October 7 - October 13

Now that it's releasing, I'm not entirely sure what to expect from Beyond: Two Souls. On the one hand I really like what Heavy Rain presented from a pure story telling perspective. Its inventiveness and willingness to break from what we traditionally think of as a video game was an exceptional and ultimately memorable experience. But, in the end that actual delivery of the written narrative of the game left, at least for me, much to be desired. Ultimately it was a great example of how games could evolve into true story telling mechanisms, but it just didn't deliver a particularly well written story in that medium.

I genuinely hope that Beyond: Two Souls goes above and beyond what Heavy Rain delivers, but I have to admit that I'm skeptical. I worry that I'll walk away thinking, "Well, from a game perspective I'm glad I played, but there are holes big enough in the actual story to drive a truck through." I really, really hope I'm wrong.

Also this week, a new Pokemon addiction offers itself to be snorted off a coffee table with a straw. Pokemon X and Pokemon Y is inevitably something I will buy for my kids, watch with a perverse fascination and ultimately just not get. Which is unfortunate, because the underlying mechanic of Pokemon is something that seems like it should appeal. Perhaps someday.

PC
- Bionic Dues (download)
- Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition
- Dishonored Game of the Year Edition
- Montague's Mount (download)

Xbox 360
- Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition
- Capcom Essentials
- Dishonored Game of the Year Edition
- Just Dance 2014
- Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion (XBLA)

PS3
- Atomic Ninjas (PSN - $10)
- Battle of Tiles EX (PSN)
- Beyond: Two Souls
- Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition
- Capcom Essentials
- Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness
- Dishonored Game of the Year Edition
- Heavenly Guardian (PS2 Classics)
- Just Dance 2014
- Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion (PSN)

Wii U
- Just Dance 2014

Wii
- Just Dance 2014

Vita
- Atomic Ninjas (PSN - $10)
- Worms Revolution Extreme (PSN - $15)

3DS
- Pokemon X
- Pokemon Y

Comments

I knew it. I just knew you wouldn't pick Pokemon.

Alas...

Based on the demo, Beyond feels very much like David Cage is trying to make the game even more accessible than Heavy Rain was by doubling down on using the analog sticks rather than buttons. Even so, it also seems like his only goal is to try and prove video games are legitimate to all them Hollywood types.

I'll be playing it, but I'm not quite as excited as I was hoping or expecting to be.

There's at least 3 copies of Pokemon showing up in our house this week.

I must say that I enjoyed Beyond: Two Souls' demo, but not enough to warrant a day-one purchase. I may get it discounted some time in the future.

I will likely be getting a copy of each Pokemon will likely come later in the year for my daughter to play with me. I'll let her pick her favorite letter and take it from there... Also, I gotta get my hands on a cheap 3DS for myself... or a 2DS.

I'll be playing Beyond tomorrow, despite my inability to properly push in the correct direction for hand to hand combat sequences. Curse you slippery PS3 thumbsticks!

I hope it has a comparable amount of emotion that The Last of Us delivered on. If anyone asks, I was cutting onions. Manly onions.

Beyond: Two Souls looks kinda interesting, I guess. Wait a sec... PD3 exclusive? Well, guess us PC peons are out then...

Two Pokemons and Disgeae D2 for me.

There's seriously a game called Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion and it's not automatically game of the week?

j/k

I'm really curious to see what Beyond delivers. I really, really hope it's good.

Montague's Mount looks like it might be VERY interesting - An exploration/puzzle/thriller set in Ireland. Looks a bit like Dear Esther with an actual game attached to it.

Not that it's ever going to happen, barring a donation drive stretch goal, Sean, but my guess is that you'd get some value out of playing the latest Shin Megami Tensei games on the 3DS - they're Pokemon for grownups

Disgaea is on the top of my list, but I thought I'd mention Bionic Dues which is an Arcen joint and is a mech roguelike. Very cool.

Xbox 360
- Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition
- Dishonored Game of the Year Edition

Didn't those come out the same year?

- Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion (XBLA)

Help! I'm bring attacked by smelly orcs!

Picking up Pokemon this week and it's my first time playing the franchise so I'm pretty excited.

Still don't know about which version though. Decisions, decisions...

I saw the commercial for Beyond and thought "Wow, are they still advertising The Last Of Us?".

Capcom Essentials is a funny name for a collection of games that includes RE6.

Would get Pokemon but I didn't get far into Pearl and I've got plenty of JRPG goodness already on my backlog.

Disgaea D2 is in the mail. Finally a true sequel. Not that the others weren't fun, but more Laharl is what we all really want.

Catch-all here.

Stele wrote:

Disgaea D2 is in the mail. Finally a true sequel. Not that the others weren't fun, but more Laharl Etna is what we all really want.

Catch-all here.

FTFY

"Dishonored Game of the Year" sounds like an award given to the game that had to weather the most insulting internet commentary in a year.

Based on my experience with Heavy Rain, I won't be picking this game up unless I really need a good laugh.

Just Disgaea D2 for me this week. A couple others I might try eventually, but I paid off my premium version of Disgaea D2 months ago.

Battle of Tiles EX. Whoa, that was unexpected. Cool little pc strategy game now on console. Game is going to get hammered by reviews because of the way it looks, but it's a challenging little game.

BNice wrote:

Picking up Pokemon this week and it's my first time playing the franchise so I'm pretty excited.

Still don't know about which version though. Decisions, decisions...

My son chose X for me. It's on his Christmas list for us to both get them so I'll be holding until then probably. In our house if you put it on a Christmas list then you can't buy in case someone gets it. Unfortunately, I stupidly put Zelda Link Between Worlds and Mario 3D World on the list...

This is the first time I'll be playing Pokemon. It's his third game.

garion333 wrote:

Disgaea is on the top of my list, but I thought I'd mention Bionic Dues which is an Arcen joint and is a mech roguelike. Very cool.

I'm really interested in this but totally screwed for time atm.

Impressions?

My brother rented Beyond2Souls and he already finished it, same day. How short is this game? Seemed like a couple of hours.

How long was Heavy Rain?

For those of you picking up pokemon for the first time, I wrote a couple of posts about some of the tricks and strategies I've found useful in the series. These are completely spoiler free in terms of story content, however I have updated some points to reflect the changes in X/Y mechanics.

First post is here. It covers mostly the battle system and a bit on party creation.

Second post is here. It covers the RPG stuff, adventuring, exploring, etc.

Bionic Dues is fantastic btw.

grobstein wrote:

Bionic Dues is fantastic btw.

Confused the crap out of Adam Smith at Rock Paper Shotgun, although he did agree once he came to terms with its strangeness.

I get the feeling that it would be like AI War for me. Very tempting, but just a bit more than my limited patience can come to terms with.

And I always initially read the name as Bionic Dudes.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
grobstein wrote:

Bionic Dues is fantastic btw.

Confused the crap out of Adam Smith at Rock Paper Shotgun, although he did agree once he came to terms with its strangeness.

I get the feeling that it would be like AI War for me. Very tempting, but just a bit more than my limited patience can come to terms with.

And I always initially read the name as Bionic Dudes.

Bionic Dudes would be a way better name! There's a lot goofy about the game, and Adam Smith correctly puts his finger on the weird aesthetics.

But it's an intricate roguelike with XCOM-like elements (trying to upgrade your forces faster than the opposition across many engagements; losing a battle doesn't end the game but can put you in a tough place). And I love that.

FWIW, I never got into AI War but I find this much more approachable.

Well, after playing a bit more BIONIC DUES, it is starting to feel a little bit samey. I started a new game on Hard / Ironman. The thing is,

1. It's not very hard, even on Hard / Ironman, and even on missions that are billed as "VERY HARD." There are more difficulty levels, and I'm sure the later missions and the endgame will be tough to get through. And I failed on the MurderBot scenario as well as one other one which I don't recall right now. But too much of the game so far is just grinding through dungeons that are easy if you play cautiously and thoroughly.

2. The loot is not meaningfully differentiated. After a bit you've got all of your Exos outfitted, and any given loot upgrade is not going to dramatically change any of their capabilities. You might get small improvements in shield and damage, but once you're outfitted (after a few missions) you probably won't find something that will really change your playstyle. Or anyway it's hard to figure out which items should change your playstyle, because each piece of equipment is just a couple stat-boosts wadded together. If you layer together a few carefully selected loots on one of your Exo subsystems, you can make a big enough impact on its stats to change which tactics are viable. But once you've got dozens of loots and all of your Exos have mostly full loadouts, it's really hard to find combinations that change the game. You never find anything like a new weapon or a new bot (except for the Epic upgrades), which would be the obvious ways to vary the playstyle -- everything is just a stat tweak on stuff you already have. It's wearying.

All that said, I still think this is pretty cool, and I'm probably going to play it some more to see if my opinion changes.