What We Played #561 – Stray, The Quarry & Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade Chronicles Review Art Header

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying gaming this week, and only part of that is because I’m actually on holiday! I’ve got a Switch and a Steam Deck with me, and portable gaming has never felt like a better fit. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has taken nearly all my time, but when I wasn’t following Noah and his crew’s adventures I mostly played Monster Hunter Rise, with a side portion of Monster Hunter World. These are BIG adventures, but focussing in on them while tucked up in bed or lounging around hasn’t taken away any of their epic scale. I heartily recommend it!

Nic B is the rightest of people, which means he’s also been playing Monster Hunter Rise, with the inevitable Pokemon Go follows, and “a bunch of paper Magic because Arena’s main set is the hot trash that is Alchemy”. I don’t think he likes it.

Reuben has only played Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes this week, but finished the Golden Deer story, saying “it’s enough for me right now, so I’ll come back to it later. It was really enjoyable to play, but I can only handle so much musou at once. Now trying to decide whether to quickly tackle another one of my backlog before Xenoblade Chronicles 3 today or just take a break.” I’d take a break mate!

Ade has had a really good week for video gaming, having loads of great games on the go. He played through South of the Circle for review, an “intriguing – if flawed – narrative-adventure set during the Cold War”. He’s also been playing through Lego Batman 3 with his son, telling us, “it’s been great, whilst my partner and I have continued with our playthrough of the brilliant Stray”

Stray review Exploration

Nick P has been playing a lot of The Quarry which is apparently excellent. He says, “It’s Supermassive’s best work since Until Dawn. The Dark Pictures stuff has been pretty meh, but this is a return to form. I’ve also been playing Silent Hill 3 for an upcoming project.”

Wrapping up his time with the kitty cat game Stray, Gareth said, “It was good but the ending was a double disappointment for me. I’ve also been playing the remake of the first Mafia, which is pretty great really. On top of that I’ve been playing Crusader Kings 3, where I’m just familiar enough with the basics that I can play for a good few hours before everything starts falling apart on me.”

Jim hasn’t quite kicked his For Honor addiction just yet. That said, he has at least found time for other games in his life this week that don’t involve bloody bouts of multiplayer melee mayhem. He told us, “Having bagged a copy for £20 I have finally journeyed into The Lands Between for some Elden Ring action. It’s going just as well as I had expected, getting constantly cut down by riders as I try and work out where the hell to go next.”

His adventures didn’t finish there though, “Wanting to dive back into Assassin’s Creed, I ended up choosing Rogue Remastered over Valhalla. Given how it originally launched alongside Assassin’s Creed Unity and was aimed at previous gen consoles, Rogue fell through the net despite an interesting twist on the formula. There’s a lot of overlap here with past entries, but I find myself gelling more with the story and setting, Rogue’s focus on naval exploration and treasure hunting being far more fun than the interactive American Revolution textbook that was Assassin’s Creed III.”

Aran played more Horizon Forbidden West. He said, “I’m only doing part of the story so I can unlock the tools to go back and explore the blocked paths. I’m also just hunting machines to upgrade my gear. I’m liking just exploring the world and slowly getting stronger to take on the bigger threats.”

Steve has been juggling games while prepping his house to go up for sale so he’s mostly played shorter things this week. Kicking things off he played through the “fun” Dodgeball Academia and the “interesting” Rija before they leave Gamepass. He told us, “I’m now finishing off Trek to Yomi which I left to one side a while back. Powered through the rest of the story mode on Power Wash Simulator for review and got set to kick off a ridiculous Xenoblade playthrough. Aiming to go through them all and end with the new one so that should keep me busy until 2030. Road trip next week so a good chance to make a dent in the first one.”

Dodgeball Academia Gameplay

Tef still hasn’t played Stray yet, but he did meet a cat while he was walking to the shop yesterday. Said kitty wasn’t initially too sure about him, but after some hand sniffing seemed to be up for some pets, before quickly changing its mind, trying to bite his hand and hissing at him. Standard cat things.

Also he played Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels, and a few other things that he can’t tell you about yet.

What about you? Played anything good this week?

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


  1. As I had hoped, I did indeed get the plat for Lego Star Wars 3 Clone Wars on PS3. I’ve been working on Lego Marvel Super Heroes on Vita, I’m hoping to wrap that up by next week.
    I’ve also decided to try and get as many of the multiplayer trophies as possible from Assassin’s Creed 3, Brotherhood and Revelations on PS3, before Ubisoft close the servers at the start of September. Currently, I’m working on AC 3, hopefully I can get the multiplayer done this weekend. It’ll mean not getting any platinums for the while as I still will have some of the single player stuff to do, but hopefully I’ll be able to do so in the long run!

    • The Vita is still great, isn’t it..!

      • It really is, although I don’t feel Sony really gave it all the service it deserved. I still play my original PSP from time to time. I think that had the same problem as Dreamcast, it was ahead of its time.

  2. I’m also on holidays, mostly discovering mountainbiking in the Alps for the first time, but also playing some Zero Time Dilemma on my Vita.
    And I currently plan to upgrade my Plus Essential to Extra next week, as I’ll probably have some time for gaming over the upcoming weeks.
    Oh, and my family made me play some board game which had a ruleset so absurdly complicated I almost went into a hystercal fit laughing, these are definitely not my type of games. 🤣

  3. Same as previous weeks (going through everything in New PS+), along with a couple of things from the sale. House of Ashes is an improvement on the previous Dark Pictures games I’ve been playing with PS+. In some ways. It’s better as a game, but not quite as good as horror. All 3 are good fun though.

    And Ghostwire: Tokyo, which I’m loving. Looks great, lots of distracting side quests that are actually quite fun (and short). And some lovely weird bits.

    Oh, plus I gave MultiVersus a go. The best thing you can say about it is that it’s free. Apart from that, it’s just a bit shit.

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