Weekend Playlist, 11/6/2009
Ryan Kuo: I'm pretty into id Software's iPhone port of DOOM. I never really played it, just the sequel. The controls aren't ideal but they're actually good enough so far. The game is making me a little cynical about modern shooters. I used to wonder when things would look more real, and now I wonder if things will ever look this abstract again.
Recently hooked on Hook Champ on the iPod. Think Spelunky meets original Bionic Commando. I also downloaded Squid Yes! Not So Octopus on Xbox Live. If I had a dollar for every decent indie arena shooter on Xbox Live and the App Store, I'd break even.
And if I have time, I'm going to give Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner another go.
Chris Buecheler: This weekend I will be digging into two new games: Torchlight and NBA 2K10. I've played a bit of the former so far and am enjoying having a mindless action-RPG to fill my life while I wait for Diablo III. The latter was a gift from Mr. Jones -- thanks Scott! -- and I'm looking forward to getting frustrated with the various ways in which 2K has tweaked the game to make it more realistic, and finding which menu options need to be adjusted to bring it back to being fun and arcade-like!
I'm also looking forward to meeting this year's version of "Jakob Thompson" - the superstar point guard with the absurd stats from Syracuse University that I've created in every single NBA game I've owned since 2004, and with whom I will surely lead the Celtics to yet another title!
Steve Steinberg: Creepy. As an SU grad from Boston, my create-a-player in hoops games is also always a former Syracuse guard trying to make it with the Celts. I guess the only thing that would give this more of a shocking, Guy de Maupassant ending would be if the name I'd always chosen for my made-up guy was "Chris Buecheler."
James Fudge: Scott Jones was like Santa this week. Thanks to him i'll be playing Dragon Age: Origins on the Xbox 360, more Torchlight and Texas Hold 'Em on Xbox Live. I think I would have preferred to play Dragon Age on the PC because people are comparing it to Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights, but maybe the Xbox 360 version is a cohesive, refined experience. As you can tell, I have not read any reviews for the game yet.
William Abner: I'll be playing Dragon Age on the PC because the Xbox 360 edition sucks by comparison; some co-op Borderlands, which is proving to be loads of fun; and continuing my free-agent hoarding in our Out of the Park Baseball 10 league.
Russ Fischer: I'm hopefully going to do some of the PC version of Dragon Age, because I hope it will mitigate the few things I hated about the 360 version. And I'm going to a chili fest on Saturday, so I'll be playing "don't puke yet" most of the afternoon.
Marc Saltzman: Am I the only one who thinks Dragon Age: Origins is ugly? Maybe it's the Xbox 360 version I'm playing. Love the game, and graphics aren't too important to me. But yech.
This weekend I'll be playing some LEGO Rock Band with the kids, as well as trying out Borderlands for Dad.
Russ Fischer: You're not. It's ugly as hell. Looks like a first-gen Xbox game.
William Abner: It's the Xbox 360 version you are playing.
It's a mess, visually.
It's also a mess, interface ? ially?
Anyway, the PC version is great.
Chris Buecheler: I would like to throw my support in for the "Dragon Age is really ugly" campaign as well.
It's not just that the visual fidelity isn't particularly high by modern standards, it's that the actual art direction and stuff is just ... not very interesting.
Gus Mastrapa: I think Mass Effect had the benefit of a good visual touchstone -- the design of Syd Mead -- to help provide a good framework to crib from. With vanilla fantasy there's really no such thing as a cohesive or all-that-unique visual approach to use as a guideline. I guess the Peter Jackson take on fantasy is now the benchmark -- and that, while pretty well realized, wasn't all that imaginative or interesting.
I'm going to be playing Band Hero, LEGO Rock Band and some more Dragon Age: Origins. I'm tempted to play more Torchlight (a great procrastination tool) and Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers -- the new decks are nifty.
Scott Jones: I'm in Montreal, but heading back to Vancouver over the weekend, which no doubt means some plane gaming (the PSP Go, and more Jak and Daxter, will likely get the nod). After two weeks of travel, I'm so damn ready to get back to my cats and my beloved Batman: Arkham Asylum.
I've also been checking out some of the independent game stores here in Montreal, so I'm hoping to have an update on that front in the CG blog either today or over the weekend.
DJ Hero and I are still eyeing one another warily. I'm not sure I like it, or have any DJ fantasies that are being indulged here, but I sure do enjoy doing things with my hands while music plays.
Kyle Orland: I'll be spending most of the day Saturday competing in the finals for the Pittsburgh Pinball League, where I've qualified either at the very bottom of the B league or the very top of the C league (depending on who you ask). I'm not sure which situation I'd prefer...
I'm totally hooked on Half-Minute Hero ... it's a great game to pick up when I need a quick break from work. When I have more uninterrupted gaming time I'm still working my way through Batman: Arkham Asylum and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. But really, when do I have that much uninterrupted gaming time? Never! That's when!
Troy Goodfellow: I'm playing Dragon Age: Origins like the rest of the world, and I can't imagine this working as well on the Xbox 360 as it does on my PC, though I have both versions. But a lot of the weekend will be spent playing Men of War, an RTS from much earlier this year that I missed but which has gotten a lot of praise and a recent expansion. One writer I trust calls it his frontrunner for PC game of the year, which is pretty high praise.
Jason McMaster: Dragon Age: Origins and The Ballad of Gay Tony are on the agenda for this weekend. I'm a PC faithful when it comes to BioWare games and there's a reason for that -- read everyone else's comments for that reason.
Evan Narcisse: Having spent the bulk of last weekend grinding through Tekken 6's Scenario Mode -? Eff you, unlocked Nightmare Train level! Eff you! You my bitch now, ain't you?! ?- I'll be trying to kick some butt online or in Ghost Mode. I'm only playing Tekken on PS3, even though I have both versions, because that 360 controller is an abomination for a d-pad loyalist like myself. I do keep wondering about all the easy Achievement points I'm letting slip away, but the tactile experience is so much better on PS3.
I'll be trying to get outside and enjoy the splendor that is NYC in the fall. While I'm gadding about, I'll be giving the PSP version of LittleBigPlanet a whirl for review purposes. And to mix things up, I continue to stress myself out with the first medium level of GeoDefense Swarm on the iPhone. I'm addicted, and the blame lies with Ryan's tweets from a few months ago.
But first, there are only a handful of Achievements eluding me in the original game of Fallout 3, and I aim to get them all before starting anything else.
What's on your own playlist this weekend? Inquiring Game Trusters want to know. Leave a comment below.