What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Jay Caspian Kang

Jay Caspian Kang, writer

The Grantland contributor claims to be the worst Korean StarCraft player on earth.

By Drew Toal • August 10, 2012

In What Are You Playing This Weekend? we discuss gaming and such with prominent figures in the pop-culture arena. We always start with the same question.
 

Jay Caspian Kang is an editor at Grantland and author of The Dead Do Not Improve, a novel of West Coast dissipation, angry surfers, homegrown terrorism, and curated pop culture trash. (It’s pretty great, especially for those who’ve spent any time in the Bay Area.) The novel was released this week on Hogarth press. Kang recently returned to Brooklyn from L.A.

The Gameological Society: What are you playing this weekend?

Jay Caspian Kang: I’ve been playing a lot of Civilization V. Did you read that Reddit post about that guy who played Civilization II for 10 years

Gameological: No.

Kang: It was amazing. You should look it up. He played for 10 years and then gave a report on what the world was like, and it’s kind of like peak oil where there’s this intense resource battle and these giant mega-cities and everything. [Laughs.]

Gameological: Wow. That reminds me of the moment in UHF when Weird Al is smushing his mashed potatoes on the plate and saying, “This means something!”

Kang: Yeah, it was awesome. I had to uninstall that game from my computer, because that game is just like, 10 hours and what are you doing. I decided to play Civilization V, but it’s already taking up too much of my time. I won’t even touch Diablo III. I read every negative thing about Diablo III to convince me not to play it, knowing that if I actually start playing it, I would not care about any of that negative stuff. I would just play. Have you played the third one?

Gameological: I have.

Kang: What did you think?

Gameological: It’s kind of beautiful. I can see how it’s addicting, although I pulled the plug on myself pretty early on. 

Kang: My friend in college, on Diablo II, we used to have eight-hour shifts on Diablo II, because it was the only computer in our place. He’d come home from work and be like, get off my computer. 

Gameological: Those were the days. On one hand, I liked that they didn’t stray too far from the formula, but on the other, you know, after however many years since the last game, I guess I was kind of hoping for something more?

Kang: Civilization V felt that way too. Between III and V there’s not that much change. The only one that was really different was that console one, Revolutions. The animations were kind of fun, and you could nuke things and it would have an effect.

Gameological: It was fun, in a really stripped-down kind of way. What kind of civilization do you develop?

Kang: Well, I usually use the Japanese, and I always try and make military victories. And there’s always a point where I’m like, okay, this is not working out. I have to go with science or something. Dump everything into science! Sell all the military stock! I’m not very good at it, for all the time I’ve spent. I couldn’t play for 10 years, because at some point my civilization would be destroyed. Those are the types of games I always wished I was better at.

Gameological: I was always into fostering a land of religious zealots. It often limited my technological growth.

Kang: Oh yeah, like a weird monastic culture. You’ve evolved and nobody has a penis.

Gameological: Exactly. I always felt like I could never quite push my civilization far enough in that direction, though.

Kang: Yeah, well you didn’t play for 10 years. I also play a lot of those real-time strategy war games, and I’m terrible at them. I’m the worst Korean at StarCraft in the world. Literally, I’m the worst. I can’t play StarCraft at all, and I’ve played hundreds of hours. And then there’s all the old Warcraft games. 

Gameological: I’ve always been a huge fan of Warcraft II. Never played this World Of Warcraft the kids love so much. Warcraft III, I guess, was okay.

Kang: Warcraft III was the weird one with the heroes? My cousin on the West Coast, when he was 12 years old, he was like the second-ranked player or something. I’d watch him playing, and would be like, let’s play, and it’d be over immediately. It’d be like he was typing a novel, all hot keys. 

Gameological: You never stood a chance.

Kang: No. In StarCraft against my friend—we played last year—and for the first five games I’d just go run a guy out and build a barracks next to him, and then shoot everyone immediately. The cheapest kill possible, and then gloat about it. I was the worst person to play against. Finally, he figured it out and just killed the guy. I was like, I got nothing left. You win.

Gameological: Your competitive fire is impressive. What do you play when not cheating at Starcraft?

Kang: I did play a lot of basketball video games. I had all of these years where I’d play and try to get to like year 15 of a franchise. And I’d play two games a day to push it along, but I haven’t done that in about a year. Too much of a time commitment. For the NBA stuff, they never figured out a way to make the draft interesting. I don’t want to scout these guys, just tell me who to draft. The only thing that’s important to me is that the character I created of myself averages 30 points a game. That’s it.

Gameological: I prefer college football. The problem is, if I make a version of myself too soon and make him too good, he decides to commit to another, more prominent school.

Kang: And he’ll torch you for like 400 yards? That sounds really fun. I’ll try that out. The new one just came out, right? I played the old one with an editorial assistant at Grantland, and I’m from North Carolina so I’d just play with the Tar Heels. I quickly realized that they had one unguardable wide receiver, so I’d just throw bombs to him all day. He quit. He said I’m not playing against you anymore you just do the same thing. I’m like, stop it then.

Gameological: When we played NFL2K for Dreamcast in college, my roommate used to play as Kordell Stewart in this really sadistic, un-defensible way.

Kang: That’s the most ridiculous reference ever. NFL2K for the Dreamcast. That sounds like it’s from another lifetime.

Gameological: It was. Do you consider fantasy sports a game?

Kang: Well, I’m not good at that either. It is a game in the way that poker is a game, I think. You build up databases, and you create your own database. I play in this league with a bunch of guys who are really good at it. It’s 20 people, and I always come in somewhere between 16 and 20. And you have to know all sorts of weird stuff. I don’t even know how these guys do it, or how much time they have. I feel like it’s as much a game as something like Diplomacy is a game. It’s just a lot of plying, a lot of pestering of people. I’ve made a lot of bad trades over the years, just because I just want these guys to stop talking to me on Gchat. Guys, just stop. I know this isn’t a great trade for me, but I just want you to stop. But I don’t want to tell you to stop, because I signed up for this. 

And now, we put the question to you. Tell us what you’ve been playing lately, and which games—video or otherwise—are on your playlist for the weekend.

Share this with your friends and enemies

Write a scintillating comment

  • AHyperkineticLagomorph

    A surprising number of news sources are also talking about the decade long game of Civilization. 8 hours is about my limit.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/18/tech/gaming-gadgets/civilization-ii-ten-years/index.html

    This weekend I’m hoping to finish up Persona 4 Arena so I can finally get it into my skull that I am utterly terrible at all fighting games. I will also be trying to forget my first, and only, online match ever.

    • blue vodka lemonade

       I had a Gamefly subscription for a few months, which included some “free” games to download and play. I tried to get into Civ 4 but it just wasn’t happening. Invariably one of my cities would fall to barbarians, I’d get frustrated with the whole concept, and then I’d quit. So for me it was more like 2 hours than 8.

      • AHyperkineticLagomorph

         I recently played Civ 5: Gods and Kings. For about 8 hours straight. And lost 1 turn before I could achieve a space victory.

        I haven’t really touched the game since.

        • Fluka

          Uuugh, space victory. At least in Civ IV, that was my #1 reason for accidentally staying up until 5 am playing the game.  And you always lose (or win the “boring” way, by just being #1 at a certain date) like one or two turns before space victory.  I finally just clicked the “no goddamn space victory, please” option, I think.

        • AHyperkineticLagomorph

           @Fluka:disqus Actually, I wish I could say that I was beaten in a space victory. No, I built the UN, unaware of a few certain changes to Gods and Kings. After 10 turns, you HAVE to vote and you have to vote on who wins the game. There were only 3 nations left: The Russians (me), the Germans, and the Incas. They both voted for me, and I voted for the Germans, but apparently, if you free a city-state, they have to vote for you, even if another nation is their current ally.

          The Incas freed 10 city states and won.

    • Cliffy73

      The thing he said about the eight-hour shifts playing Civ II was my junior year of college.  Back then (early/mid ’90′s), not everybody had a computer (man, how weird), but my roommate and I both did, so half the guys in my fraternity were in our room at all hours playing Civ (I think III?) and Starcon II.  Sometimes it was annoying, but mostly it was OK because, since it was my computer, whenever I wanted to play I’d kick their asses off.

      Civilization, in particular, was a game you could sit down at, look at the clock a minute later, and realize you’d been playing for seven hours.  But it wasn’t really **fun**, at least not for me.  It was just a way to kill time.

  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    I’m having my quarterly mood for playing Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.  A mood I’m regularly afflicted with despite never having owned any of the iterations of the game, being generally terrible at space combat games and a related propensity for yelling blackened and phlegmatic threats at my television when I have to restart that godless escort mission for the nth time because the ship I’m protecting insists on slowly and lovingly nudging it’s prow into the side of a Star Destroyer.
       But I do like the feeling of twisting my head nearly a hundred degrees until I can hear my vertebrae crackling, just to try and visually follow my X-Wing’s barrel roll.

    • Barnitosupreme

      I’ve never played any Star Wars video games. Is there one you’d recommend starting at?

      • Captain Internet

        None of the good ones are recent, and the best ones are a nightmare to get running and will probably come across as desperately primitive unless you’ve got nostalgia on your side.

        Having said that, ‘TIE Fighter’ is the greatest space flight “sim” of all time. (Privateer 2 coming in a close second). 

        • dreadguacamole

             Hey, Republic Commando is recent-ish, and that was pretty great.
           And I’ll stand by my love for Knights of the Old Republic 2. Which reminds me, I need to try the new complete mod for it!

        • Captain Internet

          @dreadguacamole:disqus 

          I fell out with Bioware RPGs after Jade Empire- they were just recycling the same plot and putting different graphics on top. 

          Bad thing ruins idyllic existence. Player must stop bad thing, and must travel to Capitol City. Player given choice between being good and bad but not as bad as bad thing.

        • ToddG

          TIE Fighter is excellent, but I have to vote Freespace 2 as best.  Didn’t play Privateer, though.

        • dreadguacamole

           @Captain_Internet:disqus KotOR 2 is not by Bioware, it’s by Obsidian. It was marred by being pretty much unfinished due to being rushed out, but fan patches have fixed that to an extent.

        • Cliffy73

          I thought TIE Fighter was fun, but I’d played both X-Wing and Wing Commander first, so I’d been conditioned (and this is my natural inclination anyway) to just sit behind someone and pot him until he blows up while his wingman  blasts away at me, then I’d run off and let my shields regenerate until coming back for that guy.

          Needless to say, that didn’t work in a TIE Fighter that could take three shots before blowing apart.  So I was never any good.

        • Johnny Canuck

          @BreakingRad:disqus Freespace 2 seconded. I’ve been buying every Saints’ Row game on release date in the hopes that it’ll get Volition to read my tear-soaked pleas for a sequel.

        • Captain Internet

          @BreakingRad:disqus  @creian:disqus I never played Freespace, but it can’t possibly top Privateer 2, because Privateer 2 had Christopher Walken in it. 

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET6UEXAmc68 

          And Clive Owen. And John Hurt. And Brian Blessed. And some other people whose names escape me.

      • Electric Dragon

        If you’re prepared to tolerate late 90s graphics and teeth grindingly bad terrible FMV cutscenes, Jedi Knight:Dark Forces 2 is great.

        (SPOILERS – The falling cargo ship stage would be a great candidate for On The Level)

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          OOH, I remember that level!  It was pretty awesome.  And when the Clone Wars cartoon promoted the return of Darth Maul and how it was so amazing that he survived after being cut in half, I kept saying “BS!  What about Maw in Jedi Knight?”  Of course the series isn’t considered canon…at least parts of it.

          I was SO excited about the multiplayer in Jedi Knight too…but the lag was so bad most of the time that you’d be swinging at someone who was already ten feet away or behind you.

          The Jedi Knight series were all pretty good.  Jedi Academy in particular was a lot of fun.

        • Electric Dragon

           It’s probably Q-canon or Beta-canon or something ridiculous. SW canon has an absurd number of different “levels” of canonicity. Compare to Doctor Who, which doesn’t have a canon.

        • Arthur Chu

          It’s not really *that* complicated. The actual movies > the TV shows > the books/”serious” video games/comic books/etc. > stupid shit like the plot of Star Wars Monopoly or the fact that Leia and Oola had a dance contest in Star Wars Kinect or whatever.

          The more money they make on it the more “canon” it is. It’s pretty much the same situation as Star Trek with real TV shows/movies > that animated series > all the random books with floating talking dolphins and William Shatner writing Kirk as an immortal god-king etc.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

         In the 90s, LucasArts could do little wrong, even in Star Wars titles. The X-Wing and TIE Fighter games were and are amazing (though are obviously kind of dated-looking these days), and the Super Star Wars series of SNES platformers look great, and are really fun, though they can be a bit unforgiving.

        • Cornell_University

          I loved the SNES games… until the X-Wing portion.  I don’t think I could even beat those levels with a game genie.  The side scroller levels were awesome though.

        • http://www.facebook.com/erik.hensel.10 Erik Hensel

          I need to do my runthrough of all three snes games again. Fuck, sesb is hard, though.

      • Cornell_University

        Masters of Teras Kasi.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          Them’s fightin’ words, buddy.  And not the friendly “Do you want to play a round of Teras Kasi” fightin’ words.

        • Cornell_University

          hey, when you can spend ten bucks on Amazon for a terrible Playstation game to learn the fighting moves of one of the pig-men from Jabba the Hut’s palace, you’ve GOT to do it.

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          That game is only saved from the “worst Star Wars game ever” by the dance sequences and bullshit songs in Star Wars Kinect.

        • Arthur Chu

          Someone is forgetting the seminal Yoda Stories entry in the critically acclaimed Desktop Adventures franchise.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        Boy, that’s a long list.  If you have a pc that can play games from from the last decade and a Steam account:
            For rpg’s, Knights of the Old Republic is the gold standard.  For action-adventure, I’m a big fan of Jedi Knight 2, Jedi Outcast.  If you emulate or have a SNES, the Super Star Wars trilogy is a lot of fun and still looks gorgeous.  For current-gen consoles, it’s pretty slim, Force Unleashed being the only one I can think of.  Which is okay.  It has it’s moments.
           I don’t MMO, but Old Republic is going free-to-play this fall, so that might be a good, low obligation way to see firsthand the game form culmination of thirty years of concentrated cultural-mythology plaque build-up.
           I’d say don’t start with any of the Clone Wars, Lego or Prequel movie tie-ins.  Not that there isn’t fun to be had there, especially the Lego games, but they likely won’t bear the ripest fruit.

      • Baramos x

         One that is easy to get running on a PC is Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. It’s still popular nowadays for being pretty darn well made.

        Knights of the Old Republic is fairly universally lauded (mixed reviews for KOTOR 2).

        • AHyperkineticLagomorph

           I’m actually playing KOTOR2 right now with the restoration mod. Without it, KOTOR 2 is buggier and less complete than Obsidian’s usual fare, which is saying something. With the patch, it still has its imperfections (I keep getting crashes on Onderon, for some reason). But the story is pretty much the greatest piece of lore in Star Wars history. It completely throws the whole “The Jedi are good and the Sith are evil, period” black and white morality of the series through a shredder. Something, as I understand it, that didn’t make the game popular with Lucasarts itself.

          I still like Jedi, and would much rather play as one than a mustache-twirling evil-for-evil’s-sake Sith, but it’s satisfying that a game exists that calls the Jedi out on their ability to debate on the need for action years after everyone else in the galaxy could tell them it was needed. That and the whole inability to get a straight answer out of them ever.

        • Arthur Chu

          The agonizing ecstasy of having Chris Avellone’s firm, insistent, unforgiving deconstructive hands massaging and violating all your most cherished pop culture idols is something every geek should be brave enough to undertake.

      • caspiancomic

         I don’t know much about Star Wars, and I’m not sure what constitutes a good Star Wars video game, but there was this game a few years ago called like Battleground or Battlefront or something where you could kill Ewoks, so that was pretty cool.

  • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

    Interesting interview! I hadn’t heard about the guy who played Civ 2 for ten years. That’s kind of nuts. (Thanks to @AHyperkineticLagomorph:disqus for the link, BTW.)

    Having recently beaten both Spec Ops: The Line and Alpha Protocol, I’m not in much of a mood for shooting. So it looks like I’ll be playing some combination of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and Jade Empire this weekend. I don’t want to get too into any game, though, because Sleeping Dogs is coming out next week, and I imagine it’ll be occupying a large chunk of my time.

    • Effigy_Power

      If you’re not in the mood for shooting, I recommend you buy ArmA2… the game is so punishingly hard that you’ll have some shrapnel lodged in your spleen before you can ever pull the trigger on anything meaningful.

      • djsubversive

         hey, that’s just a blatant plug so we can get testers for our mod! not that I’m complaining, mind you. I already consider merve part of the team. :)

  • HobbesMkii

    I’d like to give The Void a shot, being as I picked it up in a sale for cheap and it’s one of those ones I’ve heard interesting things about, but I have that odd trepidation that I’ll dislike it.

    I still need to play Crusader Kings 2 in order to nail down this bug with independence that keeps happening.

    • blue vodka lemonade

       The Void so far is interesting and cool-looking and all that, but it’s very difficult. The mechanics of the game have a tendency to wipe out your efforts to stockpile materials, so that you end up with that just-dropped-a-stack-of-diamonds-in-the-lava feeling quite often.

      Supposedly there’s a mod which adds difficulty settings and makes it all much more manageable, so you could seek that out for a smoother experience.

      • http://twitter.com/MikoSquiz Miko the Squiz

        Apparently the Steam release is patched for more forgiving difficulty. In the old one you’d typically end up in an unwinnable state your first few games (after 8-10 hours!) because you hadn’t got your  long-term strategy figured out when you started, I’m told.

    • caspiancomic

      I recently finished watching CannibalK9′s transcendent Let’s Play of The Void. I was actually so inspired by the LP that I’m drafting up a sort of Beginner’s Guide to The Void slash in-depth thematic analysis that I intend to post some day. The game can be hopelessly cryptic, particularly for first time players (having CK9 guide me through the game was a huge help in making sense of it), but it’s hugely rewarding, I feel, if you can make it to the end. If you end up having trouble with the game, I recommend the LP very highly. Hell, I recommend it very highly anyway. That goes for all of you.

      The Void is my favourite game I’ve never played.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

       I think it depends on your patience with thoroughly unforgiving mechanics. I gave the game a shot a few years back, until I discovered I had gotten myself into an unwinnable state, wasting hours of work, through pretty much no fault of my own, due to something minor I had done at the very beginning of play that there was zero indication I shouldn’t do (I forget exactly what it was, but it was along the lines of “You clicked the mouse repeatedly on this tree to harvest its color, rather than hold down the mouse button on it to harvest its color. For some reason this means none of the trees will ever regenerate color, and you will be royally screwed in 10 or so turns. We’re not actually going to clue you in on any of this, but at some point you will become irreversibly stuck, and piece this mistake together by trawling through forums and GameFAQs.”).

      I can’t abide those kind of design decisions (similarly, I don’t enjoy Sierra games, which can similarly become quietly unwinnable), though abstractly I recognize they can be valid.

      Despite this, I’m interested in trying out Pathologic. From what I’ve read I think I would be more interested in the environment and story, and more willing to put up with its unforgiving gameplay.

      • doyourealize

        For some reason, this makes me want to play this game even more.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

           You, our resident D[ark/emon's] Souls and Binding of Isaac addict, has had his interest piqued by a game which boasts sadistic, player-punishing gameplay mechanics? What a surprise!

          • doyourealize

            I never really thought about why, but my most recent Dark Souls character is named Job.

    • doyourealize

      Keep us updated. The Void is something I’ve been looking at for a little while.

      Also, you know of any good Dwarf Fortress tutorials out there? The one I found doesn’t seem to apply to my version.

  • blue vodka lemonade

    This weekend I’ll be playing HouseClean MegaBomber 2K12: The Packening. It’s like Tetris, except the rows don’t go away and sometimes a cat pukes on your sheets.

    When I’m avoiding packing for school and cleaning and all those great things, I’ll hopefully finish building my giant stupid glass tower in Minecraft, a game I just got back into after avoiding it for a year and change.

    I might actually make it past the first level of Deus Ex: HR, a game at which I am liable to find a new way to fail every time I play. Same goes for Pathologic, though mostly there I forget what’s going on and get beat to death by mutants while rummaging through trash bins looking for needles. It’s a great time. Just great.

    Looking through what I have hooked up to Steam, I’m technically “in the middle” of 16 different games. This could mean that the next time I actually finish a game will 2015 or so. So who knows!

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

      DX:HR is one of those games that’s fun on any difficulty level. You can bump it down to its easiest difficulty setting and still have a blast.

      I just looked at my games library too, and I’m in a similar situation: I’ve got 10 games on the go, and there are 6 in my backlog. That’s not to mention various DLC and multiplayer modes that I want to make progress in. At least I won’t feel compelled to buy any new games until the next Steam sale (I hope).

      • blue vodka lemonade

         DX isn’t quite at the fun part yet, I don’t think, because I’m stuck on the first (non-tutorial/intro) mission. It plays a little wonky on my computer and I think I need to fiddle with some sensitivity settings, but I’m really looking forward to getting into the game.

        I think if I got into multiplayer gaming more, I would just waste away in front of my computer. As it is I’m just pecking away at The Secret World (baby’s first MMO) and Sims Social, which is barely multiplayer and at least has energy limits to keep me from playing too much.

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

          I honestly don’t play multiplayer games much either. I log on to ME3′s multiplayer maybe once a month, I occasionally join the Gameological group for TF2 nights, and every couple of weeks I play through a L4D or L4D2 campaign with a few friends back in Canada. They’re fun to play for a bit, but in general, they’re so repetitive that it’s hard to get hooked.

        • AHyperkineticLagomorph

           @Merve2:disqus Honestly, TF2 is pretty much the only multiplayer I love. And I can’t quite remember how it happened. I think the fact someone so opposed to gaming with others directly is able to get as into it as me is just a testament to how well Valve did.

          I think the reason I usually can’t stomach online games (since I also don’t have any personal friends to play against locally or in person) is that learning curve and the dependency. Left 4 Dead is a great game series. But all the tricks and reactions you need to do take time to learn. And as I am learning, I expect every other asshole to chew me out for not having already mastered it. I do not enjoy that pressure and it squashes any desire I had to learn.

          After a single online match of Persona 4 Arena, where I lost pretty much flawlessly, and I wasn’t sure if it’s because I had a crappy connection since it wouldn’t give me my ping, I similarly lost all my will to improve.

        • doyourealize

          @AHyperkineticLagomorph:disqus ”And as I am learning, I expect every other asshole to chew me out for not having already mastered it. I do not enjoy that pressure and it squashes any desire I had to learn.”

          This is my experience with too many games, and I know that if I suck it up and just ignore the pressure, I’ll eventually figure it out. But I just hate feeling like I’m the one mucking everything up, which I usually am.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Johnson/501651 Kevin Johnson

           @green_gin_rickey:disqus

          For DX:HR – all I can say is…. you’ll get it. I had trouble on the first mission too, but that’s because the pieces don’t click until your second mission. It’s not a complex game, but the full array of what you can do isn’t quite obvious until you play longer.

        • Effigy_Power

          I am saddened that I can’t stand TF2 as much as I’d like, simply because it’s so easy to get people you know to play it. But the whole game just doesn’t appeal to me anymore…
          It ain’t easy being me.

        • caspiancomic

           Aww man, I was starting to think I was some kind of TF2 wunderkind because my Gameological matches have represented the sum total of my experience with this game, and I’ve been happy with my performance. But now I learn all you guys are thumb-sucking newbies too? I just assumed everybody else was already deeply entrenched!

      • Fluka

        Oh god, looking at these comments I am glad I am not the only one who had trouble on the first DE:HR mission (by which I assume we’re talking about the Sarif plant?).  So much reloading.  But now that I’m getting the hang of how to play, I am having an absolute blast.  What’s interesting is that I feel like a lot of my difficulty is self-imposed.  Like many, I’m going for a mostly no-kill/stealth approach, so I’ll occasionally get to a point where I’ll think “Man, it would be so easy to just go and shoot these guards right now.”  Or at least punch/stun gun them after they’ve seen me and started shooting.  But damn it, I am a peaceful soul and I want that Ghost XP bonus!  I gave up making a nice easy route into Derelict Row last night by punching through a wall because there was a guy behind whom I would kill every single time.  The game really encourages patience, planning, and thinking through the physical spaces creatively.

        However, I have a bad feeling I am now approaching one of the dreaded boss fights, so I may soon be feeling a bit grumpier about it all.

  • HighlyFunctioningTimTebow

    Here’s to hoping that I’ll finally put down Skyrim in favor of something else by the time next week arrives. I would’ve bought Civ V like my friends were asking me about, but that will have to wait until later.

  • NFET

    I finally beat Skyward Sword (my least favorite major 3D game, but I really like what they were trying to do, and appreciated the change of pace) so I’ll probably try to finish up Rayman Origins before college separates me from my Wii (THAT came out wrong).

    • blue vodka lemonade

       Jesus Christ. What kind of college do you go to? I hope they have a board-certified surgeon. Or at the very least, a rabbi.

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp David Dalrymple

      For most people, the Wii gets more action while they’re in college. 

      • Captain Internet

        Yes, and this is why ‘most people’ don’t have doctorates.

  • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

    “Civilization V felt that way too. Between III and V there’s not that much change.”

    1,000,000 gamers cry out in judgment.  No, really, that was a fun interview, and I like some of his writing, too.

    The last couple of weeks of imports haven’t really interested me, so I’ve been following my whims.  Animal Forest/Crossing: Jump Out seems like it’s actually going to have original content this time, so I’ve hankered for life simulations.  I thought I’d play 3 of the best.

    http://hardcoregaming101.net/wonderproject/wpj1.htm

    The Wonder Project J series has you playing something like Pinocchio plus Japanese domestic drama (you might recognize Studio Ghibli’s versions) plus life simulation plus fantasy comics.  It’s a potent mix with immense charm; we’re talking about Lunar levels.

    http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/neopoke/neopoke.htm

    The other is 1 of my favorite deep cuts.  Persevere, Neo Poke is like Tamagotchi in which you care for your pet by playing WarioWare/Made In Wario (with all of the S.N.K. video game references that implies).  Neo Poke looks like an insect, but it’s actually a programmer who’s locked in his room.  I’m not going to claim there’s a grand Kierkegaardian metaphor about a God torturing and rewarding a desperate hermit nerd by playing video games with him, but it’s certainly a potent premise.  Plus, the Neo Geo Pocket Color is a satisfying piece of hardware to play.

    Other than that, Dokuro/Skull by Game Arts is everything I wanted it to be.  It’ll probably come here through XSeed, so look out for it!

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp David Dalrymple

      I loved Wonder Project J. It was surprisingly moving. 

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

         I played a lot of that game in college (an English patch of the SNES one). It was super-charming, though I never wound up beating it. Maybe it will be my next retro-experimental catch-up game.

        I just beat “Live-A-Live,” another SNES-era Japan-only experimental game that I fiddled with in college and never completed, and it was pretty awesome. If it weren’t so obscure, I think it would warrant a “To the End” feature. (On that subject, I just beat the 2008 Prince of Persia game that I got for about 2 bucks on Steam sale – it could make for an interesting “To the End,” as well…)

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

          Did you comment on me commenting on that exact same Live-A-Live idea in the 1 that talked about being the bad guy?  Because they totally should.

          I really like role-playing games with quasi-tactical systems (even though Archaic Sealed Heat was supposed to be slow and terrible, I would have bought it), and I’m disappointed that it’s too rare.  I thought it worked wonders, especially since the party size is so small throughout.

          I’m thankful that the game rocketed Yoko Shimomura to the top of the game music world, too.  She had done solo stuff and shared landmarks (Street Fighter 2) before, but this allowed her to stretch.  After this, it was Super Mario R.P.G., Parasite Eve 1, Holy Sword Legend: Legend Of Mana (my 2nd favorite soundtrack after the obvious), and Kingdom Hearts 1.  For breadth AND depth of catalog, she’s my favorite ever.

          http://vgmdb.net/album/6988 is all on YouTube if you can’t buy it.  Live-A-Live’s orchestrations live up to the originals, I think.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RATIJTenY8g

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

           @GhaleonQ:disqus : Your comment is what inspired me to revisit a game which I mostly remembered as “that quirky grab-bag of mini-RPGs where I beat the caveman level in college and then kind of wandered of or got sucked into Tales of Phantasia or coursework or something.” I’m glad I saw it through, as it VERY MUCH transcends its original appearance as a collection of mini-games, and the scenarios vary a lot from the tradtional JRPG model in really interesting ways.

          …and now your comment on quasi-tactical RPGs is making me consider revisiting “that quirky game with the grid-based combat and weird CG characters, and I think a monkey or something I started in college and likewise got pulled away from”, e.g. Treasure Hunter G.

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

          You know you’re making the right choice, there.

  • Lord Autumn-Bottom

    I finally finished my second Psychonauts play-through a couple days ago, so I finally get to go into a new game.  And as it happens, I do have one in particular that I want to get into.  I played through Dead Space for like the 10th, 11th, and 12th times a couple weeks ago while housesitting for my friend.  I’ve had Dead Space 2 waiting on my computer since Steam’s last Halloween sale, so I think I’m gonna be playing that this weekend, if I give myself time to do so.

    Also, that Starcraft quote made me laugh quite a bit. That “Where r” don’t-text-and-drive was playing on the TV at the same time, and when I noticed that, I felt a little awkward about the laughter. Then I explained aloud that I was laughing at the computer, and not the TV, just in case the FBI was listening or something. That’s what I’m like, everybody.

    • blue vodka lemonade

       I got stuck at the first dodge-the-asteroids bit in Dead Space  (3 hours in, if Steam is accurate) when I got in a Halloween sale a year or two ago. I haven’t touched it since. Is there any trick to those parts, besides “persevere until you get through on a fluke?”

      • Lord Autumn-Bottom

        Well, I was talkin’ about Dead Space 2 there.  DS1 I’ve played 10 times; DS2 was the Halloween purchase, which I haven’t played even one hour, except a bit at my friend’s house (same friend, she’s a Dead Space fanatic). But that would’ve indeed been a pretty funny contrast if it were the same game.

        As to your question, though, there’s not a trick to it, per se, but it’s not just luck either.  Where you DO need luck is when you’re trying to get the achievement for that part, requiring you to complete it with 50% hull integrity.  But if you try a few more times, I imagine you’ll get the hang of it.  Actually, I’ve noticed in the past that when I get stuck in a game and drop it for a while, I almost always go back to it and clear the obstacle on the first or second try.  I don’t really know why that is.

        But some very basic tips for the asteroid part:
        1) Don’t hold down the fire button(s), just point and shoot as if you were using the plasma cutter.

        2) Learn what the asteroids that break apart look like (the really big ones break up into three or four pieces, and the really fast-moving ones break into two pieces), and take them out immediately (best to hold down both fire buttons for those, to take them out quickly).

        3) Don’t get too hung up on killing every single asteroid, let them go if they get too far towards the edge of your view (sometimes they won’t even hit the ship).  Just focus on the center of the screen.

        • blue vodka lemonade

           I managed to get past it on the 3rd try, which isn’t so bad. I think I had about 10% hull integrity, but that’s okay by me.

          I’d forgotten how nice the sound design is in that game. The zero-g/vacuum bits sound appropriately hollow and empty, all the machinery makes different noises, etc and it adds up to a lot of atmosphere. I wish the game were a little scarier on the whole, but I can’t complain about the sounds (except for the ones which telegraph an oncoming enemy, which tend to kill tension.)

        • Lord Autumn-Bottom

          Ha, you’ll be glad to have those telegraph-y sounds when a certain one-hit-kill type of enemy starts becoming more common. But yes, the sound design is definitely one of the strongest points of that game. I love the weapon sounds in a vacuum, especially the pulse rifle.

    • doyourealize

      I really enjoyed DS2, and I think I picked it up at the same time as you and @green_gin_rickey:disqus . I haven’t tried the co-op yet, and really have no idea what it’s about, but if you’re interested at some point, get in touch with me over at the Steam Gameological group.

      • Lord Autumn-Bottom

        I don’t believe there is co-op in DS2.  That’s the big new feature coming with DS3 (and a lot of people aren’t happy about it, since the idea of co-op doesn’t really fit all that well with survival-horror).  There IS a team-based multiplayer mode in DS2, but it’s pretty “meh” from what I’ve seen of it, so I ain’t really planning on playing it.  But thanks for alerting me to the fact that there’s a Gameological group. :)

        • doyourealize

          Ah. That doesn’t sound fun at all.

          And you’re welcome.

  • Barnitosupreme

    I feel like playing NHL 94 on SNES. I refuse to ever let go of that game. I’ve had it since about 99′ when I bought it used. 

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

      You’re not wrong.  I think NHLPA 1993, though less realistic, is slightly better (1-timers were necessary, but were implemented incorrectly, in my view), but it’s 1 of the greats.  You should play the new ones, too (which have a simplified, 3-button “Genesis/Mega Drive mode”), and possibly grab NHL 2006, which has the game as a bonus.

    • http://twitter.com/jaycaspiankang Jay Caspian Kang

      on SNES? Bro… It’s about Genesis for that one. 

    • PhonyPope

      I’m gonna make Wayne’s head bleed for superfan #99 here.

  • TomElman

    just started fire emblem: radiant dawn back up last night after 5 or so years. my save is somewhere in the middle of the final chapter and i have know idea what’s going on or how to play. so i guess i’m stuck between just soldiering on and hoping i pick it up as i go (though the game is pretty unforgiving if i remember correctly) or starting over from the beginning and polishing my skills at an easier level and probably never finishing the thing.

    • doyourealize

      I’ve found that when I pick up a game after so long, what at first seems unmanageable becomes second nature fairly quickly. I vote for continuing your old game, though I haven’t played the game in question.

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

      I can never put a game down because of that fear.  I THINK that game is manageable as it is, which can’t be said of some of the others in the series.  Keep going.

      (Also, enjoy it.  The newest Fire Emblem has, um, fanservice in the game and as downloadable content.  I’m not too distressed, but it’s disappointing seeing it come from Nintendo and in their most serious series.)

    • The_Forgotten_Quill

      Just be lucky you have a copy. I can’t find one that isn’t $70+. I’ve heard excellent things about the series, but I’m not THAT eager to play.

      I have no idea how a Wii game goes “out of print”.

  • caspiancomic

    Most of the games I’ve been playing I’ve either finished, or are stonewalling me one way or the other. Psychonauts is still in an imperfect form, Dear Esther crashes on the load screen, Super Meat Boy is impossibly difficult, Amnesia is impossibly scary, and Lone Survivor is both. So I think this weekend I’ll take to the PSN- according to various Gameological Action Rangers, Persona 3: FES is available for a song. Also, during my routine check to see if Legend of Legaia is finally on PSN (still not), I noticed that somehow Tomba! snuck onto the system without my noticing. I’ve been champing at the bit for a chance to play that game since I tried it on an OPM demo disc (!!!!) like ten years ago. So that’s pretty overdue.

    Plus, it’s going to lash with rain all weekend. Perfect weather for playing video games and writing an exegesis on an obscure Russian indie art game nobody ever played or heard about. The perfect weekend!

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp David Dalrymple

      Ah, Legend of Legaia. I may still have that game somewhere in my basement. It was one of the better non-Square PS1 RPGs. I put quite a few hours into the game, but gave up when the difficulty suddenly and sharply increased. 

      • caspiancomic

         Hahaha, I actually did exactly the same thing, which is one of the reasons I’m so keen to replay it and see if I’ve accumulated the experience, tactical thinking, and resource management skills to finally tackle it. In all likelihood the opposite’s happened. I played it during that period of your life between about 8 and 12 years old where you are amazing at every video game somehow, and I still remember it being extremely difficult. I had the strategy guide and everything (an actual book! Like, not even the internet!), and after a certain point I still couldn’t advance. I kept taking tiny peaks at what lay ahead of me, and it all looked amazing. Sigh… some day.

      • dreadguacamole

         Legend of Legaia was the one with the fighting-game-combo-like combat, right?
         I really liked that game when I originally played it. It had a few places where it checked your behavior and then reacted to it in pretty funny ways (I remember near the beginning a love interest or a family member chides you if you don’t check on her during an attack on their village). I can’t remember if it did that more than once, but still, it’s more than most JRPGs can claim.

         Maybe I’ll give it a spin, since I’m on an emulator kick these days.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      “writing an exegesis on an obscure Russian indie art game nobody ever played or heard about”

      ::eyebrows raise::

      ::eyebrows detach from forehead and continue raising, like a character from Foxtrot::

      I hope you post or link to that exegesis when it’s done! Are you doing the Void, or Pathologic, or something even more obscure.

      • doyourealize

        Since both those games have been mentioned frequently on this site, I’m guessing more obscure, though I second @bakana42:disqus ’s motion for @caspiancomic:disqus to post when finished.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

           I wasn’t sure if he meant “obscure for normal people” (which could include The Void and Pathologic), or “obscure for the alpha-nerds at Gameological” (which could include, uh, I don’t even know…that Soviet arcade game starring an unlicensed rip-off of Czech cartoon character and national treasure Krtecek the Little Mole?).

      • Alkaron

        When I was blogging my way through Pathologic, I met a guy who was apparently finishing up a graduate thesis on the game. I asked if he wouldn’t mind sending me a draft once he was finished. He never got back to me, and I was disappoint. I always here about awesome writing projects like that, but I somehow never get to see the results.

        All that to say, I third the requests for @caspiancomic:disqus to post a link when he’s done.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

           A student at my school just finished his doctoral thesis, which will be published as a book in Ian Bogost’s Platform Studies series. His is on the formal and technical aspects of the NES as a platform and how that shaped the aesthetics of games produced for it.

          I managed to finagle a copy of it, it sounds really awesome. Now I just need to find the time to read 300 pages that aren’t directly related to the schoolwork I’ll be starting up again in a week or so…

    • Raging Bear

      Tomba! I had the exact same demo disc, and that’s about my most prominent playing-the-demo-over-and-over-and-over-and-over memory. It helps that the actual game, and its sequel even, turned out to be tremendous; cute and surreal metroidvania, and with some truly deft 2.5D design in the sequel.

      I think I may have to hit that sweet PSN action myself…although I think I still have a slim PSOne kicking around somewhere and both discs. Investigation is in order.

    • Alkaron

      Saying that you have “Amnesia: Dark Descent” but don’t want to finish it is, for me, like taunting a starving man with a cheeseburger. I have seriously considered upgrading my aging laptop to a machine that can actually run that game. Want!

      • doyourealize

        Have you played far enough into it then? I have the same problem as @caspiancomic:disqus . I get stressed just thinking about turning that game back on.

        • Effigy_Power

          I roll up into fetal position just looking at the gameplay video… Thinking I am the one responsible for running away at speed, leaving a trail of urine… No… No to all of that.

        • Alkaron

          I played the demo and loved it. Videogames are, IMO, the best medium for horror, and “Amnesia” looks like it captures the helpless, insanity-ridden vibe of Lovecraftian horror perfectly. I’ve been jonesing for a great Lovecraft videogame ever since finishing “Eternal Darkness” and “Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth” about six years ago.

          But then, I like being freaked out by games.

      • Ghostfucker

        I have Amnesia and really want to play it…but the OCD completionist in me won’t allow it until I finish the Penumbra games, even though their storylines are completely unrelated! I’m about 3/4 of the way through the first Penumbra, and theres this irritating steam-vent timing puzzle that is just no fun at all, and I haven’t had the will to finish it yet.

      • caspiancomic

         Oh, I want to play it, and still occasionally pluck up the courage for it, but after pushing my way through for about an hour, I notice I’m basically grinding my teeth into dust from pure terror. Pretty high praise for a horror game, but on the other hand, what can you say about a horror game too scary to play?

        Too scary for me, at least. I thought I was all hard because I can play Silent Hill and only cry a little bit, but man, I’m a child.

  • Ghostfucker

    bought Payday: The Heist on steam for 5 bucks. gonna try and play it with my older brother on the other side of the country this weekend. My internet connection is terrible so I have low hopes.

    Might also try and finally finish Vampire: The Masquerade so that I can delete it.

    • blue vodka lemonade

       Bloodlines? I got that from the Steam Halloween sale last year and got really into it, but got hung up on a quest part of the way through. There are some great mods for it, apparently, so I’ve been thinking of restarting the game after it’s been all gussied-up.

    • djsubversive

      Payday’s good times. So’s Vampire (if it is, indeed, Bloodlines), but it really hasn’t aged very well – early Source engine shenanigans everywhere. Malkavian run is still the best run, though, mods or no mods.

      Some of the mods aren’t too bad (Camarilla Edition changes up disciplines), but people seem to think that everybody is sick of the vanilla music, so they replace it with other 90′s industrial stuff. worse, some chucklehead decided that Deb of Night (the late-night talk show on the radio) would totally be replacable by MORE 90′s industrial music. Gravity Kills? Oh, boy! I had to find the soundtrack on some shady site, pull the Deb of Night files from it, and replace the crap that the mod had stuck in its place.

      All in all, not a bad game for being as old as it is, and mods can definitely help.

  • Staggering Stew Bum

    I just finished my first game of Civ V a few days ago. As I mentioned last week I intended for my civilisation to triumph with science over military brawn until Alexander started bitching and it would have been rude not to annihilate the little prick. Anyway, when I nuked Mumbai just for shits and giggles my transformation into Heisenberg was complete and the evil empire romped home to win, setting up a 1000 year American reich in the process.

    As for this weekend, I will probably finish my Mass Effect 3 disaster playthrough. *MASS EFFECT 3 SPOILERS AS IF ANYONE IS EVEN READING THIS* I just finished the Thessia mission and Shepard still hasn’t mentioned being bothered by all those team mates being killed in the Collector Base. Nothing. Nada. Even when getting to Rannoch you’d think she’d say to Garrus ”you know, Tali would have loved getting back to her homeworld” but nope. Not that it mattered, as my bumbling paragon Shepard still fucked up yet again and let the Quarians get wiped out by the Geth while I watched on cackling maniacally. “Fire on a ship that I’m currently in will you? Die you dirty Suit Rats, mwahahahahaha!” I may have yelled out, scaring Mrs Stew Bum who was trying to sleep next door. Playing as a vanguard on Easy is hilarious, by the way. Punching the shit out of a Banshee is what video games were made for.

    • The_Misanthrope

       Oddly enough, I’ve only ever won through a combination of science and culture.  Starting a war with another civ outside of the stone age is just a pain in the ass, so I usually just bunker up and grow my civ into a utopian paradise. 

      I played a demo of Civ V and I couldn’t decide whether I really liked it or not.  There were some nice improvements, but the simplified interface started to make me feel like a bureaucrat ticking items off a checklist.

      Late-game Civ is almost always a slog, moreso with a science victory.

    • Fluka

      Playing on vanguard is the best in general.  By the time I had maxed out charge, chosen the lightest weapons, and gotten every armor/research cooldown bonus, my banshee/brute/Atlas strategy was basically “CHARGE step back CHARGE step back CHARGE” until they were dead.  A biotic punch or a nova or a carnage here or there if remembered and/or was feeling sassy.  Charge is also a great “get the fuck out of here” strategy, particularly during the very final pile-on battle.

      MORE SPOILERS.  I haven’t done a “dead crew members” run yet (though I plan on doing a Mordin-dead version soon), but my husband failed the peace option in his playthrough, and then had to watch Tali commit suicide.  He claimed not to care…and then he downloaded a save editor to force peace.  Because it “wasn’t fair.” (He totally did care.)

      • Effigy_Power

        My gf played with her entire team intact from ME2 whereas I had a lot of them die… we didn’t detect any major differences, which I thought was weak.
        Mordin is too easily replaced by “guy who also talks fast and has a slightly different model, also moles on his face” to make me feel bad about him taking a Collector rocket to the chest.

        • Fluka

          Spoilers again!
          Well, partially I want to play without Mordin because I am curious about Padok Wiks.  But mostly I want to play without Mordin so that my renegade jerkass Shepard won’t have to shoot Mordin and watch him slowly die in a pool of his own blood.

        • The_Misanthrope

           Yeah, I was really surprised by how much I liked Padok Wiks.  His story about punching Mordin in the face that one time is a really well-done anecdote.

          Although I wouldn’t say talking really fast was Mordin’s only tic.  I always liked how clipped his responses were, how he tried to pare every interaction down to improve the signal-to-noise ratio.

  • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp David Dalrymple

    I could really go for some Civ this weekend. I’ll see if I can make that happen. 

    Otherwise, more Seiken Densetsu 3. 

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

       You’re really on a tear with these amazing SNES emulated classics, dude. I’m flashing back to Freshman year of college…

  • Captain Internet

    I think everyone should be playing Mission Improbable, actually: it’s a Half Life 2 : Episode 2 mod by one of the guys at DICE, and it’s very exciting and very funny. 

    This weekend I shall be finishing off Stacking.

  • dreadguacamole

    I’m currently going through emulators looking for stuff my son can play – I’m sick of Rayman Legends and Skylanders!

     It’s kind of interesting, actually. So far I’ve been pulling him through co-op games, but finding out what he likes in older single-player games has been pretty surprising.

     The original Mario just doesn’t hold his attention for long, and the Mario World games are a bit too hard for someone who’s just starting out gaming (I didn’t remember just how many different distinct moves there are on them!). He can, however, somewhat get through a few levels of Zero the poochified Squirrel – a game I’d have thought much harder and frustrating for him.
     The reason he perseveres with that particular one? The clown/skeleton bad guy who only appears in the intro…

     So far his favorite one has been the first Spyro game on the PS1, which luckily I rightly remembered as being very forgiving, easy to control and interesting to explore. The Skylander connection also helps…
     I thought maybe the 3D controls without a fixed camera would be a problem, but he’s managing all right.

     Anyhow – all of the trawling through emulator sites got me hankering for some older games I never got to try. I never had a Sega CD, so that exerts a fair amount of pull, but I’ll probably end up playing Skullmonkeys. I only played bits of it at a friend’s house and always wanted to check it out.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      How old is your son?

      If he’s just starting out with games, the Kirby games could be perfect, if he doesn’t dismiss them as too kiddie/girly. I remember year ago, when my little cousin was about 5 or 6 and hadn’t played (m)any games, I booted up some games on emulator with him, and was surprised that while Mario World was nearly impossible for him, Kirby’s Dreamland 3 was perfect in terms of difficulty (and also had simultaneous multiplayer).

      When I had played those two games by myself, I hadn’t really detected much difference – they both seemed like competent, relatively similar, Nintendo platformers. But by seeing them anew through my little cousin’s eyes, I noticed the design decisions made in Kirby that made it more suitable for littluns while still being awesome enough for big people. Kirby All-Star, and the two Wii games also have optional co-op modes, which could facilitate playing together.

      If your son is willing to go back to the NES, Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers has co-op play AND is fairly forgiving (it was the first game I ever beat, when I was maybe 6 or 7). Also, it’s one of Capcom’s 90s-era Disney games, so it’s solid as hell, and plays and looks great.

      • dreadguacamole

         Kirby’s a great suggestion, thanks!
         Difficulty and complexity seem to be the biggest bugbears at the moment – I don’t think he’ll have a problem with them being too cutesy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Johnson/501651 Kevin Johnson

       There are two Mickey Mouse games for the SNES that are fairly easy and are GREAT for kids, but neither of them are named Mickey Mania. The names escape me, but you can transform into different “versions” of Mickey to beat certain areas. They’re also fun as hell.

      • dreadguacamole

         That’ll be the Magical Quest games, at a guess – thanks, I’ll be sure to try them with him.

    • Effigy_Power

      Depending on how patient your son is, there are some great HOGs (Hidden Object Games) by Big Fish that are inoffensive, non-scary and non-violent.

    • The_Misanthrope

       The Sega CD has a handful of really good games and a whole bunch of mediocre-to-shitty ones.  The big problem is that it came out before the era where you track down any obscure little title on the internet, so I had to rely on the shitty local games stores/rental stores. 

      Sadly, I do not still have the behemoth.  Why not?  Because when I was going off to live in a college dorm, I traded my friend my Sega CD for a mini-fridge because I thought it would be more useful to me.

  • dreadguacamole

      Hey, Republic Commando is recent-ish, and that was pretty great.
     And I’ll stand by my love for Knights of the Old Republic 2. Which reminds me, I need to try the new complete mod for it!

  • Electric Dragon

    Finally got Fallout:New Vegas working (a ZoneAlarm prompt was blocking the game and in fullscreen mode the game wouldn’t let me alt-tab to the prompt – which I couldn’t even see until I tried windowed mode) so I’ll probably be spending some time getting to grips with that.

  • The_Misanthrope

    I’m finally back to Dark Souls after a hiatus.  I finally freed myself from the Painted World of Ariamis and I’m taking a bit of a sightseeing tour of  Lordran–all the places I’ve missed–before taking another pass at Anor Londo (Current Goal:  Ash Lake).  I’ve also been dabbling with some PvPing for the Darkmoon Covenant.

    This kind of halting progress has been my experience.  I’ll be playing, hit a wall, get frustrated, stop playing for some time, come back a month or so later, and finally make some progress.  I feel like I should’ve bulldozed through this game a while ago, but it just hasn’t been the case.  There is just something so dispiriting about the game when you’re losing (yet the game is very seductive when you’re making progress).

    • doyourealize

      After reading a preview of the PC release a couple days ago, I’m worried PC gamers will be up in arms about the graphics and curse this amazing game before they even play it, which would be a mistake. I’m still going to pick it up.

      And I don’t know if I’ve already said this to you, but if you’re playing on PS3, I’m willing to co-op if I can. Just let me know so I can plug it back in (I moved things around recently).

      • rvb1023

         To be fair, the port is really going to be bad and won’t take advantage of PCs in any way.  I was thinking of importing Europe’s special Edition which looked amazing but after hearing about Games for Windows Live and how From themselves were handling the port most of my enthusiasm died away.  That being said, when the DLC is released later this year for consoles, it will mark the first time I buy DLC ever.  The Souls games are that good.

        • doyourealize

          I’ll probably get the PC version, and then the DLC again whenever is gets released on console.

          What I’m mainly concerned about is that too many people will share the sentiment that the point of developing for the PC is to show off the graphic (etc.) power. That may be true if you develop a game exclusively for PC, or port it to consoles, but the point of bringing Dark Souls to the PC is so people can play it on PC.

          As far as Games for Windows Live, I’ve heard that’s a mistake, which is unfortunate, but don’t know enough about why to comment.

        • rvb1023

           @doyourealize:disqus

          Mainly, think of it as Xbox Live for PC, except it comes off even more rigid and slow.  I had to install it once for 2 games and it is a really bad interface and a bit of a resource hog.  While I am happy PC gamers get to play the game, it should have just been outsourced. 

  • ToddG

    As I indicated a few weeks ago, now that the trophy patch is live, I will finally be taking the shrink wrap off my MGS4 LE box and actually trying out this brand new game.

    • Staggering Stew Bum

      ….and then promptly returning the disc straight back to the box before rocking slowly back and forth in the corner murmuring “no more cutscenes, no more cutscenes….EGGS!”

      When I saw the official trophy list I was actually kinda disappointed they didn’t have anything resembling my hypothetical list that I posted a month or so ago:

      http://gameological.com/2012/07/fred-van-lente-comic-book-writer/#comment-587420276

      • ToddG

        Yeah, from what I’ve been reading about these trophies and the time commitment needed to acquire some of them, I doubt this is a platinum I’ll get. But I am determined to at least finish the game.  I mean, there’s always the option to skip the cutscenes, which I will not hesitate to take advantage of.

        • Staggering Stew Bum

          But if you don’t watch the cutscenes, you won’t be able to follow the excellent story! Ah who am I kidding, even if you do watch the cutscenes you’ll still have no idea what the hell is going on. Well, better just skip them and enjoy the excellent game play…. Ah.

          Well, good talking to ya.

        • ToddG

          Indeed!  I will let you know next week if I have started skipping the cutscenes or not.

  • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

    I probably won’t be playing much this weekend or the coming week because I’m going to DC for the week to teach kids how to make video games at a Smithsonian summer camp course!!!!  It’s going to be super-fun. I am pumped.

    As I will be relegated to my crummy laptop for the duration, I’ll probably be playing stuff like Adam Cadre’s Endless, Nameless, or, following @GhaleonQ:disqus ‘s reminder/suggestion, I may boot up Wonder Project J on the ol’ ZSnes and actually try to beat it this time.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      That sounds pretty rad.  I imagine there will be kid-friendly software so they can build games from provided template source elements?
         Or maybe you’re just teaching ‘em C++ and 3ds Max.
         Regardless, have fun and give Fonzie’s jacket a rub for me.  And if you have the time, search the cockpit of the ‘Spirit of St. Louis’ and see if you can find Lindbergh’s copy of the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

         We’ll be using Game Maker, which I’ve worked with elementary kids with before, and they’re pretty good about picking it up. This particular group will be an “advanced” group (meaning they’ve taken at least one prior week of this class), so we may use a little bit of scripting and introduce physics and things.

        Typically the “intro” group spend their week doing a basic top-down shmuppy-thing, whereas “advanced” groups do platformers with basic physics and so on. I haven’t taught this particular course before, but I was set up by a prof of mine who has (and who founded the program), and have been in contact with the teacher I’ll be teaching with, who’s already up there, so I’ve got a pretty good idea what I’m getting myself into.

  • Mercenary_Security_number_4

    I don’t play Civ 5 because my computer can’t run it and I got sick of playing the annual hardware upgrade game a long time ago.  But I’m doing just fine with Rome:Total War, which I never got around to playing before now.

  • EmperorNortonI

    I just got back from a long trip, where I only had my iPad for gaming company.  Not that I had much time or energy for gaming, but still.  All that was played was Settlers of Cataan (ah, the nostalgia!), and . . . um . . . Angry Birds.  I’d heard about it, and mocked it, but never actually played it.  I was visiting China, and its existence was constantly forced upon me by the ubiquitous Angry Birds merchandise.  So I got the free version, and nearly beat it on the way home.  Surprisingly fun little game.

    Before I’d left, I’d been super into Far Cry 2.  However, I have yet to actually play anything since my return – well, aside from Memoir 44, and a little TF2.

    Question for anyone – several old-ish JRPG’s have come to my attention, and I kinda feel like playing an RPG.  My recent travel experience, and my experience with The Wasted Land on the iPad, have got me thinking about a portable system.  Also, I don’t have a TV, so a proper console is out.

    PSP or DS?  Which version of which?  The games I’m interested in are the Persona games, which I understand is available on the PSP, and Chrono Trigger, which has a DS version available.  But getting a system, even a secondhand portable system, just for one game is kinda stupid.  PC emulation might also be an option, I suppose, but . . . well . . . 

    Advice, recommendations, suggestions?

    • Mercenary_Security_number_4

       The problem with Angry Birds is not that it is horrible, but rather that it is a rip-off of many other earlier free flash games (for instance, “crush the castle.”)  At least, that’s my problem with it.   But yeah I’ll play the free version when there’s nothing else to do.

      I’d go with the DS-lite, mostly because it will also play GBA games.  That gives you access to a virtually unlimited number of titles across multiple generations, including many many RPGs. 

      • Cliffy73

        Yeah, but it’s implemented a lot better.  I played hundreds of those castle destruction games (well, three or four) while killing time at work, but Angry Birds is legitimately fun.

      • Cornell_University

        oh man I love Crush the Castle.  the little dance the royalty does when you set the wood they’re standing on ablaze is morbidly adorable.  class war now!

    • doyourealize

      Another option, if you have an Android, would be an Android emulator, which is perfect for JRPGs that don’t really require fast actions or anything.

    • Cornell_University

      I would suggest the PSP on the grounds that it’s got a HUGE library, and you can probably pick up most games on the cheap at this point (the cleaned up PS1 era rereleases of FF1 and FF2 are ported to it, as well as Final Fantasy Tactics for starters).  and if you get obsolete format boners like I do (yes that is a laserdisc on my mantle, thanks for noticing) you can buy lots of excellent and not so excellent movies on UMD. 

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      I don’t have much first-hand experience with the PSP, though as I understand it, its library is relatively anemic compared to the DS (I could be totally mistaken on this front). It has some exclusive Persona games, though.

      The DS has a ton of JRPGs, including remakes/rereleases of classic Square-Enix games (FFIII and IV, Chrono Trigger, Dragon Quest IV and V), inventive new stuff (The World Ends With You, Mario & Luigi Series, Rocket Slime, Tingle’s Rosy Rupee Land), and new games in established RPG formats (Radiant Historia – JRPG, Etrian Odyssey – dungeon crawler). It also has new entries in bona fide AAA series like Dragon Quest (IX) and FF Tactics. There are also a number of tactical JRPGS besides FF tactics, like the Suikoden one, a Seiken Densetsu one, an FFXII one, and (I think), a Disgaea one. If you’re interested in the Persona games, the DS has a couple of entries from its parent series, Shin Megami Tensei, which may interest you.

      Beyond all this, if you get the right DS model (anything before DSi), you also have access to the JRPG library of the GBA, including remakes of FF I, II, IV, and VI, The Golden Sun series, and FF Tactics Advance & Tactics Ogre Advance.

      Both systems run emulators, though, so you can play most of the SNES and prior gen games on either one.

  • JohnnyLongtorso

    Well, I beat Dark Souls the other day, so now I’m on to Demon’s Souls. I DS I played a melee tank build, so now I’m trying out a more magic-focused character, made easier by the Royal’s starting EQ that regenerates MP. So far, at least, since I’ve only played for about an hour.

    • doyourealize

      Starting Demon’s Souls is a great idea for your first time. The soul arrow spell works wonders early on.

      And congrats on the Dark Souls. You beat Gwyn alone or with help? I’m asking because I have yet to do it alone.

      • JohnnyLongtorso

        I did it alone. I died to Gwyn about seven or eight times until I discovered that there’s a stone pillar in the area that you can hide behind and poke at him with a spear while he slashes ineffectually at you. He still nearly killed me once or twice when he did his charging and grabbing attacks.

    • indy2003

      My sincere congratulations on beating Dark Souls. Playing as a magic-based character seems to be a more effective approach in Demon’s Souls – magic is far less limited and considerably easier to employ in many boss fights (Dark Souls has a greater tendency to force you to confront bosses in melee combat). 

      • JohnnyLongtorso

        Yeah, the worst part of magic in DS is that the wind-up for sorceries is so slow. It seems to cast faster in DeS.

  • doyourealize

    For me, it’ll be all Morrowind Overhaul, all the time. It looks gorgeous and completely new, but what surprises me is the actual game itself, the one that’s been around since 2002. When I first played it, I had to start over 5 or 6 times over the course of a year or two before I finally understood it and could make any progress. However, I’m finding now that the game is incredibly proficient at showing you the ropes…you just have listen (as opposed to games that force you through a tutorial). Anyone you talk to will tell you not to travel on foot, and to take the Silt Strider. The line of early main quests is designed to ease you into fighting and teach you about spells and items. However, since I’ve been trained to always ignore the main path until I can’t anymore, I just didn’t do these things. I left town and went to the first cave I saw, only to get killed by a group of bandits. I did this many times, and I suspect I’m not the only one. This could come with the hindsight of having played the game before and now understanding its (admittedly exploitable) leveling system, but I can’t help but think if more people had just listened a little more, they’d have been able to experience one of the best RPGs ever.

    Which brings me to the other surprise, which is just how much more immersive the world is compared to Oblvion or Skyrim. Making you trek through the wilderness rather than simply fast travel to anywhere ever really makes you appreciate the beauty and scope of everything (easier, I know, with the overhauled graphics). At one point, I went into the first Dwemer ruins, and early on decided to leave real quick and get a restorative spell. I saw the sign for Molag Mar and thought, “Okay, haven’t been there yet.” The walk was long and brutal, but I found something else to do there, and I didn’t go back to the ruins for 20 hours. Just because I kept finding more things to do and more places to explore.

    It’s always good to know, when you go back to something after so long, you were actually right about it. (This does not apply to He-Man.)

    Side Note: I haven’t been taking part in any group Steam events or the chat, but promise to at some point. I’m just not at all familiar with TF2, and am having difficulty spending $10 on PotD for some reason (Steam has taught me to wait for the sales). I’m more of a co-op multiplayer anyway, so I need to join co-op Tuesday at some point.

    Also, I can’t play Morrowind with the Steam overlay on or else I see only black, so I have no idea what’s happening out there.

    • Staggering Stew Bum

      Making you trek through the wilderness rather than simply fast travel to anywhere ever really makes you appreciate the beauty and scope of everything (easier, I know, with the overhauled graphics).

      Interesting when read in conjunction with your comment last week on the ‘better bodies’ mod:

      And it’s pretty funny to run into those naked barbarians on wilderness paths, wangs out.

      Another piece of the complex @doyourealize:disqus puzzle falls into place…

      • doyourealize

        There’s only 2 of those (I think), one who is now dead and the other cured of his paralysis. I did, however, just get attacked by a bunch of naked “dreamers” in a cave.

        Every once in a while, I post something here that obscurely references something I’ve said earlier to see if anyone notices. This was not one of those times.

    • Fluka

      My favorite Morrowind mod: no more goddamn cliffracers.

  • Matt1267

    For me it’s Football Manager 2012, and Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      That right there is a study in contrasts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Johnson/501651 Kevin Johnson

    I’m currently working my way through Resident Evil 5, in preparation for RE6, and…. GEEZ. I mean, the core gameplay is fine, and at first I wasn’t big on the semi-forced-but-not-really co-op (Sheva plays at least competently by the computer, but I wish you had more options/commands to give her.)

    But (SPOILERS?) the game goes to level design shit when you reach some sort of temple area. It’s so fucking ridiculous; it isn’t like a modified temple that was hollowed out and booby-trapped by Umbrella – no, it’s a straight-up Tomb-Raider temple, and it has NOTHING to do with the series. It’s as if Battlefield suddenly had a magic carpet ride for a stage. RE always had a odd sense of level design but this temple level is too far.

    Capcom tries to explain it, storywise, but… no.

    I don’t mind the increased “action” but “adventure” was not part of the game’s aesthetic. I should have known, since they turned Wesker from corrupt, traitorous scientist to “Devil May Cry villain”. Why do Japanese game series always DO this?

    • Alkaron

      By the time I hit the ridiculous temple, I was pretty much checked out on RE5 anyway. It had stopped being scary or even creepy, and the writing had started getting bad *even for a Capcom game.* The most fun I had in the second half of the game was saying “BECAUSE WE’RE PARTNERS” after every line of dialogue.

      And it looks like RE6 will be even worse. Half-assed Gears of War with fast-zombies? No thanks.

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

        Remember when people were legitimately worried about the series’ death before 2005?  Like, even if they thought that Code Veronica was tops and 0 was a fantastic adventure spin on the series’ core, they thought the milking, mediocre quality, and variable sales would doom the franchise to Marvel Versus Capcom exclusivity?

        Weird, huh?  PUNCH THE BOULDER, CHRIS.  PUNCH IT.

  • Cliffy73

    I finally bought Portal during the Steam Summer Sale and am, I think, almost done, so maybe I’ll try to finish that one up.  I haven’t played much while the Olympics were on, watching them instead, but now that they’re on their way out…

    I will also be playing Outwitters on my iPhone, which I think I mentioned here a week or two.  It continues to be really engaging, and it’s contained nature and league match-up system means it’s not overwhelming like most resource management games are to casual-player me.  Also, I’ve gotten my wife into it now and she’s constantly starting doubles games.

  • Cornell_University

    I’m hyperventilating!  I love Grantland, and Kang is always one of my favorite writers.  and I am completely obsessed with basketball games (and CivII which I am fucking godawful at).  I’m fairly sure he titled his novel after a Silver Jews song lyric to boot.

    and then he goes and shits all over the Dreamcast.  I am playing NFL2K to build up preseason excitement just out of spite at this point.

    SOMEONE CONDEMN THIS MAN TO FINISH FF8 FOR ME (still on disc 2 goddammit I hate myself)

    • http://profiles.google.com/brianward Brian Ward

      I’m a giant FF fan and I’ve never finished 8. Somewhere around early disc 3 I was like “eeehhhhhhhh I’m going to go outside or something” and have never replayed it.

      • Cornell_University

        spoiler alert:  it turns out the fifth element is love.  or time compression, I forget.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

        I remember playing the demo that came with Brave Fencer Musashi and decided right then and there (perhaps presumptuously) that the game really wasn’t for me.

    • http://twitter.com/jaycaspiankang Jay Caspian Kang

      BAHAAAA. I didn’t shit over the Dreamcast!

      • Cornell_University

        THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!

        I may have been exaggerating.  it’s the prospect of trudging through FF8 more this weekend, combined with that goddamn Lakers trade.

  • Basement Boy

    Finally d/l’ed Team Fortress and will see what’s the deal with that one… see how I handle it before I go Public… (In BoI news, I finally beat a “Chest” level with a super-jacked Maggie, that was crazy/fun…)

  • indy2003

    Wrapped up Mass Effect 3 last weekend and found it a moving finish to the saga, albeit a bit shorter than I expected. Played with the game’s original ending this time around and found it a little abrupt, but interesting. Will download the DLC and check out the expanded ending next time through.

    Continuing my “catching up with Bioware’s recent work” project, I’ve moved on to Dragon Age: Origins. About 14 hours in so far and playing as a human mage. Really digging it so far: engaging story, compelling characters and an interesting combat system (which I quite like when I’m fighting battles primarily using the control wheel, but which is clumsy when fighting in real-time). Just finished working my way through a long, lonely mission set within The Fade (reminded me of Demon’s Souls in atmosphere, albeit considerably less difficult); quite happy to be back with my companions in the “real world” again. Bought the game for 15 bucks, but was disappointed afterwards to see that the “Ultimate Edition” (which seems to have a ton of extra content) was available for only 15-20 bucks more (while the “Awakenings” DLC alone is $40 on PSN). Would it be worth ponying up the cash for a more expansive second playthrough later on?

    Elsewhere, I’ve been playing Dyad in small chunks. It’s a great way to just chill out for twenty minutes or so. It’s a very busy game, but somehow also quite relaxing.

    • BuntlineSpecial

      I was in your shoes.  Bought just the initial game, then I went back and bought most of the DLC separately.  I found it worthwhile, including the Awakenings set.  Enjoy!

    • Effigy_Power

       Awakening is really rather fun and apart from “Golems of AmGarrak” the DLCs are certainly not overpriced.
      Returning to Ostagar is pretty interesting and yields some great insights and Warden’s Keep does present you with a great expanse on the gameplay.

      Seriously though, fuck Golems of Am Garrak… repeatedly.

      • djsubversive

        The only golem worth the name is Shale. I’ll second Ostagar and Warden’s Keep being worth it. Although I apparently missed something the first time I went through the keep, and it vanishes once you finish the questline, so there’s some bit of loot I don’t have… that would have either been handed off to a party member, sold to Bodick and forgotten about, or been quickly outclassed by stuff I find on dead monsters.

        More Jade Empire, Bioware! What’s all this other junk you’ve been pushing when there’s a perfectly good original IP sitting in the closet collecting dust?

  • Aurora Boreanaz

    Good advice.  The Old Republic is definitely enjoyable to play through one or two characters, one Republic and one Sith.  But there’s so little variation in missions between faction memebrs that it gets REALLY boring after that.

  • Fluka

    Finally started slowly playing Deus Ex: HR!  And very much loving it!

    - As expected, the game is absolutely beautiful, and so much fun to explore.  I keep putting all of my praxis points into things like jumping, punching through walls, and moving heavy objects, because I want to keep finding new routes through everything.  This is going to come back to bite me in the butt when I get to the boss fights.  Adam Jensen has a super-nice apartment, with lots of space and noir-gloom-with-doves-flying-past-the-window light.

    - I am addicted to non-lethal takedowns (even more so double-takedowns).  I made a little pile of unconscious police officers in an air duct, and I smiled.

    - I get so wrapped up in hacking people’s personal computers, reading their emails, and stealing their office supplies and food that I sometimes forget the main mission.  I am a terrible security officer.

    - I am awful at this game, and I don’t care.

    • The_Forgotten_Quill

      I get that feeling all the time.
      When I played Batman: Arkham Asylum, I knew I was just awful (I usually am at fighting games), but the game was so amazing in other aspects, I managed to get by on easy mode. The same with Red Dead Redemption…I can’t aim to save my life, (as was immediately evident after the first mission shooting coyotes trying to steal chickens of something) so I just put on the auto aim and enjoyed myself.
      This is why I don’t do multiplayer. I’m kind of a crappy teammate to rely on and I readily admit it. 
      Also, after I finish up Resonance of Fate (feels like I’ve been saying that for the past four weekends now), I’ll also be diving into Deus Ex: HR. I’m kind of excited.

      • Fluka

        “This is why I don’t do multiplayer. I’m kind of a crappy teammate to rely on and I readily admit it.”  Oh hai, are you me?  Even if MP is supposed to be fun and not full of assholes, like ME3, I am too worried about making an ass of myself and letting people down to play it without feeling horrible horrible anxiety.

        • The_Forgotten_Quill

          I believe we may be two parts of the same whole.

          You described my thoughts perfectly. It’s especially disappointing because it seems like MP is slowly becoming more and more central to the gaming experience (like in ME3 where I think part of the ending is determined by your MP actions). I know I have a long list of Xbox achievements left untouched due to required online play. And even knowing how you feel about it, I’d still be nervous to ask you to play for fear I’d be in a whole other range of horrible.For my own sanity, I’ll stick with single player.

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

          Don’t worry; it’s hard to be a hindrance in ME3 multiplayer. If you’re shooting enemies, then you’re helping.

        • Effigy_Power

          I don’t think either of you have to be too concerned about being sucky at MP… it really only depends who you play with.
          Sure, if you’re teamed up with some self-proclaimed hardcore gamer who would disembowel his mother for a magic sword or some reskinned gun, then it’s going to suck.
          But I’d like to think that when you play with the easy-going, sophisticated, fun-loving comrades over at GS’ Steam group, you can be assured to find a lot of fun being the worst player you can be.

    • djsubversive

       ”I get so wrapped up in hacking people’s personal computers, reading
      their emails, and stealing their office supplies and food that I
      sometimes forget the main mission. I am a terrible security officer.”

      wait, there’s a mission besides hacking computers, stealing candy bars, and punching people? Also, you’re the best security officer. How else would you know what sort of secrets people are keeping? That drawer could have corporate espionage secrets in it! They could be hiding stuff that could bring Sarif Industries to its proverbial knees! But it’s probably just another candy bar.

      • Fluka

        I know, right?!  Also, sometimes they have booze!  I am collecting a small liquor cabinet from the offices of Sarif Industries employees.  I may never get out of Detroit.

  • The_Forgotten_Quill

    Disqus goofed in placing my reply… Move it along…nothing to see here people.

  • Link The Ecologist

    Playing Little King’s Story right now, but I’m not sure if I really want to continue with it as it seems rather repetitive. I also am half way through Okami, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Rayman Origins, and my second skyward sword play-through, but only rayman and zelda are really motivating me at this point.

    What I’m really doing is waiting for the Last Story to come out, even though I’m not sure what I will think of It as I haven’t played any final fantasy games since SNES.

    Also, as my new job is looking promising, I think it may be time to look into buying a computer (as I have not had one for 4 years) and actually using steam.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

       LKS can drag a bit and get a little repetitive at times (which is a criticism that can be leveled at a lot of RTSes, and Pikmin, too), but the different lands, special units (and consequent special strategies), and the wildly divergent boss battles help mix things up a bit. Also, the game is charming as hell, which helps. I would keep at it and see if it grows on you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erik.hensel.10 Erik Hensel

    Last week I watched a bunch of Samurai movies, (mifune in Samurai Trilogy, original Hari Kiri) so I had a jones to play bushido blade. Tracked it down, and will reliving some ps1 goodness. I don’t play lots of fighting games, so i think the one hit kills are pretty awesome.

  • Effigy_Power

    I weeded out my game-library a bit and am now more or less faced with a quick decision what to play next: DE:HR, AC:Revelations or Witcher 2.
    I was going to take that decision last weekend but sort of chickened out, made a widely celebrated comic with photoshop (pander, pander) and roamed around Chernorus firing highly explosive rounds from a tank cannon at fleeing civilians for target practice. Good wholesome fun, so to speak.

    I’d like to get maybe a game of Alien Swarm in with 4 people, just because it’s Co-op and free, and so I can say I tried this.
    Otherwise I might just spend the weekend watching episodes of “10′O Clock Live” on Youtube, wishing North American TV had anything remotely as biting and satirical on TV and was allowed to say “fuck”… but not “cunt”.

    • EmperorNortonI

       I really enjoyed Alien Swarm.  I only ever managed to get 3 people online together, but it was a lot of fun.  I always played Medic, with the dual pistols.

    • doyourealize

      Alien Swarm was the first game I ever downloaded on Steam, and I’ve played maybe ten minutes. I could give it a try sometime.

      Also, make sure you play The Witcher 2 soon. Storyline-wise, it’s top-notch.

  • Baramos x

    I’ll probably be finishing Assassin’s Creed (only three years late to the party!), starting Assassin’s Creed II, starting Alpha Protocol, AND continuing to be frustrated and perplexed by Hard Corps.: Uprising (yes, it’s mostly a Contra game and mostly based on the Contra: Hard Corps. universe).

  • urthstripe

    Still playing through Deus Ex: HR and Far Cry 2, haven’t made much progress in either.

    I did get 3 people to join my party in Borderlands the other day, and everyone said it was much more fun that way was absolutely correct, even though one of the party members was a masochist and kept dragging us to incredibly hard parts of the map. Oh well. I imagine it would be even more fun with friends. Maybe I will get Borderlands 2 after all.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NHG4W66MX6BRZYRV6MKJDSVEO4 J.K.

    Dark Souls.

  • djsubversive

    (warning: incoming wall o’ text that I didn’t realize was going to be so wall-like):

    “WAYPTW?” is turning into the place where I plug the Gameological-member-created (Effigy_Power, Mooy, and myself) co-op survival mod-in-progress for ArmA 2 (no zombies). Since it’s been my big go-to “game” lately, here’s some news, mostly good: we had a pretty successful run of my first editor-created mission. The goal is pretty simple: meet other survivors and find a way off the island. The only necessary objective to finish the mission is getting a specific fuel truck to the boat, then getting on the boat when it finishes fueling (a fade-to-black and “Five minutes later…” caption).

    Tasks and hints triggered properly (eventually). I’ve gotten the customized loadout thing to stick, so that when respawning, characters don’t revert to the default fully-armed multiple-weapons-and-equipment loadout (not that our test loadouts are any better). I’m able to get enemies to spawn when and where I want them, and customize their loadouts as well (yay!), and I know why vehicles/crates were refreshing their contents whenever a player died and respawned (and fixed it).

    Backblast (from RPGs and such) is a bitch. Getting knocked out but not killed sucks (at least for testing purposes) since the game disables chat when you’re not fully conscious, but it definitely makes teamwork essential. I had to make all of us “medics” or else the only thing you can do if you’re injured is stop the bleeding, which doesn’t do anything for pain, and isn’t very effective for non-medics.

    Medical supplies and ammunition have again been made more available from nearly every vehicle or crate, for testing purposes. Also, all players now start with a thermal-scope-equipped weapon. Should make taking Kamenyy and the gas station a little easier. Camp Burns, too (the “farm” on the hill).

    One more thing: if you have ArmA 2 and Op: Arrowhead (or Combined Ops), and you’re interested in helping test things out, hit me up on Steam (or probably Mooy or Effigy, but I don’t want to speak for them).

    Note: we’re currently using the ACE mod, and some other not-as-big mods (units/vehicles), so it takes a bit longer to load up than the base game, but it seems to be worth it so far… better wounding/damage system for both infantry and vehicles (also, cars don’t catch fire when they hit the water anymore!), a lot of artillery/armor/air support stuff that we probably have very little use for (but it’s there because it’s ArmA), and a lot of little awesome touches. As I’ve said before, we’d be fools not to take advantage of all that work being done for us already.

    useful information:
    ACE Features overview: http://wiki.ace-mod.net/Features
    Wounding System: http://wiki.ace-mod.net/card/view/Wounding_System

    • Effigy_Power

       I’d also like to mention here that while Sub is doing all the work and Mooy is currently scanning a ridiculously huge map, it was my idea, mine alone and nobody else’s and belongs to me.
      Therefore all praise should go to me.
      After all… I wrote the story I myself have scrapped several times over and am currently rewriting. (That’s hard work, yo)

  • Ghostfucker

    KAAAAAAAANG!!

  • http://twitter.com/zhandlen Zack Handlen

    My brother-in-law sold me his GameCube for 10 bucks, so I’m back in nostalgia mode this weekend. Picked up Metroid Prime, which is as eerie and beautiful as I remembered (the platforming elements still suck, but they always suck in first person games), and Tales Of Symphonia, my favorite RPG for the system. Playing it again, I’m amazed at how awful the back-story and main plot is; it’s not quite as head-thuddingly nonsensical as the last two Final Fantasy games, but the exposition is almost willfully bizarre, full of unnecessary concepts, inorganic mythology, and laughable dialogue. I love it all the same–the combat system is great, and the characters are charming. It’s a well-paced game, too. Looking forward to wasting some more time on both games, along with Resident Evil 4 (I WILL BEAT YOU) over the next couple of days.

    • WebsnWigs

      Get F-Zero GX and Paper Mario: TTYD next. Totally underrated games imo

  • http://twitter.com/marlowespade Chris Holly

    I’ve recently become addicted to Memoir ’44 Online, so I’ll be whiling away the hours with some WW2 strategy.

    • EmperorNortonI

       Memoir fanatics, represent!  I haven’t been Online in a while, though my regular gaming opponent is constantly online.  However, I do own nearly every set of the real game, and have it more or less permanently set up on my dining room table. 

  • rvb1023

    So will anyone be joining me for Persona 4 Arena?  I’ve gone through about half the story modes at this point and while it is incredibly boring reading walls of text when there is actual character interaction it’s pretty good stuff.  As for the fighting mechanics I don’t know because they aren’t usually my forte, but I am having fun with it.

  • xinlan342

     http://tinyurl.com/84zrtck

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    I’m actually not playing anything this weekend because I’m actually too busy making games!

    And by “developing games” I mean “accomplishing nothing repeatedly running into cryptic errors compiling Assimp I don’t understand but which probably indicate a broken mingw install FUCK”

  • Snowdens

    So I got Xenoblade Chronicles not too long ago, but I have been largely neglecting it to instead play Metal Gear Solid 4 since a trophy patch was released just recently. I am amazed how enjoyable it’s been to play through it again despite having beat it 3 or 4 times a number of years ago. It does have an annoying trophy requires you to basically watch every cutscene.

    Is it unhealthy that I like trophies?

    • doyourealize

      I like trophies as a reason to keep playing after you’re “done”. However, Xenoblade Chronicles is really not to be missed, especially since long cutscenes don’t seem to bother you.

  • Bowen Kerins

    What am I playing this weekend…

    … pinball for $10,000.

    papa.org/papa15 … finals tomorrow!

  • yanwern

     http://lnk.co/I2VI9

  • Deadpanwalking

    Jay Caspian Kang is a fantastic writer. That’s all I got to say.