11 Favorite Games of 2014 (2016 Edition)

GotY 2014

Even with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One released in the West, 2014 still felt like a transitional year. That’s partly because it took the new consoles so long to gain speed, but also because we still heard about new hardware and company purchases, along with the departure of an influential figure.

In 2014, Sony announced PlayStation Now and PlayStation VR (known as Project Morpheus), Nintendo showed off New Nintendo 3DS, and Electronic Arts delivered EA Access for Xbox One. Meanwhile, Facebook shocked the world by purchasing Oculus VR, Amazon acquired Twitch, and Minecraft mastermind Notch rolled in the money when Microsoft bought his company, Mojang.

Ralph H. Baer, creator of the Magnavox Odyssey and billed as the “Father of Video Games,” died on December 6th at the age of 92. The impact of his contribution to the world simply cannot be measured.

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Headlander, or How a Head Became the Biggest Badass Ever

Headlander Badass

At the beginning of Metroid Prime, our armor-clad heroine Samus Aran explores a derelict ship, the Orpheon, belonging to space pirates, and she does this by launching missiles, firing charged shots from her beam weapon, and dropping bombs in her morph ball form. She kills a handful of surviving pirates and puts down the rampaging Parasite Queen before fleeing the doomed ship, but shortly before reaching the safety of her ship, she’s smacked into a wall by an explosion.

The impact causes her to lose most of her abilities. She’s no longer able to charge her shots or fire missiles. Her Grapple Beam and Morph Ball stop working, too. Even her suit itself malfunctions with the Varia Suit devolving back to her standard Power Suit. She went from badass to comparatively weak within a (literal) flash.

Headlander is full of these moments.

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Brandon Standon: Humans of New York

“My biggest worry is that I’m going to die and not do all the things I wanted to do. The funny thing is—I didn’t even realize how many things I wanted to do until I got diagnosed. Simple things like meeting a guy, getting married, getting a job, having my own apartment, and even picking out my own furniture. Those never seemed too interesting to me. They just seemed like adult things that were guaranteed to happen. Now I want to do them so bad. Because I want to know what they feel like.”

— Sara, who has since passed away from cancer.

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What’cha Been Playin’? July 2016

WBP July 2016.png

You’d think that with as much Pokémon I played this month, I’d burn out long before now, but I have only recently felt a repellent tiredness. Maybe it’s that the turn-based combat is made less demanding because it’s easier to keep my party at roughly the same level, or because I’m strong enough that I’m able to easily win battles while watching television. Or maybe the newer games are easier.

Regardless, July has been the month of Pokémon, which I started buy purchasing White 2 (the only mainline Pokémon game I didn’t own). Later on, I began stalking eBay and local used game stores for the Pokémon RPGs on GameCube, which go for a surprising sum considering they’re Pokémon games on a Nintendo home console.

Why am I looking at these Cube RPGs anyway? What’s happening to me?

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Back from Chicago

Back in 1 Week

I hoped to post June’s What’cha Been Playin’? today, but I spent almost the entire last week in Chicago, walking the sunny streets and being bounced around on the trains. Consequently, I had little time to write. (It’s also the reason why I didn’t get around to posting an External Mondays post.) So I’m taking the week off.

See ya next Thursday!