Kevin’s Lynch’s Top 5 of 2014
Here’s Kevin Lynch’s best 5 from 2014.
5) Epic Battle Fantasy 4
Are you a fan of turn-based RPGs? Yes? As it so happens so do I and Epic Battle Fantasy 4 is a solid addition to the genre. I laughed it off as a silly gimmicky title until I gave it a test drive and boy did it purr. It’s not the 2014 benchmark of which all RPGs should aspire to, but its mechanics are solid, music enjoyable, animation slightly questionable but all round a great little title to add to your collection. Good for a weekend of monster slaying and pop references.
4) Monument Valley
Monument Valley is the perfect example of when the developer knows the platform their game is going to be released on and downright abuses its potential. It controls perfectly, looks beautiful and has some very clever and interesting design. A bit peeved off with the “DLC” (there really isn’t that much content if you’re looking for an iOS title that’ll take all your hours off your hands) but if you’ve got a spare few pounds and a bit of traveling to do you can’t do much better than Monument Valley.
3) Banner Saga
This is my favourite turn-based strategy of all time. It’s the whole package. An engrossing story, fantastically crafted characters, a stirring soundtrack, well designed gameplay and would you just look at how beautiful this game is please? I was completely immersed in Banner Saga’s universe and engaged and empathised with its world and inhabitants. It was so good at what it did I could almost smell the fire burning, feel the snow on my face and taste the blood of my enemies! It’s a game I’ll be going back to in January or February, you know, when it gets mega cold and dark, just to add a bit of 4D to the game! If you’re into turn-based strategy games at all, go get this. You really won’t regret it. A game for years to come, its aesthetic will hold up well in the future.
2) World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
Fanboyism aside, Warlords of Draenor is a fantastic reimagining of what Warcraft should be. It drags more elements of single player RPG experiences into its leveling zones, adds more flavour and colour into the game and is a massive nostalgia kick to the groin for us oldies. I played the hell out of this when it was launched. It’s finally a return to form from Blizzard with two pretty stale expansions in the form of Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria. The Garrison feature adds the much needed “housing” that players have been craving for years over. Yet, I can’t help but feel that at max level it’s the same old MMO. Blizzard have done tremendously to get as much out of their 10 year old baby as possible, and I feel that falling player numbers are in direct relation to the MMO market becoming more stale, as opposed to the game itself being bad.
Supergiant can seriously do no wrong. They are masters of world-building. If I woke up tomorrow in Cloudbank, I would be pretty damn happy. Transistor touches all of my “gaming buttons.” The mix between Action and Turn based RPG. The customisable, albeit admittedly limited, abilities. The downright fantastic art style and seriously don’t get me started on how awesome the soundtrack is. You could argue that its short, you could argue that it’s not as ground-breaking as it could have been. You could also argue that it’s a few iterations in design short of perfection. But then again, you could look back on this in 10 years and remember that this was released on the exact same day as Watch_Dogs. I’m pretty sure I know exactly what title I’m going to remember most fondly. In fact, you can say what you want, I couldn’t care less. I downright adore this game.