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!

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?

Play Expo Manchester 2016 – Recap

Recently (well, about a month or so ago) I attended Play Expo Manchester, which is one of the premier events in the UK calendar for the Retro Gaming community. I recorded a video on the event, which was first shared on my retro gaming blog Retro Garden, but I’m now sharing here.

Play Expo Manchester 2016 Video Review

Overall, I really enjoy these events and this year was no different. They always seem to find new ways to improve these events and this year as well as the Baby Pac-Man hybrid machine I really enjoyed playing the Metal Slug esque Dragon Bros and the Uridium styled Hyper Sentinel.

Games Mentioned in Play Expo 2016 Video

  • Dragon Bros – is a very fun shooter based on Metal Slug and Gunstar Heroes with vibrant graphics and a great look. It’s well worth hunting out if you are a fan of the genre.
  • Hyper Sentinel – is a game based on Uridium but using all the power of modern day machines. With a great look and cracking soundtrack, this is made slightly more forgiving than the original. Be sure to hunt this out!
  • WiFi Wars – a massively multiplayer Mobile enabled stage show. Seriously, go and see this!

Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos like this!

Golf With Your Friends – Review

After the popularity of my Rocket League Review, I’ve decided to do another review, this is for a game I have been watching on Twitch a fair bit and is quite popular on there. An early alpha game that has been greenlit and is available to play now. Golf With Your Friends.

Here are some other thoughts not mentioned on my Golf With Your Friends Review:-

  • The game was originally called “Golf With Friends”. However recent trademark troubles with that name has seen the game renamed as “Golf With Your Friends”. You can read about it here. The video refers to the game as “Golf With Friends”. I couldn’t really change it as between recording and putting it live, the name was changed.
  • I ran the Alpha 0.0.82 version for this game.

Overall Thoughts

Golf With Your Friends is a fun little game to play with – surprise surprise – your friends. It does seem to work better privately with private rooms than public rooms, but even with playing with strangers the game does work.

There are glitches, but it is an early release alpha game. If you can look through the glitches (and you should be able to), then you have a great game. This will only get better as the game approaches release date.

Golf With Your Friends is available on Steam now for £4.79 / $5.99. You can buy Golf With Your Friends here.

Unboxing Loot Gaming’s April 2016 Box – Metro

Another month! Another unboxing! This is for Loot Gaming’s April 2016 Box – Metro. Last month’s box did impress me, especially the t-shirt which was top notch, however early previews and franchise announcements for this box have scared me because – as mentioned in last month’s Loot Gaming unboxing video – I’m not a huge fan of the games mentioned. I can still be impressed, but what did I make of this box? Here is this month’s video.

One thing I did manage to work out away from the video was what the Tom Clancy: The Division Gun was. It was actually a USB stick, that when you pull out the clip it is a 16GB USB drive. This did make it the coolest item in the box for me, and one that I will actually use (though I may not take it through airports).

All in all, I wasn’t too impressed unfortunately. Whilst the goods were great, I am not a huge fan of the franchises, so maybe I missed these. Which is a bit of a shame. Still if you were a fan you’d enjoy this box a lot more. Next month is going to be the last one (for my current subscription) so be sure to like the video and subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you can see it first.

Finally, apologies for the ending. I did have to cut a bit out due to me not understanding how links work. In videos going forward, I will know what I can & can’t link to, so hopefully I will have a less abrupt close.

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!