Warpback: What We Played in May 2011

May ends with a wimper in the new releases department, but the month that is known for flowers and rebirth did drop several big new titles into our living rooms. As we prepare for the return of Duke and this year’s E3 Expo in June, we look back on what we played in May…

John Scalzo
Editor-In-Chief
I didn’t play Brink and I didn’t play L.A. Noire. I know, I’m a very bad gamer. In fact, the only May release I did play was the Xbox Live Arcade remake Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury. It’s not one of Treasure’s best, but the sheer brutality of the levels makes it interesting for at least an afternoon.

Oh, and speaking of brutality, I am still extremely obsessed with Mortal Kombat. Some might say too obsessed. NetherRealm’s reboot of the klassic series just has me hooked and I feel like I’m ten years old again. And then part of me is astounded that I was playing Mortal Kombat at ten. No one thought of the children in the 90s; it was great.

Finally, I put a few minutes into a wide variety of XBLA titles. OK, that’s not true – there’s no variety. They’re all shooters: Yar’s Revenge, Geometry Wars 2 and the underrated Heavy Weapon.

Nicole Kline
Senior Editor
More like what haven’t I played in May! I finished up Pokemon Black Version and reviewed it, then wrapped up Pokemon SoulSilver. I didn’t catch ’em all, but I sure caught a lot! After that, I was just twiddling my thumbs, waiting for L.A. Noire to come out. I gave Brink a try, but that was all it deserved, so I put it down and instead decided to start Final Fantasy VI as well as Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness, the PSP remake of the first game in the series. I’m utterly hooked on both!

Once L.A. Noire came out, though, it was hard to tear me away from that. Even though I finished and reviewed it already, I’m eager to go back and re-play the cases again and re-immerse myself in the life of Cole Phelps, as well as check out the DLC. I’m also testing out Dream Trigger 3D for the 3DS, as well as finally taking the plunge back into Rapture with BioShock 2 – I figure since the Rapture didn’t happen, I might as well play that game, amirite?

Now, that’s what I call a lot of gaming. I also read a book, but don’t tell Adam Woolcott.

Mike Gutierrez
News Editor
As far as new games, I’ve only gotten to check out Brink and I can’t believe how much of a letdown the segment I played was. Between the AI and repetition, I came away thoroughly disappointed with what was one of my most anticipated games of Summer.

May was mostly another catch-up month for me, and I’ve been showing a lot of love to my DS and PS3. I’ve finally torn the wrapping off the excellent Dragon Quest V and have fallen in love again with the classic sense of adventure the series nails so well. Since the PSN has gone back up, I’ve gotten closer to another prestige in Call of Duty: Black Ops and have unlocked a bunch more wonderful toys in Killzone 3. In addition, I’ve started getting seriously into Pokemon White Version and have also started a new file in my favorite game this generation: Metal Gear Solid 4.

Ryan Littlefield
Podcast Producer
After finishing Divinity II in early May, I decided to revisit some old friends. Friends meaning games (sometimes with real friends though.) I had a chance to finish up Pokemon HeartGold, and really sink my teeth into Pokemon Black. That’s been going well, and so has my mission to catch ’em all. I finished up Ninja Blade in the middle of the month as well, and was actually fairly impressed with the quality of that title, including the surprising differences from Ninja Gaiden, despite its initial appearance as a knock-off.

When L.A. Noire came out, I took a couple nights to check that out, and I know I’ll be continuing it a lot more as I finish up a couple other games. I also finished Super Mario Galaxy 2, and have since continued Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Dead Space. I’ll probably get those out of the way soon, and be ever closer to my aspiration of being a one-game man. May was a good catch-up month for me. I hope I’m not the only one who thinks the feeling of finishing a game is like checking off errands as you do them. Bring on June and its summer gaming goodness!

Adam Woolcott
West Coast Editor
Most of May was spent planning for a trip across the country, but I did get some gaming in. The first part of the month revolved around catching up on stuff, but I did get to play L.A. Noire. Not as much as I’d hoped, but now that May is over I’m going to dig in. When I’m not playing Dirt 3, anyhow. Dirt 3 is something of a fusion of the super-serious tone of the original game, and the ridiculous late 90s “EXTREMEEEEEEEEEE!!” attitude of Dirt 2… and it really works well. Look for the review here on the site in the near future. Also, I grabbed Sega Rally Online Arcade, which can best be described as a stripped down version of 2007’s Sega Rally Revo. A review for that is also coming soon, but here’s a preview: it might be more feasible to track down a copy of Revo to get a more content-packed title.

Chris Urie
Contributor
May was mostly about the RPG for me. Final Fantasy XIII took up a good chunk of my gaming time… and I’m still not finished. I got lost in the mass of spiky hair and shiny cinematics. Next up, I had to revisit my old friend The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Morrowind will always have a special place in my heart, but Oblivion is still an insane amount of fun even if all the NPCs are stare creepily at you all the time.

I had been waiting for this game for a long time, having pre-ordered it the day it became available… because I love doing science. Yep, Portal 2 continued to keep me occupied in May, and was one of the most enjoyable games I played. It was nice to hear my old friend GlaDoS back at her old neurotoxin-filled antics. I could test forever, or until she kills me.

Finally I rounded out May with a healthy dose of Assassin’s Creed II. There is nothing like leaping from rooftop to rooftop in Renaissance Florence to assassinate a semi-historical figure. That game is filled with flying-leapy-stabby fun. It felt good to play a game with some, albeit only a little bit, strategy involved where you don’t just run up to a guy and mash the action button until one of you is missing limbs.

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