It is late. I am full of second-run turkey and ginger ale. The fireplace behind me is crackling out its last and the snow is piling up outside. Good thing there's plenty of warm game systems to keep us all toasty this holiday season.
The Destructoid staff played games this week. Lots of them. And then they all told me what games they played. Now I will share it with you. And then you will share what you played in the comments. If you're really good, we'll all go out for ice cream.
Chester: Playing a lot of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Like... all of the time. I'm not great at it -- there are folks on my speedwalls who I will never beat -- but I'm having a ton of fun working my way through all of the events and ranking up. I'm also playing Marvel Pinball and failing hard at beating Conrad's scores [Never going to happen. -Ed], although I have a project in the works that I hope will help with this. Finally, I'm playing Lost in Shadows for review, and since there's an embargo until the game's release date in early January, that's all I can really say for now.
Sarkar: Since I graduated from college last Sunday, I have been spending my nights playing Assassin's Creed II. I'm in love with the game; I just got to Venice, and I continue to be awed by the visual splendor on display. Plus, it's just so damn fun to assassinate dudes, and half-learn Italian while I'm at it!
Aziz: I ran through the Dead Space 2 demo. Love the Zero-G controls and it's really interesting (maybe only to me) that you have to really destroy a body before any ammo or health pops out of the corpse. Good thing stomping is faster now at least!
Toletino: I have to say that the best loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2 is, by far, Tali's, because it emphasizes the parts of Mass Effect 2's gameplay that make it stand out, namely the talky bits and character development. Strip that out and you've got a middling cover shooter whose levels are constructed of space crates and space boxes. We need more courtroom scenes in every RPG that deigns to give a player dialogue options. That's that.
Also on the RPG front, I played Divinity II: Dragon Knight Saga, which is an almost complete revamp of Divinity II: Ego Draconis, with new graphics, gameplay, and an expansion pack semi-sequel laid on top. If you thought the only good western-designed fantasy RPG of the last year was Dragon Age, you're completely wrong. This one can easily equal Bioware's higher-profile baby. If those old (and wrong) accusations that Dragon Age 2's combat would be switching to real-time Mass Effect-esque "visceral combat", were true, this would have been the best possible result of such a goal.
Don't overlook it. At least, not while the Steam sales are still ongoing.
Sterling: I played the Dead Space 2 demo and had a blast. Pretty damn excited to play the full thing now. Also played through the Flash versions of The Fancy Pants Adventure in anticipation of the upcoming XBLA/PSN version, and they were quite good indeed. Otherwise, it's been a load of iPhone stuff again, especially some of the holiday sales games like Spider-Man: Total Mayhem and some of the EA shit. Good stuff.
Concelmo: A lot of handheld gaming since I traveled to North Carolina for the holidays: Dragon Quest IX and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. Adore them both. Dark Dawn review (finally) coming in early 2011! Sorry for the delay!
Devore: Quite a lot of older titles this week thanks to the Steam sales. Got almost an hour into The Witcher, and I kind of just want to stop playing and wait for the sequel, because the concept is great but some of the mechanics feel dated. I felt similarly about Overlord; Overlord II is hilarious, has personality, and thank fuck, there's a map. And then there's Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee and Stranger's Wrath. The former is neat (this is my first time playing) but I'm not very good, and the latter is quite possibly the most broken PC port I've ever attempted to play.
As for the new stuff, I hit up Raskulls and A World of Keflings. I was surprised to see more at play in Raskulls than the racing events. Both games are highly recommended.
Holmes: Sat shotgun on a 50 hour, cross country drive. That gave me plenty of time to try to repeatedly get my ass kicked by Ballos in Cave Story on DSiWare. I'd never played through that part on "normal" difficulty before. I think it took me six hours to get through it, and it was fun the entire time. Only truly brilliant design could make being repeatedly murder that fun and compelling.
Also playing Fling Smash, Lilt Line, Super Mario All-Stars, Vanquish, and Goldeneye Wii. Fun times all around.