Accessory Review – Halo Infinite’ Xbox Elite Controller

The new controller visibly changes little about the previous Xbox Elite controller, with a few tweaks to the styling. Most of the body eschews the shiny, metal accents found on the original, going instead for a darker metal. Gone, too, are the green accents of the original. It’s a strictly monochrome affair for the Elite Series 2.

It does have a few new additions. Most notably, it adds Bluetooth connectivity, enabling the controller to work wirelessly with more computers and mobile devices, though the 3.5mm headphone jack won’t handle audio while connected via Bluetooth. It also has profile indicator lights and a USB Type-C connection. The controller comes in a carrying case and includes a wireless charging pad that sticks into the case and hangs onto the controller magnetically. The charging pad works both outside and inside the case, as there’s a small port to let a USB plug into the back of the case.

Shape-wise, the Elite Series 2 is similar to its predecessor (and the standard Xbox One controller), but the grips are different. The palm grips of the controller have a diamond-textured rubber material all the way around, an upgrade from the material that had previously only appeared on the bottom of the palm grips. The main body has a soft touch coating.

The Elite model, like its predecessor, adds a few extra buttons to the undercarriage of the controller in the form of four paddles. This gives everything but the pinky fingers something to do while playing games. It also has a profile switch button.

The Elite controller stands out thanks to its customization options. All of the buttons can be re-mapped, so if you don’t like jumping with A, you can jump with a bumper instead. The rear paddles, D-Pad, and thumbsticks are attached to the controller magnetically, and can all be removed with a simple pull. They come off almost too easily – I seem to have left the house this morning without noticing the left thumbstick had popped off.

The reason they all come off is so different ones can be swapped in. This has the added effect of allowing individual pieces of the controller to be replaced if broken, so one damaged thumbstick doesn’t necessitate an entirely new controller.

Though there’s no substitute for the paddles, both thumbsticks and the D-Pad can be reconfigured. Beyond the two standard, textured thumbsticks, which love to collect dead skin faster than almost any tech accessory I’ve used, there are two more “classic” thumbsticks without the textured rubber and groove to exfoliate and collect thumb skin.

There’s also a dome-topped thumbstick, and an extra tall thumbstick. Taking the thumbsticks off gives you access to a screw which can adjust the tension of the sticks to three different levels.

The main triggers have a slider that can shorten their travel, allowing a long-, mid-, and short-range travel for different game types and play styles. The paddles on the bottom actually can be swapped around, but the result is one paddle being hard to use and the other paddle depressing both buttons at the same time.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has left the ABXY buttons seemingly unchanged from the standard controller – in other words, kind of mushy. What’s worse, they have issues. I experienced some minor sticking when rapidly pressing the A or X buttons, and users online have made similar reports (with some even experiencing unresponsive buttons). The paddles are a handy addition, and the switches underneath them are poppy and responsive. But they don’t make up for troubled ABXY buttons, especially since some players may not assign those inputs to the paddles.

These issues are concerning on a product that costs three times as much as a standard Xbox controller.

Game Review – HotWheels Unleashed

Perhaps best described as a head-on collision between an itty-bitty Burnout and a tiny Trackmania Turbo, Hot Wheels Unleashed is an endearing arcade stunt racer that feels great and looks absolutely remarkable. With tracks creatively weaved through lavishly detailed, life-sized environments, and brimming with a catalogue of cars spilled straight out of the toy bucket, developer Milestone’s decision to double down on a brand of racing 64 times smaller than usual has been a consummate success.

Highly accessible yet full of advanced techniques, devilish shortcuts, and creative tools to master, Hot Wheels Unleashed is one of the best, most customizable, and most imaginative arcade racers I’ve played in at least a decade.

Hot Wheels Unleashed recreates the world’s most popular die-cast cars in their authentic scale, and in environments where they’re dwarfed by barn-sized basketballs and boom boxes as big as buildings. This makes Hot Wheels Unleashed more in line with pint-sized peers like 1998’s Hot Wheels Stunt Track Driver or 2007’s Hot Wheels Beat That! as opposed to style-less duds like Hot Wheels Turbo Racing or Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver, which simply super-sized the toys to race them like regular cars.

Staying tiny was a terrific choice, and not simply because the atmosphere is endlessly more charming at toy scale; the 1:1 recreations of Hot Wheels cars here are regularly nothing short of stunning.

Toy Meets World

The range leans towards more recent models – or, at least, recent versions of classic castings, like the iconic Twin Mill, and even a 50th anniversary version of the quirky Dodge Deora, one of the first 16 cars Hot Wheels ever made. There’s also a handful of real cars in the mix, which I think is great for variety and perfect for anyone who may not be huge fans of cars shaped like giant hamburgers. The small selection of film and TV cars are easily my favourites, though, and I don’t expect I’ll do much racing in anything but the Back to the Future DeLorean now that I’ve unlocked it.

Finishing the campaign has given me some ultra-rare original models, which are great picks by Milestone. I do still have quite a few cars to unlock, though, and doing so is slow going because cars are only purchasable à la carte from a selection of five random models which rotates every four hours of play – not real time. That simply feels like too long; the only thing I want my kids to do for four consecutive hours is sleep. The remaining option is winning or purchasing blind boxes (which, thankfully, can only be bought with in-game currency) to try and get something different. Of course, the last time I saved up a pile of these I opened four of the same car in the space of a few minutes, which was deeply unsatisfying.

That said, the car models themselves are simply gorgeous, and every one I’ve collected so far is an unflinchingly faithful recreation of the miniatures they represent, down to the tiniest details: the texture differences between plastic and lacquered metal parts; the subtle mould lines left from the assembly process; the broad range of paint finishes; the stamped text beneath the chassis carrying the model name and production year. I’m still finding myself just rotating them around, stopped in my tracks by how fantastic they look.

As impressive as they are out of their boxes, they look even better after some doorhandle-to-doorhandle action out on track. Here’s where they really start to resemble the toy cars strewn around my youngest son’s room: chipped, scratched, and play-worn by the demands of their seven-year-old automotive overlord. The most striking thing is that damage hasn’t been applied thoughtlessly or randomly; cars correctly lose paint on their vulnerable corners and raised edges, faint scratches appear on larger flat surfaces, black plastic is revealed under the silver coating, and printed tampos are partially rubbed away. Under the right light, child-sized fingerprints can be observed – especially on windscreens – and even their plastic tires become ringed with the kinds of gouges a pristine Hot Wheels car will pick up after an afternoon of pounding the pavement. Milestone’s success in making the cars look so credible is a huge part of what makes Hot Wheels Unleashed so joyful to play.

Milestone’s success in making the cars look so credible is a huge part of what makes Hot Wheels Unleashed so joyful to play.

This ridiculously good level of detail also extends to the environments themselves, from the scuffed and etched surfaces of the iconic soft plastic tracks to almost unnoticeable flourishes like air bubbles underneath hastily applied guardrail stickers. The backdrops are excellent, too – especially the vast cityscape buried in cloud that surrounds the construction site.

What especially sells it is the outstanding lighting, which regularly comes from multiple sources all around each map, whether that’s the neon of a jukebox, brash fluorescent tubes, or the glaring sun itself. The lighting seats the cars into the environments outstandingly well.

The level of granular detail seems to speak volumes about how deeply everything has been considered here, and it all combines to create an extremely believable miniature world. It’s sometimes a little hard to soak in at speed, but there’s a brilliant camera mode included to ogle it all up close. My only issue with the camera is that it seems tied to the track rather than the horizon, so anytime my car was racing upside-down or vertically, the camera axes become muddled and adjusting it to find the shot was a bit of a brain-breaking exercise.

Pedal to the Mattel

“Okay, Luke,” you’re probably saying. “It’s pretty and tugs at the heartstrings of the Hot Wheels faithful. But how does it play?” Fair! And you’ve probably been waiting for the other shoe to drop… but in a surprise twist, Hot Wheels Unleashed handles very well, actually. Its arcade-typical brake-to-drift racing is intuitive and easy to pick up, but there’s a lot of nuance hidden in its air controls. Once mastered – or, at least, moderately tamed – the air controls can be exploited to uncover sneaky shortcuts, sail over opponents, or salvage a misdirected jump. Boost builds nice and quickly, though the higher your car’s core stats are the less boost you’ll have at your disposal. This creates an interesting balancing act, as opting for a weaker car overall will give you more boost to compensate. Personally, I prefer to upgrade my cars as high as possible and work with fewer boosts, because I think I’m faster this way… I think.

There are four levels of AI, and the slowest seems very tolerant of mistakes and a good starting point for the young or the less experienced. Medium proved to be a surprising jump for the kids in my household – it’s far less forgiving and they often found it tough to catch the pack after even a single re-spawn – but it was much more satisfying for me. Hard and above really demands upgraded cars.

Hot Wheels Unleashed Screens (from Nintendo Direct, September 2021)

Tracks range from simple to highly technical, but track design is brilliant across the board. Constructed with curving and twisting stretches of Hot Wheels tracks but linked with segments of the environments themselves, one moment you’ll be powersliding across orange plastic and the next you’ll be whizzing across benches, air vents, shelves, and the floor itself, flanked by tiny cones. Particularly impressive is the use of every axis, with magnetic track making vertical climbs, drops, and even racing across the roof possible. It means that, while six maps doesn’t sound like a lot on paper, in practice the way Hot Wheels Unleashed utilizes the layers of each level – and every nook and cranny they contain – keeps it feeling fresh throughout the duration of its mostly kid-friendly campaign.

Some of the later time trials really force you to search for high-risk shortcuts.

Every event has a lower-end goal that it will reward you for achieving and allow you to continue, but there are tougher goals for completionists – and some of the later time trials really forced me to experiment and search for high-risk shortcuts. I can only speak anecdotally, but so far Hot Wheels Unleashed has done a good job at entertaining both kids under 10 and a 40-year-old car nerd, although I feel like a few more race types would’ve been nice. Pursuits in little cop cars, or eliminations, or just… something else. As it stands, there are just races and time trials, and the online options seem barren as a result. That said, my kids have taken to playing a makeshift brand of tag in splitscreen on the floors of the maps. Splitscreen is two-player – not four, sadly – but it runs very smoothly on Xbox Series X and has been an absolute hoot.

Even if you do get tired of the available tracks, Hot Wheels Unleashed features an extremely deep custom track editor to let you build and share your own. You’re not limited to just clicking together pre-set corners and lengths of track, either; tracks can be shortened, lengthened, tilted, twisted, curved, and buckled in any way you see fit, and elevated or dropped anywhere. It probably took me a full afternoon to come to grips with the tools, which are quite complex, but once I really learnt how to bend the editor to my will I was able to create Mt. Barf-O-Rama, a monster that wrapped itself around and through virtually every piece of furniture in my Hot Wheels-themed basement. I am expecting big things from the user created tracks.


Fun, fast, and damn near photo-realistic at times, Hot Wheels Unleashed is a surprising and brilliant arcade racer. Carefully detailed, highly customizable, and buoyantly uncynical, this toy racer defies all expectations with remarkable attention to detail, excellent track design, and an accessible handling model that still rewards high skill. The racing may be tiny but make no mistake: this game is enormous fun.

Blockoff Review – BD-1 Droid from Star Wars: Fallen Order

BD-1 is yet another lovable droid from the Star Wars universe, this time from the amazing Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order game.

I fell in love with this little guy when I played the game, and when I saw Vonado was offering him as a MOC, I had to jump on it.

The set comes in 8 numbered bags that have no purpose other than to sort.

He is a pretty small build, coming in at only 414 pieces.

The build is mostly straight forward and in 4 sections.



and Head

Unfortunately the assembly is a nightmare.

The parts provided for the joints have almost zero clutch. When I assembled him completely he falls entirely apart and there is no way he can support the weight of his head with the design provided.

What this meant was I had to Kragle every joint in place to make it solid and fused so it would hold the weight.

When fused together though, he looks incredible cute. Really capturing the look and feel of the video game character.

All in all a straight forward build, but very disappointing in the final assembly.

A 6/10 scoring so low due to the absolute need for either Lego brand parts, or a heck of a lot of glue.

A great purchase if you are a Fallen Order fan, and not for a builder who hates the use of glue.

Blockoff Review – Van Gogh Sunflower MOC

The Van Gogh Sunflower set was my third and final fine art collection set and it is one of my faves for both looks and build.

The set comes in at 1282 pieces and is significantly bigger than the previous Sunflower set.

As with all sets from Vonado, the instructions are included on a card with a QC code for the manual.

Also another staple of Vonado, though the bags are numbered, they have no discernible order when it comes to assembly. The set came in 9 numbered bags.

This is by far one of the most colourful sets I have ever assembled.

However there is a large difference in part colours from the instructions and sadly this adds to the build time as you can be part hunting for something that does not exist in the set.

There is a guide to the parts that are colour swapped, but it still does not help overall as it did not include all the substitutions.

Additionally, 1 minor gripe is the Vase, this was swapped from Red to Grey, which really loses the pop it should have had, the rest of the bricks on the vase still correspond with the red, so it is definitely out of place being grey, additionally even the green trim is not consistent. You can see here th Vonado Vase next to the Original MOC

The unusual part is that in the picture from the site, they corrected the vase issue by making all the surrounding bricks the same colour, yet in the actual set it is not that way. So there is even inconsistencies in their own take on the MOC which is disappointing. My pic on the left, Vonado on the right.

Another pitfall to watch out for is the vines and stems, the instructions are really weird here, they should have had you do all the vines and stems first, but instead put them in after the flower is set, making it nearly impossible to see where they go properly, and to place them without knocking parts off the flowers.

What I did was just keep skipping ahead and placed all the parts ahead of time. This saved a lot of frustration.

All in all this is a beautiful set, the colours really pop, even if they are not entirely correct (see the top left flower for the biggest difference)

Planning to hang this on the wall beside the original Van Gogh Sunflower picture.

A solid 8/10 and a must have for the fine are collectors out there. A very satisfying build, only marred by the issues with colour changes.

Where oh where has CCG been?

Hi folks,

We are back!!!!

After what feels like the longest year in history, CCG is back with a vengeance to round out the year.

This year has seen many challenges for me, from moving, to getting separated, to rebuilding my life.

So it is now time to catch up on a colossal backlog of content.

We have game reviews coming, TONS of Lego and Lepin reviews incoming as well. And even a little bit of tech reviews.

So stay tuned in the next 3 weeks for the landslide!

And thanks to all 3 of you that are still followers 🙂

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart review

At several points during my time with Ratchet & Clank – after landing on a new planet whose peculiar rocky landscape stretched off far into the distance, for instance, or while I was zipping around a collapsing city and battling a titanic robot as dimensional rifts catapulted me at speed through different worlds – I felt compelled to call my partner into the room to watch. If you want to know what the PlayStation 5 can do visually, this is the game that will show you. I have rarely been as awestruck by how a game looks; I think the last time was when I was drinking in the austere beauty of mythical Scandinavia in God of War. It’s hard to overstate how technically impressive Rift Apart is, and how much that contributed to the joy I felt playing it. This family-friendly action game might not do anything revolutionary with its structure or storytelling, but good lord, does it elevate the spectacle and fun to a new dimension.

This is a blissfully uncomplicated cartoon science-fiction escapade about two furry aliens trying to save the universe (multiple universes, in fact) from a robot supervillain with a gun that can tear open portals between dimensions. You run and jump around with an arsenal of bizarre weapons, from a sprinkler that turns foes into stationary topiary to a buzz-saw launcher to a good old-fashioned bazooka, and point them at space pirates and robot armies and alien critters until they explode. You wave a wrench around to smash up crates, which explode in gratifying cascades of bolts that you can use to buy and upgrade new toys. Everything you do feels good and showers you with sensory feedback, whether visually, aurally or through the controller’s haptic rumble.

There’s not a great deal of downtime between all the fighting and immense action set pieces – one of the only relatively chill spaces in this game is a Mos Eisley-style bar, which itself is filled with dancing, chattering aliens and adjacent to a battle arena. As a result, playing for too long feels like the video game equivalent of eating an entire packet of Haribo at once, or reading a book written entirely in all-caps. Rift Apart moves fast, and so do protagonists Ratchet and Rivet, especially when gliding around massive planets on jet-boots or grinding across city-spanning networks of rails. But if you stop to look around, you’ll notice the attention that’s been paid to the animation and set-dressing. Rivet’s furry ears even flap in the wind.

Everything is colourful and gorgeous. Imagine if Dreamworks made Star Wars, and you’re close to the aesthetic. There’s a lot of obvious Star Wars influence here, but all filtered through developer Insomniac Games’ charmingly goofy Californian lens – one planet is home to a cuddly race of teddy-bear aliens, but they all have Minnesotan accents. One planetary adventure, during which Ratchet skips between dimensions to make his way through a power station that’s derelict in one universe and buzzing with robot guards in the next, felt like an unexpected homage to Alien (and to Creative Assembly’s superb horror game Alien: Isolation), except with more humour and less peril.

Humour has always been a defining feature of Ratchet & Clank, right back to its origins on the PlayStation 2, but it doesn’t try too hard. It’s funny in a laid-back, undemanding way, and the story is similarly easy to digest. Rift Apart did not exactly challenge me, but it entertained me immensely. It’s just such a lot of fun, and so gorgeous I still can’t quite believe it. If this is an indication of how the new generation of consoles can infuse familiar-feeling games with new wonder, we’re in for a great few years.

New affiliate link and discount!

Hey all,

So the vast majority of sets I do are purchased from and after a few discussions, I am now affiliated with them.

So what does this mean for you dear readers?

Well first and foremost, DISCOUNTS!!!

The new discount code til mid October is – 10newarrival – for 10% off all orders!!!

This is valid through October 15, 2020. And as new codes come up, I will post them here.

I also have an affiliate link, so if you are looking to purchase something, and use my link, you will net me a couple % bonus in credit, and I can use this to get more sets to review for all of you.

So win win right?

You just need to click the link and make a purchase and it will register to my affiliate link. Simple as that.


Thanks for all your support!

Coming soon to CCG!

So it has been a few months now since I have posted anything here, but that does not mean I have not been busy.

Been a pile of builds that happen while we were locked down for Covid, as well as some gaming.

Coming up in the next couple weeks we will have the following reviews:

Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Vanishing Realms: The Sundering Rift
Nioh 2
Final Fantasy 7 Remake

CaveGod At-At
Mortesv’s UCS Nebulon-B Medical Frigate
Optimus Prime
Jurassic Park Explorer
Lego A-Wing
Lego Mini A-Wing
Lego Mini Hoth
Lego D-0
Lego Pop-up Book
Horizon: Zero Dawn ThuderJaw
Terminator Bust
Mould King Super Star Destroyer
Marvel Infinity Gauntlet
Friends / Big Bang Theory Modular
Full set of BrickHeadz Transformers

Gear Reviews
Pimax 5k+
Pimax 8k+
Hp Reverb
Intel I9-9900K PC Build
Valve Index Controllers

I also have a few sets on order that will be coming soon for review:

Mad Max War Rig
Star Wars Ghost
Star Wars Razorclaw
Mini At-At Diorama
Mini Empire Death Star Landing

Block MOC Review – 1989 Batmobile

Block MOC Review – 1989 Batmobile

I was never much of a comic book fan as a kid, short of GI Joe and Transformers, I never got into the whole craze.

Growing up I was a huge movie fan though, and when the comic book movies started to hit in the late 80’s, I was the perfect age to get sucked into their wake.

When Batman dropped in 1989 it took the world by storm, and sadly though, the toy market at the time was non-existent when it came to building blocks.

Lego had no official license with anyone, they were still making 100% unique to them sets.

Flash forward into the 2000’s and they finally had some licenses to their name, and we started to see Star Wars enter the market, but there was still a huge hole for the comic fans.

That is until the last few years.

With the popularity of the Marvel movies, Lego jumped right in and got a peice of that lucrative pie.

It also though opened a door for the MOC community to start making more intricate sets around favorite franchises.

Thus enters the 1989 UCS Batmobile.

Coming in at 1740 pieces it is a decent sized set.


A real plus is the numbered bag, it makes a build SOOOO much faster.


The details in this set are pretty great, with the small printed parts as a real bonus.


The set comes together in 3 parts, left wing, right wing and the center bat-pod.


On one had this is kind of a neat idea, as it adds a little more movie flare to the set, but in reality, it just weakens the design a bit in my eyes.

You can feel when assembled it is not 100% structurally sound, as the side are just clipped in with 2 prongs to hold them.

One of my biggest complaints about the set though is the stickers.

In all my years building MOCs, I have never had a crappy set of decals.

I only ended up applying the small Bat logos, and even though look pretty cheap.

I had to cut them out myself as they were only large unpunched sheet.

All in all it is a nice showpiece set if you are into comic memorabilia.


If you are Batman fan, you are not likely to find a better recreation of the 1989 Batmoblie, but just know going in there are a couple shortcomings.

A decent 7 / 10, had there been better structural design and stickers, this set could have been 10.

PC Game Review – The Pedestrian

PC Game Review – The Pedestrian

When The Pedestrian debuted with a trailer at E3 2018 I was instantly sold.

The style in this game was unlike anything we have seen before.

I knew immediately that this was a day one buy for me.

Then like most things, I completely forgot about it.

It wasn’t until it came out on Jan 28th, that a game site I go to mentioned its release.

I was shocked, how could this game have flown under the radar for more than 2 years now and suddenly appear out of thin air.

Don’t get me wrong, I love when things like that happen. There is not time to get over hyped, it just comes out and hopefully it is good.

And in this case, it is VERY good.

Now as most of you know I am a puzzle fiend.

I love physical puzzles and puzzle games.

The harder the better as I have a very keen intellect for solving them.

So for a game to stump me is rare, and to be fair, I try to review puzzle games with the reading in mind, because quite frankly, none really challenge me much.

Sadly, Pedestrian is no different.

While it was extremely enjoyable, it was also only a mere 3 hours long, because 98% of the puzzles I just breezed through.

I can easily see though how folks would get stumped.

A lot of the game is designed around thinking 5 steps ahead.

Looking at a whole puzzle, and planning things out from beginning to end in one shot.

This can be a little much for some people.

I have exceptional spacial skills for puzzles like this, so it is no surprise that the were on the easy side.

But do not let that dissuade you from playing The Pedestrian, The Pedestrian is a very clever game set in a style we have not seen before in any game.

You play through the world by traversing from sign to sign, all with the bustling world in the background as a blurred set piece. For it is really not the focus of the game, but it does breath life into the world you are in on a meta scale.

The game primarily consists of fetch puzzles that have you retrieving an item, be it a spool of wire, a key, battery, etc.

You will need to navigate through increasingly complex puzzles until you reach the games amazing climax level.

The majority of the puzzles consist of figuring out how to navigate from sign to sign in a single flowing direction, you like signs together boy allowing you to pass from 1 door to another. The key is however you cannot change the path from door to door once you have walked through it, or else you reset the level and have to start over.

That is until later level, whereby you can “lock” a sign you are in, and make changes.

It is hard to put into words how it works, but it all feels very organic.

The game, while never telling you everything, unfolds in a very logical manner. With each successive add on to how puzzles are solved seeming natural in terms of progression.

However, this is not one of those puzzle games that makes a simple mind feel like a genius, you really do need to think logically and plan ahead to succeed. There is no hand holding, no brute forcing levels, you need to stop, look and put a plan into action.

It is a breath of fresh air in this sea of games that oft tend to be too easy, and really do not let you fail.

That said, you can never really “fail” in The Pedestrian, death has no penalty, and you can reset a level 1000x and there is no punishment for it. Just the satisfaction you will gain by continuing the journey.

While the graphics are nothing next gen, it is still a very beautiful world that they have designed here.

The game always feels fresh in where it takes you, right up to the final puzzle, each area unique, but at the same time familiar.

If you are looking for a fun new platform puzzler, look no further than The Pedestrian, you will be sure to enjoy it.

A fantastic 9/10, near perfect.