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What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Screenshot: Nintendo

The weekend is for trying to calm down, take stock, and press onward. It’s also for totally ignoring my feelings by playing video games.

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I’ve never played an Animal Crossing game before, but our EIC Stephen told me about the series so eloquently a few weeks ago that I’m totally sold on New Horizons. I don’t know if it’ll be my speed, but it will be nice to be playing the same game as everyone else for a while.

What about you? What are you playing?

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DISCUSSION

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Knee-deep in wrassling games, Fire Pro Wrestling World and WWE 2K19. With all the time on my hands, I’m going buck wild downloading created wrestlers.

Also in the middle of my Platinum run of Sonic Forces (right now, I’m just about done grabbing all the collectibles in each stage); thankfully, the game is playable in the way that Sonic 06 and Sonic Boom was not, but it is aggressively mediocre despite the excellent graphics and soundtrack (of course). The linchpin of good game design is establishing rules and boundaries in a game so that when a player fails, they always know the why and how (see: Mario). The problem with 3D Sonic design is that it constantly fails at this: the game has bumpers at the end of half-pipe segments to automatically leap you to the next segment, except when it doesn’t and lets you fall helplessly to death. The game’s boost mechanic relies on you smashing enemies during running segments to keep the boost going, except when it decides to trigger an enemy hit even when the boost should prevent that.

And above all else, you need second-nature controls, but Sonic in this game engine is too twitchy in 3D segments and too unresponsive in 2.5-D segments to be precise as the game demands. It’s squarely in that middle super-average ground between the terrible tier of 06/Boom/Shadow/Lost World and the ones that pulled it off like Colors and Generations. The game can be fun in decent spurts, but then a failure of the engine, physics, and controls will pull your hair out by killing you through no fault of your own.

Also, on the job front, as a currently out-of-work-because-of-COVID freelance editor, I just got hired this morning to do a freelance gig for EA/Apex Legends, so I’m really stoked about that.