What We're Playing: Akiba's Beat Empathy

by: Randy -
More On: What we're playing Vertical Drop Heroes HD

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What are you playing?

Patrick Aloia, Staff Writer, @PatchesAloha
I have been playing a ton of Strafe and Hollow Knight. I'm getting a bit tired of Roguelikes and Souls clones, but when they're as mechanically and conceptually sound as those two games, it's always fun to dive in for a quick play as a destresser. I've been enjoying Strafe's physics more as I've gotten used to them, but I'm still not that crazy about how floaty it is. Hollow Knight is really...neat. It's neat, it's lines are drawn broadly, clearly, and it's purposefully rather hollow in its soundscape and visuals. There's always a mysterious emptiness that I wish they'd either make more or less mysterious. I'm beginning to think this is a common complaint of mine with these types of games—but so it goes. The combat is fun, and God the sound design is really good. Each drip and drop in this weird wet cave echoes throughout, and each pitter-patter of your little protag's footsteps are delightful and crisp. It's, again, very neat. But I like neat.

Russell Archey, Staff Writer, @NeoScyther
I have a couple of games I'll be playing for upcoming reviews. First off is Rezrog which pretty much looks like a mixture of a tabletop game mixed with traditional RPG dungeon crawling elements. Yes I know, I pretty much just described Dungeons & Dragons, but it'll make more sense when you actually see the game. The other game is called Monster Slayer and is pretty much a mixture of an RPG, a collectible card game, and Vertical Drop Heroes. If you don't remember VDH from when I reviewed it awhile back, it's basically a game where you have to go through several stages while building up your heroes. Each time you die you take everything you've acquired to help buff up your heroes to make it further and further each time. That's kind of the gist here as well, which makes sense, as Monster Slayer was made by the same group who did Vertical Drop Heroes, so it goes without saying that I'm enjoying the game so far.

Dan Colonna, Staff Writer, dcolonna@gamingnexus.com
Do you have a moment to hear about the glorious Magikarp? Continuing with my recent and unnerving obsession with iOS games, I just downloaded Pokémon: Magikarp Jump. Honestly, I'm only in it for the cute music and visuals. This game is hysterical, employing Pokémon puns and addicting minigames that revolve around training your Magikarp to jump better than all the rest. There's no better way to unwind after a lousy day than with some bodacious jumping Magikarp. Aside from this ridiculous Pokémon fishing game (which I love), I've ventured back into space to send Destiny off with a bang. With all this hubbub surrounding Destiny 2, I thought it would be ideal to gather my Fireteam for a few months of Strikes, Nightfalls, and maybe even a Raid or two. Wish us luck as we head into the Wrath of the Machine one last time.

Kinsey Danzis, Staff Writer, kdanzis@gamingnexus.com
Overwatch's anniversary event is upon us, so in between working on my review for Empathy: Path of Whispers, I'm cracking down on that. I am the absolute worst at 1v1 duels, but I'm determined to win one. Maybe. Someday. Eventually. Honestly, I'm spending most of my time looking through the Hero Gallery and giggling at the individual dances, because everyone got one. Let's just say that not all of them equal the others. I've also been playing more Mass Effect: Andromeda and spending an embarrassing amount of time on Elaaden following the Abyssal around. For what reason, you ask? I have no idea.

Randy Kalista, Staff Writer, @randykalista
The Long Journey Home launches next week, so I'm busy roguelike'ing my way through the star clusters, trying to bring my crew back to Earth. So far, I haven't done a good job of actually surviving the trip home. Another spacer, Offworld Trading Company: Jupiter's Forge launched this past week, so it's all about the Benjamins on the volcanic surface of Jupiter's moon Io. In my new internal-monologue feature that I'm calling "Coffee is for Closers," I'm attempting to actually finish some games in my library that need finishing. Depending on my mood, it'll either be Life is Strange or Torment: Tides of Numenera.

Nicholas Leon, Staff Writer, nleon@gamingnexus.com
So I beat another full playthrough of The Witcher 3 for what might have been the third time in two years. I'm amazed that that game still carries such emotional power after all this time. I had the snowball fight with Ciri, defeated the Wild Hunt, and the game brought tears of joy to my eyes once again. Sadly, though, I think I've lost some of my patience compared to when I first played it. I frequently changed the difficulty just to get through the game faster (shameful, I know). But I still enjoy the game quite enough. This weekend, I'll be continuing my adventures in the Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine DLC packs. I hope to hone my skills in the Blood and Broken Bones! difficulty to see what I and the game are truly made of. I think I'm probably on my last legs with Geralt and his adventures and companions, but I greatly appreciate all the joy that the programmers and creators of this game have brought me. They are all artists, truly.

Matt Mirkovich, Staff Writer, @Stillmywords
I'm going back to Japan! Sort of. I'll be playing Akiba's Beat this weekend, which is the follow up to Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed. So I get to see some of my favorite Akihabara landmarks. I'm still trying to get that platinum trophy for NieR:Automata, and I'm starting my second playthrough of Persona 5. I've also added Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Fire Emblem Echoes to my pile of shame, sitting right up there with Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Kevin O’Connell, Staff Writer, koconnell@gamingnexus.com
I finished Black Ops II for the fourth time since it came out. I'm realizing it is still a very good game. I'm starting Battlefield 1 with much anticipation. Looking to trudge through it this week with nothing else on the menu.

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