Dustin’s Top 10 Games of the Year of 2014
Hey everyone! Long time, huh? Well, it is sad to say that this will be the last post on Zero Second Cooldown. I had a great time doing this, and I’ll miss it, but I can’t afford the time in doing it to the extent that I would’ve loved, so I’m sorry in advance. But, let’s not be sad, and instead, let’s talk about some of my favorite games of the year!
First, I’m going to talk about some games that don’t quite make the list, but I still wanted to bring up in some capacity.
Old Game of 2014: Telltale’s The Walking Dead
Well, I first tried The Walking Dead in 2012 after Giant Bomb’s Game of the Year podcasts, but after playing episode 1 I wasn’t really hot on it. The choices didn’t grab me, and even turned me off a bit, and that just stopped me from wanting to play it. I picked Episode 2 back in June, and quickly fell in love with the characters and the writing. Although it was a bit rocky at points, t was a game I couldn’t get enough of, and even now, have played through multiple times with other people. It’s a very solid game, one that I wish I played and appreciated back when it came out.
Honorable Mentions of 2014:
A small created by indie developer Aeryne Wright, Peregrine is a small, simple game, but very beautiful. It has simple writing, but the look and feel and sounds of the game are all very effective. It’s a short, free experience, and one I couldn’t recommend enough. The visuals are one of the most appealing, eye-catching things this year.
The Terror Aboard the Speedwell:
Interactive fiction done incredibly well. The Terror Aboard the Speedwell is a sci-fi Twine, but evokes terror, atmosphere, and suspense not unlike how I felt about games like 999. It’s filled with content and now even free. It’s something that after going through it once, I want to go through it again to see what I could possibly change through my choices.
SWERY does it again. Although I only watched the Two Best Friends playthrough of D4, it was a game that, had I played it, it would have EASILY made my top 10. It’s just wacky and smart and it has a fantastic theme. I really hope I can play it in the future, and I hope SWERY can continue making more episodes, because I feel it’s a game that needs to continue.
Now, onto the meat of this list, my top 10 games of 2014.
10. Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Probably one of my favorite Kirby games ever. Once again, it’s adorable and filled with charm, probably one of the best parts of Kirby games. And it actually has a story, and cutscenes! It’s such a neat little game, and shows that even if Kirby isn’t one of the A tier Nintendo franchises, it can still hang with the best of them.
Wow. This game is super enjoyable. It’s really, really funny. I had a smile on my face the entire time I went through it. It’s a spy game based with imagery and story around old style Cold War propaganda media in terms of looks and style. It’s super slick and even if it is a bit on the shorter side (a few hours at most), I’m able to look past that and love it despite that. God, I just wish more games that aimed towards comedy were actually this funny.
8. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
The newest Smash is super solid and enjoyable. After the misstep that was Brawl, Smash Bros. for Wii U comes back guns blazing, with a (mostly) great character cast, fantastic music remixes, and a LOT to do even if you’re playing by yourself. Counting in some solid online, and it’s no doubt that this is one of my favorite Smash games—and maybe it’ll even be my favorite in the future. All I can hope is that we get more stages and more characters, because that would improve what is already a fantastic game.
I just wish we got Magicant on the Wii U version.
7. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Man, it’s a great thing I held off on posting this list until I played this list, because it stormed in out of nowhere to really shake things up. It’s probably the most adorable game this year, and the Pixar-esque look from Mario 3D World REALLY looks great with Captain Toad. With 64 main levels and other bonus levels, each one with challenges to complete and challenge times to beat, and wow, this game really became something I got hooked to. I already beat all of the core and bonus levels, and I’m still hooked on the final bonus level.
It’s what happens when you take the jumping out of Mario, and wow, it works super well. It doesn’t miss a beat, and it shows that Nintendo can really make a polished game.
6. Shovel Knight
I’m a big fan of Mega Man 2, so Shovel Knight was something I quickly jumped into and fell in love with. It’s an ode to that style of games without feeling like it’s completely pandering to them in a negative way. It’s a fantastic game with incredibly tight mechanics and potential for challenge, and one that I even jumped back into right away after beating it. In a game that emulates the era and style of games that had top notch level design, Shovel Knight truly has some top notch level design—as well as top notch looks and music. I can’t recommend this enough.
5. Dark Souls 2
Although I played Dark Souls before Dark Souls 2, Dark Souls 2 grabbed me much more than its predecessor. Although it isn’t as solidly designed as Dark Souls, it’s still fun to go through, even if the level design is a bit theme park at times, and running with different builds trying out bosses is a lot of fun. Not to mention that each DLC is very well and very smartly made with some of the best boss fights I’ve ever played. It’s not hard for me to recommend Dark Souls 2, not in the slightest.
4. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Such a great game. Gosh. The Danganronpa series, while they have some rather subpar gameplay, have some amazing characters. It’s one of those rare games where I come to think about the characters and love the characters as much as I have with the Danganronpa games, not to mention the completely unexpected story—twists and all. Between the two games, I have to recommend the second one, because the story is amped up even more, the trials are amped up even more, and the characters are amped up even more.
3. Bayonetta 2
Man, such a high octane game. I know a lot of the games I’ve played this year have been similar in style and being over the top, this one takes the cake. From the very first level on, I had a smile on my face the whole way through and didn’t want to put the controller down. The combat is incredibly tight and polished, even after my loving The Wonderful 101 last year, I think Bayonetta 2 comes close to beating that game out for me in terms of combat systems—stuff like Witch Time are incredibly inventive and add a lot to the combat.
2. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
How Bayonetta 2 is tight in combat, Tropical Freeze is tight in platforming. Probably my favorite 2D platformer I’ve ever played, the looks of the game are varied, colorful, lush, and beautiful, and the soundtrack has a bunch of different takes thanks to David Wise, and each song is truly fantastic. The inclusion of other characters like Diddy, Dixie, and Cranky, make the game a lot of fun and varies the gameplay a lot. Even if I wanted Retro to make something else, I’m honestly pretty glad they made Tropical Freeze. I never played a lot of the Wii version, and this game hits all of the right notes.
1 1. Transistor
This game really grabbed me immediately upon starting it. I love the art style. I love how the music varies from synth and electronic sounding, to the vocal tracks. The gameplay is really solid, leaving you to constantly think on your feet, but never too punishing—a right balance of difficulty. Not to mention, Red is one of my favorite character designs and protagonists of the year. And that ending? Wow, that really got me, I’ll say that much. It’s a very masterful game, not to mention a brand new IP from an indie developer. It’s a game I truly can’t recommend enough if you have access to it.