As 2014 comes to a close, the staff here at IBeatItFirst.com would like to reflect on 2014, and give you our top picks while slinging insults at each other. Oh, and happy holidays, new year, all that junk.
Chris’ superior picks to those other guys that work here and will edit this headline later anyways in jealousy:
#3: Endgame Barcade Opens: I wrote about Endgame Barcade opening up in Tempe, Arizona in our article about Phoenix, Arizona becoming a great place to drink for gamers. 8-Bit Brewery isn’t open yet, so it doesn’t exactly qualify for the 2014 list, and Endgame surpasses The King in my book as the place for gamers to grab some brews. I make sure to drop in every time I’m in the area, grab a couple drinks, play some free games, and talk with like minded people. If you happen to find yourself in Tempe, Arizona, I suggest you do the same.
#2: Game of Thrones: Telltale released the first episode of their episodic adventure game series based on Game of Thrones this year. I eagerly awaiting its release being a huge Game of Thrones fan, but also cautious that they could do the HBO series and books justice. Episode 1 did not disappoint, and you can read my full review of it here.
#1: NVIDIA Shield Tablet: NVIDIA launched the Shield Tablet as the second product in their Shield line, powered by their Tegra K1 processor, and its amazing. I personally find it hard to make a case for what they are now calling the Shield Portable, even with the PC streaming capabilities, but in pure tablet form, running stock Android, it’s a no brainier. Starting at $300, you get an awesome tablet that’s reasonably priced and incredibly powerful. Add the controller for $60 and the cover that doubles as a kickstand for another $40, and you got yourself a great portable gaming machine. The tablet can natively run Half Life 2, which while old, is still impressive for a tablet. Couple that with NVIDIA GRID game streaming service free until June 2015 and being able to stream PC games to it, and its the perfect gaming tablet, which is why I gladly forked over my own money for one.
Jason’s more important Top Games for the year, and is not changing the headline because he thinks Chris is lame.
#3: Sony’s Wireless Gold Headset: Seriously, if you haven’t read my review on the Headset yet, do so now. It is easily the best peripheral to come out of Sony since the DualShock, and its not expensive as hell, giving you the most bang for your buck.
#2 Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor: Surprisingly this game kicked ass, it was a close call between Shadow of Mordor and Far Cry 4 but Shadow won in the end, just because it is so satisfying to play. From crisp graphics to the most brutal battle mechanics I have ever seen (plus the most beheadings) Shadow of Mordor is my sleeper hit this year and if you can pick it up real cheap it is worth every penny.
#1 Dragon Age: Inquisition: Granted I am still Balls Deep in DA:I and have not yet beat it, but I can already tell that this will be my Game of the Year. Dragon Age: Inquisition is one of those games you cant wait to get back to and is highly addicting with a great storyline, fantastic battle controls and a huge world to explore. If you are are only able to pick up one game this year I would recommend DA:I as it will keep you playing long into the new year. PLUS DRAGONS.
Eric’s MOST important Top Games for the year list, saving the best for last.
#3: Playstation TV: This thing totally rocks and it’s finally available in the US! Why you ask? If you find it on sale, like it was during many times this year, you could pay $100 for a DualShock3 controller, an 8GB Memory Card, The Lego Movie Video Game, and the internal guts of a Vita. Remote play of your PS4 in your bedroom? Don’t mind if I do. Most Vita games on a large screen? HELLS YEAH!
#2: Dragon Age Inquisition: Like Jason, I’m still getting my ass handed to me by giant dragons and trying to bring peace the world back together, but this game is awesome. Graphically it’s amazing, gameplay is fluid, and the story progression is great. If you haven’t picked this up yet get on it!
#1: Persona 4 Golden: Ok, I was late to the party on this game but gimme a break, I was still hesitant to pick up a Vita until this year. My god this game is great! Like all Shin Megami Tensei, the story and character development are top notch, and the golden version adds a lot of additional features that were not originally available on the PS2 version of the game. 2 playthroughs of the game will easily devour over 100 hours of your time but it won’t feel like it. Thinking of getting a PSTV based on my #3? This should be one of your first purchases!