Did you have a good Christmas? Did you have a happy new year? These are the next two week’s incessant small talk questions so have a good think, and prepare the same stock answer to roll out over and over again. My cliché-ridden replies are currently “it looks like a toy shop has exploded in our house”, and “I’ve come back to work for a rest!”, the second of which is an out-and-out lie as I have a pub and have spent the last six weeks or so working my arse off! I’m really having a rest right now, sat on my bottom in front of the TV, but nobody seems as interested in hearing about that.
The Leighton household have been gaming as a family for much of Christmas, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has been the clear winner. I’ve also been hugely enjoying/been enthralled by Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which I’ve been playing through with my wife Michelle. It’s a shame that it starts to wear a little thin at the end, and could have done with being about an hour or so shorter, but it’s still a remarkable game – as we’ve spent much of the year saying. I’ve also been playing Need For Speed Payback as looking for the derelict cars is surprisingly therapeutic, Gears of War 3, Tiny Metal, Brawlout, NBA 2K18 on Switch, and had my first taste of PUBG with Tef on Xbox One X last night.
Miguel was the least hungover from the New Years celebrations so he was the first to drop in on What We Played. He’s been playing Innerspace on Switch, a little bit of Breath of the Wild here and there, and Yakuza 5! He also hung out with a [rich] friend who got Oculus Rift and “tried out VRChat, which was….wild. I also played Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes, and the secret real 2017 GOTY, Gal Gun VR”
It’s all been about t’Egypt for Aran with yet more Assassin’s Creed Origins. “I’ve uncovered every location, looted all the bases, got all the secrets and seen all the sights. I thought I had done every side quest too but after completing a few main story missions more appeared. Still hooked after almost 50 hours in the world.”
Jake had a poorly Switch in December, but luckily for him Nintendo were nice and prompt in returningit back to him (I imagine Nintendo’s Switch facility is like a Pokémon Centre, with six Switch’s placed in a magical repair machine that plays the star collecting jingle from Mario 64). Now that it’s back he’s doing his best to wear it out again.
I’ve been playing Yooka-Laylee on the Switch and it feels better than the PS4 version in some places. I’ve also been playing a bit of Breath of the Wild on Master Mode as I’m nearly halfway through the game again but it’s infuriatingly hard at this point and my weapons break so easily. Aside from that, I’ve been playing Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King on the Switch, which is inspired by A Link to the Past – it’s very good. Oh, and of course I tried Brawlout with some friends. It was quite fun!
Dave has mostly been playing Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus this week, which he’s enjoying quite a bit. He’s also been playing a few games on his SNES Classic. “But mostly I’ve played board games this last week including the likes of Hanabi (otherwise known as “Count to five with the help of your friends”), Terraforming Mars (which is an ace game about corporations making a profit out of making Mars inhabitable), and Power Grid (a game about making power stations and powering homes, while at the same time bidding on coal/oil/rubbish/nuclear/renewable energy). We did also try the France board of Ticket to Ride, but that wasn’t particularly good…”
Someone who didn’t enjoy Hellblade quite as much as the rest of us was Tuffcub though it seems more fruit based than I remember “I did start Hellblade: Satsuma [!?] and the start is awesome. Then it made me do a puzzle. Then the same puzzle. And then the puzzle turned up again and I turned the game off. I’ll go back to it at some point but putting the same puzzle three times in a row is a bit lazy.” He also played Sky Force on PS Vita, and Destiny 2 on PS4 which he’s now platted. He’s not been playing much as he’s waiting for his new OLED TV to arrive tomorrow and he wants to play everything in lovely HDR 4K. Show off.
Ade has been getting stuck into Horizon Zero Dawn “and what a game it is! Climbing up a long neck for the first time is just spectacular. It does feel incredibly like Assassin’s Creed Origins but with a much tighter and more compelling narrative. Having said that I’ve still been dipping into Origins to track down those final side quests and trophies. I was also a very lucky boy and received the Battlefield 1 expansion for Christmas, so I’ve been enjoying getting shot and killed repeatedly until I rage quit in a variety of new locations!”
Tef played a mixture of Splatoon 2 and PUBG, where he hopped back and forth between the game on PC and Xbox One. He even managed to win a match this week when he accidentally entered the Duos playlist, playing alongside a random player and sneakily made it through to the last few players, watching and biding his time as they killed each other.
Now then, what did you get for Christmas? And what have you played?