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"I don't Dance!"

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Top 5 Games Of 2014

I'll be completely honest with you, this would have been a much larger list had some of the games actually arrived on time, but alas, many of my most anticipated installments were delayed to 2015. I could have stretched it out to a "top 10" list, but honestly then i'd had to rank it, and right now I just want to focus on the good.

It's funny though, a lot of the games I was excited for turned out to be mediocre at best whereas the games I was barely considering knocked my socks off. While not an amazing year,It's been an interesting ride to say the least in terms of gaming. Note: This list is completely subjective, obviously, and many may not share my views. Cheers.


  • Sunset Overdrive - And overall fun and well-designed game, but I don't think I'll go back to it anytime soon, and I seriously doubt I'll pick up a sequel or something, since I feel I've had my fair share of craziness from the first game. Fun as it may be, I'm not particularly fond of the general style and atmosphere, but I am glad I picked it up.
  • Dragon Age Inquisition - It's a great game, in fact it's definitely one of the best this year, but it's still an RPG, a genre in gaming I'm not particularly use too yet, so I can't get immersed the way I want to. Plus as someone who plays a lot of hack'n'slash games, the removal of the dodge mechanic and the sudden switch to a more methodical type of gameplay is a bit tough and taxing, so while it is a fantastic experience so far, I doubt it'll be a personal favorite of mine.

You might be wondering why I didn't add destiny to the honorable mentions. The reason for this is because I fucking despise what Bungie is doing right now, so despite the fun time i've had with the game It doesn't deserve the name "honorable."

List items

  • When I first saw actual footage of the game, I knew that it would most definitely have mixed responses, so I completely understand if many people dislike and/or hate this game. However, for me, this was definitely the most fun I've had in a a very long time. I found myself loving the very flaws I saw many criticize. For example, I enjoyed the letter boxing because it created a claustrophobic atmosphere, I enjoyed the janky melee combat because it emphasized on the "survival horror" aspects of the game, and I most definitely loved the the campy cliche characters who made me laugh once in a while.

    Moreover, despite the many flaws people like to point out the the evil within does something not many horror titles have managed to do in a very long time. Throughout my play-through I was mentally drained, and I mean that in the best way possible. The gameplay is so difficult and the atmosphere is so tense that each and every encounter, even with the regular "haunted" enemies, is worrisome and taxing. Not because it's scary though. The game isn't frighting in the traditional sense, in fact, it's much like dead space when it comes to scares. When you are actually playing the game you are always, and I do mean ALWAYS on edge. You, despite the ability to fight back, can be helpless against certain and sometimes all enemies, so you need to tread carefully and you need to analyze and calculate most of the steps you take. Even when you are completely alone, something as simple as a trap can blow you to smithereens.

    Furthermore, as a crazy monster fan, this game was a love letter to me, considering the fact that you face a lot of grotesque and uniquely designed monsters throughout the campaign, all of whom have distinct and interesting characteristics and tactics of killing. The Boxhead/Keeper in particular stood out for me, and if there ever comes a sequel I hope this hammer wielding monstrosity makes a comeback!

    So, Is The Evil Within a perfect game? Haha nope, but is it a fantastic experience that will please horror fans? I say it is, for me at least.

  • When the Wolfenstein: The New Order was announced....Actually, that's just it, I wasn't even aware of the fact that it was announced. I've heard of the franchise, but upon reading about the setting of the game I wrote it off as another generic lifeless shooter about killing swarms of Nazis. It wasn't until the small demo was shown that I was genuinely intrigued in what this game had to offer. Eventually though, the positive reception coped with the fact that I wanted a next gem game for my Xbox One, I decided to give it a shot. Suffice to say Wolfenstein exceeded my expectations and it is most definitely my second favorite game of the year.

    The gameplay is absolutely spectacular. It's so good that I replayed and beat that game over and over again, which is something I rarely ever do with FPS's. The only other game I can remember that got a similar response from me was Halo, which is a high compliment mind you. Moreover, what I personally liked was that while Wolfenstein makes you feel like a walking, breathing tank, it still holds enough difficulty to make you think before attacking someone with guns blazing, which is where the stealth sections come in. Yes, the AI is definitely dumb, but for a game oriented so much on action the artificial intelligence is in perfect balance with the gameplay mechanics, meaning that the Nazi soldiers are as smart as they should be.

    The guns may not exactly be abundant in variety, but the ones you do encounter are and absolute blast. This mixed with the multiple/possible game tactics provides the player with enough diversity and versatility to keep things interesting.

    Furthermore, the story may be campy in some areas, but it's definitely pretty awesome. Like I said, my initial response was that Wolfenstein would have some generic nazi killing story thrown in there out of obligation, but after playing the actually game, I saw that it had way more depth and charm than I could have anticipated. In fact, and I don't know if you'll agree, but throughout my journey I reminded of Tarantiono's Inglorious Basterds, thanks to the over the top and gimmicky characters.

    I could go on, but the gist of is that Wolfenstein was a interesting, fun, well acted, and well written.

  • I almost put this before the Walking Dead, but essentially The Wolf Among Us has something, which the Walking Dead games lack, originality. Okay, maybe that sounds harsher than it should, but what I mean is that concept of the Zombie Apocalypse has been done a billion times in about every manner possible, so as great as the Walking Dead is, The Wolf Among Us brought something fresh to the table. The idea of different fables inhabiting a gritty corrupt town sounds ridiculously fantastic on it's own, and it was further made better with the fact that the main protagonist was non other than the Big Bad Wolf.

    It's always interesting exploring what opportunities and choices exist in different universes, and playing a character with such radical possibilities was an interesting experience. When I say radical I mean that Bigby wolf has the potential to both be a complete monstrous beast and/or noble protector. It's arguable that that Lee could have been a jackass too, but the very essence of Bigby's character allows the player to really stray from the middle ground, where as lee, good or bad, is still a human being in the end.

    However, much like the Walking Dead, what shade of "noire" Bigby will be colored with is completely in your(the players) hands. Personally, I was more in the grey area, mostly because I killed twiddle Dum...or was it Dee? Can't remember, all I know is that killing that annoying jerk felt awesome.

    Anyways, The Wolf Among Us is a well written, fun, gritty and atmospheric game, which will no doubt leave it's mark on you after you're done playing it.

  • Not quite as great as the first season but definitely a powerhouse on it's own. Clementine is singlehandedly one of this years coolest video game characters, without a single doubt. After having my heart broken by the first season, I was really interested in how things would pick up from there. Unlike some, I was actually glad that she became the main character, because that way the flow of the game seemed natural. In the first season a lot of what you do as lee is for Clementine, therefore your actions reflect on her. Yes, I understand that the game does have a single story-line and to a certain degree the choices you make lead to the same outcome, at least plot wise, but the game shines when it comes to it's characters. Sure, there's one general "picture", but the player gets to fill the picture with the color of his/her choosing. Clementine, in many ways, no matter how you look at it, was crafted by me, and that's exactly why I really love the telltale games so much.

    The story falters somewhere around episode 4, and yeah it's a rough bump to the overall brilliant narrative, but essentially it completely pays it off with the amazing finally. After season One I didn't really think the game could break my heart all over again, but boy was I fucking wrong. The choices I made were specifically nerve grinding, and I spent a lot of my time brooding because of how I ended things. If a game can really resonate with me and affect my mood to such a drastic degree, it means it's definitely doing a lot of right things.

  • I expect to get a lot of flock for this, but hey, what can I say? I enjoyed my time with the game immensely. While definitely a huge step-down from the original game, it does have some great things going for it. Starting with the more negative aspects of the game, the story was disappointing. Where as the original offered some great twists and turns, this one falls flat on it's face in the final act. It's not bad, per say, but throughout the game we have a clear goal in mind. We're on board with dracula's mission and we want him to succeed, yet by the end, that very gaol which Dracula strived for is thrown out the window, and is replaced with some campy melodramatic ending. This was a huge slap in the face for me, simple because I've been on board with Gabriels crusade even way before his full transformation. I see what they were going for, but if they wanted to turn the story into a "revelation" arc, they should have done a better job of wrapping everything up. A few lines of dialogue does not and cannot wrap up a contradictory 20 hour story(more if you count the first installment).

    Okay, it may seem at this point that I'm more pissed than happy with LOS 2, but despite my critisism for the how the game turned out, it still, like I said, has many interesting improvements. For starters, the characterization is leaps and bounds better than the first LOS. Gabriel Belmont, or Dracula, has become one of my favorite interpretations of the Price of Darkness. He's a horrible monster for sure, but he commits these horrible acts with such grace and awesomeness you can't help but respect the guy to some degree. Plus, if you've played the first game you can sympathize with him, because you know the horrible shit he has been through. The transition from Knight in shining armor to a murderous monster was executed and done fantastically. Plus, Los 2 does something not many games manage to do, it shows us the characters personality and growth through the gameplay. The whole castle is a reflection of Gabriel's unsound mind, and each monster you strike down represents your own personal flaw. (Silent Hill inspired probably, though I have to say the executed and presentation is considerably different.)

    Speaking of which, the gameplay has been refined. The controls feel a lot more smooth and less clunky/stiff, and your moves fit Dracula's character, since it's presented in a much more savage, aggressive and elegant manner, as opposed to Gabriel's more warrior-esque brute force. Though to be honest, the structure and the brilliant methodical style of gameplay is sill maintained, meaning that the game doesn't hold back it's punches if you screw your moves up. (if it ain't broke don't fix it)

    Also, I know many people hated the stealth sections, but it's not really that bad. Sure it's dumb and frustrating, but it doesn't break the game.

    In conclusion, despite it's negative reception and some apparent flaws, when I look back at 2014, I'll definitely remember Lords of Shadow 2.