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Another year, another pile o' games played. Last year I'd played more handheld games than console games, and although this year I played about the same number of games on handhelds and consoles, in terms of hours I played a ton on my 3DSes. I sunk a lot of time into a few games in particular, including two of my favorite games of the year, Hyrule Warriors on Wii U (not to mention getting sucked into its 3DS version, Hyrule Warriors Legends, and spending way too much time on that), and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest on 3DS. Both of the Fire Emblem Fates games were enjoyable, and the games really refined the new mechanics introduced in Awakening, their predecessor. I also finally got into the Monster Hunter series and put a lot of hours into Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (also on Wii U). [Spoiler alert: I've actually also put many hours into Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, and that will actually be my first review of 2017.]

In between those long games, I played a lot of short games, and Threes became the first smartphone game to crack my "favorite games of all time" list. I was happy to finally finish Pikmin 2, and was pleasantly surprised that I got immediately sucked into Pikmin 3, so much so that it actually is at the top of my favorite games I played this past year. Rounding out the notable accomplishments was finishing the last Art Style DSi game, the fantastic Art Style: Zengage. I also finally finished the second Phoenix Wright game and the next Mega Man game (#3). (In both cases it took me some eight years to accomplish these feats!) Also noteworthy for this past year was the release of Nintendo's first smartphone game, Miitomo, which I enjoyed and which I continue to dip into now and then, and the free DLC added to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which I've played quite a bit of, but not quite enough to post about it yet.

Here's the summary of what my 2016 looked like gaming-wise (games listed in approximate descending order) with links to each game’s corresponding blog review:

HIGH
- Pikmin 3 (Wii U)
- Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)
- Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest (3DS)
- Threes (Android)
- Art Style: Zengage (DSiWare)

MIDDLE
- Pikmin 2 (GCN)
- Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS) (replay; previous 2012)
- Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U)
- Super Mario Maker (Wii U)
- Hyrule Warriors Legends (3DS)
- LostWinds (WiiWare)
- Persona 3 (PS2)
- Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright (3DS)
- Toki Tori 2+ (Wii U Ware)
- Nintendo Badge Arcade (3DSWare)
- DDRMAX2 Dance Dance Revolution (PS2)
- DDRMAX Dance Dance Revolution (PS2)
- Five Nights at Freddy's (Android)
- Cut the Rope Free (Android)
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (DS)
- BoxBoy! (3DSWare)
- SteamWorld Heist (3DSWare)
- Just Dance 2 (Wii) (replay; previous 2012)
- DuckTales (NES)
- Wii Sports Club (Wii U)
- New York Times Crosswords (DS)
- Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)
- The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (3DS)
- Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (3DS)
- Mega Man 3 (NES)
- Dance Dance Revolution Extreme (PS2)
- Streetpass Mii Plaza Games: Set 3 (3DSWare)
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All (DS)
- Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition (3DS)
- Pokémon Picross (3DSWare)
- Steel Diver: Sub Wars (3DSWare)
- 10000000 (Android)
- Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival (Wii U)
- Soul Calibur II (GCN)
- Retro Game Challenge (DS)

LOW
- Pokémon Dream Radar (3DSWare)
- Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox)
- Pokemon Rumble Blast (3DS)
- Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES)
- Thomas Was Alone (Wii U Ware)
- Scribblenauts (DS)

NOT RATED
- Miitomo (iOS)
- Wii Street U (Wii U)

Outside of games played, this year I also posted two lists (Favorite Miscellaneous Games, Part 1 (games released 1978 through 2003) and Favorite Puzzle Games), and I also posted two playlists of some video game music I like (the first in October and the other just a few days ago).

Looking ahead, I have several games that I'm just about ready to finish off, so I'll have plenty to post in the new year. Now that I've taken a bit of a break from Fire Emblem I'm looking forward to finishing the third part, and also dipping into the DLC. I'm also looking forward to playing Pokemon Sun/Moon and finishing some other games and series that I've had on my "to play" list for far too long. Of course I'm hyped for the release of the Switch in March (and particularly hyped for the possibility of some new characters sneaking their way into Smash Bros.), although I'm still not sure how much I'm going to be into the new Zelda game. And 2017 should also see the release of Nintendo's next mobile games, for the Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing series, and it will be very interesting to see how their unique take on mobile continues.

That's it for another year in review. As always, thanks as always to anyone who’s stumbled across my little patch of cyberspace and found it even mildly diverting, and welcome to another full year of video games at the Intergalactic Video Game Academy! ;)

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