Nintendo eShop Choice – January 2023

Image: Nintendo Life

Thank God January is over, huh? It always looks like it’s twice as long as it really is, and it doesn’t help that it’s cold. And a bit quieter on the gaming front. So, it’s time to dig deeper and look back at the past month for our monthly eShop Selects!

In New Year’s traditions, we break our decision already and let some of those interesting 7/10s sneak into the vote this time around. Fire Emblem Engage aside, there haven’t been too many headliners for the Switch, but there are plenty of small (and big) curiosities ready to be downloaded.

Then let’s not talk. We’ll start with the honorary awards for January 2023!

honorable mentions

Was alone transparent This month’s winner, but every game eligible for entry this month has received at least one vote, so you can’t go wrong with these highlights, even with their flaws!

We definitely have a soft spot for retro platformers, as does JoyMasher, developer of the excellent Contra-inspired Blazing Chrome. The team followed this up with another hit in Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider, which puts you in the shoes of a cybernetic ninja rebelling against their totalitarian creators.

It looks like something straight out of the SNES and Mega Drive era, and is clearly inspired by Shinobi III, Strider and Mega Man. With a sleek neo-retro style, Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider combines the fast, accurate platforming with the sword-slashing slashes of some of our favorite games with aplomb. it helps that it’s not super is also difficult, which means we’re back for a few more rounds to just dive into the nostalgia.

We’ve delivered the great retro platformer JoyMasher 9/10, so go ahead and check out our review to see why you should pick this one.

Space for unrelated (Switch eShop)

Space for unrelated (Switch eShop)

Publisher: World Choir Games / Developer: Studio Mojiken

Date of issue: January 19, 2023 (USA) / January 19, 2023 (UK/EU)

Stunning pixel art is common on these lists, but Space for the Free is in a different league with its unique visuals and gorgeous backgrounds. It’s also a coming-of-age story set in ’90s Indonesia with a magical twist.

You’ll start playing Mojiken’s great adventure game thinking it’s going in one direction and it’s sweeping the carpet out from under your feet multiple times. This is a sincere, honest, and beautiful exploration of depression, growing up, and all the pain that comes with being a teenager. It’s otherworldly. Oh, and you can pet and name every cat in the game – what’s not to love?

A Space for the Unbound received 8/10 in our review, which we wrote while holding back tears. It will definitely make you cry.

Persona 4 Golden (Switch Web Store)

Persona 4 Golden (Switch Web Store)

Publisher: Atlus / Developer: Atlus Personal Team

Date of issue: January 19, 2023 (USA) / January 19, 2023 (UK/EU)

No wonder Persona 4 Golden tops the January list, and for good reason. Persona 5 Maybe for the game to really explode, but Persona 4 Golden was praised by critics on the PS Vita when it first released in 2012.

So what’s the fuss? Well, this is a fantastically written RPG set in the sleepy Japanese town of Inaba, where a killer flees a precipice and shoves victims into TV sets through the Midnight Channel, a strange otherworld where demons lurk. As the main character, you and your high school friends will need to catch the killer by combining high school life, social life and Persona abilities. Persona 4 Golden improves on many of the features that Persona 3 has brought to the series, and with a stellar story and great characters to get close to, it’s no wonder this RPG is considered one of the best.

Every employee voted for Persona 4 Golden, making it the best game in the online store of January in the eyes of the NL. If you need more persuasiveness, our 9/10 review should help.

< Nintendo eShop Choice - December 2022

How do we decide that our online store chooses the top three: As we get closer to the end of each month, Nintendo Life staff members vote on their favorite games from a list of games handpicked by the editors. To be included in this list, these games must be released digitally only on the Nintendo Switch eShop in that particular month and must be verified on Nintendo Life; we choose suitable games based on their ratings in reviews.

Employees are then asked to vote for the three games they think deserve to be ranked first on this list; the first choice gets 3 points, the second choice gets 2 points, and the third choice gets 1 point. Those votes are then counted to make a list of the top three, and the overall winner receives that month’s top prize.

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