5 Utterly Inappropriate Video Game Weapons

When a plain old sword and shield won’t cut it.


So, I rather recently I wrote about completely inappropriate armour in video games. From mail that falters at the first hunt of an enemy, to armour that’s barely even there, there were more than a few useless defensive options. But this is video games! It’s not all about hiding in an impenetrable shell! Sometimes you need to go on the offensive! But perhaps not with the options below…

Soul Calibur
Oh look, Ivy’s back again!  A sword that turns into a whip you say?  There’s no way that could backfire…

By the way, I normally endeavour to keep the language in this blog clean, but this time I just couldn’t manage, so there are a couple of crude words ahead.

Here we have five completely awful pieces of offensive ordinance. Some ground rules though! It’s not necessarily the case that these are weak (although some are!), more that they aren’t something that would be suitable to take into battle. Also, none of these are designed with the sole purpose of being bad weapons, so no Giant’s Knife here folks! Let’s get on with this!

Hair – Bayonetta

Bayonetta logo

Oh hey, look who’s back!  Fresh from the inappropriate armour list, Bayonetta is here for inappropriate weapons too.  They say the best defence is a strong offence.  I’m not sure who they were, but I’m not entirely sure they had this in mind.  In case you’re not aware, Bayonetta’s main form of defence is a figure hugging outfit made entirely out of her own hair.  Said hair is also one of her main methods of attack.

That gun looks pretty impressive, but it’s got NOTHING on the power of your ponytail.

So picture the scene!  You’re being overwhelmed by demons and angels Bayying (see what I did there?!) for your blood!  You have guns in your hands (and on your feet because video games) and youuseless armour protecting you.  So obviously the first thing you’d do is turn your hair-based body armour into a hairy magic foot to kick your enemies.  Even if it is magic, you’re literally fighting demons with hair.  HAIR!  Someone thought this was a sensible means of attack…

Leaf Shield – Mega Man 2

Mega Man

Deadly robot masters are rampaging throughout the city!  Chaos reigns thanks to the evil Dr. Wily’s crazed designs!  Thankfully, we have the super fighting robot Mega Man!  He’ll take them down, bring Wily to justice, and save us all through his powerful weapons, such as the Mega Buster, the Metal Blade, and the…Leaf Shield.

Wooden Bender
Sadly this isn’t the Wood Man that you fight to acquire the Leaf Shield.

Look, I know it’s not actually a bad weapon in the game, but put it into context for a moment.  You’re going to confront a hardened, metallic death machine and you plan on defeating it by throwing small pieces of foliage in their general direction.  Personally, I’d probably want to ride in on some sort of battle tank made of death lasers.  But that’s just me, and I’ve never saved the world from killer robots…

Dildo Bat (no, I’m not typing its proper name) – Saints Row series

Saints Row

Ugh.  Look, I’m sorry.  I’m genuinely sorry.  I didn’t want to include this, but how could I not.  It’s a baseball bat.  With a comically oversized sex toy strapped to the end of it.  Is there anything less appropriate than that?

Saints Row IV
I’m sorry. Just think about how I felt typing “dildo bat” into Bing though.

Sticking on theme though, Saint’s Row is pretty damn silly as a series about gang warfare and aliens or something.  Here’s the thing, if your going to get involved in a turf war, would you be turning up with a set of actual weapons, or a stick with a hilarious willy glued onto it?  I suppose your enemies may die laughing?  Was that the goal of this cock-topped cudgel (I’m pretty proud of that one)?  Perhaps, but even then it would be pretty useless.

The Old Woman – Worms series


Two teams face off over a chaotic battleground.  Rockets fly, air strikes…strike, and the terrain gradually collapses into the deadly sea beneath.  Those worms are tough, and shrug off a shotgun blast with a pithy one-liner. It takes something pretty powerful to put these worms underground, so it’s a damn good thing you brought your old woman with you.

An old woman time bomb used to kill worms. Yep.

Now, the old woman is incredibly powerful.  When she strikes, the damage is pretty high and can cause a lot of harm to worms and environment alike.  The inappropriate aspect of this weapon is that fact that you’re sending a zimmer frame weilding, explosive lady to her death with the goal of killing a bunch of annelids.  What sort of monster are you?!

Mr Toots – Red Faction: Armageddon

Red Faction Armageddon Logo

An oppressive regime has taken over the planet Mars, leaving colonists and workers with terrible existences.  The resistance grows to take down the totalitarian state and free the populace by exploding everything.  Literally everything.  See that building?  Smash out those supports and bring it down!  That structure?  Blow up the load bearing pillars and watch it collapse!  Want to smash that statue into that factory?  Pull out the magnet gun and drag them together!  Need to destroy everything in your path?  Fire off a unicorn!

Red Faction Armageddon
This could be some photoshop shenanigans. But it isn’t.

Yes, a unicorn.  In this grim, brutal future, the only thing that can free the people is a unicorn that shits deadly, deadly rainbows.  Mr. Toots (yes, it has a name too) is a secret weapon in Red Faction: Armageddon and is utterly devestating to everything it’s rainbows hit.  It’s also devestating to it’s own bum based on the expression on its face when you pull the trigger.  Which makes me question…what exactly is its trigger?

Some honourable mentions, as ever.  Earthworm Jim using himself as a whip can’t be terribly comfortable.  Wakka’s blitzball in Final Fantasy X is essentially a burly man throwing a ball in a monster’s face.  Painful perhaps, but hardly a weapon of war.  Cloud’s sword in Final Fantasy VII would break his spindly little arms as soon as he tried to swing it.  The Cerebral Bore from Turok 2 was just silly.  Why kill an enemy the conventional way when you can have an explosive drill into their brain and then explode?  I suppose that was really more a weapon of that era of gaming.  Everything had to be silly!

What weapons would you find utterly useless?  I’m sure there are plenty more that I didn’t think of that are more likely to harm you than your enemy, or are horribly unsuited to combat.  Let me know!


5 Utterly Inappropriate Video Game Attires

Who wouldn’t want to ride into battle wearing a thong?

Video games are not exactly known for subtle outfits for their characters.  From ridiculously impractical space marine armour to, shall we say, less than protective female knight armour, there’s a long history of useless defensive attire.  There’s a lot to be said for awesome looking costumes in this form of entertainment, but there’s also a line between looking cool and looking totally useless in a combat situation.  This list is dedicated to those awful armours, those good-for-nothing guards, and those pointless protectives.

Some ground rules here.  I’m looking for specific characters or specific sets of armours.  Also, I could easily just list off every female armour set from fantasy games and have done with it, so I’m not allowing those.  However, I am considering pretty much any outfit a character wears here, as video game characters are almost always heading into battle in some way.  Let’s do this!

Arthur – Ghosts ‘n Goblins

Ghosts n Goblins

That’s right, I’m starting with a proper, sensible looking set of armour!  Arthur appears as a knight, heading into battle against undead hordes in all shapes and sizes, so a solid set of plate mail seems like a pretty good option.  Surely such sturdy equipment would hold off the likes of zombies and bats for long enough for our hero to dispatch them.

Ghosts n Goblins
You can look as tough as you like, we both know that armour falls off the second something so much as tickles you.

Nope!  Utterly useless. If anything so much as touches Arthur, his armour flies off, leaving him with just a pair of under-crackers to prevent death (and embarrassment).  Is his armour designed so badly that it literally explodes upon first contact with an adversary?  Surely a brave knight should have a better armourer to equip them before an adventure.  Not Arthur though.  He’s content to wear the cheapest piece of crap armour he can find.  At least it seems to work slightly better in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.

Bayonetta – Bayonetta

Bayonetta logo

You’re a badass witch, ready to head into a war between demons and angels.  At least I think that was the plot, it’s been a while.  Anyway, you’re wading in there with a variety of guns and your sweet kung-fu moves.  Hellish and angelic adversaries are no pushovers though, so you might want to think about kitting yourself out with some first rate protection.

Yes, yes, that’s all very impressive. But you’re trying to avoid being murdered by using YOUR HAIR!

How about your own hair?  Does that sound like a good defensive option?  Sure it does!  Magically have your hair create a skin tight body suit around you, that’s bound to hold off an axe swing or sword lunge.  Don’t forget that your hair also acts as a weapon, so occasionally you’ll be fighting your opponents stark naked, so that’s good.  It’s a good thing you can teleport around in slow motion or you’d never have a hope.

Battlegear of the Unblinking Vigil – World of Warcraft

world of warcraft logo

You’re a hunter.  Sneaking through the undergrowth, tracking your prey from the shadows, you approach them unseen.  Nothing can prevent you from ambushing your adversary and claiming victory.  So long as you remain invisible, they don’t stand a chance.

Battlegear of the Unblinking Vigil
Yeah, no one will notice you sneaking up on them eh?

Good thing you’ve turned up in the bulkiest, brightest armour you could find!  If the massive helmet or shoulder guards don’t give your away by bumbing into everything nearby, then the giant lightup faceguard will.  Nothing says “hunter” quite like a bright blue light in the middle of your face as you’re hiding in the shadows.  Useless.

Ivy – Soul Calibur

soul calibur logo

Alright, hands up anyone who say this one coming?  It’s time to fight, one on one.  Nowhere for anyone to hide.  Your enemy draws their sword, you take out your bizarre sword/whip hybrid (because why not?) in readiness for the confrontation.  It’s a good thing you got the best armour you could find, because this may wellbe a battle to the death.

Soul Calibur
Perfectly reasonable attire for a sword fight

Or, OR, you could just turn up wearing string and a pair of tights.  It doesn’t matter if that leaves you utterly exposed to your enemy (and the elements, and possibly at risk of being arrested for public indecency) because string is totally able to stop swords!  Honestly, of all the stupid armour sets in video games, this has to be the most useless piece of trash armour that’s in the game for one reason and one reason only.  You know what it is.  You don’t need me to spell it out…

Kratos – God of War

god of war logo

It’s time to avenge your family’s deaths in the only way you know how: by murdering god!  That might sound like an insurmountable task, but you have all the skills you need, and the finest equipment you could want to confront the forces of the afterlife, whether heaven or hell.  Well, you managed to get some decent weapons at least.

Kratos God of War
Is your resolution to become MASSIVELY SHREDDED?

It seems in your rush to get into battle, you totally forgot to put any clothes on!  Yes, it’s just like one of those nightmares where you turn up at school in nothing other than your pants, but this is so much worse.  You can’t stab Zeus in the face wearing your underwear and nothing else!  Not only do you need something with better defensive qualities than exposed skin, but there’s also the dignity aspect!  I suppose at least you don’t need to worry about rust when fighting Poseidon…

A special mention here for Havel from Dark Souls for making his armour entirely out of rock.  I bet that provides a hell of a lot of protection!  Pity no-one would be able to move whilst wearing it.  You’ll probably survive once your enemy gets bored, but it’s not much of a victory really.

Havel the Rock
You literally can’t walk in that can you Havel?


And that’s it!  Five (plus one) useless bits of armour.  How about you?  No, I’m not asking about your inappropriate armour!  I’m curious about what game armours you’ve seen that aren’t fit for purpose.  Let me know, I could do with a laugh!


I’m Rob, and Here’s What I’ve Been Playing – 04/03/18

Did you really think a 24-hour gaming marathon would stop me?

Well, the charity marathon was a success!  Over £400 raised by a whole host of beautiful people as my eyes gradually tried to escape from my head in protest over the incoming deluge of colours.  It was pretty great though.  Anyway, a sane person may be off games for a little while afterwards.  I was not, and I played a few things.


I started the remake/rerelease/remaster/whatever they’re calling it of Shadow of the Colossus during said marathon, and I finished it during the week.  It was pretty great, but the final colossus annoyed me a little bit.  Still, it was a hell of a game and I kind of want to go and have a go at a few of the time trials for fun.  Just not the final one or the sand snake one.  They can sod off.


I started on last month’s Xbox Games with Gold offering: Shadow Warrior.  Also a remake which tells me a lot about the current state of gaming.  Anyway, it’s ok.  It hasn’t grabbed me to the point of wanting to play it, but equally it hasn’t put me off the the extent I want to quit.  It feels like the definition of average to me, although I can see that it’s actually really quite good, just not for me.  The sword is fun to use though.


I finished Q.U.B.E. fairly quickly and had a fairly good time with it.  The puzzles were satisfying to solve, and just on the right side of difficult so that you feel smart for solving them without being so easy you finish it in no time.  That said, there were some physics puzzles that were annoying.  They’re the sort where you know what the solution is, but you need to various objects to do what you want them to.  Those were a little frustrating, but I did enjoy playing it, and the story had a good element of mystery to it.  I also played Q.U.B.E. 2, but I can’t say anything about that yet because of embargo shenanigans.  Suffice to say, it is a game.  Let’s move on.

It looks so simple. Doesn’t it?

Managed to get started on Mario + Rabbids this week, but I’ve only played around 20 minutes so far so there’s very little I can say.  At any rate, it seems like fun but it has XCOM to live up to, so good luck plumber and rabbit…monster…things.

Past Cure also got played.  You may have seen a little about this around the internet (and especially one Twitter), most of which hasn’t been terribly flattering.  It’s not great by any stretch, but that is very disappointing as you can see that the developers genuinely wanted to make something good.  There were some really interesting parts of the game, in particular the nightmare sections, but the story was convoluted and the gameplay was fairly bland.  The cutscene animations are mostly gorgeous which seems to be where the bulk of the budget went.  A pity, and I hope the developers don’t give up and try to make something with a smaller scale.

Past Cure
Past Cure has a pretty interesting world at times.

In hindsight, I seem to have played a surprising amount in the past week and a bit!  Go me!  What about you though?  Have you had anything good on the cards?  Or something terrible?  Let me know and I’ll add it to my never ending “to play” list!

Gameblast 18 Charity Stream Wrap Up

Mostly involves me being tired.

So I’m a bit tired then.  24-hours of streaming seems to do that.  But it was totally worth it for all the charitable donations that came in during the weeks running up to it and on the day itself.  We raised £400!  That’s a huge amount compared to what I was expecting!  Thank you so much to anyone who donated.  Here’s how the day played (HA!  See what I did there?) out.

Starting at 7AM With Shadow of the Colossus, things went well.  After a little over 3 hours I’d managed to take out 8 colossi suffering only one defeat.  I mean, I did spend about half an hour of that time riding around having no idea where to go, but that doesn’t matter!  Those big stone bastards got what they deserved.  Probably.  I mean, I do know the plot already so there’s that…

Shadow of the Colossus
Oh god, not the cold light of day! Just let me sleep!

I didn’t play the original release of it, but the game looks fantastic and played pretty well, in spite of my hating the horse controls.  Anyway, after that we moved onto a few hours of Monster Hunter World which is a game I’ve been enjoying a fair bit over the past few weeks.  It didn’t seem like something I would like but I’ve taken to it better than I expected.  After a couple of SOS missions, I took to continuing the main plot before coming up against an absolute git of a red dinosaur monster.  An Odogaron apparently.  It’s basically a badass raptor but a lot meaner.  After a colossal 45-minute scrap in which I was knocked out twice it was finally defeated and I wanted nothing more to with with this game for the day.  That was hard work!  Thanks to the chat I had some advice that certainly helped out.

Monster Hunter World
I totally knew what I was doing here. It’s also around here that I noticed how loud my laptop’s fan was on the stream.

At this point, I was convinced to download the dreaded Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds.  But seeing as I didn’t have it downloaded on my computer yet, I loaded up a game on the PS4 to pass the time.  I went for Dungeon Punks, a game that seems to have very little to do with dungeons or punks.  It was a brawler in the style of Golden Axe, but with some loot collecting and level-up mechanics.  Sadly the actual gameplay was terribly dull.  Press X until bad things fall over was basically it.  The animation was odd for this style of game, the attacks felt like they had no impact, and the loot was boring.  Being like Golden Axe is fine, but modernising the gameplay is essential.  Add a bit more than press X to hit, press Square for magic.

Dungeon Punks
I pressed X a lot. Then I won! You can’t even control your character using the analogue stick which was baffling!

PUBG had finished downloading now though.  40 minutes was quick enough and I joined friends on Discord for my first delve into the worldwide battle royale success.  I received a quick crash course in what to expect and some basic controls I got into the plane.  Then I realised that I wasn’t going to get more than 20 frames per second, making a hard game even harder.  At least that’s my excuse for failing.  I decided that the only way to increase my framerate was to never wear trousers, which immediately helped.  I survived for a fair while thanks to basically hiding whilst the rest of the squad did things of value.  Thanks to bad luck, bad framerates, and a complete lack of talent on my part, we didn’t make it.

Player Unkonown's Battlegrounds.
Say hi to Rob’s pants. I assume removing my trousers lead to a higher framerate.

Thanks to some tinkering with settings and dropping all the settings to the absolute minimum, I managed to get the framerate a little more reasonable.  In spite of learning a lot though, I really didn’t do very well.  I get the feeling I need to put in a lot more time than 2 hours to get even close to doing well at this.  But, but, I did manage to get a kill.  So a victory of sorts.

Player Unknown's Battlegrounds
My long range game was not strong…

Around this time, some of my evening guests arrived, leading to some games to be played a bit more locally.  We started with Crazy Taxi, always a light game to play as it doesn’t require 100% focus to enjoy it.  After a few drinks we got into the local games, starting with Worms Battleground (it’s like PUBG, but with worms).  None of us had played one of these games for a couple of years so it was like going in blind again, but my incredible skills of hiding shone through.

Worms Battlegrounds
I wish it would tell you something about the weapons. I had no idea what the buffalo would do!

This was swiftly followed by fighting games!  Always a classic local play option, and we went for Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite as it happened to be installed at the time.  It quickly became clear that my skills were not up to scratch after 12 hours of gaming (that’s my excuse and it’s a fair one!) as I think I won one out of about 6 matches.  You can watch me get my ass kicked here.  I would embed it but WordPress doesn’t seem to allow me to embed Twitch clips.

Pizza arrived, meaning we moved on to another game.  One I was interested in trying in fact: Hidden Agenda.  This is a game from the Until Dawn devs in which all players use their phones to influence the story and try to convince other players to make certain choices.  The idea is great but there are a few flaws which I’ll write about another time.  Suffice to say, we gave up after less than an hour and moved on.

Hidden Agenda
Everyone uses their phone to determine how people react to certain situations. The phone is used in other ways throughout the story too.

Up next was nearly 3 hours of Jackbox entertainment, including Quiplash, Civic Doodle, and Fibbage which all proved that we are terrible human beings.  I blame chat.  There came points where certain types of answers had to be banned.  I’m not going to mention what, but anyone watching will know.  If you desperately want to know, the videos will be on Twitch for a few days at least I’m sure.

It’s quite hard to find a screen grab that it’s even close to suitable to put online.

Civic Doodle has become a favourite recently as it gives you the chance to create utterly family friendly pictures.  A chance that no one takes as any and all parts of the human anatomy end up in every picture.  Essentially two people draw a picture, everyone votes on the best then two more people carry the picture on.  One of our group actually has some measure of artistic talent, meaning my losing streak continued.

Civic Doodle
Once again, finding one I was happy to put online was near impossible.

By this point it was around 1 in the morning, and the sane people needed to go home.  Due to my lack of sanity after 18 hours of gaming, I agreed to get back on Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds to give it another try.  We played three man squads here, but I continued to be as successful as a darts tournament on an inflatable boat.  In spite of my constant failure, I can see why people like this so much as it’s pretty fun in spite of the bugs (what the hell happened here?) and the tension can be pretty intense.  However, it should be added that this happened:

Yes! A chicken dinner! I mean, I was dead and contributed next to nothing (look at those stats!) but I’ll take any chicken I can get!

After that high, there was no way we were going into another game and bringing it down, so Ben (the final surviving member of the late night team) and I downloaded Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army and set about blowing up zombie heads.  After the final battle of the first stage killing us repeatedly, we flew through most of the game right up until that 7AM time limit and the nightmare was finally over!  Bed called, and I passed out in it.

So that’s it!  24 hours of gaming!  Thank you so much to anyone who joined the stream or donated.  Below is a list of personal heroes who either donated, joined the stream, were there on the day, or helped out at all!  If I’ve missed you then please let me know and I’ll add you on.  Thank you for helping to make this happen and raising so much money for such a worthy cause!

My Heroes

Kerry and Sophie

Ben, Paul, Rich, Tom

Heather and Stuart

Lorna, Josh, Emma, Eugene

Harry and Pat


Hungry Goriya






Gaming for Others

Adventure Rules

Hyper Light Drifter – I have no idea what is going on and I love it.

I wrote this a while ago, but this game is pretty damn memorable…

One of the first console games I ever owned (read: probably pestered my dad into buying) was Legend of Zelda on NES.  It remains one of my favourite games to this day.  In fact, I still own it and the memory on the cartridge is still in tact with my childhood saves on it.  Happy days!  Some of you will also know that I really enjoy the Souls/Borne series for their challenging gameplay and detailed world.  How happy I was to find out that Hyper Light Drifter, a game that I feel fuses these two series, was on offer for £8!  Cheap and very, very cheerful.

Hyper Light Drifter
A rather gorgeous background. Pretty sure I didn’t visit that city in the game, but I’m not sure.

We begin with…well…I’m not sure.  We have a cut-scene with a door and some Egyptian style dog statues (Anubis!) followed by the Drifter standing on a mountain with some giant killer robots.  Then there’s an explosion and the robots melt and the Drifter is wrapped up in some sort of black slime.  And that’s about it.  I have no idea what’s going on, but it looked damn cool!  It was like watching an anime with the sound turned off.  At any rate, the Drifter waking up on a mountain top and the adventure begins.

Hyper Light Drifter
The results of a successful battle…after my 4th attempt.

The world is split into 4 regions in which a number of nodes need to be found and activated to unlock the path to the area’s boss.  Defeating the boss will raise a tower and once all towers are raised, the path to the final boss will be opened.  One of the first areas we find is a town that acts as a hub for the main areas, as well as having shops to upgrade your items and abilities.  We can choose to travel North, East or West (South is locked to begin with).  Much like Dark Souls, the choice is yours and you’ll be given no direction, but you will likely find that some areas are too challenging early on.

Hyper Light Drifter
Incidental details like this are all over the place. They aren’t part of the gameplay, rather they add to the game’s excellent world building.

The game plays much like a top down hack and slash RPG, just much more methodical and deliberate. You can (and will) die very easily if you’re careless. You have a sword attack, a gun (several by the end of the game), a grenade and a dash/dodge. All of these can be upgraded by finding gear bits to spend in town. Combat is similar to Dark Souls in that you need to learn your enemies attacks and time a counter well. There are a good variety of enemies, from close range brawlers who lunge in to attack to long range rocket firing gits who will ruin your day. Deciding who to take out first is a key part to most encounters, especially later in the game when enemy combinations become more complex.

Hyper Light Drifter
Battles tend to be fast paced and messy.

There are, of course, bosses throughout the game who will test your ability at the end of each region. You will often need to combine your sword and gun skills with care, whilst dodging constantly to emerge victorious. All of them are thoroughly different and offer their own challenge, often based on the enemies you have faced in the run up to the encounter. Death, whilst frequent, does not set you back far, meaning that defeat in a boss encounter won’t cost you as dearly as in a Souls game. You will normally appear back at the room entrance, ready to challenge again. I found each one very enjoyable (in spite of losing constantly in the final battle) and never felt like quitting and giving up. The battles are hard but fair, and most (not all) losses feel as though they are due to your own mistakes.

Hyper Light Drifter
Part of the bonkers intro. It’s like Attack on Titan by way of Akira.

I say most as I found the controls a touch slippery at times. Occasionally a dodge wouldn’t register, or a grenade wouldn’t throw as fast as I would have liked. Perhaps the game needed to finish the previous animation before beginning the next one, I’m not too sure. But I did suffer the odd death because of this. As I mentioned though, death isn’t a huge setback unless you are going for the no-death achievement.

Hyper Light Drifter 6
A boss. Yes, it is exactly what it looks like.

The world looks absolutely beautiful. There’s a lot of pixel art games around these days but this one uses it so well, with gorgeous and varied environments populated by different characters and monsters. The backgrounds are phenomenally detailed in spite of not being entirely relevant to what you’re doing. This is rather important to the world though, as the world building this game does without a word of dialogue is amazing. I still have no idea what the actual plot was, but the use of imagery in the backgrounds, the destroyed environments that point to a historic war and the picture based conversations with other characters paint a picture of the world and its residents in a fascinating way. Finding a giant corpse with a blood train means very little, but the pictures another character offers up later seems to tell the tale of killing that very creature to rescue two other people. I love this kind of story telling, even if it doesn’t really tie into the main plot. I understand that the game’s collectibles offer up more story on the world’s history, but I didn’t have the time to find them all sadly.  There’s so much depth if you’re able to find it.  You can even play football, find different clothes and befriend a snail if you really want to.

Hyper Light Drifter
There is a good pace to the game, with some pleasant down time sections between battles.

Hyper Light Drifter was developed by Heart Machine. I played the game on XBox One and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the Souls series or top down adventure games. Just don’t expect to have a clue about what is going on. Even the magic halo dog couldn’t explain it to me.

Final Fantasy: A Crystal Compendium – Final Fantasy: All The Bravest

Some games are good. Some games are bad. Some games are Final Fantasy ATB…

As part of the Final Fantasy: A Crystal Compendium project, I have chosen to write about Final Fantasy: All The Bravest.  Why not take a look at the hub page and find out what other games in the series people have written about?  After you’ve read my one obviously…

So, All The Bravest then.  It’s clever because it abbreviates to ATB which is a thing from earlier Final Fantasy games.  Clever, honest.  If only they’d put half as much thought into the game as they did into the “clever” title.  Always Total Bollocks also has the same abbreviation.  Maybe they should have used that.  Does it sound like I’m being a bit mean?  Possibly, but it’s not without reason.

All The Bravest is terrible, but I can’t say it’s the worst game I’ve ever played.  That’s because I’m not sure this even qualifies as a game.  Sure, you can win and lose, you level up and earn money, you even confront monsters from the Final Fantasy series.  It’s not a game though.  You don’t actually play at all.  The most interaction you have with this product is wildly swiping your hand across the screen in the hope you’ll win, and spending real money to increase your chances of winning.  This is not a game!  This is an insulting cash grab capitalising on a well respected series.

Final Fantasy ATB
Rub your phone until the wolves fall down!

We begin our “adventure” by being told that monsters are invading the world and we must gather a party to confront and defeat them.  We are shown the game’s one and only mechanic: rub the screen really quickly to make your characters attack the monster!  Do this until either the monster dies or your run out of characters.  If all your characters are knocked out, you will need to wait several hours for them to revive before attempting the battle again.  Or…OR…you could spend some real money on a magic hourglass (or something along those lines) to revive them all instantly and continue the battle!  How very thoughtful to include this feature in the game.

Final Fantasy ATB
Continue to rub your phone!

As you level up, you unlock new characters for your party, as well as increasing the party size.  I can’t find a way to (or haven’t reached that point) set up your party based on the characters you have unlocked.  I think they just randomly decide on which characters are included.  The soldiers are mostly classic characters, such as Fighter and White Mage, but you can acquire more iconic characters from the series.  For a fee of course.  Want Cloud?  Best pay some real cash for a random character (we all love loot boxes right).  Need some Rinoa?  Open your wallet!

Final Fantasy ATB
I got a fever. The only thing that can cure it is not playing this anymore.

I know free to play games need to earn their money, but most of the successful ones are actually games and not a screen slapping simulator.  This one simply screams “I’m just here for your money” thanks to the lack of any engaging mechanics or meaningful content.  The whole game is linear (from what I can be bothered to reach anyway), the “combat” is boring, and the monetisation of the app is insulting.  Don’t touch it.

The music is pretty nice though…

5 Games I Finished Multiple Times

I just can’t stop playing.

I’m a grown up.  That means I don’t have nearly as much gaming time as I used to.  That means most games tend to get the “one-and-done” treatment.  That means that I tend not to complete many games multiple times.  That means…I don’t think I can carry on doing this “That means…” thing.  I know.  You’re upset.  It was pretty hilarious whilst it lasted.  But you’ll just have to move on.  Much like I’m going to right now.

Rambling aside, I tend not to finish games repeatedly, simply because I don’t have the time to before I move onto the next experience.  But there are a few games I’ve played during my more recent adult life that have had the special privilege of not being returned to the shelf once I’ve finished it.  This is dedicated to those games!

Some rules here.  Games that require multiple playthroughs don’t count (sorry Nier: Automata).  Super short games don’t count either, so things like Blue Estate are going to be ignored.  They need to be games I’ve played since being a proper grown up and having a real job, so don’t expect anything before the past couple of generations.  On with the show!

Mass Effect

Mass Effect

Seven times.  I played this from start to finish seven times.  It was absolute madness to spend that length of time on a single game, but utterly worth it.  There were so many different ways to play it, with multiple classes as well as multiple ways to approach a situation and alter the story.

Mass Effect
Nothing to do with playing the game multiple times, but this really made me laugh.

My final playthrough was on Insane mode.  God knows why I did that, but it really was a slog as the enemies just became bullet sponges.  Still!  There was a lot to love in this universe, so much so that I went back to see those things seven times…

Oh, and I ended up taking my original playthrough through to the future games, making those other playthroughs moot.

Dark Souls

Dark Souls

This was an odd one for me, as I finished the game and then started playing it through again immediately so I could get the other ending.  Not that I had a clue what either ending meant.  Honestly I think it was just an excuse for me to go back and experience it all again.

Dark Souls
That’s a whole lot of demon butt.

Having finished the game, I found out that there were other bosses and such that I didn’t even know existed, let alone had found.  So back in I went, armed with my new knowledge.  I got thoroughly killed by most of them (along with the minions in the areas.  Screw those wheel skeletons) but going back through the worlds was just as much fun the second time around as the first.

Alan Wake


Alan Wake did something that I don’t like in games.  It hid content behind difficulty modes.  If you wanted to see everything in the game you had to play it on the hardest setting.  Thankfully, normal mode was actually fairly tame, meaning that I felt alright about going into Nightmare mode.  For a hardest setting, it wasn’t all that tough (HASHTAG MLGPRO!).  Anyway, I’d enjoyed the main game a lot.  I found the story interesting, the atmosphere spot on, and the soundtrack fantastic.  The gameplay wasn’t half bad either.

The light + gunfire gameplay still works as far as I’m concerned.  Using flares and other light sources as offense and defence works very well.

I’m pretty sure there isn’t anything in this game that I didn’t do.  All the collectibles, all the DLC, all the extra challenges, everything.  I know it has its flaws, but I found it utterly compelling, and I’m one of those that still hopes for a proper follow-up one day.  I’m not holding my breath though.

DmC: Devil May Cry

DmC: Devil May Cry (2013)

No, you shut up!  Whilst I found the new Dante a bit irritating (plus that who “Not in a million years.” thing felt like a deliberate swipe at fans of the previous games), I considered the world and gameplay to be absolutely spot on.  The real world/demon world thing lead to some really intersting environmental designs and trversal challenges, and whilst the combat was a little easier than previous installments, it was still incredibly satisfying.

DmC Devil May Cry
He’s certainly not one of the hardest bosses I’ve ever faced, but the it does so much so well!

Add to that the bosses, that were incredibly varied and fun to fight.  The Bob Barbas one above was insane in its presentation alone.  I didn’t play this a second time until years later, but it was just as fun the second time around.  It held up pretty well in spite of this being a pretty hated entry in the series.


XCOM 2 Logo

Well obviously.  Did anyone expect this to not be here?  Literally hundreds of hours across numerous playthroughs that are different every time depending on successes and failures as well as the choices you make in the “overworld”.  This is my go to game any time I need a play through of something comfortable.  Comfort gaming if you like.

The War of the Chosen expansion adds such a huge amount to XCOM 2.  It practically makes it a whole new game.

If you missed it, I recently did a week by week run through of my most recent campaign featuring friends and family.  Needless to say, not eveyone made it thought…

Some honourable mentions.  Alpha Protocol was a horribly under appreciated spy thriller with tons of choice about how to play that had genuine consequences.  I needed a few playthroughs to see everything I wanted to.  DOOM (2016) got a couple of run throughs by virtue of being brilliant and having a fun enough core gameplay loop for me to want to do it all again.  Fallout 3, because I really wanted to blow up Megaton…

How about you?  What have you played over and over again?  Are they comfort games or ones that genuinely needed more playthroughs just because they were that much fun?  Tell me about them so I can absolutely not play them because I don’t have time to!