My Nintendo 2020 in Review, and my Hopes for 2021

So… about 2020, huh?

My blogging has started a little bit late this month because of stressful holidays, and stressful COVID stuff. Which, honestly, seems to be something almost everyone reading can relate to. Give yourselves a hug, guys.

A Look Back at 2020

The year 2020 was so long, yet so short, yet so blurred together that it’s kind of hard for many to remember… “What did we even play last year?”

Admittedly, I did not play many of Nintendo’s big, bangin’, first-party titles this year. I almost never do, really, since I tend to buy games on sale. And if you know anything about Nintendo… well, those sales don’t happen often.

Here are the games I purchased and played in 2020. Not featured are Spiritfarer and This War of Mine: Complete Edition, which I intend to play once I’ve completed my backlog. Yes, that was painful to write.

Afterparty

Developed by Night School Studio, the same team behind the acclaimed Oxenfree, Afterparty follows two college graduates, Milo and Lola, as they try to navigate their way out of Hell (yes, Hell) after being mistakenly sent there. While I did enjoy this game, I was left wanting a bit more. See my review here!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

This game easily consumed most of my time last year. I mean, I have close to 400 hours in it, and it’s not even a year old. While the graphics, crafting mechanics and terraforming were welcome changes that gave players more autonomy, the lack of furniture sets, multiplayer content and fleshed-out events keep it in the shadow of its predecessor, Animal Crossing: New Leaf. You can see what I thought about the first six months of New Horizons here.

Not Tonight: Take Back Control Edition

This is a bit of a hidden gem for me, and one I’m working on finishing. It’s a game about an alternate world in which Brexit resulted in a dystopian, fascist, xenophobic regime. You’re labelled as a “Euro” despite being born in England and must work as a bouncer in the hopes that you can stay in your home country. It’s Papers, Please meets ambient club music, and lots of fun.

What Remains of Edith Finch

As I said in my review, WRoEF wasn’t a game I was able to play directly because of the harsh camera controls in the Nintendo Switch version of the game. However, I did experience it, and it was one of the most somber and thoughtful experiences I’d had all year.

Choices that Matter: And the Sun Went Out

This game was EASILY one of my favourite games of 2020 (besides Animal Crossing, of course). It’s a text-based adventure game that has you trying to solve a mystery surrounding the sun, which has been extinguishing on its own for longer and longer periods of time. It’s thrilling and had me on the edge of my seat in the way that only a really good book can achieve these days. It’s the only game on my blog to have received the “Masterpiece” rating in my reviews!

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

If I’m being honest, I bought this game physically because I didn’t want to have to pay exorbitant prices later should I want to play it after March 31st, 2021, which is when Nintendo is going to stop offering this game for sale. While some speculate that the three games that make up the collection will be sold individually later on, I doubt it. It’s also my only copy of these games, as I never played them on other systems. So far SM64 and Sunshine have been.. meh. Haven’t played Galaxy yet, though, so here’s hoping it’s good!

Just Dance 2021 and Ring Fit Adventure

I’m in love with the Just Dance franchise, and along with Ring Fit Adventure, they have become my primary ways to exercise during lockdown and quarantine. The gamification of exercise really helps me keep going, and encouragement from my fellow friends’ scores in Ring Fit breaks up the monotony of at-home exercise.

Shantae and the Seven Sirens

Shantae: ½ Genie Hero left me a little wanting when I played it in 2018, but WayForward’s newest entry in the series was excellent. The level design, writing, art style, and mechanics were top-notch, and I would definitely play this game again in hard mode. Some extra game modes like from ½ Genie Hero’s DLC would have been nice to mix things up, but I definitely enjoyed this entry. Review coming next week!

Luigi’s Mansion 3

What an adorable little game. I haven’t finished this yet, but it is just the right amount of charm and challenge wrapped up in a gorgeously rendered bow. I’m really looking forward to future projects from Next Level Games after they were recently acquired by Nintendo. I’m here for all the spoops!

My Hopes for 2021

Above all else, I really hope that Nintendo will be able to comfortably release games, despite the ongoing pandemic. It seems that they have lots of plans in store, from what I’ve seen in interviews and press releases. I also hope that the decisions they make benefit the consumer as well, instead of the business exclusively (looking at you, Mario 3D All-Stars…). A tiiiiny bit of me hopes for more Breath of the Wild 2 content, though I am doubtful. At the very least, I hope we get some substantial content for Animal Crossing, as was promised.

As for predictions and speculation, I don’t really have any. I like to receive news once Nintendo is ready for us to be privy to it instead of setting myself up for disappointment. I mean, look at everyone holding out on buying a Switch because of Switch Pro rumours that have been circulating since 2019. Let it go. It may happen or it won’t. (Yes, I’ve seen the datamined leaks, and no, I’m not taking it as confirmation until I see an official release.)

How was your gaming last year? Did you manage to work on your backlog? What are your hopes for 2021? Let me know in a comment!

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