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LONG BLOG

ooktar's whole bunch of games I liked from 2014

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2014 was a pretty good year for me as far as Video Games are concerned. I picked up a Wii U  back in June which has given me an excellent selection of games thus far with many more  promising titles to come. A number of games I was really looking forward to came out this year  and for the most part they all managed to meet if not exceed my expectations. while there were  a few disappointments throughout the year, I can't say there were any games that I outright  hated as opposed to previous years.

I generally have a hard time choosing any one favorite anything let alone 10 as my tastes are  ever changing. What I choose this week may very well be completely different the next. There  were a lot of games I played that I really liked and to only choose 5 or 10 games would mean  omitting other excellent games I want to highlight. So fuck it, I'm breaking the format and  just gonna list a bunch of games I liked from this year in no particular order.


Death Skid Marks


You wanna know how awesome this game is. I only bought it just last week and it's already one  of my favorite games of the year. Take the fun arcade action of Spy Hunter, load it up on some  Booze and Meth, and toss it in a heavy metal bar and you get Death Skid Marks. A roguelike  arcade action game that puts you in a world where you got to traverse a  long treacherous  highway filled with crazy religous fanatics, intolerant rednecks, crazed female groupies and a  slew of other undesirables in order to get to your favorite bands gig.

Pick up hitch hikers on the way and load them up with weapons and drugs to help you out and  upgrade your ride to take more damage and push other drivers off the road. A fantastically fun  silly and addicting game that I see myself playing over and over for a long time to come. As  soon as I saw this come out I knew I had to play it and I am not disappointed in the least.


Far Cry 4



While Far Cry 2 was a pretty vast departure from the first game in the series and Far Cry 3 a  pretty vast change as well, Far Cry 4 doesn't do as much to change up the formula this time  around as the previous two entries did. It feels more like an expansion upon the previous game  rather than a full sequel which some might view as a bit lazy.

Thing is though, Far Cry 3 was a fantastically fun open world action game game and Far Cry 4  expands on it just enough to manage to make a fun formula even better without overdoing it.  Additions like the Buzzer copter, Autodrive, special syringes, elephants and more make an  already fun experience even funner.


Fract OSC



I've talked about how much I love music in the past, so Fract OSC is a game that's right up my  alley. A game where you have to solve puzzles with music, Fract OSC puts you inside a TRON like  world where you explore the inside of a musical synthesizer. Progress through the world by  manipulating the landscapes by composing music on various sequencers.

As a big fan of both TRON and musical synthesis, this game resonates with me incredibly.  Exploring the world and watching it pulse to the music is a fantastic experience and the bonus  of an unlockable interactive studio makes for an incredibly unique game.


Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker



In my unpopular opinion, Super Mario 3D World was a tad underwhelming for me. It certainly  wasn't a bad game in any way but for some reason I didn't feel it was as fun as the reviews I  saw seemed. Funny enough, the biggest highlights for me though were Captain Toads bonus levels.  The fun little puzzles were a unique and fun experience in their own right and when I heard  that they were making a whole game based on his levels I was ecstatic.

I can honestly say that this is the most fucking adorable game I've ever played. Hearing  Captain Toad say "Ready for Adventure" never gets old and him and Toadette are the cutest  couple I've ever seen. The levels are all fun and the puzzles are the perfect combination of  relaxing and challenging. I hope to see more of Captain Toad's adventures in the future.


Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes



Ground Zeroes is regarded by many as a overpriced demo, and while I can't really blame people  for that based on the length, I feel calling it a demo is still a little harsh. To the average  gamer, Ground Zeroes may be pretty underwhelming, but to fans of Metal Gear Solid, there's a  lot more on offer than what's on the surface. For the avid Metal Gear Solid fan who tend to  take multiple playthroughs through each game to check out all the options available, the one's  who like to beat the game on every difficulty and find all the secrets, or the one's who just  like to have fun in the world, there's a little bit there for everybody.

Ground Zeroe's map is ripe to explore multiple times through to try and perfect your strategies  and learn the ways of the new mechanics the upcoming game will have. It does exactly what it  was meant to do, to give players an idea at how The Phantom Pain will play out helping it  solidify itself as my most anticipated game of 2015.


Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor



They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and Shadow of Mordor wears that quote  in spades. While many of Shadow of Mordor's mechanics come straight out of other popular games  like the Assassin's creed and Batman Arkham series, it at the very least manages to competently  pull them off and pour enough of it's own personality into the mix to still make for a unique  game experience in it's own right.

The story melds itself into the lore of Middle Earth well enough and save for a few appearances  from Gollum, doesn't go overboard with fan service or anything like that. Plus the Nemesis  system makes for some interesting moments and unique encounters and overall Shadow of Mordor  was a fun game regardless of the originality of its mechanics.


Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus



Senran Kagura is one of the breast and funnest games I have on the Vita. It's mechanics are similar to that of the Dynasty Warriors games and are simple enough to grope and master but challenging enough for more experienced players to have fun with. The plot is silly and fun and the character's all have unique charms and personalities.

Tit's hard to think anyone could be offended over something that so clearly doesn't take itself  seriously. Between this and Senran Kagura: Bon Apetit, I hope this means we'll get to see more  games like this reveal themselves in the west.

......Boobies.


Jazzpunk



Jazzpunk is Pop culture references done right. While something like say Family Guy or recent  episodes of the Simpsons rely on Pop Culture as a cheap way to try and stay relevant, Jazzpunk  takes pop culture references to an extreme that it never get's old. Recreate Cape Fear in a  movie theater, Punch a car to death Ala Street Fighter II or play some Wedding Quake.

They say Humor is the hardest thing to pull off in a video game and Jazzpunk managed to make me  laugh from beginning to end. Some reviewers said that the games gags wear thin towards the  second half, but I myself was engaged throughout the whole game and would go as far as to call  this one of the funniest games I've played. Plus you can spray Cheese Whiz all over Jim Sterling.


Road Redemption



Road Redemption is currently in early access on steam and yet is more fun and addicting than  most finished games I've played. Road Rash is one of the few racing games I enjoyed as a kid and when I heard that a spiritual sequel was in the works I was immediately all over it and in no way am I disappointed. One of  the few games I've backed on Kickstarter, this is everything I've wanted so far in an updated Road Rash game and it's not even done yet

With fantastic graphics, fun driving mechanics, a slew of different weapons like swords, C4 and  sawed off shotguns and ridiculous scenarios including racing across roof tops and raining cars on the road, Road Redemption is a fantastic arcade style racing games that even people who don't normally dig racing games will enjoy.


Alien: Isolation



The Creative Assembly definitely had some pressure put on them to deliver the goods this time  around after last years disaster, and boy did they. Alien: Isolation is a nice return to form  for AAA Survival Horror games. With it's fantastically accurate representation of the Alien  universe and it's gripping and intense gameplay, it may easily become my favorite horror game  of all time.

The main thing for me is that after all these years of seeing the famous Alien so many times in  the movies and different games and such, I wasn't sure if I'd really find the Alien  intimidating. Creative Assembly however managed to make the Alien a truly formidable foe that I  was constantly on the edge of my seat when trying to avoid it. A true testament to both the Alien franchise and Survival Horror games.


The Wolf Among Us



Telltale's The Walking Dead was a fantastically gripping game that had me engaged from  beginning to end, but this years The Wolf Among Us really solidified Telltale's talent for me.  With a cast of wonderfully written characters and an interesting back story and world, Fables  gritty take on classic fairy tales resonates with me a lot as a fan of fantasy.

Telltale have solidified themselves as one of the best narrative writers in games today and I  really hope to see much more of The Wolf Among Us down the line. So hurry up and finish  Borderlands and Game of Thrones god dammit.


Final Fantasy X HD



I don't give a shit if the game actually came out 12 years ago, Final Fantasy X HD is a prime  example of HD editions done right. I missed the game back when it was initially released, and  though I did own X-2 I never got around to beating it either, so bundling both games in their  definitive versions together in one package is perfect for someone like me who missed out  inititially.

With a slew of extras and enhancements thrown in and all sorts of new endgame content, I'm  still chipping away at the game after nearly 9 months and haven't even started X-2 HD yet. Between  these and the Kingdom Hearts HD collections, I hope this is the start of more remastered games  being made for new audiences.

Super Time Force Ultra



Capybara games over the top game about travelling through time and causing mayhem across the  world is one of the funnest sidescrolling shoot em up platformers I've ever played. Using time  control to use past versions of yourself to progress through levels and beat bosses, Super Time  Force Ultra is a truly original experience that for me came out of no where.

With an incredibly funny plot that had me laughing out loud and a whole ton of unlockables and  extra's, Super Time Force Ultra is definitely going to be in my memories for a long time.


Mario Kart 8



8 games later and the Mario Kart series manages to feel fun and fresh in arguably the best  entry in the series since Double Dash. Admittedly, I haven't kept up on every entry in the  series, but Mario Kart 8 feels definitely has the vibe earlier entries in the series which as  someone who still plays the classic N64 version regularly is fantastic.

Similar to Road  Redemption, Mario Kart 8 is the perfect racing game for people who generally don't like racing games. A bunch of unlockable drivers and customizable karts make for a fun replayable experience and  the combination of new levels and updates of classic levels make for what seems like the Greatest Hits of Mario Karts along with some excellent DLC done right.

Hyrule Warriors



Combining Dynasty Warriors and Zelda sounds like an awesome formula on paper, but could've  easily gone awry if not done right. Tecmo Koei manage to combine their Hack and Slash formula  with Zelda's universe in a way that they meld perfectly. The Dynasy Warriors formula works  perfectly with Zelda's universe and there's plenty of fan service for Zelda fans

With a fun story that contains my favorite Zelda antagonist to date, several game modes and  tons of unlockable content, and some excellent DLC to check out, Hyrule Warriors is an incredibly content rich game that I'll be playing for quite some time.


South Park: The Stick of Truth



South Park is one of the few TV series that I've watched consistently since it aired. I  remember watching it with my family during christmas time and the shock they were in when  Cartman proceeded to sing "Kyles mom is a big fat bitch". So when I heard that the creators  were working hand in hand with Obsidian to make a full fledged South Park RPG I was absolutely  stoked.

While I agree with the most common complaint that the game is a bit short, fact is there's at  least a full season's worth of content in the game and it is in every way shape and form what I  wanted from a South Park game. Explore the whole town, interact with it's characters, fight  zombie nazi's and homeless people, everything that someone who follows the series would want to  see is there.


Shovel Knight



While I may not have been born in the 80's or grew up during the so called "Golden Age of  Gaming", I nonetheless started out on the classics while many other kids my age had already  moved on to the age of polygons. Duck Tales, Mega Man, Super Mario Bros. 3, Castlevania, I grew  up on all those games and each one had their hand in influencing Shovel Knight. A fantastic  love letter to the 8-bit era of gaming.

Taking classic simple video game mechanics and updating them for a whole new generation, Shovel  Knight is a game that'll appeal to those who grew up on the classic platformers of old as well  as a whole new audience of gamers.


Olli Olli



While the Tony Hawk series took a steady decline towards the end, I was loyal to the combo  based skate boarding series through and through. I still go back and play the first couple of  games with my friends for fun and even later entries like Underground and American Wasteland  were fantastic as well. So now during a time when skateboarding games are as dead as Western  Movies, Olli Olli comes out of the blue with a fresh take on the classic combo based skating  games that I grew up on.

While the game may only take place in a 2D perspective, there's just as much depth to the  tricks as any one of the Tony Hawk games and makes for both a challenging and addicting game.  Another game that I hope to see more of in the future.


Octodad: Dadliest Catch



I said above that Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker was the most adorable game I've ever played,  but Octodad comes in a pretty close second with his fatherly antics. Just the idea of a game  where you play an octopus trying to go about an average persons day to day life without people  finding out is already an incredibly ambitiious idea on paper. To actually pull it off though  is something else and they managed to pull it off.

Dragging your tenacles one by one trying not to attract attention is just an incredibly  humorous and silly experience.


Super Smash Bros.



Super Smash Bros. is a series that I've adored since the beginning. My friends and I grew up  and still smash on the N64 version to this day and Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U is  just about everything we've wanted to see in a new Smash Bros. game. An incredible roster of  characters, customizable moves, A slew of game modes, more fun and unique arenas, and 8 player  battles all make up arguably the best entry in the series.

Like Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. almost seems like a Greatest Hits collection for the  series taking all the best elements (except unfortunately the Ice Climbers) and combining them  into one amazing game.


Bayonetta 2



I know I said that I had a hard time choosing one single favorite game, but I'd be lying if I said that Bayonetta 2 wasn't the game I was most looking forward to this year. Not only did she  exceed my expectations, she took them, slapped them around a bit, did a nice sexy dance, and blew my expectations out of the sky.

I don't think I've talked about my adoration for the Devil May Cry series, but next to Metal  Gear Solid, it may be my favorite game series of all time. When I was a kid, Dante was the most  bad ass character I had ever seen and hacking and slashing enemies was my favorite thing. The  series went on to become my favorite action game series and while games like God of War were  fantastic action games in their own right, none of them quite had the flair the Devil May Cry  series had.

While Capcom's been busy trying to reboot the series when it didn't even need one, Platinum Games went ahead and filled the void with Bayonetta. Bayonetta's combat and tone feel much more  like a proper Devil May Cry sequel than last year's disappointing reboot. The controls rock  solid, the difficulty challenging but fun, the character's interesting and memorable, and the  amount of content is incredible.

So Bayonetta 2 was obviously a must-buy for me. While I bought the Wii U for a number of  different games, the main reason was most definetly Bayonetta 2 and it was in every way shape  and form worth it. Thank's to Nintendo for making it possible and Platinum Games for being experts at their craft


So there you have it, my way too long list of fanastic games from this year that I played. If  you managed to get through all that let me know what you think.

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About ooktarone of us since 12:17 PM on 04.18.2013

Somewhere in the backwoods of California, in a cabin with 3 cats (Rip Fuzzy Butt and Boo Boo) and little contact with the outside world. Locked away with nothing but a PC, a guitar, and an near limitless supply of spam. A small yet courageous man works day and night in order to make sense of humanity's greatest secrets. Using his abilities as a skilled video games player, amateur musician, and wannabe film connoisseur, he manages to keep himself busy with his work of saving the world through his studies of Heavy Metal, Silly Pop Culture, and Raccoons.