What Are You Playing Wednesday

Maya from Borderlands 2; the Siren playable character. A woman with short blue hair and blue tattoos.

Maya from Borderlands 2; the Siren playable character. A woman with short blue hair and blue tattoos.

It is time for our regularly scheduled mid week questions:

  • What games have you been playing lately?
  • Are there any you would recommend to other Border House readers?
  • Are there games that have you ranting or raving?
  • Are there any games that you played and want to see covered on the site?

I had anticipated finishing Gravity Rush this past weekend but instead got in very little time with my Vita. I did start Assassin’s Creed III, however, thanks to an early holiday present from a friend. I also started some Borderlands 2 during my cooperative gaming night with friends.

So what have you all been playing?

About Gunthera1

Twitter name: Gunthera1
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34 Responses to What Are You Playing Wednesday

  1. Llamaentity says:

    Lots and lots of Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward. Having lots of fun with it still. Getting close-ish to the “true ending”… going to be sad when I’m done with it :’c (though excited to play more Gravity Rush)

    Otherwise, some Skylanders with Ike! And I started playing Journey. Lastly, some Guardians of Middle Earth with my brother :P

  2. thecrito says:

    Mechwarrior Online with Teamspeak. A little bit of freemium payment goes a long way. I have yet to come across a female player on the public Teamspeak channels. It doesn’t sound like Xbox Live’s level of epithets, though, probably because you don’t chat with your opponents, rather with people on your team. No twitch reflexes required, either.

    Has anyone played Far Cry 3 to comment on it from a cultural-theory perspective? I need to figure out whether to ask for it for Christmas.

  3. Kimiko says:

    My first experience with Gravity Rush scared me a little, so I spent some time looking for other games to play on my Vita.

    I got Myst (PSP), which is indeed mystifying, as there are hardly any clues as to what to do to make the game more fun than just randomly ‘wandering’ around. The interface isn’t exactly up to standards either with no inventory or notebook. Maybe I’ll give it another try, not sure yet.

    I also got SunFlowers (Vita), which is obviously a port of a mobile phone game, but it’s entertaining.

    I also played some of flOw (PSP) again. It would be great if ThatGameCompany’s other games, Flower and Journey would be ported to the Vita. They told me the PSP wasn’t powerful enough when I asked about Flower some years ago, but the Vita was advertised at launch as being almost as powerful as the PS3, so who knows.

    I gave Gravity Rush a second chance too, but I’m not sure it’s the game for me without an easy mode. I liked exploring the city on foot well enough, but anything in a third dimension is a matter of “turn off gravity, slowly aim for wherever I need to go, fall there, miss, repeat, until either I hit the target or the energy runs out and I plummet into the void”. Not really a playing style that lends itself to battles, let alone versus moving targets. I wish at least the camera were automatic so I’d have one control less to confuse me.

    Are there any other games on the Vita that you would recommend? Ragnarok Odyssey (Vita) still isn’t out in Europe yet, and Phantasy Star Portable 2 (PSP) for some reason can’t be installed on a Vita.

    • Gunthera1 says:

      I really love SunFlowers. It is such a fun game!

    • Patches says:

      I was the same way with Gravity Rush at the start. It gets easier as you gain Energy and familiarity. But it’s not the easiest.

    • Negative Kat says:

      Myst is a strange little game, and hasn’t really aged well. I don’t know how far you got before you set it down, but iirc the observatory walls should give you the clues you need to get to each Age entrance that the observatory aperture can point at. I played through it one weekend back in 2001, and I remember having to jot notes down on an actual notepad, so…yeah. It’s old and obtuse and I don’t blame folks for not enjoying it.

  4. Korva says:

    More Dungeons of Dredmor for me. I’m still in love with Charge of the Steam Brigade, if only the cooldown was a bit shorter. Had a couple more close calls against named monsters. Tanky melee character or no, those evil chests in particular sometimes spawn nasties that can easily take off 20+ health in one hit. My stubborn “I bet I can kill you before you can kill me!” mindset is not very healthy in a roguelike (especially when I don’t have a single healing potion to my name).

    I also bought Don’t Starve and Orcs Must Die! 2 since they were on sale. I’m not impressed to say the least with the sorceress design so OMD!2 is a bit of a guilty buy, but I enjoyed the first game so much gameplay-wise. Don’t Starve is for my survival-game itch, and it sure fits the bill. I died once to hounds and once, very stupidly, to bees. Life #3 is going well. It’s fun so far and I look forward to seeing what else they’ll add since it’s still a beta.

  5. Nefa says:

    100% Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (Xbox) which now means I can get another Lego game to work on (LOTR).

    Been playing a combination of Lightfish, Critter Crunch, Civ 5 on steam. Lightfish is awesome because it is basically a fish-themed Qix, where Critter Crunch is a play on the ‘match 3′ puzzle game.

    I’ve still been active in Guild Wars 2 as well. Looking forward to the Wintersday decorations. The first Guild Wars had amazing stuff, and the previews for the GW2 event looks like they’re maintaining that level of design.

  6. Patches says:

    Ahhh!!! @Gunthera too bad you’re probably playing Borderlands on PS3! I have it on Xbox and probably need to get back to it, so that my roommate and I can end-game. ^^;

    MEANWHILE, I continue to play LoL like it’s crack (I do that with new games) while my copy of Dishonored weeps silent tears in the living room. While the game itself is fun, I find the amount of griefing annoying given the time investment per game. That said, when I play with friends it’s an amazing experience.

    • Gunthera1 says:

      Actually, I am playing Borderlands 2 on the Xbox because one of the members in my cooperative gaming group only has xbox or PC. For the original Borderlands, I played it on PC.

      Does Dishonored have multiplayer? I thought it was a single player game.

  7. Timmy_Mac614 says:

    I introduced my friends to PlayStation All-Stars this weekend. Work is crazy so not much time for gameplay.

  8. Merrypetal says:

    Just played the Leviathan DLC for Mass Effect 3, and now about half way through the Omega DLC. Leviathan was … WOW! I don’t want to give any spoilers, but where was this part of the story before? Sigh. If you have not played Leviathan yet I recommend it. I was not going to play the ME3 DLC’s … felt I was done with ME … but I’m so glad I changed my mind. Everything about why I love ME came flooding back. After just beating Hitman: Absolution and a sour aftertaste of some of the troubling tropes of NPC’s; it was immensely uplifting to get back to Mass Effect. Otherwise, still enjoying Borderlands 2 co-op with hubs and we are limping through Hunted: The Demons Forge, its super klunky!

    • Momiji says:

      Glad to see more people enjoying the ME3 DLC. I enjoyed From Ashes, Leviathan and Omega a lot, and it looks like the next one has a lot of writers working on it so hopefully it has a lot of dialogue. *fingers crossed*

  9. Lassarina says:

    I’ve been on a roll this week; I beat (and completed) Dust: An Elysian Tail on XBLA, which is a side-scrolling 2D beat-em-up that is gorgeously animated (think Odin Sphere or Muramasa: The Demon Blade; if you enjoyed those you’ll probably love this one.) I loved it; the game was incredibly well-designed and relatively bug-free, although if you are like me and you try to scroll through dialogue really fast (because my reading speed is very quick), you may bug out certain conversations and have to “skip” the rest of the scene to un-bug it. That was frustrating, but could be averted if I were more patient.

    Your flying companion, Fidget, is positively adorable (and if you’ve played LUNAR, she’ll remind you of Nall, which is great in my opinion.) I played on Casual and the game was incredibly friendly to newbies (perhaps a little too friendly! I may try again on Normal). Also, the map is fantastically designed — as in many action games, you’ll hit areas early on that you can’t access yet because you don’t have The Shiny Power, but the game marks every screen in which you are missing a treasure with a big circle (that becomes a small dot once you’ve found all the treasures), so it’s fairly easy to 100%. Or 120%, as the case may be.

    I also beat Hexyz Force on PSP, in Cecilia’s story. Overall I would grade it a solid B; it’s a JRPG that wears its tropes fairly well, is easy enough to play, has a decent system and acceptable writing, but isn’t really exceptional in any way. Right near the end it suddenly stumbled on a pile of tropes that will without fail garner my undivided attention (otherwise good and honorable person is mind-controlled into doing bad things, then tries to atone for said things), which definitely raised the game a bit in my estimation, but it was worth playing in any event.

    I spent the entire weekend frantically playing Glitch before it shut down; I will freely admit I cried when they played Good Night Groddle for the last time and kicked us all out. I’m not sure I’ll ever find that kind of community in a game again, and it makes me so sad.

    To deal with the absence of Glitch, I went on a rampage and beat Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask on 3DS. I found all 135 main-game puzzles (without a guide!) and beat them. Now I’m conquering the Challenges. I really like some of the technical changes they made in this iteration (numbering all the puzzles in order so that it’s very apparent when you’ve missed one; the magnifying glass to get a vague idea of what you can poke at instead of randomly stabbing the screen with the stylus and hoping to land on something useful), but I found the plot a little less clever than usual and possessed of the same tricks these games always use, which is a bit tiring. I am also REALLY displeased that there were puzzles that require real-time thinking/reaction. Part of why I play Layton games is that I really enjoy having the time to think through my answers.

    Next up is finishing Chrono Cross, I think.

  10. Matt says:

    Finally played a bit of Kairo on my Windows boot. Was disappointed and am kicking myself for not trying the demo before losing the equivalent to a bus ride out to town and back and a coffee and banana bread.

    Sound and art were what they were promised, although the featureless background was a bit disorienting.

    Protip: Just because your game does not involve shooting things until they die does not mean that laggy, awkward controls are suddenly okay D:< I gave up after the fifth time I was unable to turn around on a series of platforms and bridges and fell off after skidding out of control… starting to think I could get equal or better gameplay playing Hexen with -nomonsters and a nice atmospheric soundtrack.

    On that note… Brutal Hexen, Hexercise and Wolfen have significantly improved my experience of that latter game!

  11. Seagloom says:

    Still playing Guild Wars 2. It’s been my most frequently played game to the detriment of everything else since early October at least. Also played a bit of The Walking Dead. Almost done with that game, finally; and it’s been an interesting ride to the say the least. I’m looking forward to putting a dent in my backlog over the Christmas break. :)

  12. Jesse says:

    - Just finished Gemini Rue, which I really enjoyed a lot. The story is great, the characters are cool, I highly recommend it for people looking for a slow casual experience with good plot.
    – I also finished Sequence, which was a lot of fun and a really good rhythm game but the story line was…bizarre, often amusing, sometimes confusing (in a ‘why did they write that’ kinda way). I liked it a lot though.
    – I’m playing Alan Wake which is scaring me so much it’s hard to really sit down and play for a while. Horror games absorb me wayyy too much.
    – finally started a new Skyrim character after not playing since i beat it a yearish ago.
    – also started playing around on Dungeon Defenders again which is fun but full of too many young kids

    i’m really looking forward to the steam holiday sale even though i’m still working through most of the games i bought last year heh

    • Nefa says:

      I’ve played through Sequence as well. Really enjoyed the rhythm part of the game; it’s probably my favourite in that whole genre. I’ve read many complaints over the cutscenes/dialogue, but I didn’t really mind it. I’ll agree that some of the story writing was kinda weird. I think they may be doing a sequel? I haven’t looked too hard into that though.

      I haven’t played Dungeon Defenders in ages. When I did play it was mostly just with my one friend. We stopped prior to the deluge of DLC content packs (and the aspect of having to do fairly substantial grinding to get anywhere). Kinda disappointed in the way they took that game.

      • Jesse says:

        yea i mean…usually i’d be offended by some of the cut scene dialogue but it was really just….weird. It was like it was re-translated 3 times or something except instead of being translated in languages it was translated through styles of humor or something heh. It is a fantastic rhythm game though…I’m still trying to finish my achievs on it…the very last spell scroll is paaaaaaain

        • Nefa says:

          Yeah, that one took me a few tries to get. The hardest part of the game really – and partly overcoming my own nerves. Not paying attention to the timer/counters was the only way I could focus more solidly on the notes.

    • Momiji says:

      I love Alan Wake! Its so creepy! For extra effect, try playing in the middle of the night while being home alone, with all lights off. I guarantee you won’t get any sleep after that. I maaay have done that the first time I played it… (^_^;)

  13. Brinstar says:

    I’ve mostly been playing Lumines: Electronic Symphony for the Vita. Awesome game. Love the Lumines series, and I LOVE my Vita.

    • Llamaentity says:

      I love the Lumines games, too. Great way to spend pretty much any length of spare time! I’ve been really eager to get it for the Vita, but haven’t been able to yet (local store was out of copies). Definitely my next purchase, though ^.^

  14. eloquate says:

    My import of Final Fantasy XII: International finally arrived after a resigned nine weeks in transit. I’m dipping into this as time allows and having quite a bit of fun. It’s a very charming game.

    The addition of the fixed roles to the License Board is simultaneously great and terrible. I keep having to stop myself from rolling back my saves just to try some of the other options for a couple of hours… I’ll never finish!

  15. Jean-Paul says:

    I’ve been playing Street fighter 3 Online on xbox 360. While it’s cool to finally play humans other than my brother at the game, getting negative and insulting messages from people for not playing ‘properly’ (meaning I’ve not been playing it competitively for the last 13 years) has soured the experience somewhat. I think I’m just too thin-skinned for online gaming. Plus, everyone seems to go Ryu, Ken and Akuma, which is dullsville. Bah!

    That said, I’ve been playing Soul Calibur V online as well, and the community for that seems much friendlier, with a variety of skill levels, so while I don’t enjoy the game as much as Street fighter 3, the online experience is infinitely superior.

  16. Momiji says:

    I’ve been playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution a lot this week and I’m pretty close to the end. I’m so torn about this game! On one hand, it has a very solid world build and a backdrop that touches on a lot of interesting ethical questions raised concerning both the society and the fate of the main character. I also felt that there was a better representaton of men/women/poc than I initially expected.

    On the other hand the story is leaning too heavily on clichés! I have yet to be chocked or even mildly surprised by any twist the story has thrown at me. With all the seemingly infinite story choices possible, why chose to make such obvious storylines that can be seen miles away by anyone who ever read a Sci-Fi or cyberpunk novel?

    Also, the gameplay is severely hindered by the horribly designed boss fights and a certain infamous “story choice” halfway through the game that a lot later pretty much makes a player doing a non-lethal/stealth playthrough unable to complete a boss fight. That almost destroyed my gaming experience and I’m now unsure whether I will actually bother trying to complete the game at all.

    I also find the default in-game motivation for Adam Jensen to be very lazy and underwritten. Come on, game, if I’m supposed to be motivated by the mouldy “dead girlfriend” cliché, then at least make an effort to make me care about her. Other games can do it, so why aren’t you even trying? No flashbacks, no old letters, no nothing. :/

    On the other hand, I really love some of the NPC’s in the game, like Malik, Pritchard and Sarif. At least they are well-written. But there’s so much wasted potential in this game that it actually makes my inner writer quite angry.

  17. Alex says:

    I’ve been getting back into Skyrim this week, doing Thieves Guild and Bard College quests. My combat strategy is still Two-Handed Firebolt All The Things, but that REALLY didn’t work against Necromancers -.-;;; I just did the Thieves Guild quest where you sneak into the museum and that was really fun, even though I am terrible at stealth. I used Muffle + Invisibility potion a lot, lol.

    • Laurentius says:

      Very interesting, i saw article here about gaming backlog and i looked at mine and decided that i have really one gaming siting there that i want and plan to finish: Skyrim ( well and maybe AC:Revelations but i’m not sure, started it , felt meh, so …)When it came out I sunk like 50 hours into it, explore whole lot of locationac, did plenty of quests, leveled pretty up, though barly touched main quests, then i had bazilion of quests in my journal, felt tired and havn’t touched a game in probably nine months. Now i started playing again, download some mods, cleared some quests and moving with the story line :)

      • Alex says:

        That’s basically exactly what I did! Except I haven’t gotten back to the main quest yet, haha. The Thieves’ Guild storyline is pretty good!

  18. Eraziel says:

    Shooting aliens in Xcom-enemy unknown. It is a pretty gritty round-based strategy game and it is keeps up with really tough decisions you have to make (which country to help? Which one to abandon? Where to spend money on?)

    What I really appreciate about it is the possibility to customize your soldiers and to have a whole bunch of badass female alien fighters in your team. Pluses are that they wear exactly the same armor as their male friends and their talking doesn’t seem to differ much in terms of attitude.

    The research leader is also a very geeky woman who’s in constant verbal discussion with her engineering male counterpart. You as the player commander are not addressed with any gendered pronoun so one can assume to be playing as him- or herself :)

    • Eraziel says:

      oh just forgot to add: the origin of your soldiers is chosen randomly, so chances are high that you won’t have an all-white group. My current “elite squad” consists of one argentinian and two russian women, one south african and one nigerian man and a swede.

      • James A says:

        FWIW, there is a steam achievement for using an all female squad. In one sense, this is really easy, since it is by no means challenging to pick six female soldiers and send them into a meat grinder and hope for the best. Although you do have to complete the mission successfully, so sending six recruits into a terror attack isn’t the best strategy….

        On the other hand you play like I do using the iron mode as well as getting deeply personally attached to your soldiers, it can be really challenging to have a full six fully leveled up, kitted out, and (this was the kicker, for me) unwounded. I set it as a personal goal, thinking it would be trivial and then spent several missions getting one or another of my high-level female soldiers wounded just before someone else would heal. I mean, so did the men, but since I wasn’t trying to run an all dude mission, that was less of a problem. It didn’t help that the RNG kept refusing to give me support troopers… Finally, when LTC Martha Jones bought it in Montreal I broke down and spent a dozen missions carefully building up my bench so that I had plenty of depth in all the roles I needed….

        Anyway, other than the achievement that is largely apropos of nothing except to say how easy it is to get sucked into building a deep attachment to what are basically sprites. Or so I have found.

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