We have had some great Nintendo games this year including Super Mario Maker, Yoshi’s Woolly World, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and many more. However, we have also had some titles that haven’t reviewed quite as well as Nintendo would have hoped. These games include Chibi Robo! Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. NeoGAF member TI82 has collected data from Metacritic and it shows that Nintendo reviews are currently at an all time low for the past 10 years. Regardless, it should be noted that Xenoblade Chronicles X and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam have yet to be released.
With only 2 days to go to the big release, reviews are flying in for Splatoon and so far Metacritic has it on a Metascore of 81. There’s been 26 reviews so far, 21 positive and 5 mixed, but nobody outright dislikes Splatoon at the minute. It’s a great score, but with all the hype I was expecting a little higher. For some comparison, other Wii U games that also achieved a Metascore of 81 are: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Affordable Space Adventures. Although, there is still time for it to increase! Here are some of the critic reviews:
The EscapistThe game’s single player is surprisingly in-depth for a title that has been marketed as a multiplayer game, combining elements of platforming and shooting in a style of game that reminds me of Ratchet & Clank or Jak & Daxter.
FNintendo70A strong emphasis on its online mechanics means that most of Splatoon is to be experienced on a multiplayer basis, which would be at a higher level if all future options and contents were already available. Given the importance of cooperative online play and team work, it’s also difficult to understand why there’s no voice chat but despite this shortcoming, Splatoon has all conditions to become a must have classic, once all the contents are made available.
NF Magazine95I think I’m addicted to ink. [Issue #15: Making a Splash! – May/June 2015, p.68]
Today, the reviews have come pouring in for the Nintendo 3DS strategy title Code Name: STEAM. The game is available to purchase from retailers in the United States tomorrow and currently has a score of 73 on popular review aggregation site, Metacritic. Reviewers seem to be divided over the game which can be both brutal and rewarding. Will you be purchasing the game?
There are some things that drive me crazy about Code Name S.T.E.A.M’s mission design, and I really think the difficulty balance could have used another pass, but these issues are balanced by the excellent mechanics. Intelligent Systems know their way around the strategy genre, and it shows in Code Name S.T.E.A.M’s deep roster and intricate level design.
– US Gamer
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. offers the most frustrating kind of steampunk: It brushes up against potent themes, but then turns its back on them in favor of pure aestheticization.
UK publication MCV has written an interesting article exploring the current obsession with Metacritic and why it’s bad for the industry as a whole. The publication has spoken to a number of European video game developers who have once again reiterated that a good Metacritic score means that they can receive pay bonuses and shares for the company rise. Some believe that the scoring system is detrimental to developers and is harming innovation Here’s what some of the developers who spoke to the publication had to say.
“The problem is how parts of the games industry and audience treat Metacritic. The idea that a game isn’t worth buying, or that its developers have failed and don’t deserve bonuses if it scores under 80 or even 85 on Metacritic, is going to result in samey, bland games that are made according to what works in Metacritic’s system. It’s harming innovation in mainstream gaming.”
“I understand the desire to simplify complex matters into easy to understand patterns. But ultimately I believe review scores are a bane to the games industry.”
– Bossa Studios co-founder Imre Jele
“There are so many factors that go into reviews it doesn’t make sense. Some people use the score as a quick shorthand, but there is so much missing.”
“What matters most to us is the response of players and how social media spreads the word about good, playable games,”
– Rebellion founder Jason Kingsley
US Reviews for Kirby’s latest clay inspired adventure have started to pop up on online review aggregator Metacritic. I know a few of you aren’t too keen on the site, but Nintendo seems to love it. Anyway, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse currently has a Metascore of 74 based on ten critics. It’s not a bad score, but it could be better. Here’s a sample of some of the reviews that are currently out there.
By its very nature, it feels more at home on a handheld. Just in this case, it’s a handheld system that’s tethered to your living room console.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse shines because it’s a simple game that delivers superbly on a simple concept. You’re repeating many of the same actions again and again, but with each new stroke it feels more refined, more graceful.
Nothing about the gameplay feels broken, it just feels soulless this time around.
– Giant Bomb
Metacritic scores seem to mean a lot nowadays so it’s great to hear that Nintendo was the number one video game publisher in 2014 according to Metascore. The company that was just behind the Kyoto based company was Ubisoft who scored as the second best publisher of 2014, followed by EA. Be sure to check out the Metacritic page to get a more detailed breakdown.
Shooting up three spots in our rankings to #1 among the large publishers, Nintendo is also the only one of the majors to finish the year with a “green” average Metascore—despite the fact that only 56% of its games received positive reviews from critics. (Basically, 2014 was not the most memorable of years in gaming history.) Nintendo’s performance is even more impressive given the fact that it released more unique titles (34) than any other publisher in 2014. The Wii U and 3DS maker saw its Metascore average increase by 2.7 points in last year (compared to the previous year) even though it didn’t have a single 2014 game score as highly as its 2013 leader, Super Mario 3D World. Nintendo was actually the only publisher last year with more than one game (with at least 7 reviews) to score in the 90+ range, with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Bayonetta 2 both hitting 91. In a reverse from 2013, the publisher’s Wii U games scored more highly than its 3DS releases. The average for the former was an impressive 81.3 (for 12 Wii U releases), while its 22 3DS games averaged just 73.9.
Thanks, lamatsucubo and Dee
2014 has admittedly been a great year for gamers with a number of high-profile releases on each platform. However it’s the remasters that have acquired the highest scores this year with Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us leading the pack. But it’s not just remasters that have scored highly as Nintendo exclusives such as Super Smash Bros and Bayonetta 2 have also received plenty of praise from critics. If you’re interested, the chart above shows the highest reviewed games of 2014 and five of them have been released on Nintendo platforms.