By DarthOrange 16 Comments
2014 was kind of meh for games. There was a bit of fun to be had here and there but nothing really broke the mold. There were some really solid games I played this year that were not released in 2014 including ZombiU, Lego Marvel, Hotline Miami and Lone Survivor (you can read my opinion about those last two here). ZombiU was particularly excellent and would have been my GOTY had it come out this year. That said, in terms of 2014 releases it was just a lot of same-old same-old. And two games in particular that I had been looking forward to this year ended up completely disappointing me. I am talking about inFamous Second Son and The Crew. I made blog post detailing exactly why I disliked the Second Son (which you can read here) and I made a post in this thread explaining why I disliked The Crew so I won't bother reiterating my disdain for these two titles. That said, there have been other solid forms of entertainment that have picked up the slack for the lackluster year in video games.
Note: Everything listed below is in no particular order. I liked all of it.
The Lego Movie - What a fun ride this movie was. From beginning to end it oozed charm and the performances by everyone were great. Ever since seeing this movie I have periodically gotten this song stuck in my head.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - The golden age of comic book movies continues with another awesome entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Russo's did a fantastic job of bringing Captain America up to Iron Man's level. Scarlett Johansson continues to be perfect in everything and Anthony Mackie is a great addition to the movie universe.
Guardians of the Galaxy - Everything James Gunn touches is amazing, whether that be Scooby-Doo or PG Porn or anything in between. Guardians of the Galaxy is no exception. Michael Rooker in particular stole every scene he was in.
Big Hero 6 - This movie is top tier Disney, up there with Mulan and Hercules. The characters are all lovable and the story actually goes a lot darker than I expected it to in some spots.
Orange is the New Black - This continues to be one of my favorite shows of all time. Seriously, it is right behind Twin Peaks for me. The backstories for the prisoners this season were even better than the last. If I have one complaint about this season it is that there wasn't enough Pornstache. If you have a Netflix account and haven't watched this yet, what the hell is wrong with you? Go watch it. Now!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - It is pretty incredible how in its first year John Oliver has already managed to be a better show than both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report combined. The budget is higher and his commentary is much more entertaining than the same tired old schtick the other two have been using for too long now.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - As a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I love that this show has allowed me to revisit this world once a week (at least while it airs). The things they have been doing this season have been great and it is crazy that they have actually introduced the Inhumans on this show. Kyle MacLachlan (of Twin Peaks fame) in particular has been great as Mr. Hyde.
The Flash and Arrow - Yes these are two different shows but they are a part of the same world and complement each other really well. While Arrow is a much darker and grittier show, Flash is lighthearted campy fun. The crossover episodes were fantastic and cemented my feelings that this TV world DC has created is every bit as great as the one Marvel has made.
Spider-Verse - I haven't actually been keeping up to date on any other comic series, mostly because it can get really expensive really quick. That said, when I heard that they were making an event with every single Spider-Man ever I knew that I had to check it out. I have been picking up every single tie-in issue and so far it has not disappointed. Spider-Verse #1 and Edge of Spider-Verse #4 in particular have been the stand out issues so far.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U - Stupid title aside, this really is the best playing Smash Bros. game yet. The lack of a story mode is disappointing but the solid online play helps lessen the blow. The roster is nearly perfect (RIP Ice Climbers) and Charizard being his own character has made me absolutely love this game.
Mario Kart 8 - Much like Smash 4, Mario Kart 8 is the best playing Mario Kart game yet. The tracks, kart customization, and soundtrack are all incredible. It is just a damn shame that they didn't include a proper battle mode. The online is perfect 99% of the time though and the DLC tracks, karts and characters have all been great additions. The character animations in this game are also pretty great.
Hyrule Warriors - It is a fun hack and slash game. The story is neat but damn did it make me wish they would add voice acting. Reading subtitles is no fun. The characters all have a unique feel and the amount of content they have packed into this game is ridiculous. The story mode alone will take you quite a bit of time and after that there is a giant adventure mode that will easily take you at least three times longer to complete. On top of that there are a few other modes I still haven't checked out because I have been busy with the other two modes. I have been playing through the whole thing in co-op and it has been great.
How to Survive - For those that don't know, this is a top down, dual joystick, survival horror loot game. I played through the whole thing in coop and had a blast. The hunger, food and sleep meters were all nice touches and the weapon variety and crafting system were solid.
So the year wasn't a total bust?
Nah, as you have seen 2014 had a lot of great pieces of entertainment. It is a shame there weren't that many great videogames but the other awesome stuff was more than enough to compensate.
What about next year?
2015 is looking similarly bleh for gaming. Outside of Star Wars Battlefront, Until Dawn and Drawn to Death, there aren't any videogames that have really grabbed my attention. That said, there is still a ton of other stuff to look forward to. In terms of movies, we have Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Furious 7, Jurassic World, and Star Wars Episode 7 all coming out next year. And with TV there are going to be new seasons for all the shows I mentioned above as well as Agent Carter, Narcos, and Daredevil. With comic books next year is bringing about Secret Wars 3 which is sure to be amazing.
So how have you felt about entertainment as a whole this year? For those of you who also felt this years videogames were lackluster, what did you replace them with?