What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Michael J. Nelson

Michael J. Nelson, comedian

Rifftrax’s Michael J. Nelson has a never-ending battle with words, whether he’s working or playing.

By Danny Gallagher • September 27, 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.

Michael J. Nelson has spent the better part of his comedy-writing career talking to screens. He started out as the smart aleck everyman trapped on the Satellite Of Love with Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo in Mystery Science Theater 3000. Now, he mocks movies along with the voices of those old puppets, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy respectively, in his comedy group Rifftrax. They recently performed a live, nationally broadcast show of Starship Troopers thanks to a recent Kickstarter campaign and are gearing up for a Halloween show featuring the George A. Romero cult classic Night Of The Living Dead. Nelson took a much needed break to talk to us about his addiction to word games and the importance of shutting off your mind, especially when your job requires you to watch all five of the Twilight movies.

The Gameological Society: What are you playing this weekend?

Michael J. Nelson: It’s so pathetic, but I’m playing, as I usually do, a game called Word Play, and I just do it on my phone, and it is the simplest game on the planet. It’s basically a word search game. So to get away from typing words into a computer and to escape from that, I type words into a computer and try to beat my own score. So I don’t know what compels me, but it’s my Solitaire, I guess.

Gameological: Does it feel like when you’re not writing words that you need to be battling words in some other way?

Nelson: It’s probably similar to a friend I had whose dad worked for the US Mint. He would crunch numbers all day long and in his spare time, he would memorize the lifetime batting averages of every baseball player who ever played. I thought that is the strangest thing, and I find myself doing something pretty similar. It’s just something that occupies your mind, but also it’s a different way of playing with words.

I was obsessed with playing this little handheld Scrabble game. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen them. You can find them at garage sales and stuff, and I think they still make them. It had levels from one through four and then five was just, it cheated and you could not beat it. That was my obsession: to play that and of course, I would personify the computer like it was this person out to get me. So this seems a little more relaxing than that.

Gameological: Does Word Play offer turn-based multiplayer?

Nelson: It can be, but I like to labor under the illusion that I’m the smartest guy around and would never want to challenge myself against someone else.

Gameological: So you never play against someone else?

Nelson: I don’t know why I’ve always had an aversion to not knowing who is on the other end. I guess I can play Words With Friends and stuff, but I just know it would turn bitter because I want to win at everything.

Gameological: Are there any games in the Rifftrax office that you and the other writers play?

Nelson: We have a shuffleboard table, like a real, professional, super long one. Not like the chintzy ones that you see in bars that are all hacked up. Everyone at Rifftrax is an expert at shuffleboard so the tournaments are very hotly contested.

Gameological: What kind of escape do games provide for you?

Nelson: I think there is something about the writing process that is so solitary for one thing. Even when I was in more of a writing room that was more traditional, with a bunch of people sitting around. We had a ping pong table for awhile when I worked at Mystery Science Theater 3000 and essentially, writing was just killing time until we could play ping pong. Then when we got the PlayStation, it was the same deal. It’s just a thing to look forward to because writing is so hard in its way, not that other jobs aren’t, but there is something about shutting it off and doing something kind of mindless that you really crave. Another thing we used to do was a couple of guys and I would just immediately go out and play catch, just anything that exercises a different part of your brain.

Gameological: Are you still working on the Night Of The Living Dead show now?

Nelson: A lot of different things, but Night Of The Living Dead is starting to come into focus for us, and we’re looking forward to that. We’re also going to do a Christmas show, we think. It’s not for sure yet. So a lot of live shows and a lot of new products. There’s always this cranking out the writing and because it’s so solitary, it’s fun for us to do the live shows because you get to crawl out of your basement, stop staring at a computer, and meet actual humans. It’s a wonderful thing.

Gameological: Now that video games are practically on the same production level as movies and even the same level of cheesiness in some cases, have you ever thought about riffing on a game in some way?

Nelson: We have experimented with this. We did something for IGN. We did a little snippet, and I think it was one of the Gears Of War games. We did some cutscenes for the Joystiq people once. They pulled together some really funny stuff. So we’ve dipped the toe in, and I think it works just as well.

Gameological: Is that something you’re looking to expand into or was it just one time experiment?

Nelson: I think we probably will do more. It’s not solid at this time, but we’re talking to a few people about it.

Gameological: Is it harder to make fun of games or is there no comparison between Gears Of War and The Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy?

Nelson: [Laughs.] It’s similar to doing a blockbuster movie or something like that. I think the biggest challenge for us is the variety of games. We don’t spend as much time playing games. I’m probably the most familiar with them out of all the guys from Mystery Science besides the younger guys, but I don’t think even they play as many games, so it would require for us just as much research and time as we put into a movie—sort of screening it. I think the challenge is just being familiar enough with the characters to make good, informed jokes.

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

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  • Enkidum

    At a conference all weekend, so other than Bloons Tower Defence 5 which I just downloaded for my phone (Yay Humble Android Bundle 2), and I’ll probably run through more FTL to decompress because I appear to be addicted.

    Also, yay Rifftrax/MST3K!

    • SamPlays

      Oddly, Michael J. Nelson actually looks like he could be the love-child of Michael J. Fox and Craig T. Nelson.

    • boardgameguy

      I’ve been loving FTL also! I think I’m close to beating it on easy, although I took a pretty big hit when five guys teleported on to my ship and destroyed all but two of my crew. But now I know how to better defend myself for the next time that happens.

      It really is like the table top game Space Alert, but for 1p. It shares the same kind of frantic hustle to keep your ship alive though. So much fun.

  • Fluka

    Mike Nelson!  On Gameological?!  Squee and similar noises!  Up with this sort of thing!  *Watches Gears of War Rifftrax*

    So I’m finally coming to the end of my month-long gaming detox and am super-eager to play something.  And the past week has been draining, involving both early mornings and business travel, from which I haven’t yet returned.  And Mr. Fluka is out of town. 

    So, er, I’m not really sure I’m going to be able to stop playing Dragon Age: Origins once I get home this Sunday.  See you folks in a few weeks.

    It’s been a full two years since I last played, and I realized I’ve never actually done the DLC (even Awakening!).  So I’ll be coming back to it fairly fresh.  Gonna go against everything I did in my first game.  Two-handed warrior/berserker lady.  Noble Dwarf origin.  Hatred of mages and magic.  NOT romancing Alistair (come on Fluka, don’t do that again, really, stop that), and Morrigan shall be told to go screw herself.  I might even try to be rude to people.  (Can’t do it!)

    Nothing but Fantasy RPGs from here until Christmas, folks.  *Queues up DA2, Planescape:Torment, Witcher 2, Dragonborn…*

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      Yeah, Mike Nelson is great!  I’ve really seen far less MST3K than I should, but my favorite lines will forever be:

      “Increase the Flash Gordon noise and put more science stuff around!”

      and

      “Trumpy, you can do STUPID things!”

      • Fluka

        I gotta start slipping that first one into my everyday work conversations. 

        • Electric Dragon

          Oh, who doesn’t own an interocitor these days?

        • George_Liquor

          I’ve been using it to make hot chocolate.

      • Mistah Chrysoprase

        Not to be a mindless prick, but the Trumpy ep was the Joel-era’s handiwork.
        This moment brought to you by ANAL RETENTION.

        • chrisk

          they were his favorite mst3k lines, not mike lines.

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          Yeah, what @disqus_uWcwMqsY5G:disqus said.  I’ve followed MST3K just enough to know that there’s a Mike/Joel divide, but not enough to remember which episodes had which host.

          • Mistah Chrysoprase

            Ah, cheerfully withdrawn!

      • Marozeph
      • Electric Dragon

        “Flint IronStag”
        “Roll Fizzlebeef”
        “Thick McRunfast”
        “Slab Bulkhead”
        “Bob Johnson…oh wait…”

        • Carlton_Hungus

          Chest Manmeat

        • Erik Pearson

          Big McLargeHuge.

        • http://yourindolentfriend.blogspot.com/ HarbingerOfDuh

          Smash Lampjaw!
          Dirk Hardpec!

        • Dictatortot

          Crunch Buttsteak!

      • George_Liquor

        “You know what playing is, right Trumpy?”
        “Yes, it’s where I break you in half.”

    • Unexpected Dave

      I can scarcely imagine Dragon Age without the DLC; it adds so much. 

      • Fluka

        Yeah, it’s seriously a blind spot on my part.  I think it’s one part Awakening not installing correctly on my husband’s computer, and one part Origins just being so long.  When I finished I was all “Okay, that was great and I am done now!”  Which was stupid.  On the plus side, there’s now apparently a lot of Dragon Age I haven’t played yet, which…yay!  Better than just waiting the twelve months for Inquisition!

        • Enkidum

          You’ll like Shale if you’re playing through all the DLC. Trust us on this one.

        • Fluka

          @Enkidum:disqus Oh, I have heard great things of her.  She’ll be tanking for me most of this game, I think.  (While not gaming, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been planning my gaming.)

      • DrFlimFlam

        I’ve played most of it but not Awakening; how good is it?

        • Unexpected Dave

          It’s like an MMO expansion. No fundamental changes to the engine, but they raise the level cap and add a few new specializations. You can import your old Warden or create a new one, but the companions are all new. 

        • Drinking_with_Skeletons

           It’s very good.  It’s much shorter than Origins, but unlike the base game it never feels drawn out or padded.  It’s got a generally goofier tone, with more humorous quests and oddball companions.  The new skills aren’t as painstakingly balanced as the base skills, which sounds like a criticism but actually means that you don’t feel so constrained by the developers; you’ll actually feel like your skills are powerful!  This is where they added stamina potions as well, an item that dramatically improves warriors.

          My biggest complaint is that NONE of the new additions are transported backwards into Origins.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s expansion pack blasphemy.

    • The Guilty Party

      My Dwarf Commoner just finished Origins, and has been slowly starting out Awakenings, mixed in with occasional new Mass Effect 1 Sentinel, and a dash of The Secret World when I want to pvp or just punch demons.

      And I can (almost) never be evil in Bioware games. In the many, many I have played and replayed, I have always been good, or mostly-good. The sole exception is an evil Sith Inquisitor in The Old Republic. I don’t know why it’s okay there, but that one character is allowed to kill as many wookies as she wants and laugh about how if they’re so smart, how come they’re dead.

      • DrFlimFlam

        Yeah, for some reason BioWare got being EVIL down in KOTOR, and I was actually able to do it.

        Though the final boss fight is kind of broken. It ended up being lots of grenade tossing.

      • Fluka

        I’ve said this many times before, but I can only do evil on a second playthough.  And even then it takes effort.  I did my second full Mass Effect run with a cold-blooded renegade.  By ME3, I’d doomed two species to annihilation, and directly killed *three* of my original crewmates.  Basically, I saw it as follows.  After the Lazarus reconstruction in ME2, I was watching all the remaining humanity of my Shepard slip away, until in the ending, she left humanity behind altogether to become something new.  It was a surprisingly gripping arc, but super-hard at times.

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

      You’re making me want to do the same, which is not a good want to have, as I have, like, zero time for anything right now!

      I did play through DA:O with the DLC missions included (Shale is indeed pretty great), but I have yet to touch Awakenings, or any of the little gaiden stories about Morrigan and Leilana etc.

      I’ll just add them to the already-too-long list of games to play through after student teaching is over…

      • Fluka

        Yeah, I don’t really have the time either.  I blame the DA: Inquisition trailers for reminding me “Oh hey, that’s right, you love this game!”  Now I have the Hunger.  Sorry job.

    • Michael Chondria

       I really enjoyed has a PlayStation this interview.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Every time I play, I tell myself that THIS TIME, I’ll support the templars over the mages.  But I can never bring myself to do it.

      • Fluka

        I sided with the templars in DA2 for Roleplaying Reasons.  I still guilty about it. :(

    • http://twitter.com/potatosolution PotatoSolution

      I may dabble in other genres, but Fantasy RPGs will always be first in my heart.

      When I finally get my filthy little hands on Project Eternity, Torment: Tides of Numenera, and Dragon Age: Inquisition, I will gleefully vanish from society.

      • Fluka

        Oh god.  Fall of 2014 is going to be a harsh time for productivity.

    • hubrisofsatan

       Planescape: Torment made me feel a new emotion for which I do not think there is a word yet in any language. I cannot stress enough what a correct decision you have made.

  • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

    Hopefully I’ll be able to get some tabletop time in at some point. Also hoping to get some Tetris Attack in. Basically I want to play games with people next to me. Other than that I’ve been playing my DS more and more. Puzzle Quest, man…

  • The_Helmaroc_King

    Riffing on video games’ cutscenes? Sounds like Unskippable. There’s probably also a lot of people on YouTube that just riff while playing whatever video games take their fancy; probably not that many that are good.

    I’ll probably be busy this weekend, but I want to try and complete a puzzle game I started called Closure.  It’s pretty decent, if you like puzzle games and black-and-white graphics!

    • Morning_Wodehouse

       I don’t know if you can find them online anymore – but Giantbomb’s endurance runs of Persona 4 and Deadly Premonition are great examples of people ripping on video games while playing them.

    • nich obert

      I be running I be stabbing at the same damn time!

      Vs

      Darren sharper! One of the most hard hitting free safeties in the leeeeague!
      I got a broken leg tho!
      Fuck it!
      I put the team on my back!

    • Carlton_Hungus

      The mind simply boggles at what they could do to the Metal Gear series.

    • http://yourindolentfriend.blogspot.com/ HarbingerOfDuh

      I really like Closure. The atmosphere in that game is great.

  • Unexpected Dave

    I will be yelling into microphones in Rock Band 3 and Apollo Justice. When I want to rest my voice, I’ll be playing Mass Effect

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

       With Kinect, you can yell into a microphone for Mass Effect as well!

  • aklab

    Probably a Final Fantasy. I just got this book of FF piano music, but all the song titles are in Japanese, so the only way to figure out what each song is is just to play it. So I play a few bars and start crying and then realize I’m in Celes’ theme or something. So much nostalgia! Haven’t decided which one to play though…

    • PaganPoet

      I’m actually playing Final Fantasy V myself, and having a tremendous time with it. I always underestimate how much fun the Job system really is. Got me tempted to play Final Fantasy X-2 again once I’m done with this.

      • CrabNaga

        Yeah, I think that FFV is up there in terms of my favorite Final Fantasies. I replayed it for the Four Job Fiesta and had a blast! Now I need to go back and replay FFXII, but I kind of want to get the international version before I do that. I wish it came out as an HD re-release or PSN download or something. 

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

    That story about the numbers guy who memorized baseball stats in his spare time is interesting. I’m the exact opposite; I work with numbers, so I have no patience to deal with math in my spare time. That’s why I usually play action games and RPGs, and also why I tend to leave puzzle games for days when I’m working on administrative or less intellectually-stimulating stuff.

    This weekend, I’m going to try to fit in some Max Payne 3, but I may not be able to get in any gaming at all. I also really want to jump back into Dishonored and Sleeping Dogs to finish off their respective DLC.

    • Raging Bear

      I work with words, and occasionally get lightheartedly chided by the IT guy for doing crosswords in the break room.

    • GaryX

      I really need to finish Dishonored at some point. Story beats can be seen coming a mile away, however, and it’s kind of killed my drive to play more of it.

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

        As a pure gameplay experience, Dishonored is one of the best titles out there. It’s probably a good idea to ignore the story and just soak in the fantastic setting.

        • GaryX

          It’s quite good. Though, I feel like they didn’t give you enough rewards for going all stealthy. 

          It’s hard to put into words why I’ve felt a little aloof towards it, but I think it does have something to do with its setting being really fantastic but feeling fairly underused.

  • Citric

    So I thought I was going to be playing Saints Row the Third, but then I finished it. My dude wore a cowboy hat, aviators, and had the biggest bushiest beard I could find. Also, he had the cockney voice. Sometimes he wore a skirt. He was the best character in the history of video games.

    I wish there were more skirts though, the casual skirt is too casual for many outfits.

    I was actually surprised by how buggy the thing is. Cars got trapped in the world, once beat one of those helicopter follow missions when the AI car got knocked off track and then the helicopter hit a building and slowly rolled, and then it was successful. Also, the later levels were more annoying than fun, and it doesn’t kind of insist you wander around town like Saint’s Row 2 did. But then again, I just liked my character, and his love of jumping out of perfectly good aircraft.

    So this weekend I’ll actually be playing Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle (unless I somehow beat that tonight), AssCreed II, which I just started and which isn’t really filling me with love yet, even if Ezio is charming, and Chulip, which is weird and kills you so arbitrarily I’m half-convinced Roberta Williams had a hand in it. Probably mostly Layton though.

    • ocelotfox

       AC2 takes a while to get going, but once you get out of Florence and get the chance to do some free roaming, I think you’ll get hooked.  Ezio’s story really picks up around Sequence 3, which is shortly after that point.

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      Ooh, I have just picked up Mask of Miracle again in order to beat those download puzzles that have accumulated over the past months. I’m doing pretty well except for those stupid bunny puzzles. Does anyone know a method to solving them? HELP.

      • Citric

        The download puzzle that’s stumping me is the super difficult hat one. I don’t think I think enough steps in advance for that bugger.

        • Destroy Him My Robots

          They can be pretty tough because I can’t really solve them using a rigorous method like many others, but at least I have some rough ideas to go by (like “try to remove rows evenly” and “if you’re going to cut down columns, go for the outer ones first” or “maybe break up some clusters”). With bunny puzzles it’s just me being that dog in the chemistry lab.

    • ShrikeTheAvatar

      A great big bushy beard!

  • Kyle O’Reilly

    OhmygodOhmygodOhmygodOhmygodOhmygodOhmygod.  SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  I would kill a thousand babies just to play ping-pong with Mike J. Nelson.  And this is the same week Joel Hodgson joined motherfuckin’ Twitter!  I’m gonna faint!!!!!!!!!!!  This is what Justin Bieber fans must feel!!!!!

    But yeah, I’m gonna play GTA V and Spelunky blah blah blah, but I’m high-jacking this to turn it into a FAVORITE MST3K MOVIES LIST

    Obviously, their is a greatest Joel episode and a greatest Mike episode.  For Mike it is obviously, flippin’ Mitchell where Joe Don Baker has sex with a six pack of Buds in bed and for Joel, obviously flippin’ Pod People, where Holy shit how have you not seen Pod People it’s on Netflix go watch it you dolt.

    From there it is a tapestry of beautiful disasters such Cave Dwellers, the weird Malta one, Gamera (oh my god GAMERA!!!!) and Werewolf!

    But let’s be honest, nothing will ever truly be better than Final Sacrifice.

    “Rowsdower, Rowsdower, bippity-boppity bowsdowser!”

    Seriously, Final Sacrifice is the greatest thing ever to happen in the history of mankind and I love it and I’m going to die right now!  Go to Youtube man and find it!  I’m barfing I’m so happy!

    • aklab

      I don’t really understand any of the words you wrote but I really admire your enthusiasm. I think I have a little contact enthusiasm!

    • Fluka

      Most exciting WAYPTW?  Most exciting WAYPTW.

      • Jer Link

         Great WAYPTW, or greatest WAYPTW?

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

          Greatestest.

    • Enkidum

      Cave Dwellers for me for sure. Because of three things:

      1) It’s not about people who live in caves.
      2) The interracial homoerotic credits sequences that have nothing to do with the movie.
      3) The hang-gliding sequence. And the bit leading up to it, which consists of dude just walking into a forest and coming back with a fully functioning hanglider that he… whittled?… with his teeth?… from a tree? or something?

      • The Guilty Party

        Future War has a lot of those things too. Plus, plaid!

        • http://www.facebook.com/dglassman1 Doug Glassman

          Don’t forget the chihuahua-sized velociraptors!

          My absolute favorite is “Werewolf” (which came in the 20th anniversary set along with “Future War”). It’s that right mix of poorly scripted, poorly shot and poorly acted along with some great sketches (like “Where, O Werewolf?”). 

      • nich obert

        I wish they watched cyborg cop.

      • Kyle O’Reilly

         Don’t forget Gomez!

        “You got anything to say here Gomez?  No?  Okay then.”

      • patagonianhorsesnake

         cave dwellers is almost the perfect mst3k movie, in my mind.

        “it’s chad and trevor, they found each other!”

        • George_Liquor

          “Thong, the fish is ready.”

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

      *ahem*

      Mitchell is a Joel episode.  In fact, it’s the LAST Joel episode.  And that is also why it’s the SADDEST Joel episode (Joe Don Baker’s greasy sex notwithstanding).

      • Ack_Ack

        Yeah, but “What does he think I am, an acrobat?” “…and she’s an acrobat, Ted.” is in there and it never fails to make me laugh my ass off.

        • George_Liquor

          Keep you eeeeeye on the sammitch!
          Mitchell
          -Hearts pounding!
          Mitchell
          -Veins clogging
          Mitchell!!

    • CNightwing

      Pumaman for me – a great entry level title and all round ridiculous to boot.

      SUNG “Pu~maman, he flies like a moron!”

      • Marozeph

        “Are pumas also known for their whining?”

        And no love for Space Mutinity yet? Too obvious?

        • CNightwing

          Butch Deadlift!Bold Bigflank!
          Splint Chesthair!

        • CrabNaga

          Put your helmet on, we’ll be reaching speeds of three!

    • fieldafar

      My favourite MST3k episode would have to be Overdrawn at the Memory Bank. Great riffs, almost watchable source film, and Raul Julia’s there for some reason. 

      “Mom… ‘m I nuts?”

      • Unexpected Dave

        Woah, huge slam on Raul Julia out of nowhere. 

      • JohnnyLongtorso

        “My name is… Apollonia James.”
        “Sorry, I forgot for a second.”

        “Hey, can someone turn down the fat rotating guy?”

      • http://yourindolentfriend.blogspot.com/ HarbingerOfDuh

        “More butter on my ham!”

      • http://twitter.com/potatosolution PotatoSolution

         I didn’t want to bungle or bobble the Fingal dopple.

    • dmikester

      I’d throw in Mr. B. Natural and Manos (oh god, Manos), but overall, totally agree with your list.  Cave Dwellers and Pod People might still be my faves though; they’re terrific crowd pleasers, and the skit they do reenacting the intro to Cave Dwellers is so insanely funny.

      • The_Tender_Vigilante

        I believe my favorite skit is when Crow fashions samurai armor totally out of Eggo waffles.  Cant remember the movie.  Oh, and the Manos skit with Joel decked out in that crazy robe.

      • Kyle O’Reilly

         ”Mr. B, you’re hot!” is a go to line for me and my hold high-school buddies.  Their shorts never get enough credits.  I’m always partial to another viewing of Posture Pals myself.

    • stakkalee

      Gotta give a shout-out to Eegah! (with Richard Kiel!)

      “Watch out for snakes!”

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        Does he eat the snakes with his metal teeth?

    • JohnnyLongtorso

      I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite MST3k episode. I could maybe narrow it down to a top ten or twelve.

    • Chum Joely

      “You are the final sacrifice. [...] Well, actually, there’s one more guy after you.”

      And in the category of phrases I’d like to use every day, but can’t because it would cause more confusion than merriment in people around me:

      “Rowthdower?” (lisped, as a general expression of confusion)

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        Oh, so it’s like Final Fantasy and The Last Exorcism?

        “No, we meant “Last” as in previous.  Now it’s The Next Exorcism!”

    • MesotheleonaHelmsley

       Nobody mentioned Soultaker. So I will. Soultaker. Joe Estevez is the man.

    • MesotheleonaHelmsley

       Nobody mentioned Soultaker. So I will. Soultaker. Joe Estevez is the man.

    • Asher Gelzer-Govatos

       Final Sacrifice is on Netflix now too!

    • Drinking_with_Skeletons

       My favorite MST3K is Prince of Space, though no discussion of “bests” is complete without mentioning A Case of Spring Fever (yes, I’m a Mike fan).

      But what about best Rifftrax?  If you aren’t a fan of the Mike years, then it’s safe to pass it by, but if you are it’s essentially a direct continuation in terms of tone and hosts (Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett).  For my money, Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny stands proudly alongside the best MST3K episodes, if for no other reason than the eponymous bunny fits as well into the “pantheon” of MST3K-elevated characters as Gamera and Torgo.

      • PrivateIronTFU

        NOOOO SPRINGS!!!

      • Kyle O’Reilly

         The Rifftrax for Twilight is a gold-tier piece of comedy that can stand on the same level as the best of MST3K.  That movie is made to be skewered by pros like them.

        • Drinking_with_Skeletons

           That’s the one that I really want to see.  But I’ve never liked the hassle of syncing up a DVD and the file (they have that new riffplayer, but not all of the twilight movies are compatible yet).  Plus, that necessitates owning a bunch of DVDs that I otherwise don’t want.

          VODs are what I really like about Rifftrax.

      • JohnnyLongtorso

        The only Rifftrax I’ve ever seen is the one for The Room. It was really funny (except for the obnoxious running joke that occurred during all of the sex scenes) but that movie is so godawful I couldn’t get through it in one sitting.

        • Drinking_with_Skeletons

          I’d recommend House on Haunted Hill (Vincent Price version) as it’s perfectly watchable (if boring) and it’s only about an hour long.  What makes it a great Rifftrax is also the fact that virtually nothing they say is actually contradicted by the film (notably their conceit that the protagonist is a clumsy, lecherous moron). 

          It’s available for full download from Rifftrax.

    • patagonianhorsesnake

       there should be some love out there for beginning of the end. peter graves stars as generic beefy white scientist who is actually responsible for everything bad that happens, yet is still the hero!

    • SonjaMinotaur

      I’d have trouble narrowing it down to one, but since Night of the Blood Beast (and the jaw-dropping short about …phones?) recently got me through a week long conference, that’s gotta be my choice. 

      “oh… Steve’s name is Johnny!” 

      Also: JACK FROST

      • patagonianhorsesnake

         yes, jack frost! never has a character endeared themselves to me so quickly as when the evil sister starts pushing frost around, demanding a fiancee.

  • Chewbacca Abercrombie

    Yay! Mike Nelson is awesome! I have definitely got to see that Starship Troopers if possible. I already love that movie. I bet I’d love it even more with the comedy voiceover.

    This weekend I’ll be plain clean the fucking corrugator unless I luck out and work gets canceled Saturday. Also if I get a chance I’ll be playing more GTA V. It’s way more fun than IV so far and I like that the characters have different personalities because my play style tends to change depending on who I’m playing as. Like in Sleeping Dogs I was very careful to not hit pedestrians because dude was a cop. I play similarly with Michael and Franklin, but not as careful. Trevor doesn’t give a fuck though, so he’ll kill people for the smallest reason. The only thing I didn’t like so far was when a mission expects me to do something that I don’t think fits the character like SPOILER— when Franklin is just suddenly expected to murder that paparazzi dude just because he didn’t get payed. That seems like more of a Trevor thing to do. I even tried to follow him for quite awhile thinking maybe I’d catch him doing something weird and turn the tables on him by getting incriminating photos, but then I accidentally bumped his car and he took off and it turned to chase and murder after that. —END SPOILER

    • nich obert

      I’m worried about the comedy VoiceOver.

      For so long, Starship Troopers has been this movie I’ve had to defend against people who don’t realize how deeply subversive it is.

    • Carlton_Hungus

      I just beat him up, that satisfied the mission as well.

      My proudest feat is that I think I’ve killed less pedestrians in that game than actually die on the streets of the US, and I’m about 20 hours in.

  • Jer Link

    Due to recent sales/bundles I just started Dark Souls and FEZ. I am finding both very enjoyable, and for me they are satisfying my immersion itch. Dark Souls especially created a world that just punches all my buttons. The tone/style make me feel like I’m in a consistent world and that is one of my prime factors for playing games.

    I also recently started Bioshock, and am whole heartedly enjoying it. I think I’m nearing the end and for some reason it is making me want to finish Alan Wake. I don’t quite know what connection my mind is making but I am glad for the impetus to finish that games as it is the first thing I ever bought on steam and I’m still only about half way through.

    Also, for any interested, the current Game Revue vote is ongoing. currently Mark of the Ninja and Bastion are tied for first but you may have the deciding vote seeing as Gone Home and Hotline Miami are trailing by only one and two votes respectively. YOU have the power to choose our discussion topic. YOUR voice is requested. Also, free cheese wedges to whomever makes the winning vote (Wensleydale).

    • The_Helmaroc_King

      I love the low-fantasy trappings of the games, but I think my favorite thing about Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls is how they let you explore their environments with few, if any, artificial restrictions. One of my favorite memories from the first game is slowly making my way down a mineshaft by falling between rickety wooden walkways, then exploring a labyrinthian network of tunnels.

      • Jer Link

         Exploration has certainly been the key. Have only been playing for about 1.5 hours but during most of that time I’ve been just climbing higher and higher. From a bridge to some ramparts to rooftops, and so far it has felt like I have been in control of that exploration. Also I am still in the exploratory use of items phase. What does humanity do? whats the deal with looting looting souls off of found dead people? Don’t tell me because I am having such a good time finding out.

        This seems like one of the few games that my character will spend walking instead of running.

      • CrabNaga

        Oh gods no. The Stonefang Tunnels were my least favorite area in Demon’s Souls. I enjoy exploration, but I do not enjoy getting lost. And those samey claustrophobic tunnels were fairly hard to navigate. Also all the enemies were really annoying (specifically the bugbears [fire beetles]). I also have less than fond memories of running through the area many times (probably 3 hours of in-game time) to try and farm for a Pure Greystone from those rock worms, yuck.

        Now the Wind Shrine I can get behind.

    • CrabNaga

      Both Dark Souls and Fez are similar thematically and in how they present their world. They both are focused on exploration and tell their story primarily through background detail. And both worlds are pretty much unpopulated (assuming you don’t count the monsters/demons in Dark Souls) except for one or two areas, so you’re just wandering through the ruins of a lost civilization.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      I checked out Fez last night as well, it looks to be fun.  I really like the combination of special effects that seem straight out of one of the old vector arcade games with the 16-bit 2D/3D modes.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

       Everybody go in there and vote for Mark of the Ninja because it’s fun and I’ve already beaten Bastion a million times.

  • Aurora Boreanaz

    I finally got around to putting in all of the Steam keys for the other games I’ve bought via Humble Bundles in the past couple of months…and it put my game total over 100.  I’ll be continuing to try out those over the weekend when I need a break from Terraria hardmode.  (Still hard, but getting easier.  I’ll probably quit again once I’ve beaten the new bosses, unless the 1.2 patch is amazing.)

    I definitely plan to play more Gunpoint, Mark of the Ninja, and maybe even revisit Bastion for achievements/Steam cards.

    • NakedSnake

      I’ve lost touch with Terraria, but are they planning on bring the console innovations back to the PC (i.e. is that what patch 1.2 is about?).

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

        My understanding is that the console people are completely different from the PC people (they just licensed it), so while 1.2 is supposed to be a substantial patch, I don’t think it has anything to do with the console content.

        • CrabNaga

          I read up on the console-specific content on the wiki and it seems like it’s a good thing the PC version didn’t get that content. Sure, you can power up your equipment even more, but it seems like you’d have to grind out bosses like never before to see any of it.

      • Mr_Matt_M

        Patch 1.2 is going to be much more stuff than the minor additions to the console version and is also going to rework the post wall of flesh game play supposedly.  I think players are going to have more ways to battle corruption. 

        • Raging Bear

          I’d be really happy if they made it remotely feasible to beat any but the first two bosses solo.

        • Mr_Matt_M

          The bosses are tough, but their are strats for solo players.  I did manage to defeat all of them in my game.  The Terraria Wiki has everything.
          http://terraria.gamepedia.com/Terraria_Wiki

    • DrFlimFlam

      100…. you’re just so NEW to all this, aren’t you?

      muahahahahaha….. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • CrabNaga

      It says a lot that I’m excited for Patch 1.2 specifically for precipitation and sloped terrain.

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        Not just sloped terrain, but auto step-up on one block rises!  About fucking time!  I’m so sick of having my run interrupted by a single block.

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        Not just sloped terrain, but auto step-up on one block rises!  About fucking time!  I’m so sick of having my run interrupted by a single block.

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

    After noticing and trying the Etrian Odyssey Untold demo on the 3DS store, I got the itch to play Etrian Odyssey IV again until the new one’s out.  Also, Rayman Origins is free for PS Vita on Plus right now, so gonna split my time between them.

    Visiting friends this weekend, so I might try to get them to try this ridiculous card game with the longest name, Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre.  Each player assembles a magic spell with three component parts, whittling each other’s life down and collecting powerful treasures.  Good quick table game!

  • EmperorNortonI

    I’ve been playing a couple FTP browser games lately.    But they’re cool.

    Fallen London is this odd little choose-you-own-adventure sorta game with stats and an interesting Victorian-Demonic setting.

    Card Hunters is a turn-based tactical D&D nostalgia trip, and it’s fun.

    I’m still a bit disillusioned with EU4, though I may go back and try something new at some point.  I’ve been too tired to get back into Wargame AirLand battle.  That game takes a ton of energy to play properly, energy I just don’t have these days.

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

      That is the weirdest “stage direction” syntax I’ve ever seen in a comment! Were you up all night coding websites or something, and broke your brains?

      • EmperorNortonI

        I don’t know how that happened.  I used the < bracket, hoping to just set the text apart with no visible or coded effect.  That just . . . came out.  I was as surprised as anyone.

        • The_Helmaroc_King

          Hey, kids, who wants to talk about HTML?

          (Yaaaaay?)

          But yeah, @electric_dragon:disqus is right, Disqus will automatically check your posts for HTML tags, among other things, and try to… take care of them. There’s actually a really, really good security reason to do this, but Disqus’ specific implementation can also lead to general fuckery like what was done to your post.

          If you must use <angle brackets>, then I’ve got the thing for you: HTML entity codes! Just use “&lt;” (less-than) and “&gt;” (greater-than) and you can angle all the way into the night.

          Alternatively: use a different set of brackets.

      • Electric Dragon

        It’s Disqus’ fault (isn’t everything?) Anything that looks like an XML tag it automatically adds a closing tag, and if your tag name has spaces in it it interprets that as a tag attribute. For fake XML you have to either use square brackets or XML entities (like &lt; instead of <)

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

        The closing </hangs> is the best part.  It’s as if  @EmperorNortonI:disqus was hanging his head for 3 paragraphs straight.

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      FileZilla has games now? *laughs the saddest laugh*

      • signsofrain

        Yes, I have to ask, what is an “FTP Game” – is it an interactive text adventure you play by logging into an FTP server and issuing non-standard commands? Sounds even more nerdy than a MUD if that’s possible.

        • Destroy Him My Robots

          Free-to-play, but I guess it is true that the bad ones require the player to PASV every now and then.

  • NakedSnake

    I’m finishing up my playthrough of Dead Rising 2. As I’ve noted recently, I played through the first one several times and loved it. The sequel is great too, but I think I’ll only be able to manage one playthrough with so many other great games on my to do list.

    Honestly, it baffles me a bit that the Dead Rising games are not a bigger deal in terms of this generation of games. There is something very special about the way that they manage to capture that old-school arcade feel with decidedly modern gameplay. It just feel like what would happen if you picked up a NES game and zapped it with a “next-gen” ray several times. It helps that the plot is cheesy and non-sensical, the gameplay is repetitive but tight and always exciting, and that it’s made by Capcom with numerous references to old-school games.

    Anyhow, I’d be interested to hear people’s opinions about other “old-school” style modern games that somehow capture the retro appeal without just being explicitly nostalgic. I’d imagine that Dark Souls is like that but I haven’t played it yet.

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

      I think the Etrian Odyssey games do a good job of preserving the core gameplay ideas of old tile-based dungeon crawlers like Wizardry and Might & Magic, even down to mapping it yourself.  Though every step you take auto-fills a field on the map, you have to draw all the walls and points of interest (it gives you a bunch of recognizable tiles for things like stairs up and down, exits, gathering points; it also has a bunch of generic ones like numbers, check mark, circle, X, ?, stars, etc.).

      You build your own party of five characters, choosing from more than a half-dozen classes (and unlock the ability to choose sub-classes later).  Get quests in the pub, turn in materials at the blacksmith (which unlock new equipment based on the items you redeem), engage in turn-based combat, etc.

      Gameological’s review was down on it for being 4th in the series and not introducing much in the way of new mechanics, but I think IV is the best point of entry for newcomers.  The difficulty can be adjusted, the game is large in scope, and the iteration on those design principles brings it to a point of stability where it never feels underbaked or needlessly complicated.

      • NakedSnake

        Woah, that’s pretty cool. I love mapmaking – no really! I hate it how 90% of games don’t let you insert a comment into a map.

    • Mr_Matt_M

       I want to play Dead Rising 2, but I feel the need to play DR 1 first and I only have a PC and PS3 and I think it was x360 exclusive.

      • NakedSnake

        They’re substantially the same, but really DR2 is the better games for adding some useful/fun features and eliminating some annoying aspects.

        • HobbesMkii

          The bosses in DR2 are less absurdly ridiculously overpowered, although just as in DR1, they often fall victim to dumb blind spots and specific weapons. 

          • NakedSnake

            Yea, its an easier game overall, and better for it. The other survivors are also much more capable.

    • Carlton_Hungus

      I cannot speak highly enough of Dark/Demons Souls.  They capture the retro-feel in their punishing difficulty and their relative lack of story.

      On the story issue, while each has sort of an intro, it’s pretty cryptic and opaque, more just pretty pictures rather than a setup to an “epic quest.”  Once you start playing, how much of the story you piece together is really up to you (and even if you’re trying it’s pretty tough to figure out).

      Also the difficulty (although I think the claims of difficulty are overrated) is far more punishing than anything else you’ll see in modern games.  Any time you venture beyond the safe areas your souls (in game currency) are at risk.  There are no automatic checkpoints (there are savepoints) and when you die you’ll often have to fight your way back to what killed you similar to old school games.

      The games are really as deep as you want them to be, fighting your way just through the main quest can take 30-40 hours, and you can spend 3-4 times that much if you want to get deep into the covenants and PvP systems.  In my opinion the replayability is off the charts since, the story is so minimal but the gameplay (the combat and the exploration) is so engrossing that you want to keep going through NewGame+ over and over.

      My only gripe with Dark Souls is the Anor Londo archers (you’ll know it when you see them).  They’re the only section in both games that seems unfair rather than merely very difficult.

      • http://twitter.com/potatosolution PotatoSolution

        Dark Souls has been sitting on my shelf for about a year and a half.

        I know everyone says how amazing it is, but I’m afraid for the windows in my house … I really don’t want to hurl my PS3 controller through one of them, but this game sounds like it could cause me to do just that.

        • Carlton_Hungus

          I would tend to push back against those people that say it’s “insanely hard.”  While it’s more difficult than most modern games I’d say it’s easier than the earlier generation games that are held out as paradigms of difficulty.

          At no point (except the above mentioned archers) does it ever feel frustratingly hard or unfair.  In my experience there’s always a sense of forward momentum in that you learn from your mistakes, try a new strategy and move past.  Unless you’re venturing into an area well above your skill level there’s always level appropriate areas to explore or areas that test the bounds of your character.

  • ocelotfox

    I went on a binge today and managed to finish up Rayman Legends and get the final achievements I was missing from Rayman Origins, so something less chaotic might be a good idea this weekend.  I finally got myself a 3DS XL (woo!), so Fire Emblem: Awakening seems like the obvious choice, though after playing for the first two hours…I find the changes to the combat and support system just a little strange.  Anybody have any tips on how best to utilize the support system (FYI, I’m a veteran of the Fire Emblem series, and playing on Hard with Classic Mode)?

    • Oh, No! It’s Sluggo!

      You’ve binged your life away.

    • DrFlimFlam

      First thing first – Hard/Classic is definitely the Correct Way, as lesser difficulty feels like some kind of baby mode. But I can vouch that the game is so hard around level 7 as you’re still growing up the relationships.

      Oh, about those: pair those people up. And though it will just about kill you all the time, GET DONNEL. He will be worth it.

      • ocelotfox

         Yeah, I got Donnel, and he strikes me as the classic Fire Emblem archetype of low level character who, if trained, becomes one of the best units in the game.

        • DrFlimFlam

          I’m waiting for Nintendo to give us a dud character who stays that way just for kicks.

  • evanwaters

    I dug up my copy of The Movies, only to find it’s not playing well with my current OS. BUT! Back when I had some Amazon credit I also bought the Superstar Edition so I could get the soundtrack because the game’s music rules. That install went better, but Starmaker isn’t working and there’s a weird shadow effect to everyone’s faces. SO! I see a version which at least fixes the latter is up on Apple’s App Store. I may yet buy this a third time.

    Also whenever I do this I have to move over all my mods and saved games.

    But I may be hooked again. I even started playing a normal game which I’d sworn off after the first time through- now that I know a little more about how the game works I’m doing a little better. It’s just difficult if you’re actually trying to do well competitively because it’s hard to keep up with the AI studios, who DON’T have to spend time learning the basics.  And the Advanced Moviemaker, limited though it is, is a fun creative toy.

    • fieldafar

      Ahh, The Movies. At some point, a movie created by the game featured an ending where two female characters got married and kissed. Keep in mind, this movie was made in the in-game 1950s. Surprised my studio didn’t get burned down or something when it got released. 
      I still have the CDs somewhere so if I ever feel bored I know what I will be playing again.

      • Mistah Chrysoprase

        Sssshhh, ixnay on the aygay while Mike’s around, you’ll only upset him.

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

          Ssssshhh! You’re re-opening old wounds! I need to compartmentalize M.J. Nelson’s amazing comic legacy from his association with the large-scale moral failure that is American conservatism, or my heart and mind will irrevocably be ripped in twain!

          ::Whistles Benny Hill theme, thinks about that silly scene from the Twilight Rifftrax, tries to push Nelson’s fandom of Dennis Prager out of my mind::

        • http://twitter.com/potatosolution PotatoSolution

          You assume that because Nelson is a conservative, he’s a homophobe?

          Who’s being the intolerant one here?

          • Mistah Chrysoprase

            Oh I’m sorry, I overreached, I mean he’s only a hard-line Christian conservative who’s making a game with Doug fucking Tennapel. I’m sure he’s a true friend of Dorothy underneath all that.

        • Drinking_with_Skeletons

           I’ve tried to avoid looking into Nelson’s personal beliefs, as I love MST3K and Rifftrax and don’t want to tarnish that.  But, if nothing else, some of the jokes they make on Rifftrax–especially from Kevin Murphy–show enough familiarity* with gay culture that Mike is either somewhat tolerant on that front or a good enough guy that better people tolerate him

          I’m not saying they’re extremely knowledgeable or anything.  All I know is that my open-minded best friends were completely unaware of terms such as “bear” until I explained it to them.  They certainly wouldn’t have been able to make a joke that I, as a bear, would find both understandable and inoffensive. 

          • Mistah Chrysoprase

            Pretty sure that’s mostly down to Murphy being one distinctly fey heterosexual man, or at least playing one on TV. I’m not looking to lump him in with the Phelpses of the world, but he is depressingly comfortable with many of the nuttier elements of right-wing Christianity, and that comes with a hell of a lot of baggage. Still a very funny man, but it does make it hard not to wince when he hits on certain subjects.

        • http://twitter.com/potatosolution PotatoSolution

          Rob Paulsen and Jon Heder must also be raging homophobes as well, since they are doing voices for Armikrog.

          Making assumptions IS fun!

          • Mistah Chrysoprase

            So is selective reasoning. I don’t know either of their politics, although being an avout fan of LDS and the Boy Scouts doesn’t exactly paint a rosey picture for Heder; for Paulsen I can only assume it’s just one more slot on his busy-ass schedule.
            Really, Tennapel and his little controversy are so little-known that it would be hard to blame anyone for taking the job in ignorance. Unfortunately, that excuse falls apart a bit in light of the fact Nelson has been pretty selective about taking voiceover gigs in the past, and yet he made an exception for this particular one.

            Sure it all could mean nothing, but Walks Like Talks Like and Smells Like usually Is. He may not be in the mafia, but he sure knows an awful lot of guys named Knuckles.

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

          @potatosolution:disqus Would it also be intolerant to assume that if someone self-identifies as conservative they hold any conservative beliefs? Is it ‘intolerant’ to assume that Nelson advocates for less public spending on welfare programs, or is anti-abortion? Is the word ‘conservative’ completely and utterly meaningless, and one which provides zero indication of one’s political and ideological beliefs?

          And what if that self-identifying conservative public identifies themselves as a fan of conservative mouthpieces who are overtly homophobic?

          Nelson seems like a nice enough guy that I doubt he’d dislike an individual for being gay, or insult someone to their face for being gay. But I don’t think that would stop him from voting in ways that stymie gay rights to encourage the ‘traditional’ Christian values he is on record as supporting.

        • George_Liquor

          As far as I can tell, MJN’s arch-conservative reputation stems entirely from his response to a question in a interview recorded almost ten years ago. He hasn’t made any comment on the subject of his personal politics since, and he’s never taken any public stance on gay rights that I can find. Yeah his association with King Douchebag Doug TenNapel is troubling, but it’s not slam-dunk proof that he’s a raging homophobe. 

        • Dictatortot

          Heavens–someone behind a much-beloved piece of popular culture holds political views that you find noxious?  Welcome to us conservatives’ world.

          • Mistah Chrysoprase

            Also known as “the world” but good on you for standing firm on the whole narrative of persecution thing.

        • Dictatortot

          Yeah, I’m not really feeling the “persecution”–no idea where you get that from.  I was just observing that you don’t seem any too used to having to compartmentalize your admiration for pop-culture figures you admire from their uncongenial political beliefs.  Seems a bit narrowing, that.

          • Mistah Chrysoprase

            Narrowing is to have characterized this as an experience somehow particular to conservatives, ie consistent with selective and persecutory treatment.
            As for “any too used to” it, no, I suppose not, I have a thing about calling people I otherwise respect on their shit, it’s not an especially attractive quality but context is important, dammit! If it was Jerry Lee Louis, I’d take a moment to get on his ass for being an underage cousin-humping freak, Michael Moore’d get it for being an egotistical attention-whore who plays fast and loose with the facts, Dennis Miller for being a gigantic pussy with exactly one joke, Bill Maher for being a smug horndog manchild and on andonandon. This is my blessing, it is also my curse.
            Christ in a bucket, I take one potshot and suddenly I gotta write a fucking dissertation.

        • Dictatortot

          You see?  Already I’ve made you write a fucking dissertation and hence broadened you.  You’re welcome!

          • Mistah Chrysoprase

            I hardly need the likes of you to write reams of foaming dribblepiss, thank you very much.

    • EmperorNortonI

       I remember playing that when it first came out.  At first, I enjoyed scripting the most risque movies it would allow me to make, but then I got bored of it and just played normally.  The funniest movie the game auto-generated for me was, I think, due to a glitch.  It was Detroit Crime City, and featured generic gangster plot sort of stuff – except the heavy crime boss was played by the Swamp Thing, making everything utterly hilarious.

      However, the fact that it took something like 30 years to make an actress couple hit it off, and the fact that in the later game the limiting factor was how many studio hands the game would allow you to hire, turned me off to it by the time I reached the 60′s.  It was hard to keep a stable of young talent simply because nobody, and I mean NOBODY, was interested in working for my studio – in any capacity.

      Maybe it wasn’t about Hollywood so much as it’s Russian Communist equivalent.

  • Oh, No! It’s Sluggo!

    This guy was a staunch Nixon supporter.

  • Victor Prime

    I made the mistake of buying the low-level DLC for Shin Megami Tensei 4. Now I’m ass-deep in apps and wasting WAY too much time fusing and I’m still not progressing the story.

    • forget_it_jake

      I’m so sad that there are SMT games on handhelds I don’t have (I only have a Vita — bought for P4 Golden — and don’t play it nearly enough to justify purchasing OTHER handhelds). I wish SMT would just pick a system/company and stick with it.

      Right now I’m playing Digital Devil Saga on PS2 (to be followed by Digital Devil Saga 2). Then I will have played all the SMT games to which I have access. I’m liking DDS well enough, but not as much as the Persona games or even Nocturne.

      • Citric

        I’ve got a game of DDS on the go, but for some reason I go a long time between playing it.

  • Mr_Matt_M

    S.P.A.Z baby.  After getting all of the chesters, I decided to bump down the difficulty and experiment with the secondary weapons.  

    • NakedSnake

       Ok, so is that game good? Because I love spaceship-based games but played the for the first hour or so and it seemed really slow and unsatisfying. Does it ramp up?

      • Mr_Matt_M

        It does ramp up a fair bit.  As you invest in research upgrades and buy ship components, ships get much faster and weapons get more powerful relative to defenses so combat gets resolved much more quickly.  Battles also involve more ships later in the game.  I really liked the game and have played though it about 5 times. 

      • HobbesMkii

        It’s not as good as its forerunners, like Escape Velocity Nova (which is still a great game!). I found it pretty diverting all the same, though.

        • NakedSnake

          Escape Velocity is the best, now and forever.

        • Mr_Matt_M

          I liked the combat in SPAZ more than in EV:O or EV:N, but I think the galaxy was a much more interesting place to explore in the EV games.  I also think EV:N was a bit of a step down from EV:O.  It locked you into one of the main quests early and didn’t have many side missions. 

    • EmperorNortonI

       Ah, that game!  I played that through when it was still in late Beta.  I really liked it – the marginally customizable ships were a lot of fun to play around with.  I’ve wondered what they have done to it since release, but even at the beta stage it was a ton of fun – even though I made the mistake of playing on a large galaxy, and didn’t realize that boosting up the outer ring was completely pointless.

  • Mr_Matt_M

    Pretty great Let’s Play/Comedy Riff of X-Com:EU
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXctaw5JGF4LcidFVdkQMV1tc2DfC8x3D
     

  • Chum Joely

    Flush with victory after finishing Driver SF and Rayman Legends within a week of each other, I am now declaring war on my games backlog. There are a good 13-15 games on there, including several huge AAA titles, so it will be a long fight… but I think I’m ready to take it on.
     
    This weekend, I think I’ll start with some backlog games that are a little slower-paced. Probably some combination of my half-finished playthrough of XCOM: Enemy Unknown on PS3, and games from my long-neglected PC catalog like Antichamber, Kentucky Route Zero, and possibly Binding of Isaac if I feel like something just a little more action-y. These games are also pretty short, so I can hopefully knock a few games off the backlog in a relatively short time.
     
    Of course, I also have to account for my continuing obsession with Rayman Legends; I won’t be truly satisfied until I’ve squeezed the game completely dry, and I’ve got quite a ways to go on that. In fact, I’ve only finished the “main path” (the 5 main worlds), and acquired maximum “Lums” and “Teensies” from the first 2 worlds, but I haven’t even unlocked the “Living Dead Party” world yet. So I’m sure I won’t be able to resist a couple more hours trying to max out the third world, thus creeping ever closer to the 400 Teensies I need to unlock the Living Dead Party…

    • Jackbert

      Don’t start Binding of Isaac if you want something short and are trying to finish your backlog. It’s not short and will distract you.

      • Chum Joely

        Ugh, really? I figured it couldn’t really be that long, since as near as I can see, you have to play it through all the way in one shot– no savegames, no checkpoints.

        Of course, given my overall lack of coordination and the mushy/imprecise controls in Binding of Isaac, it might take me many dozens of attempts in order to build up to that one continuous, Mom-killin’ playthrough… anyway, thanks for the advice. I’ll feed that into the computer program that’s generating my ordered list of backlog games to take on.

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

          A single playthrough takes very little time.

          Getting to the point where you can actually play through it takes a bazillion years.

    • NakedSnake

      For what it’s worth, I just made some huge progress on my game backlog by playing the games I was less interested and having netflix movies/tv shows streaming off my computer at the same time. If it turned out I was getting really into the games, they could graduate to “no distraction” status. But it was helpful for beating some of the less inspiring games.

    • Citric

      I wish my backlog was only 13-15 games, I’ve still got stuff from the PS2 era. Plus there’s the Steam library, which is unholy in how large it is. Then I go and keep buying new stuff because it’s a deal.

      I might need an intervention actually.

      • Chum Joely

        I’m not counting every game I own and haven’t finished. There are some games that I bought “by accident” as part of a bundle and will probably never play (e.g. Company of Heroes and Team Fortress, with all apologies to fans of those games), and some that I started and decided that I don’t care about finishing (Alan Wake). This is just the ones that I definitely want to see all the way through to the end.

  • Electric Dragon

    My game playing has been rather limited recently so I’m a bit behind on my own “schedule”. I fully intend to finish Sleeping Dogs this weekend, now that I know kung fu, but have to do some work on Sunday so it depends how long that takes.

  • Jackbert

    Ehhh…Mark of the Ninja lost my save after 2 hours of playing and I lost 4 soldiers in consecutive missions in X-Com. Maybe I’ll start Fez, or go back to Hotline Miami just for fun.

    • Cloks

      How about some nice console games?

      Seriously though, I got the MGS HD Collection yesterday and I am looking forward to that.

      • Jackbert

        If the 3DS counts as a console, I’m continuing to keep neighbors from moving in Animal Crossing. And MGS3 HD is great, I can’t wait to finish it when I get back home.

    • Chum Joely

      It’s normal to lose large numbers of soldiers in XCOM. Just make sure you’re hiring new recruits on a regular basis, and letting them tag along on easier missions in order to build up experience, and you’ll always have a fresh supply to send into combat.

      Unless you are losing your best people repeatedly, in which case, yeah– take a break and come back in a couple of weeks to your last save with the full core team. I lost all 6 of my top people on an especially tough terror mission once, and I haven’t gone back since…

  • DrFlimFlam

    I always like when people who are successful basically admit they don’t play video games, probably because they’re working and deriving satisfaction from that.

    Anyway, I’m back into FTL hardcore and willing to talk STEAM CARDS. Also, I’ve been pausing at the start of every battle to remind myself that FTL is a game of attrition, and that every little mistake I make adds up in the end. I’m not there yet, but I think the Rock Cruiser (plus a little bit of luck in finding a useable laser) is my best chance so far. I actually had to DISMISS someone last night, but things started to go pear-shaped when I didn’t realize how close I was to taking out a ship while trying to destroy their medbay (which is super important, I’ve realized, when teleporting over) and lost my mantis+rockman away team. The two remaining rockmen simply weren’t seasoned enough to get the job done, then I ran out of fuel, and then it was all over.

    Also Skyrim. Doing the Imperial quest line. Then expansion content. Then maaaaybe the main quest.

    I work 60 hours next week. I’m going to really focus on relaxing AS HARD AS I CAN after work on Saturday and then all day Sunday.

    • Drinking_with_Skeletons

       Considering that “successful” in this case mostly means making jokes about movies, the age-old “videogames are a waste of time” is less impactful than usual.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      I sent you a friend request on Steam.  I have two FTL cards I’d be willing to trade for something.

      • DrFlimFlam

        Accepted. I have to see what ships I have in my own deck this afternoon when I get home

      • GaryX

        What’s your Steam SN?

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          I’m not telling!

          …because I just sent you a friend request instead.  :)

          And I’m “Aurora_Boreanaz” on there anyway, so not too hard to find.

  • Ack_Ack

    Really?  No one is playing GTA V this weekend?  I find that to be unpossible.  I plan on spending as much time as possible playing that – I’ve had a busy couple of weeks, so I haven’t had time to really dig in to it.  Plus, the multiplayer for that drops on Tuesday, so that’ll be yet another diversion.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I imagine I will someday, when I can get it and all possible expansion content for $20, but I can wait.

    • Raging Bear

      I will be, I assure you.

    • Unspeakable Axe

       Played it all last weekend, will be playing it all this weekend, and probably for many weekends to come.  Especially once the multiplayer is out.  It’s a great game that basically does everything I’ve ever wanted out of GTA. 

  • dmikester

    Well, as someone who has in his possession every single MST3K episode, this was a rather exciting interview to say the least!  And yes, ping pong with Mike and/or Joel sounds like maybe the greatest thing EVER.  Fun interview, thanks!

    It’s all GTA V this weekend.  It’s totally hooked me in a way that a game hasn’t done since probably Deus Ex: HR did last year.  I often think about it when I’m not playing, though I’m not at the point where I play it so much that I see it when I close my eyes.  I also really started branching out and trying to get 100% (I feel oddly proud that I won at both golf and tennis yesterday).  There’s a small chance there’ll be some board gaming, as I still somehow haven’t played the Lords of Waterdeep expansion, but I kind of doubt it.  

  • CrankyKong

    My girlfriend got me a 3DS for a recent birthday, so I will probably make some headway into Fire Emblem.  So much fun to design strategies with the ultimate intention of getting people married.  The matchmaker general. 

    Other than that, I will be playing a lot of Final Fantasy XIV.  This skinner box is very soothing.  Do a little mining, do a little crafting, do a dungeon or two repeat.   It’s all pretty enjoyable, and it is a lot more fun after the Chocobo has made traveling much less of a chore. 

    • DrFlimFlam

      In my day you had to rent chocobos, and the cost of them was directly related to market demand for them, meaning you had to buy a ride early in the morning so you’d be where you wanted at night without paying an arm and a leg.

      • CrankyKong

         Jeuno was the worst. 

    • Unexpected Dave

      Hey, @CrankyKong:disqus , maybe you can settle an old argument that got brought up in yesterday’s inventory.

      Are you the Donkey Kong that kidnapped Pauline, or was that DK?

      • DrFlimFlam

         Inquiring minds want to know!

  • Cloks

    All the squad members I care about in Mass Effect 2 are finally loyal (suck it, Kasumi. you’re dlc and I don’t give a crap) so I’m going to take the SS Space Problems on a plot-venture of possible death proportions. After I beat that I’ll start Metal Gear Solid and over several weeks hopefully make my way through that entire series.

    • PaganPoet

      Dude. Cloks, Kasumi’s loyalty mission is insanely fun, though. I really recommend you play it.

      (I may be a bit biased, because Kasumi is one of my favorite characters in ME2, but still.)

    • dmikester

      Seconding PaganPoet here.  Kasumi’s loyalty mission is maybe the most pure fun I had in Mass Effect.  It’s very different from anything else in the game and really the series, and there are a lot of interesting things in it, both gameplay and lore wise.  Totally do it.

  • stakkalee

    Well, last Saturday my gaming buddy broke down and bought GTAV, so instead of doing our usual two-fisted gaming we’re just going to focus on GTA, passing the controller back and forth between deaths.  I enjoyed the parts of the game I experienced last weekend and I’m interested to see where the story goes with hapless Franklin and broken Michael (we haven’t gotten to Trevor yet.)  The most fun I had was just running around in the sandbox – I jacked some guy’s car, and when the ambulance came to help him I jacked THAT, and then spent 20 minutes trying to drive it up the mountain on those tiny, winding paths.  Things went very well for a while, but then I got stuck, and then the ambulance started tumbling down the mountain, and then I panicked and ejected, and then I passed the controller over to my buddy.  Good times.

    • Unspeakable Axe

       The best parts of the game are stuff like this.  Last night I got into it with the police while, unfortunately, driving a big and slow tow truck.  Once I got up to several stars (which was a mistake in judgment) I had cars just ramming into me.  I ended up hitching one to my truck and driving away with it, sirens still blaring, while the officers whose car it had been stood in the street yelling at me.  Then I jumped a small hill and the hitched cop car ended up smashing into a different cop car, followed by a massive traffic pile-up, and much giggling ensued (as well as my predictable death).

      Later in the same session, I was driving a supercar through those little residential roads sort of near the beach, which have a lot of little hills and bridges over canals.  I hit one at probably 120 MPH and went airborne by maybe six feet – and flew right over a pedestrian, who I swear ducked under the car in a panic (but lived).  That one little moment made me laugh for a solid minute.

  • DrFlimFlam

    How is everyone doing on today’s pinata minigame on the Google Doodle? Topped out at 168 for now.

    • Jeff Tweedy

      Me too, that’s the highest I can get out of it……..

    • exant

      My first attempt was 148, when I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Everything after that was worse. Probably some kind of metaphor there…

    • Jeff Tweedy

       Just got 181 :o http://imgur.com/VLU6poa

    • HobbesMkii

      168? I could only get 97. I feel like a failure. Also, I notice if you hit it as it’s swinging from left to right, it seems to fly further.

      • DrFlimFlam

        At first I was hitting WITH the pinata, but then I changed tack and started hitting it as it came back. And then I started hitting it as it came back without waiting for it to go back and forth. And THEN I started trying to just catch the edge of the star with the edge of the baton. And now I’m stuck at 168.

        • Jeff Tweedy

          If you don’t get more than 3 on your very first whack, start over. Also, you have to hit it JUST as it comes back into view on the top left side.

        • DrFlimFlam

          My co-worker hit 173 and I can’t get past 169 yet. i saw it with my own eyes and yet I still can’t believe it.

    • Flying_Turtle

      I got a 131, and then I read the comments here, went back and put up a 153. Basically, I just consulted a walkthrough for a Google mini-game. I obviously need to re-examine my questionable life choices.

  • Chum Joely

    The Rifftrax video game commentaries were actually pretty hliarious– luckily nobody was at work yet when I watched this, because I was laughing the whole time like an idiot.

    “Poor guy… he was just trying to make a solid snake…”

  • indy2003

    Just finished my very first playthrough of the original Kingdom Hearts and had a rather good time with it. The wonky camera and awkward platforming were frustrating elements, but rarely bad enough to dampen the fun offered by the rest of the game. Halloween Town was just spectacular; by far my favorite of the Disney worlds on offer. I’ll may try playing Re: Chain of Memories at some point since I hear it has some interesting plot developments, but most just looking forward to the HD release of KH2.

    I’ve also just started Rayman: Legends – I’ve only tackled the first few levels, which were relatively easy and charming (as opening levels of platform games tend to be). Too early for me to tell whether I’ll like it better than Origins, but it certainly seems… busier, I guess? Anyway, looking forward to really digging into that one.

    I’ve also finally made another effort to get into the Final Fantasy franchise by starting FFVII on the PS Vita. Only four hours in at the moment and having a rather good time with it – I really like the combat system, the music is fantastic and the dialogue is charming (if occasionally afflicted with typos). There are a few elements which are a bit awkward – I wish I could use the thumbstick rather than the D-pad to move around, but it’s not a big problem. Playing on the Vita goes a long way towards making it easy to forget about the dated graphics, too.

  • CrabNaga

    I finished the main story of GTAV, so I’ll probably be trying to clean up the rest of the side content and also be replaying the missions to try and get the Gold rating for each mission. I’m a little annoyed at mission replays, though, since it takes a long time loading the mission replay, and then another long time loading your main replay. Yet another reason I wish I could be playing this on PC. 

    I’ll probably start with the DLC content of Fallout: New Vegas. My character is almost Level 21 now, and I’m near the endgame (aka I’m getting missions from the three main factions and Yes Man). I’ve played New Vegas before, but haven’t done any of the DLCs yet, so I’m looking forward to it. 

    • stakkalee

      You’re in for a treat – the New Vegas DLC were all great, to varying degrees.  Dead Money and Honest Hearts are pretty basic, but DM has an interesting story and some fairly hard enemies, and HH has some affecting side stories and some neat special equipment. But the other 2 DLC are on another level – Old World Blues has some great “weird science” plots, great voice work and an awesome home base, and Lonesome Road really sells the “uninhabited wasteland” setting.

      • Drinking_with_Skeletons

         Ehh, Lonesome Road is deeply flawed.  I understand what it was aiming for–a kind of thesis statement on the franchise as a whole emphasizing that choices are made and consequences experienced regardless of intent–but Ulysses’ purple, meandering dialogue weakened it immensely.

        Old World Blues is fantastic, though.

  • Smilner

    First and foremost, thank you Mike.  I’m sure you’ve heard thousands of times about your formative influence, but I’ll add my voice to the choir.

    Also, you made watching the Twilight Saga with my wife endurable.

    As for gaming?  Obviously I’m putting in hours on GTA5.  Little thing I love:  what the characters are doing when you switch to them.  Franklin is always begging his ex to come back, which I think is actually stopping me from playing him more.  Coming back to Trevor tweking in a strip club or eating out of a garbage can is priceless, and Michael waking up with night terrors waving a pistol like a maniac had me in giggling fits.

    I think my wife and my daughter and I are finally going to get around to tackling the Scepter Tower in our D&D4e campaign tonight too, so fingers crossed.  I want to ruin some kobalds.

  • Drinking_with_Skeletons

    Diablo III has had me in its iron grip since release.  I couldn’t play on PC when it came out because of the stupid always-online requirement, but on the plus side the console version has no hiccups of any kind.  I don’t know whether to try to complete Inferno with my Witch Doctor, crafting along the way to twink out my other characters, or focus on one of my low-level guys.

  • Persia

    I’m going to try fixing my Wii so I can play some damn games again. And probably Bejazzled on my phone. That shit is worse than crack.

  • boardgameguy

    Board game weekend! I’m hoping it will include at least the following:

    Love Letter
    Pillars of the Earth
    Takenoko
    Tempus
    Escape: The Cursed Temple
    Through the Ages

    • The_Helmaroc_King

      Y’know, I just remembered that I actually had the chance to play Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia this week. It’s decently designed, in my estimation, although not necessarily my preferred style of game.

      I’ve only played once, which went on fairly long due to inexperience, but in the long term victory seems to depend a lot on controlling territory and player-versus-player confrontations. There are some alternate ways to earn victory points, but they’re randomly selected and they’re introduced slowly.

      Combat is simple enough to figure out, but there are some interesting wrinkles you can add by playing action cards. You can also upgrade your action cards throughout the game, which adds some strategy, but since upgrades are tracked with markers on each player’s game board, it requires a fair bit of cross-referencing.

      I think the most interesting element the game adds is Booker. The players control the Founders or the Vox Populi, whereas Booker and Elizabeth’s actions are are determined by a “timeline” and a series of event cards. Booker is practically a force of nature: he moves about the board fairly randomly, and in combat, he rolls three of the strongest dice, whereas your strongest units only add one of the same to your die pool.

      I will say that the game does take a lot of dice-rolling to play. That probably contributes to how long it takes to play as well.

      I’ll probably play again some other time at my friend’s insistence. I suspect the game might play a little better with one or two house rules, but we’ll see.

      • boardgameguy

        I’m always a little bit wary of IP games and since I haven’t played any of the Bioshock games, this wasn’t too high on my radar.

  • GaryX

    I’ve been looking at old GameBoy games since yesterday.

    I know I could just get a ROM or something, but I do have my GameBoy Color (atomic purple, of course) here in the city. It is so very tempting…

    Maybe I should buy a 3DS?

    • Jeff Tweedy

      Link’s Awakening DX is the obvious choice…but I’d like to recommend Mole Mania. This was one of Miyamoto’s smaller projects, and it is a blast. Wiki it and let me know what you think.

      • DrFlimFlam

        It is hard to believe to this day that Link’s Awakening was coaxed out of the GB and later the GBC.

        • Drinking_with_Skeletons

           Yes.  It remains the overall best LoZ, and the fact that the Ballad of the Wind Fish wasn’t on that Skyward Sword retrospective CD shows that not even Nintendo really recognizes that fact.

          The Oracle games, while not as poignant and lean, are also great.  The dual-game setup was something that I’m surprised hasn’t been revisited since, as it worked far better than it probably had any right to.

        • GaryX

          @Drinking_with_Skeletons:disqus To be fair, the dual-game setup is probably harder now that stuff is more expensive, and the dual-world is a pretty common theme for Zelda these days. 

          I would like to see another game toy with it, though.

        • Jeff Tweedy

          Playing LTTP and following it up with LA is a great 1-2 punch. It really does feel like Link had a hard time in LTTP, took a nap, and all of his recent memories appear as the dream.

        • Drinking_with_Skeletons

           @GaryX:disqus Oh, the dual-game stuff would be impossible on a AAA console title. But something on the 3DS?  I think it’s doable.  If nothing else, I’m surprised Nintendo hasn’t tried something like it to wring even more money out of Pokemon players. 

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

          @Drinking_with_Skeletons:disqus It’s a tricky needle to thread. It’s easier and cheaper to just release two nearly identical ‘flavors’ of game which most people will buy one of, and die-hards will buy two (a la Pokemon).
          The Oracles model requires making two full games in tandem (with the extra design challenge of making them interact with each other – I can’t even imagine how byzantine the deiign was when they were planning THREE cartridges…), which die-hards will recognize as two games and buy, but most people will think is another Pokemon cash-grab and just buy one of.

          I would love it if they tried it, though. The structure of the Oracles games is pretty amazing.

      • GaryX

        Yeah, I use to have that one as a kid, so I’d want to pick it back up again. I also wanted to give the “Oracle” games a shot as I never got to play them.

        The Dragon Warrior ports on GBC were quite good as well. 

        I actually played Mole Mania back in the day. It was the only game a friend of mine had, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

        It’d also be nice to replay Pokemon Silver again… though I did consider buying a 3DS almost solely to play that remake.

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

          The Oracle games, on top of being super solid games, also have that amazingly cool design that lets you play them in either order, and the second game is always the sequel to the first. Which is kind of mindblowing.

  • NakedSnake

    Hey Teti, what’s your sense about how often the WAYPTW interviewees read the comments in their articles? It’s not the case this week, but often the comments don’t synch up much with the content of the article. Has any interviewee ever come back and mentioned it to you?

    • HobbesMkii

      The comments often don’t address the whole body of the interview, but they do address its closing. To wit:

      “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.”

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

      I always try to comment on the interview, even if it’s something as minor as “Nice interview!” I legitimately enjoy this feature, though; it’s always nice to learn about the way other people play games – video, tabletop, or otherwise – even if I don’t have much to say about it.

  • doyourealize

    Am I in? I’m in? I haven’t been able to comment for a while due to school blocks, but I guess it’s letting me through now. See how long it sticks.

    It seems there’s a lot of love for this guy, which makes me kind of ashamed that I’ve never heard of him. Although I’ve seen those things he’s listed as being involved with, so I guess I’m not that ignorant.

    I’ll probably be spending most of the weekend going through NG+ in Rogue Legacy, a game that sucked me in in a huge way. Then I’ll be constantly checking my inbox to see if Bethesda lets me join in the Elder Scrolls Online beta again. I was part of the stress test a few weeks ago and got hooked.

    • DrFlimFlam

      Welcome back!

  • BobbyMcD

    Card Hunter. Magic: The Gathering + D&D = lots of lost sleep.

    I thought it was a little too easy at first, but it gets quite hard as you level up. 

  • djsubversive

    Mike Nelson, yay! The steam group has occasional random and sometimes secret MST3K-watchings. It’s been a while since the last one. I’ll have to remedy that. Probably tomorrow night (but no promises).

    Anyway, when I’m not working this weekend, I’ll probably be playing State of Decay on PC. It just came out on Steam, it’s controller-only (for now), and the devs are still fine-tuning the PC version to be more than just a quick-and-dirty port. 

    It’s also got some ‘budget-game’ issues – texture pop-in, occasionally wonky animations, and voices on the radio that sometimes cut off other (story-mission-related) voices on the radio. Nothing too game-breaking, though. At least not yet.

    That said, it’s a pretty fun third-person action/driving game. You’re a survivor in a zombie apocalypse (the reason is kind of glossed over because it doesn’t matter) and you have to scavenge supplies from houses and stores, help and recruit other survivors, and kill zombies. There are random side missions that pop up (and almost always enough that you have a choice about what to do), the contents of houses and stores are randomized every time you start a new game (looted houses don’t respawn supplies), and other than a few story-specific survivors, everyone you can find and recruit is randomly generated, with various skills that may or may not be useful. I had a slacker ex-drunk former college student with Beer Pong 5. Another survivor told us about when he lost his virginity as I was escorting him back home (and that little story came with a “New Trait Discovered: TMI!” pop-up). Also, Marcus threatened Virginia in what popped up as “Trouble at Home: Snitches Get Stitches.” The worst part about it was that Virginia was the first random survivor I found. I escorted her back to her home with supplies (in exchange for some of the supplies), and when we got there, her two partners were dead in the house. I took their gear and brought Virginia back to the church, where she proceeded to just stand in the radio room and not do anything.

    The survivor attitudes, useless skills and traits, and the little home events are a nice touch to the scavving and fighting that takes up most of the game. It makes for some interesting stories, at least.

    • DrFlimFlam

      The idea of State of Decay is very cool. I’m hoping they can polish it up some more so I buy in when it hits a sale or bundle.

      • djsubversive

        It could definitely use a little more polish. I just wanted in on that sweet sweet “scavenging and permanent death” action. Then I complained about it for a little while (not very loudly or anything). Now I’m starting to enjoy it. I have one playable survivor and like 4 random chumps hanging out at my base. Actually, when I quit last night, two were out on a mission with no weapons, so I’m sure I’ll have to go rescue at least one of them.

  • George_Liquor

    Because Mike Nelson shall forever be tied to MST3000, News everyone! Several episodes of Cinematic Titanic have made their way to Hulu, including some of their live shows. Unfortunately, It looks like they will riff their last once their current tour is finished. 

    I dig Rifftrax, but I think Cinematic Titanic comes much closer to recapturing MST’s humor style. I’m gonna miss that show.

  • patagonianhorsesnake

    while playing mass effect 2, i realized that the game has yet to provide me with a compelling reason not to shoot miranda and jacob out of an airlock, fire up the engines, and start cruisin’ round the galaxy on my own.

    oh well.

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

      Stick with it; the other companions are a lot more fun!

      • patagonianhorsesnake

        i will! i am wondering about the head cerberus guy’s priorities though.

        “humanity is in danger, like, right now! but first, i need you to find a crew of dangerous lunatics. no, you can’t ask me why. i’m mysterious.”

  • His_Space_Holiness

    This week in New Vegas: My first attempt at playing Honest Hearts turned into a spiraling comedy of errors as I failed to notice that Follows-Chalk had killed the guy sniping at me and, mistaking him for said guy, killed him. That led to me missing every single quest and wandering aimlessly around Zion, wondering why everyone I met immediately tried to kill me. So, realizing I’d screwed something up, I reloaded to the beginning several times over, thinking there was some way to save the caravaners. Only once I noticed that they all died in the same order, from no apparent source, did I realize that their deaths were scripted and I had screwed up somewhere else. After further trial and error, I came to Follows-Chalk and played through the damn thing as it was meant to be. My verdict: eh, kind of boring overall. Plus it’s got a whole white/civilized-guy-saves-the-noble-savages thing going on that I wasn’t all that impressed by.

    Moving on, I just started Old World Blues, which is like a bowling ball in how up my alley it is. Blunder through crazy science buildings under the command of curmudgeonly floating brains voiced by, among others, James Urbaniak? YES PLEASE, I WOULD LIKE TO PLAY VENTURE BROTHERS: THE GAME, THANK YOU.

    • djsubversive

      Honest Hearts is pretty mediocre, other than Joshua Graham (mmm… that voice) and the Survivalist’s Logs (look for handprints). The story is kind of boring. Daniel’s naive and deserves to be disappointed (“let’s bring my religion to the savages! they pick it up awful quick. them savages is smrt!”). He’s got a nice hat, though.

      On the other hand, Joshua says things like “killing is a chore, just like any other, and practiced hands make for short work.” And his armor and A Light Shining In Darkness are gear that will last you to the end-game (if that’s how you want to roll). The best part of HH (besides the Survivalist and Joshua) is the loot you get at the end.

      Oh, also, yao-guai. Those were… fun… to see again.

      OWB is far and away the “biggest and best” of the 4 story DLCs. I got something like two levels from just talking to the Think Tank in the beginning. Then you explore and find all sorts of neat stuff. It’s a big world, with lots of toys and Sink upgrades everywhere.

  • neodocT

    I think I’m visiting a friend in another city this weekend, so probably not too much time for gaming, but I might as well share that I’ve been slowly making my way through Darksiders, this week, every time I get sick of studying. It’s not fantastic by any chance, and the story is dumb and really annoys me, but the gameplay is solid, and it’s a pretty satisfying way of spending time.

    Oh, and did you guys see the Steam controller? It’s pretty cool!

    http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamController/

    • The_Helmaroc_King

      I play video games and what is this?

      Less facetiously: as much as I appreciate the idea, I have no idea how well a controller like this is going to play. It’s certainly a bold change, but just imagine trying to play Street Fighter with it.

      It’d certainly take some getting used to, is what I’m saying. They certainly saved the most interesting announcement for last.

      I do like that they put two additional buttons on the back of the controller, but that’s the only thing I might consider an unequivocal positive among all the other ergonomic decisions they’re making. Other people might have their own usability concerns, though.

      • neodocT

        I definitely get your concern, as it is something pretty much entirely knew. I certainly can’t recall any direct predecessor to this thing in any major release. And I think that’s exciting!

        But what really sold me on it was the haptic stuff: The Steam Controller is built around a new generation of super-precise
        haptic feedback, employing dual linear resonant actuators. These small, strong, weighted electro-magnets are attached to each of the dual trackpads. They are capable of delivering a wide range of force and vibration, allowing precise control over frequency, amplitude, and direction of movement.

        I just bought an Xbox controller for my computer, so I’m not really in a hurry to get anything new, but I have high hopes for the future of Steam. More than for the traditional consoles, at least.

  • http://twitter.com/potatosolution PotatoSolution

    This weekend I’ll try (and likely fail) to improve my dismal performance in the Hearthstone arena. Apparently my drafting skills are worth dogsquat.

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

    For you GTAV-ers, this seems like a good place to mention that the Gameological crew is still extant but dormant over at the Rockstar Social Club site. I’m pretty excited to see what the online multiplayer has in store, so crew up, fools.

  • Sean Forsyth

     This weekend, I’ll likely end up playing some more Beatmania IIDX (not sure if I’ll head to the nearby arcade to do it or just stay home), and probably dig back into the number of titles I have yet to finish on my PSP. Maybe I’ll start Dissidia 012 back up, maybe I’ll actually start Kingdom Hearts BBS FM, maybe some echochrome or echoshift or one of the many other puzzlers available… maybe I’ll end up finding something else I have yet to play on PSP. Probably the last one.

  • Flying_Turtle

    I’m still very, very early in Skyrim, and after this weekend, I plan to be slightly further in. Hooray determination! Also, my wife and I will be playing Corn Maze Adventure 2013, because it’s fall and that’s what we do. This particular corn maze, if I remember correctly, has checkpoints so that you can make a game of it. Over/under on minotaur jokes: 3.5.

  • Shawn Hudson

    Like Mike Nelson? Like Bad Movies? Then listen to this podcast that references Nelson once in its second episode and is all about the latter – http://www.moviebombsquad.com

    Next episode up in a week or so … we’ll be hitting up one of the best/worst films, ever: Abraxas. Also … Vision Quest.

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