Games of the Year 2014

Robert Steinman's Awards
5) The Walking Dead: Season 2 (PC)
Season 2 didn't have quite the same heights as 1, and the last chapter had some cheap tricks up its sleeve that disrupted the overall narrative. Nevertheless, The Walking Dead continues to tell a captivating story, and Clementine's growth into a tough survivor intrigues me to no end. I'm very much looking forward to the eventual Season 3.

4) Dark Souls II (PS3)
Despite all of my misgivings about game balance and questionable hit detection, Dark Souls II kept me thoroughly entertained during my sojourn through Drangleic. It's a solid effort by a team that took the reins and managed to keep the wagon from completely falling over the cliff. I hope From Software takes some time to further separate Dark Souls and Bloodborne in the future, however. Things could get rather stale if Dark Souls follows the Armored Core approach.

3) South Park: The Stick of Truth (PS3)
I only recently started playing The Stick of Truth, and I can already tell it's a fantastic experience that truly captures the magic of the show. I've been watching South Park for nearly eighteen years now, and this game may be one of the best things to come out of the series' long history. It stands up to the movie in terms of humor and wit, and the gameplay reminded me of playing in the woods of my small suburban neighborhood. And no, I never farted on anyone.

Okay, maybe once...

2) Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (PC)
Man, what a ride it's been with Diablo III. Most developers would have abandoned ship and begun work on a fourth title instead of trying to save a fairly broken game, but that's what makes Blizzard so special. Reaper of Souls managed to get me back into the world of Sanctuary, and its focus on proper endgame content and gameplay balance means that everyone can have fun slaying monsters and collecting precious loot again. Keep it coming, Blizz!

1) Dragon Age: Inquisition (PS4)
If you told me earlier this year that Inquisition would be my favorite game of 2014, I would have called you crazy. And yet, here I am thinking about my party and all of things I have left to do in the fields of Thedas. I still have some companion quests to finish up, and those dragons need to meet a proper end at the hand of my Qunari rogue. Inquisition is a wonderful game you can truly lose yourself in and play for hours and hours, and I can't wait to see where the franchise goes in the future.

Underrated Game of the Year
The Evil Within
Reading and watching reviews for The Evil Within left me scratching my head. Sure, the game isn't perfect, but it's a solid horror game with fun combat, interesting environments, and a very creepy atmosphere. The pacing is rotten at times (particularly in the opening chapter and close to the end), but I fail to see how this received poor scores when many of the same criticisms could be levelled at last year's darling The Last of Us. Do yourself a favor and pick it up when it's on the cheap again.

Game I Still Need to Play
The Banner Saga (PC)
I know, I know. I need to play this game. Stephen's been yelling at me for nearly a year to give it a shot. I've got some time set aside for this during the holidays, and I'm very much looking forward to it.

Most Anticipated Game of 2015
Bloodborne (PS4)
I've seen more interesting environment and monster designs in one area of Bloodborne than I saw in the entirety of Dark Souls II. It's clear that Hidetaka Miyazaki wants to push the measured combat of the Souls games into new territory, and every screenshot and video has salivating for more. Here's hoping Bloodborne lives up to the hype!

Category Awards
Traditional RPG Action RPG Graphic Adventure Strategy RPG Indie RPG Best Hybrid RPG Port or Re-Release Best Combat Best Visuals Best Sound Best Story Best Protagonist Best Supporting Character Best Ensemble Cast
And the winner is...
Best RPG of 2014
Editors' Picks
Caitlin Argyros Andrew Barker Neal Chandran Josh Curry Derek Heemsbergen Sean Hutton Stephen Meyerink Kyle Miller Mike Salbato Robert Steinman John Tucker Dave Yeager
Readers' Choice
Readers' Choice Best RPG of 2014

Twitch Schedule & Status

Sunday, July 15
Octopath Traveler • 10am PDT/1pm EDT

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT

Star Ocean: Second Evolution • 2:30pm PDT/5:30pm EDT
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Alundra • 12pm PDT/3pm EDT
Octopath Traveler • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep • 2:30pm PDT/5:30pm EDT
Octopath Traveler • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Final Fantasy IX • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Speedrun) • 6pm PDT/9pm EDT

Octopath Traveler • 5pm PDT/8pm EDT

Retro Encounter Final Thoughts ~ Lunar: The Silver Star

Retro Encounter Final Thoughts ~ Lunar: The Silver Star

Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time Review

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Kurt hymneth ~The Songs that Conversed with the Gods~ Ar tonelico hymmnos concert Complete BOX Review

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Retro Encounter 144

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Echoes of the Fey - Episode 2 Review

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