Feature: Game Of The Mid-Year 2014
Posted by Dave Letcavage
Who doesn't enjoy reading a good list or five?
And that’s that…
We’re now officially halfway through 2014, and the second half of the year is underway — time sure does fly, doesn’t it?
While the past six months might not have been bursting at the seams with truly great blockbuster games, there has been more than enough quality entertainment to keep Team pX busy and satisfied. For example, of the 25 games that we’ve reviewed this year, we’ve awarded seven 7s, four 8s, three 9s, and even one ultra-rare 10. That means that our review team has found over 60% of what we’ve covered to be worthy of easy recommendations. When you take into account that only three games scored lower than average, we’d say that things are unfolding rather smoothly.
So in honour of this mid-year transition, we’ve asked our writers to compose lists of their favourite Xbox games released between January 1st and June 25th (the deadline for this feature). Keeping it to five meaningful choices, an honourable mention, and a little verbage to add context to it all, please join us as we reflect on the best gaming experiences we've had so far in this half-formed year.
Ken Barnes (@SuperKMx)
So far, things are going well in terms of the amount of great quality content that's been made available for both current and last-gen systems. With E3 just gone, we know more about the great deal of awesome-looking titles coming up towards the end of this year, but we shouldn't forget all the cool stuff that's already available. There's pretty much something for everybody available on Xbox One now, and the Xbox 360 - whilst in decline in terms of the amount of titles being released for it - is still in great shape. It's a good time to be a gamer, and that's for sure.
3. Watch Dogs
4. Peggle 2
Honourable Mention: Trials Fusion
Dave Letcavage (@DRL)
I really did try to choose between 1001 Spikes and Child of Light for the #1 position, but it was just way too hard. Where 1001 Spikes tested the platforming skills I’ve spent the last 20-some years perfecting, Child of Light was so special that it rekindled my interest in turn-based RPGs. So since both games obviously mean a heck of a lot to me, I’ve decided to settle for an uneventful, boring ol’ tie — sorry for the lameness! Outside of that the list pretty much compiled itself. It’s been a quality six months of gaming on my end, and with a healthy holiday release schedule on the horizon, I'm almost scared of what kind of choices and changes I'll have to make come December.
1. 1001 Spikes (tie)
1. Child of Light (tie)
Honourable Mention: Watch Dogs
Anthony Bacchus (@Anthinator)
After E3, it's clear that the later half of 2014 is when most of the years' biggest games are all scheduled to come out. However, the first six months have brought us some quality games on both Xbox platforms. Watch Dogs is arguably the highlight so far this year, but Titanfall also managed to freshen up the FPS genre at the perfect time. Super TIME Force finally saw a release and South Park: The Stick of Truth proved that with enough care and dedication, even licensed games can surprise you. The Xbox One has had a successful run so far but forthcoming titles like Sunset Overdrive, Destiny, Assassin's Creed: Unity, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection show that the best games are still yet to come.
Honourable Mention: Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
Eric Santana (@EricDS)
I think what surprised me most about my list is that two digital-only titles made the cut. Child of Light has been the highlight of my Xbox experience this year, and it's going to be high on my overall list for years to come. Dark Souls II was barely edged out because I got to share the Child of Light experience with my family. MGS:GZ would have made the list if it had more content. It's the best-looking and best-playing iteration of the Kojima series yet, but you could finish it in one afternoon. I'm really excited for the fall lineup on all console,s but have my eye on some Xbox One exclusives that could take some of these spots very soon.
3. Watch Dogs
Honourable Mention: Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes
Josephine Johnson (@MegaKILLScreen)
It's been a good six months so far! I've played and enjoyed games I normally wouldn't have touched and I've fallen back in love with the Dead Rising series. South Park was a surprisingly great game (which I finished in two sessions - occasionally grunting at my fiance to bring me food) and Tomb Raider amazed me with its dark themes and well paced story. The greatest thing is, following E3, it looks like the best is still to come!
5. Peggle 2
Honourable Mention: Dead Rising 3: Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX
What Xbox games have meant the most to YOU so far this year? Head to the comments to share your lists, comment on ours, or even make predictions on which upcoming releases you anticipate to make the cut. Destiny? Sunset Overdrive? Halo: The Master Chief Collection? There's plenty of great stuff on the horizon, and we have no doubt that our lists will look quite different come the end of the year. What about yours?