Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 2012 Nintendo 3DS Playtime Results

While some consider achievements to be a "must-have" feature of any platform, I am more in the camp that cannot do without some form of activity log. The Wii has this in an imperfect form via the Nintendo Channel, but the Nintendo 3DS elevated this idea with detailed time and play records of every 3DS game and application. It has been five months since out last look at what Nintendo 3DS games the SuperPhillip household has been playing. Let's see how much things have changed!

10) Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (16:54)

To start this look at what we've been playing, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy marches to a beat of its own drummer, probably Nobuo Uematsu, and gave me (my brother won't touch rhythm games) a dose of fun nostalgia. Though nostalgia alone doesn't make a good game. No, the entertaining gameplay - yes, even the grinding - makes for an experience that is quite endearing. Mastering a song is such an awesome feeling, and the track selection with five songs being added as DLC on an almost weekly basis is terrific too. When I last left Theatrhythm, I was grinding for a special color of crystal shard to unlock Sephiroth into my collection of Final Fantasy all-stars. Darn these new games and their forcing me to turn my attention to them rather than games I was enjoying immensely!

9) Tales of the Abyss (17:39)

I generally have trouble getting into RPGs because I just don't have the time to fully invest in them to get to the ending. With new games coming out, meaning new games to review, new articles that need to be posted, and now college in session, time is money. Well, money is money, but you know what I mean. Tales of the Abyss might have an abhorrent story (it's great if you have no taste - just kidding, but I don't care for the story and characters), but its battle system is terrific and its towns and dungeons are fun to explore. Let's face it -- most video game stories are poor, so why should a game driven by cliches and anime aesthetics be any different? The fact of the matter is that the gameplay is something that I like, so when I get the time this holiday season, I will definitely go back to this title! I promise!

8) Swapnote (19:12)

Some people have abandoned Swapnote. "It was fun, but it's too limiting." I can't argue with that, but Nintendo still gets me with the new stationery, and several of my friends still use the application (this is the only non-retail item on this list) on a daily basis. Yes, Nintendo needs to implement an honest to goodness real and traditional messaging system, but Swapnote is an entertaining distraction all the while. Fun fact: I have yet to receive a photo of someone's junk yet. I haven't even seen a drawing of a person's junk as of yet. I hope my 3DS friends aren't reading this article... Nonetheless, Swapnote will most likely continue to slowly grow in playtime minute by minute just like the Activity Log itself.

7) Mario Tennis Open (20:49)

The first of three Mario games on this list of ten titles, and one with an average playtime of 2:36, Mario Tennis Open was a disappointing entry to many. I personally find the online system to be absolutely indefensible. Any game where you lose points for winning is absolutely asinine. Regardless, I really dug earning new gear for my Mii, new costumes from satisfying certain conditions within the game, and grinding for coins in the four (only four?!) mini-games. Mario Tennis Open is as arcade-y a tennis game as you can find. Serious tennis enthusiasts need not apply. While I would prefer a more traditional take on tennis for all further entries, this installment of Mario Tennis gave me plenty of enjoyment on the court.

6) Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (25:01)

The only original Nintendo DS game on this list now is Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. I invested a lot of time into this relatively remarkable RPG. I liked revisiting the world of Weyard, seeing old faces, new challenges, the memorable battle system, clever puzzles, and lovely locales. To put things in perspective, Dark Dawn still holds first place for average play time at 3:34. That means for all 25 hours of playtime with the game, I only played the game seven times! Crazy! How did I even do that with the battery life problems of the original 3DS? Seriously.

5) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (25:33)

Since it's appearance on this list at number one in April of this year, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D has since fallen to fifth. That will definitely happen when one doesn't play it from then until now. And I was doing so well, too. I was on my second playthrough and was about to enter The Bottom of the Well dungeon, a creepy place infested with Keese, Redead, Gilbos, and that disturbing midboss. Nonetheless, I rank Ocarina of Time 3D as my favorite game of all time. I get questioned why I didn't give the game a perfect score then when I originally reviewed it. I must admit that my opinion that the small problems I had with the game and the fact that it was a port affected my review. If I went back and revised it, it would certainly be up there in score (though, 9.5 is nothing to sneeze at) -- ghosting problems notwithstanding.

4) Super Mario 3D Land (27:58)

I just recently got back into a desire to replay Super Mario 3D Land. No doubt New Super Mario Bros. 2 affected my decision and hunger to play this modern classic. I returned to the game and was playing like I had never taken a hiatus. I knew the locations of nearly every Star Medal, I was Tanooki Tailing foes like no other, and I was speed-running levels with relative ease. It was like riding a bike. I might have been rusty at first, but you never forget. Well, perhaps that is a bad analogy as I never learned how to ride a bike. Regardless, I realize that the first eight worlds are just the appetizer to playing the true meal, the special eight worlds where the difficulty jumps quite high.

3) New Super Mario Bros. 2 (36:48)

Speaking of appetizers, time and time again I have mentioned that New Super Mario Bros. 2 was the appetizer to the main course which is New Super Mario Bros. U. I've said it so much that I made a stamp with the exact words written on it. While the lazy argument is to call the game a rehash, an argument that takes as much effort as crapping one's pants during a bout of diarrhea, New Super Mario Bros. 2 shows off anything but lazy ideas with its brilliant level design. Clever Star Coin and hidden exit placement is abundant, requiring the player to explore every nook and cranny of the game's over eighty levels. Constantly are new mechanics being tossed into the level design to surprise and delight players. And before you ask, yes, my older brother and I reached the infamous one million coin threshold, and the reward for it that we both knew we were getting was still disappointing.

2) Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (41:17)

People have asked me what difficulty I usually select when I try out a game. I can never give them an honest answer because it always depends on the game. For Kingdom Hearts, I knew I wasn't very good at the series's fast and frenetic combat as evident by Birth By Sleep. So I opted to try out Beginner. I had a thumping good time with the game, but my thirst for something more challenging calls on me to try the normal mode, which conveniently my older brother is currently trying to plow his way through. While I beat the game at around 23-25 hours, my brother is having a slower go of things, obviously because of the difficulty increase. I definitely need to try a new data as I never did obtain all of the treasures within the title.

1) Kid Icarus: Uprising (66:35)

And here we are with the number one most played 3DS game out of the 92 titles currently being tracked by our Activity Log. It is none other than Kid Icarus: Uprising. Who knew a game that in April would have the pithy gameplay total of 16:49 would grow up to claim top honors with no contest? Well, probably me because I knew if I could get my brother interested in playing, he'd become hooked. And for a while he was. We both have played a copious amount of hours with the game, running through chapters, completing Treasure Hunt challenges (think achievements but instead of an arbitrary number they give you worthwhile prizes), and duking it out online against humans and AI alike. This is indeed a classic I can return to, and it's one of the more impressive 3DS games on the market today.


As I stated, it's been a long time since we last looked at what games have been most played on SuperPhillip's 3DS (my friends call me Phil). If you have forgotten (I know I did) the results from the last three occasions of this segment, look no further than these three links:

Comparing and contrasting what games are still there and which ones have been overtaken is quite fun to me!

But what about you? Which 3DS games are your most played? You need not go into detail like I did, but I am interested to know which titles have been inside your 3DS game card slot the longest! Let me know below in the comments section.

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