GWJ Conference Call Episode 334

Conference Call


Tomb Raider, Pixel People, Fire Emblem, Plague Inc., Backflip Madness, Special Guest Susan Arendt!, Your Emails and more!

This week Sean Sands and Cory Banks are joined by The Escapist's Susan Arendt to talk Tomb Raider, reboots 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.

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
00.02.26 Pixel People
00.06.41 Fire Emblem: Awakenings
00.11.33 Talkin bout the DS
00.16.05 Plague Inc.
00.21.58 Backflip Madness
00.25.28 This week's sponsor: The Gel 2013 Conference
00.26.43 This week's topic: Tomb Raider!
00.47.30 Your emails!

Tomb Raider
The Escapist
Plague Inc
Backflip Madness

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Beautiful Women - Secret Mountain - http://www.sans-concept.com - 26:16

8 Bit Samples - Workbench Music - http://workbench-music.com/ - 47:04

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

I've been playing Plague Inc. too. Still haven't unlocked anything past bacteria but it's pretty fun nonetheless.

We 3DS Catch-All folk are going to have to just start building a spreadsheet called "Shut up the 3DS has good games you jerk". I swear it's like the perception of the Wii all over again.

On the topic of demos, I actually went through this with two of the 3DS eShop demos recently. I was all geared up to get Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate this month, but after trying the demo for about an hour I decided the game wasn't really for me. Switched over to the Fire Emblem demo and now I'm trying to figure out when/if I can fit it into my budget for this month when I originally wasn't planning on snagging it.

For Capcom, that demo was a lost sale. For Nintendo, that demo was a boosted sale.

What has me curious is if demos are bound to be more frequent when a platform is new. I remember games had demos constantly on the Xbox 360, and now it seems like they're a lot less common unless for smaller games. Even then, it's probably just what they put together for a show like E3, where someone was there to talk into your ear and help you out and direct you.

One of my favorite demos was the one for F.E.A.R. 2. It sold me on the game, and it turned out to be small bits of the whole experience mashed together. It must be hard to do well, but putting a player through a variety of set-pieces seems like a really genius idea to give them a taste. It's like giving a spoon full of each plate on the table instead of a single plate and saying "That's what the entire dinner is like". Especially if you were given something like cow's tongue.

I got hooked on Plague Inc for a few weeks in the past, and unlocked all the "normal" plague types. Its certainly an interesting study, but I always felt my tactics wound up being the same.

1) maximize transmission while minimizing deaths
2) start broad on symptoms, nothing wrong with investing into 3 or more different trees to get boosts in severity and transmission
3) don't buy any resistance that drops cure rate until cure research starts
4) once 60% of the world is infected, go deep on 2 connected trees (adjacent or opposite) for the truly deadly symptoms, even if that means selling off other trees to afford it

Only got through half the podcast on the way in this morning, can't wait to finish during the commute home.

ccesarano wrote:
We 3DS Catch-All folk are going to have to just start building a spreadsheet called "Shut up the 3DS has good games you jerk". I swear it's like the perception of the Wii all over again.

Maybe it's because I'm not an alpha gamer churning through new games regularly, but there are more games for the 3DS that have caught my eye than I have time or money to play.

shoptroll wrote:
I haven't played Plague, Inc. (which is not to be confused with Death, Inc.) yet but I believe Sheawn was thinking of Pandemic 2. Tom Chick went a little bit into the differences in his review on Qt3.

Just clicked into Pandemic 2, and it looks very similar to the iOS Plague, Inc, just less polished. I'm guessing it plays very similarly, but with less focus on unlocks and replayability (since its a Flash game).

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Maybe it's because I'm not an alpha gamer churning through new games regularly, but there are more games for the 3DS that have caught my eye than I have time or money to play.

I can second this, although with the caveat that it's mostly in the eShop instead of retail. They definitely seem to be putting forward higher quality titles there than with the DSiWare/WiiWare shops. If I didn't have a pile of games on other systems, I probably would've played things like Pushmo, Mighty Switch Force and Mutant Mudds by now.

shoptroll wrote:
Susan is a really amusing guest to have on the show, please have her on again!

I haven't played Plague, Inc. (which is not to be confused with Death, Inc.) yet but I believe Sheawn was thinking of Pandemic 2. Tom Chick went a little bit into the differences in his review on Qt3.

Also, sounds like Corey would really like Real Summer Sports Simulator if he hasn't already played it...

ccesarano wrote:
We 3DS Catch-All folk are going to have to just start building a spreadsheet called "Shut up the 3DS has good games you jerk". I swear it's like the perception of the Wii all over again.

Yes, but I think hell froze over with Sheawn playing a 3DS for a Japanese Strategy RPG. I'd consider that a "win".


I demand that you start spelling our names right. Putting an e in my name is one thing, but Sheawn is the Hitler of name spelling.

Demiurge wrote:
Putting an e in my name is one thing, but Sheawn is the Hitler of name spelling. :)

Oof, it's too early in the morning for Hitler comparisons Noted!

I think Simcity (the new one) is a reboot of the franchise because they're stripping away a lot of the complexity that was added with later iterations, and the increased emphasis on region play which wasn't fully explored in Simcity 4.

I'd also classify Doom 3 as reboot due to the change in focus from run n' gun arcade action to a slow paced narrative experience in the style of FPS games at the time. Also, didn't they drop you back in Mars at the start of the alien invasion?

I'm not 100% sure how you'd reboot Quake as that series has always had an identity crisis. Do you do Strogg Q2/Q4, the Lovecraftian/Gothic style of Q1, or the mishmash arena of Q3? Unreal has a similar condundrum since that franchise drastically changed its appearance over its lifespan.

Susan is a really amusing guest to have on the show, please have her on again!

I haven't played Plague, Inc. (which is not to be confused with Death, Inc.) yet but I believe Sheawn was thinking of Pandemic 2. Tom Chick went a little bit into the differences in his review on Qt3.

Also, sounds like Cory would really like Real Summer Sports Simulator if he hasn't already played it...

ccesarano wrote:
We 3DS Catch-All folk are going to have to just start building a spreadsheet called "Shut up the 3DS has good games you jerk". I swear it's like the perception of the Wii all over again.

Yes, but I think hell froze over with Sean playing a 3DS for a Japanese Strategy RPG. I'd consider that a "win".

shoptroll wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
Maybe it's because I'm not an alpha gamer churning through new games regularly, but there are more games for the 3DS that have caught my eye than I have time or money to play.

I can second this, although with the caveat that it's mostly in the eShop instead of retail. They definitely seem to be putting forward higher quality titles there than with the DSiWare/WiiWare shops. If I didn't have a pile of games on other systems, I probably would've played things like Pushmo, Mighty Switch Force and Mutant Mudds by now.

It feels like a nice balance.

The eShop is packed to the gills with good, shorter games, if by "shorter" games you mean 10 hours or so. In addition to what you mentioned, there's Crimson Shroud, Fluidity, Crashmo, Fractured Soul, Sakura Samurai, and a good handful more that I've added to my wishlist.

At the same time, I'm not hurting for full-size retail titles, either. It helps that I have a taste for Japanese games, so Etrian Odyssey IV, Fire Emblem, Zero Escape, and Monster Hunter are all on my radar. The upcoming releases are also nice and will keep me occupied for quite some time, especially considering that I still haven't played all of last year's games that I wanted to.

Luigi's Mansion also comes out this month, though likely overshadowed by releasing the same week as Bioshock Infinite. Also the Sunday of PAX East.

In fact, I think I might actually preorder that one on Amazon.

ccesarano wrote:
Luigi's Mansion also comes out this month, though likely overshadowed by releasing the same week as Bioshock Infinite. Also the Sunday of PAX East.

In fact, I think I might actually preorder that one on Amazon.


Sell me on it?

Guys. Backflip Madness. Seriously.

Demiurge wrote:
ccesarano wrote:
Luigi's Mansion also comes out this month, though likely overshadowed by releasing the same week as Bioshock Infinite. Also the Sunday of PAX East.

In fact, I think I might actually preorder that one on Amazon.


Sell me on it?

I can't. I'm buying it on faith that I'll enjoy it because I liked the demo of Luigi's Mansion I played when Nintendo was previewing the GameCube once upon a time ago, even though I never got around to playing the full release because I entered a Nintendo-hating phase that only made exception for Metroid.

I was dumb when I was a teenager.

Wow. Really pleased to get my question answered! Like a fool I got my DLC's mixed up and asked about Leviathan when I meant From Ashes but even so you all made very good points.

strangederby wrote:
Wow. Really pleased to get my question answered! Like a fool I got my DLC's mixed up and asked about Leviathan when I meant From Ashes but even so you all made very good points.

In your defence I think Leviathan does exactly what the hosts said it didn't. It is crucial and it does complete the story.

Demiurge wrote:
Guys. Backflip Madness. Seriously.

I'll raise you:

I'm a bit disappointed that there wasn't a play-by-play of Cory's first QWOP attempt. I think you guys sold me a copy of Plague Inc though.

Higgledy wrote:

Susan Arendt was excellent and her Mum is right about that Wii birdwatching game.

Forgot about that. I think if anyone could make a Wii bird-watching game, it is Nintendo.

Thief gritty reboot revealed.

ccesarano wrote:
I think if anyone could make a Wii bird-watching game, it is Nintendo.

Considering they made two Endless Ocean games and Pokemon Snap, that would make a lot of sense.

Very happy to hear about Plague, Inc. - looks like there's an Android version, downloading now. I was a big fan of Pandemic 2 on Flash (F'in Madagascar!)

Re: franchises I'd love to see rebooted: Star Control 1/2 - the setting was incredible, the gameplay was very fun for its time, and there's still a lot of depth to be mined (the less said about SC3, the better)

I'd like a reboot of the original PS1 Warhawk.

Demiurge wrote:
Guys. Backflip Madness. Seriously.

I watched that for you Cory. FOR YOU!

Some things cannot be unseen.

Btw everyone, this week's SimCity is NOT a reboot, at least according to my video card. The NVidia control panel classifies it as "SimCity 5".

Reboots:

Blackthorne
Star Fox
Mega Man

Plague, Inc (and Madagascar) - START there, and bump your transmission vectors

So many great guests recently.

Susan Arendt was excellent and her Mum is right about that Wii birdwatching game.

I want to see Jade Empire and Star Wars Battlefront resurrected.

heavyfeul wrote:
I want to see Jade Empire and Star Wars Battlefront resurrected.

Jade Empire's world was fantastic. So much potential.

Higgledy wrote:
heavyfeul wrote:
I want to see Jade Empire and Star Wars Battlefront resurrected.

Jade Empire's world was fantastic. So much potential.

I remember it well and was surprised at just how evil they let you be in that game. I mean really evil.

You can have my vote for a reboot of Jade Empire, that game was absolutely extraordinary.

It was nice to have Susan on the show!! Especially her take on Tomb Raider, I always find her analysis of Lara Croft to be spot on, so was very interesting.

On the subject of Zork... Yes, reboot the franchise, because the games are absolutely fantastic. But mostly, about Zork: Nemesis... My favorite game of all time, I think, is Zork: Nemesis. That game was absolutely superb, with a perfect score that set the tone, a compelling, intricate story with very strong themes. Okay, so the FMVs are sub-par by today's standards, but that doesn't deter from the rich lore and gorgeous worlds they created. I think it got a lot of bad press because it was a lot darker than the Zork series traditionally is, and people weren't prepared for that.
And before Zork: Nemesis, there was Return to Zork, which was loads of fun, very tongue in cheek. And afterwards came Zork: Grand Inquisitor, absolutely hilarious. All three were great games, even though the deviated from the classic text based adventure template.
Just my two cents.