Game of the Year 2011: Best Handheld Game
Continuing the GodisaGeek Game of the Year Awards 2011, this time it’s all about handheld games.
You’d think that it had been a barren year of handheld or mobile gaming. With the PSP all but forgotten due to everybody’s attention being on the PlayStation Vita, iOS devices and the Nintendo 3DS could run riot, right?
As we run down each position, our writers will have their say on each title, telling you exactly why they think each game is so good.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and picks for this category too, so please leave comments at the end of the article. In reverse order then, let’s get it on!
3: Pokemon Black/White (Nintendo – DS)
Jason Hendricks: Nintendo sweeps this category for me. Pokemon returns with another good instalment featuring the great pseudo role playing adventure ploy we all love. Large amounts of Pokemon to catch add to the replay value. These games have reinvigorated the franchise.
Alex Wozniak: The Pokemon franchise returned to Nintendo’s handheld this year, and did so in some style. The improvements in graphics, as well as gameplay, made playing Pokemon Black just as exciting as your first Pokemon game. The addition of Triple and Rotation Battles adds new tactical avenues, and makes juggling your team of Pokemon even more vital than before. It’s easy to lose yourself in the world of Pokemon, and that’s impressive for a series that is over 15 years old.
2: Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo – 3DS)
Sean Smith: The 3DS has its critics, myself included, due to the lack of truly original games and wealth of remakes and reboots. But Nintendo being Nintendo gave it a much needed shot in the arm with their stunning 3D Mario adventure, which steals the top spot for me. Graphically sublime, and with the incredible level design you come to expect from Miyamoto and co, this is a stunning example of what the 3DS is capable of in the right hands. Also, it has Tanooki suits.
Jason Hendricks: This is the best game out for the 3ds. solid platforming, the return of the tanooki suit, great level design. A welcoming return for everyone’s favourite plumber.
Lee Garbutt: Of course, Nintendo wouldn’t be Nintendo without Mario. This new portable adventure really makes use of the 3DS’s hardware advantages and limitations. It’s levels are bite-sized chunks of fun that are short, but perfectly formed. Brilliant for a commute gaming session! Certainly a wonderful exclusive to have on such a young hardware format.
1: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Nintendo – 3DS)
Sean Smith: The best version of one of the finest games ever made. This perfectly demonstrated not only just how incredible the original was, but also the limitless possibilities of the 3DS handheld if used correctly. It made me smile, it made me well up with tears, it whet my appetite almost impossibly for the Wii game that was just around the corner.
Tony Windebank: When the Nintendo 3DS was released, I didn’t want to buy one as there wasn’t much that interested me about it. Then I found out that they were releasing this legendary title in 3D and the second I had some spare cash, I folded. This title has once again been the reason to buy a console due to it’s epic gameplay, excellent story and proves that Nintendo make genre defining titles for us all to enjoy. It is a timeless classic that I enjoyed as a teenager and I’m happy in the fact that the next generation will be able to appreciate this game, in stunning 3D.
Jason Hendricks: Even though this is a remake, it is still a gem of a handheld experience. It has superior graphics and gameplay to its predecessor and still a wonderful game to play. I logged another 20+ hours on this one.
Adam Cook: When Ocarina of Time came out, people everywhere were condemning the 3DS to an early grave, but then, out of the darkness…a remake? Of course it helps that Ocarina is one of the greatest games of all time, but this was more than just a simple remake. Rebuilt; better, strong, faster – Ocarina of Time plays as well as it ever did but now with gorgeous visuals, 3D, new controls – all on a handheld console people were ready to write off. Magnificent.
Lee Garbutt: Like Super Mario 3DS Land, this is a title that makes good use of everything the 3DS offers, revitalising a game that everybody should play. Grezzo’s updated port makes this classic game feel fresh again, taking me back to the Christmas I spent playing the original N64 version. A masterclass in bringing back an old favourite.
Keep coming back throughout the day and the week for more Game of the Year 2011 content.