No comments on the new Wave yet? I thought the wave was a huge improvement over the first two visually, except for Rock Rock Mountain.

I only ever played MKDD!! so these were all new to me. Rainbow road was a highlight of course and surprisingly Peach Gardens was too. The city tracks seem harder to navigate this time (or is that just me?) so I'm still getting used to them but I'm still loving this gimmick where every lap changes.
The city tracks seem harder to navigate this time (or is that just me?) so I'm still getting used to them but I'm still loving this gimmick where every lap changes.
Not just you! In this case I think it's baked into the way they laid the maps out in the first place.

I've always thought it was a bit weird how the London Loop starting line is shoved all the way over in an inconspicuous corner of the city. There doesn't seem to be any particular... ceremony to it, so finishing a lap doesn't come with a big sense of completion or accomplishment—vs. Tokyo Blur on the Rainbow Bridge, New York Minute in the middle of Times Square, etc. [EDIT: I realize now that Parliament/Big Ben is right there, but my point still stands. It feels like an alley.]

Berlin Byways' issue is harder to pin down for me. Playing it again, I think it might be the park at the center being so densely forested that you don't have almost any visual landmarks to orient yourself. Definitely the most winding and labyrinthine of the city courses thus far.

Overall I like the wave. Nothing quite as transcendent as Sydney Sprint for me, but the batch as a whole is still a cut above the Wave 1 launch. Peach Gardens was an absolute GAG on my first playthrough.

I was hoping I would come around to Merry Mountain after watching the Tour clips of it on youtube for the past year... I have not.

It's so aggressively linear, the finale feels like a sluggish redux of Mount Wario's ski jump, and ultimately for such a themed course the whole affair feels to me like it's missing a focal point.

You spend the first two-thirds climbing the mountain, there's... a giant present near the peak which the course design is practically begging you to ignore, before a sharp right to head back down the mountain, and then it's just over.

It's very similar to Toad Harbor in layout I guess, so I'm not sure how it fumbles that same structure.

EDIT: The REAL triumph of this update is the custom items selector! It changes the entire game. I killed the coin!!!!!
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I quite enjoyed wave 3. In the last couple there were some courses who either didn't look so great or felt like filler, but all eight look great and seem worthwhile this time around. Definitely feels like more effort was put into the tracks, if I didn't know I would have thought they were all brand new.
"Wrapped" is here!


#4: Fire Emblem: Three Houses
#5: Pokémon Violet
#6: I Was a Teenage Exocolonist
#7: Octopath Traveler
#8: Roguebook
#9: Monster Sanctuary
#10: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX

I've been playing both Pokémon Violet and Monster Train a ton in December, after the cut-off point, I'm pretty sure they'll be my actual #3 and #4 by the end of the year.



Pokémon Legends Arceus and Pokémon Violet are up there too. In terms of indies, I Was a Teenage Exocolonist and Roguebook are both amazing.
I love how fluid the battles feel in Sparks of Hope, the way you can move all your characters freely each turn as many times as you want is just great for setting up team jumps, using abilities, etc. I like how distinctive all the heroes play too, combined with the Sparks you can make each one really unique, and also how unlike in the first game there aren't any restrictions to your team configuration. Really loving the game so far.