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This week on Nintendo Everything Podcast, Oni Dino and Galen are fighting to the death for the best games of 2020. The lads argued so hard that it had to be a two-parter. Check out the first half of the show where we give awards for Biggest Positive Surprise, Biggest Embarrassment, Best New Character, Best Non-2020 Game, and Best Paperweight. And do tune in later in the week for the second half of the show which will have Biggest Disappointment, Honorable Mentions, and our definitive Game of the Year 2020 award.

If you’re enjoying NEP, please consider giving us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share us with a friend. It’s incredibly helpful in getting us exposed to new listeners through algorithms, so we would greatly appreciate your help. Thank you for listening to our Nintendo podcast!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai published his latest Famitsu column this week. Given that Sephiroth just joined the game as the latest DLC character, it makes sense that the piece was entirely about the new roster addition.

Sakurai’s column offers insight into how Sephiroth was implemented, including the challenges involved and his “Winged Form”. He also briefly touches on the game’s reveal trailer.

Here’s our full translation:

Another year is almost in the books. 2020 will be finished in just a few days, which given how things have been over the past several months, that’s probably a good thing.

As far as gaming goes, plenty of titles came out this year. Nintendo itself published Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics, Paper Mario: The Origami King, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, Pikmin 3 Deluxe, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, and Fitness Boxing 2 (with a smattering of smaller things like Kirby Fighters 2). From third-parties, some of the highlights were Hades, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Trials of Mana, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, Immortals Fenyx Rising, and Doom Eternal.

With everything that we’ve seen since January, what’s your personal game of the year? Maybe you have a favorite you played for the first time that actually released prior to 2020? No matter the case, share your picks with us in the comments below.

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System: Switch
Release date: December 3, 2020
Developer: Toge Productions, Mojiken Studio
Publisher: Chorus Worldwide Games

It needs to be said right away that When the Past was Around is one of the most beautiful and evocative experiences I’ve had in quite some time. It’s games like these that I usually love to close a year off with, just as I did previously with Gris. These types of titles these go beyond a narrative being told and go straight for the heart, and, much like Gris, convey a lot by saying very little. When the Past was Around is a game that lets the art and your actions do the talking as your 20-something character goes through love, loss, and heartbreak, as well as the trials and tribulations of life and how we face them. It has a little something we can all connect to, and finding and utilizing these puzzles to face our issues – much like how we solve problems in our own lives – become complex only when they need to or if we don’t look deeper. When the Past was Around almost feels like an interactive metaphor, but does so in a gorgeous way that accentuates its stunning art style, relaxing yet thought-provoking gameplay, and café-like vibes that make it feel like a real joy to play from beginning to end despite its heavy themes.

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin was a long journey to completion for Edelweiss. After five years in development, the game finally released in November. It’s out now on Switch and other platforms.

Director Nal and CG artist Koichi were kind enough to take some time to speak with us as part of a new interview about the game. We were able to learn more about Sakuna’s origins, including Nal’s desire to create an action RPG going back to his days as a student. Other discussion topics included other games that inspired the project, working with Switch, and even how much rice was consumed during development.

You can read up on our full interview for Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin below. 

This week on Nintendo Everything Podcast, we’ve got so much news to talk about, despite being the very end of the year. Galen’s been playing Cyberpunk 2077, so we dive into the controversy, first-hand and second-hand experiences. We’ve also got Sephiroth impressions, Indie World Showcase recap, and Super Nintendo World recap. Did we really get three directs in one week (more or less)? We’re also picking the winner of the Twitter giveaway, too! Listen to the opening of the show to see who won.

If you’re enjoying NEP, please consider giving us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share us with a friend. It’s incredibly helpful in getting us exposed to new listeners through algorithms, so we would greatly appreciate your help. Thank you for listening to our Nintendo podcast!

Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy has another month or so to go until its ready for primetime in the west, but the RPG came out in Japan this month. As is tradition, Famitsu published one of the first reviews of the game. Between four reviewers, it earned scores of “8”, “8”, “8”, and “9” for a total score of 33 / 40.

We’ve now prepared a full translation of the review. Continue on below to read it in full.

Just like in 2019, Nintendo decided to close out 2020 with an Indie World Showcase. Nearly twenty games were shown, and a few were announced and released on the same day. Among Us, Grindstone, When the Past Was Around, and Calico all dropped on the eShop. We also heard about titles like Spelunky 1 and 2, Gnosia, and Alba: A Wildlife Adventure. You can find the full recap here.

With everything that was shown, what was your personal highlight of the December 2020 Indie World Showcase? Have you tried out any of the new games that released earlier in the week? Let us know in the comments below.

Nintendo Everything recently had the chance to speak with Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin director Nal and CG artist Koichi. Although the team at Edelweiss typically doesn’t pursue sequels, we couldn’t help but ask if we could see a follow-up to the Switch game one day. It’s impossible to deny Sakuna’s strong reception and sales, and we already know that it’s doing pretty well having sold over 500,000 copies in less than a month.

When asked if we could see more from the Sakuna universe, Nal had this to say:

System: Switch
Release date: December 3, 2020
Developer: Bandai Namco
Publisher: Bandai Namco

If you’ve ever longed to control a pair of sentient taiko drums and fight alongside Marie Antoinette to prevent the space-time continuum from collapsing on itself, then the Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythmic Adventure games were custom-made for you. Once exclusive to the 3DS in Japan, Bandai Namco has now brought its role playing taiko adventures to the west for the first time. Taiko rhythm gameplay and RPG mechanics might seem like an odd blend at first blush, so a major question naturally arises: are these roleplaying spinoffs an offbeat adventure, or do they stick to a solid rhythm? Let’s strike up a drum line and find out.