Trying something new here… We regularly discuss what we’re playing over at the wonderful Cane and Rinse video game podcast forum, and I thought I’d expand on that a bit and share it here, probably every Sunday. Maybe! It was actually prompted by the Castlevania Advance Collection that’s taken up most of my gaming time over the last few weeks, but in reality I’m never going to cover any of those games here, and definitely won’t be covering new stuff like Back 4 Blood! Anyway, I do play more than retro, and more retro than you see here, so here’s what I’ve been up to this week.

I’ve mostly been playing Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance on Switch, which I’ve just finished at 191%, and had the absolute best time over the course of nearly ten hours! It’s rich, gothic psychedelia made up for the slightly lightweight soundtrack (by GBA Castlevania standards), but its intuitive exploration was the star of the show. Aria of Sorrow next!

I did play a few chapters of new Xbox darling Back 4 Blood, and it seems alright, but it’s not been made for me. And I’m definitely not messing about with decks of cards in a shooter, although having to wait ages to be pulled out of an ankle deep bit of water was actually the final straw! Also on Game Pass, Totally Accurate Battle Simulator would be better named if you replaced one of those words with “Rubbish” – awful user interface, no guidance and it looks crap. And I don’t care if any of that is part of the gimmick!

I also played and actually finished old Megadrive shooter Gleylancer on Switch, which came out remastered on everything this week, but I’ve had for a couple of weeks for review, which you can read here. The tough, no-nonsense original is included, but the default modern take offers a new control system for your secondary weapons that effectively makes it a side-scrolling twin-stick shooter, and not outrageously difficult as a result. Worth the fiver asking price.

I’m still playing the more exotic horizontal shooter Darius Gaiden after a couple of weeks of dabbling too, but I’m sure I’m getting worse as I learn its secrets and systems – I was better off when I was just holding down fire and shooting at everything! I did manage to get to stage four of arcade Ghouls ‘n Ghosts for the first time ever though! Finally, Pac-Man 99 on Switch got a free Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti theme, so I’ve been back on there – anything that isn’t the original colourblind nightmare is fine, but having this NES classic on there is awesome!

That’s about it for this week, but do be sure to stop by on Wednesday, when we’ll be going deep into Rogue Trooper on ZX Spectrum!