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10. Jimmy T. (WarioWare Series)
With still so many big, significant Nintendo characters left, I was debating who to put in this last slot, but ultimately I had to go with my instinct, and my instinct says that the disco-loving, handlebar-mustached, blue-afroed Jimmy Thang of WarioWare fame, was the biggest and most important of all. Reputedly capable of climbing six stairs in one step (this is official trivia), Jimmy T. – Wario’s childhood friend and cellphone contact – is clearly Nintendo’s grooviest character. Pictured above with his parents, Papa Thang and Mama Thang.
9. Captain Rainbow (Captain Rainbow)
This is the only character on this list whose game I haven’t actually played. I can’t talk too much about his character, because I don’t know too much about him, but… look at him! He’s a beast! It’s an utter shame that Nintendo never localised this game, since it’s so clearly as brimming with personality as anything they’ve ever published. An utter shame.
8. Shih Tzu (Nintendogs Series)
When I bought my 3DS at launch, the first game I bought alongside it was Nintendogs + Cats: Toy Poodle & New Friends. The clerk asked if I was buying it for someone else, to which I replied, emphatically “No”! Apparently the title and the stupid gay poodle on the cover didn’t convey that this was a game for cool manly men like me. Obviously it should have been called Shih Tzu and Some Stupid Other Dogs, because we all know that the Shih Tzu is the coolest and best dog of all. And what a great rendition of the Shih Tzu it is – I got an all-white one, with a red collar: she looks just like the dog my parents had when I was little.
7. Reyn (Xenoblade Chronicles)
The fact Nintendo of America declined to localize Xenoblade Chronicles at first might be ultimately one of the best things to happen to the game, because the onus fell on Nintendo of Europe, and they gave it some of the most ridiculous British voice acting I’ve ever heard. Reyn’s cockney is particularly special. There’s a limited pool of quotes that get repeated over and over again in battles throughout the game, and Reyn’s are particularly stupid, and it’s such a long game… I really should find it grating, but it ended up being kind of the most memorable aspect of the game for me; I really should hate Reyn but I actually find him stupidly endearing. ...NOW IT’S REYN TIME! NOW IT’S REYN TIME! MAN, WHAT A BUNCH OF JOKERS! NOW IT’S REYN TIME! MAN, WHAT A BUNCH OF JOKERS! NOW IT’S REYN TIME! LET’S NOT LOSE OUR ‘EADS THO!
6. Mr. Saturn (Mother Series)
Deep within the world of Earthbound lies Saturn Valley, where resides Mr. Saturn. But it’s not just one Mr. Saturn. Everyone in Saturn Valley is Mr. Saturn. He’s a strange, possibly-alien race of oddly-adorable walking head things that speak in Saturnian, a weirdly-written grammatically-inept version of English that makes erratic use of the words ‘boing’, ‘ding’ and ‘zoom’. Obviously, Saturn Valley is the best place to be. Kay-o! Also, Mr. Saturn can apparently be thrown at people to break their shields.
5. Gaston (Animal Crossing Series)
There are some great characters in Animal Crossing – Kapp’n, Resetti, that otter that accuses you of busting his chops – you could be forgiven for choosing one of them as the ‘best’ Animal Crossing character, after all, not everyone who’s played the game has met Gaston. But Gaston is definitively the best: he’s a cranky French rabbit with yellow fur and a big black mustache who plays KK Dirge on a loop in his ramshackle house. He’s so great. I was so sad when he left my town! But I got his framed photo. And I built a new wing onto my house dedicated to displaying it. The photo is inscribed: “An ear for an ear leaves everyone deaf”.
4. Cranky Kong (Donkey Kong Series)
The decision to make Cranky a playable character in Tropical Freeze has to be the best decision anyone’s ever made with regards to this series. Not only did it allow the 2nd best Donkey Kong character, Funky Kong, to return in a great role as the shopkeeper, but most of all it finally put the spotlight on, arguably, Nintendo’s greatest protagonist. Too few of Nintendo’s protagonists are ill-tempered, rambling and elderly. Cranky is all of those things, and he’s also an ape. With a big white beard and a cane. And he kicked so much ass in Tropical Freeze; he was a total blast to play!
3. Waluigi (Mario Series)
My favourite Mario character has always been Waluigi. His bony, sinister, Dick Dastardly-esque appearance, his purple clothes set against the bright primary colours of Mushroom Kingdom, his funny upside-down ‘L’ logo – all unique attributes that set him apart from his familiars. Talk about a character that doesn’t get his due; Waluigi deserves to be more than just Wario’s tennis partner, and I know Nintendo could do something interesting with him if they really tried, to make him a true rival to Luigi, or even give him his own game. Anyway, he’s always the character I choose in all the party games.
2. Farfetch’d (Pokémon Series)
Perhaps it was my fascination for the endangered peregrine falcon, at the time, that fed into my love of Farfetch’d. Here’s this beautiful wild bird, which long ago existed in abundance, but due to over-hunting (it used to be popular to cook him up alongside the leek he carries) became as farfetched as the name suggests. I don’t think I’m making all this up. Anywho, Farfetch’d is one of the only standalone generation one Pokémon that hasn’t been retroactively given some unnecessary evolution or retarded ‘baby’ version. He’s always been the same, and he’s always been my favourite. And, judging from how unprecedentedly easy he was to catch in Pokémon X, maybe, like the Peregrine Falcon, the species is making a recovery.
1. Tingle (Zelda Series)
Who else could rightly top this list? I’m pretty sure it’s incredibly widely accepted that Tingle is the greatest character Nintendo’s ever created. There are tons of other characters from the Zelda series I’d love to have included on this list (Salvatore, Dodoh, and Ooccoo to name a few), but none can come close to the fucking legendary status of Tingle. Tingle is, of course, symbolic of the player. Tingle is me. Tingle is you. Tingle is a single 35-year-old man dressed as a fairy. There is no other Nintendo character people love as much as Tingle.
So I was watching Nintendo Direct this afternoon between classes. While many people were excited for the ‘New’ Nintendo 3DS release date announcement, I’d gotten pretty much over my interest in upgrading my original 3DS since the ‘New’ one was originally unveiled. What I mainly wanted to know was, when was the Majora’s Mask 3D release date going to be? You see, if there’s one thing I haven’t gotten and won’t get over, it’s my love of Majora’s Mask. And I needed to know if it was going to be released by April, so I could safely pre-order that limited edition with the Skull Kid figurine at my local EB games, and know I’d still be in town to pick it up. Now that I want; there is no game I am more emotionally attached to than Majora’s Mask, I consider it, arguably, the greatest game of all time.
And then it happened.
Bill Trinen from the Nintendo Treehouse stepped onto the screen, and began to talk about Majora’s Mask. The release date. “Friday, February the 13th”, he said, his eyes growing darker. “Wait a minute, doesn’t that date sound familiar?” he continued, muffling a malevolent cackle. “Well it should! Because that’s the release date of the New 3DS!” As he broke out in a maniacal laughter, he reached into his pants and whipped out his Special Limited Majora’s Mask Edition of the New 3DS.
“YOU LIKE MAJORA’S MASK, DON’T YOU, YOU WHORE? So you’ll buy this fucking console you already own even though it’s $230 and doesn’t come with the game, BECAUSE I DREW SOME MAJORA'S MASK SHIT ON IT, and you’ll buy anything with Majora’s Mask on it, because you’re a little whore, ISN’T THAT RIGHT?!” “Yes sir”, I mumbled. “There’s added functionality too” he continued, “If you want to look at all of the things in Majora’s Mask from all of the angles we’ve programmed in now, you’re gonna need that c-stick! …You cunt.”
It was settled. I needed this New Majora’s Mask 3DS. I walked back to class, feeling kind of dirty and used, but counting down the hours until I could go to EB games.
At 6:13pm I walked into EB, and told the teller I wanted to pre-order the Majora’s Mask 3DS and the Skull Kid collector’s edition of the game. At the mention of the Skull Kid figure, the teller laughed in my face a familiar laugh, and said, no, they’d run out of pre-orders for that ages ago. But he checked on the New 3DS, that had been announced hours earlier. “I’m afraid I just got an email, literally three minutes ago, at 6:10pm, saying I’m no longer allowed to sell any more pre-orders of the Majora’s Mask 3DS”.
The room became fuzzy. I felt disoriented. I looked back at the teller, and noticed his face had become unrecognizable, an amorphous blob. And he began to laugh some more. As I squinted, his face came into focus. It was Bill Trinen! “YOU LITTLE SLUT! You really would do anything I tell you? Well guess what”, he said, tearing at my clothes, “a cheap slut like you doesn’t deserve to have anything to do with Majora’s Mask. Your body disgusts me”, he screamed, standing up on the counter and whipping water balloons filled with pink paint at me, in convulsive hysterical laughter.
I pre-ordered some Amiibos and left quietly.
Happy New Year, Destructoid people!
So, um, 2014 happened. And so naturally I must award a videogame the distinction of being my favourite videogame of 2014.
My 2014 game of the year is…
Don’t walk – run, now, to your local Odama Superstore and buy Odama!
Heh, okay, Odama’s not really a 2014 game. But it might be my favourite game that I played for the first time in 2014. It’s truly a new style of gameplay, that feels completely unlike anything I’ve ever played before – and how often do you get to say that these days? It’s a pinball RTS with voice controls. And it’s fucking fun. Sometimes frustrating. But mostly fun.
As far as actual 2014 games are concerned, well I only actually ‘completed’ one 2014 game. That’s Donkey Kong. Which was fantastic, but gameplay-wise not any better than Returns.
I tried to be a good video gamer. I walked into EB one day and bought $200 worth of games. Deception IV, Akiba’s Trip, Sleeping Dogs, Metal Gear Rising, and Hyrule Warriors. But each game I started, I couldn’t bring myself to play more than a few hours before I really just wanted to move on to the next one. Rising was the only one I actually finished.
Other than those, and a few other previous-year releases I played, there wasn’t all that much in 2014. Mario Kart 8 was disappointing to me. Hyrule Warriors is surprisingly enjoyable, but when I look at how many hours of gameplay you can sink into it, I just think… this is going to be the same shit over and over again isn’t it, with any new surprises far too thinly spread. It’s more fun with friends but I’m not sure I have any friends who are interested beyond playing just one level.
Fantasy Life is also quite enjoyable, and I’ve been really addicted to it lately, playing like 20 hours over the last few days. But as I reach Expert class Tailor and Blacksmith, and unlock… more shit to tailor and smith… It seems a little aimless. I also just realized that the class I was looking forward to most – Postman – isn’t unlockable, it was cut. It’s a nice game though, and I still want to unlock more of the world map and try a couple more classes.
I normally don’t do these blogs until, like, February because there are more games I want to play, and there are some; I just don’t know when or even if I’ll ever get around to them. Valiant Hearts and Lone Survivor (which just came out last month on Wii U) are short enough I may actually have the patience for them. And I might play Bayonetta 2, since everyone seems to like it, though Viewtiful Joe is currently higher on my Hideki Kamiya-priority list.
So I guess my game of the year is Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. It’s just so fun. I invite people to play, and then the stoners that live next door to me see me playing through the window and then they come in to ‘rip some Bros.’ with us. It’s great. The new characters are great. The 5-8 player support is amazing. The GC adapter’s brilliant. Good stuff.
And that’s my videogame year in review. Maybe I sound a little unenthusiastic, I dunno. I don't want to come across as being down on the whole medium or anything, but I confess, as per the last several years, it’s not really my favourite medium anymore, and plus I have real life concerns (which is to say I may be having one, soon). So I’ll probably be cutting back a little on the games purchases, and I really don’t see buying a PS4 or XB1, so I probably won’t have another year like 2013 soon.
And this all leads me to my random non-videogame awards of 2014! Like best song of 2014 (Dreams by The Cranberries), or best videogame character of 2014 (The Japanese man who yells at you in Odama). These awards are definitely all NVGR and specific to 2014.
Best Movie of 2014 (by which I mean 2013 because I’ve hardly watched any 2014 movies)!
Tie: Snowpiercer and The Wind Rises
I’ve decided to include both these movies because even if I think I like Snowpiercer a tiny bit more, they’re both really close, and my favourite movies of this decade so far. Snowpiercer, the first international production by Joon-ho Bong, my favourite Korean director (his 2003 film Memories of Murder is even better) is a brilliant and eccentric science-fiction blockbuster, set on a train going round the world. The characters, having lived 17 years together in this metal box, have basically gone insane in all the best ways, and the train itself is just as crazy and full of surprises. Some wonderful visuals I’m not gonna forget anytime soon.
The Wind Rises, conversely, is an extraordinarily simple film. It’s the final film of Hayao Miyazaki, and I think it’s his best. Though it’s his first non-fantasy film, he still incorporates fantasy in his trademark way, and the animation is as utterly gorgeous as anything he’s ever done. And then there’s the ending, so simple yet so utterly elegant and completely moving. A beautiful, beautiful movie.
Best movie from a different year that I watched for the first time in 2014!
Last year I gave this award to Love Exposure. I’ve since watched every other Sion Sono movie available with English subtitles up to 2012, and I have to say, based on output in the last twenty years, he is easily my favourite director right now. Exte, Strange Circus, Guilty of Romance, Cold Fish, and the Suicide Club movies, are all amazing, but my favourite after Love Exposure is this low-budget, barely-seen little movie he made in New York City. Like Love Exposure it’s hard to explain what exactly everything meant to me – it’s outwardly over-the-top, ultra-energetic, ridiculous, funny, but on some deeper inner level, it not only resonated strongly with me, but practically shook me out of my seat. Somehow, I don’t think I’ve ever connected more strongly to a movie character, than I did to Shin, in this film.
Most Anticipated Game of 2015!
Million Onion Hotel
Like, a couple weeks after I chose “whatever Onion Games is working on” as my most anticipated game of 2014, they officially announced Million Onion Hotel, and the trailer accompanying this announcement made it very obvious that I had chosen wisely. It’s an iOS game, but what the hell. I have an iPhone. Now, finally, I have a reason to be happy that I have an iPhone! Their website still lists the game as coming in 2014, which, didn’t happen, but I’m expecting and anticipating it’s release, hopefully early this year.
Best thing I bought with Money in 2014!
Herzog: The Collection Blu-ray Boxset
I love blu-rays. Werner Herzog is my favourite filmmaker. This gorgeously packaged boxset containing most of my favourite Werner Herzog movies on blu-ray, including many movies I wasn’t sure would ever come to blu-ray, such as my all-time favourite movie, Heart of Glass, which looks phenomenal in HD… is obviously now the best thing in my blu-ray collection.
Um, so anyway, that’s enough things of 2014, I guess. Bye!
Dear Chulip, I really really love you, Chulip. I love you very much. Please give me a kiss next time. End.