Monday, March 16, 2015

The Texture Pop: Episode 32: Living Your Anime Life

It's hard to really say what happened this week, I suppose with Sam and I releasing the previous episode, recording Interactive Friction's new season, and doing this episode all in the span of about 4 days, we must have lost track of all the conversations that took place on and off the air. As a result, we did end up repeated a lot of what we said in the last show. Since Chris didn't get the chance to see any of it, I suppose it's all good. The audio this week wasn't that good either, so I sincerely apologize for that.

Also, we had no viewer questions this week. If you have a question, comment, or something you'd like to be read on the air in a hilariously bad/inappropriate accent, you may send it to us at

0:02:00 Gaming News
Battlefield Hardline doesn't want you to feel bad for killing dudes.
I suppose that I can understand this thought process. AAA gaming tends to, for better or worse, appeal to the most common denominator. Since most people who buy Battlefield: Hardline will be the same types of people who buy other Battlefield or Call of Duty games, EA and Visceral has to assume that they either don't want to, or won't, think about the potential repercussions for their in-game actions.
Having said all that, it is extremely disappointing, and very tone deaf, to make this story about a cop without changing and recontextualizing the gameplay to fit that new environment. Combat between cops and criminals is not the same as combat between military forces and terrorists, so there's no reason whatsoever for them to be so similar. It's a wasted opportunity.

Valiant Hearts director leaves Ubisoft to go into the indie space.
I find this interesting only because this story is becoming more and more common as the years go on. A lot of the people who have spent years working in the industry are getting sick of the way AAA developers are treating them, so they're leaving. In light of the many horror stories we hear from AAA, Now that publishers are becoming less and less necessary in the era where any person can just build a website to sell a game, the dynamic is changing in a good way.

0:19:00 Chris played Dragonball: Xenoverse.
I'm actually oddly interested in Dragonball: Xenoverse, but not enough that I'm willing to purchase it for full price. It looks like it would be pretty fun for a Dragonball fan, but otherwise fairly average.

0:37:50 Chris watched the first episode of Powers on PlayStation Plus.
I don't know much about it, but what Chris said made me interested.

0:46:50 Garrett talks about his week.
But eventually we start talking about movies, specifically...

0:51:35 Garrett watched Lady in the Water
Since movies are notoriously not my strong suite, I've not much more to add.

1:06:30 Sam has played more inFamous: Second Son. *MAJOR SPOILERS*
Because we talked about it after finishing our Interactive Friction recording session, it was difficult to remember what Sam said to me only versus what we spoke of on the air last week.
That said, I still think Second Son is an interesting case study to show just how far we've evolved from the days of moral choice systems. The game is trapped in the past, with no acknowledgement of how both storytelling and game mechanics have changed.
Given what we've said about this game in the past, I believe that Sam's idea of shorter DLCs focusing on a single character and power set would work much better for the game.

1:25:20 Sam played Killzone: Shadow Fall.
I know very little about Killzone, so there's not much to add here.

1:32:10 Sam played Korean MMOs with his anime friends.
Honestly, do I NEED to say anymore? He had to "live his anime life."

1:42:30 I played more Dragon Age 2.
I appreciate the faster-pace in the combat and dungeon-exploration. Compared to Origins, this game is paced significantly better. Having said that, it does have it's issues. We'll probably talk more in the next podcast about this very topic, since I did finish it after this recording.

1:52:00 I played a bit of Papo Y Yo.
I just wish I had more to say about it. It's much the same problem I had with Contrast. It is a good game, but not enough material for discussion.

1:54:30 Wrapping Up.
Garrett recommends Overwolf, which does not sponsor us.
Interactive Friction's Tomb Raider season has begun.
We also did a bonus episode on Blood Dragon.
My Far Cry 4 article is also worth a read.

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