Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Top Five: Video Games of 2014

  • It's not too late for a best of 2014 post, is it? It is? Goddamnit. Oh well, as long as I'm clearing the queue...

  • Do you remember when the Nintendo 3DS was first released back in 2011? The launch line up was lousy. The next year was a gaming wasteland with few titles to remind us why we wanted the systems in the first place. Now when I look at the 3DS library, I see more great games than I could ever play. But it did not always seem this way. For a long time, I regretting impulse buying that little device. That is the same feeling I have as a PlayStation 4 owner. Sure, there is a game here or there that I greatly enjoy. But it is still in the process of becoming a console worth owning. As such, most of my favorite games were played on PC, Xbox 360, or the afore mentioned 3DS.

  • Tomb Raider (2013) - When I picked up my PS4 last year, I looked forward to playing an updated Tomb Raider on the new console. Only I discovered that past me picked up the game during a Steam sale. I thanked past me and started playing. Tomb Raider was a great experience. It was just broad enough to allow for exploring, even though the main path through the game was entirely linear. The story was really good, even though it pushed Lara into cold-blooded killer mode much too quickly. It's the most fun I've had with a Tomb Raider since Legend and I'm looking forward to the sequel, assuming it comes out on a platform that I can play it on.

  • Dark Souls II - It is strange to say that Dark Souls II was a disappointment and then put it on my list of top games of the year. It was the hollow to Dark Souls' humanity. Nonetheless, I played from start to finish and keep my attention the entire time. It was a game that I wanted to fall in love with. Like its predecessor, the combat was measured and brutally punishing. Overcoming its obstacles felt like a genuine triumph. It may not have been everything I wanted it to be, but it was still worthy of the Dark Souls name.

  • Destiny - Another best game of the year that pales only in comparison to what could have been. Destiny should have been the game of the year. All the pieces were there, but it didn't come together. But even though it wasn't the game many of us wanted it to be, I find myself going back to it time and again. I compare it to the first Assassin's Creed. That was a flawed game that taught Ubisoft how to make an amazing sequel. I strongly suspect that Destiny 2 will be the game we all hoped for. But in the meantime, I have patrols to complete and bad guys to punch.

  • World of Warcraft (Private Server) - So, I reached level 60 on my home WoW server and took my character into Outland. From one point of view, that means I am absolutely crazy for playing a massively multiplayer game in a way that defies the genre. On the other hand, it is gratifying that I can bend the game to my will. It may not be more than a curiosity, but it has been one that kept me entertained time and again all year.

  • Disney Magical World - I didn't expect to fall for Disney Magical World the way that I did. It looked like a Harvest Moon game with Disney characters. But it turns out to have a lengthy quest system and a surprising fun combat system. Also, I had a lot of fun playing dress up for Cinderella's various balls. I haven't finished it yet because there is so much to do. But I was happy to find a far deeper game than I expected.

  • It has been a strange year for gaming, and a terrible one for the gaming community. I hope 2015 will be brighter for all.