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November Games

November Games

Well look at that, I finished something, and also unsurprisingly played an awful lot of Forza Horizon 5.

Games completed this month

Control Ultimate Edition - PS5

Control: Ultimate Edition – PS5

Pleased to say I managed to push on and finish this. There were only a couple of times I got stuck on a fight and they didn’t last for too long. There is still plenty to do if I want to go back, but for now I’m happy to have finished the main story. I do at least want to play through the Alan Wake content in the DLC, but that will be for the New Year.

The physical edition of the version I’m playing is available here from Amazon*, although I have it digitally. I think the Xbox and PC editions are solid too, although I heard the older consoles struggled a bit with the framerate.

Games played during November

Animal Crossing - July Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Switch

Played a bit with the new content to open my coffee shop but not the hours I was expecting. Bring on snow.


Back 4 Blood - November Games

Back 4 Blood – Xbox Series S – GamePass

This was oddly disappointing. While it is no doubt a good game, and a worthy spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead, it’s so close to Left 4 Dead, that I felt like I’d seen it all before. Glad I didn’t need to buy it, in no rush to play any more of it.

Here* for all the main platforms if you want to buy it. I wouldn’t though.


Quake 2021 - November Games

Quake – Xbox Series S – GamePass

This has been great fun. Playing through the expansion packs in online co-op with a mate. Still remains one of the best games of all-time.


Forza Horizon 5 - November Games

Forza Horizon 5 – Xbox Series S & PC

This turned out to be almost everything I hoped for, and once again replaces the previous entry as my favourite yet. I’ve put quite a lot of time in already, my only disappointment (and I think many are sharing this) is that the multiplayer is still broken. It never really worked that well in Horizon 4, I hope it gets a robust update to repair that. I should push on and do the last couple of big races though to ‘complete’ the story.

Best way to get this is still to buy GamePass*

What’s been on the arcade?

November Games - Arcade

A fantastic month on the arcade. The game of the month from Ten Pence Arcade was Lode Runner, which turned out to be great so I played that a lot. Also my buddy Ross managed to visit for a few hours, and along with taking it in turns for Lode Runner credits, we also played a few other games including Robotron 2084 and some two player Raiden II.


November Pick-ups

Spider-Man: Miles Morales - PS5

Miles Morales – PS5

Found a bargain copy of this on eBay, so I could play it once I finished Control. Looking forward to getting onto it next.

This* is the edition I picked up, it’s a bit more expensive than I found it for on eBay though.


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

October Games 2021

October Games

Another quiet month, although I did play quite a bit of a couple of games.

Games played during October

Animal Crossing - July Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Switch

Mostly just checked in with the Halloween event, expect to play a bit more in November with the new content. Looking forward to the coffee shop opening. Because Brewster.


Destiny 2 - October Games

Destiny 2 – Xbox Series S & PC

A friend brought me back to Destiny 2, and with all the expansions included on GamePass it was nice to have fresh content to play. Had a lot of fun for a couple of weeks getting through the new story parts while it feels like you’re making some progress. My appetite for the MMO grind appears to have left me behind though. Can’t bring myself to invest the hours.


Control Ultimate Edition - PS5

Control: Ultimate Edition – PS5

Only just started this as something else to play on my PS5. Seems really good so far, but there have been a couple of frustrating fights. Very much enjoying the world and all the X-Files style story elements though. Hopefully I’ll stick with it but concerned I’ll get pulled away by other games soon.


What’s been on the arcade?

MAME Cabinet - Finished

Another shocker from Ten Pence Arcade, the game was Frenzy and it was dreadful. I therefore just played some more Joust. Started planning a bit of an upgrade for the system. Mostly want to sort out the power solution, but also going to have another look at the sound system, maybe get a proper amp and speakers rather than the PC Speaker setup it has currently. Ideally I’d like to mount an external volume control too. Likely to be a January project I think.


October Pick-ups

Destiny 2 - October Games

Destiny 2 Season Pass

Mostly bought this as an incentive to keep playing. It worked for a bit but then I started playing Control, and Forza Horizon arrives 5th November. We’ll see how that goes.


Llamasoft

Llamasoft: Everything, Everything Bundle – PC

Find myself less excited by Steam sales these days, but this was a nice drop. I already had 3 of the 5 games in the bundle, so it meant I could grab the two games I was missing, Moose Life and Minotaur Arcade, for £2. Bargain, and some more VR content for my PC.

Retired during October

Metro Exodus - October Games

Metro Exodus – PS5

Well I tried, again and again. I did get much further than on any previous attempts but the open world just kills it for me. Found I didn’t want to play it, and was actively avoiding my PS5 as this was the game I had in progress. Oh well, hopefully I’ll stick with Control.


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

September Games

September Games

Pretty small update this month, not much gaming.

Games played during September

Animal Crossing - July Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Switch

Didn’t play a lot of this during September, but just enough to make sure I caught all the fish and bugs that were new for the month.


Pac-Man CE2 - September Games

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 – PS4 / PS5

Stumbled across this in my PS4 games while browsing the PS5 library for something to play, put a couple of hours in. It’s great fun but a bit overwhelming with the content which seems a bit wrong for pac-man. Think I preferred the more streamlined original Championship Edition.


Everybody's Golf

Everybody’s Golf – PS5

Visited my mate for a week at the end of the month, we mostly played card & board games, but we did get in the obligatory couple of rounds of Everybody’s Golf.


What’s been on the arcade?

MAME Cabinet - Finished

My patience for the Ten Pence Arcade monthly game change was rewarded, and this month we were playing the Williams classic from 1982, Joust. Love that game so have played a fair bit of it. Might keep playing for a while though, I’m so close to cracking 60k points (I’d really like to put up more than 100k).


August Pick-ups

Castlevania Advance - Switch

Castlevania Advance Collection – Switch

A bit of a surprise release when this came out, it’s a collection of the three Gameboy Advance Castlevania games, and the adequate SNES version of Dracula X. It’s very much worth the cost of entry just for Aria of Sorrow, but as I have never completed any of the GBA games I thought now could be the time. I have at least played them all before, and discussed on the Castlevania episode of the Maximum Power Up podcast.


Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 - PS5

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 – PS5

More of the same from one of the greatest puzzle games of all time. I had intended to get this on Xbox as it’s the only platform I don’t own the original game on, but it was 1/4 of the price on PS5 for a physical copy. Some new multiplayer stuff though so was happy to pick it up. Also amused me that this is my first physical PS5 game. Wonder if it has ray-tracing…

Not particularly cheap on Amazon atm, but you can get it here*. The do have it cheap on Xbox* at time of writing.


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

August Games

August Games

Late with my update again, partly because there was quite a bit to post. Nothing completed, but played a few games this month, including a good amount of multiplayer with friends in the same room. How our ancestors used to do it. Also picked up a few bits while I was at it.

Games played during August

Animal Crossing - July Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Switch

Ticking along in Animal Crossing. A couple more of my friends are playing now so I’ve been playing a bit with them, while still working on completing my collections of fish and bugs with the new months.


Metro Exodus - July Games

Metro Exodus – PS5

Still playing this, it looks incredible on the PS5 and I’ve gotten over most of the open world stuff I don’t like. I do tend to play it in smaller bursts though so it may take me a while to get through.

I grabbed this digitally in a sale, but you can get the complete edition is available physically from Amazon*


Black Ops 4 - August Games

Black Ops 4 – PS5

Had a mate come to stay for a few days during August, and Call of Duty has long being a staple game for us. I usually skip the Black Ops line though, and I just noticed I had this one in my library from PS Plus, so we installed it for a blast online. Had good fun with it for what it was, but I doubt I’ll play any on my own.


Worms W.M.D. - PS5 - August Games

Worms WMD – PS5

We were playing multiplayer so of course this came out. Always a good time.


Everybody's Golf

Everybody’s Golf – PS5

Another essential game for our multiplayer sessions, although we played it all that weekend thinking how good it looked on PS5, and it was a couple of days later I discovered the “4k” and “HDR” settings in the menus. Looks even better now. I’ve been getting back into the single player again, and realising how much of a better game it is than Mario Golf on Switch.


Wipeout Omega Collection - August Games

Wipeout Omega Collection – PS5

Rounding out the games played that weekend, we jumped into some Wipeout. Again it seemed to look great on the PS5 but not sure it was doing anything more than just upscaling.


Super Monaco GP Cabinet

Team Flicky Games Day

Also this month I had a week in Scotland, I took my Switch but the only game I played on that was Picross (see the pick ups section). I was staying near to a couple of friends though, so we met up and had a day of gaming together. There was a good amount of gaming on many platforms, even an N64 *shudder*. We played Puyo Puyo Tetris, Everybody’s Golf, Puzzle Bobble, Dungeon Explorer, Rival Megagun, Bomberman, which are the ones I remember anyway. One of my friends has an arcade cabinet sort of like mine, in that it plays emulated games, but unlike mine, is set up for driving games. It’s a converted Super Monaco GP cabinet, complete with wheel, gear shift and pedals. Was incredible to play some of the big Sega titles. Sega Rally and Daytona obviously, but a rare treat to be able to play Scud Racer and Crazy Taxi on a cabinet.

I also got to play a bit of Returnal on his PS5 which was helpful as I had been considering it for mine. It feels good to play, and looks amazing, but the gameplay loop of roguelike elements definitely put me off. I may pick it up when it drops below £20 but I’m in no hurry.

Was a solid day all round though, so nice to just enjoy games with friends.


Quake 2021 - August Games

Quake – PC & Xbox (GamePass)

This month saw the release of a sort of ‘polished’ version of the original Quake. Not quite a full remake, but adding lots of modern elements to the engine to make it a much better experience to play in 2021. It also came to the current consoles with cross play for the online multiplayer which was definitely a nice touch. The controls felt a bit ‘off’ to me when I tried it on the Xbox, but it is still great on the PC played (as it should be) with a keyboard and mouse. Quake remains my second favourite game of all time and this is a delight. It even includes expansion content from Machine Games. One pack which was previously released in 2016, Dimensions of the Past and the brand new Dimension of the Machine which was developed for this release.

What’s been on the arcade?

MAME Cabinet - Finished

This month we played some NBA Jam TE on the cabinet while my mate was over. Such a great game, but I don’t remember it being so as challenging. Perhaps as my main memories of it are the Mega Drive version. May need to revisit that and see if it was much easier, or if I’ve just become terrible. The tenpencearcade game for the month was Gorf, which I played a little bit of but couldn’t get into the groove with. I’m hoping for something better next month!

These could have gone in the pick ups section, but as it’s directly arcade related I’ll include it here. I got these fantastic dust covers for my cabinet from this etsy store. They look great.


August Pick-ups

PS5 Charger

PlayStation 5 Dual Charger

After buying the PS5 I traded my PS4 in at game and got a decent amount of store credit, much as I did with my Xbox One when I got the Series S. I mostly put the store credit towards funds for the digital storefronts on the consoles, but I did use some to grab this charger. It is a pretty handy purchase as the battery life on the controllers doesn’t seem great, helpful to have one charging while I’m playing.


Stardew Valley Switch

Stardew Valley – Switch

Finally got round to grabbing the Switch version of this while it was on sale. Still haven’t properly got into it, but it does suit the console nicely. Hoping that this is the time it clicks.


SEGA Picross - August Games

Picross S Mega Drive & Master System Edition – Switch

Never played a Picross game before, but with this SEGA theme I couldn’t resist trying it. There is a free demo to try on the store which sealed the deal. The puzzles themselves are logic based and very addictive. As I mentioned above I ended up playing this quite a bit while on my holiday.


Forza 7

Forza 7 – Xbox Series S

This was on sale due to it being about to be removed from GamePass. Forza 7 was one of the few physical games I still owned when I got rid of my Xbox One for the digital only Series S. Was quite happy to pay a few quid to just keep it in my library, I don’t enjoy it as much as the Forza Horizon games, but there is still plenty of fun to be had when I fancy a more serious race.


Pre-orders This Month

Forza Horizon 5 Add-ons Bundle

Used some of that credit I got from my PS4 to pre-order this. Since the game will be on GamePass anyway it didn’t make sense to buy the whole game like I usually do. However I really enjoyed having all the extra VIP content and DLC on Horizon 3 and 4 so was happy to put the money down for this.

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

July Games 2021

July Games

Played quite a bit on a small number of games, and managed to spend even more money than last month. Oops.

Games completed this month

Octopath Traveler - Switch

Octopath Traveler – Switch

Finished this off properly in July as planned. That said I didn’t do *everything*. The last round of optional bosses for the final side quest requires an inordinate amount of grinding to achieve and I wasn’t prepared to invest that time. Very much enjoyed the game though, clocking in at around 93 hours played.

I bought the digital edition to use up some store credit, but you can get the physical one from Amazon*


Mario Golf Super Rush - Switch

Mario Golf Super Rush – Switch

I know this game was disappointing for many who were hoping for a full golf RPG like the earlier Mario Golf games. I would have preferred that too, but it is still a lot of fun and I did enjoy the short story mode. Golf Story is a much better option if you want a bit of RPG with your golf though.

This* is the physical edition if you’d rather not get it digitally

Games played during July

Hotshot Racing - Xbox Series S

Hotshot Racing – Xbox Series S

A very enjoyable tribute to classic Sega racers such as Daytona and Outrun 2, Sumo Digital had a hand in making it which explains how close it feels to those games. Had a good time with this for a couple of hours, but the rubber-banding on the AI does make the harder difficulties feel unfair. It’s on GamePass though, so an easy recommend for a fun time playing through all the courses on standard mode.


Animal Crossing - July Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Switch

Yes I’ve returned to this, took a bit of an effort to get back into the routine, but I do want to finish collecting all the fish and insects. I stopped playing around this time last year, so by starting now I should get to play the seasons I didn’t experience last time round. It’s still as charming as ever.


What’s been on the arcade?

MAME Cabinet - Finished

Pretty much abandoned the podcast games this month, I didn’t have the patience to learn the patterns for Mr. Do and decided I couldn’t be bothered with MAME on my PC. If it won’t run on my arcade machine I don’t want to play. My cabinet has been playing a lot of X-Men: Children of the Atom this month. I’m not even sure what made me load that up but I’ve been having a good time with it.


July Pick-ups

PlayStation 5 - July Games

PlayStation 5 – Disc Version

After talking myself out of wanting one of these, I did crack this month. I stopped actively looking for one months ago, but during a particularly heinous work day I received the email from Currys informing me that I had ‘won’ their VIP sweepstake. (Basically back in March or something I registered on their site, and every time they are allocated stock they randomly select people from that list to be allowed to buy one). So I pretty much went to buy it to cheer myself up. Still took three weeks to arrive, but I’m glad to have it.

A big part of wanting the Disc version of the console was to replace the PS3 I was still using to play DVDs and Blurays, and the 4k upscaler built into the PS5 is great. Even breathes a bit of life into the aging DVD format. I got a second pad in the bundle (mostly because you weren’t allowed to just buy the console alone, I guess Curry’s don’t make enough money per unit…). In terms of games, thanks to PSPlus I already have Bugsnax, Astro Bot and Control Ultimate Edition, and after a bit of a faff to get the DLC to work, I also have the free upgrade to the PS5 version of Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, using my PS4 disc.


Metro Exodus - July Games

Metro Exodus – PS5

Although I tried this previously and abandoned it back in October 2019 old blog, I did intend to go back to it but the open world elements put me off. I fancied trying it again on the PS5 with all the fancy 4k Raytracing etc. that they have added so here I am. I haven’t got far yet but it does show off the machine graphically, and I have made it passed where I gave up on PC so optimistic I’ll stick with it.

I grabbed this digitally in a sale, but you can get the complete edition is available physically from Amazon*


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

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 – PS5 Upgrade

The only other pick-up I made for my new console was to pay the £10 to convert my physical PS4 edition to the PS5 one. Pretty happy with that, it runs super smooth, looks great and the load times are basically non-existent. I’m not any better at it though.

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

June Games Title

June Games

Played a few games, bought some stuff. Let’s call it a success.

Games completed this month

Octopath Traveler - Switch

Octopath Traveler – Switch

As with Bravely Default this is another game that has multiple levels of completion. In June we rolled credits on the main storyline, but the game continues. Hopefully we’ll see this here again in July, but it is getting harder.

I bought the digital edition to use up some store credit, but you can get the physical one from Amazon*


Games played during June

Nanotale - Typing Games

Nanotale – PC

Still been playing a bit of this, and do hope to complete it. I seem to get lost a lot more than I did in Epistory which is a bit tedious. The typing mechanic is still really fun though.


Super Bomberman R Online - Switch

Super Bomberman R Online – PC

As suggested last month, I did move to playing this on PC. Played a few more rounds and still enjoying myself. I don’t really like the different character powers & stats, but it’s good fun regardless.


Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4 – Xbox Series S and PC

Felt like dropping back into this for a while after seeing the trailer for Forza Horizon 5 in the E3 presentations. Still my favourite racing game, looking forward to the new one.


Dark Alliance - June Games

Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance – PC (GamePass)

This is pretty terrible, and a buggy mess at times. However played co-op with a couple of friends has been entertaining. We all have GamePass so we didn’t have to pay for the game, certainly helped with the enjoyment.


Quake Champions - June Games

Quake Champions – PC

I suggested last month that I might try to get back into this. One of the purchases below encouraged me to give it a try. It is still great fun, but I’m so out of practice it’s a bit of a slog trying to climb the rankings again. I may play a bit more but not sure how much patience I’m going to have for the practice required.


What’s been on the arcade?

MAME Cabinet - Finished

Ten Pence Arcade Podcast have a double-header this month, with Mr Do’s Wild Ride and Mrs Dynamite. I have played a bit of Mr Do but Mrs Dynamite requires the latest version of MAME which I can’t run on the cabinet yet so I haven’t tried that. I have, however, been playing a lot of Super Street Fighter 2 on it though, so there’s that.


June Pick-ups

Mario Golf Super Rush - Switch

Mario Golf Super Rush – Switch

Pre-ordered last month and it came out at the end of June so I did manage to get it downloaded. Haven’t played it yet so we’ll find out how it is in July.

This* is the physical edition if you’d rather not get it digitally


New Monitor - Quake Champions
The cables are a bit tidier now, although not as much as I’d like. I’ve taken the heinous stickers off too.

New Monitor

I’ve fanicied an ultrawide monitor for a while, but they had been a bit out of my budget for the spec I wanted. Finally found one at a sensible price that ticked all the boxes. It’s a 34″ Ultrawide curved display from Iiyama, 144hz refresh, 1ms response time, 3440×1440 resolution. It’s this one if you’re interested in the rest of the specs.

I got mine from Currys because I had a discount code that made it <£400, but otherwise it is cheaper on Amazon*.


Nex Machina - June Games

Nex Machina & The Name of the Game Documentary – PC

Although I bought and played this on the PS4 when it came out, after recording & releasing our Twin Stick Shooter podcast, I felt like getting back into it. As discussed on the podcast, the PC version is supposed to be better, so thought I’d check that out for my self. Grabbed it along with the making of documentary in the steam sale.


Williams Pinball Volume 2

More Pinball FX3 tables

After setting up my new monitor above, I’ve mounted one of my older 24″ widescreen displays next to it, in a vertical (TATE) orientation. The better to play pinball and some vertical scrolling shoot em up games. The extra Pinball FX3 table packs are in the Steam sale, so I grabbed the Williams Volume 2 pack, so I could play the Black Rose table. Pinball games are still great played fullscreen on a vertical display.


JRPG Book - June Games

A Guide to Japanese Role Playing Games – Book

Perhaps a surprise purchase for someone who can count the number of JRPGs played on one (well two now) hand. However, this seemed like a comprehensive guide to most of the genre, and I thought reading it might help me pick out other games that I’ll enjoy, avoiding the rest. If you’re interested, they sold out but are due to be reprinted and on sale again in October from bitmap books.


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

Octopath Traveler May Games

May Games

Nothing finished during May, but I did punt one game into the sea. So there is that.

Games played during May

Octopath Traveler - Switch

Octopath Traveler – Switch

After playing the demo at the end of April as mentioned last month, we went ahead and picked this up at the beginning of the month. At time of writing I’m 50+ hours in. It’s not quite as good as Bravely Default 2, there are certainly areas that were improved between the games so they feel a bit unfinished, but it feels familiar to play and I’m really enjoying it.

I bought the digital edition to use up some store credit, but you can get the physical one from Amazon*


Nanotale - Typing Games

Nanotale – PC

A game I was kindly given an early access code for just before the pandemic. I started to write up a preview but never got chance to play properly with demands from work. Early impressions have been good and I did really enjoy the demo I played back at Rezzed 2019. The game is properly finished and out now on Steam, so I may do a more full review once I’ve completed it.


Battlefield V - PC

Battlefield V – PC (GamePass)

After the multiplayer in Modern Warfare lost its draw for me, and neither Warzone or the new Call of Duty appeal, I have been craving a new multiplayer shooter. Managed to convince one of my gaming groups to give this ago. However they quickly bounced off (just as I was getting into it) the PVP element given the steep learning curve for new players, and preferred to play the co-op missions. Can’t say I enjoyed that as much so doubt I’ll play much more. Considering going back to Quake Champions for my PVP fix.


Tetris Effect Connected - May Games

Tetris Effect: Connected – PC VR (GamePass)

Still not well enough to play any proper VR at length, as vertigo symptoms linger. I did manage to play half an hour of the PC version of this at least. I am still keen to try the new multiplayer elements, but to ease back in I just did a couple of rounds of the standard modes.


Super Bomberman R Online - Switch

Super Bomberman R Online – Switch

I adore this, but it being on the Switch while I’m heavily invested in a full on JRPG has meant I haven’t really had chance to play. I think I’m going to install it on PC and see if I get to it more on there.


MAME Cabinet - Finished

Arcade Games

This month the cabinet has mostly seen me play more Lasso, and then Viper Phase 1, in line with the featured Ten Pence Arcade Podcast game.


Pre-orders

Mario Golf Super Rush - Switch

Mario Golf Super Rush – Switch

After trading in some games etc I had a decent amount of store credit with GAME. I swapped this for Nintendo eShop credit, and bought the weird “2 game vouchers” thing. Basically means you get two first party games for a bit under RRP. Octopath Traveler up above was the first game I picked up with them, and have used the other to preorder Mario Golf. Hoping it’s good!

This* is the physical edition if you’d rather not get it digitally

Retired

Shadow of the Tomb Raider - PS4

Shadow of the Tomb Raider – PS4

I was so glad this was free on PS Plus and I didn’t pay for it. This game is terrible. So disappointing after the two previous games but I couldn’t get through it. Think I maybe played 4 or 5 hours worth before giving up.

If you don’t believe me, and want to try it yourself, it’s on Amazon here*

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

Bravely Default 2 - Switch

April Games

I did it, completed another Japanese RPG, first one since 2017. Sort of completed it twice too. Also including a couple of playthroughs on the arcade cabinet.

Completed this month

Bravely Default 2 - January Games

Bravely Default 2 – Switch

Well it happened, 137 hours later and I completed this with the true ending, and all characters max level and max jobs. About 50 hours after first ‘completing’ the game and rolling the credits. Really enjoyed myself with this. My ex-wife was playing it too and having someone to discuss progress, strategy and which are the best outfits very much helped. We’ve lined up a similar game to play next (foreshadowing for further down the page) and It looks likely I’ll break the tradition of one JRPG every four years.

This is the Bravely Default 2 bundle* I got from Amazon


X-Men The Arcade Game

X-Men Arcade Game – Arcade

Technically cheating since usually for arcade games of the “shmup” variety I would only consider a game completed if I’d done it on one credit. However, I’m not as concerned about brawlers, so I’m going to consider them finished once I’ve rolled the credits on my arcade machine, so I can log them and get on with my day.


Metamorphic Force - Arcade

Metamorphic Force – Arcade

As above, another arcade brawler played through. I only found out about this game recently, and was surprised how good it was. Sort of like if you take the animal transformations from Altered Beast and put them in a good game.

Games played during April

Pac-man 99 April Games

Pac-Man 99 – Switch

Just as surprising on arrival as Tetris 99, and almost as good. Pac-Man 99 is another ‘free’ Switch game that you can play as long as you have a subscription to Nintendo Online. Due to Bravely Default 2 taking up almost all of my gaming time this month I haven’t spent a lot of time with it yet, but I very much enjoyed what I played so far.


MAME Cabinet - Finished

Arcade Games

Still giving the arcade machine a lot of love. I’ve mostly being playing Lasso as the new Ten Pence Arcade Podcast game. Also been spending a bit of time playing the original Pac-Man, after playing the above on Switch.

Demos

I don’t usually play many demo versions of games, but this month I played two that surprised me. R-Type Final 2 and Octopath Traveller.

R-Type Final 2 Demo - April Games

R-Type Final 2 Demo – PS4

Of the two demos, this was the disappointing one. It did the exact opposite of what a gameplay demo is supposed to do. When I first heard this would be coming out, I assumed I’d be getting it day one as I did enjoy the previous game and am always up for a new shmup. However, playing the demo it seemed very bland, and the visual effects somehow reminded me of 90s indie PC efforts produced in “The Games Factory“. Decided I’d wait for a sale.

The game then came out to average reviews with a hideous Season Pass for DLC that made the whole thing smell of “nostalgia cash-in”. I’m out, still likely to pick it up eventually in a sale, just not any time soon.

If I haven’t put you off, both the PS4 and Switch editions are here on Amazon*


Octopath Traveler - Switch

Octopath Traveler Demo – Switch

Conversely, this was a much more positive experience. As mentioned at the top, we tried this demo as an option for something to play post Bravely Default 2. As this is from the same developers (indeed it was their previous release) it was immediately familiar and agreeably suitable. Full game incoming* for May.

April Pick-ups

The Longing – Switch

The good folks at Application Systems Heidelberg were kind enough to give me a review code for this one, I love the premise so look out for a blog about it once I’ve spent a bit of time with the game.


Doom Eternal - April Games

Doom Eternal – PS4

This popped up on Amazon for a fiver, and I couldn’t resist even though it was already installed on my PC from GamePass.

Back up over a tenner* at time of writing


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

March Games 2021

March Games

Nothing completed this month, which is much more like me to be honest.

Games played during March

Bravely Default 2 - January Games

Bravely Default 2 – Switch

This is pretty much all I’ve played aside from arcade stuff on my cab. Think I’m at around 90 hours in and closing on the ‘ending’, but I have very much been enjoying myself. Already wondering where it’s going to land when I revise my Top 5 JRPG’s list.

This is the Bravely Default 2 bundle* I got from Amazon


MAME Cabinet - Finished

Arcade Games

Have spent a decent amount of time playing on the arcade machine though, mostly Black Tiger and Darius Gaiden, playing along with the Ten Pence Arcade podcast. As well as a lot of Robotron 2084, Smash TV and Robotron X as research for the latest episode of Maximum Power Up, Twin Stick Shooters.

Also rediscovered the game Bubbles in conversation during the recording of the above show, so I’ve been playing that too.

March Pick-ups

NBA2K Playgrounds 2 – PS4

I’ve had my eye on this for a while, mostly out of curiosity. It popped up on sale cheap for a physical copy on PS4. I grabbed two copies and sent one to a friend, and we then found time one evening to start playing a season together online. It’s great fun, really captures the 2v2 mayhem of classic NBA Jam but with more modern functionality. Looking forward to playing it some more.

Pick it up here*, also on Xbox and Switch


Arcade Cabinet upgrades – Raspberry Pi4

Well that didn’t take long did it. Talked myself into spending a bit more money on the cabinet and replaced the Raspberry Pi3b+ with the Pi4 4GB* model. I was very tempted to get the 8GB but everything I read suggested that would be overkill for what I needed. A good chance I’d have been fine with the 2GB version but happy to stick with the 4GB.

I did have to pick up a different HDMI and power cable which were pretty straight forward, but the two main purchases were the Pi itself and the Flarc case* for it, which also helps keep it cool quietly. I picked all the parts up from The Pi Hut for around £85. There are decent bundles* available too but there wasn’t one quite suitable for what I wanted.

I had to get a new build of the RetroPie software suitable for the Pi4, but was minimal effort setting it up using the same usb flash drive with roms I’d configured for the Pi3b+. It was all worthwhile as it has meant I could add Dreamcast fighting and shmup games to the cabinet, as well as expanding how many MAME games it’s capable of playing.

You’ll also notice in the image at the top of the page I upgraded the cabinet with a bar table*. Having somewhere to rest my drink has made all the difference, very pleased with this one for the money and goes nicely with the bar stools I picked up previously.

If you haven’t already read it, I wrote about the cabinet build in my MAME Arcade Cabinet post (and also part 2).


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

February Games

February Games

A few games completed during February, generally 2D stuff that has been okay to play while I have been unwell. Games like Gears 5 are on hold until I’m free of all vertigo symptoms.

Games completed this month

Airborne Kingdom - February Games

Airborne Kingdom – PC

This was probably the most perfect game I’ve played for recovery. It’s a slow paced city builder style game, except your city is floating through the sky. With the game speed on the default, I was able to keep it running and make progress just playing very casually. It’s just a very pretty, relaxing game. Although I suspect the newly released “hard mode” probably makes it a more stressful experience, I think I’ll give that a miss.


Beyond Blue - PC

Beyond Blue – PC

Turns out I was almost at the end of this after the last time I played it anyway. Another relaxing ambient game, that is a cross between the old Endless Ocean games on the Nintendo Wii (which were great) and a wildlife documentary. The other thing this has in common with Airborne Kingdom above, is that both are games I bought from the Epic games store, so I now have 100% completion of the games I’ve paid for on there. Yes I have only bought those two.


Raiden V - February Games

Raiden V – Xbox Series S

Sort of cheating since to properly consider a shmup completed, you’d be looking for a single credit (or even a single life) run through. However I’m a bit more relaxed about these pure console ones where there is enough involved in terms of story etc. On my shmup day described further down, I played this straight through and rolled credits, collecting plenty of achievements on my way.


Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath - February Games

Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath – PS4

As mentioned last month, I went on to playthrough the story DLC from the Aftermath expansion. It was good fun and certainly worth a go after finishing the main campaign.

This* is the edition I picked up on PS4

Games played during February

Man of Medan - GamePass

Man of Medan – Xbox Game Pass

Pretty much in line with what the reviews said, this seems okay but is disappointingly not as interesting as Until Dawn. I’ve played the first hour or two, and was sort of enjoying it. However I haven’t felt compelled to put it on again which I guess is pretty telling. Maybe I’ll get back to it before it leaves Game Pass.


Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 - Xbox

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 – Xbox Series S

I haven’t bought this yet, hard to justify for the price of entry when I own the first game on PC, PS4 and Switch. However it had a free to play weekend on Xbox, so I gave it a go on my new Series S. It’s still great, and does have a decent amount of new content so I will get it, but will stick with the Xbox version so I at least have it on a different platform to the original.


Shmups - February Games

Shmups PS3, PS4, Xbox

I spent one Saturday in February just having some quality time with the arcade sticks. I hooked up my Cronus Zen and Hori 360 stick to the Xbox Series S (partly to make sure that all just worked on the new console – it does!) and had my PS4 Arcade Stick on the go for the games I played on both PS4 and PS3. As well as Raiden V, I also spent some time playing Raiden IV, Gradius V, Darius Burst Chronicles, and a short burst on Radiant Silvergun to remember why I gave up on that.


FIFA 21 - Free Trial

Fifa 21 – Xbox Game Pass (Trial)

I remembered that Game Pass now comes with EA Play, which includes 10 hours access to the latest EA Sports games. Having had some fun playing Madden 21 on my PS4 during the past year, I thought I’d give this a go. I did enjoy myself for a few hours on Ultimate Team, sort of piecing a side together and doing the single player challenges. I played two games online with my Nephew though and remembered why I gave up on these. I’m not interested in putting in the time it would take to be viable against other people, so I’ll leave that there.


Bravely Default 2 - January Games

Bravely Default 2 – Switch

This came out as planned at the end of the month, but I managed to play quite a bit over the last weekend in February so included it here rather than among the pick ups. Really enjoying myself so far, although there have already been a few challenging spots. Hopefully I’ll get to the end this time, rather than abandon it half way through like last time.

February Pick-ups

MAME Cabinet - Finished

Arcade Cabinet

Of course this was the big one for February, and also dominated my games played at the end of the month. If you haven’t already read it, I wrote about it in the MAME Arcade Cabinet post (part 2).


Capcom vs SNK - Match of the Millenium - February Games

Capcom vs SNK: Match of the Millennium – Switch

Another of the Neo Geo Pocket Color (NGPC) games being ported to Switch, and while there are others they’ve done I still want to pick up, I couldn’t wait for this. This is one I never had myself when I had my own NGPC console, but I always wanted it. Lovely little fighter. I’m still hoping they’ll bring Neo Turf Masters Pocket over soon, and it would be nice to see the Card Fighters and Metal Slug games as well.


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