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Friday, December 16, 2016

The DDNet Awards! Nintendo 3DS Game of the Year


Welcome to the DDNet Awards, our annual celebration of the best and brightest games that we've been playing throughout the year.

It has been a really good year for games in 2016, with great examples of every genre popping up through the year. Across 15 categories over the next three weeks, we look at the winner, runner up and three bronze medalists for each category.

In order to qualify for selection, a game needed to have been released for the first time on a new platform, between the first of December 2015 and the end of November 2016.

Let us know what you think of the award winners in the comments!

Nintendo 3DS Game of the Year

The Nintendo 3DS is in its last year, with the Nintendo Switch likely to superseed the console as Nintendo's main portable next year. Still, what a bang the console has gone out with! Especially in tersm of the JRPG genre, 2016 has been one of the best years for the console in its history, and the award winners below really only scratch the surface of the stuff that we've been playing.

Bronze


One of the darkest and most powerful JRPGs on the Nintendo 3DS, Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse has ambition well beyond what the 3DS can actually handle. Despite behind inhibited slightly by the aging technology, it is a must-play game, with dozens of dozens of hours of demon collecting and breeding, dungeon crawling, intense difficulty, and a winding, deep plot that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

You can read our review of the game here.



Pokemon Sun & Moon benefitted from a massive new wave of popularity in the franchise courtesy of Pokemon Go on mobile, but we can't think of a better game for getting people back into the series. Taking a genuine leap forward in a number of significant ways, Pokemon S & M is the most original, progressive, and interesting game in the series in quite some time. At the same time, Pokemon has lost none of its charm in recent years, remaining the bright, happy, adorable experience that it has always been.

You can read our review of the game here.




For long-suffering fans of the Dragon Quest series in the west, it's truly good to see that Nintendo and Square Enix are working together to bringing games like this to our shores. Dragon Quext VII is one of the longest JRPGs ever made, and brings together the series' distinctive art style and music with plenty of elegant, classic, turn-based combat. You'll be lost in this world for anything up to 100 hours, but you'll be so engrossed that you'll barely notice that time passing, and as a true testament to the game's quality, it never feels long.

You can read our review of the game here.


Silver


Fire Emblem is one of our favourite franchises at DDNet, and Fire Emblem Fates is one of the better examples of the series. In this one players have the ability to play through both sides of the conflict for the first time in the Fire Emblem series, And this significantly enhances the gameplay, because suddenly we're invited to care about characters and heroes on all sides of war, and before you know it you'll be starting to question whether there is a stark line between the "good" side and the "bad" side. It's nuanced stuff, and it's backed with the series' tradionally rock-solid tactical gamepley. If only more games would do this.

You can read our review of the game here.

Gold


Square Enix's newest JRPG franchise continues to blow us away with every installment. Bravely Second has it all; humour and charm in spades, an epic quest to follow along, spectacular presentation and art direction, and a lovely traditional-but-remixed gameplay structure. It's a clever nod to nostalgia for people that grew up with the original Final Fantasy games, while also being the kind of game that newer players can appreciate. There's not a second of this that we didn't love.

You can read our review of the game here.

The DDNet Awards! Nintendo 3DS Game of the Year
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