Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the year to jump from console to console, so here are the top five Nintendo titles of 2014, featuring murder, romance, jelly, fisticuffs and floating through space. Not all the same game, wouldn’t that be something?
5. Hyrule Warriors
Hacking away at countless enemies is a joy when the days are long and the work is rough. Bad day? Switch off and go off on a rampage!
Dynasty Warriors has always worked as the gaming equivalent of a stress ball, and 2014 allowed gamers to enjoy the base capturing and clashing armies with the much loved Zelda cast. A Zelda and Ganon co-op adventure isn’t something you’ll see in the mainline series, that’s for sure! Plus there is so much content you’ll be squeezing that stress ball long after the stress has crawled away.
4. Tomodachi Life
At university in my second year I’d stand by the window and watch the block of flats opposite mine. It was an instant insight into peoples lives, and made me feel a little like L.B Jefferies, but without any dead dogs. It was a way to get the smallest glimpse into a stranger’s life, wouldn’t you want to take a peek if you could? Though I never really saw anything of interest, apart from a giant naked man rolling around on the floor in despair. Nothing of interest.
Tomodachi Life lets you peer into a flat of characters, though you can interact and interfere , like a watchful, helpful God. You make the characters who inhabit the world too, and it’s great to make a Mini Mii, and craft them into the person you so desperately want to be. Let them get the girl, the riches and the nightmares about being a skeleton key-ring hanging on a backpack as the owner trawls through the darkness.
3. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze might seem like ‘just another sequel’, coming instead of an eagerly anticipated new Metroid title, but don’t be fooled by appearances! This is a refinement of the finest order, with perfect level design for the Kongs to charge through, and a soundtrack to die to by the ever talented David Wise, who composed the original Country titles on the SNES. Sometimes haunting and beautiful, other times joyful with soul. It’s a soundtrack which perfectly captures the Kong’s journey to reclaim their land they lost to Viking penguins and walruses. Sometimes the journey comes to an abrupt standstill, because you’re lost in the sounds of David Wise’s jungle japes.
Running through forest fires, losing yourself in a blizzard, taking a plunge into the sea and bouncing on jelly, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is a paradise for platforming fans!
2. Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS
Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Super Smash Bros for Wii U are different versions of the same game, so you could technically consider them separate entities. But! These games share the same roster of loveable Nintendo characters such as Super Mario, Link, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, and forty plus others. There are a lot of guys and girls to pick from in this party fighter, and it’s a love letter to all those who have dreamt of smashing Jigglypuff into the depths of hell. Or pitting Mario, Pac Man, Mega Man and Sonic against each other. Now that’s something you don’t see everyday! Unless you happen to play this game on a daily basis…
The portable game is great for smashing on the train, while the Wii U version is the ultimate party game, and an eight player mode means no one is left out of the action. Unless you have nine people over… of course.
It doesn’t matter which version, both offer the finest in fighting fun, and there is even a full toy line to get hooked onto. I bought a couple, and now I can’t stop! I have recurring nightmares about being unable to obtain a Rosalina.
1. Mario Kart 8
To be the best you have to beat the rest, a rap song once told me, and Mario Kart 8 certainly leads the pack, with perhaps the greatest entry in the series yet. Anti gravity provides new visual thrills, from racing vertically down a waterfall to seeing Princess Peach’s castle upside down, and the racing is the most fun yet, thanks to balanced item chaos and a collection of levels to test your drift.
It’s a game which keeps getting better with time too, as extra content has doubled the speed of the game and added tracks based on The Legend Of Zelda, Animal Crossing, F Zero and Excitebike. Maybe the 8 in the title is actually the infinity symbol flipped on its side, so this kart racer can keep on giving till the end of time. Or until number 9.
Honorable Non-Nintendo Free To Play Mentions: Warface, World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition
And there you have it, let 2015 continue to be filled with blinding colours and much needed violence. A working day is much more bearable when you have an army of cuccos to slaughter.