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Features

Published on June 19th, 2014 | by Chris Scott

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Game of the Month: May 2014

Each month, Critically Sane will select, from the releases in that month, a game that is worthy of our prestigious game of the month award, and sometimes, a few runners up that are worthy of recognition. These games will form the basis of our GOTY discussion later on in the year. We know it is late but here are our May selections.

Game of the Month: Mario Kart 8

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Mario Kart 8 delivers almost exactly what you would expect, but that doesn’t stop it from being the best entry in the series. General polish and inspired tracks lift the somewhat complacent design toward perfection. Yes, it is 16 old tracks, 16 new tracks, drifting, mirror mode, and everything else you expect at this point, but when it’s done this well, it’s hard to complain. Anti-gravity sections allow for more creative tracks and introduce a few fun wrinkles to the gameplay. Throw in top-notch graphics and music, and functional multiplayer, and this entry in the series is the most addictive since Double Dash!! on Gamecube. One minute, it seemed like nobody cared about Wii U, and the next, it seems like everybody I know owns it and is playing Mario Kart 8. And sharing their experiences. The ability to edit and share gameplay clips inspired the now infamous evil Luigi .gif, which defined the month of May for gamers probably more than anything else. 

 Runner-Up: Watch Dogs

PowerRankings_WatchDogs

In 2012, Watch_Dogs was revealed to the gaming world as a title that would break every barrier, shattering gaming with its truly next generation gameplay, hacking mechanics, relevant storyline and theme,  and eye-popping visuals. Two years later, we see that the reality isn’t quite so rosy. Yet the game, despite its status as an upscale GTA clone, is still quite good, with well-implemented hacking mechanics and a massive open world with lots of activities to master and places to explore making up for the weak narrative and characterization. While not the world-beater we hoped it would be, Watch_Dogs is eminently playable, and above all, fun.

Runner-Up: Wolfenstein: The New Order

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Can an old-school shooter still be relevant in a modern landscape defined by the likes of Battlefield and Call of Duty? Wolfenstein: The New Order answers that question with a resounding yes. Like its genre ancestors, it is a lengthy, single-player shooter in which you shoot a bunch of Nazis and have to collect health and ammo while finding your way through labyrinthine levels, yet a few new ideas and great production values make it feel fresh. On top of the refreshingly old-school gameplay, in an alternate history in which the Nazis have taken over the world, its narrative confidently straddles the line between serious and funny, sometimes veering wildly between the two, to somehow become one of the most compelling elements of the game. If you grew up in a time before recharging health or the restriction of being able to carry only two guns, or if you just want a shooter with some meat to its narrative and campaign, Wolfenstein: The New Order is not to be missed. 

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