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Negative World GOTY 2015 Awards - Nintendo 3DS
January 30, 2016, 00:51
Before we get started, I want to clarify to anyone who has stumbled upon our GOTY awards that we are a Nintendo-focused site, and our awards reflect that. This doesn’t mean that we don’t love and play games on other platforms, but for the sake of our GOTY awards, we stick to games that appear on Nintendo platforms only.

This year we have divided our awards into two categories, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U, each of which have 4 awards; eShop Most Wanted, eShop GOTY, Most Wanted, and GOTY. For the sake of these awards we define eShop as anything that appears in North America as a digital download only (IE cannot be bought at a store as a retail product), while our regular awards apply to anything that can be bought in North America as a retail product.

It wasn’t the biggest year for the 3DS, but a pair of Zelda games, some key RPGs and a few solid eShop titles kept players busy throughout the year.

3DS eShop Most Wanted

While the 3DS is certainly slowing down, the eShop still has some solid titles on the way, albeit a full 5/6 of our most wanted nominations came from just 2 studios.

And the winner is…

BOXBOY! One More Box (68 points)

Mighty No. 9 (50 points)
Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 (46 points)

Not quite:
Treasurenauts (11 points)
Mutant Mudds: Super Challenge (5 points)
Dementium II: Remastered (3 points)

BOXBOY! Was a surprise hit from Nintendo's Hal Laboratory in 2015, and apparently NWers want more, as the recently announced sequel is our 3DS eShop most wanted game for 2016 and beyond. Might No. 9's 2 year most wanted winning streak was ended as it slipped until second, with a sequel to another Mega Man clone right behind it! Renegade Studio's trio of upcoming games just didn't quite hit the mark, but at least they're still supporting the 3DS!

3DS eShop GOTY

It might not have been the busiest year for the 3DS eShop, but we definitely got some gems, many of which were surprise announcements that we didn't know about last year.

And the winner is…

SteamWorld Heist (51 points)

BOXBOY! (41 points)
Gunman Clive 2 (25 points) (tie!)
Nintendo Badge Arcade (25 points) (tie!)

Not quite:
Stretchmo (24 points)
Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (18 points)

Image & Form's SteamWorld Dig was a big game at Negative World, which only missed its chance at an award in 2013 because a new Phoenix Wright game released on the eShop the same year. Heist may be a brand new concept, but we loved it just the same, and it edged out newcomer BOXBOY! for our 3DS eShop GOTY. The Gunman Clive sequel and the not really even a game Nintendo Badge Arcade tie for third, while Stretchmo sits just a point behind and Mario vs Donkey Kong not far behind that. Close race for third place!

3DS Most Wanted

Whether the NX handheld hits in 2016 as rumored or not, there are still plenty of 3DS games to play on the way, including many RPGs and point & click adventures.

And the winner is…

Fire Emblem Fates (75 points)

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (69 points)
Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma (40 points)

Not quite:
Ace Attorney 6 (26 points)
Bravely Second: End Layer (25 points)
Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time (19 points)

It's tough to beat a new Fire Emblem, especially one that looks as stunning as Fates, though the already out and playable as of this posting Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam sure came close! The third Zero Escape game took the number 3 spot, but Ace Attorney 6, Bravely Second and Dragon Quest XI all put up solid numbers as well.


A pair of Zelda games, a bunch of RPGs and more were in the mix for our best 3DS game of 2016.

And the winner is…

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (58 points)

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D (33 points)
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (23 points)

Not quite:
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D (22 points)
Code Name S.T.E.A.M. (21 points)
The Legend of Legacy (2 points)

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that the new multiplayer Zelda game Tri Force Heroes takes our 3DS GOTY award, though the remake of a Zero personal favorite Majora's Mask put up an ok fight. Monster Hunter 4, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D and Code Name S.T.E.A.M. all finished within mere points of each other, while The Legend of Legacy barely got any votes at all.

And that just about does it for our 3DS GOTY 2015 awards. Be sure to check out our Wii U GOTY 2015 awards! And if you’re interested, you can view our GOTY results for past years here!

PS. Thanks again to the members of the Negative World for an excellent 2015! Sorry I wasn't around as much as in the past, game dev is serious business! 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!

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01/30/16, 00:51   Edited:  01/30/16, 00:53
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New faces like BOXBOY! and Code Name S.T.E.A.M. combined with stellar sequels like Tri-Force Heroes and Stretchmo made 2015 one of my favorite years for the 3DS. The New 3DS XL also made me a fan of old favorites all over again.

2016 is looking great so far. Fans of RPGs are going to have their hands full this year!

Posted by 
 on: 01/30/16, 02:49
3DS didn't have any mega-hits for me this year, but the little surprises made it worthwhile. Going for Free Plays in Nintendo Badge Arcade is a surprisingly fun little ritual each day. Tri Force Heroes didn't quite live up to my lofty expectations, but it was a fun romp when I could get friends together to play. And man, BOXBOY! That came out of nowhere to snag my 3DS GOTY.

Posted by 
 on: 01/30/16, 04:54

Nintendo Badge Arcade was a nice freebie. Getting to personalize my 3DS menu with those badges was another fun thing about 2015 for the 3DS.

Looking back at the results of Negative World's 2013 GOTY Awards for the 3DS reminded me how spectacular that year was for the system. 2015 made a valiant effort, but I think 2013 is still the year to beat.

Posted by 
 on: 01/30/16, 10:35
Yeah, 2013 was pretty much all-around stellar for 3DS. It's doubtful that will ever be topped.

2015 was still pretty great, though. Monster Hunter 4 was a surprise hit for me, and it was great to finally get Majora's Mask 3D. Code Name S.T.E.A.M. is a great new IP, as well as Yo-Kai Watch. Getting "spiritual successors" to Luminous Arc and Final Fantasy Legend with Stella Glow and The Legend of Legacy respectively was really great. Nintendo rounded things out with new entries in the Animal Crossing and The Legend of Zelda franchises.

Even the "smaller" stuff 2015 gave us was pretty great...Pokémon Shuffle, Nintendo Badge Arcade...and of course Shovel Knight's "Plague of Shadows" DLC.

Not too shabby.

Posted by 
 on: 01/30/16, 17:31
Zelda is good and all, but... I don't think enough people played Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. That or those who did were too busy still playing to vote.

Posted by 
 on: 01/30/16, 20:30
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is really good, isn't it? Maybe it should have gotten more attention during the voting process? Though make no mistake; Tri Force Heroes is....just...so good. So good. There's a level of absurdity and playfulness (not to mention not nearly as intimidating) that Monster Hunter can't touch.

Plus it's easier to play Zelda with others, thanks to single-card download play. That goes a LONG way for multiplayer opportunities!

Posted by 
 on: 01/30/16, 23:52
I don't think I touched my 3DS at all in 2015. BOXBOY! looks great (as does the second installment to come), and hope to give it a chance soon. I'm also quite interested in about Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 (thought the first was quite good) and Treasurnauts. Here's hoping I can get back into 3DS gaming in 2016.

Posted by 
 on: 02/01/16, 01:42

Gave up on gaming last year, eh? Hey, it happens to the best of us sometimes. Once in a while, it's good to take a step back and pursue other interests for a while, then come back with a renewed freshness afterwards.

Maybe you can join us for some Final Fantasy Explorers soon?

Posted by 
 on: 02/01/16, 15:10
You've got kids with 3dses right? I'm sure you squeezed a heck of a lot of enjoyment out of the game.

Posted by 
 on: 02/02/16, 00:36

Yup! Local multiplayer was a breeze to set up, thanks to the "built-in" availability of nearby players in my life, haha. Played a bit with local buddies as well. I'm like, super-rich with those Friendly Tokens!

Posted by 
 on: 02/02/16, 18:22
I'm a little surprised to see that Tri Force Heroes won it all, it didn't seem like the game had all that much fanfare. It's my own overall GOTY.

There were a few things I would have voted for which aren't on the lists, and I still gotta play some things that are on the lists! 2015 was a good year for Nintendo systems.

@anon_mastermind I played MH4U and didn't vote for it, it's just not that good. I played it only because I had friends that did, otherwise I wouldn't bother.

Posted by 
 on: 02/02/16, 19:41
@Mop it up Yeah but what else was there really? A few ports. A few more niche games. Monster Hunter games always do *pretty* well here, but never really have enough mainstream appeal to win.

Posted by 
 on: 02/02/16, 19:55
@Zero Yeah, the stuff I mean is niche games like Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, Puzzle 'n Dragons, etc. I'd also rather vote for known entities in Most Wanted like Dragon Quest VII rather than a complete mystery like Dragon Quest XI. I'm not saying I expected those games to be on the ballot, simply saying it doesn't represent me, and also that there are more good games than what we see here.

Posted by 
 on: 02/02/16, 20:01   Edited:  02/02/16, 20:03

On Negative World, I expect "niche" games to hold weight. We're a "niche" demographic, after all.

That said, the Zelda franchise hold its own in any category, so no surprise there.

Posted by 
 on: 02/04/16, 03:56
@GameDadGrant Are we though? I mean, if we had like 2 or 3 people decide on the GOTY games perhaps, but once you open it up to general voting it's almost always going to be the more mainstream stuff that performs the best, because that is what the most people have played. Our mainstream might be slightly different than the mainstream mainstream, but it's still a given that, for instance, a lot more people here will have played a game with "Zelda" in its title than something like Monster Hunter.

I do think it is a bit of a shame because it means a lot of great titles just simply will never have a chance at winning GOTY here. But I'd have to completely change how we vote to change that.

Posted by 
 on: 02/04/16, 04:33   Edited:  02/04/16, 04:35
Zero said:
@GameDadGrant Are we though?

Yeah, we are. The fact that our GOTY polls are strictly Nintendo platforms proves that.

*shrugs* Not a big deal, but it is what it is. I'm cool with it, at least.

Posted by 
 on: 02/04/16, 07:03
A good list! I didn't vote, because I haven't yet played all of the front-runners. Also, I forgot to vote.

Looking forward to digging into Boxboy and Steamworld Heist, though. Dig was great.

@Mop it up
Out of curiosity, what didn't you like about MH4U? Did you think it was worse than the previous games, or are you just over the series?

Posted by 
 on: 02/06/16, 05:12
I'm not so sure there is a way to make GOTY awards, even on smaller sites, be more than just mostly a popularity contest. Unless you have only one person do them, or only allow people to vote who have played everything on the ballot.

That said, I still think some of the results here differ from the "big" sites. For example, I'm pretty sure Tri Force Heroes did not win any GOTY awards anywhere else. I haven't actually looked, but the game did not review well, so it's hard to imagine it would win awards after that.

@Anand Both. What I said about MH4U holds true for the series for me: it's just not that good, but my friends are into it so they got me into it. Not that I think it's bad or anything, I wouldn't play a bad game even if my friends did. I just don't think they're great games, and the enjoyment I get is mostly sourced from the people I play with.

Posted by 
 on: 02/06/16, 21:05
@Mop it up
Then I admire your dedication!

It's true that even shitty games are fun in multiplayer, though. (see: innumerable arcade brawlers)

Posted by 
 on: 02/06/16, 21:09
@Anand I said they are not bad games!

Though I guess I have had some fun playing some crappy co-op games on the NES and SNES. But, that was just for a couple hours at most, not nearly as much time as goes into a Monster Hunter game.

Posted by 
 on: 02/06/16, 21:17
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