Tag Archives: pc gaming

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.

December Gaming

December Games

Well I did manage to finish one more game during December to close out the year, and also picked up a bunch more. Oops.

Completed this month

Yoku's Island Express

Yoku’s Island Express – Xbox One

I was originally going to skip this one. Although I was interested in the premise, the demo felt like a poor Ori & the Blind Forest knock off. However, back in October I started preparations for a pinball related podcast we were due to record towards the end of 2018. Due to scheduling conflicts, we have put this episode back to early 2019. I saw the retail version of this cheap in a sale and thought I could squeeze in some playtime before the recording, and talk about it good or bad on the podcast. I’m glad I gave it another chance though, it was a real joy to play. The pinball mechanics really come into their own as the game progresses.


Also played this month

Still in love with my GameBoy

Solar Striker – GameBoy

I was playing this in a high score challenge, a bit disappointed that I didn’t manage to complete it in one credit, but I put in some respectable performances all the same. Really enjoyable to be playing this on my backlit modded GameBoy, rather than needing to use an emulator.


Forza Horizon 4: Fortune Island – Xbox One

The first expansion for Forza Horizon 4 arrived in December. I haven’t had a lot of time with it yet, but first impressions are good. Looking forward to getting into it properly in January.


Pick-ups during December

One of the best prize bundles ever

Super Bomberman R Goodie Box – PS4

I was lucky enough to win this on Twitter. The game is a pretty solid Bomberman, although some of the timing seems a bit off compared to previous versions and may take a bit of getting used to. As well as a copy of the game, the box had some really good stuff. Three T-Shirts, a beanie hat, stickers, a poster and the box itself is really nice.


Pang Adventures – Xbox One

Had my eye on this for a while, and it appeared in the Winter sale for a couple of quid. Hopefully it’s as good as the original games.


Pinball Gold Pack – PC

Another one I’d got on my wishlist waiting for a sale. I paid £2.40 for this pack on Good Old Games, containing 20 tables from the old school pinball classics: Pinball Dreams 1 and 2, Pinball Illusions and Pinball Fantasies/Pinball Mania. These are the DOS versions which aren’t as highly regarded as they were on the Amiga, but still some solid pinball.


Jazz Jackrabbit 2 – PC

Another pick up from Good Old Games. Although I did have this already, it was based on a dubious copy I’d acquired many years ago, and I’m glad to have it join my digital library. For more info on the game, do checkout the Run N Gun episode of the Maximum Power Up podcast, where I try to convince my suspicious co-hosts to play it.


Pinball FX 2 VR – PSVR

Yet more pinball! I already own all these tables in my Pinball FX3 collection on PC, however I have been meaning to get the VR version for a while. At this point the PSVR library is better than many consoles.


Witcher 3: GotY – Xbox One

This was a bit of a panic buy when I got an email from Microsoft saying I had £16 of credit that was going to expire in January. There wasn’t anything else I fancied in the Winter Sale so I plumped for finally picking up The Witcher 3. I have been interested in it for a while, as I enjoy the Witcher novels, but I’m not sure how I’ll get on with the open world. Now we’ll find out!


Sega Power Stick – Mega Drive

A surprise bargain I just saw in the windows of my local CeX. This is the stick I used to have for the Mega Drive before I sold my previous collection. Delighted to get it again, and it’s already improving some of my scores. Would still like to pick up a 6 button version, but it’s not really necessary for shmups.


Darius Burst Chronicles DLC – PS4

Probably a bit of a mistake since I’ve barely spent any time with the full game, I grabbed the Cave and SEGA DLC packs for this as they were on sale. Hopefully I’ll try those out at some point at least.

Tesla vs Lovecraft - September Gaming

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.

 

 

All-Time Top 5 Real Time Strategy (RTS) Games

Before I’d even had chance to finish my Top 5 Fighting games ; @swooper_d had managed to convince me I needed to do this list too. Depending on the kind of RTS games you’re used to, there are going to be plenty of notable absences here. My Top 5 are all of the ‘build base, smash opponent variety’ because that’s what I like.

The Top 5 are also all PC games, which is pretty much the only acceptable place to play RTS games, with a notable exception picked up in the ‘honourable mentions’ at the end.


5) Age of Empires 2

War Elephants. I had so much fun playing Age of Empires 2 online with friends, and most of that fun involved being Persia and creating War Elephants. Not sure I ever won any matches, but it was a great time. It got a bit of a ‘HD’ re-release on Steam a little while back. I almost convinced a few people to play but they took one look at the dated interface and gave up!

4) Red Alert 3

Possibly the most “over the top” of the series, I just find this game highly amusing to play. It doesn’t quite recapture the joy of the original Red Alert, but it holds up much better to play now. The presentation, audio and cut scenes are all so very slick and it has a great campaign for co-operative play with a buddy. Now my favourite Command & Conquer game.

3) StarCraft 2

I was late to the StarCraft party, never really played the original game outside of a few skirmishes, and at the time it felt very similar to a game I was also dabbling with, Dark Reign. StarCraft 2 though, came along when the RTS scene had become a bit stale. This game is stunning, and although I’ve barely touched the multiplayer (mostly out of fear) the single player campaign and story is superb.

2) Total Annihilation

The most satisying in scale RTS game I have ever played, battles on Total Annihilation always felt epic. Right down to having in game maps that were so big you needed 128mb of RAM (imagine it) just to play them. The scale was spiritually superceeded by the Supreme Commander and Plantetary Annihilation games, but none have really recaptured the actual fun of the original. I should also shout out the PC Zone cover discs that used to include user created content for games at the time. (Wasn’t quite so easy to just grab such things from the internet back then.) Extra maps and units for Total Annihilation were regular features and greatly added to the enjoyment of the game.

1) WarCraft 3

No surprise if you’ve read my top 5 games of all time post, but WarCraft 3 remains my favourite ever RTS. As per my original post, this is still the only RTS game where I completed the whole campaign. I even managed to complete the campaign from the expansion, The Frozen Throne. I’m now two thirds through StarCraft 2 though so as soon as I settle down to play Legacy of the Void, I’ll have managed to finish two, like some kind of superhuman. WarCraft 3 is both my favourite multiplayer RTS as well as my favourite campaign, and yes also responsible for the many years of my life that went into World of Warcraft. I patiently await a true WarCraft 4.


Honourable Mentions and also-rans:

Command & Conquer: Red Alert – PS1 & PC

The first RTS that made me really pay attention. The original Command & Conquer never really grabbed me in the same way as Red Alert did. Thankfully a Playstation mouse made the console version viable and with the use of a link cable many head to head skirmishes took place on there. It was still best on PC though, and I had many a late night playing 3 player LAN games.

Dawn of War II

While I definitely had fun playing co-op Dawn of War 2, the lack of base-building was a real disappointment for me. The small numbers of units were a bit underwhelming too. I think I would have got more out of it if I cared for the licence, but one space marine is much the same as another…

Empire Earth

Making up in scale what it lacked in polish, Empire Earth was an entertaining idea. With battles spanning 500,000 years, the battles were all about the arms race and choosing the right time to attack. Make a mistake and you could be sending your men armed with bow & arrows to fight robots with laser guns. The game was otherwise pretty clunky, and the sequels didn’t quite manage to become essential, but at it’s core this is a great RTS for a battle with friends.

Age of Mythology

I really loved the theme for this, and after playing so much Age of Empires 2 I thought it would be the new go-to. None of my AoE 2 friends picked it up though, and I bounced off the single player campaign. Oh what could have been… As with AoE 2 I have picked up the HD re-release on Steam, so maybe it’ll still get some love one day.

Total Annihilation: Kingdoms

Much like Age of Mythology, I was really looking forward to a follow up for Total Annihilation. However this came out, and I just couldn’t get on with it. No one else I knew bought it either, so it was forgotten.

Halo Wars

The premise of this really appealed to me, but I had no desire to play on console when it came out on Xbox 360. I did have some joy playing Command & Conquer 3 on there, but soon gave way to frustration a few missions in when you needed to do anything even slightly fiddly. However, as Halo Wars and it’s sequel are now available on Xbox One with “Play Anywhere” I intend to pick them up at some point to play on PC, properly.

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.