What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Lego City: Undercover

Home Cooking

We look inward for this weekend’s game picks.

By The Gameological Society Staff • March 15, 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.

The interview subject for this week’s What Are You Playing This Weekend? had to postpone, so we’re keeping it in-house today and surveying the Gameological contributors for their answers to the usual question.

Drew Toal

Because of familial obligations, I had to jam in all my weekend playing into the last few weeknights, which has left me disoriented and sleep-deprived (but satisfied). Most of this was spent with Mass Effect 3’s final expansion, “The Citadel.” I was a little skeptical about how much juice BioWare could muster up for this one, considering how bland the “Omega” expansion was, but the developers brought their A game this time, and I recommend “The Citadel” for anyone still in a lingering depression over Mass Effect 3’s doom and gloom. (I’ll be reviewing the expansion for Gameological.) When I return, it’s a bit of an open question. There are a few games I have stalled out on that I want to pick back up, including The Witcher 2, Dishonored, and The Walking Dead. But I’m open to suggestions here for next weekend, so pitch away.

John Teti
Sim City 4

I’m going to be playing a slightly modded SimCity 4, which is the previous version. It’s not that I’m trying to be an iconoclastic “down with the man!” badass—although it’s true there is nothing sexier than the rebellion of playing a 10-year-old urban simulation game—but I’m waiting for the Mac version because the screen attached to my Mac is bigger than the PC one. My current city is named Souplandia. It has many cat-themed buildings. I’m also going to go back through Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2: Future Legend Of Rhythm Alien and pick up a few loose ends that I missed, for two reasons. First, the game is a great way to zone out, and when I get in a groove with it, it feels amazing—like I’m in sync with an energy that’s greater than myself. Second, playing it this weekend gave me an opportunity to type out the entire ridiculous title here, which pleases me.

Jason Reich
Walking Dead

I finally joined the ranks of the iPadded this week and downloaded the first chapter of The Walking Dead, which I’ll be firing up presently. Really, though, I’m mainly interested in how I can turn this incredible piece of technology into a $600 board game machine. Ticket To Ride and Carcassonne will be in heavy rotation, and I’m curious to check out a bunch of other Euro-style games like Caylus and Le Havre that have made the leap to iOS. There’s also Ascension: Chronicle Of The Godslayer, which has the kind of title that immediately makes me tune out, though the comparisons to Dominion are enough to convince me it might be worth frittering away the remaining weekend hours, er, chronicling my slaying of gods, I suppose.

Derrick Sanskrit

After having put it down since November, I’m finally up to the last chapter of Professor Layton And The Miracle Mask, so I’m pretty determined to wrap that up soon. I’ve also spent the past evening or two cursing up a storm over how insanely hard the curated levels in this week’s Sound Shapes update are. Mostly, though, I’m inextricably hooked on Sonic Dash on my iPad. The one-thumb controls make it perfect for a quick session while waiting for water to boil and spices up otherwise boring phone calls. Layton and Sound Shapes both demand too much of my attention while I’m trying to be social. This Sonic infinite runner, though, is just passive enough to allow me to multitask while still being active enough to make it feel like I’m kinda sorta doing something maybe.

Anthony John Agnello
Lego City: Undercover

At any given time, I’m usually playing three games and this weekend is no different. I’ll be putting the finishing touches on Lego City: Undercover on Wii U for our very own Gameological review, as well as more time into Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, which I’m playing for review beyond these shores. (It’s fun, pretty, and it interrupts you constantly. So, you know, it’s a standard Nintendo game.) The third pillar in this tripod is purely for leisure, though, and I plan to play a bunch of Burning Rangers on Sega Saturn. I tend to get the Saturn itch every spring, and while Burning Rangers has been sitting on the shelf for 10 years now, I’ve never managed to actually beat it. No more! I will fight all of the futuristic fires and save all the space dolphins this weekend. Let’s go, Burning Rangers!

Matt Gerardi

I’ll probably be doing a little more train travel than usual this weekend, so I’m looking forward to spending time with Ridiculous Fishing, the new iOS game from Vlambeer. We’ll be covering it in Sawbuck Gamer next week, so I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say the title is pretty apt. I’m also hoping to sneak in some more time with Starseed Pilgrim. It’s a game that’s gotten a lot of comparisons to Fez, and rightfully so. Here’s the elevator pitch: a platformer where you grow the platforms. In practice, it’s a lot more complicated than it sounds, and none of it is explained. Piecing the game’s rules together has been fun though, and it’s great for those satisfying “Aha!” moments.

Samantha Nelson
Starcraft

My main focus this weekend will be playing StarCraft II: Heart Of The Swarm. I’ll also be getting in my daily dose of World Of Warcraft. My husband’s seriously into it right now, and he doubts my commitment to Sparkle Motion if I don’t at least log in to do a few dailies or a dungeon with him. But what I’m most excited about is a session of Pathfinder I’ll be playing in on Sunday. As of last time, our party had been on a boat that was attacked by some psionic aberrations (think Lovecraftian horrors with mind-control powers) and wound up shipwrecked with the crew on a tropical island. Has at least one of these expendable fellows been possessed by an alien monster? I’m thinking yes.

Matt Kodner

I plan on screaming at my smartphone’s tiny screen for at least two to three hours this weekend. For the fifth week in a row, I will be attempting to beat the final and deviously hard level of Super Hexagon. Despite mastering all of the game’s incessant trickery and acrobatics, I have yet to break my personal 22.48-second mark. I have also set a goal (likely to remain unmet come Monday) to reach “The Cellar” in The Binding Of Isaac. I recently picked it up, and I have been relying almost completely on beginner’s luck, although I have stopped stress-shrieking when I get down to my last heart. And if i’m lucky, I’ll squeeze a round of Settlers Of Catan in with neighbors at some point.

Cory Casciato
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dawnguard

Like most weekends, I’ll be trying to do at least a couple of drafts in Magic: The Gathering Online. Magic is still my favorite game, even after playing it on and off for almost two decades. At two-and-a-half hours per draft, this will eat up the majority of my free time over the weekend, but I’ll also be trying to squeeze in an hour or two in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Yes, Skyrim. I know it’s been out for a year and a half, but, believe it or not, I’ve been playing it intermittently that entire time, with occasional breaks for a few other must-play titles. I’ve got about 125 hours invested at this point, which still puts me almost 80 hours behind my total time spent playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. What can I say? When I find something I like, I tend to stick with it.

Ryan Smith

My Big Weekend O’ Game Reviewin’ involves diving into both God Of War: Ascension and Gears Of War: Judgment, which I’m beginning to suspect are the same game. They’re both the fourth game in their series, and they both disguise that fourthness by using the sequel naming device currently in vogue—dropping a number for a colon followed by a vague noun. Both are written as prequels because their original stories came to a natural conclusion. Both star angry dudes who have to kill lots of things. Both are properties that feel completely exhausted. But hey, some of the new multiplayer modes sound fun, right?! I’m way more pumped about playing Lego City: Undercover, which I really hope is like playing an episode of the old TV show CHiPs with the Erik Estrada character replaced with a plastic block (which probably means better acting).

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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  • Citric

    I’ve got a couple things on the go, like Vanquish and Shadow Hearts – Vanquish isn’t that long, I’m pretty sure, just haven’t had time – but the real exciting news is that I might just finish Persona 2: IS.

    That, or I’ll give up and watch the ending on Youtube, because I hate the final boss.

    I’ve finally got to the bottom of the temple of daddy issues, and I get to the final dude, but he’s got billions of attacks, and I keep getting bogged down in healing the one girl since she’s not immune to instant death. Also, unskippable cutscenes, ugh.

    So, since I’m near as makes no difference to the end, final impressions on IS? It’s frustrating as hell, with an encounter rate that is best described as unkind, but usually when you make it through an area you’re treated to a scene so insane that you can’t help but appreciate it. I mean, you get to beat up Hitler, how can you hate a game that lets you beat up Hitler?

    Now I need a portable game to start up after I’m done that. I’m thinking maybe Ys Seven.

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

      If you need a quick fix, I recommend the action-puzzler Go; Go; Kokopolo for DSiWare. http://hardcoregaming101.net/kokopolo/kokopolo.htm It’s complicated to explain but easy to play, so just read that. Somehow, they’re working on a sequel right now, although I’d wager the 1st game sold 11 copies.

      • Citric

        Problem with that is I don’t have a DSi, just a good ol’ trusty Lite.

    • Citric

      UPDATE: I finished it, hooray! The ending is certainly something, sets up EP pretty well but also seems kind of weird and arbitrary.

      • PaganPoet

        Are you going to play EP next, or take a break from frustrating JRPGs that you can’t put down? =P

        • Citric

          I think EP can wait until I forget how tedious IS could get.

          • PaganPoet

            Have you played Persona 4 Arena? If so, do you think that it connects the P1 and P2 continuity to the P3 and P4 continuity as some people speculated?

          • Citric

            I have not. Wasn’t there a P2 character in P3 in a cameo, or am I nuts?

          • Morgan Filbert

            The Hermit social link is a P2 reference, if I recall correctly.

          • PaganPoet

            There’s a TV Quiz show you can watch in P3 too that makes reference to all kinds of P1 and P2 characters.

            It’s rumored that Nyarlathotep is in P4A, but it hasn’t been confirmed or denied by Atlus.

        • George_Liquor

          You obviously have more patience with the Persona games that I do. I’ve spent hours trying to rescue Yukiko’s scrawny ass in P4G, grinding away, leveling up, fucking with different persona combinations and watching my HP & MP slowly drain away to the point where her fucking shadow kills me handily every time. I finally had to shelve that game for fear I’d take a ball peen hammer to my Vita.

          • PaganPoet

            Shadow Yukiko is actually one of the hardest bosses in the game, along with Shadow Kanji and Shadow Naoto.

            But, I guess I’m just used to it. I feel like P4G in general is easier than Persona 3, which was my first (and probably still my favorite) Persona game.

    • Nabokov_Cocktail

      Oh how I love Vanquish. Totally batshit insane sliding mechanics, which at the outset, sounds incredibly dumb and awkward. But by like 20 minutes in you’ll wonder why every game doesn’t let you sweep the floor like Springsteen at a Super Bowl halftime show, blasting away at robots in slow motion.

  • Cloks

    I got to a grindy part of Mother 3 again so I’ll probably work through that. I’m almost done with it and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anybody who enjoys RPGS. There are some minor annoyances, mostly dealing with inventory management, but the story elevates it greatly.
    Other than that, I dunno. I’ve been feeling exceedingly blah about PC gaming recently and none of the upcoming titles (Biosharks: Infinity, Man Shoot: Shooter Man, Indie Game: The Game) seem too appealing. I guess the new episode of Kentucky Route 0 comes out in March and Telltale is likely to revisit TWD by the end of the year, so that’s something.

    • PaganPoet

      Wait, what is this about TWD? Are they releasing a sequel or is it somehow an addition to the current game? I’m not sure how they’ll add more story to it, it seems pretty, uh, final to me.

      I actually just finished that game last week myself. Really fucking good and really fucking emotional. I went to my PSP and popped in LocoRoco 2 after that to cheer myself up.

      • fieldafar

        Telltale are working on a ‘second season’ of TWD. So far, we (or at least I) don’t know whether it’s a continuation of the first games, or a new story altogether.

        • zerocrates

          I had read about Telltale’s Season 2 plans, and until now failed to connect that “Fall 2013″ is part of the year that’s this year.

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

      Last I heard, the next episode of KRZ will release in April, but if it comes earlier, I’ll be thrilled. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to find out what happens next in a video game.

      Did you try the auxiliary adventure, Limits and Demonstrations? I’d be curious to hear others’ thoughts on it. While I loved the first act of KRZ, I didn’t like L&D at all. Whereas the former felt tense and electric, the latter felt cold and clinical, almost as if it was deliberately keeping me at arm’s length. I can’t tell if that was intentional, or if it was an unfortunate misjudgment of tone on the part of the developers.

      • Cloks

        Last I heard was March but April seems to make more sense.

        I did try Limits and Demonstrations. I’m inclined to agree with you about how it felt because it was an interactive art show – there were very strict limits on the interactivity that the full game affords. It seems like it was supposed to be that way but I don’t think it’s the best idea for a demo if the developers want to get people interested in the game.

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

          The April release is what it says on Steam, but it’s possible the DRM-free version will release earlier.

          One thing that KRZ does exceedingly well that is sort of lost in L&D is visuals – that stark, almost papercraft-esque aesthetic with hues of gold and grey. It’s part of what helps give the game the feeling of an eerie summer night.

  • fieldafar

    Waiting for my copy of Tomb Raider. Otherwise, it’s study this weekend.

    Also, since when did Gameological get ‘new’ Disqus?

    • PaganPoet

      I’ve also got “real world” things on my plate this weekend. Mama Poet is visiting me this weekend, and I don’t think she’ll be too pleased with watching me play Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, so I guess I’ll be off the games this weekend. Ah well, at least it will be sunny and beautiful here in Denver.

      • George_Liquor

        From what I hear, we’ll get a nice Friday but a crappy Saturday. As per usual around here.

  • PaganPoet

    Oh boy, has disqus forced GS over into a new format? With DOWNVOTES? This is gonna get ugly, y’all. Like Julia Roberts with shaped eyebrows in Steel Magnolias ugly. Brace yourselves!!

    • Citric

      I haaaate how it defaults to “best” as the top post, and it’s not immediately obvious how to fix it. That’s reeeeally not conducive figuring out the flow of the conversation.

      Hopefully it’s all a glitch and goes back to normal, anything that makes the internet more like reddit is a bad thing to me.

      • PaganPoet

        This happened a couple of weeks ago on AV Club, and it went back to normal after a few hours. But some people were saying that disqus would be forcing everyone to switch over to the new format sometime soon? I hope that’s not true, but I’m honestly not bovvered enough to look it up.

        • Citric

          It sounds like they’ve been forcing through an update. I sent them an email saying it sucks.

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

          In the case of the AV Club, they have a custom system from Disqus, so they likely won’t be forced to switch over.

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

            But during the brief scare when the new system kicked in, it overrode the AVClub template, and in some cases became more broken than it is by default. I’m guessing AVClub is going to have to revise their Disqus overlay to incorporate the new system.

      • Captain Internet

        Ooooh, comment feeds that default to ‘best’ or ‘top rated’ first are truly obnoxious. I want to read what everyone has to say, not just what the majority of people click the ‘vote up’ button on.

    • Enkidum

      Huh, a week ago everyone on AV Club was complaining about much the same thing happening but it all looks perfectly normal to me. My browser cannot be defeated!

      • George_Liquor

        Ugh, I hate downvoting. It’s such a douchey thing to do.

        • PaganPoet

          The temptation to downvote this is overwhelming…crippling even, but I will abstain.

          • Fluka

            Urge…to downvote…for comedy purposes…rising!
            …falling…falling…
            RISING!…falling… gooone…

          • George_Liquor

            You know those go on your permanent record, right? Do you ever want to get into a good school?!

          • The Guilty Party

            Hey, they’re still positive numbers. You want more positive numbers, don’t you? I mean, this is a gaming site. We should be all about the positive numbers.

            Think of it as a challenge: how can you delight half the people and enrage the other half?

          • Chum Joely

            Well then I’ll do it for you. See how much comedy??

          • Fluka

            Not sure whether to like or downvote…so DOWN VOTE.

          • Fluka

            God DAMN it!

        • zerocrates

          I fought the immediate instinct to downvote this, read the other comments, and did it anyway.

          …and it felt good.

          • George_Liquor

            Suck downvote, Douche!

          • zerocrates

            Let the hate flow through you…

            OR

            Witness the power of this fully generic and standardized commenting system!

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

          Ugh. Fuck downvotes. I’ve heard they can be disabled, but I don’t know if that’s true.

          • Fluka

            On other sites, I’ve seen registration/site membership required in order to downvote something. That at least prevents random drive-by downvotings.

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

            I have a reflexive negative reaction to downvotes, because on gaming websites, they’re used almost exclusively to bury anything vaguely feminist.

          • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

            The worst is PC Gamer’s comment section. It has downvoting, but it also has “mark as spam” which assholes ALSO use to disagree with a post.

          • Fluka

            If that ever starts happening here, I will view those downvotes as a red badge of courage. …Unless they do that “This post is hidden because it has received too many downvotes” thing.

            Good lord, things would get ugly if they ever introduce this system to the AV Club mothership for reals.

        • Citric

          Even more troubling is you can’t see who liked your posts anymore. How will I be able to fine tune my ramblings to fit certain demographics?

          Seriously, they changed the three things I liked about Disqus – no downvotes, you can see who liked things, and the reply button on the bottom right.

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

        All this time I thought I was coming here for the amazing commenting community. Today has taught me that I was REALLY coming here for the elegant commenting interface all along. Y’all were just incidental to those circular avatars and ‘like’ buttons.

        • Enkidum

          Argh, I’m now seeing the ugly-ass interface too. Such is life.

          Actually, other than the “order by likes” and ability to downvote, I don’t really mind this all that much…

          • Citric

            It’s possible to turn off the order by likes thing. It keeps trying to turn it back, mind you, but it’s possible to turn it off, click the word discussions.

          • The Guilty Party

            It’s not a downvote, it’s an Australian Like!

    • Fluka

      I feel all self conscious and stuff! This is, like, my safe space! (Oh god that is so sad.) Make the change go away!

      • Morgan Filbert

        We still love you Fluka, we’re all still here, and we’ll get through this with gentle good humor and mild snark. Why? Because we’re the Gameological Society.

        No change in Disqus can change that fundamental fact.

        This is the first message board I ever really took part in, and while my contributions are only about a tenth of some folks on here, I still feel like I’m a part of this wonderful community, and I refuse to believe that the mere presence of a “vote down” button will destroy that.

        • Fluka

          Aaah, I’m getting all misty-eyed here! Gameological 4EVA!

          I’ll go back to being depressed about the loss of Google Reader instead. *Buries face in pillow and heaves sobs.*

        • Chum Joely

          Voted down for not hating downvoting enough.

          • Morgan Filbert

            Up voted for displaying that gentle good humor and mild snark I was talking about.

          • Chum Joely

            This is getting really meta, you guys…

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        It’s like showing up to work and everyone has different haircuts and clothing.
        It’s interesting when dealing with a fairly intimate community like this, how much format and layout becomes a substitution for the visual associations we’d have were we actually all in a room together.
        I feel like you all went off to Europe or camp over the summer and I just stayed in town hanging out at the Pamida, playing Bad Dudes.

        • Morgan Filbert

          That’s a great analogy Spacemonkey. I’d go along with that and say it’s like coming back to College after a summer away. The buildings are mostly the same but the dorms/apartments where we hangout are all slightly different, but with the same people.

          Also, I’m evidently now a porcupine, according to my avatar.

          Don’t know how that happened but I think that, at least, is a good change.

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

          On a tangent: I kind of like getting different haircuts and/or styles of facial hair to mess with people. Over spring break, I’m cutting my hair and shaving off my huge dirty beard. I’m going to confuse the fuck out of everybody (and look 10 years younger in the process). Mwahahaha!

          • Spacemonkey Mafia

            Much to my disappointment, I can’t grow a mighty, hirsute he-beard. It’s a fairly modest thing.
            But that said, I still will never shave it off, because I can’t shake the feeling afterward that my head looks like a tiny match head poking out of a huge collar. Kinda’ like Beetlejuice’s shrunken head scene.

        • Effigy_Power

          I am dyeing my hair black next and switch to a thicker eye-shadow.
          It’s because over the summer I have become deep and brooding. Nobody feels pain the way I do!
          (God, that actually sounds too familiar to be funny… teenage me was a douche)

          • djsubversive

            smoking clove cigarettes and lamenting the middle-class suburban hellscape we were thrust into, without permission or consent. Lo, my life is a dark pit of darkness.

          • Effigy_Power

            Yeah? Well… mine’s louder!

        • George_Liquor

          That’s my entire life summed up in one incredibly depressing metaphor.

          Except there are no Pamidas here.

    • http://gameological.com/author/johnteti/ John Teti

      This wasn’t supposed to happen yet—I think our friends at Disqus either flipped a switch or neglected to un-flip a switch. Anyway, yes, it’s going to look like this before too long. Downvoting will be discouraged because I hate it.

      • Citric

        How much flexibility is there in the system from your end?

        • http://gameological.com/author/johnteti/ John Teti

          Extremely little in the new Disqus.

          • Jackbert

            Can you use a different commenting system?

          • http://gameological.com/author/johnteti/ John Teti

            It wouldn’t be practical. Gameological has to stay in line with The A.V. Club, and I don’t know of any superior options anyway. Disqus has been the best comment system for our purposes; the new version will still be the best option, but in a “least worst” kind of way.

          • KidvanDanzig

            like Democracy but a commenting system

          • Citric

            That’s a shame. There’s nothing here that couldn’t be fixed with a couple setting changes if they were offered, like just an option disable downvotes, or maybe a visual theme that’s a bit more sophisticated and doesn’t do the tiny impossible to see avatars.

          • Jackbert

            And the option to see who likes your comment. So all in all, what we had before…

          • The Guilty Party

            They don’t even let you screw with the css? You’d think you’d be able to do that, and then hide some things like the downvote button.

      • Staggering Stew Bum

        Hello John. I managed to log in eventually, and then new Disqus ate my first attempt at a comment in reply to you here so I will try again.

        I am aware that the implementation of the All New All Dancing All Singing Disqus is out of your control but I’d still like to voice my opinion that it is atrocious. I am sure I would get used to the ugly comment structure eventually, but downvoting? Fuck that. An awful, awful change for the worse.

        I would also like to point out that I have been commenting on Gameological since the start but haven’t cracked the top 21 users list. What the hell?

        • KidvanDanzig

          gotta step your game up son

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

          That’s because you’ve got for post length over post quantity. You need to post more replies like:
          - “Ditto.”
          - “I concur.”
          - “Agreed.”
          - “Indubitably.”
          - “LOL”
          - “ROFL”
          - “LMAO”
          - “ROFLMAO”
          - “First!”
          - “Second!”
          - “Whatever, bro.”
          - “Meh.”
          - “Shit.”
          - “DISQUUUUUUUS!”
          - “Cool.”
          - “Awesome!”
          - “HELL YEAH!!!”
          - “*yawn*”
          - “Woah there Hitler”

          • Jackbert

            johnny boy

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

            Why did you lump those all in the same comment? Total wasted opportunity.

            The Disqus rankings used to have two rankings, one for most liked and one for most comments, which encouraged both plentiful and substantive commenting. Now the community page only keeps track of the folks with the most comments, which only encourages comment volume, not quality. It seems like they could have kept the old dual-ranking system, and just started tracking upvotes rather than likes.

            Obviously, I’m mostly stung because I’ve lost the only metric by which I was more impressive than Effigy_Power.

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

            You’re still one of 5 commenters who has broken the 1000-comment mark. That’s got to count for something, right?

            Come on, @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus and @PaganPoet:disqus, hurry up and crack 1000 so that those of us at the top don’t feel like we’ve wasted our lives.

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

            Luckily, I still have Soupy, and Stakkalee’s RainMan-like processing of Soupy’s data, to give me a sense of self-worth. Now that like’s are a thing of the past, Soupy’s caprice is the only metric for outstanding comment quality!

          • stakkalee

            Well, I am an excellent driver. Oops, gotta go! Wapner’s on in 15 minutes!

          • PaganPoet

            Well look out, then, ’cause I’m coming for your Burger King crown! I only have…25 or so Keyboard Genius studs to catch up.

          • Effigy_Power

            You just wasted so many potential posts.

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

            Meh.

          • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

            Disqussssssssss!

          • Effigy_Power

            Like that one.

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

            Whatever, bro.

        • zerocrates

          Now, I did just post an impassioned eulogy for the oh-so-refined avatar window circles, but aside from them and the downvotes, what’s so different between this Disqus and the old Gameological Disqus?

          I remembered people saying similar things during the AV Club’s temporary switchover, and I honestly don’t see so much of a difference. (Though I would like to figure out how to go back to chronological ordering.)

          • Citric

            Chronological ordering is under discussion, it took me too long to find that, and it still insists on redditing it up frequently.

          • zerocrates

            Ah yes, that tricksy arrow.

            I also see editing is a thing, since I could swear you originally said “under comments.”

            I also also note that infinitely-deep replies are at least now possible, though they flatten all together. That’s something, I guess.

          • caspiancomic

            There’s an “upvote” in there from me for teaching me how to get back to chronological ordering. I want you to know that, Citric.

          • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

            even when you set it to sort by oldest, those fucking new post notifications show up and add new things to the top.

          • Staggering Stew Bum

            Ok.

            1) It seems to auto-update. So I’m typing and the message I’m replying to suddenly has SHOW ONE NEW COMMENT underneath it. It’s like a comment system for ADHD sufferers. I spend my whole working day having people talk over me, this is the internet equivalent of that. I find it frustrating, antagonising, and unnecessary.

            2) The old system had up to 200 comments per page before you had to click load new comments. Now it’s about 50, which makes browsing irritating.

            3) I don’t mind admitting, I enjoy my comments being ‘Liked’. I enjoy seeing who liked my comments, who shares my opinions and sense of humour. Sometimes I’ll tailor my comments to particular users and it is satisfying when I see they have clicked like. I come on here to make myself laugh and hopefully make others laugh. Now it’s all replaced with cold, random ‘Votes’ from anonymous strangers. If I wanted votes from strangers, I would run for election in parliament. I want likes from familiar faces to prop up my fragile self esteem, not fucking votes. All of my hard earned history of likes are gone forever, vanished into the ether. Although it is irrational for me to feel this way about intangible numbers on a screen and what is essentially a change in nomenclature, this has really pissed me off.

            4) Downvoting can go fuck itself.

            5) It’s got the same problems as old Disqus with a whole host of new problems. If it must be new, I want new and improved, not new and fuck me this shit is annoying.

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

            I like this.

          • Jackbert

            6) It used to be you could command+F “minute” and click through the comments posted within the hour. I like doing this. It lets me easily see the new comments. Now, at least on Chrome, doing that pretty much doesn’t work. It still highlights the comments, but clicking through does nothing. So you basically have to scroll down, clicking load new comments all the fucking way, and peering for highlighted comments. So fuck that too.

          • ComradePig

            It is somewhat amazing to me that a company focused exclusively on commenting could not only mess up the fundamentals of easy conversation so easily, but actively and continuously make things worse than the prior system that essentially functioned fine.

          • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

            What this guy said. This new version adds one or two good things and a ton of bad things, so overall it makes things worse. I definitely will miss liking and being able to see who liked my posts.

          • Effigy_Power

            Great, I can like or dislike my own post and nobody can tell if I did.
            If that’s not a great metaphor for internet communication and then yay/nay culture we live in, then I don’t know what is.

          • The Guilty Party

            Well, my off-hand, highly context-sensitive joke that has no replies at all is the most popular discussion on gameological at the moment, apparently, so I guess I have to like this new way of doing things. It certainly is good at picking out the key discussions!

        • Jackbert

          I have been commenting on Gameological since only early October, but am ranked seventeenth. Is this the sort of thing that generates street credibility? Being a hermit, I wouldn’t know.

          • djsubversive

            @Jackbert if it’s anything like the steam group’s player of the month, you just got put on a list and forgotten about.

        • http://gameological.com/author/johnteti/ John Teti

          I think downvoting is terrible, too. In practice on Gameological, I don’t think it’s going to be a huge problem because the community here is good. I mean, there are a lot of different ways that people could be internet-shitty to each other on the old Disqus, too, and most of them don’t happen around here. The fact that new Disqus adds one more way for people to be shitty to each other isn’t going to change the fact that in general, Gameological readers treat each other well.

        • Fluka

          I’m the eighth most prolific commenter on this site? Jeez. I really gotta reevaluate my life decisions.

          More commenting.

          • Effigy_Power

            Oh no you don’t!
            -furiously writes more comments-

          • Effigy_Power

            Like that one.

          • Fluka

            You

          • Fluka

            can

          • Fluka

            not

          • Fluka

            stop

          • Fluka

            me.

          • PaganPoet

            I downvoted all of those. Yes, that was me. I ain’t escared of you!

          • Morgan Filbert

            Is E-scared just like regular scared but online, PaganPoet?

          • PaganPoet

            It’s “scared” with a Spanish accent.

            btw, Morgan, you’ll be amused to hear that this new disqus system decided to notify me about every single time you have ever replied to one of my posts. I woke up this morning with 21 notifications, most of them from you on really old topics. Imagine my relief to discover that they were actually old posts and you weren’t stalking me and I absolutely wouldn’t find you on my doorstep on a rainy night.

          • Morgan Filbert

            Damn. Glad you were able to figure that one out. It’d be horrible if you thought I was stalking you and had documented your movements over the past three months, besides that second Tuesday when I was busy building my idol out of hair and toe-nail clippings…

          • Spacemonkey Mafia

            Hah! Same here. I think it might be time for us to ask some hard questions about our friend, Morgan D. Filbert.
            That’s right, D for Disqus!

          • Fluka

            DOWNVOTE.

            The funny thing is, if you look at your “Disqus Dashbaord”, it still says “1 person liked this.”

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

            Yeah, that cracks me up. It takes the absolute value of your upvotes minus your downvotes and reports that as the number of people who liked your post.

        • PaganPoet

          If it makes you feel better, the top commenters are ranked by quantity, not quality, which explains my presence there.

      • Electric Dragon

        And I had just managed to stop my internet rage at the news that Google Reader is to be killed off. Now it has a whole new target.

        DISQUUUUUSS!!!! *shakes fist in impotent fury*

        • Effigy_Power

          Add to that the fact that Steam chat doesn’t allow the /me command anymore (because people used it to change their text color and thereby undermine democracy and freedom) and it appears the machines are starting their revolution… and they are starting with the shittiest programs available.

          • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

            Ok, so I was in the Steam Client beta and they let people comment on the changelogs and people were SO MAD that they took out the /me command. Did anyone really even use that? Who even cares?

          • Effigy_Power

            Pricks? As usual?

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

            /me is sad that the /me command is gone.

          • The_Juggernaut_Bitch

            /me or /em is a chat command switch as old as IRC itself is. That Steam, or anyone else, has gotten rid of it is fucking stupid.

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

        Hey, we’re the Gameological Society. Let’s just make a gentleperson’s agreement not to downvote. (Except in cases of personal attacks and abuse, which we should just flag, anyway.)

        • stakkalee

          Can we flag? I don’t see the button anymore, but I can’t imagine Disqus doing away with that.

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

            It’s that little arrow on the top right.

          • stakkalee

            Ah yes, the completely obvious, unlabeled ‘down’ arrow – how silly of me to miss it.
            Also, I see that our email notifications have gotten all HTMLy and ugly. DISQUS!!!!!!!!!!

          • Spacemonkey Mafia

            To flag you have to type the time stamp of the offending comment into a Java cache, export as a CSS widget and then constrain the instance onto a discussion data map.
            It’s one of Disqus’s most intuitive features.

      • ShrikeTheAvatar

        He hates downvotes! Get him!

      • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

        I hate it to. I hate the auto-updating feed and constant notifications of new posts and such. I do like the ability to continue conversations past 3 levels, but that’s about it. Everything else is rather obnoxious and ADHD.

        Any reason that it HAS to look like this? Is Disqus no longer allowing modded versions or something?

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        I refuse to downvote anything ever. I don’t even want to pretend I’m using reddit. That said, do the downvotes do anything here? Can they actually hide a comment? because that would blow.

        • The Guilty Party

          I *think* it factors into the ‘Show Best Discussions’ sorting algorithm. Which is the unfortunate default, I think, but most people around here would change it to Show Oldest because we like old things.

      • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

        Another bizarre thing: if it’s sorted by popularity, the indenting structure completely changes. I just wish it didn’t default to that sorting method and you could have your preferred sort state saved with your login. Now I have to make sure I switch it every time before reading/commenting. I didn’t do that initially and I replied to a bunch of comments in a completely out-of-order manner, thinking newer ones were actually at the beginning of the conversation, and so on.

  • Jackbert

    So apparently I have spring break this week. This knowledge has pretty much shot my plans of holding out on the ME3 story to pieces. I was planning on waiting until my upcoming birthday, asking for a PSN card, and purchasing some DLC. But there’s no way I’m going to be able to ignore the ME3 story during a week long break, so I guess I’ll purchase “From Ashes” and “Citadel” myself.

    Anyway, in ME3, I just received the Priority: Thessia mission from the Asari councilor. If I were to venture a guess, I’d say I’m maybe 2/3 through the story. By this time next week, I’ll probably be done! Last week, I did a bunch of boring sidequesting, AND MOTHERFUCKING KILLED A REAPER.

    I’ve pretty much given up on the “Revolving Door of Portable JRPGs Jackbert Hates!” game after getting stuck in Devil Survivor 2, which is like Persona 3, if Persona 3 sucked and was shitty. But I do have a new PSP game, a Western RPG this time. Last week my little brother attended a birthday party at the Mall of America, which some people consider a dream vacation destination. I feel very sorry for those people. Anyway, I tagged along for unclear reasons. The Gamestop there is interesting because it’s way less…regulated. There are piles of video games in junky plastic sleeves, and they never have the new games. While I was there, I found the original Marvel Ultimate Alliance on PSP for $10, which is awesome, because it’s out of print or something, and can only be found for $40 on Amazon. I’m pretty happy about that and will be starting it this week.

    Finally, like @MattKodner:disqus , I’ll be playing Super Hexagon. I reached 57 seconds on Hexagonest today. 60 seconds beats the level. So close!

    Also, why does Gameological have the IGN disqus now? Not cool.

    • PaganPoet

      btw, multiplayer was so fun with you and caspian. I was pleasantly surprised at how difficult it was; single player even on Insanity is a breeze compared to that!

      I gotta twerq it and unlock more characters. My human adept is willing and able, but boring.

      • Jackbert

        Yeah, I had lots of fun! I found it quite difficult as well. Remember the first match you set up on Silver? :)

        I’m pretty happy with the Asari Vanguard I had going. Charging ass and taking names!

        • caspiancomic

          I roll Infiltrator for single player, but Engineers are Gods online. I did, though, just “promote” my Engineer class, which reverts it back to level 1, so the next time I go online I’m going to mess with some other classes and races.

          Speaking of: next time you guys want to try online, give me a shout. That was a blast!

        • PaganPoet

          I was feeling a bit useless for a bit there when I was using Infiltrator, because Cyro Blast, while extremely useful, doesn’t kill enemies. It just makes them easier to kill. So I was getting sad at the level up screen to see how few enemies I actually took out, hehe

  • Effigy_Power

    Plenty of games I picked up.

    Sims 3 University is pretty fun and for the first time in a while actually adds good stuff, not just Katy Perry’s cup-cake bra.

    AmrA3 Alpha promises to be the same amount of frustrating fun as ArmA 2, so we’ll see how that comes around.

    Planetside 2, Endless Space, which is fairly fun, and watch my lady play the not-as-awful-as-the-reviews-say Game of Thrones game, which is basically a reskin of Dragon Age Origins with less trimmings. That certainly makes it worse than DA:O, but then that’s a lot of games.

    Otherwise… erm… Hopefully play some more of the boardgame Seven Wonders which is pretty great, if a bit unwieldy.

    PS: That new Disqus looks appalling and the up/down vote thing is just so odd and kind of divisive. Personally I’d get rid of the entire “like” thing and just let posts be posts. Everything is so competitive these days.
    -goes back to knitting doilies-

    • doyourealize

      I’ve recently started playing 7 Wonders, too, and while it’s hell to figure out how to play, I think it’s actually rather simple once you get it, and lends itself to multiple plays in one sitting. You need to make sure you’re playing with non-cheaters, though, since it’s a little easy to let something slip by due to everything that’s going on.

      Also, I’m not a fan of the “up or down” thing, either. If I don’t agree with something (or someone doesn’t agree with me), I’d rather discuss why instead of click a button that basically means “I hate this.” I guess it would be useful for spam posts, but that’s not what it seems to be used for.

  • EmperorNortonI

    I’ve not been doing a whole lot of gaming lately. Too busy, what with imminent mystery something hanging over the heads of my whole office at work and new social life commitments on the weekend.

    Continuing from last week, Banner Saga – Factions. I won a few matches, and upgraded a few guys, and have come to realize that my shield wall strategy, 4 raiders and 2 archers, just isn’t going to cut it. I just don’t think you can survive without 2 Varl. They are just that much better. This makes me a bit annoyed at the game, but whatever.

    I also got Sword of the Stars – The Pit, which is a little SF Roguelike. I guess they needed money after the utter failure of SOTS2, though I have to say, I’m somewhat curious to hear of SOTS2 has ever been patched up enough to be playable. It’s published by Paradox, after all, which is famous for its endless patch support. Anyways, The Pit is a bit of a throwback to old-school dungeon crawlers like Moira, as it’s vaguely turn based. That was an interesting surprise. I’ve only played it a bit, but it seems interesting.

    I’ve also been playing Ticket to Ride on the iPad. I didn’t really like the game offline, but on the iPad it’s not so bad.

    In boardgaming, we wrapped up our High Frontier session last Saturday, and am feeling around for something new. We played a bit of Memoir 44 this week, but neither of us is really in the mood. Need new 2 player game.

  • George_Liquor

    Oh God, things are DIFFERENT!!!

    • PaganPoet

      Such as the rules of fashion?

    • zerocrates

      Where are my AVATAR CIRCLE WINDOW THINGS?

      Everything just looks less classy through mere rounded rectangles.

      • Destroy Him My Robots

        Our font is smaller, too, which means we’re less important now.

        • Effigy_Power

          It is clearly less fun and more of a strain to read, I thought that was just me and my old eyes. Oh dear me, time to get a third pair of glasses.

          • Destroy Him My Robots

            Like… cascading?

      • George_Liquor

        Oddly enough, the old comment system shows up if you view this page with an iWhatever.

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

      NO MORE ‘LIKE’ RANKINGS?! MY LIFE NO LONGER HAS MEANING!

      • HobbesMkii

        The Top Commenters list is intact (and longer!) if you click “Community”

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

          But that only appears to rank based on sheer volume on comments, rather than ‘likes,’ which is a less meaningful (read: less self-flattering) metric.

    • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

      *runs over to AVC*
      phew!

  • rvb1023

    Finally, thanks to my spring break, I will beat SMT: Nocturne. Almost two years after the fact. It’s been a struggle, but a great one.

    Just in time for me to start up the Drakengard games, given the very WTF recent announcement of Drag-On Dragoon 3 that came out of nowhere but given my love for Nier I will not complain.

    • Citric

      I find myself tempted to give Drakengard another go myself. I don’t remember why I stopped with it.

  • Fluka

    Not playing anything new this weekend (@PaganPoet:disqus , I just shot your handsome boyfriend in the stomach! Sorry!), so I’ll turn this into a question as I think about what I’m going to play next:

    I picked up Thief 1-3 (Thieves 1-3?) on the super-cheap on Steam a few weeks back. Is it advisable to start with number one, or should I just jump straight ahead to 2? And should I be modding at all?

    Of course, my husband just purchased New Vegas on a whim (and immediately started modding it), so maybe I’ll play that next. Once I manage to pry him away from it. He very much likes it! And who can blame him, given that he’s got a floating deathbot for a best friend? (And he likes the companions in the game too, hey-yoh!)

    • PaganPoet

      Why you throwing shade on me and my man, grol? Don’t come for me and KaiKai or imma read you like a church mother reads bible verses.

      (Sorry, I just watched Paris is Burning)

      • Fluka

        He was oddly nonchalant about the whole thing. I’ve seen videos where Ashley SPOILERS is all like “I hope the Reapers send you to Hell!” when she bites it. Kaidan just kind of lies down and goes “Eh Shep.” Way to defy Canadian stereotypes, man!

    • rhombus

      I’m playing Thief as well, and it’s definitely worthwhile to start with Thief 1. It has its lesser missions, but also several great ones, and I’ve heard the story is actually better than Thief 2′s. This mod here is all I’m using.
      http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=121449

      • Fluka

        Thanks for the link!

        • Effigy_Power

          Thief 1 is worth it for just a single quote when breaking into someone’s estate.

          “So many books. Does he read them all or are they just for show?”

          Garrett is the boss.

    • Captain Internet

      I’ve not played either in years, but I remember Thief 1 having some very annoying sections involving zombies. Thief 2 was pretty much perfect, however. Just remember to save often, and in multiple slots…

    • djsubversive

      Hey, New Vegas + Modding, you say? This might be helpful. It’s (most of) my mod list for NV, along with the settings I’m using for Project Nevada (you should totally get Project Nevada).

      • Fluka

        Ooo, thanks! He tried and failed to get Project Nevada working, unfortunately, but I’ll bookmark that for if he ever fixes it! And damn, that’s a nice list of other mods too! Hopefully this won’t finally fry his poor beleaguered PC…

        • djsubversive

          what was the problem?

          Does he have NVSE (the script extender)? and the Mod Configuration Menu? and the 4-gb loader (makes the game “large address aware”)? I think the only one that’s actually *required* for PN is NVSE, which is also required for a few other mods.

          • Fluka

            There’s something wonky with the way it installed with the Nexus Mod Manager, and he “can’t be arsed” to fix it by hand. He apparently has the NVSE, but not the other ones, and he also wonders if part of the problem might be his having a 32 bit system (still XP).

          • djsubversive

            32-bit system might be an issue, but I have a friend who had XP for a long time and was running NV fine. I also never used the Nexus Mod Manager either, so maybe it is something with that (I use FOMM, mostly for just organizing my load order).

            Maybe try a manual install of PN, just dropping the .ESMs or whatever into the Data folder? Core is the only required one, Equipment adds a bunch of neat stuff, and Cyberware makes the cybernetic implant system more like Deus Ex. also, there’s an OWB patch – make sure to choose only one of the two options (with or without the new Cyberware stuff).

            Good luck, Mr. Fluka! :)

          • Don Incognito

            Project Nevada does NOT support a NMM install; you have to install manually or use Fallout Mod Manager, which I have a hard time even getting to start up, let alone work.

            Do the manual install. Project Nevada is insanely good.

        • Effigy_Power

          Pfff, my Skyrim runs almost 200 mods. And quantity equals quality in this world of Disqus upgrades and Always-On DRM.

          That didn’t even remotely make sense. Now get off my lawn.

    • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

      I also bought the “Thieves” on sale from Steam for mad cheap, but last year! Still haven’t touched them, although I already played Thief 1 a long time ago.

      I never beat it, though. I remember there being an insane difficulty spike towards the end. The zombies are just awful. I think I couldn’t beat the last or penultimate level and just gave up. The zombies are ridiculously powerful, so engaging them in open combat is almost always instant death, but in that level, sneaking around them was also insanely difficult. I think whenever I pick up the series again, I wont even bother trying to beat it and just go to Thief 2.

      • Fluka

        General impression I’m getting here is that I should give Thief 1 a go, but not feel guilty about running away from it and skipping to 2 when I inevitably get pissed off.

        • Effigy_Power

          That seems like a good attitude for any game.

  • TaumpyTearrs

    Goddamn disqus ate my comment when it made me login. Fuck this ugly ass commenting system.
    Oh well. I was talking in detail about starting to play Magic The Gathering again after 15 years, and teaching my fiance how to play.She loves it, we’re having fun, blah-blah don’t feel like typing again. Wish I had more people to play with, can’t commit to the online version because then I’d be buying cards online and physically and it would get ridiculous.

  • Will Hyland

    Partially out of franchise loyalty, I’ll be playing God of War: Ascension. It’s the worst God of War game, but the worst God of War game is still better than most crapfests.

  • PrivateIronTFU

    I think this is the week I’ll finally be getting a 3DS.

    Also, fuck downvoting.

    • The Guilty Party

      Badmouthing downvoting? That’s a downvotin’.

  • Aussie25

    I’ll be finishing off my replay of Kingdom Hearts, I’m doing the biggest play-through I’ve ever done (on Expert) and trying to get every collectible and maybe get to Level 100 if I can really be bothered. I found all 99 puppies for the first time yesterday (I’ve beaten this game about 5 times and never done this), I’m now trying to get the third stage of every magic power.

    If I beat it this weekend, I’ll probably start playing Kingdom Hearts 2 and repeat the process. I have to say I don’t really like Kingdom Hearts 2 as much as the first, the gameplay is smoother and slightly more fluid, but I feel like the story isn’t as strong and there’s some really lame dialogue/acting (this might just be due to bad writing for the English dub?). I still love it though, it just didn’t live up to the first game for me.

    • zerocrates

      Fun fact: Jay-Z was this close to naming his song “99 Puppies.” The lyrics would still mostly work, just they’d be about a highly-statistically-unlikely litter.

      (Serious, but pointless question: why 99? The only Disney/Square “dog” hook I can think of would dictate 101.)

      • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust

        Because, of the 101 dalmatians, 2 are the parents.

        • zerocrates

          That sounds reasonable, but I’m sticking with my original theory that 2 were caught into a rift in space-time caused by the emergence of an ancient evil, or hitched a ride on an obligatory airship or something.

      • Citric

        There were only 99 puppies, the two parent dogs pushed it up to the full 101.

        You really need to brush up on your cute puppy movie knowledge.

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

      I’ve never done 100% on the original Kingdom Hearts, but I did on the sequel. It takes 30 hours to beat the game, and a further 30 to complete Jimmy’s Journal.

      • dmikester

        I’m the same way; never bothered to do things like finish the Colosseum in KH1, but I sure did in 2. I got so into finishing 2 100% that I wrote a guide on GameFAQs on how to complete Jiminy’s Journal. Ah, the memories…

    • dmikester

      Interesting; I LOVE KH2, to the point that I don’t even remember much about KH1′s gameplay. I don’t really agree that the story is better in 1, but it’s certainly more straightforward and coherent than in 2, and to be fair, Ansem is a much better and more interesting villain than Xemnas. I’m looking forward to Final Mix finally being released in North America this fall; only took a little over a decade!

  • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust

    Xenoblade Chronicles (dear god this game is large) and just-purchased-on-sale Tropico 4 cuz I want to build me some cities, no matter how ramshackle and oppressed they may be.

    • http://www.facebook.com/leland.e.davis Leland Eugene Davis

      Tropics is a lot of fun. It’s not really hard, and you only get to oppress your people if you really go out of your way to do it – there is no gameplay need or reward for doing so, at all. In fact, it just wastes money.

      Well, I guess you could consider being forced to work on a sugar plantation and live in a shack a form of oppression, but the game really rewards you for paying them well and building better housing for them, and it only rewards you for oppressing them with the Swiss Bank Account, which is just a number you see between games.

  • KidvanDanzig

    Oh God they turned into Reddit

    what a downgrade

    • KidvanDanzig

      I will say this: The old Disqus had an aggravating limitation in that once your thread reached a certain point (like OP->reply->reply to reply->etc) you couldn’t reply anymore, you had to reply to someone ELSE and then tag the person you’re meant to be addressing. This was highly unintuitive and it broke the email update system since a reply not directly pointed at a comment of yours would not be flagged down for notification, so unless you were diligently checking independently, conversations tended to just die on the vine after a certain point. Hopefully this new revision fixes that problem.

      • The Guilty Party

        Yes, but they still have the ‘talking to yourself’ problem.

        • The Guilty Party

          Oh, be nice.

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

    Having recently finished the new Tomb Raider, my gaming slate is more or less empty until BioShock Infinite comes out. So this weekend, I’ll probably alternate between Saints Row: The Third and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

    Tomb Raider was a lot of fun, but I’m not really sure what the point of the game was. I mean, I know the game was trying to relate the origin story of Lara Croft, but why should that matter to me, the player? That being said, there was one thing that the game did surprisingly well: combat. I went in expecting your typical camp-behind-cover TPS, but what I found was something considerably more dynamic and challenging. Enemies actually tried to flush me out of cover. There was a lot of ducking and jumping and rolling. Each of the four weapons was actually useful in its own way. (Contrast that with most shooters, where you just find the best automatic rifle and blast your way through until you run out of ammo.) Other third-person action games would do well to take note.

    Is it just me, or does Saints Row: The Third feel kinda empty? Missions are pint-sized affairs, Steelport has no personality, and there doesn’t seem to be a hell of a lot to do. It seems as if everything is turned up to 11 simply to cover for the game’s vapidity. Oh well, it’s an amusing enough time-waster, and it’ll pass the time if there’s nothing better to do.

    I don’t know how to feel about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning yet, seeing as I’m only 2 hours in, but so far, I’m enjoying it. Almost everything about it screams “Generic fantasy blah-blah,” but there’s one thing that stands out: the colour. Oh, glorious colour. After the drab greens and greys of Tomb Raider, it’s a relief to the see the bright blues and purples and oranges of Amalur. Plus, the game has sooooo muuuuch looooooot. I compulsively break every crate within sight just for the few measly gold coins I might obtain. The character I created is the awkward love-child of Dr. Liara T’Soni and Commander Shepard, sent to Amalur from Thessia in an eezo experiment gone wrong. She even has her mommy’s arsenal.

    • The Guilty Party

      Have you played Sleeping Dogs? It’s vaguely the same flavor of Saints Row, only, you know, good.

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

        Sleeping Dogs was actually my favourite game of last year. In fact, I convinced a few other GSers to give it a whirl.

        • Effigy_Power

          That sounds unlikely, gweilo.

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

            Pah. You’re just jealous of my impeccable taste in gaming (as well as my impeccable taste in virtual pork bun consumption simulators).

          • Effigy_Power

            Don’t make me slap you with a fish.

      • ComradePig

        Sleeping Dogs was one of last year’s most pleasant surprises. I had no idea it even existed until the day before its release, but then bought it on impulse after scanning over some of the preview materials. Nothing intensely innovative, but just an extremely tight, well crafted game.

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

          Yeah, it wasn’t a very innovative game – its most novel feature was driving on the wrong left side of the road – but it felt more refined than most other titles in its genre. Plus, the various pieces of clothing allowed you to commit all sorts of fashion faux pas. A sampling:

          - It clashes! It clashes so much!
          - Wei Shen, heavy metal fan
          - Not your typical outfit for walking down the street
          - Wei didn’t get the memo.
          - And finally, the infamous banana suit: from the front, and from behind.

          • ComradePig

            Yeah, it has to be one of the only games in that genre in which the driving is actually responsive and satisfying. You’d think that would be a greater priority for similar titles, but most open-world games have cars that drive like bathtubs.

    • Jonathan Dewar

      I found their use of Gaelic, Irish, etc lore in Amalur to be pretty rad, actually. Not many games use mythology from that part of the UK, at least not without diluting it to the point where it isn’t recognizable.

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

        That’s interesting. I’m actually not very familiar with that kind of lore, so it all sort of runs together in my head. But I’ll keep a lookout for bits and pieces of lore that seems unique.

        The game has already earned points with me by starting me off in an area populated by gnomes, because gnomes are awesome.

      • Effigy_Power

        While that is great, I am not sure a few Firbolg and Fianna and MacLyr’s are ripping that game out of its swamp. If anything it’s sad that the people who managed to include some of this very complicated and therefore probably hard to market mythology didn’t bother to clad a decent game around it.

      • http://twitter.com/occono Anthony O’ Brien

        Ireland isn’t part of the UK. /pedant

        • Jonathan Dewar

          Fixed.  Just for you.

          • http://twitter.com/occono Anthony O’ Brien

            Go raibh maith agat!

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

      Saints Row the Third doesn’t attempt to show you a real-life breathing city like GTA IV, it attempts to show you a hilarious playground where you can throw yourself in front of cars for insurance money, play Japanese death-laden game shows, and slam grannies’ faces into the sidewalk then do a b-boy move right after.

      SR3 isn’t the world’s most innovative game but I have a soft-spot for it’s fuck the police attitude. It’s actually the third most-played game in my steam library after Civ V and Civ IV.

      • Effigy_Power

        The test for me is always to drive around a bit, somewhat observing traffic laws and just sight-seeing. SR3 fails horribly at that, whereas literally every other GTA and to a degree even SR2 work.

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

        That’s fair. I guess that SR3′s humour appeals to me only in small doses.

        On a related note: Saints Row IV has been announced.

    • djsubversive

      Saints Row the Third is sort of “eh, whatever” when you’re not skydiving with tanks and blowing up gimp-pulled rickshaws, or getting into huge firefights. But those things are fun. It gets a lot better with a second person. Let me know if you want a co-op partner sometime.

    • His_Space_Holiness

      Honestly, the color was one of the primary (get it? nyuk nyuk) reasons I bought Amalur. The generic story didn’t bother me much, and I was just so glad to have a Western RPG that wasn’t relentlessly brown.

  • caspiancomic

    Holy cow, I do not respond well to change. Still, onward and upwards:

    This past week I finished the main story of Ni No Kuni, and loved it to fucking pieces. Last week I mentioned that my biggest concerns with the game were in the story department, and if you’ve been waiting with baited breath to hear what they were, you’ll be disappointed to learn that those concerns were mostly relieved in the last several hours of the game. Spoilers follow.

    Basically, my biggest complaints were that Shadar never seemed like a credible threat, and that Studio Ghibli’s trademark villainless, ethically ambiguous storytelling wasn’t present. But during that raid on Nevermore, both of those complaints basically evaporated. The world seemed so peaceful despite supposedly being under the threat of this tyrannical maniac because Shadar’s long con was basically to leave the world to its own devices- in the end all he wanted was peace, and he attempted to achieve that peace through subjugation. Which also addressed my concerns about there supposedly being a clear-cut villain, which was a very un-Ghibli move: Shadar wasn’t a bad guy after all, just a guy who had travelled to hell on the path paved with good intentions. So, both of my biggest complaints about the game got completely nullified! Perfect game, right?

    Well, no. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the game with all my heart, but that last story element thing with the White Witch felt like some kind of DLC add on mission rather than the intended conclusion to the story. In fact, it was so suspicious to me that I checked a FAQ for the original DS version of the game and was not surprised to learn that the White Witch doesn’t feature at all in that game, she was invented for the PS3 version. I then spent a little bit of time congratulating myself for having such good intuition about this sort of thing. Still, if I convince myself that the White Witch stuff was like a tiny little sequel, and that the story truly “ended” with the defeat of Shadar, I can make peace with the whole thing.

    I’m going to spend this weekend running around tying up loose ends and exploring the world a bit more. Also, don’t tell me, but do they really give you a spell called “Ashes of Resurrection” and then not even let you cast it? Not only in battle, but… well, you know? Don’t tell me.

    Oh, and I’ll finally be playing The Walking Dead with my sister, too. I’m handling the controller, but she’s making all the decisions. So far she’s been pretty ruthless. We finished the first two chapters tonight and she’s had us kill basically everyone we had the option to kill. So far, this game is really great, too, I’m glad to finally be getting around to it.

    • dmikester

      Now THAT makes a lot of sense with The White Witch being a PS3 addition. You’re absolutely right; Shadar felt like a tragic and beautiful ending, while The White Witch felt like an add-on, and I think a somewhat rushed one in terms of everything making sense. Nice job on your intuition there! I never would have suspected.

    • Steve McCoy

      I wonder what impact that change had on SPOILER Pea SPOILER; she’s rather important in the PS3 version.

    • indy2003

      Wow, I’m kinda relieved to hear that The White Witch wasn’t the original ending. Really loved the game, but that last segment sort of soured me on the whole experience.

    • PaganPoet

      If there’s ever a zombie apocalypse and you get bitten, hide it from your sister. She will have no hesitation, caspian.

    • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

      Kind of a strange way to play TWD. I can’t help but think doing it this way robs you some of the personal emotional impact of things.

  • Jonathan Dewar

    I’m currently on a kick of rewatching Veronica Mars (second disc of season three at the moment), so gaming isn’t really on my radar (gasp!). Though I will undoubtedly boot up Guild Wars 2 at some point to inch ever closer to 17G (the listing price for this Leaf of Kudzu I have sitting in my bag – that’s right, I can’t afford the 17G listing fee for an item that sells for over 325G). I might also try this Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 game that nobody is talking about – except for the Steam forums, who claim it’s a steaming pile of…well, you know. I might even get around to updating Minecraft, which I haven’t done yet because I don’t want to bother hunting down and updating my mods. And that’s pretty much it.

  • Destroy Him My Robots

    More of the same old, but it’s pretty likely I’ll get that first Guild 02 entry, The Friday The Monsters Came Out, where you’re a boy and you watch these giant monsters in your town and that leads to card battles or something? I don’t really know. I know it’s from Kazu Ayabe, the director of the My Summer Holiday series, and that should be enough.

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

    I’ve just started playing Ni No Kuni. I’m really enjoying it. I hated the demo, but the actual game has done a great job of gradually unlocking new features. It doesn’t feel like hand-holding; learning new abilities is integrated into the plot.

    • dmikester

      I’m very curious to see what your impressions are after you finish it. I loved roughly the first 20 to 25 hours of it, and it’s without a doubt one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played. But I got annoyed with it near the end. I completely agree with you about how it introduces new features; it feels incredibly natural, and it’s hard to not love Drippy explaining new concepts.

      • Citric

        The last hour or so is very much “oh crap, we forgot to wrap up these subplots, better crap something out!”

  • dreadguacamole

    You know, I’ve kind of come around on the Wii U after playing the Rayman demo and seeing more information on the new lego game. If they manage to add more worthwhile games, it looks pretty likely that I’ll stick with my PC for this new generation and get the Wii U long before the PS4 or whatever the new XBox is called…

    • neodocT

      I’m thinking of doing that too. I’ve always liked Nintendo systems and games, so if I manage to get a price cut I’ll be all up on the Wii U.

      The PS4 left me really cold (it’s a PS3, with more social!), so I’m also looking forward to whatever Valve is doing in the console market.

  • Smilner

    My PS3 finally crapped the bed on me,so I am back to my NES emulator. If I don’t get any suggestions, it’ll probably be Monopoly (I can consistently beat 4 compy opponents!)or, of course, River City Ransom. What say you?

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

      If you can find a ROM of “Rockin’ Kats”, play that one. It’s a great platformer (by Atlus of all people)

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

        Goodness gracious, I loved me some Rockin’ Kats as a li’l'un.

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      It’s hardly the deepest cut, but Balloon Fight’s Balloon Trip is currently my go-to portable game for short trips/breaks. If you’re looking for something more obscure, Summer Carnival 92: Recca is an astounding manic shooter if you’re into that kind of thing and/or into being impressed by what people managed to squeeze out of the hardware.

      While we’re on the subject, is the NES Salamander/Life Force worth it or should I skip it and get the arcade version? And how would I do that?

      • George_Liquor

        NES Life Force is a terrific shooter. It looks good, and it’s challenging, but not cruel. Bonus: The Konami Kode works with it!

    • djsubversive

      RC Pro Am, yo.

  • CNightwing

    I just want to know what SC4 mods you’re using Teti – I was thinking about going back to it myself for a fix until either EA repents or a solid hack is in place for SC5.

    • Effigy_Power

      Actually yeah, I would like to know that too.
      SC4 is still a great game and actually also looks good enough, so modding some functionality into it would be neat.

      • CNightwing

        It is a great game, it just suffers from micro-management tedium. I mean, why should I have to adjust the budget of every utility all the time to ensure it provides for the right number of users? Just charge me according to how many people are using it, or adjust every year as part of an annual budget – that might be an interesting way to make you grow your city in a more planned way.

    • djsubversive

      I’m not Teti, but I’ve had some success using the Network Addon Mod. It “fixes” traffic and public transportation – bus stops/subway stations have a bigger effective radius, people prioritize public transportation higher than they normally do, and they take alternate lower-traffic routes in other vehicles if they’re available (to an extent).

      It doesn’t add any new buildings, but there’s a lot of new road options. even curved roads!

      • Effigy_Power

        There can be only one Teti. Well, and his same-named family, I guess. And the first Pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty. And a town in Italy.
        Turns out there are a few Tetis.

        • Morgan Filbert

          But only one is Teti: Stud Fiend.

    • http://twitter.com/occono Anthony O’ Brien

      Network Addon Mod is essential. 

  • Swadian Knight

    This weekend I’ll be playing some Tropico 3, although it has managed to straddle a strange line for me. On the one hand, I understand (and share!) much of the sense of humor that defines its premise and permeates its gameplay; on the other, I’m from a country that freed itself from that sort of government quite recently, and the gameplay has led me to make some uncannily true to history decisions, which makes me feel a bit guilty.

    On the opposite side of all that uncomfortable historical accuracy is Civ 5, where I have taken command of the Greek people. Though our enemies have been unable to displace Alexander the Great from his throne – where he is kept alive by the soul-sacrifice of millions of Psykers, no doubt – the lack of free territories means the Persian armies have been massed at our border since about 650 B.C., and international relations have been shaky at best ever since I wiped out the Roman empire back in the middle ages. Not that I’m afraid; having just completed the Manhattan Project, I’m confident in my victory.

  • dreadguacamole

    I’ll be heading back into The Secret World – new update out!
    Other than that, Lord of the Rings Online; my guild is gearing me up for raids and stuff, which I’ve always kind of avoided. It’s kind all right at the moment, but when you feel compelled to do it out of obligation rather than because it’s what you want to do… dunno. They’re a fun bunch, so I’m not too worried about it becoming a grind.

  • dmikester

    I somehow finished two games this past week. There was Ni no Kuni, which was beautiful but very disappointing as an actual game (especially compared to Dragon Quest VIII) and felt rushed at the end in terms of plot (the big post-game storyline makes absolutely no sense). It’s ultimately one of the most repetitive games I’ve ever played, but I still had a good time; I’d give it a B-. I also downloaded Spec Ops: The Line for free and blazed through it on easy just for the story, which really was great (that white phosphorous scene in the middle with the mother and child was one of the most intense scenes I’ve seen in a game, and the end was stunning). As people on here have said, the gameplay itself was pretty meh, but for a game I got for free, I’m very happy. Also, the voice acting was particularly strong.

    And now, I finally embark on Mass Effect 3 this weekend. I’m going to try playing it first with no DLC so I can see the original ending and then download it all and play through it again. Here we go….

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

      I would at least get the “From Ashes” DLC. The earlier you play that mission, the more benefit you get from it.

      • dmikester

        Cool, will do. Looks like it was day one DLC, so it makes sense to get it. Thanks!

      • neodocT

        I ended up skipping on the From Ashes DLC, because I have a general dislike of the whole “here’s your game, and here’s where you pay extra for stuff we left out” thing. Not to mention the fact that it seemed to only add an extra character and one mission. Didn’t feel essential, you know?

        I still haven’t finished ME3, but I’m finding most of my party members so bland that I started to regret my decision…

        • Fluka

          I generally feel that way about the DA and ME2 DLC characters – nice, but not essential on first play. But Javik is such a lovable, trolliish asshole and he integrates with the crew so well that he feels like a natural part of the main game (cough cough).

          • Effigy_Power

            I wonder why that is -nudge nudge-. Especially considering that if certain people died in ME2, you’re stuck with a minimal team to begin with. Hell, even with everyone surviving ME2.

          • Fluka

            Oh, it’s a nudge in the sense of “Javik seems like *such* a part of the game, it’s like they wrote the main script with him in mind! You won’t be able to imagine playing the game without him from day one!” (I don’t agree with the accusation that he’s on-disc DLC, which appears to be false, but he does obviously feel like a character who used to be part of the vanilla game.)

          • Effigy_Power

            It’s a ridiculous idea no matter if Javik was actually on the disc or not. Day One DLC is always a bad idea if it’s not free (just admit it didn’t fit on the disc), but the Prothean link is so integral and important… I couldn’t imagine doing the temple mission with anyone else but Liara and Javik.

      • DrFlimFlam

        As soon as that DLC goes on sale, I’ll get it. I don’t do this “pay $10-15 for four pieces of DLC” stuff.

    • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

      Where was Spec Ops free?

      • dmikester

        Playstation Plus on the Playstation Store. They’re also going to have The Cave for free soon, another game I’ve wanted to play for a little while.

      • dmikester

        Weird, I could swear that I replied earlier. Anyways, Spec Ops is free this month through PS Plus. This is a particularly good month for them: they’re also making The Cave free later.

  • TearyEnnui

    This might be a momentous weekend – the one where I cancel my World Of Worldcraft subscription after 6 years. I enjoyed the levelling in Mists, and have ground out a few reputations, but the thought of getting back into raiding, and all the associated gearing/enchanting/potting, just leaves me cold, and I’ve barely touched it this year.

    So this weekend my energies are going into Planetside 2 where’ll I’ll be aiming for another 150 certs for my upgraded medic tool, but I’m pondering some form of SimCity, or maybe get my teeth into Heart of the Swarm.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I always whine about levelling in WoW, but then I hit max level and just drop off. I think I’m done for now after playing from November into February, and I think I’ll do three month subs every winter like that. It works well for me.

    • djsubversive

      PlanetSide 2, you say? You wouldn’t happen to be on Mattherson, as part of the Most Awesome Faction (NC), would you? That’s where the Gameological Outfit is, so if you’re not, you should be.

      the medic tool is probably your best investment as a medic. although the GR-22 is a pretty great gun, if you’ve got some spacebucks sitting around (fuck grinding for 1000 certs just for a new gun).

      • TearyEnnui

        NC represent! *bangs fists*

        In the EU(Ceres) – I think my lag on a US server would make it near-unplayable?

        Yeah, the top-level medic tool seems just too handy, even with the massive cert investment. I put some spacebucks into an NS-11a (which I love for medium/long-range), and a Piston (FOR SHOOTING OFF FACES). Heard a lot of good things about the GR-22, maybe give it a go later – it’s a toss-up between that and the Gauss S.

        • djsubversive

          The Gauss Compact-S (Engi/Light Assault) is excellent with the underbarrel attachments, now that they fixed UB grenades (they still need a minimum distance to arm, and they arc like little mortars which makes aiming difficult at best, but they explode and do damage properly now).

          As far as lag, I doubt it. Chicanery has played with us from England (at least I think that’s where he is), and Emperor Norton is in Japan, and neither of them have complained about severe lag. At least not to me. :)

          • ChicaneryTheYounger

            Ireland. Don’t ever call me English.

        • Effigy_Power

          Plus all of us in the US East playing on US East servers have had lag before, so it seems inevitable either way.

  • Raging Bear

    I rented Dead Space 3 like I knew I would. It’s odd; I actually come to quite like it, cyclically, until any combat section, when I just start wondering “how the hell did anyone, at any point in the years-long process of development and QC, think this was even a little bit fun?” I think similar thoughts when anyone in the game speaks.

    Other than that, probably some Serious Sam 3, which is very close to being the antidote for the dreadful, self-important, setpiece-intensive FPSs of recent years.

    Also, I really want to finish Year Walk, but I’m intractably stuck and resisting using a walkthrough.

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

      Dead Space was for sale for 40 bucks on Origin and I came this close to buying it. Let me know if you can finish it in a rental so I know not to drop money on a 12 hour game.

      • Raging Bear

        I shall (although it’s Gamefly, so there’s not a limited rental period). At 5 hours, it was showing me 25% completion if that tells you anything.

      • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

        I’d have to check to see how much time I’ve spent on it, but it’s fairly substantial. Unless you spend your entire day playing it, I’d say it would take at least 3-4 days to finish.

      • Raging Bear

        As of 16 hours and 68.6% completion (ch. 15 of 16), I’m giving up. It is just way, WAY the fuck too annoying to bother finishing.

  • Cheese

    This weekend, I dunno. I broke down a couple weeks ago and got a 3DS and a couple games, including Fire Emblem Awakening. I’ve played a huge amount of that, but there’s always more support convos I haven’t seen. I also have Tales of the Abyss on that system.

    But really I’m going to spend this weekend sitting on the couch or in a bar watching nonstop college basketball. Same thing I’m doing next weekend, and for a while after that.

  • stakkalee

    Ah Disqus – I see your Redditization continues apace.

    This weekend Kat Shepard will continue her war against the Reapers in ME3 – Garrus is back on board the Normandy and we just rescued a school of biotics. Then on Sunday my gaming buddy and I will continue our latest LAN game of Civ4/Fall From Heaven. Last weekend I succeeded in wiping out the Doviello, a barbarian civilization with a wolf fetish, while my buddy’s civ, the worshippers of the God of Winter, completed the fourth of five rituals to resurrect their dead diety. Of course, this ritual has no beneficial effects for his civ, and in fact caused him quite a bit of trouble by forcing him into a war with the rest of the world that he wasn’t ready for, but he seems to have survived the first onslaught so the game continues.

    • Effigy_Power

      We’re just gonna post “Like” under a post we like and let @stakkalee:disqus count those by hand.
      You wouldn’t mind, would you?

      • George_Liquor

        ME TOO LAZY!

  • doyourealize

    So how is that Le Havre game? My friend recently sent me a flow chart for choosing the right board game, and I ended up with that. Sounds like a good one, but what says Gameological?

    I’ll be away for most of the weekend, but hopefully I’ll have some time to complete more postgame quests in Ni No Kuni. Then…I don’t know…scroll through my Steam library and play a few things for five minutes before I get bored? Kind of at a lull in gaming right now, and I think most of my free time will be spent with Steve Toltz’s novel A Fraction of the Whole, which is so far proving to be engaging and hysterical.

    • boardgameguy

      LE HAVRE is fun. it’s definitely more complicated than your SETTLERS OF CATAN or CARCASSONNE but there is a depth of strategy present, lots of different ways to create your chosen economic engine, and you always have interesting choices to make. I’ve played it first with a physical copy and more recently on a tablet. If you are just wanting to try, the tablet version streamlines a lot of the setup and helps you get the little rules that can sometimes be missed. Definitely worth checking out.

  • ComradePig

    This weekend I’ll be doing plenty more of the ARMA 3 Alpha which continues to impress and entertain. I do have some stability and performance issues when it comes to online play yet, but not so severe as to dampen the experience. Plus, as with all the other titles in the series the editor alone is enough to occupy broad swathes of my time. The new underwater elements of the game are great as well, I can confirm that Fish-Observation Simulator 2013 is a success.

    I’ve also begun yet another campaign in Empire: Total War. I understand why some of the game’s initial bug problems and over-ambition have made it one of the less popular (though granted not unpopular by any stretch) entries of the series, but the pure scale and variability of the gameplay experience in it is unmatched. This time I’m mixing it up a bit from the more traditional nations though and playing as the Ottoman Empire, and have already been sucked into wars against Austria, Russia, and Venice.

    Will probably also play a bit of the free-to-play game Star Conflict with my friends who love space games, and some Planetside 2 with a friend who just installed it.

    Other than that, more RUSE, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, Ghost Recon Future Soldier and Furtively Counting Down the Days Till Bioshock Infinite

    • djsubversive

      haha, I grabbed the alpha too. add me on steam (same name. or maybe it’s dj.subversive. one of the two), or hop into the gameological group chat sometime (If I’m online, I’m probably in there). I’m working on a simple mission right now, and the more people I can get to play, the more fun it’ll be. :)

      • ComradePig

        Will do! ArmA certainly always benefits from having a proper team.

        @Effigy_Power:disqus Aha, I’ll have to give that a try tonight and hopefully it’ll fix my issue. Thanks for the tip. What server are you, dj and the rest of the GS crew on? I’m on Waterson, although my character is Terran Republic.

        • djsubversive

          booo, Terran Republic.

          NC/Mattherson is the Gameological outfit.

          and yeah, in the weapon selection screen, there’s a box in the lower right (at least, that’s where it used to be. haven’t looked to see if it’s changed since the update), with “Weapon Attachments” and four blank boxes. that’s where you have to go to equip the optics.

    • Effigy_Power

      Planetside 2 is a bit odd about the weapon-addon system. You don’t just have to unlock the optics, you also have to equip them onto the weapon in the loadout screen, save the loadout (or it will revert to non-upgraded guns) and resupply the new weapon.
      Yeah, could have been simpler, but I had the same issue with the scope on my SAW.

      • djsubversive

        Gauss SAW with some certs invested, aka “100-round fully-automatic sniper rifle.” (is it 100? it might only be 75. still, many many more rounds than the actual sniper rifles)

        • Effigy_Power

          It’s a hundred.

  • indy2003

    This weekend, I may or may not attempt to continue playing Borderlands 2 solo… I’m undoubtedly revealing my startling lack of skill, but man, this game is tough solo. I keep hearing that it’s a better experience with “friends,” but I don’t really have any of those (whatever they are). Anyway, I’m stuck on Captain Flynt right now – I’ve died roughly fifteen times and I’m feeling a bit discouraged about jumping back in. We’ll see.

    I’ve also started playing Scribblenauts Unlimited on the Wii U. I had heard that it was super-charming… and it is… but it’s also a game which works best in rather small doses. A half-hour or so here and there seems like the best way to proceed.

    Speaking of super-charming games: just finished up Lego Batman 2, which is hands-down the best Lego game I’ve ever played. So many little laugh-out-loud moments, strong voice acting and generally smoother gameplay than most of the other Lego titles. Gives me high hopes for Lego City: Undercover.

    • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

      The game is definitely better with friends, but only if they are at the same level and like tackling games at the same pace as you. Given all those requisites, it can be pretty tough to find the right people. I never found the game tough to play solo, just kind of boring. If you play in True Vault Hunter Mode, then yes, it is impossible without friends.

      What platform are you playing it on?

      • indy2003

        Playing as Zer0 on the PS3.

        • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

          oh well. If you were on PC I was going to say I could play with you. Looks like you shall remain friendless!

          • indy2003

            C’est la vie. Thanks for the offer, though!

    • http://alixnoorchis.livejournal.com alixnoorchis

      For me, Captain Flynt is (strangely) the peak of the difficulty curve in Borderlands 2. Once you get past him you get access to much better guns and shields. I struggled mightily with him and thought I would struggle with the rest of the game but that was the hardest part.
      Now I’m running into the same problem with him on TVHM- I had to bring in one of our level 50 characters as a ringer to get past him.
      I played as Zer0, which made it extra difficult since there are no flanking powers.

      • indy2003

        Thankfully, I managed to get past him this evening. Decided to tackle one of the side missions I hadn’t gotten to yet and wound up getting an excellent sniper rifle in the process. When I finally made it back to Flynt, the battle was considerably less overwhelming. Huzzah!

  • shitty_bumppo

    I want to dust off my old tube tv from the basement and play me some BUSHIDO BLADE!!

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

      F yeah Bushido Blade! My buddy still has a working copy of BB2 and I love playing as the random colonial Japanese military officer. Game is legit.

    • DrFlimFlam

      Fans of old video games should keep an old tube TV around for as long as possible. The games look so much better on them.

    • Citric

      In first person mode Bushido Blade is the most intense game ever.

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

      This makes me so happy. BB is totally my favorite fighting game. Probably because it is so unlike a traditional fighting game.

      • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust

        And yet, so like traditional fighting!

      • shitty_bumppo

        I’m a Bushido master! I will get the second endings! I will jump, throw sub-weapons, AND throw dirt!

        I love this game forever, and I smile to see that some people still like the game as well.

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

    I don’t want to reply directly to dmikester in case of accidental SPOILERS, but he’s posted that he plans to play Mass Effect 3 without the “Extended Cut” DLC, and then play it again with the DLC installed. Lots of people seem to do this.

    I don’t think this is necessary. (I’ll try to keep this vague but a SPOILER WATCH is in effect). I think the Extended Cut did a (mostly) fine job at correcting and clarifying many of the legitimate complaints that were levelled at the ending (plot-holes etc.) without indulging the petulant ones who demanded a happy ending. The ending was never intended to be interpreted as pessimistically as many critics did.

    It’s important to remember that the Mass Effect trilogy was never the epic vision of a single auteur. (Although I don’t subscribe to the opinion that Mac Walters “perverted” the vision of Drew Karpyshyn.) It was a collaborative story, which evolved over the course of several years.

    • DrFlimFlam

      What really got me is how mad people were at the ending because it didn’t take their actions into account. The first two games had an impact throughout the entire game, not just the end of it.

      • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust

        Yeah, my interpretation was always that the bulk of Mass Effect 3 counted as the “ending”, insomuchas many of the plot threads started in the first games are wrapped up along the way to the final confrontation.

    • dmikester

      Hah, despite your best attempts, I have found this comment! Mua-hahahah! Or something.

      No, unfortunately, I’ve had a lot spoiled about the endings of ME3, so no worries there. And what I usually do is download all of the DLC for a game before I even play it, so this is really different from my norm. But I’m fascinated by storytelling in videogames, and the ending controversy here is particularly compelling to me, especially with the opportunity to compare and contrast the game with and without the Extended Cut. In other words, I’m doing this more for intellectual curiosity than gameplay purposes; I know I’m going to enjoy it no matter what.

    • dmikester

      Sorry for the double post, but here’s a great post from Drew Karpyshyn backing up everything you’ve said about the big team dynamic in Mass Effect: http://drewkarpyshyn.com/c/?p=381

  • boardgameguy

    my wife said she wants to play a game tonight. i’m thinking we’ll fall back on one of her favorites, or maybe two if i’m lucky. i’m guessing it would be HIVE, LOST CITIES, or TIKAL.

    love to see Matt Kodner and Jason Reich getting some board gaming action in. all the deckbuilers that have iOS apps play incredibly quickly, so getting in a game of ASCENSION takes next to no time. another great iOS adaptation of a heavier, euro-style board game: TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES.

  • The_Misanthrope

    Umm…isn’t “The Cellar” in TBOI just the alt for “The Basement” (the first level) from WotL? If you play enough times, the Cellar should just show up at random. Those freaking spiders are really annoying, too; I can never tell which way they’re gonna jump until they are right on top of me.

    • CrabNaga

      I’m figuring that he actually meant The Chest. I should really go back and Platinum God this game. I’m only missing like 4 achievements and a couple items.

  • blue_lander

    Burning Rangers is one of my top five Saturn games. Probably the best firefighter game next to The Firefighters on the Super Famicom. I think I’ll power up the Saturn this weekend too, and play “Iron Man and XO Manowar in Heavy Metal.” I think it might be the worst game I’ve ever played, but I’m going to find out for sure. Once I’ve played as much as I can tolerate, (probably 10 minutes), I’ll probably spin up Ninja Penguin Manmaru for some mindless fun

  • DrFlimFlam

    Thinking a return to Rapture is in store before I get into BioShock Infinite. Now’s the time to start, because with a four year old, an 8-10 hour games takes two weeks to beat, easy. Especially when you’re re-watching Game of Thrones.

    Lots of fun had with Skyrim, but it will probably become a backup game due to the scope and length it takes. Beating BioShock takes about as long as a good, lengthy questline in Skyrim.

    • The_Juggernaut_Bitch

      Yeah, I’ve been seeing more ads for Bioshock:Infinite on Steam and elsewhere, so I’m figuring it might be time to dust off the old Xbox and play the first one through, and then fire up the 360 for the 2nd. Though… I dunno, Juggz got a lot of ME3 DLCs to play through, after I finish my playthrough of the entire trilogy (about halfway done with 2 again).

  • neodocT

    I’ll be continuing my Reaper-killing-spree in Mass Effect 3 this weekend.

    I’m playing the whole trilogy in one go for the first time, and I gotta say I’m a little disappointed in ME3. It’s not bad, and there are several gameplay improvements from the last two games. And the plot is pretty good too, with everything slowly falling apart the further you go.

    My main problem are the party members. ME2 had such strange, problematic people and the game did a good job of keeping you interested in them and their conflicts. In contrast, ME3 brings you the likes of Liara, Kaidan and James. Talking to the party members after missions was my favorite part of ME2, now it’s just a chore.

    • DrFlimFlam

      ME2 was just too good. The cast, the missions, it was all so great, that ME3 paled in comparison. I still love it, but the supporting cast felt like B-Side characters left over from the first two games.

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

    New Disqus just in time for my New Twitter avatar so no one will even recognize me. Muahahaha hoooooo…

    Anyway, I beat Hitman Absolution last night, and really enjoyed it. When it came out every one was hee-and-a-hawwing about how it wasn’t a true Hitman game because every mission didn’t give you a million ways to kill a dude, like making him choke on jumbo shrimp or whatever. I personally felt like there was a nice mix of open ended missions and “fuck you, I’m just gonna choke a guard and walk-in,” missions. The story was dumb as a bag of dirt, but it sure is a pretty game.

    As for what i’ll play next, I actually don’t know. I have so many games on my backlog that I’m intimidated by it. I’m probably gonna try to take a little break from gaming to catch up on my reading. I started and then didn’t finish both “Their Eyes Were Watching God” and “1493: How Columbus Shaped the Modern World” both great books (for radically different reasons obv) and I really want to finish them.

    Also, I’ve been putting off my taxes so I will be playing “Turbo Tax 2013: no more college breaks for you edition!”

    • djsubversive

      yeah, once you get past the college level, Turbo Tax (well, any of the tax games, really) starts getting really grindy.

  • JokersNuts

    If I play any video games this weekend it will probably be Monopoly Streets for PS3

  • http://twitter.com/djbeema beema

    If trends continue, I will probably get NO gaming in this weekend, just like last weekend. I have so many chores to take care of even if I manage to find free blocks of time (which I probably wont). :’(

    I’m staring on a regimen of Klonopin and Celexa after I pick up the prescriptions. Even though I’m pretty much an atheist, I’m praying to god that they work and do something to fix this situation. Once I’m not spending hours a day washing my hands and obsessively cleaning everything, maybe I will finally have some time to relax and play stuff. There are so many damn games mounting up I’m starting to lose track!

  • Morgan Filbert

    We finally bought Skyrim, when we found it in a $10 bin at a local game shop. Having loved Morrowind, but gave Oblivion a pass due to a reason I can no longer remember, I’m looking forward to re-exploring Tamriel.

    Besides, letting a year of patches come in won’t hurt a Bethesda game.

  • djsubversive

    arma3alpharmarma3alpharmalpha3armarma3alpharma. editor good, not great. graphics good. sound very good. animations smooth. things unfinished, but still usable. sucks that lite version doesn’t have multiplayer.

    also, PlanetSide 2. probably. The ATVs can carry a passenger now (who can use their weapons while riding), so Hobbes and I can kill twice as many people with our bad driving. They’ve also re-done the bottom floor of a lot of the air-base towers, making it less of a killing zone (and making it a lot harder to get run over by friendly vehicles coming off the vehicle pads).

  • Chum Joely

    I have this new thing where I’m trying to sleep properly at night, so that may negatively impact my gaming time which usually comes right out of my sleep time. But if I play, it’ll be the same three games that have been on hold for 10 days since we had two extra family guests crammed into our already tiny apartment: Mirror’s Edge, New Vegas (I hope to welcome you to the wastelands soon, @Fluka:disqus!), and Mass Effect 2 now that I’m getting over my anger about not being able to import my ME1 avatar or choices. Probably in that order of priority.

    In other news, I will not be playing Beyond Good & Evil HD because the demo is really not very interesting. I think I missed the moment where this game would have genuinely impressed me (I have never played BG&E in any form).

  • ferrarimanf355

    It’s probably going to be Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed for me. I picked it up on Steam, put six hours into it so far, and I’m loving every moment of it. I know I got into a discussion about Mario Kart and how it punishes players for doing good a while back, and frankly, this is the opposite of Mario Kart in every way. Great track design, balanced power ups, and lots of Sega awesomeness.

    If it’s one thing Sega has done well with over the years, it’s arcade racers, from OutRun to Virtua Racing to Daytona USA to Initial D and now to this.

    • evanwaters

      Yeah, it’s a really fun game. The console version was pretty glitchy when I played it this Christmas, but maybe the Steam version’s fixed that.

      • ferrarimanf355

        I haven’t had any problems so far, and I’d say the Steam version is the best one- if your PC can meet or exceed the recommended specs, you can get it running at a fluid 60 frames per second.

  • His_Space_Holiness

    I’m finally, finally playing Skyrim after holding out for quite some time. I was worried my laptop couldn’t handle it, but it’s working just fine. I’ve got some kind of Dark Elf sneaky-mage thing going on, and the game is continually surprising me, which I appreciate. I managed to kill a giant in the sissiest way possible by continually running away and freezing him so he couldn’t catch up to me, and right now I’m facing the dungeon boss who makes two copies of himself and spams you with arrows. It’s like fighting Mysterio, and it’s frustrating as hell and awesome.

  • duwease

    I am fully in the grip of a Ni No Kuni addiction. I didn’t think it would be this bad, but I guess I haven’t played a *real* classic-style JRPG since.. Dragon Quest 8? Just finished Hamelin, and surprisingly still haven’t tired of acquiring and levelling up familiars, doing side quests, and alchemizing things.

    The intellectual part of me sees how the system is standard Game Design 101 addiction, with the collection, and the fetch quests.. and I couldn’t see me doing all this again for awhile. But once every 5 years or so, I don’t mind some serious OCD gaming..

  • Thats_Unpossible

    I think it’s the true RPG fan in me but I could listen to people discuss what’s coming up in their D&D/Pathfinder, et. all campaigns for days.

    • djsubversive

      yeah. same here. It’s always nice to hear about other gaming groups enjoying themselves.

      It’s not D&D, but I’m running a weekly Star Wars Old Republic (SAGA edition) game that’s become incredibly fun. the PCs are scoundrels, pirates, and bounty hunters. oh, and a jedi, too. well, two of them, but one is an ex-jedi who left the order during the Mandalorian War, but not to follow Revan. They’ve pretty much never used a lightsaber other than as a door-opening or door-making tool. the ex-jedi is (obviously) merrily skipping down the Dark Side lane, while the still-jedi is trying to keep everybody else from following him (and trying to keep him from going full-on dark jedi).

      Lots of criminal conspiracies and dirty deals. The group’s main “fixer” right now is a Hutt who’s offered them a pretty big bounty for a quarren (squid-face) crime boss named Snrub, because I’m unoriginal when it comes to names (the Hutt is named Taask because he gives the crew jobs). Originally, it was Ytnom Snrub, but I ended up using the Ytnom part for the first mate of their first ship, an angry Trandoshan (lizard-man). They’ve been sort of forced into a temporary alliance with their rivals, another team of bounty hunters who doesn’t care as much about the “alive” part of “wanted dead or alive” (which is really the biggest contention between the groups – the PCs argue that bringing in targets alive takes more skill, and results in bigger payoffs, while the other team just likes to kill motherfuckers).

      They’ve still never actually met Snrub, but they took over his Crime Boss Palace on Nar Shaddaa (which got turned over to an ally of theirs who helped uncover its location).

      • exant

        Is SAGA the d20 based edition?

        I was in a game of d20 Star Wars for quite a while and we had very similar tension between a goody-two-shoes Jedi PC and another PC who dabbled in the dark side.

        Ultimately we gave up the campaign because the Jedi powergamed the fun out of it and became powerful to the point that there was nothing that could challenge the Jedi without annihilating the rest of the party.

        • djsubversive

          yes, technically it is the d20 edition. it’s the second d20 Star Wars ruleset (the first went by the clunky name of Star Wars d20: Revised Core Rules), and it’s kind of a mix of 3.0/3.5 rules and 4th Edition rules. The biggest change is that there are only 5 core classes (Jedi, Noble, Scoundrel, Scout, Soldier), and they use the D20 Modern Talent/Class Feat level progression rules. “Jedi” is just the catch-all term for the Force-User Class since most PC force-users are going to be Jedi. Also, Jedi are no longer the overpowered do-everything monsters they were in RCR. Instead of having each Force Power be a different skill, there’s just Use the Force. you have to learn different powers with the Force Training feat (1+Wisdom modifier new powers each time you take the feat). Initiative is now a Dex-based skill that everyone can learn. A lot of the old skills got combined – Spot/Listen/Search are now just Perception, and Hide and Move Silently got merged into Stealth.

          It’s actually a pretty great version of the d20 system. I’m normally not a big fan of level-based systems, but I’m not using experience points for this game. Characters level up at story-appropriate moments.

          • exant

            I hear what you mean about not being a fan of level-based systems. Once I discovered the FATE system, especially Starblazer, I refuse to run a campaign not based on FATE. I’m not interested in playing anything else, really. I’ve done my time with 3.5, 4th ed, d20 Modern, and SWSAGA, and the rules, the math, and the prep-work bore the shit out of me.

            Anyway, from what I remember, SAGA was an elegant implementation of the d20 system. I tend to play with math majors who obsessively min/max the fun right out of their Excel spreadsheet, so if there’s a way to make the “best” character (in this case the aforementioned Jedi), they will.

          • djsubversive

            yeah, SAGA’s a good way to do d20. the Condition Track and Damage Threshold mechanics are wonderful additions and help alleviate one of my biggest problems with d20 – after about 5th level, just about everything that’s level-appropriate stops being a challenge thanks to an ever-growing pool of hit points.

            Interlock Unlimited is another good non-level-based system, and it was our system of choice for a while. it’s skill-heavy and there is a good bit of number-crunching involved, though, so it’s pretty easy to min-max and tweak and be super-awesome in a small(ish) number of things.

            It was originally the Cyberpunk 2020 ruleset, but a fan project updated and expanded it to be more of a generic “whatever game you want to play” sort of system. it added magic and psionics (both optional, and not advised to be added to Cpunk; they don’t come right out and say it, but there’s Shadowrun for that) and overhauled the combat (but still kept the inherent deadliness that makes Cyberpunk 2020 combat something to be avoided if at all possible).

            I’ve heard some excellent things about FATE, though, and it’s something I’m interested in trying out… if I could either convince my group or find another group to play with (neither of which are likely, though).

      • Thats_Unpossible

        We’re getting ready to start a Old Republic Star Wars campaign with 2nd Edition rules which are brand new to me. Our group is mostly D&D with occasional dips into CoC but I’m really excited to try Star Wars.

        • djsubversive

          2nd Edition? What’s this? is it the West End d6 version? because you’re in for an 80′s-gaming-mechanics treat. handfuls of dice and math more difficult than just “add this number to your die roll.”

          If it’s one of the Wizards of the Coast-made versions, they’re both pretty similar to the 3rd edition D&D rules. RCR (the first WotC SW ruleset) is pretty much 3.5 + Star Wars. it’s as clumsy and random as a blaster, not elegant like the lightsaber that is SAGA Edition.

          And Old Republic is probably my favorite time period in SW, mainly because it’s a much less “canonized” time – there are a lot less Big Events that *must* happen. Even so, I’m taking some liberties and setting my game after the end of the Mandalorian War, but before Revan and Malak return (therefore, before the events of either KoTOR game). Canonically, it’s only about a year, but we’ve already hit about that time in-game. I AM planning on using the “Revan and His Sith Fleet From Beyond The Galaxy” thing, I’m just waiting until this arc of the story is nearly over.

          The party is currently trying to figure out how to stop a zombie infestation from spreading beyond the planet where it started – so far, they’ve done well and guilt-tripped a bunch of jedi into watching the planet for them while they go off in search of a way to stop it. The jedi had been holding the artifact for safekeeping, but two padawans succumbed to the lure of the dark side and stole it (which the non-jedi members of the party have been bringing up a LOT lately). They’re on Hoth right now, at an ancient jedi library that housed dark side artifacts for safekeeping. They arrived and found somebody there, hanging out in the room with all the sith holocrons. He wants them to retrieve a crystal (similar to the one used in the ritual, from the descriptions) from a nearby cave, but it’s guarded by “a great beast” (this immediately alerted the SW geeks in the group: “it’s a wampa, isn’t it?”). They are understandably suspicious, but the captain decided “it’s a trap, right? let’s spring it. there’s half a dozen of us, and one of him.”

          Yet another of my gaming group’s plans that is going to devolve into “how much explosive do we have?” and “I shoot it until it stops moving.” (because knowing them, they’re going to bring back the crystal, get what they need from the guy, and then try to kill him. which will end… badly).

  • exant

    I thought briefly about SimCity, but my friend told me there are no one-way streets. More than anything that signals to me that it’s a very different game than the megapolis-building SimCities of the past, and change is scary so I don’t know if I’ll pick it up.

    On the other hand, I finished Antichamber so I’m looking for a new indie/casual/puzzle kind of game. I might try The Binding of Issac.

    In try-hard territory, my very experienced friend on DotA2 made a new account. This way the matchmaking system will think we’re both nooblords, instead of just me, and I wont get stomped so hard by people that have dropped 1,000 hours into this game. Suddenly we’ve gone from losing 8 games in a row to dominating every one. Am I getting better? or is everyone else just worse? I prefer to think I’m getting better.

  • Bad Horse

    Since I fell deep into the pit of XCOM addiction, I knew there was only one game that could shake my need. I saw its sequels in my game cabinet, at last given rest after two years of relentless playing. I saw my friends, my fellow Gameologicans, my brothers, all remain under its joyous sway. I heard its name, even, on the wind. Calling me.

    …Mass Effect…

    And now I have it. The turn-based tyranny I labored under is no more, at least for now. At last I can do a complete run of the trilogy with a single Shepard. And it will be glorious.

  • Craigilicious

    I’ll be playing the “last weekend of my 20′s” game. See you on Monday (maybe).

    • djsubversive

      hey, at least it’s not 35. I’m not looking forward to that (… in 5 years. yeah. that’s the ticket). As Chris Hardwick puts it, “that’s when you start checking off a whole new box on surveys. For so long, you’re in that glorious 18-34 demographic. Then it’s just 35 to death.”

  • Flying_Turtle

    I’ll be continuing through Red Dead Redemption at my own glacial pace. I may get another area unlocked this weekend! As always, Football Manager in between.

  • evanwaters

    I’m honestly not sure how much game time I’ll get in, but I’m still knee-deep in Ultima. Ultima IV I’m making some great progress in, and with Ultima 1 I decided to finally start mapping the overworld. This could take god knows how many sheets of graph paper (also I’m already having trouble miscounting.) Later games gave you maps but here working out where everything is is a big part of the challenge.

    I feel like I want to finish IV before trying any of the later ones, though they’re already bought. I wanna earn being the Avatar, y’know?

  • http://twitter.com/pocoGRANDES poco GRANDES

    change is scary…

    i’m playing Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne for the ps2. and perhaps a bit of Black Mesa. it’s a good weekend for gaming…

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.adams.94 Thomas Adams

    Silent Hill Downpour and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

  • KingGunblader

    Every moment spent awake and not at work this weekend will be with my import copy of Tales of Xillia 2

  • Citric

    Beat Vanquish, I am on a roll.

    No idea what actually happened in Vanquish, and I wish developers would learn that you shouldn’t set up a sequel when you don’t know how the first one is going to do (much as I would like to see more Vanquish), but it was a good time.