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Weekend Play: Battle Princess v Shovel Knight: Dawn of Just Us

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Posted on June 20, 2014 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.

So, check out what we’re playing below, and then chime in with your own choices for the weekend in the comments section.

 

Now that things have finally calmed down after this year’s E3, I’m ready to actually play some games. I know—you’d think a solid week of seeing game after game after game might have me wanting to do anything but playing a videogame, but those quick teases of new experiences actually got me in the mood to sit down with something I could dig into for more than five minutes while standing in a crowded convention center.

And, at the moment, that game is looking to be Battle Princess of Arcadias, an interesting little digitally-downloadable side-scrolling action adventure on the PS3. Now, while some in the EGM offices have tried to convince me that being a princess is not a valid job option, Arcadias shows that a princess can be quiet valuable when one of her royal duties is kicking the crap out of giant dragons and other enemies of the kingdom. Our princess-ly heroine Plume has, so far, been an interesting character—as a twist that just cropped up in the game took a turn I absolutely wasn’t expecting.

When you go into something thinking that you already know what you’ll be getting, and those expectations turn out to be betrayed, that can be a really welcome thing.

The following words may never have been spoken before, but I’m excited to relive the horrors of the First World War this weekend. For those who haven’t heard of the game, Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a war game without combat—or, for that matter, “good guys” and “bad guys.” Instead, it’s about the human struggle to survive one of the most harrowing conflicts the world has ever seen. And it’s an excellent example of how Ubisoft’s UbiArt Framework engine can be used for more than just whimsical adventures starring limbless little men.

E3 has ended, and we struggle to get back to reality. While last week we were playing future games, like Batman: Arkham Knight and Assassin’s Creed Unity, this week we must go back to the reality of today. Fortunately, this weekend I will be digging into Watch Dogs, trying to discover the joys of hacking. The game looks to be a refreshing change of pace from the average open-world romp, though I’m guessing there are more similarities there than are first apparent. The good part about E3 was the ability to avoid reading other people’s opinions of the game, so I am going into it the same way I would on day one, with just a vague idea of what I’m in for.

Should I have any time leftover, I may give Tomodachi Life a try. I really enjoyed Animal Crossing (a game I’m still playing a year after it’s release) and I even got some fun out of Disney Magical World. I’m hoping Tomodachi Life will be different enough to hold my interest for a while.

I was worried my weekend would be spent achievement-hunting or Doctor Who–watching again, when all of a sudden, just over the horizon came a knight riding onto my 3DS to save the day. This was no ordinary knight, however. While from head to toe he was indeed covered in traditional armor, it was not a sword or a lance that he brandished—but a shovel. Yes, this weekend will be spent playing the first effort from indie studio Yacht Club Games, Shovel Knight, as I continue to channel my childhood and take on another 2D side-scrolling platformer. Since I first saw the trailer for this game, though, it’s something that’s been constantly on my radar, even despite a small delay a couple of months ago. I am going to relish what will likely be a purely nostalgia driven experience this weekend.

Now that all the E3 hullabaloo has died down, I’ve actually had some time to play games for fun. What a novel concept, right? I just polished off the first Forza Horizon to make sure I’d be able to keep up with the upcoming sequel. It’s actually the first Forza game I’ve ever put any serious time into, and I had a lot of fun, especially once I started turning down the assists.

This weekend, I’ll be trying out Entwined, that game that Sony just up and dumped on us in the middle of their E3 press conference. I’ve heard less than promising things, but I’m trying to keep an open mind. It’s abstract, pretty, and touchy-feely, and I usually love that crap.

Having been the fellow to discover and share with Ray the nostalgic romp that is Shovel Knight, I claimed dibsies on its review. Suffice to say, like Ray, that’ll consume most of my weekend (I say “most” as though I expect an old school–style 2D platformer to be more than a handful hours long tops).

I must’ve been feeling that NES and SNES itch leading up to this, though, because on an impulse I started playing Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap again on Wii U. I suspect I’ll wrap both up after Shovel Knight, and perhaps segue into Metroid Fusion to round out my retro-tastic romp through Nintendo’s Golden Age.

Seeing as I’m still recovering my sleep pattern from E3, this weekend I’m going to be taking it relatively easy gaming-wise. I plan on finishing my ghostly detective work in Murdered: Soul Suspect, which actually reminds me a lot more of L.A. Noire than I thought it would as I walk around the edges of crime scenes pressing “X” looking for clues that I may have missed.

I’ll also be investing some more time in the ArcheAge alpha as I try to work out the best way to earn gold, and decide exactly what I’m going to do first when the game launches later this year.

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