Despite what some may say, I don't believe 2014 was a bad year for games at all. There were a lot of unappreciated gems out there, some worth grabbing on day one and others worth exploring during the many Steam sales throughout the year. If you haven't played any of these yet, maybe consider giving them a look.
The Wolf Among Us
Telltale has proven themselves to be master storytellers. While they've become largely known for The Walking Dead, their best work of 2014 is actually the Fables-based The Wolf Among Us.
This is everything a good detective story should be, right from the beginning. The neon lighting, the helpless dame, and the countless shady characters offer a window of what the story is. It's the tale of a hard-nosed private eye that just happens to be the fabled Big Bad Wolf. Whether you try and show Bigby as a man that has left his past behind him or fully embrace his ruthless heritage is up to you.
What really makes The Wolf Among Us memorable, however, is the way that the plot points fully converge at the end. It's not just to remind you of what's happened, but it's also a way to turn everything on its head and make you reconsider the choices you've made and remind you that sometimes, there are no takebacks.
It was a long wait for Platinum's encore to the first Bayonetta. This proved to be well worth the wait.
Regardless of your opinion of Bayonetta the character, there's no denying that Bayonetta 2, the game itself, is some of the most fun you'll have this year. It's basically the Devil May Cry formula on steroids, with bombastic battles against larger-than-life celestial forces. The combo system is immensely satisfying and the fights feel epic in every way.
Those aching for the old-school JRPG experience will feel right at home with Bravely Default. Not only does it fully embrace that classic aesthetic, but it all plays over an incredibly deep Job system.
Uncovering the game's Jobs is a satisfying endeavor in itself, but playing around with each of them and finding a combination that works is some of the most fun I've had in an RPG in a long time. It helps that it works incredibly well with the game's unique take on combat, implementing a 'Default' system that allows characters to hold off on turns for a full-on strike in a later turn.
Even though the wheels start to fall off near the end of the story, Bravely Default's narrative serves as a reminder of why this genre of games is so appealing. It's the kind of alluring pull that Final Fantasy hasn't had in years and one that shows that Square Enix is still the master of the JRPG.
It's been a strong year for mobile games, but none had the kind of appeal that Threes did. Built on the simplest of premises, Threes basically has players combining numbered cards to create multiples of threes until there are no more available moves.
Yes, it sounds absurdly simple. But the end result is the kind of addictive draw that only puzzle games like Tetris and Bejeweled are capable of. It perfectly captures the "one more time" feeling that separates these types of games from all others and kicked off an entire series of clones and wannabes. There's nothing like the original, though, and it's a game that belongs on every iOS device.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Our 2014 Favorites: Ozzie Mejia
Yes, shoutout to Threes!
I really should have put it in the Shack GOTY poll, such a good game
Threes and bravely default were on my list too. Great mobile games this year.
Threes is available on Android (heck, it's been out long enough that it's in the Amazon App Store). The actual Threes -- not a knockoff.