Conference Call

GWJ Conference Call Episode 69

Devil May Cry 4, Burnout Paradise, The Club, Pixeljunk Monsters, Welcome To The Sandbox, Your Emails and more!

This week we catch up on some of the new (finally!) games available and our thoughts on playing in sandbox worlds. Aimless wandering or glorious, emergent gameplay? Design genius or design crutch?

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.

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree

"Small Comfort" - Apoplexia (Benoit Casey) - 0:22:20
"All That She Remembers" - Apoplexia (Benoit Casey) - 0:44:03


Well, after listening to the podcast this morning I was going to come into this thread and spend a bunch of time trying to explain how remarkably different my experience with and opinion of Burnout is from that expressed on the show, but I see that Fly has already done a pretty good job of saying what I was going to say.

So yeah, what Fly said.

Comfort game: Dwarf Fortress.


I feel dirty just typing this but my comfort game is CounterStrike: Source...

Jaunty wrote:

I feel dirty just typing this but my comfort game is CounterStrike: Source...

It's ok, It's mine too....

Earthbound is my comfort game. Surprised?

This might be the trendy answer right now, but Rez is one of my comfort games. I forked over 80 bux at Future Shop many years ago for it, and I've never regretted a penny. I always find myself coming back to the game.

Back when I had a PC, Planescape Torment was my comfort game. I never finished it, but I'd always come back to it every few months. I'll be the first game I install when I get an Intel macbook.

Maybe Mechcommander 2 is my comfort game. After canceling Vanguard I really am jones for a new fix. I like to think I've made a clean break from WoW as everytime I think about it, I realize that I would just be leveling characters for my bruised ego and not having fun playing a game. With the enhanced leveling pace of 2.3 I do wonder some times whether I would enjoy the game more if I got one character passed 60 and then broke the flood gates open in respect with getting my numerous other alts to the Outllands. At the same time, it would only cost me 10$ for a months worth of play.

I so need to get into AoC or War beta or for Spore to come out. Some new classes in Hellgate London wouldn't hurt either.

Comfort game?

Probably Starcraft. I can always go back to that game and have a great time with it.

I don't tend to go back to old games very often, though I have fired up Frontier: First Encounters quite a few times over the years to relive the hours and hours I spent playing Frontier on my Amiga. More recently, though, Forza 2 is probably the closest I've come to a comfort game -- I know it's going to take me forever to finish the career mode, but regardless of whatever else I might have to play, it's rare for a week to go by without me finishing at least a race or two.

I don't often go back to old games, but if I have a comfort game it would be between Starcraft or Guild Wars. Guildwars gets a bit more play because I don't need to dig for the disc, but Starcraft would actually be the first choice.

Or if I feel like sitting back with the 360, then PGR3.

I'm with the podcast crew on sandbox games, haven't tried Burnout Paradise yet, but it sounds too much like TDU and not enough like Burnout. Oblivion, GTA: Vice City etc don't seem to give enough direction to my experience. Mass Effect is the closest thing to a sandbox that I have enjoyed. It gave you enough openness to feel like you were in a huge galaxy, but the story was the primary driver.

Even in Oblivion the story wasn't strong enough to pull me on, maybe I could go back to it now and play it a bit more like I played ME, a sort of mental mod I guess, with less of the random wandering around.

Comfort game? Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. It's on every hard drive I own.

Usually I can't stand sandbox games. I like direction. That said, Oblivion does it right, and the freedom it gives you actually makes it more attractive for me. Paradise could have benefited from something like that. I like it as it is, but I don't see myself playing it as obsessively as I did with previous Burnouts.