Sunday, 28 December 2014

Top 10 Games of 2014 (10-8)

Every year countless games are released for the many different platforms that are out there. PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, 3DS, 2DS, PS Vita, Wii U, PC.... well, you get the idea- the list goes on and on. Due to the fact that my job depends on it, I keep up on game releases and what's going on in the gaming world. But not everyone's job relies of slaving over a keyboard and seeing 1 hour of daylight a week. I've played and reviewed many games in 2014, so in the hope of helping some of you out there cut through the bull, here are the top 10 games of 2014. First up, games 10 to 8.



10- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance


OK, technically this was originally released in 2013 for Xbox 360 and PS3, but seeing as it hit the PC this year, I think it belongs on the list. At the very least see this entry as a reminder of an epic game you probably haven't played! If you haven't, what are you waiting for? Get your ass to CeX!

When I first heard about Revengence I was a little sceptical. Originally announced in 2009, the game, simply known as Metal Gear Solid: Rising at that point, was to take place between the events of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Between those games Raiden was somehow injured and fitted with an exoskeleton. Rising was to tell that story, and bridge a very important gap in the series' time-line. But this game wasn't being helmed by series creator Hideo Kojima, and after a troubled start to production at Konami, he decided to pull the plug. However, the game didn't vanish into a obscurity as he turned to Platinum Games to try their hand at resurrecting it. Known for titles such as Mad World and Bayonetta, Platinum Games brought the game back to life.

Set after the events of Guns of the Patriots, Revengeance pulls Raiden back into the world of war, fighting and death. However, this isn't your typical game in the Metal Gear universe, as instead of stealth it relies on ultra fast combat, button bashing and taking your foes head on. The game puts all of its focus on combat, which by the way is insanely slick and varied. Whether you're kicking a foe up into the air and then proceeding to carefully slice all their limbs off during Revengeance's bullet-time moments, or taking on of the many bosses in fights that are genuinely batshit insane in their levels of awesomeness, Revengeance is completely bad-ass to the bone. Backed up by a rock soundtrack that will get your heart pounding and blood pumping, this is one of two games on our list that were previously released last year, but still wipe the floor with many recent releases.

Though I don't think it should be considered canon within the Metal Gear Solid universe, Revengeance is fast, fun and kicks ass.


9- Child of Light


In 2010 Ubisoft created the game engine known as UbiArt Framework, a powerful engine that would essentially bring back the 2D platformer games of yesteryear in stunning fashion. This engine heralded the return of Rayman, the classic Ubisoft creation that was first introduced to us back in 1995. It also brought us Valiant Hearts: The Great War, a moving game based upon real letters sent to loved one during World War 1. However, the engines biggest accomplishment came about with Child of Light, our number 9 on the top 10 games of 2014.

Child of Light places you in the role of Aurora, a young girl in 1895 who, at the start of the game, dies after succumbing to a disease. However, after her mother casts a powerful protection spell on her, Aurora wakes up in the magical land of Lemuria. The land of Lemuria is in turmoil, as a dark queen has stolen it's sun, stars and moon. As Aurora you must venture across the land to retrieve what the queen has stolen, ultimately bringing peace back to the land. The story is hauntingly beautiful and often moving, but the true wonder of Child of Light comes from its visuals and gameplay.

Gameplay is a wonderful blend of exploration, puzzle solving and combat, and the combat used here is a little reminiscent of Final Fantasy. It's simple yet effective, and can easily be enjoyed by both the hardcore and casual gamer out there. Child of Light looks like a moving painting too, and thanks to the multiple layers of graphics used, it's an incredibly stunning game to behold. From dark forests in the background, a woodland path before you, dimly lit silhouettes in the foreground that often obscure your view, to layers of smoke and mist moving through the level, the attention to detail throughout Lemuria is genuinely beautiful.

Child of Light easily takes the place of all other Ubisoft games you might be expecting in our top 10.


 8- Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

 

The year was 1999, I was 14 and my biggest (and only) obsession in life was Pokémon. Though I know that's the case with any kid nowadays, keep in mind that this was back when Pokémon was completely new. It's still a worldwide sensation today, but back in those days it was monumental. From trying to find Mew under that truck, coming across Missingno and freaking the f**k out in Lavender Town, I loved it all. Whether it was watching the anime, collecting the cards or playing the game, I was hooked. Well, I was hooked until my mother sold my Pokémon Blue cartridge that had my level 100 Gengar on it, but that's a story for another day...

But while I adored Pokémon way back then, I haven't play any of them in over a decade. That said, I was always eager to jump back into the world of Pokémon, and that came in the form of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. A remake of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire (which I haven't played myself), it brought me straight back to my days of being hunched over my original Gameboy, slaving away to explore, discover and train new and interesting Pokémon. While I can't speak for how much of an improvement these games are on their original incarnations, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire offers up exceptional gameplay that is both challenging and incredibly relaxing.

Packed brim full of awesome Pokémon to pal up with and go on adventures, loads of bosses to fight, varied and exciting places to visit and friends to meet, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire easily pulled me back into the world of Pokémon that I haven't experienced in over a decade. It's fantastic.

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire offers true harmless adventure, and despite being a remake finds a way into our top 10.


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