Rubbin' is racin'

Stately Scrying: What we’re playing this weekend

Well, this is it. The last weekend before I head off to work at a “real job”. Why real? Because it makes money and we all know that money is the most important thing there is. Do I sound bitter? I am a bit, I guess. It’s hard to love doing something only to be told it’s not relevant because it doesn’t make you any cash. Next Monday I start that real job and, while I’m looking forward to the mental challenge that engineering supplies, I’m going to miss being able to hang out and email publishers and developers, write about the things I love, and post gifs in the forums. Oh, I’ll still be here (I’ll be posting more about this later today, or maybe over the weekend), but writing won’t be my main gig anymore. I know, poor me.

This being my last weekend of freedom from the boss’s unnerving gaze, let’s look at what everyone is planning on playing while I’m counting down the hours.

Wreckfest and Atlas Reactor

Hello Statelies. This weekend won’t allow for too much geekery, but when fates runs out the lead, here’s what I’ll be frollicking with.

Wreckfest. Hooray! Bugbear‘s rough-and-tumble smash-and-crasher, once known austerely as Next Car Game, is finally out of its rather lengthy Early Access journey. The last time we saw Bugbear, they were putting their own spin on the seemingly foundered Ridge Racer series. Not exactly a tight fit, and while I wrung fun from this menacing twist on airy drifting, Bugbear were right to return to their own brand of carborne brutality.

Wreckfest did go through some changes throughout development, largely due to shifts in home-grown engine tech and the tribulations of crafting a very detailed soft-body damage system, but here we are. None of this Forza nonsense, with sparkling finish and aerodynamic form. No, Wreckfest is putting the spurs into old steel at galloping at high speed, never afraid to trade paint or sheer the pants clean off a fellow racemate. Whether it’s the banger racers or destruction derby, catharsis by prang is this weekend’s Chef’s Special. Welcome home, Bugbear.

The other is a return to Atlas Reactor. This was my 2016 GOTY, and two years on, it remains a complete outlier in the modern gaming space, at least on PC. Still puzzled as to why it never made the jump to iPad, because tableteers would lap this business up, but that’s neither here nor there. Indeed, after a short hiatus, I’m back in the old WEGO madness. The roster has extended by a few characters, but that sweet, sweet phase-based round of prep-dash-blast-move remains as delicious as it ever was.

Atlas Reactor is also free, so there’s literally no excuse to denying interested parties a sip of the good stuff. If you’re not a founder, you’ll have to contend with a rotating roster, ala League of Legends, in place of an open roster. But there’s more than enough on offer to swish around on the palate to get a taste. Go on. In the words of Jose Chung to Frank Black, *Join me*.

-Alex Connolly

Yakuza 0 and Splatoon 2

I start a new job on Monday [we’re so alike! -ed.], so I figure I’ll use this rainy weekend to clear one or two games off of my backlog before I have significantly less time to do so. The primary target is Yakuza 0, which I haven’t really played in a couple months. I’m only a couple chapters from the end, so it shouldn’t be too bad time-wise, but it’ll be rough emotionally. Have you ever stopped playing a game because you didn’t want to see it end? That’s what I did with Yakuza 0.

I’ve also fallen back into Splatoon 2 after watching my roommate play through the new expansion. I swear that’s the secret best game on the Switch. Such an elegant design paired with an almost unbearable amount of style. It also ruined other console shooters for me thanks to the gyro aiming. And since it’s summer now, the influx of kids playing means I generally perform a lot better, so that’s nice.

-Tanner Hendrickson

Crashlands and Teeny Titans

My gaming this time of year is largely mobile while enjoying my morning coffee or winding down for bed. My go-to games right now are some classics from the last three years. The undeniably awesome survival/crafting/RPG Crashlands, where I am playing the hardcore mode, and Teeny Titans for some quick figure collecting and battling.

The latter has a sequel coming out next month, the awkwardly named Teen Titans GO! Figure, in support of the movie coming to theaters near you. it looks to be a premium game with in-app purchases, which saddens me greatly, though I expected some kind of freemium monetization.

-Nick Vigdahl

Shadow of the Colossus (and more)

Summer vacation just started for my kids, so I’m looking at several months of playing whatever they want. I’m hoping to interest them in something we could play all summer, like Star Wars: Imperial Assault, Mice and Mystics, or the My Little Pony RPG, but if I fall short, I’m still hopeful for some decent options like Star Wars: Destiny or FlipShips, so that’s where I’m aiming for this weekend. I’m definitely feeling the lure of Arkham in card form, too, which has had me updating table designs in my head. I think I like my current plan for an all-wooden rail system involving sliding dovetails. Is it weird to have a favorite joint? Because the sliding dovetail is surely mine.

I just finished the PS4 version of Shadow of the Colossus, which was gorgeous, but the maturing of the video game industry has left its groundbreaking emotional journey looking less distinctive than it did upon its original release. Mechanically, it was merely an adequate excuse to poke around in its world. So, I’m probably going to play some more Destiny 2 and Overwatch this weekend and save XCOM 2: War of the Chosen for after our trip to Maine in early July. If my will holds out. Nothing new on iOS, but there’s a demo for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on the Switch which has me intrigued.

-Kelsey Rinella

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Notable Replies

  1. Bought Brigador a long while back, and they just updated it with some new stuff, giving me a great excuse to reinstall it. Maybe some OGRE with my brother if we can get online at the same time to start an asynch game (boo!), and of course old faithful turns in Solium Infernum and Pax Porfiriana, in top of which I've started a game of A Few Acres of Snow over at yucata.de. Seems alright so far! On top of all that, I'm still slowly working my way through Persona 5 and I'll be pulling out my stick and pedals to take a spin over Moscow in a Bf-109, halfway in preparation for GMT to deliver my copy of Skies Above the Reich.

    Jesus Christ.

  2. Mine will probably be more of the same.

    My Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series last week (that's twice now, 2017 and 2020)! But they've started the new season a dismal 5-10.

    Also, some Slay the Spire (that third character is really cool, and I've made it the farthest with him) and not sure what to do on the iPad after baseball.

  3. Not much for me. Maybe a little Tropico 5 hot on the heels of the iOS announcement, but that may be it.

  4. Just bought Aviary Attorney in the Steam summer shit avalanche. Probably won't be the only game I buy, either.

    Other than that, I'm going to be enthralled by 5th Continent, enraptured by Hannibal: Rome vs Fartcage (I laughed), enraged by Roads & Boats (if we get around to it), and enthused by more of Prey's Mooncrash, which incidentally was probably inspired by the Cat Stevens song.

  5. I need to get back to Crashlands. I have it on both iOS and PC, and iirc, it has cross platform functionality.

  6. That is me in one sentence basically. Have done it tons of times. Which is bad baaad baad for completionists mindset and sanity in general, also leads to further clogging up the backlog since more often than not I return 2 years later and start from the very beginning YET AGAIN....

    WIAPTW:
    Tried to finally start Battletech for real, since the massive 1.1 Patch is right up my alley. but it still does not run smotthly for me at all. Clicking UI Elements freezes everything for 10 seconds, and action cam always freezes the action for 3 secs or so...basically colossal fps drop to 0,3 FPS or something......le sigh. Oh well, back to FF12 and Mad Max then ;-/

  7. I tend to watch the Top 10 videos on The Dive Tower, usually for the commentary and banter. This latest was a top-10 CCG/LCG, and after listening I immediately fired up a bunch of digital CCGs. Hearthstone sends my blood pressure through the roof. I like Magic Duels when it released, but going back to it, I now realize how slow of a game it is. Elder Scrolls is ok, with neat mechanics, but seems to be more expensive than other games. All of this is to say that Eternal is still awesome (and exactly what I hope the upcoming Magic game is mine) and I plan on binging it this weekend.

  8. Just flew the first mission of the Ten Days of Autumn campaign. It's a simple ferry mission to ease you into things, although it takes place in abysmal visibility conditions, just to give you that extra spice. Flew the pattern, eased the throttle back, even put down the flaps, possibly a flight sim first for me. Everything going great, when...wow, that was a hard landing, and my propeller's all fucked up.

    Oh, right...landing gear. Don't forget the G key, folks. It might save your life.

  9. Cultist Simulator. Amazing, abstract and confusing as all hell.

  10. I love it. I'm not sure I'll ever be good at it.

  11. Trying so hard not to google the answers

  12. I had never played Super Meat Boy and it is dirt cheap on the Steam Summer sale. Playing a few levels... Everyone is right, it's damn hard.

    My son has really been into playing games the past couple of weeks. Today we finished a game of Monopoly (ugh) then Mille Bornes (even worse) and then I suggested Forbidden Island which he hadn't played before. That was much better.

  13. Pretty tempted to pick up Ogre in the sale, precisely for that async multi. And also to satisfy my science-fiction tank nerd man child craving, because I've never had the opportunity to play the tabletop version.

  14. Well I got that game going with my brother. I'd be up to play with you, too, if that's any inducement. Ogre has had a very special place in my heart ever since getting that VHS box edition back in 2000 or so.

  15. Got my first (and only) kill in the Bf-109, possibly contributed to another. Almost out of fuel and ammo by the time the little furball was done, too. Five hundred rounds sounds like a lot of ammo, but when your gun fires 1,200 rounds per minute, it is...not.

  16. Tell me more about ol' Ogre. I know only the most scant of details, primarily that it's a very asymmetric experience. Are the rules all that different from other groggy hexers?

  17. It's a little different, but not Earth-shakingly so. You move all your units, then you fire, then I do the same. Fire can be combined for better odds on the one table that determines all combat results. GEVs can move again after they fire. The Ogre is basically a pile of units that move all at once. It's pretty old-school (it did come out in 1977), but it's got a lot of flavor.

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