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1:00 PM on 12.15.2014

How did Destructoid's most anticipated games of 2014 come out?

Want to feel old? January 2014 was just about one year ago. That's one whole season of a TV show or a complete Earth's orbit around the sun. Way back then--I can hardly remember it in the shadow of the god awful year--the Des...

Steven Hansen


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The Vita needs more games like Freedom Wars photo
The Vita needs more games like Freedom Wars
by Chris Carter

At every Sony event this year, the portable rhetoric was identical -- the Vita is getting games, but they're ports, or in rare cases, multi-platform releases of existing games.

As an original Vita and 32GB memory card owner since day one, I will be the first to tell you that I love playing it when I feel compelled to do so. I'm so glad that I was an early adopter and got to keep that OLED screen, as it's one of the best portable experiences I've ever had. I enjoyed exclusives like Tearaway and Gravity Rush for months on end. It was awesome.

Then the games stopped. The Vita still gets the occasional unique game like Toukiden: The Age of Demons, but for the most part, it loses exclusives these days. I'm not against ports and sometimes the Vita is my preferred method of playing them, but the platform is not sustainable without system sellers and exclusives.

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Shovel Knight is coming to the PS3, PS4, Vita, Kratos boss teased photo
Shovel Knight is coming to the PS3, PS4, Vita, Kratos boss teased
by Chris Carter

Coming off of Yacht Club Games' 300k sales of Shovel Knight on the Wii U, 3DS, and PC, they have just announced that the game is coming to PlayStation platforms. It'll arrive on the PS3, PS4, and Vita sometime in the near future.

Also, a Kratos boss fight was teased, which looks pretty damn amazing. It's really cool to see the team partner up with Sony like this to get the game on these three platforms and have a licensed tie-in.

Expect to see it in quite a few Game of the Year conversations. It's their first game, people! 

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Review: Tales of Hearts R photo
Review: Tales of Hearts R
by Kyle MacGregor

The Tales series may not have the same cachet in the West as do other prominent role-playing game franchises, but its renown is definitely on the rise. Bandai Namco has expressed more confidence in the franchise in recent years, showing a willingness to push Tales as a global brand rather than just a curiosity for Japanese audiences.

It seems there's a market for this sort of thing -- a healthy niche that appreciates something more antique in a world so obsessed with pioneering and being cutting-edge. Time marches on and the Tales series digs its heels into the ground, refusing to yield to fads and ephemeral trends. It's old-fashioned to a fault. But would you have it any other way?

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Review: The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth photo
Review: The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
by Nic Rowen

In 2011, I lost a chunk of my life. An insidious tendril of addiction, despair, and obsession caught me by the ankle and dragged me into the The Binding of Isaac's darkened basement. I lost dozens of hours, whole days at a time. I let life slip by around me while muttering a demented mantra of “just one more try, just one more try...”

Now with the release of Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, a 16-bit looking half-remake, half-sequel of the original, I can feel the same cold touch on my leg. Its grip is stronger than ever, pulling me back into the same dark pit. I should kick and scream and try to escape... Well, maybe just one more try won't kill me.

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Review: Samurai Warriors 4 photo
Review: Samurai Warriors 4
by Chris Carter

While the Dynasty Warriors series is often heralded as the pinnacle of Omega Force's hack-and-slash catalog, the lesser-known Samurai franchise has been churning out some of the best games in the stable.

Based around the Sengoku era of Japan, Samurai Warriors mixes things up with unique offerings like ninjas, samurai, and historical figures such as Goemon Ishikawa and Musashi Miyamoto. If you can get past the repetition, Samurai Warriors 4 delivers another hearty helping of action the developer is known for.

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This is why I love Vib-Ribbon photo
This is why I love Vib-Ribbon
by Jonathan Holmes

Vib-Ribbon is a game by NanaOn-Sha (Parappa the Rapper, UmJammer Lammy) that was originally released on the PS1. It came to the United States for the first time just recently, by way of PSN. The original game allowed you to take the disc out of the PS1 and replace it with any CD. You could then play levels based on the sounds found on that CD. That's part of why the game has such minimalist visuals. The game's code had to be small enough to be stored in the PS1 on its own. Hence the black and white vector-based graphics. 

It's amazing how NanaOn-Sha was able to create such charming and memorable characters with just a few lines. Vibri, the game's star, is a lovable scamp with tons of personality. With this article, I will do my best to follow in his footsteps by using as few lines as possible in my effort to convey to you the joy of Vib-Ribbon.

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Review: Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus photo
Review: Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus
by Brittany Vincent

In the world of Senran Kagura, excess is the rule. The outfits are skimpy, the plot threads are ludicrous, and the breasts are laughably large, so huge in fact that you wonder how the skimpy bras the girls are eventually stripped down to are actually wrangling those things.

But beneath a veneer of silliness and near-parodical levels of fan service lies a brawler with plenty of hack and slash goodness to offer.

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Review: Natural Doctrine photo
Review: Natural Doctrine
by Kyle MacGregor

Natural Doctrine is a strategy role-playing game with a sadistic side. It's a brutal and uncompromising experience, one keen on taxing players and pushing them to their limits with its intense difficulty.

The architects behind the title invite comparisons with Dark Souls, and have certainly built a similarly steep hill to climb. Natural Doctrine is enigmatic and soul-crushing, but lacks execution and awareness. Simply being tough as nails doesn't make an experience rewarding.

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Review: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair photo
Review: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
by Brittany Vincent

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc was an intelligent riff on the perils of high school -- you know, if you had thrown a murder mystery in between classes and the principal was a maniacal stuffed animal.

Its sequel, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, takes a beleaguered trope and turns it on its head. This is one "trapped on a desert island" story that takes things to another level entirely.

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Review: Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed photo
Review: Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed
by Brittany Vincent

When you're faced with imminent danger, what's the first thing you do? Do you gear up to fight back? Do you see if you can land the first punch? Or do you take all of your clothing off? I'm guessing that's a pretty uncommon reaction, though it's something you'll get used to seeing on a regular basis within Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed.

The otaku-come-Yakuza special is actually Akiba's Trip 2 in Japan, and it's the first time the series has reached Western audiences, who may or may not have been ready for its bizarre machinations. But for those who were willing and able to take the trip, what awaited them was a strange and colorful world full of plenty to do and discover.

Oh, and a whole lot of underwear. 

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Review: Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes photo
Review: Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes
by Chris Carter

Disney Infinity was quite the ambitious project, but it fell flat in a few key areas. This was mostly due to a lack of even game worlds, with a few of the universes overshadowing others that felt more rushed. The other aspect of the game that didn't fully deliver was the Toy Box mode -- a take on LittleBigPlanet's "create your own" levels mechanic.

With Disney Infinity 2.0, Avalanche Software is poised to rectify both of those issues, combined with free reign of the Marvel license. While 2.0 is still primarily targeted towards the younger audience, the overall package is much more enticing the second time around.

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It's official: Microsoft bought Mojang, creator of Minecraft photo
It's official: Microsoft bought Mojang, creator of Minecraft
by Chris Carter

[Update: Microsoft's Phil Spencer and Notch have chimed in with their own statements. Spencer is obviously excited (and confirms that Minecon still exists), and Notch gives us a look at his mindset over the past few years, as well as were he's headed.]

The rumors are real -- Mojang has confirmed that they are being bought by Microsoft for a "smooth 2.5 BILLION dollars."

In a post to fans, representatives of the company noted that "Minecraft has grown from a simple game to a project of monumental significance. Though we’re massively proud of what Minecraft has become, it was never Notch’s intention for it to get this big. As you might already know, Notch is the creator of Minecraft and the majority shareholder at Mojang. He’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance. Over the past few years he’s made attempts to work on smaller projects, but the pressure of owning Minecraft became too much for him to handle. The only option was to sell Mojang. He’ll continue to do cool stuff though. Don’t worry about that."

According to the post, the development and support of Minecraft on the PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android platforms will continue. Minecraft will also "continue to evolve," and it is predicted that the "majority" of Mojang's staff will continue to work there. Notch, Carl, and Jakob, the founders, are leaving. The fate of their other game, Scrolls, is still up in the air -- my guess is if it's doing poorly Microsoft will can it and focus more on Minecraft.

Well, that's interesting. We'll see how this goes, and it's a real testament of how powerful AAA publishers are -- Minecraft was one of the prime examples of how sustainable independent development was in the industry.

Yes, we’re being bought by Microsoft [Mojang]

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Mighty No. 9 feels great, but the core concepts take some getting used to photo
Mighty No. 9 feels great, but the core concepts take some getting used to
by Chris Carter

Mighty No. 9 is probably one of the most anticipated games of 2015. After a massive Kickstarter, creator Inafune and developers Comcept and Inti Creates have kicked off a long line of products to hype it up, including Mighty Gunvolt and a potential cartoon.

After all that hype though we finally have a chance to play the game. I have to say, it has the feel of a Mega Man game, but a few aspects definitely took some getting used to.

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Review: CounterSpy photo
Review: CounterSpy
by Steven Hansen

CounterSpy's stylized Cold War re-imagining is on point. It looks good, with its spindly spy running, rolling, and leaping like a jumping spider. It sounds good, with its jazzy soundtrack that reminds of James Bond

Unfortunately, the rest of it feels half-baked. 

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Review: Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment photo
Review: Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment
by Chris Carter

Despite how you may feel about the polarizing second arc of Sword Art Online, fans generally have nothing but good things to say about the first arc. It managed to nail a lot of aspects of MMO culture, along with marrying the aspect of a virtual game of death into an interesting narrative full of mostly likable characters.

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment manages to re-tell the end of the arc in videogame form, and even though it isn't the best RPG on the Vita, it's pretty much a must-have for hardcore fans of the series who always wondered what lurked beyond the 75th floor of SAO.

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