Lights! Camera! Horrible Skype updates! As 2014 comes to a close, the crew reflects on the highs, the lows, the really lows, and the really really lows. Plus, it's our closest, most exciting Game of the Year vote yet. Featuring Richard Naik, Brad Gallaway, Tim Spaeth, Dan Weissenberger, and Sinan Kubba.

0:03 – 0:16 Most Promising New Franchise

0:16 – 0:29 Nail in the Coffin

0:29 – 0:39 Brad Gallaway Memorial Indie game of the year

0:39 – 0:48 The Brads

0:49 – 0:59 The Last of Us Award for excellence in storytelling

0:59 – 1:12 Crackdown 2 Award for most disappointing game

1:12 – 1:28 Wii Vitality Sensor Award for WTF moment of the year

1:28 – 1:31 The Dans

1:32 – 1:46 Lee Everett Memorial Award for best character of the year

1:46 – 1:57 Demon's Souls Award for non-2014 game of the year

1:57 – 2:08 Too Human Award for inexplicable excellence

2:08 – 2:11 The Sinans

2:12 – 2:20 The Internet got it wrong Award

2:20 – 2:30 The Tims

2:30 – 2:38 Steaming Pile Award for worst game of the year

2:38 – close Official 2014 Game of the Year

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Richard Naik

Richard Naik

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Richard received his first console (the NES) at the age of six, and from that point on games have been an integral part of his life, whether it's been frittering summers away with the likes of Mario, Mega Man, and the Zerg or partaking in marathon sessions of Halo, Team Fortress 2 or Left 4 Dead. After being a longtime reader of GameCritics, Richard joined the staff in March of 2009, and over the years Richard grew into the more prominent role of part-time podcast host.

In 2016, he spearheaded a complete rebuild of the website, earning him the title of Chief Engineer.

His gaming interests are fairly eclectic, ranging from 2D platformers to old-school-style adventure games to RPGs to first-person shooters. So in other words, he’ll play pretty much anything.
Richard Naik

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15 Comments on " Podcast Episode 123: Game of the Year 2014 Spectacular"

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[quote=Brad Gallaway]Anyway, we usually pick titles that bring something new to the table or innovate in some way. Mario Kart is the *eighth* entry in a series that might nail a solid level of polish, but what does it do that’s really noteworthy in a critical sense?[/quote] And Dark Souls II is the *third* game in the series which literally doesn’t improve in gameplay, visuals or its technical specifications. It is the same game three times over with different worlds to explore and bosses to beat. Even the UI is the same. What goes around comes around, Brad. 😉 But… Read more »

Regarding the claim that Bungie never did storytelling well, I just wanted to comment that they were arguably on the forefront of video game storytelling back in 1994 with the original Marathon. While later entries descended into silly space opera tropes, the first game was a tense and claustrophobic sci-fi thriller with excellent writing and some truly creepy moments.

Richard Naik

My personal top 5 are:

5. Dragon Age Inquisition
4. Transistor
3. Shovel Knight
2. Mario Kart 8
1. Dark Souls 2

Also my top 5 are the only 5 games I actually played this year other than League of Legends, so DAI is on there kind of by default.

I have not even played Mario Kart 8 yet, so I can not speak for how good it is. I am not at all surprised that Dark Souls 2 was close, as it is one of my favorite games this year by far. I am surprised by what little recognition Divinity: Original Sin is getting. Not just here, but everywhere. It was a very successful kickstarter that delivered on what they said they would, and the game turned out to be a great CRPG. I haven’t enjoyed a game that much in awhile. I am sure I would have put… Read more »
Darren Forman
I approve! Seriously. Few games stood out to me this year, so that and – get this – Titanfall were the only serious contenders in my mind. MK8 is a hell of a lot of fun, even though the AI can basically go and get itself stuffed on 150cc. It’s gorgeous, great fun and leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling each time you whap on the multiplayer. As for TLOU, given that it causes me to puke blood every time I recall it even exists, kinda glad the Remaster wasn’t in contention this time out. Even tried Left Behind… Read more »
Heres my top. With my scores out of 10. I don’t forgive, mitigate or let my bias ( too often) get the better of my scores. 1. Guacamelee: STCE 6.5 2. Far Cry 4 6 3. Mario Kart 5.55 4.Tower Fall Ascension 5.55 5. Wolfenstein 5.4 6. Sunset Overdrive 5.25 7. Sparkle 2 ( personal bias) 5.15 8. Geometry Wars 4.55 9. Walking Dead season 2 4.45 10. Trial Fusion 4.3 Yes I played Pikmin 3, Watch Dogs, Lufrausers, Left Behind DLC, Forza 2, Swapper, Shadow of Mordor, Destiny, Bayonetta 2… and many more stinkers. Last of Us Remastered for… Read more »
Tim Spaeth
Thanks again to the GC crew for having me on, and kudos to Richard for assembling a great-sounding podcast from what really was a technical mess. Since I’ve retired from social media and blogging, I thought I’d throw my 2014 Top Ten here. You’re welcome, Activision-Blizzard. SPOILERS for the podcast if you haven’t listened. I think I managed to name check all of these at least once during the show. 10 – Destiny 9 – Captain Toad Treasure Tracker 8 – Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball 7 – Velocity 2X 6 – Geometry Wars 3 5 – Threes 4 – Hearthstone… Read more »
Chi Kong Lui
[quote=tom]How come Chi doesn’t get voting points. I know he misses most end of year award podcasts, but as ” founder and chief ” ? I guess Chi would just increase the winners lead.[/quote] Hey Tom, thanks for noticing I don’t usually participate in the year end festivities. I’m not a volume gamer like Brad and the older I get, the more selective I get with my gaming habits. So I can’t make informed picks for the year. That said, perhaps I’ll try to participate in spirit somehow next year. Also, I’m surprise no one provided a clear response to… Read more »
Do GOTY games have to be about innovation? Isn’t that just icing? And was there in the past decade really any real innovation? I am not sure if there is even room for anything. Other than some new blends of old genres? Better ways of iterating old gameplay ideas just because of new technical possibilities and “cinematic”? Puzzle and simulation games are probably the only genres were almost every game has to have new gameplay mechanics. So those genres are actually super vague. But aren’t all action, adventure, strategy, sports games boiled to the core based on games released before… Read more »
Brad Gallaway
Hey Tom. Sorry if I came across as a bad loser, although I don’t think I was trying to ‘win’ anything… There was no chance in hell of my personal GOTY winning (Danganronpa) so it’s not like I was disappointed my own horse failed to come in first. I think my dissatisfaction with Mario Kart winning is that it’s not critically interesting, at least, from what I’ve heard and observed. (I tried to play it after the show, but my disc didn’t work.) Anyway, we usually pick titles that bring something new to the table or innovate in some way.… Read more »
Thanks again for the show guys. Very unexpected winner this year. How come Chi doesn’t get voting points. I know he misses most end of year award podcasts, but as ” founder and chief ” ? I guess Chi would just increase the winners lead. I don’t really care less about the winner either, ( and it was in my top 5 with a 5.5/10 but only because this year was so bad) but Brad came across as a bad loser. Why was it funny and surprising to everyone else including myself, but Brad seemed the most disappointed ? He… Read more »

Great show guys.


Oh, I almost forgot! Can you guys give Sparky some decent games to review this year? I really enjoy reading his reviews, but 95% of what he reviewed in 2014 was utter dross. Cheers! 😉

Congrats on a great episode to end the year. I agree with Sinan that it was merely a good year for games, not great, and I struggled to pick a GOTY myself. I also agree with his verdict that Valiant Hearts was one of the few (only) things that Ubisoft got right this year. My top five for what it’s worth: 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 I actually think… Read more »

Well, I sure didn’t see that coming.