Tag Archives: xbox series x

2024 in Games

2024 in Games

A bit late with the round up I think, but here we are.


Top 5 played in 2023

Octopath Traveler II - PS5

1. Octopath Traveler 2 – PlayStation 5

Didn’t quite finish Octopath Traveler 2 in 2023 but almost, and I was playing it for most of the year. It improves on the first, already great, game in every way, but without changing anything too dramatic. At some point I’ll be revisiting that All Time Top JRPG post again…

Also available on PC and Switch, but I played this PS5 version*.


Dead Cells Bundle

2. Dead Cells & DLC – Xbox Series X

I didn’t see this coming at all. When I first tried Dead Cells I bounced off pretty hard. I don’t have a great track record with roguelike/lites (or at least I didn’t until the Vampire Survivors model appeared). However, when the Castlevania DLC got announced I knew I’d want to play that so I tried again. It really hooked me, and I ended up playing over 80 hours and all 4 DLC packs.

I played on Xbox, where the base game was on GamePass and I just purchased the DLC. These multiple platform versions here* on Amazon contain the base game and all 4 DLC packs up to and including the Castlevania one.


Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure - Xbox Series X

3. Forza Horizon 5 – Rally Adventure

Once again Forza Horizon puts in an appearance. This didn’t have as long a tail as previous versions though. The janky multiplayer is a continuing disappointment, don’t really understand what the problem is there. Anyway I really enjoyed the new content, and played until I’d done 100% of the additional stuff.

Best way to get Forza Horizon is still to buy GamePass* then the premium DLC bundle. It might be cheaper to buy from the Xbox Store direct, but you can get it from Amazon*.


Street Fighter 6 - Xbox Series X

4. Street Fighter 6 – Xbox Series X

This might be my favourite Street Fighter, I’m just not sure if it’s surpassed Street Fighter IV though. I haven’t played as much as I’d expected to, but Octopath is to blame for that as much as it is for everything else I didn’t play. I am very happy with the new arcade stick* I bought to play it with though, so all good.


Humanity - PS5

5. Humanity – PlayStation 5

I almost didn’t pick this up, as so much fuss was made about it as a VR title (exclusive to PSVR2) that I thought it would be a waste trying to play before I had that. Fortunately I was able to try it at someone else’s house, and discovered that it’s a great game even playing on a television. I’ve since tried it in VR, and to be honest, I think I prefer it flat.


Also mention:

Vampire Survivors - Tales of the Foscari

Vampire Survivors – Xbox Series X

My favourite game in 2022, almost appeared in the top 5 again for 2023. There were two more DLC packs for it, as well as a bunch more free content, and I played it all. There are quite a few good clones of the game appearing now and I expect to be playing more of those as well as anything else that gets added to Vampire Survivors during 2024.


10 games for 2024

As usual I like to set out a few games I intend to play over the coming year, so that I can mostly ignore the list and fail entirely. From last years list, I did play (and still expect to complete) Octopath Traveler 2. I also played Harvestella and Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, but ended up abandoning them. I’ve kept 3 others on the list below, and scrapped the rest for now.


God of War: Ragnarok - PS5

1. God of War: Ragnarok – PS5

I did buy this last year as planned, but I ended up spending most of the year playing Octopath Traveller 2 and never getting round to starting it. It’s definitely up soon though, not starting another 40+ hour game until after I’ve played this!

It’s come down a bit since launch, Amazon* does have a few quid off RRP atm.


Alan Wake II - 2024 in Gaming

2. Alan Wake 2 – PS5

At time of writing I’ve actually made a start with this one, but only started in January so I’m counting it. I adored the first game, and most of what I have heard of this sequel has been positive so I’m on board.


Spider-Man 2 - PS5

3. Spider-Man 2 – PS5

I didn’t get round to picking this up last year, I was still playing Octopath when it came out. It’s firmly on the list for 2024 though. I’m pretty certain I’ll manage these first 3 games, regardless of what happens to the rest of the list…


StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void - 2024 in Gaming

4. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void – PC

Thanks to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and the subsequent exiting of Bobby Kotick I feel a little bit better about reinstalling Battle.net, and playing their games again. As such, it’s time to dust off the final part of this campaign trilogy, and actually play it this year.


Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story - 2024 in Gaming

5. Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story – PC or PS5

Only just found out this was a thing due out in 2024, but as a collection / tribute to my favourite games developer I am definitely in. This is coming from Digital Eclipse, who put together the excellent Atari 50 compilation. I’m currently leaning towards getting it on PC, but it may be another PS5 titles. We’ll see.


Half-Life - PC

6. Half-life – PC

After all the years I’ve played this, I don’t think I’ve ever actually completed the campaign. Last year Valve released a free update for the game, adding support for modern hardware and higher resolutions. Last year I finally completed Quake 2, so I think it’s time to finally see the end of Half-life and tick off another classic.


Sea of Stars - 2024 in Gaming

7. Sea of Stars – Xbox Series X

In my JRPG era, it seems I should definitely have one on the list. Considering Octopath Traveler 2 was over 100 hours long and derailed last years plans, I’ve gone for something that should be a bit shorter. At least until my little gaming group settles on a new communal JRPG to play anyway.


Axiom Verge 2 - 2024 in Gaming

8. Axiom Verge 2 – PC or PS5

Considering how much I enjoyed the first one it’s amazing I never got round to trying this. I’ll almost certainly pass over it for Silksong if that comes out. That’s highly unlikely though so let’s go for it.


I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream - 2024 in Gaming

9. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream – PC

Another from the back catalogue that has been kicking around forever. Obligatory that I put a point and click game on the list, and thought I’d change it up since I didn’t play the last ones I chose.


Hollow Knight: Silksong

10. Hollow Knight: Silksong – Xbox Series X

Popping this on the end of the list, it’s become a bit of a joke as to whether it’ll ever get released. Going to play it when it does come out though, so we’ll leave it here and hope for the best!


Other 2024 releases I’m looking forward too

Simon the Sorcerer Origins - PC

Simon the Sorcerer Origins – PC

Something else I only just spotted as due this year (the release calendar for 2024 so far looks a bit sparse for things I’m actually interested in) but I am up for a new Simon the Sorcerer. Apparently due to be a prequel, I’ll take a look!


*these are affiliate links, I’ll get a small commission if you buy something.

October Games

October Games

Finished another game, played a few others, and spent too much money on new hardware. Later than ever with my blog. Solid all round.

Games completed this month

Quake 2021 - September Games

Quake – Xbox Series X

As intended last month, I did go back and finish the original quake. I have completed it before but not for a long time, so it was good to revisit. I’m definitely going to play some of the included expansion packs, for this and Quake II.


Games played during October

Tempest 4000 - September Games

Tempest 4000 – Xbox Series X

Played more Tempest 4000 in October too, haven’t quite got my old TxK skills back, but I’m enjoying myself at least.

The Xbox version is generally much cheaper digitally, but this physical copy* is regularly cheap for PS4 and plays perfectly on PS5 too.


Akka Arrh - October Games

Akka Arrh – PS5

Finding myself going between this and Tempest and enjoying peak Jeff Minter. I’m not really getting better at Akka Arrh but I do know what I’m doing now.


Humanity - PS5

Humanity – PlayStation 5

Made more progress with this, ended up playing it instead of Octopath Traveler 2 in October, which halted my progress on that some. I need to get back to Octopath so Humanity progress will likely drop off, but we’ll see.


Forza Motorsport - Xbox Series X

Forza Motorsport – Xbox Series X

Very glad this is a GamePass game. While the racing is still great fun, the game itself is dull. I can see myself still dropping in to do some races but have no desire to play through the career / campaign mode that I would usually do. I probably just need to accept that I don’t care about motorsports, and stick to the Forza Horizon games.


Gotham Knights - Xbox Series X

Gotham Knights – Xbox Series X

Another one I was glad was on GamePass, but this is just bad. I played for a couple of hours, and the general critical consensus seemed accurate. Bring on Spider-Man 2.


Everybody's Golf

Everybody’s Golf – PS5

Had a mate over for a few days in October while we were attending the NFL games in London. Naturally Everybody’s Golf had to go on and was as much fun as ever. I think I’m ready for a new one though Sony if you could get on with that.


Vampire Survivors - Xbox GamePass

Vampire Survivors

Once again another content patch appeared for Vampire Survivors, and I had to go back and collect the new achievements. The upcoming Adventures content means I’ll be likely back again soon too.


Arcade

What’s been on the arcade?

The arcade machine has been on a bit of a Neo Geo kick lately, I’ve been playing Neo Turf Masters, Soccer Brawl and Last Resort. Admittedly Soccer Brawl is mostly a nostalgia game for me, as it was a favourite in the arcades when I was little. The others are classics though.


October pick ups

Ryzen 7 5700X - CPU

Ryzen 7 5700X CPU

This was a compromise when I started to get the itch to do a full upgrade of my PC. After spending a couple of days looking at options and pricing up various builds, I realised there wasn’t a decent reason to spend the money it required, since I barely play games on my current PC anyway. After a bit of research I discovered that a simple BIOS update on my existing machine would add support for newer AMD processors. This became a straight forward swap from my old Ryzen 5 2600, and has given my machine a nice boost. Also it’s not at all confusing that my graphics card as an AMD RX 5700 XT too.

This is the processor* I bought from Amazon, I realised they no longer come with coolers as standard, so I also bought this ARCTIC Freezer* while I was at it.


Addams Family - Pinball FX

Pinball FX Addams Family Pinball Table – PC

I’m still a bit disappointed by the new Pinball FX platform managing to be worse than Pinball FX3. However I will still be picking up the exclusive tables I want when they’re on sale.


Games retired in October

Two Point Hospital - October Games

Two Point Hospital

Had a lot of fun with this, but getting towards the end and it had become very much a grind that I wasn’t enjoying, so that’s enough.


Pre-orders this month

Raspberry Pi5 8GB

Raspberry Pi5

I cracked when these went up for pre-order, but unfortunately wasn’t quick enough to get in the first wave of shipments. Mine should arrive by December at least. I’m not in too much of a hurry as I expect it’ll take a while for the full RetroPie build to turn up for it, and the plan is to just swap it into my MAME cabinet to increase the games I can play on there anyway. I still need to also order a power supply and cooler too.


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

September Games

Managed to finish something. Hurrah. Relatively light month for games otherwise though – been busy!

Games completed this month

Quake II - August Games

Quake II – Xbox Series X

As I’d hoped for last month, I did manage to go on and clear the campaign for Quake 2. Decided it would be fun to clear the campaigns and all expansions included in the Quake 1 & 2 remasters next, so we’ll see how I get on with that. Back to Quake!

Games played during September

Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveler 2 – PlayStation 5

Don’t think it quite qualifies as a completion, but I did finish the story of my main character this month. Only seven to go, plus the post-game (So probably another 70 hours…)

It’s on Switch and PS4 as well, which may suit. I was glad to get another reason to play some PS5 though, and picked up this physical edition*.


Humanity - PS5

Humanity – PlayStation 5

As mentioned last month, I did pick this up at the start of September, and have put a bit of time into it so I think it qualifies as a game played rather than going into “pickups”. I’m on the third set of levels, took me a little time to get back to the point I’d reached playing with my friend previously. Still very much enjoying it.


Quake 2021 - September Games

Quake – Xbox Series X

As mentioned above, once I finished Quake 2 I decided to go back to this, the main campaign is like an old friend. Not sure how much of the mission packs I’ve seen before though so that’ll be fun when I get to them.


Tempest 4000 - September Games

Tempest 4000 – Xbox Series X

Speaking of old friends, I spent a few hours with Tempest 4000. I think I own it on Xbox, PS4/5 and PC now and haven’t really spent much time with it compared to the many hours I spent with TxK on the Vita. It’s still a joy to play although something doesn’t feel quite as nice as the original TxK, I’m happy that I can play this version of my favourite game on multiple devices.

The Xbox version is generally much cheaper digitally, but this physical copy* is regular cheap for PS4 and plays perfectly on PS5 too.


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

August Games Banner

August Games

Still no completions, although hopefully closing in on a couple. I was away in Scotland for a week though so I can blame that for the lack of progress.

Games played during August

Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveler 2 – PlayStation 5

Now in that sweet spot where my characters have got the majority of their skills and starting to specialise. Coming up to the “endgame” by which I mean I’ll hopefully roll credits in about 10 hours or so more gameplay, and I’m about 50 hours away from actually finishing it. So far, so JRPG. I have gone off on a bit of a side quest tangent though, so we’ll see.

It’s on Switch and PS4 as well, which may suit. I was glad to get another reason to play some PS5 though, and picked up this physical edition*.


Animal Crossing - June Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Nintendo Switch

Dropping into my island regularly, feel a bit like I’ll be trying not to buy fake art for the next 10 years though…

Surely you’ve got this already, but it’s here if not*. (And yes I will call you Shirley.)


Humanity - PS5

Humanity – PlayStation 5

The first of two games I played while visiting a friend in Scotland, that I want to play more and have added to my wishlist. This is an absolute gem of a puzzle game, a bit like the old Lemmings games, but done well in 3D. I haven’t bought it yet though so it may be a while before I get to play it again. I almost grabbed the PC version as it felt like it might be good with a mouse, but then I read it makes great use of the fancy PS5 controller, so I’ll try to stick to that I think.


The Eternal Castle - August Games

The Eternal Castle – PlayStation 5

This is very odd, but surprisingly engaging. We spent a couple of hours clearing levels. It’s graphics are entirely in the style of early 80s CGA. As such it looks very dated, but still atmospheric and remains playable. Gameplay is comparable to the classic Prince of Persia and Another World/Flashback games or the more recent Limbo and Inside. I fancy picking up the Switch version of it though, as it’ll definitely be a nice fit for that.


Quake II - August Games

Quake II

Much like when the original Quake got rereleased in 2021 they’ve repeated the process with Quake II. Again it’s come straight to GamePass which is a nice touch, and as well as giving it an overall polish and running it at 4k, they’ve included the expansion packs Ground Zero and The Reckoning, the Nintendo 64 game and another new campaign from Machine Games, Call of the Machine. Unlike the original Quake, I don’t think I ever finished the main campaign for Quake II, so I’m enjoying plugging away at it.


Akka Arrh - August Games

Akka Arrh – PlayStation 5

My first couple of goes I kind of bounced off this, not really ‘getting’ what I was supposed to be doing. However when a friend was round and we were flicking through some games I loaded it up to at least show off the graphics and for some reason it finally clicked. In Jeff Minter we (still) trust.


Airborne Kingdom - August Games

Airborne Kingdom – PC GamePass

I originally played this back in February 2021, while recovering from vertigo. At the time I had bought it on the Epic Game Store, and very much enjoyed it. The game has just been released on GamePass though, so I thought I’d have a look and see if it had new content. It does look like there is some extra stuff I could do, but a really nice touch was it loading my existing save game, and giving me all the achievements I would have acquired.


Two Point Hospital - August Games

Two Point Hospital – Steam PC

I only vaguely recall buying this at some point over the past few years, but never got round to trying it until now. I don’t know if I’ll finish the game, as although I’ve really enjoyed 20 hours or so with it, it is now feeling very repetitive. I’ve had a good time with it anyway and it very much scratched the Theme Hospital itch.


September Arcade

What’s been on the arcade?

The ten pence arcade game for the month was Thunder Hoop. I didn’t really take to it, and have instead been playing some Mega Drive games on it. Namely Mega SWIV, Elemental Master and Super Fantasy Zone.


Pick ups during August

Call of the Sea - August Games

Call of the Sea – Xbox Series X

A friend recommended this to me as a fun Lovecraftian adventure, grabbed it on sale with the end of some xbox credit I had on my account.


Xenotilt Hostile Pinball Action - August Games

Xenotilt: Hostile Pinball Action – PC (Steam Early Access)

A new pinball game from the guys behind Demon’s Tilt. In much the same way that the Crush Pinball series had Alien Crush and Devil’s Crush doing the sci-fi and occult themes respectively, Xenotilt is the sci-fi to Demon’s Tilt’s occult here. I’ve only had a couple of goes but I already love it.


Games retired this month

Tell Me Why - August Games

Tell Me Why – Xbox Series X

Pretty much forgot I was playing this, and haven’t felt the urge to go back so I’ll call it retired to get it off my list. Maybe that’ll make room for another story adventure game soon.


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

July Games

Well I didn’t finish any games this month, but managed plenty of gaming. Also made it up to Newcastle for one of my favourite gaming events, and attended NERG 2023. Lots of arcade games and pinball were played there.

Games played during July

Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveller 2 – PlayStation 5

Properly into this now and progressing nicely. Was a bit worried for a while that I was going to struggle getting back into it but all is well.

It’s on Switch and PS4 as well, which may suit. I was glad to get another reason to play some PS5 though, and picked up this physical edition*.


Hollow Knight - July Games

Hollow Knight – PlayStation 5

I was helping my mate with the hornet boss fight, and started a new playthrough to get back into the controls. Ended up playing quite a bit, don’t think I’ll finish it again but it was a lot of fun. I do wish they’d crack on and release the new game, Hollow Knight: Silksong.


Tekkens

A Variety of Tekken

My Newcastle trip involved a lot of Tekken, various editions of the game on multiple platforms. All of them involving my “Paul” smashing my friend about. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the game.


Animal Crossing - June Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Nintendo Switch

Still playing a bit everyday, trying to complete more collections but also doing some island improvements.

Surely you’ve got this already, but it’s here if not*. (And yes I will call you Shirley.)


Pinball FX3 - July Games

Pinball FX 3 – PC & PS5

Thanks to playing a bunch of pinball at NERG, I found myself getting back on this when I got home.


Vampire Survivors - July Games

Vampire Survivors – Xbox Series X

I noticed they’d added a few more achievements in another free patch, so I spent a couple of hours mopping all those up to maintain my 100% completion.


Mario Kart 8 Booster

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Nintendo Switch

Another wave of the expansion pass courses came out last month, and I have been enjoying playing the 8 new tracks. I still maintain that the gaps between the releases have been much too long, but I do enjoy the prompt to go back to the game when a new set of tracks appears.


Rollers of the Realm - July Games

Rollers of the Realm – PlayStation 5

Not sure how much of this I’ll play really, but I started replaying it on my PS5 just because I’m on a pinball kick. It’s fun but not really very polished.


What’s been on the arcade?

Guitar Hero Arcade

Didn’t spend a lot of time on my own cab, but thanks to the trip to NERG 2023, I did play a lot of arcade and pinball games. Definite mention of Guitar Hero Arcade, for being great fun and reminding me how much fun those games were back on the 360.


Pick ups during June

Tekken 7 Deluxe Edition - Xbox Series X

Tekken 7 Deluxe Edition – Xbox Series X

Obviously prompted by all the Tekken we played, I grabbed this in an Xbox sale. Just need to find time to play it online with my mate now.


Humble Bundle - At Home Arcade

Humble Bundle “At-Home Arcade” Bundle – PC

A few games that I largely own on my consoles, that I was mostly grabbing for potential future use in an arcade machine. The bundle included Mortal Kombat 11, House of the Dead Remake, Redout 2 and a couple more games, but also included the Indiana Jones table for Pinball FX3 and Pinball FX. The Indiana Jones table is one of the digital replicas of the real life machine, a table that I played a bit of at NERG. Very pleasing.


Wrath of the Elder Gods - Pinball FX

Pinball FX tables – PlayStation 5

I grabbed the Williams bundle 1 and Wrath of the Elder Gods tables on PS5. I mostly prefer pinball on my PC with my pinball controller, but wanted a few tables on PS5 so I could high score chase with my mate.


Arkanoid Eternal Battle - PC

Arkanoid: Eternal Battle – Xbox & PC

Another friend suggested this was a fun game for a couple of quid. It plays very well with my Spinner too.


Halls of Torment - PC

Halls of Torment – PC

The best Vampire Survivors clone I’ve played since the actual game. This is still in early access, so I’m looking forward to it gaining more content, but it is already very promising. It plays as a cross between Vampire Survivors & Diablo. Very well done indeed.


God of War: Ragnarok - July Games

God of War: Ragnarok – PS5

Criminal how long it has taken me to get this, but I traded in a couple of games at CeX and managed to get this without spending any money. Only thing is I want to finish Octopath before I start it…

Amazon link*


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

June Gaming

June Games

Feels like a good month for gaming, and a good or bad month for buying, depending how you look at it.


Games completed this month

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 - June Games

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 – Xbox 360

Could have included this in this month’s pick-ups, but since I did a 1 credit completion I decided to count it here instead. I loved the first Tekken Tag Tournament and always meant to spend more time with the sequel. I previously bought it for the PS3, but having it backwards compatible on the Series X is much more useful.


Games played during June

Dragon Ball FighterZ - June Games

Dragon Ball FighterZ – Xbox Series X

Finally got to play a bit of this with my mate, in a break between Street Fighter 6 rounds. It’s absolute chaos. I think I was enjoying it, but even less of an idea what is going on than at the height of the Marvel vs Capcom games. Can’t see me playing it more on my own, but think it will continue to be interesting for occasional local multiplayer matches.


Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveller 2 – PlayStation 5

Progress continues to be slow, but I’m still enjoying it. A couple of other entries this month have been sapping my time, at the moment I have been managing an hour or two a week on this though.

It’s on Switch and PS4 as well, which may suit. I was glad to get another reason to play some PS5 though, and picked up this physical edition*.


Street Fighter 6 - June Games

Street Fighter 6 – Xbox Series X

Yes this is everything I hoped for. Having a blast, I still kinda suck at ranked online, but hoping to at least get back to Silver like I was on SFV, if not pushing for Gold. Most of my time will hopefully just be spent playing against my mate though, once he gets used to using his new arcade stick*.

I also spent £3 on in-game currency so I could buy the classic costume for Ken so I don’t have to pay the dire World Tour mode. A bargain.

Now it’s been out a few weeks, Amazon have the physical edition* for a more reasonable price.


Call of Duty War Zone

Call of Duty: Warzone – Xbox Series X

Had a couple of goes of this now in the three player modes, with my Nephew and my usual Street Fighter buddy. It is entertaining, but largely just my Nephew killing everyone while attempting to keep us alive, or at least able to respawn. We’re getting old.


Animal Crossing - June Games

Animal Crossing New Horizons – Nintendo Switch

I didn’t expect to be getting heavily back into this, but here we are. My girlfriend is playing as well so it’s great to be able to make use of the co-operative elements. Animal Crossing is still very much a great place to spend time, although I find myself wishing for a new game and wondering how many years Nintendo are away from doing that. Suspect it’ll need a new console release from them before it’s even thought about.

Surely you’ve got this already, but it’s here if not*. (And yes I will call you Shirley.)


Railway Empire 2 - June Games

Railway Empire 2 – PC

I think the only game I’ve really played on GamePass this month, but it is great. Also nice to be playing something on PC. I’ve pretty much just done the tutorial so far. I love the idea of train games, but they can quickly get overly complex. This feels quite accessible though, so looking forward to playing some more. Did I mention I was getting old?


What’s been on the arcade?

September Arcade

I’ve kind of neglected the cabinet for gaming this month, I had a couple of goes on Dr Toppel’s Adventure, the Ten Pence Arcade choice for June, but it didn’t really take. I’ve been tinkering a bit with the software on it, and thinking about other improvements I could do…


Pick ups during June

The Quarry - June Games

The Quarry – PS5

This was very cheap in CEX, so I’ve bought it just to pop on the shelf for when my girlfriend and I have finished with the Dark Pictures Anthology.

Seems out of stock on PS5, but the various editions here on Amazon* are also on offer at time of writing.


Streets of Rage 4 - Xbox One

Streets of Rage 4 and DLC – Xbox Series X

After having a lot of fun playing 3 player Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge in the previous month, I wanted to get back to this the next time there were 3 of us. I originally played SOR4 on GamePass, and although it was no longer on that service, it popped up for half price. I’ll have that thank you very much!

I do generally prefer to get things digitally these days, but if physical is your bag, Amazon have it* for the main systems.


Akka Arrh - June Games

Akka Arrh – PlayStation 5

Had been meaning to pick this up for a while, but wasn’t sure which system to get it on. I noticed it was on sale on the PS5 though, so I grabbed it there. Haven’t played the game much but it’s from Jeff Minter’s Llamasoft, so a must buy.


Games retired this month

Castlevania Advance - Switch

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon – Nintendo Switch

As predicted, I didn’t play this again once I got back from holiday. Oh well I had fun with it for a bit.


Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - June Games

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Xbox 360

And similarly I gave up on this again too. I was enjoying it when I played it, just never felt myself drawn to play when sitting down at the consoles. A pity, but we move on.


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

May Games - Coffee Talk 2 Header

May Games

Late again posting for this month, but did at least do some gaming. And buying.


Games completed this month

Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly - May Games

Coffee Talk Episode 2 – Xbox Series X

Enjoyed the return to the coffee shop visual novel game with this sequel. It was very much more of the same, fun though nonetheless. I probably wouldn’t have bought it, but was very happy to play it as part of my Game Pass sub.


Guilty Gear Strive - May Games

Guilty Gear Strive – Xbox Series X

Been on a bit of a fighting game kick (chuckle) in the hype for Street Fighter 6. This is one of several on Game Pass, so I gave it a play. Recorded a completion simply for doing a 1 credit clear on the arcade mode. It counts for me anyway.


Games played during May

Tell Me Why - April Games

Tell Me Why – Xbox Series X

Haven’t made a lot of progress with this really, but haven’t given up yet. I think Coffee Talk stole the time I would have spent with it, I’m a bit thinly spread on games again now.


Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveller 2 – PlayStation 5

Still not playing Octopath Traveller 2 as much as I expected either, but I am ticking along. I really enjoy it when I do get on the PS5, and I’m very much enjoying the improvements over the original game.

It’s on Switch and PS4 as well, which may suit. I was glad to get another reason to play some PS5 though, and picked up this physical edition*.


Street Fighter 6 Demo - April Games

Street Fighter 6 Open Beta – PlayStation 5

The open beta was a much better experience than the 2 character single player demo. Great to get a bit of a feel for ranked fights, and using my normal main, Ken. Very much looking forward to this now.


What’s been on the arcade?

September Arcade

Ten Pence Arcade were playing Super Hang-On this month, I did play a fair amount of it on the cab, trying to struggle with the digital controls. I didn’t get very far.


Pick ups during May

Spider-Man Remastered - May Games

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered – PS5

This has been on my want list for ages, but it wasn’t available standalone, only as part of the Miles Morales Ultimate Edition. Updating to the UE from my normal copy was £20, which seemed a bit much when I already had the Spider-Man GOTY edition on PS4 that runs well enough on PS5 anyway. This month they finally made it available standalone though, and even better, it was only £5 for owners of the PS4 game. Might even replay it a bit now ahead of the sequel coming out (hopefully) later this year.


Pac-Man CE2 Plus - May Games

Pac-man Champion Edition 2+ – Nintendo Switch

I have this on a couple of other systems already, but since I now have a 4-way stick for Switch, I thought I’d play it more there. Especially since I’ve heard that they’re ending Pac-Man 99 in October.


Pre-orders

Street Fighter 6 - May Games

Street Fighter 6 – Xbox Series X

Finally picked somewhere to pre-order. I went for the digital version from Shopto, easily the cheapest available at the time. I also only needed the standard edition, there was nothing in the Ultimate Edition I was worried about. I’m just going to be using Ken for the duration, so no need to buy any more characters.


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

Shredder's Revenge - April Games

April Games

Mostly spent the month playing DLC, but I completed them both so normal service is resumed.


Games completed this month

Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure - Xbox Series X

Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure – Xbox Series X

Had a great time with the Rally content for Forza Horizon 5, and while I was back into the game I did some of the monthly season content too. Still my favourite racing game.


Vampire Survivors - Tales of the Foscari

Vampire Survivors: Tides of the Foscari – Xbox Series X

Much like the last DLC for Vampire Survivors, it’s still just more of the same, but that’s not a complaint. I’ll happily do it again for a few more content packs too.


Games played during April

Tell Me Why - April Games

Tell Me Why – Xbox Series X

Didn’t get far yet but I did start this. Played just enough to confirm it feels like a Life is Strange game, so will will hopefully play more.


Gears 5 - April Games

Gears 5 – Xbox Series X

Found time for a bit more Gears progress with my buddy. I still hate the open world areas, but otherwise the game is great. Some of the finest co-op gameplay going.


Dead Cells - December Games

Dead Cells – Xbox Series X

I think I’m finally done with Dead Cells. Hit a bit of a wall playing with 3 Boss Cells active, and I’m not enjoying it so much. I may come back to it if any more content turns up, but I’ve had a good run either way.

I’m playing on Xbox because it’s on GamePass, although if it hadn’t been I probably would have gone for the Switch edition* as it’s the perfect type of game to take when you’re travelling.


Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - March Games

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Xbox Series X

I played a bit more of this at the start of the month but haven’t touched it for a couple of weeks. Worried that might be it for this again, but I won’t write it off just yet.


Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveller 2 – PlayStation 5

This hasn’t taken over my life as much as I expected yet, but I think the DLC for other games was too much of a distraction, I’m only 8 or so hours in but really enjoying it so far. The first game was really good, but it’s nice to see how well things have been polished to improve on it. The lighting in particular on the PS5 does make it look really impressive, despite the use of 2d sprites on 3d backgrounds.

It’s on Switch and PS4 as well, which may suit. I was glad to get another reason to play some PS5 though, and picked up this physical edition*.


Turtles - Shredder's Revenge - Xbox GamePass

Turtles Shredder’s Revenge – Xbox Series X

Had friends over, and after an hour or two on the arcade cabinet, we moved to the consoles. Dabbled with a couple of smaller games, then we settled on Turtles. 3 player arcade mode (Donatello, Casey Jones and Raphael if you were wondering), great fun. Sadly at the last boss 2 of us were already dead and out of continues, so we didn’t make the clear. I need to buy Streets of Rage 4 for next time, haven’t played that since it left GamePass.


Street Fighter 6 Demo - April Games

Street Fighter 6 Demo – PlayStation 5

Although I’m going to play Street Fighter 6 on Xbox, the demo was released a week early on PlayStation so I grabbed it on there. Waste of time really, nothing much to do in the traditional Street Fighter sense unless you want to spar with a friend using Luke & Ryu. Otherwise there is an introduction to the new single player World Tour mode. I played half an hour of that, which was just long enough to establish I won’t be going anywhere near it in the full game. Ghastly.

The fighting itself still feels great though, I played a couple of goes against the CPU, but then deleted the demo to just wait for the full game.


What’s been on the arcade?

September Arcade

Ten pence arcade head a double header of Moon Cresta and Uniwar S. Managed a few credits on each and put in a couple of mid-table scores. Also 2 years after building the machine, I found the ‘mute’ button, so I’ve been able to leave it running other games without the attract mode demo noises annoying me. Has opened it up to lots more games that I can have ready for ‘just one quick go’.

As mentioned above as well, having a couple of friends over the cab really came into its own. Lots of arcade brawlers and vs fighters were played.


Pick ups during April

Arcade Parts

Arcade Components

Don’t think I bought any games this month, probably forgetting something though. Anyway I did grab these few parts from Arcade World UK* for a couple of projects. I’ll probably blog about them both separately when I’m happy with them, but it’s basically the buttons I need to mod the fight stick I bought in March, and a couple of bits to use to create a “Spinner” type controller to use with my PC.


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

March Games

March Games

Plenty of gaming, and too much money spent on accessories. Not a bad month in the grand scheme of things.


Games completed this month

Ritual of the Night - Xbox

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Xbox Series X

In a very rare occurrence for me, I picked this up last month to replay it, and this month I can report I did just that and finished it again. Huzzah.

This was on sale digitally, but was available even cheaper for a used copy on eBay. If you’d prefer physical anyway, Amazon* do have it.


Dead Cells - December Games

Dead Cells & Queen and the Sea DLC – Xbox Series X

I think the Castlevania content may have helped my run, as I believe I used one of the new weapons, but after 73 runs or 3 days 5 hours played, I cleared the third ‘very hard’ (2BC) completion. I’m now really struggling in the next level so could be the point at which I give up though.

I did also manage to clear the content from the Queen and the Sea DLC as well during March, beating the Queen and her sidekick bosses on ‘hard’ (1BC).

I’m playing on Xbox because it’s on GamePass, although if it hadn’t been I probably would have gone for the Switch edition* as it’s the perfect type of game to take when you’re travelling.


Return to Castlevania - March Games

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania – Xbox Series X

This was pretty much everything I hoped for, and more. A lovely dose of fan service, a bit more variety to the game in terms of the routes you can take on a given run, and some great new weapons and outfits. Some of the weapons, the axe and the cross in particular, have become new favourites and I adore Maria’s cat as a pet summon. I have now completed the gameplay content at least once, killing Death on ‘hard’ (1BC) and Dracula on ‘normal’ (0BC).


Games played during March

Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure - Xbox Series X

Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure – Xbox Series X

New Forza Horizon expansion came out, and like the others before it, has got its claws in me. Very much enjoying the Rally races with co-driver pace notes. New map feels a bit small but not sure if that’s just me.


Super Bomberman R - Xbox Series X

Super Bomberman R – Xbox Series X

Had an hour or so one weekend reliving the glory days of Bomberman Live on the Xbox 360, with this game on the Series X. Playing locally with a couple of friends was a ‘blast’ (sorry not sorry) more of this please!


Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - March Games

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Xbox Series X

Not sure if I’ll just give up on this again, but in enjoying Castlevania content again recently I thought I’d give it another go. Forgot I owned it digitally on Xbox 360, so quite nice to be able to play it upscaled on the Series X. I think I’m already further in than I was on the PS3 version.


What’s been on the arcade?

September Arcade

Ten pence arcade played Cyvern a great shmup where you’re a dragon rather than an aircraft / spaceship. I was enjoying it, but trying to do the mechanics to maximise my score kind of took the joy away. Oh well, I’ve also been playing more Super Street Fighter 2 on there.


Pick ups during March

Dragon Ball FighterZ - February Games

Dragon Ball FighterZ – Xbox Series X

Given a purchase further down this list, and the fact that it went on sale for a bit as it left GamePass, I decided to grab it. Mate has picked it up too, so hopefully we’ll find a break in our Ryu vs Ken bashings to play this as well. My guy is the one in the colourful pajamas.


Octopath Traveler II - 2023 in Games

Octopath Traveller 2 – PlayStation 5

Next JRPG up, and one from the 2023 list. Have done the demo content and got so far as recruiting my first party member. Looking forward to getting into it properly, if Dead Cells and Forza (and pending new Vampire Survivors content…) allow.

It’s on Switch and PS4 as well, which may suit. I was glad to get another reason to play some PS5 though, and picked up this physical edition*.


Hori Fight Stick Alpha - Xbox Series X

Hori Fighting Stick Alpha – Xbox Series X

Well the stick I was looking at on the xbox dropped almost £50 in price to a slightly more palatable £150. So I grabbed myself this Fight Stick Alpha* ready for Street Fighter 6. It’s certainly also part of why I bought Dragon Ball above, and led to another purchase below too. I think I’ll probably mod this one, at least with custom art and maybe some new buttons. I do like the stick though so may keep that as is.


Xbox Elite Controller 2

Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 – Xbox Series X

My mate sold me his spare series 2 elite controller, it was bare bones so I just needed to get the sticks and paddles. I bought this venom accessory set* and I was good to go! Very happy with it so far, the paddles are taking a bit of getting used to, but I can already see how much better it’ll be when my brain has adapted.


Tetris Effect Connected - March Games

Tetris Effect PS5 Update – PlayStation 5

Not entirely sure why I bought this, other than one day I might get a PSVR2. At least if I do decide to play it just on my TV, it should look better than it would have done on my PS4 now. The upgrade was cheap at least.


Super Street Fighter IV - Xbox

Super Street Fighter IV – Xbox Series X

This is just so I can play it with my new arcade stick. I do have Ultra Street Fighter 4 on the PS4/5, which feels like a superior version, but since the Xbox seems to have taken over as my primary machine, I wanted it there too.


Games abandoned this month

Harvestella - Nintendo Switch

Harvestella – Nintendo Switch

Well it happened, I’ve given up. I think the day & night cycle was the biggest factor for me, but either way I’ve had enough.

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

February Games

February Games

Quite a few games to mention this month, but the only completion is another loop of Dead Cells. Also managed to get away for a bit of winter sun at the end of the month.


Games completed this month

Dead Cells - December Games

Dead Cells – Xbox Series X

Surprised myself by managing to do the second completion which I think is categorised as ‘hard’, managed that on my 41st run and 38 hours played for those keeping count. I’ve made it to the last boss a couple of times on the third loop (or ‘very hard’), but really struggling. Tend to lose most of my health and all my flasks in the level prior. DLC is out in March though so I’ll be onto that soon.

I’m playing on Xbox because it’s on GamePass, although if it hadn’t been I probably would have gone for the Switch edition* as it’s the perfect type of game to take when you’re travelling.


Games played during February

Task Force Kampas - January Games

Task Force Kampas

Just as ridiculous as it looked, but I did have some fun with this. The game is quite tricky but an addictive little shmup.


Harvestella - Nintendo Switch

Harvestella – Nintendo Switch

I have played more of this, but getting a bit worried about my progress. The day/night cycle is starting to annoy me. I really don’t like having to come out of a dungeon to go back home to sleep, and then run all the way back the next day. Pulls me a bit out of the mood. We’ll see, but I’ve already got my eye on the next JRPG.

I think it’s also availble on PC, but I’m playing the Switch version. It is still pretty new, so I bought it physical, so I can sell it on when I’m done. I picked it up reduced in GAME, but is also available on Amazon*.


Gears 5 - January Games

Gears 5 – Xbox Series X

We managed another session on this, although much of it was spent on one frustrating boss. I’m glad we beat it though, was starting to think the game might be over before it really began! Hopefully we won’t have too many such pockets of resistance going forward.


Dragon Ball FighterZ - February Games

Dragon Ball FighterZ – Xbox Series X

Had a bit of fighting game time this month, I’m mostly just passing the time waiting for Street Fighter 6, but this Dragon Ball one was on GamePass and is fun to play, even though I don’t know anything about the IP. I’d like to play it more but I think it’s now left GamePass, so may be waiting for a sale…


February Games - Injustice 2

Injustice 2 – PS5

Since I was getting the fight sticks out anyway, it’s always good to give this one a go. I think the next game from the developer is going to be Mortal Kombat 12, which I’ll no doubt check out, but I really hope we get an Injustice 3 as well.


Hot Wheels Unleashed - February Games

Hot Wheels Unleashed – Xbox Series X

I was going to check this out on PS5 as the base game was free with PS Plus recently. However I hadn’t got round to it, and in February the full “GOTY” edition with all the DLC packs came to GamePass. I’d heard good things about the game, and it is fun. I’m glad I didn’t pay for it though, can’t see me spending much more time with it. The licenced vehicles are fun though, love the batman ones.


Vampire Survivors - Xbox GamePass

Vampire Survivors – Xbox Series X

There was another patch for Vampire Survivors in February that added 3 new achievements and some extra content, so naturally I went back and cleared those too. Still a great game, hope we get another full DLC pack.


Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol 1 - Switch

Neo Pocket Color Collection Vol 1 – Match of the Millennium

The first of two games I played on Switch that are ports from other handheld systems. This one though I played at home with the Switch docked on the TV, using the new controller described further down. Match of the Millennium is such a good game, the Neogeo Pocket library is easily my favourite for ‘portable’ fighting games. It’s great to be able to play these without the expense of that actual system. I’ve seen there is now a Volume 2 of these games, I think if I grab that I’ll pretty much have all the NGPC games I could want (apart from Sonic, but perhaps that is asking too much).


Castlevania Advance - Switch

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon – Nintendo Switch

While I was on holiday I took my Switch thinking I’d play some Harvestella. I found I didn’t really like playing that kind of game in handheld mode though, so looked through my library for something else to play. What better than a port of a Gameboy Advance game if you’re going to be restricted to handheld? Quite happily played this first Gameboy Advance Castlevania a fair bit, and got about half way through. The test will be if I finish it now I’m at home.


What’s been on the arcade?

September Arcade

Ten pence arcade played the excellent Rainbow Islands during February, so I did join in with a few credits. I struggled to really do well though, seems I left my ability to play that game in the 90s. I also dabbled a bit with The New Zealand Story because some friends were playing it. A good month for cute platform games at least.


Pick ups during February

Ritual of the Night - Xbox

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Xbox Series X

I think mostly because of all my time spent with Dead Cells, I really felt like replaying this one. As much as I enjoy Dead Cells, I do miss the traditional exploration of a metroidvania. In the mood as I am for ever more Castlevania, I felt like spending a bit more time with this. I originally played it through on the Switch, so at least I’ve changed platform.

This was on sale digitally, but was available even cheaper for a used copy on eBay. If you’d prefer physical anyway, Amazon* do have it.


Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes

House of Ashes – PlayStation 5

After we finished Little Hope recently, it was timely for this next game in the Dark Pictures Anthology to go on sale cheap. Hopefully the last game will do the same when we’re ready for that one too.


Strange Horticulture - February Games

Strange Horticulture – Nintendo Switch

One of my friends was playing this, and initially recommended it for my girlfriend. She really enjoyed it, now I’ve decided I want a go too. Don’t really know much about it, but who doesn’t want to run an occult flower shop?


Arcade Stick Switch

Arcade Stick – Nintendo Switch

I’ve actually been looking at new sticks for the Xbox Series X, it is good that I can use my Cronus Zen to let me use my old Hori EX2 Xbox 360 stick on the Series X (which is what I was using for Dragon Ball FighterZ above) but unfortunately it doesn’t like my Venom PS4/5 stick which I’d much rather use as it’s awesome. Anyway, the stick I fancy for my Xbox* is nearly £200, so I’ve parked that for now, but in browsing I spotted this PowerA stick* for the Switch and I couldn’t resist. I wasn’t expecting much from the Bluetooth mode, but it was absolutely fine for me. Once it arrived I spent a bit of time with Match of the Millennium, as described above. The stick can easily be modded with higher end components and artwork too, but not sure I’ll bother unless I find myself playing a lot more Switch games with it.

At time of writing, this is still less than £40 on Amazon* really good value in my opinion.


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