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What games did you complete? 2017 Edition

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As Gabe said last year

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Just to set some very basic ground rules, when posting about a completion, if people could list their previously completed titles in a spoiler that'd help keep the thread from just turning into a series of ever-increasing lists to scroll through, and makes things much tidier. Also, it'd be nice if people wrote something about what they've played as it's always good to hear opinions (especially for games that don't have their own threads). Obviously how much you write is up to you, but if it generates some discussion, even better!

 

Completed doesn't have to mean 100% completion, that would be madness. Don't get too obsessed. If you are playing a game that you find you are hating....just add it to your abandoned pile. Life is too damn short!

 

Previous years

2016 http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/290301-what-games-did-you-complete-2016-edition/

2015 http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/282982-what-games-did-you-complete-in-2015/

2014 http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/276281-what-games-did-you-finish-in-2014/
2013 http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/267607-what-games-did-you-finish-in-2013/
2012 http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/256988-what-games-did-you-finish-in-2012/
2011 http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/237405-what-games-did-you-finish-in-2011/#entry7614018
2010 http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/236931-what-games-did-you-finish-in-2010/
2009 http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/219264-what-games-did-you-finish-in-2009/
2008 http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/199358-games-youve-completed-this-year-2008/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And I'll start things off.

 

Jan

 

09/01 Tales of Monkey Island (PC) Or Monkey Island 5. Or the episodic one. I liked it, it was better than Escape from Monkey Island at least. As charming as the characters are in it I think they've pretty much exhausted the characters and the setting at this point. Being a Monkey Island fan I don't know why it sat on my pile of shame for six years. Oh, and was it just my copy or did the music sound like it was out of tune? (Epecially on Flotsam Island.)

 

07/01 Zenge (PC) I bought this puzzle game on Steam for less than a dollar and at first I felt a little ripped off as the first few puzzles seemed insultingly easy. But after whizzing through the first few in seconds more rules were added and it became more elaborate. Not too difficult in the end but it was pleasant enough to slide puzzle pieces around for two hours.

 

02/01 The Secret of Monkey Island:Special Edition (360) I still think the interface on the new version is horrible (although you can switch back and forth between the versions to deal with one tricky timed puzzle.) I still love it, although this version has issues. I don't like how Guybrush looks in this and some of the jokes just don't work in adio like they did in text only. Still it served its purpose.Comfort gaming on a sick day.

 

01/01 Grow Up (PS4) It's just Grow Home, the wonky physics platform flying thing by Reflections but bigger. Which of course means that it's brilliant. It's an absolute steal at it's budget price and it's very much the sort of thing you used to get back in the old 8/16 bit days. B.O.B the robot is stranded on a planet after M.O.M, his spaceship/home/parent is destroyed. The mission, find all the parts and get to the moon to reassemble them while growing giant plants on the way. The controls seem rubbish at first (someone here compared to Bugaboo the Flea from the Speccy days and they aren't far wrong with that!) But once it clicks you'll learn to use the wonky physics to your advantage. And once you get the glider....like its prequel it's the closest thing to Pilotwings out there.

 

 

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Hopefully Rise of the Tomb Raider by next week. I'll use this post to update it.

 

JANUARY

01.01.17 - Rise of the Tomb Raider - Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch (PS4) *DLC

09.01.17 - Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4)

14.01.17 - The Last Guardian (PS4)

19.01.17 - Ether One (PS4)

25.01.17 - Day of the Tentacle Remastered (PS4)

27.01.17 - Heavy Rain (PS3)

 

FEBRUARY

N/A

 

MARCH

02.03.17 - Batman (Telltale Games) (PS4)

05.03.17 - Everybody's Gone to the Rapture (PS4)

20.03.17 - Assassin's Creed Syndicate (PS4)

 

APRIL

16.04.17 - Pokemon Diamond (NDS)

30.04.17 - Mass Effect: Andromeda (PS4)

 

MAY

07.05.17 - Dishonored (PS3)

26.05.17 - Final Fantasy XV (PS4)

 

JUNE

07.06.17 - Dreamfall Chapters (PS4)

14.06.17 - The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (PS4)

28.06.17 - Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)

 

JULY
25.07.17 - Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood (PS4)

 

AUGUST

N/A

 

SEPTEMBER

N/A

 

OCTOBER

12.10.17 - Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4)

 

NOVEMBER

N/A


DECEMBER

N/A

__________________________________________________________________________

PREVIOUS LIST

 

2014

 

JANUARY
03.01.14 - Tearaway (PS Vita)
07.01.14 - Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)
08.01.14 - The Last Express (PC)
09.01.14 - Guacamelee! (PS Vita)
13.01.14 - The Stanley Parable (PC)

FEBRUARY
14.02.14 - The Last of Us - Left Behind (PS3) *DLC
16.02.14 - Resogun (PS4)
21.02.14 - Final Fantasy III (DS)

MARCH
14.03.14 - Gone Home (PC)
23.03.14 - Secret Files: Tunguska (PC)
24.03.14 - Papers, Please (PC)
27.03.14 - Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (PC)
28.03.14 - South Park: The Stick of Truth (PC)
31.03.14 - Syberia (PC)

APRIL
13.04.14 - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS3/PS4)
25.04.14 - Syberia II (PC)

MAY
04.05.14 - Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis (PC)
19.05.14 - Infamous Second Son (PS4)
20.05.14 - Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4)
21.05.14 - A New Beginning (PC)
24.05.14 - Transistor (PS4)
25.05.14 - Still Life (PC)
27.05.14 - Half-Life (PC)
30.05.14 - Portal 2 (PC)

JUNE
24.06.14 - Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse (PS Vita)

JULY
09.07.14 - The Wolf Among Us (X360)

AUGUST
25.08.14 - Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS4)
28.08.14 - The Walking Dead: Season Two (X360)

SEPTEMBER
01.09.14 - Crash Bandicoot (PS1)

OCTOBER
23.10.14 - Destiny (PS4)

NOVEMBER
09.11.14 - Machinarium (PS Vita)
11.11.14 - Hotline Miami (PS Vita)
12.11.14 - Watch Dogs (PS4)
20.11.14 - Fallout 3 (X360)

DECEMBER
06.12.14 - Assassin's Creed Unity (PS4)
09.12.14 - Lost Horizon (PC)
26.12.14 - The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)
29.12.14 - Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (DS)
 

 

2015

 

JANUARY
14.01.15 - Bravely Default (3DS)
15.01.15 - Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa) (PS4)
28.01.15 - Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)
29.01.15 - The Blackwell Legacy (PC)

FEBRUARY
04.02.15 - Grim Fandango (PS4)
05.02.15 - To the Moon (PC)

MARCH
N/A

APRIL
N/A

MAY
01.05.15 - Far Cry 4 (PS4)

 

JUNE
N/A

JULY
N/A

AUGUST
N/A

SEPTEMBER
N/A

OCTOBER
N/A

NOVEMBER
10.11.15 - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4)
25.11.15 - Broken Age (PS4)
29.11.15 - Game of Thrones (PS4)

DECEMBER
16.12.15 - Final Fantasy VII (PS4)
27.12.15 - Life Is Strange (PS4)
 

 

2016

 

JANUARY
02.01.16 - Her Story (PC)
04.01.16 - The Blackwell Convergence (PC)
07.02.16 - Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward (PS4)

FEBRUARY
N/A

MARCH
N/A

APRIL
N/A

MAY
12.05.16 - Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS4)

JUNE
01.06.16 - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone (PS4) *DLC

JULY
N/A

AUGUST
12.08.16 - Pokemon LeafGreen (GBA)
23.08.16 - Firewatch (PS4)

SEPTEMBER
N/A

OCTOBER
05.10.16 - Pokemon SoulSilver (DS)

NOVEMBER
06.11.16 - Pokemon Omega Ruby (3DS)
15.11.16 - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine (PS4) *DLC
20.11.16 - Tales from the Borderlands (PS4)

DECEMBER
09.12.16 - Pokemon Sun (3DS)

 

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Gal*Gun: Double Peace :ph34r:

 

There’s a lot to be said for honesty.

 

Gal*Gun knows it’s a lightweight shooting gallery with a lightweight approach to story. While the plot is never more than an excuse to look up girls’ skirts, it’s also not presented as anything more than that. Young, dumb and full of fanservice.

 

Somehow the titular Double Peace becomes a mark of pride. Successfully pleasuring these girls causes them to throw the sign up. When the protagonist never reaches orgasm in his pursuit of true love, helping these girls becomes a charitable act. You wouldn’t want them to suffer like the G-spot did.

 

***

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Thanks for starting the thread, UWho.

 

I started last year pretty well and then life got in the way and I barely played - let alone completed - anything. Would really like to do better this year and break the pattern of late of watching rubbish TV in the background whilst I potter about on here, not really doing anything of worth.

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Completed bugger all last year but intend to make some headway into the backlog over the next few months.

 

First on the completion list will be Last Guardian and to revisit and finish off Uncharted 4 and Doom.

 

03/01/17 - Last Guardian (PS4)

I'd put it down as a flawed masterpiece. Its undoubtedly a stunning achievement and a masterclass in level design / storytelling. However the camera and controls were a definite issue, often detracting from pivotal moments & setpieces. Whilst it definitely deserves its place up there alongside ICO and SotC, for me it doesn't quite hit the GOTY mark that so many others have awarded it.

Trico is definitely up there with BT (from Titanfall 2) as the years best AI buddy though 

 

04/01/17 - Uncharted 4 (PS4)

Went back and picked this up again after a few months break. Got to chapter 18 on my original playthrough but got burnt out by the bloated nature of the game. The game would have definitely benefited from being a few chapters shorter. Thankfully the break did me good and found myself really enjoying the final few chapters. The playthrough was made worthwhile though just for the epilogue. Having completed all of the previous games in the series I thought it brought the whole franchise to a suitable conclusion.

The other big plus for me has been the photomode. Have thoroughly enjoyed documenting the entire journey from start to finish. Its inclusion also makes perfect sense in such a stupidly pretty game.

 

18/01/17 - Virginia (PS4)

Played through in one sitting.. a captivating piece of storytelling. Made all the more impressive given there isn't a single line of spoken dialogue. 

Stunning soundtrack and a head scratcher of an ending. 

Well worth the price of a pint. 

 

04/02/17 - Resident Evil 7 (PSVR)

Know I've already gushed about it repeatedly throughout the Resi7 thread, but by god that was good! 

On reflection I think it's single greatest achievement is being the first title I've played that actually lives up the term "reboot". It somehow manages to perfectly recreate that feeling I got when first playing (and completing) the original Resi on the PS1.

In VR it's a 10/10 title without a doubt, a genre defining gaming experience that hopefully paves the way for more similar risk taking by other developers.

If this doesn't make the top of my GOTY list come year end someone needs to come over a give me a big slap

 

17/04/17 - Aaero (PS4)

 

19/04/17 - Mr Shifty (Switch)

 

24/04/17 - Untold Stories (PC)

 

26/04/17 - What Remains of Edith Fitch (PS4)

 

09/05/17 - Little Nightmares (PS4)

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01/01/2017 - ComixPlay #1: The Endless Incident (PC)

 

Starting the new year with a 'meh' I picked this up Christmas day for a couple of quid. It's a 120-page comic with some tactical battles thrown in throughout the story. And it's pap.

 

I don't like comics but was intrigued by the premise of this, however not only is the story dull and very rushed, it is almost a deus ex machina on every page from about half-way through, there's no characterisation and the writing was poor anyway. As for the battles, there are only 7 or 8 and they are multi-staged affairs. You get some different team members to play around with who each have different abilities which increase over the course of the comic but I was bored after the first 3 or so and skipped the rest. So this is considered complete only in the sense that I read the whole comic.

 

The only saving grace is that it took only a couple of hours of my time and, hey, at least I can feel like I've finished something.

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01/01/2017 - Dishonored 2 (PS4)

 

Really enjoyed this sequel. I felt it kept mostly to the template of the first game but the mechanics felt a little more refined and it was a smoother experience to play just generally. That was probably all it really needed in terms of tweaks and improvements and it worked really well in terms of creating an enjoyable game experience. The art design and environments were beautiful as well. I'm a big fan of the style that Arkane are trying to promote with the Dishonored series. It can be jaw dropping at times, even in the darker, more grimy environments.

I played as Emily on low chaos. Did kill a few people but mostly tried to avoid it, if it could be helped. Those damn witches though..

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Finally got around to playing some local multiplayer PS+ games, so I'm counting those. Towerfall is bloody great, but Super Pole Riders from Sportsfriends stole the show. Such a good laugh.

 

2017

Spoiler

04/01 - Titan Souls (PS4) I went from taking down nine bosses in a few attempts each, to hitting the limit of my own meagre abilities within about two hours. Not wanting to push myself into frustration, I'm calling it good. That's not the game's fault at all, mind. I enjoyed my time with it, and it's a game of admirable focus in a time of grotesque bloat. 

04/01 - Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power (PS4) - The best of its series by some margin. Moves from 2.5D into a more on-rails 3D platformer like Pandemonium or something, and gains a broader scope and more varied play whilst losing essentially nothing. A smart move, and the addition of mini-levels limited to a single character works well. Still has that ultra busy, ultra garish fantasy look to it, but I actually rather like it. Physics puzzles work much better this time, too.

01/01 - Sportfriends (PS4) - Hokra is crap, and we couldn't play Johann Sebastian Joust as we have no Move wands, but my god are Barabariball and Super Pole Riders funny. 

01/01 - Towerfall Ascension (PS4) Super fun, and the developer was absolutely right not to bother with a single player or bots for this. The low res pixel art actually makes this a better party game in an unexpected way. The lack of clarity kinda adds to the chaos and confusion in battle, and watching the replays is a real 'Ohhhh shit!' moment for everyone.

20/01 - Hotline Miami 2 (PS4) Tougher from the onset than the original, and a bit overlong, but I still really enjoyed this. Plot is nonsense but the music is golden and it retains that intense moreishness.

 

Previous Years:

Spoiler

2016

Spoiler

31/12 - Unravel (PS4) A startlingly nice looking thing, and managed to just about evade annoying me with cloying sentiment. I enjoyed most of this. Sometimes the physics puzzles fall in such a way that you can't actually progress without a restart, which is a shame, as it uses the yarn motif better than Nintendo's efforts in many ways.

09/12 - Battlefield 1 (PS4) Just the campaign so far. Really enjoyed some of the little vignettes here. The tank and pilot sections are way better written than they need to be, Italian one is a woeful turkey shoot that belongs in CoD, though.Still, does a way better job of hiding the multiplayer training than the last few campaigns.

07/12 - Stories: Path of Destinies (PS4) A generic name for a action hack-n-slasher with a few neat ideas, the main being that every playthrough tells a different story, and the idea is to find the one in which the protagonist survives and saves the day. This'd be great if the story were interesting, but it isn't really, and the narration is fairly poorly written.  Visually a mixed bag; superficially appealing but gaudy and clashing in a way that makes it hard to read. Missed opportunity, I think

07/12 - Doom (PS4) - A game that understands the core appeal of the original, turns everything up to deafening volume and let's the player run wild. Nice pacing of red-hot action and cool exploration for secrets. Very little superfluous stuff there, other than an upgrade tree that's still fairly unobtrusive. Top-tier sound design, too. Everything sounds like the grinding of an infernal machine. One of the best of the year, I reckon.

06/12 - The Tomorrow Children (PS4) One of the strangest things I've ever played. A kind of surrealist digital gulag, with an art style both repulsive and alluring in equal measure. I don't know how it ever got made, but I'm glad it exists even if it isn't all that interesting to actually play in terms of mechanics, being a menial Soviet labour simulator of sorts. I've been playing the free-to-play version, but it doesn't seem like the paid version changes things up significantly. Really glad I played it but a couple of days are enough for me.

03/12 - Assassin's Creed Syndicate (PS4) - Flawed in many ways, but I really, really enjoyed this. Haven't liked an AC game since Brotherhood, so I was surprised how coherent this is. Most of the missions and side-stuff is enjoyable if you ignore the collectathons, and most of the characters are endearing and memorable in some way. Love the madcap horse and carriage stuff, too. Could still do without the naff alien race bullshit but it's fairly light here. 

27/11 - Jazzpunk (PS4) - Genuinely irritating crap. How this got so much attention is beyond me. Utterly derivative visually of Blendo Games stuff, but ugly and incoherent with it. Cheap, lol-random humour and crap objectives devoid of meaningful interactions. Hateful and artless.

22/11 - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4) I was initially a bit disappointed that this hadn't moved on much from the last game, with much the same mechanics and somewhat dated voice acting and npc design, but it's won me over massively over the course of the story. Prague is so dense and the missions so engrossing that I was gutted when it ended. Managed to do the whole thing without killing anyone, too, which was nice. 

19/11 - Star Ward Battlefront (PS4) - Recently realised I'd stopped playing this, so i guess it's done. Enjoyed it for what it was, a casual shooter in the Star Wars universe, and unlike many others didn't really yearn for more modes or anything. Balance needs tweaking for the inevitable sequel and some of the power ups are open to abuse, but the only major change I'd like is for all the heroes and villains to be removed. Maybe this is madness, but I don't really need to see Darth Vader leaping around to enjoy a Star Wars game.

07/11 - Oxenfree (PS4) Great stuff. Sets a high bar for fluid dialogue that comes across incredibly naturally. I dig the whole spooky young-adult horror vibe that felt like a more true extension of 80s Amblin than nostalgia retreads like Stranger Things, and the mechanics all appear in service of the story. Controls are well mapped to the pad, too, which is kinda rare for this sort of thing.

06/11 - Undertale (PC) - I was put of by the naff fandom for over a year, but finally decided to crack on with this. It's really good. A genuinely funny game, that uses the slightest, most lo-fi of gestures to say loads about its characters. The way Papyrus spins off screen after his grid puzzle fails had me in absolute hysterics. Lovely.

04/11 - Kentucky Route Zero Act IV - Took me a while to play this because my laptop was knackered. I began the series a few months after moving to China, and I think I have an even stronger sense of attachment to it than I would otherwise because it's punctuated some of the most important years of my life. It's the most wonderful, transcendent experience and I'll be distraught to see it go after the next episode. This act lacks a true standout moment like the Junebug performance of III, but it still resonantes with me in ways I find hard to put into words.

03/11 - Virginia (PS4) - An ambitious and impressive near-miss. The soundtrack gives it most of its momentum, and the visuals are striking in their simplicity, but it's a bit clumsy in its storytelling and fumbles towards the end. Borrows jump-cuts from 30 Flights of Loving and implements them well, but the lack of voice-acting is a mistake, I think, making it hard to relay some of the more important story beats.

03/11 - The Deadly Tower of Monsters (PS4) - The name does it no favours, but like all ACE Team games this has a strong, heartfelt aesthetic that raises the game above its fairly average gameplay. It's your average top down dungeon actioner, but there's enough variety and gimmicks to keep things fresh. Framerate can be a bit ropey on PS4 (and no, I don't mean the Harryhausen stop-motion) but I enjoyed this.

03/11 - Parappa the Rapper 2 (PS4) - It's too easy, too short and has basically no improvements over the original, but I still love it. Songs are a bit more jazzy and chill than the first game.

29/10 - Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3) - Straight into the top three games I've played all year, and maybe my second favourite Platinum game after Vanquish. I bloody LOVED this. Funny, thrilling and ridiculous in perfect measures. The slicing feels like something that isn't quite suited to an analogue stick, really, but that's a minor quibble.

25/10 - Ratchet & Clank (PS4) - Flew through this in a couple of days and loved it. One of the most impressive looking things I've seen, though the character design is a bit too '2003' at times. The sheer amount of carnage on screen makes the combat so satisfying, and the pacing is generally pitched to keep new stuff coming all the time. Bodes well for Spidey.

18/10 - Mirror's Edge Catalyst (PS4) - A tragic missed opportunity, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. The open world is dull and used poorly, but the free running remains the best in class and it looks marvellous at times. Soundtrack is still that sterile Euro-electronica cheese but it totally fits.

14/10 - Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PS4) - Looks really nice, but absolutely no one playing online now as far as I can tell. Bit dull in single-player and I preferred the simple structure of the previous game over the hub-world of this. Giant dung beetle boss was kinda neat, rolling around on a giant flaming ball of poo. 

14/10 - This War of Mine (PS4) An inevitable misery simulator, like Papers Please or Cart Life or something. I  found the experience of eking out an existence under siege rewarding in a somber kind of way. They managed to get the controls working fine on the console, but I imagine it's much more intuitive with a mouse. Good art style, though, all pencil sketchy.

13/10 - Firewatch (PS4) Loved the look of this, the voice acting, the writing. Less keen on the corridor map and I've never thought that much of Chris Remo's music generally, but it's held together tightly by the relationship between the two main characters. Could've done without skipping so many days and building the relationship a bit more, but it still works.

11/10 - Galak-Z (PS4) Will never actually complete this but I enjoyed having a bash at it, flinging the ship around in daft manoeuvres. Think the procedural generation resulted in samey level design, though, and the art style that received so much praise seems pretty incoherent to me. Boots up like an old computer on ancient monitor, then does funny pixelly effects like a SNES game, then has a pause menu like a VHS, ships like old Macross but characters like an early noughties flash animation. It's not my cup of tea. Music is really nice, though. Synthy and sci-fi without being naff Youtube-level synthwave crap.

10/10 - Transformers Devastation (PS4) Absolutely loved every minute of this. It's Bayonetta reskinned with children's toys and made much more forgiving at default difficulty, but that's fine! Five hour story mode, loads of bosses, no bullshit. The sort of game we've been missing this gen. Absolutely mad soundtrack as well.

05/10 - Call for Duty: Black Ops III (PS4) First CoD I've played this gen. The campaign is still your standard CoD, and the whole fucking vision quest bullshit of the final third can do one. Somehow looks both really impressive and incredibly dated at the same time, too. Still, multiplayer seems decent enough, so I'll leave it installed for the occasional bash.

28/09 - The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine (PS4) A truly fitting end to the best adventure of this generation so far. There are tiny little fishing huts with nothing quest related about them that have more character and effort put into them than most of Fallout 4. I will miss this game so much.

19/09 - Retro City Rampage DX (PS4) Shite meme-humour nostalgia bullshit. I fucking hated it.

19/09 - Uncharted 4 (PS4) - Generally superior in the writing and acting departments, as per usual with Naughty Dog these days. The pacing is a little off in some longer stretches of the game, but I loved the combat in this more than any previous Uncharted, and my god is is an attractive game. A fitting finale.

19/09 - Nova-111 (PS4) - I enjoyed this a lot. Neat little sort-of-turn-based thing. Hard to describe, but well put together with good music. Perfect PS+ stuff.

19/08 - The Banner Saga (PS4) - A magnificent game, structured cleverly and written at an unusually literary pace and quality for a game. Some awful decisions to be made throughout and a smart, generally well-balanced battle system. A few minor flaws that I hope the sequel has worked out, but I adored this. Marvellously powerful soundtrack, too.

19/08 - No Man's Sky (PS4) - Retiring this until they add some more stuff to compel me further towards the centre of the galaxy. It's hard to argue this is finished, or that pricing it at fifty quid was a particularly good idea, but it utterly captivated me for about forty hours straight like nothing else. Genuinely reminded me of how engrossed I used to get into old British-made computer games that were old even when I was a kid, but I adored because they created entire worlds inside my mind.

09/08 - Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell (PS4) Straight garbage, really. Looks like absolute shit, barely a story, no actual proper missions. Tries to get away with it by knowingly referencing all this with an ironic wink but that just annoys even more. Franchise deserves death at this point.

08/08 - Tricky Towers (PS4) Played until a got bored, which was only about an hour or something. Perfectly fine take on your Tetris thing, but with physics and that. Would've proved a longer lasting distraction were it on Vita, but on PS4? Nah. Same-screen multiplayer is pretty funny though, which probably explains the format choice.

08/08 - The Walking Dead: Michonne (PS4) Thought the second series was slipping into self-parody, but this really went for it. The hackneyed, cheap 'visions of dead kids' shit was actually making me a bit angry by the last episode. Engine still holding back basically everything, too. Telltale need a kick up arse.

07/08 - Driveclub (PS4) I'll likely come back to this occasionally to play through the single-player, but for now I'm done with it. Love the handling, like the fairly sparse presentation and complete lack of instagram lifestyle bro-dude bullshit you get with Forza Horizon and that, but felt it lacked a compelling hook to hang everything on. Still the best racer of this gen, though.

07/08 - Not A Hero (PS4) It's alright, I guess. Art style is appealing enough and the I liked the general sound design, but the try-hard speech from the wee shooty men did my head in pretty quickly. Like Olli Olli, it seemed to mistake fiddliness for depth.

06/08 - Bloodborne (PS4) - I think I lack the skill needed to finish this for now, so it's going on the backburner for a bit. It's glorious, though, and easily my game of the last year. Too much has been said about the glorious level design, combat and atmosphere for me to add much, but I'll say that it's all absolutely, utterly true.

01/08 - Tropico 5 (PS4) It's Tropico again, but very nicely adapted to the console's controller. I'll probably dabble in these sort of games every few years for as long as they're made.

01/08 - Switch Galaxy Ultra (Vita) - Shite lane-rhythm thingy. Wouldn't be surprised if it were a mobile port, but can't be arsed to find out.

08/07 - Volume (PS4) -  Really nice looking and fairly compelling stealth action, but not quite the distilled MGS-style VR Missions I'd hoped for. Lacking in depth somewhat, and occasionally pretty frustrating. Story is all too bitty and fragmented to really be enjoyable, too.

19/06 - Gone Home (PS4) - It's alright. A bit disappointing on the writing and atmosphere fronts, given some of the things I'd read. I like most of the music in it, though.

04/05 - The Order: 1886 (PS4) - I actually enjoyed this, flawed thing that it is, but that might have had something to do with the fact I paid a fiver for it. That's probably an unsustainable financial model, like. As a game it's terrifyingly slight, and at times comes across more like one of those walking simulators you get these days, but with insanely expensively rendered victorian interior decor. Guns are nice and satisfying though, and the basic premise is compelling enough in tandem with the frankly unbelievable visuals.  

02/05 - Mad Max (PS4) - A game that undoes a lot of good stuff by being horribly bloated and having zero respect for the player's time. There were frequent occasions on which I almost got up and flung the disc out the window because it was wasting my time on tedious unskippable animations or an obscenely long series of fetch-quests. There's some lovely visual stuff throughout, though, and it's a shame that so much work went into making really detailed camps and loot locations, most of which I'll never see because, well, there's about a million of them. Lighting is bloody spectacular, too. 

18/04 - Super Time Force Ultra (PS4/Vita) - A solid and interesting concept, the whole time looping/layering thing, but the tutorial is inelegant and fails to explain everything clearly. I suppose that goes some way to explaining the muted response this got on PS+, but it's well persisting with. Good pixel art, nice chiptunes, solid action. Reminds me of old Treasure games in some ways. 

16/04 - Home (PS4) - A pixel-drawn 2D narrative adventure. Sound design is basic but effective, I like the slightly grainy pixelated lighting and it's pretty concise in what it does, but the writing is like something from a middle school short story assignment. Wholly predictable and lacking in compelling hooks. 

16/04 - Broforce (PS4) - Completely took me by surprise, this. I expected to hate it, being some 80s dudebro action film parody pixel thing, but it's made with real charm and the presentation hides an attention to detail in the gameplay that was unexpected. Setting off a mad chain reaction of explosions and flying corpses before leaping aboard the chopper is immensely satisfying. Framerate doesn't half chug towards the end of the game, though. 

15/04 - Amplitude (PS4) - Probably the most disappointing thing I've played this year. I wanted to enjoy it so much, and it's mechanically sound, but a rhythm action game with terrible, unappealing music is an absolute failure for me. I managed to make it through the campaign once and it was an ordeal enough to put me off playing again.

13/04 - Shutshimi (PS4/Vita) - A solid enough idea, using the WarioWare structure for a shmup, but the execution here is a little off. The power-ups are cute and there's novelty in trying them all out, but the ten second limit per stage is just a bit too short. Needs a bit more variety in enemies, too.

12/04 - Peggle 2 (PS4) - It's Peggle with a fresh lick of paint. Nowt much else to say. The music is better this time, I suppose.

12/04 - Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (PS4) - I enjoyed this because I have a real soft spot for that core Resi action, but the episodic nature of this doesn't add much for the actual player and it feels pretty cheap throughout. There are no cliffhangers of any particular interest, and the level structure feels a bit formless and meandering, really. The dialogue is amusingly awful, though, and the bosses are a laugh. Could've done without the horribly flawed experiments of the extra episodes. Nothing worth bothering with there.

05/04 - The Witcher 3 - Hearts of Stone (PS4) - Possibly the best, most rewarding story DLC I've ever played. Obscenely good value for money in terms of how much work was put into it, and the writing is as strong as ever. Roll on Blood & Wine!

08/03 - Helldivers (PS4) - I wanted to like this more than I did. No idea if there's actually an 'end' to the game, as I just dropped in an out of multiplayer games when I had some spare time, but it does seem a bit aimless, really. With a good team it can become a really tight, tensely enjoyable experience at the higher difficulties, but too often it's a dull slog, of respawning and failure against a bunch of enemies you often can't see on screen because the camera is so zoomed in. Weird game.

08/03 - Cosmophony (PS4) - Became too difficut for me on the last of the five levels and I couldn't finish it, so here we are. It's a pretty straight-forward, low-budget tunnel rhythm action thing. Cheap, forgettable fun.

22/02 - SOMA (PS4) - That rare game that asks you to seriously reflect on the themes it explores. It's a real compliment that the comparisons I made when describing this game to a friend were to SF novels like Greg Bear's Blood Music, with that same sense of something unknowable having run out of control, forcing us to think about what it is to be human. Some of the horror encounters lay it on a bit thick, but are generally important in establishing the tension that heightens everything between. Does that thing of strongly conveying a hard fought journey, too, which I adore in games.

18/02 - The Witcher III - Wild Hunt (PS4) - Even setting aside the visuals, which are bloody spectacular, this is easily one of the most impressive achievements I've experienced in gaming for some time. The sheer scope and ambition of it is impressive, but it's the quality of the writing that really does it. Manages to be engaging, emotive and naturalistic even when you're engaging in the silliest of fantasy quests. I could write about it for days but this isn't really the thread for that, so I'll just say that this is the first game in about half a decade to keep me captivated for over a hundred hours, and is easily the game of the generation so far.

02/02 - Papers, Please (PC) - Dystopian paperwork sim. Finally got round to playing this, and embarrassed that I left it so long. A genuinely original, well-made and emotionally and intellectually resonant game. Aesthetically, everything from the glum, gibberish vocal snippets to the colour palette is pitch-perfect. Everyone should play it.
01/02 - Yakuza 4 (PS3)- My frist Yakuza in the series and I loved it. Great combat, engaging story, fun diversions and a focussed, well-realised game world. I found myself more interested in the first playable character than the later ones, but the way the plot hangs together is surprisingly well done, even though it hinges on a ridiculous conceit that only makes sense in video game land. Sadly there's some pretty gross sexist crap in the game that taints the otherwise positive impression I had, but that's a much longer discussion to be had another time.
25/01 - Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee - New 'n' Tasty (PS4) - I completed this a load of times as a kid, and the slow realisation that this is basically identical other than the audio-visual rebuild put me off finishing it again. It does a good job on that front, though, and retains that particularly 90s pre-rendered look in the real-time visuals along withall the benefits that brings. I approve of what I played.
24/01 - Game of Thrones (PS4) - The story was surprisingly riveting, perhaps because it plays out very faithfully to the TV show and feeds off the audience's investment in the characters, but in contrast with Tales of the Borderlands I often felt the wheels were coming off the Telltale wagon during this. So much ropey animation, stuttering sound and too many glitches, ropey graphical effects and dull QTEs by far. Voice acting can be a bit wobbly at times, too, particularly the accents of lesser characters. A bit less reliance on poor action and more on the strengths of the story and decisions and they'll have a true winner.
23/01 - Three Fourths Home (PS4) - A 'visual short story' that works well on the visual front but falls a little short on the writing. It's fairly convincing and develops its characters patiently but the actual story and mood wasn't sharp enough to hold my interest for the hour-long runtime. There are some neat little tricks with the visuals cued up to points in the dialogue, though, and the sound design is top notch.
20/01 - To The Moon (PC) - My third attempt at this because I really wanted to enjoy it, but it still misses the mark for me. I find it a mawkish retelling of Eternal Sunshine but with too much false sentiment, dumb self-referential humour and syrupy presentation. Little of it really rings true for me. I like the catty relationship between the two scientists, though.
19/01 - Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist - A cute and gently smart idea, performed succinctly. Really nice aesthetic and voice work, too. Simon Amstell should do more games.
19/01 - The Beginner's Guide (PC) - I like the concept of this more than the execution, but there's something to be said for the way it uses the unreliable, flawed narrator. Some interesting and clever uses of Source, too.
19/01 - The Stanley Parable (and Demo) (PC) - I found the main game pretty amusing, but actually found the demo way more funny and focussed an experience. A genuinely unique package, though, and I'd advise anyone to play them both. Difficult game to write about without spoiling something.
18/01 - Her Story (PC) - Really enjoyed this. I think I found the delivery much more interesting than the actual story, but it was compelling enough to keep me there for a solid three hour session. Without wanting to say too much, it's leverly written so that the truth exists around the margins somewhere, and points the way forward for use of FMV in games. Really glad I played this.
13/01 - The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PS4) - It looks nice, and the music is pleasant enough, but it really pales in comparison with something like Everybody's Gone to The Rapture. Lacking that game's sharper radio-play writing or eye for (period) detail, it comes across a bit wooden and naff. There's a bit more interaction in this than most of the genre, but there's also a reliance on just chancing upon certain moments in the middle of an otherwise uninteresting part of the map. Saw the ending coming from about half an hour into the game, too.
12/01 - Hardware: Rivals (PS4) - First online thing I've gotten into for a while. It's a very basic package of a few vehicles, modes and maps, but that works in its favour. The core vehicle combat is fun, the maps are well designed, it's nicely presented and technically robust. If they can deliver new modes and maps on a regular basis then I'll keep playing. Reminds me of Mari Kart 64's battle mode.
12/01 - SteamWorld Dig (Vita) - I dunno if it's possible to finish this. Is there an ending? I dunno, but I played it for about six hours and that was enough for me. It's a prettier, slightly more involved version of Miner Dig Deep from XBLIG, which probably ripped off another game. You dig, get loot, sell loot, dig deeper, get loot, sell loot...you get the idea. It's fine.
12/01 - Killzone: Shadow Fall (PS4) - All over the place, this is. The sheer amount of undercooked ideas makes me think the team wanted to experiment early on in development, but were curtailed by the need to hit the launch window and told to get on with making a linear corridor shooter. Hardly any of the little gimmicks are particularly interesting, but are made even worse because they never feed into the overall mechanics of the game. Semi-open levels with multiple objectives, gravity wells, hacking, sniper support, space combat, stealth; all just used briefly and then forgotten. Looks decent enough, I guess, but a generally a very forgettable game.
04/01 - Rogue Legacy (Vita) - I enjoyed the basic hacking and jumping action, but the progressions through the game felt more like grinding than learning and improving the way I played. Music is fairly decent but the pixel-art style is a bit inconsistent and unappealing. 
02/01 - King's Quest - A Knight to Remember (PS4) - Walks the fine line between old school put-this-item-on-this-thing puzzling and the 'choose your own adventure' style of the modern equivalents pretty well in the most part. The character animation and voicework in the is really top-notch, kinda old-school hand-drawn style stuff. Pretty tasty lookin', and surprisingly long for an episodic game. 
01/01 - Hatoful Boyfriend (Vita) - Genuinely great. Disarmingly funny throughout and well written enough to pull off the ridiculous conceit, this makes good use of the short run time to make repeat play-throughs attractive. Worth turning off the dumb 'human visualiser' that shows you how all the birds would look as naff anime characters. Embrace the birds.

2015

Spoiler

31/12 - Until Dawn (PS4) - Looks fantastic and unlike most (all) of David Cage's output, the writing is actually good. That might be because the developers aimed fairly low by making it pure slasher-horror in tone, but the absence of pretentious drivel is massively welcome. Narratively it didn't quite branch out as much as I'd hoped, but I think that was me reading too much into the psychiatrist scenes and assuming the tests were going to lead the plot in some way. Terrifically engaging throughout, though, and seemed like something of a technical feat. I don't recall seeing a loading screen at all, which is pretty fancy.

29/12 - The Last of Us: Left Behind (PS4) - Frightening, touching and, rarest of all, some story DLC that actually adds something to the experience of the main game. Not much new on the gameplay front, other than the mixed human/infected combat scenarios (which are great), but well worth every penny.

29/12 - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4) - As far as the actual gameplay goes, this is the open world stealth-action game I've always wanted. I must've spent about half my seventy hours with the game just fucking round, testing the limits of the system. It's the attention to detail that always pulled me into Metal Gear games, and that's here in spades, though the plot falls apart towards the end of the campaign and the mission filler is unfortunate. 80s soundtrack is pretty sweet, too.

22/12 - Everybody's Golf (Vita) - Played about as far as my meagre abilities will likely take me, though I might still chip away at it occasionally. Deliciously playable as usual and I bloody hate real golf. Online seems a bit dead these days, though.

14/12 - Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken (Vita) - Everything about the 'comedy', the characters and the story is lame as fuck, and it has that naff Flash animation style that's horribly dated nowadays, but this surprised me by being a pretty solid Flashback-style 2D action-adventurer. A bit on the easy side perhaps, but not a bad PS+ game at all.

13/12 - Escape Plan (Vita) - A focussed, confident little gesture-controlled action puzzler, with a stark monochrome art style that serves to define the levels clearly and legibly. Story was much of a muchness and it requires juggling the Vita's front and rear touchpads more than I'd like, but I enjoyed my time with this.

13/12 - Apotheon (PS4) - I at least managed a couple of hours of this one. The art style is a nice enough idea and well executed in terms of looking attractive, but can be difficult to read in gameplay. The finnicky controls and ropey animation turned me off eventually, as the combat was just too much like hard work. A shame, because I sense there's a decent enough Metroidvania in there.

13/12 - Ether One (PS4) - Gave up on this after twenty minutes when it dawned on me I'd have to keep teleporting back and forth to store items because. you. can. only. hold. one. Fuck that. Also, it looks like a cheap PS2 game and has audio logs that you can only listen to if you stand in the otherwise empty room you found them in, doing nothing. What a load of shit.

12/12 - Life is Strange (PS4) - The writing is a bit tone-deaf at times and the acting needs better direction, but as a narrative-driven game this blows Telltale and their modern day Dragon's Lairs out of the water. Can't really fault the extent to which decisions have a payoff in later episodes, and what must've been tonnes of work going into various branching scenes. Nice painterly look and really robust, evocative sound design, too. The ending didn't quite hit the mark for me, and the lazy video game nightmare sequences appear once again, but by that point my emotional engagement gave them a free pass. Dontnod are one of the more interesting developers around these days.

10/12 - Valkyria Chronicles (PS3) - Loved this. Charming in its presentation and engaging in plot, it drew me in like few Japanese games manage these days. I could've done without the missions where an invincible opponent appears on the map without warning and annihilates half the squad, but the battles are usually beautifully crafted.

03/12 - KickBeat (Vita) - Almost impressively average in every way, and completely underwhelms in its inability to fuse the fighting and rhythm action genres in as meaningful a way as the premise suggests. The only thing that really stands out is the incredibly shit soundtrack. Papa Roach? Jesus fucking christ.

01/12 - Tales from the Borderlands (PS4) - Genuinely funnier than most supposed top-tier comedy films these days. Startlingly well written and acted, too. It veers even closer to being one of the FMV games of yore than Telltale's previous games, which is a bit concerning, but I can't fault the QTE action sequences in and of themselves, which are pretty amazingly choreographed throughout. The finger guns bit is so, so good. Shame about the horribly compressed audio and occasional jank, but that's Telltale for you.

28/11 - Outlast (PS4) - Went into this near blind, other than an awareness of the basic premise. Was expecting something a bit more grounded and psychological, but sadly it's pure schlock nonsense with little charm to compensate. I had no idea what was going on by the end and didn't care to find out, which sort of undermines the horror of it all, really. There were some pretty good sections that reminded me of Clock Tower 3 mixed with Condemned, and it does a fine job of primitive jump scares, but for the most part it paled in comparison with the cat-and-mouse tension of something like Alien Isolation.

25/11 - Resident Evil: Revelations (PS3) - Pure nonsense in every sense, yet hugely enjoyable for most of its runtime. Looks like pure shit at times, being a 3DS port, and there's disappointing lack of genuine creepiness, but it's a more traditional Resi than most these days. The bite-sized episodic structure probably made more sense on a handheld, but the character swapping kept up the variety I guess.

21/11 - Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4) - Real top-tier stuff from a team at the peak of its powers. The sheer ambition of it is pretty mind-boggling. Everything that irritated me in City was improved here, from reduced back-tracking, better side-quests and less-frequent, more useful radio chatter. Tank combat is overused but I can forgive it thanks to the sheer thrill of pursuit mode that the Batmobile brings. It's also wonderfully, wonderfully written throughout. The way you-know-who is used throughout the game is inspired.

16/11 - Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments (PS4)- Surprisingly well written and acted, with a real eye for detail, particularly in the interior scenes. I found this really engaging and most of the scenarios believable in a Conan Doyle kinda way, though the detecting relies on circumstantial evidence too often and sometimes I was ahead of the game and simply looking for the right bit of interactive scenery to make itself known before Holmes would 'catch up'. Good stuff, though.

13/11 - Dying Light (PS4) - Massively improved in terms of traversal, melee combat and pretty much everything else, but is still up there with Dead Island in terms of piss-poor writing and voice acting that skewers any atmosphere the game manages to build. Suffers from Icon-mania as well, with too many dull side-quests and distractions. The core parkour and hacky-slash is crazy fun, though.

04/11 - Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (PS4)- Weirdly paced in a way that makes me suspect it was cobbled together from abandoned ideas for The New Order, but retains the same meaty shooting action that's so bloody satisfying.

03/11 - Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4) - Cribs so heavily from Far Cry, Arkham and Assassin's Creed that for the first few hours I found this incredibly underwhelming in its familiarity, but then the genius of the nemesis system took hold and I found myself relentlessly hunting down some captain who'd killed me five times from one side of the map to the other. Not much of a Tolkein fan but this had an genuinely compelling take on that world.

29/10 - South Park: The Stick of Truth(PS3) - Not a particularly amazing game in terms of mechanics of whatnot, but bloody hell did it make me laugh. It's basically a bigger budget Costume Quest in both concept and execution, with all the fetch-questing and simple turn-based battles that implies, but it's so compelling throughout. Strange that it's much more in line with the earlier TV series' style than the recent stuff, though.

27/10 - Far Cry 4 (PS4) - It's pretty much a re-skin of the third. The outposts are still the strongest part of the game by some margin, whilst everything else is mostly Ubi-filler. It does sort of piss me off the way that everyone in these far-flung lands speaks heavily colloquial English but whatever. It's AAA fluff.

05/09 - Grow Home (PS4) - Endearing little game of discovery and play, that drops you in a simple world with some satisfying traversal skills at your disposal and sends you on your merry way. Looks nice and sharp, the music is lovely and it felt like nothing else I'd played before. Perfect PS+ game.

13/08 - Everybody's Gone to the Rapture (PS4) - I found there was a lot to like about Dear Esther in spite of all its faults, but this is much, much more successful at what it's trying to do. The small environmental details, the sound design, the varied regional accents (for games). All those things coalesce into something strangely moving, and which gave me the worst bout of homesickness I've has since leaving Britain three years ago. The ending is a bit naff and disappointing but the rest of the journey was wonderful, truly.

10/08 - Skulls of the Shogun (PS4) - There should really be more Advance Wars-ish games on consoles. The presentation in this one often takes priority over making the battlefield legible, which is a shame, but the battles tend to be pretty engrossing. It's a shame, then, that the last level is a massive difficulty spike that I couldn't be fucked to deal with at all. Eh.

06/08 - Stick It to The Man (PS4) - A brief game with a well executed aesthetic; I found myself enjoying this way more than expected. As an actual game it's a straight-forward adventure platform thing, and the little stealth interludes are pretty dry after the first one, but the characters are appealing in a 90s Nickleodeon kinda way and the sound design is great throughout. That was enough for me today.

05/08 - Infamous: Last Light (PS4) - Can't say I was looking forward to an extension to a game that ran out of ideas a third of the way in....and I was right not to get excited. Traversal mechanics are a bit more enjoyable and you don't have to keep draining energy every five seconds, but this does nothing new and the characters are still dull, whining children. At least it's short, as pretty as the main game and came with PS+.

03/08 - Dragon's Crown (Vita) - Super satisfying beat-em-up that doesn't quite hit the highs of Guardian Heroes but does loads of neat little things of its own. Music is epic, art is beautful (though the female characters generally are a bit...y'know) and has a moreish gameplay loop of fight>boss>loot>repeat that keeps things turning over quickly. The only real problem I had is that it's a bit hard to know if you're properly alligned with the enemies and I found myself missing regularly. The lane system in Guardian Heroes seems a bit archaic these days but it does solve that problem perfectly.

27/07 - Velocity 2X (Vita) - Couldn't really get into this properly, though I suspect that's just a mood thing. Everything about it is super refined and compelling and yet it never got its hooks into me. Plot seems a bit redundant but the music is super swish. Might give it another run later.

22/07 - Metrico (Vita) - Another game that falls over itself in its attempts to use all of the Vita's functions. Parts of this are neat enough, with a sharp look and devious little puzzles, but the infographic aesthetic leaves me cold and the need for simultaneous back-and-front touch gestures, motion control and button presses mean you end up twisting and contorting uncomfortably for fairly long stretches.

21/07 - Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita) - Or, Uncharted: Lowered Expectations Edition. Just because a AAA console game can technically be shoehorned into a handheld doesn't make it a worthwhile endeavour. In fairness, Drake is more bearable than usual and his relationship with Sully is still kinda charming, but this takes the flimsy combat and ropey climbing of the first game, takes out all the big set-pieces and crams touch and gyroscope crap between every five minutes of action. More than anything I'd describe this as boring, which is a stunning failure, really.

18/07 - Sine Mora (Vita) - Stupendously attractive for a handheld game and with some neat systems built around time limits and manipulation. Not the greatest schmup I've played but a surprisingly lavish one in this day and age. Weirdly pretentious story filler, though.

17/07 - Badland (Android) - The whole 'tap to flap/float/whatever' genre leaves me pretty cold to be honest. This has some nice ideas but like with Jetpack Joyride and others I got bored quickly. Presntation is weirdly dull and distant in a way I found unengaging, too.

17/07 - 80 Days (Android) - I did two runs through in a single sitting, which probably tells you how much I enjoyed it. Well written, unique choose-your-own-adventure game with some lovely sound design.

16/07 - Destiny (PS4) - I bought the base game and the two expansions together and it's a damn good game, Destiny, with probably the best feel of any shooter I've played. Everything about the experience is super slick, evocative and utterly intoxicating. The feel of controlling a sparrow or firing a hand cannon into a Fallen's face is so, so perfect it's hard to describe. There's not enough of it, though, and the manipulative stuff they've used to keep you playing is pretty sinister in its potency. I've never been one to get lured in by the promise of random loot drops, but this was starting to get its claws into me in a way that I find concerning, so we're done (for now...)

10/07 - Entwined (PS4) - Pretentious nonsense attempting to mimic thatgamecompany and falling flat in every way. Nasty new age rubbish with a single dull mechanic and unpleasant free-flight controls that it obviously considers a 'reward' at the end of each level.

19/06 - Never Alone (PS4) - A worthy enough idea, combining the indie game and the documentary, but neither side is particularly satisfactory in and of itself. A cumbersome platformer with occasionally stubborn movement and few interesting ideas doesn't particularly inspire me to learn about a culture. Looks really nice, though.

19/06 - Dead Nation (PS4) - Solid twin-stick shooter with a solid arsenal of weapons and enough variety to keep things fresh. Still looks very PS3 in its visuals but the lighting is nice enough. Not sure why they even bothered with the story, though.

17/06 - Shadow Warrior (PS4) - Ridiculous 90s mega-carnage sprint-everywhere fuck-em-up. A genuinely brilliant update of an old classic and shows how Duke Nukem should've been done. Garish in a charming way and occasionally quite pretty, with a daft, funny script and varied, powerful set of weapons. Didn't like it when I'd accidentally dash down some stairs and kill myself from fall damage, but that's my own fault. Ending goes on forever, too.

15/06 - Costume Quest 2 (PS4) - It's barely more involving than the first in terms of the battle system and quests, and there's too much back-tracking and fetch-questing for such a short game, but there's so much to love about Costume Quest. Funny little script, a cute premise about a dental hygeine dystopia in which candy is illegal make it a winner for me.

13/06 - Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4) - Man, I loved this. Somehow manages to be both funny and poignant at the same time as brutal and dumb. Both stealth and boom-bang approaches are satisfying and the whole 'kill the commander' system is inspired. Sound mix is a bit off and recharging the energy weapons is tiresome, but there's just moment after moment of brilliance in this.

11/06 - The Swapper (Vita/PS4) - Enjoyed the look and feel of this but had to give it up after a point. Puzzles were wrecking my head and cheating didn't sound like much fun, so it's done with for now. Really nce atmosphere, though.

09/06 - Resogun (Vita/PS4) - Played this across both formats. Furiously addictive and visually astonishing. Holds up surprisingly well on the Vita, and only really loses the whizzy effects.

08/06 - Futuridium EP (Vita) - Shit, boring concept that should never have made it past the demo stage. Gave it half an hour.

08/06 - The Binding of Isaac Rebirth (Vita) - It was great on PC and it's still great. The new art style is nice but doesn't blow me away or anything, but the music is pretty sweet.

08/06 - Modnation Racers (Vita) - Horrendously ugly and the frame rate is so bad it's like looking at a zoetrope. Dull races that have no sense of urgency or thrill.

08/06 - Titan Attacks! (Vita) - Dull, ugly 'update' of Space Invaders that no one asked for or needed in a post-Space Invaders Extreme world. Pointless.

07/06 - Kick & Fennick (Vita) - Ugly game in terms of art style and visually monotonous, but I like the core concept of using recoil to bounce around. Good little game.

07/06 - Monster Bag (Vita) - One of those games that probably only exists because Sony need to fund quick little games to throw on PS+ every month, and one that has very few mechanical ideas, but it's nicely presented and makes the most of its core concept.

06/06 - Murasaki Baby (Vita) - Some of the touch controls don't work too well and the spooky-wooky Tim Burton style does nothing for me, but I enjoyed some of the novelty of this. Doesn't run its ideas into the ground and left me satisfied enough.

06/06 - Race the Sun (Vita) - Boring as hell endless....flyer? I dunno how people play this shit. Has that flat shaded polygonal style that's back in vogue for indie games but does nothing interesting with it.

06/06 - Killzone Mercenary (Vita) - Shouldn't really work on a handheld, and the sticks struggle a bit with aiming and turning in general, but this is somehow the most enjoyable Killzone of the lot. Neat little bursts of shooty brutality. Gets a bit flickery with the frame-rate but it's an impressive technical feat.

04/06 - Battlefield 4 (PS4) - Indistinguishable from every other military FPS campaign I've played in the last however-many years. Sound and visuals are super impressive but that's about it, really. The whole plot is baffling and vaguely offensive at times, and I have to wish they wouldn't keep wasting resources on this stuff. I'll keep playing the multiplayer until the next one is out, mind.

03/06 - Alien Isolation: Crew Expendable/Last Survivor DLC (PS4) - Slight and adds nothing new to the actual gameplay, but there's a thrill and novelty in the attempt to render the latter half of the movie in game form. Worth the few quid I paid for it.

03/06 - Counterspy (PS4) - Neat Saul Bass-ish visuals and twangy soundtrack for a game with an interesting Xcom-lite structure and fun action platforming. Enjoyed pretty much everything about this, so will have a few runs more on the Vita version whilst I'm on holiday next week.

03/06 - Aaru's Awakening (PS4) - Has a beautiful hand-animated style that really deserves to be seen and....little else. Awkward controls, poor level design and annoying bosses. There are some neat ideas with the teleporting but it's badly implemented. made it as far as the last boss (I think) and gave up. Life's too short.

03/06 - Tower of Guns (PS4) - Yeah, I didn't finish this either, but I did play long enough to work out what it is. FPS rougue-like level-up blah blah blah. It's pretty boring, really, though there's something about its rough N64 look that I quite like, for some reason.

03/06 - Secret Ponchos (PS4) - Was interested in this but couldn't find anyone to actually play against. It's dead, I guess.

02/06 - Injustice: Gods Among Us (PS4) - I never would've bought this, being a non-SNK/Capcom 2D fighter themed around a universe I care nothing about, but it was surprisingly fun. I only played through the story mode, though, having no desire to master it enough to play online. It's charmingly daft and the cutscenes are awful but I've wasted my time on worse.

02/06 -Valiant Hearts - The Great War (PS4) - Tonally this veers all over the place, unable to decide if it's some slapstick steampunk lark or a grim, sober retelling of historical facts. The art style is nice but I found it jarred badly with the photos of really facial disfiguration and bodies in the menus, and the bloodless presentation and timid storytelling often came across as dishonest. There's a serviceable but dull adventure puzzle game underneath it all, but that's faint praise.

29/05 - Transistor (PS4) - Loved pretty much everything about this, from its art nouveau/deco/cyberpunk hybrid art style and loungey electronic score, through to the well-realised, unique battle system. Found it utterly captivating to the point that I played it in two sittings, and I wasn't massively taken by Bastion. Highly recommended.

27/05 - Strider (PS4) - One of those games that just has the sheer joy of interaction and motion to it. Cartwheeling over some dudes and unleashing a barrage of swooshy sword attacks never gets old. The metroidvania stuff is very light and they don't even bother with a plot as such (probably for the best), but for half an hour every few nights this was golden. Music was a bit underwhelming, though.

26/05 - Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare (PS4) - Wonderfully well crafted. I bombed hours into this without blinking, it was so bloody compelling. This is that rarity in online gaming in that I rarely felt cheated or frustrated by other players, so it's shame that people only play a handful of modes, then, as they all seem fun in their own way.

26/05 - Pix the Cat (PS4) - Colourfully presented in an effort to convince you it's fun. It isn't, though, unless you like memorising routes and repeating them from scratch each time you make a slight error in order to have the chance of a decent high score, which is the focus of the entire game. Played for about two hours and it barely deserved that.

18/05 - Infamous: Second Son (PS4) - It's basically Prototype or Saints Row IV but not as fun and more repetitive. All the powers are much the same and I barely bothered with the side missions because Sucker Punch had barely bothered to put any effort into them. It is stupidly pretty, though, and I enjoyed faffing about with the photo mode, so at least it taxed the PS4 a bit.

18/05 - The Unfinished Swan (PS4) - A highly attractive game, but one that wasn't what I expected. I thought it'd be an austere, visually-coherent artsy affair, but it was another one of those twee, storybook-indie games with awful narration like Trine or Brothers or whatever. I don't understand who it's aimed at. Most kids will find the wandering around slow and boring, and adults will likely find the whole thing pretty simplistic. Eh.

10/05 - Alien Isolation (PS4) - It's so damn good. A perfect retro futuristic recreation of the original film, intense stealth mechanics and an epic journey. Rudi pretty much nailed it with his big post in the GOTY thread, so...errr, what he said.

09/05 - Hohokum (PS4) - My first PS4 game finished, if for no reason other than it was quick to download and pretty short. Enjoyed it, even though it has a complete lack of variety in its interactions. It has a tactile, sensory quality that makes it more like playing a picture book than anything. Lovely soundtrack, too.

01/05 - R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 (PS1/VitaTV) - This is about a million times better than most contemporary arcade racers if only for the soundtrack. The fact that you don't so much race as glide elegantly through the courses only makes it all the more special.

30/04 - Splinter Cell (PS3) - In terms of the actual stealthing it was probably the best of the generation, but that isn't saying too much, as it still relies way too much on flawless, easy to execute takedowns and other magic powers, It's the Ubisoft nonsense that hurts the game most, though. UI-mania, a million side missions and unlocks, obnoxious characters talking in a baffling military jargon that so many games seem to fetishise in their scripts these days. It's a tasteless contemporary action game gruel.

27/04 - God of War: Ascension (PS3) - Pretty much by-the-numbers God of War, but with some subtle changes that make QTEs and powers more enjoyable in use. There's some horribly embarrassing stuff around the portrayal of women and the tone continues to be very one note, but I found this a more satisfying playthrough than the last game.

24/04 - Gears of War: Judgement (360) - Makes some sensible changes to the controls and adds some nifty modifiers for those of us that have been playing Gears for years, but fails to wow in any real sense. Looks stunning at times but far too many levels take place in small indoor locations, the four players cramped together. The focus on Horde-esque waves in the campaign and move away from turret sequences of sheer spectacle and frustration is much appreciated, though. AI seemed much better than in 3, too.

21/04 - Need for Speed: Most Wanted (PS3) - It's so bloody good. Handling is pitched just right, the difficulty curve masterfully implemented and the races are not only fair and legible but also stupidly, chaotically thrilling (something that most arcade racers of the last few years have struggled to balance). The soundtrack is awful shite but there's a custom soundtrack option and the game isn't full of the kind of obnoxious lifestyle bro-dude shit that Forza Horizon suffers from, so it wins the open world arcade racer title for the last gen.

18/04 - Dead Space 3 (PS3) - A lavishly attractive but disappointing end to a series that started incredibly, diluted by the sad compromises that came with each iteration. Dead Space didn't need human enemies, co-op or weird on-rails Space Harrier flying sections, but to the detriment of what made the game special, it got them. There's still some of that tense, cosmic-industrial body horror in places (the ruined flotilla) but there are also near-endless waves of enemies that rush at you, flailing about, putting a stop to the dismemberment combat that set the series apart. Oh, and a potentially great crafting system made too finnicky and costly in a push to sell DLC, so that I made about four guns during my entire playthrough. The ending is laughable garbage, too, but it does look and sound absolutely marvellous in the main, so that's something.

14/04 - Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS3) - It's kinda hard to defend the decision to sell a vertical slice of an upcoming game for twenty quid, no matter how replayable it might be. This should've been the intro to The Phantom Pain. It is bloody great, though, and refines many of the things Metal Gear has attempted over the years, to the point that I'm worryingly excited about the main game. Eeeek.

09/04 - Motorstorm Apocalypse (PS3)- Fun things: Destruction-filled speedy arcade racers with lots of vehicles on the track of different shapes and sizes and wooshy weather effects. Fucking annoying things: Clipping some debris you couldn't reasonably be expected to avoid, crashing out, respawning right in front of a wall so that you crash out again, respawning, then having fourteen other drivers smash into you. There's a game almost as good as Split/Second in here but it's difficult to see it sometimes.

07/04 - Resistance 3 (PS3) - A patchwork of ideas from better games, with no deeper, core mechanic tying everything together. It's unmemorable to say the least. Story is corny and it seems a shame to go the post-WWII alien invasion route and then smear everything in brown, dim lighting, but whatever. It's also startlingly low-res, which isn't something I tend to notice too much. Guns are fun enough, though, and it's mindless in an enjoyably '90s kinda way.

06/04 - The Walking Dead Season 2 (PS3) - I get the feeling the writers settled on having Clem as the protagonist before really figuring out how it would work. Too often the adults around her are asking her to resolve problems that I find difficult to imagine a child understanding. It's kinda uncomfortable in places, like when she's blamed for someone's death unfairly. and not in a way that seems intentional. Episodes feel shorter and even less interactive than before, too.

02/04 - The Last of Us (PS3) - I've not really thought too much of Naughty Dogs games, generally, but found this frighteningly absorbing. It's not the deepest thing mechanically, but it is coherent and balanced in its combat in a way that makes every encounter thrilling. Everything to be said about characters and plot is said better elsewhere, but I'll say that the pacing of plot and the ebb and flow of suspense and relief was just about perfect. Probably my favourite third person action-adventure since Resi 4.

13/03 - Guardian Heroes (360) - It's still the greatest of its kind by a long way. Everything about it just has that Treasure magic, from music and animation to, well, everything. The remix mode makes some decent changes, though I couldn't bring myself to use the nasty sprite filter they included. Was lovely revisiting this, though.

12/03 - The Cave (360) - Nice enough adventure-puzzle-platforming thing. The actual puzzles are enjoyable in a simplistic way, and flirt with adventure game logic without too much of the illogical nonsense of old. It's very underwhelming in terms of presentation and writing, though, given the heritage.

10/03 - Catherine (360) - Captivating to the the extent that it surprised me. The narrowed scope on one guy's commitment anxiety and its crazed manifestations plays really well given the initially bizarre combo of chat and block puzzling. The only real criticisms I have are that it needed a better training mode to practice the 'techniques' and the controls can be pretty awkward. Really solid dub as well for the English version and it looks neatly stylish.

09/03 - Papo & Yo (PS3) - A game of measured, clear puzzles and platforming in an interesting little world. I'm always happy when developers play around with abstractions of the game space, so this kept me pretty happy throughout. The ending is a little over-egged but I appreciate the more personal nature of the story than what we usually get. Another little treat from PS+.

06/03 - Thief (PS3) - You can see that they wanted to take some of the template of Human Revolution and apply it to another old PC series, but it doesn't work here. There are neat little ideas and systems but they don't come together in a coherent whole. Though the stealth is often satisfying in a simplistic way, the actual thievery boils down to cupboard searching in most instances and the AI isn't much fun to play about with. There are also loads of naff horror-ish 'visions' as well, which are pretty much the lamest things in AAA games of late. That said, it looks pretty nice even on PS3, and they did a good job of making you feel like someone with a body, rather than just arms floating around in front of the camera.

03/03 - LittleBigPlanet 2 (PS3) - Played through the story mode and tried some of the more popular community levels. The story is more a demo of the potential of the level editor, though it's craftily inventive at times. The cumbersome control you have over Sackboy is still present, which is a shame, but it's an enjoyable, ambitious game.

02/03 - Here and There Along The Echo (PC) - A kind of radio play interlude to Kentucky Route Zero, featuring a phone that only dials one number. Gently, weirdly comic and enjoyable tactile to play around with. Will Oldham does the voice acting, which is just perfect, really.

02/03 - Killzone 3 (PS3) - The whole 'genocide LOL' thing is a bit weird and the Space Zyklon gun that makes people explode is never explained at all, but I enjoyed the story of this in a dumb, almost Warhammer 40k kinda way. Actual gunplay is still brutal, heavy and lacking in any kind of depth or finesse, but the game throws enough variety in the way to keep things interesting for a few hours. It does feel like Guerilla are coasting, though.

28/02 - Dead Island (360) - Couldn't bring myself to finish the last few quests, but I'm counting it anyway. Occasionally dreadful atmosphere (in a good way), a laudable variety of environments and meaty melee combat can't disguise the fact that the actual gameplay doesn't change at all throughout the game. There's no development and it lacks a compelling enough feedback loop or plot to pull me through. It's just hitting guys the same way until they fall over.

25/02 - The Wolf Among Us Season 1 (360) - Restarted the whole thing after pausing mid-season about a year ago. Really enjoyed it for what is was; a fun noir with a cute premise. Didn't reach the emotionally engaging heights of The Walking Dead but it did keep me pretty gripped throughout. Optimistic for the next season.

25/02 - SSX (360) - Not finished at all, as I couldn't be bothered to put more than a few hours in. Hated it. Try hard extreme-bro presentation, naff cutscenes and utterly charmless characters. Loathsome, wooly controls and difficult to read slopes that seem throw you off the side to your doom with little warning. Nothing of the joyful arcadey flow of the old games. Urgh.

23/02 - TxK (Vita) - Played sporadically over the last few months. It's lovely to behold and clearly well crafted, but just didn't hook me like I thought it would. Something missing, I guess.

23/02 - Tearaway (Vita) - Marvellous. Just relentlessly throws ideas in front of you, lets you mess around a bit and then moves onto the next lot. It's a perfect demonstration of what creative teams could be doing with the console given the chance. Presentation is sometimes a bit twee ukulele bollocks but never too irritating.

22/02 - Super Stardust Delta (Vita) - Ports the experience well to the handheld, though I had to avoid the touch and motion controls where possible (at least they included the option). Much the same as the PS3 version, really, but that's no bad thing.

20/02 - Luftrausers (Vita) - Thrilling, smart and sharp little blasts of aerial action, using a construction sets of pixel ship parts and a lovely sense of 2D flight. Totally thrilling when you scrape through an intense battle, taking out blimps and battleships in a arc of carnage.

18/02 - Surge Deluxe (Vita) - Tries to use the Vita well and is nicely presented, but this block puzzler completely fails to raise the intensity or the pulse. It's boring more than anything, sadly.

16/02 - Woah Dave (Vita) - Dull, below par Super Crate Box kinda thing that held my attention for less than an hour. Finished as I've seen everything it can do.

16/02 - Wipeout 2048 (Vita) - Mind-bogglingly beautiful, refined future racing with a sensible structure for the handheld. I played this for about ten hours straight on a sleeper train/plane combo across China. If it's the last Wipeout it'll be a fitting farewell.

14/02 - DmC: Vergil's Downfall - Kinda rote DLC, really. Cheap looking animated cut scenes and a naff script don't help, and there's little new added at all. Disappointing.

13/02 - Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet - Fun little twin-stick, kinda light Metroidvania thing that I found surprisingly atmospheric. Really nice sound design throughout. Communicates everything wordlessly yet clearly and when it runs out of ideas it ends neatly.

12/02 - Dragon's Dogma (PS3) - Bombed fifty hours into this in ten days, which is unheard of for me these days. Adored it. There are minor annoyances, but the adventuring and combat is so damn thrilling throughout. Some will find it bland but I found the art style and world to be of a kinda fundamental fantasy that I find appealing in its simplicity.

02/02 - Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episodes 1 & 2 (PS3) - The first episode was too predictable and similar to the main games to be of much note, but I enjoyed the second's foray into stealth, something which Infinite-proper had flirted with briefly and abandoned. Story-wise it seemed too desperate to tie up the loose ends in a Lucas-prequel kinda way, but nothing that caused any major damage in my opinion.

22/01 - DmC: Devil May Cry (PS3) - A divisive game, but one that I felt elegantly adapted the combat and controls of previous games, layered on some genuinely arresting visuals and a plot that was silly in a way that remained interesting. Probably too easy on the default setting but I really, really enjoyed this.

20/01 - Saints Row IV (360) - Hated the opening few hours of this, due mostly to the weak training exercises disguised as missions that have you backtracking repeatedly. It's clearly padded-out DLC throughout, but there's enough of the Prototype-ish chaos to entertain in the most part, and the main quest missions are consistently fun.

15/01 - Crysis 3 (PS3) - Played the second, more linear, game a while back. This one attempts to be a bit more open and succeeds in places, but really funnels you through others. Plot and some of the later environments are hackneyed nonsense, but the bow is fun.

13/01 - Crysis (360) - Lovely open environments in which to piss about, with a thin enough story to keep things ticking along without being a nuisance and a solid set of skills and weapons. Good stuff. Enemies are hawk-eyed little shits, though, able to spot you from a mile off.

2014

Spoiler

October 24th: Borderlands 2 (360) - Really loved this, even playing it solo throughout. I found the original a little undercooked, a little repetitive, but this one just kept throwing fun in front of the player constantly. Some of the quests are blatant padding, the vehicle handling is pretty horrible and once again I could do without the nerdy 'reference' humour, but generally found this really compelling.

October 10th: Heavy Rain (PS3) - I actually really enjoyed the first half of Beyond: Two Souls until it flew off the rails. This one goes the opposite way and does its best to recover from an abysmal, embarassing opening. I can see what this was trying to do and I'm actually quite keen to see how these narrative experience evolve, but I found most of this poorly written, directed and generally quite boring.

October 3rd: Joe Danger (Vita) - Has a nice, tactile, compulsive feel to it. Shame it only really presents a challenge when going for the pro medals. Individual standard medal challenges just feel like going through the motions, and the scoring system feels too easy to exploit.

September 30th: Frobisher Says (Vita) - Been dabbling with this and the DLC since getting a Vita and it's fun enough for what it is. Basic Warioware-style micro-games that use the Vita's various functions.

September 28th: Resident Evil 6 (PS3) - An absolute mess of a game, but I still managed to get through every campaign. Not sure why, really, other than that I used to adore Resident Evil games. So many poorly implemented and pointless excursions into QTE setpiece nonsense. Capcom need to take a long hard look at what made this series enjoyable, because they've lost their way. Reminds me of Lost Planet 2's bloat and general inability to excecute its ideas in anything other than a frustrating, awkward fashion.

September 24th: Puppeteer (PS3) Reminded me a lot of Dynamite Headdy. A solid, enjoyable and lovingly presented game. It's well behind recent Rayman games and Nintendo's stuff in terms of pure platforming, but all the mechanics tie together pretty well. Shame the head-swapping gimmick is really superficial.

September 24th: Proteus (PS3) - Was wandering around, finding this nice enough but a bit underwhelming and then it suddenly started to give me the damn shivers. Weirdly atmospheric in a way that's hard to describe, so I won't.

September 21st: Grand Theft Auto V (PS3) - Nothing to say that hasn't beeen said a million times. It's the sheer detail and cratmanship of it that impresses, really. It's still struggling with the controls and I wish you could grab people/objects and have more physical interactions with the world, but it never felt truly lacking. Worth the money just for the radio stations, if you ask me. Online refuses to work here in China, unlike most PSN stuff, which is a shame.

August 1st: God of War III (PS3) - Aside from a few spectacular, stand-out boss fights, this may as well have been PS2 game. The combat is functional but dated, the graphics are nice but feel very much like looking at an elaborate diorama, and there's a frustrating amount of padding. Maybe I'll prefer Ascension.

July 27th: Killzone 2 (PS3) - Paint-by-numbers FPS. Looks impressive for a game that's about six years old now, but does absolutely nothing interesting. Shooting is solid enough, AI is fine, but it's bafflingly mediocre for a big budget first party title. Why is the level design so pedestrian? Why is the player character so short? Why would anyone care about this game?

July 22nd: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3) - Found the first few hours of this really weak. Treacle-paced and fragmented, with loads of weak puzzles and tepid action sequences. If this series is going to be a linear spectacle it may as well do it with some gusto, which thankfully it starts to do in the latter half. The things I disliked in the first two games are all there, though. Armoured-up bullet sponges, poorly designed arenas, wooly aiming, auto climbing. The fact that Naughty Dog persist with the whole running-into-the-camera nonsense is fucking ridiculous, too. It's all nicely presented, though, I'll give it that.

July 15th: Alan Wake's American Nightmare (360) - It's not bad, but the story mode felt a bit lifeless and lacking in challenge. The excuse for tracking through the same environments three times felt flimsy and clichéd, and it failed to evoke the creepiness of Wake's main game. Arcade action mode seems fine but having to unlock weapons through the campaign collectathon turned me off.

July 11th: Motorstorm RC (Vita) - Furiously addictive little game. Wish it didn't dangle DLC stuff in your face all the time but it's no biggie. Rinsed through the main game and will eventually get around to doing everything, but I'm done for now.

July 3rd: LocoRoco (PSP) - A few hours of squishy-squashy joy. I have no problem with games that are tactile audio-visual delights more than they are mechanically deep. The flaws are there in the controls, which I found myself fighting during the more fiddly platforming sections, and the idea of replaying every level over and over to collect everything fills me with dread, but as a one-shot playthrough it was a lovely.

June 30th: Muramasa Rebirth (Vita) - Beautiful-looking and frequently thrilling game with solid combat mechanics. The story is weak but the translators have done their best with what was given to them, with some genuinely surprising and funny lines.

June 26th: Sound Shapes (Vita) - Found it a bit of a disappointment, really, but that might be my own fault. I thought the music would respond to the way I played, but really it's just triggering stuff in a linear way. That's fine but not terribly exciting. It does look and sound bloody lovely, though. The Jim Guthrie/Superbrothers levels are particularly wonderful. Level editor seems pretty decent and the community have made some nice stuff, I just don't have time for all that is all.

June 21st: Pixeljunk Shoter Ultimate (Vita) - A well-balanced, varied game that surprised me with how many little ideas it had. The fluid physics are impressive, while the visuals are simple but appealing and very readable. The only major issue was that sometimes an enemy would fly into me from the side of the screen with no warning, just as I was about to finish a level. Great game, though.

June 15th: Gravity Rush (Vita) - A beautiful little gem of a game. It doesn't do anything outrageously new, nor does it do everything perfectly, but it's one of the few open world-ish games in recent years that's captivated me enough to finish all the side quests. I dunno how long I spent just shifting around the city, freefalling and catching myself at the last minute. It's so relaxing. Made with love, this one.

June 14th: Hotline Miami (Vita) - Played this ages ago on my laptop, but it buggy as fuck. This was much better, and surprisngly well suited to the Vita's controls. It's just ridiculously satisying kicking down doors and fucking up everyone's day, and in such a perfectly gross, bleary, nauseating world.

May 24th: Prototype 2 (360) - The pinnacle of the smash-the-crap-out-of-everything open world games, at least as far as I've played. Takes the template of the first, fixes some of the frustrations like being attacked from off screen all the time and lets you run riot. Story is bobbins but it rattles along at a fair clip so it hardly matters. Surprisingly good looking, too.

May 20th: Asura's Wrath (360) - QTEs annoy the shit out of me when they're thrown into the likes of Halo 4 for no particular reason, but often find myself letting it go if the game is built around them. I had a lot of time for From Software's Ninja Blade and this isn't too dissimilar, really. Basic action game scrapping, big QTEs and dumb set pieces. It's a flawed curio for sure, but there's something hilarious about millions being spent on this barely interactive vanity project in which a a man has a hissy fit every three minutes and punches everything to bits.

May 19th: Rock of Ages (360) - A decent game, but one that needed a bit more work to really make the most of the concept. I always felt too rushed to strategise in any meaningful way between rounds, so I'd end up randomly chucking towers around so I could get the next boulder rolling. Still, it's unique in its presentation and I had a few hours of fun with it. Not too shabby at all.

May 10th: Kentucky Route Zero: Act III (PC) - It's just so eerily evocative of... something. One of the few games with a genuine sense of mystery to it. All you really do is colour the story as you go through, but it's so confident in taking its time, letting you bathe in its oddness, that it doesn't matter. There's one scene in this act that is among the best I've ever experienced. Lovely.

May 8th: Syndicate (PS3) - Nowt much to do with the old games, but that doesn't bother me much. Seems like they just tacked the name on to a typical Starbreeze shooter about half way through development or something. It has that really physical brutality that they're so good at, and using the active reload mechanic from Gears as an attack is pretty neat, but it's otherwise really forgettable. Oh, and the bloom is bloody ridiculous.

May 6th: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3) - So much better than the first game it's unreal. Everything polished until it gleams, few bullshit instadeaths out of nowhere and some damn fine set-pieces. It's such a shame I find Drake one of the most repellent characters ever created, as the game seems to think he's charming or something.

May 4th: Rayman Legends (PS3) - Absolutely bloody pristine platforming. The only one in recent years that's come even close to Nintendo's best. Such a shame this seems to have sold fuck all, because it feels so well crafted.

April 29th: Saints Row: The Third (PS3) - Steamed through the story missions, couldn't be arsed with the filler. This is true of most open world games for me, these days, so it's no big deal. Though much of the zany American humour fell flat for me, I bloody loved the main missions and found the game full of so many satisfying little moments, like jumping straight off the side of the penthouse, parachuting at the last second and then bombing through the windscreen to pinch a car. Feels good, man.

April 24th: Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3) - It's a bit of a mess, there are too many cut-scenes, too many turret sections, the bosses aren't as good as they should be and it all feels a little bit archaic BUT... I bloody love Metal Gear games.. I like tinkering with them, finding the little quirks they've included if you play around with the items and enemies. I'd take a lesser Kojima Metal Gear over your standard action fodder any day. It's really no Snake Eater, though.

April 21st: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3) - Pretty much hated the first half of this. Stiff, dull combat with the occasional bit of automatic jumping, interrupted only by something popping up and killing me out of nowhere or Drake completely failing to do what I asked. The plots not even very good, really, and I was lead to believe was quite well done. Picks up the pace a bit in the latter half but even then it felt a bit shonky. Everyone says the sequels are better though. We'll see.

March 27th: Noby Noby Boy (PS3) - Daft little toy thing, but I found myself messing around with it for way longer than expected. Rough around the edges but really charming and amusing at times. Controls are mental, though.

March 27th: Guacamelee (PS3) - Really nicely drawn and concise Metroidvania with nifty combat. Didn't really notice the difficulty spikes I'd read about, just had to watch the attack patterns of some of the later bosses. Could've done without the naff memes and games references scattered about, but you can't have everything I suppose. I had a really enjoyable couple of evenings with this.

March 25th: Flower (PS3) - Looks like a fabric softener advert and the music is occasionally a bit 'early-90s motivational video', so why is this so bloody lovely? I dunno, but it is. Relaxing in a way that games so rarely attempt, let alone achieve. Kinda wish it wouldn't grab the camera to show something happening when you're mid-'flow', but it's no biggie.

March 24th: Flow (PS3) - A pretty mesmerising experience while it lasted, and I'm glad they were smart enough not to drag it out longer than the concept deserved. Enjoyed one of the later creature that had me dashing around, gorging on other creatures in a ravenous blood-lust.

March 24th: Rain (PS3) - A simple, slight but very charming little game in which you find yourself visible only under rainfall whilst evading a seemingly immortal monster. There's nothing mechanically original about it, and the presentation is a little cloying at times, but it all hangs together very well. Reminded me of Clock Tower for some reason.

March 21st: Killer is Dead (PS3) - By the numbers Grasshopper, really, which is bit of a disappointment as I usually love their games. The combat is simple yet satisfying, but it lacks the madcap daftness of Lollipop Chainsaw and Shadows of the Damned for which I forgave those games their flaws. Here, it's disjointed action vignettes punctuated by self-consciously zany cut-scenes, when really I yearned for Killer7's pervasive weirdness. Gigolo missions seem more like clumsily executed Bond parody than works of outright misogyny they've been reported as, but are still boring and unnecessary. Bosses were mad fun, though.

March 17th: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut (PS3) - An enjoyable game. Nice to play something that lets you play at your own pace, even if it does feel like you're faffing about when the narrative is telling you to hurry the fuck up. Mass Effect has the same problem, though. Good things: Enjoyable stealth, interesting upgrades, decent dialogue, looks pretty nice. Bad things: Bosses are shit, ropey cut-scenes, repetitive hacking and locations, meandering plot. A solid foundation for a follow up, I reckon.

March 10th: Tomb Raider (PS3) - Does so many things well yet disappoints equally. There's a better, more open and more ambitious game in there, somewhere. The entire hunting/camping/crafting side of things has little to no underlying systems yet feel like they should, while the traversal is slick but streamlined to the point of being inconsequential. Combat is satisfying due to the auto-cover and the wonderful bow and shotgun, but the arc of 'traumatised by first self-defence kill' to 'wiped out about a thousand guys because survival' feels really weird and gross. Could've done with cutting out about half of the enemies and going for more abandoned spaces. Still, the animation is lovely, I found the plot engagingly silly for most of it and the soundtrack is some primitive Einsturzende Neubauten industrial thing in places. Highs and lows.

March 5th: LittleBigPlanet Karting (PS3) - An under-appreciated game, I feel. It loses some of ModNation's more unique approach to kart racing but gains the vastly more appealing world and powerful creation tools of LBP. A fair trade, I reckon. Inherits some of LBP's woolliness in the controller response, which is a shame, but the story mode was pretty enjoyable throughout. Some really neat community levels to mess around in, too.

March 3rd: Journey (PS3) - ...aaaand from the ridiculous to the utterly sublime. A stunning work, it really is. Visually it's along the lines of Gwen, ou le Livre de Sable or some of Moebius' desert vistas, which would probably be enough for me. The fact that it's also a brilliant, brilliant game is the most wonderful bonus. The feeling of companionship you have with other players is genuine but also really difficult to explain, as is the rather odd sensation of loss when you lose someone. I won't go into more detail for fear of spoiling it, but it's one of the only games that I would consider perfect.

March 3rd: Beyond: Two Souls (PS3) - I don't really mind these narrative experiences and I thought the initial third of the game was pretty great, to be honest. Genuinely enjoyed some of the sequences in which you're on the run. Then it flies off the rails and never recovers, mostly through bad writing, but the gameplay, as flimsy as it is to begin with, never really evolves at all. Oh, and they do that thing where they put a bunch of racial caricatures in a game and then invent a country in an attempt to make it all okay. Fuck off.

Feb 28th: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PS3) - Favourite thing I've played all year, this. Played Normal Ironman a found it just wonderfully absorbing and utterly gutting when you'd lose a long-serving squad member. A few technical problems with the camera but nothing too distracting. Heading back in soon for another run...

Feb 21st: FTL (PC) - Put about ten hours in and probably done with this. Utterly and completely absorbing while its charms lasted, but the randomness of it just wore me out after a while. Nothing wrong with it, as the brutality is the nature of the thing, but I just don't have the will continue.

Feb 21st: The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 (360) - A bit flat and lifeless, this episode. Minimal interaction even by Telltale standards and few decisions seems to be of real consequence. Hopefully it picks up again. Still bloody love the score.

Feb 15th: Bioshock Infinite (PS3) - I loved it. It would've been nice to have a few more open arenas and a little more response from the enemies when you hit them, but I don't get the harsh criticisms of the combat. Swinging around on the skyrails was endless fun, bounding off and chucking some vigors all over the shop I found some of the old ultra-violence a bit off, but it's a small matter. More than anything I admire its ambition, and Levine done good in my book.

Feb 11th: Metro: Last Light (PS3) - I absolutely loved this, if for nothing other than the atmosphere and sense of place. I do have a weakness for grim Russian apocalypses and atomic mysticism, though. There are faults, like the overpowered stealth, linearity and abundance of supplies, but it all came together well. Would appreciate more freedom to wander the surface in a follow-up. Here's hoping.

Feb 8th: Remember Me (PS3) - A game of linear traversal and simple, satisfying combat. Punctuated nicely by the memory remixes, which were interesting even though they failed to live up to their potential. Other than that, I enjoyed the story, found it looked spectacular throughout and thought it had some neat ideas (like the customisable combo strings).

Jan 29th: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (360) - The story was jingoistic rambling nonsense, and half the game felt like a tutorial for multiplayer or something, but it perked up once it let you have some freedom. Nice to see a game that accommodates different strategies, if only in certain sections.

Jan 27th: Shoot Many Robots (360) - Abandoning this but I kinda consider it finished as I've almost certainly seen everything it has to offer. Generic 2D run-and-gunner with an admirable number of levels and upgrades but a woeful lack of variety throughout. Boring.

Jan 27th: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (360) - A somewhat confused but heartfelt 80s pastiche. I reckon I'd have preferred it if they'd played it straight, to be honest. Could've done without the lazy internet meme humour, too. Enjoyed the boosted pace and lack of fall damage but wish they hadn't walled-off the bases as it seemed to limit the ways in which you could approach them. Feels like an idea that could be better fleshed out with a sequel, though.

Jan 27th: You Will Die Alone At Sea (PC) - Spend a minute floating in a red wireframe ocean, doing nowt. I have a fair tolerance for pointless indie curios but this does nothing and says nothing. At least has the decency to so succinctly.

Jan 25th: The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1 (360) - An intriguing story, remarkably well executed visually, with a neatly understated synth-pulse of a score. I was bound to like this. I see the recent Telltale games more like choose-your-own-adventure books than the point-and-clicks of the past, and enjoy them on those terms. Besides, I always hated the obtuse puzzles of most adventure games so I'm glad those are out.

Jan 24th: Spec Ops: The Line (360) - By-the-numbers gameplay that disguises (or allows for) a surprisingly subversive take on the strange appeal that video game conflict has to so many. Or at least, that's how I read it. The execution is a little uneven but it's encouraging to see a big budget title try to tackle these things.

Jan 18th: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate HD (360) - Not a bad take on the 2D Castlevania formula. Having three playable characters might have been more interesting if they'd had significantly different weapons and move sets, and I wish they'd gone with the art style in the cut-scenes, but the combat was pretty decent. Story is too boring to mention in any detail.

Jan 14th: Deadlight (360) - This has possibly the worst writing and voice acting I've encountered in a long, long while, along with too much trial-and-error bullshit and inexplicably unresponsive controls. The last one isn't too much of an issue when the game lets you move around at your own pace, but once it starts expecting you to perform flawlessly at speed the game falls apart. A shame because there's a decent contemporary Flashback-style platformer in there, somewhere.

Jan 14th: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (360) - Curious little game with some neat, simplistic ideas coming and going before outstaying their welcome. Wasn't convinced the storytelling was much more than a generic mishmash of over-familiar fairy tales, but it was enjoyable enough.

Jan 13th: Halo 4 (360) - Really, really enjoyed this, but I always enjoy Halo. Nothing drastically different and sometimes there's nothing wrong with that. I had certain problems with the Prometheans, as I always seemed to end up fighting them in much the same way, but nothing that can't be ironed out in the next one.

Jan 6th: Outland (360) - Love the animation and fluidity of movement in general. Probably could've done with a heavier emphasis on the Metroidvania side of things and I almost lost patience with the final boss, but a solid, enjoyable game.

Jan 4th: A Dark Room (Browser) - Finished in the sense that I got bored of waiting for something interesting to happen. Not even sure if there is an ending. I'm not averse to text-based games but there are better uses of my time than watching numbers go up, waiting for a smidgen of revealing information somewhere down the line.

Jan 3rd: Night Rider Turbo (Browser) - Basically EnviroBear 2000: Operation Hibernation with an 80s vibe. Pretty funny for a few minutes.

Jan 2nd: Peggle Nights (360) - It's more Peggle. Nowt more to add, really.

Jan 2nd: I Am Alive (360) - It tried hard, but ended up being a pretty hollow experience. Archaic in most areas and the combat never really lived up to its potential. I liked that climbing actually a required a bit of thought and effort, though.

Jan 1st: Dishonored (360) - Beautiful, fascinating and a bit flawed. Felt it gave you a vast arsenal of stuff for a chaotic play-through but was lacking interesting stealth options. Probably still one of my most enjoyed games of recent years.

2013

Spoiler

Scribblenauts Unlimited (PC)

Red Steel 2 (Wii)

Disaster: Day of Crisis (Wii)

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

DLC Quest (PC)

DLC Quest: Live Freemium or Die (PC)

Company of Heroes (PC)

Trine 2 (360)

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (360)

Sleeping Dogs (360)

Far Cry 3 (360)

Kentucky Route Zero Act 1 (PC)

Kentucky Route Zero Act 2 (PC)

Limits and Demonstrations (PC)

The Entertainment (PC)

Dear Esther (PC)

Bastion (PC)

Botanicula (PC)

Drill Dozer (GBA)

Capsized (PC)

Half Life 2 (PC)

Half Life 2: Episode 1 (PC)

Half Life 2: Episode 2 (PC)

Half Life 2: Lost Coast (PC)

Hotline Miami (PC)

Kairo (PC)

Little Inferno (PC)

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (PC)

The Walking Dead: Episodes 1-5 (PC)

 

 

 

 

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02/01/2017 - Hard Reset (PC)

 

I bought this cheap a while back but didn't really read into it much, but it's a fairly old school FPS - give you a selection of weapons, chuck plenty of enemies at you and press the odd switch here and there. I'm not really a fan of that - I always prefer a narrative-led experience - so I completed the original campaign but I got halfway through the DLC bonus levels and decided I'd wasted enough of my time on something I wasn't enjoying. This is therefore another that I'm considering complete. Currently standing at 0/2 of enjoyable experiences this year!

 

Previously completed

Spoiler

01/01/2017 - ComixPlay #1: The Endless Incident (PC)

 

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Just finished Last Guardian (literally about 10 minutes ago), perfectly timed before returning to work after a two week break. 

 

I'd put it down as a flawed masterpiece. Its undoubtedly a stunning achievement and a masterclass in level design / storytelling. However the camera and controls were a definite issue, often detracting from pivotal moments & setpieces. Whilst it definitely deserves its place up there alongside ICO and SotC, for me it doesn't quite hit the GOTY mark that so many others have awarded it.

Trico is definitely up there with BT (from Titanfall 2) as the years best AI buddy though ;)

 

Ending pic



15822982_10154064255471857_8628562174379456362_n.jpg

 

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JAN:-

 

Red Dead Redemption - 360

Life is Strange - X1

Doom - X1

Sleeping Dogs : Definitive Edition - X1

Guardian Heroes - Saturn

 

FEB:-

 

Tomb Raider : Definitive Ed - X1

I am Setsuna - Vita ( Fan Translation )

Saints Row IV - 360

Sunset Riders - SNES

 

MAR:-

 

Catherine - 360

 

April :-

 

LoZ : BotW - Switch ( well, when I say finished.... I mean I beat the end boss :P )

Bomberman R - Switch

 

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January

 

Superhot VR - Excellent game and VR experience, will definitely play more of this. Side note: Rift now sold as wasn't getting a great deal of use and I will wait for the second generation of headsets before I dip back in to VR.

 

Firewatch - Late to the party on this one.  My first 'walking simulator' and I found it engaging for the 3 hours or so that it lasted.  Completed in 2 sittings, 1 of 2 hours and another of 1 hour.  I won't race to play other games in this genre for a while but can't say I disliked my time with the game.   

 

March / April

 

Zelda BOTW. Amazing game. 

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January 2017:

 

Zelda: Wind Waker HD- Only the second time playing through Wind Waker since it's initial release on Gamecube. Enjoyed it both times but slightly more this time as it was made slightly less tedious this time round with the changes made to "that quest." The HD version also looks great!

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@Nequests Hokra is brilliant. You should have a look at Videoball if you haven't already!

 

I finished one this year already!

 

The Last Guardian - 4th January

I was worried the framerate and camera control would bother me (that and having found Ico to be quite boring) but they didn't; it was a beautiful game. I still had all the issues of the big buddy not doing what I was trying to ask, or stomping all over my body, but the positives outweighed those frustrations for me. Very much enjoyed it.

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3 hours ago, joffocakes said:

@Nequests Hokra is brilliant. You should have a look at Videoball if you haven't already!

 

Really? We played it for about ten minutes but were completely bored by it. Will give Videoball a look, though!

 

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Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter

 

No game has managed to capture the synaptic pulses and clicks of deduction as well as this. Where typically the protagonist knows the answer and you’re just unlocking the gates on that reasoned path, here you decide which signposts to follow. You can end one case within a third of its given time by jumping to conclusions.

 

Holmes wants an early night.

 

This makes it such a pity that the logic is frequently muddied with derring-do: stealth, crates, and the worst excesses of ancient temple design. Broken Sword died for these sins.

 

At least you get to control a dog.

 

**

 

 

Previously

Gal*Gun: Double Peace - ***

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Starting the list this year.

 

January

AC Syndicate - I have been playing this for a long time. Probably started in early 2016. The game is way too long. Absurdly long. Stupid fucking mess long. Gets boring and repetitive and has a few missions that literally make no sense and have you scratching your head as to how they ended up on the final cut. One remarkable example involved driving (yes carriage driving) members of parliament back and forth while listening to nonsensical exposition about the independence of India which is btw completely unrelated to anything which is taking place in the game. There is also ballroom dancing and  meeting the queen at the 11th hour for no reason. The game looks beautiful and plays well but it is literally full of chores and padding that massively detract from the experience. It left me really sour on the experience. I had to drag myself to finish it only because I refused to give up on it 90% of the way there. Also ends with a boss battle of all things. Amazed that this is actually the good one compared to the Paris one. Now off to watch the movie. 

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Jan 4 - Bloodborne (PS4)

 

Had this since launch, only started playing it last month. Staggeringly great game, and retroactively the best thing released in 2015.

 

The game gives no fucks about you, and will kill you over and over again, and make you get good. It has a fantastic world, but you'll work to find out exactly what's going on.

 

..I'm going to have nightmares about the Brain of Mensis for like, a month.

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Ooh might join in on this, got so much on the go from way back when I'd like a little record of what I manage to clear up. That and I've flipped on videogames at the moment. So many shiny new experiences to catch up with. Plenty of unfinished stuff on my older machines though.

 

The Last of Us on PS3. What an incredible game and it only took four and a half years for me to complete (most in the last few weeks tbh) Just starting the DLC Left Behind.

MGS 4 on PS3. I thought I'd finished this just before xmas but I hadn't. I have now.

 

Looking like MGR:R, Mass Effect 3 and the new Doom will be my next conquests this year. Close to the end on all of them but Dark Souls 2 and Fallout 4 are pulling on my time atm.

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Second game finished:

 

Went back and picked up Uncharted 4 again after a few months break. Got to chapter 18 on my original playthrough but got burnt out by the bloated nature of the game. The game would have definitely benefited from being a few chapters shorter. Thankfully the break did me good and found myself really enjoying the final few chapters. The playthrough was made worthwhile though just for the epilogue. Having completed all of the previous games in the series I thought it brought the whole franchise to a suitable conclusion.

The other big plus for me has been the photomode. Have thoroughly enjoyed documenting the entire journey from start to finish. Its inclusion also makes perfect sense in such a stupidly pretty game.

 

Epilogue / Ending photo spoiler

  



31992105611_68d8ff9c9d_o.png

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Finished off Uncharted: Golden Abyss on Vita which was fun enough for me to get the platinum. Just borrowed the collection and 4 from a friend so they'll be up soon once I've cleared some space on the HD.

 

God of War HD: Vita again, and another platinum. Seem to have got in the mood for grinding the trophies out whilst watching TV with the wife. Finished it on lunchbreaks back in the Gamestation days but was good to revisit it.

 

Cursed Castilla: PS4 Great Ghouls n Ghosts tribute with a side order of Spanish folklore. Surprised myself by finally finishing with the proper ending but don't think I'll ever make the continue based endings.

 

Currently working on: God of War II (Vita), Everyone's Gone to the Rapture (PS4), Ratchet and Clank (PS4)

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Right going to make the effort to actually keep this updated this year.

 

So without further ado

 

06/01/17

 

Halo 2 (anniversary) - Xbox One

 

So guilty secret time, I've never really played the Halo series.  Yes I did have the original on the first Xbrick and I played it a few hours ) up to Truth and Reconciliation I think) and yes I played a little of this in couch multiplayer many years ago (with Gmass off this very forum) but for some reason or other I never really bothered with the campaigns of this most beloved series.  I think it was the vehicle controls - I really couldn't drive a Banshee for toffee and it drove me crazy - and I never quite saw the appeal.  I dunno.  I completed and enjoyed Perfect Dark Zero at 360 launch but I never even booted up Halo 3.  My taste in games at that time was perhaps iffy.

 

So anyway fast forward about 10 years and the Bone is in my living room and the Master Chief collection was about £4 digital from CD Keys - well couldn't be avoided could it?  Had to give them another try.

 

So started up Halo:CE a little before Xmas and jeez - what was I thinking all that time ago - its a little ropy around the edges (still hate the vehicle controls and where's my sprint button, and my zoom?) but Christ it has its epic moments.

 

So on completion I immediately dived into this and what a first impression it makes.  Unlike CE this feels more like a modern game - your shield recharges at a normal rate, controls are more fluid, you don't jump like a stunted dwarf.  And what a opening trilogy of levels - that sequence where you drive the tank over the bridge, or jump onto the huge walker thing and hijack it - and they fixed the vehicle controls a bit too.

 

And then we get to the bit where the wheels fall off a bit - I didn't immediately hate the Arbiter - its a good plot device and he basically controls the same as the Chief with added stealth abilities but the Covenant's weapon selection are a bit well subdued compared to the human ones (SMG > Plasma rifles and where's my shotgun?) and the level design seems to dip.  And it carries on in that vein.  After that well it builds and then drops and keeps repeating.  The cutscenes are nice but some of the difficulty spikes feel a bit silly, ending up a bit trial and error in progress and the level progressions don't exactly flow - each one just seems to suddenly stop.  And then that ending is a bit of an anti climax - I don't think I even killed Taurantas - I was out of ammo desperately looking for a gun and then the final cut scene cut in and its all to be continued...

 

Overall I can see why there was a slight air of disappointment on release, despite fixing many of the mechanics of the game the design is just no where near as refined and the plot goes from nice and simple to wtf is going on within the opening couple of hours and it really misses the human weapons from midway onwards. I did enjoy it but I'm not diving straight into Halo 3 just yet (Xmas holiday ambition to finish the entire numbered series is a little on hold right now).  

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So it begins after a poor 2016...

 

01. The Cave (Xbox 360) Playthrough with the Twins, Knight & Scientist

I don't think I'll play this through with the other characters as the backtracking is an utter pain. Had it's moments. 

 

02. Battlefield Bad Company 2 (Xbox 360)

Pew pew! Decent campaign. Started on 360, finished on Xbox One BC. Great game. 

 

03. The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1 (Xbox One)

Nice story though seems a little slower-paced than other TT games I've played. The engine struggles worse than other games too, making QTE sections a slideshow. Other than that, it's fairly enjoyable so far, though I make a terrible detective. 

 

04. Phoenix Wright: Spirit of Justice - Case #2: The Magical Turnabout (3DS)

Bonkers. Loved it. On to case #3

 

05. Phoenix Wright: Spirit of Justice - Case #3: The Rite of Turnabout (3DS)

This chapter seemed overly long TBH. On to case #4

 

06. PW: SoJ - Case #4 The Storyteller's Turnabout (3DS)

What the hell? Prosecutor Sahdmadhi is the worst. What a tedious and stupid, smug prick he is. Not enjoying this anywhere near as much as Dual Destinies.  

 

07. PW: SoJ - Case #5 The Whatever the Hell It's Called (3DS)

Christ. Contrived for the sake of it and overly long. It finished well, but fuck me if it wasn't a tedious slog at times. So glad it's over. I much preferred the light-hearted and slightly less mental approach of Dual Destinies if I'm honest.

 

08. Bye-Bye BoxBoy! (3DS)

Really great end to the trilogy and the strongest of the three. Thoroughly recommended.

 

09. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)

Undoubtedly the best open world game I've ever played. 110 hours in and I still keep finding new places and things to do. Still have 20 more shrines to find, too.

 

10. Snipperclips (Switch)

An absolutely brilliant game. I had so much fun playing this in co-op with my brother and all Switch owners should buy it. 

 

11. Bulb Boy (Switch)

Really charming, if short, point-and-click adventure with some light platforming elements and twisted humour. I really enjoyed this and recommend it highly.

 

12. Mr Shifty (Switch)

Played it post-patch so no slideshow. Had it's tricky moments and I had a crash on the last checkpoint of the penultimate level, but that aside, it is a fun game. Maybe a bit pricey at £13.50, so I'd wait for a sale. Took me 3 hours total and I'm crap at games. 

 

12. Mighty Gunvolt Burst (Switch)

Gunvolt play through. I was a bit meh about this at the start, but as unlock CP to spend on points and abilities, the game really starts to open up. Looking forward to my next runs with the other characters.

 

13. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Switch)

This started out so well and then fizzled our in World 4. Really great take on turn-based battle, so hoping it’ll inspire some faster-paced strategy games from other developers. 

 

14. Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)

A fun return to form for Metroid – really impressed by the visuals and the core gameplay. Some brutal boss fights which at first seems unfair, but were just me being shit and old. Recommended.

 

15. Game of Thrones, Epsiode 2 (PS4)

The Telltale engine is bad, but this is just awful isn’t it. Really plodding script and not much like an episode of GoT at all. Is it worth playing the next four chapters?

 

16. Mario Odyssey [Main Story] (Switch)

Well, this is just pure magic.

 

17. Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 (X1)

The best Telltale game I’ve played so far. Very good script and direction. 

 

 

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Penny Arcade: On the Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness - Episode 4 (PC)

I can't say the Penny Arcade comic ever did much for me*. The game series, on the other hand, I did like. It takes the characters of the comic, Gabe and Tycho, and places them in an RPG of, I guess you could say, crude whimsy featuring nothing more than the end of the world. If you don't recall, Episode 3 changed developer after the original one abandoned the project, leading a complete change of style from 3D polygonal western RPG to 16-bit JRPG homage. It was a wise change, bolstered with a well-made turn-based combat system. Four refines this, while also changes some things around to make sure it's not quite a retread of the previous one. The story could have done with a little bit more refinement to smooth out some plot confusion, but a good series to play through overall.

 

I'm currently going back to the developer, Zeboy's first game, Breath of Death VII, which is also turning out to be pretty good so far.

 

* The new art-style makes me like it even less.

 

The Shivah (PC)

An adventure game where you play a rabbi investigating a murder. My first experience of a Wadjet Eye adventure, but I definitely want to play more.

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On 04/01/2017 at 11:45, Oz said:

Starting the list this year.

 

January

AC Syndicate - I have been playing this for a long time. Probably started in early 2016. The game is way too long. Absurdly long. Stupid fucking mess long. Gets boring and repetitive and has a few missions that literally make no sense and have you scratching your head as to how they ended up on the final cut. One remarkable example involved driving (yes carriage driving) members of parliament back and forth while listening to nonsensical exposition about the independence of India which is btw completely unrelated to anything which is taking place in the game. There is also ballroom dancing and  meeting the queen at the 11th hour for no reason. The game looks beautiful and plays well but it is literally full of chores and padding that massively detract from the experience. It left me really sour on the experience. I had to drag myself to finish it only because I refused to give up on it 90% of the way there. Also ends with a boss battle of all things. Amazed that this is actually the good one compared to the Paris one. Now off to watch the movie. 

Infamous last light done now. Working on watchdogs which drags on a bit in the end.

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Jan

  • Lords of the Fallen (2014) PS4 - 8th Jan

This was the first PS4 game I played which began a few months ago at my cousin's house and was my go to game whenever I stayed round. Being the first game on the PS4 meant that it looked crisper than many of the games I was used to and so I liked that about it, also being quite similar to the souls game drew me in too despite many viewing this one as a cheaper rip off of Fromsoftware's elaborate forgings. It sits graphically in the style of Darksiders mixed with much of the gameplay style of Souls, supposedly not as tough, and while it does have forgiving mechanics such as regenerative health potion stocks whenever you find a checkpoint, there are some really tough battles. I enjoyed the boss battles and the final one almost had me stumped completely, forcing me to backtrack and explore for missed weapons and build up more. IGN did a write up and a lot of what is covered I personally think is complete rubbish. The guy mentions that it's quite easy and takes about 17 hours to complete where as it took me 56 hours. He also mentions things about rolling not being essential to dodge and not dying at all for the first 45 mins. I died countless times on the first few enemies trying to get to grips with the slow paced combat and timely approach. Reading through the thread for it on here, many others seem to have the same conclusion about how it plays too. 

 

Overall I think it's pretty good game if you stick with it (a crap story sure) but then the fun is in the exploring and the boss battles and looking etc. I prefer the darker tone to Demon's Souls which I went through about a year back. Considering this game was a PSN freebie, you can't really argue at all. Just for the record, I played through it with the Rogue, the lightest of the three characters you can pick from. I tried to keep the guy light wherever possible because it can get almost impossible to do anything when you are covered in heavy armour. 

 

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Jan

 

09/01 Uncharted 4:a Thiefs End (PS4) What can I say that hasn't already been said? I had stayed away from spoilers and was unsure how this game could top the Uncharted 2-3. And somehow it's better. It still has the action sequences and the gunplay that the series is known for but I'm in it for the banter and the climbing. And I was amply rewarded here. In an age where Tomb Raider is becoming more like Uncharted it seems that Uncharted is becoming more like the bits of Tomb Raider I loved. The exploration and the climbing here is what I had in mymind's eye back when I played Tomb Raider. My only concern is that surely this sort of fidelity is unviable in an economic sense. I mean just look at all the unique scenery you chew through in this game! I don't think I've ever seen a game look this good.

 

09/01 Tales of Monkey Island (PC) Or Monkey Island 5. Or the episodic one. I liked it, it was better than Escape from Monkey Island at least. As charming as the characters are in it I think they've pretty much exhausted the characters and the setting at this point. Being a Monkey Island fan I don't know why it sat on my pile of shame for six years. Oh, and was it just my copy or did the music sound like it was out of tune? (Epecially on Flotsam Island.)

 

07/01 Zenge (PC) I bought this puzzle game on Steam for less than a dollar and at first I felt a little ripped off as the first few puzzles seemed insultingly easy. But after whizzing through the first few in seconds more rules were added and it became more elaborate. Not too difficult in the end but it was pleasant enough to slide puzzle pieces around for two hours.

 

02/01 The Secret of Monkey Island:Special Edition (360) I still think the interface on the new version is horrible (although you can switch back and forth between the versions to deal with one tricky timed puzzle.) I still love it, although this version has issues. I don't like how Guybrush looks in this and some of the jokes just don't work in adio like they did in text only. Still it served its purpose.Comfort gaming on a sick day.

 

01/01 Grow Up (PS4) It's just Grow Home, the wonky physics platform flying thing by Reflections but bigger. Which of course means that it's brilliant. It's an absolute steal at it's budget price and it's very much the sort of thing you used to get back in the old 8/16 bit days. B.O.B the robot is stranded on a planet after M.O.M, his spaceship/home/parent is destroyed. The mission, find all the parts and get to the moon to reassemble them while growing giant plants on the way. The controls seem rubbish at first (someone here compared to Bugaboo the Flea from the Speccy days and they aren't far wrong with that!) But once it clicks you'll learn to use the wonky physics to your advantage. And once you get the glider....like its prequel it's the closet thing to Pilotwings out there.

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