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Published on January 7th, 2015 | by Dembonez19

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James’s Top 5 Favorite Games of 2014

As someone with a super tight budget, there are very few games that I am willing to spend money on as soon as they are released. That being said, I certainly didn’t play as many new games as some of my buddies in 2014, but the ones I DID play were solid and definitely worth a mention on my top five list today! Piggybacking off of Jon’s list, here are my Top 5 Favorite Games of 2014.

I do have one honorable mention before beginning:

Tomodachi Life (3DS)
This is a game for anyone who has created a bunch of Miis but haven’t found a way to use them. Tomodachi Life holds over 100 Miis and allows them to interact with each other by forming friendships and relationships with one another. As simple as the game’s design is, it is so easy to become addicted to keeping up with what your Miis are doing at any given time and monitoring who they like the most or who they absolutely hate. It’s a clever game, but it is only an honorable mention for the fact that as a simulation, it lacks a bit of replay value in that you know what to expect after awhile.

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5. Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire (3DS)
The Pokémon series is something I look forward to every time it is mentioned at E3 or on Nintendo Direct. It’s a series to easily be hyped for because they’re constantly trying to change the series for the better. As someone who has never played the third generation (aside from a randomizer Nuzlocke run that doesn’t count), this felt like a COMPLETELY new experience for me, and I really enjoyed it. The only things I missed were the customizations from Pokémon X & Y, but I understand they were trying to maintain the integrity of the first trip to Hoenn by keeping Brandon’s and May’s appearances similar to the way they were before. Still, it is a great game with an evolved story that extended beyond the standard game, and I look forward to breeding all of the new Mega Pokémon that were introduced this time!

4. LittleBigPlanet 3 (PS4)
After playing through LittleBigPlanet Karting and discovering many faults that were never fixed, I was hopeful that MediaMolecule would at least be more involved in the creation of their main series baby once LittleBigPlanet 3 rolled around. Luckily, they were. Sumo Digital took the reigns for a lot of the game, but they did a good job. There were certainly a lot of bugs that were hard to overlook on launch, but these days, that’s to be expected. In spite of the crashing and file corruption, I STILL came back for more, and that just proves that LittleBigPlanet 3 is just that addictive. With SIXTEEN layers introduced to the levels, they were as massive as they were memorable! The introduction of Toggle, Swoop, and Oddsock were greatly welcomed and provided new ways to play as well as the introduction of new power-ups and the ability to create your own! Furthermore, the story was charming as usual and included an excellent voice-over cast including easily recognizable names like Nolan North and Hugh Laurie. It was a great addition to my small PS4 collection, and I look forward to more from the LittleBigPlanet crew.

3. Super Smash Bros. (Wii U)
I had a tough time choosing between the Wii U and the 3DS versions, but I think some of the additions to the Wii U version give it a slight edge as much as I thoroughly enjoyed Smash Run in the 3DS version over its replacement, Smash Tour, on the Wii U. Still, the Wii U version of the game looks gorgeous, and in my opinion, it is easier to play. The introduction of 8-player Smashes was something I wasn’t too hyped for until I got the game. It makes me think about what could possibly be introduced in the future for online play…granted Nintendo has stronger online servers in the future. The characters all look great on the television vs. the small screen of the 3DS, and I have had a lot of fun simply collecting power-ups and trophies along with fighting with my friends online. The roster is HUGE, and while Ice Climbers were my mains in Brawl (after Toon Link), the roster is so vast that I don’t mind that they’re not there. The introduction of fun new characters like Bowser Jr. and Robin make up for missing some of the characters I enjoyed in the past.

2. Watch Dogs (PS4)
Okay, confession time. I haven’t played through the entire game yet, but what I have played, I’ve enjoyed tremendously. This game is completely different from all of the other games I have on my list, but it’s here because I love the open world feel of it. As a glutton for punishment, I like wandering around the city of Chicago wreaking havoc and forcing police chases just to see if I can get away. It not only provides great practice for the campaign, but it also grants you with valuable XP that you could also use during story missions. I like being fully prepared for anything, so beefing up Aiden Pearce’s arsenal to the max is fine by me, even if I’m still in the early parts of the campaign. I have yet to play around with the online capabilities, but that is only because I preparing for a playthrough in the near future and would prefer NOT to be interrupted. It seems cool though how you can hack into others’ games, and it’s also good that you can turn it off considering it could potentially be annoying to have to chase so many people out…or, you know…kill them.

1. Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
I knew that whenever this game came out, it would be a lot of fun. If anyone has been keeping up with Jon’s Mario Kart series since the Wii version, there have been a lot of laughs (and possibly some shed tears) over the chaotic but addictive and fun races. Someone said it before that there is no better way to lose friends than by playing Mario Kart, whether it’s by a blue shell at the finish line or a banana on a jump. Still, we all keep coming back for more, and since they reintroduced 12-player races, even more of your friends can join in on the chaos for better or for worse! New DLC was released last year that provided some very cool new and returning tracks as well as characters and karts, and there is an upcoming DLC this year that will provide even more! I hope they continue this and add even more in the future because it only adds to Mario Kart 8‘s already great replay factor. Of the games on my list, this is one that everyone can enjoy whether you are a hardcore gamer or not. Great for family and friends alike! Full review

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I may not have bought many new games in 2014, but I enjoyed all of the ones I played. This year in gaming, however, I believe my wallet will be sobbing as there are a handful of games that I am very excited for. Assuming that all will have a console release this year, I’m curious to know which of these will make it into my Top 5 for 2015:

Pokkén TournamentJon and I constructed a couple of lists of Pokémon we would like to see in this game once it’s released. Arcades should see Pokkén Tournament sometime this year, so we will know for sure if our hopefuls made the cut. People have been requesting more of a real-time fighting style Pokémon game for awhile now, and it’s finally happening! I think this is an exciting addition for the Pokémon franchise, and Bandai Namco’s fighting games are always wonderfully designed.

Yoshi’s Woolly World – I have yet to play Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but I know that if Woolly World is anything like Epic Yarn, it will be an enjoyable and unique experience for Yoshi, his friends, and his foes. After Yoshi’s New Island received mediocre marks, to say I’m not skeptical about this game would be a lie. I do look forward to seeing more about it, however, and my expectations are somewhat high.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – Nathan Drake is back for what may be his final adventure. I’m curious to see the direction this game goes now that Amy Kennig, creative director of the previous Uncharted games, has left. The gameplay of the first three games is more or less the same, but that isn’t to say the series isn’t fun or exciting. The balance between combat and puzzles is just right, and I hope they stick to that formula in Uncharted 4 with a few new gadgets mixed in. Some gameplay footage revealed a new tool that could assist in Drake’s aim while jumping towards cliffs which I would greatly appreciate as my depth perception is less-than-perfect. Furthermore, there are some surprising new story elements that have been revealed that are making me even MORE excited for this title.

Dead Island 2 – If anyone watched my Dead Island: Riptide playthrough with Jesus and Duke, our reactions to the ending were similar. It was pretty blah. It opened up the door to a sequel, but the fact that our favorite characters may not be there was disappointing. Perhaps they WILL be there in some form or fashion, but based on the reveals so far, we’re looking at a brand new crew that utilizes the same abilities as the group before them. Riptide, while it lacked in side quests, had a more involved plot that included more people than just the playable characters which I liked. I would love to see Dead Island 2 keep that same plot involvement while also adding some more side quests for extra exploration.

Dying LightDead Island with parkour, Dying Light is coming out THIS MONTH! I feel like this will be much more fast-paced than the zombie games I’m used to, and I love the idea of having a virtually limitless open world with the addition of parkour. Giving people multiple ways to get around to avoid zombies and infiltrate certain areas is really cool. Plus, the fact that zombies grow stronger once the sun sets adds to the intensity and necessity of escaping. While playing Dead Island, I was definitely in “kill mode” the majority of the time. With Dying Light, I am looking forward to playing more cautiously and hopefully being a little more scared.

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About the Author

Recent college graduate with a BA in Game Art and Design and extremely avid gamer to boot.



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