What I've Been Playing This Week (aka Pile of Shame Sunday)

Screenshot from XCOM 2
My troops now have new plasma rifles - too bad they can't hit anything with them

The following post is part of a series of posts that are published every Sunday to update readers on what Mark G has been up to with respect to finishing off games on his "Pile of Shame". The games to target are picked by Choicest Games contributors Choona, Luke and myself. As I'll be talking about my progress through these games, there may be spoilers ahead, especially for games containing a narrative. Consider yourself warned.

Cally's Caves 4

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 75%
I've come across two new enemy types: HK Drones and HK Tanks. The former aren't too much of a problem: they're like mini-bombers so as long as you're not directly below them when they drop their payload, you're fine. They do occasionally fire towards your general direction every few seconds but it's not only pretty easy to avoid you can actually reflect the projectile back with your sword. HK Tanks, on the other hand, are a bit more troublesome since as soon as you get close they fire heat-seeking missiles in your direction. If there is a wall nearby the thing, I find it generally easier to fire a weapon that can go through walls to destroy it (such as the flamethrower or boomerangs) but sometimes you don't have that luxury. I've now defeated the 4th boss so I'm ¾ through the game now (if you include the New Game+ mode as part of the "full" experience).

I've noticed there are occasional framerate drops whenever there are lots of objects on the screen. It's never really bothered me too much since it's only slightly noticeable and this is a single-player game, but kind of surprising considering this isn't a high-spec game.

Hand of Fate

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 91%
On hold while I'm playing Cally's Caves 4 😊

Stardew Valley

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 20%
On hold while I'm playing Cally's Caves 4 😊

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 25%
I haven't made any further progress on this – it's now on hold while I am distracted by… well… a lot of other games 😊.

Battlefield 1

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 10%
I haven't made any further progress on this – it's now on hold while I am distracted by… well… a lot of other games 😊.


  • Picked by Luke
  • Percentage Complete = 42%
I completed two missions this week and both were successes. I also finally found out what the Sectopod can do and man, can it wreak havoc! Thankfully, the only casualty to its attack was a mind-controlled enemy so no XCOM losses. Oh, and speaking of mind-controlled enemies, I played the first mission this week with one of my intensively trained Psi-Agents – it was good fun giving the aliens a taste of their own medicine (which is pretty much the XCOM games in a nutshell, amirite?).

The Psi-Agents can definitely be a force to be reckoned with; at the moment, my Psi-Agent can only use "Insanity" and "Inspire" but Insanity also does damage. I've also upgraded my soldiers to using plasma rifles although they seem to be really bad at aiming those things - that or RNGesus has struck again.


  • Picked by Choona
  • Percentage Complete = 80%

Is it just me or is the music in Fortnite reminiscent of a Maxis game like SimCity or The Sims? Anyway, played a couple more missions by myself and they were quite a bit more challenging without a high level buddy to help you out - although by no means unattainable. I also unlocked a new schematic to craft a machine gun... awww yeah. I still have no idea what I'm doing in this game but it's alright for a bit of mindless fun, at least so far.

[ The Pile of Shame ]