Fallout 4

Fallout 4 for me was the pinnacle of the Fallout franchise. Many would say that New Vegas is more deserving of this title – and I understand why! It is an excellent game, but my personal opinion is that Fallout 4 delivers what I want from the franchise in just about every area.

The game itself is so crisp and smooth in comparison to the previous entries to the series, and the world is much larger as well – I haven’t even explored all of it as of yet!

A huge world full of unique characters, desolate ruins, and environmental story-telling (a specialty of Bethesda), there is simply so much to see while you’re travelling the wasteland that is now The Commonwealth. I really enjoyed the story revolving around finding your missing son, who was kidnapped from their cryo-chamber! Watching the event from your own chamber as the a mysterious man murders your spouse, steals your infant child, and then taunts you inches away from your face through the glass … it is a very powerful introduction to this story-filled game.

There are a number of factions for you to meet and interact with, and it will be necessary to befriend them in order to complete your goal of finding your son – but you can’t befriend them all! The Commonwealth is a dangerous place, full of raiders, mutated monsters, and rumours of the mysterious Institute have everyone on edge.

One of the things I was most excited for was the Settlement mechanic! The junk that you pick up around the Fallout universe has been mostly useless up until now – you can break these items down at your settlement to get hold of resources, which you can then use to make all sorts of buildings, contraptions, and many other things. I have spent a lot of time building nice, well-defended settlements for the people of The Commonwealth to live out their days in peace and safety!

Of course another thing to comment on would be the companion characters that you come across – they are certainly an important part of the game, as I’m sure most people who play prefer to travel with one! They’re definitely unique characters amongst themselves, and I’m not just saying that because one of them is a dog!

You can really play this game however you see fit, with dialogue choices that help to form your personality, not to mention the story choices you make that will affect various people you meet. And with the many, many perks that you can adopt upon levelling up, you really can make any kind of character that you want to!

The game only got better with each installment of DLC that was released – particularly Far Harbour, Nuka-World, and Automatron. All three provided extra story, and lots of fun for me. Automatron allowed you to build your own robots which could then be your companions, and Far Harbour and Nuka-World both gave us entirely new areas to discover and explore, with new enemies and factions to kill/befriend!

I don’t really think you can go wrong with this game, it definitely gets my recommendation! (It certainly helps that it’s very cheap to buy these days!)


  • Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Release Date: 10/11/2015
  • Genre: Open World RPG

Screencheat

Chaos. Madness. Absurdity. Expect all of this and more if you decide to play Screencheat. This is one of my favourite games to play with friends in local multiplayer, it is quite simply … ridiculous.

What is it? Exactly what it says on the tin. There are a number of different game modes, the kind that you would expect from a first person shooter such as Team Deathmatch, and Capture The Flag (although named differently within the game).

So what sets this apart from any other first person shooter you could play with your friends? Well … everyone is invisible! So how do you play? You Screencheat! You must watch the other player’s screens to figure out where they are, but you have to hurry, before they figure out where you are!

The stages themselves are bright, vivid, and segmented by colour – this is the main way to determine where your opponents are, by looking at what colour is on their screen. But there’s plenty of ways to zip around the various stages by jumping through vents and being blasted through the air by fans!

Another thing I should mention – don’t expect to be using weapons that you would expect to see in other first person shooters! The weapons are arguably more unique than the concept of the game itself. There are a number of gun type weapons, but it’s much more fun in my opinion to use the zanier options such as the Hobby Horse (charge!), Bear Bomb (no further explanation needed), Sorgean (lots of potential for mishaps here), and the Chefolet (particularly dangerous, with ricocheting energy balls!).

Next thing to mention is the mutators. As you level up, you will unlock new mutators to use in your games, which spice up the matches somewhat. Some of them will affect the actual gameplay such Flappy Jump which allows you to perform a large number of midair jumps, Hyper Mode which makes everything fast, and Martyrdom which will make you drop bombs upon dying. Then there are the mutators which are just for fun. A couple of examples are The Haunting which will cause the ragdolls left behind on death to fly around the room, and Wilhelm which causes the infamous Wilhelm scream to play upon the death of a player.

The last thing I want to mention is the commentator. He is as equally absurd as the rest of the game, and he’s always ready to point out your deaths, and your silly mistakes! “Butter fingers!”

This game can also be played online, but it’s my personal opinion that this is a game that is best played with your friends via local multiplayer.


  • Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: 21/10/14 (PC), 01/03/16 (PS4, Xbox One), 29/11/18 (Nintendo Switch)
  • Genre: First Person Shooter

The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess

If you were to ask me what the first thing that comes to my head is when talking about Twilight Princess, my first thought would be the sheer excitement I had as a child waiting for this game to come out. I had some sort of promotional DVD which I assume must have come with a magazine that I used to collect at that age, which had the trailers for the game on it, and I must have sat on the edge of my seat watching these trailers a ridiculous number of times!

As much as I enjoyed the colourful environment of Wind Waker, once I saw how dark Twilight Princess was going to be, I knew I was going to fall in love – and I was right.

Gorgeous visuals, dark atmospheres, a huge and breathtaking world, and an unforgettable story – this is what is waiting for anyone who gives their time to this installment of the Zelda series.

I felt like this was a truly epic adventure, with nine huge dungeons to conquer, monstrous bosses to defeat, and a sinister antagonist in the form of the King Of Twilight, Zant, who was acting on behalf of returning villain, Ganondorf. On top of this, the designs for the monsters were fantastic, particularly those that you would find in the Twilight Realm … the monsters found within are twisted beings, completely contrasted to the world of Hyrule.

As is usually the case with a Zelda game, the soundtrack is unforgettable, big and bold! To this day, I still whistle various tunes as I’m doing the most random of chores.

I feel like I can’t talk about Twilight Princess without mentioning a certain cutscene … If you’ve played, then you know the one. A twisted account of Hyrule’s history, and also a foreboding premonition of what could come to pass. This cutscene is one of the creepiest things I have ever seen, and most likely it is the creepiest thing that I’ve seen in a video game! It’s a perfect example of the exceptional artistic design behind this game.

The creepy cutscene of Hyrule’s history.

I really enjoyed the new gameplay mechanics that were introduced here, in particular Link’s Wolf Form. This really varied the gameplay, making sure that you’re not likely to get too bored running around as Link all the time in this vast world (which would never be a problem for me personally …).

The companion character of this game, Midna, was also a great addition to the game in my opinion. It was the first time it felt like you had a true companion … I like Navi in Ocarina Of Time, but her main purpose is to give you information on enemies and how to beat them. Tatl in Majora’s Mask was an improvement as she had more story involvement. The King Of Red Lions in Wind Waker had a lot of story involvement, but wasn’t a true companion seeing as … he’s a boat. Midna travels with you in your shadow, she has a lot of personality, and I love her story and what she brings to the game.

Though it isn’t my favourite entry to the series, there’s no question that this is one of my favourites – one that I have revisited many times!


  • Platform: Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U
  • Release Date: 19/11/2006-19/12/2006 (Region Dependent)
  • Rerelease Date: 04/03/2016-10/03/2016 (Region Dependent)
  • Genre: Fantasy Adventure

The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Majora’s Mask is the dark direct sequel to one of the most famous entries to The Legend Of Zelda franchise – Ocarina Of Time. It features the same Link, the Hero Of Time, in his child form. We are told that he is on a journey searching for a friend. The most obvious interpretation is that he is in fact looking for Navi, as she left him at the end of the game. But this is never stated as fact, so who he is searching for is really left to our own interpretation.

The game was actually made using the same engine and character models as Ocarina Of Time, so you will most likely recognise all the characters you see in the game, even though they will in fact be different people! I actually don’t see this as a design issue though, as Majora’s Mask is supposed to take place in a parallel world to Hyrule, so I personally feel that the repeated models compliment this well.

The usual Zelda conventions are somewhat tweaked here, in that the main focus is removed from the dungeons, with only a total of four main dungeons for you to clear through. Instead the game pushes you to focus on mask-collecting and side quests, two things which were present in Ocarina Of Time but were not nearly as significant to the story.

I love the side quests so much, and really get a lot of enjoyment out of completing them, but this is hardly my favourite thing about Majora’s Mask.

This is a dark game. Nintendo are usually known for their cute, family friendly games, and although The Legend Of Zelda certainly does have its dark moments, Majora’s Mask set the bar to a different level entirely. Skull Kid has caused the Moon to fall, and so it shall … in three days! The people of Termina are largely ignorant to the certain doom that hangs above them, until the final day … on this day people flee, they take refuge, they are scared for their lives – all the people you come across will react differently to this crisis.

Truly, the beauty of this game is in the tiny details hidden in every area.

In 2015, long-time fans the world over rejoiced at the release of a 3DS remake! The world of Termina has never looked so detailed and full of life! There were some updates made in the remake to make the Player’s journey easier, such as the complete overhaul of the Bomber’s Notebook, which was certainly appreciated by myself at the very least.

This was one of my all time favourites when I was younger, and it still feels just as important to me today!


  • Platform: Nintendo 64, Nintendo 3DS
  • Release Date: 27/04/2000 (JP), 26/10/2000 (NA), 17/11/2000 (PAL)
  • Rerelease Date: 13/02/2015 (NA, EU), 14/02/2015 (JP, AU)
  • Genre: Fantasy Adventure

My Pokémon Gym

This post is part of a small collaboration project with Robert Ian Sheperd of Adventure Rules – see the original post here.

So what does my Pokémon Gym look like? First let’s start with where I would decide to set up shop.

Azalea Town would be my number one spot for where I would want my Gym. I love azaleas for a start (they’re one of my favourite plants) and I have always liked Slowpoke Well, and was amused by the idea of a city pretty much brimming with Slowpoke. Also, let’s face it: Bugsy isn’t all that tough. It wouldn’t take much convincing that I would be the better choice as Gym Leader.

Pokémon Heart Gold/Soul Silver: Azalea Town

A theme? I don’t think I would want to follow a type theme – I certainly have my preferences, but part of me always wished the Gyms would have a bit more variety, for the sake of giving some extra challenge. It doesn’t feel that tough when you can steamroll all the Gym trainers and the Leader with a single Pokémon with a clear type advantage, without even needing to head over to the Pokémon Centre because this single Poké is now totally overlevelled…

I would probably choose a trio of types, and my gut reaction to this option is Water, Psychic and Ghost.

All good gyms have a puzzle of some sort to solve, or if not a puzzle then at least an aesthetic. I quite like the format of Norman’s gym from Gen 3, where you have a selection of rooms, each one warning you of what the trainer relies on before you enter, and you have to battle your way through the rooms to reach the Gym Leader. Well what if we combine this concept (although I might take the notes away, I don’t want to make my Gym too easy!) with an aesthetic that is borrowed from another game entirely … In The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time there is a particular room within the Water Temple where you fight Shadow Link. It appears to be a vast, mysterious, watery plain, with a ghostly mist hanging over it. Upon defeating Shadow Link, the illusion is lifted and it is a regular room. What if you enter the trainer’s room to an environment similar to this, and the illusion lifts once you beat the trainer? I feel like this would tie in really well with the Ghost/Psychic theming.

Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time – Mini Boss room in the Water Temple

Okay, so we’ve got the location, the theme, and the “puzzle” … I guess that just leaves one thing to talk about right?


Starmie

  • Double Team
  • Rain Dance
  • Scald
  • Thunder
Starmie is one of my favourites, fast enough to get in there first, with a fairly high Special Attack that would prove to be threatening to any under-prepared team.

Espeon

  • Double Team
  • Calm Mind
  • Stored Power
  • Morning Sun
Another one of my favourites, this particular moveset could be devastating if you can’t take him down quick enough.

Gengar

  • Hypnosis
  • Nightmare
  • Dream Eater
  • Shadow Ball
Gengar boasts very high Speed and Special Attack, so you better take him out before he gets the better of you with this debilitating moveset.

Milotic

  • Coil
  • Recover
  • Waterfall
  • Toxic
Milotic is a total tank, high HP and Special Defence, with fair Defence, it takes quite a beating before it goes down!

Malamar

  • Superpower
  • Psychocut
  • Night Slash
  • Hypnosis
Malamar has an excellent design and I think he fits in with the theme here perfectly. Decent stats all round, but he becomes a real powerhouse when you combine Superpower with the Contrary ability!

Aegislash

  • Sacred Sword
  • Iron Head
  • Shadow Claw
  • Double Team
Aegislash has a great ability, Stance Change. Status moves trigger the shield stance with high Defences, and attacking moves trigger the sword stance with high Attack/Special Attack and Speed. Can you take it down before Double Team gets used?

Stardew Valley

I have spent hours and hours and hours on this game. So simple, yet so much depth!

Right from the off you are given a rather heartbreaking scene, where your grandfather is on his death bed and gives you an envelope with instructions to open it only once modern society has pushed you to your limits… after another brief scene showing the joys of corporate life, you open the envelope and learn about Stardew Valley.

You will pick up how to play bit by bit as various NPCs tell you more, and quests offer you some small guidance in how to proceed. You will learn how to tend the land, make a profit, expand your farm, and you will also meet lots of interesting people who inhabit the valley, donate interesting items to the library, delve into the mines, enjoy the quiet pastime of fishing, take part in lots of community activities, bonding with everyone as you do, strengthening your relationships as the years go by, and eventually you will choose one of the lucky bachelor/bachelorettes to be your spouse!

So, do you think there’s enough in this game to keep you busy?

With so many different and unique characters to bond with and choose as your spouse, this adds a lot of replay value, for the sake of seeing what life is like with each one. As well as this, there are a number of different farm styles you can choose at the beginning of the game, so this will help to shake things up a bit between playthroughs.

I have had no trouble maintaining a number of different characters, and have yet to get bored. The one thing I haven’t tried is the multiplayer, as none of my friends play this particular title on the same platform as me, which is a shame because I quite like the idea of it – particularly as they have added the option to reduce profit margins for the farm, as a sort of “difficulty setting”.


  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: 26/02/16
  • Genre: Indie, Casual, Farming Simulator

The Outer Worlds

This has almost instantly become one of my favourite games, for so many reasons! The Outer Worlds is brought to us by Obsidian Entertainment and the more I play, the more I am reminded of two of my favourite series – Fallout and Mass Effect.

The Sci-Fi space setting, party system, and space voyaging all bring to mind the excellent gameplay of Mass Effect. But the levelling up, bold characters, and the quirky sense of humour behind the writing all point to Fallout, in particular New Vegas which we also have Obsidian to thank for.

But of course, it isn’t all recycled ideas – there is no doubting that The Outer Worlds has plenty of its own unique personality! From the moment I started to create my character creator, and I saw the vast choice of hair colours that I had to choose from … don’t expect to have much choice in the way of “normal” hair colours – they’re vibrant, bold, and occasionally two-tone!

I have pretty much cleared through the first area that acts as the tutorial area before letting you loose to explore other celestial bodies in the solar system. This has been enough to show me that the combat is enjoyable, and challenging at times. I have already found a good variety of weaponry and have started to lean towards certain preferences. I am definitely enjoying the setting, and the characters and factions that are being introduced to me – I have already had to make a moral choice in the form of diverting power to one of two areas … (Sound familiar to the New Vegas fans out there?).

From what I have seen of the game world so far, it really is quite breathtaking and imaginative. I’ve yet to grow tired of traversing across the alien landscape from point A to point B. There is a fast travel option available between certain key areas if you are the kind of gamer who doesn’t enjoy going back and forth across areas you have already seen.

For those of you who really love a good difficulty challenge, much like in New Vegas, The Outer Worlds offers you a somewhat more realistic RPG experience with the Supernova difficulty. In this mode your fast travel will be limited, you will need to eat, drink, and sleep regularly in order to survive, and certain injuries will require bed rest for you to recover. This is of course on top of all the other challenges you would expect to face with the highest difficulty setting, such as enemies having more health and dealing more damage, and even having limitations on your manual and auto saves!

I can’t wait to get further into this game and see what choices and challenges will face me, and what absurd and zany characters I will bump in to. This is definitely going to be a game that has me exploring every nook and cranny to find all the hidden little gems the world designers have hidden away.


  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release Date: 25/10/19
  • Genre: Sci-Fi RPG

The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker

Yet another Zelda entry, and it will not be the last. Wind Waker was something of a controversial entry at the time of release, mainly due to the introduction of cel-shaded graphics and cartoonish atmosphere. Personally it was an aesthetic that I enjoyed – it felt so different and refreshing to the series and it gives the game world so much personality!

Wind Waker is set in a world unlike any we had seen before in the Zelda series – a great sea covers the world, the only land in sight being the isles of varying sizes which are far and few between. Although the bright colours and art styles seem charming, this game isn’t afraid to flaunt a darker side. There are plenty of areas you will come across, some of them dungeons, others areas in the overworld, which will be a stark contrast against the rest of the world.

One of the things that I love is how refined the combat felt in Wind Waker compared to previous 3D titles. Link learns swordplay from Orca in his hometown, and one of the techniques taught is how to parry – this awesome move makes combat feel so fluid and skillful, it was a really nice touch and so easy to use. There’s nothing quite like catching your enemy off guard, shocking them and exposing their weaknesses!

The dungeons and bosses in the Zelda series are known for how good they are, and there’s no exception to the rule here! I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first time I tackled the first dungeon boss of the game … grappling onto a dragon’s tail, swinging high above a pool of lava, with the enormous Gohma watching and preparing to strike … I can’t be the only one who loved this boss battle right?

Of course I have to mention the spectacular soundtrack, as is the case with just about any game from the Zelda franchise – I don’t think there’s a track in the whole game that I don’t love! Peaceful and fun tracks we hear in the towns, the track we hear whilst sailing at sea giving us the feeling of being on a grand adventure, and again let’s not forget about the bosses! For the first time Zelda has given each boss of the game a unique soundtrack, once again adding to the amazing personality and atmosphere of Wind Waker!

The main antagonist is my favourite of all time, Ganon. If you want to know what I think of him, you can head to my Top 10 Antagonists to read everything I have to say.

In 2013 Nintendo gave us a phenomenal remaster on the Wii U which gave us beautifully updated graphics and a few changes and additions to the game, my favourite being the Swift Sail which let’s you sail across the Great Sea faster than you ever could before!

This definitely goes down as one of my favourites, and I always love going back to it for another journey as the Hero Of Winds.


  • Platform: Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo Wii U
  • Release Date: 13/12/2002
  • Rerelease Date: 20/09/2013
  • Genre: Fantasy Adventure

Luigi’s Mansion

Happy Halloween everyone! In honour of one of my favourite annual events, and of the release of Luigi’s Mansion 3, I thought I would talk about the game that started off the moustachioed man’s Ghost-hunting career.

Even to this day I sometimes like to get out the Gamecube and play on some of the classic games in my collection, and Luigi’s Mansion is certainly one of them. The game came out 18 years ago in 2001, and was the first time I got to experience Luigi as a protagonist.

The game starts off with Luigi making his way to his new mansion … which he won in a contest … which he didn’t enter … If you thought this sounds suspicious, then congratulations! You have more sense that the Mario Bros. Luigi was meant to meet his brother, Mario, at the mansion, but he is no where to be seen, and the mansion itself is not quite as pictured on Luigi’s handy map!

It doesn’t take long for Luigi to discover that his mansion is in fact haunted. After an encounter with local oddball, Professor E. Gadd, Luigi is armed with the Poltergust 3000 (a vacuum cleaner…) and is ready to take on the hordes of ghosts that are plaguing the mansion and find his missing brother!

The game’s spooky aesthetic is perfect in my opinion, with Luigi constantly freaking out, the mansion in deep darkness, and the amazing theme music ominously plays throughout. Power returns to the rooms as Luigi clears them of ghosts, making that room a safe place for you and also replacing the theme with Luigi’s whistling version.

It’s not all sucking up random ghosts with your trusty Poltergust 3000 though, as there are larger ghosts with actual personalities who can be found across the mansion who act as the game’s mini bosses and actual bosses. They all take a certain amount of puzzle-solving to deal with, as you must flash your torch on their heart to be able to suck them up – but they don’t reveal their heart so easily! An example is one of the earlier Ghosts who is preoccupied with her appearance at a vanity table, but if you use the Poltergust 3000 to open the curtains, letting in a breeze, she will hastily close them again, showing you her heart in the process.

Besides all of this, there are collectibles for you to find as well, and the puzzle-solving gets a bit deeper as you progress, through the use of elemental medallions which allow you to use fire, water and ice as a means of dealing with certain ghosts and situations.

It would also be wrong of me to not mention the fantastically named Gameboy Horror, a gadget given to you by Prof. E. Gadd and a clear homage to the Gameboy Color. This is how the nutty professor keeps in touch with you whilst you are in the mansion. It also keeps track of what you’ve collected so far and also shows you the map of the mansion, giving you a good overview of where you’ve been and where you are going.

I could keep going on about how much I love this game, but I think I’ve said enough for now. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next installment and see what mischief Luigi has gotten himself into this time!


  • Platform: Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo 3DS
  • Release Date: 14/09/2001-17/05/2002 (Region Dependant)
  • Rerelease Date: 12/10/2018-8/11/2018 (Region Dependant)
  • Genre: Adventure

Hitman/Hitman 2

These two games are the latest in the Hitman series, and they are actually the first Hitman games I have ever played. I fell in love with them after watching my favourite Youtubers (Outside Xbox) get up to all sorts of mischief with super-tough-guy, Agent 47.

The premise of the game is that you are Agent 47, a hitman (in case you couldn’t guess), and it is your job to eliminate the target. The areas that you will travel to are all quite large, with many different people, as well as different opportunities to take advantage of. This means that there will be many, many different ways for you to eliminate your target.

The game offers you many different challenges which encourage you to explore, experiment, and generally just see what kind of chaos you can cause! There are plenty of fun and helpful unlockables for you to work towards (everyone can find a use for an explosive rubber duck, right?).

The game most certainly has a sense of humour, if Agent 47’s undercover persona, Mr. Rieper, is anything to go by. On top of this, 47 opts for some interesting dialogue options when he is trying to pass himself off as whatever he has disguised himself as. My favourite of such situations would have to be when he dresses as an estate agent (realtor) and gives his target a tour of a charming suburban home, and with each room he gives a speech which in some way insinuates murder …

This is a great game for puzzle-solvers, as there are various challenges and options which will make the game harder, meaning you will have to think and act that much more carefully. The professional difficulty level makes the NPCs much more wise to 47’s antics, but also there are escalation missions, which are multi-stage missions which seem simple enough at first, but with each stage comes either new targets or new limitations!

Hitman has excellent replay value, simply through the main missions having so many different approaches, but also through the previously mentioned escalation missions. And did I mention that you can even create your own contracts, which you can then share with others – and so of course you can also play other player’s created contracts. There’s no denying that this game is fun and gives you plenty of value for your money.


  • Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Hitman Release Date: 11/03/2016-31/10/2016 (Various Episodes), 31/01/2017 (Complete First Season)
  • Hitman 2 Release Date: 13/11/2018
  • Genre: Stealth, Action

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