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Nintendo World Report Awards: 2010

Games of the Year

by Andy Goergen, Pedro Hernandez, Jonathan Metts, and Zachary Miller - December 31, 2010, 2:25 pm EST

Winning Game of the Year means a game outshone all the other great games on this list. If you're keeping count, it probably isn't a surprise. Both our runner up and winner on the DS offered well over 100 hours of gameplay, and our runner up and winner on Wii are charming new entries in classic franchises.


Winner: Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky
Nintendo DS has been home to a host of top-notch RPGs over the years, but none were so highly anticipated as this main-line sequel in the Dragon Quest series. The game’s very existence on a handheld platform says a lot about the Japanese game industry, spiraling production costs on HD consoles, and the charming simplicity of the franchise itself. Dragon Quest IX had no chance of reproducing the phenomenal success of its Japanese release in North America (especially with the reduced efficacy of its local wireless features in more geographically dispersed markets), but core gamers were nonetheless taken with the lengthy adventure. The desperately addictive alchemy system, randomly-generated “grottos”, and tons of post-game content make this RPG capable of sustaining well over 100 hours of gameplay. Not bad for a tiny little DS card.

Fashion sense be damned, this is the best DS title of 2010

Runner Up: Picross 3D
At its core, Picross 3D is very simple: you tackle a cube-shaped puzzle and slowly chip away at it until a recognizable figure takes color and leaps out at you. What Nintendo has done with Picross 3D, however, is nothing short of amazing.  Showing an addictive quality rivaling that of the original Tetris, Picross 3D seamlessly blends pick-up-and-play gameplay with incredible depth. Players will casually wonder where their evening went after sitting down with the game after dinner. In a year filled to the brim with outstanding DS games, Picross 3D ranks with the very best of them.

It's a monkey! I hope he doesn't use those cymbals


Winner: Super Mario Galaxy 2
2007's Super Mario Galaxy was a marvel of design and imagination, taking Mario's world to the reaches of outer space in a game that was beautiful, challenging and even emotionally moving. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the rare sequel that lives up to the legacy of its predecessor, while re-interpreting many of its ideas in a successful manner. With an already great pedigree, Super Mario Galaxy 2's challenge, ingenious design, and rock-solid gameplay makes it our Wii game of the year.

Go ahead, celebrate guys

Runner Up: Kirby's Epic Yarn
Endlessly surprising and creative, developer Good Feel has once again crafted a finely-honed piece of 2D platforming perfection with Kirby's Epic Yarn. Of course, it’s not just about the great graphical style; Kirby's got the gameplay chops to back it up as he manipulates the environment with a wealth of zippers and tags, and transforms into a stunning variety of animals and vehicles. The boss battles are especially interesting, in that you must divide your time between defeating the monster, gaining gems, and not taking hits to avoid losing your stash. After the main quest is complete, Kirby can go back to compete in a trove of mini-games and challenges that will keep any completionist working long into the night.

Kirby! Yay!



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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