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The best 3DS and Wii U games of 2014, as voted by Club Nintendo members

Jordan Devore, Managing Editor - Destructoid
3:00 PM on 12.26.2014
The best 3DS and Wii U games of 2014, as voted by Club Nintendo members photo

Some 682,000 Club Nintendo members rated their favorite 3DS and Wii U titles of the year on a hundred-point scale as part of an official Nintendo survey, and the results are in:

3DS

  • Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire (94/100)
  • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth (93/100)
  • Shovel Knight (93/100)
  • Super Smash Bros. (93/100)
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (92/100)
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (92/100)
  • Fantasy Life (91/100)
  • Kirby Triple Deluxe (90/100)
  • Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (89/100)
  • Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (89/100)

Wii U

  • Bayonetta 2 (95/100)
  • Super Smash Bros. (95/100)
  • Shovel Knight (94/100)
  • Mario Kart 8 (93/100)
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (91/100)
  • Hyrule Warriors (91/100)
  • Child of Light (90/100)
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (89/100)
  • Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition (89/100)
  • NES Remix 2 (88/100)

While I find myself mostly agreeing with the chosen games, I'd shuffle the order around just a tad; bump up Donkey Kong Country, at least. But I do like the top three picks for each list as is, and it's lovely to hear that people dug Kirby Triple Deluxe given how infrequently it's talked about.



Friday Night Fights: How about them hackers...

Bill Platt, Community Playdate Manager - Destructoid
2:30 PM on 12.26.2014
Friday Night Fights: How about them hackers... photo

Happy Friday!

Google Chrome crashed on me while I was 95% done updating this post. I lost everything I had written and all the games being hosted were wiped out.

I'm not re-writing all of that. I hope you all have fun gaming tonight and I hope Xbox Live and PSN are actually working, because remember, the people taking down the networks are doing it for us, because reasons...

Assholes... 



Turtle Rock Studios confirms offline mode for Evolve

Rob Morrow, Contributor - Destructoid
2:00 PM on 12.26.2014

In a recent update on Turtle Rock Studio's Evolve blog, it was confirmed that the asymmetrical four-versus-one shooter will have an offline mode available for those who'd prefer to play the game solo. This is great news for people with unreliable internet connections as well as those, myself included, with hectic schedules that don't allow for extended multiplayer sessions.

Turtle Rock co-founder Chris Ashton was quoted as saying that being able to go solo “was always a part of the plan." Ashton elaborates on this by saying, "We wanted to make sure anyone could play the whole game, including Evacuation, alone with or against the AI and it’s still fun.” Turtle Rock's track record with competent AI teammates is pretty solid in my book, so I'm cautiously optimistic that this will also be the case in Evolve.

However, unlike Left 4 Dead's single-player mode, Evolve's offline mode will allow you to switch between the different Hunters on your team at will. If you're using a controller to play the game, the d-pad will be your quick-select: tap in one of four directions and you’ll instantly take control of a different Hunter. Ashton offers a brief example of this by presenting this scenario:

"Go on and set the traps, then switch over to Assault to press the attack. Then jump into Hank’s shoes and shield the medic. Beyond that, no more waiting for someone to come save you from the jaws of a MegaMouth (or some carnivorous plant you accidentally walked into). And no more sitting by, spectating, while waiting on the drop ship. It’s all you."

While it probably shouldn't come as a surprise, it's still a relief to have official conformation that a single-player mode will be available at launch and that the game's been designed around it from the very beginning. Some might think it pointless to offer an offline mode in an obviously multiplayer-centric title, but for a certain segment of the gaming populace, options like these make the difference between picking up the title a year later on sale or buying it day one.



Steam sale: Brothers for $1.49, Banished for $7.99

Jordan Devore, Managing Editor - Destructoid
1:30 PM on 12.26.2014
Steam sale: Brothers for $1.49, Banished for $7.99 photo

Few deals have caught my attention during the Steam Holiday Sale. That might just be how it goes down: you build up your library sale after sale until, suddenly, most of the best discounts are for games you already own. At that point, you nab the occasional game when the time is right.

The time is right for Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons ($1.49) and Banished ($7.99). The former is an emotional adventure game played from a third-person view and with two thumbsticks (one for each brother), and the latter is a harsh city-building strategy game about a group of exiled travelers.

Daily deals:

  • Anno 2070 ($7.49)
  • Company of Heroes 2 ($9.99)
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ($7.49)
  • Kerbal Space Program ($17.99)
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor ($29.99)
  • Risen 3: Titan Lords ($24.99)
  • Thief ($7.49)


New Kirby and the Rainbow Curse trailer, amiibo details, and more

Darren Nakamura, Associate Editor - Destructoid
1:00 PM on 12.26.2014

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is out in a couple months, so Nintendo is starting up the hype train for the clay puffball's adventure. We had previously heard that multiplayer would involve additional players platforming as Waddle Dee. The Japanese trailer above shows that in action. I can picture players coming up with custom games like monkey in the middle, using Kirby as the ball.

Other details shown in the trailer are the clay rainbow twist's multiple uses; in addition to providing the primary means of Kirby's locomotion, it is also used to block lavafalls or add connections for a gondola cable.

Perhaps the most pertinent information comes at the very end of the video. Given the fervor surrounding amiibogeddon, there is a good chance that the Kirby, Meta Knight, and King Dedede amiibo will be in high demand. According to some tweets collected by GoNintendo, the translation is that the Kirby amiibo will allow a star dash at any time, the Meta Knight amiibo will confer a higher attack stat, and the Dedede amiibo provides increased health.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse - new promo video, gameplay details and amiibo support [GoNintendo] 



The joy of loot in videogames

Chris Carter, Reviews Director - Destructoid
12:00 PM on 12.26.2014
The joy of loot in videogames photo

My first "loot-based" game was Diablo. I blame my addiction entirely on my friend Joey, who I played the game with online by way of a dial-up connection. Yep, it wasn't my fault at all in the slightest.

He just had to tell me about the coolest uniques in the game, and how he had a few and I had none. Many hours were spent chasing that loot in the darkest depths of Diablo's dungeon, attempting to best or at least meet my friend's newly found equipment.

This is just one of the many reasons juicy loot in games can be addicting, but that doesn't inherently make it a bad thing as long as the squeeze is fun.







Hatred returns to Greenlight after being pulled by Valve

Rob Morrow, Contributor - Destructoid
11:30 AM on 12.26.2014
Hatred returns to Greenlight after being pulled by Valve photo

Earlier this month we received word that Polish developer Destructive Creations' controversial title Hatred was removed from Steam Greenlight within hours of its launch. While some would say good riddance to the title a great deal were most likely upset by the decision. According to GamesIndustry.biz, the title had received 13,148 upvotes and ending up at number seven in the Greenlight charts before being pulled. That's quite an impressive feat for such a divisive game.

While it's unarguably Valve's right to choose what software it distributes, many customers were confused as to why Hatred was being singled out for removal and games like Manhunt or Postal are still readily available on Steam.

In an interesting turn of events, it seems that Valve has had a change of heart in regards to the title; or, at least an alleged email apology from Gabe Newell states it has:

"Yesterday I heard that we were taking Hatred down from Greenlight," the statement read. "Since I wasn't up to speed, I asked around internally to find out why we had done that. In the email, the author notes "it turns out that it wasn't a good decision, and we'll be putting Hatred back up." The alleged correspondence ends with an apology to the developers and wishes of good luck.

Whether the email is genuine or not, we may never know for sure. Two things are for certain, though: Destructive Creations' title has been returned to Steam for Greenlight approval and there are way more people out there in the market for a game like this than I had previously anticipated.

What do you think, Destructoid? Given that Valve has the legal right to pick and choose what software it sells on the Steam platform; what titles, if any, do you think it should remove from the service? Where should Valve draw the line in regards to controversial content?



Sony says goodbye to 2014 with a PSN flash sale

Kyle MacGregor, Associate Editor - Destructoid
9:00 PM on 12.25.2014
Sony says goodbye to 2014 with a PSN flash sale photo

Find any PSN gift cards under your Christmas tree this year? Well, as luck would have it, there's a flash sale going on right now to help you stretch that newly acquired credit as far as possible.

The deals aren't overly stellar, outside of perhaps The Walking Dead Season 2 for $6.25. You can also grab Akiba's Trip 2 for $24, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris at $13.39, and a smattering of hot games like The Evil Within and Dragon Age: Inquisition in the $30-40 range.

The sale draws to a close at 9am PST on Monday, December 29. See the full listing here.

Flash Sale: End of Year Discounts on 30+ Games [PlayStation Blog]





Contest: Win a PlayStation TV and an Xbox One controller courtesy of Titan One! photo
Contest: Win a PlayStation TV and an Xbox One controller courtesy of Titan One!
by Mr Andy Dixon

To celebrate the news that their Titan One cross-compatibility device now offers full support for Sony's PlayStation TV, our friends at ConsoleTuner are offering up a PlayStation TV, Xbox One controller, and Titan One adapter to one lucky Dtoider!

The PS TV is just the latest in the long line of devices supported by the Titan One, which allows cross-play between your favorite consoles and controllers, controller modding, and more! That means you can, for example, plug a Microsoft controller into a piece of Sony hardware (or vice versa) and have it work seamlessly, right out of the box. It's pretty awesome!

For a chance to try this out for yourself, just leave a comment in the thread below! Limit one entry per person, and you have until next Wednesday, December 31 at 11:59pm Pacific to enter. Contest is open to anyone with a US mailing address (unless you're a HUGE member, of course).

Good luck! And remember, our Huge Members get automatic entry into all contests (and double entries if you enter one manually), exclusive beta code giveaways for upcoming games, ad-free browsing, and more! And most of all, your $3's a month helps directly support the site you love. Try us out!

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Anime app Crunchyroll is now available for Wii U

Darren Nakamura, Associate Editor - Destructoid
7:00 PM on 12.25.2014
Anime app Crunchyroll is now available for Wii U photo

Crunchyroll is pretty cool, right? I'll admit: I don't really know from experience. The only anime stuff I have watched lately have been Miyazaki films and the Professor Layton anime. But following people like our former Editor-in-Chief Dale North leads me to believe that Crunchyroll is the way to go for watching anime outside of Japan.

Starting today, Crunchyroll is available for the Wii U. Using it requires a premium Crunchyroll membership, which runs about $12 per month. Any new members wanting to dip his toes into the cartoon waters can get a free 14-day membership through the Wii U app.





The award for Best World Design of 2014 goes to... photo
The award for Best World Design of 2014 goes to...
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

Growing up, a lot of kids I knew liked to try to sound grown up by saying they played videogames "for the story". Maybe they had adapted the phrase from the adults they saw on TV who said they read Playboy magazine "for the articles". Regardless, the stories in the games they loved were often terrible, and they weren't the only ones. I'm not one to point fingers. There was a time when this was some of my favorite storytelling ever, in gaming or otherwise. 

So why are we so enthralled with bad stories? I can only speak for myself when I say that the world crafting in a game can often compensate for failings in narrative. When we watch a good movie or read a good book, effective storytelling can transport us to other worlds. A game doesn't need to rely on storytelling to do that. Instead, we can skip over the storytelling part through methods unique to gaming as a medium, planting us directly into their worlds through techniques that we're still learning to truly understand.  

This year in videogames brought many amazing worlds to life. The write-in votes for this category, including Tomodachi Life, Shovel Knight, Broken Age: Act 1, Bayonetta 2, Hohokum, and Extrasolar are about as varied a bunch of games as you could expect to see. That came across in the voting as well, where our staff's preferences were on full display. One staff member would give nearly every vote to South Park, where another would place the game at the bottom of the barrel. In the end, we had yet another three way tie for third place between Valiant Hearts, Five Nights at Freddy's, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. That left two games to fight it out, Bravely Default and Alien: Isolation, with just a vote between them deciding the winner. Read on to find out who came out on top, and don't forget to vote in our reader's poll on the way out

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Toys"R"Us sending out amiibo discount codes to those who had canceled orders

Chris Carter, Reviews Director - Destructoid
4:41 PM on 12.25.2014
Toys

[Update: Pit seems to be back out of stock.]

It looks like the Lucario incident of 12/19 is coming to an end. After abrubtly canceling hundreds of orders for their exclusive Lucario amiibo, Toys"R"Us has re-instated some orders, and promised another group of people (who payed with PayPal or a gift card) another means of ordering. That method is clear as of this week.

If you were in the fabled "group two," check your email now, as you may have a redemption code for Lucario or some of your canceled Wave 3 orders. The affected amiibo are currently $999 online, so the coupon will bring it back down to $10.99 -- ensuring that scalpers can't grab your stock.

The elusive Pit and Little Mac are also in stock now at GameStop.com. Go ahead and grab them at the aforementioned links!





Amazon's gift to you is free (good) Android titles and (more) cheap videogame downloads photo
Amazon's gift to you is free (good) Android titles and (more) cheap videogame downloads
by Brett Makedonski

[Update: There are a handful of new deals on videogame downloads, as well as some decent savings on other stuff -- including some portable hard drives that make great external storage for gaming consoles. All updated discounts are toward the top of the list; everything from yesterday's post is underneath it. As is customary, updated Amazon posts get bonus Grohl. #BonusGrohl]

Well, it's tough to argue with this -- free Android games on Amazon, several of which are quality titles. Five Nights at Freddy's? Sure, I'll try it out. Terraria? I'll give it a shot. Tetris? Never heard of it, but maybe it's okay.

When reached for comment, Dave Grohl said that he approved of free mobile games, but he couldn't fully endorse the deals on PC titles. "Even though I'm the sexiest of international rock stars, I'm still wary of paying for videogames," Grohl commented. "Yes, I have more money than I know what to do with, but everyone's trying to sell me computer games. Steam, Amazon, everyone. It's tiring." Grohl concluded by yelling "THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST..." until Destructoid was irked enough to hang up the phone.

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Review: Xeodrifter photo
Review: Xeodrifter
by Jonathan Holmes

A lot of the kids who grew up with Metroid, Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda are now older than than their creators were when those legendary Nintendo franchises were first released. Some of those kids are now videogame developers themselves. Jools Watsham of Renegade Kid is one example. He created Xeodrifter in five months, fueled by financial stress, time constraints, and a raw love of Super Metroid. You can read about his process here

Showing your Metroid DNA on your sleeve is a blessing and a curse. It instantly communicates to the relatively large Metroid fan base that your game was made for them. It also sets the bar incredibly high. Begging for a comparison to Super Metroid is a dangerous thing. As we saw with the reaction to Other M, a disappointed Metroid fan can be an intensely spiteful force. 

My guess is Xeodrifter won't inspire that kind of caustic reaction in the Metroid faithful. If it were an official Metroid game, it would rank near or above many of the other games in the franchise. As long as you go into it expecting something short and sweet, it's hard to imagine that Metroid fans will be disappointed. 

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Whoa: Wind Waker map re-created in LEGO form

Chris Carter, Reviews Director - Destructoid
1:00 PM on 12.25.2014
Whoa: Wind Waker map re-created in LEGO form photo

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is just one of those games you never forget. Although the slow sailing in the original version was a bit of a pain at times, and that scavenger hunt was even worse (both fixed in the Wii U remake), the world was just beautiful and a joy to explore.

It sounds like a fan who goes by the name of BrucilSprout feels the same way, as having recreated the overworld from the game tile by tile. This was created by way of Lego Digital Designer Software in case you were wondering -- it's roughly 1,900 pieces if you want to make it yourself.

Wind Waker [imgur]



What do you think of 'weekly resets' in online games?

Chris Carter, Reviews Director - Destructoid
12:00 PM on 12.25.2014
What do you think of 'weekly resets' in online games? photo

Many, many MMOs and other such online games (Destiny) have weekly "reset" periods. They usually take place on a Tuesday, and allow you earn raid loot and weekly quest rewards again, as well as earn whatever tokens or currency are part of the "cap" system, designed to elongate the game and prevent players from maxing out their gear instantly.

For the most part, I'm ok with them, as I've gotten used to the idea over many years. But sometimes they annoy the hell out of me, as is the case during the 2014 holidays. This week I have a lot of family related happenings, and I probably won't be able to get to games like Final Fantasy XIV, effectively putting me a week behind my friends.

It's not a huge deal in the slightest, but it got me thinking -- do people even like this concept in the first place? Do "caps" and limitations have any purpose in an MMO or loot-based game? Do you think developers do it to curb addictions or more often than not, just to keep people playing week after week?

I'm interested to hear your thoughts whether you're a veteran of online games and deal with this issue all the time, or you are put off by the concept entirely and avoid them.