GWJ Conference Call Episode 201

Conference Call

Scott Pilgrim The Game, Mafia 2 Demo, StarCraft II Spoiler Section, Part Two of Our Interview With Ken Levine About Bioshock Infinite, Audio Congrats From Our Pals, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Elysium, Cory, Julian and Rob look back on 200 episodes! We also run part 2 of our interview with Ken Levine about Bioshock Infinite.

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

CastMedium
Good Old Games

GWJ Store!

  • 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

Comments

Hey guys--

I was interested in the point about "punishing the game for trying," in terms of taking issue with StarCraft II's story when Blizzard didn't even need to go so balls-out with the story in an RTS game. I think that's a fair response. However, the point I was trying (perhaps unsuccessfully) to make on Three Moves Ahead is that it's precisely because Blizzard put so much effort into the story that it disappointed me all the more.

If Blizzard had held back and taken more of a SC1-level approach, and still included a mediocre story, it would have been far less noticeable and noteworthy. But the game explicitly made the choice to immerse me in the world of these characters all the time--there was a TON of dialogue, a ton of in-game cutscenes. There's just an absolute deluge of really, really bad story, and in an RTS game that doesn't make such a big deal about the story, I wouldn't have minded or noticed nearly as much.

As for people simply enjoying the story on its own merits, well that's another matter entirely. Obviously everyone has their own taste in terms of actual execution, and that's fine. But I don't think points should be given just for trying, especially when such vast amounts of time and money were available -- surely not a luxury afforded many PC-exclusive strategy game developers these days.

Good show, by the way! Sorry to harp on that one point.

Man! Time for Starcraft 2 spoilers already? The game came out yesterday or something. Give a guy time to at least finish it once.

Listening to the core four conference callers is like slipping into a favorite comfy tee shirt. I do love the variety in chairs from time to time, but you guys are what got me hooked in the first place years ago.

I love the dip into US/world history with Ken and Julian. It sounds like some of what he said got edited out; is there anywhere this big history dork can hear the rest?

This episode is easily one of my favorites, so far. Keep up the good work!

Luggage wrote:

Man! Time for Starcraft 2 spoilers already? The game came out yesterday or something. Give a guy time to at least finish it once. ;)

Someone needs to stop playing ladder games for a couple of days and get a move on with the campaign. :p

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Luggage wrote:

Man! Time for Starcraft 2 spoilers already? The game came out yesterday or something. Give a guy time to at least finish it once. ;)

Someone needs to stop playing ladder games for a couple of days and get a move on with the campaign. :p

If only I was playing ladder games... *goes off to post his RL on Craigslist*

With regards to the CC, I'm about 30 minutes in, so I haven't listened to the spoiler section yet. But so far, Elysium's take on Starcraft 2 has to be the one I concur with the most. On the other hand, it's really interesting to hear that Rob Zacny is laddering like a maniac when I perceived his review as barely better than neutral.

Playing FPS inverted makes more sense to me because if you imagine holding a real gun, to aim up, you're pulling your body back. Playing without inversion feels too much like I'm just pointing and clicking.

Haven't listened yet myself, but my take on Rob Zacny's, and Tom Chick's, reviews is not that they were positive or negative. It's rather that they were just warning people who may have been expecting something more 'modern' exactly what was in the box.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

Playing FPS inverted makes more sense to me because if you imagine holding a real gun, to aim up, you're pulling your body back. Playing without inversion feels too much like I'm just pointing and clicking.

DRM called and said this debate was tired.

Muramasa called to say hi. It just wanted you guys to know that it was a classic side-scrolling brawler.

Does El kFest make a return?

Well, that's some intro!

Regarding the Alyx intro: I WASN'T LOOKING!

Grats guys. What was the name of that comedy podcast?

Brother something...?

Rob wins the show with his push-the-fat-guy-up-the-stairs game idea.

Thanks. Fitting avatar.

I only became familiar with Scott Pilgrim through the trailers, and bought the game day one, and love it. Just so's ya know.

Great. Not a minute in and I feel ashamed.

chrisremo wrote:

Counterpoint

Enjoy it while it lasts people because soon we won't be able to hear what Chris actually thinks about stuff.

Anyway, I'm thinking have Michael Zenke come on and talk about Guild Wars 2 sounds like a great topic since they're showing a fair amount of gameplay this week at Gamescom. Before everything about the game, as interesting as it looked in art and some screenshots, was verging on hyperbole. Now, there's something to see and talk about.

Rat Boy wrote:

Nope. Not going to watch the Bioshock trailer. La la la la!

Do it. It's beautiful.

Nope. Not going to watch the Bioshock trailer. La la la la!

Edit: I do find Ken and Julian's discussion on the historical background for the new Bioshock fascinating (and actually, Red Dead Redemption is set around this time period and has similar themes about the federal government exercising its power over rural communities in the Old West). A good read on this is The Imperial Cruise by James Bradley; word of warning, if you think the world of Teddy Roosevelt, you probably won't like what Bradley as to say.

Wait, I got it. A variation of Certis' game character idea, what if it was more like that vault from Fallout 3? A horde of Demiurge clones who can only say "Corey."

Epic intro by Alyx voice actor... Nuf said.

For Lara albeit a podcast too late:

IMAGE(http://imgur.com/NBclY.jpg)

"Now quit looking at my ass."

SHE KNOWS!

In regards to the StarCraft II spoilers...

Spoiler:

I agree with Elysium that the whole Prophecy arc felt a little out of place within the narrative of Wings of Liberty, at least at first. The whole thing built up to the point where the Protoss realized that it was a bad idea to take out Kerrigan; the Overmind turned her into the Queen of Blades to prevent the Zerg from becoming pawns of the guy with red eyes in order to wipe out all other life. The ending begs the question if turning Kerrigan back into a human was such a good idea.

But, the main storyline was definitely about the relationship between Raynor and Kerrigan, something that StarCraft I didn't really go into that much depth about. As the story unfolded, it became clear at least to me that Raynor's sole motivation for trying to take down the Dominion was because of what Mengsk did to Kerrigan, which I think is why we had that retelling of the New Gettysburg mission from SC1 not once but twice. Once Raynor was presented with the chance to rescue Kerrigan from the Zerg, his deep-down reason for opposing Mengsk went away, something his crew started to challenge him on before he laid down the law with Tychus.

Then there's the Tychus plotline and that the betrayal was telegraphed from the outset. But, it's also implied that he didn't want to be Mengsk's pawn in killing Kerrigan. Perhaps that was why he got drunk off his ass and had that bar fight with Raynor. I don't think it was a strong point in the story, but it also didn't drag down the story with it.

The one thing that did surprise me was that Wings of Liberty had a happy ending. It seems like in every Blizzard game, the humans/Terrans get the short of the stick, but not here. Of course, that'll probably change in the next one.

rabbit wrote:

It's kind of a Batman/Superman argument.

There is no argument.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

Playing FPS inverted makes more sense to me because if you imagine holding a real gun, to aim up, you're pulling your body back. Playing without inversion feels too much like I'm just pointing and clicking.

I guess I was wondering more if I had a choice in the matter. (Hence the recessive gene comment.) No matter how long I play games with a "normal" camera, I seem to always start my movement in the wrong direction.

It seems our hosts can change the camera depending on the situation. Maybe I am defective. I was kinda hoping that invert or non-invert was analogous to being left handed or right handed...

(Maybe it is... I don't know if being lefty or righty has anything to do with genetics either.)

I just checked the age of my account, I've been here for 4 years! Well my account.

Congrats on keeping this up for so long and still being interesting!

TheCounselor wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:

Playing FPS inverted makes more sense to me because if you imagine holding a real gun, to aim up, you're pulling your body back. Playing without inversion feels too much like I'm just pointing and clicking.

DRM called and said this debate was tired.

Aw, but this was a podcast about reminiscing. Seemed a perfect moment to raise dead arguments from the grave.

Baaspei wrote:

I guess I was wondering more if I had a choice in the matter. (Hence the recessive gene comment.) No matter how long I play games with a "normal" camera, I seem to always start my movement in the wrong direction.

It seems our hosts can change the camera depending on the situation. Maybe I am defective. I was kinda hoping that invert or non-invert was analogous to being left handed or right handed...

(Maybe it is... I don't know if being lefty or righty has anything to do with genetics either.)

I can't change, I have to invert for everything. I blame Falcon 3.0.

What I really wonder about is why so many games offer the choice to invert the X-axis--does anyone actually do this?