Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Texture Pop: Episode 4: Mugshots

I said we were going to try to reduce the length of the podcast this week.

I did not say we were going to succeed.

The MP3 version of the podcast can be found here.

0:00:00 Introductions
And Garrett really hates Windows 8. He is correct in that hatred.

0:01:30 Viewer Questions
"Do you think Romero actually has it in his to make a game good? For that matter, what would you guys like to see in a John Romera shooter?"
The Warren Specter quote is one of my personal favorite quotes, because it does highlight a very real disconnect between the fact that game development houses are composed of many people and the fact that people love to associate only a few faces with games, ignoring the rest of the talent involved. John Romero, while definitely a gaming celebrity, is only a part of what this new project will be. It is very much a team effort, but people tend to forget that.
I am not someone who describes to auteur theory. I think even the best leader needs at least one person who is capable of checking their ego and calling them out. Not having that person basically explains every crappy plot every written by David Cage. Leaders are important for keeping the overall vision in focus, but they also need to both people to edit them and the ability to be malleable in that vision.

"Do you guys prefer comic book art that is more stylize or more realistic?"
I think Garrett hit the nail on the head here, it depends entirely upon the tone of the work in question. The art-style needs to match the tone, or else you get an uncomfortable dissonance between the two of them.
Also, I know $3 for a single comic is really cheap, but for someone who binges on media, that doesn't sound like a good value proposition, especially since games tend to last longer and can go on sale for super cheap. After all, I spend $8.40 on Batman: Arkham Origins.

"Does Chris ever get tired of being the only old man in the group?"
Yes, he does. And that's why I keep calling him that. XD
What can I say, it amuses me. He's only 32, but it's awesome to see him react to that.

0:26:20 We talk about Robin Williams's passing.
In all seriousness, this is still shocking to me even so long after the fact. I respect Robin Williams and hope that his family recovers soon in wake of recent events.
One of the things I've found most fascinating is that Robin Williams's characters have almost always succeeded by embracing their inner child. Given what is known about the man, I cannot believe that is a coincidence. His success can be directly traced to being a sweet and innocent man in an industry known for crushing the souls of the careless. I do not have a point to make with that. It is just an observation to make note of.
For the record, Jamanji is awesome and anyone who disagrees can stuff it!

0:39:30 Chris and Sam have played Resident Evil 6
One thing that you need to be aware of regarding Sam is that he is a gaming masochist. He will intentionally purchase a game he knows to be bad and play it for some sick, twisted form of amusement. I routinely cite this as a reason to question his judgement.
Chris has this as well, but to a much less significant extent and he would never admit to it. Also, he won't buy a bad game unless someone else will play it with him. That is the only way I can explain him playing both Resident Evil 6 and Aliens: Colonial Marines. You hear him complain about doing 4 campaigns in RE6, but you'll never hear him say he won't do it!
On the other hand, it gives us a reason to discuss the many, many ways game designers can piss us off.

0:46:39 Chris (and I) played more Dead Space 3 (with different people)
Chris and I have spoken one-on-one regarding this game, and we cannot agree on this game. He is willing to forgive Dead Space 3's problems. I refuse to give this game any mercy!
I do not wish to go into much detail hear, because I have a few articles coming out on the subject in time. Yes, "articles", as in plural. In a Press Start to Discuss FIRST, I have to breakdown my dislike of a game into TWO ARTICLES in order to keep them from being too long. I have been maintaining this little section of cyberspace for three years now, and this has never happened before.
What I will say, since I did not mention it in my article, is that it's BULLSHIT that Carver three sentences's worth of character are hidden behind co-op. He already does not have anything more than a typical macho-man soldier character arc, and even that is hidden away from the average player.
The story itself is also a completely convoluted, vapid mess. Nothing with any sort of meaning ever happens and every single person in this cast is stupid. I WISH every single one of them died.
I hate this game. I'm glad I got it free on PlayStation Plus, because I would have NEVER paid money for it.
I hate this game so much that I do not want to play the first two JUST TO SPITE THIS GAME. When Chris says he likes it, I just do not understand.

1:20:15 I finished Batman: Arkham Origins.
I feel so bad for the developers of this game. Released in a vacuum, this would be seen as both an excellent game and an amazing Batman game. In light of Arkham Asylum/City, it is inferior to both. Still, even inferior Arkham is great Arkham, and they should be proud of their accomplishment. I look forward to further games from this studio.
Having said that, those are two very tough acts to follow, and the developers hands are tied. They couldn't top the twist of Arkham City. Like I said last time, Shamus Young wrote a detailed, multi-part post explaining how their hands were tied.
The gameplay is still on the level of previous Arkham games, which is ultimately all it needed to do.
The new voice actors for Batman and the Joker should also feel proud of their performances. They did great jobs and captured their respective characters well.

1:33:00 I played a bit of Dragon's Crown
Having played a lot of it, I still haven't fully gotten over how ridiculously exaggerated all of the characters in the game are. It's actually very distracting. Fair, but distracting and not really necessary to the game.
But the actual game is pretty fun on it's own. It's a really great callback both to classic RPGs (in its storytelling style) and old-school beat'em ups (in its gameplay). I look forward to getting to the point where I can play online.

1:36:55 I purchased a 3DS XL.
I also purchased three games with it: Project X Zone, Shin Megami Tensei IV, and Bravely Default.
I've been playing a lot of Project X Zone. I still don't have many strong opinions on it aside from that it's cool to see all these characters put together in one project.

1:38:30 I started coding something.
There's no way to build skill at designing games than to actually start doing it. Since I'm better at coding myself than using a program to do it, this will be my best bet. Again, I have not made much progress, but I need to start somewhere.

1:40:10 Garrett is getting ready to start Game Development in college
And it's exciting!

1:40:40 Garrett dyed his hair (and we all see each other's faces in motion for the first time)
And, to be clear, this is the very first time we have ever seen each other "in person". We usually just stick to our respective avatars. After this cast, we all went on webcam and kept talking a bit, sharing our gaming swag with each other. It's a strange feeling, to be sure. We might even consider doing it again.
I'm just glad that we don't do video podcasts. Nobody needs to see my face that much. My voice is already grating enough.

1:47:20 Garrett played Thomas Was Alone and Metro: Last Light
And we don't talk much about either one. Which is a shame, because they are both great games to talk about.

1:49:00 Garrett found Grim Grimoire.
And I urge him to keep playing, because that is an amazing game.
Then, we take a detour to discuss Okage: Shadow King. This is both one of the most hilarious, and most difficult RPGs I have ever played. Any hardcore RPG fans who have not played Okage are missing out. I take this time to fanboy over it because I rarely ever get the chance to.
Sam would love it, because it's just weird enough to appeal to his inner anime-fan.

1:56:25 Sam played Counter Strike... again
Not much to say there.

1:56:55 Sam played Diablo 3.
It's a great podcast game, no pun.... oh who am I kidding. OF COURSE that pun was intended.
In all seriousness, it's a nice game to do mindlessly while something else is happening. I played the demo on PS3 and thought that was enough for me, but I do see the appeal.

2:00:40 Sam played Mount Your Friends.
That game has been getting around. To be fair, it looks incredibly fun.

2:01:20 Garrett talks about Five Nights at Freddy's.
This is another one of those game's that have been floating around. Then again, out of all the "PewDieBait" games out there, this is probably the best one after Amnesia.
The conversation here devolved into a conversation about horror games as a whole, and how stagnant they became before this game's release.

2:10:20 Conclusion
This podcast was way too long.

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