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Tom: What about the Wii U eShop? Did you enjoy much from it this year, and are you optimistic for the coming year based on the confirmed projects?

Dave: I want Shovel Knight so darn bad it hurts...

Jon: RUNNER 2 is among my games of the year, easily.

Morgan: We had Runner 2 and DuckTales, so I'd say it was a pretty good crop! Though nothing like the 3DS eShop, to be fair.

Tom: I quite liked Cloudberry Kingdom, even if it's impossible (for me) to beat.

Katy: Yay Cloudberry Kingdom! Those Pwnee Studio guys are awesome.

Dave: Runner 2, DuckTales Remastered, Cloudberry Kingdom and EDGE were highlights for me.

Jon: Shovel Knight looks pretty good, and I'm curious how many of those Kickstarter projects will actually bear eShop fruit. Could be a great year, could be a thud with what's announced so far.

Tom: EDGE, another good 'un.

Conor: Little Inferno, DuckTales and Super Castlevania here! All of them fantastic.

Jon: RUSH and EDGE are great little games, and NES Remix is a delightful end-of-year surprise.

Morgan: Oh I still want to pick up Edge, that looks so great!

Tom: NES Remix is on my list once the NL taskmasters loosen my leash.

Jon: Spoiler: They won't, Tom.

Ron: DuckTales is probably the best thing that happened to me all year.

Martin: I need NES Remix in my life! And I also need DuckTales!

Conor: Shovel Knight is also hotly anticipated by myself as well. Probably half the gaming world, actually.

NES Remix was a brilliant surprise.

Tom: DuckTales is reduced on Boxing Day, I'm going to give it a whirl. (Update - have given it a whirl, like it a lot).

Ron: I thought Half-Life 3 was pretty good too.

Morgan: Yeah I'm looking forward to trying out NES Remix! I have to say I love the idea that Nintendo's swapping stamps in where other consoles have achievements. I think that's a pretty good indicator of the difference in philosophies.

Conor: DuckTales should treat you well, Tom! The music is worth playing for at the very least.

Martin: The Mooooon!

Conor: The Amazonnnn!

Dave: I purchased DuckTales twice - eShop and boxed - because I enjoyed it so much.

Conor: Admirable stuff, Dave. I've done that myself for other titles.

Tom: In looking at the year as a whole I think we can say the 3DS did well, end of. In terms of Wii U, how do you think it's doing in Holiday sales, and are you optimistic for Q1/Q2 2014 based on the games that are coming?

Martin: Hmm, hard to say about Wii U. There really isn't much to sink our teeth into apart from DKC: Tropical Freeze.

Conor: Well I think it's safe to say that things have definitely picked up? Whether its been enough or not... Time will tell.

Underwater Screen

Morgan: Don't forget Mario Kart 8! That's Spring, right?

Dave: Don't anyone say an unkind word about Tropical Freeze.

Conor: The releases are coming hard and fast though, so I'm pretty happy to be an owner! Tropical Freeze....The delay almost killed me. I need that game.

Tom: The Tropical Freeze cynicism is getting on my nerves. Returns on Wii was amazing, what the hell is wrong with people?

Dave: Me too, Conor. My favourite series of all time. I agree, Tom. Returns is one of the best platformers I've ever played.

Conor: Yeah it's a vague Q2 release for Mario Kart, Morgan!

Morgan: I'm not personally very good with the physics in DKC(R), and I'm nowhere near good enough to actually get very far in them, but side-scrolling platformers are so much fun, and I'm very happy to have Tropical Freeze coming!

Jon: I, uh, didn't care for Returns. It's a Donkey Kong thing.

Martin: Without a doubt, I really hope that Tropical Freeze retains the insane difficulty of Returns.

Katy: That Monolith Soft game keeps me going through the hard times when people tell me Wii U sucks.

Ron: I think the Wii U is a great console for Nintendo fans and Wii U owners. Beyond that, I don't really see any selling points for gamers who don't already have one or who are already interested. If you want to play Nintendo games, then you probably bought a Wii U at launch. I can't imagine what the killer app would be that could draw in the gamers who aren't already interested, this year or next.

Conor: The problem is that a lot of Nintendo fans don't HAVE a Wii U, Ron. They've yet to be convinced.

Tom: I think the big hopes are MK8 and Smash, because there are people that adore either / both but haven't put down the cash on a Wii U.

Dave: I think Mario Kart and Smash would be the games that would bring in new people if any, so 2014 is going to be pretty important.

Conor: Personally, I think the biggest trump card Ninty has left here might be Smash Bros as opposed to a new Zelda.

Tom: I can't help but feel another $50 price cut will be needed, and if the install base hits a vital point (like 3DS did after a price cut) it'll gain momentum with good games.

Conor: A price cut would be ideal.

Katy: If 2014 can't convince people on the Wii U's potential then nothing will.

Martin: I think Smash Bros will need to appeal to the "pro" scene that adored Melee if it wants to have long legs.

Jon: I think people are done looking for potential and want to see some results.

Bowser Gonads

Ron: I keep forgetting about Smash Bros. That'll bring some stragglers over to the Wii U, but I feel like most people interested in a Wii U already have one.

Dave: I didn't care Brawl very much compared to Melee, so I agree with you Martin.

Martin: Brawl was a massive switch off for some (not me!) and I think unless it goes a bit more hardcore, it won't have the right impact.

Katy: Price cuts make me cry when I think about how much I paid for it at launch.

Martin: I got my Wii U (8GB Basic) for only £150 back in May!

Morgan: Haha yeah - I bought the Basic set for $300 & paid $60 for Nintendo Land too! But it was worth it, I've had a lot of fun with my Wii U since day 1 and I definitely wouldn't trade holiday Nintendo Land memories from last Christmas for a price cut!

Tom: I think for those buying a Wii U now there's a tasty library of games. It's getting them to take the plunge, so that's where prices, Mario 3D World and MK8 bundles etc need to come in.

Bundling Mario Bros. U and Luigi U was the wrong move, I think, Nintendo should have jumped in with 3D World in the box.

Conor: Definitely. It makes more sense to buy a WiiU now more than ever. It's so close to being on the right track. So very close.

Agreed, Tom. They dropped the ball on that one.

Martin: Gotta agree with you there, Tom!

Jon: Bayonetta 2, y'all.

Dave: Bayonetta 2 is at the top of my most wanted list.

Conor: W101 has done well to promote Bayonetta 2 for me, haha!

Tom: Bayonetta 2 is important, I'd like to think a deal can be done for a Bayonetta port on the eShop.

Martin: Funnily enough I'm in the same boat as you, Conor. The gameplay in W101 was superb and has sold me Bayonetta 2, despite not having played the first.

Jon: Same. Playing it at PAX Prime made me hate the wait.

Morgan: I'd love to see a Bayonetta port on the eShop! Bayonetta 2 looks amazing and I've never played the first one, would love to get up to speed before the sequel comes out!

Conor: Do we think a Bayonetta port is necessary in one form or another? Personally I think it just might be. The 2 is just a bit off-putting for new audiences, I feel.

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Jon: It'd be great and all but I wouldn't hold my breath. Kamiya wants a port, but kamiya also wants to make a Star Fox game. It's nice to want things.

Conor: Kamiya wants a lot of stuff.

Tom: And I want a million pounds. You're right, it is nice.

So, to close, was 2013 a good gaming year for you folks? Yes, is my simple answer.

Jon: Definitely. Rocky times with Wii U, but 3DS more than made up for it on my end.

Tom: One of the best I remember, thanks to 3DS, late 2013 Wii U, and The Last of Us (had to mention it, because it's second in my personal GOTY).

Ron: I played some of the best and some of the most disappointing games of my life this year. Overall, I'd say it was a good year to be a Nintendo fan. Our lord and saviour Luigi did not let us down.

Martin: I've racked up many hours on both my Wii U and 3DS and it looks like they're both going to get a lot of attention over the holiday period and into the new year. We've had some fantastic releases and the Wii U is at least somewhat back on track, even if what it has seen hasn't been as innovative or unique as I would have liked.

Dave: The year as a whole was phenomenal for me. I play all systems, though, so the droughts didn't affect me as much as others. 3DS killed it. Absolutely killed it. Possibly my favourite line-up of games since the N64.

Tom: Ah, the Year of Luigi! To be honest, I'd be happy with a Century of Luigi.

Conor: Absolutely. Across all platforms. The Wii U managed to save itself by the end of the year and 3DS did a fantastic job of pulling the weight in the meantime. Nintendo took a lot of hits this year, but this Christmas they've got the monopoly on my living room. That kinda speaks volumes.

Morgan: Oh yeah, a crazy good year. And I know we didn't mention it because it's a transatlantic injustice, but ATLUS and XSEED kept my 3DS so well stocked this year too! Rune Factory 4, Shin Megani Tensei IV & Soul Hackers, the Etrian Odysseys, Senran Kagura - all of those have racked up embarrassingly long hours on my Activity Log and I'm excited for Europe to get to experience them all!

Conor: Here's hoping the Wii U just manages to keep up momentum in 2014! That's going to be vital. It can't afford another dry patch at all.

Morgan: It was the best Year of Luigi yet!

Tom: Luigi, the true hero of our times.

Conor: May he live on in our hearts and on our commemorative Club Nintendo coins.

Martin: I'm still disappointed that Mario Is Missing wasn't released on Virtual Console.

I was hoping for a special edition.

Morgan: I guess they couldn't find him in time, Martin.

Jon: Still missing, apparently.

Martin: Presumed dead.

Morgan: Suspect on the run, jumping higher than normal, and wearing green.

Tom: Katy's too busy playing 3D Altered Beast to share her thoughts here.

Ron: Atta girl.


Katy: Sorry, Steam Sales!!

Conor: It all comes back to Altered Beast.

Morgan: Haha!

Jon: I really hate that game.

Ron: It hates you too, Jon.

Jon: Don't I know it.

Conor: Tom, we need a dedicated Altered Beast chat. The SITE needs it.


Morgan: Every round table eventually descends into a dedicated Altered Beast chat!

Jon: We do need a dedicated Altered Beast chat area. It'll be a great way of weeding out the crazies as everyone who posts there will be banned.

Morgan: Ha!

Tom: I agree with Jon.

Katy: This year was OK, personally the 3DS stole it for me with AC:NL, Pokemon X&Y and Ace Attorney, and I was a little disappointed with the lack of Wii U killer games support, but otherwise, pretty good! The PS3 was my home system of the year though - Ni No Kuni guyz!!

Conor: PS3 did well this year too, for sure. I'm with you on TLOU, Tom. I actually liked Bioshock Infinite quite a bit too.

Ron: I know you're all looking for one, so here's the best remix of the Altered Beast theme.

Tom: That seems like a suitably crazy way to close. Thanks everyone, and here's to 2014!