Top 10 Video Games 2019 (That I Actually Played)

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What a great year to be a gamer

I had a better year for Video Games than I initially thought. I didn’t realise I spent a lot more time on one platform more than the others, and by a fair margin.

Spoiler, but for the first time in a VERY long time, I haven’t really played a game on PC. It makes sense. Usually when I sit in front of the computer I am getting ready to work, and if I am playing on the PC I always have work in the back of my mind. That will change in 2020 as well 🙂

Similar to my Board Game list, I have added a couple of cheat entries. Well, I call them cheats, becuase I haven’t finished them yet! They are weighted down thr lidy becuase of this, but the small amount of play I had still put them over other entries.

Enough explaining – on to the list!

Number 10 – Astral Chain (Switch)

PlatinumGames are evil. Here I am, a mid-40’s grumpy old man that can’t play twitch reflex games like he used to. Somehow though they manage to pull me back in to play another one.

I am enjoying the world-building of Astral Chain, and the story exploration is enough without being too grindy. Well, up to Chapter 5, where I am. And that is where I got up to.

I think it was PAX Aus prep after the site redesign that derailed me on this one? I am not sure. But if you like action games at all, you need to check out Astral Chain. It’s only number 10 because I haven’t finished it.

Oh, and if you want to play on the move, the Hori Split Pad Pro controller will do nicely 😀

Astral Chain

Number 9 – Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch)

A classic game remade. I skipped a lot of the Nintendo consoles, with the original Gameboy being my only console until the DS a couple of years ago. Because of this, I missed a lot of classic NES gaming, including the Legend of Zelda series.

Now before a lot of people go berserk that Link’s Awakening is at the bottom of my list, I have two reasons. Firstly, I haven’t finished it. So it’s in my top 10 unfinished. Secondly, even though it’s my first time through the game, at its core, the game is 25 years old!

I am genuinely enjoying Link’s Awakening, and now that I have finished Pokemon Shield I intend to go back and finish it. But the older gameplay mechanics that drive the game, even though they hold up, keep it lower down on my list, most likely even if I had finished it.

Links Awakening

Number 8 – Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Switch)

Fire Emblem on the DS was terrific. Huge story to explore, character interactions, permadeath – it was a turn-based RPG geeks dream. Fire Emblem on the DS was like Valkyria Chronicles for me on PlayStation – I can’t get enough!

And on a work trip, I got just far enough into it to know I didn’t have the time to invest in it just yet. I knew that the world was involved and you had to keep on top of what was happening. But in the DS version, you only had to worry about that at particular times. Quests were manually triggered, so you soon knew when to close it.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses will let you play this way, but only to an extent by what I have tasted. The between battle interactions are on track to take up 40-60 hours on their own!

If you enjoy turn-based strategy, pick up Fire Emblem: Three Houses for yourself. The casual mode will let you pick up and play no problem, and is still quite a challenge.

Fire Emblem Three Houses

Number 7 – The Jackbox Party Pack 6 (Switch)

Yes, it’s a collection of silly mini-games. It also let me run and join in for a games night with zero prep time.

For those that don’t know, the Jackbox Party games are just general games where the audience votes on winners. You can be designing T-Shirts, redefining the English language, or finding evil alien stowaways!

Buying the pack on a console (or PC, Apple TV, Pretty much anything) lets you host the game, and everyone uses their own devices with a web browser to join in. Then you follow the prompts!

Setup is easy, fun is great, and there is plenty of variety, so replayability is there. If you have groups of people that appear, this is an excellent standby as a group activity.

Jackbox Party 6

Number 6 – Untitled Goose Game (Switch)

Proof that gameplay trumps graphics 😀 Untitled Goose Game came out last year on PC, but not they are on consoles the game’s popularity has soared, and the Switch is where I got to enjoy it 🙂

Like any great simple game, from the description, it doesn’t sound great. Be a goose and do tasks that appear on the screen. They can be anything from finding a flower, all the way to terrorise a child enough to hide in a phone booth.

And it’s hilarious.

I played it in small bouts while travelling and needed something I could turn off without consequence. I thought it would be perfect. Word to the wise – losing progress bites :p

If you haven’t seen it, play someone’s copy now. I am sure they will let you. Twenty minutes later, try to give them back their Switch/Controller without honking at them – I dare you :p

Untitled Goose Game

Number 5 – Pokemon Sword and Shield (Switch)

So missing a lot of the Nintendo early consoles, I only played a few Pokemon games. Yellow, Ruby, Moon, Let’s Go and now Shield.

A lot of fans are annoyed and vocal. Competitive play has already banned Dynamaxing, a new battle mechanic. Apparently, DS assets like sounds and models have been reused, which people feel ‘cheated’ by.

I had fun with it. The story isn’t really anything amazing (nothing new there). The battles are fun, and I enjoyed cooking a meal for my Pokemon. The inclusion of the Wild Area I thought was fun. Yes, online has issues, but I also didn’t need it to complete the game.

If you enjoy Pokemon, to me Sword and Shield are excellent additions to the series. If you are new to Pokemon but want more than the Let’s Go series ‘simple’ gameplay, it’s all here and more. And because Pokemon were cut, there is also the benefit of not having so many Pokemon to learn, so your learning curve is only steep instead of a vertical wall 🙂

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Number 4 – Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS4)

How long have I waited for Kingdom Hearts 3? And was it worth it? Mostly 😀

I love the series, but the timelines and retcons are crazy. Basically, I tell anyone trying to play the game to go with it, it’s much more manageable. What kind of timeline shenanigans are we talking about? Well at the start of 2019, the first Kingdom Hearts game is about the sixth in chronological order. It also includes movies, games, browser games and even concerts as authoritative entries.

That is not including most entries have been released and re-released with changes and story updates at least once. Usually as a full-priced game.

Bottom line though, I loved Kingdom Hearts 3. I would come home from work and work some more before going to bed just so I could get a solid 8-10 hours on Saturdays.

Everyone can play it, very few can understand it all, but a lot of fun no matter how you look at it.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Number 3 – Tetris 99 (Switch)

Well, talk about left field. Nintendo introduced one of my all-time favourite games and added Battle Royale. I thought they were mad. I thought it wouldn’t work.

Yeah, I was wrong.

With new play modes and little Grand Prix events always adding a bit of a carrot to come back, Tetris 99 still manages to be in the first few tiles of my Switch menu.

If you don’t know about Tetris 99 by now, check out my review. Better yet, if you have Switch Online, just jump on and play it. Really.

Tetris 99

Number 2 – The Outer Worlds (Xbox One)

So my first ever platinum trophy was Fallout 3. This was after voicing concern to my gaming group at the time that I was worried about bringing back Fallout and in a new game style to boot. In my defence, the previous couple of spin-offs weren’t great. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t wrong, though.

Flash forward to the next game from Obsidian Entertainment called Fallout: New Vegas. I was playing on PC, but that is putting it kindly. New Vegas was a bug-riddled mess of frustration. A year later, and after a lot of coaxing from friends, I said hello to my favourite Fallout game of all time.

Yep, the same team that made Fallout: New Vegas made a Fallout like game in space, and it’s fantastic. The multi-branching story, unforeseen consequences, and a relevant overarching story arc make The Outer Worlds a game I basically hoovered down. And it’s on Game Pass (hint, hint).

Playing it through the first two weeks, it wasn’t perfect. But it was far from an unplayable mess. The most significant bugs I met were apparently I was supposed to be given some more quest options. Still, I didn’t notice they were missing – the story made sense, and I could continue on.

Seriously, if you have Game Pass, put this on your drive (PC or Xbox). If you don’t, play it anyway. And apparently, it’s coming to Switch this year!

The Outer Worlds

Number 1 – Resident Evil 2 Remake (PS4)

Usually, as you can see with Link’s Awakening earlier in this list, I put a big negative in terms of weight for remasters and sequels. But then you get a remake that changes almost everything about the game, and for the better. This year, that game was Resident Evil 2.

You have the same characters, with some tweaks. The A/B Scenario system remains in place. And of course, item management and puzzles are still a concern.

Oh, and you still have good old Racoon City, the most magnificent collection of disasters of a city that never was.

Pretty much everything else is different though. Camera styles, combat, AI direction, even the Tyrant/Mr X – if you think you can use the same old tricks, be ready to reload your save.

I still remember playing this during the year, sitting on the couch with Rabbit reading/playing with her phone next to me. Hearing Mr X’s footsteps, she looks up to see what is making the noise. Then she sees him come through a door and lock on to me. “What the f#!* is that!” she yelled out, and it was at that point I knew just how well Capcom had nailed the remake.

If you haven’t played Resident Evil 2, then grab the new demo from your digital store of choice. That’s right – the ‘new’ demo. Capcom has started baking in Resident Evil 3 easter eggs into RE2, which is impressive in itself. Can’t wait for that to come out this year!

Resident Evil 2

Honorable Mentions

Tie – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4)/Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order (PS4)

So here are two very different games that share one thing in common – I played them enough that I can’t put them on the ‘I wish I played’ lists, but didn’t play enough to fairly put higher on the list.

Both games are graphically impressive (personally, Sekiro more than Fallen Order but it’s not a huge difference). Both have a control system that requires practice and gaining skill (again, Sekiro more than Fallen Order). And both games have been raved about since release.

I have played enough of both to know I want to play more. I have also played enough of both (about 3-4 hours each) to realise I need to be playing when I am fully alert. And when my joints don’t already betray me.

I honestly think at least one of these games would have pipped Link’s Awakening for number 10 except for one thing – I can’t just pick either of them after 6 months and know the timing. The controls are not brutal, but the nuances are.

So while I think I will love both of these games, when you don’t see them on my ‘I Wish I Played’ list don’t think it’s because I don’t like them. On the contrary, at least one will appear in another article soon.

If you have any interest in either pick it up. Yes, you will need to practice and ‘Git Gud’, but no one has said otherwise. All I can say is from what I have seen, I think it will be worth it.

What do you think? I couldn’t believe how much the Switch dominated my gaming this year. But with the portable nature of the console, it does make sense.

What about your favourite games of 2019? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,


E3 2019 Day 2 – my picks of interest

Halfway through, what tickled my fancy today?

Not as excited by a lot of today’s news as I was by Day 1’s, but there was still so much goodness to be viewed! Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Watch Dogs Legion

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Watch Dogs. In a weird way, it felt too ‘Assassin’s Creed’ samey grind for me.

That said, over the last few years, apparently Ubisoft has lifted their game big time, and I keep being tempted to give it a go. Too much backlog has spared me so far, but these games keep coming to Game Pass, and surely PS Plus will get a shot soon.

But a Watch Dogs where they have ironed out the kinks, and bring in recruitment and multiple characters? I am not pre-ordering, but I will be keeping an eye on Watch Dogs Legion, be sure of that 🙂

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered

Excited for this one, but I am not 100% sure why.

My Final Fantasy is VII. That is the first one I played, and as such it has a special place in my heart. In a lot of ways, XII is probably my favorite of the series, but that’s a different story.

But now, the ‘missing’ remaster is coming to basically everything. In a lot of ways, I want to get this on Switch and make it my portable Final Fantasy machine 🙂

But backwards compatibility is finally being taken seriously by Sony. Decisions, decisions. Either way you go, I am glad this fan is finally getting the remaster treatment like the rest of the PS1 classics!

Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind

So technically revealed prior to the Square Enix presentation, it was a flip up between including Re:Mind or Final Fantasy VII Remake.

While I still feel the difficulty required for the Kingdom Hearts 3 Platinum was lowered considerably, the fact that even as busy as I was I could still earn the trophy should demonstrate my love for the series.

There is more coming. If you know what the story is about from the trailer, then you are amazing.  All I care about is more Kingdom Hearts is coming, and I want to play it 😀

The Last Remnant Remastered

When Square Enix makes a hit, they make a hit. The Last Remnant was released for XBOX late 2008, and never seemed to make as big an impact as its Final Fantasy counterparts.

But it should have.

I still have The Last Remnant on Steam. Not a fancy remaster, but I can play it still I believe. Last year, the remaster was released on PS4, possibly as an apology for it never coming out on PS3 like it was supposed to?

Either way, you can play it now on the Switch. If you are short of deep narrative adventures, give this one a look. It deserves more recognition, it really does.

And that’s about it for Day 2 and what piqued my interest!

What about you? Are you really excited for something that I haven’t mentioned?

Until next time,


Last Week’s Gaming – March 4th, 2019

20190304 Jessie Jaws

Chronicles of the World Championship Kung Fu Zoo leads Sherlock to call Cahoots between the 1643 Galaxies involved

Yep, that intro stretched the board game title gag, but wow apparently I made up for last weeks lack of board games with a vengeance!

So there are a lot of games to get through, so let’s get started!

Chronicles of Crime

Another case in and this one was advertised as a hard one.

It did not disappoint.  We mostly got to where we needed to be, but there was some time critical elements that we missed and got let astray on.

Lesson learned – do not let just Harls read out the crime scene :p

Just from the base game experience (I have not pulled out any Kickstarter specific items or expansions yet), this is getting a great run – a couple more games and I will be ready for the review!

20190304 Chronicles of Crime
The new mechanics and possibilities of this system are amazing!

World Championship Russian Roulette

This was a fun little filler experience between Chronicles of Crime and Tiny Epic Galaxies.  Hadn’t played it for ages, so it was fun to pull off the shelf.

Yes, the theme of the game is dark and not something that should be joked about lightly, but if playing with people with a dark sense of humour can be a fun game experience still.

We played three players which worked fine, but it did bring home really wanting the higher player counts still.

20190304 World Championship Russian Roulette
Still a fun simple game to pass a little while. Three was fun, but want more players.

Tiny Epic Galaxies w/ Beyond the Black expansion

Talking about games that haven’t come off the shelf for a while, we ended games night with Tiny Epic Galaxies: Beyond the Black.

There was a forgotten lesson relearned – if you don’t remember the flow of the game, it goes for a long time.  A really long time.  A 45-minute game went for the better part of 2 hours!

But even with this and a couple of initial rule missteps, we still had a lot of fun.  And that’s what playing games is all about, isn’t it?

20190304 Tiny Epic Galaxies Beyond The Black
It may take a lot of table room, but Tiny Epic Galaxies was the first Tiny Epic game that clicked with me

Sherlock: Last Call

You heard about this not long after we played it in yesterday’s Ramblings.

A novel yet brilliantly simple premise, you have a bunch of cards and you need to play out the important clues to solve a case.  It’s like playing Bridge but instead of playing for points, you play for much higher stakes – information.

After Alpal showed this one to me, I will be looking out for more in the series as I am sure she will.  For around $15 on the pricey side, how wrong can you go?

20190304 Sherlock Last Call
It's hard enough putting the clues together without making a game of bridge out of it!

Kung Fu Zoo

Another Alpal special, and a game I wouldn’t have looked at twice.  Kung Fu Zoo is a king of simplified Strike if you know the game.

Players have a number of dice that get flicked into the ‘arena’.  You can flick dice in from the centre point of any side, but it must be in the centre.  You are trying to be the last player with dice outside the cage (i.e. now knocked down the corner holes) or with their dice paws up.

I can see this being more fun with 4 players, but playing just with Alpal and I was still a fun and interesting experience.  You try to knock dice onto different sides while pulling off billiards shots – definitely something to get the crowds coming for a look!

20190304 Kung Fu Zoo
This lot was living on the edge, but mixing dexterity with dice values made for a fun experience


So I have enjoyed games like The Game and The Mind.  Having a relatively simple task before you to be completed with the limitation of not being able to freely communicate is an interesting experience on multiple levels.

Cahoots keeps this kind of experience alive but adds a kind of quick progression system to the game.  In The Game, it’s not until the end you know how well you went.  In The Mind, you go up levels and have a goal with the previous successes behind you.

In Cahoots, you have a number of objectives that must be met in order to ‘win’, so you always feel like you are accomplishing something.  It was a lot of fun, but I wish the colours had suits on them as well as I had trouble with a couple of the colours.

20190304 Cahoots
Quick, challenging, and gives you a sense of progress as you play.

Claustrophobia 1643

A fine example of two-player dungeon-crawling done right.  Claustrophobia 1643 is a reprint and refinement on the game Claustrophobia, a highly regarded and sought after game for many years.

The catch with the initial run though?  Only a few thousand copies were being produced, and they were limited even further by region.  Alpal got in first with the Oceania pledge, and I lucked out when a few more were allocated.

It’s a great, fun and hectic experience that has been incredibly streamlined.  But I won’t go too much further into it here, because the last 2,500 copies are going up on Kickstarter on March 12th! If you missed out, here is your chance.

20190304 Claustrophobia 1643
I want to talk about this game, but it's REALLY hard to get. Look on Kickstarter March 12th!

Kingdom Hearts 3

Yes, I platinumed Kingdom Hearts 3 the week before, but I haven’t finished the game.  Not yet.  Not the way I want to.

Even though I played through on a lower difficulty, I kept flying around in my Gummy Ship and picked the first galaxy as clean as I can of combat, items and challenges.

One down, two to go.  Finding these blueprint crystals is hard, even with the radar!

20190218 Kingdom Hearts 3 Black Pearl
Captaining the Black Pearl in Kingdom Hearts 3 😀

Resident Evil 2

So now that I ‘finished’ Kingdom Hearts, it was time to go back to another game that I was looking forward to playing – the Resident Evil 2 remake!

I had finished the Leon A campaign before Kingdom Hearts 3 was released, but yesterday I got to smash out the Claire B campaign in one hit.  Well, a few deaths and reloads because of some “Come On!” moments, but all was done on Sunday.

Now that I have finished the story as such I can start with The 4th Survivor modes as well as some of the free what-if Ghost Survivors scenarios.  Even before I begin trying for those S+ rankings, I have a lot more game to play!

20190304 Resident Evil 2
Wow. And this was the shorter chapter. I did clear out the police station this time though 🙂

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,


Last Week’s Gaming February 25th, 2019

20190225 Chronicles of Crime

You know when you think it’s Tuesday, but the week has already gone?

Yep, no trying to make a joke from the game titles this week.  I looked up from lunch on Monday, and it was Friday.  It was one of those weeks.

So while I didn’t get to play much, what I did get to play was amazing!

Chronicles of Crime

So this one is a little bit of a cheat this week.  I was fully intending to play along on games night, but I stopped.

I was teaching Harls to play for the first time, and giving Alpal a recap as it had been a while.  As for most games like this, I taught the basics and let them play through the tutorial.

Watching them play, I realised just how much I remembered from my only playthrough of the tutorial, so I withdrew from the game.  Everyone else enjoyed which is what you really want, but I can’t wait for the next time we play so I can join in again 😀

20190225 Chronicles of Crime
Starting to hit retail stores, I can't wait to share more Chronicles of Crime with everyone!

Super Mario Odyssey

I was worried about picking up Super Mario Odyssey again, as it has been about a month since I picked it up.  And I had never played it in handheld mode.  But it was something to play while Rabbit and I were relaxing on the couch, and I figured worst case I just don’t save.

These concerns turned out to be unfounded.  I knew what I was doing objective wise, a quick perusal of the controls reminded me how to play, and I was collecting moons again within a few minutes.

I didn’t make too much headway, but I collected enough moons to leave the Luncheon Kingdom, but I will beat the bird boss first 🙂

20190225 Super Mario Odyssey
To leave a game alone for a month and then almost clear a world is just what you want in a game like this

Kingdom Hearts 3

Well, I don’t know how much longer I will be including Kingdom Hearts 3 on the last week’s gaming news.  After 57:09 according to my save, I have attained the Platinum trophy 😀

For trophy hunters, the Platinum has been made easier in this version compared to the re-released 1.5 and 2.5 versions.  There is still a grind, but you no longer have to finish the game on proud mode for example.  You also don’t have to completely 100% everything about the game.  I have only completed about 75% of the gummi ship challenges for example.

20190225 Kingdom Hearts 3
One of the post game activities was completing recipes with Little Chef

But the story has been explored.  I have seen all of the endings, read all of the notes, and now the gameplay challenge is before me.  I will probably put that off though, as I need to do a Proud Mode run of Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5.  I think for all three games, a single run through the entire numbered series on proud will be a suitable goodbye 🙂

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,


Blatherings 017 – Apologies, Tetris 99 and Kingdom Hearts 3

Kingdom Hearts 3 Worlds Promo

I can’t remember the last time I was able to finish a game, let alone this quickly!

Another week, another round of chatting!

But first an apology for last weeks absence – I was hoping to do a YouTube reveal that broke at the 11th hour, and now I want to redo it,

So today I have some thoughts on Tetris 99, and an answer for the question ‘Should I play Kingdom Hearts 3’ now I have finished the story.

Have a great weekend everyone!


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Last Week’s Games – February 18th, 2019

20190218 Kingdom Hearts 3 Black Pearl

Tales of the Railroad beating Downforce are overstated :p

A quick week of gaming this week, culminating in finishing the Kingdom Hearts 3 story!

But enough of that particular game, I got to play lots of other fun ones as well 😀

Mythos Tales

After the nice increase in difficulty and pace in the first four cases, we were thrown a little by the straightforward nature of this case.

It is disappointing that some misprint issues from the first print run have started to appear.  Not enough that we were overly disadvantaged, but enough that it threw the pacing.

We did well though – so well in fact, that we lose a time unit in case 6.  So as I said, not enough to ruin the case, but now we will have this doubt for the last cases.  Time will tell how this plays out though – it will be interesting.

20190218 Mythos Tales
Case 5 down, three to go. Exploring Arkham is taking a few interesting turns.

Railroad Ink

Railroad Ink was a game that had me curious to look at, but not to buy.  Luckily Alpal is still on a Roll and Write kick, so we got to play 🙂

Similar to many other Roll and Writes, Railroad Ink has you filling a series of road, rail and stations to connect as many exits out of the grid as you can.

Everyone works with the same set of die rolls and abilities, but it’s all down to how efficiently you play that get’s you the highest scores.

20190218 Railway Ink
Another wonderful Roll and Write diversion, the basic game holds a lot of possibilities.

I am a little puzzled that the four expansion modules have been split over two box sets,  For four extra dice (the only difference between the red and blue versions), I can’t see anyone objecting to paying an extra few dollars to the base.  Instead, Horrible Games and CMON have opted for making people buy the base game twice for the ‘entire’ experience.

I will need a few more games and some with the advanced rules in order to see if this could be justified somehow, but on the surface, I find it puzzling.


As I have said, Downforce is one of those games I will play and keep coming back to.  Alpal, Rabbit and I had a few rounds during the week, and as usual, it was a great time.

We had one of those games where Rabbit was just destined to win, with a fantastic combination of randomly dealt cars and hand of the movement cars.  But as usual, even with the writing on the wall of how things were about to play out, I was still having a ball even though I was set to be in outright last place.

Downforce 20181008
Always a fun racing game! One day my car/s will be in that top spot 😀

Alpal decided to be the agent of Chaos though and put one of my cars into second place at the cost of her own points.  Always one to mess with the status quo is Alpal 😀

Tetris 99

During the week, Nintendo held their February Direct event.  As usual, a whole bunch of things were announced.  I can now play Final Fantasy IX on the Switch, with the original Final Fantasy VII coming next month.  DLC announcements and game release dates galore also dotted the Direct.

But one announcement that took me by surprise as I thought it a massive swipe at the current Video Game landscape.

That announcement?  Tetris 99.

20190218 Tetris 99
It's old school Tetris multiplayer on a massive scale. Can't complain about my first attempt! 😀

Now I love Tetris, as discussed with the recently released Tetris Effect.  But the 99 refers to the number of players facing each other!  I have only played one round so far, and I came 13th – gotta be happy with that 😀

If you have Nintendo Online and enjoy old school Tetris, do yourself a favour and check out this free game.

Kingdom Hearts 3

No surprise this was going to be on the list – it is my game of choice at the moment.

I have completed the story and found all of the Lucky Emblems and treasures.  But like all Kingdom Hearts games, this is in a lot of ways only the beginning of the gameplay.

There are battle gates for example – a series of battles that seem to have replaced the old school Hades Cup.  I still have various challenges to complete, such as the Gummi Ship, Synthesis and Moogle Photo challenges.

20190218 Kingdom Hearts 3 Complete
The summary screen at the end - It serves to tell you how much more is left!

I have been playing for about 45 hours now, and I have been enjoying all of it. Kingdom Hearts 3 feels easier to get into, but that could just be my experience with the series and playing in beginner so I could get all the story.

Either way, in a couple of weeks the full review will be on the site for all of my thoughts to be told – once I have gotten the Platinum Trophy 😀

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,


Last Week’s Gaming – February 11th, 2019

20190211 Rescue Polar Bears

A group of Polar Bears On Tour along the Highway are simply Tales

I cannot believe how quickly this year is flying by.  While some may think that it’s only February, but 10% of 2019 is already passed.  Time passes quickly.

But another week and some more games made the table – including some new ones thanks to Alpal 🙂

Mythos Tales

Another case down for Mythos Tales, making us halfway through the cases.  I have had an interesting history with this game, but the second print run has indeed fixed up many of the problems and issues.

Or so I felt until this case.  Harls and I played the case and got incredibly stumped.  We technically ‘won’ the case based on the score, but obviously missed half the story.

In the end, it turned out to be a side effect of the increasing difficulty level we have seen through the cases, and that makes me very keen to finish playing this series when we can 🙂

20190211 Mythos Tales
Case 4 done and dusted. The difficulty has been ramping up nicely.

On Tour

As I have said a few times, 2018 was the year of the Roll and Write.  The massive surge in this game style has opened the door to some wonderful diversions and great game experiences.

On Tour is a twist on some old game mechanics, but repackaging known qualities can still lead to a fun yet challenging time.

Adding randomisation with a combination of cards and dice rolls, the replayability of On Tour is pretty high.  The quality components make gameplay a breeze, but I wonder if it pushes the asking price up too much in the process.

I feel thoughts and a review on On Tour coming in the future.

20190211 On Tour
A possibly over produced roll and write, On Tour was still a great game

Rescue Polar Bears

Almost anything with a ‘social message’ is generally viewed at best as propaganda by many people.  This is sometimes understandable, but overall disappointing as many great messages are dismissed out of hand before being heard.

Rescue Polar Bears is such a game.  There is a strong message about Global Warming and its effects on the world but wrapped up in a Pandemic style cooperative game.

And it’s good.  True, there are better games overall, but Rescue Polar Bears will be overlooked as many as Climate Change propaganda by some.  I want a few more games, but expect a proper review once they are done.

20190211 Rescue Polar Bears
A very challenging cooperative game with a strong environmental message

Tokyo Highway

Having driven on many roads around the world, I have questioned many infrastructure decisions over the years.  There have been many times I have driven onto an offramp that somehow merges with an onramp and wondered ‘What clown designed this?’.

I may have found an answer if some of those designs came from watching people play Tokyo Highway.  An interesting dexterity game where luck and planning work hand in hand, there are complex strategies combined with an interesting filler experience.

Seemingly complex rules that are straightforward to implement can put off some people, but if you get the chance to try this game do it!

20190211 Tokyo Highway
A fun and intriguing dexterity experience, Tokyo Highway is an intriguing experience

Kingdom Hearts 3

Oh Kingdom Hearts, you are so amazing even after all these years.

Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s not a perfect game.  I don’t think such a thing truly exists.  But everything that made the originals great remains in spades, and I am enjoying every minute of it.

I have fully finished a couple more worlds and jumped ahead a couple more.  Honestly story wise for the last couple of worlds has been a little wanting I think, but mid-game in an RPG is rarely the strongest area of play.

Each world has been fun and different though, so even through the ‘slow patch’ gameplay has been different and varied, encouraging just one more section to be played.  This pacing and variety is why I love the series, and I am glad it is intact in this newest version.

20190211 Kingdom Hearts 3
Loading screens are a play on Social Media uploads, and are fun to see - especially the hashtags!

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,


Last Week’s Gaming – February 4th, 2019

20190204 Resident Evil 2 Results

A Tale of Lemonade and Blackmail

Board games this week took a hit playtime wise, thanks largely to two Video Game releases at the end of January.

Kingdom Hearts 3 has been taking a lot of my playtime, and I am loving every second of it!  But I am jumping ahead – let’s talk about what I played last week!

That’s Not Lemonade

Waiting for some people to arrive on games night, That’s Not Lemonade was a great bit of filler to begin the night with.

As I said in the review, it’s a light bit of fun that let us pass a bit of time.  No lengthy rules explanation and even the player that was fighting the pizza menu on his phone could join in with minimal downtime.

After a couple of rounds and confirmation that the fourth player would be longer than originally guessed, we moved to a slightly meatier time killer.

20190204 That's Not Lemonade
Taught and the first game played in less time than it takes to order 3 pizzas with a vegan option - on a mobile!

Archer Once You Go Blackmail

Love Letter is a great game, and as said previously the Archer version is still the hardest for me to categorise.

It still has the base Love Letter rules but changes the burn card to becoming part of the game, similar to Lost Legacy.  This changes the game just enough that I don’t call it pure Love Letter anymore, but not enough to change it to the big box premium versions.

That aside, the game did what it always does – the three of us had a great time playing until the fourth player arrived.  Another reliable light fun filler that will take about 20-30 minutes to play.

20190204 Archer Once You Go Blackmail
My only issue - first round Archers with calls of 'LAAAANNNNAAAAAAA' :p

Mythos Tales

The third investigation has finally been played!  While I had played the first two games with Harls, this week I decided to make it the main game for games night, introducing two new players for a four-person case.

Overall, it worked well.

The case itself said scoring was harder, but that said we beat the case well with a score of 15.  We didn’t get the ‘Beat Sherlock’ style score for the first time, but all four of us still had a great time.

20190204 Mythos Tales
New rules and a teasing of increasing difficulty through the cases makes me look forward to the next game

Resident Evil 2

So Monday night, I finished Leon’s campaign (Scenario A – Leon for the veterans).  Under the circumstances, I was pretty happy with my run – a B ranking (apparently saves don’t count anymore for your score so yay!) and I found a few bits and pieces.

I was exploring a bit, but when I found I could massively backtrack I just let it be.  Resident Evil 2 is amazing.  End of story.

I might just restart on Assisted mode (Easy mode) later and try for a Platinum run, because on Tuesday the next game came out…

20190204 Resident Evil 2 Results
Mix between enjoying the new visuals and getting through the story, not bad for a first result I thought

Kingdom Hearts 3

Well, I haven’t hidden how much I have been waiting for this series, and it is everything I was hoping for.

Right now I have 100 per cent on five worlds and am keen to get through the sixth world story.  I could be flying through the story, but backtracing a completed world and searching for treasures and other collectables is a heap of fun.

I will be talking about the game in more detail in a couple of weeks – I don’t want to spoil anything for new players.  If you want to know a little more, you can catch up with the last Blatherings and hear what I think 🙂

20190204 Kingdom Hearts 3 Memories 1
So much I want to show, but I don't want any spoilers less than a week in!

What about you?  I hope you have had a great week gaming.  Let me know! Feel free to comment below, or shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,


Blatherings 015 – Kingdom Hearts 3

20190202 Blatherings 015 Kingdom Hearts 3

When Alpal is away, I will Blather away!

Another Saturday, another podcast. But with Alpal taking a break, it’s back to the Blatherings!

And the timing worked out great for me because I can talk about a Video Game I have been waiting for. And waiting for. And waiting.

But now Kingdom Hearts 3 is here, and today I talk about if new players can pick it up or not, with no story spoilers at all.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Last Week’s Gaming – October 29th, 2018

Kingdom Hearts 3 PAXAUS

Who would have thought a road trip and PAX Aus stops you playing games?

So PAX had a slightly higher video game turnout this year, possibly with the addition of EB Expo having something to do with it.

Tabletop wise there were a lot of games around, but almost all of them were also representing last year so there was little new I was excited about.  But I still got to play a lot, which is amazing given the amount of things on!

Qwirkle Cubes

Ahhh Qwirkle.  It’s like a simple version of Scrabble with shapes and colours.  Anyone that tells you it’s relaxing is not playing with the same cutthroat, win at all costs people I am playing with.

That’s probably a good thing 🙂

A night out at Welcome to Thornbury with good friends was great, and a game of Qwirkle Cubes capped the night off.  The staff were great at letting us just play, and it made me remember why I enjoy this game in the first place!

Qwirkle Cubes
Fun game, very table efficient, and always a heap of fun!

Octopath Traveler

Yeah, you knew this was going to be back on the list.  Another chapter finished for one of my crew, and trying to get the infamous Nintendo Switch PAX pin by playing in line was a great excuse to pull out the Switch!

My enthusiasm for Octopath isn’t waning, but the curve for grinding levels seems to be hitting a point.  I can’t go into too much detail without going into spoiler territory, but finishing the arena contest with one underpowered character was a definite disadvantage.

Octopath Traveler 20181029
It may not look like much progress, but after the last couple of weeks it was more than enough 🙂


A party favourite, I have played different Jackbox games over the years, mainly being an audience member at the PAX Jackbox panels.

This year I jumped into a game in the PAX BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) section, and played a game called Patently Stupid where you have to draw different silly ideas.

And somehow I came back in the second round to take the game and win my first PAX medal!

Jackbox - always a great party game to reveal how terrible people can be 😀

Beat Saber

I love me some Beat Saber.

While I own this and can play it at home, I can play it in a slightly cramped way.

The good news over PAX was I got to play with the Vive wireless dongle and new base stations, which will help me play in a much more open area soon!

But the bottom line is Beat Saber is still great.  For more information, check out my Early Access impressions.

I can’t wait for this to come out on PSVR as well – firstly for the ‘whole’ game, secondly for so many more people to start playing this great game!

Beat Saber PAXAUS
Ahhh Beat Saber. Angel Voices Hard with no walls was great! Best overheard comment - "it's not as easy as he makes it look"

Dark Souls Remastered

So lining up for Diablo 3 on the Switch (which I didn’t end up playing), I got the chance to play some Dark Souls.

Now the closest I ever came to playing this was Bloodborne that I haven’t even beaten the first boss, so I am far from the worlds greatest souls player.  I struggle to even be considered a souls player.

That said, I was surprised at how smoothly Dark Souls Remastered played in handheld mode on the Switch.  I have a few big games to play and get through (including Octopath Traveler), but the 10-15 minutes I played has me considering getting this on the Switch.

Dark Souls Remastered
I was too busy playing to get a shot 🙁

Kingdom Hearts 3

What can I say – it was more Kingdom Hearts!

There are new systems but the overall feel was instantly familiar, and the demo was timed to objectives met not actual time played.

This was an incredibly fun experience that was both amazing and cruel – I have to wait until next year to sit and play it properly on my home system!

Kingdom Hearts 3 PAXAUS
Couldn't get a shot as I played, but running around Andy's Bedroom was great 🙂 I can't wait to play this properly next year!

There were so many amazing games also played in the PAX Rising area as well, with a large percentage played being made in Australia and even locally in Melbourne!

I managed to snaggle a couple of steam keys as well, so those games will get a bit more of a write up in the coming weeks.

What about you?  What have you been playing this week?  Let me know on Twitter or the Facebook page!

Until next time,