There were a wide number of options for games to pick for my personal game of the year, and while I haven’t played all the biggest games, I did still play my fair share of games released in 2014. Sadly while many of these were wonderful games to play them could not all make the cut when it came down to me picking my final six nominees. So with that I thought it would be good to provide an honourable mention to these games that were good but didn’t quite make the cut for my personal game of the year.
Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
Ah Donkey Kong where have you been all these years, 2010’s Donkey Kong Country Returns never truly felt like a Donkey Kong game to me. It is suggestible that this is part because of the game being a major departure from what I loved about the Super Nintendo classics and even the 64 game. However Tropical Freeze revitalized my dying love for the franchise by bringing me back to the Donkey Kong franchise I loved. The clever level design constantly kept me engaged and I was rarely bored as the game kept constantly providing changes as we bounced between worlds. Tropical Freeze only just barely missed out on being a nominee for game of the year but it is worth noting just how great this game is.
Infamous Second Son
There is a lot to both love and hate about Infamous Second Son, however positively the positives do outweigh the negatives. The only real flaw with the game is its absolutely pathetic excuse for a man character, that is not to say that characters that are dorks are bad it is just simply that Delsin is far too big of one to be a true favorite. However everything else about the game plays beautifully, the world is literally littered with things to do and the multiple types of powers helps things remain constantly interesting. Commonly I preferred a specific power set but it was nice to have the options of powers that I wanted to use. Then there is also the combat, with new skills to unlock consistently and numerous combat options based on different powers it was consistently enjoyable, even to the point where I found myself about twenty hours or more into the game.
Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart, whenever many of us hear that name it fills us with joy, we remember our childhood and all the fun we had playing the past entries. Even as we reached the eighth entry in the franchise many of us who consistently played the games were still excited to get a new one. Surely Nintendo delivered with its latest entry Mario Kart 8, the most notable thing about the game is the jaw dropping look of each and every course that exists within, and even classic Super Nintendo courses look absolutely stunning. Then we get to the courses as a whole and the game exhibits some of the most imaginative and enjoyable courses to date each continuing to carry over ideas presented in the past entries such as the glider and propeller from Mario Kart 7. What made a variety of levels better though was the anti-gravity mechanic which while it never adds much to the game as a whole, it made for some cool additions to basic level design which was always enjoyable. Even classic stages saw the same treatment and have never looked or even played better than they do now and I enjoyed each and every one of them except personally Yoshi Valley which does quite contain the same vibe as the original Nintendo 64 classic. The only thing that really held this back from being a Game of the year for me was the pathetic excuse for a battle mode which was usually a starring feature in past entries.
Super Smash Brothers for Nintendo 3DS
I will be honest Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 3DS did not excite me, I honestly doubted it would work on a small screen, however Nintendo managed to surprise me. While the game struggles to really gather the same excitement and sheer brilliance of its Wii U sibling it does still manage to stand on its own two feet and for one particular reason. This is basically just how great it is to play Super Smash Brothers on the go, it can be played anywhere and the screen size is not actually a problem unlike my original concern was. Likewise, it was very easy to get good at this game and be able to find constant enjoyment out of playing such an amazing game on the go. Now Amiibo support has been added I am liking it more and it is more for the purpose of playing on the go. Unfortunately the problem of getting lost on screen is a recurring issue that holds the game back from true glory and the fact outside of traditional battles the game does not offer much more, but it is still worth playing and worth noting as one of the 3DS consoles best games.
Lego the Hobbit
Lego games are one group that tends to come in the form of either hit or miss to me and the last Lego game I truly enjoyed was Lego City Undercover, however that was until I started playing Lego the Hobbit. Immediately the games problems were extremely noticeable, you have several dwarfs each with their own abilities and having to keep track of who is who and what each can do gets extremely annoying, but you know what I saw past this and saw something wonderful. Lego the Hobbit is riddled with well-placed humor that ties in perfectly with the very nature of the Hobbit movies, it was exceptionally rare that I would not chuckle during cutscenes or even sometimes missions. Game wise it was great too, each level delivered fun missions to complete and presented the perfect showing of the source material. Though the best part was the overworld it was easy to get lost in this labyrinth of areas to explore but it did not matter the overworld was ripe with things to do and places to explore and of course iconic locations. This was not one of 2014’s best games but it did bring a great deal of enjoyment and happiness to me.
Some of these games missed out on being one of my Game of the Year nominees by the tiniest bit but I still felt it was worth noting each game and sharing my thoughts.