Rather appropriately numbered, this blog is all about Junkfish’s games of 2014. So here’s what we’ve managed to play in between working on Monstrum. Obviously these are all our individual opinions, so… Enjoy~!
Wolfenstein: New Order
Oh god. The art in that game makes me so damn hard! (I love Tor Frick’s stuff).
Was starting to get bored of the ol’ FPS games being released recently. Thought it was because I was getting old, but New Order took what I loved about classic shooters and re-wakened my love for them. None of that COD pish you see now days [Note : I still bought the new Call of Duty anyway]. HNNNNNGGG THAT ART THO.
Matchingmaking issues, uneven teams, Halo 2 doesn’t save properly and generally there are many bugs. All in all, I give this game a 10/10.
(Some say there has been a constant sound of explosions emanating from from Bean’s room every night since he got this game…)
Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.
This updated version of Binding of Isaac took an already awesome game, and made it even better. All the new introductions to the game were all huge improvements:
Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a fun, challenging game that will always have that “Ah, just one more go” aspect to its gameplay, and that is exactly what a short-ish procedurally generated game should have. If you haven’t tried out this game I would definitely give it a look if you can. Just be prepared to be killed. By everything. A lot.
Not sure what I can really say about this game as it’s difficult to describe without spoiling the experience a bit. I’d say it’s best to go into this one blind, but if you demand information it’s a mission-based game with a Moore-era Bond feel, and it is fucking hilarious. The fun in Jazzpunk doesn’t come from completing the levels, but, but from finding all the bizarre and amusing ways you can interact with the environment. The devs have crammed references and gags into every nook and cranny of this game and it’s a delight trying to find them all, clicking obsessively on everyone and everything in the level just to see what happens. While it’s a very, very short game, it might well be the most entertaining gaming experience I’ve had in a long time.
Runner Up: Binding of Isaac – Rebirth (A glorious piece of software but discounting it here due to it being a remake)
The best game I played this year was actually two games. But they launched in Japan in the one bundle SO IT COUNTS. Anyway, the Danganronpa games are, at their core, murder mystery visual novels that pit the various cast members against each other in order to escape their situation. You play as an amnesiac character in a group of amnesiac characters, because your guys manage to forget what they’re able to do on top of how they got into the situation everyone’s in!
Anyway, to get to the point: the story across both games is really well thought out and engaging, with loads of twists, turns and wham episodes that’ll make you go both “what the fuck?” and “NOOOOOO!” in equal measure. The second game riffs off some of the more standard tropes and plot points that occur in its forebear, but also manages to sneak some smaller little references in too. The characters are, mostly, likeable, even if you’re swearing at them for being royal (but glorious) bastards only one or two across both games has pure “go away heat”. Which is impressive considering there’s around 30 in total! The 2D cardboard-meets-comic book style helps everything pop out, and the music is excellent too. The gameplay elements can be a little bit odd but they mostly work and are second fiddle to the story itself anyway. It’s a game that you absolutely have to go into blind though, much like its sister titles 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward. So if you enjoy them or the likes of Pheonix Wright then you should give Danganronpa a shot.
There are loads of games I still wanna play that came out this year (hi Bayonetta, Smash, Never Alone and Guilty Gear) but here are some honourable mentions: OlliOlli, Mario Kart 8, Child of Light, Shovel Knight, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, Persona Q and Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.
…Of course I write the bloody most.
I find it’s a fun, addictive city builder game. The controls are easy to understand so it doesn’t take long to learn how to play it when you first start. It’s the sort of game that keeps you on your toes. You could be playing and have a great run through for hours and then all of a sudden, everything can easily go to shit. A hurricane hits, the crops suddenly get infested with bugs (or frequently in my case) everyone dies of old age and there are not enough young people to take up the jobs because you didn’t want to over populate the village and not have enough food to go around and now you’ve got one 70 year old villager working in your quarry and the little bugger is like collecting five stone bricks a year and you’re like “fuck sake do your job you little shit, I’ve got these other villagers wanting a damn new house ’cause they’re 40 years old and still living with their parents” ……….. BUT YEAH LOVE IT.
I can’t decide between 2, so I’ll give a paragraph for both:
One of my choices for GOTY is Valiant Hearts: The Great War. It’s a 2D game, which takes mechanics from Point and Click games and extends/enhances them. The game focuses on World War 1 and follows the stories of 4 characters that frequently encounter each other throughout the war. Ubisoft Montpellier managed to create a gorgeous, very touching game that I feel provided a unique perspective on the war and how it affected everyone involved. There is a particular chapter involving gas that hits really hard, but I shan’t give away any more than that. The game is an excellent experience.
My second choice for GOTY leans towards a completely different facet of the gaming spectrum: Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. This game involves you playing a warrior, possessed by a vengeful spirit, looking for vengeance for the murder of his family. REVENGE. You run around, killing a lot of orcs, in a lot of different ways, and taking advantage of their leadership hierarchy. There are essays dedicated to how well this game works from a mechanical and design perspective, so read them if it interests you. The game is fluid, and incredibly satisfying – everything feels good. I’d say it’s more interesting and fun to go on killing sprees in this than GTA. The ending is… abrupt. But, apart from that, the game is worth everyone’s time. Such good fun.
Grant also mentioned Last of Us, and that could have a 3rd paragraph… But I won’t. Yet. Honourable mentions also include: Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Transistor, Civilization: Beyond Earth, and Child of Light. All are excellent in their own ways. PLAY THEM ALL.
Glorious Leader of the Junkfish Republic With No Time For Such Frivolous Things. Or: Simon.
Banished was a decent game from 2014, I’ve played more than 5 hours of it.
But I’m gonna nab Endless Legend since Tait left it on the table. Some really cool riffs on 4X genre tropes. Each faction has some clever unique traits that make every game different enough that you don’t get fatigued while also improving each time through the common elements. Also, who wouldn’t want a game that gives them the option of stomping their friends as a nation of dragons?
Having always enjoyed a good Mario Kart game it comes as no surprise that Mario Kart 8 was pre-ordered as soon as it was announced! It came out on my birthday which made for the best party. Great fun, brings out the worst in people and a brilliant multi-player, still played by many of Junkfish today! (Also being able to play as Link in the DLC bumped it up to my GOTY).
An honourable mention goes to the amazing Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright. The two games blend together so well I couldn’t put my 3DS down!
Well based on a mix of hours and how much fun I think I had then I reckon Wargame: Red Dragon is my winner. I like the detail in the units and I like an RTS where I can have a think before making a move. I don’t tend to play turn based strategies online, and I don’t like breakneck speed RTS games. I’m too slow and my feelings get hurt.
Lots of honorable mentions…
Planetary Annihilation: A nice change from the realistic and HA I blew your planet up with a laser. Pretty gid
Endless Legend: 4x game, really gid
Watch Dogs: I enjoyed following and watching other people online without them knowing. It’s gid
Titanfall: Never played much of COD but this is actually well gid
Wolfenstein: Adam is right, big action and big guns. This is quite gid.
Shadow of Mordor: I stabbed an orc and I liked it, super gid.
Bitmap 2 Material: 251 hours played. Gid.
And there you have them! Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think!