What we're playing

by: Randy -
More On: What we're playing
Japan is on track to complete its Super Nintendo World park this summer, creating a "life-size, living video game" experience. Microsoft will be there, but Sony is skipping E3 for the second year in a row. And Kagawa Prefecture in Japan wants to limit children to one hour of video games during the school week, and 90 minutes on the weekend.
So, what are you playing?
Eric Hauter
After several false starts over the years on a number of systems, I have determined that I am going to beat the 2013 version of Tomb Raider. The game looks and runs great on Stadia, and I am far enough in now that I would feel bad if I didn't complete the story.
Interestingly, my three-year-old has become involved in my playthrough, coming over to sit in my lap during some of the less graphic portions. But, as anyone who has played the game can attest, Tomb Raider swings wildly from not-very-graphic to insanely graphic in mere moments. During those times, my son gets all excited, bouncing in place and merrily announcing "She's DEAD!" every time that Lara catches a spike through the head or falls to her doom. If he were any older, I would shoo him out of the room. But at this age, I feel like he can watch Lara die in any number of awful ways without being permanently scarred. My wife disagrees. But he seems fine. Happy, even. The Dark Crystal on Netflix, however, scares the pants off of him.
Randy Kalista
Since Thanksgiving, basically, it's been me playing Skyrim on PS4 while my daughter plays Skyrim on PC. Or me playing Skyrim on PC while my daughter plays Skyrim on PS4. Between the couch and the computer chair, she and I were constantly trading seats, catching up on our characters saved separately on either machine. "I think that playing Skyrim all Saturday morning until 3 p.m. is probably enough, you two," my wife said. And she's right.
So I got Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen. It's a role-playing game that came out only six months after Skyrim, and the differences are phenomenal. Dragon's Dogma's dragon looks like a sock puppet. The town's streets are barren. Your default hair is absolutely early 2000's JRPG. The soundtrack trades in its lutes and orchestra for J-rock guitar solos and airy arias. But the nighttime is black and frightening, the climbing-on-monsters combat is fluid, and the map is unfolding in a bland but comforting way. So, for now, I'm hooking a lantern onto my belt, bashing crates and barrels in people's private residences, and figuring out why that sock puppet dragon plucked the heart out of my chest like a martini olive and decided to let me live.