What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Lucas Neff, actor

Lucas Neff, actor

The star of Raising Hope is on fire (in NBA Jam).

By Danny Gallagher • September 20, 2013

In What Are You Playing This Weekend? we discuss gaming and such with prominent figures in the pop-culture arena. We always start with the same question.

Between shooting new episodes for the third season of Raising Hope during the week and voicing the lead character in a new Pixar film called The Good Dinosaur on the weekends, Lucas Neff has a pretty full work schedule. But he still took a few minutes to talk to The Gameological Society about how he spends the free time he does have—dunking on his friends in NBA Jam and brushing up on his math skills.

The Gameological Society: What are you playing this weekend?

Lucas Neff: I recently got a Super Nintendo again. I’ve been hitting up NBA Jam quite a bit. Not Tournament Edition, sadly enough. It’s just regular old NBA Jam. I’m definitely playing with my early ’90s Chicago Bulls, a little Scottie Pippen-Horace Grant action. Pippen is averaging between 55 and 70 points a game right now.

Gameological: You sounded a little disappointed when you said it wasn’t the Tournament Edition. Other than the rosters, was there a big difference between the two on the consoles?

Neff: Honestly, I can’t really remember, but I think there’s a little better dunking action. There’s like some cooler effects or something. Getting on fire was a little bit cooler. I remember there was a “Big Head” code.

Gameological: Yeah, that’s right. The first one had the cheat where you could plays as Clinton and Gore in the home version.

Neff: I’ve been a little too lazy to look up all those cheats yet, so I’ve just been enjoying trashing my friends with good fundamental basketball: steal, turbo, dunk, violent assault, steal, turbo, dunk. Just good solid basketball the way Abner Doubleday imagined it.

Gameological: Was that a game you played when you were a kid?

Neff: Yeah, I wasn’t a huge gamer. My parents just refused to buy video games. We didn’t even have a TV for a few years. I played a lot of sports, but I sort of saw video games as a spectator sport. I would go watch my friends play Killer Instinct and Turok, which was real popular around sixth or seventh grade. Obviously, Mario was enormous for Nintendo. I remember watching these big Mario tournaments with like tons of people, and I would just sort of sit in the back and eat Cheetos. I was also a big fan of Super Mario Kart. I loved to play simpler games.

We had open campus lunch in high school, and there was this deli/cafe called Fat Moe’s, and they had a Mortal Kombat arcade machine. We would play that for hours. We broke it. It just wouldn’t work anymore because we played it so much. We just wore it out.

Gameological: Now that you’re an adult, do you feel like you have to make up for all the time you lost because you didn’t have your own Super NES?

Neff: You know, the saddest thing is that my biggest hobby right now is doing math. I got two chalkboards: a big one in my living room and a smaller one at work in my trailer. I’m going back over algebra and working my way through calculus, and the idea is to get all the way to the math of theoretical physics. That’s sort of the dream right now. I’ve become lamer as time has gone on. I also read a ton. One of my hobbies is that I have 27 different books, and I try to read at least 10 pages of each book every day.

Gameological: That’s not lame at all. That’s probably the most productive use of someone’s spare time I’ve ever heard.

Neff: Last week, I wrote a screenplay in between camera setups. I finished it in about 12 days. It’s semi-autobiographical. A lot of it is from my days of being a really broke dude in Chicago post-college. Just like slumming it with part-time jobs for a while and mixing in some other things, like, I was sort of living off a friend’s couch for a while. Everything was real shitty, and it was just imagining if things had gotten worse as opposed to getting better—like just getting blackout drunk every night, substance abuse, making terrible mistakes with your personal life and just a very shitty family life. Then everything gets worse. It’s an existentialist piece like how we deal with tragedy, how we continue. When tragedy happens, I don’t think that a lot of movies are very truthful. For the sake of being a film experience, a lot of movies choose resolution or big life lessons. Sometimes we just sort of keep living and we don’t really know what to do with our grief. We just sort of keep moving forward, sort of inexorably, just stumble blindly onward.

Gameological: Do you plan on shooting it or selling it?

Neff: I plan on shooting it in the next year. I’ve written a lot before. I’ve written a lot of plays. A play of mine was produced in Chicago about a year and a half ago. If you can write, sometimes you owe it to yourself to do it. Do you ever complain like, “Aww, man, there’s never a movie I want to see at the theaters,” and you’re a writer? Well, then it’s your own fucking fault that you haven’t written a movie that you like to see. What right do I have to complain about there not being any good things to see when I have the ability to sit down and write exactly what I want to see? Now if anybody else wants to see it, that’s a totally different story. [Laughs.] I could have created the biggest fucking dinosaur turd ever, but we’ll see.

Gameological: You mentioned on your Facebook page that you’re also doing a voice in a Pixar movie.

Neff: Yeah, it’s called The Good Dinosaur. Certainly, I feel like this is one of the luckiest moments of my life. It’s a dream come true to work for that studio. They tell stories that I love. WALL-E, Toy Story, Ratatoullie, Finding Nemo—the list goes on. They’ve made a lot of incredible films, some of the best films that I’ve ever seen. I love WALL-E. Toy Story changed the way people thought about making animated films. Toy Story was an epically pivotal moment for a lot of kids who saw that movie. It’s amazing to be a part of that, that sort of environment. It’s like I’m Charlie in the chocolate factory, and sometimes you’re like, “Shit, am I Augustus Gloop? You know, other kids made it in. Maybe I’m not Charlie.”

Gameological: Have they talked about a game spinoff?

Neff: They talk about everything. It’s Disney, man. They’ll be making like—I don’t know, sponges.

Gameological: Will you be voicing the sponges as well?

Neff: Yeah, I’ll be voicing the dinosaur analog clocks that you can purchase. I’ll be doing the ticks and the tocks. Tick, tock, tick, tock. That’ll be me.

And now, we put the question to you. Tell us what you’ve been playing lately, and which games—video or otherwise—are on your playlist for the weekend.

Share this with your friends and enemies

Write a scintillating comment

  • HobbesMkii

    *zombified GTAV thousand-yard stare*

    Mruh?

    • HobbesMkii

      The character of Michael is a carbon copy of Tony Soprano, by the by. Minus the crime family, but otherwise it’s pretty much all there.

      • SamPlays

        So there’s a mission where you feed the ducks in your pool?

        • HobbesMkii

          Honestly, if there were a duck feeding activity, I would do it.

      • Kyle O’Reilly

         Pretty much tit for tat but the thing is the Soprano’s put work into Tony’s family while Rockstar reached into the “Bag of worst stereotypes ever” for Michael’s.  Seriously, this is the first time we have a main character who is a middle aged father in a video game and his wife is a 2-d shrew, his children are just as bad and any chance of saying something worth hearing about family goes out the window.  I was pretty disappointed in this as it’s a wasted opportunity.

        • SamPlays

          Yeah, if you’re going to portray a wife as a shrew, do it in 3D. Please tell me she’s a “shrew” because Michael’s a terrible husband and father. 

        • HobbesMkii

          Yeah, it’s sort of suggested that they’re all as unfulfilled as Michael *apparently* is, but the game doesn’t seem to dwell on it like The Sopranos did. Which is a shame, because it’s entirely doable. You’ve got two player characters who operate independently from Michael. They could certainly interact with his family without him and show us a new perspective.

        • neodocT

           Ah, that’s too bad, I really thought they might go full-on Sopranos with that plotline.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      So this might sound really stupid, but I just watched The Act of Killing tonight and fuck, I’m having trouble even thinking about wanting to play GTA. I was a bit uneasy about it before. I don’t know why but for some reason in the past few years I’m actually really disturbed by the level of violence in games. I can handle stylized stuff like hotline miami, but watching my little brother play GTA V is really upsetting. He jumped in a pool and then walked up to some people sitting at a table on the patio and they started to fight him so he shot them all and one tried to get up and run away. Fuck.

      Also that other white dude that you can play as makes me uncomfortable. I sort of want to get enthused about it and play it, but it makes me really uncomfortable.

      Also if anyone is interested in horrifying documentaries you should totally watch The Act of Killing. It’s good.

      • a_scintillating_comment

        I’m feeling the same way. I don’t know what it is. Most of the time I can still ‘play’ the role of understand the game’s justification, but when they ask me to go on a rampage as Trev, or something’s particularly violent I snap out of the game

      • HobbesMkii

        I don’t think it’s stupid, but I don’t particularly empathize, either. For one thing, extreme violence in media, let alone video games, is far from new to Western and particularly American culture. As long ago as the dime-novels in the late 19th/early 20th century, mass media has been racking up absurdly high, serial killer-esque body counts for its protagonists. One argument has been that video games are in some way more impacting because of the participatory nature of gaming, but I’m not particularly swayed by that thesis. I don’t think people who buy a ticket to a slasher film, say, are unwilling participants when limbs get sawed off and eyeballs gouged out. They paid to make that happen on the screen.

        For another, I think that since Vice City, GTA has done an effective job at portraying its protagonists as psychopaths, and since GTAIV they’ve been quick to categorize violence as poor idea. The plot of GTAIV could be summed up as such: 

        -There is a dispute.
        -Nico suggests handling it peacefully, so that it doesn’t escalates.
        -Nico’s suggestion is not accepted. They go with Plan A: having Nico kill everyone.
        -Nico kills everyone.
        -The dispute escalates.
        -Wash and repeat.

        As for Trevor in GTAV, I think he’s supposed to be terrifying force. I’ve played as far as reconnecting him with Michael, but my sense is that Trevor is the game’s Big Bad. He’s certainly not sympathetic by any measure. His pursuit of the biker gang goes above and beyond just business rivalry (and given those bikers’ identities, certainly doesn’t endear him to me). He’s also the only character who isn’t directly called a psychopath during the course of the game I’ve played so far.  Franklin calls himself a psychopath and Michael’s psychologist calls him a psychopath. Trevor doesn’t need someone to attach that label–it would redundant. The audience has already done that themselves.

        • DrFlimFlam

          I haven’t played the game, but having seen the slow cutting of Breaking Bad, I wonder if Trevor’s character was drawn in part based on Walter White, a character that is ultimately irredeemable with a darkness far beyond what most of us have.

        • Raging Bear

          @drflimflam:disqus Trevor doesn’t seem much like Walter. He’s pretty much dialed up to 11 at absolutely all times, and only ever seems to be lucid or rational by accident.

          He’s the only character whose dialogue I find at all entertaining at times. Unfortunately, he’s also the one character who makes me feel like I need a shower just from looking at him, let alone playing him.

        • Carlton_Hungus

          I just unlocked Trevor and he seems like the most interesting character.  He’s just insane.  Franklin and Michael are, as they and you point out, psychopaths, but they have a shred of humanity about them.  Franklin does (or did it kind of gets tossed out the window early) seem to want to be legit, get away from the gangster life.  Michael, at least has some humanity in that he does seem to care for his children, despite them both being awful.

          Trevor however, is just insane, and he’s made scarier by the fact that he’s not insane and dumb; he’s smart, cunning, and ruthless in his business.  I think it’s interesting the way his “friends/lackeys” are all both in awe of him and seemingly terrified of him.

          In a world where “complex” characters are increasingly the norm, Franklin and Michael are a dime-a-dozen.  It’s interesting to see a character so non-complex, just unchecked, fearless insanity.

        • HobbesMkii

          @Carlton_Hungus:disqus Yeah, Trevor is basically a smarter Joe Pesci in Goodfellas or Casino. He’s more focused and determined. There’s nothing not worrying about him.

        • mizerock

          -There is a dispute.-Nico suggests handling it peacefully, so that it doesn’t escalates.-Nico’s suggestion is not accepted. They go with Plan A: having Nico kill everyone.-Nico kills everyone.-The dispute escalates.-Wash and repeat.

          That was one of the several things I really did not like about GTAIV. It just rubbed me the wrong way, it was neither fun nor funny.

        • a_scintillating_comment

          *SPOILERS*

          Well said. As for the biker gang, I was simultaneously excited and disappointed to see Johnny show up. Excited, because I grew to admire Johnny during ‘Lost and..’ but disappointed because, seeing how that episode ended, I was hoping he would start completely fresh. He almost did. He got to another city, but he couldn’t say no to Ashley…

      • DrFlimFlam

        I wonder if part of it is an age thing, of understanding how the world works, of seeing innocence in the rearview. As much as I liked BioShock Infinite, I found shooting waves and waves of enemies dispiriting (doubly so when using that skyhook), and and while I wanted Shadowmere, I sure didn’t relish murdering a woman on her wedding day as a quest to get there in Skyrim.

      • JohnnyLongtorso

        The violence doesn’t really bother me, it’s Rockstar’s rampant misogyny and homophobia that I find distasteful.

      • Kyle O’Reilly

         They do run the risk that the more realistic and life like they make their world the more uncomfortable it can you make you feel for going on shooting sprees.  My wife left the room after I shot a dog and even I felt a little guilty shooting fleeing people in the back with an Uzi.  But then I put on Space 103.1 and had Bootsy Collins cheer me up.

      • mizerock

        My only “rampage” so far (aside from the beginning) involved mowing down aliens. And apparently it wasn’t even real (though I get credit for it under “bullets shot” and “kills” on my online stats, so maybe it was?). I’ve mostly been cruising around exploring. I felt bad for shooting a cougar, but I was alone in the dark without anywhere to hide. Pretty much the only innocent / police deaths that I’ve caused so far have involved sloppy driving, and then from the panicked attempted escapes, trying to shed the wanted stars that I picked up while accidentally running people over in view of the cops. Or from just standing around — apparently just walking up to people will cause them to flee, or call the cops, or start punching you.

        I figured there would be some sort of “reward” for killing someone with a golf club, but I refused to take the bail. I just went golfing (and shot 2 under).

        • DrFlimFlam

          Do they have to put murderous mountain lions in every single game?

        • Smilner

          @drflimflam:disqus Shades of the RDR cougar, I guess.  Not as cool as last night though when my wife GOT EATEN BY A FUCKING SHARK.

        • HobbesMkii

          People flee in terror if you’re carrying a gun in public, as I learned when I attempted to purchase property while holding my pistol and ended up in a five minute police chase in a dune buggy.

        • mizerock

          I’m pretty sure I wasn’t weilding a gun at the time. And yet, I guess the average pedestrian can somehow tell when you have an Assault SMG somewhere on your person.

        • HobbesMkii

          One interesting facet is that the Rampage challenges from GTA2 and GTAIII do exist in the game, but they’re attached exclusively to Trevor, which makes a whole lot of sense, obviously.

      • HobbesMkii

        I also want to throw out that I think The Guardian has been having a very interesting dialogue regarding the game’s extreme violence (including the torture scene). There’s a number of articles, so I’m just going to link you to their overall coverage: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/grand-theft-auto-5

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

          Thanks, I’ll check this out. I will probably break down and try it out once the multiplayer is live. I dunno what the deal is. Videgames, man.

    • HobbesMkii
  • fieldafar

    Something something Grand Theft Auto V.

    • Morning_Wodehouse

       Is anyone else underwhelmed with the heist missions? After the first one I got the sense there would be a lot of them because they made it sound like the people you choose would get better over time – but I feel like I’m a decent ways into the game and I’ve only had two missions where it even asked if I wanted extra crew members.

      I guess I was expecting a more open ended thing. Right now the heist missions seem pretty scripted.

      • HobbesMkii

        I read there were six of them, but that you could replay them? I dunno what I was expecting, but I know thinking they’d shoehorned in Payday 2 would have been unreasonable.

        • mizerock

          For those that crave more of the GTAV heist missions, is it worth getting Payday 2?

        • HobbesMkii

          @mizerock:disqus Hrm…they’re not really comparable. GTA’s heists are full experiences–collect all the equipment for the heist, pull the heist off, escape in a car chase.

          Payday 2 is more confined–you’ll play a map or series of maps. For instance, if you heist a bank, the heist is just the bank robbery, including drilling the vault, having a shootout with the cops, and then escaping in a van, all on the same map. Some heists are multiple days, but they all follow the same basic model of “achieve objective on this map, either by stealthing or shooting out with the cops.” In many ways, it’s far closer to L4D than GTA. In fact, the first game was very clearly heavily influenced by L4D.

          That said, it was worth $30 to me. There’s a lot of fun to be had in successfully pulling off a stealth heist with a group of competent people (usually GS friends on Steam). If you’re brand new, you might consider waiting until the first DLC drops and they slash the price on the base game or until the Holiday sale.

      • dreadguacamole

         That’s a shame – just got through the first one, and was quite looking forward to more.

      • Carlton_Hungus

        Sad to find out there won’t be more, I just finished the first.

        I had heard that they’ll be available in GTA online, that could potentially be pretty cool if it actually works out, having real people in the various heist roles.

    • Gameological Society Commenter

      Uh, I’d also like to express my fondness for that particular video game.

      • Unexpected Dave

        Woah there hitler

    • Raging Bear

      I’m finding the writing to be somewhat crap, especially in any scene with Michael’s family, which are all intolerable. Maybe it’s just been a while since I played any GTA. On the other hand, I have a custom license plate that says “RAGEBEAR,” so, best game ever!

      I do think they damn near nailed the feeling of driving about in the southwest, though.

      • mizerock

        I went on the Star Tour tram and the scripted patter didn’t make me laugh or chuckle or smile even once. Maybe it’s supposed to be “vapid”? Eh. It’s still miles above [what I saw of] GTAIV, but the writing is the one disappointing element of the game so far.

  • The_Helmaroc_King

    I just finished Dear Esther tonight. Possibly the beautifulest, voidiest game I’ve ever played. The ending didn’t have quite the impact (ha!) that I was hoping it would, given what I’d heard of it beforehand, but at least it didn’t overstay its welcome.

    Not sure what I’ll be playing over the weekend, but I’ll make do. I will be going to a barbeque tomorrow night, though, which should be delicious; we’ll probably end up playing some party games as well.

  • Enkidum

    I’m still grinding FTL almost every day, still haven’t won once (I think it’s due to my refusal to retreat from battle, pretty much ever) though I can now occasionally get to the final battle on Normal.

    On what I think is the last Ratchet & Clank battle as well, but it’s kicking my ass. Think I need to go grind for more bolts to afford the super-duper-whatever weapon you can get on the racing planet.

    And I picked up the last Humble Bundle, so maybe some more Fez, although I have to say I’ve played for… *checks Steam*… 81 minutes and I keep finding stuff and going places and I don’t have a damn clue what I’m doing yet.

    • fieldafar

      I really liked Fez, but I will admit that when I first played it on Xbox Live Arcade, I had to use a guide half the time to complete the game.

    • dreadguacamole

      Fez actually overwhelmed me. So many places to go and things to discover, that when I wanted to backtrack somewhere to find something I had to spend too long poring over the map. I don’t normally mind resorting to guides, but it didn’t feel right for fez – might stumble into spoilers for puzzles I hadn’t even realized were there yet.
       I got it again for the PC with the bundle, and intend to go back to it… and I’ll be keeping notes this time.

    • CrabNaga

      That’s kind of the point of Fez. Once you get to the main hub area, you can go off in whatever direction you choose and find something new. And of course, your first time through, it will probably take you a little while before you understand some of the more puzzling aspects of the game. Basically my best advice would be to keep some notes about things you see written or engraved along the way.

    • Unexpected Dave

      The last boss in Ratchet and Clank is a total asshole. The RYNO makes it a lot easier, but it isn’t essential. Just make sure you have enough bolts to be able to buy ammo on the fly.

      They dial the difficulty down considerably in Going Commando, and they give you a lot more ways to earn bolts.

  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    After a nearly-year long hiatus, I’ve started up Skyward Sword again.
       It suffers from the same problem as all 3D Zelda’s; the now signature endless swaths of empty space.
       But below the clouds everything feels nicely dense and populated and mythology rich.
       And it’s beautiful.  The art direction is really second only to Wind Waker.
       But, god help me.  Those jagged edges. I’m embarrassed by how hard it is to play the game at a lowly 480p.  It’s like thread count.  After sleeping in all these 600 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, it chafes my delicate skin to go back to these commodity Ikea poly blends.
       Oh well.  Rolling bombs like a kid at the bumper bowling lanes never stops being fun.

    • Cloks

      Have you tried component cables? Those might help a little.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        Yup, I do have component cables and they do help.  But there’s only so much they can do.
          Still, a gorgeous game. 

      • DrFlimFlam

        I actually own Wii Component cables and was pleased by the bump – until I played VC games, which don’t output to component.

    • dreadguacamole

       The rolling bombs bit is where I gave up and traded it in, unfortunately – I couldn’t figure out a way to get the game to consistently read that I wanted to do an overhand throw, not a bowl… and viceversa.

  • Cloks

    More Mass Effect 2: Star Trekylon 5. I have two more crew members to recruit (Liara and Legion) and six more loyalty missions. After that I just have to get through the pesky main story.

  • Jer Link

    Hey! If you have a game that you want to play with some gameological chums, why not suggest it for the next Game Revue Club?

  • Flying_Turtle

    Working a lot this weekend, so I’m not sure I’ll get much playing in at all. I might play a little of Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge (yes, it’s a real game, even if it reminds me of Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge), which I much prefer to EA’s Rugby and Rugby 2004. Barring that, I’m still in a baseball kind of mood even with fall fast approaching, so maybe MLB 08: The Show. Maybe I’ll play something with a story next weekend.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I like finding that old sports game that does exactly what you want and then just holding onto it. I have MVP 2003 still and will for some time. It’s the one I want to play.

      • Carlton_Hungus

        I think Tiger ’05, NHL ’06, and MVP ’05 fit that bill for me.  They achieved the height of the (modern) sports perfection in those three.

        • Flying_Turtle

          And with franchise/dynasty modes, as long as the game creates enough new players to replace retiring ones, why bother buying the new version every year? Unless you play online a lot (I don’t), I don’t get why people run out to get each yearly version and complain that it’s just a roster update. What did you think you were getting?

  • Effigy_Power

    Grandiose Motor-Cart Absconding Five. Probably. And some ArmA 3 with the usual suspects. Some more EU IV probably. I want to try to not let GTA dominate my life for a few days with the same power that GTA 3, Vice City, San Andreas and IV did…
    Who am I kidding? GTA5.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I wanted to make a crack about the Ford Model T, but it could actually get up to 40-45, so you COULD play an absconding game with the old tin lizzie.

    • Chum Joely

      Now, you actually despise this game and everything it stands for, right? Or no?

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        Anti-misogyny, pro-chaos is the platform that allowed Eff to win the public’s (my) vote.

        • Effigy_Power

          L’catastrophe c’est moi.

      • Effigy_Power

        Oh yeah, I -drinks beer- loathe myself -takes hit from bong- immensely for playing -injects smack into eyeball- this game, but luckily -has unprotected sex with hookers- I have both realized that I am not affected by it -runs over grandma with car- and that I can cope with these issues -shoots garbage man- in a healthy and controlled -destroys house with excavator- manner.

  • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

    King of Dragon Pass. Playing as clan chief of some Iron Age barbarians is pretty damn fun. It’s set in a fantasy universe with dragons and whatnot but it’s still very well-researched with regard to the attitudes and material life of your people (for example, you can enact a lawsuit against a ghost haunting a site and are eternally fretting over how many cattle you have). 

    Also, the game society’s gendered division of power is not so overwhelmingly patriarchal but it doesn’t feel like a sop to PC sensibilities. The way it’s presented in the game feels perfectly plausible and shows that the developers studied their history and/or anthropology. Using female slaves as currency would have been kind of interesting, though – “You want misogyny? Have some goddamn misogyny you unwashed neckbeards!” I imagine the developers shouting.

    • EmperorNortonI

       King of Dragon Pass rules!  Good luck with it.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I’ve played a couple runs on iOS. I like it, but it always a feels like I’m muddling throuhg the dark towards certain failure. It seems like I could do better if I really learned about that universe and its gods, but I can’t say I’m dying to. Still, no regrets about forking over $6 for it, and I’m glad The Banner Saga is taking queues from it.

      • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

        I’m jealous, the iOS version has actually had updates whereas the PC one from GOG is basically the same as the original. The game really needs a UI update because it’s clunkier than it should be.

        And yeah, I kind of wish they’d based the gods on a real pantheon that I was familiar with. That way I’d know who to sacrifice to if I needed what thingy. And I kind of don’t want to read the myths just so I can do the hero quests.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       That game came out in 1999(?) so I doubt the word misogyny was ever uttered let alone considered at any game studios.  Rad game, though a bit of a steep learning curve.  What old-school PC game doesn’t have a steep learning curve though.

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

    Yay math! A warning, though: the math of theoretical physics is hella confusing.

    This weekend, I’m going to try to finish the increasingly irritating Max Payne 3. If I get bored of that – which I most certainly will – I might fire up Magrunner: Dark Pulse, which I bought on sale a while back. I’ve also got the latest Humble Bundle to keep me entertained.

  • PaganPoet

    I randomly fired up a new game of Final Fantasy V this week. I’m already at the Library of the Ancients. Too old for new games.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      So it’s more like the Library of the Contemporaries, then?

      Right?

      Ah heh….

      heh.

    • Unexpected Dave

      How do you build your characters? 

      • PaganPoet

        Right now, I’m having Bartz focus on more support oriented jobs (Thief, Time Mage, Trainer, Geomancer); Lenna is focused on magic (White, Black, Blue, Summon); Galuf is focused on physical, but with a backup of magic (Knight, Monk, Red Mage); Faris is my physical powerhouse (Knight, Mystic Knight, Ninja, and Berserker);

        Since I’m not at the point yet where enemies are dropping tons of ABP, I pretty much rotate them in those jobs.

  • a_scintillating_comment

    LAN PARTY ON SATURDAY, DOODS.

    I’m talking some HL 1 multiplayer, StarCraft, Diablo, and inevitably someone will try and push DOTA 2 on me again.

    A bit of GTA V if there’s time. BTW, are we getting a Gameo crew together?

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      That’s pretty cool. My last LAN game was probably Icewind Dale, so it’s been 10 years at least. I like the commitment that lugging a tower and a monitor across town represents.

    • Raging Bear

      I have a feeling this is going to be one of my brief flirtations with multiplayer, so I would support the idea of a crew.

    • Carlton_Hungus

      If your doing HL1 multiplayer download the Rats maps (I don’t know if they’re still available anymore though), best custom maps out there.  Also get a modder so you can play them lo-grav!

      Damn I’m jealous!

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        Are those the ones with the crazy secret puzzles? Those are so fucking cool. And yeah, LAN party sounds like a ton of fun. Dota 2 is getting local play in an update next week I think, so you might be able to get away with not playing it, unless you’re going to use matchmaking. 

    • HobbesMkii

      @Raging_Bear:disqus Look! It already exists: http://socialclub.rockstargames.com/crew/gameological_crew

      • Raging Bear

        Invite request pending!

      • a_scintillating_comment

        Alright, my request is pending as well. 

      • Carlton_Hungus

        Me three.

      • HobbesMkii

        I should point out that Illogical Joker (who goes by another name here on the comments board) is the crew boss, so he’ll have to handle the requests.

      • Smilner

         Me four.

  • NakedSnake

    Go Caps! I feel it’s appropriate to take this moment for a shout out to the Washington Capitals, as everyone in Raising Hope is clearly a caps fan, and in all likelihood, the fake town that the show is set in is in Virginia. Go Mid-Atlantic, too!

    • NakedSnake

      Also, thinking about Dead Rising for the Q&A has made me realize that I have Dead Rising 2 on my Xbox after microsoft gave it away for free. It’s Zombie Killing (and annoying survivor-saving) times!!

    • Carlton_Hungus

      That’ll be the kick-off of my weekend, attending the Caps pre-season game tonight (yes I’m that nerdy about hockey to go to an exhibition game).

  • Unexpected Dave

    Finally got a new PS3 with a working disc drive! There are lots of disc-only games I’ve been itching to play, but none more so than Rock Band.  

  • PhilWal0

    This weekend: GTA V.

    Next weekend: Eurogamer Expo! Four days in London playing the likes of Dark Souls 2, Titanfall and Super Mario 3D World. Any other Gameolos goling?

  • Destroy Him My Robots

    Final Fantasy XIV: Just beat the second Primal. The “Oh right, it’s shitty MMO questing” feeling started kicking in at around level 30, but the instances are very good and getting better. They’re challenging and really require cooperation. I’m playing the PUG roulette because I’ve yet to join a Free Company, but I can say I get into a nice group more often than not.

    Monster Hunter 4: So awesome. Trying to get a full set of Ranpos gear at the moment. I’m playing with the Charge Axe and I like it a lot. I dressed my piggie up as a cowboy.

    Animal Crossing New Leaf: Finally got all the extensions for my house, so it’s all public works from now on. Also my Ancient Egypt-themed cat’s birthday is on Sunday.

    • ZTO

      Re: FFXIV:ARR – “Go get us some wine and cheese. From different towns.” “Why?” “YOU DARE ASK WHY?”

    • http://starttocrate.tumblr.com/ Http Lovecraft

      Hey @DestroyHimMyRobots:disqus , I’m still only a few weeks into New Leaf, at what point can you change your house design? (the display in the front right of Tom Nook’s shop)  I have my top floor and basement, but none of the side rooms/full room expansions yet.

      • Destroy Him My Robots

        I wish I could help you, but I have no idea. I would have thought it was always possible. My guess is it’s after having built every room then, but yours is as good as mine.

      • SonjaMinotaur

        I think you need to maximize the whole interior before you can change the design.

        • http://starttocrate.tumblr.com/ Http Lovecraft

          I better keep making mad turnip dollars, then. :) You should get on teh Steams. 

  • EmperorNortonI

    Nothing much for me.  I’ve gotten back into FTL.  I played through Socrates Jones – Pro Philosopher.  Memoir 44, on a board, in the mornings, as usual.  And, some Agricola on my iPad during downtime at work.  Too exhausted to game for real.

    I think I probably spent more time in the last two weeks listening to my favorite strategy gaming podcast Three Moves Ahead than I did actually playing games.  It’s kind of sad.  Then again, I’ve also been kicking my self for not learning how to program in Unity, or use GameMaker, or sending out my finished story, or learning to be a Sommelier. 

    Ugh, I’m too busy being employed.
     

  • feisto

    I got to play the Dark Souls II demo at Tokyo Game Show! Whee! I’m glad to see they haven’t toned down the difficulty at all; at one point, you have to switch your shield to a torch before entering a completely dark cellar, and of course the first enemy you encounter is a huge armored hulk. Roll attacks seem to work better than in the first game–I’m glad they fixed that–but there is definitely a sense of “haven’t I seen all this before?” Hopefully the final product will have more in terms of surprises, but for now, I’m optimistic.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

      You lucky son of chaos.  I enjoyed Dark Souls enough that a tit-for tat game with a new world and basically identitcal gameplay probably wouldn’t even bother me that much.   Though I heard about all the things they’re doing to fuck with you while you’re hollow and all I have to say is “C’mon guys!  I’m only Hollow cuz I keep dying!  Don’t punish me for dying!” 

      • feisto

        Yeah, I wish I could have seen a little more of that; they hadn’t implemented any Hollow features into the demo (which was maybe a good thing; those enemies were HARD!). And I’m totally with you about being happy with anything replicating Dark Souls; that game hits every spot in my self. I just hope the Souls series never turns into an uninspired cash cow for From, because I love it too damn much.

        • ZTO

          I heard there was a pretty major overhaul on the backstabbing function. Did you get to experiment with it at all?

        • feisto

          Hey, @ZTO:disqus, unfortunately the controls we were given were pretty basic; but if backstabbing had been implemented, it sure wasn’t working for me like it did in the first game.

    • http://starttocrate.tumblr.com/ Http Lovecraft

      PLEASE ANSWER @ZTO:disqus ’S QUESTION.  Also, do the rolls/movement speeds seem the same?

      I’m super pumped for a new game, the changes to the online framework and covenants sounds amaaaazing.

      • feisto

        Rolls and movement seemed about the same, but attacks came out quicker after a roll, which is what I was probably happiest about.

  • Crusty Old Dean

    Will probably keep on playing Rayman Legends. It’s pretty great, though I wish it were a bit more straightforward and didn’t bother you about lottery tickets, challenges and pointless playable girls in Viking helmets in between levels.

    I love the levels that are synchronized to music, I wish they were all like that.

    The levels that take advantage of the Wii U features are well done, but I still don’t really like them because they break up the nice flow you’ve got going.

  • Smilner

    My daughter is at her mom’s this weekend, so no Dungeons & Dragons.  Pity, too.  That Scepter Tower is going DOWN.

    So I guess my wife and I be playing GTAV.

    Why didn’t anyone warn me that the movies were 20-minute long student art film projects instead of 3 minute silly shorts like in RDR?  I can’t be wasting my time with that shit.  Save it for when I’m too drunk to video game drive.

    • mizerock

      I heard they were 10 minutes long, I actually gave it a full 5.

  • CrankyKong

    Going to play some GTA V.  

    But after a nearly-decade long hiatus from MMORPG (played Final Fantasy XI), I’ve started playing Final Fantasy XIV.  There is something oddly appealing about how slow paced these games are though this version is a lot more action packed than FFXI ever was.    Plus the music is absolutely gorgeous. 

    Anyone playing this game on the Goblin Server?   

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      Sorry, I’m on Sargatanas. I agree that the music IS very good, but I have to say I still like 1.0′s even better.

    • dreadguacamole

      Those are the two games I’ll be playing this weekend as well.

       FFXIV feels a bit too slow and conservative for my taste, but the job system is wonderful, and it looks beautiful. Doubt I’ll keep a subscription running, but I may come back to it for a couple of months a year.

       GTAV is GTAV. I’m actually finding the gameplay itself to be a bit mediocre (just like GTAIV, but with shittier car handling), but the sense of exploration is incredible. The production values and attention to detail are incredible.

      • Destroy Him My Robots

        How far are you? Because 2.5 seconds GCD or not, I find Sunken Temple of Qarn for example far more hectic and demanding than, say, most WoW heroics.

        • dreadguacamole

           Not very far at all, despite putting in a lot of time – got tempted to try different classes and check out the different starting cities. My highest level is 16.

           I’m mostly a solo player, so I can’t speak for the dungeons. But the long power activation timer and the amount of health even-leveled monsters have makes fights take a tad too long for my liking. It’s getting a little bit better as I level up, though.

           There’s a lot to like here, especially in the non-combat front. The crafting system is great; not as good as Vanguard, but better than most other “watch this progress bar get to the end” systems, and the gathering mechanics are the best I’ve ever seen on an MMO. Square’s done a really, really good job there.

        • ZTO

          It also seems that certain classes, namely archer/bard, end up having a pretty hefty number of skills that operate outside of the 2.5s GCD. I find myself flailing at the keyboard for all kinds of different skills in boss fights.

        • Destroy Him My Robots

          @dreadguacamole:disqus Ah, I see. I think 16 is the minimum for the first dungeon and some of them are required for storyline progression, so you’ll probably see one soon enough. They don’t get crazy until 30 or so, though.

          I’m mostly a solo player, too, but I wonder how feasible that is with this game. There’s so much to gather and all the crafting jobs intersect somewhat; the duty finder can take forever and of course some PUGs are bad; there’s so little storage space and setting up mules doesn’t work. Having a reliable Free Company sure would be nice.

          I like the gathering and crafting too, but honestly I’m not so sure whether it actually makes sense, economically speaking. I’m pretty sure I can make the money I need for high quality gear from the market boards in less time than what I’d need to invest to level appropriately. But that might just be a legacy server thing.

  • Chum Joely

    Lots of video games this past week… well, by my standards. I finished Driver: SF and may be on track to whip through the “main path” of Rayman Legends… but there are so many other damn paths in this game that I’m not sure whether that counts as finishing the game or not. Doesn’t matter, though—I’ll be playing it.

    Parting impressions of Driver: A couple of weeks ago, Kyle O’Reilly encouraged me to finish the game in order to experience the truly “wack-a-doodle” powers that Tanner acquires in the last few minutes of the game. Well, I’ve been there, people, and the situation in lucid-coma San Francisco is not only wack-a-doodle, but wackle-di-diddle. So the end of the coma portion was suitably over-the-top, but then the end of the whole story was abrupt and sort of unsatisfying. Oh well, at least I’ll always remember the final high-powered “Jun” race mission, and the stunt mission before that where you return the stolen classic cars to the police vans. Those were the missions, 80+% of the way through the game, where I actually learned to completely control my acceleration AND my steering at the same time. Makes a big difference, surprisingly enough. In conclusion: I love this dumb, chaotic, thrilling game.

    As for Rayman Legends: It’s just as great as Origins, and almost overwhelmingly huge. Slightly easier, in some ways, but still with some controller-snapping difficulty in places (in a good way)… and I haven’t gotten to the “Living Dead Party” levels yet. Compared to Origins, Legends changes up the gameplay and level design in a number of interesting ways, too—I’ve just started up with the undersea/stealth levels (“The Mysterious Inflatable Island” and “The Deadly Lights”), and I’m enthralled. Not to mention the music on the “Island” level in particular—their music team is definitely still knocking out the hits.

    Happy gamey weekend, all.

    • DrFlimFlam

      A more perfect world would always play the Rayman Origins underwater music when you are in water. Fast one or slow one would depend on the mood.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       I feel you on that ending.  You figure if the Driver SF guys took the time to program the ability (sort of spoiler) THROW FUCKING CARS WITH YOUR MIND they’d let you keep on doing it throughout the game, but still overall it’s a great game and one that dare I say, might have influenced GTA V’s out-of-body-experience mechanic.

      • Chum Joely

        It’s true– wouldn’t it have been nice if there were some extra missions after the story mode is complete where you can keep doing that? I never get tired of seeing lightning strike a car, blasting it into the air and flinging it towards a target of my choosing.

        I really did expect some kind of a twist at the end where Tanner’s powers would somehow carry over, even just a little bit, into real life… but alas, in vain.

  • DrFlimFlam

    Skyrim for certain. I didn’t know that when you put up a nice torture room that they’d POPULATE it. When they say DARK Brotherhood, they don’t mean that it’s dim and underground.

    It’s been some months since a board game night, and it’s back, as tomorrow night the Mrs. FlimFlam and I are having another game session with some friends. I heard that Forbidden Island will be returning, which surprised me, because I thought only I liked it, but beyond that, unsure which games. Will bring Elder Sign just in case. They should’ve put some text on the front, something like, “Who knew Yahtzee could be this much fun?”

  • Jackbert

    GTA5!

    Not really. Trying to keep people from moving in Animal Crossing. Also need to find the time for some bell-grinding so I can change to the Beautify ordinance because my town is disgusting. Maybe some more XCOM, though I’m not digging it a whole lot so far. Bought the Humble Bundle as well, might check out Fez or Mark of the Ninja.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I went from ten villagers down to eight. I’m hoping someone moves in at some point. It’s getting kind of lonely in Pawnee.

      On the plus side, the ones I’ve like I’ve been able to keep around.

      • Jackbert

        One of my middle favorite villagers, Moe, moved out. I didn’t play for a while. When I came back, he said he was moving the next day, and I could’t convince him to stay. A new animal, Rizzo, is moving in tomorrow. Outside of that, no one has moved. I’m really worried one of my favorite animals will move though, so I basically spend ten minutes a day talking to everyone.

        • Chum Joely

          In 200 words or less, compare and contrast this daily habit with Lucas Neff’s 10 pages a day from 27 different books. You have 30 minutes.

        • Jackbert

          Like Lucas Neff, I have a daily routine of media
          consumption. However, the media we consume is far different. He spends his days
          reading at least ten pages of each of his twenty-seven books. I spend my days
          talking to cartoon animals.  Though our
          habits vary, when viewed through the lens of subtext, they are not so
          different. Lucas Neff reads different books so that he is exposed to a variety
          of topics and perspectives. An account of the 1985 Chicago Bears, an organic
          chemistry textbook, and a young adult fantasy novel may be some of his daily
          reading. With this diversity, he becomes a well-rounded person. In the same
          token, I talk to each of my Animal Crossing villagers so that I am learn about
          their interests and perspectives. Eunice is shy and likes reading. Kody is
          boisterous and likes exercise. Curlos is flirtatious and likes music. When I
          converse with them, I learn different things, just like Lucas Neff.

          (161 words, 3 minutes before deadline.) 

        • Chum Joely

          Ladies and gentlemen, this young man is a true professional.

      • SonjaMinotaur

        And I wish some of my villagers would just freaking move out already.  I actually have one guy who TWICE has come to me saying he was going to move out then refused to leave when I said that I was ok with it. Well, he’s a lazy villager, so I guess he’s really just that lazy. 

        I’m not even going to pretend I’ll be doing anything else besides Animal Crossing this weekend. I’ve spent all week building spreadsheets so I can make sense of my inventory and I’m going to use them.

        • DrFlimFlam

          I’ve started to clear out some of the stuff I realized I’m never going to use.

          Unless I create another villager…. hmmmmmm….

  • dmikester

    Hey hey, Gameologiconians!  It’s been too long since I’ve been round these parts, but between raising a puppy and slowly preparing to move across the country soon, I’ve had my hands full and had basically no time for video games.  But now that the puppy is close to adolescence and I don’t need to watch her every waking second I’m home, I’ve slowly started to play games again.  So let’s see.

    The two games I’ll likely be playing this weekend are Grand Theft Auto V and Gone Home.  I just started playing GTA V, and it’s great.  I had an uncanny valley moment during the first mission you play as Franklin when you’re driving down PCH and make that turn up the incline to get into Santa Monica.  I’ve done that drive many, many times in real life (though not racing someone in a stolen car), and it was surreal to do it in a game and have it feel so right.

    I actually already beat Gone Home the other day (The Digest’s review is what finally convinced me to buy it), but I really, really want to play through it again to find things I missed.  For example, I found out about at least one journal I missed from reading an analysis of the game, and there’s apparently a “Mittens” easter egg journal?  I have mixed feelings about Gone Home, but I mostly loved it, and I wonder if it’ll be even better the second time around.

    • Fluka

      Whoa whoa whoa whoa…there’s a secret Mittens journal?  *Runs to check youtube!*  Aaaah kitties!

      I approve of the resolutely pro-cat stance of this game.

  • duwease

    Finishing up Saints Row IV at the moment.  Man, if only every open world game could pack this much goofy fun into every square inch.  I beat the storyline, and now I’ve swapped President Camacho for an Amy Winehouse clone with an Eastern European accent, and I’m running around clearing up the last couple of challenges while listening to my custom SRIV mixtape.  Speaking of, why is this the first open world game I know of to let you make a mixtape of the songs you want to destroy to?  Another brilliant little touch.

    Also playing the Magic 2014 expansion.  I said I wouldn’t buy it because it didn’t expand Sealed and I didn’t like the Pre-con balance, but they finally made a sweet red-blue counterburn deck and I caved.

    Not sure what’s next.. GTA V seems awfully tempting.  I never did play Blood Dragon though.. is that short enough to squeeze in between the two?

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

      If you don’t do any of the side stuff, I think you could probably complete Blood Dragon in 10 hours. It’s a lot of fun, but it does get a bit repetitive before the end.

    • ZTO

      Have the Magic games added in a Commander/EDH play mode yet? It’s really the only format I play these days and I think it would lend itself pretty well to the 1v1v1v1 format that Planechase had in 2012. That said, that red/blue deck DOES sound deliciously obnoxious.

      • duwease

        Nope, no Commander or EDH.  They tend to add a new mode every year, though, so maybe it’ll get there eventually.  I’d be a bit bummed if they replace Sealed though.. that was my favorite part of this year.

        So far the red-blue deck DOES seem delightfully obnoxious.  It’s chock-full of sweepers in a meta where the top 3 decks are all weenie aggro.  I didn’t play much online because I don’t like aggro and it’s no fun getting smashed by it every game.. but I think I’ll enjoy unleashing this bad boy on them.

    • Cloks

      SRIII would let you make a soundtrack as well, but it was confined to driving. I love playing nothing but “The Boys are Back in Town” and destroying shit.

  • stakkalee

    My gaming buddy and I are planning another two-fisted gaming session on Saturday, him in EVE Online, me in AC2: Brotherhood, and a shared game of Fall From Heaven.  I’ll also probably dump more time than I should into the online Bombermine MMO, to which I’ve become VERY addicted.

  • Chip Dipson

    Rayman Legends is going to be taking up all my time. I don’t think it’s as good as Origins, but those bit-trip-like music levels are sublime.

  • indy2003

    I will likely get to GTA V soon-ish, but at the moment I’m playing Kingdom Hearts Final Mix 1.5 Super-Duper Final Recut HD Remix Edition (or whatever it’s called). It’s my first time visiting the franchise, and though some elements of the game are clearly pretty dated, it’s been a lot of fun thus far. Just wrapped up my time in Atlantica – around level 37 or so at the moment. The main frustration has been that the game sometimes does a rather poor job of telling you where you’re supposed to go or what you’re supposed to do to advance the plot, leading to long sessions of running around aimlessly following by a quick check of an online walkthrough.

    Anyway, playing the game has given me a bit of an urge to try to get into the Final Fantasy franchise again, but I can’t seem to find a good starting point. I tried XIII a couple of years ago (since it was the latest version and all), but after six hours of bland tutorial, I gave up. Would the forthcoming X/X-2 HD collection be a better place to start? VII, VIII and IX are all available on PSN, do any of those titles still hold up well?

    • Unexpected Dave

      FFVIII has aged surprisingly well. The lack of grinding is a big plus.

      FFIX is fantastic and fun.

      Also available on PSN are FFV and FFVI. The latter is arguably the best in the series.

    • patagonianhorsesnake

      i just started playing it recently, but i’ve kind of fallen in love with ix, so there’s that.

  • uselessyss

    After reading this interview, I think I’m going to spend my weekend reflecting on all the screenplays I’ll never write and all the math I’ll never learn.

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

      As somebody who has a math degree, let me tell you: the more math you learn, the more time you spend thinking about all the math you’ll never learn.

      • DrFlimFlam

         Isn’t math just turtles all the way down?

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

          It can be. We’re often told that optimization is costly. So a reasonable question to ask is how to minimize the costs of that optimization. But that, in and of itself, is an optimization, and is therefore costly. So one might want to minimize the costs of THAT optimization. And so on and so forth. Unless the costs of each subsequent optimization converge to zero faster than 1/n, optimization is infinitely costly and should never be conducted. Conclusion: do whatever the hell you want and never try to optimize!

          It really is turtles all the way down, man.

      • ZTO

        I have my degree in physics and I feel like naming theoretical physics is a really odd choice if you’re only working on math. Because of, you know, the physics and stuff. I think he should aim for partial differentials and see if he has enough chalkboard space to solve problems after that. (Full disclosure, I make Wolfram do all math besides multiplication by zero. Even addition.)

  • evanwaters

     Getting back into World of Warcraft- I still have plenty of alts so there’s always something to do. There’s new raiding content but I’ve never raided- that’s a whole other level of the game.

    Got frustrated with my current CKII game- I’ve been aiming to reform the Norse faith, finally took control of three holy sites, but now the moral authority of it is too low thanks to other Norse countries and my own vassals losing Holy Wars and prepared invasions. (And I already used up my current ruler’s prepared invasion at the start of his reign.) May have to settle for just painting the map red and/or fending off the French.

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      I’m doing FF14 at the moment, but I’d love to hear some thoughts on The Timeless Isle if you’ve played that and have the time.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

      That’s a similar experience to what I have in CKII most times I play.  Go in with what seems like an achievable goal, (unite all of the Iberian Penisula) get undermined by some obscure cousin or whatnot, spend years and years, futilely trying to achieve the original goal as your family fades more and more into insolence.  Rage quit and go play Civ V to feel smart again.

  • Aurora Boreanaz

    Wow, does nobody else know who Lucas Neff is?  Surprised to see very little mention of him in the comments so far.

    Raising Hope is an awesome show, especially now that I have a daughter.  Everyone on the show does a fantastic job, especially Neff, Garret Dillahunt and Martha Plimpton.  (I had only seen Dillahunt in The 4400 before, so had no idea he could be so great comedically before this show!)

    It’s pretty awesome that Neff is working on self-education as well.  My little (step) brother is in school for theoretical mathematics, and I quit learning math at the pre-calc/statistics level, so have no idea how to even process the stuff he’s learning now.

    Also amusing to me, my cousin’s husband is a dead ringer for Neff, especially in his old high school photos where he had a similar hairdo.

    GAMES – I’ll be splitting my time this weekend between all of the games I’ve bought on Steam in the past two weeks: FTL, Gunpoint, Mark of the Ninja, Terraria, Rogue Legacy, Fez, etc.

    • NakedSnake

      Sometimes I feel like even mentioning the content of the WAYPTW article in the comments is taboo.

    • indy2003

      Watched the first season of Raising Hope and really enjoyed it. Need to catch up sometime – too much quality television out there these days (as noted by the A.V. Club’s latest “For Your Consideration” article).

    • DrFlimFlam

      I’ve seen some of it. Gregg Garcia makes a pleasant type of comedy that isn’t without merit, but I can’t ever find myself excited to watch another episode of it. If it’s on, I might watch it, but beyond that, well, Jack McCall is on that show.

    • waxlion

       I’ve never actually seen Raising Hope even though I think I have seen it mentioned positively on The AV Club. Had it kept the original title of “Keep Hope Alive” though I think that darker edge (yet still vaguely optimistic) would have totally pushed me towards checking it out sooner.

  • Kyle O’Reilly

    Like everyone else, I am a slave To the zeitgeist of GTA V and what a slave I am.  I played this game consecutively more than almost any other game in the past three months… in three days!

    I even leave the game on and listen to it’s radio when I do my daily challenges on Spelunky!

    I am also hoping to crack into the LA Gamespace Experimental Game Pack which has some really interesting games in there that I have ignored so that I can take part in the media-stomping-freight-train that is Grand Theft Auto V.  THEY’VE GOT A BOOTSY COLLINS RADIO STATION WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO!?!?!?

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

    Well, I have friends visiting from afar this weekend, so it’s unknown.  Maybe Munchkin?

    Oh hey, more news from the Xbox WHAT!? Department: The Xbox One should not be oriented vertically, lest you risk causing damage to its apparently tender innards.  Whereas the PS4 has primarily been shown off in “monolith mode”.

    I’m thinking this could be a new marketing angle for Sony…

    “Store it flat or on its end!  PS4 does what Xbox One’t!”

    • DrFlimFlam

      I never liked those systems where they talked about flipping it on its sides. It’s asking for trouble. In my day, consoles stayed flat!

    • ferrarimanf355

      Of all the things to ding MS on…

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        …here is another one!

        • ferrarimanf355

          Seriously?

          I can’t wait for the inevitable letdown when the PS4 doesn’t live up to anyone’s lofty expectations.

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

        Well, it’s like, “hey, let’s talk about a potentially serious problem with our console that you probably weren’t even thinking of.”

        That, coupled with the reason offered, (“we just didn’t design the drive for vertical. Because it’s a slot loading drive, we just didn’t design it for both.”) is bizarre.  That article then goes on to point out,

        “The Xbox One isn’t the only system to feature a slot loading drive; both the PlayStation 3–original and slim models–and PlayStation 4 have a similar design, and users are free to orient those consoles horizontally or vertically without risking damage to the console.”

        (Also the Wii, and countless home computers, particularly Macs, include slot-load drives that work in either orientation.)

        Plus I just wanted to make that belabored “One’t” pun.

        My core expectations for the PS4: It will be another PlayStation, which is to say, there will be JRPGs on it.  That’s really my main concern. Also I can store it vertically, which means I won’t have to buy a new TV stand to accommodate it, as space is at a premium for me.

      • evanwaters

         It’s one of those “when you’re starting from behind” problems. Normally no big deal, but MS has screwed up the PR quite a bit so every further setback hurts. If this had happened to the 360, no biggie- hell, the RROD problem was something they could overcome- but at this point they really need to get people looking at the positives.

      • Enkidum

        Do you just scan the articles and comments for things that could be interpreted as negative mentions of Microsoft? Seriously, they’re not going to go broke because of a few people making fun of them.

        • ferrarimanf355

          No, but the lionization of the PS4 is beyond annoying to me when the exclusives Sony has are slim, and the indie games they keep beating their chest about are either old games (Fez, Minecraft), or will probably show up on Steam/GOG/whatever PC distribution sevice (everything else). 

      • Enkidum

        Personally I don’t care at all about most of the exclusives, and ultimately they’re very similar physical products (and to the extent that they differ it’s generally not in M$’s favour). However Sony has clearly won the PR war for the time being (you can’t deny that), and PS+ is such a vastly better deal than Xbox Live that for me it would be a deal-breaker if I was planning on buying either of them (which I’m not, at least not for a couple of years). And the fostering of the indie games is a savvy move on Sony’s part – at worst it gives them a slight PR boost again, but at best it gives them strong relationships with the people who are actually coming up with the ideas that will come to dominate the future industry.

        But… I just can’t imagine getting worked up about it. I mean, at the end of the day one multi-billion-dollar corporation is going to make slightly more than one other multi-billion-dollar corporation. Who gives two shits?

  • WELCOME_THRILLHO

    I will be attempting to pass myself off as a storyboard artist (at least well enough to have a shot at a new job), but in between that I will play some Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs.  Colon game weekend!

    • DrFlimFlam

       Good luck and have fun with the colons!

      • Chewbacca Abercrombie

        Also an apt reply to “I’m taking my final exam and when I pass I’ll finally be a proctologist.”

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      Ooh, good luck!  Storyboards are fun and awesome, and I suck at them so much that I failed a class in 1995 where I produced a finished animation without the required storyboards.

      • WELCOME_THRILLHO

         Thanks! I just want to make sure I get the test done- even seeing how far I can get will be good. It’s a little tough trying to be funny in the specific way that they want you to.

  • ferrarimanf355

    Probably some Pinball Arcade. Goin’ Nuts has a spell on me.

  • His_Space_Holiness

    This week in New Vegas: I started playing the DLC, beginning with Dead Money, and absolutely loved it. I don’t know what mad genius decided to combine a casino heist with a horror game, but it was a masterstroke. Creepy as hell, great atmosphere and scenery, and backstory carefully parceled out in dribs and drabs. Putting a race-against-time right after a boss fight was a dick move, though. And those almost-invisible radio receivers can go right to hell.

    Next up, I figure I’ll stash the bulk of my gear at the Lucky 38 to give Honest Hearts a try (stupid 75-pounds-or-lower requirement. I have mild OCD, for God’s sake, I can’t not carry around every damn thing I find!). Gonna go mess with the future-Mormons, aw yeah.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      Horror heists and future Mormons?  I’m suddenly sad I skipped the DLC!  (After being underwhelmed by the Fallout 3 DLC I tried, I figured it wasn’t worth it for New Vegas either.)

      • djsubversive

        New Vegas is an improvement over Fallout 3 in pretty much every single way, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t expect that to carry over to DLC. Dead Money is awesome. Honest Hearts brings back Yao-Guai and introduces Giant Cazadores (also, Joshua Graham and the Survivalist’s Story). Old World Blues is silly and fun and has weapons for everybody. Lonesome Road has a lot of ruined-city-exploration that New Vegas lacked (but F3 was full of).

        The other two are nice to have but not necessary – I actually have a mod that takes all the extra Courier’s Stash loot that you normally would get when starting a new game and places it out in the world (sometimes with vendors, sometimes on enemies, and sometimes just lying around). Gun Runner’s Arsenal is just a big ol’ money-sink that could be nearly replicated with mods (AG’s Supplementary Uniques is a good one), but Paciencia and the Hyper-Breeder Recharger Pistol are pretty awesome.

    • djsubversive

      yay, you liked Dead Money! That’s probably my favorite one because it’s just like “hey, player, guess what? fuck you, that’s what.” Plus, it’s got Dean Fuckin’ Domino and Elijah.

      Honest Hearts is fun times. Most of the gear you bring with should be ammo. Bring one, maybe 2 guns, a bunch of ammo for them, and a set of armor. Don’t worry about food/water – that shit’s everywhere in Zion. You’ll also get the Tommy Gun and Colt M1911, and ammo for them (and once you get back to the Mojave, people will magically start selling .45 ammo). There are also a few places around Zion where you can safely stash your loot.

      • His_Space_Holiness

        Frickin’ Elijah. Yeah, my following a mysterious radio signal out of curiosity is exactly the same as putting bomb collars on people and forcing them to steal shit. They teach false equivalency in Brotherhood of Steel employee orientation now?

        Also, thanks for the weekly spoiler-free tips. They’re a big help.

        • djsubversive

          Oh, Elijah lives in Full-on Crazytown. Old World Blues recently had a visit from him, Christine, and Ulysses (pre-Dead Money in the timeline). Saying much more would probably be getting spoiler-y, but you should totally go to BIG MOUNTAIN when you’re done in Zion. He becomes both more awesome and more awful.

  • djsubversive

    There are games other than ArmA 3 but I doubt I’ll be playing any of them. Working on a mission that involves a murder mystery (sort of) and artillery. Last night Eff managed to steal a helicopter from Camp Rogain (the only picture of the place that I got) before the truck with the grenade machine gun killed her (like it killed me, and I wasn’t even going for the helicopter). Then she picked me up and almost crashed (twice). Then I died (again) and she took out like 8 soldiers before they got her.

    Also, I got callsigns to work, so now the team members are named Ghost, Stranger, Jester, and Frost (because those are names that get spoken – see the nameSound section here if you’re actually interested. ‘Nomad’ didn’t work, so the medic became Stranger).

  • ItsTheShadsy

    Replaying Mega Man Legends. I like this game so much but OUCH the controls have aged awfully. Luckily the game is built around that, but it’s taking some getting used to.

    It’s such an imaginative and fun-spirited game though. It’s charming in almost a naive way, like a cross between Miyazaki and a Saturday morning cartoon. Shame some of the writing is clumsy (there was one expository line to the effect of “Don’t worry, we’ll find it… and your parents!”).