I have to confess that I’m a useless statistics junkie, and keep records of everything from the number of video games I have to the number of movies I’ve seen this year. The 3DS comes with a super handy tool for geeky people like me called the Activity Log that for each game records a bunch of useless stats, including: the number of hours played, number of times played, average time played per session, and first and last date played. I’ve recruited Lucius to join me in taking a peek at how our activity logs stack up after some six and a half years of gaming on what could very well be Nintendo’s greatest handheld yet. — Professor GreilMercs
Lucius P. Merriweather’s Most played 3DS games by time
Fire Emblem Fates, 90h 36min: My stats pale into insignificance next to the Prof’s, but I’ve racked up a decent amount of time on Fire Emblem Fates, thanks to playing through it twice. If I finally get around to buying Fire Emblem Fates: Revelations, then expect to see this stat shoot up even higher. It’s also worth noting that much of this time was probably spent replaying levels in which my favourite characters were swatted down like flies, necessitating an anxious do-over.
Fire Emblem Awakening, 85h 3min: Another Fire Emblem title, but one game this time, rather than the three separate games that form Fire Emblem Fates. The fact that I’ve spent almost the same amount of time playing Awakening is testament to just how good it is – without doubt the best game in the series, in my opinion.
StreetPass Mii Plaza, 81h 20min: I was obsessed with StreetPass for many years, eagerly feeding the Miis I scooped up into half a dozen different games – the best of which by far is the gardening one. Growing unusually shaped flowers proved to be surprisingly addictive. Sadly, this stat is unlikely to ever go up, as for some reason StreetPass Mii Plaza now gets stuck at the loading screen. Nintendo reckon they might be able to fix it if I send my 3DS off for repair, but I’ve held off for now for fear of restoking my Mii addiction.
Other notable entries: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate also have impressive time stats, at 80h 21min and 45h 51min, respectively. The arrival of Monster Hunter World in 2018 is likely to send my social life into a nosedive for a while.
Professor GreilMercs’ Most played 3DS games by time
Pokemon Y, 320h 47min (!!!): At the top of my list is a whopping 320+ hours on Pokemon Y. I had played all the previous main Pokemon games, and on my first playthrough of Pokemon Y I didn’t even like it that much and found it to be too similar to previous entries. But what flipped the switch and turned me into an obsessive Pokemon freak was finally getting into properly training my little critters, which Pokemon X and Y made easier than ever. I spent hours Wonder Trading, checking IVs, playing the dumb training minigame, feeding my Pokemon berries to get their EVs exactly where I wanted them, and competing against the AI, not to mention the time I spent outside of the game studying stats on Bulbapedia and reading entries on Smogon. The game also made catching shinies easier than ever before (although still not that easy), what with chain fishing and the Friend Safari (another feature I sunk hours into). I became quite a shiny hunter expert, and caught quite a few legit shinies in this game (mostly from the Friend Safari). I sort of dread firing up that game again and trying to pick up where I left off for multiple reasons, but I’ll always have fond memories of my time with the game.
StreetPass Mii Plaza, 221h 12m: Like Sir Lucius I spent hours on the minigames in StreetPass Mii Plaza, but unlike him my copy works fine so I’ve been able to continue my obsession unabated. Nintendo released the games in four batches, and while I’ve 100%ed all of the first two sets of games (except for the last few flower colors and missions in Flower Town), I haven’t gotten super deep into the final batch. Perhaps I’ve been feeling a bit burnt out on the StreetPass games, or maybe it’s that my smartphone has been filling that “quick pick up and play games” niche. I continue to get a few StreetPasses every week in the wild and I have a bunch of passes stored up from Pax East, plus Mii Plaza is where I spend most of my Play Coins, so I don’t think I’ll need to retire it anytime soon. This was one of the 3DS’s many pleasant surprises for me personally, and I don’t regret the time I’ve poured into these games (except for the zombie game, which continues to frustrate me).
Animal Crossing: New Leaf, 172h 13m: I can’t say how much StreetPass has increased my time on 3DS since I wind up carrying my 3DS around a lot, but I can definitely say that I spent way more time on New Leaf than any other game in the series. The game isn’t radically different from the other games in the series, but the best addition by far is that you can set your town so that your flowers don’t die and weeds don’t appear as much when you take a break. This makes it much less of a chore to play the game after a long absence than the previous games. The game is also the first in the series to have in-game achievements, which are also somewhat addictive, and I’ve also spent a lot of time checking out people’s houses that I get through StreetPass. In a completely surprising move, Nintendo released a substantial update to the game three and a half years after its original release for free which added Amiibo support and daily missions and a completely full-fledged version of the fantastic Panel de Pon aka Puzzle League game. This is a game that I still fire up every once in awhile to catch a K.K. Slider show or see what holidays are going on, and it’s not surprising to me that it made my top 3 most played 3DS games.
Other notable games include 134h 28m on Fire Emblem: Awakening (over two playthroughs) and 125h 49m combined on Fire Emblem: Fates in its three versions (although I’m still finishing the third route, Revelations). No doubt those numbers will continue to rise, especially as I have renewed interest in playing these games since Fire Emblem Warriors was released and heavily features those two games.
Lucius P. Merriweather’s Most frequently played 3DS games
Fire Emblem Awakening, 160 plays: If we skip Notifications, Nintendo eShop and StreetPass Mii Plaza, Awakening comes in as my most frequently played game. There was a time when I was playing it daily on my commute, and I certainly remember hacking around the end game for quite a while, gradually collecting all of the special characters.
Fire Emblem Fates, 144 plays: No surprises here. Move on, nothing to see.
Pokémon Shuffle, 114 plays: I airily dismissed Pokémon Shuffle when it first emerged, decrying Nintendo’s entry into the free-to-play market and citing it as a cash-in spin-off. But then my son was born, and it turned out to be the perfect game to pick up and play for five minutes in between bouts of crying, feeding and nappy changing. Still, I gave up on it long ago once I reached the point where it essentially becomes pay to win.
Professor GreilMercs’ Most frequently played 3DS games
StreetPass Mii Plaza, 809 plays: Aside from Notifications and the Activity Log (which I monitor religiously, hence this post), I have Mii Plaza sitting at the top of my most frequently played 3DS games. No surprises there.
Nintendo Badge Arcade, 710 plays: I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with playing Badge Arcade since I’ve exercised some restraint in actually plunking down real money (although I’ve probably spent more on the game than most people), but I do make sure to fire it up every day to snag some free badges (which has been made even easier nowadays since they’re not producing any new badges and they give you two free plays a day, on top of the one or two more you can win from the practice catcher). I’ve managed to collect almost all the Fire Emblem badges and most of the NES Remix badges without breaking the bank, although I’m sort of dreading how my spending habits will change when the inevitable announcement of its closure comes. For now I’m trying not to think about that too much and just continuing to enjoy collecting these pointless little icons covering the history of Nintendo to decorate my 3DS home screen.
Swapnote, 329 plays: After the Internet Browser, the now-defunct Nintendo Video, and the eShop apps, the next one on the list that could be considered a bit less of an app would be Swapnote. I’m a bit surprised I spent that much time on it before it shut down its online service, but I did have a group of friends who would send out notes every once in awhile, mostly just about what we were currently playing or what games had just been released. I haven’t gotten into its successor Swapdoodle as I don’t really have friends who currently play it, but it looks like it has some new and worthwhile features.
It’s no surprise, but the most played actual games are also Animal Crossing: New Leaf (207 plays) and Pokemon Y (186 plays).
Well, there you have it. We hope you enjoyed this peek into our gaming history. If you’re not obsessive number nerds like us and don’t check your 3DS Activity Log religiously, take a peek at it sometime. It might just surprise you. 😉