What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Scharpling

Tom Scharpling, radio host

The star of The Best Show explains the simple pleasures of a Simpsons game and questions the need for T&A on 1970s pinball machines.

By Chris O'Connell • May 24, 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.

Tom Scharpling has had a hand in some of the most entertaining pieces of pop culture in recent memory. He’s written for USA’s Monk and the Adult Swim shows Tom Goes To The Mayor and Tim And Eric Awesome Show Great Job!. He directed music videos for Aimee Mann, Wild Flag, and Titus Andronicus. And recently, he created the Funny Or Die trailer for the 10th anniversary reissue of The Postal Service’s Give Up. But Scharpling is best known for The Best Show On WFMU With Tom Scharpling, a comedic free-form radio show with a worldwide audience. The noted pinball enthusiast talked to Gameological about, among other things, the soothing effect of Simpsons Tapped Out.

The Gameological Society: What are you playing this weekend?

Tom Scharpling: Probably just The Simpsons: Tapped Out.

Gameological: I had that game for a couple months on my phone. I had to delete it.

Scharpling: Why’s that?

Gameological: It was so consuming. I had to plan the certain little tasks out for when I knew I would have time to collect the most points. After a while it was like, “Why am I doing this? What do I get out of this?”

Scharpling: What do you get out of anything, though? Are you getting that much more out of shooting people in games? You get to hang out with your favorite Simpsons characters and get a couple laughs thrown in every once in awhile.

Gameological: What have I missed since I deleted it?

Scharpling: You get to send them on different tasks, which, for a video game, are surprisingly entertaining concepts once in awhile. Look, it’s free, in terms of laughs. It’s a calming game for me. Very relaxing. You just go there, and then you send characters that you like on different tasks, and then there are little audio drop-ins when you click on them. It’s harmless, but it’s also—I think I’ve reached my limit with it because I don’t know if this thing’s supposed to end at any point, or how big I’m supposed to make my Springfield.

There was a hack that people found that got them all these free donuts. There are two currencies in the game. One is cash that you get from rent and sending people on tasks, and you get cash that allows you to buy property, more buildings or shrubbery. And then there’s the donuts, which, you ultimately have to pay actual money for them if you want any amount of donuts that you can do something with. So there’s an Itchy & Scratchy scratch-off game you can play that’s 99 cents of your actual money to get a chance to get donuts. I’ll admit, I’ve bought more than a few of those scratch-off tickets in moments of weakness, but it’s really dispiriting that you think that you spent even one cent on something that doesn’t exist.

Gameological: That gives you a virtual currency toward the Duff Man character.

Scharpling: It’s one thing to buy a game you play, but it’s another to buy a building that doesn’t exist to make your version of Springfield better than somebody else’s. It’s a bummer, also, about the hack that people found that got them an infinite amount of donuts. So you go visit other people’s versions of Springfield, and they’ve got everything. They bought everything you could feasibly buy because they had all these donuts. It made me feel like a jerk that my Springfield will always be a distant second to anybody who was able to buy these things because they partook in a loophole. I was like, I’m not going to do that hack. That doesn’t seem fun. I was like, “Man, I spent too much money on these stupid donuts.” I’m not even talking about spending money. I spent, what, $50 over the course of a few months—and that’s not the end of the world—but I didn’t feel like throwing more money at this thing I’d already spent 50 bucks on. So I went to do the hack, and it was closed. They had fixed it. I got punished twice.

Gameological: You got punished for waiting and wanting to play the game the right way.

Scharpling: Exactly. And when I finally decided to give into the dark side of Simpsons: Tapped Out, the door was slammed in my face.

Gameological: I was spending a lot of time, not money, but so much time. I thought it was unhealthy how much I was looking at that game. Do you play a lot of mobile games like that?

Scharpling: Probably. I’m not big on that outside of a Drop7 or some kind of dumb falling game. I tend to like the games I can zone out to, and do while listening to something. Like a phone call, or work call, and I can have something harmless to look at, something that doesn’t engage beyond a very limited point.

Gameological: Do you have any favorite pinball tables or ones that you can’t stand that you see at a lot of places?

Scharpling: I’m pretty okay with just about any pinball machine. The different ones from different eras all have a charm to them. I’m not necessarily a fan of the ones from the ’50s. I don’t know who those were made for. They were built to frustrate people. The space between the flippers is twice as wide as a current machine. The ball will go straight down the middle and give no chance of hitting it with the flippers. That’s when the pinball machines were in bars, and where, I guess, if you complained they would beat you up. The owner of the bar would take you out back and thrash you for complaining for the five cents you just spent on a pinball machine. But even those are nice to look at. They’re really beautiful. I go to this place, the Silver Ball Museum. It’s in Asbury Park, with machines all the way from the ’50s to more or less the present day. Even the old, un-fun machines are amazing to look at. They’re completely restored. They’re works of art. I know people who have zero interest in pinball who can look at the machines as cultural signposts as much as anything.

Gameological: Like Americana?

Scharpling: Definitely like Americana, but there’s also an element of seeing what trends they would try to exploit. They would always be three or four years behind it. There’s some psychedelic pinball machine, and you look and it’s from 1973. Like, What? Really? Somebody thought that was hip for ’73? And then there’s the point where pinball machines become like softcore pornography, also. Some of the depictions of women are just insane how sleazy they are. On the Evel Knievel or Capt. Fantastic, with these painted on T-shirts, and clearly no bras on underneath. It’s a pinball machine, come on.

Gameological: And ostensibly young kids are going to play this.

Scharpling: Well, they put Evel Knievel on it. He was meant for seven-year-olds, and he was every little kid’s hero, and then they look and get a sex-ed lesson on the side. And also a physiology lesson on the side, like this woman would tip over if this is how she actually existed. They’re so over the top, I don’t know what they were thinking. That dudes would get wound up over a pinball machine? It’s very strange. Those machines from the ’70s are so much fun because on a good machine, they’re very lively without being turbocharged. At a point, the pinball machine became some version of a video game, like they were playing catch-up suddenly. There’s elements of games in them, and they started to have all these launchers where the ball gets propelled so fast. It takes away the fun, but it’s not explicitly about skill, where the ones in the ’70s were about that. There are games with so many targets, with all the drop targets you have to hit. That’s just about getting good at that machine. These targets, you have to know how to hit them.

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

    I have a strange urge to play “Sword of Mana”. Unfortunately, I no longer have a copy. 

    Instead, I’ll probably play “Grim Fandango” or “Guacamelee”. 

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

      So instead of playing a game that is generally held in low esteem, you have to settle for two games that have received almost unanimously high praise. Good deal!

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

        The heart wants what it wants, Girard. 

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    • Citric

      I didn’t get too far into Sword of Mana, but it seemed to be what would happen if you took everything I liked about Final Fantasy Adventure – and I liked a lot about that game, it’s seriously one of my favorite portable games ever, I’ll buy a 3DS if it hits VC – removed it, and then replaced it with text.

      • NakedSnake

        Final Fantasy Adventure was great. Superior to Secret of Mana, in my mind. The only problem was that goddamn puzzle where you have to go around the trees in a figure 8. I leveled my character up into the 80s as I wandered around, pointlessly killing monsters while trying to find a solution.

      • aklab

        Wow. I’ve played both Final Fantasy Adventure and Sword of Mana to completion and I never realized SoM was a remake of FFA. Granted, I played them like a decade apart… 

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

        Final Fantasy Adventure was great, too. I recall the puzzles being really nasty, though.

  • The_Helmaroc_King

    Last weekend, I did a full playthrough of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, and I believe my final verdict can be summed up as “NO, GOD, WHY”… but in a good way? It was a rough ride, but I was definitely more invested in this game’s story than any other game in recent memory. Hell, I’m tearing up just thinking about it.

    I don’t have any gaming plans for the weekend, with the possible exception of some board gaming on Friday night with a few friends. I’m hoping we play more Powergrid, but I suspect that one of my friends wants to play more Descent, which I’m not as enthused about.

    • caspiancomic

       I missed last week’s WAYPTW (pron. “WAY-pitoo”) due to being out of town for the long weekend. Was there a hivemind Walking Dead cryathon last week? Did Jack already finish the game?

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

        Jack and I decided to have a go at it. I’m still on episode 1, though, because I’m slow and I don’t really like the game.

      • Jackbert

        Through Episode 4. Next week, bud.

      • The_Helmaroc_King

        To be frank, The Walking Dead is the first game ever to actually make me cry; I’ve cried plenty at movies and TV shows, but this the first game to do more than make me a little misty-eyed. I mean, the game is scripted and linear and probably more than a little emotionally manipulative, but BE STRONG, CLEM, BE STRONG.

        Excuse me, I have something in my eye…

      • The_Juggernaut_Bitch

         Waep-two.  Kinda how a weeabo talks about raep, which is like rape, except on the internet and generally at least one party involved does not actually exist.

        Anyway, I still have Walking Dead, but I haven’t started playing it yet.  For some goddamn reason, I jumped back into playing Fallout New Vegas, but I think I gotta rebuild and reinstall the game, cause I got some mod or another that is just causing shit to crash every 15 minutes or so.

        • djsubversive

          Is it Project Reality, the weather mod? That one made an unstable game even more unstable for me. I switched over to Nevada Skies/URWL and haven’t had nearly as many crashes.

          also: get CASM if you don’t have it. It auto-saves every 5 minutes in a new save slot (up to 20, but both the time and number of saves are configurable).

    • boardgameguy

      more Power Grid is always a good idea.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      How very odd and coincidental…I’m going to join a new board gaming group tonight for Power Grid…you’re not in the Sacramento area, are you?

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

    Well, I’m going to Vegas this weekend to hang out with friends and family, celebrate my 30th, and who knows what else, but I am definitely going to visit the Pinball Hall of Fame as I have in the past.  It looks like the Silver Ball Museum as Tom mentioned, and has a huge assortment of fully functional machines from all eras.  The cool thing is that they get most of their revenue for restorations and such from the coins players feed into the machines themselves, so playing them is helping make more classic tables playable.

    • duwease

      It is a blast.. I nerded out there this January.  Considering how much time it takes to really learn a table, I feel like I could take the whole place on a desert island trip and occupy myself for the rest of my life.

    • Flying_Turtle

      I love that its website links to a Google Maps street view tour of the hall of fame’s floor. It’s the basement I’ve always wanted.

    • stakkalee

      Happy birthday! For me 30 was just another milestone, it didn’t mean too much.  35, on the other hand, hit me much harder than I expected.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      Happy birthday!  My 30th seemed bad at the time, but I met my future wife three months later, so my 30s are definitely better than my 20s were.

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

         Gettin’ all senescent up in this piece!

    • Effigy_Power

      Yay for aging and continuous cell-decay.
      30 was a bit of a hit for me, I did miss having a 2 in front of my age, but that doesn’t last. The 30s thus far have been unequivocally grand. So enjoy.

    • DrFlimFlam

      Happy birthday!

  • evanwaters

    Yeah, I have the Simpsons iPhone thingy too. I have yet to pay actual money for donuts since that shit’s crazy, but it is something you can fool around with in minute-long bursts so it’s a good time-waster.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, I decided to put Boot Camp to the test and buy Skyrim from Steam. It’s on the lowest settings, the animation is jerky and strobe-like, and after an hour the laptop keys become hot to the touch, but it’s still breathtaking. I could fool around with the character creator for days on end, likely. (If I want to give my MacBook Pro a break I could just go for Oblivion, with a mod to un-scale things of course. Mass Effect is one I’ve been meaning to try too.)

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

      The Simpsons game is basically the Farmville model with a Simpsons gloss, right? Because playing Tapped Out was my first real exposure to the nihilistic addictiveness of those fucking games. It’s cute, and the animations are pretty, but like they say in the interview, I started planning my day around all those tasks, and I kept getting tempted to pay money to get, I dunno, a cooler house or something. The whole thing just made me feel kind of gross and sad, but while I gave up playing it, I can’t bring myself to delete it off my iPad because part of me cringes at the thought of losing all that “work.” 

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        When I quit my job in 2009 to be a freelance artist, I made the mistake of signing up to play about five of those games – Farmville, Mafia Wars, Superhero Something or Other, Vampire Other Thing, etc.

        I realized after about two weeks that I was sitting at home and clicking on five skinner boxes at once, and suddenly eight hours had gone by and my wife was furious that I’d done nothing all day.  So I quit all but one of them.

      • http://warren-peace.blogspot.com/ WarrenPeace

        I’ve found that a great way to stop playing this sort of game is to have it suddenly delete all your progress for no reason. That happened to me with this, Tiny Tower, and probably some other game as well, and in each case, it was at exactly the point where the game was reaching the point where it was kind of a chore to keep playing. These can be fun and addictive, but there’s some sort of threshold where they turn into work, so if you can do like I’ve apparently done and figure out a way to have the game give you a reason to stop playing at precisely the right point, I highly recommend it.

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

    In honour of Tom Scharpling, Comment Cat should have a slide whistle this week. 

    • Fluka

      Ooooooh, *that’s* where the name was familiar!

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        Haha, I was wondering why he sounded familiar. Better be careful about making sure your commenting is up to his standards, lest ye be mocked or whatever.

        • HobbesMkii

           Wackity schmackity doooo!

  • The_Helmaroc_King

    For anyone interested, there’s a new Game Music Bundle, and this time it’s got a retro theme! Coincidentally, the lowest tier has the combined soundtrack for The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour, as well as classics like Myst, Jazz Jackrabbit, and Tyrian. The ten dollar tier also has the soundtrack for Double Dragon Neon, if you want to get your 80′s on.

  • Citric

    Well I’ll mostly have stupid work. When I don’t have stupid work, I’m seriously hooked on Zelda Spirit Tracks, which I picked up after finishing The World Ends With You. Lots of people don’t like Spirit Tracks, I can’t get enough.

    • neodocT

       I really, really liked Spirit Tracks, but, for whatever reason, I had to put it down when I was in one of the final dungeons. When I managed to pick it up again, I progressed up to the final floors of the central dungeon and got stuck. I had no internet access where I was, and for the life of me couldn’t figure out how to progress to actually beat the game.

      I did very much enjoy the game up to that point though, and consider it to be much improved from Phantom Hourglass.

    • https://www.thegamecrafter.com/designers/xyvir-games Xyvir

      I liked Spirit Tracks quite a bit. However, although novel, I thought the train mechanic felt less ‘explore-y’ than other Zelda overworlds. Overall I liked Phantom Hourglass better, but I think both games were solid entries in the Zelda Series. Plus I love that Wind Waker style! 

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

      I remember really liking “Spirit Tracks”, but I’ll be damned if I can recall anything specific apart from the train segments.

      • neodocT

         You had a whip! And Zelda was a ghost who could possess suits of armor(?)!

  • Fluka

    Finally finished Fallout: New Vegas.  Which was great!  But kind of an anticlimax at the end, partially because the game stopped being quite so responsive to my decisions (“Wait, because I did *this* quest, I can’t make peace with the Brotherhood of Steel?”), and partially because large battles kill our older computer’s frame rate.  Still enjoyed my time in the Mojave, however!

    My top three bugs from the game:

    1) “Hey Courier!  For your next bounty, I need you to go kill this Fiend, Violet.  Watch out, though, she’s got a bunch of vicious guard dogs!”
    “Pfff, big deal.  I can handle dogs.”
    *Goes to Violet’s shack.  Sees two angry, barking dogs floating up and out of the shack like smoke.*
    “Whoa.”

    2) Having a serious conversation with Arcade Gannon.  While INSIDE HIS SKULL.  Like, talking to his disembodied, wagging tongue.

    3) Pool party in Lake Mead, with cyberdog, and skeletons hanging 20 feet in the air.

    Goddamn game reminds me of a Frida Kahlo painting sometimes.

    At the moment, I’m feeling burned out on games/work/life, so I’ll probably spend the weekend baking some pie.

    • Enkidum

      Who needs powerful hallucinogens when you’ve got that?

      • Fluka

        Man.  I can’t tell you how many times I saw a man turn into a bright green skeleton and explode in slow motion.

        (And in the game!)

      • Zach_Annon

         Dude, I never get any of the fun bugs.  All New Vegas ever gives me are Xbox freezes :S

        • Effigy_Power

          Not to sound elitist, but for the really fucked up bugs, you need to play Bethesda games on the PC.

        • Fluka

          Mind you, 99% percent of what I got was PC freezes too!

        • Zach_Annon

           @Effigy_Power:disqus When F:NV came out, my computer wasn’t good enough to handle it.  It’s still not a great gaming PC, but for strategy games and older RPGs, it gets the job done.

    • Mercenary_Security_number_4

      (NV & FO3 spoilers)

       If it makes you feel better, the final battle also tends to crash my 360.  Even supposedly standardized consoles seem to have individual levels of competence.  I finally did get through it on a couple of different characters (my system audibly groaning) but ever since I just stop before that point.  The endings are all on the internet anyhow and I don’t really like how (a select few speech checks aside) the versatile and open-air environment collapses into basically a rail-shooter for the finale.  FO3 had a similar problem, but it also had a giant robot to distract you from the fact that you weren’t doing anything.

      • djsubversive

        A giant Optimus Prime-quoting robot that throws nukes like they’re footballs.

        You still didn’t do anything for that section, but the football-nukes and Optimus Prime quotes make up for it. sort of.

    • djsubversive

      um, the Brotherhood of Steel are jerks who stick a bomb-collar on you for just poking around. Their mission is a failure – the NCR have Power Armor (un-Powered, but it’s only a matter of time), and the Van Graffs deal exclusively in energy weapons.

      • Fluka

        Wait, they do?  *Googles.*  Huh, I guess I went to the bunker with Veronica, so I missed all of that dickery!

        • djsubversive

          Yeah. I usually take Veronica too, because “Open up. I know where you live” is a pretty good line.

      • Flying_Turtle

        (spoilers, I guess)

        The BoS seems to go out of their way to be obnoxious; it’s just astonishing that they seem to be completely ineffective out in the Mojave. Who could have foreseen that?

        My ideal ending is to try to get some sort of coalition going with these groups; the NCR, Followers, BoS, Boomers, and even the Khans do certain things well, and together they could make for reasonably good governance of the Mojave, I think. Better than the Legion or that knucklehead House, for sure. It seems like you can kind of do it, but not really. War never changes and all that.

        The BoS really hits its low point if you finish I Could Make You Care in a way that results in part of the BoS slaughtering innocent people. I’m generally content to let them live, even if they are jerks, but that wasn’t an option after that.

        • Fluka

          Ugh.  That’s the ending I got.  I remember returning to the outpost and going “Where’s the doctor?  Wait, why is there a pile of ash on the ground.  Oh you DICKS!”  Made me feel better about setting off their reactor later.

        • djsubversive

          I Could Make You Care doesn’t really have a “good” ending. Either she stays with the jerk-faces knowing that they don’t have a future, or she leaves and a bunch of innocent Followers get murdered for it. 

          At least Veronica didn’t try making contact with Julie Farkas, I guess. That would have been an immediate death sentence for everything in Hidden Valley. Nobody fucks with the Courier’s mohawk’d buddy (to be fair, though, the BoS guys who take out the Followers Outpost aren’t there on Hardin’s orders).

          There’s a “New Vegas Redesigned” mod that claims to make the faces less… potato-faced, but it gives Julie a non-mohawk hairstyle and makes Lacey at the Mojave Outpost white, among other dumb decisions, so I uninstalled it. Boone not looking like a moron isn’t worth Julie losing her hairstyle.

    • djsubversive

      I’m seeing a distinct lack of vaqueros in that pool party picture. Where’s Raul? He better not still be up on Black Mountain.

      • Fluka

        You know, I’m not sure where he is in that shot!  ED-E’s absence I can explain (it was getting repaired), but that crazy ghoul should have been with me at that point.

        I’m also not sure where he went during the final battle.  Judging from my world map, I think he stayed behind at the dam visitor center to have a smoke.

        Arcade Gannon was supposed to be there too.  He showed up in his Tesla armor beforehand, saying “Yeeah, let’s kill some Legion!”  But then he chickened out and never showed up!  FINE!  I’m HAPPY you had to become a fugitive from the NCR after the game, you stupid handsome jerk!  *Pouts.*

        • djsubversive

          Stupid Sexy Gannon.

    • Persia

      Best pool party ever!

  • lokanoth

    happy to get some scharpling chocolate in my av peanut butter.

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

    Amazon had an insane sale, and as a consequence, I decided to pick up Mass Effect 3, and will probably put some time into that this weekend. On the topic of “physiology lessons,” it seems like Bioware has gotten even more egregious with the whole “T&Aliens” thing and given all of the characters boob jobs. It’s kind of ridiculous, but also not entirely surprising. 

    Sometimes I worry that the critics are right and video games (even the most critically acclaimed, reputedly ‘mainstream’ high-watermark ones) are just hopelessly and inescapably saddled with an embarrassing adolescent-boy mentality.

    On the plus side, I’ve managed to turn my Shepard into some kind of awesome fluorescent Robocop. All the inappropriately sexualized robots can’t tear their eyes away from the awesomeness. She’s like a Hotline Miami Power Ranger.

    • Fluka

      Yeah, between the increasing cup sizes, the questionable “sexy” re-designs of a lot of the characters, and the often icky gender politics of some of the female romances, I feel like I should take BioWare to task more than I do for gender stuff.

      But somehow, getting to play through all three games as an unbelievably badass female Shepard makes me completely forget all of that.

      • Staggering Stew Bum

        Oh @Fluka:disqus , of course it’s all a bit icky but without it your pals wouldn’t have conversations like this, or this, or even this. And as for questionable Femshep romances, we’ve got that covered.

        This dump of screenshot links, which all hopefully work, is merely an excuse for me to join the chorus of people peer pressuring you to join the Steam Gameological group and by extension be my virtual friend because who wouldn’t want to be my virtual friend? Then you wouldn’t miss out on stuff like this magnificence.

        The greatest tragedy of you not being part of the group was missing out on prior Deus Ex: Human Revolution awesomeness, be it the Burly Brawl or The Worst Security Guard In The Entire World.

        We know you’ll make the right choice.

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

          Out of curiosity, did you find  way to run ME3 through Steam rather than Origin, or did you take those screenshots some other way and upload them to your Steam account somehow?

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

          Oh, also, these are glorious.

        • Staggering Stew Bum

          @paraclete_pizza:disqus It’s all done with Steam. In the words of one Montell Jordan, this is how we do it (scroll down to the second answer). 

          I imagine that this is also the way @Merve2:disqus  launches Kingdoms of Amalur because clearly he has nothing better to do.

        • Fluka

          Ohmigod.  Those were awesome, and I even learned a little bit about reptile biology!  (Also, where is Wrex as the Fonz?)  The desire to share my shitty screenshots might be what finally gets me to join the Steam group.  First I gotta I figure out how to not have my account tattle on my current screenname, which contains my Real Name and thus would grant you folks eldritch dark power over me.

        • Effigy_Power

          -creepy voice from the shadows-
          Join usssssss…

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

          @Staggering_Stew_Bum:disqus: Your last screenshot is now famous! As for how I launch Amalur, which I do mainly to irritate you and @Effigy_Power:disqus, I have to use the second method. Any time I launch an Origin game, I rename Origin to the name of the game I’m playing.

          @Fluka:disqus: The easiest way to do that is just to change your profile name 11 times, because Steam only remembers your last 10 profile names. Yay for hilariously impractical workarounds! But I’m serious; that’ll probably work.

        • itisdancing

          Screenshots? I’m proud of this one:

          http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=53963437

          Especially since they’re all shouting “ooaaah, he’s got me with his wire thing, let me down” in the same voice.

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

        I honestly think one of the main things that keeps bringing me back to these games despite all my griping is that they offer the rare opportunity to play as a genuinely awesome female protagonist, which just isn’t something I get to do in a whole lot games.

        Also, all the non-optional, non-Shep, characters from the planet boobulon give me plenty to gripe about. And boy do I love griping.

        • DrFlimFlam

          What I’ve found most interesting about my play-through of the first game for what I can only guess is the last time is how draining the non-plot stuff is. You can play for hours with only the occasional “all clear” and enemy chatter disrupting the constant grind of the Mako’s tires.

          If I ever play it again, it will be fast and loose. Trying to be something of a completist is not even fun in the first game as you explore barren thresher maw-infested rock after barren thresher-maw infested rock.

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

          @drflimflam:disqus Totally. The first game gave me that GTA feeling of “Okay, so I get to do some boring driving for 20 minutes, THEN I get to do some boring shooting. Woohoo?”

          The second game ‘fixed’ this by cutting out the exploration (and most other RPG-ish elements) to make it pretty much just a mission-based shooter. Which was a decision that’s probably successful on different levels for different folks, depending on their tastes. Not being much of a shooter guy, I wasn’t thrilled – they could have just made the RPG elements suck less, rather than simply snipping them out – but at least they tried something to fix what wasn’t working. 

          (Weirdly in ME3, they’ve tried to fix something that was working fine in ME2, replacing the really useful, constantly-updating mission log with a really vague, confusing one that never indicates whether you’ve picked up the item for a given mission or not…)

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

        The weirdest sexy redesign for me was Ashley, who in the first game, while kind of a noxious space racist with annoyingly vague, poorly-written religious beliefs, was kind of interesting as a military professional who was not overtly feminine, but also wasn’t a ‘butch’ caricature.

        When we meet her again in ME3, she’s got implants, lip gloss, and eyeliner, and a jazzy new ‘do…which at first kind of made sense, as she had moved into a political job from her military post, but eventually when she joins your party she’s still all dolled up in a way that frankly looks pretty silly.

        • DrFlimFlam

          Yeah, as much as she was a conservative stereotype in the first game, she also didn’t look like she was heading out with her girlfriends after this next mission.

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

          I could see her becoming kind of a Sarah Palin conservative glamour-puss when she had a deskjob, but to bring that style back out into the field just seems silly.

        • NakedSnake

          Am I the only one who found it fun to play as a ‘space racist’? Those god damn UN Aliens think they’re so smart and we’re so stupid. They’re just trying to keep humans down. We’ve got to look out for ourselves!

        • Effigy_Power

          While Ashley gets a lot of heat for being a Xenophobe, I think we probably forget how we would react to being faced with some strange being like a Volus or Elcor.
          Sure, she’s an obnoxious loudmouth of Palinian proportions, but I think her kind of -ism isn’t the same as some douche saying that all Mexicans are lazy.
          I can’t say that I’d instantly adopt great friendships with inhuman monstrosities for quite some time. And it’s not like the military (she does start out as a grunt after all) requires you to have a ton of decorum.
          She’s a jerk, no doubt, but maybe we are all judging her from the high horse of not-yet-knowing-Aliens. Just a thought.

        • NakedSnake

          Yea, it’s too bad that she’s sort of a clumsy representation of that perspective. I feel like it would take a long, long time for the human race to get over xeno-morph-obia. And the game builds a case for human resentment (although being a renegade pro-human advocate often felt the same as being a spoiled brat).

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

      Hey, you’re doing what I did for armor color schemes!  Well, almost… I usually went with blinding yellow base, hot pink secondary, and day-glo green details.

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

        That’s basically what I did, except the light details are cyan rather than green. For some reason the ‘blinding yellow’ in this game manifests as the intense neon yellow-green in the image above. (The blue-tinting of the armor colors also makes it impossible to get a bright orange color, since the complementary blue bumps it down to brown, which really gummed up my attempts t make a Samus Variant).

        In ME2, I had gone with a tasteful red+olive scheme, as those are kind of ‘my’ colors in real life, but felt less tasteful this time around. Especially when I got that kind of bonkers glowing helmet that was ridiculous/awesome enough for me to overcome my general no-helmets rule.

        • DrFlimFlam

          I really like the glossy dull orange you can create in ME3 and hope I can replicate it.

      • DrFlimFlam

        I often preferred navy and bright yellow with my male Shep, but I’m undecided on my fem shep as ME1 does not let you choose. Bright colors sound fun but also patronizing to the gender and character.

      • Jackbert

        I did rich purple base with sky blue secondary and the same day-glo green details in Mass Effect 3. In the second game, I was a bit more tasteful, keeping the rich purple base (what can I say, I like purple), but coloring the secondary navy blue and the details white.

      • Fluka

        For me, it’s all about the tasteful, neon cyberpunk.

    • Zach_Annon

       Speaking of insane sales, Steam had one of XCOM a couple weeks ago, so I finally picked that game up.  It’s a really good game, though not for those easily frustrated at the loss of a unit.  Unfortunately, I AM easily frustrated when my 20+ mission corporal bites the dust because some goddamn sectoid commander decided to MC my sniper, so I’m taking a break from it and watching Deep Space 9 and putzing around on Sins of a Solar Empire or X3 to satisfy my need for spaceships.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        I really want to get that new Xcom game, but I have no idea if it will run on my poopy laptop. once it’s under $10 I’ll probably feel much better about snatching it up, even without the guarantee that I can play it. Oh steam, what have you done to me…

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

      BioWare even went so far as to establish that Asari breasts keep growing into old age, like the human nose and ears.

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

        Because you know, when you’re a totally non-mammalian tentacle-thing, breasts are a really important body part to have.

        Something tells me if Bioware made a Hanar character who was significant enough to be a party member, they’d find a way to graft a couple of tits onto the thing.

        • DrFlimFlam

           Those aren’t all legs, @paraclete_pizza:disqus …

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

          @drflimflam:disqus We Fornax subscribers need to be thrown a proverbial (invertebrate) bone every once in a while! Where’s my tentacley Hanar relationship option?!

        • The_Juggernaut_Bitch

           Just because they have head-tentacles, doesn’t mean they’re not mammalian.  What are you, speciest?

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

          @The_Juggernaut_Bitch:disqus The fact that they are from another freaking planet does preclude them from being mammalian, though, since they don’t occupy an evolutionary tree where ‘mammal’ is one of the branches.

          And considering, even among mammals, human-style breasts are pretty idiosyncratic things, the odds that (at least) two sentient races from completely alien evolutionary paths would end up sporting them is pretty ludicrous. (Perhaps even more ludicrous than the vast majority of alien species in the galaxy looking just like humans with various facial prosthetics…)

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        Wait, are you serious?  I thought they established that the Asari just look like attractive females of whatever species is observing them, like the various alien guys chatting in the bar about one…

        • Effigy_Power

           Yeah, that was my understanding too. In the bar on the Citadel it was made clear that we all perceive Asari as appealing to our racial/species preferences.
          Makes you wonder what Liara would look like if Shep had been a chubby-chaser and lady-mustache aficionado.

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

          Even if it is just a perceived thing, they do explicitly point out (via Engineer Donnelly) that mature Asari like Benezia and Samara are more well-endowed than younger Asari.

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

           @Effigy_Power:disqus I would imagine something along the lines of 9000% sexiness.

      • Fluka

        THE JUGS ARE LORE-ESTABLISHED.

  • duwease

    Well, this week’s WAYP is perfect for me!  Not only am I on the west coast for a conference and thus able to post early on, but a big theme of the post-conference parties tonight was pinball!

    I got to play some sweet tables tonight in Portland.. one technology company who played host had a remastered Sorcerer table that just got finished last week.  We also hit up an arcade that was set on free play that had just about everything.. got in some Star Trek:TNG, Arabian Nights, Theatre of Magic, Simpsons.. a lot of the classics.  I’ve been playing emulated versions for so long that my real-life skills are mighty rusty, though.  Had to palate cleanse with the TMNT arcade game and DDR.

    Anyway, once I get back home tomorrow, this weekend’s choices are either celebrating our anniversary, or a fresh copy of Dishonored.  Paragon choice or renegade choice? 

    • DrFlimFlam

      Celebrate the anniversary.

      I had no idea Arabian Nights and Theatre of Magic were a big deal until they were the 360 starter pack tables (alongside Ripley’s and Black Hole). Arabian Nights is even the starter table on iOS, so I’ve played quite a bit of it and am still terrible.

      Are the outlanes on Star Trek TNG as vicious in real life as they are in emulation?

      • Bowen Kerins

        Yes.  Yes they are.  The ST:TNG outlanes were built that way to fit the cannons, but an unfortunate side effect is that the ball just slowly rolls toward doom whenever it hits the top of those cannon slingshots.  The best move (in real life, not sure about emulation) is to push UP on the machine and try to bang the ball off the targets that are above the slingshot.  Even then, it’s still pretty nasty.

        They made a lot of Theatre of Magic games, not nearly as many Arabian Nights or Ripley’s.  More people know of the Ripley’s game through emulation than through actual play.  Ripley’s and Arabian are two of our most popular pinball tutorials (on http://pinball.org/videos) and it’s completely because of The Pinball Arcade’s emulated version.

        This is a rare article that talks about Simpsons and pinball but doesn’t talk about Simpsons pinball.

      • duwease

        Yes, yes they are.  My first game of TNG lasted about 60 seconds.  The second, about 61.  It didn’t help that it’d been awhile since I played the emulated version, so I didn’t remember all the tricks as to where not to shoot from, where to bang the table and where to let the ball jump flippers, etc.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       TNG themed pinball!  Tell me there was point where you Michael Dorn say “activating phasers” as Worf!

      • DrFlimFlam

        My favorite part is when Captain Picard, with Picard seriousness, says, “Prepare for Multiball!”

  • Enkidum

    Persona 3 FES, which was cheap on PSN a couple of weeks back. 

    I was seriously angered by the 45-minute long sequence at the beginning where you didn’t get to control anything for longer than 30 seconds, but had to keep clicking or the stupid cutscenes wouldn’t advance. But now I’m actually exploring Tartarus and am liking it a lot more. Defeated the first set of bosses (on level 5) yesterday, haven’t actually tried leaving the dorm at night yet. And I joined the athletics team, hoping to boost my endurance. And everyone thinks I’m dating Yukari, but I’m telling you that other kind of stuck up one whose name I’ve forgotten is my true love. Don’t tell my wife.

    EDIT: And of course fucking Candy Box, because apparently I can’t finish the stupid Hell level which isn’t even the end. I half-heartedly spend about 5 minutes a day playing it now, my sword is up to level 13 and I hate it but I can’t stop…

    • vinnybushes

      I picked up FES at a kmart in the Berkshire mountains in Massachusetts of all places . I was living and working on a farm with criminally slow internet, and that game was one of the few things I had access to. Thank god for lengthy Persona games is all I can say.

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

      Hell Strategy

      You’ll need to be constantly drinking major health potions to get through the first wave of Hell, and taking the path of least resistance. When all the demons turn to ghosts, summon an imp. You should be able to finish off the devil at the end with a single invulnerability potion. 
      You can do it with 250 HP and a level 6 sword. 

    • DrFlimFlam

       That awkward conversation where you explain to your wife that it’s not YOU that’s dating the Japanese high schooler, it’s the character in the game you control.

      • Jackbert

        This conversation is even better with your mother!

        Mother: Who’s that person?
        Me: A character named Misuru Kirijo.
        Mother: Why is she talking to you like that?
        Me: Because we’re dating.
        Mother: Is this MULTIplayer?!
        Me: …
        Mother: I don’t want you dating someone online!
        Me: …
        Mother: Can she hear me?! Hey “Mitsuru”-
        Me: It’s not multiplayer, Mom…
        Mother: So who’s controlling her?
        Me: The computer.
        Mother: …So you’re dating a computer program?
        Me: …Yes.

        • DrFlimFlam

          An TEENAGE computer program.

        • mizerock

          Her design and dialogue were probably all done by a 20-something Japanese man, so … that’s less creepy, right?

        • His_Space_Holiness

          DON’T DATE ROBOTS!

        • djsubversive

           @His_Space_Holiness:disqus IT WAS EARTH!

  • vinnybushes

     I have so many games I want to really put time into, what with the new 3ds and everything. Every time I try to get into something all I end up playing is Don’t Starve, which I picked up a few days ago. Curse you Gameological!

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

    This weekend, I’m going to continue to play Saints Row: The Third and The Walking Dead. The former has magically and inexplicably begun clicking for me, though I still don’t think it’s as fun as the previous game in the series.

    As for the latter, I can’t tell if the game is just unpolished and full of bugs, or if it’s actually badly written and poorly designed. There are quicktime events where the cursor barely responds, and I’m not sure if they’re meant to be that way in order to pump up the difficulty, or if they’re just buggy. Moreover, about a fifth of the conversations make no sense or are filled with non sequiturs. Sometimes, I’ll tell a character some information, and he’ll later say something that directly contradicts what I just told him. For example, one character referred to Clementine as my daughter after I explicitly told him that she wasn’t my daughter. I can’t tell if this was an intentional conversational choice, an oversight in the writing, or a bug that triggered the wrong conversation option. In any case, so far, I’ve found The Walking Dead tedious and unengaging. I’m still on Episode 1, though, so hopefully it gets better.

    • duwease

       Weird, what platform are you on?  When I played, people remembered things that even I had forgotten, leading to some foot-in-mouth moments.

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

        I’m playing on PC, so maybe the controls aren’t optimized for mouse and keyboard, which would explain the wonky quicktime events. Is the PC version buggier than the other versions?

        • duwease

          Not sure.. but for what it’s worth, I played on Xbox.

        • DrFlimFlam

           My experience on PC did not involve what you are experiencing at all. Sounds like a good old-fashioned reinstall may be in order.

        • neodocT

           For what it’s worth, I also played on PC, and while the controls weren’t great (tapping A and D was not the best choice) they were always responsive.

          And I think the bit with dialogue is the exception. The game is mostly very good at remembering who knows what, in ways that even surprise you sometimes.

        • The_Helmaroc_King

          The game has pretty good controller support, at least for Xbox controllers, if you have one kicking around.

          I had one or two technical issues myself, but nothing quite like what you’re describing. I did once have the camera bug out during a first-person segment, meaning I got to watch a headless Lee clip through a truck while fighting a zombie, but no dialogue issues as far as I recall.

    • Mercenary_Security_number_4

       I also played on xbox and had none of those issues.  Maybe it was a bad install? 

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       I’m glad you’re finally getting on the SRIII bandwagon Merve, it’s such a great game to just play and not have to think about.  Wait until you get the flying jetbike.  That’s a game changer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deejaytaufiq Mohamad Taufiq Morshidi

    So i’m playing Metro Last Light in Russian today. (Apparently my Germanophilia also led to Russophilia as well for me).

    Definitely more natural than the English dub, but it lacks the professional dubbing quality of the Russian dubs you see in general. I remember watching the dub of Spice and Wolf and it was the most beautiful thing you’ve seen in a while. So i’m surprised that they can’t get the same quality Russian dubbing for a Russian/Ukrainian game.

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

      Weird, in Russia, whenever I’d watch something dubbed in Russian, the quality was often laughable. Like, there’d just be one man and one woman doing all the voices, speaking in monotone, and you could still hear the English track underneath it. It was nuts. Maybe anime dubbing is done more thoughtfully than their TV show dubbing, though.

      Also, congratulations on becoming a Russophile. Russian stuff is kind of awesome. Go read Tolstoi and watch Yuri Norstein cartoons.

      • http://www.facebook.com/deejaytaufiq Mohamad Taufiq Morshidi

        Yeah, i think Russian anime dubbing is much more professional than general dubbing. I mean, just listen to this:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1qu4NKFQnY

        It’s absolutely beautiful.

    • djsubversive

      I got a mod for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat that replaces the English voices with the original Russian. This unfortunately means no more “HEY BRO, IT CAN BE FUN AROUND HERE?” but that’s all right. Having everyone joking and chatting in Russian helps with the immersion, even if I can’t understand it.

      I did get used to the Russian phrases for “Help, I’m hurt!” or “There he is! Shoot him a bunch!” (or whatever it is they actually say). Here it is.

  • Flying_Turtle

    The game revue has inspired me to run through Fallout: New Vegas again, this time with DLC! Of course, as soon as I get the DLC, I start coming up with disc read errors which crash the game, so I save a lot in between crashes.

    When I get tired of dealing with that, I’ll probably pop in NBA 2K11, where I’m in season 4 of My Player mode, and we’re in the final quarter of the regular season.

    • Mercenary_Security_number_4

      Have you tried installing it to the HDD?

      • Flying_Turtle

        It had crossed my mind, but I figured the error would prevent a full install. If I can clear some space, though, I’ll give that a try. Thanks!

  • Cloks

    Paper Mario: The 1000 Year Door.

    I started this game years ago and I’m almost at the point where I quit last time which was apparently right before it got good. I got a 27” Trinitron CRT earlier this week that is both great for retro-gaming consoles and weighs enough to crush most men.

    • Mercenary_Security_number_4

       I have one of those in my garage I keep meaning to take to Best Buy for recycling.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I will never dump my own 27″ Sony WEGA (well, until it stops working). It’s the TV you use for your old systems.

    • duwease

      Ah yes, when that gets good, it gets GOOD.  I try to remind myself of that when I give up on the other Mario RPG’s, but it doesn’t work.  I don’t like to take my own advice.

      • Cloks

        Apparently I quit right before it started to get really good, I was just about to enter the Glitz Pit.

  • Mercenary_Security_number_4

    I’m falling back into puzzle and arcade-style games, mostly because I am catching up on albums I want to listen to and I love when I get into that groove where I start playing a puzzle game to the rhythm of an electronic beat.

  • http://gameological.com/author/jasonreich/ Jason Reich

    Big Scharpling fan. Reading this with his voice and cadence in my head made the whole thing that much better. I didn’t know about Tapped Out until I read this but if it soothes Tom, it’s worth checking out.

    Also playing Bayonetta, which I picked up in the bargain bin. I don’t have a PS3 so I missed the last few God of Wars (Gods of War?) and it kinda scratches that itch.

    • DrFlimFlam

       My experience is that you find your own tap tap wait game and go with that until you suddenly don’t.

    • The_Helmaroc_King

      If they can get past the sexuality of the game, which is somewhere between “over-the-top” and “leering”, I’d recommend Bayonetta to most anyone in the mood for a good action game that doesn’t take itself seriously. The opening scene on the falling clock tower sets the tone pretty well, all the way to the finale.

      I hear the PS3 port was pretty poor, though. A poort, if you will.

  • dmikester

    This weekend I’m playing the game of driving 9 hours to North Carolina and meeting my future puppy!  It’s a long story as to why I’m going so far to get a puppy, but needless to say, it’s going to turn into a lovely, much needed vacation with the added bonus of hanging out with corgi puppies tomorrow morning.  Should be a blast.

    And I guess because videogames and stuff, I’ll be iPading it up this weekend with some random time-waster games.  I finished Sleeping Dogs and got into it enough to get a platinum trophy, something I haven’t done in a long time.  I’m going through all of the DLC right now too, though of course that will be delayed because of puppies.  Did I mention puppies?

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

      Yay puppies!

    • DrFlimFlam

       Corgi puppies are very adorable.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       You lucky monster!  I love Corgis so much!  They’re the only reason I care about the Queen of England (she has a royal pack of Corgis)!  Do you know the name yet?

  • DrFlimFlam

    I just beat the British campaign of Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol. It was certainly fun while it lasted, but it’s hard to say I’m dying to come back and try it again. It certainly feels like part of a game, but what I’ve heard about the other campaigns doesn’t sound too inspiring.

    I am nearing the end of my third (and possibly final) Mass Effect 1 run. Commander Claire Shepard has scoured most of the galaxy, and while she will not complete most of the find’ems out there, she’s done all of the quests I can think of just about, so she’s going to Bring Down the Sky, hit Virmire, and go straight on through to the end.

    Also, Pinnacle Station. Ugh. How unfun.

    • The_Helmaroc_King

      I haven’t played either of those two board games before. I don’t think I’ve heard of them before, either. Any thoughts, aside from the hand limit?

      If the game is anything like other co-op board games I’ve played, then adding more players won’t alleviate the hand limit issue, since it means other people usually have the cards you want, and vice versa. I suppose you could always try upping the limit by one when you play, though; house rules!

      • DrFlimFlam

        It would be more about getting the needed adds into the total available pool. Hand limits for two players men you have to go through the deck as many as two times whereas a four person game would only require one play thru if done well. I’m sure we’ll figure it out but it’s a hurdle.

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

      Part of me is disappointed that those collectable quests in Mass Effect have little or no reward. The other part of me is relieved that I don’t need to bother with them on another playthrough.

      • DrFlimFlam

         Thanks, that’s good to know. Moving on!

  • Destroy Him My Robots

    I’m saving up for a DSLR, so I haven’t bought anything big for a while. That’s fine, I have a backlog and PS+ after all.

    I finally finished Luigi’s Mansion 2 (really good, a bit too fragmented, the final confrontation is tremendous, the best argument that hand-made animation is still king in a while) and Catherine (goes off the rails towards the end, but overall worthwhile). Put Phantasy Star II aside in favor of picking up Ni No Kuni: Jet-Black Mage again (where I’m very overleveled, it seems). I just finished the silly little STG minigame and appreciated it.

    @GhaleonQ:disqus I did get Riki Densetsu and finished that too. I pretty much loved the whole thing except for the background graphics. The intro video is the greatest, I can’t not love thugs squatting and TEMEE!, and writing something like “Status” in Hiragana is atavism that makes me unreasonably happy. I feel like ASW really nailed the movement, and if you ask me, a game where just moving around is fun is already 80% there. This one cleared that hurdle easily. Will NG+.

    Finally, I’ve got a hand-me-down Android phone now. I tried Cut the Rope and quit after a minute. Installed ScummVM but it’s worthless on a 4″ screen without a pen. So, what are some good games for this? I went ahead and bought Carcassone and Tigris & Euphrat because I guess those should work well (I’m tired of Catan, so I skipped that one). Any other ideas? Is one of the Hanafuda games on the Play Store any good? I tried the free one and wasn’t thrilled.

    • DrFlimFlam

      Ticket to Ride works great on a smaller screen.

      I like Cut the Rope, but it’s more due to aesthetics than anything else.

      • Destroy Him My Robots

        That was among the first things I was looking for, but it seems it’s not available for Android. Thanks anyway.

        @Raging_Bear:disqus I tried that Simpsons thing until I got to the point where it lets me add friends. I can find you, but get an error when I try to add you. Maybe some cross-platform incompatibility or something?

        • DrFlimFlam

          That is so, so terrible.

        • Raging Bear

          It might be a platform thing, although I would think since it’s using this Origin business it would be platform independent, if EA had any decency (…).

          But it might actually just happen to be going funny at the moment. I also got logged out and get an error when trying to log back in; this within the last hour. It happens from time to time, but usually not for more than a few hours at once.

        • Raging Bear

          The network’s been fine for a while now. I don’t know. There might be some fiddliness with the android version. It’ll probably work eventually…

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       Hey Robots, as someone who does professional video at work about 50% of the time, do you mind if I ask what model you’re looking at for DSLR and if you’re thinking primarily for photos or video?

      • Destroy Him My Robots

        I’m getting a used Nikon D5100, so not exactly the newest bestest model. I’ll mostly do photos, but I’ll definitely experiment with video, simply because it’ll be a new thing I can learn. Apparently it can do 1080p at 24, 25 and 30fps, but only 20 minute clips at a time (and I can’t be sure if the compression is acceptable for professional work). If you’ll be recording in low light conditions a lot, you’ll want to invest in a full-frame because they produce far less noise at higher ISO levels, but you probably knew that already.

        • Kyle O’Reilly

          Nikons are great and a buddy of mine shoots with them but my experience is all with Canons and Panasonics.  The compression on DSLRs isn’t as bad as many make it out to be.  Right now I’m shooting with a bitchin’ Panasonic AF100 which does right by me.

          Just remember that lenses are 50% of the camera so get some solid glass.

  • Raging Bear

    I also play Tapped Out. I got a pair of Simpsons-obsessed-but-not-heavy-gamer friends to play it, and therefore it’s the only social game I’ve kept playing for more than a few days. (origin ID: “rageybear”, in case anyone who plays is looking to pointlessly accumulate “friends”).

    I bought a Wii U this week. I’m not sure why, but I think the constant feed of news stories about its terrible sales produced an image of Reggie Fils-Aime weeping softly in a warehouse full of unshipped units, and the very pity of it was too much for me. And they’re $60 off at Target.com.

    So that adds Lego City Undercover to the other current games, being Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (my first Layton game), Ni No Kuni which I just picked back up after months, and System Shock 2 (Wine works!), not to mention my first order of BBC DVDs in years. Busy, busy, busy.

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

      It was pretty disheartening to hear that EA has nothing else in the pipeline (presumably, those massive layoffs were in Wii U projects) but I can see why. It’s too expensive to develop games for such a small install base.

      If the Wii U ends up like the N64 and GameCube, I can live with that. I’ll pick up a cheap bundle at Christmas, like I did with those.

      • neodocT

         I read something about Wii U sales skyrocketing after the Xbox One announcement. I’m not quite sure how true that is, or how much is due to promotions and price cuts, but it’s interesting. 

        I’m a big Nintendo fan, and am thinking of going with Wii U and a PC next gen. Even if the Wii U goes the Gamecube route, I’ll be able to count on some stellar first-party games and the odd Smash Bros. and Mario Kart, the type of games that last years.

        I might end up getting the PS4 at some point, but have no plans to be an early adopter.

  • Captain Internet

    I’ve got a bunch of stuff to write for friends this weekend before starting my new job, but I think it’ll be more New Vegas: the new Gameological Society Commentariat’s Mass Effect. I’m tempted to put the JSawyer mod on to make things harder but, frankly, life’s too short. It halves your carrying capacity, slows the rate at which you level up, quarters your health, but it also moves some of the more powerful and interesting weapons around. 
    I also picked up Call of Juarez: Gunslinger on a whim last night upon returning from the pub, and what I’ve played thus far is delightful. The premise is that a hoary old gunslinger called Silas is recounting old war stories in a bar, and each level is one of those stories. As you play, Silas narrates events, but the other people round the table chip in too, and sometimes this forces Silas to change his story- and when the story changes, so does the level. 

    You’re still shooting people in the face, but there’s a genteel wit to it all. 

    • EmperorNortonI

       Now, I’ve not played the vanilla game, so I can’t say.  However, once I got past an ugly chokepoint at level 5 or so involving infinitely spawning Legion hitmen, the game has seemed just fine with the JSawyer mod.  Yeah, I’m constantly fighting with carrying capacity . . . but that make sense.  And until I started fighting super hopped-up ghoul security guards, I’ve not run across any situation where the lower HP really hurts.  It’s fun all around.

      • djsubversive

        so, have you dealt with the Deranged Bright Followers at Wolfhorn Ranch yet? That’s probably the most difficult addition, and there’s only about 3 or 4 of them.

        • EmperorNortonI

           I managed to avoid them.  You can walk the hills above the road to skip them (though you’ll have to watch out for Vipers), you can sneak past them at night, or you can draw a Legion Hit Squad into battle with them, and then lose both of them during an epic dust storm, like I did when I finally got past that area.

        • djsubversive

          I actually skipped them from the south. Took the route near the Legion Safehouse, then cut north before hitting the nuke test site and Searchlight.

          And the dust storms are pretty awesome.

    • Eco1970

      That description has sold me, I think. It’s a wild west FPS, right?

      • Captain Internet

        Yes- saloons,  spitoons,  horses, and showdowns all present. Oh, and it’s only £12 on Steam- not sure what the equivalent US price is, but it’s the same as Far Cry: Blood Dragon.

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

           $15 US.  The low price caught my eye too, and now hearing about that shifting narrative aspect, I’m even more interested!

    • djsubversive

      JSawyer is awesome. Once you get about 5th level or so, the hp starts to not be such a big deal. Carry capacity is kind of annoying, but it does kind of force you to only carry a couple of weapons and ammo for them rather than a whole freakin’ arsenal.

      I ended up getting a backpack mod, because I don’t like that my PDA is also a bag of holding.

      • Captain Internet

        Have you got a link to the backpack mod that isn’t the file? I’ll check out the PDA

        • djsubversive

          Unfortunately, I don’t. I found it on the SA New Vegas Modding thread.

          But I found this one on the Nexus.

      • Captain Internet

        Fair enough- but what does it do exactly?

        • djsubversive

          The backpack mod? It adds backpacks to the game, to increase your carrying capacity. I don’t know how all of them work, but the one I got from the SA thread has about 5 or 6 varieties, from +15 WT units (“fanny packs”) to +95 WT units (“military packs”). When you’re above your normal capacity, but not the added backpack capacity, you take an Agility penalty (for being encumbered).

        • Captain Internet

          @djsubversive:disqus Ah, sounds perfect. I’ll check it out. And maybe stop being such a chicken about the JSawyer mod

  • Lucifer’s Peaches

    Fuuuuuuuuuck Tom Scharpling.

  • JohnnyLongtorso

    I beat New York Apartment Hunter, so I’m on to Resident Evil Revelations, which is not a very good game.

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

      Congrats! I hear New York Apartment Hunter is a real quarter-muncher.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      Is it true that an apartment the size of a walk-in closet costs $3000 a month in New York?  Whee!

      • Effigy_Power

        More if you want running water and less than complete bird-shit covers on your windows.

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          Jesus…Do all the jobs pay $40 an hour to compensate?

        • Effigy_Power

          -pokes @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus’s nose-
          Nnnnope!
          NYC is, in parts, that rarest of metropoli: The stinking sewer priced to keep out people with the stomach to live there.

      • His_Space_Holiness

        No, not really. But rents vary wildly depending on what part of the city you’re in. I’ve been in New York a few months and haven’t quite gotten a handle on which parts are supposed to be the super-nice neighborhoods. My apartment costs about a grand a month, and is on the small side but not tiny.

        • Effigy_Power

          Don’t say that out loud. Us New Yorkers pride ourselves on how shitty and unlivable the place is.

      • JohnnyLongtorso

        It’s less than half that and it’s at least the size of two walk-in closets. So there!

    • His_Space_Holiness

      So after laboriously walking from room to room, always on the lookout for horrifying freaks of nature, you’ve decided to play Resident Evil?

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        *slide whistle*

  • ChicaneryTheYounger

    King of Fighter XIII, dudes. It’s badical.

  • stakkalee

    3 day weekend wooo!  I’ll spend tomorrow playing a LAN game of Civ4 with my gaming buddy, and Sunday I’ll continue my second Fallout 3 playthrough.  I’ve finally made it to Point Lookout and I’m loving it so far.  It’s spooky and ethereal and wonderful; is there anything creepier than an abandoned amusement park?  I’ve set up house in the motel office, I’m running into some neat little quests, and the swampfolk are appropriately difficult.  I don’t have any plans for Monday yet, so I’ll probably just continue in Fallout 3, slowly melding into my recliner.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      LAN gaming is fantastic. I think a big reason I got into boardgames was because I missed playing games in the same room as my friends. I’ve had some great times playing Warcraft 3 custom games with my buddies over LAN, but I’ve not played anything more modern than that I don’t think.

    • djsubversive

      I also have a Fallout 3 game going, but with the Fallout Wanderers Edition mod, so everything is much more dangerous. I’m only at level 6, and I jumped into Operation: Anchorage. The replenishing ammo/health is a lifesaver. I’m only doing it for Jingwei’s Shock Sword. and the Stealth Suit. and the Gauss Rifle. and the Winterized Power Armor.

      I am NOT looking forward to having to deal with the Outcasts afterwards.

      • stakkalee

        Love that Gauss Rifle.  Sure it’s slow, but when you get a critical hit in and send someone flying ragdoll-style it’s all worth it.

        • djsubversive

          FWE adds a bunch of old Fallout weapons – Wattz Laser Pistols and Rifles, the M72 Gauss Rifle (or whatever the designation is – it’s a Small Guns weapon that fires 2mm rounds), the Cattle Prod, and some others, along with some real-world weapons (I got an AKSU from a raider before, and I’m using a Colt M1911 as my sidearm, because I only have about 10 .44 rounds left for the Desert Eagle).

          It also makes weapons and armor less valuable, and ammo and chems more valuable (and it adds a bunch of new drugs. I’ve got a stash of heroin, cocain, diazepam, methadone, morphine, ibuprofen, sacks of weed, and a bunch of other drugs I can’t remember the names of… IN THE GAME).

  • NakedSnake

    Dunno what I will be playing this weekend, but I’ve had a productive week, having finally beaten Castlevania 3 and Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, both of which I have been working on for some time. Incidentally, I think it would be cool if we tried to institute some commenter-led features on the weekend. To that end, I will be posting a review of Castlevania 3 on the Comment Cat post on Saturday morning.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      I am so bad at early Castlevanias. I keep trying to play the super nintendo one, and man I am not good at it. Meanwhile, I’m close to finishing up Link’s awakening and then I’m planning on starting up Oracle of Ages after that. Eerily similar games we’ve been playing.

      • NakedSnake

        Link’s Awakening is great. It’s amazing how much they managed to pack into a lowly Game Boy game. When I played it way back when, there was this weird glitch where, if you pressed the select button when you were changing screens, it would sometimes teleport you to the same position on the next screen. In certain areas, the teleporting would let you access areas that you couldn’t normally, and break the sequencing in which you received items. It made for a great New Game+ after you had already beaten the game.

        Super Castlevania IV is definitely on the short list of games I want to check out. I guess I am somehow intimidated by it, like it will somehow be TOO AWESOME TO HANDLE. I should probably dive right in, though, while the skills I have built up playing Castlevania 3 are still fresh.

      • DrFlimFlam

        I love Link’s Awakening. So poignant.

  • Eco1970

    Friday night is Gaming Night at Eco’s house, and my friends are coming round in 3 hrs to play whatever boardgane I choose. This evening I think I’ll mKe them play Buck Rogers: Battle for the 25th Century or Conquest of the Empire, as we haven’t played either for ages. However, I’ve got a little problem with numbers. I invited 8 people. 5 said Yes, one said No and one, who’s notorious for not responding to text messages, hasn’t got back. He has often done this and still turned up in the past. Not a problem when his presence is the difference between 5 or 6 players for the night, as most of my boardgames cope with 6 players. This evening, though, with 6 definites, he might be out of a spot if he turns up…

    Not sure what to do tbh. He’s one of my best friends, but it’s so Nnoying when I don’t know the correct numbers. My 7P+ games are limited, and I do setup before everyone arrives to save time.

    • EmperorNortonI

      Holy shit, Buck Rogers in the 25th century!  That game was both totally broken and totally awesome at the same time, and  I played it a whole bunch with my friends when I was younger.  We always removed the Killer Satellites, as they tended to turn the game into unbreakable stalemate midway through, but that game had a severe tendency towards nasty turtling stalemate anyway.  Still super-cool, though.

  • indy2003

    Just finished up my first playthrough of Sly 2, which seemed to improve just a bit during its closing chapters. Overall, I still think the level design of the first game is more innovative, but I like the general gameplay of the second one a bit more. Looking forward to tackling the third one at some point, but it’s time to move on to other things for a while.

    On the PS Vita, I’m still slowly but surely working my way through Knytt Underground, which looks like it might end up taking me an eternity. That’s okay, though, because the puzzles are engaging, surprises and moments of humor are littered all over the place and the world design is compelling. I was a little startled when – after several hours of perfectly innocent platforming – the characters started saying “fuck” all the time. Not that I mind, but it did catch me off guard.

    Also playing Wipeout 2048 on the Vita, which hits the sweet spot of being challenging, addictive and fun. I’ve raced a course a dozen times in a row without ever getting too frustrated, because the game always has me convinced that I’m *this* close to winning each time – if only I had turned that corner smoothly or snagged that power-up on the final lap! It’s also a remarkable showcase for what the Vita can do on a visual level.

    Haven’t decided what I’ll start playing on the PS3 yet – I started Mega Man 9, but haven’t gotten very far. I may simply lack the skill required to complete this one. We’ll see. I’ll probably be playing of the free titles I received when signing up for PS+ – Vanquish and The Cave both look quite interesting (albeit for rather different reasons). Definitely want to get to Sleeping Dogs, too, though I’m not sure that I’m ready after a lengthy, somewhat frustrating (and not-quite-completed) playthrough of GTA IV.

    Technically still playing Need for Speed: Most Wanted on the Wii U, which is a lot of fun, but Wipeout 2048 keeps calling my name every time I feel like doing a bit of racing. I will get back to this one, though, because I’ve been really impressed by what I’ve seen thus far.

    • neodocT

       Megaman 9 is definitely very playable if you get into the Retro game mindset. It is tough, but you can get through it after a while, and it’s fun!

      (Note: this comment does not apply to the last level, as it is impossibly, infuriatingly hard!)

      • indy2003

        Yeah, modern games have clearly made me lazy. I’ve only made it through one level thus far, but I’ll try buckle down and give it the attention it deserves.

        • NakedSnake

          As with the Mega Man games of yore, things start to fall into place much more quickly once you’ve beaten a few of the levels.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       Wait on Sleeping Dogs I say, if you’re not committed to it, it’s slow beginning can be a pretty big motivator to put it down, and it’s actually a pretty good game if you give it time.

  • dreadguacamole

     The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, a diablo-like from the same people who put out the two King Arthur strategy games.
     It’s quite a bit clunky, but good fun; for an ARPG, there’s a lot of variety to the stuff you discover on the maps. The side-quests and such are pretty interesting, as the content is a bit closer to something like Baldur’s Gate than to Torchlight. Gameplay-wise it’s a bit simplistic, and though you can see what they’re going for with the systems it feels a bit shallow. Difficulty is highly variable, but I’m not having too much trouble with it yet.
     The writing’s fun, the voice-acting is hilariously atrocious, it looks very pretty and it’s absolutely drenched in slavic mythology (a *huge* draw for me). So far I haven’t run into any major technical issues besides ridiculously long load-times.

     My son’s discovered the bonus levels on Rayman Jungle Run and wants to see them all, so I reckon I’ll also be playing a lot of that. It’s a lovely, fun game, and I’m afraid I hate it with all my soul already.

  • ferrarimanf355

    I’m probably going to get back into Forza Horizon and make some progress towards the 1000 Club achievements, then go back into Forza 4 and make some progress towards completing those achievements.

  • Jackbert

    What with the UEFA Champions League Final (!) and new Arrested Development (!), probably just assorted matches of Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, which I have become moderately obsessed with over the last week of summer vacation. Finishing up a Human Male Sentinel (he is terrible), a Human Female Adept (she is pretty good), and a Batarian Soldier (he is a tank that shoots spikes, nuff said) to level 20. Then I can get started on my Asaria Justicar Adept and my Turian Sentinel. Then I can cry about how much time I’m wasted. At least I haven’t bought any packs with real money! Yet.

    • Histamiini

      Do you play on PC or console? Turian Sentinel has been my favorite from the start. Slow, dependable, never complains. The human Paladin Sentinel is a beast.

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

    In between a couple of Magic tournaments I’ll probably find the time to fire up Zen Pinball 2 this weekend, since they finally fixed whatever issue had been preventing it from connecting to the online leaderboards ever since the last Wii U system update.

    Depending on how bored I get on Sunday I might even give another level or two of Pandora’s Tower a shot. Maybe. It’s really hard to work up the motivation to play that game, which is unfortunate.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I bought my first table set of Pinball FX 2, getting some pack with Thor, X-Men, Ghost Rider, and Moon Knight because FlimFlam, Jr. loves Moon Knight.

      The game feels so different from The Pinball Arcade. The tables are much more gamey, and the ball is so much heavier.

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

        Unfortunately Pinball Arcade doesn’t (yet) exist on my Nintendo systems. :(

        Although I do love the work that FarSight has done on the PHoF games.

  • EmperorNortonI

    Fallout – New Vegas.  That’s pretty much going to be the only thing I play until I finish.  It’s completely and utterly awesome.

    I have a bland “all the non-com skills” guy at the moment, and am having a blast doing stuff.  Wandering the wasteland kicks ass.  For more details, check out my long posts on the Steam group.

    • djsubversive

      Interesting places that the main quest never sends you to: Searchlight, Jacobstown (and the mines on the way), and the Deathclaw Promontory (it’s an unmarked location across the river from the Cliffside Prospector’s Camp or whatever it’s called).

      Bring lots of ammo/explosives/stims for the Promontory. My last visit had about 20 deathclaws, including 2 Alpha Males. But you get a sweet set of Enclave Power Armor (and non-faction T-51b).

  • neodocT

    I had eye surgery last week (it wasn’t Lasik, but it was a sorta-Lasik thing called PRK), so I haven’t played much of anything this week.

    My vision’s finally good enough to play games, though, so this weekend I intend to finish Tomb Raider, which I am very much enjoying. It is a version of Uncharted where you can actually stop and explore the world every once in a while. As much as I enjoy this exploration aspect, though, I really wish finding all the thingamajigs in each level rewarded me with something more substantive than some points and an achievement. Would it kill them to give me an upgrade for that? It would beat fiding upgrades in random baddies.

    I also bought Dead Space 1 and 2 on Steam, and am looking forward to playing that. I hate jump scares, so I’ll probably shit myself a few times, but the game aesthetic looks appealing to me.

    I’ve also been playing Words with Friends with a friend (duh), but I’m 90% sure he’s cheating.

    • aklab

      I’m pretty bad at shooters, and I scare easily, but inexplicably I reeallly liked Dead Space. After beating it I immediately started a new game and played it through again, which I almost never do. Have fun! 

      • neodocT

        I’m glad you told me you enjoyed it despite the scares! Everything I read about the game makes it seem like I will really like it, but I was aprehensive on the scariness of the game. 
        It pains me to say it, but I’m an example that EA wasn’t wrong when they said scariness can limit a game’s audience… Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely think there should be scary games, but I tend to wait some time before picking them up. 

  • boardgameguy

    No board or video games for me this weekend. Instead, Minneapolis is hosting a sports tournament for Latvians where I will be playing basketball and volleyball. Although my dad is in town to watch, and he did bring Bang: The Bullet with the Wild West Show expansion, so hopefully we’ll get a few games of that in on Monday with the family.

  • Aurora Boreanaz

    Remember when Gameological reviewed the Marvel Avengers Alliance social game a while back, and I bitched about all of the errors I got trying to play it?  Yeah, I decided to go back and check it out and am hooked again.

    As compared to most other social games, you actually have strategy and skill to fight in the 3 vs 3 combats, and it’s fun to use different combinations of heroes.

    My wife and I are going to see Star Trek Into Darkness this afternoon…our first “date” since Baby Boreanaz was born, so we’re leaving her in day care and taking the afternoon off work.

    This weekend I’ll be playing more Neverwinter and Avengers Alliance, and probably also be watching the new Arrested Development and the final season of Fringe.

    • mizerock

      I’ve been moving for the past 2 months [this packrat was pretty firmly entreched in one place for 12 years], and even though I finally set up my PS3 a few weeks ago I still find myself nothing more than Marvel Avengers Alliance and Angry Birds [my phone died so I "need" to get 3-stars on every level all over again on the new one]. I have to snap out of that rut before I become disbarred from the Gameological site.

      For the previous 2 years I played a whole lotta Rock Band 3, with the one major interuption  being 2 months of XCOM. I loved the original so much and the new one is a very worthy successor. I have a stunning number of retro games that I started amassing in 2009 as everyone was making “Best Games of the Past 10 Years” lists. Also about 40 PS3 titles, many of which I got for about $16 used from GameFly. Also about a dozen Steam titles that aren’t all installed, as I need to find my still-packed external HDDs and figure out how to get Steam to put the games there instead on my capped-out C: drive [surely that's not so hard, even if I want to move some of the already-installed ones too? or with that invoke DRM wrath?].

      Then I will look to you Gameological folks to suggest what social games I should play with you to shake me out of my Avengers / Birds rut. Ideally something I can play in 40-90 minute chunks, since that’s what makes those two the default choice these days.

    • djsubversive

      I’m also catching up on Fringe, and just started Season 5 the other day. Things get crazy, yo.

  • aklab

    I’m replaying a bunch of 16-bit classics this weekend. About halfway through my Super Metroid run (which my 4-year-old can only pronounce as “Mentro,” so that’s cute), then maybe some Donkey Kong Countrys. 

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      I need to finish Super Metroid! I’ve played through maybe have of it twice, but never finished it. and 16-bit platformers are my favorite. Such shame.

      • aklab

        You should! It’s probably my favorite game ever.* 

        *not counting 16-bit JRPGs.

  • Effigy_Power

    Well, after having sort of a hell of a week, I really need to get some serious gaming done.

    My gf and I picked up a puppy from a pound on Wednesday, a lovely 4-month old Cream Husky/German Shepherd mix we called Cato. Super-cute, super-smart (he learned to sit and heel after just a day), got along fairly okay with our cat… just great.
    Just that I appear to suddenly have developed a rather serious allergy to dog saliva and broke out not only in a rash but also had some less-than-amazing swelling in parts I need to breath. I grew up with dogs in the house and had one myself until a few years ago, so it came as a bit of a surprise. Alas, dosed up on tons of Benadryl and in tears, we had to return the dog on Thursday, after we decided that my life is marginally more valuable than having a dog. So obviously moods have been low, but well. Life moves on. The cat is generally happier for it, I am sure.

    I finished my F:NV walkthrough in record speed, I would say, which stems from murdering every quest-giver in my wasteland rampage rather than spend hours picking up their drycleaning and sorting their garbage. The boomers will haunt me for a while, as I encountered the bug of the invincible Boomer Guard (armed with a bazooka that has infinite ammo). So don’t shoot at the guard before he opens the gate for you. It’s a common bug apparently.

    I am fairly far into XCOM with my all-female team (less on purpose than it just happened that way). I kept my initially higher leveled female squad members and added the first batch of Psions to it, who also were female. I have a pretty good record, haven’t lost a single squad-member yet (though a few survived missions only with single hitpoints) and am now nearing endgame status.

    The CK2 DLC “The Old Gods” is coming soon, so that will definitely occupy my time, just in between some serious Arrested Development binging. At least there won’t be any GoT this week for me to make time for, what with Liberace apparently still being a thing people give a shit about.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       My heart goes out to you Effigy.  I grew up with dogs as well and have always been a fan of their rough housing ways but I met my lovely wife who is allergic and had to say goodbye to those four legged fellows.

      But the lax attitude of cats is still nice, am I right?  Internet back me up on this one!

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      *hugs* for the dog return, sorry to hear that.  I had really bad allergies to cat and dog hair as a child, but it’s gotten better as I get older, and we get only short or broken wire-haired dogs so I only have problems if I rub my eyes right after petting them.

    • Fluka

      Poor Effigy!  That’s heartbreaking!  My sympathies!

    • HobbesMkii

      I hope that now that you’re able to breathe and survive, you’ll scan some of those sketches for our comic book.

  • Kyle O’Reilly

    Aw fudge, I’m late today.  Anyway, it’s Memorial Day weekend, my wife is leaving town which means get inebriated and play video games by myself all weekend! Planning on:

    Fallout: Cue Beggars!
    Spefunky!
    Crusader Kings Who? Crusader Kings II!
    Back to the Furniture!
    Alan Wake n’ Bake!
    El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron!
    Civilization High-Five!
    Battle-feelings 3!
    and maybe since we talked about it yesterday and it’s my fav racing game
    Ballin ass Burnout 3
    !

    • mizerock

      I love the idea of this being the weekend to play Burnout again. Are there any that this group could play together online? Does Burnout Paradise just match you up randomly with 19 other strangers? Burnout Crash! lets you challenge your PSN friends to beat your high scores, but that model is about as social as a Facebook “social” game.

      • Kyle O’Reilly

         I don’t know if the online servers even still work.  I play on Xbox 360 so I should check that out.

    • HobbesMkii

      I was going to start a new Game of Thrones AAR for CK2 after finally returning to the mod I walked away from (the history files I worked so hard on have fallen into disrepair in my absence, which was both unfortunate and gratifying to see), but then I realized Old Gods would come out and ruin the mod’s compatibility, so I stopped.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      Burnout 3! YES! Add some Contra in there and you’re golden. 

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      Liked for your apparent refusal or inability to spice up a title like “El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron” any further.

  • His_Space_Holiness

    This week in Skyrim: running out of quests that interest me, (no, I would NOT like to help you slut-shame your promiscuous boss, Barmaid Who Should Mind Her Own Damn Business!) I decided to make some headway on the main quest, and went ahead and (SPOILERS, I GUESS) read the Elder Scroll at the time warp/rift/whatever they call it. So there I am, watching as the heroes of old make ready to battle Alduin. “Alduin comes!” they shout, and I’m ready for shit to go down.

    So I wait.

    And wait.

    And wait.

    And they just stand there.

    Either I hit some kind of weird bug, or Alduin is Godot.

    I wound up just reloading and working on the Dark Brotherhood questline instead. So have I hit an actual bug, or did I miss something?

    • djsubversive

      I bet it’s a bug, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Alduin’s just an asshole.

      It IS Skyrim, after all. :)

      • His_Space_Holiness

        “Just an asshole” is ALWAYS a plausible explanation in these parts.

        • djsubversive

          Skyrim is ancient Nord for “Fuck you.”

  • http://warren-peace.blogspot.com/ WarrenPeace

    I’m playing Fitocracy, since I finally decided to start working out and get my lazy ass in some sort of shape. Also more Just Cause 2 and Portal 2, and probably some other games if I feel like it.

  • djsubversive

    I’ll probably go back to Fallout 3. I’m going through Operation: Anchorage right now, and then it’s back to the Capital Wasteland with a bunch of sweet new toys.

    FWE is pretty awesome, if I haven’t mentioned that before (I have). There’s a few other mods I’m using (because Bethesda). Can’t remember all of them at the moment, but the iron-sights mod and CALIBR/CRAFT play well with FWE: more ammo, more guns, being able to make kits at workbenches (medical kit is required to heal broken limbs; ammo crafting kit is needed to break down or create ammo; tool kit gives you a Repair bonus, in addition to the bonus for being in proximity to a workbench). Also, FWE divorces your weapon skill from the damage it does – a gun hurts the same whether you’re a pro or an amateur. Skill level does affect accuracy and weapon sway.

    Also, radiation gain and damage is doubled, VATS doesn’t reduce damage taken by 90%, stimpaks heal over time, and food and drink only serve to reduce hunger and thirst (no healing by drinking 200-year-old Nuka Cola and stuffing Cram in your face). FWE is the basis for New Vegas’ hardcore mode (me, every time: “There’s a non-hardcore mode?”), but it’s more ‘hardcore’ than NV.

  • Jonathan Dewar

    Let’s see.  What do I have to play?

    StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty/Heart of the Swarm
    Resident Evil Revelations (PC Version)
    Thunder Wolves (Fun little game!)
    Might & Magic Heroes VI (this is my “I don’t want to play anything else.” reserve title)

    And the ever present Guild Wars 2 because I’m an MMO addict.  Mmm, crack.