2010 was the year of the Wii, or so I called it in my Nintendo’s Top Ten of Twenty-Ten list. Now we are here in 2011, and what will it be the year of? I’ve already dubbed it the ‘Year of Zelda’, but it will also be a big year for the Nintendo 3DS, as well as the DS. It’s time for us to look into the coming year and think about what we’re looking forward to. What are we saving our money for? The following is my top ten list of the Nintendo products that I am most looking forward to this coming year. This is what I’m anticipating, although there’s no guarantee that all of them will be out this year. Be warned – I’m pretty excited.
10- Paper Mario (Nintendo 3DS)
Paper Mario on the 64 is the game that I’m most thankful for being on the Wii Virtual Console, otherwise I never would have experienced it. It was a unique game. The clash of the second and third dimension, the battle system, the length, and the just-perfectly-challenging difficulty. The Paper Mario series then jumped onto the Gamecube and then the Wii with even more fabulous gameplay concepts. I honestly just can’t wait to see what Paper Mario can do on the 3DS. A 2D Mario running around in a fully 3D environment with depth? The possibilities are arousing.
9- Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright (Nintendo 3DS)
This was really an out of no-where title that no-one expected, but at the same time, it is so perfect. The puzzle solving mind of Professor Layton meets the courtroom legend of Ace Attorney. Personality clash! We get a game with both Layton’s renowned puzzles and Wright-style trials. We know that the story involves a girl accused by Layton of being a witch, of which Phoenix disagrees. I’m expecting the two to put their differences aside and work together to solve this mystery in what could very well be one of the best crossovers ever.
8- Mario Kart (Nintendo 3DS)
Whenever there’s a new Nintendo console, there’s always going to be a new Mario Kart. Whenever there’s a new Mario Kart, there’s always going to be heaps of fans like us exited to see what new features there are: what’s gone, what’s changed and what sucks. Mario Kart always sells like… well, something that sells damn fast. Mario Kart’s formula is so well established that it’s guaranteed fun. As long as Nintendo steers clear of Double-Dash-style gameplay everyone will be happy, and we’ll have another great game to provide endless hours of togetherness; and fun of course.
7- Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle (Nintendo 3DS)
The Professor Layton series is on a roll. Three great titles are already on the Nintendo DS, and they’ve only gotten better each time. The Specter’s Flute is still to come for the DS, but The Mask of Miracle is also just around the corner for the 3DS. What makes this so exciting is the new hardware and how this affects the puzzles. There is so much potential with the 3D capabilities and tilt sensors for puzzles far more imaginative then we’ve seen. Layton fans should be horny for this one. I sure am.
6- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 3DS)
Given that we’re at a Zelda site, and that this is sometimes referred to as the best game of all time, and is already deemed as the most must-own 3DS title (apparently), you may or may not be shocked by Ocarina of Time being in sixth place. No doubt it’s exciting to see how the new graphics look, and the 3D, and the changes made. Oh, and the new interface and portability of the game. But nevertheless, we’ve all played it before. It’s going to be great. I’m excited for it, but we already know what we’ll get. It has been re-released how many times now? True anticipation is reserved for those things that are still a mystery.
5- Pokémon Black and White (Nintendo DS)
Fact of life: Pokémon games will always be highly anticipated. Add the fact that this is a new generation with 156 new guys to catch in a whole new region, and this is worth going primeape over. The main reason that I’m looking forward to this is because of the changes. People have been saying that Pokémon is stale because it has never really changed, well this is where everything changes. Impressive battle animations, the first female professor, vending machines, new battle strategies, more visually stunning cities, and god knows what else. Well, the Japanese also know what else because those lucky people have had it for months now. Soon my Pokémon trainers, soon.
4- Kid Icarus: Uprising (Nintendo 3DS)
Pit caught all of our attention when he was in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. We wondered if it could mean that he was making a return. Apparently it did, but not on the Wii. This is the 3DS game that I’m looking forward to most. I was gob-smacked (to the fullest extent of the stupid cliché) when I saw Pit appear at E3, as I watched it live at 3am in the morning. He’s back after like 20 years of Palutena knows what. Oh right, I haven’t played a Kid Icarus title before, but he’s one of the best fighters in Brawl and this game looks like a standalone gem. Count me anticipated.
3- Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation (Nintendo DS)
Nothing in gaming has ever gotten me as hard as Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the starry Skies did. Okay, so that’s a little bit strange and graphic. Let’s just say that I have quite the soft spot for Dragon Quest IX – woah wait, I’ve gone from one extreme to the other. Pathetic laugh attempts aside, Dragon Quest IX was my favorite game of last year because of its great gameplay and its touching (Din dammit) storylines. It had length and endurance (stop you’re killing me). I mean that was a game that just kept going and going far longer than I thought possible. I can’t wait for a similar experience again with Dragon Quest VI. Games like that only come along every couple of years.
2- Nintendo 3DS and the Virtual Console
Even more anticipated than the games of the 3DS must be the console, the hardware (I’ll stop now) that will make or break the games. All of the games rely upon the 3DS being able to deliver the 3D and everything else that it has promised. Included in its promises is the whole GameBoy Virtual Console. Link’s Awakening, The Oracle games, Kirby’s Dreamland – plenty of titles to get us all giddy just like I am. If we get what we’re promised then this really should be in the number one spot.
1- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo Wii)
But the Nintendo 3DS can’t be in number one because Skyward Sword is. I mean come on, I’m first and foremost a Zelda fan. I’d throw away the chance of experiencing the 3DS just for Skyward Sword. To experience the gameplay and motion controls, to learn the story and theorize and do stuff with the timeline. I love it. This is five years plus in the making. Maybe it’s the greatest Zelda game ever. It has the potential to be better than Ocarina of Time, which is why it deserves more anticipation. Seriously, I’d cheat on Dragon Quest for this any day. As I wait, my sword points skyward.
So there we have the thoughts of one excited teen fan-boy. I must give honorable mentions to some more games that didn’t make my list. No doubt they’re worth looking forward to (not like we can look back to them). They include Pilot Wings Resort (eew), Starfox 64 (mmm), The Last Story (maybe), Resident Evils (nah), Metal Gear Solid (nope), Mario Sports Mix (maybe), Nintendogs + Cats (hmm) and so on. There’s plenty more coming this year. So what are you hanging out for (seriously I thought I was stopping) this year? What is going to empty your wallets, especially when some of us are still trying to catch up on all of last year’s gaming experiences? You just wait for E3 2011 where we’ll get a whole new collection of games to look forward to and make us even poorer. Nevertheless, I remain excited by gaming. Maybe even a little over the top obsessed – we’ll never know.