GWJ Conference Call Episode 315

Conference Call

XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Dishonored, The Walking Dead Episode 4, Scary Games, Your Emails and more!

This week Cory, Julian, Elysium and Allen talk scary games, The Walking Dead and 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.

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Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
00.01.54 Dishonored
00.04.41 Walking Dead episode 4
00.10.30 Rocksmith (PC version)
00.14.54 XCOM: Enemy Unknown
00.20.18 This Week's Topic: Games that Scare the Crap Out of Us (and Why)!
00.50.49 Your emails and Twitter questions!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Die Anyway (Game Edit) - BigBot Audio Drop - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 19:47

Amity (Hy Bound's Horrorville Mix - BigBot Audio Drop - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 50:20

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

Loved this week's podcast, and loved hearing more about XCOM! I really want to get it, but I think that if I buy any more full-priced games this year, my husband'll take away my credit card! XD So I certainly don't mind more XCOM talk!

About games we're looking forward to... Yeah, I'd like to say Assassin's Creed 3, but after buying AC2, AC:B on launch, the spark's fled. I bought AC:R on sale and finished it recently, and will probably do the same for AC3, but at this point, I'm with the "meh" crowd...

Games that scare the crap out of us... Well, there was 7th Guest when I was a kid. Seriously, it scared me so badly, the intro itself just made me unplug the computer. Granted, I was 9.
But Amnesia?... I never got into it, I didn't find it scary at all, it just made me seasick.
I agree that the Japanese handle horror really well, the Silent Hill's are notorious for that, and the first few Resident Evil's were absolutely terrifying for me (I have memories of playing RE3 in the evening, of being absolutely scared to death... "Staaaaaaaars").

I also enjoyed your discussion on what constitutes a horror game (the anticipation, the "jump scare" moments, etc). Great podcast, see you guys next week!

So glad Julian mentioned 'I Have no Mouth.." - I was yelling it out in the car, just before he said it

Also worth mentioning:
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth - a total bugfest, but the chase scene at the beginning, taken from Lovecraft's Shadow Over Innsmouth is one of the most tense sequences I've ever played.

Anchorhead, the IF game, not the town on Tattooine, is also one of the best horror experiences I've had as a gamer. Also one of the best female protagonists I've played.

The first game to ever scare me to the point of jumping, screaming out loud was actually Rainbow Six. I was crawling through a city map and a sniper popped me.

Since then the biggest scares i've got have been from games like Darkfall or DayZ. The aspect of getting surprised at any moment gets my heart racing like no other games i've played.

The first game that scared/creeped me out was Doom. I played it at night with headphones on and the lights turned off. Whenever I hear the sound made by an imp in the distance, I'm instantly transported back to that time and place.

MeatMan wrote:

The first game that scared/creeped me out was Doom. I played it at night with headphones on and the lights turned off. Whenever I hear the sound made by an imp in the distance, I'm instantly transported back to that time and place.

Doom was one of my first as well. I remember playing it in an empty computer lab where my dad worked with no one else in the room at night. Even though the lights were on, I remember something spooked me really well and I immediately shut the game down and practically ran out of the room.

Re.: Most meaningful death in a video game. For me it was in definitely in Mass Effect 3.

Spoiler:

When Mordin died in my playthrough while reversing the effects of the Krogan plague. Man, even thinking about it chokes me up a little. I it is when he starts humming that 'Scientist Solarian' song from ME2 that really kills me.

The scariest games I've played so far have been Amnesia: the Dark Descent - despite only putting a few minutes into it - and Silent Hill 2. I've finished neither, but talk about atmospheric. The zombie-infested town (Ravenholm, iirc) in Half Life 2 was pretty creepy too. I remember my housemate playing it with his headphones on and not hearing me come into the room. When I said something he screamed like a girl, flung his headphones off and jumped out of his chair. I can't remember ever laughing so hard.

Rallick wrote:

Re.: Most meaningful death in a video game. For me it was in definitely in Mass Effect 3.

Spoiler:

When Mordin died in my playthrough while reversing the effects of the Krogan plague. Man, even thinking about it chokes me up a little. I it is when he starts humming that 'Scientist Solarian' song from ME2 that really kills me.

The scariest games I've played so far have been Amnesia: the Dark Descent - despite only putting a few minutes into it - and Silent Hill 2. I've finished neither, but talk about atmospheric. The zombie-infested town (Ravenholm, iirc) in Half Life 2 was pretty creepy too. I remember my housemate playing it with his headphones on and not hearing me come into the room. When I said something he screamed like a girl, flung his headphones off and jumped out of his chair. I can't remember ever laughing so hard.

Actually, I had three moments in ME3 that brought dust into the room:

Spoiler:

Mordin, as above, Tali, when I screwed up the Geth/Quarian situation so badly that she committed suicide, and Thane.

So when I read Certis' tweet that you guys responded to a question you already answered I figured it would have been a smaller one no one would notice. When Sean started reading it, though, I nearly lost it.

Gold.

On Cory's commentary about games forcing you into a situation that's supposed to be scary, that was one of my top complaints on Leon's mission in the Resident Evil 6 demo. You could shoot the zombie bodies on the ground ahead of time, but it didn't matter. If Capcom wanted them to jump out just as you walked past, they did. This is opposed to Dead Space where shooting a Necromorph on the ground results in the creature leaping up and awake. The perceptive players can avoid an ambush, basically.

Then later down the line the game has a metal detector. Y'know, like the one in Left 4 Dead. Only unlike Left 4 Dead the game doesn't allow you to go around it. Even though there are waist high desks no different than the others you've jumped or slid over in your path, you cannot go around. You HAVE to go through that metal detector, and then when it alerts the horde the zombies Leon has the gall to say "I should have known better!"

Of course you knew better, because I knew better and you, Leon, are my player avatar. That doesn't matter to Capcom, though, because they wanted to railroad you into that situation even if it punished the more observant players.

Pissed me off, man.

Also: I haven't played Slender Man, but heard of it. When Allan mentioned it I decided to go YouTube a gameplay video. Holy crap.

Tune in next week when we forget our medication and read all of these emails one more time. It'll be a hoot!

I was about to rip you guys a new one but finally Cory discussed Eternal Darkness.

Demiurge wrote:

Tune in next week when we forget our medication and read all of these emails one more time. It'll be a hoot!

With completely different answers, amirite? That would be interesting.

First game that scared the bejeezus out of me what Dungeon Master on the Apple IIGS. I think part of it was the speakers we had hooked up though--amplified AIWA speakers that would turn off when they hadn't received a signal for too long, and didn't have a volume control so they were always too loud. Dungeon Master was a pretty quiet game for much of the time, and there was no footsteps sound to keep the speakers awake. The only thing that would wake them up was one of two sounds that were nearly identical--an environmental noise that sounded like monsters moving, and monsters actually moving.

So every two minutes the speakers would wake up and blast that slithering noise in my dark 6x6 computer room...

After that was probably Wolfenstein, the first game I'd played with real digital sound effects and stereo. Thinking about those Nazi shouts when they see you still gives me chills.

Keithustus wrote:

I was about to rip you guys a new one but finally Cory discussed Eternal Darkness.

I was waiting to see if anyone else would come to their senses and bring it up. Such a brilliant game.

The death sequences in Return to Zork scared the crap out of me, mostly because of that booming laugh.

Also there was this creepy adventure game called Darkseed which had artwork based on H.R. Giger. Check out the intro of the game here where...

Spoiler:

The protagonist gets an alien implanted into his head while he's asleep.

Not a horror game, but the Guardian's laugh (and other interjections) in Ultima 7 made me jump.

I own most of Obsidian's games yet did not back their Kickstarter. If or when they actually put out the game I'll buy it depending on how it turned out and I doubt I'm alone in that.

I may be mis-remembering, but wasn't the original Alone in the Dark pretty (suspensful) scary?

Demiurge wrote:
Keithustus wrote:

I was about to rip you guys a new one but finally Cory discussed Eternal Darkness.

I was waiting to see if anyone else would come to their senses and bring it up. Such a brilliant game.

Except that game was less frightening scary and more freak-out mess with your mind scary. I still played it through 5 times. I didn't finish that part of the CC, evidently as I don't recall hearing it be brought up.

EDIT: Ok, made it through the mention of Eternal Darkness. I guess my comment of playing 5 times might reinforce Cory saying its one of the best Gamecube games if you realized it's the only game of any significant length that I played to the end more than once on Gamecube. Also, the character models are pretty low poly, which is a carry over from the fact the game was originally planned as an N64 game.

I can't really agree with your estimation of Rocksmith on PC. The load and save times are SO much faster and the frame rate so much smoother that I am finding the experience to be far superior. Given how much I play this darn thing the collective time saved not waiting for saving and loading adds up big time. It is a pain to have to re-buy the DLC but I don't know why you would expect anything otherwise. That said I haven't encountered any of your bugs at this point so who knows if my impression will change.

The hosts should be scared. I am sure that a pack of four cyborgs have been sent with persuadertrons to correct their heretical ways with regards to Syndicate.

The first time a videogame scared me?

About the question about missing old games. I have such a hankering to play Dragon Quest 8 for the PS2, I spent literally about 3 hours looking for a like JRPG for the PC and sadly their are none. Not on Steam or otherwise. We have a huge JRPG void on the PC! And I'm sorry but that Reicutiigear or whats it called isn't cutting it. And I can't find my PS2 (yeah, its actually missing) but I miss those old games. Even further back I miss Final Fantasy Tactics. I have an xbox360 and a PC. Whats a good DragonQuestesq JRPG for the PC or Xbox. preferably PC. Nevermind, [i]I know it don't exist.

I'm trying to convince my friends to all play through Amnesia on Halloween. How long is that game? Doable?

tanstaafl wrote:

The first time a videogame scared me?

YES. The arcade I went to had the sit-down version of this, with the speakers that were on either side of your head. That "I HUNGER." and the eventual ROAAAAARRRRR scared the living crap out of me.

lostlobster wrote:
tanstaafl wrote:

The first time a videogame scared me?

YES. The arcade I went to had the sit-down version of this, with the speakers that were on either side of your head. That "I HUNGER." and the eventual ROAAAAARRRRR scared the living crap out of me.

Run, coward.

Not the first time a video game scared me, but probably the most scared I've been playing a video game was playing the opening to Half-Life late at night when I was a teenager.

Just walking around the half-destroyed facility with nothing but a crowbar, headcrabs lurking everywhere, seeing the horribly mutated creatures that had been ordinary scientists just minutes before...

Good to know I wasn't imagining things when that question came up for the second time.

Re: Turn-based combat in Mass Effect. That question would have fit much better last week when Jeff Cannata expressed a desire to see some RPGs return to turn-based tactical combat. The original Mass Effect seems like it would have been a perfect fit for it. The shooting was all based on die rolls anyway, which was off-putting to plenty of gamers.

I wouldn't replace ME'2 combat for any turn-based thing for the world. It's a fairly unique mix, with few analogues in the industry. It needs to exist on its own.

On the other hand, a turn-based tactical version of the game going through the same points would be extremely welcome on the iPad, which doesn't lend itself nearly as well to FPS mechanics as mouse and keyboard. That'd be a better game than that skinner box thing they got going on the ME Datapad app.

How about this?

Instead of replacing ME console/PC, a mobile ME version on iDevices or Vita could be used to garner "Military Readiness" on the main game. Either game is standalone (they have a "baseline" event progress built in) but in case you had both, events in one are reflected in some form in the other.

In the iDevice game, you're not Shepard. You're Anderson and you're on Earth fighting a losing battle against the Reapers in desperate turn-based XCOM style game. Some of these missions will simply ask you to hold against Reaper forces for a set value of turns as civilian units retreat to safety behind your troops. Some will be rescue missions, and some will be resource raiding missions, and so on.

Depending on how well you do, you can improve the situation on Earth when Shepard finally makes it in. Maybe you can even spare Shep an odd man or two on the final assault. That would make the final moments of ME3 a lot more moving, since you've played as both characters.

The game Julian mentioned, Home, is available in the current [i]Indie Royale bundle, if anyone wants to check it out at a discounted rate.

Flame retardant suit on: I don't like Mass Effect's combat. I LOVED the Star Wars games, and finished ME1, but couldn't force myself to get through more than 5-6 combats in ME2. Hearing everyone talk about it makes me want to play it more, but there's no way I'm spending more on another game in the series when I can't finish 2.

Bottom line, you spend 1/2 your time in combat. If I don't like the combat, I don't like the game. I'm all for turn based isometric combat for ME.

There's not really all that much that scares me in games... but the one thing that keeps doing it recently is heights. I don't remember being that scared of heights before, and in some games it's really no trouble (ratchet and clank...)

But two games recently make me close my eyes every time I jump down from a ledge. Borderlands 2 and Kingdoms of Amalur. I'm really not even sure why but those two games make me feel like I'm actually falling... It's weird, because in both games there's absolutely no punishment for falling as far as you want.

That said, I'm playing Zero Escape 2: Virtue's Last Reward as my late October game. It's not exactly scary because of its checkpointing and free range movement around the decision tree, but it's interesting trying to figure out who the killers are and who will do the betraying. Of course, the game screws with you quite a bit. The opponent will change their votes based on what you pick sometimes.