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GOTY

Zack Furniss' favorite moments of 2015

Jan 18 // Zack Furniss
Bloodborne's Bagmen Hot diggety, there are so many moments I could choose in Bloodborne. I wrote this awkwardly-titled piece about how From Software so effectively used misdirection throughout the game's marketing (give it a read, that's one of my favorites!), but one particular enemy encounter immediately comes to mind. The first time you meet the Bagmen/Kidnappers, they're most likely going to kill you in just two hits. That's terrifying enough already, but instead of the regular loading screen taking you back to the last checkpoint, you're greet with a cutscene. At this moment, you watch through your Hunter's eyes as he or she is dragged into an entirely new area, the Hypogean Gaol, where you're even more lost and confused than previous environments. It doesn't help that there are enemies in this area that can slit your throat, probably killing you instantly.  When dying over and over has become routine, changing the rules and subverting your deathly expectations is a smart way to discomfit the player. Well done, From Software. SOMA's second survey For some reason or another, I kept putting off SOMA. While I had enjoyed Frictional Games' previous work, the first few hours of its new underwater horror game put me off. I'm glad I came back and finished it a couple weeks ago, though, because the themes of transhumanism and body horror are probably permanently hard-wired into my brain now. Playing as a man who wakes up in an aquatic base long after the world should have ended, you soon realize there's no point in trying to save humanity in its current state. Instead of attempting to rescue the few remaining vestiges of mankind, you turn to the ARK. This device allows people's consciousnesses to to live on in a simulated utopia by way of brain scans, feeling for all intents and purposes like real humans.  After learning about the ARK, you take a survey that asks you questions, such as "Do you think this new existence will be worth living?" and  "How would describe your current mental condition?" Since you've recently found out that you're an imprint in a robotic suit, these questions are uncomfortable, but thought-provoking. You find new hope in the idea that you will, in a way, be able to regain your body and live in this new paradise. When launching the satellite, you try to transmit your consciousness to the scan on the ARK. However, you lose the coin flip, and remain in the body in an empty base, with no one to talk to and no reason to live. Even though you just "saved" humanity, there's a lump in your throat because you didn't get to save yourself. Puts things into perspective, doesn't it, you monster? The credits roll. But it gets worse. After the credits, you awaken in the serenely beautiful simulation of the ARK as the brain scan of your duplicated consciousness. On your way through an idyllic forest, a computer monitor nonsensically juts out of the soil. You can take the same exact survey as before, but knowing that you left part of yourself down to rot underwater on Earth, it's amazing just how much your answers will most likely change. Usually, games are more interested in altering the questions of the game, so watching Frictional Games morph your answers was a delightful surprise. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's Snowball Fight From an outsider's perspective, Geralt of Rivia sounds like a try-hard Dungeons & Dragons character made by an obnoxious friend: he has rippling muscles, wields two swords, is a mutant, has long, flowing white hair, and a magical penis that can't make babies or contract sexually-transmitted infections. Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with expectations of him being that simple is a mistake, though. Sometimes he has an annoyed half-grin plastered on his face; he's not above getting drunk, or trying on women's clothes, and he has a paternal, caring streak that makes him want to protect Ciri. Ciri's constantly imperiled, but can handle herself. As her father figure, you can keep defending her and trying to shelter the girl from the evils of the world, or you can accept that she's going to face danger head-on just like you've taught her. In a poignant moment, when she's struggling to learn how to use her abilities, Geralt can choose to either give her yet another lesson, or take her mind off things with a surprise snowball fight. Better yet, this is a playable moment, rather than a cutscene, and you can either beat Ciri or let her win. Sure, Geralt seems like an amalgam of clichés at times, but throughout The Witcher 3 you get to see him from all sorts of perspectives. This tender moment was a welcome respite from the monster hunting and Gwent playing (Gwent is awesome, shut your mouth). Undertale's Photoshop Flowey So, like SOMA, I only played Undertale once this New Year started. I was apprehensive because some things were spoiled for me and people who love the game fucking love it. It's hard not to go in with inflated expectations in a situation like this, but somehow Toby Fox's little creation completely won me over. Just like Bloodborne, Undertale is filled with moments that could go on this list. But the final boss of the Neutral Route edges out everything else out for me. I've always enjoyed games that hide horror elements under a false veneer, like Eversion. So when you think you're about to get a somewhat upbeat ending and a small Flower ends up being a terrifying Photoshopped monster that can destroy in seconds, I was sold. Photoshop Flowey looks especially disturbing considering the rest of the game is simple pixel art. Sure, the music is wonderful throughout, and Undertale plays around with RPG mechanics in fun ways, but this boss (and the way he toys with you and your save file) will stay with me the longest. So that's my little list! Here's to a memorable 2016!
Best of 2015 photo
Well, a few of them!
I know, I know. The first month of 2016 is halfway done and I'm still writing about 2015. Well it was a damn good year for games, okay? Back off, Mom. Instead of talking about my top picks from last year, I'm going to tell yo...

Kyle MacGregor's sexy picks for Game of the Year 2015

Jan 16 // Kyle MacGregor
Lara Croft Go If you were to glance through my collection of Wii games, you would see a number of rail shooters. This isn't because I especially love light gun games, though. They're just something the platform did particularly well. They played to the platform's unique strengths and sidestepped its weaknesses.  Acknowledging your constraints isn't a surefire recipe for success, but it does go a long way toward limiting the potential for failure. Had Square Enix Montréal attempted to craft a console-quality Tomb Raider game for mobile platforms, it might have come close. But doing so would have been an uphill battle, one where the best result would be a qualified response. "It's impressive, for a mobile game," you might say, rather than lauding it as a quality representation of the medium or series at large. Lara Croft Go doesn't attempt to do that. It goes with the grain, working with the limitations of a portable machine without buttons or joysticks. It distills the essence of Tomb Raider into a puzzle game with a limited scope and doesn't pretend to do any more. It knows exactly what it is and succeeds on its own terms, working with what is has instead of trying to be something it's not. Splatoon I've been playing a lot of Star Wars: Battlefront lately. I'm not entirely sure why, other than the fact it trades on nostalgia and I'm still caught in the penumbra of The Force Awakens hype. I've come to accept Battlefront as a competent multiplayer shooter, but initially I was quite disappointed in the game. It had me questioning whether the genre was something I could even enjoy anymore. Splatoon is a beacon of hope in the dark, gritty, stale, banal world of multiplayer shooters. It's difficult to believe that Nintendo, a company that owes much of its success to recycling decades-old formulas, to leave its comfort zone and brilliantly turn an established genre on its head. I pray this is a sign of things to come for Nintendo and its new generation of young designers. Downwell These days, there are so many games out there competing for our time. It's impossible to play them all. I only gave Downwell the time of day because my coworkers refused to shut the fuck up about it. And I'm glad they didn't. She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid.  Under Night In-Birth: Exe Late As a member of the enthusiast press, it's sometimes easy to forget how small a slice of the gaming public are "core gamers." Even though it seems like everyone and their brother has a PlayStation 4, I think it's important to remember there are still a lot of PlayStation 3s in active service around the world. Hell, I know a good number of people who never moved on beyond the Nintendo 64. That said, fewer and fewer games are coming out for the last-generation platforms all the time. And many of the games that are still trickling onto the older hardware are of the Japanese variety. Because Japan didn't take to the new machines as quickly as did the West, it's created a sort of lag between the generations, which in turn has been exacerbated by long localization times. The result is relatively niche games coming out on platforms where a large part of the hardcore audience potentially interested in them has moved on. That's how we end up with new PSP games in 2015. I think there's a reason publishers still put these games out on old hardware, though. It's because a lot of them are top quality and will still find a market, or at least that's the hope. Anyways, before I ramble on any longer, dust off that PlayStation 3 and find yourself a copy of Under Night In-Birth. It may have a silly name, but it's hands down the best fighting game released last year. Metal Gear V: The Phantom Pain I feel like all I want to do is complain about Metal Gear Solid V. It comes so close to perfection, but it ultimately misses its mark, and does so in unbelievably frustrating fashion. The Phantom Pain is both unfinished and far too long. It's clear at some point there were plans for a third chapter, which Konami bizarrely decided to use as bonus material, showing off what might have been with work-in-progress cutscene footage and storyboards. And while it's disappointing Hideo Kojima never had the opportunity to properly cap things off, I honestly can't imagine that campaign being any longer. Even without its final act, Metal Gear Solid V goes to extreme lengths to pads its runtime, recycling a limited amount of content to artificially ensure the experience far longer than necessary. While I enjoyed my time with The Phantom Pain, I'm not sure if I'll ever manage to decouple my memories of it with all of the trifling bullshit it makes you go through to get to the "real" ending. Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim While Ys VI originally launched over a decade ago, XSEED Games re-localized the Nihon Falcom JRPG for a Steam release in 2015, allowing me to experience and fall in love with it for the first time. It may not be particularly new or innovative, but that's part of the charm. It's refreshingly old school. OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood  Its predecessor made my GOTY list in 2014, and this one takes things to a whole new level. IA/VT Colorful I wound up playing a lot of rhythm games this past year, but IA/VT Colorful was my far my favorite of the bunch (sorry Persona 4: Dancing All  Night). It's a pity Marvelous has no plans to ever publish the game to the West, but at least it's import friendly and doesn't require you to know Japanese. Xenoblade Chronicles X Ever since I lost a friend to World of Warcraft, I've had this belief that MMOs are intrinsically bad. They're time sinks designed to ensnare weak-minded individuals with senseless, repetitive tasks, keeping players hooked while the makers slowly bleed us dry with monthly subscription fees. So, naturally, I'm uncomfortable with how much I enjoy Xenoblade Chronicles X, which seems to veer dangerously close to MMO territory for someone who has vowed to hate all MMOs forever. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter AHHHHHH! IT'S HERE! IT'S FINALLY HERE! AHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHH! Yakuza 5 One of these days I'm going to finally make it out to Japan and it's going to be glorious. But until then, I'll have to make do with living out fantasies of romping around Tokyo with the Yakuza games. I'm not sure Yakuza 5 is the high-water mark for the series. Yakuza 4 currently holds that distinction, at least in my book. But I'm always more than happy to hit the streets of Kamurocho once again.  Even though it arrived on western shores three years after its Japanese debut, Yakuza 5 was well worth the wait. Sega's Yakuza Team does incredible work. I sincerely hope they never stop. Bloodborne I already wrote some nice words about Bloodborne when it won Dtoid's award for best PlayStation 4 title released in 2015. So, instead of delving into why I think it's wonderful, I'll just say it's a rare game I've volunteered to help teach and shepherd people through. I think that speaks to how much I love Bloodborne, that I am willing to go out of my way to spread its gloomy, Lovecraftian gospel. 
Kyle's Goaty photo
Staaaay fresh!
It may be 2016, but I'm still writing 2015 on all my cheques. So, here are a list of games that came out last year that I liked a bit and am still thinking about because I'm clearly living in the past.

OMG! It's Stevil T's personal faves of 2015!

Jan 14 // Stephen Turner
HOTLINE MIAMI 2: WRONG NUMBER I get why this isn’t on many writers’ lists, I really do, but it’s my GOTY, bar none. Wrong Number is the Ying to Hotline Miami’s Yang; taking under-utilised elements of the original and pushing them to the forefront of its sequel. Left Shift/Look Ahead became essential, guns were integral, and the safe reliance of mask powers were replaced by changing character tactics. Wrong Number is a reactionary game, using its cast of oddballs and misfits to represent Dennaton Games' reflections on critics, fandom, and its own legacy. It’s a surprisingly affecting game at times, humanising perceived antagonists or showing poignancy in its uber-violence by a mere change in setting. Look past the combo kills, the shock value, and conspiracy theories and there are wonderful messages to be told. It also happens to be blissfully nihilistic, throwing any complaints you had about the plot retcons or broken gameplay to the wind. As the final fire rises, there’s a conversation about how very little matters as long as you enjoyed yourself. And I certainly did, even during the times when a dog would warp through a wall and kill me. STASIS The more I think about STASIS’ plot and puzzles, the more it falls apart. But for that initial run, it was definitely one of the best old-school adventure games I’d play in a long, long while; totally deserving of Patrick Hancock’s plaudits. STASIS is relentlessly grim, yet lovingly detailed with its audio/visual designs. It’s Sanitarium by way of Event Horizon/Pandorum/Dead Space, if you will. Puzzle-wise, it’s rarely obtuse, mostly a case of using everything in your inventory until something works, and only becoming a problem when the puzzle is technobabble-centric. But overall, STASIS works best when you’re allowed to pass through its story of unethical medicine and human spirit at a brisk, unnerving pace. It’s pretty easy, though, to see how the similarly themed SOMA stole its thunder. STASIS is a pulpier take, narrower in scope, and lacking a good cast; which explains why it’s been left at the wayside after getting some praise earlier in the year. But for a solid point-and-click adventure in an era where the puzzles have given way to dialogue choices and morals, this horror throwback is well worth a look. D4: DARK DREAMS DON’T DIE (PC VERSION) Much like the excellent Deadly Premonition, D4 has big ideas on a small budget. The whole game is basically one man wandering around his apartment or in a plane aisle, and yet it manages to tell an involving story about love and loss, not to mention fashion and gourmet cooking. I love Swery65. He and his games always remind me of my film school days, where hard work on a good script would overcome real-world restrictions. That’s why I see him as a filmmaker at heart, a genuinely good one who understands the importance of characterisation in storytelling, and I don’t doubt that’s been shaped by his low-budget experiences throughout the years. Sure, D4 might not be on Deadly Premonition’s level, due to the lack of resolution and breakneck absurdity of David Young’s investigation, but it’s a wonderful slice of Japanese weirdness mixed with a memorable set of characters. I also absolutely adore the idea of getting into Young’s head and asking questions as he would to get the best possible answer. It’s a rewarding way of playing detective without ever having to worry about penalties. They’re all right responses, but the best ones show you how close you’ve grown to David, crazy Bostonian accent and all. I know I’m cheating by using the PC version here (released in 2015), but that’s the only version I’ve played and it’s thoroughly deserving of a second season. Mouse controls during the action scenes need a little work, though. HARD WEST Liev Schreiber impersonator Zack Furniss wasn’t a fan of Hard West, and while I agree with his points, I’m a little more forgiving. Yes, it’s a buggy experience (I had to contact a developer for an upcoming fix, yikes) and the lack of character progress is off-putting, but there’s potential under the initial shock and disappointment. Once you get over the fact there’s no Overwatch and learn how the Luck system works in its place, it’s a dynamic little six-shooter, where you’re encouraged to flank enemies and take risky maneuvers. I’d actually compare it more to Shadowrun and FTL than XCOM. In between the shootouts, you get some tough dilemmas to mull over, where nothing is black and white, and every helping hand comes with long-term consequence. The main story is incredibly slight, but the low-key Weird West/Deadlands vibe works well, smirking away at every choice you make. With a little more time in the oven, maybe a better explanation of the gameplay, or bigger crowdsourcing funds, it could’ve been universally liked. The potential is there, especially for an expanded sequel, though if you’re currently interested in purchasing Hard West, I’d strongly recommend waiting for a patch or two. BREACH & CLEAR: DEADLINE I’m going to be honest, here: Deadline is not GOTY material, far from it, but I did enjoy my time with this tactical zombie shooter. Think an isometric Left 4 Dead-meets-SWAT with a bit of looting thrown in and that’s Deadline in a nutshell. Deadline is more than rough around the edges, and despite having the Breach & Clear preface (it’s a horror spin-off), the tactical planning rarely comes into play. For what it’s worth, Deadline is a co-op arcade shooter, only slowing down when you have to root survivalists out of a gas station or suburban household. That’s not to say there’s no tension, though. Its finer moments come from surprise sieges, like you’re re-enacting the Operations attack from Aliens. It also happens to be a highly customisable game, from the look of your squad and weapon upgrades to the levelling up of their skill trees, with the RPG elements being pretty useful as the combat scenarios get tougher. I suspect if you bought Deadline for the full price, you’d be pretty disappointed, even with the co-op incentive, but considering how I picked it up for £3/$5, I got my money’s worth. If you’re still interested, my advice is to wait for a sale and completely avoid the pointless dungeon crawling maps, unless you loved the Chrysler Building in Parasite Eve. You sycophant! WAY OF THE SAMURAI 4 (PC VERSION) Alright, I’m cheating again since I’d played this one on the PS3 and eventually bought it on PC, which was ported over in 2015. But my cheekiness is worth it to say this, and only this: Way of the Samurai is a criminally overlooked series. Under its exploitation cinema veneer and the bawdy Japanese humour lies an incredible complexity, from combat stances to the swords, from mini-quests to branching storylines. Sure, every instalment is exactly the same – you’re the next Yojimbo looking to play off all the different factions for personal gain or selfless heroics – but its one of the few games where your choices will drastically change the direction of the plot (and back again, given the right circumstance); like if Yakuza wasn’t so tied down by its soap opera narrative. WotS 4 is probably the most audacious and comical one, yet; vibrant in colour and tone, a far cry from its maudlin predecessors. It’s more Samurai Champloo than 13 Assassins (an effort to stand out more, perhaps), but that doesn’t take anything away from your Machiavellian actions and lone wolf skills. The only thing that would elevate the solid PC port (save for the 30 FPS lock) is if every massacre ended with you walking away to the Shogun Assassin theme. DR. LANGESKOV, THE TIGER AND THE TERRIBLY CURSED EMERALD: A WHIRLWIND HEIST As a troubling peek into how my mind works, there was a random bit in A Whirlwind Heist that instantly took me back to a school production of Grease. The snooty girl playing Sandy had just done her big solo number, did a bit of sad acting, then turned around to exit through the curtain. She tripped on her nightgown at the last second. Her feet were the only thing left on stage, lit up by a spotlight brighter than the sun. As a stagehand, I remember wincing through the slow dragging of her body through the curtains, like a victim being dragged into a dark alley. Then I burst out laughing. A Whirlwind Heist is all those horrors of stage production, like a hundred It’ll Be Alright on the Nights, rolled into a perfect 20 minutes. It’s also one of the few genuinely funny games I’ve ever played, both layered and sharp as it pokes fun at the thankless hard graft behind your favourite artistic endeavours and player defiance. Simon Amstell is perfect as a stage manager barely holding it together. Justin Roiland of Rick & Morty fame does some optional improvisation, but his rambling is probably the weakest part and also fairly intrusive of the real-time humour. Tim Kasher of Cursive once sang, “We all know art is hard,” and as a film school graduate, I totally agree with him. But behind the scenes, it can also be an extremely enjoyable adventure of its own accord. CLANDESTINE I’d never even heard of Clandestine until Patrick Hancock (him again!) splurged all over it in a recent review. So thanks to him, I was totally sold on this Splinter Cell throwback. I’m still in the midst of playing it, but I already love what’s on offer. Clandestine looks and plays like a stealth game from the early '00s, but it’s also quite astute when combating its own technical limitations, like setting the whole plot during the mid-'90s as a way of covering for the lack of in-game gadgets and an emphasis on real-time hacking. I’m sure the whole game worker smoother in co-op, but even in solo play, there’s real tension to be found when stalking the corridors as rookie spy Katya, only to hit “H” and disable cameras as her stationary partner, Martin. Though, honestly, I have more fun playing as the latter because Clandestine is not without some major faults in the stealth department; think more along the lines of Pandora Tomorrow than Chaos Theory, because the stealth really is that archaic at times. But you know what really makes up for it in my books? It’s like every spy show and conspiracy movie that cropped up in the paranoid '90s, with its chunky monitors and modem connections, a needlessly angry boss, and a cool spy duo that ticks every post-Grunge look known to fashion. Part-Alias, part-The Lone Gunmen, part-Spy Game with that guy who played Johnny Cage, all badly acted and jarringly animated. I already want a sequel.
GOTY photo
No, I didn't play Bloodborne, okay!?
At the start of 2015, I was basically done with video games. I’d made myself a promise to read more books and play fewer games, which lasted all of two months before I read Willy Vlautin’s utterly depressing North...

Nic Rowen picks the best of 2015

Jan 10 // Nic Rowen
Best game of the year: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is one of my favorite games of all time. As I've shared before, I've replayed it at least ten times over the years. I didn't keep coming back to it just because it was fun, I kept coming back to it because it was surprising. Every time I played through it I'd find something new. I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface of The Phantom Pain's surprises. Forget replaying the entire game, every time I replay one of  The Phantom Pain's missions I find something new. Every other week someone posts a YouTube video of some outrageous tactic or bizarre mechanic I never even considered before. The other day, I found a new cassette tape despite having plunged more than 70 hours into the game already. Let that sink in, I've played this game for 70 hours and I haven't even uncovered all the easy to find stuff yet. Of course, it's also an amazing game to play. The Phantom Pain is a total leap for the series, a massively needed redesign of Tactical Espionage Action that finally, FINALLY, makes you feel like the super-spy Snake was always trumped up to be. Instead of the hurky-jerk movement of previous entries that saw Snake frequently kneeling in front of a a two-foot high obstacle and then somehow accidentally dropping a flashbang at his feet while searching for the right button, this Snake moves just like how you'd expect of the world's greatest soldier. He effortlessly hurdles barriers, dives into cover, slides down hills, and climbs sheer walls, and you never find yourself reaching for the manual. Combat is fast, fluid, and accurate, the enemies smart and responsive. A never ending supply of gadgets, gear, partners, and chopper support options provide an answer to almost any situation you could get yourself into. The Phantom Pain is one hell of a game. Despite Konami doing everything it can to ruin the game post-release, it still remains the best time I had playing video games this year, and I wouldn't be surprised if I end up coming back to The Phantom Pain just as much as I did with Snake Eater. Best spoooooky: Bloodborne Dark Souls is still my favorite From Software game to date, but Bloodborne certainly gave it a run for its money. While some elements of Bloodborne's design disappointed me (the PvP never felt as well developed and I would have loved a few more sets of clothing and armor to choose from), I was absolutely enamored with the Victorian Gothic look of the world. Yharnam is a scary place, and the population of werewolves, fallen priests, and creepy eye monsters never let me drop my guard for a second.  Best budget anatomy lesson: Mortal Kombat X I like to learn. I've always considered myself an eternal student, but have you seen the cost of post-secondary education these days? One can't afford to just take up a medical class as a hobby anymore! Which is why I was so delighted to see how detailed and painstakingly rendered the bloody viscera of Mortal Kombat X was. If anyone ever needs an emergency whole body bisection via a razor-bladed hat, I'm the man to call. I feel like MKX didn't make a lot of GOTY lists, and that's a shame. For my money, it's the best Mortal Kombat game ever made. Sure, it has balance issues and the PC launch was an absolute travesty, but the core gameplay is best the series has ever offered -- fast, brutal, and mean, the way Mortal Kombat should be. The variation system that gives each character three distinct fighting styles with different strengths and weaknesses is something I'd love to see more fighting games adopt. Best interior design options: Fallout 4: Happy Home Designer I have no idea why I put so much time into the settlement system of Fallout 4, but I did and I loved it. Fallout 4 is a magnificent game (even if it is lacking the role-playing options of New Vegas and the quests work a little too hard to funnel you down certain paths) with an amazing sense of exploration and surprisingly fun gun-play. But it turns out if you put a half-baked doll-house simulator in a game, I'll focus on it nearly exclusively to the abandonment of all else. Maybe I should just start playing The Sims and get it over with. Best descent into nihilism: Nuclear Throne Something about this game brings out the worst in me. It's my “2:00am, I should go to bed but I've been drinking and feeling sad, so why not do another run (or twenty)” game. A blitzkrieg of furious action and pointless violence that I'm more than happy to wallow in at the end of a long frustrating day. If Fallout 4 was my chipper little game about optimism and rebuilding life after a disaster, Nuclear Throne was its dark shadow, a celebration of defeat and chaos. Best dinosaurs: ARK: Survival Evolved Yeah, this is technically a Steam Early Access game, but who cares? It has dinosaurs! Who would have thought watching a mutant caveman getting devoured by a Carnotaurus could be so much fun (even when you are the mutant caveman in question)? I didn't play tons and tons of ARK, but my time wandering around the jungle jabbing my pointy little stick at anything that moved left an impression. I still think of heading back into the wilds every now and then. Best “I should play more of this”: Galak-Z: The Dimensional I love everything about Galak-Z; the way the ship moves, the rogue-lite structure of the missions and power-ups, the retro '80s anime aesthetic, it's all great. I just haven't played a ton of it. I got into the second season of the game (when you get the big robot), died, and never quite got back to it. It isn't that I haven't wanted to, it just seems to keep getting buried under something more pressing (or convenient) to play. I have a feeling if I played a little more, Galak-Z could end up being my next Binding of Isaac. Best argument to buy a Wii U: Super Mario Maker Why the fuck didn't I buy a Wii U!? I'm such a moron. Can I borrow yours? C'mon, just for a week or two? I've been watching all these videos and I have an idea for a level that uses P-switches in a really fucked up way and I'm just dying to try it and... Best way to find out your friends are total monsters: Jack Box Party Pack 2 Everything is all fun and games until someone makes a punchline out of Boko Haram. Best use of fingers: Fingered The stubby digit of justice.
Nic's best of the year photo
I mean, you've seen the rest
It's like the middle of January and you've read about five thousand GOTY lists at this point, so let's get to brass tacks. There were some great games released last year, but which ones were the best? I have no idea. Sorry,...


Destructoid's award for Best PC Game of 2015 goes to...

Dec 22 // Steven Hansen
[Incomplete products like Steam Early Access titles and episodic games that are not fair to assess as stand alone experiences, without a full episode count, were not eligible for this year's awards. The cutoff for entry into Destructoid's 2015's Game of the Year awards is December 4, 2015.]
GOTY 2015 photo
Undertale
This quirky, JRPG-inspired lovefest has been the unexpected smash hit of 2015, resonating strongly with a legion of fans that helped propel it to victory in a large "Best. Game. Ever." poll against some of the indelible class...

The Haters Guide to GOTY Season

Dec 20 // Nic Rowen
Bloodborne Bloodborne is a thrilling action-adventure game set in a dark gothic world. Blending monster-mash aesthetics, eldritch terror, and From Software’s uniquely brutal flavor, Bloodborne is a masterful return to form for director Hidetaka Miyazaki. Why it secretly sucks: Wow, the story is “there is no story?” What a fucking concept. Here, take a look at this blank page I just pulled out of my ass. Am I a master storyteller too? How many times are we going to recycle this formula anyway? We get it From Software: you hate gamers and want to punish them. Take off the gimp mask already. The Witcher 3 The Witcher 3 is the biggest and most ambitious entry in The Witcher series. An open-world role-playing game done right, you can easily lose yourself in the world of the Northern Kingdoms and Geralt’s thankless job as a slayer of monsters. Deep but accessible combat and a murky world of moral greys made this game stand out in a year where it seemed like another open-world game came out every other week. Why it secretly sucks: Sure, The Witcher 3 got to be a good game, eventually. Gotta love a developer that “supports” its game right? Especially when “support” means “fix everything that was broken at launch.” No thanks. When I spend $60 on a game, I expect it to work on day one, not day 76. BT-DUBS, I still think Geralt moves like he has potion bottle up his ass. Heroes of the Storm A MOBA by the brain trust at Blizzard, this objective-based action bacchanal takes all of your favorite Wolrd of Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft characters (along with a few others) and throws them into a mercifully fresh take on the MOBA genre. Easy to jump into, but with as much depth as any other MOBA, Heroes of the Storm is quickly positioning itself as a serious alternative to League of Legends and Dota 2. Why it secretly sucks: Don’t you get it? MOBAs are intentionally designed to be inscrutable to screen out the riff-raff. Why the hell would I want to play with a bunch of filthy casuals? Also, I can’t communicate with the enemy team at all? How the hell am I supposed to tell them how much I appreciate their mother on a nightly basis? Rocket League A breakout indie hit, many people got their first taste of Rocket League for free on the PlayStation Plus program, but it quickly established itself as a game people would pay good money for on PC and soon Xbox One. A video game ass video game, Rocket League is a smart, lean, competitive team game that’s easy to jump into but has a seemingly endless skill ceiling. Why it secretly sucks: Well, it, you know… Cars are stupid. Metal Gear Solid V The swansong of series director Hideo Kojima. The drama surrounding Metal Gear Solid V’s development might have overshadowed a lesser game, but The Phantom Pain proved it could speak on its own. Trading the carefully manicured set-pieces and lengthy cinematics of the series’ previous titles for open-world espionage sandbox and a focus on uninterrupted gameplay, MGSV feels one part wild experiment, one part perfection of an established formula. Why it secretly sucks: Remember everything I said about The Witcher 3? Now say it in reverse. MGSV might have been an awesome game when it came out, but ever since then Konami’s been working it over with a crowbar and a pair of pliers. Look at it, all broken with microtransactions and marred by economy rebalances. Who would want it now? If we held the GOTY’s in September, maybe it would have had a chance, but if I got this turd under my tree now I’d want to do a little wet work on Santa. Also, Kiefer Sutherland blows. Fallout 4 Long awaited and much hyped, Fallout 4 is Bethesda's follow up to both the beloved Fallout 3, and the mega-successful Skyrim. Set in a more colorful take on the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout we saw in the Capital Wasteland or desolate New Vegas dunes, Fallout 4 is a behemoth of a game with an unbelievable amount of side missions to unearth, companions to meet, and odd little slices of life from the end of the world to stumble upon.  Why it secretly sucks: My dog got stuck in an elevator's doors and I never saw him again. 0/10.  Rise of the Tomb Raider Rise of the Tomb Raider is Lara Croft’s second post-reboot adventure, and by far her best. While 2013’s Tomb Raider felt like a functional (if weirdly torture-porny) re-imagining of what the series used to be about, this one feels like Lara’s back for real. A focus on tomb exploration and puzzles while still hitting hard with jaw-dropping action showpieces, Rise of the Tomb Raider might just be the series high point. Why it secretly sucks: We consider GOTY’s for dead systems? Maybe you could say this is the best game nobody played. How many copies have they sold now, like 30? Nice job on that exclusive deal guys, really worked out. Call me when the PC version is ready. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Massive beasts? Brutal difficulty? Impenetrable mechanics? We’re not talking about another Souls game, we’re talking about the other red meat - Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. The juggernaut of a series continues to find impressive new ways to go over the over-the-top action of previous installments. Why it secretly sucks: Sorry, I don’t live in Japan. Batman: Arkham Knight Supposedly Rocksteady’s last entry in the Arkham series, they didn’t leave anything on the table with Batman: Arkham Knight. Set in a positively gorgeous vision of Gotham City under siege, Batman faces down his greatest foes (and greatest failures) in this final adventure. Why it secretly sucks: The Batmobile, the Batmobile, the Batmobile. How could they have thought that forcing the Goddamn Batman to fuss around with a bunch of fiddly puzzles in his car was a good idea? It’s a little difficult to “be the Batman” when you’ve flipped your whip over trying to navigate a stupid little ramp the Riddler set up to collect a meaningless trophy (which you need if you want to see the real ending). Also, shout-out to all you PC players! Keep chasing that dream. Evolve A cooperative/competitive five-player monster hunt from the team behind Left 4 Dead. A game that demands smart teamplay and clever mind games from every player involved, Evolve could be a gaming heaven or hell depending on who you played with. Why it secretly sucks: *Continuous, mean-spirited laughter until they leave the room*
Haters GOTY photo
The lump of coal in your heart
Destructoid’s Game of the Year awards are upon us. It’s a time to celebrate another year of excellent video games, share what surprised us, and evangelize the forgotten gems and stealth hits that may have gone unn...

Destructoid's award for Best PS4 Game of 2015 goes to...

Dec 19 // Kyle MacGregor
[Incomplete products like Steam Early Access titles and episodic games that are not fair to assess as stand alone experiences, without a full episode count, were not eligible for this year's awards. The cutoff for entry into Destructoid's 2015's Game of the Year awards is December 4, 2015.]
GOTY 2015 photo
Bloodborne
Was there ever any doubt? Of all the distinguished and exemplary titles to grace the PlayStation 4 in 2015, few approach the wit and artistry of From Software and Hidetaka Miyazaki's Bloodborne. As the latest installment in w...

GOTY 2015: Best logo

Dec 16 // Brett Makedonski
Immutable as I am in that belief, one game this year had the most brilliant logo that I've seen in a long time. Maybe ever, honestly. Gross as it is to shine a light on these marketing efforts, it's an easier pill to swallow given that the logo might be the best thing about this game. Pat yourself on the back, 2K marketing team; Evolve had the best logo of 2015. At first glance, Evolve's logo is nothing to write home about. It's minimalistic in its presentation, nothing more than some squares, rectangles, and a modest font. Actually, if you didn't know anything about the game, it'd be easy to mistake it as a really dull and uninspired look. At least Fallout 4 sprung for a lightning bolt in the "o." So, let's get just a little backstory on Evolve. It's a four-versus-one asymmetric multiplayer game. A team of four players takes on one giant monster. That's what's happening in the logo -- four letters in small squares are pitted against the final "e" in Evolve, a letter that gets a rectangle as long as the first four boxes combined. That rogue "v" represents a legal system-style "versus," as if this should be the way all court cases are determined. It's tough to remember a video game logo that's so on-the-nose, yet so clever about it too. Usually, understatedness is left wanting. Dead Island has a palm tree so you know there's an island, Rage has an anarchy sign so you know that there's anarchy, and Sonic Boom boomed so hard that it cracked all the letters. These are not examples of good logos. Even though it's almost 2016, so many game logos are stuck in 1996. They are hellbent on having attitude (or, 'tude as the designers might say). It's why so many gleam of gun-metal gray or have electricity shooting from the letters. Whatever it takes to let you know that This Is One Of The Cool Video Games. It's the equivalent of box art with a man toting a gun slung over his shoulder looking slightly away from the camera. Evolve skirts that and it does everything right (well, as far as its logo is concerned, anyway). Instead, it's simple and elegant and functional and restrained. More simply put: Evolve's logo was not dumb while most other logos were very dumb.  It's not like the competition was any good, but Evolve ran away with the best logo of 2015. In a wasteland of bad video game logos, 2K and Turtle Rock created one worth looking at and one worth thinking about. The game's legacy probably won't last a whole lot longer, but hopefully its logo's legacy lasts for years to come.
Best logo photo
More like LOTY
As media, we have no business caring about the marketing of video games. In fact, we actually have a professional obligation to parse through it, finding the good information and discarding the bullshit. That's, like, half th...

Nominees for Destructoid's Best Vita Game of 2015

Dec 09 // Laura Kate Dale
Best Vita Game of 2015 OlliOlli2 Grim Fandango Remastered Persona 4: Dancing All Night Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires Super Star Wars Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax [Incomplete products like Steam Early Access titles, and episodic titles that are not fair to assess as stand alone experiences, without a full episode count, were not eligible for this year's awards. The cutoff for entry into Destructoid's 2015's Game of the Year awards is December 4, 2015.]
Vita GOTY photo
Slip into something more portable
Oh, hey there reader, you've just caught me at that time of year where I and the other Destructoid editorial staff are beginning the long and often vicious process of putting together our Game of the Year awards. First come t...

Here are all of Destructoid's Game of the Year 2014 editorials

Jan 01 // Jonathan Holmes
GOTY Nomination lists (includes otherwise unlisted games) Nominees for Destructoid's Overall Best Game of 2014 Nominees for Destructoid's Best World Design of 2014 Nominees for Destructoid's Best Game Mechanics of 2014 Nominees for Destructoid's Best Narrative Design of 2014 Nominees for Destructoid's Best Multiplayer Design of 2014 Personal GOTY lists from regular Dtoid contributors Mr Andy Dixon's top 10 games I played drunk in 2014 Laura Dale's attempt to nail down some Game of the Year 2014 winners Alessandro Fillari's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014 Patrick Hancock's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014 Brittany Vincent's random assortment of Game of the Year 2014 picks Nic Rowen's list of the best games of the year Bill Platt's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014 Kyle MacGregor's sexy picks for Game of the Year 2014 Darren Nakamura's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014 Brett Makedonski's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014 Chris Carter's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014 Jonathan's personal GOTY for best butt goes to... Steven Hansen Presents: The other GOTY awards GOTY 2014: Best evidence that we should go full communism GOTY 2014: Best willful misspelling in a title GOTY 2014: Best interpretive representation of Jeff Goldblum GOTY 2014: Best musical Guest GOTY awards and related editorial  Rust Cohle's GOTY games for 2014 Adam Tierney's favorite games of 2014 2014: Go F*ck Yourself (The Badger) 2014: I want to make love to you. Seriously. (The Wombat) Winners of Dtoid's GOTY awards The winner of Destructoid's Best Multiplayer Design of the year is... The award for Best Game Mechanics of 2014 goes to... The winner of Destructoid's Best Narrative Design of 2014 is... The award for Best World Design of 2014 goes to... Destructoid's award for Overall Best Game of 2014 goes to... Community Action Destructoid's Game of the Year 2014 Community Choice Award! Cblog Recaps End of the Year Recap 2014 Super Ultramax: Tournament Edition
GOTY recap photo
Which writer do you agree with the most or hate the least?
With so much to organize and help put together, I didn't get a chance to do my own personal Game of the Year list for 2014. It's probably for the best, as picking favorites games is very difficult for me. It's like picking fa...

Mr Andy's drunk GOTY photo
Mr Andy's drunk GOTY

Mr Andy Dixon's top 10 games I played drunk in 2014


Spoiler: I didn't actually play 10 games this year
Dec 31
// mrandydixon
Confession #1: I don't play a lot of videogames. Confession #2: The ones I do play, I play drunk. Huh huh. Number two do do. Here are the games I liked the best this year, and what I was drinking when I played them.
Enter The Wombat photo
Enter The Wombat

2014: I want to make love to you. Seriously.


Promoted from our Community Blogs!
Dec 31
// TheWombat
[Enter the anti-Badger. --Mr Andy Dixon] Note: The Wombat could be anyone -- a Destructoid community member, a gaemz jurnalizmer, even some random Dutch guy. They could be just one person or Legion. You'll probably never find...

GOTY 2014: Best evidence that we should go full communism

Dec 31 // Steven Hansen
Honorable mentions Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (?): I can never remember what this game is called. I had "Armored Warfare" at first, but I don't think that's right. And yet, these games make those capitalist bucks, playing on jingoistic paranoia and military fetishization that dress enchanting feedback loops, rewiring your brain to think ReagThatch were good and some Mountain Dew would look good in your newborn's bottle. Maybe if Spacey had a MMF threesome we could overlook that -- perhaps in favor of the plastic-producing Skylanders or Disney Infinity -- but here we are, hoorah. Wolfenstein: New Order: Whoa, this flippin' "Nazi party" over here, they're some bad dudes! Definitely not any party I would want to be a part of, imo. Probably wouldn't be any Ecto Cooler there. If there's any argument for communism, well, look at the alternative. If these Nazis won the second Great War instead of the Communists, we'd be stuck in some militarized police state with government sanctioned killer robots, like in Wolfenstein. The Last of Us: Remastered: Nine $1 pieces of "special executions" DLC.  Execution animations should be a government promised and regulated utility like electricity, the Internet, and a healthy supply of Dario Argento movies. - Steven Hansen's Destructoid's GOTY 2014: Best willful misspelling in a titleSteven Hansen's Destructoid's GOTY 2014: Best musicalSteven Hansen's Destructoid's GOTY 2014: Best interpretive representation of Jeff Goldblum
GOTY Full communism photo
Which game scored top Marx?
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 unl...

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

Dec 31 // Alessandro Fillari
5. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Who would've thought that during the period where Peter Jackson made a trilogy of middling Hobbit movies, Monolith Games would come of nowhere with one of the most original takes on Middle-earth? Granted, on the surface it looks like a cross between Assassin's Creed and Batman: Arkham Asylum set in the Tolkien's universe, but its approach to narrative, specifically player-made narrative, shows that even those established brands could learn some things from Shadow of Mordor.The much-hyped Nemesis system turned out to be the real deal, and even offered some truer storytelling than the main narrative. It's one of the rare games where actions forge a personal nemesis. With Talion's quest for vengeance feeling like background noise, I was far more invested in his moves to undermine the legions of Orcs. However, my true appreciation for the system came after the end of the main story. I realized I felt more of a connection to a particular warchief, who was the most ruthless and cunning foe I faced in the game, than I did with the game's final boss. Seeing him grow from a peon to major player in Sauron's army, who somehow knew my own weaknesses and dislikes, made me feel a bit sad that such a worthy foe had bit the dust. Uthra The Mad, if you're out there: I miss you, man. 4. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls I was one of the many who got swept up in the Diablo III craze before its release back in 2012. With the series' status as a major influence to PC gaming, it was a quite a treat to be a part of the next installment right when it was released. But man, vanilla Diablo III was not the game I had in mind. Even though I had a lot of fun in the 60 hours I spent with it, it was padded out with phases that felt like I was doing chores. After only a few months, I ditched the game and barely touched it for a long time. But that all changed once Reaper of Souls was released.To me, this expansion represents a culmination of nearly two years of outreach and addressing player criticisms. Reaper of Souls basically fixed everything corrosive with Diablo III, starting with the removal of the game killing auction house, and adding much needed content outside of the main story. It simply made the game satisfying and fun, just like its predecessors. Blizzard did a remarkable job of giving new life to a game that many wrote off, while showing that they've still got it when it comes to loot-focused action-RPG titles. 3. P.T. This is definitely the strangest of my picks, but it's well deserved. Obviously, the enigmatic title released during gamescom turned out to be a teaser for the upcoming Silent Hills project. But even when the surprise came out only a few hours after its unveiling, people still kept playing it. If anything, its relation to Silent Hill brought more attention to this perplexing and haunting downloadable title. While it's often referred to as just an advertisement for a bigger game, the impact P.T. had will certainly make it one to remember.Using a minimalistic approach to storytelling and design, players simply had to make it through a door at the end of the hallway. It was truly one of the few titles that felt like an actual event for the audience to take part in. Communities online began to formulate their own theories and tips on how to solve each 'loop' while avoiding the presence of Lisa, who will easily go down as one of the scariest enemies in gaming. Even when Silent Hills will eventually be released, I'll certainly still remember the rush I got from playing P.T. in a dark room with friends for the first time. 2. Wolfenstein: The New Order In a time where first person shooters emulate Call of Duty and other generic military action games with drab storylines and scripted moments, Wolfenstein: The New Order returns to the roots of the genre and shows that it's okay to just let players cut loose. Made by former developers from Starbreeze, Machine Games' new take on the classic Wolfenstein gave me a somewhat iffy first impression, but getting my hands on the title made me realize how wrong I was. Despite the meathead-looking protagonist and the cliched Nazi alternate history storyline, there's a lot more going with the spectacle than you might think.The New Order is very much a throwback title trying to reconcile its place in the modern area, and that comes out in the best way possible. Instead of conforming to the standards of the present, it recontextualizes the sterile conventions of today to fit its bombastic and high-octane nature. Featuring a storyline that channels the ultra-violence of Inglourious Basterds with extra cheese and a surprising amount of heart and humanity for its characters, Wolfenstein blends the best of big-budget FPS games of today with the pure action-oriented gameplay of the past. It's truly the best of both worlds, and it offered the most fun I've had with a first-person shooter in a long time. 1. Alien: Isolation I almost lost hope for games based off of the Alien franchise after the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines. But who would've thought they'd rebound so quickly after such a misfire? Helmed by Creative Assembly, and modeling itself after the original film (which is the best), the developers wanted Alien: Isolation to feel very much like a cleansing of all the tropes found in videogame sci-fi, while restoring faith in what the franchise can aspire to be. And it all starts with humbling the player and instilling fear for the Alien once again. With no space marine in sight, and firearms as the least useful tools, players have to rely on wits and careful planning to evade the gaze of the lone Xenomorph stalking the halls of the space station Sevastopol. Though the reception has been somewhat polarizing for its uncompromising stealth gameplay and save system, no other game has inspired so much dread and terror from deciding whether to make a run for it or waiting another agonizing moment for the creature to leave the area. Even the smallest of victories feel like a triumph, and getting the best of the Alien is immensely satisfying. Not only is this one of the best examples of doing a videogame adaption of a movie justice, it's also one of the best things to happen to the Alien franchise in a long time.Honorable Mentions: This War of Mine, Far Cry 4, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, The Evil Within, Valiant Hearts The subject of war was given a lot of attention with the releases of This War of Mine and Valiant Hearts. Though the latter was one of the smaller titles released by Ubisoft this year, it's definitely the one with the biggest heart. I had a great time chatting with the developers of both games this year, and seeing games tackle the subject from a different perspective was incredibly refreshing. Here's hoping these two titles have inspired others to treat the subject a bit differently.Games for my 2015 backlog: Bayonetta 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mario Kart 8, Shovel Knight, Super Smash Bros. Wii U I'm not kidding when I say this, but the original Bayonetta was not only my favorite game of 2010, but also my favorite of console Generation 7 (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii). Though it breaks my heart that I wasn't there to give her the first dance on Wii U, I'm super delighted to hear that Bayonetta 2 has found new life on Nintendo's console. Once I get the system, she'll be the first I spent my time with.And the game I'll still play despite hating on it: Destiny Was Destiny a disappointing title? Yes. Does it feel like a virtual Skinner box? Oh yeah. Am I still playing it? Yep. Despite feeling like a newly released free-to-play title lacking content and leaving a lot of players disappointed, Destiny is still a fun and well polished shooter. Even though I'm still trying to figure out what the hell happened to the game that was shown off in the pre-release trailers, the ground work for something wonderful is still there. Here's hoping they can someday get to it.
Alessandro's GOTY picks photo
I was dreamin' when I wrote this
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 relea...

Adam Tierney's GOTY photo
Adam Tierney's GOTY

Adam Tierney's favorite games of 2014


Promoted from our Community Blogs!
Dec 31
// AdamTierney
[Game developer Adam Tierney took to our Community Blogs to share his short list of 2014 favorites. Want to share your own GOTY stories? Go write something! --Mr Andy Dixon] Hey Destructoid! I'm Adam Tierney, a videogame desi...
Community Choice Award photo
Community Choice Award

Destructoid's Game of the Year 2014 Community Choice Award!


And the winner is...
Dec 29
// mrandydixon
What a wild year it's been for us gamers. In spite of all the insanity this industry inevitably attracts, when we look back on everything that has happened over the last 12 months, I think there's one thing we can all agree o...

Destructoid's award for Overall Best Game of 2014 goes to...

Dec 26 // Jonathan Holmes
Someone once said that Bayonetta is a cross between '90s-era Madonna, Neo (from The Matrix). and Nomi Malone of Showgirls fame. That someone was me, which is why I'm more than proud to help name Bayonetta 2 Destructoid's overall Game of the Year for 2014. Bayonetta 2 had to fight to be born. Despite the relative popularity of the original game, Sega and Platinum struggled to justify the funding for a follow-up. Nintendo swooped in, securing the exclusive publishing rights for the sequel. In doing so, the company signaled to fans that it was opening its doors to third-party developers in all-new ways, and that it was willing to shed its "family friendly" image when it felt it was right to do so. The game hasn't been embraced by Wii U owners in the same way that Smash Bros. or Mario Kart 8 have, but that's sadly to be expected. What's important is the people who love Bayonetta 2 really, really love it. I'm yet to meet someone who has played through the game who didn't name it as one of their top titles of 2014.  What is it about Bayonetta 2 that inspires so much joy? For me, it has to do with the notion of "guilty pleasures," and how the game turns them on their heads. Videogames are often considered guilty pleasures. For some, playing a game instead of "doing something useful" is a form of rejecting authority. For others, they are a new form of fantasy that reject commonly held standards for class and appropriateness. There's also the fact that a lot of games today contain sex and/or violence. These are all things we're meant to feel guilty about in American culture. Bayonetta wraps them all up in a ball, erases the guilt from all of them, and maximizes all the pleasure. She takes joy in her physicality, her ability to dominate others, and in her own body in whatever way she sees fit. She rejects all outside judgments, from her father, her friends, and even God himself. She doesn't give a fuck, period, end of sentence. That ability to reject self-consciousness and fear of vulnerability allows her (and the player) to reach unimaginable heights of power. She takes you on a rambunctious, ridiculous thrill ride, smirking all the while, totally unconcerned with the sacrilegious absurdity of it all while encouraging you to feel the same.   Thanks to everyone for voting, and stay tuned for more Personal GOTY awards from our editors as the year closes out. 
Overall GOTY photo
... a game that will never stop
[Image credit: Mike Lambert] Why do we love videogames? Some say it's the escapism, or the ability to wrap you up in a story that you get to help tell as it's being told to you. Others say it's the way they can bring fri...

Nominees for Destructoid's Overall Best Game of 2014

Dec 21 // Jonathan Holmes
Best Overall Game of 2014 Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes Alien Isolation Bayonetta 2 Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Dark Souls 2 Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Dragon Age: Inquisition  Far Cry 4 Kentucky Route Zero 3 Shovel Knight Super Smash Bros. for Wii U The Wolf Among Us [NOTE: Re-releases of games that contain minimal new content, incomplete products like Steam Early Access titles, and episodic titles that are not fair to asses as stand alone experiences were not eligible for this year's awards. Due to time constraints, games released in December 2014 were also not eligible.]
Overall GOTY photo
The overall best fit
[Image credit: Mike Lambert] I've long been of the opinion that the relationship between a person and a videogame is similar to the relationship between a person and another living being. It's part of why you see people ...

GOTY 2014: Best willful misspelling in a title

Dec 17 // Steven Hansen
(dis)Honorable mentions  Shadow of Mordor. I know if you called it Sha-don't of Mordor people might've been clued in it isn't very good, but you can't just go around making up decidedly uncromulent words like "shadow" to fit your marketing agenda. It's embarrassing. "Shadow." What's that, a shady cow? I threw up less on my son's Lincoln Logs the first time I heard "swapportunity."  Octodad: Dadliest Catch. Wow. I can't believe this made it by legal/PR/dozens of unpaid interns and still hasn't been amended. Just look the other way until the story blows over, right? 24-hour news cycle will bury it soon enough. Well just because no one else was competent enough to catch it doesn't mean it'd get past my red pen and I'm going to keep banging on about it. Anyone who's spent their unemployment stipend making a Miller High Life fort before 1PM would notice the missing "e" in Octodad's shameless plagiarism of the hit Discovery show about angry crab dads. You want to copy the name to boost your brand with web SEO? Fine. But don't spell it wrong.  Titanfall: Uh, I think you meant TitanFAIL am I right folks?!
GOTY 2014: Illiteracy photo
Pronounce your way out of an anus
Might be your taste makers on this webpage made a Huge™ boner and left Samurai Gunn out of its 2014 game of the year plans. Because of its mid-December 2013 release, it was left out last year, too, and should ...

GotY photo
GotY

We're doing our GotY awards differently this year


No one else is the same
Dec 12
// Jonathan Holmes
The days when games were tailor made to suit the tastes of a small subset of society are over. You can no longer look at a game and know on sight who it was made for and what hardware it's running on. There are more reasons t...
 photo

GOTY Contender: My Riding Stables 3D


Pppbrrrttt!
May 07
// Dale North
Prrrbbt! My mane is all in a frizz because My Riding Stables 3D – Jumping for the Team is available in the Nintendo 3DS eShop right now. I'm doing that thing where I wiggle/shimmy my head back and forth while blowing ai...

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