GWJ Conference Call Episode Fourteen

Conference Call

Super Columbine RPG, Lost Planet, Tech With GameGuru!, The State of The FPS, Your Emails and more!

In a special Conference Call this week, we sit down with GameGuru to discuss the 4X4 Athlon chip set. Just what you should be looking for as a gamer? The whole crew is back, talking the Columbine RPG, Lost Planet, the state of the FPS genre, your emails and the Thread of the Week.

Want to support the show? Hit the Digg link just above (it's fast and easy to register) or review us on iTunes! Read on for show notes.

To contact us, email [email protected]! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind. You can even send a 30 second audio question or comment (MP3 format please) if you're so inclined.

The Links
Super Columbine Massacre RPG
Lost Planet
GameGuru.com
Parallax's Xbox Live Page

Thread of the Week: Actual December NPD Numbers (Podunk)

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"One Big Holiday" My Morning Jacket - The Wired CD - 0:21:56
"Small Comfort" - Apoplexia (Benoit Casey) - 0:30:33
"Terra" - Chico Correa & Electronic Band - 0:48:23
"Impeller" - Ian Dorsch - 0:58:32

Comments

I approve of this whole weekly thing.

Ha ha! You said "finger tucs"! Ha ha!

Man! I turned off iTunes just before you posted this last night.

Guess I'll have to wait until the post-lunch doldrums.

thewanderer14 wrote:

Ha ha! You said "finger tucs"! Ha ha!

It is a "tuque", you filthy American!

It is a "tuque", you filthy American!

I'm glad you did it before I did. I wouldn't have been as tactful

Re: Tech segment on the iPhone.

You know how Steve Jobs and Apple like to boast of the iPhone's ability to function as a "widescreen iPod?" Well, anyone who sat in Moscone Center to witness the holy unveiling surely noticed the screen cropping (letterboxing) that occurred when Steve played Pirates of the Carribean. That's because the iPhone isn't "widescreen" as the term is customarily understood outside of the reality distortion field -- it is not a 1.78:1 (16x9) aspect ratio. Rather, the display utilizes a 1.5:1 aspect ratio. That puts the iPhone somewhere in the proprietary zone between the NTSC or PAL television standard 1.33:1 (4x3) and a proper widescreen 1.78:1 (16x9) aspect ratio like that thrown off Apple's new Apple TV. As demonstrated during the Jobsnote, true widescreen videos can be zoomed to fill the iPhone's screen but only at the expense of cropping the left and right-hand side video. Will this, uh, clarification or other nits prevent the first batch from selling out? Oh hells no. But at least now you know the truth.

Re: ColumbineRPG

I, too, am pretty done reliving high school angst.

But I'd say it looks more SNES than NES.

Good show guys and I have to agree that lost planet is totally a rental! As soon as it starts to die MP or Crackdown comes out, i'm trading it in for some shiny superhero GTA!

Why is it that you feel compelled to divide shooters along perspective lines? Does a different camera angle actually change the genre?

I don't want to get all 'genre theory' on you guys, but I think there's more to genres than point of view.

about Pure FPS I can not believe no one mention Call Of Juarez, clasical FPS not a 10/10 game but really good one.

And really, how many RPGs does your character actually change? I mean, granted that your stats change, but is the character's personality -- its homunculus, if you will -- ever really that different?

There's a question of if the player is that homunculus or if there's some sort of safety stage in between, but how many games really are that dynamic?

Thinking of the KotORs and Fable, there never seemed to be a spot where the character was faced with looking back at who s/he was before and seeing a different person. Any nostalgia or regret seems to be entirely in the player, and gaming culture certainly does encourage the "load saved game to achieve preferable outcome" strategy.

I think my least favorite thing about Fable was the eyes. I appreciated that the character aged (too fast, IMO), but it drove me nuts that his eyes always looked so young and naive. They were always these bright, shiny things, even after making decisions like "do I kill my sister?" Didn't phase him, even if it phased me. What I really wanted was to, at some point, turn the camera to see his face and see a man who'd seen the world -- a man whose soul was tired.

But then if the character's soul is the player, then that's what Bawls is for.

I like that you did a section on tech. I vote for more Guru.

Anybody else have a copy of the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism? Wanna go through it with me and apply all the fields to game criticism?

Lit nerd allies: S&T?

Boy do I wish I'd kept all my Norton Anthologies from college.

To me, the leap from 1st to 3rd person is a huge difference, and often redefines the role of the player in the game. I'll have to think a bit on why this is.

Elysium wrote:

Boy do I wish I'd kept all my Norton Anthologies from college.

How could you not? They become part of you, part of your homunculi, part of your personal zeitgeist, your (flipping through pages... flipping) things you go and get when you need a point!

I think we need a better discussion on the merging of genres though. You guys got to it in a way, but didn't wrestle it to the mat of meaning. Perhaps there is a grid of sorts, x and y for FPSed'ness or RPGed'ness and a game falls in a certain point in that gamespace. New thread? I'm too lazy tonight.

thewanderer14 wrote:

I think we need a better discussion on the merging of genres though. You guys got to it in a way, but didn't wrestle it to the mat of meaning. Perhaps there is a grid of sorts, x and y for FPSed'ness or RPGed'ness and a game falls in a certain point in that gamespace.

I took that quiz and came up "Libertarian."

Smythe, I had the same friggin problem.

A shooter can be split up into several categories.

First Person (Halo)
Third Person (Freedom Fighters)
Light Gun (House of the Dead Arcade)
Rail (Panzer Dragoon Orta)
Scrolling (Metal Slug)

Most of these have sub-genres that have something different or blend other genres with it.

First Person

  • Standard (Halo)
  • RPG Lite (Dues Ex)
  • FPFighter (Breakdown)
  • Tactical (America's Army)
  • MMOFPS (Planetside)
  • Objective Based Multiplayer (Joint Ops)
  • Standard multiplayer (Quake 3 Arena)
  • Stealth (Thief)
  • Adventure (Metroid Prime)
  • FPS/RTS (Natural Selection)
  • Simulation (IL2: Sturmovik)

Third Person

  • Standard(Freedom Fighters)
  • Stealth (Splinter Cell)
  • Tactical (Gears of War)
  • Adventure (Old Metroid)
  • Stealth/Action (Metal Gear)
  • FPS/RTS (Savage)
  • Free Roaming (GTA)
  • Simulation (Privateer)
  • Arcade (Crimson Skies)
  • RPG/Card based (Phantom Dust)
  • Rhythm (Rez)

Light Gun (House of the Dead Arcade)
Rail (Panzer Dragoon Orta)
Scrolling (Metal Slug)

Some games fall into multi genres like Oblivion. While technically not a shooter, it's more of a RPG with lite FPS elements. Gothic would fall into this category. Some games like Giants: Citizen Kabuto have RPG/RTS/FPS heavily and is in both equal parts first person and third person.

thewanderer14 wrote:

I think we need a better discussion on the merging of genres though. You guys got to it in a way, but didn't wrestle it to the mat of meaning. Perhaps there is a grid of sorts, x and y for FPSed'ness or RPGed'ness and a game falls in a certain point in that gamespace. New thread? I'm too lazy tonight.

I would just label some games with more parts of x than y. Oblivion is equal parts RPG and First Person Fighter than FPS.

Battlefield is more standard FPS with touches of free roaming, 3rd person arcade (planes/tanks), first person arcade (planes/tanks). Granted the only way to kill enemies with vehicles is in first person since third person has no cross hairs.

It's just easier to say Game X has touches of genres x, y, z than to just peg it to a certain genre.

I'd pick Half Life as the standard FPS since Halo pulls to 3rd person for vehicles.

The difference between 3rd and 1st person is incredibly important. A 3rd person camera almost always gives the player the superhuman ability to see around a corner without being seen themself. That's the biggest reason in my mind, but there are others.

I still think I'd rather go with genres like "strategy," "action" (includes shooters as subgenre), "parody," etc. I'll wait on more people to elucidate their reasons for dividing based on camera.

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

The difference between 3rd and 1st person is incredibly important. A 3rd person camera almost always gives the player the superhuman ability to see around a corner without being seen themself. That's the biggest reason in my mind, but there are others.

I think of 3rd person versus 1st person as "I control/play as" versus "I am." In Half-Life 2, I am Gordon Freeman; in Zelda, I control Link. I find I connect more to my avatar when playing in the first person than I do otherwise.

I just wanted to mention that Alan Wake is at least one DX10 Vista exclusive that came to my mind during the segment about Vista.

In all honestly, Alan Wake alone might just make me spend the money to upgrade my video card, mainboard etc and OS.

Oh and great job with the 'cast guys, I enjoyed it a lot.

Uberstein wrote:

I just wanted to mention that Alan Wake is at least one DX10 Vista exclusive that came to my mind during the segment about Vista.

In all honestly, Alan Wake alone might just make me spend the money to upgrade my video card, mainboard etc and OS.

Oh and great job with the 'cast guys, I enjoyed it a lot.

This is likely just speculation on their part, but the new issue of EGM lists Alan Wake as an '08 title.

Certis, where does Dark Messiah of Might & Magic fall in the RPS vs RPG divide? I know you just finished this game and you mention it, but....

Also, very weird: WinAmp says the show is 40:26 but plays it well beyond that.

Thin_J wrote:

I like that you did a section on tech. I vote for more Guru.

I second it! Nice addition to the show.

In Gears if you hold the left trigger down it is still third person. I'm digging the Conference Call doohickey on the left.

Hey guys, I haven't heard the show yet (got it queued up in the car though) but I was told that you guys plugged my Xbox Live protest site for the listeners. Thanks very much for that, I reall yappreciate you helping the site gain some exposure. I made sure to thank you in a post and hopefully some of my readers amy become new forum members. Thanks again!

Planetside/Neocron has already been done right, almost five years back not ahead. Endless Ages.

Danjo...

Yeah, I'd forgotten -- I think so much more is possible though -- in terms of really blending the strategic genres.