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Weekend Play: Game of the Year Cometh

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Posted on December 6, 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!

Even when I think that I might have a weekend where I can just play games for fun without any work-related concerns, that often doesn’t end up actually being the case.

Such as this weekend, for example. Now that we’re past that initial crazy rush of two next-gen console launches, I really need to go back and catch up on some of the biggest titles that I missed out on over the course of this year. Why? Because it’s almost time to start dishing out those “Best of 2013″ awards!

I’ve put far more time into GTA Online than I have the single-player portion of GTAV, so I need to remedy that. And would you believe that I still haven’t touched BioShock Infinite yet? Then there’s major Nintendo titles like Super Mario 3D World and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds that have come in the last couple of weeks.

So, this weekend will no doubt be a lot of catch-up for me in preparation for picking the best of the best this year has had to offer us. Of course, I could certainly have far worse games to play.

One game that slipped past me—certainly not intentionally—back in September was The Wonderful 101. I know it wasn’t universally praised (our own Ray Carsillo liked it but didn’t love it), but I’ve never been disappointed by a Platinum game, and I’m hoping that trend continues. I’ve been fascinated by this game ever since I saw the Thunderbirds-style motif, and I’m looking forward to controlling 100 superheroes as they swarm the enemy hordes like so many Pikmin…though I’m sure the deaths won’t be quite as scarring here.

This weekend starts the long road to catching up with all of the autumn releases that inevitably pile up this time of year. I think I will start with a couple of downloadable games, the first episode of The Wolf Among us to get me ready for Episode One of the upcoming Walking Dead Season 2, and Contrast for the PS4.

I will also be getting my frag on with some Battlefield 4 action. I haven’t played much of the new shooters this season, and I really want to see what the power of the next-gen systems bring to the table.

Of course, I will be giving up some of my valuable game time this weekend to watch the annual VGA awards (now called VGX). While I’m bummed that Spike isn’t televising the whole event (a huge step backward I think), I’m still looking forward to seeing what surprises may be in store. My bets are on a next-gen adaption of Tomb Raider and the next Batman game from Rocksteady, the former based on rumors I hear swirling, the later on my own selfish wants. Regardless, it should be a fun show.

A new year is right around the corner, and therefore many of us here at EGM are in crunch mode, trying to play games we may have missed over the course of the past 340 days in preparation for our end-of-the-year awards. I begin planning for the end of the year as soon as the old one ends, though, so I’m one of the more fortunate editors here in the office. I only have one game left to play before feeling adequately prepared for the office brawl that ensues during our “discussions.” That one game is Battlefield 4. Thusly, this weekend shall be spent learning about “levelution” and using all manner of vehicles to rain death and destruction down on players online. I genuinely hope it’s been worth the wait.

Now that I’ve thoroughly exhausted all the high-profile next-gen games I was interested in, I’ve decided to give one of the PS4′s free-to-play titles, Warframe, a shot. What I played at E3 seemed like a decent amount of fun, and I’m hopeful that the progression system is approachable enough that I’ll always have a solid way to waste some time in between the PS4′s big releases. And, I mean, space ninjas. Pretty hard to mess up a premise like that.

Like Ray and Eric, I’ll be spending my weekend preparing for EGM’s Game of the Year discussion. This means sorting through the 2013 titles I missed out on and want to play and the ones that I missed out on that are, realistically, GOTY contenders. So, God of War: Ascension? Nope. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Maybe! Lost Planet 3? Maybe in an alt-dimension. Good narrative, though.

There are others, too, but honestly the only items on my list that have a shot at the top ten are Assassin’s Creed IV, Fire Emblem: Awakening, and Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Tired of grim settings and even grimmer characters, I think I’ll go for Ni No Kuni and enjoy something lighthearted—an adjective sorely lacking in most videogame descriptions.

After waiting weeks for the PlayStation 4 to release, I was robbed of my glorious Weekend Play entry last week by Thanksgiving, so it will have to be this week instead. Yes, that’s right, I finally got my PS4 and have been loving every minute of it. My time this weekend will be spent mainly with FIFA 14 as I attempt to work my way up the divisions and win division one.

The difference between the current- and next-gen versions is like night and day. Passing is smoother, players seem more intelligent, and the animations are first class. I also downloaded my free copy of Contrast, which I plan to get into this weekend after spending a few minutes with it earlier in the week. That little girl is so damn cute! The hidden TARDIS was also a nice touch, but I’m not going to tell you where it is.

Finally, I’ll be leveling my Hunter in World of Warcraft after biting the bullet and jumping back in. Curse Blizzard and their expansion hype train.

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