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

Fantasy Zone Header - February Games

February Games

Already a bit concerned about the lack of games completed this year, and given what I’ve mostly been playing that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon. Unless I can stop playing multiplayer stuff for long enough to finish one of these campaign modes…

Games played during February

Modern Warfare - February Games

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – PC

After playing a bunch of online multiplayer on the PS4 version in split-screen at my mates house over Super Bowl weekend, I discovered this had full cross platform multiplayer support. I bought the PC version online while I was in the airport waiting to come home. Have played quite a bit of this now, mostly the multiplayer and maybe an hour of the campaign. It’s fantastic that I can just party up with my friend on his PS4 playing with a pad, which I play with keyboard and mouse on my PC. It was also a nice bonus that when I logged in, all my progress from the weekend on PS4 carried over.

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.


Ritual of the Night - September Games

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Switch

Still plugging away at this, very happy with the Switch version now and it’s definitely my preferred way to play even given the performance dip versus the other ports.

Various editions available here* from Amazon – and I can now happily also recommend the Switch version too

February Pick-ups

Firewall Zero Hour VR - February Games

Firewall Zero Hour – PSVR

I think I’ve included PS+, Games with Gold and other ‘free’ games in my pickups on previous posts, so I’ll maintain that trend and add this one. I’ve heard good things, and always like to add to the VR library.


SEGA Ages Fantasy Zone - February Games

SEGA Ages Fantasy Zone – Switch

I love Fantasy Zone, and the Master System port made the list of “also-rans” in my All-time Top 5 Games list. So this new addition to the SEGA Ages range on Switch was a no-brainer. It’s a port of the Arcade game and I don’t think I’ve ever cleared that one so I’ll be hoping to rectify that. Further evidence for me needing an arcade stick though, it is not great to control in handheld mode with the joy cons.


Modern Warfare Season 2 - February Games

Modern Warfare Season 2 Pass – PC

Wouldn’t usually go for this sort of content, but knowing I was going to be playing quite a bit of this online for the near future I didn’t mind paying out a few quid for the extra things to unlock as I go. My mate picked it up as well.


Dusk - PC - February Games

Dusk – PC

This popped up on sale and curiosity got the better of me. They’ve really nailed the 90s aesthetic for FPS games of that era. It looks great and plays exactly as those games did. Not entirely sure I’m happy that I paid £11 or whatever for a game that feels 25 years old, but still. It’s certainly polished.


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

Header - January Games

January Games

Fashionably late thanks to me spending last weekend on Super Bowl excitement, here’s a look back at my January gaming.

Games played during January

Demon's Tilt - December Games

Demon’s Tilt – Switch

I’ve carried on with this, and the Switch might be my preferred version too. As expected, now I’ve got the flip grip discussed further down, the system is a perfect fit for pinball.


January Games - Injustice 2

Injustice 2 – PS4

Managed to spend a bit of time playing Injustice 2 with my partner again. After watching the DC animated movie Justice League vs Teen Titans* which I received for Christmas, we were very much in the mood to smash Superman about with a selection of other heroes (and Ninja Turtles).


A Way Out - January Games

A Way Out – PS4

After picking this up back in April 2019 I finally got around to playing some. Along with Phil from the podcast, we’re probably somewhere between 25 – 50% of the way through. Hopefully we can find time for another online session soon.


Destiny 2 – PC

Fell down a bit of a hole with this. I bounced off the PS4 version fairly quickly when it was free with PS+. However with the move to free 2 play, my PC Gaming group were interested in it as something we could be playing together. We’ve only actually had one session where we (unsuccessfully) did some of the PvP stuff, but I stuck with the game and played quite a lot over a couple of weeks. It’s a great game moment to moment, but the MMO trappings mean it’s difficult to feel like there is any sort of end point. I’ll probably ween myself off it to play something with a more straightforward campaign.


WarCraft III Reforged - January Games

Warcraft 3: Reforged – PC

Unlike the rest of the internet apparently, I’m really enjoying this. Granted I wasn’t interested in any multiplayer beyond 2 – 4 player matches for fun with my friend groups, and never really spent much time with the Custom Games. I’m having a good time replaying my favourite RTS story game, with nice looking graphics. Blizzard being Blizzard, they’ll no doubt continue to patch it, but I think we do have to accept they’re just not the company they used to be.


January Pick-ups

Ritual of the Night - September Games

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Switch

After considering it last month, I managed to pick up a physical copy of the Switch version with some vouchers I had left over from Christmas. The Switch version has received another performance improvement update, and is now a pretty competent port. It is never going to be as pretty or as smooth as the other versions, but it is now perfectly playable. For me, the convenience of being able to play it handheld makes up for the compromise in quality. I’ve put about 5 hours in now, and pretty much caught up with where I was on the Xbox version.

Various editions available here* from Amazon


Flip Grip - January 2020

Flip Grip – Switch

Soon after posting last months update, I ordered the mentioned flip grip, which allows you to play the Switch in handheld mode with the screen rotated 90 degrees to be vertical / portrait (also referred to as TATE). Perfect for pinball as mentioned above, and for vertical shmups, this also influenced my next two purchases (and added about 6 more to my wishlist). Nintendo Life published this list of best TATE Switch games which gave me some ideas too.


Anger Force Reloaded - Switch

Anger Force Reloaded – Switch

This is a nice little vertical shmup. Like the graphics style and it seems pretty fun, haven’t dug too deep yet though but it is great to play with the Flip Grip.


January Games - Stern Pinball Arcade

Stern Pinball Arcade – Switch

More vertical pinball! This a great set of replicas of the real machines. I picked this up from Argos where it was £9.99 for an annoying plastic box with the download code for the digital version inside. It was less than half what it would have cost to buy from the eShop though so still the best way to go. Especially since activating it gave me £3 worth of eShop gold coins too.


Constructor Plus - January Games

Constructor Plus – Switch

Another one from Argos. They had an offer on where all the £9.99 games were 2 for £15. Felt like this was worth a punt as I was buying pinball anyway (the rest of the games in the deal looked garbage). I played a lot of the original Constructor game on the PC years ago, so hoping to get some fun from this version.

Retired during December

Monster Boy - Switch

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom – Switch

Couldn’t quite get into this as much as I’d hoped to. Certainly glad I didn’t pay full price. Not sure what the problem is though. I’ll try coming back to it. For now I’m sticking with Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night for my Metroidvania and platforming fix.


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

2020 in Games

2020 in Games

As history repeats itself right here on my blog, once again I played very little from my intended playlist as planned at the start of 2019. Will I learn from this? No, I shall give the list a shake and roll it forward anyway!


Played in 2019

1. Gears of War 4 – Xbox One

It’s still here! We still haven’t finished this but we did play a bit more. I’m sure this could be our year! Maybe we’ll jump straight to Gears 5 when we’re done.


2. Riven – Saturn

Hurrah, this was on my 2019 list, and I even completed it. Well done me. Reminder that MYST 3 should be on the list for 2020 then.


3. Quantum Break – Xbox One

I did try to play this, but abandoned it back in March due to it not being any good. Oh well.


4. The Witcher 3 – Xbox One

Another one I tried to play, but although it is undoubtedly a great game, it just wasn’t for me. I’ll stick to reading the books and now watching the TV show.


10 games for 2019

1. Super Metroid – Switch / SNES

Will be the third year for this on the list now, I’m more confident I’ll get to it with it now being playable on the Switch, but I’ve decided 2020 is the last time I plan to play it. If I don’t get to it this year it can go back on the shelf.


2. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void – PC

Keeping this on the list as well, just haven’t played enough PC games this year.


3. Fable Anniversary – Xbox One

Yep, let’s keep this too. I did make a bit of a start with it ahead of the discussion on the Original Xbox episode of the podcast, but I need to make more of an effort.


4. Indigo Prophecy: Fahrenheit – PS4

Another one being given its last chance in 2020. If I don’t get to it this year… blah blah.


5. Marvel’s Spider-man – PS4

Well I did get round to buying Spider-man towards the end of 2019, so I definitely intend to play it this year.


6. The Last Express – PC

“Last one on the list that I’ve brought with me from last year. Gotta have a train game!” – Think I’ll keep that quote from last year too…


7. Warcraft III: Reforged – PC

Warcraft III remains at the top of my All-Time Top 5 RTS Games post, although this remake got pushed back into January 2020 for release. Definitely ready to play it this year now.


8. Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Switch

Also due out this year after getting delayed in 2019, I’ll certainly be playing this from launch. Unlike this time last year, I now have the Switch ready for it.


Monster Boy - Switch

9. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom – Switch

One I picked up in December, hoping to get to it properly soon so it deserves a place here.


Myst 3 Exile - 2020 in games

10. Myst III: Exile – PC

As promised after successfully playing Riven last year, let’s continue with more MYST. I think I’ll be playing on PC, but I do have a couple of console versions kicking around too.


2020 releases I’m looking forward too

Along with Warcraft III: Reforged and Animal Crossing, just a couple of other mentions:

1. Doom Eternal – PS4

Still looking forward to this, and I think we can expect it in 2020.


Halo Infinite - 2020 in games

2. Halo Infinite – Xbox One / PC

I am interested to see more of this, although must concede that I still didn’t finish 4 or 5. I put that down to wanting to play co-op eventually though and having a bunch of games in the queue to clear first.


Ori and the Will of the Wisps - 2020 in Games

3. Ori and the Will of the Wisps – Xbox One

Really enjoyed the first game, so will definitely give this one a go. Specially as it’s coming to Game Pass.


Hollow Knight: Silksong - 2020 in Games

4. Hollow Knight: Silksong

I’m not even sure this will make a 2020 release, but the first game is one of the best I’ve ever played so will be all over this when it does come out.


December Games 2019

December Games

Ahead of my end of year post that’ll appear (hopefully) early January, first we’ll close out with gaming goings on from December. Looks like another month with nothing completed too.

Games played during December

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - December Games

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Switch

Like any good December, the majority of my gaming this month has been multiplayer. Wish I’d started practising in November though. At least Mario Kart remains a good time even when you’re not winning…


December Games - Puyo Puyo Tetris

Puyo Puyo Tetris – Switch

This Christmas featured a good amount of Tetris, and a lot of the Puyo Puyo Tetris multiplayer variety. Such a great multiplayer title, and a great way to round out what has been a year of Tetris really.


December Pick-ups

Monster Boy - Switch

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom – Switch

I have been interested in Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom for a while. It got a substantial 50% discount in a December sale on the Nintendo eShop so decided it was finally time to pick it up. Haven’t played much yet, but it looks incredible running. Looking forward to getting stuck in.


Halo Reach PC - December Games

Halo Reach – PC (Game Pass)

Yes of course I’ve played this before, but was very interested in trying the new PC port. Remains one of the best games in the series, and looks great in this version. Looking forward to them adding more of the games to the PC version of the Master Chief Collection.


Cities Skylines - December Games

Cities Skylines Add-ons – PC

Humble Bundle had a strategy bundle up during December, and although I already owned most of the games, it was worth a purchase for the various Cities Skylines expansions I hadn’t picked up yet.


Demon's Tilt - December Games

Demon’s Tilt – Switch

I was already feeling spoilt when the Xbox One version of this excellent pinball game appeared on Game Pass. I didn’t realise a Switch version was coming until the day before it released. It was a day one purchase for me, particularly since the developer’s gave me a code for the PC version so I could do this Demon’s Tilt preview. For one of my favourite games of the year, I was certainly happy to throw some money at them for a Switch version.

Now I just need one of those flip grips, so I can play with a vertical screen.


December Games - Dicey Dungeons

Dicey Dungeons – PC

First of two games gifted from my Steam wish list by a good friend. I did mention this briefly on my EGX Rezzed blog post, now glad to be able to play the finished game.


Islanders - December Games

Islanders – PC

The second of the Steam games I received for Christmas, I don’t really know anything about other than the description from the store page. It looks great though!


Streaming / Podcast Recording PC

I had been considering putting together a second PC that I could dedicate to recording and editing the podcast for a while. It also occurred to me that the same hardware would be suitable for handling streaming if I decided to try that. Fortunately my partner’s work were auctioning off some old hardware and I picked up a 2017 Dell laptop on the cheap. I’ve since doubled the RAM up to the limit of 8GB, and added a 480 GB SSD*. It is now pretty nippy and should be up for the task.

I didn’t really know where to start with things like audio mixers and capture cards, but have gone for the below based on some bits I’ve read, and will see how I get on. I went with the HD60 rather than the HD60 S thanks to the former’s hardware encoding. This should shift some of the load away from the CPU in the older laptop.

Mixer: Behringer Xenyx QX1002USB*
Capture Card:https://amzn.to/39qGFRx*

Of course I don’t actually know what I’m doing with any of this yet, but I’ll figure it out. Maybe.


Retired during December

Ritual of the Night - September Games

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Xbox One

I’ve retired this for a while due to not getting as much time on the Xbox as I’d like. I’m presently in two minds about grabbing the Switch version despite the performance issues just so I can play it more regularly. We’ll see.

Various editions available here* from Amazon


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

November Games - PC Upgrade

November Games

Another month without completions, can mostly put that down to my nipping off to Egypt for some winter sun. Did spend a small fortune though. On with the games.

(Also now updated the post as some old text reappeared when I posted it before, had a few weird errors on here lately)

Games played during November

Super Fantasy Zone - November Games

SEGA Mega Drive and Master System

Thanks to my OSSC purchase detailed below, I spent a healthy amount of time with my Mega Drive this month, playing a variety of both Mega Drive & Master System ROMs via my EverDrive. I think the most playtime went to Super Fantasy Zone and The Ninja. Didn’t manage to clear either of them, although I did get to the last boss on Super Fantasy Zone a couple of times. Just couldn’t remember how I was supposed to beat him.


Ticket to Ride - November Games

Ticket to Ride – Mobile & Steam

I play so much digital Ticket to Ride, I had to include it eventually. Also during November I managed to play a fair bit of the board game as well so seemed a good time. The mobile app is the best board game adaptation I’ve found, and works really well for a group of friends to be able to maintain an asynchronous turn-based game over a few days. It’s also a nice touch that I can fire it up on my computer when I’m at my desk and continue the same games.

Why not buy one of the board games?* I’ve got the Europe main game, along with Netherlands and Japan/Italy expansions.


Ritual of the Night - September Games

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Xbox One

Still playing this when I get time, it really is a worthy Symphony of the Night successor. Have almost caved and bought it on the switch a couple of times recently. Must check in on how those performance patches are coming along.

Also your apparently monthly reminder to check out the Castlevania episode of Maximum Power Up.

PS4, Xbox One and Switch versions available here* As mentioned previously, I’d skip the Switch version unless you don’t have access to the other platforms, or if the portability makes you think it’d be worth taking the performance hit.


Lego Speed Champions

Forza Horizon 4 – Xbox One

Realised I hadn’t played Forza Horizon 4 in a while, so loaded it up for a bit of a session this November. Still one of the finest racing games I’ve ever played, although I think I stopped playing because the LEGO challenges were starting to get a bit tricky!


November Pick-ups

ossc - November Games

Open Source Scan Converter (OSSC)

A bit of an extravagance this, but it sort of saved me money. I was considering one of the fancy Analogue Mega Sg systems, but the price was putting me off. However, I realised that I could get the OSSC for £100+ cheaper than one of those would cost me (factoring in international shipping and customs charges). The OSSC provides fancy up-scaling and scan-line generation like the Mega Sg, but using my existing Mega Drive & EverDrive combo. It also has the added benefit of working with my other retro systems too so a clear winner really. I just need to spend more time configuring it for the other consoles.

I got this OSSC* from Amazon, as it is open source, other people make them too and you can buy from other sources.


WarCraft III Reforged - November Games

WarCraft III Reforged – PC

I was always going to grab the WarCraft 3 remaster when it came out, as it is one of my favourite games and my all-time favourite RTS game. I just plumped for the pre-order so I could have a look at the beta. Looking forward to the full release now.


Laytons Mystery Journey - November Games

Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy: Deluxe Edition – Switch

Ridiculous title aside, I really fancied this after playing it at EGX 2019. I’m having fun with it, although either I’ve got smarter since the first game, or (more likely) this is a much easier game than I remember. It’s pretty quaint anyway, and at least having bought the physical edition I can trade it in when I’m done.

Available from Amazon here*, I preordered this one as it was cheapest I could find


Blood & Truth PSVR - November Games

Blood & Truth – PSVR

Only heard really good things about this, and I loved the short “London Heist” game they put out as part of PlayStation VR Worlds. Haven’t had chance to play yet but it popped up in the Black Friday sale so looking forward to getting time with it next time I’m on the PSVR.


Spider-Man GOTY - November Games

Spider-Man: Game of the Year – PS4

Also on the PlayStation Black Friday sale, I finally picked up Spider-Man. Not sure paying extra for the Game of the Year edition with all the DLC was sensible, but here we are. Now I just need to find time to play.


PC Upgrade - November Games

PC Upgrade

So, as planned last month I did head to Overclockers Black Friday sale for my PC Upgrade. I picked up a 500GB 970 EVO Plus Samsung Solid State hard drive of the m.2 persuasion and one of the PowerColor Red Devil line of AMD Radeon 5700 XT cards. While I was at it I also upgraded my chair, to one of these fancy ones. Hopefully start to play more PC games again now and make the most of the extra firepower! I think when I next upgrade it’ll finally be time to replace the case I’ve had for so long now. The featured image for this post is the top of my current case, with the stickers that came with all the hardware it has housed along the way.

The Hard Drive* & GPU* are the same price on Amazon too


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

October Games

October Games

October was another month where I didn’t manage any completions. I have chalked up a retirement though, but I’m hoping to come back to that one later.

Games played during October

Tetris 99

Tetris 99 – Nintendo Switch

Finally managed to stop playing this everyday, but I did go back and play quite a bit for a Luigi’s Mansion event in late October, to unlock the associated theme. I still mostly just play with the Game Boy one, but Luigi’s Mansion is cool.

If you’re in the market for a Switch Lite, the Tetris bundle* is obviously the way to go.


Civilization VI - Switch - October Games

Civilization VI – Nintendo Switch

I did only pick this up in October, but I’ve played so much I thought I should include it in this section. I’ve had a funny relationship with the Civilization series, since despite owning every one of them and most of the expansions for all of the games on my PC, I’ve played less than 6 hours total across them all. However, I did put a lot of time into Civilization Revolution on the DS and Vita, and it was this handheld fit that made me consider the Switch version. Loving it so far, and it does feel better sitting with the game in handheld mode on the sofa, rather than when sat at my PC.

Physical edition on Amazon*


EGX 2019 - PlayStation symbols

EGX

This month was EGX 2019, the Eurogamer Expo. I played a bunch of games there, and talked about them in a bit in my EGX round up post.


Ritual of the Night - September Games

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Xbox One

Made the decision to stick with the Xbox version and not bothering to restart on PC. Some ropey looking water effects aside, I think I’ve come to terms with the graphics. Still a great game and the only real “Halloweenesque” gaming I did for October.

As mentioned last month and if you do like Castlevania, please do check out this episode of Maximum Power Up I recorded with Phil. Still one of my favourites, and I intend to follow it up looking at the two Bloodstained games at a later date.

PS4, Xbox One and Switch versions available here* As mentioned previously, I’d skip the Switch version unless you don’t have access to the other platforms although it has received a performance patch though so things are improving on that front


Nitro Type - Typing Games

Nitro Type – PC

Discovered this free little browser-based gem a little while back. Competitive Typing is exactly what it is. It prompted me to finally put together my top 5 typing games post. You can play it yourself on the Nitro Type website, but you’ll need a keyboard, obviously.


Nanotale - Typing Games

Nanotale – PC

As also mentioned in my Typing Games best of, the kind folks at Fishing Cactus sent me a key for the Early Access version of Nanotale. I’ve been playing it a bit to prepare a preview post that should appear during November (Probably when I get back from my holiday).


October Pick-ups

Slay the Spire - October Games

Slay the Spire – Nintendo Switch

I did receive the PC version of this as a gift back when it was in Early Access. Slay the Spire is a great card game / adventure and a perfect fit for the Switch. I grabbed the Switch version when it went on sale, very much enjoying getting back to it.


StarCraft - Cartooned

StarCraft Cartooned – PC

Picked this up at the start of the month after having an eye on it for a while. It’s a complete “reskin” of the original StarCraft game. I’ve been promising myself a proper playthrough of StarCraft at some point, and now I think this may be the way I play.


Paper Train - October Games

Paper Trains – Nintendo Switch

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned previously, I do like a train game. This one is a fairly simple puzzle game but it’s the hand drawn “pen & paper” art style that sets it apart and makes it worth a look.


Scene It PS3 - October 2019

Scene It – PS3

Bit of a surprise charity shop find this, I didn’t even know Scene It had a game on the PS3. We did play quite a bit of the Xbox 360 version first time round, but this has different content to that one, and very nicely supports the Buzz Wireless Buzzers on the PS3. Great fun.


Overwatch - October 2019

Overwatch – Xbox One

Another charity shop pick up, I’m not sure I’ll play this but couldn’t leave it there for £3. I haven’t even touched the the PC version in over a year but at least I’ve got the Xbox One version as well if some of my friends drag me into it.


GoG Galaxy 2 - October Games

GoG Galaxy 2.0 Beta – PC

Not directly a game itself, but I received an invite to the beta from Good Old Games for their new “GOG Galaxy 2.0” client. I’ve already linked it to all my other PC libraries along with my Xbox and PlayStation ones. It’s nice to see everything in one place, but even better to be able to search all those games when I’m trying to check if I own something already or not…

Snapshot of my gog library - October Games
Too many games

Games retired during October

Metro Exodus – PC

Definitely intend to revisit this. With changing jobs, studying and spending 3 of the weekends during October at NFL games in London, I just haven’t had time for an in depth story game. Hoping November will involve a PC upgrade so I think I’ll come back to this then.

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

Steel Series Apex 350 - Typing Games

All-Time Top 5 Typing Games

While the “All-Time Top” bit is just there for dramatic effect, this genre is a lot more niche than I usually talk about, so the list is probably less controversial. If you do have suggestions for typing games I might have missed, let me know. Always up for more of typing games.

My personal origin with these games was back in the 80s, when my Dad bought a Commodore PC compatible system into the house. Something similar to the below (after discussing with my Dad, we think it was most likely a PC20-III, we remember the 20mb Hard Drive), it had a black and white text based display. Gaming was limited to a Space Invaders clone imaginatively called Cash Crisis, where the Aliens were comprised of £ and $ signs, and a racing game that was part of a Typing Tutor program. More on that further down.


5) Nitro Type – Browser Game

Nitro Type - Typing Games

A very recent discovery for me, but one that quickly raced into the top 5. (ha) This is a free to play multiplayer title that is accessed from their website nitrotype.com. The game immediately evokes memories of my first typing game covered in the Other Mentions below.

If you have any interest in trying typing games, or even just want to find out what your personal typing speed is, Nitro Type is a simple and addictive place to start.


4) Typing of the Dead – DC

Typing of the Dead - Typing Games

As much as I love the House of the Dead lightgun games, it is interesting tp me that some of my favourite games in the IP are spin-off games that don’t involve shooting at all. While the Pinball game “Pinball of the Dead” is my favourite Gameboy Advance game, Typing of the Dead remains one of my favourite Dreamcast titles.

Thanks to my love of first person shooters, I quickly picked up the Keyboard and Mouse controllers for my Dreamcast, but then stumbling across Typing of the Dead meant that I spent about as much time with this as I did with Quake 3 Arena. A particular highlight was taking my keyboard to my friends house so we could play co-op. I think Typing of the Dead was probably the first of the typing games I’ve played where typing was the main gameplay mechanic.


3) Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia – PC

Textorcist - Typing Games

Another great typing game that merges Typing with another game genre, this time the combat involves “bullet hell” style shoot em up mechanics. You are dodging various projectile attacks from demons, while simultaneously typing out incantations to banish them back to hell. It’s all wrapped up in an amusing story of a bit of a rogue priest. Ray Bibbia.

Available on Steam or Good Old Games.


2) Epistory: Typing Chronicles – PC

Epistory

A surprise highlight when I played it back in 2017, Epistory is a charming isometric RPG that will immediately look familiar to fans of games like Zelda. However, while those games generally fail to capture my attention, Epistory’s typing based exploration, puzzles and combat had me hooked all the way through.

As usual, there are Steam and Good Old Games options, depending on your preference.


1) Typing of the Dead: Overkill – PC

Typing of the Dead Overkill - Typing Games

Typing of the Dead: Overkill takes the system laid out in the previous Typing of the Dead, where that game took the content from House of the Dead 2, this one is based on the Wii & PS3 game, House of the Dead Overkill. Perfectly clear, right?

There was also Typing of the Dead 2 which was based on House of the Dead 3, but that was a Japanese exclusive and without a translation remains inaccessible to me. The gameplay is much the same as the above title, but stands out in a couple of key areas. The soundtrack and overall aesthetic of Overkill is highly entertaining and works much better than the previous games “so bad it’s good” approach. Of real value though is the Steam Workshop support, that allows custom dictionarys to be added. The game takes on a new lease of life when you can play through the whole thing typing Alan Partridge quotes.

Available on Steam only, so far as I can tell.


Honorable Mentions

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing – MSDOS

Mavis Beacon - Typing Games

I couldn’t find a shot of the text only version of this that we had on our family DOS based Commodore, but although the software comprised many lessons for teaching you to touchtype, the main draw for me was a racing game. You typed the on screen text as fast as possible as your car (comprised of simple ASCII characters) raced against the computer.

I’m pretty confident that Mavis Beacon is responsible for me being able to touch type well before I was ten, and apparently Mavis is still going.


Nanotale – PC

Nanotale - Typing Games

A follow up to the previous Typing Chronicles game, Epistory mentioned above. I played this back at EGX Rezzed and fell in love again. They have been generous enough to provide me with an Early Access press key for Nanotale so I’m currently playing with that and putting together a bit of a preview post that should be out in a week or so.

You can pick up the Early Access version on Steam.


EGX 2019 - PlayStation symbols

EGX 2019 – Highlights

Big brother to the smaller EGX Rezzed event, EGX (formerly Eurogamer Expo) returned to London in 2019 after 4 years at the Birmingham NEC following the closure of Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre, the Expo’s former home. This was good news for me, as Birmingham always seemed a bit too much of a trek to attend, but the event was a regular calendar fixture for us in when it was in London. This year EGX took place in the ExCel centre in London Docklands, a venue I’ve only attended once previously. That time it was for Destination Star Trek in 2012, and a rare chance to see all 5 Captains from the original series up to Enterprise on stage together.

As ever, EGX 2019 still very much had a focus on big AAA games, but thankfully there is still plenty to do if you’re not into queues and the annual COD, FIFA etc. cycle. This included the usual; large indie game area, plenty of traders, a decent sized area devoted to tabletop games, a couple of bars and the less usual; a selection of tattoo artists, just in case you felt like getting some ink at the event.

EGX 2019 Pickups

Did spend a bit of money with the traders, Green Lantern tee, some cool transformers stickers, an EGX lanyard and pin badge and a couple of tabletop games. The new hotness from Days of Wonder Deep Blue, and an interesting looking Euro Card Game Oh My Goods!* The Keyforge* deck was a pleasant freebie after playing a demo game.

EGX 2019 - Pronoun badge He/Him

There were plenty of freebies in the way of badges and stickers at many of the game stands, and I did very much appreciate EGX providing free pronoun badges at the event too, would like to see that kind of thing at more of these events.


The Games

There were apparently over 250 playable games this year, even more than at Rezzed and to be honest I barely played much of any. However I did play some, and spent a bit of time watching others to make sure I at least checked out all the games I was interested in. Here’s my thoughts on those that stood out.

Hollow Knight: Silksong

Hollow Knight: Silksong - EGX 2019

The star of the show for me, and probably the game I’m most looking forward to. Certainly the only one I absolutely had to see at the event. We almost missed it, thanks to there only being one demo unit, and bizarrely they only had the Switch edition so it was hidden away in the middle of Nintendo’s presence. It is looking incredible though, and the two areas available in the demo were stunning.


Streets of Rage 4

EGX 2019 - Streets of Rage 4

I think this had the biggest queues outside of the AAA titles. There was certainly always a large crowd around it, and we couldn’t get close to try it ourselves. However, while the art style is still a bit uninspired, the gameplay appears to be very much classic Streets of Rage. Will likely pick it up at some point.


Layton’s Mystery Journey

EGX 2019 - Layton's Mystery Journey

Another one we had trouble locating after deciding we fancied having a look at it, turned out Layton’s Mystery Journey was next to Hollow Knight. I haven’t played a Layton game since the first couple on the Nintendo DS. Seeing this Switch port of a 3DS game albeit with extra content and including the DLC, made me want to play again. Certainly interested in this one.


Art of Rally

Didn’t get to play this, but I really like the style and game engine for Art of Rally. However I am concerned that as a rally game the difficulty may be a bit prohibitive for me. See my previous experiences with Dirt Rally. Looked really nice running though, and I’ll see if there is a demo I can play at home…


AVICII Invector

AVICII Invector - EGX 2019

A rhythm action game in the style of Thumper, very much enjoyed playing this. A likely purchase for me, made sweeter by 25% of the royalties going to The Tim Bergling Foundation, in honour of the late AVICII himself. They do good work.

Would really benefit from a VR version too, if there is any scope for further development.


Tracks: The Train Set Game

Always a sucker for a train game and I’ve had my eye on this for a while. Didn’t want to get stuck into a sandbox during the event, but I watched someone else building for a bit and it looks very satisfying. Only slight concern being my complete lack of creativity in these sort of experiences.


Locomotion

More trains! I did have a bit of a go on this one. While I was expecting something reminiscent of Train Valley, the puzzle elements seem a bit more physics based rather than juggling multiple trains at once.


SNOW

One to watch. I love the setting and premise for this. Never sure about including “hacking mini games” but as a four hour story game, I’m optimistic for an interesting experience a la Firewatch.


Legends of Runeterra

I hadn’t heard anything of this before we went in, but there was no queue and we do enjoy a card game. The League of Legends IP is wasted on me, but their taking aim at Heathstone is pretty transparent. Given Blizzard’s recent fall from grace and ongoing PR nightmare, the time is now if you’re going to try and take some of their audience. Time will tell how successful that is. I enjoyed the game, but I also briefly enjoyed Chronicle: Runescape Legends, Solforge, Spellweaver and Ascension. Like those games, Legends of Runeterra so far lacks Hearthstone’s polish, and similarly I expect to bounce off this one too.

EGX 2019 - Legends of Runeterra

Dino Party

A pleasantly surprising little party game we stumbled across while looking for something else. It’s an odd little racing / maze game. We played a few rounds, and depending on the price, it is something I’d like to have in my Switch library for local multiplayer.


Round up

There was just the two of us for the event this year, and attending on the Friday instead of a usual Saturday felt relatively low key. Nevertheless, we had a great time hanging out. Playing some games, drinking some beers and burning some cash on unnecessary tat. A success.

Unshaven at EGX 2019
See you next year!

*As ever, these are affiliate Amazon links, and I’ll get a small commission if you click one and buy something

September Games

September was an incredibly busy month, including me changing jobs and sitting a formal exam for a professional qualification. Won’t actually know how I did in the exam until the end of November, but at least I can look at what games I managed to play.

Games completed this month

Vermintide II – PC

This was quite the achievement, being the first game completed in co-op with my ‘semi-regular’ online gaming foursome. We rapidly discovered we weren’t up for the harder difficulties, but we had a lot of fun playing through the base game. I think we’ll look to pick up the DLC on sale and maybe come back to it later.

PS4 version on Amazon*


Games played during September

Tetris 99

Tetris 99 – Switch

A surprise update to Tetris 99 added a few new features, including daily quests to earn ‘tickets’ that can be used to purchase additional themes for the gameplay modes. It worked as intended, and so far I’ve played everyday and have completed 100% of these daily quests. I’m still yet to get a 1st place, but it is starting to feel like just a matter of time.

If you’re in the market for a Switch Lite, the Tetris bundle* is obviously the way to go.


Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 – Switch

Had a great time with this for the first few hours. I have hit the difficulty wall pretty hard though, and am struggling to level my characters up to progress. Probably just need to read some guides but I’ve put it on hold for now. I do quite fancy the Season Pass if it goes on sale, the appeal of more characters is strong.

Physical edition on Amazon*


Tesla vs Lovecraft - September Gaming

Tesla vs Lovecraft – PS4

Inspired by some of my friends playing this, I decided to go back and gradually work towards picking up the Platinum Trophy. Still a ways to go but very much enjoying having a twin-stick shooter in my gaming rotation again.

No Amazon link for this as it’s digital only, but this Lovecraft & Tesla comic* looks great…


Ritual of the Night - September Games

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Xbox One

Mentioned this one a few times on here, it was in my games to play this year plan, and I also covered it in my EGX Rezzed post. As mentioned in my Top 5 Metroidvania post I had originally intended on picking it up on Switch, but the performance issues with that port had left me in a bit of a quandary with which version to get. Fortunately this was resolved by the game being added to GamePass. I’ve been playing it on Xbox One, but while I still don’t like the graphics (and tbh the shine on the character models and the water effects look terrible to me) GamePass also included the PC version, and I’ve had a quick go on there and it seems to look much better. Just trying to decide if I can be bothered to restart it. Game is great fun though, no complaints about the gameplay.

If you haven’t already, please do check out the Castlevania episode of Maximum Power Up I recorded with Phil. Still one of my favourite episodes, and I intend to follow it up looking at the two Bloodstained games at a later date.

PS4, Xbox One and Switch versions available here* As mentioned though, I’d skip the Switch version unless you don’t have access to the other platforms


Life is Strange 2 - September Games

Life is Strange 2: Episode One – Xbox One

Another game I fired up on GamePass. It’s still good, and I’m looking forward to continuing the game. I don’t quite like the characters as much as Max and Chloe though, and it’s probably telling that this is the first episode I didn’t play in one sitting. Hoping it’ll start to grab me more as the story progresses.


September Pick-ups

Tetris 99 Big Block DLC - September Games

Tetris 99 DLC

As mentioned above I’m back on this, and the new patch convinced me to pick up the paid Big Block DLC. At £9 I felt quite happy with the purchase, as I’ve already played around 30 hours of Tetris 99. Oops. Not sure if it was just a time limited offer, but buying the Big Block DLC meant I also got DLC Pack 2 when it came out, which added some local multiplayer modes.

Physical retail edition* includes this DLC and 12 months of the Nintendo Online service


Nintendo Switch - SNES

SNES Games – Switch

Already covered this in my Ten Reasons I Own a Nintendo Switch post, but September also saw the addition of SNES games to the Switch online offering. Super Metroid can finally happen!


Puzzle Quest - September Games

Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns – Nintendo Switch

Really enjoyed the original game back on Xbox Live and the Nintendo DS, but unlike several of my friends, I never did finish it. I’ve also had some fun with the mobile Puzzle Quest games, like the Marvel and SEGA ones, but the mobile trappings of the Free 2 Play model always end up putting me off. I was very pleased to see this version come to the switch, particularly as it bundles the original DLC along with some fresh new content for this port. I probably should play something other than Tetris.


Konami Arcade - September Games

Konami Arcade Anniversary Collection – Nintendo Switch

Much like the Castlevania collection I picked up back in May this year, this line up for this collection is pretty solid. Some great games, and Haunted Castle… These were back on offer, so I thought I’d grab this one too. I almost picked up the Contra Collection to complete the set, but as discussed on the Run N Gun Podcast episode, I find the difficulty gets in the way too much with that series.

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

Nintendo Switch

Ten Reasons I Own: A Nintendo Switch

Over 3 years since i last posted in this category, when I visited the virtues of PC Gaming. Now I’ve had my Nintendo Switch* for a while, I reached ten reasons why it’s worthwhile to me. Maybe.

It’s not my favourite platform, but it is the most convenient.


1. Golf Story

Still one of my favourite exclusives on the Nintendo Switch, and an early contender for best “Game I Played This Year”. Golf Story is an excellent RPG / casual golf game hybrid and a real joy. The top 3 points on this list are why I caved and bought the system, but Golf Story tipped it over the edge.

Golf Story – Download code*


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

2. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe

It wasn’t enough to get me to buy a Wii U (let’s be honest, it would have taken a lot) but when I finally got round to putting some real time into Mario Kart 8 I did have to concede that it’s probably the best Mario Kart yet. The main issues I had with 8 were:

  1. The bizarre juxtaposition of Mercedes product placement as DLC in the mushroom kingdom
  2. The break from the traditional mould for Deluxe on Nintendo Switch, where all the cups are unlocked immediately, taking away the joy of unlocking them as you progress.

However, I’ve since accepted 1 by simply ignoring that the vehicle is there and 2 was less of an issue once I starting playing and just approached it as I would usually. Started with the first cup on 50cc and worked my way through.

Buy Mario Kart 8 here*


Nintendo Switch - Animal Crossing

3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Yep, not even out yet (and has had further delays since I picked up my Switch). However, the trailers all look great and I can’t wait. Easily my favourite Nintendo first party IP and just the promise that it was coming was enough to influence my purchase.

Pre-order*, like me.


4. Indies Post-Vita

I never did get round to writing my “Ten-Reasons I own – PS Vita” post, maybe I’ll still get to it later. However, while the Vita was my preferred platform for lots of indie games that were available on other formats, like Limbo, Velocity, Axiom Verge, the ‘death’ of the system means that suitable games no longer receive Vita ports. The Switch has now taken this role in my house, and Hollow Knight & Timespinner are early examples of great indie games I’ve really enjoyed on there.


Virtua Racing - SEGA Ages

5. SEGA Support

As a self-proclaimed Sega Boy I do find it satisfying that some of the best games on my Nintendo Switch are from SEGA. The SEGA Ages ports are very polished, and while I’ve got (and enjoyed) a few of them, Virtua Racing stands out as a top example.


Tetris 99

6. Tetris 99

This arrived by surprise after I had already got my Switch, but it now stands as a system exclusive that could justify buying a Switch all on its own. Easily my favourite Battle Royale game, and the recent update to add achievement-like ‘badges’ and daily quests have only strengthened its position. It also made the DLC content much more appealing.

Tetris – objectively the best game of all time.

Buy the weird physical edition here* (or just download it for free if you have Nintendo Online)


Handheld games

7. Handheld Mode

I know there are plenty of people who mostly (in some cases, exclusively) play in handheld mode, but for me it represents a compromise. I’d still much rather play docked on my television, but being able to play in handheld mode when the TV is otherwise in use helps me carve out additional playtime. It’s very much a “nice to have” but not the reason for me to buy it, hence me not including the Nintendo Switch in my Top 5 Handhelds.

The Switch Lite isn’t for me, but this one is stupid pretty*

8. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

Not the greatest game, but solid fun and a surprise Nintendo Switch exclusive. I really enjoyed the previous games on the Xbox and 360, and this one is more of the same. The fanservice has been updated for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the character roster is much more 2019, but it is very much the same game. I’m still having a great time with Ultimate Alliance 3.

Buy it here*


Virtua Racing Split Screen 8 Player

9. Local Multiplayer

This is a weird one, since on the surface it shouldn’t be any better than the PS4 or Xbox for local multiplayer stuff. However, for some reason, the Switch has established itself as the system of choice for local multiplayer games in my house. Granted it’s mostly my girlfriend and I playing Raging Justice or versus mode Puyo Puyo Tetris. I think it’s probably down to the start up speed, but it’s definitely an important part of the system.


Nintendo Switch - SNES

10. SNES Classics (& NES I guess)

It was a long time coming, but Nintendo didn’t disappoint when they finally got round to adding SNES games to the system. Following the “free” NES games included with Nintendo Online, Nintendo has added SNES games to the service. I’m not a big fan of most of these games, having mostly missed out on the NES and SNES first time round. However, I’m really pleased to see Super Metroid on there (as mentioned on my metroidvania post) and I do like the chance to dabble with both libraries of games essentially for free. Also my girlfriend has probably gotten my money’s worth for the online service, by just playing Dr Mario.


*affiliate Amazon links, I’ll get a small cut if you buy anything