Busy busy busy.
I've been working on this off and on for a couple days now. Nice to be finally done. It's also been pretty hard to pull myself away from A Link Between Worlds. I had to complete it before I could walk away. It is that incredible. I wish I had the ability to capture footage from my 3DS to make a Youtube video. I suppose text will have to do.
A Link Between Worlds is the tightest Zelda experience I've ever had. Most of the time, I get about 60% of the way through a Zelda and have to force myself over a boredom hump (my nickname in high school). I have to make myself work at it, you know? "Time to track down more Triforce shards blah fart Ben Affleck."
Not so in LBW. The ability to buy any item from the shop allows you to really go anywhere and try to tackle any problem. You don't wander the map wondering "Am I even going to right way wtf Ben Affleck." This leads to fewer urges to check a guide just to keep the pace up. You are always moving forward and it feels good. You can actually sit down with no prior knowledge of the game and tackle a dungeon or two just based on your own intuition. The game subtly nudges you towards your goal without hitting you over the head with the answer to the problem. There's no appearance from a Tingle or Navi in this game, and you are mostly left to your own devices. This is the way it should be. I had to put down Dream Team due to all the hand holding. Are you listening, Nintendo? (They're not)
The ability to turn into a painting and traverse the wall is the best gimmick Zelda has ever had. Every environment is now a possible puzzle to solve. It's central to the gameplay. It feels like something that should have been there all along, unlike skydiving and boats and... ugh... trains. No, this ability is with you all the time. It's as necessary as your sword except it holds more surprises that I won't spoil here.
This game is tiiiiight, yo. If you have a 3DS, buy that shit. If you don't have a 3DS, come on, man what's the matter with you Ben Affleck.
A Link Between Worlds is in the running for my favorite single player game of the year, followed closely by Super Mario 3D World and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon.
And Fire Emblem.
Wind Waker HD was pretty good too.
It's been a very Nintendo year for me. Who knew?