GOTY 2014

My favorite games of 2014

List items

  • Bravely Default is the spiritual successor to one of my favorite DS games, Final Fantasy the Four Heroes of Light. It expands on that game in ways that both modernize the formula as well as remind you of the best parts of classic ps2 RPGs. The battle system is excellent and allows for tactical and tense boss fights as well as super quick battles for grinding XP. The production values are some of the best on the 3DS with locations and characters looking stylistically better than in any of the latest Final Fantasy games. Bravely Default gets the number one spot because it is the closest a game has ever come to being my ideal RPG experience.

  • Ask anyone what the stand out element of Tropical Freeze is and most everyone will tell you it's the soundtrack created by beloved composer David Wise. While i may not have much experience with his work in the past i would agree that the music helps make this beautiful and fun to play game really stand out. Unlike most other game soundtracks I've spent time listening to in my spare time simply enjoy it for what it is. As for the game, it plays much better than the original Donkey Kong Country game for sure. The art style and level design is super fun to go through and trying to find secret exits can be infuriating at times, but in a good way. DKC:TF is easily one of the best platformers in recent years.

  • League of Legends became boring to me after a while and DOTA's style rubbed me the wrong way so why have a stuck with Smite longer? It may have to do with the simple behind the back camera change. It may be that Hi Rez Studios makes games that feel really good to play. By making every spell a skill shot Smite requires you to not only know your skills and when to use them but to aim accordingly. Smite is very similar to many other MOBAs feature-wise but when you actually get down to playing it the experience feels much different in a good way.

  • The social hooks didn't draw me in to Forza Horizon 2. Instead, it was the open world, variety of cars, and challenge of taking cool car pictures. The livery sharing could use some work as could the somewhat useless car meets but beyond that this game has a great core driving experience and structure.

  • I am terrible at Mario Kart 8. I frequently get bombarded with shell after shell and lose 5 - 6 places in the process, ending up second to last in almost every race. However, if I look past all the frustration Mario Kart gives me it's easy to see how wonderfully made the entire thing is. Each element: graphics, game play, and sound are highly refined and make Mario Kart 8 stand out in a year of broken and glitchy games.

  • From the very first trailer i could tell Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare was going to be up my alley. The structure of the multi-player is largely like other games of its type but PvZ is able to add in it's own bit of charm. Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare carves out its own little niche in a way similar to Gotham City Imposters from a few years ago.

  • Though it really is more like a tomogachi than a real fleshed out game, Tomodachi Life is just silly enough to keep you entertained for as long as you want to be. Tomodachi Life makes it really easy to pick up for a few minutes and accomplish a few tasks like checking what decor or clothing is on sale. The only snag is that once you do your daily routine of interacting with neighbors you don't really have much to do unless the game randomly gives you something. One of the added benefits of this game is that it gets you to actually build out your roster of miis on your 3ds, whether they are people you know or fictional ones like Derek Zoolander. The pure absurdity keeps Tomodachi Life fresh, i just hope they put in more actual game in the future.

  • I had heard that the latest Kirby game was pretty good but i wasn't expecting a game that rivaled Super Mario 3D Land in terms of utilizing the 3D of the 3DS. Triple Deluxe for the most part doesn't provide a huge challenge other than the occasional moments where you have to think quickly on your feet if you hope to 100% a level, which i think is the best way to go about playing this game. Like any other Kirby game, if you're looking for a fun and charming time without too much difficulty this is for you.

  • How many games require you to communicate with your team only by Morse code? Not many. That's part of what makes Steel Diver: Sub Wars a fun experiment. Nintendo took a shot creating a multi-player game very unlike any other. Your view port is very narrow, your sub turns very slowly, and torpedoes are relatively slow projectiles. I enjoyed equipping my sub with different crew mates as well as giving it various paint jobs. I'd love to see a game similar to this come to the Wii U.

  • I'm still terrible at guitar but i don't feel quite so bad once i play Rocksmith for a stretch of time. Yeah I'm not creating my own stuff or anything but that's not really the point of the game. Rocksmith 2014 works best as a learning tool to get you used to just working with your guitar. The provided challenges have you practicing each technique you'll come across in songs whether it's tremolo, bends, or simple power chords. Using custom songs really opens up the game and i highly recommend doing so if you want to play most of the songs you actually know.