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Old 11-20-2014, 12:39 PM   #1
Li-Ion
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Best Games of 2014

Ok, you know the drill by now: it's getting close to the end of the year, the big hitters of November are sinking in and the world demands that our forums look at the best and worst of games in 2014. You don't want to disappoint the world, do you?

My overall GOTY is still undecided (I haven't had a look at the new Dragon Age yet, can't look at faceless monsters in Unity etc.) but there are, as usual, plenty of categories apart from the GOTY... without further ado:

Most disappointing
Everything Codemasters released in 2014.

Worst sequel
F1 2014

Best expansion
Shadowrun Returns - Dragonfall

Most intriguing game that I canít bring myself to buy
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Most intriguing game I bought but can't bring myself to play
Valiant Hearts (mostly because of f***ing UPlay)

Best game of 2014 I might buy next year
Alien: Isolation

Most anticipated 2015
Bloodborne

Biggest disagreement between me and the rest of the world
Divinity - Original Sin

Biggest disagreement between me and the corresponding Gamecritics review(s)
Dark Souls 2

Medal of Honor "Tier 1" special price for best in-game beards
The Banner Saga

Civilization "world war x" special price for game that made me realize I'm an awful person
The Banner Saga (let them starve... we have a world to save!)

Best music
The Banner Saga (sorry for sounding like a broken record here, but in terms of music there are only 2 games this year that stuck out: Banner Saga and Valiant Hearts, games I spent the most time with like Assetto Corsa or Dark Souls 2 don't have music for the most part)

Best kickstarter
Wasteland 2

Worst kickstarter
Broken Age (repeat winner!)

Best game mechanic
TBC - this year nothing really stuck out to me in terms of 'I haven't seen this before' when it came to gameplay.

Worst game mechanic
The Banner Saga's turn sequence

Most annoying enemy
The Banner Saga's final boss

Best game premise
Sir, you are being hunted

Best mobile game
Phoenix Wright DD

Late to the party-award for game I should have played years ago
Crusader Kings 2
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:10 AM   #2
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Re: Best Games of 2014

Highlight of the Forum year

I'm very conflicted this year and this will take a lot of thought. It is possible that I won't have a game of the year this year

You've reminded me that The Vanishing of Ethan Carter was a game I meant to buy when I set up my controller for PC a few weeks ago so I will get on that.

The combat (both your impressions and screenshots I have seen) continues to put me off The Banner Saga, but I may need to play it before year end.

I would say it is worth finishing Valiant Hearts if you can get past Uplay.

I need to look at what I've played and come back with some categories.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:07 AM   #3
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Re: Best Games of 2014

First batch of awards incoming..

The I'd Rather do my Shopping Award
Any 'Ubigame'. I like that there's a genre descriptor for these games now, where you have to do a long shopping list of utterly meaningless tasks, with more and more busywork appearing on the map as you progress through the game. What's that, a timed race mission? A fight-off-several-waves-of-enemies mission? Collect several collections worth of collectibles? Nice. I'd rather do my shopping.

I haven't played any Ubisoft games this year (with one exception), so my winner is Shadows of Mordor. Boredom set in quickly.


Most Disappointing
I largely avoid previews now and wasn't hyped for much this year. Even Dark Souls 2 had an inevitability about it, and the game ground me down so much by the end that I was more weary than disappointed. I was most disappointed with myself, really, that I couldn't enjoy Alien Isolation, or any stealth game for that matter.

Most disappointing: Pedro


Biggest Surprise
Playing Shadowrun Returns and enjoying it a lot. I didn't think I enjoyed this genre (whatever it is, but I guess it has turn-based in there somewhere) but it kept my attention and made me consider other similar games (eg Divinity Original Sin, Banner Saga etc). I liked the writing and the characters, though neither were very deep, they suited it well).

Best Story Delivery through the medium of discovered diary notes
Eidolon - even though I have only found a total of two notes so far, the writing in them is hugely impressive.

Best Walking Simulator
Eidolon is amazing, for a game in which precisely nothing happens.

Best Game from a Previous Year
Between Proteus and Shadowrun Returns at the moment.


Most intriguing game I bought but can't bring myself to play
Alien Isolation - had to bail out verrrrrrry soon after the appearance of the Alien. See Most Disappointing.

Biggest Tease
Between Kentucky Route Zero (the last episode of which was pretty disappointing) and The Dream Machine - I bought this in a sale a couple of years ago and decided to wait till it was finished before playing. It's still not finished. I am starting to feel like an Entitled Gamer (TM)

The Pinwheel Skeleton Award for Most Annoying Enemy
Lords of the Fallen's final boss made me look up YouTube videos, see that the YouTuber's characters in the 'Final Boss Strategy Guide' were doing four times more damage per hit than my character, and think, have I totally missed something and arrived at the boss many levels too early? Very annoying boss.

However, it would be remiss of me not to mention Dark Souls 2. Looking at the bosses, I think some of the normal enemies in the game were more annoying. Most annoying at the time was The Lost Sinner, as I turned up without a 100% block shield and was not able to roll fast enough to evade. Added to that was escorting Lucatiel a long way from the checkpoint, and the enemies along the way (The Rotten would qualify here too solely for the approach). But at least the Lost Sinner was fairly challenging and not disappointing like a lot of the bosses.

Hmmm. The guy you release from the binding spell in Aldia's Keep is pretty annoying, as well as the little ninja bastards in Dragon's rest. In Lords of the Fallen there's a wraith dude who is immensely annoying - if you stay back, he gets you with an unblockable plague spell, if you close, he hits hard and can grab you. And he explodes when he dies, naturally.
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:29 AM   #4
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Re: Best Games of 2014

If you like SR Returns, you should definitely play Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall, which did come out this year and is at least worth a best expansion title

@Ubigame: the Ubigame I'm currently playing is Dragon Age: Inquisition and it's so far showing every sign of Ubigame you listed. An increasing amount of repetitive, meaningless tasks to grind points in order to continue the story. Luckily the number of points required is (so far) not too high, but it's still annoying that they threw their usual and well established approach to storytelling out with the bathwater and jumped on the Assassins Creed bandwagon.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:41 AM   #5
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Re: Best Games of 2014

Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall is definitely on the list.

I've just been looking at what I've been playing this year; I've only finished 16 games so far, which is low for me, and a lot of games I played for only moments (this is a result of PS+ more than anything). More lists incoming soon
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:15 PM   #6
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Re: Best Games of 2014

Yes..........
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:03 AM   #7
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Re: Best Games of 2014

Everyone! There's a Steam Sale on, so pick up a few of this year's games on the cheap and have a nice gaming December.

I just picked up Shadowrun Dragonfall Director's Cut and The Banner Saga (both 50% off) so hopefully I can get through them in the next month.

Also on there: Civ 5 Complete for 75% off (7.49 for me) and Endless Legend (30% off). I've held out on those two so far because I know I just won't play them.

But worth checking out.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:41 AM   #8
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Re: Best Games of 2014

I have so much to play already... and I already have Civ V almost all... now waiting for Civ 6
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:57 AM   #9
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Re: Best Games of 2014

Some more categories:

Worst Console
The PS4. It is possible that the Bone is worse in many ways, but Sony takes some beating. A lack of games in Year One, promised exclusives being launched broken or not at all (Driveclub), the shoddiest of network access through the wonderful PSN, and to cap it all off, I thought I'd bricked the console twice since I bought it in April. It has been back in the packaging for return twice, but Youtube has saved me. I've done a factory restore once, and the famous Sony updates are doing their best to brick the console (2.0 Rest Mode).

The best bit was playing Lords of the Fallen and Madden trophies started popping up. A highlight of the year.
*Monastery Entrance: Picks up audio diary #1*
*ding!*You have unlocked the Ryan Tannehill Legacy Award*

Medal of Honor "Tier 1" special price for best in-game beards
MLB The Show 15 - "Every beard has up to 40,000 individual hairs". Unfortunately I did not play it long enough to really enjoy these wonders of technology.

The Still Unplayed Award for Hopeless Optimism
Fifa 15. I've bought this the last two years, and have not completed one game. I may trade it for Wolfenstein this lunchtime.
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Old 12-19-2014, 07:20 AM   #10
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Re: Best Games of 2014

So we're coming up to the business-end of the year; how is the the voting going to work? Assuming we get more than 2 sets of votes

My next post may be my final votes; in the meantime let me put forward my remaining categories:

Best Early Access Game
I hate Early Access. To me, a game is no good unless it is feature-complete. And I'm worried that the Early Access game is essentially the final game, no matter what they then add on to it. Then, if the game does eventually release, I may not notice it. So I won't buy early access, and there's a good chance I won't buy the finished game. All in all a very dissatisfying state of affairs. That said, I will give this award to DayZ, which intrigued me enough to play and enjoy it (as a walking simulator) for a few hours.

Best Sports Game
There were a LOT of good sports games released this year, and some that weren't even established franchises. Don Bradman Cricket was excellent, though rock-hard, and OOTP and Madden were very good games. However, I have to give this to The Golf Club, which suffered badly from none of my friends playing it, but was a super release.

Best Game from a Previous Year
Remember Me. This was really excellent - top production values, a good story, and excellent gameplay. Very surprised by this one.

Best DLC
Based on what I have played so far, I have no hesitation in awarding this to Shadowrun Dragonfall

Best Mobile Game
Desert Golfing

The Internet Got it Wrong Award
Well. Shadows of Mordor stuck out, boring. Dark Souls 2 comes to mind, but that's a problematic one that I may have skewed feelings on. However, I need to go back to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning for this. There seems to be a retrospective groundswell of opinion that this is a good game. It's not.
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Old 12-28-2014, 06:11 AM   #11
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Re: Best Games of 2014

Well...what can be said about this year? It was another disappointing one for me, which may be directly correlated with the console generational change, I dunno. Feeling on the PC sites seems to be fairly positive for the year. Maybe I will do more PC gaming in 2015.

My games of the year in reverse order:

5. Banished
4. Dark Souls 2
3. Valiant Hearts: The Great War
2. The Banner Saga
1. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

I don't think any of them would be there in a 'better' year, though at this stage I'd have to go back to 2012 to test that hypothesis. The top three is a kind of quirky selection, but 3 and 1 both achieved what they set out to do with great style and panache. The banner saga was a wonderful game with some flaws (repetitiveness, mostly). I struggled with the order of 1 & 2, but in the end #1 took the spot. Interestingly all my top three were long on narrative and short on traditional gameplay to some extent.
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:35 AM   #12
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Re: Best Games of 2014

Disclaimer
Since i'm a budget / PS+ gamer all mentioned games are not necessarily 2014 releases.

GOTY
1. 2048
2. Pix the Cat
and second
2. Velocity 2X

Most disappointing
Spelunky or Escape Plan or Fez

Best sequel
Velocity 2X

Most intriguing game that I canít bring myself to buy
LA Noire
Edit:
Fight Night Champion (probably will buy in the January PSN-sale)
Max Payne 3 (bought today on Steam)
Dishonored (bought today on Steam) /e


Most intriguing game I bought but can't bring myself to play
Uncharted 3

Best game of 2014 I might buy next year
Last of Us Remaster

Most anticipated 2015
Mirrors Edge 2
SuperHot
Inside
A game based on the Kara tech demo from Quantic Dream.

There is actually not much i can think of right now that really triggered any shut up and take my money hype in me.

Most anticip...daydream 2015 console
Vita 2

Biggest disagreement between me and the rest of the world
No Man's Sky
The so far not really shown concept sounds very much like the mentioned Ubigameformula and some gamers act like its fresh and cool just because you can waste your time in an immensely huge universe?
Come on, seriously?

Best music
Licensed: NfS MW
Original: Hotline Miami or Velocity 2X

Best game mechanic
Velocity 2X
Warping in platforming mode. Would never have believed that it actually works at its speed.

Worst game mechanic
NfS:MW wasting time with police
or
Titan Attacks
not another uninspired Space Invaders clone.

Most annoying enemy
The framerate of Crysis3 (PS3)
made me stop wanting to play it almost immediately.

Best game premise
Metrico

Best mobile game
see GOTY

The Crysis 1 even Gamers don't get it Award
Hatred
As soon as some arbitrary moral lines are crossed even gamers (and "professional" writers) argue with the same arguments as mainstream news after a school shooting and the disturbing discovery that violent games like CS, GTA and CoD were played.

The save it for later Award for games i really like but seem to be unable to finish anytime soon
Lara Croft (Guardian) and Soul Sacrifice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro
Best Game from a Previous Year
Between Proteus
Ok, now i googled it and reviews seem to suggest that this game is no garbage bin game? I have to try again?
Nah, still was so annoyed by wasting half an hour of my time in it, that i will not touch it again.
When there is no goal, at least tell me that i don't have to search or wait for action, when there simply is none.

Would love a RPG with that graphics though.
What a waste of a fine tech demo.

Last edited by crackajack; 12-30-2014 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:08 AM   #13
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Re: Best Games of 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by crackajack View Post
Dishonored (bought today on Steam)
Be interested to see what you make of this; I liked it more than the others on here, I think.

Quote:
Biggest disagreement between me and the rest of the world
No Man's Sky
The so far not really shown concept sounds very much like the mentioned Ubigameformula and some gamers act like its fresh and cool just because you can waste your time in an immensely huge universe?
Come on, seriously?
Same here, can't see what the fuss is about at all


Quote:
Ok, now i googled it and reviews seem to suggest that this game is no garbage bin game? I have to try again?
Nah, still was so annoyed by wasting half an hour of my time in it, that i will not touch it again.
When there is no goal, at least tell me that i don't have to search or wait for action, when there simply is none
I had the same experience the first time. The trick is to climb a (cloudless) hill and wait for night to fall.
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:34 AM   #14
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Re: Best Games of 2014

Can a game be GOTY that is shit for the first 10 hours? I don't think so, hence Dragon Age: Inquisition can't be it (and Assassins Creed can never be a GOTY). Can a turn based tactics game be GOTY that has a broken turn mechanic? No, hence Banner Saga (as lovely as it looks) cannot be GOTY. Can an expansion pack be GOTY? No, hence Shadowrun Returns Dragonfall cannot be GOTY. Can a game be GOTY that has repetitive missions and generally feels like it's just a base module with the actual game still under construction? No, hence Elite: Dangerous cannot be game of the year. Can a game be GOTY if it's simply put worse than it's two predecessors and only gets good once 3 rounds of DLC are attached to it? No, hence Dark Souls 2 cannot be game of the year.

So what is my game of the year 2014?

Assetto Corsa, that just crept over from release candidate to version 1.0 (and now is at 1.0.2 or so). It is also the game I spent most time with this year. Even though it is also quite bare bones (like Elite), but what little is there is just so good.

It doesn't have the Gran Turismo/Forza-style grind-progression. You can hop in every car available from the very start and can create races as you like them. From quick races GT-style, starting from the rear of the pack making one's way to the front, to race weekends including practice, qualifying and the actual race that can last anything from 1 lap to 100 if you feel like it. The setup to create online races needs some work still (it is currently as straightforward as calibrating a particle accelerator) and new cars are coming in a slower pace than most would like to see (but we just got the RUF Yellowbird as x-mas present of sorts). It embraces the modding scene, which already resulted in great new cars, tracks and races and promises great things for the future.

This year no other game (or simulation of sorts) came close to capturing my attention as much as Assetto Corsa. And it is the game I had the most fun with, even when it was just driving a Ferrari 458 in circles for an hour.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:25 PM   #15
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Re: Best Games of 2014

Game of the Year:

My game of the year is The Last of US Remaster on the PS4. Sure, that game was out on the PS3 last year, but the PS4 version plays like the game was made for this console. The PS3 game had horrible slowdown that just hindered the feeling of being in the game.

The voice acting is about as good as any Hollywood movie I've seen in quite some time. The character development between Joel and Ellie really makes you want to care for what happens to them and story is top-notch.



Most disappointing Game of the Year

I have to give the nod to Watchdogs. It didn't help that the version I'm playing (PC) has horrible frame-rate stutter issues while driving a car, and my PC is top end. The story is pretty much forgettable. The main character isn't all that likeable. And the gameplay becomes rather repetitive about the mid-way point of the game. Can you say Over-Hyped?




Best Graphics:

Far Cry 4 gets the nod for the best graphics of 2014. The game is just absolutely stunning to look at and it pretty much supplants the outstanding visuals of Crysis 3 on the PC.



Best Sound:

I know this is a cop-out, but my vote goes to a launch PS4 title that I just started playing this week. Killzone Shadowfall has to be one of the most amazing sounding games I've ever played on my 5.1 surround setup. I don't know what Gorilla Games is doing differently, but he DTS surround for this game emphasizes every bullet bounce, voice or environmental hazard as it's happening around you. The music, on the other hand, really is just background decoration.

I could go on about worst console vs. best console and such, but I'll leave that for someone else.

Last edited by gamevet; 01-02-2015 at 08:12 PM.
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