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Nintendo World Report Awards: 2010

Best of Genres: Wii Part 1

by Grant Buell, Karl Castaneda, Pedro Hernandez, James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Karlie Yeung - December 31, 2010, 2:24 pm EST

The offerings for Wii this year were very different than those for the DS, so the genres we award will not match exactly. Also, as with the DS, some genres may only have one winner.


Winner: Metroid: Other M
The Metroid series took a sharp left turn from the rich, expansive three-dimensional worlds of the Metroid Prime series to a more classic, almost retro 2D/3D hybrid in Metroid: Other M, additionally throwing a heavy dose of story and voice acting into the mix. Though reactions to the new narrative style were lukewarm at best, the title succeeded at delivering non-stop action and classic upgrades that hearkened back to the Super Metroid days. Samus’ adventure through the Bottle Ship delivered an exciting variety of enemies, cinematic combat moves, and stylish environments. The title is well worth a play through, even if it means sitting through some questionable storytelling (although several of the more action-oriented cinematics are impressive.)

Samus is so flashy

Runner Up: No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
While the first No More Heroes showed a lot of promise, it was slowed down by exhaustively repetitive mini-games, an empty overworld and the need to "purchase" boss battles. In its sequel, Desperate Struggle, Grasshopper Manufacture addressed these concerns with inventive and surprisingly addictive NES-style "jobs”, axing the latter two issues altogether. Though the combat took a bit of a hit (one could argue that the first game put more emphasis on stance and timing during battles), Classic Controller support and the aforementioned improvements made Desperate Struggle a huge step up from its predecessor and cemented this series as one of the best new intellectual properties of this generation.

Brawl on the court


Winner: Rock Band 3
Rock Band 3 brings along one of the best track lists on a disc, not forgetting the enormous selection of downloadable and exportable tracks. The multiplayer experience has more options than ever for instrument selection, and with all you have to learn in Pro mode, single-player is a brand new challenge. The interface has been completely overhauled since the previous game, and gameplay modes are plentiful, with everything from instrument trainers to online band multiplayer. The addition of keyboards and real guitar take the gameplay to a new level. This is as close as you can get to making real music in a game, and even outside of the game as you transfer your skills to real instruments.

Wooah-oh-oh, woah-oh


Winner: Super Mario Galaxy 2
For the sheer joy of running and jumping in crazy, beautiful worlds, nothing surpassed this sequel in 2010. Galaxy 2 brings back the unlimited buffet of its predecessor, allowing players to simply move on to other challenges when a particular level proves too difficult. With very little story and even less overhead connecting worlds to each other, Galaxy 2 is free to offer a startling variety of environments and challenges. This single title contains more gameplay mechanics than some development studios produce across their entire catalogue, yet the Super Mario series ultimately comes down to the same classic elements: running and jumping.  However, Nintendo still holds the secret formula to make these actions seem not only fun but frequently magical.

Orange Yoshi leads quickly to misfortune

Runner Up: Donkey Kong Country Returns
Despite facing strong competition from his fellow mascot friends Mario and Kirby, Donkey Kong impressed with Donkey Kong Country Returns. Visually pleasing and challenging, Nintendo's great ape couldn't have asked for a better comeback, as Retro Studios has crafted a game that pays homage to Rare's original while still carving out its own niche.

Either that whale is far away or it is tiny


Winner: Monster Hunter Tri
Many wondered how Capcom's juggernaut Monster Hunter franchise would translate to a console, and they finally got their answer in 2010. Monster Hunter Tri pulled no punches in terms of utilizing the Wii hardware to the fullest, marrying a high-quality visual presentation with a robust multiplayer mode that allowed players to hunt with friends whether online or off. All of the trappings of recent Monster Hunter titles are included, allowing groups of up to four players to romp through wilderness areas filled with gigantic monsters, while fashioning outrageous gear and crafting power-ups to help themselves out.  Downloadable quests extend the experience, and Classic Controller support ensures that fans of the PSP titles won't be put off by having to re-learn a motion-based control scheme. Most importantly, its utilization of Nintendo's Wii Speak peripheral for online voice chat rectifies a glaring omission from the original Japanese release. While not the most story-focused RPG on the market, Capcom went the extra mile to make Monster Hunter Tri the best of the year on Nintendo's console.

That's a small monster for this game

Runner Up: Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love
The long-running Japanese series finally found its way to western audiences, and its unconventional nature makes it clear why it took so long.  Rather than killing various baddies for experience, you become more effective in its turn-based combat by becoming closer with your female squad members.  While it seems silly that taking a young lady around a 1920s New York City should affect your ability to pilot a steam-punk mech against giant demons, the charm of the title and its characters make it work anyway.

Intense mech battling



Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)December 31, 2010

Three cheers for the timely release of these awards!

Nah, seriously, kudos to all the staffers who wrote their pieces. The picks were, in many ways, as expected, but of course no less deserving in spite of that. In fact, I'd have been very surprised if the platformers and the time thieves hadn't swept the board.
Can't help but feel sorry for Professor Layton 3, which got three runner-up spots, but didn't take the gold. I've yet to sink my teeth into that one, though I am psyched to do so.
And well done for getting Fluidity in there. A lot of other sites passed over that due its late calendar release, which is a real shame. It really is such a great adventure/puzzle game.

The DS and Wii GOTY matched mine perfectly, and I had a hard time deciding between the two of them for GOTY. Great awards overall.

pololmejorDecember 31, 2010

Picross 3D REALLY!? I like it but I preffer Professor Layton and the Unwound Future like a billion times... sheesh.

I played Picross 3D for about a minute at PAX East, and I've never touched a Layton game .  I might just pick it up if I see it super-cheap.

Hey, those awards were awesome!

Retro DeckadesDecember 31, 2010

The Unwound Future was great, but I was done with it long before I was done with Picross 3D. As a matter of fact, despite having solved all the puzzles on the card, I'm still not done with it.

Kytim89December 31, 2010

No More Heroes 2 is my Wii game of year.

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

I played Picross 3D for about a minute at PAX East, and I've never touched a Layton game .  I might just pick it up if I see it super-cheap.

Of course you don't.

Did you get electrocuted by that Picross 3D like Lauren and I did?

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterJanuary 01, 2011

Hooray! Great work on this, you guys!

KDR_11kJanuary 01, 2011

Dunno, some of the awards look like default victories (e.g. who was competing against Other M and No More Heroes?).

vuduJanuary 01, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

I played Picross 3D for about a minute at PAX East, and I've never touched a Layton game .  I might just pick it up if I see it super-cheap.

Is $9.99 for Picross 3D and $17.99 for the new Professor Layton cheap enough?

For Picross, yes.  Thanks to a $20 Best Buy gift certificate I got for Christmas, I picked it up for $10.61 after tax and I still have some money left over on the card.

I could pick up Layton with that, but I honestly don't think I'd play it.  I've never been particularly drawn to the series, and all of my DS time is better spent on DQ IX at the moment.

Scatt-ManJanuary 01, 2011

I don't know why I'm in the minority whenever I express my utter disappointment with Goldeneye. Maybe Game Mode on my TV reduces image quality considerably, thus the visuals don't wow me as they do in the screenshots 'n stuff, but that aspect wasn't even the biggest let down for me.

THE CONTROLS, MAN! They felt incredibly chunky...lacking a certain smoothness. After giving up on using the 'mote 'n 'chuck option, I was incredibly surprised that the same problems still persisted when using the Gamecube controller. Red Steel 2, The Conduit and Metroid Prime 3 never gave me this problem. *Has a cry about it* The defaultly set automatically adjusting height option for when going up stairs and the auto target ADS (Aim down sight) setting were all incredibly inconsistent and a massive annoyance.


Quote from: KDR_11k

Dunno, some of the awards look like default victories (e.g. who was competing against Other M and No More Heroes?).

We're not under any obligation to give out an award.  If we didn't feel there was a worthy candidate we passed on a category.  If there was a worthy candidate, regardless of the presence of competition, we awarded it.

The awards that only have one winner are situations where we had a game that we loved but simply could not find another game that was worthy of similar praise.  In our mind it was better that we honor a great game even if it means having a category to itself.

ShyGuyJanuary 01, 2011

I wish Red Steel 2 would have gotten more respect.

vuduJanuary 01, 2011

I wish Red Steel 2 would have been worth more respect.

ShyGuyJanuary 02, 2011

I wish vudu had better taste in games. I also wish we would have gotten Conduit 2 or The Grinder this year.

GoldenPhoenixJanuary 02, 2011

Great list, I can't really comment on Kirby as runner up for GOTY since I haven't played it nor DKCR yet, but really not much disagreement with the picks there. Glad to see Endless Ocean 2 make it as well for a category.

xcwarriorJanuary 02, 2011

Good to see a number of titles get some love.

Monster Hunter 3 is my game of the year, with Galaxy 2 second.

DS by default I have to go Pokemon, but I'm sure I would have loved DQ IX had I picked it up already.

Glad to see NMH2 was mentioned, though a bit surprised DKCR didn't get a bit more love.

DKCR is a game we love certainly, but it is a very crowded field this year.  The reason it beat out Kirby for platformer but not for GotY runner-up is that as a platformer it is a better example of the genre.  Kirby's intangibles put it over for overall game.

TurdFurgyJanuary 03, 2011

Very well done! All of these games are well deserving. And I also wish Red Steel 2 would have gotten more respect.

LittleIrvesJanuary 05, 2011

Picross 3D hasn't been as much of a time-sink for me as I expected it, but there's no denying its effectiveness and charm.  I finally just acquired the "Normal" difficultly, and I feel like I've already gotten two games' worth of play out of it.  My girlfriend is sick of me poking away at the DS screen for 15 minutes before saying, "A-ha!  It's a Cuckoo Clock!" or whatever.
And I'm loving DKCR, but feel the pull towards Kirby more and more...  his (its?) soft edges might just be the ticket after the pounding I've taken from Kong.
As this is veering closer and closer to innuendo a bit too intimate for my tastes, I'll bid y'all adieu. Good work, NWRers.

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