Out This Week

NBA 2K14

Basketball Jones

A few games try to keep their head above water in Grand Theft Auto V’s white and turbid wake.

By Drew Toal • October 1, 2013

Out This Week is a look at a few new games that are out this week.

NBA 2K14
PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—October 1

I understand that LeBron James—he of the linebacker’s body, point guard’s court vision, and front office executive’s hairline—not only graces the cover of 2K Sports’s latest NBA installment but also curated the soundtrack. All praise to the King, but it would’ve been even sweeter if 2K had totally ignored its target audience and instead recruited 85-year-old retired NBA hall of famer Bob Cousy to do the music. You could warm up to the Charleston, run the fast break to “Stompin’ At The Savoy,” and throw down savage dunks while Count Basie’s “One O’Clock Jump” plays in the background. Hey, 2K, if you need freelance marketing help, I’m available.

Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl
Nintendo 3DS—October 1

Something about this game seemed familiar to me, despite having never played any of the Etrian Odyssey series. Then it hit me. In February, I wrote about Etrian Odyssey IV in these very pages, suggesting that its Norse undertones might possibly anger Odin, causing him to smite the blasphemers. That prediction—some (ahem, John Teti) said it was the ravings of an imbecile—has not yet come to pass, but it remains that I still have no idea what this game is about. I did learn, though, that exploring dungeons in The Millennium Girl requires you to draw your own maps. That got me thinking about the time when a much younger, slightly more ginger Drew Toal bought an Ultima game (one of the early ones), without really understanding the concept of “system requirements.” It quickly became clear that I couldn’t play it, but the box contained a detailed map that I could stare at yearningly while praying for Odin to smite the concept of system requirements.

PlayStation 3—October 1

I could tell you about this game in my own words. Yeah, I could do that. But wouldn’t it be better to tell you about it in the immortal words of Phil Collins?

You know I never meant to see you again
But I only passed by as a friend, yeah
All this time I stayed out of sight
I started wondering why

Now I, I wish it would rain down, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain, rain down on me now
Ooh yes I wish it would rain, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain on me

You said you didn’t need me in your life
Oh I guess you were right, yeah
Ooh I never meant to cause you no pain
But it looks like I did it again

Stay tuned for next week, when I write the entire Out This Week in Barry Manilow.

Haunted Memories
PC–September 30

You know what non-Ultima-related memory haunts me? About a year ago, we ran the Best Treasure Ever tournament here at The Gameological Society, and the Tanooki Suit defeated the Space Hamster. I still haven’t gotten over that, and I likely never will.

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72 Responses to “Basketball Jones”

  1. SamPlays says:

    It’s technically referred to as “Barry Manilese”. Regardless, I’m looking forward to it, baby. I’ll bring the bathrobes and Courvoisier. You bring the mustache and comb.

  2. Unexpected Dave says:

    You know who doesn’t like Space Hamsters?


  3. Raging Bear says:

    Also out sneakily since the weekend some time: NimbleBit’s Pocket Trains, which is very nearly exactly the same as Pocket Planes, but with the addition of blurry scenery! (and an extra layer of complexity, in that trains can’t share sections of track).

  4. Chalkdust says:

    I already have Etrian Odyssey Untold pre-ordered on the strength of the demo (and the fact that I can carry my demo progress into the full game!), but I didn’t know Rain was also out this week!  Hooray for my sleeper sensibilities, they will be well-fed.

  5. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    Also out this week (about one hour from now) on Steam: The remake of Flashback!  One of my favorite side-scrolling action games with rotoscoped animation, now with 2.5D graphics and CGI’d animations!

    (The less said about the third-person sequel, Fade to Black, the better.  Why did it crib from the Terminator films for all character names??!)

    The downside being that Flashback is released by Ubisoft, who despite the game already being on Steam, insists on an additional level of security via their own Uplay DRM, which is well known for security breaches and customer lockouts.  Yay, fun!

    • Citric says:

      Fatal Frame 3 is on PS Classics now too, tempting me.

    • ItsTheShadsy says:

      I love Flashback too, and having played the XBLA demo, I can say that it’s… okay. The gameplay is updated surprisingly well, but the story kinda suffers. The nice thing about the original was that it was sort of quiet and minimalist, but this one has full voiceacting and is terribly overwritten (at one point, Conrad actually says “Awesomesauce.”).

      Probably worth the $10 just to show the franchise some love. It’s certainly better than Fade to Black. I didn’t even get past the first area of that because it was so heinous.

  6. The_Helmaroc_King says:

    Basketball Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arena
    Basketball Jones and the Temple of Dunk
    Basketball Jones and the Last Licensing Agreement

    And, of course, the much maligned fourth entry: Basketball Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Basketball.

  7. Sam_Barsanti says:

    Also out this week: GTA Online! It’s totally…barely functional at the moment, but who wants to tear some shit up/play golf/whatever with me? I’m on Xbox! Is there a Gameological Rockstar Social Club Crew? If not, can it be called The Johnny Boys?

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      I believe the proper response to your query is “Woah there Hitler”?

    • fieldafar says:

      I believe there’s already an AV Club crew. I would post a link, but the website is still getting hammered.

    • SisterMaryFrancis says:

      How’d you get past the first race? I’m currently stuck waiting for it to load. I had to mute the TV because I can’t even change the freaking station right now.

      • Sam_Barsanti says:

        Luck. I quit out of the game when it wouldn’t load, then jumped back in and the race had glitched out. I could go around the city but it kept prompting me to start the race even though I couldn’t, so I quit out again, got back in again, and it started right up. 

        None of the other modes and stuff would work for me, just the free roam, but it was still pretty cool. I stole a car from a real person when he went into a clothing store! I did a burnout in front of him and it was awesome.

        • SisterMaryFrancis says:

          Definitely luck. I just tried quitting out, and now all I get for GTA Online is a black screen. This is not going very smoothly so far.

  8. mizerock says:

    What are some good movies to watch during the Govenment shutdown? All I’ve got on my list so far is “RoboCop”.

    • SamPlays says:

      Do you really need anything else?

    • Merve says:

      Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      Independence Day?

    • Citric says:

      Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City. The themes are weirdly appropriate, and it has the secret solution to all the bickering in Washington.


      The two sides of the house need to have sex in a dirty alleyway.


    • CrabNaga says:

      Atlas Shrugged and Atlas Shrugged Part II.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        The interminable lengths of poorly written and poorly delivered speeches dripping with unearned righteousness are the next best thing to standing right there on the House floor!

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:


      Dark City


      Children of Men

      Cool Hand Luke

      Singin’ in the Rain -just because that’s always a good movie to watch.

      • SamPlays says:

        Speaking of Children of Men, I’m actually kind of excited for Gravity, even though I very likely won’t be subjecting myself to a theatre environment. But my intentions are good.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          I’m going to see Gravity because it has done what I thought impossible -make me interested in a Sandra Bullock starring movie.

        • SamPlays says:

          I’m sure it will look spectacular based on what I’ve seen in the trailer. From what I can tell, it’s a film with pretty much only two people on screen (plus some voice acting) but it has an $80,000,000 budget. If this were a Michael Bay movie, the budget would probably be over a trillion.

        • Roswulf says:

           I got into a serious fight with my family a few months back because they were mocking the Gravity trailer.

          I’m not even sure I’ll see the movie, but damn that trailer is everything I want our culture to be.

        • zerocrates says:

          @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus I believe the working title was Miss Congeniality 3.

          Oh, oh, or: Speed 3: Orbital Control.

        • mizerock says:

          I greatly enjoyed Gravity in 3D and “IMAX” (= bigger screen than normal). I wanted to see it on a real IMAX screen, at the Smithsonian, but the Government is closed.


    • MathleticDepartment says:

      The answer to this and all other movie-related questions is “Caddyshack”

  9. Destroy Him My Robots says:

    My pick for rain-related song: http://youtu.be/nwPxxLpS_ss Kinda on topic because video games!

    Hardly fun fact: When I resurrected a former system drive to serve as a file dump, I called it Brandon Heat. I guess the point here is that I thought Gungrave was a pretty good bargain bin find.

    But yeah, Rain. I’ll probably buy that at some point.

  10. beema says:

    Just read a review of Rain and it sounds pretty cool. If I had any money, I think I might get it. It’s nice to see good games are still coming out for PS3 despite the impending PS4 release.

    • SamPlays says:

      Whoa, whoa, whoa! Let’s not go making hasty decisions. IGN gave it a 7 so don’t bother wasting your money. 

  11. Merve says:

    Deltron 3030’s new album is out today. That’s all that really matters.

    *puts Event II on loop*

  12. . delete. disqus sucks.

  13. Apropos of none of these news articles, how’s your turnips @SonjaMinotaur:disqus and @DrFlimFlam:disqus ?

  14. His_Space_Holiness says:

    Sorry folks, we are all out of horror signifiers today. The Haunted Memories trailer took them all.

  15. Chalkdust says:

    Also, legendary flop Daikatana was unceremoniously released on Steam today.

  16. Fluka says:

    No out now, but later…  Frictional (the Amnesia: The Dark Descent folks) just announced their new game via live action teaser trailer and ARG.  It’s called SOMA, it’s hard sci fi, and it looks creepy as all fuck.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      This seems to have nothing of the calming effects of SOMA in Brave New World. Nothanks.

  17. dreadguacamole says:

     Everything is moot, all is lost. The new Terraria update is out.
     Any other release is redundant.

    • Raging Bear says:

      Hey, just in time for Windows Steam to inexplicably no longer launch via Wine on my computer, even though it worked just fine a few months ago and I haven’t touched it since then!

      God dammit.