If you follow me at all, you know I love Forza Horizon 4. I've put hundreds of hours into the game, more than any other - even Elder Scrolls. The initial hook is exploration, which means every expansion provides new stuff to find. Then there are the weekly, daily, and hourly quests that keep me coming back almost every day.

LEGO Speed Champions is another wacky departure, similar to Hot Wheels in Forza Horizon 3. In the first half hour, enjoy the amusing intro videos, some brick collecting (currency used to unlock house elements and additional LEGO cars), and my first Forzathon Live event in the new expansion:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

I've been replaying the remaster of the original Borderlands to get pumped up for Borderlands 3, but the surprise release of the free Fight for Sanctuary DLC at E3 2019 made me shift targets to Borderlands 2, part of The Handsome Collection on Xbox One (just added to Game Pass!), PS4, and PC.

It took me several minutes to figure out how to kick off the DLC and then a few more minutes of cutscenes ensued. So I went a little over to give you a reasonable taste. I'm a little underpowered here, just enough to make things challenging. I'm looking forward to playing some more:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

We're huge Fallout fans (notably New Vegas) but Fallout 76 lost us with its dependence on multiplayer. We don't want to battle other survivors. We play for the story. But when I went to get an Xbox One X and found the Fallout 76 edition was nearly $40 cheaper than the base console, I thought I would let them pay me to get this game. Overall, it's not terrible though it reminded me I have lots left to do in Fallout 4.

At E3 2019, Bethesda announced it will be adding a more formal campaign and NPC characters in a free update later this year, so I'll likely stream that experience for comparison (as it's probably what we wanted on Day 1). For now, here's the online only version:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

I love the Resident Evil series but survival horror this good isn't something I'm up for very often. I bought Resident Evil 7: Biohazard awhile back and finally cracked it open. Wow, this is dark. Not just the lack of illunmination at times. It's going to take perserverance to get through. .

Take a look at the start of the story and you'll see why, and whether it's your kind of game:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Candleman is one of those cool looking platformers I voewed to pick up if it ever dropped below $10. It did, I did, and now I kinda regret it. The game looks good when lit but the problem is that you burn down to a nub and die if you keep yourself ignited long enough to enjoy the scenery. Instead you light yourself up very briefly, over and over again, to avoid hazards and light assorted candles that aren't mobile and don't give off much light.

Honestly, not sure I can recommend it but give it a look and see if you can see enough to decide for yourself:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Crazy Strike Bowling EX was an impulse buy. I like bowling games, on occasion (as I used to bowl pretty well back in the day), and I like games with powerups and collectibles. But honestly the timing is so difficult on this, and the physics so unlike real bowling, that I failed miserably. Byr the end of my run, I was almost able to win a match. But nothing is compelling me to go back to the game to do it.

See what you think. Bear is bowling, how can that be:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Tomb Raider games have gotten pretty good in the past six years, not that they weren't solid before. I'm still working on Rise of the Tomb Raider and still want to revisit Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition but I skipped ahead to the start of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to earn some Xbox Game Pass Quests rewards.

It's more of what you love about this series - tight spaces, sudden twists of plot, and sweet sweet exploration and puzzles punctuated with bursts of combat:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a fighting game with a story. Not like Dead or Alive or Mortal Kombat-style story modes, which are a series of fights strung together with cut scenes. This one plays more like an action/adventure title with voices in your head guiding your actions.

Did I mention that you're psychotic? The game's creators did research into real psychosis, and built this into the story. However, they failed to provide much of a tutorial so I recorded a full hour of me figuring out the controls and game mechanics:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Dead or Alive is our favorite fighting game series - it's silly, it's sexy, it's fun - so of course I preordered Dead or Alive 6.

So far, it seems more polished than it's predecessor, Last Round, though I was unable to stream any of the Story Mode. When I saw that Mixer was blocking it, I quit back to the main menu and tried DOA Quests instead. These are mini challenges that help you unlock items like costumes in the game. I then chased it with some classic Arcade action:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Crackdown is a favorite series of ours. I spent a lot of time trying to capture a 1st 30 minutes for the original game when it landed in backward compatibility - due to technical issues, it took several tries before I could save a run-through and post it. I also posted my climb up the Agency Tower, which is a thrill every time I've done it.

So when Crackdown 3 landed on Xbox One, I had to give it a try. Fortunately it was included in Xbox Game Pass so I dove in as soon as I could. See what happens in the prologue and first battles of the game:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

I went into Anthem with lowered expectations.

I'm not a multiplayer fan. I do enjoy Destiny's shared multiplayer experience where I can just play solo and there happen to be other people around who may help each other out from time to time.

Likewise with Forza Horizon 4 - Forzathon Live is the best (like Destiny Public Events), but it's only a portion of the game and not the main reason I play.

Anthem doesn't seem to have me in mind at all. Combat is OK and I'm sure I can get the hang of flying with a proper tutorial and some practice. Alas, respawning seems to be broken - after several minutes of trying to re-enter the fray, I finally had to hit Exit.

And I'm OK with that. I might revisit once the game launches and stabilizes. But probably not, based on this demo. YMMV.

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Super Meatboy Forever's Tommy Refenes

Super Meatboy is one of those games that sticks with you. It's punishingly hard, and it's not for everyone/ But if you played it, you will remember it.

So when I saw Team Meat co-founder Tommy Refenes - who I quickly recognized from Indie Game: The Movie - at PAX West 2018 with the sequel, Super Meatboy Forever, I had to find out more.

The game is due out in April 2019 on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. Got a few minutes? Find out if it might be for you.

This is one of our floor interviews from PAX West 2018 (read our PAX West 2018 show summary).

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

My Brother RabbitIrony CurtainSince PAX West 2018 in September, life kinda got away from me but I'm back and committed to sharing the great interviews I collected from the show floor.

First up is one of my favorite game companies, Artifex Mundi, trying some new things. Known for some of the better hidden object games, especially if you prefer to play on console like I do, they're moving into making ambitious adventure titles.

My Brother Rabbit is already out - I've beat it and loved it (and you can watch the first 30 minutes to see if it's your sort of game). Gameplay is similar to a hidden object title but with hand drawn art and overarching play that's similar to The Tiny Bang Story. You can hear all about the creative inspiration for this journey of healing portrayed from the perspective of young children.

Irony Curtain is more like a classic LucasArts or Sierra adventure game. I tried it at PAX and enjoyed the satiric look at Soviet-style bureaucracy in just trying to get a hotel room. This one should be out soon.

This is one of our floor interviews from PAX West 2018 (read our PAX West 2018 show summary).

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

Gorogoa is a must play for puzzle fans. We stumbled across it at the Annapurna Interactive booth at PAX West 2017 while standing in line waiting for Donut County.

The game - available on iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One - is beautiful and actually quite complicated, requiring you to zoom in and out, manipulate what appears in four quadrants, locate key elements, remove framing pieces such as doorways and portals, and then place them over other elements to advance the story-driven puzzles:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

If you listen to our podcast, you know Donut County is one of our favorite PAX finds of the past few years. Initially on PlayStation and PC/Mac, then iOS, and now Xbox One and Switch, it's a very simple game with a ludicrous story that is so very fun to play.

Basically you control a hole in the ground and slowly suck down every object in the world, kind of like a reverse Katamari Damacy:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

The Gardens Between looked like my kind of game, and after playing it I can say that it is - mostly. It's a puzzler with a time manipulation dynamic. Kind of simplistic but with a few multi-dimensional twists. Sort of like Fez blended with Blinx: The Time Sweeper.

Best of all, it's free to play with Xbox Game Pass (also for pay on PlayStation, Switch, PC, Mac, and Linux):

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Two months later, I'm still playing Forza Horizon 4 pretty much every day. Mostly for the addictive hourly Forzathons but I do love the weekly challenges and steady progression (even without farming much influence on Mixer).

Now the first expansion, Fortune Island, is out and I quickly establish a new Festival site, work out the easy clues for the first 1M credit Treasure Chest, drift up the Needle Climb, and explore:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Just Cause 3 is one of our favorite action games of all time. So naturally we preordered Just Cause 4, which unlocked yesterday for Gold Edition owners and promises some new innovations such as extreme weather and giant balloons you can tether to pretty much anything.

In just the first 30 minutes you can see that gameplay is pretty similar to the winning formula of its predecessor - lots of grappling, parachuting, and wingsuiting:

Here's another 30 minutes, so you can see some of the innovations including tethers that attach balloons and booster rockets to things:

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

I first saw Rooster Teeth's Bendy And The Ink Machine at PAX West 2018 where I played part of the demo but couldn't get a real read on it. It looks like a cross between the animation style of Cuphead and simplified first-person mechanics of BioShock (complete with audio logs to collect) and maybe a dash of the horror vibe from Five Nights at Freddy's.

Having played a few hours now, I can say that it gets much darker - literally and figuratively - and is not afraid to drop some jump scares on you. The first 30 minutes gets you a little past the start of Chapter Two with no significant spoilers (apart from the first puzzle, which just takes a little wandering to figure out):

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

I totally wasn't expecting Noir Chronicles: City Of Crime, a soft-boiled hidden object detective story from one of my favorite studios, Artifex Mundi. There was no trial version, for once, but I was intrigued enough to buy it anyway.

If you don't mind the usual half-baked voice acting typical of these hidden object adventures, the game is pretty fun:

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.




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