Game of the Year 2014 – Most Disappointing Game

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There’s been a few games that have disappointed over the previous year and there were many before this with, I’m sure, many more to come. Some are as simple as being a bit too hyped up by time I got around to it and wasn’t as great as I’d hoped (Batman: Arkham Asylum). There’s also the titles that are infuriating (Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams) and others which lacked much of what made other entries in the same series endearing (Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty). However, Bastion was the one which disappointed me the most.

Upon Bastion’s initial release in the Summer of 2011, I was hoping for a PSN version for the PS3 which was never to come. Regardless, I was still very interested in playing the very first game developed by Greg Kasavin’s team, Supergiant Games. As a former GameSpot editor, I’ve always had a respect for Kasavin’s work. Maybe that’s what put his team’s first game very high on my list and just maybe I should’ve tempered my expectations a bit once I was able to play it in 2014 thanks to NiceGuyNeon.

As I said back in September once I played it via Steam, the gameplay overall was quite boring to me. It felt sort of like the Atari arcade classic Gauntlet without some of the charm of that game. I’m sure fans of Bastion will say it has plenty of charm all its own thanks to the deep-throat narrator. The voices were well done, no doubt, but the combat itself felt like I was going through the motions. There wasn’t any intriguing feedback from taking out the many enemies on the screen, viscerally or otherwise. It was a pretty flat experience and that’s saying something after playing Riot Zone.

Game of the Year 2014 – Favorite Revisit

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A number of games I have I’ll sometimes go back to them. This is especially the case if it’s short and going to be a quick session to play through. Arcade games fit this bill perfectly. Whether it be Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Contra, Ninja Warriors on Super Nintendo, or the fun horror game Splatterhouse on TG-16 (played during my Halloween Gaming Event). It’s always great to go back to these titles.

The one which caught my attention in 2014 was the arcade version of Robocop by Data East. It’s a bit tricky when it asks the player to level traversal that’s more than walk to the right, but otherwise it’s fun. It reminds me of a roller skating rink I used to go to and this blog post I mentioned it before in. All of this was spurred on by my purchase of the remastered in 4K Blu-ray edition of the original movie I picked up back in February.

Last year my favorite revisit was Tomb Raider: Legend and this year’s was Robocop!

Game of the Year 2014 – Best Retro Game

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Welcome back to my 2014 Games of the Year awards!

This time I’ll be choosing my favorite of the retro games I played this year. This is mainly from the month of March where I went back to my gaming roots with several titles spanning across the Super Nintendo, original NES, Game Boy, and Genesis gaming consoles. These games consist of those I’ve played or haven’t played in the past, but the common trait among them is that I never seriously tried to finish them before. However, in 2014 I did beat most of them.

I quite liked my time with Natsume’s Wild Guns and Jaleco’s Operation Logic Bomb, both on SNES, but, I don’t see myself going back much to them. Capcom’s NES Rolling Thunder clone called Code Name: Viper was excellent. I’d even consider it better than the game which inspired them. Once I got the hang of how to approach enemies in Super Double Dragon, it became a favorite of mine within the Technos beat-’em-up series.

The one that really brought me back many times, however, was P.O.W.: Prisoners of War. This SNK brawler wasn’t that great in the arcades, but once it came home it was best on NES. Once I watched a speed run of the game with commentary, it gave me the tips I needed to beat the game for the first time. And a second time…and a third time. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would given I didn’t remember liking it all that much back in the early ’90s when my family rented it. I’ll admit that the 21 life code didn’t hurt the experience either.

Do you have a classic game you love going back to that you recently discovered within the previous year? Let me know in the comments section below. Also don’t forget to like and share this blog post if you enjoyed it.

Game of the Year 2014 – News Topic of the Year

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It’s time for my 2014 Game of the Year awards! This year I will continue to present my awards as I started with last year’s awards. They’ll be one per blog post. Here’s award number one of nine.

Nothing had me wanting to choke a bitch more than the number one news item of 2014, Net Neutrality. If you don’t believe me then check out the any of the numerous episodes of the Hart & Usagi Podcast to hear me furiously give the audio smackdown to those fucking clowns in Washington D.C. A few understand the ramifications of past bills like SOPA, but most do not. In fact, the recent hacks of Sony Pictures gave those D.C. honeydicks another excuse to put forth a new Internet rights stripping bill called CISA. It’ll let the ISPs record your online activity and ship it off to the federal government and they get the bonus of immunity from prosecution. Fuck that.

Also, the rules themselves where planned to be rewritten by the FCC to favor the ISPs and as we all know that’s not neutral in anyway. The Internet is absolutely a common utility just like telephone service and needs to be regulated as such under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

Game of the Year 2013

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It’s now time for the big award. My Game of the Year award. Three games stood out to me, but only one takes the glory home.

The praise BioShock Infinite got around the time of its release was well deserved as it all worked well together and the game was fun to play. The sudden turn against it later in the year made little sense. It was just a bunch of sheep afraid to continue liking the game because somebody else had a problem with something minor in the story. Sure it’s not perfect, but no video game is in that department. Regardless I enjoyed my time with BioShock Infinite.

In October I played Dark Souls for my Halloween gaming event. It was a fantastic expansion of what From Software started on the PlayStation 3 with Demon’s Souls. I was a bit confused on how to build a good character and ended up sticking with mostly magic attacks as I did in the previous game. Gwyn went down to my Soul Spears.

The winner, as if you didn’t already know what game it was thanks to the above graphic, and my Game of the Year is Sleeping Dogs. This was a game I played in December and I love it. It was suggested by NiceGuyNeon who said he knew I’d love it. And that I did. This was one of those middle-of-the-road titles, as I like to call them, where the production values may not be the greatest in all areas like a Grand Theft Auto game, but it does do things wonderfully where it needs to. A highly recommended game for those looking for a kung-fu fun time!

Thanks for reading my awards posts and if you missed any you can check them out under the “goty2013” tag.

Have a good one!

Game of the Year 2013 – Best Podcasts

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Over the course of any year I listen to quite a few podcasts. In fact, my subscription list in Podkicker is over ten. One of them being the excellent comeback of the forever fantastic Retronauts. Always talking about the oldest of old school gaming classics!

However, my pick for winner of 2013 is Live Audio Wrestling’s Review-A-Wai. Just think of it as the Retronauts for pro wrestling. It really is that simple. John Pollock and Wai Ting always make for an interesting listen as they talk about past WWE (and WCW, etc.) events and compare how they felt then as opposed to today after rewatching these shows.

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Of course I can’t end this 2013 awards article without selecting the best episode of my own creation, the Hart & Usagi Podcast.

I had fun on a lot of the shows Usagi704 and I recorded over the previous year. We “dropped da mic” in episode 25, had a great discussion about racing games with Gigastormz and ebbderelict, and we even talked about the ridiculous Xbone.

Those were all great, but the winner for the episode I had the most fun on was definitely our discussion with first-time guest stripesonfire. I don’t need to mention why episode 29 was the best we did in 2013. Listen to it and find out for yourself!

Game of the Year 2013 – Favorite Revisit

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This award goes to a game I’ve played before, but it might have been awhile. Usually, for most people, revisiting an older title happens when they pick up a newer updated version. I did purchase a game, but it was simply on a different platform. The system in question was the PSP and the game was Tomb Raider: Legend.

The main reason I played this version is two fold. One was because I wanted to see how well the controls transferred over to the PSP. I also played it at the same time as Usagi704 was playing it. It was his first Tomb Raider game. That was the same for me, but in 2006.

I’m happy to say that while I’d still rather TR Legend with a regular controller, the control layout for the PSP worked well with what it had. Most of all I had as much fun with the game as I did the first time!