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NWR's 2017 End of the Year Awards

Top News Stories

by John Rairdin, Neal Ronaghan, and Donald Theriault - February 1, 2018, 12:20 pm PST

In a year full of crazy news, it was hard to pick which stories floored us the most.

3. Star Fox 2

Earthbound 64, Mega Man Legends 3, StarCraft Ghost, Silent Hills, Fable Legends, Scalebound, and of course Star Fox 2.

Let it never be forgotten that in September of 2017, the ever-growing list of cancelled games got one game shorter. While many of us had begged for it for years, a proper release of Star Fox 2 seemed about as likely as any of those other titles mentioned above suddenly arriving on store shelves. Yes, beta builds had leaked online years ago, but they never truly represented the finished product. Perhaps there was a need to make the SNES Classic that much more appealing, perhaps it was the endless devotion of fans desperate for the game for two decades, or maybe the licensing on the Super FX chip just finally expired.


2. Metroid's Back

With nervous anticipation, every E3 since 2009 has been filled with the hope of a new Metroid game. While we are firmly a pro-Federation Force website, that game still doesn’t take the place of the side-scrolling brilliance of a Super Metroid or the mysterious first-person adventuring of a Metroid Prime. At E3 2017, we got a double dose of Samus Aran with the reveal of Metroid: Samus Returns, which then came out in September on 3DS, and the announcement that Metroid Prime 4 is a thing on Switch. While odds are we will still be talking about the potential of Metroid Prime 4 this time next year, the fact that we can all have excited conversations about the real future of this beloved series is awesome. That’s what made the return of Metroid in 2017 such a big, important news story. It also helped that there is a squishy Amiibo of a Metroid.


1. Switch Sales Blow the Door Off

Following the January 13 unveiling of the Switch, impressions were positive but there was one question lingering: Would people be willing to make the investment? It wasn't the most expensive Nintendo system, but the last one that was priced that high... well, to call the Wii U a bomb would be insulting to weapons. Nintendo's expectations for the Switch were aggressive at launch: Two million units in four weeks. Could they make it?

In fact, they had room to spare. Even with supply shortages caused by sharing components with a former music player manufacturer, 2.4 million Switches were sold in the first four weeks. And it kept escalating from there, to the point that the question isn't “Will Switch pass the Wii U,” it's a matter of what milestone we'll be at when it happens. Calendar 2017 seems unlikely, but March 3 of next year or the end of the fiscal year are equally possible.

And the Switch has created a gold rush for third parties who aren't focused on loot boxes and #MonetizeTeens. Indie developers all over the place have reported higher sales on Switch than even Steam. Blossom Tales on Switch passed its lifetime Steam sales in the first day. It's hard to imagine sales continuing at this pace long enough for the Switch to pass the DS, but we can have the conversation. And because Switch sales led to everything else, that's why they are the top Nintendo news story of the year.

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Talkback

ShyGuyFebruary 01, 2018

That was a great roundup

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