Friday, May 8, 2020

Double-Dipped: Games I've Purchased More Than Once Over the Years

Welcome to the beginning of a brand new series of articles on SuperPhillip Central. Can you believe that after nearly 12 years of this blog being online that I can still come up with new ideas for article series? If you do, then you have more faith in me than I do!

This is Double-Dipped, an article series that talks about games that I enjoyed so much that I couldn't help but take a second or sometimes third plunge on purchasing. These games fill me with such unadulterated joy that I like to play them on any new platform I can--but at the same time, some of these games were bought again for the same exact console. Those stories and more will be shared in this regularly reoccurring series. Let's dive in with the first of six games for this inaugural edition of Double-Dipped!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (NSW)

I was talking about buying a game twice on the same system, and speak of the devil (and no, I'm not alluding to Tom Nook--he's cool in my book), here we are! With Animal Crossing: New Horizons, recently revealed to be the best selling entry in the Animal Crossing series yet, we decided to buy the same game two times: one for myself and one for my brother. This way both of us could maintain our own islands and not at all become limited in our mutual enjoyment of the game. Otherwise, I'd be the one in charge of the main island development while my brother would take a much undesired backseat role, very much ruining the experience for him like it has for others with only one Switch and one copy of the game. Hmm... I'm starting to partly see how New Horizons became the best-selling entry in the series if more siblings or family members were placed in the same precarious situation! Partly, though, mind you, as between the two of us, my brother and I nearly 300 hours of playtime. I'd say the addicting gameplay brings forth a good argument as to why Animal Crossing: New Horizons is selling so well, too!

Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii, N3DS)

Do you remember Project Rainfall? Of course not. Because it was called Operation Rainfall. (I originally had this written as "Project Rainfall" in my first draft, so I'm glad I caught it before I hit "Publish".) For North Americans, getting Xenoblade Chronicles released on this side of the world was like fighting a level 60 unique encounter with a level 1 Reyn--it was a difficult battle. Perhaps that isn't the greatest of analogies, as unlike an underleveled Reyn and his fight, we actually won our battle as Xenoblade Chronicles released in North America--though not without some stipulations. Today, Xenoblade Chronicles is a fantastic selling series for Nintendo, and quite an important one. The game saw two sequels with the Wii U's Xenoblade Chronicles X and the Switch's Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The latter received its own successful DLC side story as well.

I originally picked up Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii, like many hungry Wii owners in search of a meaty role-playing game to enjoy during the Wii's leaner years of top-notch releases. I made it rather far, but unfortunately, other games got in the way that I, who was a much younger, more inexperienced blogger at the time, covered. Picking up Xenoblade Chronicles 3D on the New Nintendo 3DS seemed like a great choice, as I could enjoy a mammoth-sized JRPG from the luxury of anywhere, courtesy of handheld gaming. However, I never even put it in my New Nintendo 3DS for a second, as the thought of starting a 100-hour RPG at the time was a daunting one. Now, they say the third time is the charm, and you can bet I'll be picking up the Definitive Edition's release on the Switch at the end of this month. Here's hoping with quarantine that I'll have a reason to not get so distracted this time around!

Spyro: Reignited Trilogy (PS4, NSW)

So many developers pull this trick on Nintendo fans: release a game a year or more after the original launch date on other consoles so foolish gamers will double dip and purchase it a second time around. Well, as you can tell by the name of this article series, you're looking at such a gamer! Spyro: Reignited Trilogy is a collection of the first three Spyro the Dragon games from the original PlayStation that have been completely remade for a new generation of consoles (and a new generation of fans, perhaps, too, at that). As someone who only played parts of the first Spyro the Dragon (and got a major headache from the game in motion), being able to finally enjoy the entire trilogy in such a glorious and gorgeous way gave me the desire to get the Platinum trophy on the entire trilogy of games. When the Switch version was announced and released, it gave me a second lease on the life of this trilogy, and just like my first go 'round, playing the games in both docked and undocked mode was an experience to remember.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U, NSW)

Nintendo is not gun-shy about porting over its catalog of games from the Wii U to the Nintendo Switch. In fact, a good half or so (an approximate figure) of Nintendo's first-party output comes from the Wii U. While this might stink for Wii U fans (all 100 of us), an entirely new audience gets to play these games for the very first time with these Switch ports. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is but one of these games, and you can imagine that future installments of Double-Dipped with touch on other Wii U-to-Switch ports. Tropical Freeze is an absolute delight and near-platforming perfection. The addition of Funky Kong serves as a nice "easy mode" to a game notorious for its challenge and difficulty. Sure, Funky Mode tends to push the game's challenge the opposite way into "too easy" territory, but for beginning players who wish to enjoy Tropical Freeze their way, who are we to thumb our noses down? Despite originally releasing in 2014, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze remains Retro Studios' latest all-new release, which begs the question: What the banana-loving heck is going on at Retro Studios?

Rayman Legends (Wii U, Vita, NSW)

Like Rayman 2, Rayman Legends was a game that felt like it was ported to every current gen platform under the sun. It sure feels like I've played the game on every platform under the sun as I've gotten the game three times now, each feeling like a different experience. The original Wii U version's use of the Wii U GamePad for the Murfy sections, where you maneuver objects, slide platforms, and the like to guide a smartly-controlled AI character through a gauntlet of enemies and dangers, was a blast and quite unique and innovative. Unlike the PlayStation Vita version that used similar touch-based controls for these sections, with the Wii U version, multiplayer was possible here. The Nintendo Switch version saw somewhat of a "best of both worlds" approach. While the original Wii U version remains my favorite of the bunch, the need to use archaic hardware to play it makes it less than attractive for me, so my preferred way to play is on the Nintendo Switch. Regardless, whichever platform you play Rayman Legends on, you're going to get a tremendous-looking, stellar-playing 2D platformer.

LEGO City Undercover (Wii U, NSW, PS4)

Oh, goodness. Another three-peat here for yours truly. LEGO City Undercover wasn't my first LEGO game from Tt Games, but it is my absolute favorite. I guess that's obvious when you see how many times I've purchased and played through the game. The Wii U original saw smart GamePad usages, such as a helpful mini-map on the second screen, a communicator that NPCs used to contact our hero Chase McCain, and a means to scan the environment for subjects and various points of interest. Like many games on the Wii U, LEGO City Undercover thankfully made the trip to the Nintendo Switch, where it kept all of the Mario references but lost the unique GamePad functionality. This version isn't optimized to the best of the developer's ability, resulting in some nasty frame-rate drops, particularly in undocked mode. Still, playing the game on a system with a better controller and on just a better designed system made for a--forgive me for using this word a third time in the same sentence--better experience. I then moved on to the PlayStation 4 version due to a sale price and because I wanted an easy enough Platinum. Yes, that is sad, but I loved playing through LEGO City Undercover for a third time despite that fact.


I hope you enjoyed this inaugural installment of Double-Dipped! What games have you bought more than once? Why did you do it? Let the SPC community know in the comments below!

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