Games Completed 2023

I was working in a college circa 2006 and I remember a student who was usually calm being really moody. I asked him what was wrong and he said “Halo 2”. I was puzzled then he explained how wrong it was that you suddenly play as an alien. I was puzzled by this also and eventually played the game a few years later after picking it up for a few quid. I bought the OG XBOX 2nd hand bundled with Half Life 2 from GameStation for £60 just to play Half Life 2. I have never completed a Halo game. Have played the start of the first 3. There’s something about them but I lose direction in them. I haven’t had an XBOX since the 360 and feel no need to go back.

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Halo 2 was such a big deal on release in my school. I felt pressured to swap my PS2 for an Xbox just to play it. I did and then took the system back the next day after beating Halo 2 in one sitting.

Ive since replayed it many times and i oddly love it, but my PS2 was so much better.

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The drop off in quality with Halo 4 is staggering

I think this was an amazing narrative and gameplay choice frankly, and I loved it at the time - but by god I have no idea what the storyline was all about at the time, and I still don’t. It’s like perpetually watching a TV show but missing every second episode sometimes.

  1. Dead Cells
  2. Two Point Campus
  3. Unpacking
  4. art of rally
  5. Midnight Suns

An alright card/strategy battler with a nothing story and totally lopsided social-sim aspects. The dialogue improved after the beginning but I still played most of it on silent with music on. Can’t see me being arsed to try the Deadpool expansion tbh.

Your team towards the end is affected by who you make the closest friends with so now I know in real life I’m more likely to hang out with Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Blade and Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes, not Johnny Blaze who’s kind of a dick). Almost everything I said lost me friendship points with Iron Man which was nice.

Jan 13th - Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)
Feb 7th - Hi-fi Rush (Xbox Series S)
Feb 10th - Goldeneye (Xbox Series S / Switch)
Feb 20th - Halo: Combat Evolved / The Master Chief Collection (Xbox Series S)

Feb 25th - Bayonetta 3 (Switch)

I really hope there’s a Cane and Rinse episode on this one next year as by GOD this would be a great game to hear a range of views on.

I’m honestly not sure at all what I thought of this game. I liked the original a ton, adored the sequel and have no idea where I’d place this one. The 9/10 rave reviews baffle me somewhat; but equally I’ve not heard it discussed on any of the gaming podcasts I listen to, and that seems a disservice too.

It’s all over the shop. Sometimes the game is gorgeous; stunning art direction, gorgeous cut scenes, imagination ozzing out of crazy locations everywhere… sometimes it looks like a ropey Xbox 360 game and slightly barren.

Sometimes the new, gigantic monster summons segueway into the combat seamlessly and take the series to new epic heights. Sometimes they slow everything down, ruin your combo and leave you wishing they’d go away.

Sometimes the humour, colour, breathless action, variety of setting, boss battles and sheer inventiveness of the thinking on display is mesmerising. The multiverse concept allows Platinum to have a ridiculous amount of fun with alternate takes on Bayonetta, her respective weaponry and demon pals; there is a run of levels in the midgame which are enormous fun.

Equally at times, it feels like the designers and artists weren’t aware of the script, so whilst they’re off being creative and generally brilliant, the writers were slowing things down to a halt with the most laboured, serious and drawn out cut scenes in the series, when you just want to press on. The tone feels a bit off and different too…

The biggest issue for me was the new playable character, Viola. Firstly, her levels seem so much worse than Bayonettas; bad mid level tasks (one where you have to find water is maddening) and parrying timing that’s so jarring to Bayonettas that it becomes very hard to complete a level. She feels and plays like a less interesting Dante from DMC. Secondly, she’s a bit annoying. Like the kid from 2, her character doesn’t really develop or get better narratively nor mechanically. And she plays a big role in the game.

I’m left though utterly fascinated by this game. I wonder if, on repeat playthroughs where you can skip cut scenes and try out the alternate weapon sets, the game goes to another level. Because when it clicks, it REALLY clicks. And there is certainly plenty to do post credits to encourage that.

Also the ending is really interesting. I can see multiple reasons why it’s upset and perplexed different groups of long term fans for varying reasons, but equally it’s really brave. No matter what you can criticise about Bayonetta 3, being more of the same is not one such qualm.

It tries a new summons system, introduces new characters, changes how weapons work, raises the stakes, moves the story on and sets the series up to go in a new direction. I’m not sure it’s 100% successful or personally as good as the leaner focus of 1 and 2, but I’m glad that it exists and that Platinum tried to do something different.

I think it’ll be a cult classic and one of those games that in a few years time, people will likely reassess; some fondly, some viciously. But the world’s a better place for developers trying stuff like this in my eyes than just repeating themselves, even if the results are mixed.


Dead Space remake - PS5


Not very scary tbh

But still good


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Hades (attempt 36) - decent game eh? Think I’ll be playing this quite a lot more.

  1. Hi-Fi Rush

  2. Metroid Prime Remastered

  3. Norco - not had so much patience for point and click sorta stuff in recent times, but really engaged with this. Atmospheric and odd. If there’s a good ending, I don’t think I got it :joy:. Makes me want to go back to both Kentucky Route Zero and Disco Elysium, both of which I never finished.

  4. Kirby and the Forgotten Land - slightly different vibe to Norco. Mega inventive and just feels great to play. The mouthful modes didn’t get tired. Mostly as easy as Kirby games usually are, but I struggled way more with the final boss than the last two in Metroid Prime! Blaming my cold. Going to have a look at the post game stuff.

  1. Dead Cells
  2. Two Point Campus
  3. Unpacking
  4. art of rally
  5. Midnight Suns
  6. Ori & the Blind Forest

LOVED this. Took the beautiful visuals and air-tight OH SHIT RUN platforming from Rayman Legends in an original setting with Metroidvania mapping that doesn’t make me stress out.

The pacing of new power-ups and challenges was perfect but I was bummed it was done in 9 hours as I could have easily kept going for twice as long. The combat was a bit bleh but it wasn’t the major focus. It also gets frustrating with constant deaths but getting the little dance of the platforming-escape levels down was super satisfying. Will be getting the sequel.

(Also Ori is a rabbity thing)

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Also Ori 2 is way better they fix the combat and it looks even nicer and the map design is even better! Enjoy! (If u ever play it)

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  1. Vampire Survivors

  2. Hellblasters

  3. Cosmo Dreamer

  4. Super Mario Land

  5. Super Mario Land 2: Six Gold Coins

  6. Cosmic Star Heroine

Chrono Trigger inspired turned based RPG with modern elements (no random battles, no grinding etc). Daft story, large cast of silly characters, nice sprite work, solid music. Done in about 10 hours and passing over a lot of side quests. Enjoyed it on the whole.

Main issue is about the difficulty. Found on normal that fights felt more like a grind than a challenge. Combat is quite interesting - you get a load of different abilities you can only use once then have to recharge by skipping a turn, and every few turns you go hyper for extra power, so you have to manage your moves quite smartly for maximum effect and balance what your team team does. But I never felt too much at risk and it was quite forgiving and straightforward to figure out the routines that worked most effectively.

Had two options, to increase the difficulty or lower it. Figured that at harder difficulty it would basically just take longer to get through fights, so I lowered it to easy instead and blasted through them. But that of course meant I felt I may as well just have skipped them entirely, which meant the game was barely interactive and you’re just running through corridors reading weak dialogue.

So I dunno. I really want to appreciate good RPGs and I part of me wants to get stuck into hyped titles liked Chained Echoes and Sea of Stars. But I don’t know if I’ll ever be down with turn based combat.

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1 - God of War: Ragnarok
2 - Stray

  1. Ghost of Tsushima

Absolutely cannot work out if this is actually a good game or not. I did really enjoy it, decent enough plotlines, it looks amazing, combat is good if a little on the easy side occasionally. Even the stealth was good fun rather than frustrating.

But it’s all been done so many times before by other games (hello ubisoft). And I know it’s largely optional, but there’s still so much of it.

As is the norm these days, it’s a 50 hour game that shows you absolutely everything it has to offer in the first 20 hours, then just keeps repeating it.

old school score: 78%


1 - God of War Ragnorak - PS5
2 - Citizen Sleeper - Switch
3 - Cultist Simulator - Switch
4 - Tinykin - Switch
5 - Hogwarts Legacy - PS5

This game was a lot of fun to begin with, the world the devs have built looks amazing and is full of little secrets waiting to be discovered. The combat was fun (at least to begin with) and there were some genuine decisions you had to make through the game that had an actual impact on how the story played out to some extent.

However the actual game play is a massive throw back to a game bloated with busy work (there are 95 Merlin Trials spread through the map and only 4-5 different variations of them). The game gets massively repetitive (both in the busy work and the constantly looping dialogue from your character and NPCs you pass). The difficulty of the boss fights towards the end of the game is also simply increased by making them fight exactly like everyone else you have fought so far in the game, they just have massive health pools.

The game looks amazing and discovering all the hidden secrets in and around Hogwarts is great fun but when it wants you to actually play the game it just isn’t as engaging and there is a lot of faff that is just not needed just for the sake of bulking out the list of things you need to do in the world.

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  1. God of War: Ragnorock
  2. The Last of Us Part 1 (2022)
  3. Dead Space (2023)
  4. Persona 5 Royal

First time playing Royal and it is better than the original, though I wished they changed even more. I soured on it after 80 hours - too much repetition and there’s so much bloat to the dialogue. Despite that, I had a great time.

  1. Pentiment

I liked Pentiment quite a bit. The structure is a bit odd though. It takes too long to get going, and then the first two acts are an RPG with the final act being more like a visual novel. Still, it scratches a bit of a Disco Elysium itch, while doing it’s own thing, and the production of everything is quite lovely. I felt very moved at the end too.

Abandoned :disappointed_relieved:

Battletech - The mech fights are way too slow and I found the setting quite bland.

Ghostwire Tokyo - Got about half way then packed it in. I was enjoying it but could tell that I’d resent it if I played any longer. The missions aren’t interesting (it’s a lot of go to A, then B, then C), and the combat didn’t have enough depth to justify the sheer amount of it. Also didn’t think it leaned enough into being weird. I really hope there’s a sequel though, assuming it will be better!

Finished Pentiment myself just now, as it happens.

It drags in the Mags section where there are barely any decisions to be made, you just have to go around town clicking on all the things. Boy does it stick the landing though, very moving.

I also really liked in a oh-I-actually-hate-this kind of way the concept of having to solve a murder mystery with a time limit that will prevent you getting the full picture, and you have to basically choose a hunch to focus on, or one you think your talents are best suited at uncovering. It does a better job of making your choices feel meaningful than anything I’ve played recently.

I feel they sort of occasionally remembered they were making a video game and went ‘uhh… how about some literal cookie cutting here then?’ They honestly shouldn’t have bothered with any of that. I’m not sure I could recommend it to anyone who isn’t interested in what’s essentially a visual novel. It has such an abundance of humanity about it though, animated by such an infectious enthusiasm for the period, that I feel I will be recommending it lavishly anyway. 8/10.

  • Vampire Survivors
  • Hellblasters
  • Cosmo Dreamer
  • Super Mario Land
  • Super Mario Land 2: Six Gold Coins
  • Cosmic Star Heroine
  1. Dragon Blaze

Psikyo’s late period classic that some contrarians insist is their best game… and they might be right. It’s certainly up there with Gunbird 2 and Strikers 1945 II in terms of sheer playability.

Revolves around a key mechanic of a powerful shot you have to be close to an enemy to land, meaning you need to play pretty aggressively to benefit. It’s smart, with lots of nuances, but I liked it.

Fucking nails though. I mean, they all are, but this has taken several nights of grinding to get the 1cc, and that’s on the lowest of seven difficulty settings (the charmingly named “Monkey” difficulty). Not sure I’ll even try go for it on higher levels, but still, a charming minor classic.

1 - God of War Ragnorak - PS5
2 - Citizen Sleeper - Switch
3 - Cultist Simulator - Switch
4 - Tinykin - Switch
5 - Hogwarts Legacy - PS5
6 - Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

Loved the combat on this game, the parry and follow up mechanic felt really great, especially when swinging a giant axe. The world design also felt a lot less repetitive than in the Nioh games even though you did revisit some of the maps a few times.

There were some really cool boss battles but the game did feel a little easier than the Nioh games (I don’t know if that was just the case in general or whether I just gelled more with the parry mechanic in this than the 2 or 3 main mechanics in the Nioh games you had to get competent at).

I still ended up with too much loot and got frustrated with having to repeatedly sell stuff in order to clear room to pick up more items/armour/weapons and I don’t think I used 95% of the things I picked up.

  1. Norco
  2. High on Life
  3. Hi-Fi Rush
  4. Wolfenstein: The New Order

I have been digging into the back catalogue of titles that are on the Xbox Game Pass and have decided that FPS games are probably my favourite modern type of game, and whilst that church includes titles I’ll never play, it also includes some of my absolute favs. This one has been put up there in the same breath as the stunning Titanfall 2 in the FPS thread, so I decided to give it a go.

I found it to be a lot of fun, in the same way a Macc D meal is tasty at the time. While playing certain parts I was convinced it was exceptional, and then at other times I was convinced that it was kinda mid and at worst actually dogshit.

I see it as a really interesting stepping stone from the games of the early 2000s to the current crop of shooters as there are things in it that I liked but can see how the evolution went to where we are now. The levels are great, but lack a bit of distinction, and the stand out ones are not really typical of the game. I found the jumping around the story to be just like sticky notes on the wall linked by thread, not a real story that felt cohesive, which most games are now.

I was impressed by how affectring the plot was, frankly, and I was not expecting a love story. Was pretty well handled, and the support characers were all quite well drawn too, and not dipshits I wanted to tell to be quiet, bar a few Fergus lines.

Yes I saved Fergus.

I found the perks system to be brilliant - just give me auto upgrades based on actually doing things and i wish that’d be in all games. I hate perk trees and points and shit, fuck that. Automate it for me, make is simple, and i’ll be very grateful.

The game didn’t explain a lot of the stuff very well, though knowing me that might be my fault. It was on Chapter 14 when my mate noted that a rocket would work well here, and I asked him how to get one. Turned out every weapon has an alternate fire. Fucks sake. Also, I found the management of the weapons to be very annoying. I don’t like the wheel method of changing weapons, especialley when the game doesn’t pause in the back ground, so do either - quick switch through them all or pause when in the radial thing.

Finally, i don’t understand how there can be a sequel to it, seeing the ending. But, there is.

Instead of jumping right into The New Colossus, I am going to play Gears of War Ultimate Edition. Why not.

Play The Old Blood before NC.