It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! So What are You Playing?

Quickly addressing the elephant in the room, yes, the election is over and it’s been quite a debacle here in the United States of America. Regardless of your political stance, my site is and will always be a place where any person of any race, sexual orientation, nationality, and/or religious background can hang out in the comments and discuss our love for our favorite form of escapism: video games.

Let’s not discuss politics in the comments at all. Instead, let us embrace human decency and love and give each other a few minutes of welcome acceptance every Friday, as we’ve been doing for the last 6 years (on and off).

So, without further ado, we all know you gotta get down on Friday. Because Friday is generally rad. What are you folks getting in to?

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I’ve been going all in on the fantasy SRPG Fire Emblem: Awakening on 3DS and loving it immensely. The characters are excellent, from the tunnel-visioned, heroic Chrom, his douchebag pal Vieke, and the fumbling love interest Sumia, to the hesitant shape-shifting Panne and mysteriously evil, yet oddly hypnotic Dark Mage, Tharja.

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time on DLC maps pairing different characters together, just to build up their relationships and open up additional bits of dialogue. The story is already engaging, with the Mad King, Gangrel, stopping at nothing to obtain the Fire Emblem held by Chrom’s Halidom of Ylisse. There’s a lot going on story-wise, and I’d like to avoid spoilers, but yeah, it’s great.

I took some time away from Fire Emblem to play through the campaigns of Titanfall 2 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. In case you missed my review, I went in-depth about why I think Titanfall 2 is the best shooter campaign of 2016 right here.

Both games were a bit similar, being futuristic first-person shooters with wall running and robot companions, but where Infinite Warfare provided some rather excellent space combat chapters and more interesting characters, Titanfall 2 fully embraced its exciting and agile platforming in the midst of all the shooty bits.

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It’s been a great year for shooter campaigns, between Doom, Battlefield 1, the remastered BioShock collection, and the 2 aforementioned games above. I’m sad that EA cannibalized their own audience by releasing Titanfall 2 so close to Battlefield 1, and the sales figures are equally depressing, but hopefully word of mouth on social media and a steady stream of highly positive user reviews draw in additional players. It deserves it. Both do, actually

All of these options are wonderful takes on the first-person shooter genre, particularly from a campaign perspective, so if you have an interest in them and the free time, I highly recommend taking 6-8 hours and giving each and every one of them a chance at your earliest convenience. Red Box kiosks are a godsend for muscling through shorter games at $3.60 USD per day.

Speaking of Red Box, my girlfriend just had all four of her wisdom teeth removed yesterday and since I knew she’d be out of it I figured I’d go see if they had anything else worth renting. I picked up Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, since their stock was slim pickings.

I was never big on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Mankind Divided quickly doused my curiosity. I just don’t like Adam Jensen as a character, I think. Apparently that’s reason enough to lose interest, since I uninstalled it after just 2 short hours. Maybe another time.

Ah well, back to Fire Emblem!

trees

Outside of gaming, I finished the 2nd volume of Trees (written by Warren Ellis of Moon Knight and Transmetropolitan fame) and I’m not sure yet how I feel about it. It takes on the perspective of different groups of people spread across the globe, all of them residing in an area inhabited by these massive spires they call “trees.” They just appeared on Earth ten years ago and nobody knows why, but lately they’ve spurred the growth of these weird mechanical black poppies that have begun interfering with electronic equipment, similar to an electro-magnetic pulse.

The first book introduced a lot of the characters, as I talked about last Friday, but it was slow going until the very end. The 2nd volume is no different, though it’s quite a bit narrower since it only really focuses on two of the groups from the 1st book. While this made it easier to follow, I remained wholly uninterested in one of the groups throughout the duration of the comic. And again, like volume 1, it was a slow burn that thankfully cashed in a satisfying finale over its last few pages.

Both endings have grabbed my attention, picking at my curiosity and begging me to continue reading them, but I spend most of my time kind of bored until the last few pages.

low

I recently finished the first two volumes of the comic series Low, written by Rick Remender (Black Science, Tokyo Ghost). The central theme is family and optimism, though the series itself is equally wondrous and depressing.

Low is a post-apocalyptic aquatic sci-fi tale about Stel Caine’s many internal struggles, along with her never-ending desire to escape the inevitable demise of Earth by the ever-encroaching Sun. With the surface now uninhabitable, the population has taken refuge in different underwater cities, though all of humanity has seemingly given up hope in finding another planet to call home. Instead, they break away from reality with psychoactive drugs, daily orgies, or by gambling on gladiatorial arenas where prisoners battle to the death with monstrous sea creatures.

Stel’s husband was part of an important bloodline that commanded powerful suits of armor using their DNA, which became highly sought after by a group of sea pirates. During a routine stroll, their vessel becomes surrounded and eventually boarded by the pirates, who then proceed to kidnap their two daughters, steal their suit of armor, and, to fulfill the DNA requirements, dig out one of the husband’s eyes with a barbed hook. It’s pretty brutal.

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As the comic fast-forwards ten years in the future, Stel’s husband has since succumbed to the wounds and their only son is now a drug-addicted, hooker fucking, crooked cop steadily on the verge of committing suicide. However, a beacon of hope presents itself to Stel as she receives word of a space probe returning with the location a new, potentially habitable planet.

It’s been a really great series to follow thus far, with a distinguishable art style and brilliant writing that accessibly presents a foreign world that requires no prior knowledge to fully immerse yourself in. Stel’s struggles and the events that follow are soul crushing, particularly the arcs in the 2nd volume that shift focus to the current lives of her abducted daughters, along with the fate of her only son, Marik, and his ragtag group of arena brawling comrades.

I have one more volume of Low to finish, then it’s on to Outcast, written by The Walking Dead’s creator Robert Kirkman. I also picked up the first six volumes of Sweeth Tooth, the first three volumes of Lazarus, and the first volumes of Injection, THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, Descender, and Birthright. I typically read DC superhero stuff, but lately I’ve really enjoyed all of these different non-capes graphic novels by Image and Vertigo.

What about you folks? What have you got planned for this weekend?

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30 thoughts on “It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! So What are You Playing?

  1. Time is at a premium right now, but I might try to play some Horde on Gears 4. I have Another Brick in the Mall on Steam too which I’m enjoying. Funnily enough, my wife recently got me the 1st 2 volumes of Saga. I’ve yet to get around to reading them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Saga is SO FUCKING GOOD dude! Hope you enjoy them as much as I did when you get around to reading it. Some truly fantastic characters and witty writing.

      Even as someone who loved Gears on 360, I’ve yet to grab Gears 4. Since my interests lie solely in the campaign, it’s on hold until it drops to the $20 range. I just don’t do multi-player anything anymore, even co-op stuff. My free-time hours are all over the place and I can’t reliably be on when my friends are to enjoy something like Horde mode.

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      1. To be fair, you’re not missing much with the campaign. I actually enjoyed the Judgement campaign more. I like playing Horde with my wife, thank god for split screen!
        I’m reading Assassination Classroom right now which is great fun. Saga will be next I think. That or Southern Bastards.

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      2. I hear good things about Southern Bastards. I’ve been waiting for my library to start stocking Bitch Planet and Monstress, but no luck so far.

        I hear the campaign in Gears 4 is rather lackluster, so that’s disappointing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Weekend gaming plans consist of more SFV as usual and probably some KOFXIV too. May also play some Blazblue Central Fiction with a friend of mine. As for non fighting games, I want to try to finish Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, play some more Dragon Ball XV2, and start Dishonored 2 maybe, though I may want to play through the remaster of 1 first. Comics wise, still need to keep trying to catch up on Marvel’s Civil War 2, so I will mostly be reading that stuff. There is a really cool comic I am reading that I think you would like called Empress, written by Mark Miller. It is published under the Icon imprint of Marvel. It is a really cool sci-fi story about a woman who is married to a tyrannical emperor and she decides to flee from him with her children and her personal guard. It is a really cool universe and the characters are great. It is only up to issue six so far, and those first six issues will come out in collected trade form in February, so if you’d like to get it that way there isn’t too long to wait.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Empress definitely sounds up my alley, so I’ll start looking around once the TPB collection comes out in February. I don’t buy single issue comics and my library stocks mostly everything in TPB, so hopefully they’ll bring Empress in too!

      I kind of regret not picking up King of Fighters XIV, but there were some technical gameplay aspects I didn’t much care for in the demo and I knew I’d get smeared online since I only casually play fighters. Once I heard the story mode was essentially dog shit, I balked and passed on it. But man, I love me some KOF. Maybe once it’s around $20.

      How are you liking DBZXV2 so far? Based on my Twitter feed it’s fun, but hard as fuck (especially if you’re not playing with friends).

      I just picked up the Dishonored remaster to prep for 2, since I never got around to finishing it last gen. I was just about to start it this morning, but another site got in touch with me about freelancing a review of a beefy JRPG. Afterwards though.

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      1. Yeah KOF has a harder learning curve than something like SFV for sure, but it is a really fun game if you can get into it. DBXV2 is really fun so far, I haven’t gotten very far into it yet so it isn’t difficult at all up to this point. The combat is simplistic but has just enough depth and nuance to be satisfying and look and feel are just right for dragon ball. They made no effort to adjust the mouth animations from Japanese to English, which is annoying but I can ignore it. I never played the DLC for Dishonored and I hear it has some big story elements that lead into to the second game so I need to try to get through it first.

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      2. I just found things like mid-jumps too unpredictable to pull off using a standard controller. Not sure if it’s any better using a fight stick, but I don’t own one so I guess that doesn’t matter.

        Once I finish up the new Sword Art game and get it reviewed, I’ll probably start the Dishonored remaster. Just installed it on my PS4 in preparation.

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    1. I like the rock-paper-scissors style of SRPGs, and having to second- and third-guess every decision to avoid losing troops forever is a rush.

      I almost had a heart attack the other day when Cordelia was down to 2 HP in the fight to recruit Tharja. I used her to fly Chrom over to recruit Tharja, then she got attacked down to 2 HP with 2 enemies left. Both attacked her, somehow by a stroke of luck she dodged BOTH of their attacks and counter-killed them.

      And yeah. Tharja. That was an easy choice. I was all in on Cordelia for Robin at first, but then Tharja entered the team and suddenly “Cor… Cordel–who? Have we met?”

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  3. I read all four volumes of Death of Wolverine today and I really liked them even though the ending sucked.

    I’ve been spending a lot of time in Tyranny. It’s cool, but doesn’t really offer anything new to cRPGs. It has average gameplay, but tells a good story. I’m on my second playthrough to see what different decisions I can make in the game.

    I’m most likely going to dedicate this weekend to Tyranny, and Dragon Quest VII.

    I’m going to wait for Titanfall 2, and CoD Infinite Warfare to go on a deep sale before I jump into them. I’m not a big competitive FPS guy and I can’t see myself dropping $120 for both games when I know I’ll probably get 20 hours maximum play time out of them.

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    1. I watched a few episodes of someone playing Tyranny and it looked pretty interesting, at least playing from the opposite perspective.

      I usually rent the shorter games from Red Box, since it’s only $3-ish per day. I guess that’s one of the few benefits of physical games media on consoles.

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  4. Per usual my Saturday is logged with work. But I DID play a ton of Dark Chambers today (Friday) though I guess technically some of Saturday since I’m typing this after midnight. I’ll likely spend much of Saturday night cramming to get the review up. Early impressions is that it is awesome. I’m honestly surprised it didn’t appear in the Atari Vault, or either Flashback collection (XB1/PS4) or any of the Flashback All in one consoles by AtGames.

    It has elements that would be used in Atari’s Gauntlet, combined with stuff you’d find in adventure games, and a dab of Stern’s Berzerk for good measure.

    After I get that posted we’ll see if I get any time on Sunday for gaming. If I do I hope to get in some more time with Overwatch, and Toxikk with some friends. I haven’t had the time or money to get any new releases as the end of the year I try to get my shopping done before Black Friday, at least most of it. Then of course my friends, and relatives always scream at me for buying myself games because it cuts down their gift giving options come Christmas.

    Fortunately I’ve managed to get a fair amount of retro recently which is always fun to play, and review. Though I do really want to get Shadow Warrior 2. The initial reboot was amazing, and this one supposedly ups the ante with 4 player Co-Op, and 1993 grade level design.
    Also anticipating Mirage. I LOVED Chivalry putting in almost 800 hours into it over the last few years. Can’t wait to see how it pans out.

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  5. Well the weekend is mostly over, but I did get to play a bit of WOFF. There are so many little side things in that game, and they just keep popping up. I just wanted to go to the little Chocobo chick’s shop in the mall, and that’s when I was introduced to the coliseum by Tonberry. Then I wasted about half an hour going back through the Nether Nebula to challenge Shiva again, not realizing I have to do that in the coliseum…but they’re not available yet. This is not to mention the Girl Who Forgot Her Name and her past quests.

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    1. I was juggling WOFF and Fire Emblem, then ended up with a freelance gig to review the new Sword Art Online game. Once that’s done though, it’s back to WOFF. Hoping to have that one finished before FFXV because I’m pretty damn excited for it and I don’t think I’ll have the willpower to shelve it temporarily. May end up having to put WOFF on hold until AFTER FFXV.

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      1. Congrats on the review gig! I’m…actually way more interested in WOFF than XV. I just have so much trepidation towards everything Squeenix does now. I’m going to wait and hear what people say about it before I indulge. Granted, I do really like WOFF so that’s a good sign.

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      2. I’m sure FFXV is going to suffer from being in delay hell for so long, and it’ll probably feel like a jumbled mess of many different games they were inspired by over that duration.

        While they’re fun, I’ve been playing a lot of Compile Heart and Idea Factory JRPGs that just feel churned out every year and now that I’m playing Fire Emblem I just want a new, meaty JRPG with some sort of quality control and focus. My expectations are in check. Hopefully lol. I’ve got the game and guide pre-ordered and it releases right when classes end, so I’m ready to go all in.

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      3. Well each Final Fantasy pretty much builds from the last, which isn’t…terrible in theory, but I think it becomes jumbled in practice because they don’t seem to know how to spin it in a fresh, new way. If I compare it to Zelda, those games know how to not only use tried and true concepts, but to utilize the new technology of the time, give you enough of the new, but still keep it authentic. I will definitely wait and see what prior gamers say about XV. My husband played the demo and was kinda “meh” about it.

        Need to add Fire Emblem…

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      4. I played the dream demo with young Noctis and it looked great, but there wasn’t a lot to do. It was more a seriously toned Kingdom Hearts.

        Honestly though, I’ve been going dark on all things FFXV. I want as little knowledge going in as possible.

        Fire Emblem is great!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That sounds like the same demo my husband played! Did he have a hammer or something along those lines? I remember glancing up at it every now and then while he was playing. Sometimes it’s best to have as little info as possible!

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  6. I have no idea how much time I’m gonna have but I hit up the B2G1 at Target pretty hard, as well as some Black Friday preview deals. I somehow ended up with Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, and… CoD: IW with the remaster of MW. The trailers at E3 piqued my interest and I’m hoping to try out one of those some time today.

    Jason and I may be running some FFXIV and I’m sure my Overwatch comp friends will kidnap me to get our scores up before Season 2 ends. I main a mean Symmetra.

    But I also got my hands on the NES classic and let me tell you, it’s amazing. It’s a steal getting 30 games and the console for $55, but that’s just the tip of the iceburg. The colors, the clarity, everything is gorgeous. There’s no stretching, fuzziness, etc., the HDMI is amazing.

    I never had a chance to own an NES and a lot of the games included are ones I never had a chance to play, so it’s really exciting for me. I just need to get an extension for my controller, that or play it on my computer with the HDMI slot, but I’m pretty damn impressed and excited to go old school.

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    1. The NES mini is definitely a great deal, especially considering the clarity is better than the same exact games running on a Wii U. Leave it to Nintendo to fuck something like that up.

      I really liked the campaigns for TF2 and IW. Battlefield 1 was a bit too much to swallow, playing it after the election stuff. Hoping to go back and rent it again down the line, but the end of the first chapter put a knot in my stomach.

      Liked by 1 person

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