GWJ Conference Call Episode 44

Conference Call

Super Mario Strikers, Guitar Hero 80's, id's (and Cory's) Rage, The Jack Bauer Effect In Games, Sucking At Sneaking, A Quick New Contest!, Your Emails and more!

All hands on deck this week as the whole crew makes an appearance on the show! We talk about Jack Bauer, launch a quick new contest, listen to rabbit go loopy and much more. Big thanks to magnus for offering up a game to give away!

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.

Sponsor
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Thread Of The Week:
1) Stealth Shooters: A Confession - H.P. Lovesauce

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"PodunkStump" Ian Dorsch - 0:25:45
"Los Pistoleros" Ian Dorsch - 0:59:08 35.8 megs

Comments

We each play games very differently, and there're a _lot_ of people out there who will turn a game off if it doesn't hit them straight in 15minutes much less 2 hours, so I encourage Rabbit to continue giving us his opinion. He's very representative of a certain gaming mindset, and we're not in the policy of playing games we don't like. Honestly, if we were trying to get hits, we'd just whore ourselves to every game in the hopes of trying to get developers to like us and come on the show. That's not how we work.

And, to Rabbit's credit, I don't think seven more hours would have changed his opinion on Quake Wars. I found it pretty bland as well, and that was after about ten or twelve hours total. It was entirely adequate, and as I said at the time I think with a good six months of polish it'll be good, but for what it was at the time no thanks.

I guess to me then its sorta like the original NWN2 review where the guy slammed it for essentially being D&D. Do you solicit opinion from someone who is clearly not qualified to give that opinion? Most people I know don't bother to ask me my opinion about certain things because they know I have no interest or qualification to give an informed opinion... In gaming I guess it would be JRPG's since I tend to loath them all and even the best of them are pretty crappy to me.. it was clear that Rabbit never played original ET.. and approached QW as a complete outsider (which is fine.. but perhaps could have been made clear)

Perhaps I'm being nitpicky.. or perhaps I'm hoping to illuminate on a trend I'm seeing that perhaps you guys are missing because your to close.. take it for what its worth then.. but I tend to hold you guys to a higher standard.

Also.. I tend to abhor blanket statements.. to many greys in the world.

It was clear that Rabbit never played original ET.. and approached QW as a complete outsider (which is fine.. but perhaps could have been made clear)

I think it's telling that you've focused in on his opinion when both Sean and I probably talked more about the game and played more than he did. You were high on Quake Wars since well before the beta started, I'm not surprised you would be a bit more sensitive about any opinion that wasn't as fully informed as yours would likely be. When you're doing a podcast and you need to keep things fresh, you can't always give a game the full, detailed due that fans feel it deserves. We've done it plenty before, it was just "your" game on the table that time.

Perhaps I'm being nitpicky.. or perhaps I'm hoping to illuminate on a trend I'm seeing that perhaps you guys are missing because your to close.. take it for what its worth then.. but I tend to hold you guys to a higher standard.

Also.. I tend to abhor blanket statements.. to many greys in the world.

I didn't like Cory's statement either, which is why I challenged him on it. We all did. So coming in here and accusing us of trolling for hits or whatever is completely ignoring the rest of the conversation and latching onto one person's opinion in the moment. You'll notice I dragged it out of him in the first place, he wasn't intending to even bring it up and he wasn't prepared to offer a fully formed opinion so he kept it simple.

I hold you to a higher standard too, and while I don't disagree with your view on his statement, I think it's complete bullsh*t to call any statement outrageous and self-promotional just because it doesn't jive with your own. A little tip for you and everyone else reading, what we say has NO direct impact on how many people download the podcast. There are not any sites out there that will link to a podcast unless you get someone like Ken Levine or Jeff Green on. Suggesting we say things for the sake of popularity or downloads is laughable.

I will only add this. There are plenty of people interested in QW who didn't play ET. I think having that perspective of someone who isn't attached to the franchise is valuable.

Do you solicit opinion from someone who is clearly not qualified to give that opinion?

Rabbit is exceptionally qualified to comment on video games. Quake Wars will be expected by its fans, its developers and its publisher to stand independent of the original ET, so Rabbit's commenting as someone not familiar with the franchise is entirely appropriate.

For the sake of argument, would you still be disappointed if he'd played 2 hours and loved it?

The ID doesn't make games thing was just a silly thing to say of demi. You can argue that ID make sh*tty games that only serve as a vehicle for showing off their engines, sure, but they're still games.

I also can't agree with Elysium about games being inherently unsuitable for social commentary, you just need competent writers and designers working on them. You don't have to have a contemplative pace to broach serious issues. Why couldn't you use a Tom Clancy-esque tactical shooter or action game to satirize militarism, for instance? It shouldn't be too hard to make gaming's equivalent of Three Kings, at least not in terms of craft.

Good point, ALG. I think Haze is shaping up to do something similiar to that; but in a recursive way, in that it's also criticisizing the portrayal of military violence in videogames at the same time.

Nei wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:
Nei wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

Hey, I like Tenchu Z! :(

Is that a bad thing?

Apparently. Wanna ninja with me, Nei?

Well, I don't think so... I liked Tenchu Z, enough to actually finish the story on all 3 difficulties. The only issue I would of had with the game is that fact that it's $60. However, I manage to get it for $40... and I've been happy with it.

I got it for around the same price and am pretty pleased with it; maybe it's the simplicity of it in contrast to the increasingly complicated Splinter Cell and MGS series that appeals to me. GWJers to play with online are as elusive as actual Ninjas, though.

Rabbit is exceptionally qualified to comment on video games. Quake Wars will be expected by its fans, its developers and its publisher to stand independent of the original ET, so Rabbit's commenting as someone not familiar with the franchise is entirely appropriate.

For the sake of argument, would you still be disappointed if he'd played 2 hours and loved it?

Hmm.. actually given how its shaping up.. its more like the Developers and Publisher's are hoping that everyone who played the original ET for Free pays for this.. Rabbit's 2 Hour reaction I'm sad to say will probably be more like most people who arent familiar with the ET franchise.. it remains to be seen though if that "minor" detail makes it into most of the popular presses reviews of this game.

I suspect though it wont.. and most reviews will read sorta like the initial reactions of most here (Not BF etc..)

But given how many servers were filled up with ET fans.. if they can sell QW to 60% of them they should still make a nice chunk of change.. No clue on the console side.. I'm not positive this game ends up playing all that well on the 360.. I think its just to fast paced...I honestly question that wasted money and development time.. especially faced with so much more (and better) competition on the console side.

Anyhoo.. I agree with Certis's point.. I tend to overreact when people go nuts on the big developers.. thankfully no one on the podcast has done the "Anti Blizzard rant".

Yet.

One reason I enjoy the GWJ podcast is it shows what a wide variety of people think of different games. There are some people that can play for long periods of time on games and then there are those like Rabbit who have limited time to game so if you don't catch him, he's gone. Being a gaming site, those type of people are more rare, but if you look in the general public, people like Rabbit are the majority. If you can't catch them into the game in the first hour or two, they're not going to buy your game. It's like when you pick up a new book and the first couple chapters arn't good at all. What reason do you have to finish the book? Why play something more if you're not enjoying it? I know personally that I want the entire experience to be enjoyable. I don't want to have to "sit through 10 hours of crap to get to the good stuff."

thankfully no one on the podcast has done the "Anti Blizzard rant".

Yet.

I think you wont be the first to jump down their throats, nor will you be alone. =)

I tend to overreact when people go nuts on the big developers.. thankfully no one on the podcast has done the "Anti Blizzard rant".

I'm right there with you on that one. You won't here it from me, and I may stab someone in the face if they let loose with such nonsense. A solid developer with a proven track record for successful and quality games. I don't see how one can have an Anti-Blizzard rant.

fangblackbone wrote:
thankfully no one on the podcast has done the "Anti Blizzard rant".

Yet.

I think you wont be the first to jump down their throats, nor will you be alone. =)

They're a blight on the gaming industry.

So, I'm not going to wade deep into this. but I think I make it clear when I have or haven't played something, how long I've played it for, and why I like or don't like it. But I'd also try and suggest that there is a substantial difference between talking about "what have you played in the last 7 days" and a review. I did not write (or read aloud) a review of QW. I gave my impressions after playing it for 2 hours, which was exactly how much time I had had to play it in that previous week. Whether I'm an idiot or not (and I'm open to both), a 5 minute casual conversation in a podcast is simply different than 2,000 words of fact-checked, interview-based, well rounded writing for hire.

Maybe that's disappointing, in which case, all I can say is "hey, we're human." If I'm only going to talk about games I've played from start to finish, and for which I have built a knoweldgebase and rounded understanding -- on a PODCAST -- then I'm just not gonna say much. Nor, do I think, would many other people. When I wrote about Derek Smart for CGM, for instance, I did indeed play HOURS of his previous and current titles (which no picnic, let me tell you). But if my task had simply been "hey, talk about battlecruiser for 3 mins on a podcast" I simply wouldn't have, and I doubt anyone would expect me to.

Last, most podcasts, and certainly ours, are editorial, not objective. Mentally preface every "it's crap/it's perfect" with "In my opinion as a consumer, with all my biases and predilections ..."

I'll go back to the cave now.

Quake Wars is not a sequel to ET, so to say you need to have played ET first in order to properly appreciate QW is silly. It's a game that should be expected to stand on its own merits. And if id/Splash Damage can't make a good impression in two hours, they've blown it. Rabbit, I don't think you have any need to defend what you said.

rabbit wrote:

Last, most podcasts, and certainly ours, are editorial, not objective. Mentally preface every "it's crap/it's perfect" with "In my opinion as a consumer, with all my biases and predilections ..."

You guys can start advertising a 16 hour podcast with this! It'll be the new "clock speed" argument....

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Quake Wars is not a sequel to ET, so to say you need to have played ET first in order to properly appreciate QW is silly. It's a game that should be expected to stand on its own merits. And if id/Splash Damage can't make a good impression in two hours, they've blown it. Rabbit, I don't think you have any need to defend what you said.

I disagree.. it is a sequel to ET.. what makes you think it isnt? Its by the same developer using another engine from the same license. Like I said previous its very much going after the people that enjoyed ET.. so for someone who never played ET to say its crap.. ok thats a failure on Splash Damages part to extend the popularity beyond the initial scope.. but certainly not painting the entire picture.

Hmm.. you'd think Quake Wars: Enemy Territory would be the give away..

I say that in the sense of there being some kind of storyline binding the two games together. Are you going to miss important plot points if you play QW without having played ET? Of course not. These games are not as strongly coupled even as much as Quake 1 was linked to Quake 2 or Q2 to Q3.

If the only thing that links them is gameplay, it's ridiculous to say you can't appreciate QW unless you played ET first. Because either A) the person who doesn't like QW wouldn't have liked ET any better, or B) ET did a better job of introducing new players to its particular play style, which would be a failure on QW's part.

I say that in the sense of there being some kind of storyline binding the two games together. Are you going to miss important plot points if you play QW without having played ET? Of course not. These games are not as strongly coupled even as much as Quake 1 was linked to Quake 2 or Q2 to Q3.

Plot? its an online teambased FPS? what plot? yeah sure they changed it from Castle Wolfenstein background to Quake and the Stroggs but much of the original gameplay is very much intact.

If the only thing that links them is gameplay, it's ridiculous to say you can't appreciate QW unless you played ET first. Because either A) the person who doesn't like QW wouldn't have liked ET any better, or B) ET did a better job of introducing new players to its particular play style, which would be a failure on QW's part.

Hmm.. not sure I follow.. A is correct.. a dislike of QW would probably lead to a dislike of ET.

B) is tricky.. since ET really built upon the RTCW multiplayer so I think they took some liberties with introducing players to specific mechanics since the assumption was it was an addon to RTCW that just stood on its own... so while SP could get away without much in the way of tutorials one assumes QW will have that...which leads to my next point..

Slamming QW for lack of gameplay introductions or "newb" friendliness based on an online only MP demo is lame. at least wait for the full retail game and see what they are doing for "tutorials"

I suppose that's the danger of putting out a demo for a game of this type. I can't even say myself since I never played it. From the outside, your arguments seem way off base. Certainly I would never say you can't criticize BF2142 if you never played BF2.