News Article

Feature: Our Nintendo Moments of 2013 - Part One

Posted by Nintendo Life Staff

Ron, Morgan and Lee share Nintendo memories

In the first of a festive two-part series, some of your humble Nintendo Life writers share their favourite Nintendo gaming memories of 2013. In this first part we have three of our U.S. reviewers and news hounds, Ron DelVillano, Morgan Sleeper and Lee Meyer.


Ron DelVillano

One of the strangest moments of 2013 for me was the first time I held a 2DS console. When Nintendo first unveiled the new hardware in a completely unexpected and unprovoked announcement, my reaction was similar to that of the masses:

“What?”

“Why is Nintendo releasing an ugly 3DS without 3D?”

“What have we done to deserve this?!”

Then I picked one up.

Then everything started to make sense.

The 2DS is, without a doubt, one of the most comfortable handheld gaming devices that I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. I’m still not convinced on the way it looks, but if you haven’t had a chance to hold one, do yourself a favour and change that as soon as possible. Nintendo was also smart enough to release it as an introductory model on the same day that Pokémon X & Y launched. This is marketing at its finest, people.

At the moment of its announcement I truly believed that all hope was lost. I rolled over in bed, pulled the covers over my eyes, and tried to wake up from what I was sure was a late-night taco induced dream. Then Nintendo, once again, proved me wrong. Nintendo has, time and time again, restored my faith in the video games industry. To this day, the 2DS continues to impress me as the little console that probably shouldn’t, but could and did anyway.

Morgan Sleeper

1 A.L. (1 Anno Luigi Nostri, a.k.a. 2013) was a standout year in Nintendo gaming for me. I got to spend plenty of time with my new Wii U, for one, and I have fond memories of Nintendo Land sessions with family and friends, ringing in the New Year with Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed, and playing New Super Mario Bros. U in two-player co-op from squirrel-suit start to fiery finish. There was a bit of a dry spell after that, of course, but Earthbound was more than enough to make up for it. I'd been wanting to play through Ness & friends' adventure since I was a kid, and finally being able to set out from Onett on the GamePad was an incredible feeling. The game touched me more than I'd expected, too. After four or five hours of playing, I started over from scratch, naming the characters after my friends & I this time around; Ness' adventure became mine, and I'm still loving every minute I get to play of it! More recently, Super Mario 3D World really blew me away - I picked it up at a midnight launch and played to the wee hours of the morning before finally tucking in, cheeks sore from smiling at the incredible creativity and joy pouring out of every level.

This year was also when the 3DS really came into its own for me; Fire Emblem Awakening, Pokémon X/Y, HarmoKnight, and Luigi's Mansion 2 were all wonderful, ATLUS gave us two fantastic Shin Megami Tensei entries and two equally lovely Etrian Odysseys, and XSEED's Rune Factory 4 was a brilliant ray of beaming, optimistic sunshine wrapped up in an engrossing turnip-growing-cum-dating sim. I can't say enough about Animal Crossing: New Leaf, either, and all the wonderful untold hours (don't check my Activity Log!) I spent taking trips to the island with my sister and our friends, planting flower paths all around my little town of Twinseed, and meeting up with my then-distant fiancée for midnight walks along the virtual beach. The 3DS eShop also hosted my personal game of the year: Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale. It's one of the most transportative games I've ever played; I soaked up the whole story in one long session on a cross-country road trip, and every time we'd stop to get gas or a bite to eat, I had to take a beat and adjust to the fact that I wasn't actually in 1970's Tokyo. The atmosphere, sense of wonder, and subtle storytelling all came together perfectly to create a world I wasn't ready to leave when the credits rolled, and one I encourage everyone to visit at least once!

Finally, one of my very favourite gaming memories from 2013 was heading to the Nintendo Experience at Best Buy back in June. My sister & I drove for almost two hours to the closest event, and when we saw the Disney World-esque line running up to the demo unit, we were worried we might not even get a chance to play at all. After 10 minutes in line, it didn't matter; everyone was so excited just to be there, and to be among fellow Nintendo fans, and the 4 hours (!) we waited in line flew by as we StreetPassed, swapped stories and memories with new friends, and joined in an 8-player game of Mario Kart 7 that continued for over an hour as we worked our way towards the Wii U. By the time we reached the controller, our frantic minute with Mario Kart 8 was a fun but totally tangential part of the experience. We still keep up with friends we met there, and I like to think that says a lot about the Nintendo difference - from StreetPass games and Animal Crossing's online connections to same-couch multiplayer on the Wii U, it's all about having fun and bringing people together. Happy holidays, everybody, and here's to a wonderful 2014!

Lee Meyer

Nintendo has a special place in my heart. Although I regularly play games for other platforms — Vita is my latest — I still get butterflies in my stomach when Nintendo takes the stage at E3, or releases a new Nintendo Direct, just as I did when I first booted up my Nintendo 64 in 1996. 2013 was filled with moments like that, the latest being the 18th December Nintendo Direct — was ANYONE expecting Hyrule Warriors or Dr. Luigi?! Nintendo started the year off in much the same way, with a January Nintendo Direct revealing titles like X, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, the (still mysterious) new Yoshi title and a slew of amazing 3DS titles.

I got goosebumps the first time I played Fire Emblem: Awakening. Here was an incredibly deep, intense strategy RPG I could get lost in for hours, and the opening cinema and early battles were positively enthralling. The ending was similarly affecting — but I won't spoil that here. But the defining 3DS experience of 2013 for me is, without a doubt, Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Animal Crossing's long been a series I've wanted to love; I tried getting into the Gamecube version back in the day, and Wild World was one of the DS's first online experiences, but I have never been able to stick with it for too long. That all changed with New Leaf; the new gameplay mechanics introduced with being mayor, as well as the personalities of the characters and the sheer scope of "stuff" to do has kept me busy for the past six months.

Off-screen, I finally picked up a copy of Hyrule Historia, and I'm glad I did. As someone who spent months on end trying to find the rumored Triforce in Ocarina of Time, reading canonical lore and learning of the split timelines was the culmination of years of speculation and theorizing. Of course, A Link Between Worlds has now brought up countless other questions; you should play it to see what I mean!

2014 is looking just as promising. I can't wait to see the tricks Nintendo has up its sleeve, and I'm sure I'll be sitting here gushing the same way next December.


Check back tomorrow, when Tom Whitehead, Dave Letcavage and Lewis Childs share their memories. Let us know some of your memorable moments of 2013 below!

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User Comments (36)

TreesenHauser

#1

TreesenHauser said:

My favorite Nintendo moment of 2013 is still the announcement that Mega Man is in the new Smash Bros. That trailer caught me off guard and had me cheering haha

BlatantlyHeroic

#2

BlatantlyHeroic said:

My favorite moment had to be when Pokemon X and Y were announced. That was such a fantastic surprise! Truly amazing.

buzzn

#3

buzzn said:

Best single-player game of the year: Dual Destinies.
Best announcement: Shin Megami X Fire Emblem
Best multiplayer game : Super Mario 3D World
It was a bumpy year for the Wii U but the 3DS was pretty incredible I must say. I just hope that Nintendo makes better decisions next year.. I honestly don't understand the hype around Hyrule Warriors.. Zelda is not a hack and slash game, it looked pretty awful in my opinion. What really annoys me is that they haven't spoken about SMT X Fire Emblem at all since the extremely teasing trailer, damn it Nintendo.

Akuma_Yoru

#4

Akuma_Yoru said:

My Nintendo moment was discovering Pokémon for the first time with Pokémon Y. Sure I played Pokémon Black before for an hour or two but couldn't really get into to it for some reason, Pokémon X & Y changed that for me.

Buduski

#5

Buduski said:

@TreesenHauser , I agree with you that E 3 announcement was all I needed from Nintendo to restore my faith, after deciding to not do a formal E 3 press conference but a rather Nintendo Direct approach, all in all 3DS really shined this year with so many great exclusives but my favorite of the bunch has to be Fire Emblem Awakening, amazing game & for the Wii U even though it went through a drought the first half of the year we still got awesome content little by little, favorite Wii U game 2013 Wonderful 101 most underrated game on the console, if you haven't played it try it.

TreesenHauser

#6

TreesenHauser said:

@Buduski I've played the demo and I loved it, but I haven' been able to get it yet. Money's tight. Maybe I'll get that after the holidays are over.

Xcape_DuCkMAN_X

#7

Xcape_DuCkMAN_X said:

Sony's President of Worldwide Studios owning 2 Wii Us and just recently Ninny gaining momentum!!! There were many more moments, like Pokemon X n Y, Animal Crossing, everything Mario( yes that goes for the airport episode)! These are the moments that stick out the most for me. 2014 is bout to go hard!!!!

readyletsgo

#8

readyletsgo said:

My best Nintendo moments this year were earthbound, Pikmin 3, the sales on the eshops coming tomorrow and the fact I still have to give my niece her white 3ds with 3d land, can't wait to see her face! And it will match her white bmx she got this morning too! which worked out very well Lol.

SANTA!!!

DestinyMan

#10

DestinyMan said:

My favorite moments in no particular order
1. The Best Buy E3 Summer Experience- Going to the one just over an hour from me with my sister and uncle made such good times. There weren't too many people and I got to play Donkey Kong, Mario, and Mario Kart. I was seriously impressed by all the games shown. It was also cool to get a bunch of streetpass hits and mingle with Nintendo fans there like I do here. I really hope Nintendo does it again next year!
2. Reveal of the new Super Smash Bros. games- although the E3 Direct unfortunately starting messing up toward the end and we had to watch it on Youtube, it was so satisfying to see Mega Man be announced and see actual footage for the first time.
3. Super Mario 3D World- this game in general. It's pure fun at its simplest.

Now starting today I expect to get a few more Nintendo memories when I play several missed hits from earlier this year.

NorthLightSuplx

#13

NorthLightSuplx said:

My favorite Nintendo moment was the countless number of hours spent on miiverse this year. Especially during the leadup to e3. The sense of community on miiverse and on this website is my favorite thing about gaming. For the first time since 1996, I am nintendo exclusive in my gaming. BTW pikmin 3 game of the year.

TheRavingTimes

#15

TheRavingTimes said:

Some of my fondest memories this year:

  • One of the earlier Nintendo Direct that reveal the Year of Luigi, X, and Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem
  • Exploring the second and third dungeons of A Link to the Past (that music was just beautiful and signifies Link's struggles)
  • Killing off the major Fire Emblem bosses after one of my units just barely survive a critical or skill
  • Recruiting Jack Frost and his relatives in Shin Megami Tensei IV
  • The final battle/Pikmin genocide in Pikmin 3
    The localization of Pandora's Tower in Canada (and America)
  • X and Zero killing Vile off permanently in Project X Zone
  • Playing Pokemon for the first time in 3 or 4 years with a more mature mindset because "Pokemon is for little kids"
  • Playing 5 player Rayman Legends and watching the slightest actions turn an easy level into something almost impossible to complete
  • Finally destroying a Man of War ship in Assassin's Creed IV
1134calc

#16

1134calc said:

My most memorable moment of 2013 has to be when Reggie all of a sudden announced A Link Between Worlds at the end of the April Nintendo Direct. I was so surprised, I might have shed a tear.. ;) That game looked to be everything I wanted in a game, and boy was I right.

Here's hoping 2014 has a similar announcement, maybe one a little more metroidy... (Metroid 5 for 3DS!!!)

sinalefa

#17

sinalefa said:

One of my favorite moments was my first day with Super Mario 3D World. First waiting for midnight to come, after weeks of anticipation. Then the while I spent downloading it, that I used to beat Journey again, with my brother watching me play the whole "journey". Finally installing and booting up 3D World, and having my bro asking to play co op with me, something I never expected but really enjoyed.

Besides that, I loved all Nintendo Directs. Cool seeing Rosalina, Wii Fit Trainer and Megaman coming for Smash Bros.

And finally, updating my 3DS to an XL, with the Blue Pokémon edition. First time I own two of the same system, but the 3DS is worth it as it has so many good games.

GamerOZO

#19

GamerOZO said:

My personal favourites:
Nintendo Direct E3
Super Mario 3D World
And... The... Year of Luigi!

hcfwesker

#20

hcfwesker said:

my favorite Nintendo moment this year .... was getting my favorite game of all time, Super Metroid, for a mere 30 cents :)

Mask0Gears

#21

Mask0Gears said:

Favorite Moments of 2013....

The PLVS.AA US announcement.
Fire Emblem. Nuff' Said.
MH3U

Here's to a great 2014!! Raises glass
For Auld Lang Syne!

Frapp

#23

Frapp said:

2013 was an awful year for me personally, but an incredible year gaming-wise thanks to the Wii U and 3DS.

cfgk24

#24

cfgk24 said:

My biggest surprise was actually playing the overwhelmingly BRILLIANT Zelda Link Between Worlds after watching the lame trailers for it . . . . . .

umegames

#25

umegames said:

all the smash bros hype (MEGAMAN) was amazing. also enjoying the 150+ hours of fire emblem, my favorite 3ds game.

midnafanboy

#26

midnafanboy said:

my favorite nintendo moment was the december direct where they showed the hyrule warriors teaser and i actually thought it was the new zelda cause it looked so awesome and is actually killing me to see the new zelda game that would be better than that game next year

MrZanctom

#27

MrZanctom said:

My favorite gaming moment from this year must have been when I first got Pikmin 3. I knew that the Wii U finally had a game worth playing when it came out back in August.

Pokefanmum82

#28

Pokefanmum82 said:

my favorite gaming moments are when Pokemon Y was announced and me getting a Wii U for Christmas. Can't wait to buy so more games for it.

JaxonH

#29

JaxonH said:

It's a magical moment when you first set up your Wii U- I remember when it launched and was sold out EVERYWHERE for pretty much a month straight (32gb model anyways, there were a few 8gb models in stock here and there). It was a week before Christmas last year when I finally got the phone call saying they had a Wii U in stock for me- I can't fully express how joyous that moment was!

And what a year it's been for the Wii U!. New Super Mario Bros U, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Zelda Windwaker HD, Assassin's Creed 4, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Super Mario 3D World and Wii Sports Club- and that was WITH a half-year drought!

And the 3DS? Just wow. Fire Emblem Awakening, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon, Shin Megami Tensei 4, Mario & Luigi Dream Team, Pokemon X/Y and Zelda Link Between Worlds- every single one of those games so good it's hard for words to express sometimes!

Here's to another jam-packed year in 2014! It's gonna be hard to top this year but if the games announced thus far are anything to go by, it very well may do just that.

PinkSpider

#30

PinkSpider said:

I wish Nlife had a like button sometimes I don't wanna reply to everything but just show appreciation with a simple like .
That being said my Wii U gaming moment has been surprise surprise super mario 3d world, followed by Pikmin 3 and Zelda I know it's obvious but splinter cell, Assasins creed, dues ex haven't given me the same joy as those 3 games.

On the 3DS Animal crossing consumed my life more that I care to admit ..... Ok 345 hours so far ouch!

ULTRA-64

#31

ULTRA-64 said:

I've loved nothing more than nintendo DLC!!!!!!
The idea of more of the same with my favorite 1st party games makes me soo happy, ok so they are still learning but the early signs are good, not too pricey and original content. I don't have pikmin yet but I can't wait to get the new levels already!!! Plus I love nes remix and want more similar mini games for download, I spend more time on these than AAA games lately!

siconlol

#32

siconlol said:

2013 is a weird year for me, normally theirs a game EVERY year that blows me off my feet but this year I really wouldn't say that except fire emblem awakening which more grew on me Pokemon x and y would had but the fact that we're gonna get another game soon that will top x and y made me more hyped up for the next one then it did x and y haha but 2014 will be great for gaming! Smash bros,Mario kart, a possible trailer to links next adventure and I'm crossing my fingers for metroid :3

MAB

#33

MAB said:

My favourite 2013 moments were all about SEGA and their awesome achievements... Good games, MD 3D classics & buying ATLUS ;)

Looking forward to what they bring in 2014.
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3DSfan134

#34

3DSfan134 said:

My favorite moments was me playing Pokemon Y and that game as being the first Pokemon game I've ever played. But anyways, here's to a new year and a brand new Nintendo! XD

FordGuy

#35

FordGuy said:

My favorite Nintendo moment was fully downloading both AC:NL and Pokemon Y. The moments of joy experienced there are as exhilarating as drifting a Toyota Supra! Of course, my 3DS is currently lying in a pile of about 30 pieces with the motherboard and stuff all spilling out, so I can't really enjoy those things right now...

SeVok

#36

SeVok said:

I don't like the 2DS, takes away attention on stereoscopic 3D which I love on the 3DS. In short, I'm not looking forward to 2D only games on the 3DS, which sooner or later are going to happen with the 2DS around right?

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