What We’re Playing This Week – April Fool’s Edition

Jake Rushing – Contra (NES), Pokémon Silver (Gameboy/Gameboy Color), Pokken Tournament (Wii U) Normally, I’m not planning on visiting my NES backlog until, at the very least, I finished my Gameboy, Genesis, and SNES backlogs, but I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on Contra since I got a NES console, and I have…




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Jake Rushing – Contra (NES), Pokémon Silver (Gameboy/Gameboy Color), Pokken Tournament (Wii U)

Normally, I’m not planning on visiting my NES backlog until, at the very least, I finished my Gameboy, Genesis, and SNES backlogs, but I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on Contra since I got a NES console, and I have been stoked ever since I got my hands on it on Easter. Obviously the Easter Bunny has been good to me. I’m planning on taking a minor break from Gameboy and play Contra until I beat the game using the Konami code.

Since the article came out last week, I managed to snag a Heracross in Pokémon Silver after hours of headbutting trees. I also caught an Onix and added it to my team. As of this morning, I managed to beat the 6th gym in Johto region (Olivine City). So I’ll continue to play Silver and give you the progress next week.

On the side, I’ll be playing Pokken Tournament in attempt to go through the single player campaign, as well as to practice for an upcoming local Pokken Tournament. I managed to play a little bit of local PvP action this past weekend. I’ll progress through the campaign and hopefully come close to beating it by next week.

Terry Randolph – Tom Clancy’s The Division (Xbox One), Five Nights at Freddy’s 2

I’d like to say I’m going to be playing many games this week to keep up…but Tom Clancy’s The Division has swallowed up all my attention for gaming. This game has been what I would think Destiny should have felt like – open, expansive, mission variation, solid weapon design and sound…the list could go on. The game has its moments of weakness which are minor quips in the overall feel of the game. Regardless, I’m hooked to this game, and am looking forward to the dlc that is coming out for it.

I’m also still stuck on Five Nights at Freddy’s 2…Night 5 is ridiculous. I’ve gotten closer to beating it though, as I’ve gotten as far as Night 5. I’m actually learning to appreciate the game more by playing it in doses than playing it consecutively like we’ve been conditioned to see in Let’s Plays. This game is NOT meant to be played for so many hours in a row based on the experience I’ve had.

Random Note, definitely got to enjoy binge watching Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Fantastic anime that gets absolutely ridiculous in an awesome way.

Sean Willis – Pokken (Wii U), Zelda A Link to the Past (SNES), Pico-8 (PC/Linux)

I’m back, getting back into gaming a bit more than just dabbling in things since Zelda Twilight Princess HD was out. But despite that game being one of my favorites of the series, I took a break from it to replay the original Zelda: A Link to the Past on the SNES. I often refer to it as Zelda 3 really, and I’ve beat the game a million times before. Just something about it, despite being dead easy for me to rush through in one sitting these days, but it was so much more a mystery back when I first played it. Its sequel on the 3DS left me with a rather foul taste, but after breezing through the first game so easily maybe I need to give the game another chance. But there was so much that bothered me, and it felt like a chore to play so I’m not sure I want to. I’d rather just remember the first game and move on.

Apart from that I’ve been hooked on Pokken since it was released. I plan on challenging Jake once he beats the main campaign, though I’ve had more time with the game so might be more unfair than Shadow MewTwo at the first encounter hehe (I’m a master Lucario player :P). I’ve already beat it myself, and I’m working on the Iron League which has a large difficulty jump from Chroma League. I’m pleased by it as the main leagues and ending of the main campaign just wasn’t all too challenging for me. I originally jumped right into online play since I received my copy a day early and found the overall mind games with real players to be a lot more fun. Though the AI at Iron league is like playing a psychic so close enough I guess. Overall I’m digging into the deep mechanics and it suits my random ever changing play style, much like Street Fighter 3 3rd Strike requires though comparing the two is difficult. But I like to say they have the same fun feel that keeps ya always on your toes with any player that knows what their doing. I’ll say Pokken makes fighting new players a lot more fun than I’ve had in other games. I just can’t get enough of it, even as I learn to get around Chandelure ranked players who just fire projectiles and play keep away the whole time (this is called zoning) and I find the challenge fun to get around. I like to watch them panic when I get close in. It’s a little broken feeling maybe but hopefully we get some updates as I hope to fully master the game’s mechanics.

Other than that, I’ve been mulling over ideas and laying out plans (mostly unreadable scribbles)for my projects using Pico-8 as it has been getting some new updates and I have a Raspberry Pi 2 that is waiting to have pico-8 installed on. Just need a 3D printer and some simple USB controllers and I can make myself a mini console to show off. It’s pretty impressive 8-bit like software with some interesting games available in the community forums. Just dying to get a project done for it, maybe not this week but eventually hopefully. Kind of counts as playing a game no? Well I count it. 😛

Ben Fitzgerald – Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars (PC)

Greetings from Arkansas, U.S.A.!

Life has been a crazy hectic blur for me this month, which is basically why I turned invisible and haven’t been able to post anything. Between moving across the country, working a night shift at a factory and watching my brand new laptop smash, there just hasn’t been time to play anything.

Nevertheless, I was able to sink a bit of time into the first Broken Sword game. I’ve played it before, but it’s been a couple of years, so the story gets to feel fresh again – like watching a movie you haven’t seen in awhile.

Shadow of the Templars is one of those adventure games that gets everything right. The graphics are great (especially for 1996), the animating is good. Voice acting is fun, music is enjoyable, the puzzles are challenging without being overly frustrating. Most of all, the story is top-notch. It’s pure wish fulfillment: an everyday Joe, touring Europe, is witness to a chilling murder and finds himself thrust into a mystery that could change the fate of the world. Somehow, the Knights of the Templar have something to do with all this…but what could a centuries-dead brotherhood of knights have to do with a rash of strange murders?

It’s a brilliant game, one of the best I’ve ever played, and I look forward to reviewing it for the Hall of Fame sometime in the next couple months.

My life should be getting back on track here in the next couple of weeks, so hopefully this won’t be the last y’all hear from me!

Marshall Garvey – Outlast, Jak II, Red Dead Redemption

Damn, it’s time to get gaming again! The past two weeks of my life have been strangely light on video games, due to my vacation in Los Angeles for my fourth Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert, followed immediately by a murderer’s row of shifts at work upon returning home. Not to mention, I’ve had the added burden of doing even more final edits than expected on Secrets of the Governor’s Mansion, which is slated to be my first published book.

That said, my schedule is opening up enough that I can get back to playing multiple titles. After some hesitation, I fired up Outlast again on Steam. I was immediately irked once again by the lead character’s insufferable, moronic breathing. I was ready to turn it off, when I was suddenly killed by a giant, misshapen beast. That proved to be enough to shut him up, allowing me to progress without a stream of tongue-clicks and whiny huffing. Beyond my one hang-up, this game is outstanding, and terrifies me to my core at every turn. If Miles Upshur can keep his mouth shut enough, I might just get addicted to it.

Other than that, I look forward to sitting down to continue Jak II on PlayStation 2. And after another article or two, I will finally get back on the Hall of Fame Review horse (so to speak) with a fresh playthrough of Red Dead Redemption. Additionally, while it isn’t technically playing a game, I’ve been feverishly thumbing through Brett Weiss’s fantastic 2014 book The 100 Greatest Console Video Games, 1977-1987 for an upcoming LTG book review. I’ll save the bulk of my thoughts for said review, but I can already say it’s a must-own for any gaming enthusiast.