Yesterday, I highlighted 5 games that I won't be considering for my personal Game of the Year. I have about 30 total games on this list of big "Game of the Year"-caliber games or games that I purchased and just never got around to playing. So I'll be touching on a few more of those games before diving into the actual Game of the Year talk.
I finally picked up a Wii U this year to complete my collection of this generation of consoles. With my girlfriend Catherine somewhat interested in gaming, the Nintendo console and it's library of family-friendly, couch co-op games made for a welcome addition for when Cat and I would host our friends at our new place. That said, this is the all-Nintendo edition of games I never really got around to playing in 2015, as we spent a lot of time with games of yesteryear instead.
Super Mario Maker - I would argue Super Mario Maker was the best game Nintendo launched this year for both it's hardcore fanbase and it's more casual audience. A love letter to fans of the Mario games, Nintendo unleashed it's flagship toolbox on the masses.
Why I didn't play it: Big Boss. Super Mario Maker launched while I was deep into my 100+ hours with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Additionally, I never got into the level-creation tools of a game like Little Big Planet so those aspects of the game probably wouldn't have appealed to me. That said, it has been a very fun game to watch as very creative people use the tools provided to make interesting, insane, and torturous levels.
Splatoon - The rare new IP from Nintendo these days, Splatoon was praised for it's innovative take on the multiplayer shooter.
Why I didn't play it: The Gamepad. Having to play through the tutorial of this game using the crappy Game Pad and it's motion controls was a huge turnoff that kept me from progressing further. I know that you were able to switch to more traditional controls after that but by that point, they'd already lost me. Another victim of Nintendo trapping an interesting game behind their hardware.
Yoshi's Woolly World - Game design spiritual successor to Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and artistic spriritual successor to Kirby's Epic Yarn, this game seemed to be a decent platformer with a beautifully-themes aesthetic.
Why I didn't play it: Timing. If this game had come out in the United States around the time it came out in Europe (June), this very well could have been the initial installment of Co-op with Catherine. But since it didn't launch here until mid-October, it got buried among the rest of the fall line-up and Cat and I were already playing the LEGO games instead.
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes - The stop gap Legend of Zelda game to tide fans of the series over until the Wii U game, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes invited players to team up for some co-op based dungeon crawling and puzzle solving in the A Link Between Worlds art style.
Why I didn't play it: Marketing. This game put so much focus on the co-op gameplay that I didn't realize until the game was already out that it could also be enjoyed playing solo. I've also never been a huge fan of the handheld adventures (Link's Awakening and A Link Between Worlds being the notable exceptions). If we had a second 3DS in the house for Catherine, this one might be worth picking up, but even then, do I really want to buy two copies of the game?
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate - The latest game in the widely-acclaimed Monster Hunter series added to it's already deep action-RPG elements with more customization, boss fights, and a wider array of movement and attack options.
Why I didn't play it: Intimidation. I've never been a part of the Monster Hunter fanbase so I didn't really know much about the series until this year. I'm sure I'd heard the name in the past but it was always background noise. So when the first thing I hear about this entry is that it's addictive gameplay loop was hooking people for hundreds of hours, I looked elsewhere. As we'll see, I'm not intimidated by hundreds of hours of gameplay in and of itself, but it's not typically the experience I'm looking for on a handheld. Maybe if I had a substantial commute where I could play to and from work, it'd catch my fancy but usually, I'm only really diving into my handhelds when I travel or for a bit before bed.
So those are, by my estimates, the most notable Nintendo releases that I didn't play this year. Care to convince me that I should drop what I'm doing and play one of them? Let me know in the comments.