Category: Feature

Everything I played in 2018: January – March

Everything I played in 2018: January - March

Video games, I still love them… I think. No wait, I absolutely still love them! It’s just modern games that are getting on my nerves. In 2018 I played fewer total games than any year in the past and fewer “new releases” than ever before. Instead, I spent most of my time playing older titles, timeless favorites, retro games, and some grindy stuff with friends online.

It’d be impossible to rank them in typical categories like Graphics, Story, or Game-as-a-Service so in lieu of all that I’m just going to recap everything I played in 2018 (just like I did in 2012). These are just some quick thoughts on the games I spent a reasonable amount of time with, or ones that stuck with me over the months. Let’s take this one fiscal quarter at a time starting with Q1: January through March or The Wintering Months.

P.S. The 📅 emoji denotes a 2018 new release.



Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4)
I came back for the tombs and exploration. But I was put off by how identical the gameplay was to ‘Shadow’ while at the same time adding another couple hundred piles of scrap, animal carcasses, weapon upgrades, and assorted trinkets to track down. From the very start of 2018 I was feeling SO over all of that.

The Italian Job (PS2)
I got this in a haul of PlayStation 2 games and finally gave it a shot. All these years I’d been ignoring it because of its movie tie-in but it turned out to be a fun arcade frolic a la Top Gear Dare Devil or GTI Club.

Ace Combat Infinity (PS3)
With its impending demise looming just a few months away, I was going hard on ACI early in 2018. The missions, the music, and the ridiculously gargantuan tech tree continued to enthrall me as I recorded as much of the game as possible for posterity.

Crossout (PS4)
2017’s unexpected Most Fun Game still had its hooks in me early in the new year but it was waning. Most dedicated players were using builds I didn’t find fun so I unofficially retired from the game, probably to focus more on Ace Combat Infinity.

Also played in January:  Dying Light (PS4), Disneyland Adventures (Xbox One), Tomb Raider (PS1)



X-COM: UFO Enemy Defense (PC, GOG)
While Giant Bomb continued their exploits with the newer Enemy Within expansion I went back, all the way back! The original X-COM is assuredly one tough turkey! Like, being-killed-coming-down-the-ramp-of-the-dropship tough. I only made it 6-8 hours in but I really enjoyed how hardcore it was, and finally seeing where the inspiration for Enemy Unknown/Within came from.

Contra Hard Corps (Genesis)
When Giant Bomb gets into a game I like, I have to run through it ahead of them. I never paid Hard Corps a lot of mind but delving into it now I found it as wild and unique as its Genesis counterpart, Castlevania: Bloodlines. New respect for that soundtrack too!

Metal Gear Survive (PS4) 📅
Here’s my first 2018 release and the game I *think* I spent the most time with all year. I was worried the game would be light on content and while it wasn’t nearly quite as sparse as I’d feared, it did leave something to be desired. Nevertheless, the survival was real and fueled me through more than 100 hours of exploring The Dust, crafting, and scouring for resources, and generally exploring the game’s world.

I finally got into the co-op mode and spent another 30 hours horsing around with kids from my Friends list and generally having a blast. The grinding for upgrades was daunting though and by late March I’d pretty much had my fill.

Also played in February: Zoo Keeper (DS), Dynasty Warriors 9 (PS4)



Don’t Bite Me Bro (PS4)
In my write-up I summed it up as “Mini” Gear Survive and the rest of my intro serves just as well here: Don’t Bite Me Bro! boils down the crafting, scavenging, farming, base-building, and tower defense of Survive’s single player campaign into such a surprisingly tiny and satisfying package.

Also played in March: WarioLand 4 (Game Boy Advance), Mario Pinball Land (Game Boy Advance)

Read ’em All

Q1: January – March ~ Q2: April through June
Q3: July through September ~ Q4: October through December

Because I can’t not do it, I’m back on YouTube!

Because I can't not do it, I'm back on YouTube!

Try as they may, YouTube will not stop me and my dumb videos! Way back in February some unfortunate mishaps played out and my original channel of 13 years was flagged for obliteration. I sat in the smoldering aftermath of it for pretty much the entire year, too crushed to try and pick up the pieces. One of those crazy Speed Racer kids even asked me multiple times what I was going to do but I could only deflect with “there’s just not enough time right now” and “I’d love to but…”.

Life went on, I changed jobs, we bought a house, but the loss of those videos has never stopped weighing on me. YouTube channels about video games are cheaper than a dime a dozen but I had some unique stuff on there. Moreover, I always appreciated when someone would comment that they couldn’t find a game or song or scene until I uploaded it. I was helping people in my awkward little, game-specific way and I want that back!


And so it finally is! Well, it’s getting there. Re-uploading over a decade of videos is going to take some time but I’ve started with the most popular and most unique stuff first: 

Dinosaur Hunting ✔️
Speed Racer: The Videogame ✔️
Super Bombad Racing videOST ✔️
Rare PlayStation Vita soundtracks ✔️

My gargantuan playthrough of R-Type Command is currently going up, one episode a day, from now through February (!!) and I’ll be peppering in shorter series and original content as often as I can. I don’t want to fill up anyone’s YouTube feed with constant posts so the best bet may be to check out my playlists page to see if your favorite thing is back up. Of course, I’d love it if you subscribed so I could one day get back to making some money, but if you find something fun, useful, or totally obscure, that’s more than enough satisfaction for me.

Thanks, as always, for taking a look!

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for August 8th!

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for August 8th!

hope you like playing free demos because there’s quite a few of them on the PlayStation Store for the week of August 7th! The idea of an adventure platformer mixed with pinball gameplay might sound weird on paper so Team17 has released a demo for last month’s indie darling, Yoku’s Island Adventure. Sega has a new demo out as well for Valkyria Chronicles 4 in hopes that you’ll take the plunge and pre-order ahead of its September release.

Lastly, Spike Chunsoft has a demo of 428: Shibuya Scramble, the PlayStation 4 port of their very, very old visual novel that goes all the way back to 2008. Call it a 10th Anniversary Edition of this peculiar visual novel title that originally hit the Wii, PlayStation Portable, iOS, and Android. This latest iteration will be out on PlayStation 4 and PC in September.

Elsewhere we’ve got goodies for a handful of games including, umm, one that isn’t out for another week. TerraTech has been kicking around Steam Early Access since 2015 but you can grab a free pack of skins ahead of its console debut on the 13th, unless they pull it down as this appears to be a premature release. There’s another console debut this week — a totally legit one — in the form of Daybreak Games’ H1Z1 and you can grab a PlayStation Plus Launch Bundle if you’re a subscriber to decorate your character with a flashy backpack. Lastly, Trove is back with another monthly Blocky Bonus for PlayStation Plus members: the Bounding Bundt Cake.

Rounding out the week are a handful of free Avatar icons from ResetEra with a matching, flashy dynamic theme and a static theme featuring Smite, in case you forgot it was still a game.

Grab ‘n Go gang!

It Came From The Collection 17: Atari Game Program Catalogs (1981-1982)

These are some of the oldest pieces of paper I own! Two Atari catalogs from 1981 and 1982 showcasing some fantastic art and an array of current and upcoming games. If you want to see even bigger versions of this art, check out the Art of Atari books, they’re massive and filled with loads of history on the artists and designs.

✨ About the Show 
In hopes of bringing something a little more unique to YouTube I started ‘It Came From The Collection‘ to chronicle the gaming ephemera I’ve amassed over the years: flyers and pamphlets, pre-order tchotchkes, toys, posters, and all kinds of marketing paperwork. Follow the series on my channel and check out more of my collection on Instagram.

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for August 1st!

It’s August 1st which means the hyperactive video game release season is upon us. But it won’t really break loose until John Madden pokes his head out of a hedgehog hole and curses another player for being featured on the cover of his latest game. That’s why we’re a little thin on freebies this week with a pair of demos, a beta for a hockey game (!?), another free VR music video, and just a few free Avatar icons.

Grab ‘n Go, but bring an extra snack because the offerings are light.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season demo
Is it really the end of Clementine’s Walking Dead story? Check out the beginning of what Telltale is calling The Final Season and see what’s changed over the last six years of these games.

Kabounce Trial
Get your hands on this peculiar 4-player, self-professed pinball game that looks equal parts Rocket League and… maybe Faceball 2000? Yeah, it’s strange.

NHL 19 Beta
No idea what’s up with hockey so I’ll let the copy do the talking: “Play the NHL® 19 Open Beta* and be among the first to experience the World of CHEL and RPM Tech. Step onto the pond in NHL ONES, THREES Drop-In, EASHL Drop-In and Clubs game modes while you unlock gear for your create-a-player. Use traits and specialties to improve your skater or goalie, and express yourself like never before.”

Tom Greenan VR
Also no idea who this guy is so I’ll let the copy do the talking, again: “Join acclaimed UK music artist Tom Grennan and witness a unique behind-the-scenes recording at London’s iconic Metropolis Studios. Enjoy an unforgettable immersive musical experience as Tom and his band perform ‘Royal Highness’ and ‘Found What I’ve Been Looking For’, two of the biggest tracks from his debut album ‘Lighting Matches’.”

Castaway Paradise
Embody the likeness of your favorite townsfolk from Castaway Paradise, a very Animal Crossing inspired new release on PlayStation 4, with these four free Avatar icons.