Tag Archives: Mario Kart 8

Feature: Games in Review for 2014

My Top 10 Games of 2014

Game of the year awards are dumb, so here’s mine:

10. Persona Q

One part Etrian Odyssey, one part Persona, all parts amazing JRPG action on your 3DS. There’s nothing about Persona Q not to love. I don’t have a lot more to really say about it other than if you’re a fan of JRPG’s at all, you really need to check this game out.

9. Transistor

The creators of Bastion hit their second game out of the park with Transistor. The sci-fi noir setting is beautifully complimented by it’s synthetic soundtrack and gorgeous art style. Together, it’s easy to get lost in the world. One of the things that struck me about the gameplay was the way the damage penalty forced you to try different combinations with your abilities, which in turn opened me up to new ways to play. I never really had a one combo that I stuck with because I was always reinventing them. It was a truly unique experience.

8. Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight isn’t just relying on a nostalgia kick to lure you in and take your money. It’s using classic game design and melding it with modern gameplay conventions to make for a truly unique experience that will satisfy 8-bit game lovers and modern game lovers alike.

7. World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

I didn’t think Blizzard could top Mists of Pandaria in terms of the quality of their content, but it turns out I was wrong. Warlords brings with it a killer storyline, better dungeons, and the biggest reason ever to log into the game every day: garrisons. There’s so much to do, so many improvements to older systems (like professions), and so much to see that I think this is, without a doubt, the best expansion for Warcraft yet.

6. Smash Bros. for Wii U

Anybody who knows me probably won’t be surprised to find this on my list. I’m a huge fan of the Smash Bros. series. Not only is it a fantastic game, it’s a wonderful reflection over the past decade and beyond of Nintendo that reminds me why I love that company. Yeah, maybe it’s just Nostalgia Simulator 2014, but god damn if it isn’t one of the best looking games this year.

Everybody wants 60 frames per second and 1080p visuals on their new PS4 and XBOX One, but it’s sitting right here on last-gen level technology running without a hitch. It’s thanks to a solid artistic vision and technical know-how that this game looks better than almost anything I’ve played this year.

5. Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker

It may not have been the biggest game, but Captain Toad still filled a big hole in my gamer heart with color, laughter, and legitimately clever puzzles. I’ve spoken before about what this game means to me, so just suffice it to say that I have no qualms saying it’s one of the best games to have come out in 2014.

4. MarioKart 8

Until Smash Bros. came out, I hadn’t spent as much time with friends in any other games combined as I did with Mario Kart 8. And I still enjoy going back to it, especially thanks to the incredibly high-quality DLC they released in November. The absolutely gorgeous visuals, the gripping gameplay, and the amazing design of the tracks keeps you coming back. Battle-mode aside, which is the worst the series has ever seen, Mario Kart 8 stands well above it’s predecessors in a long line of pretty great games.

3. PT

I’m not sure whether putting this game on this list says something about me, the horror game wheelhouse at large, or the video game industry at general, but here it is. I’ve effectively nominated a movie trailer on YouTube for Best Picture at The Oscars in saying that PT, which literally stands for Playable Teaser, was one of the 10 best games last year.

PT was a great horror experience. You walk through the same hallway over and over again, slowly noticing subtle changes each time, and watching as things descend into madness. The atmosphere is top-notch compared to full-price horror games, relying more on mood and subtlety than jumps and loud noises. But most impressively, it got me excited for the first Silent Hill game in over 5 years, as it turns out this whole experiment was one big teaser for the upcoming Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro production, Silent Hills.

2. Bayonetta 2

Every bit as insane as the first game, and in most cases: more so. The smooth, yet chaotic combat returns with stunning visuals, a bonkers story, and even an interesting multi-player mode to check out. Character action game fans need to take note: this isn’t just one of the best games of the year, it is among the best in the entire genre.

1. Hearthstone

To clarify, this list isn’t me trying to rank the 10 best games, it’s just ten great games that came out this year that I played and that I want you to play. So while the previous nine weren’t ranked in any particular order, I did consciously put Hearthstone at number one for no other reason than because it’s the game that I really have loved the most and spent the most time with in 2014. Between the Naxxramus single-player content and the Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion, I’ve had a stellar time with Blizzard’s free-to-play card game, and will continue to do so well into 2015.

There you have it, the ten best games that came out last year. If you have any you’d like to throw in, please feel free to do so in the comments. This is all in the spirit of getting people to play better games, and unfortunately I couldn’t play everything out there. But I’d love to see what other recommendations of games I should play that you have.

News: Nintendo announces two DLC packs for Mario Kart 8

Super Smash Kart is happening!!! (Sort of…)

For a while now I’ve been wanting a version of Super Mario Kart that takes the Super Smash Bros. approach and mixes in characters and karts based on Nintendo’s other franchises, like Animal Crossing and The Legend of Zelda. It appears that, through DLC for Mario Kart 8, I’m getting my wish.

Giant Bomb reports that Nintendo of Europe has given away the information on two upcoming packs for the popular kart racer. The first one, set for release in November, includes four vehicles, eight courses, and three characters: Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, and Link.

The second pack, which is scheduled for release in May of 2015, will include 3 new characters (Animal Crossing Villager, Isabelle, and Dry Bowser), 2 new cups with 8 more tracks total, and 4 new vehicles. No information is directly given about what the new courses or karts are, but you can see some of them in screenshots on Nintendo of Europe’s store page. Also, if you purchase both DLC bundles, you get new colors for Shy Guy and Yoshi!

The release dates seem kind of far, given the game’s release last May, but keep in mind that Mario Kart titles tend to continue selling long after their release. On top of that, this shows that Nintendo is taking DLC seriously, and isn’t working on it as much during development. That, plus the time they spend testing each course to make sure it’s absolutely perfect, means that this is going to take time. It sounds like some great content will continue to come to one of the year’s best games.

What do you think of the announced DLC? Any characters you’d like to see come to Mario Kart? I’m still hoping for a motorcycle shaped like Epona for Link to ride! Leave your ideas in the comments below!

Mario Kart 8 – A Hundred Word Review

Fast, gorgeous, and full of online fun.

MK8Shot2 Mario Kart 8 is probably one of the strongest Mario Kart’s to have come out. It’s gorgeous, fast, and entertaining.

As far as Mario Kart‘s go, you’re not getting a bunch of new territory here outside of the brilliant zero-g racing. Riding upside down and on walls never fails to be fun. Above all else, come to this game for it’s gameplay, but while you’re here, enjoy the bountiful visual feast blowing out of your screen.

The battle mode is the worst, but the online works phenomenally! Creating videos with Mario Kart TV and viewing them at Mariokart.tv is a blast. MK8Shot1 This is a new format I’m trying called the “Hundred Word Review.” Just like it says, I take only 100 words to describe my feelings towards a game. I’m doing this in an attempt to find a gimmick that appeals to folks. Quick, bite-sized reviews are the idea. Something to counterbalance the half-a-novel reviews you see elsewhere.

I could write a lot about Mario Kart 8, but I feel like these 100 words are all I need to say to tell you what I think of it. Let me know what you think in the comments. Does this format work for you? Am I omitting things? Do you like the idea of shorter reviews in general, or have I taken it to far? Please slap that feedback on the table so I can write more gooder for you.