Games of the week for 10/11/09: Baron Samedi edition

Atmosfear is the best board game series of all time, and this a fact that can be proven with science. I never had Atmosfear II as a kid (we had The Harbingers) but every now then I get bored and check out old footage of the VHS tapes on Youtube and watching Baron Samedi makes me almost wish that was the version of the game I had. A zombie demanding lip service is something that deserves respect.

Speaking of lip service, we played some videogames this week. Would you like to see what ones they were? Hit the jump then, you silly little scamp!

Chester:

Finished playing the Uncharted 2 single player for review, and since I’m not held to any embargo on that one, here’s what I’ll say: It was excellent. More details in the review, after I can convince the crew at Naughty Dog to play some multiplayer with me. Regardless of the review (or even how good… or bad) the multiplayer is, I can highly recommend the game to anyone who owns a PlayStation 3 and likes  action games. You can’t get much better. 

 
Also been playing Brutal Legend and Borderlands, which are both videogames that are coming out. Hey, that’s all I’m allowed to say right now.

Sterling: Still playing Rock Band Unplugged, which has basically become my jam, along with intermittent spats of Crazy Taxi, which really isn’t all that fantastic.

Mainly though, I’ve been playing Demon’s Souls. That game justifies the saying, “forewarned is forearmed.” Having already been prepared by Dale and others for the game’s grinding one-step-forward-two-steps-

back gameplay, I’ve found it much more bearable than I would’ve if I hadn’t already been told how grueling it was. So far I’ve beaten the first boss and have just been going it real slow, flitting between the Nexus and the palace to level up and buy armor. I don’t know how much I’ll continue, since it’s a ludicrous time drain (and if your connection ever drops, it fucks with your game), but so far I’m hoping I’ll stick with it.
 
Cantler: Been playing Street Fighter IV, which is not under embargo, so I can say that it’s very good. More details on that when I can convince the crew at MyWallet to renew my gold subscription and play online again. Also been checking out the Bayonetta demo, which is top secret stuff; can’t really go into detail at the moment. Otherwise, lots of Super Puzzle Fighter,  which is one of my favorite games, and that’s all I’m allowed to say right now.
 
Bennett: Checking out Uncharted 2 and absolutely loving it. It plays like a well done movie, but it’s always exciting and fun (in other words, not too many overlong cutscenes). Also working on a perfect Pixeljunk Monsters Deluxe playthrough, playing the Bayonetta demo multiple times because I can’t get enough of it, and working my way through Beautiful Katamari. I just picked up A Witch’s Tale as well — perfect thing to get me in the mood for the season!
 
Aziz: Played some of the Brutal Legend and Bayonetta demo. Fun! FUN! Also watched my friends play Need For Speed Nitro with a steering wheel. Why do I mention the wheel? Because later in the that night, someone knocked over the steering wheel stand which caused the wheel to topple down onto someone that was sleeping on the ground. Good times.
 
Concelmo: This week I played nothing but the original Halo.

I never thought I would type that sentence.

I will have more on my first-time experience with the game unspoken in retro fan circles in a feature later this week, but I will say this: The Covenant and The Flood really hate each other. Am I right? *raises hand for hardcore gamer high-five* Guys?

What a weird week.

 
Aziz: OMG YOU PLAYED THE HALOZ!?! YOU’RE GOING TO HELL! RETRO GAMERS WILL HATE YOU FOEVERZ! LOULZ
 
Sarkar: I literally just finished Half-Life 2: Episode One. Early on, I found it underwhelming; it just felt like more of the same (of Half-Life 2, that is). Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, but I was hoping there would be something new gameplay-wise. I came around by the end, though — Episode One cut away all the fat from Half-Life 2, leaving pretty much all action, all the time. However, the first-person platforming still sucked (screw you, room filled with barnacles and electrified water!). I also found myself dying a lot more than in Half-Life 2; it seemed like Valve did a better job with the Combine AI. Oh, and the Exit 17 chapter left me absolutely breathless. What a way to end it! 8/10.

Otherwise, I’m still addicted to the Uncharted 2 multiplayer beta/demo. I’m up to level 21 now! On the sports end of things, I finally cleared enough PS3 hard drive space to be able to install and begin playing my review copy of NBA Live 10. It’s damn solid so far, and the atmosphere is what stands out the most. I’ve never played a sports game where the crowd has made its presence felt like it does in Live 10. I’m going to have to play some more before I can discuss the finer points of gameplay, but so far, it’s much better than it’s been in years past. Finally, I made it to the 2011 World Series in MLB 09 The Show; my Yankees are facing off against the Phillies, and Samit Sarkar is slated to start Game 4!

 
Zimmerman: I was really on the fence about whether or not I was going to pick up Demon’s Souls because the dungeon-crawling fantasy games are usually not my cup of tea. Thank God I decided to. Brutally hard at points but I can’t remember the last time I played a game for nearly twenty-four straight hours. It will clearly not be for everyone, but the design is so strong I expect it to surprise some people. Grab it while you can, guys.
 
Ross: Mostly just Demon’s Souls and Borderlands. Since I can’t talk about Borderlands yet I’ll pretty much just echo what Conrad said. I’m hopelessly addicted, and while the game is difficult, it’s incredibly fair — every time I’ve died it’s because I was being stupid. I’m also playing a bit of Wind Waker as part of Vexed Alex’s new community blog series.
 
Razak: Here’s how random my gaming week was. Thanks to our post on the IPhone version of Under a Broken Sky I went and downloaded the game for my PC and have been playing it on my Hi-Def TV in all its pixelated glory. It’s pretty awesome and I’m having a blast with the game, though some of the voice acting is terrible. Then my brother came over and we randomly popped in RE5, which I have yet to beat. Now we have a weekly date to tear through it. For some reason I was thinking I wasn’t going to love the game, but after just an hour we’re addicted.

So random gaming, and no new games at all!

 
Holmes: Weird week for me as well. Got Critter Crunch, which is awesome, got Wii Fit Plus, which has some really good stuff going for it, and got Domino Rally for review, which apparently “came out” months ago, but still isn’t available in stores.

The first level of Domino Rally is called “No one can stop Mr Domino”, and for that reason alone, I’m glad that I own it. The game also borrows heavily from Katamari Damacy when it comes to the way it looks and sounds, which pleases me a great deal. Unfortunately, I beat the whole game in less than three hours, which hurts quite a bit. Still, if weird low budget Japanese games are your thing, you could do a lot worse.

Finally, still stuck in You, Me and the Cubes. This game is HARD!

Jim Sterling