I knew that I was going to end up with all the consoles eventually - it's not really a choice for me. However, the order in which I got my Wii U and PS4 (and one day an Xbox One, too) was mostly dictated by local availability and timing for my bank account. Some lucky people in other parts of the world had access to all of them from launch, so what drove their decisions? It's probably not what you think.
I have way too much love for The Legend Of Zelda. It’s a franchise which has been consistently impressive, even when games in the series haven’t been instant classics. Ever since the series hit the NES, The Legend Of Zelda has always prided itself on being a massive open-world game of dungeons, actions and adventure. But it has never called itself an open-world game until now, with the latest chapter in the saga finally attaching itself to that label.
In the short space of a week I've gone from owning zero Nintendo Amiibo, to having an insatiable thirst to buy one nearly every day. I currently own four of the immaculately designed little figurines, and I understand why they're selling like hotcakes around the world. But which ones are flying off the shelves faster than they're getting there? Better yet, which one will soon be rare collectible items?
I love Nintendo’s Wii U; Nintendo’s first-party games are undeniably gems, almost always polished to perfection. Just this weekend, I reacquainted myself with Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros, two of my very favourite games from the last year. Still, it’s easy to be underwhelmed by the quantity of great games hitting Nintendo’s machine. It’s not helped by the fact that the Wii U still isn’t selling well, even though it’s played most of its cards. It selling even fewer units than the ill-fated (but also awesome) Gamecube did at this point in its lifecycle. Is Nintendo in denial? Is it time for Nintendo to face facts?
The Wii U has been written off as a failed console. It was laughed at and ignored. But some awesome games and the release of Amiibos have changed that, and the Wii U is picking up steam. But can we call it a contender again?
Bugger the Olympics, the Superbowl or EFC Africa 212: Meatfist Mayhem. When it comes to sports, my eyes are firmly glued on the screen whenever the annual EVO Tournament rolls into town. It’s the very best of the fighting game scene, descending on Las Vegas for a weekend of fists, kicks and Hadoukens. And the games on offer this year, are going to tear the Vegas strip a new one.
And starting a new one! If you didn’t know, Nintendo has a rewards club in place. By redeeming the scratch cards you get wioth physical games, and tying your digital purchases to a Club Nintendo account you get to earn stars – which you can then trade for physical, Nintendo-themed items. It’s a cool way to rewards a loyal customer base with Nintendo baubles. You can see the catalogue available to South African Nintendo fans here. If you’ve got a cache of unspent stars waiting, you best get spending them soon. Club Nintendo is closing down.
I never really wanted to own a Wii U up until last year. It’s virtually impossible to ignore how strong Nintendo’s line-up was, and after Nintendo Direct last night it’s hard to imagine that they’re going to slow down soon. There are already countless reasons to finally pick up a Wii U, but my ultimate seller has to be Splatoon. And now it has a release date.
It wasn’t the best year for fighting games to be honest. 2015 thankfully should be different and a lot more jam packed. Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and yes, Street Fighter V (oh calm down already Geoff!), will crowd the genre once more. That doesn’t mean there weren't standout titles this year though. Who er... punched better than the other?
Lights! Camera! ACTION! Gaming can be cerebral, engaging or even tender depending on the experience that you’re looking for. But sometimes, you want a game that will rip your shirt off and make you grow hairy explosions on your chest. Action games were back with a vengeance this year, but there could be only one…winner.
2014 has been all about the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. But really, Nintendo may have just had the very best year when it came down to it. With a solid line-up, Nintendo was knocking sixes all year long across a wide variety of genres and franchises. But if you’re looking for that one game that will define the Wii U, then the choice was obvious.
Tengami is an adventure game created by former Rare staff members that just oozes beauty and a strange sense of tranquillity. I’m not saying this because this game was made by people that worked at Rare or that its soundtrack is composed by David Wise, but the best way I can describe this game is that it’s like the song Stickerbrush Symphony, but only in video game form; peaceful with a hint of fantastical.
Beyond positive stories like the latest Pokémon selling like proverbial hotcakes, and Smash Bros being a critical and commercial darling, there’s not much in the way of good news for Nintendo right now. The Wii U still isn’t selling nearly as well as anyone would like, and if reports are to be believed, Black Friday hasn’t changed that much. Still, some are bullish about Nintendo’s future, and one of them is rather surprising: Michal Pachter.
I love RPGs, not only because some of the best stories are found in this genre, but the gameplay can at times become really intricate and complex and forces you to think of your actions before execution instead of relying on reflexes. It’s some of the most fun I have, but lately I’ve been overworked and just the sight of another character stat or magic spell explanation is enough to give me a headache. Sometimes I just want to come home and play something simple, yet enjoyable, and Paper Monsters Recut is just that game.
Splatoon might be a reason many people pick up the Wii U next year. It's innovative and fresh, and still distinctly Nintendo. There is no way to play it without a gleeful smile on your face, and truly that's the most important thing. We all want to know more about the game, and we can thanks to some generous developers.