With Christmas out of the way and 2015 closing in fast, it’s time for the NGB Game of the Year 2014 posts! For our GOTY this year, we each named our top 3 (in most cases) games from the last 12 months and tallied up scores relating to them, with the total scores coming out on top.
Those games that were mentioned in more than one person’s list have been placed higher if scores were tied, and if there is an absolute tie, then it came down to the good ol’ alphabet. With that being said, here’s the ones that didn’t quite make it into our top 10 list. Please bear in mind that the reason some of them may not have hit the top is simply because we didn’t all play it. We’ve got a vast range of tastes here at NGB, and with holding down full time jobs as well, we sometimes don’t quite get the time we’d like to sink into everything!
South Park: The Stick Of Truth
Ben’s thoughts: South Park is a prime example of source material that’s never quite hit the mark when it’s been ported over to the land of video games. It seems like Matt Stone and Trey Parker had gotten fed up of this and took matters into their own hands with this brilliant RPG, providing the script for Obsidian to create a new game around. Without a doubt the funniest game I think I’ve ever played, with the world of South Park being mined for references every step of the way. For fans of the show, it’s an absolute must-play. For anyone else, it might grow thin, but it’s the best example of comedy in gaming that I’ve seen in years, possibly ever.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
Deborah’s thoughts: With the original released back in 2001 it became one of my favourite games of all time, so with a new updated release this year it still remains one of my most loved which I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. The story stole my heart, I fell in love with the characters and yes the end did make me cry, and still did this time around! At the time of its first release the visuals were absolutely stunning, not so much with character renders but boy those cutscenes! Thankfully the visuals in this new release have been given a needed boost and the cutscenes still blow me away. JRPG’s are my favourite genre in terms of gameplay, with turn based moves and a complex sphere grid I love spending time perfecting my characters attributes. With this new release it allowed me to experience again my love for the Final Fantasy series and provided the opportunity to improve on areas of the game that previously I had missed, such as ultimate weapons and not to mention I am now a master blitzball player! This is one of my happiest gaming memories and I love it as much today as I did back in 2001
Grand Theft Auto V: Next-Gen Release
inFamous: Second Son
Gari’s thoughts: InFamous: Second Son is a diverse and beautifully realised open-world that keeps the original formula that is so familiar with the history of the series. While the game looks superb from a visual standpoint, its true enjoyment comes from the destructible Seattle playground that you explore as Delsin. While InFamous: Second Son isn’t to everyone’s taste, there aren’t many games that we’ve seen released in 2014 on new hardware that have giving me as much fun and enjoyment as Second Son has.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Ben’s thoughts: Valiant Hearts takes a subject that’s rarely covered in most mediums, with the First World War taking centre stage. At its core, a tale of a family being torn apart to fight on opposing sides shines as the puzzle-platforming gameplay enveloping it takes you across the majority of mainland Europe. The UbiArt engine has allowed some gorgeous looking titles to come out of Ubisoft’s studios, and if this is what is produced by smaller teams when multiple teams work on huge titles, then I’m all for it. The visuals capture the mood perfectly, with the initial hopeful and positive attitudes in the enlisted soldiers fading into dull browns and greys as they run into battle and realise the horror that faces them. Some really clever gameplay sections make this a fun title to play, whilst the collectibles in the game provide some context to the backdrop of this wonderful downloadable title.
Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
Deborah’s thoughts: Going from tower defence to PvP was a great move for Plants vs Zombies, bringing it to a whole new level it feels like this is what the series was meant to be all along. What makes this game great is its accessibility to players of all ages and skills as the gameplay is easy to pick up and with different classes you can find the style that suits you best. For younger players the visuals and characters are exciting and gameplay is relatively easy, however for older and more experienced players PvZ offers the opportunity to execute tactical strategies to overcome your opposing team. This game really brought out my competitive streak and was another game I found hard to put down as it was so much fun! Not only was the gameplay fun but the visuals really packed a punch and it was amazing to see how much detail had been put in that it wasn’t left in the dirt compared to other releases on current gen. Unlike other games PvZ has been expanded with new DLC, including new characters, maps and customisation items all for free, and with other seasonal bonuses and giveaways there is something new to keep coming back to, keeping it fresh
Anything you think should’ve been on our list? Be sure to let us know your thoughts and come back throughout the week, as we’ll be revealing our top ten list in the meantime!