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Laura Dale's attempt to nail down some Game of the Year 2014 winners photo
Laura Dale's attempt to nail down some Game of the Year 2014 winners
by Laura Kate Dale

It's that wonderful time of year again where I'm expected to sum up my thoughts on an entire year of videogames in one digestible list of what was objectively best and what I enjoyed subjectively in various categories. It's time to take all the videogames I loved and pit them against one another, forcing them to fight to the death until one one comes out as an award winner. 

You know what? Screw that! Everything I loved is getting an award this year, even if it's horribly flawed and objectively worse than something else it would normally be up against. These are my Game of the Year picks, all my weird tastes are getting the awards they deserve. Let's do this, these awards are totes legit.

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GOTY 2014: Best evidence that we should go full communism  photo
GOTY 2014: Best evidence that we should go full communism
by Steven Hansen

I'm back, baby!

You thought Steven Hansen's Destructoid's 2014 GOTY awards were done at three, come sambuca con la mosca? That we want health, happiness, and prosperity, rather than four (death)? We're up all night to get unlucky my friends. And to drink a bottle of Chartreuse so that our New Year's Eve vomit looks like Ecto Cooler Hi-C and the Streets of San Francisco run green with ghost spume.

I believe it was communist philosophers Groucho Marx and John Lennon who said, "The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas," and that's, like, so true! A distanced citizenry treated as targets (consumers) versus an engaged citizenry treated as co-conspirators and friendos can lead to anti-consumer practices. That's why the open nature of crowd funding and early access development has been big this year, as invested fans have helped bear titles that did not need mass market appeal. Sometimes you can use a little help from your friendos, because we're all in this together, man. 

Invisible Inc. is das kapital example of Early Access success and the winner of the Steven Hansen's Destructoid's 2014 GOTY award for Best evidence that we should go full communism. It is, by a wide margin, the game I have played most this year, and it's not even "finished." And, hey, maybe it sits on the wrong side of its tekno-Cold War-era aesthetic (the English-speaking side), but that angular 2D art and XCOM-like turn-based stealth are fresher than you might think given I just used a 20-year-old game as a reference point. Seriously, though. Turn-based stealth. It's amazing. 

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Alessandro Fillari's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014 photo
Alessandro Fillari's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014
by Alessandro Fillari

What a ride 2014 has been, right? There's definitely been a few ups and downs for everyone, including some that wanted to get their last licks before the year closes out. Still, we got to see some pretty exciting titles released, some that delivered and others not so much. Regardless of what your feelings are of the games, you can't deny that we've had plenty to play this year. So with that, I've decided to take a shot at talking about my noteworthy, standout, and otherwise memorable games of this year.

I'm not particularly fond of doing a full ten list, even though I've got plenty to say about the year's offerings -- so I've taken a cue from John Cusack and brought things down to a nice list of five. Though five is an odd number, the shorter length will make it easier for me to focus on what really stood out as my favorites. I've also included some minor categories and other noteworthy picks from the year, as my big hope is that you'll get to see some games you might have missed, or even think of others in a new way.

So with that, here are my standout picks for games released in 2014.

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3:00 PM on 12.31.2014

What game will you ring in the New Year with?

New Year's Eve was always my favorite holiday growing up. Not only were there yummy snacks galore at whatever party my parents dragged me to each year, but the adults were normally so preoccupied with drinking and pretending ...

Mr Andy Dixon



Patrick Hancock's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014 photo
Patrick Hancock's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014
by Patrick Hancock

What a magical year this was! It's hard coming up with a GOTY list, especially if you force yourself to pick only 10. That's why I didn't, I picked as many as I needed to! It's thirteen; I picked thirteen games. 

There would probably be even more if I had played some of the games I really wanted to. But hey! Splitting time between fun and work is part of life, and it's a part we all strive to perfect. So anyway, here's the only list that matters this year: mine.

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Destiny is the most fascinating game of 2014, mostly for negative reasons photo
Destiny is the most fascinating game of 2014, mostly for negative reasons
by Chris Carter

I have roughly seven days of playtime logged into Destiny. I have a level 31 Warlock, Titan, and Hunter who are all one piece away from level 32 -- the current cap. I've completed the new Crota's End raid roughly 20 times, 10 of which I ran the sword for our group. You could say that I've played a lot of Destiny.

Even still, I find myself disliking most of the design decisions Bungie has made, and my opinion of the company has really gone downhill in general. The game is not only a Skinner box style loot-treadmill, but it also has a bunch of mind-boggling issues, made worse by the lack of communication by Bungie. It is a textbook example of an overhyped AAA game that failed to meet said hype.

With any luck, the developer will learn from its mistakes, and the game will be worth picking up in 2015. But before that time, I've had a great time experiencing the phenomenon, warts and all.

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4:00 PM on 12.30.2014

2014: Go F*ck Yourself

[Note: The Badger could be anyone -- a game developer, a member of the gaming press, even a writer for another game blog. They could be just one person or multiple people. You'll probably never find out who they really are, w...

The Badger



2014 recap: The 15 most popular posts on Destructoid this year photo
2014 recap: The 15 most popular posts on Destructoid this year
by Brett Makedonski

We post a lot of stuff here on Destructoid. News, reviews, opinion editorials -- you know the drill. Every now and then, a post will catch fire and get ridiculously popular. Sometimes it's a complete mystery as to why; sometimes it's very obvious (as is the case with number one on this list). Still, it's fun to look back at the end of the year and see what performed particularly well.

These are the 15 posts that performed best from a traffic standpoint in 2014. Because reviews are kind of in a league of their own, I've also included the top five toward the bottom. And, just for funsies, there are another five bonus posts that the staff enjoyed the most this year.

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3:30 PM on 12.29.2014

Holiday clearance! All Dtoid shirts now $12.95!

All t-shirts on the Destructoid store have been dropped down to $12.95! All the shirts are on clearance, meaning once they're out of print you won't be able to get these shirts again! We're making way for something new, ...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



Brittany Vincent's random assortment of Game of the Year 2014 picks photo
Brittany Vincent's random assortment of Game of the Year 2014 picks
by Brittany Vincent

I'm not entirely sure what year it is. Is it 2015? That's what I keep hearing around the internet. I'm pretty sure it's still 2014, at least for a few more days though. Who can be sure in tumultuous times like these?

Anyway, I can barely remember what I did yesterday or what happened on the last episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show I watched before the holiday break. So it's probably superfluous to attempt to recall every single game I played this year and rank how much I enjoyed each one.

So here's an attempt at diving deep into the dozens of games I played this year. I'm pretty sure I enjoyed a lot of them, but Wikipedia is failing me and GoDaddy doesn't save the changes sent to the server when I save my "recent articles" page on my portfolio hosted on WordPress, so I'm not even really sure what all came out this year. But I know which one was my favorite. It's Bayonetta 2, actually, because it's the only game I favored over sleep. And when I'm nearly fetishizing sleep at this point in my life and a game can hold my attention so long that I'll forgo resting in order to strike down just one more boss and get maybe 3.5 hours of sleep for my day job, it's something special.

So yeah, my games of 2014. Y'all betta werk.

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12:00 PM on 12.26.2014

The joy of loot in videogames

My first "loot-based" game was Diablo. I blame my addiction entirely on my friend Joey, who I played the game with online by way of a dial-up connection. Yep, it wasn't my fault at all in the slightest. He just had to tell me...

Chris Carter



The award for Best World Design of 2014 goes to... photo
The award for Best World Design of 2014 goes to...
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

Growing up, a lot of kids I knew liked to try to sound grown up by saying they played videogames "for the story". Maybe they had adapted the phrase from the adults they saw on TV who said they read Playboy magazine "for the articles". Regardless, the stories in the games they loved were often terrible, and they weren't the only ones. I'm not one to point fingers. There was a time when this was some of my favorite storytelling ever, in gaming or otherwise. 

So why are we so enthralled with bad stories? I can only speak for myself when I say that the world crafting in a game can often compensate for failings in narrative. When we watch a good movie or read a good book, effective storytelling can transport us to other worlds. A game doesn't need to rely on storytelling to do that. Instead, we can skip over the storytelling part through methods unique to gaming as a medium, planting us directly into their worlds through techniques that we're still learning to truly understand.  

This year in videogames brought many amazing worlds to life. The write-in votes for this category, including Tomodachi Life, Shovel Knight, Broken Age: Act 1, Bayonetta 2, Hohokum, and Extrasolar are about as varied a bunch of games as you could expect to see. That came across in the voting as well, where our staff's preferences were on full display. One staff member would give nearly every vote to South Park, where another would place the game at the bottom of the barrel. In the end, we had yet another three way tie for third place between Valiant Hearts, Five Nights at Freddy's, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. That left two games to fight it out, Bravely Default and Alien: Isolation, with just a vote between them deciding the winner. Read on to find out who came out on top, and don't forget to vote in our reader's poll on the way out

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12:00 PM on 12.25.2014

What do you think of 'weekly resets' in online games?

Many, many MMOs and other such online games (Destiny) have weekly "reset" periods. They usually take place on a Tuesday, and allow you earn raid loot and weekly quest rewards again, as well as earn whatever tokens or currency...

Chris Carter



WarioWare Inc. is my favorite multiplayer game, forever photo
WarioWare Inc. is my favorite multiplayer game, forever
by Jordan Devore

Before drifting to sleep these past several nights, I've thought about my favorite multiplayer game, WarioWare Inc.: Mega Party Game$!, and how it will almost certainly hold that honor forever.

It's been on my mind lately because, like Nic, I associate the holidays with couch-based multiplayer. In our family, WarioWare Inc. is it: the ultimate feel-good game that anyone, regardless of skill – and especially those with minimal skill – can enjoy. It's fiercely competitive, but no one comes out feeling like a loser. And, if there are no unclaimed controllers left, spectating is also a joy.

WarioWare Inc. gets physical. You don't know which microgame will pop up until the TV barks instructions at you and, oh shit, there's a hotdog on wheels coming right at you. Better hop, fast! It elicits that thing you used to do, years ago, where you'd literally move your body while jumping over pits in Super Mario Bros. Nope, you didn't outgrow the behavior. You never outgrow it.

One of the modes, Listen to the Doctor, requires you to act out requests while playing. Make duck sounds. Yell your favorite color. Close one eye. It's on each of you to applause (in-game) for accuracy after every "performance," but bartered deals and old grudges are unavoidable.

"Clap a bunch for me and I'll clap for you, too," they always say. Liar! Why must you lie?!

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11:00 AM on 12.24.2014

What was the strangest gaming-related Christmas present you've ever gotten?

I owe a lot of my gaming knowledge to my mother. She was very supportive of my habit, allowing me to rent many, many games at my local video store that ran a "two for Tuesday" promotion. Not only were the prices considerably ...

Chris Carter

7:30 PM on 12.22.2014

I've neglected my Tomodachi Life island for too long

While reading through Darren's personal picks for game of the year, I realized something troubling: I haven't played Tomodachi Life in, oh my god, months. Literal months. And it's not like the signs weren't there. I had, as I...

Jordan Devore