Week: End Game: On 11.12.11

As Skyward Sword runs towards us on Spirit Tracks, some are more into Skyrim.

By Adam Sorice. Posted 11/12/2011 12:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Every Saturday we ask our staffers “Yo, what yo playing dawg?!” and after they tell us that we sound incredibly stupid, they tell us in a marvellous round table format. With Skyward Sword anticipation reaching fever pitch, many of our writers are cramming in Hylian adventures left, right and centre. On the other hand, some are playing games on (gasp) rival consoles. Read on to find out more of their action-packed betrayal.

Katharine Byrne

A lot more Xenoblade is on the cards this weekend. As I only just attained full party status last week (85 hours in, I might add), somehow I don’t think I’ll be achieving my goal of completing the game before Skyward Sword gets released on Friday. I’m doing my very best, but I’m still getting hopelessly distracted by sidequests, developing my skill trees and raising my party’s affinity. I am trying to find a balance by playing through sidequests during the week and getting more of the story done at the weekend, but sometimes the temptation is just too great!

I might also continue my double-whammy of Zelda replays, but I think I’ll be saving Phantom Hourglass and The Minish Cap for the coming week. With so much of my gaming time at home taken up by Xenoblade these days (and very soon to be utterly dominated by Skyward Sword) I’ve decided to take a break from reading through my huge back-log of books I’ve accumulated over the past five years and start gaming on the train while I travel to work. It’s quite handy having both Phantom Hourglass and Minish Cap to choose from as I’d forgotten just how much Phantom Hourglass makes you use the microphone– shouting out to determine the price of your ship’s salvage arm and blowing out candles and windmills doesn’t exactly marry well with sitting in a crowded train full of tired city workers or the rather silent library where I retreat to at lunch time. Occasionally I’ve managed to get round this problem rather subtley– fake cough-blowing and playing on the rumbling London Underground have gone some way in easing the embarrassment, but when these sound barriers rear their more inconvenient heads I’m quite glad I’ve got the much more noise-friendly Minish Cap to bring up the commute-time cavalry.

Pierre Bienaimé

Once through with my real-world responsibilities, I’ll be shaking off my name, address, and social security number. For such paltry things a wood elf has no need. Yup, Skyrim is upon us, and there are just eight days left between now and the release of another, fully distinct fantasy experience: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. So until then, I plan on delving into the northern frosts of Bethesda’s latest. Hopefully, in my wanderings, a sense of purpose will seek me out rather than vice versa. Naturally, I don’t plan on beating the main storyline, not to mention exhaust the rest of the game world, before Link inherits my undivided gaming hours.

But my unabashedly loose approach should suit the scope of the game, and be met by a freedom that reviewers all insist goes greatly rewarded. I have no doubt that Skyrim stands as a massive undertaking, especially if combat feels less like an assault on airy nothingness than it did in Oblivion (sorry to say). Execution animations should contribute to an improvement. For all Skyrim’s certain beauty, I’m looking forward to Skyward Sword still more. It looks to belong to a category of games that exude such depth as to make early discoveries feel like distant memories by the game’s end. Only time will tell if the Nintendo Wii’s crowning achievement has come so late, rather appropriately, in its life cycle.

But I digress! This weekend, Skyrim it is, punctuated perhaps with a few online bouts of Battlefield 3. See you online.

Matthew Tidman

Just Married.

Nicolas Vestre

I’m just about to take on the Elite Four in Pokemon White, and all my pocket monsters are at a decent level, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I managed to score a Growlithe and a Chimchar (that will eventually breed Close Combat onto Growlithe) from the GameFAQs Message Boards. Now I just need to get a Pikachu so my nonexistent Togetic can pass on Wish to it (and eventually my Eevee) by breeding. However, because I took so long to beat the game, my White Forest will probably be barren, which means no catching a Togepi. To make things worse, no one I know of has Black version, so my White Forest is completely doomed for the time being. Guess I’ll just go back to GameFAQs, asking a kind-hearted person for some good Pokemon. I predict that Pokemon will start taking a backseat to other video games for me, so I can finally stop talking about it every weekend.

Getting away from catching those troublesome little creatures, I plan to play The Sly Collection for PS3. So far I’m 40% completed the first game in the collection, and I just beat a dog boss with gigantic arms named Muggshot. At first he was pretty tough, but then I learned how to avoid his gun. Getting all the clues and secrets in this game is very addictive, and I’m having a lot of fun.

If things go well, I might also play a bit of Solatorobo for DS or Beyond Good and Evil for GameCube. For one reason or another, my BG&E game has come to a halt, and I don’t really know why. It’s not because I’m stuck; I roughly know where I have to go and what I have to do. Rest assured, I won’t play any other GameCube game until I’ve beaten Beyond Good and Evil. Actually, there’s quite a bit of incentive to finish it, because immediately after I’m starting a Mariothon, playing many of the games from the entire series (except no Sunshine or Galaxy 1 & 2). For the first three games in the series (as well as The Lost Levels), I’ll play the original NES versions on Virtual Console and then play the All-Star versions for added effect. Let’s hope this comes to fruition soon.

Marc N. Kleinhenz

Modern Warfare 3.

And that’s all she wrote! (She being the staffers of course.) Now it’s your turn, what are you playing this weekend? Let us know in the comments!

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