Warpback: What We Played in July 2011

Man, July was a scorcher. And not because we had a ton of great new games to play. It was just HOT. But the Warp Zoned staff did indulge in a handful of new releases and a good, long look at gaming’s back catalog. Because when it’s too hot to even relax properly, staying inside and playing games is the best way to spend your day. And here’s what we played during the days of July.

John Scalzo
My July was all about Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon. The sequel to one of the Xbox 360’s greatest guilty pleasures delivered just as much bug-stomping fun as its predecessor. I also continued to put more time into Dungeon Siege III‘s Hardcore Mode. It might be a hard to believe, but I’ve always thought a well-done action RPG can have lots of replay value. With that in mind, I’ll likely start playing Bastion before the month is over.

Ryan Littlefield
Podcast Producer
Hey, July was cool! Wait, what am I talking about? This month was a scorcher! Perfect weather to – you guessed it, stay inside and play some games! I finished up Battlefield: Bad Company 2 earlier in the month. What a fantastic game, especially towards the end – the characters really started to shine through, and it’s such a fulfilling game when compared to it’s second cousin over in Activision’s studios. Speaking of CoD though, I picked up a copy of Call of Duty 4 to play with Senior Editor Nicole Kline and News Editor Mike Gutierrez. The second I bought it, I immediately opened it up and looked through it like I did when I played it for the first time, back in 2007. (The glory days!) We’ve been flying through rankings in that.

And I also opened Pandora’s Box late last week, when I bought Borderlands with all the DLC from PSN’s 2K Summer Sale. $20 for everything Borderlands? You have my money, 2K. Nicole, Chris and I have been ripping through it, and Mike is starting to get in on some of the splatter kills and critical headshots! I spent several hours playing online with the WZ Staff last weekend – something I never do. 2 AM is a cruel mistress, but that’s the way Borderlands was meant to be played. Other than these though, I’ve been working on some Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero?, some Dissidia: Final Fantasy, and several other games with colons in their names. I plan on getting into Catherine (Heyyo!) when the time is right, but I’m not quite sure if I’m ready for that kind of a relationship right now.

John Martin
Staff Writer
Hm. July. This month was full of summer gaming goodness, albeit a lot of the games I played were not new releases. For starters, I started to stab things with spears as a Warden in Lord of the Rings Online. Not sure if I’ll play it hardcore and raid, but it complements my kick-ass LOTR Extended Edition Blu-Ray boxed set. But truth be told, I’ve probably spent more time watching the movies than actually playing the game.

Speaking of epic fantasy goodness, I’ve dipped into Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion again, thanks to the 5th Anniversary release. I’m happy to say that it has aged well and can still manage to keep me questing for hours on end. I’ve taken to punching the hell out of daedra, so Unarmed skill FTW! It just saddens me that trying to punch things in Demon’s Souls results in an instantaneous and horrific death for me. And just to break away from all of the swords and spells, I’ve been ubercharging and healing dudes as a Medic in Team Fortress 2, which is now Free-to-Play. Well, that was July for me. I’ll cap off the month by playing the block-climbing, social sim from Hell, Catherine!

Chris Urie
Staff Writer
July was a month of demons. I received my daily dose of masochism thanks to Demon’s Souls. The game is murderous but fair. If you die somewhere, then it is probably your own fault for not laying out a detailed strategy in a five page flow-chart. Like the original Castlevania game, Demon’s Souls takes no prisoners and will probably eat your soul if you leave the case out and open too long. I made the demons of Shadows of the Damned “taste my big boner.” Yes that is a direct quote from the game and if you are not sold by that phrase alone, you can read the review right here. Other than those two, I electrocuted buskers as Cole McGrath in Infamous 2. There were no demons in that game, but I filled in for them nicely by listening to the little devil on my shoulder. The buskers deserved it anyway.

Adam Woolcott
West Coast Editor
July was busy… but not for gaming. Not for me, anyway. I spent a lot of time with some Xbox Live Arcade games: Ms. Splosion Man and Half-Minute Hero to be specific. Both were very enjoyable games. In retail land, I grabbed NCAA Football 12, and a review should be up on the site very soon. I also spent some time with downloadable add-ons for a pair of RPGs: Dragon Age II: Legacy and Fallout: New Vegas: Old World Blues. Both are solid entries into the lore of both games. I also got the itch to run through the original Mass Effect as the bitchiest Shepard possible, which was a fun diversion from how I normally play that game. All told it was a pretty good month even if I didn’t play as much as I normally do.

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