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Weekend Play: G’bye, 2013

Posted on December 20, 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.

For the next few months, leading up to the launch of Titanfall on the Xbox One and inFamous: Second Son on the PlayStation 4, the EGM Crew will be attempting to play some of the very best PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii games they never got around to and chronicling their adventures here. So join us, if you will, on exploring Last Gen’s Best and share your own progress in the comments section.

This week, I brought in a copy of a game from my personal library that Chris wanted to borrow. He—and his office roomie Josh—commented on the fact that the game was still in its original shrink-wrap.

The thing is, that’s not uncommon in my home. At least a third of the games that I own have never been opened, and I wouldn’t be shocked if that percentage was actually closer to half. Sales, special bargains, worry about a particular title going out of print—whatever it is, I snagged the games at some point, and then refuse to open them until the day comes for me to play them. Unfortunately, more and more, that day never comes. I play games for work, but those I buy out of personal interest sit unloved and unplayed.

Thus, the problem with getting into what I want to get caught up on comes down to having too much to pick from. Even before I get to the games of this generation, I still have PS2 games to get to! There are some titles that I really, finally do need to get to, thought. Games like Red Dead Redemption and Folklore, 3D Dot Game Heroes and Binary Domain. I want to actually play the single-player portion of Uncharted 3—I’ve only touched multiplayer so far—and  I shamefully got 90% of the way through Mirror’s Edge and then stopped.

So, over the holiday break, I’ll have a lot of great gaming to catch up on. Well, either that, or I’ll just sit there paralyzed mentally the entire time, vast stacks of games sitting before me, and I having not one clue where to start.

BioShock Infinite may have been my personal Game of the Year, but I haven’t had the time to check out Burial at Sea just yet—work and life keep interfering with my plans. Thankfully, the upcoming Yuletide break will allow me to check out a few games I missed over the course of the year, and Burial at Sea is probably at the top of that list. Even though it’s gotten mixed reviews, I’m always excited to check out the latest bizarre creation that’s sprung from the mind of Ken Levine.

My first week into playing games to catch up was, in some respects, a failure. I put a measly three games on my list – Remember Me, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, and Blue Dragon, and didn’t manage to touch one of them. This was, in large part, because I received a copy of the Baldur’s Gate II Enhanced Edition.

Back when the Baldur’s Gate games came out, I wasn’t doing much gaming on PC. For role-playing, I always turned to JRPGs anyway, and games actually based on Dungeons & Dragons didn’t particularly interest me. Therefore, when I received the Enhanced Edition, I decided to give it a whirl. I must say it’s a good thing I never tried to play it during a busy time of year, as I would have either forgotten my real responsibilities or would have driven myself crazy trying to sneak in an hour here and an hour there to play.

The game is outstanding. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a legendary RPG to tackle.

I still intend to play through my three previously mentioned games, as well as three others I decided to add to my list: Gone Home, Papers Please, and Torchlight II. The first two I have heard great things about and really want to try. The last one is just to keep me busy until the Diablo III expansion hits in March.

I don’t know that I will get all the way through all of these games over the next couple of weeks, but I intend to make a serious dent.

I have over 500 games from the last gen in my collection, and I’ve beaten them all unless they were unforgivably broken (I’m looking at you TMNT: Out of the Shadows). Therefore, I really don’t feel like there was anything I missed since I’ve already played everything that would interest me. So, this weekend will be spent with Assassin’s Creed IV’sFreedom” Cry DLC, since it’s really all I have left at this point beyond sports games or going back to destroying people online with Cyborg in Injustice. Maybe if I’m feeling like getting yelled at by a 10-year-old, I’ll go play some Call of Duty: Ghosts online. Otherwise, everything that was “must play” for me is in the “been there, done that” pile.

This weekend, I’ll be playing…more Demon’s Souls. Hey, I know it’s not the most exciting thing in the world for me to keep playing the same game I played on the last installment of Weekend Play, but you guys didn’t honestly expect me to beat one of the most notoriously punishing games of last generation in a week, did you? I’ve only made baby steps so far—I’ve finally beaten Boletarian Palace after getting a hang of the mechanics—but I can definitely. Still, it’s quite a stressful game, and I’m having a tough time marathoning through like I do most of the time. Hopefully the holiday break will give me time to roll through at a leisurely pace and I’ll be done when next we meet.

I am sad to report that I have more than a few very embarrassing missed gaming connections from the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii generation. Dark Souls is on the last, as is inFamous 2, Catherine, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Braid, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption, Fallout: New Vegas. L.A. Noire, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

In preparation for XCOM (I’ll be playing Enemy Within, but same diff—just more), and because it’s something more immediate that I missed out on at launch, I’ll be playing Fire Emblem: Awakening this weekend. Had anyone told me how much like Shining Force it was I’d probably have leapt at it sooner. I’m only a few missions in but already my Shining Force itch is being scratched in all the right ways.

I also feel like getting lost in a big world this weekend, so I think I’ll be booting up Skyrim at some point as well. A digital copy of the latest Elder Scrolls game was included with my Xbox 360 slim purchase at the start of this year (old white model finally red-ringed on me), and little of it I played back in January, but it failed to sink its claws in me the same way Fallout 3 did. Still, I need something to tide me over until Fallout 4.

There’s also some Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer on Xbox One in my future as Titanfall training and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood to review. Xbox gamertag is thesearingstar if ya’ll want to join me for some Ghosts.

Continuing with the trend of catching up with “last gen’s” classics—still sounds so weird—I’ll be plunging into the depths of Dark Souls, a game I’ve tried my best to avoid, as getting repeatedly killed doesn’t sound like my idea of fun. So this weekend I’ll be arming myself with a lot of snacks and tissues—for the tears I’ll no doubt be crying after an hour—as I brave the game’s unforgiving, and practically unfair, world. Whether I’ll come out the other side with my insanity intact remains to be seen, but if I don’t make it, I just want you to know that I love you all.

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