Category Archives: Games played

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.

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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.

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…

September in Gaming

Decent amount of games played and completed this month, almost a return to form.


Games completed this month

headerMurdered: Soul Suspect – Xbox One

This has been in my backlog for a while. I had a couple of days sick in September, where I was stuck on the couch, but couldn’t bring myself to play any of my usual games. This turned out to be just the right pace. It’s only slightly more involved than a Telltale Game, but it ticks along nicely. Has a good story, and includes several interesting game mechanics. Did leave me wanting to watch the Salem TV series though…

custom-disc-labels-for-the-saturn-panzer-dragoon-gamesPanzer Dragoon – Sega Saturn

I’ve technically been playing this on and off for years, as I originally had it with my Saturn the first time round. This month I fired it up just to test my machine because another game was crashing a lot and I wanted to make sure it was the game not the console. However, I managed to clear the game for the first time ever, which was very pleasing! Might crack on and see if I can beat Panzer Dragoon Zwei next.
Ori & the Blind Forest: DE – Xbox Oneheader (1)

A fun and adorable little metroidvania (yeah I like the term, sue me). I’ve mostly really enjoyed this, although the ‘temple escape’ sections are frustrating. No interest in going for a 100% completion, but still an easy game to recommend.

507156bc-fa81-4f82-b487-5c69ad1c671eForza Motorsport 6 – Xbox One

Just in time for the release of Forza Motorsport 7, I managed to clear the Career mode of 6. I’ll probably to continue to play this on and off, and I’m also dabbling with Forza 5 since it appeared in the free Games with Gold, and as with the Horizon games, it’s good to contribute to my Forza Rewards level.


Also played in September

ChildOfEden_HeaderChild of Eden – PS3

After last month’s fun with PSVR using the move controllers, I decided to stick with them and revisit this. Still in no danger of completing it, but it remains fun. Pretty similar in gameplay to Panzer Dragoon so I may keep coming back to it. Also reminded me that I should at some point play Rez properly…

header (2)Pinball FX3 – PC / PS4 / Xbox One

Had a little trouble getting my PlayStation & Xbox tables imported, but on PC via Steam the update was seamless. Really like the new polish, and have spent a bit of time with some of my Marvel tables again. PC version is lovely to play on my vertical screen too.

August Games – VR Edition

Aside from falling down a Hearthstone well, I managed a very limited amount of gaming during August. However, at the end of the month I went out to visit friends in The Netherlands, and put in some time with their PSVR setup. Thankfully I managed to complete one of the games too.

The cost of VR is still prohibitive to me, but these games have convinced me enough that I would buy a PSVR set given a significant price drop.


Games completed this month

rush-of-bloodUntil Dawn: Rush of Blood – PS4 / PSVR

I’ve always been a fan of the on-rails lightgun shooter (see this post for more) and this is quite possibly the finest example I’ve ever played. It’s also the first time I’ve found dual wielding guns to shoot independent targets to be really functional.

I’m not entirely sure how it fits with the main Until Dawn game, but the horror setting works really well. Plenty of jump scares and modern horror tropes, I’d love to spend some more time with this one. Although I did manage to complete the game on the normal difficulty, I’d like to try and tackle some of the more challenging modes.


Also played in August

K2aCRhlStar Trek Bridge Commander – PS4 / PSVR

Nerdy as hell, and obviously not going to appeal to everyone, but this is one of the finest gaming experiences I’ve ever had. I played as the engineer with 3 random strangers online, it was great fun to be in the iconic environment of a Star Trek bridge. The scope for how great this would be with 3 friends who also enjoy Star Trek is huge.

maxresdefaultPolybius – PS4 / PSVR

This is one of my own games, not sure how I missed writing about it in my blog post when I bought it on release in May. It’s an excellent new shooter from Llamasoft, and I already found it to be enjoyable just playing on my TV. On VR the experience is something else though, and a really pure gaming experience.

Thumper-11-HDThumper – PS4 / PSVR

Much like with Polybius, this is a game I already own. I wrote about it last month but got to play it for the first time in VR. This is clearly the best way to experience the game, and I found I quickly got passed the place I had been struggling with when playing on my TV.

 

 

 

July Gaming

Games completed during July

Another light month with a couple of late completions keeping me on a roll.

hotd4feature

House of the Dead 4 – PS3

Dusted off the PS Move controllers and gun holders to play this properly with my partner. We cleared it with one credit to spare, I’m still not sure how I feel about the Uzi as a main gun, but it is definitely easier on your trigger finger!


c7d69af8-3256-42fb-9585-10b30aa1cbb6 Forza Horizon 2: Fast & Furious – XB1

This standalone DLC for FH2 was originally available for free before going up to its regular price of £7.99. Unfortunately I missed the free window before I got my Xbox One, and my general dislike for the Fast & Furious licence put me off handing over the cash. However, in a recent sale it was available for < £2, so I took the plunge. Ultimately it’s just more Forza Horizon 2, enjoyable enough with the added bonus of having Ludacris in the role of the announcer. Also this is the first Forza content I’ve managed to 100% for achievements & Forza Rewards, so that’s something at least.


Also played / picked up in July

header (1) Half Life 2: Episode One – PC

I’ve had this in my Steam library pretty much forever, and never got round to playing it. To be fair I was about 10 years late to playing Half Life 2, so whatever. I think I’m about 2 hours into this, give or take, so probably about 50% completion. I hadn’t really paid any attention to this when it came out, so I’ve been presently surprised that it was less of a shooter than the main game, and more of a physics puzzler. Hopefully I’ll wrap it up soon so I can tick it off my list in August.


Thumper – PS4Thumper-11-HD

A game that I had filed away as something to look at if I ever get PSVR, I had heard increasingly good things about it on several podcasts. It was on sale on the PS Store so I decided to give it a go. It’s kind of like the old Vib Ribbon game on the original PlayStation, albeit from a 3D viewpoint. Enjoyed it so far, but it is tough. Looks and sounds incredible though, hoping to get a chance to try it in VR.


Retired in July

headerAssault Android Cactus – PC

In keeping with a previous promise to myself that I would stop playing games when they were no longer fun, I’ve decided to shelve this. Assault Android Cactus is a great twin-stick shooter, but I’ve been stuck on the last boss for ages getting increasingly frustrated. Now I’m playing Nex Machina, I’ve got no desire to persist with this.

Gaming in June

Games completed during June

Almost went the full month without completing anything, but a couple of clears at the end of the month saved me from a duck.


maxresdefaultNex Machina – PS4

Bit of a cheat this, since I’ll still be playing it for some time to come. I did however manage a 1CC on Rookie difficulty. Now working on Experienced. The game is a masterpiece, does for Robotron 2084 what Resogun did for Defender. Housemarque continue to be one of my favourite developers.


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

Cleared the Story. Was planning on holding off on buying this one, until a GOTY edition was released with all the DLC. I hate the fighting game model of buying extra characters for a full price game. (See Killer Instinct for how to do that right.) Too many of my friends were playing though, and I caved. Glad I bought it though as it is fantastic.


Also played & picked up in June

wipeout-omega-collection-listing-thumb-us-03dec16Wipeout Omega Collection – PS4

Not sure how I’ve managed to get worse at this, but the collection is great value. Basically the content from Wipeout HD & the Fury expansion on PS3, and Wipeout 2048 on the Vita, but all running at a swish 1080p 60fps. It’s gorgeous. Although I still hold out some hope that the franchise will be resurrected despite Studio Liverpool’s demise, if this was to be the last release, it does at least do the series justice.


crash-bandicoot-trilogy-trailerCrash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy – PS4

Much like the Wipeout Collection, this is another compilation of older content. This time collecting and remaking all 3 classic Crash Bandicoot games from the original PlayStation. Also like the Wipeout Collection, it looks great, and is rock hard. I’m having a bit of a nightmare with it to be honest, but I’ll stick with it for a bit longer!


Retired in June

MordorMiddle Earth: Shadow of Mordor – Xbox One

After 4 and a half hours of gameplay, I’m giving this the boot. Although the combat feels satisfying in a Batman Arkham sort of way, that’s where the enjoyment ended for me. Found it impossible to care about the story or the endless Orcs, despite the renowned ‘Nemesis’ system. All the work felt like ‘busy work’ to me. Happy to accept that it might just be me on this one though, since it seems almost universally popular. Still not really a fan of open world games, and they need to be something special to draw me in.