Tag Archives: Forza

November Games

Busy month in games land, with me managing to complete, play, and buy a bunch of games, and even abandon one for good measure. The 2018 playlist has all but been forgotten. Will review that for 2019 I think, roll some games forward and have a bit of a reshuffle.


Games completed during November

Tesla vs Lovecraft – PS4

Had an absolute blast with this. As you might imagine from the title, Tesla vs Lovecraft doesn’t take itself very seriously. It’s a lovely twin-stick arena shooter in the Robotron style. It’s not as polished as Housemarque’s excellent Nex Machina, but it’s not too far behind.

Rollers of the Realm – PC

I do love a bit of pinball, and couldn’t pass this premise up. It’s a party based RPG, where all the combat and exploration takes place in pinball table-based arenas. The various classes of character are different types of pinball, had a lot of fun playing through this one.

Forza Motorsport 7 – Xbox One

Finally finished the single player championship on this. The patched out all the lootbox trash I complained about previously, and it’s a much better experience for it. The mods remain clunky, hopefully we’ll have it resolved from the beginning when the inevitable Forza Motorsport 8 arrives.


Games abandoned this month

Watch Dogs 2 – PS4

I knew when I bought this, it was a gamble. I don’t generally get on well with open world games, but I’d been enjoying watching Mr. Robot so much that I thought I’d give it a go for the hacker vibe. I managed about 3 hours. Was enjoying the story and how on the nose some of the missions were, but the majority of the game play is everything I find tedious in Grand Theft Auto. Oh well, I tried.


Also played this month

Forza Horizon 4Forza Horizon 4 – Xbox One & PC

Still playing and loving this, looking forward to the first expansion turning up in December.

 

 

Tetris Effect Demo – PSVR

Granted I don’t usually include demos in this round up. Mostly because I don’t play many, but this is something special. An incredible experience in VR, but couldn’t bring myself to pay the asking price of £35 for another copy of Tetris, especially when I already have a substantial queue of VR games to play. Will grab it in a sale I think!

God of War – PS4

Only picked this up this month too, but managed to get on it pretty quickly after I gave up on Watch Dogs.  I’m about 6 hours in I think, and having a great time so far. It’s already the best in the series for me.

Forza Motorsport 5 & 6 – Xbox One

As well as completing the main championship on Forza 7 during November, I also put a bunch of time into these two games. Mostly mopping up Forza Rewards achievements, so that I get more free credits in Forza Horizon 4.


Games picked up during November

Cities Skylines Snowfall – PC

Bought myself this bit of DLC for Cities Skylines, in a bid to convince myself to get round to playing the game properly. I’ve had a bit of a go, but hoping to spend more time on the snow content during December.

 

PlayStation 2 Slim

I’ve never really spent much time with the PS2. It mostly passed me by at the time, as I was too busy playing Dreamcast, GameCube and Xbox. Finally decided to rectify this, and picked up a cheap used console from CeX.

 

Batman Arkham VR – PSVR

Haven’t got round to playing it yet, but I’ve heard so much good stuff about this game, decided to grab it during the Autumn sales. Looking forward to getting on it eventually.

 

Tempest 4000 – PC

Another one from the wishlist, finally grabbed Tempest 4000. I’d have preferred it for PS4 but the price difference was crazy. Great game though!

 

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy – PC

Loved this back on the original Xbox, picked the PC version up on Steam for the nostalgia hit.

 

DX-Ball 2: 20th Anniversary – PC

Had no idea this was even a thing! I loved DX Ball 1 & 2 way back when (20 years ago apparently!) and this update is just how I remember it. One of my favourite Arkanoid clones.

Pinball FX3 Jurassic World Pack – PC

Took advantage of the steam sale to add a few more tables to my Pinball FX3 collection. These Jurassic Park / World themed ones are excellent.

Forza Horizon 4

October Games

A month without any games completed again. I did manage a fair amount of gaming, but I put the lack of completions down to a combination of playing the new Forza Horizon, and playing games that are much too difficult for me to complete for the latest Maximum Power-Up podcast episode “Run & Gun”. Teehee.


Games abandoned during October

Dead Space – Xbox 360 / Xbox One

I give up. After hinting about it last month, I still haven’t picked this up again since. I made it to Chapter 5 or something, further than any of my previous attempts. It’s disappointing because the story and atmosphere of Dead Space are superb and very much my kind of thing. I just don’t enjoy the gameplay enough, time to let it go and make room for something else. Maybe one of the many FPS games from my backlog.


Played this month

Forza Horizon 4 – XB1 & PC

Pretty much all I’ve played this month aside from podcast research. The game is a masterpiece. Consider it my new All-Time Favourite Racer. I’m also very much enjoying playing it on both PC and Xbox One depending on where I am in the house. Still plenty to do, and I haven’t even taken it online at all yet.


Games picked up during October

Shadow Warrior 2 – PC

Pretty sure this was free on the humble store or Good Old Games as part of a promotion. Really enjoyed the first one, as well as the original game first time round. Looking forward to maybe playing this one day. Perhaps if I finish the first one…

ToeJam & Earl – Xbox 360 / Xbox One

This is a port of the two Mega Drive games. Grabbed them in a sale just for the convienience of having them on the Xbox One as well.

 

Fighting Vipers – Xbox 360 / Xbox One

A game that mostly passed me by on the SEGA Saturn, I picked this edition up just to spend a bit of time with it, if only to better appreciate the Fighting Vipers side of the Fighters Megamix roster.

 

Virtua Fighter 2 – Xbox 360 / Xbox One

Have played this to death ever since first getting a Saturn back in the day, but after confirming its place in my All-Time Top 5 fighting games, I thought I’d get it for the Xbox while I was buying Fighting Vipers, because why not.

Halo Wars: DE – PC

I think the people over at Steam who decide which games to put on sale had read my last blog post. This popped up for a bargain price, and I’m excited to give an RTS set in the Halo Universe a proper go with keyboard & mouse controls.

 

 

September Games

Returned to winning ways with a minor completion this month. I need to revisit the list of games I meant to play this year though, since I appear to have gone wildly off track. Haven’t given up on any during September, but I fear for Dead Space. If I don’t wrap that up during October I might have to write it off.


Games completed during September

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite – PS4

I picked this up during September, had a bit of a craving to play some Capcom fighting games (as will be evident from the below playlist). I had ignored this when it first came out due to the poor reception it received. While it’s a far cry from Capcom at their best, it is decent enough if you can pick it up cheap. I got it for around £14 with the 6 DLC characters. I played through the story mode on a day off and quite enjoyed it, not as much as the recent Injustice & Mortal Kombat games, but still an entertaining diversion.


Also played this month

X-Men vs Street Fighter – SEGA Saturn

One of the best crossover fighters, really enjoyed playing a bit of this again. Although the Juggernaut & Zangief team admittedly gave me quite the headache!

 

Street Fighter V – PS4

Seemed a recent patch reset my progress in the new Arcade modes on here, so I had to start over. I’ve now redone the first two. If I manage to do all 6 of them, I might count this as another completion.

Destiny 2 – PS4

A free game with PS Plus during September, I was pleased to be able to give this ago. I’ve played the first hour or so to get to the main hub so I could play with people, but haven’t yet felt the urge to go back to it. Felt a lot like playing the first one to be honest.


Games picked up during September

Tesla vs Lovecraft – PS4

Been waiting for this to pop up in a sale for a while, think it was around £4. As will be evident if you’ve listened to the recent Maximum Power-Up Podcast (or if you’ve met me…) I am always up for a game with a Lovecraftian influence, and also partial to a twin-stick shooter. I’ve put a couple of hours into Tesla vs Lovecraft now, and have been enjoying it. The game plays a lot like Nex Machina, although it’s not quite as deep / polished as that (not much is though).

SF x Tekken – PC

I used to own a retail version of this, but think I gave it away in a disappointed huff. However, I really wanted to play it again so picked up a Steam Code for a couple of quid. It is a fun game, but the micro-transaction pushing gem system is a travesty and pretty much spoils the whole thing. As a bit of a bonus, the fix I had to install to make it run properly on Windows 10 also unlocked all the extra characters, which was nice.

Forza Horizon 4 Ultimate Ed. – XB1 / PC

I originally pre-ordered the standard retail edition of this. Forza Horizon 3 being my favourite racer of all time, I felt confident about a pre-order. However, after the recent upgrade to my PC I really wanted to be able to play it on there as well. Once the demo came out, I played it a bit on both the Xbox and PC, and took the plunge. Cancelled my ‘xbox one only’ physical pre-order and started shopping around for a good deal on the ‘cross-buy’ digital edition. I managed to upsell myself to the Ultimate Edition, thanks to finding a discounted code online, so I’ve been able to start playing the game a few days early.

Capcom Beat ’em Up Bundle – PS4

This appeared out of nowhere. Didn’t see any news about it ahead of release, but was a day one purchase when I saw the line up. Seven of Capcom’s Arcade Brawlers, two of which have never previously had home versions. Looking forward to playing some of these in local co-op.

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!

 

All-Time Top 5 Racing Games

Racing games are still amongst my favourite game genres, despite my general apathy towards cars in real life. I’ve approached this list in my usual way, taking into account nostalgia and enjoyment. There was the normal amount of ‘almost made it’ games, so they’ll follow at the end.

Reverse order, as ever:

2018-porsche-911-gt2-rs-on-the-cover-of-forza-motorsport-7_100609564_m

5) Forza Motorsport 7 (Xbox One)

This very nearly didn’t make the list at all, and I strongly considered using an earlier entry. Once you’re in a race, I’m of the opinion that there is no better ‘realistic’ racing to be had than Forza 7. They’ve also improved the single player career mode to make it much more interesting than the last few iterations, 5 and 6 particularly were so very stale in that regard. However, in their ongoing bid to cash in on every possible additional revenue stream, the lootboxes, mods and pointless ‘Driver Outfits’ have made much of the experience incredibly tedious. Coupled with huge load times, this stuff grates even more. So annoying, because ‘in race’ it’s superb and looks stunning. Argh.

ePSXe 2014-09-08 19-40-41-69

4) Rage Racer (PlayStation)

Could easily have been any of the original PlayStation era Ridge Racer series, but this is the one I still choose to go back to now. I think Ridge Racer Type 4 is almost certainly the better game, but I just didn’t spend as much time with it. The art style of Rage Racer is really distinctive, and stands out against other racers not just in the series but across the 32 bit era.

Sadly I never got on with any of the Ridge Racer’s post PS1, and mostly just pretend the series ended with Type 4.

steam_grid_view___sega_rally_championship_by_animesuperfan48-d8qecfa

3) Sega Rally (SEGA Saturn)

I still remember when I first saw Sega Rally running on my Saturn. It was the first time it really felt like I had ‘Arcade quality’ games at home, and also when I really started getting into Racing Games. Before the Saturn & PlayStation appeared, the racing games I liked tended to be of the top down variety, i.e. Micro Machines, Super Sprint. I always found it difficult to really get into the ‘driving into the screen’ style of racing games, even classics like Outrun, because I couldn’t escape the feeling that the car was staying still and the track was rushing towards me. Once polygons arrived, this was mostly mitigated for me, and I’ve never looked back.

Sega Rally remains an absolute joy to play, and it’s a testament to the quality of the game that many otherwise forgotten arcades around the country, manage to have a functioning Sega Rally twin cabinet amongst their gambling machines, and that it still draws in players.

 

wipeout-omega-collection-listing-thumb-us-03dec16

2) WipEout Omega Collection (PS4)

While the demise of Studio Liverpool has made it very unlikely we’ll get a true new Wipeout game, their last few releases had been refining content from earlier in the series. This latest collection put together by new developers is a masterpiece, and pretty much essential for a PS4 owner. All the content from the PS3 and Vita games, remastered to be a full 60 fps at 1080p. It’s gorgeous, and just as fun as it ever was. This month should see them release a free VR patch, which makes the entire game playable in PSVR. I can’t wait.

 

1) Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One)

When the original Forza Horizon first appeared, I really wasn’t convinced. I was much more into Forza Motorsport 4. This changed when I got my Xbox One though, I picked up Forza Horizon 2 and fell in love. It has the polish of the Motorsport games, but is just so much more fun, and easier to play in short bursts. I find I can play for half an hour in the morning before work, and make good progress in events. Horizon 3 was even better, giving an all new map and it didn’t hurt that when it arrived it was the best looking game on the console. The 2 DLC packs, Blizzard Mountain & Hot Wheels, are also outstanding and pretty much essential.

While this third game in the series is comfortably my favourite, what I like about  Forza Horizon is that the maps are so different, it is still worth playing the earlier games. I’m hoping they follow their own pattern, and release Forza Horizon 4 this year.


Other mentions:

Mario Kart (DS & Wii) – This probably would have made my list if I’d been making it a few years ago. Although the series would likely be in my top 10, I have drifted away a bit. I adored the DS and Wii versions, and put many hours into multiplayer on both. However, 7 was a bit of a disappointment on the 3DS, and I’m yet to own either a Wii U or Switch to spend time with 8. Maybe that’ll change in the future, but neither console is on my radar yet.

Porsche Challenge & Rally Cross (PlayStation) – I have great memories of both of these, and on nostalgia alone they’d probably be in my top 5. However, when I started drafting this list, I went back and played a bit of Porsche Challenge, and unlike Rage Racer & SEGA Rally, it hasn’t aged well at all. Borderline unplayable, I was too scared to go try Rally Cross.

Drive Club (PS4) – I have no doubt that this is now a great game. It was admittedly a mess at launch, but the developers worked on it with frequent updates and it is now a very polished racer. Until Forza Horizon 3 came along it was the best looking racing game I’d ever played. Unfortunately I find it too difficult, and was unable to make too much progress. I got quite a bit more mileage out of the Motorbikes expansion, but just not prepared to put in the extra time to improve. Ultimately Forza Horizon and Motorsport series are better games and I’d sooner spend more time with those.

 

 

 

Gaming in May

Games completed during May

Bit late posting this month, but some games were played and I didn’t want to miss the round-up.


zumaZuma’s Revenge – XB1 / 360 BC

Hadn’t played Zuma for years, and missed this version first time round. Was pleased to stumble across it in EA Access, and found myself addicted to the story mode for a few days. Still one of the best takes on a ‘Match 3’.


Halo_ alt_3Halo: Combat Evolved (MCC) – XB1

Never completed the first two Halo games on the original Xbox, so had been looking forward to playing the remasters on the Master Chief Collection. Playing through them in Co-op with a buddy, really enjoyed the first one. Did drag on a bit though towards the end, those levels are huge.


Forza-Horizon-3-Hot-Wheels-Expansion-Pack-ReleasedForza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels – XB1

The second expansion for Forza Horizon 3 is even better than the first. Had an absolute blast with this, can’t recommend it enough. If you ever enjoyed Hot Wheels cars and playsets as a kid, you owe it to yourself to check it out.


C9z2xE0WsAA6ZkGWonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap – PS4

Easily the best remaster of a classic game I’ve ever played, this is a work of art. The original Master System game is one of the best games on that console, and this really does a great job of bringing it up to date.


Also played in May

oriOri & the Blind Forest: Def Edition – XB1

After completing Wonder Boy I was in the mood for a new ‘Metroidvania’ and have had this kicking around for a while. It’s charming, and quite satisfying, although I’m already finding some of the platforming painfully fiddly. We’ll see how I do.


MordorMiddle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor – XB1

Still not completely sold on this. I’m not much of a LotR fan, but picked it up based on recommendations and promises that it’s not too Tolkien. I am quite enjoying it, feels very much like a Batman Arkham game with elements of the Tomb Raider reboots. So far though I’m not finding it as good as any of those games.

 

April in Games

Games completed during April

Strong mix of well regarded indie games and Forza this month.


headerEpistory – PC

Loved every minute of this, the typing mechanic is a lot of fun. A few challenging moments but never got stale. Hope to see more games like this!


journey-ps3-logoJourney – PS4

As hinted at last month, I felt I should play this before making a start on Abzû. Probably should have left it in the pile! I expect it might have been more impressive if I’d played it back on PS3, the experience kind of left me cold. It does look pretty, but the desert setting isn’t too inspiring. When I finished I was a bit concerned I’d made a mistake in picking up Abzû…


header (2)Abzû – PS4

I needn’t have worried, it’s easy to see where the Journey comparisons came from, but this was a much more enjoyable experience. I expect this is mostly because I was much more interested in the undersea setting than the beige boredom of the desert. It did leave me craving a new Ecco the Dolphin game though!


8a407642-56b7-4327-bd86-1bd8bb3d757b

Forza Horizon 3 & Blizzard Mountain – XB1

As started last month, I stuck with Blizzard Mountain until I’d mostly finished it. (Cleared the story and some of the extra challenges, but I’ve got no interest in going for the ‘3 star all events’ type stuff.)

Once I’d cleared the expansion I found I was back into the main game again, and finished the story there too. I’ve found myself well back on the Forza wagon.

 


header (3)Inside – PS4

Really glad I picked this up, it’s very much “Limbo 2”. Identical gameplay system and story-telling but that’s no bad thing. New setting and manages to be even darker. A real gem, if you haven’t played these, I heartily recommend both!


1384846394forzahorizonForza Horizon – XB1 / 360 BC

I didn’t like this when it first came out, but it turned up free on Games with Gold, backwards compatible on the Xbox One, and I thought I’d give it another go. It helps that the ‘Forza Hub’ awards bonuses in each Forza game based on your overall performance in the whole series. Gave me the motivation to stick with it, and I’m glad I did. Had a lot of fun playing through the story, and still going back to mop up some of the other challenges.


24626644906_bc9f14df15_bKing of Fighters XIV – Story – PS4

Picked this up in the sale as a bit of a gamble. Street Fighter V has been a let down, and I’m keen to find something new to get stuck into. It’s going to take some getting used to, but I’m enjoying it so far. Put a bit of time in and cleared the story mode, trying to get a feel for which characters I’ll use. My buddy picked it up too, so looking forward to trying out some friendly versus combat


Also played in April

downloadRetired – Banjo Tooie – XB1 / Rare Replay

Meant to include this in March. I’ve shelved Banjo Tooie, possibly for good. A pity since it was one of my goal games for 2017, but I just wasn’t enjoying it. Did make way for the next game on my list though…

 


headerYooka Layle – PS4

My pre-order arrived for launch, and I’m largely a fan. I’ve mostly cleared the first two worlds. One major issue though, the game gives me motion sickness if I try to play more than an hour. I hear a new patch is going to address some of the camera problems, so I’m hoping this will improve. It seems most of the criticism is valid, it’s not a great game by any means, but it’s certainly not bad either. Plenty of fun to be had! (Nausea not withstanding)


C9z2xE0WsAA6ZkGWonderboy: The Dragon’s Trap – PS4

Another game I pre-ordered. I have fond memories of playing this with my Bro-in-Law back on the Master System, but I was too young to really ‘get’ it. This remake is an absolute masterpiece. Preserves the great gameplay, and brings it up to date with excellent modern graphics and sound. I know some people have complained about the art style, but I really like it. It’s also a really nice touch that you can switch between any combination of modern & old for graphics, sounds and music. The graphics can be switched on the fly with a single button press, much like in Halo: Master Chief Collection, it’s oddly compelling. (How the title screen changes if you play as the girl character is a nice touch too!)

Hopefully I’ll complete this during May, I’ve just unlocked Hawk Man, hurrah.


Forza-MS6A-04-HDForza 6 – XB1 & Apex – PC

With my Forza love safely resurrected, I’ve been back to these two as well. Lots of ‘Forza Hub’ points to be obtained. It’s funny, when the first Horizon game came out, I was well into Forza 4 and much preferred the more serious 507156bc-fa81-4f82-b487-5c69ad1c671egames to this new open world approach. With Horizon 2 and 3 though I now would rather play those than these serious ones. I’m not sure if it’s a general decline of the main Forza Motorsport line, but the Career mode in Forza 6 is very stale. The racing is second to none though, just wish it was a bit less ‘dry’. I never played Forza 5 and am wondering if it’s worth picking up for the Hub points. Would like them to add Forza 2,3 & 4 to Backwards Compatibility though so I could at least see if they’re as good as I remember.


1fc40618-68a8-45a2-bc11-6656400d9877Forza Horizon 2 – XB1

In for a penny… I also went back to this during April too. Moping up achievements across all 3 Horizon games, first thing I did was drive all the roads in each game. It’s really nice to go between the games because of their different geography. Unlike how similar the Forza Motorsport games are from one to the next, the fresh location for each Horizon game really helps. I’m also really looking forward to the Hot Wheels expansion coming to Horizon 3, has some exciting potential!


Games picked up

H2x1_NSwitch_PuyoPuyoTetrisPuyo Puyo Tetris – PS4

With this finally getting a Western release, I was very happy to be able to pick the English version up, and put aside my Japanese copy and my 30 page print out of menu translations. It’s still the finest arcade puzzle game of all time and it’s great to see how many people are now getting to experience it. I’m still not interested in getting a Switch, but I can see how this must be a perfect fit for that machine.