No Rest for the Nerdy – Vol. 56

Oh, we're sorry. We couldn't hear you over all the Mass Effect 3 we're playing this weekend.

Erik Norrisby Erik Norris


We never stop playing video games. That’s a fact. Even after we call it quits for the week we still look forward to getting home and continuing our digital conquests. It’s our life blood. So we thought it would be fun to share with everyone what our gaming intentions are for the weekend so you guys can get a sense of what we're playing and enjoying on a weekly, non-formal basis. Yes, this concept isn't new to the internet. But hey, we kind of want to join in on the fun. Can you blame us for that? So without further ado, here’s what we’re playing this weekend that will forfeit any semblance of rest…

Feel free to sound off below to let us know what your gaming plans are this weekend.

erikErik Norris (@Regular_Erik): I will be logging extensive hours into both Mass Effect 3 and the Vita version of MLB 12: The Show this weekend. Both games are gigantic, so I don't expect to get very far into either if I plan to pull double duty. But I guess there are worse things in the world than feeling overwhelmed by quality video games. Le sigh, first world gamer problems. 

If by some divine miracle I'm able to log significant hours into both ME3 and The Show and still feel a need to game elsewhere, I'll turn to Alan Wake's American Nightmare. Currently, I'm no further into that title than I was last week — I've played the first 15 minutes (woo!). But as an avid Waker, I will not let the title get brushed aside by other, bigger releases. I will find the time to play and hopefully enjoy Remedy's latest thriller. 

mikeMike White (@theWhitestMike): I know I'm a little late getting into this last tier of raiding in World of Warcraft's Cataclysm. I still can't help but feel a mix of underwhelmed and confused by my experience in my first "Looking For Raid" group. The first half of the Dragon Soul raid didn't offer up much in the way of interesting mechanics as a healer. Only one fight gave me trouble with the enemy who spawns and drains all your mana. 

I still want to see the second half of the raid and take my shot at Deathwing. Maybe I'm still stuck in the mindset of a full-time raider even though I haven't participated as one in well over a year. I just want so badly for the last boss of the expansion to feel epic. The Lich King still haunts me. Now that was truly an epic boss fight.

I have Wakfu installed and ready to load up, but I'm waiting for a day when I have a good chunk of time to dedicate to it. Usually when a game like this comes out, I do as much research on it ahead of time as possible. I think with this title, I'd benefit more from the opposite. It's not supposed to be like most other games out there, so I want to experience the game with a completely fresh perspective. I'll let you know what I find.

alexAlex Keen (@dbldn): Bad news to report, folks. My Xbox 360 has been sent off to pasture. The console still worked and played games on the hard drive. Unfortunately, the disc drive wasn't recognizing anything. It was shipped off to Washington state, not to see a Microsoft tech, but to see the Costco return center. I am hoping for a full refund on the unit but there are no guarantees.

In the meantime, I will be playing on my PS3 and PSP. Screw the Vita, I'll be taking a spin on ModNation Racing on the PSP. Sure, it's quite a step backwards from my Xbox routines.  Nevertheless, it will justify why I am still holding onto an original release PSP.

On the PS3, I will be spending some solid family time with LittleBigPlanet 2. I had no idea how much improved this sequel was over the original. Consider me impressed so far.  Hopefully they have ample amounts of skeletons and ghosts for the kids in my house to laugh hysterically at!

paulPaul Tamburro (@PaulTamburro): As I have not yet completed Mass Effect 2 I shall not be picking up Mass Effect 3 this weekend. I hope you all have fun with it, though.

Instead I shall be playing a combination of Rayman Origins and the XBLA title I Am Alive. The former I have been intrigued by ever since it was released to critical acclaim late last year, but like most gamers I allowed it to pass me by on account of the sheer wealth of other AAA titles that were lining shop shelves.

I've played through 3 worlds now and can confirm that it's as joyous and beautiful as you have been led to believe. The graphics look simply eye-watering in HD and are as good as any I have seen in recent years, while the gameplay takes cues from its closest comparison New Super Mario Bros Wii, yet improves upon it in almost every way. As a big fan of platformers I can tell you that this is not only one of the best side-scrolling platformers I've played, but one of the best platformers I've played period.

Now, onto I Am Alive. I haven't played enough of it yet to offer a balanced opinion of it, but what I have experienced thus far I am pleased with. While I am disappointed that it wasn't given the full retail release budget and has instead been shoved into the awkward XBLA category of 'games that nearly made it onto disk but weren't good enough', it still offers the tense atmosphere and grit that you'd expect from a "realistic" post-apocalyptic world game. 

Hopefully both of these games will keep me distracted enough to ensure that I won't have to spend the next week or so with my fingers in my ears while the gaming world discusses ME3.

joeyJoey Davidson (@JoeyDavidson): I could sit here and list the slew of PS Vita games that I'm looking to spend time with in the near future. I could also act like I'm going to try and finish I Am Alive or Alan Wake's American Nightmare this weekend.

But, look, who am I kidding? Mass Effect 3 released this past week and I, just like a few others in this column, am working to take my own Commander Shepard on a trek to stop the Reapers.

I'm only eight hours into the adventure so far, but it feels more tight and linear than the other games. I have a feeling that will let up soon and the story will open to a ton of options and quests, but the here and now in my plot is constricted and narrow. It feels like the conclusion to the trilogy, and that tight approach works well for the tension but has removed a lot of the open feel that I loved with Mass Effect 2.

Granted, I'm eight hours in. The game supposedly checks in at around 30 if you do a healthy share of sidequests, which I typically complete, so I expect the door to blow open any second now on this journey. When it does, I'm ready to get lost.