Published on January 2nd, 2015 | by Ethan


GOTY 2014 — Ethan: Bayonetta 2


How does she reload her feet guns?

At the beginning of the year I didn’t even know about the action game genre. I saw Ricardo playing Metal Gear Rising a couple years ago and thought it looked fun, but never pursued playing it or any similar game.

This year everything changed when I installed DMC. It was an awakening. I haven’t had this much fun in gaming in years. These are games that put you in the shoes of a protagonist with godlike powers, but boast a scoring system always pushes you to do better. To flawlessly kill just a few more enemies.

After the intense love affair with all things DMC, I realized Bayonetta 2 came out on the Wii U recently and picked it up. I beat both the first and second game in less than a week, which something that can’t be said about other games I played this year. Thank you Nintendo for including both games and for funding this game.

The first and second Bayonetta are games that embrace their ridiculous premise and run full force with them. The first Bayonetta was filled with over the top cutscenes and amazingly fluid gameplay, but Bayonetta 2 fixed small issues with its predecessor and ramped up the craziness to unbelievable levels.

Just look at how ridiculously awesome this is!

Locked at 60 fps it’s hard to believe this is running on old hardware. Some of the visual set pieces look fantastic.

Besides ramping up the craziness, a deep combat system made me dive right back into the game to try and get better scores on older levels. Even the co-op missions are a fun distraction.

The story is nothing special, but Platinum games obviously cares a lot about it and treats its fans well by continuing the slightly muddy storyline started in the first game. The characters are entertaining even if their mostly shallow, with the exception of Bayonetta herself.

I find most gameplay a bit tired and run of the mill these days and usually rely on stories and unique experiences to suck me into a game. It’s refreshing to find a game that plays so well I’m obsessed with getting better at it as well as to see what crazy even happens next.

This is something out of left field for me. I’m surprised my favorite game of the year is a Wii U game yet alone one starring a lady who fights alongside magical hair demons, but there you have it.

Runner-Up: P.T.

Usually I see this scene and just turn it off... or hand the controller to someone else.

Usually I see this scene and turn the game off… or hand the controller to someone else.

I’ve been increasingly interested in experiences more than actual games. P.T. is hardly a game it all. There is no actual gameplay besides looking around and clicking the right analog stick. It’s a playable experiment for testing the internet’s psyche. Surprise the internet found the secret teaser in a few hours, but find the real way of reaching the true ending was a week long process.

Releasing a short “playable teaser” as a way to announce and drum up an unprecedented amount of hype for the next Silent Hill games is brilliant. When was the last time anyone was excited for a Silent Hill game?

Even if Silent Hill is half as good as P.T. it will be a fantastic game. I’m even curious if the positive response from P.T. will impact what we will see from Silent Hills.

It helps that the game itself is absolutely terrifying. I may not be the biggest horror fan, but I am a sucker for a fully realized atmosphere and P.T. is dripping with it. P.T. crafts a disturbing and engaging tale with minimal assets.

By using the same hallway throughout the game, players get a sense of safety as P.T. slowly erodes any sense of security the player has built up. By using a ton of random events, everyone’s playthrough is a little different. After seeing it a few times I am still finding hidden secrets. P.T. is lightning in a bottle, I can’t imagine another game coming along anytime soon and capturing the same one level experience in quite the same way.

It’s great to show other people just how frightening a game can be in a short amount of time. On top of that, it is a fantastic example of the next generation of graphics we can expect from these future consoles. Did I mention this game is free to all PS4 owners?

Journey was my game of the year in 2012 because of how well it was easily able to encapsulate everything I love about gaming into one boiled down emotional experience. I put P.T. as my running up this year because it’s an example of how terrifying a game can be in a small enough chunk that even a non-gamer can experience.

Also because I can never see my hallway the same way again.


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About the Author

Ethan Having long been an avid gamer, Ethan found his niche in the PC gaming market, while still occasionally dabbling in the medium that got him into gaming, consoles. Usually, he finds time to play his Xbox 360 and occasionally will dust of his Wii for a bit to play with friends and family when he isn’t found locked in his room playing shooters and strategy games. Follow him on Twitter: @ethanhawkes

One Response to GOTY 2014 — Ethan: Bayonetta 2

  1. Pingback: Pixel Legend's GOTY Central - Pixel Legends

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