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Treat Yourself: A Fist Full of Gift Cards

/ Jan 4th, 2015 No Comments

Dragon Age Inquisition Gameplay

Wake up, Mr. Bailey! 2015 is here! Sadly, a new year means we’ve entered the doldrums for new releases. While we wait for the new games to flow again, it is a perfect time to catch up on some of the better titles from 2014. Luckily, if you’ve been a good girl or boy, you got plenty of cash or gift cards for the holidays. So, why not stroll through the aisles (or click through links) and treat yo’ self?

A Treat for All Seasons: Dragon Age Inquisition

Hold onto your butts because things are going to get bumpy in your life if you pick up Dragon Age Inquisition. Dragon Age Inquisition is the most engrossing fantasy RPG since Skyrim. But like Bethesda’s opus, Dragon Age Inquisition will suck you kicking and screaming into the conflict brewing in Ferelden and Orlais. Starting an inquisition is tough business, and you will need to buckle down and focus if you want to defeat the Elder One. So say goodbye to your monies and social life because there are High Dragons to hunt and a war to wage.

Xbone Up: Sunset Overdrive

Microsoft struggled with the launch of its third console, but recovered by giving the console a temporary price cut for the holiday season and releasing one of the most fun games of 2014. Sunset Overdrive is a perfect example of a game that nails its world’s tone and point of view. Everything about Sunset City is as colorful and bold as the main character’s constant breaking of the fourth wall, and as audacious as the loud, bombastic punk score giving life to the game.
 

Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive is a beast!

Much like Dead Rising 3 was at launch, Sunset Overdrive is a strong argument to buy an Xbox One. If you didn’t snag the Sunset Overdrive bundle, put that holiday windfall to good use.

PlayStation 4 You: Infamous Second Son

Sony’s first-party offerings were anemic in 2014. The year hinged on Sucker Punch’s Infamous Second Son (and its sister title, First Light, which is free next week for PS Plus). Fortunately, Second Son is a damn fine game.
 

Infamous: Second Son

Deslin and Fetch are a great combo.

Second Son improved upon many of the issues hampering the first two Infamous games, and made players finally feel the power of being a conduit. It is also one of the best looking games to release in 2014. Since the game has been out for awhile, you can find a good deal on it and dig into Delsin’s adventure.

Ninten Do: Bayonetta 2

Drinking game aside, Bayonetta 2 is one of the best games on the Wii U, and possibly, maybe the best game of 2014. In a similar way to Sunset Overdrive, it nails its tone and style down immaculately.
 

Bayonetta 2

You’re going to love Bayonetta 2.

Love it or hate it, the brazen gratuitousness of Bayonetta 2 is key to the game’s charm. It improves significantly on the bones of its predecessor, honing in on what worked best in Bayonetta and refining it. Bayonetta 2 delivers fast-paced, fluid action with bold over-the-top cutscenes, but anchoring everything is a surprisingly touching human element.

Digitize Me Cap’n

Many of you may have gotten cash or general gift cards (your aunt may have said to you, “Here you go kid.” Then she paused to take a drag from her cigarette followed by a guttural hacking cough. Your aunt is likely a grizzled character actress, and finally added, “Buy yourself something nice at the Wiggmans”). Some of you may have gotten some sweet Steam, eShop, PSN or Xbox Marketplace gift cards. You can take joy in grabbing some delicious digital content.

There are wide, dizzying amounts of content available cross these digital marketplaces, but here are three games to consider. If you have some spare eShop credit, do yourself a favor and pick up Shovel Knight. Shovel Knight will bludgeon immediately with a wave of nostalgia and draw you into it with tight controls and classic platforming goodness. You can grab the game on sale right now on both 3DS and the Wii U eShop.
 

Transistor

Transistor offers accessible yet deep gameplay.

One of the most dazzling games to be released this year is Transistor. It combines clever gameplay and an elegantly written story with a breathtaking soundtrack and lush graphics. Transistor also remains one of the smartest uses of the DualShock 4. Pick it up for PlayStation 4 if you haven’t played it yet.

For Xbox One (and 360) owners, purchase Super Time Force. Shame on you if you haven’t played it yet (and sorry if you’re new and missed it as part of Games with Gold). Super Time Force delivers immensely clever time-based gameplay with the pluck and aplomb of a great action movie. You will be delighted by all the action movie analogues you can unlock in the game.

All of these titles can also be purchased on Steam right now.

 

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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