It’s impossible to get around the fact that 2020 has really been enough trousers on several fronts. Not a nice, fresh pair of the thinnest underwear to fill your dresser drawer either – quite the contrary, in fact (we’ll spare you the metaphorical details, but you get the idea). It’s during the darkest times, however, that the smallest light specs are most easily seen, and in the gaming arena there have been some real highlights in most testing over the years.
For Nintendo fans in particular, what looked like a particularly empty twelve-month schedule at the start of 2020 has finally turned into a pretty solid year of releases. You just need to go through a list of the releases developed and published by Nintendo to see that 2020 wasn’t that bad.
The biggest hitter was Animal Crossing: New horizons which did a lot of the heavy lifting for Nintendo, but it was ultimately supported by people like Paper Mario: The King of Origami, Clubhouse games: 51 world classics, and (in collaboration with Koei Tecmo) Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
Then we got remasters and re-releases in the form of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore, Pikmin 3 Deluxe and Super Mario 3D All-Stars which reinforced the line up of the first part, and Mario Kart Live: Home circuit brought some of the magic of Nintendo to a year that was badly needed. Then there were the smaller digital-only titles like Super Mario Bros. 35 and the excellent Good work!, not to mention the metric ton of fantastic indie releases and some premium third-party titles from big names.
In fact, for a year that some people considered to be one of Nintendo’s “ worst ”, there was a lot of really powerful software. With Switch selling at a record high and Nintendo Life awarding no less than four 10/10 this year, it’s hard to look back on games released in 2020 and feel dissatisfied, all things considered. Even if you are not a fan of Animal Crossing, there is something for everyone.
Those projects that crept into the next year only make the next twelve months even juicier! So, let’s keep the positivity flowing and take a look at six of our favorite Nintendo moments from 2020 …
Nindie World Showcases
The absence of E3 this year means that many online replacements have been hastily assembled over the summer. A lot of people have done a lot of hard work to make it happen, although the resulting network of semi-affiliate shows and online events, not to mention the overlapping ads, made it a bit difficult to keep up with the game’s news. they contained.
The big stories have come out, sure, but the relatively dispersed approach over the summer has highlighted how events like E3 can help distill and focus the attention of an audience barred from revelations and trailers, and also how efficiently Nintendo organizes its own announcements.
We think Nintendo has done a good job with the Indie World Showcases this year, with the August one in particular highlighting some real gems on the system (see above). Of course, with the first-party pipeline disrupted by the pandemic, it was in the interest of the platform owner to make a real effort to show off the games other developers were putting on their system.
Still, it’s heartwarming to see his support for the small developers whose contributions make Switch such a vibrant and diverse platform. Nintendo is fortunate to have games like Hell, Horace and A short hike on its console, and hopefully we’ll see more independent gems of this caliber on Switch in the future.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – yes, everything
There have been several games that have “ picked up ” 2020 at one point or another – Fall guys and Among us comes to mind immediately – but only one has really caught on in mainstream media and has dominated the gaming news landscape this year.
And thank god for that. Tom Nook got us through the year with countless moments of fun. Whether it’s catching critters and having fun in the game, or searching online for island inspiration or endless creative custom designs, we don’t know what would have taken its place if Animal Crossing: New Horizons hadn’t happened when it did. It has been invaluable.
We and the rest of the internet have written more than enough words about it; it’s offered a real breakout this year in a way only video games can, and we’re so grateful for the fortuitous moment of its launch. Well done to you, Tommy-boy.
Paper Mario: Origami King & Bobby’s Touching Arc
We didn’t expect Paper Mario – a series perhaps best known for its comedy – to hit us the hardest this year, but The Origami King managed to do just that. It’s packed with great characters and writings, but Bobby Bob-omb was a highlight and we salute the little guy as well as Nintendo’s writers and localization team for their work in making some of the best moments in the year.