Posted in Recent Games


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
Posted in Recent Games

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
Posted in Recent Games

Until Dawn

I love horror. Like, I love horror.

Switching the lights off, getting the snacks in, and sitting on the edge of the sofa, heart pounding as you anticipate a good jump scare …

So with that in mind, it will come as no surprise to hear that I absolutely love this game.

The game starts with a gathering of friends in a mountain cabin, but events then lead to the tragic death of the twin sisters Hannah and Beth. One year later the friends return to the cabin, and that is when the story truly begins…

There are so many intricacies to the design of this game. The most interesting feature is the butterfly effect, where various choices you make throughout the game will affect the story in different ways later on. Some of these can be trivial affects .. and some of them can be catastrophic!

Another of these intricacies is the relationships between the characters, and their own individual stats. Many of the decisions you make will increase or decrease these stats, and again this can affect certain plot points of the game. For example, if the relationship is not high enough between two characters, someone may be more concerned with saving themselves, and leaving the other person to whatever fate may befall them.

As an intermission to each chapter, you will be treated to a brief session with Dr. Hill. These visits will become gradually more disturbing and seemingly unhinged, and some of the choices that you make with him will actually affect what you might see in the game, which is just another little thing to add to the atmosphere of the game.

You better make sure your fingers are prepared for this game, as you will face plenty of Quick Time Events to keep you on your toes! I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that failing these could prove to be disastrous…

It is possible to have all the characters survive the night, but it is also possible for each and every one of them to die! The game does provide you with incredibly vague hints if you can find them … There are a number of collectibles for you to come across, some of these being miniature totems which will show you a brief glimpse of the future for one of the characters. They may help you avoid an untimely end if you can figure out what the totem is showing you!

You will also find collectible clues scattered around the mountain as you play – each clue bringing you closer to uncovering the mystery of the mountain.

If you’re anything like me, then you’ll find yourself very quickly deciding which characters you like and which ones you don’t, and that will probably affect how you react to decisions and conversational cues. There’s one character in particular who I would actually prefer if she did meet an untimely end … (I’ve no doubt that many of you will feel the same way)

I cannot express how impressed I was with this game, and now we are expecting another of it’s type from Supermassive Games – Man of Medan! This is definitely something that I will be getting at some point, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say about that once I’ve had the chance to complete it … assuming I survive.

  • Platform: Playstation 4
  • Release Date: 25/08/2015 (US), 26/08/2015 (PAL), 28/08/2015 (UK)
  • Genre: Survival Horror, Interactive Story-Telling

Posted in Recent Games

Dragon Age: Inquisition

I have got a LOT to say about this game.

I would day that the only fantasy RPG that has had more of my time dedicated to it would be Skyrim, and this is bearing in mind that Skyrim is currently 8 years old.

I had never played a Dragon Age game before (or even heard of the series to be quite honest!), but my friends were quite excited when this game was announced, so I looked into it. The premise seemed like something I could get behind so I decided to give it a go, but I was not prepared for how much I was going to enjoy this game.

The story is phenomenal, and there is a huge amount of story to get through, and with so many side missions as well, you are not going to run out of things to do any time soon.

The character creation is mostly good – you will pick your race, gender and class, and then you will create your character, and while the creator does have a fair amount of choice. Unfortunately one thing that I don’t like is the green atmospheric setting that the creator is in. I have sometimes found that when fiddling with various skin tones, hair colours and complexion options, the end result can sometimes look different when you get into the game.

The characters are all so wildly different, there will no doubt be characters that you like and dislike, as they all have such unique personalities. You are given conversational choices when speaking with your party members, which will often shape what they think of you, and this is also the case with many of the in-game actions and choices that you will make. Everyone will have an opinion on what you do, and you will find that some party members like your way of thinking more than others.

You also have the option to romance certain people, as long as you fit the bill with regards to who they like .. for example, one character will only be interested in human or elvish females. There isn’t a romance that I haven’t enjoyed so far, all the ones I have attempted have been well-crafted, and display a different side to the characters in question, a vulnerable side which you would not get to see otherwise.

Crafting is a big deal in this game. You will not be using a lot of the armours or weapons that you find in this game – not if you’re a thing like me. There are many resources to be found and gathered in the world, which can in turn be used to craft equipment for you and your party, and this is the best method of kitting yourself out as you can create something that best suits your playstyle, as different materials give different bonuses.

The game has several different provinces for you to explore and journey across, with your base acting as a hub world for you to do all your crafting, socialising, and choosing which province to head off to. All of the provinces you will visit are vastly unique, each one acting like a separate open world, without too much restriction on where you can go besides the level of the enemies in that area.

I have created many characters on this game to play different options and styles, as there is certainly a lot of replay value here. There are a lot of variations within the story and the social aspects between different races and classes, a testament to how much thought has gone into creating the mindset of the characters.

Something I must mention is the soundtrack – there are very few games that have a soundtrack as excellent as this. Dramatic battles, heart wrenching cut scenes, vast open worlds .. all of these things are perfectly complimented with the corresponding tracks.

The DLC for this game is possibly the best that I have ever played, Trespasser in particular. I frequently see the GOTY edition for sale for less than £10, and I always think about what a ridiculous bargain that is. If you haven’t played this game and you’re fan of fantasy worlds, you should definitely give it a go.

  • Platform: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
  • Release Date: 18/11/2014 (US), 20/11/2014 (Aus), 21/11/2014 (EU)
  • Genre: Fantasy RPG, Adventure

Posted in Recent Games

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Now this is an interesting one. Like many avid gamers, I bought the very first Assassin’s Creed game, and I really enjoyed it, it felt very different to anything I had played before. Then with Assassin’s Creed 2, I felt that it was even more enjoyable, with a more interesting main character, but there was a point where it felt like it was just the same game in a different setting with no huge changes or innovative features. I believe Brotherhood was the last one that I played. By this time, I felt like I had played enough of the franchise, and lost interest in it.

For some reason, after all this time Assassin’s Creed Odyssey caught my eye. I do enjoy Ancient Greece and their mythologies, so that was already enough to pique my interest. It features a huge open world which is another massive plus for me, and it also has an equipment setup that you would expect to see in an RPG. All these things put together were more than enough to make me want to check this out and see what it’s about, and I ended up making my first Assassin’s Creed purchase in a long time.

For me, it is such a breath of fresh air compared to the older games – the format has been completely rejigged, and it really has paid off. You can pick to play as either Alexios or Kassandra, so having the choice to play as a male or female is another nice change to the series.

There hasn’t really been an element of this game that I haven’t enjoyed yet – the story that I have completed so far has been interesting, the actual gameplay is excellent, I like the changes that have been made to the combat since I last played Assassin’s Creed, and I do love the seafaring so far! Having your own ship and crew and sailing around Greece, bombarding pirate ships, boarding them and plundering their treasures – it’s all good fun! The game world is simply stunning, it really is something to behold.

This is the kind of game that makes me want to take my time to slowly make my way through the story and various missions, so I can really take in the world that has been created for us gamers. It has certainly restored my faith in the series, and I shall be keeping an eye on future releases from now on.

  • Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (Japan only), PC
  • Release Date: 05/10/18
  • Genre: Action, Adventure RPG, Stealth

Posted in Recent Games

Two Point Hospital

Well, this is some serious nostalgia for me. I have very fond memories of playing Theme Hospital with my older sister as a child. We both loved the game so much, the challenge of each level, the sense of humour of the illnesses, cures, and even the tannoy announcements. I believe it may actually be the very first simulation game that I ever played, and easily cemented my love for the genre.

When I found out that the same people were making a spiritual successor to the game, I knew instantly that it was something I would be buying.

I can safely say that they have not let fans of the old game down as Two Point Hospital has perfectly captured the spirit of Theme Hospital, leaving nothing behind but adding plenty which only improves the experience. It still has the same sense of humour, but with all new illnesses and cures. There are new issues and challenges to think about – for example, the hospitals are all in different regions, some of which are either hot or cold, and you must regulate the temperature inside the hospital to keep the patients happy.

For those who are unfamiliar with the original game, the premise is pretty simple. You’re given an empty hospital and your starting funds, and you start building rooms and hiring staff members to run the place. Patients will arrive, check in, and make their way around the hospital getting a diagnosis and then hopefully a cure! You will need doctors and nurses to run the various facilities, receptionists to check the customers in, and janitors to clean any messes and repair machines as they deteriorate.

There are different hospitals for you to work your way through, and the challenge increases as you make your way through them with new illnesses, facilities and emergencies.

The game has a lot of replay value as there are plenty of different areas, and each has three stars for you to achieve, which will unlock different objects for you to use around the hospital.

One other small thing that the modern age brings is comparing your progress to your Steam friends – you can see when they have done a level, and how well they did!

I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys simulation/management games, and particularly those of you who played and loved Theme Hospital the way I did.

  • Platform: PC (Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch release expected)
  • Release Date: 30/08/2018
  • Genre: Simulation, Business Management

Posted in Recent Games

Red Dead Redemption 2

Well, firstly I should confess that I never played the first Red Dead Redemption, but I did carry some basic knowledge of the game from what I’ve seen on the odd YouTube video here and there.

I decided to give this one a go, and that was a decision I certainly did not regret.

The story is so deep, I think there are lots of small details which could easily go unnoticed for anyone not paying proper attention (slightly guilty of this on my first playthrough) and the characters are the same really – if you interact with the camp and do all side missions, then you will get a feel for each character and quickly decide who you like and dislike – and doing this makes the story much more impactful for you as a player!

You’re also able to make decisions on how the protagonist, Arthur, proceeds with different story and side missions. The “Honour” bar keeps track of how good or bad a person your Arthur is. I feel that this is another thing which will greatly impact how you react to the story, I know for a fact that I found myself getting very emotional at certain pivotal points.

There’s plenty to be getting on with as well, very little chance of you getting bored! Besides the story and the side missions, there’s hunting for legendary animals, bounties to collect, gangs and their hideouts to wipe out, lots of secrets concealed throughout the world, and of course collectables!

You will also be able to dress up your protagonist with a wide variety of options, which is always a good thing for me! My first Arthur was a clean, well-dressed gentleman, whereas my second was a rugged, scruffy cowboy. There are so many options, made even better by the fact you have the ability to keep multiple outfits in your loadout.

Weapons are another customisable factor in the game, there are a fair few to choose from, and different materials that you can use to give them your own personal look. (As well as actual attachments that offer practical boosts)

The world itself is stunning, a beautiful open world which you will most likely be marveling at as you ride through it on horseback – it’s truly a credit to the design team.

This is definitely a game I recommend for anyone who enjoys open world story-driven games!

  • Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release Date: 26/10/18 (Console), 05/11/19 (PC)
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Shooter

Posted in Recent Games

Persona 5

I had never actually heard of the Persona series until a friend mentioned it shortly before the game released. After a small amount of digging around on the internet, I quickly decided this would be a game to add to my collection. It was definitely the right choice!

This is certainly one of the most unique, story-driven RPGs I have ever played. The story was simply phenomenal, I could barely put this game down as I was so desperate to see what was going to happen next. It takes a long time to get through, but I feel that there is more than enough variety in the activities and options that are available to you to stop you from losing interest.

The game almost plays like it’s actually a Japanese anime, and this is reinforced by the story cutscenes which actually are in the format of an anime.

I find the battle system very interesting, the standard expectations for a turn-by-turn system are in place, but the Persona system is what I enjoy the most – a feature which could be compared to Pokémon. The main bulk of enemies you fight will be Personas which you can in fact collect. There is a large variety of Personas that are available to the main character, and I particularly enjoyed the mythical theme around each of them – you will spot many legendary creatures, and even Gods. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses for you to discover, so most of them can be useful in some way.

A large part of the game is forming bonds with your teammates and other potential allies, and as your bonds deepen, various benefits will be given to you. This could be some form of service in the world, or it could be a maneuver/tactic in battle. It definitely pays to try to deepen your bonds as much as possible.

The soundtrack to this game is like nothing I have heard before – a unique sound without a doubt! Catchy tunes can be found just about wherever you go, in particular the standard battle music – I have found myself pulling tracks up on YouTube to listen to!

I think the social commentary in play here is particularly interesting, the story tackles an array of issues, mainly regarding “higher up” figures, and really makes you think about people’s perception of others, deep-running corruption, the reaction of the public to the media, and I can’t think of another game that so effectively makes you think about such modern day issues.

There are so many more things I could talk about, but I wouldn’t want to give too much away for anyone who might not have played the game yet! I would definitely give Persona 5 my full recommendation, easily something that you can sink hours and hours into!

  • Platform: Playstation 3, Playstation 4
  • Release Date: 15/09/16 (Japan), 04/04/17 (Worldwide)
  • Genre: Fantasy RPG,

Posted in Recent Games

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Well, where to even start here …

I can easily say that this is potentially my favourite game of all time. It already had a head start simply by being one of my favourite franchises, as Zelda games have been with me since I was old enough to start playing video games (Ocarina of Time was one of the first games that I owned).

This was certainly the most adventurous game in the series, as it couldn’t be much further from the standard formula of the series. Typically The Legend of Zelda follows a linear format, where you tackle a number of dungeons and bosses, increasing your arsenal of items and weapons as you go, allowing you to access new areas and solve different puzzles. Well, you can forget about all that!

The very first thing you’ll notice as you start a new game is the lack of a green tunic – well, for the first time Link is going to have a whole wardrobe of options! As you adventure, you will find different items of clothing with varying buffs and effects. They can be bought, rewarded, and found!

The next big change is the weapons and items! Link is now much more versatile with his weaponry, as you will see him handling swords, spears, axes, hammers, broadswords.. but not for long – they all break! You will find weapons all round the world (mainly on the floor after you have felled an enemy) and part of the challenge of the game is maintaining a good inventory of weapons to deal with whatever Hyrule throws at you. The same rule applies for shields, and also for bows, which will be available right from the beginning.

Instead of the classic gadgets and items that we all know and love, Link will be given a few runes in the tutorial area which will help him interact with the world and the various puzzles found.

Breath of The Wild features an absolutely stunning open world, where you can go wherever you like right from the beginning (after you complete the brief tutorial area). Some areas are more difficult to venture to than others, as there are environmental hazards to bear in mind (a volcano, the desert, mountains).

The new temperature gauge is something you’ll be keeping your eye on, as Link will start to lose health if he gets too hot or too cold! This can be dealt with by either wearing clothing to keep Link warm/cool, or by consuming certain meals or elixirs which will give Link a temporary buff.

One change which I didn’t enjoy so much was the low number of dungeons. This was supposed to be supplemented by the 120 puzzle shrines found throughout the world. While I did enjoy the shrines, I didn’t feel it was a good enough substitute for the large number of dungeons we are used to. For example, both Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess feature 9 main dungeons, whereas Breath of The Wild features 5.

The tone of the game is also like nothing the Zelda franchise has seen before. Typically the worlds we experience are teeming with life, with a bold soundtrack to compliment this. But in this age, Hyrule has been devastated, and only a number of settlements far away from Hyrule Castle have actually survived. You will also encounter plenty of ruins as you journey through the world. The soundtrack has been carefully composed to reflect this empty land, quiet, mostly consisting of gentle piano melodies.

This is by far my favourite open world that I have experienced in gaming, so many spectacular sights to discover, beautiful and striking locations to visit, I actually enjoy just wandering through Hyrule on horseback without any particular destination in mind. Without a doubt this game gets my full recommendation for anyone who has yet to get their hands on it.

I personally can’t wait to see how this world will be adapted and tweaked for the sequel!

  • Platform: Wii U, Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: 03/03/2017
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy RPG