Cover Art - Sifu
Follow the path of revenge and defeat those responsible for the death of your father.

With a unique aging mechanic and measured combat, Sifu is a homage to old action films and a test for modern gamers.
Platforms PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows
Developer Sloclap
Publisher Sloclap
Player Count 1

Game Review

No Review Yet

Journal Entries

March 7th, 2022

I sat down with Sifu a couple of times this week, and beat Yang! Not only did I beat the final boss, and finish the game, I managed to spare him and unlock the true ending!

So a second game has been finished in 2022. The question now is do I want to go out of my way to Platinum it?

20220307 - Sifu - Yang battle is on a different level
Yang battle is on a different level

I have been playing Sifu on PlayStation 4 and 5, so I have two separate trophy lists happening. On PS5, I have 3 trophies left for the Platinum. They are: Finish the game at 25 or less, hit 3 people at once and see every takedown in the game.

Beating Yang at 25 or less is doable, I need more practice. And I have the other two trophies on PS4 but here is the kicker – I don’t know how I did it!

Hitting three people at once I can do, but seeing every takedown is going to take some effort. The only reason I say this is I have unlocked it on PS4. I have played significantly more on PS5 so I would have thought it would have popped there naturally!

20220307 - Sifu - Early runs are good for grinding
Going back into the game makes you feel like The One or Neo

Sifu has been a lot of fun, and cathartic at the end of some days. The internal debate on whether to take on the Platinum challenge is real though.

I have the desire and drive to take on Yang and try and get that fight won below 25. If I do that on PS5, then an occasional run where I enjoy the combat could unlock the rest without effort. Sifu on PS4 would take some effort though, as I have a few more trophies to unlock.

None are particularly hard and I know how to unlock them. I would need to do some particular runs while the techniques are still fresh in muscle memory. This is a couple of hours at worst? How much would the cathartic Sifu session feel like work for the final trophy grind?

20220307 - Sifu - Student Calls
Will I answer the call?

The other side of the coin is I dropped Pokemon Legends: Arceus and Horizon Zero Dawn for Sifu. I don’t regret the change, but I do want to continue both games. I am worried that both games will need a restart to get used to the controls again.

See how things run next week!

March 21st, 2022

After taking a week off from Sifu, I decided to have a play. There was no push to do anything other than relaxing after a hard day with a fun game.

During this chill run, I earned two of the three remaining trophies. Hit 3 people in one attack, and saw every takedown in the game. This meant beating the final boss at age 25 or less was all I needed for the Platinum!

So the next night, I decided to buckle down and try for the Platinum.

20220321 - Sifu - PS5 Platinum Achieved
Platinum achieved!

I had to start from scratch. The checkpointing system in Sifu is a little strange. It saves your progress at the start of each level (hideout) at the youngest point you reached there.

Usually, this is fine. But I had been upgrading in areas to get other trophies and having good runs. This meant I was overpowered for much of the level, and underpowered for later boss fights!

So a from-scratch run, focusing on upgrades to make the final fight easier was on the cards. This did mean that the normal level enemies became smidge harder as well.

20220321 - Sifu - That reverse sweep gets me most of the time
That sweep gets me most of the time – but this was the last time Yang would hit me with it

But about 3 hours later, I finally beat Yang at the tender age of 22, losing only to the last two bosses a single time. I will take that as a win!

This was all on my PlayStation 5. I have also been playing on my PlayStation 4, and I only have the same trophy to unlock to Platinum Sifu twice. I am not trying to do it right away, but I might try it next week. As a lunch game, Sifu is quite a good choice and my PS4 is up in my office!

Oh and just as a side note – when playing on Sifu version 1.5 on PS5, the game ran incredibly well. I did this final run on version 1.7, and the camera seems worse and some enemies spawn out of bounds, making progress impossible.

I recommend Sifu as a game, but I hope there is another patch soon to fix up the small bugs introduced in the latest version.

20220321 - Sifu - The 1_7 patch seems to have made thigns a bit worse
After the 1.7 Patch, this enemy regularly gets stuck stopping progress

January 9th, 2023

Except for my backlog games challenge, my Video Game challenges are sitting about right. It might look like I should increase the number of games for some of the challenges. I don’t think so though. I will be leaving most of my Video Game challenges alone for 2023.

It’s not because I want an easy ‘win’ in ticking off a challenge. It’s because games come in different sizes, and I still want to spend quite some time getting to The Witcher 3. Doubly so now that the ‘next-gen’ patch is here!

But 2022 was great for Video Games, and 2023 is shaping up to be even better. On one hand, that’s fantastic! On the other hand, there aren’t enough hours in a year to play everything I want to. What a great position to be in though. The challenge used to be finding one or two good games from the pile. Not so hard anymore!

But like my 2022 Board Game Challenge review, now you have an idea of what to expect, let’s jump straight in.

My 2022 Video Game Challenges

Goal 1: Finish 5 backlog games

Progress: 0 games

Horizon: Zero Dawn
Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order
The Witcher 3
Borderlands 3
Mansions of Madness: Mothers Embrace

Goal 2: Finish 10 other games ✅

Progress: 16 games

A Short Hike
Pokemon Legends: Arceus
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Elden Ring
The Stanley Parable Ultra-Deluxe
The Quarry
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Burnout 3: Takedown
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
The Devil in Me
The Callisto Protocol

Goal 3: Platinum or Complete 5 Games ✅

Progress: 8 games

A Short Hike
Elden Ring
The Stanley Parable Ultra-Deluxe
The Callisto Protocol

Goal 1 – Finish 5 Backlog Games

Ummm… Oops?

I started playing Horizon Zero Dawn. I remember being impressed with the look of the game and looking forward to exploring it at my own pace. Then I got busy, Elden Ring came out, and I never picked up the controller to play Horizon Zero Dawn again.

A mixture of exciting new games, limited time and what I was in the mood for meant my backlog was left untouched. In what should have been a backlog goal tweak, I should have added Bloodborne to the list. I always meant to go back and play Bloodborne but thought Horizon and Jedi Fallen Order would be done first.

Bringing me back to my opening statement – Oops.

20220207 - Horizon Zero Dawn - Riding my first tallneck
The view from the Tallnexk is awesome. Photo mode fore the win!

So no backlog game this year. I only played Horizon Zero Dawn and left it on the verge of opening the free world exploration. Bloodborne was Platinumed, but not on the list.

So for 2023, I will be tweaking the list. Borderlands 3 is coming off. Not because I don’t want to play it, but because I couldn’t swing a single multiplayer session this year. So for 2023 I will be concentrating on single-player-only games. Also only games I am reasonably sure I will play through in one go or can come back to after a break.

You will have to look to the right to see what they are! 🙃

Goal 2: Finish 10 other games

Well, I smashed this one. 16 games in 2022 that I considered finished. While I haven’t ‘finished’ it yet, I am going to open with an honourable mention – Peglin. So far over the break (I am writing this on Boxing Day), I have put in about an extra 6-7 hours of Peglin instead of picking up God of War Ragnarok.

Now don’t misunderstand me – I am not saying Peglin is better than God of War! But as I have been overtired and stressed the last few weeks, and firing up the simpler game has been a great escape. Progressing through Peglin’s Cruciball is getting harder though. I don’t think I will worried about finishing the available levels soon!

20230102 - Shenanigans - Peglin - Progressing through the latest update at speed
Somehow I put in almost 30 hours over the break. Peglin is so good for ‘just one more go’!

Thanks to the PlayStation Year in Review, I can see that my number one game played based on hours this year was Elden Ring. 129 hours out of 300 PlayStation 5 hours in 2022 makes it a pretty clear winner! There were another 100 hours played on PS4, and almost 83 hours of that was BloodBorne.

Based on hours alone, it’s fair to say that FromSoftware was my favourite developer of 2022!

20220606 - Elden Ring - Malenia
I lost to Malenia so many times!

Hours alone don’t tell the whole story though. I enjoyed both of Supermassive Games outings this year. The Quarry was fun, and The Devil in Me I said needed a patch on PS5. Turns out it was supposed to have one on Day 1. Through essentially an admin mess up, The Devil in Me on PS5 went out with neither the Day 0 or Day 1 patch!

That said, I still had a good time with the story. There is a solid chance I will be replaying all of The Dark Pictures games through 2023. But if I put all the hours combined in all of the Supermassive games I have played so far, I don’t think it will total either Bloodborne or Elden Ring. And that is including Until Dawn and Rush of Blood!

20221121 - The Devil in Me - My torch cant be on if I dont have one
So I turned my torch on, but it doesn’t help if the game says I don’t have one!

So while you might think FromSoftware will be an obvious winner for my Video Game of the Year – Nope. I loved both games, but there is always more to the story.

God of War Ragnarok is a strong contender as well. Or it would have been – if I had finished it in 2022.

So, my favourite game that I finished in 2022 goes to…

20220801 - Stray - Productive Day
Nap in a nice spot with chill music and a purring controller – my kind of trophy!

Stray is a short game that doesn’t offer much in terms of replayability. It’s not perfect, but it met every expectation I had for the game. Sure, there are faults or things I wish were done a little differently. Opinions aren’t facts – we all have different ideas on how things should be done.

But all that said – I would be lying if I said I hadn’t fired up Stray a couple of times since completing it. Exploring the world from a cat’s perspective is still fun. Curling up and listening to the contented purr is still relaxing. If you haven’t tried Stray yet, I can say it’s highly recommended.

And if you don’t want to play it yourself, check out @icklenellierose from Outside Xtra playing Stray here.

Goal 3 – Platinum or Complete 5 Games

Another one I smashed out this year. Each game here is a game I loved and wanted to experience in its entirety. This is where my game of 2023 will be coming from. This is the group that my Game of the Year is most likely to come from.

So you are probably thinking “Here is where FromSoftware takes another award for Elden Ring”. Nope. Elden Ring is a great game that is still giving to players via new updates, but I don’t think its Game of the Year material. The issue here is one of Elden Ring’s greatest strengths – it’s a huge world to explore.

In the 130+ hours of Playing Elden Ring, I could have finally played The Witcher 3 as well! If not The Witcher, That was 3-4 other games I could have played.

I have given a bit of an insight in how I look at games with the ones I finished. So I am going to jump straight into why I think Sifu is Game of the Year.

20220307 - Sifu - Wude Ending
Like any great game, Sifu is so much more than it seems

Sifu is a short game, but one that you can spend hours exploring and refining your skills. You can play over and over, unlocking and mastering many new combinations. But you can also start fresh and tackle the story with nothing but ‘the basics’.

Yes, Elden Ring (and Bloodborne) let you do the same thing to a degree. There are plenty of videos of players beating both games with a level one character. But Sifu lets the player see they can do the same thing without investing hundreds of hours of play.

This doesn’t make Sifu ‘easier’ than Soulsborne games. It does lower the time barrier by showing how a game can offer more and more as you continue to play.

20220214 - Sifu - Combat is fast and brutal but satisfying
Combat is fast and brutal but satisfying

There are plenty of people that wonder why games like Elden Ring, Bloodborne and Jedi Fallen Order are popular. Sifu is a great introduction to this type of game, presented in a way that people can instantly settle into. Rather than accepting that you don’t know why are chosen as tarnished, or why you are on the hunt, Sifu puts you into a marital arts action movie.

But most importantly, Sifu stands on its own as a great experience. It’s not a gateway game that you get someone to play and move on from. I have fired up Sifu a few times throughout the year to play a level. I may even try again on PS4 where I am one trophy away from another Sifu Platinum.

So if you haven’t tried Sifu, my 2022 Video Game of the Year, I highly recommend giving it a try!

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  The 2023 Video Game Release List is already massive! 

If you think another game I played should have taken the game of game of the year, shout out! You can reach me on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter, Hive and Instagram! And don’t forget you can get random gaming and pet pics on Instagram as well. 🙂

Until next time,