The weekend is here again, which means the staff at VG247 will be getting their game on.
Surely, you will be too because what else is there to do during the weekend? Mow? Clean the house? Sleep? Go on a bender? Take your significant other to the movies? Celebrate gran’s 83rd birthday? Why would you when there are only so many hours of the weekend in which to play games?
Okay, we get it. The majority of you are adults, so you have certain responsibilities you feel you can't ignore. But we say pish-posh to that! Throw yourself in the recliner, and turn on that PlayStation, Switch, or Xbox. Or, pull your desk chair back and load up a game on your lovely rig.
While you are busy doing that, here's what we're getting into over the weekend.
Dom Peppiatt, Features Editor - Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster
I’ve got the internet back (I have been living without it for two weeks, pray for Dom) and though I thought I’d be slamming the downloads on for all the games I’ve missed during my time in the offline hinterlands, I’ve actually gone back to an old favourite. favorite. Given that PlayStations and Xboxs these days are pretty much redundant blocks of heavy metals and plastics when they’re not hooked up to the internet, I’ve been largely avoiding them in the past few weeks. Instead, I’ve been running through old Switch games I never polished off at launch.
Because I am a hopeless goth nerd with a taste for all things deicide and religious imagery, I gravitated back to my old Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster save. This is one of my favourite games of all time, and playing it through again on the OLED Switch is making me appreciate the timeless art style and incredible art direction even more. Is that a manikin being skinned alive and sacrificed for its life energy? Yep. Does that interpretation of an ancient and revered god have massive boobs and no nipples? Thought so. Does the protagonist have the flattest ass of any videogame character to ever have walked the earth? 100%.
The game holds up, some 20 years on from its original release – it’s hard, it’s moody, it’s very 2000s, and it’s compelling as hell. The story remains incredibly dark and weird, and the tropes it's set up for the next games in the series look even better in situ here. Just don’t talk about the save system, and how – thanks to the Nintendo Switch’s insistence on closing games to check ‘if they can be played’ when you’re offline – I lost four hours of progress the other night...
James Billcliffe, Guides Editor - Shadowrun Returns
If like me, you can't get enough of cyberpunk bullshit, then the rebooted Shadowrun series is an absolute must-play.
They're a trilogy of isometric tactical RPGs where your imagination works overtime to turn the pixel-y little people into a Chandler-esque neo-noir - just with Elves and Orcs and robot legs and stuff.
While they share the classic foibles of turn-based RNG (where anything under a 99% chance to hit might as well be a coin flip), the writing is great fun, the action works, and the characters are well designed.
Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun: Dragonfall, and Shadowrun: Hong Kong are all now on Gamepass and are all excellent (although Dragonfall is the best imo). They're standalone stories that you can play in any order and come highly recommended if you want to play something chill and engrossing with a unique atmosphere and world.
Kelsey Raynor, Guides Writer - Stardew Valley
Last weekend, I watched my friend play some Stardew Valley.
Soon enough, I decided it was my turn, and now I'm running both a solo and co-op farm simultaneously, and I'm well into the fall season in both.
As you can imagine, I've quite literally been living and breathing watering my crops and passing out in the mines, and I'm going to continue doing so for much of this weekend.
I have never gotten past summer in the game or even been this entranced by it before. What a lovely game!