List of Games Beaten in 2014

The fifth one of these. Soon I'll have been reminiscing about the games I've beaten on Giant Bomb for half a decade. That's... yeesh.

Let's see what mischief I got up to this year, shall we?

(New for this year: Rankings! This list is almost useful consumer advice now!)

List items

  • 02/01. Honestly? A little underwhelmed. I liked 3D Land plenty, but this seems just a little too similar. I also take umbrage with its crappy difficulty curve and the more questionable additions to 3D Land's template. 30-Star Challenge Room? Get the eff out of here. (3 Stars.)

  • 04/01. While it looks incredible and has a deeply affecting story, the two-stick, two-brothers control system is almost more trouble than its worth, especially if you get the two brothers on the opposing sides of the screen. It's remarkably short too, though I suppose it's only as long as it needs to be. It's a brilliant and moving adventure game, don't misunderstand, but I'm not sure I would have any problem naming ten better games from 2013. I mean, hypothetically speaking. (3 Stars.)

  • 06/01. I liked Gunpoint a lot. I especially enjoyed taking my time and figuring out how each stage ticked, messing with the options I had available and divining the specific route each stage usually required. It's also got a sly self-deprecating wit, which is very much my kind of humor. Took me back to my days playing Bonanza Bros too, but I won't let that be a knock against it. (4 Stars.)

  • 17/01. I liked Bioshock Infinite for the most part. I'm certainly not enamoured with it enough to have retroactively put it on my top ten, but its shortcomings in the combat were made up for by its interesting story and setting. It could do with less racism but then that's true of anything, really. (4 Stars.)

  • 24/01. TSP's fine, it just bummed me out terribly. Haven't felt this unhappy after playing a game since Rhythm Heaven Fever. Man, do I have some weird reactions to things sometimes. (3 Stars.)

  • 25/01. Well, just Part One so far. The puzzles are simple and the story predictable, but has a great storybook feel with its clever script and wonderful art. Clearly intended for kids, but I still enjoyed it. Can't wait for its conclusion later this year. (4 Stars.)

  • 28/01. Man, has it been an underwhelming month. I haven't really been getting much sleep lately, in these games' defense. Valdis Story recalls, for me, that Hell Yeah! game from a few years back: Great presentation and style, good music (if a little too, well, histrionic?) but man is the studio's fledgling status a little too overt. From several major game design problems (don't make a Metroidvania and stash collectibles in a place you're going to permanently seal off! Yeesh!) to the many, many typos, Valdis struck me as a project a little too ambitious for the people making it. Hearing that it was a Kickstarter that did rather a bit too well doesn't surprise me in the slightest. But hey, freshman (well, sophomore, since they made some Match-3 game a few years back) efforts are what they are. Good chance they'll nail it next time. (Also, can we drop the whole "angels vs demons" thing? Always seemed a bit too Todd McFarlane for my liking.) (3 Stars.)

  • 08/02. Felt like some Match-3. 10mil is what I consider to be the archetypal "good mobile game". It's a mere frippery, with very basic gameplay and progression mechanics, but it's fun and that's really all that matters. A well-designed game doesn't always need a thousand bells and whistles, it just needs to be entertaining. (3 Stars.)

  • 08/02. Though a little twee for its own good at times, Thomas Was Alone is a great, imaginative little puzzle platformer with some superb writing that somehow manages to invest a lot of personality into a bunch of colored rectangles. If that's not impressive storytelling and character development, I'm not sure what is. (4 Stars.)

  • 14/02. Remember Me will be one of those games like Enslaved that'll be fondly remembered for its unique world and characters rather than the many minor flaws which otherwise marred the experience. It's got a really fantastic combat system too, one that's somehow very customizable and dense yet simple to get to grips with. (4 Stars.)

  • 17/02 (defeated Yama), 02/03 (earned all achievements). I'd beaten Spelunky before now - it's on last year's list - but these two dates mark the true utter defeat of the game. I've enjoyed Spelunky a lot, as evidenced by the fact that I kept playing it regardless of the many frustrating deaths. I wrote an overlong blog on it though, so let's move on. (5 Stars.)

  • 20/02. I generally don't care for Match-3 games, but Bejeweled 3 was on sale for less than a pound and I figured it was worth a shot. It actually took less time to beat its various modes than 10,000,000 did despite having considerably more content. Still, though, I had enough fun with it to justify that tiny purchase amount and then some. (3 Stars.)

  • 01/03. Oh Akira-chan, we'll meet each other again some day, just wait for me beneath the cherry blossom tree. I mean, uhhh, naw fuck this game. (2 Stars.)

  • 07/03. Short and sweet puzzle game variant on Picross, where you draw continuous lines from numbers embedded within the picture. It's not an entirely perfect twist on the formula, but there's some steam to the idea if they plan on sequels. (3 Stars.)

  • 08/03. Been playing this one on-and-off for a month, due to how much grinding is involved. The gameplay itself is addictive enough, though. It's air (space?) hockey with increasingly devious extraterrestrial opponents. (4 Stars.)

  • 19/03. I've pontificated on this game for far longer than is healthy. It's a PS2 RPG, from the Tales series. I dunno about you guys, but that sentence alone would be enough to form a pretty lucid picture of what the game's like. All hail the Yellow Dart! (4 Stars.)

  • 24/03. Conspiracies and puzzle rooms galore. I love the Zero Escape series, in spite of all its weirdness (and really mostly because of its weirdness). I hope that mythical third game ends up happening. (4 Stars.)

  • 04/04. This would be for the new Dragonfall DLC, which was kindly gifted to me along with the game by a pal who's taking an internet sabbatical? I guess? Dragonfall is a marginally improved campaign, but it's still a little disappointing how far this game hasn't come in the months since release. There's just not a whole lot of substance to it, for as acceptable as its combat and storytelling is. (3 Stars.)

  • 07/04. Already one of my early favorites for GOTY, this South Park RPG finally does right by its fans in creating a game laden with its trademark subversive humor and 17 years (man, that many?) of show references to draw a huge amount of fanservice from. The core RPG elements are great too, with a combat engine similar to the trigger-heavy Mario RPG games where every battle has its own quirks and strategy is everything. South Park's humor is not for everyone, but that tight and focused RPG gameplay ought to be. (5 Stars.)

  • 14/04. Even though the fighter game side of P4A went as far over my head as I was expecting it to, the storyline was quite excellent. Labrys is a great and heartbreaking character and the script and characters were spot on. Made for a good bridge between Personas 3 and 4 as well. I especially liked Elizabeth's story, as goofy as it was, because she just straight up does not give an eff. (4 Stars.)

  • 15/04. Though it only took an evening to complete, Starship Damrey is a suspenseful little adventure game from Level-5's Guild 01 series that built some creepy tension and set up a handful of mysteries to urge you to keep exploring. It concludes on a satisfying note too, so I almost don't mind that it took me all but two or three hours to see through to the end. (3 Stars.)

  • 17/04. Endlessly charming, very threadbare little adventure game. To explain its plot would take something away from the experience, but it's a dorky loveable little thing. (4 Stars.)

  • 26/04. Last Window is CING's last game, and the last outing for the taciturn Kyle Hyde and his Take On Me-styled adventures. I love the character animations in this. The plot's good too, and they've finally made all those annoying game overs less severe. Figures that the bittersweet departure of CING culminates with a game all about bittersweet departures. (4 Stars.)

  • 27/04. Many of the same problems as its predecessor, but the selection's a lot better and the game doesn't outstay its welcome this time. Good for an afternoon spent lost in the classics. (4 Stars.)

  • 03/05. So the next ten games were covered in more detail in their respective May Madness Melange entries. Best to go there for my impressions. Anna was featured in May Madness Melange Part 2. (2 Stars.)

  • 04/05. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 2. (2 Stars.)

  • 20/05. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 8. (2 Stars.)

  • 23/05. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 8. (4 Stars.)

  • 24/05. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 9. (3 Stars.)

  • 24/05. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 9. (3 Stars.)

  • 25/05. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 9. (3 Stars.)

  • 26/05. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 10. (2 Stars.)

  • 27/05. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 10. (4 Stars.)

  • 28/05. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 10. (3 Stars.)

  • 31/05. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 5 and the Aftermathness. (4 Stars.)

  • 31/05. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 5 and the Aftermathness. (4 Stars.)

  • 02/06. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 4 and the Aftermathness. (4 Stars.)

  • 04/06. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 8 and the Aftermathness. (3 Stars.)

  • 06/06. Featured in May Madness Melange Part 1A and the Aftermathness. (3 Stars.)

  • 25/06. Superb old-fashioned JRPG, like the ones Momma Squaresoft used to make. It has a few tricks up its sleeve, but seems determined to be a solid PS1-throwback JRPG with an excellent script (and localization), a turn-based combat system with just a few bells and whistles and oodles of charm. Can't wait to try the Second Chapter, whenever it decides to show up. (5 Stars.)

  • 06/07. I reviewed this one. Delightful throwback, one of the few nostalgia Indies to actually nail the concept of creating the facsimile of a decent NES period game. (5 Stars.)

  • 07/07. LPed this for the site. It's an interesting and well-developed universe even if the adventure itself is a little plodding. But man, it just goes completely bananas towards the end. (3 Stars.)

  • 11/07. Dig, upgrade, dig further, upgrade more. It's a simple gameplay progression, but this is easily the best-realized variant of the format among its many browser-based peers. (4 Stars.)

  • 19/07. I've yet to care for any of Behemoth's output, and Battleblock Theater did not break that streak. It has some interesting ideas, but it's just a little too repetitive and randumb. Building a whole game around time trials when your controls aren't exactly sterling isn't the best way to ingratiate yourself to a game-playing audience either. (2 Stars.)

  • 26/07. I discussed this game during Steam May Madness Melange and again in a review, but this chicken SpaceWhipper's a delightful little game that's far more devious and demanding than it appears. It even has a photography side-quest! I love those! (4 Stars.)

  • 27/07. I was let down by Pikmin 3 somewhat, though certainly not enough to turn against it. I can only imagine that someone had to fight to get this game made and it ended up lacking the budget of the second entry, which was far more ambitious and far more interesting. 2 didn't look as good as Pikmin 3 did, though, and I doubt there's many other Nintendo franchises that really lend themselves to HD adaptations as well as Pikmin's stunning natural environments. (4 Stars.)

  • 08/08. Though I'm still grappling with the post-game content as of writing this summary, I've just about had all I can take of this game. While it's overlong and there's a few mechanical shortcomings (that ally AI, yeesh), there's no faulting its style and presentation. Man, if I never have to listen to another absurdly Welsh fairy... (4 Stars.)

  • 21/08. Boy howdy, this game. I feel like anything I say about its insanity, mediocre gunplay and liberal borrowing from Twin Peaks is fairly redundant this many years after two ERs. It's certainly worth experiencing for oneself. (5 FKs in the Coffee.)

  • 30/08. Interesting concept, but didn't do a whole lot with its premise. Just a few puzzles and a bunch of diaries to read. Very much a gentle, casual experience for those looking for a good interactive horror story without worrying too much about combat or stealth systems. (3 Stars.)

  • 12/09. A recent PSN sale gave me ample opportunity to revisit some PS1 staples that I somehow missed out on. The original Klonoa was an ideal introduction to the 2D-ish platformer's sense of style and odd enemy-enabled platforming mechanics. Its story still held up too, and was surprisingly touching in spots. I mean, as touching as the interactions between some kind of cat-rabbit guy and his squeaky ball companion can be. (4 Stars.)

  • 15/09. Wanting to watch Metal Gear Scanlon without spoiling the game for myself, I was left with little recourse than to play through Kojima's most notable work for a long-delayed inaugural playthrough. Pretty much what I expected, though there's no denying that the unusually deep mechanical complexity on display for such an old game is impressive. I'm looking forward to Drew's fight with Rex and his reaction to the ending, though I guess this means I might have to consider playing MGS2 as well at some point in the near future. (4 Stars.)

  • 18/09. At 43 of a possible 50 stages completed, I'm marking this one down as beaten. It's a fascinating game that rewards the truly dedicated, but simply too imprecise to not be a frustrating mess at times. At least I finally know how Inoko MAX felt in his GCCX debut. (3 Stars.)

  • 21/09. Talking of GCCX, the then-recent translation of Arino's take on Treasure's most well-regarded game (I mean, probably) inspired me to play through it myself before watching the episode. I can definitely see the appeal; it's a game that takes advantage of the Genesis's "Blast Processing" (read: slightly faster processor) to throw all sorts of nonsense at you. It's far easier than something like Dynamite Headdy or Alien Soldier too, so it comes highly recommended as a gateway to Treasure's world of twitch-gameplay and visual madness. (4 Stars.)

  • 24/10. While I played a great many number of games for Octurbo-CD this year, the only one I managed to beat was Godzilla. It's a fighting game, and probably one of the best adaptations of Toho's monster franchise as far as early Godzilla titles go. A great breadth of kaiju (though they all need to be unlocked in single player first) and some decent graphics would suggest that it's a keeper for any Gojira fan. It does mean buying a TurboDuo to play it on, though. (4 Stars.)

  • 25/10. Hard to define an end-point for this one. I've still got a handful of challenges to complete and some trophies left to find, but most of the game's tougher tasks (Classic on 9.0, All-Star on Hard, beating every mode at least once) have been accomplished. It's hard to articulate what I enjoy most about Smash, as I'm not in it for the competition, but I suppose I find it a very soothing collect-a-thon broken up with more than acceptable gameplay. Sort of how I feel about many great open-world games, really. (5 Stars.)

  • 05/11. This CRPG behemoth took most of October away from me, or what little I didn't spend playing TGCD games. It's truly immense, very leisurely paced, quite strategic and thoughtful and possibly one of the finest of the old guard CRPGs out there. If you have the time investment and don't mind starting over once you've gotten to grips with its systems sufficiently to avoid creating a gimped party, it's worth it. (5 Stars.)

  • 11/11. Probably don't need to explain why I played this. Giant Bomb has once again forced my hand and made me (well, sorta) play this sequel in order to stay one step ahead of Solid Scanlon and RaiDan's adventures through the Big Shell. It is even more absurd and even more troubled, and unfortunately its myriad problems didn't lead to a particularly positive experience. I might advise those who haven't yet played this to just watch Drew and Dan go through the trouble for you. Or read my reaction blogs! Those are fun too. Plug plug. (3 Stars.)

  • 18/11. It occurs me that all I need to enjoy a FPS game is some far-fetched settings, some weird and fun firepower and some variation. It's why Wolfenstein: The New Order appeals to me far more than any Call of Duty or Halo. Turns out all you need to do to make killing Nazis interesting is to put them on the moon with laser rifles. (5 Stars.)

  • 22/11. It's a poor man's Ghost Trick, sorely missing a feisty Pomeranian, but it's solid if all you want is a breezy police procedural adventure game with a few ghost mechanics. Not the sort of thing you'd want to play full retail price for, granted. (3 Stars.)

  • 01/12. Part One of Go! Go! GOTY!. Jazzpunk was a lot of fun, though fairly unsubstantial. It made me think about what I want from a $3-5 Indie game, however, and this is ideally it. Plenty of ideas and humor squeezed into a compact package. (4 Stars.)

  • 04/12. Part Three and Four of Go! Go! GOTY!. An old-school FMV adventure game with old-school FMV adventure game problems. Still, it's probably the last sub-genre you'd expect to see get homaged (though I guess a direct sequel by the same developers isn't really an "homage") by the Indie market, so that made for a bit of a departure from the usual LucasFilm/Sierra inspired Indie point and clicks. (3 Stars.)

  • 06/12. Part Five and Six of Go! Go! GOTY!. M&L looks super rough, but surprised me with its level of craft. It was clearly made by a small team who appreciates the SpaceWhipper genre, sort of like Cave Story from back in the day, and gives you plenty of options for your preferred playstyle with its min-maxing accessories and multiple protagonists. (4 Stars.)

  • 07/12. Part Seven of Go! Go! GOTY!. Groove City is simply more Electronic Super Joy, and almost feels like a trial version for the original. It has new music from EnV, a selling point for the original, and its masocore difficult gameplay is still here, though a little more kinder if anything. Not a bad place to start with this series. (4 Stars.)

  • 08/12. Part Seven and Eight of Go! Go! GOTY!. A mad stackz-enabled streamlined version of something like Heroes of Might and Magic, where you fight through a series of turn-based skirmishes with an ever-increasing army. Made for mobile devices and looks it, but still fairly fun in small doses. Kinda short, though. (3 Stars.)

  • 09/12. Part Nine of Go! Go! GOTY!. Beautiful and disquieting, it plays like a Dummy's Guide to Scandinavian Pagan Folklore. The most terrifying thing about it isn't that you might learn something: it's actually quite spooky, especially when you encounter the game's menagerie of possibly dangerous fey folk. (4 Stars.)

  • 10/12. Part Ten of Go! Go! GOTY!. Metal Gear reimagined as Dilbert office drone comedy, the goal is to get your hero back to his desk on the 22nd floor of a highrise before his boss notices he's late for work. Not terrible, but I find I prefer my stealth games when they have more power under the hood, as the extra computing power makes the AI seem less arbitrary. I like the pixel look though, very eBoy. (3 Stars.)

  • 18/12. Though I was unimpressed with large swathes of the game, especially one too many recycled elements and staid boss encounters, there's no denying the level of craft and presentation with these Souls games. It's as hard as an ice dragon's carapace too, but at least gives you a few new conveniences like a better-realized bonfire teleportation system and more healing items (should you be thorough enough to find the upgrades). A step down in some ways after Dark Souls, but certainly not bad. (4 Stars.)