Thanks for looking out for me. Dick.

Stately Scrying: What we’re playing this weekend

We’re back again with another dose of our weekly gaze into the future and see what everyone in the writers’ room here at Stately Play plans on fiddling with over the weekend. Personally, I was up until about 3:30am playing Civilization VI last night, so I’m going to keep this intro nice and short. My brain isn’t quite working the way it should [we can’t really tell a difference -ed.] so let’s get on with it.

Banner Saga Series

I just finished Banner Saga (I’d started but not finished it before), and I’m on to Banner Saga 2, which I played a lot of right after it came out on iOS… then decided I needed to play these story-games in order, and abandoned that game. Anyway, Banner Saga 3 is coming and I’m looking forward to it. I “bounced off” Banner Saga the first time in part because my first impression of combat was poor, and in part from how marginal the female characters felt. Oddlief concluding that she couldn’t be clan leader because she was a woman tore it for me. I came back in part because [Tof’s going to drop some spoilers -ed.] you get a choice of leader in Banner Saga 2: Rook or his daughter, Alette. IMHO, it makes hash of the game’s plot if the player sacrifices Alette and lets Rook live at the end of the first game.

Also, the story for the Banner Saga games has been written in Ink, the scripting language developed in-house by inkle Studios and used in all their games, from Sorcery! for 80 Days. Recently, inkle released Ink with a open-source license, so now anyone can use it, royalty-free. I’m teaching Ink in my graduate class for the first time this semester, so I’m hitting two Dredge with one arrow here.

Other than that, I expect to be playing Kirby Star Allies with my 7-year-old. Like Kirby games before it, it’s a fun game with a lot of powers to explore, and a gentle difficulty curve. Blissfully not Dark Souls-like, it is a forgiving, fun, family game, with enough optional challenges to keep the interest of more skilled players. Boss fights are more button-mashy than I’d like, but it’s in keeping with the Kirby spirit of game as romp.

-Tof Eklund

Salt and Sanctuary

The weather is warming, finally, so I’ll be outside more and gaming less. I’m in a bit of an action-RPG mood, so that will likely dominate the gaming I do fit in. I picked up Salt and Sanctuary on sale from Steam yesterday and man is it fun. The game is very visceral with a super satisfying crunch and splatter of blood as you hack-and-slash your way through foes. It looks fantastic and is really challenging—often frustratingly so, especially the boss fights—but with that comes a feeling of elation upon success.

Once I get too frustrated and need a break I’ll move on to some Path of Exile where I’m enjoying leveling a ranger. The character progression is quite rewarding with a huge skill tree and tons of equipment to help customize, and optimize, a build.

-Nick Vigdahl

Tempest Citadel

I’m deep in Tempest Citadel at the moment, and will be for those gaming windows that open over the weekend. There’s a review in the works, which will delve into this curious science-fiction colony manager, nested in oodles and oodles of lore. It’s good. Especially if you’re a sucker for meaty SyFy channel pulp. More to come.

There’ll be more Maelstrom, of course. I want to get good. And by good, I mean at the very least not the first bounty of the match. Also, today is the day Halo Online gets its big 0.6 patch! I’m a Project Cartographer man myself — you cannot beat the king — but seeing how the carcass of this Russian territory-only F2P Halo was saved from cancellation and proffered free by indefatigable fans is great. Doing what Microsoft doesn’t. Such is life for us Halo PC boosters.

Otherwise, it’s SHED WEEKEND. Over the last year, via slivers of time fossicked from between the cracks of day job, writing and family, I’ve been building the kids [read: Dadcore project] a 1:4 scale armoured vehicle. The might South African Ratel, hero of the Cold War. Though differing slightly in dimensions and detail to Sandock Austral’s original, this pull-along monster is coming along nicely and should be done by 2076, which will mark a century since the incredible vehicle rolled onto the veld. [pics or it didn’t happen -ed.]

-Alex Connolly

Yakuza 0

Since last week’s post, I’ve only fallen more in love with Yakuza 0. Part of me regrets taking so long to start playing it, but there’s so much stuff in the game and there were so many huge games last year that I don’t think I would have had the time to properly enjoy it. It’s also preventing me from spending money I don’t have on current “it” games like God of War and uh… Yakuza 6, so that’s good. The wacky subquests have replaced my “watch an episode or two of Frasier” routine before bed. I can’t progress the main quests then, or else I stay up way too late because of the soap operatic cliff-hangers the game likes to set up between chapters. But those little substories are the perfect length for short play-sessions and are incredibly varied. So far, I’ve infiltrated a cult, helped a guy who tried to propose with a crossword puzzle but made it too hard, trained a dominatrix, became a TV producer, and even more beyond all that. Yakuza 0 contains multitudes.

Besides Yakuza 0, I’ve basically only been playing Picross 3D Round 2 and Honeycomb Hotel. I will always have time for puzzles.

-Tanner Hendrickson

Nintendo Labo

My daughter’s Nintendo Labo Variety kit will be arriving today, so I have to hope she assembles some of it before she goes to sleep so I can play around with it after bedtime. I’m still assassinating people in Ptolemaic Egypt, which remains more satisfying than I expected. It appears to have been a good call to give Assassin’s Creed a year off. I also got invited to the closed Scythe beta (yay!) which is Windows-only (sigh), so I’ll be looking through windows wistfully. I recently had a run which persuaded me that I’m finally figuring Cinco Paus out, totaling 122 jogos over 6 pontos, but then played badly enough to puncture that balloon. So I’ll be looking for another taste of that sweet, rare competence. Such is the dramatic rollercoaster of my gaming life.

-Kelsey Rinella

Craft the World

Nick has a knack for testing the tensile strength of my marriage. It’s not bad enough that he introduced me to Factorio a couple months ago, but in last weeks’ scrying post he mentioned a couple of other games that sounded right up my alley. One was the highrise simulator, Project Highrise, and the other was a Minecraft-y builder/sim called Craft the World. The latter looked silly, blocky, and not at all interesting, while Project Highrise screamed, “We’re not Maxis, but we’re close and you’ll buy anything Maxis created pre-Sims!”. A week later, Project Highrise has been shelved. I’m hoping to do a full review somewhere down the line but let’s just say that building vertically in 2D has its limits. Craft the World, on the other hand, has sucked me in and won’t let go.

Originally released on Steam back in 2014 and iOS in 2015, Craft the World isn’t exactly the new kid on the block. Still, it’s giving me a lovely Factorio vibe with the twist that a herd of dwarves are at my beck and call. You can control each dwarf if you wish, but it’s more fun to give them orders and watch them suffer under your yoke be dutiful followers who just like to help. There are monsters that come at night and a timer when a huge wave of monsters arrive, but it’s mainly to force you to craft new weapons and armor. I’ve never felt close to losing a game due to one of these invasions. That separates it from Don’t Starve, probably its closest relative that I’ve played. The difficulty level being lower is a bit refreshing, allowing you to explore and build without constant threat of doomsday.

Other than that, of course I’ll be playing a ton of Civ VI to give the new Macedon and Persia civs a spin. I think the two of those will keep me awfully busy through Sunday.

-Dave Neumann


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Notable Replies

  1. This weekend is shaping up to be a jigsaw puzzle and LEGO weekend, but if I find the time I may play some F1 2017. It has one of my favorite single player modes ever on a racing game with a very RPG-like advancement system.

  2. This Topic has a Yakuza game in it. I totally approve of that! (^.^)=b

    I am just about 20% into Yakuza 6 and I am having a blast! I will probably cry a bucketful of manly tears at the end since it is confirmed the last game for main character Kazuma Kiryu. But since he was in 7 mainline games I always can replay the others…since there is so much stuff to do and fun to be had.

    Also, Yakuza 0 is such a great game to get into the series…it is a bit more wacky and throws more curveballs than the other games but still fun…and so much sidequests with funny, heartbreaking and serious dialogue…I don’t mind fetch quests at all if they are that well executed. Also…the minigames oh boy :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
    None are really mandatory aside from the introduction of some but boy…shogi, blackjack, poker, darts, bowling, 4 types of pool, mahjong the list goes on and on and on

    Finally, this game has the most badass animation ever imaginable just for picking up your phone!

  3. Out of the Park Baseball 19, as usual (about 90 games into my first season…maybe after this one, I’ll start simming some games :slight_smile: )

    That, and maybe some more Solitairica (I’ve only finished with the Warrior).

    As for the table on Gameday Sunday, I’m hoping to get either Penny Press or 3012 to the table.

    Neither are great games, but I do own them and I find them fun. Hopefully a couple of people will agree. :slight_smile:

  4. Switching from ES: Legends to … Eternal.

    So, yeah, Dire Wolf Digital is getting all my attention.

  5. They are close for best CCG on iOS but I’m still partial to Eternal.

  6. The Yakuza series is great, and I’m looking forward to further remakes. Yakuza 2 is the most fantastical of the series, but still has the requisite serious men trapped between personal honour and duty, with successive fights that are basically foreplay until someone takes their shirt off to indicate this one is serious. Even the film is good.

    I’m skipping 7th Continent this week, and I will mostly be playing John Company and polishing off a load of Hitman contracts.

  7. Tamsk says:

    It’s prerelease weekend for the latest MtG set, Dominaria, so I will be spending a good chunk of the weekend shuffling up new Magic cards (and I’ve, perhaps foolishly, signed up for an event starting at 1100 after working a 2200–0600 night shift, so I get to do it on minimal sleep!). In more digital realms, that XCOM2 campaign I mentioned last week is nearing its end, after which I think it might be time to splash about in Subnautica again.

  8. Have you seen those classic 90s triad films, Young and Dangerous? Makes me glad we got Sleeping Dogs.

  9. Mostly short gaming windows will be taking turns in the various Star Realms leagues and Tournaments that I am in.

    I am also still liking Marvel Strike Force.

    Any longer window I get right now is for Overwatch, I like the PvE mission they have for this current event.

  10. I have not! I’m off to check them out. Storm Riders and Infernal Affairs were quite good enough to guarantee my interest.

    Sleeping Dogs reminded me of Urban Chaos; I got the same feeling of freedom from both games despite them probably not being that similar.

  11. They’re a great series of films. Bit cheesy here and there, but a grand depiction of kids on the up in the Honkers criminal scene and beyond. Yakuza connections, Taiwanese gangs, rivals, love, betrayal, redemption. A big old tattooed opera.

  12. I was planning on trying to get to the wizard mode on the 2 new SW tables on zen pinball. Turns out that it only took me 2 runs on each table to get there. Neither of the tables really interested me. The modes were boring and the Ach-To Island had some truly awful voice acting. One of the modes was Luke Skywalker fishing and he would say things like, “Ahhh, that’s a big one.”

    So I guess maybe some Civ 6 and Invisible, Inc. this weekend. Or catch up on some TV. I’ve missed a few episodes of Homeland and Billions.

  13. So want to pick this up, but not sure I can swing the $40 right now. Also, I have a habit with OOTP of getting super excited when I get them (I bought all of them until about 2 years ago) and then latching onto something else once I get into it.

  14. The last I bought was like 2015, I played the heck out of it for 3 days, and then never played it again. Seasons are just big commitments. I have had their Hockey game on my wish list on Steam forever, and really want to try it, but the reviews are mixed. I wish they would put out a Baseketball game.

  15. Interest piqued. What is this hockey game?

  16. Franchise Hockey Manager 4 is the latest. I am waiting for a more than 50% Steam Sale on it. 50% is the most I have seen so far.

  17. Yeah, I did that with 17.

    This time, I’ve already played it a lot more. I’m thinking after finishing this game-by-game season, I may simulate some to keep going.

    So far so good!

  18. It’s not that uncommon for OOTP games to show up in a fall Humble Bundle for $1. I got 18 that way.

  19. Sure, but by then baseball fever will be over. Was watching the Brewers walk off last night and nearly pulled the OOTP trigger…

  20. Definitely more fun to play OOTP during baseball season. I bought it for the first time in years last year and got through about 2 1/2 seasons before running out of steam. I really need to just give in and simulate the games if I want to get any further–being GM and manager is just too time-consuming to play too many seasons.

  21. Ended up buying and beating the core game of Destiny 2. Typically not my kinda game, but it was on sale and I did the same when the first one went on sale last year.

    Other than that I’m about halfway through sorting all the pieces for Gloomhaven into their respective Broken Token organizer shelves. At this pace my solo campaign will start sometime after we have colonists on Mars.

  22. playing Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition in PS4 couch-coop modus with my son.
    the “Dynamic Splitscreen” is a stroke of genius for couch-coop.
    we can split our party anytime and explore each on his own and game will switch to splitscreen, and will switch back to one screen when we come close to each other again.

    the game is a full-fledged RPG with a great storyline and nice turn-based tactical combat.

    Divinity 2 (out on Windows/up to 4 players by network/internet) is announced for PS4 for August, dynamic splitscreen will be included again.

  23. I’ve had my eyes on this one for quite some time and always forget about it. I should probably buy it today since while it’s still on sale in the PS store.

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