Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Texture Pop: Episode 25: Video Grenades

Another week, another episode of The Texture Pop. Unfortunately, Garrett was unable to attend this week because he was having some technical difficulties on his end.

Also, we had no viewer questions. If you guys want to send us some questions, comments, or feedback, go to thetexturepop@gmail.com and send us an e-mail. We'll be happy to indulge you.

Lastly, I deeply apologize for the terrible audio quality on this episode from both Chris and myself. We suspect it was due to my internet connection, but nothing concrete.

0:00:45 Gaming News
Microsoft Hololens Reveal
It has great potential, the story is accurate. However, the proof will be in the application.

EVO 2015 Lineup
Since Chris and Sam and more about fighting games than I, I'll let their commentary stand. I do agree though, that it is weird for them to put games on the list that have yet to be released. Since it takes time and practice to get good at fighting games, you'd think recent releases would put all the contestants who play them at a handicap, making them a little less entertaining to both play and watch.

0:13:10 Sam finished Valiant Hearts
I hear a lot of criticisms about Valiant Hearts in the same vein as those that Sam is making. I still have yet to play the game, though I have little reason to doubt all of these people when they are being so consistent in the critiques.

0:16:32 Sam play The Walking Dead: Season 2
Season 2 is not, strictly speaking, bad. It is a fine story. There are just a number of problems with it.

  • At this point, we are already extremely familiar with Telltale's brand of choices that feel like they should matter, but actually don't in hindsight.
  • The characters in Season 2, while not bad, do not compare well to the characters in the first season.
  • The main conflicts in the story, logically, aren't Clementine's problems. She could easily just walk away and be no worse off as a result.
It also makes it clear that Telltale has basically ceased, for better or worse, trying to fit in puzzles. It's more of a long-form interactive movie, where it takes every few moments to let the audience state their preferences. I can understand why fans of old-school adventure games are disappointed by it, but overall I think it lets them have stronger writing. The Wolf Among Us was a great example of this, but Season 2 just feel flat.

0:34:10 Sam finished Saya No Uta
Sam went into heavy spoilers with us before the podcast. Let me say that there is a reason he is vague here. It was quite interesting to listen to.
It's hard to convey why you like things like that without spoilers, so I sympathize with him.

0:39:50 Chris has finished Assassin's Creed 3 (and the Tyranny of King Washington DLC)
This. This is the conversation I've been waiting weeks to have. I hate this game so much that it hurts. Here, we take half an hour to just complain about Assassin's Creed 3's endgame and the DLC. Nothing I write here could compare to the sheer joy I take in knowing that Chris suffered as much as I did. Just listen to this. Really, just listen to this. It's that good.

1:04:10 I played a bit more Diablo 3 on PS4
I'm getting more and more convinced that loot fest games just really aren't my style. I find that it just seems pointless to continually play the game just for loot. Every single element is just about acquiring loot. I need something more than that from games I play.
Even the fighting isn't even that much of a challenge. On easy, enemies are pushovers. On hard, it's just sitting there while waiting for numbers to go down. I cannot say I find it particularly fun. If not for my friend, I probably would've stopped by now.

1:11:00 I played inFamous: Second Son and inFamous: First Light
I plan to release an article later this week about it, but overall I did not like it as much as I did the other inFamous games. First Light was better, in my honest opinion.
And, as an aside, the reason I repeated a lot of stuff early on in this segment is to catch Chris up since he was in the bathroom.
What I was most surprised to hear is Chris's complaining when I said that karma made a return. In previous discussions we've had over the years, Chris used to defend the system because it recreated the comic-book style super good or super evil. I guess something must have changed his mind in the years since our last discussion on this series.

1:40:00 Wrapping Up
Sam's article is here.
Interactive Friction, the collaborative project between Sam and I, is here.
My Deadly Premonition article is here.

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