Here’s a new regular column for PN2, the good old ‘top 10’ list. What I’m going to attempt to do is present a few lists every once in a while that aren’t of the typical nature, or at least ones that don’t necessarily follow the same routine you’d normally expect.
To start, let’s take a look at the 10 Video Games You May Have Missed in 2014. For every AAA title and even every indie release, there’s always something out there that gets overlooked or overshadowed by another big name. Whether it’s just bad timing release wise or simply bad luck, the following 10 games may not have appeared on your must play list from last year. Having said that, maybe they did…
Endless Legend (PC)
If Civilization: Beyond Earth disappointed you, give Endless Legend a try. It follows the same turn-based strategy concept, but with a healthy dose of fantasy instead of the more realistic elements of Civ’s past. I was told about it not long after its release on Steam and so far it’s been rather enjoyable, so why not give it a crack?
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PC)
Such is its pedigree of story telling without the need for cheap thrills or shock scares, the story of Ethan Carter does a better job of getting under your skin than any other survival horror title of late. A stark contrast to Bulletstorm, developer The Astronauts last title (though back then they were known as People Can Fly). No, I’m not a fan of horror normally, but this is a thinking man’s game and that’s something I can’t help but applaud. It’s on PC right now, but later this year it’ll make its way to the PS4.
There are very few games as frentic and action packed as Nidhogg. If I were to try and explain it, it’s like the classic arcade title Joust ramped up to eleven. In other words, don’t let the simplicity of its presentation fool you. If you don’t believe me, check out Achievement Hunter’s tournament video below.
Inazuma Eleven (3DS)
Though it was mentioned in a Nintendo Direct earlier in the year, Inazuma Eleven deserves greater attention. A solid mix of RPG and sport isn’t uncommon, but this long standing series meshes both together better than most, and for a handheld title with so much content it’s an absolute steal on the eShop. Though it has been around since 2011 in some markets, this marks its debut in Australia and the US as a re-release of the original title (check out the video below for the UK bound sequel, Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks. Hopefully that will reach other shores soon).
Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition (Multi)
The two Baldur’s Gate re-releases brought with them plenty of nostalgia along with a number of healthy improvements, so why not continue along with Icewind Dale? I remember when this first came out all those years ago, and whilst I’m not a big RPG player I’m certainly appreciative of video games that are complex yet fun at the same time. Developers Beamdog continue their good form, so why not just on board.
Shape Up (Xbox One)
This may have flown entirely under the radar for many Xbox players, largely because its front cover doesn’t look all that convincing of its concept. But this genuinely funny mix of Kinect motion control exercise routines and madcap situations like running across a train or crouching to the moon defies the logic that all Kinect games suck. It’s definitely not the case here.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Multi)
Child of Light was one of my favourite games of 2014, but Valiant Hearts also deserves praise. This moving story set during World War I has you play a German soldier who just wants to find his way back to the love of his life. Supposedly based on actual letters written during the Great War, it’s as beautiful as it is enjoyable, even if its pacing is a little slower than most.
Oddworld: New ‘N Tasty (PS4)
Oddworld returned to much fanfare, but let’s be honest, unless you own a PS4 you may have missed it. New ‘N Tasty will reach other platforms eventually, but if you want a solid reason to own a PS4 now then don’t go past this solid remake of a classic puzzle platformer. To think that Abe’s Oddysee began 17 years ago…
Cubemen 2 (Wii U)
The first cross-platform title on Wii U is a perfect example of how to use the Gamepad to its fullest potential, moving around your cube soldiers through-out a battlefield to gain the advantage against your foe. A mix between a top down strategy shooter and a tower defence game, Cubemen 2 also provides a ton of downloadable, user created content to keep your interest long after purchase. Plus, you can play with your PC master race friends if they so desire.
Fantasia: Music Evolved (Xbox One)
Another Kinect title that doesn’t suck? Who would have thought that motion control would have finally reached its potential, but here we are. Fantasia blends Disney the imagery and magical nature of the movie series (setting classical musical pieces to largely silent, animated shorts) with the Harmonix touch, producing enjoyable music and engaging motion controls. It’s not quite as action packed as, say, Child of Eden, but it’s fun for all ages.
So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Did you play any of these games last year? Was their a favourite game of yours in 2014 that no-one else has heard about, something so good that deserves to be noticed? Let us know in the comments below!