What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Aaron Bleyaert

Aaron Bleyaert, comedy producer

Sometimes, this Conan producer just wants to be a cube of meat.

By Jason Reich • February 8, 2013

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.

Aaron Bleyaert is the senior digital producer at Conan, and the man behind the show’s Clueless Gamer segments, in which Conan O’Brien—who admits to having zero interest in video games—reviews popular video games. Bleyaert spoke to The Gameological Society about how gaming might just make him a better man.

The Gameological Society: What are you playing this weekend?

Aaron Bleyaert: For work, I’m playing the new Tomb Raider, which is awesome, and I just finished Halo 4. I might go back to Peggle, honestly. Peggle is kind of my go-to. I’ve been super into the Xbox Live Arcade games recently. They’re just little nuggets of fun to download and play.

But I have a whole stack of games to get through. I’m playing Far Cry 3, although I’m not very far—ha ha—into it. I gotta say, I’m not really convinced. I’m usually a fan of sandbox games. I love Skyrim. Oh my God, I played Skyrim forever. Same thing with Fallout 3. When my apartment got burglarized, what I was most pissed about was they stole the Xbox and they didn’t leave the hard drive. I was like, “Duuuuude. I know you stole my TV, all my DVDs, but leave the hard drive, bro. I’ll pay you. I’ll buy you an extra hard drive, you can take it with you.” It was heartbreaking.

Gameological: That’s kind of a hard thing to put on a “missing” poster.

Bleyaert: Yeah, exactly. “Missing: All my saved games.” But Far Cry 3, for some reason I just cannot get into it. I don’t know if there are too many leaves or what the deal is.

Gameological: Boy, there are a lot of leaves in that game. I just finished it. For the first 10 hours or so, I did every hunting mission, liberated every outpost, but after a while, it all started to feel the same.

Bleyaert: I totally agree. Though I do really enjoy going down the ziplines. That’s the best part, because you’re like, “Wheeeee!” That’s me going “Wheeeee!” in my apartment by myself. But I’m having trouble with it. I’ll play for a while, then go play another game, and then think, “Ugh, I have to play more Far Cry 3.”

Gameological: Once a game starts to feel like a chore, that’s usually when I put it away.

Bleyaert: That’s why I’ve been so into the Xbox arcade games. It’s like a short story as opposed to a novel. Sometimes you don’t want to sit through a 10-minute prologue, then you have to learn the game, and then you have to get into the game. Sometimes you just want to pick up a game and play. Like Super Meat Boy. I just want to play a cube of meat for 20 minutes and then go do something else. We’ve reached this point in video games where they become an emotional burden. It’s too much.

Gameological: What’s on the docket for Clueless Gamer?

Bleyaert: [This week] is Halo 4, which was super fun. It’s interesting because Conan is actually getting kind of good. All right, “good” might be an overstatement. He had trouble in the beginning—when we did Minecraft, for instance—he had trouble with the two-stick thing. He would move, and then he would look. Now he’s gotten to the point where he can do both. So now that he’s got moving and looking, he also needs shooting. But I get punched a lot less, now that he’s less frustrated.

Gameological: My favorite parts are when you’re trying to explain a game’s backstory and Conan’s eyes immediately glaze over.

Bleyaert: That definitely happened with Halo. The game has such a rich history, and you try to explain, okay, Earth’s forces are battling the Covenant, and the Covenant worships this race called the Forerunners, and the Forerunners perished in a fight with Flood who were trying to take over—you know, there’s no way you don’t sound totally insane. And Conan’s coming from a normal person’s perspective, which is just, “What the fuck are you talking about?”

Gameological: The show is headed to Atlanta soon, and you accompanied Conan on his Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On TV tour. How do you get your gaming fix when you’re on the road?

Bleyaert: I actually brought my Wii on the tour bus, and one thing I learned is you can’t really play the Wii on a moving bus. It was the dumbest thing to bring, a gaming system that relies on motion almost exclusively. The back of the tour bus is a very small room with three couches, and the TV is up really high, and you can stand almost two people across. So you’re standing there, waving your arms back and forth, looking up at the sky as the bus is jostling back and forth. So many bruises.

But we did just get a Wii U, which is super fun. It feels to me like the next step. For the first time playing any video game system I was like, “Oh my God, I actually feel kind of old.” It was a similar experience to when I first started playing the Wii. It’s like you’re learning new skills. You’re almost powering up yourself. I felt like, okay, this is going to take a little getting used to, and when I do it, I’m going to be a next-level human being. I’ll have more speed or awareness or whatever. It’s definitely going to take some more playing.

Gameological: Well, I look forward to Bleyaert 2.0.

Bleyaert: Yeah. Twice as aware, half as handsome.

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.

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  • Cloks

    I’m getting a brand new PSP 3000 in the mail today as a little present to myself for spending money on a brand new PSP 3000. It’s coming with a copy of Final Fantasy Tactics: Lions or Something but I’ll be playing Mother 3 on it by the end of the weekend.

    Addendum: I’ll probably play some Pandemic this weekend if I get the chance. Got the 2nd edition of the game which WARNING: DON’T BUY FOR A FEW MONTHS because it’s got a lot of printing issues. I’m getting a new board in the mail from Z-Man games but it’s a great game and any potential players would be doing themselves a disservice by picking up one of the many flawed copies they inadvertently released.

    • PaganPoet

      You know, I should mod my PSP now that I have a PSVita so I can play homebrew on it. I have yet to play Mother 3 myself, and I really can’t understand why I haven’t gotten around to it.

      Also, give FFT: War of the Lions a fair chance. FFTactics is a phenomenal game, and this is arguably the best version of it.

      • Cloks

        Don’t worry, it’s a game I’ve been meaning to play for years. I’m just being dismissive of it because I think the subtitle is funny.

    • Raging Bear

      I promised Pandemic (without naming it) as a late Christmas present to a pair of friends, who both love board games and are in grad school, for a further nursing specialty and epidemiology respectively, so it seems pretty much made for them.

      Amazon is allegedly getting it back in stock this weekend, so I’m pretty much going to have to buy it and just hope it’s the corrected edition. I can’t find it anywhere else, apart from other online sellers who’ve been gouging the price insanely since Amazon ran out before Christmas.

      • boardgameguy

        there is a totally different look to the art of the board and cards.  beyond that, the game play is the same with only a few minor tweaks in the rules to clarify some vague wording

        • Raging Bear

          Thanks! I’ll probably go for it.

    • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

      Final Fantasy Tactics is the best turn-based pope-slaying game in existence.  Good choice.

      Also, how do you always get firsties Cloks!?!?

      • Cloks

        I subscribe to the RSS feed and check it pretty regularly around 12.00 – 1.00 AM because I read a lot of webcomics and that’s when they usually update. Getting first posts is just a nice bonus.

      • His_Space_Holiness

        I hate that genre.

    • George_Liquor

      I picked up a PSP-3000 recently, too. I figured I’d better get one new while the gettin’s still good.

      Hey, anybody gots any must-play suggestions for the PSP?

      • PaganPoet

        Persona 3 Portable (even if you’ve already played P3FES…female protagonist!)
        Dissidia 012
        Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops
        LocoRoco 2
        Patapon 3
        Daxter
        FFT: War of the Lions
        Jeanne d’Arc
        Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

        • Jackbert322

          Don’t forget:

          Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
          Lumines: Puzzle Fusion
          Patapon 2
          Valkyria Chronicles II
          Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X
          Mega Man: Powered Up

        • George_Liquor

          Cool, thanks. How familiar does one have to be with the series to play those Persona 3 games? I’ve played the fighting game on the PS3, but that’s the end of my experience with the series.

        • PaganPoet

          @George_Liquor:disqus Each of the main Persona game is its own, self-contained story, so you can pick P3P up and not worry that you won’t understand it. There are small nods/cameos to earlier games, but nothing big.

    • http://twitter.com/djbeema Reuben

      I’ve always wanted to play FFVII Crisis Core and MGS Portable Ops, but that doesn’t seem worth the price of buying a PSP for. I feel like there has to be some other way I can play them. Thankfully Peace Walker came out for PS3 if I want to play that.

  • dmikester

    Two games and only two games for likely the next several months: Mass Effect 2 and Ni no Kuni.  I’m playing them on alternating days and am madly in love with both of them.     

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

      Yeah, Mass Effect 2 is probably the most fun of the trilogy.

      • dmikester

        I’ve been very surprised by how much pure fun I’ve been having with it.  I wouldn’t exactly call the first Mass Effect “fun” but it was still a wonderful game and experience.  But last night, without even realizing it, I was laughing and yelling at the screen during Kasumi’s loyalty mission; it just kept getting crazier and crazier (and it didn’t hurt that Kasumi herself is awesome in combat).  It’s a weird mixture of things: the mining for resources is about the least fun and most mindless thing I’ve done in a game in a long while (though it’s not unpleasant, just dull), but for the most part the missions and game structure are intense and very fun.

        Ni no Kuni on the other hand is just pure fun and joy.

        • PaganPoet

          Kasumi’s loyalty mission is awesome and I love her. She’s actually what inspired me to switch the Infiltrator class in ME3, and I’m glad I did. It’s a blast.

          • dmikester

            I’m early in the game (I just got Jack, for example, and am about to pick up The Warlord), but Kasumi is the only character so far who I feel like I don’t have to babysit in battle. As we were battling through Hock’s guards, without me doing anything she was taking guards out left and right, never needed to get revived, and just felt like a real, intelligent companion. If I like Jack (and since I’m a Soldier I need biotics in my party), I’m going to be hard-pressed to not just take Jack and Kasumi along for every battle.

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

    Man, I love the Clueless Gamer segments. The Hitman: Absolution one in particular was priceless. Also, I’m super jealous that Mr. Bleyaert already has his hands on the new Tomb Raider, because I’m really looking forward to that game. I’ve always wanted an Uncharted-like game for PC, so this should satisfy that fix.

    On deck for this weekend: a little BioShock 2. This one controls better than the first BioShock, and it’s a lot more fun to play. But if I have to hear the phrase “the Family” once again, I’m going to punch a baby walrus.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      A baby walrus is the game’s final boss.

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

        woah there hitler

        • Effigy_Power

          How does that get 9 likes if you do it?
          -grumbles-

        • Pandas_please

           He’s got the delivery down perfectly.

        • Effigy_Power

          I can’t argue with that, @Pandas_please:disqus.

    • http://twitter.com/djbeema Reuben

      The Hitman one was fucking hilarious. I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised by it. Usually I expect video games as comedy on mainstream shows to be tackled with the usual outdated and disparaging “nerd in basement” jokes. 

  • Fluka

    New Clueless Gamer!!  Where?!  *Watches*  Aah, most satisfying, as always (although Hitman is still the absolute best).  ”Want some flan made of…you’re dead?”

    It’s been a long week of both struggling with my own work and also inheriting a rat’s nest of legacy code for a job which will soon turn me into THIS.  Therefore, I’m gonna grab a beer, kick back, and play some Proteus.  Er, can I even use the word “play” there?  Whatever, don’t give a crap.  It’s Friday night and I will damn well wander through a procedurally generated synesthetic pixel dreamworld if I want to.That’s assuming my power stays on.  We’re expecting two feet of snow here.

    Alternate plans include (if power) making a cake, or (if no power) huddling in the cold snowy dark under a blanket with the cats and reading John Le Carré.  Chilly!

    • Effigy_Power

      How do you become a Turian?

      • Fluka

        By being in the middle of some calibrations.

        (No, really, I am.  Like, I’m calibrating right now.)

        • Effigy_Power

          I imagine that’s something straight people do.
          -static pun ftw-

        • Fluka

          Well, Mr. Fluka doesn’t get home until next week, damn it!

        • Effigy_Power

          Bow-chika-wow-wow…

  • Effigy_Power

    More Skyrim! MORE SKYRIM!

    Despite a heartbreaking bug that was instantly fixed by the community patch (the typical Bethesda experience), Dragonborn is absolutely awesome. It really is Skyrim’s Shivering Isles.
    Solstheim is amazing and really feels like a place I’ve been to before, but that has evolved over the 200 years since Morrowind. The quests are interesting, the main story is actually surprisingly good (as ever with Elder Scrolls DLCs) and the new gear is quite good.
    The map isn’t huge, certainly not when compared with Skyrim itself, but the island has more than enough to offer. Add to that the fact that nostalgia is written all in caps with even some of the old Morrowind soundtrack in the game and you’ve got yourself a great DLC.

    I am hoping that there won’t be a new Elder Scrolls for a while and that Skyrim will rather get a ton of large DLCs a la Fallout3/NV. With Elder Scrolls Online in the wings, I am sure it will be years and years until TES6, so I am looking forward (hopefully) to some more exploration. The Alik’r desert to the west would be a great addition, as would Orsinium or the Summerset Isles… Or maybe even the fabled continent of Atmora… or the homeland of the Blades… ever expanding on the original game rather than chopping the world into more and more games would be fantastic. Skyrim’s engine is good enough to stay fresh and relevant for years, so why not, Bethesda?

    Also some Planetside to shut up Sub constantly asking. ^_^

    • Fluka

      “The main story is actually surprisingly good.”  WhaaaAat?!

      Aah, right.  As you say.  Elder Scrolls DLC.  Did it break any mods?

      • Effigy_Power

        I am running 156 mods off the Steam Workshop and none seem to have been affected, so that’s good. Not much in Skyrim itself has changed, other than the single quest-initiating encounter, the dragon soul thing and a ship in the harbor of Windhelm, so it’s all good.

    • DrFlimFlam

      Skyrim here as well. WoW has actually hurt my wrist in my mad dash to 90, so I can’t play it all weekend so I can rest. But Skyrim I can play.

    • Histamiini

      Skyrim for me as well, although I have lots of things to do before doing Dragonborn.

      I’m just finishing up building my house, so next I will

      (1) Craft a black leather corset
      (2) Go to Riften to seduce Mjoll the Lioness and before she has time to say anything adopt a couple of kids from the orphanage
      (3) Leave Mjoll to take care of the children
      (4) Go vampire hunting

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      I’m glad to hear Dragonborn is good.  I happily avoided Dawnguard but this seems much more involved all around.
         I hadn’t touched Skyrim in months, and of all things to get me to pick up the game again was Hearthfire.
         Which might be a bit silly to someone running 156 mods, but it was deeply satisfying to stand in the snow, hammering nails while a sociopathic, Khajiit mage stood by, surprisingly patient, until I got my foyer just so.
         Now that I’m playing again, I think I might actually go on missions instead of just wandering aimlessly across the world map, poking my head into every seemingly-identical cairn I come across.
         I think that may help game play longevity.

      • Effigy_Power

        Dawnguard got a lot of bad rep, but I actually enjoyed it. It sends you through Blackreach (or not, depending on how far you are mainquest wise), introduces the crossbows which are really growing on me, and two new areas, both actually not bad.
        Hearthfire is also fun, but it’s insanely buggy even for Bethesda standards. The “Build 3 houses” achievement seems unattainable, the walls sometimes grow back over the doors… the house in Hjaalmarch doesn’t appear at all. It’s lovely, but bugged like an outdoor mattress.
        Dragonborn however… I know, I am gushing.
        PS: A lot of the mods are Town Enhancements, improved textures and a few small items. So far I have resisted crotchless anime boob-armor.

        • HobbesMkii

           Which one is the Hjaalmarch house? Is that in the same region as Morthal?

        • Histamiini

          There is an unofficial patch for Hearthfire (as well as Skyrim and Dawnguard). I have it installed and the only weird thing I experienced is a couple of dead zombies materialising on the yard. The location in the north is great by the way.

          Lots of mods that one could recommend, obviously. Climates of Skyrim, any mod that makes dungeons and nights dark (dark nights are amazing, and the fights are absolute chaos with just magical flashes and running blindly through vegetation), enhanced ambient sounds, town enhancements, and lots of little things that improve the game mechanics. They make a huge difference. Just don’t install anything that ruins the balance. If anything, install something that makes the enemies level with you further.

          As for armor, come on, don’t tell me you don’t want this:
          http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/25852

        • Effigy_Power

          It is the house you get north of Morthal, yes. No matter what (and on two different characters), the quest never proceeds past “Use the workbench to build a foundation” and despite spending the materials, it never appears.
          Also, I can’t make Aela the Huntress move into any of my homesteads, despite being married to her.
          I am running the unofficial patch, but it seems to fix nothing in that department. I am sure there’s something to be done somewhere, but sheesh… Hearthfire really has it going on.
          Climates of Skyrim and Sounds of Skyrim are amongst my favorite mods, so is the line of Cities Extended.
          I also have a mod that levels the enemies further than the vanilla version would, and I am getting “Strong Giants” which are really really tough to fight… not to mention Ancient Dragons and beyond.

          The armor actually looks nice (the hat not so much), but I am playing a male Orc in bulky armor, so maybe for later.

        • Effigy_Power

          @Histamiini:disqus: Also, I take that Lustmord armor and raise you this: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/31229

        • Histamiini

          @Effigy_Power:disqus That’s a nice mask in the first image, but I’m an assassin, I don’t do heavy armor.

          Still haven’t saved Mjoll from the sad man who follows her around Riften. I might delay that. I’ve done some awful things. I’ve killed innocent people, I’ve stolen everything that can be stolen, I’ve performed unspeakable tasks for evil gods, I’ve tasted human flesh, and despite my fun new hairstyle (http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/10168/ ) I might not be ready for redemption yet. Also, a horrible thought came to me: what if Mr Friendzone follows her to our house? Naturally I’d have to cut his throat and I’m trying to leave that part of my life behind.

        • Effigy_Power

          @Histamiini:disqus: I do use Apachi Hair myself, since the vanilla hairstyles are fairly awful… Bethesda has never been good at making that.

          PS: 4 Black Soul Gems later that armor suits like it’s light… thanks a lot, “Sneak is 40% better” enchantment. ^_^

    • George_Liquor

      I just downloaded the Fall Of The Space Core mod, and I’ve been enjoying his insane ramblings. I must be having a hard time getting into Skyrim, because he’s the most enjoyable aspect of the game so far.

      Other than that, I’ve been on a Mega Man kick lately. I bought Mega Man 2 & 3 off Fleabay recently, and I’ll be firing them up once I finish Mega Man X.

      Also I got another Magic nerd tourney on deck for Saturday, where I will have my own ass kicked off, gift-wrapped and handed back to me. Whee!

      • Effigy_Power

        It’s certainly not a game for everyone. A lot of people I know becry its lack of direction. My girlfriend grew up with JRPGs and loves Dragon Age and Mass Effect, where the freedom is restricted in order to keep the game running along the plot. Elder Scrolls and Fallout games instead assume nothing and leave everything to you, and that puts a lot of people off.

        • George_Liquor

          It’s not the lack of direction that’s getting to me, (I love Fallout 3 & NV) it’s the dour, joyless look of the game. I could play this game on a black & white TV and not notice any difference! Characters are endlessly crowing about how awesome I am as a “Dragonborn,” but 10 zillion fetchquests later, it feels unearned.

          The really bad sveeedish accents that some of the voice actors adopted isn’t helping, either.

    • djsubversive

      I’m “constantly asking” because everybody who was in the chatroom last night has the game! And it’s a lot more fun playing in a group. Even if you die a lot (I do).

      Early morning ATV-ing on Esamir (it’s basically Hoth): http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/900987980315705105/394765B3E83AEDAA35956E25D9F9E0041F36412D/

      • Effigy_Power

        Stop hijacking my posts for your own dirty little hobbies! ^_^

        • djsubversive

          Fine, I’ll just start my own thread, with hookers and blackjack!

          In fact, forget the thread!

        • George_Liquor

           Aww screw the whole damn thing.

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

        FYI, Steam always says that everyone on a user’s friend list owns any given free-to-play game.

        • djsubversive

          True, but I wasn’t looking at the store page. The “Friends who also play PlanetSide 2″ list (which is what shows up on the library page) only counts people who’ve actually played the game.

  • Jackbert322

    Mass Effect 1 is a wrap. I was going to take a couple week break before Mass Effect 2, maybe play Psychonauts. I started Mass Effect 2 a couple hours ago. Go figure. I also am going to start Devil Survivor 2 on DS. Finally, the PlayStation Store is having a 50% off sale on most Final Fantasy games, and I picked up Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy! Worst. Name. Ever. But I had been wanting that game for a while, so I’m pretty excited. Sadly, since I’m also playing Crisis Core, that means my New Game+ of Persona 3 Portable is probably going to be put off again. Related to the Final Fantasy sale, out of FFV to FFIX, which two should I pick? I’m leaning towards either VI and VII or VII and IX.

    • PaganPoet

      Who did you save in Virmire? What’s Shepards new job in ME2?

    • PaganPoet

      btw, Dissidia 012 is tons of fun, and it’s pretty much 100% FF fanservice; Terra is the HBIC in that game

      • Jackbert322

        Haha, excluding a few hours of Crisis Core, I’ve never played a Final Fantasy game, hence my question above. Whatever, I liked the battle system from the demo and the “light vs. dark” story is supposedly nice ‘n simple, which will be a nice respite from Mass Effect and Devil Survivor.

        I killed Ashley. Duh. I mean, she likes Tennyson. Tennyson! Fuckin’ Heron likes Tennyson. Byron rules, Tennyson drools, amirite? And she’s a racist. And she has too many sisters. What do you mean “new job”? I’ve only played through the opening video and the customization portion. Pamela put her hair up and got a nose job. Man, I’m so glad there’s options for noses besides the perfectly straight and diagonal ones in ME1. Regal bumpy noses, yo, straight outta circa 3rd century Roman coin. If you’re referring to my class, I’m still a Vanguard.

        • PaganPoet

          Yeah, I meant class. Job is the FF term for the same thing (i.e. Fighter, White Mage, Black Mage, Thief, etc) Oop!

          When you get to ME3, switch to Infiltrator. It’s TONS of fun, especially since ME3 puts a bigger emphasis on melee combat.

        • Fluka

          @PaganPoet:disqus OMG, but ME3 Vanguard gets the Biotic Falcon Punch!  And Nova!  So you can Charge into someone’s face, then Novasplode, and then Biotic Punch and shotgun-to-the-face the stragglers!  And then Charge again to restore your shields.  Advantage: Vanguard.

        • Jackbert322

          Sorry, Poet, I’m doing Infiltrator on my second playthrough. Keeping the same class the whole way for each. Fluka, biotic falcon punch sounds even cooler than TYPHOOOOONNNNN.

        • PaganPoet

          @Fluka:disqus  But Infiltrator Cloaks are so much fun! If you pack ONLY a Heavy Pistol and an Assault Rifle, it recharges almost instantly. Cloak -> get right in the enemy’s face -> shank that bitch with your omni tool -> Repeat as desired

        • Zach_Annon

           I’ll stick with the Engineer, TYVM.  Drone, sentry turret, and 2 companions = nobody ever shoots at me!  Hooray!

          Or, if I’m playing multiplayer, the N7 infiltrator is like the best character ever.  Max out melee damage bonus and her teleporty-stabby skill (forget what it’s called), use a heavy pistol, and max out cloak for cooldown reduction and bonus power, and you are an unstoppable killing machine that has complete control of the battlefield.  It’s truly, truly glorious.

        • DrFlimFlam

           Crisis Core is so terrible.

        • Chum Joely

          Walt Whitman; or, if not, I bid you get the fuck out.

        • Chum Joely

          In this subthread and elsewhere, I’ve noticed lots of people quoting specific sequences of power-up moves (what is the actual term?!) in Mass Effect that yield awesome results in battle. Is this an ME 2 & 3 thing? Because in ME 1, I feel like everything is relatively “samey” as the young kids say, and basically I end up deploying everything within the first 15-20 seconds of actual in-world time in any given battle.

          That being said, there is something like a standard order: Liara puts up a Barrier, I bust out with Neural Shock bzw. AI Hacking depending on the nature of our foe, and of course Ashley just Overkills it because she doesn’t have that much else to do. After that, various random spamming of every other power up until everything’s recharging and Ashley has to play her precious Adrenaline Boost. Is this it? Because you guys seem more attached to your techniques than I am to mine.  ;)

        • PaganPoet

          @ChumJoely:disqus Actually, yes, it is specific to ME2 and ME3. ME1, for all its merits, greatly underpowers biotic and tech abilities. I just started a new ME1 game as a soldier, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much easier it is (even on a higher difficulty). ME2 and 3 buffed up the effectiveness of other forms of combat and made them much more useful.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        I agree with your summation of the Final Fantasy iterations almost completely.
           As such, I will be informing my wife tonight that should I pass, my life insurance payout will be going to you.
           I’ll contact the folks at Metlife that my new beneficiary is PaganPoet.  He is crocheted and a bit angry looking.
           I don’t foresee there being any complications.

        • PaganPoet

          *OOH*

          Be on the look out for falling pianos.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          I’m an anthropomorphic cartoon duck.  I get pianos dropped on my head with some frequency.

      • WorldCivilizations

        I have some disagreements here, though my opinions here are admittedly idiosyncratic. I think FF6 does not hold up. It has great atmosphere, but the boss fights are generally very easy, and the random encounters are oppressively common and difficult. I honestly think that Chrono Trigger is twice the game. And FF8 may be my favorite of the gen – admittedly, largely because of triple triad, but I still think it has wonderful environments, I like the junction and GF systems, and there are lots of fun, challenging side-quests. 

        • PaganPoet

          I agree that Chrono Trigger is better than FFVI, but just barely.

      • http://acksed.myopenid.com/ Colin

        After the heartbreak of FF8, 9 soothed me with tailed thieves, stuck-up knights, depressed summoners, blue omnivores and badass women. No classes here, these were people.

    • Citric

      Much as I like VI, go with VII and IX. Especially IX, they made such a wonderful world out of that one.

      • doyourealize

        Seconded. IX may have been more generic, but it’s still my favorite FF, after XII. Easily my top pick of your choices, @Jackbert322:disqus .

    • caspiancomic

       Eeeee! So many questions! So you saved Kaidan (as did I!), but what happened to Wrex? What about the Council? Who did you do kissing stuff with???

      Also: Team Infiltrator all the way. I rely really heavily, almost exclusively, on sniper rifles, sometimes with an Incinerate chaser. I never even used Tactical Cloak, I was too busy killing everyone from hundreds of metres away.

      • Jackbert322

        Wrex is alive. I only found out the alternative is possible on the ME2 import screen. I had poured enough into Charm and Intimidate to chill him out pretty quick.

        I saved the Council because Pamela, running contrary to her Earthborn background, hates humans. It has to do with her DARK AND GRITTY Sole Survivor story I made up in my head. And even if the Council had been humans, I’d have saved them anyway, because Pamela is a horrible evil baby-killing fascist who believes in “for the greater good” and apparently that’s Paragon.

        I did kissing stuff with Liara. It was very awkward and poorly animated. I chortled throughout. Afterwards, I remembered the 2007 ME1 sex controversy (back when the economy was good and there hadn’t been any school shootings in a while, what a boring time that must have been) and laughed some more. I’m also dumping the shit out of her in ME2 for Garrus.

        • PaganPoet

          Yeah, the love scenes remind me of a little kid rubbing two naked Barbie dolls together.

        • Fluka

          “Now KISS!”  The Dragon Age Origins sexytime animation still haunt my nightmares.  (Alistair…what are you DOING?)

          This is a maaajor plus of the Garrus romance, actually.  It’s heavy on awkward flirting and talk and implied stuff, but beyond some obscured kissing in ME3, it keeps the interspecies grappling left to the imagination.

        • caspiancomic

           Oh man how do you even do kissing stuff with a turian, those beaks look really hard.

          Also, it’s good to see I’m not the only weirdo who invented a needlessly specific backstory for his Shepard (fun fact: Pat Shepard has never been romantically involved with a human woman! What a lunatic!).

          ME2 is less big on game-changing life or death decisions (Choose a teammate to live! Save or kill Wrex! Save or kill the council!), but depending on your level of game completion and decision making skills, things could go very differently one playthrough to the next. Free advice: don’t go for the Reaper IFF until you’ve done everything else you want to get done.

          Next week I’ll probably be reporting that I’ve finally got the Mass Effect Trilogy under my belt, but I’m still super amped to see how your journey through the series goes! Also I’m pretty sure you started Mass Effect like two weeks ahead of me, how could this possibly have happened.

        • Fluka

          @caspiancomic:disqus I’m sure deviantART is more than happy to demonstrate how human-turian kissing works (and more!).

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

      I started a 2nd playthrough of ME3, this time without importing a ME2 character, and I have to say that the default options are really depressing. 

      Alternatives to Mass Effect this weekend include Super Metroid, The World Ends With You, or maybe even a PS1 RPG. All that talk about Chrono Cross yesterday got me excited.  

    • Chum Joely

      Nice. I have been pretty much only doing the story missions on ME1, and I was about to make a mad dash for Virmire after finishing up on Noveria, but I happened to talk to a colleague who strongly encouraged me to explore the ME1 universe a little beyond the main story arc. So now I’m on some damned rock that’s being steered towards collision with a human colony, and after that I’ll take on the Wrex’s Armor and Garrus’s Evil Organ Merchant missions, and THEN Virmire, for SURE. Maybe some random planet-surveying along the way. This will surely take me well through the weekend because my kids never seem to sleep.

      Also, is it just me or does Liara totally play hard-to-get? I was sure I’d get her to mindmeld with me (sexually) after Feros and Noveria were both done, but I have to go all the way through to post-Virmire? Yeesh!
      Oh and btw, @Jackbert322:disqus , I got your message on Steam about Rayman Legends. Yes, I heard, and yes I’m very pleased to see that it will be on PS3! I wonder what they’ll do with the gameplay features that were supposed to be Wii-U-specific, though…

      • Jackbert322

        I STRONGLY encourage you to explore the ME1 universe beyond even that. Wander around fhe Citadel and get side missions. A cynical reason: if you don’t, you’ll be underleveled and have trouble during Virmire. A saccharine reason: it really is a cool universe, if you don’t you’ll be underleveled, you’ll find yourself in a lot of interesting situations, cash, and there’s also this awesome area you probably haven’t yet found that you have to visit.

        It’s her first time, brah. Give her space. Protip: make a “blew”/”blue” pun, she digs that.

        • Chum Joely

          OK… So I guess this is going to be pretty similar to my first playthrough of New Vegas, which went as follows:

          (1) This game is really cool, the main story arc is fascinating and a pretty good percentage of the side missions look interesting too.
          (2) I’ve been playing for 25 hours and the end is clearly in sight, side missions are cool and all but I want to sprint to the finish!
          (3) Oh damn, I’m not strong/leveled-up enough yet to actually take on these later missions.
          (4) Double damn, I wasn’t even as close to the end as I thought. Fuck it, I quit.
          (5) [resuming two weeks later] Glad I stuck around, this game gets more interesting the more you dive into it.
          (6) Finished! Finally! Thank God!
          (7) [two days later] Maybe I’ll do another playthrough, just to see what happens if I do things a bit differently…
          I think I’m currently somewhere around step 4. Maybe I shouldn’t ask, but… is Virmire really the last story mission, as I seem to have gleaned from discussions here?

        • Chum Joely

          Also, re: Liara… Yeah, I know, it’s sweet how she’s all self-conscious and inexperienced. As for the “blew” joke, I can’t find a way to make that work since my character is female… Otherwise I would TOTALLY make a rude joke that disrespects her AND confuses her with its human mode of humor. Can you get Renegade points for being an asshole in the romantic subplots? 

        • Jackbert322

          No, Chum, I don’t think you have it that bad. I was just recommending a few more side missions, mostly cuz they’re cool. I’d say check your level and difficulty and report back. It’d just be my guess that if you’ve been going straight through the story on Normal, you’ll be a bit underleveled in Virmire. If you’re on Easy, you could probably push through though. And, no, Virmire is not the last story mission BUT DON’T WORRY the ending is very well paced. At least it was for level 40 Pamela, kicking ass with Lift + Shotgun Blast x 2 + Throw + Shotgun Blast x 2 + CARNAGE.

        • Chum Joely

          OK, cool. I’m on Normal difficulty. I haven’t taken note of the levels recently but I think I’m in the mid/high 20s. Level-ups seem to come fast and furious in this game, though, so with the side missions I already have planned, plus a couple more (there are certainly plenty of them in my journal), could get me up to about 40. Thanks.

          Since I’m pretty close to the Local Cluster now, I’ll certainly add the “kill the busted training VI on Luna base” mission to my “To Do (IN SPACE)” list. I would like to see what Earth looks like, at least from orbit, since my Zeta Shepard is not from there (Spacer) and, I hereby decree, has never even been to her ancestral home planet.

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

        As far as ME1 side missions go, I recommend you do the X-57 Asteroid, as well as the rogue VI on Earth’s moon at the very least. X-57 is a great mission, with lots of drama (it was originally DLC). The moon has an absolutely ESSENTIAL reward.  

        • Chum Joely

          Perfect, I’m on X-57 now (at the second of three fusion rockets– the one with blasting caps) and the rogue VI one on Luna is next on my list!

        • Chum Joely

          Done with both of these (long night of gaming). I ended up liking the X-57 mission quite a bit. The moon/VI mission was incredibly cookie-cutter, but as you say, the payoff at the end was well worth it. Thanks!

  • Citric

    I’m going to play the same three games I have been playing: Ni no Kuni, Persona 2, Silent Hill 3. I’ll also have a lengthy round of “stupid work making me do stuff on a Saturday,” but that comes with a toy show bonus level.

    I also bought Chulip for some reason. I won’t be playing it this weekend, but it’s there.

  • PaganPoet

    Finished Mass Effect 3 over the last week. Spoilers follow, so read on carefully.

    So, this scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg2Ghge_CxQ I had to pause the game and do something else for a bit, I was overwhelmed. I know it doesn’t really make sense, but as I said elsewhere, Carlos Shepard is me and I had spent about 100 hours with all these characters at this point. I know the romances in this game are pretty silly and sometimes badly written, but for a game to allow you to be in a same sex romance and treat it with respect (well, at least as much respect as it treats any other romance) is kind of a big deal to me. Gay people are so used to being either invisible, or being comic stereotypes, not only in games, but just about any entertainment medium. It was refreshing to see.

    But other than that…Mordin, Thane, Legion… =[ I did everything right though, was able to cure the genophage, negotiate peace between the geth and the quarians, hell even kept Miranda alive even though I can’t stand her. If you look at the game as a whole as the “end” of the trilogy, it really is satisfying to see the results of all the choices you made over the course of three games.

    But, yeah, that ending. Keep in mind, I DID have the Extended Cut DLC installed, so I didn’t have quite the same shock that gamers had when they first played this back in March last year. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting, but it did feel…hollow. In a way, it was kind of an obvious ending. ME3 in general felt pretty somber, and thinking back on it, there really was no other way it could’ve ended. A cut and dry happy ending wouldn’t have felt natural. I just wish it would’ve made more sense.

    But yeah, immediately after I finished it, I popped ME1 back in to play through as Charlotte Shepard now. It’s amazing how much easier I’m finding the first game now (and I’m even playing it on a harder difficulty) that I’m so used to the battle system, and taking advantage of skills and commands, etc.

    END MASS EFFECT SPOILERS!!!

    Other than that, I think I’ll pick up Persona 4 Arena as well for a few rounds this weekend. @Cheese:disqus and I actually sparred about 20 rounds at the game last night, and it’s amazing how much fun it is when you’re playing against someone who is about evenly matched, and not against people who apparently practice the game all day and kick my ass before I so much as land a single hit.

    • Effigy_Power

      “Gay people are so used to being either invisible, or being comic
      stereotypes, not only in games, but just about any entertainment medium.”

      Too true… unless of course they are female, in which case we serve as fanboy wish-fulfillment.
      Bioware is certainly No 1 in the “equal opportunity” department, by which I mean that we are given the same opportunity to end up in the “relationship to sex” minigames they have to offer, lol.

      • PaganPoet

        It’s like I finally understand why preteen girl love Twilight so much~

        *draws Shepard + Kaidan hearts all over his notebook*

        • Pandas_please

           I know, I’m playing as a female shephard and I’m going for Kaiden so hard I think he’s getting scared of me.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        I’m sure you’ve heard that ‘Old Republic’ has introduced the Gay Planet in a truly mind-boggling attempt to repair the inequality of the rest of the game.
           And sure, it may initially feel like poorly-implemented tokenism, but given this is the same universe with all-snow, all-desert and all-city planets, maybe it makes sense that all the gay in the galaxy are conveniently located on one world. 

        • PaganPoet

          You have to quarantine us, you know. Otherwise everyone else will catch it.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          The Trade Federation has already established an orbital blockade to prevent the import of all mid-century minimalist furniture and Blu-ray copies of Cabaret.
             Only two fabulous Jedi knights will be able to sneak through to uncover this terrible injustice.

        • Effigy_Power

          -groan-

        • Pandas_please

           I feel like that’s a very weird idea of a solution.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          @Pandas_please:disqus   I’ll go one further and just say it’s a bad idea for a solution.

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

          Regarding the “gay planet” controversy, this might help clear things up: http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/swtor-sgr-omg
          (around 3:05 in the video).

        • Pandas_please

           @Merve2:disqus Good to see, it would have been disappointing for Bioware to take such an odd step back.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          @Merve2:disqus   I did not know that.  Thanks for the link.

    • Fluka

      WELL YEAH THERE ARE ME3 SPOILERS HERE

      So what did you chooooose?

      I played ME3 the first time around with the original ending, so that still feels a bit more canon to me.  My Shepard disintegrated in a beam of light, and the strange new organic/synthetic hybrid future (whoa there hitler, etc.) was left to the imagination.  That felt fine, and honestly I’d been through enough emotions in that game that the ending felt like a final coda where Shepard finally finished the job but ran out of her borrowed time.  Didn’t need the slideshow.

      The beam run goodbye, though.  Man.  Excuse me, I’ve got something in my eye…  (I would also have accepted the explanation “they all die,” just tell me how Garrus got back to the Normandy, damn it!)

      For Synthesis, I’m also very fond the suddenly surprised and friendly husks. “Frrieend?”

      • PaganPoet

        I picked Control AND Synthesis (I did it twice). Charlotte will go Destroy, I guess.

        Yeah, the slideshow bit was a bit cheesy. It was like an 80s movie where they pause on every character right before the credits and say what happened to them. “Garrus Vakarian opened a Turian-cuisine food cart in the Presidium Atrium in the Citadel.”

        Oh, what this game really did need was an epic final battle, I do have to say. The never ending banshee/marauder battle with the Reaper shooting a giant laser on you doesn’t really count IMO since that’s really just about surviving, not about winning.

      • Effigy_Power

        You can’t “Whoa there Hitler” yourself!
        That’s like… you’re taking the food out of our mouths! I am so… what the… I could… Don’t do it again!

        • Fluka

          I’ll “Whoa there Hitler” whenever the hell I want, johnny boy!  Girl.  Whatever.

        • Chum Joely

          Ahem.  Mi mi mi mi miiiii….

          “Woah there, Hitler.”

          (closes music binder, bows, walks briskly from stage with extra-long tuxedo tails trailing smartly behind)

        • Jackbert322

          johnny boys

    • Cheese

       Those were some good matches. We got super lucky on the skill matchup as you mentioned. I’ll be back on today and Saturday some.

      • PaganPoet

        You do pretty well with Aigis. I have a hard time using her myself. Her and Naoto are probably my worst characters.

        • Cheese

          Naoto is one of my worst also, zoning/ranged characters aren’t my forte (see also Yukiko and Elizabeth). Hopefully learning Aigis will help with that.

          I’m looking forward to playing again. Charged my headset and everything.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I always want to play as a FemShep, but I never stick with it. It’s just too hard for me to put myself in someone else’s shoes, I think. Though I will say my FemShep characters that I’ve dabbled in are much more awesome than my DudeSheps.

    • Army_Of_Fun

      ME3 SPOILERS

      I’ve gone through ME3′s ending exactly once (I haven’t played through the patched ending). Watching the credits roll, the ending hit me as one big fat meh. Then I read about the Indoctrination Theory and it got me re-thinking. There’s various incarnations of the Indoctrination Theory but it basically boils down to the idea that at some point in the series, Shep becomes indoctrinated and a big portion of ME3 is a hallucination, or at least most of the ending is. Personally, I don’t buy it, but it raises some interesting points. One of the pieces of evidence in support of the Indoctrination Theory is that the coloring on the choices at the end goes contrary to the rest of the series. You’ve gotten the message over and over that trying to control a species is bad, but it’s painted as a paragon choice (blue).

      I still haven’t quite made up my mind as to what the ending means but I have come to the conclusion that Star Kid at the end is an avatar for the reapers and can’t be trusted at all. He’s certainly done nothing to earn any trust. Nothing he says can be taken at face value. He has every reason to try to steer you towards a reaper friendly conclusion. On the other hand, I’m not sure Bioware put as much thought into any of this as I have.

      • Fluka

        Have you played Leviathan?  It explains a lot about where the Starchild and the reapers come from…  

        • Army_Of_Fun

          I haven’t played Leviathan yet. I’m waiting to acquire all the ME3 DLC (on sale) before I jump in again. Just Omega and the yet to be released DLC are left to buy. Which, if I had to guess, will be called “Excitedly, Elcor Rising: Tokyo Drift”.

      • Histamiini

        SPOILERS CONTINUE

        The “Star Child” represents an ancient AI programmed for a purpose. In the Mass Effect universe, it’s common for interaction with computers to happen via some VI interface, so I never understood why there was so much critical focus on the AI appearing in the form of the child that had haunted Shepard since he saw him die on earth.

        It’s trustworthy in a sense but its logic is obviously monstrously inhuman. It carried out a purpose; it has no sense of ethics in our sense. What actually worked for me about the ending is the almost unreal horror of the situation: Shepard has no choice but to make the choice, because their only plan was to get the machine going. It’s still striking to me. The situation is beyond accepting what the AI tells her. It’s the final moments, she’s barely conscious, it’s an impossible choice made in the worst possible circumstances – but she has to execute the plan.

        It was interesting that some of the critical voices were saying that they didn’t want to make the choice, that is was an absurd situation. They just didn’t accept it. But I think that’s just it: Shepard has to be in that situation and make the impossible choice. It’s a game of choices and that’s where it ends. To me it’s tragic in a beautiful and horrible kind of way.

        A mad, desperate dash into this final nightmare, and then the end. It might not be perfect but I feel that a good-faith interpretation brings out some good ideas that have been overlooked as just apologetics in the current atmosphere. On an emotional level I liked the ending.

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

          The main theme of the Mass Effect series was choice. It gives the player freedom to carve their own path, but it doesn’t celebrate freedom of choice. Every decision has a consequence.

          I like that there’s no “perfect” option. You’re given a choice between multiple unpleasant outcomes. That’s the point.

        • Histamiini

          Yes, and I think this might invite some thoughts about the whole notion of tragedy (perhaps from someone better read on the subject). It’s an essential fact that the universe presents us with choices and situations that we want to rage against. We want to cry and complain. And that’s also essential to tragedy, and from a personal standpoint Shepard’s end is tragic. You’re correct to point out the difference between making choices in situations that are forced upon us and getting to choose what the universe does to us. There’s little room for dramatic tragedy in the latter. That’s just playing god. And players should remember that they are making choices on a human level, not designing the story to suit their personal needs.

          Also, I wouldn’t stress the meta-aspect of this too much, but it’s obviously not a coincidence that a game that is to an extent based on binary choices (red and blue) presents Shepard with a third way (green) at the culmination of the story, so I think it’s wrong to suggest that we’re putting more thought into this than Bioware writers did. I think the themes are clear and intentional, but some of the execution could have been better.

  • Zach_Annon

    Well, looks like I’m going to spend the weekend playing EVE Online again, as that game still has a strong hold on me, even if I kind of hate the players in it.  Having lost both my Myrmidon and my Dominix, (yes I know, don’t fly what you can’t afford, blah blah blah) I was in a pretty sour mood with the game, but the better-than-2-years-ago combat and the fact that it’s so darn PRETTY to look at has made me go back and grudgingly buy what I need to start working towards a PLEX.  If I’m able to get enough money for one, then I’ll be playing EVE next month, as well.

    If not, then SINS OF A SOLAR EMPIRE or MASS EFFECT 3 will probably be the games I go back to.  In case you can’t tell, I’m on a bit of a sci-fi binge right now, thanks to getting ME3 for Christmas, and although my perfect game of a spaceship-based RPG that doesn’t suck has yet to be made (I’ve heard Star Point Gemini attempts to be this game, but everything I’ve heard about it tells me it’s terrible) I do enjoy the heck out of both these games.  I’ll leave the Mass Effect discussion in the multiple threads that will be devoted to it, but if you’re a fan of epic space battles, Sins is a really good game.  I’ve had battles that can last over 6 hours (though lately I’ve gotten better, and can now beat hard AI in around 3 with whatever race I play), and from what I hear, multiplayer can be really intense, if MP is your thing.  I, however, am not into competitive gaming, so I stick with my modded single-player games and have a good ol’ comp-stomp when I need to play an RTS.

    I’ve also been thinking about playing FALLEN ENCHANTRESS, TORCHLIGHT II, SKYRIM, or GUILD WARS 2 again, but that probably won’t be for another month or so, after my sci-fi itch has been thoroughly scratched and my love of fantasy games starts calling to me again.

    • EmperorNortonI

      Speaking of spaceship-based RPG that don’t suck, if you’re willing to go Old School, then you’re in luck.

      80′s Old School – Starflight and Starflight 2
      90′s Old School – Hyperspeed, StarControl 2
      Unclassifiable – Star Saga One and Two

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

        I heartily second Star Control 2. It’s available for free for modern platforms as “The Ur-Quan Masters”.

        Star Control 3 has its problems, but it’s well worth playing as well. 

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      Oh hey, another EVE player.  I’m…just about to let my subscription lapse.  Like you, I had the great idea to make enough ISK to buy PLEXes for my subscription, but after three months I have made very little progress.  I probably could make enough just by mining, but it’s too damn time consuming and BORING to sit there and change targets every 15 minutes (even being alt-tabbed to a browser window).  My corp had a great idea to do three-times a week fleet missions to make money, but everyone stopped coming after a month.

  • caspiancomic

    This week I’m not collapsing my Mass Effect 3 thread into @PaganPoet:disqus’s, since he’s done and I’m not, and I don’t want to get spoiled! But I’m getting ahead of myself: I beat Mass Effect 2! I also friggin’ RAWKED the suicide mission, saving everybody. Still, I was sweating myself thin worrying about it, and audibly cheered when the “No One Left Behind” trophy popped up. In the end I secured everyone’s loyalty but Zaeed’s, but screw him.

    Anyway, on to ME3, spoilers ahoy!

    I think I’m actually quite far in after only a week, as in may even wrap it up this weekend if I put my mind to it (I’ve been sick for a little while, so I’ve had nothing to do but play Mass Effect and watch Parks and Rec). My priority mission is Horizon, I’m chasing Kai Leng after our little slap fight on Thessia. I’ve also got some kind of Journal/Galaxy Map glitchery going on, I think, because I’ve got a mission that requires me to go to Dekuuna, which I can’t seem to actually activate, and I’ve got a mystery planet called Aequitas lit up like a fucking Christmas tree and no way to interact with it. Will enquire with the internet.

    As for juicy plot details? Well let’s see, this game has decided to murder basically all of my favourite ME2 characters (and Zaeed, but screw him). I was actually super heart broken when Mordin died, he’s probably my favourite character in the series. Also, Thane and Legion. The three of them might have been my top three favourite squad mates in ME2, and now they’re all dead. WAR IS HELL. At least I got all three of my favourite ME1 characters back: Liara (with whom I rekindled my kissing stuff relationship, much to the dismay of:), Tali, and Kaidan. Fun fact: All my favourite characters want to kiss me! Even Kaidan! I didn’t even know he was down like that! And frankly, I very nearly switched teams when he told me he was Canadian. Second ever human Spectre is from friggin’ Vancouver! Represent!

    Some of the other big decisions I’ve made: Kissing stuff with Tali in ME2 (you don’t even get to see her face! boo!), rewriting the geth heretics with Legion, curing the genophage, granting the geth true intelligence thereby peacefully ending the war between the geth and the quarians, etc. Been pretty busy, all told. And I think the end is near. I understand that the ultimate big decision is ahead of me. Passing familiarity with the controversy surrounding the game’s ending has given me a cursory understanding of the decision I’m about to walk into, and I’m pretty excited to see what the shitstorm was about.

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      I remember that glitch. I THINK it means that you have already completed the mission because of something you did earlier and only need to talk to the quest giver again. Then both the journal and map entry should go away.

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

      Yeah, you don’t actually set foot on Dekuuna. It’s just a fetch quest like the Turian Banner and the Volus Book of Whatever

    • DrFlimFlam

      My first end play of ME2 had me losing Mordin, which was super annoying because I was pretty sure he was special forces. Assigning his role to Jacob got everyone through. I know some people like the idea of fallen comrades and sacrifice, but I’m more of a “Nobody gets left behind!” kind of guy.

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        Mordin was my only casualty in ME2, and I seriously considered replaying the final mission several times before ME3 was released, but decided against it in the end.

    • Chum Joely

      How do you kiss or do other “stuff” with Tali if the mask never comes off? (I’m imagining two space helmets clunking romantically together over otherwise naked bodies… Daft Punk sex, as it were.) Or is her unmasked face just artfully obscured from the camera at the key moment?

      • Fluka

        Yup, the latter.  Which post-ME2 became one of those exploitable meme things (favorite).

        • Chum Joely

          Oh man, that is freaking scary. Love it.

    • PaganPoet

      Oh god, my Mordin was singing Gilbert & Sullivan right before his demise. I cried like a little girl.

      • Army_Of_Fun

        I can’t imagine ME3 without that scene. Well, I can imagine it, but it wouldn’t be the same.

        • DrFlimFlam

          I have somehow never seen that scene. It’s one of my goals next time I do the trilogy again.

    • PaganPoet

      btw, speaking of ME3 glitches, I fell victim to the one that affects Kasumi’s subplot in the game, making it impossible to finish so I never learned what happened to her. Which sucks because I love her.

      • caspiancomic

         Yeah, her subplot was actually pretty poorly explained, I was running around like a sucker with no idea what to do for the better part of an hour before I finally figured it out. At least now you can pretend that she’s tailing you in stealth mode forever now.

        I also had a couple of unfinishable glitch assignments in the last two games. As an inveterate completionist, it drove me up the cocking wall.

  • CNightwing

    Well I just finished Dishonored, so I’m not sure what I’ll play this weekend. I think I tried to be *too* stealthy for my first playthrough – I didn’t quite have the patience to fully commit and only completed a couple of levels without a kill and a couple others without being seen. Probably should have had a mixed strategy and tried to ghost it later. I felt it got a little routine towards the end too. I really liked that guards would notice someone was missing and then check their colleague’s patrol route, but that did lead to an endless series of muggings and an expanding pile of bodies in the nearest dark corner. One day there’ll be a game where guards actually call out to each other and get wary just because there’s no reply – that’ll incentivise actually sneaking past them rather than taking them all out.

    So yeah, I feel like either diving back into Skyrim and adopting a different approach to my previous game. I think something stealthy actually, rather than swordmage-y. I’ve also thought about playing through LA Noire again because I don’t feel that I gave it my full attention the first time through.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      I noticed the patrol thing too, and it ended up being pretty amusing, especially in Sokolov’s house.

      I do find it irritating when I bring five unconscious bodies to the same corner, and they keep disappearing until only one is left…

      I’m returning to Dunwall Tower now.  Here’s a question for you Dishonored veterans – is there any way to SILENTLY take out tallboys?  Or do I have to just ignore them and sneak by?

      • Mookalakai

         You can jump above the Tallboys and do a really cool aerial assassination on them, which is someone quiet if you isolate them first. The main problems with it is that it’s really easy to be seen when doing it, and it counts as a kill. I don’t think there is a non-lethal way to dispose of them, you just have to avoid them.

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          Cool.  I think I may risk it.  I’ve been pretty good about leaving most people alive, so hopefully if I get a couple of kills in it won’t suddenly give me the “bad” ending.

        • http://twitter.com/djbeema Reuben

           I pretty much only did that once to get the achievement and then never again. They are easy enough to avoid and such a pain to take on that it’s rather pointless.

        • Mookalakai

           I really need to proof read my posts.

      • CNightwing

        Yeah you can take them out quietly, either drop-kills or crossbow bolts to the whale oil tanks on their backs. To be honest, I preferred just to bypass them – their patrol routes are fully fixed I think, and usually short with long pauses. Bear in mind though, in this game all enemies can see *everything* below them, but nothing above them – so tallboys are a pain in that sense.

      • http://twitter.com/djbeema Reuben

        If you’re playing on PC, you can make an ini file edit so that the bodies don’t disappear. It initially freaked me out as well, because I wondered if they disappeared if it would count as a kill.

    • http://twitter.com/djbeema Reuben

      At one point I was convinced that the guards were endlessly respawning because of all the ones that came to replace the patrol route that I kept taking out.

      I made a valiant effort to finally finish LA Noire a couple months back and I couldn’t because there is a bug on the final mission that crashes the game. It doesn’t always happen in the same spot, but sporadically throughout the final mission. I’m pretty mad. Has anyone else had this problem?

  • EmperorNortonI

    Life has been busy lately, so there’s been a fair bit less gaming these days.  Borderlands 2 is still stalled out, as we’ve not even tried a game since my car got smashed.  I’ve been playing Tropico 4 here and there on my own, which is easy and soothing.  WAY TOO EASY!  I mean, why even have elections if you’re almost guaranteed to massively win every one of them?  Also, knowing the history of the United Fruit Company as I do, I really can’t help but yearn for a modded version that forces you to choose between suppressing the people for the profit of your corporate masters, or hewing to a revolutionary nationalist line while fighting off internal and external subversion.

    Memoir 44 has kept up.  After playing through several disappointing scenarios from the new expansion, I’ve finally found a real gem in the Breakthrough scenario Operation Epsom.  Serious strategic depth for both sides, good use of non-standard pieces, a bit of slog, a few chokepoints, and a nice juicy and open backfield to play around in if you get a luck breakthrough.

    My Torchlight 2 session with DJSubversive reminded me of how much fun that game can be, and I think I might start playing it again sometime.

    In other news, I found a few Kickstarter campaigns that I felt to be worthy of supporting.

    Unwritten – A turn-based strategic Nomad simulator, where you guide your tribe to God Mountain for final judgement.    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1599677835/unwritten-that-which-happened?ref=activity

    Project Awakened – Free-form hero creation to the Nth degree.  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1312036782/project-awakened?ref=activity

    At the Gates – A new take on the 4X game – grow your barbarian tribe, Romanize, and destroy the empire!  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jonshafer/jon-shafers-at-the-gates?ref=activity

     

    • Histamiini

      For fans of The Longest Journey, or adventure games in general, Dreamfall Chapters has started a Kickstarter too. It makes my heart swell.

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/redthread/dreamfall-chapters-the-longest-journey

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/7434UGH3EEMU2AUKTGMU3NLDZA JoshJ

       Man… Tropico. I believe it was 3 where I’d take a massive hit out the gate to mine gold or oil only to be surrounded by the Americans (always happens if you tap oil early). I made a bit of a gambit out of playing sides with the superpowers just to see where it would go.

      On and finding every rebel and firing them.

    • djsubversive

      “No pottery is safe!” That was fun. We should do it again when I’m not playing games to stay awake all night. I think I ended up with another piece of Runemaster gear. :)

    • DrFlimFlam

      I’ve backed three games that I am now patiently waiting for, and two content packs for another game that is in publishing hell. Given time, the luster sure does come off of Kickstarting.

  • Electric Dragon

    Having taken a bit of a break from gaming since finishing Black Mesa (Part 1) I’m going to dive back into The Witcher 2 and see if I can finally beat that tentacle monster thing I got stuck at months ago. This may mean a bit of backtracking in order to level up or prepare some better potions. I really hate it when games won’t let you save in the middle of a battle, but then confront you with a very difficult multistage fight early on in the game.

    • doyourealize

      Good news is there’s a definite strategy to win, and once you figure it out, the fight becomes much easier. It takes some trial and error to figure out each stage, but it’s worth it. And the strategies you’re forced to learn make you much more prepared for the rest of the game.

      Sorry, I forget the specifics, or I’d help out with some of the strategy.

  • Mercenary_Security_number_4

    Peggle AND Fallout 3.  I like this guy. 

    As for me, I’m FINALLY doing the New Vegas DLC.  I was going to get to it, then Skyrim stole a year of my life.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/7434UGH3EEMU2AUKTGMU3NLDZA JoshJ

       Man, I loved Fallout3 so much. I should pick up NV’s DLC and try again. I felt like every time I stepped off the path I was hounded by 4xp vermin. I mean… you can only kill so many lizards before you just stay on the damn path.

      • djsubversive

        do it. It’s a good game, and the DLC for New Vegas is pretty great – they’re like expansion packs more than anything. 

        Old World Blues is probably the “best” of the four, because it’s the biggest and it’s got the most ‘fun’ writing. I like Honest Hearts more than most people – Zion is a nice change from the Mojave, there’s a lot of little places to see, and the Survivalist’s Story is great. Dead Money suffers from too many changes to the gameplay to make it a “survival horror” game for a while (personally, I loved everything but the bomb collar, which just made the Villa even more of a maze with a right path and a wrong path). And Lonesome Road is all right. It has more urban areas to explore (yay!), the post-apocalypse atmosphere is much heavier, and it’s got more ED-E backstory. Ulysses was pretty neat, too, and I liked listening to his tapes hidden around the DLC. Plus, I’m a sucker for being able to beat a boss through conversation, especially when it’s not just “[Speech 100] I win.” Tunnelers are bullshit, though, and Divide Deathclaws are pretty scary.

        All the DLC has pretty neat gear, either during the DLC or as a prize when you’re done, with the possible exception of Dead Money (it’s got some neat gear, just not anything really special). DM is also the only one you can’t go back to when you leave, but you can fill a bathtub with gold bars, and that makes up for a lot. :)

        • Mercenary_Security_number_4

           I hate bomb collars as a rule, makes me feel like I’m back in an episode of the original Star Trek.  But I’m enjoying Dead Money regardless.

      • Mercenary_Security_number_4

         New Vegas was harder to just head out an explore the outside world.  I had to just liberally use the very easy mode to get through boring but deadly landscapes that were just annoying me.  The interior explorations though are as good if not better.

        • a_scintillating_comment

           Finished the DLC right before the new year, I agree with everything you’ve said–about main game as well. I don’t go for DLC usually, but I’m glad I did. Going to go back through F3 and DLC but I have a feeling it won’t be as good. Have you played them?

  • stakkalee

    I’m stuck in all-day training today; blech!  Worse, it’s for software that I’ll never use, learning functionality that I’ll never need.  At least I’m getting paid for it…

    But I couldn’t start the day without visiting the WAYPTW (WAP-tew!) thread!  Last weekend I finished Assassin’s Creed 3 right before the Super Bowl; damn, but that credit scroll was interminable.  I was underwhelmed with the game and the ending, and, unlike previous AC games, I felt absolutely no urge to immediately jump back in and finish up the side missions.

    This weekend I’ll FINALLY be playing Mass Effect, which I started on Wednesday.  Well, I started on Wednesday but when I got into the game my custom avatar looked like a washed-out corpse and I decided I didn’t want to look at his ugly mug for 3 games, so I went back and restarted as Katherine ‘Kat’ Shepard, Infiltrator class.  The second time I kept the default model and just modified the hairstyle slightly.

    Playing through the opening mission twice was interesting – the first time through playing a male character it was Ashley that I saved from the beacon, the second time as Kat it was Kaidan that needed saving.  Then, waking up in infirmary my gender-appropriate love interest was waiting by my bedside; ah Bioware! No one ever called you subtle.  Seeing Saren’s EXTREME scenery-chewing twice was hilarious however.  So I’ve just arrived at the Citadel and I’ll pick up from there tonight.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000590707081 Chris Ingersoll

      I also finished up AC3 last weekend (although my interminable credit scroll* was during the Commercial Bowl). Of course, I did most of the random sidequesty things up front, so there wasn’t much left for me to do when I finally decided to end it. I think I literally just had the final mission left, which is a pretty underwhelming way to end a game that up to that point had been pretty solid.

      *More than once during that roll I said to myself “holy crap, this is going on FOREVER.” I mentally compared it to movie scrolls, which the wife and I make a point to sit through as long as we’re not in a rush to do other things that day, but then I realized that movie credits only represent <3 hours of actual product versus this game's 40ish, so being that long is somewhat justified. Although did we really need to know about EVERY foreign team that so much as touched the code for this?

    • Jackbert322

      Despite the underwhelming game and ending, RAVENS YEAH WOO HOO!!! so it’s a net gain.

  • duwease

    It’s barely 7 AM on the East Coast and there’s already 45 comments.  You guys are seriously dedicated!

    I’m working through the kinks of learning X-COM.. I think I’m going to need to restart on Easy just to be safe while I learn the progression tree.  I’m a few months in, a few squad members down, and I’m just realizing my interceptors are incredibly weak and my satellite/engineer infrastructure probably isn’t strong enough to keep up.Also just got Legend of Grimrock.. man, it takes me back.  I haven’t mapped out a dungeon on graph paper since the last Gold Box games came out.  That’s another one I’m gonna have to restart.. just beat the first (short) floor and I’m realizing my wizard’s going to be useless for awhile if I don’t go back and start with a little fire magic.

    • Bad Horse

      Engineers and satellites are critical in the early game. I like to build as many satellites as possible at once, which lets me cover the US and Russia faster with some in reserve for early panics. Of course this requires mucho dinero, so I like to put my base in Africa. I find myself less constrained by money and more constrained by shooting down freaking UFOs to get other resources. Straight cash, homie.

      As for research, I like to prioritize protection so I always start with Alien Materials, which leads to Carapace Armor, which leads to less dead squaddies early on.

      Oh, and I’ll be playing XCOM this weekend. I cracked my tactical weaknesses on Normal and I’m rolling to an easy Ironman victory. Next stop: Classic.

    • http://twitter.com/djbeema Reuben

       This. What the hell is with this site? Most of the time I come here hoping to take part in the discussion and it’s already over! And it’s only like 5 people!

      • DrFlimFlam

        My day at the office starts at 7 Eastern, and I may spend the first part of it dorking around at AVC. But I’m still usually hours behind everyone else.

  • fieldafar

    I wish I knew someone with a PS3 and a copy of Ni no Kuni. I don’t play JRPGs but I can make an exception. Plus I’m a sucker for Studio Ghibli.

    I’m at least halfway through my “get-all-the-achievements” run of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Once I’m done with that, I’ll definitely have to at least try out a game I’ve haven’t started/bought yet. Deciding what to play will be the tough part.

    • http://twitter.com/djbeema Reuben

      Yeah I kind of want to find such a person as well. I suppose to could try to Redbox NNK and give it a shot that way, since i have a PS3.

      oh who am I kidding, I don’t have time for that game right now anyway

  • JohnnyLongtorso

    Dead Space 3, my latest Gamefly acquisition. It is pretty disappointing so far. It’s not a bad game, but they’ve basically made a generic third-person shooter and stuck Dead Space stuff on top of it. I don’t understand why they felt the need to completely retool the weapon design/upgrade system. Now you have to find “upgrade circuits” that sit in your inventory until you get to a bench.

    The combat as a whole just feels loose. The controls don’t feel as tight as the previous two games and there’s no precision to the shooting. Whereas in DS1 and 2 I could easily shear the limbs off of Necromorphs, it seems almost impossible to target them now. There’s also no tension to the combat, it’s just “here’s another room, 6 or 7 Necromorphs will pop out and attack you”. They also move a lot faster, so it’s almost an inevitability that they’ll get up in your face every time. Not that it really matters, because every other item drop in the game is a health pack. I literally had an inventory full of health packs by the end of the first area.

    The threat of it turning into a cover-based shooter hasn’t materialized, however; I’m about a third of the way through the game and human enemies only showed up at the beginning, and they were pretty easy to kill without hiding. I don’t know what it would be like on higher difficulties, though (I’m on Normal).

    • dmikester

      I’m really curious about what your thoughts are after you finish it.  There was a time when I was obsessed with Dead Space, to the point that I read all the comics and played all the side games.  But I just can’t muster up any enthusiasm for 3 (even though I really liked 2 a lot) and the fairly lukewarm reviews haven’t been helping.

      • JohnnyLongtorso

        I’m about halfway through now (going by chapter numbers, at least), and it’s just turning into a slog. The weapon crafting system is kind of neat (the grenade launcher kills pretty much anything if it happens to get inside the blast radius, which, like everything else in this game, is mushy), but overall, I’m not having a whole lot of fun. Maybe it’s better with co-op, but I don’t want to pay EA $10 for the privilege of going online.

        The story is also ridiculous; the Unitologists have been turned from a secretive cult into a private army with a Bond villain as their leader, and there’s some stupid love triangle between Isaac, Ellie, and some new character.

  • The_Misanthrope

    In the interest of tooting my, or rather my team’s, horn, this weekend I will be participating in the annual KVSC (college station in St. Cloud, MN) 50-hour Trivia Marathon as part of The Chairleg of Truth team, starting at 5pm CT.  Those curious can check out the deets at http://www.KVSC.org , which also has a live stream for those who don’t happen to be in KVSC’s (or any of its sister station’s) broadcast radius.  If we perform this year like we do most years, we will undoubtedly shoot into the high rankings early in the contest and plummet to the mid rankings as the contest drags on and we have trouble keeping fresh-eyed bodies playing the game.

    Anyone who has an interest in becoming a satellite member of our team–helping us researching answers or just chatting us up online–you can go ahead and email me at the_misanthrope@hotmail.com and I’ll hook you up.  Only recommended if you have no social/family obligations, as this way lies madness.  All rights reserved, all wrongs reversed.

    • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

      That’s a butt ton of trivia.  If i get bored this weekend, I might put my brain to your use.  Good luck!

  • Raging Bear

    Ni No Kuni, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, and possibly a bit of The Witcher, now that I have a graphically capable computer. I may also eat and sleep, if I can fit these low-priority activities in there somewhere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000590707081 Chris Ingersoll

    This weekend I’m sort of on the fence about picking up Fire Emblem: Awakening. I’ve only played the first (North American) title of the series and for whatever reason it just didn’t take hold like just about every other turn-based tactical game I’ve played. My friend (and editor) who loves the series says that Awakening is the best he’s ever played, and it’s not like I have anything else to play for a while (although I did just buy Mega Man 2 for the fourth time), so I think I’m going to give it another shot. Maybe.

  • doyourealize

    Hunkering down with two feet of snow (maybe) on the way. Good thing I’ve got Ni No Kuni to keep me company. Only just reached the other world, so I’m looking forward to immense amounts of gaming goodness…hopefully.

    Also about time I picked up Jerry Silman’s How to Reassess Your Chess and started improving my game again. I don’t have an official rating, and honestly have no idea what it would be, but I was stuck for years with no one to play with since, humility aside, I was better than everyone I knew. Now that I work with a teacher who’s been to tournaments and has spent a good amount of time learning the game, it’s nice to have a challenge and a reason to get better. And he made me realize how little I know.

    And @duwease:disqus , if you’re listening, I was thinking I might head on over to the Babel stages in Catherine. You played them? And if so, what should I expect?

  • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

    I’m gonna keep on pile driving through Company of Heroes single player campaign.  The game is wicked fun and is able to keep my interest way beyond most other Real Time Strategy games due to its really inventive cover system.

    It does stress me out a lot though, having to manage so many squads.  I always feel bad, when I’m pushing forward on one front and the two squads of rifleman I left in a dilapidated french apartment on the other side of St. Lo get decimated by a panzer when I’m not paying attention… Tear drop.

    Also Judah Friedlander is coming to my town this weekend so I plan on playing the game of Laughter! 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9tiqrvB4aQ

  • boardgameguy

    i finished psychonauts last weekend.  thinking about picking up something i haven’t played yet out of the humble indie bundle V.  any recommendations on what i should start (and why) between amnesia, lone survivor, or superbrothers: sword and sorcery ep?

    and with some family visiting, we might play some tabletop cribbage (a fun variant that doesn’t require a board, but strategic card placement on a grid)

  • uselessyss

    I think I’m near the end of Gemini Rue, which I’m really enjoying. After Broken Sword, which had quite a few puzzles that stretched suspension of disbelief, it’s nice to play an adventure game that (so far) relies on common sense. The story is also pretty interesting – it’s not super deep or anything, but I’ll take my future-film-noir adventuring when I can get it.

    I suppose I’ll also keep messing around in Saint’s Row: The Third.

    • dantebk

      If you like Gemini Rue, may I recommend Resonance? It’s from the same publisher, and it is excellent. It also doesn’t fall into that excessively complicated/cartoonish adventure game puzzle trap (at least, in my opinion).

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

        I’ve been interested in Gemini Rue and Resonance, but something about their art styles just puts me off. Are the other elements of those games good enough to overcome my distaste for pixel-art games?

        • dantebk

          To me, yes. But I don’t have any issue with the art. I grew up playing adventure games back when they all looked like that, so I may be a little nostalgic.

  • Cornell_University

    Finally Mrs. University and myself are set up properly in our new apartment.  Some SUPER INTERESTING TO TOTAL STRANGERS issues:

    The PS2 is currently being used as a dvd player in the bedroom.  This makes playing PS1/2 games sort of a pain in the ass because the room is small and not really optimal for standing/sitting for long periods (am I the only one who likes standing when he plays games?  tell me I’m not the only one).  I need to pick back up where I left off on Final Fantasy Tactics*, sink some more precious time into a suicide mission lost forever to history.

    Our living room is of decent size, but practically every other game system I own is a top loader.  The Dreamcast is on the bookshelf under the TV, but there isn’t really space to put the NES (2.0 toploader), Genesis, or N64 anywhere.  I’m a little hesitant to throw everything in boxes in the leaky basement (this garbage is my children’s legacy!  my life is not meaningless!), but if may come to that.  I may have to rethink giving the Dreamcast the coveted spot, as my laptop is fried and I won’t be burning more games for it anytime soon.

    So to answer your question Gameological, is drinking and crying a game?

    *SPOILER ALERT the most glaring plot hole to me at the end of Tactics is how the church still had the power and authority to have Olan burned at the stake when so many of it’s high ranking officials have been killed.  I should note I’ve only every played the PS1 version with the wonky translations, so maybe it’s clarified to a better degree in subsequent ports.

    • PaganPoet

      You can play drinking games while listening to The Crying Game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOgv-UuTgac ; That’s fun, yes?

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      If crying and drinking is a game, I’ve gotten a lot more gaming time in this past week than I thought.

  • SonjaMinotaur

    Just picked up a copy of Ni No Kuni, so I’ll be booting that up after work. So excited!

  • WorldCivilizations

    I’m playing Artorias of the Abyss! Noticed it was half price yesterday ($7.49) so I snatched it up – I’m very resistant to DLCs in general, but at half price I finally gave in. I decided to start up a new character, so last night I got to Blighttown – hopefully I’ll get to the new content tonight.

    Unrelated: I picked up Red Dead Redemption a few weeks ago, because why not? But man, I was disappointed, what with it getting such great reception. It’s stunning to look at, but the gameplay is just shoot guys -> ride horse -> shoot guys from horse -> get off horse, shoot guys -> repeat ad nauseum.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I got about ten hours into RDR before shelving it indefinitely. I imagine I will get back on the horse again, but yeah, it really let me down. I put it next to Spore on games that sounded amazing in my head but did not deliver.

  • ferrarimanf355

    I’m giving Lollipop Chainsaw a rest, because it’s increasingly embarrassing to play through that game, and I’m going back to Need for Speed Most Wanted 2012 for now.

  • dantebk

    I finished Antichamber (THE BEST) and have decided to stop playing The Cave after finishing with my sixth character (but not actually the entire second playthrough), and that means I have time to finally start playing Devil May Cry. I’ve never played a DMC game before, but I’m a big fan of Heavenly Sword and Enslaved, so I’m psyched to check it out.

    Beyond that, maybe a little more Ni No Kuni. Also I’ve got some time to kill away from home so I’ll be playing one of the GBA games I got for being a 3DS ambassador, but I haven’t decided which one. Fire Emblem? F-Zero?

  • http://pseudonymjones.com/ Pseudonym Jones

    This weekend, I’ll be playing Fire Emblem — my first game ever in the series. So far I’ve played through the first five-or-so campaign battles and I really like the system. Can’t wait to get deeper into it.

    I’m also going to try and corral my friends for a few rounds of You Don’t Know Jack (console variant) — talking about it in yesterday’s article really gave me a hankering.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I love Fire Emblem. I wish I had a 3DS XL, but I can’t justify $250 to play a Fire Emblem game.

  • http://twitter.com/tmsmilner Smilner

    My deep abiding love of level-grinding has me revisiting Final Fantasy XII.  License Board!  Whee!

    • DrFlimFlam

      If you like grinding levels, you are correct – there is none better.

  • djsubversive

    I’ll be playing Planetside 2, again. Still. The Gameological Outfit is too small! We need more bodies to throw at objectives and laugh with me when I park my bus in a ditch and can’t get it back out!

    Also, there was some talk of Payday: the Heist the other day. I haven’t played that in a while, and I should remedy that. Come rob a bank with me this weekend (and maybe Hobbes too! … as in, he might be there, not that we’ll rob him in addition to the bank. Don’t rob Hobbes, people).

    I’ve also been playing Silent Storm a bit lately. I was having trouble with a house full of Nazis on one of the levels, so I tried a different tactic – had my engineer sneak up on the side of the house and plant mines, while the scout and sniper covered him. Then, everyone backed off and my grenadier threw a couple of grenades at the mines. The front side of that wing of the house collapsed, opening up the whole thing (including a hole leading to the basement, which is nice because the stairs were a deathtrap). My medic was able to sit on the balcony of the neighboring house and snipe Nazis through what used to be the third floor bedroom, while the grenadier and sniper cover the front of the house, and the rest of the team moves in through the new ‘door’ (scout on the first floor, soldier and engineer in the basement).

    • Treymoney

      What server is the Outfit on?  It’s really difficult to play with people in Planetside 2 because you have to be on the same team and server.

      • djsubversive

        We’re Neo Conglomerate on the SolTech server. It’s normally pretty quiet everywhere except Indar (but that’s apparently not just our server – nobody goes to Esamir or Amerish). It’s a US East server, but that doesn’t seem to matter much – Emperor Norton’s playing from Japan, and I’ve got another buddy in Scotland who said he didn’t have any issues playing.

        Send me a message/friend request in-game (djsubversive) or on Steam (dj.subversive, or just hop in the Gameological Society Chat – I’m usually in there if I’m online).

        Our server does have a couple of bigger outfits – NC10 and The Terribles are two that I’ve had fun playing with – most nights, the Terribles have an open platoon set up (usually on Indar, of course).

        And yes, playing by yourself or with random internet assholes is not a great way to experience PlanetSide 2. While we may be random and internet, we try not to be assholes.

    • Eco1970

      Is Planetside 2 free? If it is, I could join in.

      • djsubversive

        It is indeed free! The only things that are exclusively cash-shop-only are cosmetic things like camo, helmets, and horns for your battle-bus (also, spinners, hood ornaments, and underglow).

        Weapons can be either bought with space-bucks (100 space-bucks = $1 US, and most weapons are 700) or in-game Certification points (which you get by earning experience – usually guns are about 1000 certs, but there are some cheaper ones). The default weapons aren’t bad, though, and just putting some of your cert points into unlocking scopes and attachments can help a lot.

  • His_Space_Holiness

    WHEEL! OF! STEAM GAMES!
    Meaning XCOM, Thief, Breath of Death, and The Longest Journey, in whatever combination strikes my fancy. In between, I’ll be playing Snowstorm 2: Let’s Stay Indoors And Hope The Power Stays on. And yesterday I made my latest attempt at unlocking the Employed achievement, so wish me luck.

  • Pandas_please

    I’ve been meaning to do some Mass Effecting, actually work my way through the trilogy you know, but the Ni no Kuni came out and distracted me from that, and then Fire Emblem: Awakening came out and distracted me from my distraction.  This weekend it’s all FE and I couldn’t be happier, have some big issues with the art direction but the game is really winning me over.

    • PaganPoet

      Isn’t “Awakening” like the most cliche subtitle for an RPG?

      That’s a series I’ve completely missed out on, as I have never owned a Nintendo system since the SNES.

      • Pandas_please

        It’s about par for the course for FE. I mean it’s hard to beat titles like Sacred Stones, and Blazing Sword for clicheness.

        I haven’t gotten far, at least I hope so I’ve avoided spoilers like mad, but Awakening has been a lot of fun, if generic.

        Also Nintendo handheld are where it’s at, my experience with the Wii has kind of turned me off of their consoles though.

        • DrFlimFlam

          PATH OF RADIANCE

  • exant

    I have a recent and unhealthy obsession with Natural Selection 2, which has been sucking away my sleep this week. It also causes hilarious rolleyes from my partner, as I explain to her I’m a flying alien that eats people and farts deadly spores.

  • http://twitter.com/djbeema Reuben

    Assuming I can find the time, I’d like to get back in to Chrono Cross. I mentioned having put it down for Hitman Absolution last week, but… well that game is a sack of crap.  Also in the recently-purchased-now-collecting-dust-sack-of-crap category is I Am Alive. I’m compelled to finish everything I start, but I think that may take a while.

    I would really like to get back in to Borderlands 2 and play all the DLC I got (bought the season pass on sale on GMG), but I’m in the unfortunate position of being a level 39 character, for which the DLC is completely useless unless you play True Vault Hunter Mode, which is punishingly difficult to the point of it being not fun to play, and near impossible to play alone. The reason it’s useless outside of that mode is that all of the enemies and weapons/items are capped at level 30 (35 in Big Game Hunt), so you net zero XP from any of them and you can’t build out your skill tree or upgrade to new cool weapons. Had I known that prior to purchasing I would not have bought it. The best I’ve been able to do is give it a go in TVHM with a friend if they are online, but the only person I’ve found is one of those rushy people who I think has already played through it before, which blows if you are doing it the first time. Or to use another low-level character and play through it with them, but that pisses me off because I want to max-level and build out the skill tree of my main character that I played through the rest of the game with.

    • DrFlimFlam

      Yes, you should get back to Chrono Cross.

      • http://twitter.com/djbeema Reuben

        make me!

    • Eco1970

      I too have ground to a hslt with I Am Alive. The first time I took down 4 armed guys from starting having a gun and no bullets, I was “coool!”, but then I hit an interminable platformy bit and it got old.

      • http://twitter.com/djbeema Reuben

        and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th times you took down guys in the same exact specific manner, because the game doesn’t give you any freedom to experiment 

  • evanwaters

    Gonna get into Psychonauts this weekend- another one of those games I need to catch up on. Started a Witch Doctor in D3 as well.

  • Eco1970

    I’ll be playing Curse of Monkey Island. Damn, those MI games are funny. I can’t remember if I’ve said this before or not, but I was thinking the other day about games and movies. I’ve seen Bladerunner amd Withnail and I loads of times, and it’s easy for me to watch them again, because the format of movies doesn’t change that much. But i’ve got nothing to play Parappa the Rapper on, and I had to fuck about with ScummV for ages before CoMI would run in fullscreen on Windows 7. I remember trying to install Toonstruck on a Win XP rig and I had to give up. I’ve got a shelf o’ nostalgia with games like Crimson Skies, Commandos 2 and Nomad Soul that I’m probably not going to ever be able to play again because Win 7 won’t run them.

    It’s a shame that this happens, because what it means is that new generations can easily grow up watching Citizen Kane, Star Wars, Akira, Tin Cup or other great but ‘old’ cinema anew, but awesome stuff like Grim Fandango or Rebelstar Raiders will be lost in time, like tears in rain, because the hardware moves on, taking the kids with it.

    Maybe cool old games should be subject to remakes more. And not like fucking Syndicate was. Jesus.

  • Eco1970

    My friends and I were supposed to be finishing our Risk: Legacy campaign this evening, but a few no-shows meant only three of us were present, so we played Supremacy instead. I started out very badly by forgetting to buy any armies in the first turn, but a few lucky player sequence rolls in a row enanled me to build up about $15 billion. I poured a lot of it into researched nuclear weapons and then on my next turn I bought 11 more nukes. And luckily my only nuke-capacitied opponent blew $4 billion trying and failing to research L-stars.

    On my next turn I nuked The whole of South America and Russia, obliterating both opponents and winning the game!

  • Effigy_Power

    Disqus says GS has reached over 2000 members.
    I think that’s pretty good, given the massive density of gaming “journalism” on the net and the relative newness of this page.
    Well done one and all.

    • PaganPoet

      Not to mention that the comments are by and large pretty amicable.

  • a_scintillating_comment

    I am playing games. That is all.

  • a_scintillating_comment

    Yeah, I’m new here.
    I been enjoying the comments and articles for several months. All of you are awesome. I look forward to participating!