Hi, I’m John Michonski. I’m really proud of what Choo Choo has become over the last year. We’re just getting started, and hopefully you guys are all enjoying the stuff we have to say. My GOTY list is extremely personal. I honestly wouldn’t consider about six of these to be on a site-wide list in any way, but these are the games that mattered most to me this year, and I want to give them a little time in the limelight. Thanks for being great, Chooch fans, my only hope is that I keep improving in 2014.
10. Doki Doki Universe
Doki Doki Universe is a small treat. It’s like a fun size candy bar or a nice back rub. There’s not much substance to it at all, but what is there is an adorable story about a robot trying to save himself and find love in all the right places. The personality quizzes are a nice bonus to the game, and it made me smile finding out positive aspects about myself in the same year I found out I had depression.
9. Animal Crossing
New Leaf is straight up just a solid version of Animal Crossing. It’s a slight improvement when you take into account the previous entries in the franchise, as New Leaf came back to portability and did just enough to keep it in my 3DS for a good long time. I’m really glad I spent the time I did with New Leaf, bug hunting on the island or working with Isabelle on expanding the town. Another cute happy game on my list that I recommend to anyone feeling down.
8. Ace Attorney 5
This entry isn’t without problems, but with one of the finest cases to date and a cast of incredible new characters, AA5 played my heartstrings like the fanboy that I am. I just wish the third trial didn’t trivialize legitimate social issues! Oh well. I was enthralled by the game’s story and I’m glad to put this on my list purely for the last two trials, which are up there with 1-5 and 2-4 for best trials in the series.
7. Saints Row IV
Saints Row IV is funny as hell. I never thought I’d get to see an AI suckin a dude off, a bad Armeggeddon reference, and a giant can of energy drink in one game, but I’m sure glad I did. SRIV evolved the series to its absolute peak, then finished it off in a spectacular way. The absolute end was a bit too stupid for its own good, but the rest of the game stands out as one of the most fun sandboxes I’ve ever been in.
6. Pikmin 3
I gave Pikmin 3 a 5/5, and for good reason. Everything about this game is charming and lovable, the new characters have great dialogue, the new Pikmin breathe new life into the metagame, and the graphics are awe inspiring. If you have a Wii U and haven’t bought this yet, we have a beef.
5. Gone Home
Gone Home is a game about subtlety and doubt. I played the entire game muttering “oh fuck there’s gonna be a friggin bah-gool in this house I god damn swear.” And there wasn’t, spoiler alert. Instead I found a facinating story about a family being torn apart from the seams and being sewn back together, and a narrator’s struggles that I won’t soon forget.
4. Mario 3D World
IT’SA MARIO TIME WAHOOO LUIGI NUMBER ONE PEACHY OOOOKAY TOAD. God damn is this game just pure fun! The first few levels are a cakewalk but it ramps up so well and the cat suit is the best power up since the tanooki suit and auuuugh why do I have to write more? I just want to go play this with three friends right now.
3. Pokemon X/Y
I bought Pokemon for the past few generations less because I was looking forward to them and more out of some sick obligation. But X&Y was different. This generation, there were improvments to the graphics, metagame, and structure of the game that made it so very much more fun. Any game that takes Kangaskhan and turns it into an overpowered beast is okay in my book.
2. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
As a Metal Gear fan, Revengeance feels like the perfect side game. Letting you play as Raiden, which I’m sure everyone wanted to do after MGS4, and making it a fast paced Platinum character action game? Just what we as a society needed. With a plethora of abilities, the best god damn soundtrack of the year, and writing that’d make Quentin Tarantino chuckle slightly, MGR tickles my fancy in almost the exact way I wanted this year. Almost…
The perfect icebreaker. I’ve made new friends and solidified old friendships with this game. The character I main in the game is my friend on Facebook. Divekick is a distillment of all that is good and fun in fighting games. Simple, precise, and hype but at the same time wacky and hilarious, I can’t think of another game I got into as much as I did with Divekick. I’m unsure if my recommendation is suitable for the entire public, since a good amount of the humor is niche and if you’re not nimble-fingered the game can become overwhelming very quickly, but if you ever meet me, we are playing at least one round of Divekick.