The promise has been made.
The Masked “Chum” is a Tumblr personality and Askbox champ of Video Game Choo Choo. He blogs about wrestling, fighting games, and his incredible life on his blog.
Were there even video games in 2014? That’s a serious question. I mean there was stuff that came and it was totally printed to a disc and released in a digital format but…I dunno. This year just sort of felt like it was there, huh? I mean between all of the patches and updates and broken stuff and…man. 2014 was strange? I’m pretty sure I said that last year, too. Turns out the whole new generation didn’t change my gaming habits at all since the large chunk of my time this year involved falling deep into games that could hold my interested for long chunks of time and then moving on once they got boring. This was also the first year where I really tried that new-fangled PC gaming these kids are talking about out and noticed that small little bite-sized games with deep experiences seem to be where that world starts and stops for me.
10. Ultra Street Fighter 4
The end all and be all for fighting games of this generation in my opinion. Sure, it’s just a DLC pack for a game that’s seven years old but not only is Ultra Street Fighter IV still one of the best fighting games out there and is responsible for me getting back into a scene I heavily ignored for the last few years…it’s also a benchmark for how DLC and updates should be applied to all competitive games. Can you look at any other console developer in the previous generation that continuously supported its game with new content, patches, updates and characters for SEVEN YEARS? More than just being a competent fighting game I feel Ultra Street Fighter IV (along with Arcade Edition and Super before it) also lays the groundwork for how DLC should be handled going in this current gen.
9. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
A third person tactical shooter based on a mobile Tower Defense game. How in the fuck did this end up being one of my favorite games of 2014? Simple. It was fun. Who gives a shit that the premise is entirely ludicrous or that a third person shooter probably wasn’t the best way to use this license. You take something and make it fun then you are guaranteed to at least capture my interest. If you manager to overachieve at that attempt then homie you just ended up on my Game of the Year list which to be fair is probably the best accomplishment you can hope for. Let’s not even point out that PvZ: GW is the best Star Wars Battlefront game since Star Wars Battlefront 2.
8. The Wolf Among Us
The Wolf Among Us is nothing special. It’s technically a mess and it has Telltales signature brand of jank all over it and it doesn’t live up to The Walking Dead Game at all in most spots. But what does The Wolf Among Us have that stuck with me? A lot of style and heart. When I went into TWDG I already knew about its world and its universe and honestly most of the world had already some idea of what to expect. They didn’t have to really sell you on anything there because everyone this side of Pluto knows how the zombie genre works. But with The Wolf Among Us we have an obscure comic book that not a lot of people know about and we get a wonderful neo-noir story set in a universe that’s familiar yet new at the same time and that fuckin’ SPEAKS to me. After I finished this game I was interested in reading more about the lives of the Fables and what other adventures took place in this world. It opened my eyes to something I had been ignoring for years. It also helps that The Walking Dead Season 2 fucking sucked and it made this game look so much better.
7. Crypt of the Necrodancer
I’m going to keep it real as of this writing I’ve only played like an hour of this game. That hour is already better than most shit I’ve played this year so it gets on the list.
6. Bad Rats
Yeah, the game didn’t come out in 2014 and I know it’s probably one of the worst games ever fucking made but hear me out on this one. Personally 2014 was not a great year for me. I had way more downs than ups and as a joke a good friend of mine sent me this game on Steam. As a joke I started playing it. In my group of pals the joke was whenever something was going wrong or was bad…I’d play Bad Rats. The game is awful, it’s downright terrible…but focusing on something so bad took my mind off of literally everything else. Then it became a habit. When I was feeling down? Play Bad Rats. Bad day a work? Play Bad Rats. Wanted to take my mind off of things? Play Bad Rats. Bad Rats became my therapy. Bad Rats became my Anti-Drug. Bad Rats was there for me when no one else was. And you know what? That’s worth a lot to me.
I like playing games from a first person perspective that involve a gun pointing from the bottom of the screen. That’s probably evident because the next four out of five games on this list are all first person shooters. I don’t know what it is about them that draws me to them but I think they just hit the perfect little itch that needs to be scratched. They are perfect videogame junk food for me. Titanfall was a good one this year because it was the first FPS game I played and for it being the real test of the next gen it actually held up on its end of the bargain of making a shooter feel unique from pilot to Titan. It might not have stuck around in my console for as long as any other of the games on this list, but it’s one of the few New IPs I played this year that has me interested in seeing where the sequel takes things…and I only say that because of the next game on the list.
To be completely honest with you I don’t even see Destiny as a game and I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. I couldn’t tell you a single goddamn thing about the story in this game or any of the characters because not only does the game do a terrible job at telling you this information, but I just didn’t care enough. Destiny for about three months was THE destination for me and my pals to play a video game and shoot the shit. When we wanted to talk about Fantasy Football or Wrestling it was usually done while Destiny was being played in the background almost subconsciously. When they weren’t around Destiny was my go-to game to play when I wanted to listen to an audiobook or catch up on some podcasts (including Video Game Choo Choo). That’s all Destiny was for me. It hit this sweet spot between being a competent enough game that I wanted to continue spending time with it but also being so thoroughly uninteresting that I was able to multitask and get other shit done while playing it and given what limited time I do have to play games nowadays I think that’s a great way to have my cake and eat it, too.
3. Far Cry 4
Yo I really liked Far Cry 3. Far Cry 4 is Far Cry 3 but with someone competent story. Again, it says something about 2014 if I can put a game that is almost beat-for-beat like its predecessor from over a year ago above pretty much every other AAA console release this year. Really not too much else that needs to be said.
2. FTL: Advanced Edition
There was a point there year where I played FTL for 15 hours in one sitting. It is almost unheard of for me to play a PC game for that long but FTL hit such a sweet spot for me and improved so much over its original version that I couldn’t help but eat, sleep, and shit this game for most of the year. It’s the only game that I actually have on a flash drive and carry it with me and run it on multiple computers between my home and work place. Just everything about this game speaks to me on multiple levels from the music, the strategy, the wit that it puts on with its quirky Star Trek-esque quips…it’s just one of the best examples of taking something so little and getting so much out of it in terms of replayability that it managed to keep me coming back to it over and over again unlike other Rouge-likes because unlike in those games where sometimes a bad roll will fuck your day in FTL even when (literally) everything was on fire and crashing down around you all it did was just feed into the wonderful space battle fever pitch that was going on. You never came away frustrated because you lost but instead you just though “Holy shit that was an epic ass space battle”.
1. Wolfenstein: The New Order
Never in my life did I think in 2014 we would have a new Wolfenstein game. Never in my life did I think in 2014 that we would have a new Wolfenstein game that was actually a fantastic console shooter as well as a PC shooter. Never in my life did I think in 2014 we would have a Wolfenstein game that actually had a well-written story with fleshed out characters and an actual sense of urgency and drama. Never in my life did I think in 2014 B.J Blazkowicz would be an INTERESTING CHARACTER. Just how in the fresh HELL did this happen? How did after all of the years and all of these same-ass military FPS games and Nazi games and World War II games did it fall on THIRTY-THREE year old franchise and the actual godfather of the genre to come back and show damn near everyone how it’s supposed to be? Freedom of movement? Check. A system that allows you to play with multiple styles of play ranging from stealthy to holding the two biggest guns in each hand and just laying waste to everything? Check. Probably the best example of fitting PC shooter sensibilities like leaning onto a consoles control scheme? Check. Managing to do all of that and still somehow find the time to craft a story that’s not only interesting but actually pretty terrifying at the same time and still comes off as more realistic than the last six Call of Duty and/or Battlefield games? Check plus plus. Wolfenstein is like the grand dad that sat around watching its shitty little children make a mess of the yard he built and he got so suck of it that he got out of his rocking chair and showed these youngins how it’s really done. Hopefully this starts a new trend because I’m all for that shit if it’s true.
I’m looking at you, Doom.