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Nintendo World Report's 2019 Game Awards

Best Port

by Xander Morningstar, John Rairdin, and Neal Ronaghan - January 5, 2020, 8:00 am PST

Not new titles, but still great games that came to Nintendo platforms that deserve praise.

Winner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition

The work of CD Projekt Red and Saber Interactive cannot be overstated when it comes to this astounding port of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. While we often look at Switch ports in terms of what was cut, what serves Witcher 3 better is a look at what was preserved. Characters are richly detailed. The rising and setting sun iluminates semi translucent foliage while casting goodrays accross lush environments. Water supports real time screen space reflections and realistically reacts to the player. Ambient occlusion and motion blur fill out every scene.

This is a game that defies the perceived limitations of its platform and redefines the possibilities of a mobile game. On top of all of this the entire game, including both large scale DLC packs, is on the cartridge. No extra install, just a packed 32gb card that stands in stark contrast to other 3rd party ports from Bethesda and Rockstar. This is not only a great port, it sets the bar for how ports should be released on a platform built for quick portability rather than lengthy downloads and massive installs.

~ John Rairdin

Runner Up: Cuphead

Cuphead runs beautifully and doesn't have a single downgrade in comparison to its original releases. It was often talked about as being a game that was "made for the Switch", and once on the system, it shows. Sharing the Joy-Cons while playing this brutally hard and crazy-fun 2D shooter is a highlight of my Switch experience for the whole console's generation.

~ Xander Morningstar

Runner Up: Castlevania Anniversary Collection

While all three of the Konami retro collections are solid ports, the Castlevania one stands out because of the variety and strength of its included games. Handled by renowned porters M2, this Castlevania Collection includes most of the first decade of Castlevania, all well emulated with helpful save state tools. Everything's smooth and it's easy to bounce between the different games.

~ Neal Ronaghan



OedoJanuary 05, 2020

I started playing through Genealogy of the Holy War last year (after finally catching up with most of the Fire Emblem games released in North America; the only ones I haven't finished now are Shadow Dragon and two routes of Three Houses, the latter of which I'm planning to start soon). The game really is super intriguing from a story and character standpoint, but yeah, it needs a full on remake from a gameplay perspective. There are a lot of interesting ideas with the large maps and mission structure, and how the romance and timeskip is implemented, but the game is hard to play in a lot of respects. I would love to see it remade, and with Koei Tecmo apparently taking a larger role on Three Houses than we initially thought, it makes a certain amount of sense that a remake is something other people at Intelligent Systems would have been working in the meanwhile.

I wouldn't hold my breathe for Thracia 776 as DLC though. I know people have speculated on that, or even both games being remade into a single package, but I don't think either scenario is feasible when you consider Intelligent Systems turned Gaiden into such a fleshed out, robust game with Shadows of Valentia due to the care and attention they approached the remake with. I think Thracia 776 would have to be its own remake.

Overall, it was interesting to read through this feature as always!

NemoJanuary 06, 2020

Dragon Quest XI is #1 in my heart.

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