GWJ Conference Call Episode 333

Conference Call

Crysis 3, Metal Gear Rising: Revengence, Starcraft 2 Patch, System Shock 2, Colonial Marines, Unfinished Swan, Your Emails and more!

The PS4 Reveal brings more questions than answers. We discuss the implications and realities with returning guest Graham Rowat.

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.

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
00.01.09 Crysis 3
00.10.27 The Unfinished Swan
00.13.04 System Shock 2
00.23.40 Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
00.28.13 StarCraft 2
00.30.07 FTL
00.30.40 Temple Run 2
00.31.48 Aliens: Colonial Marines
00.37.01 This week's topic: The PS4 reveal!
00.57.59 Your emails!

Crysis 3
Metal Gear Rising
System Shock 2 on GoG
The Unfinished Swan

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Startup flourish - PlayStation - http://playstation.com - 36:48

Note Drop - Broke for Free - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Br... - 57:34

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

Listening right now during breakfast on my day off. I may have a mancrush on Graham Rowat's voice, it's such a joy to listen to... Especially when the guys were trying to remember the name of the Will Smith movie and he chimes in "I am Legend"...

Oh, Graham. You have no idea what you're in for. Cory, I second everything you've said about SS2. It was the last holy grail game from my youth that I was looking to replay.

Does one need to play SS1 before SS2?

No.

Cory, to feel terrified playing Aliens Colonial Marines, play multiplayer. The aliens there will rip you a new one if you're not paying attention everywhere all the time.

Keithustus wrote:

Cory, to feel terrified playing Aliens Colonial Marines, play multiplayer. The aliens there will rip you a new one if you're not paying attention everywhere all the time.

Ironically, it takes human intelligence to make xenomorphs scary.

Adventure games are also good to play with your spouse on the same computer. They are (usually) a little less gory than The Walking Dead, and you can take your time and discuss what you want to do. My wife and I played several adventure games together before we had kids. You can even check out gog.com for several classics of the genre.

Hats off to Graham for mentioning sound design in regards to System Shock 2 and scary games. The regular podcast crew has done at least two podcasts with "scary games" as the main topic, and they forgot about sound both times.

This is going to sound bizarre, but I absolutely adore Graham Rowat's voice, I think I could listen to him reading the phone book and it would still be enjoyable.

I certainly won't be jumping on the PS4 bandwagon, there's not nearly enough to entice me. But maybe the price tag of the PS3 will decrease and I can finally play Journey and Tokyo Jungle. A girl can dream... Seriously, though, at this juncture, I just don't see myself becoming a console convert. The price tag alone will probably be a deterrent (even though they haven't announced the price of the PS4, I've some inkling that it'll be pricey), but I just can't justify not to my husband, but not even to myself, spending so much on a gaming console when I have my perfectly (okay, somewhat) serviceable computer which also comes in handy for work (I promise, little guy, I'll upgrade your innards soon!). I just don't see myself doing that.

As for StarCraft II, I'm also looking forward to Heart of the Swarm, if only for the story. I'm aware that StarCraft doesn't particularly shine in that area, it's not a strong selling point, but at this juncture, I'm committed to the franchise, and I want to see what they'll do with the characters. Only two more weeks...

Was funny that an e-mail mentionned playing with a spouse, I only *just* got my husband to sit down and play The Walking Dead. He's actually been handling everything, from the controls to the decision (didn't think he had it in him), and I'm glad we're finally doing this (we're in episode two, so we still have a ways to go). He's complained, however, and was a bit disappointed that we didn't each have a character to control. *sigh* Looks like he's never satisfied!

Solid ep guys, you just sold me on System Shock 2. Picked it up on GOG and hoping to plow through it before Infinite.

Also seconding the enjoyment of Mr Rowat's voice.

Eleima wrote:

I certainly won't be jumping on the PS4 bandwagon, there's not nearly enough to entice me. But maybe the price tag of the PS3 will decrease and I can finally play Journey and Tokyo Jungle.

Funny. Those are exactly the two titles that have been taunting me to ge a PS3 all this time, too. If there were just a few more, I would have gotten one by now.

Eleima wrote:

This is going to sound bizarre, but I absolutely adore Graham Rowat's voice, I think I could listen to him reading the phone book and it would still be enjoyable.

Absolutely. But surprisingly, I actually prefer his natural speaking voice to his voice-acting segments.

Regarding ShopTroll's question on board-games on the iPad. I feel like there's two other factors at work.

1. Licensing costs. It's $99 + one Mac to publish an iOS game into a good marketplace. I'm not sure what it costs to get a game on PSN or XBLA, but I'm betting it's much a much larger hurdle. It's $99 for a yearly XNA license too, but I would be surprised if anyone has come out in the black from making an XBLA indie game.
2. Snowball effect, game-developers have noticed that board-games are already selling on the iPad. It's a lot less risky to jump into an active market than try to carve a niche in XBLA or PSN.

Eleima wrote:

This is going to sound bizarre, but I absolutely adore Graham Rowat's voice, I think I could listen to him reading the phone book and it would still be enjoyable.

THIS IS EXACTLY THE THING I WAS GOING TO SAY

I'm not sure where to find a phone book any more, though.

My mom keeps them. And a bound thesaurus.

Great episode, guys!

Thank you for the outtakes after the show, I miss those. I'm not sure if you still do them on the iOS app, but I never use that because I do most of my podcast listening in my car, and I don't stream if possible.

Re: SKU and packaging between Xbox 360 and WiiU

I think the WiiU Basic had two major stumbling blocks.

First, the WiiU Basic projected a feeling of being "locked in" with the hardware configuration. With the 4gb Xbox Slim, you can still upgrade the harddrive in the future and be on par with the higher-end SKUs. My wife and I were considering that if we "wound up" up the Basic, we'd just wind up selling it once we had a shot at a Deluxe.

Secondly, the Deluxe presented itself as a better "deal". Free game that was retailing for $50, bunch of extras, black is always nice, bigger harddrive, and all that jazz. With the higher-end SKUs for the Xbox Slim, all you get is a bigger harddrive, and maybe a pair of year old games packed in.

To me, it felt like the two WiiU packages were presented as "here's the one everyone actually wants (Deluxe), and here's the one people will settle with."

With a voice like that, I'm all for Graham being a regular on the show, or at least a frequent guest.

Looking forward to reading Corey's article about "the road to Bioshock Infinite". I'm currently playing Bioshock for the first time (fairly spoiler free too!) and I completely missed a lot of the discussion when it first came out since my computer couldn't handle it at the time.

Vargen wrote:

Hats off to Graham for mentioning sound design in regards to System Shock 2 and scary games. The regular podcast crew has done at least two podcasts with "scary games" as the main topic, and they forgot about sound both times.

Good sound direction is like good art direction. Both of those will hold up to the passage of time, regardless of how many bits and pixels you're pushing.

nthing the love for Graham's voice. Good to hear him in as a guest instead of a feature.

EDIT: Was that the old PSOne bootup jingle in one of the transitions?

EDIT: Thanks for reading my question!

I have often thought Crusader Kings II would be a good game to try and play with my wife. Perhaps I am the only person to think that, but I have gotten enough enjoyment out of the game, that she has had to put up with me talking about it on numerous occasions. It seems like a second person to help me make important decisions would be fun.

Another game suggestion to play with the missus: Worms. It's a perfect fit for hot seat play, and if you crank up the max time per turn stress shouldn't be an issue. And failure in this game actually adds to the fun. Even veteran players will sometimes screw up big time. Plus, it's fairly cheap now.

Just make sure you don't buy any of the 3D versions. Worms only works in 2D.

I guess we need to start a Graham Rowat fanclub. My teenage daughter can be president. She thinks he's pretty dreamy.

Xeavn wrote:

I have often thought Crusader Kings II would be a good game to try and play with my wife. Perhaps I am the only person to think that, but I have gotten enough enjoyment out of the game, that she has had to put up with me talking about it on numerous occasions. It seems like a second person to help me make important decisions would be fun.

That one crossed my mind as well, especially if you have an interest in politics and history.

What about TES games?

The married couple that hosts The Indoor Kids usually play XBox games together, but Emily sounds like she's more comfortable with control schemes than the question writer's wife.

I have so much love for System Shock 2. And I usualy agree with the giant bomb guys but obviously not in this case. Playing it multi player is.....an experience.

For a good hand-off co-op game, I'd toss out:

Kentucky Route Zero. Narrative driven with no precision controls required.
Dear Esther. Ditto.
Cart life. Another narrative game.
Civ V. Basically an obscenely huge but very pretty board game.

Generally: any good point and click adventure game, any good turn-based strategy game. From my perspective narrative-focused games are generally better than systemically challenging games for this sort of thing, because watching somebody else navigate system-driven UIs can become tedious. The turn based strategy games work best if you drop the difficulty level a bit and don't have to stress so much on all the fiddly bits.

During the listener-questions segment many games are discussed. Since these aren’t included in the show summary here are the games that get some love this week.

Question on Gaming With Wife (Civ V, XCOM, Tropico 3, The Walking Dead)
Age of Mythology
Age of Empires
SimCity
The Sims 2
Dragon Age: Origins

I started playing System Shock 2 but never finished it, despite being a massive fan of the first one and playing that to conclusion multiple times. Is it genuinely better? I should probably go to gog and find out...