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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Aggie Arcade: Your weekly dose of video games

March Madness

March has been a slow month in the field of video game news, but that’s because people are busy actually playing games. I can’t remember a March lineup quite like this and it makes for an exciting time of the year (notwithstanding school finals).

This past weekend I finished South Park: The Stick of Truth, the long-awaited collaboration between the creators of South Park and developer Obsidian Entertainment. South Park video games have a long history of being absolutely terrible, but show-runners Matt Parker and Trey Stone make a concerted effort with The Stick of Truth. The game plays like a love letter to fans of the show.

The game’s humor coincides directly with its success — funny video games are rare because writing video game humor can be difficult. But the biting satire, pop culture references and crude jokes that define “South Park” are also found in The Stick of Truth. In fact the entire game feels like an extended episode of the show, right down to the remarkably similar art style.

Now that The Stick of Truth is in the rear-view mirror, I can look ahead to Dark Souls II, perhaps my most anticipated game of the year. I’ve already cataloged my 2013 love affair with Dark Souls — I finished it three times and put over 130 hours into the game. If Dark Souls II captures even a fraction of that obsession, I’m sure I’ll love it.

Much has been said of the changes being introduced to Dark Souls II, namely the fact that players can be invaded by other players at any time. Part of me cowers in fear at the notion of losing progress because someone else wants to flex their muscles and show off their new +5 katana, but I also recognize the thrill of victory. I didn’t spend much time with the multiplayer component of Dark Souls, but when I did defeat another player, the adrenaline rush was incredibly satisfying.

Also out this week is Titanfall, perhaps the biggest release of the month. Following the Infinity Ward fiasco 2010, ex-Call of Duty designers went on to form Respawn Entertainment. The first game from the company attempts to rival other popular online shooters with its emphasis on vertical traversal and gigantic mechs. Think Call of Duty with wall-running and powerful robots.

Titanfall is a Xbox One/PC release, but I don’t own the former and my computer is not capable enough to run the game. Sadly that means I’ll have to miss out on the game, but early reviews indicate fans of online multiplayer shooters will love Titanfall.

Closing out the month is inFAMOUS: Second Son for the PlayStation 4. I’m happy that I purchased a PS4 because I enjoy being part of the early-release zeitgeist, but I must admit that the new console has been collecting dust in my house. I’m simply waiting for the games to come out and inFAMOUS: Second Son looks to be the first big-name release of 2014 for Sony’s latest platform.

I enjoyed the first two inFAMOUS games, and early previews/videos appear to point to another successful entry in the open-world series. If nothing else, it looks as though inFAMOUS: Second Son will emphasize the technical prowess of the PS4 with its top-notch visuals. Hopefully the game’s mechanics are just as good.

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