Happy New 2020 and putting a pin in 2019

The rest of the team have had their turn. It is interesting to see that we have all been touched by different games over the last 12 months.

The standout for Guy being Control, although we do agree on Blood and Truth being a landmark title for PSVR. Whereas Barrie loved Outer Worlds, I tried it, but wasn’t in the right space. Maybe I need to give it another spin now the fuss has died down. Gerard plumped for Plague Tale, which is title I have seen often recommended, but never looked close enough.

The great thing is, it looks like my Pile of Shame is about to get at least 3 games bigger.

Right now, looking back at 2019 we had some great titles to play and it really is hard to pull out a shortlist of favourites. That said, here’s my take.

Read more

2019 – How Did It Stack Up? (The Barrie’s Highlights Edition)

This years highlights for me are a bit tough. Basically because of all the older games I have been playing.

Thanks to Game Pass on the Xbox I have been enjoying a absolute plethora of classic titles and games I would otherwise not have looked at. And on the flip side many of the great releases in 2019 for me were actually remasters or re-releases.

So I will try and rattle off a few highlights, and of course a disappointment or two.

All these titles were played on the Xbox One X.

Read more

Shenmue 3, Review

I never played the original Shenmue, released 18 years ago on the Dreamcast, nor did I play Shenmue 2, so I went into Syu Suzuki’s (crowd funded) third Shenmue game (Shenmue 3) without rose-tinted glasses on or a feeling of nostalgia.

I’ve decided Shenmue 3 is a strange mix of old gaming mechanics wrapped up in a modern, shiny new skin – and I’m not sure it works entirely well in today’s modern gaming landscape.

Read more

Halo Reach (PC): Finishing the fight on a new platform

There’s no denying that Gregorian chants are a cornerstone of the Halo series. They’re unmistakable identifiers for the Master Chief and the fight against the alien covenant. Halo Reach is no exception.

So when the Gregorian chants fired up on the menu screen of the PC version, it brought a smile to both my face – and my ears (if my ears could smile, that is).

I’m not the world’s greatest Halo fan but I’ve played them all. Reach was always at the top of my list as my favourite of the series. Maybe it was because the story told of the close-knit camaraderie between the six members of Noble team. Cat, Emile, Jorge, Jun, Carter and Spartan B-312 (that’s you, by the way). As they take the fight to the covenant on the planet Reach, or maybe it was because Reach wasn’t about Master Chief. Whatever it was, Reach just resonated with me.

Read more

New Super Lucky’s Tale, Nintendo Switch

New Super Lucky’s Tale obviously treads well worn ground, and the Switch is the place for cutesy platformers. I did not play Super Lucky last time around when it graced the Xbox. In fact I haven’t played many platformers for a good while. The simple crux is, Super Lucky does the job well, it’s a joy to play.

Everything the game does it does well, without layers of complexity. There is no need to add depth, New Super Lucky’s Tale is here to scratch the itch of the classic platforming addict. Nice to look at and fun to play in this high paced disposable world, here’s a few hours of pleasant-ness.

Read more

Don’t Die, Minerva! Review (Xbox One X)

Every second game I have played recently seems to be a rogue-like or have rogue-like elements in them.

Thankfully, unlike the rest of the team, I am not adverse to this as I quite like the format and play style that rogue-likes fall into. That is not to say I don’t throw the odd controller in frustration at my 145th death in 3 minutes.

I have just learnt to throw it gently onto the couch beside me. But with a little Luigi flair this could be fun to play.

Don’t Die, Minerva! looks really nice and plays well. Although there isn’t a huge variety in what you are doing and where you are doing it, it maintains that, just one more run, feel you expect from a good rogue-like.

Read more

Borderlands 3, PS4 review

It’s been over a month since Borderlands 3 landed.

It feels much longer because we were incessantly hounded by it during the build-up to launch. It took me that long to plough through the game, so it was appropriate to scale down the review. I mean, what don’t you already know from your Influencer Overlords?

Historians will note that being alive in 2019 inevitably meant unavoidable exposure to Borderlands 3. There were campaigns on all fronts, it was a war fought globally. Including watching from the sidelines as special people were flown around for international previews. Even having their ego stroked by being sent roses to crow about the launch of a trailer. Yes, a trailer.

At the end of the day, whether you were ‘influenced’ or not – how did it play?

Read more