3DS

NWR's End of the Year Awards 2016

Top 5 Games of 2016 (5-3)

by J.P. Corbran, Zachary Miller, and Neal Ronaghan - December 29, 2016, 10:19 am PST

These games just missed the peak of our list in 2016.

5. Pocket Card Jocket (3DS eShop)

When this Game Freak developed came out in Japan back in 2013, the concept of solitaire meets horse racing seemed like a weird gimmick. Long known for making Pokemon games and the occasional one-off like Drill Dozer, Game Freak’s weird 3DS eShop curio seemed like it was going to stay in Japan. Three years after its release, Pocket Card Jockey launched in the west and it took the Nintendo World Report staff by storm. Layered with shockingly deep systems and an incredibly bizarre and charming story, the peculiar fusion of solitaire and horse racing was straight magic.

Pocket Card Jockey’s convoluted and long tutorials might have restricted it from making it higher on this list, but one of the things that stood out about the flow and experience is that it’s designed to, especially early on, make losing a constant part of the game. Your first horses are going to have bad stats. No matter how well the cards fall (or don’t fall) for you, you will still lose races and be forced to retire your adult horse. But failure is not the end; instead, it is a new beginning. This is all a dopey way to say that Pocket Card Jockey might be the most apt game for the oft depressing year that was 2016. Few games match its charm and commitment to an asinine premise, and few games in 2016 were better.- Neal Ronaghan


4. Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS)

Sometimes it’s good to be wrong about a game. When Federation Force was announced (poorly), I had the same thought many of the rest of you did: what the heck is this? It wasn’t necessarily the fact that series stalwart Samus Aran was not the protagonist, although that was a factor, but that this Next Level developed game appeared to be some kind of Monster Hunter clone with a horrifying Chibi art style that didn’t gel at all with established Metroid Prime lore. Producer Kensuke Tanabe would later attempt some damage control but the damage was done. Neal Ronaghan and I played the game at PAX East earlier this year and came away…nonplused.

But then John Rairdin reviewed it and it sounded like an amazing game. And guess what? It is. This is a four-player co-op Metroid Prime game with distinct and varied missions. You can play all the missions solo but that won’t really get you very far and, besides, Federation Force shines best when you get a group of competent players together and…get on Skype because, true to form, Nintendo didn’t implement voice chat. This is actually disastrous if the randos you’re rolling with have no idea what they’re doing (or one of them is a troll). But for real, Federation Force is a genuinely amazing game with great gameplay, lots of customization, and, let’s be honest, a crazy finale.

Oh, and there’s Blast Ball too. It’s kind of like Rocket League? I guess? It’s not great.

It’s also a crime that the ridiculous pre-release hate this game received translated to tragically low sales and a comically short online lifespan. Anyone out there want to play some Federation Force? I’ve got some more medals to get. Please?- Zach Miller


3. Picross 3D Round 2 (3DS eShop)

The original Picross 3D came out of nowhere to be one of the best games for the Nintendo DS. Taking the traditional Picross grid and mapping it to a block of cubes to chip away from, HAL Laboratory created a mind-bending logic puzzle that could only work in a video game. The 3DS sequel, Picross 3D: Round 2, took a while to come out in the west after its Japanese release, especially in Europe, but it was well worth the wait.

This sequel not only adds hundreds of new puzzles, but introduces interesting new wrinkles to the formula. The two-color mechanic adds another layer to the logical process you have to go through, while also resulting in the end product actually resembling what it's supposed to this time around. The difficulty curve is also much better balanced this time around, mixing in different levels of puzzles as you go. This game is one of the most challenging and most compelling puzzle titles ever.- J.P. Corbran

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Talkback

ShyGuyDecember 26, 2016

It was a light year for games, but Nintendo public relations executed well on the three big stories of the year.

Donkenada KongDecember 26, 2016

Here's hoping I win NWR's Best Poster again this year to make it a perfect 10 years in a row. Fingers crossed!

Moderators aren't eligible.

fred13December 27, 2016

The Switch reveal really got me excited

fred13December 27, 2016

Regarding Twilight Princess HD (Which I bought my son for Christmas) what does this last part mean?
"most underrated (except by doctors) Zelda game in history."
I don't understand the "except by doctors" Does Dr. Metts hate this game?


OedoDecember 27, 2016

I think he means the opposite. Jonny reviewed the Wii version of Twilight Princess for the site way back when it first came out and gave it a 10.

ShyGuyDecember 28, 2016

...Yarn Poochy?

Yes, Yarn Poochy. I want to hug it and squeeze it and love it to bits, and I'm a cat person normally.

Donkos KongDecember 28, 2016

Quote from: Khushrenada

Here's hoping I win NWR's Best Poster again this year to make it a perfect 10 years in a row. Fingers crossed!

Quote from: Shaymin

Moderators aren't eligible.

And here shall be marked as the moment that Khush realized his downfall. The only reason he was given mod powers was so we could dethrone him as the year's Best Poaster.

Donkenada KongDecember 29, 2016

Quote from: Stratos

Quote from: Khushrenada

Here's hoping I win NWR's Best Poster again this year to make it a perfect 10 years in a row. Fingers crossed!

Quote from: Shaymin

Moderators aren't eligible.

And here shall be marked as the moment that Khush realized his downfall. The only reason he was given mod powers was so we could dethrone him as the year's Best Poaster.

Downfall? More like soon to be greatest triumph!

This is just like how MegaByte was made staff to keep him from winning Radio Trivia! Well, I think it's time to take a stand against these oppressive rules. I'm boldly willing to proclaim that I think the entitled should be even more entitled and that to everyone who has should more be given. I say, it's time to stop the oppression of moderators on this forum by the common forum user. For too long have the moderators and their contributions on these forums been dismissed and looked down upon.

Just look at all the abuse that's  been given!

And that's just towards one obscure moderator named Khushrenada who hardly even posts on these forums! There isn't enough room to post all the derision given to moderators who actually are prolific. I don't know how the users Insanolord and UncleBob even cope with the level of abuse they see.... being thrown at this Khushrenada fellow. They must be so heartbroken.

So, in the words of the famous forum patriot Bob Marley, I say it's time to get up and stand up because you've got to fight for your right to party! It's time to break down this moderator segregation and make staff eligible for prizes and awards starting with this non-existent but suddenly vitally important trophy. I have a dream! I have a dream that one day this forum will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all posters are created equal." I have a dream that all posters will one day contribute on a forum where they will not be judged by the rank of their forum privileges but by the content of their posts! So, if 2016 has been a disappointing year for you, here is your chance to make something positive out of it by breaking down the moderator barrier of ineligibility towards winning and demanding that this Khushrenada be named NWR's Best Poster 2016 for the 10th year in a row.

Donkenada KongDecember 29, 2016

On a different note, while I don't want to take on a roll of armchair editor, I am bugged about the one paragraph for the NES Classic Edition.

Quote:

For those who grew up without a NES in their video game library, this year gave those neglected a few a second chance with the NES Classic Edition. Thirty of platform's most memorable games were brought back to life with the new retro system, complete with HDMI support and save states. It may be hard to find this holiday season, but the NES Classic Edition is a terrific reminder that at one time, we were all playing with power.

I believe the proper rendering of it should be as follows:

Quote:

For those who grew up without an NES in their video game library, this year gave those neglected few a second chance with the NES Classic Edition. Thirty of the platform's most memorable games were brought back to life with the new retro system, complete with HDMI support and save states. It may be hard to find this holiday season but the NES Classic Edition is a terrific reminder that, at one time, we were all playing with power.

fred13December 29, 2016

I've almost bought Federation Force several times, but never quite pulled the trigger. I'd have to buy 2 copies because I'd want to play with my wife so the money is part of why I still haven't done it.
I think we'd enjoy it, but where it was designed for 4 player how fun is it with just 2?

SorenDecember 29, 2016

MPFF ahead of Pocket Card Jockey? C'mon...

Donkenada KongDecember 29, 2016

Well, I guess this means Star Fox Zero and Paper Mario: Color Splash are going to be the top two. No way is it Pokémon Sun/Moon or BoxBoxBoy with a chance of spoiler by Kirby: Planet Robobot or Tokyo Mirage Sessions.

fred13December 30, 2016

I don't understand the hate for Star Fox Zero. I've really enjoyed it, and I've had several people come over and want to try it and about 1 in 10 hates it.

Donk it up KongDecember 30, 2016

I'm a bit surprised to see Federation Force in the top 5.

SorenDecember 30, 2016

So not a single Wii U game. Not TMS or Paper Mario. But Federation Force. Ok.

yoshi1001December 30, 2016

Quote from: fred13

I don't understand the hate for Star Fox Zero. I've really enjoyed it, and I've had several people come over and want to try it and about 1 in 10 hates it.

The whole "new-ish take on a franchise is despised by fans" seems to have been a running theme for 2016. Maybe it needs to be like figure skating and we throw out the top and bottom 10-20% of Internet reaction.  ;)

ejamerDecember 31, 2016

Wow.  Would have never guessed the NWR Top 5 of 2016 in a million years. It's wildly different than what I would have picked and none of the games selected would have made my list at all, even though the number one game isn't a surprise.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions probably would have been #6. Really, as far as the staff discussion (and even the staff/Patreon nominating process) went, the only question was how would the top 5 or 6 games be ordered. Pokemon seemed to be the clear winner, and FE:F, Picross, MPFF, PCJ, and TMS were our obvious potentials after that.


I think 2016 was kind of a weird year and the variance in top Nintendo game lists of the year shows that.

Donkepal148 KongDecember 31, 2016

The real tragedy here is the lack of Kirby: Planet Robobot, AKA the true 2016 Game of the Year.

Quote from: pokepal148

The real tragedy here is the lack of Kirby: Planet Robobot, AKA the true 2016 Game of the Year.

That was like #7 or #8.

Donkenada KongJanuary 10, 2017

Honestly, though, if one is to be objective about it, Pokémon Go was the biggest Nintendo-related news story of 2016. The Media was covering that thing on air for a couple weeks and it was conversation at work with plenty of people who are complete non-gamers. As gamers, sure, we are more excited about the Switch but no one has brought it up or talked about it at my work nor has there been any news stories covering it in the general media that I saw. You don't see the Switch reveal inspiring Song of the Year candidates like this gem:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfc42Pb5RA8


In other news, while I'm slightly disappointed that I wasn't named Best Poster for the tenth time in a row, I can't disagree with your final selection since it encompasses the equality I was protesting for earlier. For those too lazy to read the article:

Quote:

NWR's Best Poster of the Year - Everyone

Rather than single one individual as has been done in the past, the recent protests by so many forum members demanding representation for their efforts and work on these forums has caused us reflect on how divisive this award can be. Moreover, one post, while appealing to one individual, may not be judged as favorably by another because we all have different viewpoints. In a year that has already been very divisive, it seemed tiring to further add to that notion so in a spirit of appreciation and community bonding, this year's Best Poster award goes to every poster who takes the time to stop by our forums and participate on them whether a little or a lot. Every post is important since you never know what may spark a sudden flurry of activity or may be the diamond in a thread of coal. Thank you all and hope to see you all at it some more in 2017. - Anonymous

That's nice. Very heartwarming.


And since I'm part of "everyone" that means I'm also the Best Poster of the Year! 10 years in a row, baby! Unprecedented domination. Khushrenada, you devious devil, you've done it again!

Donkepal148 KongJanuary 10, 2017

Quote from: Khushrenada

Honestly, though, if one is to be objective about it, Pokémon Go was the biggest Nintendo-related news story of 2016. The Media was covering that thing on air for a couple weeks and it was conversation at work with plenty of people who are complete non-gamers. As gamers, sure, we are more excited about the Switch but no one has brought it up or talked about it at my work nor has there been any news stories covering it in the general media that I saw. You don't see the Switch reveal inspiring Song of the Year candidates like this gem:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfc42Pb5RA8


In other news, while I'm slightly disappointed that I wasn't named Best Poster for the tenth time in a row, I can't disagree with your final selection since it encompasses the equality I was protesting for earlier. For those too lazy to read the article:

Quote:

NWR's Best Poster of the Year - Everyone

Rather than single one individual as has been done in the past, the recent protests by so many forum members demanding representation for their efforts and work on these forums has caused us reflect on how divisive this award can be. Moreover, one post, while appealing to one individual, may not be judged as favorably by another because we all have different viewpoints. In a year that has already been very divisive, it seemed tiring to further add to that notion so in a spirit of appreciation and community bonding, this year's Best Poster award goes to every poster who takes the time to stop by our forums and participate on them whether a little or a lot. Every post is important since you never know what may spark a sudden flurry of activity or may be the diamond in a thread of coal. Thank you all and hope to see you all at it some more in 2017. - Anonymous

That's nice. Very heartwarming.


And since I'm part of "everyone" that means I'm also the Best Poster of the Year! 10 years in a row, baby! Unprecedented domination. Khushrenada, you devious devil, you've done it again!

You realize you have to share that title with every single spambot that has posted in the past year right?

Donkenada KongJanuary 10, 2017

Hey, I wanted to keep the title from becoming diluted but Shaymin was the one who invoked the "staff can't win" rule leading to this compromise. Plus, it's only the spambot posts that don't get deleted which would count and Lace Wigs is a Forum Classic Post so it's not like spambots are totally doing it wrong. I'd feel more sorry about the people whose posts are worse than the spambot posts. Not me, though, I'm too busy celebrating as Best Poster since it "still counts."

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