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Game of the Year 2014

Decided to write a mini-review of sorts of my number 1, and just give a brief reasoning to the rest. English is not my first language so sorry if there is some weird grammar and/or spelling errors in there.

Honorable mentions: Threes, Bayonetta 2, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (!), Luftrausers and the other great games I probably forgot. And Broken Age part 1 which was amazing (disclaimer, I backed the thing. Though I also backed Godus which I did not like at all), but I'll wait for the full thing to be released to possibly include it on a list.

Also I played a whole bunch of Monster Hunter 4 and 4G (the Japanese versions, 4G is the same as 4 Ultimate will be over here). 4U will not release in North America / Europe until next year, so decided to leave it out of this list. It would have placed around #2/3 though if you care about that.

List items

  • I have played different card games for a long time, but this is by far the one that I've enjoyed the most.

    It's friendly to beginners with decent tutorials taking you through the basics, and mechanics are explained when hovering over any card. At the same time there is plenty of depth for those that are ready for a bigger challenge, both in (un)ranked constructed matches with your created deck and (my personal favorite) arena with a drafted one.

    There are 9 classes to choose from and hundreds of cards in the game, some class specific, but a lot are available to all classes. This offers a huge variety between decks, even within the same class. The game is extremely polished, everything from the sounds the cards make when you play them, to the opening of a pack animations, to the interactive objects on the game boards, it's all very well done.

    Since release they have added Naxxramas, a solo expansion with bosses and 30 new cards, and recently Goblins vs Gnomes, which has over 120 new cards. Both additions are excellent, and provide even more variety than the base game had.

    The free to play model is fair, you can definitely get by without paying real money by saving up gold for packs and arena runs through arena wins, (un)ranked play wins and daily quests. People have made it to the very top rank in constructed (legend) without spending anything.

    At this point I have put probably somewhere around 1000 hours into this game, and I am still having a blast and looking forward to playing more with the new cards in Goblins vs Gnomes. Not sure if I can come up with any higher praise than that. If you haven't tried this game yet, please give it a shot, I have not had this much fun with a game in a long, long, time.

  • Fantastic, charming, platformer with a great artstyle and soundtrack. It's very reminiscent of NES games, but it does not rely on nostalgia alone and definitely brings enough new to the table to stand on it's own as a great game.

    Did I mention how good the soundtrack is? It's real good.

  • One of the bigger surprises for me this year, having not played a Mario Kart game since N64. Gorgeous visuals, runs perfectly, plays well, and a lot of great tracks (especially the entirely new ones). Both offline and online multiplayer is a ton of fun.

    Battle mode is awful since it forces you to play on race tracks instead of dedicated arenas, but that can easily be ignored because of how good the actual racing is. (I would be real happy if they released arena tracks as DLC though)

  • Great follow-up to the incredible game Bastion. (if you haven't already, go play Bastion, seriously) Beautiful action-RPG with great combat and amazing music.

  • It took a while for this one to "click" with me. The art/setting does nothing for me personally, but the gameplay is really solid. Every playthrough feels different depending on which insane combo of items you gathered along the way. It has become my go-to game for playing in bed on my Vita.

  • I know a lot of people were disappointed with this one, but personally I really enjoyed it. It has both the lowest lows and highest highs of the series. If you are new to the series this is probably the one I would recommend trying first, then go back and play the other two, because it's friendlier to beginners.

  • Hey, they fixed Diablo 3, that's cool. Really it was well on the way of getting better with the patches pre-expansion (reworked loot system, no more auction house), but RoS just added a bunch of fun stuff on top of that. Adventure mode, greater rifts, seasons, the new class: crusader, all great additions. If you gave up on Diablo 3 at launch, you might wanna consider giving it another shot now, it's pretty damn fun.

  • This basically all comes down to getting a way to play the pacifism mode on my PS4. The single player is alright, but I am not a huge fan of the 3D levels. It's definitely a solid Geometry Wars, and I really recommend giving it a shot if you haven't played one before. If you got bored of GW2 I would probably skip this one though.

  • After getting real burned out on open-world games lately this one was a great surprise. As plenty of people have said already: the nemesis system is the real draw. Getting revenge on an orc that got promoted after killing you is genuinely satisfying. Other than the nemesis system it's a solid, but pretty standard, open-world game, with a weak story.

  • Man, Destiny. Yes, it has awful mission design. Yes, the story is very forgettable. Yes, it's borderline abusive how much they expect you to repeat things over and over. But it's still just damn fun to play, and it's beautiful. I jump in every now and then and do a few missions, maybe some strikes, with a few friends and have a blast because the core mechanics of it are fantastic. You probably know if Destiny is a game for you or not by now. I'm not sure I can recommend it even though it made my list, but there's always room for one more in the Tower if you feel like joining us.