Monday, 5 December 2016


Managed to get a couple of hours over the weekend on DOOM, which is starting to feel better and better the more I get into it.

To be honest, when I tried the demo a few months ago, I wasn't that impressed, but after hearing some great reviews and seeing it in the Black Friday sales, I decided to pick it up.

It's manic. It's violent. It runs oh-so-smoothly on the Xbox. And I think that's one of the problems.

The one quibble I have about the game is incurring damage.  The action is so manic that you don't realise how much damage you're actually taking whilst dealing it out.  You can be knee-deep in ripping arms off monsters and shoving the limb where the sun doesn't shine one moment, and then the next you're dead without as much as a whimper.

Maybe I'm too used to the popular game mechanic of the screen view changing as you take more and more damage, whether blood in your view or blurred images.  This gives me the chance to either run away and reorganise my attack, or move to glory kills to top up my health.

A minor complaint I know, but it continues to take me by surprise.

I'm also surprised by the number of jumping puzzles there are. One section sees you trying to get to the top of a tower and involves jumping from platform to platform with some 'where the hell do I go now' moments - this has been frustrating at times, especially when I've fallen to my death!

The in-game map is excellent - very reminiscent of the old DOOM and QUAKE maps, with the opportunity to remove the 'fog' as various stations on each level.  White symbols, whether power-ups, health stations, collectibles etc. are unvisited, turning to orange when you've been there.  Accessing the map has meant that I'm often retreading my steps to find secrets before leaving the area and completing the level. Secrets bring a number of benefits, from kit upgrades to improved abilities.

I started my first run-through on 'Hurt Me Plenty' difficulty, thinking that I'd speed through each level to just get through the game as quickly as possible. This difficulty level does mean that most enemies are easy to defeat, especially early on, but as you progress the larger monsters and the sheer number of 'easy' demons means that it's still quite a challenge. Also the map keeps pulling me in to find secrets and upgrade my gear.

I think I'm about half way in and am certainly not bored of it yet. There's no real story (apart from stop the bad guy, or girl in this case, from destroying the universe) - but I don't think there needs to be. I haven't come across any major bosses yet, but I hear there are a few with different methods of defeating them.

More thoughts soon.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

And so it begins... sort of

It's the 1st December, day 1 of the Year of Living Gamegerously challenge for 2017.

However, with the travelling I'm doing at the moment, I don't tend to have much time to play games during the week :( 

Planning to get some gaming in this weekend though.

As you may have seen from my Dirty 30 list, I actually have quite a few 'ACTIVE' games. Most of them I've only dabbled in for 30 minutes or so, but I'm planning on completing a couple of these before starting something fresh, just to give me a sense of achievement early on.

I'm about 1 hour into Far Cry: Blood Dragon (which apparently takes 4.5 hours to complete), and an hour into DOOM (12 hours to complete). So these two games will be top of the hit list.

Very excited to see how many people are taking part in YOLG so far. All credit to Bongo for his organisation and enthusiasm.

The full list of participants can be found on Bongo's blog.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

YOLG minus 1 day

Only one more day until YOLG 2017 begins!  I've bought a few additional games during the Black Friday sales, trying to predict any that I'd want during the year.

For example, The Jackbox Party Box 3 was on sale for £13. The first collection is a family favourite, especially at Christmas, so when I saw this reduced it was an instant purchase!

I realised the other day, that my initial Dirty 30 was pretty impossible to complete - not only did I have all three of the Mass Effect games, but also The Witcher 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition!  With my new job requiring me to commute to London everyday, there was no way I was going to be able to complete the 30 in one year.  So I did some shuffling.

What I'm left with is still going to be a challenge, there's no doubt about that, but it should be achieveable, especially as there's nothing new to distract me!

My Dirty 30

So this is my list of shame that I'm aiming to complete within the 2017 YOLG.

All games are on the XBOX platform, feel free to send me a Friend Request, my gamertag is Ph1ltheee

Some are pretty old, and to be honest I probably wouldn't be touching them if it wasn't for this challenge - but that's the whole point!

  1. Assassins Creed: Black Flag (ACTIVE)
  2. Assassins Creed Chronicles: China (ACTIVE)
  3. Assassins Creed: Unity
  4. Battlefield Hardline (ACTIVE)
  5. Dead Space
  7. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (ACTIVE)
  8. Far Cry: Primal
  9. Forza Horizon 3 (ACTIVE)
  10. Gears of War: Judgement
  11. GTA V
  12. Guitar Hero Live (ACTIVE)
  13. XCOM: Enemy Unknown (ACTIVE)
  14. The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing
  15. Mass Effect 1
  16. Metro 2033 Redux (ACTIVE)
  17. Metro Last Light Redux
  18. Monkey Island SE
  19. Outlast
  20. Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (ACTIVE)
  21. Saints Row 4
  22. Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell
  23. Styx: Master of Shadows
  24. Thief
  25. Undead Nightmare (ACTIVE)
  26. Unravel (ACTIVE)
  27. The Walking Dead Season 2
  28. The Witcher 3
  29. The Wolf Among Us
  30. Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

Once I've completed this list I've still got a fair few games to complete, including:

  1. Dragon Age Inquisition (ACTIVE)
  2. Super Dungeon Bros (ACTIVE)
  3. I am Alive
  4. Mass Effect 2
  5. Mass Effect 3
  6. Games with GOLD for 2017

What is 'The Year of Living Gamegerously'?

Recently, the nicest man on the internet, Robin Tate, realised that he had an embarrassing problem and needed to share it with us all. It was, in fact, a problem and condition that affects many of us.

No, not that problem, you dirty so and so!

Robin, like myself and many others, is a gaming magpie. Some shiny and new video game comes along and all memories of past purchases disappear.

This leaves us with the dreaded 'pile of shame'. A pile which is becoming bigger and bigger, due to the immediacy of digital purchases. And the sad thing is, not only is it a waste of money, but often we're missing out on some really great games.

Then Robin shared this challenge:

Is that pile of shame getting you down?

Are you pressing the buy button just because you can?

Not finishing what you’ve bought before moving onto the next?

If this is you then it’s time you were Living Gamegerously.

Join up. Become part of YOLG. Your game collection NEEDS YOU! 1st Dec 2016 – 1 Dec 2017

Don’t collect, complete.

List your dirty 30.

Budget and budgnot.

30 all done?

Time for new fun.

I've accepted the challenge!

From 1st Dec 2016 to 1st Dec 2017 I have set myself a limited budget of £100 for any game purchases - this is to cover not only the hotly anticipated Read Dead Redemption 2, but also any other surprises.

I also have a list of 30 games that I already own to challenge myself to complete in this year, my Dirty 30!

If I complete my list of 30 games then I'll be moving onto my 'additionals' - purchasing games will not take place again outside of my budget until Black Friday weekend 2017!

I will be updating this blog regularly on my progress and the games I am playing.

Also I'm thinking of starting to stream some of my gaming over Twitch - links will be supplied!