3 Best Video Games I’ve Played In 2017

Yes. I’m well aware that 2017 isn’t over yet, but I’m not sure what else I’m going to play this year, and in a vain hope to blog more here, I’m going to run 4 posts a year. Four posts! The first is end of September, where I share my favourite games of the previous 12 months, before the Christmas rush.

I’m not going to lie, this year has been dominated hard by Overwatch, as it’s been the game I’ve played more than any this year, but it was featured in the last rundown from the turn of the year, so that does not count. Instead I focus on games that I’ve played this year. Please note, these are games I’ve played, and not necessarily released this year, though in this list it’s only really applicable to one game.

3. Bricks Breaker Puzzle (Mobile)

Making it’s way into the third spot is this rather fun little puzzle game – Bricks Breaker.

Imagine a cross between Puzzle Bobble and Arkanoid. You control a stream of about 50 balls and you fire up to hit a number of blocks, each with a number on it. The blocks need to be hit by that number of times for them to be destroyed. There are special blocks, powerups, as well as the blocks slowly making their way down the screen. If the blocks hit the bottom, it’s game over.

This game has taken hours of my time since discovered in May, it’s so simple and yet so addictive. You can play one off games or games for an hour. It’s so much fun and so time sapping and yet so very, very simple. Well worth downloading for free.

It’s ad supported, which can get a bit annoying over time (hence it’s location on this list), but it’s so addictive you can forgive it.

You can download it now for iPhone and Android Phones.

2. Mass Effect: Andromeda (Xbox One)

Wait, hear me out on this (and there will be spoilers). Mass Effect: Andromeda is not as good as Mass Effect 2, but it is not a bad game.

I feel the original trilogy built up to a fever pitch that it was never going to live up to the hype, and I feel that it took away with something that was actually – once you got into it – a pretty decent game. It is rushed in parts, but generally if Mass Effect: Andromeda is the last Mass Effect game, I would be incredibly sad.

The actual colonisation part is average at best, and you shouldn’t do all the missions because they drag, but the characters and the actual side stories about the Ryder family, Jien Garson and the Initiative, the Archon and the relationships with the Kett, it’s actually a very solid story with strong characters. I really want to see it develop, as I feel there is things that could make a second game interesting. Couple that with decent combat, fascinating characters (I love Peebee), and some really good planets (H-047c missions are great). Also you have the Scourge, as well as the fate of the Quarian Ark. I really believe people didn’t give this game a fair chance. Skip all but the primary missions (there’s a lot of boring missions), get up to 100% viability on all planets, and you get a great game.

You can get Mass Effect: Andromeda for the Xbox One or PS4.

1. Sonic Mania (Xbox One)

Ah yes, if you want a guide as to how to revive a franchise, check out this one EA.

Sonic has been utterly utterly shit for years. Really really bad with few bright spots. It’s been rushed, it’s been buggy, and it’s been absolutely terrible. There have been some bright parts, but overall it’s been largely poor. Compared to Sonic’s Nintendo counterpart Mario, it feels like the blue hedgehog has been whored out mercilessly.

For once though, Sega listened.

Rather than build the game themselves, they handed the blue mascot back to the fans, employing PagodaWest Games and Headcannon – two huge fans of the original trilogy – to make these games.

The results, are stunning.

Sonic Mania is a game that makes me smile. It starts with a wonderful nod to the Green Hill Zone as each zone is split into 2 acts. Act 1 is generally a nod to the original level in the games, and when you realise this it’s incredible and genuinely leads to smiles. And the game goes on and on with this, the Dr. Robotnik Mean Bean Machine nod in Chemical Plant Zone, the Sonic R/CD esque Chaos Emeralds levels, genuinely remembering it’s past in this cracking release.

But all the love in the world these nods wouldn’t mean much if the game was terrible. Thankfully this is not the case. The game is excellent, it’s so well coded and you feel in control of Sonic (or Tails, or Knuckles, should you desire). It’s fast, the music is great, the graphics are great, and if you screw up, it’s you who screws up, not the game. With that said, it’s incredibly tough this game, and Titanic Monach is an incredibly tough level.

There’s so much to unlock, from classic cheats such as the debug mode, to new things including a special zone right at the end for really good players. There’s loads to get in this game, and for around £15, you cannot really go wrong. This has been my favourite game this year.

Sonic Mania is available for the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

And You?

What are your favourite games of 2017 (so far). Please leave them in the comments!

Loot Gaming Crate October 2016 – Rumble Unboxing

Happy New Year! We’re still finishing off our 2016 a bit, so I’m taking a look at some of the other boxes I’ve not had a chance to put up. Starting with October’s Loot Crate.

October 2016 Rumble Loot Crate Video

October 2016 Rumble Loot Crate Review

Overall, I was very happy with this box! I love the Overwatch Funko Pop, and the socks are superb! If I wasn’t decluttering, I’d have been keeping the gloves and magnet, but I’m on a decluttering purge. The T-Shirt is nice but not my franchise. And the bandages are cute!

Own Part of the Crate!

From the crate, I’ve put the following things on eBay:-

To to subscribe to Loot Gaming, check out the official site here. You can get $5 off your first crate with that link!

My Top 3 Video Games of 2016

One of the nicer things this year is the amount of video games I managed to play in 2016. I’ve not been able to play as much as I’d like in years gone past, so to play a lot of games this year has seen a welcome change.

With that said, the amount of games I did play was quite lacking, instead focusing on a few games rather than play a range of games. As such, I think I only played a small number of games in 2016. Here are my three favourites.

3. Golf With Your Friends

This was quite a find in Steam’s early access. Golf with Your Friends brings me back to my childhood of playing mini golf with my friends. Running around courses, not playing to the rules, but having a whale of a time. GWYF is probably my favourite Steam game I found this year. I covered it in a video below, but since playing it I’ve noticed more courses have been added to the game. This game is still well worth picking up.

2. Pokemon Go

For sheer changing the world, Pokemon Go should be up there. For a few weeks over the summer this game was my life. I was going out and exercising with friends on long walks, even having dates with my girlfriend which involved walking to the nearest pub or two. This usual ten minute walk took upwards of 45 minutes. As we were catching Clefaries, Machokes and Mr. Mimes. It was huge, so huge. Hell, we got so addicted so quickly that a pub crawl with a friend of mine saw us drink one pint in 90 minutes, as we were busy catching Pokemon.

It had a huge impact, but sadly fizzled out quicker than it began.

1. Overwatch

No game has taken more of my time in 2016 than Overwatch. I’m a huge fan of Team Fortress esque shooters and when I played the early beta 3 weeks before launch, I was immediately hooked.

Since May – when it came out, I’ve not played anything else.

I love Team Fortress shooters, as stated above. This is my new favourite. It combines a genuine e-sport with an in-depth lore. Characters are memorable, maps are engaging and Blizzard are geniuses. Content has been added constantly, with 2 new characters, 2 new maps, endless games and three seasonal events (even if I didn’t get the Tracer UK Skin or the Mercy Halloween Skin. Boo!). All for free. I cannot see me stopping playing this anytime soon.

Also, shout out to my fellow Symmetra Mains!

What were your favourite games of 2016?

My Top 3 Professional Wrestling Matches of 2016

This year has been a great year for professional wrestling. It has seen the increase of the popularity of the UK Scene, as well as WWE being equally brilliant and poor, but overall this year has been great, with more great matches than any time I can remember.

I saw a fair amount of wrestling in 2016. Not as much as I would like, but a decent number. I mainly achieved a personal goal of mine and ended up going to Wrestlemania. Though the matches on that card weren’t the best, there were other shows that put on great matches. Of the year, here are my 3 favourite matches of 2016. This list are matches that I saw live (rather than those that I saw on TV). Remember, this is a list, so is subjective. If your opinions differ, then good for you!

3. James Drake vs. Fabien Aichner: PROGRESS Chapter 37 – A Sudden Sense of Liberty

There had to be a PROGRESS match on the list (PROGRESS being my favourite promotion of 2016), and rest assured that if this list had been a list of 5 or 10, then more PROGRESS matches would be present. However it isn’t, and it was a toss up between Adam Cole vs Will Ospreay at PROGRESS Chapter 40: Intercepted Angel, and this one.

Why Drake vs. Aichner got this nod is because whilst Cole vs. Ospreay was always going to be good (both talents get plaudits the world over), this was unexpectedly great. Drake is a relative unknown in PROGRESS, and Aichner was making his PROGRESS debut, his only previous appearance for me was in a losing effort against PROGRESS Alumnus Jack Gallagher in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic.

This match was great, Aichner displaying a STUPIDLY GOOD top rope plancha, and whilst not a “flippy shit” match, what was done was done incredibly well. This was the show after PROGRESS Brixton that saw 3 of its most recognisable stars leave for the WWE. The show felt like it could be a hangover from Brixton, but this match cemented (and the show going forward) that the London based promotion was in good hands going forward.

You can watch this match by subscribing to Demand PROGRESS.

2. Mike Quackenbush vs. Johnny Kidd – Chikara: The Chamber of Secrets

Be a wrestling fan for any length of time (even shorter if you are involved in any way), and you start seeing the same storylines crop up over and over again. I pretty much predicted the ITV World of Sport TV Taping after the first match, wrestling can be obvious to the jaded fan. It makes sense, for casual fans having an easy to follow storyline increases the entertainment value, but for us, it can be predictable. Watch the ending of the first few Royal Rumbles to see it – 2 bad guys vs 1 good guy, and the good guy wins. Overcome the odds, if you will.

Which is why when something you have never seen before drags you in.

It requires some luck and clever booking. In this match, long time British Wrestler Johnny Kidd was wrestling his last match (actually his last but one match, but I didn’t know this, so go with it) against owner of Chikara & special attraction Mike Quackenbush. Both I’ve never seen fight before, and this match was under Admiral-Lord Mountevans Rules. For those of you who are unaware, it’s 2 out of 3 falls, with rounds, and with a time limit. It’s more similar to boxing than WWE.

What was to happen? The match had a time limit, with 8, 3-minute rounds, and as the match was 1 fall a piece, it introduced another variable to the match foreign to those who are used to the WWE style – the possibility of a draw.

The story was simple, could Johnny Kidd win his last match before retiring? As the match went on, the rounds would tick down, the crowd getting more into it and Kidd becoming more desperate, with Quackenbush holding on. In the end, well, go and watch it. It’s worth half an hour of your time.

This was a great piece of storytelling that was accentuated by both Kidd & Quackenbush’s in-ring skills.

You can watch this match by subscribing to CHIKARAtopia.

1. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn – NXT Takeover: Dallas

So here’s the thing. WWE talk about “I was there” a lot. The notion that buying a ticket even to a house show means that you will witness history. Admittedly watching a house show or even a Monday Night Raw means that your history may be Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler for the 290th time, but they trade on it a lot.

At Wrestlemania, whilst the card was underwhelming, for most of the year I thought that I’d get to see The Undertaker’s last match (a winning effort inside Hell in a Cell against Shane McMahon), but it sounds like he will be returning for a future match, probably at Wrestlemania. So my “Historical Moment” took place earlier on in the weekend.

The WWE Debut of Shinsuke Nakamura.

NXT Dallas was my first experience of the Wrestlemania weekend, a build up of a week that saw wrestling fans meet up, share drinks and stories, and generally get hyped up before the main card on the Sunday.

NXT was the amuse bouche, in front of 4,000 of the most passionate fans. Slotted in the card towards the end saw Sami Zayn – an NXT stalwart – face the debuting star from Japan.

Here’s the thing, I’ve not been familiar with Nakamura, who is a superstar in his native country, but after this match I became a huge fan. A hard hitting style, and Freddy-Mercury levels of charisma, meant that his matches have become a much watch. Zayn did his part too, in a true babyface vs babyface, as Zayn eventually lost the match, doing the honours in his final match. Nakamura’s oh so catchy instant classic music ended first, before Zayn received plaudits from the 4,000 strong crowd before becoming full time on the main roster.

At the beginning of the match I wasn’t aware of Nakamura’s skills. By the end of the match, I wanted to be Shinsuke Nakamura when I grew up.

You can watch this match on the WWE Network.

Anyway, these are my 3 favourite matches of 2016. What are yours? Leave them in the comments!

Wrestle Crate October 2016 Unboxing

Today we look at another Wrestle Crate, after the success of the previous box, I decided to continue the subscription for another couple of months, and see what I get. Here is the second review of three.

Wrestle Crate October 2016 Unboxing Video

Wrestle Crate October 2016 Review

Overall, I wasn’t as impressed as this box as last month. I don’t understand one of the t-shirts, I’m not a big fan of the poster either. The DVD is great though, and I’m looking forward to watch it.

I’ve not yet got November’s box, but when it comes it will be put onto the YouTube channel. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Own Part of the Crate!

From the crate, I’ve put the following things on eBay:-

To to subscribe to Wrestle Crate, check out the official site here. There are codes knocking around, Google it 🙂