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Weekend Play: Cyber Ninja Showdown

Posted on February 21, 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.


I’m not going to get much time to play it over the weekend due to the amount of work I’ve got to do, but I’m going to find a way to make some time for the Final Fantasy XIV PS4 beta. While I didn’t get too far into the PS3 version, I somewhat enjoyed the experience. The problem was, the entire time, there was a little voice inside of my head reminding me that the game was coming to PS4, and it’d probably run far, far better than the PS3 version.

So, really, that’s what I’m wanting to experience this weekend: not a proper run-through of the beta, but the chance to see how the PS4 build handles—and if that will be the way that I finally give the rebirth of Square Enix’s second Final Fantasy-based MMORPG a real chance.

“Hmm… It’s Strider Hiryu! He will never leave Eurasia alive!” And if Capcom bungles this Strider reboot, I want them shipped off to the Siberian wilderness! Strider‘s one of my favorite arcade games of all time, and I know that it could be done justice nowadays with the right development team. Over the weekend, I’ll find out whether Capcom and Double Helix have mastered the slash-and-dash of the red-scarved legend, or whehter they’ve just brought a toy into battle.

This weekend, I will be going on a hunt to collect all of the puzzle pieces still missing from my first run through Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. I’m not ashamed to say many of the game’s levels kicked my ass, with my poor Kong running through the later levels just to make it out alive. As a result, many of the collectibles were left behind. Now it’s time to monkey up and go get ‘em!

And since I’ll be getting down with Nintendo, I think I will also spend a bit of time tackling the puzzles in Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy. The Professor Layton series always makes me laugh and occasionally makes my head hurt, but I love the sense of accomplishment from solving the hardest puzzles. Between the two I should have every reflex tested this weekend. Huzzah!

Much to the delight of my girlfriend, I’ll be playing Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare this weekend. She’s a huge fan of the series, and I admit I enjoy it as well, so it’ll be interesting to see how it transitions into the FPS genre. It also means she’ll get to dust off her Gamertag, as even though most of the game is built around online play, there is a local split-screen mode where you and a partner can face off against endless waves of zombies. Once she tires of it though, I’ll be happily hopping online for some Team Vanquish and Gardens & Gravestones (think Team Deathmatch and Capture-the-Point).

I actually bullied Chris into giving me a few rounds of Titanfall last weekend, so my skillz will be moderately honed by the time the game launches in a few weeks. Come March 11, watch your back. I’ll be the one sneaking up behind you, missing three shotgun blasts, then flailing around miserably trying to jump kick you to death before you notice I’m there and finally put me out of my misery.

As for this weekend, I’ll be playing a game I bought and then summarily forgot about back in November: Ryse: Son of Rome. I don’t suspect I’ll enjoy it too much—it hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with critic or fan reviews—but I spent 60 of my hard-earned dollars on it, so I might as well finish it. Check back next week for a full report on my underwhelmedness.

I don’t have quite as passionate expectations about the new Strider as Andrew does,  so I’m less concerned about it underperforming in any way. From what I’ve played thus far (about 40-minutes worth earlier today during our first livestream broadcast), it seems like an interesting, fast-paced take on the Metroidvania formula, but beyond that nothing particularly unique. That sounds harsher than I mean it to. What I’m trying to say is that Strider is perfectly fine, fun, but not particularly revelatory in design.

With the Titanfall beta concluded, my life feels a little empty. But I need to keep up m’shooter skills, so I’ll be playing the closest thing to Titanfall I can think of: Crysis 3. If y’all feel like going toe-to-toe, drop me a line via email and I’ll trade Gamertags with ya. Ah, f*** it—it’s “thesearingstar.”

I’ll be once again continuing with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and I’m going to be honest, it’s become a bit of a chore. I’m still yet to put my finger on why, but the game is just feeling like a slog compared to the fun I had with XIII-2. Hopefully things will pick up towards the end of the game as I have to see how the trilogy concludes no matter what, having invested far too much time in the first two entries.

I also have my two trusty MMOs, Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic to keep me company over the weekend. I really love how ArenaNet has destroyed Lion’s Arch, I just hope they are brave enough to leave it the way it is.

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