GWJ Conference Call Episode 238

Conference Call

Child of Eden Preview, Section 8: Prejudice, Portal 2 Coop, PSN Outage: What's It All Mean?, Special Guest Justin McElroy, Your Emails and more!

This week Justin McElroy joins Shawn, Elysium and Allen to talk about the PSN nonsense, Child of Eden and much, much more!

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
Game Thing Daily
Good Old Games

Joystiq
My Brother, My Brother and Me
Section 8: Prejudice
Portal 2
Child of Eden
Amazon App Store Controversy

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Child of Eden - Mood trailer - http://child-of-eden.us.ubi.com/ - 0:20:58

Half-Life 2: Episode 2 - Vortal Combat - http://www.valvesoftware.com/games/e... - 0:41:51

Comments

Hmmm. Don't mind the opinion, don't like the personal attacks. - Certis

Sometimes I like to go read the old Vanguard MMO thread for some laughs. I'm getting that vibe here, so keep it up!

kazriko has said pretty much what I wanted to say.

Which leaves me with the sentiment that I do agree with and was well expressed, that when the console isn't online you suddenly start to feel lonely and cut-off. It is a very strange experience, particularly as it is relatively subtle. I've played a tonne of Rockband, getting (and finishing on Guitar Extreme) Beatles Rockband, then yesterday my MIDI Pro Adapter for some awesome Pro Keyboard action with my NP-30 (loving that, the training modes, the lessons, awesome stuff), and Lego Rockband arrived as well and is as yet unopened. So plenty to play offline. I even got my wife to play Rockband Beatles with me, which was the first time since Singstar ages ago, and we had a lot of fun singing harmonies (I did second voice and played bass).

But although I don't have it so strongly with Beatles Rockband, now that I have the Pro Keyboard I miss seeing where I rank with my scores, both globally and among friends (I know I have at least one or two that also do Keys) or even seeing how many/few people are actually playing Pro Keyboard on PS3 on some tracks. I miss seeing what's new on the store, and athough I got to play Outland on my 360, it's slightly weird not to do that on the PS3. I'm much less interested in Motorstorm Apocalypse now that PSN is down, as it has such nice integrated leaderboards and online, and the other day I remembered that Modnation Racers was supposed to be up as a full download game for 29 euro (or in my and soon everyone's case, 24 euro thanks to the Playstation Plus discount), which when that was announced I knew I was going to want to get, but now that's so long ago I've almost forgotten. And particularly games like ModNation and LittleBigPlanet 2 (can't wait for that Move patch) are games that are nice off-line, but really on a different level online.

So yeah, definitely look forward to being 'reconnected'!

Two things:

First; I'm Playing Spoderman:WOS and it's tremendous fun, even though I don't like Spiderman as a character. (And the voice of Spiderman in WOS is a prime example of why: he has superpowers and a hot wife, yet he's always whining.)

Second; So Sony can't provide software services that people who are not me care about, Microsoft can't provide a console that lasts more than a few years, and Nintendo can't provide a game anyone wants to play more than twice every three years.

Worst. Console. Generation. Ever.

I dunno. SMG and SMG2 are pretty replayable. I loved replaying Wii Sports and WSR, too. In fact, I loved a lot of Nintendo software this gen whereas I couldn't even be bothered to buy a GameCube last gen.

Oh wow. You guys aroused the ire of the Sony Defense Force this week.

Certis wrote:

This is why we don't have any comments! Your milkshake was supposed to bring all the boys to the yard, McElroy. I blame PSN.

Be careful what you ask for.

I thought it was a great episode, funniest in months.

Portal 2 brought Pyroman and I together in a way that makes Mixolyde uncomfortable.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Oh wow. You guys aroused the ire of the Sony Defense Force this week.

Seriously!

I love it when the SDF turns out and accuses everyone else of being fanboys.

I haven't listened to this week's show yet, but now I'm really looking forward to it. I always get a kick out of Justin, and I do love some delicious Sony haterade.

Great show!

My only thought on the PSN debacle has been "What if this happened to Steam?"

I don't get where the hosts were unfair towards PSN/Sony. They cracked some jokes, but frankly Sony deserved them. I don't know that any of the podcasters has an agenda, and frankly, the hosts are more PC gamers than console gamers anyways (right?). Bad service is bad service, and if a customer feels they are not being taken care of by a company are they not allowed to voice that opinion?

A lot of people ended up with Microsoft because they (we) feel better taken care of on Live than on PSN. If you feel like PSN meets your needs, congrats - happy gaming! No need to get all aggro if people don't agree.

Also, how could anyone hate on McElroy - the guy is hilarious!

Polliwog wrote:

My only thought on the PSN debacle has been "What if this happened to Steam?"

A very good question. Rioting in the streets? Or would we take the time we would otherwise have spent gaming and use it to solve the world's problems?

misplacedbravado wrote:
Polliwog wrote:

My only thought on the PSN debacle has been "What if this happened to Steam?"

A very good question. Rioting in the streets? Or would we take the time we would otherwise have spent gaming and use it to solve the world's problems?

I predict a lot of online pissing and moaning about how gamers will never use Steam again. Front page articles will be written on all the various online magazines about how Valve has lost gamers' trust and may not be able to recover. Forum posters will come out to say that they weren't that pleased with Steam to begin with and will be happy to move on to another platform.

And in a couple weeks, everything would blow over, a new sale or exclusive would come along and everyone would forget, tentatively at first and later with little fanfare, that they were upset at all. People are extraordinarily fickle.

KrazyTacoFO wrote:

Portal 2 brought Pyroman and I together in a way that makes Mixolyde uncomfortable. :)

Hugging through portals? HOT

misplacedbravado wrote:
Polliwog wrote:

My only thought on the PSN debacle has been "What if this happened to Steam?"

A very good question. Rioting in the streets? Or would we take the time we would otherwise have spent gaming and use it to solve the world's problems?

Gabe actually tackled that question on a recent podcast: http://bulletproofpixel.com/2011/05/...

Really it's a boring answer, they've just got to do the best they can, but he seems fairly confident that because of the low barriers to entry if Valve slipped up someone else will be only too happy to replace them, which is why they've always got to keep trying to be better.

More McElroy is never a bad thing.

IMAGE(http://www.everydaygourmetmixes.com/images/lg/milkshakes.jpg)

OzymandiasAV wrote:

The arrival of the "Sony Defense Force" might have something to do with comments like these:

"It feels like I'm getting a massage when I start the 360 and it feels like I'm getting hit by a tennis racket when I start the PS3."

"At Sony, it looks like the PS3 software was written by two or three developers they locked in a closet and occasionally threw a steak in."

"All I know is that, if I'm looking at PSN, it's making me sad."

Well, yeah. But when I listen to GWJ I'm not listening to professional gaming journalists, I'm listening to some friends shooting the sh*t and cracking jokes, mostly about games. Those may have been mean comments, but they were funny as hell.

I think people expect some sort of journalistic moderation that I don't think we should expect.

FatConan wrote:

All the talk of Half Life/Portal crossover did actually make me yearn for a day in which Gordon and Chell meet one another, in a field maybe or on some sandy beach, and stand face to face for the first time. He'll stare blankly at her, she'll stare blankly at him. Neither one will say a single word. It'll be magical. ;)

FTFY

misplacedbravado wrote:
Polliwog wrote:

My only thought on the PSN debacle has been "What if this happened to Steam?"

A very good question. Rioting in the streets? Or would we take the time we would otherwise have spent gaming and use it to solve the world's problems?

Start in offline mode and finally finish my single-player games?

EDIT:

GWJer LAN Party?

I have to date written 5 long responses to this thread and then deleted them in what I call an "exercise of better judgment". Despite being at times very clever and "colorful" this was for the betterment of the human species. I'm feelin' pretty good about myself for that.

Elysium wrote:

I have to date written 5 long responses to this thread and then deleted them in what I call an "exercise of better judgment". Despite being at times very clever and "colorful" this was for the betterment of the human species. I'm feelin' pretty good about myself for that.

Awwwwwww.

Elysium wrote:

I have to date written 5 long responses to this thread and then deleted them in what I call an "exercise of better judgment". Despite being at times very clever and "colorful" this was for the betterment of the human species. I'm feelin' pretty good about myself for that.

If I had posted every long winded but ultimately non-beneficial response I made, I would have been banned before I was tagged, or tagged a long time before it ever happened, or something. Like you mentined, it's just good to take a step back and think about what you're about to commit to assualting the world's eyes and minds with before you click post.

Then I just posted this useless piece of brown-nosery.

You'd have liked them MrDeVil -- particularly the third one. It was like a habanero pepper of righteous indignance.

Elysium wrote:

You'd have liked them MrDeVil -- particularly the third one. It was like a habanero pepper of righteous indignance.

I like that. There should be a Scoville scale for online comments.

Elysium wrote:

You'd have liked them MrDeVil -- particularly the third one. It was like a habanero pepper of righteous indignance.

That's my favourite pepper!

Seriously though, probably wise. I'm sure you could calmly respond though. Or do you need a GWJ Defense Force? :p

mrtomaytohead wrote:

If I had posted every long winded but ultimately non-beneficial response I made, I would have been banned before I was tagged, or tagged a long time before it ever happened, or something. Like you mentined, it's just good to take a step back and think about what you're about to commit to assualting the world's eyes and minds with before you click post.

After arguing myself into far too many corners recently I'm getting back into that habit.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Elysium wrote:

You'd have liked them MrDeVil -- particularly the third one. It was like a habanero pepper of righteous indignance.

That's my favourite pepper!

Seriously though, probably wise. I'm sure you could calmly respond though. Or do you need a GWJ Defense Force? :p

mrtomaytohead wrote:

If I had posted every long winded but ultimately non-beneficial response I made, I would have been banned before I was tagged, or tagged a long time before it ever happened, or something. Like you mentined, it's just good to take a step back and think about what you're about to commit to assualting the world's eyes and minds with before you click post.

After arguing myself into far too many corners recently I'm getting back into that habit.

Heh. I'm more of a simmering, smoked chipotle of indignation myself.

I'm primarily a member of the glorious PC master race, but my console's been a PS3 this generation. I prefer the XMB interface, but I took no offense, as I wasn't involved in designing the damn thing

Elysium wrote:

You'd have liked them MrDeVil -- particularly the third one. It was like a habanero pepper of righteous indignance.

I got your back, Sands. And I fight dirty.

though I'd love to hear Pyro expound on his comment of how the 360 "promotes the thing that you want to do right there," considering how much of the 360 dashboard is cluttered with advertisements.

Sure.

Go to 360 Video Tab. First 3-4 things I see are Zune Video Rentals, ESPN, Netflix and Hulu Plus. Those are the things that most people care about. I personally also watch videos from my DNLA server. Most people do not.

Go to 360 Game Tab. First few entries are new games that have come out. Again, that's the thing most people want to see, is new information about games.

Go to PS3 video tab, I have a bunch of icons I never look at as my first ones, I have to scroll down for Netflix. There's a menu item for "Search for Computers" even though it actually searches for computers automatically in the background. The button is a backup/manual override. Promoted to the same size as the Netflix icon.

Go to PS3 game tab, I see a bunch of maintenance and computer-y menu items (eject disc, etc.) promoted right up there with the tiny game icon. What came out this week? (i.e. what can I play? I'm here to play games) I have to scroll over 10 menu items to find out.

I use a console to be entertained and MS seems to respect that, hiding all the overhead/technical stuff unless I'm looking for it. On the PS3 it's all promoted right up front to the exact same importance.

I actually think the XMB is objectively bad UI design. UI design is like art in that it contains subjective and objective components. There are subjective bits to any UI, someone somewhere has fallen in love with any UI design, no matter how bad you think it is, because there's one feature they can't live without. UIs actually train how you think about the task you're doing, so much so that once you learn how to do things in one UI that's the way you start thinking about it. Why was the MS Office Ribbon so controversial? There are people who have spent 40 hours a week for the past 2 decades in the old interface. That doesn't say that Ribbon is good/bad, but it is a major detriment to people who prefer the old system.

There's also objective parts, however, that require you to step back from actually engaging in the UI and pick apart how people use it. I'm a software dev and when I see UIs I tend to get into this mode, like I'm sure people who make movies do with movies and game developers do with games. When I see software I step back and don't go "do I like using this?" but instead go "what are people generally getting from this UI?" And on that front I think the XMB just isn't a good UI design. That doesn't mean it's not useful for people, or that people don't prefer it. Just that I think they created a UI design that emphasizes the wrong things.

People seem to be taking the stance that "but I like it!" is a defense of my criticism here. I'm not saying it's bad for people to prefer that experience, just that I think there's plenty of ways Sony could've done better. And I think even if you don't like the 360 paradigm, there's plenty of things MS did right due to their decades as a software developer. They just have really great UI people on board and it shows in the workmanship of the 360 Dashboard.

PyromanFO wrote:

Go to PS3 video tab, I have a bunch of icons I never look at as my first ones, I have to scroll down for Netflix. There's a menu item for "Search for Computers" even though it actually searches for computers automatically in the background. The button is a backup/manual override. Promoted to the same size as the Netflix icon.

Go to PS3 game tab, I see a bunch of maintenance and computer-y menu items (eject disc, etc.) promoted right up there with the tiny game icon. What came out this week? (i.e. what can I play? I'm here to play games) I have to scroll over 10 menu items to find out.

That's odd because that's not my experience at all. When I turn my system on, and go to the games tab, it defaults to either the game disc in the drive, or if there's not one there, the last PSN game I played.

When I go to videos, it defaults to either the bonus content of a game, the video disc (DVD/Bluray) or my PS3 Media Server icon, which I use almost daily.

I really couldn't tell you what all that other stuff above it is. I think there's a netflix thing and some number of other icons. Who knows, I never see or look at them.

I will say the having to slowly load each icon every time you tab over to something after boot-up is really annoying.

I guess I found a setting to remember what I usually select. I know I did sort my games list to put the most recently played games on top of the list just below the game disk.

I guess I found a setting to remember what I usually select. I know I did sort my games list to put the most recently played games on top of the list just below the game disk.

There's a sort on these things? Again, if you have to find a secret setting to make the menu act the way most people want it to act, UI design fail. I tend to use defaults in UIs because I don't have time to read a bunch of BS about every random UI design I interact with on every day.

I'll have to try and find this though, if I ever end up using my PS3 again, just to help me figure out what's up.

"It's fine." That is a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one. Somehow Darkspore took the squad game mechanic, which works wonderfully in games like Dawn of War II, and they managed to screw it up. That's like screwing up a blowjob. It's almost impossible to do. Almost.

I would love to know people's opinions on the rampant Xbox 360 hardware failures (a friend of mine is on his sixth 360) versus the PSN outage. Which is worse? Can you compare them?

Way to use the phrase "pull a boner" like it's 1935.

It is clear that Valve has blinded us with SCIENCE!