GWJ Conference Call Episode 128

Conference Call

Resident Evil 5, World of Goo, The Path, Julian Hates Empire: Total War, Gaming on The Fringe, A New Contest!, Your Emails and more!

This week we get back to basics and tackle fringe gaming. Gaming systems vs. environments, how it informs the mainstream and what the future may hold. We're also launching a new contest this week! To win a Steam copy of Empire: Total War just listen to the audio file submitted by TempestBlayze and send your answers to [email protected]! If you want to submit a question or comment call in to our voicemail line at (612) 284-4563.

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. You can also submit a question or comment call in to our voicemail line at (612) 284-4563!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

REDONE "Parker's Root Beer" - (Eric Carl) - www.sans-concept.com - 0:32:10
"Natural Mother" - For Rest - (Adam Emanon) - www.myspace.com/nonameadam - 0:59:00

Comments

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Whoops! Had the wrong audio file linked for a couple minutes. Should be ok now.

Ha!

Elysium's comments (and snarky comments) on the Witcher are priceless, I really laughed out loud

That part of the game sure is hella slow

Hmm, I'll listen to this tomorrow, but I'm rather curious as to why Rabbit hate Empire: Total War.

Elysium, i'm right there with you in Vizima... just imagine yourself 5-10 hours from now (in game playing time) and you've been to the swamp and back several times.... but are still stuck in Vizima.

IMO the biggest problem with Vizima is that back and forth-ness.... there's too much having to sit around and wait or running around talking to people who don't tell you anything even though you think you saw something. The actual quests (for an RPG) are pretty cool compared to most other western RPGs (e.g. Kotor or Neverwinter Nights) where the results and the choices are pretty black and white and there's always an immediate payoff (or not) rather than it coming further down the line in some unexpected way....

[edit] What did Rabbit learn today?: "Don't trust Tom Chick"

Also, for a writer, Rabbit sure pronounces stuff strangely.. i mean, RICHitello? Is that how it's meant to be pronounced?

Duoae wrote:

Also, for a writer, Rabbit sure pronounces stuff strangely.. i mean, RICHitello? Is that how it's meant to be pronounced?

Ricitello is an Italian surname and Rabbit actually uses proper Italian pronounciation. Which could mean that he's well-versed in basics of different languages. Or maybe he's just a snob

Great podcast as always, interesting discussion on the next gen.

But no traditional gamer DS games released in the last year? What about Chronotrigger, GTA:CW, Final Fantasy:Crystal Chronicles, Valkyrie Profile, Disgaea or Fire Emblem?

Zelos wrote:

Great podcast as always, interesting discussion on the next gen.

But no traditional gamer DS games released in the last year? What about Chronotrigger, GTA:CW, Final Fantasy:Crystal Chronicles, Valkyrie Profile, Disgaea or Fire Emblem?

Add to that the remakes of Dragon Quests. Pure pleasure.

I dunno. I think RE5 plays perfectly well single player, especially if you are careful about tactics, having learned what to do from playing too much RE4. Generally it pays to shoot then run away then shoot some more, then run away some more.

I do agree that a couple of the big bads in the early levels are mean if you don't have decent weapons, which you don't. That's the only major pacing problem I had with the game besides the expected stream of boring Boss fights.

I just had a well actually. In the EA, Bioware, and then Blizz-ivision E-mal segment, the guys stated a common misconception. To blame is that Kottick is the face man, but Vivendi-Universal, who owned Blizzard, bought a controlling stake in Activision. Activision does not "own" Blizzard. Both entitities are controlled under the VU umbrella, with a lot of autonomy. Still hoping for my Heroes, Monty Python, Battlestar MMO Rythm game.

I didn't think those song were that hard! It's cool you turned it into a contest though. Hope you guys have fun with it.

I've been in Vizima for about a year.

I get complaints about vizima, I mean, it's the majority of the game. I found the variety of missions between the swamp, sewers, trade quarter, and dirty poor folks hole was enough to keep me interested. The game sure is pretty for an Aurora engine title.

Don't use have to use the explicit tag in iTunes when you use the word "f*ck" in the podcast?

Duoae wrote:

Also, for a writer, Rabbit sure pronounces stuff strangely.. i mean, RICHitello? Is that how it's meant to be pronounced?

Yes.

For the whole "systems vs. environment" thing, I think a much better way to talk about it is with the Taxonomy of Gamers.

Rabbit are you on cocaine? The Path isn't even pretty? I feel like you're playing an entirely different game than I am.

*edit* I'm also just writing things down as I hear the conversation here. You don't just have to "stand still" to interact. You can hit the action button, on my X360 controller it was X.

Thanks for reaffirming all of my doubts about The Path, Rabbit. I'm getting a little sick of these arthouse "semi-games." At least The Path has decent graphics, right? I'm more than a little sick of these "minimalist" arthouse games. Because apparently making a barebones 8-bit platformer with crappy mechanics and a lot of writing is now art.

#2 on the 'Name that VG Tune'... sure brings back good memories. Awesome game.

So, with Rob hiding is rabbit the new rage proxy?

LobsterMobster wrote:

Thanks for reaffirming all of my doubts about The Path, Rabbit. I'm getting a little sick of these arthouse "semi-games." At least The Path has decent graphics, right? I'm more than a little sick of these "minimalist" arthouse games. Because apparently making a barebones 8-bit platformer with crappy mechanics and a lot of writing is now art.

Just because Rabbit doesn't like it and you have doubts about it doesn't mean it doesn't have value. Pyroman and I both really enjoyed The Path.
It's also not fair to paint all "arthouse" games with the same brush. I personally thought "The Graveyard" was total garbage, while The Path actually offered something that was compelling and made me think. Don't dismiss them all so casually. And if you do want to dismiss them all so casually, that's fine - but you can feel free to ignore them rather than getting "sick" of games no-one is forcing you to play.

wanderingtaoist wrote:
Duoae wrote:

Also, for a writer, Rabbit sure pronounces stuff strangely.. i mean, RICHitello? Is that how it's meant to be pronounced?

Ricitello is an Italian surname and Rabbit actually uses proper Italian pronounciation. Which could mean that he's well-versed in basics of different languages. Or maybe he's just a snob :)

Podunk wrote:

Yes.

You know, i thought the smiley wink was a clear give away but just to explain since people seemed to have missed it: i was joking because it was a reference to all the flak Rabbit was getting the last podcast thread.

Also... it's queue.... :p

[edit] I think i know the last two songs in the competition but not the first two... dang!

In response to an offhand comment by one of the Shawn/Sean's:

To be fair to the DS, while a ton of Bratz games have come out in the past year, there is still a lot of good stuff coming out on the platform. Right now a bazillion rpgs are coming out for it, but so did Henry Hatsworth and last year we had Professor Layton. Retro Game Challenge anyone? Hell, even a GTA just came out.

Anyway, my point is that other than the supreme amounts of shovelware coming out, there's still a bit of life left in the system. Hell, Atlus releases alone can satisfy most people's gaming hunger.

It's ok not to like something and express the opinion, Dysplastic. Now, if Lobster starts trolling threads to continue reaffirming his aversion, then we can bust out the troll mallet.

I'm in the middle of the topic of the week and I'm just thinking, how far is the Environment vs System discussion from the old Graphics vs Gameplay arguement?

I don't play Street Fighter at all, but I still want to see that video production you guys mentioned. Am I blind and not seeing the promised link?

Certis wrote:

It's ok not to like something and express the opinion, Dysplastic. Now, if Lobster starts trolling threads to continue reaffirming his aversion, then we can bust out the troll mallet. ;)

Indeed. I was just thinking the end of my post was unnecessarily harsh. I do think it's important to criticize these types of games and discuss their value - not necessarily as "art", but as a different experience. I guess I just don't understand how one can be "sick" of a certain type of game - I'm certainly no fan of JRPGs, but I wouldn't call myself sick of them - I just avoid them.
I also think it's important to be tolerant of a style of game - the so-called "arthouse" game - that is still very much in it's infancy and trying to do something different. They're definitely not all going to be great, even good - but I think supporting these games is important for the growth of a new type of maturity in the industry.
On the Tale of Tales site they mention two exhibits, one in Amsterdam and one in Buenos Aires, that center around "Artistic Gaming" and feature The Path, among others. I'd love to see this type of thing become even more common, with even better games.

I would say that Blizzard is following the Activision model with StarCraft 2. They didn't just commit to releasing a game a year, as Elysium pointed out, but they've committed to release the same game three times over the course of the next three years. What's really the difference between Guitar Hero: Metallica and StarCraft 2: Protoss?

Art house David Lynch stuff? What, does Red Riding Hood run into Data talking in German?

I think I disagree with the implication that The Path was praised only because we've become all too eager to praise the fringe regardless of actual merit. For obvious reasons, the least of which is that I'm not a shill for arthouse games.

It's fine to think The Path had no merit, and have a discussion about that. It's even fine to think the press has gotten too in love with fringe gaming to the point of praising garbage. I don't think either point was made however. I think instead there was just a casual inference that because Rabbit thought The Path had no merit, the only reason it had gotten press was because it was arty and stylish. That the people who enjoyed this game were somehow fooled into enjoying it.

I don't expect the Podcast to be a fair look at the issue, obviously it's just a bunch of dudes talking about games. I just wanted to point out the inference there, the people who enjoyed The Path were not fooled by style. They enjoyed the style.

Which is one of the reasons I think the whole "systems vs. environment" split isn't a very good terminology for talking about a game. The taxonomy would describe it more as a game that explorers and tourists would really enjoy. Which I happen to be pretty firmly in both camps, most of the time. Especially when it comes to games that are $10.

Dysplastic wrote:
Certis wrote:

It's ok not to like something and express the opinion, Dysplastic. Now, if Lobster starts trolling threads to continue reaffirming his aversion, then we can bust out the troll mallet. ;)

Indeed. I was just thinking the end of my post was unnecessarily harsh. I do think it's important to criticize these types of games and discuss their value - not necessarily as "art", but as a different experience. I guess I just don't understand how one can be "sick" of a certain type of game - I'm certainly no fan of JRPGs, but I wouldn't call myself sick of them - I just avoid them.
I also think it's important to be tolerant of a style of game - the so-called "arthouse" game - that is still very much in it's infancy and trying to do something different. They're definitely not all going to be great, even good - but I think supporting these games is important for the growth of a new type of maturity in the industry.
On the Tale of Tales site they mention two exhibits, one in Amsterdam and one in Buenos Aires, that center around "Artistic Gaming" and feature The Path, among others. I'd love to see this type of thing become even more common, with even better games.

I also see where you are coming from. The Path and other 'arthouse' games get very negative reactions from a lot of the more vocal core gamers. I know you frequent RPS, so we've all seen it there. Most gamers have very dismissive attitudes towards something that doesn't fit their definitions of what constitutes a game.

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