Uncategorized

Top Six Reasons Why Bloodborne Rocks!

From Software, the creators of the Armored Core franchise and, well, the Demon’s/Dark Souls games have once again created another financially and critically successful action RPG with a hint of survival horror with the PlayStation 4 exclusive, Bloodborne. This is easily one of the top 10 best games of the year so far. It has an incredibly engrossing atmosphere that is overflowing with a feeling of dread, satisfying combat, gross-looking enemies, and memorable bosses. It is one of the most interesting experiences you will ever find in today’s games. Sure, it might be a little too tough at times, and I do have a few gripes with the game itself, but if you want a PlayStation 4 exclusive that is going to captivate you into a multi-hour adventure, then you have it right here. If I wanted to give it a score, I would give it 8 out of 10. In this article, I am going to list the reasons why this game rocks! If you were expecting a list of why this game sucks since I know there are those people that like to hate on popular good games, I will make a list for that as well. Now then, get on your hunter gear and let’s dive right into the list!

 

6. The Lore

Any good RPG or horror game needs an interesting lore or history that you can get lost in, and since this is the first entry on this list, the lore and world around you is very interesting. If you have not been up-to-date with Bloodborne, you are a hunter, and your goal is to take out this plague of unknown origin. It has enveloped the land, causing villagers to go mad, every living thing looking like they are rotting, with H.P. Lovecraftian creatures roaming the landscape. Some of the best stories in this land happen to be with the bosses. One of my favorite stories revolves around the game’s second boss, Father Gascoigne. He was a priest/hunter with a possible foreign origin. Unfortunately, at one point in time during the big hunt, he got infected with the plague. He has quite possibly killed his wife, which left his poor daughter all alone back in the city. The situation is quite sad, but it helps engage you in this depressing world. Even other hunters that you encounter will not always be friendly with you. Speaking of the world around you, that leads to the next part of why Bloodborne rocks.

 

5. The Atmosphere

Bloodborne quite possibly has one of the best atmospheres out of any game released this year. I felt instantly pulled into this gothic and depressing world. I stood upon higher areas to watch the infected townsfolk walk the street, the sounds of people laughing, coughing, or crying inside their houses, the sounds of ogres grunting as they patrol the area, and you get the idea. While the soundtrack felt like nothing new compared to the past games in this series, it still pulled you into the game’s world, since a majority of the time, the soundtrack mostly stayed in the background, which amplified the sounds of the world around you. I never felt safe in this world, which is the point. Everything around you, even the other hunters, is there to kill you. You should never feel safe in this game. Even during the safe areas that have those lovely lamps that act as way-points, I felt uneasy due to how quiet everything was around me. I know a lot of people like to say that the best immersion is making a game in the first-person, but Bloodborne shows that you can feel wrapped up with a third-person perspective.

 

4. No Weight Limit

In the previous games in this franchise, you had to worry about how much you carried, due to each item having a weight limit. I personally don’t care for this, and luckily, they took it all out since the hunters in the game pretty much wear thick leather armor. I just prefer not having to micro-manage everything, and since you don’t have to worry about weight limit, you can focus on the range and power of your weapons, as well as not dying at the hands of the enemies and bosses.

 

3. The bosses

To many, one of the biggest disappointments about the bosses from Dark Souls II was the lack of creativity and how a majority of them were simply giant human-shaped beings with armor. Luckily, while Bloodborne has some creativity issues with how some bosses look, the bosses here are memorable and imposing. The first time you fight the Cleric Beast, you realize just how gigantic he actually is and how terrifyingly fast he can move. That is really imposing for a first boss in such a game. While some bosses, optional or not, can be slightly disappointing in terms of their difficulty, you can bet on having more memorable encounters than disappointing ones.

 

2. The designs

I am not a fan of the overall franchise, but the elements that I always enjoy in these games are the designs and art direction of the world and enemies. The enemies you encounter are incredibly grotesque, with infected humans, rotting dogs, and other creatures that are equally disgusting. I also found that a lot of the human enemies are exceedingly creepy. For example, when you get into the Cathedral Ward, the first new enemies you encounter are these tall mask-wearing guards, and even though they take their fashion tips from The Undertaker, you still see them as a threat. Another simple, but effective designs are the ones for the crows. They don’t technically fly, due to them being rather fat, and they sound more like dogs as they squirm across the ground. They might look easy, but like everything in this game, if you don’t handle the situation correctly, you can get overpowered by these fat, flightless birds. There are also other cool designs, but you get the overall idea. They wanted to make a gothic festering hole of unease and horror, and they did that with the designs.

 

1. The combat

One of my issues with the combat from the previous games was all of the micro-management that was required. I think the reason I was put off by the other games was because the game was built so much around defending against attacks rather than being full-on aggressive. This franchise is by no means here to give you a power fantasy. You are going to die a lot. However, Bloodborne tweaks that combat system and how the enemies act around you. Instead of being on the defensive, you need to be aggressive and hit hard, but still watch out so you don’t get surrounded or hit too many times. This means that you will technically get no shields in the game. Instead, you use a gun, which in a sense, acts like a shield because it will cause enemies to stumble, allowing you to go in and give them quite a nasty stab. Another element as to why the game rewards you with being on the offensive is that you can regain any health you might have lost from the most recent strike to your health bar by striking back. The overall vibe from the combat system is to be aggressive, but strategic. While I still prefer the faster-paced combat of games like Final Fantasy Type-0HD or the over-the-top pile of awesomeness that was Bayonetta 2, I enjoyed this combat system much more than the other games in the franchise.

Top Five Reasons Why Tales of Xillia 2 is Disappointing

 photo xillia21.jpg Tales of Xillia on the PlayStation 3 is one of my favorite games on the console. It has great characters, a well-executed story, and satisfying combat. It might have its technical issues and problems with the overall design, but it’s my second favorite game out of the franchise, behind Tales of Vesperia. Unfortunately for me, I cannot say the same for Tales of Xillia 2. I am late in saying what I think about this game, but I honestly don’t care. In my opinion, Tales of Xillia 2 is one of the many reasons why direct sequels to Japanese-style RPGs for the most part never really work. This is such an underwhelming game in a lot of ways, and I am going to list why. Sure, it has its good elements, and it isn’t the worst RPG of all time, but this is a prime example of when a company is getting greedy for more money and pushes out a soulless sequel that is worse than the original. Let’s begin, shall we?

5. The same technical issues pop up!

 photo xillia22.jpg

When you make a sequel to a game that was originally criticized for technical issues, you would think they would improve on this element, and make sure you don’t see the same criticism for the sequel. Well, someone forgot to tell the developer that, because every single technical issue that you saw in Tales of Xillia is in this game! The same issues that include people loading in and out of the frame, graphical glitches with textures popping up, and the voice acting that is sometimes not synced up to the movements of the character’s mouths are all there. It brings you out of the immersion of the game’s world when NPC will appear in and out of the screen like ghosts. The team behind this game should have fixed these issues, but they didn’t. Maybe it’s because they basically took areas from the original game and placed them in this game. Speaking of…

4. The constant rehashing of everything!

 photo xillia26.jpg

With sequels, you want to expand on the world around you and introduce new lands or areas. Once again, someone forgot to tell the world builders this, because 90% of this game’s locations are taken from the first game. The same cities, the same areas covered in monsters carrying money and items, and the same monsters are pretty much taken from Tales of Xillia. It doesn’t even have that nostalgic factor to the game, due to the game’s technical issues being the same. It just becomes boring to traverse the game since you have literally been to many of these places. You do get abilities to traverse these repeated locations more quickly, but it doesn’t change the fact that the areas you travel through are the same ones from the first game.

3. The story and choices were boring.

 photo xillia24.jpg

Now, to be fair, the story can be grim and interesting near the end, but you have to put in an immense amount of hours before getting to the good points in the story. Now, personally, I find that a story should be good from beginning to the ending hour of the game. If your story is boring from the beginning, and only gets interesting five hours in, you are going to turn off so many players from feeling motivated to keep going. I also found the multiple choices you can make throughout the game to not really matter. Sure, some choices you make will change how the story will be told, but if you offer up multiple choices, I want there to be actual change! This shouldn’t be an issue, but since so many games these days subtly or not so subtly give the players choices in terms of how the story unfolds, they need to make every single choice matter in the long run, and not have these choices just because other games have them. Of course, the overall story isn’t the only reason why I didn’t feel invested with the game. That honor also goes to…

2. The main characters are boring!

 photo xillia23.jpg

Listen, you can make a character silent, but you have to make that character interesting. Yeah, Link from The Legend of Zelda franchise is mute, but they give him personality and traits to make him a likable character. The main character of Tales of Xillia 2, Ludger Will Kresnik, is not interesting. He is as generic a main anime-style character that you can get. You want to know the kicker? He actually has a voice actor who does his English lines by the name of Josh Grelle. You would know him best as the English voice actor of Armin Arlert from the popular “Attack on Titan” anime series. The only problem with this is that you have to beat the game to unlock the feature of hearing him speak the narrative choices in the game. What kind of backward logic is that? Beating a game, just so you can hear your main hero talk. The even bigger kicker is that the Japanese radio drama for the game gives Ludger a voice and personality. This is so odd that they give him personality in other forms of media, but not in the game. I think the main reason for having a preset name and look for a silent protagonist is finicky, because if you are playing a game where you get to make your own character, you would rather make them look how you want them to, and tailor the experience to your specific choices that you make within the narrative. As for the little female character, Elle Mel Marta, I think she is okay. Her character isn’t anything special, but she is more of a step backwards in terms of good female protagonists. Having boring main characters is one thing, but it isn’t even the worst aspect of Tales of Xillia 2. That honor goes to…

1. The Debt System

 photo xillia25.jpg

If you ever met me in real life and wanted to see me rant about what I consider one of the worst gameplay mechanics I have personally ever seen, you should just ask me about the Debt System in Tales of Xillia 2. Early on in the game, your character accrues a huge medical bill, and throughout the entire game, you need to continually pay it off. That means that side-quests play even more of a role in this game, which clashes with the desire to just enjoy the story. Not only that, but the side-quests will actually repeat and pop right back up for you to go through multiple times. Once you gain a certain amount, you will be contacted to pay off an amount from the bill. It’s annoying, but it doesn’t really happen until you have reached a particular sum, and they always give you enough to get items, weapons, and armor. However, the one thing that puts this game mechanic onto my black list pile is the fact that you won’t be able to progress through the game unless you pay off the required sum. You won’t believe how much the story’s pace just stops dead in its tracks because of this stupid mechanic. Pretend you are watching a highly engrossing movie, and right when the next part of the story is about to pick up, you have to stop, go to the main menu and watch 15 minutes of extras from the movie before you can go right back into the main story. Plus, who wants to play a game that isn’t some kind of simulator where you have to focus on paying off debt? Don’t we play games to escape that part of real life? When I am not writing reviews and doing other work, I play games to escape the real world trappings and have fun. I don’t want to play a game that has a serious focus on paying off a debt. This sole reason is why Tales of Xillia 2 is so disappointing, and why the team behind these games is better at making main entry games than direct sequels.

This is why Namco Bandai shouldn’t be making these direct sequels to their popular games. I mean, at least for their RPG franchise. I don’t care if fans demanded it, and I honestly think fans of the franchise are being way too lenient about the disappointing sequels to certain entries. Just because I love a certain franchise doesn’t mean I can’t hate an inferior experience. If you haven’t gotten this game yet, just wait for it to go cheap. I mean, if it ever does go cheap. I would highly recommend just waiting it out until the new Tales of Zestiria comes out. It should be soon!

My 19 Most Anticipated Downloadable Games of 2015

 photo downloadable1.jpg Like I said in my previous list, 2015 is a new year, and that means new downloadable video games! This list will cover my most anticipated downloadable titles. The same rules I used for the previous list will abide with this one, so no games coming out in 2016 and only downloadable games here. I also won’t be adding games that were originally on PC and are now coming to the PlayStation 4 or any of the other consoles. That means I won’t add games like The Banner Saga or Tower of Guns. These are games that are not out yet, and are going to come out or will apparently come out this year. I also won’t be talking about No Man’s Sky since that will be a focus on a future article. Let’s get started with Honorable Mentions! Here are the honorable mentions!

The Tomorrow Children

This beautiful PlayStation 4 game is looking impressive, but I still want to wait a little longer for other gameplay details to be fully excited for this gorgeous game.

The Banner Saga 2

I need to play the first one, but I am glad that the developers of the first game saw so much success and are making a sequel.

One Way Trip

I honestly can’t describe this game with real words so I will make sure to link the trailer in this sentence. Check it out for yourself!

Road Redemption

I am super excited for this game, but I am going to do an article talking about it.

Drift Stage

Already working on an entire article for this game, so be ready for that one!

90’s Arcade Racer

Just like with Drift Stage, I am going to do an article about this game as well.

Roller Coaster Tycoon World

As much as I want to still be as excited for this game as I was when it was announced back at Gamescom 2014, Atari’s release of the reboot of their Atari 2600 game Haunted House put some concern for how this game will turn out. Hopefully it won’t be a dud.

A Hat in Time

This charming platformer is still on my radar, but since there isn’t any news about it coming to consoles, my preferred way of platformers, I am still not too excited for it.

Even after this entire Honorable Mentions list, I had to take out games like (get ready to take a deep breath for this one) Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9, Double Fine Productions’ Grim Fandango Remastered, Snowcastle Games’ Earthlock: Festival of Magic, Red Hook Studios’ Darkest Dungeon, Telltale Games’ Minecraft: Story Mode, Warhorse Studios’ Kingdom Come: Deliverence, Fun Bit Interactive’s Fat Princess Adventures, Creativeforge’s Hard West, Frogdice’s Stash: No Loot Left Behind, Heart Machine’s Hyper Light Drifter, Seith CG’s Ghost of a Tale, Julian Gollop’s Chaos Reborn, Ubisoft’s Toy Soldiers: War Chest, Horse Volume’s The Sun Also Rises, GRIN Game Studio’s Woolfe, Graphite Lab’s Hive Jump, Risin’ Goat’s A Rite from the Stars, Tequila Works’ Rime, Skymap Game’s Bacon Man, Studio MONO’s InSomnia, PlayWay’s The Way, Pieces Interactive’s Magicka 2, Ape Law’s Albino Lullaby, Three One Zero’s ADR1FT, SUPERHOT Team’s SUPERHOT, Inglenook’s Witchmarsh, Kitfox Games’ Moon Hunters, Mografi’s Jenny LeClue, Sand Sailor Studios’ Black: The Fall, and you get the idea. I could list hundreds of downloadable games coming out in 2015 that look good! I did an article on a lot of these games and I will make sure to hyperlink them to each game I wrote about.

Let the official list begin!

19. Jotun

 photo down2.jpg

If you are familiar with my Kickstarter Shout-outs and my interview with the developer, you should probably know I am excited for this action-adventure game. For those that may not have this game on their radar, Jotun is the game about you playing as a female Viking that must take down giant elementals known as Jotun in a The Legend of Zelda/Shadow of the Colossus-style game. The main goal is to traverse large landscapes and kill the mighty elementals. I also love the game’s art style as it’s 2D and it looks like something from Genndy Tartakovsky. If you are into top-down action games and taking on gigantic monsters, Jotun will be up your alley.

18. Ori and the Blind Forest

 photo down3.jpg

Talk about one very beautiful game, Ori and the Blind Forest is one of the few games worth getting an Xbox One for. I mean, I hope it is. Its lush color pallet is a sight to behold. The developers said that they took inspiration from the two recent Rayman platformers in terms of their art direction, but I bet there is a bit of Vanillaware in it also. The touching story of a white forest spirit and its relationship with the creature that took care of it feels touching, and the forest spirit’s journey to take down an evil spirit definitely will be a journey worth checking out.

17. Popup Dungeon

 photo down4.jpg

Let’s talk about the Kickstarter project that started it all, Popup Dungeon. This was the inspiration for my Kickstarter Shout-out articles, because not only is it a fun-looking RPG, but it also showed me what Kickstarters were able to look like. When I saw the thumbnail on the Kickstarter website, it looked like another Minecraft rip-off that we have seen a lot of. I then decided to check out the Kickstarter, and the rest is history. If you want a dungeon crawler with tactical-turn-based RPG mechanics with those paper craft dolls, then Popup Dungeon will be right up your alley!

16. Citizens of Earth

 photo down5.jpg

I am so happy I get to talk about this creative RPG. You play as the Vice-President, and you go around your hometown recruiting civilians to help you take care of the weird occurrences in your town. I love how quirky and personality-filled this game is. It definitely gives the gamers an Earthbound-like vibe, and it has a lot of charm. So, why am I super excited about this game even though it’s low on the list? It’s because it’s coming out very soon! It’s coming out on Jan 20th for a majority of the consoles out there. If you love turn-based RPGs with loads of personality, you should definitely check this game out!

15. Project Phoenix

 photo down6.jpg

What do you get when you combine a game with RTS and JRPG elements, along with the talents from games like Final Fantasy IX, Halo 4, Crysis 3, Assassin’s Creed II, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Aldouin, Tenchu, Final Fantasy 3 & 4, L.A. Noir, and Valkyria Chronicles? You get Project Phoenix, Japan’s first Kickstarter game. This fantasy RPG will have you control a group of heroes as you traverse the maps and take down evil forces that are scattered throughout the land. They have just recently released a pretty early alpha look of the game and I think it looks fine for something that is still in development. I love the cartoony art style, and I think they are on the right track to making a unique kind of RTS. Oh, and Nobuo Uematsu will be the composer, so that’s fantastic!

14. Cuphead

 photo down7.jpg

One of the reasons I love talking about games with lists is because I get to talk about multiple games at once. An example of the games I get to talk about is the upcoming indie shoot em’ up called Cuphead by Studio MHDR. From the 1930’s inspired art style from the Fleisher Studio days, to the multiple bosses that you must fight, Cuphead reminds me of one of the hidden gems for the SEGA Genesis, Alien Soldier. If this game isn’t coming to any other console, I would honestly put this as another reason to get an Xbox One, due to how the game would give the Xbox One’s line-up some variety. Anyway, if you love 1930-style cartoons and fun gameplay, Cuphead is definitely your cup of tea. I apologize for the bad pun.

13. Y2K

 photo down8.jpg

A month or so ago, I wrote about a kickstarter called Americana Dawn. The Kickstarter failed, but it showed me that some developers are willing to take inspiration from other RPGs than just Final Fantasy. For example, we have Y2K, an indie RPG being made with inspirations from Lost Odyssey and the Persona games. I mean, that is what I take away from learning about this RPG. It has a very modern-day look to it in terms of it not being set in a fantasy world. Y2K also has a very hipster vibe to it, with how the characters look. Anyway, Y2k shows that there are other RPGs than Final Fantasy to take inspiration from.

12. Armikrog

 photo down9.jpg

If you have seen my previous lists from the beginning of last year, Armikrog is easily one of my most anticipated games. It isn’t just because it’s the first ever Kickstarter I helped back, but it’s also a spiritual successor to the cult classic The Neverhood. It has a huge array of talent like Michael J. Nelson and Rob Paulsen. The recent trailer of the game in motion is just amazing to look at. Even though we are getting Kirby and the Rainbow Curse for Wii U, games that take a more claymation look are few and far between. Personally, if you are into adventure games and don’t want to spend the money on finding a complete copy of The Neverhood, Armikrog should fill those adventure gaming needs.

11. Aegis Defenders

 photo aegis02.jpg

I fell in love with this downloadable Kickstarter, Aegis Defenders. It has a lot of inspiration from the great works of Hayao Miyazaki, like “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.” I also like the idea of having two playable characters that each has their own special abilities. The music is beautiful to listen to, with the audio team behind Towerfall: Ascension, Darkest Dungeon, and Timespinner. Oh, and if you preorder the game, you can get some unlockable characters from other indie games like Shovel Knight. Want to preorder a downloadable game that will deliver an emotional experience, and be a fun game that you can play with a friend? Then look no further than Aegis Defenders.

10. Apotheon

 photo down10.jpg

While I am not the biggest fan of the infamous Dark Souls franchise, I am always willing to try out games that have a similar style of gameplay. For example, in 2013, I reviewed Strength of the Sword 3, which had a similar combat design in terms of having every enemy be a threat and the combat not be all about having the highest combo and be an amazing-looking spectacle. That is why I am looking forward to Apotheon, another game with more strategic, but satisfying-looking combat. Not only does it have a solid combat engine, but the art style is very unique. It looks like that art style you see on Greek pottery. It definitely stands out from the other action games coming to PC and the PlayStation 4, but that’s a good thing. The more developers try out new art styles, the more those individual games can stand out and be unique. You had better get your gladiatorial weapons ready to tackle Apotheon in the near future.

9. Firewatch

 photo down11.jpg

Being made by ex-members of Telltale Games, Klei Entertainment, and Double Fine Productions, Firewatch is setting up to be rather interesting experience. For those that may not know, Firewatch sets you in the shoes of a male fire lookout as you tackle a strange occurrence in the Wyoming wilderness. From the trailer and the screenshots shown, there is a sense of beauty, but danger of the unknown. I mean, to me that is what defines the outdoors and nature itself. At one moment, it can be very beautiful and peaceful with the world around you being quiet and not clogged up with the hustle and bustle of the city life. On the other hand, Nature can be cruel and unforgiving with elements that you, as a person will not always be prepared for. With beautiful graphics and a daunting atmosphere, Firewatch should be on every gamer’s lookout.

8. King’s Quest: Your Legacy Awaits

 photo down13.jpg

I talked about this surprising revival of the famous adventure franchise back on my PlayStation Experience list, but it doesn’t mean I can’t talk about it again. This reboot of the famous Sierra adventure series definitely came out of nowhere for many people. It looks to be taking a more narrative/cinematic look and not rely on the multiple fail states and a harsh difficulty curve. The art-style is once again very impressive with it reminding me more of something like “The Last Unicorn” in terms of its cartoony artstyle. Hopefully, we can hear more about this new quest and enjoy it as soon as possible!

7. Ray’s the Dead

 photo down14.jpg

I wrote an article about this great Kickstarter project last year, and let me tell you, I am still very excited for this game. It’s basically the spiritual sequel to the cult classic Original Xbox gem, Stubbs the Zombie. I mean that literally since a lot of the guys who worked on that game, are making this game. You will obviously play as Ray, who was recently turned into a zombie and must slowly stumble through the city. Your job is to recruit more zombies, take down the humans in a very 80s-style world, and find out what exactly happened to you. I will make sure to post a link to my article about this game, but if you love zombie games that do something more than give you a gun to shoot them, Ray’s the Dead will be up your alley.

6. Distance

 photo down15.jpg

I will probably say this in the future because I have said it in the past, in terms of sports or racing-style of games, I prefer the faster-paced and not realistic versions of said genres of games. It just ends up being the better experience since you aren’t held back by realistic physics. That is why I am putting Distance on this list. It’s a futuristic racing game that takes its inspiration more from Rush 2049 than games like Gran Turismo. I was so excited when I heard about this game because we don’t see that many big triple-A racers that are about being fun, and instead get racing games that are more concerned with being realistic and showing off graphical capabilities. If you are in the mood for something like F-Zero and Sonic and Sega All Star Racers Transformed, then you should definitely check out Distance.

5. Life is Strange

 photo down21.jpg

Now, here is an interesting downloadable game to be on the watch for, Life is Strange. This is an episodic narrative game coming from Square Enix about a photography student that has the ability to rewind time. It’s being made by Dontnod Entertainment, the guys behind Remember Me. I am curious to see how they will handle this game and if they will release a full version like how Capcom is doing for Resident Evil Revelations 2. I can’t wait to see how this interesting game’s story will unfold.

4. Zombie Vikings

 photo down16.jpg

Continuing on with the love of unique or at least more interesting zombie games, here we have Zombie Vikings. This game is being made by the same people who created Stick it to the Man!, a fantastic platformer with a great sense of humor. Sure, it might just be a four-player beat em’up, but it’s a four-player beat em’up with Vikings who are also zombies! The combat from the trailer looks satisfying, the art style is fantastic, and it seems like we are getting another humorous adventure. I am glad that Zoink Games, the developer behind Zombie Vikings and Stick it to the Man! had a hit with their game last year, and I can’t wait for this next game!

3. Hand of Fate

 photo down17.jpg

I am so excited to finally talk about this awesome action-RPG. Hand of Fate includes elements of card games, rogue dungeon crawlers, and adventure games, where you choose what you want to do by the cards that lay in front of you. Sometimes they might hold riches, item stores, unique events, and combat situations. The combat is very much like the Batman Arkham games where it’s about fluid, satisfying combat. I know a lot of famous gaming personalities have talked about this game, and that it is still in Early Access on Steam, but heck, it is easily one of the most highly praised games from Kickstarter. Be prepared with your deck of cards and battle axe to see what the hands of fate have in store for you!

2. Shiness

 photo down19.jpg

This is one of the most impressive indie projects that I have ever seen. The grand scale of an RPG, the Naruto-fighting-game-style combat, and the fact they actually got experts to give the game its own language, and the whole look of the game. I am speechless at how incredible this game looks, and it is one of the few games that make me glad that Kickstarter is around.

1.Hex Heroes

 photo down20.jpg

Do you want to know why this game is number one on my list? This is a Kickstarter game that convinced me on a genre I don’t really play, the real-time-strategy genre. Not only is it a RTS, but it is what the developers call it, a PRTS, which is also known as party-real-time-strategy. This means that up to four friends can jump in with any of the classes that the game will offer, and have your own special abilities. Not only does it have a charming boardgame look, but it will also have an incredible soundtrack by the always amazing, Grant Kirkhope. It shows that sometimes, the more interesting projects come from smaller developers. Want to try something different in the future? Then check out Hex Heroes.

My 20 Most Anticipated Games of 2015

 photo anticipated1.jpg 2015 is a new year, and that means new video games! Let’s hope these picks for my most anticipated games of 2015 don’t end up as huge disappointments. You know, like Titanfall, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Destiny, Sims 4, The Elder Scrolls Online, The Evil Within, Watch_Dogs, The Walking Dead: Season Two, and most third-party products that the developers and publishers should feel ashamed of for releasing in such a terrible state. I will be adding only physical release games that are supposedly coming out in 2015. By the way, there are so many games that are coming out in 2015 that I can’t add them all. I wish I could, but if I am not highly anticipating them, then why should I put them on the list? Let’s count down what I consider to be my most anticipated games of 2015! First off, let’s get some honorable mentions out of the way!

Battleborn

I love that Gearbox is making a new IP and not milking the ever-loving daylights out of Borderlands, but this looks like Borderlands, but with new classes and a new paint job. I want to see some more footage and gameplay to really feel excited for it. But hey, the art looks great, and at least the game looks like it has personality.

Battlefield: Hardline

At first, I was excited to see this different take on the military shooter franchise, with there actually being a story and the overall game feeling like cops and robbers, and not the generic “we need to beat the Russian terrorist” storyline. However, the beta from E3 2014 did not impress me, and I want to try and somehow get my hands on a new beta or something that shows off the single-player mode, and see if it feels like it’s going to be a throwaway story or not.

Whore of the Orient

This game is supposedly coming from the team that made L.A. Noir, but all we have to go off of is some leaked footage, but I liked L.A. Noir and well, I hope this game does come out. Wish the title of the game was different.

Fable Legends

This honestly looks like a fun dungeon crawler game, and is one of the more gorgeous looking games on the Xbox One. The big selling point is, of course, how a fifth player can be the villain. I am just concerned with how in-depth this game will actually be, but I’ve got some high hopes for it.

Godzilla

It’s Godzilla. It will be at least a fun game, but who knows.

Hellblade

I still want to see more of this game, but I like Ninja Theory’s games, so I bet I will like this one as well.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

How can I not put one of my favorite games of 2013’s sequel on this list? Easily, because Crystal Dynamics has not earned my respect back after the stunt they pulled with Rise of the Tomb Raider’s timed exclusivity.

Yakuza 5

I just beat Yakuza 3, and will do a review of that game in the future, but I want to beat Yakuza 4 so I can feel complete, and ready to play the fifth game in this great franchise. Mario Maker I have already talked about this game in another list, and it is basically a “ Make your own Mario game” game, but they did say that they are thinking about doing this with other franchises if this game sells well, so that is cool!

Let it Die

I love Suda 51 and how he designs his games, but I want to see more of this game before I put my hype and anticipation of it permanently down.

Mortal Kombat X

Even though I have now grown to enjoy the 2011 Mortal Kombat game, I am still not the biggest fan of the franchise, but from what I have seen from the trailer and gameplay, Mortal Kombat X is shaping up to probably be 2015’s strongest fighter.

Scalebound

You would know that I would be glad to put down any Platinum Games’ title on any list of anticipated games of that year. Sadly, this one doesn’t have a release date yet. Now then, let’s get started with the actual list!

20. The Division

 photo anticipated2.jpg

I put this game first on the list because, while I love the dystopian look of the game and there is a lot of amazing attention to detail, I hope this doesn’t become 2015’s version of Destiny and Watch_Dogs. This is where we were supposed to get the game that was advertised, but end up purchasing a game that has much less content and features than promised. However, we have seen gameplay, and even though a majority of gameplay seen was probably staged and what not, I still have hope that this third-person shooter won’t become a disappointment.

19. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

 photo anticipated4.jpg

Ever since I found my favorite tactical-RPG of all time, Valkyria Chronicles, I was always looking forward to finding another game of that kind of caliber, instead of the traditional tile-based gameplay. Luckily, Nintendo pretty much has what I am looking for with Codename: S.T.E.A.M. Basically, Able Lincoln is recruiting a ragtag group of characters to take down evil aliens. It’s a third-person perspective, and man, I love everything about this game, from the colorful cast of characters to the comic book art style. Want the next big tactical RPG for your 3DS? Well, you had better get this game!

18. Mario Party 10

 photo anticipated3.jpg

Like I said in my favorite games of E3 list of last year, I still find the Mario Party franchise to be a lot of fun. Sure, some elements are not as welcome as others, but I still love the games. Mario Party 10 looks to be interesting, where on top of the four-player mode, you can have a fifth player as Bowser, and wreck their plans! There is also a newly announced Amiibo Mode, which will take advantage of nine different Amiibos. Sure, the vehicle everyone travels in is a little weird to have, but if the overall game is fun, then that is all that really matters to me.

17. Starfox Wii U

 photo anticipated5.jpg

I don’t think I have to fully explain why this is one of my most anticipated. I loved the Nintendo 64 game, and even the GameCube outings, while flawed, are fun. I mean, that is just what I think. The idea that you can be in a cockpit mode on the Wii U GamePad, and play in third-person onscreen, while being able to switch between the franchise’s iconic Landmaster and the Arwing with the press of a button is a delight. There has also been talk of a new helicopter vehicle, and well, we will just have to wait and see more of this new game in this beloved franchise.

16. Witcher III: Wild Hunt

 photo anticipated6.jpg

The final game in the acclaimed Witcher trilogy will come to a close after many delays. The developer has been good and respectful to the consumers, making sure they don’t release this ambitious and grand-in-scale RPG to the public in a disastrous state. You know, like a majority of games released last year. With a new playable character, epic monster hunting, and a mature story to end this trilogy, we will have to see what happens to Geralt, and what fate unfolds for him.

15. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

 photo anticipated7.jpg

Have I said how much I love this franchise? Sure, the games can have clunky controls, slightly silly plotlines, but the games have amazing stories, and I personally enjoy playing through them. With a new console comes with the final game in the Uncharted franchise. At least, I hope it’s the last game. Granted, it’s up this low on the list because I feel like I know what I am going to be getting. I mean, that isn’t a bad thing. If I know what I am going to be getting is a fantastic game, that isn’t a bad thing, right? I just hope that the story that surrounds the relationship between Drake and his brother doesn’t go down a predictable route. With amazing graphics, some new gameplay elements, and yet another character played by Troy Baker, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will surely be an adventure worth going on.

14. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

 photo anticipated8.jpg

At first, I was excited for this game, but it wasn’t going to be my number one most anticipated game. While it still isn’t my number one, I am really looking forward to the release of this game. The Claymation art style is very beautiful, and has all that Kirby charm and personality. The inclusion of a co-op multiplayer component is also a welcome addition, since it seems to be more about fun and cooperation than being a jerk to one another. I honestly can’t wait for this game comes out in February.

13. Bloodborne

 photo anticipated9.jpg

Once again, I have talked about this game on two different lists with the Gamescom 2014 list and the Video game Awards 2014 list. This gothic horror action game with its inclusion of multiple blade and gun weapons, disgusting, but engulfing atmosphere, and its faster-paced combat is definitely making me think how this might be even better than the Demon and Dark Souls games. I mean, I personally think Bloodborne will beat out all three of those titles, because of how combat requires you to be offensive than defensive. I do have concerns that in the end, the game is just another Dark Souls, but a different paintjob, but if it can branch away from those games as much as possible, then I don’t think we have to worry about anything!

12. Batman: Arkham Knight

 photo anticipated10.jpg

The epic conclusion to this rather amazing series of video games will come to a close with Batman: Arkham Knight. The finale will include everything that we like in a good game based off this famous DC super hero. The ability to use the batmobile, the fact that Scarecrow has a serious villain role; Kevin Conroy is back in the seat as Batman’s voice actor, the mysterious Arkham Knight, beautiful graphics, and no soulless multiplayer! I can’t wait to see how this epic storyline will end!

11. The Order: 1886

 photo anticipated13.jpg

Foggy England, a steam punk setting, werewolves, engrossing-looking atmosphere, a huge variety of weapons, and a focus on a high quality single-player experience. I think those qualities are good enough for this game to be put on this list. We could even get what could be 2015’s Wolfenstein: The New Order where we might think the game is just going to be alright, but turns out to be awesome. I also might be a bit biased in how excited I am for this game because I just started watching the Netflix series “Peaky Blinders.” Who knows, I am just looking forward to this game!

10. Devil’s Third

 photo anticipated11.jpg

With the recent focus on making games more diverse and somewhat politically correct, I have said that I am up for changes, in terms of how we make games. However, sometimes I just want something to be dumb, fast, and very action-oriented. I don’t care if it’s politically correct as long as the action is good, and let me tell you, Devil’s Third’s action looks pretty over-the-top and insane. I am also still amazed that Nintendo is publishing this new IP. I mean, I am happy they are, but I respect Nintendo in terms of them wanting to get other IPs.

9. Wii U Legend of Zelda

 photo anticipated12.jpg

I honestly don’t know what else I could say about this game that I haven’t said before on my E3 2014 list or my Video Game Awards 2014 list. The game has amazing-looking graphics, a huge open world, the return of Link’s horse Epona, the ability to jump off your horse and shoot arrows like an action movie hero, and you get the idea. This is easily one of the most hyped games of this year for a reason, and if you have a Wii U, it will easily be a must-have game for the system.

8. Tearaway Unfolded

 photo anticipated14.jpg

Once again, I have said on past lists from Gamescom to the PlayStation Experience why I am excited about this game. Easily one of the more unique games to come out from this generation of gaming with its gorgeous papercraft world, fantastic folk-style soundtrack, and of course, the added creative touch from the creators of Little Big Planet will surely get any PlayStation 4 owner’s attention.

7. Yoshi’s Wooly World

 photo anticipated15.jpg

I have a couple of reasons why I am very excited for this game. The first reason is that it’s Yoshi’s return to home console platforming, and not in the form of a spin-off title. We haven’t seen him go on a lone platforming trip since the Nintendo 64 with Yoshi’s Story. Two, it’s basically a spiritual sequel to what I think is a great game, Kirby’s Epic Yarn. The entire charm of any Yoshi platformer is here on top of a beautiful graphical presentation that makes everything look like it was literally woven and knitted by hand. I love that we are getting a new platformer with Yoshi, and I bet it will be super fun!

6. Screamride

 photo anticipated16.jpg

Until we get some release dates for the Xbox One’s other big releases, Screamride is basically the big game to look out for. Heck, it is the one game I am looking forward to owning and playing once I get an Xbox One. A more fast-paced spiritual sequel to the Roller Coaster Tycoon series, you will be on the quest to fix puzzles to make insane and crazy rides! You will also have three modes and 50 levels of crazy coaster fun! Oh! And this game is being made by the guys who recently released Elite: Dangerous on PCs.

5. Until Dawn

 photo anticipated17.jpg

Even though I am working on an article about this game, I am once again glad Sony said yes to this ambitious project. The whole idea of it playing like a horror film from the good days of the 80s and early 90s is interesting, since I don’t know that many games that take advantage of such a setting. Sure, we do have the successful Kickstarter Last Year and the upcoming Friday the 13th The Video Game, but the setting isn’t used that often. If games like Heavy Rain or anything from Telltale Games is right up your alley, then Until Dawn should be another anticipated game for your collection.

4. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

 photo anticipated18.jpg

Even though plenty of gamers probably imported this game and downloaded the English patch to this popular PlayStation Portable exclusive, it is nice that the gamers here in the states finally get a copy of the game in English. I always knew very little of this title, and was happy that it wasn’t going to be a part of the Final Fantasy XIII universe like it was originally meant to be. Square dodged a bullet with that business decision. Even if this game was originally on Sony’s first handheld, the game looks great with its high definition facelift. The combat looks fast-paced and very satisfying, and having so many characters with their own play-styles is always a good bit of variety. I also like how the game known for its brutal difficulty, will be more forgiving in this new release. I don’t mind challenging games, but if I am not having fun, then it won’t give me the drive to finish the game. Whether you played this game on the original PlayStation portal or some other less-than-legal ways, I am going to be playing my copy of this game on my PlayStation 4 in March.

3. Splatoon

 photo anticipated19.jpg

Woohoo! I get to talk about this awesome new Nintendo IP! If 2014 wasn’t a sign of how much more value the Wii U has than the other two consoles, then Splatoon should be another reason to get a Wii U. This game deserves the word “unique”, because instead of being just another forgettable shooter like Titanfall, the game is bright, colorful, uses a fun and diverse array of paint/ink-like weapons, and it has a single-player mode that actually matters! It looks to take advantage of its ink mechanics for some really creative platforming. Oh, and you can customize your squid character with different weapons and items. I can’t wait for this game. This is easily a ‘day one’ game for me.

2. Final Fantasy XV

 photo anticipated20.jpg

This was a hard choice. On one hand, I am looking forward to Final Fantasy XV, and my number one most anticipated game of this year. I mean, Final Fantasy XV looks great. It has a more Kingdom Hearts-oriented combat system, you will be able to summon massive creatures, you will be driving around in a drop-dead gorgeous looking world, the chemistry of the characters work much better here than in the last main game, Final Fantasy XIII, and the music that I have heard so far sounds very much like an actual Final Fantasy game. I just hope we aren’t going to get another dud in terms of main entries in this long-running RPG franchise. So, what is my number one most anticipated game of 2015?

1. Xenoblade Chronicles X

 photo anticipated21.jpg

I am at a loss for words to describe the excitement I have for this game. It’s a sequel to one of the best RPGs released during the last generation, it has customizable characters, a larger world, gigantic creatures, robots that can transform into vehicles, beautiful music, online co-op, a hopefully well-told dramatic story, and gameplay that lets you carry different weapons at once. There is so much that this game has going for it that it is insane. There is a reason why I love Nintendo. and why getting their products always ends up bringing a fun time. Sure, Nintendo needs to improve on a few elements, but there is a reason my most anticipated game is from Nintendo.

Top 7 Worst Games of 2014

 photo worst01.jpg If we weren’t getting disappointing experiences, then we were pretty much getting garbage, since apparently in 2014, no one knows that we don’t like bad games! Luckily, I was smart enough to dodge games like The Elder Scrolls Online, Rambo: The Video Game, and a majority of the games released on Steam because, well, I knew better, but I was not smart enough to dodge the other piles of garbage that came out last year. Again, this list will contain only the games I played and considered to be bad. Let’s get started!

7. Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi

 photo worst02.jpg

I am going to start off this list with a game that many people probably didn’t know came out in 2014, Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi, an interactive novel set during the mid-late 1800s. For the most part, I am all for trying out different gaming experiences, and I hadn’t tried out an interactive manga. However, I really couldn’t get into this game. It’s a shame since some of the male main characters you interact with are pretty memorable, even if they might be anime stereotypes. The story was interesting enough to play for a few hours, but this game has some major problems. First off, that is all the game is, an interactive manga. No gameplay or anything to spice things up from the huge amount of text that is spread across this game. I also found the game’s low budget a turn-off in some aspects, like the constant re-use of backgrounds, and the slightly stiff animation or no animation at all for the characters. They have slight breathing animation, but nothing else. It would have been a much better experience if the guys you interact with had more animations to them and weren’t stuck on looking handsome all of the time. Maybe this game just wasn’t for me, and that is why it is at the beginning of the list. It has some good elements, but because of those good elements, the experience is brought down to the point where you have to be a very specific kind of gamer to enjoy it. In the end, I think interactive novels are outdated wastes of time. Maybe you found it to be a more enjoyable experience than I found it to be, but for one of the few times I will say this, this unique experience didn’t win me over.

The score I would have given this game: 4/10

6. Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2

 photo worst03.jpg

This game isn’t even buggy or broken by a long shot. It actually played better day one than games like Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Does that still make it a good game? Of course not! This is still one of the most soulless platforming games I have ever played. Combat doesn’t feel satisfying, the story is nonexistent or worthwhile, and while the game has more varied bosses and level gimmicks, it still feels incredibly boring to play through. If you skipped this game and bought either Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze or Little Big Planet 3, then you did yourself a favor by skipping this mediocre platformer. Please don’t make another one, Namco Bandai.

The Score I gave this game: 4/10

5, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z

 photo worst04.jpg

It’s funny and sad that I was looking forward to this game. It looked fun, I adored the colorful graphics, and it had a fun foul-mouthed ninja. However, the entire game was mediocre at best. The combat felt like the same stale action combat that you see in most movie licensed games, you fight the same bosses, Yaiba isn’t that interesting of a character, and it was a chore to go through. It doesn’t matter if you put fan service outfits like Mighty from Mighty No. 9 in this game, if the gameplay sucks, then it sucks. I can’t believe this came from Keiji Inafune and the guys behind Lost Planet 3. If you bought Bayonetta 2 instead of this garbage, then consider yourself safe from this terrible action game.

The score I gave this game: 4/10.

4. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

 photo worst05.jpg

Man, the funny thing about this game is that it was originally the worst game I played this year. Now, it isn’t, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a place on this list. Poor-looking graphics, a forgettable soundtrack, and a tedious progression system are not the only problems with this game. Lightning is a boring character that has no emotions or personality, but then at certain points in the game, they inexplicably give her some emotion. That isn’t just bad storytelling, that is bad writing in general! I also never felt stressed out about the timer. It becomes more like something pushed into the background, and besides, you are always given a way to stop time for a good amount of, um, time. I also never felt invested with the world I was trying to save, because it felt like no one cared that their world was ending. Sure, your party might need some fireworks, but you also have 7 days left to live! This game was so pointless and such a waste of time that I feel badly for anyone hoping this game would be good. The only element that is even worth talking about is the combat system, but even with a more action-oriented combat system, it doesn’t save you from traveling around a soulless world. I am happy that there will not be another game in this series because the less I hear about this Final Fantasy and the more I see and hear about Final Fantasy Type-0 HD and Final Fantasy XV, the better. Square Enix, I beg you, don’t make pointless RPG sequels to your main games in the franchise!

The score I gave the game: 4/10. The score I would give the game now: 3/10.

3. Escape Dead Island

 photo worst06.jpg

Holy cow, was this a disastrous game. I mean, how was I not able to see how bad this game was, ahead of time? This shouldn’t have been terrible. A third-person action game where all you do is fight zombies shouldn’t be that hard to make fun, but nope! This was one of the most tiring experiences I ever went through. You not only have bad graphics, clunky controls, unsatisfying combat, but you also have a story with unlikable characters. and a plot that doesn’t know what it wants to be! It doesn’t know whether it wants to be like “Planet Terror” where it is meant to be like a bad 70s-80s film, or deep and philosophical like Spec Ops: The Line. The end result of all this is one of the worst action games ever made, and definitely one of the worst games of 2014.

The score I gave this game: 3/10

2. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric

 photo worst07.jpg

Hey, Sonic fans, you know what you got in 2014? An awful video game! Sonic Boom is one of the worst gaming experiences you can, well, experience from 2014. A nonexistent story, glitches up the wazoo, boring combat, loose controls, a soulless, confusing, and boring overworld to explore, yet another forgettable Sonic villain, and graphics that are at home with the early PlayStation 2 sum up the overall feel of the game. Not only that, but SEGA knew this game was awful, because they shoved it out the door and didn’t give any sites or reviewers review copies for the game. Even if it didn’t control like garbage and didn’t glitch out every two minutes, the game would still be mediocre, but with how unfinished the game feels, and how SEGA shoved it out the door with no thought of keeping their integrity intact, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is one of the worst games you can ever find.

The score I would give this game: 2/10.

1. Magus

 photo worst08.jpg

You know, I could argue a reason why the last three games deserve to be on this earth. They are still bad games, but I could find reasons for them, to an extent, be worthwhile. However, I cannot for the life of me find a reason why Magus deserves to exist. It looks like one of those horrible Early Access games on Steam. They get a bad reputation because of how badly the developer reacts to criticism, the story is pointless, and the game is four hours of repetitive, tedious, and bland gameplay. It’s no surprise this game got panned by critics, but what is more offensive to me is that the game tried to get on Steam. It leaves a bad message that the developers knew that their game wasn’t finished or good, but screw it! They had money for physical releases, and they were going to do that, and then as a result, screw over more people by trying to get on Steam using Steam Greenlight. It won’t work since so many people called them out on their shenanigans, and I know it won’t get on because the game is awful! Listen, I know how enticing it is to make your first big game. You want to make a game that you want to make, but want other people to enjoy it also. However, you need to put effort, and I mean actual effort into your product, because in this day and age a lot of us don’t have time to play games, and when we do, we would rather not spend money on terrible games. You know what happens when you don’t give a hoot about your project, and push it out the door with no regards of quality or fun? You get the worst game of 2014.

The score I gave this game: 3/10. The score I should have given it: 1/10.

Top 10 Most Disappointing Games of 2014

 photo sad01.jpg 2014 was an underwhelming year for gaming. It was the transitional year, where focus started getting pushed to making games for both last and current gen consoles, but with that came with a lot of titles that were massively hyped and underdelivered in their overall experiences. The rules for this list are that the games will be ones that I have played and considered to be disappointing in what they delivered. I will also include companies and certain events if they caused a big enough trainwreck of bad publicity. For definition of what I consider a disappointing game, a game I scored in the five to seven range will be on this list. This means you won’t see the bad games on this list, but don’t worry! I’ve got another list where I count down the worst games I played from 2014.

10. Tales of Xillia 2

 photo sad02.jpg

Let’s start the list with a sequel that wasn’t needed. I understand why they made a sequel, since Tales of Xillia did extremely well, but man, does this game have some odd and questionable design choices. Examples of this are a bland main character, rehashed enemies and environments, a boring story that doesn’t get interesting until later on, the same technical issues from the first game that pop-up in this sequel, and how the entire game feels like busywork due to that stupid debt system. That is really what ruins anything good about the game. You have to keep taking side quests that actually do repeat themselves to pay off parts of this debt, and you won’t be able to unlock any new areas until you pay off a certain amount. I play games to escape the crushing reality of paying off debt! This also proves that the team behind this RPG franchise really can’t make sequels without making a lot of bad decisions, like focusing on fan service for the hardcore fans of the series and such. Don’t get me wrong, sequels are fine, but they have to improve and make the overall experience enjoyable. Sadly, this game didn’t do any of that, and made what could have been interesting a waste of time. If you want to see me go more into detail as to why this game is disappointing, I am making a list as to why this game is underwhelming, so look out for that in the future. I am only recommending this game for the hardcore fans of the series.

The Score I would have given the game: 6/10

9. LEGO: The Hobbit

 photo sad03.jpg

While this isn’t a terrible game, it was the first time I felt like the LEGO games being made by Traveler’s Tales were getting stale. I am basically indifferent to the films this game is based around, but for one reason or another, I started to see where people were coming from when they said that the games based off the popular LEGO series were getting stale. They had the same slightly tedious level design issues, the same issues with the repetitive combat, and they glanced over the story instead of making it a little more mature and dramatic. Sure, some of the humor is funny, and the voice work that is ripped from the films are still well-acted, but when everything about the game, from the combat to the level design, gets boring, and then you add in a couple game-breaking glitches, you end up with a product that should have had more time in the development department. I think if they released this game in 2015 so that it has all three films under its belt, diversify the gameplay, and not have to rerelease it just so it can have the third film, then I think the game would have been better. There are still a lot of great games based off the famous fantasy franchise, but unfortunately, this one isn’t one of them.

The score I gave this game: 6/10

8. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle

 photo sad04.jpg

You know, I was excited for this game. It was from a very popular Manga that oozed character, it was a 3D fighter, and it was by Cyberconnect2, the developer behind one of my all-time favorite games, Asura’s Wrath. However, after getting to actually play this game, it showed some very poor design choices and really wasn’t that fun to play. Well, it wasn’t fun for me to play through. The best thing about the game is that it still oozes all of the personality the manga series had, and it gives the game a unique identity. It is so weird, but fun at the same time to see every fighter pose like a super model and even the female characters looking a little like the male characters. It is hard to explain if you are not very familiar with the manga’s art style or universe. The problems come in the form of the game modes and the fighting engine. This isn’t a terrible fighter, but it felt really clunky. Instead of being an open ended fighter like the company’s Naruto fighting games, it is set up more like Tekken or Street Fighter. That isn’t a bad thing, but with how over-the-top the moves and characters are, you needed a fighting engine similar to the recent Naruto fighters or Power Stone. I also ran into some overly powerful AI issues where my opponent would constantly abuse one attack and it wouldn’t stop. It got annoying after the fifth try to take down certain characters. This isn’t a terrible game, but it is one that could have been great if it had a different gameplay design. If you prefer games like Street Fighter or Tekken you might like this game, but I would only recommend seeking out a hard copy if you are a collector, since this game’s price will probably double with each passing year.

The score I would have given this game: 6/10

7. Deception IV: Blood Ties

 photo sad05.jpg

Maybe it’s because I haven’t played this series’ other games from the PlayStation 1 era or that I love games like Castlestorm, but Deception IV: Blood Ties was an underwhelming game for me. I loved the idea of setting up traps to kill unsuspecting knights who came into your manor, and I enjoyed the satisfaction of having a well set up trap drain away an entire health bar from an enemy. The game also has some personality, and while I don’t care for the designs of the main female characters due to, well, anime logic of how the devil’s daughter and her companions should look, it’s hard to take them seriously. However, there were a few too many issues that kept the game from being a hidden gem among the many games that are flying under the 2014 radar. The graphics are incredibly bland-looking. I give a lot of credit to Tecmo Koei for actually green-lighting this game, and actually putting more money into it coming over here in the states, but the overall look of the game is wishy-washy and forgettable. The enemy knights, besides boss characters, all share or have the same body type, but some of the art assets get switched around for all of the simple enemies. The traps are also not that easy to manipulate in a 3D space. You think you might have one trap down only to find out that you should have been one block over or that you placed the trap facing the wrong direction. You will definitely need to take time to learn about this game, but I doubt a majority of gamers will have the patience to sit down or replay through levels to think of more devious traps to unleash on the “good guys.” You also need to activate traps manually, and dodge the enemies at the same time. I hate the fact that if you want to switch out ineffective traps for ones that will be easier to use, you have to quit the entire chapter you are in to do so. This means you will have to do the entire chapter over again. It leaves the player enraged and nervous about what traps to use, since players who are new to this franchise will probably have no idea what combination of traps will work and which ones won’t for this chapter. It then becomes a game of tedium, with only a few ways to have a satisfying experience sprinkled into the main game. I think if this game played more like Orcs Must Die 2 or some other kind of tower defense game like Castlestorm, but with more unique traps, this game could have been much more interesting. It’s unfortunately a little too clunky and irritating to fully recommend.

The score I would have given this game: 6/10

6. Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark

 photo sad08.jpg

I was hesitant as to whether to put this game on this list or my worst games of 2014 list, since it has elements that can easily be put on either list. On one hand, it is a painfully average third-person shooter that takes more design queues from Transformers: War for Cybertron instead of its sequel. It has stale enemy designs, repetitive missions that have little to no variation, underwhelming bosses, and a storyline that doesn’t take full advantage of its setup. On the other hand, as a follow-up to the fantastic War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron games, it is incredibly mediocre as it tries to bridge the gap between those two games, adding little to nothing to the overall story. Oh, and they then try to connect it to the prequel story of the most recent film. The list of playable Transformer characters in the main storyline is pretty underwhelming. You don’t even get a chance to play as John Goodman or John DiMaggio’s characters from the film. I mean, come on! Out of all of the characters from the film, I wanted to play the Transformers who were played by Walter Sobchak from “The Big Lebowski” and Bender from “Futurama!” I don’t mind the samurai Transformer, Drift, too much, but his character’s constant reminder that he follows the way of the samurai and feels like he isn’t a true Autobot gets old real fast. Oh, and if you are a Wii U owner, you don’t get the game’s multiplayer mode, which leaves the Wii U version of the game with even less value, giving the Wii U’s library just another average game. Granted, by 2014, the multiplayer mode is nothing special, so consider it tacked-on, or yourself lucky if you just bought the Wii U version of the game. I also ran into some major slowdown when in battles, alongside a few other glitches. The game’s use of the Unreal Engine 3 also reminds me of how poorly a lot of games using the engine have aged in terms of graphical presentations. Even the designs of the characters from the film look like they were from the Xbox 360 launch window. There are very few high points that can be considered the game’s saving graces. The only real voice actor that put any effort into his performance was probably Steve Blum who voiced Shockwave, but that is because you didn’t get to see him that much from Fall of Cybertron. Peter Cullen also did a great job, as usual, playing Optimus Prime, but his Optimus Prime voice is like wine, as it gets better with age. Even if the sections where you played as Grimlock or Devastator got boring very quickly, the first few minutes playing as the giant Transformers were satisfying as you watched your power stomps send other Transformers flying into buildings. Grimlock was also the funnest character to use out of everyone, as you rip Decepticons into shreds and blow fire like Godzilla at everyone. I also appreciated the sound design throughout the game. I just hope High Moon Studios will make the next Transformers game amazing, and that they will take their time on the project. If they don’t do this, then I have no hope for any good future Transformers games. If you want to play a good game based off the franchise, pick up War for Cybertron or Fall of Cybertron.

The score I would have given this game: 5/10

5. Murdered: Soul Suspect

 photo sad07.jpg

Murdered: Soul Suspect is the precautionary tale of when a company doesn’t go all-out with their idea. The concept of a ghost detective is nothing new, but it can lead to a lot of fantastic gameplay and can end up being a downright fun experience. I want to believe that the developer, Airtight Games, didn’t have a huge budget or not enough time to work on this game. The story was at first interesting, since it involved witchcraft and a murderer killing off young women who had special powers. Unfortunately, Ronan, the main character of the game is nothing new or interesting. He could have had a captivating backstory, from being a crook when he was younger to becoming a cop, but they don’t focus on any of that. I think if they let us play as him when he was younger to now, it would have at least given the game some emotional investment. The story’s ending felt out of place with the killer being this ghost girl who was murdering the young women with physic powers because, just because. Melee combat was pointless! It had no reason to be in the game, and the demonic spirits that you fight have no reason to be in the game either. The only elements that comes close to being fun were the puzzles that made me feel like I was playing L.A. Noir, which was a good thing because the puzzles were decent, but it was bad because it made me want to play a better game! The graphics were average. They weren’t top graphical specs, but I have seen worse-looking games released in 2014. I am not surprised that the developer shut down after the release of the game. I wasn’t too big a fan of their games because they always had fun ideas, but they didn’t do much with them. Sure, sometimes being overly ambitious and creative can bite you in the butt, but this game needed its overall concept expanded upon. I hope the employees of Airtight Games have found new jobs, but once again, you really can’t release a game half-baked or else you will find yourself with a game that will do poorly.

The score I gave this game: 5/10

4. Drakengard 3

 photo sad06.jpg

Where do I begin with Drakengard 3, the third game in the Drakengard franchise? I feel like Square Enix did not have a lot of faith in this project. First off, it uses the Unreal Engine 3, and boy, those graphics look ugly. I wouldn’t mind the graphics for the most part, but they look like something from 2006. I also feel like the developer of the game didn’t really know how to optimize the engine, because there is some of the worst slowdown and graphical glitches I have seen since Two Worlds. The levels were forgettable because they were basically a straight line. They were so linear that they made me think of Final Fantasy XIII, and I don’t like thinking about that game. The AI, oh boy, the AI was one of the worst I have ever seen. The enemies either attack me when I am ten feet away from them, run away from me when I get close to them, or they don’t attack me at all. The ally AI has basically the same issue with them not even attacking often. Why are we having this issue with brain dead AI? It’s 2015; this shouldn’t be the case anymore! The story and characters are a mixed bag. The story is filled with both a grim storyline, and a lot of comedic moments, which I think clash with the darker more violent elements. I know how black comedy works, but I don’t think it works 100% of the time. Granted, there are a few jokes that I did enjoy, where the game was mostly punching jabs at itself, but I don’t think the animations are good enough to portray the comedy. I think they really needed someone like Platinum Games to make this game so they can add that flare, and quick animation to enhance the comedic moments. The characters are mostly forgettable anime tropes with the disciples being the weirder of the bunch. For example, you have one guy who is obsessed with energetic sex, and another one who gets aroused through S&M and sexual punishments. I don’t really want to invest or root for these characters. I will say that the game does have a few positive elements. The gameplay is faster paced, varied, and I can say that I had a lot more fun with this game than the previous two games in the franchise. Some of the character designs are great, and the music is beautiful. I just wish Square Enix put in more resources for this game as they would with their main Final Fantasy games. This isn’t a downright terrible game, but it is middle-of-the-road for me. I can easily see this game becoming a hidden gem of sorts and a cult classic, but really, they needed a few more months. If this game had a bit more time to get a better game engine, and more time to give the graphics and gameplay a good clean-up, they could have had a great late PlayStation 3 title.

The score I would have given this game: 5/10

3. The Walking Dead: Season Two

 photo sad09.jpg

Now, before I get the pointy end of a pitchfork going through my head for putting this game on the list, let me get this out of the way. This is easily the best game on the list. It still has a lot of great character development for Clementine, some rather human/realistic moments like in Chapter five when all the characters are around the fire, and a lot of intense moments that made me hold onto my controller. The graphics are still fantastic, and the music is still dramatic and atmospheric. However, the story fell apart at around the halfway point. There were a lot of terrible plot convenient set-ups, some huge leaps in logic, and it felt like Telltale Games rushed the ending out the door so they could work full-time on Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones. I already went into detail at how bad the story gets, and how the 400 Days DLC doesn’t really add anything important to the overall story. I will make sure to link the review in this sentence. I still enjoyed my experience with this game, but it just isn’t as good as the first season, and that’s why it was so disappointing.

The score I gave this game: 7/10

2. The Evil Within

 photo sad10.jpg

Oh boy, where do I begin with this game? Personally, I could see why this title was so polarizing to gamers, and unfortunately, I am in the pool that did not like this game for understandable reasons. The game does get a lot of elements right. The creepy and tense atmosphere always kept me on my toes, and made sure that I wasn’t about to run into something dangerous, and plus, the monster designs could be really scary and gross looking. Unfortunately, I feel like this game can be a mess. I found the controls to be clunky, which by 2014 standards is inexcusable, and the stealth elements are pointless because they are only there because other games are doing it. The story and characters suck, you are given too little ammo in the bad way, the game is more gory than scary, and the overall feeling is that it’s more like Resident Evil 4.1 than its own game. That is, of course, not a bad thing, but I kept constantly thinking of games that did this better. For example, when I was sneaking past enemies, I thought of The Last of Us and found myself wanting to play that game instead of The Evil Within. The problems I listed above really do become issues, like while I knew I wasn’t getting Gears of War-style action, it felt a little too scarce with its ammo. I get you want to make your main character feel vulnerable, but I felt a little too vulnerable, if that makes sense. The controls felt like they were taken right out of Resident Evil 4, and I feel like they should have smoothed them out. I guess I fall into the group that hates sluggish tank controls, but I feel like it’s never good design when you get attacked and hurt because you couldn’t turn or move out of the way fast enough. I also didn’t care about the whole mechanic of having to burn the bodies. Sometimes it works, but I think like there was a reason why not a lot of horror games used this gimmick. It’s more tedious, since enemies can come back to life, which ruins the element of exploration, since I don’t want to keep in check which bodies I didn’t burn and which ones I did. If I stabbed you in the head or blew your head off with my very limited amount of bullets, then you should be dead! I also hate the logic in horror games, and there is no excuse for it anymore. What do I mean by this? Well, in the third chapter, you encounter the chainsaw enemy once again, but he is luckily tied up with chains, with his chainsaw item on the ground. Instead of using the sensible logic and picking up the chainsaw to gut the enemy and then use it to get out of the village you are stuck in, you have to unleash him and kill him along with the other villagers that you should probably take out before you tackle the chainsaw guy. It’s logic like this in gaming that takes me out of the immersion. I also hate how boring the characters are. I can understand that Shinji Mikami didn’t want characters who are constantly scared, but if they are not afraid of anything, why should I feel invested in them? I want to make sure they can stand up to the creatures they encounter, and feel satisfied that they are safe. If you love this game, then that is fine, you could get into this game better than me, but I feel like Shinji Mikami was stuck in the past and didn’t help or advance evolution of the survival horror genre.

The score I would have given this game: 6/10

1. The Big Publishers/Developers

 photo sad11.jpg

What do companies like Ubisoft, EA, Sega, Activision, Valve, and Crystal Dynamics have in common? They all ended up on my list of disappointments of 2014! I originally didn’t plan on doing this selection because they all put out something I liked, loved, or at least enjoyed. However, they also made a lot of questionable decisions with how they released their games, or talked about their upcoming projects. For example, let us start off with EA. It seemed like this year is EA’s year of lack of content. Titanfall, The Sims 4, NHL 2015, and even Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare all had the same criticism aimed each game with the constant appearance of the “lack of content” comment. I was amazed at how many games from this one company came up with the same issue. Sure, a lot of these games are now patched, and all have DLC to give you more bang for your buck, but come on! How many times did I have to see and read that comment? I’ll tell you, far too many!

 photo sad12.jpg

Crystal Dynamics basically shot themselves in the foot with how they handled the news of Rise of the Tomb Raider being a timed Xbox One exclusive, with a rather smug and disrespectful statement about how PlayStation gamers were still getting the downloadable Lara Croft: The Temple of Osiris Tomb Raider game, and already have the Definitive Edition of 2013’s Tomb Raider. Way to go Crystal Dynamics! You probably lost a couple of million preorders because of that comment, and now people are going to wait to get the game on whatever console they respectively own. I know exclusives help sell the console they are on, but when it’s a third-party exclusive, you are asking for trouble if your game isn’t good enough, or you announce it with such a back-handed comment.

 photo sad13.jpg

Sony and Microsoft both had a pretty underwhelming year of first-party exclusives with Sunset Overdrive and Little Big Planet 3 being the only two worthwhile first-party games for either the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Plus, for some reason or another, neither console had good anti-hacking security, and both of their online services got shut down. It really brings up the argument as to if we should be charged for online or not, if they are going to let this happen. It doesn’t give me faith, in terms of renewing my PlayStation Plus subscription.

 photo sad14.jpg

Next up to bat is Activision and Bungie, and while they didn’t have as many screw-ups as the other companies on this list, they still botched one of the biggest games of this year, Destiny. Sure, I could complain about how they keep milking Call of Duty and Skylanders, but Destiny was their biggest disappointment. How could a game that looked like it originally had a lot more content, a grander scale in the story department, and Peter Dinklage as your robotic companion be so…empty and full of confusing design choices? I mean, yeah, part of this could be Bungie’s fault for false advertising, but I feel like this is more so on Activision. It also doesn’t help that there is a conspiracy theory going around where Bungie did make a bigger grander game, but their publisher Activision stepped in and made them either change up a lot of the game, or take it out to put into a DLC pass that will cost you $35 plus tax. How could they take what was considered many gamer’s most anticipated experiences of a shooter that, while having good shooter mechanics, great visuals, and an amazing soundtrack, still became an underwhelming mess?

 photo sad15.jpg

Valve has ended up on this list, because of their consistent lack of respect or commitment to have the Steam service not full of terrible games, and developers who are incredibly disrespectful to the consumer base. How much would it kill Valve to spend some of their multi-million dollars to hire a team of quality-control people to look through each game that wants to get on Steam, have them play through them, and then set up some rules that will deny or allow the games on Steam? They really need to fix this now, and not wait until a big enough issue happens, with it taking three weeks or so to apologize for the issue. Sure, by now they have put up some rules, but really, they won’t work.

http://i924.photobucket.com/albums/ad90/camseyeview/sad16.jpg

Sega showed off once again why no one can take Sonic The Hedgehog seriously, with Sonic Boom being one of the top five worst games of 2014. They showed that they honestly have no idea how to stick to an idea that works and build upon it. Plus, they didn’t hand out review copies of a game, and that is always a bad sign when even paid journalists are not allowed to touch this pile of garbage. Personally, SEGA should just be bought out by Nintendo, along with all of the IPs they own. They would know what to do with them more so than any other company.

 photo sad17.jpg

Then you have Ubisoft. Oh boy, where do I start with this company? I love and hated them this year. They released three of my favorite games with Child of Light, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and Valiant Hearts: The Great War. On the other hand, they also came off sexist and lazy with why Assassin’s Creed Unity won’t give the gamer a choice of playing as a female Assassin. They got called out for their excuse that it could cost too much money and resources, when really, it wouldn’t. They also showed that they don’t have the technical know-how to make a good PC port for PC gamers, and saying that the Wii U is not getting any more “hardcore” games and will be getting stuff like the Just Dance series. Watch_Dogs was overhyped for its graphics, and while still having a lot of fun elements, was not the big hacking epic that it was meant to be. Oh, and let us not forget the disaster that was Assassin’s Creed: Unity with buggy-as-hell launches, reviews only allowed to go up 12 hours after the midnight release, and the game not really being that good. It just seems like while Ubisoft is a game developer/publisher and they are a business, one minute, they do something good with the consumers, and the next minute, slap them with the back of their hand. It’s really annoying when they do this, and it doesn’t make me want to invest my time and money into their games. Sure, these companies made/published a couple of great games in 2014, but they still ended up being the most disappointing parts of 2014.

My 15 Favorite games from 2014

 photo 201401.jpg It’s 2015, and we are here to talk about my favorite games of 2014. My rules are that I won’t be adding games that were rereleased, so that means no The Last of U: Remastered, the current gen versions of Grand Theft Auto V, and you get the idea. I just find it lazy, and even though this year was pretty underwhelming in terms of the big budget triple A scene, I still found a lot of fantastic games. If you were a PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One owner, you only got a few good games and loads of disappointment. Truly, this was the year for indie developers and Nintendo. There were a few solid first and third party titles from the other companies, but in the end, Nintendo and the smaller developers won this year. I also won’t be adding games I haven’t played like Far Cry 4, Divinity: Original Sin, or Dragon Age Inquisition. Oh, and no mods because that is also something I consider lazy. Before I begin, I won’t be doing the same thing I did last year and putting my number one favorite at the top so you don’t have to worry about that. Let’s get started with honorable mentions!

P.T.

This is a playable teaser/demo so I don’t really get why people are putting this down as one of their favorite games of 2014. Even if it’s a demo that does everything to make an almost perfect horror experience, it’s still not a whole game. However, if you have a PlayStation 4, and for one reason or another have not tried this demo out, you really should! Or just watch people on YouTube play it.

Infamous: Second Son

This was a truly fun open world game with a solid story and very likable characters. However, the open world areas got a little boring to me, even though I loved seeing the game set in Seattle, but in the end, I found the game a bit repetitive. It’s still one of the best games from 2014, but I have played better action games this year.

Life Goes On

This was a quirky and fun puzzle game with the hilarious gimmick of having to use your unlimited amount of minions and having to kill them to reach your goal. The controls got a little clunky, and the overall game was repetitive, but this is one game I can easily recommend you trying out if you are looking for a fun indie puzzle game!

Bravely Default

This is truly one of Square Enix’s best outings in years. It has a solid turn-based combat system, likable characters, and a lot of customization and clever uses of the more social aspect of the game. Unfortunately, the last third, like everyone has said, drags the experience down, and that one little area where you know it’s monetized to take your money was the game’s downfall. However, if you are looking for a good RPG for your Nintendo 3DS, then you should pick this game up!

Monument Valley

I just bought this game for my phone, and I haven’t beaten it, so I didn’t want to put it on this list, but if you love puzzle games, beautiful graphical presentations, gorgeous ambient background music, and an actually good mobile game, then you should check this bad boy out!

Devil’s Attorney

I just discovered this humorous turn-based RPG a week ago, and since I also have not beaten it, I won’t be putting it on the list. If you love strategic RPG-style games with an extremely funny and witty sense of humor and personality, you should really check this game out!

Tengami

Once again, just finally got around to this game, and haven’t gotten to play it enough. I wish I could, since I love the papercraft style, the music by the fantastic David Wise, and the adventure/puzzle element of the game. If you love games by ex-Rare developers, you should try this out!

Costume Quest 2

This is easily one of the better RPGs and games in general, with a story that is both interesting and hilarious. The combat was enjoyable, but since I played it on the PC, I felt like the technical side of my PC messed with the timing that is needed in the attacks. If you liked the first game, then you should obviously pick up the second game.

Mario Kart 8/ Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS

I sadly didn’t get time to play any of these three games, but since they are first-party Nintendo games and they have that excellent Nintendo flair, you should already own them, and I would highly recommend them since they are from two of my all-time favorite franchises. Let’s get started!

15. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

 photo 201402.jpg

Let’s start off with sequel to a game that I personally enjoy. I really liked Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, but I knew it had its flaws and its angry fans. For me, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 fixed everything that was wrong with the first game. The fixed camera is gone, there were more unique enemies, more bosses, and the story had many great moments. Some of my favorite moments from the story were the scenes where Dracula was talking to his son when he was young. It gave you moments of Dracula’s humanity, and the regret of what he had done to his son. Unfortunately, the game did have its share of flaws, from an underwhelming ending to a sequence of the game I am always going to dread going through. Other than that, I have enjoyed this new take on the franchise, and I can’t wait to see where the next game will go.

The score I gave this game: 8/10

 

14. The Last Tinker: City of Colors

 photo 201403.jpg

In my opinion, this was a fantastic year in terms of what indie developers and smaller downloadable projects were offering. One of the best examples of this was the colorful 3D platformer, The Last Tinker: City of Colors. I really loved this game, because it wasn’t just another pretentious indie project. I loved how colorful the world was, and how it gave off a slightly ominous vibe, like in Rayman 2: The Great Escape. I just wish the game had a more interesting main character and that there were a few more creative bosses that were based around the color mechanics. If you are looking for a fun 3D platformer that isn’t made by Sony or Nintendo, then you should really check this game out!

The score I gave this game: 8/10

 

13. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

 photo 201404.jpg

Talk about one of the only good third-party games of this year. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the best action games, and one of the best games based off the famous fantasy license. Sure, it might feel like the best part of Assassin’s Creed and Batman: Arkham City had a baby with The Lords of the Rings. It has a fantastically satisfying combat engine, the graphics are beautiful, and the Nemesis System is one of the coolest elements of any game. Randomizing which orcs you will be facing and how you can make rivals out of some of them is very unique. I just wish the last hour or so of the game was more satisfying, and that the developers didn’t take some of the cooler battles and put them into the season pass. However, the overall game is fantastic and you should definitely buy this game!

The score I gave this game: 8/10

 

12. Broken Age Part 1

 photo 201405.jpg

While this was my most anticipated game of last year, it was a little disappointing that we are not getting the second part of this fantastic adventure game until sometime this year. However, that doesn’t detract from how much passion there is in this project, and how well executed it is. I loved the duel-sided story, and the humor was, of course, spot on. The voice cast was perfect with big names like Jack Black, Elijah Woods, Pendleton Ward, Wil Wheaton, Jennifer Hale, and Masasa Moyo all giving great performances. Like I said though, even if the game is on a cliffhanger right now and we have no idea when the next part is coming, I honestly can’t wait. If you love adventure games and haven’t tried this game out yet, then you really should.

The original score I gave this game: 9/10. The score I would give it now: 8/10

 

11. The Wolf Among Us

 photo 201406.jpg

Out of the two Telltale Games series that came out this year, I think The Wolf Among Us was the better overall experience. Even though I am not a huge know-it-all about the source material this game is based on, I loved going into this seedy crime-filled world where fairytale creatures live in New York and have to take on new occupations. I liked the relationship between the characters, and that Bigby was not a perfect detective. Granted, the story could come to a halt sometimes, but the overall narrative was pleasant to go through. I think if you are going to choose a Telltale Games’ game to pick up, I would definitely recommend The Wolf Among Us over The Walking Dead Season Two.

The score I gave this game: 8/10

 

10. Child of Light

 photo 201407.jpg

Easily one of the more beautiful games on this list, Child of Light is a fantastic RPG from Ubisoft and the team that was behind Far Cry 3. The battle system is heavily inspired by the underrated Grandia series, which is a breath of fresh air, since it wasn’t trying to be another Final Fantasy VI-inspired combat system. The story was deep, and the characters were enjoyable. However, the art style is really what made this game. Its beautiful watercolor ascetics were breath-taking and gorgeous. It used the same engine as Rayman Legends, so I am not surprised that the game looks amazing. I wish the leveling system made you feel stronger, and while you can tell some parts of your characters were stronger, it didn’t always feel like that. However, if you want one of the best-looking and fun in-depth RPGs that isn’t Divinity: Original Sin or Wasteland 2, then I would highly recommend checking out this downloadable gem.

The score I gave this game: 8/10

 

9. Wolfenstein: The New Order

 photo 201408.jpg

Just like a lot of people, my mind was blown as how the final product that was Wolfenstein: The New Order was and still is an amazing game. It might not be like Call of Duty, but this game is easily the best shooter of the year. On top of having some of the most satisfying gunplay I have experienced in what seems like forever, you also have a great story with investment-worthy characters, a great Tarantino-esque soundtrack, and a satisfying length. Unlike other shooters of this year like Titanfall, Wolfenstein: The New Order has everything you could ever want in a satisfying shooter.

The score I gave this game: 8/10

 

8. Shovel Knight

 photo 201416.jpg

If anyone was having doubts about Kickstarter, all they needed to do was look at the games of this year like The Banner Saga, Wasteland 2, Divinity: Original Sin, and the only one I played this year, Shovel Knight. Normally, I would disregard a game like Shovel Knight because it looks like a dime-a-dozen indie platformer that tries to invoke those memories of the original NES. However, Shovel Knight does more than that. It has complex and unique levels, varied enemies, super exciting bosses, a very catchy soundtrack, and a simple story that gets you wrapped up with its characters. It is truly the best indie platformer out there, and I hope more people can play it when it comes to PlayStation consoles in the future.

The Score I gave this game: 9/10

 

7. Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty

 photo 201409.jpg

If you want to rebuild your original game from the ground up and make it fantastic, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is the way to do it. Personally, I could never get into the original games due to the clunky controls and harsh difficulty. Luckily, they improved upon just about everything and made the game well-designed and easy to get into. Sure, the controls are a little clunky, and some of the hidden areas can be a little too hidden, but the game still has a strong atmospheric soundtrack, a likable hero, and the overall world that the game takes place in is creative and humorous. I know the price of entry might be high for any version that you might get, but I think the developers behind this fantastic game deserve to make more games. I would say bite the bullet, download the game, and support one of the most unique games around.

The score: I gave this game: 9/10

 

6. Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

 photo 201410.jpg

Like I said in my review of this game, I truly hope this game doesn’t get overshadowed, since it’s easily one of the more well-designed puzzle games I have played this year. The whole game is incredibly charming with its bright colors, and cube-shaped worlds, and I think there is enough variety within the gimmicks so that each level offers to keep the game feeling fresh. Sure, a lot of the elements might be from Super Mario 3D World, but in the end, if the game is fun and well-designed, then it really doesn’t matter. Well, to me it doesn’t matter if this is a spin-off, since it’s one of the best overall games of 2014. If you have a Wii U and do not have this game, then you are doing yourself a disservice in terms of not owning this game! The score I gave this game: 9/10

 

5. Valiant Hearts: The Great War

 photo 201412.jpg

Listen, I know this game and another game on the list don’t fully compensate and excuse Ubisoft for an incredibly lousy second half of the year, but you have to give the team at Ubisoft that made Valiant Hearts: The Great War credit for one of the most emotion-drive video games that is based in World War 1. You rarely, if ever, use a gun and instead, the game makes you go through this 2D story-driven adventure game where you follow the lives of four different characters who are from different countries. You want to know how emotionally driven this game was? I cried during the trailers for this game. That’s right! Any game that makes me incredibly emotional just from the trailers is doing something right. Luckily, the emotions and the story are fantastically told. Sure, they might have taken out the British fighter pilot that was shown in the original trailer with no real reason why, and the main German villain was a bit boring, but I went through one of the best narrative-driven games of all time. Heck, it is easily one of my top five favorite games based off of war! If you want to try out one of the best downloadable games of this year, then you should definitely check out Valiant Hearts: The Great War.

The score I gave this game: 9/10

 

4. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

 photo 201411.jpg

I am convinced by now that Retro Studios should just be in charge of a majority of Nintendo’s main franchises, because Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is my second favorite platformer of the year. In my opinion, this is the best game in the Donkey Kong platforming franchise. It has tighter controls, a more reasonable difficulty, and it doesn’t try to be as cheap and clunky as the Super Nintendo games. The boss fights were some of my favorite of 2014, with each of them being challenging and memorable. There is also a lot of content here with the main game and unlockable worlds that will really test your fortitude for difficult platforming. Like I said above, with Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, if you have a Wii U and want one of the year’s best platformers, you need to get Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze!

The score I would have given this game: 9/10

 

3. Little Big Planet 3

 photo 201413.jpg

Even though I really love Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Little Big Planet 3 is my favorite platformer of 2014. The variety in playable characters with their own unique abilities really shows off what you can do with platforming. You’ve got flying, shape-changing, and wall-jumping on a 2D plane, in a super creative world. However, one of the highlights was the villain Neutron, who was performed perfectly by Hugh Laurie of “House” fame. I mean, wow, Hugh Laurie gets lost in that role, and he sounds like he had a lot of fun with it. I will say my only real complaint is, of course, the “create your own level” section of the game. It isn’t bad, but it’s still intimidating to jump into, and I don’t think they have yet found a perfect way to ease gamers old and new into this. It’s why I haven’t made any levels yet. Other than that, I am happy to say that we have yet another great game in this fantastic Sony franchise. Pick it up if you have a PlayStation 4 (the version I got) or PlayStation 3.

The score I would have given this game: 9/10

 

2. South Park: The Stick of Truth

 photo 201414.jpg

Again, Like I said with Valiant Hearts, South Park: The Stick of Truth might not fully excuse Ubisoft’s terrible second half of 2014 behavior, but they certainly published my favorite RPG of the year. I haven’t played Dragon Age Inquisition or Divinity: Original Sin so that means I get to put the game that should have been a failure at launch, but wasn’t, on this list! I mean, how many games that go through development limbo, come out as good as this game does? It is basically if the Paper Mario games on the Nintendo 64 and GameCube were slapped with the characters of the popular Comedy Central show. The writing is slightly offensive, but just like the show, I mean if you are old enough to see it, it is well written. It doesn’t come off as shock value humor with no substance behind it. The turn-based RPG mechanics are fun and satisfying to use, the music is really beautiful, and of course, the people behind this game, Obsidian Entertainment, put out another good RPG. It’s easily one game I came back to multiple times in 2014. So, what is number one?

The score I gave this game: 9/10

 

1. Bayonetta 2

 photo 201415.jpg

For me, Bayonetta 2 was my favorite game of the year. It had a story that focused more on the characters, it gave Bayonetta a more likable personality, the combat was perfected, the boss fights were gigantic and epic, the enemy variety was huge, and even though the multiplayer sequence was not the best part of the game, I found it to be a nice extra. I know I said that the final boss is slightly underwhelming, but in terms of being a satisfying product that I was happy to play through from beginning to end, Bayonetta 2 fills that void, and it keeps showing me why Platinum Games is worth your time, and why Bayonetta 2 is my favorite game of 2014! The score I gave this game: 10/10

Top 9 Games Shown at the PlayStation Experience

 photo playstation01.jpg The PlayStation Experience shows everything that I love about playing games on the PlayStation consoles. There is a lot of variety among the games they offer, and that’s one of the reasons why I love gaming. I know other companies are bringing variety among their libraries, but Sony seems like that’s ‘priority number one’ over everything else. Sure, they have their problems, but there is a reason why Nintendo and Sony are my favorite gaming companies among the big three. These were my favorite announcements, and like my last list, I won’t add Until Dawn and No Man’s Sky because I want to talk about those two games individually.

9. Drawn to Death

 photo playstation02.jpg

I have said in the past that I am not a huge fan of games that are multiplayer focused. They usually lack content, and even though they make a creative universe, they don’t take the time or effort to make a good single-player experience to complement the multiplayer. However, I will have to give David Jaffe credit with his new game, Drawn to Death. The look of the game honestly captures the setting of someone doodling in their high school notebook, since I was well known for doing this sort of thing at my high school. The combat is over-the-top, the character designs are delightfully clunky-looking, and it just seems like a super fun game. We will have to see how much content will be in the base game, but I do have faith that this game will be, at least, a load of fun.

8. Darkest Dungeon

 photo playstation03.jpg

I wrote an article about this game a while back, and I am so happy to hear that it is coming to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, since I always thought the game would work well with a console that has touch screens/touch pad capabilities. I can’t wait to see how this dark, gritty, turn-based, and randomized RPG will end up, and I can’t wait to test my character’s sanity and see if he can survive the darkest of dungeons

7. Orcs Must Die! Unchained

 photo playstation05.jpg

The Orcs Must Die! franchise was, and still is, very popular on the PC and Xbox 360 side of gaming. The mix of combat and tower defenses didn’t really become my cup of tea until I played the fantastic CastleStorm. Now there is a new game in the Orcs Must Die! series called Orcs Must Die! Unchained. The new additions to this entry are the five-versus-five matches, where you can also set traps and summon hordes of minions. I wonder if this will be considered a little too hectic with two five-player teams, and hundreds of minions clashing with another, but the game has enough of a base design and personality to make this a good third game in the franchise. I can’t wait to smash some orcs!

6. Yakuza 5

 photo playstation06.jpg

I’ll be honest. I have been really behind on playing the games in the popular Yakuza franchise. I haven’t played Yakuza 3 or Yakuza 4. However, I am a fan of the franchise. It might have its more over-the-top elements, but it’s easily one of my favorite mature story-based franchises. Plus, it has some of the most satisfying combat in any brawler. Sadly, the popularity isn’t huge all over the world, and gamers here in the states usually end up missing a couple of the games in the franchise. It’s a shame since these games are pretty good! With four playable characters, multiple thugs to crack skulls with, multiple cities to explore, and an intense story, Yakuza 5, will be a blast to play through once it comes here to the states.

5. The Order: 1886

 photo playstation07.jpg

This is easily one of the more promising PlayStation 4 games out there. It has a unique setting. It takes place during London in the 1800s with elements of steam punk, has some pretty solid looking third-person combat and elements of horror. Some areas of the game are covered in a thick fog with werewolves roaming the sewers. With the recent inclusion of an airship level, I can’t wait to see what else this game will offer. I know some people are concerned that it’s going to be a flash-over-substance kind of game, where the story and graphical presentation take precedent over gameplay. For me, I don’t mind the third-person shooter aspect if it’s done well with tight controls and smart AI. Either way, are you ready to trudge through the thick fog-filled streets of London?

4. Fat Princess Adventures

 photo playstation08.jpg

Once again, I skipped over this multiplayer-only game, because you know the only way to fully enjoy a game like this is to play it with friends. However, seeing that they are now taking what was a multiplayer-only game and changing it to something like Magicka 2 and the recent Gauntlet reboot. I like the art style, and you can tell the game has personality. Now the concern comes with how they will make this dungeon crawler unique besides its cartoony art style. If you pay attention to a lot of indie games, the Gauntlet-style game is not very unique, and there isn’t much variation besides art direction. Hopefully, we get to see more of this game in the future. Just be careful getting that slice of cake.

3. Grim Fandango Remastered/Day of the Tentacle: Special Edition

 photo playstation09.jpg

How could I not be excited for this? A polished-up version of one of the best adventure games of all time coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita. I mean, finding a copy is already hard enough. I picked up a European version since it was the cheapest to find. Plus, we are also getting Day of the Tentacle: Special Edition for the same platforms I just listed! Even if you aren’t much of an adventure game fan, but you have enjoyed anything made by Tim Schafer the past few years, you will then hopefully find these two games to be some of your favorites.

2. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

 photo playstation10.jpg

I had a hard time picking which game to put at number one. Both of the contenders had great promise, and I am excited for both games. However, the second place position will be taken by Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. While I don’t really know what to expect with this adventure, it is nice to see some elements from 2013’s Tomb Raider implemented into the game, like having an additional item to help you scale walls and use a grappling hook-like item to swing from areas that are covered in rope. The big reveal at the end is, of course, the best part as we see the phenomenal Troy Baker play the role of Nathan Drake’s older brother. With downright gorgeous looking graphics, and a title like A Thief’s End, the final chapter in the journey of Nathan Drake shall be epic!

1. Tearaway Unfolded

 photo playstation11.jpg

I have put this game number one on a different list, but I have a very good reason to put it as number one here. Media Molecule’s Tearaway Unfolded represents why I love Sony. I mean, first off, Sony said yes to a game that has such a unique look with its papercraft world. Besides Nintendo, Sony seems like the only developer who is willing to try out different ideas and games to offer variety to the consumer. Microsoft is kind of catching onto this kind of business ideal with games like Screamride, but back when the original PlayStation was released, Sony was known for variety. You don’t just have shooters on Sony’s console, you have platformers, horror games, action games, puzzle games, and you get the idea. This is why Tearaway Unfolded is number 1. It represents everything that is good about owning PlayStation consoles.

Top 9 Video Games Shown At the Game Awards 2014

 photo awards01.jpg Whether you cared or didn’t care for The Game Awards 2014, I always watch these kinds of award shows or gaming events for the reveals. I mean, that is what I do, because in the end, an award is an award, but reveals get you excited and show you what is coming down the development line. These are the announcements I loved the most. The one rule I am putting down is that I won’t be including Until Dawn, and No Man’s Sky since I want to make editorials on those two games. This means I also won’t be talking about those two games on another list I am doing in the near future. Now then, let us get started!

9. Hazelight’s new project

 photo awards02.jpg

Even though there wasn’t a whole lot shown off with this announcement, I am definitely excited to see the next project done by the guy who created one of the best downloadable games of last year, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Not a whole lot has been shown off, but one thing I know is that the characters are going to look more realistic, and the setting seems to reflect that as well. All I could get from the CG trailer is that it will revolve around two individuals who are riding a train car. They could be hobos or working guys, due to the sight of a worker helmet as the camera zooms away from the two individuals looking over the night sky. All I can say is that I am looking forward to see what this game will turn out to be.

8. Human Element

 photo awards03.jpg

I like seeing new IPs since it shows that we are allowing new games for potential franchises to be made. Human Element is a good example of this. The game is being made by ex-Infinity Ward designer Robert Bowling, who left after Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The game is a multiplayer-first-person shooter set in an apocalyptic world with everyone’s favorite undead enemy, zombies! I like the idea that the game wants the zombies to be, more or less, second nature, and focus instead on the human element. The success of shows like “The Walking Dead” are fantastic, because they focus on how the humans have adapted, and how much of their sanity remains to not do something that would be considered horrific. I wonder if this game will get the same traction as Day Z, where there have been many reports of players acting like psychos. I am a little concerned that this element of human evolution won’t get as much focus as the developers made it out to be, and that the zombies themselves are not that interesting, but who knows. It might look generic and slightly forgettable, but Human Element is still an interesting idea that can hopefully be a good game next year.

7. ADR1FT

 photo awards04.jpg

“Gravity” was one of my favorite films from last year. It had a lot of atmosphere (no pun attended), intense situations, and it was an incredible experience. ADR1FT is hoping to catch that feeling of being out in space in a rather tragic situation. The movements of the character moving around look rather realistic, and seeing everything float around you is whimsical, but at the same time, scary, since you are a multitude of miles above the earth, and they can’t simply send a taxi cab to come get you when your space station has been torn to pieces. I have a little concern about how the oxygen system will work, since you need to constantly keep it replenished or else, well, you die from lack of oxygen. Anyway, I can’t wait to see more from this game in the future.

6. Godzilla

 photo awards05.jpg

As far as good games based around the giant lizard go, they have been pretty solid. They aren’t all-time favorites to anyone, but the 3D brawlers are really fun and have some of the more satisfying combat in terms of licensed video games. I already knew that Japan was getting this new game, but it’s good to know that this game is coming to the states as well. It will have multiple levels of city-smashing and monster-fighting fun, a diorama mode where you can take epic pictures of Godzilla that you created, and a survival mode of sorts where you fight the best enemies the franchise has ever had. I know this will probably be just okay, but I also know I am going to have a fun time! If I can close this section of the list with any kind of comment, pick this game up! Whether you find it the best thing ever or not isn’t the reason why you should purchase it! That is, unless you don’t mind the game becoming rare and super expensive.

5. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

 photo awards06.jpg

From the monster hunting, to being able to play as another character, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is shaping up to be one of the best grand scale current gen RPGs to be released. In my opinion, the second game was solid, but I found the story to be a little boring and the combat to not be that exciting. Over the past year, and along with this trailer, it seems to be addressing some of my problems with the second game, and since it will have free DLC, you can definitely count on me checking this RPG out!

4. Mario Maker

 photo awards07.jpg

What is essentially Mario Paint for the new generation, Mario Maker, the game where you get to create your own 2D Mario levels seems to be more interesting than what a lot of people have thought. For one thing, they have multiple art styles for you to choose from, you can mix and match different elements to enemies and obstacles, and again, create your very own Mario game with the different styles seen in the 2D games. Granted, I understand why some people aren’t as excited, since you do see a lot of those creative 2D Mario games online, but you know what? I am going to get this game and have fun creating either good or pretty lousy Mario levels!

3. Bloodborne

 photo awards08.jpg

 

It’s been awhile since I have had a game change my opinion so quickly over time. I was cynically thinking that Bloodborne was going to originally be just another Dark Souls, but with a gothic horror paintjob. Luckily, it isn’t that simple. The game has more action-oriented combat, a diverse array of weapons, and a, so far, friendly multiplayer mode. The trailer that was exhibited at the award show also showed something interesting, where the players encountered a deranged hunter, and once they got the hunter’s health down enough, he turned into another beast. What if the player-vs.-player element set up a random situation where you were fighting alongside another player, and if he/she took enough damage, would turn into a monster? That would add onto the already creepy and intimidating atmosphere. I mean, I don’t know how the PVP will work in this game, but I am ready to journey into the gothic horror that is Bloodborne

2. King’s Quest

 photo awards09.jpg

The King’s Quest franchise is one of the most influential adventure franchises of all time. Unfortunately, its difficulty in its puzzles and the fact that you can end up in an unwinnable state, resulted with the franchise not being my cup of tea. The franchise unfortunately died around the late 90s due to the declining popularity of adventure games, and how the last game in the franchise, King’s Quest 8 went in an entirely different direction and failed miserably. Well, for me, all of the game’s frustrating and questionable decisions can all be forgiven if this new game is good. I mean, my first impressions are pretty solid. First off, the art style is beautiful. It really reminds me of those late 70s/early 80s animated films, where the art style is more sketchbook-like, and the designs are a little more interesting. The colors are vibrant, and it adds other gameplay elements like platforming and stealth. The music sounds like it’s filled with adventurous tones, and of course, any adventure isn’t complete unless you encounter a dragon. I can’t wait to get this on my PlayStation 4, and I truly hope it will be an experience filled with fantasy, treasure, and dragons! So, what beat out this epic announcement? Well…

1. New Legend of Zelda

 photo awards10.jpg

Was this a surprise to anyone? Even though I wish we could have gotten a better look at the game than from a TV screen, the game’s current look is downright epic. The grand scale of the map, the return of Epona, the inclusion of slow motion arrow shooting, and knowing that what was shown was just a small portion of the map is impressive. I know this isn’t the first game with a huge open map, but with the combination of the gorgeous art style, this will be one journey worth learning more about in the future!

Top 9 Reasons Why Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric Fails!

 photo sonic01.jpg Sonic Boom: Rise of lyric for the Wii U is considered one of the worst games of 2014. It might even be the worst game of 2014. I still think two or more games I played are worse than Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, but there is a reason why it has been getting so many terrible reviews. This should have been a good game with a developer that was filled with ex Naughty Dog employees, and it could have been interesting if the overall feel of the game was designed better, but nope! SEGA pushed out the game, and now many fans are even boycotting the franchise. That’s saying something when Sonic 06 was once considered the lowest point of the franchise. Even as a spin-off, Sonic Boom shouldn’t have the excuse of being just a spin-off title and therefore not count. How about we dissect in a list why this game is so terrible? I would have done a review of this game, but I felt like there are already so many reviews out that you can check those out on your own. For now, here are my Top Reasons Why Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric Fails!

9. Unpolished Controls

 photo sonic10.jpg

Let’s start with the one element any game should get down, great controls. Sadly, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric does not get that down. The controls aren’t entirely broken, but they feel slippery. I felt like the characters wanted to go Tokyo drift, and I couldn’t turn properly without getting hit by environmental obstacles or enemy attacks. The controls are ruined even more due to the speed sections, and due to the garbage frame rate; you won’t have time to dodge certain obstacles that get in your way. Even if the game is average or mediocre, it’s always nice to say that the controls aren’t a problem. Sadly, that isn’t the case here.

8. The Mediocre Graphics

 photo sonic08.jpg

Time and time again, people like to point out that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are superior in terms of graphical capabilities, and the Wii U is constantly bashed for being about as strong as a PlayStation 3 or whatever. Personally, that doesn’t bother me. With what you can do with art direction, you can come out with some of the best looking games in this console generation. If you need proof, look at Mario Kart 8. Unfortunately, Sonic Boom: Rise of lyric looks like an HD PlayStation 2 or very early Xbox 360 launch title. Textures are flat, lighting is simple, the character models are rough and I honestly couldn’t find one section of the game that looked good. Even the enemy models are soulless, and look cut-and-paste, since the enemy variety is so mediocre that it’s sad. The two design choices that I kind of liked were Dr. Robotnik and Lyric, but even then, due to the terrible graphics, it doesn’t really make it a high point at all. Oh, and don’t get me started about the technical downgrade that happens once another player jumps into the fray. The Wii U might not be as strong as the PlayStation 4 or high-end PCs, but Wii U games can look a lot better than Sonic Boom.

7. Bad Level Design

 photo sonic05.jpg

Throughout the entire game, I never found any of the levels to be well designed. It felt incredibly generic and not unique at all. Sure, there are speed sections, but due to the frame rate and controls, they don’t save the overall bland design of the game. The two overworlds you travel through don’t have any life to them, with the forgettable side characters standing still, and having animation loops. They do add simple elements to support each character’s abilities, like Knuckles being able to climb special walls, and Amy being able to triple jump and run on rails, but I never saw anything special done with those abilities besides the base action. Even the rails that the characters ride on with those electric grapple things don’t get used in any new or dynamic way. You know how in Super Mario Galaxy 2 where they perfected the gravity and spherical level design? Yeah, Sonic Boom doesn’t do any of that. I wish I could say that there was one sequence I could remember that was satisfying and unique, but I can’t!

6. Mediocre Bosses

 photo sonic07.jpg

For me, bosses are a big deal. They should be varied, fit with the overall feel of the game, and challenge the player in different ways. Someone forgot to tell them that since every boss basically acts the same way. Grab an enemy and throw it at them, or you go up close and pummel them into the ground three separate times. Sometimes you get to use your grappling hook item, but the bosses never deviate from these kinds of tactics. It’s rather annoying, and it results with every boss feeling the same. A great example of bosses that all act differently are the bosses from Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. They don’t reuse one boss throughout that entire game! It’s sad that the bosses that you encounter here are nothing more than annoyances.

5. Boring Combat

 photo sonic02.jpg

You know when you play a game like Bayonetta 2, God of War 3, or Yakuza where you get satisfying combat that makes you feel awesome and is fun to watch on screen? Well, you guessed it, Sonic Boom has boring and unsatisfying combat! The combos are very simple to pull off, and the combo grade that goes up the more hits you pull off doesn’t reward you or do anything for said more hits. Even though the characters have their own ways of attacking enemies and bosses, they all feel the same. I didn’t see a difference between the four characters. The worst part of the combat is that it’s basically 60% of the game. In the end, it sucks when you can’t make punching a robot satisfying.

4. Lyric Fails as an Interesting Villain

 photo sonic03.jpg

It seems like SEGA constantly tries to introduce new villains that are either really bland, forgettable or something that is right out of H.P. Lovecraft. Nowhere is this more apparent than with Lyric. Lyric has to be one of the most forgettable villains I have seen in a while. He kind of looks cool, but he is every stereotypical “I hate nature, and machines are the best thing ever” villain you saw throughout the 90s kids films that were about saving the environment. Heck, Dr. Robotnik, the main villain of the series had more personality than Lyric, since he wasn’t just a goofy villain who got comically enraged at his failings anymore. There is just no backstory to Lyric, and I know the Sonic franchise is not known for deep characters, but still, you want to make them interesting. Sure, The Legend of Zelda franchise has tried out different villains, and for a lot of people, they work! You know why? Because Nintendo put effort into crafting them with character and personality! Speaking of crafting personality and character…

3. The Story/Writing

 photo sonic04.jpg

I know this is a game aimed at kids, but even then, I think kids are looking for a story with more substance and writing that doesn’t feel so soulless and doesn’t talk down to them. There really is no story to this game since it mainly just adds up to stop the generic environment-hating bad guy. There are no twists, no in-depth themes, and the characters are walking punchlines with no real personality that differentiates them, with the exception of Knuckles being the big dumb tough guy and Eggman being a little more snarky. Even then, the humor used for Knuckles didn’t really get a laugh from me. I know it’s tough to pull off the “tough, but dumb guy,” but the writing is so boring that the jokes fall flat. The characters also talk way too much, so that it feels disjointed and not natural in the least. The humor also doesn’t work because of the stiff or poor animation that doesn’t elevate the stale voice acting. The story is meant to be a prequel story to the new cartoon show, but it doesn’t do anything to introduce the characters, no backstories for them, and it doesn’t explain why Sonic and friends are constantly fighting Dr. Robotnik. Even Shadow’s backstory isn’t talked about. It all just feels put together, and like I said above, soulless. Don’t even get me started how pointless Shadow is to the overall story, along with every bland and forgettable side character you meet. Kid games should be better, because kids aren’t stupid. They deserve high quality entertainment, and you sure as heck won’t find it here.

2. The Many Technical Issues

 photo sonic06.jpg

While my play-through of the game didn’t have as many bugs as other play-throughs, I won’t deny that the game is a technical and bug-riddled mess. The game’s frame-rate drops below 30, textures and lighting pop up randomly, characters fly through walls or fall through floors, the AI is as stupid as mud, the jumping exploit that Knuckles can use breaks the game, the frame-rate stutters, and you get the idea. It felt like QA testing didn’t get a minute with this game, and while it isn’t a buggy mess like Sonic 06, it’s still bug-filled, and either they didn’t hire a great QA team, or none of the QA reports got through to the designers and programmers. As a former QA tester, that is just awful. The thing that I feel like most big game companies don’t get is that we have QA teams for a reason, so you don’t ship out a buggy game on release, and even then we still have those issues. Anyway, this game should have had at least a couple of more months of testing, but sadly, it never did.

1. SEGA Pushed It Out The Door With No Regards To Quality

 photo sonic09.jpg

 

The worst part about this whole game is that SEGA, the people who made Sonic pushed Sonic Boom out the door with no regards as to how polished the game was. Heck, it was already a sign that the game might suck when no review copies were sent out. What’s even worse is that even if this game was all polished and didn’t run like bubbling piles of waste, the game would still be awful due to the lackluster gameplay and mediocre story. The game would have still been bad, but it wouldn’t be the prime example that SEGA has no freaking idea what they are doing with the franchise. Sure, people like to criticize the Mario and The Legend of Zelda franchise for being same-feeling, but that isn’t true. They are fully polished and well executed franchises, because they still have the same design choices that makes them popular, but build around them and keep what makes them good really good. On the other hand, SEGA, even if they do something good, doesn’t stick with it and build upon it, but rather scraps it for an entirely different idea that isn’t fully fleshed out and is poorly executed. Seriously, the best Sonic game I have ever played is Sonic & SEGA All Star Racing Transformed, a spin-off racing game that is better than most of the main entries in the Sonic franchise. That is pretty sad to think about. In the end, I do hope Big Red Button Games are not shut down due to the failure of this game, but I do think they need to do whatever they want in their next game, and not get stuck with cartoon tie-in video games.

Top 14 Games Shown at Gamescom

 photo gamescom01.jpg Gamescom has come and gone, and some interesting games were announced at the event that really surprised me. First, I want to say that this list will be mostly PlayStation and Xbox oriented. I would have loved to cover anything that Nintendo revealed, but I really can’t, when they don’t show off some Gamescom trailers, so I couldn’t find anything. Plus, they will probably do a Nintendo Direct in the future. My rules here for this list are pretty much the same as the rules I used for my E3 list. It can be a teaser, full trailer, or a gameplay-filled trailer, but I am not accepting developer diaries. I am also not going to talk too much about games I have mentioned on other lists like Little Big Planet 3, since there wasn’t much more shared about that and other games. Don’t get me wrong though, I cannot wait for Little Big Planet 3, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Destiny, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and any of the games Nintendo showed at Gamescom! Let’s get started!

14. Quantum Break

 photo gamescom07.jpg

Let’s start the list with a game that we finally got to see in action, Quantum Break. Remedy Entertainment, the people behind classics like the first two Max Paynes and the Alan Wake series, have yet another ambitious third-person action game on their hands. Not only does this game combine time manipulation, third-person shooting, and enemies that can move through the areas where time has stood still, there is also a show that coincides with the game. From what I can tell, there will be certain parts of the game where you make a choice, and that decision will lead to the episode changing a bit. It’s definitely an ambitious project, but we will have to see how it actually works. Maybe in the future, Remedy Entertainment will show us an episode of the show, and play the game showing the different outcomes to potential consumers so they are not confused about the show that coincides with the game. It might look a little generic, but don’t be fooled, Quantum Break is undeniably a game worth keeping an eye out on for potential Xbox One customers.

13. Roller Coaster Tycoon World

 photo gamescom11.jpg

I have mentioned in a past list that Roller Coaster Tycoon is one of my biggest guilty pleasures, and is a franchise I could easily pick up and play anytime I want. Unfortunately, Atari left a bad taste in some fans of the franchise’s mouths when they announced a new game, Roller Coast Tycoon 4 Mobile for the mobile platform, and that it had micro transactions. Of course, with little to no surprise, the game got panned. Luckily, they announced something awesome with Roller Coaster Tycoon World for the PC, and it won’t be set up like a free-to-play-style game. The game is being developed by Pipeworks Software, the guys behind Godzilla: Save the Earth, Godzilla: Unleashed, and the Devil May Cry HD Collection. Roller Coaster Tycoon World will have all the same elements you love about the original three games, with the inclusion of online cooperative multiplayer for up to four people, and the ability to visit other people’s parks. I will say that while I am super excited for this game. I hope they don’t go down the Sim City route and have it be an utter train wreck on day one.

12. The Tomorrow Children

 photo gamescom14.jpg

I felt bad not knowing about this game until a little bit after the event. The Tomorrow Children is an open sand box game developed by the talented Q games, the developer behind the PixelJunk games and Star Fox Command. The game is all about rebuilding the Soviet-inspired world around you after an incident in 1960s Russia, in which an experiment almost wiped out the human race. In the game, you will have to defend yourself from the threats that may come a’ knocking on your front door. The art style reminds me of something from Stacking, where everyone is a matryoshka doll, and it has that wood polish to the graphics. My only real concern is that this game will need to do more than have a different art style if they want gamers to purchase yet another open world sandbox game that might be like Minecraft. I also wish there was a little more shown, but hey, it’s on this list for a reason, because I was intrigued and excited to see such a game. Let’s hope we will hear some more about this game in the near future!

11. Silent Hills

 photo gamescom13.jpg

So, yeah, why is Silent Hills, what is considered to be the biggest surprise from Gamescom, not in the top 10? Well, for one, while I almost died of a heart attack a few times playing the “playable teaser”, and found myself on the edge of not even wanting to move an inch forward to progress through the demo, I am honestly still not a huge horror gamer. I enjoyed it, as well as seeing that Hideko Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro will be making the game with the main star being portrayed by, and looking exactly like Norman Reddus of “The Walking Dead” fame. It gave me an optimistic view on how this game will ultimately turn out, but I personally found games that were shown off at Gamescom that were more up my alley. However, even with that said, Silent Hills is still one of the best, if not the more surprising announcement from the event.

10. Until Dawn

 photo gamescom15.jpg

Here is a game I thought would never be talked about again, Until Dawn. If you are not familiar with the history of this game, let me explain. It was originally supposed to be released on the PlayStation 3 with PlayStation Movie support, but then went silent for about two years until Gamescom 2014. It has been given a huge facelift, from the graphics to the engine being used. It is using the same engine that Killzone: Shadowfall was using, and I have to say, it looks beautiful. The game also has the talent of indie horror writers Larry Fessenden and Graham Reznick of “Habit,” “Stake Land,” and “The Last Winter” fame. The voice actors they got are also well known, with the talents of Brett Dalton of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” Hayden Panettiere of “Heroes” fame, and Rami Malek from “The War at Home” and HBO’s “The Pacific.” The developer, Supermassive Games also totes that anyone can die in this game. You could have one survivor among the eight teenagers, or have none of them survive. My only real concern is that I hope the star power Until Dawn has doesn’t overshadow mediocre scares. I want to be terrified, I want to be clenching my controller to the point of almost breaking it, and I want to be left with a great cinematic experience.

9. Alienation

 photo gamescom05.jpg

This next game is being developed by the talented minds behind Dead Nation and the super popular Resogun, Alienation. The game feels like a mix of Dead Nation’s isometric combat and gameplay, but with a more arcade-like feel where you fight hordes of enemies, bright colors, and huge explosions. The trailer also shows us that we can either help out allies in need, or go rogue and kill them off. We will have to see what else this game will have hiding, but I am all for supporting Housemarque and their super fun games!

8. Ghost of a Tale

 photo gamescom02.jpg

I was so happy to see this game further into development. In a previous list of this year, I described this game as if you combined the atmosphere of Dark Souls with the world of the Redwall books. There are also some newer elements, like there are now live rat-like creatures, an emphasis on stealth, and our main hero, Tilo, has the ability to equip armor to protect himself from the dangers of rats, giant enemy crabs, and other unknown horrors. We will have to see if this game will be worth our time, or as they said in the trailer, a mere ghost of a tale.

7. Toy Soldiers: War Chest

 photo gamescom03.jpg

After falling in love with the unique and super entertaining CastleStorm, I have been on the lookout for the more interesting tower defense-style games. I then ran into the next game in the Toy Soldiers franchise, Toy Soldiers: War Chest! For people not familiar with this franchise, the whole game puts you into the world of those tabletop-style games, where you take control of, well, toy soldiers! It has a vibe that not a whole lot of games have. This time however, it seems like you will have to fight a new opponent that is filled with delicious gumdrops and rainbows. The overall gameplay still looks to be familiar, but maybe with this new threat, we can get new types of soldiers, combat vehicles, and much much more. The end of the trailer also shows that there are two more unknown factions. I can’t wait to hear more about this game, and if anyone wants to get into the franchise, you can find the first two games for PC and Xbox 360, or get both games with all the DLC for the PC.

6. Rime

 photo gamescom10.jpg

Talk about a developer who pulled a complete 180. Tequila Games went from a side-scrolling zombie game that was underwhelming, to an incredibly beautiful, vibrant, adventure game. I mean, wow, the more times I see footage of this adventure game, I am amazed at how incredible it looks. I remember talking about this game on another list and being concerned about whether there was any combat in the game or not, but luckily, this game is all about getting the young boy in the trailer off the island. All I know is that once this game is released, I will be getting it on my PlayStation 4!

5. Hellblade

 photo gamescom09.jpg

I know not everyone is a fan of the games made by Ninja Theory. You either like Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and Heavenly Sword or you really don’t like them. Personally, I like them, but they do have their flaws. However, I am always interested in any project they announce, and Hellblade is no exception. Some people said that it might be a spiritual sequel to Ninja Theory’s first PlayStation 4 game, Heavenly Sword, but the developer shot that down. It is a new IP, and they will do what they do best and make the game’s main character, Senua, a strong female, and have fast-paced and challenging combat. I wish there was some gameplay shown for the game, but hey, I can’t wait to hear more about it!

4. Screamride

 photo gamescom12.jpg

Even though I am super excited for the upcoming Roller Coaster Tycoon Worlds, it’s not like we haven’t had multiple other theme park or roller coaster building games since the 90s. I am just saying that you will really need to show us what makes your roller coaster building simulator unique. That is why I am more intrigued by Frontier Development’s Screamride. If the developer doesn’t sound familiar, it is the same company that made the 3D Wallace and Gromit games, Kinectimals, Kinect Disneyland Adventures, and Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. From what the trailer shows, the game is all about building fast, adrenaline-pumping rides that will test the human body to withstand intense amounts of speed, and if they happen to die, well, that is all part of the process. I do like the look of the game with its slick, colorful graphics and more cartoony art style. I would like to see more of this game, but whether or not I get an Xbox One by next year, I can still pick it up for the Xbox 360. Let’s hope Frontier Development does a good job in making a fun game!

3. Bloodborne

 photo gamescom06.jpg

At first glance, I wasn’t really excited about this game. I loved the gothic horror art design more than the actual gameplay shown off at E3, but it looked just like Dark Souls, and while that isn’t a bad thing, I wanted the game to be more interesting than just another Souls game with a different paintjob. Luckily, during Gamescom, they confirmed that the game will be more action-oriented and faster, but will still keep combat as challenging as ever. I like this, because I am a guy who prefers faster combat than having it drag on for a while. My only real concern is that even though they sped up the combat, this means they need to tweak the controls to adapt to the quicker fighting. If they have the same clunky controls from Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2, it would make the gameplay more annoying and unfair. I also noticed something in the playable demo where your character wasn’t the only one there, which might hint at some kind of multiplayer mode where you team up with other hunters to take out the city that has been infested. I also like that the enemies are not stationed in one overall location. From what I saw from the gameplay video, they will walk around the city, searching for you or their next kill. I really do hope that this game is going to be more than Dark Souls with a new paintjob, but From Software now has me eagerly awaiting this awesome looking game.

2. Wild

 photo gamescom04.jpg

Even if this makes me a little upset, since we all want to know if famed game designer Michel Ancel will actually start showing us real gameplay for Beyond Good & Evil 2, Wild, his newest game, seems to be a project that can distract us for a bit until more Beyond Good & Evil 2 news starts hitting the airwaves. The setting of this game takes place 10K years in the past, where you can play as a human, a boar, a wolf, or anything as you traverse through the untamed land of that time. The graphics are beautiful, the atmosphere grand in scope, and the music is also well composed. I wish there was a little more gameplay to be shown off with this game, like how combat works, but this was my second favorite surprise from the convention. What was my favorite surprise? Well...

1. Tearaway Unfolded

 photo gamescom08.jpg

I know this is just an enhanced port of a PlayStation Vita game. I know this could be a terrible sign that the Vita will no longer get any newer first/second-party games, but you know what? I don’t care! This was my favorite game shown off at Gamescom. I always loved the games made by Media Molecule, but I never wanted to plop down the cash for a Vita for Tearaway. I like that it isn’t just a straight port, and the game is now fully designed around the PlayStation 4 controller, and oh man, those visuals. The entire paper-craft world is beautiful. It’s like if Paper Mario took full advantage of its name and went into the full 3D realm and had it all look like 3D paper-crafted models. The music shown in the trailer is probably composed by the original game’s two composers, Kenneth C. M. Young and Brian D'Oliveira. They gave the entire game a folk and old-timey feel as you travel across the atmospheric land, using your PlayStation 4 controller to light the way through a dark cave or the touch pad to toss something back at the screen. This will easily be the definitive version of the game, and I wish 2015 was here so I could purchase this game!

Top 5 Most Disappointing Moments Of E3 2014

 photo badbanner.jpg Like I said I would do on my last list, I have made another list to explain the more disappointing aspects of this year’s E3. No E3 is perfect, and some E3 events have been rather terrible, but this year only had a few elements that I didn’t care for. Let us get on with it and list the most disappointing parts of E3 2014! 5. Ubisoft’s E3 conference

 photo badbanner01.jpg

I am going to start this list off with Ubisoft’s E3 press conference, because in my opinion, I thought this year’s conference was not as good as last year’s. I say this because in another conference they had already showed off two of their biggest IPs coming out. I know Microsoft probably paid them a pretty penny to have both Assassin’s Creed Unity and The Division at their E3 press conference, but once it got to Ubisoft to show off what they have planned, we already knew about those two games, and there was a little fatigue for me. I also didn’t care too much for their lineup of games. And then, let us not forget Ubisoft’s ill-thought-out response as to why some of their games don’t have playable female characters, but that’s an issue for another day and another article. Granted, once the conference got to Shape Up and beyond, the conference got better, and the showing of Rainbow Six Siege showed some promise, but in general, I personally didn’t find the conference as enjoyable as last year. 4. Developer Diaries/Teasers

 photo badbanner03.jpg

Listen, I get it, you’d rather show something than nothing at E3, but come on, at least offer a CG trailer introducing some of the concepts of your upcoming game. You know the phrase, “show, don’t tell?” Well, the developers that showed off teasers and developer diaries had that phrase, and reversed it by telling us and not showing much. Developer diaries are fine during any other day, but this is E3. Either show the gamers a minute-long or longer CG trailer or some alpha footage because we already have guys talking on stage about upcoming games. 3. The Constant Teasing

 photo badbanner02.jpg

I bring this problem up because of two things Sony did a little bit before E3 and during their conference there. For those that don’t know, a quickly squashed rumor came up a few days before E3 that The Last Guardian was cancelled, but Sony said it wasn’t. Now, during the E3 conference, they teased an old cult classic PlayStation 1 game called Vib Ribbon, but anything related to a new Vib Ribbon or The Last Guardian wasn’t talked about or announced. Listen, Sony, you can keep telling us that The Last Guardian is still in development, but it’s becoming annoying now that we haven’t seen anything about it for years. Show us that you guys are still working on it, or just flat out cancel it if you aren’t. There are only so many times you can say “you are working on it still” before it gets tiring with no proof to back it up. As for Vib Ribbon, why show it off? Why wouldn’t you say, “we will have something related to Vib Ribbon to announce in the coming months?” I put this issue low on the list because we might see these two games talked about at the Tokyo Game Show or another gaming event, but if not, then they would really have to explain what the deal is with those two games.

 

2. Press Conferences That Overstayed Their Welcome

 photo badbanner04.jpg

The best part of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo’s conferences were that they displayed a lot of variety within 2014 and 2015’s lineup of games. It was just great to see all three branch out with different games, while showing some of the sequels to main franchises at the same time. However, each conference at the event went on maybe a little too long. Sony really stretched their’s out with the whole PlayStation TV segment. I was so sick of hearing about it after the five minute mark. I watch E3 for video games, and while I did like some of the concepts that they talked about when they weren’t showing off new games, I wish they could have made that part much shorter. Or better yet, cut it out and save it for a different tech convention. I can understand why some are 45 minutes to an hour, but when they almost reach the two hour mark because of padding, you get bored and impatient, because really, you want to know about the games. 1. EA’s Press Conference

 photo badbanner05.jpg

If there was one company that I think had a pretty mediocre conference, it was EA. Sure, it had Dragon Age: Inquisition, a scripted gameplay demo of Battlefield Hardline, and some more footage of Mirror’s Edge 2, but I don’t think I have ever been so bored with a conference. You would think that with a lineup of disastrous game launches from last year, they would show that they have become a better company and show it to the gamers whose trust has been betrayed. However, they once again focused a majority of the conference to their sports games that, let us be honest, don’t change up too much. I think if they really wanted to be in the good graces of the consumers they ticked off with games like Sim City and Battlefield 4, they would have showed off some actual alpha gameplay of Mirror’s Edge 2, and maybe a CG trailer for Star Wars Battlefront. I know they showed off The Sims 4, but I honestly don’t know how excited people are for it, and I personally don’t care for the franchise. I just wish EA would take a few chances on some awesome new IPs, give their sports games a two-year development run instead of a yearly release, and make sure they don’t have another boring conference again.

Top 21 Favorite Games Shown Off At E3 2014

 photo E32014banner.jpg E3 has come and gone, and I am here to list my favorite games shown off at this year’s E3 conference. Before we start, let me get this out of the way, this is my list! If you disagree with my list, that is fine. Tell me your favorite games that were shown off during E3! In my opinion, this was one of the best E3s in years. All three of the big companies exhibited some great games coming from different developers. People who thought that E3 has sucked this year, I think are either being too harsh on the event or are just pessimistic grumps. However, just so I don’t look like some kind of jerk, I will be making a separate list of disappointments of this year’s E3, since there were some elements that I didn’t like. Let us set some ground rules so this list isn’t a million games long. The first rule is that no matter if the trailer had gameplay or just a CG trailer, it counts. The second rule is that no games that had a developer diary-style reveal during the conference will be on the list. This means no Star Wars Battlefront or Mirror’s Edge 2. The third rule is that I am only going to focus on bigger games, so you won’t see many indie or downloadable games. The fourth rule is that it can be a game that has either been shown from an earlier or the new E3. The final rule is that I am not going to put too many games on this list that I already have put on other lists. If you want to check those out, go to camstop10lists.wordpress.com. I will hyperlink this entire article with the specific lists of the past, so you can see where I am coming from. Let us get started with some honorable mentions! • Phantom Dust 2: This was a pretty cool announcement from Microsoft that they were making a sequel to a cult classic game on the original Xbox, but since I know little to nothing about the original game, I wasn’t as excited about this game as other people were.

Entwined: This was a very graphically beautiful game with some interesting gameplay mechanics. I have just downloaded it on my PlayStation 4, so I haven’t had a lot of time to play it, but I would definitely check it out if you are a fan of Sony’s download gaming library.

A Multitude of Indie/downloadable games: I was going to list a bunch of indie games in this section of the list, but there were so many, I had to put them all into one place. You have games like Aztez, White Night, Cuphead, The Last Tinker: City of Colors, Inside, Woolfe, Shovel Knight, Tengami, Mech Runner, Ori and the Blind Forest, Forced, Never Alone, Project Cars, Oddworld: New ‘n’Tasty, Hellraid, Valiant Hearts: The Great War, Grave, No Man’s Sky, Mighty No. 9, Hyper Light Drifter, Nero, Magika 2, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Secret Ponchos, Source: A New Adventure, and many more. Seriously, I could have made a separate list for all of the indie/downloadable games being shown off. In fact, I am going to make my own list for downloadable games that were shown off at E3 2014. This means you won’t see ABZU on the list. Plus, I already made a list of downloadable games to look out for this year on my site.

Mario Maker: We will definitely have to see how this interesting “make your own levels” game turns out, and see how much it will cost to download. I bet this will be a downloadable title. Who knows, maybe we can get a new Mario Paint out of this if this game sells well.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: This game easily had one of the best trailers, and is one of the best looking games to be shown at E3, but I am not the biggest Metal Gear Solid fan, and that is why it is here in the honorable mentions category.

Battlefield Hardlines: I got to play the beta of the PlayStation 4 version, and when I wasn’t dealing with lag, I had a lot of fun with a shooter that is basically Payday 2, but with a bigger budget and scale. I wish I didn’t run into some really terrible lag during a couple of matches in the last few days. I also wish that when you spawn in an area where a lot of team members are, you could get three seconds of invincibility. I say this because I died so many times spawning where my team is, because I didn’t get a good chance to take in my surroundings. It also still felt too military shooter-like, if that makes any sense. Anyway, I love the fact that it isn’t another modern-day military shooter. Hope this game works out!

Destiny: I had a lot of fun playing the alpha build of this game with different people online, but I wish there were a couple of more quests, since the little side quests you do during one of the levels got boring. However, I did really enjoy how the guns felt and how you controlled your character. The AI was pretty solid, and hearing Peter Dinklage as your AI companion was pretty sweet!

Final Fantasy Type-0: This was a very fun announcement that we are finally getting this PSP game, but in HD and for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. I want to hear more about it though, and I am honestly not too well-informed about the original game. Anyway, it was a great little announcement for the gamers that wanted this game stateside.

Dead Island 2: I am not a huge fan of the first game, but the second game’s trailer was a lot of fun to watch. It was one of the more entertaining CG trailers shown off this year.

Project Spark: I am honestly not too upset about seeing Conker as DLC for the game like everyone else is, but I already talked about this “Little Big Planet for Xbox One” on another list. I just want to know how much premade levels and adventures will be in the game so players can get comfortable with the controls and mechanics that the experience will offer. I would hate for the first few hours of this game be the player going through menus. Hopefully, it’s a fun and immensely creative game!

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt: The gameplay shown off was very promising, and I love the fact that there is a focus on finding giant creatures and slaughtering them. Of course, I have some concerns, like encountering a lot of glitches due to the game having a huge free-roaming world. However, I enjoyed my time with The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and I bet I will enjoy my experience with The Wild Hunt next year. I just wish there was some more gameplay shown off during the Microsoft conference, instead of them cutting some footage out.

Rise of the Tomb Raider: A sequel to one of my top 10 favorite games of last year? Awesome! I was hoping to see a bit more of the game than simply the trailer, like the setting of the next game, or frankly, anything at all, but I guess we will have to wait till another Comic Con or the VGX to get more information for the next game.

Uncharted: A Thief’s End: I was pleased to see we are getting the next game in the franchise, and not only that, but it might be the last game in the franchise, or at least the last game to have Nathan Drake, played by Nolan North, as the main character. I wish there was a little more information about the story and some gameplay, but all I know is that if they take the deep and well developed story of the third game, and increase that by 10, they will definitely blow me away.

Star Fox U: I am honestly very elated to see a new Star Fox in development, and the tech demo shown off so far, where you basically use the gamepad for the majority of the gameplay, was ambitious. I did enjoy seeing this, but I want to see some more info about it at a later date to get a better idea about the project. Seeing only the tech demos is why you won’t see Miyamoto’s other Wii U projects on this list, like Project Robot and Project Guard. All three games, though, look fun and I can’t wait to know more about them.

Now then, let the official list begin! 21. Fable Legends

 photo E307.jpg

I am starting this list off with a game that I think has some true potential of lifting the franchise out of the bad rap that it has had for almost its entire lifespan, Fable Legends. Not only is it a game where you can play with three of your friends with four diverse characters, but the ability to have a fifth player be the villain and screw over the hero’s plans seems like an interesting gimmick. I am putting this entry at the beginning because even though the gameplay footage was nice and showed off the game’s beautiful art style, it is still a game from the Fable franchise, and who knows how amazing of an experience the final product will be. This game looks promising, and I hope it’s enjoyable for the owners of the Xbox One. 20. Let it Die

 photo E310.jpg

I am always up for something from Suda 51, and even if you don’t care for his philosophy on game design, you will still get quite an experience from any game that he makes, and Let it Die is no different. We only got to see some snippets of gameplay, but it looks as if “Saw” and “Battle Royale” had a baby, and that baby became a very violent video game. There isn’t much else to it, but it looks like it will be a brutal multiplayer melee combat game. This game has been recently revealed to be a free-to-play multi-player experience, which worries me a little with how that element will be handled, but I am willing to check it out, nonetheless. Heck, getting any multiplayer game that doesn’t revolve around you having a gun and fighting Russian terrorists is A-Okay in my book.

19. Devil’s Third

 photo E313.jpg

Here is a game I didn’t expect to hear about this year, and from Nintendo of all publishers. For a cliff notes history guide of Devil’s Third, this game was from the mind of Tomonobu Inagaki, the creator behind the first two 3D Ninja Gaiden games. It was going to be published by THQ for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. However, THQ went belly-up, and Nintendo picked this game up and it will be only coming to the Wii U. For those that don’t know about the gameplay, it is a fast-paced 3D action game, mixed with first-person shooter elements. If I had a way to describe the action for those that haven’t seen the recent trailer, think of ID Software’s Shadow Warrior, but double all the charm and fast-paced action that the original game had. I mean, how over-the-top can you get than using a katana as a throwing knife and having a main character that looks like Vin Diesel just got out of the tattoo parlor? The trailer, shown off at E3, actually reminds me of something Robert Rodriguez would make, like “Machete.” I just hope there is enough substance in this insane action game for me to care about the characters. Either way, whether we get story substance or not, this game looks incredibly fun, and I give Nintendo credit for investing in a rather unexpected IP.

18. Mario Party 10

 photo E311.jpg

I have to say, I really enjoy this fifth player element that some of the games at E3 were showing off. First up was Microsoft with Fable Legends, and now it’s Mario Party 10, where a fifth player can play as Bowser. I am so glad they showed that part in the trailer, because I was worried due to the fact that the gameplay seems to be similar to Mario Party 9 and Mario Party: Island Tour. Granted, I don’t mind the streamlined look, but it ruined a majority of the random elements that people enjoy about Mario Party games. However, I will say the levels and mini-games shown off in the trailer looked like a lot of fun. I am probably one of the few people who think there isn’t a bad Mario Party game, but who knows, maybe Mario Party 10 can win back the people who thought the series was done with after the third game. 17. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

 photo E305.jpg

In this new console generation, gamers want to see more new ideas be brought to life, while at the same time, still have sequels to one of our favorite franchises, which is why I am very interested to see how this new game, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will turn out. It has already been described as a turn-based strategy RPG with more emphasis on action-oriented gameplay. A lot of people have compared the game to Sega’s Valkyria Chronicles, and that is my favorite strategy RPGs of all time. I also couldn’t help but love the setting where you play as a swat team sent out by Abe Lincoln to rid the world of aliens. If you can’t have fun with a setup like that, then there is something wrong with you. 16. Batman Arkham Knight

 photo E302.jpg

I don’t really need to say much about why this game is going to be awesome. It’s Rocksteady, the batmobile gameplay shows off how beastly the vehicle is, the Scarecrow will play a big role in the game’s story and is being voiced by John Noble of “Fringe” fame, and the game doesn’t have a tacked-on multiplayer that no one cares about. I think this will be on a lot of people’s list of favorite games shown at E3, and it is no different with me. I mean, when it has all of those elements that I listed above, how can this game be anything but a masterpiece? 15. The Order: 1886

 photo E317.jpg

When I made my list of the most anticipated games of this year, I put this game in the honorable mention section of the list, because we weren’t getting too much information about it. Luckily, we got some more on it, and I have to say, this is going to be one heck of a current gen shooter. The gameplay shown at E3 looks like the entire experience will have an incredibly thick atmosphere with the damp steampunk world that they throw you into. Thick fog covers the streets, and knowing that there are werewolves out there in the city doesn’t make the atmosphere around you any less intense. I also give the developer credit for having weapons that would be around during that time period, but giving them a little twist. I mean, did you see that thermite gun? That thing was awesome to see in action! Plus, this is another shooter that doesn’t have multiplayer. I love that some developers are wising up to the fact that not every game with a gun needs a multiplayer component. Sometimes, a well-crafted single-player experience is all you need to make a game like The Order: 1886 enjoyable.

14. Scalebound

 photo E312.jpg

When I first heard about the rumor of Platinum Games making an exclusive game for the Xbox One, I was concerned, since this rumor came up when the Xbox One still came bundled with the Kinect. I didn’t want it to be true, but after seeing the CG trailer of their new game, Scalebound at E3, I remembered, “Hey! This is Platinum Games! These guys made some of my favorite games of the past console generation! Of course it is going to be good!” I have to say, even though people hate on CG trailers, it is at least something to show the public, unlike developer diaries, which show barely anything. I mean, what more do you need to know about Scalebound? It is a creative action game where you can team up with your very own dragon to fight giant monsters! All I need to say is yes, Platinum Games, you can have my money when this game comes out! It will be one of two games that convinced me to get an Xbox One.

  13. Grim Fandango Remake

 photo E301.jpgShortest explanation ever! It is a full-fledged remastering of one of the best adventure games of all time. What else do I need to say? Well, besides making sure the controls are smoother? Actually, the only thing that would make this announcement even more incredible is if they announced a PlayStation 4 exclusive sequel to Psychonaughts.

12. Hyrule Warriors

 photo E308.jpg

I have mentioned before that I am not the biggest fan of these Dynasty Warrior-style games due to the fact that they all feel the same. However, with this collaborative effort between the Dynasty Warrior team and Nintendo, it seems like this specific game will have much more substance to it. Even though on the outside, it looks like just another Dynasty Warriors, from what I have seen and heard, there are some small changes to the overall design. The changes might not be major, but seeing that you can target enemy generals like you would in a Zelda game, obtain items for possible RPG customizable weapons, and have large boss-type enemies thrown into the battle definitely give this game some new life with said style of game. Plus, it’s Dynasty Warriors mixed with The Legend of Zelda. How awesome is that? 11. Splatoon

 photo E314.jpg

I’ll be honest; I don’t really care for games that give you a multiplayer-only experience. I feel like they always lack content, and these kinds of games have a wide range in terms of how good and creative they can be. Well, Splatoon showed me that Nintendo has a fun-looking and imaginative multiplayer-only game up their sleeve. The idea of using ink-based weapons, along with the ability to swim inside the ink to get across the maps faster, makes me ponder all the strategy that can go into those two simple game design choices. Maybe in one round, someone can be in charge of making sure there are long winding paths across the field so the other team members can traverse the field with speed and as much grace as a squid can muster. Granted, the look of the human forms are kind of weird, but when this game looks like so much fun and is so colorful, I think this is one game that will prove to be very good for Nintendo. The only thing that is of concern is the amount of content you will be getting upon the release. I mention this because so many games like Titanfall failed due to the fact that they had a serious lack of content when they first came out and you had to then spend more cash on a season pass. Hopefully, Splatoon will spray ink in all the right directions, and not blow up in your face.

10. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS

 photo E316.jpg

I don’t think I need to explain why this game is on my list. It has a couple of surprising character reveals, with Palutena from Kid Icarus, Pac-Man from, well, Pac-Man, and the inclusion of Mii fighters that have three different fighting styles and customizable moves. At first, I wasn’t too impressed with having two different versions of the same game, but from I have seen in the past couple of trailers, I am going to get both. I mean, what is more appealing than having a Super Smash Bros. on the go? It really doesn’t matter which version you get, since well, this is Super Smash Bros., and there isn’t a bad game in the series.

9. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

 photo E303.jpg

Out of all the games coming out this year, I really hope Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor doesn’t get overlooked. I know it is coming out the same day as Dragon Age: Inquisition, Driveclub, and Alien: Isolation, but I personally think that Shadow of Mordor is one of the more ambitious games coming out, due to the Nemesis system. Hearing that the game’s main baddies will be different each time you play through the game, due to what actions you perform, it’s like having rogue-like elements in the enemies you fight, instead of those elements randomizing the levels you play through. I also like the idea of the main character teaming up with a “being of fantasy” that is usually an enemy in any other fantasy-oriented RPG. The voice cast is also impressive, with big names like Troy Baker, Nolan North, Laura Bailey, and Liam O’Brian. My only concern is that since the melee combat has similarities to the Assassin’s Creed franchise, the AI will play Red Rover with you, and take their turns getting killed. With a promising story, and interesting gameplay mechanics, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is shaping up to be an intriguing game later this year.

8. Yoshi’s Wooly World

 photo E319.jpg

I was quite happy to see this game at E3. We haven’t heard much about it since its announcement last year, and I was hoping it didn’t get shelved for something else. To see what the game will look like in motion is just eye-catching. Just like with what I said about Kirby Rainbow Curse, a unique art style will take you far. This is also interesting since this is the first 3D console-based Yoshi platformer we have gotten in years. The entire world does look like it was hand-stitched, and it looks amazing. I also love that they take advantage of the fact that Yoshi is made of yarn, and take the inspiration from Kirby’s Epic Yarn to have Yoshi be able to take different shapes for certain actions. It shows while having realistic-looking graphics and characters are fine, there is still room for super colorful cartoony and creative games like Yoshi’s Wooly World. 7. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

 photo E309.jpg

I originally wasn’t going to put this game on the list since I wasn’t a super-huge fan of the original Canvas Curse, and not because it was a bad game, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. That is, until I watched the game in motion. I fell instantly in love with this game’s claymation art direction. It shows that having a game that has a fun art style can go a long way in making it stand out. I loved that they actually made the game look like something from “Gumby” or “Wallace and Gromit.” I think another reason why I love this game’s look is because it reminds me of those old Nintendo power magazine covers that had some clay figurines or a Claymation set on the cover to advertise a new game or something. It’s really charming. The gameplay itself, where you control Kirby as he is in a ball form for a majority of the game, was interesting, and there seems to be a lot of depth behind this one mechanic. Hopefully, we will hear more about whether this will be a downloadable experience, or an experience where you can get a physical copy of a rather beautiful and entertaining looking game. 6. Zelda U

 photo E320.jpg

I am usually pretty excited when it comes to knowing more about the next game in the Zelda franchise, but wow! I did not expect for the next Zelda game to look like this. I mean, those graphics are exquisite. So many bright colors fill up the screen, and the designs are gorgeous. Hearing that it will be an open-ended adventure excites me more, since it will give the franchise a much needed facelift. Hey, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword might be my favorite 3D Zelda game so far, but even I will admit that game needed more exploration. Another element that caught my eye in the trailer was the kind of arrow being shot at the creature that was attacking our main character. Could this mean that we will have different types of arrows? Maybe we will have more variation and small RPG elements to differentiate the weapons one from another. Who knows, but man, I can’t wait to hear more about this game. 5. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

 photo E306.jpg

Super Mario 3D World was my second favorite game from last year. Its creative level design, bosses, and platforming were top-notch. Another reason why I enjoyed 3D World was because of the inclusion of these Captain Toad side-levels that broke up the gameplay a little. They added some fun, but challenging puzzle levels. I was happy to see that those little levels are now going to be the focus of a new game. The gameplay is still the same here, where you control Captain Toad and help him traverse small Super Mario Galaxy-type levels without the ability to jump on your enemies. A few new gameplay elements were thrown in to expand on the overall design of the original. You have new power-ups, like a pickaxe, to go through stone, and some more interactive elements like a mine cart, rail-shooter section. What else can I say, but I am really looking forward to this game when it comes out this holiday season?

4. Little Big Planet 3

 photo E321.jpg

I will be honest, I screamed like a girl seeing a boy band live for the first time when I saw this game being shown at Sony’s E3 conference. I have a personal attachment to the franchise, since Little Big Planet was the first game I got for my PlayStation 3. The platformers are already incredibly well designed and creative, but with the addition of three new playable characters with diverse abilities will bring even better implemented gimmicks into the levels. Plus, the trailer has cow racing, which is pretty much an instant win.

3. Sunset Overdrive

 photo E315.jpg For me, Sunset Overdrive represents everything that I wanted to see from Microsoft in terms of giving the owners of the Xbox 360 and Xbox One a special experience. This game has bright, colorful graphics, a fun cartoony art style, a creative weapon variety, and something different from Halo and Gears of War. Along with Platinum Games’ Scalebound, Sunset Overdrive is the reason why I am going to get an Xbox One in the future. The gameplay shown before and during E3 looked so incredibly fun! You basically parkour and grind on rails to get across the mutant-infested city, using a diverse set of weapons that only the minds of Insomniac Games could come up with, like a gun that shoots exploding teddy bears! This game also symbolizes the return of Insomniac’s incredibly creative minds, since the last couple of games, like Fuse, was underwhelming. You can count on me rail-grinding across the mutant-infested Sunset City, and kicking some mutant butt in the future! 2. Bayonetta 2

 photo E304.jpgIn my most anticipated games of 2014 list, Bayonetta 2 made it to number 3, and well, it’s still one of my most anticipated action games of this year. Bayonetta 2 has stylish action, great enemy design, a story that you really shouldn’t take seriously, and with the recent trailer, it comes bundled with the original game and some Nintendo-oriented costumes that Bayonetta can wear. What more could any fan of the first game ask for?

1. Xenoblade Chronicles X

 photo E318.jpgHow do you improve upon one of the best RPGs of the last generation of consoles? You make it an epic space opera, and add in elements of western-oriented RPGs! Xenoblade Chronicles X improves upon every aspect of the original Xenoblade Chronicles by having the players create their own characters, customizable classes, and an improved combat system. With the giant robots that you can pilot, there is a whole lot that this game brings to the table that already makes it a sequel that improves and builds upon the original. I give Monolith Soft a lot of credit for tackling a JRPG with a western RPG point of view. It shows that they are willing to go against traditional JPRG game design and make something interesting. I know this is one game that will steal a lot of hours out of my life next year, and I don’t mind that one bit.

As you can tell, even if I didn’t do honorable mentions and a separate list for independently made games, this list would be as big as Godzilla. However, I think that is the best thing about this year’s E3. There was a lot to like about it. It really had everything for any kind of gamer, and I hope next year, they can do even better.

15 Other Games To Be On The Lookout For In 2014

 photo Fotor0417215459.jpg As we head to the halfway point of this year, I decided to make another list of some more games to be on the lookout for. If you haven’t already seen my list of my most anticipated games of this year or the downloadable games to be on the lookout for, go check those out since I won’t be adding those games to this list. How about we get right to the point? Here are some more big budget and indie developed games to be on the lookout for this year. 15. Tales of Zestiria

 photo talesbanner01.jpg I am starting off the list with the newest game in the popular Tales Of franchise, Tales of Zestiria. I would have put down Tales of Xillia 2 on this list, but Tales of Zestiria, in my opinion, is the more interesting game. I like the idea of the main character that is optimistic like Llyod Irving from Tales of Symphonia and not an emotional prima donna or some soulless tough guy like Asbel Lhant from Tales of Graces f. It’s a nice change of pace, but hopefully, he doesn’t turn into a Gary-stu kind of character. It’s interesting to note that it’s being made for the PlayStation 3, not 4. This game is coming out all over the world at once and not a year later for the states or Europe. Anyway, I can’t wait to hear more about the game’s open ended combat and the characters you meet in the upcoming RPG from Bandai Namco. 14. Deep Down

 photo deepdownbanner01.jpg I am flip flopping with how excited I am for this game. When it was first announced, I was interested. After more trailers, gameplay, and demos were being shown around to everyone, I was getting more excited for this dungeon crawling RPG. The combat looked interesting with each weapon having its own move set and play style, which reminded me of Monster Hunter, the dungeons being randomized will throw a wrench into any premade plan you had, and it looks like it’s trying to take a page or more from the Dark Souls franchise where every battle counts. The monster designs also look nice and each trailer has had fantastic music in it, so hopefully the soundtrack is great to listen to. However, the one thing that might turn off a lot of gamers is the fact that the game is free to play, and knowing how easily companies have abused this system, it could really ruin the experience. This game is also being made by Capcom and if you know their popularity right now, you would know that they aren’t the most respected company as of late. I also find that the demos that have been shown are not the most interesting since it looked like they got people to play them who haven’t had to time really sit down and play it enough to know how the complexity of combat works. However, I still think this game has some potential and since this game will be on the PlayStation 4 and its free-to-play, you won’t need to have a PlayStation Plus membership to find some friends and raid some dungeons.

13. Alien: Isolation

 photo alienisolation01.jpg I wish we could all forget that disastrous launch of last year’s Aliens: Colonial Marines, but we can’t and you can thank Gearbox Software for that. Luckily it seems like The Creative Assembly, the creators of the Total War games, is picking up the slack by creating a game based off the Alien franchise that is actually terrifying. I mean, I think we have all had this nightmare one time or another, being stuck in an unknown location with a creature stalking you and wanting to kill you. You have no way of defending yourself and you must make it past the creature without it knowing you are there. Basically, this is the big budget version of games like Outlast and Routine. My only major concern is that The Creative Assembly is known for incredibly buggy launches with a lot of features not there in the initial release of the game and that is why it’s up here on the list. Oh, you probably don’t know about Routine. Well… 12. Routine

 photo Routinebanner01.jpg Routine is yet another first person exploration survival game with some horror elements. The indie scene is filled with them, but this one stood out to me. It takes place on a space station on the moon and you have no idea what happened or what caused this weird event that made everyone vanish. You only have one life and the game is apparently supposed to be very difficult. This is also another one of those games where you need to find out what happened yourself, as the game won’t tell you through cut scenes. It is definitely an interesting game, but I can see the “one death equals game over” ordeal ending in two ways. The first way is that it is such an addicting experience that it makes you want to keep replaying the game and making sure that you don’t die by the hands of whatever is crawling around the base. The other way I can see this is ending is that the game is way too punishing and it makes going through the game over and over again tedious and not worth it. Hopefully they find that right balance of fear of the one life design choice and making sure you feel like you aren’t getting some cheap way of patting since the game is really short. 11. The Evil Within

 photo theevilwithinbanner0.jpg Some people were disappointed that I didn’t add this game to my most anticipated, but after some time thinking about it and seeing some success with games like Outlast, my opinion changed and I am hopefully going to get into more games around horror and survival with the help of The Evil Within. The footage we’ve received so far gives the game this grim and terrifying atmosphere and will hopefully give you the actual feeling of being powerless without having to go the route of clunky controls or other design choices that artificially make you feel powerless, but it makes the game more annoying. Then again, this is Shinji Mikami, the designer and creator of the Resident Evil and Dino Crisis franchise. Hopefully this game will frighten us in a good way a few months from now.

10. ReVeN

 photo ReVeNbanner01.jpg Even though I am not too fond of the Kickstarter games that are trying to make the next Super Metroid since there are a lot of those floating around the indie scene, ReVeN does seem like one of the few Super Metroid inspired games that at least changes up the gameplay a little. The gameplay that you would normally see in the Metroid franchise is mixed with upgradable abilities and the added gameplay of mining for minerals that will help you with your journey. I also liked the atmosphere from what I saw in the Kickstarter video. It’s very barren and if you are going to do a Super Metroid style game, you better get the atmosphere down right. Just a personal gripe, I do wish the character’s main animation didn’t look so much like Samus, but I guess that is something I should expect since they are replicating the Super Metroid design. Anyway, this game has at least caught my attention and I helped back it and can’t wait to review it in the future.

9. Project Spark

 photo projectsparkbanner01.jpg This is probably the only Microsoft game that I am actually looking forward to. It is basically if LittleBigPlanet was owned by Microsoft. The game has a lot of create-your-own levels and game kind of content and it actually looks really fun. The gameplay shown at E3 showed some real promise and it seems like the public betas have been going over well for the Xbox One and PC versions. I am glad I can get this game for my Xbox 360 since I really don’t have a reason to plop down $500 for a console that might be going back to its DRM roots. Either way, for me, if there was a reason to get an Xbox One with its “we’re not letting it go even though it’s a flop” Kinect, I would personally get Project Spark. 8. The Crew

 photo thecrewbanner00.jpg I‘ll be honest, a lot of the racing games I am looking forward to are from indie developers since I am not too excited for Sony’s Driveclub. However, Ubisoft’s The Crew looks to be an interesting racer that focuses on an open-ended environment where you can race alone or with friends through missions and trophy races. It also looks great in the graphics department. Hopefully, The Crew can fix up a nice strong muscle car for us to drive in while we wreck @#$% up and drive around an alternate United States. 7. Murdered: Soul Suspect

 photo murdered01banner.jpg While the dead detective and detective style games are nothing new, Murdered: Soul Suspect hopes to bring you into the world of the recently passed detective, Ronan O'Connor. At first, the game looked like L.A. Noire mixed with Ghost Trick, and while it is, it does have some interesting elements like having to deal with the paranormal, having to either hide or fight your way through ghosts, and having side investigations with other spirits that roam the town of Salem. The game is coming out in June for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PC, and Xbox One so you have a multitude of ways to get your hands on this interesting mystery game. 6. Drakengard 3

 

 photo drakengard3banner01.jpg I was surprised to hear about this game a year or so ago, since it’s the third game of a series that was originally from the developer Cavia, the same people who made Nier. It looks like the gameplay of Dynasty Warriors while mixing elements of riding a dragon, picking from a multitude of weapons, and choosing different characters intact. The characters from what I have seen also seem more interesting since the first two games didn’t have that many interesting or memorable characters. This game is coming out for the PlayStation 3 later this month and I can’t wait for it. Oh, and speaking of games with Dynasty Warriors gameplay…

5. Kingdom Under Fire II

 photo kingdomunderfire2ban.jpg If you haven’t heard about this game, don’t be surprised. It has been in development since 2008 and was originally going to be for the Xbox 360, but is now coming to the PlayStation 4 and PC. The game combines elements of real-time strategy games, MMOs, and like I said above, Dynasty Warriors. I didn’t find out about this game until a few weeks ago and after I checked out some of the gameplay in this title, I got hooked. It looks fun even if the grunt enemies look like they have the same intelligence as a bag of broken hammers. I think the only thing that kind of bugs me about this game is the female player designs. Fanservice is fine, but the outfits are a bit much. Kind of reminds me of how some of the female characters look like in TERA Online. Anyway, skimpy outfits or not, this game looks like it’s going to be fun! 4. Wolfenstein: The New Order

 photo wolfensteinneworder0.jpg I have said in the past that if a first-person shooter wants to grab my attention, it has to have something that gets me interested. The first time I read up the info about this new Wolfenstein, something stood out to me. The one thing that got me excited about this game was the fact that it was single-player only. That is right. This means, the game won’t have tacked on multiplayer. Even the story looks interesting in its alternative World War II universe where the Nazis have taken over the world. The story looks like it will be serious, but over the top, which reminds me in how Tarantino does his movies. Heck, it reminds me a lot of Metro: Last Light and Inglourious Basterds combined into one hopefully entertaining experience. However, I am not happy that this game has a collector’s edition that doesn’t come with the game. That is just stupid. Hopefully this Bethesda published game will give us a fantastic varied shooter experience since that is what we need nowadays.

3. Bound by Flame

 photo boundbyflamebanner01.jpg Since we have to wait for The Witcher 3 next year and we still don’t have a release date for the new Dragon Age, hopefully Spiders’ Bound by Flame will keep us satisfy the gamers who want a grand multi hour RPG to sit next to our copy of South Park: The Stick of Truth. If you don’t know about this developer, they made a popular game called Of Orcs and Men, but unless you downloaded it here in the States, you wouldn’t know about it since they didn’t release a physical copy over here. The action looks fast pace, the art design is awesome, and it reminds me of InFamous since you have abilities that are evil and abilities that are heroic and good. Hopefully this game that will be released in May, will be a fantastic edition to any RPG gamer’s library.

2. Costume Quest 2

 photo costumequest2banner.jpg Hey, I love Double Fine Productions and I am super okay with that since they are making a new Costume Quest! All we know is that the combat is going to be more dynamic, but we already know the game is already going to be as charming as the first game. I mean, this is Double Fine Productions we are talking about. A lot of their games have charm coming out of every part of their titles.

1. Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty

 photo oddworldnewntastyban.jpg Back during the PlayStation 1 days, one of the more standout series on the console was the Oddworld franchise. Delightfully weird, challenging, and filled with humor that we rarely see in games these days, you can tell they were a popular franchise. After the debacle with Microsoft and EA with the last game, Stranger’s Wrath, the series went into hibernation until sites like Steam started to release the games and HD versions of Munch’s Odyssey and Stranger’s Wrath came out and are still coming out for the PC PlayStation consoles, and even to the Wii U. When I first heard about this new HD reimagining of the first Oddworld game, I was interested, but after getting into the franchise more, I put this game on my “Oh my goodness! I can’t wait for this game” list. The graphics look downright beautiful with the game’s original art style, and the gameplay looks to be intact from the original game. Hopefully they can make it more appealing to a wider audience by making it not so brutally difficult. Yeah sure, that might have been the charm back then, but nowadays, it is a little harder to get into than you would think. Either way, I can’t wait for this game and this is why it’s number one on the list.

Top 7 Reasons Why Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze Rocks!

 photo DKCTF.jpg

Just like a lot of people, I got my copy of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for my Wii U this past Friday. I am just going to cut to the chase and say you need to buy this game! This is easily one of the best games on the Wii U, and I might even say one of the best platformers of all time. Retro Studios, the developer behind this game and the Metroid Prime series, has once again crafted another masterpiece for Nintendo, and it is easily worth the $50 price tag. For this article, I decided to do something a little different. Instead of doing a straight-on review, I decided to make a list of the game’s best features. These are the reasons why this game rocks. At the end of this list, I will put down some of my minor gripes with the game, but this list will hopefully show you why this is one of the best games on the Wii U. Let’s get started!

7. The little touches

 photo DKCTF1.jpg

Some of the best things about any game are the little touches of detail that are put into every single part of the game. For example, the detail of the fur on Donkey Kong and his friends is amazing. The fluid motion of the hair as Donkey Kong runs through the levels is fun to look at since it gives him this extra bit of life to his character. This attention to detail also goes into the levels, like the owl enemies blowing those huge horns in World Two are actually blowing them in sync with the music in the background. Or what about in Grassland Groove where the trees bounce and dance along with the music? Little details like that really bring the game life and give it an energy that makes it fun to go through such levels. 6. The rocket barrel and mine cart levels are better than ever

http://media1.gameinformer.com/imagefeed/screenshots/DonkeyKongCountryTropicalFreeze/WiiU_DKCountry_scrn09_E3resized.jpg

One of the bigger gripes I had with the old games were the mine cart levels. They were fun for a few levels, but they then started to get harder, and they became less fun, and more about timing your jumps and getting killed if you were just a split second off. These problems were also in some of the mine cart levels for the Wii game and the Nintendo 3DS port where they were fun, but a lot of them required a bit too many timed areas of jumping and ducking that got too twitch-based. Donkey Kong Country Returns introduced the rocket barrel levels, and while the idea was interesting, the execution was not perfect, and those became my least favorite levels in that game. The controls didn’t leave me with a good game feel, and I couldn’t fully control what I was doing. In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, it seems like both the mine cart and rocket barrel levels have a much better feel overall when you are going through the levels. The levels don’t feel as time-sensitive when you jump and dodge your way through the obstacles. I felt like I died more on these levels because I made the mistake of going up or not jumping at the right time, and not because of some slightly cheap obstacle placement. 5. David Wise’s dynamic music

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/david_wise_1181.jpg

David Wise, for the most part, is known for his work on a multitude of games made by Rare. These include Viva Piñata, Star Fox Adventures, Diddy Kong Racing, the arcade Battletoads game, R.C. Pro-Am, and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest just to name a few of the games in his arsenal. His work is usually very enjoyable to listen to, and the soundtrack to Tropical Freeze is no different. The soundtrack to this game is filled with songs that are lively, calming, quirky, intimidating, and to a surprising degree for me, atmospheric. I just never think of a game like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze to have such atmosphere when going through the levels. You go from the free-spirit feel of the song that is in the level Grassland Grooves, to the Snowmad’s main theme in the final world where you feel intimidated and afraid to go against such an imposing force and seeing the devastation they caused your island. I hope David Wise does more fantastic work in the future for Retro Studios, or heck, Nintendo should hire him full-time for some of the projects they do. 4. None of the bosses are rehashed

http://i.jeuxactus.com/datas/jeux/d/o/donkey-kong-country-tropical-freeze/xl/donkey-kong-country-tropi-52ea541c0b177.jpg

A pet peeve of mine when it comes to gaming is when a game has you fight a boss that you have already fought in the past, but have to fight again. It just seems lazy, and it really drags down an experience when it feels like they only had a few boss designs so they make you fight the same ones over and over. It’s my issue with the early Donkey Kong Country games, and it was an issue I had with the last game. Thankfully, Retro Studios made sure each boss fight is unique for each island you are on. It makes it much more satisfying and victorious to encounter a new boss at each island, learn their attack patterns, and take them out without a hitch. I love it when a developer goes that extra step and makes sure each fight is unique and different. Each boss is creative, challenging, and Tropical Freeze doesn’t reuse a single boss once. Even my favorite platformer on the Wii U, Super Mario 3D World reuses boss fights. It just shows how, sometimes, the quality of the boss fight is better than the quantity of boss fights you have. 3. The game is difficult, but manageable

http://www.nwiizone.com/wp-content/uploads/WiiU/donkey-kong-country-tropical-freeze-wiiu-81.jpg

A problem I have with the Super Nintendo games in the franchise are that while the difficulty was welcomed, sometimes, it was a bit much. It made coming back to the Super Nintendo games a bit trickier than it should be. In past games, Donkey Kong was a bit too heavy to control, and like I said with the mine cart levels, sometimes I felt like they relied on too many quick reflexes. Donkey Kong Country Returns was difficult, but not to the point of making me pull out my hair. Tropical Freeze is pretty hard, but Retro Studios made sure that the difficulty was high, but with design choices that balanced out the more difficult areas. Unlike the previous Donkey Kong Country Returns, there is no super-guide feature. This means that if you die multiple times on a level, well, that is just too bad. You just have to get better at going through the level. Luckily, the items in the shop this time are a lot better. You have balloons that save you from dropping into the abyss, a temporary invincibility potion, an extra heart, Squawk the parrot that helps you find puzzle pieces, a shield that gives you an extra hit on the mine cart and rocket barrel levels, a balloon that gives you more air to breath, and you get the idea. Donkey Kong also has a much better feel to his controls. It feels like a much more polished experience in terms of difficulty. 2. This game has replay value worth having

http://a51274b2bfd36c9eba6f-b2cc59e0ef85511aa5ed3ad88986348d.r9.cf1.rackcdn.com/13919/dkctf-6__large.jpg

For me, it seems like a lot of big developers have an issue with finding ways to extend the game’s lifespan. They either throw in a poorly implemented multiplayer, or just don’t give you anything at all. It’s like they forgot that they could make a well-crafted experience that doesn’t rely on multiplayer to extend the game’s lifespan. Heck, I think throwing in a multiplayer mode just to have one ruins the experience, like in the recent Tomb Raider. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has more worthwhile reasons to replay the game. On top of all the collectables, there are hidden paths, extra levels, and a secret world where if you complete that secret world, you unlock hard mode. Hard mode gives you only one heart, and you can’t bring items or your buddies with you. Even if you didn’t have a secret world to play through, the levels themselves are incredibly fun and satisfying to go through. I get that sometimes you need to have multiplayer if you build a game around multiplayer mechanics, but even then, those experiences like Brink end up failing on so many levels. Just make the main game worthwhile and fun, and really, that is all you need. 1. The levels are creative and memorable

http://www.destructoid.com/ul/269114-improvements-in-donkey-kong-country-tropical-freeze/WiiU_DKCTF_JanPR_09-noscale.jpg

I could go on about how well-executed the levels are in terms of design, game feel, music, atmosphere, and how they give off an overall satisfying experience. Instead, I am going to describe the experience I had going through one of the more memorable levels of the game, Grassland Groove. This is the first level you go through on the third island, and it is one of the best examples of how well designed these levels can be. The level starts off with the camera flying around, going past some of the enemies in the game that wave at you. Donkey Kong lands on the ground and pounds his chest. The music starts low, but upbeat. The land around you is covered in a palette of light brown with some green in the leaves in the trees. The trees themselves are moving to the groove of the music as the wind blows while you run across the ground. You pick up one of the other Kongs as you then traverse across these huge wooden puppet-like contraptions. The music slowly starts to pick up, with more chants and the light little splashes of blue on the wooden contraptions. You then need to climb on the ceiling of a rock formation, and are then launched into this parade of animal-head puppets. The music becomes more focused on the male chants, and the clink and the clank of the instruments start to pick up again as you traverse along these puppet contraptions. The music meanwhile just keeps picking up momentum. So far, emotions of joy and excitement fill your body as you then must climb on big snake puppet contraptions! The music keeps pumping you up as you navigate higher and higher, and then launched out of a barrel to the end of the level. You land on the flat wooden contraptions in front of an amazing savannah sunset. I felt like a free spirit going through this entire level, and this is just how I felt for this one level! A lot of the levels are set up like this, giving you different emotional experiences with the atmosphere, music, design, and presentation.

http://digitaljournal.com/img/4/5/4/4/9/2/i/1/6/3/o/Donkey-Kong-Country-Tropical-Freeze_2013_12-18-13_003.jpg

Like I said, there are some issues, but I found them to be very minor. The first issue is that there are a few too many menus. When you start the game you have to go through what seems like five different menus, and it just seemed like too many for the very beginning of the game. I also found the load times, while not terrible, are maybe a bit too long. They aren’t like the ones from Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but I guess I would rather them be at least three or so seconds long. Other than that, I have no problems with this game. I love Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. I dare say that this is the best game out of the franchise. If you can, I would pick this game up as soon as possible. You definitely will have as much fun as a barrel full of monkeys.

19 Downloadable Games to Be On The Lookout For in 2014

http://www.chip.pl/blobimgs/2013/09/full/ByxohpkJ6yV2Sh8Xsvbp.jpeg

If you asked me a few years back about how I felt about downloadable games, I would say I didn’t care for them. Something didn’t feel right about having a game that wasn’t on a physical disc. Sure, it might have been cheaper and a way to get smaller projects out the door, but if it didn’t come out on a disc, I wasn’t interested. However, that has now changed, and some of my favorite games have come out on the downloadable side of the home console and PC markets. 2014 has a lot of really interesting and fun-looking downloadable games coming out. This list will include games from both big name publishers and indie/Kickstarter groups, because a lot of the downloadable games that are coming out are from those small developers. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of downloadable games coming out and I can’t list them all. I will start with honorable mentions and then move onto the actual list. I will also try to keep the list as varied as possible since there are hundreds of first person-perspective survival games that I honestly don’t care for and games that were inspired by Super Metroid and MegaMan X. If you don’t agree with my list, that is fine. Go make your own list and share your opinions about the games you are looking forward to. That’s really all this list is about, the downloadable games I am looking forward to. Let’s start with the honorable mentions. I also won’t include Broken Age since it’s already out, and as you already know if you’ve read my review, I think you should buy it. Here are the honorable mentions. Cuphead: I wish there was more shown about this little run-and-gun game, but I really like the art style that reminds me of the cartoons from the 30s, and the one on one fights that it is advertising. It looks unique, and I hope we can get some home console news about it in the future. Soul Saga: I like that this game is taking inspiration from the great 16-bit and PlayStation RPGs of yesteryear, but some other games beat this one out. I am also not fully hooked on the art style from what I have seen. Below: For now, an Xbox One exclusive with rogue-like elements, difficult gameplay, and permadeath wrapped in a nice looking game. One game beat this one out to be on the list, but this is still one of the last few unique Xbox One games coming out that is worth keeping your eye on. Rain World: A survival platformer where you play as something called a Slugcat trying to survive. It reminds me of those cinematic platformers like Another World and Heart of Darkness in terms of animation and gameplay. It looks interesting, to say the least. Hohokum: I have a hard time describing this very colorful game. No stressful goals or anything. Just fly around and enjoy the beautiful visuals by artist Richard Hogg, and the music that goes along with it. Just check it out for yourself because I can’t put this game into words. Transistor: a cool action strategy game from the makers of Bastion? Sign me up! Just wish there was a little more to see besides the little snippets of gameplay and the drop-dead beautiful visuals. Ghost Song: This is yet another action platformer that was inspired by Super Metroid. Even some of the assets the game has look too similar to the game I mentioned above. That is why it is in the honorable mentions. It looks a little too much like Super Metroid, and I hope once the game is released, the assets change, but it still looks like a fun game. Let the official list begin now!

19. Natural Doctrine

http://ftp.gameshot.net/article/2013_12/gsGA52bd0f273488cp1n1-s.jpg

Even though you would know Kadokawa Games for their collaborations with Suda 51’s company Grasshopper Manufacture, they are officially releasing their first in-house game, and it is a tactical RPG known as Natural Doctrine. This game has some cool mechanics thrown in, like destructible environments that players can hide behind or climb on top of, and the ability to snipe your opponents. Oh, and if you die, the game ends. Hopefully you are a good tactician so the battle doesn’t end after one soldier dying. This game is also being led by the director of the popular Patapon franchise. The game is coming out for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita. There are also some multiplayer modes competitive and co-op. We will have to see how Kadokawa Games’ first game will pan out for them. Hopefully they will have a home run.

18. A Hat in Time

http://www.pixelsforbreakfast.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/a-hat-in-time.jpg

Some people were disappointed that this little game didn’t make it on my Most Anticipated Games of 2014 list, but it doesn’t mean I am still not excited for it. It has everything I love about platformers and it looks incredibly fun. It also doesn’t hurt that it has famed composer Grant Kirkhope composing some songs for the game. I just wish they would tell us that they have a home console release. They say they have some news about it and then they never follow up, and that annoys me a little. I prefer to play platformers on a home console whether it be on my PlayStation 3, Wii U, Wii, Xbox 360, or whatever. I prefer to play certain genres on certain platforms. It’s like how some people prefer playing shooters on PC. 17. Project Cars

http://gamecenter98.ir/wp-content/uploads/Project-Cars-2-620x330.jpg

In a time where it seems like every developer is going towards the consoles that can be more graphically powerful, it is nice to see a game that can be on any console, with nothing holding them back. Project Cars is that kind of game. Even though it is more about being super-realistic, something that I am not always on board with when I want to play racing games, this game looks amazing! The graphics and sound are top quality. Even watching the trailer, some parts looked so extremely realistic that it was eerie. With sharp-looking graphics, people who have experience with racing games, and being on a multitude of consoles, this is one realistic racing game I don’t mind owning.

16. Rime

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.joystiq.com/media/2013/08/rime-1377021421.png

Rime looks to be, for a lack of a better word, interesting. It is being developed by the same guys who made Deadlight, a zombie game that got mixed reviews. It combines elements of Ico, Journey, with the cel-shaded style of Wind Waker. It also doesn’t hurt that the creative director took inspiration from Studio Ghibli films like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. It’s an overall beautiful game, and I would probably use it for examples of why a different art style gives a game an identity. Oh, and the composer for the game is Akira Yamaoka, the guy who composed music for the Silent Hill series and a lot of Suda 51 games. There hasn’t been a lot of gameplay shown so far of the game, and that worries me since I heard Deadlight’s combat wasn’t the greatest, and I would hate to have one element of the gameplay ruin the experience of something this promising. Once I get a PlayStation 4, you can count on the fact that I will be downloading this game.

15. No Man’s Sky

http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/screencrush.com/files/2013/12/No-Mans-Sky.jpg

Even after the troublesome situations Hello Games has had with their studio getting flooded and etc., a lot of us still have high hopes for the one game that blew everyone out of the water during the VGX stream. I remember when I was watching it with the staff at Gamnesia and I had to refresh my page to get the stream to work. When it refreshed and was playing normally, this trailer popped up and my eyes widened. A flying combat game set in a beautiful-looking universe that is filled with procedurally-generated worlds to explore. It’s funny to think such an amazing game is coming from the same developer that made the fantastic Joe Danger games. I am not usually the kind of guy who likes flight combat games, but No Man’s Sky is easily one of the few flight combat/exploration games everyone should check out, and it should be on all of the now current gen consoles.

14. Ghost of a Tale

This game is like if you combined the best atmospheric parts of Dark Souls and combined it with Redwall and The Secret of Nihm. You play the role of a mouse on an island trying to find this treasure that is located high up in a tower. The island is unfortunately infested with the undead souls of rats and other beings that you will encounter on your adventure. I love what I have seen in the alpha trailer of the game and it looks like something I would personally play. So far, it is only going to be on PC consoles, but I hope in the future we get some home console ports like on the PlayStation 4 or Wii U. Let’s see if this little critter’s adventure has any stumbles. 13. The Girl and the Robot

http://i11d.3djuegos.com/juegos/10521/the_girl_and_the_robot/fotos/set/the_girl_and_the_robot-2417340.jpg

Don’t lie, you thought of Castle in the Sky when you first heard about this game. It has some elements from that movie that seem familiar. However, is that really a bad thing that this game has elements that remind you of a really good movie? The game does look promising, with early footage showing a bit of combat and one type of puzzle you will encounter. Of course, the game is still in production so there isn’t much more to see, but I like the look of it and some of the music that has been shown off. Hopefully the developer, Flying Carpet Games, can bring us an experience filled with actions, emotions, and robot knights. I know early impressions of the game doesn’t look all that interesting, but I bet in the end, we can get a high quality game.

12. Road Redemption

http://foto.scigacz.pl/cache/imgs/_w750/gallery/wiadomosci/2013/04/18/Road_Rash_powraca/Road_Redemption.jpg

Remember the Road Rash series? Remember when biker combat could actually be done well and Ride to Hell: Retribution became an example of how not to make a good biker game? Well, if you have been having that car combat itch that the recent Twisted Metal game didn’t cure, you should check out Road Redemption! Like I said, this game is basically the spiritual successor to the popular Road Rash franchise where you ride a motorcycle and use a multitude of weapons to take out other opponents that are on motorcycles. I also like that you can push your opponent into an ongoing moving vehicle and not waste any ammo. It just looks like a load of fun, and it’s coming out for PC, Xbox 360, and Wii U, which is nice.

11. Hyper Light Drifter

http://www.technobuffalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Hyper-Light-Drifter-1-High-960x540.jpg

So, when I was looking at games that had beautiful pixel artwork, I was going to choose between Hyper Light Drifter and the Xbox One exclusive Below. While I really like the look of Below and its game mechanics, Hyper Light Drifter is the more interesting game. The world that you travel and fight your way through is more visually pleasing, the combat looks more interesting, I like the little sprite companion that is by your side, the different sub-weapons, and the pixel art visuals are just amazing to look at. It’s just a cool-looking Kickstarter game, and I hope it does well. 10. Bloom: Memories

http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news2/Bloom-Memories-RPG-Is-About-Choosing-Your-Own-Path-Kickstarter-397839-2.jpg?1383811019

Can anyone tell me how someone made such a beautiful looking game? I mean, holy cow, this game’s art style is beautiful. Outside of the gorgeous look, this game combines elements you would see in games like Thief, where stealth might be a better option than fighting your way through the baddies you encounter on this journey. There is also a mechanic where you can talk your way out of encounters and even find yourself not hurting a fly the whole time you play through the game. Hopefully the game is well designed enough around those three mechanics of stealth, action, and negotiation to not lean on one over the other. Once again, games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution boast that you can tackle the game any way you wish, but you really can’t. I am just curious to hear more about this beautiful atmospheric game in the future.

9. Tengami

http://jpgames.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/tengami-1.jpg

Let’s see here. We have an adventure game that looks like a unique Japanese pop-up book, developed by ex-Rare employees, and a soundtrack by a fantastic composer by the name of David Wise. If this doesn’t sound like an amazing package of talent, I don’t know what will. 8. Tales from The Borderlands/Game of Thrones: A Telltale Episodic series

http://www.digitaltrends.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Tales-from-the-Borderlands.jpg

I already mentioned these two games in another list I made, so I won’t talk too much about them here. I will say that we are finally getting a genre that fits the Game of Thrones IP and we are hopefully getting a more story-focused experience for the Tales from The Borderlands game.

7. Massive Chalice

http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/screencrush.com/files/2013/06/Massive-Chalice.jpg

I am not the biggest fan of tactical turn-based RPGs, but I have played my fair share of them, like Valkyria Chronicles, which is one of my all-time favorite video games. Hearing that Double Fine Productions, one of my all-time favorite developers, was making a new game from Kickstarter, I checked out the video and saw what they had to offer. Besides the very funny Kickstarter video, it has gameplay inspired by the greats like XCOM and Final Fantasy Tactics, you have customizable heroes, turn-based combat, and permadeath! One of the mechanics that interests me is that you can retire your best warriors to make new little baby warriors with their traits so they can go and fight, and then those baby warriors can retire to make more little babies that can kill! Since this is Double Fine Productions, I bet we will also get some of their trademark writing and humor to help keep you invested within the game’s world. With a talented group of people, rogue-like elements, some features of Game of Throne’s noble families, and a tactical RPG inspired by the greats, Massive Chalice will surely be one of the more interesting tactical RPGs to be released on PC.

6. Karmaflow

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/13/jul/karmaflow.jpg

A lot of small-time and big-time developers like to throw around words like “unique” to express their game, and for the most part, very few games deserve that word to be used to describe them. Karmaflow is one of those rare few games that can use words like “unique.” Sure, it might be a puzzle platformer, but it is also an epic rock opera with famous real-life metal band singers voicing the characters. It once again has a beautiful art style that gives the game its own identity, and it personally reminds me of something I would see in some kind of European epic metal album cover or some kind of character you would see in some kind of fantasy lore book. Either way, I hope we get some console releases for this very cool sounding game.

5. Armikrog

http://gamerbrew.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/armikrog.jpg

I think I am getting a bit too addicted to adventure games. I mean, here is another adventure game to be on the lookout for and was also on my most anticipated list. Like I said on my most anticipated games list, I really enjoyed the claymation look of the game since the entire world of Armikrog is made of clay. I like that the main character, Tommynaught is voiced by Michael J Nelson, and his best friend Beak-Beak is voiced by Rob Paulsen. It looks like a game filled with charm and I can’t wait for this game to be released. 4. The 90’s Arcade Racer

http://i.pcworld.fr/1262605-the-90s-arcade-racer.jpg

While I am all for racing games being realistic to a point that can be terrifying, I prefer to just sit back and play some more arcade-style racing games. The 90’s Arcade Racer is going to cure that itch I have for games like Rumble Racing, Rush 2049, Daytona USA, and Outrun. The game is also not afraid of color and to look fun. I mean, I know we can play games that can give us multiple experiences, and the term “fun” can be subjective, but this game just looks like a game you can sit down and have a few quick races. If you are looking for a home console version of this game, it is only coming out for the Wii U.

 

3. Shovel Knight

http://images.nintendolife.com/news/2013/07/yacht_club_games_reveals_shovel_knights_partner_shield_knight/attachment/2/original.jpg

Combining the best aspects of Mega Man, Castlevania, and the NES Ducktales, the popular Kickstarter game, Shovel Knight is right up there with one of the more highly anticipated games to be coming out soon. I really love that your shovel is used for both platforming and combat, and not just used for one or the other. What is also cool about this game is that while it has amazing music by Jake Kaufman, it will also have some music composed by the woman who did the soundtrack to the first Mega Man, Manami Matsumae. When this game was announced, I really wasn’t into the whole Kickstarter thing, but after watching a couple of videos showing off demos of the game, I just kept getting more and more excited. The main character also has a lot of charm. I mean, it’s a knight with a shovel on quest to defeat evil. You have to have a little fun with that concept.

2. Child of Light

http://www.explosion.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Child-of-Light-2.jpg

Okay, you know the drill about this one. I mentioned a lot about what I really love about this game coming out from Ubisoft in my most anticipated games list. It has combat that is very similar to the Grandia franchise, the water color art style is drop dead beautiful, the music sounds fantastic, and it’s going to have this dark fairy tale story done in rhyme. Just be sure to have space on any of the consoles it will be on so you can download one of the more interesting RPGs coming out.

1. Valiant Hearts: The Great War

http://assets1.ignimgs.com/vid/thumbnails/2013/09/10/c2842cce6abdc360fa9cfa086eb92471-1378782849/frame_0000.jpg

I feel like an idiot for not finding out about this game until recently. Not only is Ubisoft making a beautiful RPG, they are also making a very mature-looking adventure game using the same engine used in Rayman Legends. It follows the life of six characters during the First World War. First off, that is a unique setting we don’t see that often. It’s always modern warfare or World War II or something boring, and that has been done multiple times already. The story is inspired by letters found during that war, which will hopefully cause me to be more personally invested with the characters. I also really like that they are using tools, and are designing puzzles that would be accurate for that time of war. I am just so excited for this game. I wish it was coming out for the Wii U also instead of only the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, but I will be getting this game for my PlayStation 3 and enjoying the hopefully mature story of six people during World War I.

Top 8 Most Disappointing Games of 2013

Since I did an article about my favorite games of last year, I decided to do a follow-up article about the games that, unfortunately, disappointed me. I stayed the heck away from the games I knew were going to bomb, like Aliens: Colonial Marines, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, any movie game in general, and you get the idea. These are the games that I thought were the biggest disappointments, since they actually had a few things going for them, but ultimately, were letdowns of epic proportions. This isn’t a “worst list” so, don’t expect Aliens Colonial Marines, the Flashback remake, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, DARK, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Ride to Hell: Retribution, Day One: Garry’s Incident, and Battlefield 4 to be on this list, since I did my research and knew to stay away from those games. Let us get started then! 8. Remember Me

I will start off with this game, because for me, this was the first big disappointment of 2013. Luckily, it isn’t too bad of a game to end up on my worst games list. I liked the setting of the game, the combo lab, the memory-rewind mechanic, and it reminded me of films like The City of Lost Children. However, it falls flat in just about every other area. The combat is repetitive and clunky, the platforming is middle-of-the-road, and it was just an overall average game. If you haven’t checked this game out, I recommend listening to the game’s story and voice work in French with English subtitles since this game was made by a French developer. It’s a shame it went through a bit of development hell and was released in such a state to the gaming public. There were a lot of cool ideas within Remember Me, but it was obvious that this game needed a few more months of polishing up.

The score I would have given Remember Me: 5/10

7. Lost Planet 3

Talk about a game that did one thing amazingly well, but everything else just average. The one thing that this game did better than any game on this list is that it left me with one of the most human and likable characters of 2013. I just fell in love with the main character, Jim Peyton, who wasn’t some gruff soldier or some cold hearted mercenary. He was a guy who is trying to make some cash for his wife and son while being on a frozen and alien filled planet. The interactions between Jim and his wife were some of the best moments of the game. It took you out of the world of freezing winds and aliens for just a few moments as Jim listens to a video response from his wife and you see him smile seeing who he is doing this dangerous work for. These parts are easily the best moments of the game and its worth checking the game out for these moments. The atmosphere at times also works really well, making you feel like you are on this massive planet of frozen ice. Unfortunately, everything else about the game is just average. The gunplay is solid enough, but the story is very generic. I was bored with the story because I knew where it was going. It’s a shame since this game has one of the most likable main characters in any shooter, and it gets stuck in a generic story that is in a slightly above average shooter. The boss fights ranged from being decent to being utterly forgettable. The robot controls feel clunkier than they should be, and sometimes I feel like the guns given to me don’t feel satisfying. I think another high point is the soundtrack. It made me sit back while traveling across the ice covered fields in my giant robot and made me feel like a trucker going across the desert roads to their destination. In the end, Lost Planet 3 has something that could have been more, but wasn’t. There really is something here, but it just isn’t fully realized. It also hurts that this game is from a franchise people either like to a certain extent, or really don’t care for. Check it out for the main character, but otherwise skip it.

The score I would have given Lost Planet 3: 6/10

5. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into this game due to it starting out as a first-person shooter and ending up as a tactical third-person shooter a few years later. It once again has some cool ideas, but everything is mediocre. The enemy variety is nothing noticeable, the story has a really bad pace to it, the tactical mechanics can get cumbersome, and there were a few glitches here and there. The only things I really liked about the game were the 50s setting and some of the story moments. It was also interesting sending out agents to other parts of the map to tackle missions you aren’t available to take on. I think I would have actually liked to have seen this game when it was going to be a first-person shooter. I say stick to XCOM: Enemy Unknown and its expansion for the XCOM experience and the Mass Effect franchise for the tactical shooter experience.

The score I would have given The Bureau: XCOM Declassified: 5/10

5. Pokémon Rumble U

http://www.spotlighttv.nl/spotlight/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/pokemon_rumble_u-628x356.jpg

I knew first off that this wasn’t going to be the Game of the Year or anything, but I was expecting a simple, fun, chaotic, and charming game. For the most part, I got what I was looking for. I just wish everything else was fleshed out. The levels get repetitive, you can’t have only one Pokémon out on the field because you need four Pokémon out at all times, and the Pokémon you get from passwords break the early levels of the game. Compared to how Skylanders and Disney Infinity are doing this whole toy thing, Pokémon Rumble U is very basic. Hopefully, they do a better job with the next game. Maybe give it to a new developer, or just rethink the core gameplay, and maybe this spin-off franchise will do better in the future.

The score I gave this game: 5/10

4. Deadpool

Yeah, this game is obviously going to be on a lot of people’s disappointing games list. It does have a few things going for it, but you can tell Activision had no hope for this game due to its small budget, short development time, and how the entire Deadpool team got laid off right after the game was released. This shouldn’t have been an issue, since the developer of Deadpool, High Moon Studios, has had prior success with making games based off of licensed properties, like the two Transformers: Cybertron games. However, Deadpool is filled with boring combat, boring upgrades, boring enemies, boring bosses, and boring level design. It had no soul or passion put into game. You can tell a lot of the small budget went into the game’s script and voice work, which is this game’s only saving grace. Nolan North’s Deadpool performance is spot-on, and some of the other voice actors also put in solid performances. I will also admit that there are some funny moments within the story, but outside of those story moments, the script could get a little annoying. The jokes about the game’s low budget got grating as time went on, and the game just feels so cheap and slapped together. Even the bosses are just average, and they probably only got those specific villains due to the low budget. There is none of that over-the-top Deadpool personality in the game. Even though this game is blatantly a budget title, they could have done something more, and worked within those limitations to give us a great game. It’s an average game that is just not worth a price tag higher than $10 or less.

The score I would have given Deadpool: 5/10

3. Metro: Last Light

Surprisingly, this game wasn’t going to be on this list, but the more I thought about it, the more I was disappointed by it. It is by no means a bad game, and is probably the best game on this list, but it definitely has some huge flaws with its overall design. The gunplay was fine and worked well, the atmosphere was great, and some of the characters were memorable. Where the game falls flat is in a few unfortunate areas. The game is extremely sexist with its female characters either being poor pheasants or prostitutes. It doesn’t help that the main female lead character is so forgettable and unlikable at first, and then somehow has a crush on you later on in the game when there really wasn’t anything building up to that. The two alternate endings also don’t really feel satisfying. It’s not the worst game on this list, but for those and a couple other reasons, Metro: Last Light, for me anyway, lands in my most disappointing games of 2013 list.

The score I would have given Metro: Last Light: 7/10

2. Fuse

Boy, this was made by Isomniac Games? This was made by the creators of some of the most memorable PlayStation titles of all time? Well, you could have fooled me with how bland and boring this game is. On paper, Fuse had a lot of good ideas, including a squad-based third-person shooter with creative weapons and characters that had different abilities. Unfortunately, I think EA getting their dirty little fingers into the game ruined it! No surprise there, right? Instead of being this tongue-and-cheek over-the-top spy flick, we get this generic, boring shooter. I swear, the only things that were left over from the original game were the creative weapons. Everything else is just painfully generic. The characters were completely forgettable, the AI could be brain dead (big surprise), the script didn’t match the tone of the end product, and I had no urge to finish the game, which is why I didn’t review it. This was just another game this year that had a lot of potential as a new franchise by Insomniac, but you are better off getting a copy of Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus for the PlayStation 3 instead of giving your time to Fuse. At least Sunset Overdrive looks interesting. Let’s hope that does well.

The score I would have given Fuse: 5/10

1. Every Game in Microsoft’s 2013 Line-Up

I know Microsoft has had a couple of bad years in gaming, but this was one of the worst. I mean, no one can deny they pretty much messed up in 2013. They had their major downs and then they went up, but kind of went back down near the end of the year. The announcement of the Xbox One and it’s showing at E3 2013 was a mess when they announced those features that they then took out months later due to the backlash. If you look at their gaming line-up, the best thing that they released in 2013 was Capcom’s Dead Rising 3. Their only first-party exclusive for the Xbox 360’s last year was Gears of War: Judgment, and that game just came and left with very little fanfare. Think about that for a second. While the PlayStation 3 had so many games that came out and were all different and gave you varying experiences, the Xbox 360 just gave you Gears of War: Judgement. That is so stupid that I am having a hard time putting my feelings into words. Wait, you do have BattleBlock Theater from the guys who made Castle Crashers. Yeah, I don’t hear people still talking about it, which mean we have yet another game that came and went with little fanfare. Look at the Xbox One launch line-up. Sure, it had more variety than the PlayStation 4, but you should look at the reviews of most of them. Negative review after negative review popped up for games like LocoCycle and average reviews for games like Crimson Dragon. Ryse might have been beautiful, but its gameplay is dull to a point that it’s embarrassing. I can’t believe that a developer like Crytek, who are obviously very talented, came up with such a boring and repetitive action game. Let us not forget that Forza Motorsport 5 wanted you to pay real world money to get the more popular cars from the franchise. What about the Kinect? Oh yeah, that isn’t improved either when you have games like Fighter Within showing how the Kinect 2.0 is better. I personally think the only game that is worth any hype for the Xbox One is Project Spark. I swear, Microsoft needs to start over with new management for their gaming branch, because I would rather not see them only work on just shooters for the Xbox One’s lifespan. Just get rid of the Kinect, give a hoot about having different genres of games that are not “indie” made, and stop with the focus on TV, Skype, and other social media stuff. What games or developers were you disappointed by in 2013? List them in the comment section and let us know.

Top 18 Favorite games of 2013

http://www.thesixthaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/ni-no-kuni-banner-2.jpg

So, the year 2014 is here, and every website must do at least one list counting down the best games of 2013. We’re no different. Personally, I thought this was a good year for games. Sure, we still had a lot of bad games, but I feel like we had more games that were hits than misses, unlike 2012. First off, a few disclaimers: I know a lot of people know what my favorite game was of this year, so I’ll make sure to put that one down first before I start with the rest of the list. It’s like seeing a ‘top 10 worst video games of all-time’ list, and already knowing what number one will be. Since I am just one person, I didn’t have time to play Pikmin 3, Disney Infinity, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Batman: Arkham Origins, Pokémon X and Y, or Animal Crossing: New Leaf, so they won’t be on the list. Likewise, I won’t put down The Wolf Among Us, or The Walking Dead Season Two, because they are not technically finished games. I also won’t list remakes or HD updates, because if I added those to the list, they would be utter cop-outs, and I wouldn’t like that. I just find it lazy for anyone that puts an HD remake of a game that was already released on a ‘best of’ list. So, let us get the honorable mentions out of the way first: BioShock Infinite: I did enjoy the world and characters of BioShock Infinite, but you get the feeling they put most of the budget into the world and characters rather than the actual gameplay. Maybe in the future, I will make a list of what didn’t work for me about this game. Guacamelee!: This is hands down one of the best downloadable indie games you can find for your collection. It has satisfying combat, great level design, fun boss battles, a great sense of humor, and it looks beautiful. My only real complaint is that sometimes the level design is a bit tedious and the two-player mode was added in there with no reason other than to have a two-player mode. If you haven’t picked this game up yet, I would highly recommend you get it for either your PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita. Heck, you can even buy one and get the other for free, thanks to cross platform purchases. Project X-Zone: I still think this is one of the more fun games on the Nintendo 3DS and I will recommend it left and right to anyone who asks what kind of games they should own. I know the story is really non-existent and a lot of people will look at this as just a game made with fan service only in mind, but I still like the combat and the characters interacting with each other. I would say pick this game up if you see it, before it becomes one of those rare and overpriced games because no one bought it. Killer is Dead: We have yet another deep, out-of-control, and gory action game from the minds of Suda 51 and his company, Grasshopper Manufacture. On one hand, you have one of the more memorable looking games of 2013, with a unique-looking graphical presentation, a fun combat system, and unforgettable bosses. On the other hand, you have clunky controls, difficult side missions, and a story that might not be that coherent. I really enjoyed it, but I can easily understand why some people won’t be able to get into the game. Now that we have those games out of the way, let us get started with the actual list. I will be putting a score down for the games I played, but couldn’t find time to review. This little rule will also affect games that I have reviewed, since opinions change over time and I might not like a game as much as I did back when it was released. Consider this a list and a mini-series of reviews. Once again, this list is just my opinion, but I would love to hear back from you about your favorite games of 2013. 1. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Like I said, I am putting this game down first because this is still my favorite game of 2013. I know there have been a lot of amazing games that will be on this list, but no other game grabbed me like Ni No Kuni. Maybe it was the story that was actually pretty good, with some mature themes. Maybe it was the Studio Ghibli animation and art style that gave the game a very unique identity. Maybe it was the combat system that used little monsters with real-time action during battles. Maybe it was the music that was composed by the great Joe Hisaishi. Or maybe, it was all of the above. I still love the game to this day and I will be playing it again in the future. The score I gave it: 10/10. 18. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

I think any Sly Cooper fan was excited, but at the same time worried about this new entry into the franchise. A new developer was behind this new entry, and even though they worked on the HD collection of the first three games, so could they make their own game? Luckily, the developer, Sanzaru Games showed they could pull it off with almost no flaws. The story was better, the villains were memorable, and character development was fantastic. The levels were fun to play through, and for once, did not overstay their welcome. Unfortunately, the six-axis motion controls were bothersome when they showed up, the character plot for Bentley’s now ex-girlfriend was not needed, and the ending was anti-climactic. Outside of those issues though, this is my favorite game out of the franchise, I would highly recommend you get this game for your PlayStation 3 or your PlayStation Vita.

The score I gave it: 8/10. 17. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

This is one of the best turn-based RPGs on the Nintendo 3DS. It has beautiful hand-drawn graphics, quirky music, creative platforming, and incredibly fun combat. I love the dream sequences where you are in Luigi’s mind and have to use a bunch of “dream Luigis” to help you platform and fight enemies. I also loved the side characters and the humor. I will say though, that the game is a bit too text heavy and there is some slight hand holding. Other than that, I personally think this is the best game out of the Mario & Luigi RPG series. If you have a 3DS and are looking for another RPG to play since you basically played Fire Emblem: Awakening to death, I would highly recommend you pick up the dream team of Mario and Luigi.

The score I gave this game: 8/10.

16. The Last of Us

I honestly do like this game, but I honestly couldn’t put it higher than this. I really liked the characters, the setting, the atmosphere, and the amazing music. I loved the crafting system that made you choose to make one thing over the other with materials and what you needed to upgrade. It had a lot of great elements, but it still had its faults. It had a few too many areas where you had to fend off hordes of enemies, the AI could be stupid from time to time, and while the multiplayer was entertaining, I think they could have used those resources to make the story less predictable. I kind of saw what story elements were going to happen in certain areas, but even then, I was sucked into the game’s story and the interaction between characters. I really loved the ending, and I am glad they went with the ending they made, instead of something predictable, like killing off Joel or Ellie. Troy Baker is now one of my new favorite voice actors, as he does one heck of a job bringing Joel to life. If you haven’t played this game, I still think you should, and see what conclusion you come up with. Oh, and the DLC should be good also.

The score I gave this game: 8/10

15. Tales of Xillia

Talk about a complete turnaround. When Tales of Graces F came out in 2012, it was a huge disappointment to fans of the franchise. When this game came out, it just made everything better. The characters were likable, the story was more emotionally investing, the combat was more complex, and it was just a lot more fun to go through. While it had some minor glitches and the whole “play two different storylines” gimmick really didn’t matter in the long run, it was just a better RPG overall. While Tales of Vesperia is still my favorite game out of the franchise, Xillia is right up there with one of my favorites.

The Score I gave this game: 8/10.

14. LEGO City: Undercover

This game was just pure fun. It might have been simple, the unlockables not really worthwhile, the driving challenges ranged from okay to tedious, and the city could have been livelier with random crimes happening all throughout the city, but I had an enjoyable experience with this game. I liked the story, the corny jokes, the fun characters, and the combat system. This is one of those games that you can easily pick up and play without having to worry about steep difficulty curves or complex mechanics. This game does better without having online multiplayer. We do not need that in every game, people!

The score I gave this game: 8/10.

13. Anarchy Reigns

This is just another game that is fun to play, with nothing super deep or emotional holding you back. Sure, the story might not matter in the long run and it can be repetitive, but that doesn’t fully detract from how much fun I had with this game. The characters all had personalities, different move sets, and surprisingly, the multiplayer was super fun. You don’t see a lot of games that have a brawler-like multiplayer mode, since it seems like only shooters and fighters can have it. However, this game, along with another game that will be on this list, show that you can make a successful multiplayer experience out of any genre. It might look like a budget title, but since you can get it for cheap, I would highly recommend you pick up one of 2013’s underrated gems.

The score I gave this game: 7/10.

12. Grand Theft Auto V

I wasn’t originally going to add this game originally, but I then finished the game and had to put it on my list of favorite games from 2013. I am not normally a fan of the series, but this game surprised me. I liked the writing, the three main characters, the massive map of Los Santos, and the number of things to do. No surprise, Trevor Phillips is my favorite character. His performance by Steven Ogg really gave the game its identity. The two other playable characters are also good, but Trevor is the best out of the three. Pulling off heists is highly entertaining, and they are easily the best sequences in the entire game. I do have a handful of problems though. Piloting helicopters sucked, there were not enough heists, secondary characters are too mean-spirited for a majority of the game, and yes, the female characters are weak in this game. This is weird since the female characters were so much better written in Red Dead Redemption, which was a game also done by Rockstar. I also think the online mode of the game, while being more fixed than it was on release, shouldn’t have been released in such a state. It might be more improved, but Rockstar shouldn’t have released it until it was fully ready. Outside of that, I really do love the game. I will be waiting for the price to drop and picking up my own copy. Rockstar definitely has yet another hit on their hands.

The score I gave this game: 8/10.

11. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

This game went through such a development hell that I was a little worried that this game was never going to be finished. In the end though, it was a very adrenaline-filled action game. I remember when the official trailer of the game was shown, and everybody got so upset. I never understood it. I mean, how can you be upset when you have to fight a giant robot in the first five minutes of the game? The slicing-and-dicing mechanic is extremely fun to use. I know the story may be a bit contrived, but I think the developers knew that, and just went all out with it. The boss fights, while not as epic all the way throughout the game, were still a lot of fun to go through. My only real complaints were that the camera was annoying, and the DLC, while fun in certain areas, was really a waste of money. I originally gave this game a higher score, but after the DLC, I have to honestly lower it a point because of how underwhelming the DLC was. I still loved this game, but one other PlatinumGames game that came out this year topped this one in sheer fun. If you haven’t played this game yet because it isn’t a traditional Metal Gear Solid game, just stop thinking like that and enjoy this fun fast pace game.

The original score I gave the game: 9/10. The score I would give this game now: 8/10.

10. Puppeteer

This is one of the most charming games for the PlayStation 3. It has a unique look with wood-crafted puppets, a story with charming characters, solid platforming, fantastic voice acting and music, and was for me, fun to play. It does have a few faults. The platforming can be clunky from time to time, and the 3D was really hit-or-miss. Being the first game directed by Gavin Moore, I hope to see what he can come up with when he makes his next game.

The score I gave this game: 8/10.

9. Beyond: Two Souls

2013 was the year to show off the exclusive variety that Sony has been able to offer for the PlayStation 3. You have an action game, a horror/survival third-person shooter, a platformer, and with Beyond: Two Souls, a cinematic adventure game. I really loved the acting from Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, but everyone else also did a great job with their characters. The story is actually rather deep, with a lot of great moments in the game. It also has a lot of atmosphere that really gave me the chills in certain moments. If the story was told in a more linear fashion, I think the game would be better off. I don’t mind having a story told out of order, but when the impacts and rewards of the game vary from what piece of the story the game wants to tell you next differs, it can leave you with a lop-sided experience. I still think people should support the developer and check out the game for themselves. Maybe you will like it or maybe you will hate it. You won’t know unless you take that first step and play the game.

The score I gave this game: 8/10.

8. Tomb Raider

As far as reboots go, I think this one did a fantastic job giving the, to be honest, stale franchise a new lease on life. I loved how Lara was portrayed, and her actress, Camilla Ane Luddington, did a fantastic job giving Lara an actual personality. Sure, in the original Tomb Raider games, she might have basically been a female Duke Nukem, but she really had no personality outside of being hot and holding two guns. While people criticize the gameplay for being too much like Uncharted, would you honestly would have been happier if they stayed with the stale, poorly aged, and downright clunky controls? At least with the Uncharted style design and controls, you had more control over Lara, and attacking enemies with guns blazing or not was satisfying. The only real issues the game had were that some of the secondary characters were kind of bland, and the multiplayer was a waste of space. This game shows that not every single game needs a multiplayer mode. Don’t just add it because every game is doing it now. I hope the sequel fixes these issues, and I honestly can’t wait to see what the next game will be like.

The score I gave this game: 9/10.

7. Dragon’s Crown

Man, did this game get a lot of pointless controversy. Like I said in my original review of the game, I can understand why people would get upset about it, but it seems like overall, no one cared because the game is fun! This game has satisfying combat, beautiful graphics and music, a solid script, interesting lore, and probably one of the best multiplayer experiences on the PlayStation 3! I played so many hours with random adventurers beating down monsters and epic boss fights. There is so much this game offers and it’s all on a million dollar budget. Kind of shows that you don’t need to have a multi-million dollar budget to make a satisfying game. The score I gave this game: 9/10.

6. God of War: Ascension

As yet another prequel game for the mighty action franchise, I really liked this one. I will say that this is the best prequel game in the series. I think the story was actually pretty good. Not as good as God of War III’s story, but I think it’s the second best story out of the franchise. Even though Kratos is still very angsty, he is more human in this game than games that came out before God of War 3. I liked the revamped combat system and the temporary weapons you can obtain from enemies or from the environment. I also found the multiplayer to be super fun, if a big buggy at first. I prefer the giant hammer if you are curious. My only complaint comes from the fun, but not as epic, boss fights. They do not match up to the boss fights from the third game, and there are not a whole lot of them. You fight the same mini-boss twice, which sucks. I also found that the multiplayer can leave some teams unbalanced, with one team having more members than the other. Other than that, I anxiously wait for the next entry in the franchise. They will need to really do something amazing with the next game.

The score I gave this game: 9/10.

5. Rayman Legends

Rayman Legends is almost the perfect platformer from Ubisoft. It has amazing level design, perfect controls, the Wii U GamePad integration is subtle and works well with the gameplay, and it has awesome music. What is not so perfect about it is that Ubisoft made it multiplatform for consoles that didn’t have touch-screens, which meant the Murphy mechanics were a little clunky, and it ruined what was going to be a unique system seller for the Wii U. Maybe it was fan backlash that resulted in the game’s low sales, but maybe it was other things, too. Outside of the small issues the game has, and Ubisoft’s rather questionable business decisions for this game, this is one heck of a game that is just a blast to play. Get it for a system with a touch-pad or touch-pad like controller like the upcoming PlayStation 4 version, the Wii U version, or the PlayStation Vita.

The score I gave this game: 9/10.

4. The Wonderful 101.

Besides Bayonetta, The Wonderful 101 is my favorite game from PlatinumGames. I love the story, the innovative combat system, the quirky characters, the Power Rangers-like vibe, and the incredible boss battles. I know some people have complained about the controls, but in my experience, I never found them to be broken. You can even go through challenges with friends in multiplayer. My only real complaint is that the fixed camera is a little annoying, and some of the characters you meet later on could have used a tiny bit more development. However, I would highly recommend you pick this game up and get it for your collection, so it doesn’t become a rare game that becomes $200 in the future or something.

The score I gave this game: 9/10.

3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

What else could I say about this game that everyone hasn’t already said? This is one of the best games in the franchise. I still prefer Skyward Sword, but this is easily my second favorite Zelda game out of the franchise. I love the combat, the rental system, the bosses, and the new mechanic where you can turn into a painting and scroll across the walls. A lot of great and much needed improvements went into this game, and I hope they take this style of thinking and use it for Zelda U. If you haven’t picked this game up, then I don’t know what your deal is. Unless you don’t care for the franchise, I would highly recommend picking up one of the best Zelda games in the franchise.

The score I gave this game: 9/10.

2. Super Mario 3D World

This is, as everyone else has said, the best 3D Mario game that we have gotten in years. While I don’t hate the games from the New Super Mario Bros. franchise as much as everyone else has, I am glad they made a fantastic 3D game for the Wii U instead of another game in that franchise. I love the level design, the varied boss fights, the four player co-op, and the catchy music. My only real complaints are that while there are more bosses, they tend to repeat, and that is a bummer. I also wish there was more to do with the overworld. The fixed camera is also a little annoying, but for the most part, it is placed perfectly. This is easily my second favorite Super Mario game, since it’s going to take something super amazing to beat Super Mario Galaxy 2. If you need a reason to pick up a Wii U besides The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, Game and Wario, and The Wonderful 101, then pick it up for Super Mario 3D World.

The score I gave this game: 9/10.

Top 17 Most Anticipated Games of 2014

(The original post of this article was on Gamnesia.com on 12/31/13)

With 2013 coming to a close and 2014 literally on the horizon, I decided to dig up a list of games coming out next year that I am honestly very excited for. My list consists of both big name titles and indie titles. It would have been very easy for me to come up with a list of 50 games coming out that I am really looking forward to, but I had to think hard and choose the games that have me personally excited. Normally, I really don’t care for putting my lists in order, but I am going to put them in order here. Take this list with the slightest grain of salt, and if you don’t like the list, make your own. Honestly, lists like this will always be different. One person might put one game over the other and vice versa. I am also going to put down the games that have or might have a 2014 release because things happen and games can be released earlier or later. Let us get started off with some honorable mentions.

5. Bravely Default: A fantastic looking RPG, but a couple of other RPGs have taken its place on the list because, well, I am looking forward to them more. I will say though that I am happy to see an old fashioned turn-based RPG from Square Enix with some new twists.

4. Yoshi’s New Island: An incredibly fun-looking 3DS platformer of the same spirit of the original Super Nintendo game. I just wish there was more known about it. But from what I have seen, it looks good!

3. The Order: 1886: I love the set-up for this game, but I wish there was more than just one trailer for it. Show us some gameplay!

2. A Hat in Time: I am excited for this platformer, but selfishly, I would be more optimistic about this game if it had a home console release.

1. Murdered: Soul Suspect: This game does look interesting even though a lot of comparisons have been made to the Capcom DS and IOS game, Ghost Trick: Spirit Detective. I am interested to see more about this game because I like the premise and the game mechanics shown so far. It looks like we might get something similar to L.A. Noire. However, seeing how this game is being made by the developer that made the overhyped flop Dark Void, I am curious to see how the finished product turns out when it is released next year.

Let’s get started with the official list.

17. Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z

Personally, I have never been a huge fan of this franchise. I never cared for the insane-to-the-point-of-being-unfair difficulty or the main character. Ryu always came off as a character who had little personality. It didn’t help that the recent game, Ninja Gaiden 3, and its update, Razor’s Edge, flopped last year. I gave the updated version a six out of ten, but even then it was one of the worst games I played that year. Yaiba, however, looks like it's taking the over-the-top unrealistic style of the 3D games to the extreme, which I like. I am all for games making this change to be more politically correct when needed, but sometimes, I just want to play a game where I don’t have to think too hard and can just be a foul-mouthed ninja, fighting a horde of zombies.

16. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

http://i13a.3djuegos.com/juegos/9592/the_witcher_3/fotos/noticias/the_witcher_3-2277696.jpg

I’ll admit, while I do like the second game and think it is worth checking out, I don’t praise it as highly as, say, other reviewers on the internet. It does have a good script, a mature story, fantastic voice work, and the gameplay is better than other RPGs like Dragon Age. However, I did think the story could be a little boring from time to time and the combat could have been grander. I know Geralt of Rivia is a human, and not some immortal warrior, and I am not looking for something on the levels of say Asura’s Wrath, but maybe more pizazz in the movement could be added or something. Even after saying that, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for this game. I do think this will be one of the best RPGs released for the new generation of consoles. With more dynamic combat, open world exploration, and a company that is known for having jaw-dropping beautiful graphics, The Witcher 3 will indeed be a wild time.

15. The Witch and The Hundred Knights

http://www.koi-nya.net/img/subidos_posts/2013/07/The-Witch-and-the-Hundred-Knights-27.jpg

I am honestly not a huge fan of Nippon Ichi Software’s games, but I am rather intrigued by this title coming out from them. The art style used in their past games never appealed to me, but something about the look of the main playable character and the side characters has me intrigued. I also like the combat system shown where you will have different weapons. Maybe I'm more excited for this game than the company’s other games is because it's an action RPG. If you don’t know a lot about this game, I would recommend doing some research on it before it comes out in March. Whether it does well or not, let’s hope The Witch and the Hundred Knights delivers another homerun exclusive for the PlayStation 3.

14. Destiny

http://www.sohood.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/official-destiny-e3-gameplay-trailer.jpg

Not a whole lot of shooters can grab my attention. When they do, it is more of a curiosity in how the game will turn out, and so Destiny is one of the few shooters that has caught my attention. Now, why isn’t this higher on the list? While I do like what I have seen from the gameplay shown, (I mean, you can’t go wrong when they have revealed that Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones fame will be your AI computer sidekick), I want to see more than what they have shown off. I want to see other areas of the game and not this wasteland of Russia or wherever the gameplay demos and trailers have taken place. Either way, this was the game that made me want to get a PlayStation 4 and play with my best friends. Let us hope Destiny lives up to its hype.

13. Watch Dogs

http://www.gamers.vg/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Watch-Dogs.jpg

Maybe it is the draw of a new original IP and something a little different from Ubisoft, but I am really looking forward to this game. I like the idea of having shooting, stealth, and hacking. I know we have games like Deus Ex that combine all of those, but in my opinion, the recent Deus Ex game was not too impressive. It was good, but it seems like Watch Dogs has a better sense of what it wants to do. I know a lot of people will probably buy a PlayStation 4 for this game, but I am going to see what they do with the Wii U version, if anything. Let us hope this tale of hacking and open world exploration delivers.

12. Armikrog

https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/projects/260224/photo-main.jpg?1372345765

This was the first kickstarter game I ever gave money to. I am just excited to play what is essentially a spiritual successor to the cult classic The Neverhood. I just love the art style, and seeing anything these days in Claymation is always a treat. I also like the voice cast they have, including Michael J, Nelson, Rob Paulsen, Jon Heder, and Veronica Belmont to name a few. I know the creator, Doug TeNapel, has some political views that no one is ever going to agree on, including me, but that shouldn’t get in the way of playing this unique adventure game. Hopefully, when this comes out, it is an overall fun, humorous, and enjoyable experience.

11. Wonder Flick

http://www.play3.de/wp-content/gallery/wonder-flick_180913/wonder-flick_2013_09-10-13_002-jpg_600.jpg

Even though I am a little bummed that this game looks like it is more about the gameplay than story, Wonder Flick looks to be a unique and interesting RPG. Sure, the look of the game might turn some people off, but this is Level-5 we are talking about, one of the best RPG developers around. I like the idea of a RPG using a flick-style combat system that you would see on something like a tablet or phone game. This game is coming to multiple consoles, and you can take the data from one version and put it on another version, but I think the best versions will be the one with touchscreen capability. Hopefully, we see this interesting RPG come out next year.

10. Child of Light

http://gematsu.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Child-of-Light_09-10.jpg

This is easily one of the most beautiful looking games on this list. This is partly due to the game engine they are using being the same game engine used in Ubisoft’s other game, Rayman Legends. I am also looking forward to this game’s combat system that is inspired by the Grandia series. This is kind of fitting, since Ubisoft published the first two Grandia games back in the PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 days, and is one of my favorite RPG series. The story also looks deep, and I just can’t wait to see what the end product of this game will be. With great visuals, fun combat, and an interesting setting, Child of Light will hopefully be a great RPG to add to any gamer’s library.

9. Tales from the Borderlands/Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game’s episodic series.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Tales-from-the-Borderlands.jpg

After seeing these two games announced during the rather mediocre VGX stream on Spike.com, I knew that they would automatically be on my list of the most anticipated games of 2014. I think Tales from the Borderlands will be very interesting, since 2K’s Borderlands series has never been very story-focused, and that has been a criticism towards the series that is well known for memorable characters. It will also be interesting to see if they add any of the franchise’s famous infinite gun customization into the adventure game elements. On the other side of the spectrum, we will finally get a Game of Thrones game that actually has a genre that fits the series, and won’t be a terrible RTS or action RPG. I think a more story-oriented game works with the Game of Thrones series more so than the two genres I listed above. I willingly wait to see how both of these episodic series work out for the developer.

8. Super Smash Brothers for Wii U/3DS

http://wiiu-spiele.com/files/wii-u-bilder/super-smash-bros-wii-u-auch-prinzessin-zelda-kaempft-mit/super-smash-bros-wiiu-zelda2.jpg

I will admit, after the initial hype and the look at what has been shown so far, I am excited, but I am also a little concerned about the quality of both versions. I think the series would be interesting on a handheld, but you know the developer has to work around the limitations of the Nintendo 3DS compared to the obviously much more powerful Wii U. However, outside of that, I am always ready and excited for the next installment in one of my top three favorite fighting franchises. I love the addition of Mega Man and the Villager from Animal Crossing, and I hope we get a more varied roster and experience. Like, have the more varied roster of Brawl, but also have a more refined single player experience with none of the little issues Brawl had, and better online capabilities. I will be sitting here waiting for my copy of the next entry into one of the best fighting franchises ever.

7. Mario Kart 8

http://e3.nintendo.com/_ui/images/games/detail/mario-kart-8/ss17.jpg

I have always been a huge Mario Kart fan since my first experience with the franchise on the Nintendo 64. I have played a majority of the series, and I like what I have seen so far within this entry in the series that has new and familiar elements. With racing games becoming more and more about realism and obnoxious micro-transactions, I just care more for the arcade-style racers where it’s just over-the-top and fun. I love the multiple kinds of vehicles you can drive, the gravity mechanic, and some of the levels that I have seen. I know we have had some arcade-style racers, but I think we need to see more of those, and I know that Mario Kart 8 will be a fantastic arcade racer game and one of the best games for the Wii U.

6. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

I might be one of the few people who likes this iteration of the Castlevania series, but I am happy to notice and observe that the Lords of Shadow Trilogy is getting more fans. I was honestly sick and tired of the same kind of game that we were getting from Koji Igarashi, since they all feel the same despite certain changes made to the overall design. It was getting stale, but I have enjoyed the Lords of Shadow games. They are, of course, not perfect, and Mirror of Fate has more issues than the first game, but I still enjoy it. Luckily, Lords of Shadow 2 will complete the storyline, and whether Konami wants to continue this storyline in the future is up to them. I like the improvements to combat, and the camera controls are very much welcomed. I also love the look of some of the giant boss fights that we have seen. The whole game has this gigantic epic feel to it, and I love it for that. I am very curious to see how Gabriel’s journey will officially end next year. Oh, and it always helps that your game has Patrick Stewart in it. He is always a high point for any game he is in.

5. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

http://d1vr6n66ssr06c.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/donkey_kong_country_tropical_freeze_cranky_kong_header.jpg

What is it with this year where people at first complain about a first party game being released by Nintendo, but then months later, they stop complaining and in the end are hyped for the games they release? I am so puzzled how people can act like this. Anyway, as one of what seems like a few people who wasn’t asking for a Metroid Prime game from Retro Studios, I can’t wait to get my Donkey Kong platforming on. It looks fun. There are more playable characters, a fun new group of villains, and killer penguins! Who doesn’t want a game with killer penguins? It looks like Retro Studios has another fantastic game on their hands.

4. South Park: Stick of Truth

http://www.edenpop.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/South-Park-The-Stick-of-Truth-02.jpg

Even after being picked up by Ubisoft, and even after all of the delays, I am still so excited for this game. I love the Paper Mario-style combat and gameplay, the Earthbound-like style of thinking of how spells and items are used in this game’s universe, and the humor that seems to be intact and as strong as ever. I respect that Ubisoft wanted to make sure this game was released in a better form than just release it when they obtained it from THQ. Sure, the multiple delays were annoying, but hey, if these months have been spent making sure the game is 100% playable, then by all means delay it as much as you need. With its crude but creative humor, fun turn-based combat, and a look that matches the show to a T, South Park: The Stick of Truth is sure to be a smash hit next year.

3. Bayonetta 2

Enough is enough, people. Hopefully, by the time this game is released, the complainers can just be quiet about how this game is exclusive to the Wii U. Listen, Nintendo was the only one going to fund it; no one else was going to. You only have yourself, Microsoft, Sony, and Sega’s advertising to blame that the original game didn’t sell well, and you should be thanking Nintendo for actually stepping in to save it. Now be quiet and let’s get hyped for this game! Even though the story probably won’t make a lot of sense, the gameplay looks amazing. It looks fast-paced, epic in scale; there are more outrageous ways of killing your enemies; it seems self-aware at how insane it is; and it’s Platinum Games! The guys behind some of the best action games of the last gen. As a nice bonus, there is a two-player mode, which means you can play this crazy action game with a friend! I anxiously wait for a release date to put my preorder down to get this game. It will be great exclusive for the Wii U, and you should support it so we don’t end with another game with low sales because no one bought the game and have yet another outcry from fans of this franchise.

2. X (a.k.a Monolith Soft’s new RPG)

http://www.n-europe.com/slir/w620/images/stories/additionalFields/content-4-33460-monolith.jpg

Oh man, the excitement I had when I saw the original trailer for this game. The grand musical score, the epic scale of the land you are going to fight and travel through, and the fact that it is made by the company that made one of my top 5 favorite RPGs of last gen, Xenoblade Chronicles, make for a pretty darn good looking RPG coming out next year. I also love the addition of robots to help you travel across the land and combat the world’s much larger wildlife. I will say that I have a concern with this game that it won’t be story heavy. I know there are RPGs that focus more on immersing you into the game’s world than on giving you a worthwhile story with memorable and likable characters, but I still think you can have both. I also worry that this will be more about having multiplayer added into the mix, but maybe it won’t be that bad. Maybe the multiplayer will be like Monster Hunter, and I know that game is extremely popular. Anyway, I just want a release date, and Nintendo can have all of my money when they release this game.

So, what beat out this game as my most anticipated game? Well…it is…

1. Broken Age

http://www.livingps3.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Broken-Age1.jpg

It was really hard to choose between Monolith Soft’s new game and Double Fine’s Broken Age. After seeing the gameplay footage though, I just got so excited for this game that I had to put it at number one. I love the look of the game, the characters, the setting, and, well, the actors they got for the game. There is just something so enchanting about this game that pulled me in and never let go. I hope the end product is fulfilling and entertaining. Add to that, you’ve got the talented mind of Tim Schafer, who is just an awesome guy. I can’t wait to play the first part in January, and I will have to see if this game was worth putting it as my most anticipated game of 2014.

Top 8 Voice Actors

I don’t think I need to say that I love voice acting in video games and voice acting in general. It is just fun to find all these different characters from different games, TV shows, or films, and see that they are all played by the same person. For example, Seth Balmore, from Lost Odyssey, the big baby from Spirited Away, Juliet Starling from Lollipop Chainsaw, and Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, are played by the same female voice actress, Tara Strong. I could make one gigantic list of voice actors, but I had to be picky and pick the ones that stand out to me. Plus, it would be redundant to keep saying every single time, “I just love this male or female voice actor”. I am just going to pick the ones I find the most appealing, and the ones I think are a lot of fun to listen to. I usually like to have an honorable mentions list, and would have added people like Steve Blum in all of his coolness, Mauriche LaMare and his comedic timing, Phil LaMarr with his roles as Hermes Conrad and Samurai Jack, Clancy Brown for his role of playing a good sophisticated villain, Tom Kenny, in his eccentric charm, Grey Delise, with her ability to tackle both good and evil characters, and you get the idea. However, that list would be way too long. For this list, the ranking doesn’t matter.

1. Jim Cummings

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121220174652/tinytoons/images/d/d9/Mr._Cummings.jpg

Boy, this guy ruled your childhood if you were born in the late 80’s or early 90’s. I am not joking, he was everywhere, and he still is everywhere in terms of voice acting. He is the voice for Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Darkwing Duck from um, Darkwing Duck, The Terror Mask from the 2010 Splatterhouse game, so many voices in the PC adventure game Toonstruck, one of the main bad guys in Kingdoms of Amalur, Razoul from Aladdin, Cat from CatDog, King Allfire and the chancellor from Blazing Dragons, Totec and Xolotl from Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, and I literally could go on and on, but I won’t. He is probably more famous for his cartoon voice work, and I don’t hold that against him since there is something so warm and familiar with his voice when he does the voice of some of our favorite childhood characters, but I would like to see him do voice work for more mature shows or games, because I think he can do it. A good example of this is his crude and very sadistic role as The Terror Mask. Either way, whether it be a show or game for kids or adults, I will almost sure to find Jim Cummings wherever he might pop up

2. Nolan North

This guy is a lot of fun to listen to. He is best known for his role as Nathan Drake from the Uncharted franchise, the main voice actor for Deadpool, and a few other roles, but those are his best-known roles. He has done some surprisingly deep roles also, like the lead character from Spec Ops: The Line. I think my favorite thing about him is that he can do well with any character he is given. He makes Nathan Drake feel like a normal guy, and makes Deadpool delightfully zany without being too annoying. I honestly think he needs to get more characters under his belt like his recent gig as Penguin from the Batman Arkham games, and as two of the main villains in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Other than those, the lineup of characters he is known for is small, but it is enjoyable to hear him do those characters.

3. Tara Strong

http://scifimafia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Tara-Strong-wide-560x282.jpg

Oh boy, I have talked about this particular voice actress a lot. She is probably my favorite female voice actor of all time. She just brings life to the characters, and has a range of voices at her disposal that she can use. She can voice young women, teenagers, young girls, and even young boys. She is like Jim Cummings as she has been in what seems like every single cartoon ever made, My Little Pony, Fairy Oddparents, Ben 10, Drawn Together, Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans, and you get the idea. She has also been in some really good games like Eternal Sonata, a handful of the Tales games, Lost Odyssey, and the recent Lollipop Chainsaw. It is a shame that more game developers don’t hire her because she is a very talented and I think could do well in the video game industry.

4. Rob Paulsen.

http://www.hourdetroit.com/images/cache/207ea9e00d2514317e1bdb9650892000.jpeg

Need a zany cartoon character voice? Why not hire the guy who was Yakko from Animaniacs and Raphael from the 80’s TMNT cartoon actor, Rob Paulsen. I think my favorite characters he voices, besides Yakko Warner, is when he has to be a quirky character like Danny Phantom’s Jack Fenton, who is eccentric, but kind of stupid. His delivery as this kind of character is the best, but any cartoon character he has voiced has had a good sense of timing and punch. He has done some video game voice work, but it has always been a secondary character and not a lead protagonist or antagonist. His most recent role will be as Beak Beak in the kickstarter adventure game, Armikrog. I do think he can be utilized as a comedic main villain due to his experience in a lot of cartoons. If you need any more reasons why this guy is so great, just look up Yakko’s World on YouTube and find the video where he is on a stage reciting the entire song on the spot.

5. Jeff Bennet

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111204094524/fairlyoddparents/en/images/b/b3/267px-Jeff_Bennett.jpg

If you need a guy that has a 50’s vaudeville sound in your character that can be threatening or silly depending on the situation, Jeff Bennet is your man. He has done many characters from Dexter’s dad from Dexter’s Laboratory, Joker from Batman: The Brave and the Bold, many characters from Kids Next Door, and numerous other characters. I think the voice that he uses where it sounds like something from the 40’s or 50’s radio dramas or Adam West’s Batman series is unique, and can be used in different ways. He has done other kinds of voices, but that is the one I love the most from him. I also think with a few of his characters, there is a little added insanity to them, and if you don’t know what I mean, watch shows like The Misadventures of Flapjack or Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He has done a few video games like Blazing Dragons, one of my all-time favorite PlayStation 1 and Sega Saturn games, and I would like to see him in more video games.

6. John DiMaggio

http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120716140038/aquaman/images/1/18/John_Di_Maggio.jpg

While known as a voice actor for snarky characters like Bender from Futurama, he is also rather good at playing villains in a serious or silly light. For example, he is the voice of Gorilla Grodd and Aquaman from Batman: The Brave and the Bold and as the Joker from Batman: Under the Red Hood. His roles in video games have been very minor, with only a few roles here and there, and again, more video game companies should hire him. He has also done silly characters like Jake, from Adventure Time, but whether you like him when he is being silly or serious, he is a good voice actor, and hiring him will always be a wise investment.

7. Frank Welker

http://0.tqn.com/d/animatedtv/1/0/G/E/1/71522471.jpg

Megatron, from the 80’s Transformers and the 2010’s Transformers Prime, Freddy Jones and Scooby Doo from almost every single Scooby Doo incarnation, Abu from Aladdin, Curious George from the mid 2000’s Curious George film, Ralph the Guard from Tiny Toons and Animaniacs, Slimer from Ghostbusters, The Ancient One from StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and Tortoro from My Neighbor Tortoro. I don’t think I need to say why this guy is so good. Moving on!

8. Mark Hamill

http://wfiles.brothersoft.com/m/mark_hamill_59705-1280x1024.jpg

Oh boy, here is another voice actor I just love to talk about and praise to the gates of Valhalla. He is Joker from most Batman incarnations, Fire Lord Ozai from Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Watcher from Darksiders, and many other villain characters from games, shows, and film. To my surprise, he has done a good job with also being really funny, with certain characters he has voiced in the past. He just gets it, and I get so excited each time I see he will be doing a voice in a show, movie, or game.

So, be sure and stay tuned for another list of my favorite voice actors . There are simply too many for one list!