Conference Call

GWJ Conference Call Episode 105

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Little Big Planet, A Ton of Your Emails and more!

This week we're buried under such a big pile of awesome emails we hunker down and read them all! Shawn tears into The Force Unleashed and rabbit humps Little Big Planet.

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 Audioworks

"Cosmos" - (Workbench) - www.workbench-music.com - 0:33

Comments

Rat Boy wrote:
Duoae wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:
Duoae wrote:

I only place JK2 above JA because of the story and the level design which feels tighter for me.

Even with the ridiculous jumping levels, including most infamous one involving jumping back and forth to decipher a code?

Even with Kyle Katarn is cooler than Luke Skywalker and Han Solo put together.... in fact that's EXACTLY what he is! *OMG* I'm a corporate focus group whore! :(

I'll say this in praise of TFU; it is one of the best Star Wars video game stories since KOTOR. The main character is easily in the top three of characters from those games, behind Darth Revan and Kyle Katarn.

Mayyybe. Seriously though. JA was too fragmented for me to enjoy properly. All that jumping around from one 'mission' to another kinda got old the second time around and the crappy levelling up of your force powers and choosing new ones coulda used a bit of a spit and polish. Although i liked being able to create my own character i think in that situation i'd prefer to be given a character that actually had some character or be able to 'roleplay' my own character in a better way than was offered. Obviously MP was a different story. But i didn't play JA MP.

Certis, how could you? You took off the flower hat I gave you. The symbol of my love and devotion. So what about the donkey tails, were they all a lie too? And there I thought we had something special.

And let me just add here that I'm disappointed that *Legion*'s first sports reference on the GWJ Conference Call was not in relation to our beloved NFL but...NCAA basketball??!!!! You disappoint me, good sir.

Julian,

What is the name of that iphone game again?

Galcon!

rabbit wrote:

Galcon!

Sounds like a BSG fan convention.

I feel comfortable saying "just buy it" about Galcon. It's so cheap, and it's so good.

The terrible saber combat are what kept me from buying The Force Unleashed. It's like you're using one of those crappy plastic toys. The limbs should be flying around more than they are in Ninja Gaiden 2.

I didn't mind The Force Unleashed's gameplay at all. I thought it was fine, if a letdown from what was expected. The saber combat looks so stupid if you're not playing yourself, but in practice, I can see why they went this way. It's just that if you're going to do a lightsaber action game, maybe you should take into account that in the fiction, a single hit is always enough.

Rat Boy wrote:

And let me just add here that I'm disappointed that *Legion*'s first sports reference on the GWJ Conference Call was not in relation to our beloved NFL but...NCAA basketball??!!!! You disappoint me, good sir.

Gotta represent Fresno State.

Maybe next time, I'll refer to that other departed Fresno State basketball coach:

IMAGE(http://cnbcsucks.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/coach-hottie-2.jpg)

Thanks guys for answering my email on the con-call....its the first time I have ever had a email answered "on air" and it was prety cool.

Since the story seems to be the only good reason to play TFU, have any of you podcasters considered just buying the novelization instead, which is 1/3rd the price?

Hans

Referring to the email from my fellow South African. It is understandable to be concerned with the idea of a digital distribution future with the limited availability, low speeds and larcenous pricing for what passes for broadband here.

The biggest root of the problem is the one undersea telecommunications cable we have that connects us to Europe, this is however changing significantly in the next two years, as work has begun already on two new ones. One is scheduled to be functional by November 2009 and the other early 2010. Speeds will rise and prices will fall significantly.

And infrastructure development within the country is happening very fast as well, maybe extreme rural areas will need satellite and cellular coverage, but terrestrial networks in urban and peri-urban areas are going to be very well developed. Every day I drive to and from work across multiple trenches dug by various operators laying optical fiber.

But, as was pointed out on the podcast, boxes are unlikely to be going very far very soon. Patching can still be a problem, especially if you are into Steam games or European RPGs. (Sacred 2, looking at you here)

As for what games I was good at. None. My introduction to serious gaming is pretty recent. I didn't grow up in arcades and while we owned an Intellivision it didn't get that much play.

Certis, I tip my hat to you for your knowledge of the market in Ireland. Now on the other hand I find out you were bluffing it, there maybe trouble.

Still, Ireland was used by McCain as an example recently. It logically follows that you should run for President. Certis '12?

hidannik wrote:

Since the story seems to be the only good reason to play TFU, have any of you podcasters considered just buying the novelization instead, which is 1/3rd the price?

Hans

The game was also fairly pretty.

Honestly, I didn't know there was a novelization. That might have been a better option, if I had actually purchased Force Unleashed.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Referring to the email from my fellow South African. It is understandable to be concerned with the idea of a digital distribution future with the limited availability, low speeds and larcenous pricing for what passes for broadband here.

The biggest root of the problem is the one undersea telecommunications cable we have that connects us to Europe, this is however changing significantly in the next two years, as work has begun already on two new ones. One is scheduled to be functional by November 2009 and the other early 2010. Speeds will rise and prices will fall significantly.

Oh, I did not know about those, if and when they do happen it will be a big boon to everyone in South Africa! Plus with the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010 they would have to up the infrastructure a bit with all the people (press, etc...) coming into the country....

Now if only those Yanks can pronounce my name properly ;). How they saw the Afrikaans word for saying good bye as my real name (Samuel) only they know....

Blue Bulls FTW!

I wondered about the 'Groat' pronunciation.

Yeah, the new sites for the cables are being surveyed, laying should start soon. Something to look forward to.

And Sharks for the cup.

I realize I might have come across as overly dismissive of the PIA nature of slow download speeds. While this might not be a big enough issue for the industry to do anything about, I do know the feeling. When I moved from the city to the country, and my only options were dialup or satellite, it was a huge pain in the ass. I pretty much played only MMOs or single player games because of the lag, and patches and whatnot were always overnight affairs - and this was 7 years ago when the multi-gigabyte download was pretty much unheard of.

But I'm also above all else a realist and pragmatist. DLC is here to stay, an overwhelmingly good thing for gamers when all the angles are considered, and figuring out how to deal with it is probably the better thing to do, than whinge. One thing I ended up doing pretty regularly was having a friend with a T1 connection download stuff for me (big things like Demos or full game clients) and just burn them to CDs. Doesn't do you any good from the console side of course.

No, I don't think you came across as especially dismissive. It's one of those things like the weather, there's not really any control so not much point in complaining.

Fact is we are a small market, so no-one really cares about us, a DLC future seems scary but is inevitable. I just wanted to inform the emailer that there was hope in our future.

I rented "Force Unleashed" for my Wii (as I didn't have a PS3 at the time) and beat it in 7 hours. I thought it was well worth the rental, but definitely not the purchase. The story was decent, the graphics were acceptable (but obviously worse than PS3/360), but I didn't have the clipping issues that were referred to in the podcast. Also, I really liked the ability to pick up someone with my left hand (nunchuck) and toss them aside! Then again, I felt like lightsaber "combat" really just consisted of shaking my right hand (Wiimote) a lot. I used the force powers more than anything.

Worth the rental! Check it out!

The comment about the free MMOs. A bunch of them especially the Korean made ones are almost interchangeable. There's obviously some that stand out, but after them the others just dont seem the effort.

Rabbit, I think you're missing the point on the Gears issue. Let's say you're not the biggest Gears fan and you spend your $60 on a different game that week. Months later you see it used and pick it up since all your friends are playing it. Well, they all have the 5 free maps and you don't. That's not your fault, but now you're stuck with a gimped game.

My point is, you're buying the same game disc as everyone else, but you're not getting the same content. It's not really any different that EA charging you to unlock content on the disc or posting DLC the same week as the game releases. This type of stuff should be on the disc for everyone, not a select few.

Obviously, the select few will be in the millions, but that doesn't diminish the fact that people are not getting the full experience from the same piece of plastic.

Gemini Ace wrote:

Rabbit, I think you're missing the point on the Gears issue...My point is, you're buying the same game disc as everyone else, but you're not getting the same content.

Exactly. As Ken Levine pointed out in a conference call a while back, there are 2 ways to stop people selling/buying used games: either you use the carrot of free or paid DLC, updates and replayability, or the stick of DRM and single-use codes. Ken seemed to favour the carrot approach.

I can totally see why publishers are going for the stick approach, and I respect their right to do it - it's not like anyone *has* to buy Gears 2. That doesn't mean we have to be happy about it, though.

Personally, I do sometimes buy used games and trade things in, but I have mixed feelings about it. Especially after playing Uncharted secondhand: it wasn't until afterwards that I realised all the texture pop in I saw was due to a slightly scratched disc, not the game engine.

Baga!?!..

Canuckians..

*Legion* wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

And let me just add here that I'm disappointed that *Legion*'s first sports reference on the GWJ Conference Call was not in relation to our beloved NFL but...NCAA basketball??!!!! You disappoint me, good sir.

Gotta represent Fresno State.

Maybe next time, I'll refer to that other departed Fresno State basketball coach:

IMAGE(http://cnbcsucks.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/coach-hottie-2.jpg)

*sigh*

We finally get a good reason to go to the girl's games and she turns out to be a pill popping bitch.

Isn't Rock Band 2 doing exactly the same thing as Gears 2? I haven't heard anyone bitch about that, so it seems a bit odd that Gears 2 is getting the hatorade over it. It's just a map pack, and recycled maps at that, so it's not exactly critical content that they've chopped out of the game, just so they can ship it as DLC. Just think of it as a bonus for buying the game new, rather than a penalty for buying the game used.

What does Rock Band 2 give the first buyer?

Quintin_Stone wrote:

What does Rock Band 2 give the first buyer?

I think he's confused between people being able to import their rockband content for money and this free code for maps in Gears 2.

Duoae wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

What does Rock Band 2 give the first buyer?

I think he's confused between people being able to import their rockband content for money and this free code for maps in Gears 2.

Possibly, but I think he's talking about the 20 free songs you can only get if you buy a new copy of Rock Band 2. Or at the very least any copy with a manual that contains a code that has never been registered to an e-mail account.

When are those free songs going to be available? Any word yet?

Gaald wrote:

Possibly, but I think he's talking about the 20 free songs you can only get if you buy a new copy of Rock Band 2. Or at the very least any copy with a manual that contains a code that has never been registered to an e-mail account.

When are those free songs going to be available? Any word yet?

Ah, i didn't know about that. In that case the RB 2 free 20 songs is more similar to the sports game i mention above. You'd never be kicked from a server when those songs came up (because that's not the way it works) and you might be able to download/buy them as DLC later on. It doesn't affect your ability to play the game.