The Game Boy turning 30
On the subject of great portable machines, the granddaddy of them all turned 30 this year (April in Japan, July in North America) and we had a bit of a Game Boy blow-out.
Nintendo Life staff shared our favourite memories of the handheld, we spoke to a Game Boy retailer still keeping the dream alive three decades on, we interviewed veteran developer Jas Austin about porting R-Type to the portable system and spoke to other devs about their thoughts on the Game Boy. We also looked at the handheld rivals that took a beating at the hands of Nintendo's underpowered little wonder, as well as a Konami peripheral which turned the console into a 'mini arcade machine'.
And, of course, we turned to you lovely Nintendo Life readers to help compile the Top 50 Game Boy games. It was wonderful to look back and rediscover classic games that had passed us by on a machine that is very much a part of Switch's DNA. Happy Birthday Game Boy.
Hang on, Witcher 3 is really coming to Switch?!
A candidate for biggest Switch surprise of 2019, if you'd asked us two years ago about the chances of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt coming to Nintendo's console, we'd have told you a game of Gwent would be the closest you'd come to getting Geralt on Switch. The rumour mill started at the beginning of the year, but even when trustworthy outlets began speculating it seemed like the most impossible of ports to dream for until the game was officially announced in June.
The game released in October and, well, it's excellent. By all accounts, getting Witcher 3 running acceptably on the mobile chipset of Nintendo's console was a huge task for Saber Interactive, but the studio did sterling work and brought the rich world of the huge RPG to Switch almost completely intact. We liked it a lot, but we're still not totally certain we haven't fallen into some parallel dimension or something. Whatever happens next?
Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 E3 2019 announcement
Was it surprising? No - in fact, looking back at past timescales, we called that an announcement was potentially incoming. Was it exciting? Oh yes. Oh yessss.
For many of us (and we assume many of you) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been one of Switch's most evergreen titles, and something of a wonderful oddity in the Zelda series. Usually our relationship with Zelda goes into hibernation after we've 100%-ed the latest epic, but Breath of the Wild's open world (not to mention its 900 Korok seeds) has kept us returning again and again to enjoy the scenery and burn around the landscape on our motorbike.
Still, the prospect of an entirely new adventure with the self-same Link and Zelda - whether set in the same Hyrule or not - is very exciting. We collected together everything we know about Breath of the Wild 2, but there hasn't been much information released since E3 and we're looking forward to more tantalising info coming out in 2020. We don't imagine we'll see it before 2021, so there's plenty of time to get hyped with more juicy details - and plenty of time to find those last hundred-or-so Korok seeds that elude us.
So, those are a selection of our favourite Nintendo moments from 2019, but what about yours? Feel free to let rip in the comments with your favourite recollections from the past 12 months of hearty Nintendo goodness.
Pity. I feel like the only person who couldn't really care less if Banjo got into Smash or not. Happy for the fans who have been wishing for it, though.
The Animal Crossing delay ruined 2019.
nah for me it is 2018 best time with the switch. Better games came out that year and more better news.
Banjo Kazooie was my number 1 Nintendo moment this year just because Banjo Kazooie is my favourite game of all time
I was more excited for Terry from Fatal Fury being announced for Smash
Imo Terry was more hype for me then banjo
No really though, Banjo killed it this year. Hard to top a fan favorite literally rising from the dead. Here's hoping 2020 brings more nice surprises like that.
Witcher 3 and Switch 1.1 with revised processor / battery were my favorite moments of the year. Even though I had Witcher 3, and all DLC, on Ps4... ive never had the time to play it due to having my daughters around the tv nearly constantly. So having Witcher portable was amazing, not to mention the feat of getting it running and running well on the Switch. Then having a switch with nearly double battery life? Yup, I was sold. Proud to say I’m currently in a 2 Switch household. Hopefully 3-4 this coming year - just depends on if they announce a Switch Pro or not!
Another Zelda game announced and Witcher 3 running on the Switch are definitely top 2 Nintendo moments for me.
The final Splatfest was a pretty big moment for the die hards. I still play from time to time, but it's not the same knowing that there's nothing new to look forward to. But I suppose it's to be expected from a launch year game.
@JHDK Don't you mean enhanced 2020?
also, nice to see Muddy make the thumbnail yet again!
I'd have to give it to the February Direct as the best moment, it really showed us just how amazing the second half of 2019 was going to be even though the first half was very rough.
My favorite Nintendo moment was the announcement of the Famicom tantei club remake.
The Banjo Kazooie reveal is one of the best Nintendo moments ever
My personal favorite out of this list was the Breath of the Wild 2 announcement.
@Ralizah yeah I wasn’t excited either when banjo got announced.Tbh apart from the fact that botw 2 was announced,this year has been pretty disappointing for me.I hope next year is better.....
A good selection! I'd personally say the reaction to the Sans Mii costume in Smash was more hilarious than that of Banjo & Kazooie's reveal, but they are far more important in terms of the gaming history that their inclusion made, and I think that's more important than one more indie game getting representation in Smash. Banjo & Kazooie came home, as many people have put it.
They forgot the part when Reggie says he can’t wait to jump off the battle bus and see us in Fortnite
@Ralizah it was cool but personally I was like ok. I just have no connection to the series. I've ayed the games bit I dont feel like banjo was an icon.
@Arcron not this year dumb dumb
Botw2 announcement was by far the best for me
Omg that moment when BotW 2 was announced though! 😻 So awesome!
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Witcher 3 was the best moment. That a Nintendo console is getting solid AAA ports like Skyrim, DOOM, this and soon Outer Worlds is amazing. Top it off with a strong selection of first party titles and of course a beyond exceptional selection of indie titles and the whole "there's nothing to play on the Switch!" excuse is tired and old.
Reggie's departure is hard. He was such a fun guy who made you believe he loved Nintendo. I don't get that at all from Doug Bowser.
@graysoncharles They didn't beat Microsoft though
I've wanted Banjo since SSB64/Melee days, so that was definitely the Nintendo moment of the year for me. Trailer was perfect, especially the little touch of the Rareware characters cheering Banjo on. BOTW 2 reveal trailer would be a close #2. BOTW is among my favorite Zelda games, and in general favorite games of all time.
I do miss Reggie. I mean sometimes he was definitely frustrating with vague answers and PR stuff especially during Wii/Wii U game droughts. But he was/is an interesting person and you could tell he genuinely loved having a role at Nintendo. Maybe I'm being harsh, but I don't get that same vibe from Doug Bowser, at least yet.
"but Breath of the Wild's open world (not to mention its 900 Korok seeds) has kept us returning again and again"
That's so true, played for 3 hours again today. I'm at 328 of 900...
Let’s gloss over the top 50 GameBoy games debacle...
sorry no relationship with zelda ever goes into hibernation
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