What are we playing this week?

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Editor-in-Chief: MasterAbbott

Well, well, welll…back to reality. I’m back from the Land of the Rising Sun. I bought myself a Japanese (NTSC) Nintendo 3DS with Japanese versions of Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time, Resident Evil Mercs, One Piece Ultimate Cruise Special and a number of other DS games which I know are impossible to find anywhere else. Unfortunately, I still haven’t had time to play and of them yet because I’ve been so busy with work and getting Linkage to do his chores around the office (cleaning the toilet and making coffee).

Last night while on a 3 hour long conference call with Dustin and Link, Dustin advised me that Double Dragon for the original Gameboy was released on the 3DS Virtual Console store.  So quicker than you can say Tatsumaki-senpukyaku, I jump on and download that along with 2 other great DSi titles :  Shantae (read our review here)  and also Gameloft’s Castlevania Stone Soul Of Darkness. I haven’t been able to put down either.  So once again all I’ve been doing this week is playing with my 3DS, collecting Mii’s with my Street Pass and of course working on the site.

My plan next week is getting stuck into maybe Child Of Eden, which is probably one of the best games ever made for the Xbox 360 Kinect (check out our review here) and also give Duke Nukem Forever a whirl.  If you haven’t seen our Balls of Steel unboxing video, check it out here.

That’s it for me boys and girls. Remember…Play hard, or don’t play at all!

Senior Editor: Travis Bruno

Dusted off the old Kinect this week to play some Kung Fu Panda 2 for my review of the game. The title itself is rather enjoyable but is marred with many issues that make it more frustrating to play the longer you have to experience it. The Kinect has been out for over half a year now and titles have still refused to work properly at the best of times, which is disappointing to say the least. Besides that I have also been playing the Ocarina of Time 3D on the 3DS which has brought back many childhood memories. So many in fact that occasionally I find myself lost in nostalgia and going places before I even should be there.

I’ve also had a good time playing a little bit of Dungeon Siege III. The title is certainly a dungeon crawler to the core but the control scheme is something that any player will balk at at first simply due to the main button that is used to interact with objects as well as pick up dropped loot. The shoulder buttons meld into gameplay on an Xbox 360 controller barely at the best of times, and should not be a main button to push. Playing co-operatively is certainly the best highlight of the game because the second player can drop in and out easily without interrupting the flow of the game too badly. Besides the newer titles I’ve also picked up Ar Tonelica Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel on the PlayStation 3 again for a little bit. Western RPGs are great and I can’t wait until Skyrim comes out, but I was raised playing JRPGs and this title is a JRPG all the way to its core, which means I will always be going back to play it again for a different ending.

Senior Editor: Dustin Spencer

At the moment, I have been working through Resident Evil: The Mercenaries. The save data controversy is sure to haunt the game forever, but I am starting to enjoy it a bit more now that I am past the tedious tutorials. Lack of leaderboards hurt the game greatly though as there is no way to show off a score. Even a subtle street pass function for score sharing would be nice, but at the moment this is just the gameplay of mercs on a cartridge (BUT WITH CLAIRE!). I really think the game is addictive though and we should have a review up very soon, so keep an eye out for that.

For some odd reason, I always go back to the Halo series after a certain amount of time, and the past week was no exception as I have been playing quite a bit of Halo Reach. Due to MasterAbbott, I am also doing a second playthrough of Shantae: Risky’s Revenge as well now that I transferred it over on my 3DS, and falling in love with the half-genie all over again. Finally, my trek through The Ocarina of Time 3D is continuing, but a bit of a slow process due to myself not remembering anything about the game and getting lost constantly.

Senior Editor: Jed Bradshaw

This week I have been trying to clean up my backlog a bit, so…I started with Castle Crashers.  I am about halfway through the campaign and I love it.  The artwork is fantastic.  I will say that sometimes the enemies get a bit hard to kill, but it is still very fun and the entire game charms my little heart greatly.

Next up, I played Chime until I got really sick of the 5 songs therein, and I got 7/12 achievements.  I really like the music and gameplay in this game as well, and for 400 Microsoft Points this game is a steal.  I even bought one of the songs on Zune so that I could listen to it when I am not playing the game, although that may have to wait, as my ear drums currently bleed when I hear any song from that game.  I will wait a couple more months though and it should be good.
Finally, this week I also got back into Full House Poker.  The net code in that game is awful and the achievements are stupid.  For example, if you didn’t play in the Spring Texas Holdem Xbox Live event, you miss out on about 50 gamerscore, for good.  One time achievements are the dumbest idea ever and developers who put them in games should be ashamed of themselves.  Overall though, I have to say that it is really fun and addictive.  I am getting better at poker, but I will still never go to Las Vegas.
Oh, I almost forgot.  This week I also got really into Halo Reach. I am super addicted once more.  Hit me up if you wanna play.

Editor: Kyle Moore

This week has been insane for me in terms of gaming. I can’t actually remember a week in which I have spent so much time playing games in a long long time. Firstly, wearing out the battery of my iPhone with a few small games here and there like Tiny Tower and Cow Trouble. Both are pretty good little time wasters, and have some nice pixel-style graphics which I always find ever so charming. I also just, as of say 10 minutes ago downloaded and played for a really small amount of time Astroboy Tap Tap Rush. So far so good, but with a lot of dialogue running through it. Too early to tell if I actually like it, but still, it sounds promising. In terms of reviewing I had a quick play through of Ninja Rescue (read review here) which is a nice little puzzle game you can pick up for free. Secondly, I had a huge play through of Gameloft’s Backstab (read review here) which proved to be a really awesome game with some impressive combat based game play. iOS aside, I’ve also been getting a fair amount of use out of my 3DS this week, having reviewed Sudoku: The Puzzle Game Collection (read review here) and soon to be reviewing Sports Island 3D, both of which are games by Hudson. Much like every other 3DS owner, I have also been beating the hell out of my Zelda cartridge, spending way too much time on it considering the mountain of things I have to get through. Either way it’s great fun, despite having played the original N64 title dozens of times.

Editor: Michael Irving

This week was a loose-ends kinda week for me, finishing off a few games I’ve started over the last few weeks.

First up, I finally knocked off Duke Nukem Forever, and while I enjoyed it (kinda, mostly…) the last few levels really annoyed me. I hate underwater levels in most games, but they were particularly bad in this case. The Duke would get stuck on everything: the amount of times I drowned while trying to fit through a doorway was ridiculous – and drowning while trying to figure out which way to go was worse. Follow that with an underwater boss fight, and I was almost ready to call it quits. I stuck it out though, and even waited around till the end of the super-long credits. I felt I had to pay my respects.

Next, I wrapped up my time with Resident Evil 2, playing the Gamecube remake on the Wii. I wish the series still played like this. I miss the slower pace, the stronger focus on puzzles, the way even a single zombie can freak you out. The later games feel the need to “scare” the player by sending hordes and hordes at them. I was told that I’m only halfway through though – now I gotta play through as Claire. Is there actually any difference in the gameplay? Really don’t know if I can be bothered with it again just yet.

Editor: Adam Tabor

Hello everyone, it’s Adam again. I haven’t posted one of these in a while so I figured I’d better tell you guys what games I have been digging into. First of all I have the amazing Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I just beat the Shadow Temple so I don’t have too far to go. This game is easly one of my top 3 best games of all time and this is the best port of the game so if you have a 3DS and you don’t have this then I am ashamed of you.

I also delved a bit back into some Marvel Vs Capcom 3. I missed my fighting games and need to get back into the grove of things. Some friends and I have played a little indie game for the NES called Battle Kid; take I Wanna Be The Guy, Castlevainia, Metroid, Mega Man and throw them in a pot and you get this wonderfuly evil game. Evil, you ask? Okay, let me tell you: this game will challenge the hardest of hardcore gamers. One hit you die that will test any gamer. If your interested in it you can buy it for $30 at http://www.retrousb.com/product_info.php?products_id=86, and I will be doing a review on this soon.

I also playing Donkey Kong and Kirby on the 3DS virtual console. Kirby is a very short but fun game. Sadly, this is before he can learn powers from his enemies but a quick fun little game. Donkey Kong is getting hard as can be: this isn’t your grandpaw’s DK. Just take my word and give it a chance. Finally, my lady and I have spent some quality time as I help her get though Super Mario World on her GBA. She’s not a hardcore gamer like me but she loves Mario and lets say it was a different expierence than Mario 3. She has almost beat the game and I’m very proud of her…now what game to get her into next? Hehe…I will turn her into one of us just yet.

Editor: Ben Webb

This week! Obviously the biggest game in gaming in ever, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3DS. I’ve also managed to get a game in on QuakeLive and I have to tell you, those Tier4 guys are freaking tough! I still have a long way to go before I’m even close to comparing against them.

Of course, Team Fortress 2 is now free-to-play, so I picked that up (I was actually intending to buy it the day it went free too, so $20 saved!) and I’ve been playing a bit of that. I play a scout at the moment as they suit my playstyle a little better than the other classes (considering my background in fast-paced FPS’) but I’ve played with most of the other classes and I’m also liking the engineer and heavy.

The Steam July sale started the other day and so far I’ve picked up a bunch of old favorites that I can’t be bothered pulling the discs out for for cheapsies, so yeah, Oblivion and KotOR for the moment. This list will obviously grow over the course of the sale I’m sure. And on the topic of Steam, I’ve also been playing a little bit of Counter-Strike Source, but not too much as I’m currently reviewing two items (that may or may not have been completed by the time this goes up).

Editor: Jack Joly

As you may have seen, I have recently announced my progress on an achievement challenge to fully complete the achievements of a game each month, so this week I did one ‘Hard’ and one ‘Insane’ play-through of TRON: Evolution to complete it for the month of June. This week also saw me play Loving Life with Hello Kitty & Friends for Nintendo DS in order to review it.

Editor: Darren Resnekov

This week I have spent most of my time on Fear 3, not because its that much different from other games but because it’s just so well made. It has that real arcade style feel to the fighting but at the same time requires special attention to tactics. The AI enemies are by far and away the most intelligent of any console game I have played. Enemies speak to each other and have high powered weapons. Add to this the scare elements of the game and it’s awesome. I’m also playing Red Faction Armageddon, which is cool – especially the ability to remake environments. I wasn’t overly impressed with Duke Nukem especially considering what else is out there to try. Apart from those, I haven’t had much time to play heaps but I did play Dirt 3 which from reviewing is the king of racing games in my opinion.

Editor: Luke Halliday

What have I been playing this week!? What a ridiculous question from an adequate person. To answer your half ridiculous half adequate question I have the following to say: Jump Ultimate Stars (or for those Japanese fellows out their “ジャンプアルティメットスターズ, Janpu Arutimetto Sutāzu”).

Playing this game has made me realise that I want a new Jump Stars game. Someone out their within the dark night, hear my cry! Hear my plea! Hear me! Make a new Jump Stars game!

Oh and I was playing Barbie: Horse and Ride on the Playstation 1. Unfortunately, really. Please can someone watch my 5 minute-long Horse race montage on Youtube? Chestnut wins, for those who don’t mind spoilers. Unfortunately I bet on Buttercup… Unfortunately, really.

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