What Are You Playing This Weekend?

NBA 2K14

Nov. 1, 2013: Anthony John Agnello, Joe Keiser, Drew Toal, and John Teti

Gameological staffers share their plans and take stupid “selfies” for some reason. Drew started it.

By Matt Gerardi • November 1, 2013

This week, we’re checking in on the weekend gaming plans of a few Gameological staffers. There’s even a guest appearance from a certain someone’s resurgent facial hair. As always, we’d also love to hear what you, dear readers, are playing this weekend. Let us know in the comments!

Anthony John Agnello
AJA Selfie

I’m going to be traveling most of the weekend, but I’m bringing along my 3DS for some good times. After spending most of the last few months trying to finish off Shin Megami Tensei IV, I finally put a pin in it. Now, all my portable gaming is going to be lighter fare for awhile. To that end, I’m going to be playing some Mega Man ZX Advent, which may prove to be the evolutionary dead end of the Mega Man series. I didn’t think much of the first ZX, but I hear this one is pretty neat. I’ll also be playing WayForward’s new Regular Show game because I’m a sucker.

Joe Keiser
JK Selfie

This would normally be a no-brainer for me in a week with a new Assassins Creed game, but since prettier versions of that game are being withheld for systems that do not yet exist, I’m willing to wait a little longer. That leaves me more time to curl up with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney—Dual Destines. I’ve played every Phoenix Wright title ever released here, including the mediocre Miles Edgeworth spinoff, which I’ve just learned came out nearly four years ago. I guess I will have to play this new one with one hand while tweezing gray hairs out of my eyebrows with the other.

If I’m still taken by the Halloween season, I might sneak in a little bit of Gregory Horror Show, a whimsical survival horror game that only got an English release in Europe. Its looks have aged pretty well for a decade-old PlayStation 2 game. I’m curious to see if the playing part also holds up, or if there’s a good reason we never got it here. There’s probably a good reason we never got it here.

Drew Toal
DT Selfie

My ambitions for the weekend are quickly be outstripped by the harsh realities of time and space. If I lived in some kind of fully furnished hypercube, though, the first order of business would be to continue playing Assassin’s Creed IV, which I just reviewed. My only real complaint is that the multiplayer doesn’t involve naval battles, which seems like it would be the best thing ever. I’m also trying to carve out a chunk of time to play NBA 2K14. I’m really, really horrible at modern basketball games, but it’s not for lack of effort. I really just want to make a super team with JaVale McGee, Larry Sanders, and the ghost of Drazen Petrovic. At some point I’d also like to go back and finish Grand Theft Auto V, but that keeps getting pushed further down the queue. It was most recently supplanted by Rogue Legacy, which has just become available for Mac. But really, this is all to say I’m just killing time until November 12, when XCOM: Enemy Within hits. Have I told you guys that I’m really pumped for that one? Because I’m really pumped for that one.

John Teti
JT Selfie

I just moved out from New York to Chicago, and most of my worldly possessions are languishing in a moving company’s warehouse until they decide it’s time to let me have my stuff. So without any consoles or my PC, my options are pretty limited. Oh, well—I’ve got a go-to game for this kind of situation, namely Wordament, which I reviewed last year in a Sawbuck Gamer writeup that, as the commenter His Space Holiness accurately guessed, was mostly designed to taunt my occasional Wordament rival Ellie Gibson. Ellie doesn’t play anymore, but my wife does, and when we’re apart—as we have been often during this move—we like to fire up Wordament and see where we show up on the global leaderboard.

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  • Drew Toal

    I get blamed for everything around here.

    • Enkidum

      Well, everything is your fault, so what do you expect?

      • Drew Toal

        That seems fair.

        • Enkidum

          I do like the fact that John seems to have moustache jealousy in his selfie.

    • ProfFarnsworth

      No, no, no, no, no, I’M LYING TO MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      Isn’t that why you periodically grow the mustache? An evil twin to foist the blame upon?

      • Drew Toal

        Yes it’s me… Bender…

        • ProfFarnsworth

          Indeed. The mustache really makes you difficult to distinguish from the real Toal now. My robots are…excuse me you all caught me monologuing.

      • Enkidum

        Drew Stark’s murder rampage must be stopped!

        • Drew Toal

          As it turns out, my father’s name is Ned.

          • Enkidum

            Actually I meant to be referring to George Stark from Stephen King’s The Dark Half, but as soon as I typed it I realized no one would know what the hell I was talking about because (a) that was more than 20 years ago and (b) his name wasn’t that famous anyways, and (c) yeah, the Starks.

            But then I just kept it there, because, well, I don’t care enough to make sense to other people.

            Oh well, off to slaughter a bunch of innocent forest creatures in KoA:R.

          • duwease

            I remember! Not because it was a book, but because it was a middling mid-90′s adventure game. That’s my main point of reference for pop culture, that and The Simpsons..

          • Enkidum

            The Simpsons has had at least three great games – although I guess only one of them (the original arcade game) was mid-90′s.

          • duwease

            Let me guess: Arcade, Hit & Run, and.. The Simpsons Game? Actually, I didn’t think Krusty’s Fun House was that bad (despite being an obvious re-skinning of a different game).. but I like my puzzles.

          • Uncle Roundy

            I thought Road Rage was pretty fun, and the start of Simpsons games redeeming themselves from the particularly pathetic laughingstock they’d become during the PS1 era.

          • Enkidum

            Yeah, like Uncle Roundy says, I meant Road Rage as the third. Although in hindsight it’s more “not too bad” than great.

          • HobbesMkii

            Haha, your nerd reference was done in by a more popular nerd reference!

          • SamPlays

            Flanders?

    • boardgameguy

      It’s because you didn’t spell LARRY SANDERS! in line with Internet standards (see: Zach Lowe).

      • Drew Toal

        I thought about it, but that really seems like his thing?

        • boardgameguy

          Many across the Internet have adopted it, but it’s all good. I figured if you had him on your team in the first place you must be paying attention to the NBA more than the casual fan.

  • http://caspiancomic.com/gametheory caspiancomic

    I haven’t been able to play it much for the last couple of days due to having some other commitments, but this weekend I’ll be returning to Pokemon Y. I’ve done just about everything there is to do in the main quest, so there’s nothing left to be done but head down Victory Road and face the Elite Four. One of my great secret shames is that despite having at least dabbled in almost every generation, I’ve only ever beaten one Pokemon game (White), so I’m excited to see this one through to the end. I’m glad it managed to keep my attention through 50ish hours of play, and I’m still eager to see what the end game content looks like.

    Also, for anyone late to the party, my friend code is still 1392-4819-4024, and in Pokemon Y (as in real life) I’m known as Patrick. I like sharing O-Powers, and I just made myself a new Trainer PR Video, so hit me up!

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      Apparently they shutdown the swapnote thing that I was all excited to use like an hour ago. My first real game should get here on saturday from amazonland, in the form of Super Mario 3D Land.

      Fiend code is 1950-8792-9380 if you want to add me for no reason at all. I’ll probably end up getting some sort of multiplayer game soon i guess, ugh.

      • Drew Toal

        I just bought my first 3DS. Well, preordered. I got the gold Zelda number coming out in a few weeks, per AJA’s suggestion.

        • Citric

          That thing is sexy pants, I felt a tinge of regret when I saw it and looked at my ordinary Red Black one. Then I remembered mine was $50 off and all was right in the world again.

          • snazzlenuts

            Cheap. Now you’re talking my language!

        • DrFlimFlam

          If I could have married that gorgeous Legend of Zelda 3DS with a packed-in Anbimal Crossing, that would’ve been perfect. As it is, I’ll settle for my pop tart.

      • conditionals

        If anybody wants to add me for some Pokemons, my friend code is 4098-2974-4274

        • http://caspiancomic.com/gametheory caspiancomic

          Took me a while, but I’ve added you. Favourite title: Health and Safety Information. I like it.

    • conditionals

      Ha sold. I’ll friend you up.

      I’m just about to head down Victory Road too. AND the only previous Pokemon game I finished was Black 2, despite a long history with the series starting at Red.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        I don’t have pokemon, or any multiplayer games right now but I added you anyway. Holy christ your mii is horrifying.

        • conditionals

          It started out as some sort of cross-mii mutlimedia pun project so I could call my Mariokart mii racer ‘HorseNKart’ and have it be a horse… and then… yeah. Sorry that it’s an abomination.

    • Mike Mariano

      I am a worthless 3DS friend because I have only Mario Land 3D and Luigi’s Mansion, but my friend code is 5172-0365-4017. I will add all of you Animal Crossing/Pokemon addicts!

      • http://caspiancomic.com/gametheory caspiancomic

        Added up. “Hug time” indeed!

    • ocelotfox

      5172-0871-7319, for anyone who didn’t add me last week.

    • dpgillies

      Friend Code: 0920-0858-1009
      Have both X and Y and have been breeding some starters if anyone needs!

      • conditionals

        Cool, I just bred my first starter today. A Chespin. I named him Tradebro. I’m happy to trade it to any bros.

      • http://caspiancomic.com/gametheory caspiancomic

        Pow, added.

  • Enkidum

    I’m still going through Kingdoms of Amalur – it must hold some kind of record for the most unique content, or be up there anyways, because holy crap there’s a lot of it. It’s still very samey, but generally well done. I’m probably halfway through or so, and I think close to 30 hours played, so I must be enjoying it more than this makes it sound.

    Very excited that Dragon’s Dogma is the next PS+ game, though, because it’s supposedly awesomesauce.

    Also recently bought Limbo, Costume Quest and Don’t Starve on Steam, and am well on my way through Limbo, which I’m liking a lot. Had to look up solutions to two puzzles because I’m lazy like that and a little girl or whatever, but it’s still… well, “fun” is the wrong word. But it’s a really well put-together game.

    • ProfFarnsworth

      Amalur seemed to be randomly addicting to me as well. About half-way I totally switched my playstyle as well just to see what would happen. It was very satisfying to see so much content in a game. Unfortunately, that also meant running around a TON.

      • Enkidum

        Yeah, I’m trying to decide if I should pay to redo my karma or whatever the fuck it’s called so I can become a rogue type person instead. But I just switched from staff to chakrams, and am liking those a lot, so maybe that’ll be enough.

        Also waiting until I level up enough to use pristine gems to upgrade a ton of weapons and armor to become the elemental warrior of death. Should be fun.

        • Bakken Hood

          I’ve only had Amalur for a few days now, and I’ve probably changed my mind on staves vs. chakrams a dozen times already. Right now it’s chakrams, but I might wonder what I was thinking next time I find a good staff, and immediately remember that reach is useful when I get into another boss fight.

          I’m having fun with the Rogue/Mage build. Fast-paced, glass-cannon combat makes up for the game being a little too easy for its own good.

          • Drinking_with_Skeletons

            I always felt the game was not balanced at all for pure builds. Playing as a pure mage or a pure rogue (don’t know about warrior) makes the game piss easy. The meteor spell is also one of the most brokenly powerful bits of magic I’ve ever seen, though, and I encourage anyone playing to try it out.

        • indy2003

          Playing as a rogue type is a lot of fun. A good pair of daggers and a strong bow are a ferocious combination.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      I gotta say, pretty bitchin’ month for PS+.

      • Enkidum

        Yeah, I wish I had a PS4 and a Vita. Although I just realized that I can log onto the store every week using my computer and “buy” the free games for them, on the off chance I’ll own either in the future. Kind of cool that way.

    • The_Helmaroc_King

      I remember liking Limbo quite a bit back when it came out. I don’t remember any of the puzzles being complicated, but there might have been one or two that were obtuse the first time around.

      Costume Quest is charming, but it’s also really… simplistic. It doesn’t take too long to play through, though, so it didn’t overstay its welcome for me.

      • Chum Joely

        There was one where you had to figure out how to walk across the ceiling, backwards across a few screens that you had just crossed on the ground, that gave me trouble for quite a while. Also, the very last puzzle in the game hung me up a bit longer than most, but that walk on the ceiling was the toughest.

      • Enkidum

        There was the one where you have to make the hanging pipe swing back and forth by walking back and forth along it – I just didn’t notice it moving for some reason, and spent like half an hour running all around the place. Totally didn’t realize that was an option.

        And the one that Chum Joely is talking about – the walking back across the ceiling wasn’t the issue for me, it was getting the one box to come to you across a barrier by turning the switch off and on at the right speed. I spent a good hour trying to get over that barrier by bringing the other box with me and all sorts of other nonsense. Just never thought to interact with the switch that way.

        I am puzzle weaksauce.

    • dreadguacamole

      Dragon’s Dogma is indeed pretty damn great. Hope you enjoy it!

    • indy2003

      I was also addicted to Amalur until I ran into that quest which broke my ability to fast-travel. After that I got cranky and finished up the main quest in a hurry out of spite. Really looking forward to Dragon’s Dogma, though – man, it’s an insane month for PS+!

      • Enkidum

        You happen to remember which quest that was? Obviously I’d like to avoid that…

        • indy2003

          A side quest called Her Righteous Fury – it starts in the town of Galette.

    • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

      I knew nothing about Amalur until I googled it just now. It looks pretty damn interesting, I think I’ll pick it up too when I’m buying a Roku tonight.

      • Enkidum

        It destroyed the company that made it by not being a top seller (literally, they disbanded like 6 months after release). Honestly I wouldn’t buy it unless it’s pretty heavily discounted – there’s nothing much wrong with it per se, other than it being like every other large fantasy game you’ve ever seen. Combat is somewhat unique for an RPG, though, kind of God of War-ish.

        • Bakken Hood

          Yeah, that’s the whole appeal. It’s an action RPG where the action is actually halfway fun. Not as precise as the combat in God of War or its imitators, but much more interesting than, say, Elder Scrolls swordsmanship. It’s not memorable in story or setting or really much of anything, but building your character is fun, and it’s dumbly satisfying to wipe out an enemy squad with a flawless combo and walk away unscratched.

        • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

          My dream RPG consists of fighting game combat combined with open world RPG exploration. EmperorNortonI and I were discussing it on his blog a while back, actually:

          http://somethinginterestinger.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/game-theory-the-emptiness-of-leveling/comment-page-1/#comment-32

          That was mostly what was drawing me to Amalur. I suppose if it’s not way cheap I can pass it up, I just got Valkyria Chronicles anyway.

          • Enkidum

            Just read that discussion, and I’m not sure it’ll scratch your itch, but it’s maybe not that far off? In combat you’re definitely actually fighting, anyways, and a big part of the progression is you actually getting better. But you levelling up and getting +30 fire damage with a weapon is just as important.

          • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

            From your description the game sounds like a more-RPG Devil May Cry which actually does appeal to me. But I just got back from Best Buy and they didn’t have Amalur or the Roku 3. Boo-urns. I’ll keep my eyes open next time I’m digging through the bargain bin at EBGames.

          • Enkidum

            The other game you might want to take a look at is Dragon’s Dogma, especially the Dark Arisen reissue (which includes basically the original with patches to deal with some shitty flaws plus a whole new game’s worth of material).

            Apparently (I haven’t played it yet, but it’s the next free game on PS+ so I’m totally stoked) it’s like a combination of Skyrim, DMC, and Shadow of the Colossus. All fights with large monsters give you the ability to grab them, climb onto them and attack weak points. Plus open worldy stuff, fun combat even outside of bosses, and a really cool system of getting NPC pawns on loan from other players. So you might want to consider that instead of Amalur. But I would guess they’re both pretty close to what you’re interested in.

            If you do have a PS3, I’d highly recommend signing up for PS+ like this evening, because you can download Amalur right away and next Tuesday you’ll get Dragon’s Dogma, and hell, that’s already worth your 50 bucks right there. (Not to mention Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and whatever else is on there these days.)

          • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

            Yeah, I’ve got a PS3 but it’s an 80 GB model and it’s almost full to the brim already with I’m not even sure what, it’s probably all the games I’ve installed to the hard drive. I guess I could make some space but what if I want to suddenly pop Alpha Protocol into the console again? It could happen. Probably won’t, but I’m a hoarder by nature.

            I’ll most likely replace this with a larger model when the price drops after the PS4. After that I’ll get PS+. Checking it out, of the free PS+ games I’ve played Shadow of the Colossus and Jet Set Radio and already have a physical copy of X-Com so that’s almost all of the games I would want. Plus I still haven’t finished The Walking Dead or Odin Sphere. And I did just get Valkyria Chronicles and haven’t gotten my skills to a decent level on Tekken Tag 2 yet. Trust me, I’m good until next year.

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

          I’m just pissed they (38 Studios) also bought up Big Huge Games and dragged them down with the ship too. I wanted more Rise of Nations/Rise of Legends games, dammit!

  • ProfFarnsworth

    I will do what I can to attempt to play Dragon Age II. Due to immense homework loads…I’ll probably only get a few more hours in, but that will be my attempt so far. Hopefully, I can keep deciding if I want to screw over dickish mages or annoying templars.

    • Enkidum

      I haven’t played II, and played a very mage-friendly run in I, but is there an option to damn both their houses and play as a sane person who doesn’t want to associate with lunatics from either camp?

      • ProfFarnsworth

        So far (about 5 hours in) I am getting an impression that no, that won’t be an option. I am playing as a mage, since that was what seemed as the most fun to play. Also, I wanted to blow things up with my mind for a while…because I’m a juvenile person when not trying my best to be an “adult”.

        • Enkidum

          I always choose mage when given the option. Because they’re almost always overpowered, and I hate not being the only guy at the party without a thermonuclear device.

          • ProfFarnsworth

            Speak softly so everyone will lean into your explosions — Prof. Farnsworth interpreting Dune

      • Drinking_with_Skeletons

        You can play as a flippant asshole who is sarcastic and snarky basically 90% of the time, though.

        People described this as the “asshole” Hawke, but he was basically as close to me in real life as I’ve ever encountered in a game. I guess that explains why I don’t have many friends.

        • DrFlimFlam

          I was snarky/smarmy but with a heart of gold. Worked well for me and Isabella IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

      • Newton Gimmick

        *SPOILERPLATE*
        Yes! Sort of! And the game rightfully acknowledges that they are both lunatics.

    • Drew Toal

      Can I get an upvote for my Flexo reference? Geez.

      • Bakken Hood

        No, you flea-brained nitwit, the contextually appropriate pop-culture reference is the lowest form of internet comment, and the fact that one of this site’s main writers is stooping to this level degrades the site, its creators, and everyone that came here looking for intelligent discourse.

        Nah, I’m just kidding. You’re all right.

        • Drew Toal

          That’s, um, just what I wanted you to think I was doing. NO YOU SHUT UP!

          • Drew Toal

            Also, much better Flexo reference.

  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    I just started Dishonored this week. So far it’s everything I expected it would be, which is opposite of a disappointment in this regard. It’s been very comforting to play.
    One of my most-despised movie critic conceits is when they provide deliberately bankable quotes like “…It’s Dude Where’s My Car meets Children of a Lesser God…!”
    But lord, this game really is Deus Ex meets Bioshock Infinite. And that suits me just fine.
    I’ve only made it to where you’re presented the skull mask, and it has to be said, when it takes an entire 20 gallon jug of volatile whale oil to power a single drill press, it’s no wonder your civilization is having problems.

    • Dr. Leo Wollman

      I would pay good money to see a movie that could be described as “Dude Where’s My Car meets Children of a Lesser God”.

      • HobbesMkii

        Anchorman meets 8 1/2.

        • TimeTravelParadox

          I find that strangely plausible.

    • Electric Dragon

      Agreed on Dishonoured (unlike Drew, I insist on adding the ‘u’ in). One of the (very Deus Ex-y) things I really like is the presence of alternate pathways – you can sneak up on enemies and kill/knock them out, but sometimes you can also bypass them altogether.

      • snazzlenuts

        I got much more satisfaction sneaking past everything than laying waste. Normally, that’s not the case, but I felt bad if I had to kill an infected denizen of Dunwall. Ain’t there fault they got the plague.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        I was backtracking through one of the first encounters and stumbled on an alternate path that I hadn’t even thought to look for on my first time through. I got super-excited and pleased to discover it’s that kind of game.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      Or is Bioshock infinite like Dishonored minus Deus Ex?? Did I just blow your mind??

  • Citric

    I haven’t played anything all week! What gives, me? If I do play something, it’ll probably be Pokemon Y, which is alright, Chrono Trigger, which I’m giving another go in spite of not actually liking it for a long time – I’m not getting obsessed yet, though the soundtrack remains good, arguably the best part or maybe Assassin’s Creed 2 or The Last of Us.

    • Drinking_with_Skeletons

      What didn’t you like about Chrono Trigger? I played it for the first time this past year on my (then new) 3DS and found it to be the rare older title that had withstood the test of time. The writing is a little on the simple side, I’ll admit, and I don’t think they give you enough direction on where to go early on (took me forever to figure out where to find Frog when I needed to meet with him) but it was overall great.

      • Citric

        I found it to be really simplistic for the most part, both in writing and in gameplay. The soundtrack was always the only part I really liked.

        • Drinking_with_Skeletons

          The simplicity of the gameplay improves as the game progresses and you get to use the Double and Triple Techs. Then it suddenly becomes an interesting balancing act as you try organize your party to execute moves in very specific ways to maximize damage and allow for healing. There are several boss fights that really drive this point home and make the game more engaging than the first couple of hours would suggest.

          • Citric

            I actually finished it once, long ago, and didn’t really find that to be the case. It always felt really simple to me rather than particularly engaging. I tried to play it again later, got to one of the dinosaur areas – the one with the really cool music – and just kind of hated it ever since, but that was a few years ago.

            Also the animations are annoying in battle.

  • The_Helmaroc_King

    This weekend, I want to start playing Lollipop Chainsaw. I hear it’s good! Among other things.

    • doyourealize

      I played through a good chunk without finishing, probably because my hand started hurting. Your PS3 buttons will certainly get a workout.

      I mean this in the cleanest, most SFW manner possible.

  • NakedSnake

    Ok, so I’m playing this pretty crazy ass game right now that one of my friends in Japan recommended to me: Asura’s Wrath. This game is insane and it is glorious. It’s basically a huge mish-mash of buddhist and hindu traditions but done in the style of a tradition samurai movie except all the main characters are gods. If you’ve every seen the Japanese TV show Monkey, that’de be a good frame of reference for how much reverence to place in these gods, though.

    The game starts pretty slow, and it’s gameplay is pretty suspect (it has been accused of being an interactive manga, and while there are echoes of God of War in it, I can’t completely disagree with that criticism), but man does it ever draw you in. The main character is basically a rage-fueled idiot savage, and things keep happening to make him more and more pissed off, until it gets to the point where you’re almost more afraid for what will happen to his enemies than you are about what will happen to him. Except not really because fuck those guys for what they did. Never before has a game so effectively placed me in the emotional mind frame of the player character.

    I can only say: it’s worth checking out. What other game features an ultimate weapon which is basically a giant serene praying buddha guy or whose final boss is Chakravartin? And this same game features awesome tracks like this one and also this one? It’s a winner.

    • NakedSnake

      Also, I totally gave up on Pokemon. Sorry everyone, but I think you had to have “been there” to get the appeal. Oh well.

      • Drinking_with_Skeletons

        Fair enough. If you like the monster-training concept but want a more traditional JRPG, I highly–HIGHLY–recommend Ni No Kuni.

        • NakedSnake

          I’ll add it to the list. The central problem, I think, is that Pokemon was bringing out the worst of my completionist tendencies without pushing me forward enough. I was 20 hrs in and still going after pathetic, weak Pokemon just to collect them. It’s Monster Hunter all over again. That said, I do have a team I feel pretty good about now, so maybe I’ll pick it up again after a refreshing break.

          • Drinking_with_Skeletons

            I’m the same way, though Super Training really helped break me of that. It used to be that you almost had to pick up new pokemon in order to remain viable throughout.

            They also make it a lot easier to go back and scoop up stuff you missed with the specialized balls and the False Swipe move.

            Ni No Kuni isn’t all about the monster training, though. It’s the way the battle system works, but it’s barely even incidental to the plot and there is no pokedex to fill in, so the only reason to pick up monsters is if you want to use them in combat. The rest are just the enemies you fight in combat.

    • CrabNaga

      I thought Asura’s Wrath was meant to be more of an interactive anime than a samurai movie. There’s even little “commercial break” title cards in the middle of each “episode,” along with an epilogue and “next time on.” It definitely nails the anime part pretty well.

      • NakedSnake

        I watch a whole lot more samurai movies than I do animes, so I’m just going with what I know here. But yea, I love the TO BE CONTINUED that pops up whenever something dramatic & definitive happens.

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

      I loooooved Asura’s Wrath, though the story is absolutely incomplete unless you get the DLCs (which I did, and they’re awesome, and the boss fights are nuts, but I wish they were there from the get-go). Somehow the DLC storyline manages to escalate the stakes even beyond what was presented in the main game.

      • NakedSnake

        Sheee-it. Here’s the problem: I only got a S Grade in one of the levels. So I’m weighing if it’s worth replaying 4 other levels to get an S grade on them so I can unlock the “true ending”. Can DLC get me around that problem? Because as interesting as this game is, I don’t think it will bear up to a replay of already completed levels. I’d pay to just move ahead.

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

          Not sure, I just checked GameFAQs and this is what it says: “Having beaten game, either S rank 5 episodes or simply complete 50 episodes to unlock the hidden episode, containing the true ending.”

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

    Having just finished the horribly disappointing Max Payne 3 and the surprisingly fun Year of the Snake DLC for Sleeping Dogs, I’ve got a pretty clear gaming slate. I may jump back into XCOM: Enemy Unknown or Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, but @Enkidum:disqus’s adventures have inspired me to continue my travels through Amalur. It’s generic as fuck, but sometimes I just want to set monsters on fire, ya know?

    I’ve also got the Witches of Brigmore DLC for Dishonored. I thought The Knife of Dunwall was very well put together, so I’m expecting more sneaky goodness from this DLC. Plus, I’d like to complete it before the Burial at Sea DLC for BioShock Infinite comes out in a few weeks.

    • Electric Dragon

      I’ve just picked up Year of the Snake, Zodiac Tournament and Nightmare in North Point for a fiver in total thanks to the Steam Halloween sale. Dishonoured is still the main game on my playlist though: I’ve just reached the [SPOILERS] sudden but inevitable betrayal by those guys and been dumped in a pit without any weapons – the “haha, you spent all that time and money acquiring those weapons, well we’re gonna strip them off you and lock you in a cell” is a trope that annoys me considerably in games.

      • Enkidum

        Zodiac and Nightmare are both pitch-perfect movie spoofs. They absolutely nail the tone, and both are just the right kind of length to stop being annoying. Didn’t try Snake yet, though.

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

          I like to think of Year of the Snake as Cole Phelps, Unhinged. It’s basically Police Brutality: The Game. If you don’t take it seriously at all, it’s kind of awesome.

  • Aurora Boreanaz

    Still working on Terraria, though with the double problem of having my gameplay split between two PCs (my desktop for an hour or two in the evening, switching to the laptop when my daughter goes to sleep as her bed is right next to my desk). So I work on higher level stuff for a bit, building a castle in a new world where I have a jetpack and insanely fast tools…then go back to a guy with low level gear who can barely jump six squares high.

    So I’m installing Scribblenauts Unlimited on the Lappy for something new to do. I’d throw XCOM on there as well, but doubt the laptop can handle the graphics.

    • Jackbert

      Actually, for whatever reason, my highly shitty laptop, practically a fucking netbook, can run X-Com on full maximum settings. So I’d try playing it.

    • Chum Joely

      The thing about XCOM is that you usually see everything from a very fixed viewpoint, and the action is not especially… well, active. So it’s not as demanding as you think. The iPad version looks essentially the same as the PS3 version. So yeah, give it a try.

      I think I might really, really finish XCOM this weekend, no really for real, because I am now on the final mission on the mothership. I saved in the middle of a mission so I am itching to get back home and wrap it up. Kind of wish I had handed out at least one medikit back at the ship, though.

  • http://twitter.com/potatosolution PotatoSolution

    Trying to get into Crusader Kings 2. It’s interesting but ridonkculously complex, I don’t know if I’m smart enough to play this game.

    I watched a bunch of YouTube tutorials, so I have a vague idea of how to start. Mostly I’m just poking things to see what happens, I know I’m missing about 1000 details but the hope is I absorb them over time. Oh, and get to the “fun” part.

  • Derek_Noakes

    I’m slogging my way through the final hours of Arkham Origins at the moment. The more I play it, the more I agree with all of the negative reviews. There’s a few inspired moments, but I doubt I’ll revisit this one as often as I have City.

    • Drinking_with_Skeletons

      What do you think of the writing, though? I think they included way more content than was probably a good idea, but I think it’s a big step up from Asylum and City in the narrative department.

      • Derek_Noakes

        I didn’t feel that way at all. Asylum was probably a little weaker than City, but those stories had a feel to them that were distinctly classic Batman. Probably because they were written by Paul Dini. His absence in Arkham Origins was pretty glaring. Everything just felt off about this one.

        My problem with the game in general is mostly a lot of small gripes that add up to an experience that just isn’t anywhere near as fun to play as the first two. I wish WB didn’t feel the need to turn this in to a every year or two franchise at the expense of what makes it great. Can’t we just let Rocksteady take their time?

        • Drinking_with_Skeletons

          To each his own. But you really think the dialogue is better in the other two? In Asylum, Batman says “I eat punks like these for breakfast” in the first 15 minutes or so. Which…I mean, what is there to say to that? Asylum was a big step up, but I still think Origins is better in at least that regard.

          I agree that they need to stop rushing things. Even though I like Origins, it would have benefited tremendously from another month of QA.

  • Drew Toal

    Oh also I resent that photo being referred to as a “glamour selfie.” I would never spell glamor with the superfluous ‘u’.

    • Newton Gimmick

      Exactly. I mean, Teti’s moving to Chicago, not Toronto.

    • SamPlays

      You Americans, always spelling things phonetically. Why not just go all the way and switch that “o” with an “e”?

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        You look so glammerus today!

        (And if anyone says “Flossy flossy” I will MURDER YOU!)

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

          What a humerus joke! My bones are shaking with mirth!

          • Enkidum

            You mean “merth”.

            Stupid mac autocorrected that to “mirth”. I have to turn that off.

    • stakkalee

      All patriotic Americans are right to reject metric spelling wherever they encounter it. You start with that unnecessary ‘U’ in words, and suddenly you’re pronouncing ‘aluminum’ all funny.

      • DrFlimFlam

        I only found out about aluminium this year.

        And it made me kind of embarrassed. Let’s all pronounce and spell it wrong, ‘Mericans!

        • Newton Gimmick

          I always get tripped up and call it “aluminuminium”.

          • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

            I do that with “phenomenomenon”

        • NakedSnake

          Don’t believe those saucy Brits that tell you it’s all based on a misspelled crate or whatever. It’s a complicated story, but ultimately, it’s the inventor who is to blame.

      • The_Horse_Chestnut

        The spelling (and pronunciation) of aluminium should really be universal, after we gave into your also crappy spelling of sulfur (instead of the correct sulphur). We had a deal guys, but you haven’t lived up to your half of it.

        • DL

          I think we both have legitimate complaints about each others’ language usage. In the US, we have “exit” where the UK has “way out”, which really lacks elegance. Same with “toilet” instead of “restroom”, “nappy” instead of “diaper”, “hoover” instead of “vacuum”, and “underpants” instead of “underwear”.

          Let’s leave “fanny” alone, however…

  • conditionals

    I made a last minute decision to PS3 the hell out of my PS3 until I retire it, so I’ve bought Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Saints Row IV to play as my final games on the system. Really digging Heavy Rain so far. I’ve never played a Saints Row before, but the constant good stuff I keep hearing about this game, including from Gameological, has changed my mind.

    After I finish those 3 games (ETA: 2 months?!) I’ll pick up a Wii U.

    On the 3DS side, I’m entering my 50th Pokemon Y hour. Continuing to Pokemon with no end in sight. Unfortunately that means it will be a long long time before I can enjoy Ace Attorney 5. A game series that I, like Keiser, love so much that I live in constant fear that I will somehow die in an accident before I get to start the new one. That would be so sad. But I only play one game per system at a time until completion.

    • stuartsaysstop

      I am also PS3ing the hell out of my PS3. After I finish GTAV it’s going to be Infamous 2, Heavy Rain, and Darksiders 2, and considering how long it takes me to finish games — I only play on the weekends, and I have a hefty PC backlog as well — I imagine once I’m done not only will the PS4 be available but also a whole slew of awesome games.

      • stuartsaysstop

        And god willing, media streaming capabilities.

      • conditionals

        Ha yeah it’s awesome playing games so slowly, because by the time you’re finished, there’s always something new out.

  • The Guilty Party

    Playing a new character in Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition, since it just got a juicy patch and things like bug fixes get me going. Also BG2:EE is coming out in a week or two, so I can play through the whole series+expansions.

    • NakedSnake

      I have not heard of this thing you describe, but it would be worth buying Baldur’s Gate all over again if there was just some kind of organization institute for the quests. Goddamn, I went back and tried to keep playing my old, old, incredibly old save and I just found the process deeply unsatisfying. So many loose ends.

      • The Guilty Party

        Mm, sort of. It’s still just the old-style journal, but they’ve done a lot of work in making it actually function as expected. For each chapter, when you get a quest it’ll pop up in the Quests section and move to Done Quests when completed, so you can more or less track things that you left undone. It’s not perfect yet, but considering how slipshod the original was, it’s pretty good.

        It also works well sans huge-pile-o-mods. You can just download, install, and play. They have sales down to $5 on Steam for it sometimes, but be warned that steam tends to lag behind a week or two for patches.

        • NakedSnake

          Pretty cool. I’ve been dreaming about finishing it for a long time.

  • 2StoryOuthouse

    I haven’t purchased anything new since the early summer, partially because life got busy with me changing home countries and partially because I wanted to check a few games off my unplayed list before I picked up something new. But that being said, I’m very tempted by The Wolf Among Us, which is $20 with a coupon at GMG. Knowing that there are several more episodes to go makes me fairly confident the price won’t drop any lower than that for some time.

    However, I’m also sitting on unplayed copies of Alan Wake and The Witcher 2, and have been for a very long time. And there’s plenty of stuff I’ve been wanting to take a second look at: specifically, Arkham City and the director’s cut of Deus Ex: HR.

    Since I’m incapable of making decisions about this basic thing, I’m willing to let you people tell me what to do.

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

      I’m also sitting on unplayed copies of both Witcher games. I keep meaning to get them started, but the prospect of starting another 50-hour game always leaves me intimidated. I wish there were an easy way just to blaze through both.

  • Swadian Knight

    I have fallen into the trap of Path Of Exile. The gameplay is largely a dressed-up equivalent of popping bubble wrap, but my brain just can’t help itself around the possibility of artificially scarce items. It also boasts a very complex and wide-ranging build system so the player can do the exact same thing with a billion palette changes; in short, I’m hooked.

    • dreadguacamole

      That’s scarily accurate. Diablo-likes are possibly the shallowest, most nakedly pavlovian style of games, and yet I can’t seem to resist them.
      And I liked the character progression in PoE, but it also seems calculated as the monetizing aspect of its (otherwise extremely generous) free-to play model.
      I mean, I don’t think it’s possible to get an optimal build by the time you need it at high levels unless you spent an extreme amount of time pre-planning everything. And I didn’t see a viable way to respec my character that didn’t involve paying…

    • doyourealize

      My time with this game topped at about 20 minutes. I could see myself getting into, though. I didn’t spend too much trying to figure out to shut it off – or at least move it – but the dialogue box is in an extremely annoying area, and the people writing seemed like they hadn’t fully evolved yet. It was kind of a turn off, so I haven’t gone back. There’s still plenty time though.

    • The_Helmaroc_King

      “… dressed-up equivalent of popping bubble wrap…”

      Hey, you say that like it’s a bad thing.

      The last two Diablo-likes* I played were Diablo 2 and Torchlight, in that order. They were good, but I’m not sure I could get into another one right now.

      Ah, that’s a lie, they’re like the crack cocaine, but I know I’d spend 30 hours to get halfway through the game before I started wondering where all the time was going.

      * Thanks, @dreadguacamole:disqus!

    • bhauck

      I played for about an hour last night, for the first time, which is about a third as much time as I’ve spent poking at the passive skill tree before I played a second. If the game weren’t already free, I’d probably just spend ten hours making builds I’ll never use. It actually feels similar to a MTG-like card game, where you look at the big skills and try to find combinations.

  • Newton Gimmick

    I’m still working my way through Phoenix Wright. I’m only on the second episode, which is by far the weakest case in the history of the series. It’s been a slog, because I really don’t care about this mystery AT ALL.

    I have mixed feelings about the way they’ve streamlined the investigations. Some of the funniest moments in an Ace Attorney game are the banter between Maya and Phoenix (or Apollo and Trucy) as they talk about mundane background objects.

    • CountBulletsula

      The second case is definitely the weakest case in Dual Destinies, but I still think the worst case in the series would have to be Case 2-3. Not only did I not care about any of the characters who worked at the circus, but the solution to the murder was just so stupid and completely implausible. At least with this case the trick behind the murder makes sense. But I did find it very difficult to care about the merger and the yokai and everything else involving the two towns.

      I also feel the same way as you about the investigations. It’s nice that you don’t have to go through four different screens to get to the place you want, but you don’t get any of the great examination dialogue, and, more often than not, the game automatically takes you to the next location you should be examining anyway.

      I still very much enjoyed the game though.

      • Newton Gimmick

        I kind of liked the circus case.
        *SPOILERPLATE*
        The tragedy of the murderer’s hatred inadvertently taking the life of someone he loved so dearly was delightfully chilling.

  • dreadguacamole

    I’m laying off Arkham Origins, which I’m quite enjoying, until they patch up a couple of bits I’m stuck on. That leaves me with Red Faction: Arnageddon, which I picked up in a recent sale – killing monsters by throwing freaking buildings at them never gets old! don’t really know why I wasn’t impressed with it the first time I tried it on consoles, I’m really enjoying it this time around. Maybe it just plays a lot better with mouse and keyboard?

    I’ve also got Tales of Xilia, which is fun enough. It’s got nothing on Vesperia, but much better than Graces (which I kind of hated and left less than a third of the way through).

    Finally, I’ve decided to go back to AC3 and try to finish the main story. Because I’m an idiot and I hate myself, apparently, but also because its pirate-y incarnation sounds like a game I would really enjoy. As opposed to the last couple of incarnations.
    In case it’s not clear, I’m not a fan of AC3.

  • DrFlimFlam

    I just beat the final 150CC cup in Mario Kart 7 last night, one of those times where you’ve tried and tried and failed, walk away for a few days, then come back and just do it. This game is also nice about not giving you a “rival” as badly as Double Dash!!, which was a masochistic pain marathon that I still can’t believe I ever beat, because Wario was evil.

    Anyway, with The Mother of All Flimflams in town this weekend, not much gaming will get done, most likely. Maybe some more Animal Crossing as I put my Spooky decor away. I checked my DS and between FlimFlam, Jr. and myself, we’re at 303 hours of Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

    Awesome.

    • snazzlenuts

      I need to get the Skyrim soundtrack, now! I will play it was I write and compile reports in my office.

      • DrFlimFlam

        Any time you need that boost, “Dragonborn” or “One They Fear” should get your blood hot.

  • Electric Dragon

    Anthony John Agnello – auditioning for Entourage.
    Drew Toal – just sat on a drawing pin but desperately trying not to show it.
    John Teti – mentioned the war once but thinks he got away with it.

    • Carlton_Hungus

      That photo of Teti is an interesting angle, and not the most flattering. It appears to be an audition shot for the 2014 remake of “It’s Pat” (minus the bushier eyebrows)

  • duwease

    Still working on finishing up GTA V.. about 10 missions from the end at this point. Nothing special to report, really, except for one thing.. WTF was that at the end of the Wade’s cousin arc?!? The much debated torture scene just seemed like a ham-fisted attempt at an edgy ‘message’ to me, but this scene fit all the criticisms leveled at that one and more. Pointlessly violent, unnecessary, and jarringly off-tone from everything around it. I just don’t understand why it’s a thing that exists.

    • PhilWal0

      Agreed 100%. Really finding it hard to care about what happens to Trevor in the story.

    • http://disqus.com/Dikachu Dikachu

      I agree it was kind of pointlessly violent, but it didn’t really bug me. If you take into consideration how many nameless cops, thugs, and random passers-by that you murder in the course of the game, what’s two more people? Overall, I’ve grown to like Trevor a lot, especially after playing through the game a second time and understanding the story more. He’s still my favorite person for doing side quests just because his dialogue is so hilarious.

      As for me, I’m finishing up some of the collection quests. Last weekend I finished collecting the space ship parts, and this weekend I’ll probably do the note scraps. The best part is getting to see all the gazillions of places in the game I wouldn’t have otherwise explored, especially up in the mountains. (If it weren’t for the stupid fucking mountain lions everywhere, I’d be wandering through the wilderness on foot all the time.)

      I dunno if I’m gonna bother doing all the jumps or collecting the toxic waste, though. Maybe if I get laid off.

      • duwease

        Yeah, but somehow it’s different. It’s hard to perhaps make a rational argument about, but emotionally there seems to be a big gulf between mowing down countless innocent people who stand between you and a goal, and just breaking into someone’s house, viewing a part of their lives, and murdering them for absolutely no reason other than shits and giggles. Part of it is the fact that they have faces and stories, and the other is that they didn’t represent any sort of real opposition. It’s like a line was crossed between being apathetic to others’ lives and actively taking joy in murdering innocent people. It would’ve made sense if, Idunno, they were going to turn him in to the police or something.

        On a lighter note, yeah, the GTA series may be the only ones where I like collection quests, because you get to see so many cool little detailed places you normally don’t slow down to explore. The sub missions are pointless, though. I still did them because I’m a completionist sucker, but I was reading for the 5 minutes or so where you slowly crawl to the next piece of toxic waste.

        • TimeTravelParadox

          He didn’t murder them for shits and giggles. In his twisted moral code when they threatened him, he was entitled to react with extreme violence. That doesn’t mean he’s a good guy or that the scene wasn’t jarring (it disturbed me too), but it was consistent with his paranoid me-against-everyone-else mindset. The thing is, games aren’t obligated not be jarring or off-putting. Creating uneasiness, dissonance and ugliness is a legitimate approach. Maybe the scene should be ugly and disturbing and make you question Trevor’s motives. Maybe they’re trying to make it has hard as possible to like the character, seeing how far they an bend him before breaking him for the player.

          • duwease

            Hmm, you have a point. If you look at it as a scene that makes you take a personal look at the reality of what happens with Trevor’s victims and squirm once you do, then it’s actually pretty clever. I guess the fact that it was such an isolated scene is what made me think it was more of a tonal misstep during another one of “Trevor’s wacky antics”. After all, before and after you’re largely meant to have a cynical, dark laugh with (or maybe at) Crazy, Depraved Uncle Trev.

          • http://disqus.com/Dikachu Dikachu

            I think the most hilarious part of it is that Trevor just leaves Wade at the strip club forever after.

      • Carlton_Hungus

        The stunt jumps aren’t too bad (also depends if you’re only going for 25 for the 100% or all 50 for the trophy/achievement). There were probably about 7 of them that just required a maddening amount of retries to land in the perfect spot.

        The nuclear waste is boring but easy since the sub moves so slowly it takes forever to drive all the way around SA (also the sub has no radio).

        More fun (although “fun” for a collection quest must be taken with a grain of salt), is the submarine part pickups since then you’ve got a fast boat and get to scuba dive in some interesting areas.

        • CrabNaga

          The stunt jumps annoyed the hell out of me, since most of them don’t give you a clear indication on where you’re meant to land. Additionally, you have to land perfectly flat on a lot of them to get credit. I feel like using Franklin’s time slowing power ruined a lot of them for me, because I was able to do all the stunt jumps again on GTA Online with very little trouble (although a lot of that could be because I already knew where to land and such). In previous GTA games, you pretty much just had to get a fast car and hit the ramp straight on to get credit. In this one, you need to care how fast you’re going and in what direction you’re hitting the ramp.

        • http://disqus.com/Dikachu Dikachu

          Yeah, I did the submarine parts one… it was pretty cool, but the end of the quest was fucking stupid.

  • Jackbert

    Still need to start Gone Home.

  • doyourealize

    Continuing Guild Wars 2 as much as I can. In an anticlimactic moment, I looked down after a quest yesterday and realized I finally reached level 80. I thought there would be some kind of party or something. On to the dungeons!!

    I’ll also be playing a round of golf with some friends. Just started really playing this year and, while I kinda suck, I’m getting better. Sunday will be the first 18-hole round. At around 40 degrees cold, this will probably be one of the last outings of the year. Hope to make it a good one! And not throw too many clubs (in a fit of anger, not ineptitude) in the process.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      I played GW2 when it came out, and it was the typical “fun once, totally boring to replay with another character” type of MMO.

      • doyourealize

        That’s fine with me. $40 and I’ve been playing pretty much everyday for a month, and I still think I have a lot to do.

        My brother just got on, too, so going through another character might be kind of fun. We’ll see.

  • stakkalee

    Sweet, the Toal-stache is back! I like it – I think it makes Drew look like a sportscaster.

    I’m getting together with my gaming buddy this weekend so we’ll be playing GTA V Saturday-morning style, passing the controller back and forth. I’m starting to get bored with the game so I may try to talk him into switching over to Saint’s Row IV instead. Also, probably some board games with my wife on Sunday – I’m trying to teach her cribbage, so hopefully she’ll pick up some of the rules before we get into a huge shouting match and storm off to different rooms. Teaching a loved one the rules of a game is as bad for a relationship as putting together Ikea furniture.

    • NakedSnake

      Haha, yea, it’s definitely the sportscaster look. Or some kind of TV Journalist, anyhow.

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

      Weirdly enough, putting together Ikea furniture always brings me and my dad closer together. I think it’s because he always gives up on trying to decipher the instructions and just lets me tell him what to do.

    • Fluka

      “Playing cribbage” is one of those expressions like “come and look at my etchings” which unavoidably sounds like a euphemism at this point. Like “Oh, you know, spending the night in, playing cribbage with the wife” *waggles eyebrows*.

  • snazzlenuts

    I just started LA Noire. I am going to spend time “doubting” perps (i.e. suddenly yelling at them) and unintentionally driving like a maniac.

    • DrFlimFlam

      That was my experience. When I was TRYING.

    • Chewbacca Abercrombie

      I was especially irritated when I played that when Cole was questioning a little girl and I choose doubt thinking he’d say something like “I’m not sure you’re telling me the whole truth. This is important” or something like that and instead he starts screaming something along the lines of “listen you little slut. You tell me what I want to hear our I’ll chop you into tiny bits and feed you to rabid wolverines dressed like clowns”. I may be paraphrasing. I just wanted to punch him in the face though and be like “that’s a little girl, the fuck’s wrong with you Phelps!? Take your xanex!”

      • Enkidum

        I wish you weren’t paraphrasing, because that would be a game I would play.

      • Drinking_with_Skeletons

        I remember that part! The best thing is that Cole’s response is the correct one for progressing and his partner doesn’t have any qualms about it.

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

        That’s what happens when a studio writes and records the lines as coax, force, and lie and then switches them to truth, doubt, and lie later. The development of that game was just one huge clusterfuck.

        • Chewbacca Abercrombie

          I didn’t know that. Interviews in that game make a lot more sense now.

  • Drinking_with_Skeletons

    Batman: Arkham Origins for me. I wish it was a little less buggy, but damned if the writing isn’t great. I was floored by the end of the Hotel section. I know that part of it was lifted straight from Alan Moore’s Killing Joke, but the whole sequence, beginning with Bane opening the elevator, was just amazing.

    • Passe_Partout

      You saying this makes me want to play it, but actually playing the game makes me want to do something else. It’s also unfortunate that the only recurring bugs I have are choppy cinematics and the damn story is really the only reason I’m continuing to play it. Does it at least have a nice payoff at the end like Arkham City?

      • Drinking_with_Skeletons

        Interesting that you think City had a good ending. I liked the twist, but that final shot was so…weird. What in the hell were we supposed to think about that? That’s the kind of thing that Origins actually retroactively improves.

        I haven’t beaten the game yet, so I don’t know how it ends. I’m optimistic, though. I wish it was a little shorter, though. I wouldn’t call it padded or bloated in the traditional sense, as everything has been well paced and written, it’s just that they’ve decided to include way more material than the game really needs and they don’t have enough enemy, puzzle, or stealth variety to keep it entirely engaging. It feels like a season of a mostly serialized TV show that’s been converted into one huge game, and it creaks a bit because of it.

        And yes, 100% agree about the bugs. I did have a weird glitch with the Bane fight and seen some other (minor) things, though, and my big bugbear is that it stutters really badly outdoors when there are a number of enemies onscreen (on PS3, mind). Here’s hoping they put out another patch to stabilize things.

        • Smilner

          I loved the ending of City, right down to the ambivalence of the final shot. With all of the respect and defensiveness of “canon,” it’s refreshing to see a game acknowledge that it is not canonical, or at least not in terms of the comic books. As far as the “what are we supposed to feel,” I love that we’re even asking the question. It feels more film-like in treating the player/audience with emotional maturity. Me, I sympathized a little with Batman. He didn’t want it to come to what it came to, because it means that he ultimately failed on every level that’s important to him. It’s a period at the end of the sentence, and there are no more tries for redemption. That was really hard to type out without spoilers.

          • Drinking_with_Skeletons

            My issue is that it was almost entirely extratextual. We didn’t see enough of the Joker within the Arkham continuity to fully understand the dynamic, so it really only had impact if you brought in your understanding from the comics, movies, cartoons, etc.

            Origins has corrected that, and while I kind of understand the criticism that it was pulled, in part, directly from Alan Moore, it’s still presented so well that it provides the dynamic that makes the ambiguity of City’s ending effective rather than merely odd.

          • Smilner

            I appreciate that, and not to apply a double standard, but I almost think Batman’s relationship with the Joker gets a pass. I’d argue that “Batman vs. the Joker” is so ingrained in our pop culture, especially in the last 25 years, that those without the proper understanding are likely to be in the minority. That works in favour of Origins though, as those without the understanding get to see the roots of the relationship, and those who know it like the backs of their hands can see it as almost precious to watch Batman go through those growing pains.

          • Drinking_with_Skeletons

            Well, I’m very familiar with Batman, but primarily from the Animated Series (which was very influential on the comics and now the games), and that show didn’t really have the psychosexual tension that the games have (and having read some comics, this doesn’t come up all the time there, either).

            While I understood the connection, it didn’t really make sense to me. I think each continuity should strive to have its own take on the issue, and it shouldn’t pull at my heartstrings (or whatever we want to call the emotional response we were supposed to have there) without establishing it.

          • Smilner

            That’s the problem with dealing with a character with 80 years of mythology – it worked for me, because my primary sources for my regard of Batman and Joker’s relationship are Killing Joke, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, and Dark Knight Returns. So to me, the dynamic was always symbiotic to the point of necessity, which can often yield a sexual subtext (esp. in DKR).

            I do like your thought on video games having their own version of a character’s or world’s continuity, the same as we afford film and comic books. The problem with them is, the scope of a video game (in sheer hours of play time) causes the writing to strive for grander, episodic relationships like one would see in comics or television, as opposed to film which is closer kin to video games on account of the time it takes to produce. Are you saying that the games are going to a resonance that they have not earned? I’m not confronting the point, but rather am asking for a little clarity on the issue.

          • Drinking_with_Skeletons

            Yes, I think the games haven’t earned the emotional resonance. We know the Joker is obsessed with Batman, but there’s no reason to believe that Batman has a similar fixation on Joker. In City, in particular, he’s first-and-foremost concerned with getting to the bottom of the eponymous City’s shadiness and spends the game flitting back and forth between villains and subplots. Based on what we’ve seen in Asylum and City, it would have made as much sense for Talia to have figured into the ending as Joker.

            Even then, we don’t know enough about the why of this Joker’s obsession. He’s a lot like the animated Joker, who never seemed to have a romantic undertone to his thoughts on Batman; in fact, in Return of the Joker he baldly and flatly states he “always hated [Batman's] guts.” It felt like the ending only made sense for the audience, who are familiar enough with the multiple versions of the Joker, not the characters, who should only be familiar with a particular version. I thought it was a bit of a cheat on the writers’ part for that reason.

            I don’t see the problem in terms of length, though, as it actually provides more opportunity for a relationship to be developed.

        • Passe_Partout

          The twist was more of what I was talking about. I felt a bit foolish that I didn’t see it coming, what with my rabid watching of the Batman cartoon as a kid. I agree on the final shot, though.

          It’s funny you compare it to a TV show because as I was playing last
          night, I began breaking the segments up into episodes and thought that
          it would actually make for a pretty good season of bat action.

          I feel a bit let down by the Riddler puzzles. I thought they were a cool idea in Asylum and were a nice intersection between game design and characterization. But now I just feel like they are a slog, which is what I’m sure plenty of people felt about them from the start. The inevitable next Batman game would be better if it dropped them in favor of something new.

          • Drinking_with_Skeletons

            The Riddler puzzles went from being fun to crushing. I mean, I can’t ignore them because it’s frickin’ Batman outwitting the Riddler, plus all the backstory they tie into it, but do there have to be so many? Asylum was the right balance, but City got a little crazy (do love that some of them require you to perform moves you never need to do elsewhere). And Origins has such a spread-out city that it’s a huge chore.

          • DrFlimFlam

            I thought the Riddler puzzles were a mildly entertaining diversion, but at a certain point it just gets to be too much, not to mention how much free time The Riddler (and apparently Batman) has.

          • Drinking_with_Skeletons

            They’re definitely a very Riddler thing to do, but it does stretch the bounds of credulity that Batman would go along with it as much as he does. One of the reasons that the Riddler is always so convinced that Batman is cheating is that, well, he usually does.

            I liked how in City there are at least two puzzles you can solve in a different manner than intended. One of them earns you a comment along those lines from the Riddler. I can’t remember which one it was, but I know it was one I solved the “correct” way the first time I played and the “incorrect” way–which can be done much earlier in the game–every subsequent time.

          • Carlton_Hungus

            I’ve only got about 15 more datapacks to go and I felt the same way. 200 is just too many, the 100 from city was about right, there was no need to double it. Even with the bigger map just make it 150!

  • indy2003

    I may or may not be playing more X-Com: Enemy Unknown, which is kicking my butt for the second time. After I made some poor decisions and let too many people die the first time around, I started over and determined to play very carefully. Even so, I just made it through the big alien ship level (by the skin of my teeth, too – nearly everyone was horribly wounded), but I’ve already lost three countries and I’m struggling to pay for everything I really need. Just brutal.

    I’ll also continue to chip away at the special worlds in Super Mario 3D Land. I’m usually just a few star coins short by the time I get to each castle/ship, so I’ll go back and replay some levels to collect a few more. Having finished the 7th world with 221 star coins, I assumed I would only need another 240 or 250 to get through the final world. Nope. Turns out I need 290 freakin’ coins. This may take a while.

    Also, more Final Fantasy VII and some PS+ stuff – maybe I’ll try one of the Oddworld games.

    • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

      I tried playing X-Com on Classic Hardcore difficulty. It’s way different, you have to be eternally paranoid at every turn. You have to clear corners and doors like an actual military squad and that gets tedious after a while. Also, you can’t play while drunk or sleep-deprived, you need a clear mind to make decisions or else you get people killed. These lessons come after I got my ass kicked three times on Classic Hardcore.

      I may pick it up again, but not any time soon, that’s for sure.

    • Chum Joely

      Indy, you’re not really encouraging me for my already-planned second XCOM playthrough for which I have determined to play very carefully. Guess I’ll just finish my first, “sloppy” playthrough first and go from there.

    • Drinking_with_Skeletons

      If you haven’t played it before, you should totally try Legend of Mana. It’s like $5 on PSN and worth every penny.

  • Smilner

    My gaming is largely curtailed this weekend, as my PSN account got suspended on me. Yay! When I bought Batman, I applied the cost to my phone bill, but apparently there is some sort of purchase blocker in place on my line. I don’t know why. Whatever the case, Sony didn’t get their money, and both Sony and AT&T are pointing fingers. Got on the handle with AT&T and told them to just give Sony my money. “We don’t have authorization for that.” “It’s my money. I am authorizing you.” No dice. I might have to try to get the money directly to Sony from my bank, because without PSN, I have no Netflix in the living room. My one year old *really* wants to watch Mickey Mouse Road Rally. It’s 2013; this shouldn’t be this difficult. Sony wants me to mail them a money order, like it’s 1970.

    • doyourealize

      Is there any faxing involved? It sounds like there should be.

      • Smilner

        Now that you mention it, I think I’ll demand a faxed confirmation of receipt with the money order. I’d go with Mojo Wire, but it would be too obviously facetious.

    • ZTO

      Xbox is no better, I assure you. I’ve been unable to convince the nice folks over a MSFT to, you know, actually help me with my problem for going on two months now. And I’ve payed for both of those months. Apparently, Microsoft cannot understand the possibility that an email account, in this case a .edu email address, can be deleted by the institution when I graduate. I keep asking for password resets so I can change the email linked to the account, and they keep sending the resets to the account that no longer exists.

    • stuartsaysstop

      What’s the connection between buying a video game and your phone bill? I’m perplexed.

      • Smilner

        When making a PSN purchase, I was given the option of paying with a PSN card, a credit card, or charging the balance onto my next phone bill. I chose the latter because it’s obviously the aweXome-est, but some third party thingy disputed the transfer of funds after the fact, and now Sony (rightly) wants ze fawkin money Lebowski.

  • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

    I’ll be playing Valkyria Chronicles. I feel like it’s best played in long stretches, which is why I didn’t touch it at all during the week. It’s turn-based but I find the story more interesting than X-Com. I’ve just gotten to the fast-talking lady reporter bit. I wonder if the voice actor was deliberately doing an impression of Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hudsucker Proxy?

    Anyway, do people here play their games in Japanese or English when given the choice? Because I’ve been watching a hell of a lot of subtitled anime lately and I had to turn on English voices for this game because if I didn’t I’d probably start blurting out Japanese words at random intervals. Onee-chan! Monogatari! Kyuuketsuki!

    And I’ve been watching Bakemonogatari in case anyone was wondering why I was babbling about vampires.

  • Kyle O’Reilly

    Still chunking away at GTA V. Just found out one of my fav superfluous features from IV is still here. You can press Right Stick while using the Cinematic camera in a car to activate slo-mo. This can give innocus moments like weaving between oncoming traffic a sense of bad-assitude because it looks snazzy and it doesn’t affect the music. I was jet skiing in the ocean listenin’ to Marlena Shaw cresting waves in slo-mo thinking, “Man I really like doing nothing in this game.”

    But more than anything I will be playing the game of crippling horrible faux pax self-cringing. I opened this week for a comedy headliner whose been on Comedy Central shows like Midnight and standup specials and whose been on Conan, and I was so nervous, when I met him that the first thing I said when we shook hands was “uhhh, gee you got a limp handshake.” turns out he had a rare disease that caused him to not be able to grip things well. Needless to say, he was hilarious and I’ve been trying dislodge my foot from my mouth all week.

    • Enkidum

      Hey, that’s awesome despite the faux pas. Hopefully that sort of thing (opening for biggish shots) keeps on happening for you!

  • ZTO

    Looks like FFXIV:ARR and more Pokemon Y this weekend. FFXIV has progressed well into the end-game at this point, which is mostly sitting around waiting for matching making to put me in a group so I can grind out end game items.

    Because of this wait time, I’ve finished 4 trained pokes and am working on a 5 and 6th (Noivern and Gogoat). Was disappointed to learn yesterday that you CANNOT challenge multi maison (you know, the thing that says “Do you want to take this challenge with a fried?”) with a friend via wifi. Only local. Seriously Nintendo, would it be so hard to actually give me the features that I might use rather than a new way to feed my pokemon cupcakes? It also seems that there is no match making queue for online 4 player. You need to manually invite the other 3 from friends, acquaintences, and passerybys. Who the heck is going to agree to be put in with a random teammate when they can be sure the other team knows eachother? Make better multiplayer decisions please, GameFreak.

  • rvb1023

    PS3 disc tray is making grinding noises but works fine, but until I fix it I am scared to use it so it’s putting my Dragon’s Dogma on hold. Fortunately I picked up InFamous: Festival of Blood in that half off sale so I’ll just play that.

    Otherwise picked up a hand full of horror games during GOG’s sale, I have no Mouth and I must Scream, Alone in the Dark 1-3, The Cat Lady, Clive Barker’s Undying, and I guess I will be giving Pathologic a second attempt.

    Also, Stick of Truth got delayed again, so now it, Lightning Returns, and Dark Souls 2 all come out within the same month of each other probably near when Bravely Default hits NA. That is some bullshit there.

  • Chewbacca Abercrombie

    I just last night stumbled upon the information that Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate was at some point released on xbox live arcade without my knowledge, so I immediately bought that. I was kinda pissed it was a handheld only release after hearing that it’s supposed to be pretty important to the story in the two main games. Now that I have it I’m very excited to play it.

    I also impulse bought a game called Sine Mora that was made by Suda 51 or something. It looks cool, but that’s probably because it reminded me of Gradius and R-type. I’m not sure I’ve ever played a true “bullet hell”game though, so I’m fully expecting to get my ass handed to me.

  • Jer Link

    I’ve been playing the new Halloween map for Team Fortress 2. Join up with me and I’ll build you a dispenser.

    Also, I’m making my way through Dragon Quest VIII. This is my first Dragon Quest game and so far my opinion is mixed. The battles seem rather standard, but the way the story is told and the characters are… not awful. So I guess I like it?

    • boardgameguy

      I will be doing TF2 at some point too, probably Sunday afternoon/night.

    • Newton Gimmick

      The battle system in DQVIII was considered pretty simplistic even in 2005. That’s one of its main charms.

    • ZTO

      DQVIII is actually one of the harder turned based RPGs I can remember. For me, that’s where the real charm was. And I really enjoyed the stupid monster hunting mini-game you can play.

    • ProfFarnsworth

      Dragon Quest VIII is one of the best games for the PS2. I really enjoyed it. The story is just an excuse to travel around and kill monsters. What I really enjoyed was how well done everything was. It wasn’t particularly innovative, but it was very, very well done and I really enjoyed being able to see my progress every level (unlike a lot of RPGs).

    • 2StoryOuthouse

      I’ve tried to play the Halloween map, but it’s been so crash-happy I can’t last more than a few minutes. Those few minutes have not been long enough for me to understand the magic system at all.

  • boardgameguy

    I’m going to get an opportunity to play the game Eclipse for the first time, kind of a space-themed civ building game. I’m very excited as I’ve been anticipating playing this for sometime. It may also mean we play one or two fillers around it, or if I’m lucky, Space Alert.

  • HobbesMkii

    Is Teti living in a well-ventilated and lit basement, or is that the ceiling of the “new” offices?

    • Roswulf

      Vee have ze Teti just vere vee vant him.

      Zat is all you need to know.

  • mizerock

    Tonight: a Murder Mystery! I’m pretty sure I didn’t kill the victim, but it should be fun interrogating suspects while dressed as “Sharknado”.
    I stayed up waaaay too late Wednesday night playing GTA V Online so maybe I should take a break from the mayhem and finally fire up Rocksmith 2014. And the next time I want to blow stuff up, I should probably dig out Just Cause 2 instead of being the Wild Card with my online crew. They tolerate me well but all too often I wind up acting as a handicap rather than a hero on the missions.

  • Chum Joely

    Lots of options this weekend thanks to my towering backlog, but for now, I just want to mention that Dark Souls has won the vote and will now be our featured game for the next few weeks in the Game Revue Club. (Alpha Protocol and Papers Please came in a not-very-close 2nd and 3rd.)

    The discussion thread is here:

    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/gameological/discussions/2/666824800787955980/

    The more the merrier (or perhaps all we can hope for is “the less miserable”), so come on in and join the… I’m gonna go ahead and say “fun”. No seriously, this should be fun.

    • ZTO

      Frowny face because I have the game on xbox and won’t be able to join in any of the reindeer games.

      • Enkidum

        Why not? It’s just a discussion forum, you don’t have to be playing it right when you’re typing or anything. (I believe, not having actually participated in the past.)

      • Chum Joely

        I’ll be playing on PS3, actually. The platform isn’t so important, just the discussion of the game experience. I don’t think we’re very likely to run into each other online even on the same platform, though, since you don’t get to explicitly choose your server or set up private matchmaking or anything (as far as I know).

        • ZTO

          There are some mods for PC that make it significantly easier to find friends, but from a pure experience you’re not particularly likely to meet, no. I guess I should check it out then. I have a huge number of hours logged into the game already but there are some plot points and design choices that I would be interested to see some discussion on.

  • TreeRol

    I hope to not turn this into a weekly Friday Night Magic thread, but my newfound commitment to the game is still exciting, so here goes:

    Last week I went undefeated again, although technically 2nd in the tournament on tiebreakers (I intentionally drew in Round 5 with the other undefeated). I drafted a blue/red deck with Stormbreath Dragon (first-pick), 2 Sealock Monster, a bunch of fliers, and 6 – count ‘em, 6 – bounce spells. Three Griptide, two Voyage’s End, and a Sea God’s Revenge. Turns out that if your opponents can’t keep creatures on the battlefield, and lose every enchantment they cast, that’s pretty good.

    So now I have gone through every color but White, which I think gets overdrafted as everyone goes for the white-red heroic deck. That’s OK, because I really like blue and green. I’m trying to go into tonight’s draft with an open mind, but that’s my preferred deck if I can get it.

    • ZTO

      I think I always lose in drafts because I just go ‘Damn the torpedos! White green WILL work!” and then get like no good cards for those colors. They’re my favroite and best colors though so I kind of have to.

  • dmikester

    God, this weekend, and the next three weeks, are going to be so ridiculously packed with things for me to do that I don’t know if I’m going to really find the time for much gaming outside of my iPad. Certainly AC4 when I’m home, and likely some more GTA V here and there, but other than that, who knows? Crazy, crazy times.

  • ocelotfox

    I’d say Pokemon Y is probably going to dominate the weekend, but I might revisit some console games, too. I’ve been meaning to replay The Last of Us, so hopefully I’ll get started on that.

    Also, if anyone playing the Pokemon games is neck-deep in breeding, I’d be happy to try and trade some good IV Pokemon. It’s the first time I’ve gone down this rabbit hole, and it’s starting to drive me nuts.

  • Passe_Partout

    I’ll be sticking with Arkham City until I finish the story and not a moment more. The bugs alone were enough to get me to avoid it all week, but that sweet, sweet Bat-fu fighting system pulled me right back in.

    In between Bat-bouts I’ve been playing Deus Ex:Human Resources Director’s Cut to see if I can become a hacking, bad guy punching master. I just don’t like that there doesn’t seem to be a way for enemy’s to forget I am there once they catch sight of my lithe cyborg body crouched behind a crate. It’s more realistic, but how am I supposed to be a stealth master without my combatant’s battlefield amnesia?

  • a_scintillating_comment

    I am attended my first year of ‘Gamercamp’, here in Toronto. It’s a mini games related expo!

    http://www.gamercamp.ca/

    It’s one day conference, two day arcade complete with salon talks and after parties. I’m not in the industry, but I’d heard about it years ago, and thought it’d be cool to try this year. I’m looking forward to trying the ps4 (some Octodad, I think) and the Oculus Rift.

    I’ll report back on some of the talks and games when I can.

  • Wade

    Battlefield Freaking Four.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      Wait, is that out already?

      • Wade

        Aye, came out this past Tuesday.

        Pretty fun. Not worlds different than B3, and lots of little tweaks and adjustments. Cool new maps though.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

          I never even got into 3, despite digging 2 quite a bit back in the day. I bought that EA bundle with BF3 in it because I plan on building a new gaming rig sometime next year, but I guess it’s already out of date and won’t have many players. Oh well, that’s what I get.

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

    Having just returned from a trip around Germany and France, I am recovering from jet-lag by trying out DmC: Devil May Cry. So far so good, I’ve dug Ninja Theory’s aesthetic in their previous games Heavenly Sword and Enslaved. Combat is suitably juggly though perhaps suffers from less precision than Capcom’s original entries.

    I brought my handhelds to Europe since we’d be doing a lot of commuting between venerable sites of note. There was also the intent of picking up a bunch of European meeples on my 3DS Mii Plaza, and checking in everywhere on my Vita. For the most part, Vita mission accomplished, and I killed some time with Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (I found it super-cheap for PS3 a few days before I left, and it’s cross-buy/cross-save, so my progress would carry over to the console! neat!).

    3DS-wise, though, things were not as fruitful. I ate up most of my battery on the plane playing Picross E3… no big deal, I brought an adapter and a power strip! Clever move, yeah! That worked fine for my phone and Vita, but I didn’t realize at first the 3DS charger was not rated for European voltages (all my other chargers were). So! I fried it, and was unable to recharge the 3DS for the remainder of the trip. At least I didn’t brick the 3DS.

    While in Europe, I was hoping I’d find copies of the Inazuma Eleven games, because I really want to play a soccer team RPG, and they’ve never been released in the US (and DS games are not region-locked, though 3DS are). While I did find copies of the games, they were not multi-language as some European releases are, so I only had the choice of French or German. Ah well, guess I’ll get the UK releases from somewhere online.

    Our schedule in France was too crammed, so I missed out on an exhibit at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie about video games. Aw.

    So, home again now. I also just picked up Typing of the Dead: Overkill on Steam, and will use that when I need a break from DmC’ing. Oh, and I plan on getting Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies once I recharge my 3DS.

  • evanwaters

    I’ve been playing through more of The 7th Guest, which is pretty engaging. The difficulty curve on the puzzles is such that I’ve been able to get by on ones that I thought were impossible, only to discover ones that I’m almost sure are impossible.

    Also bought I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream on a Steam Halloween sale. I’m curious as to this one.

    • NakedSnake

      It looks like a lot of people bought I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. Are you part of the steam group? Maybe we can get a mini gamerevue discussion going.

      • evanwaters

        I am actually.

  • Kalabros

    The Typing…Of The Dead…OVERKILL…so yeah…that.