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What games did you complete? 2016 Edition


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Right, kicking this off in time for all of us who I'm sure will have something completed just after midnight tonight ;)

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

Happy gaming, folks!

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Looking forward to it.



02.01.16 - Her Story (PC)

04.01.16 - The Blackwell Convergence (PC)

07.02.16 - Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward (PS4)












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



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






12.08.16 - Pokemon LeafGreen (GBA)

23.08.16 - Firewatch (PS4)






05.10.16 - Pokemon SoulSilver (DS)



06.11.16 - Pokemon Omega Ruby (3DS)

15.11.16 - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine (PS4) *DLC

20.11.16 - Tales from the Borderlands (PS4)



09.12.16 - Pokemon Sun (3DS)








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

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

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

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

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

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

09.07.14 - The Wolf Among Us (X360)

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

01.09.14 Crash Bandicoot (PS1)


23.10.14 Destiny (PS4)

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

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



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

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




01.05.15 - Far Cry 4 (PS4)







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


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


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And we're up and running!

01/01/2016 - Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and the Terribly Cursed Emerald (PC)

I haven't played The Stanley Parable or The Beginner's Guide (though I'm broadly familiar with what they are, in that they explore various non-traditional mechanics and experiences) and I knew this wasn't a game as such. It is also obviously free and short, which is the only reason I had for playing it.

But I don't get it. I'm sure that there are many secrets to be found (the post-it notes and tapes dotted around?) but, nope, I just don't get it. I didn't find it amusing, I don't think it's clever, I didn't find it entertaining. What am I missing with it? I read some of the notes, picked up bits of paper and...well that's it. I don't know how to describe it, you can't even call it a walking simulator because there's nothing to see.

I also don't understand why it seems to bring out a staggering amount of 'comedy' posters in the Steam discussion forum for it, either all starting threads pretending there was, well, anything to it. It's almost as if there's a big in-joke here that I'm missing (perhaps there is?) Maybe I'm it's all a bit too clever for me; regardless, I didn't enjoy it and it has further cemented the idea that, despite much acclaim heaped upon it, The Stanley Parable probably isn't for me either.

An auspicious start to the year, then.

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I managed 23 last year, Assassins Creed : Syndicate being my final completion on the 29th of December, must try harder this year as it really tailed off towards the end of the year.




Guns, Gore and Cannoli - Xbox One

Thomas was Alone - Xbox One

Valiant Hearts : The Great War - Xbox One

Inside my Radio - Xbox One

Transformers : Devastation - Xbox One




Hyrule Warriors - N3DS

Gunman Clive - 3DS


Rest of the year as I forgot to fill it in, Doh!!


Gears 4 - X1

Watch Dogs 2 - X1

Rise of Tomb Raider - X1

Mad Max - X1

Bastion - X1

Bedlam - X1


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02/01 Toren (PC) It's only two hours long but I did get it for the price of a cup of coffee. This Brazilian game is heavily inspired by Ico, it's lovely to look at and listen to, it's let down a bit by average puzzles and floaty controls. Quite good for the price though.

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First game of the year is....Hatoful Boyfriend. :lol: Bought this for no reason other than it looked a bit weird, but ended up genuinely enjoying it.

Edit: King's Quest, too. Nice wee adventure game, lovely animation, good voice work, QTEs, y'know.

Edit II: Rogue Legacy. s'alright.


04/01 - Rogue Legacy (Vita) - I enjoyed the basic hacking and jumping action, but the progressions through the game felt more like grinding than learning and improving the way I played. Music is fairly decent but the pixel-art style is a bit inconsistent and unappealing.

02/01 - King's Quest - A Knight to Remember (PS4) - Walks the fine line between old school put-this-item-on-this-thing puzzling and the 'choose your own adventure' style of the modern equivalents pretty well in the most part. The character animation and voicework in the is really top-notch, kinda old-school hand-drawn style stuff. Pretty tasty lookin', and surprisingly long for an episodic game.

01/01 - Hatoful Boyfriend (Vita) - Genuinely great. Disarmingly funny throughout and well written enough to pull off the ridiculous conceit, this makes good use of the short run time to make repeat play-throughs attractive. Worth turning off the dumb 'human visualiser' that shows you how all the birds would look as naff anime characters. Embrace the birds.


31/12 - Until Dawn (PS4) - Looks fantastic and unlike most (all) of David Cage's output, the writing is actually good. That might be because the developers aimed fairly low by making it pure slasher-horror in tone, but the absence of pretentious drivel is massively welcome. Narratively it didn't quite branch out as much as I'd hoped, but I think that was me reading too much into the psychiatrist scenes and assuming the tests were going to lead the plot in some way. Terrifically engaging throughout, though, and seemed like something of a technical feat. I don't recall seeing a loading screen at all, which is pretty fancy.
29/12 - The Last of Us: Left Behind (PS4) - Frightening, touching and, rarest of all, some story DLC that actually adds something to the experience of the main game. Not much new on the gameplay front, other than the mixed human/infected combat scenarios (which are great), but well worth every penny.
29/12 - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4) - As far as the actual gameplay goes, this is the open world stealth-action game I've always wanted. I must've spent about half my seventy hours with the game just fucking round, testing the limits of the system. It's the attention to detail that always pulled me into Metal Gear games, and that's here in spades, though the plot falls apart towards the end of the campaign and the mission filler is unfortunate. 80s soundtrack is pretty sweet, too.
22/12 - Everybody's Golf (Vita) - Played about as far as my meagre abilities will likely take me, though I might still chip away at it occasionally. Deliciously playable as usual and I bloody hate real golf. Online seems a bit dead these days, though.
14/12 - Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken (Vita) - Everything about the 'comedy', the characters and the story is lame as fuck, and it has that naff Flash animation style that's horribly dated nowadays, but this surprised me by being a pretty solid Flashback-style 2D action-adventurer. A bit on the easy side perhaps, but not a bad PS+ game at all.
13/12 - Escape Plan (Vita) - A focussed, confident little gesture-controlled action puzzler, with a stark monochrome art style that serves to define the levels clearly and legibly. Story was much of a muchness and it requires juggling the Vita's front and rear touchpads more than I'd like, but I enjoyed my time with this.
13/12 - Apotheon (PS4) - I at least managed a couple of hours of this one. The art style is a nice enough idea and well executed in terms of looking attractive, but can be difficult to read in gameplay. The finnicky controls and ropey animation turned me off eventually, as the combat was just too much like hard work. A shame, because I sense there's a decent enough Metroidvania in there.
13/12 - Ether One (PS4) - Gave up on this after twenty minutes when it dawned on me I'd have to keep teleporting back and forth to store items because. you. can. only. hold. one. Fuck that. Also, it looks like a cheap PS2 game and has audio logs that you can only listen to if you stand in the otherwise empty room you found them in, doing nothing. What a load of shit.
12/12 - Life is Strange (PS4) - The writing is a bit tone-deaf at times and the acting needs better direction, but as a narrative-driven game this blows Telltale and their modern day Dragon's Lairs out of the water. Can't really fault the extent to which decisions have a payoff in later episodes, and what must've been tonnes of work going into various branching scenes. Nice painterly look and really robust, evocative sound design, too. The ending didn't quite hit the mark for me, and the lazy video game nightmare sequences appear once again, but by that point my emotional engagement gave them a free pass. Dontnod are one of the more interesting developers around these days.
10/12 - Valkyria Chronicles (PS3) - Loved this. Charming in its presentation and engaging in plot, it drew me in like few Japanese games manage these days. I could've done without the missions where an invincible opponent appears on the map without warning and annihilates half the squad, but the battles are usually beautifully crafted.
03/12 - KickBeat (Vita) - Almost impressively average in every way, and completely underwhelms in its inability to fuse the fighting and rhythm action genres in as meaningful a way as the premise suggests. The only thing that really stands out is the incredibly shit soundtrack. Papa Roach? Jesus fucking christ.
01/12 - Tales from the Borderlands (PS4) - Genuinely funnier than most supposed top-tier comedy films these days. Startlingly well written and acted, too. It veers even closer to being one of the FMV games of yore than Telltale's previous games, which is a bit concerning, but I can't fault the QTE action sequences in and of themselves, which are pretty amazingly choreographed throughout. The finger guns bit is so, so good. Shame about the horribly compressed audio and occasional jank, but that's Telltale for you.
28/11 - Outlast (PS4) - Went into this near blind, other than an awareness of the basic premise. Was expecting something a bit more grounded and psychological, but sadly it's pure schlock nonsense with little charm to compensate. I had no idea what was going on by the end and didn't care to find out, which sort of undermines the horror of it all, really. There were some pretty good sections that reminded me of Clock Tower 3 mixed with Condemned, and it does a fine job of primitive jump scares, but for the most part it paled in comparison with the cat-and-mouse tension of something like Alien Isolation.
25/11 - Resident Evil: Revelations (PS3) - Pure nonsense in every sense, yet hugely enjoyable for most of its runtime. Looks like pure shit at times, being a 3DS port, and there's disappointing lack of genuine creepiness, but it's a more traditional Resi than most these days. The bite-sized episodic structure probably made more sense on a handheld, but the character swapping kept up the variety I guess.
21/11 - Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4) - Real top-tier stuff from a team at the peak of its powers. The sheer ambition of it is pretty mind-boggling. Everything that irritated me in City was improved here, from reduced back-tracking, better side-quests and less-frequent, more useful radio chatter. Tank combat is overused but I can forgive it thanks to the sheer thrill of pursuit mode that the Batmobile brings. It's also wonderfully, wonderfully written throughout. The way you-know-who is used throughout the game is inspired.
16/11 - Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments (PS4)- Surprisingly well written and acted, with a real eye for detail, particularly in the interior scenes. I found this really engaging and most of the scenarios believable in a Conan Doyle kinda way, though the detecting relies on circumstantial evidence too often and sometimes I was ahead of the game and simply looking for the right bit of interactive scenery to make itself known before Holmes would 'catch up'. Good stuff, though.
13/11 - Dying Light (PS4) - Massively improved in terms of traversal, melee combat and pretty much everything else, but is still up there with Dead Island in terms of piss-poor writing and voice acting that skewers any atmosphere the game manages to build. Suffers from Icon-mania as well, with too many dull side-quests and distractions. The core parkour and hacky-slash is crazy fun, though.
04/11 - Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (PS4)- Weirdly paced in a way that makes me suspect it was cobbled together from abandoned ideas for The New Order, but retains the same meaty shooting action that's so bloody satisfying.
03/11 - Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4) - Cribs so heavily from Far Cry, Arkham and Assassin's Creed that for the first few hours I found this incredibly underwhelming in its familiarity, but then the genius of the nemesis system took hold and I found myself relentlessly hunting down some captain who'd killed me five times from one side of the map to the other. Not much of a Tolkein fan but this had an genuinely compelling take on that world.
29/10 - South Park: The Stick of Truth(PS3) - Not a particularly amazing game in terms of mechanics of whatnot, but bloody hell did it make me laugh. It's basically a bigger budget Costume Quest in both concept and execution, with all the fetch-questing and simple turn-based battles that implies, but it's so compelling throughout. Strange that it's much more in line with the earlier TV series' style than the recent stuff, though.
27/10 - Far Cry 4 (PS4) - It's pretty much a re-skin of the third. The outposts are still the strongest part of the game by some margin, whilst everything else is mostly Ubi-filler. It does sort of piss me off the way that everyone in these far-flung lands speaks heavily colloquial English but whatever. It's AAA fluff.
05/09 - Grow Home (PS4) - Endearing little game of discovery and play, that drops you in a simple world with some satisfying traversal skills at your disposal and sends you on your merry way. Looks nice and sharp, the music is lovely and it felt like nothing else I'd played before. Perfect PS+ game.
13/08 - Everybody's Gone to the Rapture (PS4) - I found there was a lot to like about Dear Esther in spite of all its faults, but this is much, much more successful at what it's trying to do. The small environmental details, the sound design, the varied regional accents (for games). All those things coalesce into something strangely moving, and which gave me the worst bout of homesickness I've has since leaving Britain three years ago. The ending is a bit naff and disappointing but the rest of the journey was wonderful, truly.
10/08 - Skulls of the Shogun (PS4) - There should really be more Advance Wars-ish games on consoles. The presentation in this one often takes priority over making the battlefield legible, which is a shame, but the battles tend to be pretty engrossing. It's a shame, then, that the last level is a massive difficulty spike that I couldn't be fucked to deal with at all. Eh.
06/08 - Stick It to The Man (PS4) - A brief game with a well executed aesthetic; I found myself enjoying this way more than expected. As an actual game it's a straight-forward adventure platform thing, and the little stealth interludes are pretty dry after the first one, but the characters are appealing in a 90s Nickleodeon kinda way and the sound design is great throughout. That was enough for me today.
05/08 - Infamous: Last Light (PS4) - Can't say I was looking forward to an extension to a game that ran out of ideas a third of the way in....and I was right not to get excited. Traversal mechanics are a bit more enjoyable and you don't have to keep draining energy every five seconds, but this does nothing new and the characters are still dull, whining children. At least it's short, as pretty as the main game and came with PS+.
03/08 - Dragon's Crown (Vita) - Super satisfying beat-em-up that doesn't quite hit the highs of Guardian Heroes but does loads of neat little things of its own. Music is epic, art is beautful (though the female characters generally are a bit...y'know) and has a moreish gameplay loop of fight>boss>loot>repeat that keeps things turning over quickly. The only real problem I had is that it's a bit hard to know if you're properly alligned with the enemies and I found myself missing regularly. The lane system in Guardian Heroes seems a bit archaic these days but it does solve that problem perfectly.
27/07 - Velocity 2X (Vita) - Couldn't really get into this properly, though I suspect that's just a mood thing. Everything about it is super refined and compelling and yet it never got its hooks into me. Plot seems a bit redundant but the music is super swish. Might give it another run later.
22/07 - Metrico (Vita) - Another game that falls over itself in its attempts to use all of the Vita's functions. Parts of this are neat enough, with a sharp look and devious little puzzles, but the infographic aesthetic leaves me cold and the need for simultaneous back-and-front touch gestures, motion control and button presses mean you end up twisting and contorting uncomfortably for fairly long stretches.
21/07 - Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita) - Or, Uncharted: Lowered Expectations Edition. Just because a AAA console game can technically be shoehorned into a handheld doesn't make it a worthwhile endeavour. In fairness, Drake is more bearable than usual and his relationship with Sully is still kinda charming, but this takes the flimsy combat and ropey climbing of the first game, takes out all the big set-pieces and crams touch and gyroscope crap between every five minutes of action. More than anything I'd describe this as boring, which is a stunning failure, really.
18/07 - Sine Mora (Vita) - Stupendously attractive for a handheld game and with some neat systems built around time limits and manipulation. Not the greatest schmup I've played but a surprisingly lavish one in this day and age. Weirdly pretentious story filler, though.
17/07 - Badland (Android) - The whole 'tap to flap/float/whatever' genre leaves me pretty cold to be honest. This has some nice ideas but like with Jetpack Joyride and others I got bored quickly. Presntation is weirdly dull and distant in a way I found unengaging, too.
17/07 - 80 Days (Android) - I did two runs through in a single sitting, which probably tells you how much I enjoyed it. Well written, unique choose-your-own-adventure game with some lovely sound design.
16/07 - Destiny (PS4) - I bought the base game and the two expansions together and it's a damn good game, Destiny, with probably the best feel of any shooter I've played. Everything about the experience is super slick, evocative and utterly intoxicating. The feel of controlling a sparrow or firing a hand cannon into a Fallen's face is so, so perfect it's hard to describe. There's not enough of it, though, and the manipulative stuff they've used to keep you playing is pretty sinister in its potency. I've never been one to get lured in by the promise of random loot drops, but this was starting to get its claws into me in a way that I find concerning, so we're done (for now...)
10/07 - Entwined (PS4) - Pretentious nonsense attempting to mimic thatgamecompany and falling flat in every way. Nasty new age rubbish with a single dull mechanic and unpleasant free-flight controls that it obviously considers a 'reward' at the end of each level.
19/06 - Never Alone (PS4) - A worthy enough idea, combining the indie game and the documentary, but neither side is particularly satisfactory in and of itself. A cumbersome platformer with occasionally stubborn movement and few interesting ideas doesn't particularly inspire me to learn about a culture. Looks really nice, though.
19/06 - Dead Nation (PS4) - Solid twin-stick shooter with a solid arsenal of weapons and enough variety to keep things fresh. Still looks very PS3 in its visuals but the lighting is nice enough. Not sure why they even bothered with the story, though.
17/06 - Shadow Warrior (PS4) - Ridiculous 90s mega-carnage sprint-everywhere fuck-em-up. A genuinely brilliant update of an old classic and shows how Duke Nukem should've been done. Garish in a charming way and occasionally quite pretty, with a daft, funny script and varied, powerful set of weapons. Didn't like it when I'd accidentally dash down some stairs and kill myself from fall damage, but that's my own fault. Ending goes on forever, too.
15/06 - Costume Quest 2 (PS4) - It's barely more involving than the first in terms of the battle system and quests, and there's too much back-tracking and fetch-questing for such a short game, but there's so much to love about Costume Quest. Funny little script, a cute premise about a dental hygeine dystopia in which candy is illegal make it a winner for me.
13/06 - Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4) - Man, I loved this. Somehow manages to be both funny and poignant at the same time as brutal and dumb. Both stealth and boom-bang approaches are satisfying and the whole 'kill the commander' system is inspired. Sound mix is a bit off and recharging the energy weapons is tiresome, but there's just moment after moment of brilliance in this.
11/06 - The Swapper (Vita/PS4) - Enjoyed the look and feel of this but had to give it up after a point. Puzzles were wrecking my head and cheating didn't sound like much fun, so it's done with for now. Really nce atmosphere, though.
09/06 - Resogun (Vita/PS4) - Played this across both formats. Furiously addictive and visually astonishing. Holds up surprisingly well on the Vita, and only really loses the whizzy effects.
08/06 - Futuridium EP (Vita) - Shit, boring concept that should never have made it past the demo stage. Gave it half an hour.
08/06 - The Binding of Isaac Rebirth (Vita) - It was great on PC and it's still great. The new art style is nice but doesn't blow me away or anything, but the music is pretty sweet.
08/06 - Modnation Racers (Vita) - Horrendously ugly and the frame rate is so bad it's like looking at a zoetrope. Dull races that have no sense of urgency or thrill.
08/06 - Titan Attacks! (Vita) - Dull, ugly 'update' of Space Invaders that no one asked for or needed in a post-Space Invaders Extreme world. Pointless.
07/06 - Kick & Fennick (Vita) - Ugly game in terms of art style and visually monotonous, but I like the core concept of using recoil to bounce around. Good little game.
07/06 - Monster Bag (Vita) - One of those games that probably only exists because Sony need to fund quick little games to throw on PS+ every month, and one that has very few mechanical ideas, but it's nicely presented and makes the most of its core concept.
06/06 - Murasaki Baby (Vita) - Some of the touch controls don't work too well and the spooky-wooky Tim Burton style does nothing for me, but I enjoyed some of the novelty of this. Doesn't run its ideas into the ground and left me satisfied enough.
06/06 - Race the Sun (Vita) - Boring as hell endless....flyer? I dunno how people play this shit. Has that flat shaded polygonal style that's back in vogue for indie games but does nothing interesting with it.
06/06 - Killzone Mercenary (Vita) - Shouldn't really work on a handheld, and the sticks struggle a bit with aiming and turning in general, but this is somehow the most enjoyable Killzone of the lot. Neat little bursts of shooty brutality. Gets a bit flickery with the frame-rate but it's an impressive technical feat.
04/06 - Battlefield 4 (PS4) - Indistinguishable from every other military FPS campaign I've played in the last however-many years. Sound and visuals are super impressive but that's about it, really. The whole plot is baffling and vaguely offensive at times, and I have to wish they wouldn't keep wasting resources on this stuff. I'll keep playing the multiplayer until the next one is out, mind.
03/06 - Alien Isolation: Crew Expendable/Last Survivor DLC (PS4) - Slight and adds nothing new to the actual gameplay, but there's a thrill and novelty in the attempt to render the latter half of the movie in game form. Worth the few quid I paid for it.
03/06 - Counterspy (PS4) - Neat Saul Bass-ish visuals and twangy soundtrack for a game with an interesting Xcom-lite structure and fun action platforming. Enjoyed pretty much everything about this, so will have a few runs more on the Vita version whilst I'm on holiday next week.
03/06 - Aaru's Awakening (PS4) - Has a beautiful hand-animated style that really deserves to be seen and....little else. Awkward controls, poor level design and annoying bosses. There are some neat ideas with the teleporting but it's badly implemented. made it as far as the last boss (I think) and gave up. Life's too short.
03/06 - Tower of Guns (PS4) - Yeah, I didn't finish this either, but I did play long enough to work out what it is. FPS rougue-like level-up blah blah blah. It's pretty boring, really, though there's something about its rough N64 look that I quite like, for some reason.
03/06 - Secret Ponchos (PS4) - Was interested in this but couldn't find anyone to actually play against. It's dead, I guess.
02/06 - Injustice: Gods Among Us (PS4) - I never would've bought this, being a non-SNK/Capcom 2D fighter themed around a universe I care nothing about, but it was surprisingly fun. I only played through the story mode, though, having no desire to master it enough to play online. It's charmingly daft and the cutscenes are awful but I've wasted my time on worse.
02/06 -Valiant Hearts - The Great War (PS4) - Tonally this veers all over the place, unable to decide if it's some slapstick steampunk lark or a grim, sober retelling of historical facts. The art style is nice but I found it jarred badly with the photos of really facial disfiguration and bodies in the menus, and the bloodless presentation and timid storytelling often came across as dishonest. There's a serviceable but dull adventure puzzle game underneath it all, but that's faint praise.
29/05 - Transistor (PS4) - Loved pretty much everything about this, from its art nouveau/deco/cyberpunk hybrid art style and loungey electronic score, through to the well-realised, unique battle system. Found it utterly captivating to the point that I played it in two sittings, and I wasn't massively taken by Bastion. Highly recommended.
27/05 - Strider (PS4) - One of those games that just has the sheer joy of interaction and motion to it. Cartwheeling over some dudes and unleashing a barrage of swooshy sword attacks never gets old. The metroidvania stuff is very light and they don't even bother with a plot as such (probably for the best), but for half an hour every few nights this was golden. Music was a bit underwhelming, though.
26/05 - Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare (PS4) - Wonderfully well crafted. I bombed hours into this without blinking, it was so bloody compelling. This is that rarity in online gaming in that I rarely felt cheated or frustrated by other players, so it's shame that people only play a handful of modes, then, as they all seem fun in their own way.
26/05 - Pix the Cat (PS4) - Colourfully presented in an effort to convince you it's fun. It isn't, though, unless you like memorising routes and repeating them from scratch each time you make a slight error in order to have the chance of a decent high score, which is the focus of the entire game. Played for about two hours and it barely deserved that.
18/05 - Infamous: Second Son (PS4) - It's basically Prototype or Saints Row IV but not as fun and more repetitive. All the powers are much the same and I barely bothered with the side missions because Sucker Punch had barely bothered to put any effort into them. It is stupidly pretty, though, and I enjoyed faffing about with the photo mode, so at least it taxed the PS4 a bit.
18/05 - The Unfinished Swan (PS4) - A highly attractive game, but one that wasn't what I expected. I thought it'd be an austere, visually-coherent artsy affair, but it was another one of those twee, storybook-indie games with awful narration like Trine or Brothers or whatever. I don't understand who it's aimed at. Most kids will find the wandering around slow and boring, and adults will likely find the whole thing pretty simplistic. Eh.
10/05 - Alien Isolation (PS4) - It's so damn good. A perfect retro futuristic recreation of the original film, intense stealth mechanics and an epic journey. Rudi pretty much nailed it with his big post in the GOTY thread, so...errr, what he said.
09/05 - Hohokum (PS4) - My first PS4 game finished, if for no reason other than it was quick to download and pretty short. Enjoyed it, even though it has a complete lack of variety in its interactions. It has a tactile, sensory quality that makes it more like playing a picture book than anything. Lovely soundtrack, too.
01/05 - R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 (PS1/VitaTV) - This is about a million times better than most contemporary arcade racers if only for the soundtrack. The fact that you don't so much race as glide elegantly through the courses only makes it all the more special.
30/04 - Splinter Cell (PS3) - In terms of the actual stealthing it was probably the best of the generation, but that isn't saying too much, as it still relies way too much on flawless, easy to execute takedowns and other magic powers, It's the Ubisoft nonsense that hurts the game most, though. UI-mania, a million side missions and unlocks, obnoxious characters talking in a baffling military jargon that so many games seem to fetishise in their scripts these days. It's a tasteless contemporary action game gruel.
27/04 - God of War: Ascension (PS3) - Pretty much by-the-numbers God of War, but with some subtle changes that make QTEs and powers more enjoyable in use. There's some horribly embarrassing stuff around the portrayal of women and the tone continues to be very one note, but I found this a more satisfying playthrough than the last game.
24/04 - Gears of War: Judgement (360) - Makes some sensible changes to the controls and adds some nifty modifiers for those of us that have been playing Gears for years, but fails to wow in any real sense. Looks stunning at times but far too many levels take place in small indoor locations, the four players cramped together. The focus on Horde-esque waves in the campaign and move away from turret sequences of sheer spectacle and frustration is much appreciated, though. AI seemed much better than in 3, too.
21/04 - Need for Speed: Most Wanted (PS3) - It's so bloody good. Handling is pitched just right, the difficulty curve masterfully implemented and the races are not only fair and legible but also stupidly, chaotically thrilling (something that most arcade racers of the last few years have struggled to balance). The soundtrack is awful shite but there's a custom soundtrack option and the game isn't full of the kind of obnoxious lifestyle bro-dude shit that Forza Horizon suffers from, so it wins the open world arcade racer title for the last gen.
18/04 - Dead Space 3 (PS3) - A lavishly attractive but disappointing end to a series that started incredibly, diluted by the sad compromises that came with each iteration. Dead Space didn't need human enemies, co-op or weird on-rails Space Harrier flying sections, but to the detriment of what made the game special, it got them. There's still some of that tense, cosmic-industrial body horror in places (the ruined flotilla) but there are also near-endless waves of enemies that rush at you, flailing about, putting a stop to the dismemberment combat that set the series apart. Oh, and a potentially great crafting system made too finnicky and costly in a push to sell DLC, so that I made about four guns during my entire playthrough. The ending is laughable garbage, too, but it does look and sound absolutely marvellous in the main, so that's something.
14/04 - Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS3) - It's kinda hard to defend the decision to sell a vertical slice of an upcoming game for twenty quid, no matter how replayable it might be. This should've been the intro to The Phantom Pain. It is bloody great, though, and refines many of the things Metal Gear has attempted over the years, to the point that I'm worryingly excited about the main game. Eeeek.
09/04 - Motorstorm Apocalypse (PS3)- Fun things: Destruction-filled speedy arcade racers with lots of vehicles on the track of different shapes and sizes and wooshy weather effects. Fucking annoying things: Clipping some debris you couldn't reasonably be expected to avoid, crashing out, respawning right in front of a wall so that you crash out again, respawning, then having fourteen other drivers smash into you. There's a game almost as good as Split/Second in here but it's difficult to see it sometimes.
07/04 - Resistance 3 (PS3) - A patchwork of ideas from better games, with no deeper, core mechanic tying everything together. It's unmemorable to say the least. Story is corny and it seems a shame to go the post-WWII alien invasion route and then smear everything in brown, dim lighting, but whatever. It's also startlingly low-res, which isn't something I tend to notice too much. Guns are fun enough, though, and it's mindless in an enjoyably '90s kinda way.
06/04 - The Walking Dead Season 2 (PS3) - I get the feeling the writers settled on having Clem as the protagonist before really figuring out how it would work. Too often the adults around her are asking her to resolve problems that I find difficult to imagine a child understanding. It's kinda uncomfortable in places, like when she's blamed for someone's death unfairly. and not in a way that seems intentional. Episodes feel shorter and even less interactive than before, too.
02/04 - The Last of Us (PS3) - I've not really thought too much of Naughty Dogs games, generally, but found this frighteningly absorbing. It's not the deepest thing mechanically, but it is coherent and balanced in its combat in a way that makes every encounter thrilling. Everything to be said about characters and plot is said better elsewhere, but I'll say that the pacing of plot and the ebb and flow of suspense and relief was just about perfect. Probably my favourite third person action-adventure since Resi 4.
13/03 - Guardian Heroes (360) - It's still the greatest of its kind by a long way. Everything about it just has that Treasure magic, from music and animation to, well, everything. The remix mode makes some decent changes, though I couldn't bring myself to use the nasty sprite filter they included. Was lovely revisiting this, though.
12/03 - The Cave (360) - Nice enough adventure-puzzle-platforming thing. The actual puzzles are enjoyable in a simplistic way, and flirt with adventure game logic without too much of the illogical nonsense of old. It's very underwhelming in terms of presentation and writing, though, given the heritage.
10/03 - Catherine (360) - Captivating to the the extent that it surprised me. The narrowed scope on one guy's commitment anxiety and its crazed manifestations plays really well given the initially bizarre combo of chat and block puzzling. The only real criticisms I have are that it needed a better training mode to practice the 'techniques' and the controls can be pretty awkward. Really solid dub as well for the English version and it looks neatly stylish.
09/03 - Papo & Yo (PS3) - A game of measured, clear puzzles and platforming in an interesting little world. I'm always happy when developers play around with abstractions of the game space, so this kept me pretty happy throughout. The ending is a little over-egged but I appreciate the more personal nature of the story than what we usually get. Another little treat from PS+.
06/03 - Thief (PS3) - You can see that they wanted to take some of the template of Human Revolution and apply it to another old PC series, but it doesn't work here. There are neat little ideas and systems but they don't come together in a coherent whole. Though the stealth is often satisfying in a simplistic way, the actual thievery boils down to cupboard searching in most instances and the AI isn't much fun to play about with. There are also loads of naff horror-ish 'visions' as well, which are pretty much the lamest things in AAA games of late. That said, it looks pretty nice even on PS3, and they did a good job of making you feel like someone with a body, rather than just arms floating around in front of the camera.
03/03 - LittleBigPlanet 2 (PS3) - Played through the story mode and tried some of the more popular community levels. The story is more a demo of the potential of the level editor, though it's craftily inventive at times. The cumbersome control you have over Sackboy is still present, which is a shame, but it's an enjoyable, ambitious game.
02/03 - Here and There Along The Echo (PC) - A kind of radio play interlude to Kentucky Route Zero, featuring a phone that only dials one number. Gently, weirdly comic and enjoyable tactile to play around with. Will Oldham does the voice acting, which is just perfect, really.
02/03 - Killzone 3 (PS3) - The whole 'genocide LOL' thing is a bit weird and the Space Zyklon gun that makes people explode is never explained at all, but I enjoyed the story of this in a dumb, almost Warhammer 40k kinda way. Actual gunplay is still brutal, heavy and lacking in any kind of depth or finesse, but the game throws enough variety in the way to keep things interesting for a few hours. It does feel like Guerilla are coasting, though.
28/02 - Dead Island (360) - Couldn't bring myself to finish the last few quests, but I'm counting it anyway. Occasionally dreadful atmosphere (in a good way), a laudable variety of environments and meaty melee combat can't disguise the fact that the actual gameplay doesn't change at all throughout the game. There's no development and it lacks a compelling enough feedback loop or plot to pull me through. It's just hitting guys the same way until they fall over.
25/02 - The Wolf Among Us Season 1 (360) - Restarted the whole thing after pausing mid-season about a year ago. Really enjoyed it for what is was; a fun noir with a cute premise. Didn't reach the emotionally engaging heights of The Walking Dead but it did keep me pretty gripped throughout. Optimistic for the next season.
25/02 - SSX (360) - Not finished at all, as I couldn't be bothered to put more than a few hours in. Hated it. Try hard extreme-bro presentation, naff cutscenes and utterly charmless characters. Loathsome, wooly controls and difficult to read slopes that seem throw you off the side to your doom with little warning. Nothing of the joyful arcadey flow of the old games. Urgh.
23/02 - TxK (Vita) - Played sporadically over the last few months. It's lovely to behold and clearly well crafted, but just didn't hook me like I thought it would. Something missing, I guess.
23/02 - Tearaway (Vita) - Marvellous. Just relentlessly throws ideas in front of you, lets you mess around a bit and then moves onto the next lot. It's a perfect demonstration of what creative teams could be doing with the console given the chance. Presentation is sometimes a bit twee ukulele bollocks but never too irritating.
22/02 - Super Stardust Delta (Vita) - Ports the experience well to the handheld, though I had to avoid the touch and motion controls where possible (at least they included the option). Much the same as the PS3 version, really, but that's no bad thing.
20/02 - Luftrausers (Vita) - Thrilling, smart and sharp little blasts of aerial action, using a construction sets of pixel ship parts and a lovely sense of 2D flight. Totally thrilling when you scrape through an intense battle, taking out blimps and battleships in a arc of carnage.
18/02 - Surge Deluxe (Vita) - Tries to use the Vita well and is nicely presented, but this block puzzler completely fails to raise the intensity or the pulse. It's boring more than anything, sadly.
16/02 - Woah Dave (Vita) - Dull, below par Super Crate Box kinda thing that held my attention for less than an hour. Finished as I've seen everything it can do.
16/02 - Wipeout 2048 (Vita) - Mind-bogglingly beautiful, refined future racing with a sensible structure for the handheld. I played this for about ten hours straight on a sleeper train/plane combo across China. If it's the last Wipeout it'll be a fitting farewell.
14/02 - DmC: Vergil's Downfall - Kinda rote DLC, really. Cheap looking animated cut scenes and a naff script don't help, and there's little new added at all. Disappointing.
13/02 - Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet - Fun little twin-stick, kinda light Metroidvania thing that I found surprisingly atmospheric. Really nice sound design throughout. Communicates everything wordlessly yet clearly and when it runs out of ideas it ends neatly.
12/02 - Dragon's Dogma (PS3) - Bombed fifty hours into this in ten days, which is unheard of for me these days. Adored it. There are minor annoyances, but the adventuring and combat is so damn thrilling throughout. Some will find it bland but I found the art style and world to be of a kinda fundamental fantasy that I find appealing in its simplicity.
02/02 - Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episodes 1 & 2 (PS3) - The first episode was too predictable and similar to the main games to be of much note, but I enjoyed the second's foray into stealth, something which Infinite-proper had flirted with briefly and abandoned. Story-wise it seemed too desperate to tie up the loose ends in a Lucas-prequel kinda way, but nothing that caused any major damage in my opinion.
22/01 - DmC: Devil May Cry (PS3) - A divisive game, but one that I felt elegantly adapted the combat and controls of previous games, layered on some genuinely arresting visuals and a plot that was silly in a way that remained interesting. Probably too easy on the default setting but I really, really enjoyed this.
20/01 - Saints Row IV (360) - Hated the opening few hours of this, due mostly to the weak training exercises disguised as missions that have you backtracking repeatedly. It's clearly padded-out DLC throughout, but there's enough of the Prototype-ish chaos to entertain in the most part, and the main quest missions are consistently fun.
15/01 - Crysis 3 (PS3) - Played the second, more linear, game a while back. This one attempts to be a bit more open and succeeds in places, but really funnels you through others. Plot and some of the later environments are hackneyed nonsense, but the bow is fun.
13/01 - Crysis (360) - Lovely open environments in which to piss about, with a thin enough story to keep things ticking along without being a nuisance and a solid set of skills and weapons. Good stuff. Enemies are hawk-eyed little shits, though, able to spot you from a mile off.


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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Captain Toad : Treasure Tracker

Have no idea what everyone's problem with this is. It was great, and fun, and exactly what I'd expect as a full game of captain toad levels. It was the right length for the game that it is (though it bizarrely shows the credits just over a quarter of the way through), though maybe that makes it expensive at full price pounds. Of course, nintendo.

I got three stamps on all three books, but not the bonus book because that is too hard and not interesting enough. Same goes for the time trials and apparently pixel toad is something to find too now.

Brutal Legend

had this sitting in my Steam library for a while. Adventure and open worlde stuff is quite good, strategy parts are a mess. It's worth noting that how much you like metal does have a major effect on how much you will like this game. Personally I... do not like metal.

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Her Story:

I was a bit disappointed with this. I managed to find my way to the core revelations of the story within a few minutes and then spent 30 minutes assuming they were red herrings. Then realised they weren't and went "oh". Acting was a bit naff in parts and the visual "clues" were glaringly obvious from the outset.

Grow Home:

Gorgeous trippy little game about a drunken robot thrusting his throbbing member ever upwards until he penetrates his Mom.

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First completion of the year:

The Walking Dead The First Season

I'd picked this up fairly cheap for the Xbox One, to play though it again with my better half (I played this a few years ago when the episodes were originally released on 360). It's still a good story, but I did find myself wishing for a run button to get through the slower parts.

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2/1/2015 - Gears of War ( PC )

2/1/2015 - Dr. Langeskov [...] ( PC )

Couldn't be bothered waiting for (then paying for) the Gears uprez as the original is more than serviceable, so revisited the old game at 1440p. And you know what, it's still a great game! Still looks fantastic, still has some really intense, resi-style shocks and the combat dynamics contain a lot of technical sophistication that most publishers would shit themselves at including, even today.

It's a brave Dev that'll include: losing lots of FOV when zoomed, the delayed start then lack of control during roadie runs, the fact you can't switch weapon when the current one jams and lots of other little bits. An excellent experience just on the cusp between arcade accessibility and console complexity.

I agree with Gabe about Dr. Whatsisface. I don't think there's any more to it than:

...ostensibly the game 'director' (the VO) is lying to you. The situation is some sort of repeating mechanism for trapping people/fucking with them. Doesn't seem to say more than that, perhaps trying to convey some meta-message that we all play games to get a unique experience but are actually duped into repeating stuff everybody else is doing? I dunno, either way it's not very good

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The Witcher 3

Didn't really get on with the previous games but did manage to get this really, really cheap so I thought, "Why not?". Love the openness of the game and the ongoing war effort really adds to the feel of the game, putting the odd jarring moment aside (e.g. from sobbing your heart out to "Hello my lovely!" bipolar disorder - common to the genre so easily forgiven). Fantastic creatures and the combat works well, and hunting animals for food adds to the Witcher lifestyle (playing on hard, 'cos I think that's something missed on lower difficulties where mediation is a full heal).

I did tire of the endless discovery later in the game and ignored most of the '?' markers in Skellige (but did complete all contracts), even if it is the most beautiful part of the game -- there were a couple of times my head saw a perfect landscape for a brief glimpse (like the misty island lighthouse, wow), before being snapped back to "It's just computer graphics". A truly epic environment is depicted throughout.

Enjoyed the main story too, where the rich voice acting really adds to the game. Roughly 80 hours in total, level 35 and pretty much did everything in game so will pass on the DLC for now, return sometime for a New Game+.

Deserving of all the awards, highly recommended.

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The Walking Dead Seasons One and Two

Completed these with the gf. There really is barely any gameplay to these at all and yet they still manage to be compelling and I really enjoyed both seasons, unlike GoT which bored me after the first chapter. Only two things irked me:

In Season Two, I gave Arvo his bag back, but the game 'forgot' this and during the big standoff, Arvo was narked that I had robbed him.

Also Season Two. Every time there is something to be done, they send Clem to do it. By the end it was becoming something of a joke.

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Killer is Dead

Not Suda's best, but I enjoyed this more than I expected to. It's actually more knowing than it first seems, although the Gigolo sections are as dull as they are exploitative. Some great bosses and only the second game I've played with an epic fight on the moon set to Dvorak's New World Symphony...

Dr Langeskov

I liked this as a sketch rather than a game, although it was more one-note than The Stanley Parable (still need to play the full release - loved the mod way back) but then I am a sucker for Wreck-it-Ralph style behind the veil narratives.

Lego Batman

Played with kids. Some nice puzzles but felt too restrictive after playing Marvel Super Heroes before this. Hopefully Batman 2 is a bit more open as the kids loved running around the city in Marvel.

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Call of Duty Ghosts

Finished the campaign. I used to enjoy the campaigns in Call of Duty (especially liked CoD4) but they've got more and more far fetched to the point where I find it difficult to do more than dip in and out of these games, as the story just annoys me.

The gameplay is a mixed bag, with the straightforward running and gunning being enjoyable but it's increasingly thinned out with stuff just to make this CoD seem different to the rest; shitey underwater and in space sections and using a dog in first person to take down enemies. Defitely the least satisfying CoD I've played.

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The Beginner's Guide - Steam

Played it in two sittings and despite it just being a walking simulator in terms of mechanics, it was something that really hit home and led to me asking many questions of myself, both as a gamer and a person. Really well put together and an experience that will likely live with me until I cease to exist.

Up Next: To The Moon

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Lego Batman

Played with kids. Some nice puzzles but felt too restrictive after playing Marvel Super Heroes before this. Hopefully Batman 2 is a bit more open as the kids loved running around the city in Marvel.

You'll be pleased to hear that Lego Batman 2 does indeed have an open city to run around in. Unfortunately the third one doesn't (although it does have several smaller hub planets to explore).

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Really enjoyed Brothers - A tale of 2 sons. I know its been out on the 360 for ages but picked it up for the Xbone and loved every minute.

Finished Rise of the tomb raider over Xmas which felt like more of the same, which is fine by me.

Also went through Lego Jurassic World, did this with my youngest so it was nice to from that point of view, decent enough Lego game. And hes now looking forward to the Lego Avengers Assemble

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04/01/2016 - Faery - Legends of Avalon (PC)

A very basic RPG where your goal is to fly around 4 pretty basic and small areas doing dull tasks so that...ah, who cares? It isn't very good. It's short and yet not the good kind of short - it drags, not least because of the slow movement of your character and a rather skittish camera which means you sometimes go back on yourself. Being a faery, you upgrade parts of your body, which give you skills (i.e. you upgrade your wings to get a magic spell and your legs to boost your attack) and you can further upgrade these to boost them - yet they don't seem to add any power and combat is so dull and unchallenging anyway (it really is 'press A to win') that you might as well spread your skills out.

If you can be bothered to finish it, the story abruptly ends with a 'To be continued...' but, given that it probably only sold about 3 copies, I doubt that'll happen so we'll never know what comes next - and yet somehow, the world will still turn.

Previously completed:

01/01/16 - Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and the Terribly Cursed Emerald (PC)

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Halo 2 Anniversary

I hated this when I first played it on release in 2004 (seems like longer) but I think it's probably due a reappraisal. For some reason when I first played it I couldn't follow the plot at all. I'd already forgotten most of Halo's story by the time the sequel was released so maybe it was that. Presented here with the additional material from terminals and helped by me re-completing Halo at the end of 2015 it all just seems to make more sense. Instead of feeling a little lost I was able to get on and enjoy the game and actually most of what made Halo great is still there. The combat still flows back and forth brilliantly and while the arenas are never as open as in the original they still provide plenty of opportunity for improvisation.

A surprisingly good time was had by me.

Ori and the Blind Forest

A 2D platformer with Metroidvania elements, one horrendous difficulty spike in the middle and a beautiful art style. Just the game for me. I loved it but it divides opinion in the discussion thread. I may go back to 100% it if ng+ is added later in the year.

Halo 3 (MCC)

Much shorter than I remember but packs loads of fun into the time. Scarabs seem easier to take down than I remember. Also I didn't remember that it follows on directly from 2. I thought that more time was supposed to have passed between the two but I keep getting Halo's story wrong so what do I know?

Next up: Halo 3 ODST (MCC)

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My 2016 list:

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4) - 06/01/2016 - **** - A great open-world game which does not hand hold at all. It is a bit too big for me though, almost gave up a few times as it easily took me a solid month to get through. A great piece of work though, and after a break I may purchase the inevitable GOTY edition to pile through the well-regarded DLC.

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Ok. So far, it's...

Dying Light

Been dithering around in it for a while now, but decided to polish it off on Tuesday (5th Jan). When souped up, it's a proper joy to just sling yourself around and one-hit most zombies. And if there's a game that can't be improved by a grappling hook, then I don't know nuthing 'bout nuthing.

The Fall

Had my eye on this last Summer on the WiiU, but it slipped my brain. Found it whilst browsing the PSN store a couple of days ago and finished it last night (7th Jan). Kind of a cross between some existential sci-fi shit and Monkey Island. It's pretty funny too, but a different type of funny to MI. Well worth a punt at eight green queens.

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I've just completed Undertale. Brilliant game, with utterly superb music throughout - reminded me of, well, most the top-rated RPGs from the SNES era. While it is an 'easy' game, it's a great little experience. My game didn't end well and on reloading my save to make a different choice, the game now won't let me :sealclap:

Time to reset and play it properly.

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Heroes of the Storm(PC) - Started the year by getting Azmodan to level 10, which is when you can say you've finished leveling a Hero, sort of. Arguably even better than Abathur at winning/defeating the enemy core with brute force/sneak attacks. No real goals in the game right now for other level 10's, they happen when they happen.
Marvel Heroes(PC) - Got Kitty Pryde to 60 (max level), making my account exp bonus 150%. Each max leveled character gives you 5% past the 75% stage(you only needed 4 heroes at 60 for 75%), it maxes out at 200%, so I've still got a while to go to reach that goal. The winter buffs helped a bit. Next hero to level: Storm, whom is already mid-40's, very thundery!


Diablo III(PC) - New patch hit, after playing inventory Tetris for an hour, I decided to play around with it. Pushed my ex-seasonal Hardcore Witch Doctor until I lost him last night in a T6 Rift. I lost WD twice before last season, and I disliked the playstyle I had to move myself to once I lost the first WD (preferred the set focusing on pets, was stuck with the Haunt set), so it's no great loss. After learning of the new Thorns gem I'm pondering going Crusader this next season. (Starts Friday).

Super Mario 64(N64) - All the Games Done Quick 2016 excitement got me practicing doing Mario 64 fast around last weekend. At first it was terrible, 16 or so stars in an hour. After reading up on some tricks (no glitches) and practicing I can now manage 30ish stars in an hour. Quite happy with that. Might continue timing myself down the road. Completely forgotten how to get to Boo's Balcony when it comes to specific stars, mind.


Diablo III(PC) - Crusader thorns proved fantastic fun for the season, sadly losing characters multiple times to random night disconnects really sucks. I eventually leveled a Gem of Ease to fight back the Disconnection Boss with a army of Crusaders (I'm on my 4th, have an extra Crusader at 70, intend raising more) but I think I'll be taking the season slower than the initial 2 weeks certainly, and questioning myself if I want to stick to Hardcore next season. It's fantastic and makes everything feel more worthwhile, yes, but disconnection sucks balls.

The Witness(PC) - Only activated one laser at this point, I can't stop myself exploring the island usually. So start some puzzles then just go elsewhere and start something completely different. Surprisingly not taxing on my computer on highest settings which was a nice surprise. My main complaint so far is the lack of sound. Even just more atmospheric noise would be welcome, birds chirping, that kind of thing. It has some, just not enough. Granted if this place is supposed to represent death mc death of some sort by the looks of things so far...well, the near silence I suppose is justified, sort of.

Marvel Heroes 2016(PC) - Latest patch has hit and it's pretty good. Finished off leveling Storm to 60 and started leveling Human Torch. Also decided to prestige all my 60 heroes that are pointless at 60 (I wouldn't be gearing them, why stay there when I can get a costume out of them?) what with my focus being leveling, and now that there's a prestige leaderboard, all the better. Human Storm is squishy...but fun. Eats spirit a little too fast currently.

Hearthstone(PC) - Whilst I actually play this a little nearly daily I only just found out how to get the latest expansion via gold and not money, which makes me wish I didn't grab 600g of packs the other week, oh well. Each wing is 700g, so a reason to grind again. I could swear Naxx/BWL were easier in gold giving. Figured they'd just given up being able to get it with gold!

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I started keeping track of what games I finished last year so might as well join in the fun. This year I'll be trying to not abandon games after starting them, play more games released this year and clear some of of my backlog. Pretty sure I'll fail at least one of these but anyway, here goes.


08/01 - The Swapper - PS Vita

Picked this up again after leaving it aside for a while (had gotten it from PS+). Turns out I wasn't far from the end. It's a pretty well made puzzler, all told. The claymation look is fantastic, the atmosphere is rather creepy and the central mechanic is well integrated and executed upon for some clever puzzles. The latter ones are rather complex and I shamefully had to resort to a FAQ because I wanted to see the ending (also used one for the hidden terminals used for the trophies because frankly fuck searching for those). As for the story, it perhaps is a bit too understated in its delivery for its own good but it does touch upon some interesting themes. Not a bad start to the year.

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I made a frankly ridiculous resolution to not buy any games at all in 2016 and clear some of the backlog. We'll see how hard that resolve holds when one of those amazing Humble Bundle deals turn up.

Anyway, so far this year:

01/01 Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag (PS4)

Overall this is a really good game. Of course, the rest of you have known this for a couple of years at least but it both swashes and buckles admirably on the waves and while it still has those Ass Creed annoyances (stealth missions, follow missions) there were some really good Ass Creedy bits too where it gives you a large area within which to complete a couple of objectives how you see fit. The toolset and mostly forgiving stealth allow you to sneak and stab your way through a bunch of half blind guards and even when it goes wrong there are more than enough options at your disposal to defeat everyone without breaking much of a sweat. The modern day stuff is suitably mental but the real pearl in this oyster is the ship stuff, though. It's a great pirate game above all else and that's what elevates it above the normal Ubisoft open world fare.

09/01 Sniper Elite V2 (PC)

This was given away for free on Steam for 24 hours to celebrate the release of Sniper Elite 3, but this is a pretty good game in its own right. The bombed out streets and churches of Berlin offer a great setting for cat and mouse shenanigans with German and Russian soldiers alike and while it was certainly pushing its welcome come the last mission it managed to just stop short of outstaying it. The main feature of the game, the sniping, is as satisfying as you would want a sniper focused game to be (although I turned the frequency of the voyeuristic bullet, watch his head explode, cam right down) and the game is satisfyingly punishing if you allow more than one enemy to get close enough to see you. A nice surprise of a game that probably wouldn't have been on my radar save for their generosity (marketing).

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Fallout 4

After 150 hours of play I've finally finished with the main story and have seen three of the available endings. I've still got a lot of side quests to finish and a few non-story related achievements to unlock (such as 100% settlement happiness, hacking 50 terminals, etc), but for now, I'm done. I'll come back to this when there's DLC.

Also completed this year

The Walking Dead The First Season

Call of Duty Ghosts

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Until Dawn (PS4) - 10th Jan 2015

Really fun interactive B movie slasher. With a likeable cast, fun dialogue and entertaining 'horror movie' tense sequences I had a fun 6 - 7 hour blast with the game. I don't think I'd ever replay it but I really enjoyed my time with it.

Batman Arkham Knight (PC) - 8th Jan 2015

Wasn't sure what I'd think of this due to hearing the amount of Batmobile in the game but I ended up loving it and especially loving the Batmobile. So much so I ended up driving about more than actually gliding/flying. Definitely one of my favourites in the series alongside Asylum and Origins.

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