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!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

The problem with Starcraft 2's storyline is that all the tension for the main plot was built up in the original game. It's all about Raynor's angst over Mengsk's betrayal of Kerrigan. Most of the missions in the campaign are little side stories about new characters, half of which are disposable. The Prophecy missions only tease the plot of future installments and the final missions just resolve some of that tension from the first game. Basically what I'm saying is that aside from the ending there's no major plot point in Starcraft 2 and that's a shame.

Also I think the big problem with most of the dialog is not that it was poorly written but that it was mostly conversation between characters just reminiscing about the previous mission. There's no storytelling in that dialog, it's just filler in between the missions. Even the talking head briefings in the original were better because they actually contributed to some storytelling.

Personally I enjoyed Starcraft 2's writing anyway because I'm such a fanboy, but I can easily see why people not as in love with the characters and the world would be bored out of their skulls by all the pointless dialog you can listen to if you want.

Amoebic wrote:

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?

I'm interested in MOAR too.

Luggage wrote:

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.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

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.

I'd say Zacny's take was ambivalent, not neutral.

McChuck wrote:

Regarding the Alyx intro: I WASN'T LOOKING!

But I bet you are now.

Also, I want to knock Country Mouse Borges's anti-city view and instead blame the inherently antisocial nature of living spread out from other people and hiding inside a car whenever you go outside.

Neener.

wordsmythe wrote:
McChuck wrote:

Regarding the Alyx intro: I WASN'T LOOKING!

But I bet you are now.

Now that she said it, you can't *not* do it.

Alyx just incepted everyone to stare at her digital booty.

wordsmythe wrote:

Also, I want to knock Country Mouse Borges's anti-city view and instead blame the inherently antisocial nature of living spread out from other people and hiding inside a car whenever you go outside.

Neener.

High Fives to you, good sir.

I sat down at my desk yesterday morning to start my day. I was really overwhelmed and reluctant to face the day, then I realized "There's a brand new GWJ podcast!".

That one realization kickstarted a really productive day. The GWJ Podcast is the new Poptarts!

This podcast has to be a lot of work and I really appreciate it. Truly, thank you!

Carl

Dysplastic wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Also, I want to knock Country Mouse Borges's anti-city view and instead blame the inherently antisocial nature of living spread out from other people and hiding inside a car whenever you go outside.

Neener.

High Fives to you, good sir.

Not to get all P&C here, but having spent a reasonable amount of time living in a city and rural setting, I think the problem is largely that people use either as an excuse to not have to interact with other people.

Please. Location has nothing to do with why I ignore people.

I can ignore people in a house, with a mouse, on a train, on a plane, in a box, with a fox, and so on.

After Ken Levine discussed the rapid advancement in technology around the time period of Infinite, I think this would be an appropriate song for the next game trailer:

Carousel of Progress can DIAF. It makes you think it's a ride but then you get on and it has the f*cking gall to try and teach you sh*t. Unforgivable.

Awesome opening!!

PyromanFO wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Also, I want to knock Country Mouse Borges's anti-city view and instead blame the inherently antisocial nature of living spread out from other people and hiding inside a car whenever you go outside.

Neener.

High Fives to you, good sir.

Not to get all P&C here, but having spent a reasonable amount of time living in a city and rural setting, I think the problem is largely that people use either as an excuse to not have to interact with other people.

Butt pats High fives all around!

Certis got me all hot & bothered about Mafia, and I am sad now to see I can't buy it off Steam--only comes free with a pre-order of Mafia II, which my PC definitely won't be able to handle.

I'm not done with Starcraft II's story, but I think I agree with Chris (and Sean?) on it so far. Blizzard very clearly put a ton of time and money into making story a central part of Starcraft II, and it just doesn't hold its own weight. The horribly cliche characters and kind of fall-flat attempts at humor are disheartening for a game that's had a decade to flesh out something interesting if they wanted to - and it seems like they did want to.

Congrats on 200 shows, guys. Loved the Bioshock Infinite interview - not sure I'm sold on another FPS-with-pseudomagic-in-a-philosphical-dystopia yet, but there's no need to be sold yet, it's still a long way away.

Congratulations guys. I've got a serious question here. How in the world do you control vehicles with a mouse and keyboard? I played the Mafia 2 demo on the PC first and loved everything, but the driving. I was trying to be as careful as possible, but couldn't pull into traffic without smashing into everything.

I played the demo again on the Xbox and I could drive like Andretti, but thought the graphics were kinda boring and lackluster. The gunning also wasn't as fun on the console as it was on the PC.

Is there a solution I'm missing here? I don't feel like dealing with the coppers every five minutes just because I can't make a left turn without swerving into oncoming traffic.

You could just have a controller on hand for when you're driving. Or use a controller for the whole game if you're feeling confident.

Thought of that. Didn't know how much re-mapping of keys I'd have to do, or if I'd have to unplug / replug every time I got into and out of a car. I guess I was just surprised to hear Sean say the driving controls felt good on the PC. I was a wreck when I got in that car, literally.

Maybe I should just switch to all turn-based games. This real-time sh*t is for the birds.

I like Levine's ability to not answer Rabbit's question about his position on the philosophy of Columbia. (Yes, other people have espoused an expansionist philosophy of American power, but do you agree with them?) Bravo.

He keeps talking about "having something to say." There's your answer. Why go to such trouble to say something you don't agree with?

I just beat StarCraft 2 last night, and I did not like the way it ended, or the last mission. I did not feel like I "earned" victory. It just seemed like a Kobeyashi Maru with a divine intervention, and a predictable close...anyone else feel that way?

Hassasain wrote:

Kobeyashi Maru with a divine intervention

What's one of those? Don't make me go all Jules on you.

Scratched wrote:
Hassasain wrote:

Kobeyashi Maru with a divine intervention

What's one of those? Don't make me go all Jules on you.

What's Divine Intervention? I don't know but when I find out, I'll be rich enough to buyout GWJ! Hassasain Show 4-EVA punks!

Hassasain wrote:
Scratched wrote:
Hassasain wrote:

Kobeyashi Maru with a divine intervention

What's one of those? Don't make me go all Jules on you.

What's Divine Intervention? I don't know but when I find out, I'll be rich enough to buyout GWJ! Hassasain Show 4-EVA punks!

I think he was asking about the Kobeyashi Maru, a quick Google suggests some Star Trek thing.

Interesting idea actually, and I see your point. I bought into the story, but I'm not blind to its faults.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Hassasain wrote:
Scratched wrote:
Hassasain wrote:

Kobeyashi Maru with a divine intervention

What's one of those? Don't make me go all Jules on you.

What's Divine Intervention? I don't know but when I find out, I'll be rich enough to buyout GWJ! Hassasain Show 4-EVA punks!

I think he was asking about the Kobeyashi Maru, a quick Google suggests some Star Trek thing.

Interesting idea actually, and I see your point. I bought into the story, but I'm not blind to its faults.

I know he was asking about the Star Trek reference...I was just trying to be funny.

I was more getting at how you're wrapping your impression of SC2 in layers to obscure it. That's latin and a star trek reference.

English Mother******. Do you speak it?

Regarding the name of Bioshock Infinite (and I think someone else may have espoused this in another thread), I wonder if 2K insisted that Ken do another Bioshock game and got creative on their asses by completely changing everything and giving it a name that you can't possibly make good sequels with. What are they going to give 2K Marin to do next? Bioshock Infinite 2?

Hassasain wrote:

I just beat StarCraft 2 last night, and I did not like the way it ended, or the last mission. I did not feel like I "earned" victory. It just seemed like a Kobeyashi Maru with a divine intervention, and a predictable close...anyone else feel that way?

I failed that mission like six times, so I think there was plenty of skill required to hold on for long enough.

Nevin73 wrote:

What are they going to give 2K Marin to do next? Bioshock Infinite 2?

Bioshock 2 Infinity and b2yond.

Certis wrote:

I failed that mission like six times, so I think there was plenty of skill required to hold on for long enough.

Just out of curiosity, what difficulty? And which mission did you do before?

Slight spoilers I guess:

Spoiler:

When I took out the space platform I found hitting the Nydus worms pretty easy, when I took out the Nydus network I found the last mission tougher. Mostly because I blew my unit choices.

On normal both times.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

I like Levine's ability to not answer Rabbit's question about his position on the philosophy of Columbia. (Yes, other people have espoused an expansionist philosophy of American power, but do you agree with them?) Bravo.

He keeps talking about "having something to say." There's your answer. Why go to such trouble to say something you don't agree with?

Do you think there's a chance he'll say it via the game instead of via a pre-release interview? Just maybe?

Certis wrote:

I failed that mission like six times, so I think there was plenty of skill required to hold on for long enough.

Well I did beat the mission on normal. so if you were doing hard, then kudos to you because I don't even think I am capable of building an SCV at that level.

wordsmythe wrote:
doubtingthomas396 wrote:

I like Levine's ability to not answer Rabbit's question about his position on the philosophy of Columbia. (Yes, other people have espoused an expansionist philosophy of American power, but do you agree with them?) Bravo.

He keeps talking about "having something to say." There's your answer. Why go to such trouble to say something you don't agree with?

Do you think there's a chance he'll say it via the game instead of via a pre-release interview? Just maybe?

But aren't all opinions simple and direct enough that you can just reduce them to an interview bullet-point and be done with it? I thought all opinions about any topic were strictly for/against sound bytes.

PyromanFO wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
doubtingthomas396 wrote:

I like Levine's ability to not answer Rabbit's question about his position on the philosophy of Columbia. (Yes, other people have espoused an expansionist philosophy of American power, but do you agree with them?) Bravo.

He keeps talking about "having something to say." There's your answer. Why go to such trouble to say something you don't agree with?

Do you think there's a chance he'll say it via the game instead of via a pre-release interview? Just maybe?

But aren't all opinions simple and direct enough that you can just reduce them to an interview bullet-point and be done with it? I thought all opinions about any topic were strictly for/against sound bytes.

Crap, I must have missed the talking points about that.