Friday, December 19, 2014

Top 10 Video Games of 2014

Before I get into the thick of this article I'd like you to brace yourselves, and remain open minded. I'm almost certain some of my picks for this year will be met with criticism, but keep in mind my list is my own. This means that it is an opinion piece meant solely for like-minded individuals who appreciate my critiques, and feel the same way I do about video games. Always remember that opinions are like arseholes, and that everybody's got one. If you disagree with my opinions then your welcome to do your own list on your own blog, and claim that it lists the "Top 10 Video Games of 2014". With all that out of the way I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts on each of my picks. Keep in mind it was a hard choice this time around as I played so many impressive, and wonderful games this year. Props to the devs whose games made my list, and a humble bow to all the runner ups who did good in their own way.

DESTINY (PS4)

Spot number one on my "Top 10 of 2014" list is occupied by the hated upon yet greatly occupied new-gen video game titled "Destiny". There is a good reason for this choice, mind you. While the game has it's many flaws, and hated features (even by me) it still offers that certain something special. The fact that that something special just so happens to be an experience geared wholly around friendship, and team effort makes it an priceless asset to gamers who are looking to meet up, and game with like-minded friends. Not many online games have brought gamers together like Bungie's "Destiny" has, and for that I think it deserves high praise. I actually met two of my very best friends while gaming in "Destiny", and have achieved great feats of gaming prowess alongside them ever since. Without the co-op experience that Destiny offers I fear I would have never gotten to know these special, and highly treasured individuals that I'm now proud to claim as my best friends. For that I thank you Bungie, and Activision!

DIABLO III: Ultimate Evil Ed. (PS4)

No other game I've played in all of 2014 comes close to offering up the replay value that Blizzard's Diablo III re-release contains. For the mere price of a new-gen video game you can own a game that has months, if not years worth of gameplay offerings. While some would pass the replay off as repetitive in nature the replay playthroughs are anything but that. Characters you met in your first playthrough will say new things, and drop hints regarding the fact that your character, and the events they survived have happened before. You'll also find new enemies, new quests, and new equipment as you level up your character, and put them to the test in the ultimate fight against evil. The added fact that Blizzard has patched in new features, and has include the "Reaper of Souls" expansion doubles upon what early adopters of the PS3 version had experienced. For that Blizzard's "Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Ed." gets spot number two on my "Top 10 of 2014" list.

MURAMASA: ReBirth (PS VITA)

Sadly these days Vanillaware titles are a scarce resource for any gamer. It's definitely a pity too as Vanillaware offers up some of the most enjoyable, and beautifully rendered JRPGs this world has ever known. Among said game releases is the return of a hard to find Wii original known as "Muramasa: The Demon Blades". While the title has been revamped due to the publisher being 'Aksys Games' it still holds true to the old version, but on a portable scale. Compared to the original Wii version the PS Vita version handles much better, and looks even better than it did on Nintendo's Wii console. The added fact that there was four additional DLC story packs released with all new characters to play as made this the definitive edition of the cult classic. If you have not gotten this game yet, and own a PS Vita shame on you. You need to pony up the dough, and get the game along with all the DLC!

WOLFENSTEIN: The New Order (PS4)

This was one of those Awesome games that I was lucky enough to get for review this year. It's amongst my favorites, and for a very good reason. The intensity, and bloody action that ensues from the moment you pop this bad boy into your PS4 console continues throughout the entirety of your playthrough making it damn near theatrical in presentation. It's kind of like watching a WWII fiction film play out through your Blu-ray player. It's an FPS freaks wet dream! The stealth kills in it are so satisfying as are the straightforward guns-a-blazin' scenarios in which your aim is to KILL EVERYTHING!!! The added fact that there is a replay factor involved makes the single player story enjoyable more than once. You'll even find a hidden Easter egg that harkens back to the games humble beginnings as a PC shooter.

Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed (PS VITA)

Let the naughty anime antics begin!!! I have to say that out of all the JRPGs I played through this year "Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed" struck me as being the most original. It had you wandering an intricately detailed 3D model of the streets of the Akihabara District while stripping the clothes off of half-human creatures. Being a half-human creature yourself you also had to mind your own duds as the enemies would attempt to disrobe you as well. Needless to say there were lots of quirky hijinks, and anime inspired content that kept the plot lighthearted, and enjoyable throughout. I really liked the brawler style combat system, and how the developer implemented a stripping combo mechanic.

Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN (PS4)

The latest Guilty Gear game received the most lengthy review I have ever typed up here at the Inferno. It's one of those things that couldn't be helped, and that was just as much a learning experience for me as it was for those reading my review. Thanks to 'Aksys Games' I was able to nab an early copy, and get my review out before release date. As far as the game itself goes it screams new-gen fighter like a screeching heavy metal guitar solo. The new animation style is truly impressive, and holds out even in the fast paced online environment. Even the hard hitting soundtrack is an admirable feature as it stays true to the rocking nature that the games before it had laid out. The fact that everything about the series up to this game's new plot is fully explained also makes "Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN" the penultimate Guilty Gear experience. I really enjoyed watching the story mode cutscenes play out as things escalated between the main characters, and the opposing Conclave. The additional newly introduced characters definitely added something else interesting for return players as well.

Azure Striker Gunvolt (3DS)

I love to see people, or developers who face impossibility, and do the impossible anyways. Such is the case of Keiji Inafune, his new development team, and "Azure Striker Gunvolt". Having been given the cold shoulder by Capcom Keiji, and his new band of game developers set out to make not only one game in honor of their work on the Mega Man series, but two, or more as well. This game just so happens to be one of those projects. Having played it first hand for review earlier this year I can say in all honesty that Keiji, and his crew outdid the greatness that was once Mega Man. This combo, and score based RPG hybrid added so many new elements, but remained true to it's roots in doing so. It felt like the Mega Man I once knew, but also did it's own unique thing at the same time. The fact that Keiji, and his team have recently released DLC for the game makes this a must have for any 3DS owner! I hope to see much more form Keiji, and his development team in the future. Be sure to support this game with a purchase if you have a 3DS!

Zen Pinball 2: Deadpool (PS3/PS4/PS VITA)

You guys, and gals know I love Zen Studios, and their pinball creations. I usually go all out with my table reviews, and return to play each table long after the review is posted. In general the Zen Pinball 2, and Pinball FX2 tables are all Awesome in their own way. T be honest though I do have my favorites amongst them. In particular this years release of the "Deadpool" table had me laughing my ass off, and enjoying each playthrough thoroughly. The table showcased just how great Zen Studios was at creating a comic book character tribute table. They nailed the Deadpool personality, and hired the perfect voice actor for the role of the masked assassin. Everything about the table reminded me of Deadpool's inclusion in the MARVEL comics universe. Props to the Awesome team at Zen Studios for continuing to make tables worth buying!

DANGANRONPA 2: Goodbye Despair (PS VITA)

NISAmerica really upped the ante with their latest western release of "Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair". There were plenty of awkward moments as well as the usual heart wrenching executions that came with judging who was behind the recent goings on. The plot twists definitely kept things interesting. Even the new yet seemingly familiar characters did their own part in making this interactive JRPG an engaging one. One thing that was unique outside of the first game was the new travel features which included the usual 3D first person searches as well as the 2D side-scrolling navigation areas. If you thought the first game was over-the-top insane you'll be in for a real surprise with this follow-up release!

Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited (PS VITA)

Listing this final favorite makes me very sad. The news that NISA might not be around past the release of "Disgaea 5" next year really breaks my heart. NISA had become like family to me over the years, and being able to review a couple Disgaea games for them was a real treat. This particular Disgaea rehash was actually released on the PS Vita earlier this year, and carried with it tons of new in-game content not included in the original PS3 release. Upon getting my hands on it I could tell it was a game series that would fit well on the PS Vita. The controls worked perfectly, and the game looked visually stunning. Unfortunately the niche nature of the series, and the lacking attention that the PS Vita is receiving really hurt sales. Does that mean "Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited" is a bad game? Hell No!!! Dood, this game is just as content heavy as I claimed "Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Ed." to be. The only difference is that it's an anime inspired strategy JRPG that incorporates the usual NISA grinding. I loved it, and honestly think JRPG lovers would as well if they would only give it a try.

Well, there you have it guys, and gals. It's my "Top 10 of 2014" list. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on each, and every game. Remember though that these are MY picks, and that it's alright to think differently. Not everyone is going to have the same tastes when it comes to video games.

RUNNER'S UP

The Evil Within (PS4), Blazblue: Chronophantasma (PS3/PS VITA), Steel Empire (3DS), Super Smash Bros. (3DS), Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (PS3), #KILLALLZOMBIES (PS4), Blue Estate (PS4), Pokemon Y (3DS), Tales of Xillia (PS3), One Piece: Unlimited Red (PS3), DOA 5 Ultimate (PS3), Destiny of Spirits (PS VITA), The Binding of Isaac (PS4/PS VITA) ... and nearly every other game I reviewed. Be sure to go back through my monthly review listings for reference!!!

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