Take on the NES Library

An 8-bit Extravaganza!



Happy 5th Anniversary!

Today is the five-year anniversary for Take On The NES Library!

It feels like this should have been a year of great progress.  We are living in COVID-19 times, with many people like myself not going out much.  I am still working but I get to work from home full time now.  Without having a commute to worry about, plus staying at home in general a lot more often, it should lead right into having a huge year and beating a lot of games.  The thing is, I have played a lot of games, maybe more than in years past, but it did not translate to more NES completions.

The new yearly tradition in these reflections is to look at project progress stats as a whole.  Let’s look at the table:

Year Beaten Total Beaten Yearly Average Days/Game End Date Average Difficulty
1 38 38 38 9.6 7/14/2033 5.5000
2 24 62 31 11.8 6/27/2037 5.4355
3 43 105 35 10.4 1/5/2035 5.3238
4 35 140 35 10.4 1/3/2035 5.3286 *
5 30 170 34 10.7 7/30/2035 5.2059

* I must have updated some difficulty rankings or miscalculated because this average came out higher than it did last year.

There are two things that jump out at me.  First of all, I completed 30 games this year, my second to lowest output over these 5 years.  The other thing I noticed is that my average difficulty took a nose dive, still above 5 but creeping closer to that mark.  How could both of these things happen when I am likely spending more time playing games now?  I have some reasons why.

1.  I played longer games this year.  This was something I stated in last year’s post, but it was also true in Year 5.  I had quite a few games cover two weeks, including some in the 4-6 week range.  I had a 2-month span where I only finished 3 games total.  That certainly will limit how many games I can clear.

2.  The longer games I played this year were easy, but very lengthy.  During last year’s anniversary reflection I was in the middle of Bases Loaded II, which required 79 wins.  I could win games in 10-15 minutes by the time I learned how, but it is quite a slog.  Same goes for Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? which lasted almost exactly the same number of cases with similar time to solve each one.  Those 2 games in particular took close to 2 months between them.

3.  I started recording complete playthroughs of every game.  To keep things simpler before, I would only record a full game if it was short enough to complete in one sitting.  I decided to change that this year, only to have a few games go over 10 hours long start to finish.  I still do not have a dedicated recording setup, so I have to put everything together in the family room and tear it back down at the end.  That time cuts into the actual playing.

4.  I started streaming on Twitch this year.  This has been the best part of this year’s progress.  I played offline because I wanted specific recording settings that I could not get while also streaming.  It turns out all I needed was a tool change and some setup to get it to work for both simultaneously.  Streaming is really fun, I am beginning to form a community, and I have made a bunch of friends this year on Twitch.  These are all good things, but the interaction with viewers takes a bit of focus away as well.  Not a bad thing!

5.  I started speedrunning.  I have long admired speedrunners and what they can accomplish, and so I have replaced a little NES completion time with some speedrunning.  I picked up TMNT as my main speed game, and additionally I spent a month preparing for and participating in the Big 20 race that happened in September.  (Which, by the way, I took 22nd place out of about 100 players.)  I see now first-hand why people commit their gaming time to speedrunning.  It is a lot of fun, and the community of runners are some of the nicest people I’ve met online.

My goal for Year 6 is to cross the 200 completions mark.  I get the feeling that it might be a difficult goal to achieve.  I’m still dealing with limited time for playing due to family commitments.  I still want to do speedrunning stuff periodically, including some community events with other streamers.  I also know that my next NES game is a long RPG that will probably take me a couple of months to clear.  I will have to push hard and stay focused, but I know I am up to the challenge.  It helps that I am having more fun than ever with all this!


Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Yesterday marked the two-year anniversary for Take On The NES Library!

The year 2017 has been a lean year for the website, and a large portion of that has to do with this being a fantastic year to be a modern Nintendo fan. As you know, the Nintendo Switch released this year, and I got my console and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on launch day. I will always make some time to play through some good first-party Nintendo games, but the combination of a new Zelda game and a new console that I can play anywhere has really given me the freedom to dedicate much more time to brand new games. It’s so much simpler to play the Switch upstairs in bed instead of playing on my TV. And my wife is happier that I’m spending more time with her versus playing alone in the basement. So far I have put over 150 hours into Breath of the Wild and I’m still not finished, and now almost all my attention has gone toward Super Mario Odyssey. Nintendo has absolutely killed it this year and I feel confident that this year will be remembered as one of Nintendo’s best years ever, perhaps even their strongest year.

So all that is to say that it has been a slow year in terms of progress on my project. I did have a strong end of 2016 with several games completed. Then in January I started grinding through the long season of Bases Loaded. That completion took up the first two months of the year. The end of Bases Loaded dovetailed straight into the Switch release. I still managed to beat a game every couple of weeks or so after that, up until October anyway. With the release of Super Mario Odyssey and some other commitments, I put the project on break for about a month. I’m now ramping back up into normal progress again. Rest assured, I am ready to get back to business and clear some more NES games!

On last year’s anniversary post, I ran some numbers to see how the project was progressing over the long haul. I’ve decided to do that again and make this a yearly tradition. This is going to read like some kind of corporate financial statement or something, but maybe you will find this interesting. Over two years, I have beaten 62 NES games. This averages out to a completion every 11.8 days, which is worse than the 9.6 days per completion from last year’s update. On the current pace, the project should take 7,888 days to complete from start to finish with an estimated end date of June 28, 2037. My slow pace this year added almost four years to that estimate. I have to believe that I will pick up the pace within the next year, and that the 24 games finished this year will be near the lowest output in any year for the life of this project.

Thank you very much for reading this and following along on this journey over the past two years. You have helped give this project life, and I hope that I will cover more games that you will look forward to reading!


Happy 1st Anniversary!

Today marks the one year anniversary for Take On The NES Library!

What started off as an idea to get some play out of my NES collection has turned into something really good thus far. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it off the ground at all due to the long time with building the website and structuring everything in a way I could be happy with. I spent about four months off and on figuring out WordPress and the design I wanted for the website, as well as randomizing and working the master game list. Finally on November 23rd, 2015, it was time to pop in Super Mario Bros. and take off on this long journey. The next day I furiously wrote and published my first of many blog posts and I have been sprinting ahead ever since. So far things have gone just as well as I could have hoped for. I have a very long way to go, but the fact that I am still going strong after a full year makes me feel pretty good about seeing this all the way through. I’m excited to sit down and play each and every new game and I hope to continue that enthusiasm for years to come.

Just for fun, I ran some numbers to get a glimpse of just how long this whole project may take. Though I have only written and published posts for 30 licensed NES games, I have actually beaten 38 games total. Now 2016 was a leap year so that makes 38 games beaten in 366 days, which comes out to roughly 9.6 days per game finished. I count 669 unique licensed NES games, so I am on pace to finish Take On The NES Library in 6,443 days. That makes the last day July 14th, 2033. Only 16 1/2 years to go! Of course there will still be other NES games to play aside from just the licensed games, so there is opportunity here for this site to never really have an ending if that’s what I want to pursue.

I also want to do some kind of special year in review post, and since I started this close enough to the end of the year I think that will be something I will write up in January. I think it could be fun to treat it like an award show and hit all the high points and low points of this project. But that’s for another day, so for now here’s to one year of Take On The NES Library and let there be many more to come!