Monday, May 31, 2010

Super Mario Galaxy 2's Data Debut!

(click image to enlarge)

Quick Brew Info:
Super Mario Galaxy 2 released on Sunday, May 23, 2010.  
It is the sequel to the original Super Mario Galaxy that was released on November 12, 2007.
It took approximately 9 days for Super Mario Galaxy 2 to debut on the Wii's Nintendo Channel.

Number of Players Reporting Data:
Super Mario Galaxy 2 has approximately 13,340 players reporting their play-time data, for its data debut on the Nintendo Channel.

"Total" Game-Play Hours Reported:
Super Mario Galaxy 2 has 100,663 Total Hours reported for its debut. Sale Rank & Advertised Price:
Super Mario Galaxy 2's sale rank is #1 and the current selling price is $49.99. Review Score Average:
Super Mario Galaxy 2's review score average is 97.42%, based on 30 reviews.

If you purchased Super Mario Galaxy 2, have you played it around 7 hours 33 minutes, like the average play-time per person, or is your play-time higher or lower?
Also, what do you think of the game from what you have played of it so far?  Bitter, or sweet?

If you have not purchased Super Mario Galaxy 2, you can see's price for it below:

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Are You Still Hunting Monsters? Monster Hunter 3 Data

Monster Hunter 3 Play-Time Data, Sales Ranks, and Review Score Average
(click image to enlarge)

Approx. Number of Players Reporting Data:
Monster Hunter 3 has 14,958 players reporting their play-time data.

Player Increase Over Last Week:
Monster Hunter 3 had an increase of 4,954 more players reporting their play-time data, since the data shown 2-weeks ago.

"Total" Game-Play Hours Reported/Increased:
Monster Hunter 3 has 533,055 Total Hours reported, an increase of 284,474 hours over the last 2-week period. Sale Ranks & Advertised Prices:
Monster Hunter 3's, the game only, sale rank is #108 and the current selling price is $46.99.
Monster Hunter 3 w/ Classic Controller Pro's sale rank is #3,547 and the current advertised selling price is $84.98.

The Monster Hunter 3 w/ Classic Controller Pro bundle has been sold-out, each day that I have checked since May 2. Review Score Averages:
Monster Hunter 3's review score average is now 85.98%, based on 41 reviews.

Monster Hunter 3 has gained twelve reviews for its average since 2 weeks ago, raising its average from 85.07%.

As I stated above, the Monster Hunter 3 CCP bundle has been sold-out on each day I have checked, since May 2.  I do not think will be getting anymore bundles with the Classic Controller Pro.

In the last month since Monster Hunter 3 released, I have had the opportunity to play with several readers from the blog; Butcher, DEN, and Seph are the main ones.

Here's a video introducing my Monster Hunter 3 character, and showing some arm wrestling matches in the game:

As I mentioned in the video, both DEN and Butcher run the gaming blog,  They interviewed Shawn Baxter (A.K.A. Snow) from, and Shawn talked about the things that went into bringing Monster Hunter 3 to North America, and even a few tips for hunting online.  
One thing Shawn mentioned in the podcast, that I thought was crazy, is how many Hunter Ranks there are in Monster Hunter 3.
I am currently Hunter Rank 9.  I think I could play this game for the next year, at my current pace, and never reach the highest Hunter Rank in the game.
You can take a listen to their Podcast: Episode 16 to hear more from the interview with Shawn and about Monster Hunter 3.

Are you still playing Monster Hunter 3?  If so, leave your online name/code in the comments, and hopefully we can play some together this next week!
What HR have you reached in the game and what is the highest level monster you have defeated?

The highest level monster that I have defeated is the Barroth with DEN and Butcher.  I attempted a Gobul hunt three times yesterday and was destroyed by it all three times!
If reader CrashMan/Seph is reading this, I apologize for that Gobul hunt!

If you have not purchased Monster Hunter 3 yet, you can see new and used prices for the game on below!  Join the hunts!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

IGN's Influence and ModNation Racers PS3 Sales Data

(click chart to enlarge)

Quick Brew Info:
ModNation Racers was released yesterday for the PS3 and the PSP.
The PS3 version was developed by United Front Games, and the game features online play for up to 12-players at a time, with 2-player online split-screen as well.  The game also features a local 4-player multiplayer mode.
ModNation Racers also features a track editor, and the tracks can be shared and raced on over the PlayStation Network with friends, or foes!

Chart Info:
The chart shows the sales ranks for the PS3 version of ModNation Racers.  I started recording the sales ranks for ModNation Racers on April 23.
From April 23 through May 25, the lowest sales rank I recorded was #76 on April 25, at 3:00AM
The highest sales rank I recorded for ModNation Racers was #5 on May 24, around 10:25PM.

Critical Reception & Influence:
So far, ModNation Racers on the PS3 has an 84.48% review score average on, based on 26 reviews.

(Too high?  Too low?  Just right?)

The chart shows the largest single day increase in sales ranks was from May 3 to May 4.
On May 3 around 7:40PM, it was ranked #56.
On May 4 around 11:40PM, it was ranked #35.
It jumped twenty-one spots in sales ranks, in a little more than 24-hours.
Why do I think that happened?
I think it was because on May 4, at 11:07AM, posted up their review for ModNation Racers.
They gave the game a 9.0 out of 10, and I think the review had a direct correlation with the game's sales rank increasing by twenty-one places.

I played the PS3 demo of ModNation Racers late last week, and again today.  I think the racing is fun, and and it looks like the game is going to be a very solid kart racer for PS3 owners.
I have not purchased ModNation Racers yet, but the demo does make me interested in the game.

In putting together the chart, I tried to look for outside factors that may have affected the game's sales ranks.
The review score was the only factor, that seemed very likely, that I was able to find.

I do not know if Sony has aired any television commercials for the game, though I did search for this information.  The only information I was able to find was they posted a YouTube commercial up on April 21; but I was not able to find information on what the first day a television commercial for ModNation Racers, actually aired was.

Have you purchased ModNation Racers?  If you have been playing it, what do you think of it?  Good or bad?
If you have not purchased it, do you plan on purchasing it in the near future?
Do you think it was's review, that caused the game to increase the twenty-one spots within one day?

Here's a video of my second race in the demo, I think I needed more coffee!

If you are interested in either the PS3 or PSP version of the game, you can see prices for them on below:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Boy and His Blob Data Debut

(click image to enlarge)

Quick Brew Info:
A Boy and His Blob was released on the Nintendo Wii on October 13, 2009.
The game is a "re-imagining of the 1989 NES title, A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia."
A Boy and His Blob took 224 days from its release, for the play-time data shown in the picture and discussed below, to appear on the Wii's Nintendo Channel.

Number of Players Reporting Data:
A Boy and His Blob has 8,550 players reporting their play-time data for its debut.

"Total" Game-Play Hours Reported:
A Boy and His Blob has 51,313 Total Hours reported for its debut on the Nintendo Channel. Sale Rank & Advertised Price:
A Boy and His Blob's sale rank is #476 and the current selling price is $19.96. Review Score Average:
A Boy and His Blob's review score average is 81.50%, based on 32 reviews.

I have not played A Boy and His Blob, though I have read multiple impressions; and it seems that the game is a lot of fun.  The game released with a MSRP of $39.99, and it currently has a MSRP of only 29.99; but it is currently on sale for $19.96.

If you haven't read any review for the game, you can check out a review at SuperPhillip Central:
SuperPhillip Central's A Boy and His Blob Review

Here's a brief introductory video to A Boy and His Blob as well, it's about 2 minutes:

Have you played A Boy and His Blob?
If so, what do you think about it?  Bitter thoughts, or sweet?
Would you recommend the game to other Wii owners like myself that haven't played this one or the original?

If you are interested in A Boy and His Blob, you can see new and used prices for it on below:

Monday, May 24, 2010

FPS Wii Games Data

(click image to enlarge)

Approx. Number of Players Reporting Data:
The Conduit has 65,240 players reporting their play-time data this week.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex has 55,621 players reporting their play-time data.
Red Steel 2 has 8,585 players reporting play-time data this week.

Player Increase Over Last Week:
The Conduit had 2,917 more players reporting their data this week, than from the data captured April 19.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex had 6,772 more players reporting their play-time data this week, compared to April 19th's numbers.
Red Steel 2 had 902 more players reporting data this week, since Monday, May 10.

"Total" Game-Play Hours Reported/Increased:
The Conduit has 1,455,958 Total Hours reported, an increase of 71,670 hours from April 19.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex has 2,443,857 Total Hours reported, an increase of 454,817 hours from April 19.
Red Steel 2 has 75,480 Total Hours reported, an increase of  9,002 hours since last Monday, May 10. Sale Rank & Advertised Price:
The Conduit's sale rank is #1,407 and its current selling price is $27.99.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex's sale rank is #201 and its current selling price is $42.30.
Red Steel 2's, the game only, sale rank is #683 and the current selling price is $46.99.
Red Steel 2 w/ Wii MotionPlus' sale rank is #886 and the current selling price is $56.99. Review Score Averages:
The Conduit's review score average is 72.23%, based on 64 reviews.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex's review score average is 78.76%, based on 33 reviews.
Red Steel's review score average is 81.00%, based on 44 reviews.

I have added Red Steel 2 to the list of FPS games that I will track.  It is the only game, out of the three, that does not have any online play; but it is the only one, that is a direct sequel to another Wii game, the original Red Steel.

Speaking of direct sequels, Conduit 2 is due out later this year for the Wii.
The guys over at scored an interview with Josh Olson, the Senior Producer on the game.
They asked about the online multiplayer modes and the local multiplayer modes, in Conduit 2.
If you would like to know what Josh Olson said, check out his answer at:

I find it interesting that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex still has fewer players reporting data, than The Conduit.  I really thought that the Call of Duty name, would have helped it pass The Conduit's number of players reported online already.

Have you been playing any of these games in the last four weeks?
I don't own any of them, so I haven't played any of them in the last four weeks.  Red Steel 2 is in my "want to play" list, as well as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

If you are interested in any of the games covered, you can see new and used prices for them on below:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rage of the Gladiator's Ixthid

On March 15, 2010, Rage of the Gladiator was released on Nintendo's WiiWare service.
On March 17, 2010,'s Tony Miller posted a review for Rage of the Gladiator.
In one of the bullet points, Tony said, "Played through campaign once, completed 8 fights in Challenge Mode."

In the comments section of the review on March 19, I asked Tony, "Have you completed Challenge Mode yet?  If not, what character are you on?"  I went on to say, "The enemies are destroying me left and right in Challenge Mode, but I've survived four of them now."

Tony replied to my questions, "I'm stuck on Ixthid in Challenge Mode.  I haven't played in the last couple of days since the review.  I've been working on some other stuff.  It's my plan to finish Challenge Mode over the weekend."  Tony's reply was on March 19.

Fast-forward to May 18, 2010.(you hear the fast-forward noise of a VHS tape in a VCR!) posted a review for Bit.Trip Runner.
Tony wrote the review for Bit.Trip Runner as well, and one of his bullet points was: 
"Played through the game in its entirety."

I commented on the Bit.Trip Runner review the same day, and after I quoted the bullet point, I said, "Rage of the Gladiator says hello."
Tony replied about not living it down(finishing Rage of the Gladiator), and he said, "I'll get that finished.  I promise.  It might be 10 years from now, but I will succeed in beating that stupid alien tentacle monster Ixthid.  He's become the bane of my existence."
During one conversation, Tony said, "I keep meaning to go back and finish it, but I never do.  I just need continual prodding and I'll get back to it."

So, I recorded a battle against Ixthid in Challenge Mode, and perhaps it will be the "prodding" or encouragement Tony needs to continue!  Also, perhaps the video will help others playing the game, if they are stuck on Ixthid like Tony.
WARNING!  If you do not want to see a full battle against Ixthid, do not watch this video!

I was using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls during the fight, and kept the attacks simple, using the most basic "special" attack.
If you have any questions about what to specifically look for during the match, leave a comment or send me an email to

If you have played Rage of the Gladiator, have you completed Challenge Mode yet with a "Rank: A" in each fight?
If not, which character is giving you the most trouble?
If you have not played Rage of the Gladiator, what do you think of the videos I have posted of the game?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Super Mario Galaxy Play-Time Data/Thoughts

Super Mario Galaxy was released on Monday, November 12, 2007.
Tomorrow(5-23-10), Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be released.

About 2 weeks ago, I put Super Mario Galaxy back in our Wii, after a very long absence from playing it.
My wife started her own campaign, and I played using the second Wii Remote.  We've only played that one day, so far.
Here's a picture of our total play-time with Super Mario Galaxy:
(Our Super Mario Galaxy play-time)

I received the original Super Mario Galaxy as a Christmas gift, in 2007.
I collected enough stars for the final boss battle, and once I finished the final boss battle in Super Mario Galaxy, I never went back to find any other stars; or even attempt another play-through of the game.
For some reason, I didn't enjoy Super Mario Galaxy, like I enjoyed Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine.  I don't really know why this was.
I thought perhaps it was my attitude when playing the game, so instead of trading it off; I kept it thinking I would play through the game again one day, from beginning to end.

After looking at our data(shown above), I thought, "I wonder how it compares to the 'average' data reported on the Nintendo Channel?"

Here is Super Mario Galaxy's play-time data, review score average, and current sale rank.
(click image to enlarge)

Approx. Number of Players Reporting Data:
Super Mario Galaxy has approximately 1,340,453 players reporting play-time data in North America.

Total Game-Play Hours/Sessions Reported:
Super Mario Galaxy has 40,364,580 Total Hours reported played, with 30 Hours 7 Minutes being the average play-time per person reporting data.  Our average play-time is only 22 hours 53 Minutes.  My initial completion of the game had a play-time of just over 20 hours.
The total reported number of play sessions is 21,219,371, with an average of 15.83 sessions per person reporting data.  As the first picture showed, we've only contributed 8 play sessions to the total number reported.  One of those play sessions was from my wife starting her own game, so that means I finished the game in seven play sessions.

If you played the original Super Mario Galaxy, how did you like it compared to other Mario games you may have played?  How is your play-time data hours compared to the average per person?
Were you a completionist, and go back to collect all the stars in the game; or were you like me and collected just enough stars for the final boss battle?

Last, but not least, do you plan on purchasing Super Mario Galaxy 2?
Right now, I'm holding off on purchasing it, but do plan on attempting to play it one day.

If you are interested in Super Mario Galaxy, or Super Mario Galaxy 2, you can see prices on below:

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Wii Fit Plus, Wii Sports Resort: Data

Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit Plus, & New Super Mario Bros. Wii
(click image to enlarge)

Approx. Number of Players Reporting Data:
Wii Sports Resort now has 433,738 players reporting their play-time data.
Wii Fit Plus now has 219,087 players reporting their play-time data this week.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii has 476,101 players reporting their play-time data.

Player Increase Over Last Week:
Wii Sports Resort had an increase of 33,847 more players reporting play-time data this week, over 4-weeks ago.
Wii Fit Plus had an increase of 22,225 more players reporting play-time data.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii had an increase of 52,021 more players reporting their data.

"Total" Game-Play Hours Reported/Increased:
Wii Sports Resort has 10,042,673 Total Hours reported, an increase of 1,098,192 hours from last month's data.
Wii Fit Plus has 3,675,438 Total Hours reported, an increase of 540,335 hours from last month.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii has 13,782,272 Total Hours reported, an increase of 2,311,645 hours from the last report. Sale Ranks & Advertised Prices:
Wii Sports Resort's sale rank is #21 and the current selling price is $39.99.
Wii Fit Plus', the game only, sale rank is #43 and the current selling price is $14.28.
Wii Fit Plus w/ Balance Board's sale rank is #10 and the current selling price is $99.99.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii's sale rank is #4 and the current selling price is $34.99. Review Score Averages:
Wii Sports Resort's review score average is 82.88%, based on 50 reviews.
Wii Fit Plus' review score average is 81.32%, based on 19 reviews.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii's review score average is 88.12%, based on 54 reviews.

It has been 4 weeks since I showed the data for these three games.
On May 3, Nintendo announced they would be releasing a Black Wii Console in North America, on May 9; bundling it with the original Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and a WM+ unit, all for $199.99.  They also have the White Wii in the same bundle now as well.
Also, currently has the Wii Fit Plus w/ Balance Board bundle in stock; so if you know anybody that has been looking for it, you may want to let them know.
I think it is interesting that New Super Mario Bros. Wii is on sale for $34.99 right now, perhaps it is because of Super Mario Galaxy 2's release this coming Sunday?

Have you played Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit Plus, and/or New Super Mario Bros. Wii in the last 4 weeks?

If you are interested in any of these games, you can see new and used prices for them on below:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Max and the Magic Marker Interview & Speedrun Video

Yesterday, I posted my first review and it was for Max & the Magic Marker.  You can read the review HERE(

I was researching for my review, making sure I was using proper game terms and getting background information, so I visited the game's site and went to the FAQ area for the game.
In the FAQ area, they have a section titled, "Who created Max & the Magic Marker?"
The section gives a little information about Press Play and where they are located.
It was the last line of the section that caught my eye though, as it reads, "If you come by Copenhagen please come by for a cup of coffee."(emphasis added!)

Well, I contacted Press Play and asked them a few questions.
One thing I wondered about, was how many of the guys that worked on Max and the Magic Marker were coffee drinkers.

I asked, "Would you know if all the guys that worked on Max & the Magic Marker are coffee drinkers?  If so, do they have a favorite coffee drink?  Or, do they drink their coffee black, or with cream/sugar?"

Rune Dittmer, one of the founders of Press Play, said, "Everyone working on Max was coffee drinkers except Kasper Skovgaard - who is quite a tea aficionado.  In the offices during the development we enjoyed our coffee from a huge French press.  I think all here takes it with a little milk but no sugar!"

While the following video is regular game-play; to accomplish all the speedruns in the game, you may need a few pots of coffee to help keep yourself going!

I still need to complete two levels with speedruns in the game, then I think I will be at 100%.

Do you like your coffee black, like myself; or, do you prefer some sort of cream and/or sugar in it, like the developers?  Or, perhaps you are mainly a tea drinker like Kasper Skovgaard from Press Play?

If you have played Max & the Magic Marker, have you completed the game with 100% of the items/speedruns?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review: Max & the Magic Marker (WiiWare)

My first review is finished!  I started this process, about a week and a half ago.  
I've tried to write it with a good bit of information about the game, but few "spoilers".
I included the number of levels/worlds, and even a brief description of them in the review;
I have the text for that section blacked out, so as not to ruin it, 
if you don't want to know about the levels/worlds, before you play them.  
If you want to see the descriptions, simply "highlight" the area and the text will be visible.
There is a picture included, as long as you don't click the picture, it should be small enough 
for you to not read anything.

The Blend (brief desciption and details)
Max & the Magic Marker is a 2-D "Platform, Puzzle" game, developed by Press Play.
I purchased Max & the Magic Marker from the Wii's Shop Channel, on March 8, 2010, for 1000 Wii Points.
My total play-time when I first finished the game was nearly 7 hours, with "70% Progress".
Currently, my total reported play-time is 20 hours 45 minutes, with "96% Progress".

The Brew (game-play, controls, levels, graphics, etc.)
You play as a young kid, named Max, and the only weapon you have in the levels is his Magic Marker.
You run and jump your way through levels, but without proper use of the Magic Marker, you won't get far!
You will use the Magic Marker to draw items such as: ramps, steps, bridges, seesaw contraptions(my favorite), and make levers to activate switches, all helping Max advance through the levels.
The Wii Remote and Nunchuk are both used to play the game.

Controls! Get ready to draw(with) your weapon!

The Magic Marker is setup as the Wii Remote's pointer and you activate the drawing function by pressing the A button.  Drawing in the game with the Wii Remote functions pretty well, for the most part.
Drawing objects with the Wii Remote can require a steady hand though, and I found the more I practiced drawing, the better I became at it.
The "Freeze/Unfreeze" control, by pressing A and B at the same time, can be a great help when you fall off a ledge.  Many times I would fall off a ledge, then pause the game, and end up building platforms under Max's feet;  I would then try to jump off the platforms, back up to safety.
Eventually, I took the time to see how high I could go in levels, by drawing platforms under my feet in mid-air, and jumping off of them repeatedly, higher and higher.

Can you get here?

If you draw steps, bridges, or any ink object for that matter, you can erase the object and you get all the ink back that you used.
If I had one problem with the controls, it would be one of the erase functions.  Holding B and shaking the Wii Remote causes all ink objects drawn to be erased and the ink returned to the Magic Marker.  Sometimes, I thought the shaking of the Wii Remote took more effort than it should.  The function is not broken, but perhaps needs a little ironing in a future sequel(sequel, please Press Play!).
Overall though, I thought the controls were implemented well in the game.

The game has five levels per world, with a total of three worlds; fifteen levels in all.
  • World 1: Sweet Home has you play through Max's neighborhood.  The world contains pretty straightforward platforming elements, with the first few levels being nice introductory levels to the game's controls.
  • World 2: Shiver Me Timbers is a pirate world.  Playing through this world's levels is enjoyable and I think the level designs were well done for the pirate theme;  incorporating pirate boats, water, and cannons!
  • World 3: Robot Factory is, as the name implies, a robot factory world!  This world introduces the most challenging puzzles in the entire game, and there is a great sense of accomplishment when you finally figure out some of the puzzles.
As you progress through each level, you will gather ink orbs, which fill Max's Magic Marker, allowing you to draw your way through the levels.
Each level contains many checkpoints, and every time Max reaches a new checkpoint, the Monster will suck away all the ink you have gathered, with his vacuum.
So, throughout each level, there is a continuous gather/lose element when it comes to the ink supply.

Awesome orange ink!

The physics engine used in the game is pretty impressive, as objects drawn in the game have a weight to them.
The less ink you use, the lighter the object.  The more ink you use, the heavier the object.
This picture below, explains the weight of objects in the game nicely:
An open circle is light, a circle filled with ink is heavy.

I think the game's graphics are really clean and crisp, and the music fits the level designs well.
The music is on a short loop, so if you are playing on a level for a while, you will probably notice the music repeat.
Press Play took time adding nice sound effects into the game.  One example of this is when Max falls a distance through the air, there's a distinct whistling sound as he falls.  Another example is when you drop an ink object or raft into water, it will make a splashing sound effect.

The levels in Max and the Magic Marker have a variety of hazards that Max must avoid, to stay alive.
Max does not have a health bar.
One touch by a variety of hazards such as acid rain or a purple Gobo, causes Max to respawn at the last checkpoint.
Fortunately, Max has infinite lives, and I think it makes playing the game more enjoyable, as you can really experiment with the drawing mechanics and exploring the levels, without worrying about how many more lives you have.

Though each level has many checkpoints, the levels can't be continued from a checkpoint within them; so, make sure to finish a level before leaving it if you are collecting items.
The game saves automatically after each level, so you do not have to worry with remembering to save the game.
While the main objective in each level is to reach a "portal" at the end, bringing Max to the next level; the main objective of the game is for Max to get rid of the Monster he created, using the Magic Marker.

Purple you see evil in its eye?

Other than the main Monster, purple Gobos are the only "living" enemies in the levels.  The purple Gobos are little purple blobs, with arms, that move around by hopping.
There are several ways to rid the levels of purple Gobos.  You can use the Magic Marker to drop ink on them, causing them to disappear;  or, you can draw an ink object and use it to push the enemy Gobos off ledges.  You can also just jump over Gobos, though the jump does need to be timed well.
Enemy Gobos can push ink objects in their path, so when drawing steps or bridges you should be careful.
Several times in the game, I drew ink ladders to ledges above me.  As I would start climbing the ink ladder, an enemey Gobo would come hopping along, and run right into the edge of my ink ladder, pushing it backwards, causing it(and me) to fall backwards!

The Condiments (things that make the game a little bit sweeter)
If you want to play straight through the game, doing so will probably take you about 3-4 hours.  I would say this is like drinking coffee black, which is how I drink mine.
When it comes to my games though, I like to get many hours of game-play out of them, and Max and the Magic Marker has provided me many hours.

Nearly all the levels in Max & the Magic Marker contain "Hidden" and "Thought" orbs.
They are scattered around each level, and really add some great replay value to the game.

"Thought" orbs are usually pretty easy to gather for the most part, by drawing simple bridges/ramps between platforms.
I think they help you to explore the levels, by the way they are spread around.
If you reach a checkpoint, then you gather five "thought" orbs, but die before reaching a new checkpoint; you will have to gather those five "thought" orbs again, if you are trying to complete a level with all of them.

The "Hidden" orbs will usually require you to think creatively, to reach them using the Magic Marker.
If you are trying to get all the "hidden" orbs, it is possible to grab a "hidden" orb and die in the process of getting it; and when you respawn you will still have the "hidden" orb.  I used this method, dying to gain a "hidden" orb, multiple times for some that were in hard to reach locations.

When you finish a level, you are given a score card of sorts, that shows you how many orbs you collected and how long it took you to complete the level.

The picture above shows I completed the level with 50/50 "Thought" orbs and 4/4 "Hidden" orbs, but I did not finish within the timed goal of 1:50.
I do not think it is possible, in any level, to collect the Thought and Hidden orbs and complete the level within its timed goal.  You can replay levels though and run through them as quickly as possible for the timed goal; then come back to collect the orbs, or vice-versa.  The game will remember that you have collected all the orbs, and it will also know when you have completed the timed goals on each level as well, so they are goals that can be completed separately.

In many levels, I found it is possible to go all the way back to the beginning of the stage, with ink gathered after crossing the last checkpoint.  This can be useful if you reach the end of a level, and find you are missing a few "thought" or "hidden" orbs, but you don't want to restart the level.

Extra modes for extra play-time? Maybe, maybe not.

Collecting a certain number of "thought" and "hidden" orbs will unlock "extras" in the game.  If you complete five levels with speed runs, you will unlock a mode that shows Max likes his caffeine via a coffee drink!
My main problem with the extras, like my wife's(read below), is that they can't be used to help you gather orbs or complete speed runs, that are remaining in the levels.  If you use any of the "extras", the game knows it, and labels you a "cheater".

I cheat by using legitimate means!?

Because the game will not allow you to keep "achievements" when using the "extra" modes, the extra modes don't help you accomplish anything like they were seemingly designed to do.

The Aftertaste (final thoughts)
The day I started playing Max & the Magic Marker, Mrs. CoffeewithGames(my wife), watched me play the game.  She sat on the couch next to me, and would watch me think about different puzzles, and offer advice.  My mom was visiting us from out of town, and she even started offering advice for how to solve puzzles in the game.
My wife started her own game the very same day I did.  Not only did she play the game, but she beat it before I did!  Her current play-time and percentage complete is:
71% Progress - 11 Hours 01 minute.
My wife said of Max & the Magic Marker, "It had good problem solving puzzles, and made good use of the players creativity.  It challenged me to make creative solutions."
Two things she did not like about the game:
1) The jump button being on the Nunchuk
2) The "extras" that you unlock, can't be used to help you collect remaining orbs or to complete remaining speed runs in the levels.

I have had the game freeze on me twice.  I am not sure if it was the game's fault, or just my system.  The reason I am not sure, is because the first day that Max & the Magic Marker froze, another WiiWare game I played also froze the same day. Max and the Magic Marker froze once again last week, but again, I do not know if it was the game or my system.  After I did a system reset(power off/on), the game played fine and none of the save data was corrupted.

If you visit the website,, you may see a section that says, "Claim Your Prize".
Though I haven't gained 100% of the items in the game, I contacted Press Play about it.
I asked, "If you complete the game with 100% items/speed runs, is that when you get a code of some sort to "Claim Your Prize", on the site?"
The reply I received was, "In the European Wii game and in the PC/Mac version you get a download code for the mixed soundtrack by completing all levels - this was unfortunately not possible in the US version, so sadly there is no prizes in that version."

Even with my "bitter" issues with the game, I still highly recommend Max & the Magic Marker to anybody looking for a fun platforming puzzle game.  I said to myself while playing the game, "I can't believe this game wasn't developed by Nintendo!"
The fact that my wife also played and enjoyed the game was an added bonus.
I believe that Max can have a nice place in your Wii collection, right next to Mario.
At only $10, Max & the Magic Marker is a great buy.
Put on a pot of coffee, download the game, and see how far your drawing skills will take you!

For the final score...

If you have played Max & the Magic Marker, what do you think of it?  If you have not played it, and you have any questions about it, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at  Also, if you do/don't like the format, or have advice, let me know.

Thank you so much for reading!  I hope you enjoyed it and learned something about a game, that perhaps you didn't know much about!

To play the PC demo of the game:


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