Progress. Whore.

Do you know about the backloggery? If you don't you should know about the Backloggery. It ticks a lot of boxes in our brain. You create and account and then (manually, but it is worth it) add all the games you've played, review them and then note whether you've not beaten the game (bronze), beaten it (completed the 'story' that's a silver medal) or 100% (gold medal) of for those doubly hard bastard out there MASTERED IT (a gem that denotes you've played a game inside and out and back again). Then after all that at a glance you can see what percentage of all the game you own you've seen all the way through to the end.

You may find it all a bit arbitrary and in the same vein as the compulsion to "Thousand" games on the Xbox 360, beating the game and getting all the achievement points for it. For us, the backloggery helps us to document and progress on the all the games we own and haven't finished yet. I don't know about you but we have a rather substantial 'collection' of games that represent an investment of thousands of pounds and hundreds of thousands of hours worth of play. Yet when we find ourselves in the rare situation with time to play games we are often paralysed by indecision. The choice is too much. Shall we play no no there's that sucky bit. Maybe we should play.. ugh. I have to get the light gun out for that. PARALYSED.

Browsing our backloggery page which you can see here shames us into the excruciating effort of putting a disk (or cart) into a machine and slogging through it. We don't want to be in the majority of gamers who don't ever finish games. And then 90%of time, game selected we'll then spend the next couple of hours happily playing a game we otherwise wouldn't have been bothered to play for fear of a hard bit. Hey, don't judge us. yeah we're lazy and require motivating like some fucking attention deficient four year old but the Backloggery gives us that little glimmer of reward to motivate us to play the games we waste all our money on. We know, we know. We have some proper issues. Bear with us.

And some games aren't worth the effort. Capcom games in particular massively open up once you beat the main story but our ageing brains and tiny amounts of leisure time mean, with some games we're happy to cut and run (or settle for a 'silver' medal on the Backloggery). We won't ever kill 53594 zombies in Dead Rising, we won't ever be able to unlock the hand cannon in Resident Evil 4, there's nobody left in the world interested enough in We Love Golf for the Wii for us to ever be able to unlock Ken. We're fine with it. We're sort of obsessive compulsive but we have our fucking limits.

Anyway all that bullshit above is foreplay to explain why we've been playing Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros 2, 3, lost levels, NSMB and NSMB Wii. We haven't ever completed any of them despite owning some of them more than once and in terms of backloggery progress the old SNES and NES games are gifts double edged gifts. Back in the day there were no unlockables, or extra modes or achievements or side quests so beating SMB gets us a gold medal on the backloggery. The downside is that they're not the easiest of games. Lost Levels. OMG. OMG Lost Levels. Even the first SMB is giving us a hard time on World 8. Fortunately, NSMB is a little bit easier, to 'gold' the game all you need to do is collect the three hidden star coins on every single level. On the DS version, collecting them is a slog. Some of them are hidden in areas that require either the turtle suit or tiny Mario, the rub being that there's not really an easy way to get those suits so the game becomes hunting down a level with a tiny mushroom or random block, getting the suit you need (which is a hit and miss affair with the random blocks forcing a restart) going to the level with the hidden area, navigating that level without losing the suit or dying and then getting to the end of that level. And some of the Star coins. Ugh. Hours. Hours going back and forth (quick loading is for cheating scumbags) for a virtual ticker to tick over by one. 

New Super Mario Brothers Wii is slightly different in that it does away with rare suit specific coins and in a weird way the end game becomes less a platformer and more, dare we suggest it, a puzzle game? Each level has three star coins and when you collect them you can see whether they're the first second or third one on the level. After a couple of runs you can intuit roughly where one should be and then use subtle environmental clues to work out what you need to do to find it. Some are just mildly tricky to get. Others are tantalisingly dangled in front of you on the screen but need a tricky jump, hidden beanstalk or some lateral thinking to get it. Others just appear to not be there and lead to minutes of trying to go down every pipe, wall jumping and other random actions in the area. After we first beat the main story we wrote of ever getting all of the star coins as a task too challenging and time consuming and one to file under WILL NEVER DO. Inspired by our Backloggery drive and some progress on the earlier SMBs we loaded up NSMBWii to see how far we could get with the Star Coins. AND THE ANSWER IS PRETTY FUCKING FAR. With only maybe one or two visits to gamefaqs we've managed to get all the star coins up until World 7 (out of 9). Also, unlike NSMB on the DS getting the Star coins is actually worthwhile, unlocking a whole new world and when we loaded up our old completed game there were two whole worlds that, thanks to warp cannons, we'd not even set foot in. It's more than doubled out play time of the game and judging from the 166,000 other players who submit their data to the Nintendo Channel, with an impressive average play time of 43 hours, they've spent a lot of time nabbing Star Coins too.

Review of the above post: Tl:dr, what does that beginning bit have to do with anything? Sometimes silence is more eloquent that words.

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