By Vinny_Says 11 Comments
It was a weird year for video games, and hip hop was just as weird in my opinion. I will admit that I pretty much skipped the the second half of 2014 when it comes to games. I still enjoy video games, but between October and December I played pretty much only Call of Duty 4. However all the cool kids are doing it, so here's my top 10:
Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
I'm not sure what happened on the GOTY podcast but this game actually has an amazing soundtrack. I don't like this game as much as its predecessor (which I played on 3DS) but this is still one of the best 2D platformers around, only surpassed by Rayman Legends in my opinion. The final boss is a giant piece of shit however, this game would be higher on my list if it wasn't for that.
Yeah this game was nothing like what was promised, but I still had tons of fun with it. I loved sneaking around and wasting dudes like some Sam Fisher wannabe, looking into people's homes like some disgusting pervert and just driving around Chicago buying every trech coat I could. If they ever make a sequel, that could be the greatest game ever made by Ubisoft.
I feel the exact same way about Destiny as I do about Watch_Dogs. It is a fun game to play and the core is solid, it just lacks variety. Hoping a sequel is good, cause I'm sure as hell not paying $20 for those expansions.
This is how you make a corridor shooter in 2014. You give me the option to either be stealthy or just mow down people with dual wielded assault rifles. DUAL ASSAULT RIFLES!!! YOU GO ON THE NAZI MOON!!! YOU FIGHT A GIANT BRITISH ROBOT! HOLY SHIT THIS GAME IS AMAZING!!!
Dark Souls II
Enemies that don't respawn infinitely is the reason I prefer this game to Dark Souls. It's not that I can't deal with them, but running through the same area doing the same thing over and over on my way to a boss got pretty boring in Dark Souls. I hope Bloodborne is good, and I hope to see more souls games too.
Forza Horizon 2
What a beautiful game...
I loved the cars, the setting, the offroad stuff, the races, the exploration. There was literally nothing I disliked about this game. Why is it not my number 1? Well because there were a few games I liked even more.
The next Horizon game should take place in Japan. Just imagine racing down the japanese countryside and then hitting the streets of Tokyo in your modified NSX...hhmmm I get excited just thinking about it.
Big robots are just as fun today as they were back in April. No other FPS lets me be as acrobatic and badass as Titanfall, so it's no surprise most shooters are going in this direction now. Lack of content is the only downside to this, but that's only because this game came out a time when Call of Duty and Battlefield have 50+ weapons and perks and not the small amount the they had back in 2007-2008, when those games were still good.
Ubisoft had a tough year when it came to broken games, but the next two on this list were overlooked gems in my opinion. I guess it's not as good a story when a good game just works, it's more fun to talk about glitchy faces right?
I laughed, I cried, I learned, I experienced so many different emotions just from a simple puzzle game...and I hate puzzle games. The collectibles were so well done, it reminded me of the time I tried to beat Brother in Arms on the hardest difficulty just so I could see the historical collectibles. Oh and that ending...dear lord! I think only the ending to Read Dead Redemption (game of the generation) hit me harder.
Child of Light
This game combines the best music, best storytelling, best combat, best exploration and best overworld into the second best game of the year.
Listen to this track below. I loved the GOTY deliberations but I was genuinely furious at how this music was overlooked and dismissed so quickly.
**I live in North America so this is a 2014 release**
Child of Light would be my GOTY if I hadn't dislocated my knee. I was off work for 2 weeks and only had my 3DS to keep me entertained, and that's when I finally unwrapped my copy of Bravely Default and played the best game of the year. I was supposed to relax and recuperate but instead I spent 16 hours a day playing this game. When I wasn't playing the game I was waiting for my village to be constructed while my 3DS was in sleep mode. For a whole two weeks all I thought about was Bravely Default.
The thing that hooked me so bad was the job system, where you equip a "job" and level up the skills specific to it and then mix and match skills to build the ultimate party. Of course at one point you build an amazing party that rolls through everyone but then a boss comes along and wipes your party in one hit. You then have to figure out what you did wrong, get new skills and build an even stronger party.
The 'Brave' and 'Default' system was also an mazing addition, and it integrates into the job system so well. Mechanically this game beats out every other game on the list, even though they may be different genres.
The story was actually pretty cool for a JRPG. Towards the end they use the story as an excuse to make you do something really pointless but I could easily overlook it because I was having such a good time.
There's a lot I could say about Bravely Default, but the best way to desribe it is that it's a game any JRPG fan or 3DS owner should play.
Here's to Bravely Default, my favorite game of 2015. Hoping that Bravely Second is just as good if not better!
And now, we talk about hip hop.
What a weird year. There were some amazing releases early on, a batch of mixtapes that beat out most full albums released by big labels, the dumbest beef between artists yet, Lil Boosie was released from Jail, songs like 'Hot Nigga' and 'Coco' became mega hits and Riff Raff became a roided out wrestler?
This is the year I stopped trying to be elitist with my taste and just started listening to everything. Most of it was still garbage, but I discovered some things I never tought I would enjoy before. Here's my 10 favorite rap albums of 2014 in no particular order:
Boosie Bad Azz- Life After Deathrow
The youngest of da camp was finally released from jail and came out with his first full album of new material since 2008. When a rapper is released from jail they usually produce some pretty weak stuff (see Prodigy and T.I.) but Boosie is a nice exception. On Life After Deathrow he talks at lenght about his imprisonment and how he's back and about to take over the whole rap world. It's a free mixtape that is better than most full albums I've heard in the past 10 years.
If you never enjoyed Lil Boosie before, I would still give this a try. You may find something you like on here.
Cormega- Mega Philosophy
You take Cormega, one of the most under-rated NY rappers and Large Professor, one of the most celebrated producers in hip hop and have them collaborate on an album you get one of the best works to come out in 2014. It's about as short as an album can get and the chemistry between Mega and Large Prof really makes this album something else.
Give this a listen if you love Cormega's prior work but also want to hear something different from him.
Much like Mega Philosophy, the comination of Royce and Primo is a fantastic idea that hopefully continues into the future. One of the main ideas behind this album is that DJ Premier only samples Adrian Younge (Black Dynamite OST, 12 Reasons to Die). The production is top notch but amazing verses from Royce da 5'9" and various guests really brings the project together.
This is DJ premier's best work in a while, don't miss out.
Rich Gang- Tha Tour Pt.1
Yes we've all heard the unintelligible drabble that is 'Lifestyle' and we are all sick of it. But when you combine Young Thug with Rich Homie Quan, give them some amazing beats and have Birdman do his best Diddy impression it becomes a curiosity piece that I could not stop listening to.
What is Young Thug saying? Why is he talking about fucking grandmothers? Why does Rich Homie Quan seem to get better every time I hear him? Why is Birdman still the exact same person as he was in 1999 when he and Mannie started the whole trap music thing?
Give this album a try, even if you hate it you might have a good laugh. Just don't tell anyone because holy shit do hip hop fans hate this whole "Rich Gang" thing...people need to chill a bit.
Schoolboy Q- Oxymoron
Schoolboy Q talked a big game about this album before it came out. Although it wasn't as good as Good Kid MAAd City, it was still a great album that let Schoolboy Q really shine.
Most of the TDE gang is here and Q also brings some OGs like Raekwon and Kurupt as guests but I never felt like they took the spotlight from him. He also ends the album with what I consider to be 3 of the best songs he's ever made.
My only complaint would be that a lot of good tracks are lost to the deluxe edition, the iTunes deluxe edition and Target deluxe edition. Artists need to stop this bullshit!
YG- My Krazy Life
Remember all those skits and verses Kendrick would spit about "bad influences" and "being in the wrong crowd" during mAAd City?
YG is "the bad influence" and "the wrong crowd". This is the perfect companion piece to Kendrick's album. It is the other side of the coin. While Kendrick Lamar would rap about the problems in Compton and strive to be better, YG just celebrates the insanity of a place like Compton and the gang violence that plagues it. He's not a fatalist nor is he exactly saying that it's something to be proud of, but he brings a different perspective to the listener.
Yeah some songs don't exactly make sense or fit in right, but overall YG made pretty much what you'd expect from him and he does it spectacularly.
MadGibbs- Cocaine Pinata
Although there is no real order to this list, Pinata is probably my favorite album of 2014. I'm a huge Freddie Gibbs fan and knew he could spit on whatever beat you gave him, but I still worried a bit about this collaboration.
But Gibbs delivered. Every song is amazing on this album. Gibbs brings his versatile flow and great storytelling skills and it matches perfectly with Madlib's production.
Even if you hate Gibbs (not sure why....maybe you're a Jeezy stan?) you should give this a listen.
Run The Jewels- Run The Jewels 2
I had some serious doubts about Killer Mike and El-P making a better sequel to Run the Jewels, but they somehow did it.
Never again will I doubt them. They delivered in spectacular fashion. No two artists compliment each other better than El-P and Killer Mike right now. They took RTJ and cranked it up to 11.
get this album NOW!
Migos- Rich Nigga Timeline
I knew of Migos, but beyond 'Versace' I never paid much attention to any of their work. From the outside it seemed like they rapped in that annoying style and simply repeated the same word over and over and over.
But then I grabbed their free mixtape and was blown away by the 6 and a half minute intro track. They have a rapping style that you may hate, but it grew on me. They stick to a particular style of production, but they actually have a great ear for beats.They dress in ridiculous fashion and say ridiculous things, but it's no worse than what Cash Money Records was doing in the early 2000s.
The whole album is on constant overdrive. Yeah it's ignorant rap, but without this genre we would never be able to appreciate "intelligent" rap. Sometimes you need to turn off your brain and just enjoy some nonsense, and this is the best album to do it with. Never have I heard a rapper make cow noises on a chorus...
Deniro Farrar- Rebirth EP
If you're unfamiliar with Deniro Farrar, this is the perfect place to start. This album is pretty much the greatest hits of all his prior work. A perfect representation of what he does as an artist.
His deep voice and sharp lyrics work so well with the cloud rap beats he mostly uses.
It is an extremely short EP however. I hope that he releases more stuff in 2015.
Thank you for reading by blog. I wish you all a happy new year duders!