2020 might have put most of us through the wringer to a greater or lesser extent, but it was a surprisingly strong year from a game perspective.
Of course, it’s become Nintendo’s MO over the past year to focus the discussion on projects it envisages for that year, although we’re all desperate to hear about great future games like Metroid Prime 4 and Breath of the Wild 2, we do not expect that there will be some sticky details left before it is a matter of months.
While this quiet approach can be frustrating, it has also led to some surprising surprises, with excellent games like Paper Mario: The Origami King and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity announced and released relatively shortly after.
In the article below, we will summarize the most important stories and games of 2020 covered by our top news and review teams, as well as the most popular article and review on Nintendo Life from each month of this long period, tall year. (You can view longer readings from the past twelve months by reading our feature selection of the best of 2020).
While you may be reluctant to take the recent Memory Lane, we promise to include this 2020 summary mostly positive memories. It is said that there are also some unavoidable negatives to touch – we will try not to stay.
So let’s get stuck and let’s look back on an eventful twelve months.
January – Pokémon Direct, Byleth Direct, but no ‘proper’ direct
If we look at Nintendo’s 2020 lead, there were Brain training at the beginning of the year, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore in mid-January, the delayed Animal transition coming in March … and not much else on the horizon. While many were hungry for a full-fledged Nintendo Direct (something we would not actually see all year), the Pokémon Direct unveiled a plethora of details surrounding the Sword & Shield Expansion Pass in January. Pokémon HOUSE, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX and more with more than 200 old people returning to the extensive Galar National Dex.
Elsewhere, Byleth has been revealed as the 5th DLC fighter for Smash Bros. Ultimate (as well as an all-new Fighter’s Pass), Bethesda’s retro DOOMs received an update that made them essential purchases for rip-and-tearers. Masahiro Sakurai revealed that he played an awful lot of Playstation games in 2019, suggested a productive fun. we would see a Paper Mario game and a 2D Metroid game later in the year (we are of course still waiting for the latter), and Hideki Kamiya started the year in fine form with his opinion on the Switch Home Menu (and fans of Switch mocked their own theme and folding ideas).
January games included the excellent Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition, the also-excellent 198X, and the triple-excellent To the moon.
Most popular news article: Do you remember that Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Clone That Killed A PS4? It’s coming to switch
Most Popular Review: SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays – Brilliant Strategy RPG Action Bursting with Content
February – Wonderful 101 returns while we wait for the big one next month …
The same guy who mentioned a Paper Mario version obliquely referred to a planned holiday 2020 release with ‘tires’ in it – not exactly much to go on, but Mario Kart Live: Home finally released in November. Platinum Games teased The Wonderful 101: Remastered Just before the official announcement, Nintendo was clumsy about the upcoming competition of the next consoles, and Sakurai responded to accusations of too many Fire Emblem characters in Smash by pointing the finger in Nintendo’s direction.
Elsewhere, we wondered where in the world Pikmin 4 should arrive and NL readers ever voted for their favorite Pokémon appetizer (with somewhat predictable results!). More details on Animal Crossing bubble, people get upset about the lack of Nintendo Direct, Witcher 3 on Switch got an impressive update, and a story about Nintendo customer support being done over and over for an elderly Tetris fan gave us all the hot noise.
Most popular News Article: Nintendo and Pokémon Company release joint statement on sword and shield candy
Most Popular Review: Two-Point Hospital – Probably the Best Version of an Award-Winning Modern Classic
March – A dear old favorite reappears over time
The seriousness of the global situation that would dominate the rest of the year became apparent when events were postponed, adjusted or canceled. We got an Indie World Showcase, the Nintendo PlayStation sold at auction, Nintendo got a legitimate way in the ongoing Joy-Con drift fiasco, and everyone and their dog tried to get their hands on it Ring Fit Adventure before the lockout and the game calendar a significant blow was inflicted as E3 2020 was postponed three months from the planned June lock.
However, this was not bad news in the game world. March has announced the important and very welcome return of an old favorite in these parts: we are of course referring to the resurrection of our beloved sister site, Pure Xbox. Nice to have you back, old friend.
In other news, Nintendo has posted some random sims in which you think you are not doing much. All eyes follow it, except those standing on other platforms DOOM Eternal, and even those are occasionally distracted by the beautiful fan art and memes of Doomguy / Isabelle.
Yes, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will dominate the news cycle for several months, fueled in part by the formidable and in part by global circumstances that have led millions to find solace and escape to Nook’s getaway island. Islands filled with insects, the ability to poop, Isabelle and the Doom Slayer in animated form – you name it, Animal Crossing provided.
Most popular News Article: With a fan website, you can create and share animal-crossing city tunes
Most popular review: Animal Crossing: New Horizons – an accessible and addictive masterpiece
April – Lockdown, revision bombing and return to the Streets of Rage
Animal cross fever has taken over and people have been showcasing their talents with incredible island projects and custom designs (and with complaining Bunny Day). The beginning of April was also filled with ordinary jokes, Super Mario Maker 2 received its ‘final’ update, thousands of Nintendo accounts were allegedly compromised, and Lord of the Rings star and everyday goodie Elijah Wood visited the internet randomly to hit his rap.
A number of summer 2020 online offerings have been announced to fill the vacuum left by the cancellation of E3 2020. The Japanese rating agency CERO temporarily shut down when the world responded to COVID-19, although Nintendo’s biggest release of the year could not stop making headlines, with the game making the front page of the Financial Times amid all the sobering pandemic -related news. articles.
In terms of games, Jupiter put out its 472nd place Picross title, Trials of Mana delivered a beloved and long-missing RPG classic in the West in remade 3D form, Sam Barlow continued to push the boundaries of the FMV detective genre with Tell lies, and Dotemu, Guard Crush Games and Lizardcube took us back to the 90’s in the brilliant retro revival Strate of Rage 4.
Most popular News Article: One month later the crossing of animals: New Horizons’ overview bomb only gets worse
Most popular review: Cooking Mama: Cookstar – definitely needed more time in the oven
May – Announcements of surprises as Animal Crossing mania sweeps the world
Nintendo has posted some very healthy sales figures and also revealed Paper Mario: The Origami King scheduled for release in July. The Nintendo Switch Online offering has been expanded with four more titles, Pikmin 3 rumors have bubbled away and the company has also suffered a major leak of development material.
However, the news was dominated by Animal Crossing, as the game surpassed Nintendo’s life predictions in the first six weeks of sale. Toom Nook grabs the spirit of the times by the throat and does not want to let go, with Gary Whitta’s Animal Talking talk show attracting big celebrities, artists portraying characters as people, players exploiting mistakes before they are ripped off, and even the person who’s the Sea Wrote Bass joke. admits he gets tired of it.
Elsewhere, Pac-Man turned 40, Indivisible without the knowledge of the developer sneaked to the Switch eShop, and Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition launched at the end of the month.
Most popular News Article: Have you ever wondered why a villager left your island to cross animals? This latest database reveals everything
Most Popular Review: The Elder Scrolls: Blades – A Grindy Free-to-Play Bastardization of Bethesda’s RPG Classic
June – The Isle of Armor, clubhouse games, LEGO Mario and, yes, more Animal Crossing
A broadcast of Pokémon Presents (the first of two, though the second was something of a damp squib) accompanied the release of the first Isle of Armor DLC for Pokémon Sword and Shield and unveils a number of new Pokémon-related games and products (including New Pokémon Snap). People got a little confused about which DLC they should buy, but the expansion itself was pretty good.
In other news, Min Min has been revealed as the next Smash fighter, the Joy-Con drive saga has continued, the opening of Super Nintendo World has been postponed until 2021, the supply constraints hampering Switch’s production have eased a bit and Nintendo and Lego have lifted the lid. their Super Mario collaboration.
Fans have started making their own live show, Ori developer Moon Studios has thrown us off the scent of a Switch port Will of the Wisps, Earthbound turned 25 in the US, and Sega unveiled the impossibly cute (and completely useless) Game Gear Micro. And Animal Crossing continued on the newsboards, with a number of brands jumping on Nook’s chariot.
Nintendo’s Clubhouse Games: 51 World Classics landed on Switch in June, as well as the free downloadable title Jump Rope Challenge to help you stay active during lockouts. Other notable releases are included XCOM 2, Bioshock: The Collection and the Borderlands Legendary Collection.
Most popular News Article: Here are the seven EA games that are set to switch over the next year
Most Popular Review: The Outer Worlds – Obsidian’s dropout style RPG is worth a look