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Weekend Play: A SoCal Reborn

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Posted on October 18, 2013 AT 05:00pm

Welcome to EGM’s Weekend Play, a weekly account of what games the editors of EGM are currently playing, and an open conversation with you, the reader, about what you’ve been playing.

After reading what we’re playing, let us know what games you’ve been playing and what games, if any, you’ll be escaping to this weekend in the comments below!

I had a rather like/dislike relationship with The Last of Us‘ multiplayer mode. (I was going to say love/hate, but I’m not sure my emotions really swung enough either way to go that far.) It was a nice—yet different—extension of the multiplayer from Uncharted, and it incorporated some fun elements from the single-player portion of the game (such as crafting). On the other hand, I felt like the mode was conceptually lazy in some ways compared to all of the creative things that could have been done with The Last of Us’ multiplayer. Plus, I hated how I wasn’t allowed to pick my character model.

Still, now that the new DLC pack has hit, I’ve got a good reason to go back and give the mode another shot. So, this weekend, that’s what I’ll probably be doing. Beyond that, I’m sure it’ll be more time spent with Final Fantasy XIV, as I make use of what little free gaming time I’ve got left before the insane flood of next-gen titles sweeps over me next month.

Now that I’m done with Sonic and Friends’ Fantastical Furry Adventures, I can finally get back to Grand Theft Auto V and really dig into the meat of the game. So far, though, I’ve been a bit underwhelmed with the experience—even the somewhat-disappointing GTAIV had its hooks into me a few hours in, and I was expecting considerable improvements with Rockstar’s return to its fictional take on SoCal. Maybe that feeling will change as I explore more of the city, but as of right now, it’s just not delivering the sort of innovation I was anticipating. As a longtime fan of the series, though, I’m going to give it every shot to win me over.

This weekend I’ll be spending my time with superheroes. And I’m not talking about cosplayers from Comic Con or donning my Office Batman gear (he only works Monday-Friday, 9-5). No, instead I’ll be neck deep in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. As a fan of the their previous original comic book entries in the Batman Universe, I’m curious to see what TT Games can do with the Marvel property. With hundreds of heroes to choose from across dozens of familiar Marvel settings, ranging from New York City to Asgard, this will serve as a nice reprieve from the insanity and violence I’ve immersed myself in via GTAV the past few weeks.

Sometimes in this job, we’re put under embargoes that mean we’re not allowed to even talk about the game’s we’re playing until they’re already out. This weekend is not one of those times. Not at all. That’s because I’ll be spending the weekend playing Sid Meier’s Pirates and Aero the Acro-Bat 2. I’m excited but hesitant on both fronts.

The decision to focus on pirates is quite different from the other games in Sid Meier’s catalog, and I’m curious to see how that works out. Maybe it’ll set a new standard in Sid Meier games, maybe it’ll just prove to be a curious detour in his career.

As for Aero the Acro-Bat 2, I really felt like the last Acro-Bat game really explored the concept to its fullest, and I’m not sure what this sequel can bring to the table to keep me interested. Then again, I’m a fan of its core gameplay, so maybe it’s a good way to tide me over until we finally get a next-gen incarnation that truly does Aero justice.

The above picture is unrelated.

Much to my delight, I’ll be digging into Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut for Wii U this weekend. I hardly need an excuse to replay what is easily the best cyberpunk videogame to date, but Director Cut‘s rebuilt boss battles (developed in-house, at Eidos Montreal, instead of farmed out like they were with the original) absolutely demands that I return to 2027′s Detroit and Shanghai. Plus, I’m reviewing it. So work and all.

Supposin’ I have any time (I have a lot of Deus Ex to play in just two days), I’ll probably dip into Pokémon Y a little. I tend to roam Kalos in short, concentrated bursts a few times a day.

I’m taking a break from Pokémon X this weekend to focus on my new found love for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Ever since I re-rolled as an Archer, the game’s fun factor has increased ten-fold. My only concern at the moment is how slow the leveling is—you seem to be on certain levels for hours at a tim. It’s not a bad thing, per se, but it’s unusual in today’s MMO market. I’m looking forward to getting to level 50 to see what the endgame dungeons are like. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the lower level ones, but they take a lot more of a time commitment than I’m used to—even the trash mobs can take a beating.

Then there’s David Cage’s ride-along, otherwise known as Beyond: Two Souls. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love Quantic Dreams’ games, but the quick-time events have really been scaled back for this one, making it more like watching a movie than ever before. I somehow still find myself getting wrapped up in what’s going on, however, pushing myself onto the next piece of story. I just wish things wouldn’t bounce around so much—it starts to get really confusing.

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