News Article

Eurogamer's Game of the Year is a Nintendo Winner

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

A purrfect result?

Later today we'll publish the results of our staff votes for Game of the Year, in a whole host of categories, with the Reader votes to be counted and shared tomorrow for the Community Awards. We're fascinated to see which games come out as winners in various categories, but while we collate votes we thought we'd share the overall Game of the Year winner from our Gamer Network colleagues over at Eurogamer.

The team at EG was naturally choosing its GOTY from all platforms, so it's particularly pleasing to see the Wii U's biggest release of the year emerge at the top. Super Mario 3D World has triumphed, with the reveal article also reserving praise for the strong lineup of games to grace the 3DS, in particular.

Below is an excerpt from the article, written by Simon Parkin.

A close friend of mine once advised: video game critics need to stop awarding marks for effort. You can see his point. So often we're swayed and inveigled by the beautiful blockbusters, even when there's not a great deal going on behind the eyes. We instinctively understand the amount of sheer effort and human years that go into making a video game look like that. Their directors can't just point a camera at something and shoot. A tremendous amount of energy and construction must first happen. And once somebody's gone to the trouble of building a cathedral, it seems a bit churlish to criticise it for being dull. Sometimes we reward effort, even if the effort was in the wrong places, or unevenly distributed.

Super Mario 3D World is a cathedral, but it is far from empty. I could see the sheer effort that has gone into its construction when I met with its makers, days after its completion. They looked positively thinned by the work and the deadline (the Wii U needed this now, if not sooner). You can see the sheer effort in the frame-rate, locked at cream-smooth 60 frames per second, and the physical size of the thing, so carefully distilled down to 1.6GB (you could fit 23 copies of svelte Super Mario 3D World into one bloated install of its PlayStation 4 rival, Knack). But most importantly, you can see the sheer effort in the playfulness and creativity on display in every one of those skittish frames: the ice-skating Goomba, the stages played out in silhouette, the multiplayer crown, the boss battle finale - a punch line to a joke set up at the very start. Every aspect is perfectly finished, displaying Nintendo EAD's craftsmanship, its staff's combined lifetimes of mastery.

We'll share our results (staff and community) today and tomorrow. Do you hope to see Mario come out on top?

[via eurogamer.net]

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User Comments (67)

Lance168

#1

Lance168 said:

Super Mario 3D World 23 TIMES BIGGER THAN KNACK! BTW what does Nintendo EAD stand for?

BigH88

#2

BigH88 said:

Well deserved. The comments section though is just ridiculous. It's Gamespot all over again. It seems that the term gamers is turning into fanboys. Really disappointing.

vamkar

#4

vamkar said:

I’m sure the other Sonyans and Xbots are rioting outside Eurogamer now….

vamkar

#5

vamkar said:

Definately one of the best games from 2013, awesome game is awesome game, definately better than some overhyped garbage like GTAV.

WiiULoveSquid

#7

WiiULoveSquid said:

Oh I'm excited to see the staff game o the year picks!

I have to say, there were so many quality games from Nintendo out this year, it's hard for me to nail any one GOTY. So really whatever is chosen by staff and community I'll likely completely agree with it all either way.

Nice piece from Eurogamer. I still have not forgotten the glowing review @Thomas delivered to us that sealed it - 3D World is a masterpiece:

"Such is Tokyo EAD’s mastery of the hardware that the system barely seems to blink in even the most attractive Courses, further underlining the possibilities when talent, first-party hardware familiarity and subject matter converge as one." 10/10

bouncer0304

#8

bouncer0304 said:

Slightly surprising but a great choice. When i get a Wii U (next Christmas at he earliest- hate saving) that will be one of the first games i'll play. The good thing is when i do get one i'll be spoilt for choice!
Nice to see though that they're choice hasn't gone to a generic shooter or the game with the most photo realistic graphics. It makes me wonder when some gamers forgot that games are meant to be about fun and not about how many kills you can get. Probably in the minority but that's just my opinion.

Portal_King

#9

Portal_King said:

@Lance168 No, the other way round.
"you could fit 23 copies of svelte Super Mario 3D World into one bloated install of its PlayStation 4 rival, Knack" 23 SM3DW = 1 Knack.

StarDust4Ever

#11

StarDust4Ever said:

Nice to see this game getting so much praise. Yes, it is a great game, but I still sometimes long for a spiritual sequel to Mario 64, with free-range exploration, or another epic like Galaxy 3, perhaps. 3D World is still a 9 in my book.

Expa0

#14

Expa0 said:

The game was okay, I've grown quite tired of Mario games in recent years so forgive me for being a bit passive towards the game.

MAB

#15

MAB said:

I remember midway through 2013 everyone was whining about too much Mario with click bait doom articles and battle of the nerds forum threads... Now that another game is getting high praise and hailed as the king we can expect more of the same old Mario 10 times a year ;)

Razzle

#16

Razzle said:

Well deserved title. It has everything a gamer needs, plus it has shipped complete with no DLC, no Day 1 patch, no microtransactions and a level of polish which is exremely rare nowadays. I have played it through in multiplayer, now playing single player and it's like a new experience. This could not have been made 20 years ago even if the technology allowed it. We are now enjoying the fruits of 3 decades of gameplay making from the teams inside Nintendo, and it's only going to get better!

Jazzer94

#17

Jazzer94 said:

Been enjoying the game since Christmas, at world 7 now and have to say it is probably my game of the year only thing I would like is more difficult stages.

mch

#19

mch said:

Like that last sentence: "Every aspect is perfectly finished, displaying Nintendo EAD's craftsmanship, its staff's combined lifetimes of mastery."

triforcepower73

#20

triforcepower73 said:

Ugh I wish I could experience the awesome multiplayer everybody is talking about. Both of my brothers are just so "mature" for this game, unfortunately, that they only played 3 courses and then put it down and said "That's cool. Let's play Black Ops 2 now." My family's gaming situation sucks. :( My mom still thinks that every single home console that is in our house is an Xbox, whether it be a Wii, Wii U, Xbox or Xbox 360.

PrincessEevee9

#21

PrincessEevee9 said:

@triforcepower73 Wow I'm sorry to hear that. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones who came from a family that starting gaming when Nintendo revolutionized the scene. Still remember days spent playing Mario Party with family.

I have yet to play 3D World(hate being poor*Sob*) and can probably guarantee that I won't be the only one playing it alone.

triforcepower73

#22

triforcepower73 said:

@PrincessEevee9 Yeah I come from a family that only knows about gaming through the original Xbox cause that's the first game console we got. And I'm the only one in my family that truly likes Nintendo. My brothers still acknowledge that Nintendo games are good cause they look at the scores they get, but they still treat it like their games get good scores only because the reviewers are nostalgic towards them.

Tsurii897

#23

Tsurii897 said:

@Jazzer94 Just wait until you get to the special worlds...I went from about 100 lives to a little over 60...on the first level. (I was sick and tired as hell, but even after retrying it it's been pretty dang difficult..imho even more difficult than Luigi U's Star Boulevard)

AVahne

#25

AVahne said:

@BigH88
Eurogamer is a gathering place for Sony and MS fanboys, so it's to be expected. Nintendo-related positivity isn't generally accepted there.

TheRealThanos

#26

TheRealThanos said:

I agree 200%. It's a wonderful game and like the article says, it is indeed a perfect example of the creativity and professionalism that is Nintendo EAD. They always show what can actually be achieved if you put your mind to it, even in such a relatively short time frame. Gotta love that Asian work ethos, it's quite inspiring. No Western company can hold a candle to them, although a few come to mind that might be able to come close to delivering quality ware like that. Truth be told, most of these Western companies that would fall in that category are either under direction of an Asian company or have close ties to them.

In a perfect 2014 I would hope to see no more whining about Super Mario 3D World just being a spin-off or bigger version of the 3DS game, which it definitely is not. Yes, it has some similarities, but it also has similarities to every other Mario game out there, as well as quite a few references to them in terms of level design and gameplay mechanics, and some levels have simply been recreated in some form or other, more like a tribute to the original level from one of the previous Mario games (think about the water race level for example). Unfortunately, there is no perfect world so there will always be people not knowing what they're talking about, and being anonymous behind a keyboard gives them the power to spout their unsubstantiated comments, whining about things like a bunch of negative Nancy's instead of looking at what's good about something. The fact that more and more media write positively about this Mario game and that it now has been awarded should tell you that this is indeed a VERY accomplished game and to most people also a good game and true successor to Mario Galaxy. Of course, there's no accounting for taste, so you could have a different opinion, but that's a long way from being a fact. It is a fact that professional media that do this for a living write about it in this manner, and that should at the very least count for something.

And I always have to laugh at people that aren't even well over 20 years of age stating that they are tired of 'yet another Mario game'. They haven't got a clue. I think we all know that Zelda & Mario are the biggest mascots of Nintendo, Zelda games just take more time to make because of the more extended gameplay and story telling mechanics involved. Mario doesn't necessarily need that so development time is way shorter. Because of the resurrection of the 2D Mario games we did have some more Mario games than we normally would have in one consoles' lifetime, but there have always been multiple Mario games on Nintendo consoles and I don't think that is ever going to change, at least not any time soon.

In closing: a well deserved reward, and a truly fun game that every Wii U owner should buy or at least experience.

Sir_JBizzle

#27

Sir_JBizzle said:

@triforcepower73 that's a bummer! I understand the reasonings for Nintendo leaving out online multiplayer, but your situation makes for a strong case of why it should be included. I'm the only real gamer in my household, so I only got to delve into 3DW multiplayer experience a handful of time over the holidays at my place.

Peach64

#29

Peach64 said:

2013 has been one of the best years in gaming for a long time. Every system had at least one amazing title, and it was another year where indie gaming's prominence grew. Ni No Kuni, Bioshock Infinite, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Rogue Legacy, The Last of Us, Papers Please, Rayman Legends, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Grand Theft Auto V, The Stanley Parable, A Link Between Worlds, Tearaway and Super Mario 3D World. I wouldn't even know where to begin narrowing that down to a top 10, and it doesn't even include Tomb Raider, Luigi's Mansion 2, Wonderful 101 or Black Flag.

Sir_JBizzle

#31

Sir_JBizzle said:

@TheRealThanos you're spot on about the Mario releases (well your whole comment is really lol) I don't get how people are complaining that there are too many Mario games, when in the almost 30 years of his existence there has only been 19 "main" games and that's across all hardware (consoles and handheld combined) take out Wario Land, Yoshi's Island and The Lost Levels that's 16 games. Mario releases slowed down because of the begining of Mario's 3D era. Those obviously took more development time to make, hence one 3D Mario every generation. So to a person who grew up with Mario, they could possibly make an argument that the period between N64/GCN/Wii we were suffering a Mario drought! Lol

Sir_JBizzle

#32

Sir_JBizzle said:

@Peach64 I still need to play Bioshock and the Last of Us! I'm a failure. Haha

EDIT: and Tomb Raider... (But I'll probably wait until they release the XB1/PS4 versions)

shigulicious

#34

shigulicious said:

If gamers along all platforms didn't know by now, allow me to inform you on something; Nintendo is the finest video game developer in the history of time.

CharlieLoneWolf

#37

CharlieLoneWolf said:

A well-deserved award for a masterfully crafted game. Super Mario 3D World and A Link Between Worlds have both gotten GotY Awards, and hopefully more sites reward them as well. Nintendo is like an ever-flowing waterfall of creativity and fun. After all these years, they're still doing brilliant things.

TheRealThanos

#38

TheRealThanos said:

@JQuest Thanks for the positive reaction. And thanks for counting the number of games. I was actually also taking into account all the sports games, Smash Bros and the party games to figure out if that could tire someone out concerning the appearance of Mario, but you probably only took the true Mario games, and if you look at those numbers, then it is indeed hardly something to write home about. There will probably have been series with WAY more appearances over the years and nobody complains about them...
I also loved Eurogamer's comparison with that steaming pile of shiny HD dung that is Sony's new entry into the gaming world. (hence the overall bad reviews with only a few having something positive to say) Could you imagine what Super Mario 3D World would have been like if they would have used all the space on the disc? Fact of the matter is that they compressed a whole Wii U game into a GameCube sized amount of disc space and STILL it looks and plays great. I guess Nintendo's just got a knack for it... ;)

Nintenjoe64

#40

Nintenjoe64 said:

I'm glad that SM3DW gets some recognition. I have loved playing it and was one of the few that defended it immediately after the first reveal because I knew EAD are the best dev team in existence. I do think it has been overhyped a little (t's definitely no Galaxy 1) but it needs to be hyped to get a fair comparison to the recent games getting insanely high scores. GTAV might be game of the year but it doesn't deserve its hype as 'best game ever'. It's great but is hardly a massive step up from GTAIV and fixes none of the problems of GTAIV. I haven't played the 360 version but if the Wii U released a game with as poor a frame rate and clunky controls as the PS3 version of GTAV then it would get absolutely slaughtered by IGN and Gamespot.

@Jazzer94 For some reason the main game in 3D World is painfully easy but there is almost an entire extra game of bonus worlds to play and most of them are the hardest Mario levels I've ever played.

AdanVC

#41

AdanVC said:

This game IMO desserve more GOTY awards than the Last of Us. Why? Because Super Mario 3D World is 100% PURE VIDEOGAME in all aspects. No cutscenes, no difficult story, no boring side-quests in order to progress, no boring characters with generic looks. The Last of Us has an awesome story, but his gameplay is no other than just a generic genre of walk, shoot, find, talk to someone, cutscene and repeat that for over 13+ hours... a GOTY should improve and innovate on it's gameplay with lot's of variety and content that can been extended through weeks and weeks of playing (That's why Zelda ALBW won GOTY award beating TLOU, GTAV, etc.) But yeah, I forgot that most gaming sites just care about realistic graphics, stories and guns.

I'm not "trolling" in any way about TLOU, this is just my humble opinion.

GearsOfWarU

#42

GearsOfWarU said:

I'm a strong Beliver in the Nintendo Wii U so I am Super Stoked to say My 2 Favorie Games This Year were only Availabe on the Wii U Platform ... Super Mario 3D World & The Wonderful 101 ... I think Both Deserve GOTY Awards for creativity , color & overall FUN (the purpose of video games) . Super Mario 3D World is By Far One of the Greatest Mario Games Ever!!!!!! I like it more than either of the Galaxy Games and am so Happy Ninteno did not just put out a galaxy 3 ... This game is so Much Better ... The Multiplayer is Awesome !!!!! I haven't had this much fun with a game since Mario 64 or Super Mario Bros 2 & 3 !!!!!! Congrats Nintendo , Wii U & Mario on a well deserved Game Of The Year Award !!!!!

dumedum

#44

dumedum said:

Definitely GOTY. Quite the perfect title. I understand where people are coming from with The Last of Us - I played it and it's impressive. But it's no GOTY. And it's no Zombi U. :) . And definitely not Tomb Raider which I also played and it's extremely mediocre. No title comes close to SM3DWorld.

Nintenjoe64

#45

Nintenjoe64 said:

My favourite non Nintendo game on a Nintendo console (of the year) might be Deus Ex. It's a shame that reviewers mainly just took the Xbox version for the review because it was as good a showcase for the gamepad as ZombiU (if not a little better). The game itself was mostly fantastic and it's one of the only games I have played (since the PC original) that actually made me think my choices through and gave me real incentive to play more than once.

sinalefa

#48

sinalefa said:

@Spoony_Tech

I am sorry, but that prize this year belongs to The Wonderful 101. Kid Icarus was bashed in most reviews/impressions because of the controls. The same reason why 101 was bashed.

So I wonder what amazing game will lose the GOTY award in 2014 because of its polarizing controls :)

midnafanboy

#49

midnafanboy said:

nice a nintendo game won game of the year i actually thought they would give it to grand theft auto 5 or any xbox one game and ps4 game that came out at there launch would get this award,good thing im wrong and next year i hope it happens again.

Sir_JBizzle

#50

Sir_JBizzle said:

@TheRealThanos No problem!

Yea, I went strictly true Super Mario entries. If people bring other Mario games into the equation, They are just being petty. I can't imagine anyone looking at Mario Olympics, Mario Strikers, Mario is Missing and Mario Party and thinking, "Damn, not another Mario game!" Those are games you either get or you don't, Otherwise we'd have to bring up titles like the original Donkey Kong, Golf, Punch Out! and Pinball.

As far as some of the bigger games with Mario in it, Super Smash Bros is more of a celebration of Nintendo's various IPs than it is a Mario game and there's only been one per generation since it's inception. The same goes for Mario Kart. One per hardware, per generation. Those two are gems that people wish there was MORE of. I think you touched perfectly on it about the 2D Mario games being developed and all the sudden we have an uptick in Super Mario games. Even still, it's only 7 Super Mario games in the span of 8 years across 4 hardware platforms (DS, 3DS, Wii and Wii U) Which pretty much mirrors the Super Mario releases back in the day. 9 games in 10 years since Super Mario was released in '85 (10 games in 11 years if you count Super Mario 64.) That would be much lower if Nintendo didn't have a handheld business that inflates the number of Super Mario games available. So which begs the questions, is it really more Mario games than usual for a generation, or did they just go back to the way they used to do things? At the end of the day, Nintendo is the only video game company with a true mascot (hell, they're the only true video game company) so Mario games (and games featuring him) is a given.

I'm glad SM3DW is getting the accolades it deserves, it's truly an excellent game, but man, you're right.That game would be over the top if they used all the space on the disc! It just shows the quality, care and pride they take in their properties. let's take it a step further and imagine how epic a 64/Sunshine/Galaxy successor will be!

"I guess Nintendo's got a knack for it"... I see what you did there. ;-)

Sorry for the long post, but I just had this Mario argument with a friend just yesterday, so it was still fresh in my mind. HAHA

EDIT: I should qualify my argument with this. I do think some of the people who complain about so much Mario is in the camp that they have dormant IPs that they would like to see outside of Mario/Zelda. I can wholeheartedly understand that, as I long for a new Earthbound, Star Fox and F-Zero myself.

TheRealThanos

#51

TheRealThanos said:

@JQuest I don't mind long posts, as long as they're positive and/or have something to say. If you've ever read any of my previous posts, you'll see that I have quite a bit of trouble keeping my own comments short... ;)
'I see what you did there.'
Yeah, it was a bit corny I guess, but better than the alternative that popped into my mind right before that: I actually had to resist the decidedly juvenile feeling to just leave the 'n' out of the games' name, although that does better reflect what I think of it, hence the 'steaming pile' remark...
Oh, and I agree with your edit: I would like to see some more F-Zero and Star Fox myself...

JaxonH

#54

JaxonH said:

Super Mario 3D World most definitely deserved Game of the Year. But mention that fact near a fanatic and they'll call you a fanboy for it.

Great comments guys.

TechnoEA

#56

TechnoEA said:

From what I've seen of this game, it deserves the praise it gets. Unable to afford a Wii U at the moment (bought a PS4 instead) so I'll have to miss out on this for a long while.

PrincessSugoi

#60

PrincessSugoi said:

Between this and ALBW, the butthurt spreading rapidly through the usual MicroSony playgrounds must be legendary.

Gamer83

#61

Gamer83 said:

@PrincessSugoi

The surprise over a Mario or Zelda game winning GOTY is what's making me laugh. Just as recently as 2007 Super Mario Galaxy took GOTY. The shock to the system for some of these fanboys should not be that great.

element187

#63

element187 said:

@StarDust nostalgia is a hell of a drug. Mario 64 had tiny levels compared to SM3DW. Galaxy for the majority of levels had only one path to finish line (or star) very linear. SM3DW most levels has multiple ways to reach the end. You can tackle levels in multiple ways.

BinaryFragger

#65

BinaryFragger said:

@BigH88

Unfortunately it's nothing new. Remember the Sega VS Nintendo days?
It's sad that so many gamers will hate a console or game simply because it's not made by their favourite company.

StarDust4Ever

#67

StarDust4Ever said:

@element187 Mario 64 may have smaller levels, but you could explore in any direction you wanted. Ditto for Sunshine. Compare the Hazy Maze Cave in Super Mario 64 to world 1-2 in 3D World. Hazy Maze cave actually felt like a real cave that I could explore from any angle. I could stand anywhere in the level and pan around with the camera. In the area with the dinosaur, you could stand in the middle and look up and get this sense that you were really at the bottom of a large chasm. In World 1-2 of 3D world, the entire level is side scrolling with the platforms fixed at varying depths. The entire "forth wall" is removed in nearly all levels of SM3D World, creating a fixed perspective in all areas of the game, save for the Toad "jungle gym" stages, which are literally cubic worlds housed in a tiny box. The vast majority of platforming elements in 3D Land are right angles to each other, with some at 45, making the levels feel like it's composed of blocks suspended in space. Many of the levels in past 3D Mario games had organic shapes and with free-range exploration, players could blaze their own paths rather than be forced to take prescribed routes. Sure a camera system can feel tricky at first, but in the vast magirity of cases the tracking system simply worked, and I could always effortlessly change the angle to get the optimal vantage point to guage my jumps. Also in Mario 64, you could collect many of the stars out of sequence, which added replay value. Sure you may occasionally get "stuck", but you used problem solving to find the exit as the games encouraged exploration. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Super Mario 3D World, as it is incredibly fun to play, but that doesn't change the fact the level design with these modern games feels more like obstacle courses and less like real imaginative areas which could actually exist somewhere in the Marioverse. That's why I feel any of the newest games are solid 9s in my book, not the perfect 10s of yesteryear.

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