It's the 4th of July long weekend, which surely means everyone will be able to sneak in some quality gaming time. If that's the case (and if not, our condolences), what is it that you'll be playing?
Do you have something new that you'll be tackling, or will you be rummaging through your gaming collection to play something you haven't had time to as of yet. Or maybe you'll even replay an old game for the fun of it?
Whatever it is, we're interested to hear what it is you'll be playing this weekend. Here's what the USgamer team will be putting their time into:
Like Kat, I'm traveling this week, so my normal PC and console options are not available to me. I'm also recovering for the last bits of a sickness that messed with me earlier this week, so unlike Jeremy, I'm staying inside and taking it easy.
Making the trip with me is my PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS, the latter of which I actually left in my hotel after E3 2015. Of all the things that hit me hard where I thought I had lost my 3DS, the hardest blow was the copy of Fire Emblem: Awakening in the cartridge slot. It was my first Fire Emblem game, as I'd previously avoided the series due to what I'd heard were stringent permadeath mechanics.
I came away very impressed with the series, which reminded me of Sega's old Shining Force games. Some great strategy, solid character classes that fit well together, a dash of character designs by Yusuke Kozaki, and a few dating sim mechanics added up to an amazingly satisfying game. I would've mourned its loss if I had to buy a new copy. Now that my 3DS is back where it belongs, I'm planning on digging back into Awakening, since I can't play Fates right this second.
I admit, I'll probably also be pulling double duty on the Vita, playing either Disgaea 4 or finishing up Danganronpa 2. Despite that, Awakening is my aim this weekend. Onward!
I'm actually going to take a break from gaming this weekend. I'm going spend some time outdoors. Spend some time indoors tidying up my house. Maybe enjoy dinner and a movie with my wife. But a little time away is good for any relationship. I'm sure video games will forgive my brief infidelity; we spend so much time together otherwise.
If it were any other weekend, the answer would probably be some combination of Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm. But as I'm actually traveling this weekend, my trusty Nintendo 3DS will probably be providing the bulk of my entertainment.
At present, I'm considering one of three options. There's Persona Q, which I've been plugging through for a while now. Aside from being an entertaining dungeon crawler, it's a nice game to play with headphones. There's Chrono Trigger, which I've been meaning to get out of my backlog for ages now (long story). And there's Kid Icarus: Uprising, which I'm told is basically the Star Fox game I've wanted for ages now.
The reality is that I often intend to play one game while flying, and end up playing something entirely different. Last time it was Persona Q. This time it might be Papers, Please, which I have waiting on my tablet. Or maybe I'll just take a well-deserved break from games and actually get some reading done.
At a guess, though, it'll be Persona Q that earns my attention when I have a spare moment or two. It's a game that I really want to get done before Persona 5 comes around.
But who am I kidding? Hearthstone is on my phone. I can never escape.
The games I'll be popping in this weekend will be played strictly for research, though it's not like I won't be enjoying them. We're coming up on another Retronauts recording date, so allow me to peel back the curtain a bit for listeners rad enough to read these community pieces. Since I'm putting together an episode on the Devil May Cry series, I started up its HD collection last night and ended up making it 90% of the way through the first game in one sitting. It's been pretty interesting revisiting the very first iteration of the "stylish action" experience, especially after playing Bayonetta 1 and 2. I've never felt like any of the Devil May Cry games were especially easy, but 15 years' of experience makes a huge difference; I distinctly remember how much trouble that first spider boss gave me in 2001—now, he kicks the bucket after 20 seconds.
Thanks to the announcement of The Last Guardian, I've also been going through Ico (via another one of those handy HD collections) and will soon revisit Shadow of the Colossus for the sake of Fumito Ueda episode of Retronauts. I only just replayed these games a year ago, but approaching them with a podcast-planning mindset is definitely helping me notice things I never did before. Even though I've only put about an hour into Ico, I'm finding that it definitely hasn't lost its magic, even if I'm spending a lot of time reacquainting myself with 3D platforming in a world featuring nothing but prescribed camera angles. (Though you can swivel the camera, so that helps, I guess.)
I'm actually going to be doing a tiny bit of traveling, too, so I'll be bringing along my 3DS, which contains one of my more shameful backlogs. I finally ended the first Ace Attorney's uber-long fifth case yesterday via the 3DS collection, which means I can finally go back to playing Layton vs. Wright before jumping back to my replay of the main series. Oh yeah, and since I believe reading is fun and fundamental, I'll also be finishing up Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut. Stay in school, kids. Unless you can find a unique way to sell yourself on YouTube.
While I'll no doubt sneak in more than a few games of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (that's been my go-to PvP game for the past few months), and I'm inevitably going to play plenty of Hearthstone (another game I'm completely addicted to), the new game I'm really looking forward to playing is Elite: Dangerous on Xbox One.
I've just finished working through the tutorials - which took the better part of an evening - and I'm now familiar enough with the game to start properly exploring, and maybe even doing a few trades to start boosting my pitifully small cash savings. As I pointed out in my preview, this is a hadcore space simulation that offers few conveniences. From pulling up outside a space station, requesting docking, and then having to manually fly in, lower your gears and land in a pretty tiny spot, to managing your ship's systems, this is a very detailed game full of minutiae that can be almost infuriating when you're not used to them.
But the more I play Elite: Dangerous and get my head around the fact that it's a space simulation in the truest sense of the word, the more I appreciate its attention to detail. It really does feel like you're in a ship, flying from station to station across the great wide expanses of space. I've barely scratched the surface of the game, and already some of the vistas I've seen are incredible - easily the best space-scaping yet in a console game.
So hopefully this long weekend will afford me plenty of time to really get to grips with this game. I want to start earning money so I can upgrade my ship and head into deep space. While shooting stuff is normally my forte, in Elite: Dangerous, I'm really interested in exploring for some reason - and simply want to travel as far as I possibly can to see what's out there.
I'll see you in deep space...
I’ve been on again/off again with Destiny since it was released last fall. The Cryptarch would draw me in with the promise of exotic engrams, and I’d wander away hurt after a three hour Raid that only earned me a legendary shader. The grinding would always become too much, but I’d always come back when new content was released. When House of Wolves came out in May, I had to try it, but was particularly skeptical when I learned it was lacking a Raid.
I was foolish. House of Wolves turned Destiny into what it should have been when it came out 10 months ago. It’s fun, engaging, and the grinding has been toned down to a level that is more than manageable. The Prison of Elders PvE mode has pretty much put Raids out of business, and the Trials of Osiris PvP mode is a serious test that any squad will find challenging. I’ve also found that the rewards are more consistent, and reaching the maximum light level is as easy as ever.
I’m not sure if I’ll stick with it this time or take another break, but I know that this weekend I will be playing Destiny because I want to, and not because I feel like I have to. Then again, if I get let down by Xur on Friday, I might just go play DayZ and wander around Chernarus.