on defending Transistor. It clicked with me both mechanically and thematically in a way that few games do, but clearly that wasn't the case for a bunch of folks. I keep hoping they'll come back to it and add some more challenge rooms or some additional stuff, but it doesn't (so far) look like it's going to get the post release work that Bastion did.

 

I adored the combat mechanics in Transistor. They were exactly what I want out of a pseudo-real time/turn based game. The story just didn't work for me. I played it through twice and I still couldn't make any sense of what was going on. It wasn't pretentious as a lot of people have said in different places, just too nebulous, requiring the player to figure out what was going on, but not really providing enough clues. 

 

All I got from the story was

Bad robots attacking, boyfriend/SO gives his life to save Red, she goes and attacks robot controllers? Maybe?

 

I dunno, not everyone is good at reading between the lines and picking up on that stuff. If that's what they were aiming for, I guess they might have done a good job, but I wouldn't know, which is why it can't be on my GOTY list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not very many games excited me this year, and I had a massive bias toward local multiplayer.

 

My GOTY without a doubt was Towerfall Ascension; local multiplayer with a lot of discoverable systemic interactions at the same kind of level as Spelunky. I wasn't sure about the things added over the original at first, and some of them (e.g. bolt arrows) change the play a lot and take some getting used to, but it's just such a refined game. The design goes above and beyond that of most similar games. Me and friends screamed and laughed by far the most with this during 2014, and it often broke the ice with strangers at events too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't played much from this year that got me really excited.

I really liked The Banner Saga and, to an unexpected degree, Thief

And probably Dragon Age Inquisition is going to be at the top here, but I'm "only" 20 hours in so far... :P

 

I feel I should mention the Diablo III - Reaper of Souls expansion as well, it made the whole game just a lot better

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Destiny - Flawed but I can't stop playing. What it boils down to is the fact that the shooting feels perfect.

Kentucky Route Zero Episode III - Every one of these has been better than the last.

Wolfenstein - A 90's FPS with some modern sensibilities and a surprisingly well executed, if schlocky, story.

The only mobile games I played this year but both are great:

Hitman Go

Monument Valley

And I'll allow myself one game that didn't come out this year:

Spelunky - I played this a LOT back in the spring. Pretty much the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Goty list of this year would be...

 

Top GOTY (released this year)

  • Age of Wonders III
  • Endless Legends
  • Dragon Age Inquisition
  • Lot of Expansions for Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV
  • Wargame: Red Dragon

 

Best Port (or re-release) for PC Award

  • Valkyra Chronciles
  • Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
  • Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends
  • Hatoful Boyfriend
  • Elminage Gothic
  • Total War Rome II Emperor Edition (the game got a lot better, but I still can´t find my armies in the campaign map...)

 

"It got me by surprise" Award

  • Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends (serious, I am in love with this game, I just waiting a sale for buying those costume dlc and the pre-order for Empires).
  • Final Fantasy XIII

 

"Everybody hate but I love" Award

  • Final Fantasy XIII (I am enjoying this game more that I could admit or imagine, despite all corridors and straight lines and some issues)

"It was somewhat a letdown" Award

  • Civilization: Beyond Earth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Games I really liked without reservation and generally think were pretty great:

  • Mario Kart 8
  • Monument Valley
  • Sportsfriends
  • Neverending Nightmares
  • The Terror Aboard the Speedwell
  • Kentucky Route Zero: Act III
Game that might have been my GOTY if I hadn't lost my damn save and 30 hours of progress so I just stopped playing it instead of starting over:
  • Divinity: Original Sin
Games I think are great but are unfinished and kind of a weird fit for a GOTY list:
  • Crypt of the Necrodancer
  • Broken Age
  • Kentucky Route Zero
  • east van EP
Games I liked as I was playing but ended up having complicated feelings about on finishing them which make them a weird fit for a GOTY list:
  • Transistor
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Games I would probably really like if I actually got around to playing more of them, but I can't seem to find the time at the moment:
  • Dragon Age Inquisition
  • Hatoful Boyfriend
  • Smash Brothers

Game that is getting delivered later today but I won't be able to play until Sunday which I'll probably end up liking and editing into this post:

  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This year was pretty weak. A lot of good games but not many great ones. Divinity: Original Sin, Alien: Isolation and The Colon: More Colons are the only games I would even consider. I am looking forward to The Witcher 3 and Bloodborne more than anything that came out this year. :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My top games of the year:

 

Legend of Grimrock II: All 'round amazing successor to an already great game. It addresses pretty much all the issues I had with the first one, mainly where everything kind of looks the same. Grimrock 2 makes up for that with amazing variety and wonderful puzzle design.

 

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter: Such a well realized world that I loved being in. The game had a nice way of making beautiful natural landscapes feel ominous. It stuck with me in a way that most other games this years have not.

 

The Wolf Among Us: Aside from my minor gripe that it kind of does the same thing The Walking Dead does at the end of the season, I thoroughly enjoyed this.

 

Escape Goat 2: Yea, really! A really good puzzler. It's great.

 

Wolfenstein: The New Order: Can't tell you how much I missed a good shooter in my life. Pretty amazed what they managed to do with Wolfenstein of all things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Old Game of the Year (MOGOTY) would be Ghostbusters. Low expectations may have helped, but I had such a great time with it. Harold Ramis died a couple of days after I finished it and for several days I was in a melancholy nostalgic funk. It's exactly the romp you want with those characters. All the voices, looks great. Nothing not to like.

 

I liked Ghostbusters a whole bunch. It's high on the pantheon of licensed movie games.

 

I adored the combat mechanics in Transistor. They were exactly what I want out of a pseudo-real time/turn based game. The story just didn't work for me. I played it through twice and I still couldn't make any sense of what was going on. It wasn't pretentious as a lot of people have said in different places, just too nebulous, requiring the player to figure out what was going on, but not really providing enough clues. 

 

All I got from the story was

Bad robots attacking, boyfriend/SO gives his life to save Red, she goes and attacks robot controllers? Maybe?

 

I dunno, not everyone is good at reading between the lines and picking up on that stuff. If that's what they were aiming for, I guess they might have done a good job, but I wouldn't know, which is why it can't be on my GOTY list.

 

I wrote a bunch of stuff about why the story/world impressed me for Transistor back when I finished it. It's a story that is open to a lot of interpretation, but that's the kind of thing that I love. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the Ghostbusters game because when they developed it, they found a picture of me and modeled the cipher main character as such.

 

sP2LKtX.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Persona Q: I've only been playing this for about a week but it's easily the most engrossing thing I've played in a long time. For whatever reason, the Etrian Odyssey games never really clicked for me before, but this feels slightly more accessible because of the way you can swap characters' personas around at will, so if the party you created isn't working out, there's a lot of room for tweaking it without having to leave the dungeon. Plus, the "boost" mechanic that lets you change the turn order and cast your next spell for free if you exploit an enemy's weakness opens up a lot of possibilities for interesting tactical decisions. My only real complaint is that some of the characterizations feel a little lazy (did you know that Chie likes steak and Teddie likes to hit on girls? You will.), but it's still fun to hang out with these characters again and see them interact in a "Jetsons Meet the Flintstones" sort of way. This is a game that when I'm not playing it, I'm having a hard time concentrating on other things because I'm thinking about playing it, which doesn't happen very often anymore.

 

Fantasy Life: This is the other game that was consuming my life before Persona. It's hard to explain why I like it so much. At its core, it is pretty much just "talk to a guy, go kill some monsters and maybe play a mini-game, then go back to the guy and get a reward," but it's really well executed and gives you a huge variety of different stats to level up as you see fit. And the writing is pretty charming. A great game for mindlessly grinding while doing something else (which I guess doesn't sound like much of a compliment, but sometimes that's what I want).

 

Divinity: Original Sin: I burned out on this pretty quickly but really enjoyed the time I did spend on it.

 

Euro Truck Simulator 2: Didn't come out this year, but is probably the game I played the most this year.

 

Apart from that stuff, and Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros. which were fine but the same as they always are, I can't really think of anything that stood out; this was a fairly shitty year for games as far as I'm concerned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm usually late to playing games and this thread seems to vindicate that, there's no games mentioned here that I have played and would designate GOTY. Transistor I did play and like a lot but it was covered in a weird mist of difficult reading that I couldn't clear away enough to fully grasp that game.

 

One PC game that WAS from this year and I enjoyed a lot was the Fall. A sort of puzzle/adventure game? It just was a really solid experience... though only the first part is out so it might not count.

 

3 GOTYs I have are Android based since I played a lot on my phone in the latter half of the year.

Desert Golf, Hitman Go and Monument Valley all demonstrated just how gooood a phone game can be. Everyone's already talked about mechanics of these Thumb favourites to death but just the way you touch a screen to get results is handled so nicely it does make me think I'd love more games with touch controls (as long as they're not real time/actiony)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because it's the only 2014 game I played this year, my GOTY by default is:

 

Watchdogs

 

Non-2014 GOTY candidates (sorry, I can't just pick one):

 

GTAV

The Last of Us Remastered

Dishonored

Grim Fandango

The Walking Dead Season 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This year I kept track of stuff I finished so I could easily filter it down precisely for a thread like this and it turns out this was actually a fairly disappointing year for new games for me, but on the plus side I played a bunch of older stuff that was tremendous. Anyway, Mario Kart 8 wins with 3D World being my favourite non-2014 game.

 

Those other five-star games in full:

Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan

Gyakuten Saiban 3

Demon's Souls

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

Super Mario 3D World

Professor Layton & the Azran Legacy

Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness

Dark Souls 2

Mario Kart 8

Wolfenstein: The New Order

The Swapper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now