While the Vagary staff is comprised of a large group of like-minded individuals, that group has an eclectic range of tastes. What’s Up With Vagary is a chance for a selection of our staff to fill you in on what is sucking up the majority of their time during the past week.
Kyle Baron – Editor in Chief
I’ve been playing Swords and Soldiers. It’s a side-scrolling strategy game where Viking, Aztec, and Chinese armies fight one another using spells and a small assortment of units and structures. Despite its simplistic and charming appearance, things get complicated quickly.
After the entire campaign and a couple online matches, I’m still not sure if the game’s surprising depth ends up making all of the units balanced. Online matches and much of the second half of the campaign result in some messy games won or lost in some surprising ways that feel like exploiting the game rather than exploring more than one strategic option. Despite all of the game’s charm and interesting touches for each faction, I can’t recommend it as a purchase.
Tony Odett – Review Staff
Soul Calibur 5, my life, my bane. I like the occasional fighting game, but when there’s an awful story combined with ridiculous button mashing, I go crazy after a while. Still, at least it looks pretty and the soundtrack works for me. I think I’ll slog through more of this during the week and then get the crap beaten out of me online.
I’ve also been playing NBA 2K12, AKA The Best Sports Game of All Time. Tony O’Connor is taking the Jazz to an NBA championship. I’m unstoppable shooting off the dribble, even with a hand in my face. Really, this is a sports RPG and the finest you can play. For fans of basketball, this is a must own game.
Magnus Risebro – Editor
Since Gears of War 2’s Horde, the bite-sized co-op mode has has rapidly become a staple of shooters, with CoD, Halo, Battlefield and many more each with their respective versions. Resident Evil: Revelations too features such a mode, and I’ll be damned if it hasn’t sneakily chewed up a sizable amount of my time:
Raid Mode, as it’s called, takes segments from Revelations’ campaign, slaps on a scoring-system, and lets two players run through them, ranking their performance. Gunning down mutants side-by-side with another player provides quick-fire thrills, and is made all the more satisfying due to a surprisingly fleshed-out leveling/progression system. There are a handful of guns to unlock, each one found in variants with randomized stat properties (so even if you have the same assault rifle as I, mine could have a higher rate of fire), as well as weapon modifications that boost stopping power, damage, capacity and so on. This, as with any good persistent leveling system, makes the game hard to turn off, as you’ll be too eager to test the power of whatever new gun you just unlocked. A few matchmaking issues aside, Raid Mode is a strong addition to a very solid game. Look for the full Resident Evil Revelations review soon here at Vagary.TV.
Don Parsons – Publisher Relations Liaison and Review Staff
I’ve spent a majority of my week playing Final Fantasy XIII-2. Not to spoil too much of my review, but I am really enjoying it. I love the new “monster taming”, giving the focus of the story to the two main characters yet still offering a vast, dynamic party selection. I’m about 25 hours in at the moment, and while the past hour has been a little frustrating, it has been very hard to put down.
Completing my menu for games this week is my love-affair with Battlefield 3. I’m been playing with the recently-released Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit controller (another review coming soon), putting it through its paces. Battlefield 3 never gets old, and each time I tell myself “I can only play for an hour, I have work to do” I end up playing for two to three hours.
So that is what we have been up to, what about you? Fill us in by dropping us a comment.