7) Pushing The 3DS
The 3DS probably felt pretty bad about itself when it first came out. From newspapers slamming its “migraine-inducing 3D effects” to a lack of must-have games at launch, the portable console had a pretty rough start to life. To top it off, it had a battery that drained like a sieve with the 3D turned to max, and there were problems with the actual design of the unit – the screens didn’t always sit properly together and could leave left scratches or marks, particularly on the larger top screen.
The fact that the 3DS is now pretty much a must-have is impressive. Last year in particular saw a stream of incredible, critically acclaimed games hit the system. Take Fire Emblem: Awakening as an example. A previously niche series (well, in the US anyway), it won people over massively and featured on many ‘Best of 2013’ lists – an impressive feat considering it’s one of Nintendo’s hardcore franchises, being a tactical RPG with perma-death. The list goes on, though. Pokemon X & Y; Animal Crossing: New Leaf; and The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds are just a few games that gave the 3DS a strong 2013 line-up.
Of course, Nintendo already has plans for the 3DS in 2014 and with the right marketing, it could be another smash-hit year. Most notable is the arrival of Super Smash Bros. on a handheld, marking the first portable installment in the series. Barring any major setbacks, it’s due for a release this year and will no doubt raise interest in Nintendo once again.
As good as Super Smash Bros. may be, it’s not guaranteed to blow us away or surprise us. What we want to see is another Fire Emblem: Awakening – a smash hit game that comes from seemingly nowhere; a game that will have the critics swooning. If Nintendo finds that killer exclusive for the 3DS again this year, it will cement the handheld as the must-have portable games device.