Time for our regular quick-fire reviews and impressions of what’s been on the go this week, old and new and a bit of both…

Also time to not go on about Elden Ring or Mushihimesama again, except to say I’ve beaten the second big boss in one after spending most of the week exploring, and decided it’s time to move on from the glorious other, a full week after I think I said exactly the same thing the first time! I promise it won’t happen a third time though, and we’ll be up to our guts in Espgaluda II’s bullet-hell instead when next we meet!

I did have a good old go at Weird West this week, the new dark fantasy Wild West RPG that’s just appeared on Xbox Game Pass. It’s a kind of top-down, kind of cel-shaded vibe, mixing gunslinging with the supernatural in what was turning into a really cool story. But there was too much stealth, too much loading, not enough ammo (so not enough reloading), and it was all a bit too awkward to control for my liking. Which is a real shame because it’s so close to being right up my alley!

F1 2021 is another recent addition to Game Pass, and first impressions were good, especially with its career mode, but, like its predecessor, it then didn’t take that long for me to realise it’s all a bit too serious for my driving game taste. I wasn’t that impressed with how it looks either, considering how AAA it is – it’s fine, and I’m not really sure what else I was expecting, but it was just a bit mundane. Which, in its defence, probably makes it quite realistic!

Buggy Boy on Commodore 64 knows nothing about mundane, and I had a great time catching up with my joint-favourite racer on there (together with Super Cycle) in anticipation of finally getting my hands on the Atari ST version. We had an interesting little discourse on Twitter too about favourite C64 arcade conversions in general. I personally settled on this, Commando and Ghosts ‘n Goblins, but there were plenty of shouts for Bubble Bobble, Mr Do! and Spy Hunter too… And then the well started to run dry! Anyway, the ST version I’ve wanted since it first launched but just never got around to did eventually arrive, and it’s incredible! Very close to the arcade version, unbridled fun and is a match made in heaven for a Quickshot joystick! We’re definitely going to be having a deep dive into that here very soon too!

Demon’s Tilt isn’t just my favourite pinball game, but also a top twenty favourite game of all time, so when it was free on PC from Epic Games last week I lapped up just about the only version I don’t already own! Not much new to say about it – occult pinball still at its finest, bred from the classic Alien et al Crush pinball games on PC-Engine, with masses of depth and variety (especially in its expert modes), and a great look and feel. And sound! Might have been safer not having a copy at the same desk I’m supposed to be working at though!

Last up this week, I’ve been having a great time with Neo Drift Out: New Technology, the top-down isometric arcade rally racer from SNK in 1996. Never played it before, and honestly it probably didn’t take me that long to find my limit meaning I’m unlikely to spend that much time with it in future, but the few hours I did play learning to beat its first four tracks were fantastic fun! Throwing the car around the different tracks and surfaces feels great, and so does finally nailing one of them with a split-second to spare! Then all of a sudden the timer went too aggressive and I quickly lost interest, but I’m glad I found it all the same.

Quick preview of what’s going on here next week, when we’re going to be reviewing the new Gremlin Collection 1 on Evercade VS, complete with Zool and a few ideas for a fantasy Gremlin Collection 2. See you there!