Staff Picks


2014 was a messy year for reasons in and around the gaming community (and also just a tough year in general), but the video games themselves have been great. I’ve even found myself enjoying a few more AAA games than usual, despite the tragi-comical bungling of almost every other big release. Without further waffling, here are some video games I played in the year 2014 that I liked to play a lot. READ MORE


Below are my ten favorite new games from 2014… of the 15 new releases I played. For the sake of completion, I might as well mention all 15.

Honorable Mentions

Below the cut you’ll find both Professor Layton offerings this year, Azran Legacy and vs. Phoenix Wright, which were the usual yearly offering and an interesting (if somewhat flawed) experiment, respectively. Super Smash Bros for 3DS was a fun appetizer for the main course that would arrive about six weeks later, but was never seriously going to contend thanks to hardware limitations. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire surprised me by how much I enjoyed revisiting Hoenn, although the inherent problems with the originals weighed down the experience a bit. Finally, Shovel Knight (which I played on the 3DS, if that matters) was a fun retro romp but not really my cup of tea; not enough Mega Man in its otherwise-rich gameplay DNA mix, I guess. READ MORE


10. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd

Rhythm games live or die by their music, and every song in this package is suitably catchy: the sort of music you don’t mind hearing over and over. The fact that Hatsune Miku isn’t real lends itself perfectly to a rhythm game, and the Vocaloid characters have more stage presence than any number of the fake CG bands featured in all of the instrument games. READ MORE


2014 was, for me, a time of endless bounty. With innovative multiplayer indies, engrossing RPGs, cool translated titles from days past and the sort of charming quirk that can only come from Nintendo, this crop of titles gave me great fun this year — and will continue to do so in the years to come.

HM: Puyo Puyo Tetris, Nintendo Pocket Football Club

I’ve restricted my top ten to games with North American releases, but two import titles grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. The first, Puyo Puyo Tetris, meshes two great puzzle games and has a slate of fun multiplayer modes for lots of fun with friends. The second, Nintendo Pocket Football Club, takes a Kairosoft-style management framework and fleshes it out with long-term goals and a heck of a lot of personality. Both would be great to see on American systems, and easy enough to bring over.  READ MORE


10. Wolfenstein: The New Order

I usually play a lot more shooters in a given year, but in 2014 I only played one. Thankfully, it was Wolfenstein: The New Order. This unexpected gem gave me a fascinating backdrop (the Nazis had won World War II) and put me back in the shoes of BJ Blazkowicz. You get the usual shooter gameplay, but a most unusual group of compelling characters, weapon upgrades, game-changing decisions, insane enemies and fantastic cutscenes. This is the complete package and, to top it all off, it has a great ending. It’s one of the few first-person shooters I wanted to replay as soon as I was done. READ MORE