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Old 11-20-2014, 01:39 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, 08:10 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, 09:07 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, 06:29 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, 12:41 PM   #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 11-27-2014, 12:15 AM   #6
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Re: Best Games of 2014

Yes..........
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:03 PM   #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, 12:41 PM   #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, 07:57 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, 08:20 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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