Tag Archives: pc gaming

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.

January Games 2021

January Games

Managed to start the year off pretty well, with three (count ’em!) completions. Even more impressive considering since halfway through the month I’ve been knocked out with Labyrinthitis and unable to play much of anything. I expect it’ll be at least mid-February before I get back to any VR.

Games completed this month

Gears of 4

Gears of War 4 – Xbox One / Series S

Spoiler for later down the list, but one of the first things I did with my new Xbox was pick up my co-op campaign where I left off with my mate Ross a couple of years ago. Thankfully my Nephew was around to see it through, as Ross has since surrendered his Xbox Gold account. Gears 5 next.


Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate - December Games - PS4

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate – PS4

Played through the main story mode on this, as with the previous Mortal Kombat, and the two Injustice games, the story is really enjoyable and a real masterclass in how to do single player content in a versus fighter. The last boss fight soured the experience slightly, but that’s nothing new for these kind of games. I’ll have a little break then go back and play the single player story from the Aftermath DLC.

This* is the edition I picked up on PS4


Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

First ‘next gen’ game played on my Series S, and I managed to finish it this month too. Although I only have the lower spec Series S Xbox, Ori is a real showcase for it. Was able to play the whole game in 4K with HDR at 60fps. Really great follow up to the first game, even if they have been copying Hollow Knight’s homework. Oh and that’s one ticked off from my playlist for 2021 as well.

Games played during January

Blood & Truth PSVR - January Games

Blood & Truth – PSVR

Was progressing quite nicely with this until I got ill. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it off once I’m feeling better.


Sea Salt - January Games

Sea Salt – Xbox One / Series S

Only managed a quick go on this on GamePass. I think it’s leaving the service soon so probably won’t manage to get back to it. It was fun though so I may pick it up in the sale later. I was enjoying terrorising a seaside town with my easily describable minions, while playing as Dagon.


Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4 – Xbox Series S

Of course I’m back on this with the shiny new Xbox. Looks fantastic and is still the best racing game I’ve ever played. Seems to have been quite a few new races and events since I played last too.


Assault Android Cactus - January Games

Assault Android Cactus – Xbox One / Series S

I played this through a while back on my PC, not convinced I ever beat the last boss though. While I’ve been enjoying revisiting some of my existing library on Xbox I noticed I’d barely touched it on there. Thought I’d fire it up and see if I can bring myself to finish it this time round.


Civilization 6 Expansion Bundle - Switch

Civilization 6 Gathering Storm – Switch

This (and the following 2D games in this list) are all I’ve really been up to since getting ill. Anything in three dimensions is still a no go, but was good to give this a bit of an airing for the first time since I picked up the DLC. Still don’t really know what I’m doing though.


Parasol Stars - January Games

Parasol Stars – Core Grafx Mini

Possibly the first time I’ve really sat down to play this, and I’ve discovered a bit of a love for it. Also, I’ve mentioned it many times over now, but the Core Grafx Mini is an absolute gem.

As ever, buy one* and it’s even better with this wireless controller*.


Alien Crush - January Games

Alien Crush – Core Grafx Mini

Another I’ve spent plenty of time with previously (and discussed on the pinball episode of the podcast), but couldn’t resist getting back on it while I was playing on the mini. I’m also getting over the annoyance when the table flicks between the top and bottom screens.


Xeno Crisis - January Games

Xeno Crisis – Xbox One / Series S

As I’d discovered I could handle 2D games, I figured I’d give this a shot on GamePass. Really good game, pretty difficult though. Very much channels Smash TV, aesthetically, gameplay and apparently also difficulty!

January Pick-ups

Ghost Town - January Games

Ghost Town Mine Ride – PCVR

This was a pretty low budget pick up. Mostly just wanted something on the PCVR set similar to Until Dawn: Rush of Blood on the PSVR.


Last Resort - January Games

Last Resort (Neo Geo) – Switch

An old favourite Neo Geo game that got ported to the Switch a while back. They don’t go on sale that often, but for £3 this was an easy sale.


Xbox Series S

Xbox Series S & GamePass Ultimate

As mentioned above, I picked up the Series S at the start of the year. I know this version has received some flack on social media but I’m very happy with it. I was still using a launch model original Xbox One, so had missed out on any incremental upgrades from the later versions. I’m still going to pick up a PS5 to go alongside my gaming PC to make the most of the latest generation of games. However, the Series S does an excellent job of making my existing Xbox library, including some games from the original Xbox, look great on my 4K TV.

It also serves as a very convenient GamePass box, for playing the games on the subscription service, where it doesn’t matter that it doesn’t have a disc drive. For the price, and quite frankly the small size of the device compared to the monsters that are the PS5 and Xbox Series X, it is a lovely device.

Still quite difficult to get hold of but when Amazon do have them, they’re here*.


Bezier - January Games

Bezier: Second Edition – Switch

A friend sent me a link to the trailer for this, it was clearly very Geometry Wars in style, so I had to get involved. Didn’t hurt that it was only a fiver at launch too.

Games pre-ordered this month

Bravely Default  2 - January Games

Bravely Default 2 – Switch

It’s almost four years since I last played a Japanese RPG (the incredible Panzer Dragoon Saga on the SEGA Saturn), so I’m about ready to play one again. Of the 5 I have played before, the original Bravely Default on 3DS was not without issues, but I did have some good fun with it. My friend pointed me to a demo of this new one on the Switch store, which I played around with before putting in my pre-order. I have gone for a physical edition* though, so I can at least trade it in if I’ve made a terrible mistake.

It’s due at the end of February, it could take my mind off trying to get hold of a PS5 for a while. This is just as well, as I’m thinking about putting that back a few months anyway, and diverting funds towards another project. More on that story later.


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

December Games 2020

December Games

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

Games played during December

Need for Speed Rivals - PS4

Need 4 Speed Rivals – PS4

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


Star Trek Bridge Crew - PSVR

Star Trek Bridge Crew – PSVR

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


Geometry Wars 3 – PS4

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


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - December Games

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Switch

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

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


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

Worms W.M.D. – PS4 and Switch

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

PS4 version on Amazon*

December Pick-ups

PC VR Headset

PC VR Headset – Lenovo Explorer

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


Airborne Kingdom - December Games

Airborne Kingdom – PC (epic)

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


Locomotion - Switch

Locomotive – Switch

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


GameBoy Color and EZ Flash Junior

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

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


Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate - December Games - PS4

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate – PS4

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

This* is the edition I picked up on PS4


Tetris 99 - Switch

Tetris 99 – Switch

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

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


Sayonara Wild Hearts - Switch - December Games

Sayonara Wild Hearts – Switch

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

Games retired this month

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix HD - October Games

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix – PS4

Well I tried.


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

November Games

November Games

I only went and finished something. Didn’t play much else though. Haven’t finished many games at all this year, I do have some time off over Christmas but I’m 5 books behind schedule on my goodreads challenge, so might be making more of an effort to hit my target there instead.

Games completed this month

Ritual of the Night - November Games

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Switch

Finished this on the Switch. It was a bit of an effort to get back into Bloodstained as I hadn’t played it for ages and I knew I was stuck at a boss. Forced myself back into it though, and rather than continuing to just lose fighting the same boss, I went off and did some side quest things and generally explored / levelled up. I’m not going to bother doing 100% completion, but I did get the true ending. That will do.

You can pick up a physical copy for the main consoles here* it definitely runs much better on the Xbox and PS4 (and PC) but it is perfectly playable on Switch now it’s had a few performance patches, and I still find the Switch the best way to play these “metroidvania” games.

Games played during November

Modern Warfare - February Games

Modern Warfare – PC

Think this is slowly dropping off, but I managed a couple more sessions on the multiplayer this month. I don’t really like the look of the new Call of Duty so I’ll probably sit that one out. Maybe they’ll return to Modern Warfare for the next outing.


Left 4 Dead 2: Last Stand - PC

Left 4 Dead 2 – PC

We managed some more multiplayer on this during November, the standalone campaign missions make it perfect for arranging casual gaming nights where people generally only have a couple of hours to play.


Elite Dangerous - PC

Elite Dangerous – PC

Haven’t played much of this yet, but I’ve had it for quite a while. As Epic gave it away free this month, some of my friends grabbed it and there is talk of maybe trying to play together. We’ll see if that ever happens, in the meantime it was fun to do the tutorial at least. It was also a good excuse to dust off my flight stick. It’s only basic, but I have a Thrustmaster T.Flight Stick X. It’s similar to this HOTAS model on Amazon* but without the massive throttle.


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

April Games 2020

March Games

Still no games completed, rounding off Q1 2020 nicely. I’m also pretty late with this post, but that’s down to a combination of a minor worldwide pandemic meaning I’ve been doing a lot of additional hours at work (albeit from home – stay safe kids) but I’ve also been finishing off my studies. Final assignment was submitted just before Easter, now I’m just waiting to find out if I passed.

We also found time to put out a new bonus “pandemic pod” episode of the podcast. Topical as the team and I discussed games and other tips to get us through the current period of isolation.

Games played during March

Modern Warfare - February Games

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – PC

I’ve continued playing and enjoying this. I made a start on the campaign which is fun so far but I’m still mostly playing the multiplayer. Played one go on the free “battle royale” Warzone mode with my nephew. It’s fine, but dull in the build up like all the other ones. I’d probably play it if I hadn’t bought the full game, but I can’t find a reason to play it when all the other multiplayer modes (not you infection) are more interesting.

You can pick up the Xbox One and PS4 versions on Amazon*. I think the PC version is only available digitally, I personally grabbed a code from Green Man Gaming, where it was on sale.


March Games - Puyo Puyo Tetris

Puyo Puyo Tetris – Switch

“Lockdown” has meant my girlfriend and I have been playing quite a few games together. As ever Puyo Puyo Tetris is the main one, and in the latter half of March we were playing an hour or so every evening.

Switch edition is available here on Amazon* (I also have it on PC and PS4, we just tend to mostly play Switch.


March Games - Overwatch - PC

Overwatch – PC

Managed to get a good session on Overwatch this month, hoping to spend more time with it ahead of Overwatch 2 arriving. Still a fantastic game, although so much has changed since I used to play that it was a bit like starting over. Oh well.

Available from Amazon*


Raging Justice March Games

Raging Justice – PC

We’re looking forward to the arrival of Streets of Rage 4 in this house, and in the meantime we’ve been back to this for our street brawling fix. Still a very enjoyable game but hopefully not much longer to wait for Streets of Rage 4. Looks like it should be out towards the end of April.


March Games - Animal Crossing New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Switch

What I’ve mostly been playing, and will probably still dominate my April and May playtime too. It’s the perfect lockdown game, being very much a gaming “happy place”.

It seems both Switches, and the game are in relatively short supply at the moment, although you can at least pick up a download code from Amazon*. Won’t help if you don’t have the console though!


March Games - Golden Axe - Mega Drive

Golden Axe – Mega Drive

We also returned to this classic for some brawler action in March, and fired up the Mega Drive. We had a good run but we finally fell against the last boss. Maybe next time Death Adder!

If you don’t already have a Mega Drive, you can pick up one of the mini ones (when they’re in stock) from here*. Unlike the previous mini versions of the Mega Drive console, these ones are really good quality and properly support modern televisions. It does have Golden Axe on already.


Tetris 99

Tetris 99 – Switch

Hadn’t been on this for a while, but have been playing a few rounds again in between bouts on Puyo Puyo Tetris. It’s still fantastic.

March Pick-ups

March Games - Black Mesa - PC

Black Mesa – PC

Impulse buy I haven’t played properly yet, this is the remake of the original Half-Life. It’s had some great reviews so hopefully I’ll get round to playing at some point. Maybe after I clear the Modern Warfare campaign…


March Games - LEGO DC Super Villains

LEGO DC Super Villains – Xbox One

Another one brought on by the pandemic. Fancied something substantial I could play co-cooperatively with my girlfriend. We’ve enjoyed a few of the Lego games now, and as our favourite DC characters are Riddler and Penguin, this has already proven quite a success.

All editions are available from Amazon here*, I went for the Xbox One as that’s where we’ve played most of these Lego titles. I’m a bit gutted I don’t have the Amazon DLC as I got mine from GAME. That Black Lightning mini-fig looks pretty cool.


March Games - Squidlit - Nintendo Switch

Squidink – Switch

Just a bit of a curiosity, a modern game created using the original GameBoy palette. Haven’t tried it yet but it was on sale for 80p so thought it was worth a look.


March Games - Doom 64 - Nintendo Switch

Doom 64 – Switch

This almost passed me by, I thought it was only going to be included with pre-orders for the new Doom Eternal game, and since I am waiting to pick that up when I don’t have a backlog of First Person Shooters to play, I thought I’d miss out. However, it appeared for £3.99 on the eshop and some solid reviews so thought I’d give it a go. I’ve done the first couple of levels just to check it out. It holds up well and is very nice on the Switch.


Humble Bundle March

Humble Conquer Covid-19 Bundle – PC

I’m no stranger to Humble Bundles in general, and already owned most of the games in this pack. However it was still worth it for the handful of games I didn’t have, and the money went to a good cause. The headline title was definitely Hollow Knight, yes I’ve played it already but it’s worth shouting about again.


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

Fantasy Zone Header - February Games

February Games

Already a bit concerned about the lack of games completed this year, and given what I’ve mostly been playing that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon. Unless I can stop playing multiplayer stuff for long enough to finish one of these campaign modes…

Games played during February

Modern Warfare - February Games

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – PC

After playing a bunch of online multiplayer on the PS4 version in split-screen at my mates house over Super Bowl weekend, I discovered this had full cross platform multiplayer support. I bought the PC version online while I was in the airport waiting to come home. Have played quite a bit of this now, mostly the multiplayer and maybe an hour of the campaign. It’s fantastic that I can just party up with my friend on his PS4 playing with a pad, which I play with keyboard and mouse on my PC. It was also a nice bonus that when I logged in, all my progress from the weekend on PS4 carried over.

You can pick up the Xbox One and PS4 versions on Amazon*. I think the PC version is only available digitally, I personally grabbed a code from Green Man Gaming, where it was on sale.


Ritual of the Night - September Games

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Switch

Still plugging away at this, very happy with the Switch version now and it’s definitely my preferred way to play even given the performance dip versus the other ports.

Various editions available here* from Amazon – and I can now happily also recommend the Switch version too

February Pick-ups

Firewall Zero Hour VR - February Games

Firewall Zero Hour – PSVR

I think I’ve included PS+, Games with Gold and other ‘free’ games in my pickups on previous posts, so I’ll maintain that trend and add this one. I’ve heard good things, and always like to add to the VR library.


SEGA Ages Fantasy Zone - February Games

SEGA Ages Fantasy Zone – Switch

I love Fantasy Zone, and the Master System port made the list of “also-rans” in my All-time Top 5 Games list. So this new addition to the SEGA Ages range on Switch was a no-brainer. It’s a port of the Arcade game and I don’t think I’ve ever cleared that one so I’ll be hoping to rectify that. Further evidence for me needing an arcade stick though, it is not great to control in handheld mode with the joy cons.


Modern Warfare Season 2 - February Games

Modern Warfare Season 2 Pass – PC

Wouldn’t usually go for this sort of content, but knowing I was going to be playing quite a bit of this online for the near future I didn’t mind paying out a few quid for the extra things to unlock as I go. My mate picked it up as well.


Dusk - PC - February Games

Dusk – PC

This popped up on sale and curiosity got the better of me. They’ve really nailed the 90s aesthetic for FPS games of that era. It looks great and plays exactly as those games did. Not entirely sure I’m happy that I paid £11 or whatever for a game that feels 25 years old, but still. It’s certainly polished.


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

Header - January Games

January Games

Fashionably late thanks to me spending last weekend on Super Bowl excitement, here’s a look back at my January gaming.

Games played during January

Demon's Tilt - December Games

Demon’s Tilt – Switch

I’ve carried on with this, and the Switch might be my preferred version too. As expected, now I’ve got the flip grip discussed further down, the system is a perfect fit for pinball.


January Games - Injustice 2

Injustice 2 – PS4

Managed to spend a bit of time playing Injustice 2 with my partner again. After watching the DC animated movie Justice League vs Teen Titans* which I received for Christmas, we were very much in the mood to smash Superman about with a selection of other heroes (and Ninja Turtles).


A Way Out - January Games

A Way Out – PS4

After picking this up back in April 2019 I finally got around to playing some. Along with Phil from the podcast, we’re probably somewhere between 25 – 50% of the way through. Hopefully we can find time for another online session soon.


Destiny 2 – PC

Fell down a bit of a hole with this. I bounced off the PS4 version fairly quickly when it was free with PS+. However with the move to free 2 play, my PC Gaming group were interested in it as something we could be playing together. We’ve only actually had one session where we (unsuccessfully) did some of the PvP stuff, but I stuck with the game and played quite a lot over a couple of weeks. It’s a great game moment to moment, but the MMO trappings mean it’s difficult to feel like there is any sort of end point. I’ll probably ween myself off it to play something with a more straightforward campaign.


WarCraft III Reforged - January Games

Warcraft 3: Reforged – PC

Unlike the rest of the internet apparently, I’m really enjoying this. Granted I wasn’t interested in any multiplayer beyond 2 – 4 player matches for fun with my friend groups, and never really spent much time with the Custom Games. I’m having a good time replaying my favourite RTS story game, with nice looking graphics. Blizzard being Blizzard, they’ll no doubt continue to patch it, but I think we do have to accept they’re just not the company they used to be.


January Pick-ups

Ritual of the Night - September Games

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Switch

After considering it last month, I managed to pick up a physical copy of the Switch version with some vouchers I had left over from Christmas. The Switch version has received another performance improvement update, and is now a pretty competent port. It is never going to be as pretty or as smooth as the other versions, but it is now perfectly playable. For me, the convenience of being able to play it handheld makes up for the compromise in quality. I’ve put about 5 hours in now, and pretty much caught up with where I was on the Xbox version.

Various editions available here* from Amazon


Flip Grip - January 2020

Flip Grip – Switch

Soon after posting last months update, I ordered the mentioned flip grip, which allows you to play the Switch in handheld mode with the screen rotated 90 degrees to be vertical / portrait (also referred to as TATE). Perfect for pinball as mentioned above, and for vertical shmups, this also influenced my next two purchases (and added about 6 more to my wishlist). Nintendo Life published this list of best TATE Switch games which gave me some ideas too.


Anger Force Reloaded - Switch

Anger Force Reloaded – Switch

This is a nice little vertical shmup. Like the graphics style and it seems pretty fun, haven’t dug too deep yet though but it is great to play with the Flip Grip.


January Games - Stern Pinball Arcade

Stern Pinball Arcade – Switch

More vertical pinball! This a great set of replicas of the real machines. I picked this up from Argos where it was £9.99 for an annoying plastic box with the download code for the digital version inside. It was less than half what it would have cost to buy from the eShop though so still the best way to go. Especially since activating it gave me £3 worth of eShop gold coins too.


Constructor Plus - January Games

Constructor Plus – Switch

Another one from Argos. They had an offer on where all the £9.99 games were 2 for £15. Felt like this was worth a punt as I was buying pinball anyway (the rest of the games in the deal looked garbage). I played a lot of the original Constructor game on the PC years ago, so hoping to get some fun from this version.

Retired during December

Monster Boy - Switch

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom – Switch

Couldn’t quite get into this as much as I’d hoped to. Certainly glad I didn’t pay full price. Not sure what the problem is though. I’ll try coming back to it. For now I’m sticking with Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night for my Metroidvania and platforming fix.


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

November Games - PC Upgrade

November Games

Another month without completions, can mostly put that down to my nipping off to Egypt for some winter sun. Did spend a small fortune though. On with the games.

(Also now updated the post as some old text reappeared when I posted it before, had a few weird errors on here lately)

Games played during November

Super Fantasy Zone - November Games

SEGA Mega Drive and Master System

Thanks to my OSSC purchase detailed below, I spent a healthy amount of time with my Mega Drive this month, playing a variety of both Mega Drive & Master System ROMs via my EverDrive. I think the most playtime went to Super Fantasy Zone and The Ninja. Didn’t manage to clear either of them, although I did get to the last boss on Super Fantasy Zone a couple of times. Just couldn’t remember how I was supposed to beat him.


Ticket to Ride - November Games

Ticket to Ride – Mobile & Steam

I play so much digital Ticket to Ride, I had to include it eventually. Also during November I managed to play a fair bit of the board game as well so seemed a good time. The mobile app is the best board game adaptation I’ve found, and works really well for a group of friends to be able to maintain an asynchronous turn-based game over a few days. It’s also a nice touch that I can fire it up on my computer when I’m at my desk and continue the same games.

Why not buy one of the board games?* I’ve got the Europe main game, along with Netherlands and Japan/Italy expansions.


Ritual of the Night - September Games

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Xbox One

Still playing this when I get time, it really is a worthy Symphony of the Night successor. Have almost caved and bought it on the switch a couple of times recently. Must check in on how those performance patches are coming along.

Also your apparently monthly reminder to check out the Castlevania episode of Maximum Power Up.

PS4, Xbox One and Switch versions available here* As mentioned previously, I’d skip the Switch version unless you don’t have access to the other platforms, or if the portability makes you think it’d be worth taking the performance hit.


Lego Speed Champions

Forza Horizon 4 – Xbox One

Realised I hadn’t played Forza Horizon 4 in a while, so loaded it up for a bit of a session this November. Still one of the finest racing games I’ve ever played, although I think I stopped playing because the LEGO challenges were starting to get a bit tricky!


November Pick-ups

ossc - November Games

Open Source Scan Converter (OSSC)

A bit of an extravagance this, but it sort of saved me money. I was considering one of the fancy Analogue Mega Sg systems, but the price was putting me off. However, I realised that I could get the OSSC for £100+ cheaper than one of those would cost me (factoring in international shipping and customs charges). The OSSC provides fancy up-scaling and scan-line generation like the Mega Sg, but using my existing Mega Drive & EverDrive combo. It also has the added benefit of working with my other retro systems too so a clear winner really. I just need to spend more time configuring it for the other consoles.

I got this OSSC* from Amazon, as it is open source, other people make them too and you can buy from other sources.


WarCraft III Reforged - November Games

WarCraft III Reforged – PC

I was always going to grab the WarCraft 3 remaster when it came out, as it is one of my favourite games and my all-time favourite RTS game. I just plumped for the pre-order so I could have a look at the beta. Looking forward to the full release now.


Laytons Mystery Journey - November Games

Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy: Deluxe Edition – Switch

Ridiculous title aside, I really fancied this after playing it at EGX 2019. I’m having fun with it, although either I’ve got smarter since the first game, or (more likely) this is a much easier game than I remember. It’s pretty quaint anyway, and at least having bought the physical edition I can trade it in when I’m done.

Available from Amazon here*, I preordered this one as it was cheapest I could find


Blood & Truth PSVR - November Games

Blood & Truth – PSVR

Only heard really good things about this, and I loved the short “London Heist” game they put out as part of PlayStation VR Worlds. Haven’t had chance to play yet but it popped up in the Black Friday sale so looking forward to getting time with it next time I’m on the PSVR.


Spider-Man GOTY - November Games

Spider-Man: Game of the Year – PS4

Also on the PlayStation Black Friday sale, I finally picked up Spider-Man. Not sure paying extra for the Game of the Year edition with all the DLC was sensible, but here we are. Now I just need to find time to play.


PC Upgrade - November Games

PC Upgrade

So, as planned last month I did head to Overclockers Black Friday sale for my PC Upgrade. I picked up a 500GB 970 EVO Plus Samsung Solid State hard drive of the m.2 persuasion and one of the PowerColor Red Devil line of AMD Radeon 5700 XT cards. While I was at it I also upgraded my chair, to one of these fancy ones. Hopefully start to play more PC games again now and make the most of the extra firepower! I think when I next upgrade it’ll finally be time to replace the case I’ve had for so long now. The featured image for this post is the top of my current case, with the stickers that came with all the hardware it has housed along the way.

The Hard Drive* & GPU* are the same price on Amazon too


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

Demon's Tilt - December Games

Demon’s Tilt – Game Preview

This is a game I’ve been following in development for some time. As mentioned in my December round up, we have been in the planning stages of a pinball episode of the Maximum Power Up podcast since October. The fine folks at WizNWar & FLARB were kind enough to provide me with a beta code back in November, so I’ve now spent a fair bit of time trying the game out.

Although the pinball episode should be out soon, [edit: pinball episode is out now] Demon’s Tilt goes into Early Access on Steam next week, on 22nd January 2019. I wanted to share some of my thoughts in time for that, and hopefully contribute a bit to the conversation around the Early Access launch.

Overview

Demon’s Tilt is a 2D Pinball game, very much in the style of the 90s Crush Pinball games series from developers Compile and Tengen. From the screenshots it’s easy to see these influences, not least by the presence of a large head in the middle of the playfield. The game utilises pixel art and mega drive style music to present an experience reminiscent of the era, but with modern HD displays in mind.

Demon’s Tilt also takes some influence from ‘bullet hell’ shmups, with the various bosses in the game more than happy to fill the screen with projectiles. While this can look a little confusing in screenshots, it soon makes sense when you are playing. This is pinball, so pretty much every element is there for the same thing, to give you more opportunities to increase your score.

Graphics

Like Devil’s Crush, Demon’s Tilt takes a heavy occult influence for it’s aesthetic. This is focused on the creepy nun in the middle level of the table. Given the success of the Conjuring series of films and its descriptively named spin off “The Nun”, it would appear creepy nuns are very much ‘in’.

The lowest level of the table is where the various mini-boss enemies appear as the game progresses. This starts with the Hermit, the gatekeeper for the Cathedral. He gives way to increasingly disturbing horrors, my personal favourite being the mass of tentacles that is Shub Calamari.

Once you’re at the top of the table, you’re met by the overlord of Demon’s Tilt, the dreaded Manticore. Part lion, serpent and scorpion, the Manticore looks great, and is a deserving headline for the game.

Screenshots

TATE mode

A recent update has added TATE mode (support for a monitor rotated 90 degrees, to have a ‘portrait’ display). Short of playing in full VR, TATE mode is my preferred way to play Pinball games. It is much more satisfying to have a whole pinball table on the screen, rather than the screen to scroll with the ball. Demon’s Tilt is still great in the standard view mode, with the screen scrolling with the action, and making some impressive use of zoom.

Music

demon's tilt ost

Composer Charlie Heinrich has created a soundtrack to the game that is pure Mega Drive. To get the authentic sound, he emulates the sound chip from the Mega Drive itself. The image above is a soundcloud link to the tracks so you can check it out. The music really suits the occult aesthetic of Demon’s Tilt’s and evokes those classic games. Especially when the bell tolls for MULTIBALL!

Thoughts & issues

There have been continued updates since I was first given access to the game. While there were initially several bugs that you can expect in beta software, those I experienced have almost all been eradicated. The main one I suffered was that I had to exit the program after each go in order to start a new game. As it happens, that was almost a useful feature. Demon’s Tilt nails the “one more go” element of the best pinball games. When your last ball slips down the gutter, it’s impossible not to think that you’ll do better next time. At least having to close the game and restart it helped me pull myself away after just one or two goes. Rather than the five or six credits I now play.

The only issue I have now is that the frame rate can drop some when things get particularly frantic (and they can get frantic). It has been improving with each update though, and doesn’t put me off wanting to play.

If you enjoy pinball at all this is easily worth a look. If you’ve got any love for the Alien Crush and Devil’s Crush/Dragon’s Fury, then Demon’s Tilt is pretty much essential.

Pre-release leaderboards make me look better

Interested?

I can’t wait for the final release of Demon’s Tilt. I’m even looking forward to the game entering Steam Early Access and for more people to get their hands on it. Even if it does mean I get pushed down the leaderboard.

If you want to check it out for yourself, the Steam page is here.
You can also follow developments via the game’s official Twitter and Facebook.

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.