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

McIrishJihad wrote:

Reboots:

Blackthorne
Star Fox
Mega Man

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

Reboots of Star Fox and Mega Man frighten me, partially because every new Mega Man series changed things up a bit. You had Mega Man Zero after X, which had a more hub-world and equipment and kind of over-complicated things, and I never got around to ZX but it didn't seem to be much better. It's like they tried to "modernize" it by throwing in more features.

But what do you do with something like Mega Man?

A reboot of Mega Man Legends or Mega Man Battle Network, though, I'd be all in for.

Star Fox doesn't necessarily need a reboot. Nintendo just needs to sit down and think about why the first one was so great (which is the fact that it was an arcade rails shooter like Ikaruga or 1942 or whatnot done on a 3-D plane) and get back to that.

Though truthfully, I myself have pondered if franchises like Resident Evil or even Metroid have gotten so convoluted in their plot that a reboot may be better. But what I want is more or less a reboot of the story, so to speak. I don't want the gameplay itself to be rebooted.

I'd like to see a first person reboot of Q*BERT.

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 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".

I do feel a bit sorry for the Devs of Pandemic 2.5 (the iOS version on pandemic 2 ) because although as Tom Chick says Plague Inc has advanced the genre it really is a incredibly similar base game, with some very similar art assets used in the world map in particular.
I think it feels to me that Plauge Inc wouldn't have existed if pandemic 2.5 hadn't, and i find my self rooting for the guy who took the blind leap of faith with his idea, rather than the guy who took that idea & polished it.

nel e nel wrote:

I'd like to see a first person reboot of Q*BERT.

I can see it now. A young Q*bert fresh from college. Innocent, yet with an iron will to survive. There could be quick time events, graphic death animations and brutal coily snake takedowns.

ccesarano wrote:

But what do you do with something like Mega Man?

Mega Man's uniqueness comes from defeating boss monsters in any order, acquiring their powers, and then using those powers to defeat other bosses. Anything else they added to the series is just gravy (and sometimes too much gravy ruins the dish). There isn't anything in that core that couldn't be translated to a more modern look and structure.

Personally, I'd love to see Mega Man done up as a 2.5D game with action along the lines of Other M, although that might just be because it's easy to mentally swap out Samus Aran in one of those takedowns for Mega Man with his blaster arm.

Star Fox doesn't necessarily need a reboot. Nintendo just needs to sit down and think about why the first one was so great (which is the fact that it was an arcade rails shooter like Ikaruga or 1942 or whatnot done on a 3-D plane) and get back to that.

So, Sin and Punishment?

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Personally, I'd love to see Mega Man done up as a 2.5D game with action along the lines of Other M, although that might just be because it's easy to mentally swap out Samus Aran in one of those takedowns for Mega Man with his blaster arm.

I'd buy that in a heartbeat. They've tried 2.5 with the franchise with the PSP remakes of MM1 and MMX1, so that's not a huge leap for them to make.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

But what do you do with something like Mega Man?

Mega Man's uniqueness comes from defeating boss monsters in any order, acquiring their powers, and then using those powers to defeat other bosses. Anything else they added to the series is just gravy (and sometimes too much gravy ruins the dish). There isn't anything in that core that couldn't be translated to a more modern look and structure.

Personally, I'd love to see Mega Man done up as a 2.5D game with action along the lines of Other M, although that might just be because it's easy to mentally swap out Samus Aran in one of those takedowns for Mega Man with his blaster arm.

Star Fox doesn't necessarily need a reboot. Nintendo just needs to sit down and think about why the first one was so great (which is the fact that it was an arcade rails shooter like Ikaruga or 1942 or whatnot done on a 3-D plane) and get back to that.

So, Sin and Punishment?

Funny - I kind of had Other M in mind when I threw it up there. What gets me is that you can see the evolution in the Mega Man games, but what I'd love to see with a reboot would be taking the core premise (killing bosses to get powers to defeat a big bad) and playing around with the execution like Clocky mentions.

I'd play Mega Man: Other Man.

Luigi's Mansion on the GameCube was an amazing game. I only got it because it was part of a cheap GC bundle, but it remains one of my favourite GameCube games.

Hang on, why don't we just reboot the GameCube?

Higgledy wrote:

I can see it now. A young Q*bert fresh from college. Innocent, yet with an iron will to survive. There could be quick time events, graphic death animations and brutal coily snake takedowns.

And the dramatic moment when he shows that he's had enough by yelling "@!#?@!" for the first time.

strangederby wrote:
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.

One of my favorite moments was the Drunken Master style fighting, where one of your compatriots would toss you tankards of booze as you fight. It is still my favorite Bioware game.

Zelos wrote:

Luigi's Mansion on the GameCube was an amazing game. I only got it because it was part of a cheap GC bundle, but it remains one of my favourite GameCube games.

Never played the GameCube version, but I think the Eurogamer preview suggests Dark Moon shares a bit in common with Metroid's exploration based gameplay. Should be interesting although not something I'm grabbing at launch.

Zelos wrote:

Hang on, why don't we just reboot the GameCube?

With a new Pikmin and an HD version of Wind Waker on the Wii U, and Luigi's Mansion and a Paper Mario RPG on the 3DS, I'd say Nintendo is doing just that. Stay tuned for sequels to Eternal Darkness and Geist.

ccesarano wrote:
McIrishJihad wrote:

Reboots:

Blackthorne
Star Fox
Mega Man

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

Reboots of Star Fox and Mega Man frighten me, partially because every new Mega Man series changed things up a bit. You had Mega Man Zero after X, which had a more hub-world and equipment and kind of over-complicated things, and I never got around to ZX but it didn't seem to be much better. It's like they tried to "modernize" it by throwing in more features.

But what do you do with something like Mega Man?

I think the Mega Man reboot already happened with 9. I don't think they'll ever manage to take it beyond that and please the fans.

I actually really like ZX and to a slightly lesser extent, it's sequel ZX Advent. I never played the Zero series, but have played the original 1-6 on the NES, and 1-8 on the anniversary collection and X1&2 on SNES and X 1-5 on the X collection. ZX scratched the X itch just right for me, even if it's vastly inferior to Mega Man X. But what game with the Mega Man name other than 2 isn't?

I traded up my DSiXL to a 3DSXL. It's a lot heavier, but the screen resolution is much better when playing DS games. The DSiXL was much blockier.

Yet, I have 3 games for my 3DS. Doctor Lautrec (meh), Harvest Moon: A New Beginning (I got bored with it.) and Etrian Odyssey 4 (The first one I'm actually excited about.)

I've gotten far more use out of my Vita than my 3DS.

I want a Thexder reboot, and Ancient Art of War.

Zelos wrote:

Luigi's Mansion on the GameCube was an amazing game. I only got it because it was part of a cheap GC bundle, but it remains one of my favourite GameCube games.

Hang on, why don't we just reboot the GameCube?

Serious question, what is so great about Luigi's Mansion? I've seen a little gameplay, you suck up ghosts so I'm not impressed, but I have an unopened Gamecube compatible controller and an under-used Wii sitting a few meters away.

wordsmythe wrote:

I want a Thexder reboot

YES

Zelos wrote:

Luigi's Mansion on the GameCube was an amazing game. I only got it because it was part of a cheap GC bundle, but it remains one of my favourite GameCube games.

Hang on, why don't we just reboot the GameCube?

Along with the Dreamcast.

Also, Susan was a great guest!

RolandofGilead wrote:
Zelos wrote:

Luigi's Mansion on the GameCube was an amazing game. I only got it because it was part of a cheap GC bundle, but it remains one of my favourite GameCube games.

Hang on, why don't we just reboot the GameCube?

Serious question, what is so great about Luigi's Mansion? I've seen a little gameplay, you suck up ghosts so I'm not impressed, but I have an unopened Gamecube compatible controller and an under-used Wii sitting a few meters away.

It was a great little puzzle/platform game with lots of charm and humorous touches: things like being able to tell how much health you had left by how scared Luigi was. The ghost vacuum controls worked really well on the GC controller.

I think at the time the reviews weren't that great because it was pretty short.

Hi guys, it's me, internet rage. I just want to remind you that the ending of Mass Effect 3 wasn't complete, that's why everyone got upset and they released that free ending DLC to patch up the giant holes. I feel like you guys whiffed on that question because it didn't seem like any of you even knew what was in said Leviathan DLC. Without getting too much into spoilers it basically explains how and why the deus ex machina was built.

I imagine that if the aforementioned ending DLC was not vigorously shaken out of Bioware, the leviathan DLC would be the only thing even remotely explaining said plot contrivance. Not sure if that means that guy should feel he was ripped off, hell I spent at least $20 on stupid gambling packs so I'm part of the problem. Ok, just wanted to get that of my chest, thanks for listenAAAAAAAARGH! Oh sorry about that, "Mass Effect 3 ending" is a trigger for me, so if you guys could just not talk about it ever again that would be great. I'm off to edit wikipedia.

As for a Megaman reboot I'd really like a Megaman Zero game done like Dark Souls

walterqchocobo wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

I want a Thexder reboot

YES

Not sure if serious...but, just in case, they already released one for the PS3 in 2010.

OzymandiasAV wrote:
walterqchocobo wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

I want a Thexder reboot

YES

Not sure if serious...but, just in case, they already released one for the PS3 in 2010.

This is me right now:
IMAGE(http://www.volacci.com/files/imce-uploads/Logical%20Neo.jpg)

On further inspection, Thexder Neo wasn't a reboot, it was a rehash.

misplacedbravado wrote:
Higgledy wrote:

I can see it now. A young Q*bert fresh from college. Innocent, yet with an iron will to survive. There could be quick time events, graphic death animations and brutal coily snake takedowns.

And the dramatic moment when he shows that he's had enough by yelling "@!#?@!" for the first time.

I was thinking more like Mirror's Edge on acid, but whatever floats your boat!

I just want to remind you that the ending of Mass Effect 3 wasn't complete, that's why everyone got upset and they released that free ending DLC to patch up the giant holes.

Hey, Internet Rage. Man, you've been really busy lately. Seems like you're all over the place these days. I'm surprised you have any time left to yourself.

Seriously, though, the use of the word everyone in that quoted sentence is problematic for me. Certainly a lot of people did, but not most of us on the show. But, even if you did, I think you're making the faulty assumption that whatever part of the story exists in Leviathan had originally been part of Mass Effect 3 and removed, or it had been in BioWare's back pocket the whole time as additional content. I suspect that's not the case.

My not knowing (or needing to know) what's in Leviathan is the whole point. The question at hand was whether Leviathan's existence is a problem because it is missing information. It is new information, certainly, but my game is complete without it.

Plot holes exist in narratives all the time, sometimes intentionally. The only difference with video games is that there is the opportunity to retroactively add in that information later. That doesn't automatically change whether the narrative was complete originally, no more than Lucas adding content to the original work means that the 1978 Star Wars was incomplete.

It is fine to feel like a story is missing information, and it's nice for those who want that information to have this system that provides it. But for a lot of people (myself included) Mass Effect 3 stands all on its own, and the fact that Leviathan exists is completely irrelevant to me.

I would kill a man for a reboot of Immortal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Imm...(video_game)

Oh, oh and also, Impossible Mission.

Elysium wrote:

I think you're making the faulty assumption that whatever part of the story exists in Leviathan had originally been part of Mass Effect 3 and removed, or it had been in BioWare's back pocket the whole time as additional content. I suspect that's not the case.

Ok, yeah, I was exaggerating with the everyone thing. I would agree the story is now complete as it is with the ending DLC, but the original ending was way bare-bones. The main crime being that you weren't even allowed to ask any questions when you had to make the most important decision of Shepards' career. Now you can ask those question and get a sense of what impact your decision will have and why you're even making it in the first place. As for BioWare not having the leviathan DLC in their back pocket, I don't know, but if they didn't have the content already planned they at least knew of its story importance. The only other alternative is that they really had no clue what was going on either.

Elysium wrote:

Plot holes exist in narratives all the time, sometimes intentionally. The only difference with video games is that there is the opportunity to retroactively add in that information later. That doesn't automatically change whether the narrative was complete originally, no more than Lucas adding content to the original work means that the 1978 Star Wars was incomplete.

True dat. One of my favorite novels is "A Roadside Picnic" which was the inspiration for the STALKER games. It had a very ambiguous ending and was awesome at the same time.

However the original Mass Effect 3 ending was not only ambiguous, but lacked polish. I think the question in many people's minds as they were playing that last level was "when is this going to branch?" I kept expecting a similar situation to the ending of Mass Effect 2, except instead of deciding which crew member was best for a certain task I would be deciding which of my hard earned strategic assets would be best. That's the obvious parallel here, and it seems strange that there is nothing like it in the game at all. It all boils down to a single number which arbitrarily decides how many options you have for a single final decision. So gameplay-wise, it's an obvious flaw and not really what anyone wanted, including BioWare. The script itself went through many drafts and it shows. It presented a thematic shift that many felt wasn't in tune with the rest of the conflicts in the game. So, yeah, not great.

I guess my point is, we disagree, I get that. I don't think BioWare are scumbags or anything like that. DLC will always exist, but the original ending of Mass Effect 3 left many fans wanting way more than BioWare intended. Fans complain about everything, but the ME3 ending was bad enough that BioWare felt it had to be revised, so that should say something.

I wish they hadn't deleted that thread where people were asked to comment on what they would like added to the ending (you weren't allowed to change the actual outcomes, not that those were the biggest issue anyway). Many people posted long diatribes, or asked for some stupid romantic ending with their favorite gal. One guy even posted a big flowchart with how the last level should have branched based on different decisions. I knew that sort of stuff was too much to ask for so I just wrote 5-7 sentences of what was truly missing

Spoiler:

Something like: You should be able to ask the star child questions. You should also be able to refuse. Why is Joker just flying away? He wouldn't abandon Shepard so easily. Why do they crash land? Are they stuck? Why not have one of the other crew members eulogize Shepard for some sense of closure. A little epilogue would be nice just so we know what happened because of our decision a la Dragon Age.

I ended the post by saying something like 'This is the bare minimum I would expect from an ending'. Really basic information, closure. I'm sure I'm not the only one who came up with a similar list because that is almost exactly what BioWare did. I asked them for it and I'm still sore about it. It really can't be undone. Just as the original Star Wars is excellent, the original Mass Effect 3 ending will forever be underwhelming. I know internet ragers are annoying, but they have a case on this one and I feel like GWJ has pulled really hard in the other direction. Not even 'pulled' really, more like 'shrugged'. The defense I keep hearing from you guys is 'it is complete' and 'the whole game was the ending'. While the main missions leading up the the finale were great, probably some of the best in the series, the ending itself was not good.

Damn, I could keep going, ok, the for real serious conclusion is... I mad.

Spoiler:

Errata:
-What was with Shepard maybe being alive somehow in one of the Red endings? I don't think the writers even really knew.
-In the extended ending why does the ship just lift off the planet again like nothing happened. Seems like a really lazy way to answer the question of whether they were stranded or not. It just makes you wonder why they even had to crash land in the first place.
-Man that Buzz Aldrin v/o at the end was weird. Not only was it awkward but it was exactly the same in each ending, which just goes to show that your decision in that final mission has less effect on history than a butterfly flapping its wings.
-Wow, thanks for reading all that, really. You should look up Patrick Weekes, a writer for BioWare who has some interesting comments to make about how that ending came to be.

Terra Nova reboot. That just came to my mind from nowhere, and that is all.