What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Zatanna Zor-Elle

Zatanna Zor-Elle, burlesque performer

Zor-Elle is taking a hands-on approach as she prepares to play Princess Peach in a Super Mario burlesque show.

By Ryan Smith • December 21, 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.

Zatanna Zor-Elle is a performer who has acted in several “Geek Girl Burlesque” shows at the Gorilla Tango Theatre in Chicago. She made her first appearance as Spock in the Star Trek-themed The Boobs Of Kahn and followed that with turns in burlesque shows based on Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (Temple Of Boobs), Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Hooter Rangers), and Star Wars (A Nude Hope). She also plays Princess Peach in Boobs & Goombas: A Super Mario Burlesque, which begins another run starting Feb. 2. She talked to Gameological about her dislike of the Princess and what video game would make a killer burlesque show.

The Gameological Society: What are you playing this weekend?

Zatanna Zor-Elle: I’m in the middle of God Of War, Arkham City and Lego Star Wars. Maybe Mario Kart. I’ve actually never been beaten in Mario Kart. Ever. And I lived with six guys in college. We had a projector screen in the attic, and we used to play there. I used to kick their ass at Ninja Turtles too. But yeah, anything Mario I’m into except for Super Smash Bros., which I know a lot of people don’t want to hear.

Gameological: Was your love for Mario part of the reason you decided to play Princess Peach in this show?

Zor-Elle: Not this role, maybe this show. I’ve never really liked Princess Peach much. She’s always needing to be saved and has the whole blonde, damsel-in-distress, always-wearing-pink thing going on. She also makes terrible noises in Mario Kart when she’s passing you, and she’s a terrible competitor in Mario Party. But maybe that’s part of the reason why I’m excited to play her, because I get to put a weird twist on her. I’m not going to give away the show, but I get to make her my own. She’s not a typical princess. I get to make her a full character where she’s a little darker.

Gameological: What Mario character would you rather play?

Zor-Elle: Probably Bowser. I love playing evil characters. I have a soft spot in my heart for the bad guys, and I play mostly bad guys in the other shows, with the exception of Spock. You can get your body involved more when you play as a villain, and I like to get my body involved in acting, which is maybe why I picked burlesque.

Gameological: What about the age old question about Toad—boy or girl?

Zor-Elle: What exactly is Toad up to, is the real question. The gleam in his eye—he’s a mushroom, for Christ’s sakes. Dealing drugs to the brothers. I always thought Toad was a boy, though. Toad certainly isn’t a boy in Boobs & Goombas.

Gameological: Does your intimate knowledge of Mario games inform your performance at all?

Zor-Elle: Absolutely. Being able to take it to the extreme—I’ve seen it on the video game, and now I can make it larger than life. There are a lot of jokes in the script that you wouldn’t get if you never played the games. You can’t properly deliver the line if you don’t understand what it’s about and why it was written that way. You wouldn’t think a burlesque would have that much depth, but…

Gameological: Would a Mario Kart burlesque even work?

Zor-Elle: You’d be surprised at what they can pull off. They’re pretty crafty with their sets. Cars, chicks, boobs—I think it would work. I’m pretty sure people would pay to see that.

Gameological: All the things you could do with a red shell. What other video game do you think could be a good burlesque show?

Zor-Elle: Mortal Kombat would be awesome, just to see a bunch of half-clothed women running around the stage beating each other senseless, though it would probably involve pillows and feathers. Feathers, definitely, because this is a burlesque.

Gameological: I’ve seen a couple of the geek burlesque shows, and they strike me as more comedy than sexy.

Zor-Elle: Yeah, burlesque actually started as variety shows and performance pieces, and it could be done with comedians and musicians. What this theater does differently than other burlesque shows is they actually put together scripts—so these shows are actually more musical theater production and comedy. Instead of doing regular musical numbers, there is stripping instead. It’s fun. There are more serious ones, too. The one based on The Walking Dead is more serious. Although, yeah, it is called Boobs Of The Dead. But you know, boobs are funny. Things that jiggle are funny.

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 and the holiday break.

(Photo of Zatanna Zor-Elle: Alan Gagne)

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  • Jackbert322

    Aaahhh, finals are done. Well, first ,Caspian and Poet and I will hijack this thread and talk about Persona 3. Then, I will finish my second playthrough of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Also, assorted flurries of Super Hexagon. Finally, I’ll either give Batman: Arkham City another go, see if I can finish Ratchet and Clank All 4 One, or start Infamous: Festival of Blood. Repeated refreshings of the Steam store will occur throughout. Aaahhh, good times. Oh, and yeah, I might do Christmas stuff with my family :)

    • caspiancomic

      Persona 3 Spoilers in this thread!

      SO I BEAT THE GAME YOU GUYS. In the end it took me very slightly less than 100 hours to complete, which is a loooong time for me. Now that I’ve beaten it, I’d say one of my criticisms of the game is one that comes part and parcel with Japanese style games and dungeon crawlers: time. It takes forever to get most things done, and there’s an explicit emphasis put on grinding, which I normally abhor. While I’m on the complain train, the menu system is a bit bureaucratic: in my Persona menu I can see which skills my various doods have, but if I want to see what those skills do, I can only learn that through my Skills menu (and in the Skills menu, I’m given no indication of which of my Personas can use each skill). I feel like this element could have been made more elegant. Also, surely there must be a way to organize my items.

      Those nits having been sufficiently picked, however, overall I would say I totally loved this game, and want to thank Mr. Poet for encouraging me with it, as well as Jack for playing it alongside me. I’ve already gotten my feet wet with The Answer, which I thought was going to be a fun little epilogue but from the looks of things is practically an entire extra game’s worth of content. I also plan on starting my first New Game Plus tonight, in which I’ll focus on completing all of Elizabeth’s requests, fusing different Personas (I only ended up filling about 48% of the Compendium), and pursuing different Social Links (I got Fuuka up to level 9, but there just wasn’t time to max it out. I’m heart broken!) I’m actually pretty amped.

      As for my feelings on the ending: I’m pretty overjoyed! The last leg of the game as a whole is actually really satisfying. I’ve faced the end of the world countless times in my career as a dood who plays video games, but very rarely did it feel as real or as consequential as this game made it seem. The characters’ fear, combined with the amount of time you’re given to contemplate the gravity of your situation, gives the endgame real stakes. Nyx Avatar was a pretty standard JRPG final boss, but her gimmick kept the fight feeling lively and forced me to constantly mix up my strategies (nitpick: her final Death Arcana mode could have had half as much HP without making the fight any less tense). And the direction the plot takes from the party’s victory over Nyx Avatar onwards was delightfully headfucky (I love a good “weird end of the world” sequence.)

      Anyway, I’m off to start New Game Plus now! I understand there’s a whole extra thing of Tartarus waiting for me this time around. I also intend to actually claim that Bloody Button this time through. Wish me luck y’all!

      Let the great Persona Thread Jack of 2012 begin!

      • Jackbert322

        I was never bothered by having to grind; because I never had to grind. I was playing on easy, because it was the first JRPG I’d ever played. Only took me 46 hours. I definitely agree with your assessment of the menus. They stink, and yeah, there’s gotta be some way to organize items. I can’t do The Answer because I’m playing Persona 3 Portable. I do own Persona 3: FES as a PS2 Classic, so, someday. I started a New Game+ right after I finished, but I accidentally set the difficulty to easy and named my character wrong. THANK GOD I kept the New Game+ save, so I’ll be starting one on normal at some point; probably after school starts up again. The ending was great. I really loved fighting Nyx, I was glad I did it without dying (boy, that would’ve broken immersion. haha, getting imersed in Persona 3. it’s just so REALISTIC!), and I felt as though the arcana switching, though rather inevitable, was really well implemented. I agree with your nitpick though. As for the very ending SPOILERS, DUH, ALSO WE’RE SPECULATING DON’T SPOIL IT EITHER what’d you think happened after that? Did you also think mebbe you’d become a martyr?

        Big thanks to Poet, for both suggesting the game, convincing me to get it, and participating in the discussions Caspian and I had. Caspian, fist bump to you as well, playing alongside you was great fun. I’ve never had real life friends who are into video games, so, to the both of you, cheers, I really enjoyed being able to talk deeply about a game with other people. Caspian, Poet and I might be starting the Mass Effect Trilogy at around the same time, JOIIINNN USSS.

        • PaganPoet

          I’m glad you guys enjoyed the game, it’s one of my favorite games of all time. It definitely shows its age in both interface issues like the ones caspian mentioned, and in gameplay…I honestly can’t even think of the last new turn-based RPG came out, at least one that people actually played. However, just the general art direction, story, characters, writing, music…everything about the game is stellar. I hope they release more of the Ps2-era Shin Megami Tensei games to the PSN soon, as I am really interested in checking them out (in case you didn’t know, Persona is a subseries contained within the Megami Tensei series as a whole).

          What did you guys think of the ending? Considering how melodramatic the story in general is, I was genuinely surprised at how low-key it was. It’s very affecting, though, sad and yet hopeful.

          Hope I’m not spoiling too much, but the general mythology and story of P3 is related to P4, and P4Arena is a direct sequel to both P4 and P3. I’ll just say that both stories are ongoing. Many fans speculate that Persona 5, if and when it ever comes out, will continue the story.

          Caspian, I definitely recommend seeing The Answer through. I won’t lie–it IS a bit of a grindfest, so I recommend playing it in chunks. But the extension of the story is really nice.

        • caspiancomic

           Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa… you guys are starting the Mass Effect Trilogy? I’ve never played it either, and was planning on starting sometime in the new year… hoo hoo, I thought a hundred hours was a deep investment for a game, but I understand those games run a hundred hours each. I’m so in!

          Let’s see what else we got going on in this thread:

          RE: other Megami Tensei games. I’m distantly familiar with the series as a whole, and came very close to playing Nocturne when it first came out. I don’t remember what kept me from it, I think I must have had to choose between Nocturne and another title from around the same time, and just went down a different path (there but for the grace of God…) Now that I’ve got P3 under my belt, I’m pretty amped for P4. I hope it comes to PSN, but frankly, I think I’ve got enough PSP/Vita games on my “someday” list to justify picking up a Vita at some point…

          RE: The Answer. I’ve already cleared the first… thing. The Abyss of Time’s equivalent to Tartarus’ Blocks. And yeah, the difficulty is much higher in here. The enemies are tougher right out of the gate, grow a lot stronger much more quickly, move faster, act more aggressively, seem to have more resistances, etc. If that wasn’t bad enough, you start with precious little in your inventory, and everyone’s taken a major power cut. As you suggest, PP, I’m going to alternate playing NG+ and The Answer- I think if I went All Answer All The Time I would burn out pretty quickly.

          RE: the ending. As Poet says, it was surprisingly demure considering the high melodrama that had come before. In a lot of ways, the game seemed to really be “about” Aigis, specifically her relationships with the main protagonist and antagonist of the game. Which is a bold choice, considering she doesn’t even show up until like 50 hours into the game. So her final little moment with the Hero seems like a fitting end to the game in that way. Having now been introduced to the premise of The Answer, that final scene is very bittersweet, as well. I also like Jack’s suggestion re: martyrdom. On the face of it, it looks like the main character obviously survives his encounter with Nyx, but not for no reason does the final Skill cost you all your HP to cast. A lot of this game seems concerned with the theme of blurring the line between life and death: the living sit in coffins during the Dark Hour, Death is the main villain and he sleeps within the otherwise perfectly alive main character for much of the game, Aigis’ arc is about an ‘inanimate’ character learning what it means to ‘live’, etc. Maybe the game’s hero sacrificing all his hit points to cast the spell that ends the game has more meaning than is initially apparent. Or maybe not, I’m just throwing ideas around.

          Finally: the near-apocalypse was up there with End of Evangelion in terms of scale and visual appeal. I think I’ll settle into a nice long New Game Plus session to celebrate Dec 21.

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

          @caspiancomic:disqus: The games are quite long and provide good bang-for-your-buck (if that’s how one might want to measure value). But fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on whom you are), they don’t take 100 hours each to beat. ME1 clocks in at around 25 hours if you a good portion of the side missions. ME2 can take anywhere from 35 to 50 hours depending on how much of the DLC you have, how many of the side missions you do, and how much time you spend planet-scanning. ME3 is similar to ME2 in terms of play-time.

          In any case, the trilogy is 100+ hours of fun, drama, and bein’ a muthafuckin’ SPACE WIZARD (if you so choose). You’re in for a treat.

        • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

          I’m currently in the middle of my first playthrough of Mass Effect on PS3. (I’ve played ME2 several times). I’ve been going for a “perfect” game, trying to visit every planet and do every minor sidequest. I’ll probably never do that again. I’m about 20 hours in, and the plot (as I know from the interactive comic from ME2) is probably half over. If I had plowed through the game, I could probably have gotten this far in less than 8.

        • Jackbert322

          RE: Other Megami Tensei games. I had Devil Survivor on my Nintendo DS, which I found a couple weeks ago, but I need a new battery. FUN STORY: I always used to get DS games from my aunt. She always gave me games with recognizable properties: Mario, Pacman, Superman, Harlem Globetrotters, M&M’s, Hasbro board games. And then, I get Devil Survivor. Is she a Christian reading it as a game about overcoming sin? Or, is she a Satanist, reading it is a game about converting? Neither, so I have NO idea how I ended up with that game. It was fun though. (Note on DS games: Caspian, besides the Mass Effect Trilogy, I’m also asking for a new DS battery and TWEWY.)

          RE: The ending. Ah, I didn’t even think of the living as dead during the Dark Hour. I was thinking of Death and Aegis and the relationships they have with the protagonist, but I was tired, and on mobile, so, good, you said them for me. I also felt like, CRAZINESS UPCOMING, thematically, it was almost like Aegis became a living thing by “consuming” the protagonist, not “consume” in a bad way, but screw thesauri. That sounds weird, but I mean it as, their relationship became so strong that with the possible death of the protagonist, Aegis was able to take strength from that, plus, because they had been hanging out, her presumed emotions towards the possible death would be great enough to make her human. And then, I think that was also the reason the protagonist held on after the start of the fall, because they had their meet-up day.

          RE: The apocalypse. Oh yeah, that was supposed to happen three and a half hours ago in my time zone. Darn. Persona 3 would be fitting, maybe I should restart my New Game+ today.

          RE: New Game+. @caspiancomic:disqus , @PaganPoet:disqus , during your first playthrough, what was your saving system like. I always overwrote the same save, because I felt as though saving multiple times wouldn’t have felt right given the themes of the game. One chance to save the land, and all that.

        • Citric

          I actually own ALL of the PS2 SMT games, but I have only completed Persona 4, how sad is that? I got really far into Nocturne – I think I’m in the final area, in fact – but that’s a grindy game that isn’t exactly forgiving. Excellent battle system though. I suppose I should give it another go but I’m more concerned with the ones I’ve never got anywhere in.

          I’m not starting another PS2 game until I finish Romancing SaGa though, which might take a while ’cause RS is also hard. I do have Persona 2: IS for PSP now, hopefully there’s some form of Persona 2: EP re-release after I finish it.

        • caspiancomic

           @Merve2:disqus Okay sweet, that sounds much more manageable. I may be down for an epic space opera, but I’ve also got classes to attend.

          @Jackbert322:disqus I originally used the same save system as you, but the PSN version of FES has a bit of a twitchy save mechanism. It’ll occasionally fail to save, be unable to read the PS3′s artificial on-board memory card, and even occasionally erases saves in random slots. Since learning about those problems, I’ve always saved my game in multiple slots, and I back up my saves to a USB stick after every session.

          Also, TWEWY is a friggin’ treat. It’s actually pretty similar to Persona in a lot of ways (modern setting, hip young main characters, supernaturally themed plot, etc). That reminds me, I was meaning to get part 2 of my TWEWY articles up before Christmas, I should probably get to work on those.

          Also also, I’m going to add Persona 3 to my lineup of games to write about for Game Theory. I’ve got a few ideas I want to explore more fully, so I’ll probably whip something up in the new year sometime. Geez, I’ve got a lot I want to write about, I should probably get into gear!

        • PaganPoet

           I’d say your theory holds some canonical sense, seeing as how early on in The Answer, you learn that Aigis has “inherited”  Minato’s wild card ability (Minato is the canon name for the P3 MC); It’s actually a huge source of conflict within the story, as Yukari in particular is extremely jealous of this fact.

          I also like  @caspiancomic:disqus ’s interpretation of the game in general being about blurring the line between life and death. The theme of death, of course, is very prevalent throughout the game, but I hadn’t though about the theme of life being there too with Aigis’s story, and also through Ken’s story and Junpei/Chidori’s story.

          Which of the Social Links was your favorite? I personally really liked Nozomi/Moon. To meet this disgusting, rude and obnoxious character and finding out the hidden reason why they act that way and the pain and self-loathing they hide inside. The Moon Arcana in Persona 4 is pretty similar, but with a very different facade (in that game, it’s a shallow/vain pretty girl). As I was discussing with @Sleverin:disqus the other day, I would really like to learn more about Tarot and the Arcana and see how each of the characters lines up with their respective Arcana. That would be pretty cool.

          I tend to keep 2 or 3 saves at a time, that way if there was something I really screwed up and wanted to go back to fix, I would have that option without wasting too much time (particularly some of Elizabeth’s requests, the ones with time limits).

      • PaganPoet

        I actually haven’t even completed the extra Tartarus dungeons myself, OR defeated Death OR defeated the special New Game + boss. I’m still in the middle of a New Game + meant to address those issues, but I got interrupted by other games. Oh well, that’s what cold winter evenings are for, right?

        • caspiancomic

           Hahahaha oh baby, I just wandered into the bonus dungeons out of curiosity tonight, and didn’t realize they were scaled to a level a billion party. Needless to say, my sad little level 3 party got chewed up, even with endgame equipment on.

          Also, seeing as how it took me 15 years to beat Emerald and Ruby Weapon, I’m not sure how likely I am to beat Death on only my second time through. I remain ever hopeful though!

  • PugsMalone

    I was at an anime and video-game themed burlesque show at Otakon 2011, and it was a riot. There was a re-enactment of Aeris’ death scene that was hilarious. They didn’t have that event the next year, sadly.

    I can assure you that Little Pugs remained detumescent throughout.

    • HobbesMkii

       Interestingly enough, at no point did I wonder about the turgidity of “Little Pugs” during that anecdote until the very end.

    • caspiancomic

       There’s a “geek burlesque” circuit here in Toronto, they do a show every month or so. My sister and her friends went and saw the Simpsons themed burlesque (“We Put The Spring In Springfield”, natch), but they’ve also done 8-bit themed and, God help us all, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic themed burlesque.

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

    I didn’t even know that geek burlesque shows existed. I learn something new everyday, I guess.

    This weekend I probably won’t be able to get much gaming in. I might play some Prince of Persia (2008) here and there. The game’s cel-shaded art is absolutely gorgeous. In fact, since Steam overlay doesn’t work with the game and Print Screen has issues with many full-screen applications, I downloaded Fraps specifically for taking screenshots. They only save in bitmap format, though, so each file is upwards of 6 MB. I might try my hand at whipping up a batch file to convert them into JPEGs, which should reduce their file size (if creating such a batch file is even possible).

    If I don’t feel like collecting light seeds in Prince of Persia, I might play through a couple more chapters of the surprisingly challenging Max Payne. It’s not a shooter that favours running and gunning. I’ve discovered that it lends itself well to retreating from firefights to pick off enemies one at a time and judicious use of bullet time.

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      I can’t verify it right now, but it can be done both in CS (called Image Processor, I think, or via the regular record actions function) and PS Elements (where I think it’s just called Edit multiple files… or something).

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

        I actually figured out that I don’t need to mess around with batch files at all. I can just convert them all in one go via Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

        Finally, something other than Word, Excel, or PowerPoint came in handy!

    • caspiancomic

       I know a lot of reviewers were down on PoP’08 when it first came out, but I love that game. I think it’s one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played.

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

        Gameplay-wise, it’s one of the silliest, most repetitive collect-a-thons ever devised. But visually, it’s one of the most stunning games I’ve ever played. It’s hard to believe that it was released more than four years ago.

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

      ifranview is a great, free program with a function to batch-resize or batch-resave images. I use it to compress the overly-large uncompressed photos my digital camera takes.

  • PaganPoet

    I have recently finished Persona 4 Golden, got the true ending, did the bonus ending, etc. I’m gonna give it a break for now and move on to something else. I will eventually have to replay however, as I missed out leveling up one Social Link, didn’t complete all the quests, and only filled out my persona compendium to 95% before I ran out of money.

    Overall, I’d say this game is a big improvement over P3. Better writing and dialogue, the S.Links are (generally) much better, the gameplay and interface for sure are much more polished. The characters also actually act and feel like genuine best friends, whereas P3′s cast always felt somewhat distant from each other (Mitsuru, Akihiko and Shinjiro in particular). That said, the game just didn’t quite have the same impact on me as P3 did. I think it’s due somewhat to the fact that P3 was my introduction to the series, but it was also P3′s more somber atmosphere, everything-at-stakes storyline, and better music (IMO).

    Obviously, though, I highly recommend the game to any RPG fan, and certainly to all both of the other GS members who have a PSVita.

    As for what I’m moving on to? I just picked up the Mass Effect Trilogy for pretty cheap. I’ve already played through ME2, which is excellent, so now I’m looking forward to experiencing the full story. My Manshep is “me,” if that makes sense. i.e. I play make decisions and dialogue choices as I’d like to think I really would if I were in that situation. This sadly left my ME2 ManShep a virgin, since only lesbians existed in the ME universe until ME3, no gays.

    My FemShep, however, is the wild card. I do all kinds of crazy stuff with her, which in a way makes her the more fun of the two Sheps to play. That, and her voice actress is generally much better than ManShep’s.

    • Jackbert322

      Wait, you could be lesbian but not gay? Was that an issue? That shoud be an issue. That’s much more deserving of being an issue than the stupid blonde FemShep controversy.

      • PaganPoet

        It was an issue that it slightly annoyed some of us gay gamers, but I don’t think a HUGE stink was raised about it. Actually, I think it was a bigger issue with the homophobic crowd when m/m relationships were finally implemented into ME3.

        • Jackbert322

          Yeah, that would’ve been, what, 2009, so I wouldn’t know. Just seems to me like it could be a bit offensive to both gays and straight guys. “Oh, I mean, we gotta let them be lesbian, dudes like action like that! But gay, eh, nah.”

      • http://twitter.com/MasterPrudent Glen H

        (In theory you couldn’t be either until ME3 as Liara is neither male nor female. Of course in practice I don’t think it is an accident that the only character to swing both ways presents as female.)

        • Electric Dragon

          In ME2 Shep can get a bit of a thing going with the Space Personal Assistant Kelly Chambers, regardless of Shep’s gender. As an added bonus she can be persuaded to look after Shep’s fish during missions.

    • Cheese

       I’m just about to finish up my second playthrough of P4G. I’ve got the True Ending final boss and the NG+ boss to beat, but I think level and persona wise I’m ready.

      I think after that I’m going to do P3P again. I’ve only done one playthrough with the female MC, so I need to do a NG+ with her and a game with the male MC.

    • Sleverin

       Memories of the City: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhArt4yKg9c

      Memory of the School: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-5tjmHsx7s

      I was listening to these tracks for some time last night whilst reminiscing about Persona 3.  I’m going to have to beat P4 sooner than later, and in fact will probably be most of my gaming weekend is trying to advance the plot as much as possible.  Since my PSP is broken I’m thinking of picking up the PS2 version as it’s cheaper (and comes with an art book) and I want to experience the original version.  I was extremely weirded out by looking up youtube videos of the game and found out it had cutscenes and freaking character models outside of the dungeon….

      I will agree with you though Pagan, I’ve fallen in love with the P3 soundtrack a touch more than P4.  P4′s soundtrack still has his memorable tracks, its catchy hooks, but some of the songs seem a bit too 40 second repeatish at times.  I felt a lot more connection to the characters in P3…yeah, it was my first game and all and I love the P4 characters, but I think I also enjoy the main character because I was like that a lot in high school, hanging back, always had headphones on.  I feel like I had a better relation to Junpei too…eh, whatever, both games are awesome.  If I don’t say that now I’m just going to ramble on into forever.

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

      According to the Mass Effect Wiki, same-sex romance dialogue was recorded for Kaiden and Ashley, but never implemented.

  • Citric

    Gaming looks thin this weekend, since I’ll mostly be driving from place to place. Might bring something portable along.

    I just finished Ys: Oath in Felghana, which is pretty short but also pretty excellent. Admittedly, I played it on easy, and it still kicked my ass on a regular basis, especially the penultimate boss, and there is some seriously tricky platforming in there too.

    One thing is for certain, it’s downright refreshing to play a game that trusts the player. There are plenty of situational cues to give you an idea what is expected of you – treasure just in the corner of the frame, the way things are laid out and colored, stuff of that nature – but it doesn’t actually tell you anything, you’re expected to figure it out. God I loved that, especially after playing titles that are always giving you hints about what you need to do, like it’s a fussy mom on the first day of school. It’s so nice to have a game where the developers realized that if you’re given a well designed product, they can let go of the hand and trust you to make it through okay.

    I played the PSP version, but it’s on Steam for something like $10 this week, and if you get it that way you don’t have to play it on the PSP, which isn’t a great piece of hardware. I say that, but I did just buy Persona 2: Innocent Sin for it, so more PSP fun is in my future. But I’m off track, Ys: Oath in Felghana is a nice little gem, now I have to decide if I want to dive into Ys: Seven or take a detour into Persona 2.

    • PaganPoet

      I’ve started P2: Innocent Sin as well, but I’m not very far in. So far I like it, but it’s definitely aged. It’s okay with me, as I grew up in the era where JRPGs WERE grindfests, but it would be tough of me to recommend it to a younger gamer who is more familiar with P3/P4 style gameplay.

      The story is excellent, however.

    • http://wpham.com/ wpham

      I just grabbed Ys: Origin for 75% off on Steam, and judging from some videos, I’m looking forward to its Zelda+bullet-hell gameplay.

      • Citric

        Thanks for reminding me to check Steam! Ys Origin is the one I don’t have.

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

      7 7 7 7!  I admittedly don’t care for the competing series that much, but recent Ys games are likely the most satisfying action-role-playing game battle systems out there.  It’s what Kingdom Hearts and Tales think they’re doing, and I LIKE those series (Dislikes Megami Tensei, likes Kingdom Hearts and Tales?  Yes, be quiet.)

      However, The Legend Of Heroes’ success has made Falcom think that they’re Square-Enix, so beware the story.

  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    One of my roleplay group was off making strained holiday small talk with her family tonight, so those of us remaining played a round of Star Trek Catan instead of our usual Pathfinder.
       Somewhat inexplicably (to me), of the vast Star Trek mythology to select from, all the game assets seem pulled solely from the very narrow sliver of the first two or three movies.  But I guess the middle-aged original crew in their neck waddle-obscuring turtlenecks are probably the best choice for a conflict-free resource trading game.
       Save the velour v-necks for a more dynamic system.
       Other than that, I’m seriously considering plunking down sixteen bucks for the iOS Final Fantasy IV, despite already owning it on every exsisting platform and even a few made-up ones.  Like the SmegoLite-78sans with removable dishwasher-safe theme plaques.
       But while FF VI is my favorite of the series -and still the best, I think- IV is instrumental enough to my rpg self that I’m never beyond revisiting it.
       Prolly some other nonsense, as well.

    • PaganPoet

      Have fun with FFIV! I recently played the PSP Complete Collection of the game which I enjoyed immensely. I loved the game as a kid, but it’s even better with a decent translation.

      I’m personally still holding out hope, probably foolishly, for some kind of full-on remake of FFVI. Not bad, clunky polygons like the DS FFIV remake, but rather gorgeous HD sprites. OR, in a perfect world, a full 3D, cel-shaded game in Yoshitaka Amano’s art style (*drool* of course this will never happen, though).

      Of course there’s something to be said about FFVI being a game of its time–I agree that it’s aged very well, and to this day looks better than any of the PS1 FF games IMO, but let’s be honest…there’s just a lot of human emotion and action that can’t be conveyed by a tiny little sprite.

      • Citric

        I’m not sure I want a remake of FFVI just because I’m paranoid they’ll mess it up. I’m not one of the crazy people who think it’s perfect, but the art style is really good, and the game would probably be harmed by the flash that Square seems to be a bit obsessed with.

        • PaganPoet

          Part of me is worried about them messing it up, for sure, but that side is being overpowered by the part that wants to see it graphically enhanced, with an arranged, fully orchestrated soundtrack… *daydreams*

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        I bought Final Fantasy Dimensions for the iPad.  And I enjoy it, but while the graphics are very high-res, it seems to have come at the expense of personality.  They have the artificial smoothness of a plastic surgery recipient.
           Contrast that with FF VI, which remains so wonderfully gorgeous, in part due to the textural quality of the pixels.
           But I agree with you completely.  If they could do a remake in Amano’s style, I would be on that like white on rice.  Um…  So to speak.

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

      Is it wrong that my favourite version of FFIV is still the American SNES version? I *like* that the battles are easier (though they were still pretty hard when I was 10) and that there’s only one status-healing item. I *love* the original English script, warts and all.

  • Enkidum

    If anything, it’ll be Portal and the new Fool’s Paradise with my kids and my dad. He’s stuck on level 15 or something of Portal, so the kids can show him the way – he’s not exactly an FPS master, and so tends to have a lot of trouble with things that require viewpoint shifts. And Fool’s Paradise will be a lot of fun, because it’s awesome.

  • EmperorNortonI

    I really hope Zor-Elle is her real name, because that’s just awesome.  I will do no research on this issue whatsoever, as that makes it far easier to keep believing that anyone is named Zor-Elle.

    Gaming has been really sparse recently.  Most game time has gone to my regular Borderlands 2 games.  The 2 player and 3 player games I’m in are about at the same point, level 12/13 or so.  In 3 player, we’re running Siren/Assassin/Soldier, and I’m rather enjoying the Soldier.  I’ve leveled up the turret a bit, and am about to get the Rockets.  In the 2 player game, I’m playing a Gunzerker, which turned out to be a lot more fun than I’d been expecting.  I’ve still not really figured out how to use the Gunzerk ability to its best, though, as I just keep getting knocked down when I do.  It’s not so practical to use from a distance, but in a 2-player game it’s dangerous to get too close.

    I’ve also been putting a bit of time into Planetside 2, and quite enjoying it.  It has a lot of what I liked from Red Orchestra, namely scale, meaningful cap points, and solid lines of engagement, but it’s also got a bit of the Halo stuff that I’m less fond of – jumping, and low-damage weapons.  The Australian server I’ve been playing on tends to be a bit sparsely populated, so I’ve rarely been involved in more than small-group skirmishes, but I still feel useful.

    Now that the break is near, I’m likely to get more serious about my studies (in an odd reversal, teachers save up their studying for breaks, when they have enough left-over mental energy to really think properly), and by Borderlands partners (co-workers, of course) may not be as available as usual, so who knows how it will go from here.

    • Mike Mariano

       Zatanna is not Supergirl!  Her burlesque name isn’t in continuity!

  • Staggering Stew Bum

    Why would these Geek Girl Burlesque folks go with The Boobs of Khan when The Rack of Khan is so so much better?

    Those other show names are a bit crap as well, they rely too heavily on wedging ‘boobs’ in the title when it doesn’t really fit. Mix it up a bit. How about:

    Mighty Mammary Power Rangers
    The Nipples of Doom OR The Titties of Doom
    Super Mario Bosoms (ok. maybe not that one)

    I don’t have one for A New Hope, because A Nude Hope ain’t that bad. Let’s dive in to the prequels instead:

    The Phantom Melons (narrowly edges out The Funbag Menace)
    Attack of the Cones
    And I don’t really like this one but can’t think of anything better: Revenge of the Tits

    Edited because DISQUS!!!

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

      The Leggings of Zelda
      Mega Mammaries
      Yoni’s Island
      Curvy’s Dreamland
      Chrono Garter
      Lingerie’s Mansion
      Booble Bobble
      Kid Dickarus
      Tits & Assassin’s Creed
      (or Tits & Asslevania)
      C[redacted]tra
      Uh…Buttroid?

    • http://twitter.com/MasterPrudent Glen H

      Grim Fellatio
      Final Fuckery
      Dreamfall: The Longest Dick
      No One Screws Forever
      Schlong (Pong)
      Jism: Mysterious Journey

      Eh… Screw You: Stages Beyond Fist

    • http://gameological.com/author/derricksanskrit/ Derrick Sanskrit

      I saw one here in NYC a few months ago by Epic Win Burlesque called “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Ass-Kaboom!” with the tagline “You’re a stripper, Harry!” on the posters.

      Ah, here it is: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/250680

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

        That’s a much better idea than my burlesque show, Harry Potty and the Chamberpots of Secretions.

    • http://ihaterickjones.com/ Seels

      *heavy sigh* Ass Effect.

      THIS is what I finally have to add to the great conversation after months of lurking?

    • Citric

      For Star Wars:
      The Empire Strikes Rack
      Return of the Titties
       
      Other stuff:
      Shin Megami Titties
      Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Ass
      God of Poon
      Secret of Tatas
      Jugs and Daxter

    • Effigy_Power

      Skyrimjob… That one’s a bit more hardcore.
      The Boobjob Saints
      Ass, Ass and Greed
      Game of Thrones (seriously, enough boobs in that already)
      Grand Chest Auto
      Ice-Wang Dale (for ladies)
      Dragon Age: Awobbling
      Disrobed
      Super Mario Garter
      Final Fantasy XXX (cheap)
      Kingdom Breasts

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

        My all-male revue “A Gayme of Bones” contains ZERO boobs, I’ll have you know!

  • Swadian Knight

    I’ve been playing Rune Factory: Frontier after discovering it buried among a pile of other Wii games. It’s a weird mash-up of a Harvest Moon style farm sim and a JRPG, and that is an extremely addictive mixture.

    It’s also weirdly dark underneath its candy-covered surface: one of the first things you’re told by the game is that your weapons are enchanted to return monsters to the forest they came from rather than hurt them, so you should attack as many as you can. Never mind the fact that it screamed in agony and dropped a Monster Hide and a Teardrop, that poor sheep-like monster you just cleaved in half with an enormous axe is totally fine.

    But that type of violence is not the only one you can visit upon these poor monsters, oh no. Early on, one of your neighbors supplies you with a petting brush, which you can use to forcibly recruit monsters to your farm. Worse still, once a monster is sufficiently addled by whatever substance you douse that brush in – brushing them once a day keeps them docile and oblivious to the horror of their situation, apparently – you can put it to work on your farm so you have even more free time and resources to dedicate to hunting down its brothers and sisters!

    Finally, you can capture the spirits of the dead and use them as a power source to make your lands more productive, or even crystallize them so you can open ancient doors to dungeons you really have no business trespassing into. I wish I was joking here.

    This game is like a production line of evil. 

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

      I really enjoyed “Innocent Life” for the PS2. It’s similar to “Rune Factory” in that there are ancient caverns to explore, eldritch doors to unlock, but there are no monsters to fight.

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

    The new Humble Bundle just came out, so I’ll probably give the full version of Closure, or Snapshot a try. I also might take a shot at Wrath of the Lamb, but considering how frequently vanilla Isaac hands me my own ass I can’t imagine I’ll fare well. (I’ve still never beaten it, though I did get to Mom once!)

    Folks who like weird formal experiments and puzzle platformers should check out Perspective by some folks at DigiPen. It’s mindbending in the way truly inventive game mechanics can be.

    Also, now that all the votes are  in, while I didn’t make the top 20 in GaryX’s commenter awards thing, it felt super nice to have been nominated, and I suspect I have Gameologists to thank for that. So, thanks for that. This place is so awesome, and the commentariat are a huge component of why that is so.

    (Also, in the comments on that competition page, I was reminded by a non-Gameologist John Teti fan that Teti was responsible for those awesome “Next Great Artist” write-ups which I read religiously despite not ever watching the show. Teti’s work at GS has been so stellar, I kind of forgot was a force to be reckoned with he was in the broader AV Club sphere in his own right…)

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

      I really enjoyed these AV Club awards, even if I didn’t have anything to nominate for many of the categories. Thanks to @GaryX:disqus for putting them together!

      On the subject of Perspective, I really like the idea – it’s a lot like Fez – and it’s quite a clever game from what I’ve played. However, the game is incredibly unstable. In 15 minutes of play, it has crashed thrice. Trying to change any of the options also results in a crash. I hope they release an updated version with the bugs ironed out.

  • stakkalee

    Oh man, yesterday was a travel day so I missed the awesome Play The Year games!  At least I’ll have something to play this weekend, since I’m down in Florida with my family.  It’s always fun to get together with my parents and siblings, even though we don’t really do “games;” it’ll either be Cranium (ugh) or Charades.
     
    I finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution last weekend, and I want to talk about the ending; SPOILERS, obviously.
     
    What was up with that wack-ass ending?  I enjoyed the hell out of the rest of the game, and I managed to get the Pacifist and Legend achievements which meant lots of stealthy goodness.  The social enhancer added some really interesting options to the NPC conversations, and I like the pheromones rather than just having to pass a speech or persuasion check.  Everything up until the end was lots of fun, even the telegraphed plot twists and unbelievable decisions (trusting Tong that second time?  Come on.)  Even that last boss battle took some strategy - it wasn’t just mowing down wave after wave of enemies.  But then, you walk down that corridor and are presented with 3 buttons, The Truth, Lie 1 and Lie 2, with a non-button fourth option, Kill Yourself.  And that’s your moral choice.  It’s quite obvious that the only reason for having 4 different endings is to give you 4 different achievements to go for, artificially extending the playability of the game.  This complex storyline is reduced to a multiple-choice ending, the ultimate in artistic cowardice.  I would have preferred the designers just give a concrete ending to Adam Jensen’s story – is he disgusted by both sides, and horrified at being the source of non-rejection enhancements?  Is he happy to be the first full transhuman?  Does he disavow any personal responsibility for how his genetics have been used?  Adam Jensen is a great character – keep him as a great character by committing to a real ending for his story.  There are other ways to introduce a complex morality into games – that’s what sidequests are for, dammit!  The ending wasn’t enough to ruin the rest of the game for me, but it was quite a letdown getting there and finding out I was playing a Choose Your Own Adventure.

    • fieldafar

      A more concrete answer to Adam Jensen’s fate would have been nice, but I thought the ending was fine. Obviously Eidos Montreal couldn’t have the endings in DX:HR affect a twelve-year-old game, and it did feel abrupt, but I didn’t mind interpreting my ending of choice to the way I liked. That’s just me anyway, and I completely understand your frustrations.

      Speaking of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, doesn’t the soundtrack kick ass or what? It’s even nicer owning it on an physical CD.

      • stakkalee

        Agreed on the soundtrack – I’m planning on using one of the many gift cards I assume I’ll receive to buy it.

    • Jackbert322

      I think the really big problem with the ending was that, Human Revolution being a prequel, they were constrained in what they could do in relation to the original Deus Ex. I actually enjoyed choosing my own ending, but I would have preferred a strong canon ending. Yes, it’d be hard to do, but, given the rest of the game, I expected more. I did hear from the developers that the cycle was constrained a bit: Pancheae was meant to be more fleshed out, and I’d assume they could’ve made a better ending. The way it stood, I feel like the only canon ending would’ve been the fourth option, which wasn’t very well done. Maybe in the next one. I choose him to be all like “hell yeah, I love being invisible and punching dudes” as I knew I would at the start of the game. As for side quests, I really loved how those fleshed out Jensen. Especially the “Acquaintances Forgotten” one, which has a very specific set of things you have to do to unlock it, but gives a lot into Jensen’s background. When the elderly woman (so y’all know if you did it or not) tells you SPOILER how she’s been saving up money for child-Jensen, and you can choose whether or not to take it, I choose to take it, and it was 200 credits. AWKWARD and quite sad. I would never have spent that 200 credits though.

      • stakkalee

        My problem with the “DE:HR is a prequel” argument is that it makes the multiple-choice ending even less justifiable.  I haven’t played the first Deus Ex, but I imagine it doesn’t revolve around a humanity that’s turned it’s back on augmentation, which means that telling the truth about the Illuminati (the ending I chose) apparently doesn’t have much of an effect on the public perception of augmentation technology.  The other 2 non-suicide options, lying for the boss or lying for Jesus, are less problematic with regards to getting us to the status quo of the original Deus Ex, but if that’s the case, then why bother having the 2 separate options at all?  And who says there needs to be an “ending” for DE:HR?  Get us to that room, give us the 4 buttons to push, then cut to a low shot of Adam Jensen striding forward and pressing a button, then fade to black.  Don’t tell us which one he chose, because it’s really not important.

  • Destroy Him My Robots

    If anyone else is playing the alpha of A Realm Reborn, feel free to hit me up. I’m enjoying it a lot, but perhaps that’s largely because pre-release communities tend to be fantastic. Shooting the breeze with some lovely British folks, healing strangers in need and receiving elaborate apologies for causing me such trouble in Japanese in return… I can totally justify a subscription if it stays like this. If only people could remember to walk instead of running through cities and camps, I’d have shed tears of joy by now.

    • http://wpham.com/ wpham

      I didn’t get into alpha, but people have been feeding me information from the forums and I find the overwhelmingly recidivist/Luddite attitudes of the majority of posters to be incredibly alarming — I really hope the developers don’t listen to the people who just want FFXI 2.0.  Though that game had a lot to offer, especially some of its framework regarding horizontal content, the gameplay itself flat-out sucked.

      In-game, in the alpha, my friends and linkshell members enjoyed themselves, but we’re all concerned about the pace and complexity of battle.

      • Sleverin

        It’s good to see some FFXIV love somewhere on the internet.  If I didn’t know any better I would have thought that the gaming press was just insanely bitter about the horrid release and just refuse to admit that the game had become fun at some point.  I’m glad to see the alpha in development, I can’t wait until the game comes out.  Hopefully I’ll see my fellow Gameological readers on there :D

        • http://wpham.com/ wpham

          Having stuck with FFXIV from its original beta up through now, I’m cautiously optimistic about the game given what Yoshida and his revamped team were able to do to that rotting carcass of an engine. The hard version of Rivenroad was remarkable design, considering the limitations.

      • Sleverin

        Yeah, I was impressed with what the team had done with 14 while I was away for quite some time.  By the end of it I had really wished that I had gotten back into playing a few months ahead of time.  It’s really amazing what they did what that engine which is terrible, and it’s too bad they were stuck with what they had.  The ending for the game was fantastic, amid the angry players about crashes and other such nonsense (I mean honestly, did we really think that getting the whole server population into one location was going to work?) the last week became powerfully defining, something I haven’t felt about a Final Fantasy game in quite some time honestly. 

        Seriously they need to keep Taru dragon kick in 2.0, because my little badass doing a breakdance while slaughtering enemies is way too sweet.

  • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

    As we jump into the holidays, I’d like to put this thesis out there:

    As a medium, video games have more in common with theatre than with film.

    Like theatre, video games are more limited by technology than literature or film. In both cases, we must accept less than 100% realism. Backgrounds are painted on canvas or rendered behind an invisible wall. But both mediums use this to their advantage. We don’t question why Mario doesn’t simply walk around that first goomba. We don’t question why everyone is loudly singing their innermost secrets.

    Even more importantly, theatre is a more interactive medium than film. Some plays, such as holiday pantos or fringe shows, are heavily built around audience interaction. In some cases, random audience members will be pulled on stage and incorporated into the show. Or, in the alternative, the play’s script is the game, and the performers are the players. Great plays are meant to be performed by many different troupes, each putting their own spin on the source. A film presents one fixed text, and the notion of a remake is usually considered sacrilege.

    I think the best games are the ones that understand this. They give you a space to explore and forge your path, rather than pull you through. Even an ultra-linear game like Portal 2 can make you feel as if you are discovering and creating rather than being a glorified spectator.

    • Citric

      Your last paragraph, see also: My ramblings about Ys: Oath in Felghana.

      Another great thing about Ys: It expects you to fail, but rewards you for taking advantage of the failure. For example, there are platforming sections where if you fall, you go into a room below. That room usually has a piece of sweet treasure in there, so you go and explore every inch of it. The best example of this is probably the snowy section, which is actually designed to be near impossible when you first encounter it. Then you fall down, find a new area, find the the snow shoes, and you can suddenly do all sorts of cool stuff.

  • boardgameguy

    family games with the holidays night.  that means things like LOST CITIES, GET BIT, 7 WONDERS, BALDERDASH, PICTIONARY and the like

  • HobbesMkii

    Leave me alone, Steam! I don’t want you’re heavily discounted games. There’s no way I’ll even finish my existing library. Ooooooh, you’re marking that down 75%?! No…stay strong, Hobbes. Stay strong. For the chil’rens.

    • Citric

      Plus there’s a new Humble Indie Bundle. I haven’t even played most of the games from the LAST HIB. 

  • Treymoney

    I’m enjoying The Real Texas, which I picked up at gog.com’s Christmas sale.  It is a bizarre little isometric view Zelda-style ARPG, with a conversation system based on Ultima VI.  The story involves a Texas Rancher on vacation to a mysterious castle in England.  He enters a portal into a Purgatory-like realm that shapes itself into a Bizarro-world version of Texas.  The combat is super-wonky but the exploration and storytelling have been spectacular so far.

  • Xtracurlyfries

    I find it ironic that this is the first time nobody has commented on the hotness of a lady gamer appearing in this feature. 

    • His_Space_Holiness

      It just seems redundant somehow.

  • Effigy_Power

    “Things that jiggle are funny.”

    I have nothing to add to that. Also, that lady is hot. I feel comfortable saying that.

    Now back to Fallout 3.

    PS: Digest Comic has to be next week, due to… erm… snow. Let’s say snow.

  • uselessyss

    I barely played any games this week – finals took up the vast majority of my time.

    That means I still haven’t finished [b]Dragon Age: Awakening[/b] (or Origins – Awakening or whatever it’s called), but nothing’s stopping me now.

    Other than that, I also want to catch up on all of the [b]Amnesia Fortnight[/b] videos, and then play the prototypes. Anyone take a look at those? From what I’ve seen so far, they all seem very impressive for two weeks of work.

    I might also get into [b]Ultima VII[/b], though I’m worried it’ll seem like work instead of play. “Classic” games can definitely be harder to get into than “classic” movies or music. I know some people even have trouble going back to games from the PS2 era – I wonder if we’ll ever cross a line past which games will be able to be appreciated years after their release.

    I want to cultivate an ability to appreciate older games for what they are, and GOG.com is a pretty great resource for that.

    • Treymoney

      I played Ultima VII for the first time earlier this year and loved it.  It really is the father of the modern western RPG, and because of this it still feels surprisingly vital.  Of course, you have to get past the archaic UI first.  And I would recommend finding a decent map of Britannia online.

  • http://twitter.com/roundthewheel RTW

    Currently diggin’ on Rayman Origins for the 3DS. A friend got it for me for Christmas. Looking at video I can see why people have said it’s the least of the many ports, but I don’t have any current-gen consoles and this is really the only way I’ll get to experience it, so I’ll take it. And I am currently having a blast with it, so yeah.

    Christmas with my parents is tonight, and then there are more visits over the next few days. I hope to be rolling in 3DS games and/or Amazon gift cards by the time it’s all over.

    —–

    Also, I’ve been reticent to bring this up because I don’t want to be considered as spamming, but a couple of friends and I have started a gaming podcast, which I think is a relevant concern around these here parts. We call it ZB&J, and we talk about a mix of current and retro stuff. In this episode, recorded last Friday the 14th: Street Fighter X Mega Man, the VGAs, and games we got for Christmas, among other things.

    Direct download link: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?ga28fg74zi8zzy1
    (We usually put up a streamable YouTube version also, but I probably won’t have time to do that until after the holidays.)

    We want to have it on iTunes eventually to get it more noticed, but we are not terribly tech-savvy people, and I’m still trying to get in some spare time to figure out how to make an RSS feed. Anyway, we just like shootin’ the breeze, and if you listen to it and (if you enjoy it) tell your friends about it, we would really appreciate it!

  • Fluka

    I have spent the past 36 hours traveling, via three separate flights, across the Atlantic to an undisclosed location to spend Christmas with my in-laws.  So no gaming for me until the new year, alas!  *Sighs dramatically and sadly shakes head, while nibbling fine cured meats and sipping a delicate rosé wine.*

    That said, I’ll probably end up watching my preteen brother-in-law obsessively play Minecraft.  This game is *everywhere* you guys!

    • PaganPoet

      Have him make a cat fountain for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9c0vkf8pm8

  • evanwaters

    Been playing Portal, since I now have a Macbook Pro and am not 5 years behind the graphical curve.

    Also my brother got Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed for his PS3 and it’s quite fun. It really is Mario Kart with Sega IP, with Wreck-It Ralph and also for some reason Danica Patrick.  It’s still a little buggy but fun to play.

    As for face to face games, over the holidays we’ve been playing something called Exquisite Corpse, which despite the name is more a kind of pictionary/telephone hybrid. You write down a sentence, pass it to the person next to you, they draw a picture of that sentence, passes it along, the next person draws a sentence based on the picture, and so on until you get your original back and see what happened to it on the way. There’s no real way to tell who “wins” so it’s just a question of seeing how crazy these things get.

    • PaganPoet

      Exquisit Corpse is also the name of a great song from Hedwig and the Angry Inch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAkKZlBayrg

    • 3FoldPictureSurprise

      Ah, oh, ja!
      This! Exquisite Corpse!
      Best game. Ever.
      Neither winners nor losers result, only Art.

      Invented as Dada gave birth to Surrealism
      Played first by Breton & Duchamp & etc.

      “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau,” indeed.

      My brothers and I have played this game all of our lives, being taught its methods by our father.
      Thanks, dad(a)!