Straight up sideways controller goodness, my friend. I can't remember a time that I was made to shake the thing for gameplay related reasons. However, you will shake this thing in a seething, violent rage almost from the first minute of gameplay. This game is the graveyard of friendships.
I was running around on Polygon earlier and found this forum thread on AA gaming. It got me thinking about that fun space of games in between your blockbuster titles (Call of Duty et al) and the myriad independently developed games being published on all platforms today. A shining example of this type of game would be Binary Domain, which Vinny enjoyed quite a bit. Quality product with some production values for sure, but neither a 2D pixel art platformer nor a multi-million dollar Hollywood-style production. Hell, I think this group of games could even be stretched to include smaller projects by larger companies; this could be reflected both in the scope and budget of the game produced, and in the price point at which the game is released.
With that in mind, some of my standout B-tier games of the last year would be...
Child of Light: Ubisoft Montreal put this out as something of a skunkworks project, levegering the UbiArt framework that also produced the two recent Rayman games while also providing work to members of the Far Cry 3 team (which sort of explains the similar skill tree).
Azure Striker Gunvolt: Independently developed and published, sure, but not many indie games have the involvement of Keiji Inafune. Plays like a combination of Mega Man X and the pacifism mode of Geometry Wars 2, and it came with a free copy of Mighty Gunvolt (a proper pixel art indie platformer) at launch.
D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die: Microsoft published an episodic adventure game by Swery65, one which Patrick Klepek feels justifies the continued existence of the Kinect. Think about that.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker: $40 new, build around the idea that Toad's backpack is too heavy for him to jump, featuring the same ridiculously good looking art style of Super Mario 3D World. I'm seriously about to piss my pants thinking about this game.
What else belongs on this list of humble, meat and potatoes, pot boiler games that kept us occupied while we waited for the tent pole releases of 2014?
I have a list which somehow wound up with 101 entries, not knowing that the theoretical limit for ordered lists is 100 entries. Upon attempting to add a 102th entry, it alerts me that there is a cap on entries. When I try to delete the extra entry and save the change, I am warned that the list is empty and cannot save the change. When I try to delete the 100th entry (the idea being the 101st entry will shift down a spot) and save, I am warned about the 100 entry cap. Think I boogered this up really good somehow and I'm not sure how to fix it. I have the info saved locally so if it needs to be nuked it's not a huge deal, just thought it might be an issue that could affect others.
I remember buying Coldplay's X&Y as a lad, back when I still enjoyed their stuff. "Fix You" starts with a slow, sort of ethereal organ and I was hoping the song would have a little more lyrical meat than the ones that came before it. And then
when you try your best but don't succeeeeeeeed
when you get what you want but not what you neeeeeeeed
when you feel so tired but you can't sleeeeeeep
stuck in reveeeeeeeeeeeeeeerse
I made one of those great "Pssssshh" sounds, popped that fucker out the CD player and graduated to liking Dream Theater, a band with REAL lyrics.*
At first I was really hoping the "mock a game mechanic as you are including it in your fucking game" trope would be named and shamed as this year's Worst Trend, but holy shit the case for unfinished games winning is overwhelming.