Warrior’s Video Games of 2015
10 January 2016
Either I’m too old or gaming is dead. With the PS4 and XBox One firmly entrenched in the market, the only new system I bought was Retro Bit Retro Duo to play my old NES and SNES games. Also acquired was a Raspberry Pi with various emulators pre-installed to play, yes again, retro games. The big disappointment with current generation is that most games are graphical updates and using boring stories and narratives to help separate them. Wandering around and shooting or slashing at people or aliens – been there, done that, a thousand times before, and nothing’s ever been as enjoyable as Metroid Prime and Perfect Dark. If I want a story, I’ll watch a movie.
Then there’s the 3DS – the only system that still provides interesting games rather than the endless shooters, sports and driving games. Suffice to say, it dominated my game time this year. Other than that, I picked up a few older games on the PS3 at discount prices. Notoriously with games like this bought on the cheap, they were barely played. It seems retailers, particularly of downloadable games, have worked out a good profit model. Start with high prices, begin discounting once the initial purchase boom slows, and eventually discount to such a low level as to flog as many as possible. It doesn’t matter that most of these final consumers never play the game, just to get a few dollars out of them, it all adds up. If a consumer has, say, 500 games purchased at $5 each, that consumer has also given to the retailer $2500 that ordinarily they’d never have spent. Suckers!
Reviewing the 3DS activity log, it’s scary. The number one game played in 2015 was Pokemon Shuffle for a whopping 199.35 hours. While I doubt the accuracy of the log, particularly early on when it showed 40 hours played after only an estimated 10 hours, it’s still definitely way up there. Note that Pokemon Shuffle is a free game! While purchases can help you get power-ups sooner and more play time, I’ve never bothered, and managed at several points to complete all available stages. The game periodically adds more stages, along with special stages, so currently have stages to complete and pokemon to catch. I’m at stage 246 in the main game and completed the 20 stages made available in expert mode.
Next in at 127.10 hours is the pre-installed StreetPass Mii Plaza. With two new mini games added (at cost), and trips to Japan and USA during the year, that’s kept me busy. I still have 4 plants to breed to complete Flower, and plenty of fish to catch for Fishing. Battle relies on hits to complete, and I’ve still three countries to conquer. Same with Puzzle, with two boards to finish. Otherwise, all other games finished, with Mansion finished twice. I went through that again to complete certain challenges, and still there’s two to do. Those two require hits with others that own the game, so I won’t bother there. Squad and Zombies also have challenges left, of which there’s only moderate inclination to complete, particularly with the dull Zombies.
Now for a paid game, the ever venerable Mario Kart 7. That logged 15.34 hours, while Super Smash Bros came in next at just over 13 hours. Mario Tennis Open (the best in the Mario Tennis series) and Ultimate NES Remix both around 5 hours. Tetris Ultimate (a superb version of a classic game), Super Mario Land 3D, Mario Golf: World Tour (a Christmas present) and Shovel Knight all had an hour or two. I played the demo of the popular Monster Hunter 4, and didn’t like the game at all. Tracking and killing monsters, so cruel! It’s not my thing.
Off the 3DS, Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U at the homes of associates was commonly played, as too were various football games on PS3 and, towards the end of the year, Rocket League on PC. On the PS3 at home, Gran Turismo 6 would have received the most game time.
I didn’t carry the 3DS like I did everywhere in 2014, so number of steps are way down. Just over 521k compared to 1.1m in 2014. Knock off 200,000 without the two trips overseas.