For reals this time… It’s good to be blogging again. Sorry, but it’s tough to write a look back over the year without reflecting a little. The best bit is not feeling guilty about not keeping a schedule; posts happen when they happen and sometimes blogging needs to step aside for other stuff to take its place. I’ve also really committed to drawing terrible webcomics … Continue reading Top 5 Gaming Experiences: 2022 Edition
Two things might strike you as strange about the title. The first is that I’ve gone with ‘Gaming Experiences‘. Not ‘Top 5 of the Year‘, not ‘Best Releases of the Year’, but my own personal best experiences. In recent years I’ve really leant in to my pre-existing predilection to retro gaming and with that comes both old games and crucially revisits of old games. The list I keep of all the games that I’ve played during the year (for this exact blog post) contains more and more asterix’ed entries indicating that I’ve technically played the game before. So this year I decided to say that anything from the list of games I’ve played during the year can make the cut: new title, old title, first playthrough, revisit, or just a comfy run through of a much loved classic.
The second curiosity probably had you rolling your eyes at another classic patented Hundstrasse typo, but no, that’s correct, this is my 2021 list because I never actually got around to posting my top 5 last year and posting the top 5 from this year felt somehow dishonest before I’d even had the decency to wash my hands of my 2021 blogging obligations. So I dug out last years list and decided to finally compile the top 5 gaming experiences I had back when … heck, I can’t think of anything particularly memorable about 2021. Let’s face it, it just felt like the director’s cut version of 2020. Whatever, here is the official ‘Top 5 Hundstrasse Gaming Experiences of 2021’:Continue reading “Hundstrasse Top 5 Gaming Experiences… 2021?”
Addressing the elephant in the room; yes, I’m one of those people who mostly plays their Switch in docked mode. So much, that the idea of a ‘Switch Home’ non-portable version, which started as a Twitter joke, to compliment the Switch Lite ‘portable only’ console is starting to sound pretty good. Especially if ol’Ninty offered seamless sync between Switch devices and a highly compact home … Continue reading 5 Best Switch Ports… According to Me…
Having covered the best revisits of the year in my last post, it’s time for the main event… As each year draws to a close myself and every other gaming blogger (I assume) fall under some strange late-December trance and are compelled to make a list detailing their top games of the year. In an attempt to simultaneously be a little different and hide the … Continue reading Hundstrasse Top 5 of 2020: Listmas Part 2 of 2
It’s been a strange year… arguably the only constant has been the consistency with which myself and other bloggers seem to begin articles with the phrase “It’s been a strange year”… but you know, it has… I’ve mentioned it before, but part of that strangeness has manifested with me turning to Nintendo’s little-console-that-could, the Switch, as my primary source of gaming. In some ways that … Continue reading Revisiting Listmas: Part 1 of 2
I’d be lying if I said that my recent interest in Overwatch wasn’t a hankering for some of the ‘Good ol’ Days’ I spent hanging around TF2 servers. In recent years, my online FPS playing has been a gentle mix of squad based co-op and the unavoidable Battle Royale invasion, but those days of chipping away or digging in against the desert backdrop of Dustbowl have never really been matched in terms of smooth and direct team based combat. Enter the super-new and latest release of “Overwatch”… erm… ok, so I’m late to the party here, but in my defence it was only a few weeks ago that there was a free Overwatch event on Switch which meant that I finally decided to try Blizzard’s class based team shooter. The hours I spent with it that week, and the subsequent attractive sale price, coerced me in to dipping in to my PayPal funds to spring for it.Continue reading “Overwatch: POTG Luck”
Step in to the shoes of Buck ‘Elite Sniper’ McSniper-Elite the most elite sniper in all of the sniping elite sniper division. Armed only with his elite sniping gun he must snipe more elite-ly then the other elite snipers to become the most elite sniper in all the sniping world of elites to prove once and for all who the most elite sniper is.
I mean, I assume that’s the general gist of the game. I wasn’t paying too much attention; oh, and you have to shoot nazis because it’s WW2 times, except in Africa which is slightly different to all the other WW2 times games that involve shooting nazis in mainland Europe. The problem is that, despite the amount of sarcasm that I’ve jam-packed in to that opening few sentences, I’ve sunk a fair few hours in to ‘Distance-Shooty-Number-3″ which probably says more about my current state of gaming than being a reflection on the game’s quality… and for the record, if spending all your ingame time crouched to the point that your back starts to sympathetically ache is something you enjoy, then knock yourself out because there’s kind of nothing seriously wrong with Sniper Elite III, it’s just that I’m struggling to tease out what qualities made it worthy of the hours I’ve personally played it for.Continue reading “Sniper Elite III: Chewing Gum for the Thumbs”
Spoiler Warning: This article contains plot spoilers for the game ‘Night Trap’
Call me childish, but there’s a small part of me still smirking at playing ‘Night Trap’ on Switch; a game that Nintendo’s North American President once said would “never appear on a Nintendo System”. Even stepping away from that, it’s clear that the game wears the controversy that surrounded its original release like some robe of state and that without the original drama it’s fairly questionable that it would have received a 25th anniversary re-release. Now, I know that it’s a title that has an unquestionably vast library of opinion pieces, critical breakdowns, and impact articles already associated with its name, but now that I’ve finally experienced the game myself, something that my eight year old self would have been super jealous of having seen those futuristic FMV graphics splashed across the pages of Mean Machines Sega, it’s a good moment to throw out my own views on the controversy surrounding it and how it actually stacks up as a game.
Night Trap is one of those titles where the events surrounding it are at least as (if not more so) interesting as the game itself. Graphics are mainly comprised of live action FMV video that is cut and changes depending on your actions as a player and represents that weird time when CD based games were young. With this new physical format developers were presented with a vast amount of storage space compared to the cartridges that they may have been used to, and like all new tech, they didn’t seem to quite know what to do with it. Thus games like ‘Night Trap’ were born, and for a brief instant were going to be the direction that all games were going; real actors in live action video where the player gently influences the actions in something more like an interactive movie than a traditional game. It was released on the MegaCD (or Sega CD), Sega’s CD drive add-on for that 16-bit blast-processing fuelled monster the Mega Drive (… sigh… or Genesis), in 1992 at arguably the height of Sega’s presence in the home console market on a system that was at the time one of the more widespread CD based platforms. This relatively high level of exposure to the general public arguably led to what happened next, but the twist is that this game was originally meant for a completely different (and more primitive) technology.Continue reading “Night Trap: Awww Grrrrrrr…”
Spoiler Warning: This article contains major plot spoilers for Trüberbrook
Point-n-clicks are one of those genres that has found a home in the arms of small and indie developers. Whilst mainstream triple-A releases focus on increasing levels of action and frame-rate, the humble PnC offers gamers something at a more sedate pace which I almost completely ignored growing up only to uncover their charms when I was a little older; and there’s a lot for me to like about PnC’s give my gaming tastes. One of the reasons I enjoy classic survival horror is that feeling of exploring, unravelling and gradually unlocking an area which a good PnC encapsulates. I also enjoy a good story and that certain brand of gaming where you don’t need to have twitch reflexes to play.
It was with this thirst for a story and world to explore that I picked up Trüberbrook, a PnC adventure that drops the player in to the scuffed shoes of a Quantum Physicist, Hans Tannhauser. Arriving in the small remote German village of Trüberbrook in the 1960’s, under the unquestioned circumstance of having won a competition that he didn’t enter, Tannhauser is drawn in to the mysterious local activities of the Millennium Corporation and ends up saving our reality. The visuals, made up of hand crafted model shots, are probably the most immediate draw with its intricate diorama-like presentation and an almost claymation quality to the onscreen cast of quirky characters. Regular readers will know that ‘small town mysterious events‘ and ‘diorama-like‘ are two of my triggers to an almost instant purchase, so it seemed like I was on to a winning formula already. Continue reading “Trüberbrook: Pointing, but not Clicking”
… or WiiFit RingVenture as I like to call it…
TLDR: It’s pretty good at doing what it does
Longer Version: I’m a long time dabbler in the gamification of exercise so I really know what I’m talking about. My relationship with the world of physical exertion is a complex and haphazard affair, especially compared to some of my family, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the gradual gains and progression that exercise can bring… it’s just that I want some flashing lights and numbers… ideally in graph form… to go with seemingly endless reps. So I’ve tried all sorts of things, I’ve logged exercise through fitocracy and given the Google.. erm.. fit/exercise/active/whatever app a shot during my last sustained gym going effort (over a year ago now), but really nothing has stuck. The common problem with these types of apps for me (and I appreciate that they work for many people) is that they don’t really get to the heart of gamification. They tend to revolve around the idea of the user being happy with a sense of knowing that they’re doing exercise without really providing any sort of structure to do that; goals are self imposed and the experience of ‘logging your hours’ is largely the same on day one as it is in day 100.
… and let’s face it, if there aren’t unlockable costumes involved then I’m just not invested.. Continue reading “Ringfit Adventure: Gamification Done Right”