SUPER MARIO 3D LAND
I like 3D Land an awful lot. Between replays, I'm often guilty of confusing 3D Land and 3D World in my head; this does the former a massive disservice.
I like it for its structure. I like how short its levels are; how dinky they are; how there is, at any given point, a bare minimum of space separating you from a bottomless pit. I like that its levels are so few. I like that it is able to squeeze so much out of so little.
I like - most of all I like - I like that each level is built on its own terms. It isn't like 3D World, which had the arrogance to think it had found a formula for crafting surprises. Very few of the levels here seem entirely sure of what it is they're building to. I like how they meander, how they don't have any real plan in mind. I like their modest surprises.
DARK SOULS 2
Almost three years on, its artlessness is kind of endearing. Lifeless and unlit, with bleary unbroken washes of grey and a sickly yellow-green: this game is putrid to look at - properly, shockingly dreary. Last February I played 25 hours in three days - always after midnight, and in the cold and the dark of an unheated house. I thought I had nothing better to do.
I feel that I ought to regret giving my time to Dark Souls 2. I don't, though. I find that my memories of all those apathetic hours give me a strange sense of peace. Bad - or at least, underwhelming - videogames seem to me quite soothing. There are better ways to spend ones time; there is no better refuge than Drangleic for those who have lost their way.