What I Played in September

Fall is upon us and my personal favorite month of October begins tomorrow, so let’s wrap-up everything I played through the month of September.

Full credit for this type of post goes to my Twitter buddy Brad Gallaway, who has been doing this over at Game Critics for as long as I can remember. In my opinion, they’re one of the best outlets covering games today, so give them a follow!

Iconoclasts (PS4)

I’m rarely in the mood for a metroidvania anymore, but I ended up buying this on PS4 while it was on sale for $3. Surprisingly, I loved it. The pixel art is fantastic, there are some stellar boss battles, and the music is top-notch. The story was surprisingly endearing as well, which is an aspect that’s usually overlooked within the genre. Some very cool traversal mechanics and fast travel dulled the sting of repeated backtracking. This was also the only game I played this month that wasn’t on Xbox! Game Pass is too strong.

Finished. Recommend.

Donut County (Xbox)

I already played through this one before back when it released on the Switch, but I loved it enough that I was eager to revisit Donut County when I saw it was on Game Pass — and that it had easy achievements to unlock. Basically, you control a hole in the ground and swallow objects to increase your size. That’s kind of it. I mean, it’s fun, but the stars of the show are its two main characters and their interactions with the local townsfolk. It’s genuinely funny, beautiful, and a great way to spend an evening since it’s only about 90 minutes long.

100% Finished. Recommend.

Omno (Xbox)

I hadn’t heard of Omno before seeing it on Game Pass, but it seemed interesting enough to check out. Like Donut County, it also had a very simple achievement list to complete and I’m a giant sucker for gamerscore. It’s a relatively janky 3D platformer, but I thoroughly enjoyed the story and world design. It’s a beautiful game that has you platforming and exploring for collectibles, which is more fun than it sounds. One of my favorites this year so far.

100% Finished. Recommend.

Last Stop (Xbox – my review)

I already reviewed this one so I’ll spare you the details. Easy 1000G but a disappointing follow-up to one of my favorite first-person narrative adventures, Virginia.

100% Finished. Pass.

Cross The Moon (Xbox – my review at Rapid Reviews UK)

I also reviewed this one, just not here. I’ll still spare you the details since you can read my review at Rapid Reviews UK. Long story short, this is one of my favorite visual novels of all time.

100% Finished. Recommend.

What Remains of Edith Finch (Xbox)

One of the greatest “walking simulators” of all time and the gold standard in terms of innovation and storytelling. It’s essentially a collection of stories detailing the tragic end of every single member of the Finch family. Some are just short text-driven tales while other are more interactive, like playing in a bath tub or working a mundane job at the local cannery. Everyone should play this.

100% Finished. Recommend.

Ultra Street Fighter IV (Xbox)

I always have this installed on my Xbox since it’s one of my favorite fighters. I can’t imagine NOT playing this a few times per month, honestly.

Still playing. Always playing. Always recommend it.

Conan Exiles (Xbox)

I really don’t like survival games, but I installed this one through Game Pass just to dick around and unlock easy achievements. As it turns out, Conan Exiles kicks ass. I think it’s the fact that it mixes traditional survival mechanics (like temperature, hunger, thirst, encumbrance, crafting, and building) with things I enjoy in RPGs (action-focused combat, blacksmithing, armor crafting, monster slaying, massive boss encounters, quests). I’d really like to play it casually once I pick up my Xbox Series X on Saturday. It doesn’t run super great on Xbox One.

Unfinished. All but one achievement unlocked. Recommend.

Doom 64 (Xbox)

An underrated classic in the Doom franchise and the current remaster is absolutely stellar. The modern revisions of this and the first two games in the Turok series shows just how good first-person shooters were on the N64.

100% Finished. Recommend.

Ikenfell (Xbox – my review)

This is one I recently reviewed, so check that out for more information. Ikenfell is one of the best RPGs in recent years.

100% finished. Recommend.

Carto (Xbox – my review)

Another game I reviewed. A neat mix of map-building and puzzle solving. Great aesthetic and a cute story.

100% finished. Recommend.

Virginia (Xbox)

I played this back when it released in 2016 and it was a real head-scratcher. It stuck with me, though, and over time became one of my favorite first-person narrative adventures. The low-poly aesthetic, the way the unspoken narrative leaves a lot of its mystery up to the player to decipher, the criminally underappreciated soundtrack… man, this is a gem of a game. If small town mysteries and the weirdness of Twin Peaks are your jam, add this one to your playlist.

100% finished. Recommend.

Dear Esther (Xbox)

After finishing my replay of Virginia I was still in the mood for shorter narrative-heavy games, and then Dear Esther immediately came to mind. This is the game that started the whole “walking simulator” thing as a Half-Life mod back in 2007. It was wildly popular. Eventually The Chinese Room remade the game for modern platforms and added some of the most insightful developer commentary as an extra bonus. This is another of my personal favorite narrative-heavy games and even after all this time I had no idea that Dear Esther was inspired by lyrics to “The Crab Song” by Faith No More, along with STALKER.

100% finished. Recommend.

Bloodroots (Xbox)

Vibrant, violent, and very challenging. Think John Wick meets Adult Swim. You play as The Wolf, the leader of a band of raiders called The Blood Beasts, who finds himself on the wrong side of a mutiny. Somehow you survive a brutal murdering at the hands of your former friends and spend the rest of the game on a violent revenge mission.

It’s similar to Hotline Miami, where enemies are scattered around levels and need to be tactically dispatched by any means necessary. This is a one-hit kill scenario, but for The Wolf, everything is a weapon. Literally. You can bludgeon enemies with everything from fence posts and hatchets to carrots and fireworks. Yet another Game Pass title that I’d have never given a chance, but ended up enjoying.

Finished. Recommend.

NHL 94 Rewind (Xbox)

I’ve mentioned this before in my Weekend Gaming wrap-up, but NHL 94 was one of, if not THE most played game from my Sega Genesis days. It’s amazing, STILL. NHL 94 Rewind takes the original and updates it with modern teams and rosters, and, as a massive NHL fan (go Ducks!), this is all I’ve ever wanted. It was originally exclusive to those who purchased the deluxe edition or whatever for NHL 21, but now it’s on Game Pass thanks to Xbox’s partnership with EA Access.

Still playing. Recommend.

Art of Rally (Xbox – my review)

Another game I’ve already reviewed, so check that out if you want more info. It’s a great take on the rally racing genre, has a killer soundtrack, and tons of stuff to unlock and collect. It’s also on Game Pass.

Still playing. Recommend.

Roblox (Xbox)

Fuck this game. I’m just launching and closing it every day to unlock achievements.

Still playing. Pass.

Nuclear Throne (Xbox)

This is a twin-stick roguelike that I thought was the bee’s knees when it launched on PC. It was in Early Access back then, I think, but not being much of a PC gamer I fell off of it until it released on the Vita years later. And hated it. The Vita’s loose analog sticks did the game no favors. I saw that it was on Game Pass and wanted something to jump in and out of in short bursts, installed it, did a handful of runs and just didn’t feel it anymore. It’s far from a bad game, but this isn’t my genre.

Uninstalled. Recommend.

Brutal Legend (Xbox)

This has been a gap in my gaming tenure that I’ve always been interested in. Installed it through Game Pass, played for a few hours, and it’s definitely fun. I’m not sure I care enough to stick around for the long haul, but I’m glad I finally checked it out.

Uninstalled. Recommend.

Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance (Xbox)

I checked this out on Game Pass purely because it had familiar characters and seemed like a mindless hack and slash RPG. That’s basically what it felt like, but it runs like absolute crap on my old Xbox One. That was enough to give up for now, but again, my Series X arrives in two days and I’ll probably check it out again.

Uninstalled. Pass for now.

King’s Bounty II (Xbox)

Ugh. This game. I want to love it but it doesn’t run great, it’s kind of buggy on Xbox, and the difficulty spikes in combat are absurdly high. I just don’t jive with the gameplay loop and I don’t really want to play it anymore.

Still playing. Pass.

MLB The Show 21 (Xbox)

I’m a big MLB fan and The Show series has been the cream of the crop for what feels like forever. It’s the reason I originally bought a PS3 and PS4, so it definitely felt weird playing a first-party Sony game on the Xbox. I like it. Xbox is my preferred platform and the more I can just play over there the better. Thank you, Game Pass. I can’t wait to play more on the Series X.

Still playing. Recommend.

Slime Rancher (Xbox)

I’m not a fan of these types of farming sim type games, but Slime Rancher stood out from the rest with it’s first-person perspective and focus on collecting and breeding slimes for profit. There’s smething there and I can see why people love it, but yeah, still not for me.

Uninstalled. Recommend.


That does it for me this month. As you can tell, most of it came from Game Pass, which isn’t a huge surprise. I’m sure October will be no different! See you then!

8 thoughts on “What I Played in September

  1. Damn you played a lot of good games this month. Dear Esther is in my top 10 favorite game narratives of all time. Like I’m a gigantic dork for that game. I’ve recorded myself reading some of my favorite monologues…multiple times. Like I’ve memorized a bunch of them. I know there’s a big argument about whether or not it’s actually a “game,” but tbh I don’t care. Like I have better things to do.

    Added Carto and Ikenfell. For the latter it’s made by the same people who did Edith Finch, which is another amazing game. Hell yes I will play/read/watch damn near anything queer. Here for it.

    I’m playing Berseria now and…yeah holy shit whew, INTO IT. I’m probably going to buy Tales of Arise after I finish this one. I liked the demo. I’ll have to DM you about Berseria because wow I have things to say already. The only thing I’m salty about is it’s not on the Switch, which makes it slightly less convenient to play.

    I’m also playing the latest Ace Attorney game and simping hard for the prosecutor. I’m almost at Sephiroth levels of devotion so it’s getting pretty serious. I also downloaded the demo for this new Squeenix game Voice of Cards, which is like Final Fantasy meets Magic: The Gathering? It’s a card based RPG and it’s pretty awesome. I played the entire demo, and there’s also a kick ass new card game that you can continue playing through the menu.

    Like

      1. I’ve heard that! Ugh, right now I’ve been having trouble juggling my time with that all because I have to go in the other room to play. I think I’m going to finish a game then really get into Berseria, though I am going to try to make progress on the weekends or something. I’m literally in the first dungeon after the shit hits the fan. I love how the game marks side quests. Oh, and I noticed a reference to Aifread in this game lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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