Max Payne 3 (PC)

I beat the original Max Payne on PS2. Skipped the sequel due to life getting in the way, and decided to pick up the third entry today to see what it had to offer.

I remember the original game having a great story. Max was an interesting character with all of his flaws, and his fall from grace was interesting. The story was gritty and immersive. The bullet-time weapon mechanics were solid as well.


Max Payne 3 has the same solid bullet-time events of the first.


This game is incredibly watered down:

- Four hours in I have yet to care about Max, the family he works for, or his partner. The story is incredibly boring.

- The game is challenging at times, but if you keep dying it will automatically decrease the difficulty by giving you extra health and ammo each time you spawn. I don't remember this happening in the first game.


It could be nostalgia, but I feel that this game is a cash grab with the Max Payne title. The only redeeming quality is bullet-time events, 5/10.

Tetris Effect (PS4)

My first experiences with Tetris were in the early 1990's. I played the arcade version sometimes, but I did buy an original Gameboy and a copy of Tetris from a local used game store. This was my only game for a while as a kid.

I was never great at it, but I did end up beating the Gameboy version, and have a lot of nostalgic memories related to long family car rides... squinting at that green screen.

I haven't played much since then. When I bought Tetris Effect, I had no idea of the different game mechanics that made their way into the game over the years. Things like T-Spins and the 7bag randomizer.


My Tetris play style is based on the classic version. Learning the new gameplay mechanics has been  challenging but also very satisfying. It's a great feeling when you're able to spot opportunities to create a sweet T-Spin, with the help of a held block and the 7bag randomizer. It adds a new level of strategic depth to the game that is super fun.

The visuals and audio in this game are spectacular. Progress and player speed impact the soundtrack and visuals in a meaningful and immersive way, with line clears and block rotations creating cool effects. These mechanics add a great layer of immersion that compliments the excellent gameplay.


There are almost no negative aspects to this game. The only one I can think of, and this is a very small issue, sometimes the particle effects are slightly distracting.


I love this game. It has just the right amount of nostalgia and cool new game mechanics, combined with excellent audio and visuals.


PS4 VR (PS4 Pro)

I bought the second version of the PS4 VR Black Friday 2018. In case you're wondering what the differences are between the first and second versions, the main difference is support for HDR pass-through. For more info, the second has model code CUH-ZVR2 and complete technical specs are available on Sony's PS4 VR website.

Physical setup

There are a lot of wires you'll be connecting, and a separate box that the headset uses, what Sony is calling a 'Processor Unit'. I was curious about why VR would require an additional box of electronics, with a fan in it, to augment a PS4 Pro. After some Googling, the non-official answer is this box handles some user interface layering on top of the console output. Take that with a grain of salt. My best guess is that the VR and PS4 software departments at Sony didn't get along, and the VR team just went ahead with a separate box to speed up time to market despite the cost.

After connecting all the wires, you'll have to calibrate movement tracking, and affix the headset so that things don't look blurry. This is all pretty easy and straight forward.

Actually wearing the headset is pretty comfortable for a couple hours. Although the padding did leave a checkered imprint on my forehead. I haven't tried it with glasses, I can imaging that situation being cumbersome though.


There are lots of free demos on the PS store for VR, I decided to avoid these and buy a couple games. I bought Astrobot Rescue Mission and Tetris Effect.  For both games, the graphics were at a lower resolution but looked pretty good. I'll be reviewing both in-depth after I have a few more hours of playtime, but my initial impressions after about five hours in each:

Astrobot is very fun. Movement tracking is accurate, the puzzles are innovative and VR movement tracking is built into the core mechanics of the game. I was looking around corners, smashing my head through virtual walls, and shooting grappling hooks from my controller. It was great.

Tetris Effect is also fun, but Astrobot was the clear winner if the goal is to experience what the PS4 VR has to offer. The only real benefit of Tetris Effect in VR is that if you've got distractions around you, like somebody talking on the phone or pets running around, you'll have an easier time focusing on the game without hearing or seeing anything else.


Watching Youtube VR was super disappointing. The resolution was worse than VHS quality at times. I would consider this functionality completely broken.

Other uses

The PS4 VR can be hooked up to any HDMI output and be used as a personal display. Resolution is kind of low, but acceptable. I've used it a couple times to play games from my Steam library.

After some research, it looks like there may be third party drivers to get movement tracking working on the PC. I haven't tried these though, they'll be a followup post most likely.


For purpose-built VR games on the PS4, the PS4 VR is super fun. There's not a huge library, hopefully more cool games like Astrobot come out in the future. For everything else, it's kind of disappointing.

It costs a lot for what it is, 6/10.

Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4)

My history with Rockstar games has been a mixed bag. I've played every game in the GTA series, but have only finished one, GTA5. Sometimes they feel like too much of a grind and I lose interest.

I've also played the first RDR, but didn't finish it. I remember getting to about 60% completion and never playing it again. I was distracted by overtime for work, forgot what was happening in the story, and never got around to catching up and continuing. Purely no fault of the game itself, I remember it being fun.

With RDR2 I was determined to prevent this scenario from happening. I booked two weeks of vacation and plowed through the entire campaign and epilogue. My thoughts are below.


The game is very slow paced and relaxing. I love that Rockstar picked a play style, and consistently stuck to it throughout the game. At some points, I was pretty much forced to take in the scenery while riding my horse across the map. Fast travel is very limited. This doesn't sound all that great at first, but over time it put me into a mood where I was expecting long and scenic horse rides, and began to take in all the small details that were implemented.

On the topic of the small details, Rockstar really delivered. Throughout my 60ish hours of gameplay, I continually picked up on things that no other game has really implemented to this level of detail. A realistic weapon selection system with heavy longarm rifles stored on your horse, picking up loot items one by one, hats falling off, tons of realistic and cool animations for small trivial things. It was refreshing and nice to just appreciate how much work must have gone into this game.

Other than the small details, with this game the real focus is the story. Rockstar really wants players to experience what it's like to be part of a gang of outlaw cowboys (and cowgirls), slowly being pushed out of their comfort-zone by modern civilization encroaching on their lifestyle. The character development and storytelling is as good as GTA5, or better. At times I really enjoyed missions with certain characters, only to have my opinion of them flipped a couple hours later. It really is an amazing story that ends with a satisfying conclusion.


With this game, even though there is a huge open world with lots of variety and things to do, parts of the main story do sometimes feel like a passive movie movie watching experience. At times I was sick of the cut-scene wide angle bars showing up on the screen, and all control of my character being taken away. A strange thing is, you do actually control your character during some cutscenes but not others.

My only real gripe with this game, is that although the story was amazing, I felt like there were only limited ways to make my mark on the huge, beautiful open world. I was imaging something like Fallout 4's building mechanic and gangs attacking my homestead. Building a farm and raising livestock. Hiring gunmen in town to help defend my cattle or crops. Other than the story and side missions, there isn't really a way to make a meaningful, lasting impact on the game world.


This is an amazing game well worth the money. I thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout the entire campaign, doing side quests, hunting, fishing, and exploring. The slow paced nature of the game was something I grew accustomed to, and eventually really started to enjoy.

It could have been better with some type of building mechanic I think, but this is a Rockstar game after all, they don't usually include that in their games. I understand and respect that.

Overall an amazing game! 9.5/10


Hi! Thanks for visiting

In this blog I'll be writing about single player games.

About Me

I'm in my thirties, with a stressful job. Video games are how I relax. My preference is slower paced open world games, that let the player progress towards various goals at their own speed.

At the end of a game, I like to feel some sense of accomplishment and impact, so games with base building mechanics or some type of 'power curve' are my favorite.

Sometimes though, I do like the occasional railroad-ey FPS or action adventure game.

Why start a blog about single player games?

I don't have time to 'get gud' at multiplayer games. In my younger days, I did play multiplayer games but over time they've lost their appeal. Also, it seems like these days most game publishers shovel out multiplayer games in lieu of actually developing any content. An example is Fallout 76, I've played through Fallout 3, NV, and 4... but have zero interest in 76.


That's it for my intro. Thanks for visiting