By Jeff Neuenschwander / January 24th, 2014
2013 was a great year to be a 3DS owner. To talk about it, here’s Staff Writer Phil Schipper.
BEST 3DS GAME
|Previous Winner: Kid Icarus: Uprising|
PHIL: Ah, the Nintendo 3DS. Remember when it came out and it didn’t have many games that really excited fans? That’s been changing over the couple of years since then. And as 2013 dawned, we really got flooded with great new games for it. Some of our favorites didn’t even make the list, but that only speaks to how good the competition turned out to be. Here are the nominees…
There’s nothing quite like a new Fire Emblem game (that actually makes it to the West) to put a smile on faces like ours. Of course, Awakening once again changed up the formula, giving us a custom avatar and allowing characters to get married and pass on skills even as they continue to level up themselves. More importantly, it explored the realm of downloadable content—something many Fire Emblem players never saw coming—and actually pulled it off.
Since the original Animal Crossing for the Nintendo GameCube, players everywhere have been moving into new towns, building houses and making things their own. The more Bells they gathered, the more they could customize their world. But the franchise was starting to get fairly stagnant, until New Leaf came along and added a twist: not only are players the masters of their own house, but also the mayor of their own town!
Now I don’t mean to take over this contest, but for what it’s worth, Shin Megami Tensei IV is my personal pick. Like the rest of the series, it’s about pushing your way through dungeons, fighting or befriending demons, and strategizing your way through difficult situations, all leading up to an impossible choice. The storyline, music, and artwork back it all up to make one unforgettable experience.
Pokémon X and Y, like many of the others on this list, made some major changes to its series. 3D battling! Eight-directional walking! Riding Pokémon! Not to mention the new features on the bottom screen. While exploring the new region of Kalos, players now had the tools and incentive to catch and actually raise a variety of Pokémon as they progress.
Now this game gets my personal award for “Game I Wish I Still Had Money For.” It came relatively late to the party, though the time between its announcement and release were remarkably short. I’m tired of telling you that each of these games are a new spin on an old series—but really, that’s where the magic is! The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds pays homage to the classic A Link to the Past, while giving Link a brand-new ability to become a wall painting and walk around.
AND THE WINNER IS…
Fire Emblem: Awakening
How could we resist the pull of a great strategy RPG, beautiful art, and a huge cast of truly lovable characters? With references to older Fire Emblem titles all over the place and potentially endless challenges, Fire Emblem: Awakening basically has it all.
BEST VITA GAME
|Previous Winner: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 – Golden|
JEFF: It safe to say that it was also a pretty good year to own a Vita. And if you’re one of the many that still don’t have the system, here’s a few more reasons to put down the money. The nominees for Best Vita game this year are some of the strongest titles in the running for Game of the Year. They are as follows…
The latest version of what is supposed to be the fourth game in the main series and the first of the fourths to be developed by Nihon Falcom, Ys: Memories of Celceta is a fantastic addition to the franchise. The story is intriguing, the design is fantastic, and the gameplay is spot-on. This is arguably the gold standard for action RPGs on the system in its young life.
The next great game from LittleBigPlanet developers Media Molecule, Tearaway drops you in a world primarily made of paper. While the story may be simple in having the playable character of Iota or Atoi deliver a message to the sun, this game is anything but. I can’t really do it justice in this little paragraph. Seriously, go read the review.
A remake of the original Wii game, Muramasa Rebirth takes everything that made the Wii game great and added great new material. Aside from excellent higher-res graphics, the remake also included more characters as well as a brand new translation from Aksys Games. Oh, and gameplay is still fantastic. The definitive version of the game by far.
AND THE WINNER IS…
This game is criminally overlooked. Well, you will not be overlooked here, Tearaway. You are a champion.
Animal Crossing: New LeafAnodyneAssassin's Creed IV: Black FlagBioShock InfiniteDead Rising 3Dragon's CrownFire Emblem: AwakeningHatsune Miku: Project DIVA FI Get This Call EverydayInjustice Gods Among UsMetal Gear Rising: Revengeancemonster hunter 3 ultimateMuramasa RebirthNi No Kuni: Wrath of the White WitchPandora's TowerPapers PleasePhoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual DestiniesPikmin 3Pokémon X & YRayman LegendsRogue LegacyRyse: Son of RomeShin Megami Tensei IVState of DecaySuper Mario 3D WorldSweet Fuse: At Your SideTales of XilliaTearawayThe Last Of UsThe Legend of Zelda: A Link Between WorldsThe Stanley ParableThe Wonderful 101Ys: Memories of Celceta