Kevin’s Top 5 Games of 2014
Citizens of the Mana Tank community rejoice! For I bring thee the Truth as delivered by the seer Dinner Dangles!
Well it seems to be time for another round of semi-intelligent ranting regarding video games straight from my fingers to your eye sockets. First off, I would like to apoligize. I have failed you all. In my desire to come up with the definitive list of the five greatest video gaming experiences of this last year I have accidentally left the door open to evil men, spreading lies and propaganda. So far only one man has decided to stand against me: Brandon Lynch.
Brandon Lynch has come out to fill the airwaves here at the Mana Tank with lies and slander most foul. Just thinking about the games he has on his list make me cringe in pain and dry-heaving. Never have I been so insulted on a personal level as to his choices, and only hope that one day he may come to understand the depths of his mistakes and seek redemption. Sadly, I know of another that intends to divert you all, loyal Mana Tank listeners, towards the path of darkness. This man is both dangerous and insane. Not to be underestimated, his list will no doubt be full of half-truths and serpent oil. Rumor has it that should the one they call Eades sway your favor to his cause, the world itself may tear asunder and fall into oblivion. The only solace is in that Eades has not yet forced his version of events upon us, so there is still time.
I need all of you together united against the great evils in order to deliver the most Holiest of documents.
THE TOP 5 VIDEO GAMES OF 2014
5. Divinity: Original Sin
“Our first defence against the Great Evils plaugeing the realm of Mana Tank is Divinity.”
This game does everything I ever imagined should happen in a game that is basically trying to be Baldur’s Gate. The combat in D:OS is amazing. From the large selection of spells and skills to the unique way that the terrain has on the battlefield make combat something that you never grow tired of while grinding away the vast number of quests to complete and areas to explore. The size of the zones are vast, meaning that if you wander in the wrong direction you are going to find enemies FAR too strong. Sometimes superior tactics with the way abilities interact will allow glorious victories, and sometimes not. Perhaps the greatest part of the game is the multiplayer. Playing though a game like this with a friend while intoxicated is something I recommend everyone do.
4. Kerbal Space Program
“Okay. I know. Its only the beta that came out this year. Well True Believers, it will take the innocence of a game like this in order to defeat the Great Evils.”
For those of you that do not know about this game, let me be the first to say, it is not for the feint of heart. It is hard. Like, real hard. Like you need to study in order to play it hard. You are the overseer of a NASA like program on the planet Kerbin. You build and fly spaceships to any of the 7 planets in the solar system for the sheer joy of exploration. I played this game in alpha and now that beta has added the Career Mode i see myself putting in a lot of time into this game over the next year. The rush of landing on the Mun for the first time is something that cannot be put into words. I think this game could have placed much higher on the list, but I really feel that this game is best in small doses, maybe an hour long session is how I have been playing.
3. The Game of Thrones(or Walking Dead) (or Wolf Among Us)
“If we are to defeat the Great Evils, we will need great poets and storytellers on our side, so that our bravery on the fields will be immortalized in song and prose. ”
Who better to tell of our victory that Telltale Games. These games are so great that I honestly cannot choose one over the others. As someone that does not believe in developer loyalty very much anymore(FUCK YOU SQUARE ENIX) I am on board with anything Telltale wants me to buy for the forseeable future. Unless of course the world ends because of our Mana Tank listeners not turning away from darkness and allowing the Great Evils to succeed… One of the early sceptisisms I had with this type of game was I wasn’t sure how they could hold up if you didn’t play them episodically. No way would they be as good if you played it all in one or two sittings. I now understand. I have seen the light. You are not supposed to play any of these games like that. You need the month or two between episodes to fully make you appreciate your effect on the story. The anticipation is something that I find myself craving with these games and I would not deny myself and none of you should either.
2. World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
“We must pause now, vigilant Mana Tank listeners. For I must warn you all of what might happen should we fail in defeating the Great Evils. They say the first thing that happens is a portal is opened. From out of this portal will pour an army like no other. Their generals, “Brandon” and “Eades” will then rend our world apart.”
World of Warcraft. A year ago if you all told me I would be typing those words for a GotY article I would have called you all followers of the Great Evils. Now, I see that it is through Draenor we must go to defeat our enemies. WoD is the best expansion Blizzard has ever put out. The ways that the game has been improved over the years is what has brought me back. While some of the flavor of vanilla can never be recovered(pour my 40 out for 40 man raids) this expansion makes WoW feel like it can never die. I always thought when the level cap was still 60 that once they hit 100 that will signify the end. Not sure why I thought that but after playing up to level 100 I can safely say that I see no end to this franchise. Ever. New to WoD is garrisons, basically everyone gets their own little castle complete with townfolk to rule over. I think adding what is essentially a minigame adds something that was missing from all other expansions once you hit level cap. Generally once you hit level cap the game splits into two sets of players, the PvP and the PvE players. PvP players spend most of their time doing battlegrounds and arenas and PvE players do dungeons and raids. Garrisons is essentially a second thing that everyone will do and continue to do once they hit level 100. It added another layer to endgame. Wrath of the Lich King tried to do this with adding in achievement points, which created a subset of endgame players that collected achievements. But not many people have the patience to run a heroic dungeon 30 levels lower than you for a 2.1% droprate item that will give you 10 more points. That is what makes garrisons so perfect. It is your home in the World of Warcraft. You can design it how you want. You can get allies to help do missions for you and you can even relax at a personal fishing hole. The raids and dungeons are more of what you expect from Blizzard, exiting mechanics and challenging bosses. But with all the great content in this game it is to be expected that all the new PvE experience would be superb. The only thing that makes this not the #1 game is the new PvP that is pretty much mandatory, Ashran. Ashran is a battleground that you need rep with in order to buy the good PvP items. Ashran itself is fun, but the queue times can be upwards of 2 hours. So fuck that and fuck Ashran.
1. South Park: The Stick of Truth
“Now that we have seen our enemies, let us greet our Champions! The Great Evils will surely perish at the sight of their magnificence and glory!”
What can I say? This game is perfect. I have been pumped up on this game for years. There was a legend, you see. Of a game that would come to light at a time when it was needed most. No one could see when that time would be, so the Powers kept delaying it’s release. Time kept creeping by, and slowing South Park was gaining strength for the battle it would be forced to fight. Well, the time is now! The year is 2014! And the Great Evils MUST BE STOPPED!!!! When this game came out I took a week off work to play it. I had my ps3 all ready with the prelaunch software installed and a case of Red Bull sitting beside me. It was 1 am when I got to play. Next thing i knew it was 11 am and I decided I needed some sleep. 90 minutes later I woke up from South Park dreams and knew I couldn’t stop. I can safely say if that game ended up being as long as I had thought it would be I might have died from caffine overdose and sleep deprivation. The plot was nonstop South Park gold. From Cartman leading an army as a powerful Wizard to the outrageous character cameos from over the years of the show, this game was everything I hoped it would be. After binge playing it how I did I can say I am completely satisfied with the length it was(12ish hours). There was no pointless grinding or unnecessarily large maps. Everything was small enough that before you stopped laughing from the previous completely rediculous situation you are already knee deep in the next steaming pile of bat shit crazy shit. The combat in South Park is simple yet it never gets old, mostly due to the abilities themselves sometimes causing one to keel over laughing way too hard. One a scale of 1 to SuperJesus, I rate this game SuperJesus.
There you have it. The list that we will use to defeat the Great Evils and win back the futures of the Mana Tank listeners. Everyone, it is YOUR duty to commit these words to memory and spread them far and wide, for there is another rumor you see. Of a great demon from the far east. The only way we know he exists is through the whispers we hear of an “Oh Jay” and an “underscore underscore”. We must remain vigilant. For the rumors say he may make his blasphemy known very soon. Perhaps, too soon.