It’s hard work getting back into the swing of things after Christmas.
It’s cold, it’s dark, a whole year looms ahead… thankfully we have video games to keep our spirits up! Here’s what we’ve been playing this week.
Have a great weekend, everyone.
Rich: This week, I ‘ave been mostly playing a game that I can’t say anything about yet. You can thank embargoes for that, but you’ll be able to read about it next week. I’ve also been playing a lot of Sundered: Eldritch Edition on Xbox One, attempting to make more of a dent in it than I did in the PS4 version upon its initial release. I’m enjoying it, but its roguelike features still don’t feel necessary to me.
Other time has been spent playing Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition, which is good, and Atari Flashback Classics, which is meh. I’ve finally got around to playing Yoku’s Island Express, too, which seems pretty nifty indeed! It’s got some competition for my playing time thanks to Hitman HD Collection just being released though.
Kim: I’ve been playing Elli, which released on Switch yesterday. It’s a fun platform-puzzler. Very old school, with no combat. It’s a bit rough around the edges but it’s certainly keeping me entertained. Look out for my review early next week.
On Xbox, I played through Kingmaker: Rise to the Throne, the latest hidden object adventure from Artifex Mundi – aka my favourite of all guilty pleasures. I’ve also been trying to get the last achievement I need in Solitaire for completing an expert-level game of Spider Solitaire, but damn it, I just can’t do it.
I played a few hours of Call of Cthulhu, too, which I was thoroughly enjoying until I got to a major stealth section. Then, as the saying goes, I spat my dummy out.
Becca: This week I dove head first into Red Dead Redemption 2. Rather than do what I normally do and waste time doing random things around the world I did actually do some story missions. They were just okay. Where Red Dead shines is in its totally random encounters: just last night I came across a group of KKK members doing some kind of ridiculous fire ritual until a few of them actually burnt up. Karma, my dudes, Karma.
I also played Mittelborg, a fun strategy where you must resource manage in order to protect the City of Mages from incoming attacks. The art style is gorgeous and the gameplay is fun and engaging, but its story is what makes the experience the most worth while. I also dabbled in a bit of Crimson Keep, a dungeon crawler with some serious kinks to work out, but it definitely has some potential. The combat is slow and it can get pretty repetitive, but if you’re into dungeon crawlers you’d probably have a couple hours of fun.
Stan: Is there anything better than seeing Portsmouth score a late winner in the FA Cup third round? Yup. Seeing Pompey score a late winner in the FA Cup, AND get promoted to the Premier League – which happened finally to me in Football Manager 2019 on the Switch… sadly not in real life (yet). I’ve been scrambling through my shortlist and getting good players for cheap to prepare for a season against the likes of Man City, Liverpool and Southampton (not really Southampton – easy three pointer mate). I started out in League 1 with a more basic approach to tactics [could link the guide with the 10 ways to be successful in Football Manager here], but quickly changed to a more expert approach in the Championship: there’s three golden tactical rules to follow.
I’ve also been catching Pokémon like a maniac with Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu. It’s been a trip down memory lane for me and I’ve just loved the evolution of the original classic. I was worried about the Switch’s future this year, but seeing the potential line up of games has actually made me more excited than ever. This really could be the year of the Nintendo Switch (and my year too, because, you know, being a famous football manager and Pokémon master deserves some praise…)
Matt: This week I’ve been testing out Block Quest Maker for the Switch. While I feel myself wanting to have some more variability in design, it’s a full-enough dungeon creator for on-the-go creativity. Outside of that, I have continued trudging through what the Black Armory of Destiny 2 has to offer. With the recent news of the Activision/Bungie split, I am hopeful for the future of the franchise, now that Bungie controls its own future singlehandedly.
Robert: What does a PlayStation-playing man do when he is bought both God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 for Christmas? Play Spyro of course. I have not had the time available or the dedication to play either of those giants of games yet, and so have instead turned to a comforting, purple dragon to help me relax in my time off.
I bought Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy for my other half for our anniversary. It is a relaxing laid back game perfect for her non-gaming self, especially as she loves the cute dragon. But I found that I have fallen in love all over again as I delve into that gem-collecting world once more. The simplicity of the platformer collectathon had deserted me for over a decade and it is more than good to be back at it!
Chris: This week I’ve been messing about in Hitman: Blood Money, ready for the release of the HD edition. At least, I was ready till I saw the price. £49.99 for a 12 year old game, albeit a good one, and a rather rubbish sequel is too much of an ask. I think I’ll be sticking with the Xbox One backwards-compatible version of the game for now.
I also delved into the grim but engaging Bury Me, My Love. The fact I have to sit through the same dialogue again on subsequent playthroughs is irritating, but I’m determined to give Nour an ending which doesn’t end with her imprisoned or worse.