2014 was the first full year when all next-gen consoles have been in the market in the United States. While I didn't get any next-gen consoles yet, (man did I want to play Transistor on a PS4) the effects that they are having on the gaming industry is apparent. As always I became way to busy to play any large AAA games completely. Though that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy them though.
It's ironic that since I became more involved in the video game industry with my time at ShowDown, which hosts a gaming bar, that I got to play even less video games. I know it's pretty common in game development due to the massive amount of time required, but I help ran a place where gamers go to play video games with there friends.
This list is just my personal list of favorite games that I got to play this year in no particular order.
This was a game I got to play a lot with my fans at ShowDown’s SF Game Night. Whenever I had some time to play games I would turn to Lethal League. Super easy to pick up, but a game that is fun to play with anyone with any skill level. Fast paced and fun, this game was simple enough to pick up but with the depth to make every game a unique experience.
The Wolf Among Us
The Wolf Among Us has a unique blend with fantasy and film noir elements to deliver a suspenseful game. The comic book style design works perfectly with this game. As expected from a Telltale Game the choices you make are complicated and very engaging. This game feels exactly like playing a film noir detective tv series except that it also adds an intriguing layer of characters from childhood fable stories.
Super Smash Bro. Wii U
8 player Smash. All I really need to say. That was such a great idea by Nintendo. In no way is this balanced by any means, but it is without a doubt super fun. Hectic and out of control it brings the right amount of mindless party fun. Whenever I play games at a friends house that has a Wii U I will always recommend Smash 4 since I know it is something that all my friends will enjoy.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
The 100 year anniversary of the start of World War I was in 2014. Every major issue today is in part connected to the seminal tragedy that raged across Europe that slowly spread it’s effect to the entire world. Valiant Hearts is the WWI game to play to best learn a little more about WWI and to artistically portray one of the saddest periods in human history. If you love history during the WWI play this game.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Addicting is the best way to describe Hearthstone. I had so many friends addicted to magic and I understood why, but to have a card game that has hooked me is absolutely amazing. Hearthstone utilizes all the benefits of being a digital game, but retains everything that makes card games fun. Easy to pick up and hard to master this game truly fits the saying that Blizzard motto “easy to learn hard to master.”
Other Notables Mentions
This War of Mine
Wow did this game make me feel miserable. Though nothing can ever replicate the horrors of war, but This War of Mine at least made the gameplay struggling and desperate. A great tool to remind us that the civilians are always suffering in horrible ways and most don’t ever get to see.
This took all the best parts of an open sandbox world like Grand Theft Auto and put you into the body of an indestructible sheep, enough said. Can’t ask for a better mindless game of destruction than when you are doing it through a goat. The online MMO that they have for Goat Simulator is just as amazing. Who knew walking around a world with fellow goats doing quests of destruction could be so fun.
Child of Light
The art done in Child of Light was absolutely breath taking. The artistic level of detail wasn’t just done in level design, but also in the gameplay. Like whenever Aurora get’s hit she reacts like a little girl would be severely knocked back. Though not completely helpless it is important to be reminded that this is just a little girl. What sold me though was when you gain a certain ability right off the bat though I won’t spoil anything.