TYF Column: What We’ve Been Playing


The “What We’ve Been Playing” column is a new feature for TYF that will go out monthly, with various TYF writers talking about what game they’re currently playing. This could include old games, new games or, in my case, board games…maybe not that one.

Hopefully this will give you all ideas of what to play next or, greater still, a place to chat about what you’re playing now.

My contribution? I played SEGA’s Mortal Kombat this past weekend and learned the hard way that my go to button smashing tactic doesn’t work as well with only three attack buttons at my arsenal.


Check out the staffs picks below, I promise they are all much more knowledgeable than I am. Make sure to let us know what game you are currently addicted to in the comments below!

South Park: The Stick of Truth

You ever have one of those instances where you buy a video game because it was on sale, then forgot to even play it for over a year? This is what happened with me, when I purchased South Park: The Stick of Truth off the Playstation Network well over a year ago. I have well over 100 games downloaded onto my Playstation 3 from past network sales, and it just ended up getting lost in the mix. Now that I finally got around to playing The Stick of Truth, it couldn’t be more evident why this game gets so much praise.

Everything about The Stick of Truth nails the South Park style and dark comedic tones extremely well, thanks to Matt Stone and Trey Parker lending their talents for both writing and voice acting towards the game. In fact, if you thought the show already strayed a little too far into crude territory, The Stick of Truth will feel like an even bigger step into the gross out humor Parker and Stone are notorious for. Literal feces can be used as a weapon and even farts are considered a specialized martial arts technique. It’s all childishly crude and obscene, but all the while being very funny.


Marketed as a turn based RPG, South Park: The Stick of Truth is probably one of the most accessible role playing video games out there for its audience. Containing all the antics from our four favorite potty mouthed kids, and just plain being a blast to play, I am glad to have finally begun playing this title, and can’t wait to hear when the sequel, South Park: The Fractured but Whole, is ready to be released. -Donald

Prison Architect

Prison Architect reminds me of the slew of building and management games that came out in the ‘90s that had all sorts of wacky concepts that went beyond building a city or a theme park. Some (Theme Hospital, Dungeon Keeper, Zoo Tycoon) were excellent games, while others (Lemonade Tycoon, SimSafari, Fast Food Tycoon 2) fell flat. Prison Architect reminds me of the first set of games. It has engaging gameplay, a bunch of design options and a ton of intricate management options on top of the intruiging concept of building a prison. There have been games that have tried the concept before but none of were very good. Prison Architect on the other hand is one of the very best building games of the past decade.


On top of the quality of the game, special kudos should be given to Introversion for one of the most successful implementations of Steam’s Early Access model that i’ve ever seen. While many games have either rotted on the vine or failed to live up to expectations, the team behind Prison Architect released 36 alpha updates to the game over the span of three years before the game was released in full in October 2015. I bought the game in a Humble Bundle in September of 2014, but didn’t give it a go until this month, and I’ve more or less played it non-stop. Highly recommended for fans of building games.- Ryan

Transformers: Devastation

Rated: T


Platform: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, X360

As gamers, every once in awhile we just need something we can boot in times of stress and just smash buttons to beat the crap out of something. Nobody does the modern action brawler better than Platinum Games, the folks in Japan responsible for the hyper kinetic nature of the Bayonetta series and Metal Gear Rising Revengeance. Light attack, strong attack, combos, parrying and well timed dodges are what you execute in battle here, and it’s very accessible to pick up and play and is also strangely addictive to keep going with challenge modes and harder difficulties, making you want to master defeating waves of enemies. Especially considering that the game is broken up by a series of missions that rank you from D to SS based on your performance.

This game is specifically for fans of the absolute old school of transformers. The game boasts a colorful, cell shaded look to accommodate the retro designs of the Autobot and Decepticon fighters, and combined with the voice acting of series veterans Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Frank Welker (Megatron) and others make this game’s campaign, albeit a brief one, feel like an added few episodes to that G1 animated series, except it’s much more engaging since the sequences are watchable, and get you involved. Transformers: Devastation keeps its brief amount of content highly replayable by allowing you to earn new weapons and gear, and synthesize them together, but more importantly it allows you to play as five Autobot heroes throughout the game: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack and the Dinobot Grimlock. Each of these five characters ultimately control the same, but have their own sets of combos, movement, weight and special powers that make each session feel fresh.

Transformers: Devastation is ultimately a bit light on content, especially considering the developer it’s coming from, and the $40 price tag, but if you’re an old fan of Transformers and catch the game on sale, it’s absolutely a fun action brawler to spend some time with and be lulled into a nostalgia trip by the sweet sounds of Optimus Prime and Megatron bickering with their fists.-Evan 

Dark Souls 2

With the release of Dark Souls 3 fast approaching, I decided to return to the one entry in the series I still haven’t finished. Why has it taken me this long? The simple answer is that I’ve had to start this game on four separate occasions with each play through only getting me so far. A change in console generations and more than a few instances of corrupted save files along the way have contributed to my lack of progress on the Dark Souls 2 front. Alas, I decided to give it one more shot. This time something clicked. The ever consuming world of Dark Souls has claimed me once again and I have found myself unable to resist it’s frustrating yet beautiful world. Currently, I am more than half way through the game’s boss total with progress slowly coming with each passing day.

What I really enjoy about these games is how deep the role playing elements are. There is a lot of freedom to choose how you want to play. I always choose to go with a sword and shield knight type. I prefer to be up close and personal; it allows me to control my movements more. There are other options though such as: using magical spells, stacking up on your faith stat in order to heal or cure yourself of ailments at opportune times, or even adopting a pyromancy skill.

As far as the challenge of the game goes, I’m having a fairly easy time with it so far. Part of the reason is that I’m able to take what I learned from playing Dark Souls 1 and put it into practice here, which yields some great results. Another difference though is that Dark Souls 2 feels a lot easier than its predecessor. During the early phases of the game, I was plowing through bosses left and right allowing myself to reach higher levels with ease. That isn’t to say that I haven’t died either. I have faced a fair set of challenges, but all of my deaths are coming mistakes I am making. I tend to blame the game in the moment, but I realize over time where I went astray. For anyone who hasn’t played a Souls game and are curious to try it, here is the greatest tip I can give you. Don’t be afraid to die. Yes, sometimes it can be frustrating, but the knowledge about the game that you get from dying is ultimately what will help you progress. This is a game of experimentation, of approaching enemies from different angles both on through the landscape and tactically. Once you start embracing the inevitable deaths you will experience, your play through of these games will become infinitely more fun.– Grant


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