Tag Archives: videogames

August Games

August Games

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

Games played during August

Animal Crossing - July Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Switch

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


Metro Exodus - July Games

Metro Exodus – PS5

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

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


Black Ops 4 - August Games

Black Ops 4 – PS5

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


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

Worms WMD – PS5

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


Everybody's Golf

Everybody’s Golf – PS5

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


Wipeout Omega Collection - August Games

Wipeout Omega Collection – PS5

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


Super Monaco GP Cabinet

Team Flicky Games Day

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

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

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


Quake 2021 - August Games

Quake – PC & Xbox (GamePass)

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

What’s been on the arcade?

MAME Cabinet - Finished

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

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


August Pick-ups

PS5 Charger

PlayStation 5 Dual Charger

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


Stardew Valley Switch

Stardew Valley – Switch

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


SEGA Picross - August Games

Picross S Mega Drive & Master System Edition – Switch

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


Forza 7

Forza 7 – Xbox Series S

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


Pre-orders This Month

Forza Horizon 5 Add-ons Bundle

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

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

July Games 2021

July Games

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

Games completed this month

Octopath Traveler - Switch

Octopath Traveler – Switch

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

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


Mario Golf Super Rush - Switch

Mario Golf Super Rush – Switch

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

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

Games played during July

Hotshot Racing - Xbox Series S

Hotshot Racing – Xbox Series S

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


Animal Crossing - July Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Switch

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


What’s been on the arcade?

MAME Cabinet - Finished

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


July Pick-ups

PlayStation 5 - July Games

PlayStation 5 – Disc Version

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

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


Metro Exodus - July Games

Metro Exodus – PS5

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

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


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

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

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

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

June Games Title

June Games

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

Games completed this month

Octopath Traveler - Switch

Octopath Traveler – Switch

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

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


Games played during June

Nanotale - Typing Games

Nanotale – PC

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


Super Bomberman R Online - Switch

Super Bomberman R Online – PC

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


Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4 – Xbox Series S and PC

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


Dark Alliance - June Games

Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance – PC (GamePass)

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


Quake Champions - June Games

Quake Champions – PC

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


What’s been on the arcade?

MAME Cabinet - Finished

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


June Pick-ups

Mario Golf Super Rush - Switch

Mario Golf Super Rush – Switch

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

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


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

New Monitor

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

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


Nex Machina - June Games

Nex Machina & The Name of the Game Documentary – PC

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


Williams Pinball Volume 2

More Pinball FX3 tables

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


JRPG Book - June Games

A Guide to Japanese Role Playing Games – Book

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


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

Octopath Traveler May Games

May Games

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

Games played during May

Octopath Traveler - Switch

Octopath Traveler – Switch

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

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


Nanotale - Typing Games

Nanotale – PC

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


Battlefield V - PC

Battlefield V – PC (GamePass)

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


Tetris Effect Connected - May Games

Tetris Effect: Connected – PC VR (GamePass)

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


Super Bomberman R Online - Switch

Super Bomberman R Online – Switch

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


MAME Cabinet - Finished

Arcade Games

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


Pre-orders

Mario Golf Super Rush - Switch

Mario Golf Super Rush – Switch

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

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

Retired

Shadow of the Tomb Raider - PS4

Shadow of the Tomb Raider – PS4

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

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

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

Bravely Default 2 - Switch

April Games

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

Completed this month

Bravely Default 2 - January Games

Bravely Default 2 – Switch

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

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


X-Men The Arcade Game

X-Men Arcade Game – Arcade

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


Metamorphic Force - Arcade

Metamorphic Force – Arcade

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

Games played during April

Pac-man 99 April Games

Pac-Man 99 – Switch

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


MAME Cabinet - Finished

Arcade Games

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

Demos

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

R-Type Final 2 Demo - April Games

R-Type Final 2 Demo – PS4

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

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

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


Octopath Traveler - Switch

Octopath Traveler Demo – Switch

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

April Pick-ups

The Longing – Switch

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


Doom Eternal - April Games

Doom Eternal – PS4

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

Back up over a tenner* at time of writing


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

March Games 2021

March Games

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

Games played during March

Bravely Default 2 - January Games

Bravely Default 2 – Switch

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

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


MAME Cabinet - Finished

Arcade Games

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

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

March Pick-ups

NBA2K Playgrounds 2 – PS4

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

Pick it up here*, also on Xbox and Switch


Arcade Cabinet upgrades – Raspberry Pi4

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

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

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

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

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


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

February Games

February Games

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

Games completed this month

Airborne Kingdom - February Games

Airborne Kingdom – PC

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


Beyond Blue - PC

Beyond Blue – PC

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


Raiden V - February Games

Raiden V – Xbox Series S

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


Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath - February Games

Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath – PS4

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

This* is the edition I picked up on PS4

Games played during February

Man of Medan - GamePass

Man of Medan – Xbox Game Pass

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


Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 - Xbox

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 – Xbox Series S

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


Shmups - February Games

Shmups PS3, PS4, Xbox

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


FIFA 21 - Free Trial

Fifa 21 – Xbox Game Pass (Trial)

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


Bravely Default 2 - January Games

Bravely Default 2 – Switch

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

February Pick-ups

MAME Cabinet - Finished

Arcade Cabinet

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


Capcom vs SNK - Match of the Millenium - February Games

Capcom vs SNK: Match of the Millennium – Switch

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


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

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.

2021 in Games

2021 in Games

Continuing to only slightly progress the planned list, I have decided to drop off some of the titles that I have already rolled forward previously. Going back to the 2020 list I allowed myself four games I didn’t play to take forward. The others were either abandoned during my updates in 2020 or “back on the shelf”.


Top 5 played in 2020

1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Switch

This was on the playlist from last year, and after putting in 400 hours, it does have to be my game of the year really. I did stop playing when I moved house over the Summer, and I haven’t been back to it. I’m sure I’ll get the urge again this year though, if only to do the Autumn and Winter seasons I didn’t play yet.

If you have a Switch you must own this* already, right?


2. Marvel’s Spider-man – PS4

Yes everyone else played it the year before, but it does deserve most of the praise. I did find some of the side content tedious, too much busy work. It’s only the same problem that most open world games have, and the main story did make up for it.

Amazon link*


Ritual of the Night - Switch

3. Bloodstained Ritual of the Night – Switch

Despite the initial false start attempting this on the Xbox One originally, and then the gap to progress for a year when I got stuck on the “Bloodless” boss, I did really enjoy this. It seems to still be getting content added as well so I may have another look at it for that later too. As “metroidvanias” go, this almost certainly deserves a place on my top 5. Will need to think about where it goes if I ever refresh that list.

As per previous posts, the Switch version* doesn’t run as well as the PC or other console ones, but if you mostly play your Switch in Handheld mode, it’s a very satisfying experience now they’ve fixed the original issues.


51 Worldwide Games - Switch

4. 51 Worldwide Games – Switch

I was a bit torn with this, as I was hoping for more in terms of the online multiplayer options. As a standalone piece though, and with local multiplayer, this is a worthy follow up to the stellar 42 All-time Classics on the Nintendo DS.

As a cheaper release anyway, 51 Worldwide Games* is still easy to recommend for the money if the idea interests you at all.


Modern Warfare - February Games

5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) – PC

Really enjoyed the campaign, but mostly what I enjoyed was spending a lot of time during this pandemic playing online with my best mate. I remain grateful that they finally got proper cross platform working. It has been really great to be able to play on my PC, while he was on his PS4, and it to just, work. Complete with voice chat. The multiplayer remains some of the best around.


Also rans:

Core Grafx Mini

Didn’t think I could really list one of the mini consoles as a top game of the year, but it was certainly a highlight. Still an easy recommend.

Seriously, these are great*

Command & Conquer Remaster – PC

Bit of a surprise this. Unfortunately it was so well done and polished that it destroyed the lacklustre Warcraft 3: Reforged, and derailed my plans to replay that campaign. I did get a bit stuck (as usual) on the original C&C GDI story though, so I should try to go back to it.

Streets of Rage 4 – Xbox One

I think a lot of people were surprised how well this turned out. A real gem this year. Didn’t make my list though as while it’s great fun in local multiplayer, I still don’t really rate brawlers like this as single player games.

Think I assumed this was digital only (outside of those heinous ‘limited’ collectors editions). Apparently not*.


10 games for 2021

1. Super Metroid – Switch / SNES

Despite my statement last year, I’m giving this one more run out. If only because I’m still yet to play any of the NES or SNES games on the Switch and I should at least get to one. It is year four though, oh dear.


2. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void – PC

Another one that survives for another year on the list, I think I would have gotten to this if I wasn’t distracted by the Command & Conquer Remaster. Oh and if Blizzard hadn’t become a terrible company that made me actively not want to play their games. I do want to close out the StarCraft II trilogy though so hoping to get to it.


3. The Last Express – PC

“Last one on the list that I’ve brought with me from last year. Gotta have a train game!” – Think I’ll keep that quote from last year too…


Myst 3 Exile - 2020 in games

4. Myst III: Exile – PC

Last of the ones I’m taking forward, I do still intend to progress my way through all these. However long it takes. I can already see me replaying the original MYST again when the new VR version comes to Steam though.


Airborne Kingdom - December Games

5. Airborne Kingdom – PC

Only picked this up in December, and I already know I want to play it through. It is very pretty, and seems to have an interesting campaign / story for a city builder.


Shadow of the Tomb Raider - PS4

6. Shadow of the Tomb Raider – PS4

I really enjoyed the first two games in this trilogy, but wasn’t in a rush to play more. It’s been long enough now that I’m looking forward to this one, and Sony were kind enough to make it one of the free games for January. Excellent.


Call of Cthulhu - Xbox / PC

7. Call of Cthulhu – Xbox / PC

Think I have this on both Xbox and PC so we’ll see how I feel when I get round to starting it. We all know I enjoy a Lovecraftian Videogame and I’ve heard good things about this one.


Ori and the Will of the Wisps

8. Ori and the Will of the Wisps – Xbox

Very much enjoyed the original, despite some of the more punishing platforming sections. I’ll probably play it on the next Xbox I pick up, likely a Series S.


Spider-Man: Miles Morales - PS5

9. Miles Morales – PS5

The first of two games I don’t actually own yet, it’s still my intention to pick up a PlayStation 5 once they’re available again. I’m hoping I can get one by February, and take a week off work to play. This game is first on the list. Second and third on the list are my free upgrades to the PS5 versions of Madden 21 and Mortal Kombat 11. Obviously.

Think you need the ultimate edition* if you want the remastered original game. And of course you want that.


Hollow Knight: Silksong - 2020 in Games

10. Hollow Knight: Silksong – Switch?

As expected, this didn’t come out in 2020, but should arrive in 2021, and I shall be there when it does. The first game was a perfect fit for the Switch, but as my home situation changed, I find I don’t play it handheld anymore. I might then go for whichever version of Silksong is going to look best on my big TV.


2021 releases I’m looking forward too

Returnal – PS5

The new one from Housemarque. I’m not entirely sure I’ll like this, as I’m not big on third person shooters or roguelikes. However, Housemarque still made some of my favourite games, so I’m going to give it a go.


Back 4 Blood – PC

After getting back into Left 4 Dead 2 last year, I’m quite looking forward to this. Not sure I’ll get it on release though, looks pretty pricey for something I’ll only play casually with friends. We’ll see.


God of War: Ragnarok - 2021 Games

God of War: Ragnarok – PS5

Another sequel to a game I enjoyed previously. All going well this should be a real showcase for the PS5.


Gotham Knights - 2021 Games

Gotham Knights – TBC

Not sure where I’ll play this, but if it’s anything like the Batman Arkham games, I should enjoy it, and it is very appealing to play as the Bat Family.


*these are affiliate links, I’ll get 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.