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2014 Game Retrospective

While we start our internal debates on what the best (and worst) games of 2014 were, we thought it might be fun to also shine the light on some other games that might not make their way on to the GOTY discussion list... but still deserve a nod of some kind.

Over the next couple of weeks, leading up to our official Game of the Year Awards, we're going to be releasing a series of articles themed at noting some of the last years highlights and lowlights, hopefully with a bit of humor.

Best Representation of the "Minute to Learn, Lifetime to Master" cliché:

Nidhogg

C: First up, a title that none of us expected to be as deep as it actually was. Nidhogg was a game that most of us were eagerly awaiting, but when we actually started playing it there were dozens of "What!? You can do that?" moments as a two button, 4-directional game became something infinitely more strategic and complex.

 

J: Nidhogg was a big surprise to me when it was first brought to my attention. I figured it was another little faux-retro quickplay game, and pretty easily brushed it off, but when I was made to actually sit down and play I was pretty quickly drawn into it. One of my favourites to hammer out a few quick battles in.

 

Best Example of "Who asked for this?":

Yoshi's New Island

Yoshi's New Island

C: No, seriously I'm asking. Yoshi's Island on the SNES was stupid, the fact that they keep trying is ridiculous... I can't imagine there was a large crowd of people clamouring for a sequel to this. Don't worry fans, I get we're not really the intended demographic for this... but I feel like the people they were shooting for probably would have preferred a new NintenDogs instead.

 

J: Seeing as how Yoshi's Island on the SNES was actually awesome, I look at this from a legacy point of view, in that they pooped on it. But really, it's sort of on par with what Nintendo does fairly regularly - take one old, popular game, apply light older-gen graphics glaze, sprinkle with gimmicky gameplay mechanics, put in oven and remove when half-baked. Leave to cool on shelf for eternity.

 

"No, We Weren't Just Forced to Wrap a Game Around an Unused Console Feature...":

Steel Diver

Steel Diver SW

C: Nintendo pimped thing thing pretty legitimately when it first turned up at E3. Since then it kind of faded into obscurity. It's not that it's a particularly bad game, it's just that it feels pretty obvious that someone at Nintendo said "We don't have enough games that utilize the motion-controls of the 3DS!" and that started the ball rolling on this little side-project...


J: What surprised me is that they made another one at all, given most people forgot there was a first one after about five minutes.

 

Best Usage of Fatalities Outside of Mortal Kombat:

Sniper Elite III

Sniper Elite 3

C: Seriously, have you guys checked this game out? It might not have made the running for 'shooter of the year' at Shogun, but it was something we had a ridiculous amount of fun playing. Not only does the game slow down and follow the path of the bullet to show you how awesome of a shot you just made, but it'll rip through a person's flesh and skeleton millimeter by millimeter Mortal Kombat X-Ray style so you get to feel every last bit of that person's last seconds of brutal agony.


J: This is definitely a game that screamed "shovelware" at me whenever I looked at it in stores, but after actually trying it I would be happy enough honouring it for the Most Inappropriate Boner award.

 

Best Worst Inclusion in a Treasured Franchise:

The Elder Scrolls Online

Sniper Elite 3

C: You take Elder Scrolls, you open it up so that hundreds, thousands of people can play together, and you mash all the provinces together in one big map. This seems like it could have been the Dictionary definition of "No Brainer" but somehow it didn't turn out even as good as the Skyrim multiplayer mods that are out there... What happened? This should have been the day I left the world behind and fell into an alternate lifestyle lived entirely in-game...


J: This game is the equivalent of expecting a puppy for Christmas, and opening the box and finding a dog collar on top of a note detailing all the ways you've disappointed your parents.