Games of 2014

2013 is a difficult year to top when it comes to video games. There were a ton of fun games released. I had a lot of fun with them. There was a lot of hype going into 2014. I ended up purchasing both the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One. I also updated my PC to run the latest games. I’m ready to play games, but 2014 actually saw a drop in the number of games I played; this is attributed to me spending more time on the games I did get around to playing.

As with last year, this is a list of games I did play during 2014, so you might see games that were released a few years ago, but I just got around to playing them. Again, I’ve separated the games into interesting categories.

The Replay

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Games of 2014 - Call of Duty 4

Damn. The feels.

I know Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare came out a long time ago, but I replayed the story in 2014. It was a good choice. When people discuss Call of Duty 4, they often forget the story. While replaying it, I felt a lump swell in my throat a few times; there are some very emotional moments. It is very good at set pieces, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Not Enough Time to Keep Playing

Titanfall

Games of 2014 - Titanfall

Sic ‘im, boy!

I don’t play a lot of multiplayer games. I suck at them, and I don’t have time to get good at them. I love playing Titanfall and I wish I could devote more time to it. The shooting is solid, but the movement is what makes it stand out from the crowd. You can wall run, you have a jet pack to get you higher, and you can hop into a mech, and move in a similar fashion. The addition of AI enemies mixed with player enemies helps people like me who are wet around the ears have fun and contribute to the team score. I never got a chance to finish up the “story” mode to unlock a mech; the servers are fairly empty on PC, especially for story mode. Everyone moved onto the regular multiplayer after the first week. They are done with paid DLCs, and they’ve put out a few free DLCs, which is nice of them. The game is really fun, and I’m hoping to revisit it one of these days.

The System Seller

inFamous: Second Son

Games of 2014 - inFamous: Second Son

So pretty…

I liked the first inFamous. I played a little bit of the second, but I got side tracked. It was fun, just more important things stole my attention. When I saw previews for inFamous: Second Son, I noticed how beautiful the game looked. It also looked fun, but the graphics is what sold me on it. So I bought a Playstation 4 after Second Son came out. It was a good choice. It’s easily one of the most beautiful games I have played, especially for an open world game. I had a lot of fun playing as Delsin in Sucker Punch’s Seattle. Each power is has it’s advantages, and they are each fun to play with. I spent most of my time with neon because it’s more of a precision power. Also, running up buildings is fun.

Best Summer Game

Mass Effect 3

Games of 2014 - Mass Effect 3

I’m sure all I’ll need is that pistol…

I finally got around to playing Mass Effect 3 in 2014. I really enjoyed the first two, so I knew I’d enjoy this one. I enjoy the characters in this series, and I wanted to experience as much as I could of them. I put in almost 50 hours into the third installment. I don’t have any gripes with the ending. I have the free DLC ending, and I also have the Citadel DLC. The Citadel DLC brought a satisfying closure to a lot of characters, including older ones. I’m not exactly sure what the ending DLC added, but I felt pretty satisfied. I’m thinking that’s mostly because of the Citadel DLC. Overall, it’s a good ending to a series I spent a lot of time with.

Swearing at Your Friends Has Never Been So Fun

Mario Kart 8.

Games of 2014 - Mario Kart 8

You know, since Roy is one of Bowser’s minions, you’d think Bowser would cut him some slack during Mario Kart.

Mario Kart games are always gems. A new game comes out, and I play it, and I have fun. It’s a great equation. Mario Kart 8 is the shiniest of these gems. The graphics are stunning in HD. The gameplay is pretty much unchanged from the Wii version, but the track design creates a new spin in the old formula. You race on wacky courses that turn upside down and sideways, which might not sound interesting, but it really does create a neat effect while playing. Playing multilayer on the couch with “friends” will create rivalries, but you’ll have a smile on your face as you curse at your friend/nemesis.

Best Value DLC

Mario Kart 8 DLC

Games of 2014 - Mario Kart 8 DLC

This is just a ploy so I can share two screenshots out of the 169 I took from Mario Kart, instead of one screenshot.

The DLC for Mario Kart 8 deserves a special mention. There will be two DLC packs, and one of them has been released. You can order both DLC packs for $11.99, which is cheap for what you get. I would have spent that on the first DLC pack alone. The first DLC pack included eight new tacks, which includes tracks such as Mute City from F-Zero, and a Hyrule themed map. These are really cool, especially Mute City, which translates really well to Mario Kart 8’s physics. The DLC also includes new characters, like Link, and new cars. There’s a lot of stuff, especially for what comes out to about $6.00. I’m looking forward to the second DLC which comes out in May. Nintendo might be new to DLC, but they are doing it right.

I Should’ve Spent Money for It

Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

Games of 2014 - Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

This little bastard cries a lot… but I think it’s because I suck.

Binding of Isaac: Rebirth was free for Playstation Plus members a few months ago. I remembered reading praises about it, but it just looked weird to me; it still does. Free is free, and I downloaded it. One day, I was downloading another game, and I decided to give it a whirl, just until my other game finished downloading; I didn’t play the other game. At first, Binding of Isaac was frusterating, but after dying eight times, I got the hang of it; I also got a really good weapon right away, and I was basically overpowered throughout the playthrough. It’s difficult for me to explain. It’s randomly generated, the story is bizarre, everything is weird (poop everywhere, gross looking enemies, God, and the list goes on). It’s a fun game to pick up and play. I was doing my screenshots, and I ended up playing the game for over an hour, even though I had found the perfect screenshot early on… yes, that basically means I died within five minutes of hunting for screenshots.

Good, but Flawed

Destiny

Games of 2014 - Destiny

I could’ve shown you some combat, or an enemy being vaporized. Instead, I give you this pretty scene.

I was hyped for Destiny. How could the studio that created Halo mess up a first person shooter? Turns out they can’t mess up the “first person shooter” part, but there’s more to a game then just the genre. Destiny tries to a do a lot of things. It’s a first person shooter, RPG, and, technically, an MMO. The combat is fun, and it is the closest thing to perfect, at least right now. Shooting aliens in the face has never felt so good. Melee is the best melee from any game, period. You’d think if Bungie would stumble anywhere, it would be on the MMO part, but they actually did a solid job at that. I enjoyed wandering around the worlds and seeing other people. Once you enter a “dungeon,” you don’t see any other people (unless you are in a party), which is nice since I’m a single player type person. I do have a lot of fun participating in public events when they randomly appear. Bungie ended up implementing poor RPG elements. It’s fun getting loot, but the problem is, once you hit level 20, the game becomes a grind-fest. If you want to level, you have to grind for better loot. This requires playing the same old boring missions over and over again (disguised as weekly and daily events). I don’t care if the story was terrible; the end game grind is the worst sin they committed. I finished up the story, got to level 23, and quit the game. I played a little bit for screenshots, and I was reminded just how pretty the game could be. It does so much right, but fucking up the end game in an RPG is the worse sin of all.

Made the End Game the Best

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls

Games of 2014 - Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls

I found this dude within one minute of entering the area; this is why I love this game now.

When Diablo 3 was first released, I had a lot of fun. Then I hit about 100 hours (I think), and I realized the game was a steaming pile of shit. End game was grindy, and was focused around the auction house. The auction house also ruined drop rates, because Blizzard had to balance the items since real money was involved. If you started a new character, you had to grind through the lower difficulties over and over. I could go on, but the moral of the story is Diablo 3 sucked ass when it was first released, and it took a long time to come to this conclusion. I retired Diablo 3 within a month or two from release. Fast forward to the release of its expansion, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls. Blizzard shut down the auction house, fixed loot drop rates so you can find good items, which made the combat fun again so you can find more items, redid the difficulties and made it so you can choose your difficulty (even new characters as long as you beat that difficulty with a different character), added a new act and a bunch of other neat things with the expansion. Blizzard fixed every single one of my gripes about Diablo 3, except the story; but they made it so you can basically go wherever you want with Adventure Mode. If you haven’t checked out Diablo 3 since release, I suggest you take another look. It’s a great game, and I’ll end up going back to it from time to time.

Most Played Game

Minecraft

Games of 2014 - Minecraft

The amount of time it took me to build this has been blocked out from my memory, most likely for my own sanity.

I bought Minecraft at the very end of 2013. It didn’t make the cut for Games of 2013, but here it is now. I started a server with a few friends, and I’ve poured over 200 hours into it… it’s disgusting. I throw on something from Netflix on in the background, and I play Minecraft. I watched House of Card, Orange is the New Black, Parks and Recs (twice), Ghost Stories, Games of Thrones, a few other anime titles, a few movies, and a few other TV series. In Minecraft, I’ve built a big ass island, rail bridge system, skyhouse, and a weird winterland area. It doesn’t sound like much, but I put a lot of detail in all of it. Minecraft scratches my creative and nitpicking side of me. It amazes me how much time I can spend in Minecraft, but I enjoy every second.

Smoothest Game/Game of the Year

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Games of 2014 - Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

I was trying to recreate this screenshot, except with more pink and orange.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is my personal Game of the Year. It has all of the elements that I love: brutal stealth, smooth combat, and huge mounts. Everything is smooth about this game: traversing the world, combat, the animations. The best part about Shadow of Mordor is the nemesis system. I started the game, and the first map is completely open to me. I jump from my safe little tower and see an orc whipping some slaves. I can’t have any of that happening on my watch. I sneak up on him, and cut his throat, because that’s the cool thing to do to slavers. I’m pretty proud of myself, until the screen cuts to an orc yelling “Ranger!” and then he threatens me. His name does not deserve to be mentioned anymore. But at the time, he kicked my ass. I died. I didn’t have any special skills, and I had not mastered the combat system. I respawn, and encounter him again. I die. He keeps getting stronger. I avoid that part of the map on my next respawn. However, this fucker is persistent and finds me while I”m in a middle of a mission. I die again; it’s personal now. I browse my skills, and find the ones I need. I work towards getting those skills. I get them, and I hunt my nemesis down. I find him. I don’t die right away. I put up a good fight. I’m low on health and my hands are sweaty. Finally, I’m able to execute him. He dies. His rune becomes a trophy. All is right in the world. I have several stories like this one. That’s the beauty of the nemesis system, and a huge reason why Shadow of Mordor is my favorite game from 2014. I’m one trophy shy from earning the platinum trophy. I might get it one day.

There are a lot of games being released in 2015. I won’t go over the ones I’m looking forward to, because I’m sure I’ll write about them at some point. I’ve got big plans for 2015. I hope to be writing more. I’ve been doing some personal writing, and hopefully I’ll have something to share soon. I took a break around the holidays, but this post is my debut back in the saddle. Thank you very much for reading. I hope your 2014 was filled with enjoyment, and I hope 2015 brings you more.

– Royfuss