I think many of the people who complain about 2014 as a video game year probably rely on the AAA, big-budget, major releases, many of which this year did range from disappointing, to totally average, to outright busted. But there has been a treasure trove of smaller and more niche stuff that has definitely knocked it out of the park this year, and even an old staple or two (Call of Duty, for instance) that managed to be better than expected.
This has been a great year for fans of niche genres and series, a particularly great year if you're a Nintendo fan, but a not-so-great year for people who depend too much of EA/Activision/Ubisoft and even Sony and Microsoft's first party output for the most part. People who find themselves disappointed with their standard gaming go-tos should try broadening their horizons a bit and they will be surprised at the quality out there.
As someone who loves Indie and Nintendo stuff I could not disagree more.
I never got any of the specializations in my playthroughs, seem a bit too OP.
I avoided specializations for several characters and they weren't noticeably weaker than any one else. In fact my Solas became noticeably more useful when I used a tacticians renewal to take a few points out of Rift Mage. Knight Enchanter is really the only overpowered one.
Celes, KOS-MOS, assorted Suikoden characters. Rosa and Rydia. I'm sure there's others but can't think of them at the moment. Karin from Shadow Hearts: Covenant.
Rydia maybe, but Rosa? I only played Final Fantasy IV earlier this year and I seem to remember Rosa staying in the background for a good chunk of the game and she didn't really come across as a strong and independent character when she was actually saying and doing stuff. Rydia is a vastly more powerful mage anyway and could have probably pulled double duty if the game didn't give us some throwaway line about her not being able to use white magic anymore.
You're right, Rosa sucks. She's just a damsel in distress who loves Cecil ever so much. Rydia I agree with though. She goes from a scared little girl to the biggest badass in the game.
@overnow: My understanding is that Necromancer is really good at taking on groups of fragile enemies but that's about it. They have the infamous Walking Bomb spell, a couple of effects that trigger upon killing an enemy, and they rely on debuffing with the panic effect. All of these skills are basically useless against bosses, because they're often immune to panic, and the encounters last too long to really benefit from the temporary killing effects. Popular opinion is that Necromancer is the worst of the 3.
Rift Mage is big on crowd control, has some good AoE spells, and relies on the Weaken effect. So he generally has the same boss problem as Necromancer, but to a lesser extent. Still he's a little less situational than Necromancer, and plays more Magey than Knight Enchanter.