2015 is just about done and dusted. It was a great year for gaming with some amazing games, big surprises and the odd turkey filling up the gaming calendar. So with the year almost over Matt thought it was time to have a look back at the year that was for three consoles. Finally we finish off the feature with the big N.
2015 The Year That Was – Nintendo
It was a roller coaster of a year from Nintendo. From the Wii U finally hitting its straps to the tragic death of Satoru Iwata things for the big N have gone from up to down in the blink of a an eye. The one thing this year has proven however is the resilience of the Japanese gaming giant and the faith they have in their own vision.
The Wii U has really flourished this year with a string of great releases but the two biggest surprises of the year were Splatoon and Super Mario Maker. Splatoon was a brand new IP from Nintendo that took everyone by surprise. At it’s core it is a multiplayer shooter but Nintendo have added their own unique touch to the genre and created something unique and special. Super Mario Maker, in my mind at least, is perhaps the best concept for a game ever. The ability to create 2D Mario levels with ease and then share them with the world is an amazing idea that was fully realised with this release. It is the most fun I have had with my family on a console for ages.
Of course some of the wind has been taken out of the Wii U’s sails due to the announcement of Nintendo’s next console which is codenamed NX. The announcement that NX is coming so early in the scheme of things has led to some scepticism in the fan base. Many are suggesting that some of the bigger titles that are planned for 2016, such as the new Zelda game, won’t come to the Wii U at all and will be launch titles for the NX. This has understandably led to some worried fans, especially considering the Wii U isn’t that old to begin with.
Things were fairly quite on the 3DS side of things in 2015. Despite some new hardware there was a lack of new releases for the system. The biggest games of the year were actually remakes of old games (like Zelda). The system did get a new Mario and Luigi game recently and a new top down Zelda game that released to a fairly luke warm reception. Monster Hunter 4 came out and gave fans of the franchise more of what they loved but did little to entice new players and Xenoblade kept JRPG fans very happy. Hopefully the humble 3DS gets some more love in 2016
Finally it is impossible to not mention the death of not only the president of Nintendo but one of the most important people in the history of video games. Satoru Iwata was a part of Nintendo since the early days of Mario right through to the development of the Wii U. His vision helped Nintendo become a family name and also had a huge part in making video games the widely accepted form of entertainment they are today. His influence and guidance will be missed by gamers everywhere.
Nintendo’s up and down year is hopefully just a rough patch on the way to better things. 2015 wasn’t their best year but it certainly had enough great games and innovations to keep Nintendo fans happy. With the excitement of a new console and new leadership there are without doubt exciting things to come from the house of Mario.