Tag Archives: Castlevania

March Games

March Games

Plenty of gaming, and too much money spent on accessories. Not a bad month in the grand scheme of things.

Games completed this month

Ritual of the Night - Xbox

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Xbox Series X

In a very rare occurrence for me, I picked this up last month to replay it, and this month I can report I did just that and finished it again. Huzzah.

This was on sale digitally, but was available even cheaper for a used copy on eBay. If you’d prefer physical anyway, Amazon* do have it.

Dead Cells - December Games

Dead Cells & Queen and the Sea DLC – Xbox Series X

I think the Castlevania content may have helped my run, as I believe I used one of the new weapons, but after 73 runs or 3 days 5 hours played, I cleared the third ‘very hard’ (2BC) completion. I’m now really struggling in the next level so could be the point at which I give up though.

I did also manage to clear the content from the Queen and the Sea DLC as well during March, beating the Queen and her sidekick bosses on ‘hard’ (1BC).

I’m playing on Xbox because it’s on GamePass, although if it hadn’t been I probably would have gone for the Switch edition* as it’s the perfect type of game to take when you’re travelling.

Return to Castlevania - March Games

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania – Xbox Series X

This was pretty much everything I hoped for, and more. A lovely dose of fan service, a bit more variety to the game in terms of the routes you can take on a given run, and some great new weapons and outfits. Some of the weapons, the axe and the cross in particular, have become new favourites and I adore Maria’s cat as a pet summon. I have now completed the gameplay content at least once, killing Death on ‘hard’ (1BC) and Dracula on ‘normal’ (0BC).

Games played during March

Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure - Xbox Series X

Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure – Xbox Series X

New Forza Horizon expansion came out, and like the others before it, has got its claws in me. Very much enjoying the Rally races with co-driver pace notes. New map feels a bit small but not sure if that’s just me.

Super Bomberman R - Xbox Series X

Super Bomberman R – Xbox Series X

Had an hour or so one weekend reliving the glory days of Bomberman Live on the Xbox 360, with this game on the Series X. Playing locally with a couple of friends was a ‘blast’ (sorry not sorry) more of this please!

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - March Games

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Xbox Series X

Not sure if I’ll just give up on this again, but in enjoying Castlevania content again recently I thought I’d give it another go. Forgot I owned it digitally on Xbox 360, so quite nice to be able to play it upscaled on the Series X. I think I’m already further in than I was on the PS3 version.

What’s been on the arcade?

September Arcade

Ten pence arcade played Cyvern a great shmup where you’re a dragon rather than an aircraft / spaceship. I was enjoying it, but trying to do the mechanics to maximise my score kind of took the joy away. Oh well, I’ve also been playing more Super Street Fighter 2 on there.

Pick ups during March

Dragon Ball FighterZ - February Games

Dragon Ball FighterZ – Xbox Series X

Given a purchase further down this list, and the fact that it went on sale for a bit as it left GamePass, I decided to grab it. Mate has picked it up too, so hopefully we’ll find a break in our Ryu vs Ken bashings to play this as well. My guy is the one in the colourful pajamas.

Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveller 2 – PlayStation 5

Next JRPG up, and one from the 2023 list. Have done the demo content and got so far as recruiting my first party member. Looking forward to getting into it properly, if Dead Cells and Forza (and pending new Vampire Survivors content…) allow.

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*.

Hori Fight Stick Alpha - Xbox Series X

Hori Fighting Stick Alpha – Xbox Series X

Well the stick I was looking at on the xbox dropped almost £50 in price to a slightly more palatable £150. So I grabbed myself this Fight Stick Alpha* ready for Street Fighter 6. It’s certainly also part of why I bought Dragon Ball above, and led to another purchase below too. I think I’ll probably mod this one, at least with custom art and maybe some new buttons. I do like the stick though so may keep that as is.

Xbox Elite Controller 2

Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 – Xbox Series X

My mate sold me his spare series 2 elite controller, it was bare bones so I just needed to get the sticks and paddles. I bought this venom accessory set* and I was good to go! Very happy with it so far, the paddles are taking a bit of getting used to, but I can already see how much better it’ll be when my brain has adapted.

Tetris Effect Connected - March Games

Tetris Effect PS5 Update – PlayStation 5

Not entirely sure why I bought this, other than one day I might get a PSVR2. At least if I do decide to play it just on my TV, it should look better than it would have done on my PS4 now. The upgrade was cheap at least.

Super Street Fighter IV - Xbox

Super Street Fighter IV – Xbox Series X

This is just so I can play it with my new arcade stick. I do have Ultra Street Fighter 4 on the PS4/5, which feels like a superior version, but since the Xbox seems to have taken over as my primary machine, I wanted it there too.

Games abandoned this month

Harvestella - Nintendo Switch

Harvestella – Nintendo Switch

Well it happened, I’ve given up. I think the day & night cycle was the biggest factor for me, but either way I’ve had enough.

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

February Games

February Games

Quite a few games to mention this month, but the only completion is another loop of Dead Cells. Also managed to get away for a bit of winter sun at the end of the month.

Games completed this month

Dead Cells - December Games

Dead Cells – Xbox Series X

Surprised myself by managing to do the second completion which I think is categorised as ‘hard’, managed that on my 41st run and 38 hours played for those keeping count. I’ve made it to the last boss a couple of times on the third loop (or ‘very hard’), but really struggling. Tend to lose most of my health and all my flasks in the level prior. DLC is out in March though so I’ll be onto that soon.

I’m playing on Xbox because it’s on GamePass, although if it hadn’t been I probably would have gone for the Switch edition* as it’s the perfect type of game to take when you’re travelling.

Games played during February

Task Force Kampas - January Games

Task Force Kampas

Just as ridiculous as it looked, but I did have some fun with this. The game is quite tricky but an addictive little shmup.

Harvestella - Nintendo Switch

Harvestella – Nintendo Switch

I have played more of this, but getting a bit worried about my progress. The day/night cycle is starting to annoy me. I really don’t like having to come out of a dungeon to go back home to sleep, and then run all the way back the next day. Pulls me a bit out of the mood. We’ll see, but I’ve already got my eye on the next JRPG.

I think it’s also availble on PC, but I’m playing the Switch version. It is still pretty new, so I bought it physical, so I can sell it on when I’m done. I picked it up reduced in GAME, but is also available on Amazon*.

Gears 5 - January Games

Gears 5 – Xbox Series X

We managed another session on this, although much of it was spent on one frustrating boss. I’m glad we beat it though, was starting to think the game might be over before it really began! Hopefully we won’t have too many such pockets of resistance going forward.

Dragon Ball FighterZ - February Games

Dragon Ball FighterZ – Xbox Series X

Had a bit of fighting game time this month, I’m mostly just passing the time waiting for Street Fighter 6, but this Dragon Ball one was on GamePass and is fun to play, even though I don’t know anything about the IP. I’d like to play it more but I think it’s now left GamePass, so may be waiting for a sale…

February Games - Injustice 2

Injustice 2 – PS5

Since I was getting the fight sticks out anyway, it’s always good to give this one a go. I think the next game from the developer is going to be Mortal Kombat 12, which I’ll no doubt check out, but I really hope we get an Injustice 3 as well.

Hot Wheels Unleashed - February Games

Hot Wheels Unleashed – Xbox Series X

I was going to check this out on PS5 as the base game was free with PS Plus recently. However I hadn’t got round to it, and in February the full “GOTY” edition with all the DLC packs came to GamePass. I’d heard good things about the game, and it is fun. I’m glad I didn’t pay for it though, can’t see me spending much more time with it. The licenced vehicles are fun though, love the batman ones.

Vampire Survivors - Xbox GamePass

Vampire Survivors – Xbox Series X

There was another patch for Vampire Survivors in February that added 3 new achievements and some extra content, so naturally I went back and cleared those too. Still a great game, hope we get another full DLC pack.

Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol 1 - Switch

Neo Pocket Color Collection Vol 1 – Match of the Millennium

The first of two games I played on Switch that are ports from other handheld systems. This one though I played at home with the Switch docked on the TV, using the new controller described further down. Match of the Millennium is such a good game, the Neogeo Pocket library is easily my favourite for ‘portable’ fighting games. It’s great to be able to play these without the expense of that actual system. I’ve seen there is now a Volume 2 of these games, I think if I grab that I’ll pretty much have all the NGPC games I could want (apart from Sonic, but perhaps that is asking too much).

Castlevania Advance - Switch

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon – Nintendo Switch

While I was on holiday I took my Switch thinking I’d play some Harvestella. I found I didn’t really like playing that kind of game in handheld mode though, so looked through my library for something else to play. What better than a port of a Gameboy Advance game if you’re going to be restricted to handheld? Quite happily played this first Gameboy Advance Castlevania a fair bit, and got about half way through. The test will be if I finish it now I’m at home.

What’s been on the arcade?

September Arcade

Ten pence arcade played the excellent Rainbow Islands during February, so I did join in with a few credits. I struggled to really do well though, seems I left my ability to play that game in the 90s. I also dabbled a bit with The New Zealand Story because some friends were playing it. A good month for cute platform games at least.

Pick ups during February

Ritual of the Night - Xbox

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Xbox Series X

I think mostly because of all my time spent with Dead Cells, I really felt like replaying this one. As much as I enjoy Dead Cells, I do miss the traditional exploration of a metroidvania. In the mood as I am for ever more Castlevania, I felt like spending a bit more time with this. I originally played it through on the Switch, so at least I’ve changed platform.

This was on sale digitally, but was available even cheaper for a used copy on eBay. If you’d prefer physical anyway, Amazon* do have it.

Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes

House of Ashes – PlayStation 5

After we finished Little Hope recently, it was timely for this next game in the Dark Pictures Anthology to go on sale cheap. Hopefully the last game will do the same when we’re ready for that one too.

Strange Horticulture - February Games

Strange Horticulture – Nintendo Switch

One of my friends was playing this, and initially recommended it for my girlfriend. She really enjoyed it, now I’ve decided I want a go too. Don’t really know much about it, but who doesn’t want to run an occult flower shop?

Arcade Stick Switch

Arcade Stick – Nintendo Switch

I’ve actually been looking at new sticks for the Xbox Series X, it is good that I can use my Cronus Zen to let me use my old Hori EX2 Xbox 360 stick on the Series X (which is what I was using for Dragon Ball FighterZ above) but unfortunately it doesn’t like my Venom PS4/5 stick which I’d much rather use as it’s awesome. Anyway, the stick I fancy for my Xbox* is nearly £200, so I’ve parked that for now, but in browsing I spotted this PowerA stick* for the Switch and I couldn’t resist. I wasn’t expecting much from the Bluetooth mode, but it was absolutely fine for me. Once it arrived I spent a bit of time with Match of the Millennium, as described above. The stick can easily be modded with higher end components and artwork too, but not sure I’ll bother unless I find myself playing a lot more Switch games with it.

At time of writing, this is still less than £40 on Amazon* really good value in my opinion.

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

2019 in Games

A quick glance over the 2018 post shows an almost complete failure to stick to the plan. I’ll just have a quick review of the few I did play from the list, then come up with a new list for 2019. I’m going to roll some forward, but still give it a refresh.

Played in 2018

1. Gears of War 4 – Xbox One

I think I’m slightly less than half way through this now, playing in co-op with my usual Gears & Halo buddy. Pretty sure we’ll wrap it up in 2019, and hopefully make a start on something else. Maybe Halo 3.

2. Skies of Arcadia Legends – Game Cube

I made a start on this, but wasn’t really in the mood. I’ve dropped it back into the ‘one day’ pile, and will consider it again at some point when I’m in the mood for an epic JRPG.

3. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – PS4

Hurrah, a game from the list I played and completed during 2018! Loved it too. I think the next game, Wolfenstein: Young Blood, has the potential to be really good too, but I don’t expect I’ll get to it this year.

10 games for 2019

1. Super Metroid – Wii / SNES

One I’ve rolled forwards from last year. I think it was a bit soon after finishing Axiom Verge (and playing so much Castlevania for the podcast) to play this last year, but I think we’re getting there.

2. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void – PC

Another one carried over from 2018’s list. I know I’ll be hooked once I make a start but I just need to be in the mood for an RTS. I did already buy the remastered original game though, so I’ve got that to look forward to as well at some point.

3. Riven – Saturn

I scrapped this from a previous list due to difficulties getting it to run well on PC. All the MYST games have recently been re-released digitally, and may well now run much smoother. However, I picked up a mouse for my Saturn last year, so I have scraped Myst III from the list for now, and reinstated the Saturn version of Riven. Excellent.

4. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow – GBA

Enough time has passed since the Castlevania episode, I think I’ll get to this soon. Good to have a handheld title on the list too.

5. Fable Anniversary

Picked this up a while ago and keep forgetting I’ve got it. I loved the second and third games but have somehow never played the original. This may be the year I sort that out!

6. Indigo Prophecy: Fahrenheit – PS4

Really intended to get to this last year, having bought the same game repeatedly and never played it.

7. Marvel’s Spider-man – PS4

The only game on my list that I don’t own already, I plan to buy this once I finish God of War. Hopefully won’t be too much longer on that. Comparisons between this Spider-man game and the Batman Arkham games are reassuring.

8. Quantum Break – Xbox One

Also from last year, I’m still looking forward to playing this.

9. The Last Express – PC

Last one on the list that I’ve brought with me from last year. Gotta have a train game!

10. The Witcher 3: Game of the Year – Xbox One

Only just picked this up during December. Not sure if I’ll take to it, but I plan on at least giving it a go during 2019.

2019 releases I’m looking forward too

This section was a bit of a washout last year, with only the Street Fighter Anniversary collection really catching my attention. Metro Exodus should be out in 2019 though, so I’ve kept it on the list for this year. Given the demise of Telltale, it’s unlikely Wolf Among Us 2 will ever appear.

1. Metro Exodus – PS4

I’m still worried that a shift to open world may ruin the tight experiences of the first two games, but I really like this world so I’m trying to be optimistic. Will keep an eye on the reviews before picking it up though.

2. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – PS4

I’m all in for this spiritual Castlevania sequel, hoping it lives up to the promise.

3. Doom Eternal – PS4

The previous game was a masterpiece, really looking forward to more of the same. Early footage has been promising.

4. Warcraft III: Reforged – PC

As you may imagine from my All-Time Top 5 RTS Games post, I’m pretty excited for this. I’m hoping to replay the full campaign again, and with a bit of luck, maybe play some multiplayer too.

5. Animal Crossing – Switch

Yeah I know. If one game can sell me a new Nintendo system though it’s a proper Animal Crossing game. Will see how the game looks when it comes out, but this is probably the only thing that could sell me a Switch at this point.

April Games

In which we mostly just played hundreds of hours of Castlevania.

Games completed during April

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin – Nintendo DS

Only finished one game this month, but it’s a great one. One of the best Castlevania games, thoroughly enjoyed this. Might be a while before I seriously tackle another Metroidvania one though. Need a bit of a vania break!

Also played this month

More Castlevania – Everything

This month I was invited onto the Maximum Power Up podcast, to talk about Castlevania. I started this during March, and played very little else for most of April, as I strove to fill the gaps in my knowledge of the series. You can listen to the Castlevania episode featuring yours truly here.

Sega Dreamcast

I’ve just started spending some quality time with my Dreamcast, and also with an emulator on my PC, as my console is getting a bit temperamental. Might have to pick up another.


Forza 7 – Xbox One

Yes I’ve gone back to this. The game is still frustrating, I really hate the ‘mod’ system and ‘prize crates’ but the racing is very satisfying, and it has been a nice change of pace from all that Castlevania.


April Pickups

Slay the Spire – PC (Steam, early access)

Not directly a pick up, but a steam gift this month from one of my friends. I’ve spent a little time with Slay the Spire now. It’s an excellent deckbuilder card game / rpg hybrid.

Panzer Dragoon Orta – Xbox One (Xbox BC)

The one game I’ve been hoping for since Microsoft announced a selection of classic Xbox games would be added to Backwards Compatibility on Xbox One. Support was finally added this month, and I grabbed it from the Xbox Store. I’ve had a few goes, and it’s glorious. Tough though!


March Gaming

This month we are mostly just pleased to see the end of Shoppe Keep.

Games completed in March

Shoppe Keep – PS4

Hurrah! Great addictive fun for the first 12 hours. A tedious, but sadly still addictive grind after that. I’m calling it complete as I have all but one trophy collected after 25 hours gameplay. To get the last one would take another 60+ hours of just maintaining the status quo. Nope.

Rez Infinite VR – PSVR

This is one of those essential games, that I just never got around to playing despite owning several times over. This month however, I took the plunge and jumped straight into it in VR. I haven’t tried the new Area X yet, but played the full main game in one sitting. An absolute gem, and a real VR showcase.

Also played during March

Armed Police Batrider – PC (MAME)

Played quite a bit of this as part of a high score challenge for an online league. I don’t usually include those games on here, but I really enjoyed Batrider, and want to remind myself to come back to it again.


Batman: The Enemy Within – PS4

I’m three episodes into this, and the 5th and final episode has now been released so I expect I’ll wrap this up in April. Really enjoying this series, and it’s great that it has its own storyline, and is able to divert enough from the comics that things are still surprising.

All the Castlevania – Almost Everything

Trying to fill some gaps in the Castlevania series that I haven’t played before, I’ve been dabbling in a lot of this lately. I’ve specifically been focusing on Portrait of Ruin and Lords of Shadow, but trying to get a good feel of them all. I have only previously completed Symphony of the Night and Dawn of Sorrow, so there are plenty of gaps.

March pickups

Wipeout VR! – PSVR

Not a proper pickup since I already owned the game, but the VR patch for the Omega Collection finally came out at the end of March. I’ve played about an hour, and it is absolutely superb. Might be the best experience I’ve had in VR yet.

Otherwise I haven’t picked up too much this month, aside from buying a few Castlevania games as mentioned above.