I don't care if it's slated to be 72 degrees and sunny tomorrow here in Boston -- this weekend is going to be terrible. Why, you ask? Because this weekend isn't a PAX East weekend. Mat McCurley isn't crashing on my couch, eating pizza and doing nerd stuff. And the staff of WoW Insider isn't entertaining a crowd of people during a live show. That's the real downer.
Mat worked feverishly to entertain the hell out of an estimated 300 PAX convention-goers last Saturday. Thankfully, he had the foresight to video record the whole thing. You can only watch 10 minutes of it, but they're the only visually important minutes anyway. You should watch it, even if only for the fact that the stunningly handsome Fox Van Allen is in the mix. (Check out the full audio podcast.)
Anyway, though this weekend is sure to be less interesting than the last, we still need to WRUP. Today's bonus question: What's your favorite independent video game?
Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) This weekend is going to be devoted to spring cleaning -- mainly cleaning out the sewing room. And man, is there ever a lot of stuff in the sewing room that hasn't been used in years. So my game will be something along the lines of "What the heck is this for?" and trying to figure out what to do with the piles of fabric that haven't been used in 10 years and likely never will be. As far as gaming goes, I've got raiding on Sunday, and I'll squeeze in some time for the beta, of course!
Bonus question: I don't think I play anything that counts as independently made, so I'm just going to point out this weird little game I played when I was younger and loved called The Neverhood. It was a point-and-click adventure game entirely done in claymation, created by DreamWorks Studios and published by DreamWorks Interactive. It was only released on the PC in the United States, but the soundtrack was delightfully weird. Here's a track.
DreamWorks Interactive was acquired by EA in 2000 and some time after that merged with Westwood Studios and EA Pacific to create EA Los Angeles, otherwise known as Danger Close Games. Now they make stuff like Medal of Honor and Command & Conquer, but I'll never forget the weirdness that was The Neverhood. And there's your history lesson for today.
Chase Hasbrouck (@alarondruid) I'll be watching the Predators lose to the Red Wings in the playoffs for the third time in four years. I'm already expecting it, so it can't depress me when it happens. Not expecting much game time, but if I do, more feral testing in the Mists beta and Borderlands DLC. Bonus: Played a lot of indie games while I was deployed, and it's a toss-up between World of Goo, SpaceChem, and Sequence (DDR with RPG elements ... just try it -- it's good). Binding of Isaac would get a nod as well, if the imagery wasn't so blatantly sensationalistic.
Dan Desmond (@antigen_) I will probably be playing plenty of Mass Effect 3 multiplayer again, especially since the free Resurgence DLC dropped this week. Other than that, I may just flip through the Steam store and see if anything looks fun.
As for indie game, I'd have to say Sword of the Stars by Kerberos Studios was just great. According to my Steam account, I have spent over 150 hours playing it. I would not, however, recommend getting the sequel, Sword of the Stars 2. It's very different and quite buggy, to put it politely.
Daniel Whitcomb (@DanielWhitcomb) It's Easter for me (my church is on the Julian calendar), so I probably won't be doing that much gaming. That said, if I slip in more time, it'll probably be focused mostly on testing unholy on the Mists of Pandaria beta. Then again, I do want to unlock the Geth Engineer on Mass Effect 3 MP, so I may play at least enough games to get another Spectre Pack.
And as far as independent games... Can I be completely predictable and say Bastion? It has incredibly beautiful graphics, it has gameplay that reminds me of the old Zelda games of my youth with its own amazing twists. It has a well-crafted story that's poignant and a way of telling it that blows me away.
Dawn Moore (@dawnwow) This weekend, I'm leveling up to 87 on beta and maybe learning a new champion in League of Legends. Braid or Limbo are my two favorite indie games in recent history. Limbo is incredibly immersive, and Braid is just so frustratingly difficult that I love it.
Elizabeth Wachowski (@leeatwaterlives) I picked up Skyrim again with the intent to finish the main storyline, so I'll be working on that and Mass Effect 3. For some ridiculous reason, I've also been playing a game called Kitten Sanctuary on the iPhone, which is completely pointless but fun. I'm not sure what to say for independent games; I haven't played most of the favorites around here, and so many of them are platformers that make me want to tear my hair out. Hellsing's Fire was pretty neat, though.
Fox Van Allen (@foxvanallen) It's going to be a sunny 72 degrees in Boston on Saturday (sorry it wasn't that nice for PAX), so I'm going to find something to do outside. Presumably with he-who-shall-not-be-named. My answer to the bonus question is also the answer to my WRUP: The Binding of Isaac. I don't know why, but I just can't stop playing.
Joe Perez (@lodurjz) More Mists time this weekend, testing out some of the shaman healing changes, of course, some League of Legends and more writing. I've also started doing hand-drawn comics over on my personal blog Wayofthetotem.com and hope to be adding more to it soon.
My favorite indie game? That's like asking me to pick my favorite among my children (not that I have any kids). But right now, I think it's still dominated by Bastion with Super Meat Boy and Dust Force coming in tied at second.
Kelly Aarons (@Cadistra) I think I'm going to a quasi-welcome-to-spring party? Maybe? I don't know. I just got through some Sherlock Holmes books, so I'm chugging through Devil Survivor 2 again, and tonight I'm picking up Skullgirls on XBLA. I'm in the box with Matticus -- Go Canucks Go! -- so there's that, too.
Favorite indie game? Easy -- Bastion. Bastion Bastion Bastion. I bought the game, the special edition (with the T-shirt, bandana, physical soundtrack, and signed art print) and have ended up owning five separate copies of the soundtrack. Bastion!
Lisa Poisso (@LisaPoisso) I'm painting furniture and answering what I hope will be a stream of buyers coming to see the furniture I'm selling on Craigslist. I'll also be leveling two independent characters in two independent guilds on two independent realms with two entirely independent appeals -- which should be independent enough for you, right there.
Mathew McCurley (@gomatgo) WoW, LoL, work, writing ... this weekend is dumb and boring compared to last weekend.
Matt "Matticus" Low (@matticus) It'll be a gaming lull this weekend. I'll probably get some more Mists of Pandaria beta time. I want to give all the healers a shot. I did cover monks last week. Still have paladins, shaman, and druids to check out. When I'm not playing WoW, I'll be watching the NHL playoffs which will be irrelevant to about most of you (GO, CANUCKS, GO). Sorry, people in Los Angeles -- we are friends 50 weeks out of the year, but not for the next two weeks!
Matthew Rossi (@MatthewWRossi) There's a cave in the Andes. Inside that cave hangs the Inverted Monolith, a black stone that reflects no light. If you strike that stone, there is no sound. From within that artifact, the antithesis of creation waits to burst forth and wash the world away. Life will not die; it will simply cease to be life.
In order to reach the Inverted Monolith, you have to make your way through a gauntlet of traps, some subtle, others elaborate and chilling in their engineering. A thousand times a thousand men and women have sought to breach these defenses and unlock the secrets of
the Monolith, but only its creator knows all the details of that sinister abattoir for adventurers. And Ziebart the Destroyer isn't speaking.
So I'm gonna just play WoW and Dragon Age 2 and do some sketching.
Matt Walsh (@Rhidach) I'll be traveling this weekend, so no gaming for me, though when I get back, I'll try to put some time in on my Mass Effect 2 re-playthrough (the saga continues).
For the bonus: My absolute favorite indie game has to be Minecraft. I've spent a few hundred hours crafting my own worlds. For a guy who grew up breathing, eating, and stepping on Legos, Minecraft is the ideal game.
Megan O'Neill (@slowpoker) Finishing off my hunter to 70 before locking her XP for Outland fun times. Also grinding out her transmog sets. Reading more beta forums, because I probably can't bribe Blizzard for an invite.
Michael Gray (@writegray) First and foremost, finishing up the new master bedroom. I finished putting in the walk-through closet (not the same as a walk-in) recently, building some custom shelving units and now just need to install the carpet. Aside from that, I'm hitting the arena with a vengeance unknown among men until now.
My favorite independent game (sorry to go hipster here) is Gloom. Gloom is hands down my absolute favorite game in the whole wide world. It uses a fun, unique gimmick as a meaningful part of gameplay, encourages creativity, and is actually decent strategy. I can't recommend it highly enough. That the gimmick is both a unique gimmick and an actual core part of game that isn't just shoehorned in is mindblowingly awesome.
Olivia Grace (@oliviadgrace) I will mostly be playing write the essay, mixed in with a few Battlegrounds on my new mage. She needs gear, darn it! Um, independent games... hmmm. I totally loved MediEvil and MediEvil Resurrection, but I think the company that made them was sold to Sony around the release, so I'm not sure if that counts. Woah ... research confirms that, and also that they made James Pond on the Amiga! I loved that game ... I wonder if I can find the Amiga and somehow attach it to my TV? ... Cancel the previous response, playing James Pond. And MediEvil Resurrection.
Robin Torres (@cosmicgeek) I'd like to get some gaming in this weekend, but there's a playdate and a yarn crawl and Disney. Again. Oh! That's what I'll be playing this weekend: air hockey with The Spawn at Flynn's Arcade in California Adventure.
My favorite indie game is Gazillionaire. It's cheesy, but I've spent hours playing it.
The weekend is the perfect time to kick back, relax and enjoy some game time. Are you an achievement junkie? Can't get enough raiding? Rolling a new alt? Considering taking the leap into roleplaying? Whatever your favorite way to play World of Warcraft, let us know in the comments what you're playing this weekend!