Last Week’s Gaming – January 7th, 2019

20190107 Shadows Amsterdam

Shadows of Crime spun by Spinderella start with a Thief!

Oh, the holidays.  There was so much I wanted to do, but the only real thing I got done was wipe 99{dfca638b9dbdbc1caf156b9b6679a983a965572ca56a786c9cf360ad3783820c} of sleep debt.  Still, worth it!

I didn’t replay a lot of games, but I did knock over some video games which was fun.  Even the old favourite Stop Thief! was a new twist, trying out the cooperative mode 🙂

Spinderella

This was an Alpal special, and it was a surprising amount of fun!

Basically a kids game, your goal is to move all three of your bugs from one end of a path to the other.  But there are also some spiders working together to nab your bugs, and bits of log falling on you as well!

Heavy use of magnets makes Spinderella younger child friendly, as it will be hard to break the string because of moving the topmost spiders too far apart.  Roll and move gameplay with a twist – give it a go if you get the chance!

20190107 Spinderella
Don't let the fact it's a 'Kids game stop you from having a great time

Chronicles of Crime

I had been hankering to play this since my Kickstarter copy arrived a few weeks ago, and I finally got the chance!

A higher tech version of games like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, Chronicles of Crime requires you to use an app to play.  All ‘cards’ have information from a QR code, allowing different scenarios and corrections to be rolled out with app updates.

You can also ‘investigate’ a crime scene – one person has the device/VR kit, and describes the area while actively looking around.  It’s deeper than I expected, and much quicker to play than I expected as well.

Investigating is fun, and the ability to actually question subjects on individual items without prompting is amazing.  For example, if you want to ask the waiter about drinks, you scan the waiter, then the drinks evidence – done!  But you can ask literally anyone about the drinks, and there is no ‘If you have the drinks, go to page xx’ prompts, so it’s also more challenging as you work out what needs to go where.

I can’t wait to provide a formal review soon!

20190107 Chronicles of Crime
You answer like you play - by scanning the cards to give the answer. No spoilers here though!

Stop Thief!

Finally had a chance to kick back and enjoy the first Restoration Games classic in my collection.

Stop Thief! is normally played competitively, with individual players trying to work out where the thief is from the provided sound clues.  This round though I got to play cooperatively with Rabbit, and it was an intriguing round indeed!

Having never played Stop Thief, it was good to lay out my thinking to teach Rabbit how to play without having to step back from ‘winning the game’.  The game is very similar, but instead of the most money being won, everyone has a single stack of money that can run out as robberies happen.

Now to put aside some time for Solo Mode…

20190107 Stop Thief
It looks like a lot is happening, but Stop Thief! is simple and straightforward and a blast to play

Shadows: Amsterdam

Another Alpal special, and one that knocked off an item for ‘most anticipated game to play in 2019’ (You knew the lists were coming, right?)

Imagine Codenames and Dixit had an affair – Shadows: Amsterdam would be the result.

Playing in two teams, one player is in charge of giving their team clues in the form of picture cards.  Players then need to interpret which picture to move to on the board.  There are three ‘clues’ that need to be collected before a final client is to be found.  First team to find the client without getting caught by the police three times wins!

Shadows: Amsterdam is fun, fast, and a heap of fun to play.  Formal review coming soon!

20190107 Shadows Amsterdam
If you enjoy Codenames, Shadows: Amsterdam is a no-brainer selection for you!

Pokemon Let’s Go

And I have finished!  The story at least, but the journey is done 🙂

As very much a Pokemon ‘casual’, and someone that was flat out at the end of the year, Pokemon Let’s Go was a great game for me.  As I had already played Pokemon Yellow (years ago, but yeah) having an idea of the game meant I could pick it up and put it down with ease.

And it was a little too much ease.  Honestly, I skipped two gyms and a secret technique that lets you fast travel to towns you have visited, and I still beat the game (with a lot of walking and backtracking).  And beat I MewTwo.  Yep, I have a MewTwo now 🙂

There is a bunch of extra stuff to do that I may or may not do, but you can hear about all that tomorrow with the Let’s Go review 😀

20190107 MewTwo
Wandering into the cave with 3 mid-level 60 and high level 50 Pokemon made this a tough fight, but I have MewTwo now 🙂

Detective Pikachu

So I started Detective Pikachu AGES ago, and the linear story was/is fun and a new Pokemon take was interesting.

The main problem I had was I put it down as the music was putting me to sleep (I was playing bit by bit at the end of the day), and didn’t pick up the DS to play for weeks.  Even at PAX Aus, where I was grabbing StreetPasses left and right, I didn’t even fire up Detective Pikachu.

I was determined to finish Detective Pikachu this year though, and now, it’s done.  I was about 2 hours from finishing, and that was taking my time.  So close!  But I also wanted to start another game on the DS, but more on that soon.

But you can hear my final thoughts on Detective Pikachu next Tuesday if you would like to know more.

20190107 Detective Pikachu
Detective Pikachu is a whole lot of fun 🙂 Not an overly complicated, but still enjoyable.

Luigi’s Mansion

I remember years ago buying a copy of Luigi’s Mansion and a Game Cube for a friend.  I must have watched many hours of their kids and my nephew play it, but I never got around to it.

Last year, Luigi’s Mansion 3 was announced for the Switch.  Now these days, if you want a game to get my attention, announce it on the Switch.  And memories of the first game came flooding up…

Thanks to the EB Games Boxing Day sales, I now have the first two in the series on DS.  I have only really played the tutorial and the first few rooms, but it’s already proving itself to be a fun diversion that needs just that bit of attention to finish it.

20190107 Luigis Mansion
It may be an old game, but Luigi's Mansion is still a bit of fun on the 2DS.

Astro Bot Rescue Mission

This fun little gem has taken the gaming awards by storm.  According to Metacritic, it’s the #7 PS4 game released in 2018, and #1 if you look at PSVR only!

With the January sales, I had to have a look at it.  It was being universally praised, and I can see why.  It’s adorable, immersive, challenging, and most importantly (for a VR game) completely immersive.

I only played for about 8 hours I think in total, but I have 100{dfca638b9dbdbc1caf156b9b6679a983a965572ca56a786c9cf360ad3783820c} completed 3 of the five worlds and I am on the final world now.

Short version – if you like Mario Bros style games, and are interested in VR, get Astro Bot Rescue Mission.  You will hear much on this game over the coming weeks, so be ready 🙂

20190107 AstroBot Gameplay
Find your bot friends, collect coins for mini-games, and enjoy the most Nintendo platformer on PlayStation

Beat Saber

In my opinion, Beat Saber got robbed by Astro Bot on Metacritic.  As I said, Astro Bot is a great game, and I am enjoying it thoroughly, but Beat Saber I have kept coming back to all year.  No other VR game has been able to do this, and that was before the new content.

A recent update added a couple of very fun new songs, and Rabbit has discovered with me the fun of playing some songs on Faster – it somehow makes them more fun and easier while making you move even more at the same time!

I need to move more, so I am going to try and get back into playing Beat Saber daily.  Let’s see if my score goes up…

Beat Saber Hitting the Cubes
You can watch people playing, but nothing compares to the feel of cutting cubes yourself

Kingdom Hearts

YES.  It has begun.  The Kingdom Hearts run is beginning.

I am a little torn though.  Do I just run through the games?  I can do this, and may even be able to finish Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 if I do this.

But.

I love this series, and I kind of want to platinum them – including the games I missed as I didn’t have a DS at the time.

Thinking, thinking.  Decisions to be made.  I will let you know what I decide, but if you are a fan grab the Final Mixes if you haven’t already.  The worst of the PS2 controls have been smoothed – they aren’t gone, but I am not as frustrated playing.  And it’s as fun as ever 🙂

20190107 Kingdom Hearts
There's a lot of cutscenes, but once you are into the game there isn't much time to laze about.

What about you?  What have you been up to?  Have you been getting more games in?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

So times (and content) are changing

JohnHQLD Logo

So what’s happening with content?

On the 13th of March, I put up a poll on the Facebook page about the general direction of the content of the site. The choices where more should I concentrate on my personal history and why I get excited about certain things or keep little daily tidbits of news going.

There was only one response apparently:

Poll Results

It’s hard to argue with that kind of vote, so I am writing up a few new pieces that should start being posted Good Friday, followed by the fourth Blatherings episode on Saturday!

This means after Easter, I will be regularly posting longer articles 2-3 times a week, and Saturdays will remain alternating Review and Blatherings days. Now and then a bit of news on things that catch my eye like Kickstarters or various announcements will be put up, but not on a regular schedule. Still no posts on Sunday though!

Thank you all for the feedback so far, it has all been appreciated.  Hopefully we can continue to build a great site together!

Detective Pikachu on the 3DS

So I picked up Detective Pikachu on Saturday, and currently, I think I am about 1/2-2/3 of the way through the game. Detective Pikachu will probably be my first video game review at the rate I am playing because compared to the rest of my gaming backlog I am flying through this one.

It plays more like an interactive comic book than a traditional Pokemon game, and the story so far seems to hold true to all the standard detective fiction tropes (which is why I think I can tell how far I am in the story). Detective Pikachu isn’t intended as a hard-hitting mind bender game though, so the light puzzles and story suit the game well.

I am having a lot of fun with Detective Pikachu, but I will give a full review once I have finished the game. I will also include what I think of the massive Detective Pikachu Amiibo!

Detective Pikachu Amiibo

Some games I want to play over Easter

So waiting for me at my local games shop is the Fast Foward series of games from Friedemann Friese. The series comprises of three games: Fear, Fortress and Flee, and each promises to be a different experience.

These are three games based on the Fabled Fruit system where you simply open the box and start playing. The rules are explained on cards that you draw from a deck of presorted cards allowing such quick gameplay.

Friedemann Friese is a designer that I enjoy the idea behind a lot of his games, but I don’t enjoy playing many of them.  Friday to this day is still one of my favourite solo games, and Power Grid is enjoyable with the right crowd. The recent solo game Finished finished is fun, but not one I can see myself playing over and over like I did with Friday.

The reviews I have heard have been a little mixed for the series, but positive enough overall that I really want to try them for myself. As a concept this has got my interest, so look out for a full review of the Fast Forward Series hopefully soon!

Fast Forward Logo
Fast Forward Fear Box Art
Fast Forward Fortress Box Art
Fast Forward Flee Box Art

A deserving Kickstarter is SO CLOSE to funding!

I know I have mentioned this Kickstarter a few times, but it’s SO CLOSE to being funded at around 89{dfca638b9dbdbc1caf156b9b6679a983a965572ca56a786c9cf360ad3783820c}!  If you like games like Zombicide, do yourself a favour and check out Secret Unkown Stuff: Escape from Dulce from Sentient Cow Games.

There are now plenty of gameplay videos now available, and the team is great to communicate with. This looks like a fun game that will probably replace Zombicide for me for my light ‘dice chucker/dungeon crawler’ type games. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that the jokes are right up my alley 😀

I am hoping that some of the bigger releases lately like Batman Gotham City Chronicles haven’t overshadowed this game, especially when there is a trilogy of games announced so it all has a plan.  Compare this to the annual Zombicide additions/reboots, this is a project I feel deserves to be given a chance.

Secret Unknown Stuff - Box Art

Until next time,

JohnHQLD