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What We Played #334 – Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Sky Force Reloaded & Doom VFR

Deck the halls.

Well, there it is. Barring a few indie titles, we’ve had all of the big releases arrive in 2017, and what a great year it’s been. Everyone has had a throw of the dice, and we’ve been the beneficiaries of both fantastic software and great new technology. Of course, that also means we’re now going to be ploughing into all those game of the year shenanigans over the next month, before coming out the other side, having had yet more games arrive courtesy of an overweight man dressed in red. 2018’s games and the next big thing are looming though, which means if you’ve got games sat on your shame pile you’ve got about four weeks to get through them. Best get going!

I’ve spent the last fortnight living and breathing Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and to say that it is an overwhelmingly huge would be a understatement. It is however, absolutely amazing, and has more heart than most of this year’s releases, even if it can be a bit rough around the edges at times. I’ve asked for a few games this Christmas, but I think I’m going to spend the next few weeks on The Witcher III which I held off playing for such a long time. Thanks to the recent 4K patches, I can now play the very best versions possible. I’ve also held off playing it as I know it will destroy my life, but after playing Xenoblade I’m kind of in the mood for it!

Miguel was the first to drop in this week, and he’s seen off the Witcher II, and been tinkering with Portal Knights on the Switch. Dave’s had a quieter week, though he played Hearthstone at an event on Monday a few times, which were just normal Fireside Gathering games. He’s also been replaying the original Dark Souls and made it significantly further, with Ornstein and Smough falling on his fourth attempt. “Killing Ornstein second is much tougher than I thought he’d be, but doable.” Good work!

Tuffcub meanwhile has had a mixed week of gaming;

I have been playing Sky Force Reloaded, which is one of the very, very few games I have continued to play after I had finished the review. Love it to bits. Also a little bit of Destiny 2 just to pass the time, and I started Wolfeinstein II which is utterly grim. What a horrid way to start a game: violence, child abuse and then you have to kill a puppy! I’m sorry but that’s not fun in my book so I turned it off and won’t be bothering with the rest of it.

Aran has played Rogue Trooper Redux which was apparently pretty easy right up until the last mission which had a huge difficulty spike. He’s also played some of the UFC 3 beta which can read about here. New boy Ade hasn’t been able to do much gaming this week as he’s been playing the real life game known as “visiting the family in Norwich”, which was “intense, frustrating, stressful and rather wonderful too”! He’s back now though and has made a start on Caveman Warriors for review.

Jim has been enjoying his expensive hat this week:

This week I’ve been spending more time with PSVR. For a while I wasn’t sure if I’d invested my money wisely, but it’s definitely proved itself over the course of 12 months. Skyrim VR continues to fascinate me long after the fact and Raw Data was a great way to let loose against waves of robots. I also managed to clean up the last few trophies in Horizon Zero Dawn which was a tedious slog that saw me running past every machine to pick up dumb metal flowers or little figures. The Sims 4 has also continued to crop up thanks to its recent release on console.

Steve has been working on Elex, de Blob, and Black Mirror for review, while he waits for Dead Rising 4: Frank’s Big Package to download at an excruciatingly slow pace. He’s also played the awesome Sky Force Reloaded too!

It was Jake’s turn to make the jump to the PS4’s big brother:

I got a PS4 Pro! I didn’t think I’d notice a change on a standard 1080p Bravia TV, but there is definitely improved performance across the board. I’m also appreciating the fact my PS4 Pro is nearly silent when compared to my battered standard model, so I’ve genuinely enjoyed getting back into games and getting my 70th platinum via Uncharted 4. I then took the opportunity to start and finish the Uncharted: Lost Legacy, which is excellent to say the least.

I’ve also been dabbling in between finding the remaining Moons in Mario Odyssey and finding shiny creatures in Pokémon Ultra Moon.

Finally, Tef’s been nipping back and forth this week, playing an upcoming medieval RPG, the anime-infused Souls-like Code Vein, an ambitious third person shooter from a tiny 8 person team of Germans, and the barmy 3v3 brawling of Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. He’s dabbled with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for the first time, making into the top 30 but failing to register a single kill, but had more luck against the demons of Doom VFR on PlayStation VR. While Dave will be tackling the full review on HTC Vive, he’s just posted some quick thoughts about Bethesda’s shooter when it’s on Sony’s platform.

So then, what have you played?

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14 Comments
  1. Tony Cawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    I played a bit of Destiny 2 crucible quick play last night, first time in a while I’ve done that. It was awful, every match was against a full fireteam of 4.
    Won’t be playing that again until the curse of osiris.

    Played some Just Cause, good fun in small doses.
    Then I got into the Witcher 3. Very addictive indeed! I think the combat is a bit crap but other than that it’s an excellent world with lots to do, lots of interesting back stories and an enjoyable enough main story.

    Comment posted on 01/12/2017 at 18:09.
  2. Crazy_Del
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Mostly played Star Wars Multiplayer (currently Rank 31) and still play Fifa Squad Battles daily and having mixed feelings on which Icon I wish to buy to strengthen my squad xD lol

    Comment posted on 01/12/2017 at 18:13.
    • ron_mcphatty
      Member
      Since: Sep 2008

      Lots of Star Wars for me too! I guess you’re aiming for the platinum then Del? It seems achievable for me but the heavy, specialist and hero kills are gonna take me a lifetime. I’ve unlocked all but one hero now, still not bought a crate yet, who needs progression when you can have so much Star Warsey fun being mediocre :)
      I’ve also been playing the GT Sport campaign, the hour long endurance challenge has been the highlight so far, I only just won with no fuel left and about five seconds on 2nd place! I also nailed all the Nurburgring sectors first try, thanks go to GT5 for permanently burning the green hell into my brain.

      Comment posted on 01/12/2017 at 22:00.
  3. tactical20
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Finished my first play of Wolfenstein 2, which I picked up on Black Friday for £20. I’m surprised by all the praise it’s been getting? Yeah, the characters and story are quite good, but I found the gameplay very mediocre. The level design is dull, the campaign is short, the guns are uninspired. I really enjoyed the previous two, but this one is a bit disappointing. It’s not terrible, just extremely average. £20 is probably a fair price, imo.

    Comment posted on 01/12/2017 at 18:23.
  4. MrYd
    Member
    Since: Mar 2011

    Finally got the platinum for the VR Playroom thing. Hunting ghosts with the aid of assorted nieces and nephews did it.

    Watch Dogs 2 finally clicked for me, and I’m rushing through story missions there.

    I may also have got Thumper, which is an evil game. Looks nice in VR, the music is like listening to Nine Inch Nails while someone beats you to death with 3 drum kits (in a good way), and the first level is deceptively simple. No trouble getting through that, with an S rank. Didn’t in anyway prepare me for the rest of the game. But I’m determined to the point of eye-melting stupidity. Helps that the timing is spot on (unlike certain remastered rap-based games I could name) and the combinations of buttons you’ve got to do make perfect, predictable sense.

    I’ve also been messing about with Rec Room too. It’s still fun and gets very silly, especially if you create a room in sandbox mode. Spawn a bunch of frisbees, pile them up on the floor and shoot them with the laser rocket launcher gun.

    Or hide inside the vending machine and scare people to death by popping out unexpectedly. You can’t teleport inside, but you can get right next to it and then take a couple of steps back and disappear and watch the world from inside. Not entirely sure you should be able to do that, but the fact that there are things hidden inside an otherwise inaccessible area suggests the developers know you can and won’t be fixing it any time soon.

    It’s like the old PS3 Home thing, except more fun. And you’ve got no arms or legs.

    Comment posted on 01/12/2017 at 18:52.
  5. Starman
    Member
    Since: Jul 2011

    Fortnite, both modes, got my first duo win which was good. Also some rocket league (almost got every achievement now).

    I played Rogue Trooper a couple of weeks ago and can agree with Aran that the last mission is tough. Ridiculously tough in fact, was glad when it was over!

    Comment posted on 01/12/2017 at 19:23.
  6. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    Skyrim VR is all i’ve played. 44 hours in now and it’s wonderful. So much to discover and do, surprises around every bend, this is the kind of experience i’ve wanted from VR and it’s so easy to just keep on playing it. Who knows, if i spend enough time here i might even build a house..

    Comment posted on 01/12/2017 at 21:35.
    • Tony Cawley
      Pint! Pint!
      Since: Feb 2009

      Is this your first time in Skyrim?

      Comment posted on 01/12/2017 at 21:38.
      • TSBonyman
        Member
        Since: Dec 2009

        Not my first time but i haven’t played it properly since PS3 and i had forgotten there was so much variety especially with the side missions. And even the familiar locations are given a new perspective in VR.

        Comment posted on 02/12/2017 at 02:31.
  7. JR.
    Member
    Since: Apr 2013

    Still playing AC Origins. I think the OCD in me is turning this into a bit of a grind. I just can’t leave a district on the map without first completing every single question mark and side-mission in the area. I’ve been playing for 40 hours and only uncovered half of the map… ugh. Still enjoying the game but I’m having flashbacks of collecting all 600 treasure chests in AC Unity. I think I’m probably the only person in the world who did :D

    Comment posted on 02/12/2017 at 12:10.
  8. Andrewww
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    This week I’ve mostly… not played games, as I finally got a free month from Netflix, in spite of them having such a rubbish website. Were it not for free, I’d never ever have bought anything from them after visiting their site.

    So I started watching The Walking Dead, I’ve probably seen about 37 episodes this week, at least it feels like that, but they’re good fun.

    Oh, and I got the platinum from Telltale’s Game of Thrones, but that’s not really much of an achievement. It was quite entertaining, though, I like their interactive movie type of games for a change.

    Comment posted on 02/12/2017 at 12:28.
  9. Eldave0
    andUandU
    Since: Aug 2008

    Not a lot for me this week. Returned to BotW after a bit of break (still my GotY) and put some time into Splatoon2 since the recent update.
    Am currently browsing the eShop looking for something new to play. Any suggestions for a game under £20?

    Comment posted on 02/12/2017 at 20:07.
    • Dominic Leighton
      Member
      Since: Mar 2012

      Snake Pass is lovely if you haven’t already played it?

      Comment posted on 03/12/2017 at 03:40.
      • Eldave0
        andUandU
        Since: Aug 2008

        Totally forgot about that game. Was on my “to buy” list during the Switch’s first few months then it totally fell off my radar. Might check it out thanks (though I think I’ve seen it go on sale a couple of times so I might hold out)

        Comment posted on 05/12/2017 at 13:00.

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