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Editor's note: Marissa (aka 'Rissa') is our first new contributor to our Game of the Year feature this year! She's a friend from Twitter who loves gaming and occasionally cosplays at different coventions throughout the year. You can find follow her at @Rissake on Twitter and find more of her writing on Medium. It didn’t take long before the games came rolling out in 2017. Not only were there an incredible selection of games, we were also bestowed with the release of the Nintendo Switch! With a new system rolling out, and many other great games following, 2017 was, in my opinion, one of the best years in gaming. I am a loyal Nintendo gamer, so you will find that all of my selections were exclusively for the Switch or Nintendo 3DS. They definitely kept me busy this year. 9. ARMS Nintendo’s clever take on boxing was one of the most intriguing games for me this year, and I was highly anticipating it. I’m not one for fighting games, but the unique rapid fighting style and artwork had me completely captivated. Each fighter comes with a choice of arms which range from boxing gloves to giant hammers, missile cannons and other unique choices. The combo you choose will determine how your character fights. As much as I enjoyed this game, I am guilty of not playing nearly enough of it. However, I have been able to play different modes such as single player, multiplayer and online play. It takes a while to grasp the fighting style, and using the joycons is a definite challenge in itself. Overall, a unique take on a fighting game that I would love to get back into. 8. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King 3DS By no means is this a “new” game, but cor blimey, the 3DS remake of Journey of the Cursed King was one of my highlights in 2017! After playing the original on the PS2 years ago, I was incredibly happy to welcome an old friend to the comfort of my 3DS. As upsetting as it was to not hear the beautifully orchestrated music we had heard on the PS2 version, the new content makes up what our ears lack. Having Red and Morrie joining in on your adventures made the battles all the more interesting! No more random battles, & new side quests, new dungeons and even a whole new take on the ending makes this 3DS remake everything you need and more! Reliving one of my favorite games brought me an immense amount of joy. 7. Fire Emblem Warriors As someone who has never played a Dynasty Warriors game and didn’t care all that much for Hyrule Warriors, Fire Emblem Warriors has been a thrill to play! The Kingdom of Aytolis is falling, and it is up to Princess Lianna and Prince Rowan to rally troops and restore peace to their nation. If you’re a fan of hack and slash games and Fire Emblem Awakening/Fates, then this is the game for you. The missions were fun, yet challenging, and the story kept me interested in progressing through the game more & more. Plus, the amusing support conversations gave the game an extra charm. Multiplayer is a blast and I highly recommend you play this with a friend. It makes everything more enjoyable (and maybe a little easier). 6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Because Switch ports make everything better. Mario Kart 8 is by far my favorite in the Mario Kart franchise, and I was thrilled to have it on the Switch! With better graphics, new characters, new courses and even an improved Battle mode, this game has easily made its way into my top picks this year. Plus, the Smart Steering was a nice touch for those who are new or inexperienced with Mario Kart (it made playing with my family a lot more entertaining). 5. Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy Little known fact: the Professor Layton series is one of my all-time favorite gaming franchises. Not only did we get a new Layton game, but we get a new (adorable) protagonist: Katrielle Layton. The daughter of the esteemed Professor Layton begins her career as a detective and opens up her own agency, solving numerous cases and puzzles on her way. As expected with any Layton game, the music is wonderful, characters are charming and the story is light-hearted with many intricate puzzles. Being able to customize your office and dress up Katrielle as you wish made the game all the more unique. While it kept similar features from previous games, it was definitely a different take on the Layton series. However, change can be good and I found it very refreshing to be greeted with different cases and new characters to grow close to. It may not have been the “perfect” Layton game, but I’m excited to see where LEVEL-5 will be taking us on our Layton Journey. 4. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia For the past 4 years, Fire Emblem has easily made its way onto my list of favorite gaming series. Each one I have played has been a wonderful experience, and Shadow of Valentia gave my love for this series a major boost. Echoes offered not only your classic Fire Emblem gameplay but some new features that gave it a whole new feeling. I particularly enjoyed exploring through temples and dungeons for endless amounts of loot and gaining extra experience. It was a nice break from the narrative of the game. I’m guilty of not playing the original version, Fire Emblem Gaiden, but I know without a doubt this remake was a faithful successor. With its captivating character artwork, strategic gameplay and a beautiful story, this was an easy choice for my top 2017 games! 3. Splatoon 2 Of all the games I was looking forward to the most this year, Splatoon 2 was the one. I fell in love with the first one back in 2015 and I devoted over 200 hours of blissful gameplay into it. Needless to say, I fell in love with this series all over again. Splatoon 2 is vibrant, quirky and nothing short of amazing. With a plethora of returning features to see, we are also lavished with so many new weapons, stages, music and clothing (not to mention hairstyles)! Salmon Run is a brand-new co-op mode featured in Splatoon 2 and is definitely one you’ll want to try. It may take playing a few rounds to get used to the horde environment, but I found it easily addictive and a blast to play online with friends! We may not have our lovely Squid Sisters this time around, but Pearl and Marina are extremely likable and give Splatfest a whole new groove. No doubt this game is off the hook and one of the highlights of my year. 2. Super Mario Odyssey The man wears many hats, and that’s one of the beauties of this game. He’s more than just a plumber, he’s anything you want him to be. Super Mario Odyssey absolutely blew me away in every single aspect. It’s breath-taking, charming and heartwarmingly nostalgic for most gamers familiar with the Mario series. It’s genuinely a fun game! There are so many Power Moons to find and places to explore that you will never grow tired of playing. Super Mario Odyssey is gorgeous, & I can gush over the aesthetic elements of this game forever. Regardless if I’m playing on my 4K HD TV or my Switch screen, the vivid colors make this game pure eye candy! Of course, the soundtrack is not to be forgotten. The music is catchy, orchestrated beautifully and creates a perfect atmosphere throughout the game. Honestly, I can never get enough of 'Jump Up, Super Star'. Playing this game was an absolute joy, and brought out the small child in me who grew up playing Mario games. Tears may have been present with admiration and nostalgia, & that is why I know it truly means so much to me. It is such a phenomenal game that is not only a top pick for 2017, but a top pick for my personal favorites. 1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild The funny thing about this being my number one pick for 2017 is that I was very skeptical about it prior to release. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited, but seeing how different it was going to be from previous Zelda games had me worried. After playing this game for a short amount of time proved I had nothing to worry about. Breath of the Wild was everything I wanted and more. The moment I realized this might be the best game I’ve ever played was alarming. Yes, it’s different, yes, it’s new, but that’s what makes it so fascinating. You literally can do anything you want right from the start. You can climb any surface, swim in any body of water and pick up almost any object you see. Breath of the Wild allows you to explore until your heart's content. What I love most about this game is not only Link’s development throughout the game, but also yours as the player. You obtain better items to fight powerful enemies, better equipment to tread through various climate changes and even more courage to face menacing foes. I was completely unable to fight against a Guardian until I was at least 50+ hours in and by then I had plenty of practice with the shield parry. After years of playing video games, Breath of the Wild brought forth a completely new experience of gaming to me. It was not like anything ever played in all my years. There were days I’d play for hours and did not accomplish anything except exploring new areas and admiring views. Everything about this game won me over, and I will never forget the moment I first started playing or all the Divine Beasts I conquered. I caught myself grinning like a child as I played this game. This may be the reason it has triumphed over all others.
Jason Clement posted a article in NintendoNintendo's new IP ARMS and the multiplayer-centric Splatoon 2 are the next major new first party releases in the Switch's line-up, and today we finally got to hear a bit more about them, as well as when we'll get to play them. First off, the Nintendo Direct yesterday revealed that in ARMS, each fighter will be able to equip two different types of customizable ARMS. These can range from standard gloves to more specialized ones, and each ARM will have an elemental attribute (ice, fire, electricity) that adds extra effects. A new, ramen-armed female character named Min-Min was also announced. ARMS is set to release on June 16 for Switch, and a special neon yellow Joy-Con controller is set to launch alongside it as well (sold separately). Check out the video segment for the new content below. Meanwhile, the Direct focused on a new area/mode in Splatoon 2 called Salmon Run. It's a four-player, co-op-based mode where players will do battle against a new type of species called the Salmonid. Also when co-op partners fall, they can be revived by teammates by being shot with ink on the battlefield. Not bad! Splatoon 2 will debut on Switch a month after ARMS on July 21. Be sure to check out Salmon Run in the video below. Source: Nintendo Direct Are you looking forward to ARMS and/or Splatoon 2?
Jason Clement posted a article in NintendoNintendo unveiled a bevy of game announcements during last night's Switch presentation, and while ports were to be expected, there were also a number of pretty big surprises, both from Nintendo and third-parties alike. Here's a rundown of some of the biggest games that were announced for the Switch, in addition to everything else that has been announced and confirmed thus far. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Releasing March 3 - Ending the presentation with a bang, Breath of the Wild looks absolutely stunning with its latest trailer, this time focused on the plot of the game. We had previously heard that the villain in this game would be Calamity Ganon (which appears to be an incarnation of the series eponymous villain), but we finally get a good look at the evil being unleashed on this Hyrule in addition to loads of supporting characters, and yes, even Zelda herself. This one can't come soon enough, and you won't have to wait long enough either -- it'll be one of the first Switch games releasing at launch on March 3. Super Mario Odyssey - Releasing Holiday 2017 - Ever since its initial tease in the Nintendo Switch trailer that released last Fall, fans have been wondering what exactly what Mario has been up to in his latest game, and now we finally got to find out. Super Mario Odyssey looks to be the series' biggest game yet, with large, open sandbox levels for players to explore. Even some of the themes appear to be very different this time around, including a fiesta-themed level and even one based on the real world. Unfortunately, this game won't be out until later in the year, but it looks like it'll be worth the wait. Splatoon 2 - Releases Summer 2017 - We had previously known that Splatoon would show up as part of the Switch lineup, but it was rumored to be an port of the Wii U game from a few years back. Needless to say, it took fans by surprise when it was announced that this one would be a brand new sequel. Splatoon 2 expands upon the first game's addicting gameplay by adding brand new levels, characters, weapons, and more. Unfortunately, this one won't make launch either, but you'll be playing it before long; it comes out this Summer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POsTR5iy_TI Fire Emblem Warriors - Releasing TBD - When Hyrule Warriors initially released, many fans wondered what other Nintendo series could become a musou spinoff. Fire Emblem was naturally one of the very first series that people thought of, and it seems Koei Tecmo had the same idea. While we got a short teaser for the game, it would seem this one is early in development since there's no gameplay footage yet. Time will tell if this is a 2018 or beyond title, but for now let's just be glad we're getting a Fire Emblem Warriors game! ARMS - Releasing Spring 2017 - Quirky name aside, ARMS is one of Nintendo's new IPs and essentially combines boxing with... um, long arms. It's a unique idea, and banks on the motion control scheme for the Switch with each player utilizing both Joy-Con to act as your fists. Is this the spiritual successor to Punch-Out? It certainly looks like it, and we'll find out if this game has what it takes to become a new classic when it releases this Spring. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Edition - Releasing April 28 - An enhanced port of Wii U's Mario Kart 8, this deluxe edition collects the entire original game with the 16 DLC tracks that came out and adds five new characters (Inkling Boy, Inkling Girl, King Boo, Dry Bones, and Bowser Jr.), three new vehicles (two inspired by Splatoon), and brand new battle courses (which also include returning battle courses from previous games). 1, 2, Switch - Releasing March 3 - Another new IP from Nintendo, this one is a party game where you'll look directly at your opponent instead of the screen as you participate in games like a Wild West faceoff, copycat dance-off, cow-milking contest, and more. Sounds pretty zany, but this could end up being a surprise hit at parties so we'll see what it's like when it releases at launch! Other Surprises Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - Release TBD - New Shin Megami Tensei title - Release TBD - Dragon Quest X and XI - Release TBD - Dragon Quest Heroes 1 & 2 - Release TBD - Project Octopath Traveler - Release TBD - New No More Heroes Title - Release TBD - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f98ZwgzYyig Super Bomberman R - Release TBD - Tentative list of confirmed upcoming games (still being updated) Also Releasing in March Has Been Heroes - Frozenbyte Super Bomberman R - Konami Just Dance 2017 - Ubisoft Snipperclips: Cut it out, together! - Nintendo I Am Setsuna - Square Enix Releasing in Spring 2017 Sonic Mania - SEGA LEGO City Undercover - Warner Bros. TBD The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Bethesda Shovel Knight - Yacht Club Games FIFA - EA Ultra Street Fighter V: The Final Challengers - Capcom Disgaea 5 Complete - NISA Arcade Archives - HAMSTER, Co. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 - Bandai Namco Farming Simulator - Focus Home Interactive Fast RMX - Shin'en Minecraft: Story Mode - The Complete Adventure - Telltale Games Minecraft: Switch Edition - Mojang AB Puyo Puyo Tetris - SEGA Rayman Legends Definitive Edition - Ubisoft Rime - Tequila Works, Grey Box Skylanders Imaginators - Activision Steep - Ubisoft Syberia 3 - Anuman Interactive NBA 2K17 - 2K Games Sonic Mania - SEGA Project Sonic 2017 - SEGA The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth - Nicalis Redout - Nicalis What are your thoughts on the games coming out for Switch so far?