Back in the day, magazines (good and bad) would all participate in a yearly Buyer's Guide ritual. These Buyer's Guides would have loads of screenshots and info on existing or upcoming games. There really wasn't much bias; paid, promotional, or other. A Buyer's Guide was usually packaged separately, and was almost like a whole other magazine in itself. Typically, they would feature a few hundred games across many different platforms. Back then, you'd see games featured from the Master System, Nintendo, and GameBoy, to the Sega Genesis, PC Engine, Super Nintendo, Sega CD, and even the Atari Lynx! Of course, things are different now; magazines are rare, the ones that do (still) exist are shit, and a lot of that shit has all pretty much been digitized. I always had my own vision of what a Buyer's Guide should be like. We've done these in the past, and here is yet another. There aren't hundreds of titles across dozens of hardware, but what is listed are products we think deserve recognition.
2014 Buyer's Guide
Rythm Of Fighters

SNK is back! How do we know this? Because they are making games across genres, again, and it's good to see!

KOF 2012 i

SNK has been on a roll, and it owes much of that momentum to its most iconic IPs. Metal Slug and KOF have come in full force with premium and free versions of their hits. The technicalities of how they do this concerns me none, and shouldn't concern you, either. SNK's games are great, and unlike getting their games in the past, they can now be enjoyed without tremendous import fees.

Metal Slug Defense

Did someone say new Metal Slug? SNK tried something new to keep up with the ever-fleeting video game world, and it wasn't just successful; it was a runaway success with over 10-million downloads to prove it!.

Strikers 1945-2

4-player Strikers 1945! I don't think I've seen a quality 4-Player shooter since the masterpiece Giga Wing 2! I don't know the story behind the surprise release of this game on Android, and I have no idea how the game ever escaped licensing limbo (if it did). All I know is that when a new Strikers game drops, I'm Johnny on the spot! This game also serves as a testament to the shooting game genre going mobile, and it runs great on Android!


Shooting fans know the original versions of this game as Sengoku Ace and/or Sengoku Blade. I haven't played both of the (Saturn) originals in enough depth to know if this new one is a sort-of mixed re-release, or if it picks up after Sengoku Blade III (PlayStation Portable), but I can say that the game is still great. And, yes, the game still has amazing titties! It still features the two absolutely knockout female characters that made the previous games and Psikyo's art book unbelievable.

Raiden 2014 - Fight

Wow. This one blew me away. Incredible design for an independent game! Truly great design that you'd expect from a high caliber developer like Takumi. It sucks that they had to rip-off the intro from Mass Effect 3, but the rest of the game looks really good. Unless, they somehow ripped that off from a game I don't know about, in which case I'm just speechless. However, as much as I hate EA, I gotta say that stealing the Mass Effect story panel was incredibly disappointing to see. Why would you want to depreciate the value of your work in such a manner?

Ultra Street Fighter IV

It really seemed like this game took longer to come out than it should have. Odd, considering more and more glitches and bugs were discovered so close to release. As the biggest Final Fight fan, ever, I thought the new characters were great! The best change they made, though, was making it so that multiple Ultra Moves could be used in the same match. It was really lame how you could only use one Super Art per match in Street Fighter III - 3rd Strike, and that Capcom carried over that overly-simplistic flaw to Street Fighter IV. Thankfully, someone at Capcom woke up one day and saw that it was pathetic to have only one Super Move at your disposal. The character additions were great, but making multiple Ultras available during the match is, by far, the best change they made to the SFIV series in USFIV. Unfortunately, the game still features the immensely-flawed "just input" system.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

This game was widely praised by big media, and for once, with good reason. It was immediately a more sincere effort than the completely overrated Super Smash Bros. Melee of which it is was based, and it just keeps getting better! If there were ever a more robust game, it could probably only be DreamCast classics Marvel VS. Capcom 2 or Street Fighter Alpha 3 - Saikyo Dojo. I just can't think of another game with as much content! The game is bursting at the seams with fighters, fighting locales, modes, collectibles, and control options. The game can be played with something like six different controllers, which is unprecedented for a fighting game. Nintendo did an excellent job in combining so many control options with an already accessible fighting system to make the series more accessible than ever before. It's even compatible with Nintendo's own amiibo figurines! The only thing that sucks is something that the game has no control over; a fact that has been driven by big media's adamant idealization of the Nintendo 3DS over the Wii U. That unfortunate fact is how Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is supported more than Super Smash Bros. for Wii U simply because big media has idealized the Nintendo 3DS as being superior to the Wii U. Big media is powerful and all-encompassing, so when people see the idealization of the Nintendo 3DS, they immediately buy it over the Wii U without much consideration. Big media has clumped them both together, implying to the consumer that "since they're the same, why not buy the cheaper, more portable version."

This is relative to Super Smash Bros. for 3DS because despite its completely different design and producer Sakurai confirming it as a separate numbered entry (4), big media has the consumer convinced that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS are "the same game" or "the same thing." Just a single look at the design of each game proves this; the disparity in the artistic presentation between both games couldn't be larger. One game (3DS) is cel-shaded and running in standard definition, while the other (Wii U) is realistically-rendered and running in high-definition. Even someone who isn't familiar with video games can see the difference in visibility alone is huge. Fans will cite the difference in modes between the two, but I firmly stand by the view that it's impossible for them to be identical in collision and gameplay, overall. It's an incredible injustice to see Nintendo and Smash "fans" alike who have passed on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U simply because of the price. The game is absolutely worth it, and especially to fans...


Incredibly underrated and bashed by mainstream media, this game added some variation to the Unreal Engine 3 library of titles. The Unreal Engine 3 powers a variety of titles across the board, but there aren't many ninja-based, 90's inspired action games. Though the game is in beautifully-rendered, lushly-animated, cel-shaded 3-D, the 90's feeling is still there behind it all. The game also has a cool main character, which is a rarity these days when most games feature token, everyday dumb-asses in jeans and a T-shirt. This character and the supporting characters crush that lame shit.

Bayonetta 2

This game is right up with Watchdogs for the best game of 2014. Epic and incredibly sexy, Bayonetta 2 cannot be stopped. Other than Watchdogs, there really is no other game in the Wii U/XBox One/PlayStation 4 generation that even comes close to it. Much of its appeal lies unapologeticaly in its sexiness, and anyone who truly loves art and/or video games would be similarly unapologetic for liking it. In their fake, failing attempt at being politically correct, big media has used Bayonetta's style and sexiness against potential newcomers and veterans alike. This doesn't seem to have scared away true game fans, those with heart, or those with a brain. Big media fails to address the fact that not every person who buys the game is a male who views females in a negative light. Further, not everyone who buys the game will be a male; in their thirst for blood and someone to blame for age-old gender issues that will never change, it must have never occured to them that females could also buy the game because they see the character(s) as strong and empowering. Behind all of this bad press, of course, is the media's undying saltiness at the fact that Bayonetta 2 is exclusive to the underdog Wii U hardware. As narrow-minded and unrealistic as they have trained their followers to be, big media figureheads and "personalities" expected the game to be multi-platform, and were subsequently pissed when it wasn't. What a pathetic lot. Exclusives are what make the industry competitive and healthy; bashing a masterpiece just because it's not whored-out on every single machine is childish and unjust. It's like calling a masterpiece painting garbage just because it isn't being kept at your local museum.


Without a doubt, the best game Ubisoft has ever made, and one of the best games of 2014 was Watchdogs for Wii U. Specifically, I am referring to Watchdogs for Nintendo's Wii U hardware. Why? Because even with some of their exclusive content, the XBox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Watchdogs come nowhere near the immersive experience of the Wii U version. The game was truly meant for Wii U. Out of all the games in 2014, this is the one I just kept coming back to and couldn't put down. Astronimically-underrated, this game took a while to arrive, but was well-worth the wait. I paid full-price on release day, and it was worth it. Using the Wii U's Gamepad controller for camera spying and system hacking makes for a clausterphobic, immersive feeling not felt in the other versions. The next-gen visuals are incredible, there are tons of weapons, tons of costumes, tons of modes, and the AI is unlike any other game I've played. Tied with Bayonetta for game of the year 2014, period.

Long Survivor - The Director's Cut

This game was something I passed-up several times. The right time came at the right price, and I discovered why so many Wii U and PlayStation 4 players were saying this game was good. It merges 8-Bit graphics with atmospheric, modern horror. Despite its playful, pixelated visuals, the game is absolutely terrifying. Some compare this game to Silent Hill, and I can definitely see why; it's every bit as demented and scary...

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse

The Shantae series has an interesting, expensive history. Be thankful that it's a lot easier and cheaper to obtain this series by supporting it. Get on the Wii U eShop, and buy it so the series doesn't fade into obscurity, again. If you are unfamiliar with what would happen, just eBay Shantae on the GameBoy Color...

Trine - Enchanted Edition

Trine is one of those non-Japanese series that deserves praise for properly representing video games as art. The game's lush, beautifully-crafted environments and atmosphere are of the caliber seen in Japanese games. Wii U and PlayStation 4 owners were in for a real treat when Trine 2 - Director's Cut, and this one is no different. If you're a fan of timeless class Dungeons & Dragons - Tower of Doom, or modern classic Dragon's Crown, Trine - Enchanted Edition will surely interest you.

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