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.
Amid the hullabaloo surrounding the cloudy future of used games, we swung by our favorite local game store, Game Champ, to check in with the employees and see what they’ve been playing. Jon Bartok and store manager Ramphy Boro gave Gameological a few recommendations and told us about some of the worst games to grace the Champ’s shelves.
The Gameological Society: What are you playing this weekend?
Jon Bartok: This weekend I’m playing Knights Of The Old Republic for the Xbox.
Gameological: The original?
Gameological: Have you played that before?
Bartok: No. I just got it a week ago. We don’t take old Xbox games here, so a guy came in, and I offered him a dollar for it, and I got it. [Laughs.]
Gameological: So that was out of your own pocket?
Bartok: Yeah, that’s all I had in my pocket that day. I got groceries, and I did laundry. I had a dollar left, and that’s what I did.
Gameological: Have you started it yet?
Bartok: I’m like 19 hours in. You play as a soldier or assassin, and there’s another class. You pick your class, and update your guy.
Gameological: What are you?
Bartok: I’m a soldier, and I just got my lightsaber.
Gameological: Nineteen hours and you just got a lightsaber? Oof. So have you chosen which side of the force you’re on?
Bartok: I’m the light side. I’m always good, in any game, because whenever I do something bad, I feel bad. I guilt myself, so I have to be good.
Gameological: Is that why you’re at Game Champ? To do right by the community?
Bartok: I like connecting with people over similar interests, like games. I enjoy helping people, and I have a lot of game knowledge, so I like to help people figure out what game is for them. And then when they come back, and they’re like, “Man, that game you sold me is awesome,” that makes me feel good.
Gameological: Do you have a recommendation for what the readers should play this weekend?
Bartok: Of every game on the current generation consoles, I would say BioShock Infinite on the 360 or PS3.
Gameological: Have you played it?
Bartok: It’s amazing. It’s one of those games that don’t come along very often. Overall it’s a really good game. It’s one of the few games that have a lot of hype behind it but can actually back it up.
Gameological: Are there any weird games you’ve seen on the shelves here?
Bartok: There’s a couple really bad games that come in here, like Jurassic: The Hunted, a really bad dinosaur game. That game is really bad. We have Viva Piñata, so that game’s a little awkward, and Let’s Cheer, CSI. Things like that.
Gameological: All right, thanks, Jon. Let’s see what your manager is up to. Ramphy Boro, what are you playing this weekend?
Ramphy Boro: This weekend? Sales. I’m trying to work and sell. Honestly, I just do home and work. That’s what I do.
Gameological: Do you play anything on your way to work?
Boro: On the train, I carry my 3DS XL. Right now, I’m playing Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.
Gameological: Did you play it on the Wii too?
Boro: Nah, I never played it on the Wii, but I heard it was pretty good. I like the one on 3DS better. It’s got more levels, and the graphics are amazing.
Gameological: There was some controversy over the shaking controls on the Wii.
Boro: A lot of people were complaining about that. It’s good because it’s more like the classic way, like press X or Y to jump.
Gameological: I liked it on the Wii, but I kind of get ripped on for liking it.
Boro: Yeah, oh, and like Jon was saying about BioShock as a recommendation. I played the first one, and I didn’t feel the game, but when I played Infinite, I loved it. It’s a really good storyline and looks great. I’m a huge God Of War fan, but I give this one to BioShock over God Of War: Ascension. And right now the game I’m really waiting for is The Last Of Us. It’s out June 14. I’m excited because it’s a different game. I feel like gaming, it’s all the same. This is a vibrant game, like humans and…creatures, that’s what we gotta call them.
Gameological: What’s the concept?
Boro: I heard that this guy has to take a girl to Washington, because she has a cure.
Gameological: Oh, are people turning into monsters?
Boro: Not monsters, but maybe zombies. That’s about all I understand about the concept of the game, but I gotta play.
Gameological: Do you ever catch heat for liking an unpopular game?
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.