Author Archives: kayjoon

About kayjoon

Thirty-something geek on the south coast of England. Think I'm sort of smart, but I might just be fooling myself. Player of games, reader, feminist, humanist. One of two podcast hosts called Chris Smith at maximumpowerup.com

November Games

November Games

I only went and finished something. Didn’t play much else though. Haven’t finished many games at all this year, I do have some time off over Christmas but I’m 5 books behind schedule on my goodreads challenge, so might be making more of an effort to hit my target there instead.

Games completed this month

Ritual of the Night - November Games

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Switch

Finished this on the Switch. It was a bit of an effort to get back into Bloodstained as I hadn’t played it for ages and I knew I was stuck at a boss. Forced myself back into it though, and rather than continuing to just lose fighting the same boss, I went off and did some side quest things and generally explored / levelled up. I’m not going to bother doing 100% completion, but I did get the true ending. That will do.

You can pick up a physical copy for the main consoles here* it definitely runs much better on the Xbox and PS4 (and PC) but it is perfectly playable on Switch now it’s had a few performance patches, and I still find the Switch the best way to play these “metroidvania” games.

Games played during November

Modern Warfare - February Games

Modern Warfare – PC

Think this is slowly dropping off, but I managed a couple more sessions on the multiplayer this month. I don’t really like the look of the new Call of Duty so I’ll probably sit that one out. Maybe they’ll return to Modern Warfare for the next outing.


Left 4 Dead 2: Last Stand - PC

Left 4 Dead 2 – PC

We managed some more multiplayer on this during November, the standalone campaign missions make it perfect for arranging casual gaming nights where people generally only have a couple of hours to play.


Elite Dangerous - PC

Elite Dangerous – PC

Haven’t played much of this yet, but I’ve had it for quite a while. As Epic gave it away free this month, some of my friends grabbed it and there is talk of maybe trying to play together. We’ll see if that ever happens, in the meantime it was fun to do the tutorial at least. It was also a good excuse to dust off my flight stick. It’s only basic, but I have a Thrustmaster T.Flight Stick X. It’s similar to this HOTAS model on Amazon* but without the massive throttle.


*As usual, these links are affiliate ones, which may earn me a small commission if you buy something.

Black Friday 2020

Black Friday 2020 Deals page

No I’m not usually a fan of importing Americanisms like Black Friday, but I do like a bargain. Yes you can also spend your money more ethically than with Amazon, but for as long as they continue to be the cheapest option and frequently the most convenient, it is hard to ignore.

This is broadly going to be a bit of a round up of Amazon’s stuff, but will include anything else good I spot. Also a couple of links to things not currently discounted for Black Friday, but may be a better option than things that are on sale. If you are looking to buy books and would rather support independent local bookstores, then it may be worth looking into Bookshop.org instead.

The Amazon links here, like elsewhere on my blog, are affiliate links where I get a small payment if you use them and buy something. Thanks. The rest of them are just ordinary links though so feel free to hit those without worrying about me benefiting…

Amazon hardware

Amazon’s own range of devices are frequently a solid choice for personal electronics. I use a few myself that are easy recommends.

Kindle Fires

Although these can be a bit annoying if you want to use apps that are not available in the Amazon app store, it is relatively straight forward to install the normal Google Play store onto the devices. These days you can basically convert them to just run as standard Android tablets. That said, they are excellent value for money specially if you wait for them to be on sale. As usual they are reduced for Black Friday, but always reliable for a good deal on “Amazon Prime Days” too.

I have used a couple of these, and one is still in use as my main tablet now. I don’t do any 3D gaming on it, but use it for watching all the main streaming services, reading comics & PDFs and for playing card and board games.

My preferred choices:

Fire HD 10

This is the kindle fire I have myself. I upgraded from the original HD version of the Fire 8 model below. I was very happy with the smaller device, but for reading digital comics, the 10″ screen means the whole page fits comfortably on screen and is as close as you can get to the experience of reading a physical comic. It’s also reliably in use every Sunday as I stream Red Zone on it while watching the Dallas Cowboys game on the big screen.

Oh and if you go for the one with Special Offers / Ads to save a few quid, you can always pay the extra later to have them removed.

Fire HD 8 Plus

A new addition to the range is this “Plus” model of the HD 8. While I happily used the HD 8 for ages, the extra RAM and improved battery life of the Plus seems well worth the slightly extra price. It is likely to be longer before you’ll want an upgrade.

Although reading comics is much more comfortable on the HD 10, if you’re going to carry the tablet around a lot the HD 8 is probably the sweet spot for display size vs portability.

Firestick 4K Ultra HD

Increasingly redundant as more people move to Smart TV’s or connect other set top boxes with media apps like Blu-ray Players & game consoles, the firestick is still one of the better options for accessing apps on your TV. I’ve gone for the 4k model here, as even if you don’t have a 4k display, that bit of extra performance in the device should make it a bit snappier to use.

If you’re a bit of a techie there are plenty of modding options for Firesticks too, but personally I just have one set up to access Netflix, Prime and Britbox on my aging bedroom TV.

Kindle E-Readers

Kindle

The original Amazon device. Earlier models of these didn’t have any kind of light, with the “e-ink” displays doing their best to replicate paper. Still a solid choice for getting started with ebooks if like me you don’t enjoy reading on your phone.

Kindle Paperwhite

Not currently discounted as I write this, but worth checking in case they do add a discount come Friday. This is the kindle I use myself. It does see discounts down to around £80ish, and is the e-reader I’d recommend. The kindle oasis is nice but I’m not convinced it’s worth the significant additional cost, even with the current offer.

Alexa and Friends

I’m still not sold on any of the A.I. listening devices, and at present have disabled Alexa, Cortana and Google listening software on my electronics that support them. However, if you’re in the market for one, Black Friday is a good time for those too.

For new customers to Amazon Music, this Echo Dot with free 6 months of Amazon Music Unlimited is a great deal (just remember to cancel the subscription to Amazon Music if you don’t want to keep it after the 6 months).

The Echo Show 5 has a decent discount if you like your A.I. to be watching you as well as listening. I’m sure it’s fine, I’ve just watched too much X-Files.

Otherwise, there are plenty of discounts across the whole range of Alexa enabled devices here.

Not on Amazon, but if Google is more your thing, they’re currently doing their Nest Hub for £59.99.

Amazon subscription offers

Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited is a pretty good value proposition if you read a lot (and are not concerned about having books to keep on the shelf). Some of the included digital magazines are pretty nice too for reading on a tablet. New subscribers can currently get Two Months Free instead of the usual shorter trial.

Amazon Music Unlimited

I still struggle a bit with the way the music streaming industry treats artists, although I’m not sure Kindle Unlimited is much better for authors… However, they are a good way to discover new music, and listening to other people’s playlists is fun. Just remember if you want to support the bands you love, go see them live (if that’s ever a thing again) or buy their merch from them direct.

Black Friday has a free three months trial (instead of the usual 30 days) for new subscribers.

Other Amazon links

Core Grafx Mini

Again as yet not discounted, but have come down since the RRP anyway. These saw a good discount last prime day so will be worth checking on Friday to see if they have another deal on. (If not, they’re still well worth £75). Comfortably the best of the ‘mini’ consoles, I still love mine. Should you pick one up, I also recommend the 8bitdo additional controller rather than trying to get another wired official one. They look the part, are very comfortable to use, and best of all are wireless with no noticeable input delay (I use mine to play pinball and shmups without issue).

PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini

Injustice 2 Legendary Edition (PS4)

This is a good deal for one of the best fighting games ever. It’s not much of a discount from the regular price, but circa £15 for the complete edition with all the extra characters still feels like a bargain to me.

Doom Eternal (PS4/PC/Xbox One)

This seems a decent price, £17 for retail editions of the PC, PS4 or Xbox One version of the game. Also comes with a steel poster, which looks fun apart from it appears to be the same size as a game case. Not sure if that meets the definition of ‘poster’ but fun all the same.

Madden 21 (PS4)

Not a super great deal really but a fair price if you fancy this and haven’t picked it up yet. Particularly if you intend to get a PS5 in the next month or two as so long as you get the full PS5 with the disc drive, you can put this PS4 disc into it to access the PS5 version of the game for free. If “football” football is more your bag, the same applies to FIFA 21, at the same price point.

Amazon Warehouse

Amazon Warehouse is where they clear out items that have been returned, for whatever reason and for Black Friday there is an additional 30% off. If you don’t mind things being “nearly new” it is certainly worth browsing. The goods are still guaranteed and the descriptions will tell you what condition to expect. I purchased my PSVR setup from the Amazon Warehouse Black Friday sale a few years ago, for about £100 less than RRP. The outer box was ripped but inside it was all mint, and the device still had all the plastic covers on.

Other sales to check out

Magic Madhouse

Not a site I knew of before a couple of weeks ago, but their early Black Friday sale was brought to my attention, and a couple of really good deals on board games stood out. Also had excellent prices on the sleeves I needed for my copy of 7 Wonders: Duel. Very pleased with the service, so happy to recommend them here. They mostly focus on collectable card games like Magic the Gathering (as you might expect from the name), Pokemon etc. including selling individual cards. They do have a good range of general table top board and card games though too.

Chaos Cards

Another great resource for board games, usually good prices anyway. Worth checking their Black Friday sale too.

Currys

Currys have come a long way in terms of competitive pricing and customer service in recent years. I’ve found myself using them quite a bit for games consoles, chromebooks and various general bits of tech. It’s still worth shopping around to compare prices, but I feel much more comfortable recommending them these days. Their Black Friday sale is worth a look.

Argos

Looks like a promising selection from Argos for Black Friday this year, although the best deals seem to be on hair straighteners and I don’t know enough about those to say if it’s a bargain.

GAME

Unsurprisingly, GAME have a tendency to have a more cynical approach to Black Friday, with items on sale being already available for the same price (or cheaper) elsewhere. Worth a look to compare prices if you’re after something specific, but definitely double check other places before buying there.

October Games

October Games

Another month with very little played, running out of time to do much about backlog again this year. Did make a start on a fairly lengthy action RPG though so maybe I’ll manage to tick that one off before we get to January. Otherwise I did get to a bit of online co-operative gaming too.

Games played during October

Madden 21 - PS4

Madden 21 – PS4

Tailing off a bit with this, although getting some free packs with Amazon / Twitch Prime has helped boost my team along a bit. I still don’t really understand all the ultimate team jazz though.

Available on Amazon*


Modern Warfare - February Games

Modern Warfare – PC

Still having fun with occasional bursts on the Modern Warfare multiplayer. I don’t really like the look of the new Call of Duty, so will probably just stick with this one till something else comes along.


Kingdom Hearts Final Mix HD - October Games

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix HD – PS4

One I’ve had for ages, this is the first game on the Kingdom Hearts – The Story So Far collection. I’ve never previously played any of the Kingdom Hearts games, wrongly believing they were turn based JRPGS (which I don’t often get on with). However, when Kingdom Hearts 3 came out, I saw some trailers that made me want to give it a go. This compilation seemed a good way to start from the beginning, and represents some pretty major value in terms of content. I’m probably about a third of the way through this first time, and still enjoying myself.

I grabbed this from Amazon* back in February, only just got round to playing it.


Alienation - PS4

Alienation – PS4

Had a bit of a session on this with a mate, it’s still a good game but pretty tough in places. Think we’re probably missing something which would make it easier (two other people for instance) but I still enjoyed it.


Star Trek Bridge Crew - PSVR

Star Trek Bridge Crew – PSVR

Second of three online co-operative games played this month. Playing Bridge Crew in VR online is pretty special, and has only taken a couple of years to actually arrange. I’m hoping we can get another session together soon as it really shows off the potential for VR with friends. Even if it did take me a while to get to grips with the helm controls. Punch it.


Left 4 Dead 2: Last Stand - PC

Left 4 Dead 2 – PC

Despite being 10 years old, Left 4 Dead 2 recently received a big update adding a whole extra mission. I managed to play through the new content with some friends and very much enjoyed the return. Amusingly after we finished the new stuff I realised I’ve played less than half of the content that was already in the game.


October Pick-ups

Blair Witch - PC

Blair Witch – PC (Epic)

Not sure if this counts as a pick up since it was free, but it came up on the Epic Game Store as one of their weekly freebies. Grabbed it as I meant to play it when I had an active GamePass subscription but figure it may have gone from that library when I get round to resubscribing. Big fan of the films (well, the first two – the remake was dubious), but don’t like many survival horror games so not sure how much I’ll get out of this. Worth a try for free though.


*As usual, these links are affiliate ones, which may earn me a small commission if you buy something.

September Games Header

September Games

Late posting this month, mostly as I managed to actually go on holiday for a week and visit my mate in Jersey. Nothing completed either, fairly poor show all round – should make for a short post.

Games played during September

Madden 21 - PS4

Madden 21 – PS4

Still very much enjoying myself with Madden 21, just ticking along playing the single player content in the Ultimate Team. Zero chance of playing online unless one of my friends picks it up though.


Wipeout Omega Collection – PS4

The other games I did play during September were all purely online with a buddy. First up a return to the incredible Wipeout collection on PS4. We discovered the multiplayer Zone races are very addictive and a bit of a new favourite way to play this. Also prompted me to put a bit more time into the campaign again too.


Fall Guys - PS4 - September Games

Fall Guys – PS4

Largely gave into peer pressure to try this. It was free on PS Plus which I needed to re-subscribe to in order to play online anyway. It is a fun distraction to play while chatting and catching up on the weeks events, but can’t see me playing otherwise. Tetris 99* remains the only worthwhile Battle Royale game for me.


Worms W.M.D. - PS4 - September Games

Worms W.M.D. – PS4

Still one of the finest multiplayer game series ever made, and my favourite version to play since Worms World Party. While it works best for local multiplayer games, it holds up well online. Only really loses out due to inexplicably being unable to add in an AI player or two for comedy value.

Still readily available on Amazon* and doesn’t cost much. Think it’s on pretty much every platform now too.

September Pick-ups

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1&2 - September Games

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1&2 – PlayStation 4

Another masterclass in polishing old games, this is fantastic. I’m still not very good at it, but have enjoyed the couple of hours I’ve spent with it so far.

Pre-orders

Much like last month, it’s just another story of not pre-ordering. In September I briefly pre-ordered the Mario 3D Allstars for Switch. I cancelled it within about 30 minutes though, as I reminded myself that I didn’t like the artificial scarcity approach to marketing that Nintendo were using. Also helped that I still really don’t like Mario 64 and wasn’t happy that I’d be buying it again.

I did pre-order the new Faithless album “All Blessed”* though, when I discovered that was a thing. As per the presence of Reverence in my Ten Perfect Albums, I’ve long been a Faithless fan, and willing to give the new album a shot. Even without Maxi Jazz on vocals.


*As usual, these links are affiliate ones, which may earn me a small commission if you buy something.

August Games

August Games

Not a great deal of gaming this month, mostly as I was too busy moving house. Did finish a couple of games though.

Games completed this month

Tekken 7 - Xbox One

Tekken 7 – Xbox One

As this was on GamePass I thought I’d have a play through the single player campaign mode. Forgetting we have just been spoiled by the Injustice and recent Mortal Kombat games, this was a crash back into the world of terrible fighting game story modes. I did not have a good time.

If you fancy trying this travesty for yourself (or just want to play the admittedly much more fun multiplayer) it is available from Amazon*


A Way Out - August Games

A Way Out – PS4

After our session back in January, Phil and I finally got back on this. We finished the story on our second time of playing, but what a great experience it was. A real highlight was all the mini games hidden around the place. We had a great time playing a bit of connect 4, darts, and even a bit of baseball.


Games played during August

Modern Warfare - June Games

Modern Warfare – PC

Once again managed to play a bit more of this in multiplayer. It was also the first game I played once I had moved into my new place, unpacked and set up my gaming and office spaces.

I think you can only buy the PC version direct from Battle.net, but you can get the console editions here*


Beyond Blue - PC

Beyond Blue – PC

Still haven’t spent much time with this, but did spend a bit of time swimming with Whales. Very much like the Endless Ocean games on Wii, think I’ll be coming back to this.


Madden 21 - PS4

Madden 21 – PS4

This seems to have been pretty slaughtered by the enthusiast press, but I’m quite happy with it. The criticism mostly seems to be around there not having been much progress made since the 2020 game. Bounced off me though, I think the last version I spent any time with was 2018 so it is all pretty fresh. I’ve been having a good time with it, and it’s just nice to have some sport to enjoy!


PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini

Core Grafx Mini

Spent quite a bit of time with the games on here. Mostly the shmups and Parasol Stars, it’s a great little console.

These are still available exclusively to Amazon*, and possibly slightly less than RRP now. Easily the best of the current crop of ‘mini’ consoles for me.

August Pick-ups

Not Tonight: Take Back Control Edition - Switch

Not Tonight: Take Back Control Edition – Nintendo Switch

This looked interesting along the same lines as the game “Papers Please”, and cropped up very cheaply in a sale. Grabbed it but haven’t played yet.


Retired during August

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Nintendo Switch

It finally happened, probably partly due to the move, but I stopped playing everyday and now I haven’t been on for a few weeks. I expect I’ll at least go back for the winter events (yes I want to build a snowman…) but in the meantime I’m definitely on hiatus.

Pre-orders

This is more about not pre-ordering, but in August I did pass up on the Analogue Pocket pre-orders. I did get into the window and almost pulled the trigger on one in my basket, but talked myself out of it. I don’t really need one, and now Neo Geo Pocket Color games have started coming out on Switch I want one even less. I might revisit them down the line but I’m currently thinking about a back-lit Game Boy Colour instead.


*As usual, these links are affiliate ones, which may earn me a small commission if you buy something.

July Games 2020

July Games

Completions, plural! Had to happen eventually I suppose, particularly as I’ve been playing two of these games for ages.

Games completed this month

Spider-Man GOTY - July Games

Spider-man – PS4

First of my completions this month, I finished the main story on Spider-man. I know a lot of my friends got so into this that they went for the full 100% completion. Unfortunately it suffers from far too much open-world “busy work” for my liking, and I didn’t enjoy the combat enough to persevere through repetitive ‘hideouts’ etc. I did really like the rest of the game though, and very much looking forward to playing the Miles Morales game on PlayStation 5.

This is the physical copy* of the Game of the Year edition I have, although I bought it digitally from the PlayStation Store.


Modern Warfare - June Games

Modern Warfare – PC

Also managed to finish the Modern Warfare campaign this month. Very much enjoyed it, nothing too imaginative but a good all round experience. Still dipping into the multiplayer occasionally, but I didn’t enjoy Warzone. Tetris 99 remains the only Battle Royale game I care about.

I think you can only buy the PC version direct from Battle.net, but you can get the console editions here*


FAR: Lone Sails - PC - June Games

FAR: Lone Sails – PC

Played the entirety of this during July, although to be fair it is about 3 hours long. Very pretty and compelling little adventure with some fairly straightforward puzzles. It’s a bit like Limbo in how it plays. Enjoyed it, but tough to recommend unless you can get it cheap, there isn’t a lot here.

Games played during July

Super Puzzle Fighter - PS3

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix – PS3

Great to dust this one off for a bit of two player battle. The PS3 version is pretty nice even if my usual default is to play the Saturn version.


Porsche Challenge - July Games

Porsche Challenge – PS1 (Played on PS3)

This was being talked about again on Twitter and I had a real craving to revisit it. It holds up really well although it is taking me a bit of time to get used to the difficulty again.


51 Worldwide Games - Switch

51 Worldwide Classics – Switch

Enjoying this, although the online doesn’t seem quite as well put together as it could be. Hopefully they’ll continue to improve it with updates.

I think I ordered from shopto.net to get a free notebook and pen (because stationary) but is also available on Amazon*


Super Arcade Racing - PC

Super Arcade Racing – PC

As mentioned last month, this is one I played at Rezzed in 2019. I’ve been playing a bit of the single player story mode. The story is a mildly amusing excuse to have a load of races. The racing itself is great fun though, would be nice to play it with some friends, but quite happy continuing with just the single player for now.


Project Highrise - July Games

Project Highrise – PC

Don’t even remember when I picked this up, but I was just looking for something a bit laid back to play and I was taken by the idea of a Skyscraper sim. Seems pretty good, and had an enjoyable hour or so with it. Think I made some mistakes early on though, might be worth reading up a bit if you’re going to put any amount of time into the game. I think

I’m playing on PC, but it can be had cheaply via Amazon* on the consoles. Well cheap on Xbox or PS4, and twice as much on Switch…

July Pick-ups

8bitdo Wireless Core Grafx Mini Controller

8bitdo Wireless Core Grafx Mini Pad

Pre-ordered last month, and it turned up in July. Very pleased to report that this works perfectly with no noticeable input delay. Played around with a couple of shmups to test and I am very happy with this controller.

Amazon link*


MicroSD Card - July Games

128GB MicroSD Card – PSTV

Okay so buying a MicroSD isn’t very interesting in itself, however, last weekend of July I finally sat down and installed Custom Firmware on both my PS Vita and PSTV. Some months ago I picked up 2 SD2Vita adaptors to get around the pricey storage issue with these devices. I have installed this 128GB card in the PSTV and installed a bunch of my favourite PlayStation 1 games on there (along with a few standout PSP games) pretty pleased with it overall. Not sure whether I’ll install any emulators or anything on either device yet, we’ll see.

This is the micro sd card* and although I got mine from eBay, this looks like the SD2Vita* adaptors I have.


*As usual, these links are affiliate ones, which may earn me a small commission if you buy something.

June Games

June Games

Late again and back to zero completions. Yay. I have now added a new section called pre-orders though as apparently that’s also something I do.

Games played during June

April Games 2020

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Switch

Yep, the more things change the more they stay the same. I’m still enjoying this, and do have a few more things I want to finish before I’m ready to stop playing. Not least catching all the bugs and fish now that I’ve finally completed the fossils in my museum.

It seems both Switches, and the game are in relatively short supply at the moment, although you can at least pick up a download code from Amazon*. Won’t help if you don’t have the console though!


Dead Storm Pirates - PS3

Dead Storm Pirates – PS3

We were in the mood for a light gun fix and rather than the usual House of the Dead session, we fancied something different. Deadstorm Pirates is a fantastic arcade port, and really fun with PS Move controllers.


Modern Warfare - June Games

Modern Warfare – PC

Managed a couple of sessions online in June, but did not get much value out of my Season Pass for Season 3 (I will not be paying for the new Season 4). It’s still great fun in multiplayer though and I have crept a little further through the campaign too.

I think you can only buy the PC version direct from Battle.net, but you can get the console editions here*


Laytons Mystery Journey - June Games

Layton’s Mystery Journey – Switch

Picked this up again after I inexplicably stopped playing before. Have progressed quite a bit so hope to stick with it.

Amazon link*


June Pick-ups

Vasara Collection - Switch

Vasara Collection – Switch

My ongoing mission to buy all the games that can be played vertically using the flip grip on Switch (but still only play Animal Crossing) continues. Much like last month, this popped up in a sale for less than the price of a beer.


Civilization 6 Expansion Bundle - Switch

Civilization VI DLC Pack – Switch

Couldn’t resist picking this bundle up when it went on sale. Heard so many people tell me how much better the game is with the expansions. Now I just have to get round to playing it again.


PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini

Core Grafx Mini

It arrived, and it’s fantastic! As discussed back in April I’ve been waiting for this for a while. So pleased with it, finding great games I’ve never played before and it all feels very polished. Excellent.

Amazon link*


C&C Remastered - PC

Command & Conquer Remastered – PC

Given the relative disappointment many people had with the remastering of Warcraft 3, I held back my expectations for this. Need not have worried though, it is superb. Very much enjoying playing the original C&C campaign properly (back in the day I only really played Red Alert). I’m hoping to perhaps get some multiplayer skirmishes happening too.


Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality – Itch.io – PC

This was such an obvious bargain that it was impossible to ignore. As it happened all the money went to a great cause too. I’ve never been much of a fan of itch.io as a platform, but glad to have picked this up. Now just need to find a way to navigate the 1000+ included games.


51 Worldwide Games - Switch

51 Worldwide Classics – Switch

Really pleased with this too, 42 All-Time Classics was one of my favourite and most played Nintendo DS games, so happy they’ve brought this premise back.

I think I ordered from shopto.net to get a free notebook and pen (because stationary) but is also available on Amazon*


Wireless Retrobit Mega Drive Pad

After receiving the Saturn one of these for my birthday last month I was keen to get this one for my Mega Drive. Very pleased to report it is equally impressive and I’m now enjoying wireless 16 bit gaming from the sofa.

Available on Amazon*


Beyond Blue - PC

Beyond Blue – PC

Played the demo of this back at Rezzed last year where it was my game of the show. I haven’t got round to playing it yet and thanks to the generous £10 off any games vouchers from Epic, I think this was also my first purchase from the Epic Games Store.


Duke Nukem 3D - Switch

Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour – Switch

Didn’t even know this was coming, and it launched for around £3. I’m not the biggest fan of the game, but I do have some fond memories of it and was happy to pay that price to have it available on my Switch.


Sonic the Fighters - Xbox 360/One - June Games

Sonic the Fighters – Xbox 360 / Xbox One

Yeah. It was £1.60. Not entirely sure why I bought it, but still. It’s not as bad as it sounds.


FAR: Lone Sails - PC - June Games

FAR: Lone Sails – PC

I know nothing about this other than it looked pretty and sounded intriguing. Was in the Steam sale so I grabbed it along with the game below.


Super Arcade Racing - PC

Super Arcade Racing – PC

Also one I played at Rezzed in 2019, I’d almost forgot about it when it popped up in the Steam sale for £2. Really good fun and hope I get a chance to play some local multiplayer split-screen on it.

Pre-orders

Madden 21 - PS4

Madden 2021 – PS4

Very much out of character for me, it is very rare I buy a sports game at launch. However, the pandemic has meant I’ve been really missing sports and now really fancy playing a season or two of madden with my buddy. As it happens we’re both intending to get launch PS5 consoles, and EA have announced you can get the PS5 version of the game as a free upgrade if you buy the PS4 edition. Happy to pre-order on the basis that it’ll be a game for my new console when it arrives too.


8bitdo Wireless Core Grafx Mini Controller

8bitdo Wireless Core Grafx Mini Pad

Although the mini console itself came out last month, there is still a delay on the official second controllers. After gaining those wireless pads for my Saturn and Mega Drive I really fancied a wireless one for this too. I saw this one up for pre-order, releasing before the official wired one, and for the same price. I’ve therefore switched my order over and am looking forward to it turning up. I’m a bit skeptical about quality as my other 8bitdo pad is unreliable at best, but that one has dual analogue sticks and relies on bluetooth. Hoping this one is better having a more simplistic setup and dedicated dongle. Fingers crossed!

Amazon link*

*As usual, these links are affiliate ones, which may earn me a small commission if you buy something.

Streets of Rage 4 Header Image

May Games

An actual completion, and a bit more variety in the game playing department. Pretty late with my post again though.

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.” Douglas Adams.

Completed this month

Streets of Rage 4 - Xbox One - GamePass

Streets of Rage 4 – GamePass

What a great game this is, girlfriend and I finally managed to beat the last boss. We’re still playing it though, and now working on unlocking all the other classic playable characters. Excellent fun.

Games played during May

April Games 2020

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Switch

Predictably I’m still playing this everyday with no end in sight. Patiently waiting for them to bring along Brewster in an update though.

It seems both Switches, and the game are in relatively short supply at the moment, although you can at least pick up a download code from Amazon*. Won’t help if you don’t have the console though!


April Games - Chess Ultra

Chess Ultra – PC & Switch

Enjoying playing chess again, and the asynchronous gameplay is handy for playing with my friend when we’re not both online. Still really annoying there is no notification for when it’s your go though, you have to periodically load it up to check. Ho-hum.


SNK Gals Fighter - Switch

SNK Gals Fighters – Switch

Have spent a bit of time with this now, and am really convinced we need more of the Neo Geo Pocket library bringing to Switch. Bring them all, and I’ll buy them!


Power Rangers DLC - Season One - Switch

Power Rangers: Battle For the Grid – Switch

Thanks to my new Cronus Zen (detailed below) I now have use of my Hori arcade stick on my Switch. Great excuse to revisit Power Rangers and play some of the story mode.


Spider-Man GOTY - May Games

Spider-Man – PS4

As mentioned below, this month I bought a new TV. As yet I don’t have any 4K capable games machines, I’ll probably hold out for a PS5 for that now. However, I do have some games that support HDR on my existing consoles, so I finally got round to starting Spider-Man. Really enjoying this and so far it does live up to the hype. We’ll see if in a month or two it shows up on my completion list.

Now pretty cheap on Amazon*


SEGA Ages Fantasy Zone - February Games

Fantasy Zone – Switch

Much as with Power Rangers, I found myself playing a bit of this again once I got my arcade stick running.


Forza Horizon 4 – Xbox One

Felt the urge to do some racing this month, and went back to Forza Horizon 4 to pick up where I left off in the LEGO DLC. Made a lot of good progress, not sure if I’ll 100% it though, for that I’ll have to do all the drifting challenges and we all know those are rubbish.


Pac-man 256 - PC

Pacman 256 – PC

A few of my friends starting playing this recently, and although I picked it up years ago, I’m not sure I ever spent any real time with it. Have enjoyed an hour or so of high score chasing but not sure I’ll stick with it.

May Pick-ups

New Television - May Games

New Television

As the pandemic crisis continues, so does the cancellation of public events. Over the last few years I’ve been regularly attending the NFL London games, and have held a season ticket each year. As they’ve now been cancelled for 2020, I decided to put the money I would have spent on tickets, travel and beer towards a new TV. As it happens I think I have enough left over to pick up NFL GamePass when the season starts up.

It was also an opportunity to tidy up the wiring behind the consoles, and in doing so I also packed up a number of systems I wasn’t playing as much. They’re still easily accessible in the loft should I fancy playing anything from them, but for now my Dreamcast, Wii, original Xbox and PS2 are removed from the permanent lineup. (To be fair the N64 only survived because it shares a SCART block with the Saturn and Mega Drive so wasn’t adding much extra cabling.

For anyone interested, it’s a 55″ LG LED 4K HDR screen and my Mega Drive looks fantastic on it via the OSSC*. Haha.


Aero Fighters 2 - Switch

Aero Fighters 2 – Switch

Another one that can be played vertically on the flipgrip, this was on sale for silly money so seemed a good time to pick it up.


Mini Trains - Switch

Mini Trains – Switch

Speaking of silly money, this was 80p. Haven’t played it yet, trains though.


Looking for Heals - PC

Looking for Heals – PC (Early Access)

I’ve been intrigued by this for a while. A single player dungeon crawler type game, where you play as a healer. Not sure how well it’ll play but as a healer main in games like World of Warcraft, I’m looking forward to finding out.


Cronus Zen

Cronus Zen

My buddy hooked me up with an early release of these, following a discussion about controllers on Instagram. Much like the CronusMax I bought back in 2015 and discussed on my cross-platform peripherals post, the Cronus Zen is a tool for allowing you to use a variety of controllers on games systems they weren’t intended for. It also has a secondary (to me) function in modding & presumably cheating in games, in the style of old school GameShark or Action Replay carts. I do still use my CronusMax to use my 360 arcade stick on my Xbox One, now with this Cronus Zen I can also use it on the Switch. Result.

The Cronus Zen is available direct from Cronus and well worth looking into if you want to use a favourite controller on other systems.


Dragon Blaze - Switch

Dragon Blaze – Switch

Another sale, another vertical shmup for the Switch. This one has dragons though! I did regret buying this immediately afterwards when I realised it was included in a bundle of other shmups I could have bought instead. Oh well, I did realise before I bought Gunbird 1 & 2 as well, so I may still pick up those bundles later.


Puzzle Bobble 2 - Switch

Puzzle Bobble 2 – Switch

Yeah I cracked and paid full price for this, because as covered in my Puzzle Games round up, I love this game and really wanted to play on the Switch. This is a nice “no-frills” arcade port, and I’ve had fun with it already. Even if the old Saturn version is still the better option.


SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC - Switch

Thunder Force AC – Switch

Another fantastic SEGA AGES release on Switch, pretty much buying all these of games I like, to encourage more games receiving the SEGA AGES treatment. Unlike the Neo Geo ports above, these are very polished releases, with often extra content or quality of life improvements added.


RetroBit Saturn Wireless Pad

Wireless Retrobit Saturn Pad

This was a birthday gift, and is fantastic. Playing on my SEGA Saturn with a high quality modern wireless controller in 2020 feels a lot like witchcraft. Think I’ll treat myself to the Mega Drive one as well next. So very, very good.

Available on Amazon*

*As usual, these links are affiliate ones, which may earn me a small commission if you buy something.

April Games Header

April Games

Cheating a bit on the completions as I’m going to still be playing the game for a while. Managed to pick up a bunch more games as usual though, as well as some pre-loved bargains.

Completed this month

April Games 2020

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Switch

As I said, not much of a completion as there is still lots to do, but I finished the “story” to get K.K. Slider playing a concert and roll the credits. Counts for me. (If only so I can claim to at least have finished one game this year!)

It seems both Switches, and the game are in relatively short supply at the moment, although you can at least pick up a download code from Amazon*. Won’t help if you don’t have the console though!

Games played during April

Modern Warfare - February Games

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – PC

Still my multiplayer game of choice, really is so very polished. Didn’t manage to play any more Overwatch sadly. Also thought about going back for a go on Destiny 2 but didn’t do that either. Oh well.

You can pick up the Xbox One and PS4 versions on Amazon*. I think the PC version is only available digitally, I personally grabbed a code from Green Man Gaming, where it was on sale.


March Games - Puyo Puyo Tetris

Puyo Puyo Tetris – Switch

Yep, still playing a lot of this of course. Can’t see this changing any time soon.

Switch edition is available here on Amazon* (I also have it on PC and PS4, we just tend to mostly play Switch.


Streets of Rage 2 - Mega Drive

Streets of Rage 2 – Mega Drive

Continuing the theme from last month, the excitement for Streets of Rage 4 is real.


Golden Axe 3 - Mega Drive

Golden Axe III – Mega Drive

As above, we continued the Mega Drive love and played more Golden Axe. These brawlers are still some of the best local cooperative multiplayer games. Man the dragons are pretty sucky in Golden Axe 3 though right?


April Pick-ups

April Games - Chess Ultra

Chess Ultra – PC & Switch

Managed to buy this twice. Was on the look out for a nice new chess game and this had good reviews. It was on sale for a couple of quid on Steam so grabbed it. Shortly after it was heavily reduced on Switch as well which felt the more convienient way to play.


Sisters Royale - Switch

Sisters Royale – Switch

Another game that went on sale for not much at all. It seems to be a well reviewed vertical shmup. To be honest I just grabbed it to play using the flip grip for my Switch. Can see me buying more of these after stumbling across the list of compatible games on this site.


Indie Horror Bundle 1 - Switch

Indie Horror Bundle 1 – Switch

Triple pack of Switch games including Uncanny Valley, Paranautical Activity and Slain: Back from Hell. I’ve seen a lot of these bundles on the Switch eShop, and largely passed them by as they looked a bit suspect. However, I fancied picking up Slain and this bundle being on offer made it ridiculously cheap. Not sure if I’ll play the other two games or not, but I’ll at least have a look.


Streets of Rage 4 - Xbox One - GamePass

Streets of Rage 4 – GamePass

Hurrah, it’s out and has reviewed really well. Can’t wait to get stuck into this. In a very pleasant surprise I was intending to buy this on Switch (and had added £50 credit to my account ready) then a few days before it was due I found out it was going straight onto GamePass for PC and Xbox One. Great result!


Power Rangers DLC - Season One - Switch

Power Rangers: Battle For the Grid DLC 1 – Switch

A sale on this first DLC pass meant I could finally justify (sort of) buying extra characters for a game we barely play. When we do play, I know I want to be able to play as Lord Zedd.


PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini

PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini & Extra Controler (Pre-order)

In April I celebrated completing a formal, work-related, qualification that I had been studying for over the last 12 months alongside working full time. This pre-order is my reward to myself, but the current pandemic means the device has been indefinitely delayed. Hopefully we’ll have a new release date soon. I also ordered a second controller, I anticipate that being worth while if only for Parasol Stars. The device is exlusive to Amazon in the UK but they are still taking pre-orders here*.


Modern Warfare - Season 3

Modern Warfare Season 3 – PC

After enjoying Season 2 I had no problem picking up the new pass. Although I don’t play enough to really make the most of it, I do like having the extra level of unlockables as I play.


Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy - Switch

Sphinx & the Cursed Mummy – Switch

Although I picked this up digitally on PC back in November 2018 I couldn’t resist when the physical Switch port popped up for £8.

Not quite as cheap, but still affordable, this is available on Amazon*.


Sine Mora EX - Switch

Sine Mora EX – Switch

When buying Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy I spotted this on the same site also for £8. Really enjoyed it back on the 360 (think I played a bit on PC & maybe Vita too) so couldn’t resist owning it again on Switch.


Wild Guns Reloaded - Switch

Wild Guns Reloaded – Switch

Yep, another sale, another impulse purchase. This lockdown is costing me a fortune. This is apparently a remake of an old SNES game, I never played the original but I’ve heard good things about this update.


SNK Gals Fighter - Switch

SNK Gals Fighters – Switch

Had no idea this port of the Neo Geo Pocket Color (NGPC) game was coming until it was out. I had never played the original Gals Fighters, but I loved my NGPC and the fighting games on there were all very polished. I love how this emulator has been setup with display customisations including being able to pick which model of NGPC is used for the surround (I use the camoflauge blue one, as that’s the version I owned). I really want to see more of these ports – specially Neo Turf Masters and the Capcom vs SNK games. They did port the NGPC version of Samurai Shodown 2 already but it was exclusive to those who pre-ordered the new Samurai Shodown, and I missed it. 🙁


Switch Wireless Pad

Enhanced Wireless Controller – Switch

The wired spare controller I picked up a while back that my girlfriend uses for local multiplayer on the Switch has developed the dreaded ‘drift’. As you can imagine it was ruining Tetris & Puyo Puyo when the controller permanently moves things sideways on its own. Hopefully this one will last longer! I did also want to get it quickly so we were ready for Streets of Rage 4, but that was before we realised we could get the game on GamePass instead.


Retro Game Pads

“Retro” Controllers

A thoughourly nice chap on Twitter was having a clearout, and selling off some bits. I initially just purchased this mint retrobit Sega Saturn controller (along with a boxset of the 80s Willy Fog cartoon not in pic), and he threw in the other two Saturn pads for free. The Xbox Pad S was also from him, and I bought it along with the books below.


Gaming Books

Along with all the above controllers, the same guy was clearing out some books. I took the majority of the gaming related ones, the C64 and Neo Geo books are the main ones I wanted but there are plenty of gems here. The MYST, Doom, Master System and Terrible Old Games books were already mine, but all the others in the photos were new to me. I did read Console Wars and Service Games already on my kindle, but it’s nice to have them on the shelf.


Beta Access

As with last year, EGX had again kindly supplied me with a press pass for the upcoming EGX Rezzed event. Although the event has been cancelled due to the pandemic, they have continued to provide me with press packs etc. This has included some keys for early access games.

Empires in Ruins

Empires in Ruins – PC

Of the keys I’ve received, Empires in Ruins was the most appealing to me. It’s a hybrid of Tower Defense and 4X turn based strategy. Looking forward to spending more time with this.


*As usual, these links are affiliate ones, which may earn me a small commission if you buy something.

April Games 2020

March Games

Still no games completed, rounding off Q1 2020 nicely. I’m also pretty late with this post, but that’s down to a combination of a minor worldwide pandemic meaning I’ve been doing a lot of additional hours at work (albeit from home – stay safe kids) but I’ve also been finishing off my studies. Final assignment was submitted just before Easter, now I’m just waiting to find out if I passed.

We also found time to put out a new bonus “pandemic pod” episode of the podcast. Topical as the team and I discussed games and other tips to get us through the current period of isolation.

Games played during March

Modern Warfare - February Games

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – PC

I’ve continued playing and enjoying this. I made a start on the campaign which is fun so far but I’m still mostly playing the multiplayer. Played one go on the free “battle royale” Warzone mode with my nephew. It’s fine, but dull in the build up like all the other ones. I’d probably play it if I hadn’t bought the full game, but I can’t find a reason to play it when all the other multiplayer modes (not you infection) are more interesting.

You can pick up the Xbox One and PS4 versions on Amazon*. I think the PC version is only available digitally, I personally grabbed a code from Green Man Gaming, where it was on sale.


March Games - Puyo Puyo Tetris

Puyo Puyo Tetris – Switch

“Lockdown” has meant my girlfriend and I have been playing quite a few games together. As ever Puyo Puyo Tetris is the main one, and in the latter half of March we were playing an hour or so every evening.

Switch edition is available here on Amazon* (I also have it on PC and PS4, we just tend to mostly play Switch.


March Games - Overwatch - PC

Overwatch – PC

Managed to get a good session on Overwatch this month, hoping to spend more time with it ahead of Overwatch 2 arriving. Still a fantastic game, although so much has changed since I used to play that it was a bit like starting over. Oh well.

Available from Amazon*


Raging Justice March Games

Raging Justice – PC

We’re looking forward to the arrival of Streets of Rage 4 in this house, and in the meantime we’ve been back to this for our street brawling fix. Still a very enjoyable game but hopefully not much longer to wait for Streets of Rage 4. Looks like it should be out towards the end of April.


March Games - Animal Crossing New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Switch

What I’ve mostly been playing, and will probably still dominate my April and May playtime too. It’s the perfect lockdown game, being very much a gaming “happy place”.

It seems both Switches, and the game are in relatively short supply at the moment, although you can at least pick up a download code from Amazon*. Won’t help if you don’t have the console though!


March Games - Golden Axe - Mega Drive

Golden Axe – Mega Drive

We also returned to this classic for some brawler action in March, and fired up the Mega Drive. We had a good run but we finally fell against the last boss. Maybe next time Death Adder!

If you don’t already have a Mega Drive, you can pick up one of the mini ones (when they’re in stock) from here*. Unlike the previous mini versions of the Mega Drive console, these ones are really good quality and properly support modern televisions. It does have Golden Axe on already.


Tetris 99

Tetris 99 – Switch

Hadn’t been on this for a while, but have been playing a few rounds again in between bouts on Puyo Puyo Tetris. It’s still fantastic.

March Pick-ups

March Games - Black Mesa - PC

Black Mesa – PC

Impulse buy I haven’t played properly yet, this is the remake of the original Half-Life. It’s had some great reviews so hopefully I’ll get round to playing at some point. Maybe after I clear the Modern Warfare campaign…


March Games - LEGO DC Super Villains

LEGO DC Super Villains – Xbox One

Another one brought on by the pandemic. Fancied something substantial I could play co-cooperatively with my girlfriend. We’ve enjoyed a few of the Lego games now, and as our favourite DC characters are Riddler and Penguin, this has already proven quite a success.

All editions are available from Amazon here*, I went for the Xbox One as that’s where we’ve played most of these Lego titles. I’m a bit gutted I don’t have the Amazon DLC as I got mine from GAME. That Black Lightning mini-fig looks pretty cool.


March Games - Squidlit - Nintendo Switch

Squidink – Switch

Just a bit of a curiosity, a modern game created using the original GameBoy palette. Haven’t tried it yet but it was on sale for 80p so thought it was worth a look.


March Games - Doom 64 - Nintendo Switch

Doom 64 – Switch

This almost passed me by, I thought it was only going to be included with pre-orders for the new Doom Eternal game, and since I am waiting to pick that up when I don’t have a backlog of First Person Shooters to play, I thought I’d miss out. However, it appeared for £3.99 on the eshop and some solid reviews so thought I’d give it a go. I’ve done the first couple of levels just to check it out. It holds up well and is very nice on the Switch.


Humble Bundle March

Humble Conquer Covid-19 Bundle – PC

I’m no stranger to Humble Bundles in general, and already owned most of the games in this pack. However it was still worth it for the handful of games I didn’t have, and the money went to a good cause. The headline title was definitely Hollow Knight, yes I’ve played it already but it’s worth shouting about again.


*As usual, these links are affiliate ones, which may earn me a small commission if you buy something.