What We’re Playing This Week – Post Election Edition

Sean Willis – Carmageddon Max Damage (PC version)
With the election and all the stress going on I went for an easy stress relief sorta game. It’s an ultra violent game about cars in a race or demolition derby or run over all the pedestrians contest. You can pretty much go after any goal at any time so it’s strangely sorta chill. The new one however adds seem regular goal based game modes where cars respawn automatically and you steal points for trashing opponents which is fun too really. Though just running in Classic Carmageddon mode just lets you run around and explore with a time limit you can add more time to and a goal to actually go after instead of just run around aimlessly. I dunno, it has a nice stress relief effect I think. Some people play GTA for running around causing carnage but this game was one of the first and rewards it. Also you can review the damage on cars after each run which is strangely a little satisfying.

Now that I’m getting used to my Windows ten system (it’s not that bad with recent updates really) I think it’s time I go back and play Fallout 3 or STALKER next week. Though part of me wants to play through Brutal doom again. Choices.

 

Ben Fitzgerald – Risk (360)

Xbox Live Arcade’s adaptation of the classic Hasbro strategy game may not be high-gaming, but damn did it feel good to carry out a thorough takedown of the enemy. Even for someone who stays away from politics, this election season has been stressful. I’m hoping to accomplish more gaming soon, but this week I’ve just been trying to make money. Priorities, you know.



Marshall Garvey – TellTale Walking Dead: Season Two (Mac)

Finally…FINALLY…baseball and election seasons are over. This means more of my precious free time can be put into gaming, but I’ve gone out of my way to make time (lots of it) for TellTale Walking Dead. What originally started as catching up on lost save files has turned into a full-blown obsession. I not only finally finished season one, but after somehow making it through the agonizingly poignant finale without crying, promptly got 400 Days and season two on Steam’s Halloween sale. The first season may be the single greatest piece of writing in gaming history, and a shoo-in for the Last Token Gaming Hall of Fame. Every character is fully realized, every twist and turn replete with poignance and tragedy, every decision you make a harrowing moral dilemma that makes you question the very fabric of your character. It’s a triumph in storytelling, even though its gameplay is as rudimentary as a LucasArts point-and-click adventure.

As my colleagues Jake and Terry summed up well in their review of it from last year, season two is a worthy successor, albeit not without flaw. It did an impeccable job advancing Clementine’s character and deepening the player’s connection to her, and presented more unique scenarios for her and her companions to survive. In my opinion, however, the fourth episode somehow manages to be both overwritten and underwritten at the same time. There are a lot of characters introduced, yet many aren’t fully fleshed out like everyone in season one is. In some instances, I felt certain characters died too quickly, without the development necessary to give the death as much resonance as possible. As soul-crushing as a lot of the deaths in season one were, they always happened at the exact right point in the story arc. Season two may not be in the realm of Pikmin 2 or God of War II when it comes to gaming sequels, but it’s still excellent and worth full price.

Needless to say, the sudden leaking of season three’s release date for this month (six days before my birthday no less) couldn’t be better timed for me. I’ll be purchasing it right away next week, eager to see where Clementine (and Kenny!) are headed next.

 

Jake Rushing – Gauntlet Dark Legacy  (GC)

Aww yes, it has been ages since i last played this game before my current playthrough.

Even though that the gameplay can get repetitive at times (at least playing alone), it’s still a good time. It even has a good arcade feel to it, which made me enjoy this a little more!

After getting my hands on it at a flea market months ago, I’m glad that I’m able to play this once again, and i got to unlock one of the characters that I’ve been dying to play as for years, a Minotaur!

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