What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Chino Moreno, musician

Chino Moreno, musician

A member of Deftones and Palms talks about Mario Kart and turning away from the seductions of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.

By Anthony John Agnello • July 12, 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.

Chino Moreno, a founding member of the alternative metal band Deftones and the lead singer of the spacey supergroup Palms, doesn’t play video games much anymore. But even though Moreno—third from the left in the above photo—spends more time writing songs than firing up the PlayStation, he still makes room for some Nintendo family time. The Gameological Society caught up with Moreno on his 40th birthday to talk about Nintendo GameCube nostalgia and his new album with Palms.

The Gameological Society: What are you playing this weekend?

Chino Moreno: Mario Kart.

Gameological: Which Mario Kart?

Moreno: This week, I’ve been playing with my daughter. She loves Mario Kart. It’s a great family game that we can play together. There’s also something nostalgic about it. We’re playing the GameCube version, which is a little older. The music in it and the graphics—it’s very nostalgic. I dig it. It’s crazy that it connects to so many generations. My son, who’s 16, will play with us too, and my daughter who’s eight. I turned 40 today. I love video games, they’ve been one of my favorite things since I was a kid—since the first Nintendo and the first Super Mario came out. That was awesome.

Gameological: In an interview you did days after the album White Pony came out, somebody asked you what you do in your spare time. Your immediate answer was playing video games. Then, in an interview you did after your most recent album, Koi No Yokan, came out, and you said music is your hobby. That it’s all you have time for, and you don’t play games anymore. What happened, beside becoming a parent?

Moreno: I realized, even back then, that my musical output wasn’t that much. I really didn’t do that much music. I’d make a record, and then I’d go three years touring the record but wouldn’t do anything in between. There’s something really gratifying about music. It’s like creating something from nothing. Spending an hour with a drum machine in my hand, I can create something that was never created before, and I can do something with that to benefit my life and my career. If I spend an hour in front of Halo, there’s nothing that’s going to change in my life except an hour that I’ll never get back. That’s the dichotomy of where I would usually spend time.

On the tour bus, video games were a big part of that. We used to game a lot with, like, Tony Hawk. When the first one came out, that was when we were making White Pony, and I would say we added a couple months to the record-making process because of that game. We’d be in the lounge playing that thing nonstop. Our producer, Terry Date, would come in and be like, “Come on guys, we got to get this take of this song,” and we’d be like, “All right, just one more minute.” Seriously, the game was ruling our time. As much fun as we had, I realized, especially on the bus, instead of playing a game, you can sit in front of Ableton or [learn] Pro Tools. I tried to inspire my son with the same thing. The time that he spent mastering any one of these games, he can master a recording software like Reason or Fruity Loops.

I don’t want to say I’m completely anti-game, but I realized I could get so much more done by focusing on music. So in hindsight, my musical outlet, whether it be Palms, Crosses, or Team Sleep, any of these projects I do on the side, if I focus my time on that, there’s so much great stuff that can happen.

Gameological: How did Palms come together? How did you start working with the dudes from ISIS?

Moreno: Aaron [Harris], the drummer, and I befriended each other a few years back. We’re just buddies. We have mutual respect for each others’ bands, and we have a lot of stuff musically in common. We both also like to cycle, hike, and run—do outdoors stuff. When ISIS broke up, the band continued on by doing music with three of the guys, and during that time, he asked if I would be interested in adding some vocals to it. It’s not like, “I’m not fulfilled with Deftones so I have to start a new project.” It wasn’t anything like that. It was like, “This is my buddy, these are my friends and we’re hanging out regardless, so why not make some music out of it?” And that’s what we did. It was a very gratifying experience.

Gameological: So what would be the Palms video game? What would it look like?

Moreno: The music is pretty cinematic. There’s a lot of scenery and landscapes in the sonic landscapes. It has an intergalactic feel as well. I’ll say something like Star Fox—some kind of interstellar game where you travel to some planets in different times and space.

Gameological: What’s the record you haven’t had a chance to make yet, that style of music that you have to check off your bucket list?

Moreno: I don’t think about it that black-and-white. It’s not like, “This is something out of confines, so I need to do this.” I actually feel pretty fulfilled with what I do with the Deftones. Although we’re considered a metal band per se, there’s not any sort of influence that would be weird to bring into Deftones, as long as it’s done faithfully, and came in organically and not forced. There’s tons of stuff. I grew up on rap music. I love a lot of hardcore rap. Now, would I ever make a hardcore rap record? Probably not. But I would love to have something to do with one someday, whether it’s creating the music for it, producing, or making the beat, putting something together. That would be fun.

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.

[Photo: Travis Shinn]

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  • The_Helmaroc_King

    Outside of video games, I’ve been playing a lot of The Resistance: Avalon with my coworkers during our lunch hour at work. We’ve actually played it pretty frequently as of late, and we’ve played around with it a lot. We’ve tried adding and removing different roles to balance things towards one team or the other, but “social B.S.” (as one of my coworkers puts it) definitely plays a huge role. I love it.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have any specific video games I plan on jumping into this weekend. There’s a few games I’d like to bring up to 100% and a bunch of others I haven’t picked up in a long while, among those I have yet to touch. It’s an embarrassment of riches in here. I suppose it’s good that I have a fair backlog of games, though, since I’ve already settled on a condominium that I’m trying to buy now, which means I’m about to put down a fair amount of my savings and my monthly expenses are about to jump up by a significant margin.

    Despite my pending need to cut down on spending, I’ll be spending a fair amount of time playing a little game called The Steam Summer Sale. It’s free-to-play, but there’s a lot of downloadable content to pay for; fortunately, if I play well, I can get the content I want for less than usual.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      I really ought to pick up a copy of The Resistance. I’ve been jonesing for some new boardgames lately. I still haven’t even had a chance to play my copy of BSG though! Maybe I’ll force my friends to play it sometime this weekend…

      • The_Helmaroc_King

        I haven’t played enough of the original The Resistance to make a definite comparison, but I would recommend Avalon if you’re interested. The different roles and such can definitely shake up the game, and most of them can be taken in or out as you like. I haven’t played Battlestar Galactica, but either version of The Resistance sounds much simpler to pick up. I think you might be able to find one or the other for less than $20, too.

        Do you have a large group to play with? We tend to have a group of eight or nine, which works surprisingly well for us.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

          I usually have a group of 4-6 ish. I think i’d pick up the Avalon version if i were to get resistance.  I’m trying to hold off on buying more until i play all the games i already have though. 

          Also depending on how creative the people you play with are, you may want to try Dixit. I’t my favorite large group/party game that i have. It’s sort of like apples to apples but really good.

  • PaganPoet

    Downloading Hotline Miami as we speak, thanks to @Merve:disqus ’s enthusiastic and frankly kind of scary endorsement in this week’s Game That Tune.

    Open to other suggestions as well. Not looking for something terribly in depth and engrossing, just some PSN or Steam games that would be good to play in bursts. I’ve been playing Castlevania: Harmony of Despair a lot lately as well, but the grind of that is starting to bore me. (Even though my Charlotte character is really quite strong at this point; I spent a lot of time absorbing spells, and I’ve got 9 of most all of them.) Has anyone here played that game? Any tips on leveling up some of the other characters?

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

      An endorsement so scary that it has completely disappeared, and I have no recollection of ever having made it. In fact, I have no recollection of ever having played Hotline Miami. Scary… :P

      • PaganPoet

        Egg on my face. I totally got you mixed up with @Girard:disqus ! It’s the hue of your avatars! I can’t deal with the sepia!

        Sorry, heh.

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

          No worries, mate.

          *dons chicken mask in preparation for slaughtering feline pirate*

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

        SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RE ALSO IN NEED OF A TERRIFYING ENDORSEMENT, CANDY-ASS! THE GAME IS $2.50! BUY IT AND PLAY IT BEFORE I KICK DOWN YOUR DOOR WEARING A BABOON MASK AND FORCE YOU TO BUY IT AT BAT-POINT!

    • Jackbert

      Maybe a MP game like Mass Effect 3 or Persona 4 Arena? I don’t really know any “in bursts” type of games, which is probably why I get in gaming ruts so often.

      Also, add me on Steam and we can talk Hotline Miami tips, I might end up playing it this weekend too: Jackzilla

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       You will not be disappointed buddy.  Hotline Miami is like chewing on an adrenaline gland for 6 hours.  Get pumped!

      • PaganPoet

        I (stupidly) stayed up until 2 am last night playing it. I think I got to Chapter 7 before I gave up and went to bed. It’s pretty fun and the music is awesome, but it’s damn hard!

    • neodocT

      How about The Binding of Isaac?

      It’s fantastic, and a typical run tends to be on the short side because of the game’s difficulty.

  • Fluka

    I’ve been utterly swamped with work and travel and haven’t played anything seriously in over a month now.  Once I break out of this secure government facility, I am going home to my husband and cats.  Then I am going to open Steam and play whatever the fuck I feel like playing.  

    Probably finally Portal 2, saved for a rainy day.  But maybe something else.

    First, though… *Grabs backpack, unscrews grate from wall, and escapes through the air vent.*

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

      Okay, tell us the truth, @Fluka:disqus. Are you designing a black hole generator for the American government?

      • Fluka

        Depends on how fast I can run!

      • Fluka

        *Acquires a crowbar.  Starts stacking some crates.*

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

          “Oh God, she’s Freemanning again. What do we do?”

          “Tranq her.”

        • Fluka

          @Merve2:disqus Beer usually suffices.

        • The_Helmaroc_King

          Drinking on the job, Fluka? No wonder the black hole team is being trounced by the weather machine and germ warfare divisions.

        • Fluka

          @The_Helmaroc_King:disqus Well, you would drink too if the government canceled your Giant Death Laser project!  We’d already excavated the secret mountaintop base and everything, and suddenly it’s “grossly unethical”!  Thanks a lot, Obama!

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

          We thought you were a bunch of harmless nerds. Really, you were planning to use your laser to blow up the moon.

        • Effigy_Power

           I must immediately get the stank of the Big Bang Theory off out nice, clean website with this:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csj7vMKy4EI
          And don’t do it again.

    • SamPlays

      Portal 2 sounds like a good training ground for breaking out of a government facility. 

      Total digression: BTW, I was reading up on Monte Carlo simulation because I often use Structural Equation Models and I’ve seen this method referenced several times as a way to assess certain statistical properties. Aaaaaanyways, one site referred to FLUKA as a method used in physics. I can only assume this is no coincidence:) 

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

        “Fluka” is actually German for “adorable but psychopathic cat.” The Germans have a word for everything!

      • Fluka

        *Monte Carlo statistical model fistbump!*  The progression is MC model -> my cat’s name -> internet comment handle.  Whenever I go to talks on beam simulation, I get to hear about my cat too!

    • dmikester

      Good luck with work!  I’m playing through Portal 2 in fits and starts myself.  It’s very well designed for a quick play session here and there.

    • neodocT

       I had nothing to do on Saturday (well, I had stuff to do, but none that I wanted to), so I called a friend and we ran through the entirety of the Portal 2 multiplayer. Then we went out for beers! It was a good day.

  • vinnybushes

    Depending on steam sale prices it could be many things. Anodyne maybe? Also, I might try out the gazillion hours of old school rpg’s I got from this weeks Spiderweb Software humble bundle.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       I saw those and knew there was no chance in hell I’d ever come close to finishing even one of those games.  Which is why I’m confused to as why I still almost bought the bundle.

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

    Nice interview. I remember blasting “Hole in the Earth” a lot while playing Saints Rows 2.

    This weekend, I plan to continue the frustratingly difficult XCOM: Enemy Unknown. After reloading from a previous save, I’ve finally been able to make some progress. (Yeah, I know it’s kind of like cheating. Shut up.)

    I might also try to make some progress in Resonance. I still hate the art style, but the puzzles aren’t bad, and I like the game’s sense of humour. I’ve also got some Sleeping Dogs DLC to play, which I’m mainly going to use as an excuse to perform action hijacks.

    • Enkidum

      I’m just about to finish XCOM – uh… having saved every single step of the way, so I haven’t lost a single person. Yeah… I feel pretty awful about it. Think I’ll try a playthrough on a harder difficulty without any in-mission saves, see how that works.

      But holy shit it’s a good game. I’m thinking the multiplayer must be tits as well.

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

        So far I’ve only reloaded saves after mission failures. But that may change if I lose Lt. Tomato Juice or Lt. Brussels Sprouts. I’ve grown rather attached to them.

        • Chum Joely

          You’re saying you like Tomato Juice and Brussels Sprouts now? Fraternizing with the enemy?!

      • KidvanDanzig

        After you’ve beaten it once, Hardcore mode is definitely something worth checking out. The changed rules LOOK really daunting (real permadeath!) but essentially what it does is show you that most of the standard maneuvers you employed in the normal game are really, really reckless and dangerous. So you have to relearn how to play, and it makes the game really tense and exciting, and the skin-of-your-teeth victories that much more memorable. 

        And because the game is balanced so well, nothing is insurmountable (except maybe on the highest difficulty setting). Hardcore mode is where X-COM becomes a real strategy game.

        • Enkidum

          Yeah, I’m already kind of excited at the prospect of playing it “properly”. I realize that one of the cardinal rules will be NEVER DASH WITHOUT OVERWATCH PROTECTION and the sheer length of time some missions will take as a result is going to be pretty cool. I can’t imagine how the hell I’m ever going to get many live captures, but it’ll be fun figuring it out.

        • KidvanDanzig

          @enkidum When you’ve failed a hardcore game or two you start to get deprogrammed from standard Hollywood / action game “stand your ground” tactics. You have to know when to regroup. It’s generally NEVER a great idea to dash, 4 times out of 5 you will end up flanked and thus dead (overwatch is not reliable). And if the difficulty’s on classic mode, ALWAYS go for full cover, which might save your guys, unlike low cover which basically do nothing. The “snake men spawn everywhere” missions go from being rote and dull to harrowing. Fucking snake men.

          Another cool thing about hardcore mode is that SHIVs stop being a late-game toy to augment your decked-out team of supersoldiers and start being things that youl praise God for. Highly mobile, durable and accurate, and from laser up they pack a pretty mean punch. Never worry about getting a scout popped again. Word of advice though – don’t bother with alloy SHIVs. Sure, they’re a bit tougher than the standard model but their low-cover feature isn’t really a feature at all, for reasons stated above and also because it becomes a grenade magnet as soon as mutons start commonly appearing, if they haven’t already by the time you’ve researched and built one.

    • Captain Internet

      Has the excellent XCom: Ironman Impossible YouTube series been linked to yet? Because if it hasn’t, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9zJE9GodMQ

      Informative, educational, and entertaining: it really should be commissioned by the BBC.

    • CrabNaga

      I think I’ll try to finish up my XCOM: Enemy Unknown game. I’m just preparing for the final mission right now, although the final mission itself is fairly easy with the SPOILERS Rift psi-power you acquire specifically for that mission, especially since my Heavy psi-agent (with HEAT ammo) will most likely by the person to get it END SPOILERS. My first time through the game I was able to kill the final boss in a single turn with a single sniper, which seemed hilariously anti-climactic. That’s not to say that the boss is easy; it’s just that snipers are that good with headshot, double tap, archangel armor, and a plasma sniper rifle.

      Additionally, I’ll play more Crusader Kings II. I just formed the Empire of Britannia in my current game, with about 150 years left in the game. I own a large portion of modern-day Spain/Portugal, but the downside is I am right next-door to the 200,000 strong Aztec Empire, who just declared war on my 100,000 strong Empire. I can only hope that a bunch of Christian nations decide to come to my aid and whittle down that number, because I’m fairly certain it’s a way larger army than the territory would allow them to have. Maybe once I end this game, I’ll try something a little less harrowing, like running a Merchant Republic.

      I’ve picked up Bioshock Infinite and Brave New World from the Steam Sale so far, but I’m still waiting to assemble my new computer to play either of those.

      • Effigy_Power

        If you’re lucky the pope might declare a Crusade to regain the lands the Aztecs are taking, depends on Christianity’s moral authority.
        That said, running a Merchant Republic is by no means less harrowing.

  • Matt Koester

    I just got back a bunch of old Sega games on steam, and am currently shouting angrily at Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. The whole game is little more than the original 1991 version of Puyo Puyo with some different art and a clumsy licensing tie to the weaker of the two early 90s Sonic cartoons, but I probably wouldn’t want to play it if it weren’t for the sick animation of an angry Robotnik lecturing his robots decorating the continue screen, something that still hasn’t gotten old after countless failures. While most of that show was admittedly terrible, it’s bombastic, angry, childish take on a villain that too often has been treated as an omnipotent madman often single-handedly kept the show from being thirty minutes of awkward PSAs and chili dogs.

  • ProfFarnsworth

    With a big move coming up for me MOM and Cubert, I will probably be playing the ‘procrastinate’ game as much as possible.  I will be using the tools such as Legend of Dragoon which I have been doing a “super” grind run with, or possibly Bastion which I hear so many good things about on this site and picked up for $2.25!  I am possibly considering actually being productive, but I might just try The Witcher 2 again.  Hmmm….Good News Everyone!  I just found out I have waaaay to many things to do and not enough time to do it.  I call it, Life!

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

      I have also recently purchased Bastion and The Witcher 2. Let me know when you start on the former so that we clog up comment threads by discussing it!

      • ProfFarnsworth

        I will probably get to Bastion just after my move, which will be at the end of this month…but I am already in my pajamas, so if you want to start earlier I can try and play some sooner.

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

          I wasn’t planning on starting for a while either. I still have a whole bunch of games in my backlog.

          Good luck with the move!

      • PaganPoet

        Your WAYPTW hijacks will never be as significant as the ones @Jackbert:disqus @caspiancomic:disqus and I composed over Persona 3 and the Mass Effect trilogy. It’s an art form, Merve, and I’m god damned Picasso.

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

          If you’re the Picasso of hijacking, does that make @Jackbert:disqus the Braque of hijacking? And does that make @caspiancomic:disqus the <insert third most famous cubist painter here because seriously, who can name more than two cubist painters> of hijacking?

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

        Ooh, I picked it up too, so I’ll try to join in when you guys start playing and hijacking comment threads about it.

  • Cloks

    My younger sister is visiting me for the weekend so we’re going to be playing some co-op games, namely Scott Pilgrim: The Game and The Simpsons Arcade Game. Speaking of, I just got a PS3! I need more friends, so feel free to add me: CloksAvenger.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

      That’s a stellar lineup! Throw in Daytona Cruisin USA, Ms. Pac-man & the X-Men Arcade game and you’ve pretty much recreated Johnny Sortino’s Pizza arcade from my youth Cloks!

    • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

      Hey, I just bought Scott Pilgrim because it was on sale. The power went out just as I was fighting the first boss, too. I could use another person to play with because everyone else I know had already finished it. I’ll hit you up this weekend.

  • Nudeviking

    I finally got around to buying Skyrim a few weeks back so I will be playing that.  How much I end up playing will probably depend on how shitty the weather is.  I’ve been working on the Dark Brotherhood quests which have been weird, since up to this point everything I did prior involved just running up to foes and smashing them with a warhammer, but now I need to sneak around at night and hide so I don’t attract the attention of guards.

  • TheBryanJZX90

    Hey hey, this is the first one of these where I actually know the person being interviewed! There goes my cool guy AV Club cred. Love the Deftones, I may have to check out Palms. (Does the name of the band have anything to do with the street in LA? Because I live right next to that street.)
     Unfortunately I also won’t have much time for video games. Maybe a couple rounds of Rogue Legacy. I picked it up after Teti’s review, and it’s pretty great. Not only is it basically an infinite Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (complete with all of the classic Castlevania powerups) but it just controls beautifully. Really fun game to play.

    • SamPlays

      Actually, knowing Chino Moreno significantly ups your “cool guy” cred. That’s not me being snarky – I’ve fully, completely descended Snark Mountain. 

  • KidvanDanzig

    After playing the new Walking Dead DLC (still great and gripping, even in vignette form) I wanted to shoot some zombies so it was either State of Decay or Left 4 Dead 2. I’m a bit burnt out on the former so the latter it was. Does anyone have it on Steam and would like to play it with me? I try not to offer myself to the mercy of randomized placement

    • TaumpyTearrs

       I lost Marcus on State of Decay this morning and got really upset. I had been playing for an hour, he had done like 3 different missions or calls for help, and I decided to raid the liquor store before going home. I got impatient on the last container and quick searched, and the noise drew a shit ton of zombies in the back door even though there wasn’t a horde near by. I got mobbed like I never have before, literally no chance to swing or move between getting grabbed by zombies. And when I tried to jump out of the big front window, the game wouldn’t let me. I realized I could firebomb myself to get away, but that was after I already went down twice so it was too late. NOOOOOO!!!

      I lost two of the other early characters when I was learning how to play, but I was hopeful to keep Marcus alive the whole time since he is the character you start as. He was also my powerhouse, with a fully leveled Blunt Weapons skill (the replica mace I found was his favored weapon) and the wrestling slam move that is probably the quickest and most stamina-effective killing tool.

      I’ve leveled a few other characters decently, but was experimenting with firearms specializations with all of them. Now I need to level somebody up quick so I can do another melee specialization since they are more useful and he was my only one.

      • KidvanDanzig

        Marcus is definitely a heavy hitter, and once you get past that initial “oh shit gotta stay quiet” phase and realize combat is not a death sentence, you can easily get Marcus up to full fight / powerhouse skill by the time you leave the ranger station. Marcus is basically built for heavy weapons – he’s got ridiculous carry weight and the powerhouse skill reduces stamina costs and increases crit likelihood. Dude is a beast.

        For that reason a lot of people find the game too easy. And it IS really easy, once you figure out the game’s patterns. But people found a pretty clever way of shaking things up and adding tension to the game – because all characters can and will die permanently, you can kill of Marcus and Maya shortly after they make it out of the park (while in the park they never become exhausted or take wound penalties). 

        However, the game doesn’t end when your two playable characters bite it. The game will instead have an (apparently randomly generated) survivor NPC show up to the church and become the new main character. Meanwhile morale at the church has taken a heavy hit due to the three deaths (the mauled friend dies if neither Maya or Marcus make it) and influence will be in very short supply, and it will be on the new character to turn things around single-handedly, at least until he/she can convince non-psychotic or alcoholic survivors to join.

        I used the trick and got an athletic German engineer who thanks Jesus after successfully completing a mission and says THE LORD GUIDES MY HAND when braining zombies instead of yelling a stock “fuck you”. It’s great fun.

      • Kyle O’Reilly

         I’ve been playing as the “yellow-jacket” lady most of the game and also lost Marcus during one of his AI call for helps, so he died when I wasn’t controlling him.  It was in that stupid diner on the edge of town and I just had to swing wildly to save just myself as I watched poor Marcus on the ground being mobbed.  *sniff*

  • NakedSnake

    So yea, I finally broke down and bought Euro Truck Simulator 2. There are too many unanswered questions about this game that I need to get to the bottom of. Like how the $%&* do I get out of this %*$& parking lot? Anyhow, I can’t spend my idle time talking, since it’s supposed to take 4 hours to take my shipment of toys from Paris to Lille.

    • NakedSnake

      For those of you who also have burning questions about this game: YES you have to wait at red lights or face a hefty fine; YES people will pass or line up behind you because you’re going too slow; NO the game does not simulate the accumulation of bug splatter on your windscreen that normally accompanies long drives; and NO you cannot, as far as I can tell, drive the truck straight through a gas station and relish the carnage that ensues.

      • Effigy_Power

        Well now I don’t need to play it anymore.

    • ProfFarnsworth

      Cha Ching! Now I have a delivery crew to help fund my research.  @Fluka:disqus , you’ll need to help me with all assorted lengths of wires.  Who wants to be captain?

      • NakedSnake

        Alright! I’m a delivery boy!

      • Fluka

        Assorted lengths of wires?!  I’m absolutely crazy about assorted lengths of wires!

      • Effigy_Power

        Bite my shiny metal boobs!

    • vinnybushes

       Yeah I just bought it too. I just spent four months driving almost five hundred miles a week and spending almost as much time complaining about it. Now I will be spending my free time happily driving a virtual truck around a virtual Europe, making virtual euros. I… I don’t know what to believe anymore. My worldview has shattered.

      • NakedSnake

        Haha, I won’t lie, part of my motivation in buying it is that I have driven 7,500 miles in the past 5 weeks and am itching to hit the road again. 

    • dmikester

      You just reminded me that I recently downloaded Robot Vacuum Simulator 2013 (the epic sequel to Robot Vacuum Simulator 2012), and that I now must drop everything I’m doing and play it.  I’ll be back in 2014 when Robot Vacuum Simulator 2014 is released and the trilogy is finally complete.

      • NakedSnake

        Woah, I guess that’s a real thing, too. On the strength of your recommendation I just checked it out. Campaign mode was pretty solid, with some real challenging table legs to get around, but the ending was a bit abrupt.

        • dmikester

          Yes, exactly.  Kind of a metaphor for real life, in a way.

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

      Speaking of strange simulators, have you ever wanted to clean up after Master Chief or Commander Shepard? If so, then Viscera Cleanup Detail is for you!

    • Fluka

      Play it, man!  For science!

  • rvb1023

    Trying to Platinum some Demon’s Souls, but farming for Pure Bladestone is a nightmare. Did recently pick up Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen so I will definitely be trying that in the future.

    On handhelds still slogging my way through PxZ, waiting for the little SMTIV in the coming days.

    On computer finally forcing myself through the wonderful yet frequently crashing Sanitarium. Creepy old adventure games ahoy.

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

      I picked up a used copy of Demon’s Souls yesterday; I beat the game a few years ago, but haven’t played it since then, and was curious what it would be like after playing so much Dark Souls. (The answer, so far: mostly the same, but the fact that I can’t level up yet is a bummer. Oh, and you get way less souls for killing cannon fodder. And that fucking parry move! I’d forgotten about that. On the plus side, soul arrow seems pretty damn broken.) 

      I’ve been in a weirdly nostalgic mood for all kinds of games lately. I’m halfway through a replay of Batman: Arkham Asylum, and I picked up a three for one deal on the Prince Of Persia games, which I used to love. Odds are, I’ll play the first couple hours of a bunch of these, and then get bored, but I have a soft spot for going back to stuff I’ve played before. I can count on one hand the number of modern games I’ve played through more than once, but the appeal is still there.

      • neodocT

        I bought the entire Prince of Persia series on Steam a few years ago, replayed the first two games and forgot about the rest!

        I should really go back, I love those games… 

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

          This isn’t exactly the highest recommendation, but I find them soothing, and one of my favorite series to play while watching MST3K episodes on my computer.

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

          It gets repetitive after a while, but I highly recommend you try the 2008 Prince of Persia reboot. It’s 5 years old now, but its cel-shaded graphics hold up so well that it’s better-looking than most games these days. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

        • Zack Handlen

          I think that was the first game I owned for the PS3. A bit repetitive, but yeah, gorgeous, and the ending was great.

        • neodocT

          I’ll definitely try it! (pending that I remember that I have the game and not simply forget about it, as was the case last time)

    • Mike Wolf

       I played a fair bit of Dark Souls, but never finished it, and fairly recently got myself a PS3 along with Demon’s Souls.

      Between the two, I’m finding Demon’s a whole lot better, despite being the older title. Right now though I’m stuck wherever I go; 1-4 is too hard to pass, especially with the trio of Black Phantoms at the start, I don’t seem to have any way to do enough damage to 3-2′s Maneater (though I’ve not tried Firestorm), and I don’t really fancy trying 4-2 or, well, going to world 5 at all, ever.

      I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy Dark Arisen. The original Dragon’s Dogma — which is present in its entirity in DA — was a very good game, reminiscent of a party-based (though still singleplayer) Souls title, and DA includes all the DLC for it (about £30 worth, I think) as well as an expansion area that I’ve not touched but is apparently pretty substantial.

      • rvb1023

         Starting it today actually, and as far as Demon’s Souls is concerned the 3-2 and the boss of 1-4 are the hardest parts of the game. 3-2 in particular I got caught on for the longest time, given that Maneater gives you very few chances to get in even before his friend shows up.

        And honestly, getting to him was tough because World 3 genuinely frightened me.

        • Mike Wolf

           Yeah, Tower of Latria generally is really, really creepy. Absolutely nailed the atmosphere for that world; especially nasty when you’ve got those vicious Mind Flayer guys wandering around. Combining a prison and a cult/religious location… I’ve heard that Valley of Defilement is even more frightening, though, which (perhaps more so than the gameplay reasons) is why I’m not keen to go there anytime soon.

          I’ve found with Maneater I can mitigate most of the attacks from one of them using Warding and Regenerator’s Ring, but I can’t seem to put out enough damage to take one of ‘em down before they team up, whichever tactic I try out. I’m not sure if it’s just a case of leveling up more, or hoping there’ll be a summon sign one day, or what.

          I’m surprised to hear that Adjudicator gives people a lot of trouble, though I can definitely see it being a tougher boss if you go with melee. Again using Warding I wasn’t taking much damage, and a Soul Ray to the guy’s head seemed to do a lot of harm even with fairly modest magic stats.

          Rambling, anyhow, but it’s an interesting game to talk about.

        • rvb1023

           @electricdog:disqus Adjucator I never really had problems with, getting to him was more annoying than he was to fight.

          The Valley of Defilement isn’t outright as creepy but certain NPC’s divulge some information that may make it the worst.

          Magic does tend to break the game quite a bit. I played my first time through as a royal and the most common annoyance was running out of spices.

          And yes, Demon’s and Dark Souls are my two favorite games in recent memory and a big part of that is the fantastic world building and level design. I’m a huge lore guy in most games I and a huge sucker for dark fantasy, so I could spend hours hunting down NPC’s for one or two sentences of new information. I could talk about these games for days. Actually, I’ll go read the wiki now instead of sleeping.

  • SamPlays

    I know these end of week interviews are a mixed bag but I was pleasantly surprised to see Deftones on the site (well, Chino at least). I was a HUGE fan growing up in the 90s – I still remember the first time I saw the video for 7 Words. Being a teen, I naturally mocked it (it wasn’t hard to do) but the song sneaked its way into my taste. Since then I’ve always been able to keep Deftones in my good books – I recently started revisiting a lot of the heavy music from my younger years and there’s a lot I still enjoy from the Deftones catalogue (especially Dai the Flu). Interesting to know that Deftones were playing Mario Kart at the same time I was listening to Deftones and playing Mario Kart.

    Anyways, video games and whatnot.

  • Dave Dalrymple

    I’m in the process of getting all the skill points etc. in Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando. It’s nice to be doing something that requires focus and persistence. 

    If I need a break from that, I’ll play an RPG of some sort. I might dive back into Ni No Kuni, or play something older. 

  • Chewbacca Abercrombie

    I just finished playing Earthbound earlier this week and loved it. Can’t believe I never knew about it until very recently. When it asked for my favorite food at the beginning I chose “poop” and every time I talked to the mom she would say “Go eat some poop and go to bed.” Also, when you get to one of the “Your Sanctuary”s, “You smell some poop suddenly, but only for a second.” This never stopped being funny to me for the whole playthrough. I’m so immature sometimes.

    This weekend I’ll probably be playing a lot of Alundra, a game I picked up purely because when I saw it I’d never heard of it and when I looked it up it sounded interesting. So far I really like it. It’s a lot like Legend of Zelda, but much darker and with way more and way harder puzzles. I think I’ve played two of the main dungeons so far and it seems like almost every room contains a puzzle, some of which take some serious thought to figure out. My only complaint so far really is the lack of an overworld map, but that might just be something I expect from years of playing Zelda games. When I hit a puzzle that’s too hard I’ve been taking a break from Alundra by playing Parasite Eve. I’ve also carried over my immaturity to Parasite Eve in giving the chick the name “Vagina” Brea, which makes me laugh every time someone dramatically calls for help or anything like that. I have to say I do like the fighting style in Parasite Eve a lot more than most turn-based games. Being able to run around to evade attacks instead of just relying on luck or button mashing to avoid getting hit adds a little tension and is a bit more satisfying.

    I’ll probably get back to Fallout 3 and Far Cry 3 eventually, but it’s been kind of nice getting away from the Xbox for awhile and playing some older games. I’m also seriously considering getting Fallout and Fallout 2 sometime soon, but have absolutely no idea if they’re worth it. I’m assuming they would be, but not sure enough to buy them yet.

    • The_Misanthrope

       I’ve made forays into Earthbound before, but never quite finished it.  As amusing as it is, it’s also a very “grind-y” RPG and I often get tired of that before long.  On the plus side, it auto-skips random encounters that you can overwhelm in battle.  More RPGs need to incorporate something like that.

      • Dave Dalrymple

        I never found Earthbound to be too grindy. I did, however, feel that cheap deaths came far too often.

    • neodocT

       Fallout is pretty good, but somewhat dated. It’s a good introduction to the Fallout world, but you might not need that.

      Fallout 2, however, is fantastic. It’s got a great world, memorable story and is one of the most darkly hilarious games I ever played. If you’re into isometric RPGs, it’s definitely worth it.

      • uselessyss

        I remember trying to play the first Fallout a few years ago, and not getting very far at all.

        It was so free-form I was overwhelmed. “Wait, that’s all the instruction you’re going to give me? You’re not going to tell me how the factions work? I don’t get tutorial pop-up messages? What am I supposed to do now?  Hello….. hello?”

        I should give it a try again sometime. I do remember being very impressed with the atmosphere, and I think its style holds up very well for a 15-year old game.

  • DrFlimFlam

    In playing Mario Karts aplenty with my own child, I can safely say Mario Kart Wii is the best on for group play. I loved Double Dash!! to the point where I beat every single part of that game that can be beaten, despite the dogged AI, but Mario Kart Wii is such an improved multiplayer experience. It’s not even close.

    I’ll be playing Super Mario 3D Land, collecting enough coins to unlock the last level, Animal Crossing New Leaf, perhaps some ME2 again, and whatever strikes me on Steam.

    I started an actual classic/hard run of Fire Emblem but then failed to recruit Donnel.  He’s SO GOOD that I’m thinking of scrapping several hours to start all over.

    • Effigy_Power

      I have a very similar experience with that same album on a Road Trip I took with some friends in 2000. It was one of a small number of albums we had with is and I can pretty much not listen to any track without imagining the sound of a big old Ford engine humming along to it. That and the heat. And that weirdo in the Mojave who sold lizards. And that truck full of nuns.
      It was a weird trip, literally and figuratively.

  • HobbesMkii

    I finally got around to purchasing Mass Effect 3 (at a greatly discounted price) so I will be playing that and seeing if all my posturing about how I thought it was the right call to change the ending was really the right call. Xena and Jesus Shepards will have their respective moments.

    I will also be playing a lot of the World of Warplanes open beta. I think it’s a pretty damn good game, better than World of Tanks, perhaps. But I have recently achieved the bit where it gets all grindy and frustrating.

    And last but not least: I WILL BE BUYING ALL THE GAMES! MUAAHAHAHAHA! (if they are marked off at greater than 50% off, because I still need to pay the rent and such).

    • PaganPoet

      How does one pronounce “Jesus” Shepard? I’m hoping someone other than me made a South American Shepard.

      • HobbesMkii

        It is indeed “Hey, Zeus!” 

    • Effigy_Power

      If you’re worrying about rent, you have no right to call yourself a devoted gamer. PAWN YOUR STUFF… the Borderlands 2 DLC alone is like 45 bucks, so get to it!

  • dmikester

    Yeah, with my puppy and multiple summer projects I’ve barely been able to find the time to comment here, much less play videogames.  If I get to anything, it’s iOS related, which reminds me that I need to pick up Deus Ex: The Fall and try it out this weekend.  I’ll probably also keep slowly going through the Phoenix Wright games, which I love to pieces.

  • stakkalee

    More two-fisted gaming for me and my buddy, him in EVE Online farming some asteroids, me in Fallout 3 collecting bobbleheads, and the shared game being Fall From Heaven, where my pirate civilization and his mage civilization are just starting out.  It’s gonna be fun.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      The hardest part of mining in EVE is not falling asleep.  BORING!  But don’t use macros, ‘cuz those are against the rules!

      • stakkalee

        I’m trying really hard to get into EVE because it does seem right up my alley, but it’s a “realistic” space simulator in the same way 2001: A Space Odyssey is realistic, ie. slow and boring.

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          THRILL to the excitement of hunting down a war target with your corporation!

          SLUMP IN DISGUST as you realize even chasing down an enemy on the run is fucking boring, because it takes 90 minutes just to learn that you’ve lost them or they logged out.

        • Effigy_Power

          The ability of people to log out is really the biggest coffin nail in the game. Sure, you can’t just use that to flee combat (at least I’d hope not), but a persistent world is only ever a compromise, because the people living therein are not persistent…
          I wish I could love EVE, but I can’t… it’s just too dull.

  • EmperorNortonI

    This week was a big bounce-back from the two previous weeks, which were utter and total hell.  I had just started to play around with Company of Heroes 2 when the shit hit the fan, and had to set it down as too exhausting for a while.  Then, when I got back into it this week, I find that they had totally nerfed the Russians to the point where the game isn’t really all that fun in MP.  Yeah, maybe if you’re an ace you can hack it, but for ordinary folk there’s no way past an early-game German lockdown, with the buffed MG42′s and de-buffed Russian MG’s and useless Russian tanks and all.

    So I uninstalled it, as I knew I would compulsively bang my head against the wall in futility.  I don’t need that in my life.  I’ll maybe try again in a few weeks, and see if things are any better.  But right now, the combination of reduced complexity compared to the original, the irrelevance of the winter mechanics to the overall flow of the game, the blatant disregard for the strength of Russian hardware, and the degree to which the “balance” upgrades seem to be kowtowing to the whining Nazi fetishists on the boards who will complain the moment a Russian unit does anything competent, ever, I know it will just be bad for me.

    So yeah.  While I was down, I’d gotten Call of Juarez Gunslinger, and was enjoying it a great deal.  I’ll continue doing that.

    While IRL crap had also induced me to step back from the Gameological Game Project, I also hope to start keeping up with that again.  I’m also thinking about trying to teach myself Unity, and working on a couple of board-game-type projects I’ve had in my head for a while.  I’d picked up Phantom Leader for the iPad, and noticed it was a Unity product, and as it’s got a lot of visual and interface similarities to the game I was imagining, I think that might work for me.  Presuming I follow through.

    • DrFlimFlam

       Hope the flow of crap subsides.

    • ProfFarnsworth

      I completely empathize with the flow of crap.  It seems to just keep coming and coming.  Hopefully this is getting near the end of the ‘heavier’ load for you.

  • Jackbert

    Urgh. I should finish Fire Emblem: Awakening, since I have just one more chapter, but for some reason I’ve got it in my head that I need to grind all my squad to a level 20 advanced class. This is really stupid, but I can’t pull myself away, even though I’ve been grinding for the last ELEVEN HOURS of game time.

    Urgh. I want to platinum Lego Batman 2, but I’d have to do all the levels over again using a guide so I don’t miss anything, and that’s an onerous undertaking. I’ve been procrastinating that by free-roaming for gold bricks, but the fun of that has worn off after SEVEN HOURS of it.

    Urgh. I should play something on Steam, but I have way too many games untouched, and I can’t decide which to choose.

    Basically, I’m in a gaming rut. I’ll probably be reading a lot.

    • DrFlimFlam

      The Junior FlimFlam has been great at opening up LEGO games but he’s not so good at mastering individual levels so much as he is at amassing studs.

      How are you playing Awakening? I grinded relationships a bunch, but playing without permadeath on Easy wasn’t difficult at all. It was just a dry run to really get a handle on the skills, seals, and scions.

      • Jackbert

        Oh, hahahahahaha, no way, I don’t need to grind like this. The game is easy. But I still am. As for relationships, everyone is married, including kids, except for Stahl and Cynthia, who were the leftover odd number from each generation, and Say’ri, who had no spousal options besides the already married Jack. About half of my kids have maxed relationships with both their parents, the rest are still on C with both. I might also grind to change that as well.

  • duwease

    Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014.  Next week it will be Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014.  The week after that it will be Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014.  I just love Sealed Mode.. plus my limited free time means it’ll be quite awhile yet before I unlock everything to unlock.

    The good news about this crippling addiction is that it allows me an excuse to ignore the Steam sales.  I’ll probably regret it when I play full price for Rogue Legacy in a month, but at the same time I won’t pay half price for 10 other games that I play for an hour..

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       I paid full price for Rogue Legacy (which is only $15) and I don’t regret it for a second.  I’ve got more than my money’s worth already and I’ve only beaten the first boss.

    • Mike Wolf

       Not sure if it’s just me, but there seems to be a far greater degree of The Computer Is A Cheating Bastard in DotP ’14 than in the previous instalments. It’s put me off it more than somewhat.

      • duwease

        I actually thought the AI was a little dumber this year.  However there are three staggeringly good aggro decks this year, so if you’re playing those it’s easy to be frustrated as they counter any attempts to slow them pretty easily and just keep swinging.  That’s why I’m glad they included Sealed.. the balance among the preconstructed decks leans heavily to those three fast decks.

  • Kyle O’Reilly

    Tomorrow I head out for the Grand Tetons so there won’t be much video gaming for me, and tonight, you figure I’d be gorging on State of Decay or Rogue Legacy to get it all in but no, there are two things on the agenda tonight:
    1) finish packing
    2) PACIFIC GODDAM RIM

    I know this isn’t the AV Club but come on everybody!  IT’s a goddam giant robot movie from the dude who the Devil’s Backbone! GET PUMPED!!!!

    • DrFlimFlam

      Oh man, the Grand Tetons. Enjoy yourself!

    • uselessyss

      Today’s my birthday, and as someone who was obsessed with Godzilla as a kid, the fact that Pacific Rim comes out today is almost too good.

      • Effigy_Power

        Felicitations.

      • Kyle O’Reilly

         Yeah! Happy Birthday man!

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

      Giant robots fighting giant monsters is all my inner twelve year old ever wanted to see. I’m definitely going to see that.

  • neodocT

    My project to play the entirety of the Metal Gear Solid series came to a close when I finished Metal Gear Solid 3 this week. I absolutely loved this game. It took me a while to figure out how the new sneaking system worked, but it truly was remarkable, and forced you to be much sneakier than in previous games. Also, it’s no wonder that it’s considered the best in the series: it’s the only one that doesn’t tell the story almost exclusively through Codec calls! I mean, I enjoy the Codec aspects of the game, but when the characters stop in the middle of a cutscene and jump to Codecs “so they won’t be heard”, it comes off as lazy.

    I immediately fired up Metal Gear Solid 4 (which was the only one I’d played before), but I’m not sure I have the patience to finish it, as much as I would enjoy finally making sense of that game’s story.

    I’m moving to the US next month, so I have a ton of preparations that are taking up a lot of my time. I don’t know exactly how I’ll be able to focus on gaming, but I’ll try to play when I can. If not MGS4, maybe Skyrim, which I bought from Steam yesterday, though I’d promised myself I’d wait until the end of the summer sale because I’m sure the price will be even lower then.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       ”I would enjoy finally making sense of that game’s story.”

      Yeah, Metal Gear Solid 4, won’t really help with that, sad to say.  There is an entire chapter essentially devoted to a cutscene that is supposed to explain the Patriots (or la-le-lu-le-lo if you will), and all I remember from that is thinking “What the hell is this lady talking about?  Where are my nanomachines dammit!?!”

      • neodocT

         Hah, I remember that you meet the woman I now realize was EVA in a church, and she spent some 40 minutes explaining how everyone from the 60s got together to create the Patriots. And something about Ocelot brainwashing himself to believe that Liquid’s arm was controlling him, but he was actually a good guy all along?

        I don’t expect it to make perfect sense, but at least now I’ll know who the characters are! Plus, the gameplay in MGS4 is really good, when the game actually lets you play.

  • indy2003

    I’ll be continuing Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward on the PS Vita. About 18 hours in right now and have found it to be one of the most unique and compelling gaming experiences I’ve ever had. I had heard some folks say that playing 999 beforehand was basically a requirement, but I don’t own a 3DS, so I just jumped into this one when it was offered for free on PS+. I have to say, I haven’t felt lost at any point – perhaps there’s even greater depth here for those who have played the earlier game, but I’m finding it a tremendous self-contained experience. 

    Speaking of PS+, I also downloaded Battlefield 3 for free on the PS3. I’m not really a military FPS sort of guy, but I figured I’d give it a shot. I mean, such things can be a nice change-of-pace now and then – I played the first Black Ops campaign and found it to be good dumb fun. However, the Battlefield 3 campaign is unbelievably tedious. Somehow, the creators found a way to suck the fun out of missions that seem like they would almost have to be kinda fun. I don’t tend to give up on games too easily, but after that ridiculously dull jet fighter mission (which I initially thought would a nice change of pace) sealed the deal. So, I decided that I would try the famed multiplayer, even though I’m not a multiplayer guy in general. I got booted out by an administrator the first couple of times I tried to jump in. The third time, I landed in the middle of a warehouse, looked around for a second, and suddenly heard someone shouting at me:

    “Out of my way, f—–!”

    And then somebody shot me in the face and I was dead.

    *sigh*

    So, yeah, no more Battlefield 3 for me.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       Awww, it makes me sad that the barrier for entry into  military shooters like BF3 can be so daunting. 

      It’s kind of like Mahjong, looking from the outside in, it looks confusing and complicated as all hell but you can tell the people doing it are really, really into it.

  • aklab

    I’m near the end of The Secret of Monkey Island. At least I think I am; I’m circling around the eponymous island in a rowboat. It lives up to its reputation — I can’t remember the last time I literally laughed out loud at a game so often. 

    Also making some progress in Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. Just now getting to the point where I can walk across the map without getting killed in every random encounter. Loving the world of the game though. 

    Also playing through Dead Space again to psych myself up to play Dead Space 2. 

  • Aurora Boreanaz

    I finished The Walking Dead: 400 Days the night before last.  Entertaining, but as others have said, you don’t really get enough time to empathize much with anyone.  I managed to get everyone but Vince onboard at the end.

    Tomorrow I’ll be seeing Weird Al in concert again, this time at the Stanislaus County Fair, with my little bro who hasn’t seen him live yet.  Should be a blast, if it’s anywhere near as good as his show I saw last year!

    In between those, more Neverwinter.  Last weekend in a fit of frustration I deleted all of my characters (for similar reasons to Chino Moreno above – spending too much time on games that could be spent more productively), and then started over on my control wizard.

  • Citric

    The heat is chasing me upstairs into the only room with air conditioning, which means handhelds. I should probably finish Radiant Historia, I’m on the last boss which is one of those annoying multi-part JRPG affairs. I find my patience for those has waned as I have grown up, but RH seems like a game I should beat instead of just watching the ending on a certain tube of yous, just because there’s some variation built in from what I understand. Otherwise, I started Sands of Destruction, which is intriguing, and Bomberman 2, which is better than I expected.

    • neodocT

       I recall that skipping turns was absolutely essential to the last battle, and when you could chain together some 20+ attacks in a turn, the battle got considerably easier. My main problem with the game’s battle system, actually, is that the importance of the turn-skipping thing was pretty glossed over.

      And who’s your party, by the way? By endgame I was using Stocke, Gafka and either Aht, pretty much exclusively.

      • Citric

        I’ve been using Stocke, Gafka and Raynie for the most part. Aht seems like she’d be pretty useless in that last battle, her traps wouldn’t work, but I suppose her healing is potent so maybe I should sub her in.

        I also think I might be under leveled – Level 50 – but I got this far so it should be enough.

        • neodocT

           Yeah, Aht’s traps are useless in the last battle, but her healing’s great, and she can attack multiple times, which really helps to increase the combo multiplier thingie for more damage.

          And I can’t recall whether you’re under or overleveled, but I never really stopped to grind when I played, so you should be all right.

  • ChicaneryTheYounger

    Civ 5 Gold and Brave New World are in the Steam flash sale for the next hour and a half. Someone buy them so I’m not alone.

  • uselessyss

    I’m right in the middle of Red Dead Redemption. If I had to guess, I think I’m about a third of the way through the game – I would have made it farther if the game didn’t keep crashing on me.

    It’s fantastic. I’m completely in awe of it – I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that there are so few Western games out there. It’s also very clearly a game that was a long time coming – the amount of work that went into must be insane.

    I also picked up a bunch of games from the GOG summer sale, so I might start up Deus Ex for the first time. Looking forward to it.

  • stuartsaysstop

    I think I might need to return to New Vegas. Not that it’s been that long. I was playing last Friday, finally at the strip after completing most quests that didn’t require me to go there, and on looking at the wiki to get clarification on the Omerta quest I learned that I essentially had locked myself out of several quests. So instead of attempting to figure out how far I needed to go back to amend my error, or if it was even worth it, I quit out and decided to start Remember Me (my fiance picked it up a while back and played it for maybe an hour). It’s a decent game, cool setting and combat system, but otherwise I can’t stand the controls. Moving around is a chore, the environments are extremely restrictive, and it keeps introducing new and entirely unnecessary mechanics. I’m sure I’ll beat it eventually, but I’ll be bitching the whole way.

    Oh and I started XCOM: Enemy Unknown as well, having been gifted it a while back. I have literally never played a tactical RPG(?) in my life, and even on easy it’s daunting and unforgiving to the unitiated, but I will persevere!

    • Fluka

      I honestly don’t understand how anyone can finish the NCR storyline without a wiki or PC commands, given how incredibly buggy the Omerta quest is.

      • Dave Dalrymple

        The worst thing about the NCR was that accidentally walking too close to their train terminal would cause the faction to turn suddenly hostile toward you. I took a wrong turn while looking for a quest-giver, and became suddenly fucked.

      • Effigy_Power

        Unless you kill everyone. It solves a lot of bugs.

  • Citric

    On Steam sale nonsense: How is my PC too weak to run Fez? I mean, I recognize that it’s an old box, I bought it really long ago, but Fez, it should still be able to handle Fez! According to the system requirements, it is not.

  • Roswulf

    My gaming plans for the weekend involve hopefully cajoling my girlfriend into a round of Twilight Struggle. All electronic gaming plans are held up by the self-destruction of my computer.

    Although I may play the great game of self control, with the Steam Summer Sale 2013 DLC. No self, do not buy Fez. You do not like complicated platformers. You will not LIKE Fez. I don’t care if it’s only five dollars…maybe if it goes down to THREE we can talk…

  • mizerock

    “The time that he spent mastering any one of these games, he can master a recording software like Reason or Fruity Loops.”

    Rock Band 3 is one of the very few games I ever played that I felt like I was investing my time in something wise, rather than game-specific skills. Don’t get me wrong, I love gaming, but I always wished I could find something that allowed me to translate my endless enthusiasm for computers in order to be able to learn a useful skill. Either a software suite (Adobe Premiere) or an instrument (several MIDI keyboard programs I’ve bought over the years). Rock Band was the only one I ever got hooked on and made that come true, at least to some extent. No, not with the plastic guitars, I’m talking about the keyboard peripheral, and the real Fender guitar, and even the drums and singing involved actual musical performance.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      Yeah!  I got the pro guitar in the hopes that I could at least figure out regular chords.

      I failed horribly.

      I was doing pretty well with the keyboard, but then we packed up all the RB instruments in storage to free up space.

      • mizerock

        Having to play the Fender with the mute on makes it a little more tricky, you lose the feedback between your strumming hand and chord hand. Rocksmith lets you play through the speakers, with any guitar, but then you get to hear exactly how awful you are. So the mute has its advantages …

        Having taking lessons for a year in HS helped me a bit, as the basic chord skills do come back (and so do the callouses). But changing chords, at full song speed? So damn tricky! It takes weeks and months of practice, though the game has songs of every level (and 5 levels within each song) so that it’s not impossible to play something resembling a real song before you work your way up to a Face Melting Solo.

        Hang on to that Fender, if there’s any chance you’ll want to give it another chance, it would be expensive to replace if you changed your mind. Or sell it to a worthy RB enthusiast. Or hold out for big bucks.

        Yeah, if the game isn’t on your regular rotation it’s easy to forget about when it’s all packed up. I didn’t think the keyboard took up much space, it’s the drums that require a real committment to the game to keep out (or to take out regularly).

  • Effigy_Power

    Once again Agnello lands a big one.

    This weekend I have no idea what to play, the choice is too much. Civ5′s DLC looks like real fun, I have XCOM to finish, want to get some DoW2 Last Stand going…
    Probably just gonna get high and play Planetside 2 again.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

      “Probably just gonna get high and play Planetside 2 again.”

      You’re living the dream, Eff.  Living the dream.

      • Effigy_Power

        My aspirations know no bounds… dude.

    • EmperorNortonI

       Last Stand is a lot of fun!

  • evanwaters

    The new XCOM is part of the Steam Sale and I’ve always wanted to try it.

    I’ve had issues with my laptop getting really hot as of late, and though games will do it I’ve found the biggest culprit appears to be Firefox and various subprocesses it triggers which somehow eat up the entire CPU and start the system overclocking. Even if the system never really crashes, with the weather what it is the last thing I need is my Macbook Pro acting as a space heater.

    I have found time for Crusader Kings II. I’m now on William the Conqueror’s son Robert and the big problem appears to be the Neverending Crusade- nobody ever has a decisive enough advantage to end the damn thing and it’s a drain on your resources and morale when you’re trying to deal with various Lords who will always conspire against you. (I could always stop contributing but it’s like force of habit.) Of course, starting as the King of England was probably not the best idea for my first game.

    Have made some progress on Skyrim- past the first major mission and your first dragon shout, so now that I’ve got some actual power and the right to own land and stuff I’m gonna start properly sandboxing.

    Civ V remains entertaining though it’s also incredibly swingy- how well I do really seems to depend entirely on land placement and how many other players there are. Brave New World is calling my name.

  • http://rsmithing.com/ Richard Smith

    Thanks for interviewing Chino. The Deftones are one of the great bands of our time.

  • http://www.avclub.com/users/mattman-begins,89632 Mattman Begins

    *prepares to fire up Mass Effect 3 for another go at the INSANELY difficult final battle in the Citadel DLC*

    *reads Chino Moreno’s comments on the nature of productivity vs. recreation*

    *gazes at neglected acoustic guitar in corner, gently weeping at my continual postponement of learning its magical ways before I die*

    *lip quivers*

    *returns with furrowed, determined brow to PC to fire up Origin Network*

    *recalls that the Deftones’ “Change (In The House Of Flies)” and their cover of Sade’s “No Ordinary Love” kick much ass*

    *further recalls that Christmas when I traded in that drum machine for a copy of Sid Meier’s Covert Action that resulted in countless hours of super-fun gaming, smiles*

    *wonders about alternate-universe identity as the next Trent Reznor if I’d kept the drum machine instead, stops smiling*

    *gets a really intense thousand-yard stare*

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.tuttle.79 Andy Tuttle

    I was going to play video games this weekend until I realized that it was wasting all of my time. 

  • Goon Diapers

    If it takes Tony Hawk to make White Pony, then every musician should play Tony Hawk when they are recording.