The Backlog: Cruisin' Pandora in an Audi R8 edition

borderlands Get it? Because the only two games that the three of us played were Borderlands and Forza Motorsport 3? And the Audi R8 is the cover model for Forza?

Oh, whatever. You try using Photoshop on an old laptop without a mouse, you jerk.

Claptrap: The face (and number one dancing sensation) of the Borderlands.

Aaron:

I...I finished Borderlands in two days and change. Final hour count? 33.

It's been an extremely long time since I've powered through a game, in a short timespan, without any thought of my own health -- social or otherwise (i.e., the whitening of my already milky skin). My last foray into the Basement Dweller's lifestyle was freshman year of college. The saucy minx that caused me to neglect social responsibilities for 32 hours of my Friday through Sunday was a dame by the name of Knights of the Old Republic II.

Windows darkened by drawn blinds, a once-open dormitory door locked shut...a rationed supply of instant mac and cheese. The horrors that occurred in Decou 105 that weekend are still shared in tense whispers today. Or, more likely, they're talking about the drug dealer who had an operation going on our third floor. Doug remembers!

Thanks to Borderlands' co-operative nature, I played with a few different friends throughout my weekend gaming spree; I definitely don't feel as much of a dweeb now. Sorta.

The game is addictive, well-tuned and a white-knuckle blast -- right until the end. For the record, Borderlands' ending is awful. Hours of gameplay and that is the payoff? But let me be clear: the game is entirely worth purchasing, and I still plan on a second playthrough (which adds harder enemies and better loot). Level 50 awaits.

I should probably go tan now.

Rock Band on iPhone

Nick:

I hate moving. Spending hours scrubbing and cleaning and packing my life away isn't exactly how I wanted to be spending the last week, but with everything but my Xbox packed away I haven't really had much time for gaming. The exception to the rule? Borderlands, of course!

If Aaron's anecdote wasn't enough proselytizing for you, I might as well pitch in my two cents and agree with his sentiments. Borderlands is the most addictive game I've played in a very long time. It's got the same engrossing world and cleverly interwoven quest lines of the best Bethesda has to offer, but with excellent, high-intensity combat in the spirit of Diablo II. It's not perfect, but it's still a hell of a game.

I also picked up a couple of iPhone games: the remastered adventure classic Beneath a Steel Sky and the mobile port of Rock Band. Both have some impressive strengths and serious handicaps, but I'll reserve judgment on either until I've had more than a few minutes to sit down and play them.

Doug's last known whereabouts: Gleefully skidding past the competition, into the lead. No need to send for help.

Doug:

For fear of sounding like a rabid fanboy, I've caught myself on a couple of occasions this week almost physically craving Forza Motorsport 3. After picking it up on Tuesday after class, I haven't had nearly enough time to dig in to the goodness on offer — a few hours here and there, but not nearly as much as I'd like.

Without skirting too far into the realm of a review: It's great. It might not be as revolutionary as some would like (myself included in some regards), but you know what? It's a lot of fun, it's an improvement in almost every regard over Forza 2, and I want to keep playing it — that's a lot more than I can say about many other games this year, sequels included, that I've purchased. And despite the absolute madness of the Limited Collectors Edition — with a total of three codes to insert (two exclusive to the LCE) along with the second disc of content to install through the game before you get started — it's well worth the time investment.

Unfortunately, the busy student life that's kept me from playing much Forza has also kept me from playing anything else — however, I have to take time to point out something on the avatar marketplace. Sasquatch contributor Tyler Martin pointed out that NCAA college-themed gear has made its way onto the avatar marketplace...which is great. But no University of Oregon gear? Booooooooo! Hopefully that's rectified soon so I can adorn my rotund digital self in Oregon gear, so that art can imitate life more perfectly.