2021 in Games

2021 in Games

Continuing to only slightly progress the planned list, I have decided to drop off some of the titles that I have already rolled forward previously. Going back to the 2020 list I allowed myself four games I didn’t play to take forward. The others were either abandoned during my updates in 2020 or “back on the shelf”.


Top 5 played in 2020

1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Switch

This was on the playlist from last year, and after putting in 400 hours, it does have to be my game of the year really. I did stop playing when I moved house over the Summer, and I haven’t been back to it. I’m sure I’ll get the urge again this year though, if only to do the Autumn and Winter seasons I didn’t play yet.

If you have a Switch you must own this* already, right?


2. Marvel’s Spider-man – PS4

Yes everyone else played it the year before, but it does deserve most of the praise. I did find some of the side content tedious, too much busy work. It’s only the same problem that most open world games have, and the main story did make up for it.

Amazon link*


Ritual of the Night - Switch

3. Bloodstained Ritual of the Night – Switch

Despite the initial false start attempting this on the Xbox One originally, and then the gap to progress for a year when I got stuck on the “Bloodless” boss, I did really enjoy this. It seems to still be getting content added as well so I may have another look at it for that later too. As “metroidvanias” go, this almost certainly deserves a place on my top 5. Will need to think about where it goes if I ever refresh that list.

As per previous posts, the Switch version* doesn’t run as well as the PC or other console ones, but if you mostly play your Switch in Handheld mode, it’s a very satisfying experience now they’ve fixed the original issues.


51 Worldwide Games - Switch

4. 51 Worldwide Games – Switch

I was a bit torn with this, as I was hoping for more in terms of the online multiplayer options. As a standalone piece though, and with local multiplayer, this is a worthy follow up to the stellar 42 All-time Classics on the Nintendo DS.

As a cheaper release anyway, 51 Worldwide Games* is still easy to recommend for the money if the idea interests you at all.


Modern Warfare - February Games

5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) – PC

Really enjoyed the campaign, but mostly what I enjoyed was spending a lot of time during this pandemic playing online with my best mate. I remain grateful that they finally got proper cross platform working. It has been really great to be able to play on my PC, while he was on his PS4, and it to just, work. Complete with voice chat. The multiplayer remains some of the best around.


Also rans:

Core Grafx Mini

Didn’t think I could really list one of the mini consoles as a top game of the year, but it was certainly a highlight. Still an easy recommend.

Seriously, these are great*

Command & Conquer Remaster – PC

Bit of a surprise this. Unfortunately it was so well done and polished that it destroyed the lacklustre Warcraft 3: Reforged, and derailed my plans to replay that campaign. I did get a bit stuck (as usual) on the original C&C GDI story though, so I should try to go back to it.

Streets of Rage 4 – Xbox One

I think a lot of people were surprised how well this turned out. A real gem this year. Didn’t make my list though as while it’s great fun in local multiplayer, I still don’t really rate brawlers like this as single player games.

Think I assumed this was digital only (outside of those heinous ‘limited’ collectors editions). Apparently not*.


10 games for 2021

1. Super Metroid – Switch / SNES

Despite my statement last year, I’m giving this one more run out. If only because I’m still yet to play any of the NES or SNES games on the Switch and I should at least get to one. It is year four though, oh dear.


2. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void – PC

Another one that survives for another year on the list, I think I would have gotten to this if I wasn’t distracted by the Command & Conquer Remaster. Oh and if Blizzard hadn’t become a terrible company that made me actively not want to play their games. I do want to close out the StarCraft II trilogy though so hoping to get to it.


3. 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…


Myst 3 Exile - 2020 in games

4. Myst III: Exile – PC

Last of the ones I’m taking forward, I do still intend to progress my way through all these. However long it takes. I can already see me replaying the original MYST again when the new VR version comes to Steam though.


Airborne Kingdom - December Games

5. Airborne Kingdom – PC

Only picked this up in December, and I already know I want to play it through. It is very pretty, and seems to have an interesting campaign / story for a city builder.


Shadow of the Tomb Raider - PS4

6. Shadow of the Tomb Raider – PS4

I really enjoyed the first two games in this trilogy, but wasn’t in a rush to play more. It’s been long enough now that I’m looking forward to this one, and Sony were kind enough to make it one of the free games for January. Excellent.


Call of Cthulhu - Xbox / PC

7. Call of Cthulhu – Xbox / PC

Think I have this on both Xbox and PC so we’ll see how I feel when I get round to starting it. We all know I enjoy a Lovecraftian Videogame and I’ve heard good things about this one.


Ori and the Will of the Wisps

8. Ori and the Will of the Wisps – Xbox

Very much enjoyed the original, despite some of the more punishing platforming sections. I’ll probably play it on the next Xbox I pick up, likely a Series S.


Spider-Man: Miles Morales - PS5

9. Miles Morales – PS5

The first of two games I don’t actually own yet, it’s still my intention to pick up a PlayStation 5 once they’re available again. I’m hoping I can get one by February, and take a week off work to play. This game is first on the list. Second and third on the list are my free upgrades to the PS5 versions of Madden 21 and Mortal Kombat 11. Obviously.

Think you need the ultimate edition* if you want the remastered original game. And of course you want that.


Hollow Knight: Silksong - 2020 in Games

10. Hollow Knight: Silksong – Switch?

As expected, this didn’t come out in 2020, but should arrive in 2021, and I shall be there when it does. The first game was a perfect fit for the Switch, but as my home situation changed, I find I don’t play it handheld anymore. I might then go for whichever version of Silksong is going to look best on my big TV.


2021 releases I’m looking forward too

Returnal – PS5

The new one from Housemarque. I’m not entirely sure I’ll like this, as I’m not big on third person shooters or roguelikes. However, Housemarque still made some of my favourite games, so I’m going to give it a go.


Back 4 Blood – PC

After getting back into Left 4 Dead 2 last year, I’m quite looking forward to this. Not sure I’ll get it on release though, looks pretty pricey for something I’ll only play casually with friends. We’ll see.


God of War: Ragnarok - 2021 Games

God of War: Ragnarok – PS5

Another sequel to a game I enjoyed previously. All going well this should be a real showcase for the PS5.


Gotham Knights - 2021 Games

Gotham Knights – TBC

Not sure where I’ll play this, but if it’s anything like the Batman Arkham games, I should enjoy it, and it is very appealing to play as the Bat Family.


*these are affiliate links, I’ll get a small commission if you buy something.


December Games 2020

December Games

Nothing else finished for the end of the year, but I did abandon another game, so that’s pretty similar.

Games played during December

Need for Speed Rivals - PS4

Need 4 Speed Rivals – PS4

Picked this up in the sale for a couple of quid, just as something else to play online with a buddy. Had fun with it for an evening, not sure if we’ll go back to it but pretty much already had my money’s worth. Basically spent my entire time wondering why I was playing it when Forza Horizon is a thing.


Star Trek Bridge Crew - PSVR

Star Trek Bridge Crew – PSVR

Not only did we play this again during December, we also managed 4 players to have a full crew. It was everything I’d hoped for, more please in 2021.


Geometry Wars 3 – PS4

I quit playing this ages ago, but one of my mates picked it up on sale in December. He proceeded to obnoxiously send me a screenshot of him beating my Pacifism score. I then fired it up to do something about that, and noticed I was being beaten by at least one of my friends on all but one of the classic leader boards. Had fun for a week or so correcting that on them all. Still a fantastic game.


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - December Games

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Switch

With various friends and family members getting Switches this year, Mario Kart 8 pretty much became the game of Christmas. Enjoyed revisiting the entertaining multiplayer, even if my Nephew entirely dominates the number one spot.

Amazon link* the price fluctuates a lot for this. It was below £40 just before Christmas


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

Worms W.M.D. – PS4 and Switch

Double-dipped for this so as well as continuing to play the PS4 version, I can also play against all those new Switch owners in the family too.

PS4 version on Amazon*

December Pick-ups

PC VR Headset

PC VR Headset – Lenovo Explorer

After I had been discussion my thoughts on a recent podcast episode about maybe picking up a PC VR headset in addition to my existing PSVR setup, a mate offered me this for a great price. It’s a lovely bit of kit, and gives me access to those games that haven’t made their way to the PlayStation. Amusingly I’ve had to order some prescription lenses for it so I can see properly. Unlike the PSVR helmet there is no room for my glasses inside!


Airborne Kingdom - December Games

Airborne Kingdom – PC (epic)

Another I’d been watching for a while, I grabbed this from the Epic Store, their sale with the combined £10 voucher made it silly money. A beautiful looking and very mellow (floating) city builder. Will put this on the playlist for 2021 as I’m keen to give it a proper go.


Locomotion - Switch

Locomotive – Switch

I did manage a go on the PC version of this back at EGX 2019. However it came up on the Nintendo eShop for about 90p so grabbed it there instead. Fun little puzzle game. With a train.


GameBoy Color and EZ Flash Junior

Forgot to include the GameBoy in my November roundup, but it was my one Black Friday purchase. A custom modded GameBoy Color with a lovely bright backlit screen. In December I added the EZ Flash Junior card for it. Much cheaper alternative to the equivalent EverDrives, and seemed worth a punt after the success I had with the EZ Flash Omega for GBA games on my DS Lite. I’m now considering a second Junior to use with my original GameBoy.

Might get a link cable too, who wants to play some GameBoy Tetris and Golf?


Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate - December Games - PS4

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate – PS4

Had my eye on this for a while, went on sale just as I was gifted a timely Amazon voucher as a bit of a professional reward. Very pleased with it already, and happy that it’s another game (along with Madden) that will give me the PS5 upgrade for free when I can get hold of one.

This* is the edition I picked up on PS4


Tetris 99 - Switch

Tetris 99 – Switch

Okay so I already have all the digital content for this, but the physical edition with 12 months of Nintendo Online was on sale for only £1 more than just the online subscription. Nice for the shelf anyway.

Although the online Tetris 99 gameplay is free, the DLC content is a nice way to play some solo Tetris. If you need to pick up an online pass for the Switch anyway, you could do worse than grabbing this package*.


Sayonara Wild Hearts - Switch - December Games

Sayonara Wild Hearts – Switch

Heard a lot about this when it first came out, and some friends were talking about playing it recently too. Another sale purchase. First impressions are good but it really made me want to go back to playing Thumper.

Games retired this month

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix HD - October Games

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix – PS4

Well I tried.


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

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.