What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Rayman Legends

The Back Nine

You’ve professed your favorites of the year, but what game are you looking forward to?

By The Gameological Society Staff • July 26, 2013

In lieu of an interview for this week, we decided to do a sort of Q&A encore. Yesterday, we asked for everyone’s favorites of the year so far, and today, we want to know what everyone’s looking forward to most as we enter the second half of the year. So tell us in the comments what you’re planning to play this weekend and beyond.

Drew Toal

I’m pretty pumped for Planetary Annihilation, the Kickstarted successor to the beloved real-time robot war game Total Annihilation. The story, I think, has something to do with clones fighting artificial-intelligence drones and using up planetary resources to fuel their remorseless armies. But never before have you actually been able to fight planet to planet, set up strategic moon bases, or hurl asteroids at your opponent’s forces. I’m about to go all Deep Impact on these Elijah Wood-looking fools, and this time there will be no Morgan Freeman to save them. I don’t know yet if players will actually be able to actually destroy entire planets, Death Star-style, but I look forward to finding out.

John Teti

I’m looking forward to Watch Dogs. The premise, in which cities are run by supercomputers (just like the fantasies in all those IBM commercials) and hackers exploit that deep interconnection for their own aims, is such a promising match for an open-world structure. My expectation is that the hacking element will amount to superpowers along the lines of the inFamous games; my hope is for more nuance and complexity than that. There’s an opportunity here for this game to be something more than a playground, to serve as a commentary on the seemingly unstoppable integration of computer intelligence into every fiber of our day-to-day lives. Or maybe the game will surprise me with something else altogether. We’ll see.

Derrick Sanskrit

For me, it’ll be damn hard for any game this year to out-hype Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney—Dual Destinies. The original Phoenix Wright trilogy had plenty of outrageous characters, wild plot-twists, and sharp (if sometimes broken) translated dialogue. The third game, Trials And Tribulations, has one of the most emotionally affecting endings I’ve experienced, only rivaled recently by the likes of Journey and The Walking Dead. I’m in the minority on this, but I also loved Apollo Justice, Wright’s protégé and the titular hero of the fourth Ace Attorney game. He brought a fresh perspective to the courtroom drama, and his unique abilities spawned a new level of excitement for testimonies. Plus, he wore a vest, and vests are cool. Then, there was Ghost Trick, the great one-off ghost detective story from the Ace Attorney team. I was already excited to see what they were working on next. Knowing that it’s a whole new Ace Attorney game with Wright and Justice working side-by-side? There are not enough memes of Philip J. Fry to express my desire to have this game right now. Also, Wright wears a vest this time too. Yeah, vests!

Matt Gerardi

It’s hard to choose just one. I’ve been enamored with the bits and pieces I’ve been able to play of Sportsfriends, a collection of offline-friendly multiplayer indie games. I’ve sunk more hours into the frenetic early versions of SportsfriendsBaraBariBall and Super Pole Riders than most other games released this year. I’m also looking forward to Rayman Legends, the sequel to 2011’s stellar Rayman Origins. It looks to be everything I’d want from a sequel to that game: more zaniness, more beautiful cartoon worlds, more challenge. One level I played at E3, which the developer running the show said was the hardest in the demo, was a thrilling desert stage built to the tune of a mariachi-style “Eye Of The Tiger.” We clawed our way through the stage, and I was only aided by my knowledge of the song. (Your jumps and punches need to be in time with the song’s guitar blasts and other elements.) It was tough, but the finale, sliding down an oddly long rope and punching everything in sight while the music reaches its noisy climax, was riveting. The developer told me there were several more musical stages in the game. I want them now.

Anthony John Agnello

Rain, an upcoming game from Sony, is just the sort of thing I’m always looking out for. I love weird environmental puzzles, and I love them even more when they’re part of strange circumstances. Here, a kid accidentally turns invisible and gets stuck in the rain. He can’t take shelter because then no one, including you, the player, would be able to see him. Quirk like that is common, but it’s rare to see a premise this odd given the sheen Rain’s getting on PlayStation 3. Plus, it’s made by PlayStation C.A.M.P., the crew behind last year’s frightening, mesmerizing Tokyo Jungle. Sign me up.

Samantha Nelson

My first impulse is to say Mistborn: Birthright, which is being written by Brandon Sanderson and set in the world of his Mistborn novels. But since I already talked about that game in the fantasy adaptations Q&A, I’m going with Young Justice: Legacy. Weirdly enough, both games are being developed by Little Orbit, and I fear I’m setting myself up for disappointment by getting psyched for an action game from the developer whose previous credits are limited to Barbie Dreamhouse Party and two games based on Monster High. But after the tragic cancellation of the excellent Young Justice animated series, which follows the adventures of a band of sidekicks and other teen superheroes from the DC Comics universe, I have to get my fix somehow. I’m encouraged by the fact that the show’s writers and voice actors are on board here, and I just love so many of the characters. I’m thrilled that I can swap between them—spending some time as both the adorable Miss Martian and the insanely emo Superboy as I smack Lex Luthor and the Riddler around.

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  • Drew Toal

    Playing Shadowrun Returns, which I’m pretty happy with so far. 

    • HobbesMkii

       Same thing. I’m really looking more forward to possibly making my own campaign.

      • PhilWal0

        Yep, Shadowrun Returns and Animal Crossing for me. Turns out Isabelle’s one heck of a rigger.

      • djsubversive

        same here. I figure by the time I’m done with Dead Man’s Switch, I’ll be able to put something together in the editor. Null sweat, chummer. 

        also, meeting Jake Armitage in the morgue was pretty great. Now I’m on the lookout for Joshua. Stark is probably a little too much to hope for, though. :)

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        Can’t wait until I have time to play as well.  Finally located the old email with my Steam key today.

        Also may try to fit in some more Arkham City…I tried to play it when the baby was playing in her playpen earlier this week, and got a whole five minutes in before she wanted to spend time with me.  (Of all of the reasons to have to stop playing a game, a snuggly six-month old baby is at least in the top five.)

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

          1. A natural disaster
          2. Sex
          3. A snuggly six-month old baby
          4. The FBI
          5. Sex

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      The Pathfinder campaign I run was cancelled tonight so the rest of my group could play Shadowrun Returns.  In a lifetime of dorkery, I think it may be the nerdiest thing that’s ever happened to me.

      • Effigy_Power

        I am so proud of you. All that’s missing is the cute neighbor seeing you in the garden swinging a replica Elrond sword with your shirt off.
        Then the coveted medal shall be yours. ^_^

      • Chum Joely

        “The rest” of your group? So you were left standing there in the rain as your friends (shadow)ran off to greater adventures? Nerdy indeed… Why don’t you make one of those nerdy cartoons about it, nerd?

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          Seriously.  I was all Lloyd Dobbler and standing outside their house in my rad trench coat, holding up a copy of Ultimate Combat in both hands.

    • dreadguacamole

       I’m loving it, except for the save system – a game breaking bug already had me replaying about twenty minutes of game.

       But yeah, it’s really, really good. You know how people kept naysaying all these nostalgia-fueled, isometric/top-down (hell, even turn-based!) RPG throwback kickstarter projects?
       They’re wrong. So utterly wrong. I’d love to live in a parallel reality where infinity engine 2 is bigger than the unreal engine and Arcanum got four sequels, but this resurgence is the next best thing. Having new stuff to play in this style feels great, and Wasteland 2, Project Eternity, Antharion and the new Torment can’t come out soon enough.

      • djsubversive

        If Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura got even ONE sequel, I’d be happy.

    • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

      Is it only on Steam? I’d like to actually own it and not just be renting it.

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        If you participated in the Kickstarter you can get a DRM-free version, but it won’t have access to anything past the first DLC pack they release.

        Steam is really the best of the DRMs…I’m impressed that I can still re-download games I bought nearly ten years ago.

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

          I can’t believe Steam is over 10 years old. I didn’t even hear about it until 3 years ago.

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

    High five, Samantha! I thought about saying Young Justice: Legacy as I was also a tremendous fan of the animated series. Waiting months between episodes was agonizing, but there wasn’t a week with a new episode where I didn’t think it was the best damn half-hour on television. I’ll mostly be playing as Zatanna and Kaldur’ahm and I’m pretty much expecting it to be Marvel: Ultimate Alliance with better voice acting.

    • Guest

      Edit: Ah, wrong place. Sorry!

    • Samantha Nelson

      I watch all my TV through Netflix so I didn’t have to deal with that frustration. It works really well to watch in quick sequence since often so little time passes for the characters between episodes. Have you seen Green Lantern: The Animated Series? It’s another great cancelled show.

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

        I watched the live broadcasts using either the Cartoon Network website or iPad app, and GL ran back-to-back with YJ’s second season. GL rubbed me the wrong way for the first few episodes, but I eventually fell in love with its heart. More than anything, I was fascinated by how there were these two action cartoons about superheroes trying to sell action figures and happy meals, but the best part of each was the romance subplots. Razer and Aiya’s doomed relationship was what truly drove Green Lantern, and most of the fun of YJ season one was in the love rhombus of Superboy/Miss Martian/Kid Flash/Artemis, though I was pretty happy everytime Zatanna and Robin shared a scene. Season two got too big with both cast and conspiracy plotting to allow too much romance, but it was probably for the best, even if the show got cancelled. I doubt it will, but I hope the game explains how Miss Martian went from adorable screw-up in season one to stone-cold monster in season two.

        • Samantha Nelson

          Yeah, I absolutely agree. I think the romance between Green Lantern and Hawkgirl in the Justice League series was also one of the lynchpins of that show, even when things were complicated in Justice League: Unlimited. The stories about Batman’s failed romances is Batman Beyond were also some of the most tragic points of that show.

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

          @samantha_nelson:disqus Absolutely. It’s easy to make superhumans smash things and look powerful, but it just feels amazing when you make them feel thoroughly human, and watching the relationship with John Stewart and Shayera Hol, flaws and all, made Justice League compelling. The Batman/Wonder Woman relationship was insanely cute, too, but then, like you said, Batman’s (animated) romantic history is filled with fascinating, heartfelt, and rich stories. You could see that referenced a bit in Green Lantern with all three lead characters, plus a couple of the Star Sapphires, which makes sense as that was the show by Bruce Timm, whose a big ol’ softie.

    • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

      See, I thought it was kind of slow, especially in the beginning. I toughed it out because I kept hoping it would blossom into Justice League but that never happened.

    • George_Liquor

      @dsanskrit:disqus Ever get a chance to play Justice League Heroes?  Zatanna and, to a lesser extent, GL were my go-to characters in that game.

  • Citric

    I can’t resist the siren song of GT6, I like driving in cars too much. Also Metal Gear, I also have an alarming tendency to buy anything with that written on the box.

    As for what I’m playing, Silent Hill: Downpour. Or Silent Hill: Not as good as the old ones but it’s okay I guess.

    • PaganPoet

      I’m with you. I actually quite like the recent Silent Hill games. They’re fun and packed with a few legitimate scares. But they just don’t have the same punch as SH1, 2 or 3.

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

        While Silent Hill: Homecoming is absolutely a retread of the premise behind the series’ best, 2, it does feature one of the coolest “oh!” moments in the series.  After you’ve completed it, rewatch the opening sequence and realize it foreshadows every major incident in the game to come.

        But yeah, I still enjoyed all the post-Team Silent games to varying degrees.  4: The Room did interesting things with structure and featured some great creep-out moments.  Origin stands as just a solid entry with no major flaws, and has one of my favorite monsters, the creepy caged shadows in the insane asylum.  Homecoming, see above.  Shattered Memories is another interesting twist on the premise, and what little I’ve played of Downpour maintains the proper mood so far at least.  I also like Daniel Licht’s spin on the music, and Book of Memories (which I haven’t played but want to once I see it for cheap) has a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMqrpPFHy8Q&quot;?really nice song with Mary Elizabeth McGlynn.

      • Citric

        I wonder if I’d appreciate Downpour more if it didn’t have Silent Hill attached, since that comes with the burden of expectations. Then again, I probably wouldn’t have grabbed it from the Canadian Tire Boxing Day Bin O’ Wonder if it didn’t.

        I’m mostly posting this because I realized I forgot to mention how great the name Murphy Pendleton is. Sounds like an Arrested Development character.

      • ChicaneryTheYounger

         I really want to like Shattered Memories, but the actual game elements of it were terrible in a unique way. If it was made with the same concepts by Quantic Dream it would have been a lot better.

    • Effigy_Power

      I am thinking of buying a PS3 pack that comes with GT6. How does it stack up for someone who stopped playing around the very great GT3?

      • Citric

        GT5 is kind of a mess, if I’m honest. Still like it, but messy, inconsistent quality all around. Feels like a game with a chaotic development.

        I have high hopes for GT6 fixing the issues this fall, even if the GT Academy thing picked the most boring lineup of cars possible. Buying it on launch day like a fool.

        • Effigy_Power

          Well, if you boil it down there aren’t that many different makes and models around globally as they used to. So the car-pool would have to be smaller, unless you include concepts or classical cars.

        • EmperorNortonI

          I might actually buy a Gran Turisimo game if it featured my god awful Toyota Spacio, or a K Truck. Of course, the Spacio would have to come with a parking lot maneuver challenge mode, so as to highlight the only strong point of that godawful piece of trash.

          A K Truck racing mode would be pure hilarity.

        • Citric

          @Effigy_Power:disqus  The problem with GT5 isn’t the variety of cars – there’s still a lot of them – but the inconsistent quality. It’s a weird mix of upgraded PS2 models, models developed sort of at the beginning of development when they didn’t know how elaborate to get, and really nicely rendered models. The tracks were also inconsistent, and some of the events were really poorly done. The online events were excellent though, so I’m assuming that GT6 will actually feel like one game, instead of a collision of 3.

          @EmperorNortonI:disqus You can get a Daihatsu Midget II in GT4 and 5.

      • SamPlays

        The GT franchise has felt stagnant since 4. I’ve gotten more mileage (hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha) out of the Burnout series because crashing cars is infinitely more spectacular than gracefully riding a curve. After all, this is the only reason 99% of people watch car racing.

      • Jackbert

        Well, if it’s anything like GT5, you will have to devote lots of time if you ever want to see top-tier cars. Knowing how hard you worked for it makes that Corvette ZR1 look even better, but I don’t know if you’ll want to spend that much time grinding.

        • Effigy_Power

          GT2 and 3 were also quite grindy to get out of the stank of driving around in Volkswagen Golfs and Honda Civics, knowing that somewhere, 14, 15 hours in, a Shelby 500 would wait for you.

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        I think I stopped playing at GT3 as well.  I was supremely disappointed to finally make my way up to a Dodge Viper, which I’ve always loved the look of, only to realize I couldn’t frickin’ drive it for shit.

        *accelerates, fishtails, flies off road*

        • Effigy_Power

          It’s not much of a “Sportscar”. More like a flatbed with a truck engine on it. I prefer the subtle power of a 4×4 Porsche.

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

        I absolutely love GT5. Not sure how 6 plays, but 5 is top notch. I agree that GT3 was probably the best they’ve done so far, but I mean, come on, they’re racing games. It’s like saying Madden hasn’t gotten any better than 2002, do people really care?

    • Chewbacca Abercrombie

       I actually really liked Downpour. It had some creepy moments and enemies and at least a couple really good jump scares. I think it could have used a little more variety of enemies and some more boss fights, but those are my only real complaints. The story is definitely nowhere near as good as Silent Hill 2, but I honestly don’t expect any of them to be that great. I did really love Homecoming though and according to people on the internet that game supposedly sucked, so I might just be wrong about newer Silent Hill games still being pretty cool.

      • Citric

        I think there’s a burden of expectation rather than the games being bad, but I did really like Origins. Haven’t played Homecoming, can’t find a copy.

        • huge_jacked_man

          Homecoming is on Steam if your PC can run it. 

  • PaganPoet

    I just bought Ico HD and Shadow of the Colossus HD. For as much praise Ico gets, I found it very mediocre. Yorda’s AI is excruciatingly stupid, and the fixed camera angles and strange controls definitely dated it. I didn’t HATE it. The game is quite beautiful and unique, and exploring a giant, abandoned castle was pretty cool. I know the game is like 12 years old at this point, so maybe I should give it a break.

    On to Shadow of the Colossus next, finally time to see what all the hub bub is about.

    Like Matt Gerardi, I am very much looking forward to Rayman Legends. Origins was such an addictive game. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down until I had the platinum trophy. Crisp, clean HD sprites? Toe tappingly catchy music? Cartoony zaniness and slapstick? Punishing yet fair gameplay? I’m there, baby.

    • Enkidum

      Have you played God of War? It’s like Ico with slightly better graphics, ultraviolence, tits, boss battles, and a narrative story of sorts. Plus just jaw-droppingly good level design. 

      • Mercenary_Security_number_4

        There is a lot I don’t like about GoW, but with the puzzles I always thought it made an interesting case for how awesome a Sony-designed Zelda game could be.

      • PaganPoet

        I’ve played them all except the most recent, Ascension. I had a fun time with them, but to be honest, by the time I got to God of War III, I started to get bored with the formula. In my opinion, they share more in common with games like Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden than with Ico.

        • Enkidum

          The puzzles (and the bricks everywhere) feel very Ico-ish to me. I haven’t played past #1, even though I own 2, because I was so happy with #1 that I can’t help but think I’ll be disappointed with anything after it. (Especially given the fact that everyone says that there are rapidly diminishing returns.)

        • neodocT

           @Enkidum:disqus As far as plot, setting, atmosphere and level design, the first God of War is the best in the series. The later games make welcome gameplay adjustments, but the characterization and plot become so laughable, that you may as well forget about it, or maybe pick up a cheap copy of GoWIII solely for the admittedly solid gameplay.

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

        Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is sort of Ico-ish as well, with more action and great level design.

        • huge_jacked_man

          PoP: Forgotten Sands is great too. 

    • Chum Joely

      Yep, totally psyched for Legends (and I’ll be playing on PS3 even though the whole issue of “let’s delay WiiU release until we can do all platforms together” caused quite a bit of strife within Ubisoft). Those musical stages look incredible– from what I’ve seen, they might fill a role similar to the treasure-chest speed run levels on Origins. I hope that means there are 10 or more of them.

    • http://gameological.com/author/mattkodner/ Matt Kodner

      If you had troubles with the camera in Ico, don’t expect it to get any better for Shadow. They give you full rein over the controls, but I recently wasted an hour fighting the camera instead of the third boss. It’s simply not playable, by gum!

    • Crusty Old Dean

      When I bought the HD collection I was shocked to find how boring Ico was. Uninspired puzzles, those damn shadows that you have to hammer into the ground at every turn… I liked it back in the days though, maybe part of it was that it was stunningly beautiful for its time.

      I’m pretty sure SotC has held up better though.

    • neodocT

       Shadow of the Colossus is a much better game than Ico. It’s a beautiful, surprisingly abstract game, and I thought it looked great in the HD collection. It’s a game that is better played slowly, though, exploring this big, beautiful, hauntingly empty world.

      And I’m with you on Rayman Legends. I was shocked with how much I enjoyed Origins. I wasn’t expecting much more than a Mario clone, much less a blueprint of what platformers should have become years ago.

      I really hate that they delayed the WiiU version to release it on other platforms, though. If the game was already complete on the WiiU, why not release it for that platform and then later rerelase it for the other consoles? It might have given the WiiU some small competitive advantage, and I doubt it would have hurt Ubisoft’s profits. Maybe so they wouldn’t have to promote the game twice?

    • a_scintillating_comment

      Yeah, Ico feels like work at points.SoC: you’re in for a treat! I also bought the pack this year, playing them both for the first time. Soc feels superior because it builds upon the best parts of Ico.

  • The_Helmaroc_King

    I’ll probably be playing a mix of Rogue Legacy and Portal.

    Rogue Legacy is great, but I’ve yet to beat the game. I had a good run with a giant Hokage that managed to eke past the third boss and chew through the underground, but the fourth boss just got too hectic and I took too many hits. I suppose I should focus on eliminating the smaller pieces first to keep that from happening; if it just didn’t spawn those wizards, I’d be set. Hopefully, I can get another giant at some point, the extra attack range is a sweet deal for any melee class.

    I beat the main story Portal again, and it’s nearly as good as I remember it, but right now I’m focusing on the challenge rooms. I’ve only beaten three of eighteen gold medal challenges so far, though, so unless I decide to drop it partway through it could take me a while. It’s probably not necessary for me to beat all of them before I move on to the sequel, but I do what I must because I can.

    • EmperorNortonI

      You like playing the giants? I always figure the run is wasted if I have to choose one, as I simply can’t dodge with one. The again, I don’t know how to use the homage ability at all, so that might be part of it.

      • EmperorNortonI

        Damn iPad autocorrect, oughta turn that off. All it does is mess up words that aren’t in its dictionary. And insert apostrophes.

        The again, an action RPG with an homage ability sounds pretty intriguing.

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

           Given that the discussion was about Rogue Legacy and its myriad absurd traits, I wasn’t even sure it was a typo until you said so.

      • The_Helmaroc_King

        I tend to forget about most of the special abilities, which doesn’t help, but I like the giant Hokage because they do so much damage and have so much range they’ve got a fair chance of stomping on any enemy before getting hit. It can be risky against ranged enemies or in close quarters, but I like my chances.

        On the other hand, I’m not a fan of the dwarf trait since I tend to prefer melee and dwarfs have the shortest range. I’ll take a dwarf Archmage occasionally, since they get so much MP for spells, but I never seem to kill the enemies as fast as a melee class would.

        • ProfFarnsworth

          I love the giant-ism trait, in Rogue Legacy.  I am also very much a melee character in that game.  I think it is due to the fact that many of the spells are hard for me to use, and are too expensive to maintain for a mage build.  My giant Assassin was able to kill the first boss pretty quickly, (of course this was after dying TONS of times).  I pretty much suck at this game.

  • Fluka

    Aw man, I already used up my answer for this question earlier today!  So I’ll just take the chance to post the trailer for Quadrilateral Cowboy yet again.  I mean, I’m curious about Watch Dogs too, but how can I not be looking forward to a game that lets me hack with an actual command line?  (“But Fluka!  Why don’t you just finish your goddamn programming work for the week?  That’s got a command line too!”  ”Shut up, Brain.”)

    Will spend the weekend finishing up the amazingly fun Portal 2 Co-op with my husband.  We’re cooperating!  Moving around cubes and shooting portals and throwing each other through the air!  I also accidentally dropped him in acid goo once.  Okay, more than once.  Okay, maybe it wasn’t always accidental.  (I got science collaboration points!)  But we’ve also high-fived and danced and hugged a bunch of times and come together for science.  Why can’t all co-op be so fun?

    More KOTOR progress too, which is still proving fun.  I am nearly a Jedi Sentinel with a stylish yellow lightsaber!  Despite my best attempts to go Dark Side, I’m tending very much Light Side.  ”Evil” in this game is far too much Mass Effect 1 renegade, and not enough Mass Effect 2 renegade (i.e. not so much “badass” as “total dick”).  My posse has gotten larger, but seems to be full of whiners who refuse to tell me more about their past because “I couldn’t possibly understand.”  (Shut up and rip that guy’s arm off, Zaalbar.)  Except for Canderous Ordo.  That guy rules.  *Blushes demurely and murders a few civilians in cold blood to impress Canderous Ordo.*

    • PaganPoet

      Just stab your brain with a Q-tip…that’ll learn ‘er!

      • 2StoryOuthouse

        Done and done.

        *Puts on The Low End Theory.

      • Fluka

        If I do that, I can forget all the puzzle solutions and play both Portals again!  (Note: might also prevent completion of puzzles.)

      • ProfFarnsworth

        The hard part was getting the brain out!

    • Drew Toal

      Say hello to my little friend, Big Z.

    • Effigy_Power

      Canderous is that type of Bioware Character I love. Totally unfazed by their own terrible self. Oghren in Dragon Age: Origin was like that. HK74 is of course like that.
      Somehow it seems it’s a lot of dwarfs or big, older guys with Bioware who get those parts.

      • djsubversive

        Black Whirlwind is pretty great. HK-47 in KoTOR 2 is more philosophical about his “kill all meatbags” stance, which is fun.

    • Electric Dragon

      If you really want a Dark Side playthrough done properly, look up John Walker’s Bastard of the Old Republic series on Eurogamer.

      • Fluka

        Aaah, I love John Walker’s writing, so I am so going to check that out (once I’m done, as to avoid more spoilers than I already have).  Thanks for the heads-up!

    • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

      I played KOTOR as Neutral. You don’t get any special powers, which I thought was annoying.

    • BillyNerdass

      I’m excited for Watch Dogs because it’s set in Chicago. I wanna break into my apartment. This must be how athletes feel when they play video games as themselves.

      • Fluka

        Yes, the fact that it’s set in a specific modern location, but not New York or LA, is one of the major attractions to me.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      He’s way more fun than Canderous Orko, who just gets in the way with his backfiring Force powers.

  • caspiancomic

    The game I’m looking forward to most for the end of this year is probably Sonic Lost World, although at least for now I’m only going to be able to play the 3DS version. I’d like to be able to play the Wii U version to completion somehow without having to actually invest in the hardware. I wonder if I’ve got any neglected acquaintances with Wii U’s…

    As for what I’m playing this weekend, still Virtue’s Last Reward. I’d say I’m more than 2/3rds of the way through, although I’ve only unlocked four of the game’s nine proper endings, so I might have further to go than I realize. I’m getting pretty swept up in it. At first I was annoyed because it inherited a lot of the things that irritated me about 999 (the way it over explained every petty piece of information, its stilted dialogue, its bizarrely designed and behaving characters), but now I’m at the point where I’m loving it almost unconditionally. It helps that although it kept a lot of the superficial annoyances from 999, it also threw out a lot of that game’s most significant flaws- like the fact that playing that game to true completion required solving the same puzzle rooms multiple times across at least half a dozen playthroughs. The ability to leap at will between different branches of the story instead of starting a new game after every game over is definitely a welcome feature. And when I realized that every story branch had its own puzzle rooms that were never repeated in other branches it dawned on me just how much thought went into this game.

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

      I’ve been hyping the Spike Chunsoft series often localized as Danganronpa, just because the aesthetics are cool and the combination of horror and comedy is my 2nd favorite thing in art. (Something Awful people did a playthrough translation of both games, I think, to give you an idea of its quality.)  Nippon Ichi America again proved its worth by localizing the 1st one.  You’ll really like it…in 2014.  It originally came out in 2010.  But, hey, it worked for Ace Attorney!

      • CountBulletsula

        I just started playing Danganronpa as well and I am enjoying the hell out of it.  I love the Non-Stop Debate portions.  Who would have thought a rail-shooter/rhythm game/word game/mystery/horror hybrid would be so much fun?  And yet at the same time, Monokuma’s Punishments are completely horrifying and morbid but presented with that strange cartoonish paper style.  Like you said, the aesthetics are really cool.

      • huge_jacked_man

        There’s a completed translation patch for Dangan Ronpa. I’ve been playing the game on a PSP emulator and at the end of chapter 3 with no significant issues.

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

      Oh man, Virtue’s Last Reward.  You have no idea.  If you think what you’ve seen so far represents a ton of thought going into it’s design, I just… I can’t say anything!  Just keep going (though it sounds like you will).

    • duwease

      You have no idea how much Virtue’s Last Reward is about to make me buy a 3DS, despite having little need for an dedicated portable gaming system nowadays.  Why can’t they release it on any of the digital distribution console/PC platforms?!

      • neodocT

        Or iOS! I’d be so happy if this came out for iOS.

    • CountBulletsula

      I assume you are playing VLR on the 3DS version?  Please be careful when saving because the game has a major bug where saving in a certain room can sometimes lock your game and make it unplayable, forcing you to restart the entire thing.  This happened to my friend after he had played through almost half of the game and he was really pissed as you can imagine.  My suggestion is to only save before and after puzzle rooms (and NEVER during) in order to avoid the bug.

    • huge_jacked_man

      999 has the worst writing I’ve ever seen in a VN. It was probably mostly due to the terrible translation but the character writing was pretty bad as well. The story itself was interesting enough to make up for it though. 

      VLR is a much better “game”, the puzzles are good and the way you can branch in and out of the storylines is a huge improvement. The character design fucking sucks though (give me the anime sprites from 999 over those shitty models anytime) and the environments are way too bland. Again the story makes up for some of that because as you say a lot of work went into this game. I’m about 30 hours in trying to get the gold files in every puzzle and I’ve only made it to one ending so far, definitely a good purchase.

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

    In the back half of 2013, I’m looking forward to Watch Dogs, because I’m a sucker for open-world crime games, and season 2 of The Walking Dead. On the indie side of things, I’m looking forward to the puzzle platformer Contrast and the music-based puzzle game FRACT.

    Looking ahead to 2014, there’s a lot of interesting stuff: Murdered: Soul Suspect; Broken Age; Nelly Cootalot II: The Fowl Fleet; A Hat in Time; Transistor; and The Lego Movie Videogame.

    This weekend, I’m pretty busy, but I’ll try to sneak in a little XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, or Resonance: Why Does Every Game Title Have a Colon.

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

    Gonna finish up Tomb Raider, plug away at Shin Megami Tensei IV and probably a bunch more Picross e.

    As for what I’m looking forward to most in the rest of the year, Tales of Xillia!  I’ve been waiting for the localization since it came out in Japan back in 2011.  And then Namco-Bandai had to go and be super-champs, confirming that Tales of Xillia 2 will be localized, as well as the Tales of Symphonia Chronicles HD re-release (featuring dual voice-over for the first time in the series history!)

    I am also keen on replaying Final Fantasy X and X-2 when that HD remaster comes out.

    • PaganPoet

      Am I weird? I actually prefer X-2 to X. Part of the reason is that I hate Tidus. He’s got to be my least favorite FF lead of all time. Yes, even below Squall.

      Another reason is those damn dress spheres. The Final Fantasy games that use the job system, I, III, V and X-2, namely, tend to have pretty shitty plots and characters. But that system is so much damn fun that I really don’t care about the plot or characters.

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

        I don’t mind Tidus, but I agree that the job system in X-2 is one of the best systems ever included in an FF game.  You mean I get a Job system and a mini meta-game where I have to strategically change between jobs on the fly to maximize the power of the sphere grids?  All this in a mission-based RPG with a kickin’ jazz fusion soundtrack?  Let’s play some goddamn dress-up.

        • DrFlimFlam

          YES, the combat/job systems in FFX-2 are so good that they forgive most of the rest of the game.

          I’ll never say I love FFX-2, but dangit if combat wasn’t the best of the entire franchise right there.

        • The_Horse_Chestnut

          As much as I love the job system in X-2, it still feels to me like the whole battle system feels entirely superfluous to the actual gameplay.

      • Citric

        You are weird, but that’s just a general observation.

        FFX-2 is a great game hidden within a game I don’t entirely feel comfortable playing when someone else is in the house and could potentially judge me. Dress spheres are great, hopping around from place to place is great, and then you have to do some erotic massage for the evil cleavage lady, or arrange a concert, or that hot spring with the boobs…

        • DrFlimFlam

           To this day I occasionally bust out with, “What can I do for you?”, because Yuna Pop Star is so terrible.

      • Crusty Old Dean

        This would probably be too much work to fix in the HD port, but I always thought it was a shame that the characters don’t wear whatever clothes you’ve equipped outside of battle. They make such a huge fuss about those dress spheres, it just seems like a waste.

        It wouldn’t work with the pre-rendered cut scenes of course, but I think those are mostly of the “later that evening…” variety anyway.

      • Dave Dalrymple

        I preferred X-2 to X, for pretty much the same reasons you cited. And it was pretty much all sidequests! Yay! I even liked Sphere Break.  

      • neodocT

        I like the X over X-2 because I’m a sucker for overly-dramatic Japanese anime cliche storylines, but X-2 is awesome too. I actually lost my copy of it when I moved, years ago, and only ever did one playthrough of the game. The HD Collection definitely looks pretty cool, then.

        And is anyone else disappointed that the Kingdom Hearts collection only comes with KH1 and the remake of the GBA game? Considering the amount of content in most of these HD collections, this one seems underbaked.

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

           It also comes with the cutscenes from one of the DS titles, 358/2 Days.  I’m just happy to be getting the “Final Mix” version of Kingdom Hearts after all these years.  Actually, the inclusion of Re: Chain of Memories was a surprise to me, and it gives me hope that the inevitable 2.5 HD collection will include a full playable port of Birth By Sleep, which is one of the best in the series.

      • 2StoryOuthouse

        FFX is to FFX-2 as Ocarina is to Majora’s Mask, but without MM‘s surprisingly dark fatalism. Both follow-ups focus primarily on sidequests, both feel smaller scale in spite of a global threat, both have bizarre tonal shifts unlike their more steady-handed predecessors, both play much looser and more experimental with gameplay, and both are really not the sort of game you’d expect from either one at a glance.

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

           More than just that, though, I appreciate X-2 (and XIII-2, actually) for the chance to revisit the world, look at it in a new context, and see how it and the characters have progressed since the events of the first game.

          Whenever I get deeply involved in a story and have spent many dozens of hours with it, I like an epilogue that offers at least an overview of how everyone is getting on after the crisis has passed, after the world has been saved.

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

        Woah, woah, woah! What’s wrong with Squall? I’d place him in my top 4 FF protagonists.

        • PaganPoet

          My problem with Squall is that he talks (and complains and whines) more to himself than he does to other people. I guess that’s understandable if you’re 18 (or whatever age he’s supposed to be), but it’s just annoying to me.

    • Cheese

      Very psyched for Tales of Xillia. I remember seeing previews for it when I finally got around to beating Vesperia in 2011 or so.

    • Dave Dalrymple

      I love Picross. Anyone know any great places to play online nonograms?

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

      Picross e2 just came out in NA yesterday and I’ve already cleared about a quarter of it (assuming it has as many puzzles as Picross e). That will probably be my weekend gaming binge.

  • IntotheNightSky

    I think what I’m looking forward to most at the moment is the new and improved Stanley Parable, which should be out before the end of the year if I’m reading the tea leaves properly.  Something about the original mod and the new trailers produced for the update just click with me.  I really appreciate Mr. Wreden’s narrative sensibilities.

  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    I’m still getting my bearings with Last of Us.  It’s wonderful, but very nihilistic so far.  So I’ve created this hilarious GIF to help me work through all my feelings of loss and desolation.
       Also a bit of Darksiders II in the margins, which is Frank Frazetta after a bunch of shitty beers.

    • Chum Joely

      Liked, first and foremost, for “SHIV THE COOK”.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        I sincerely appreciate you noticing, commenting on that detail.

        • HobbesMkii

           Can you get that screen printed on an apron so I can buy it for my kitchen?

    • Effigy_Power

      I thought of it as Frazetta’s lower-grade brother Doogie “Crusher” Frazetta. Ex-Line Backer for the Biloxy Swamp Cats.

    • ChicaneryTheYounger

       The Last of Us is absolutely not nihilistic. It’s about reclamation, it’s about facing the edge, diving into the abyss, and coming back with the help of others. It’s humanist, and it’s optimistic. Even if a lot of people do go crazy and territorial, there are more people who don’t.

      That’s not to say horrible things don’t happen, though, but the horror is overcome.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        Don’t worry, pal, I’m not that far along.  I just used the word as setup for my cheeky satirical doodle, not as an actual referendum on the entirety of the game experience.

      • neodocT

         I’m trying to avoid spoilers, but I think it’s funny how people interpret the ending. I also saw it as hopeful, though a lot of people vehemently disagreed with me, and I get their point.

  • Enkidum

    I really need to write some papers up, but I’m starting to enjoy the Persona 3 slog again, (I just won the track and field meet during the summer, and defeated the 4th or 5th full moon boss.) Also still need to finish Xcom, which for some reason I haven’t played in 3 weeks despite it being my favourite game of the past year or so. And probably some more Ratchet & Clank because jumpy jumpy jumpy shooty shooty shooty.

    And Stealth Bastard on my phone, since it rocks.

    • PaganPoet

      I’m glad you’re enjoying Persona 3 again. I was worried about you finding it such a chore, mainly because it’s one of my favorite games of all time. That said, even I have never attempted it on Hard. Like you said before, playing this game on Hard isn’t about strategy or skill, it’s about more grinding.

      • Enkidum

        I’ve started getting significantly better at the fights, which helps. (And when someone pointed out to me that you can save the game in the dorm, I started getting less enraged with it.) Plus, now I’ve got half my team decked out in swimsuits, which is just funny as hell.

        • DrFlimFlam

           Yes… funny. >.>

        • Enkidum

          @drflimflam:disqus I hope you are not insinuating, good sir, that I, a grown man with two children and a lovely wife, would lower myself to playing a video game and leching over Yukari Takeba’s sweet ass. Because such an insinuation is, of course, ridiculous.
          *prays that Rule 34 is fulfilled*

        • Jackbert

          @Enkidum:disqus : When I was first playing the game, I searched for Mitsuru wallpapers. She was my favorite character so I wanted a badass pic of her using her Persona as my background. Put it this way…those types of pictures aren’t the first result…

  • Mercenary_Security_number_4

    My local theater showed Back to the Future last week, so after seeing that I got to thinking “Say, didn’t those marvelous telltale folks do a back to the future game?”  I missed it when it came out due to not having a working PS3 at the time, but I found the retail disc — always preferred over download — at a local game store (protip: amazon’s price is way too high) so that’s what I’ll be doing this weekend.

    Also, [SPOILERS FOR THE LAST OF US] I’m about halfway through the last of us, which means I’m tromping through decimated Pittsburgh.  Especially after the hotel sequences, the office buildings and storefronts have a pretty similar feel to Pittsburgh in FO3′s “The Pitt,” which makes it easy to pretend my F03 character is somewhere just around the corner having his own adventures.  What can I say, I’m a sucker for cross-over fanfic.

    • Chum Joely

      The Pitt, as in Marvel’s “New Universe”?

      • Mercenary_Security_number_4

        Fallout 3.

      • ChicaneryTheYounger

         We try to pretend the New Universe never happened.

  • Dave Dalrymple

    I’m looking forward to getting a 3DS in the fall/winter, so I can start catching up on all these great games.

    In the meantime, I’m re-playing Final Fantasy VI. I just started the WoR (saved Cid even though letting him die is more dramatic).

  • Cloks

    3D Dot Game Heroes and Shadowrun Returns. I’ll also be playing “read research papers” and “finish working on a contract assignment” so I can earn those elusive money drops I need.

    Also, I’m looking forward to Mewgenics. It’s Pokemon meats cats meats Team Meat. Misspellings intentional.

    • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

      You’re never on when I’m playing Scott Pilgrim. It’s your fault I couldn’t beat Todd Ingram last night!

      But seriously, there’s never anyone online. Everyone keeps complaining about it on GameFAQs. I’m thinking of contacting Bryan Lee O’Malley and asking him to declare a Scott Pilgrim day for everyone to go online for some multiplayer. I have a signed drawing from him, that entitles me to tell him how to do his job.

      • Cloks

        I also don’t have online multiplayer; I paid 2 bucks for the game and I’m hesitant to pay 5 more for a feature I wouldn’t use that much.

        Which is sad, because I could have totally helped you beat Todd Ingram!

        • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

          Well, hit me up if you ever want to do Red Dead multiplayer, it’s pretty awesome to get together a ruthless gang of outlaws and murder your way across the countryside. I think it’s pretty much the only way to get the Public Enemy trophy for most people unless you’re especially leet at the shooty shooty. I’ve tried doing it solo, I could only get up to 6 minutes before dying under the human wave tactics of the other players gunning for me. Shooting up a saloon during the siege was pretty rad, though.

          Fun sidegame: shouting quotes from Tombstone while you’re in a gunfight. I don’t have a mic, I’m actually just shouting to myself.

      • Cloks

        I’ll send you a message on PSN when I’m free. I’m moving right now, so things are a little hectic but I’d like to try out the multiplayer.

        • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

          Fair warning: be prepared for people to be doing godawful Texas accents. Or maybe it’s just sticking in my memory because it was a bunch of British schoolkids doing it. Snotty little wankers, their posse was the one that killed me when I tried to go outlaw.

    • Pandas_please

      Please tell me Mewgenics is not a joke because that sounds awesome, almost too awesome.

      • Cloks
        • Pandas_please

           Cloks, you just made my day.

  • Flying_Turtle

    My birthday was a little while back, and I got Skyrim and Civilization V, so those will keep me busy for a while, I imagine.

    Perhaps I don’t keep up on what’s coming out enough, but I can’t say I’m particularly looking forward to anything. That’s kind of a depressing sentence when you type it out like that.

    Oh well, there’s so much I haven’t gotten to yet, that it doesn’t really matter. You all make it worse, because there’s quite a few games I’d probably never have heard about without GS. Thanks, I think.

    • ProfFarnsworth

      Happy Belated Birthday!

      • Flying_Turtle

        Thanks! I’m reaching an age where I get more and more of the “aren’t you a little old for games? business, and I’m happy to report the answer is still no.

  • needlehacksaw

    Last night, I experienced one of those absolutely mundane moments of almost existential dread. I was VERY close to buying the improved “Teleglitch”-version when I suddenly realized that I had “Gunpoint” in my Steam list. I only very, very vaguely remember buying it… Steam Sales are a strange thing.

    So, instead of buying yet another game I will maybe not remember having purchased anyway, I swore (once more) to myself to tackle my back-log first. (It’s actual the perfect time for doing so, since there haven’t been many games released in 2013 that are for me non-sale-material… I suffer of AAA-fatigue anyway at the moment.)
    To prove to myself how serious I am, I made a rough list of the games I want to address first, made by a formula which is one part alchemy, one part howlongtobeat.com, and one part Je ne sais quoi.

    The first few titles on a list would be the following: Gunpoint, Thomas Was Alone, Proteus, The Unfinished Swan, Antichamber, Deadly Premonition DC, Goblet Grotto, Journey, Dishonored, Pathologic, La Mulana, King of Dragon Pass, Fez, Brütal Legend.

    Naturally, the list goes on and on after that.
    With that and the dozen or so Kickstarter-games that I backed and that should trickle in in the upcoming months, I’m all set for at least 2013.

    Oh, speaking of which: The one game I am looking forward to more than any other is, without a doubt or joke, “The Magical Realms of Tír na nÓg: Escape from Necron 7 – Revenge of Cuchulainn: The Official Game of the Movie – Chapter 2 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa”. “Barkley: Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden” was that rarest of cases: a parody that surpassed almost everything it set out to gently mock, an in-joke that grew up into whole universe in and of itself, a universe everyone is welcomed in. And a fine game on top. Can’t wait to see what does guys do with a proper budget.

    • EmperorNortonI

      King of Dragon Pass is Awesome. I was one of, like, 10 people to buy it on CD back in 2000 or whenever, and found it totally compelling. I never managed to “win” the game, but was satisfied enough by my play through that I let it sit.

      • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

        Good to hear, I’ve got that one on my pile too. Soon as I finish Uplink I’ll try it out, though it’s kind of fun hacking into banks and changing criminal records to have your rivals arrested for public nudity and liking My Little Pony (I actually put that on one guy’s record).

  • Chum Joely

    More like… what will I be playing this WEEK? Today (Friday) is my last day at my current job of 6 years, and I’ve got 3 weeks of vacation before the new job starts. I’ve got lots of Important Errands to take care of during week 1 before I actually go off to the countryside with family, but a significant chunk of this week will also be set aside for some PS3 gaming.

    I don’t usually have a lot of time to play games, so my To Play list has a lot of not-so-new games: I hope to finish XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Spec Ops: The Line (“Easy” difficulty may be my friend on this one), take my first steps in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and maybe start again at Driver: San Francisco. Although for Driver, really I just want to drive around like a maniac in various awesome cars, but no big deal about the actual story missions.

    I’ll try to finally sit down and finish up that last level of Child of Eden, I might make some more progress towards 100% trophies (which I never, ever do) on Rayman: Origins, and I’ll probably spend a little time messing around in the worlds of Fallout: New Vegas and/or Saints Row, The Third without any particular intent of finishing.

    That’s probably way too ambitious a list for even a week of vacation (since I still have to take care of kids in the evenings), but if all goes well, that’s what I’ll be playing this week.

    • caspiancomic

       Oh snap! You mentioned in your last email that you were moving to a new job, but I didn’t realize it’d be happening this soon. Then again, it’s probably been longer than I realize since you sent your last message. I should probably get back to that, it’s my serve after all…

      Anyway, enjoy your vacation dood!

    • DrFlimFlam

       Rayman Origins is sooo good.

    • neodocT

      Oh my god, are you me? Today is my last day at my current job of 6 years, and I’ve got 2 weeks before grad school starts! I’ve also enjoyed every game you’ve mentioned in that list (except for Driver, not a fan), so surely you’ll enjoy them as well, mirror-self!

    • DrFlimFlam

       Enjoy three weeks of vacation as much as you can.

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

    I received a free copy of Ico and Hitman Absolution with the PSN so i’ll be checking both these games out.

    Also, i’m hyped for Watch Dogs, Beyond Two Souls and Wolfenstein New Order.

  • Chewbacca Abercrombie

    The games I’m looking forward to the most this year are Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 and Killer is Dead. I spent so much time on the first LoS, ended up getting all the achievements in the main game and all the DLC and loved it the entire time. I can’t wait for the second one. As far as Killer is Dead goes, I really just enjoy how weird Suda 51 is and will probably get anything he makes.

    This weekend I’ll probably keep playing Alundra, Hotline Miami, Binding of Isaac, and maybe Parasite Eve which I didn’t get around to playing any of last weekend. I didn’t play much last weekend because I realized I have Netflix and haven’t even really used it. Ended up watching some movies and then stumbled onto a show called Todd and the Book of Pure Evil which I thought was hilarious and now want to buy on DVD at some point. Now I’ve started watching Breaking Bad, so being so interested in that kind of eats into time I would usually be playing games.

    • PaganPoet

      I love Castlevania Lords of Shadow. It’s an extremely beautiful, somber game (it doesn’t surprise me that it was developed in Spain; the game reminds me of Spanish films like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone, as a matter of fact, in mood). I think it was unfairly derided for two reasons:

      1) The word “Castlevania” in its title
      2) The superficial similarities it shared with God of War

      Yes, it’s very different from the Castlevania formula we’ve all been used to since Symphony of the Night. And don’t get me wrong, that’s a very good and enjoyable formula. Symphony of the Night and Order of Ecclesia are two of the best games in the franchise. But, let’s be honest, there were many games using that formula that were very stale. The series needed a change.

      And, although the game may be superficially similar to God of War, Lords of Shadow is no button masher. Very early on, you learn that if you mash buttons, you will die. You need to be defensive and strategic with your moves. The whole Light/Shadow magic mechanic also brought it to another level.

      • Chewbacca Abercrombie

        Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone are both great movies. I didn’t ever think of any similarity of the mood of those films and the game while I was playing it, but now that you point it out I would have to agree and maybe that’s one reason I enjoyed it so much.

        I still need to play Symphony of the Night. I’ve heard it’s one of the best. It’s on my list of games I need to play sometime soon. My favorite older Castlevania has always been IV for SNES. I’ve played a couple of the handheld ones, but I get kind of overwhelmed with the Metroid style open map and backtracking to get to previously unreachable places. I hate playing with a walkthrough and in games like that I end up wandering around lost for far too long without a walkthrough. I really liked having a Castlevania that was set up a little different.

        I loved the strategy of fighting in LoS. In many games with combos I’ll find the one or two that work and spam them like crazy. LoS was one of the few games with combo based fighting where I used a wide variety of different attacks and actually found it more useful than sticking with two or three only. Also I loved the quick time events. I hate games where a giant picture of the button appears for a QTE. It ruins the immersion. The reflex based QTE’s in Lords of Shadow though seemed much more natural. I think more games should use something similar if people keep insisting on having QTE’s in their games. Oh, and I loved the humongous boss fights where you have to actually climb on the bosses and attack certain spots. I thought that was very cool and it made me want to play Shadow of the Colossus even though I have no idea if it’s similar at all. Someday I will play that game.

      • dreadguacamole

        I love it too. It’s a patchwork of visuals, themes and gameplay elements stolen from other games, but when the thieving is done with such good taste and verve, I can’t really fault them for it. Looking forward to both the PC remake and the Sequel.

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

        I was having fun with Lords of Shadow until I was absolutely stonewalled by a boss fight against a werewolf dude.  One of these days I’ll revisit it, one of these days…

        • Chewbacca Abercrombie

          That guy’s a pain in the ass. I got stuck there for quite awhile too.

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

       Ah, how could I forget about Killer is Dead!  August is going to be a good month for me.

  • Godots17thCup

    Even though I don’t expect it to quite reach the heights of the earlier mainline games, I can’t help but be absurdly excited for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies. ”Ace Attorney 5″ has been on my shortlist of sequels I desperately want for ages now, along with Power Stone 3, Pikmin 3 (yay!), Suikoden VI and Beyond Good & Evil 2 (yay?). I get downright giddy just thinking about it being in my 3DS in a matter of months. 

    This weekend, I’ll be feeding my Animal Crossing addiction. Those acres of flowers aren’t going to water themselves. If I’m feeling ambitious, I might start Shantae, since I just finished up Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale.

    • CountBulletsula

      I am also really excited for Dual Destinies.  After Capcom decided to skip localizing AAI2, I was afraid that there would be no more Phoenix Wright for us.  I am really disappointed that there will not be a physical copy of the game, and I am even more upset that there is an extra case that is DLC-only, but I really am just so excited to play a brand new Phoenix Wright game that I am willing to overlook those facts.  Damn you, Capcom!

    • huge_jacked_man

      I wonder if AA5 is self-contained like Apollo Justice or if we can expect another trilogy. With Capcom being what they are at the moment I assume the former. Still looking forward to it, I bought a 3DS in anticipation.

  • NakedSnake

    Wait, has Sportsfriends been released? I was looking forward to that after the promo posted here. 

  • ProfFarnsworth

    I know it is not coming out THIS year (or possibly next year either), but I have to say I am extremely excited for Project Eternity.  I loved the Baldur’s Gate series and I really want to play this game.

    This week I will be playing that long and TEDIOUS game called moving.  It will require 5 long days of driving, along with packing, cleaning, and the most difficult challenge: Keeping everything and everyone happy.

    If I do get a few moments of time I will probably keep playing Rogue Legacy.  I really suck at platformers, so it is really slow going for me.  I am level 60 or so and just beat the first boss.  It took somewhere around 270 generations so far.  (Not bad for a 178 yr. old man)

    • NakedSnake

      Ugh – good luck with the move. Where from/to?

      • ProfFarnsworth

        It will be from Utah to Oklahoma.  Usually that would only take 2 or 3 days stretching it out, but unfortunately our current landlord is not so nice and requires us to move sooner than we would like and with a newborn baby…we now have to spend 5 days on the trip.

        • Effigy_Power

          Just think that actually you are remaining static. It’s the universe that’s being moved by the engine. So that’s a lot less bumpy.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          Holy balls, dude.  Best of luck.

        • DrFlimFlam

           Holy smokes. Good luck with the move.

        • NakedSnake

          Well, to look on the bright side: now you won’t have to worry about trying to break off 5 hr chunks of driving with a stir-crazy young one in the back. Hope it works out for the better!

        • Chum Joely

          Good luck, and sorry that the landlord was able to get in one last stab of not-so-niceness by screwing up the conditions of your trip.

          Enjoy the Utah stretch– as you know, it’s some lovely crazy scenery there (thinking of the salt flats), but as I recall it’s pretty boring as you get into Oklahoma.Then again I haven’t been out there in a good 10 years, maybe they’ve added some new mountains or sinkholes or something.

        • Enkidum

          To quote Choctaw Bingo by James McMurtry:

          Strap them kids in give em a 
          Little bit of vodka in a
          Cherry coke we’re going to 
          Oklahoma

          (And then in the reprise it’s Benadryl instead of vodka. I’m not suggesting you should do that, but damn if it ain’t tempting sometimes…)

        • Effigy_Power

          That new pothole right on the border is a real tourist attraction, I hear.

        • ProfFarnsworth

          Thank you very much for the support and the replies. @Effigy_Power:disqus : The universe always revolves around me, due to it being infinite and my being the center of it.  @ChumJoely:disqus : Utah is always so very pretty, but I am not very excited for the views of Oklahoma.  The flight there for my interview was, dull. @Enkidum:disqus : that is tempting, but probably not as effective as the actual drive for Cubert.  He sleeps like…well…a baby during long drives.

    • Samantha Nelson

      Can you at least play some car packing Tetris a la Homer Simpson?

      • Effigy_Power

        How did we ever go on road trips without handheld entertainment anyways? By reading books? -scoffs-
        Actually, reading books while in a moving car gives me mad headaches.

        • ProfFarnsworth

          There were also other games. Games like ‘I-spy’ and that weird license plate game I could never get.  I also remember getting hit for some reason, but could never remember why…

        • Dave Dalrymple

          @ProfesorFarnsworth:disqus : Padiddle! What a horrible game.

        • 2StoryOuthouse

          Reading books gives you a headache in a car but gaming doesn’t? What’s the difference?

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

          We used to play the alphabet game, but using licence plates was considered cheating, so we’d always get stuck at Q hoping for a truck with the words “air-ride equipped” to pass by.

          @2StoryOuthouse:disqus: She was reading this book.

        • Effigy_Power

          It is weird that I get it from reading, but not from old handhelds.
          I think it’s a combination of the strong black/white contrast and the movement. Playing on an old school Gameboy, dark green on light green, it doesn’t seem to bother me.

      • ProfFarnsworth

        Car Packing tetris has already begun! I will be renting a U-Haul for the trip and have been slowly packing my crap and playing Tetris with it to make sure it fits.  I even was singing my own music to make it more like the Original.

  • ferrarimanf355

    I’m looking towards Forza Motorsport 5 the most. Just the addition of the 2013 IndyCar racers and 1976 Formula 1 classics is enough to get me interested. It’s the reason why I’m getting an Xbox One at launch.

    Well, that and Killer Instinct.

  • ferrarimanf355

    Oh, almost forgot that the Rise of the Triad remake comes out in a couple of weeks. You guys can have your emotional stories, I’m going to explode some mooks with a rocket launcher until I get Engine Killing Gibs all over the place.

  • fieldafar

    Game I’m most looking forward to: Watch Dogs. Let’s hope it doesn’t end up as disappointing. 
    Game I’m (hopefully) playing this weekend: The beginning of The Last of Us. 

  • Effigy_Power

    I won’t be playing anything this weekend, because I will be sitting with my ass in the water with a permanent buzz on in the glorious Canadian tradition called “Sitting with your ass in the water with a permanent buzz on”. Apparently you can’t legally buy stuff at Canadian Tire in this country until you’ve gone semi-camping in the wilderness of “Just slightly more north than where I already have to live” and spent a few nights in a small rolling house that’s in all ways deficient to your big, nicely immobile one that has internet and a pizza oven. So I will be enjoying that in a semi-constant state of altering inebriation and infumation, which ought to make for a relaxing 3 days of no medical benefit to me.
    Sitting my ass in the water.
    Permanent buzz.
    In a Canadian lake.

    Oh Canada.

    (bows to audience, leaves stage left)

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      That’s fucking beautiful, Eff.  You’re making me patriotic for a country I’ve only ever read about in Alpha Flight.

      • Cheese

        Oh, I wish I was back in old Canada,
        A land which I never shall lampoon!
        How I pine for the ice covering Lake Manitoba,
        And the beauty that is Saskatoon!

        • ChicaneryTheYounger

           Oh, I wish I was stuck in the hills of Alberta,
          Drinking beer with some big dumb guy trapping fur!
          As he scraped and chiseled all the moose dung off his boots,
          I would learn that he’s the Prime Minister!

    • a_scintillating_comment

      Canada represent

      • Citric

        I’m always surprised by just how Canadian this board is.

        Also by how universal the lake thing is, going off to a lake is a proud Saskatchewan tradition that I haven’t done yet this year.

        • Effigy_Power

          And I am not even Canadian. Go figure.

        • Citric

          @Effigy_Power:disqus You’re going to spend a weekend buzzed in a body of water. You’re Canadian now.
          I think it’s actually on our citizenship test. “Have you been buzzed in a body of water for a weekend? If no, you don’t belong here.”

        • SamPlays

          Wait long enough and the water will come to you.

      • SamPlays

        East Coast is in the hizzouse.

    • Chum Joely

      So I’m guessing this trip was the girlfriend’s idea?
      Pretty sure the perma-buzz was your idea.

      • Effigy_Power

        The trip was my lovely lady being unable to say “no” to dear friends, a trait I can’t really be mad about since I get to exploit it quite frequently.
        The buzz is a communal plan put forward by a committee to overcome the lack of technology.

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

      Have fun camping! Make sure you wear long sleeves and pants; the last time I went camping, I got so many stable fly bites, I looked like I was suffering from both chicken pox and measles at the same time.

      • Effigy_Power

        That’s partially why I will be sitting in the water most of the time. That way all I have to worry about is the slow-roasting of my Southern Irish skin type, also known as Chalk Light.

  • Chum Joely

    That trailer for Rain looks interesting, although as a (former!) localization guy, I can’t help but wonder who wrote those intertitles. “Their journey for answers draw them furthermore into this world…” Wow. That is a dense ball of weird English, right there.

  • rvb1023

    Playing through Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon. A simple yet oddly compelling game, though I admit I am not far into it.  My SMT journey still continues on as well.

    I really don’t want to think about the rest of the year, given that the next few weeks will kill my wallet enough. Dragon Commander, Dragon’s Crown, Divelick, Mario and Luigi: Dream Team, and Killer is Dead all in the same month. Later in the year I have to deal with Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, Ace Attorney 5, and the imminent release of the PS4 all in a few months of each other. And I have to catch up on Ace Attorney anyways. Glad to see my main man Phoenix back though.

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

    I’ve wrapped up summer job 1 working at a summer camp teaching kids how to make movies and other things, and this weekend am packing up and shipping off to DC for three weeks to go to summer job 2, at another summer camp teaching kids how to make video games. Busy busy busy.

    Probably not much game time, but I may find time to play some more Wario Land 2, or a little more of Rockman 4 Minus Infinity, an insane ROM hack of the game that is not only super hard, but drastically transforms the game, changing all of the robot masters’ attacks (and the weapons you get from them), and adding cool/weird gameplay elements, some of which don’t seem possible on an NES (Bright Man’s stage has some weird light/dark overlay stuff, for instance). It’s basically an entirely new NES-era MegaMan game, which is sometimes (or often) all I really want to play.

    As for looking forward, I’m curious to try the weird, broken, Twin Peaksy, Deadly Premonition, which was recently greenlit for Steam. Also coming to Steam in the future are Shelter, a beautiful game where you play as a momma badger protecting her cubs, and Among the Sleep, a horror game where you play as a two-year-old. Both sound pretty interesting.

    My most unambiguous aniticpation (going beyond mere curiosity) is probably for Hotline Miami 2. I really enjoyed the aesthetics, tone, and gameplay of the first, and am intrigued by what I’ve read of the narrative and other developments going into the sequel.

    I also helped Kickstart this cute-looking game called Undertale, which is a goofy Mother-style JRPG but with a CRPG-style mechanic that makes actual combat unnecessary and encourages/allows other solutions for solving conflicts. I sounds neat, though I don’t know how the actual game will ultimately play.

    • neodocT

       Hey @paraclete_pizza:disqus, have you read about this Megaman Unlimited game? I haven’t played it yet, but it seems pretty great, and something you’d like. 

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

        THIS IS RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS.

    • NakedSnake

      Woah, I might be checking out that Minus Infinite game myself. Watching a gameplay video, I note with satisfaction that there appears to be no charging of the arm cannon, which was my main gripe with that and every subsequent mega man game. Seriously, how do you invest all that time/money in music, only to overlay it with a constant brrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii?

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

        There actually is arm cannon charging – and one of the ways the game was modded was that the released blast is larger and has cool little glowing, orbiting, spheres. The mod is less about excising things and more about either adding or drastically changing things. The boss battles (the ones I’ve made it to and won, at least) are all suitably epic, and they have some pretty insane attacks (just as Bright Man’s level is a good exemplar of this, so to is the battle against him, in which he has this cool “flash bulb” attack where you have to be in his shadow or you take insane damage).

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

      Shelter looks really nifty. It’s the first Unity engine game I’ve seen that looks genuinely beautiful instead of “good-looking for a Unity game, I guess.”

  • Destroy Him My Robots

    Not sure if I’ll get a Wii U this year, but The Wonderful 101 is definitely what I’m most hyped about, by a mile. It looks so, so good.

    My current rotation is Animal Crossing, Popolocrois and Aquanaut’s Holiday 2. Popolocrois is one of those games that’s a pleasure not because it’s often good, but because it’s never bad. Aquanaut’s Holiday 2 is a great summer game because rendered ocean water is good at fooling the mind into thinking it’s cooler than it really is. It’s genuinely impressive too: There aren’t many 1996 3D games that make me gaze at the screen in awe and say “Holy crap, do you see this? It’s beautiful!” to no one but myself. Leaving your base for the first time and finding a school of hammerheads is nothing short of breathtaking.

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

      Wonderful 101 was the game that sold me on picking up a Wii U at launch, back when we were promised to get it during the “launch window”. Still looking forward to it, nearly a full year later, but what a damned tease.

      Also: Pokémon X/Y looks to be continuing the trend of new iterations adding substantial value to the franchise that Black/White started.

  • EmperorNortonI

    Hrmn. I’m currently at the airport, waiting for the final leg of my trip to Chiang Mai to commence. I’ll be there for two weeks, doing a massage training class, but I brought my laptop and may well get do some gaming in the evenings. Probably just Fallen Enchantress, Wargame Airland battle, or maybe a second run through of New Vegas. Oh, and I oughta finish Gunslinger. And maybe work through tutorials for Unity.

    Later in the year? Well, I’m really looking forward to Company of Heroes 2 getting patched back to playability. Other than that, hrmn. I don’t think any of the games Ive Kickstarted will be out this year, except for the Ogre Deluxe Edition board game. Europa Universalis IV, yeah. And who knows, maybe I’ll find something I’m interested in once it comes out. But really, Ive got a lot of gaming waiting for me already.

    • Samantha Nelson

      I am so jealous. I studied abroad in Thailand and absolutely loved my month in Chiang Mai. Eat some mangosteen for me.

    • Effigy_Power

      It’s nice to see that people go somewhere else in Thailand than on Single Middle-Aged Swinger Holidays in Phuket. Eat some culture, good man.

  • dreadguacamole

    Rayman Legends. I’ll regret saying this, because I’ll be forced to play it until long after my breaking point, but it’s the game that made me buy a Wii.
     (Well, that and the fact that none of the other next-gen consoles holds any interest to me.)

     Other than that, loads of Kickstarter stuff. Hopefully these will come out this year: Wastelands 2, Banner Saga, Sword of Fargoal 2, the Adom remake, Sir, You Are Being Hunted, Antharion, and Divinity: Original Sin.
     Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag looks great, but after the frankly, fucking terrible AC3, I’m a bit wary of it. Same for Watchdogs, which seems to have that ubisoft “buttloads more is always better” mindset.

    • DrFlimFlam

       Banner Saga!

    • Fluka

      Oh damn!  I keep forgetting about Banner Saga!  Yes, definitely looking forward to that one.  (And agreement on the general mistrust of Ubisoft…)

  • edincoat

    Finally getting around to playing Dishonored. It certainly isn’t perfect, but zooming around areas using ‘blink’ doesn’t seem like it will get old.

    • TheInternetSaid

      I loved my violent run through, but when I saw the happy ending on youtube I knew I had to do a no-kill ghost run and it was even better.  Although I would occasionally murder a bunch of people just to relax and then restart from the last save point.

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

        Oh man, I used to do that too. Sometimes, when I screwed up, I would send Corvo on a murderous rampage until he died, and then I would reload from my most recent save.

  • duwease

    Finally did enough unlocking and deck tweaking in Duels of the Planeswalkers to allow time to play something else.  So I blew through Walking Dead: 400 Days in about a night.. it’s really got me jazzed up for Season 2.  Is that coming out in late 2013?  If so, that may be my biggest look-forward-to.  Otherwise, Rayman Legends, because I loved the original, and that Eye of the Tiger clip looks SO FUN.

    Picked Dragon Age II back up, although I need to get my head back in its space.  I was enjoying the world building before I put it down, although the various areas of the city are pretty non-descript.

    Also started Rogue Legacy, which was probably a bad idea as a game to just ‘slide in’ to my schedule..  it’s already made me late for something.  I get the feeling this will be Binding of Isaac all over again for me.. dozens of hours down the drain.

    Tell me, does anyone know what the “Gay” trait does in Rogue Legacy?  There are so many traits that have such funny little effects on the game, but I haven’t seen anything different with that one.  Or is it just a funny meta-joke that it’s the one thing that makes absolutely no difference to the player character?

    • SamPlays

      Given the medieval setting, the “gay” trait likely increases the likelihood of castration; at the very least, it prevents you from having children. As such, if you die, there are no offspring to avenge your death.

    • Cheese

      I’m pretty sure a developer is on record saying “Gay” is one of those neutral traits that has no effect. I’d look up the link, but, eh.

      • duwease

        If so, that’s another clever detail in a game that seems chock full of them.

    • DrFlimFlam

      DA2 has some good character stuff. I really dug Isabella even though I wish they’d more proportionately built her, but as generic as the world was at times, the character work was rock-solid.

  • DrFlimFlam

    More Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion, and Fire Emblem. Maybe more ME2.

    This might seem selfish, but MAN, the amount of gaming I’ll get in on Mondays once FlimFlam, Jr. starts school again.

    For new games coming out in the last few months of the year, Mario & Luigi Dream Team has me more intrigued than any game in that series since the original. It really looks like a lot of fun.

  • Raging Bear

    inFamous: Second Son. Not sure about the story, since inFamous 2 seemed to close off the continuity pretty comprehensively, even if it didn’t sound a bit like yet another scrappy-yet-superpowered-rebel-vs.-fascist-oppressors scenario. I vaguely dreamed that, if they did make another inFamous after that ending, they’d have to get especially creative, and it doesn’t look like that’s happening from what (admittedly) very little I know.
    Still, if it has anything like as enjoyable gameplay as its predecessors, I expect to enjoy the absolute ass off of this game.

  • Cheese

    Won’t get much gaming done this weekend because my mom is in town, but I’m working through stuff bought in the Steam sale. Just finished Dust: An Elysian Tale, working next on Fez and Gunpoint.

  • Electric Dragon

    XCOM for me. 3/4 through an alien base raid, having managed to get out of a slightly sticky situation midway through when one of my soldiers found himself surrounded by three Chrysalids. Judicious use of grenades was a great help (better to be badly injured by a friendly grenade than turned into a shambling undead Chrysalid incubator).

    • DrFlimFlam

      “Better to be badly injured by a friendly grenade than turned into a shambling undead Chrysalid incubator.”

      Old adages really do stand the test of time, don’t they?

      • Electric Dragon

        I believe it’s the motto of Sandhurst.

  • stakkalee

    Some more two-fisted gaming on Saturday with my buddy, the usual combo of Fall From Heaven, EVE Online and Fallout 3.  On a related note, I got a call from my friend in the evening earlier this week.  He said “My heart’s racing, I’m out of breath, I had to tell someone and you’re the only one who’d understand.  A few minutes ago some assholes were trying to gank my mining barge so I ran home, got my destroyer, came back and took out both of them!  It feels like a cocaine rush!”  It was the first time he’d done player-vs-player in EVE.
    Then on Sunday I’ll dive into Shadowrun Returns, which is hitting all the right buttons – I didn’t realize how much I missed these isometric top-down games!  I mostly love that they’re not immersive like open-world games, but rather they set the scene with text.  I like having to use my imagination; I think it adds to the experience.  I’m also hoping to play around with the SR editor, but we’ll see how far I get with that.

    • Effigy_Power

      I remember the first time I managed to really kick ass in PvP. There was a raid on that fairly low level Tauren outpost in the Barrens, just outside the starting area. A bunch of lvl 40 Alliance were killing guards, quest givers and low level Hordies. So I snuck in with my Feral Tauren Druid, waited until they were inside a building, turned into a bear and killed 9 of them within 15 seconds.
      It was quite honestly the best moment playing WoW ever and I should have stopped right there and then, dropping the mic on stage.

      • ProfFarnsworth

        That is the best druid story ever. I never play druids because I can never find a good reason to transform into whatever beast form they provide.  Tricking someone to go into a house, then transforming into a bear…that is brilliant!

        • Effigy_Power

          And you should have seen me in-game. That was good too.

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        Being a frost mage in Alterac Valley was probably my favorite PvP time in WoW.  Especially the duel I had with a Hordie where we were both near death, he pushed me off a bridge, and I managed to cast Ice Block about three feet off the ground and take no fall damage…which apparently my PC didn’t think was cool, so it crashed the game on me.

  • Jackbert

    I’m most looking forward to being at boarding school and not having any systems or any free time, so Hotline Miami 2 if it makes it out in 2013, or Batman: Arkham Origins over Thanksgiving break.

    This weekend I’m trying to wrap up Fire Emblem: Awakening again, which I’ve become inexplicably apathetic towards. Last weekend I made it through Chapter 24, which I thought would be the end, but nope, there’s a Chapter 25.I’m also on the Gimlick Valley boss fight in Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time, after that I think I’ll be on the final stretch. 

    Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up games to replace these two this weekend as well. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch or Batman: Arkham Asylum for PS3 and Animal Crossing: New Leaf for 3DS.

    Finally, I’m playing assorted Steam games: getting puzzle pieces in Hotline Miami, trying to beat the first level in Surgeon Simulator 2013, and Bastion.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I like Fire Emblem Awakening, but the narrative is a bit soft. Considering how much one can tinker and level on their own, the plot should drag them back, and it doesn’t at all.

  • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

    Regarding Watch Dogs:

    What is it with all these gravelly-voiced male protagonists? Why is this a thing? Are gamers demanding this and I just don’t know it?

    • SamPlays

      It never crossed my mind before but a bad-ass protagonist who sounds like Gilbert Godfried or Fran Drescher would be too awesome for words. Maybe that’s the answer: it would be too awesome for the gaming community.

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        Better yet, Gottfried’s voice with Drescher’s laugh.

    • Fluka

      I blame Christian Bale’s Batman voice, as that film series has apparently set the gritty, gravelly-voiced standard for modern geek culture.

      • Roswulf

        I don’t understand how as a cultural we ever deviate from the bedrock truth that, with allowances for diversity, the default badass voice should always be an approximation of James Earl Jones.

      • SamPlays

        In terms of games, I would go back a few more years to the original Metal Gear Solid (98? 99?). David Hayter sort of set the voice work template for tough protagonists. For TV and film, the character of Jack Bauer (back to 2001) also left an indelible mark on how heroes (and esp. antiheroes) are portrayed. Interesting side note: Kiefer Sutherland is reportedly replacing David Hayter for Metal Gear Solid V. As AV Club icon ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER would say: PREPARE FOR TOTAL OWNAGE BITCHES!

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

      I think the low gravelly voice works here, since Aiden Pearce seems to be someone who tries to operate in the shadows. But it always cracks me up when I hear that voice in big, dumb, loud action movie.

  • ChicaneryTheYounger

    I’ve given up on Metal Gear Solid 4, because Kojima hates brevity. So probably Hotline Miami (which I’m supremely terrible at, I’m not a good reactor) and Civ 5 (which I’m awful at, I have the worst luck and barely understand the game).

    • NakedSnake

      Hotline Miami will certainly give you the brevity you crave.

      • ChicaneryTheYounger

         In theory. In actuality, I’m over three hours in and not even half way yet.

        I’m bad at videogames, as established by ArmA and Planetside playing.

        • NakedSnake

          Not that it’s a short game, per-se, but it’s a bit lighter on the long-winded plot exposition, right?

        • Effigy_Power

          Nobody is good at Planetside. If they were, Sony wouldn’t sell any stationcash.
          And ArmA… the only one who can best the AI is other AI.

    • huge_jacked_man

      MGS4 is the worst MGS game. There’s good things here and there but it was a huge let down after I pretty much got a PS3 for it. 

      • ChicaneryTheYounger

         I know what they were going for, but all the good stuff from the other games has been changed while all the bad stuff has been ramped up.

        The boss battle against Octopus lady was fun though, and I’ll never find it unfunny to put the mask on and hide in increasingly obvious places that someone give 99% camo.

  • neodocT

    I don’t think it comes out this year, but my most awaited game is the new Super Smash Bros. I don’t even own a 3DS or a WiiU, but I’ll have to get one of them now. Probably the 3DS, as that is full of awesome games. My other awaited game is the Torment sequel, but given how these kickstarters go, who knows when that is coming out…

    This weekend I intend to play more Skyrim, mostly. When I want to take a break from writing this paper I need to finish in the next couple of weeks. I also plan on a bout of Risk with some friends after a dinner party on Saturday. That won’t end well…

  • a_scintillating_comment

    Dragon’s Dogma, anyone?

    • BillyNerdass

      I friggin’ loved it. Its world is kind of bland and it needs some refinement in a few areas but, man, so many great ideas in that game. I’m glad it supposedly sold well enough to merit a sequel.

      • a_scintillating_comment

        Yeah, the core is there, and I hope a sequel could be like ACII was to AC, and deliver on the promise of the first game

  • Pandas_please

    Oddly enough I’m most hyped, right now, for Spelunky and The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth to come out on the PSN. I fell in serious love with Rouge likes recently. Ace Attorney is a great choice though, I can’t wait to see where it takes the series.

    This weekend I’m probably going to finish Bayonetta, a game I never expected to even like, that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/colin.mckenzie.1656 Colin McKenzie

    The only things I’ve got saved up for are GTAV, Saints Row IV, and Lego Marvel Superheroes.  I’m also interested in Arkham Origins and The Bureau, but my bank account is limited.

  • http://www.facebook.com/unspeakable.axe.3 Unspeakable Axe

    GTAV, yes please.   The recent gameplay trailer makes it look pretty exciting, and a large step forward from 4.  Mainly I’m excited to have a current-gen GTA with countryside (I liked Red Dead more than GTA4 because country is better than city), and the addition of a fully fleshed-out underwater world is so great.  I’m sure lots of people will barely even mess with it, beyond what’s required in missions, but I’m planning to spend a lot of time going scuba diving and tooling around in that submarine (!).

    • Smilner

       Man, I liked Red Dead better than GTAIV because GTAIV was relentlessly depressing.  Even the humor was depressing.  Not even black comedy, just sad.  It just seeped through every aspect of it.

      Still, IV did a lot better with how nerve-wracking it *should* be to try to shake cops.  The III trilogy always made it way too easy, says I.

      • http://www.facebook.com/unspeakable.axe.3 Unspeakable Axe

         I get the impression that V is going to be a lot lighter.  It was kind of neat playing a GTA game as relentlessly grim as 4, but it didn’t get me feeling anxious to replay it, once I’d finished the game; in fact the ending left me feeling quite sucker-punched.  (Weirdly, I didn’t really feel that way about Red Dead, though its ending is just as much of a downer; maybe because most of the game leading up to it was lighter on its feet, and the world was so engrossing as opposed to the gritty slog of Liberty City.)

        At any rate, the environment looks a lot brighter as you’d expect out of a return to San Andreas (but with less focus on the seedy areas of L.A.), and the tone of the trailers so far seems much closer to games like Vice City, I think.  We’ll see how the story turns out, but I’m expecting this to be a very fun game.

  • aklab

    I missed this thread last night because I was up super late beating Antichamber. That was fun! Hopefully finishing Dead Space this weekend too. 

    Thanks to @ProfesorFarnsworth:disqus’s continual ravings I am replaying Illusion of Gaia and loving it. I’m in Mu right now. I don’t know how kid me beat this, though. The first boss (the one who also appears on the back of the box) literally took me dozens of tries.  

    And beyond that I hope to spend some time with Kentucky Route 0

    • ProfFarnsworth

      I completely understand.  I have no reactions.  I am sure that kid Farnsworth beat Illusion of Gaia purely on repeated instinct.  I am glad that you are loving it!

    • PaganPoet

      Oh man, Mu and its boss are the absolute hardest part of that game for me. I love it, though!

      • ProfFarnsworth

        The boss at the Incas was really hard for me.  This time I had to use an Emulator so…I cheated (I have no time to keep trying 30 or so tries for that perfect time).  I also have a ridiculous time with the mummy queen.   

  • Dave Dalrymple

    I really liked Apollo Justice as well, although not as unequivocally as I loved the original trilogy. The ending was slightly underwhelming, though, as the Big Bad had already been punished in the first act.

    • CountBulletsula

      SPOILERS for Apollo Justice

      Apollo Justice is funny to me because, despite being the titular character, I believe the game is really about the fall and rise of Phoenix Wright.  Apollo just got caught up in everything because of his ties to the case that was Phoenix’s downfall.  Sure, Apollo benefitted from the whole thing as far as lawyering experience and rediscovering lost family members, but the whole thing was just Phoenix’s plot to get revenge on the man who humiliated him and got him disbarred.  Phoenix completely changed the rules of the entire judicial system in order to catch Kristoph’s murder-by-stamp.  He just needed Apollo to do all of the lawyering for him while he took care of the slightly more dishonest stuff (putting Lamiroir on the jury, falsifying the Ace of Spades with blood on it).  I wonder what Phoenix will be like in Dual Destinies now that he has gone through some shadier dealings in order to get the correct verdict.

      • Dave Dalrymple

        If Phoenix stays on the dark path, then I hope it creates tension with a righteous Apollo.

    • huge_jacked_man

      I don’t know what problem people have with Apollo Justice. It’s arguably more of a “Phoenix Wright” game than it is an “Apollo Justice” game (if anything I wish they gave Apollo more of a chance to shine on his own) and the individual cases are much better than some of the original trilogy’s. Looking forward to Dual Destinies. 

      With Dangan Ronpa fully fan-translated (and emulatable), the original Ace Attorney games being ported to iOS and Android and Virtue’s Last Reward on 3DS this is a good year for visual novels.

  • Mike P

    Batman. And more Batman. 

  • Boonehams

    There are only two games I’m really looking forward to this year: Dragon’s Crown and Saint’s Row IV.

    Muramasa was one of my favorite Wii games ever and I loved Capcom’s Dungeons & Dragons games.  The melding of those two game concepts makes me tingle.

    Saints Row IV needs no further analysis.

  • scortiusthecharioteer

    Rome 2.  I cannot fucking wait.

  • Brainstrain

    Also pumped for the Mistborn game, but I’m also quite excited for Wildstar. The more I hear about it the more it sounds like exactly my kind of game. Of course, I thought that about GW2 as well, and it turned out a bit boring. We’ll see I suppose.

  • Smilner

    Will probably try to pull some Redbox rental codes out of thin air and rent The Last Of Us again.  I’m only a few hours in, and am running out of rental codes.

    Failing that, I’m replaying Arkham Asylum, which is very enjoyable but kind of feels like kid gloves after City.

  • KingGunblader

    The two games I’m most excited for are both coming out in two weeks: Tales of Xillia and Dragon’s Crown. Rayman Legends is a close third, though.

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

       Hooray!  I’m excited that there will be some other folks around to post about Xillia.  I would feel weird and alone if not.  But I’d still post about it.

      • KingGunblader

         It’s hard to find love for modern JRPGs on the internet. I think the Tales series remains one of the best.

  • Rocket N. Nine

    I played a demo of Rayman Legends the other night at a big box store. It was a similar level to the aforementioned Eye of the Tiger level, but set to Black Betty. It is, without hyperbole, the greatest level I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

  • djsubversive

    This weekend will probably mostly be filled with Shadowrun Returns, because it’s Shadowrun. Returning. The Jake Armitage callback was neat.

    I might even get some “map-slaving” done for ArmA 3, because Effigy. Do I need another reason? She has ICBNs. I do not. :)

    • Effigy_Power

      Stuff gets done. Finger stays off the button. Everybody’s happy.

  • Diego Aragón

    Hi! posting for the first time here! 
    I’m really curious about Amnesia: a machine for pigs, I’d like to see what The Chinese Room were able to do with Frictional’s formula. I’m also pretty excited about The Novelist and Gone Home. Right now I´m playing Silent Hill 3 for the first time, so far I like it but maybe not as much as the first two games. 

    • a_scintillating_comment

      Welcome! I think you get a jacket or something

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

      Welcome! *cracks open the welcoming champagne, which is actually just a mislabelled bottle of diet ginger ale, but don’t tell anybody that*

    • ProfFarnsworth

      Welcome! Let me show you my drawer of assorted wires.

    • Diego Aragón

      Thanks for the warm (and admittedly unique) welcome!
      I’ve been following the site for a long time but for some reason hadn’t jumped in to comment.   

  • Kyle Pinion

    It’s basically Arkham Origins and Beyond: Two Souls and that’s about all I’m looking forward to, but oh the former has me pretty pumped. If that Young Justice game gets good enough reviews I might nab it, as I think it’s supposed to fill the gap between Seasons 1 and 2.

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

    I might try to get closer to finishing Portal 2, and I’ve also been playing a lot of Pinball FX2 lately (mostly the Epic Quest and Marvel Fear Itself tables). 

  • Jer Link

    I’m entirely too optimistic about The Stick of Truth. I don’t know when it comes out, but it could very likely be the first game I’ll pay full price for since I got my computer.

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

    There is no contest. I am most looking forward to Grand Theft Auto V. There are only a couple of series where I will stop everything I am doing in my life and take a vacation to play them, GTA, Elder Scrolls and Mass Effect.

    As far as what I am playing, well the Steam summer sale was nice to me, so I’ll be dividing up my time between Sleeping Dogs and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. I also have Microsoft to thank for the free copy of Fable III, and I’ll probably jump on that a few times too. Now that I have a regular 9 to 5 job I get to actually play games on the weekend!!! I feel so honored to be able to finally join in on this discussion. I usually just sat back and watched with anger as all you jerks talked about your weekend plans. My weekends used to be Monday and Tuesday, but not anymore!

  • evanwaters

    Probably gonna play some X-Com.

    In Crusader Kings II I’m doing okay- I managed to finally get a rival faction to dissolve and the only one left is “lower crown authority” which would be kinda bad but who cares. No crusade going, no other wars, right now it’s sort of chill. 

  • DreadfulHero

    Some of my choices for the rest of the year are pretty boring, but…

    Final Fantaxy XIV A Realm Reborn: I’ve only ever played one MMO my whole gaming “career,” but I’ve been fairly intrigued with this one. I got into phase 2 of the closed beta, and have played almost too much of it going through the just finished phase 3. I’m fully prepared to be playing A LOT of this game in a month or so, and the monthly subscription fee doesn’t bother me because the game is so cheap and I’ll probably only be playing for the first two months anyway, and then maybe go back to it every once in awhile if it’s good enough.

    Wildstar: For a guy who has only played one MMO, it’s weird to list TWO here. But Wildstar looks fun, too, but I’m really more waiting on the open beta for this one (and I’m hoping it doesn’t get released too close to my FFXIV playing window).

    Batman Arkham Origins: Even though I didn’t like AC as much as the first game, I am looking forward to this one. The storyline sounds more intriguing than I thought it would, and I’m interested to see how the new voices of Batman and Joker do.

    Wasteland 2: I never really played any of the old CRPGs from the 90s, so the nostalgia factor is a non-issue for me on this one. I just felt like I owed the guys who made the original Fallout something since I loved Fallout 3 so much (yes, I know it’s vastly different and they weren’t involved, but you couldn’t have 3 without 1). So I was a kickstarter backer. Since the beta is in October I have hope this one will be out by the end of the year.

    South Park the Stick of Truth: Will this even be out this year? It seems like it might be taking South Park’s best bits and making a pretty good RPG out of them. I just hope Obsidian can pull it off.

    Assassin’s Creed IV: I didn’t hate III, really, but I was severely disappointed with a lot of the choices that were put into that game (drab main character, viewpoints that did nothing, huge long treks from point A to point B that took forever, etc.) but one thing I did really like about III was the naval stuff and some of the tropic settings those missions took place in. Hey, wait a second! Making viewpoints relevant again and making them fast travel points, plus making the whole game world seamless are good design choices. I’m hoping Ubisoft have learned from their mistakes. Plus since they’re calling this the “Kenway Saga” I’m hoping this just means we get to play as Connor’s dad next time. It’s true they milk the franchise year after year, but I really think this will be the game III should’ve been.

    Watch_Dogs: All the reasons have pretty much been mentioned.

    GTAV: I’m actually interested to see what the multiplayer in this game is going to be like, and since I’ve given up console gaming for the time being I’m going to have to wait until the PC release of this next year. Still, I’m excited to see how this game is received in September. The first true gameplay video killed a lot of my skepticism, and I really am looking forward to exploring such a huge game world, even if I have to wait an extra 6-9 months, probably.

    Dang, this was a long post.

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

      Despite the fact that I’m still working my way through Brotherhood, ACIV looks intriguing to me. Maybe it’s because aside from the Monkey Island series, there really aren’t many good pirate games out there. I just want to plunder villages and drink rum all day…and maybe play some video games later. ;)

      I know that a PC release of GTAV is all but inevitable, but it hasn’t yet been officially announced. I hope they do soon, so that I can finally get excited about it. I’m itching to run around in San Andreas again, and if it’s half as nuts as GTASA, then count me in.

      As for Rayman Origins, how are you finding it? I tried the demo, and it was addictive but challenging. I’m debating whether or not to preorder Legends, since the preorder comes with a free copy of Origins.

      • DreadfulHero

         If you’re just playing through Brotherhood now, I would recommend skipping III. Revelations isn’t that exciting either, but at least you get to see Ezio’s storyline wrapped up. III just meanders, even though it goes through a lot of important points in the American revolution. But I really do think that has to do a lot with Connor, the main character. He’s just boring.

        Rayman Origins is fun. I haven’t played much more than what the demo offered, really, because I’ve been waiting for that co-op play, but it seems like it’ll be pretty great.

  • DrZaloski

    Probably going to be more Awesomenauts for me. I end each match seemingly angrier than the last, yet I still come back for more and more. Kinda excited for the new upcoming patch, though.

    Now, I keep telling myself over and over and over that I’ll get back into and finish Xenoblade Chronicles, but after a long break from such a huge jRPG, I’m honestly intimidated to go back with it. I’ll probably just end up obsessively playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate again.

    I should really get Shadowrun Returns though. Maybe later.

  • snazzlenuts

    Watch Dogs looks pretty cool, but has “Tom Cruise movie” written all over it.