Horizon Forbidden West

A Quick Review of Everything I Played This Summer (2023 Edition)

Now that everything seems to be working (knocks on all the wood in the house), it’s time to get back to those mini-reviews I like to post. They’re going to be super quick this time. I’m not here to write the longest tl;dr post ever, after all. Here’s a month by month breakdown with a little help from my Twitch VOD section to remind me when I played certain things.

May 2023

The majority of May and the first week or so of June was all about running through both Horizon games. This wasn’t my first attempt at playing Horizon: Zero Dawn; back when I first picked it up I was so busy as a games journalist that I rarely played games for fun. Rather than try to figure out where I left off, I created a fresh save, guiding Aloy through over 100 hours of detailed and well-crafted storytelling. Nearly every moment was a joy. Sure, there were a few boss battles that irked me enough to put the controller down. But I got to fly on those majestic Sunwings and that’s pretty much the best. All that’s left is to pick up the Horizon: Forbidden West DLC so I am truly caught up.

June/July 2023

Yes, Your GraceĀ – This one I blame on Summer Game Fest. Somewhere in the tangle of a zillion streams, I caught sight of the sequel to this game. I immediately opened up Steam and threw Yes, Your Grace onto my wishlist. The following day it went on sale so that a no-brainer. This one is all about choice; one wrong move could drive your kingdom to ruin. Choices mean there’s some replay value, but my arm and wrist needed a nice long vacation from it once I ended my run. Not a game I recommend marathoning the way I did if you get carpal tunnel.

Fall of Porcupine

Fall of Porcupine – I love this game! Fall of Porcupine follows a young new doctor in town struggling to provide the best possible care in a deteriorating building. Navigating a focus on care while dealing with frustrated townspeople is such a true reflection of what many small towns face. While the majority of the narrative is fairly linear, there are some choose your path points which allow for a potential second playthrough.

ESO: Necrom – Visiting Apocrypha and spending time with our favourite God of Knowledge has been so much fun. Picked up two new companions, one of which helps me find awesome bonus loot in containers. But you can really tell that the cocktail of burn out/thin staffing/focus on Starfield impacted this release. There are way too many errors during quest dialogue, psijic portals/runestones generating the incorrect image files, notes and books not saving with eidetic memory properly… I could go on. Another weird peeve was the choice (yes, it was a decision) to lock one of the crafting mats behind set gear only available in the Scribes of Mora based trial. My love of Hermaeus Mora helps soothe some of the hurt. Wish that they would have given us Scruut as a houseguest. Best new character, IMO.

Kingdom Eighties

Kingdom Eighties – As someone with way too many hours sunk into the previous Kingdom games (seriously, don’t look at my Steam hours), my hype for Kingdom Eighties was strong. Clearly inspired by classics like Goonies and Back to the Future as well as Stranger Things. It took the side scrolling tower defense series, slapped a storyline on it, and provided me several hours of entertainment. Unlike the previous games, Eighties didn’t really have too much to do after the credit roll. Sure, you could replay it and see if any new Easter eggs generated, however that’s never a guarantee. The devs did push an update to the game recently adding a mode they call Mixtapes. I’ll be checking it out at some point. If you’re curious about this one, I did stream it on my account and archived the videos.

Dave the Diver – We were sitting in the living room one day when my husband says, “Hey, I bought this quirky looking game that popped up in my Steam discovery queue and you might like it.” A few days later I downloaded Dave the Diver looking because I was in the mood to try something new. Holy shit, this was a true delight! I thought it would just be ingredient collection and running a swanky sushi joint by the water. There is intrigue! Spy craft! An underwater civilization in dire straits! This was another game I just had to stream. It’s so much fun. I hope that you consider picking it up when you have the chance.

Remnant 2

August 2023

Remnant II – Didn’t play the first one, but friends and the husband were all super excited about. Took it for a test drive via the shared library and decided to take the plunge. I main a Medic, dabble in leveling up my other classes for the trait cards. We’ll eventually finish the damn game, but right now I’m having too much fun rerolling in adventure mode to track down all the bosses and hidden goodies. Since my shooter games knowledge is mostly Halo, Gears, and Fallout games, I thought I’d suck more and to my surprise I don’t. It is weird that it’s a three person max co-op game, though. Means that sometimes we have to rotate someone in/out from the group of friends we have playing this on PC.

Aside from demos I played during Summer Game Fest and gamescom, that pretty much sums up all of the summer 2023 games I played. I dabbled with the Katamari release; mostly picked that up to make sure I had a copy in my library. Now to look ahead for those holiday releases that I absolutely need. We’re talking Alan Wake 2, maybe dipping my toes back into Assassin’s Creed with Mirage, Sugar Shack (hyping my Canadian studios!), and Mineko’s Night Market looks purrfectly adorable. Will be trying to stream some more as well so if you follow and/or sub to my Twitch channel you can see what I’m up to.

Thanks for catching up with me!

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