News Article

Round Table: Let's Talk About Nintendo in 2013 - 3DS

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Some serious and not-so-serious discussion, with a little madness

A little before Christmas a number of Nintendo Life staffers got together in a large, comfortable virtual room and had a chat about Nintendo throughout 2013. There were some well-judged and considered opinions on the prospective years of the 3DS and Wii U, some moments of silliness and, as is now becoming a peculiar tradition, conversation around Altered Beast; there's a lingering suspicion that some participants were already into the festive spirit.

Joining features editor Tom Whitehead for this slightly anarchic round table chat is editor-at-large Jon Wahlgren, events co-ordinator Katy Ellis, along with lovely writers Martin Watts, Ron DelVillano, Morgan Sleeper, Dave Letacavage and Conor McMahon. In this first part the focus is on the 3DS.

Tom Whitehead: First off, please introduce yourselves to our lovely readers.

Ron DelVillano: I'm Ron...

Jonathan Wahlgren: I'm Jon Wahlgren, Editor at Large and a master of disguise.

Morgan Sleeper: Hey everybody! I'm Morgan, Nintendo Life's resident Magical Girl and Christmas NiGHTS connoisseur.

Conor McMahon: I'm Conor! Irish graduate and semi-charming guy for hire.

Martin Watts: I'm Martin, Nintendo Life's retro reviewer and N64 fanatic.

Dave Letcavage: I'm Dave, reviewer at Nintendo Life and editor at Pure Xbox.

Tom: And I'm features editor Tom, with a beard that aspires to be as good as Ron's.

Ron: Morgan is our resident magical girl? When did he take the title?

Jon: You slept through the competition.

Conor: I believe there was a gladiatorial contest for it

Morgan: Moon Prism Power!!!

Martin: Who got killed for it?

Tom: Anyway, moving on!

Let's start with happy thoughts, which means the 3DS. First up, if memory serves, we had games like Fire Emblem: Awakening and Luigi's Mansion 2 / Dark Moon. Did they live up to expectations and kick booty?

Martin: Without a doubt. Luigi's Mansion 2 really did blow everything else out of the water upon release. Dem visuals.

Conor: I actually just bought a 3DS this year! Got the Fire Emblem bundle and I think it was Animal Crossing that finally had me totally convinced. It's been a fantastic year for 3DS, undoubtedly.

Ron: I thought Luigi's Mansion looked and played great, but it didn't keep my interest for too long. Fire Emblem though, talk about a beautiful and engaging game.

Jon: Fire Emblem: Awakening is my own personal Game of the Year of Luigi. That was one spicy meatball with a ton of ambition. It could have easily fallen flat on its face in every department, but excellent localization, fine-tuned challenge that catered to both newbies and vets, and worthwhile DLC kept it going for a really long time.

Morgan: These games kicked so much booty! Awakening was my first Fire Emblem and it absolutely blew me away. The combat and class changes are so much fun but the dating sim elements were the best part for me! I absolutely loved it. And Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is a blast! I still haven't finished it but it's a game I love playing with other people, so they can help me spot secrets!

Jon: Fire Emblem: Awakening is my own personal Game of the Year of Luigi. That was one spicy meatball with a ton of ambition.

Jon: I actually really disliked Luigi's Mansion 2.

Martin: Really?! How come, Jon?

Tom: Blasphemy.

Jon: It was charming and looked purdy but was too formulaic.

Each mansion was literally the same five missions.

Conor: Oh Jon..... Oh Jon...

Dave: Luigi's Mansion was great! I didn't really get into Fire Emblem, but that's because I'm generally too impatient for turn-based games.

Morgan: I actually really liked the structure in Dark Moon, I get so lost in the GameCube original so the five mansions with individual levels helped keep me on track!

Jon: I'm stoked that it exists but I think it could have done more with regards to variety of gameplay.

Conor: I guess I can see where you're coming from, but I'd have to argue that it was far less repetitive than the first. I mean, it was all about mixing it up.

Tom: I can see what Jon's saying, but I'm enough of a Luigi fanboy that I don't think I cared.

Morgan: I think we all became Luigi fanboys/girls this year!

Jon: True, as a sequel to Luigi's Mansion it definitely hit a lot of the right spots with where it blew out the structure, but by the third mansion the repetitive nature haunted the game for me.

Dave: The way everything was divided into missions was the only part of the game I didn't like. I wish each mansion would've allowed more free exploration.

Tom: I think it had to be structured that way for a wider audience, to be fair.

Conor: I was skeptical of the episodic nature at first, but I feel like it worked well. Part of me missed the singular, sprawling mansion, but there was just so much variety in the visuals and atmosphere that I was convinced pretty early on.

Martin: Not to mention that it is a handheld game, which can easily be played in short bursts!

Dave: I totally get it, especially for mobile play, but it made things drag a bit at times, I felt.

Jon: The structure itself was totally fine and suitable, but I got aggravated chasing that dog around in the same way every time, or solving a similar set of puzzles but with a different backdrop.

The bosses were great though.

Ron: I feel really left out right now. Like I said, it didn't hold my attention for very long.

Tom: Perhaps Awakening was the biggest triumph, as it actually achieved good sales and, Nintendo says, saved the franchise. I'll be honest, I thought it'd struggle in the marketplace.

Conor: As did I. It's always seemed like a niche thing. My pleasant surprise of the year to see it do so well! I think all the universal praise definitely helped there.

Jon: Yeah, they pulled out all the stops with that one.

It was just so good. So, so good. Immensely rewarding.

Martin: I think it's worth mentioning that if it hadn't have been for him leaving to go work at Nintendo of Europe, I believe we would have eventually lost our former News Editor Andy Green to Fire Emblem: Awakening — I've heard nothing but non-stop praise for that game all year!

Jon: I do wish it had proper versus multiplayer, but so it goes.

Morgan: Yeah, Awakening is the complete package. I'd say it's worth buying a 3DS for, actually!

Dave: The critical acclaim certainly put it on people's radar that it might normally not have been on.

Tom: What did you think of the DLC? If EA had done it, would we be calling it the spawn of the worst company in the world?

Conor: That's actually an interesting point. I wonder how we would have perceived it had it been released by anyone else. Personally I never played it, but I've seen...highlights.

Morgan: I actually really liked the way Ninty handled the DLC for Fire Emblem Awakening - it was really nicely described on the website, and the "packs" were themed so that I didn't have to buy anything I didn't want to get an episode I did.

Jon: EA has a toxic reputation that no matter what they do it will be seen as bad. Honestly, the DLC cost is on the higher end of acceptable, and I think the game was strong enough on its own that people gave it some leeway with pricing.

Morgan: I only bought the beach DLC. And I loved it! The story & relationships were the best parts of the game for me, so I loved the chance to squeeze out some more slice-of-life scenarios from Chrom's lovable crew.

Conor: Definitely. When the core game is good enough, people will always want more of it at a good price. Nintendo did well, and there was enough novelty there to make it memorable.

Jon: I did buy about half of the packs because I really wanted to keep playing, but then other games (Animal Crossing, primarily) took my time away.

Tom: Yeah, I got called on being easy on Nintendo in a feature, I remember, and I think the commenter was right. The DLC was quite pricey, and in some cases took away the need for excessive grinding. It's a game that really spikes in difficulty, and the DLC maybe manipulated that. Thoughts?

Dave: The critical acclaim certainly put it on people's radar that it might normally not have been on.

Ron: The only DLC I played was the first free batch. I appreciate that it had DLC available, but the price was a little steep to me.

Jon: I relished the challenge so I was more than happy to grind out a few levels here and there. There's so much content that even if your goal is to increase in level and relationships there is so much you can do that it still feels like you're advancing in some fashion.

"Grinding" is only bad when you're doing the same action over and over and over to increase what can feel like an arbitrary meter. In Awakening there's always something new to tackle. So it didn't feel like "bad" grinding, or even grinding really. More like, I'm going to divert my attention elsewhere for now.

Morgan: Yeah, I agree Jon - in fact, I way over-levelled my characters just trying to get some class changes and skills I wanted (Swordmaster Olivia!) and marry off a few pairs, without ever touching the DLC, and I enjoyed every second of the grind!

Jon: And smart play will even out a lot of the spikes.

Conor: I think that's an important point. Awakening never made it feel like grinding. There was always another aspect of the gameplay to dig into for a while.

Tom: I agree with those sentiments, personally, I'm just being a trouble maker.

Jon: Someone has to!

Tom: Moving onto New Leaf, that was a game that truly took off. It pretty much dominated my Twitter timeline, it felt like everyone had that game. Did you, and what was its secret to such success?

Morgan: That's really true, Tom - it seemed like word of mouth on places like Twitter and Tumblr helped turn New Leaf into such a phenomenon! And on a more local level, me and my sister played pretty much nothing else for months - it's one of the purest distillations of "fun" I've ever seen imprinted on a cartridge.

Conor: I adore that game, genuinely.

Dave: It was successful in my house because it's something my wife was really into that we could play together.

Ron: There's not enough time for me to talk about New Leaf in this round table. To really express how much I love that game, I'd have to write an entire article. And maybe I will... with Tom's permission, of course.

Conor: It was the big reason that I felt as though I really needed a 3DS, as I said. It's just so important to have games like it alongside everything else. Playing New Leaf feels like a moment to yourself, despite kinda being all about your village and its inhabitants.

Martin: I've had something of a weird relationship with it; got it, adored it, played it a ton, then went on a 4-month break and have suddenly gotten back into it big time. I'm absolutely loving it.

Jon: Same for me. It was my first proper Animal Crossing so I'm sure that played a role in my unexpected absorption, but New Leaf is so delightful and honest and absurd that I wanted to spend as much time in Trash as I could.

Conor: Tumblr was HUGE In promoting New Leaf. I have to praise them for that easy screenshot option. Feels as though more games could benefit from something so simple.

Morgan: Yeah! The screenshots were brilliant. I admit to losing many hours posing for ridiculous pictures with friends in our New Leaf towns!

Jon: Yeah, that was massive.

Ron: Morgan, talk about your dates.

Morgan: Oh yeah!! I first got New Leaf when my fiancée & I were living on opposite ends of the country, and instead of Skype, we'd meet up on New Leaf! Go fishing, walk on the beach, go see a KK show - it was actually really lovely! Can't thank Nintendo enough for that!

Jon: That's really sweet, Morgan.

Tom: It sure is!

Morgan: I first got New Leaf when my fiancée & I were living on opposite ends of the country, and instead of Skype, we'd meet up on New Leaf! Go fishing, walk on the beach, go see a KK show - it was actually really lovely!

Jon: Do you think that the game would have been as zeitgeist-y had Miiverse existed on 3DS at the time? The screenshot sharing over social media put the game out in front of a huge, huge audience. All without having to change anyone's consumption habits, everyone was suddenly exposed to its charms.

Tom: Good point Jon. I wonder whether it was the lack of a 3DS Miiverse that made some latch onto it, because it's incredibly social if you want it do be.

Conor: That just raises the question of anyone here using the WiiU app, Animal Crossing Plaza?

Martin: I am, Conor. It's quite limited, but I think it's a nice feature nonetheless.

Tom: How many are still playing it, raise your hands!

Morgan: Raises hand

Martin: Raises hand

Ron: Raises hand

Tom: I'm not, but it's really a time thing.

Conor: Raises hand

Jon: I fell off around September. I haven't gone back because I actually am afraid to.

Conor: It is a bit time consuming, but I do try to fit it in at least every other day.

Martin: As some of you know, I'm actually use New Leaf to help me practice and relearn my French!

Dave: I burned out on it at about 75 hours, to be honest.

Conor: I read that, Martin! Might end up doing that myself sometime

Dave: How many hours has everyone logged?

Conor: I'm almost afraid to check.

Tom: I haven't checked, quite a lot.

Ron: Martin, I was wondering why you were posting screens in French. That's really cool!

Too many and not enough.

Morgan: Yeah! I loved hearing that, Martin! Our chat about learning languages through ACNL inspired me to grab another game for my Italian 3DS, so Bravely Default is on its way!

Holy crap. I just checked my Activity Log and I'm at 100 hours 26 minutes for ACNL.

Martin: I think the quality of the languages on offer is pretty impressive; New Leaf in particular is stuffed full of some really great everyday and colloquial phrases — it's a testament to the quality of Nintendo's localisation teams.

Conor: New Leaf is actually quite forgiving for returning players, more so than previous titles at least.

Head over to page two where there's a surprisingly picky assessment of Pokemon X & Y, some Zelda chat and, bizarrely, an eShop segment that evolves into the appearance of #TeamAlteredBeast yet again.

From the web

User Comments (60)



RainbowGazelle said:

Cool discussion, guys. I totally agree with your Pokemon comments. GameFreak need to learn how a 3ds works. Fire Emblem is definitely my game of the year. My only gripe is why no Layton or Bravely Default love?



sinalefa said:

It is funny because I now own all of the games discussed, but the only one I have played is Luigi's Mansion. Which reminds me that this roundtable ignored Mario & Luigi.

It was great from Sega to release all those 3D Classics. I could buy them all, and maybe I will.

Overall a great year for the 3DS. I bought a second one as I felt I would make good use of it with so many good games being released this year alone.



RetroRider said:

Got all New Leaf, Luigi's Mansion, and Donkey Kong Country Returns this year.

No boredom. So wonderful.

Now to wait for smash bros



rjejr said:

Do we know who the girl in the photo is? That's at least the 2nd, and maybe the 3rd, time you've used that photo.



TwilightOniAngel said:

well this year was great time to have a 3ds next year it would be great time to own a wiiu and finally shut up people that hates the wiiu and saying is doogeypoopie and im going to be right it all depends on nintendo.

Watch the language -Lz



Expa0 said:

This year alone turned the 3DS from a suck to awesome.

Devil Survivor Overclocked, Etrian Odyssey 4, Fire Emblem Awakening, Soul Hackers, Pokemon X/Y and Bravely Default are all amazing.

Tbqh before this year there was nothing much for me.



GalacticMario28 said:

I actually just got my 3DS this year specifically for Pokémon X/Y. Don't get me wrong, I think a lot of the other 3DS games that came out this year look great, but I knew from the countless Pokémon news updates that I absolutely had to have X/Y, and I was not disappointed. Sure it wasn't perfect, but I really don't mind things like not having the entire game in 3D (I felt that all the important parts were in 3D) or having a less-than-ideal UI (I think it's been that way Diamond/Pearl). I haven't been so immersed in a Pokémon game since Gold/Silver, and for me, that's the bottom line.



IceClimbers said:

Absolutely amazing year for the 3DS, and the fantastic sales help show that. I have an Aqua Blue launch 3DS, and I have not been able to keep up with the games.

What's amazed me the most is the rate of game releases. Nobody expected to have at least one major retail game come out every month. Some months had 2-3 major releases, while March and October had like 4-5. Between Fire Emblem Awakening, Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon, Animal Crossing New Leaf, Mario & Luigi Dream Team, SMT IV, Etrian Odyssey IV, Etrian Odyssey Untold, Soul Hackers, Rune Factory 4, Pokemon X/Y, Zelda A Link Between Worlds, Mario Party Island Tour, Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies, and so many others, the 3DS has been unstoppable this year.

2014 seems like it will be pretty similar to 2013 too. Bravely Default, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, Yoshi's New Island, Mario Golf World Tour, Kirby Triple Deluxe, Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright, Super Smash Bros, and hopefully localisations for Monster Hunter 4 and Persona Q are lined up already. Then there's anything else they might have to reveal, such as Majora's Mask 3D, Pokemon Z or X2/Y2, etc.



King47 said:

Am I the only one who hated Fire Emblem Awakening?
I'm a huge fan of the series, well I used to be before Awakening, and I bought my 3DS for it. But the game was so bad compared to Radiant Dawn. The pairing system broke the game. Also, the abundance of practically everything made lose a lot of its strategical value.
On one hand, I'm happy that the game received so much praise and attention, as I fear this niche franchise I like will disappear. But on the other hand, I worry that my favorite franchise will become too casual and different.

I will give Nintendo and Intelligent system another chance for Fire Emblem. But I do love my 3DS.



JaxonH said:

Really? Um, how do I say this.... GO PLAY THOSE GAMES LOL!!!

Seriously though, Fire Emblem Awakening is SO good that even if you've never played a game like it you'll still end up loving it. That game single-handedly made me a fan of the strategy RPG genre. I remember going to work every day and all I would do is daydream about playing that game. It was that enthralling.

And Zelda: Link Between Worlds is right there on par with Fire Emblem. I've heard quite a few people refer to it as the best Zelda game ever made, and while there are people who might disagree, there's no question it's one of the best games of the entire year, on any platform. I believe Gamespot actually awarded it GOTY. So yeah- definitely a game not to be missed!



JaxonH said:

Yeah, I think you are

Look, I've played Sacred Stones, Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn, Shadow Dragon and Awakening. I own all of them, and they're all great games, but Awakening has that charm, that pizzazz. The dialogue in Awakening was SO much better than previous entries. The artstyle and presentation was SO much better than previous entries. The casual mode allowed for easier access, while the classic mode retained everything you've come to know and love about the series.

The game also improved on many functions, such as pressing X to highlight all enemies' combined range (which couldn't be done in previous games), and switching weapons on the fly while comparing damage before an attack (previous games made you choose your attack before moving the character, a SERIOUS pain in the ***). The music was phenomenal, and the story was gripping. All in all, Awakening was superior in almost every way.

The one downside to Awakening, coming from the point of view of someone such as yourself, who'd already played previous entries, is the open maps. Previous entries had elaborate maps with obstacles, but Awakening, for the most part, had open maps with fewer obstacles. Now, there were some that were promising, but Awakening definitely hedged the difficulty with less complexity in the maps, I'm guessing to accommodate slightly less experienced SRPG players, who aren't accustomed to the truly complex stages. It's a legitimate gripe, but not a deal-breaker by any means.

I can understand where you're coming from. Awakening was definitely more, how shall I say, "accessible", than previous entries. But to say you hated the game.... wow. I mean, even if it wasn't as complex as other entries, it did so much right and improved on so many things that even if you felt it wasn't as good, hate seems a tad extreme to me. I mean, the game was a blast to play.



Interneto said:

"Katy: Who needs friends? They suck."
"Ron: I've got none and I seem to be doing fine?"

Huh...? What?



unrandomsam said:

@King47 I think the same thing it has lost what it was. (I wasn't going to buy it because of the EA style DLC but borrowed it from my brother fairly recently. Not much you can do but they lost a sale because I would have bought it otherwise).



DreamOn said:

Was genuinely shocked that a game that got 10/10 here and GOTY at Gamespot of all places was not played by some of the NL staff. Where was Orla Madden at that segment?



Ichiban said:

Im picking up a 2DS next week, and they better have Albw back in stock or im gonna..........settle for one of the other awesome 3DS games! Definetly spoiled for choice



hurrdurr said:

@JaxonH not saying it wasn't an enjoyable game, but i found it didn't require strategy. almost every game in the series still pales in comparison to fire emblem 4, genealogy of the holy war. the story is brilliant, and you actually feel like every battle is just that, an out-and-out bloody fight to the death. holy war requires legitimate family planning strategy, on top of the massive maps with about 10 objectives at once.



JaxonH said:


Never played that one. Yeah the open and generally sparse maps were my only complaint since it somewhat limited the strategy, but certainly welcome for newcomers seeing as the more complex strategy could prove too much for them.

If you've never played a Fire Emblem game before, the maps probably come off as amazing. It's only those who have tasted the sweet nectar of hardcore and elaborate strategy that desire more



King47 said:

Don't get me wrong, the game had an excellent presentation, I can't deny that. They did many things right. I would really like some elements to return. I will agree that Radiant Dawn, my favorite game, had a very tedious weapon layout.
I liked that every character had a number that showed their total stats, rather than having to do it manually with every new character that I got, like Stefan. I also liked that you can combine the same weapon, I didn't like in previous games when I had 3 or 4 silver swords that are below 10/25, for example.
They also showed very clearly the probability of a hit, unlike in previous games. I thought that was nice, but I don't mind if it goes. The music was good, so was RD's.
The story was below decent, but it doesn't matter since all Fire Emblem games have the same stories. But Awakening's story and dialogues were very very silly. Not that the others were much better though.

Now, allow me to explain why I hated the game. The major issue I have with the game was that it was more RPG that SRPG. Grinding in the game was made so easily accessible that it lessened the impact of strategy. And before you say anything, I didn't even do it, but the game was designed that way. While it had the benefit of giving later characters a chance, it still negatively impacted the game. Second, the pairing system. If it wasn't for the pairing system, I would have accepted the game. For one, the enemies don't pair up, which is BS. If I can do it, then they should. There's not point of it being a strategy game if I overpower the enemy. And artificial solutions like the harder settings don't solve this issue. Many times my characters were supposed to die, but they ended up killing the enemy because someone was next to them, not intentionally. If you cluster your characters you can easily win the game, pretty much. In the other games carrying someone resulted in a stat reduction. Unlike previous games, this one allowed for two people to fight, or defend, in the same battle. They should just give stat boosts, and that's all. I also didn't like the way the special moves were managed and the second scroll should not have been made. Another thing that bothered me about the game was the high abundance of weapons, money and experience. Even if you didn't seek it by DLC or other means. When you play Radiant Dawn, or Path of Radiance, you think if who you're giving experience, who you're buying weapons, and what weapons you bought. That was part of the strategy that this game took away. At the end, the game looked really nice, but the design was very broken.
They did make the game very accessible, but it is a hardcore franchise.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind that they added a casual mode (I actually do), but playing on classic mode didn't feel like a Fire Emblem.

As for the map, I don't particularly mind it as long as it's well executed.
And when you compare this game to Radiant Dawn, for example, you'll see what I'm saying. That game had biorhythm, magic triangles, scarce money (for most of the game), better dialogue. The only thing I don't like in Radiant Dawn was the Laguz. They were absolutely, most definitely, useless outside of the story, except for a few royalty.

An no, I didn't play the game on Lunatic or higher difficulty levels, because the game was bad and not worth the time. And I beat the other ones many times.



hurrdurr said:

@JaxonH all too true. if you love game of thrones you'll love holy war. backstabbing, political intrigue, rape, incest... the game had it all before the book was published...
to think it was a nintendo game



JaxonH said:

I see what you're saying. I guess those things just didn't bother me that much. I mean, pairing was the only way to beat some of the earlier maps. It only became OP later in the game. It's a legitimate complaint, it just didn't ruin the experience for me. I actually liked it, although you are right about it being overpowered later on.

Idk, I can see what your'e saying. The game wasn't perfect (no game is), but the fun far outweighed any flaws it had for me. I found the game so fun in fact, that even at the end of the game, when I was grossly OP, I continued playing. It was just that fun. I think some of the extremely high difficulty DLC was great, that way you still had a challenge after beating the game.
In the end, I can empathize with your view on the game. Don't necessarily agree, but I understand where you're coming from. Still, a TON of people loved the game and thought it was brilliant, so they must've done something right.

I think it comes down to the fact that the uber-hardcore formula just wasn't working. The games' sales were diving more and more with each release. In response, they successfully took a franchise not widely accepted and losing popularity at dangerous levels, and breathed life into it with a game widely acclaimed and beloved by many. Perhaps now that a sizeable install base has been established and schooled in the basic gameplay, they can expound upon the strategy in subsequent releases. Fire Emblem: ReAwakening very well could become a reality judging by the success of the first.



King47 said:


I'm not saying the game is bad, it's just not a good Fire Emblem. But as I said in my first comment, I understand that it's a niche franchise and it is difficult for it to survive as is. But imagine they made the next Metroid like Call of Duty of some of those shooters. Even if it gets lots of praise and sales, you would still feel bitter that it's not what Metroid is all about.

What really scares me is that if Fire Emblem gets more games that they become less and less hardcore and more casual. I love Zelda, but they are very easy. I just want this one hardcore franchise to remain the same. The alternative, of course, is to make another F-Zero. But you know that's not happening. But again, as I said, I will give Nintendo one more chance for another good Fire Emblem. And if they mess it up, I'm likely to quit them.

But on a happy side, I bought Crashmo (I didn't play Pushmo though) two days ago, also made by IS, and it's really good.



Genesaur said:

Sure are getting a lot of mileage out of that Pikachu chick picture.

I find it so weird that everyone always talks about the music from Space Harrier. Much as I love that game, I can't say its BGM is really anything special.

It's so cute when they talk about their hours in Animal Crossing. Meanwhile, I've got four hundred in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, alone. Got no time for talking with personality-less humanoid animals who want to trade furniture. I've beasts to slay!



JaxonH said:


I understand, although that Metroid analogy is a tad extreme, because that's changing entire genres altogether, whereas Awakening is still very much a strategy RPG based on grid movements. But I get what you're saying. Still, it's tough as nails on the harder modes. And it's important to remember that had Awakening adhered to the strict formulae of past entries, you wouldn't ever see another Fire Emblem game. The changes they made, for better or worse in your eyes, saved the franchise, and now it lives on. Better than no Fire Emblem, right?

As for Zelda, I've found some games to be extremely difficult. It's not just the combat, it's the brain-stumping puzzles and figuring out which way to go, or how to get there. That's where the challenge comes in. Although Twilight Princess was VERY tough at the end of the game.

But idk, to me a stiff challenge doesn't always have to be there for the game to be fun. I enjoyed battles in Fire Emblem DLC even when I knew I could one-shot every character on the map. And that's how I know a game is good- when it's fun even without much of a challenge. And that's how alot of Zelda games are for me too. Even if they're not a stiff challenge, they're still some of the funnest games ever. That's not easy to achieve. I like Donkey Kong Country for the merciless difficulty, but I also like Mario games, which aren't even half as difficult. It's all about the fun.

Idk, I'll never quit gaming Nintendo, even if they quit making every single one of their franchises, because every game they release seems to be my new favorite game of all time, regardless of what it is. It's not just one game of theirs I love- I love em all. So I'm ok with whatever they do, it's all good to me.



King47 said:


I know it's an unrealistic analogy, but I hope you get what I'm saying. And I do agree with you, Fire Emblem wasn't going anywhere. What I don't understand though, is why Nintendo didn't release the earlier games? Wouldn't you think that this game's unexpected success, and a relative number of new comers would warrant the release of Sacred Stones, PoR, and RD on VC, or straight up remakes? Plus FE x SMT would need people to know these characters a bit more. But again, it's Nintendo.
I think I'm just bitter because I waited for years for this game. I knew about it from when it was announced for Japan, and I waited and waited, and then just got so disappointed. But I will give them one more chance. Or Advance Wars would do. And not a wimpy Advance Wars. I don't recall complaining about the game's difficulty, I complained about the game shifting from strategy to more RPG. Not every game has to be challenging, but I think some have to be. I can't tell you how many times I restarted my Wii while playing Radiant Dawn (I refuse for my characters to die). But that was part of the fun. In other games, like Mario, I enjoy them casually.

Some of the older Zelda games we difficult. I loved Link between worlds, but the game was very very easy. Though I haven't played it on Hero mode yet, that's for next year when I have forgotten the game a little.

I have never played DKC before. I am a weird Nintendo fan. I love their lesser known franchises. So I am the more difficult one to please. Though I have my eyes on Tropical Freeze, but I really had hoped it was Metroid.
You see, I can live without Mario, Zelda, and all those games. But if a FE, F-Zero, or Advance wars game gets released I will buy the system without hesitation. And then I'll buy Mario, Zelda, and the rest of their games for the system. Never will I buy a system for Mario, and I know I am in the extreme Minority. I hope you see that the three franchises that I mentioned are almost abandoned by Nintendo.



JaxonH said:


Oh, you're talking to one of the biggest F-Zero fans there is! I still keep my copy of F-Zero GX around with a Gamecube controller and a backwards compatible Wii for the occasion I still wanna play. Actually have the AX Cup available, which is awesome btw (and painstakingly difficult to unlock). I've accepted not getting a new one any time soon, and as hard as it is to accept, I know Nintendo is a business and that type of racer just doesn't sell well anymore. Hence the end of F-Zero and even Sony's Wipeout franchise.

And I've played Radiant Dawn (actually own a second copy still factory sealed), though I will admit I haven't beat the game, nor have I beat Path of Radiance yet. But they're both great games, and I love how the story links together. I love the old FE games, yet I love Awakening, idk, I know they're a tad different but each is good on their own merits. I'm actually very pleased Nintendo announced the SMT x Fire Emblem crossover. That was totally unexpected. An interview with IS revealed it will be Fire Emblem styled gameplay in a futuristic setting (how awesome is that!).

I'm all for the lesser known or less popular IPs (Battalion Wars, Sin & Punishment, F-Zero, Pikmin, Fire Emblem, Starfox, Metroid, Kid Icarus, etc.) but the mainstream ones are popular for a reason- they're really great games.

Donkey Kong Country is by far one of Nintendo's best games, it really is. The original trilogy TO THIS DAY are some of my favorite games of all time. And Retro did justice to the franchise with DKC Returns- it was spectacular. I just played it a 2nd time on 3DS. But this new game, Tropical Freeze... I don't think I've been this excited for a game since they announced Metroid Prime 3 for the Wii (and that was pretty exciting let me just say). I would recommend playing DKC Returns, but with Tropical Freeze coming in just 7 weeks, I'd say just get that one. If you like difficulty, you'll LOVE Donkey Kong Country. It's platforming at it's finest. Matter of fact, it's gaming at its' finest. I can't recommend it enough.



StarDust4Ever said:

Pokegirl is cute. If there was a reason to start playing Pokemon after all these years, she would be it...



King47 said:


Sadly, I had to move to the US and had to sell my GameCube. But I'm looking to rebuild by GC collection. Money is scarce though.
My main issue with GX was that it too difficult for most people to play that my friends and I tended to play Kart instead. And I loved both, but I played GX by myself usually. Or destroyed whoever played with me, since I played it regularly. I've accepted, sadly, that we're not getting another. But I would like if they just make GX again on the Wii U with online gameplay, because that should take care of the issue I mentioned earlier. I don't even care for better graphics, though that would be welcome.

What!!!? I would really recommend you play them and you'll see what I was talking about. And they have a much better story than Awakening, since it's more mature and had two games to tell it. I'm weary of a cross over, but I will wait to see before I judge it. I read that as well. I bought SMT4 to try it and stopped a few hours into the game, I hope this isn't SMT gamelpay.

I don't have a Wii U yet, since it has none of the games I mentioned earlier. But I think X will be the reason I buy it. So I might get a Wii U earlier, since I plan on getting it eventually for X. I might consider Tropical Freeze. I'm sure Retro wouldn't disappoint. But they better start working on Metroid after that. Or Eternal Darkness 2.



grumblegrumble said:

So sad that no one in your roundtable even bothered to play the new Zelda. It's only the BEST GAME of the YEAR, guys!! Geez. Haha.. Well, thanks for your input, as always..



DreamOn said:

^ Yes, the wheels definitely come off the wagon when there's arguably more excitement for Oracle of Seasons than the new and praised to the roof, A Link Between Worlds lol!



JaxonH said:


Oh I have played both of them, I just haven't finished them. But I've watched my brother play Path of Radiance many times, so I've played or seen most of that game. I've played a few hours into Radiant Dawn, but am planning to get back to that game soon.

Also, if and when you do get a Wii U, there are many great games available I'd recommend. But aside from the obvious ones, there are two slightly more niche titles I found to be quite amazing: Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101.

Pikmin 3 is a really fun game. If you've played either of the first two on Gamecube, you already know what it's all about. But I think Pikmin 3 is definitely the best of the three- it's a real joy to play.

Wonderful 101 is not what I expected. I thought it would have similarities to Pikmin 3 but it's a whole other beast. This game went under the radar for many, which is a shame because it's such a great game. It's a tough one too- I ended up playing on the easiest difficulty setting. It's terrific though- one of the best games on the console for sure.



Geonjaha said:

I have to say I agree with a lot of what has been said. Awakening was my game of the year, I lost interest in Dark Moon after the second Mansion, and I'm unfortunately not playing New Leaf anymore. I also didn't buy Pokemon because of the franchises reluctance to ever evolve in a meaningful way (Heh, see what I did there?...I'll let myself out)



Squidzilla said:

@TwoTheNines @grumblegrumble I think quite a few of us were simply waiting till Christmas to play it as a gift,not due to lack of interest or anything. As I said, the wait was killing me and I've been playing it non-stop since!



Spanjard said:

on topic: You know, this isn't really good advertising for the 3ds(not that it needs it), I mean, 50% of the games you guys talk about, the games of the year, seem to disappoint… The only game you seem to be genuinely excited about is Fire Emblem.



ThomasBW84 said:

@rjejr It was a picture from the Eurogamer expo at our StreetPass area. As an image for 3DS, it seems apt for 2013



WiiLovePeace said:

Hahaha great discussion! I love the points at which you guys go off in a crazy tangent, hilarious! Next time you guys should have a round table with users involved. Host it on the NL chat, it'd be even more crazy hilarity



Chris720 said:

2012 was pretty great for the 3DS. But 2013 played its top trump... A system with this many great games deserves to be in the guiness book of records. Hopefully the Wii U will pick itself up off the floor and get running.



King47 said:


They're both great games. If you play Radiant Dawn, make sure you get
Haar. He is the best character in the game. Also make you get your characters supported, it really helps on the more difficult levels and settings. Especially when fighting the Black Knight.

I have those games on my list for when I get a Wii U. I'm well aware of the Wii U's library. I just haven't seen anything besides Wind Waker that made me want to buy it. But I played Wind Waker, and it's one of my favorite games.



Olmectron said:

@King47 Wind Waker is good, it has a good story and graphics, and all, but it's still one of the easiest games in the series, even in Hero Mode on Wii U. I miss those old days being stucked in the original The Legend of Zelda for weeks!



King47 said:

I love the game, but it was very easy. Most of the Zelda games are easy, especially the later ones. And the sidekicks make it even worse.

I would love for a challenge.



Bassman_Q said:

I'm surprised but also kinda glad that many of you on the NL staff haven't yet tried out ALBW. Zelda is among my top 3 favorite series of all time, and have played almost all of them to date, yet have not had the time (or money!) to try out ALBW. Hopefully that'll change in the coming months, after I work on my Backloggery and beat some eShop, 3DS, and Steam games.



Zero_Revolution said:

2013 was perhaps the greatest year for the 3DS, tons of truly amazing titles. The Wii U had a few good ones as well, but nothing could top 3DS, it's even better than any of the home consoles available currently in my opinion.



Tetris911 said:

Event though I own all consoles and even the Vita, I have put WAY more hours on my 3DS XL than any other handheld/console. Nintendo is just absolutely amazing when it comes to the hand held department ever since I own my first original game boy. I seriously believe that if Nintendo decided to pull out of the console business. they will STILL be around because they will ALWAYS be that one company that you can trust when it comes to the hand held video games department. I nearly bought a 2DS until I realized that it was basically the 3DS without the 3D and without the ability to fold the hand held 2DS.

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