Monday, December 8, 2014

The Texture Pop: Episode 18: Going Back to Persona Q

Happy late Thanksgiving from the Texture Pop! We recorded this on the Saturday after Black Friday, so we hope that you were in good spirits to the kickoff of the Holiday Season! We, as usual, were completely out of control.

0:00:00 Introduction
This intro referenced an earlier conversation we were having before the recording stuff.
And we mention Destiny again!

0:03:25 Viewer questions.
"What do you guys think about Sega?"
We jested on the cast, but in all sincerity, Sega has everything they need to be a successful company. However, they do not seem to have the saaviness to produce what audiences outside Japan want. Like many Japanese companies, it seems like they are unable to see too far outside of their national bubble. They've lost touch with the outside world, and they are paying for it. Especially with the release of the new Sonic and the not-release of Valkyria Chronicles 3 outside Japan.
This article talks a bit more about this, regarding Valkyria Chronicles 2.

0:17:20 News time, children.
Assassin's Creed: Unity's Season Pass is no longer on market.
And then we discussed Unity a little more. While this is the correct way to handle the problem, Ubisoft really should not have put themselves in this position.  The microtransaction discussion made us bring up this piece I wrote about Dead Space 3.

Dark Souls 2 coming to next-gen consoles.
And Sam said all that needed to be said.

Nobody is getting review copies of The Crew
Which is never a good sign for a game. This is especially egregious after what happened regarding Assassin's Creed: Unity and its embargo.

Sony is offering $25 rebate to early PS Vita adopters.

Halo: Master Chief Collection is still broken.

0:45:20 Chris has been playing more Hyrule Warriors
They released new DLC, feeding Chris's habits. Yes, Nintendo is very much like a drug lord.
We pretty much just run down the DLC in this segment.
This leads into a conversation about DLC, pricing, and Season Pass.

0:58:40 Chris played Mario Kart.
And again, there's not much to add.

1:02:00 Chris and Garrett played Warframe.
And he get a Destiny reference in. Truly, we are the best Destiny podcast on the internet. It's a lot like Destiny, except not bad.
It's free to play, so if this conversation caught your interest, you should check it out.

1:10:00 Garrett has been playing League.
And eating hi-chews. Also, he has Twitch violate Sly Cooper's copyright.
We also tell Sam about various mythologies and how much he doesn't know about them. Most of those deities are Personas in the Persona series, so I know quite a bit about them.

1:18:00 Garrett has been doing Holiday shopping.
And we talk about credit cards and shopping and stuff.

1:21:00 Garrett watches an anime called "The Devil is a Part-Timer".
Anime. And anime McDonald's clones.
It did remind me of Invader Zim (and my previous job), but that's not worth talking about too much.
And, so course, Sam talks about anime.

1:28:00 Garrett read "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" some more.
I admit, the comparisons between the book and the movie versions are quite interesting, because it highlights the difference between what readers want and what viewers want.

1:31:50 I played the Binding of Issac: Rebirth
When playing on my Vita, I was always constantly trying to minimize screen glare from the sunlight, which really hindered my experience. Further, the screen made some details hard to see even in ideal situation. Just moving to the TV in my room solved a lot of my problems.
But even then, the PS4 controller is so much more suited to playing the game than either KB&M or the Vita. Really, I would say that's the ideal way to play. Either that, or with a controller on the PC. Do not use KB&M, it will hurt you physically.
As on the time of this release, it is no longer free on PS+.

1:40:05 I played Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth.
And you'll quickly see how we came up with this episode's title.
Also, I should not play games in the middle of the cast.

Going back to Persona Q:
If you like Persona 3 and/or Persona 4, this is a game that you need to play. Even if you dislike the Etrian Odyssey stuff, the rest of the package is so great that it is easily worth the asking price. You won't regret it. It feels a lot like an old-school JRPGs, for better or worse. However, someone like myself would be totally fine.
I actually made a mistake in this. I said that Zen/Rei get refunded for their SP they use for exploiting weaknesses. I was wrong, they actually have a skill that regenerates their SP as they walk around the map.

2:05:11 I talked about Black Friday.
(My opinion does not reflect those of my employer.)
For the record, I work retail. (Also, this was recorded on the Saturday after Black Friday.) I worked three shifts from the end of Thanksgiving to the end of the Saturday afterward. It was not great.
Black Friday is an interesting subject to think about, because really wants to do it. It's just the natural consequence of the fact that nobody wants to shop before Thanksgivings, but everyone wants to buy tons of stuff immediately afterward. Shamus Young wrote a really interesting piece on the matter.

2:12:20 Sam played Hatsune Miku... something or other.
You know how it is.

2:13:00 Sam played more Far Cry 4.
And this kinda speaks to the Ubisoft formula. They prefer, for better or worse, small iterations as opposed to large changes. Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, and even Watch_Dogs show how similar the Ubisoft open-worlds are.
If you liked Far Cry 3, you'll like Far Cry 4. If you didn't like Far Cry 3, you won't like Far Cry 4. It is as simple as that.

2:24:10 Sam played Assassin's Creed: Unity.
I am really glad that Sam got the chance to play Unity. The reason is that I have noticed that my viewpoint regarding video games is very critical. Sam is much more optimistic and positive in his viewpoints. As a result, I can play off him and we can talk much more about the positives of the game much more than I'd be able to talk about alone.
Because there is a lot of good to talk about. The character customization is great. The equipment and character development are great. And the assassinations are... amazing. I would almost recommend the game for the assassination missions alone.
So yeah, go optimism!

Sam's article about buying games on launch is here.

In response to Chris's question, if Unity would have been better after one extra year, I would say "No", with a caveat. While many technical issues would have likely been resolved in that year, I would posit that many of the fundamental issues I have with the game would still be present. This is because they mostly come down to design decisions, which I talked about here.

2:53:00 Wrapping Up
And we plan stuff regarding future shows on the air. Such professional!

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