Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Texture Pop: Episode 14: You've Got (New) Mail

Another week, another Texture Pop podcast. This week, we attempted, and mostly succeeded, at keeping it at a manageable length.

Also, for those of you who are unaware, Sam has also been much better about posting the MP3 versions of the podcast. You will usually be able to find links to them in the descriptions of the videos from here on out. For those of you with long commutes, it might be a good idea to get some quality(?) audio entertainment.

0:00:00 Introduction
Sam lovingly lampshades my minor misanthropic tendencies.

0:00:55 Viewer Questions

"I bought a Wii U and have been playing Hyrule Warriors too. My only complaint about the Wii U is its battery life."
I don't know enough about it to comment beyond what we discussed.

"Brandon, have you ever played Shadow Hearts?"
Definitely. When I was in middle school, a close friend introduced me to the franchise. I wish another one was in the works, but I'm content with the three games that were released. For anyone looking for a quirky, unique JRPG experience, Shadow Hearts is a great game. They are also very unique in terms of settings, because if memory serves, the first two took place immediately before and during WW2, and the 3rd game takes place in Prohibition era America.
A bit of warning though: While the franchise is known for having a sense of humor, the actual story tends to get very, very dark. People who dislike more mature, dark themes may want to watch out.

0:15:15 Chris brings up Avengers 2 (and Marvel's plans)
And we all agree that it's AWESOME!
DC still sucks though, at least in terms of movies. We also learn a lot about comics in this segment.

0:29:40 I played Shin Megami Tensei IV
I haven't finished it yet, but it is interesting to compare this game to previous entries like Nocturne. Through it is significantly more user-friendly than Nocturne, as an example, SMT IV is feels a lot harder than Nocturne did.
At the same time, this difficulty is almost like a Dark Souls game, where it is designed to both reward skillful play and punish those who do not learn their lessons.

0:38:10 I played Soul Calibur 2 HD.
It is really nice to play what I consider to be my favorite fighting game of all time again. Compared to a lot of other fighting games, I have found that SC 2 is much more forgiving to new players than other fighters. While it has issues, it is great for both single and multi-player oriented play sessions.
Also, another reason I love the game is that, through mission variety in the single-player mode, it teaches you all you need to know about the mechanics. Weapon Master mode really is one of the best I've played in a fighting game.
This gave me license to bitch about both Soul Calibur V and Lost Swords, which were both some of the worst fighting games I've ever played. I could not stand those games, and would never recommend them.

0:49:00 We wait for Garrett to get back so he can talk about League.
Please stand by for technical difficulties. Also, this might have been our first warning.

0:51:00 Garrett has been going to Best Buy to look at computer parts.
And I just let Sam and Garrett talk about a subject I know little about.

0:54:00 Garrett played the Evolve Alpha.
While I am interested in Evolve, I take this time to bitch about the game industry misusing the words "Alpha" and "Beta" incorrectly.
Then, we actually discuss the Alpha.

0:56:30 Garrett talks about Curse Chat?
Which leads to us discussing audio software... while we are recording an audio podcast... on Skype.

0:59:55 I get Sam to explain the title of the last episode 
Because I had no idea where it came from.
"I can't explain Spoopy. I can't even attempt to." - Brandon Carey
"[Spoopy] sounds like something my mom would say."- Brandon Carey

1:02:50 Chris has been playing more Hyrule Warriors
And it's definitely.... a conversation.

1:07:15 Chris was playing Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
The bottom-line is that it is more Borderlands. If you like Borderlands, you will like the Pre-Sequel. Otherwise, you won't care. There isn't anything radically new enough that your opinion on the matter can be swayed.
As for me, I could barely tolerate Borderlands 2. I really liked the friends I played with, the writing, and the characters. However, the act of playing in a session of Borderlands is just so painfully dull to me. Because of this, I have no reason to pick up the Pre-Sequel.

1:25:50 Sam thinks he's been working, but isn't sure.
I did not know Halloween was so busy for a pizza shop. The things you learn.
Though his shift was much worse than anything I faced, I certainly know the pain of a last minute customer. "That guy" is always a dick. Nobody likes "that guy."

1:30:50 Sams tells us about politics in fan-subbing anime.
And I've never thought about this before the recording.

1:32:50 We talk about talking about games with friends and strangers.

1:35:30 Sam talks about The Evil Within and Alien: Isolation.
I mentioned Errant Signal's episode on Alien: Isolation, which can be found here. I would recommend watching it if you haven't already. The comments made regarding the feel of the game and its use of save systems to invoke emotions is interesting.
I think it speaks wonders to how much more engaging a game can be when the player does not feel almighty, like most games are want to do. Limiting player power can lead to much more creativity, which can make a game so much more interesting when done correctly.
One thing that comes to mind now, when I think about how save systems make you feel is Hitman: Blood Money. Though you can save anywhere in a mission, you only have a finite number of saves (unless you play on Easy). Harder difficulties limit this even further. In this way, saves are just as much a finite resource as your other tools. As a result, you need to plan your use of them in much the same way you plan for everything else. To some, this detracts from the game. To others, it adds to it.

1:41:45 Sam bought Lords of the Fallen.
Which further adds to our save game discussion from earlier.
It's also a good game for Sam to talk about more than me, since he's much more familiar with Dark Souls.

1:45:50 Sam teases his Wii U discussion for next week,

1:46:15 Wrapping up.
My Nocturne impressions are here.
Our e-mail is also , so please send us your questions, comments, and feedback.

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