Weekend Gaming — Now What?

So the first game of 2017 is in the bag for me. I finished up Resident Evil 7 last night and have a weekend now ahead of me with the gaming possibilities wide open.

Resident Evil 7 was a very fine game, and hopefully there will be a few posts coming out in the next week or so with some of our thoughts, but I will say that in ended on the anticlimatic side. But that’s not to take away anything from the game that had me on edge for pretty much the entire ride. A+, recommended, would buy from seller again.

But now it’s the weekend and I want to know what’s on your gaming plates. I’ll probably head back to Thedas and pick up where I left things off in Dragon Age before I started playing RE7. I also dabbled a bit this past week with The Xbox One and The Division. I may head back to The Division to get a little more of that bio-terrorism kick I was feeling with RE7.

Or it might be something new out of the Steam library. There’s gold in them thar hills.

What will you be playing?

In My Digital Hands

I didn’t get in on the ground floor with the Resident Evil series. My first foray into the series was the RE remake on the Gamecube but I never finished it. When Resident Evil 4 hit, however, I was instantly hooked and RE4 kinda became “my thingaround these parts. I have played through RE4 more times than I can remember on more than one system. The Mercenaries (in RE4) is easily the greatest minigame ever and I will snap your neck H.U.N.K.-style if you say otherwise.

I ran through Resident Evil 5 co-op with my bro-in-law. That was a fine game and all but it didn’t capture the RE4 magic. I skipped Resident Evil 6 altogether (although it’s patiently waiting in my Steam Library for whenever I feel like loading it up). Early buzz has been positive for Resident Evil 7. I am ready.

I am also going to try my hand at this streaming thing. Nick (aka Subotonic on Twitch) has had the Twitch game going for a little while now, but it’s my turn to give it a go. I’ll be doing some late-night RE7 streaming, starting tonight hopefully. If you want to follow along with my antics, throw me a follow on Twitch and turn notifications on. Then tune in and watch me get skurred from all the scary bad guys!

What we’ve been playing

It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these, so I figured now would be as good as ever to talk a little bit about what we’re playing:

What Tony is Playing

I declared 2017 to be the year of finishing games, and that is what it will be. I kinda, sorta wished I didn’t pick two huge, sprawling games to start with, but that’s where I am.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is the first one to get attention and I’m now committed. It carefully follows the Bioware Way of Doing Things™ — a huge over-arching storyline, a group of disparate characters to amass as a companionship (each with their own storybranch that can be completed or completely ignored) and sidequests out the wazoo. Sometimes very incongruent to the storyline, like in Mass Effect 3 when you took time out from stopping the impending Galactic Annihilation to go find some idiot trader’s lost shipment. It doesn’t makes sense that I should take some flowers to some elf’s dead girlfriend’s grave when the Devil himself is coming for The Maker’s throne, but if it’s going to net me an inquisition agent, I guess I’m going to drop off these dang flowers.

But the main story is keeping me engaged and like a good page turner, I’m going from quest to quest with very little extracurricular activities. As a whole, this game and this world is polished. While not as open-world-y as Skyrim, DA:I feels enormous.

I don’t know where I stand, completion-wise, in DA:I. I also don’t know how complete I will play through the game. I reckon I’ll do most companion quests and put a huge dent in all the other sidequests, but I don’t know if I’ll 100 percent the collections or not. But for now, the Inquisition is coming together quite nicely, thank you very much.

When DA:I is finally vanquished, Fallout 4 will be the next to go.

I decided to finally take the plunge and join the rest of the Crew in Overwatch. The Black Friday deal pushed me over the edge, and even though I was very hesitant to give the game a try, I’m really enjoying it. I am not what you would call a good keyboard and mouse guy, but the game is forgiving enough to feel like I’m doing something right. Most of the time I have no idea what is going on, but I am starting to feel comfortable playing a few of the heroes, including Junkrat and Soldier 76.

Diablo 3’s newest season started last Friday, which will probably get some attention from me when I’m tired of the Dragon Age slog. It still counts as finished game, even if I’ve “finished” it a dozen times already, right?

What Nick is Playing

I hit the wall with video games a few months ago.

Nah, I didn’t just hit the wall; I hit the wall and then detonated, splattering myself across the surface, of which I have only just recently started scrubbing off the residual effects from such an event.

I have grown weary of stats, of leveling up, of painting the map. Stealth and pacifist runs bore me to tears. Frantic and bombastic runs quickly lose their lustre. I grumble at action point mechanics and chance-to-hit percentages. Crafting can be tedious and dull, as is sifting through caches of gear to equip that one item that has a mere 3% more fire dmg or whatever.

The thought of applying myself to have to learn a new game gave me boulder brain. I had spread myself way too thin.

Enter: Euro Truck/American Truck Simulator.

These titles have been the personal anchors during this weird and stupid and turbulent time within my hobby as a gamer. Driving trucks through the stretches of the Nevada desert or through the serpentine fjords of Scandinavia cleansed my gaming palette.

I find these games to be very soothing, enhanced even more so by my own iTunes playlists. All the commotion and static and heaviness of IRL fades to nothing in the rear view mirror. No ingame pressure. No crafting. No endless NPC dialog trees. No competition. It’s just you, your 20 tons of cargo, and the open road. And I come out on the other end with a clear, de-cluttered head and with jangled nerves settled – slowly rebuilding my desire to venture into the video game world once again.

What James is Playing

My gaming has been less as of late, there’s a post coming about that by the way. =)

Erryday I’m playing some Marvel Puzzle Quest so that’s my staple and go to when I need a fix. Otherwise, my time is being divided up between Dota 2 (the 7.00 patch changed a lot of things for the better), Overwatch, and Diablo 3. I’ve started up a Demon Hunter for Season 9 and I’m 100% sure I’ll get him to a higher level than my previous attempts. I’m feeling like I’ll be playing more Diablo 3 for a while. I kind of felt that Diablo bug starting to creep back in.

Weekend Gaming

It’s the first full weekend of 2017, so what’s on tap? What gaming do you see in your future?

For me, I’m declaring 2017 the year of finishing games. I have so many hanging storylines that it’s practically fringe on the Pile-of-Shame leather coat I wear. I decided late last year that I was going to wrap up at least one of the triple-A titles that I had started. So that meant I went back to both Fallout 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition. I did a quick review of quest journals and reacquainted myself with where I left things and resolved to bring both games to a close. The initial plan was to alternate playing the two games, an hour of Fallout here, an hour of Dragon Age there. Seemed like a good plan at the time.

What actually happened was that Dragon Age dug its claws in deep. It took me a couple hours to get my bearings and to remember what I was actually supposed to be doing but now I’m up to speed and I’m in the process of bringing peace to Thedas once again.

Initially, I was focusing solely on the main thrust of the storyline, racing headlong into finishing the game and moving on. I had amassed all the companions and had found a team that seemed to work really well. Then, as I worked through the story dialog of each companion, I realized they were asking me to complete personal tasks for them. It was Mass Effect 2 (which is currently free, BTW) all over again. The companion quests have me revisiting parts of the map I had moved on from, encountering NPCs that previously shunned me now being open to my quest to amass an Inquisition of formidable proportions.

So this weekend is going to be mostly Dragon Age for me, perhaps with a little interlude to check out the Diablo 20th Anniversary events going on in Diablo 3.

What are you playing this weekend?

January Releases

For the new year, we’re playing around with the format of the list of games coming out this month. In the past, we’ve just listed the games with a little commentary. This month, we’re trying a more graphical approach. The Steam section requires a little work, we’re not quite sure how to do that, since Steam doesn’t have box art. We’ll figure something out. If you have any feedback, please let us know in the comments! On to this month’s releases:

Microsoft Xbox One

Week of January 10th

Week of January 24th


Nintendo Wii-U

No new releases.


Nintendo 3DS

No new releases.


PC

Week of January 10th
Illyriad
Alien Shooter TD
DED

Week of January 17th
Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach
M.E.R.C.
Urban Empire

Week of January 24th
Tales of Berseria
RESIDENT EVIL 7

Week of January 31st
Disgaea 2 PC
Conan Exiles


Sony Playstation 4

Week of January 17th

Week of January 24th


Sony Playstation Vita

Week of January 17th


What are you picking up this month?
(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)

December Releases

On to this month’s releases:

Microsoft Xbox One

Week of December 6th
Dead Rising 4

Week of December 13th
Stern Pinball


Nintendo Wii U

Week of December 20th
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero – Risky Beats Edition


Nintendo 3DS

No new releases for the Nintendo 3DS


PC

Week of December 6th
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
Arizona Sunshine
Wanted Corp.

Week of December 13th
Twisted
reconquest

Week of December 20th
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier


Sony Playstation 4

Week of December 6th
The Last Guardian

Week of December 20th
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero – Risky Beats Edition


Sony Playstation Vita

Week of December 20th
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero – Risky Beats Edition


What are you picking up this month?
(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)

November Releases

Normally, this is a monthly I dread to put the monthly release post together. November brings the onslaught of the year’s Triple A releases and the Triple A shovel-ware trash that feasted on uninformed Wii owners. But this month’s list is actually pretty sparse on the filler trash and has a pretty amazing line-up with some tent pole franchises like Call of Duty, Pokemon and Finaly Fantasy. Oh and some up-and-comer named Dishonored. On to this month’s releases:

Microsoft Xbox One

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 + Arcade Game Series – Sure, I’ll buy Galaga for the eight time.
Super Dungeon Bros.

Week of November 1st
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Week of November 8th
Dishonored 2
Cartoon Network Brawler

Week of November 15th
Watch Dogs 2
Overcooked

Week of November 29th
Final Fantasy XV
The Dwarves
Steep


Nintendo Wii-U

Week of November 1st
Runbow

Week of November 15th
Steamworld Collection


Nintendo 3DS

Week of November 1st
Mario Party Star Rush

Week of November 8th
Harvest Moon Skytree Village – YESSSS a new Harvest Moon release, which means I get to link my Harvest Moon review for the Gamecube!
Cartoon Network Brawler

Week of November 15th
Pokémon Moon
Pokémon Sun

Week of November 29th
Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS


PC

Week of November 1st
Darkness Ahead
Defense Of Greece TD
Digimon Masters Online
Owlboy
Eisenwald: Blood of November
Shift Orb
Xanadu Next – Not sure about the gameplay, but the trailer has some wailing guitars!
Battle Islands: Commanders
Another Brick in the Mall – Seems like this game is about 15 years too late.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Football Manager 2017
Dungeon Rats
Moto Racer 4
City Car Driving – Nick, I think this game was made specifically for you.

Week of November 8th
Dispatcher: Revoke – Every time I put together the list of monthly releases, there’s always a title or two that looks eerily familiar. I usually notice it and don’t include it in the month, but apparently I have included Dispatcher: Revoke in the September and October releases. Maybe this is the month it comes out! Or maybe this becomes a running joke in the monthly releases…
Transport Fever
Dishonored 2
Yesterday Origins

Week of November 15th
Resin
Neptune Flux
Brief Karate Foolish – It’s here guys — we have hit PEAK FIGHTING GAMES.
Planet Coaster

Week of November 22nd
ARAYA

Week of November 29th
Watch_Dogs 2
COLINA: Legacy
Steep


Sony Playstation 4

Week of November 1st
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
BlazBlue: Central Fiction
Earth’s Dawn
Super Dungeon Bros.
Steamworld Collection

Week of November 8th
Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization – The starting town of this MMORPG is called the Town of Beginning. Bad Japanese translation or game designers just giving up?
Dishonored 2
Root Letter
Cartoon Network Brawler

Week of November 15th
Watch Dogs 2
Overcooked

Week of November 29th
Steep
Deponia
The Dwarves
Final Fantasy XV
Steins;Gate 0


Sony Playstation Vita

Week of November 8th
Root Letter

Week of November 29th
Steins;Gate 0


What are you picking up this month? Also make sure to check the list of 15 gifts for those who love gaming, soecially pokemon go.
(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)

October Releases

October is when the big video game releases start ramping up, and this October is no different, with Mafia III, Gears of War 4 and Titanfall 2 headlining this month’s lineup. On to this month’s releases:

Microsoft Xbox One

Week of October 4th
Mafia III

Week of October 11th
Gears of War 4

Week of October 18th
Batman: Return to Arkham
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter

Week of October 25th
Minecraft: Story Mode- The Complete Adventure
Just Dance 2017
Farming Simulator 17
Titanfall 2


Nintendo Wii-U

Week of October 4th
Paper Mario: Color Splash

Week of October 11th
Skylanders Imaginators – TIL — Skylanders are still a “thing”

Week of October 25th
Runbow
Just Dance 2017
Tumblestone


Nintendo 3DS

Week of October 4th
Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack

Week of October 18th
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

Week of October 25th
Corpse Party: Back to School Edition


PC

Week of October 4th
Aragami
Endless Space 2
BUTCHER
Omega Reaction
The Challenge
Mafia III
Syndrome

Week of October 11th
Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour
Stars Beyond Reach
Clockwork
Shadow Warrior 2 – Looks juicy.
BitMaster
Manual Samuel
The Deep Paths: Labyrinth Of Andokost
Yesterday Origins

Week of October 18th
Lance A Lot
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
Dispatcher: Revoke

Week of October 25th
Iron Fish
Yomawari: Night Alone
Lithium: Inmate 39


Sony Playstation 4

Week of October 4th
Mafia III
Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide

Week of October 11th
WWE 2K17
Aragami: Collector’s Edition
Payday 2: The Big Score
Reus
Dragon Quest Builders
Skylanders Imaginators

Week of October 18th
Exist Archive : The other side of the sky
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter
Battlefield 1

Week of October 25th
Infinite Air
Just Dance 2017
Root Letter
Farming Simulator 17
World of Final Fantasy
Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence – Ascension
Minecraft: Story Mode- The Complete Adventure
Titanfall 2


Sony Playstation Vita

Week of October 11th
Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni
Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors

Week of October 18th
Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls – Contrary to what the title might lead you to believe, this is Teen-rated video game and not some weird Japanese pornography.
Exist Archive: The other side of the sky

Week of October 25th
Root Letter
World of Final Fantasy
Yomawari: Night Alone / htol#NiQ: The Firefly Diary


What are you picking up this month?
(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)

Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis Retires From Evil Geniuses

Evil Geniuses today issued the announcement that EG and esports veteran Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis is retiring from the player’s hot seat. He is, however, remaining with EG as an active coach for future EG Dota2 lineups.

His retirement is effective immediately, with Fear citing his personal health as a priority. In a brief statement on EG’s website, he recognizes his accomplishments and gushes about EG and Dota. “I still have a passion for Dota and for competing,” Fear begins, “but the long term health of my arm has to come first.”

clinton-fear-loomis-eg-dota2

The sudden removal of heavy-hitters like Fear is sure to make a splash. Teammates and many redditors who Bleed Blue are bummed yet supportive. Teammate PPD said this of Fear: “Fear helped me reach my potential, and I believe he will continue to do that for players in the years to come.” Of his prospective coaching abilities redditor /u/prolepatriot thinks, “considering how much ppd and others on EG have praised fear for being a calming presence as well as helping with the drafts…i expect fear to be one of the best coaches in the scene.”

With an empty chair now in the lineup EG plans to announce its new Dota2 roster tomorrow.

Weekend Gaming – Offworld Trading Company, DOOM

Mars is the Roman god of war. He is a representation of aggression and conflict. The Romans celebrated Mars for what he represents because war was a way of securing peace, even though peace was usually achieved by submission from the bloodied pulp of the empire’s foes. Meh. No matter, a means to an end. Roma Victrix, n00bs!

Mars is also a planet – Our neighbor, in fact. Howdy-ho neighborino! The planet earned its namesake because of its reddish hue as seen from Earth’s surface. Blood, being red, is also seen splattered all over Earth’s surface during the throes of war. Therefore, the Romans figured, let us name that red dot in the sky after our god of blood splatters and glory.

mars-orbital-photo-edit

Mars, it just so happens, is also the setting for two of the games I plan on playing this weekend – both of which share pretty much the same types of cutthroat, purposeful aggression as our Roman friends enacted while under the gaze of their reddish god.

Offworld Trading Company (Mohawk Games)

I was all over this game last week, hell-bent to git gud, or, at least, to understand. And I do understand. I really do. It’s a bloody good game, deserving of every shred of critical praise it receives. I haven’t even touched the campaign, focusing instead on skirmishes and working up the cajones to dabble in free-for-all multiplayer mode — perhaps this weekend.

In order to improve my gameplay I started off at a measured pace, pausing prodigiously during skirmishes and learning from my mistakes. I made a habit after every game to learn from one single error that I made. But my desire to improve quickly exceeded my ability and I hit a wall. I started repeating the same fatal mistakes such as overlooking my fuel consumption, not reacting to the market, trying too hard to influence the market, not building enough power generators, building too many power generators, etc. etc. etc. Matches would stretch on and on only to see my company ultimately bought up. And so, I tilted.

At the onset of this week I decided to side-step from OTC – to regroup, as it were. Still, watch some Zultar commentaries, and think about my own mistakes. But overall, to turn my attention to another completely different game that takes place, at least initially, upon the same martian surface as this cut-throat economic strategy game.

DOOM (id Software)

I cannot recall the last time I gamed from the couch. I didn’t even know that I missed it. I also didn’t even know how badly I needed DOOM in my life right now. The planets are aligned.

DOOM is just straight up fun. It is agreeable in so many ways. Everything the game does seems to flush you into another rumble with a swarm of demons. And the more you move, the better time you’ll have. It is so propuslive. The fighting is fluid. In fact, I would say the fighting almost has a tactical quality to it with how easy it is to toggle weapons and cater upgrades. And the glory kills! What a wonderful design decision to force close encounters as a primary source of replenishment. And the fact that you can target a specific glory kill animation is so completely pointless yet so necessary…

Indeed. The fighting is fun, yes. But I am also so impressed with how the entire experience is composed. I am reminded of Metalocalypse with its propensity towards ironic/hyperbolic use of violence and gore and heavy mothereffin metal… but it is still so completely, genuinely badass. DOOM walks that fine line. So much so that glory killing a demon by ripping out his heart and shoving it down his throat is equal parts hilarious and practical. Bravo.

So, yeah… I’ll be hanging out on Mars this weekend. I’ll be sure to send a postcard splattered with blood and minerals.

What are you playing this weekend?

I hope your weekend goes better than his. <3

I hope your weekend goes better than his.