Tag Archives: xbox

January Gaming

2018 is off to a pretty respectable start, chalking up three completions, on three different systems. Granted 2 of them were games started last year, but it’s all progress. Nothing ticked off the 2018 goals yet, but I’ve started one, so we’re all good.

Games Completed During January

header (5)Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened – PC

Pleased to finally finish this, although I had hoped to wrap it up in December. It was pretty enjoyable as Point and Click’s go, but I’m not going to be in a hurry to play more of this series until I’ve cleared some others in the genre from the backlog. If the idea of Sherlock Holmes investigating mysteries in the Cthulhu Mythos appeals to you, I’d also recommend the compilation of short stories, “Shadows Over Baker Street.”

headerAxiom Verge – Vita

Very satisfying to get properly stuck into a game again on my Vita. This has been an absolute blast and is the main reason I’m finally planning to get to Super Metroid. Axiom Verge is perfect on a handheld, and is definitely the way I’d recommend it be played. I believe there is also a Switch version if that’s your thing.

headerLife is Strange: Before the Storm – PS4

I wasn’t expecting too much from this, given how much I loved the first game. I had doubts once I heard it was being done by a different studio, and that as a prequel it didn’t even include the main character. I shouldn’t have worried though, this is a great game in its own right. It’s not quite as emotionally heavy hitting as the first game, but it still has plenty of moments. Once you reach the end, if you’ve played the original game, the context of already knowing what happens after the events of “Before the Storm” hits all the harder.

Also Played in January

PuyoPuyoTetrisLogoPuyo Puyo Tetris – PS4

After mentioning this earlier in the month in my Local Multiplayer blog post, I managed to play some of this in the 3 player mode. We played a variety of game types, and it was excellent. Too early to say if it would have made the top 5, but it is a great contender.

Wolfenstein-II-01-HDWolfenstein 2: The New Colossus – PS4

I got this for Christmas, and have made a start on the campaign. Early signs are that it’s just as fun as Wolfenstein: The New Order, and the story is already compelling, but it does seem a bit harder. I shall continue.

January Pickups & Purchases 

Blood-Bowl-2Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition – PS4

Despite already owning the first Blood Bowl game on PC, where I’ve only completed one match, I decided I wanted to give this another go. Mostly because some of my other friends have picked it up, so it could be great for multiplayer. Also though, I’ve now had a couple of games of the physical board game, and enjoyed it enough to pick up my own team. I bought a team of 12 elves, which took me approximately 8 hours to build, as they are much more complicated models than the other races available so far, and also because I don’t generally get involved in building minis for anything.

ryqmMYST IV – PC

Now I have a play through of Myst 3 planned for this year, it seemed a good time to address the one gap in my collection for the Myst series. This was also prompted by watching Lewis Clark over on Twitter replaying MYST and getting excited by the extended universe. Also thanks to Lewis for pointing out that the 32 bit console versions of Riven are quite playable. I’m now considering playing Riven on my Saturn, having previously given up on the PC version due to bugs.

header (1)Shoppe Keep – PS4

This is a bit leftfield. I went to a video game quiz night in Brighton, hosted by the team at Eurogamer. We had a great time, but didn’t actually do very well. Everyone who took part won a game in a lucky dip though, and I won a physical copy of this. Had no idea what to expect, but I immediately put a couple of hours into it. I can see me sticking with it for a while.

Wulverblade-previewWulverblade – PS4

Been waiting for this for a long time. I am friends with the creator so I had promised I’d pick it up on day one anyway, but it really is fantastic. The gameplay is a very satisfying Golden Axe style brawler, polished with a great art style, some strong voice work, and plenty of history. Definitely an easy recommendation if you enjoy Golden Axe, Streets of Rage etc.

maxresdefault (1)More Storage Space

This month I took advantage of a couple of Amazon sales & promotional codes to upgrade the storage on both my Xbox One & PC. Back when I wrote this post about upgrading console hard drives on a budget, 1 TB was plenty for my Xbox One. I’ve now replaced the external 500GB drive with a nice 2TB, giving me much more to play with, and means I can stop shuffling my installed games every time a new Games with Gold release appears.

Similarly, my Steam folder on my PC passed the 1TB install size a while back. I picked up a 3TB drive which I have just assigned to that. Next upgrade will be the dreaded CPU, Mainboard & RAM combo, so I need to start planning / saving for that.



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:


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.

ePSXe 2014-09-08 19-40-41-69

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.


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.



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.


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.




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)


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)

header (2)

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.



July Gaming

Games completed during July

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


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 May

Games completed during May

Bit late posting this month, but some games were played and I didn’t want to miss the round-up.

zumaZuma’s Revenge – XB1 / 360 BC

Hadn’t played Zuma for years, and missed this version first time round. Was pleased to stumble across it in EA Access, and found myself addicted to the story mode for a few days. Still one of the best takes on a ‘Match 3’.

Halo_ alt_3Halo: Combat Evolved (MCC) – XB1

Never completed the first two Halo games on the original Xbox, so had been looking forward to playing the remasters on the Master Chief Collection. Playing through them in Co-op with a buddy, really enjoyed the first one. Did drag on a bit though towards the end, those levels are huge.

Forza-Horizon-3-Hot-Wheels-Expansion-Pack-ReleasedForza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels – XB1

The second expansion for Forza Horizon 3 is even better than the first. Had an absolute blast with this, can’t recommend it enough. If you ever enjoyed Hot Wheels cars and playsets as a kid, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

C9z2xE0WsAA6ZkGWonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap – PS4

Easily the best remaster of a classic game I’ve ever played, this is a work of art. The original Master System game is one of the best games on that console, and this really does a great job of bringing it up to date.

Also played in May

oriOri & the Blind Forest: Def Edition – XB1

After completing Wonder Boy I was in the mood for a new ‘Metroidvania’ and have had this kicking around for a while. It’s charming, and quite satisfying, although I’m already finding some of the platforming painfully fiddly. We’ll see how I do.

MordorMiddle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor – XB1

Still not completely sold on this. I’m not much of a LotR fan, but picked it up based on recommendations and promises that it’s not too Tolkien. I am quite enjoying it, feels very much like a Batman Arkham game with elements of the Tomb Raider reboots. So far though I’m not finding it as good as any of those games.


All-time Top 5 JRPGs (wot I’ve played…)

Yeah a bit of a cheat this one, as I’ve only properly played 5 Japanese Role Playing Games (JRPGs) so that’ll be why your favourite isn’t in the list… I have tried to play plenty, but never got more than 2 hours into anything other than these 5.

I have really enjoyed the ones I have played (well the top 3 anyway) so I wouldn’t rule out playing more in the future. Anyway, on with the countdown!

Number 5 – Final Fantasy VII (PSX)

headerMy first JRPG, and apparently, the first one many of my friends played too. This game was a major event back in a high school, and for a while it seemed everyone was playing FFVII. I was quite enjoying it, albeit a departure from my usual choice of game. I do remember that trying to navigate the world map while also dealing with random encounters tested my patience, but the whole thing collapsed when my memory card corrupted around 20 hours in. I appreciate in the grand scheme of things, 20 hours isn’t very long, but that was pretty huge for me at the time, and certainly more than I’d be happy to play over.

I pretty much swore off the genre after this, and it would be quite a few years before I was to try them again.

Number 4 – Bravely Default (3DS)

BravelyDefault-810x449I gave this a go when struggling to find something other than Animal Crossing or Mario Kart to play on my 3DS. Discussions about it described a game with a similar feel to Final Fantasy VII which made me think perhaps I’d enjoy it. I was aware of the “outrage” at the changes made for the Western release from the anti video game censorship crowd, but they all seemed like changes for the better to me, so figured I’d give it a go.

I mostly enjoyed the game for maybe 18 hours. The story was nonsense and even with the localisation there was a a sufficient creepy ‘ick’ factor that never quite went away. (I think it was hard to distance from the fact that these characters were originally written to be 15 years old). However, the gameplay mechanics were fun, and I liked the ‘job’ system in building my party. It all got a bit grindy and dull though, and I just lost the will to come back to it.

Number 3 – Lost Odyssey (Xbox 360)

landscape-1481743951-lost-odysseyA game I played mostly by chance, got a bargain on release without knowing anything about it and fired it up just to see what it was. I was blown away by the graphics, it was easily the best looking game I’d seen so far on a console, and at first was just playing to admire the aesthetics. I got sucked in though, and it became the first JRPG I ever saw through to completion. The story was ridiculous, which I suspect may be an essential criteria for a JRPG, and the costume designs left me questioning the usefulness of such armor in a swordfight.

I really liked the combat though, and the timing based boost you could give to your attacks was surprisingly satisfying. I sometimes think I might replay this, but then I laugh at the thought of me replaying anything, never mind a 40+ hour epic, and the impulse goes away.

Number 2 – Panzer Dragoon Saga (Sega Saturn)

Panzer-Dragoon-SagaOnly played through this for the first time last month, and I am amazed how well it has held up. I was a big fan of Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon Zwei first time round on the Saturn, and this is doubtless the main reason I took to Saga the way I did. The art style was consistent with the previous games, and immediately felt like a comfortable return to that world.

The shift to turn-based combat was a concern before I started, I didn’t know how the previous rail-shooter style would translate. I need not have worried, the combat is superb, with the two basic attacks being lifted straight out of the other games to feel instantly familiar. The need to constantly keep re-positioning around the enemies and the bonus to attack speed granted for attacking as you move ensures that the combat remains engaging.


I found the controls in general to be very well done, particularly in the parts where you’re navigating the world on your dragon. When revisiting early 3D games you often have to make allowances for the controls and/or camera, but I can honestly say I had no issues with either.

While the story here is no exception to my understanding of the JRPG norm, I did find myself happily reading all the subtitles and enjoying the many cut-scenes. This extra flavour for the world is a big part of why I’ve gone back to playing the original games, and why I’m optimistic that I might even beat them this time round.

Number 1 – Eternal Sonata (Xbox 360)

Eternal-Sonata-810x456Or, the one time I liked cel-shaded graphics.

I know about as much about JRPGs on the whole as I do Classical Music. The only composer I really like is Chopin, so the premise of this game immediately had me intrigued. The game is set inside a dream Frédéric Chopin has while he dies of Tuberculosis. Yeah. We’re well set up for another nonsense story, but this one did really hook me.

Until Eternal Sonata, I always found cel-shading to be a bit of a novelty. It’s such a perfect fit for making the whole game feel like an elaborate cartoon. It’s joyful, twee and yet manages to be interestingly educational at the same time, as along with the story cut-scenes it also has video history lessons relating to Chopin’s life. (From reading some commentary these weren’t to everyone’s taste, but I loved it)

The music in the game is obviously Chopin influenced, and accordingly spectacular. There are very few game soundtracks I listen to outside of playing the games, but the 4 disc album produced for this is still a staple on my iPod.

I remain annoyed the PS3 release afterwards had extra content, as I didn’t want to start over from the beginning after I completed it on the 360. I think I’d happily replay it now though if it was given a refresh for the modern consoles.

I’ve heard plenty of critique about Eternal Sonata, more than one person declare it “the worst JRPG I ever played”. I take some amusement from this, as it seems likely that as a generalisation, I can still say I don’t like JRPGs, and perhaps I like the ones I do because they are outliers within the genre.

What next?

I remain open to suggestions from anyone who can suggest games I might like based on what I’ve written above. I’ll be honest though and say there is next to no chance of me playing anything 16-bit or earlier.

I am thinking of playing Skies of Arcadia Legends, it always sort of appealed to me on Dreamcast, and now I’ve got the GameCube version which I’ve heard is generally an improvement.