Kotaku’s Mobile/Handheld Game Of The Year — The Results Are In!

Kotaku’s Mobile/Handheld Game Of The Year — The Results Are In!
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Two weeks ago we asked for nominations, A week ago we asked you to vote. Now, we’re revealing the winners. [Begins drum roll…]

Readers Choice


And the winner is… Ocarina of Time 3D.

I think it’s a solid choice. It was as good a remake as I’ve ever played. Nice to see a couple of other solid games garner a fair amount of votes: Jetpack Joyride received a fair few votes as did Sword and Sworcery.

But ultimately, traditional handheld consoles ruled the roost, with Pokemon Black and White coming in as a close runner-up.

Winner: Ocarina of Time 3D
Runner Up: Pokemon Black and White

Editor’s Choice


This may be one of the most difficult picks for me. Ocarina of Time 3D is completely out because, in a year where I played some incredibly innovative game on both iOS and handheld consoles, it feels wrong to choose a remake. My favourite mobile game of the year is undoubtedly Collision Effect. There’s something incredibly simple and innovative about that game — both the puzzle and classic score attack modes feature drastically different pacing and playstyles. It’s a small miracle that both are so perfectly balanced.

Also, I don’t want to choose a winner in this category without mentioning Ghost Trick — a game that featured perhaps the best writing of any game released this year. In a sense it’s barely a game at all, I experienced it in much the same way I would a good book, or a manga series, but I had so much fun and found Ghost Trick as engaging as any experience I’ve had this year.

That said, I found it very difficult to look past Super Mario 3D Land as my own personal mobile/handheld game of the year. Having played it solidly for the past week, it really is the perfect handheld Mario game. Super Mario 3D Land feels like a game custom built for my commute. The perfect balance between 2D and 3D Mario, the game manages to bring new people to 3D Mario, but never patronizes those who are familiar with previous games in the series. I am currently completely in love with this game.

Winner: Super Mario 3D Land
Runner Up: Collision Effect

Comments

  • You guys don’t deserve Jetpack Joyride! It’s easily better than a half-baked remake of the most overrated game in history. *Equips flame shield*

    • Hopefully the success and popularity of Ocarina of Time 3D will encourage Nintendo to remake Majora’s Mask too. I’ve always preferred the latter N64 title, and it was kind of disappointing to see them only bring out one of the two beloved classics. With both games using the same engine and many of the same models, I still have hopes of seeing Majora’s Mask 3D sometime in the future. It certainly would be an easy remake for them and there’s no doubt it would be a hit.

    • (Though I voted for Carcassonne because I don’t have a 3DS so haven’t tried this OoT. AND it turns out Carcassonne wasn’t released this year anyway.)

  • To be fair to everyone, we started voting on this before Super Mario 3D Land was really out. We had an awards schedule to work to which sucks a bit.

    I get the feeling we’ll have a similar discussion around Skyward Sword!

  • sweet! I voted for Oot 3D, spent 40hrs playing it this year. Definetly deserves the win. Good to see that some cheap angry birds type crap didnt win either! You guys make me proud:)

        • Good point. I wonder if Activision had re-released the still-lauded Modern Warfare 1 with a few tweaks and new maps for, say, $60 rather than $100, would they be getting better press about it?

          Still, it’s only bad press they’re getting. It’s selling bloody well.

  • Is it possible to see the complete poll results, see how votes each game got? Not accusing Mr Serrels of vote rigging but would be an interesting comparrison.

  • Surprised Jetpack Joyride didn’t win. Come on guys. Not only is made in Aus, it’s awesome cheap and not another Nintendo remake. When was the last time they created a new IP. Shame on you! /hides/

    • Unfortunately Australian, cheap and not a Nintendo remake are not criteria enough to make a game the best for the year. It was a simple idea, well executed, but ultimately hollow. If it was the best thing released all year it would be a real shame.

  • This is not a comment about the quality of the game. I love Zelda.

    My question is this: Is this a remake, or a port? I mean, whats the difference technically? I don’t think just HD’ing it within the same engine and adapting the controls constitutes the term remake – the film equivalent would be the re-issues of star wars. Not remakes – reissues. When we make something work on another machine, we call it a port.

    And then I have to ask? Should a port count? Its a nicer looking version of a game that’s been out for more than ten years. It’s not fundamentally different. The fact you can now play it on a hand held not withstanding.

    It just doesn’t seem fair to the newer games to include it. There’s a nostalgia element that was the basis for this re-release that gives it an unfair advantage – they don’t have ten years to ferment in the hearts of gamers everywhere. If it was a remake, people might have at least thought it was crap if it were.

    • It was on a home console in 1998. It’s a pretty fine achievement to have taken that same experience and translated it to a handheld without absolutely ballsing it up. Even if this is 13 years later. A good game experience is a good game experience and from what I’ve heard it’s being received well by newcomers who didn’t own an N64 13 years ago.

      • Not sure about anyone else, but something about the 3DS version makes Ocarina seem smaller, or something. Maybe it’s because of the handheld experience, but something magic about the memory of Ocarina is lost now, to me at least. Good thing I’ve got Skyward Sword to make awesome new Zelda memories!!!

        • Does the “87” in your name mean you were 11 when you played OoT? I don’t mean to be patronising but this might have something to do with it. I was 14, so I had a very similar experience. I assume I will find the world smaller when I go back to it.

          On this topic, refer: http://xkcd.com/255/

          • Classic comic strip. Though I wouldv’e been 11 when it first came out, I’ll never forget choosing Space Station Silicon Valley instead of Zelda for Christmas that year. So I guess I would’ve been a little older than 11 when I actually played through Ocarina. 14 sounds about right. If I could go back in time, I’d almost choose not to play through the 3DS remake again, so the original could retain its place in my memory as the incredibly massive slide from your comic. Almost.

          • I will keep your views in mind as I haven’t got a 3DS yet, but I really don’t think I can resist returning to Hyrule Field! I have replayed it since the N64 days, on the Gamecube (good old collector’s edition of Wind Waker) and loved every moment of it again that time, so I have high hopes that it has retained its grandeur just as the slide did.

    • It’s not a port unless it’s the same game. Ocarina 3D has the addition of new elements, like the Shieka Stones, one of the items is different, it has the Master Quest and the regular version of Ocarina, it incorporates the 3DS’s gyro for aiming… I mean, an example of a port is the recent Resident Evil 4 HD stuff for PS3, which is more a direct port of the PS2 version than you could call this 3DS game of the N64 original.

      • It is the same game though – its a good port that adds some fairly minor features, most of which play to the consoles strengths. Most of the things you nominate are fairly standard upscaled port additions, see Okami, the ICO collection etc.

  • Oh GOODY, Nintendo gets validation for its endless, mindless rehashing of tired old games that were not that good to begin with. *sigh*. For such a ‘forward thinking’ industry, we sure seem stuck in the past…

  • I voted Pokemon because, although I preferred Ocarina, it was a remake, as you say. That said, I do get why OoT 3D was game of the year. The new graphics and features really made it so much fun. I just don’t think it was particularly fair, considering other games were a lot more innovative and awesome.

    Also, I think you should institute a policy that these votes only apply to games released up until the vote. Like, Mario 3D would be part of next year’s vote, not this year’s. Just a thought, because it looks like it will be the handheld GOTY.

    • Not to be too picky, but isn’t pokemon pretty close to a remake as well, just with new pokemon. (Note: i’ve only seen bits of the new games)

  • Sworcery was also a big highlight for me this year, but I am probably never going to play that again after finishing it once. It was beautiful and brilliantly executed, but not deep in any respect. I think that’s indicative of most of the best iOS et al. handheld games- fun, flashy and just immersive enough that you’ll miss your bus stop or an important point in a university lecture, but ultimately as shallow as a pothole puddle.

    When you’ve got the kind of power, hardware and budget that Nintendo has, though, you can reasonably expect that your games will be far more detailed and created with longevity in mind. I think there’s a good reason that OoT has a $70 price tag on it while something like Sworcery will only set you back $5 or so- if you switch those prices around, it doesn’t make a lick of sense. That’s why I think it’s silly to even have these games in the same category- it’s like sticking delicious Valencia Oranges in the “Best Apples of the Year” category to me.

    ps. With that being said, Collision Effect is GOD. Oh man.

  • Sworcery was also a big highlight for me this year, but I am probably never going to play that again after finishing it once. It was beautiful and brilliantly executed, but not deep in any respect. I think that’s indicative of most of the best iOS et al. handheld games- fun, flashy and just immersive enough that you’ll miss your bus stop or an important point in a university lecture, but ultimately as shallow as a pothole puddle.

    When you’ve got the kind of power, hardware and budget that Nintendo has, though, you can reasonably expect that your games will be far more detailed and created with longevity in mind. I think there’s a good reason that OoT has a $70 price tag on it while something like Sworcery will only set you back $5 or so- if you switch those prices around, it doesn’t make a lick of sense. That’s why I think it’s silly to even have these games in the same category- it’s like sticking delicious Valencia Oranges in the “Best Apples of the Year”.

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