This Week, We ‘Ave Mostly Been Playing… #61

Another week done with. And another one filled to the brim with new game releases.

We just can’t keep up, honestly. But we do our best. We move from one title to another without releasing a single wasted breath. That’s how it has to be until the rush is over. Then we can relax. We look forward to relaxing.

So, what has the GameSpew team been playing this week? Read on to find out.



Rich: This week I’ve been playing a wide variety of games. NASCAR Heat 4 isn’t all that different from NASCAR Heat 3, but the changes that have been made really do take it to the next level. Action adventure Devil’s Hunt is let down by poor combat and a general lack of polish. While NBA 2K20 is great at its core, but a rubbish career mode and insidious microtransactions really bring the package down.

And they aren’t all of the games I’ve been playing. Star Wars Pinball is bloody good if you like Star Wars or pinball, and even better if you like both. Outbuddies seems like a promising Metroidvania experience, and Deadly Premonition Origins is, well, Deadly Premonition. Needless to say, if you’re into video games, there’s something new available for you right now. And if not right now then soon; the new releases just keep on coming.

Deadly Premonition Origins 1 (1)
Deadly Premonition Origins

Kim: With Apple Arcade this week, I’ve been putting my new iPad to the test. I’m already regretting not coughing up for the bigger storage option, honestly. The service as a whole is massively impressive, and there are already a lot of fantastic games on there. A standout one is Sayonara Wild Hearts, which I reviewed here. There are still several dozen I’m yet to try, however…

Away from my iPad, I played through Mutazione on PS4 (which incidentally, is also available on Apple Arcade). It was a game I went into blind, but it blew me away with its gorgeous setting and small, personable stories. I’ve also dipped into Borderlands 3, and hope to play some more this weekend. I’ve put a few hours into Torchlight II, and despite Rich’s rather average 6/10 review, I’m quite enjoying it. It might not be Diablo III but hey, it’s an adventure I’ve not already taken a dozen times, at least.

Mutazione
Mutazione

Diggy: As it came free with my Xbox Game Pass membership anyway, I gave Gears 5 a little go just to confirm that it really is as boring as I thought it would be (it is). Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was also added to Game Pass this week, so I’m thinking of giving that try instead, because who doesn’t love a Metroidvania?

After reporting on Celeste‘s new ‘Farewell’ update last week, I got curious and loaded the game up again to see what it was all about. Unfortunately, that’s when I discovered that the new chapter only unlocks after completing the bit I didn’t bother with because I hadn’t collected enough crystal hearts. Oh well, won’t be playing that then! I liked Celeste well enough but I’m a bit confused by the crazy level of praise it’s received from some people. The platforming was pretty fun, but I ended up getting annoyed at how often I’d have to stop jumping, dashing and climbing so I could be force-fed some plot. I guess it didn’t really get to me emotionally the same way it did for others – maybe I’d appreciate it more if I didn’t have an endless gaping void instead of a soul.

Gears 5 4 (1)
Gears 5

Chris: I got my hands on Groundhog Day: Like Father, Like Son which was disappointing and not just because it killed off Bill Murray’s character. Just messing around with objects was entertaining enough; I discovered I could make a bacon smoothie, which didn’t go down well with my character’s vegan niece. But the minigames were a little flaky, thanks in part to the PSVR’s technical shortcomings. Putting me in the shoes of such a miserable character didn’t help draw me into the game.

I had a better time with Blair Witch. It expands on the the movie’s mythos to the point where I can see Burkittsville taking over from Silent Hill as the number one holiday spot for tormented souls. I’m also working my way through AI: The Somnium Files. Ten minutes into the game I talked my sentient eyeball into snorting a pot plant, which should give you an idea of how off-the-wall it is. Look out for my review of it next week.

Blair Witch 2 (1)
Blair Witch

Becca: I jumped back into the year 2013 this week and played about a dozen or more hours of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of White Witch Remastered. My sister (the person I played the original with) and I didn’t really notice a difference in the graphics, but we still had a great time jumping back into the game after all these years. And now, I’ve got even further than I did the first time around. I’ve just hit the open seas with my full team and I can’t wait to finally see how the game ends.

I also played the rhythm game Super Dodgeball Beats. With a great soundtrack and fun aesthetic, I thought it’d be the perfect rhythm game for me. It’s still a lot of fun once you get the hang of it, but to be honest the actual rhythm aspect for it is a little funky. Still, rhythm game aficionados looking for a new title might like to give it a try. The other game I played this week was Rebel Cops, a real time strategy game. It’s a spin-off of one of the studios’ other title, This is the Police, and you have to essentially take on the role of the only good cops left in a town of corrupt lawmen. It’s difficult, but also an entertaining time.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m off to go collect more familiars in Ni No Kuni, I’ll catch that banana familiar if it’s the last thing I do.

Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered

Stan: Stan is sound asleep in his chamber.
“Stan…Stan…You are the light…our light that must shine upon Hyrule once again…Now go.”
Stan rolls over and goes back to sleep.
“Can Hyrule’s destiny really depend on such a lazy boy?”
Stan realises the day has finally come and jumps out of bed.

If you read this on Friday you’ll find me playing Link’s Awakening. If you read this on Saturday you’ll find me playing Link’s Awakening. If you read this on – you get the idea: Zelda is coming and I can’t wait! Creating a list of the top 20 Legend of Zelda side characters has just got me even more excited for the latest addition to my favourite franchise. Keep the remasters coming!

Zelda Link's Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening