Nintendojo Holiday Buyer’s Guide 2018: The Games

All the best games for Nintendo fans of every stripe!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 12/18/2018 05:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

The holiday shopping season is upon us and that means it’s time for the elves at Nintendojo to help you pick the best gifts for your friends and family! Below is an overview of all the best games for Nintendo Switch and 3DS that have come out over the past year. Enjoy and be careful out there while you shop!

Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Special Edition + Nintendo Switch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition

The pinnacle of the Super Smash Bros. series has arrived on Nintendo Switch. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate brings with it a roster of 64 (technically 65) fighters, comprised of both new and all returning characters from previous series installments. Along with the insanely huge selection of brawlers, Ultimate also boasts a ton of modes, unlockables, and a wealth of competitive options to keep players duking it out for days, months, and years. The base game is great, but the above Switch bundle comes with a download code for the game as well as a special dock and Joy-Cons emblazoned with Smash Bros. imagery. If you can’t find it, there’s also the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Special Edition of the game which comes with a special Smash Bros. Pro Controller and a steelbook case.

Pokémon: Let’s Go! Nintendo Switch Bundles + Pokémon: Let’s Go! Pokéball Bundles

From our review:

“While fans clearly feel strongly about the changes made to the franchise formula, Game Freak has still managed to deliver a terrific Pokémon experience that lives up to the technological leap forward. Kanto feels more alive than ever before, and the original 151 Pokémon have never looked better. As a longtime fan of the franchise, I couldn’t help but find myself grinning from ear-to-ear. Whether you’re a longtimer like myself, a lapsed fan that came back with Pokémon Go or a newcomer, there’s something for everyone in Pokémon: Let’s Go.”

The special Switch bundles come with a copy of either Let’s Go, Pikachu! or Let’s Go, Eevee! alongside a special dock decorated with images of the two titular Pokémon, a Switch with silhouettes of the duo printed onto the back of the unit, a Poké Ball Plus controller, and special Joy-Con themed to the two Pocket Monsters’ color schemes. There’s also the option to purchase either of the Let’s Go games bundled with a Poké Ball Plus controller if you don’t want to pick up another Switch.

Mega Man 11

Mega Man 11 is everything fans love about the series. While the game eschews the traditional pixel graphics of yore, the more modern 3D assets here do a wonderful job of modernizing Mega Man’s world while still maintaining the feel and atmosphere of the originals. More importantly, Mega Man 11 also plays the way a Blue Bomber game should with a tough-as-nails challenge and precision controls. That said, it also offers some softer difficulty levels in order to allow for new fans to learn the ins and out of the series as well. It’s a must-have.

Super Mario Party

The Mario Party series is back! It’s also one of the strongest entries the series has seen in quite a while. There’s a special bundle that comes with Joy-Cons included (seeing as the game can’t be played with anything else!), but whether you buy it or the game alone, Super Mario Party has some incredibly fun minigames and a ton of modes to partake in.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

The diminutive royal assistant has gotten a second shot with this re-release of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. In our review we said that “anyone who missed Treasure Tracker on Wii U owes it to themselves to play it on Switch. For returning players, the portability of this Switch version and the new Odyssey stages definitely make a return visit worthwhile.” It’s yet another more recent IP from Nintendo that is rife with all of the qualities that make the company’s longtime franchises so special and enduring; we sincerely hope that fans give it a shot on Switch and help make a sequel possible!

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Crash’s first three PlayStation outings were assembled for this glorious compilation. That means three times the fun all in one game! As our review points out, “this is a collection of games that fans of platformers won’t want to miss. It’s also a great introduction to the character and series for those who’ve never before dipped their toes into the Crash pond.” With Crash Team Racing zooming onto Switch next year, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is the perfect way to find out what the fuss is all about for this crazy bandicoot!

Nintendo 3DS

Luigi’s Mansion

Believe it or not, 3DS is still alive and kicking, as well as playing host to some really good games. Luigi’s Mansion is one of them, with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D developer Grezzo bringing the original GameCube title to life on Nintendo’s aging handheld. As noted in our review, “Luigi’s Mansion remains one of the real gems in all of video games, employing that special brand of Nintendo magic mixed with exceptional play controls to produce an engaging and unforgettable experience.” Definitely pick this one up if you’re a fan of the original or looking to play it for the first time!

WarioWare Gold

It’s everyone’s favorite miscreant and friends, back in action on 3DS for the first time in years! WarioWare Gold brings with it over 300 of the series’ signature Microgames, with a mix of both classic and new to partake in. In our review, we observed that Gold “[creates] an experience that will be a perfect entry point for newbies while also providing unique challenges to longtime fans.” This is the perfect example of the kind of game that fans beg for but then fail to follow up on purchasing at retail, as Gold has sadly been languishing on the stands. Fix that! Go buy it!

Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk

Point and click and adventure game fans take note: Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk is a solid time to be had. In our review, we noted that “despite some slight repetition, the mechanics here are soundly implemented and I rather liked my time in Jake Hunter’s world. There are multiple extra cases (which were formerly mobile releases in Japan) available to play, including a hilarious bonus that depicts Jake in a chibi form, which should keep players busy for a good, long time.” If you want something more cerebral to play, you can’t go wrong with Ghost of the Dusk!

Detective Pikachu

Soon to be a live-action cinematic phenomenon, why not see the roots of the upcoming movie with Detective Pikachu on 3DS? In our review we stated that “the game offers up a unique take on the Pokémon world, while simultaneously providing something that feels familiar, much like Pokémon Snap once did on Nintendo 64. Some players will get frustrated having to figure out the puzzles in the exact way the game dictates, and they can get a little monotonous at times, but the game’s style and humor will make most Pokémon fans grin from ear-to-ear.” It’s a wholly unique take on Pokémon that shouldn’t be missed by adventure game or Pocket Monster fans.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Say what? Didn’t we already list this one? We did… for Switch! It also came out on 3DS, however, and is virtually identical to its home console sibling, both in terms of content and quality. It’s a real showpiece for what 3DS is still capable of and actually plays closer to the original game thanks to the dual-screen setup of the handheld. If you’re still without a Switch, this is just as good a way to play Treasure Tracker and shouldn’t be overlooked!

Quick Hits

Here’s a list of other titles available on Switch and 3DS that shouldn’t be missed:

Did we miss anything? Share your favorites down below or on social media!

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