Aw yeah, it is that time of the year yet again. The time when Zero takes significantly longer than he should to put together the results of our GOTY voting! I feel like I should apologize in advance for the fact that this write-up is almost definitely going to be a bit shorter than previous years. But honestly, who actually reads the text for these things anyway? You're here to see the best of the best, to see the wheat separated from the chaff, to have Negative World declare winners and losers with a voice that will beat down the rest of the Internet with its inarguable levels of truth. Indeed.
2011 was an interesting year for Nintendo, if not exactly the best we have seen. The Wii was basically a barren wasteland up until the last few months of the year, when it busted out with a few big games, including one in a certain much-loved franchise that may or may not include the letter Z. The DS, on the other hand, refused to go out quietly, and we saw many great games release in what will probably be its last significant year. And of course there was the launch of the 3DS, which may have started off slow, but has definitely been picking up steam in recent months, due in no small part to two big titles starring a certain duo of Italian plumbers.
We did the best we could in coming up with the categories, but as this has been a year of transition it wasn't as straight-forward as previous years. For instance, we didn't bother including a most wanted WiiWare or a most wanted DS category, because there just didn't seem to be enough notable games coming to those platforms to vote on. And we combined DS and 3DS downloadables into one category dubbed eShop because well... actually I forget why. It makes sense though.
Here is your quick rundown of how our awards work. Negative World members can nominate games for each category, and we pick the top 6 (with a few exceptions) and put them up for voting. For each category members can make up to 3 choices, with the first choice being worth 5 points, the second choice being worth 3 points, and the third choice being worth 1 point. Everything is tallied up and thus the winners are chosen.
Enough talk, let's rock!
eShop Most Wanted
Although there will probably be many eShop titles released in 2012 that we simply don't know about yet, there are details out on quite a few nice looking games in the works. If this is just the tip of the iceberg, 2012 on the eShop should be wonderful indeed.
Not quite: Dillon's Rolling Western (39 points) (tie!) Zen Pinball (39 points) (tie!) Colors! 3D (17 points)
What did we learn here? That Negative Worlders can never, ever get enough Picross, and we're eagerly awaiting the release of Picross e. Mutant Mudds and NightSky had a pretty tight battle for second place, but Mutant Mudds pulled ahead by a single point with its old school platformer vibe.
Dillon's Rolling Western and the just released so not completely applicable as a most wanted title anymore Zen Pinball tie for fourth, while Colors! 3D falls in last, far behind the pack.
3DS Most Wanted
The 3DS has had a bit of a rocky road so far, but the future is looking brighter than ever. There are an awful lot of awesome looking games slated for a 2012 release, so it was difficult to choose just six. We did the best that we could.
And the winner is…
Paper Mario 3DS (98 points)
Runner-ups: Luigi's Mansion 2 (74 points) Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney (71 points)
Paper Mario 3DS takes our award with its sleek style and the promise of excellent 3D. Luigi's Mansion 2 and Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, two very different games, fill out the winner's circle, making for a pretty well rounded top three.
It was a tight pack, with Kid Icarus: Uprising and Resident Evil: Revelations falling just short of the top three. Even Animal Crossing: 3DS, sitting in sixth out of six places, scored a pretty significant amount of votes. All this says to me is that 2012 is going to be an epic year for the 3DS!
Wii Most Wanted
It is an unfortunate fact that some of the Nintendo published games on our Wii Most Wanted list have not yet been announced for the North American market. However, if the recent announcement of Xenoblade is any indicator, that may change in the near future. What follows is our completely optimistic list of our most wanted Wii games in 2012.
And the winner is…
Xenoblade Chronicles (171 points)
Runner-ups: The Last Story (90 points) Rhythm Heaven Fever (63 points)
Not quite: Dragon Quest X (49 points) Disney Epic Mickey 2 (25 points) Pandora's Tower (19 points)
Europe, Japan, and many importers here in North America have already played it, and those who haven't apparently want to pretty badly. Xenoblade Chronicles blows away the competition to easily nab our most wanted Wii game of 2012 award. The Last Story takes a respectable second place, showing a pretty strong desire for RPGs on the Wii, while Rhythm Heaven Fever falls into third.
Dragon Quest X may have performed better if it didn't debut on our most wanted list way back in 2008. It's getting tough to believe that this game will ever make it to the Wii. Disney Epic Mickey 2 is riding a bit more on promise than anything else at the moment, and Pandora's Tower seems to be the Operation Rainfall game that Negative World cares about the least.
Virtual Console GOTY
Aw yeah, for the first time ever Negative World is voting on the best virtual console games of the year. Whether these are our favorite games from past platforms, or our favorite games to play on the recent platforms that they were released on... who can tell? Whatever the case, they're games well worth checking out.
And the winner is…
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (127 points)
Runner-ups: Chrono Trigger (116 points) Donkey Kong ('94) (53 points)
Not quite: Final Fantasy III (aka VI) (49 points) Mega Man X (41 points) Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (33 points)
You really just can't stop Zelda, can you? Although Chrono Trigger put up a pretty fair battle, and for my dollar I'd say both have passed the test of time pretty darn well. Donkey Kong ('94) takes third, and if you are like me and missed out on this game the first time around, I highly suggest checking it out.
Final Fantasy III is barely edged out of the top three, while the personal Zero favorite (where do you think I got my username from?) Mega Man X falls a bit further back, and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins can't quite hang with the rest.
Being a relatively new thing, we took a few liberties with our eShop category GOTY category. It's ok, we can do that. The universe won't implode or anything.
And the winner is…
Pushmo (151 points)
Runner-ups: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition (99 points) VVVVVV (56 points)
Not quite: Mighty Switch Force (30 points) Face Raiders (23 points) Go! Go! Kokopolo (0 points)
Intelligent Systems' spectacular puzzle game takes our top spot, due not only to its great gameplay but its excellent level sharing capabilities as well. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition is a fun freebie (has anyone gotten the chance to play this multiplayer yet?!), and VVVVVV shows that hardcore platformers still have a place in the modern industry.
Mighty Switch Force placed a bit lower than I expected, perhaps in part because it is a much shorter game than its predecessors, while Face Raiders picks up a fair amount of points. And Go! Go! Kokopolo sets a Negative World record, being the first nomination in our 4 year history of GOTY awards to garner not even a single point. Oops.
2011 was not the best year for WiiWare by any means, but there were definitely a few gems out there if you kept your eyes open. And it was the year that finally saw the end (for now) of a long-running WiiWare favorite series.
And the winner is…
BIT.TRIP FLUX (79 points)
Runner-ups: Motoheroz (59 points) FAST Racing League (28 points)
No surprise here! A BIT.TRIP game takes the top WiiWare spot, as has been the case since the inception of the BIT.TRIP series back in 2009. Negative World loves its BIT.TRIP games. A pair of racing games, Motoheroz and FAST Racing League, fill out the top three.
Liight, escapeVektor: Chapter 1, and Kyotokei may not have put up the big points, but they're still worth checking out nonetheless. I think. I haven't actually played Kyotokei myself.
I was pretty excited for the DS GOTY this time around, as there was not a clear front-runner and third parties had their chance to really shine. It was a pretty tight race all around and I'm personally pretty happy with our winner.
And the winner is…
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (86 points)
Runner-ups: Professor Layton and the Last Specter (67 points) Kirby Mass Attack (55 points)
Not quite: Pokémon Black / White Version (51 points) Okamiden (49 points) Radiant Historia (15 points)
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective shows that we love our Takumi even when he isn't working on Phoenix Wright games. Layton's fourth game finishes strong, as his games always do, while Kirby Mass Attack's unique take on the Kirby formula resonates with Negative Worlders.
Pokémon Black / White Version and Okamiden also finish strong, within a few points of Kirby. Radiant Historia places a bit further back than the rest, and unfortunate situation, but understandable considering how few people have played this gem.
The first year of the 3DS seemed a bit slow until the one two punch of Mario games near the end. However, there were still plenty of great games to play, and we even had to leave out a few nominations.
And the winner is…
Super Mario 3D Land (215 points)
Runner-ups: Mario Kart 7 (117 points) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (55 points)
Not quite: Pilotwings Resort (21 points) Dead or Alive Dimensions (7 points) (tie!) Super Street Fighter IV 3D (7 points) (tie!)
In yet another blowout, Super Mario 3D Land wins our 3DS GOTY award! The game takes 3D platforming and makes it palatable on a tiny handheld, which is no small feat. Mario Kart 7 also has a respectable finish, while The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D shows that great games are great games forever.
Pilotwings Resort, the top launch game, finishes in fourth, while Dead or Alive Dimensions and Super Street Fighter IV 3D end in a fighting game tie. A battle to the death as a tiebreaker, perhaps?
2011 will be a year that Wii owners remember for eternity, although many of the reasons why are not positive ones. However, it would be incorrect to state that there was nothing to play on the Wii. There were games, and quite a few of them.
And the winner is…
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (226 points)
Runner-ups: Kirby's Return to Dream Land (55 points) Rayman Origins (54 points)
Not quite: BIT.TRIP COMPLETE (24 points) (tie!) Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny (24 points) (tie!) Lost in Shadow (10 points)
Shock! Awe! Surprise! Could it have possibly ended any other way? The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword easily takes our Wii GOTY 2011 award in the biggest blowout we have seen since the inception of the awards. More interesting, perhaps, is the super close battle of the platformers for second place, where Kirby's Return to Dream Land edges out Rayman Origins by a mere single point.
BIT.TRIP COMPLETE and Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny tie for fourth, while Lost in Shadow wins my unofficial award of coolest looking game that next to no one, including myself, played.
And there you have it. 2011 may not go down as the best year ever for Nintendo fans, but it was certainly an interesting ride, and a lot of great games came out of it. 2012 should be a pretty wild year, with the 3DS fully coming into its own and the impending launch of Nintendo's next home platform, the Wii U. And heck, the Wii and DS still have some good stuff coming as well. It's not a bad time to be a Nintendo fan, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
PS. Once again I'd like to take this moment to thank all of the members of the Negative World for making this place awesome. I can't imagine wanting to talk Nintendo with any other group of people on the Internet. And if you're reading this and not a member yet, get yourself signed up, ok? You can sign up right now for free in less than a minute. Go for it!
Radiant Historia only getting 15 points is a travesty. You should deduct experience from anyone who voted otherwise. Although Ghost Trick is awesome (just playing through it now!), there's no way Radiant Historia should be at the bottom of the list!
As for everything else, it was pretty expected I think, though I thought Final Fantasy VI would score higher than it did.
Nice write up Zero. I am satisfied with all of the results. You can really see the downward turn in excitement for Kid Icarus Uprising, last year it tied for most wanted with Zelda OoT 3D, and this year, it's 4th. I think this is one of those cases of the game taking too long to be released.
Poor Go! Go! Kokopolo. It's a solid game, but I couldn't vote for it over Pushmo, Four Swords and Mighty Switch Force.
Not sure it has to do with the game taking too long, since we found out about Paper Mario 3DS the same day we found out about Kid Icarus. I just think the hype for a new KI game died down somewhat and people started focusing more on what the game actually is. Not to say it won't be a great game, it very well could be, but I don't think the concept of it sparks much excitement.
Yea, I for one was kindof interested in Kid Icarus, now I don't give a shit about the game. And also what the poster below you stated, the gameplay looks like ass. I know I will not be buying it. I didn't like the original kid icarus and never understood the mass hysteria for this grade c game on the internet and just as I have always thought, it just wasn't popular enough to having a remake done.
Now, if Nintendo would have stuck to it's roots and done like a really cool platformer that was fun to play, then yea, the game might of had a chance. Now its going to be one of those games where Nintendo scratches it's head saying how could we have been wrong?
@gamewizard65 Yeah but people here know about Radiant Historia! And about Kid Icarus Uprising, my understanding is that it was originally a new IP, and Nintendo had them attach the Kid Icarus license to it? So whether it turns out good or not, I don't think a platformer was even in consideration there.
Radiant Historia is fantastic. In JRPG land, only Chrono Trigger is better, and not by a whole lot I'd say.
Looking back at this GOTY list...it definitely wasn't a great year for Nintendo systems. 3DS' birth drought should just about be over, though, and hopefully Wii U has a healthy launch lineup to avoid a slow start.
Nice write up! Some of the winners are expected, some... not so much. BIT.TRIP winning WiiWare GOTY was a bit of a surprise. I suspect that has more to do with not many people here having actually played Moto Heroz, than overall quality of FLUX.
@GameDadGrant I dunno man, BIT.TRIP is very popular around here. RUNNER won WiiWare GOTY last year (over Cave Story, Mega Man 10, Fluidity, etc.) and BEAT won the year before (over LostWinds 2, NyxQuest, etc.)
Nice list! Congrats to Pushmo, Zelda, and Ghost Trick! I'm a little bummed that Mass Attack didn't rank higher, but otherwise I can't really disagree with much here (oh, except FF3, love that game). Cool to see Paper Mario getting the recognition it deserves! And the wonderful Link's Awakening.
Well done with the write-up and handling the GOTY voting as a whole, Zero.
I'm a tad bit surprised that Paper Mario 3DS was voted the most wanted 3DS game. I mean, it was one of my top picks (though not my very top pick, as that was Layton/Wright) but I never knew Paper Mario was so darn popular.
I also thought Resident Evil would be up a bit higher.
That's not that surprising! I LOVE Animal Crossing and there's a few others like me out there. Apparently enough to get it nominated. As for Kingdom Hearts, I know a lot less people who care about that series.