GWJ Conference Call Episode 240

Conference Call

Brink, Age of Empires Online Beta, Mortal Kombat, Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword, Harbingers of Things to Come? Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Elysium, Cory and Rob Zacny tackle a bunch of games and whether or not they're harbingers of things to come. Or it's an game doldrums intervention for Shawn.

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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CastMedium
Game Thing Daily
Good Old Games

Brink
Age of Empires Online
Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
Mount and Blade: Warband
Mortal Kombat

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Mount & Blade: With Fire & Sword - Battle theme - http://www.taleworlds.com/ - 0:33:25

Age of Empires Online - Victory theme - http://ageofempiresonline.com/ - 0:49:26

Comments

I actually am going through a bit of PC gaming boredom, which may be because I've beaten most of the new games I've gotten since I built my computer (in 5.5years) more than a year ago now. Thankfully I've got a huge collection of console games to work through and I just got Valkyria Chronicles in the mail yesterday. After 2.5hrs, I'm already hooked, but still afraid to try the English voice track. Especially after listening to the decidedly kid focused voicing of Gotcha Force on the Gamecube recently. Thankfully this one has a separate volume control for voices.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

I actually am going through a bit of PC gaming boredom, which may be because I've beaten most of the new games I've gotten since I built my computer (in 5.5years) more than a year ago now. Thankfully I've got a huge collection of console games to work through and I just got Valkyria Chronicles in the mail yesterday. After 2.5hrs, I'm already hooked, but still afraid to try the English voice track. Especially after listening to the decidedly kid focused voicing of Gotcha Force on the Gamecube recently. Thankfully this one has a separate volume control for voices.

The English track is better than the Japanese track. Or so I thought.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

I seem to be in a similar position to Certis at the moment regarding my attitude to games. . . . The militaristic scripted shooter wore out for me at CoD4 and I haven't touched one since and most other shooters are uninteresting unless on a sale.

Ditto... Section 8 and Brink both seemed like great games as well, but dammit I got bored in almost no time flat. I'm so sick of the point and shoot galleries more than anything though, and it most definitely isn't just me getting sick of games. Crysis 2 was in reality a well done shooter, but I was just utterly bored about half way through. It just feels like there isn't much creativity at all.

Portal 2 was mentioned as another FPS, but to me isn't an FPS at all, it's a puzzle/adventure game. I did enjoy it thoroughly. LA Noire is definitely a game going in the right direction. Why we can't have more first person games that don't revolve around only shooting stuff is a bit frustrating, but maybe LA Noire will change things.

I can't really think of any FPS' that I'm holding out hope for right now... possibly Rage.

Edit: Actually Prey 2 sounds like it might have some pretty creative ideas, and I'm definitely curious about it....

I'm interested in, but uncertain about, Rage. Prey 2 looks like it may be very cool though.

garion333 wrote:
mrtomaytohead wrote:

I actually am going through a bit of PC gaming boredom, which may be because I've beaten most of the new games I've gotten since I built my computer (in 5.5years) more than a year ago now. Thankfully I've got a huge collection of console games to work through and I just got Valkyria Chronicles in the mail yesterday. After 2.5hrs, I'm already hooked, but still afraid to try the English voice track. Especially after listening to the decidedly kid focused voicing of Gotcha Force on the Gamecube recently. Thankfully this one has a separate volume control for voices.

The English track is better than the Japanese track. Or so I thought.

Well, I'll give it a whirl. Hopefully the wife doesn't strangle me just for thinking about it.

I'd just like to take a moment to note that I'm quite happy playing games on Windows Phone 7. It's still far, far behind what's on iOS, but it's clear that Microsoft is supporting game development on WP7 in a big way, and I'm excited to see what else gets released down the line.

Massively Multiplayer Online Games that don't play like WoW:

Dance Battle Audition
Grand Chase
Free Style

As for Certis' ennui, I'm a little into the view that he's burned out playing shooter games and similar such releases because for some reason, that's all he's been playing. He does make a point of trying to get out there and play different games, but perhaps the games he's been playing aren't different enough.

I mean, has he tried The Munchables on Wii? I mean, seriously. Game's got poor production values, but the basic game design's pretty okay. How about a game of Sudoku? A Dora sliding puzzle game?

The last time I got burned out on a genre or felt like a burned out on games in general, I went back to the real, real basics. Super Mario Brothers. Legend of Kage. Galaga. Snake. Asteroid (actually, Space Miner). Doom. Then I went out and tried every game that was NOT like those games.

Hated most of them after a few minutes, but I found a few that I really liked, and rediscovered an enjoyment for something as basic as Battleship.

What's interesting for little jaded old me in the rest of 2011?

Rage
Anno 2070
Top Spin 4 (for the motion controllers, natch)
inFamous 2
Skyward Sword
Diablo 3
Civilization Network

garion333 wrote:

The English track is better than the Japanese track. Or so I thought.

Especially if you understand a bit of Japanese. The English translation takes a lot of liberties with ithw text, including some things that actually change what's actually being said.

I'm playing old Sega Genesis RPGs on my iPhone lately. I just finished Phoenix Wright on it.

I don't know where that leaves me.

cube wrote:
garion333 wrote:

The English track is better than the Japanese track. Or so I thought.

Especially if you understand a bit of Japanese. The English translation takes a lot of liberties with ithw text, including some things that actually change what's actually being said.

Yeah, I understand enough from watching anime and such to know what they're saying in Japanese isn't exactly what the English subtitles say.

wordsmythe wrote:

I'm playing old Sega Genesis RPGs on my iPhone lately. I just finished Phoenix Wright on it.

I don't know where that leaves me.

It leaves me very confused. Since when was Phoenix Wright an RPG... on the SEGA Genesis?

I recently finished Ace Attorney. Now I'm on Phantasy Star II, with Shining Force on deck.

wordsmythe wrote:

I recently finished Ace Attorney. Now I'm on Phantasy Star II, with Shining Force on deck.

I would love to play Shining Force on my Android. Is that a possibility?

SallyNasty wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

I recently finished Ace Attorney. Now I'm on Phantasy Star II, with Shining Force on deck.

I would love to play Shining Force on my Android. Is that a possibility?

I couldn't tell you. Sega's got a whole suite of titles on the App Store, but I don't know if they've gone to Android yet. There are Genesis emulators for Droid, but that's a different legal footing.

wordsmythe wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

I recently finished Ace Attorney. Now I'm on Phantasy Star II, with Shining Force on deck.

I would love to play Shining Force on my Android. Is that a possibility?

I couldn't tell you. Sega's got a whole suite of titles on the App Store, but I don't know if they've gone to Android yet. There are Genesis emulators for Droid, but that's a different legal footing.

That is what I was afraid of, and I was posing the question to the whole of GWJ in hopes that there was an answer.

Regardless, I just dl'd the netflix app on my droid and it works awesome, so that brings me happy.

How about fallout 2 on the iPhone? Would love that!!!

Really enjoyed the podcast, as it hit on something that I hope is attaining some sort of momentum with devs - the general boredom with scripted linear gameplay. WoW is the obvious example, as well as CoD for the FPS set. I really enjoyed Crisis (the first) for its ability to attack areas crowded with enemies from different angles and strategies. I see Mass Effect and Dragon Age as pure money grabs after the complete dumbing down of the RPG elements in the 2nd coming of both these titles. Mass Effect 3 was going to be released this year - as a stand-alone!

Also can we please retire the use of the words 'meme' and 'trope' by Cory/Rabbit (I can't tell them apart in the podcast)? How about 'theme' - good word that isn't hipster-cool but gets the point across so much better.

coppertopper wrote:

How about fallout 2 on the iPhone? Would love that!!!

Really enjoyed the podcast, as it hit on something that I hope is attaining some sort of momentum with devs - the general boredom with scripted linear gameplay. WoW is the obvious example, as well as CoD for the FPS set. I really enjoyed Crisis (the first) for its ability to attack areas crowded with enemies from different angles and strategies. I see Mass Effect and Dragon Age as pure money grabs after the complete dumbing down of the RPG elements in the 2nd coming of both these titles. Mass Effect 3 was going to be released this year - as a stand-alone!

Also can we please retire the use of the words 'meme' and 'trope' by Cory/Rabbit (I can't tell them apart in the podcast)? How about 'theme' - good word that isn't hipster-cool but gets the point across so much better.

I don't mind them using the appropriate words to describe things. Nothing hipster about correct use of the English language.

If people can't say 'meme' and 'trope' then what words must they use when they mean 'meme' and 'trope?'

Maybe they should use the definitions, 'An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation' and 'a storytelling shorthand for a concept that the audience will recognize and understand instantly.'

Seems a little cumbersome to me.

SallyNasty wrote:

I don't mind them using the appropriate words to describe things. Nothing hipster about correct use of the English language.

Haven't you heard? Everything is hipster now. There is not a single difference left in thought or behavior between human beings that does not mark them as hipsters to one another. The word is like instant condensed postmodern "othering" that everyone keeps in a spray can, ready to hose down the world with it at random.

coppertopper wrote:

Also can we please retire the use of the words 'meme' and 'trope' by Cory/Rabbit (I can't tell them apart in the podcast)? How about 'theme' - good word that isn't hipster-cool but gets the point across so much better.

You know that critical games language everyone says doesn't exist? They're part of it. They're not "hipster" words; they're academic words.

Switchbreak wrote:

instant condensed postmodern "othering" that everyone keeps in a spray can, ready to hose down the world with it at random.

Man, I've got to get some of that and bring it up to Wrigleyville.

Switchbreak wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:

I don't mind them using the appropriate words to describe things. Nothing hipster about correct use of the English language.

Haven't you heard? Everything is hipster now. There is not a single difference left in thought or behavior between human beings that does not mark them as hipsters to one another. The word is like instant condensed postmodern "othering" that everyone keeps in a spray can, ready to hose down the world with it at random.

To me, hipsters are people who wear skinny jeans and have inappropriate amounts of angst - and nothing will change my opinion on the matter.

But, whatever.

To be fair, Corey is a total hipster. Look at his Android hate.

No Sally, you're thinking of Emos.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

If people can't say 'meme' and 'trope' then what words must they use when they mean 'meme' and 'trope?'

Maybe they should use the definitions, 'An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation' and 'a storytelling shorthand for a concept that the audience will recognize and understand instantly.'

Seems a little cumbersome to me.

+2 to your Google skills for looking up the definition.

Last year it was 'jumping the shark', this year its trope/meme....and hipster. All used too often as catch-all's but still make you sound current, despite the often misapplication of the terms.

MrDeVil909's brilliant that way. And wicked. And cool. And hot. And awesome. And rad.

First time I ever suspected Rob of trying to get Certis to quit the podcast so he could take his place.

wordsmythe wrote:
coppertopper wrote:

Also can we please retire the use of the words 'meme' and 'trope' by Cory/Rabbit (I can't tell them apart in the podcast)? How about 'theme' - good word that isn't hipster-cool but gets the point across so much better.

You know that critical games language everyone says doesn't exist? They're part of it. They're not "hipster" words; they're academic words.

I think that the word "meme" has mutated a bit from its original meaning; and "trope" is kind of cliché.

RoutineMachine wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
coppertopper wrote:

Also can we please retire the use of the words 'meme' and 'trope' by Cory/Rabbit (I can't tell them apart in the podcast)? How about 'theme' - good word that isn't hipster-cool but gets the point across so much better.

You know that critical games language everyone says doesn't exist? They're part of it. They're not "hipster" words; they're academic words.

I think that the word "meme" has mutated a bit from its original meaning; and "trope" is kind of cliché.

The definition of "meme" has morphed a bit, but that's the nature of words in a living language—it's the sort of thing that keeps my lexicographer friends employed.

"Trope" wasn't an exciting word when I learned it in junior high English class. Oxford says it's been in use in English since the 16th century. I don't see why we should expect it to be funky fresh now.

Could the gaming boredom be due to a large number of games coming out now that have to be referenced by an index number. There has been a new Mario game every year since I started gaming.

I loved Fallout 3, but if I have to play Fallout XIII: Trip to the Mall it won't be a good scene.

coppertopper wrote:

+2 to your Google skills for looking up the definition.

Why thank you. I wanted to get them right just for you. Funnily enough the best definition for the relevant use of trope didn't come from a dictionary, but TVTropes. It also looks like a word with a meaning that's shifted quite a lot.

LarryC wrote:

MrDeVil909's brilliant that way. And wicked. And cool. And hot. And awesome. And rad.

Now you're making me blush.

RoutineMachine wrote:

I think that the word "meme" has mutated a bit from its original meaning; and "trope" is kind of cliché.

I'd say that the meaning is still quite similar but the usage has changed a little. When Dawkins coined the word he was essentially using it to describe the way that a concept can be transmitted and mutated - and thus undergo natural selection - in the same way that a gene can.

(I think. It's been about 10 years since I read The Selfish Gene.)