Very Well: Tetris Axis (132 hours)Conception 2 (110 hours)Monster Hunter 4U (106 hours)Monster Hunter 3U (yes, I played it on both systems... 105 hours)Persona Q (82 hours)NSMB2 (79 hours)SMT IV (77 hours)Kid Icarus: Uprising (69 hours)Etrian Odyssey IV (65 hours)Rune Factory 4 (64 hours)Fantasy Life (62 hours)Pokemon X (60 hours)SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked (57 hours)Etrian Odyssey Untold (56 hours)Animal Crossing: New Leaf (54 hours)Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions (50 hours)Tetris Ultimate (48 hours)Unchained Blades (44 hours)Bike Rider DX2: Galaxy (42 hours)Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers (41 hours)With the expanded list, you can really see just how well represented Atlus is on my system. Also, Biker Rider DX 2 is easily the best endless runner I've ever played, and would expect that game to jump over a few of the games I'm not playing anymore. Some other stats: 180 hours between both versions of Tetris, and that's not counting GB Tetris. 11 of the 20 games are JRPGs, 13 if you consider Monster Hunter a JRPG, which I don't. 15 of them are third party. The only indie game in the top 20 is Biker Rider DX2, in sharp contrast to the WiiU, where indie games make up a large percentage of my time with that system. Most Played VC game is: Kirby's Star Stacker (17 hours) I still wouldn't vote for it in a game of the year poll, just so you know. Most Played regular DS game: Mr Driller: Drill 'till you Drop (39 hours)
Much like the other list, this one won't contain too many surprises Tetris Axis (132 hours)Conception 2 (110 hours)Monster Hunter 4U (106 hours)Monster Hunter 3U (yes, I played it on both systems... 105 hours)Persona Q (82 hours)NSMB2 (79 hours)SMT IV (77 hours)Kid Icarus: Uprising (69 hours)Etrian Odyssey IV (65 hours)Rune Factory 4 (64 hours)I omitted eShop from the top 10 because it's technically not a game, but between waiting for things to download (prior to the download later option) and using it to watch trailers, and Nintendo Directs, and whatnot, my eShop time actually does surpass 60 hours. This probably doesn't surprise some of you. Conception II is a sum of two failed attempts to play through the game. Not quite 60 hours each. I re-bought Monster Hunter 3 for the 3DS when I found out we might not be getting a WiiU version of MH4, and I wanted to adjust to using the 3DS camera controls. Between the WiiU, Wii, and 3DS versions, I don't want to think about how much time I put into playing Monster Hunter 3 in total. Rune Factory 4 is also the sum of 2 playthroughs, though it'd probably be higher than 10 if we were ranking these games on enjoyment. When NSMB2 came out, I really got into coin rush. Tetris Ultimate is slowly rising up the ranks as we speak... Axis is probably a better game overall thought.
I think I finally have a fully formed opinion on LBX at this point. The foundation for this game, which is to say the basic combat, the grind, and robot customization, are all really good, and the game itself is at it's best when it just sticks to the fundamentals. It's when they try to raise the stakes, or add in some sort of dramatic tension that the things tend to fall flat. The worst offenders are when you're battling against various rival characters, where the fights are constantly interrupted by unskippable cutscenes. At one point, I was stuck watching a 2 minute cutscene 4 times in a row because I didn't know what the game wanted me to do afterwards, which led to repeated instant deaths. Much like Pokemon, Mega Man Battle Network, and most other games of this genre, I find it hilarious how all problems encountered are solved with the use of 6 inch toy robots. Like, at one point, someone attempts to assassinate the prime minister, using a tiny robot sniper which he's controlling remotely... which is actually a pretty clever plan if we're being fair, it's the part where the only way to stop the tiny robot is to battle him with another tiny robot that gets kind of silly, and no one ever questions this logic. It's mostly just funny, but it's when life and death situations come up that this ends up really flying in the face of common sense.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (208 hours)Cloudberry Kingdom (204 hours)Nano Assault Neo (80 hours)Hyrule Warriors (44 hours)Splatoon (43 hours)NSMBU (42 hours)Mr Driller 2 (40 hours)Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge (39 hours)Bayonetta 2 (34 hours)XType+ (30 hours)The top two shouldn't be a surprise to anyone... Nano Assault and Ninja Gaiden both benefit from being early releases that got a lot of play during the post-launch doldrums. And if there's any one real takeaway from this, it's that podcast games get more play time than non-podcast games. edit... some additional stats to consider: The total game time of just the top 5 is 579 hours, probably 560 since I rounded off the minutes. 6 of the 10 games are third party, possibly 7 depending on whether you consider Bayo 2 to be a first party release or not. All 10 games are available digitally, 6 of them have physical releases, I own 3 of them physically, and the rest digitally 4 of the 10 games are WiiU exclusive. I'm not counting Nano Assault or Xtype+ because slightly different versions of those games exist elsewhere.
Well, in his defence, it's not like the WiiU release was promoted in like a Nintendo Direct or something like that, and even if it was, I mean, it's not like Giant Bomb picks apart every ND for site content and things to talk about on their podcast. So really, how could anyone have known?
Okay, so I finished Sonic, 1 Chaos Emerald shy of the full set. The first thing that needs to be said, is that the presentation of this game really is top notch. The sound, the music, the colour palettes, the way checkerboards and other contrasting colour patterns accentuate the speed. Everything about the original Sonic trilogy just somehow seems to rise above the limitations of the Genesis hardware. This was the reason I thought blast processing was a real thing when I was a kid. Like I said earlier, years of muscle memory are definitely a factor into my being able to enjoy this game today. If I was coming at this as a new player, or even just one who got bored midway through Marble or Labyrinth Zone, then replaying it would be a struggle, and it would likely be a less enjoyable game as a result. Despite it's simplicity, in terms of only having one button, and combat that involves bumping into things while curled up in a ball, this is not the kind of game you can expect to just pick up and immediately be good at. It was expected that you'd fail a few times, get some game overs, and have to start back at the beginning each time you played. That said, there's a certain "je ne sais quoi' about the way Sonic moves. An intangible something that just feels incredibly great when you're in synch with the game. In the zone, if you will. (is this thing on?) The reason it's so easy to love Green Hill Zone and not feel as strongly about the other areas is because those first three stages give you space to just run around and feel the momentum. The other zones explore different aspects of momentum control, and with varying degrees of success. This is one of the areas where Sonic 2 completely skunks the first game, by sticking a little closer to the fundamentals and reducing each zone to just two acts. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Labyrinth zone, where the gimmick has more than worn out it's welcome by the third act. Also, the whole underwater with different physics and limited air concept could have worked if it were used as an occasional hazard, rather than 75% of the area. Again, look to Sonic 2 to see that sort of thing done right. While there's not a whole lot of exploration to be done in these stages, there do seem to be the occasional branching path, as well as a number of tiered paths, with an upper and lower routes, and maybe a middle route as well, if the stage is open enough. Placement of obstacles at times can feel a bit haphazard, which leads me to suspect the mechanic of being able to get your rings back after being hit is meant to mitigate bumping into enemies you never saw coming. Exploiting this can lead to some shenanigans, like being able to walk on lava pits, but it mostly makes for a game that really isn't all that challenging outside of underwater areas and a handful of particularly nasty gauntlets. So, to reiterate, both Mario World and Sonic 1 are games that I love to pieces, and playing them again just brings me joy. They both manage to be greater than the sum of their parts, but at the end of the day, some of the parts of Sonic just aren't as well designed or executed, whereas nearly every part of Mario World has the level of care and polish that you come to expect from that team. And that's why I voted for SMW.
So, I blazed my way through SMW in an afternoon, stopped just shy of Bowser's Castle. The only "gimmicks" to this run was no star road and no switch palaces. It usually takes a moment to switch my brain from NSMB back the older controls, your speed ramps up a lot faster, and you change directions a lot sharper in this game. I also spent the first couple levels hitting the triggers and expecting to jump cancel. To some extent, muscle memory is going to make both of these games easier for me than they would be for someone playing them for the first time, thought I suspect it's going to be a much bigger benefit in Sonic than it will in Mario, since Sonic's momentum control required a very specific kind of finesse. SMW does what all the best Mario games do, in that despite being a linear platformer, it really feels like a playground, where you're free to mess around and make your own fun along the way. When I was a kid, it was not uncommon to load up a 100% completed save file and just replay my favourite levels. The other thing that really impressed my this time around, is how well everything fits together. The moments where it felt like I was done in by poor placement of either a respawning enemy or a platform or whatever stuck out like a sore thumb, but were also incredibly few and far between. Most of the design felt so natural that it never even crossed my mind. I'm also really surprised by the usefulness of the spin jump. Boss battles were creative, and didn't overstay their welcome. The fight with Bowser felt drawn out to me when I was a kid, but that might have just been a matter of not having developed the skills or strategies. And while I didn't get there this time, I don't really need to re-watch the ending to know that they wen't absolutely all out. Great music, as always, but the overall presentation didn't strike me as all that special. When you look at other launch window releases for the SNES, SMW comes across as fairly subdued. Anyway, on to Sonic. I don't expect this will take very long.
I eat my pizza like a human being, but there are definitely other foods where I like the individual flavours and textures too much to let them mix. Deserts in particular. I usually separate them by layer. My sister and I also have colour sorting habits when it comes to candy. I tend to try and even out my groups before finishing them off, whereas she eats them in order from smallest group to largest. (let's just say we find it a bit strange when some people brag about how OCD they are)