2014 Games Finished (or tried to)

These are games I've finished (or got close to or just gave up) in 2014.

2014 has been an interesting year so far. Traded in my Vita for a 3DS XL after picking up a Wii U and have been checking out some older gems that I passed over in the past.

Edit: And it looks like I jumped into the Playstation 4 pool this year too - thanks to a few nagging friends....

List items

  • The first game I finished in 2014 (that I can remember). Started to get real tedious toward the end. Enjoyed the humor and style - but the gameplay felt off at times. Almost no enemy variation and sometimes it felt like my only option was to runaway and recover health slowly. Still, generally an enjoyable experience, but glad it's over.

  • 30 hours. And I still didn't liberate all the camps. This game just kept going and going and going. Far far too long for my tastes. Maybe it was because all I did in the first 10 hours or so was explore, craft and upgrade - but thats generally what I do in open world games. Really enjoyed Vaas and Dennis. Didn't care for Hoyt or the rest of the cast.

  • You'd be hard pressed to find 10 better memes than Brothers.

  • Deserves all the praise it gets. I don't like adventure games. But I could not stop playing this and exploring every nook and cranny.

  • Another one of those games that just would not end. As enjoyable as it is frustrating.

  • Pure nostalgia. Amazing music. Fun mechanics.

  • My first mainline Kirby game. Lots of fun mechanics and powers here, and the 3d is very nice. Music is great, but didn't have the effort to go back and get all the keychains and other items I missed. Still was a very enjoyable side scrolling platformer.

  • (3DS Version) Unlocked all characters and stages - so to me thats beating it. I'll continue to play and I'm actually finding Smash Run addicting - getting deep into the customization and it's so much more of a deeper "party fighter" than I've ever realized. It's been awhile since I've felt like this about a fighting game.

  • Probably the most perfect mobile game ever created, Minimalist. Simple. Addicting. Perfectly zen.

  • Dat nemesis system. This takes some fairly well known batman combat moves and combines that with the easy traversal of assassin's creed while dropping you into the desolate land of Mordor. The nemesis takes a fairly generic open world games and transforms it into an unpredictable mess. The downfall of this game is the same of all open world games. With everything so open so early there you can get powered, and overpowered, very quickly. Toward the end of my 25+ hours I felt like a god - literally being untouchable by Uruks and Caragors. This may be how I play open world games - or this may be just how open world games are. The journey was well worth it, and the first 10-15 hours were so so enjoyable. Unfortunately the game does fall flat toward the end with the last 2 quests/fights being laughably pathetic.

  • Still unlocking characters and karts, but I've played all courses so I'm calling that as played. What an enjoyable entry to pull me back into the franchise - the first time since the 64 edition. The hovercar elements adds a good new twist, while changing up bodies, wheels and kites give this some actual depth not found in other racing games - let alone kart racers.

    Update 1: First wave of DLC dropped and is quite good. The new tracks work really well - with nice touches like the Excitebike one being randomized each time you play. And that music of course...

  • Reaper of Souls turned Diablo around - taking something which the community almost unanimously hated, and trimmed some fat, made some interesting changes, tweaked the difficulty, added in a better loot system and even added in a new class. All of this made Diablo III a better, more fun product. While I haven't played the new class, and I haven't touched adventure mode too much, this brought me back into Diablo in a big way - and propelled me to not only beat the vanilla game, but also roll right into the expansion with ease.

    Update: Ended up double dipping on this and snagged it for my new PS4. Mainly got it to jump in and out seamlessly with friends. This is an amazing console experience through and through. Diablo feels like a better game with a controller in your hand. Movement is precise - and in some ways easier due to the increasing rolling/dodging.

  • Hearthstone is to Magic: The Gathering as World of Warcraft is to Everquest. Taking a complex ccg, and steamlining many of the mechanics (like mana) helped make this a more approachable experience. I still enjoy paper magic when I'm with some friends for the weekend, but Hearthstone allows me to play with anyone on my laptop or iPad. The addition of raid wings add more content to the solo experience, but there is little reason to go back once downing all the bosses and unlocking their cards. Heres hoping Hearthstone takes a page from the WoW ccg and introduce some actual raid decks - where friends of 3 or 4 will come together to take down one powerful deck full of bosses.

  • I'm level 23. Now, that doesn't really mean I've "beaten" this by any means. Hell, I haven't even seen the raid - but Destiny is something special. It looks and plays really well, and the enemy designs are unique - albeit stale after you murdered the 400th or 500th Thrall. The game design reminds me a lot of Asherons Call - a game near and dear to my heart almost 14 years ago. That game had almost NO information within the game. It was all left for users to discover. If you ran down the beach far enough next to the small level 5-15 town, you'd end up around level 40 and 50 golems, just smashing your face in over and over again. And thats what makes me think of Destiny. Loot caves, public event schedules and where Xur is currently hanging out are all these huge nuggets of info locked away behind www's and .html's. This game would thrive even more if it was 2002 - but it's not and it's hard to ignore all of the sweeping changes World of Warcraft has brought to the mmo genre - even if they did borrow it from the ashes of all other mmo's in it's wake. So that leaves me...curious. As to where Destiny is headed, and how/if it will continue to thrive. I, however, will be watching from the sidelines.

  • Similar to Brad Shoemaker, I booted up the original game, realized within the first 5 minutes that it lacked controller support, and promptly uninstalled it. Now, with Rebirth, native controller support is in and this game is AMAZING. The fact that with each time you "win", the following games (or runs) are extended longer and longer is a great concept - that isn't used enough in games. Part of me really likes the fact that all of the items are not known - but I do agree with Jeff in thinking that once you collect, or use the item, a description should be present. The presentation is super clean, and I adore the pixel art of it all. The soundtrack isn't bad, and since I didn't play the original for more than a few minutes, I have no real affinity toward the original. I can already tell that this is my "rogue like/lite" for the next few months, following the footsteps of Spelunky and Rogue Legacy...

  • 11 hours. I was able to squeeze 11 hilariously entertaining hours into this game. I don't think thats short. If anything, thats at least 22 episodes of the show. Taking the Mario RPG approach and layering over the wacky yet quiet mountain town of South Park is amazingly successful. You can see (and hear) how much work Matt and Trey put into this. There are some really great references - some slapping you in the face, and some you really have to go out of your way to find (like the crab people). It all ends up being a very entertaining experience, complete with the traditional South Park satire of both culture and video games. I pretty much lost it when I arrived at Canada. There is little here for people who aren't fans of the show, and theres almost no replay value whatsoever - but for huge fans of the show who have stuck with it for the almost 20 seasons, this is a hit. And it feels good after some of the pathetics attempts that this series has made at video games in the past - no thanks to Acclaim. I'm looking at you, Chef's Love Shack and South Park for the N64...

  • Endless Frogger. 33 years later, Frogger is back and tailor-made for the iOS crowd. Shoving Frogger into an endless runner format is one of those amazing ideas thats screams, "why didn't anyone think of this before?". Voxel art looks great, the controls are simple enough and work just fine, and the game has a great way of rewarding you with random coins after 4 or 5 minutes of playing, which usually nets you another unique character. Sure, you could buy characters for 99 cents each, but there is no real fun to that. Crossy Road is a great distraction while on the train or in line at the grocery store. It shows that old concepts like being a frog or a duck or a unicorn and just trying to cross the street or a small stream can still be successful thanks to modern day smartphones.

  • Threes! The game that took everyone by storm for the months of February and March. What a clever puzzle game thats just dripping with design. The game feels like it should've been a pack-in with the iPhone 6. Now while I don't play Threes! anymore, I was obsessed with it for a good 6-8 weeks. While all my friends jumped to the new hotness of 2048, I was still rocking Threes! and trying to get my little numbered buddies together as much as possible.

  • I don't play survival horror games. The furthest i've ever gotten in any Resident Evil game was in Code Veronica for the Dreamcast was the Tyrant boss while you are on an airplane. I could never get past that part. So I went into Alien Isolation as a huge fan of the Alien franchise, but very green when it comes to the survival horror genre. To my surprise, not only did I really enjoy this game but it ended up consuming a good 14-16 hours in a few days. Playing the part of Ripley - even if it was just her daughter - was great. The entire survivability and craftiness felt in step with the character and the universe. Scrounging around for items to create makeshift EMP grenades and noisemakers felt great. And nothing beats the feeling of tossing a noisemaker near some humans to see the alien drop down from above and devour them. And that alien. The constant babysitting it does. The "always tethered" feeling. The noises. It all felt like the alien knew what I was trying to do. Knew where I was trying to go. Knew that I just had to get in the room and it just kept pacing back and forth there! But there were still ways to outsmart, or even intimidate the alien by using the flamethrower. The environments were amazing and contrary to previous belief, the lockers actually worked. The Working Joes were a bit too powerful and it felt like the ones in the hazmat suits were impossible to dispatch without the use of environmental tricks. The models didn't look great but the music and sound direction and atmosphere make up for it. Only one or two real jump scares which is good since I can't stand them. The entire mood and feeling I was playing were a constant of rising and falling emotions. This is how a survival horror game is done when it comes to atmosphere and tone.