What We’re Playing This Week – The Calm Before the Switch Edition

Ben Fitzgerald – Neverwinter Nights, Civilization IV (PC)

I played BioWare’s Neverwinter Nights many years ago, and it was an awesome game. I actually played most of the game twice, as I made a terrible mistake with my half-orc barbarian I refused to live with (because I’m so goody two-shoes lawful good). Well, I’m back at it again with a fighter/ranger. Time really hasn’t been kind to the graphics, as they’re really worse than Baldur’s Gate and Co. But the gameplay is what matters, and the realization of D&D 3.5 Edition is breathtaking.

Civilization IV is more of the same, but with a new interface, improved diplomacy and much more technologies and improvements. They streamlined the culture system so you didn’t have to spam settlers, and they revamped combat. Unfortunately, they made it really, really hard to conquer a city. While I understand that taking out a city shouldn’t be easy, this was ridiculous. I was losing so many army units that it literally would have taken 50 units to take out a dozen of the enemies. It was so difficult that combat was literally not enjoyable. Disappointing.

Jake Rushing – Xenogears (PS1), Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch), 1-2-Switch (Switch), Super Bomberman R  (Switch), Pokemon Go (Mobile)

I’ll start things off with the games i haven’t played in a while. Since I’ll be walking around SF this week for Game Developer’s Conference, it might be a great time to play Pokemon Go once more, since SF is a hotbed of creatures to catch. That’ll be perfect for catching all of the Johto pokemon.

Since I was lucky enough to catch a Nintendo Switch pre-order, i pre-ordered Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2-Switch, and Super Bomberman R. I’ll be spending my weekend and next week playing these games for a good depth review of the Nintendo Switch. After seeing  stellar reviews for Zelda, it’s safe to say that I’m very stoked to play it!

And lastly, I’m still playing Xenogears! Still plugging along slowly every week. I’ve gotten too busy between work and side work, but i want to see the end of the game!

Sean Willis – Riff Racer (PC Steam)
My hard drive stopped being dead suddenly so I’m going through all my music I backed up and playing Riff Racer stages of them. It’s a little like outrun so I have a lot of fun with it which is rare for a game based on music to generate levels. Most of them often don’t have a lot of gameplay though this one instead has some fun racing and drifting gameplay while the presentation is a little stale and some things sort of repeat. However the crazier the song the more crazy and sometimes broken the stages become and thanks to the drifting mechanics they become a fun challenge. Not to mention I found a lot of people who beat my scores on previous songs I tried and with my music collection back I’ve been working to beat their scores and ghosts which has been fun. Though I find myself watching streams in the middle of it and wishing I could afford a PS4 for Horizon: Zero Dawn or a Switch and its games just to try them out, missed my chance to order the new Zelda too so I’m just trying hard to ignore it all. Probably gonna go through my Wii U game backlog and finish up XenoBlade X finally this next week. Also still playing Pokemon Sun, getting through it slowly but more eevees! No idea what to do with these.

Terry Randolph – Horizon: Zero Dawn, Overwatch (Playstation 4)

Horizon: Zero Dawn is interesting. It’s a game that feels like it “borrows” from a lot of games to create this exceptional experience. The open world and battle systems feels every bit like Far Cry 3, the “focus” element a little like the Batman: Arkham series, and the easy crafting system feels like it mixes a bit of Mass Effect and Far Cry. That said, the visual fidelity is splendid, the world feels very full and interesting, and the story ramps up at a nice pace to keep players intrigued. I’m not that far into the game yet, but the amount I’ve played has me hooked in. It’ll be tough to make a choice between playing this, or continuing Final Fantasy XV.

Overwatch just released a new character, and I want to try my hand at entering into the competitive scene. I’m a little afraid, but I’m excited to see where my skill is, and how I can improve them. The only downside is knowing how toxic the competitive community can be on Playstation 4 (there are countless videos showing that). Still, having picked this game back up again I’m enjoying it.

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