January Games

Progress! A decent winter break (including 3 weeks of garden leave while I changed jobs) gave me time to get on with some games.

Games completed this month

Octopath Traveler II - PS5

Octopath Traveler 2 – PS5

Yes! Finally completed this epic after 111 hours. I haven’t quite got the platinum trophy though. One optional boss fight for 100% completion. It’s a bit much though so I’m parking it for now to play some other stuff.

Vampire Survivors Emergency Meeting - Xbox Series X

Vampire Survivors Emergency Meeting DLC – Xbox Series X

As long as they keep releasing DLC for Vampire Survivors, I’ll keep clearing them. This was a log of fun, even if all the Among Us references were entirely wasted on me.

Games played during January

Fortnite - January Games

Fortnite – PC

Didn’t really play much, but after watching my niece play over Christmas I was at least interested enough to install it. Thought I might play more but I haven’t been back.

Alan Wake II - January Games

Alan Wake 2 – PS5

I’m playing my friend’s copy of this. Really enjoying it and want to continue. It’s a bit scary though and my progress is really slow. Keep hiding in safe rooms instead of actually moving forward.

Humanity - PS5

Humanity – PSVR2

Spent a bit of time playing with my friend’s PSVR2 setup. First thing I tried was my own game, Humanity. I’d heard a lot about how transformative VR is supposed to be for this, but to be honest I was a bit disappointed. It’s still an incredible game, just better played on the TV.

Beat Saber - January Games

Beat Saber – PSVR2

At least my first time playing one of the stand out VR titles of recent years didn’t disappoint. I like the PSVR2 hardware but not convinced it’s essential. If I do go for a new headset I think it’ll be the Quest 3 standalone one for the wireless streaming from my PC.

The Knight Witch - Xbox Series X

The Knight Witch – Xbox Series X

Made some progress on The Knight Witch, I am enjoying it though some of the collision detection seems a bit harsh. A few times where I’ve died and not been convinced bullets actually hit me. Does deliver on the promise though, it’s a bullet-hell, twin-stick shmup, metroidvania. If those terms mean anything to you, you’ll know exactly what to expect. If not, maybe just go look at some gameplay footage.

Renfield - November Games

Renfield – Steam Deck

Spoiler for the pick ups section, but playing this game last month kinda pushed me over the edge into buying a Steam Deck. The whole genre of Vampire Survivor clones is perfect for the Deck, and I’ve really embraced it.

20 Minutes Till Dawn - January Games

20 Minutes Until Dawn – Steam Deck

Another Vampire Survivors clone that I picked up last year and played a bit of. Enjoying it much more now I have the deck.

Half-Life - PC

Half Life – Steam Deck

Valve released a free update for the original Half Life to improve how it runs on modern machines, and to optimise it for the Steam Deck. Perfect time to replay it and revisit the glory days of 90s fps games as I’ve recently been back to Quake 1 and 2 as well.

What’s been on the arcade?

Towards the end of the month I got it into my head that I’m going to 1cc Super Fantasy Zone on my cabinet. Since it’s a mega drive game it would make more sense to do that on the actual console but here we are. Annoyingly if I was playing on console I’d have proper hardware rapid fire which makes some of the bosses a breeze. As it is we’re sticking with the game’s own auto-fire setting.

January pick ups

Steam Deck

As mentioned above, this was the main gaming purchase for Jan. Thankfully a friend sold me his second-hand for a good price. It’s the mid-range of the original model, very happy with it so far.

God of Weapons – Steam Deck

Another Vampire Survivors Clone that I’d heard good things about and wanted for the deck.

Brotato – Steam Deck

See above.

Moons of Madness – PC / Steam Deck

Had my eye on this for a while, and managed to get a Steam key for a couple of quid. Not sure yet if I’ll play it on the Steam Deck or the PC.

Aggelos – Xbox Series X

Friend recommended this Wonder Boy type game as it was on sale for ridiculously cheap. Looks nice so will hopefully get to it.

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

2024 in Games

2024 in Games

A bit late with the round up I think, but here we are.

Top 5 played in 2023

Octopath Traveler II - PS5

1. Octopath Traveler 2 – PlayStation 5

Didn’t quite finish Octopath Traveler 2 in 2023 but almost, and I was playing it for most of the year. It improves on the first, already great, game in every way, but without changing anything too dramatic. At some point I’ll be revisiting that All Time Top JRPG post again…

Also available on PC and Switch, but I played this PS5 version*.

Dead Cells Bundle

2. Dead Cells & DLC – Xbox Series X

I didn’t see this coming at all. When I first tried Dead Cells I bounced off pretty hard. I don’t have a great track record with roguelike/lites (or at least I didn’t until the Vampire Survivors model appeared). However, when the Castlevania DLC got announced I knew I’d want to play that so I tried again. It really hooked me, and I ended up playing over 80 hours and all 4 DLC packs.

I played on Xbox, where the base game was on GamePass and I just purchased the DLC. These multiple platform versions here* on Amazon contain the base game and all 4 DLC packs up to and including the Castlevania one.

Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure - Xbox Series X

3. Forza Horizon 5 – Rally Adventure

Once again Forza Horizon puts in an appearance. This didn’t have as long a tail as previous versions though. The janky multiplayer is a continuing disappointment, don’t really understand what the problem is there. Anyway I really enjoyed the new content, and played until I’d done 100% of the additional stuff.

Best way to get Forza Horizon is still to buy GamePass* then the premium DLC bundle. It might be cheaper to buy from the Xbox Store direct, but you can get it from Amazon*.

Street Fighter 6 - Xbox Series X

4. Street Fighter 6 – Xbox Series X

This might be my favourite Street Fighter, I’m just not sure if it’s surpassed Street Fighter IV though. I haven’t played as much as I’d expected to, but Octopath is to blame for that as much as it is for everything else I didn’t play. I am very happy with the new arcade stick* I bought to play it with though, so all good.

Humanity - PS5

5. Humanity – PlayStation 5

I almost didn’t pick this up, as so much fuss was made about it as a VR title (exclusive to PSVR2) that I thought it would be a waste trying to play before I had that. Fortunately I was able to try it at someone else’s house, and discovered that it’s a great game even playing on a television. I’ve since tried it in VR, and to be honest, I think I prefer it flat.

Also mention:

Vampire Survivors - Tales of the Foscari

Vampire Survivors – Xbox Series X

My favourite game in 2022, almost appeared in the top 5 again for 2023. There were two more DLC packs for it, as well as a bunch more free content, and I played it all. There are quite a few good clones of the game appearing now and I expect to be playing more of those as well as anything else that gets added to Vampire Survivors during 2024.

10 games for 2024

As usual I like to set out a few games I intend to play over the coming year, so that I can mostly ignore the list and fail entirely. From last years list, I did play (and still expect to complete) Octopath Traveler 2. I also played Harvestella and Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, but ended up abandoning them. I’ve kept 3 others on the list below, and scrapped the rest for now.

God of War: Ragnarok - PS5

1. God of War: Ragnarok – PS5

I did buy this last year as planned, but I ended up spending most of the year playing Octopath Traveller 2 and never getting round to starting it. It’s definitely up soon though, not starting another 40+ hour game until after I’ve played this!

It’s come down a bit since launch, Amazon* does have a few quid off RRP atm.

Alan Wake II - 2024 in Gaming

2. Alan Wake 2 – PS5

At time of writing I’ve actually made a start with this one, but only started in January so I’m counting it. I adored the first game, and most of what I have heard of this sequel has been positive so I’m on board.

Spider-Man 2 - PS5

3. Spider-Man 2 – PS5

I didn’t get round to picking this up last year, I was still playing Octopath when it came out. It’s firmly on the list for 2024 though. I’m pretty certain I’ll manage these first 3 games, regardless of what happens to the rest of the list…

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void - 2024 in Gaming

4. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void – PC

Thanks to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and the subsequent exiting of Bobby Kotick I feel a little bit better about reinstalling Battle.net, and playing their games again. As such, it’s time to dust off the final part of this campaign trilogy, and actually play it this year.

Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story - 2024 in Gaming

5. Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story – PC or PS5

Only just found out this was a thing due out in 2024, but as a collection / tribute to my favourite games developer I am definitely in. This is coming from Digital Eclipse, who put together the excellent Atari 50 compilation. I’m currently leaning towards getting it on PC, but it may be another PS5 titles. We’ll see.

Half-Life - PC

6. Half-life – PC

After all the years I’ve played this, I don’t think I’ve ever actually completed the campaign. Last year Valve released a free update for the game, adding support for modern hardware and higher resolutions. Last year I finally completed Quake 2, so I think it’s time to finally see the end of Half-life and tick off another classic.

Sea of Stars - 2024 in Gaming

7. Sea of Stars – Xbox Series X

In my JRPG era, it seems I should definitely have one on the list. Considering Octopath Traveler 2 was over 100 hours long and derailed last years plans, I’ve gone for something that should be a bit shorter. At least until my little gaming group settles on a new communal JRPG to play anyway.

Axiom Verge 2 - 2024 in Gaming

8. Axiom Verge 2 – PC or PS5

Considering how much I enjoyed the first one it’s amazing I never got round to trying this. I’ll almost certainly pass over it for Silksong if that comes out. That’s highly unlikely though so let’s go for it.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream - 2024 in Gaming

9. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream – PC

Another from the back catalogue that has been kicking around forever. Obligatory that I put a point and click game on the list, and thought I’d change it up since I didn’t play the last ones I chose.

Hollow Knight: Silksong

10. Hollow Knight: Silksong – Xbox Series X

Popping this on the end of the list, it’s become a bit of a joke as to whether it’ll ever get released. Going to play it when it does come out though, so we’ll leave it here and hope for the best!

Other 2024 releases I’m looking forward too

Simon the Sorcerer Origins - PC

Simon the Sorcerer Origins – PC

Something else I only just spotted as due this year (the release calendar for 2024 so far looks a bit sparse for things I’m actually interested in) but I am up for a new Simon the Sorcerer. Apparently due to be a prequel, I’ll take a look!

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

December Games

December Games

Unsurprisingly no completions, but did manage to play a little and picked up a couple of things.

Games played during December

Renfield - November Games

Renfield – PC

I think this might have been the only game I played single player during December, but I am having a blast with it. I was sure when I picked it up that it was a twin-stick shooter ala Robotron, however it’s actually another Vampire Survivors clone. Playing it though, it’s easily the best looking of the clones and the most fun I’ve had with one since the original game.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - December Games

Mario Kart 8 – Nintendo Switch

Of course we went into the Christmas period, so this and the next three games were all about multiplayer with the family. I really enjoyed getting to play the courses from the booster pass with everyone, but sadly I just don’t play enough Mario Kart to be competitive in this company. My nephew has it sewn up, and I can sometimes challenge for third place with my niece and brother-in-law.

Worms W.M.D. - December Games

Worms W.M.D. – Nintendo Switch

A much more evenly matched multiplayer game, although I do think I had the edge when we were playing with my rule set. A coincidence I’m sure.

Super Bomberman R - December Games

Super Bomberman R – Nintendo Switch

Finally, the legend lives on. I did at least manage the clean sweep on Bomberman, so I could retain my title. Playing Bomberman R though just reminds me of the complete misstep that was Super Bomberman R 2, and the absolute loss of Bomberman Live. Given that Battlefest on the 360 live arcade managed to be backwards compatible on the Xbox One and Series S/X, there seems to be no good reason why the previous live arcade title couldn’t be too. Except the cynical one, that is Bomberman Live was perfect, and if that still worked we wouldn’t need to buy any more games.

December pick ups

The Knight Witch - Xbox Series X

The Knight Witch – Xbox Series X

I’ve had this one on my wishlist for a while on multiple formats, was just waiting for a sale on one of them to decide where I would buy it. In December it had 50% off on Xbox so I grabbed it there. I haven’t played it yet, but it’s supposed to be a twin-stick shooter style metroidvania. Both genres I love, so optimistic I’ll enjoy myself.

Pinball M - PC

Pinball M Tables – PC

Buying up pinball tables continues. The end of November saw the launch of Pinball M, with some initial discounts on some of the tables. Some of the horror IP are not really my scene but I did grab the free one and a couple of others. Duke Nukem’s Big Shot Pinball for the videogame nostalgia, and The Thing Pinball because that movie is a classic. Just need to find some time to play them.

Vampire Survivors Emergency Meeting - Xbox Series X

Vampire Survivors Emergency Meeting DLC – Xbox Series X

It was obvious I was going to pick this up, at this point any Vampire Survivors DLC is an instant purchase. This one is a crossover with the incredibly popular “Among Us” game, that I’ve neither played or know anything about. However, it’s the same fun so I’m going to play it anyway. Slightly disappointed that this time round it doesn’t have achievements, but there are in game unlocks still to track my progress.

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

November Games

November Games

Almost forgot about this altogether. Mostly because I didn’t play much during November. Ticked off a couple of completions that sort of count though.

Games completed this month

Quake 2021 - September Games

Quake: Scourge of Armagon – Xbox Series X

First of the expansion packs finished, that was good fun. I think I might have done the first part before but the rest of it felt new.

Mario Kart 8 Booster

Mario Kart 8 Booster Course Pass – Nintendo Switch

Well the last pack from the course pass came out, so as usual I played through and won the new cups. Having now finished all the additional cups, the game rolled credits, so I’m counting that a win. I noticed on “How Long to Beat?” that other people had recorded each pack separately but that seems a bit much.

Games played during November

Octopath Traveler II - November Games

Octopath Traveler 2 – PlayStation 5

Made a lot of progress on this, into the finale and mopping up side content. Although December looks very busy so I might not get it done this side of Christmas. We’ll see.

PC VR Headset

Some random PC VR stuff

After installing the new CPU for my computer I bought last month, I have been playing around with my VR headset again. Haven’t spent a lot of time with any particular games, I’ve mostly just been enjoying trying things. At some point I do need to play Half Life Alyx though since I picked that up a while back.


What’s been on the arcade?

The Neo Geo kick continued, I’ve played more Soccer Brawl and a bit of Ghost Pilots. I’ve started spending more time thinking about the upcoming upgrade to my Raspberry Pi5 in there though now, and wondering if there is anything else I want to change with it.

November pick ups

Raspberry Pi5 8GB

Raspberry Pi5

This arrived by the end of the month, I still need to order a power supply and cooler but in the new year I should get those, then get this setup and installed into my MAME cabinet too.

Star Trek TNG - Pinball FX

More Pinball FX Tables – PC & PS5

Much like Addams Family last month, I grabbed Star Trek: The Next Generation (on both PC and PS5 in the sale) along with the PC versions of Snoopy & Twilight Zone tables and a couple of collections that I already had on FX3 that were cheap to add to FX.

Renfield - November Games

Renfield – PC

This just looked like a fun twin-stick shooter based on the Nicolas Cage film. I really enjoyed the movie so figured I’d give it a go.

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

October Games

October Games

Finished another game, played a few others, and spent too much money on new hardware. Later than ever with my blog. Solid all round.

Games completed this month

Quake 2021 - September Games

Quake – Xbox Series X

As intended last month, I did go back and finish the original quake. I have completed it before but not for a long time, so it was good to revisit. I’m definitely going to play some of the included expansion packs, for this and Quake II.

Games played during October

Tempest 4000 - September Games

Tempest 4000 – Xbox Series X

Played more Tempest 4000 in October too, haven’t quite got my old TxK skills back, but I’m enjoying myself at least.

The Xbox version is generally much cheaper digitally, but this physical copy* is regularly cheap for PS4 and plays perfectly on PS5 too.

Akka Arrh - October Games

Akka Arrh – PS5

Finding myself going between this and Tempest and enjoying peak Jeff Minter. I’m not really getting better at Akka Arrh but I do know what I’m doing now.

Humanity - PS5

Humanity – PlayStation 5

Made more progress with this, ended up playing it instead of Octopath Traveler 2 in October, which halted my progress on that some. I need to get back to Octopath so Humanity progress will likely drop off, but we’ll see.

Forza Motorsport - Xbox Series X

Forza Motorsport – Xbox Series X

Very glad this is a GamePass game. While the racing is still great fun, the game itself is dull. I can see myself still dropping in to do some races but have no desire to play through the career / campaign mode that I would usually do. I probably just need to accept that I don’t care about motorsports, and stick to the Forza Horizon games.

Gotham Knights - Xbox Series X

Gotham Knights – Xbox Series X

Another one I was glad was on GamePass, but this is just bad. I played for a couple of hours, and the general critical consensus seemed accurate. Bring on Spider-Man 2.

Everybody's Golf

Everybody’s Golf – PS5

Had a mate over for a few days in October while we were attending the NFL games in London. Naturally Everybody’s Golf had to go on and was as much fun as ever. I think I’m ready for a new one though Sony if you could get on with that.

Vampire Survivors - Xbox GamePass

Vampire Survivors

Once again another content patch appeared for Vampire Survivors, and I had to go back and collect the new achievements. The upcoming Adventures content means I’ll be likely back again soon too.


What’s been on the arcade?

The arcade machine has been on a bit of a Neo Geo kick lately, I’ve been playing Neo Turf Masters, Soccer Brawl and Last Resort. Admittedly Soccer Brawl is mostly a nostalgia game for me, as it was a favourite in the arcades when I was little. The others are classics though.

October pick ups

Ryzen 7 5700X - CPU

Ryzen 7 5700X CPU

This was a compromise when I started to get the itch to do a full upgrade of my PC. After spending a couple of days looking at options and pricing up various builds, I realised there wasn’t a decent reason to spend the money it required, since I barely play games on my current PC anyway. After a bit of research I discovered that a simple BIOS update on my existing machine would add support for newer AMD processors. This became a straight forward swap from my old Ryzen 5 2600, and has given my machine a nice boost. Also it’s not at all confusing that my graphics card as an AMD RX 5700 XT too.

This is the processor* I bought from Amazon, I realised they no longer come with coolers as standard, so I also bought this ARCTIC Freezer* while I was at it.

Addams Family - Pinball FX

Pinball FX Addams Family Pinball Table – PC

I’m still a bit disappointed by the new Pinball FX platform managing to be worse than Pinball FX3. However I will still be picking up the exclusive tables I want when they’re on sale.

Games retired in October

Two Point Hospital - October Games

Two Point Hospital

Had a lot of fun with this, but getting towards the end and it had become very much a grind that I wasn’t enjoying, so that’s enough.

Pre-orders this month

Raspberry Pi5 8GB

Raspberry Pi5

I cracked when these went up for pre-order, but unfortunately wasn’t quick enough to get in the first wave of shipments. Mine should arrive by December at least. I’m not in too much of a hurry as I expect it’ll take a while for the full RetroPie build to turn up for it, and the plan is to just swap it into my MAME cabinet to increase the games I can play on there anyway. I still need to also order a power supply and cooler too.

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

September Games

Managed to finish something. Hurrah. Relatively light month for games otherwise though – been busy!

Games completed this month

Quake II - August Games

Quake II – Xbox Series X

As I’d hoped for last month, I did manage to go on and clear the campaign for Quake 2. Decided it would be fun to clear the campaigns and all expansions included in the Quake 1 & 2 remasters next, so we’ll see how I get on with that. Back to Quake!

Games played during September

Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveler 2 – PlayStation 5

Don’t think it quite qualifies as a completion, but I did finish the story of my main character this month. Only seven to go, plus the post-game (So probably another 70 hours…)

It’s on Switch and PS4 as well, which may suit. I was glad to get another reason to play some PS5 though, and picked up this physical edition*.

Humanity - PS5

Humanity – PlayStation 5

As mentioned last month, I did pick this up at the start of September, and have put a bit of time into it so I think it qualifies as a game played rather than going into “pickups”. I’m on the third set of levels, took me a little time to get back to the point I’d reached playing with my friend previously. Still very much enjoying it.

Quake 2021 - September Games

Quake – Xbox Series X

As mentioned above, once I finished Quake 2 I decided to go back to this, the main campaign is like an old friend. Not sure how much of the mission packs I’ve seen before though so that’ll be fun when I get to them.

Tempest 4000 - September Games

Tempest 4000 – Xbox Series X

Speaking of old friends, I spent a few hours with Tempest 4000. I think I own it on Xbox, PS4/5 and PC now and haven’t really spent much time with it compared to the many hours I spent with TxK on the Vita. It’s still a joy to play although something doesn’t feel quite as nice as the original TxK, I’m happy that I can play this version of my favourite game on multiple devices.

The Xbox version is generally much cheaper digitally, but this physical copy* is regular cheap for PS4 and plays perfectly on PS5 too.

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

August Games Banner

August Games

Still no completions, although hopefully closing in on a couple. I was away in Scotland for a week though so I can blame that for the lack of progress.

Games played during August

Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveler 2 – PlayStation 5

Now in that sweet spot where my characters have got the majority of their skills and starting to specialise. Coming up to the “endgame” by which I mean I’ll hopefully roll credits in about 10 hours or so more gameplay, and I’m about 50 hours away from actually finishing it. So far, so JRPG. I have gone off on a bit of a side quest tangent though, so we’ll see.

It’s on Switch and PS4 as well, which may suit. I was glad to get another reason to play some PS5 though, and picked up this physical edition*.

Animal Crossing - June Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Nintendo Switch

Dropping into my island regularly, feel a bit like I’ll be trying not to buy fake art for the next 10 years though…

Surely you’ve got this already, but it’s here if not*. (And yes I will call you Shirley.)

Humanity - PS5

Humanity – PlayStation 5

The first of two games I played while visiting a friend in Scotland, that I want to play more and have added to my wishlist. This is an absolute gem of a puzzle game, a bit like the old Lemmings games, but done well in 3D. I haven’t bought it yet though so it may be a while before I get to play it again. I almost grabbed the PC version as it felt like it might be good with a mouse, but then I read it makes great use of the fancy PS5 controller, so I’ll try to stick to that I think.

The Eternal Castle - August Games

The Eternal Castle – PlayStation 5

This is very odd, but surprisingly engaging. We spent a couple of hours clearing levels. It’s graphics are entirely in the style of early 80s CGA. As such it looks very dated, but still atmospheric and remains playable. Gameplay is comparable to the classic Prince of Persia and Another World/Flashback games or the more recent Limbo and Inside. I fancy picking up the Switch version of it though, as it’ll definitely be a nice fit for that.

Quake II - August Games

Quake II

Much like when the original Quake got rereleased in 2021 they’ve repeated the process with Quake II. Again it’s come straight to GamePass which is a nice touch, and as well as giving it an overall polish and running it at 4k, they’ve included the expansion packs Ground Zero and The Reckoning, the Nintendo 64 game and another new campaign from Machine Games, Call of the Machine. Unlike the original Quake, I don’t think I ever finished the main campaign for Quake II, so I’m enjoying plugging away at it.

Akka Arrh - August Games

Akka Arrh – PlayStation 5

My first couple of goes I kind of bounced off this, not really ‘getting’ what I was supposed to be doing. However when a friend was round and we were flicking through some games I loaded it up to at least show off the graphics and for some reason it finally clicked. In Jeff Minter we (still) trust.

Airborne Kingdom - August Games

Airborne Kingdom – PC GamePass

I originally played this back in February 2021, while recovering from vertigo. At the time I had bought it on the Epic Game Store, and very much enjoyed it. The game has just been released on GamePass though, so I thought I’d have a look and see if it had new content. It does look like there is some extra stuff I could do, but a really nice touch was it loading my existing save game, and giving me all the achievements I would have acquired.

Two Point Hospital - August Games

Two Point Hospital – Steam PC

I only vaguely recall buying this at some point over the past few years, but never got round to trying it until now. I don’t know if I’ll finish the game, as although I’ve really enjoyed 20 hours or so with it, it is now feeling very repetitive. I’ve had a good time with it anyway and it very much scratched the Theme Hospital itch.

September Arcade

What’s been on the arcade?

The ten pence arcade game for the month was Thunder Hoop. I didn’t really take to it, and have instead been playing some Mega Drive games on it. Namely Mega SWIV, Elemental Master and Super Fantasy Zone.

Pick ups during August

Call of the Sea - August Games

Call of the Sea – Xbox Series X

A friend recommended this to me as a fun Lovecraftian adventure, grabbed it on sale with the end of some xbox credit I had on my account.

Xenotilt Hostile Pinball Action - August Games

Xenotilt: Hostile Pinball Action – PC (Steam Early Access)

A new pinball game from the guys behind Demon’s Tilt. In much the same way that the Crush Pinball series had Alien Crush and Devil’s Crush doing the sci-fi and occult themes respectively, Xenotilt is the sci-fi to Demon’s Tilt’s occult here. I’ve only had a couple of goes but I already love it.

Games retired this month

Tell Me Why - August Games

Tell Me Why – Xbox Series X

Pretty much forgot I was playing this, and haven’t felt the urge to go back so I’ll call it retired to get it off my list. Maybe that’ll make room for another story adventure game soon.

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

July Games

Well I didn’t finish any games this month, but managed plenty of gaming. Also made it up to Newcastle for one of my favourite gaming events, and attended NERG 2023. Lots of arcade games and pinball were played there.

Games played during July

Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveller 2 – PlayStation 5

Properly into this now and progressing nicely. Was a bit worried for a while that I was going to struggle getting back into it but all is well.

It’s on Switch and PS4 as well, which may suit. I was glad to get another reason to play some PS5 though, and picked up this physical edition*.

Hollow Knight - July Games

Hollow Knight – PlayStation 5

I was helping my mate with the hornet boss fight, and started a new playthrough to get back into the controls. Ended up playing quite a bit, don’t think I’ll finish it again but it was a lot of fun. I do wish they’d crack on and release the new game, Hollow Knight: Silksong.


A Variety of Tekken

My Newcastle trip involved a lot of Tekken, various editions of the game on multiple platforms. All of them involving my “Paul” smashing my friend about. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the game.

Animal Crossing - June Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Nintendo Switch

Still playing a bit everyday, trying to complete more collections but also doing some island improvements.

Surely you’ve got this already, but it’s here if not*. (And yes I will call you Shirley.)

Pinball FX3 - July Games

Pinball FX 3 – PC & PS5

Thanks to playing a bunch of pinball at NERG, I found myself getting back on this when I got home.

Vampire Survivors - July Games

Vampire Survivors – Xbox Series X

I noticed they’d added a few more achievements in another free patch, so I spent a couple of hours mopping all those up to maintain my 100% completion.

Mario Kart 8 Booster

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Nintendo Switch

Another wave of the expansion pass courses came out last month, and I have been enjoying playing the 8 new tracks. I still maintain that the gaps between the releases have been much too long, but I do enjoy the prompt to go back to the game when a new set of tracks appears.

Rollers of the Realm - July Games

Rollers of the Realm – PlayStation 5

Not sure how much of this I’ll play really, but I started replaying it on my PS5 just because I’m on a pinball kick. It’s fun but not really very polished.

What’s been on the arcade?

Guitar Hero Arcade

Didn’t spend a lot of time on my own cab, but thanks to the trip to NERG 2023, I did play a lot of arcade and pinball games. Definite mention of Guitar Hero Arcade, for being great fun and reminding me how much fun those games were back on the 360.

Pick ups during June

Tekken 7 Deluxe Edition - Xbox Series X

Tekken 7 Deluxe Edition – Xbox Series X

Obviously prompted by all the Tekken we played, I grabbed this in an Xbox sale. Just need to find time to play it online with my mate now.

Humble Bundle - At Home Arcade

Humble Bundle “At-Home Arcade” Bundle – PC

A few games that I largely own on my consoles, that I was mostly grabbing for potential future use in an arcade machine. The bundle included Mortal Kombat 11, House of the Dead Remake, Redout 2 and a couple more games, but also included the Indiana Jones table for Pinball FX3 and Pinball FX. The Indiana Jones table is one of the digital replicas of the real life machine, a table that I played a bit of at NERG. Very pleasing.

Wrath of the Elder Gods - Pinball FX

Pinball FX tables – PlayStation 5

I grabbed the Williams bundle 1 and Wrath of the Elder Gods tables on PS5. I mostly prefer pinball on my PC with my pinball controller, but wanted a few tables on PS5 so I could high score chase with my mate.

Arkanoid Eternal Battle - PC

Arkanoid: Eternal Battle – Xbox & PC

Another friend suggested this was a fun game for a couple of quid. It plays very well with my Spinner too.

Halls of Torment - PC

Halls of Torment – PC

The best Vampire Survivors clone I’ve played since the actual game. This is still in early access, so I’m looking forward to it gaining more content, but it is already very promising. It plays as a cross between Vampire Survivors & Diablo. Very well done indeed.

God of War: Ragnarok - July Games

God of War: Ragnarok – PS5

Criminal how long it has taken me to get this, but I traded in a couple of games at CeX and managed to get this without spending any money. Only thing is I want to finish Octopath before I start it…

Amazon link*

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

June Gaming

June Games

Feels like a good month for gaming, and a good or bad month for buying, depending how you look at it.

Games completed this month

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 - June Games

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 – Xbox 360

Could have included this in this month’s pick-ups, but since I did a 1 credit completion I decided to count it here instead. I loved the first Tekken Tag Tournament and always meant to spend more time with the sequel. I previously bought it for the PS3, but having it backwards compatible on the Series X is much more useful.

Games played during June

Dragon Ball FighterZ - June Games

Dragon Ball FighterZ – Xbox Series X

Finally got to play a bit of this with my mate, in a break between Street Fighter 6 rounds. It’s absolute chaos. I think I was enjoying it, but even less of an idea what is going on than at the height of the Marvel vs Capcom games. Can’t see me playing it more on my own, but think it will continue to be interesting for occasional local multiplayer matches.

Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveller 2 – PlayStation 5

Progress continues to be slow, but I’m still enjoying it. A couple of other entries this month have been sapping my time, at the moment I have been managing an hour or two a week on this though.

It’s on Switch and PS4 as well, which may suit. I was glad to get another reason to play some PS5 though, and picked up this physical edition*.

Street Fighter 6 - June Games

Street Fighter 6 – Xbox Series X

Yes this is everything I hoped for. Having a blast, I still kinda suck at ranked online, but hoping to at least get back to Silver like I was on SFV, if not pushing for Gold. Most of my time will hopefully just be spent playing against my mate though, once he gets used to using his new arcade stick*.

I also spent £3 on in-game currency so I could buy the classic costume for Ken so I don’t have to pay the dire World Tour mode. A bargain.

Now it’s been out a few weeks, Amazon have the physical edition* for a more reasonable price.

Call of Duty War Zone

Call of Duty: Warzone – Xbox Series X

Had a couple of goes of this now in the three player modes, with my Nephew and my usual Street Fighter buddy. It is entertaining, but largely just my Nephew killing everyone while attempting to keep us alive, or at least able to respawn. We’re getting old.

Animal Crossing - June Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Nintendo Switch

I didn’t expect to be getting heavily back into this, but here we are. My girlfriend is playing as well so it’s great to be able to make use of the co-operative elements. Animal Crossing is still very much a great place to spend time, although I find myself wishing for a new game and wondering how many years Nintendo are away from doing that. Suspect it’ll need a new console release from them before it’s even thought about.

Surely you’ve got this already, but it’s here if not*. (And yes I will call you Shirley.)

Railway Empire 2 - June Games

Railway Empire 2 – PC

I think the only game I’ve really played on GamePass this month, but it is great. Also nice to be playing something on PC. I’ve pretty much just done the tutorial so far. I love the idea of train games, but they can quickly get overly complex. This feels quite accessible though, so looking forward to playing some more. Did I mention I was getting old?

What’s been on the arcade?

September Arcade

I’ve kind of neglected the cabinet for gaming this month, I had a couple of goes on Dr Toppel’s Adventure, the Ten Pence Arcade choice for June, but it didn’t really take. I’ve been tinkering a bit with the software on it, and thinking about other improvements I could do…

Pick ups during June

The Quarry - June Games

The Quarry – PS5

This was very cheap in CEX, so I’ve bought it just to pop on the shelf for when my girlfriend and I have finished with the Dark Pictures Anthology.

Seems out of stock on PS5, but the various editions here on Amazon* are also on offer at time of writing.

Streets of Rage 4 - Xbox One

Streets of Rage 4 and DLC – Xbox Series X

After having a lot of fun playing 3 player Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge in the previous month, I wanted to get back to this the next time there were 3 of us. I originally played SOR4 on GamePass, and although it was no longer on that service, it popped up for half price. I’ll have that thank you very much!

I do generally prefer to get things digitally these days, but if physical is your bag, Amazon have it* for the main systems.

Akka Arrh - June Games

Akka Arrh – PlayStation 5

Had been meaning to pick this up for a while, but wasn’t sure which system to get it on. I noticed it was on sale on the PS5 though, so I grabbed it there. Haven’t played the game much but it’s from Jeff Minter’s Llamasoft, so a must buy.

Games retired this month

Castlevania Advance - Switch

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon – Nintendo Switch

As predicted, I didn’t play this again once I got back from holiday. Oh well I had fun with it for a bit.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - June Games

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Xbox 360

And similarly I gave up on this again too. I was enjoying it when I played it, just never felt myself drawn to play when sitting down at the consoles. A pity, but we move on.

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

May Games - Coffee Talk 2 Header

May Games

Late again posting for this month, but did at least do some gaming. And buying.

Games completed this month

Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly - May Games

Coffee Talk Episode 2 – Xbox Series X

Enjoyed the return to the coffee shop visual novel game with this sequel. It was very much more of the same, fun though nonetheless. I probably wouldn’t have bought it, but was very happy to play it as part of my Game Pass sub.

Guilty Gear Strive - May Games

Guilty Gear Strive – Xbox Series X

Been on a bit of a fighting game kick (chuckle) in the hype for Street Fighter 6. This is one of several on Game Pass, so I gave it a play. Recorded a completion simply for doing a 1 credit clear on the arcade mode. It counts for me anyway.

Games played during May

Tell Me Why - April Games

Tell Me Why – Xbox Series X

Haven’t made a lot of progress with this really, but haven’t given up yet. I think Coffee Talk stole the time I would have spent with it, I’m a bit thinly spread on games again now.

Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveller 2 – PlayStation 5

Still not playing Octopath Traveller 2 as much as I expected either, but I am ticking along. I really enjoy it when I do get on the PS5, and I’m very much enjoying the improvements over the original game.

It’s on Switch and PS4 as well, which may suit. I was glad to get another reason to play some PS5 though, and picked up this physical edition*.

Street Fighter 6 Demo - April Games

Street Fighter 6 Open Beta – PlayStation 5

The open beta was a much better experience than the 2 character single player demo. Great to get a bit of a feel for ranked fights, and using my normal main, Ken. Very much looking forward to this now.

What’s been on the arcade?

September Arcade

Ten Pence Arcade were playing Super Hang-On this month, I did play a fair amount of it on the cab, trying to struggle with the digital controls. I didn’t get very far.

Pick ups during May

Spider-Man Remastered - May Games

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered – PS5

This has been on my want list for ages, but it wasn’t available standalone, only as part of the Miles Morales Ultimate Edition. Updating to the UE from my normal copy was £20, which seemed a bit much when I already had the Spider-Man GOTY edition on PS4 that runs well enough on PS5 anyway. This month they finally made it available standalone though, and even better, it was only £5 for owners of the PS4 game. Might even replay it a bit now ahead of the sequel coming out (hopefully) later this year.

Pac-Man CE2 Plus - May Games

Pac-man Champion Edition 2+ – Nintendo Switch

I have this on a couple of other systems already, but since I now have a 4-way stick for Switch, I thought I’d play it more there. Especially since I’ve heard that they’re ending Pac-Man 99 in October.


Street Fighter 6 - May Games

Street Fighter 6 – Xbox Series X

Finally picked somewhere to pre-order. I went for the digital version from Shopto, easily the cheapest available at the time. I also only needed the standard edition, there was nothing in the Ultimate Edition I was worried about. I’m just going to be using Ken for the duration, so no need to buy any more characters.

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