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EGM Presents:
What We’re Playing This Weekend

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Posted on January 27, 2012 AT 06:06pm

The weekend has officially arrived—so what will the EGM crew be playing during our precious free time? We’re glad you asked!

My recent weekend gaming habits have started transitioning away from single player experiences and into co-op and two-player competition. And what just showed up in the office today? SoulCalibur V! I have an old friend visiting from out of town, bringing with him the perfect opportunity to relive our ridiculous Dreamcast marathons involving the original and still best SoulCalibur. Our souls may not burn like they used to for a series that has kind of run its course, but the time I’ve spent so far with V makes me believe I’ll be gleefully laying the smackdown this weekend just like the good old days.

The good old days will continue with Trine 2, a gorgeous cauldron of the nostalgic and the modern. I don’t often replay games these days, but Trine 2 is ripe for a second run, bringing in the co-op dynamic for a re-aranged perspective on one of my favorite games from last year. A multiplayer weekend—all with a real-life friend sitting beside me. I feel like I’m being transported back to the ‘90s, and I like it!

The weather is SoCal demands that I escape my mancave and hit the great outdoors, but with all the games that have shuffled into the office, there’s a good chance I won’t see a lens-flare free sun in the next 48, as I’ll have my hands full with a few gems that demand my attention:

SSX: I’m a bit wary of EA’s edgy reboot of the PS2 classic, but word around the office is that the new SSX will greedy gobble up my soul. If the rest of the Review Crew is right, I guess a virtual slope is better than a trip to Tahoe.

SoulCalibur V: Despite my best attempts, I haven’t dug deep into the Soul Calibur series since the Dreamcast version, but SCV looks amazing, and the lightning fast gameplay mixed with a host of re-imagined characters has me hopeful that this could be the one to keep the soul ‘a burnin’.

The Darkness II: Sing it with me now: “I believe in a thing called gore…just listen to the rhythm of my tentacles.” OK, so maybe that doesn’t work so well, but preview builds of 2K’s latest comic book shooter have me thinking I’ll have cause to serenade my 360 in the wee hours of the weekend.

Neverdead: While a few of the guys have declared this one a dud, I’m excited to see how the game’s character upgrade system fuels the epic boss fights I’ve seen in early builds. The big question? Will Neverdead outclass last year’s cult hit Shadows of the Damned? Oooh, the suspense!

Unfortunately, a mail mix-up means that the EGM offices haven’t received SoulCalibur V just yet. But if the Postal Service makes like Karl Malone today and delivers, I know exactly what I’ll be wielding this weekend: Siegfried’s fearsome Zweihander. Along with several other ginormous blades of steel, of course. I’m not a huge fighting-game fan these days, but the SoulCalibur series is a major exception—due mostly to its weapon-based combat and its wacky take on 16th-century history. Oh, and the cast of attractive female combatants doesn’t hurt, either—though I’m still not buying Namco Bandai’s absurd explanation for the now-49-year-old Ivy’s seemingly eternal youth!

This weekend is when one of my favorite wrestling events takes place: The Royal Rumble. So for the second week in a row my Sunday early evening is spoken for. The rest of the weekend will be dedicated to hardcore gaming though.

My main priority will be 2K’s The Darkness II as I jump back into the demonically possessed shoes of one Jackie Estacado. With a gun in each hand and a carnivorous demon head over each shoulder, Jackie has a lot more to deal with than just the mob this time around and I can’t wait to spill the entrails of my new enemies all over the ‘graphic noir” painted environments of the game.

Should I tire of all the gore and guts though, as unlikely as that is, I can always return to the virtual rink in NHL 12 where I am currently in a second round playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs with my number one seeded New York Rangers. And yes, I played all 82 games of the regular season to earn that number one ranking. I am a spectacular GM.

This week I am going to be continuing with Star Wars: The Old Republic—except I have decided to start leveling a Sith Sorcerer as I got bored of my Operative, and have already reached level 50 with my Bounty Hunter.

I am also going to take some time out to start playing Heavy Rain, a game that I’ve been looking to play for a long time and have only just got to. I loved Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy for those in the States) and still class it as one of my top five PlayStation 2 games. If you are wondering the others are: Metal Gear Solid 2, Final Fantasy X, Xenosaga Episode 2 and Kingdom Hearts.

The idea of interactive drama interests me greatly, being able to convey emotion in a story and not have to resort to usual game mechanics to do so. The game becomes more relaxed, but still manages to remain engaging, I hope what I’ve been told about Heavy Rain will be true, and it can reach the bar that Fahrenheit set.

Going to be playing Halo: Anniversary again this weekend. I am loving the graphics, and playing Halo again is bringing back a lot of great memories. When Halo fist came out, I played it every week for close to two years and loved every minute of it. It was one of the best games for iss time, and playing it again just reinforces how great a game it was (and still is). Happy gaming!

This weekend I won’t have much time to play games, as I am finally able to write my Star Wars: The Old Republic review. You’d think after spending more than 100 hours with my Jedi Shadow I’d be ready for another type of game, but instead I’m hoping to sneak a few hours of play in to Final Fantasy XIII-2. At least with no real football on TV (sorry Pro Bowl) I will have a few extra hours to devote to interactive pleasures. Everyone be sure to tune in early next week for my full, lengthy Star Wars: The Old Republic review and be sure to leave plenty of comments so I know I didn’t sacrifice a good weekend of game time to write a review no one is interested in.

Now that my adventures with Amy are over, I will be moving on to the next game on my agenda: Hakuoki. I talked about Hakuoki last week, and today got the chance to get about an hour into it so far. I’m already pretty impressed with the game’s presentation: as a visual novel, it has a large amount of options and features specifically tailored to helping a player’s enjoyment with such games. Having not yet (shamefully) gotten around to playing 999, this is my first visual novel in quite some time—so I’m interesting to see how it’ll feel to really dig into one again. Well, for as much as I’ll be able to this weekend—come Monday I’m getting on a plane bound for a week in Osaka, Japan.

 

So, now that you know what we’re playing—what are YOU going to be playing this weekend? We’d love to know, so post a comment below and tell us what games will be giving you joy (or frustration) this weekend!

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