Weekend Playlist, 1/15/2010
Ryan Kuo: Serious Sam HD is out and I'll be giving that a long-awaited play on the new HDTV. I found myself slightly disappointed by the demo earlier today, and I hope the entire game doesn't feel like "dumbed-down DOOM" as my colleague Gabe put it. Seems like they basically opened up the architecture and had all the enemies charge straight at you, which is exactly why I've been wanting to play this for years, but suddenly it feels a little thin.
Chris Buecheler: If SSHD supports co-op, play it that way. It's approximately one-hundred million billion times better in co-op. That said, I'm not bothering with it. The HD graphics are nice but not jaw-dropping, and the gameplay is one-note. I played through the game when it came out, so I don't have any real reason to go back to it. There's no real story, let alone anything resembling emergent gameplay or sandboxiness.
I'm going to be trying to finish Arkham Asylum this weekend. I've been unable to play for a couple of days due to other commitments, but that should be changing this evening. I'm also still working my way through Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, although I must admit that it rarely occurs to me to bring out the DS except when I'm traveling, which isn't that often.
Harold Goldberg: It's still on with Bayonetta, as far as I'm concerned. I love Witch Walking.
Also playing Rooms: The Main Building on a preview cart for the DS and am enjoying the puzzle play and that "talking" book.
I'm thinking of selling a few games to send some charity scratch to Haiti -- I usually do Doctors Without Borders. Looks like there's tons of aid going to them. But they're going to need more.
Penultimately, I'm looking into Heavy Rain again for an upcoming Crispy review.
Finally, while it doesn't tell the whole story (since I was there for a small part of it), the EverQuest 10th anniversary coffee-table book is pretty darn good.
James Fudge: Besides the weekly poker night with my crew, I hope to be playing Serious Sam HD or Borderlands on Xbox Live. My brother has been nagging me to play Borderlands with him on Xbox Live, and since a bunch of our crew has it I want to give it a whirl. Oddly enough he's decided to play Oblivion, but doesn't know the first thing about role-playing games.
"I killed a couple of guards, what should I do? I want to keep the stuff I stole," he told me over the phone last night.
"Take all those red items and put them in a barrel or chest somewhere, and turn yourself in." I told him. He managed to kill three or four guards and refused to start over.
After that we had a long conversation about how much of the game I'd finished (all of it except half of Shivering Isles) and how the whole leveling-up system worked (it was hard even for me to explain, to be honest). It was nice to talk to him about a game other than Halo or Gears of War.
It's funny, because this guy -- whom I had once stayed up with for 24 hours to beat Final Fantasy on the NES because we had to take it back to the video store -- has managed to avoid role-playing games for nearly 20 years. He'll be playing Fallout 3 in no time, mark my words.
William Abner: More Borderlands. Can't ... stop ... playing ? Borderlands.
Gus Mastrapa: I installed the Star Trek Online beta and rolled a Vulcan named T'Pain. Will be working my way through the preview content and hopefully unlock the ability to create a Klingon. Otherwise, I'll be looking to dig into The Glory of Heracles.
Troy Goodfellow: I will be at a Paradox press event in Stockholm next week, so I am spending the weekend and early next week doing more gaming research than actual gaming.
Kyle Orland: Hoping to get some Serious Sam HD time with James and Ryan (call me!). Outside that, still playing catch-up with some of the biggest games of 2009 (Uncharted 2, Dragon Age: Origins) and considering trying out Mass Effect again in anticipation for the upcoming sequel.
Evan Narcisse: It's not just that I'll want to play videogames this weekend. I feel like I need to. Ever since the quake hit, the worry and uncertainty I've been dealing with about my relatives in Haiti has been pretty draining. I'm not ashamed to admit that I've cried a lot this week.
Still, it feels weird to admit that I need some escapism. But I do. So I've been thinking about what would make for good videogame comfort food. Revisiting Portal would make me feel smart, and Flower would probably make me feel hopeful. I never got a chance to play Bayonetta last weekend and I'm sure there's enough absurdity there to make me temporarily forget the real world.
I'm going to round up some old clothes and take them over to a nearby relief mission, think about giving some blood (though there's been no call for that yet) and, like Harold, sell some games to generate cash to donate. Being as broke as I am, that last thing was actually my first thought. And, if you're reading this, think about doing something similar. The games you want to play, they'll still be there when you get back.