GWJ Conference Call Episode 206

Conference Call

Halo: Reach (Bonus Spoiler Section After The Credits), Plants Vs. Zombies 360, Vindictus, A Special Guest Segment With Three Moves Ahead, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Elysium and Jonathan hold down the fort. The crazy smart strategy gamers (and Julian) from Three Moves Ahead also provide us with a great segment on getting into the genre. Finally, we have update on the donation drive and a worldwide GWJ get together on October 23rd!

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

Overture - Halo Reach OST - http://www.bungie.net - 16:33

Menu Music (Glass Halls) - Shatter the Official Video Game Soundtrack - http://sidhe.bandcamp.com/ - 26:28

End of the World - Shatter the Official Video Game Soundtrack - http://sidhe.bandcamp.com/ - 40:47

Comments

In regards to the Dead Rising comments on podcasts of late. This is why I think that Dead Rising is an important game.

In most games the player holds the game's sequence of events to ransom, if the player doesn't progress then nothing happens. You could sit in the City 17 station forever in Half-Life 2 throwing rubbish at Civil Protection for hours and the game would never change.

Dead Rising is important in that it uncouples player progression from the sequence of events. Frank is dropped into the mall; in 72 hours time his helicopter ride will turn up and pick him up. In that time cultists will take over the cinemas in the mall, the special forces will move in the clear out the zombies and psychopaths will stalk the mall looking for victims. All without the intervention of the player. It is entirely possible to sit on the helipad for 72 hours and wait for your ride.

This is exciting because world feels like its moving without the player having to be there to kick things along. It also forces the player to make choices, real choices, not the standard (Good/Neutral/Evil) choices we see in games these days. Do you rescue the people taken by the cultists into the cinemas or do you head to the plaza to get information on the plague for your news story? You may only have time for one.

Of course the game has faults. It does not excuse the harsh save system or floaty controls, both of which have been addressed in the sequel.

If you approach Dead Rising with a view to just get through it and see what happens you have a game that you can play through many times and see many different things.

Remember, this is a zombie apocalypse, you can't save everyone

Cynicide wrote:

Dead Rising is important in that it uncouples player progression from the sequence of events.

That is a really cool idea.

Cynicide wrote:

Remember, this is a zombie apocalypse, you can't save everyone ;)

But there's the rub. Grinding and going back through would have been much more rewarding if I was working towards an ideal path. I want to be the hero and save everyone. They didn't have to make that easy to do but at least make it possible. Since no matter how well I did or how high a level I was people were still going to go unrescued, what was the point?

And those psychos on the friggin' Jeep suck. That was just mean to put them there. Each time I tried to give Dead Rising another chance they were my breaking point.

Regardless, Dead Rising 2 seems improved and it's such a unique game I wish it success.

I might be the only person alive who is still waiting for Halo 3 to come to Windows. The first two games were fun, but I cannot play an FPS on a console. My fingers do not bend that way.

Did you hear that? Did you? I heard it. He called us lovely. That is so sweet.

Why would anyone eat a mountain for dinner?

Sorax wrote:

But there's the rub. Grinding and going back through would have been much more rewarding if I was working towards an ideal path. I want to be the hero and save everyone. They didn't have to make that easy to do but at least make it possible. Since no matter how well I did or how high a level I was people were still going to go unrescued, what was the point?

And those psychos on the friggin' Jeep suck. That was just mean to put them there. Each time I tried to give Dead Rising another chance they were my breaking point.

Regardless, Dead Rising 2 seems improved and it's such a unique game I wish it success.

I was actually happy to see a game where you couldn't save everyone. Everyone talks about consequences in games but it always boils down to the same choice between good and bad, it was refreshing to see a game where choices really mattered.

On my first playthrough I decided that I was going to complete the story and rescue as many survivors as I reasonably could, once I had that goal in mind it was easier to let survivors die if they were too far out of the way. I think there was even an acheivement for letting all the survivors die.

As far as the jeep psychos go they were easy to avoid, look at the side of the park they're on and make a beeline for the doors on the opposite side if this doesn't work then head for some trees, they'll get their jeep caught up and you can shoot the driver in the head quite easily.

Cynicide wrote:

This is exciting because world feels like its moving without the player having to be there to kick things along. It also forces the player to make choices, real choices, not the standard (Good/Neutral/Evil) choices we see in games these days. Do you rescue the people taken by the cultists into the cinemas or do you head to the plaza to get information on the plague for your news story? You may only have time for one.

Exactly! The talk on the podcast focuses on the Dead Rising time limit as the hammer that continuously hangs over the player, preventing him or her from puttering around in the sandbox and fully enjoying the game. But once you accept the way the game is apparently designed to be played--you simply cannot experience everything in a single playthrough, and you are meant to restart and replay multiple times--the time limit becomes much more interesting, because as you say, it is coupled to a time line of events into which the player may or may not choose to enter.

If your goal is merely to explore the mall, play dress up and kill zombies in entertaining ways, there is nothing stopping you from ignoring the time limit/time line and doing just that. If you want to experience story events, then it becomes a sort of narrative sandbox layer on top of the obvious spatial sandbox of the mall. Where and when do you choose to intervene? How many survivors do you attempt to rescue? The time limit can generate tension by its presence, but that is a side effect, not the primary purpose. You can accept as much or as little of that tension as you like.

That makes me want to give Dead Rising a chance despite how tired I am of zombies.

Hey, I love you gamerswithjobs but I need to know on what podcast was Wil Wheaton last on? I tried searching but to no avail(it's not labeled or referenced). Thanks in advance to anyone who can tell me.

Hello GWJ crew,
I started listening about a year ago and enjoy the podcast. As a hardcore Blizzard guy I used to spend most of my game time in one of the many AAA titles by the above mentioned company. However since I started listening to the podcast I have branched out and tried many new and old titles that I found I love. On the most recent podcast the title Vindictus was talked about. It sounded very interesting to me so I went to check it out. Much to my dismay its a closed beta with no more keys to be given out. My question is do ya'll at GWJ have that you could spare I would be very appreciative if I could be PM'ed with one?

You might want to check out this thread, jsvisi.