GWJ Conference Call Episode 311

Conference Call

Borderlands 2, XCOM, F1 2012, Rob's New Job, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Julian and Elysium pump Rob Zacny for impressions of the full version of the new XCOM!

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.

[size=20]The New Science[/size]

Tech Thing Daily
Game Thing Daily
Good Old Games
Tweaked Audio (Use discount code GWJ)

Audible

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
00.01.52 X-Com
00.14.51 Borderlands 2
00.24.38 Fable 2
00.32.56 Rob's new day job--covering E-sports!
00.39.09 F1 2012
00.44.47 Show sponsor details: Kickstarter project The New Science, a boardgame project
00.46.38 Donation Drive update!
00.49.28 Catching up on all your emails!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Synesthesia - Workbench Music - http://workbench-music.com - 46:11

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

Holy crap, XCOM releases soon! Now I need to decide whether to play this or....what's that other remake, Xenogears? ....Xenonauts! Will listening provide the necessary criteria? Guess I'll find out tomorrow during my jog.

(Only if it is next to impossible to survive the early levels with a majority of your team alive will I probably buy and play the crap out of this version.)

Reference game time per week I get about 2-3 hours a week on average but often go a couple of weeks without even turning on my Xbox or laptop.

I tend to treat life like a big competition to try and get as much free time as I can to play games. I love spending time with my new wife but if he even hints as maybe going out for a night with her friends I will actively encourage it as it means a take away pizza, a few beers and a night alone on my Xbox.

Since meeting my wife I have had to adapt my gaming really and probably buy 2-4 games a year now. I don't have a desktop pc anymore, just a laptop so I can still sit with my wife on the sofa and play games at the same time whilst she watches some rubbish on the TV.

We had a stint playing monopoly and mario on the wii together which she enjoyed greatly but as far as games go...well...I once tried two player coop on call of duty zombie mode and she spent most of it in the corner of the building trying to run through the wall. I don't think she quite gets my gaming love.

Please never use the words "pump" and "Rob Zacny" in the same sentence ever again.

Xenonauts is muh more like classic Xcom. This thing from Firaxis is another thin entirely from the looks of it. Play both.

Regarding PBEM, I am still lovin the hell out of Battlefront.com's Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy. Bear in mind that the engagement I'm playing with SwampYankee has already streteched several years and hundreds of emails. Our current battle is 1:45 minutes of game time and will necessitate 210 discrete emails each in excess of 7megs. It'll be sometime next year when I finally kill the last tank in his platoon that i just now got eyes-on last Thursday. Thankfully I've offloaded my Twitter updates to a new blog I'm building, so I'll be done boring all my followers who could care less.

Here is the post in the Borderlands 2 thread mentioned on the show regarding the .ini file tweak to fix the blurriness of items when you open a chest or vending machine.

MeatMan wrote:

Here is the post in the Borderlands 2 thread mentioned on the show regarding the .ini file tweak to fix the blurriness of items when you open a chest or vending machine.

You'd think they would be able to dynamically fix that based on your rig configuration. Makes sense on consoles, but seems less needed on PC. This isn't a mark against BL2, since I'm pretty sure I've seen Super MNC and UT3 do the same behavior.

kincher skolfax wrote:

Please never use the words "pump" and "Rob Zacny" in the same sentence ever again.

Tanglebones wrote:
kincher skolfax wrote:

Please never use the words "pump" and "Rob Zacny" in the same sentence ever again.

:hump:

But it's my favorite way to engage with Mr. Zacny.

Silly Rabbit. You don't make people suffer Final Fantasy from the NES days.

Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, or Final Fantasy VII (even though it hasn't aged well graphically) should be the introduction to Squaresoft-style JRPGs. All three of them are currently available between PSN and Wii Virtual Console. I'd recommend Chrono first because it's incredibly well paced and completes in 20-30 hours. The FF games tend to explode into side quests near the half-way mark which might be a bit daunting for new players.

Although sounds like Fable II was a good choice too.

HedgeWizard wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
kincher skolfax wrote:

Please never use the words "pump" and "Rob Zacny" in the same sentence ever again.

:hump:

But it's my favorite way to engage with Mr. Zacny.

When Shawn invited me on the show, he threatened to suck me dry of XCOM impressions. So believe it or not, pumping is an improvement.

Rob Zacny wrote:
HedgeWizard wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
kincher skolfax wrote:

Please never use the words "pump" and "Rob Zacny" in the same sentence ever again.

:hump:

But it's my favorite way to engage with Mr. Zacny.

When Shawn invited me on the show, he threatened to suck me dry of XCOM impressions. So believe it or not, pumping is an improvement.

I have a feeling a golden pillow was the runner-up in the competition for the 10 year donation icon. Not sure why though.

Rob Zacny wrote:
HedgeWizard wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
kincher skolfax wrote:

Please never use the words "pump" and "Rob Zacny" in the same sentence ever again.

:hump:

But it's my favorite way to engage with Mr. Zacny.

When Shawn invited me on the show, he threatened to suck me dry of XCOM impressions. So believe it or not, pumping is an improvement.

Not if you're dry..

Tanglebones wrote:
Rob Zacny wrote:
HedgeWizard wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
kincher skolfax wrote:

Please never use the words "pump" and "Rob Zacny" in the same sentence ever again.

:hump:

But it's my favorite way to engage with Mr. Zacny.

When Shawn invited me on the show, he threatened to suck me dry of XCOM impressions. So believe it or not, pumping is an improvement.

Not if you're dry..

Aaaaaaaaand that'll do!

IMAGE(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTs8S7ljJJWfzpO8avTqZdzj6y7twjdDYkJre-SuFdpFSuZG5rj)

RPG with deep storyline and female main character...

You should introduce your daughter to Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky.

kazriko wrote:

RPG with deep storyline and female main character...

You should introduce your daughter to Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky.

Or Final Fantasy X-2

Tanglebones wrote:

Or Final Fantasy X-2 :)

I suppose. Its battle system wasn't as much fun as FFX though. Both of them are that final fantasy style techno-fantasy that blends magical technology with fantasy style swords and sorcery settings. It might be harder to find a PS2 to play that than it is to get a PS Vita or PSP for Trails though.

kazriko wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Or Final Fantasy X-2 :)

I suppose. Its battle system wasn't as much fun as FFX though. Both of them are that final fantasy style techno-fantasy that blends magical technology with fantasy style swords and sorcery settings. It might be harder to find a PS2 to play that than it is to get a PS Vita or PSP for Trails though.

My wife says that we're not ever allowed to get rid of our BC PS3 for this specific game

kazriko wrote:

It might be harder to find a PS2 to play that than it is to get a PS Vita or PSP for Trails though.

Huh. I thought Sony was still keeping the PS2 alive as of a couple years ago. Can't seem to find any new ones on Amazon or Gamestop though

Tanglebones wrote:

My wife says that we're not ever allowed to get rid of our BC PS3 for this specific game

Hah. I still have my BC PS3 up on a shelf in my house in case I ever need it. It sucks nearly 300 watts of power compared to the ~80 watts of my current PS3 though, so I don't use it often. I'm happy that so many of my PS2 games are coming to PS3, PSP, and Vita though. Maybe I'll eventually be able to get rid of both my PS2 and BC PS3.

shoptroll wrote:
kazriko wrote:

It might be harder to find a PS2 to play that than it is to get a PS Vita or PSP for Trails though.

Huh. I thought Sony was still keeping the PS2 alive as of a couple years ago. Can't seem to find any new ones on Amazon or Gamestop though :(

They're keeping the PS2 alive... as a system they sell to Brazil and other developing nations. It had run its 10 year course 2 years ago here in the US. You can usually still find used ones though. I've seen Walmart or Alco have maybe 1 new unit left in stock occasionally.

Got a bit further in the podcast. When it comes to making sure I get around to finishing and playing games I usually use Backloggery to try and keep track of what games I should be playing. If it's not on the list, I need to compare it to every one of the current items on the list and decide that I'd rather be playing the new game than one on the list for some reason.

To mix it up, I usually have at least 1 game from every one of my active platforms. I actually keep 2-3 games for my PS3 (PS3/PS2) and 2-3 games for Vita (Vita/PSP/PS1) games on the list so I have a bit of variety on my main systems. I try to keep no more than 9 games on my active list. It's helpful in that it tells you when you haven't updated a game in 2 weeks, so you can decide to go back and try to play it further and see if you get rehooked, or if you're going to drop it from the list.

I end up with 3 of those games that are more active than others though. Persona 3 Portable has been taking most of my time on the Vita, while Disgaea 3 for Vita is one I dabble with every 2 weeks and enjoy it, but I have to play in small bursts. On the PS3, I play Ratchet and Clank HD when my son is awake (It's his favorite game) and then Borderlands 2 and Odins Sphere when he goes to sleep.

The only PBEM game I ever played was VGA Planets.

I'm surprised that no one mentioned World Of Warcraft as one of the defining games of this generation. Their approach to quest management, giving direction to quest point, skill tree progression and integration of mods and stats. Nevermind the introduction of the "!" above a quest giver's head which I have seen in every game since including FPS.

It's also easily THE game that made even non-users aware of the MMORPG genre. Love it or hate it, it's defined this generation and what will be considered successful going forward.

Blondish83 wrote:

I'm surprised that no one mentioned World Of Warcraft as one of the defining games of this generation.

Yeah, I think everyone would want to say it was uh-maze-ing games that defined the last ten years (which IIRC was the scope of the question), games that really validate the medium and pushed what it can do higher and further.

It feels good to nominate Portal, but I'd say not. The defining games include Call of Duty 4, World of Warcraft, Gears of War is a good call, and I'd say pound for pound, above all, Halo. Okay, Halo is a squeak outside ten years, but no question it defined those following ten years—even CoD4 and its contributions to multiplayer are indebted to Halo, which put the FPS on the map the way it had never been before.

And that's just the games side and the dominance of the FPS. That's saying nothing about the hardware side of things with Microsoft's ascent and Sony's decline in the living room over the last ten years. The Xbox 360 wouldn't exist if Halo hadn't made the original Xbox and MS a legitimate rival for Sony.

I'd agree with Halo (in particular 2 and 3), mostly since the last 10 years has been dominated by consoles. I've never been a huge fan of the series, but I think what it did for online console gaming cannot be underestimated. Halo opened up a market for console gamers that before had only really been available to pc gamers, online shooters. Not to mention the mass marketing of Halo by Microsoft and the novels the accompany the world around Halo.

XCOM has crept up on me. The more I see, the more it seems my kind of game. I enjoy strategising moment to moment in fights and prefer games where I can take my time with the combat. A modern, slick, turn based game with knotty combat scenarios sounds good.

My last email to the show was probably more of a statement disguised as a question :). No problem.

Just finished up listening to this podcast. And I'm really disappointed that when you all were talking about genre defining games you didn't mention Thief. Those games virtually created the first person sneaker. And they most certainly inform a large portion of the games that come out now.

I'm actually in the middle of running a PBEM version of Fiasco. Having a lot of fun with it. We do the scenes via email and then post them on a wiki I've set up. At the end we'll have a story we wrote together. It's my first go-round doing this, but after we finish I'm going to throw up an invite here and see if any Goodjers want to try.

Friend said that Borderlands 2 is really funny — providing you think poop, dwarfism and mental disabilities are hilarious.

maverickz wrote:

Just finished up listening to this podcast. And I'm really disappointed that when you all were talking about genre defining games you didn't mention Thief. Those games virtually created the first person sneaker. And they most certainly inform a large portion of the games that come out now.

Question was about defining games of the "current generation" which is still a bit loosely defined, but I'd say Thief is a last-gen (over a decade ago) game. Totally agree with you in general though. It spawned a ton of new game design.

Certis wrote:
maverickz wrote:

Just finished up listening to this podcast. And I'm really disappointed that when you all were talking about genre defining games you didn't mention Thief. Those games virtually created the first person sneaker. And they most certainly inform a large portion of the games that come out now.

Question was about defining games of the "current generation" which is still a bit loosely defined, but I'd say Thief is a last-gen (over a decade ago) game. Totally agree with you in general though. It spawned a ton of new game design.

Yeah, there's no lack of affection for that game around here.