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What are you playing this weekend?

Groundhog whispers of sunshine bright, but my teeth still chatter through the night.

Drac (male version) stands outside of the neon-lit Gargoyles club.
Image credit: The Deep End Games / 2124 Publishing

Once again the weekend has come, along with a sense of security knowing we can idle through life for a couple of days before reality creeps through the door. It’s a shame it’s so cold out. Otherwise, we’d all plan something for the weekend that didn’t involve being crestfallen and cooped up due to inclement weather. Yet, fear not dear hearts: earlier in the month, news out of the US claimed we will soon kick frigid air in its backend and welcome sweet rays of warning sunshine. At least, that’s what a strange, but fun tradition tells us.

The US has some strange traditions. Well, I suppose every country does, but I’m not familiar with many outside of my home country that may seem odd to a non-native. But anyway, case in point: every year on February 2, people around the US are glued to TV, news outlets, radio stations, or any other form of public communication because of a large, furry meteorologist with an innate perspicacity to predict the weather.

Yes, I’m talking about Groundhog Day. The day in which a pampered, rather rotund, ground-dwelling, Pennsylvanian rodent named Pawtucket Pat (it’s actually Punxsutawney Phil), is pulled from his den at the local library (he must be very well-read), and shuttled to a temporary den in a rural area known as Gobbler's Knob (you can’t make this stuff up). It is here, where a group called the Inner Circle and an excited crowd are waiting for Phil to emerge from this temporary den and predict whether we can expect an early spring or are destined to suffer through six more weeks of winter.

Should Phil see his shadow, more winter it be - should no shadow he see, spring be comin’ for ye. The furry critter relays this information using “Groundhogese” to the only person who understands it - the Inner Circle’s president. After exclaiming Phil’s prediction to the crowd, he is held aloft, similar to Simba in The Lion King, to enthusiastic cheers - and maybe some jeers if he saw his shadow.

Unbiased assessments suggest the little fella's prognostications have held true 35% to 41% of the time since documentation of the tradition began in 1887. This year, much to the delight of most of the US, I assume, Phil predicted an early spring. Following this news, many states enjoyed a week of mild weather (by winter’s standards), and the following week saw many blessed with temperatures warm enough to warrant opening a window or two. For the winter fatigued, it was proof the forecasting marmot harbors mystical powers.

Well, I'm here to say it's a load of bunk. If the gods have indeed blessed us with an early spring, praytell, all-knowing groundpig, what is that cold, white substance covering my lawn? Mother Nature must have missed your memo sent by carrier pigeon - covered in snow I might add - because it’s colder than a breakup text outside. My stabby unicorn socks, trying their best to keep my feet warm, are weeping over this ‘early spring’ charade. You owe them an apology, furry oracle (and maybe some heat lamps). With the vernal equinox four and a half weeks away, I'll concede a couple of weeks for the prediction to come true. If I don’t see butterflies frolicking and tulips erupting from the ground by then, I’m calling shenanigans!

Thankfully, until things warm up, there are plenty of games available to stave off cabin fever as we loll about in our toasty pajamas. Here are just some of the few we are playing this weekend:

Tekken 8 - Evil Jin Reveal and Gameplay TrailerWatch on YouTube

Connor Makar, Staff Writer - Tekken 8, WoWC

This weekend it's back to my usual - Tekken 8 and World of Warcraft Classic. I'm nearing red ranks in Tekken and feeling pretty good about my progress. Ran into my first King last night and was traumatized. When it comes to WoW, I'm nearly level 40 which is dope. Once I hit it, I'll have to venture around and collect my new runes and collect my pre-raid BIS. So yeah, a busy weekend all in all!

Elden Ring Overview TrailerWatch on YouTube

James Billcliffe, Guides Editor - Elden Ring

I'm about 25 hours into my tourist run of Elden Ring, fuelled by a new appreciation of the lore, and I'm surprised by how much I missed or just completely misunderstood the other times I've played it.

It can't just be my memory, because I know FromSoftware has updated a lot of the quests since release, but it all feels a lot simpler once I have a better grasp of who the major characters are and how they relate to each other.

Another thing I'd kind of forgotten is just how huge of a game Elden Ring is.

It feels like I've flown through a lot without much resistance, but I've still got Mt Gelmir, the mountaintops, Miquella's Haligtree, and the Snowfield, then the endgame to go! I'm hoping to make a big dent, or even finish the lot, this weekend.

Helldivers 2 launch trailerWatch on YouTube

Kelsey Raynor, Guides Writer - Helldivers 2 and playing with a cat

This weekend I'm catsitting! I can't have pets where I currently live, so being able to catsit on occasion is a treat. That said, I probably won't have too much time for video games over the weekend, but I hope to jump into Helldivers 2 at some point and see what all the hype is about.

Aside from that, I'll continue whittling away at Persona 3 Reload when I can.

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth opening movie.Watch on YouTube

Mark Warren, Senior Staff Writer - Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth

This weekend, I’m going to do myself a favour and finally finish messing around in Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth. It’s not good for me to keep putting off running around town to take in the few remaining party chats I’ve got left and master the minigames I haven’t taken to the absolute brink yet. So, I’ve decided. I’m gonna do it (Note: he almost certainly won’t manage to do it).

Also, I’ll probably scan Steam for some more cool demos that went up as part of Next Fest, having really loved the one for Pacific Drive I played last weekend. Who doesn’t love driving around a hazardous environment in a comfy old family car, eh?

Romancelvania Official Launch Trailer - Steam, PS5, Xbox X/SWatch on YouTube

Rebecca Jones, Guides Writer - Romancelvania

O gather ‘round children as I tell you the thrilling tale of a game I loved when I played the demo at Steam Next Fest last February and bounced off of quite hard when I got into the full release a month later, but recently picked up again and am now utterly obsessed with: Romancelvania.

It’s a dating sim/Metroidvania mash-up where you play a lovelorn Dracula starring in a reality TV show where they go on dates with hot monsters.

Maybe it's the fact that I hadn't played a Metroidvania game since approximately 1997, and so it took me a while to find my footing with the genre; maybe it's because Romancelvania genuinely needed a few QOL-focused updates to really hit its stride; or it's just that I have a Steam Deck now and this game is well at home on there (despite draining the battery faster than Drac drains all the blood from an allegedly-willing production assistant). It’s probably a bit of all three, but whatever the cause, the formula has finally hit right for me, and I'm now thoroughly invested in hack-and-slashing Drac's way back onto the dating scene.

Cartman waiting for Wii's release - Season 10 E 12: Go God Go
Image credit: South Park Studios

And there you have it: our plans to stay out of the cold. What about you? Are you braving the elements this weekend or staging nestled inside your cozy abode and playing video games? Let us know!

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