Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for '"kena: bridge of spirits"' in content posted in Discussion.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • Gaming
    • Discussion
    • Retro & Arcade Gaming
    • FIFA Online Football League
    • Gaming Unplugged
  • Community
    • Film, TV & Radio
    • Music
    • Sport
    • Arts & Literature
    • Creative
    • Food & Drink

Product Groups

  • Arcade Club tickets
  • GDPR deletion fee
  • Memberships


There are no results to display.

Find results in...

Find results that contain...

Date Created

  • Start


Last Updated

  • Start


Filter by number of...


  • Start




Member Title

  1. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a story-driven action adventure set in a charming world rich with exploration and fast-paced combat. Players find and grow a team of tiny spirit companions called the Rot, enhancing their abilities and creating new ways to manipulate the environment. https://www.emberlab.com/ This really stood out to me during the PS5 reveal stream - lovely art style and the environment transformations look great. The Ember Lab website lists PS4, PS5 and Epic Store. Hadn't heard of these guys before; turns out they made the very impressive Majora's Mask Terrible Fate tribute / fan film.
  2. If you're not interested in playing through Demon's Souls again, and you don't like big-budget sequels, then Returnal is the next best bet, but it's pretty tough and not especially quirky... You might like Stray, the cat game. Is'alright. Short, though. I enjoyed Kena: Bridge of Spirits in a not-too-long, pretty, fairly undemanding, double A, 8/10 sort of way, but it's hard to make recommendations for your famously contrarian tastes 😘 Really, though, anything vaguely Wiperish I imagine you've already played on PC. I'm another one who hasn't turned his PS5 on in months. I'm only keeping it because of my PS4 library, and potentially FFXVI, but the fact that Sony are porting most things to PC (eventually) makes selling it an inviting proposition.
  3. Another couple completed this week in Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: Lost Legacy on the PS5. Have played the original three Uncharted's more times than I can remember but this was the first time playing these two since launch and it reminded me how much I love the Uncharted games, both still excellent games and just great fun to replay. Nothing bought this month (yet!) so backlog now at 23 with an aim of 17. Completed January Crisis Core FF VII Reunion - Switch February Astro’s Playroom - PS5 Last Stop - PS5 Omno - PS5 Sackboy: A Big Adventure (co-op) - PS5 Metroid Prime Remastered - Switch Kena: Bridge of Spirits - PS5 March Octopath Traveler 2 - Switch Spider-Man Miles Morales - PS5 April Uncharted 4 - PS5 Uncharted: Lost Legacy - PS5 Removed Spider-Man Remastered - PS5
  4. I think I'll give this a bit of a go again. I had a good 2021 finishing a game month, but 2022 everything went to hell and I couldn't bring myself to play many games. I'm back into it again now and finishing off all the stuff I started before I got into a mental health funk. Yet another repeat of my top tip: Put games you fancy into your wishlists. Do not buy them until they are on sale, or on sale again. It ticks a thing in your head that you will play it one day. And when it goes on sale, you'll probably not even want it. To be honest, I'm not fussed about spending. I just got told to go on a diet so this is my beer, takeaway and sweeties fund. I did just have a Steam sale blow out, but I'm back on the wishlist plan. I tend to have a game on the go on each device I have, and play whatever is convenient at the time. Completed 2023 Unpacked - XBSX GP Donut County - XBSX GP Hi-Fi Rush - XBSX GP Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion Story - XBSX GP Final Fantasy XIII - Xbox 360 (on XBSX) Playing Tales of Arise (XBSX) 40% Ys VIII (Switch) 30% Final Fantasy 9 (PS1) 50% Chrono Trigger (SNES) 90% Opus: Echo of Starsong (XBXS GP) 50% Abandoned Crystal Project (PC) ... it's nice, but doesn't go anywhere Stalled Backlog Mass Effect 3 (XBSX) ... destroyed the others, but this one, meh Yakuza: LaD (XBSX) ... love it, but I hear it's a nightmare to finish Cosmic Star Heroine (PC) ... started, but switched platforms, not restarted Majora's Mask (3DS) ... was on a 3DS kick, but don't carry it as often Chained Echoes (XBSX) ... it's not hooking me like it should Backlog Grandia (PS1) Final Fantasy 6 (SNES : ROSE patch) Final Fantasy X (PS2) Final Fantasy XII (XBSX) Paper Mario (N64) Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PC) Blossom Tales II (PC) Jack Move (PC) This Way Madness Lies (PC) Wishlist Jedi Survivor (XBSX) Star Ocean: The Divine Force (XBSX) Zelda: ToaK (Switch) Persona 5 (XBSX) ...on gamepass, but bet it's not by the time I get to it
  5. Spider-Man: Miles Morales completed today, enjoyed this a lot and has satisfied my web slinging needs enough for me to also add Spider-Man Remastered to my removed list. I played it originally at launch and intended to give the remaster a play through but I’m all webbed out for the time being. Backlog now currently at 25 with an aim of 17 by year end. Completed January Crisis Core FF VII Reunion - Switch February Astro’s Playroom - PS5 Last Stop - PS5 Omno - PS5 Sackboy: A Big Adventure (co-op) - PS5 Metroid Prime Remastered - Switch Kena: Bridge of Spirits - PS5 March Octopath Traveler 2 - Switch Spider-Man Miles Morales - PS5 Removed Spider-Man Remastered - PS5
  6. This wombat game looks a bit like Kena: Bridge of Spirits.
  7. Funny you should say that. I spent my lunch break going through the Steam sale thread and added the following, in this order: Star Drift Evolution (aha!) Prototype 2 DG2: Defense Grid 2 Soda Crisis nail'd Defunct Super Pilot Kena: Bridge of Spirits I have to stop looking. I'll buy a few off my watchlist before tomorrow, and then I wait!
  8. 85 hours later and Octopath Traveler 2 is finally done. Being laid up with a cold for over a week meant plenty of down time to blast through it. Unsure what to play next after such an epic game, something a bit shorter and light I think. Completed January Crisis Core FF VII Reunion - Switch February Astro’s Playroom - PS5 Last Stop - PS5 Omno - PS5 Sackboy: A Big Adventure (co-op) - PS5 Metroid Prime Remastered - Switch Kena: Bridge of Spirits - PS5 March Octopath Traveler 2 - Switch Nothing added this month yet so backlog currently at 27 with a target of 17 by the end of year.
  9. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a bloody lovely game - looks like it's in the sale.
  10. Three more off my backlog and one added since my last post leaving my backlog currently at 28 games. Progress will stall for a few weeks now I imagine as the game added is Octopath Traveler 2 which, based upon the first game, will consume my time for the next 80-100 hours. Completed January Crisis Core FF VII Reunion - Switch February Astro’s Playroom - PS5 Last Stop - PS5 Omno - PS5 Sackboy: A Big Adventure (co-op) - PS5 Metroid Prime Remastered - Switch Kena: Bridge of Spirits - PS5 Added Octopath Traveler 2 - Switch
  11. I finished off another load of games but had to abandon that Lego Star Wars Saga because it was so boring. Perhaps I'll write some nonsense about them all later. We'll see. 02/02 - Hi-Fi Rush (Series X) 06/02 - Pentiment (Series X) 07/02 - Liberation Maiden (3DS) 09/02 - Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations (Switch) 09/02 - Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PS5) 10/02 - Ape Escape 2001 (PS2) Currently Playing: Splatoon 3 (Switch) Bullet Witch (360) Hazelnut Hex (Switch) The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA) 2023 List:
  12. Game Completed - Kena: Bridge of Spirits Total remaining games in backlog - 65 Total games completed - 2 Total games added to backlog - 0
  13. 2. Kena: Bridge of Spirits - PS5 - 12hrs Played through the story, beating the final boss and I enjoyed my time with the game. I could carry on collecting all the items to get more trophies, however don’t want to taint my experience of a fun 12hr game. I would recommend for anyone that is looking for a story driven game with good graphics and a decent combat system. 8.5/10
  14. And we’re off! 1. Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PS5) A staggeringly beautiful game which I thought improved as it went on. Didn't do anything new, but did everything it set out to do with great finesse, style and a lot of care. Controls are tight and as you unlock powers the traversal, light environmental puzzles and combat all start to flow wonderfully well. Boss battles are frequent and punishing even on Normal difficulty levels so I had to watch a video guide to help me defeat more than a few. The story is a bit twee but was surprisingly heartfelt, well-written and performed with some of the best cutscene animation I’ve seen in a game. This is on sale until 6th Jan on the PS Store I believe (also available on PC) for around £12. Can’t recommend it enough if you’re looking for a solid, stunning Dark Souls without the usual Grimdark/horror setting.
  15. Game of the Year 1. Elden Ring 2. Tunic (video game) 3. God of War Ragnarök 4. Immortality (video game) 5. Sifu (video game) Biggest disappointment: 1. No Switch sequel announcement 2. Somerville (video game) 3. Scorn (video game) Best visuals 1. Elden Ring 2. God of War Ragnarök 3. Tunic (video game) Best audio 1. Citizen Sleeper 2. Tunic (video game) 2. Elden Ring Best writing 1. Immortality (video game) 2. Citizen Sleeper 3. Elden Ring Best not 2022 game: 1. Inscryption 2. Shovel Knight: King of Cards 3. Kena: Bridge of Spirits Best developer: FromSoftware Best format/console/controller/brain interface: Xbox / Xbox Game Pass --- GOTY write-ups and screenshots: --- Honourable mentions: Citizen Sleeper: This nearly snuck in. A moody masterpiece that owes equal debts to Disco Elysium and Blade Runner - high praise indeed. The synthy soundtrack is wonderful and has entered regular rotation. Kirby and the Forgotten Land: Apart from perhaps Immortality, the biggest surprise of the year. It starts off like Yoshi's Woolly World but the final boss is tougher than Melania. My four-year-old's GOTY. FAR: Changing Tides: Essentially, this is the first game but done better. Pensive, atmospheric and pleasingly tactile. If you were disappointed with Somerville then check this out instead.
  16. 1. Inscryption (PC) - 7/1/22 2. Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PS4) - 28/1/22 3. Elden Ring (XSX) - 21/02/22 4. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch) - 25/03/22 5. Dragon Quest XI: Definitive Edition (Switch) - 28/4/22 6. Horizon: Forbidden West (PS5) - 27/5/22 7. Sifu: Vengeance Edition (PS5) - 6/7/22 8. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch) - 1/8/22 9. (One month of PS Plus) - 15/10/22 10. God of War: Ragnarok (pre-order) - 31/10/22 11. Mushihimesama (Switch) - 26/11/22 12. Vampire Survivors (Steam) - 20/12/22 And that's my final game of the year to bring me to 12 games in 12 months I have to say, I've really enjoyed doing this and am very thankful to everyone else in the thread who has taken part - there were several times where I came close to splurging in sales or buying games because they were cheap, especially once I'd got my Steam Deck, but the thought of failing the challenge was enough to stop me. Even more fulfilling for me than only buying 12 games has been cutting my backlog down dramatically: on 31st December 2021 my backlog stood at 56 games and I've got that down to just 6 titles: It sounds silly, but it feels really liberating to just have a handful of games in my pile, and I'm determined to keep my backlog in the single figures from here on out; I don't want to be in the same position I was this time last year. Buying fewer games has also meant I've played more of them, oddly enough, with 42 games I've completed this year, which is the most I've completed since I started keeping a record: Thanks again to everyone who took part, even if you didn't quite make it to the end. I'll make a similar threat for next year soon.
  17. Game of the Year 1. Elden Ring 2. God of War Ragnarök 3. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 4. Kirby and the Forgotten Land 5. The Last of Us Part I Biggest disappointment: 1. Having no time to play games, and to pass time at work I torture myself by reading terrible negative takes on the internet, about games that look absolutely incredible. 2. Xbox Game Studios 3. Tunic Best visuals 1. 2. 3. Best audio 1. 2. 3. Best writing 1. 2. 3. Best not 2022 game: 1. Cyberpunk 2077 2. Kena: Bridge of Spirits 3. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (PS1) Best developer: From Software Best format/console/controller/brain interface: MiSTer FPGA Project
  18. 1. Inscryption (PC) - 7/1/22 2. Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PS4) - 28/1/22 3. Elden Ring (XSX) - 21/02/22 4. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch) - 25/03/22 5. Dragon Quest XI: Definitive Edition (Switch) - 28/4/22 6. Horizon: Forbidden West (PS5) - 27/5/22 7. Sifu: Vengeance Edition (PS5) - 6/7/22 8. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch) - 1/8/22 9. (One month of PS Plus) - 15/10/22 10. God of War: Ragnarok (pre-order) - 31/10/22 11. Mushihimesama (Switch) - 26/11/22 12. Avoiding the Black Friday sales has been tough, but I've been meaning to play Mushihimesama for a while, after hearing lots of good things, and I thought the Switch version would look good on the OLED. Plus, region-scumming meant I got it for a few quid cheaper on the Polish eShop. One game left for the final month of the year! I should probably pick up something for my Steam Deck in the sales; it's been gathering dust since I spent £80 on the official dock
  19. Ending the month with game 10 of 12: 1. Inscryption (PC) - 7/1/22 2. Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PS4) - 28/1/22 3. Elden Ring (XSX) - 21/02/22 4. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch) - 25/03/22 5. Dragon Quest XI: Definitive Edition (Switch) - 28/4/22 6. Horizon: Forbidden West (PS5) - 27/5/22 7. Sifu: Vengeance Edition (PS5) - 6/7/22 8. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch) - 1/8/22 9. (One month of PS Plus) - 15/10/22 10. God of War: Ragnarok (pre-order) - 31/10/22 11. 12. GoW is out next week, so I thought it was about time I actually pre-ordered it. I've got for the digital edition as I managed to wrangle some cheaper credit, and I don't anticipate that I'll sell it after playing it if it's as good as the first game. Separately, after pieing off Xenoblade Chronicles on the Switch earlier this month and completing Hotline Miami 2, my backlog is now down to single figures, baby, with just 9 games, a far cry from the 56 games I started the year with . I'm hoping to get that down to maybe 5 or 6 by January, as after GoW it's mostly just Game Pass games that are going to keep me from chipping away from my backlog; there's nothing else I'm interested in picking up day one. Hopefully this will keep me nice and clear for the 2023 deluge, starting with Dead Space in January.
  20. 1. Inscryption (PC) - 7/1/22 2. Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PS4) - 28/1/22 3. Elden Ring (XSX) - 21/02/22 4. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch) - 25/03/22 5. Dragon Quest XI: Definitive Edition (Switch) - 28/4/22 6. Horizon: Forbidden West (PS5) - 27/5/22 7. Sifu: Vengeance Edition (PS5) - 6/7/22 8. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch) - 1/8/22 9. (One month of PS Plus) - 15/10/22 10. 11. 12. I was just going to buy Stray, as it's currently on sale for £20, but then I saw that it was part of the PS Plus game catalogue thing, which is only a tenner, so I got that instead. In fact, I got the seven day free trial, so I haven't even paid for it yet. The game catalogue also includes the Director's Cut version of Ghost of Tsushima and I've got the PS4 version in my backlog that I'd been meaning to get the upgrade for, so I may well keep it for a month or so. Although, with God of War Ragnarok out in a few weeks, it may not get a look in.
  21. At long last, the Benny List (TM): buckle up... Game of the Year 2021 A1. Gloomhaven Wait, Benny’s game of the year is… A digital board game?! Damn right it is. Gloomhaven has long been regarded as one of the greats of the tabletop gaming world, so any digital adaptation would have its work cut out to capture the feel and essence of that experience. The trouble I’ve often had with digital board games is if I’m sitting down at my PC or console I’m missing out on the crucial social aspect of being around a table with other like-minded nerds that lends so much to the tabletop world. Despite Discord driven gaming nights, Tabletop Simulator is often fiddly and having all the disadvantages of manually moving pieces around in a digital world without the advantages of the tactile joy of touching them all over yourself and other people in the real world makes for something of a frustrating endeavor. Add to that that when you are in the digital world, there are so many great examples of using the medium to its strengths: Slay the Spire would likely not be possible in a physical version, at least not in a way that would be so fun and engaging. It distills the mechanical joy of deckbuilding into a tight and alluring package that works because the complex background stuff is automated. So what of Gloomhaven? A positive behemoth in the kitchen or living room table space, if you can even fit it onto one. A nightmare of setting up and tearing down, with specific AI rules that must be followed and manually dialed in on every turn, to keep all the wheels of the carefully playtested mechanics ticking over in unison. Much as I love the game and have considered it my favourite board game on many occasions - when it comes down to it, it really is a real faff. The time it took to set up and play could be spent playing many many other board games that are easier to learn, snappier to play, less melting of the brain, and more forgiving when you mess up. In the end, what with pandemic worries and just sheer time investment required, I’ve not had the chance to play it as much as I would like. So a digital version sounds like it would be mana from heaven, right? Well, hold up, because let me tell you: digital board games are not all created equal. There is the aforementioned Tabletop Simulator, that works for some, but for me is too fiddly considering the downsides, so that leaves full digital or app versions of existing games. These can vary widely in quality, and where they often fall down is in not having interfaces that are intuitive enough, or making the games feel sufficiently like their physical counterparts to really elicit the same joy. Happily, Gloomhaven is an absolutely cast-iron labour of love in every respect. Refined over a number of years from early access to full release, this is possibly one of the finest digital adaptations of a board game I think I’ve ever played. Far from just taking the basic mechanics and attempting to slap a pretty veneer over it, this is a ground-up recreation that in every possible way takes the original game and presents it as you would imagine it would be if it had actually started life as a computer game. Interface and multiplayer features and the way player characters can just drop in and drop out is intelligently thought out and just simply works. Visually it’s truly superb work: it’s as though the board game models and creatures have come to life out of the box. Some of them do look a little different than the board game’s superb and original art, but with the move to 3D the way it’s been adapted is both considered and tasteful You may wonder what is so special about this game that makes me so excited about the digital release though: quite simply it now allows me, with the minimum of effort, to jump right in and play one of the finest tactical RPGs there is. Gloomhaven has very much in common with Into the Breach: you have specific abilities and options on your turn, and enemies will reveal what they will do on theirs, and you must make decisions on how best to solve the “puzzle” of each mission. The real genius is in how you use these abilities: each turn two cards are played for which you must pick a top and bottom action on each, and your ever dwindling card pool also effectively forms your pool of health, as when you run out of cards, it’s game over. It’s simple, elegant, and unforgiving. But for those willing to invest the time, a good turn can often feel enormously clever. Other RPG staples of leveling up and unlocking new equipment are all there, but where other RPGs may expect you to level up one set of characters and have them see you through to the end, here you will have a personal quest for each which, when completed, will see you unlock many more unique characters that instantly replace the one you will then retire, changing everything and shaking things up for your party. It is light on story, which is mostly there to be the glue that links all the missions together, but it is delivered snappily and unobtrusively, keeping the focus on tactical meat and potatoes. It is categorically not going to be for everyone, but as far as digital adaptations of tabletop goes, this is an absolutely stunning achievement. And for my money, even eclipses the tabletop version. A2. Guilty Gear Strive I’ve always loved fighting games. Terrible at them, with one or two exceptions where I’ve put a little time in, but largely they’ve been something I’ve never quite felt I had the competitive edge to really get the most from them as an experience. I’ve also always loved the Guilty Gear series. Next to Street Fighter and all the rest, I loved the sheer bombast, the excess, the confidence and flare. And I still sucked at them of course. So naturally I was going to be interested in Guilty Gear Strive. What I did not expect was that, for the first time, I would play a Guilty Gear game that I really wanted to get good at. A large part of this desire is down to how the game has been changed mechanically: this feels like a slower, more methodical fighting game than its predecessors. It has no less flare and dynamism, but for an arthritic “Boomer” player like me who was always content to sit on the sidelines of fighting game prowess, suddenly it looked like holding my own might actually be possible again… Apart from the concession of less hyperactive (but no less rewarding) mechanics, crucial to this new sense of empowerment are two things: rock solid online play, and an intelligent ranking system. The simple fact that no matter when you play you can usually be guaranteed matches where you can expect it to play smoothly and without connection issues makes the one more go factor against random people a real draw. The ranking system capably filters you at all times to always be playing on the floor that most suits your level of skill. Much as it may become demoralizing if you get stuck on one of them (as had happened to me after a little while), the fact of the matter is that fighting games are at their most fun when both players are evenly matched. And somehow, thanks to the ranking system I found this happened nearly every time I entered a fight. That alone made for so many moments of stupendous joy, that the rest of the game’s quality was almost superfluous. Small issues with character balance or simplified mechanics compared to previous games or whatever just faded into unimportance, when everything was so solid, so accessible, and so much damn fun. Even when you're being repeatedly smacked in the bollocks by a dolphin. And it smells pretty good too. A3. Inscryption Caveat: this placing mostly comes from playing the trial version that was released not long before the full game, but that alone places it here for me. An ingenious and intriguing ride into a world of obfuscated and inscrutable game mechanics that often evolve in surprising or creepy ways. It’s not Slay the Spire, but more like a game about what it would be like trying to learn to play it while someone watches you over your shoulder breathing menacingly. EDIT: having finished the full game it has been bumped a place in my list. An absolute masterclass in using videogames as a storytelling medium and superb fun to boot. A4. Kena: Bridge of Spirits A wonderful surprise this. I haven’t played it yet as much as I would like, but it’s already given me so much joy. It’s like a pixar film come to life and looks incredible, but also plays a lot like your favourite lesser known PS2 game of yore. This could be a bad thing for many people, or if just taking it on the merits of originality, but sometimes simple, beguiling little adventures are exactly what a jaded old gamer needs. A5. Halo Infinite Deciding where to place this was a struggle: I knew it would feature somewhere, it’s just so fascinating a release this year in so many ways. Let’s start with the multiplayer: battle pass nonsense aside, it’s an absolute triumph. 343 have clearly poured a huge amount of effort into the small things that matter: the feel of the weapons, the movement, the time to kill ratios, the maps. It’s all supremely well judged and balanced, and even Big Battle mode (power seed exploits notwithstanding) is an absolute riot. Sometimes literally. The scope for proper funny Halo moments with the physics and madcap action in that mode in particular feels extremely nostalgic, and vehicles are a true joy to bomb around in. Everyone will have a mode they hate in 4v4, oddball seems to be the favourite for that sentiment, but the tightness of the maps and the almost stripped down essence of the whole thing somehow just works. It’s classic shooter action, and it delivers in spades. And then there’s the campaign, where things get more interesting… Oh! To have those first few hours of experimentation in the open world all over again. What begins with a slightly shaky introduction via standard corridors of very trad Halo shooting action, blossoms into a (seemingly) vast world of possibilities as you fight your way down to the ring where the real game lies. The grappling hook becomes a revelation for Halo: the simple joy of traversal transforms individual encounters and creates tactical possibilities that feel fresh and exciting. The freedom to approach bases and encampments methodically with the tools of your choosing or go in guns blazing with an overpowered vehicle is extremely alluring: some tightness of encounter design may be lost, but in exchange the sense of player freedom occasionally matches or exceeds that promised by such luminaries as Metal Gear Solid 5, whilst scope for experimentation hints at Breath of the Wild. But alas, all good things must eventually come to an end, and soon enough the limited scope of the world starts to loom large and impossible to shield from your view. As the story progresses in earnest, and the game funnels you into a final third in sequence, where all of the previous freedom is largely thrown aside in favour of going back to the series roots of corridor-based managed combat encounters, it feels like having been given the most awesome Lego set for Xmas, only to have it snatched away from you in the middle of building something and swapped for an Optimus Prime set. Pretty cool and all, but you’ve seen it all before, and it only really does one thing. Over and over and over again. And this shift of priorities towards the finishing act also comes with a burst of narrative exposition that is as comically tone deaf as it is woeful. It’s somewhat perplexing to reconcile the sheer expense of the production with such a classically terrible videogame style script. People were quite critical of what Doom Eternal did with its story, but at least that game fully embraced the direction it went and really took the stupid seriously. This is just seriously stupid. Overall it’s a fascinating single player game. As you play you can literally see where the cracks were in the development and kind of piece together what the original intentions might have been. But as fun as it is to pick over a particularly gruesome digital corpse, it’s easy to forget that those moments where the game does work, and where the design does come together, are truly special, and some of the best Halo you can play. And the multiplayer is excellent. Oh but let’s not forget the bosses are bad. Like, well bad. Game of the Year (premiered anywhere pre-2021) B1. Streets of Rage 4: Mr X Nightmare How do you improve what is now the finest side scrolling beat-em-up ever made? By adding a survival mode! And not just any survival mode: a truly sumptuous gauntlet of daily randomized challenge that pumps with yet more brilliant original music, and includes new moves that vastly change how characters play as an unlockable incentive. Plus Estelle is now a playable character. Absolutely brilliant. B2. Quake Remastered An unexpected but wonderful surprise. Quake remastered is everything I could have hoped for for the reissue of a classic: the complete package together with some of the best unofficial expansions in a rock solid engine with extremely tasteful improvements and, amazingly, a brilliant, brilliant multiplayer that just works, is easy to jump into, and is the most fun I’ve had with an FPS all year. Superb work. B3. Huntdown Arcade Mode Huntdown was released again on Steam this year, but the real draw was this coincided with a new free Arcade Mode DLC. An instantly fantastic addition to the game, as once the story mode is done on various difficulties there wasn’t that much in the way of additional staying power (other than to play it over and over because it really is that good). Arcade mode remedies this with new enemy layouts on all levels with an utterly fantastic scoring system, that rewards showboating and flashy behaviour and instills the game with even more of that just one more go factor… If you haven’t bought it yet, as Reggie would say, what’s wrong with you? Biggest Disappointment of the Year Z1. NFTs (slithering their way into gaming) It’s not enough that they have to be the most boring tech bro nonsense on the rest of the internet, they are now making their way perhaps inevitably into games to continue to ruin them just a bit further, just as microtransations, loot boxes and pay to win mechanics have in previous years. Z2. Back 4 Blood Left 4 Dead but with the soul somehow ripped out. All the constituent elements, along with some interesting new ones appear to be there, but somehow it just doesn’t quite work. In particular the difficulty was all over the place, AI director balance was just non existent, and the sheer amount of gun attachments and options seemed like they would be more at home in a sim style game for what little difference they seemed to make other than adding more downtime to the action as you wondered whether to equip a stock that slightly reduced your recoil or a muzzle that slightly reduced your shotgun spread. Z3. Halo Infinite (being less than it could have been) Despite being a GotY for me, I still can’t help but wonder at what could have been in a different universe. One where what was shown in those early trailers came to fruition and we really got our FPS Breath of the Wild. The core gameplay was there, but alas clearly cuts had to be made, and it’s maybe lucky we got some of the original vision salvaged… But still, what if? Runner up: Activision Blizzard. Though it's been going on for so long I didn't feel it was a problem unique to 2021... Sound Design of the Yea S1. Inscryption Creepy clanks and chunky thuds abound in a really claustrophobic atmosphere that feels tangible and dripping with menace as the cards and pieces clatter around the table in a highly satisfying manner. S2. Halo Infinite Everything is just simply spot on. The gun sounds are some of the most unique and interesting and layered that’s I’ve heard in a long, long while. S3. Chivalry 2 It only takes one of the myriad hilarious insults issued by player characters to understand why this is placed here. Visual Design of the Year V1. Guilty Gear Strive Guilty Gear games have always strove (geddit) for an anime style look since the earlier titles, but it’s safe to say that finally, the anime in motion argument is finally, eye meltingly true. It’s probably the most gorgeous fighting game ever made. V2. Kena: Bridge of Spirits Studio Ghibli and Pixar and Disney and whatever else all had a baby together or something or whatever other such superlatives all apply. It’s just one of the most pretty games I’ve ever looked at and it makes me melt inside whenever I load it up. V3. Gloomhaven An almost perfect digital rendition of all the components and items found in the boardgame. The sheer care and tasteful attention to detail is quite staggering at times. Runner up: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth. Always nice to see some lovely pixel art Writing of the Year W1. The Forgotten City Wasn’t sure what to expect from this but took a chance from all the positive vibe around it recently. Pleasantly surprised just how well put together the story is and how well it plays around with the setting in interesting and contemporary ways. I won’t go into detail as it’s best experienced fresh. W2. Inscryption Just a wonderfully strange and original journey. Not a moment or line wasted and draws you into its world with real gusto. W3. Kena: Bridge of Spirits It’s just so goddam nice. Format of the Year F1. PC No contest really. What with Game Pass and so many games just literally given away on various services on the platform, even if you have a modest box there’s enough indie games and less demanding games just thrown at you all the time you need never buy another game again. Publisher or Developer of the Year P1. Flaming Fowl Studios Gloomhaven really is just a fantastic achievement and speaks to the extreme care they put into it all the way through its development. Shortened template list without the text for Treble:
  22. Game of the Year 2021 A1. It Takes Two A2. Kena: Bridge of Spirits A3. Wildermyth A4. Life is Strange: True Colours A5. Guardians of the Galaxy Game of the Year (premiered anywhere pre-2021) B1. B2. B3. Biggest Disappointment of the Year Z1. Z2. Z3. Sound Design of the Year S1. Kena: Bridge of Spirits S2. Guardians of the Galaxy S3. Halo Infinite Visual Design of the Year V1. Kena: Bridge of Spirits V2. Forza Horizon 5 V3. Life is Strange: True Colours Writing of the Year W1. Life is Strange: True Colours W2. Guardians of the Galaxy W3. Wildermyth Format of the Year F1. Publisher or Developer of the Year P1.
  23. It begins! 04/01/2022 - Kena: Bridge of Spirits I was looking for something Christmassy to play over the holiday, and picked this up in the Epic sale. It looked lovely, with a gorgeous Pixar-esque art style and had the look of an old school character action game. My early experience did nothing to make me think anything different, until the first proper boss showed up and murdered me. The combat in Kena can be pretty brutal, requiring mastery of a growing number of skills and the ability to handle different mixes of enemy types. This was a huge surprise for me, but not an unpleasant one as I love this sort of thing. I also love Tomb Raider style exploration, which this also delivers, so I was very much on board for whatever followed. Unfortunately though, as the fights got tougher I found that the controls weren't entirely up to the task, leading to a few deaths I felt were more down to the game than my own skills. I found myself triggering moves I hadn't intended, or worse found myself locked onto nothing and unable to turn the camera. There was nothing game breaking to deal with, but in a game like this I really want the combat system to be rock solid. I played, and loved Sekiro last year, and I don't think there was a single death in there I felt wasn't entirely my own fault. The platforming side wasn't as polished as it could have been either, with Kena occasionally refusing to grab onto highlighted ledges and stuff. The exploration was otherwise quite rewarding though, with new locations opening up as I build up my range of abilities. The control niggles stopped this from being as special as it could have been for me, but I enjoyed Kena. I really hope it gets a sequel, as a game in this style with those niggles ironed out should be amazing.
  24. Checking in for the end of July. This was an eventful month: my Steam Deck arrived, and (after far too much deliberation) I've decided to keep it. In order to pay for it, however, I had to sell my Oculus Quest 2. I was sad to see it go, especially as, if I want to rebuy one in the future, I'll have to pay more money for it now that Zuckerberg is whacking the price up by £100. Really, though, it just wasn't being played - I hadn't touched it since February - nor was I especially interested in buying any more games for it, so selling it was probably the best thing to do. Doing so knocked six games I'd bought for it off of my pile in one fell swoop, which (it's sad to say) I considered one of the positives when I was weighing up whether to sell it. As a result, I've gone from 25 to 18 games in the backlog, and it feels like the end is in sight, which is a nice feeling to have. My current backlog: (Highlighted games are ones I've started but not finished.) Additionally, the Steam Deck means that lots of the PC games I'd previously been putting off are now in with a real chance of getting played. That is, if I can stop using the Deck to replay old favourites, midway as I am at the moment through another run of the fantastic Disco Elysium, which, if anything, is better the second time around. That said, I'm off on holiday at the end of next week and will be taking both my Deck and Switch with me, so I'm hoping to tick a couple off my list in August. As for new purchases, I posted a poll recently as I was unsure of what to buy next, but there was a clear winner, so I'll be getting that tomorrow, ready for the holiday. I might as well post it now: 1. Inscryption (PC) - 7/1/22 2. Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PS4) - 28/1/22 3. Elden Ring (XSX) - 21/02/22 4. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch) - 25/03/22 5. Dragon Quest XI: Definitive Edition (Switch) - 28/4/22 6. Horizon: Forbidden West (PS5) - 27/5/22 7. Sifu: Vengeance Edition (PS5) - 6/7/22 8. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch) - 1/8/22 9. 10. 11. 12. Once Disco is out of the way, I'm looking forward to trying it on dat OLED screen and seeing if I can get into it a little bit more this time around after failing to when it was on Game Pass. Looking ahead to the final third of 2022, God of War: Ragnarok is the only dead cert there, now scheduled for November. Apart from that, I do still want to play Neon White after all the hype, so I'll try to squeeze that in somewhere. Stray, too, and maybe the Callisto Protocol come December, although it doesn't strike me as an especially Christmassy game, and one that I imagine will come down in price drastically in the new year, so we'll see. Lastly, after all the positive reviews it's received, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has piqued my interest, but I need to actually get round to trying the Switch port of the original game first. And, as ever, there's a shitload of stuff on Game Pass that I've been neglecting, too. A good month, all in all!
  25. 1. Inscryption (PC) - 7/1/22 2. Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PS4) - 28/1/22 3. Elden Ring (XSX) - 21/02/22 4. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch) - 25/03/22 5. Dragon Quest XI: Definitive Edition (Switch) - 28/4/22 6. Horizon: Forbidden West (PS5) - 27/5/22 7. Sifu: Extended Edition (PS5) - 6/7/22 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. I didn't need it, but having just finished Citizen Sleeper (which was excellent), I wanted something new and shiny to play with a bit more bite, and the premise of an easier difficulty since the update, as well as a decent discount on Amazon, clinched it. It's due to arrive tomorrow, so I'll get straight on it.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.