The weather is becoming bitterly cold, the days last for a blink of an eye, and 30 days of snow approacheth… that’s if you believe what the tabloids say of course. Yes, Winter is coming, and with Winter comes Christmas, and with Christmas comes stressing about what to get your gaming son, brother, mother, grandpa, or what ever relative you have is a gamer.
Here at NintyBuzz, we aim to act as your NintyElf Workforce to help you decide what’s hot for Nintendo Wii U and 3DS by compiling a list of 12 recommended games for the systems!
Let the list commence, after the break!
Please Note – This list of recommendations is not ranked.
12 – Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Saphire – 3DS
While Pokemon X and Y were incredible games when it comes to moving the behemoth series forward, Pokemon Emerald was the first Nintendo game I ever played, and as such the Hoenn region holds a rather special place in my heart. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire took what I consider to be the most diverse Pokemon region ever and brought it up to date with glorious autostereoscopic 3D. The plot and gameplay may be more or less unchanged from the originals (bar a rather epic post game quest) but why improve on near-perfection?
Pokemon fans and non fans alike who enjoy a positive, relaxed atmosphere in their games.
11 – Mario Kart 8 – Wii U
While it seems crazy at first, Mario Kart 8 creates a kind of zen: once you have learnt the courses, you enter a trance and almost automatically flow through them. Since launch, 16 brilliant (paid) DLC tracks have been added, and for total insanity, a super-fast 200cc mode was added in a free update!
It’s a game that’s easy for anyone to have fun with, but there are various techniques for players who want to have the edge.
10 – Kid Icarus Uprising – 3DS
I’m not usually one to go for fast paced shooters, yet Pit’s ultimate revival seemed to peek my interest. Half on-rails shooter, half not-on-rails(?) shooter. Hand cramping aside, the fast paced action is extremely fun and can be easy to grasp after a while, and the story is very entertaining, with several hilarious lines spread throughout the script. The game can be completed fairly quickly, though you can easily play some levels again and again yet it will take a while before it will completely bore you out, it also helps that you can ramp up the difficulty intensity for greater rewards. If competitive play is more your thing, there is also a multiplayer mode where you can battle it out in two exciting modes over various different stages, both online and locally. Multiplayer is definitely a blast, and as long as you have a decent enough internet connection, you should still be able to experience stable matches online.
This is the number one game for anyone who fancies fast paced action and shooter games with a Greek Mythological twist!
9 – LEGO City: Undercover – Wii U
LEGO City Undercover is, quite simply, a less violent, LEGO version of GTA and as a result is utterly brilliant. Released in the Wii U’s early days, the game allows you to explore LEGO City as crime fighting police officer Chase McCain. While I’d always found LEGO games to be rather empty prior to my experiences in Undercover, there’s absolutely loads to do, find and unlock in LEGO City. The fun original story couples well with some great voice acting to provide a great journey throughout the 15 hours it takes to polish off, but the with so much value in pure post game exploration, this is a game that could easily suck up your Christmas.
Anyone who enjoys the freedom of an open world and enjoys simply mucking about in a colourful game world.
8 – Bravery Default – 3DS
As a fan of old school Final Fantasy games (IV, V, VI, VIII, etc) Bravely Default was a game I was highly anticipating. It didn’t disappoint either, everything I could want in a turn based RPG was answered with Bravely Default. Between the deep class system, the default mechanics, and the overall story and characters, Bravely Default is a game that will keep you absorbed for hours.
I recommend it to anyone who is tired of Square’s nonsense when it comes to newer Final Fantasy games and wants to play a true FF game
7 – Super Smash Bros. for Wii U – Wii U
This was a game I had waited for ever since the abomination that was Brawl. A perfect mix of what makes Smash Bros so great in the first place. The visuals are crisp, the gameplay is solid and the rooster of characters is growing to this day with Cloud from FFVII coming very soon. Smash is a game with a very high replay value…Between going online, fighting friends or just collecting trophies, Smash for Wii U is a game that just keeps giving.
I would recommend Smash for anyone with a Wii U as well…It is a great competitive game and is a great party game as well. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U doesn’t disappoint.
6 – Animal Crossing: New Leaf – 3DS
It’s Animal Crossing. What more can I say? This version has new features, but how can I explain the charm of the series? You wander around, talk to animals, collect insects, fossils, etc. and decorate your house. I don’t know why I love it, but I played this one every day for a whole month after it’s release.
If you want to chat to some talking animals or go fruit picking, this is for you, I suppose.
5 – The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD – Wii U
The Legend of Zelda is my favorite series, ever. With that said, when Wind Waker first released on GameCube, I wasn’t a huge fan of it. Not because of the artstyle, not because of the story, Wind Waker always had an amazing artstyle and an amazing story (and the best combat in the series as far as button controls are concerned). My issue lies with pacing, sailing was tedious. It took so long, between pulling out the Wind Waker to change the winds’ direction anytime you wanted to sail in a different direction, constantly pausing, and slow sailing speed in general. Well, the Wii U version rectified all of that with Gamepad functionality for your items and maps. Nintendo also added a swift sail, what the swift sail does is it increases the speed of the boat significantly and makes it to where you don’t have to pull out the Wind Waker anytime you wanted to change the direction you were sailing in. Those minor tweaks have made The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker one of my favorite games of all time.
I would recommend Wind Waker HD to any Zelda fan, or any fan of open world games. The Wind Waker is a delight that shouldn’t be over looked as a simple GameCube port…It truly added things to the original that makes the experience that much sweeter
4 – Splatoon – Wii U
I’ve said it earlier and I’ll say it again, shooters don’t usually interest me, but it seems that Nintendo know how to change my mind. Splatoon is very different from any shooter you have played, instead of going around killing people on the opposing team in cold blood, your aim is to cover as much of the stage as possible with your own coloured ink in 4 vs. 4 online matches. When it was first announced, my feelings about the title were indifferent, but once I finally had a chance to experience playing as a Squid Kid inking everything in sight, I was instantly hooked. The squid mechanic is ingenious, it allows you to hide yourself in your own coloured ink to hide from members of the opposing team and to refill your ammo. Sure, the game felt empty at launch, but every week, Splatoon saw content updates which added new stages, weapons, gear, and even new modes every now any then. There’s also a short, yet brilliant, single player mode which plays very much like a 3D Mario game cross shooter. Oh, and if you think shooters should have a dark undertone, did we mention that Splatoon is actually set in a dystopian future where the world was flooded and squids overran the world?
Splatoon is perfect for those of you who love shooters, even if you feel like they have gotten stale. It also has a wide appeal and can be enjoyed and played by just about anyone, squid or kid!
3 – Paper Mario – Wii U (N64 Virtual Console)
Long before the most delicate version of everyone’s favourite plumber was appearing in substandard 3DS games with wafer thin plots, he actually gave his name to a trio of rather good RPGs – one of which is available via the Wii U Virtual Console. Paper Mario (originally released on the N64 in 2000) follows, well… Paper Mario on his quest to free Princess Peach from Bowser who – plot twist – somehow managed to bury his castle underneath hers. With RPG mechanics that make the game both highly accessible to newcomers yet deep and rewarding to old hands through a plethora of unlockable secrets the gameplay is exquisite while at the same time the plot sails along with a colourful cast of interesting characters. OK, so the story is more Disney than Tolkein, but it still provides an exciting sense of purpose to proceedings which is more than can be said for Mario’s RPGs these days.
Recommended for anyone who has ever enjoyed an RPG and who likes wacky, heartwarming stories.
2 – The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D – 3DS
Majora’s Mask is a game I have always held in a high esteem. The 3ds version just emphasize what’s so amazing about with a few minors tweaks (being able to save anywhere at a bird statue with a permanent save is always welcomed). Majora’s Mask has one of the darkest stories in any of the Zelda games. The three day time mechanic leads to some very deep and interesting gameplay and side quests (Majora’s Mask has some of the best side quests I have seen in any game, they actually add to the story instead of feeling like they were tacked on for something extra to do).
I would recommend Majora’s Mask to anyone…It’s my favorite game, the more people who experience it the better
1 – Xenoblade Chronicles X – Wii U
I can 98% guarantee you that Xenoblade Chronicles X will be the most beautiful and ambitious Wii U game you have ever played. The diverse environments are incredibly impressive and are literally ‘out of this world’. Once you have finished taking in the beauty that befalls you, you are accompanied by several allies to complete an epic adventure with a very intriguing narrative. If the main story is getting you down, then you can distract yourself by completing various missions across Mira and New Los Angeles, take down tyrant indigenous creatures, gather minerals, or just take a stroll down the illuminated forests of Noctilum; there is plenty to do.
If you enjoyed Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii or 3DS, or if you are looking for the next best RPG, it is definitely worth picking this up this Holiday, and will likely last you until next Christmas too!
So, there we have it! We hope our little list has helped you choose the perfect gift for your gamer relative or friend instead of that tacky Christmas sweater.
We hope you have a great Christmas and a happy New Year!