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Shack Chat: What game do you wish you'd spent more time with this year?

The team takes a look back over the year and talks about the games that they wish they had spent more time with in 2019.

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It’s that time of the week again. Gather ‘round Shackers as we, the staff here at Shacknews, dive deep into another great topic. With the end of the year just around the corner, and the staff setting off to talk about Game of the Year next week, we wanted to sit down and talk about games that we wish we had spent more time with this year.

As always, you can find all of our opinions and answers above. Of course, we’re still curious to know what you think, so be sure to chime in and share a game that you wish you had spent more time with this year in the Chatty thread below.


Question: What game do you wish you’d spent more time with this year?

Super Mario Maker 2 - Asif Khan, Shackmas Claus

I have played over one hundred hours of Super Mario Maker 2, but I honestly wish I had more time to create levels this year. I only have six levels out at the time this article was published, and while that is the same number of courses that I created on Wii U, I wish I had the time to create more.

One of the most enjoyable parts of my gaming year has been watching people play my levels. Seeing my friends turn levels into speedrunning challenges and watching staff members play my diabolical Briefcase Level 05 - Remake to help raise money for charity has brought a lot of joy into my life.

I really enjoy creating levels in Super Mario Maker 2, and I spent most of my Thanksgiving break working on news levels. It’s sadly the nature of this job that we end up playing games we don’t necessarily want to, either to get review or preview coverage up. This leads to less time on hand to play the games we love.

Super Mario Maker 2 came out in 2019, and it just received a new update. I am going to do my best to play as many games as possible in December during our Shacknews GOTY 2019 deliberations, but SMM2 is my go-to game at the moment.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor

I'm not a huge battle royale guy, but you know what I do like? I like games from Respawn. And the little time I spent playing Apex Legends, I honestly enjoyed. So it does make me wish I had been around a little more this year, jumping into games here and there and learning the ins and outs of this battle royale contender. Maybe for the holidays, I'll get some more time to dive in and get to know some of the game's characters. It's not like Respawn is short on events, so it sounds like I'll have plenty of opportunities to familiarize myself with Apex Legends.

Death Stranding - BB

Death Stranding - Blake Morse, Wants to throw poop grenades at things

I’ve just been too damn busy to dive headfirst into Kojima’s newest opus and I really, really want to. A lot of times working in this industry we’re given pretty unfettered access to a lot of A-list games, but this is one I actually went out and pre-ordered and forked over my own hard-earned dough for, which I only do with maybe a handful of titles each year since I rarely get periods of uninterrupted personal gaming time. I recently got a little bit of that downtime, but I had to choose between finally delving into Borderlands 3 or taking my fetus for a walk. Hopefully over the holiday break I’ll finally sit down and wander my way through what is sure to be a confusing and convoluted, but still brilliant and enthralling journey to save humankind.

Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire- David L. Craddock, Longreads Editor

Slay the Spire is the first card-based game to hook me since Magic: The Gathering in the halcyon days of 1994. I was in sixth grade and hanging out at a juice bar--like on Power Rangers, you know--when some friends introduced me to the magic of, er, Magic. Collecting, configuring--it was all the rage.

Slay the Spire combines the addictive nature of tweaking decks until they’re just so with the endlessly replayable formula of roguelike games. It’s my go-to game for when I have a few minutes to spare, although those few minutes often get stretched into hours. Slay the Spire is simple to pick up but easy to master, as the old saw goes. I have it installed on my Xbox One and my PC and look forward to buying it again on Switch.

The Long Dark

The Long Dark - Bill Lavoy, Managing Editor

I talk about The Long Dark a lot in Shack Chat, and for good reason. On many levels it is a game that fits with me as a person and gamer. It’s quiet, which is always a nice change of pace. It’s made by a Canadian developer, which is something a Canadian can be proud of. It has a great atmosphere (I love cooking a can of tomato soup by the fire on a cold winter’s night), and you get from it what you put into it. There are (in most cases) no objectives. Where you go, what you do, and how you choose to survive are all player choices. Your investment directly impacts what you get from it.

My hope is that over the holiday I’ll have a chance to dive into the new content for both story mode and survival mode. I’m in the (slow) process of writing impressions for the story mode episodes, and I can’t wait to see how Hinterland changes the survival experience and what the new map has to offer. I’ve been playing for more than three years now, and I still can’t get enough of the quiet apocalypse. I probably dropped more than 150 hours into The Long Dark this year, and it doesn’t feel like enough.

MLB The Show

MLB: The Show 19 - Chris Jarrard, A cup of coffee in the big leagues

I was assigned the review for MLB: The Show 19 earlier this year and fell in love with the only real baseball simulation that is on the market. Thankfully, the game remains stellar despite any active competition. While it is plagued by the card pack nonsense that infest every major sports simulator in 2019, the core gameplay, graphical presentation, and relentless attention to the smallest details make the game a real treat for baseball fans.

I got to spend a week with the game during my review period, but other commitments, including an early 2019 game release schedule that was stuffed to the gills with good games, meant that MLB: The Show 19 sat unplayed on my PS4. In a perfect world, the game would make an appearance on PC, ensuring even better graphics and better frame rates, but this is one of the games of 2019 that I have aspirations of spending some quality time with during the Christmas break.

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves - Sam Chandler, Guides Editor

I’ve played a lot of Sea of Thieves this year. I even went so far as to play it at Rare’s studio in the UK as part of an early look at the Anniversary Edition. And yet, I still wish I had more time to play even more Sea of Thieves.

Every month there is a new event, which introduces new mechanics, quests, and accolades to chase. Some of these commendations take a long time to earn, too. My partner and I pride ourselves on earning every single one of these, so to have them go unclaimed for an extended period of time is almost unacceptable.

Hopefully, over the holiday time I’ll get the chance to board my vessel and sail the Sea of Thieves to my heart’s content.

Super Mario Maker 2

Super Mario Maker 2- Donovan Erskine, Intern

Super Mario Maker 2 is one of those games that are completely driven by its community. That being said, it’s not going to be in its best state at launch, but it only gets better as time passes on. Unfortunately, I haven’t launched SMM2 since September. With us sitting at half a year post-release, the level of creativity and variety in created courses has far surpassed anything I encountered playing at launch. I wish I’d spent more time with this game and watching the community evolve and learn together. Master Sword update you say? Sounds like the perfect time to jump back in!

Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor

Nothing will sway me from naming Death Stranding my game of the year for 2019, but I wish I had more time to spend with the surreal, fantastic Disco Elysium. I admit, both the title and everything I had heard about the game originally turned me off of every trying it. There was no way, I thought, that this game would pull me in and hold my attention in any real way. How wrong I was.

When I saw the credits finally roll, and I looked back on my journey as a detective who had finally uncovered his name, found his gun, his badge, and even stumbled upon something otherworldly, I knew I had played through something infinitely special. Though the ending I got was satisfactory and I even managed to forge a relationship with Kim Kitsuragi, I can't help but wish I had played some of Disco Elysium earlier in the year and appreciated some of the other character builds I could have experimented with before the year came to a close. There were other avenues to explore. I can’t wait to see them through.

Death Stranding

Death Stranding among other things - Josh Hawkins, Expert Writer Guy

I often find myself lamenting over the fact that I didn’t get to spend as much time with a game as I wanted. Since the release of Destiny back in 2014, I constantly found myself wishing I had more time to really dig into the meat that Bungie added, and that wishing only continued with the release of Destiny 2 in 2017. Despite that, though, Destiny and Destiny 2 aren’t the games I want to talk about today.

When it comes to new releases from this year, there is one title that really springs to mind when I think about games that deserved more of my time and that is Death Stranding. While Kojima’s first game away from the Metal Gear series has seen quite a lot of mixed reactions, I was pretty well in love with what he created. The gameplay, while a bit slow at times, really left me room to do things my way as I made the trek across America on my journey to restore some sense of order to the world.

Mix in the fantastic acting from many of the main cast members, and the beautiful vistas that you often come across, and it’s really a bit of a dream come true for people who love world building as much as I do. Yeah, I won’t sit here and say the game isn’t without fault, but despite the possible issues you might run into, I still wish I had more time to sit down and experience the journey that Sam Bridges and BB take.

Aside from Death Stranding, though, there are still plenty of other great games I didn’t get to fully experience this year and in previous years. I’ve still got plans to dive into Sekiro, and I’d like to get through Disco Elysium at some point. Of course, there’s no telling when any of that will actually happen, so for now I’ll just keep sitting here wishing I could put more hours in the day.

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight - TJ Denzer, News Editor

Ever have a game that you know you love, keep buying content for, and yet never play? That’s Hollow Knight for me, and on multiple platforms at this point. When it originally launched back in 2017, I bought Hollow Knight on Day 1 and played about two-thirds of the way through before shelving it for reasons I cannot even begin to recall (likely in large part because there are too many good games and I want to play them all). It is, after all, one of the absolute best and beautiful Metroidvanias out there and the soundtrack is so good that all it takes is the menu theme to get my eyes misty.

Throughout 2018 and even 2019, I continued to watch expansions for the game launch, saw it ported to PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, saw constant updates, and many of my colleagues enjoying the game. About every two months or so I get a reminder and have the thought, “oh yeah, Hollow Knight! I should go back to that at some point.” And then a new month of good games and work comes and I lose track of time. Even now it hangs in my periphery, and perhaps even more so with the presence of a sequel, Silksong, on the horizon.


Oh, poor Hollow Knight. You sit in my Steam Library and Nintendo Switch game lineup shining where other games have been deleted or just collect dust, utterly forgotten. Someday (hopefully before Silksong comes out), I promise I will play all the way through you.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

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