Out This Week

Valhalla Knights 3

Norse To See You

This week’s new releases bring us Scandinavian culture by way of Japan and robots who—get this—punch each other.

By Drew Toal • October 15, 2013

Out This Week is a look at a few new games that are out this week. As this is the final installment of this extremely popular series, I would like to thank you all for reading, and encourage you to check out the forthcoming monthly version.

Valhalla Knights 3
PlayStation Vita—October 15

I don’t quite understand the preponderance of Norse mythology and references in Japanese video games. I’ve addressed it here before, but Valhalla Knights 3 is yet another example of Scandinavian lore tied up in Japanese role-playing game weirdness for no apparent reason, and I’ve about used up my storehouse of pop-cultural Vikings references.

Or have I?

You know, one of my all-time favorite Viking movies is, improbably, The 13th Warrior with Antonio Banderas. Banderas, playing a Middle Eastern poet of no small renown, is exiled from his homeland for forbidden fornication and sent to live among the Norse savages. It is among these noble warriors, though, that Banderas learns the true meaning of honor, courage, and even the coarse language of the Norsemen themselves. Now if only I could learn Japanese…

Pacific Rim: The Video Game
PlayStation 3—October 15

As it stands, Pacific Rim is already more video game than film, so it’s hard to say how much an actual game version can really improve on the big screen product. Still, robots punching the shit out of giant monsters is the kind of thing video games were made for, and I feel that if we can support GLaDOS’ defection to the good guys, we should probably do that so she doesn’t get miffed and kill us all with deadly neurotoxin and birthday cake, leaving the world ripe for the Gameological Comment Cat to fill the geopolitical vacuum and seize total control.

Mighty Switch Force! 2
Wii U—October 17 (previously released on Nintendo 3DS)

Nintendo, you’re not really giving me a convincing reason to pick up a new system. By the looks of this one, I could just dust off the old TurboGrafx 16 and get the same experience, so that’s what I’m going to do. It’s highway to the Alpha Zones for this guy.

Goodbye Deponia
Mac, PC—October 17

After playing Grand Theft Auto V for the past couple of weeks and being spiritually bludgeoned by the game’s puerile nihilism and wanton violence, I could really use something a little more lighthearted, and Goodbye Deponia seems like just such a balm. I don’t really know anything about it, but in the short trailer, a fellow (who I assume is in Deponia) hunkers down in some kind of all-terrain vehicle and gets shot out of a cannon, circus-clown style. In GTA5, this setup would undoubtedly result in Michael’s terrible family hating him even more for some reason or Trevor using the cannon to shoot the car directly into a Los Santos neonatal unit. Whereas in Goodbye Deponia, the dude just kind of yells humorously as he bounces off the title letters. Slapstick > murder.

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72 Responses to “Norse To See You”

  1. DrFlimFlam says:

    You know you’re getting old when nihilism starts to actively wear on you. Give me more happy fun, less dark and cruel. The real world is dark and cruel enough for me.

    • Girard says:

      You know you’re getting old growing the fuck up when nihilism starts to actively wear on you.

    • Jackbert says:

      Nihilism doesn’t mean dark and cruel though. It means you believe there’s no inherent meaning to life. A lot of people misinterpret nihilism in the “life is hell, might as well off yourself” direction, but that’s not what the original nihilistic philosophers believed. They believed what I believe, that there is no one way to live, and you can find meaning in whichever way is meaningful to you, which is a great, positive outlook. So, yeah, @paraclete_pizza:disqus, I think the “life is hell, might as well off yourself” gross misunderstanders of nihilism are immature, but actual nihilism isn’t.

      • Girard says:

        In this postmodern age, that bog-standard nihilism is pretty much commonplace – the idea that there is no rigid, objective meaning of life. Even most traditionally religious folk acknowledge a sort of ‘live and let live,’ or ‘whatever works for them’ po-mo approach, unless they’re jerks or whatever.

        But the sort of blanket nihilism that refuses to find meaning in much of anything, or that (ironically) romantically wallows in the bleak meaninglessness of existence – the sort of pop-cultural nu-metal, heavy-eyeliner nihilism – is irritatingly adolescent.

  2. Fluka says:

    Since this feature apparently won’t be making the jump with us (nooooo), I’ll just take the opportunity to point out that the Deus Ex: HR Department Director’s Cut Edition is coming out next week, and it’ll be super-duper cheap if you already own the game. I’ll personally be playing Dragon Age: Origins from now until the end of time, but still gonna pick it up for the purportedly de-crapified boss fights!

    But the new version of this column is going to be monthly? That’s…kind of okay? But Drew, will you still be writing it? Will we still get to make monthly mustache jokes??

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      Super-duper cheap if you have it on Steam. If you own it on consoles, you’re boned. OR should I say XBONE’D!

      • Fluka says:

        *Gazes down from her PC gaming throne upon high and cackles!*

      • Fluka says:

        (But seriously, didn’t see that part, bleh! $30 on console is not so super duper in cheapness….)

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          Yeah, I have it on Steam as well, and am therefore excited. New Game + is all the incentive I need to get back into the game. But it’s a stinker that it doesn’t apply to consoles as well. I can’t imagine implementation would be any sort of technological hurdle.

      • SamPlays says:

        I’m PS’D because New Game+ is what I was expecting the first time I finished the game – it seemed like a glaring omission. Oh well, back to the peasant fields for me!

    • PaganPoet says:

      The mustache jokes will live on Fluka…in your heart.

    • HobbesMkii says:

      But this is the day I learn about all the weekly flash sales on games that I will impulsively buy for 75% or more off their list price! What will I do? How will GOG or Amazon get my money now?

      • Electric Dragon says:

        Savygamer (UK based, but many of the deals may apply overseas) or Rock Paper Shotgun’s weekly Bargain Bucket (usually written by the same guy actually).

        • HobbesMkii says:

          But those are on another part of the Internet! I want my princess to be in this castle, dammit!

    • CrabNaga says:

      In celebration, maybe I should finally go back and actually play the original Deus Ex, since I own it and everything.

      • stepped_pyramids says:

        Make sure to look into the mods available. Some are pretty awesome. I’m partial to Shifter, which has a bunch of little changes which improve the experience pretty substantially.

    • snazzlenuts says:

      I have yet to play Deus Ex. I take it it’s worth checking out?

      • SamPlays says:

        Human Revolutions is one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in a long time. It has its FPS moments but it’s best played as a stealth game – if that’s your thing, it’s well worth checking out. The exploration is top-notch and rewarding (most “dead ends” have a prize), plus the augmentation system has a substantial impact on how you play the game. Plus, according to other sociopaths that comment here, you can make box forts and literally pile up unconscious/dead bodies.

        • NakedSnake says:

          With the benefit of the “hover-to-zoom” feature of nu-disqus, I see now that your avatar is actually an adorable dog, and not a sun-baked cattle skull, as I had previously surmised. So it would appear that you have nu-disqus to thank for a new era with a far less sinister persona.

          • SamPlays says:

            Despite my online persona, I’ll admit to having a fondness for animals, particularly dogs and especially greyhounds – that picture is actually from the day we adopted our guy. But he’s a total badass, smoking cigarettes, reading Camus all nihilistic and whatnot. Very sinister indeed.

        • snazzlenuts says:

          Thanks! I’ll have to check it out. I do enjoy stealth. I had a much more rewarding experience stealthing my way through Dishonored than laying waste. Laying waste does have it’s appeal, but sneaking past everyone makes me feel like a ninja. Albeit a lazy couch ninja, but a ninja nonetheless!

      • NakedSnake says:

        If you could transport yourself back to the year 2000, then the original one might redefine your world. As it is, it’s still worth checking out. That game got me into G.K. Chesterton.

      • Fluka says:

        Human Revolution is delightfully atmospheric and very satisfying as a stealth game. @SamPlays:disqus describes it pretty well above. Also, the game is utterly beautiful. The only real downside is the famously bad boss fights…which apparently have been fixed in this new edition. So, yes, definitely worth it!

        The original Deus Ex also does the whole multiple approaches / exploration / emergent gameplay thing, but much more so. The graphics show their age quite a bit, but if you’re willing to be patient with that, it’s quite rewarding.

      • Merve says:

        If you haven’t played it yet and you’re not playing it right now, then you’re making a mistake.

    • Kyle O'Reilly says:

      Because I’m too lazy to googz, what does this Director’s Cut get me? More weird Batman voice and heart-beat interrogation mini-games I hope!

      • Fluka says:

        “Fixed” boss fights (with more solutions), all the DLC incorporated into the main narrative, retuned AI, a New Game + feature, and some director’s commentaries. And more weird, sexy Batman voice!

        • Jackbert says:

          Also lazy: All the New Game+ does is carry over upgrades? New Game+ isn’t on consoles? And what exactly is the retuned AI?

        • stepped_pyramids says:

          I hope the DLC changes include tweaking the bonus weapon DLC away from how it currently works, which is like this:

          “Okay, we’re sending you in more or less naked, let’s have a meaningful conversation about the type of weapon you want and what that means for your style of gameplay.”
          “Uh, I’ll take the stun gun, because I am a sneaky man and I don’t like to hurt people.”
          “Great. Here you go. Also, here’s a backpack full of plastic explosives, a sniper rifle, a shotgun, and five thousand bucks.”
          “Wait, but I don’t need-”
          “TOO LATE CHOPPER TAKING OFF GOOD LUCK”

  3. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    Of all of Nostradamus’ prophesies I’ve ignored over the years, this is the one I regret ignoring most:

    In the month of scales, The red sun sets

    The mustache will be shorn, and regrown but once a moon

    Because Gameological is being folded back into the AV Club and a lot of features are either being cut or released on a more limited run.

    Pretty straight-forward in that last part. I really don’t know how I missed it.

    • HobbesMkii says:

      Watch out for that car at the corner of Elm and Washington on Tuesday. A lady in a pink sweater will be its harbinger. You’ll know what I’m talkin’ about when it happens.

    • TheMostPopularCommenter says:

      The worst part is that Teti is a Senior Editor now. If he’s a senior, that means he’s old and he’ll die soon :(

  4. caspiancomic says:

    Godspeed, Out This Week. I guess now I’ll never know which clever angle Drew would take with next week’s Sonic Lost World release. *dignified tear*

    Also, since I haven’t found a better place to ask, are we going to get a Pokemon X/Y review? I mostly ask because I’m hoping there’s going to be a place for everyone who’s playing to swap friend codes and all that. If there’s not going to be an official review, though, there’ll probably be a Pokemon thread in this week’s WAYPTW. I say probably because I know already what I’m going to be PTW.

    • Citric says:

      I keep getting tempted to get all Pokemanned, but I’m holding myself back.

      Convince me or dissuade me to be a Pokeman.

      • caspiancomic says:

        In this Pokeman there’s a french poodle themed Pokeman and there’s a place where you can give it little french poodle haircuts.

      • Drinking_with_Skeletons says:

        If you’ve played the games before, this is more of the same with the rough edges filed off. EXP share makes it easier than ever to keep your whole party at top form, and the new training mini-game (which is surprisingly not as much of a timesink as it appears to be) makes pretty much any pokemon viable, if only in singleplayer. If you use the included code, you can ultimately end up with a fire starter, water starter, and grass starter from three different generations (this one, the first, and whatever one torchic is from). The new graphics are surprisingly appealing and breathe new life into even the most tired of monsters.

        If you haven’t played, then it’s sort of like a combination of fantasy football, Magic the Gathering, and cockfighting, wrapped up in a JRPG shell. You slowly develop your team of hand-picked monsters over the course of many hours to conquer the single-player campaign. However, you can also take your team online to do battle with other players and trade for rare monsters. The big compliment is that for such a huge franchise, it offers an enormous amount of customizability and a surprising amount of depth. Unless you loathe JRPGs, you will enjoy it.

        • Citric says:

          Last one I tried was Pearl, and like every Pokemon I’ve tried I was initially really into it until my interest steadily petered out and I quit around some tower.

          • Drinking_with_Skeletons says:

            Then the question here is why you were put off. If it was the pace, you level up crazy fast thanks to the EXP share item obtained about an hour in. If it was the balance, you get tons of monsters from a bunch of types early on (I got a steel/ghost type before the second gym, for instance) and TMs are reusable. If it was the plot…well, keep on walking.

    • Matt Gerardi says:

      We won’t be reviewing Pokemon, so putting together a friend code thread in WAYPTW is probably a good idea.

    • GaryX says:

      Please put together a thread so I can bookmark it and get all your guys’ codes months from now when you’re done and bored with the game.

    • Newton Gimmick says:

      You know what I’d love to see in a future Pok√©mon game? a shake-up in the starter types.

  5. The_Helmaroc_King says:

    In “Out Sometime in 2015” news, Frictional Games released a gameplay teaser for Soma, their follow-up to Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The voice acting could be better, but the whole thing looks exactly like the kind of game I want. Notably, it’s all original content that they made specifically for the teaser, just like the teaser they released for Amnesia years back.

  6. Destroy Him My Robots says:

    Oh boy. Norse mythology and sexy nurses together. That must’ve been one awkward focus group.

  7. Chum Joely says:

    “Norse to see you.” Talk about going out on a high note, with the punful titles.

  8. NakedSnake says:

    If this is the end of Out This Week, then “Norse To See You” is certainly a worthy pun to put in its gravestone. I might use that the next time I meet a Swede.

    I haven’t seen Pacific Rim, but I just finished watching Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and the comment “more video game than film certainly could apply in that case. It’s like the cutscenes from a real-time strategy game got spliced with the action scenes from a Devil-May-Cry clone. After all the discussion last week about video games self-consciously trying to imitate movies, I feel like not enough attention is payed to the fact that movies are spending a lot of time trying to imitate video games. It seems like it is impossible to find an action, sci-fi, or fantasy movie these days that does not owe some of its visual style and gimmicks from established video game conventions.

  9. Merve says:

    Speaking of games that won’t be out this year, Watch Dogs has been delayed to 2014. Damn it, Ubisoft!

  10. stuartsaysstop says:

    Goodbye Deponia is actually the third in a series, the first being Deponia which I still haven’t managed to beat. I attribute this to a recently acquired decent-to-good laptop leading to a glut of steam games and the fact that some of the puzzles are damn near impenetrable. Despite that, it’s a good classic adventure game that I would recommend to any fans of the genre.

    • Marozeph says:

      Gamological actually ran an interview with the creators some months ago. But yeah, both games so far are solid adventures.

      • stuartsaysstop says:

        Oh cool, thanks for the link, somehow missed that one. I’m curious, as someone who played the first game, what’s your opinion of the puzzles? I consider myself fairly well-versed in the genre and have been for going on 20 years, but some of them I could barely even get started without a walkthrough.

        • Marozeph says:

          I actually don’t think the games are that hard. I managed to beat both without a walkthrough, and i usually need one for pretty much every adventure game (i think the only other adventure i’ve ever beaten without any help was Death Gate, if anyone remembers that).

          Although this might have less to do with the puzzle design and more with the games being rather friendly to an trial-and-error approach. Example: the puzzle with the miner huts near the beginning – i’m pretty sure i just placed the markers at random till i accidentally found the right combination and realized what i had just done. And i took the “use everything on everything”-approach more than one time because some puzzles do indeed make very little sense, even after solving them.

          • stuartsaysstop says:

            I think I had the most difficulty with the post office/pigeons/kittens puzzle. And the mine car thingie.

          • Marozeph says:

            The post office puzzle was weird, but it kinda clicked for me after i realized that both cats could be put in different conditions. The mine car thingie…well i just pushed levers until i came through (iirc it’s one of the skippable puzzles, and i came pretty close to skipping it).

            I was stuck for some time at the puzzle with the cotton candy, because i somehow missed the obvious light source. Even more embarassing since the game has a hotspot indicator.

          • stuartsaysstop says:

            Ha, I’m currently in the cotton candy area and I’m sure that’s an obstacle I’ll have to surmount soon enough. It’s really amazing that I have yet to beat it, considering it’s been months since I’ve started it, but that’s mostly because I only play it when I’m too hungover to leave my bed. That might account for the for the lack of mental acuity now that I think about it.

    • Girard says:

      I am a tremendous fan of the graphic adventure genre, but I find I can’t stand any of Daedalic’s games. Deponia was painfully unfunny, its protagonist was totally loathesome, and I found its art style boring and generic (same went for Whispered World).

      I would recommend it to fans of the genre so starved for graphic adventures that they will play positively anything. But I would recommend it with reservations.

      • stuartsaysstop says:

        Any recent games you’d recommend? I’ve got a couple “classics” lined up, but I’m always up for something new. Still got a ways to go until the new Sherlock Holmes game that looks promising, and that’s the only thing really on my adventure games radar at this point.

        • dreadguacamole says:

          The Inner World!
          Lovely, lovely game with some good, ridiculous, old-school puzzles and buckets of charm.

  11. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    NEWS FLASH: Terraria is currently 75% off on Steam. That’s $2.50 for a game that just got a major content patch and has tons of fun 2D stuff to do!

  12. Drinking_with_Skeletons says:

    Wasn’t the Pacific Rim game already released on other platforms? And wasn’t it terrible?

    Anyone remember King of the Monsters?

    • caspiancomic says:

      King of the Monsters is my jam. I love that sort of sub-genre of fighting games where you can wander around the environment interacting with stuff if you don’t feel like actually fighting. See also: Power Stone.