Category Archives: Videogames

All-Time Top 5 Racing Games

Racing games are still amongst my favourite game genres, despite my general apathy towards cars in real life. I’ve approached this list in my usual way, taking into account nostalgia and enjoyment. There was the normal amount of ‘almost made it’ games, so they’ll follow at the end.

Reverse order, as ever:

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5) Forza Motorsport 7 (Xbox One)

This very nearly didn’t make the list at all, and I strongly considered using an earlier entry. Once you’re in a race, I’m of the opinion that there is no better ‘realistic’ racing to be had than Forza 7. They’ve also improved the single player career mode to make it much more interesting than the last few iterations, 5 and 6 particularly were so very stale in that regard. However, in their ongoing bid to cash in on every possible additional revenue stream, the lootboxes, mods and pointless ‘Driver Outfits’ have made much of the experience incredibly tedious. Coupled with huge load times, this stuff grates even more. So annoying, because ‘in race’ it’s superb and looks stunning. Argh.

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4) Rage Racer (PlayStation)

Could easily have been any of the original PlayStation era Ridge Racer series, but this is the one I still choose to go back to now. I think Ridge Racer Type 4 is almost certainly the better game, but I just didn’t spend as much time with it. The art style of Rage Racer is really distinctive, and stands out against other racers not just in the series but across the 32 bit era.

Sadly I never got on with any of the Ridge Racer’s post PS1, and mostly just pretend the series ended with Type 4.

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3) Sega Rally (SEGA Saturn)

I still remember when I first saw Sega Rally running on my Saturn. It was the first time it really felt like I had ‘Arcade quality’ games at home, and also when I really started getting into Racing Games. Before the Saturn & PlayStation appeared, the racing games I liked tended to be of the top down variety, i.e. Micro Machines, Super Sprint. I always found it difficult to really get into the ‘driving into the screen’ style of racing games, even classics like Outrun, because I couldn’t escape the feeling that the car was staying still and the track was rushing towards me. Once polygons arrived, this was mostly mitigated for me, and I’ve never looked back.

Sega Rally remains an absolute joy to play, and it’s a testament to the quality of the game that many otherwise forgotten arcades around the country, manage to have a functioning Sega Rally twin cabinet amongst their gambling machines, and that it still draws in players.

 

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2) WipEout Omega Collection (PS4)

While the demise of Studio Liverpool has made it very unlikely we’ll get a true new Wipeout game, their last few releases had been refining content from earlier in the series. This latest collection put together by new developers is a masterpiece, and pretty much essential for a PS4 owner. All the content from the PS3 and Vita games, remastered to be a full 60 fps at 1080p. It’s gorgeous, and just as fun as it ever was. This month should see them release a free VR patch, which makes the entire game playable in PSVR. I can’t wait.

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1) Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One)

When the original Forza Horizon first appeared, I really wasn’t convinced. I was much more into Forza Motorsport 4. This changed when I got my Xbox One though, I picked up Forza Horizon 2 and fell in love. It has the polish of the Motorsport games, but is just so much more fun, and easier to play in short bursts. I find I can play for half an hour in the morning before work, and make good progress in events. Horizon 3 was even better, giving an all new map and it didn’t hurt that when it arrived it was the best looking game on the console. The 2 DLC packs, Blizzard Mountain & Hot Wheels, are also outstanding and pretty much essential.

While this third game in the series is comfortably my favourite, what I like about  Forza Horizon is that the maps are so different, it is still worth playing the earlier games. I’m hoping they follow their own pattern, and release Forza Horizon 4 this year.


Other mentions:

Mario Kart (DS & Wii) – This probably would have made my list if I’d been making it a few years ago. Although the series would likely be in my top 10, I have drifted away a bit. I adored the DS and Wii versions, and put many hours into multiplayer on both. However, 7 was a bit of a disappointment on the 3DS, and I’m yet to own either a Wii U or Switch to spend time with 8. Maybe that’ll change in the future, but neither console is on my radar yet.

Porsche Challenge & Rally Cross (PlayStation) – I have great memories of both of these, and on nostalgia alone they’d probably be in my top 5. However, when I started drafting this list, I went back and played a bit of Porsche Challenge, and unlike Rage Racer & SEGA Rally, it hasn’t aged well at all. Borderline unplayable, I was too scared to go try Rally Cross.

Drive Club (PS4) – I have no doubt that this is now a great game. It was admittedly a mess at launch, but the developers worked on it with frequent updates and it is now a very polished racer. Until Forza Horizon 3 came along it was the best looking racing game I’d ever played. Unfortunately I find it too difficult, and was unable to make too much progress. I got quite a bit more mileage out of the Motorbikes expansion, but just not prepared to put in the extra time to improve. Ultimately Forza Horizon and Motorsport series are better games and I’d sooner spend more time with those.

 

 

 

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2018 in Games

As I did this at the start of 2017, I thought I’d do a similar post for 2018. I’ll take a quick look back at 2017, followed by 10 games I’d like to play during 2018 (a mixture of old ones from the Backlog and some newer releases), and then end with a list of games announced for 2018 that I’m looking forward to (or at least interested in).


2017 Round-up

I am delighted with how much gaming progress I made in 2017, managing to complete 36 games. These included 6 of the 9 I originally planned to play for the year. Of those that I didn’t finish:

  1. Gears of War 4 – Xbox One
    I’ve carried this one forward to play in 2018. Simply because I’ll be playing it with my buddy in co-op, and we’ve got a play through of Halo 2 on the go that we need to finish first!
  2. Riven – PC
    I did mention this on the blog, but I had some absolute nightmares trying to get this to run without frequent crashes, and ultimately gave up. I did play through RealMYST during 2017 though, and I’ve put Myst 3 onto my list for 2018.
  3. Banjo-Tooie – Xbox One Rare Replay (N64)
    I retired this in the end because I just wasn’t enjoying it. I still believe Banjo Kazooie is a great game, but the sequel, not so much.

I have found the website “How Long to Beat” to be very helpful in focusing on what I want to play, and used it through the year to keep track of my progress. My Profile is here and I like how it shows what I’m currently playing, what I’ve completed already, and my custom tab is set to show the 2018 goal list that I’ll breakdown below.


10 Games I hope to play during 2018

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  1. Gears of War 4 – Xbox One (rolled over from 2017)

    As above, this is my one carry over from last year’s list, and is next in line once my buddy and I finish Halo 2.

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  2. StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void – PC

    I really enjoyed playing through Heart of the Swarm last year, and have been meaning to get round to this for a while. I think if I do beat this one, I might pick up the remaster of the original StarCraft to play.

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  3. Skies of Arcadia Legends – Game Cube / Wii

    As I mentioned in my Japanese RPG post last year, this is one I’ve always fancied. Putting it on this list means I will most likely get round to giving it a go! (Won’t be ruling out giving up before the end though, we’ll see)

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  4. Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy – PS4

    I think this is the third time I’ve bought this game, and still never played it. 2018 will be the year!

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  5. Super Metroid – SNES / Wii

    A testament to how much I’ve been enjoying Axiom Verge, I intend to finally give this game a proper go. Although I do still need to finish off Axiom Verge first…

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  6. Wolfenstein 2: New Colossus – PS4

    Wolfenstein: The New Order was one of the best First Person Shooters I’ve played in a long time, and have been looking forward to this sequel for a while. Fortunately a copy turned up for Christmas this year, so I’ve got this on the ready-to-play pile.

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  7. Myst 3: Exile – PC

    Working my way through all the Myst games has always been on the agenda, but got derailed last year thanks to the difficulties I had getting Riven to work properly. Hopefully as I play more the modern releases, I’ll leave those issues behind me, and I’ll be able to play Myst 3 without issue.

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  8. Broken Sword 5: The Serpents Curse – Vita

    I loved the first two Broken Sword games, but haven’t played any since. Middling reviews of 3 and 4 meant they largely passed me by, but I have heard good things about number 5. The Vita version was free with PS Plus recently, and feels like a good way to play it.

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  9. The Last Express – PC

    A classic adventure game I’ve heard great things about but never got round to playing. I grabbed it on Steam a while back, and am looking forward to giving it a go. It’s also set on a train, which is a nice bonus.

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  10. Quantum Break – Xbox One

    This seems to have received mixed reviews, but I am intrigued enough by the premise to be looking forward to seeing for myself. As with Wolfenstein 2 above, I also received this for Christmas so we’re good to go.


Releases I’m looking forward to…

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  1. The Inpatient – PSVR

    This new horror game from Supermassive Games really has me interested. It’s another VR title set in the Until Dawn universe. I have really enjoyed the first two Until Dawn games, and Rush of Blood is one of the best games I’ve played in VR. I’m very keen to see what they do with this one.

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  2. Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition – PS4

    Although I think this is getting a new retail release, it’s a bit of a cheat me putting this on here since I think I’ll be getting the main ‘Arcade Edition’ content as a free patch for my original retail copy. (It’s possible the retail one might include DLC characters that I won’t get, but I literally only use Ken anyway…) I’m mostly interested to see if this patch finally redeems the utter shambles of the original release or not.

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  3. Vampyr – PS4

    I don’t really know much about this, other than it’s from the people who created Life is Strange, one of the best games I played last year. That game was so good that I was always going to be interested in whatever they did next.

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  4. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection – PS4

    Still plenty of time for Capcom to stuff this right up, but on paper it currently looks amazing. A collection of twelve 2D Street Fighter games from the original side scroller up to Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. Online play is being included for Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter 2: Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. If they avoid any major blunders, I anticipate getting a lot of hours out of this one!

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  5. Wolf Among Us Season 2 – Xbox One

    The original game is still one of the best Telltale Games, and I’m eager for more story in the Fables universe. They really, really, really need to give the engine an overhaul/replacement though.

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  6. Metro Exodus – PS4

    A bit cautious about this one. Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light are both outstanding (as evidenced by their appearance in my Top 5 Horror Games list). However, as I mentioned on that previous post, Exodus seems to be moving towards that bane of modern gaming (no not loot boxes, the other one), an open world environment. I’m hoping I’ll be proven wrong, but a big part of what made the first two games so good was their focused gameplay and claustrophobic environments.

December Gaming

Probably should have posted this before doing my top 5 of the year, but I only completed one game during December that came out in 2017, and it wasn’t going to make my top 5. At least I should wrap it up before the games I want to play in 2018 post, and happily acknowledge that I managed to complete at least one game every month last year.

Hurrah.


Games completed during December
header (6) Doki Doki Literature Club – PC

This game is frankly bizarre, and to talk about it is to spoil it. It is free to play though, so if you have any interest at all, it’s worth grabbing and trying. The first hour is absolute dross though, so prepare to force yourself through that. (Unless you like Visual Novel Dating Sims I guess, they might all be like this). After an hour or so the game takes a major twist, and from then on it’s excellent.

header-9-1Batman Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart – PC

I intended to go back to this and just play through some of the side missions I passed by on my first play through, but then discovered I owned this piece of DLC I had never tried. Glad I took the time to correct that though. The DLC still ticked the festive box I was aiming for when I picked the game up as something to play during December, although unlike the main game it’s set on New Year’s Eve, rather than Christmas Eve. Although Origins is probably the weakest Batman game in the Arkham series, this is the best bit of story DLC for any of them. I am now tempted to pick up the “Return to Arkham” remastering of the first two games, and play them again.

retro_review_christmas_nights_into_dreams_titleChristmas Nights – Xbox 360 / XB1 BC

Compulsory to play over Christmas, although little more than a demo, it’s an absolute joy and can’t help but make me feel festive.

 

 


Also played in December

header (1)Worms WMD – PS4

Always great to be able to get this out for some local multiplayer, so much fun. Also makes me happy that it has little Santa hats for the Worms to wear.

main_imageDirt Rally VR – PSVR

Grabbed this in a sale, as what seems to be the best option for a racing game on VR. (At least until the Wipeout patch). It looks amazing, feels great to play, and I didn’t experience too much motion sickness. Only felt a bit ill the third time I rolled my car down a hill, fortunately that properly broke my car and I was forced to retire. More practice needed!

PSVRUntil Dawn: Rush of Blood and Thumper – PSVR

Spent a bit more time with these now I have my own headset. Both are amazing games, I’m working through an ‘Insane’ play through of Until Dawn, and maybe one day I’ll manage a normal completion of Thumper too.

3de1c108c46be0894bb939bd9dd922b99e69628aOvercooked! – Xbox One

Found time for a bit more local multiplayer, this time it was for an evening of ‘Overcooked’. Given the season we tackled the Festive DLC first, and then went back to try and progress the main game. The three of us are definitely improving, but we need more practice. And chef’s hats.

Top 5 Games 2017

That time again to look back over the last twelve months and highlight my favourite games of the year. I was surprised to find that there are two remakes / remasters on this list, and that all of my top five were on the PS4 (although only two are exclusive to the platform). I have this time stuck closely to the brief, and all 5 were released in 2017. If I had decided to include all the games I’d played this year, we’d probably have Panzer Dragoon Saga on this list, but otherwise I think the line up would be pretty similar.


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5)  Everybody’s Golf – PS4

A series that I’ve had a passing interest in since the original PlayStation, the first time I put a lot of time into it in single player was on the Vita. That game was a joy and I still revisit it when travelling. This latest version is delightful, I’m really enjoying playing through the career mode and the multiplayer is great fun both online and locally.

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4) WipEout Omega Collection – PS4

The first of two remasters on the list, WipEout Omega Collection is slightly bittersweet. After the closing of Studio Liverpool by Sony, a proper new WipEout seems unlikely at best. However, if this is to be the last game for the franchise, it’s a truly fitting finale. Containing all the content from the PS3 and Vita games (the Vita edition itself was something of a remastering of content from the PSP games), but running at a crisp 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second. An absolutely essential PS4 release. This could be a system seller all on its own, and apparently we’re getting a free update in first quarter 2018 to make the whole thing playable in PSVR.

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3) Injustice 2 – PS4

If Street Fighter V was a demonstration of how not to make a fighting game interesting to the casual single player, Injustice 2 is a shining example of how it can be done. The first Injustice game was a complete surprise, a great fighting game with the DC licence being previously unheard of. It’s interesting that the Marvel licence had a run of great fighting games, that seems to have ended with the mediocre Marvel vs Capcom Infinite. Perhaps the universe only has room for one of them to be good at a time.

Injustice 2 built on the success of the first game, and despite my initial doubts about the gear system, it turned out to be a stroke of genius. I’m presently addicted to farming xp for all the characters, and chasing the loot in a Diablo-esque manner. While lootboxes are the bane of so many modern games, Injustice 2 throws so many of them at you via its Multiverse events, I’ve never felt pressured to spend any real money on micro-transactions and am regularly opening 50+ boxes of shiny new tat for my heroes.

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2) Nex Machina – PS4

Since releasing Nex Machina (and Matterfall, which I bought but haven’t really got round to playing yet) the developers, Housemarque, have announced that they’re leaving the genre behind, and won’t be making any more of these Arcade style experiences. I am fascinated to see what they do next, as the quality of their output cannot be denied. I’ll certainly miss their arcade games though. Nex Machina stands alongside Resogun as one of the best games on the PS4, and deserved to sell much better than it did.

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1) WonderBoy: The Dragon’s Trap – PS4

It’s possible I’ll be alone in placing a remake as my Game of the Year, but this was a real highlight of 2017 for me. The new benchmark for remakes, this smashed all my expectations. WonderBoy 3 was one of my favourite games back on the Master System, and this update was clearly produced by people who loved it at least as much as I did. I adore the new art, and it sounds great too. The fact that you can also play with any combination of old or new graphics, sound & music is also delightful. (I played much of it with modern graphics and music, and those classic sound fx).

The Dragon’s Trap gameplay holds up as well today as it did back then, and this is hands down the best game of 2017 for me. A triumph.

November Games

Only one real completion in November, but I’m going to throw a second in on a technicality. Well it is my blog.


Games completed this month

header (2)Nights into Dreams – Xbox 360 / XB1 BC

Although I did play through this last year on Steam, Nights was recently added to the free Games with Gold on Xbox, so I sat down to clear the main story with both characters in order to unlock Christmas Nights, ready to play over the holidays.

injustice-2-listing-thumb-01-ps4-us-06jun16Injustice 2 (again) – PS4

Yes, I’ve counted Injustice 2 before, when I first cleared the story mode. I’ve put a lot of hours into this during November though, and thought I’d record another couple of milestones. Firstly I went back and cleared the alternative choices in the story mode that I couldn’t do on my original play-through (unfortunately this meant siding with Superman, urgh). This month I also cleared the arcade mode in the multiverse with every character to unlock all their unique endings. I’m aiming to get every character to level 20, albeit with the AI doing a lot of the grinding. In this manner I’ve been using remote play on my Vita to play the game as almost a Superhero management sim, so I still gain XP / loot and contribute to my guild’s progress, when I don’t have time to break out my arcade stick.


Also played in November

headerAxiom Verge – Vita

I had been waiting for a deal on the Vita version of Axiom Verge, as although the Steam version was often available for very cheap, it seemed more suited to handheld play. I’m glad I waited as it is excellent on the Vita, and a great game all round. I’m probably around half way through, although my progress has been somewhat derailed by using my vita for Injustice 2. I’m going about this a bit backwards, as I never really got into any of the 2D Metroid games, but playing Axiom Verge has definitely bumped Super Metroid further up my “to play” list.

everybodys-golf-1_1Everybody’s Golf – PS4

This game is a joy. I played a fair amount of Everybody’s Golf back on the Vita, and am thoroughly enjoying this new version. It’s perfect for a quick game, with a round of golf taking around 10 – 15 minutes.

38923-Punisher,_The_(Europe)-1459753927The Punisher – Mega Drive

Safe to say I’m a late comer to this port, but this year I discovered it is one of the best brawlers on the Mega Drive. Playing in co-op with my partner, we’re yet to beat it, but we are getting there! One or the other of us has made it to the Kingpin each time, but I think we’ll need to get there together (and with some spare lives!) if we’re going to beat him.

header (5)Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened – PC

Still playing this, about 70% of the way through. Hopefully I’ll be able to tick it off in December, I seem to have too many games on the go again!

 


November Pick Ups

PSVRPlaystation VR

I almost made it through the whole Black Friday / Cyber Monday farce unscathed. The only bit of hardware I was keen to pick up was the PSVR headset, as I wrote about after trying it in August. Before the sales started I set myself a hard limit, if I could get the Headset alone for less than £200, I’d bite. I already owned some games, the camera and move controllers, so I wasn’t interested in a bundle. The sales included some very impressive bundle deals, which rapidly sold out everywhere, but nothing on the standalone headset.

That was until I discovered that Amazon had a blanket 20% off all of their Amazon Warehouse deals. In the end I picked up a ‘like new’ headset for £191. I’m very pleased with it, the outer packaging was ripped, but inside everything was mint, with all the protective plastic film still in place. So far I’ve mostly been playing the games I talked about in August, but hopefully my library will increase a bit over Christmas. Particularly keen to get Star Trek, a racing game, Rez Infinite and a few smaller titles like Batman, VR Worlds, and probably the VR addon for Super Stardust HD.

All-Time Top 5 Horror Games

There is probably going to be some poetic licence on the genre here, but they are all games I consider to be either horror or that I at least found scary. Given the topic of the list, it’ll probably be surprising that there are no Resident Evil or Silent Hill games here, but I’ve never been much of a fan. I love the idea of them, and the stories intrigue me, but the gameplay is just so tedious. Too much backtracking, and survival horror staples of things like limited ammo are much more annoying when you also have to deal with truly frightful camera angles and controls. Disclaimer here is that I’m yet to properly play Resident Evil 4, or try Silent Hill 2. I’ve heard enough about both to think I might enjoy those ones, so do intend to give them a go.

Other games missing are those that lean heavily on the ‘hide in the cupboard until the monster goes away’ mechanic (Alien Isolation & Amnesia, I’m looking at you). As I mentioned in my comments on The Evil Within, this doesn’t do anything for me either. Those aside, I’ll also include the usual list of ‘almost made it’ titles at the end.

5) Alan Wake (Xbox 360 / XB1 BC)

bNmnGBgAbsolutely should just be called “Stephen King” the game, the influences are blinding. Incredibly atmospheric and an absorbing story. The combat was fiddly, but became manageable enough with perseverance. I found I’d got zero patience to go back to that style when I attempted to play the DLC however, but the game itself deserves its place on this list.


4) Until Dawn (PS4)

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Completely took me back to that period of horror movies when everything was Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer. The game play is pretty much a Telltale Game with jump scares and more QTEs, but it works well to deliver an entertaining story. The whole thing is about 8 hours long which I managed to play in one sitting. I’d highly recommend playing it that way if you can find the time.


3) Limbo & Inside (Vita & PS4)

ALi-1-460x215Cheating a bit and lumping these two together. The gameplay mechanics are near enough identical, and although the stories are different, even they have similarities. I played Limbo entirely on my Vita, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had on the handheld. I was a bit disappointed Inside didn’t come to Vita, as I would definitely have played it that way as well. Some of the most atmospheric 2D platforming I’ve ever experienced. Something about the storytelling & gameplay evokes “Another World”, if you haven’t played either of these are definitely worth checking out.


2) Condemned: Criminal Origins (Xbox 360)

steamworkshop_webupload_previewfile_370687669_previewOne of the first games I played on the 360, this was a very pleasant surprise. It’s the only game I’ve played that really did a good job of Melee combat in a first person view. It’s also the only game in this list that I had to stop playing and turn all the lights on for a break when it got too much. I didn’t get very far with the sequel, but I’d like to give it another try if it comes to backwards compatibility on the Xbox One.


1) Metro Redux (PS4)

Metro-2033-Redux-Shows-Up-in-the-Steam-for-Linux-Database-456826-2My favourite horror game(s), and would probably also appear on a top 5 FPS games list. I’m cheating again as this is two games, and I played the remasters on PS4. I took a break in between playing the two games to read the first novel, Metro 2033 (the book the games are based on), and was completely immersed in that world, I was dreaming of those tunnels for months. I’ve since read a couple more in the series, and I’m cautiously excited about a new game. The new game appears to be leaning towards an open world style however, so I’m not holding my breath.


Other mentions:

The first two that almost made it, are both games I played over the last few months. Oxenfree & Murdered: Soul Suspect. Also should drop in a mention for the House of the Dead series, and also by extension the Resident Evil Chronicles games. I really like these, but as light gun games I can’t say I find them scary and they’d feel out of place in the list for me. The following are games I highly rate or had promise, but for one reason or another I’ve never played them through to completion, so I disqualified them from consideration for the top 5. They are:

Eternal Darkness (Gamecube)

eternal_darkness__sanity_s_requiem___steam_grid_by_theeverygameproject-d8d5k2rI’m hoping to go back and replay this, as I’m sure it would be in the top 5 if I’d actually completed it. Sadly I was heavily into a playthrough on my Wii when I got my first Xbox 360, by the time the novelty of the new console had worn off and I tried going back to finish Eternal Darkness, I couldn’t remember anything that was going on in my save. It is highly regarded by most people who have played it, and rightly so.


Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (PC)

headerReally wanted to love this, the theme and tension of the first hour or so are amazing. Unfortunately I don’t know if that continues for the rest of the game, as it was ridiculously unstable, and I abandoned it after about the 20th game breaking bug.


Ecco the Dolphin (Mega Drive)

header (1)No I’m not kidding, this game is terrifying! Watched my sister complete it once, but playing it myself it gets too much once I get to Open Ocean. *shudder*

 


Dead Space (PC / Xbox 360)

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I’ve started this about 3 times, each time enjoying myself but for some reason not going back to it. It does seem really good, so I keep it on my backlog, for one more try.

 


 

Gaming in October

October Gaming

Only 2 games completed, and one of those barely counts. Decent amount of games played though, so here we go.


Games completed this month

oxenfreeOxen Free – Xbox One

This was an absolute joy, and although I’d heard positive things, I had no idea what it was about (or even what kind of game it was). Turns out it’s a creepy little adventure game, and well worth your time.

header (3)The Beginners Guide – PC

This is one of those games that I heard great things about, and after playing it I was left wondering why. Some mild existential stuff going on, but it’s mostly just drivel. Only finished it as it took about 80 minutes, and by the time I’d finished hoping it was going to improve, it ended.


Also played in October

2018-porsche-911-gt2-rs-on-the-cover-of-forza-motorsport-7_100609564_mForza Motorsport 7 – Xbox One

Not entirely sure how I feel about this. The Career mode is easily the best it has been since Forza 2 or 3, later games in the series became so very stale. However it has also tripled down on heinous micro-transactions. Plenty has been written about the mods & loot crate systems elsewhere, but for my two cents: the mods are an annoying distraction at best, and the loot boxes (and by extension the pointless driver clothes that you only see when your avatar is loitering in menus) are completely out of place and soil the the rest of the game. Once in a race, it’s the best serious racer I’ve ever played, but the mods and loot box systems are absolute trash. Hence Forza 7 manages to also be both my favourite and least favourite Forza Motorsport game yet. Urgh. Roll on Horizon 4 and let’s hope they don’t ruin this one with sleazy cash grabs.

header (5)Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened – PC

I’ve somehow got loads of these Sherlock Holmes games across my various digital libraries, and never played any. Decided to start here with the Lovecraftian influenced Awakened, as it seemed appropriate for Halloween and who doesn’t like a bit of Cthulhu? I’m enjoying it and certainly expect to get to the end. Not sure if I’ll play any others from the series though.

header (6)Doki Doki Literature Club – PC

My experiences with visual novels haven’t been great. The two I’ve attempted previously lasted barely half an hour each. The first left me mildly traumatised as I discovered it was some kind of horror porn (this was about 20 years ago and the internet is a scary place kids), and the second was the frankly bizarre Hatoful Boyfriend. People raved about Hatoful Boyfriend but the characters were just too annoying for me to get far enough to find any story. At any rate I’ve decided to give this one a go, given the promise of some fourth wall breaking psychological horror. Jury is out.

header (7)Sky Force Anniversary – Vita

Passable shmup on the Vita, not blowing me away but it was free on PS Plus, and entertaining enough to play a few lives when hungover. Fully expecting to get bored of this before I get anywhere near the end, but I might give it a bit longer.


Retired / Thrown in the Sea* this month

header (4)The Evil Within – Xbox One

Buying this was a mistake really. Found it in a charity shop for a couple of quid and should have left it there. The gameplay is pure Resident Evil / Silent Hill with added Amnesia style hiding in cupboards. Not a fan of any of those tropes and I lasted less than an hour before I turned it off. The second time I climbed into the obviously person sized locker in a room to successfully evade a massive chap with a chainsaw (or something else sharp), my suspension of disbelief collapsed. Your mileage may vary.

*Not actually thrown in the sea…

October pick ups

Grabbed a couple of games in the Halloween sales that I’ve been meaning to play for a while…

fjNzEHqVampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines – PC

Not sure how I’ll take to this, but heard so much good stuff, it was certainly worth a punt for £3. As written about previously my RPG tolerance is generally low, but I can sometimes overcome that with a good setting.

 

3082597-indigoFahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy – PS4

Think this is the third time I’ve bought Fahrenheit. Had it previously for Xbox & PC, but don’t seem to own either anymore and never got round to playing it. Maybe this time…