GWJ Conference Call Episode 188

Conference Call

3D Dot Game Heroes, Lost Planet 2, 100 Rogues, Starcraft 2, Rocket Knight, Game Films, Emails and more!

This week we enter upside down land and listen as Cory hosts and Shawn sits in Rob's seat! Cats also marry dogs and Lara has a goatee and LOVES Heavy Rain. Some of those statements are not true. 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!

Sponsor
Good Old Games

  • Subscribe with iTunes
  • Subscribe with RSS
  • Subscribe with Yahoo!
Download the official apps
  • Download the GWJ Conference Call app for Android
  • Download the GWJ Conference Call app for Android

Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"Atlantis" - Sketchbook (Pneuman) - http://blag.linuxgamers.net - 0:39:06
"Anxious Tedium" - Ouranos OST (Tom Quinn) - http://thomashquinn.googlepages.com - 1:05:45

Comments

padriec wrote:

Hey Pyroman, you mentioned a few blogs you follow to get ideas for Fringebusters. Care to share their names?

The IndieGames blog is absolutely awesome for canvasing every release/trailer/anything from the indie scene

http://indiegames.com/blog/

UserCreated.org keeps up with almost everything mod related
http://usercreated.org/

And finally I get Google Reader shares from our very own wordsmythe, who is a Reader fiend. Google should cut him a paycheck.

@LarryC

There have been many live action and anime properties that adapted Street Fighter. What are your thoughts on Street Fighter II V, the 29 episode anime produced by Group TAC? I feel it faithfully captures the flavor of the SF universe well - ex. Ryu's wandering warrior spirit, Ken's pampered but well meaning character etc. - with a well fleshed out major story arch of M.Bison looking to take over the world using skilled fighters along with other threads as well. The fact that not only does it trump any other SF adaptation but it adds enough good content to fill an entire season.

For any anime/SF fans, I highly recommend the original Japanese version (with subs). The English dub mistranslates a bit and also dumbs down some of the plot.

hbi2k wrote:
Demiurge wrote:

Read the whole trilogy. Multiple times. Tolkien's writing sucks in all three books.

How badly can it possibly be if you voluntarily read through the entire thing multiple times? Once just to prove a point, I get. Multiple times? You must've been getting SOMETHING out of it.

This.

I'd also be interested in knowing the age when Lara in particular, but in any Tolkien hater in general, read LOTR.

The Hobbit reads well early on because it was written specifically for children. LOTR was intended for an older audience with more of an attention span to wade through the digressions.

I feel the same way about Catcher In The Rye, which I was forced to read in high school and dang near put me off reading altogether. CITR is a book that's intended for people who are well beyond the point in their lives that Holden Caulfield is describing in that book so that the reader can reflect on what an idiot he or she was. In high school, Caulfield is just a whiny idiot.

Cory is obviously too young for LOTR.

Lara, on the other hand, tried it once at some indeterminate point in the past and wrote it off forever. Depending upon the timespan between then and now, it might be worth revisiting to see if your impressions hold up.

That said, let me just say that anyone who defends the Mario Brothers movie on philosophical grounds (even as a proxy for her husband) but condemns Tolkien as a hack is a person who should be prepared for some raised eyebrows when it comes to their opinions on writing.

EDIT:

Oh, and a quick addendum to what LarryC wrote; LOTR doesn't necessarily read better if you read the backstory in Silmarillion, which I believe perhaps three people in existence have ever managed to do because the prose is very dense, but it helps if you care about the backstory.

Because if you think LOTR is just about some short people saving the world you're kind of missing the point.

Demiurge wrote:

Read the whole trilogy. Multiple times. Tolkien's writing sucks in all three books.

How bad can it possibly be if you voluntarily read through the entire thing multiple times? Once just to prove a point, I get. Multiple times? You must've been getting SOMETHING out of it.

It might be useful to distinguish between the "writing" of Tolkien and the "style" of Tolkien. "Writing" encompasses everything that goes into the creation of the book: the plot, the setting, the characterization, the structure, etc. The STYLE more specifically focuses on the way in which he goes about telling his story, the word choices, brevity vs. verbosity, etc.

However much I might disagree with them, I can at least understand someone who dislikes Tolkien's style. Anyone who says his WRITING is bad, on the other hand, doesn't know what they're talking about.

LarryC wrote:

Lord of the Rings is definitely a work that I found more enjoyable the more I read it and the more I read about it, and I've read it many times, cover to cover.

Truly the sign of a great work... when the effort you put forth as a reader is rewarded.

Hearing Lara say "Trust the fungus" with that voice was quite disturbing. A mental image of Vladimir Harkonnen (from the movie) popped into my mind uttering the same phrase in Lara's voice followed by consciously inserted sexy images to erase Vladimir.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Oh, and a quick addendum to what LarryC wrote; LOTR doesn't necessarily read better if you read the backstory in Silmarillion, which I believe perhaps three people in existence have ever managed to do because the prose is very dense, but it helps if you care about the backstory.

Agreed. The Simarillion is to LOTR as Star Wars 1-3 are to the original trilogy.

Zelos wrote:

Agreed. The Simarillion is to LOTR as Star Wars 1-3 are to the original trilogy.

With the rather significant exception that Tolkien never really intended it for publication, writing it primarily as a historical backdrop for his invented languages and never believing that anyone else would have much interest in it, whereas Lucas seems totally oblivious to the level of crapitude he has taken to making.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Cory is obviously too young for LOTR. :D

I'm spinning my beanie at you.

Quintis:

Thanks for the recommendation. I've been looking for a good Street Fighter work. I'll be sure to give my thoughts about it here when I track down a copy and view it.

Zelos:

Amazingly enough, I found the Silmarillion more readable on a first read than Lord of the Rings. Indeed, most of my friends who've read it share a similar view. If you have the time and dedication, my ideal read through would be The Hobbit - Silmarillion - Lost Tales - Lord of the Rings.

The reason for this is that Silmarillion tales read more like classic fairy tales. Each story is more or less self-contained, with minimal references to outside events or things or characters. The tragic story of Turin Turambar does not need the Creation of Middle Earth story to be as black as any tale.

Lord of the Rings reads a lot like The Iliad, or so I would imagine. Without the mythological background, the reading of exactly where all 1000+ ships in the Greek Armada came from isn't really all that interesting.

Anyway, 18, 19? Back in college. And like I said before, I have tried to read Fellowship since then. Alas, still bad.

That said, let me just say that anyone who defends the Mario Brothers movie on philosophical grounds (even as a proxy for her husband) but condemns Tolkien as a hack is a person who should be prepared for some raised eyebrows when it comes to their opinions on writing.

Oooh! I also like National Treasure, Gene Wolfe, Joss Whedon and dead 20th-century Russian authors. So what does that say about my opinions on writing now? :eyeroll:

How about this: You like Tolkien's writing. I don't. And there's nothing wrong with either of us, or our opinions.

KaterinLHC:

I think there's a subtle difference between not liking a work, and calling it bad. Just sayin'.

For instance, I don't like Uncharted 2. I've tried playing it four times now and it's just not engaging me. I recognize that it's not a bad work, I just don't like it much.

Is this still the front page or have I mistakenly strayed into P&C?

KaterinLHC wrote:

How about this: You like Tolkien's writing. I don't. And there's nothing wrong with either of us, or our opinions.

This statement I have no problem with. It's when you categorically stated that LOTR represented bad writing that I got roiled.

I'm always up for agreeing to disagree. It's pretty much the best outcome anyone can hope for on the internet.

You can't go and diss Tolien when nerds are around without causing some controversy.

hbi2k wrote:

It might be useful to distinguish between the "writing" of Tolkien and the "style" of Tolkien. "Writing" encompasses everything that goes into the creation of the book: the plot, the setting, the characterization, the structure, etc. The STYLE more specifically focuses on the way in which he goes about telling his story, the word choices, brevity vs. verbosity, etc.

However much I might disagree with them, I can at least understand someone who dislikes Tolkien's style. Anyone who says his WRITING is bad, on the other hand, doesn't know what they're talking about.

I'd argue that given that the words are how all that stuff is conveyed, it's a pretty important part. You could write the best story in the world, with a plot that runs like clockwork, and it'll all be for naught if you write like Dan Brown's retarded cousin.

If the way an author uses words becomes an insurmountable obstacle, it's fair enough to call his writing bad in my book.

And I'd certainly call the structure of the book bad, at least by the common standard of a novel. It makes for a fascinating puzzle, but maximum puzzleosity isn't something everyone is looking for in their books.

hbi2k wrote:
Zelos wrote:

Agreed. The Simarillion is to LOTR as Star Wars 1-3 are to the original trilogy.

With the rather significant exception that Tolkien never really intended it for publication, writing it primarily as a historical backdrop for his invented languages and never believing that anyone else would have much interest in it, whereas Lucas seems totally oblivious to the level of crapitude he has taken to making.

You know, this isn't true. He originally submitted a draft of the Silmarillion when his publishers wanted a another book after The Hobbit, and then started working on Lord of the Rings after it got rejected.

Alien Love Gardener wrote:

I'd argue that given that the words are how all that stuff is conveyed, it's a pretty important part.

I didn't say it was unimportant, just that it might be useful to make the distinction.

When Lara gets famous one day and has an autobiography the title has to be Kicking Hornet's Nests for Fun and Profit.

All I could think of when she said it was "bad" on the podcast was the words: "Blasphemy", "Sacrilege", and "Heretic" coming out of about 10,000 geeks mouths all at the same time. If gaming is at all a religion Tolkien is at the very least a major god if its polytheistic and if its theistic well then he's the major prophet if not the big G man himself.

I am not even a religious guy and I muttered "sacrilege" when I heard her say it ( and just to make it visually interesting lets just say I was drinking a cup of milk at the time and it came out of my nose and mouth, and got splaterred all over my cat ....) and was desperatly trying to think of who the pope is in the gaming religious hierarchy (Sid Meier maybe?). I was definetly thinking he needed a call and excommunication procedures should be started immediatly.

Just for your sanity in the future i would never say that Tolkien, or his works, are "bad" since the guy is pretty much the father of modern fantasy literature and the lore behind 90% of the fantasy games we play today. I would liken it to saying that the Brother's Grimm are bad( i don't like Snow White but wouldn't call it poor writing or a bad work). Both were trying to record folklore and fairytales (and I am honestly using those terms academically) the Brother's Grimm just had alot more material and Tolkien felt he was doing it specifically for the era that lacked any real verbal or written records. In other words there is alot more to his works than it simply being an entertaining read or not. I think in alot of ways he himself intentionally knew that and didnt really care whether or not the book was entertaining as long as it included all the reference material and background stories, poems, songs, and language that he wanted in the work. I think he only edited it grudgingly to get it disseminated. And the Lord of the rings work definetly could have been more heavily edited to make it more of an entertaining read. And I think that's what your complaint really is all about, editing.

Having a true understanding of Tolkien's intent and reading the Silmarillion with the Atlas of Middle Earth as a reference guide is probably one of the most interesting things you could ever read if you have even a passing interest in complete fantasy worlds.

http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Middle-E...

Bob Dylan is an apt analogy here, because like Tolkien he is heinously overrated.

jam3 wrote:

If gaming is at all a religion Tolkien is at the very least a major god if its polytheistic and if its theistic well then he's the major prophet if not the big G man himself.

I guess that makes me a gaming atheist, in that case.

Call me wacky, but I feel like it's possible to simultaneously acknowledge an artist's strengths and weaknesses! In my bizarro universe, it is possible for Tolkien to be one of the most imaginative, influential authors I've ever read and a self-important blabbermouth that put me to sleep a third of the way through The Fellowship Of The Ring. These ideas are not mutually exclusive.

Bob Dylan is one of the most important musicians of the last 50 years...but I won't be looking forward to hearing him sing "Ave Maria" any time soon.

"It works it hard." And we are off and running.

So you're telling me that playing the Zelda clone game while listening to Stone Temple Pilots and Nirvana will make me feel old? I am all in.

The day I go back and watch replays of a video game I played is the day you can put a bullet in my brain, because clearly I would no longer have any use for it.

When I had a DS, the best part of it was that I could sit on the couch next to my wife and play games while she watched a crappy movie. It counted as cuddling.

The Jedi Knight games are some of the best games of all time, especially Academy, which skips over the boring standard shooter parts. Playing multiplayer with only sabers is a must. Who needs guns when you have a glowing blade of nerd energy?

Steam for the Mac is a step in the right direction. If SOE ever ports EverQuest II to the Mac, my wife's next desktop could very well be a Mac, and that's a neat idea.

The Resident Evil movies are the only movies I can think of that are based on a game and are actually good. I am looking forward to the fourth one. (Big fan of the security laser hallway scene in the first movie!)

Doom is bad because it is based on a shooter game but ends the movie with a fist fight.

Mortal Kombat was kool the first I saw it in the theater, but sadly, after seeing it recently, it does not hold up. I can see the cheese ball appeal though. Christopher Lambert is always cool.

The reason why game movies are often so bad? Lack of passion. These Hollywood types care nothing for games as a hobby, as a passion, as a past time. It's just a potential cash cow to them. It's the same reason a lot of movies based on cartoons and comic books end up being terrible. I mean any real fan of Transformers would have demanded that Frank Welker play Megatron.

A Tomb Raider movie was not needed, because we already have the movie Gia.

The Lord of the Rings books read like very interesting history books. I mean that as a compliment.

Anytime your move in a strategy game involves a picture of a penis, all male characters move a little forward and to the left.

Lara with the funny during the emails!

LarryC wrote:

For instance, I don't like Uncharted 2. I've tried playing it four times now and it's just not engaging me. I recognize that it's not a bad work, I just don't like it much.

That's exactly how I felt about Batman: Arkham Asylum...

*runs away and hides*

Where are your accusers Dyni? Have they not all gone? Then neither do I condemn you. Go forth and game some more.