Mr.Dragon’s Top Five Games of 2014

2014 was a great year for gaming as there was rarely a time where I did not have an enjoyable video game to entertain me until the next big release. There are multiple titles that I had looked forward to since their announcement and a couple that I was for lack of a better word, “aware” of at first and then really liked the game after it came out. Because I do not own a WiiU, none of the games released for it will appear on this list as I’ve had no way to play them, but that does not mean the other consoles didn’t have their own great time to shine. So what do I consider to be the best games of 2014? Click below to read more and find out.

5.) Shovel Knight

I’m not much of a fan when it comes to indie titles for video games. In order to find any gems, you would need to go through a sea of mediocrity when instead you could just as easily play anything published by a company and most times know you will be enjoying the experience (I understand that the same could be said for any video games whether indie or triple A titles, but odds are triple A games will be of better quality). Even when Shovel Knight was announced on Kickstarter and watching trailers and gameplay, I was still wary to see if it would actually become noteworthy to play. I was very pleasantly surprised when it did come out and everyone loved it and I finally purchased it for the 3DS. I fell in love with the game myself as the controls were buttery smooth, the soundtrack was among the best I’ve heard, and the bosses and levels were all well designed and fun to play through. Even after the gameplay, there were the achievements you could continue playing through the game (as it also includes a New Game+ mode, making the game more difficult but allows you to keep your items). If this wasn’t enough, the game also includes cheat codes! Something I haven’t seen included in any titles as a fun addition since using a GameShark on my Playstation 2. The reason this is so low on my list though is because knowing the replayability this title has, I’ve yet to lay a finger since beating the story as I knew the studio responsible was trying to get the game on every console possible, which Sony announced that the game would be coming to their consoles with the addition of Kratos as a new exclusive boss with trophies to go along with the achievements, giving more incentive to play the game again on their systems instead of my 3DS. I would easily recommend this title to anybody that has a 3DS, WiiU, PC, or any Sony console once it is released for them.

4.) Pokemon Omega Ruby

Like many people, I grew up playing through the many Pokemon titles but I did miss Gens 3 and 4 before I came back with Gens 5 Unova region. So I was excited when Nintendo announced a remake for the few titles I wasn’t able to enjoy with others, and in a lot of aspects I feel like this exceeds the original as it adds so much more to the games.  At first the game seems a bit slow as it tries to teach you the basics of the game (which you still can not skip through) but it quickly quickens the pace as you are constantly moving throughout the regions and discovering new Pokemon, training them, and defeating your enemies with your own personal team. What makes the exploration and team building even better is the introduction to the DexNav, which allows you to either track certain specific Pokemon, or find special ones with either egg moves (attacks that they wouldn’t normally have without breeding), higher level than others, Hidden Abilities, to even the potential of having higher IVs than others, making you feel like you’re growing as a trainer as you find stronger, different Pokemon and training them. What makes these titles even better is the inclusion of the Delta Episode, providing more content and hints heavily at plotlines that I myself love very dearly along with Mega Rayquaza. Even after its release, I am still playing the game breeding my team and battling with my friends.

3.) Final Fantasy X/X-2 Remastered

Even though these two titles first came out for the Playstation 2, These remasters include additional content that America didn’t have access to without importing a specific Japanese copy and Playstation 2 to play it previously. With all this content added, it is enough for me to warrant it to include in this list as it can change completely how you play the game itself from the beginning. These games include a great story with character progression for everybody (Although it’s less so with X-2) with great gameplay with its combat, puzzles, and side quests. I mentioned earlier that I used a GameShark, and these two games were a couple I had it for as sometimes, I just wanted to appreciate the story again and revisit the relationship between Tidus and Yuna despite how awkward it starts out as. The inclusion of bosses so much more difficult than anything in the core game that requires so much preparation, leveling, obtaining the best gear wherever you could find it just makes completing the games that much more rewarding to me. I played Final Fantasy X from day to night enjoying the story and every side-quest for more days than I’d like to admit, but I did obtain the platinum trophy which also sadly burned me out from playing through more of X-2 (for now at least, I do also plan on getting the platinum trophy for it as well eventually). What sweetens the deal for me as well is that I could also play through both games on the Playstation Vita, allowing me to enjoy it whenever and wherever I am.

2.) Dark Souls II

I had the pleasure to actually be able to play through the beta of Dark Souls II with a friend that also received an invite, and we both had a great time playing through the section up to the boss with previously set character archetypes. When the game finally released, at first I thought the game had a more difficult start as many classes you chose could not efficiently wield weapons you could quickly obtain (such as the Sorcerer not being able to wield anything outside of a dagger due to its strength rating of three), but I quickly learned that it becomes a lot easier depending on how you build your character. As with any game that gives magic an option of gameplay, I chose the sorcerer first and immediately became more annoyed at the fact that I was stuck with a dagger. But I learned later that the dagger-type weapons could easily be the strongest type you could wield along with the magic you have. When I played through the game again multiple times with different builds, my enjoyment of the game never wavered as I may had been going through the same areas, enemies, etc., but I was also going through each encounter in different ways. The inclusion of all of the DLC areas made the game that much more enjoyable as it was just more content, harder bosses, and cool new areas to explore. It’s harder to recommend this to anyone that doesn’t like more challenging games or have the patience to learn how the game works, but to anyone that does I can easily ask you to try this out.

1.) Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix

Just like with Final Fantasy X/X-2 Remaster, I feel like all of these games add enough content to warrant its inclusion to the list. Plus I have never played through Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep or Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded (albeit for this pack it’s just all of its cutscenes remastered). But I just love the Kingdom Hearts franchise dearly as it combines the movies I used to watch as a kid within Disney with the franchise my brother introduced me and loved dearly within Final Fantasy into one great universe. I can with one instance help Hercules defeat Hades or help Cloud defeat Sephiroth (from Final Fantasy VII). Or I could help Queen Minnie cleanse the Disney Castle of darkness by going back in time to a world where everything is black and white or in another go inside a computer with Tron to secure the defenses of the town’s security for Leon (or Squall Leonheart from Final Fantasy VIII). Along with the great, fun story the game has to offer, Kingdom Hearts as a franchise constantly gives me a feeling of progression. With Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix for example, you start off with basic abilities (and a single form that improves combat) and compare it to the end game with the ability to jump higher, dodge mid-air, flight, stronger weapons and endless combos, to the devastating finishing attacks that do massive damage mixed with stronger magic and multiple forms that serve different purposes in combat. The entire time as you fight bosses and level up, you are always getting the feeling you are getting stronger and more capable to defend yourself against anything. But once again with extra side-quests to do along with harder bosses (along with revisiting previous bosses made harder than before) provide that much more of a challenge and I get to enjoy the games for that much longer.

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Posted on January 30, 2015, in Top Ten Fridays and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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