Monday, November 4, 2013

The Playlist - October 29 - November 4, 2013

This past week finally felt like I was back up to speed after my holidays. The majority of my gaming time was split between Street Fighter 4 and The Stanley Parable. I played some FTL on the stream and can firmly say that it is now in my permanent rotation of games that keep on giving. Rounding things out, I played some Team Fortress 2 and wrapped up my current obsession with Path of Exile.

What's Coming Up?

The train of articles appearing on other sites has finally started. For StudentCom, a short piece entitled 'Why do internet cafes still exist?' just went live. Also, the other two pieces I alluded to last week, both related the launch of the Xbone and PS4 appear to have caught a technical snag and will go up at some point this week. I am also hammering out a post on Nintendo's Woes with the WiiU but expect this might slip to next week. For Geekbinge, the first post for my new column, 'Danny's Descant' should be going live within 24 hours and is finally delivering the long promised discussion on 'Are Games Art?'. Additionally, I am working on a counterpoint piece to Jared Russo's review of The Stanley Parable. This will likely hit the site later this week (Thursday or Friday) but may get pushed. Finally, nothing special intended for this blog this week, expect the usual fare (Playlist, Sofa Story, Weekly Roundup).

What I've Been Playing

Street Fighter 4
I am really not sure what got me playing SF4 this week. I suppose the recent news about the incoming updates for the imminent release of Ultra Street Fighter 4 planted the seeds. Or maybe it was my recent Sofa Story, Honda Slaps the World which dealt with a tale of Street Fighter 2 from my youth. Whatever the reason, I hopped on for a few solid online sessions and intentionally worked on a character that I rarely use, Blanka. I went about 50/50 in my matches which is about average for me (I am by no means a tournament caliber player). Ultimately, I had a lot of fun with SF4 this week and am really psyched for the update next year.

Outlook: Probably still in play next week. I am really having a lot of fun with this right now.

Team Fortress 2
Another oldie but a goodie. I hammered out a few sessions of Team Fortress 2 primarily due to the recent Halloween update. I always like to see what kind of random stuff gets thrown into the game around events like this. All told, I wasn't too sold on the new stuff in the game but still had a great time primarily sticking to the Doomsday map. As usual, I played a mix of pyro and soldier and felt pretty good about my play while topping the leader board several times (I am much better at TF2 than SF4 but still far from a pro player). At one point I mixed it up as a sniper and had a pretty epic 15 minute run of no deaths and a ton of kills before I was finally stabbed in the back.

Outlook: This game is always lurking on my radar. It might not make the cut next week but will come back around eventually.

I played this one on stream. The experience reinforced the feelings I iterated in my review; I really like this game and it has earned a spot in my 'need something quick to play' list. After the stream, I played another couple of games but ultimately fell short of my initial accomplishments (at least I did okay while playing live!). The Kestrel was evidently not meant to survive this week.

Outlook: Done with this one for now unless I need to kill 30 minutes to an hour.

Path of Exile
I barely touched this one this week as I predicted in last week's Playlist. Not much more to say than what I already elaborated in my review. It is one of the best free to play games available and no action RPG fan should miss it. Seriously, it's free, just do it!

Outlook: This one has slipped off my radar. Great game, but just so much other stuff occupying my time.

The Stanley Parable
Jared asked me to proofread his review of The Stanley Parable and I was instantly intrigued. This game was only vaguely on my radar and the review absolutely sold it. While I feel that Jared's review is pretty spot-on, I will be writing a counterpoint to it. I won't say more because I feel knowing as little as you can about the game beforehand will make for a more entertaining experience (suffice it to say that if you are even sort of interested, pick it up!). 

Outlook: The game is about a four hour experience and I have completed it. I might go back to grab some screenshots but that's it for the immediate future.