Celebrities are making games now, this is a thing we're going to have to live with. Kim Kardashian's done it, RuPaul's done it (and apparently her game is surprisingly fun, as our Jonathan Holmes discovered), and of course, 5...
Unlock new "adventurers" from iconic Final Fantasy character designer Yoshitaka Amano and a new scenario from Yasumi Matsuno, designer of Final Fantasy XII. Also, Terra Battle received the highly anticipated online co-op mode update that allows players to work together to clear stages and adds summons to the battlefield.
2014's Game of the Year from 2006 because 2014 kind of sucked for games by Steven Hansen
Yes, it's now 2015--though I'm still writing 2014 on all my checks!!!--but how can anyone do a definitive Game of the Year award until the year is officially over? Until that big dang ball drops down in The Big Apple, the Big City, New York, New York baby! What if Valve decided to stealth release Half-Life 3 on 12/31 like Beyoncé in 2013 or Run the Jewels 2 this year? It would be everyone else with egg on their face and my face wouldn't be covered in egg at all.
So I hid the prediction too well. Like any good prediction, it would have been forgotten if it hadn't come true at no cost to my reputation, but if it did come true? Man, I'd be direct linking that piece of soothsaying ad nauseum (by the way, sources tell me that Half-Life 3 is going to be released on April 4, 2015).
Unfortunately, this prediction did come true and 2014 was the worst year since 2009 and I don't even get to take credit for calling it. But I won't bore you with My Bad Year. Instead, I want to award Clover Studio's God Hand with the Steven Hansen's Destructoid's Game of the Year 2014 Award for Best Game of the Year from 2006 because 2014 kind of sucked.
It's 2015. It's an age of sexiness and carelessness, a time when Snapchat and Tinder are far more popular than table etiquette apps (much to my chagrin). Yet, this blasted Internet webpage is writing about decidedly unsexy topics like Arizona. Is our target audience residents of retirement homes and scorpion-sting medical wards? No. God no.
I think it's time we freshen things up around here. According to Twitter (hey, I'm hip enough to tweet), One Direction is quite the popular topic these days. All the teens are constantly concerned with Liam's, ummm, "endowment," and how all sex is bad unless it's with Harry.
After perusing the band's Wikipedia page for two minutes, I got to wondering. What if 1D (that's what the kids call them) is really singing some well-veiled gaming anthems? Sure, on the surface, the songs may appear to be ballads crooning to the loves of their lives that week, but I'm pretty sure the love of their lives for forever is gaming.
These are the top One Direction songs that describe indescribable gaming moments, and it's definitely not a reach at tricking people on search engines. Definitely not.
It's an annual tradition: Making resolutions to kick off the New Year. There's a whole new arbitrary set of twelve months in which to better ourselves. Or, you know, make the same mistakes we made in the last dozen. It's finally time to quit smoking or start going to the gym. Whatever.
Here's a bunch of words about what videogame companies should do to shape up in 2015.
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.
Someone once told me I talk like Jeff Goldblum. This is not true. I also don't look like Charlie Day, Peter Frampton, Bret McKenzie, Michael Sheen, or Dikembe Mutombo. But at least I appreciated the former (tip: don't tell people who they look like; it is confusing and uncanny at best, offensive at worst). If I could channel a fraction of Goldblum's swarthy, gangly, aloof sex appeal or ability to vomit stomach acid onto his food while his shedding, greasy hair starts to look like a perm, my life would definitely be better. Especially if I had the vomit thing.
And so it is that the third Steven Hansen's Destructoid's GOTY 2014 award is for the Best interpretive representation of Jeff Goldblum. If you missed them, here are the awards for illiteracy (Best willful misspelling in a title) and Best musical.
Because I am being sneaky/horny and using a shirtless Goldblum to adorn this post rather than art from the winner, now it feels like I have the element of surprise on my side and I'm pussyfooting around giving the award. Juking left, juking right. Will there be a world-shattering upset? I can feel you tittering with suspense as if you were hanging on Jeff Goldblum's every word and "Look," hand gestures.
Without further stalling, I hereby award Transistorthe Steven Hansen's Destructoid's GOTY 2014 award for Best interpretive representation of Jeff Goldblum! Supergiant's sophomore effort is almost cool to a fault. It is aloof, but with a sumptuous, angular aesthetic that mirror's Goldblum's icy-hot mystery.
The people at Telltale Games are wizards. There's no other explanation. They have an uncanny ability to coax money men into handing over the keys to some of the most valuable properties in the entertainment business. Then they seemingly have carte blanche to toy with things people hold dear, churning out officially sanctioned fan fiction right and left like there's no tomorrow.
What a dismal showing this year. Last year had Frozen, which tailed into this year, world without end, amen, with a long icy tail like Halley's comet. When are we going to have the "Let it Go" of videogames? We'll never have made it as an artform until games can produce a number with such virality and ubiquity that I start to wonder, "Wouldn't my life be better without a son," and "Remember the end of Ichi the Killer, with the sewing needles? That movie had some good ideas."
Here are some of the so-called "big musicals" of 2014 that failed to register a single musical number: Alien: Isolation. Dragon Age: Inquisition. The trailer for the new Star Wars film. Bayonetta 2. Dark Souls II. Embarrassing.
While no one put their bach into it to interrupt all sense of tone and pacing with a barrage of gaudy sung intermissions, I hereby award Kentucky Route Zero Steven Hansen's Destructoid's GOTY 2014 for Best musical, namely for its one stirring musical number in Act 3. This is quality over quantity folks. Kentucky Route Zero's first two parts are enough to make it one of the best games of last year, and the lone Act 3 enough to make it one of this year's best--and the best musical.
First, the number pop ups organically, at a place you might expect song singing to happen, rather than in a prison or a dementia care home or the post office or just generally a place where you might not expect synchronized singing of thoughts and emotions by patrons. Oh, also a hair enhancement clinic. That's another one where a musical number feels out of place. Anyways, the sensibility of the time and place clashes beautifully with the levels of mediation inherent to the genre and toyed with in the mechanics. Just play the damn thing, the whole of it.
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 have had 2014 eligibility. And there certainly isn't a multiplayer game I've had more fun with over the course of the year than the only game trying to carry Bushido Blade's torch.
And there ain't a game that makes better use of a superfluous double consonant neither, so I am hereby awarding Samurai Gunn the Steven Hansen's Destructoid's 2014 GOTY award for Best willful misspelling in a title.
Like a real gun or a decorative katana beneath your anime tits wall scroll, the second 'n' just makes you look cooler. This is how you name a game folks (incidentally, this is how you don't name a game, for the love of my Rouroni Kenshin reverse blade replica katana).
Do you see a lazy, '90s raditude 'z' slapped on the end there? Oh hell no. You may get three bullets per life, but there ain't no god damn, highfalutin pluralization nonsense happening here on the part of developer Teknopants. No. They doubled downn. That shows grit. Character. "You pronounce every god damnn letter," it screams. And you have to, or else you're pronouncing it wrong, like when you pronounce anno (year) as ano (anus). This isn't Samurai Ass. It's Samurai Gunn. Though I wouldn't mind seeing the former. Hit me up.
The holidays are fast approaching, and that means quality time with all the family you haven't seen since last year. Unfortunately, "quality time" can quickly devolve into awkward small talk and watching It's a Wonderful Life if you aren't careful.
I wouldn't want to see that happen to anyone, so I've compiled a list of games you can use to keep the entire family entertained, even if they haven't touched a joystick since Pac-Man. I've also included a few amazing couch multiplayer games you can play with your friends who are a little more game savvy. This is the perfect time of year to enjoy these games the way they are meant to be enjoyed, so don't miss out!
Lords of the Fallen and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare just came out and they should be laughed out the damn building for their horrible, generic videogames names.
I originally typed "Armored Warfare" and was confused when Google failed to bring up results for our "Call of Duty: Armored Warfare" review. Then I realized it was "Advanced Warfare" after remembering I kept getting it confused with Advance Wars originally.
Ocarina of Time is one of those incredibly well made games that just never clicked with me. Maybe it's because it was too much like A Link to the Past, except everything looks worse and takes longer to do. Maybe it's because the game's theme of being a child and an adult at the same time is something I can't relate with. Either way, I've tried repeatedly to finish the game and I always lose interest well before the end.
I have the exact opposite relationship with Majora's Mask. Like Earthbound, it's a game that I have not been able to stop playing since it first came out over 15 years ago. I think about it pretty regularly, and talk about with people who aren't at all interested in the topic at least once a month because I can't help it.
Majora's Mask is a game about do-overs. It actually feels like a do-over of the game that came before it. Ocarina wanted to be about being an adult, but in the end, it was just about being in an adult's body while living like a child, experiencing the best of both worlds. Majora's Mask does the opposite. It's about having to live like an adult and being treated like a child. It's about learning from your mistakes, being empathetic, and knowing that every second you're on this planet is another second closer to your inevitable death.
One of the true contemporary horrors of the genre, though, is Resident Evil 5.
Not because it is a scary game to play but because it is a scary game to exist. And to have done remarkably well for Capcom, pushing the company further towards making unoriginal dreck. Complete global saturation, indeed. I wrote a few years ago over at Electric Phantasm—and have re-edited below to suck less—on Capcom's most important disappointment, the uncanny taxidermy of Resident Evil 4 dressed up in silly hats and big muscles, walking around like that creepy robot dog thing. It is a horrifying abomination and a cautionary tale worth cautioning again, if anyone's listening (Dead Space wasn't, as it took the sequel's missteps further for the third).
So here is a dumb thing I do: I make up my own stories in games.
No, I'm not just talking about RPGs like Fallout or Skyrim where the entire point is to go out and make your own mark on the world. I'm talking about just about every kind of game. Action titles that already have stories, multiplayer shooters where there shouldn't even be a narrative; hell in a darker moment in my life, I once tried to make a fictional justification for I.Q.: Intelligence Qube, a puzzle game where you rotate giant cubes floating in a void. HELP ME.
I like to be scared. I'm not some kind of dark-obsessed weirdo, though. I just really enjoy the feeling of being tense or terrified, so much so that I used to think that there was something wrong with me. Maybe there is.
A few years back, after a nearly year-long kick of reading freaky books, watching horror movies, and replaying some of my favorite survival horror videogames, I decided to do some digging into why I like to be scared. It turns out that the typical reasons are fairly tame; some folks like the huge pile of satisfaction feels they get from being able to work through tense or scary moments. It's a break. An escape. Something new and different.
Being armed with the knowledge behind these feelings out doesn't change that I'm still drawn to them. And I've found that survival horror games are still the best way to get that high. I regularly replay the classics. I chomp at the bit for new ones and devour them when they're finally released. I'm hooked.
But I'm starting to feel a bit old-fashioned in my love of these games.
I was reading Weird Dad Andy Astruc's loving look at Shadow of Mordor's menus, which is basically praise for Mordor's Nemesis system. The same system left our own Nic Rowen giddy and, uh, shitfaced. Nemesis' mechanics, with its ironed out Final Fantasy XII target lines and mind control induced revolt, ties neatly into Mordor's story as you set about rounding up an army and organizing a coup d'état.
And playing insurrectionist is fun. It's fun for the personal stories that can come of it, like Nic's. It's fun for the neatly designed system that makes you feel grand orchestrator parallel to individual acts of [Peter Frampton talk box voice] assuming direct control. But then you leave that cool little laser sight trisected screen and have to Assassin's Creed yourself over to the next random bit of Middle-earth, Red Dead some local fauna along the way, and then Batman counter a bunch of uggos. Because, as Chris Carter noted in his review, the Nemesis mechanic is the only original bit in an otherwise standardized, cannibalized game.
Yes; slick, competently made. Maybe even fun. But still cannibalized, standardized.