Weekend Gaming Looks Back at 2017


Before we get to the weekend gaming report, I thought it’d be fun to do a little year-end review of the gaming I did in 2017.

2017 was the year I actually played video games. For the past couple of years I seemed to really only dabble with games here or there while I spent the bulk of my time playing Dota 2. I still played a lot of Dota 2 this year, but it definitely took a back seat. 2017 was also the year that I finished more than one game, which is a milestone in and of itself. So here’s a quick rundown of games that kept me busy in 2017. These are in no particular order. (Or are they??)

Dota 2: Like I said, I still spent a good chunk of time playing Dota 2. Not a lot to say here. The newest patch introduced two new heroes, a bunch of new items, hero updates and I don’t think I’ve played more than 10 matches since the update. I don’t know if that says more about me or about the state of the game.

Resident Evil 7: Resident Evil 4 is in my personal Video Game Mount Rushmore. Resident Evil 5 was pretty alright and was a lot of fun co-op. I haven’t spent much time with RE6 but it’s in my Steam Library. I figure I’ll get to it eventually. When I heard Resident Evil 7 was looking good in early previews, I gave it a go. I even streamed the entire game, a first for me. The switch to first person was a great addition (when I discovered the kept the quick-turn mechanic, I squealed with delight). RE7 is a worthy member of the Resident Evil series.

Nier: Automata: This title was picked up purely on a whim, and I’m glad I grabbed. Nier: Automata has charm, an interesting take on a post-apocalyptic world, and an absolutely killer soundtrack. It also had some straight-up bonkers and weird moments, like the time a swarm of robots came together to for a cocoon (egg?) and gave birth to a naked, androgynous android. That was a Top 2 WTF video game moment. (Actually, it’s probably #1 on the WTF scale. I can’t think of anything weirder). Would probably be my Game of the Year if it wasn’t for BotW.

The Switch: This year I picked up the greatest console ever (I do believe when it’s all said and done, the Nintendo Switch will supplant the SNES as my favorite console of all time). I haven’t even played that many games on it yet, but every time I pick it up (whether it’s with the Pro Controller, playing it on the TV or I pick it up out of its dock and play on its small but brilliant screen) the potential just oozes. Initially, I picked up Breath of the Wild and Overcooked. BotW we’ll get to later, but I do want to mention that Overcooked is a super fun party game to play with, especially with people you want to come to hate. Later in the year, I picked up Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart 8. I haven’t had a chance to spend a ton of time with either of those titles (it will become clear why later) but I could easily lose hours at a time to either title.

The Division: I picked up a Xbox One when I got my surface and I picked a special edition The Division Xbox One. I put in 15-20 hours of The Division on the Xbox One, enjoyed it enough, and set it aside. Late last year I was thinking I wanted to play a “Christmas Game” and remembered that The Division was set around Christmas time. This time I picked it up on PC so I could co-op with my mates and we spent the majority of Christmas break running around Manhattan, making Dark Zone runs, hijacking extractions and having a merry ole time. Unbeknownst to us, we were enjoying the golden age of this 2+ year old game. The Division is a pretty dang good game by yourself, but is fantastic when playing with friends.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: A lot of virtual ink has been spilled extolling the virtues of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I got on the bandwagon late, but man-oh-man is this a great game. Everything that has been said about it is true: it is a perfect open world game, with exploration for days, a crafting system that is useful and soothing, collection quests that aren’t in your face, a story line that is laced with a wistful melancholy, and a hero that is a perfect proxy for escapism. I think I’ve logged 50+ hours into this game and am approaching the 1/2 point (by my estimation) and I can’t wait to see what the game holds in store.

Unfortunately for me, my three kids also think it’s the best game ever and it’s a battle to get time with the Switch. But I don’t begrudge the sharing. It’s been great seeing the game through their eyes. My daughter decided she didn’t want to harm any animals, so she decided to do a vegan playthrough. My youngest wants to catch up to where dad is while my middle son is content to explore and document the world through his Sheikah Slate. It truly has something for everyone.

So that was 2017 for me. What were some 2017 stand-outs for you?

And I’ll be saving NYC and the world this weekend, unburdening some bad guys of the sweet, sweet loots they are hoarding. What will you be playing?

Weekend Gaming – SOMA

SOMA is what it’s like when its done properly.

The dark, dank atmosphere and overall persistent sense of foreboding and anxiety are so well done that it is very easy to hand your psyche over to the game, to place you directly under its spell.

For the first few hours of gametime, I kept on wanting to compare it to Alien:Isolation. Both games share a few of the same user-defined tags ala “Horror”, “Sci-Fi” “Atmosphere”. And both games fulfill these same roles very, very well.

But the further I progressed in SOMA the more it diverged from Alien:Isolation.

Where Alien:Isolation is instinctive and deathly tense, SOMA takes a more cerebral approach. Where the basic premise of A:I is ‘survive. get out.’, SOMA digs in like a philosophical tick. Both games are without a doubt engaging, but SOMA possess far more lasting power than A:I.

Progress in SOMA finds the player moving deeper and deeper. Deeper in the physical sense of its oceanic setting, and deeper in the sense of its philosophical queries. It is a game whose narrative works at multiple levels of meaning. Taking a step back to ask oneself “What do you think?” has a magnitude of implications – Perhaps, maddeningly, horrifically so.

SOMA is no slim fable. Measured benchmarks in progress may answer one question but will blast open another pressure lock, flooding the player with more inquiries and dilemmas. Player engagement is nurtured by posing meaningful questions about the self, intelligence, happiness, ignorance. And the way SOMA twists these themes in and out of each other is incredible.

I look forward to completing the journey this weekend. With the way the game has presented itself thus far, I am anticipating a conclusion that will blow what I think is my mind out of the back of what I think is my skull.

What are you playing this weekend?

You say potato…

So I’m working on a post in which the concept of the “melee attack” will be part of, and it got to thinking what the right way to say the word “melee” was. Me, I normally say “may-lay“. I’ve also heard “mee-lay” and “mee-lee” (but never “may-lee“).

So I’m wondering: which camp are you in? Which was is the right way?

I’m also wondering: what are you playing this weekend?

Weekend Gaming

I meant to post this yesterday, but I was too caught up in college basketball to notice anything else.

That being said, what will you be playing this weekend? I’ve been alternating my time between Mass Effect 2 and Bioshock 2. Like I mentioned when I first got Bioshock 2, I played through a a large portion of the original Bioshock before leaving it for greener pastures. I’m planning on not making the same mistake twice, so I’m going to play a little bit of both so I don’t forget what’s going on in either game.

I’m also going to play a little Modern Warfare 2 tonight, so if anyone is in the mood, drop me a note on Live and we’ll hook up.

What’s everyone else playing?

Weekend Gaming

I haven’t done one of these in a while, and I’m hoping for a good weekend of gaming, so now is as good as a time as any to ask: what’cha playing this weekend?

Me, I’m about five hours in to Batman: Arkham Asylum and I’m really itching to get back. I am really, REALLY enjoying Batman. Extremely engaging and addictive. It has a bit of a Metroid feel to the exploration and jumping around. What I find most compelling is that I’m not firing hot lead through a rifled barrel at the heads of the bad guys. I know that’s not Batman’s style, but having to be resourceful and creative is quite satisfying. Of course, punching out scores of bad guys is equally satisfying. I’m hoping to make more progress this weekend on Arkham Island.

If time permits, I hope to join the guys from the site for a little Left 4 Dead. If you’re playing the PC version, let us know if you’re interested in joining us for a buttomashing.com L4D night. Also, time permitting, I’d like to make a little more progress with Mass Effect and Fire Emblem: Dragon Sword on the DS. Here’s to hoping.

What’s on tap for you guys?