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What We’re Playing – December 3rd

The weekend is upon us and it’s time to play some videogames. Here are a few games we’ve been playing away from the office this week. What’s on your agenda? Share what you’re playing!

The King of Fighters XIII
Stew Chyou
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While many may perceive it as just another fighting game with disappointing online play, KOFXIII has been that long awaited release for either something new, or something to bring back old skool play with its revival of guard meters, short jumps, and custom combos for all – emphasis on custom combos.

I admit, after being spoiled on SFIV and MAHVEL, I developed a bit of atrophy towards approaching HD combos, often finding myself a bit intimidated. But after watching Korea’s national fighting treasure, Poongko, go to work on Twitch, my inspiration was rekindled and I find myself having fun in training mode as it goes to show you don’t necessarily need the most complicated, meter burning combos to dish out the pain.

For those that still doubt XIII‘s impact on the community, an open letter to Atlus has been published – imploring improvement on the netcode for Westerners. Seeing that Asia never experiences any problems with their online play, thanks to everyone and their mom using fiber optic connections, I really do hope that we see the necessary amendments required to maximize the experience for all enthusiasts.

Dungeon Defenders
James Dewitt
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As a gamer who usually abstains from strategy titles, occasionally I like to try and challenge myself with a game that throws a lot of numbers and depth to wrap my tiny brain around. Dungeon Defenders is such a title, namely a tower defense game with the charm of a Saturday morning cartoon and an unyielding difficulty that seems completely uncharacteristic. That said, it’s a decent and well-built title with elements that not necessarily come to together and frankly could’ve benefited from simplifying things.

It’s a title built for co-op play, ideally one for each class, with solo gameplay only thrown in for players to get a handle on the mechanics. This was actually my first experience with a straight-up tower defense game and although strategy is key to victory, it’s mostly about funneling huge quantities of enemies into key chokepoints and setting up various traps and defenses to thin the herd, jumping into the fray directly when things get out of hand. The sheer amount of enemies is mind-boggling, and rather confusing as the best laid armaments and traps do little to stem the tide.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Nick Vracar
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Unlike Oblivion, and definitely unlike Morrowind (a game which becomes slightly more unplayable with every passing year), I have found myself sucked into the world of the dragonborn. It’s huge! There’s just so much to do, so many places to see that I feel compelled to follow every side quest to their (hopefully) rewarding ends. It’s a strange world that allows me the freedom to explore, and though the land is huge it’s traversable enough that I don’t look upon the new journey with dread, knowing the hike that lays before me.

Not that the game’s all wine and roses. Combat is iffy. I’ve been instant-killed more often than I’d like. The dialogue ranges from tolerable to bad and some of the voice acting sounds dull and uninspired. Bugs seem to pop up randomly. I bought a house and couldn’t acquire decorations for it for seemingly no reason. An arrow lodged itself into my chest and remained there for hours of play. I took off my armor, put on my armor. Nothing. Then it just disappeared. And then there was that dragon I was fighting that managed to get itself into a crevice and kept flashing between two points of space, one of which was in the range of my sword, the other was not.

But at the end of the day, I suppose I choose to ignore those glitches. I ignored the glitches in Fallout: New Vegas even though one of them prevented me from entering the city of New Vegas while not in the possession of an old cowboy hat (only by wearing the old cowboy hat could I avoid the black screen). I only plan on playing through Skyrim once, and in that time I plan to see how much of the world I can see. It’s a big place, and worth exploring.

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in August 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @S_Chyou.

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