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Weekend Play: TowerFallin’ to Yoshi’s New Island

Posted on March 7, 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.


Given we’re days away from its official release date, I suppose there’s no harm in revealing what I’ll be playing this weekend: Dark Souls II. Yes, I’m playing it! The sequel to one of my favorite games of the PS3/360/Wii generation!

And now, let me reveal some spoilers about the game. You ready?

There are monsters. A lot of them. Some of them are pretty mean. They enjoy killing you. Really, the game as a whole enjoys killing you. You’ll explore a bunch of depressing, dark, and decaying places. You’ll find new weapons and armor. There are people who say weird things to you, and who you never know if you can trust or not. You’re cursed in some way. The living (and Hollow) trade the souls of the dead like currency.

I know, I know—I’ve ruined the whole game for you at this point. You should still pick it up on Tuesday and somehow force yourself to play through it anyway.

Unlike the rest of the EGM Crew, I’m not so into Kongs with attitude, so I haven’t really warmed to Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. I am, however, very much into pseudo-dinosaurs with protruding tongues, so I’m excited to try out Yoshi’s New Island on the 3DS. The original was one of my favorite SNES platformers, and while I’m a little wary of Nintendo outsourcing this one to Arzest, a relatively untested developer, the guiding hand of Takashi Tezuka, the original director, should hopefully result in a game worthy of the name.

As I impatiently await the release of Titanfall on the 11th, I will continue to try and distract myself with a couple of other new releases.

I have been waiting for slight lull to give Castlevania: Lord of Shadows 2 a try. I’m intrigued by the chance to play as Dracula, something I’ve long wanted to do. I really enjoyed the God of War-esque gameplay with the original, and while the series doesn’t really adhere to the traditional Castlevania tenets that made the best entries (like Symphony of the Night), the first Lords of Shadow still provided some great moments.

I also plan on getting some quality time with my 3DS and Yoshi’s New Island. The Yoshi’s Island series has always taken a backseat to the rest of the Mario games. While I agree that they cannot hold up to games like Super Mario 3D World, the Yoshi games still provide some great platforming action. As long as Baby Mario doesn’t cry too loudly, I think Yoshi’s New Island can be a great romp.

I remember playing Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island in my pre-teen SNES days still very vividly. There were so many secrets and hidden paths across the colorful and elaborately designed worlds that I’d often spend hours on single stages, wrenching every last drop of replayabilitiy from them. I’m curious to see how much Yoshi’s New Island for the 3DS mirrors those retro designs and what new elements are included here. The giant eggs I’ve seen in previews are a curious component that I look forward to trying out for the first time this weekend.

Remember when I said I’d give my Xbox One a little love last weekend with Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare? I lied.

Rather than sit here and make excuse, I’m just going to assume I have a subconscious bias against the Xbox One and save commenters the trouble. I am teh bias. Maybe next weekend, with the glory of Titanfall descended from the heavens like so many two-story robo-suits, I’ll finally be able to overcome my console racism and give MS a little of my time.

In the meantime, though, I’m going to fanboy it up by putting some time with Sony’s big March 11 exclusive, TowerFall: Ascension. I didn’t get terribly much time with couch co-op in my younger days, so it’s been great going head-to-head with the guys at the office. I look forward to subjecting Chris to the continued domination of the almighty orange god, Turncoat Soldier. Suck it, Chris.

I may be stuck waiting until Tuesday to play more Titanfall, but at least I can still spend my weekend playing a nine-letter word that starts with “T” and ends with “fall”—Matt Thorson’s TowerFall, a delightfully addictive 2D arena battler the entire Crew has been hooked on for the past few days. If you caught our livestream earlier today, all the excited  whoops and cries of disbelief when things got heated surely communicated just how fun this pixelated party game is. No doubt Josh and I will be torturing ourselves for hours on end this weekend trying to best the wave-based challenges of Quest mode.

The rest of my time will be spent revisiting Spira in Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD Remaster, because somehow I’ve become the go-to guy for Final Fantasy reviews here at EGM despite my waning interest in JRPGs. I mean, I want to like them, they just keep getting crazier and crazier than what I remember from my youth. At least X and X-2 are tame in comparison to, say, Lightning Returns, and unlike Lightning Returns still retain enough classic Final Fantasy sensibilities that I remember really enjoying them. Hopefully I’ll have the same experience a decade-plus later.

I’m heading down to South Park to meet some friends of mine this weekend with South Park: The Stick of Truth. Having already clocked in a few hours with the game, I can safely say that it’s the best South Park game ever made—though I realize that’s not hard. To avoid spoilers I won’t go into the story, but I can assure you that all of your favorite characters will make an appearance in some form or another.

In terms of gameplay, it’s just your run-of-the-mill turn-based RPG, but the attacks and abilities are more than fun enough to keep you occupied during some of those longer fights.

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