What we’ve been playing: BIRTHDAY EDITION

Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me-eeeeee. Happy birthday to me!

Hello and welcome to ‘what we have been playing over the last week’, with your host, Stevie Grant (that’s me). Today’s section of this is very special because it is my birthday! This means that you have to give me presents or at least a cake with Sonic on it or something. But enough about that. Hit the jump to read what some people on the internet have been playing! Catch you on the flip side (or just after the jump).

Stevie ‘Birthday Boy’ Grant- Writer of Top 10 Worst and Boss Attack:
I’ve gotten back into Sam and Max which means a new episode for me every week. I’m getting back into the groove but suffice to say, I’m enjoying it so far. I also got Power Stone 2 for the Dreamcast which is amazing. Gotta love Capcom fighters. I played Deepak Fights Robots too which was amazing. Go buy it. Now. Oh, more LA Noire too. On the third disc of that, and even though the game took a random turn, I’m still eager to find out what happens in the end. Anyways I’m going to eat some cake. See you in the end of this section.

Oh yeah, with all this birthday excitement I forgot to welcome our new writer. Woops. Well here he is. Welcome and that.

Sven ‘Present’ Wohl- Sexy new writer:
Alright, my first time with this…

I have mostly been playing No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise on PS3 for a review. Since No More Heroes is one of my all-time favorites, I really enjoy this version since everything has improved! Also just completed LA Noire, which is good too, has got some nice writing and a good story. Played that for a review too. Played some Metroid: Zero Mission on my GBA after I got it used for cheap. Great game, but I need more time to get into it. Dragon Age: Origins made a great comeback after I made a break of almost half a year in it. I’m enjoying it way more now though, even though I don’t know why. Radiant Historia for the DS and Dead or Alive Dimensions on my 3DS are constant travel companions these days and I enjoy both of them.

So yeah, that’s pretty much it for this week!

John ‘Blow out the candles’ Doherty- Writer of Take Cover:
Happy Birthday Stevie! Watch out for Calender man on your bday.

I started playing Silent Hill Homecoming this week. I really enjoy the control scheme so far. I appreciate what tank controls did, but I don’t think they fly any more. The story is good and the visuals are pretty amazing. Silent Hill is by far my favorite gaming IP, so I’m surprised I waited so long to play this one.

I downloaded Rift for the free 7 day trial. As an ex WoW addict I was interested to see what the game did differently. While the talent trees are amazingly in depth, the game is just so lackluster. The races are garbage, the story is forgettable, and the animation is dreadful. The game is beautiful for an mmo, but when you get about 2 minutes into it you realize just how much of a WoW clone it is, minus the fun.

I played like 2 minutes of Portal 2, not much to say other than amazing.

Josh ‘Balloons’ Newey – Writer of Sounds of Sega and Twenty Days of Sonic:
My games of the week is going to be pretty predictable for the next few weeks. So far, I’ve taken a nice chunk out of my Sonic games. I’ve played Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic CD, Sonic and Knuckles, and most of Sonic Advance. At first I was going to go in strict chronological order, but that it just seems irrational to try playing through Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colors, and the two other Sonic Wii games in one week. Therefore, I’m starting the longer Sonic games now so as to finish them over time. I won’t give you any words on any of these games now. Just look for my post later in the week.

In my non-hedgehog moments, I’ve been playing bits of Mortal Kombat online. They are the bits where I die a lot. I’ve also been playing Dead Space and Tilt to Live on my iPhone. The former is the first iPhone game whose controller replication actually doesn’t make me angry, and the ladder is the first game whose tilting mechanics don’t make me sad. Hooray for lack of anger and sadness!

Finally, I’ve been playing adopt a puppy. I think it might be the best game I’ve ever played…

Happy Birthday, Grant!

Pat ‘Stripper inside a cake’ Reddick- Community Manager/ Writer of Forum News and Not-so Classics:
I’ve been playing Fantasia on the Genesis this past week. I’m going to start doing Not-So Classic Games again, so what better way to start than this piece of garbage? For those who don’t know, this is a Mickey Mouse game. It doesn’t seem to be one of those games that’s blatantly ripped off another game, but maybe that’s part of the problem. It’s one of those games that makes you question whether the people who made it ever actually played a game before. The game is awful, I look forward to talking about it further.

Other than that I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIII. I know, blasphemous. To be honest, I don’t hate it all that much. I’m reserving overly critical judgement for the time being because I just got to the big open part of the game, and I must admit that so far it’s been more enjoyable than the first half. It did take way too long to get here though, especially if this is as good as it gets. What they could have done is make the area’s less corridor-like and more open in the first place to at least create the illusion of freedom and the game would have been that much better. But the story, oh god, the story is horrible. Not necessarily the over arching narrative, I like that, and not the non-linear flashbacks to the 13 days before the game (I like that too actually). I’m talking about the things they say. Original dialogue does not exist in that game. Everything that they say is a god damn cliché, or downright stupid. Hope starts talking about lies at one point and says something along the lines of “If you tell a lie, but work hard, maybe you can make it true.” Umm…alright buddy. And every cutscene stupid Snow informs us he’s going to BRING DOWN THE FAL’CIE or that he’s GOING TO SAVE COCOON or SERAH or I’M A HERO. I can’t believe you don’t shut up! He’s so full of bullshit it’s pathetic. The worst part is that the character archetypes in themselves aren’t overly cliché, so it pisses you off when everything they say is directly quoted from any other game or movie or show in which a heroic task is completed.

Alexander ‘Party’ Sargeant- Writer of Retro Reviews:
Went back to playing Recettear. It’s really good, so I’m struggling not to play the fan-translation of Chantelise. I’m coping though.

Outside of that I’ve been playing PN 03 on the Gamecube because I haven’t had a Shinji Mikami fix in a while. It’s a weird game and you can see where the mechanics for Vanquish eventually came from, but it’s a game where you can dodge enemy fire without actually -dodging- it. You have a side-step that has you dodge either left or right, but it has no invincibility frames so you can end up dodging into enemy fire. Which I guess makes sense. It just doesn’t make a very fun mechanic. Also a little Wipeout HD thanks to Sony which I was enjoying until I realised I was utterly terrible at it.

Very busy though, so most of my gaming is being ingested through articles at the moment. ZOE 1/2 HD sounds incredibly exciting. MGS 3DS looks.. not quite as good as that video they showed off last year.

Kris ‘Birthday Prostitute’ Knigge- Reviewer and Podcast Co-host:
I’ve been stuck in the middle of finals this week, so most of my time was spent writing papers. In my free time though, I’ve played a bit of Tactics Ogre (which I adore, it might be my favorite PSP game ever!) and the InFamous 2 Demo, which is pretty mediocre until you get a handle on some of the changes and put the game on hard. Once that happens, it’s fantastic, it becomes a dance of explosions, lightning, and crawling around buildings to find the most tactically useful approaches to taking down groups of enemies. Moving around the city is fun too, with a lot of options to move really quickly, something I wish Rockstar would take note of. Then again, I loved the first InFamous, so take my excitement with a grain of salt.

Tom ‘Get drunk on your birthday and embarrass yourself in front of your girlfriend and she dumps you the next day so you just cant take it any more and end it fucking all goodbye world ‘ Kyzivat- Artist and Podcast Co-host:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STEVIE! How old are you in peanut years? Yes, I’m an ass.

We went to GameWorkds on Memorial Day, so I played a variety of things. They had a four-player Pac-Man game, which was awesome. You compete for power pellets and eat each other, while still running from Ghost Monsters. I tried out the Rolling Stones pinball machine, too, which was cool, but I’m not a huge Rolling Stones fan, so it didn’t do much for me. The fun bit was that there was a little standee of Mick in one of his sassy poses in the center of the board, and he’d slide back and forth to block the ball. Mike also tried the new version of Street Fighter IV, with Yun and Yang, Evil Ryu and Oni (evil-er Akuma). Evil Ryu seems pretty standard, much like his part incarnations, except for the giant, gaping hole in his chest. Interesting. Oni is basically Akuma on Gouken’s larger body, with glowing blue hair. His Ultra is amazing. I won’t try to describe it–you’ll have to see if for yourself. We also played such standards as Skee-Ball, and a bunch of other ticket redemption games so that our sister Katie could get a stuffed chimpanzee with a banana squished on his head. She named him Eli Nannerbrow. Nice.

That’s about it–no games at home this week.

I am British. Not a peanut.

Alex ‘I unno’ Riggen- Editor in Chief and Podcast Host:
I’ve been playing a couple Sega games I’ve missed in the past few years. I picked up Viking: Battle for Asgard for $7 and I’m really enjoying it. It’s an action/adventure game that feels a lot like the Fable series although with a different goal in mind. The world is quite fun to explore as you free troops to join your army all in an attempt to attack a large enemy fort or base. It’s pretty impressive the Creative Assembly was able to pull off so many characters on screen at once during the battles and at times the battles do feel quite grand and important. The game isn’t perfect and my biggest complaint is probably the combat system and the occasional lack of knowing what to do next but for $7 I’m having a great time.

The other game I started was Sonic Chronicles on the DS. It’s an okay simple RPG in the Sonic Universe but I don’t think anyone who’s not a Sonic fan would enjoy it. It’s nice to see the return of Chaos although they act a little more like mags from PSO than little cute pets you can raise and train. I’m only a little ways in but so far the game seems decent. We’ll have to see if its an RPG I actually finish or if I’ll get to a point where I have no desire to move on anymore.

And that was it! I’m going to dance around and be merry as it is also my last year of being a teenage dirtbag listen to iron maiden baby with me. Please leave some comments or I will kill myself. See you next week for a less self obsessed version of this section! Woo!

  • John Doherty

    Did I not respond fast enough again?

    I even made a Calender Man joke!

  • Stevie Grant

    *Edited for calender man.

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