It’s that time again for another end of the year wrap up of the Game Industry. This year has been yet another interesting year as we continue to see strong games from the Indie market and the Wii-U’s library continued to expand with some big name titles.
As always before we get to the actual top ten list, let’s talk about some other awards I have in mind and for added award show affect, please imagine me in a tux while you’re reading this.
The “I could have been a contender” award — Bayonetta 2
I love good action titles and it sucks that I missed out on Bayonetta 2 considering the reviews it has gotten. It was on my list of games to play but without a sale, I just don’t have the money for it at the moment.
Most disappointing Game(s) — Civilization Beyond Earth, Spacebase DF-9 and Planetary Annihilation
2014 may go down as the year of shattered expectations. First we have Civilization Beyond Earth that squandered the chance to make a completely new take on the Civilization formula. Spacebase DF-9 being the poster child for early access failing after hoping for five years of development funding and only working on the game for a year and a half.
Finally Planetary Annihilation after hitting every one of its stretch goals was released to average and below reviews with features missing or not fully developed. Three games that were all high up on my most anticipated lists to only have them fall down to here.
Most Promising Game(s) — At the Gates and Invisible Inc
After the sting of the last award, let’s talk about two games that I can’t wait to play. First is At the Gates from Conifer Games and Civilization Five designer Jon Shafer. From footage put out and talking to him on the cast, he is really looking to develop a unique take on turn based strategy design while using the lessons learned from Civilization Five.
Invisible Inc is the next game from Klei Entertainment and is just oozing style thanks to its cel shaded aesthetic. This is their return to stealth design after Mark of the Ninja and creating a turn based stealth game is very interesting. While the game is still a ways off, there is a lot of promise here and a strong foundation to grow from.
I was going to include Darkest Dungeon but without any major reveals or gameplay trailers, it will just have to wait until 2015 for an award.
The “I’m just getting to it now” Award — Super Mario 3D World
Every new Mario game is cause for celebration from Nintendo fans and Super Mario 3D World definitely ranks up there as one of the best. Featuring a surprisingly amount of variety in level design along with four player co-op makes this one of the best games for the Wii-U. It would be on my top ten except for one big problem, it came out in 2013.
11th Place — Gems of War
Similar to last year’s 11th place of Marvel Puzzle Quest, I have to give this year’s award to Gems of War. I still love the mix of RPG progression and match 3 gameplay; however the microtransaction model and lack of evolving challenge keeps it from getting onto the top ten.
It’s still coming… eventually Award — Prison Architect
Prison Architect is one of my favorite games that still isn’t out yet. Over the last year Introversion has been working hard on it and the game continues to grow and may very well be one of the best games of the year. “What year” is the big question as it still shows no end in sight of development.
The “I’ll let Ken review it” Award — Dragon Age Inquisition
I’m still not a fan of Bioware’s RPG design and there is little chance that I’m going to get around to playing another Dragon Age game. Perhaps given his love-hate relationship with the last two games I can pressure Ken into writing a review for it as he is currently playing it.
Most Played Game from 2013 — Payday 2
I still love Payday 2 and the game has gotten a lot bigger over 2014 with new heists, prestige mode and even several new characters joining the game. In fact the game has been so successful that Overkill has committed to another 24 months of content while working on their Walking Dead game.
Current Game Industry Addiction — Collecting Amiibos
And lastly despite my initial reservations about the Amiibos, I have been on the hunt for the set as it seems like it is only going to get harder to find them. At this point it’s uncertain if Nintendo will do a reprint but I’d rather buy it now than have to pay four times the amount on EBay.
And that does it for the pre-show, tomorrow we’ll start with number 10 and my pick as a love-hate game.