Monday, August 4, 2014

The Texture Pop: Episode 2: Too Proud For Trophies

Another week, another podcast. Sam, Chris, Garrett, and myself get together to talk about pretty much whatever we want to. I also didn't realize that I sounded so weird until I listened to it myself. Some people just love their voice, but I hate mine sometimes.
For the record, whenever Chris says he needs to shut his windows, there is a reason for that. He lives really close to train tracks. He hears them quite clearly, and assumes we do as well. Luckily, his microphone is good at ignoring those sounds.

0:00:00 Introductions.
Every single time we do an intro, it ends up like this. It's just something we do, we can't help it.

0:01:40 Chris immediately goes into the Deadpool footage leak.
Although I didn't see it, all the descriptions of the footage sound really awesome. It's a shame that I don't really have faith that Fox will be able to pull it off, or even want to.Even still, it's nice to know that some people are getting Deadpool right.
This conversation quickly turns into a discussion of Deadpool and how he is in the comics. I do wonder how they'll keep his tone while keeping the movie PG-13.
Then, we discuss Call of Duty for reasons that escape me.
Garrett's review of the Deadpool game can be found here.

0:10:10 We have viewer questions.
For the unaware, the four of us used to do another podcast before we formed The Texture Pop (and we stopped it for various reasons). Adonisus is an old friend of ours who regularly sent us listener questions. I'm glad he decided to follow us to this new podcast as well. :)
When it comes to remembering old games, I'm not all that great because of my youthful vigor. On top of that, I didn't own an N64, my cousins did. I'd just play it over there.
I've also not read many Image comics. Although I have always wanted to get into comics, it always seems intimidating to get into them. There is so much lore and backstory that they expect you to know that it's a little overwhelming. On top of that, my time is more and more limited as I get older.
Yes, I am named after Brandon Lee. That's not a joke at all.
It is actually a bit interesting how Destiny can use some of the same tropes of Shadowrun Returns, and just move them into space, and it's just so boring.

0:24:15 Garrett bought Guild Wars 2
I don't really know enough about Guild Wars 2 to add anything here. Part of why I don't play MMOs was because WoW was the first, and WoW's subscription model always turned me off. After that, I got so into single-player games that I never really looked back.

0:27:28 Garrett has been reading Sandman: Overture.
As we've already established, I don't know much about comics, so I'm useless in this conversation.
We also go into a conversation about Joseph Gordon Levitt and Looper. It's amazing how often we change topics like that. I've also noticed that both Chris and I tend to do most of the derailing.

0:33:00 We talk about all the game's we NEED to play together.
For those not in the know, Chris and I have a gaming history. As in, I tend to kick his ass in most of the games we play against each other. So far, we've both played X-Com: Enemy Unknown and Persona 4 Arena together, and I've been the victor. He's better at Injustice, so he's itching to turn the tides.

0:35:00 Chris finishes his college and internship.
Another bit of context, Chris was working a white-collar job until it closed down. In order to keep working in that field, he went back to college in order to finish his degree. Now that's he's down with his Summer semester, he should go from no free time to 0.01 hours of free time.

0:36:01 Chris has been playing Firefall.
It seems like an interesting game, but I've become less and less enamored with Free-To-Play. They usually try too hard to get me to spend money to hold my interest. The only exception so far has been Marvel Puzzle Quest, and even that game has its own problems.
I'm also getting sick of the same tired quest design in these MMO games. Not everything needs to be a fetch quest or a collection quest.

0:47:20 Chris has played more Shovel Knight.
I will get this game at some point, but not right now. Everything I've heard about Shovel Knight is really, really interesting. After playing Ducktails awhile back, I'm more than okay with old school 2D platformers.

0:49:55 Chris has been training in Injustice: Gods Among Us.
And I demonstrate my ineptitude regarding fighting games. We then use this as a springboard to talk about Tekken and fighting games in general. The fighting games I tend to play are much more casual in nature, like the Naruto games, Soul Calibur, and Persona 4 Arena.

0:53:30 Chris and Sam talk about Titanfall DLC.
Titanfall is an interesting subject. Previously, I thought that the main appeal of shooters was their multiplayer modes. While I still believe that, Titanfall also serves to demonstrate why it is important to have a single-player mode, especially if the game is being sold for $60. The mental math going on in people's heads makes the game seem less valuable in comparison to something like a Call of Duty.

0:55:15 I played Kingdom Hearts 1.5: Final Mix.
And Sam happily brings up the trophy issue. I still can't believe I only have the trophy for finishing the game on Proud. Considering how long a typical Kingdom Hearts 1 is, that's still a huge slap in the face. I'm probably not going to play through it again for those trophies because I don't have that kind of time.
Overall though, the game is really, really good. Even though it was a PS2 game, 1.5 ReMIX makes it feel like a current gen game, if not in looks, then in play.
My impressions of Kingdom Hearts are recorded here. I also reiterate a few points from this article I wrote on Kingdom Hearts.

1:03:55 I played Dead Space 3 (and hate it)
That game... sucks so badly.
The story makes no friggin' sense. The combat is dull and tedious against Space Al-Queda and Space Lobsters alike. The textures on the faces look bad. It's just a mess. A dull, tedious, repetitious mess that feels like EA rushed it out the door to make a quick buck. And I haven't even gotten to the crafting system yet.
I don't want to finish this game, but I almost feel like I have to at this point.
The fact that this game happened in a similar timeframe to Mass Effect 3's abysmal ending is probably a large portion of the reason why EA is so hated.

1:15:23 I watched a bit of an LP of The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning
I remember playing those games back in the PS2-era. The games aren't bad per se. The problem is that they do nothing notable. Both A New Beginning and The Eternal Night are just long corridors of endless enemies to kill. They do nothing to inject variety into the gameplay, which is a shame.
I am generally okay with reboots. However, if you're going to reboot something, you need to consider why it is being rebooted, and what fans like about. The Legend of Spyro is a decent story, but I do not get the impression that it needed to involve Spyro at all. It doesn't feel like Spyro in gameplay, story, or even the personalities of the cast. Everything feels off.
We briefly detour to talk about Remember Me. Sam's review of it can be found here.

1:21:00 I finished Season 1 of The X-Files.
I am eager to dive into Season 2 after watching Season 1. It's a very solid series and I understand why so many people love it. This show appeals to me in many ways. It combines crime dramas like Castle and The Mentalist with the crazy supernatural shit I can get in a show like Once Upon a Time or those insufferable History Channel alien shows, except good.

1:22:50 Sam finished Yu Yu Hakusho.
I remember watching that show all the time as a teenager, back when Toonami was still a thing. I loved that show, but not enough to go hunting for it. It sucks that the last arc sucks, but truth be told, I excepted that.

1:25:12 Sam plays Counter Strike: GO
The way Sam talks about CS makes me want to stay away from it. I suck at multiplayer shooters, so I'd probably never do anywhere near competent in that game.

1:27:20 Sam plays Velvet Sundown
And challenges us to play it with him. Hopefully, we get to it, but it's always hard to tell with this group.
From the Giant Bomb Quick Look, the game looks interesting enough to take a look at. Just watch it, it's worth it.

1:31:15 Sam played some of Gods Will Be Watching.
And he is doing pretty bad at it. Don't feel bad, it's not his fault he's a noob. XD
In all seriousness, I should probably play that game so that I understand his plight.

1:32:55 Sam plays MOBAs. Lots of MOBAs.
We use this as a springboard to talk about implied pedophilia, actual pedophilia, tutorials, and many other issues.
Taking this chance to talk about horrible gaming communities, it's appalling to me that people can be so hostile to new players coming in and learning the game. Gaming, to me, is supposed to be a very inclusive hobby. I don't want people to be excluded, I want to invite them in. I mean, we were all new to games at one point. Why can't we sympathize with people who want in on the fun, but aren't as skilled.
And as for tutorials, I think the kind of tutorials one responds best to are reliant on what kind of learning one responds best to. Garrett and Sam seem to exhibit really different schools of thought. Garrett appears to learn better by having it explained to him, where Sam seems to learn by experimentation. Neither approach is invalid, but it is important to note that different people learn differently. Personally, I'm with Sam in that I am an experimental-type of learner. Since so many people learn so differently, tutorials are really hard to do properly. This also gets into the complexity of some video games. MOBAs are more complex than they probably need to be. Some people like Garrett are fine with just reading a lot in tutorials and secondary reference materials. Others like Sam and myself, would rather just play and learn as we go. There's no right answer. It's completely up to preference.

2:03:50: We finally wrap up the cast.
See you guys next week! :)

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