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Notable Japanese gaming publication Famitsu hosted its 2018 Famitsu Awards, and what a night it was for Masahiro Sakurai and Nintendo. Along with the sadly-not-on-Switch Monster Hunter World, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was named Famitsu’s Game of the Year for 2018. It’s a sentiment we agreed with for sure, and we’re happy to see that recognition continue just ahead of DLC character Joker’s expected release.


Smash Ultimate also received an Award for Excellence, and Sakurai himself walked away with an industry MVP award. It wasn’t the only bit of pride he’d get to carry though, as his first creation was also celebrated. Taking home the Character of the Year award for 2018 was none other than Kirby! While Sakurai hasn’t been directly involved in the Kirby series for several years now, he still saw fit to include the pink puffball in a celebratory picture. It’s a well-deserved honor and one I’ve been giving the little guy every year for a while now, so it’s nice to see some wider recognition.

Another big winner from the night was Octopath Traveler, taking home an Award for Excellence, along with the Rookie Award as a new title and Best Music. Pokémon: Let’s Go! Pikachu & Eevee also received an Award for Excellence, with longtime Pokémon director, producer, and composer Junichi Masuda in attendance to accept.


It was a great night for Nintendo and other games, with the full list of recipients available at Famitsu itself. Congratulations to all the winners — and here’s to more excellent games in 2019!


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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.