What We Played #505 – Monster Hunter Stories 2, Planet Zoo & Phantom Abyss

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Header

I’ve had time to play games this week! What a time to be alive! I’ve made a start on Monster Hunter Stories 2 via the demo, and just like Steve I have to say I love being able to carry on with the demo’s saved game when the full thing releases. More of this please. Other than that, I spent some time back in Planet Zoo with some amazingly animated African animals, and then managed to not buy on buying Scarlet Nexus so that can finish some other games first!

Steve’s also played some Monster Hunter Stories 2 and got to share his preview thoughts from time with the full the game – watch this space for his review – and a barrel load of VR titles to help him review a shiny HTC Vive Pro 2. “The former is a delight, the latter is great, but pretty fiddly and clearly designed for the big open rooms of US houses rather than my PC corner.”

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Combat

Jason has mostly played things he can’t talk about which is unhelpful to say the least, but also Rocket League, the Dark Souls 3 Cinders Mod, and some Streets of Rogue.

In a bid to play something that doesn’t have Pokémon in it, Nic B downloaded Until Dawn, hoping for a decent horror experience. He tells us, “I did not get that — instead, I spent half of my time wondering whether I had played this section before at EGX. The game is so riddled with tropes it’s hard to tell whether I played a demo or just any other game in the genre. The other half of my time was spent watching recaps of things I did 20 minutes ago because the game desperately wants to be episodic. A truly shrug-worthy game… Still that’s another one off the shame pile, which leaves what, three or four hundred more games to play?”

Aran played The Legend of Tianding for a preview, saying, ” it is shaping up to be a very good side-scrolling fighter.” He also played a bit more Football Manager 2021 and is currently in the playoff places in the National League. “Take that pre-season predictions of relegation battles!”. Finally, he also started Sackboy A Big Adventure “which looks lovely on PS5 and is a nice game to chill with”.

Ade has been polishing off the side quests in Ghosts of Tsushima and working hard to finally free the isle from the ever so slightly clammy grip of the Mongols. He also picked up Doom Eternal for the bargain price of 15 quid, letting us know that, “It’s a lot of fun, eviscerating demons makes you feel good!”

Tuffcub has stuck with his new explode-y shoot-y combo of Destiny 2 and Just Cause 4. Meanwhile Miguel has been playing “so, so, so much Monster Hunter Stories 2”. He’s also been pouring time into Apex Legends and dipping his toes into Fortnite for battle pass challenges, but he also randomly messed around in Battlefield 4 for a bit too.

Reuben has been playing Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, and it is a “Very Good Game™”. Otherwise, he’s been on a big multiplayer binge with friends this past week playing Fortnite, Dead by Daylight, Minecraft Dungeons, Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance (his review is incoming), and Sea of Thieves.

Next up, Gareth has played Despotism3K for review. Other than that, it’s been a few moments of lots of games. He tells us, “AC Valhalla got redownloaded and I was immediately beset with bugs. I also played some Immortals Fenyx Rising, Battlefield V multiplayer, Rift Apart, Racket Fury, and Beat Saber. I need a new story based game to play.”

Jim managed to cross a couple of games off that had been clogging up his backlog for a while. “Having bounced off it several times, I finally knuckled down with Nioh with the complete edition on PS5. Aside from Demon’s Souls, I don’t really dabble with these kinds of games too often, though Nioh was able to get its hooks in at last. I powered my way through the end of the main game, but ran into some awful grind that bridges the ending and first chunk of DLC.

“I also dug out my PlayStation Vita to revisit a couple of games and fell back into Gravity Rush, wrapping up those last couple of chapters. It’s still a unique action game, both in its combat, traversal, and environmental style. Needless to say, I’ll be hitting up Nioh 2 and Gravity Rush 2 at some point.”

Phantom Abyss

Finally we come to Tef, who shared his thoughts on the Early Access release of Phantom Abyss. “It’s a brilliant combination of ideas as you race dead ghosts to get to a relic, and one you should keep an eye on.”

In an effort to find a good co-op game booted up The Elder Scrolls Online. “It is… weird in co-op. You’re sort of just playing single player together a lot of the time, even when grouped up, it seems, leading to weirdness where I’m talking to a quest giver, but others in my group can’t see them.” That was joined by continuing adventures in Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life, which he likes despite itself, and Gartic Phone and Jack Box Party Packs with friends.

What have you played?

Written by
TSA's Reviews Editor - a hoarder of headsets who regularly argues that the Sega Saturn was the best console ever released.


  1. Something different this week, now my internet is working properly.

    NFS Hot Pursuit remaster? Lots of fun still. Definitely one of the better NFS games, but I guess I shouldn’t compare it to the more recent ones as they’re a completely different thing, really. Something nice about just having a simple selection of assorted events and not having to drive around a big open world.

    Then Doom Eternal with the PS5 upgrade. It was stupidly chaotic fun in the first place, and now it looks even nicer with reflections everywhere. But with no importing of PS4 saves, I’ve had to start all over again. Oh well. I don’t really mind.

    And from the latest sale (well, it was the latest yesterday – they’ve now added a weekend sale again), the bundle of Resident Evil 2 and 3 remasters for a bargain price. Probably should have got those before. Looking good so far, and the multiplayer Resistance thing is fun so far. And more successful with random people than friends, apparently. (I think we got unlucky last night)

    This week’s PS5 annoyance – why can’t it download PS4 stuff to the external drive if there’s not enough space on the internal drive? I’m already at the point where I’m shuffling stuff backwards and forwards between the two. Which is at least a lot quicker than deleting things and downloading them again later.

  2. I’ve been enjoying Cyberpunk 2077, despite the many visual bugs it’s great. It’s probably the most RPG-ey RPG I’ve ever played but the complexity is pitched pretty well, the world and story are also superb which helps. This is also the first time I’ve been able to play a demanding game on high settings, it looks very good but a bit laggy feeling, it’s been a good decade and a half since I had to mess with settings like this.

  3. Decided to tackle my backlog and played Shadows Awakening on PS4 as I am one trophy away from the Platinum which is to see all endings. Some reason I didn’t get it as it has 3 endings and I completed it 4x last year. Here is hoping I get the right ending tonight!

  4. I completed Hatoful Boyfriend and Hatoful Boyfriend Holiday Star, which were a bit odd, to say the least, as you’d imagine with a world of pigeon dating. Currently, I’m playing Borderlands 3 and that’s what I’ll be doing this weekend, aside from also watching the football!

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