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What games did you complete in 2015?


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Been going through a few 360 co-op games with my son before it gets retired due to the imminent purchase of an Xbox One. Completed Army of Two The 40th Day today. Was ok, the usual fun to be had in co-op but not as enjoyable as the first one which we played about 5 years ago, but that might be down to rose tinted glasses.

August: Army of Two the 40th Day

Previous:

January:

Assassins Creed Unity (PS4)
Shadow of Mordor (PS4)
The Last Tinker (PS4)
The Wolf Among Us (PS4)
Life is Strange Episode 1 (PS4)

February:

Game of Thrones Episode 1 (PS4)
Game of Thrones Episode 2 (PS4)
The Order 1886 (PS4)

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PS4)

March:

Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
Life is Strange Ep 2 (PS4)
Game of Thrones Ep 3 (PS4)

April:

Counterspy (PS4)

Child of Light (PS4)
May:
Borderlands 2 & dlc (PS4)
Wolfenstein The Old Blood (PS4)
June:
Splatoon (Wii U )
Life is Strange Ep 3 (PS4)
Game of Thrones Ep 4 (PS4)
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS4)
July:
Batman Arkham Knight (PS4)

Gears of War 3 (360)

Gears of War Judgment (360)

Game of Thrones Ep 5 (PS4)

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PS4)

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Dragon's Crown was grrrrrreat. Infamous: Last Light not so much.

Edit: Stick It to The Man as well.

2015

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

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, embarrassing 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 execute 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 been said a million times. It's the sheer detail and craftmanship 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.

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2015

________

JAN-JUL


01. Monument Valley - Forgotten Shores & Red Chapter (iOS)
Loved the original when I played it last year. Bought the expansions a while back but only just got around to playing them. It's the first video game I've managed to get my wife to play with me which was a lot of fun. I'll try and get her playing one of the Lucasarts point & clicks, probably Grim Fandango to get her into it that way. I digress. Great expansion with lovely new locations and gameplay additions. 9/10

02. Infamous: First Light (PS4)
Like Second Son, this is just OK really. I seem to have found them both very relaxing and I though I did enjoy it, it's very safe and a bit uninspired. I have a few trophies to get, but I'm not really into the Arena aspect, so may just leave that side of it out. An enjoyable 5/10

03. Shovel Knight (3DS)

A very enjoyable retro Mega Man-style platformer. Infuriating in places, but always achievable I ended up with 79 deaths, 75% complete and I may even go back for the New Game +. Very much looking forward to the free DLC. 8/10

04. GTA V (PS4)

Completed story mode, 75%. Just phenomenal. I didn't really like GTA IV so went into this with some trepidation. Luckily this one actually lived up to the hype. Everything is spot on - the script straddled the cheesy line well, the characters were just stereotypical enough, the vehicles handle well. My only gripe is with some of the never-ending gun battles and the lack of any guidance on getting Gold medals until after you've completed the missions. Other than that, I loved it. 10/10

05. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U)

This game made me happy. Very happy. The graphics are lovely, the music is beautiful, the characterisation is flawless and the puzzles are tiny little dioramas of joy. Yeah, it's not super difficult or very long, but I managed (almost) all of the diamonds and will be going back to get stamps and do the Bonus stages when I have snippets of time to kill. 9/10

FEBRUARY

06. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)

This makes the fourth Zelda game I've finished in the space of a few short months. It's just lovely. The music and graphics are charming, 3D helps bring the world alive and they actually managed to make the 'alternate dimension' storyline enjoyable. I loved being able to tackle any dungeon I wanted and the quick-travel system is a very, very thankful inclusion. 9/10 ESSENTIAL

06. The Starship Damrey (3DS)

Bags of atmosphere, some jump scares, a not-too-rubbish script and a nice nod to old 3D dungeon games. I *did* use a guide for a little part where I was wondering around for ages, stumped. Turns out it was reallhy obvious and I'm crap. Please don't use a guide for this game. - it ruins it. Glad I picked this up in the sale at Christmas and glad I completed it. I think this is the fourth Level-5 mini release I've finished out of five purchased. 7/10 RECOMMENDED

07. Game of Thrones: Episode I (PS4)

Completed this with the wife as a second attempt to get her into gaming and I think she enjoyed it, though she kept saying how terrible the graphics were (a true gamer at heart, then ;) ). The script was good, the voice acting great and it didn't outstay its' welcome. Just gutted I bought this episode solus the day before the Season Pass price drop. Great for fans of the series, but I'd suggest you play it on a different platform than the one under your TV. 7/10 ENJOYABLE

APRIL

08. Driveclub (reached Level 50)

This is my favourite racing game since the days of PGR2 on Xbox Live with a few of you lot. The online racing is still basically bumper cars, which spoils an otherwise excellent game. Plugging away to reach level 50 was never a chore, though I am feeling a little annoyed at the amount of races you have to complete in a certain country to complete that accolade. The number is ludicrous. 8/10 ESSENTIAL


09. BoxBoy! (Story complete)

Excellent puzzle/platformer. If you have a 3DS buy it now. 8/10 ESSENTIAL


10. Mighty Gunvolt (complete)

Retro freebie received with Azure Striker Gunvolt which made a pretty good distraction for 40 minutes or so. 6/10 ALRIGHT IF YOU LIKE THAT KIND OF THING


11.Affordable Space Adventures (complete)

Main contender for GOTY. The game the Wii U gamepad has been lacking since launch title Nintendo Land. It's very funny and also quite harrowing. Pretty much the best ending to a game I've ever seen. My only criticism is that it's a bit short. 10/10 ESSENTIAL


12. Streepass Mansion (Cleared all 50 levels)

Grind!

MAY

13. Teslagrad (Wii U, regular ending)

Nice enough Metroidvania light with a sweet hand-drawn style. You could probably get it on PC for a fraction of the price. Not too long and with some nice weapons, marred by some fucked physics on a couple of puzzles making them frustrating rather than a lack of skill. Only a couple though, so overall it's well made. 7/10 RECOMMENDED


14. Little Inferno (iOS, 2nd play through)

Love this game. Such a great time sink. 8/10 RECOMMENDED

JUNE

15. Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Dmashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 (DS)

I fancied another play through of this, so ordered a copy off eBay (lost my other cart).Only got through it on normal, but it's just as much fun as the first one, though I think the original has greater sentimental attachment due to me learning the soundtrack off by heart (and it being my favourite game of all time). Not a perfect 10, but bloody close. 9/10 ESSENTIAL

16. MGS: Ground Zeroes (PS4)

Various different runs and side missions complete. This game is a lot of fun and, though never having been an MGS fan before, has really made me look forward to the Phantom Pain. 8/10 ESSENTIAL

Lots of Xenoblade Chronicles & Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

JULY

17. Arkham Knight: Harley Quinn DLC (PS4)

What an utterly terrible piece of DLC, even for free. The character sucks and her her voice. Ugh. 5/10 POINTLESS

18. Arkham Knight (PS4)

It looks phenomenal, plays incredibly well and really feels like a step forward in story telling and the evolution of side quests and extra missions. Once I'd been told about bonnet cam, I found I really enjoyed the – bizarrely light and floaty – Batmobile. Thundering around Gotham was great fun and the pursuit challenges became a great deal more fun. That said, the over-reliance on the Batmobile's Tank mode was a giant step backwards IMHO, leading to repetitive, boring and sometimes incredibly claustrophobic fights. If there was a way to play this with 1/3 fewer tank battles, it'd be a 10. Favourite parts are still soaring above Gotham, looking for a challenge, burning bat symbol or column of smoke to examine. The first game of the three in which I've truly felt like the Batman. 8/10 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED



AUGUST

19. Journey (PS4)
Incredible from start to finish. Ended up playing it in 3 smaller chunks and want to return to it and play through in one sitting. 9/10 ESSENTIAL

20. Kirby & The Rainbow Paintbrush (Wii U)
Charming little game and perfect for gamepad play (The only real reason to play this on the TV would be for multiplayer). Three stages and a boss x 7 meant I could just kind of 'snack' on this between episodes of TV or even between larger, more intense games. 8/10 RECOMMENDED

21. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (Vita)
Defeated Mom's Heart for the third time, unlocked a hilariously dark ending. Bloody love this game. Edge 6/10 ESSENTIAL

22. The Walking Dead, Season Two - Episode One (Vita)
Waited far too long to pick this up after thoroughly enjoying Season One. As far as I can remember,this is a significant step up in graphics, direction and storytelling and I hope threats of the season can keep it up. Like a fool I forgot to install Season One, so my choices were lost, but meh... It's not the worst thing that could have happened. 8/10 RECOMMENDED

23. The Walking Dead, Season Two - Episode Two (Vita)
Seemed shorter than episode one by some margin, though with tougher choices and much harsher consequences.

24. Splatoon (Wii U)
Finally got round to finishing the SP campaign and - while I loved it for the majority - there were a couple of spikes which I felt were cheap. This extends to the final boss who, at first, is utterly brilliant. Then you have to do it again. And again. And again. And again. I hadn't been that stressed or bored of a boss battle in a very long time. Definitely not a game for younger kids at all. Still, the rest of it is spot on. 9/10 ESSENTIAL

________
2014



JANUARY
Jetpack Joyride (Vita) // Jet Set Radio HD (Vita) // Hotline Miami (Vita) // Guacamelee! (Vita)
Kirby's Adventure 3D (NES/3DS) // Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)
Ridiculous Fishing (iOS)

FEBRUARY
Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo (3DS)
The Walking Dead Episodes 1-5 (Vita) // The Walking Dead 400 Days DLC (Vita)

MARCH
Batman Arkham City Armoured Edition (Wii U)
Halo 4 (360)
Battlefield 4 (PS4)

APRIL
LIMBO (Vita)
Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Wii U)

MAY
Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
Contrast (PS4) // Tomb Raider Definitive Edition (PS4)

JUNE -- nothing. MK8 and Battlefield Premium happened. Started Infamous: Second Son

JULY
Aliens: Infestation (DS) // Elite Beat Agents (DS)
Infamous: Second Son (PS4) // Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4) - Fergus Timeline
Metal Slug Defence (iOS)
Swords & Soldiers HD (Wii U)

AUGUST
Monument Valley (iOS)
Blok Drop U (Wii U)
Stick it to the Man (PS4)

SEPTEMBER
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD (Wii U) // Abyss (Wii U) // Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)
Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)

OCTOBER
Guacamelée Super Turbo Championship Edition (PS4)
Liberation Maiden (3DS)


NOVEMBER
Bayonetta (Wii U)
Steamworld Dig (Vita)
Bayonetta II (Wii U)

Abandoned: Dead Island (360) because it's a bit shit.




________
2013



January -- Gunman Clive (3DS)
Crimson Shroud (3DS)


February -- Liberation Maiden (3DS)
Walking Dead Episode 1 (iOS)


March -- Wipeout 2097 (Vita)
Judge Dredd Vs Zombies (iOS)
Little Inferno (iOS)


April -- Code of Princess (3DS)

May -- Nothing. Monster Hunter got it's hooks in me.

June -- Luigi's Mansion 2 (3DS)
Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)


July -- Nowt

August -- Streetpass Squad (3DS)
New Super Mario Bros U (Wii U)


September -- Ghostbusters (360)

October -- Nada

November -- Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies (3DS)
Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (Wii U)


December -- God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PSP)
Tearaway (Vita)
Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS)
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara (Wii U)
Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies Special Case (3DS)
Streetpass Battle (3DS)

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05/01/2015 - Aliens vs Predator ( PC )

07/01/2015 - Year Walk ( PC )

21/01/2015 - Talisman ( Android )

23/01/2015 - Theatrhythm: Curtain Call ( PC )

29/01/2015 - Monument Valley ( Android )

16/02/2015 - Resident Evil, The Mercenaries ( 3DS )

22/02/2015 - Resogun ( Vita )

02/03/2015 - Muramasa Rebirth ( Vita )

14/03/2015 - Counterspy ( Vita )

15/03/2015 - 3D Outrun ( 3DS )

15/03/2015 - 3D Space Harrier ( 3DS )

20/03/2015 - 3D After Burner II ( 3DS )

20/03/2015 - 3D Super Hang On ( 3DS )

24/03/2015 - The Last of Us ( PC )

16/03/2015 - Phantasy Star Online 2 ( PC )

02/04/2015 - Final Fantasy XIII ( PC )

08/04/2015 - Grand Knights History ( PSP )

08/04/2015 - Alien vs Predator ( ARC )

10/04/2015 - Warrior Blade: Rastan Saga III ( ARC )

10/04/2015 - Denjin Makai II ( ARC )

11/04/2015 - Undercover Cop ( ARC )

11/04/2015 - Thunder Cross II ( ARC )

17/04/2015 - Transmissions: Element 120 ( PC )

04/05/2015 - The Walking Dead: Season 1, Ep1 ( PC )

04/05/2015 - The Walking Dead: Season 1, Ep2 ( PC )

15/05/2015 - Wolfenstein: The Old Blood ( PC )

23/05/2015 - Life is Strange, episode 1 ( PC )

23/06/2015 - Resi Evil: Rev 2, episode 1 ( PC )

05/07/2015 - Blazblue EX ( VITA )

24/07/2015 - Resi Evil: Rev 2, episode 2 ( PC )

24/07/2015 - Resi Evil: Rev 2: Raid Mode (Normal; 5-starred) ( PC )


Still dearly in love with Raid mode; clocked 50 hours (!) so far. About halfway through the Hard stages, and by 'halfway through' I mean five-starring it same as Normal. Bloody, bleedin' hard it is on Hard, too.


So many of the little bastards have insanely tough perks on them, like shields or small mode. Biggest arse-pain of all, though, is invisibility: fine on those fly monsters that have chromatic aberration when you get close, not so good on bog-standard monsters who just shanghai you from out of nowhere. Still fabulous, though.

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20/01 Far Cry 4

10/02 The LEGO Movie Game

09/03 Infamous: Second Son

12/06 10000000

20/06 You Must Build a Boat

25/07 - Shadow of Mordor

08/08 - Wolfenstein: The Old Blood - after thoroughly enjoying The New Order was excited to get into The Old Blood. Struggled at first but once I dropped the difficulty level I had a blast. Got a good 12 hours out of it, although preferred the tone of the first half to the second, and Rudi was a much more engaging villain than Helga. Solid stuff though and recommended if you too enjoyed last year's game.

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Jan

  • Mortal Kombat Vs DC (2008) XBOX360 [17th Jan] (With Kitana Normal)

Feb

  • Mass Effect 2 (2010) PS3 [8th Feb] includes most DLC
  • One Epic Game (2011) PS3 [minis] [27th Feb] 100% complete

March

  • Resistance (Fall of Man) (2006) PS3 [2nd March] Co-op [Hard] [Re-Play]
  • Assassin's Creed : Revelations (2011) PS3 [15th March]

April

  • Dead Island : Riptide (2013) PS3 [25th April]

May

  • Sacred Citadel (2013) PS3 [3rd May]
  • Sacred 3 (2014) PS3 [10th May] Champion Difficulty
  • Sacred 3 (2014) PS3 [25th May] Deity Difficulty [Re-Play]

June

  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 1 (The Penal Zone) (2010) PS3 [6th June]
  • Sacred Citadel (2013) PS3 [9th June] [Co-oP) [Re-Play]
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 2 (The Tomb of Sammun-Mak) (2010) PS3 [21st June]
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 3 (They Stole Max's Brain) (2010) PS3 [26th June]

August

  • Mass Effect 3 (2012) PS3 [9th August]

Over the last 12 months I've finally experienced the entirety of the Mass Effect trilogy for the first time. I won't say much about it here as I'm going to resurrect the official thread other than the series is over all excellent and will certainly become very nostalgic in a similay that Deus Ex did to me when I played that for the first time. There are similarities with ME and DE too. The ending has borrowed a lot in the third game from this but obviously looks a bit better in ME. I fail to see the huge disappointment though aside from the lack of a final boss which bothered me more than what the actual ending was about. It was still executed really well though. Like I said though, I'm going to talk about this in the proper thread and just say in some ways I'm actually happy to have come to an end now as it's taken about 260 hours out of me as a series (not including multiplayer time) in less than a year and most likely wouldn't want to think about starting the 4th game for a while, so I'm glad it's going to be a while off yet.

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Skulls of the Shogun done. Enjoyed it, but that's mostly because there aren't enough games of this sort on consoles.

Edit: Everybody's Gone to the Rapture.

2015

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

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, embarrassing 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 execute 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 been said a million times. It's the sheer detail and craftmanship 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.

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August

15/08 Journey (PS4) Wow. I don't think I can add anything to the reams already written about this. Short but amazing. If you don't have time in your busy life to play Ico play this instead.

14/08 Space Harrier 3D (3DS) Well all levels unlocked and end screen seen. It's all down to nostalgia, I still love this despite it barely being a game. It feels like witchcraft having an arcade perfect port in my hands that's possibly better than the coin-op.

09/08 LIMBO (PS4) Ran through this to see is I'd changed my mind since I first played through it four year ago. And nope. It still feels like an emo version of Rick Dangerous to me. It's official, I have no soul.

08/08 Sound Shapes (PS4) Finished the campaign mode in this short but sweet platformer. If you have Playstation Plus it's definately worth downloading and playing around with while its free. Reminded me a lot of pltformers I used to play on the C64.

02/08 Entwined (PS4) I should have loved this, it looks and sounds very new age, like a playable 80's music video clip. But in the end it's just a tunnel racer with two objects to control at once. Not sure whether or not I'll take on the challenges. (Edit. Nope.I'm done with it.)

01/08 J.U.L.I.A:Among the Stars (PC) This felt like an old school PC 90's CD-Rom adventure game. But one of the good ones. You're a scientist trapped on board a ship/space station with a passive agressive AI and a probe you can send down to planets. I really enjoyed it even though it felt linear and old fashioned. In terms of puzzles, I liked what was there but it felt sparse compared to the likes of Professor Layton. Still, an enjoyable nine hours.

Previously

July

19/07 Ting Bang Story (PC)

12/07 Sunset (PC)

06/07 3D Outrun (3DS)

05/07 The Walking Dead:Season Two (PC)

02/07 Mafia 2 (360)

June

28/06 Raiden III (PC)

28/06 Ikaruga (PC)

27/06 The Walking Dead:Season One (inc 400 Days) (PC)

21/06 Bioshock 2:Minerva's Den (PC)

19/06 Dragon Age:Inquisition (including The Jaws of Hakkon DLC) (PS4)

11/06 The Starship Damrey (3DS)

07/06 Attack of the Friday Monsters! (3DS)

01/06 Evil Quest (PC)

May

25/05 Dungeons and Dragons:Shadows of Mystara (PC)

26/05 Spec Ops:the Line (PC)

24/05 The Unfinished Swan (PS4)

20/05 Broken Age (PC)

18/05 Dungeons and Dragons:Tower of Doom (PC)

Apr

26/04 Roundabout (PC)

23/04 Freshman Year (PC)

22/04 Phoenix Wright:Ace Attorney:Dual Destinies (3DS)

22/04 The Wolf Among Us (PC)

03/04 Assassin's Creed:Freedom Cry (PS4)

Mar

16/03 Assassin's Creed 4:Black Flag (PS4)

01/03 R-Type Leo

Feb

15/02 Vigilante (Arcade)

09/02 Afterburner Climax (360)

02/02 StreetPass Quest (3DS)

01/02 Infamous:First Light (PS4)

Jan

26/01 Red Faction:Guerrilla (360)

20/01 Steamworld Dig (PS4)

18/01 Double Dragon (PC)

04/01 The Last of Us:Left Behind (PS4)

01/01 The Last of Us:Remastered (PS4)

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Jan

  • Mortal Kombat Vs DC (2008) XBOX360 [17th Jan] (With Kitana Normal)

Feb

  • Mass Effect 2 (2010) PS3 [8th Feb] includes most DLC
  • One Epic Game (2011) PS3 [minis] [27th Feb] 100% complete

March

  • Resistance (Fall of Man) (2006) PS3 [2nd March] Co-op [Hard] [Re-Play]
  • Assassin's Creed : Revelations (2011) PS3 [15th March]

April

  • Dead Island : Riptide (2013) PS3 [25th April]

May

  • Sacred Citadel (2013) PS3 [3rd May]
  • Sacred 3 (2014) PS3 [10th May] Champion Difficulty
  • Sacred 3 (2014) PS3 [25th May] Deity Difficulty [Re-Play]

June

  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 1 (The Penal Zone) (2010) PS3 [6th June]
  • Sacred Citadel (2013) PS3 [9th June] [Co-oP) [Re-Play]
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 2 (The Tomb of Sammun-Mak) (2010) PS3 [21st June]
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 3 (They Stole Max's Brain) (2010) PS3 [26th June]

August

  • Mass Effect 3 (2012) PS3 [9th August]
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 4 (Beyond the Alley of the Dolls) (2010) PS3 [15th August]
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2015

________

JAN-JUL


01. Monument Valley - Forgotten Shores & Red Chapter (iOS)
Loved the original when I played it last year. Bought the expansions a while back but only just got around to playing them. It's the first video game I've managed to get my wife to play with me which was a lot of fun. I'll try and get her playing one of the Lucasarts point & clicks, probably Grim Fandango to get her into it that way. I digress. Great expansion with lovely new locations and gameplay additions. 9/10

02. Infamous: First Light (PS4)
Like Second Son, this is just OK really. I seem to have found them both very relaxing and I though I did enjoy it, it's very safe and a bit uninspired. I have a few trophies to get, but I'm not really into the Arena aspect, so may just leave that side of it out. An enjoyable 5/10

03. Shovel Knight (3DS)

A very enjoyable retro Mega Man-style platformer. Infuriating in places, but always achievable I ended up with 79 deaths, 75% complete and I may even go back for the New Game +. Very much looking forward to the free DLC. 8/10

04. GTA V (PS4)

Completed story mode, 75%. Just phenomenal. I didn't really like GTA IV so went into this with some trepidation. Luckily this one actually lived up to the hype. Everything is spot on - the script straddled the cheesy line well, the characters were just stereotypical enough, the vehicles handle well. My only gripe is with some of the never-ending gun battles and the lack of any guidance on getting Gold medals until after you've completed the missions. Other than that, I loved it. 10/10

05. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U)

This game made me happy. Very happy. The graphics are lovely, the music is beautiful, the characterisation is flawless and the puzzles are tiny little dioramas of joy. Yeah, it's not super difficult or very long, but I managed (almost) all of the diamonds and will be going back to get stamps and do the Bonus stages when I have snippets of time to kill. 9/10

FEBRUARY

06. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)

This makes the fourth Zelda game I've finished in the space of a few short months. It's just lovely. The music and graphics are charming, 3D helps bring the world alive and they actually managed to make the 'alternate dimension' storyline enjoyable. I loved being able to tackle any dungeon I wanted and the quick-travel system is a very, very thankful inclusion. 9/10 ESSENTIAL

06. The Starship Damrey (3DS)

Bags of atmosphere, some jump scares, a not-too-rubbish script and a nice nod to old 3D dungeon games. I *did* use a guide for a little part where I was wondering around for ages, stumped. Turns out it was reallhy obvious and I'm crap. Please don't use a guide for this game. - it ruins it. Glad I picked this up in the sale at Christmas and glad I completed it. I think this is the fourth Level-5 mini release I've finished out of five purchased. 7/10 RECOMMENDED

07. Game of Thrones: Episode I (PS4)

Completed this with the wife as a second attempt to get her into gaming and I think she enjoyed it, though she kept saying how terrible the graphics were (a true gamer at heart, then ;) ). The script was good, the voice acting great and it didn't outstay its' welcome. Just gutted I bought this episode solus the day before the Season Pass price drop. Great for fans of the series, but I'd suggest you play it on a different platform than the one under your TV. 7/10 ENJOYABLE

APRIL

08. Driveclub (reached Level 50)

This is my favourite racing game since the days of PGR2 on Xbox Live with a few of you lot. The online racing is still basically bumper cars, which spoils an otherwise excellent game. Plugging away to reach level 50 was never a chore, though I am feeling a little annoyed at the amount of races you have to complete in a certain country to complete that accolade. The number is ludicrous. 8/10 ESSENTIAL


09. BoxBoy! (Story complete)

Excellent puzzle/platformer. If you have a 3DS buy it now. 8/10 ESSENTIAL


10. Mighty Gunvolt (complete)

Retro freebie received with Azure Striker Gunvolt which made a pretty good distraction for 40 minutes or so. 6/10 ALRIGHT IF YOU LIKE THAT KIND OF THING


11.Affordable Space Adventures (complete)

Main contender for GOTY. The game the Wii U gamepad has been lacking since launch title Nintendo Land. It's very funny and also quite harrowing. Pretty much the best ending to a game I've ever seen. My only criticism is that it's a bit short. 10/10 ESSENTIAL


12. Streepass Mansion (Cleared all 50 levels)

Grind!

MAY

13. Teslagrad (Wii U, regular ending)

Nice enough Metroidvania light with a sweet hand-drawn style. You could probably get it on PC for a fraction of the price. Not too long and with some nice weapons, marred by some fucked physics on a couple of puzzles making them frustrating rather than a lack of skill. Only a couple though, so overall it's well made. 7/10 RECOMMENDED


14. Little Inferno (iOS, 2nd play through)

Love this game. Such a great time sink. 8/10 RECOMMENDED

JUNE

15. Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Dmashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 (DS)

I fancied another play through of this, so ordered a copy off eBay (lost my other cart).Only got through it on normal, but it's just as much fun as the first one, though I think the original has greater sentimental attachment due to me learning the soundtrack off by heart (and it being my favourite game of all time). Not a perfect 10, but bloody close. 9/10 ESSENTIAL

16. MGS: Ground Zeroes (PS4)

Various different runs and side missions complete. This game is a lot of fun and, though never having been an MGS fan before, has really made me look forward to the Phantom Pain. 8/10 ESSENTIAL

Lots of Xenoblade Chronicles & Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

JULY

17. Arkham Knight: Harley Quinn DLC (PS4)

What an utterly terrible piece of DLC, even for free. The character sucks and her her voice. Ugh. 5/10 POINTLESS

18. Arkham Knight (PS4)

It looks phenomenal, plays incredibly well and really feels like a step forward in story telling and the evolution of side quests and extra missions. Once I'd been told about bonnet cam, I found I really enjoyed the – bizarrely light and floaty – Batmobile. Thundering around Gotham was great fun and the pursuit challenges became a great deal more fun. That said, the over-reliance on the Batmobile's Tank mode was a giant step backwards IMHO, leading to repetitive, boring and sometimes incredibly claustrophobic fights. If there was a way to play this with 1/3 fewer tank battles, it'd be a 10. Favourite parts are still soaring above Gotham, looking for a challenge, burning bat symbol or column of smoke to examine. The first game of the three in which I've truly felt like the Batman. 8/10 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED



AUGUST

19. Journey (PS4)
Incredible from start to finish. Ended up playing it in 3 smaller chunks and want to return to it and play through in one sitting. 9/10 ESSENTIAL

20. Kirby & The Rainbow Paintbrush (Wii U) 8/10 RECOMMENDED
21. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (Vita) Edge 6/10 ESSENTIAL
22. The Walking Dead, Season Two - Episode One (Vita) 8/10 RECOMMENDED
23. The Walking Dead, Season Two - Episode Two (Vita)
24. Splatoon (Wii U) 9/10 ESSENTIAL

25. Streetpass Zombies (3DS)

A lot of fun, and worth the few quid. Lovely little distraction. 7/10 RECOMMENDED

26. The Walking Dead, Season Two - Episode Three (Vita)

Nice. Shit is getting tense. 8/10 RECOMMENDED

27. The Walking Dead, Season Two - Episode Four (Vita)

Made some decisions I regret. 8/10 RECOMMENDED

28. The Walking Dead, Season Two - Episode Five (Vita)

Oh man... :(8/10 RECOMMENDED

29. The Unfinished Swan (PS4)

I started this with low expectations and more out of curiosity and was completely underwhelmed by the first level. For some reason or other, I felt compelled to go back to the second chapter and finish this. The second chapter still wasn't great, but improved on the first. Chapter 3 & 4, significantly upped the fun and it turned out pretty well. Worth a play through as it's relatively short, though I won't be going back for any extras/trophies. The music is irritating, mind. 6/10 You may as well play it if you have a couple of hours free

________
2014



JANUARY
Jetpack Joyride (Vita) // Jet Set Radio HD (Vita) // Hotline Miami (Vita) // Guacamelee! (Vita)
Kirby's Adventure 3D (NES/3DS) // Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)
Ridiculous Fishing (iOS)

FEBRUARY
Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo (3DS)
The Walking Dead Episodes 1-5 (Vita) // The Walking Dead 400 Days DLC (Vita)

MARCH
Batman Arkham City Armoured Edition (Wii U)
Halo 4 (360)
Battlefield 4 (PS4)

APRIL
LIMBO (Vita)
Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Wii U)

MAY
Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
Contrast (PS4) // Tomb Raider Definitive Edition (PS4)

JUNE -- nothing. MK8 and Battlefield Premium happened. Started Infamous: Second Son

JULY
Aliens: Infestation (DS) // Elite Beat Agents (DS)
Infamous: Second Son (PS4) // Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4) - Fergus Timeline
Metal Slug Defence (iOS)
Swords & Soldiers HD (Wii U)

AUGUST
Monument Valley (iOS)
Blok Drop U (Wii U)
Stick it to the Man (PS4)

SEPTEMBER
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD (Wii U) // Abyss (Wii U) // Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)
Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)

OCTOBER
Guacamelée Super Turbo Championship Edition (PS4)
Liberation Maiden (3DS)


NOVEMBER
Bayonetta (Wii U)
Steamworld Dig (Vita)
Bayonetta II (Wii U)

Abandoned: Dead Island (360) because it's a bit shit.




________
2013



January -- Gunman Clive (3DS)
Crimson Shroud (3DS)


February -- Liberation Maiden (3DS)
Walking Dead Episode 1 (iOS)


March -- Wipeout 2097 (Vita)
Judge Dredd Vs Zombies (iOS)
Little Inferno (iOS)


April -- Code of Princess (3DS)

May -- Nothing. Monster Hunter got it's hooks in me.

June -- Luigi's Mansion 2 (3DS)
Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)


July -- Nowt

August -- Streetpass Squad (3DS)
New Super Mario Bros U (Wii U)


September -- Ghostbusters (360)

October -- Nada

November -- Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies (3DS)
Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (Wii U)


December -- God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PSP)
Tearaway (Vita)
Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS)
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara (Wii U)
Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies Special Case (3DS)
Streetpass Battle (3DS)

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A couple more ticked-off the list:

17/08/2015 - MISSING: An Interactive Thriller - Episode One (PC)

This is a curious beast. It's been heralded as a return of the FMV games and, as the name indicates, is an episodic title (though no further episodes are out, and I don't think there are any release dates either).

I didn't mind FMV games (Phantasmagoria was quite decent, my hazy memory tells me). and MISSING is most certainly a full-on FMV title. On the positive side, the production values are quite good and it's currently only £1.19. And the transition between videos and puzzles is quite seamless.

On the flip side, it's ludicrously short; depending on how long it takes you to find the solution to one of the puzzles in the first room, you'll be done inside half an hour to 45 minutes. There are about 5 rudimentary puzzles to get through with some little scenes interspersed inbetween. I won't say anything about plot, because there isn't any; you are chained-up in a room and you have to get out. There's another scene with a detective investigating 'something', but all that involves is picking-up 2 items (the only things you can pick up, too). And that's your lot. We don't care about this guy and there's absolutely no resolution. Indeed, your reward for finishing it is to see a clip for the next episode which contains probably more plot than the entirety of this first episode.

I don't know. In isolation this just felt rather empty and pointless; too short to build a story, the puzzles aren't very interesting and you don't get anywhere at the end of it. Viewed as a potential for a series, well it could be interesting and something different if the production values hold up, the puzzles are more varied and it delivers some plot. I'll keep an eye on development, though probably won't take the plunge until at least another couple of episodes are available.

18/07/2015 - God of War lite Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death (PC)

This is so unashamedly a GoW rip-off; we have different weapons - glove-like, chain-like, powerful hammer-like and default; you get a glide ability; you can climb certain walls and hang from ceilings; there are multi-part bosses; there are some gods to kill; hell, you even have levers you have to turn whilst being attacked. There are many more similarities, too.

What it doesn't share is the production values, decent plot, variety in environments or any heft behind your strikes. It also has some annoying mini-games (there are some runner sections and a couple of shoot-em-up bits too), some terrible dialogue and acting and a feeling that time could be spent so much better. I dropped the difficulty down to easy fairly early on, because every enemy is a damage sponge (this is, incidentally, also true on easy - bog-standard foes still take far too many hits to down even when you have every weapon maxed-out.)

Basically, this wasn't very good. Still, I got it for about a quid ages ago, it looks quite nice and - despite it feeling quite full of padding - was relatively short. Wouldn't advise getting it, though (it's also on XBLA, which is where I first noticed it.)

Previously completed


30/07/15 - Afterfall InSanity: Extended Edition (PC)
18/07/15 - Shadowrun Returns (PC)
14/07/15 - Bound By Flame (PC)
14/07/15 - Gears of War: Judgement (X360)
27/06/15 - The Witcher (PC)
20/03/15 - Dead Effect (PC)
01/03/15 - Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea, Episode 2 (PC)
22/02/15 - Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (PC)
07/02/15 - Arcania: Gothic 4 (X360)
03/02/15 - Demonicon (PC)
31/01/15 - Bioshock Infinite - Burial At Sea, Part 1 (PC)
27/01/15 - The Walking Dead - 400 Days (PC)
26/01/15 - Mars: War Logs (X360)
22/01/15 - Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek (PC)
04/01/15 - Bioshock Infinite (PC)

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Earlier

South Park : The stick of truth

Defense Grid : The awakening (again), plus campaign modes of all the DLC.

Realms of the haunting

Red Faction Armageddon

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Fire Emblem : New mystery of the emblem - Heroes of Light and shadow

Final Fantasy VII

Pullblox

The Legend Of Zelda: Train Cunt

zelda Majora's mask 3d

among the sleep

brothers: a tale of two sons

valkyria chronicles

eternal darkness

super mario galaxy 2

Skies Of Arcadia Legends

:(

I could talk about this game for hours.

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20/08/15 - Skyrim (360)

Brilliant, but buggy as arseholes.

Previously in 2015:

01/01/15 - Pokemon Y (3DS)

04/01/15 - Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
11/01/15 - Tearaway (VITA)
13/01/15 - The Swapper (VITA)
20/01/15 - Uncharted: Golden Abyss (VITA)
22/01/15 - Shovel Knight (Wii U)
24/01/15 - Machinarium (VITA)
31/01/15 - Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
08/02/15 - 80 Days (Android)
15/02/15 - Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)
19/03/15 - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (3DS)
11/14/15 - Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)
03/07/15 - Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)

19/07/15 - Gone Home (PC)

19/07/15 - The Stanley Parable (PC)

20/07/15 - Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U)

21/07/15 - Hohokum (VITA)

23/07/15 - World of Goo (PC)

26/07/15 - Another World (PC)

28/07/15 - Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

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Danganronpa 2 (Vita) - Loved the first one, rebought a Vita in part to play this. It is a bad game. For the first 25 hours it's an almost identical retread of the first but with awful, hateful characters and some really cringey fanservice bits that make it hard to play on the train. There is nothing in this part of it that builds upon the ending of the original so having had that nice twist you have to keep plodding on to get more backstory which is almost the whole reason I wanted to play it to begin with. Once you get there, the plot such as it is is shat on you in one big lump for the final few hours and I couldn't maintain interest in following it by that end to be honest. This is not Virtue's Last Reward, there is no clever twist, it's just a very average VN with some truly appalling trial minigames. You're probably better off just watching the anime to be honest. So disappointed.

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Only the 60 (!) so far:

  1. Fantasy Life
    (3DS 03/01/2015)
  2. Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure
    (Wii U 20/01/2015)
  3. The Starship Damrey
    (3DS 21/01/2015)
  4. SteamWorld Dig
    (Wii U 30/01/2015)
  5. Picross e5
    (3DS 31/01/2015)
  6. Weapon Shop de Omasse
    (3DS 04/02/2015)
  7. 3D Afterburner II
    (3DS 06/02/2015)
  8. Shovel Knight
    (Wii U 09/02/2015)
  9. Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition
    (Wii U 10/02/2015)
  10. 3D Fantasy Zone
    (3DS 15/02/2015)
  11. Rock Boshers DX
    (Vita 17/02/2015)
  12. Mario Golf: World Tour
    (3DS 19/02/2015)
  13. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    (360 20/02/2015)
  14. Pokémon Shuffle
    (3DS 28/02/2015)
  15. Assassin’s Creed: Rogue
    (360 05/03/2015)
  16. Papo & Yo
    (PS3 07/03/2015)
  17. Kick & Fennick
    (Vita 08/03/2015)
  18. Proteus
    (Vita 09/03/2015)
  19. 3D Out Run
    (3DS 12/03/2015)
  20. 3D Altered Beast
    (3DS 12/03/2015)
  21. 3D Shinobi III
    (3DS 14/03/2015)
  22. Mighty Switch Force 2
    (3DS 15/03/2015)
  23. Touch My Katamari
    (Vita 28/03/2015)
  24. Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious
    (360 29/03/2015)
  25. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
    (Wii U 30/03/2015)
  26. Castlevania: Spectral Interlude
    (Spec 31/03/2015)
  27. Mighty Gunvolt
    (3DS 03/04/2015)
  28. Box Boy!
    (3DS 04/04/2015)
  29. Super Mario 64
    (Wii U 07/04/2015)
  30. Azure Striker Gunvolt
    (3DS 12/04/2015)
  31. Titan Souls
    (Vita 26/04/2015)
  32. Shantae
    (3DS 02/05/2015)
  33. Yakuza 4
    (PS3 02/05/2015)
  34. Mega Man 7
    (Wii U 03/05/2015)
  35. Hohokum
    (PS3 08/05/2015)
  36. The Unfinished Swan
    (PS3 13/05/2015)
  37. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
    (Wii U 17/05/2015)
  38. Exed Exes
    (PSP 22/05/2015)
  39. Splatoon
    (Wii U 30/05/2015)
  40. Colour Zen Kids
    (Wii U 12/06/2015)
  41. Mega Man X2
    (Wii U 13/06/2015)
  42. Dishonoured
    (PS3 23/06/2015)
  43. Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable
    (Vita 28/06/2015)
  44. HuniePop
    (Mac 01/07/2015)
  45. Tearaway
    (Vita 01/07/2015)
  46. Child of Light
    (Wii U 06/07/2015)
  47. Geometry Wars 3
    (Vita 11/07/2015)
  48. StreetPass Zombies
    (3DS 12/07/2015)
  49. Life is Strange: Episode 1
    (PS4 18/07/2015)
  50. Life is Strange: Episode 2
    (PS4 20/07/2015)
  51. Life is Strange: Episode 3
    (PS4 22/07/2015)
  52. Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty!
    (PS4 23/07/2015)
  53. Rain
    (PS3 25/07/2015)
  54. Street Fighter II Champion Edition
    (PSP 26/07/2015)
  55. Life is Strange: Episode 4
    (PS4 29/07/2015)
  56. Injustice: Gods Among Us
    (PS4 30/07/2015)
  57. Never Alone
    (PS4 01/08/2015)
  58. Princess Nom Nom
    (PC 05/08/2015)
  59. 3D Streets of Rage 2
    (3DS 09/08/2015)
  60. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
    (PS4 13/08/2015)
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August

23/08 Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PS4) Got this as part of PSPlus and I'm glad I didn't buy it on first release. It's not as bad as some people would have you believe, it's just a massive step back from the puzzle based previous game. Most of the puzzles seem to have been replaced with arena based shooting. Enjoyed my time with it dipping in and out of it casually but I'm not tempted to play any of the post game content.

15/08 Journey (PS4) Wow. I don't think I can add anything to the reams already written about this. Short but amazing. If you don't have time in your busy life to play Ico play this instead.

14/08 Space Harrier 3D (3DS) Well all levels unlocked and end screen seen. It's all down to nostalgia, I still love this despite it barely being a game. It feels like witchcraft having an arcade perfect port in my hands that's possibly better than the coin-op.

09/08 LIMBO (PS4) Ran through this to see is I'd changed my mind since I first played through it four year ago. And nope. It still feels like an emo version of Rick Dangerous to me. It's official, I have no soul.

08/08 Sound Shapes (PS4) Finished the campaign mode in this short but sweet platformer. If you have Playstation Plus it's definately worth downloading and playing around with while its free. Reminded me a lot of pltformers I used to play on the C64.

02/08 Entwined (PS4) I should have loved this, it looks and sounds very new age, like a playable 80's music video clip. But in the end it's just a tunnel racer with two objects to control at once. Not sure whether or not I'll take on the challenges. (Edit. Nope.I'm done with it.)

01/08 J.U.L.I.A:Among the Stars (PC) This felt like an old school PC 90's CD-Rom adventure game. But one of the good ones. You're a scientist trapped on board a ship/space station with a passive agressive AI and a probe you can send down to planets. I really enjoyed it even though it felt linear and old fashioned. In terms of puzzles, I liked what was there but it felt sparse compared to the likes of Professor Layton. Still, an enjoyable nine hours.

Previously

July

19/07 Ting Bang Story (PC)

12/07 Sunset (PC)

06/07 3D Outrun (3DS)

05/07 The Walking Dead:Season Two (PC)

02/07 Mafia 2 (360)

June

28/06 Raiden III (PC)

28/06 Ikaruga (PC)

27/06 The Walking Dead:Season One (inc 400 Days) (PC)

21/06 Bioshock 2:Minerva's Den (PC)

19/06 Dragon Age:Inquisition (including The Jaws of Hakkon DLC) (PS4)

11/06 The Starship Damrey (3DS)

07/06 Attack of the Friday Monsters! (3DS)

01/06 Evil Quest (PC)

May

25/05 Dungeons and Dragons:Shadows of Mystara (PC)

26/05 Spec Ops:the Line (PC)

24/05 The Unfinished Swan (PS4)

20/05 Broken Age (PC)

18/05 Dungeons and Dragons:Tower of Doom (PC)

Apr

26/04 Roundabout (PC)

23/04 Freshman Year (PC)

22/04 Phoenix Wright:Ace Attorney:Dual Destinies (3DS)

22/04 The Wolf Among Us (PC)

03/04 Assassin's Creed:Freedom Cry (PS4)

Mar

16/03 Assassin's Creed 4:Black Flag (PS4)

01/03 R-Type Leo

Feb

15/02 Vigilante (Arcade)

09/02 Afterburner Climax (360)

02/02 StreetPass Quest (3DS)

01/02 Infamous:First Light (PS4)

Jan

26/01 Red Faction:Guerrilla (360)

20/01 Steamworld Dig (PS4)

18/01 Double Dragon (PC)

04/01 The Last of Us:Left Behind (PS4)

01/01 The Last of Us:Remastered (PS4)

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26/08/15 - Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)

I'd never played any of the Layton games but saw a dusty copy of this on one of my in-law's shelves and asked to borrow it. I guess a puzzle game is only as good as its puzzles, and while most of these were satisfying, some of them just stumped me completely - anything involving sliding panels my brain just can't seem to compute - which led to it being quite frustrating at times. I enjoyed the art style and the music but ultimately I don't think I've got the patience for this type of game: I couldn't be bothered to mop up the puzzles I'd missed after the credits and I'm not especially bothered about playing the sequels.

Phoenix Wright FTW!

Previously in 2015:

01/01/15 - Pokemon Y (3DS)

04/01/15 - Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
11/01/15 - Tearaway (VITA)
13/01/15 - The Swapper (VITA)
20/01/15 - Uncharted: Golden Abyss (VITA)
22/01/15 - Shovel Knight (Wii U)
24/01/15 - Machinarium (VITA)
31/01/15 - Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
08/02/15 - 80 Days (Android)
15/02/15 - Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)
19/03/15 - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (3DS)
11/14/15 - Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)
03/07/15 - Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)

19/07/15 - Gone Home (PC)

19/07/15 - The Stanley Parable (PC)

20/07/15 - Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U)

21/07/15 - Hohokum (VITA)

23/07/15 - World of Goo (PC)

26/07/15 - Another World (PC)

28/07/15 - Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

20/08/15 - Skyrim (360)

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Earlier

South Park : The stick of truth

Defense Grid : The awakening (again), plus campaign modes of all the DLC.

Realms of the haunting

Red Faction Armageddon

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Fire Emblem : New mystery of the emblem - Heroes of Light and shadow

Final Fantasy VII

Pullblox

The Legend Of Zelda: Train Cunt

zelda Majora's mask 3d

among the sleep

brothers: a tale of two sons

valkyria chronicles

eternal darkness

super mario galaxy 2

Skies Of Arcadia Legends

GTAV

shrug!It was alright. I felt that the pacing fell way off towards the end. I don't think there was an appropriate buildup or climax. Especially if you make the choice I did at the end. I wonder if rockstar has any data on what percentage of people chose which option for the last mission. That would be interesting.

I replayed the last mission to see them all, and I think I'll do the heists the alternate way, maybe. Try online perhaps. Can't really be bothered with the collectables and hobbies. I seem to have managed to miss a cult too.

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Assassin's Creed: Unity

Wasn't as bad as everyone made it out to be but I felt the story was lacking a bit.

Grand Theft Auto V

Deliberately avoided playing it until the PC version came out because I wanted had just gotten a GTX 970 upgraded from my GTX 650.

I thought the game was brilliant, especially considering I never really enjoyed the franchise before now.

Far Cry 4

I had strange feelings about this one.. on the one hand I enjoyed parts of it. But my experience with Far Cry 3 was much better.

I just felt it was lacking something, and I still can't quite put my finger on it.

Not to mention I did have some crashing issues in the beginning but as they updated the pc version it became more decent.

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Jan

  • Mortal Kombat Vs DC (2008) XBOX360 [17th Jan] (With Kitana Normal)

Feb

  • Mass Effect 2 (2010) PS3 [8th Feb] includes most DLC
  • One Epic Game (2011) PS3 [minis] [27th Feb] 100% complete

March

  • Resistance (Fall of Man) (2006) PS3 [2nd March] Co-op [Hard] [Re-Play]
  • Assassin's Creed : Revelations (2011) PS3 [15th March]
  • Army of Two (2007) PS3 Co-op [21st March]

April

  • Dead Island : Riptide (2013) PS3 [25th April]

May

  • Sacred Citadel (2013) PS3 [3rd May]
  • Sacred 3 (2014) PS3 [10th May] Champion Difficulty
  • Sacred 3 (2014) PS3 [25th May] Deity Difficulty [Re-Play]

June

  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 1 (The Penal Zone) (2010) PS3 [6th June]
  • Sacred Citadel (2013) PS3 [9th June] [Co-oP) [Re-Play]
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 2 (The Tomb of Sammun-Mak) (2010) PS3 [21st June]
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 3 (They Stole Max's Brain) (2010) PS3 [26th June]

August

  • Mass Effect 3 (2012) PS3 [9th August]
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 4 (Beyond the Alley of the Dolls) (2010) PS3 [15th August]
  • Bayonetta (2009) PS3 [30th August] Difficulty - Normal

I seem to remember reading how the Xbox was the definitive version and not to go for the PS3 port, but personally I couldn't see any problems with this at all. What the issues were I can't quite remember, maybe framerate solid 60fps not being there the whole time, maybe it was more glitchy but either way it played really nicely. What an amazing game it actually is though; DMC on steroids as I like to call it with more moves than you can shake a stick at.

Bayonetta isn't the easiest of games but it's certainly doable at least on Normal, yet retains quite a fair amount of challenge. The hardest part comes from trying to master this thing and I just don't think I'm going to be ever getting platinums all round. I did get a few of the medals and the odd pure platinums, but to get a full trophy of anything other than stone seems quite intensely difficult, then again you never know what to expect the first time through this game resulting in many deaths thanks to the quick-time scenes which occur quite frequently.

The game offers up numerous reasons to replay post-completion, whether you want the challenge of trophy perfection, mastering a new difficuty or just buying further items you had no hope of picking up the first time due to lack of cash. The fact here is that I'm certainly going to be playing more of this in the future and it's definitely amongst the finest of it's type in this hack and slash combo quick-as-lightning fighter. I played El Shaddai not that long back and it pales in comparison to Bayonetta, where the combat is just so fluid. Oh and lastly, I never actually realised that Bayonetta was made by the same guy who did DMC 1 & 2, and it is so obvious to see how close it resembles those games but with added perfection.

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31/08/15 - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Wii U)

I first completed this when I was about thirteen years old and, having been too young to properly experience Ocarina of Time, it's always been my favourite Zelda. Playing it twelve years later it's still an excellent game, and, with the HD update, a beautiful one, too (a shame about the infrequent slowdown, however). To say that its charming is an understatement, and the quality of the animation and Link's facial expressions have been noted many times over. However, what I particularly appreciated this time around was how well the dungeons were designed and the creativity of the puzzles, which, while not exactly taxing, were always fun to work out and satisfying to solve. The seamlessness of the over-world and sense of scale at points were also impressive; being able to spy Windfall island on the horizon with your telescope, sail over to it, disembark and then explore the island, without any loading screens, transitions or pop-in whatsoever, feels great.

I don't understand people who don't like Zelda.

Previously in 2015:

01/01/15 - Pokemon Y (3DS)

04/01/15 - Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
11/01/15 - Tearaway (VITA)
13/01/15 - The Swapper (VITA)
20/01/15 - Uncharted: Golden Abyss (VITA)
22/01/15 - Shovel Knight (Wii U)
24/01/15 - Machinarium (VITA)
31/01/15 - Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
08/02/15 - 80 Days (Android)
15/02/15 - Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)
19/03/15 - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (3DS)
11/14/15 - Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)
03/07/15 - Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)

19/07/15 - Gone Home (PC)

19/07/15 - The Stanley Parable (PC)

20/07/15 - Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U)

21/07/15 - Hohokum (VITA)

23/07/15 - World of Goo (PC)

26/07/15 - Another World (PC)

28/07/15 - Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

20/08/15 - Skyrim (360)

26/08/15 - Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)

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Grow Home is lovely.

2015

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

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, embarrassing 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 execute 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 been said a million times. It's the sheer detail and craftmanship 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.

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06/09/15 - Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

I loved this, from start to finish. I loved how well the levels were designed. I loved scouring every inch of every map looking for secrets, and the sense of satisfaction I felt when I found them. I loved the music. I loved the excellent graphics. I loved how polished everything was. I loved the consistently solid 60fps frame rate, all the way through. I loved the bonus content, which allowed me to play happily for 12 hours when I was expecting to put this back on the shelf, completed, after 6.

What a great little gem of a game. The Luigi's Mansion of this generation. Definitely track it down if you own a Wii U.

Previously in 2015:

01/01/15 - Pokemon Y (3DS)

04/01/15 - Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
11/01/15 - Tearaway (VITA)
13/01/15 - The Swapper (VITA)
20/01/15 - Uncharted: Golden Abyss (VITA)
22/01/15 - Shovel Knight (Wii U)
24/01/15 - Machinarium (VITA)
31/01/15 - Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
08/02/15 - 80 Days (Android)
15/02/15 - Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)
19/03/15 - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (3DS)
11/14/15 - Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)
03/07/15 - Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)

19/07/15 - Gone Home (PC)

19/07/15 - The Stanley Parable (PC)

20/07/15 - Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U)

21/07/15 - Hohokum (VITA)

23/07/15 - World of Goo (PC)

26/07/15 - Another World (PC)

28/07/15 - Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

20/08/15 - Skyrim (360)

26/08/15 - Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)

31/08/15 - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Wii U)

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Earlier

South Park : The stick of truth

Defense Grid : The awakening (again), plus campaign modes of all the DLC.

Realms of the haunting

Red Faction Armageddon

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Fire Emblem : New mystery of the emblem - Heroes of Light and shadow

Final Fantasy VII

Pullblox

The Legend Of Zelda: Train Cunt

zelda Majora's mask 3d

among the sleep

brothers: a tale of two sons

valkyria chronicles

eternal darkness

super mario galaxy 2

Skies Of Arcadia Legends

GTAV

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Pleasantly surprised with this, spent at least twice as much time playing this as I had expected to. Didn't even realise it was a sequel.

Obviously, in this case, it's "complete to my satisfaction", not "complete". I got an A rank in all of the events, and an S rank in many, but no way am I going to get all S ranks. Nor am I going to bother doing most of the time-trials, or play online (nobody else is).

A little baffling as to which characters and courses were chosen. Was extremely disappointed when I first played the burning rangers stage - from the stage screenshot I assumed it was a PSO course.

Some of the characters looked ultra creepy with their glassy dead eyes and hard plastic smiles.

The familiar tunes were ultra cool, but the dance music got a bit rhythmically monotonous.

The announcer could do with taking a break occasionally, too. He sounds like the guy who did super monkey ball, but that isn't showing up as being the case on imdb.

Glad they didn't rip off mario kart's rubber band cheating AI.

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Earlier

South Park : The stick of truth

Defense Grid : The awakening (again), plus campaign modes of all the DLC.

Realms of the haunting

Red Faction Armageddon

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Fire Emblem : New mystery of the emblem - Heroes of Light and shadow

Final Fantasy VII

Pullblox

The Legend Of Zelda: Train Cunt

zelda Majora's mask 3d

among the sleep

brothers: a tale of two sons

valkyria chronicles

eternal darkness

super mario galaxy 2

Skies Of Arcadia Legends

GTAV

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Splatoon

Well, I finished the single player a few weeks ago, but I got to level 20 in the last couple of nights.

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September

16/09 Dragon Age:Inquisition (including all three DLC expansions) (PS4) I've moved this up my list a bit because completing Trespasser feels like completing the game proper. This might be my game of the year. Possibly my game of the decade. I spent a good 160 hours playing through and loving almost every single minute. My partner has probably spent three times that amount on multiple playthoughs. It's become a bit of an obssession in our household. It's hands down my favourite rpg of all time.

16/09 Assassin's Creed:Rogue (360) I decided to go for this rather than Unity and it felt like the best bits of Black Flag and AC3. A nice twist was having to fight against people using the same hiding tactics as yourself which made for some tense moments. Pity the story was so light and confused. But as a game for playing in bits after work for a couple of months it was perfect.

Previously

August

23/08 Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PS4)
15/08 Journey (PS4)
14/08 Space Harrier 3D (3DS)
09/08 LIMBO (PS4)
08/08 Sound Shapes (PS4)
02/08 Entwined (PS4)
01/08 J.U.L.I.A:Among the Stars (PC)

July

19/07 Ting Bang Story (PC)
12/07 Sunset (PC)
06/07 3D Outrun (3DS)
05/07 The Walking Dead:Season Two (PC)
02/07 Mafia 2 (360)

June

28/06 Raiden III (PC)
28/06 Ikaruga (PC)
27/06 The Walking Dead:Season One (inc 400 Days) (PC)
21/06 Bioshock 2:Minerva's Den (PC)
11/06 The Starship Damrey (3DS)
07/06 Attack of the Friday Monsters! (3DS)
01/06 Evil Quest (PC)

May

25/05 Dungeons and Dragons:Shadows of Mystara (PC)
26/05 Spec Ops:the Line (PC)
24/05 The Unfinished Swan (PS4)
20/05 Broken Age (PC)
18/05 Dungeons and Dragons:Tower of Doom (PC)

Apr

26/04 Roundabout (PC)
23/04 Freshman Year (PC)
22/04 Phoenix Wright:Ace Attorney:Dual Destinies (3DS)
22/04 The Wolf Among Us (PC)
03/04 Assassin's Creed:Freedom Cry (PS4)

Mar

16/03 Assassin's Creed 4:Black Flag (PS4)
01/03 R-Type Leo

Feb

15/02 Vigilante (Arcade)
09/02 Afterburner Climax (360)
02/02 StreetPass Quest (3DS)
01/02 Infamous:First Light (PS4)

Jan

26/01 Red Faction:Guerrilla (360)
20/01 Steamworld Dig (PS4)
18/01 Double Dragon (PC)
04/01 The Last of Us:Left Behind (PS4)
01/01 The Last of Us:Remastered (PS4)

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Jan

  • Mortal Kombat Vs DC (2008) XBOX360 [17th Jan] (With Kitana Normal)

Feb

  • Mass Effect 2 (2010) PS3 [8th Feb] includes most DLC
  • One Epic Game (2011) PS3 [minis] [27th Feb] 100% complete

March

  • Resistance (Fall of Man) (2006) PS3 [2nd March] Co-op [Hard] [Re-Play]
  • Assassin's Creed : Revelations (2011) PS3 [15th March]
  • Army of Two (2007) PS3 Co-op [21st March]

April

  • Dead Island : Riptide (2013) PS3 [25th April]

May

  • Sacred Citadel (2013) PS3 [3rd May]
  • Sacred 3 (2014) PS3 [10th May] Champion Difficulty
  • Sacred 3 (2014) PS3 [25th May] Deity Difficulty [Re-Play]

June

  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 1 (The Penal Zone) (2010) PS3 [6th June]
  • Sacred Citadel (2013) PS3 [9th June] (Co-oP) [Re-Play]
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 2 (The Tomb of Sammun-Mak) (2010) PS3 [21st June]
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 3 (They Stole Max's Brain) (2010) PS3 [26th June]

August

  • Mass Effect 3 (2012) PS3 [9th August]
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 4 (Beyond the Alley of the Dolls) (2010) PS3 [15th August]
  • Bayonetta (2009) PS3 [30th August] Difficulty - Normal

September

  • Resistance (Fall of Man) (2006) PS3 [2nd March] Co-op [superhuman] [Re-Play]

Since finishing this on co-op earlier in the year on hard we'd started another run on the newly unlocked Superhuman difficulty but never fully got to the end. This week we managed to clean it up and finish off without disappointment. I love how good the AI feels in this, especially when cranking up the difficulty and despite it being on superhuman Resistance is probably its best at this point. The use of the Sniper slowdown bar is so handy during the chaotic moments due to it being re-usable. It's such a shame that they didn't continue the local co-op mode through to both sequels. Was never a huge fan of R2 but the third game is excellent as well.

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