2014 was the Year of the New for me as I never before had played this many games that were either just released or released within a year that I played them. This mainly stems from my 3DS which even though I got in October of 2013, I wasn’t able to exploit the games on it until 2014. Another small boost came in the form of my used Wii U which I bought it and Mario Kart 8 at a decent price.
Even so, I still played many games that were released several years or more ago including quite a few for the DS, one on the PS3 (Arkham City), and one on the Gamecube (Metal Gear Solid: the Twin Snakes).
With this being a noteworthy year for my video games, I will give you my list of the new games I played for the 2014 year along with small awards for the “Best of” for that category. Here’s the full list of them:
DS: 999: 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors, Professor Layton and the Last Specter, Miles Edgeworth Investigations, Phoenix Wright Trials and Tribulations
Gamecube: Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes
PS3: Batman: Arkham City
3DS: Bravely Default, Pokémon ORAS, Fire Emblem Awakening, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pokémon TCG (via Virtual Console), Super Smash Brothers
Wii U: Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Brothers
Most Hyped: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright
Okay, this was pretty close for me, it was either PLvPW or Super Smash Brothers. True, I’ve been waiting for Smash Bros longer than PLvPW but I just love the professor and the lawyer so much. It was very agonizing for me to just sit here in the U.S. seeing Japan get the game…and then Europe get the game…and we don’t! I was sure it wasn’t going to come…and I was soooooo happy that it finally did. You see, I knew Super Smash Bros would get to the U.S. eventually but not PLvPW. But opening up that game and turning it on and hearing that music and seeing that title screen and seeing the characters gloriously animated was quite a treat and would have been hard to top.
Best Multiplayer: Super Smash Brothers (WiiU)
This should be pretty obvious, Mario Kart 8 was super fun and it’s nice to play against your friends on the 3ds version of this game but come on, 8 players! That just seals the deal for me right there. Playing with my friends on a variety of controllers with a variety of characters was just simple fun with simple madness. Can’t be beat.
Best Game to Play with Mary: Animal Crossing: New Leaf
We smashed, we raced, and we played Pokemon together but Animal Crossing is the best game to play with her. True, I love doing all three of the previously mentioned games with her before but Animal Crossing is different. We are in a town together with our own homes interacting with our own villagers. And though we can’t directly interact with each other, our interaction with the town and its quirky villagers makes this a nice gem to play. Animal Crossing towns do have a vibe of loneliness if you’re the only human player but this is cured if you have other people inhabiting your town, it makes it feel more active. Plus it makes funding projects that much easier!
Best Story: 999
I played games that had a good story in them whether it was the trials in Phoenix Wright, Snake infiltrating Shadow Moses, or Professor Layton duking it with Phoenix Wright but none took me on the twist and turns of 999. Perhaps it was because I was not familiar with the series but the game took me on a wild ride and that never stopped (until I failed an ending and had to restart). I was legitimately creeped out by some of the moments in the game and I regretted playing it while I was in bed.
Special shoutout though has to be done for the story behind PLvsPW as that story took me on an emotional roller coaster with some good twists. Another special shoutout has to be done for PW: Trials and Tribulations because that final trial was definitely a doozy and remains among the best in Pheonix Wright’s cases that I have done so far.
Unexpected Hit: 999 and Pokemon Trading Card Game
These two are on top of the list for different reasons. I knew 999 was critically acclaimed but I just didn’t get why until I played the game. I devoured this game in less than two weeks (normally it takes me at least a month to finish games). On the other hand, Pokemon Trading Card Game was just so much fun to play. I first played this game more than ten years ago and I suuuucked at it even with the cheat codes. My brief dance with the TCG in real life made me learn how to play the TCG and so when I bought it on the Virtual Console it was just too much fun. Creating your own deck was fun and beating the game (which is hard mine you) was quite rewarding. I definitely hope Nintendo decides to release an updated version of this game!
Biggest Disappointment: Bravely Default
For all the hype and praise surrounding this game, I was honestly burned out by it. The amount of grinding I had to do was intense and it just got to me. I haven’t played the game in awhile but I’ll probably pick it up again later. The same thing happened for Fire Emblem Awakening (which was fantastic btw) where I got frustrated by it and stopped playing for three months. I picked it up again, powered through it, found out I loved it, and finished it rather quickly. I’m hoping BD will be the same thing but I won’t be touching it again for awhile. I’m still surprised by people’s praise, anyone want to give me their thoughts on this game and why you might have liked it?
Best NPC: Joker from Batman: Arkham City
999 had a host of characters that I enjoyed interacting with. Most of the characters I originally passed off as Trope characters that had only one particular trait, however, as the game went on, they would continuously surprise me by the things they did, their knowledge, and their history. Number 7 was one of my favorites.
However, Joker was by far the best NPC. Mark Hamill was as usual great in his role as the Clown Prince of Crime. Plus, Joker’s role in the game was a I think better than his main antagonistic role in Arkham Asylum. His joking personality was at his height here and let’s not forget those hilarious answering machine messages he left for Batman. Classic Joker.
Best Line Delivery: Twin Snakes
Best Sequel: Pokemon ORAS
I played a lot of sequels during this year of franchises that I love. A good sequel in my book is one that retains the original charm of the first game while adding new stuff to it that makes it a refreshing experience. For that, Pokemon ORAS was probably the best sequel of them all. ORAS not only was a good Hoenn remake but a good step forward in the evolution of Pokemon games. The sneaking mechanic for Dexnav made catching pokemon a whole new level of fun! Hidden abilities, special moves only learned normally through breeding, and held items made it fun to find the best pokemon.
Not only that but the map and pokedex features improved a lot making you want to catch odd pokemon even if you didn’t want them in the first place. The New mega evolutions are great and Hoenn getting a full 3D remake was just amazing.
Best Item(s): The Brave Weapons from Fire Emblem Awakening
In the Awakening game, weapons matter a lot to you especially for the higher ranked ones as they can give more damage with better bonuses as well. The brave weapons as such were among the best weapons in the game that I liked to equip my warriors with. True, they may not be the strongest ones, but they’re among the best weapons to buy and that goes a long way.
Best Boss: The Grand Masters from Pokemon Trading Card Game
As said before, defeating the Pokemon TCG was challenging mostly thanks to the Grand Masters. All of them were packing Legendary cards that I couldn’t access yet. Getting my butt kicked by Courtney, the first Master, several times made me rethink deck strategies to the point of dismantling them entirely and working from the ground up again.
Ironically, one of my easier battles came from the final battle against Ronald, your rival in the game. He flat out refused to call back his Zapdos despite the fact that he only had fire and water energy cards. I chose not to kill him on a gamble that he wouldn’t return him so I just outwaited him. He ran out of cards before I did and I won. One of the most hilarious victories I ever had.