For this week’s thread, we checked in with some of the Gameological staffers to see what they’ll be playing this weekend. Tell us about your gaming plans in the comments.
Against my better judgment, I’m still playing Dark Souls. I recently got past the aptly-named Bed Of Chaos, and I also rescued the beloved Sunbro Solaire from having his brain eaten by a sun maggot. But now I have to go into the New Londo Ruins, and I feel like I’m running out of gas. The game is just such a non-stop downer. I cannot wait to play something with bright colors and whimsical music and maybe a squirrel wearing people clothes. It’s been diverting, but Dark Souls is a thing to be endured more than it is something to be enjoyed. Lucky me, I should be finishing it just in time to play the sequel, which will probably be every bit as soul crushing as this one. But in what is no doubt good news for my disposition, I won’t have much time to play Dark Souls this weekend. We’re packing up to move to California, and any games I play will be iPad or 3DS style. I’m hoping to pick up Bravely Default before we ship out, and I still have Magic 2014, Shadowrun Returns, and Civilization Revolution sitting on the Apple machine.
I’ll be playing Exalted, where my party will be taking on a fleet of demon pirates in order to please a goddess of naval warfare. Some combatant may be wearing power armor. I also just got the Vengeance expansion of Sentinels Of The Multiverse, which lets you pit your team of superheroes against a Legion Of Doom-style group rather than just a single supervillain, so I plan on playing some of that. Also, the news that a bunch of Persona games are going to be coming to America has me so excited that I’m going to play some Persona 4 to dull the pain of waiting.
Many of my friends have been talking up Android: Netrunner for quite some time. It’s a tabletop card game that’s not really collectible, because when you buy a new set, you get every card from that set instead of a bunch of random cards like in, say, Magic: The Gathering. I’ve played it a few times, and I certainly see it can be fun, but 99 percent of the time, I’d rather just play something else. Yet they persist, so my goal for the weekend is to give Netrunner a fair shake. You can play as either an evil corporation or the hacker trying to break in, and I plan to do both with a few different decks my friends have tinkered with. Meanwhile, on the video-ed game front, I recently finished Gone Home (as in I spent 45 minutes playing it), and it got me jonesing to get back into exploratory mode, which is how I feel when I play my favorite game and bane of Drew Toal’s existence, Dark Souls. I may tinker a little bit with my builds over there because it won’t be long before I receive my review copy (fingers crossed!) of Dark Souls 2, and then my life will be complete—and over.
It seems my latest go-to “game I can waste an idle 15 minutes with” is Vlambeer’s Nuclear Throne. This latest project for the two-man studio (and several collaborators doing art and music) started life as a game jam entry titled Wasteland Kings. It’s been renamed, expanded, and had an in-development version released to Steam last year. I’ve finally gotten around to playing this new take, and it’s got me hooked. It’s a more cartoonish version of Hotline Miami—a festival of gunfire and carnage from a bird’s eye view starring a diverse cast of goofy mutants (and one robot) plucked straight from the best Saturday morning cartoon never made. It’s also hard as hell, but unlike Hotline, everything from your powers to the layout of the levels is randomized.
Anthony John Agnello
This weekend is going to be a lot of on-the-road gaming since I’ll be traveling for most of it. I hope to sneak in a few hours of Thief here and there, though. I’ve never played any of the series before, and I adored Eidos Montreal’s last game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. (This was made by a separate team, however.) Once I hit the highway, though, I’ll be toting around my Nintendo 3DS and playing—yes, a couple years late—Mario Kart 7. Derrick has been hounding me to try it for ages, so I finally took the plunge. First impression? It’s Mario Kart.
I’ve been playing a fair bit of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on the PlayStation 4 in what I like to think of as practice for inFamous: Second Son in a few weeks. The naval combat is exactly as great as everyone told me it would be, and boy, is it ever nice to see a full palette of colors in an action game. Mostly I’m enjoying how it feels like the developers are sick of Assassin’s Creed tropes and spend so much of the game telling you how dumb they are. I’ve also been playing a lot with the newest installment of The Metagame. I called shenanigans on some friends when I lost the “Which could be the basis for a cult?” round wherein I played “The Bible,” which is obviously the most correct answer ever. I am suddenly inspired, though, to pick up Mario Kart 7 for the first time in a year or so, both because it’s an excellent game and also to practice putting Anthony in his place.
I’ll be playing Thief, which I was supposed to have played and reviewed already, but I got behind because I’ve been preparing for A.V. CLUB LIVE, premiering at the UP Comedy Club in Chicago next Wednesday, buy your tickets now. Now that the plug is out of the way, let me say that I’m looking forward to digging into Thief for the review because I like being a thief in games. In the Elder Scrolls games, for instance, I always end up pursuing the thievery storylines first, and I spend an inordinate amount of time “freelancing” just to see what I can lift. My Elder Scrolls houses are always full of crap that I took from other people’s homes—stuff that’s too cheap to bother fencing. I’m sure the items had sentimental value to their owners, but I wanted to steal them, for funsies. Hopefully Thief will provide me with the opportunity to ruin many more lives.