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Nic Rowen's list of the best games of the year

Nic Rowen, Contributor - Destructoid
11 minutes ago - 4:00 PM on 12.22.2014
Nic Rowen's list of the best games of the year photo

2014 was such a weird year in games for me. If you had asked me last January how I thought this list would have shook out, I'd have been far off the mark. For one thing, I would have expected a slew of amazing new Xbox One and PS4 games taking up the top slots, but we all know that didn't happen for various reasons (maybe next year!). From the games that did make the list, some of my most anticipated titles of the year hit harder than others, while some of my absolute favorites turned out to be complete surprises!

Whatever my expectations were, I had an amazing time in 2014. Here are the titles that touched the black soylent mass of my heart the most this year.  


Mistwalker Announces Upcoming Terra Battle Concert

Terra Battle concert planning is now underway as the popular mobile-RPG surpasses 1 million downloads in less than a month. For more information on upcoming milestones and recently unlocked milestones, please visit Terra Battle's Download Starter.

Steam sale: The Walking Dead, Outlast, Saints Row IV

Brett Makedonski, Associate Editor - Destructoid
41 minutes ago - 3:30 PM on 12.22.2014
Steam sale: The Walking Dead, Outlast, Saints Row IV photo

Steam's trottin' out its (approximately) two-week train of titles, hoping to sell a few more units of each. As the consumer, you get to give a personal yay or nay on every single one of these. You're the emperor in Gladiator that pauses dramatically before casting a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. You decide whether these games live or die.

You really shouldn't have this much power.

What the butt? Shovel Knight is in Road Redemption

Jordan Devore, Managing Editor - Destructoid
1 hour ago - 3:00 PM on 12.22.2014

Shovel Knight's surprise appearance in Road Rash spiritual successor Road Redemption seems like the result of the developers meeting over drinks, someone throwing out a wild idea, and no one being sober enough to interject. Then again, this is the studio responsible for butt mode.

Bless 'em.

Toys"R"Us reaches out to those affected by the Lucario amiibo situation

Chris Carter, Reviews Director - Destructoid
1 hour ago - 2:52 PM on 12.22.2014

[Update: The Amiibo Enquirer has seemingly figured out why people ended up in either group. If you got the latter email, it's because you payed with PayPal or a gift card, which basically means you're screwed. Everyone else will be fine according to Toys"R"Us, and your order should be in the system as of today.]

Last week, many people woke up to get ready for work only to find out that their Lucario amiibo pre-orders were canceled. No big deal right? It's not like the amiibo was exclusive to Toys"R"Us or anything and that many had pre-ordered as soon as it became available.

Last night the retailer reached out to many of the affected shoppers (myself included) with the following message:

We are reaching out today regarding the recent cancellation that has occurred with your online order. Unfortunately, there was a processing error that caused your order to erroneously cancel. However, we want you to know that your order has been reinstated. We thank you for your patience as we work to remedy this situation. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

But some people weren't as lucky apparently, as they obtained another message:

We are reaching out today regarding the recent cancellation that has occurred with your online order(s). Unfortunately, there was a processing error that caused your order(s) to cancel. Legally, we cannot reinstate your order(s) however we are working to put a process in place that will allow you to purchase these items within the week. We will be reaching out to you as soon as we have specifics and appreciate your patience and understanding. We sincerely apologize for this cancellation and the inconvenience it has caused and will be in touch shortly.

We'll see what happens soon enough, but it looks like some people are going to have their pre-orders reinstated. The others may be given a "heads up" on when to grab another pre-order round -- a "heads up" that will likely be leaked on the internet in seconds.

[Thanks, Dan!]

Bill Platt's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014

Bill Platt, Community Playdate Manager - Destructoid
1 hour ago - 2:30 PM on 12.22.2014
Bill Platt's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014 photo

2014 was a phenomenal year for gaming. I don’t think there was a genre that didn't have a game I absolutely loved. Now, the truth is that I’m easy to please; I could never do reviews. I see the fault in games, but I can almost always look pass that to find the silver lining hidden underneath. The list below was very, very difficult for me to put together. I wanted to do a typical “top ten,” but I couldn't seem to narrow the list down. What I ended up with was a “top eleven,” with a whole bunch of honorable mentions (and even those had to be cut down, which was difficult as well).

These games gave me the most joy this year, and I hope at least some of them found their way not only into your hands but into your hearts.

The Halo 5 early access beta left me pleasantly surprised

Brett Zeidler, Contributor - Destructoid
2 hour ago - 2:00 PM on 12.22.2014
The Halo 5 early access beta left me pleasantly surprised photo

When we reviewed Halo 4, we really liked it. If you were to ask me personally, I was not enthusiastic about the game at all. Campaign aside, the multiplayer clearly lost sight of what made Halo multiplayer so damn fun in the first place. That was a real bummer.

And so, one can understand why I was wary of the direction Halo 5: Guardians' multiplayer would likely take. 343 has been promising that we would see a return to the classic arena style, and, after spending time with the early access beta over the weekend, the studio has delivered.

D4, The Witcher 2, and MX vs. ATV Alive free for Xbox Live Gold subscribers in January

Jordan Devore, Managing Editor - Destructoid
2 hour ago - 1:30 PM on 12.22.2014
D4, The Witcher 2, and MX vs. ATV Alive free for Xbox Live Gold subscribers in January photo

I got an Xbox One the other week. One of the first things I did after spending far too long finding a place for the Kinect to reside that wasn't obnoxiously front and center was to see which system-exclusive games I had up until now missed. Looking over the marketplace, not many titles jumped out at me, though there weren't many to begin with. Here's to you, 2015. You'll treat us well.

Dark Dreams Don't Die was at the top of my informal list of must-play Xbox One games because of its director, Swery (of Deadly Premonition and Spy Fiction fame) but I got sidetracked that day. And I'm thankful I did: the episodic adventure game is going to be free for Xbox Live Gold subscribers throughout January. Talk about a palate cleanser after this month's freebie Worms Battlegrounds.

On the Xbox 360 front, Gold members will be able to download MX vs. ATV Alive from January 1 - January 15, and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings from January 16 - January 31.

Xbox Live Games with Gold for January 2015 [Major Nelson -- Thanks, Captain 'Merica]

Mega Man and Sonic are lined up for Free Comic Book Day again

Chris Carter, Reviews Director - Destructoid
3 hour ago - 1:00 PM on 12.22.2014
Mega Man and Sonic are lined up for Free Comic Book Day again photo

Free Comic Book Day will arrive yet again in May 2015, where you can go to select local shops and pick up an assortment of free literature. Traditionally Archie has gotten into the event with their Mega Man and Sonic lines, and this year you'll find the "Worlds Unite" cross-over series.

The book specifically is of the flip variety, and will feature two separate stories in one, serving as a prequel to the new crossover -- which is said to also star the Sonic Boom universe.

Archie Comics [Twitter]

Amazon's trying to steal Steam's thunder with a bunch of PC download sales

Brett Makedonski, Associate Editor - Destructoid
3 hours ago - 12:30 PM on 12.22.2014
Amazon's trying to steal Steam's thunder with a bunch of PC download sales photo

Tread lightly, Amazon. You're setting up shop in a part of town that's run by Sticky Fingers Newell and his crew. That's not just bad for business; that's bad for your kneecaps.

But, here are all your wares anyway -- PC download deals ranging from cheap to "not that great." You could've just stuck to tangible products, Amazon. That way, nobody has a problem. As it is, Gabe might have to send you a housewarming gift of a pair of cement galoshes and a new water bed.

SXPD reminds me of Madworld's art style

Chris Carter, Reviews Director - Destructoid
4 hours ago - 12:00 PM on 12.22.2014

A new game featuring an all-female police force called SXPD is out this week on iOS and Android devices. Described as a "comic-game hybrid," you'll have to defeat an evil order as you patrol New Royale, the United States' 52nd state. Visually, it looks a lot like 2000 AD and Madworld.

The game is $1.99 upfront for the first chapter, and will feature more comic related material by Duke Mighten, as well as a number of challenge modes.

343 apologizes for Master Chief Collection issues with free ODST remake

Brett Makedonski, Associate Editor - Destructoid
4 hours ago - 11:30 AM on 12.22.2014
343 apologizes for Master Chief Collection issues with free ODST remake photo

The troubled launch of 343 Industries' Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been well-documented. Ever since its November 11 release, players routinely experienced difficulties getting the multiplayer component of the game to work, as 343 scrambled to develop patch after patch hoping to rectify the situation.

While the situation is less than ideal, 343 and Microsoft are attempting to make amends. Over the weekend, it was revealed that anyone who played Master Chief Collection online between launch and December 19 would receive a remake of Halo 3: ODST free sometime in the (presumably) near future. It wasn't mentioned, but it's also reasonable to assume that ODST will also be a paid add-on for everyone else sometime down the line.

Microsoft and 343 are sweetening the pot a bit more beyond just ODST. Other tokens of apology to be gifted to early adopters are the Halo 2 anniversary map "Relic," a free month of Xbox Live Gold, and an exclusive in-game avatar and nameplate.

This act isn't necessarily unprecedented. Just last month, Ubisoft announced that all Assassin's Creed Unity players would receive the first campaign DLC free of charge because of the game's bungled launch.

A Thank You to Our Fans from Bonnie Ross [Xbox Wire]

Resogun weaves its way onto PS3 and Vita tomorrow

Kyle MacGregor, Associate Editor - Destructoid
5 hours ago - 11:00 AM on 12.22.2014
Resogun weaves its way onto PS3 and Vita tomorrow photo

Resogun is coming to PlayStation 3 and Vita tomorrow with cross-buy support.

Dale North gave Housemarque's voxel-charged shoot-'em up a glowing review when it first arrived on PS4. He called it "the ideal system launch game," reasoning it's something players will be happy to come back to time and again.

While it may not be a launch title for its new platforms, the fact remains this is a gorgeous shooter that just about anyone should be able to enjoy for a long time. It's fantastic more people will have the opportunity to experience the game this week.

The Drop: New PlayStation Games for 12/23/2014 [PlayStation Blog]

GTA: Chinatown Wars out now on Android

Chris Carter, Reviews Director - Destructoid
6 hours ago - 10:00 AM on 12.22.2014
GTA: Chinatown Wars out now on Android photo

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was an odd release. Rockstar decided to support a Nintendo platform and it paid off critically, but for whatever reason it never took off, and was ported to the PSP later that year and iOS the year after. Now you can experience it on Android this week.

While Chinatown Wars was released previously on iOS devices, but it wasn't fully optimized and it wasn't a universal app for tablets and phones -- both of those changes have also been made this week, as well as controller support.

GTA: Chinatown Wars [iOS, Android]

Amiibo wave 2b is severed further, Captain Falcon coming later in some cases

Chris Carter, Reviews Director - Destructoid
8 hours ago - 8:00 AM on 12.22.2014

It feels like almost daily I'm researching or getting tips on the amiibo situation, and I get even more "thank you" emails from collectors. It helps to be informed!

As we know the Wave 2 amiibo were split into two groups -- Diddy Kong, Zelda, and Little Mac -- and Luigi, Pit, and Captain Falcon. The former three shipped out recently, with Luigi and Pit shipping out to most retailers this week, if they aren't there already.

The big change though is Captain Falcon, who is showing up in multiple retailers' systems as delayed until December 30. Of course, some people already have him, but consider yourself lucky if that's the case. If you haven't had a chance to pre-order the captain, I'd check in with your local store first.

Namco given plenty of freedom with Pokémon fighter

Kyle MacGregor, Associate Editor - Destructoid
9 hours ago - 7:00 AM on 12.22.2014
Namco given plenty of freedom with Pokémon fighter photo

Nintendo seems to have a burgeoning penchant for collaboration. The platform holder has recently entered into partnerships with studios like Bandai Namco and Tecmo Koei, giving its third party associates license to toy around with some of its hottest properties. 

And by the sound of it, Nintendo isn't too shy or overprotective when doing so. According to Bandai Namco producer Katsuhiro Harada, his team is being given a good amount of leeway with its upcoming Pokémon fighting game, Pokkén Tournament.

“Surprisingly, they weren’t as strict as I expected them to be with Pokkén,” Harada told Korean outlet Inven. “We sent The Pokémon Company twenty ideas and they allowed all of them barring one: I suggested that we have different Pokémon Trainers fight, and they immediately denied it.”

The remark recalls something Platinum Games had to say about working with Nintendo. While Bayonetta 2 director Yusuke Hashimoto called Nintendo an "observer" more than anything, the publisher did make some interesting suggestions regarding the leading lady's Link outfit. Apparently the brass at Nintendo didn't think it was sexy enough, and had Platinum come back with a slightly more revealing redesign.

It will be interesting to see how else Nintendo and The Pokémon Company guide Bandai Namco's hand with Pokkén Tournament, which is set to debut in Japanese arcades next year.

 [인터뷰] 하라다PD "철권7, 미시마 가문의 역사에 종지부를 찍다" [Inven via Shoryuken]

Shonen Jump J-Stars VS+ coming to the West

Laura Kate Dale, Contributor - Destructoid
10 hours ago - 5:45 AM on 12.22.2014

Yes, the moment anime and manga fans in the West have been awaiting for quite some time is here. Shonen Jump J-Stars Victory VS+, a game that combines heroes from a huge number of Shonen Jump manga with an overly complex name, is coming to North America in Summer 2015 according to Bandai Namco.

Coming to PS3, PS4 and Vita, the North American release will feature a new Arcade mode, free battle modes, a story mode, some kind of victory road, and online multiplayer modes. It also has over 50 playable characters from 32 different series. Time for an overly long list of fictional character names from the Japanese release.