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*.
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.
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.
- Crashlands for iOS Universal, $7
- Crashlands for Android, $7
- Crashlands for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $11.70 (22% off)
- Crashlands for PC/Mac/Linux via GoG, $15
- Teeny Titans – Teen Titans Go! Figure Battles for iOS Universal, $2
- Teeny Titans – Teen Titans Go for Android, $2
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.
- Star Wars Imperial Assault for tabletop via Amazon, $90
- Mice and Mystics for tabletop via Amazon, out of stock
- Star Wars: Destiny for tabletop via Amazon, $21
- Arkham Horror: The Card Game for tabletop via Amazon, $36
- Shadow of the Colossus for PS4, $30
- XCOM 2 for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $20 (67% off)