Things X 5 – December 23, 2013

by Francois Joron

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The only Top 10 you really need to read

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As the year is closing in, every media outlets, big or small, are bringing out their top ten best games of 2013, many with the expected contenders like Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us or Super Mario 3D World toping the lists and rightly so. But, really few of those lists really convey what was 2013 in gaming and, more importantly, which of those games we will remember the most (and probably still play) in years to come. The New Yorker’s Simon Parker article is not only great because his picks are judiciously explained but also because he avoids the games that made the biggest bang in favor of experiences that helped define what was a video game in 2013, where the medium is heading and how this form of entertainment is slowly becoming more complex, more mature and more meaningful. If there’s only one top ten list of games you need to rely on this year, this is it.

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Well, this Top Ten is pretty neat too…

Well, I lied, there is another must read list if you’re a 3DS or Vita owner (or both) and it’s Tiny Cartridge’s 2013 best tiny cartridges featuring finely chosen handheld games like SteamWorld Dig, Attack of the Friday Monsters, Spelunky and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. The top ten list also showcases some pretty sweet animated gifs too, like this one:

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My quick take on NES Remix: fun and challenging challenges. 

Surprisingly, I have been asked by a couple of you guys, on Miiverse, what was my thoughts about the surprise eShop release of NES Remix for the Wii U. As a kid who grew up with a NES, I downloaded the title immediately after it was announced. My impressions on the game doesn’t differ much from Jody Anthony’s article posted shortly after the game’s release (which you should go read now). But as I had more time with NES Remix I have come to appreciate the way some of the challenges asked me to change the way I’ve always played more than two decades old games. There is a very satisfying difficulty in having Mario running automatically while trying to avoid pits and flying Cheeps-Cheeps in a classic Super Mario Bros. stage. It’s when you’re caught off guard that NES Remix usually shine the most.

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On the other hand, while I’ve enjoyed having more time to appreciate classics I’ve ignored in the past like Donkey Kong Jr., I’ve found the inclusion of Golf, that is now totally irrelevant as a golf video game, or Ice Climbers, that features an awfully clunky jump mechanic, to be unnecessary additions that actually removed some of the fun out of the game. Those games holds more the faults than the virtue of the 8-bit era of gaming. Still, NES Remix is a pretty clever little downloadable game that proves to be even more compelling for nostalgic gamers; even, like my colleague Jody said, it can serve as a great way to introduce new gamers to these old time classics. Well, not all of them are classics, as we can do without Clu Clu Land in 2013.

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Virtual Boy’s Wario Land in 3D on your 3DS

You guys have all probably already seen this, but I’ll post it anyway because why not. Renegade Kid’s Jools Watsham tweeted a recolored screeshot of Wario Land for the Virtual Boy, just for the fun of it. You can even view it 3D on your 3DS by scanning the QR Code.

 

 

By the way, Renegade Kid’s games for the eShop are on sale at 50% discount until January 2014, that include both the Wii U and 3DS versions of Mutant Mudds. The later should get an update pretty soon that will bring over all of the “deluxe” content found in the other versions of the game into the 3DS download.

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Happy Holidays! 

I will take a short brake and bring back Things x 5 for another year. We, at 4CR, are currently working on our year round-up that we hope to share with you pretty soon. Meanwhile, I wish you all happy holidays with your loved ones. Hope you’ll have plenty of fun playing new and old games. Don’t go too crazy during those boxing day sales and, most importantly, be safe!

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Don’t forget, you can drop me hints on my Twitter account. Also, you are welcome to send me a friend request on my Wii U, my Nintendo Network ID is Jorf-Jorf. My 3DS Friend Code is 5069-3920-3758. If you want to snoop at what I’m playing on PS3 my PSN ID is l_am_error. Have a great week!

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