What Did You Play This Weekend?

By Jim Rossignol on May 2nd, 2011 at 10:41 am.


Hark, another sunny day here in the Isles, and also a national holiday for all the Britons. We should spend the day guzzling gin and smoking our pipes. Consequently it might be a bit quiet on this here computer gaming blog feed. In fact it would be quiet even if it were not a holiday. John has the pox and is abed. Alec has abandoned us to head abroad, and Quintin is posting about puzzles games. Well, at least there’s that. I’m just finishing off some thoughts on Darkspore, which I spent some of the weekend playing, and then I shall return to my return to Call Of Pripyat and the lovely Complete mod. Ah, lovely.

All of which leads to you telling us a bit about your weekend! Did you do computer games? If so which ones, and why? Points will be awarded for the best reasons, and the obscurest games. Speak!

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309 Comments »

  1. Jumwa says:

    I spent the weekend playing D&D (pen and paper style) while busting out my DSi XL to play Pokemon Black and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn in between turns and such. Other than that, my time was mostly spent reading upon the couch with the significant other.

  2. Carra says:

    Finished Portal 2 last week. And started playing BulletStorm this weekend.

  3. Dolphan says:

    Trying to get through to the point in the Witcher that I got up to when I played it a couple of years ago (bit tedious playing the bit you’ve already done, but I changed PCs and lost the saves). Nearly there now, looking forward to getting on to the rest of it.

  4. Eddeman says:

    Drove around for hours in Fuel while listening to som relaxing techno, then made a little timelapse. Finished Portal 2 again. Then yesterday I managed to join the RPS Arma gang (some if it anyway) in some man-shooting. After a while pretty much everyone went to sleep, leaving just me and a certain Sinister Agent (we we’re both new to the game) to fend for ourselves.

    We we’re trying to capture some objective in Fallujah, was at it a good 3 hours in our 2-man team of sneaky stealth. We got pretty damn close to capturing it, until they started dropping in loads of reinforcements because we had forgot to take out their radio tower. The rest of the game was spent trying to take out tanks and choppers on our way to said tower. I think the chopper carpet-bombed me with something, suddenly the whole world turned into stuff exploding.

    There was plenty of intense moments, really looking forward to playing some more of it.

  5. somini says:

    Still playing XIII.
    One of the best FPS I had ever played. Too bad it will never get a sequel.

  6. Fire_Storm says:

    BULLETSTORM!

    Got a bunch of friends to buy it in the EA store uber-sale (Thanks Bargain Bucket!) and since then shouts such as “No… You were supposed to shoot him in the balls”, “I can’t believe we can’t stop tearing guys in guys in half when we don’t mean to” and “Quickly! Shoot his anus” have been heard reverberating around the flat.

    It’s the most entertainingly crass of all the man shoots.

  7. gorgol says:

    Been playing Heroes of Might and Magic III exclusively for a while now. Why? ‘Cos its fuckin’ awesome. But to be more specific, I don’t think you can beat its implementation of turn based strategy and RPG progression. Plus I don’t think I ever completed all its campaigns (including the expansions).

  8. icupnimpn2 says:

    I’m playing responsible adult as I graduate from my two professional programs. And Transformers War for Cybertron.

  9. Hunam says:

    I’m going back through Mass Effect 2 so I can write down every single little thing I hate about the game. The list is already quite large. Though I’m noticing a metric ton of model clipping/intersection that I didn’t before. Maybe the latest Nvidia drivers don’t like the game as much.

  10. Daave says:

    Blood Bowl – The Board Game!

  11. JohnnyMaverik says:

    No, I have a ton of essays, I should be playing the RPS minecraft chainworld, which I have played a bit but not over the last couple of days, and I’m sure people are getting frustrated by how long I’m taking to just bloody die, but hey, my turn came at the worst possible time for me. In my defence I’m working like a mad man at the moment to try and get the work out of the way now, like today, so I can play some minecraft later or at least tomorrow, and probably commit suicide so the next person can have their turn.

  12. Vandelay says:

    Been mostly playing Crysis 2 (opinions in the “What Are You Playing Right Now?” forum thread,) but more interestingly I’ve been dipping into the world of Portal mods. Gamma Energy has some great puzzles in it and was the one I’ve played most. I also started Blue Portal last night, which seems to be excellent so far. I was little disappointed in Prelude, which seems to rely greatly on twitch portal placement in tight spaces. I’m still completely bemused by the direction you face coming out of portals and random spinning is completely disorienting when trying to reach some platform up above. In more open levels it would be fine, but it is just frustrating when you only have some walls to orientate yourself against.

  13. Xan says:

    Finally decided to play The Path.

    Played once with one of the characters by just staying on the path, didn’t pick up any items or interact with anything.

    Spent the rest of the day confused and I didn’t even scratch the surface of the game.

  14. jon_hill987 says:

    Portal 2.

    A bit short, and far less puzzling than the first, but still good fun.

  15. Wulf says:

    Hm.

    Mostly Darkspore. I find this game mesmeric, but I think it’s something about the heroes, I absolutely love customising and building onto them, and to do so has been a true compulsion. Not only that but I’m eager to see what other locations there are, and what the AI has to say about them. There are some truly grand moments, such as plasma falls being controlled by magnetic fields and such, and the explanation for how the mutated plantlife had gained bioluminescence through absorbing phosphorous minerals from the soil (this is entirely plausible).

    The beauty of the environments, that the game is every bit as fun as Darkspore, and that it appeases my xenophilia, this game has me in my element. Plus, I really dig the insect heroes, because I like insects. This is one of those things I rarely talk about, but there are many critters of the animal kingdom both usual and unusual that I find fascinating, it goes beyond just wolves. The wolf is a therian thing for me, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be equally as fascinated by others, I’m especially fond of bats, too, and I’ve spent no small amount of time reading about them.

    Where was I? Oh yes. The chitinous heroes in Darkspore are awesome! They look great, they actually appear as though their exoskeletons could be functional, and it’s just nice to have something different to the same old stiff chinned bloody human hero. Not many will agree with that because so many people are absolutely terrified of different things (ex: how scared people are of insects), so it’s not going to work for everyone. And people may be put off by the unusual locations as well that may take a brain a little while to parse before you get used to them.

    But all of this, along with it actually being fun, along with the story being enjoyable but soft science-fantasy patter has coalesced into one of the better games I’ve played in a while. Not everyone is going to see it the same way, not everyone can, but hey… for those who can’t, there’s still Torchlight, right? And Torchlight 2 on the horizon! I love Torchlight. But I love this too. I’d say that I can’t see Darkspore being a hit but I’d be lying, there are loads of people online in it all the time, and people who are not me have spoke lovingly about it around the Internet.

    I think the only reason you could slam this game is because you’re put off by the non-human heroes and the non-earth environments. That’s totally okay! But… just don’t convince other people that this won’t be a game for them, because not everyone may think the same way.

    After finishing up Portal 2 I went back to The Ball. I’m enjoying the puzzles in that and the techno-Nahuan cultural stuff, that’s great, this sort of thing isn’t frequently done. The only aspect of The Ball that I begrudge it is that it has foes, I think the game would be so much better without them, or maybe I’m just a wuss, because when I get charged I totally freak out. And I’m getting a bit tired of that. :p Not even Amnesia had me freaking out in the same way, bloody alien zombie things that come out of nowhere. Though sometimes I can predict them by asking myself where I’d put an ambush. There are a lot of parallels between The Ball and Portal though puzzle-wise, and you get some Portal test chambers in it, too, and those are incredible!

    I played a little bit of Capsized, love the art, iffy about the game.

    I’ve been trying hard to finish off Defence Grid and all the DLC maps (I bought the Resurgence map packs for it, too). I find it difficult, but the AI tends to spur me on. GLaDOS and The Entity (from Defence Grid) are now my two favourite AIs, and C.H.A.S. (a Defence Grid map) featuring both of them has been one of my favourite and most memorable gaming experiences. That was fun. So I’m really enjoying Defence Grid, and that’s strange since I never thought I’d get into a tower defence game like this, since I didn’t even get into Sanctum like this. But I suppose it’s The Entity, it’s his fault, I really like well written, friendly characters, and that can make or break a game for me.

    Cargo is awesome, strange and awesome, but I’ve spoken enough about Cargo elsewhere. I love the vehicle building though and the strangeness of it. I really only have one thing to say about Cargo, really: Penguin anal vore. That… sums up Cargo, right there. I don’t call it so much of a game as an experience, a fun, bizarre, forgiving, yet incredibly strange experience.

    I’ve been continuing with Dreamscape from the Gamer’s Gate JRPG sale. Dreamscape is a fairly massive JRPG-style game that has more charm and charisma than a modern RPG has any right to be, it reminds me of the likes of Shining Force and games of yore, it’s happy, it has characters whom I’ve simply fallen in love with (an egotistical but cheery cat, an eccentric old lady flower, a quixotic mouse with delusions of grandeur, and so on), and best of all, it doesn’t have the grind of traditional JRPGs! It mixes up all that was great about JRPGs, such as the exploration, the art, the storyline, and the strongly character-driven scenarios, and it adds that to the more casual styles of play we’re accustomed to today. Not to mention that it’s really, really, really pretty. The artist here deserves so much credit and then some. More of this, please?

    I’ve been plucking away at Nimbus… Nimbus is clever, cheerful and clever. It’s a happy little puzzle game which often has me completely taxed about how to approach things, whilst having me deal with elements such as inertia and gravity. Also, it’s a story about a sapient No Batteries Required-like living spaceship who’s on a quest to save his girlfriend, and she’s a living spaceship too. I can totally get behind this. I was the sort of sop who absolutely loved No Batteries Required. Shut up. There are some great puzzles as well where you have a companion sphere involved in physics puzzles, and you have to open gates to let your companion sphere roll on and open things for you. It’s very clever. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes happy, intelligent puzzle games, this is one of the best. I’ve learned to love it even more than Toki Tori. Also… you can get a rainbow trail for your ship! My ship is Rainbow Dash!

    And that’s it!

    • BebopBraunbaer says:

      Where did you get Dreamscape ?

    • Wulf says:

      It was in the Gamer’s Gate JRPG sale. So I got it for pretty cheap. It’s £14.95 at the moment at its full price, but I still would’ve paid that had I known how good it was. Still, check out the screenshots first to see if it’s your sort of thing, it’s very… Japanese in how cute and cheerful it is. But I actually really, genuinely like that. More than once I’ve gone into that game to pass ten minutes, only to find it’s been more like hours.

      Dreamscape on Gamer’s Gate.

      I’m appreciative to Lewie or whomever it was for pointing out that JRPG sale to me, if they hadn’t then I’d never have found that game. None of the others appealed to me visually, but that one stuck out, and it really is something very special.

    • Wulf says:

      Just to drop this in, this is one of the better reviews of Darkspore that I’ve seen. It feels the same way that I do about a lot of it. The only point of contention for me though is a common one.

      “As in Spore, non-humanoid characters make it hard for real humans to care about what’s going on story-wise.”

      That’s the opposite of how I feel, I’m almost diametrically opposed to that, and I think that the lack of expression of human characters in games usually makes me feel less connected. Example: If Wheatley had been a human rather than a very expressive eyeball robot thing, I probably wouldn’t have liked the character as much. I find that this is becoming more and more true all the time. Perhaps it’s because the uncanny valley makes human characters uninteresting.

      In Spore, I cared about the characters a lot because it was a race that I had made, I had spent ages labouring over these guys, customising every last bit of them, and making them uniquely my own. And in Darkspore I feel the same way, I want my heroes to succeed versus all odds, their failures are my own. Obviously, but still, hopefully you’ll realise what I mean by that.

      The story of Darkspore is that you’re all alone in a hostile universe, and these are the last beings who aren’t part of the dark hive, who can think and feel individually, and you’re helping them to save that universe. So I cared about that storyline – because of my heroes.

    • jrod says:

      TLDR – can we get the cliff notes version? ;-)

  16. BebopBraunbaer says:

    Just one game for this weekend
    League of Legends

    But at the end i got sad about all these unfriendly people shouting at each other (even when winning!). These are bad days for random multiplayer players. At the beginning i could find friends by playing random now i just get sick.

    very very sad

    • mpk says:

      The LoL community is unfortunately rife with asstards. Still better than WoT, mind.

  17. mpk says:

    Second long weekend in a row, wahey! Thanks royal people!

    Friday and Saturday I mostly played Being a Dad: Crazy Toddler edition, which is kind of like an ARG mixed with LARPing and with added levels of Call of Cthulhu-type existential dread and fear of inanimate objects. It was awesome and I think we both have heat stroke.

    On Sunday I did something I haven’t done in a long, long time, which was to plonk my arse in front of a computer with a 12-pack of beer and play LotRo for about eight hours. I started at level 30, I finished at level 30 and I don’t quite know how I managed not to ding. But I killed lots of things and almost bought a house.

    • Squire says:

      I’m embarrassed to say I’ve played maybe 1 hour of Portal 2 and watched over 20 hours of various “Let’s Play Terraria”s ha.

      That game looks like hot donkey. The hottest donkey I’ve seen in a while.
      Minecraft is rendered irrelevant to me now.

  18. Synchrony says:

    I’ve mostly been playing minecraft, although I did also fire up Rag Doll Kung Fu, which I haven’t played in years as its quite a laugh and probably has the best/funniest fmv cutscenes I’ve ever seen

  19. Sami H says:

    Replayed Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (or from Wikipedia: “The Adventures of Sir Kicksalot Deathboot in the Land of the Conspicuously Placed Spike Racks”). Fell in love with the combat again, and then remembered that no other game has managed to replicate it since :(.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      What a great game. You’ve just reminded me that I came within a cats whisker of finishing it but I got hopelessly lost right towards the end.

  20. CMaster says:

    Lots of SWAT4 coop. It really is excellent. It’s tense, it demands teamwork, it demands careful thought and planning and it demands quick reactions and sharp shooting. With the expansion, you can have up to 10 players too, so maybe a candidate for some kind of RPS gaming session?
    Also, bits of Civ, Minecraft, Company of Heroes.

    Oh, also Magicka coop. Which oscillates between entertaining and just frustrating. Yetis are just pissing annoying (seriously – super fast, cold resistant enemies with an insta-kill attack – what were they thinking?), as was Fafnir. Regular deaths due to bizzare bugs and up to 500ms lag (despite the fact that I was the host!) just make it feel like you are fighting the game as much as the enemies.

  21. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Finished Bioshock 2 on Friday, then went back and re-started Bioshock 1. Reasons: Steam sale a while back on BS2, and a long discussion I had on a forum about the finer points of first person storytelling with some lovely gaming chaps prompted me to want to play BS 1 again. The story seems to make more sense this time round, and I am a lot better at the combat. Figured out I dont need to fight Big Daddies, I just get them to fight each other, go invisible, and then finish off the winner with a grenade :) What delicious machiavellianism.

    Also, pipes and monocles what ho pip pip and so forth.

  22. Spacewalk says:

    I played hard to get.

  23. Arclight says:

    Erm, Hearts of Iron 3 and a little Tropico 3 iirc. Best Sunday ever… well, best one of that week.

  24. Dave says:

    ace of spades

    that is all

  25. Holybasil says:

    Starcraft and Torchlight.
    Felt good.

  26. Nighthood says:

    ArmA2, though small-scale coop with friends instead of big RPS battles. It’s probably the best elaborate failure simulator since Dwarf Fortress.

    Edit: Oh, and Half Life: Opposing Force, as it’s always good for a replay.

  27. FiveO says:

    The Witcher, because I am so diligent and prepared.

  28. frenz0rz says:

    I’ve mainly been playing GalCiv2:TotA, which I always seem to find myself coming back to. Figured I’d try and step up the challenge and start playing on ‘Painful’ difficulty, and so far it has certainly proved challenging. I was forced to completely abandon my first game as the Thalans, since although I expanded quite well at the start, their -30% population growth combined with the stupidly high maintenence cost of their structures left my floundering in debt and ruin with my populace despising me and both the Yor and the Arceans rampaging through my territory and conquering planets on a whim.

    I started again on the same difficulty yesterday as the Drath, hoping that their war profiteering and good diplomacy would allow me some room to comfortably expand my starting economy without everyone viewing my empire as a free breakfast. Still, its proven a challenge, due to a rather unfortuitous starting position and their -20% population growth which had me boosting my approval to 100% by dropping taxes to around 10% just to give my population growth a kick in the arse. Just like with the Thalans, my lack of population has lead me to overexpand without sufficient income through taxes to survive, which in turn has led me to sell off most of my techs to pay for a hastily constructed fleet of freighters.

    Playing GalCiv, I always find myself thinking of Kieron’s article (it was his wasnt it?) on how the new tech trees make you -think- like the race you are playing as. In the Drath’s case, I’ll no doubt have to win through my diplomacy and subtle politics, as my low population will prevent me from expanding too much and getting involved in too many wars. As the Thalans, its all about adapting to this new universe full of strange and interesting humanoids – something I failed at miserably by only allowing myself to construct expensive, high maintenence Thalan structures instead of buying the techs for cheap xeno factories or research centres. A while back, I even tried playing as the Korx – an interesting race whereby the only way to really gain dominance is PROFIT. I found myself unwittingly reciting Rules of Acquisition as I expanded my trading empire to lock the galaxy into a huge, two-sided galactic war, whereby I reaped both trade profits from my allies, and war profits (through mercenaries) from my enemies.

    So yeah, been playing a lot of GalCiv. Also, a shit ton of Bad Company 2, which I always find myself going back to, and a bit of Revenge of the Titans, which (to my suprise, considering what state the game was in when I last played it) I’m currently finding quite addictive.

  29. Teronfel says:

    Europa Universalis III Divine Wind

  30. itchyeyes says:

    I played about 7 or 8 hours of Fallout New Vegas. With games like The Witcher 2 and Deus Ex HR looming on the horizon, I’m trying to get my backlog finished out. New Vegas and Dragon Age 2 are the two games I have left. Since both will likely take some time to complete, I’m trying to straight shot New Vegas as quickly as I can; but godamn it’s easy to get sidetracked in that game.

    Like Fallout 3 it took me a while to get into the game, but now that I’m into it, it’s become one of those games that keeps drawing me back to it after I put it down.

  31. ran93r says:

    A little TF2, just to squeeze out some giggles before Brink.
    A fair amount of hours went into Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, jumping from rooftops to stab Borgia guards in the face never gets old.
    I also checked out the Anomaly: Warzone Earth demo. I was a little underwhelmed to be honest, for one of the smaller titles it’s production was pretty decent but the gameplay felt a little dull.
    Spent an hour or so playing Dogfighter with my brother.

  32. mrwonko says:

    Instead of playing games, I made one myself for Ludum Dare 20.

    But to be honest I did play some games, too. Mostly Painkiller, because I just bought that on Good old Games, and some Left 4 Dead 2, because a friend asked me to.

  33. .backslash says:

    Mostly various manshoots. Played some Killing Floor, tried Arma 2 for the first time and ran away whimpering after I couldn’t even finish the first tutorial. Attempted to remedy with BFBC2, but I’m bored to death of CoD and its numerous clones by now. So I Broke down and pre-bought Brink. It better be good.

  34. timmyvos says:

    I bought Afterlife at the Queen’s Day market for a euro. I’d wanted for some time and it’s a very nice, especially the humour. Aside from that I’ve also played some HOI 3, I managed to take over both North- and South-America as the USA, the first time it actually worked.

  35. Hatsworth says:

    Finished up Portal 2′s developer commentary and single player achievements.
    Installed and updated In The Groove, but didn’t play it yet.

  36. sonofsanta says:

    Red Alert 3, oddly, as Metro 2033 didn’t quite click for me last week. Too shootered out after STALKER SoC I guess.

    Mostly, though, I’m just treading water until Witcher 2. 2 weeks!

  37. MythArcana says:

    I engaged in the best game in the world that nobody ever played: Space Rangers 2 Reboot (DRM-free version at GamersGate). It’s a shame that more games aren’t designed, built and expanded upon from the ground up to be an actual game system more than just a one trick pony. This game does it all and about 94% perfectly.

  38. Chris D says:

    You had to ask this weekend didn’t you. Gyromancer and Bloody Good Time. Yeah, it came as a surprise to me as well.

    Gyromancer is like a packet of biscuits. You only ever mean to have the one but somehow the whole packet disappears. Only this time there is always one more left.

    As for Bloody Good Time, sometimes you just want to stab someone with a poison syringe.

  39. dragonhunter21 says:

    Little Starcraft 2 (Not MP, god no, just AI), little SWAT4 (w/ 11-99 enhancement mod), little Darkest of Days- but the majority of my time was spent in a self-run Minecraft MP server with two buddies of mine making grand, fantastic things (Or, in the case of one of my buddies, making lots of ugly, horrible things and dying in his own lava moat).

  40. DiamondDog says:

    A large amount of BC2 recently, which is still a huge amount of fun with friends and voice comms. Lots of badly explained positional information (“There’s a guy in the thing. No, over there! Left!” *dead*). Shouts of surprise when a tank rolls past your head (“OK there’s a tank coming on our…” *dead*). Plus lots and lots and lot and lots of swearing (“F**K” *dead*)

    Can’t wait for BF3.

  41. Predalienator says:

    Some Quake 4 with some shader and sound mods and Supreme Commander:Forged Alliance :)

  42. kutkh says:

    Spent Sunday in my pyjamas playing a 10-hour game of Sins of a Solar Empire against the computer. I always find it difficult to return to a long-form strategy game if I try to play it in bursts, so giving one a full day when I can is my preferred way of getting the ins and outs.

    Thoroughly recommend it – the morning is for planning and expanding, then lunch, then mid-game crises and mistakes in the early afternoon, then triumph and eventual cleanup as the sun sets.

    The game’s really interesting, too – and manages to sidestep the late-game tedium that its whole genre suffers from with smart application of the “enormous fleets of spaceships emerging from hyperspace is always awesome” principle.

  43. Hodge says:

    Over The Edge, because it’s been sitting on my desktop since the AGS awards thingy.

    The first Command And Conquer, because I unearthed the CDs when I was looking for something else and felt all nostalgic.

    Faery Tale Adventure, because I moved the old Amiga into my loungeroom when I moved, and made the mistake of firing that one up. Also: Civ1, same deal.

    As soon as my Internet gets connected I’ll be buying + playing Cargo. A friend showed me his copy and it looks agreeably batshit.

  44. Loopy says:

    I’ve been trying to finish off the Portal 2 single player, a bit at a time when I get the chance. I think I’m almost at the end now, and so far it’s been completely awesome. :)

  45. BathroomCitizen says:

    This weekend I had many rounds of challenge mode in Magicka, finished Batman: Arkham Asylum, played a bit of Capsized – I love the sense of freedom in the movement system in it – and a bit of Warband multiplayer.

  46. Colthor says:

    I’ve been filthy, traitorous scum playing dirty console-toy games like the pathetic degenerate I am. Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes really is excellent, though.
    Also Fable 2 and Red Dead Redemption (horseys!). Nothing if not cutting edge.
    Maybe I’ll play SpaceChem later.

  47. Will Tomas says:

    Portal 2, because I got it a week late, and have M&B: Warband waiting for me. Plus a bit of GRID for when I want to play something in short bursts. I also need to finish The Witcher, which I’m halfway through.

  48. Thion262 says:

    A bit Deus Ex, because there´s nothing else left to play. I´m thinking of getting Cataclysm to pass the time until SW:TOR gets out.

  49. Nezuji says:

    I randomly stumbled accross an Amstrad CPC game called Orion Prime, and somehow ended up spending most of the weekend playing that. It is one of the best first-person point-and-click adventure games I have ever played, and that’s not meant to be a back-handed complement, although I know it sounds like one. Although it’s a CPC game, it was only released about 18 months ago, and It’s loosely modeled on System Shock 1 & 2; the graphics have clearly passed through the SS2 engine at some point in their creation. It’s bloody difficult, but the puzzles are pretty logical, and the whole thing has been made with such love that I can’t seem to put it down.

  50. jaheira says:

    Wrath of Ashardalon. Rules can be annoyingly vague, but the AI system for the enemies works very well.