Warpback: What We Played in April 2012

April has come and gone, and with it, very few game releases… but a lot of games played! Thanks to everyone’s backlogs and a little event called PAX East, the Warp Zoned staff was very busy this month. Read on to find out what we got to play at PAX, what we caught up on, and what Platinum Trophies were finally attained while the April showers rained down on us.

John Scalzo
While there wasn’t much in the way of new releases during the month of April, a bevy of announcements and the 2012 edition of PAX East (my first) filled the last four weeks with excitement.

During PAX East I was able to get my hands on a ton of promising games including Aliens: Colonial Marines (awesome multiplayer), Borderlands 2 (the cel-shaded shooter is looking even more cel-shaded), Double Dragon: Neon (sidescrolling brawlers forever), Penny Arcade 3 (I love the 16-bit style), Max Payne 3 (bullet time is back), Quantum Conundrum (tricky puzzles and quirky humor make John a happy boy), Sleeping Dogs (I slammed a gangster’s head into a table saw), Spec Ops: The Line (just another cover-based shooter, but it’s looking sharp), and Lollipop Chainsaw (nice and naughty).

After heading home, I spent much of the month with Skullgirls, an all-girl fighting game that isn’t for beginners. Expect a review soon. And even though it’s a “mobile” platform, I also do most of my iOS gaming at home too. This month I was sucked in by Zynga’s latest word game, Scramble With Friends, and Zack Gage’s SpellTower, which also wowed audiences at PAX East.

Nicole Kline
Senior Editor
You know what they say… April releases bring sore May wrists! Er, or something like that. But no, really, there wasn’t much new that came out this month. I was busy trying to get the Platinum Trophy in Damnation (for the second freaking time) with Ryan Littlefield, rolling my way through Touch My Katamari, re-rolling my way through Katamari Forever (in Katamari Drive mode this time!), and looking longingly at my copy of Prototype that has been sitting next to my television in the hopes that I will actually open it up and play it. Oh, and I’ve been playing a little bit of Sword and Sworcery on my iPad and a lot of the Diablo III beta on my boyfriend’s computer for the last few weeks.

I also played tons and tons of games at PAX East as well – Aliens: Colonial Marines, Borderlands 2, Double Dragon: Neon, the third in the Penny Arcade series, Max Payne 3, Monaco, Mortal Kombat Vita, Sleeping Dogs, Spec Ops: The Line, Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir, and Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy. It’s been a very, very busy month for me!

Ryan Littlefield
Podcast Producer
Finally, a month that didn’t totally whiz past me! Ha ha, whiz. April was a big month of finishing up games that I’ve been playing forever. I’m down to half of my list! First though, I divebombed through Konami’s Birds of Steel in a few days. Keep an eye out for the review as well! After that, I plowed through Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD, finished up my co-op campaign of Damnation with Nicole, and got my well-deserved platinum for trekking through that steampunk garbage heap. The next day, Final Fantasy XIII met its inevitable end as well. Now I’m working on Persona 3, Demon’s Souls, Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational, and Pushmo. SPOILER ALERT: At least one of those games will be finished in a couple days. I’ve got a couple games left, and then I’m going to get into my love affair with Xenoblade Chronicles. I can’t wait!!

Melissa Niedringhaus
This month, I played Journey, which you should really check out if you haven’t yet. It only takes a few hours to play through, and trust me when i say the experience is one that cannot be duplicated.

I’ve also been spending a crazy amount of time playing Fez, which is one of those games that defies description. When you start it, you think it might be like Crush, or Echochrome, or maybe even Super Paper Mario, but I don’t think those comparisons really fit. I’d say it’s more like Myst, the kind of game where you need to make detailed notes just to keep everything straight. It’s a real thinking person’s game, right up my alley. I’ve also been playing Draw Something, but I’m bad at remembering to take my turn! All of my current games have probably expired by now, whoops.

And last but not least, I got the Dance Dance Revolution bug all over again. Every month or so, I like to pull an old rhythm game out of the closet and play it, just to keep my skills sharp in case anyone challenges me! DDR Max 2 is in the PS2 at the moment, but I also have Extreme and Extreme 2 sitting on the top of the machine, for when I get tired of dealing with the hateful Whistle Song and Burning Heat on heavy.

Andrew Rainnie
Staff Writer
I have played nothing but Mass Effect 2; it has dominated my gaming life the way Xenoblade Chronicles did last year. Sixty hours playing as the galaxy’s most garrulous playboy. Seriously, Shepard has so many sexy aliens throwing themselves at him that somewhere in another universe Captain Kirk is seething. But, as a screenwriter, the more I play it, the less and less I want a film to be made. There would be so many details lost – characters, plots, locations – if its epic scope was squeezed into two and a half hours of film time. Given the success of “Game of Thrones,” I would love to see a TV series set in the Mass Effect universe, since we no longer have classic sci-fi staples like “Star Trek” or “Stargate” on the box anymore.

Now all I need to decide is which body organ to sell to buy Mass Effect 3.

Joshua Wise
April has been a strange month. The Darkness II stole a whole weekend from me, as I played through the game twice in three days. Fez both charmed and frustrated me, leaving me less willing to run through the game a second time with my handy Rosetta Stone in hand. Binary Domain has surprised me in the last week, being both a terribly clunky and oddly engaging experience. Finally, the game that stole the most time from me at the end of April was a preview build of Warlock: Master of the Arcane which somehow manages to scratch the Civilization itch more than Civilization does for me.

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