Before you start trying to interject with what game you think I should’ve picked, listen to what I have to say and remember, this is MY opinion.

2014 has been a hectic gaming year. With the likes of inFamous: Second Son, Titan Fall, Watch Dogs, Far Cry 4 and countless Indie games, it’s also been a pretty diverse one too, not to mention the reviews. I can’t remember the last time so many games have had such a sprawling list of scores. But with new I.Ps came new challenges and 2014 was full of them; many falling down to glitches or game-breaking bugs, due to tight deadlines. Performance issues aside, there were dozens of games that I spent more than my fair share of time with, though which one got crowned my game of the year?

It was a tough decision, but after putting a lot of thought into it, it was actually an easy one. I’m always up for laughter in video games and that helped all the more with South Park: The Stick of Truth. Never before have I spent such a long time farting on zombie foetus babies.  After being taken over by Ubisoft since THQ’s demise, South Park had a troubled development, though thankfully it made it through to the other side with hardly a scratch on it.

After spending a large portion of my childhood playing any South Park game that came to light, it’s fair to say that pretty much all of them were crap. Even with the poor quality on offer, it didn’t matter to me. I’d play any game that was using characters I knew and loved, regardless of its quality. Whether it was The Simpsons, Batman or South Park, I was young enough to have my eyes gloss over their quality by the sheer thrill of playing in that world. Oh how misguided I was.

With The Stick of Truth, creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker nailed the look of the show in-game, and their witty writing and penchant for toilet humour made the transition perfectly. Having never spent more than a couple of hours in an RPG, it was quite a switch to then play Stick of Truth twice and platinum it. Even if it’s cased in a softer RPG shell than most other role playing games, there is still plenty of depth. Pillaging Cartman’s house and finding his mother’s sex toys was deep enough for me, at least. I haven’t given myself the time to platinum a game for a long time, especially since working in video game journalism, I constantly have a pile of games to work through. But with South Park I couldn’t resist the chance to take in every moment of the quiet little mountain town. I even bought a second copy in America due to it being uncensored, which was even better.

I like to think of The Stick of Truth like playing an entire season of South Park, it’s just that good. There’s so much content and plenty to see that even after spending near thirty hours with the game, I wanted more and more. I can only hope that Matt and Trey have more in the works, particularly now they’ve gotten to grips with the basics for continuing development.  Just more of the same for me please.

So there you have it, there have been plenty of great games this year — Hideo Kojima’s P.T. came close to bagging my GOTY despite it being a demo — but pressing the action button repeatedly to execute a dump did it for me. Bring on 2015!


About The Author

Joshua Ball

Meet Josh. As the head of Start Replay his overall objective is to keep things moving. Alongside ensuring that content is made on a regular basis, Josh loves attending and organising the many press events and expos that crop up. His favourite video games consist of the Arkham series and Metal Gear Solid, but there’s always room for a bit of horror. Follow Josh’s sparse tweets on Twitter or, alternatively, be sure to catch him in the crowd of the next big gaming event.

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