Time is a limited commodity and videogames increasingly are not. People struggle to fit every game that’s of interest into their busy schedules, inevitably resulting in cuts to backlogs which can span entire series of games. These seemingly sensible prioritisations can turn out to be regrettable, however, like in these instances where we kicked ourselves for arriving late to the party.
DMC was originally a Resident Evil sequel; considering that's one of Sam’s favourite franchises, how did it take him this long to get involved?
Chris | The Witcher
It took a 10/10 review, pages of recommendations on our forums and a very generous sale for me to finally pick up The Witcher 3. When those stars eventually aligned, I was blown away.
For a newcomer, seeing a number following the title was a little daunting, especially considering the breadth of Andrzej Sapkowski’s fiction. Thankfully, one of the game’s companions, Dandelion, is as good with a pen as Geralt is with a sword, keeping detailed records on the friends and foes they’ve met. A habit which is sure to come in handy the next time anyone disagrees with his choice of starter Pokémon.
Favouring horseback exploration over the game's fast travel system will further pad out your journal, adding a seemingly endless array of locations, quests, map markers and characters, each one intriguing enough to warrant its inclusion amongst a staggering amount of overall content.
It's a less lonesome experience than some of its genre stablemates, owing to the diverse cast of recurring personalities who frequently offer counsel. After decades of hunting deadly creatures, Geralt understands that true power lies in the strength we draw from others. Well, that and from being able to craft a variety of explosives at a moment's notice. A habit which is sure to come in handy the next time anyone disagrees with his choice of starter Pokémon.
James | Hitman
Sneaking around as a silent and sinister saboteur has always appealed to me, but the stress of being discovered has often made me shy away from the art of stealth in gaming. Hitman 2 (2018) changed that, though.
A catalyst for my eternal struggle with stealth was Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, where more often than not being detected essentially - or, at times, literally - meant it was game over. Hitman, on the other hand, gives you a little more room to manoeuvre.
The game gives you pointers on ways to approach your targets, most recently through the addition of story strands which just happen to dynamically unfold whenever you enter specific areas. Not taking itself too seriously also helps to make mistakes come off as far more forgiving, though I'm sure purists would lament my disregard for the professionalism to which Agent 47 aspires.
Kill scenarios and weaponry have a nice amount of variety, even if you do find yourself walking past copious conspicuous glasses to spike with poison and buttons to trigger distractions within any given level, but, most importantly, that coveted feeling of satisfaction is most definitely there.
IO also ran a limited event where you got to take out Sean Bean. As a huge GoldenEye 007 fan, what more could I possibly want?
Liam | Pokémon
I was obsessed with Pokémon when it first burst onto the scene just over 20 years ago. I collected trading cards, watched the anime, and, of course, sunk countless hours into Pokémon Red and Blue. My brother and I even teamed up to help him catch ‘em all, which is still probably one of my greatest achievements in gaming (and life in general).
But, like most of my peers, I eventually outgrew Pokémon and moved on to the next fad - pulling off sweet Around the World and Walk the Dog tricks with my neon X-Brain yo-yo! The 90s were ace!
I still kept my eye on Pokémon, but as the years went by the idea of jumping back in grew more and more intimidating; counting re-releases, there’s been 25 mainline games since the first generation of titles, along with 657 new ‘mon to complement the original suite of 150.
It took a heavily discounted copy of Pokémon Moon to bring me back to the series, but I wish I’d returned sooner. Underneath completely optional new features, like Pokémon refresh and Z-moves, lurked the same moreish gameplay I remembered so fondly, and exploring some of the new concepts hasn’t been as alienating as I feared it would be.
Smart folk will choose Sobble as their Pokémon Sword or Shield starter.
Which series do you wish you'd gotten to grips with sooner? Sound off in the comments.