GOTY2014-Day04_Feature

Game of the Year 2014: Part 4

Another year is coming to a close, and we at Press Play TV are ready to choose our favorite video games from the past 12 months. We’re so excited to jump back into the heated arguments about some of our favorite titles, because that just means there were a whole bunch of great games this year to talk about! Our lists for 2014 are filled with titles large and small, and it’s actually been pretty surprising which major categories have had two indies beat out everything else to face each other for the top spot. Our awards this year are a testament to how blurred the line between ‘independent’ and ‘AAA’ has become; we truly believe that decades from now everyone who played games in 2014 will be able to say ‘we were there’ when the industry had its renaissance. Without further ado, enjoy the next batch of categories for Press Play TV’s Game of the Year 2014 Awards!

We will be releasing five lists over the course of this week, each covering genres or facets of the games scene that we think are important to our industry, culminating with the final “Game of the Year” decision. With each ultimate choice, you can also see the individual choices of our three judges: Senior Producer Nick Hawryluk, and guest judges Chris Nagy and Peter Kendall from How Do I Jump. We’ve tried to be as fair as possible, but we don’t make any claims to have played every game that came out this year- we even have a category for the best ones we missed from last year’s awards!  Plus, in the interest of transparency, you can also listen to our entire deliberations process in the embedded podcast below.

Jump to another part of our Game of the Year 2014 series:
Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 • Part 5

 

04-01_Multiplayer-GOTY2014

Lethal League was an insane game. One of our go-to local multiplayer titles, this one wold get people screaming their heads off in no time. The gameplay was simple to learn, but hard to master: up to four players hit a baseball around a square arena, and when someone gets hit by the ball that player is out. The interesting part was how the ball would exponentially accelerate with each strike, and the conveyance of speed in this game was astounding. With particularly high-speed shots, the hitter would freeze in time, and crazy stuff would go down like the ground shaking or a thunderstorm breaking out. In many cases, it felt like Dragon Ball Z characters fighting, and we just couldn’t stop coming back. For being some of the most fun we’ve had with friends this year, Lethal League is our Best Multiplayer Game of 2014!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: Titanfall
Pete: Hearthstone
Nick: Lethal League

 

04-02_Co-Op-GOTY2014

There was a lot to like about Sniper Elite 3. It expanded the scope of past entries by introducing open environments, and really fleshed out the stealth required to get through its missions. The entire campaign could also be played cooperatively, and we had a lot of fun trying our best to coordinate our takedowns to a crack of thunder, Shawshank Redemption style. This game’s mechanics allowed us to really get creative with our executions, and touches like the series’ signature X-ray kill cam only enhanced the fun. Plus, there was DLC that let you kill Hitler- what’s not to like? For having excellent cooperative gameplay that truly encouraged teamwork, Sniper Elite 3 wins our award for Best Co-Op of 2014!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: Sniper Elite 3
Pete: Destiny
Nick: Divinity: Original Sin

 

04-03_Scariest-GOTY2014

The Alien(s) franchise has had a lot of trouble being adapted into video game form. Ever since Amnesia: The Dark Descent was released however, the answer was right under everyone’s noses: don’t make an Aliens game, make an Alien game! Alien: Isolation brought the series back to its Ridley Scott roots by shrinking the scope to a game of cat and mouse. There weren’t hundreds of Xenomorphs skittering around, waiting to be shot by a pulse rifle- there was just a single Alien, whose presence would constantly hang over us as we roamed the lonely space station. This game does ‘dread’ well- maybe too well. The horror would get so oppressively palpable that it could be hard sometimes just to continue pressing forward. Moments of cathartic tension where we hid while the Alien was in the room with us were the kind of gameplay we’ve been waiting to see from this franchise for a long time. Because it brought even our most seasoned horror veterans to their knees, Alien: Isolation is our Scariest Game of 2014!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: Alien: Isolation
Pete: Alien: Isolation
Nick: Daylight

 

04-04_Addictive-GOTY2014

While Trials Fusion took the center stage on consoles and PC, its little brother stole our hearts on our iPhones. Trials Frontier was a bite-sized, free-to-play version of the motocross balancing act we all knew and loved, and it seriously got its hooks in us. There was a fun little storyline running through it, and each of the different characters had their own challenges to complete for extra rewards. We particularly enjoyed this one because our Trials experience carried over perfectly, and it didn’t feel like touch controls were hampering the fundamental gameplay. Because Brian Wegman (Pete and Chris’ colleague from How Do I Jump) is still playing this one religiously after all these months, Trials Fusion is our Most Addictive Game of 2014!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle
Pete: Spider-Man Unlimited
Nick: Trials Frontier

 

04-05_GameTitle-GOTY2014

The Evil Within is already an amazing name for a psychological horror game. Leave it to Japan to ruin our fun however, because Psycho Break is SO MUCH BETTER! This Japan-only moniker makes appropriately little sense, but still manages to evoke all the right emotions. Personally, we’d like to imagine this game being about Pyramid Head on his lunch break drinking a cup of tea, or a ‘Purge’-like situation where normal people take a ‘psycho break’ to go crazy every once in a while. Because it leaves us wishing we could have its box proudly displayed in our collection, Psycho Break is our Best Game Title of 2014!

Editor’s note: the ‘Best Game Title’ award has nothing to do with a game’s quality. It literally refers to the title of the video game. 
 
EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: Psycho Break
Pete: The Evil Within
Nick: GAME OF THE YEAR: 420BLAZEIT vs. xxXilluminatiXxx [wow/10 #rekt edition] Montage Parody The Game

 

04-06_WorstGameTitle-GOTY2014

Leave it to Japan to come up with some of the most amazing and terrible video game titles. We have never played Surge Concerto: Ar nosurge ~A Song that Prays for a Planet Being Born~, but if the game is as insane as its title we’re sure it’s at least entertaining. Apparently this is the Japanese title for the newest in the Ar Tonelico series, and the American name, Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star, isn’t much better. But because it defies logic, grammar and general sanity, Surge Concerto: Ar nosurge ~A Song that Prays for a Planet Being Born~ takes the cake for our Worst Game Title of 2014!

Editor’s note: the ‘Worst Game Title’ award has nothing to do with a game’s quality. It literally refers to the title of the video game. 
 
EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z
Pete: Gods Will Be Watching
Nick: Surge Concerto: Ar nosurge ~A Song that Prays for a Planet Being Born~

 

04-07_Shooter-GOTY2014

Titanfall was an eclectic mix of first-person shooter, giant mech fighter and platformer- not the type of game you expect to see on the big-budget ‘AAA’ scene- but we’ll be damned if it wasn’t fun. This one was developed by Respawn Entertainment, a company born from the original devs of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, so they obviously knew their way around a shooter. The shooter vets doubled down on multiplayer this time, making even the campaign into a series of unique, story-based 6v6 matches, and the result allowed people to get competitive quicker. The combat was stellar, with each weapon perfectly tuned, and the shooting took on a whole new angle when Titans were added into the mix. Another interesting touch was having AI-controlled grunt soldiers litter the battlefield, which made every fight feel much more alive without needing huge numbers of players (and titans) per match. Because it took some serious risks that were completely validated by rock-solid mechanics, Titanfall is our Best Shooter of 2014!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Pete: Titanfall
Nick: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

 


GOTY2014-TrophyThe Game of the Year 2014 Awards were judged by Press Play TV Senior Producer Nick Hawryluk with guests Chris Nagy and Peter Kendall from How Do I Jump. Don’t think we made the right choices in a category? Let us know what you think should have won in the comments below!

Trophy from The Noun Project



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