Reviews of the Year 2014 | GameSided Recap

facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 2
Next

As we approach the end of 2014, it is the perfect time to look back upon the year and reflect on what made it so uniquely…2014. It marked the first full year of 8th-generation console experiences, including all the bugginess and connectivity problems that came with it. We also got to see a ton of surprise hits and genre-busters that made us re-think what it means to consider a game. For us personally at GameSided, it also meant an incredible amount of growth in the gaming review department, where a great deal more companies graciously provided review copies of some of the year’s very best video games, including several that made our collective group Game of the Year list.

On a personal note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all staffers (and former fellow editors) for taking the time to review games for GameSided this year. Being held to an embargo is always stressful, especially for writers with other projects on their plate. Hardly has a time occurred where I wasn’t proud of the final product of a review, as each one speaks to the writer’s style, mindset and ideals as to what makes a quality gaming title. Here’s to a great 2015!

With that out of the way, here are GameSided’s game reviews of the year in one easy-to-access post!

January

  • Nidhogg: “Nidhogg is what more indie games should try to be; pure fun.”
  • Dead Rising 3: Operation Broken Eagle: “Overall fun short story, but definitely a sub-par DLC for the price tag of $9.99.”
  • X-Men: Battle Of The Atom: “X-Men: Battle of the Atom feels like a missed opportunity to inject some excitement into a genre badly in need of a super-powered shot of adrenaline.”
  • Sunshine Bay: “At it’s core, “Sunshine Bay” is a mix of tapping, building, collecting and resource management you’ve likely played before. It’s definitely dressed up nicer though, and it’s got a warm tropical breeze blowing through the whole time. Sounds nice, right?” 
  • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games: “Mario, Sonic, and the gang need to quit participating in the Olympic games and stick to watching them from home like the rest of us!”
  • Loadout: “A good game to play casually ever so often, but not one to call home about.”

February

  • The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2: “The Wolf Among Us Episode 2, ‘Smoke & Mirrors,’ is a great step forward for the series, from top to bottom.”
  • Blackguards:  “Of course, turn-based RPGs are the province of computer gamers at the current time, and ‘Blackguards’ is a very worthy representative of its genre.”
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: “From start to finish, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze takes players on a ride that provides some of the most satisfying gameplay that Nintendo has delivered in terms of a platform title in quite some time.”
  • NASCAR 14: “While the replay value is pretty high due to the multiplayer, the game really that doesn’t offer anything substantial that makes it a must-have game for the casual fan.”
  • Thief: “Thief, as a final product, has become the military shooter of the stealth genre. Lots of flash, big explosions, loud sounds, weak story, laughable dialogue and a shallow center.”
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2: “Some may not like what Castlevania has become in its 3D nature, but it meets all respectable goals it sought out to reach.”

March

  • South Park: The Stick of Truth: “South Park: The Stick of Truth is a game that benefitted greatly from the numerous delays. It has nearly every element that can make a good RPG a great one, and the love for the genre by the show’s writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone shines throughout the adventure.”
  • The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 2: “It is necessary to play through the past to appreciate the subtleties in the conversations Clementine has with others in the present, and plays into that urgency mentioned earlier; what exactly should I say to keep me and others alive? Information works both ways, and just how Clementine deals with the unknown has set up a promising tale over the next three episodes.”
  • Disco Zoo: “All told, this is a game that sticks pretty close to the usual NimbleBit playbook but manages to win you over anyway with its charm and general silliness.”
  • Earth Defense Force 2025: “If your idea of fun is to shoot lots of bugs and mechs over 12+ hours countless times with a weak story, cringeworthy dialogue, outdated graphics, game-breaking bugs, lack of mission variety at a variably-low frame rate, then Earth Defense Force 2025 is the game for you.”
  • Yoshi’s New Island: “Ultimately, Yoshi’s New Island is your typical, run-of-the-mill platformer that offers nothing new to the player that we haven’t seen before.”
  • HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft: “HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft is a game that plays exactly how a digital card-battle game should play.”
  • The Tribez & Castlez: “The gameplay might be familiar enough to breed contempt from big fans of The Tribez, but for anyone looking for a mobile builder that can be played either in short bursts or longer sessions, this extra dose of the last letter of the alphabet isn’t bad.”
  • Titanfall: “Titanfall is phenomenal. The gameplay is revolutionary and Respawn Entertainment has set the bar very, very high for any and all competitors trying to maintain their throne.”
  • Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster: “Final Fantasy X and X-2’s newcomers are in for a treat. The vibrant world that sits in front of you is filled with joy, sorrow, loss, adventure and, ultimately, satisfaction.”
  • Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes: “Ground Zeroes is a solid prologue to the game and builds the base for what is to come in Phantom Pain.”
  • Smite: “At the end of the day, Smite is a game that takes the MOBA action and turns it into an experience that no one has seen before.”
  • Star Wars: Assault Team: “Put simply, ‘Force Collection’ was good, but ‘Assault Team’ is better.”

April

  • Diablo III: Reaper of Souls: “This expansion has transformed the game into what players have been dying to have for the past two years.”
  • The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3: “Story, technical execution, voice acting, artistic styling; the Fables comic series is having justice done in its video game prequel adaptation.”
  • Disney’s Magical World: “Disney’s Magical World is essentially a lot of potential wasted.”
  • Trials Fusion: “If you want something that takes what the franchise has done so well and improves upon it, though only slightly, then Trials Fusion may be right up your alley.”
  • Family Guy: The Quest For Stuff: “It’s likely to echo the current status of the show: funny when you remember it’s there, but not something you rearrange your schedule to do.”
  • Out of the Park Baseball 15: “Currently, Out of the Park Baseball 15 is sports management simulation at its best; a game that will keep players enthralled for untold hours at a time.”
  • Hitman Go: “Even if it proves not to be your particular cup of gaming tea, you’ve got to appreciate the way it defies assumptions in several very welcome ways.”

May

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Video Game: “Pretty much any mediocre superhero game in the last several years would be a better option.”
  • Kirby: Triple Deluxe: “The refreshing take on platforming, and the fact that the game isn’t as easy as past Kirby games make this one of the best in the franchise’s history.”
  • Child of Light: “It’s hard to imagine a better game out there right now for $15 than Child of Light. Hell, it’s better than many $60 games I’ve played recently.”
  • The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 3: “Telltale needs to give me a reason to care for more than just protecting the little girl.”
  • Bound By Flame: “I can really only recommend Bound By Flame if you are very hard up for an action RPG and have played through virtually every other recent offering in the genre.”
  • Godzilla – Smash3: “Godzilla – Smash 3 is still a mighty fine way to get your Godzilla fix even if it resides firmly in a genre that’s seemingly been done to death.”
  • Drakengard 3: “If Drakengard 3 was an anime, I might be able to recommend it because it’s crazy characters and humor can grow on you after a time. But Drakengard 3 is a video game, and on just about every level it’s a disaster.”
  • Transistor: “Transistor really rewards players who are self-motivated to find what has happened to Cloudbank and the best way to go about combat and experimenting with the different abilities to see what kinds of crazy combinations you could come up with.”
  • The Wolf Among Us Episode 4: “The Wolf Among Us‘ penultimate act props up a variety of ways to approach the finale. An excellent story, varied gameplay aspects, remarkable character work and a thematic setting sets the stage for a deeply involved conclusion that will hopefully avoid disappointment.”
  • EA Sports FIFA World: “If you’re a hardcore soccer addict, you’re still going to want FIFA 14 for your PC or console, but this is an interesting alternative if you’re short on money or simply live and breathe Ultimate Team.”

June

  • Murdered: Soul Suspect: “If it weren’t for the watered-down gameplay elements, extreme hand-holding, easy-as-pie enemy encounters and lack of polish, I could recommend this to any craving a good story-based genre game.”
  • Entwined: “Entwined is not really deep, is rather simplistic, and it has a few flaws but I still found it quite enjoyable.”
  • Shovel Knight: “It’s markedly different from anything that large studios churn out nowadays, but it draws inspiration from a wide range of the best classic games and makes something wholly its own.”
  • Sniper Elite III: “Who knows what’s in store for the Sniper Elite series, but the newest game is an admirable title worth putting your money down for.”

Next: GameSided's July-December 2014 Reviews