Nintendo Scene’s Wii U & 3DS Games of the Year 2016
With the year finally at a close we at Nintendo Scene are looking back at some of our favorite releases from the Big N- here are our Wii U and 3DS Games of the Year for 2016.
It’s been an average year for first and second-party Nintendo games, with nothing on the Wii U being a standout favourite amidst the very small crowd of participants. In truth, I only played four triple-A Wii U games that were released in 2016.
I don’t have to deliberate for too long before giving this award to Pokkén Tournament. It didn’t have much staying power and the single-player lacks variety, but it was a neat deviation from the fighting-game norms. Pokémon as the fighter characters was a huge selling point, and the developers did well to translate the various fighters and their personalities to the game even with the peculiar roster choices.
Of the other three Wii U games, I’m going to give an honourable mention to Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Surely an unconventional choice, but compared to the other two games, this one succeeded the most in its goals – a satisfying and fun multiplayer distraction featuring popular mascot characters and pretty visuals. Not much else needed, really.
None with no honourable mentions.
It’s a true testament to the year that the Wii U has had that I have nothing really good to say about it. I disliked StarFox Zero and abhorred Pokkén Tournament, despite being excited for both of them. StarFox was overly reliant on gimmicks and was, when you really boil it down, simply a remaster. Pokkén is just a bit of a mess, and that’s coming from someone who plays fighting games a lot. Sadly, what it comes down to is simply a year of disappointments, hopefully the Switch will change the fortunes of Nintendo in 2017.
Pokémon Moon without a shadow of a doubt. What a relief that this game launched at the end of the year to make this category easy for me. Revitalising the series by getting rid of out-dated tropes and mechanics such as gyms and Hidden Machines, Pokémon Sun & Moon brought the series to the tropical region of Alola and introduced a new Island Challenge. While it could be argued that it’s a mere replacement of gym battles, the island challenges are engaging and varying in objectives. The luscious aesthetics and audio make the adventure a pleasant one, and Team Skull provide plenty of comic moments while posing a genuine threat further into the story.
I haven’t finished that story yet, only just arriving on the fourth island – despite clocking over 80 hours because I’ve been catching and evolving everything as I go – but Pokémon Sun & Moon is easily my best 3DS game of the year.
Honorable mention to Super Mario Maker 3DS & Yo-kai Watch
Unfortunately this year nothing really stood out as GOTY to me but I did play some contenders on the Nintendo 3DS. I reviewed Super Mario Maker 3DS recently and while it certainly doesn’t have everything I would consider GOTY material it is an enjoyable and neatly put together experience. SMM3DS lacks the online functionality that made the original Super Mario Maker on Wii U explode in popularity, but it is a highly visually polished experience bursting with wacky and exciting creativity from Nintendo.
Bravely Second: End Layer, honourable mention to Fire Emblem Fates.
The 3DS, this year, has been the definitive home of the JRPG (which obviously suits me completely fine). In fact, there have been so many fantastic games on 3DS it has been hard to pick just one. But when I thought about it, there was really only one real contender, Bravely Second. This game took everything I loved about the first game and tweaked the things I didn’t like. A phenomenal game in pretty much every way. My honourable mention goes to Fire Emblem Fates, because they managed to actually up the ante from the incredible Awakening, tweaking certain aspects of gameplay, but still keeping to the roots of a franchise that I deeply love.
And that’s it for the Wii U & 3DS categories. Stay tuned for our Nindies, and amiibo awards!
What were your 3DS and Wii U GOTY’s? Have you experienced any hidden gems this year? Drop us a comment below with your favorites.