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G4 Canada's 2014 Game of the Year Awards: Best of the Best
Jan 21, 2015
By John Powell, Daniel Barron, Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada
Having celebrated the achievements of each individual console we now move onto the general Game of the Year categories. Congratulations to all of our winners!
Game of the Year
John Powell: Wolfenstein: The New Order (http://www.g4tv.ca/technews/JP/JP_20140521_wolfenstein.shtml): Bethesda Softworks and MachineGames breathed new life into the legendary series with Wolfenstein's first next-gen offering. One of the most diverse and at times emotional shooters in years, New Order stood out in a mediocre year delivering challenging action at every turn and a gripping, emotional storyline.
Honorable Mentions: Watch Dogs, Destiny, Forza Horizon 2, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Alien: Isolation, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Far Cry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Super Smash Bros., Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Titanfall, South Park: The Stick of Truth.
Daniel Barron: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (http://g4tv.ca/technews/JP/JP_20141121_supersmash.shtml): The Smash Bros. series is only getting better with each iteration, and the Wii U version brings a superb roster, gorgeous HD graphics, all sorts of game modes, and an excellent online portion. This will be in use by Wii U owners for years to come.
Honorable Mention: Bravely Default
Alex Cattani: Far Cry 4
Honourable mentions: Child of Light, Bio Shock: Burial at Sea: Episode 2.
John Powell: Wolfenstein: The New Order : Merging old school and new school gaming, New Order and its one man against a world gone mad scenario is so hard to put down once you have stepped into William "B.J." Blazkowicz's boots. You even get to fight Nazis in space. Too cool.
Honorable Mentions: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Far Cry 4, Destiny, Titanfall, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Shadow Warrior.
Daniel Barron: Destiny (http://www.g4tv.ca/technews/DB/DB_20140930_destiny.shtml): It may have seemed somewhat generic at first blush, but Destiny proved it was worth sticking with in the long run. It truly did what it promised - it melded rock-solid first-person shooter mechanics with addictive loot-grabbing gameplay. The co-op and competitive multiplayer was also wonderfully implemented, with nary a hiccup from launch and beyond.
Honorable Mention: Wolfenstein: The New Order
Alex Cattani: Destiny (http://www.g4tv.ca/technews/DB/DB_20140930_destiny.shtml ): The general public reacted to Destiny with an underwhelming sigh. While its story and mission design left something to be desired, Destiny shined brightest when it came to its gameplay. You'd be hard pressed to find a game that rivals the slick shooting of Bungie's latest offering. There is a certain fluidity that makes the gameplay in Destiny feel flawless. Here's hoping the inevitable sequel fixes the other problems that plagued the otherwise solid release.
Honourable Mentions: Far Cry 4, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Best Racing Game
John Powell: Forza Horizon 2 (http://www.g4tv.ca/technews/JP/JP_20140925_forza.shtml) : This is no other way to say it. With Forza, Microsoft Studios has achieved perfection. Making the roaming experience any kind of racing game you want it to be, Forza truly caters to any and every type of racing fan. If you cannot find it in Forza Horizon 2, it frankly doesn't exist.
Honorable Mentions: Mario Kart 8, Driveclub, Grid Autosport.
Daniel Barron: Forza Horizon 2: It may not have been quite as ambitious as it sounded in Xbox marketing material, but Horizon 2 was still all sorts of fun. It still offered all lots of competitive racing, but for those who wanted to veer a little bit off the beaten path, they could do just that - literally.
Honorable Mention: Mario Kart 8
Alex Cattani: Mario Kart 8
Honourable Mentions: Forza Horizon 2, The Crew
Best Sports Game
Honorable Mentions: Madden NFL 15, Pro Evolution Soccer 2015, FIFA 15, Mario Golf: World Tour.
Daniel Barron: MLB 14: The Show: Sony crammed a ton of stuff into this baseball title, allowing players to enjoy the game as casually or seriously as they'd like. Graphics were lifelike, and the action was excellent. The Show proved that baseball is indeed a game so great, it's played on a diamond.
Honorable Mention: Super Mega Baseball
Best Action/Adventure Game
John Powell: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (http://www.g4tv.ca/technews/JP/JP_20141016_shadowofmordor.shtml) : The game that all of us Lord of the Rings fans have been waiting for. Inspired by the Arkham, Batman games, Mordor introduced its own enhancements and improvements which made for some fantastic hack, slash and arrow to the knee moments.
Honorable Mentions: Watch Dogs, inFAMOUS Second Son, Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, Bayonetta 2.
Daniel Barron: Bayonetta 2: Wildly over-the-top, but beautiful, and featuring superb fighting mechanics, Bayonetta 2 was just one of several reasons why the Wii U really came into its own in 2014.
Honorable Mention: inFAMOUS: Second Son
Alex Cattani: The Evil Within (http://www.g4tv.ca/technews/AC/AC_20141031_evilwithin.shtml) : The Evil Within is sure to make your spine tingle and hands sweat. Sending the player on a journey crammed with enough intense moments to make your heart skip a few beats, The Evil Within is sure to please those looking to immerse themselves in a frantic adventure into madness.
Honourable Mentions: Watch Dogs, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Best Role-Playing Game
John Powell: South Park: The Stick of Truth (http://www.g4tv.ca/technews/JP/JP_20140311_stick_of_truth.shtml) : Screw you guys. You will get no apologies or regrets from this South Park fanatic for my choice. After enduring games which resembled anything flushed into Mr. Hankey's home, we finally have a game worthy of the series. It will make you laugh. It will gross you out. It will give you hours upon hours of guilty fun, if you have an open mind and are not a little wuss, as Cartman would say.
Honorable Mentions: Dark Souls 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Child of Light
Daniel Barron: Bravely Default (http://g4tv.ca/technews/DB/DB_20140228_bravely_default.shtml): Square Enix did an absolutely phenomenal job with Bravely Default, developing a game that stayed true to longtime JRPG mechanics, will mixing things up with new gameplay features, not the least of which was the Brave/Default system. Dozens upon dozens of hours of fun, for newcomers and longtime JRPG fans alike.
Honorable Mention: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
Alex Cattani: Child of Light
Child of Light intrigued me with its beautifully drawn aesthetic, but made me stay with its unique and addictive battle system. It's also a good reminder that not every game needs to be a triple A experience to provide an entertaining time.
Honourable Mentions: South Park: The Stick of Truth, Dragon Age: Inquisition
Best Puzzle Game
John Powell: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (http://www.g4tv.ca/technews/JP/JP_20140923_professor_layton.shtml) : It was simply the best of both worlds. Two Iconic characters, two styles of puzzle gameplay and an intriguing storyline. It was the total package.
Honorable Mentions: Captain Toad, Hitman Go, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy.
Daniel Barron: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (http://www.g4tv.ca/technews/DB/DB_20141209_treasure_tracker.shtml): Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and other AAA games starring high-profile characters may have been the talk of 2014, but it would be a mistake to overlook this charming little puzzle game. Challenging but not frustrating, cute but not annoying, Treasure Tracker only got better with each passing level.
Honorable Mention: Threes!
Alex Cattani: Peggle Nights
Honourable Mentions: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Fract OSC
John Powell: Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze (http://www.g4tv.ca/technews/JP/JP_20140224_dkc_tropical_freeze.shtml) : Not only do its vibrant graphics rival anything released on the Wii U but Tropical Freeze is just one fun, zany level after another.
Honorable Mentions: Shovel Knight, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, Valiant Hearts: The Great War, Skylanders: Trap Team, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.
Daniel Barron: Kirby Triple Deluxe: Arguably one of the best Kirby games ever, this entry in the series made great use of the 3DS' 3D functionality. At its heart though, this was simply a fun platformer, made even better thanks to the numerous copy abilities Kirby could implement. Beautiful and fun.
Honorable Mention: Shovel Knight
Most Underrated Game
John Powell: Alien: Isolation (http://www.g4tv.ca/technews/JP/JP_20141024_alienisolation.shtml) : Even though it had its flaws and is one of the most frustrating games of all time, Alien: Isolation proved to be also one of the best survival horror experiences ever coded and perfectly simulated the claustrophobic tone of the movie.
Honorable Mentions: Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Hitman Go.
Daniel Barron: Kirby Triple Deluxe: Some say Triple Deluxe played it too safe, relying on the mechanics of past Kirby games, but hey - if it ain't broke ...
Honorable Mention: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
Alex Cattani: Neverending Nightmares
Honourable Mentions: Earth Defense Force: 2025, Velocity 2X
Best Kids Game
John Powell: Skylanders: Trap Team: With its imaginative abundance of new wacky characters, a new portal and ability to play as the trapped baddies, Trap Team overshadows every other kids game released in 2014.
Honorable Mentions: Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.
Alex Cattani: Lego Batman: Beyond Gotham
Honourable Mentions: Pokemon Omega Ruby and Sapphire
John Powell: Destiny (http://www.g4tv.ca/technews/DB/DB_20140930_destiny.shtml) : Taking everything that was great about Halo and incorporating it into a new universe has given Destiny a very strong shelf life despite its lack of a solid storyline.
Honorable Mentions: Titanfall, Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, The Elder Scrolls: Online, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8, Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Daniel Barron: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: While its predecessor on the Wii was atrocious when it came to online play, the Wii U version of Smash Bros. offered something for both casual and hardcore players. It also kept people coming back thanks to the addictive Spectator mode, the helpful Replay Channel, and the challenges that are continually popping up. Oh, and that lag? It was the exception, not the rule.
Honorable Mention: Destiny
Alex Cattani: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
The Call of Duty series lost me about four years ago. There is no doubt the mechanics of the games are solid, but each iteration did little to nothing to build upon the existing formula. Advance warfare adds enough changes to the mix to get me back on board with one of gaming's most high profile series.
Honourable Mentions: Titan Fall, Destiny
Worst Game of 2014
John Powell: WWE 2K15 : It has only taken a few short years for the folks at Yuke's to take what used to be the best wrestling simulation ever and devolve it into an unplayable mess. Devoid of any entertainment value whatsoever, this release sucks any fun out of the experience by including an endurance metre, which is sorta like putting a fuel gauge in a racing game. Couple that with the impossible to master reversal/counter system, off cue sound effects, a repetitive campaign mode, hit detection problems, the inability to create female wrestlers, no entrance music in the jukebox, clipping when you execute some moves near the ropes, troublesome referees who often get in your way and more glitches than a match between The Great Khali and Bastion Booger; and what you have is a game that is not only agonizing to play but is in many respects, actually broken. It says something when a life-long wrestling fan and industry reporter such as myself who can overlook problems others cannot actually uninstalled the entire game shortly after reviewing it and went back to playing previous installments.
(Dis)Honorable Mentions: Basement Crawl, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, Rekoil: Liberator.
Daniel Barron: Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (http://g4tv.ca/technews/JP/JP_20140707_darkspark.shtml): Developer High Moon Studios came out with two absolutely superb Transformers games, but this title was slapped together by Edge of Reality, to be released at the same time as the atrocious Transformers: Age of Extinction movie. It's hard to say what was worse - the game or the movie - but rest assured, they were both a complete waste of time for Transformers fans the world over.
(Dis)Honorable Mention: Surgeon Simulator A&E
Alex Cattani: Sonic: Rise of Lyric
(Dis)honourable mentions: Murdered: Soul Suspect, Dead Island: Riptide
About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.