What Are You Playing Wednesday

A blue I Voted sticker with an American flag.

It is Wednesday and time for our usual roundup of questions:

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

 

My usual response has been hijacked by some very late night election watching. I have been incredibly focused on How Are You Voting Tuesday here in the US.

So, what have you all been playing lately?

 

About Gunthera1

Twitter name: Gunthera1
This entry was posted in Off-Topic and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to What Are You Playing Wednesday

  1. stille says:

    I’ve finished vanilla Morrowind (and there ain’t a stone in Vvardenfell I’ve left unturned) and am now playing its first expansion, Tribunal. Well, by playing I mean enduring the endless tunnels waiting for the story to get good – I’ve fallen in love with Elder Scrolls lore, but dear ghod the tunnels are repetitive and there’s no new books to tide me through them. Vanilla Morrowind had a rhythm through it, explore-find a dungeon-explore it-go back to the big world and explore some more, and this kept things varied. Tribunal is a very empty, very vast city with very empty, very vast tunnels underneath it. Ah well, crawl through enough tunnels and I get to meet Almalexia. And if Vivec has new conversation topics after Tribunal, I don’t mind all the tunnels in the world.

    • Ms. Sunlight says:

      Morrowind is so good. I replayed it earlier this year, and I just loved going back to a world with no quest markers, where you had to explore and follow directions and sometimes getting lost could be more rewarding than ending up where you planned to go.

      • Stille says:

        Heh, I really don’t mind quest markers since they just save me the time of opening up a map on another screen, but Morrowind can do awesome like nobody’s business. I remember crawling through the depths and the darkness of the first Dwemer ruin you get sent into, constantly jittery ‘cos who knows whether that sound is harmless machinery or a centurion sneaking up behind me and at this moment my character is highly crunchy and good with ketchup, and I went deeper and things got darker until I couldn’t see a thing and then the tunnel opened and there I was in front of the Dwemer version of the ruins of Petra and it was awesome. I also remember going in to fight Dagoth Ur, clad in a fortune in enchanted items, and levitating around Akulakhan taking a good damn look from every angle possible ‘cos anything Ur shot at me either didn’t affect me or got bounced right back at him, which was also awesome. I haven’t played that much Skyrim, but, while it’s a far prettier game, it does awesome the way it does its main theme – in-yer-face and boring the 10th time it happens. Plus it leans to the tell part of show-versus-tell, which keeps things not as interesting because you don’t have to figure them out and leads to silly moments like the jarl of Whiterun straight out telling you in public 1 day after meeting you that he’ll break whatever allegiances he owes to either the Empire or the Stormcloaks for the good of his people or this random lady stopping me on the street to commiserate about the plight of women in Skyrim and then tell me that if I work hard enough at it, I’ll get respect.

        • Stille says:

          Just finished Tribunal. Was worth all the corridors. And holy hell, I can see now why the Nerevarine fucked off to Akavir barely a few months after the story ended.

          • KA101 says:

            Hmm. I’ve thought the TES games sounded neat but wasn’t sure about the whole item-enchanting thing (as well as the hardware requirements). Any guidance?

            [I'd really rather not have to soul-trap someone every time I want to enchant something. Not sure if that's how enchantments work, or if I just misread the FAQs.]

            • Stille says:

              On the hardware reqs: while Skyrim might need a rather powerful pc, Morrowind is 10 years old so whatever you’ve got can probably run it. (I’ve played half an hour of Oblivion so can’t talk about that game much)

              On the item enchanting thing: if you want to custom enchant an item rather than relying on found loot, you need to use a soul. People of playable races can’t be soultrapped in Morrowind and (I think) require some special gameplay choices to soultrap in Skyrim, so the souls used for enchanting are either animal souls for more low-key enchantments or undead and daedric souls for stronger stuff. You can definitely finish Morrowind without doing any item enchanting at all, and presumably even without using enchanted items at all except for the 3 artifacts needed to defeat Dagoth Ur. Also, I’m really not sure if the most powerful artifacts are powered by souls at all, seeing how they’re usually associated with Aedra, Daedra and various other gods and also how you just can’t reproduce effects of that strength by regular soul-based enchanting, even if you kill one or more of the Tribunal gods and use their souls for the enchantment.

            • Ambermanna says:

              As Stille said, putting custom enchantments on items is totally optional. I only did once I got to a pretty high level and just wanted a nice convenient levitation item. I’m not sure if it’s the mechanics of doing so or the ethics that bother you, but you can easily only soul trap Daedra, who are immortal and don’t really care about spending a century or so in your magic boots before returning to their home dimension.

              Regarding system requirements, Morrowind vanilla is pretty old, but the MGSO mod(highly recommended) that updates the graphics can be seriously taxing. Luckily the options are easy to adjust to fit whatever you’re working with.

  2. Lassarina says:

    Me? I’m playing the “stumbling around blearily on 5 hours of sleep with an election hangover” game….oh wait. XD

    I’m *actually* still playing Final Fantasy Dimensions – in chapter 2, Castle Falgabard, hunting a Dark Knight job.

    And I have been working on Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, where I’ve solved about 45 puzzles (~1200 picarats) and I’m starting to settle in. One thing I really like is that instead of numbering the hidden puzzles upwards of about 115, they are numbered in line with the “story” puzzles you’d find at that point, so I have a much better idea of WHERE I’m missing puzzles from.

  3. Kimiko says:

    I’m still playing Star Ocean: First Departure (PSP). I’m having a lot of fun with this game, even though I started over halfway through. I did that because I made some unfortunate choices which prevented me from recruiting the characters I wanted. This second time I still lost Phia, but at least I have Mavelle, Welch and Pericci. Sorry Phia, I didn’t know you’d leave permanently when I rejected Ioshua. I didn’t get T’Nique even though I technically had room for him, but that’s okay since he has practically no backstory anyway.
    After some more Private Actions I think I’ll try the Metorx Mine again, then go complete the emblem quest and continue with the story.

    In other news, I said I’d buy a PSVita after I finished this game, but I just ended up preordering an oh so shiny blue one from Play-Asia (yay for region-free systems). Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward won’t be coming out in Europe until the 23rd (why can’t we ever get games at the same time as N-America?), so I just added that to my order. Gravity Rush and a memory card for the Vita I’ll buy locally.

    In more other news, the Steam For Linux beta just started. I wasn’t one of the selected few for it, but that doesn’t seem to matter if you start the thing from the command line. Hardly any games are available for Linux yet, but maybe the time when I can play along with all those Dragonage, Mass Effect, Guild Wars 2 and what have you fads isn’t too far away.
    Browsing the Steam store I felt very mainstream suddenly. There are so many popular titles o_o
    It also felt rather boys’ club. It looks as if most of those titles feature rugged space marines or similar characters x_x

    • lian says:

      …you know, you remind me I’ve always wanted to check out the Star Ocean games b/c of their shared lineage with Tales. Too few JRPGs with action battle systems! *makes a note*

    • feministgamer says:

      “It also felt rather boys’ club.”

      Yes, that’s how I feel every time I venture back into my Steam app. It makes me wonder how something like Magical Diary even made it on there. (Well, *everybody* is wondering how *anything* makes it on there.)

      • I can actually answer that one to some extent – the Rock Paper Shotgun review was a HUGE help. Press coverage and reprinted blog coverage is not meaningless, especially (and in some ways unfortunately) if it can be done with a real name attached. Some sites, like Wikipedia, will not consider anything reviewed without a name to be credible.

        Now that Greenlight exists, there is another route, but that has its own limits as every game is in direct competition with every other game. However, it does open the door for people with specific interests to find and promote small titles if they spend some time digging.

        I’d love to see some articles here doing overviews of IGF entrants and games in the Greenlight pool, at least those which are publicly available. There’s SO MUCH out there to look at, it’s overwhelming!

    • prezzey says:

      Take a look at my games on Steam (same username there), I have a lot of small offbeat indie games. :] The only mainstream games I buy on Steam are strategy titles, so I only get the very generic action games if they are in an indie bundle I’m buying for other reasons.

      I do play a lot of the mainstream dudebro stuff (hey, I like space marines!), but I tend to play them on Xbox360.

    • prezzey says:

      ….also, I have mixed feelings about the Linux app – I haven’t dared to give it a spin yet because the lack of Steam on Linux is sort of the only thing that keeps me productive and working!! LOL sweatdrop. I mean I totally want to have Steam under Linux because it will be a huge boon for Linux overall, I think… (and I hope more games will be ported to Linux and the quality of ports will improve overall) just not on MY Linux install? ^^;;

      A Linux-based Steam console/HTPC thing would also be great.

      Hmm maybe dual boot Linux/Linux for games/work? *plots*

    • Matt says:

      I haven’t logged into my Windows boot in weeks and this is the first time I’ve heard of Steam on Linux. O_O

      This can be… paradigm-changing for me. Possibly in a bad way. (esp. as someone who habitually leaves dozens of tabs and windows open for days or weeks and never does “work” at home anyway)

  4. Tablesaw says:

    I was playing a bunch of Flash DROD then wanted to not play puzzle games, so I started Mass Effect 2. Last night, I turned on NPR election coverage and turned down the music to start playing Stacking.

  5. lian says:

    Because the Backloggery has actually made me very good about finishing games unless I actively hate them, I am hacking away at Persona 3. I still find it an incredulously trite game with an almost despicable main character and an unappealing cynicism re. human relationships (never mind the constant, tired gender stereotypes and fatshaming) , but as it turns out, the Persona fusion and dungeon crawling parts are actually okay enough to keep me at it.

    • Kimiko says:

      If you don’t like the main character, maybe you should try Persona 3 Portable (PSP). In that version you can choose between a male and female main character. I’m not sure how much the other things change depending on that though, as I’ve only played the female one. I rather liked the social link stuff, but the ending could have been happier.

      • lian says:

        Hmm no it’s not that — although I admit I was disappointed that the protagonist wasn’t genderqueer (I naively couldn’t tell the gender until everyone started referencing the PC as “male”, and I liked the non-determindness better XD)

        It’s the gameplay principle of stone-cold opportunism wrt to relationships, really. Sure, if I was properly RPing I would just tell those people I don’t like to fuck off, but that’s beside the point — it’s that gameplay rewards an utter lack of character and principles. *shrugs* I find that repulsive, personally.

        • Nezumi says:

          Well, it does provide gameplay benefits with regard to relationships, which I suppose is opportunistic… but the idea that you present yourself differently to different people is not necessarily reprehensible — almost everyone does it to some degree, and it ties in with the Jungian psychology that’s inspired the series from the start. It’s an extreme example of Jung’s Persona theory of the self, and in that light, the implication is not that the protagonist is being “phony” in any of these cases, but rather has all these aspects within himself and brings them to the fore as appropriate.

          • lian says:

            I get what it’s trying to do, it just doesn’t work for me at all. This sort of stylizied psychologizing completely unmoored from any plausibility [which, granted, is a JRPG staple, minus the "stylized"], coupled with a blank-slate spineless protagonist is just not my cup of tea. I’m not sure if it’s the presentation that contributes to this, but I find virtually all the relationships presented meaningless. (And I don’t actually have any high ground wrt to taste or anything — I mean, I’m a Tales fan.)

            Sigh. Sorry to be such a squee-harsher! I really wanted to like this game, but it just bewilders me with its triteness ;_; *shakes angry tiny fist*

            But I’m at the top of the fifth block! I’ll make it throuuuugh….somehow.

        • Alex says:

          Interesting. I read it kind of the opposite way, that building close relationships with people makes you a stronger person. But, I found most of the characters’ stories interesting in and of themselves (I actually liked that part of the game and hated the dungeon crawling! Haha).

  6. feministgamer says:

    I caved in an subscribed to SWTOR again just to compare to Guild Wars (and they’re giving subscribers a ton of bonuses for the Free-to-play launch). And yep. Within a few minutes I was running a group flashpoint with three other awesome people and had a blast, even though I was re-learning my old character. I have yet to find such ease of company with Guild Wars, which as I said last week is mostly a silent and solo affair if you’re not already playing with friends (and last time I did that in GW1, I died in a quest and my friends all left me because they couldn’t res me… wasn’t fun.)

    The PvP environment has changed, though. :\ I think PvP is fun, I don’t play to get the best gear or whatever hardcore people do it for. It’s fun for me. It’s a game. But I get told to quit the match, before it even starts so you can see how good I actually am? My PvP score is zero because that’s a new thing and I haven’t played in a while! I kicked ass and took names before. But my female toon walks into the lobby and GTFO. Way to suck the fun out it completely.

    • menunu says:

      How is SWTOR going? I used to play a lot, but the end game was so boring! I’ve still been playing WoW (Our guild is 5/6 Mogu’shan vaults 25s) and having fun, though part of me misses the feel of SWTOR. I got an email saying that I would get free “caravan tokens” if I resubbed for F2P, and I’m considering it. I had a level capped sorcerer, but I think I’d like to continue trying out my Imperial Agent, and some of the Republic characters. I absolutely hated PVP and the generic-ness of it though! :(

      • feministgamer says:

        You’re still capped at 50, so if you don’t have a guild, there isn’t much to do. I did join a guild and I had fun on a 16-man operation last night. They did add a new daily zone called the Black Hole on Corellia, but uh … it’s still just another daily zone. Nothing incredibly new. I, too, was intrigued by the caravan tokens, but I had been tempted to re-subscribe for a while now anyway.

    • Chelsea says:

      Interesting! I struggled with SWTOR since its launch and finally abandoned ship after they announced that it was going F2P. I’m playing GW2 now, and actually have had a fairly easy time meeting and partying up with strangers. To me, the most stark contrast is how well-managed the GW2 launch has been, with regular injections of new content and events, and the recent map expansion for level-capped characters. Bugs and technical issues are promptly addressed, and the player support is just miles ahead of what I experienced with SWTOR. I guess what made me leave SWTOR was that I wasn’t seeing the level of support and upkeep I’d expect for a game receiving regular cash injections. GW2 has no monthly fee and yet AreaNet seems to be more on the ball.

      I’m sorry that you’ve had a poor experience with PvP in SWTOR. Sadly, people will judge you by your gear since having high level PvP gear gives you a big advantage. I did not expecially enjoy PvP past level 50. As a Republic player, there were also serious balance issues in both regular and Open World PvP (since Imperial players outnumber Republic on all servers) and the fact that content updates and even social engagement (such as the Guild Spotlight) seemed to be all about the Empire.

      • feministgamer says:

        You have a point there. GW has by far exceeded in themed seasonal content. It’s sort of hard to do something like that for Star Wars, I guess, without reverting into the horror that was the Holiday Special.

        • Chelsea says:

          Agreed. SWTOR has a much more difficult task with creating special events that are thematically appropriate. Personally, I liked the Rakghoul plague event and would like to see that sort of thing happen more often.

    • Ms. Sunlight says:

      I’m a SWTOR subscriber (send a message to Carilie or Dras’yra if you’re on The Red Eclipse!) and enjoy the game a great deal. I do agree that level 50 PVP can be pretty unforgiving until you grind to get at least some Battlemaster gear, but 10-49 PVP is still a lot of fun and new level 50s get a free set of Recruit Mk-2 PVP gear since the last patch which helps a lot. Roll an alt!

      There are some great guilds on SWTOR. The right guild makes all the difference. There are server-specific forums on swtor.com now if you’re looking for one. I find the game much friendlier than GW2, which is why I stopped playing the latter.

  7. Negative Kat says:

    Haven’t played much this week, but I finally got my GW2 engineer to level 50! And it only took…since launch day. Oh, well.

    I found a JoyToKey profile for Beyond Good and Evil, so thankfully I can use a 360 controller now instead of killing my wrists with the keyboard and mouse. It’s a little awkward, since there’s no analog, but it’s so much more comfortable to play now. Really the only problem I’ve run into is that the hovercraft is incredibly hard to steer this way. It’s like strapping a rocket to a pig wearing ice-skates.

    Actually, that sounds like the sort of thing Pey’j would do.

  8. prezzey says:

    Finished XCOM on Classic, started a Normal Ironman playthrough, but I’m also playing a bunch of things on the side. Played through Home the other day (it was interesting, but not spectacular – alas, since the gameplay reflects player choices, I guess I can only blame myself for the rather incoherent plot!). Just started the third Blackwell game – the graphics keep getting better, this is very nice to see even though I’m primarily playing them for the storyline.

    I don’t really have much time right now, so it can take me days to finish a 2-hr game :[

  9. Timmy_Mac614 says:

    Making progress in Borderlands.

    Last night, I played the game called 270 to the White House. I am proud Obama gets to continue. Plus, I get to be a bridesmaid in several queer weddings now that Maine and Maryland allow for same-sex marriage. I am hoping Minnesota and Washington follow suit. This is truly a historic movement in the queer movement.

  10. Ike says:

    I played some more Rayman Origins on PS3, but overall I haven’t been playing as many games as I’d like. Right now I’m playing “refresh the flight status screen and hope my flight home hasn’t been canceled”.

  11. Matt says:

    An inordinate amount of Brutal Doom online.

    Found myself making way too many mental analogies to the election, especially what with the colour schemes depending on who supposedly built a particular place.

    Offline, I almost always load the mutator where the Doomguy’s “Fuck yourself!” taunt is the one taken from Danny Glover’s line in Predator 2, the way the mod was in the earlier versions. Why? Because how often do you get to play a black Doomguy…

  12. GarrickW says:

    I’m playing quite a bit of Torchlight II, and some Saints Row The Third (being able to play as a woman, and having such a comparatively wide selection of body types, is pretty cool). Torchlight II is quite a bit of fun, even moreso than its predecessor; it’s a mindless kind of fun, though, so I can play it while talking to someone else or for ten minutes in between doing other things. Also, the tiny inventories you need to manage annoys me – even the in-town stash is miniscule, which baffles me. I understand having the character inventory limited, but why make the stash so small?

    I also got both Left 4 Dead games in a recent sale, but I haven’t had time to sit down and really play them yet, and I’ve already got the feeling from the way the experience is structured that it’s meant primarily as a co-op experience, rather than a single-player one.

    • Kimiko says:

      The inventory is still so small? I thought they’d fix that for sure in the sequel.
      It was the most annoying thing about Torchlight, having to use a town portal every three rooms to get rid of all the junk so I could pick up items again. Not being able to use those portals in mini dungeons was the second most annoying for the same reason.

    • Korva says:

      Enjoy the zombie shooting! I like L4D2 a lot more than I ever thought I would, seeing as how I don’t normally play FPS at all. It is fun solo, though playing with friends is even better. The chatty and mostly quite competent AI survivors mean I never really feel lonely — in fact, I find myself talking out loud to them as if they could hear me. :p (I do that frequently in games, but never as much as in this one.)

    • Cuppycake says:

      Having your dog/pet being able to hold things was a huge help though. :)

    • Merrypetal says:

      I’ve been hearing quite a bit about Saints Row 3 and wondered if this game can be played as a standalone game, or is there a storyline that it follows and wondered what you would recommend.

  13. Chris Hill says:

    Oddly, I’ve been picking up Kingdoms of Amalur for the first time in six months. I honestly just fired it up to see whether I wanted to delete it off the hard drive or not, and then got sucked in more than I did when it first came out. Obviously a mood thing…

  14. Nezumi says:

    I’ve been playing various things. Some Champions Online, some WoW (less than I was before though), some Harvest Moon: A New Beginning, and quite a bit of Diablo III. First starter, then bought it yesterday. Thus, pigeons.

    • Nezumi says:

      That said, I’m a little annoyed with Diablo III — it has a problematic handling of mental illness, but it sadly tends to go with the territory it covers. I also question why the Monk is white when the character is so blatantly Asian-influenced, making the only non-white PC the Witch Doctor. Then again, given how it’s basically a Wuxia character rather than anything deeper, I’m not certain being Asian would be an improvement. The Witch Doctor isn’t as bad as I was expecting, though, thankfully.

      What most annoys me is not any discrimination, though, but just some sloppiness from Blizzard. I bought the digital version, and it needs to be “verified” before you can access all the full features of the full version. I got an email roughly 6 and a half hours ago saying it was verified, but as of last time I logged in about an hour ago, I still didn’t have access to full functionality. There’s literally no reason this discrepancy should even be possible if their system for this is properly coded.

    • Nezumi says:

      Oh! I forgot something kind of faily about the new Harvest Moon, as well. Although your character is now customizable, the gender/sex indicator icon on the save file and the map indicator icon for your location are both based on the default appearance for your sex… so my pink-haired deeply-tanned-if-not-outright-POC farmgirl is represented by a lily-white blonde. Which is fun.

  15. Cuppycake says:

    I’m slacking on games, because I’ve been spending a bit more time in Second Life lately. I’m blogging screenshots about it over here:

    http://cuppyinsl.tumblr.com

    In case anyone is interested. I might write some articles here about my experiences in the world just because there are some truly interesting concepts in SL that fascinate me.

  16. KA101 says:

    I was tied up playing Canvasser for a while IRL.

    Now that the US Presidency is secure, fixing the separation between Church (of the New Epoch) and State in Syndicate Wars. Did a bit of Transcendence and will keep things moving in LCS.

  17. Alex says:

    I started AC3, but I haven’t been playing much since I started working on a new game!! It’s kind of weird but I’m really excited about it!

Comments are closed.