Round Table: The Biggest Snubs of 2014

The awards may be over, but that doesn’t mean the staff is done arguing! Which games did we think deserved more recognition this year?

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 01/11/2015 12:00 5 Comments     ShareThis

And so we’ve come to the end of our Games of 2014 awards ceremony. We hope you’ve enjoyed looking back with us on some of the finest games the past year had to offer. As with every year-end list, however, there were some notable releases from 2014 that were unfortunately overlooked when all the votes were cast. Which games did the staff feel deserved a place among this year’s winners? Read on to find out!

Kyle England

I’m disappointed in all of you! Where the HECK is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze? I know there were some great games on Wii U this year, but it didn’t even make runner-up or honorable mention? It was like, the best thing ever. Retro Studios can do no wrong. Tropical Freeze is my favorite platformer since Super Mario Galaxy, with level design that tops Retro’s last DK game, and even the original Rare trilogy. The new playable characters, the cool worlds, the neat villains, Funky Kong– it was all there! And the music! David Wise makes aural magic, I tell ya. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is my personal Game of the Year for 2014!

Robert Marrujo

Kyle raised a good point about Tropical Freeze. Even I didn’t have it first on my own personal list, and I loved that game. What it speaks to, I think, is just how stacked last year was with the games that have traditionally become what Nintendo likes to call its evergreen titles. The games that fans will keep coming back to until the next console launch, essentially. Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros. are both completely deserving of the praise they’ve gotten across the board, but the games are so good, it makes it tough to give love to something like Tropical Freeze or Captain Toad when two of the biggest heavy hitters of the video game industry are their competition. Basically, Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros. are the gold standard of each Nintendo console they appear on, so I think (speaking very generally) it throws people for a loop.

That being said… I wanted Captain Toad number one. Seeing Nintendo go out on a limb with one of its classic characters, and with such a novel style of gameplay, was thrilling enough, but then I played the thing and it obliterated my expectations and was a thousand times better than I dared hope– sort of like Tomodachi Life, which was my number one for 3DS. It was so fun when I reviewed it, but it keeps getting better the more I play it; months later, the game continues to be engaging. This quirky stuff deserves a shot to shine, and I hope that Nintendo keeps bringing us more with the Toads of its character lineup.

Jon Stevens

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS was definitely my top 3DS game of the year, but I also think that it deserved a spot as one of the best overall games of the year as well. We all knew that the Wii U version of the game was going to be pretty special, but I had some pretty big doubts about porting the series over to a handheld console. Luckily, I need not have worried– despite having fewer buttons to work with and less powerful hardware, the 3DS version is a great experience in and of itself and a huge achievement. It definitely became my go-to choice when travelling and it’s a move which I’m sure Nintendo will repeat again for the next entry.

At the end of the day, though, I suppose it isn’t too surprising that its big brother would go on to outshine it!

Iain Farrell

Spending time being cross that the game you love isn’t on these lists would be a waste of energy. Instead, let’s focus on the fact that so many cracking games came to Wii U and 3DS in 2014. Guacamelee, Bayonetta 2, and the latest and greatest Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart were my highlights. I don’t think we could have asked for much more and this list reflects the very best of last year.

Big monsters lurk in the world of Guacamelee

A new 3DS and more great titles are coming this year, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to spend another 12 months with these two systems.

Anthony Vigna

Wow, look at all the haters on our staff! Who’s passing around the haterade and where can I get some?

The picks we came up on were perfect. Sure, maybe I would have liked a little more spotlight for Hyrule Warriors, but the game was up against tough competition. When games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. are being released, they deserve the spotlight over other titles. Sorry, guys, but that means that Tropical Freeze isn’t good enough to swim with the big fishes. I hope everyone still loves me!

But you know what? The fact that the games were so hard to choose this year just shows how lucky we were to be Nintendo fans last year. Even if your favorite game didn’t make the list, we still had a lot to play and be excited about recently! In that sense, we’re all winners for getting to experience such great Nintendo video games!

Anthony Pershkin

As a huge “character-action” fanatic, I’m of course disappointed in not seeing Bayonetta 2 as the best game of 2014. I’m a generally rational person, though, so I understand how perhaps my beloved sub-genre of action games does not speak to everyone like Mario Kart 8 or Super Smash Bros. With that being said, Bayonetta 2 is utterly amazing, as it signifies a new period for action games. Platinum finally managed to craft a perfect character-action game, and while I’m incredibly happy with the results, I’m also terrified that they won’t be able to top themselves in the future. On the other hand, I also won’t stop believing in Platinum.

I would also like to agree with the majority of our team that the absence of Tropical Freeze is criminal. The soundtrack alone should help Tropical Freeze win in some kind of category!

What about you? What games do you think deserved more recognition during this year’s awards? Let us know in the comments!

5 Responses to “Round Table: The Biggest Snubs of 2014”

  • 819 points
    Toadlord says...

    Tropical Freeze was hands down my favorite single player experience of 2014. It would place on a list of my favorite games ever. Retro proved they could match the original DKC trilogy.

    I trust these guys with my Donkey Kong games. It’s funny to look back now to how some people were disappointed when this was revealed to be Rare’s secret project in E3 2013, just because it turned into such a gem.

    Honestly, I would love to see another entry to complete Retro’s trilogy. Preferably with Kremlings, but it would be understandable if they chose a new group of enemies.

    So yeah, this game deserved some awards. I definitely agree with Kyle and Anthony P’s comments on the music as well!

  • 819 points
    Toadlord says...

    Side comment: Props to whoever made the graphics for the article headers this past week. They looked great!

  • 849 points
    ejamer says...

    I don’t think it’s hating to stand up for a “lesser gem” that you loved from 2014… so I’m here to let people know that missing out on Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (3DS) would have been a crime.

    The first game in the series shocked me at how good it was (confession time: self-admitted rhythm game hater here) and the Curtain Call sequel manages to improve on almost every aspect of that experience. More music, more modes, more characters, more games… This game is fan service at it’s best, yet still perfectly accessible for people who aren’t invested in the Final Fantasy brand.

    Bonus points to Persona Q, which is also totally awesome even if it’s a bit more of a niche product.

  • 784 points
    Marc Deschamps says...

    I enjoyed DKC: Tropical Freeze, but the difficulty level pushed it out of contention for my votes. There were a lot of levels that might have resulted in a broken controller screen in my younger days…

  • 156 points
    excaliburguy says...

    Personally, I find it outrageous that Captain Toad was ranked over Tropical Freeze, but I suppose puzzle games aren’t my thing. But Tropical Freeze, man. I found the difficulty to be challenging but not frustrating, and I think the game was enhanced by it in my opinion. Shoutout to Retro Studios for hitting a great balance. I pretty much got this game solely for Dave Wise’s music, but the game ended up being just as good as the music.

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