GWJ Conference Call Episode 217

Conference Call

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Epic Mickey, Fable III, Bias, Sexism, Special Guests Ken Levine & Justin McElroy, Your Emails and more!

This week Julian, Lara and Allen are joined by special guests Ken Levine and Justin McElroy to talk about bias, sexism and how it effects both game blogs and game design.

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

Title Menu - Epic Mickey - http://disney.go.com/mickey/#/disney... - 27:18

Comments

Ooooohhh, this should be fun!

Was that last question a repeat, or am I going nuts?

You guys are hilarious this week. I want Julian, Ken & Justin on a spinoff

AndrewA wrote:

Was that last question a repeat, or am I going nuts?

It's a tradition. rabbit always thinks he can do one email from the previous show better.

trueheart78 wrote:

You guys are hilarious this week. I want Julian, Ken & Justin on a spinoff :D

Man, no kidding. Being a regular listener for this one was a complete joy for me. If Justin could stay in character as the Andy Rooney of Gaming, I think he'd fit right in.

Certis wrote:

If Justin could stay in character as the Andy Rooney of Gaming, I think he'd fit right in.

I haven't listened yet, so I need to clarify. Are you saying Justin was acting like Julian?

Jeez, I so much as post to the site while on vacation and get teased.

Would love to hear feedback on your time playing Neirhim at Fates Edge mod for Oblivion. I grabbed it just because of the podcast (2 podcasts ago?). Awesome Oblivion experience so far!

And I bought Divinity 2 from Steam a couple weeks back, and yes it was well worth the money!! Didn't play it when it originally came out, but given the free expansion included, as well as revamped original Divinity 2 gameplay, you get a lot for your money. Put in 36hrs so far and find it to be one of the most enjoyable action RPG experience I've had in the last few years (something along the lines of Mass Effect 1).

And I hate sexist houseplants too, Lara.

Rat Boy wrote:

And I hate sexist houseplants too, Lara.

Seriously. Their reign of terror has gone on far too long.

trueheart78 wrote:

You guys are hilarious this week. I want Julian, Ken & Justin on a spinoff :D

+1

I actually laughed out loud at Ken, Justin, and Rabbit's interactions a couple of times. And I haven't so much as smiled since the Great Orphan Hospital fire of 1997!

Thanks for playing my Hanukkah song.....

Adam Spamler

MeatMan wrote:
trueheart78 wrote:

You guys are hilarious this week. I want Julian, Ken & Justin on a spinoff :D

+1

+1 (and add Lara to the spinoff)

That's alright. Allen and I will go start our own podcast. With blackjack. And hookers.

In fact, forget the podcast.

KaterinLHC wrote:

That's alright. Allen and I will go start our own podcast. With blackjack. And hookers.

In fact, forget the podcast.

As long as there are sexist houseplants I'm interested...

KaterinLHC wrote:

That's alright. Allen and I will go start our own podcast. With blackjack. And hookers.

In fact, forget the podcast.

Byte my shiny metal Podcast!

Blondish83 wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
trueheart78 wrote:

You guys are hilarious this week. I want Julian, Ken & Justin on a spinoff :D

+1

+1 (and add Lara to the spinoff)

And Allen. Although then it isn't really a spinoff.

I feel the guilt not finishing a game before moving on. I am an old school JRPG player back to the original Dragon Warrior on NES. So, playing a game for less than 50 hours just seems wrong in some way. This makes it very hard to play all the games I get on all the Steam Holiday sales. There are no fewer than 75 games that I have purchased, but likely will never get to play because I know I can't put the time into them. I actually had a nightmare based on the Twilight Zone episode Time Enough at Last. Only, I was the last man and Steam's servers fail. "There was time now... There was time!!"

El-Taco-the-Rogue wrote:
Blondish83 wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
trueheart78 wrote:

You guys are hilarious this week. I want Julian, Ken & Justin on a spinoff :D

+1

+1 (and add Lara to the spinoff)

And Allen. Although then it isn't really a spinoff.

It is if we leave the out the Shawns, right?

KaterinLHC wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

And I hate sexist houseplants too, Lara.

Seriously. Their reign of terror has gone on far too long.

And after all we do for them. Water them, prune them. Jerks.

It is if we leave the out the Shawns, right?

This sounds like a lot less work for me -- and I barely do anything as it stands now -- so I endorse it.

Wow, nearly the whole crew managed to weigh in on my question! Between Rob's answer last week and Ken's this week, it was certainly interpreted better than how I wrote it... As a child I only got 2-4 new games a year so I played them to the point of absolute completion (and then some!). As an adult with more disposable income to spend on games and not enough time to play everything I buy I feel sad that I'm not getting my money's worth when I invariably get distracted with something new. I constantly mean to come back to something, but know that I'll never do so.

The Dark Cloud 2 hatred pains my fragile heart.

SoulRFlair wrote:

Thanks for playing my Hanukkah song.....

Adam Spamler

Enjoyed the song, great job!

I did find it weird that they kept in the vocal track of Rabbit or someone laughing over it, though.

Loved the song. More than happy to have those two guests on (especially when Ken isn't on to talk about what Irrational is doing). Good show.

Great episode. Ken is hilarious when in a pissy mood, and the song was great.

I just wanted to say that... not everyone loves PopCap.

Peggle? I have it. Never finished.
Bejeweled? I think it came with my old phone; I may have looked at it once.
Plants vs. Zombies? Never played it; not interested.

I play games for story and for "discovery" (for lack of a better word), not just for their mechanics and I feel that the PopCap games are just "mechanics". (Yeah, I know; that isn't exactly right either but that's the only way I can describe it. As an example, I can play Puzzle Quest because the jewel-matching mechanic is part of a larger game (that scratches the story and discovery itch) and isn't the game in and of itself).

So yeah, I'm the one gamer who isn't a PopCap fan.

tanstaafl wrote:

I just wanted to say that... not everyone loves PopCap...

So yeah, I'm the one gamer who isn't a PopCap fan.

You and me both! Peggle especially bored me to tears

I agree with Lara about the Fable series and the first Fable in particular. There's a lot to admire in the series with the way that it's evolved both the gameplay mechanics and the game world. It would have been easy to set each Fable game in a world much like the last, but Lionhead has evolved the game's social structures, technology, and fashions in a way that makes the world feel more real. One of my favorite moments in Fable II is when you return to the hero's hometown from Fable and see just how much it's changed.

However, as remarkable as the world is in Fable III, I didn't enjoy it and couldn't bring myself to play past the first few hours. They stripped out so many of the things I loved from the previous games (the gestures, the combat, the variety of weapons and accessories) that this new game felt shallow and uninteresting. It held me at an emotional remove from the world, and all the John Cleese in the world couldn't make me delight in what I was doing.

I had hoped that Fable III would evolve some of the half-baked portions of Fable II in much the same way that Fable II evolved the silver keys, treasure hunting, and real estate management from the first game. A part of me even hoped that Fable's combat model might see a return or that it's idea of alignment-based quests would be explored in more detail. However, all I saw in Fable III were gutted versions of ideas that worked just fine in Fable II like the suddenly useless dog or the even less interactive combat model. Everything new that Fable III had to offer seems to have been stuffed into the back half of the game, but I can't bring myself to get there.

tanstaafl wrote:

I just wanted to say that... I have no soul.

FTFY.

I completely understand where you're coming from (though I think you're crazy not to have given PvZ a shot, it's the most game-y of them all).

I thought the suggestion of PopCap games for someone who is use to playing only CoD was, umm, not sound. Someone like the person described in the email is going to look at any PopCap game and just laugh.