What game are you playing?


So the Division 2 beta dropped and having played a lot of the original I figured “well, why not”. That is Extremely My Thing, and I’m happy because I totally planned to skip it. Everything feels better - the shooting’s better, every encounter feels more threatening but manageable, the matchmaking for missions is great, and the brief peek at the plot and the wider world - and indeed DC - has drawn me in far more than I thought it would. Looks like I need to preorder it next month.

I’ve started Hitman 2 and after some interesting issues getting the Legacy Pack on Xbox I’ve been diving back into the original missions. Hoo boy. They made changes! I did not expect change! Had to totally redo my strategies for Freeform Training because you can no longer climb into the crew cabin from the side. Still, only 1 feat left to complete on that and then I’ll be killing poor Jasper Knight again and again…

Rebuilt the Retropie. Took a whole 2 days to do, but glad I did, as it’s now also a Steam Link. That means I can consider starting Steamworld Heist or Yakuza Zero soon…


After being turned off after the first trailer I’m trying the Beta right now…

For not wanting to talk politics in the marketing (and the blatant refusal that it’ political at all)
this game seems to say a lot about how communities organize after governments fail … and I’m not exactly sure they sleepwalk into this topic the way they did the last time either.


Yeah, there does seem to be a lot more blatant political themes in there - the gang of “patriots” who yell war vet slogans and wrap themselves in flags but seem to just be a fascist mob, the Mexican dad getting jumped coming out of the theatre in the echo, and especially a lot of the recordings (particularly the one between the President and the Mexican president).


i’m also playing Wargroove at the moment, but kind of in the opposite way that you are. more online, less campaign. which is silly, because i’m kind of having to learn units/strategies on the fly against other people - which isn’t the greatest… i think the asynchronous online play is really great though, you should give it a shot! let me know if you’d like to play sometime.


I started another playthrough of the first Mass Effect the other day, through backwards compitability on my Xbone. This will be my 6th or 7th playthrough of it, and it’s been probably 7 or 8 years since the last time I’ve played it.

Aside from the obviously dated gameplay and visuals, and the single-digit framerate when there’s too much action occurring, I think the things that have really struck me are the game’s tone towards corporations, and the ways my own current politics clash with the game’s.

Not sure I have a lot to say about how the game portrays futuristic multi-species space corporations as de-“humanizing”, callous, amoral, bureaucratic, and insidious forces that exploit and kill people for profit (particularly on Feros and Noveria), since as far as I’m aware, that’s pretty standard for a lot of sci-fi. But I think there is at least something to be said for a depiction like that in 2007 in a AAA game.

As far as politics, I guess what really stood out to me was how much my own politics have evolved since I first dove really deep into this game when I was a teen. Seeing things like Garrus’s character arc or a lot of Paragon Shepard’s choice options just made me reexamine my assumptions about what was most “right” in those games. And it’s made me rethink my feelings on the Paragon/Renegade system too. I used to just default to Paragon because I liked the archetype that plays into, but there are some situations I’ve found that really dissatisfying. I guess a lot of it comes down to having realized that cops are bad, and the system as we know it is not equitable, not how Paragon Shepard idealizes it to be.

This got rambly but I’m not a great writer and I just spit out all my thoughts at once! I still love these games to death and I’m not sure any other game series will ever mean quite as much to me, flawed politics and all.


Shadow of the Tomb Raider got added to Game Pass, so I’ve been diving into that. There are plenty of aspects of this game that are Problematic As Fuck (this game really seems to be Lara Croft and the Temple of Doom, and all the shit that entails). That being said, it looks amazing, and the tomb/problem solving/parkour bits are as fun as ever. I’m enjoying it, but I’m glad I didn’t have to spend any money on it.


I never finished the first Mass Effect, but sure, I agree that, whilst I preferred the Paragon to Renegade options, I often found that neither actually gave a reasonable response which was both “community valued” / “not being an asshole” whilst also being aware that you can’t always be “good” whilst also relying on the system. [That’s not why I stopped playing, I just didn’t have any free time for an extended period in the middle of playing it - ironically, just before the critical decision at Virmire - and never really came back to it. And I’ve not played an ME game since, or really had any inclination to.]


All the things you said about Shadow are definitely true. I still enjoyed my time with it. The marketing showed it to be a game where Lara kills a lot of people predator style, and I think we were all supposed to think that was awesome, but in the end I was suprised how little there was of that in the game there was more actual exploring and Tomb Raiding than the last two games. I think Waypoint’s review was spot on. It’s a world where Lara is at the centre, in terms of story and how all the vistas are perfectly arranged for maximum effect. But it is a damn good looking game and I used that photo mode frequently to the point that was where most of the fun ended up being.

I’ve been playing a lot of Apex Legends. I briefly switched to the The Division 2 Beta having never played the first one. It certainly looks pretty, but it felt a little glitchy to me and I’m not sure if I liked the feel of the shooting (which you seem to do a lot of) after playing a lot of Destiny 2 and Apex Lengends for that matter. I will most likely skip it.


I’ve been playing Overcooked 2 with my partner and it’s such incredible fun. We loved playing the first game together and even streaming it. We are going to be transitioning to long distance in a few months and having this experience where we have to work incredible in sync and be forced to communicate really makes me appreciate what we have and our strengths as a team. Also the lunar new year update is incredible, all the character designs are charming and sweet, and making huge vats of noodles makes me feel like I’m in Kung Fu Panda.


Just a quick, little, Civilization 6 update:


I am this close to just throwing my Switch out my window because of this BULLSHIT! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!


I’ve been playing Okami HD on XB1. One of my top five games of all time, I’ve beaten it at least three times already (GameCube, Wii, PS3). Issun is as annoying as ever. The rapid, staccato hits make the bead weapons some of the most underratedly satisfying weapons in gaming. It’s just a gorgeous game that fills me with joy every time.

Which I need, because for the last three days I’ve also been playing My PS4 Hard Drive Died and I’m Afraid to Replace it Because I Have No Idea When the Last Time I Backed Up My Saves Was. I don’t recommend it.

(For the record, I don’t have automatic back-ups on b/c you can only do that on your primary system, and my wife and I play on each other’s primary so we can share purchases. I’m guessing it’s been at least two months since I backed up anything.)


I finished Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End as well as The Lost Legacy, my thoughts are kinda mixed.

A Thief’s End is the best game in the series. Finally, I feel like Naughty Dog’s ambition didn’t result in a chintzy ass product. The characterization is way stronger, the fluidity of the combat is cool and, like, mocap is a fucking thing guys. Nadine and Rafe are the first good villains in series history, Sully is a precious grandpa and Sam is maybe my favorite character. I liked how I wasn’t once again looting an ancient holy site and instead some shitty pirate’s treasure hoard. I wish the game leaned harder on “maybe this treasure hunting is a crappy way to live” instead of totally copping out so Sony can keep making these things, but if that must be the case, I really hope Cassie isn’t the next protagonist. I can’t imagine anything more intolerable than “Uncharted, but the lead is a teenager”.

Ehhhhhhhh, let’s say… 8/10.

Lost Legacy is dollar store Uncharted 4, but that’s not totally a bad thing. Chloe and Nadine are a good pairing even if I’m not totally sold on Nadine’s PMC ass suddenly being a good guy. Also, their individual daddy issues came off as a really forced attempt to emulate 4. Asav is the best villain and Sam’s still cool. If there must be a new status quot, I’d be okay with this, but I’d still personally prefer Sam and Sully being the new leads. 6/10.

All things considered, man, what a weird series. All that time spent, and I don’t really have a grand conclusion. Just, uh, yeah, I don’t know that I’ll think about this series again until 5.

And if you’re interested, here’s my twitter thread “documenting” my entire playthrough:


All of the Borderlands 2 DLC is way better than the BL1 DLC (except maybe The Island of Dr. Ned, which is kind of incredible). The headhunter stories have way more work in them than you’d expect, complete with really cool massive bosses, and increased participation in the narrative from the vault hunters. The main campaigns have also been pretty great so far.

-Captain Scarlett’s story is the strangest of them, it feels the most like a filler arc, but it’s made up for by every new character introduced being a lot of fun, like how Scarlett is so nonchalant about doing horrible things and the Oasis survivor being such a great template for a lot of dark comedy. The ending reward was also pretty sweet.

-Mr. Torque’s had a lamer end reward, but actually plaything through it was way more fun and din’t feel quite as dragged out as Scarlett’s did at times. There were a lot of boss encounters, and they all felt pretty inventive, plus Mr. Torque is just a delight to have around. Seriously, the introduction to this one is an all time favorite Borderlands moment.

-Started Hammerlock’s story today and I already know this is the single most important DLC to the overall Borderlands story. The combat encounters are the best so far, at times aggravating but in a welcome way. Granted, this is because I’m level 41 and none of the DLC is actually designed to scale with that, so they instead made the new enemy types here ridiculously difficult to deal with. Not that I’m complaining, I just get more experience.

Hopefully Tiny Tina’s DLC can match up with these (though I’m wary because I cannot get over how EXTREMELY racist her entire character is).


Microsoft was having a deal on Game Pass, where new subscribers could get one month for $2 (plus another month free, so technically 2 months for $2). I had $1.90 in my Microsoft account, so I decided to buy in to it if only to play Forza Horizon 4 on PC (and Crackdown 3 soon, I guess)

The Microsoft Store installer nearly ate my PC alive (it was unusable for over five hours because of a Windows page file panic), but I got the 70gb game installed. It runs great, and surprisingly Just Works™ with my Dualshock 4 controller without needing to run through any remapping software like DS4Win or whatever. I don’t get Playstation button prompts or anything wacky like that, but a lot of PC games are weird about properly supporting the DS4 and it’s extra triple weird to see a first party Microsoft game detect and accept my Playstation controller with no fuss.

That being said the overall Game Pass experience on PC is super weird. I think Microsoft advertises 100+ games on Game Pass for Xbox One, but on PC you get a paltry 15 games. There’s no guarantee that just because it exists on PC and was published by Microsoft that it’s part of Game Pass. For example, what I’d really like to play is Forza Horizon 3. That’s not to say I think Horizon 4 is inferior, just that I wanted to play 3 first. Horizon 3 is part of Game Pass on Xbox, but not on PC.

The same goes for Sunset Overdrive, Killer Instinct, Gears of War Ultimate Edition, Voodoo Vince, so on and so forth. All have PC ports, most were even funded, published and in some part owned by Microsoft, but there’s no guarantee they’re a part of Game Pass on PC.

I can understand why third party games might not carry over, because of having to license for separate platforms and all that, but it’s a mystery to me why Microsoft’s own games aren’t part of Game Pass on both.


Just a clarification, Horizon 3 predates Microsoft’s first party on Game Pass initiative and so is not on the service for Xbox. You will have to buy the game even on console.


I thought all that stuff was retroactive, huh.


For a lot of games, like Halo MCC or Sunset Overdrive, it is. Killer Instinct is a weird one because it is free-to-play. I suspect that the older Forza games aren’t on it due to licensing issues with the various car manufacturers.

Also, for FH4, be sure to join the Waypoint club “Driftcourse”! I haven’t played in a while but there’s usually someone on willing to get into shenanigans.


Sunless Skies is very good, thanks


I just got an Xbox One (few years late, I know) with Game Pass, so I’ve been poking around those games. Right now playing Super Mega Baseball (pitchers and catcher just reported - spring is on the way!) Forza Horizon 4 and Apex Legends.

I also just played Return of the Obra Dinn finally this past weekend and omg, what an experience. The first few hours I really didn’t think I would be able to do it but once it clicked that I needed to pay attention to positioning and environmental clues I started knowing out those IDs left and right.


I’ve been vaguely interested in Zachtronics games for a while now and watching a stream of someone playing Exapunks finally convinced me to pull the trigger. I bought Shenzhen I/O rather than that one though, as I liked the way all the circuits looked and it was half the price.

I’ve never done or been required to do any coding in my life, so I was a bit apprehensive on seeing a lot of Steam reviews and comments saying “I’m a programmer and absolutely don’t buy this unless you’re already a programmer.” I feel like I’ve been getting by just fine, honestly. Maybe the puzzles get really mean later on, but so far it’s felt like a pretty gradual difficulty curve, though the graphs tell me my solutions could often be a bit sharper.