I drink a lot of coffee, and often drink it while playing games. I enjoy FPS games and platforming games a great deal. GoldenEye 007 from the N64 is probably my favorite game ever. I enjoyed the first Red Steel on the Wii, a good bit.
I am married, a father of two (three, counting the dog), and extremely fortunate to have a wife that not only doesn't mind me gaming, but enjoys gaming herself as well.
I started a blog just over 3 years ago, CoffeeWithGames, covering a lot of Nintendo Wii titles, and how much those games are played. I broke the news about Nintendo stopping the shipping/printing of Metroid Prime Trilogy on the Wii, as well as a few other Wii titles.
We own a Wii and PS3 as "current" generation consoles go. I just started gaming (a little) again on my PC in the last year, and am enjoying it as well.
I have a Wii U Deluxe Set pre-ordered, and I am hoping Nintendo addresses a few remaining questions I have about the system, in the very near future.
Coffee Beans Can you imagine a video game sales pitch to a publisher which mentions, "Sandwiches: Drive through the ingredients in the proper order to make a delicious sandwich.", as a mini-game feature? Probably not? Yeah, I couldn't either until I saw it in motion and did just that in ExciteBots: Trick Racing on the Wii!
ExciteBots: Trick Racing released for the Wii in the U.S. on April 20, 2009, with two SKUs available for purchase. One SKU included the game with the Wii Wheel peripheral, the other SKU was just the game only.
ExciteBots was developed by Monster Games, the same developer behind the Wii launch title Excite Truck and the 3DS launch title PilotWings Resort. The game was published by Nintendo, and received an ESRB rating of "EVERYONE" with "Mild Fantasy Violence" listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of.
How many hours have U.S. Wii owners spent making sandwiches, playing darts, bowling, and throwing pies at clowns during races in ExciteBots: Trick Racing, since the game released just over 4 years ago? If you own a Wii, or even a Wii U, how many hours might you expect from ExciteBots: Trick Racing should you buy it? Brew yourself some coffee, and let's take a look!
The Brew ExciteBots: Trick Racing has approximately 58,393 U.S. Wii owners with game-play data reported through the Nintendo Channel. The game's 875,169 Total Hours of reported game-play (seen in the image above), is equivalent to the game being played for almost 100 straight years!
The game's reported average of 15 Hours 0 Minutes "Per person", makes ExciteBots: Trick Racing the Wii's most played game in the Excite series on the system. That's more hours played "Per person" than Excite Truck, the Wii NES Virtual Console Excitebike release, and the WiiWare Excitebike: World Rally release. U.S. Wii owners have averaged playing the game about 1 Hour 29 Minutes each time they play it, according to the data from the image.
Destructoid's very own Jonathan Holmes reviewed the game in May 2009, and his score was slightly lower than the critic and customer review score averages above. He gave it a 7.5 out of 10, and you can read his full review of the game, HERE.
Caffeinated Thoughts First, let me answer the second question (okay, really like fourth question) from above. If you own a Wii, or even a Wii U, is ExciteBots: Trick Racing a game you should look at buying? YES! If you enjoy arcade racing type games that have a great sense of speed, I highly recommend you give ExciteBots a try. The game can now be found for under $20 new, and under $10 used. (Only $5 used HERE, at GameStop!) Now, if you're a Wii U owner interested in the game, you just need to make sure that you own a Wii Remote as well, because Wii games can't currently be played with the Wii U GamePad.
As for my reported game-play time with ExciteBots, the image above shows what my reported time with the game is, as it appears on the Nintendo Channel. So, I have just over three times the number of hours played, as the reported average "Per person". Again, if you can grab the game now for under $10 used (I doubt Nintendo is still publishing it), I would highly recommend that you do so. You should easily be able to get around 10 hours of game-play from it just enjoying the single-player racing campaign on your own, without even playing local or online multiplayer or the mini-games in it.
Like I mentioned in a piece over 2 years ago, ExciteBots: Trick Racing had little (to no) advertising before and after it released, which I find unfortunate and it might be a reason you have never heard of the game (or, simply forgot about it quickly). If you haven't seen any footage from the game, the video below should give you a good idea of how the races are set up.
Monster Games (again, the developer) has a pretty solid record of racing games now, and in just a few shorts weeks their next game will be released for the Nintendo 3DS, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. I'm glad to see Nintendo has apparently formed a good developer/publisher relationship with Monster Games, allowing the developer to even try new things outside of their racing roots with series like PilotWings Resort and now porting Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.
Seeing that Monster Games has produced some really solid games for Nintendo platforms in recent years, like ExciteBots, I really hope that Nintendo will let the developer create either a new Excite game for the Wii U. If not a new Excite game for the Wii U, I think even a completely new racing game from Nintendo's F-Zero or Wave Race series for the Wii U (personally, I would like a Wave Race HD title right now) would be great.
Questions [b]If you perhaps played both Excite Truck and ExciteBots: Trick Racing on the Wii, which game did you enjoy more? If you enjoyed ExciteBots as much as I did (or, perhaps even more and paused playing it to leave a comment!), do you hope that Nintendo will get Monster Games to make an ExciteBots sequel for the Wii U?
Also, if you have played a lot of racing games on the Wii, can you think of one that is perhaps more hilariously bizarre and fun to play than ExciteBots?[/b]
Coffee Beans Nintendo is set to release the first big Wii U system update next week, with a second big system update planned for the summer.
What will this first Wii U system update fix? Well, Nintendo released a video in March showing the update should improve loading times when exiting from Wii U games to the system's main menu.
Other than improving Wii U loading times though, Mr. Iwata just addressed some other features that the Wii U's "Spring System Update" will address when it releases next week. In a Nintendo Direct this morning (April 17th), these are some of the features said to be addressed with the update:
1) Adds ability to copy/move data between two USB HDDs.
2) Download and install software in the background, while playing games.
3) Download and install updates, even when the system is off.
4) Software updates can automatically start downloading, without having to start the game.
5) Holding the B button when turning the system on, will jump you straight to the Wii U's Wii Mode channel.
Also, Mr. Iwata said the Wii U's Virtual Console service will become available next week, the day after the system update. (I'm guessing next Thursday, April 18th for the Virtual Console, April 17th for the system update?)
While these five updates are nice, what are some things that I think should be patched to make the Wii U a better system overall? What are (at least) five things that Nintendo hasn't mentioned the Wii U patch(es) will address, that I think could/should be? Brew yourself some coffee, and let's take a look!
The Brew 1) Sharing "Daily Log" Data - I could tell you that my Trine 2 "Play Time" is 49:20, and that I have "played" it 64 times. Or, I could show you my Trine 2 Wii U data like the image above. Nintendo doesn't like the Nintendo Channel (and, several other Wii Channels they're getting rid of), but does that mean I shouldn't be able to post my recorded Wii U game-play data to Miiverse? Apparently, yes. While the Wii U tracks how many hours and times you play a game (or, use a particular application) in the Daily Log channel, you can't post that information to Miiverse using the sytem's photo capture option like some games offer. While I doubt Nintendo will introduce a Wii U Nintendo Channel like the Wii has (or, soon to be had), I think it would be nice if Wii U owners could post Daily Log images to Miiverse. It would allow Wii U owners to share their most played/used games and apps during a month, and if a game doesn't provide the number of hours played on the save file, it could be a good way to get an idea of the average hours played for a game.
2) Freezing - Winter is over, but my Wii U console is still freezing. Sure, it's only occasionally, but even as I typed this, it was sitting frozen. I hopped on Assassin's Creed III Monday morning to get my save file stats, and posted them to Miiverse. Upon attempting to exit Miiverse, my Wii U system froze, again. The Wii U system freezing up would not be such a big issue to me, IF the system functioned as it's supposed to function when it freezes. It doesn't though. Still having to unplug my Wii U console when it freezes is annoying (and slightly concerning), when I should be able to simply hold the "Power" button for a few seconds to fix the freezing problem instead. Mr. Iwata did not mention the Wii U freezing issue in the Nintendo Direct a few months back when he mentioned Nintendo was working on improving the loading speeds and he didn't mention it in today's Nintendo Direct, so I'm a little concerned that this issue might not be able to be patched. I really hope I'm wrong, for a number of reasons, but I just find it odd that Nintendo would wait until this patch (or the summer one) to make the Wii U function as it should have when it released.
3) Copy/paste/keyboard options - The 100 character limit posts in Miiverse might be tough to use sometimes when trying to answer a question, or post up some thoughts on a game. One thing that would make this limit not so bad though, would be a simple copy/paste option for text. Let's say you type out your full Miiverse message, and the text gets grayed out that is over the 100 character limit, but you have an option to "copy" some of it. You would simply copy the text over the limit, and post a new comment pasting the additional text to it. I'm surprised the copy/paste option wasn't in the Wii U's original Miiverse OS, because it is an option in the Wii U's Internet Browser. Speaking of the Wii U's Internet Browser, a GamePad keyboard update that would be an improvement I think, would be adding a ".com" button to the Internet Browser keyboard. Sure, it's only a few extra taps on the GamePad, but I think little things like a ".com" button, and perhaps some other keyboard shortcuts, would be appreciated.
4) The "Energizer" disc drive - I mentioned back in November, in my "Caffeinated Thoughts on the Wii U" post, the freezing issue and the disc drive issue. The disc drive issue, like the freezing issue, still has not been addressed. If you don't know, the Wii U's disc drive is constantly is reading/spinning the game disc when one is in the system. It doesn't matter if you are just using the Wii U for Netflix, Amazon Video, or any other non-game application, if there is a game in the Wii U's disc drive, it is spinning. It's like the Wii U's disc drive is an Energizer Bunny of sorts, in that it just keeps going and going, or spinning and spinning in this situation. I know some Wii owners had disc drive issues, and I received my PlayStation 3 from a friend because the disc drive had stopped working. I really hope that Nintendo updates the Wii U so the disc drive is not constantly reading/spinning the disc, when non-game Wii U applications are being used such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, or even the Internet Browser. The Wii's disc drive does not constantly spin if a disc is in the system and Netflix or another non-gaming Wii Channel is being used, so I would imagine Nintendo can patch the Wii U for fix the issue.
5) Gifting Wii U eShop games - Did you know you could give Virtual Console and WiiWare games to other Wii owners as "gifts"? Did you know that you cannot give Wii U eShop games to other Wii U owners as gifts? I think it's odd that Nintendo didn't include the gifting option right from the beginning. I hope they make "gifting" Wii U eShop titles a new feature, as I do like to give things away from time-to-time, and I can think of a few eShop titles that would be at the top of that list right now: Toki Tori 2 and Trine 2.
Questions Are there any other Wii U system improvements you would like to see Nintendo address with the first big system update next week, or perhaps in the update planned for the summer?
If you're into programming, is there any reason Nintendo can't address the Wii U's hard reset option (holding the Power button for a few seconds to turn the system off), with a system patch? Like I mentioned above, I just find it odd that has not already been patched.
Coffee Beans Did you miss the first Movie Magic Monday feature earlier this month? If so, you can read about a movie based game, that apparently plays some like ICO, HERE!
For this Movie Magic Monday, we are taking a look at how many hours have been reported trying to train dragons!
How to Train Your Dragon was released for the Wii on March 23, 2010, just a few days before the movie it was based on. Surprisingly (to me anyway), this movie tie-in game was developed by Etranges Libellules, the same studio that developed the last Movie Magic Monday game we looked at, but it was published by Activision. The game received an ESRB rating of "EVERYONE 10+" with "Fantasy Violence" listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of.
About how many U.S. Wii owners have gameplay data reported and how many hours have been reported playing How to Train Your Dragon, since it released just over 3 years ago? Brew yourself some coffee, and let's take a look!
The Brew How to Train Your Dragon has approximately 27,496 U.S. Wii owners that have reported almost 500,000 Total Hours of gameplay through the Nintendo Channel, with 1,098 days of data possibly reported.
The game's average play-time reported is 17 Hours 26 Minutes "Per Person" as the image above shows, which averages out to be about 2 Hours 7 Minutes played per day/time reported.
As for the How to Train Your Dragon movie this game is based off of, here are some statistics I found interesting while putting this piece together:
1) The movie has a runtime of 1 Hour 38 Minutes, which means from the official Nintendo Channel data for the game, it is being played longer each session reported, than it would take to watch the movie. It was the opposite scenario for Alice in Wonderland, which we looked at earlier this month.
2) The movie was very well received by critics and cinema goers when it released, and it has a "98% Certified Fresh" critic rating and a 90% audience rating on RottenTomatoes.com.
3) Apparently, the first movie did well enough (just a few hundred million dollars, pocket change these days), and a sequel is in the works. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (current title) is currently in production and scheduled to release in 2014.
Caffeinated Thoughts If you haven't seen any footage of How to Train Your Dragon, the game, here is a trailer for the game from the Wii's Nintendo Channel:
While I haven't played How to Train Your Dragon, or seen the movie, I do enjoy the dragons topic/items in general, probably because I was a big Godzilla fan when I was little. Even though I didn't play it and didn't know much about it before this post, I was really surprised when I saw how high the average reported "Per person" was! Why? Well, there are two reasons.
For one, this is a game based off a movie, and I'm used to seeing the "professional" critics' reviews on movie based games usually being lower (For whatever reason(s): wrong target audience playing it, didn't like the movie, or just didn't want to review it? Not sure.), than customers' reviews on these type of games. Knowing many movie tie-in games get lower scores from the "professionals" at the gaming sites, I kind of expect a lower average reported play-time "Per person" to go along with the lower scores. (I guess a recent example would be the new The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. The game has received many low critic review scores, and the game is said to be pretty short.)
The second reason I was surprised to see the average reported "Per person" so high, is because it's higher than some Nintendo published Wii games like Metroid: Other M and Punch-Out!!. I just find it surprising that a game based on a new movie series (when it was released), has a higher average than games from pretty well known and established Nintendo series.
Questions Have any of you played any version of How to Train Your Dragon? If so, did you enjoy the game and would you recommend it to others? If you're a fan of dragon items/movies in general, and you saw the movie, did you enjoy it?
If you didn't play How to Train Your Dragon, but like dragons in general, are there any other dragon based games you have played that you would recommend? (I was interested in Lair for a while, but never picked it up. Anybody play that?)
Coffee Beans Did you know the Wii had six Need for Speed games released for it? Well, at least six in the United States. Six. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6! I didn't realize there were so many Need for Speed games within 6 years, much less six Need for Speed games on one console!
The image above shows the six Need for Speed games that released on the Wii in the United States, at least that I'm aware of. They were: Need for Speed Carbon, Need for Speed: Pro Street, Need for Speed: Undercover, Need for Speed NITRO, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, and Need for Speed: The Run. There could have been another that I missed, but these are what I found in my research.
Now, if you're a Wii U owner, like myself, you may be aware (or not) that Need for Speed: Most Wanted U just released for the system this past week, on March 19th. While it is the Wii U's first Need for Speed game, if the number of Need for Speed games on the Wii is any clue, Most Wanted U won't be the Wii U's last.
Before you go off and start playing Need for Speed: Most Wanted U though, what is the Wii's most played Need for Speed game based on the total hours reported played from U.S. Wii owners? Brew yourself some coffee, and let's take a look!
The Brew If you guessed Need for Speed Carbon as the most played Need for Speed Wii game, at least according to total hours reported from U.S. Wii owners, you guessed right!
Need for Speed Carbon was the first game from the series for the Wii, releasing on November 20, 2006. It was published by Electronic Arts (EA), and the game received an ESRB rating of "EVERYONE 10+"with "Violence" listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of when it released.
Need for Speed Carbon has approximately 218,258 U.S. Wii owners that have reported almost 5 million "Tota Hours" of gameplay, through the Nintendo Channel with 2,310 days possibly reported.
The 4,912,413 Total Hours reported, makes Need for Speed Carbon the Wii's most played Need for Speed game according to total hours reported on the Nintendo Channel. The game's average reported play-time is 22 Hours 31 Minutes "Per person", as you can see in the image above, which averages out to be about 1 hour 42 minutes played per day/time reported.
Caffeinated Thoughts I never played any of the Need for Speed Wii games, but I did play one of the older titles. I think it was maybe the original Need for Speed that released on the original PlayStation (yes, that many years ago!).
If you have started reading the data reports by CoffeeWithGames just in the last year or so, you may have missed how my data images used to look before I had a capture device (pretty horrendous!). I did a data report on Need for Speed Carbon back in 2009, which you can read HERE.
Since that first data report over 3 years ago, the game has had over 70,000 more Wii owners with data reported for it through the Nintendo Channel, almost two million more "Total Hours" reported, and its average "Per person" has increased by just over an hour. I think this shows that the game was/is being played a good amount these last several years, including a good amount by late Wii adopters that bought it.
As I mentioned in the "Coffee Beans" section above, if you own a Wii U and have enjoyed Need for Speed games in the past, you may be interested in Need for Speed: Most Wanted U. The game did release for the system earlier this week, and the Wii U version has a MSRP of $59.99, which includes some DLC content and Wii U only features.
If you haven't seen any footage or the features in Need for Speed: Most Wanted U, the trailer below should give you an idea of what you can expect:
Again, while I haven't played any of the Wii's Need for Speed games, I am interested in Need for Speed: Most Wanted U. I was a big fan of the Burnout games, and the developer behind this Wii U Need for Speed title is the same developer behind the Burnout games.
Seeing Need for Speed Carbon on the Wii with so many "Total Hours" reported and the average "Per person", I can only imagine that Need for Speed: Most Wanted U will give Wii U owners many hours of fun, especially with the included DLC and extra Wii U features such as Off-TV play.
Questions Have any of you played Need for Speed Carbon on the Wii (or, maybe other console), and if so, did you enjoy the game? If you are a big fan of the Need for Speed series in general, and have played several titles, do you have a favorite game from the series?
Also, with Need for Speed: Most Wanted U getting released last week for the Wii U, did any of you pick it up? If you did purchase it, has it delivered the racing experience you were expecting?
Coffee Beans Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth released for Nintendo's WiiWare service on December 28, 2009 in the U.S., at 1,000 Wii Points (which is $10). The game was developed by M2 and published by Konami, and received an ESRB rating of "TEEN" with "Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence" listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of.
A brief description for the game on its Nintendo Channel page reads, "The classic Castlevania game is reborn for the Wii with all-new upgrades."
How many U.S. Wii owners have reported playing Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth, and how many hours have they reported playing it? Brew yourself some coffee, and let's take a look!
The Brew Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth has approximately 16,044 U.S. Wii owners with gameplay data that has been reported through the Nintendo Channel. The game has just over 60,000 hours of gameplay reported, as the image shows, with 1,169 days possibly reported.
The average reported play-time is 3 hours 50 minutes "Per person", which averages to be about 44 minutes played per day/session.
Based on the approximate number of players with reported data and the game's $10 price point, Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth's U.S. WiiWare release has made Konami about $160,440, since it released.
Caffeinated Thoughts I played either the original Castlevania or Super Castlevania IV at a cousin's house when I was younger, but not since then. I don't remember which game it was, but I do remember using the whip in the game, and I thought it was really cool at the time.
If you haven't seen footage for Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth, the short video below will give you an idea of the visual style for the game and some of the gameplay mechanics as well:
While Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth has a lower reported average played "Per person" than some other WiiWare games I have reported on before, I think it's interesting that Konami allowed M2 to remake the game for the WiiWare service.
Why? Well, Konami had already released the original Castlevania through the Wii's Virtual Console service in 2007, and had a few other Castlevania games on the Virtual Console service as well. Apparently though, Nintendo fans are Castlevania fans, and Konami probably saw some early sales numbers from the Virtual Console Castlevania titles and thought a remake would do well on the WiiWare service.
If you own a Wii or Wii U, and are interested in Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth you can still purchase it through the Wii's Shop Channel under the WiiWare section. You can also find the original NES Castlevania and Castlevania II Simon's Quest games, and the SNES Super Castlevania IV, on the Virtual Console section of the Wii's Shop Channel.
Questions First, if you're a fan of the Castlevania games, do you have a favorite?
If you have played Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth, what did you think about the game? Was it a solid enough remake of the original, and worth its asking price?
Also, while I may not own a Nintendo 3DS, I am aware of the new Castlevania game that released for it earlier this month, Lords of Shadow Mirror of Fate. If you have played it, what do you think about it?
Coffee Beans Alice in Wonderland was released for the Nintendo Wii on March 2, 2010. The game was developed by Étranges Libellules (now closed) and published by Disney Interactive Studios, and it received an ESRB rating of "EVERYONE 10+" with "Fantasy Violence" listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of. The game's development was "inspired by Tim Burton's" movie, Alice in Wonderland, which released in theaters on March 5, 2010.
How many hours have U.S. Wii owners reported playing Alice in Wonderland, since it released just over 3 years ago? Brew yourself some coffee, and let's take a look!
The Brew Alice in Wonderland has approximately 28,301 U.S. Wii owners that have reported gameplay hours through the Nintendo Channel. U.S. Wii owners have reported playing close to 300,000 hours, as the image above shows, with 1,105 days possibly reported.
The game's average reported play-time is 10 hours 13 minutes "Per person", as the image above shows, which averages to be about 1 hours 19 minutes played per time/day reported. The movie has a runtime of 1 hour 49 minutes.
Caffeinated Thoughts While I have not played the game, Alice in Wonderland, I did see the movie when it was in theaters. I enjoyed the movie, but haven't purchased it on DVD or Blu-ray yet (it will probably be Blu-ray, once we decide on a player!).
If you haven't seen anything from the game, the video below contains a few clips from the game and was a promotional trailer released for it:
Seeing the game with an average time of more than 10 hours "Per person", really surprised me for a movie based game! Alice in Wonderland has a higher average play-time reported "Per person", than some Wii exclusive games like Red Steel 2 and Deadly Creatures.
If you didn't see the movie, here are two statistics I learned about it, while researching information for this post. According to Box Office Mojo:
1) Alice in Wonderland is currently ranked 13th overall, for worldwide grosses with movies.
2) It is currently ranked as having the 2nd best opening weekend, for March movie releases, only behind The Hunger Games (the newly released Oz The Great and Powerful is close behind though!).
You can learn more interesting information about the movie, by visiting its Box Office Mojo page, HERE.
Questions Have any of you played Alice in Wonderland (any version), and if so, what did you think about it? Even if you haven't played the game (like me), did you perhaps watch Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and enjoy it?