For 2014’s best games, SideQuesting is taking a different approach than in the past. We’re not hosting a definitive Game of the Year for the site, instead focusing on the individual writers and their favorites. Hopefully, you’ll be able to connect a little better with the writers that make up this little corner of the web, as many of us will be posting our Top 5 lists throughout the next week. Enjoy, and bring on 2015!
Professionally, 2014 was a successful year for me. But along with a new job and new responsibilities came a sudden lack of time for games. This sudden shift in priorities brought about a sharper eye for games that deserved my time. I had a shorter attention span, and a game had to catch my attention immediately if I was going to continue playing it for a prolonged period of time. My list mostly consists of games that I was able to just play for a little bit, put down, and pick up again at some later time — over and over again. This begs a few questions: Is it possible to enjoy a game more if you know you’re not in a rush? Or should a game just immediately catch you in the first hour?
But that’s probably a different column for a different time.
Super Smash Bros.
Of the five years I spent in college, I spent four of them being a student of Super Smash Bros. Melee. I spent countless hours on my sofa learning the art of Smash, almost reaching a “Ryu-like” state of zen pondering the question “what does it mean to smash?” and looking for myself in the fight.
My college roommates and I knew the game to the point where we saw the motions as moves on a chessboard.
Though I missed out on Brawl, I came back to Smash on the 3DS and Wii U. And I’ll be honest here. This game is the reason why I own both consoles. It’s everything I wanted in a sequel, and I will probably continue to play it well into 2016. I’ve already drained nearly 100 hours playing 1-on-1 Glory Matches online, picking it up here and there after work and between errands on the weekends. Super Smash Bros 4 is an instant classic.
Far Cry 4
Far Cry 4 is a game that I will always associate with Winter Break 2014. I spent two weeks of my vacation causing all kinds of chaos and making difficult decisions in the country of Kyrat. Perhaps one of the best things about Far Cry 4 was the fact that it didn’t punish me for doing things that I didn’t want to do. I did the missions I liked, and I never felt like the game held out on me because of it. The gameplay even allowed you to go about storming fortresses and outposts however you like — stealth or run-and-gun. Though I preferred the former approach, Far Cry 4 rarely punished me if I messed up.
And how can you go wrong with Pagan Min as the antagonist? He’s probably one of the most interesting characters in modern video games.
When you study physics, you hear the word “elegant” a lot. In physics, you think of the word “elegant” when you find a simple solution to a complex problem. And that’s exactly the word that comes to mind when I think of Threes. It’s easy to pick up and difficult to master. There’s not much I can say here without breaking down the rules. But if you’ve ever gone through a Tetris phase growing up, definitely pick this one up. It’s you vs. you at its very best.
Be careful if you’ve picked this up on your mobile device, though. Your lack of productivity may just get you fired.
Yeah. If you’ve followed us over the years, you know I’m the SideQuesting’s “Bungie Guy,” so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Though I didn’t care much for the campaign, PvP was where I found myself pouring most of my hours into. The Crucible is exactly what I would have expected from Bungie’s current-gen title. I know a lot of reviewers were underwhelmed with Destiny, but I’ve always associated Bungie with matchmaking experiences that were just able to use up hours and hours of my time. This game’s no different. I thought it lived up to Bungie’s pedigree.
Another mobile game! Desert Golfing is another game that I’d tag as “elegant.” As a physics guy, I fell in love with its consistent physics and the seemingly endless “projectile motion problems” the game tossed at me. My curiosity was piqued when I first saw people tweeting screenshots of this game on Twitter. Eventually, I bit and I found myself playing this in bed every night for quite some time.