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July Gaming

Another small indie completion this month, along with a bigger title I’ve been playing for a while.


Games completed during July

The Static Speaks My Name – PC

Another free indie game, I think I originally heard good things about this on a podcast. It almost has something mildly interesting to say about loneliness, mental health & death, but nothing too profound. Narrowly avoids disappearing up its own behind, but only if you don’t read the comments on Steam.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus – PS4

Not quite as great an experience as The New Order, but still a really good game. Very much enjoyed the story and shooting Nazis is always fun. It’s pretty tough though, a few frustrating parts almost spoil the experience in places. I’ve only finished the main campaign so far, time will tell if I put any more time into it.


Also played this month

Quake Champions – PC

Still in early access, I won a code for this from Twitter or somewhere. It has some frustrating trappings of the Free 2 Play model, but aside from the Champions which you can buy with a one off purchase, it’s pretty much just cosmetics in the loot system. It is great fun to play already though, and still fairly sparse in modes. I’ve been playing quite a bit, but struggling to climb the scoreboards on the solo instagib queue. Yet to decide if I just need practice to regain my Quake 3 Arena and Unreal Tournament era skills, or if I’m just old and the required reaction times are far behind me.


July Pickups

PC Upgrade!

This bundle from overlockers.co.uk had been tempting me for a little while, when I realised I’d had my current CPU/Mainboard/RAM combo since 2012 I decided it was time for an upgrade. CPU is an AMD Ryzen 2600 and I plumped a little extra to double the RAM up to 16GB. It came with a free 250GB SSD, so that’s now in place as my new system drive.

I’m delighted with it, nice boost to performance and I think my old CPU was holding back the GTX 970 graphics card I got last year.

Elder Scrolls Online – PC

A few friends and I decided to give this a go now you don’t need a subscription. We’ve only played a couple of hours so far but it seems pretty nice. Might help me hold off trying out the new World of Warcraft expansion for a bit longer too.

Sonic Mania Plus – Xbox One

A surprise gift from my sister, seems she pre-ordered it back in May for my birthday and never told me, so it just turned up unannounced on release day. Was a perfect surprise as all the people talking about it on Twitter were tempting me into buying it myself. I’ve had a little go so far, it is as good as they say.

EZ-Flash Omega – Game Boy Advance

I’ve been in the market for a good flash card solution for the Game Boy Advance for a while. The EverDrive looked tempting but very pricey, and has an annoying oversize shell that wouldn’t fit flush in either my Game Boy Micro or Nintendo DS. A friend tipped me off to this though, and it’s perfect. Performance is close to the EverDrive, has interchangable shells so it’ll fit flush in either machine (I’ve gone with the DS one, and I think I’ll sell the Game Boy Micro on) and it cost less than a third of the price of the EverDrive.

Fable Anniversary – Xbox One (Xbox BC)

Finally picked this up in the Xbox Summer Sale. Never played the original Fable, but loved 2 & 3 back on the Xbox 360. Looking forward to finally checking out this version.

 

Custom Back-lit Nintendo Game Boy

I went up to NERG in July, and as well as generally having a great time with friends, I also picked up this beauty from the traders. It didn’t have the light fitted but I fell in love with the colour scheme and it was super cheap (they even threw in a copy of Tetris). Joe Bleeps was kind enough to fit the back light for me for a very reasonable fee.

The finished article is gorgeous, and now I’m going to pick up a few of the games I enjoyed as a nipper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RetroPie Project

This month I managed to complete a project I’ve wanted to do for quite some time. I picked up a Raspberry Pi back in February, installed RetroPie and was enjoying it just hooked up to my TV with my old Xbox 360 Hori EX2 Joystick.

I had seen various projects online involving fitting a Raspberry Pi into an existing, or specially built, arcade stick enclosure. This way you have a portable system that just hooks up to power and a screen, and you’re ready to play. Having worked a little bit with customising a stick for my PS4 previously, I figured I’d give it a go.

In deciding on a colour scheme, I was inspired by this classic Namco Playstation Arcade Stick. I am pleased with how mine has turned out.

Components used:

  • 6x fire buttons – Went with the screw in version of the same buttons I used in my PS4 stick. SANWA OBSN-30 Screw in buttons
  • Start and credit feed buttons – These are the smaller buttons at the top. Although I usually prefer SANWA parts, I went with Seimitsu for these because I wanted the translucent yellow. SEIMITSU PS-14-DN-K 24MM Screw in buttons
  • 2x Side buttons – spare originals taken from my Venom PS4 stick, decent enough for function buttons and I like that being a darker colour they look unobtrusive.
  • Ball Top Joystick – Again I went with the same stick I used in my PS4 one, have been very happy with that. SANWA JLF-TP-8YT Ball Top Joystick
  • USB encoder – I got this from Amazon, mostly because I wanted it next day. Seems pretty good so far. Reyann Zero Delay Arcade USB Encoder
  • Enclosure – Out of stock at my supplier of choice, so I imported one from China. It’s the same as this, with two extra button holes in the side. BLACK EMPTY FIGHT STICK CASE
  • 64gb flash drive – Got this one based on size and speed, but I’ve since learned it runs hot, will need to keep an eye on that. SanDisk Ultra Fit 64GB
  • Wireless keyboard and mouse – Had these already, the USB receiver for it is tiny, so it’s very convenient to keep installed.
  • Panel mount ports – I just grabbed short extension leads for USB, Micro USB and HDMI from eBay. Only the USB one has proper panel screw fittings, I figure I’ll just glue them in place.

Installation

I originally had the power and HDMI cables plugged directly into the Pi, routed through small holes in the rear of the case. However I wanted to be able to easily detach the cables for storage, so decided to mount power and HDMI ports to the case, along with a USB port for hooking up a second controller. Unfortunately I’m impatient; rather than order some decent attachments for my dremel I only had the couple that came with it. I ended up using a small drill bit to cut the holes, which is why they look hideous. I’m going to glue the ports in place more neatly later, so I’ll tidy the holes up at the same time.

 

I did briefly look into building the enclosure myself (or getting my Dad involved), but found these pre-cut boxes were so cheap that it wasn’t worth the effort. Almost didn’t get the one with the side button holes, glad I did though, it’s quite nice to have them for hot keys etc.

The RetroPie software is installed on a 16GB SD card, then it’s setup to load roms from the 64GB USB drive. I find this setup preferable to using a larger SD card. Flash drives seem less prone to data corruption as well as being cheaper and generally easier to work with. Now it’s all set up though, I just use WiFi if I want to add any games or change anything I can’t do from within the RetroPie software.

We’re done, for now…

On the whole it was quite straight forward, and gives me confidence for possible future projects. I’ve also got a Pi Zero W from my birthday that I’m still deciding what to do with…

April Games

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


Games completed during April

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin – Nintendo DS

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


Also played this month

More Castlevania – Everything

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

Sega Dreamcast

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

 

Forza 7 – Xbox One

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

 


April Pickups

Slay the Spire – PC (Steam, early access)

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

Panzer Dragoon Orta – Xbox One (Xbox BC)

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

 

March Gaming

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


Games completed in March

Shoppe Keep – PS4

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

Rez Infinite VR – PSVR

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


Also played during March

Armed Police Batrider – PC (MAME)

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

 

Batman: The Enemy Within – PS4

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

All the Castlevania – Almost Everything

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


March pickups

Wipeout VR! – PSVR

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

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

A Brave New Home

I have finally taken the plunge and forked out for a domain and some web-hosting. Hopefully you’ll now be reading this on my new home at liberaljoon.com where I am advert free.

I expect there will be some teething issues, as the migration is only 60% automated and the rest is me fiddling away, but I hope you’ll stick around. Both of you.

January Gaming

2018 is off to a pretty respectable start, chalking up three completions, on three different systems. Granted 2 of them were games started last year, but it’s all progress. Nothing ticked off the 2018 goals yet, but I’ve started one, so we’re all good.


Games Completed During January

header (5)Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened – PC

Pleased to finally finish this, although I had hoped to wrap it up in December. It was pretty enjoyable as Point and Click’s go, but I’m not going to be in a hurry to play more of this series until I’ve cleared some others in the genre from the backlog. If the idea of Sherlock Holmes investigating mysteries in the Cthulhu Mythos appeals to you, I’d also recommend the compilation of short stories, “Shadows Over Baker Street.”

headerAxiom Verge – Vita

Very satisfying to get properly stuck into a game again on my Vita. This has been an absolute blast and is the main reason I’m finally planning to get to Super Metroid. Axiom Verge is perfect on a handheld, and is definitely the way I’d recommend it be played. I believe there is also a Switch version if that’s your thing.

headerLife is Strange: Before the Storm – PS4

I wasn’t expecting too much from this, given how much I loved the first game. I had doubts once I heard it was being done by a different studio, and that as a prequel it didn’t even include the main character. I shouldn’t have worried though, this is a great game in its own right. It’s not quite as emotionally heavy hitting as the first game, but it still has plenty of moments. Once you reach the end, if you’ve played the original game, the context of already knowing what happens after the events of “Before the Storm” hits all the harder.


Also Played in January

PuyoPuyoTetrisLogoPuyo Puyo Tetris – PS4

After mentioning this earlier in the month in my Local Multiplayer blog post, I managed to play some of this in the 3 player mode. We played a variety of game types, and it was excellent. Too early to say if it would have made the top 5, but it is a great contender.

Wolfenstein-II-01-HDWolfenstein 2: The New Colossus – PS4

I got this for Christmas, and have made a start on the campaign. Early signs are that it’s just as fun as Wolfenstein: The New Order, and the story is already compelling, but it does seem a bit harder. I shall continue.


January Pickups & Purchases 

Blood-Bowl-2Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition – PS4

Despite already owning the first Blood Bowl game on PC, where I’ve only completed one match, I decided I wanted to give this another go. Mostly because some of my other friends have picked it up, so it could be great for multiplayer. Also though, I’ve now had a couple of games of the physical board game, and enjoyed it enough to pick up my own team. I bought a team of 12 elves, which took me approximately 8 hours to build, as they are much more complicated models than the other races available so far, and also because I don’t generally get involved in building minis for anything.

ryqmMYST IV – PC

Now I have a play through of Myst 3 planned for this year, it seemed a good time to address the one gap in my collection for the Myst series. This was also prompted by watching Lewis Clark over on Twitter replaying MYST and getting excited by the extended universe. Also thanks to Lewis for pointing out that the 32 bit console versions of Riven are quite playable. I’m now considering playing Riven on my Saturn, having previously given up on the PC version due to bugs.

header (1)Shoppe Keep – PS4

This is a bit leftfield. I went to a video game quiz night in Brighton, hosted by the team at Eurogamer. We had a great time, but didn’t actually do very well. Everyone who took part won a game in a lucky dip though, and I won a physical copy of this. Had no idea what to expect, but I immediately put a couple of hours into it. I can see me sticking with it for a while.

Wulverblade-previewWulverblade – PS4

Been waiting for this for a long time. I am friends with the creator so I had promised I’d pick it up on day one anyway, but it really is fantastic. The gameplay is a very satisfying Golden Axe style brawler, polished with a great art style, some strong voice work, and plenty of history. Definitely an easy recommendation if you enjoy Golden Axe, Streets of Rage etc.

maxresdefault (1)More Storage Space

This month I took advantage of a couple of Amazon sales & promotional codes to upgrade the storage on both my Xbox One & PC. Back when I wrote this post about upgrading console hard drives on a budget, 1 TB was plenty for my Xbox One. I’ve now replaced the external 500GB drive with a nice 2TB, giving me much more to play with, and means I can stop shuffling my installed games every time a new Games with Gold release appears.

Similarly, my Steam folder on my PC passed the 1TB install size a while back. I picked up a 3TB drive which I have just assigned to that. Next upgrade will be the dreaded CPU, Mainboard & RAM combo, so I need to start planning / saving for that.

 

All-Time Top 5 Local Multiplayer Games

While I’m very much a fan of online multiplayer in games, some of the finest experiences  to be had in videogames are with friends in the same room. For this list I’m focusing on the very best of these titles (according to the very scientific method of “these are the ones I like most”).

With the exception of number 4 on this list, I’ve picked franchises here, where there are multiple versions in the series available with (usually) the same core gameplay. Feel free to interpret it as your favourite version in each case. I’ve also avoided 2 player games, but will concede that a winner stays on approach to games like Street Fighter also takes some beating. (ahem)


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5) Mario Kart

I think depending on nostalgia, which version of Mario Kart you’d choose for this will vary. Personally the Wii version (providing actual controllers are available and no one has to use the heinous motion wheel) was my favourite for a long time. I can see how Mario Kart 8 may hold the crown for many now, but I don’t own the hardware for it, and have no immediate plans to purchase any. These days my go-to would be the best Mario Kart, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. (This is obviously very surprising coming from me).

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4) Overcooked

Kind of hoping this gets to become a franchise in the future. Overcooked is also the only primarily co-operative title in the list, although the rage it can inspire does sometimes make you feel otherwise. When things are going well though, you do feel unstoppable. At making burgers.

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3) Micro Machines

I’m torn on this one for a favourite between Turbo Tournament on the Mega Drive, or V3 on the PlayStation. I’d also accept Mashed on PS2 / Xbox. A pity the recent reboot took some missteps really, as we’re well overdue for some quality racing in this style.

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2) Worms

There are seemingly hundreds of entries in this series, and after Worms World Party, they were mostly sub-par. Things started to improve with the Xbox Live Arcade versions, Worms and Worms 2:Armageddon. Though it was when Battlegrounds / Clan Wars came along that I really started recommending it again, and now with Worms W.M.D. they truly have made a return to form. It’s at least as good as as the classics, and personally I think it might be my favourite. Mostly on the strength of the Dub-step Gun, wub wub.

 

Sega Saturn Joy

1) Bomberman

As with Worms, I suspect there are more bad Bomberman games than good ones. However, the good ones really are great. My personal favourite version is the Saturn one, as evidenced by its appearance in my All-Time Top 5 Games. Bomberman remains the very best game to play with friends, and I want a new one.


Multiplayer titles that almost made it:

Everybody’s Golf

This really was close to making it, I imagine you could also include the Mario Golf games in this section. Everybody’s Golf is a gem of a game. I’m sure many people would give it a miss based just on an apathy for the sport, but it really is worth checking out. It’s a satisfying single player experience, but excels in the entertainment stakes once you throw a few friends into the mix.

Halo 3

Although I still enjoy the Halo series, and am currently playing through the Master Chief Collection in co-op, my time with the competitive multiplayer seems to have passed. However, where Halo 3 really shined was when you had 4 players in your lounge, playing online with other randoms. It was absolute carnage and I loved it. I’ve got dibs on driving the Warthog.

Puyo Puyo Tetris & ZooCube

Both of these puzzle games are superb fun (see another top 5!), but unfortunately I haven’t managed to get 4 people who like them into a room together to try the local multiplayer. I can see how they could make the list in principle, but have yet to try them out. Since I wrote about this previously, it is now available as a European release on PS4 and Switch, so definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.


Just a few more multiplayer games to mention…

Party Games

They don’t quite fit into the context of my original list, but with the right group of people, SingStar and to a lesser extent Just Dance, are highly entertaining games to break out at parties. For a more subdued but no less amusing experience, the Buzz series and more recently the Jackbox titles where people play along using their mobile phones, are definitely worth checking out. Sony seem to have begun to embrace this idea, with games in their ‘PlayLink’ series using this model of mobile phone as controller.

Goldeneye?

I expect many people would put Goldeneye into a Top 5 of this category. I get it for the nostalgia, but it’s pretty much unplayable now, so let it rest in peace.

What about Smash Bros?

No.

All-Time Top 5 Racing Games

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

Reverse order, as ever:

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

5) Forza Motorsport 7 (Xbox One)

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

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

4) Rage Racer (PlayStation)

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

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

steam_grid_view___sega_rally_championship_by_animesuperfan48-d8qecfa

3) Sega Rally (SEGA Saturn)

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

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

 

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

2) WipEout Omega Collection (PS4)

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

 

1) Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One)

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

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


Other mentions:

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

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

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

 

 

 

2018 in Games

As I did this at the start of 2017, I thought I’d do a similar post for 2018. I’ll take a quick look back at 2017, followed by 10 games I’d like to play during 2018 (a mixture of old ones from the Backlog and some newer releases), and then end with a list of games announced for 2018 that I’m looking forward to (or at least interested in).


2017 Round-up

I am delighted with how much gaming progress I made in 2017, managing to complete 36 games. These included 6 of the 9 I originally planned to play for the year. Of those that I didn’t finish:

  1. Gears of War 4 – Xbox One
    I’ve carried this one forward to play in 2018. Simply because I’ll be playing it with my buddy in co-op, and we’ve got a play through of Halo 2 on the go that we need to finish first!
  2. Riven – PC
    I did mention this on the blog, but I had some absolute nightmares trying to get this to run without frequent crashes, and ultimately gave up. I did play through RealMYST during 2017 though, and I’ve put Myst 3 onto my list for 2018.
  3. Banjo-Tooie – Xbox One Rare Replay (N64)
    I retired this in the end because I just wasn’t enjoying it. I still believe Banjo Kazooie is a great game, but the sequel, not so much.

I have found the website “How Long to Beat” to be very helpful in focusing on what I want to play, and used it through the year to keep track of my progress. My Profile is here and I like how it shows what I’m currently playing, what I’ve completed already, and my custom tab is set to show the 2018 goal list that I’ll breakdown below.


10 Games I hope to play during 2018

Gears-of-War-4-01-HD

  1. Gears of War 4 – Xbox One (rolled over from 2017)

    As above, this is my one carry over from last year’s list, and is next in line once my buddy and I finish Halo 2.

    starcraft_2_legacy_of_the_void___custom_steam_icon_by_execrutr-da8qm0v

  2. StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void – PC

    I really enjoyed playing through Heart of the Swarm last year, and have been meaning to get round to this for a while. I think if I do beat this one, I might pick up the remaster of the original StarCraft to play.

    1BQuVPr

  3. Skies of Arcadia Legends – Game Cube / Wii

    As I mentioned in my Japanese RPG post last year, this is one I’ve always fancied. Putting it on this list means I will most likely get round to giving it a go! (Won’t be ruling out giving up before the end though, we’ll see)

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  4. Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy – PS4

    I think this is the third time I’ve bought this game, and still never played it. 2018 will be the year!

    retro_super_metroid_grid_view_by_solbera-d6gto9x

  5. Super Metroid – SNES / Wii

    A testament to how much I’ve been enjoying Axiom Verge, I intend to finally give this game a proper go. Although I do still need to finish off Axiom Verge first…

    Wolfenstein-II-01-HD

  6. Wolfenstein 2: New Colossus – PS4

    Wolfenstein: The New Order was one of the best First Person Shooters I’ve played in a long time, and have been looking forward to this sequel for a while. Fortunately a copy turned up for Christmas this year, so I’ve got this on the ready-to-play pile.

    myst3

  7. Myst 3: Exile – PC

    Working my way through all the Myst games has always been on the agenda, but got derailed last year thanks to the difficulties I had getting Riven to work properly. Hopefully as I play more the modern releases, I’ll leave those issues behind me, and I’ll be able to play Myst 3 without issue.

    nQzKegx

  8. Broken Sword 5: The Serpents Curse – Vita

    I loved the first two Broken Sword games, but haven’t played any since. Middling reviews of 3 and 4 meant they largely passed me by, but I have heard good things about number 5. The Vita version was free with PS Plus recently, and feels like a good way to play it.

     

  9. The Last Express – PC

    A classic adventure game I’ve heard great things about but never got round to playing. I grabbed it on Steam a while back, and am looking forward to giving it a go. It’s also set on a train, which is a nice bonus.

    Quantum-Break-01-HD

  10. Quantum Break – Xbox One

    This seems to have received mixed reviews, but I am intrigued enough by the premise to be looking forward to seeing for myself. As with Wolfenstein 2 above, I also received this for Christmas so we’re good to go.


Releases I’m looking forward to…

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  1. The Inpatient – PSVR

    This new horror game from Supermassive Games really has me interested. It’s another VR title set in the Until Dawn universe. I have really enjoyed the first two Until Dawn games, and Rush of Blood is one of the best games I’ve played in VR. I’m very keen to see what they do with this one.

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  2. Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition – PS4

    Although I think this is getting a new retail release, it’s a bit of a cheat me putting this on here since I think I’ll be getting the main ‘Arcade Edition’ content as a free patch for my original retail copy. (It’s possible the retail one might include DLC characters that I won’t get, but I literally only use Ken anyway…) I’m mostly interested to see if this patch finally redeems the utter shambles of the original release or not.

     

  3. Vampyr – PS4

    I don’t really know much about this, other than it’s from the people who created Life is Strange, one of the best games I played last year. That game was so good that I was always going to be interested in whatever they did next.

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  4. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection – PS4

    Still plenty of time for Capcom to stuff this right up, but on paper it currently looks amazing. A collection of twelve 2D Street Fighter games from the original side scroller up to Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. Online play is being included for Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter 2: Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. If they avoid any major blunders, I anticipate getting a lot of hours out of this one!

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  5. Wolf Among Us Season 2 – Xbox One

    The original game is still one of the best Telltale Games, and I’m eager for more story in the Fables universe. They really, really, really need to give the engine an overhaul/replacement though.

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  6. Metro Exodus – PS4

    A bit cautious about this one. Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light are both outstanding (as evidenced by their appearance in my Top 5 Horror Games list). However, as I mentioned on that previous post, Exodus seems to be moving towards that bane of modern gaming (no not loot boxes, the other one), an open world environment. I’m hoping I’ll be proven wrong, but a big part of what made the first two games so good was their focused gameplay and claustrophobic environments.

December Gaming

Probably should have posted this before doing my top 5 of the year, but I only completed one game during December that came out in 2017, and it wasn’t going to make my top 5. At least I should wrap it up before the games I want to play in 2018 post, and happily acknowledge that I managed to complete at least one game every month last year.

Hurrah.


Games completed during December
header (6) Doki Doki Literature Club – PC

This game is frankly bizarre, and to talk about it is to spoil it. It is free to play though, so if you have any interest at all, it’s worth grabbing and trying. The first hour is absolute dross though, so prepare to force yourself through that. (Unless you like Visual Novel Dating Sims I guess, they might all be like this). After an hour or so the game takes a major twist, and from then on it’s excellent.

header-9-1Batman Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart – PC

I intended to go back to this and just play through some of the side missions I passed by on my first play through, but then discovered I owned this piece of DLC I had never tried. Glad I took the time to correct that though. The DLC still ticked the festive box I was aiming for when I picked the game up as something to play during December, although unlike the main game it’s set on New Year’s Eve, rather than Christmas Eve. Although Origins is probably the weakest Batman game in the Arkham series, this is the best bit of story DLC for any of them. I am now tempted to pick up the “Return to Arkham” remastering of the first two games, and play them again.

retro_review_christmas_nights_into_dreams_titleChristmas Nights – Xbox 360 / XB1 BC

Compulsory to play over Christmas, although little more than a demo, it’s an absolute joy and can’t help but make me feel festive.

 

 


Also played in December

header (1)Worms WMD – PS4

Always great to be able to get this out for some local multiplayer, so much fun. Also makes me happy that it has little Santa hats for the Worms to wear.

main_imageDirt Rally VR – PSVR

Grabbed this in a sale, as what seems to be the best option for a racing game on VR. (At least until the Wipeout patch). It looks amazing, feels great to play, and I didn’t experience too much motion sickness. Only felt a bit ill the third time I rolled my car down a hill, fortunately that properly broke my car and I was forced to retire. More practice needed!

PSVRUntil Dawn: Rush of Blood and Thumper – PSVR

Spent a bit more time with these now I have my own headset. Both are amazing games, I’m working through an ‘Insane’ play through of Until Dawn, and maybe one day I’ll manage a normal completion of Thumper too.

3de1c108c46be0894bb939bd9dd922b99e69628aOvercooked! – Xbox One

Found time for a bit more local multiplayer, this time it was for an evening of ‘Overcooked’. Given the season we tackled the Festive DLC first, and then went back to try and progress the main game. The three of us are definitely improving, but we need more practice. And chef’s hats.