It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! What Are You Playing?


With Friday the 13th behind us, it’s time to look forward to the weekend. Getting any gaming in? If so, what’s on the menu?

I just finished up Halo 5’s campaign with my girlfriend and two of our good friends. This was easily the worst Halo campaign (in my opinion), but I really do like the gameplay changes they’ve made. The running shoulder ram and the air-dash are tons of fun. 6 hours running continuous hallway gauntlets and trying to follow an uninteresting story though… eh, not so much.

If you could hear the collective sigh of 4 Halo fans as the credits began to roll, it would have spoken volumes about our disappointment. One of the friends involved actually stopped playing around chapter 7 the day it released, telling us that it just wasn’t fun at all. And now I agree with him. To each their own of course, and if you enjoyed the campaign I’m definitely happy for you. It just wasn’t what I wanted out of a Halo campaign.

Although I’m a big fan of the Halo series, I’ve never really been in to the multi-player side of things. I like to watch other people play it, but I just don’t have the dedication or the competitive spirit to commit to it myself. I hear the multi-player in Halo 5 is pretty incredible (I know Miles is in to it), so that’s a plus I suppose. I really just wanted to finish off the campaign before the end of the year rolled around. No regrets really, I (we) just wish it was actually fun.

Lately my game of choice has been Toukiden: Kiwami on Playstation 4. If you’re not familiar with the series, it’s basically Playstation’s version of Monster Hunter where you do a bunch of quests and slay huge monsters with up to 4 players online. The series formed when Monster Hunter began releasing exclusively on Nintendo platforms, and I’m thankful for it. It’s a really fun alternative and far less grindy, which I appreciate. The extra attention to storytelling doesn’t hurt either.

There’s a lot of fun weapons to choose from, like a pair of pulverizing gauntlets, a rifle that shoots magic bullets, or a traditional longsword, but I’ve been using a spear for the last 12 hours. I like being able to attack from a decent range and it’s the closest thing to my Dragoon in Final Fantasy XIV.

I really dig the combat as a whole, but one of the cool things is the way you have to tackle the larger “boss” Oni. Pressing the Option button activates a second sight ability that highlights their important points (individual body parts, horns, wings, etc.). Working as a team, you’ll attack each of the highlight areas until one explodes off the Oni on to the battlefield. You can purify it for items, which also weakens the Oni, but if you leave it be the monster will eventually grow it back.

Working as a team is crucial too. If you’re working in tandem, a special meter fills up that lets the highest damage dealer unleash a brutal attack that can sever up to three body parts. Each weapon type also has their own special ability, so you’re always encouraged to stay aggressive–but punished by not playing smart.

One of the things I like most about Toukiden: Kiwami is the Mitama system. The Oni in the game feed on the souls of humans, and by freeing them you’ll gain the ability to attach their souls (their Mitama) to your weapons. Leveling up weapons lets you attach more than one, which is awesome since they come in a variety of different flavors–attack, defense, healing, etc., or the more interesting plunder family that help take down Oni faster.

There’s tons to collect and each of them level up independently to offer unique passive bonuses, like movement speed or the ability to use special abilities in mid-combo. They also offer 4 combat abilities that really help out when battling monsters. You can only use each ability so many times in combat, so knowing when to buff your damage or ration out your healing spells adds another layer of depth to the game.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up in my top 5 games this year. It’s that fun. If you’re intrigued, here’s the game’s launch trailer for PS4 and Vita.

I’ve also been playing my way through Dragon Quest V on DS (3DS, really), and I’m trying to get her finished off so I can start Persona Q when it arrives on Tuesday next week. Amazon had the Wild Card edition on sale today for 50% off, which comes with a deck of tarot cards, a 3DS console case, the soundtrack, and an art book. I’ve had my eye on it since it released, and the $40 price tag was good enough to pull the trigger.

Just like folks have “light reading” books to pick up whenever the mood strikes, I do the same with games. Lately it’s been Nova-111, which released a few months ago. It’s a turn-based RPG style of game that’s bright and colorful, humorous, and easy enough to control where I don’t feel the need to restart it every other weekend.

Every time you move a tile, so does the enemy. You have to plan your moves accordingly, save the scientists, and use memorization to exploit enemy attack patterns in order to progress unscathed. I really enjoyed Quest of Dungeons earlier in the year, and when I saw Nova-111 featured similar gameplay I had to check it out for myself. I’m definitely glad that I did.

So what about you? Any weekend gaming plans? It seems like everyone on my Xbox friend list is either playing Star Wars: Battlefront or Fallout 4.


  1. I worked the entirety of Saturday, but I’ll be getting in on some Splatoon, Smash 4, (Wii U) and a bit more Insurgency (PC) in the early am goings. The new content released for all of them recently has been really great, and keeping their respective titles feeling fresh.

      1. Since I live with my girlfriend who is also an avid gamer, it’s hard to get invested in a multiplayer game when only one of us can play it. Is it possible to split-screen it online, where one uses the TV and another uses the GamePad screen? That’d be the only way we’d pick it up.

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