GWJ Conference Call Episode 338

Conference Call

Bioshock Infinite, Toilet Tossing, Sentinels of The Multiverse, Our PAX 2013 Impressions, Post-Credit Bioshock Infinite Spoiler Section With Guest Jeff Cannata, Your Emails and More!

This week Shawn, Elysium and Julian have a non-spoiler discussion of Bioshock Infinite. They also share their PAX 2013 thoughts and impressions! After the credits, Shawn, Cory and Jeff Cannata have a spoiler discussion about Bioshock Infinite.

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
00.01.35 McChuck's LAN cafe Birthday Party & Half-Life 2 multiplayer
00.04.01 Rabbit plays Sentinels of the Multiverse
00.07.19 Bioshock Infinite
00.41.04 This week's topic: PAX 2013!
01.09.58 Your emails!
01.22.31 Bioshock Infinite spoiler section!

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Comments

I love that Ducktales remix.

plavonica wrote:
Kezir wrote:

You are not alone! Let me say that it is good to hear others suffering the same issue with the Mouse/Keyboard v. Controller. I might have to officially make the switch to controller on my PC. After 4 hours of gaming last night I could hardly move my wrist...such a shame.

I have had a couple of friends have success using a trackball mouse, you and others with this issue might want to look into it.

This. I have a Kensington trackball, and it's been a game-saver.

As much as I love Bioshock Infinite, I think it would be incorrect to call Elizabeth "revolutionary". Everything that Elizabeth does is highly iterative of what Valve did with Alyx in Half-Life 2 (and especially the episodes). Thank God for Irrational coming in and refining the idea, as Valve won't be releasing more Half-Life until just before the universe closes, but it's not something we haven't seen before.

Elizabeth reminded me of Elika.

IMAGE(http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/0/112/904452-pop_wallpaper_16_1280.jpg)

The female assistant goes back at least to the mid-20th C., with private investigator's assistants. I've seen the endless supply of useful items used in tandem with a Mary Poppins-esque bottomless handbag.

wordsmythe wrote:

The female assistant goes back at least to the mid-20th C., with private investigator's assistants. I've seen the endless supply of useful items used in tandem with a Mary Poppins-esque bottomless handbag.

Not all of us are as old as Rabbit. I prefer to think of this storage like Hermione Granger's Beaded Handbag.

S0LIDARITY wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

The female assistant goes back at least to the mid-20th C., with private investigator's assistants. I've seen the endless supply of useful items used in tandem with a Mary Poppins-esque bottomless handbag.

Not all of us are as old as Rabbit. I prefer to think of this storage like Hermione Granger's Beaded Handbag.

Gotta love the Bag of Holding +1. Just don't open it underwater

Aww, just got around to listening to the episode today - thanks for the shoutout, guys - it was great hangout out with you, and the tabletop gang!

I find that now, at my third Pax, the thing I really treasure is spending time with friends, old and new, that I connect with digitally year-round, but only once or twice a year in person. Tabletop, and helping to provide a safe, stable place there, is by far the best way of fulfilling my goals. Much love to Monocheli, Padriec, Atras, Merphle, and the other regulars at what is effectively the coolest bar in Boston (sans alcohol).

rabbit wrote:

But then we wouldn't get to hear the sound effect of her tossing him money. And honestly, that's my favorite sound effect int he game.

shoptroll wrote:
rabbit wrote:

But then we wouldn't get to hear the sound effect of her tossing him money. And honestly, that's my favorite sound effect int he game.

That whooshing sound when she throws stuff at you? I kind of want that as the mail notification on my smart phone.

Speaking of which...

Spoiler:

does anyone know if the coins always come up heads or tails when you catch them?

Coin Flip sound
https://soundcloud.com/pornstorestif...

Bioshock Infinity... the pain... the pain

Why? Why is this game so overrated?
Did the media make a pact due to the current games drought?
I mean ok it might be an 8 but a 9 or even 10?!

Where to start... Obviously the worst element of the game:

Elizabeth
You know Elizabeth is the worst companion character in any game ever.
She also takes the crown for worst or most mediocre AI of a companion NPC.

I guess all the fans are up in arms by now. So let me explain:

She is completely invisible to enemies and also does not fight - and that in a game where you have to fight just a bit too much.
All she is good for are (one button) quicktime events. That really was a blow when I realized all the interactivity with her are mere "push a button" events.
For example when she throws a coin to the player for example. This is a gameplay element people consider great? Random cheap one button events? Come on!
Or when she throws ammo at you? The ammo made me realize how unimportant those throws actually are in terms of the gameplay. So if the level designers would have included just a bit more ammo in the ammo boxes those ammo throws from Elizabeth would have been completely obsolete!!
And the lock picking... How cheap. I read that people complained she couldnt pick up the lock picks herself.... AS IF THIS IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM ABOUT LOCKPICKING, LOL!
Lockpicking as everything is: push one button. No skill required. No minigame, no cool rotate the vibrating thumbsticks, nothing - push a button. Where are all those folks now that always complain gameplay nowadays is dumbed down?!?
It also seems bizar Booker doesnt pick the locks himself. Almost seems like they let Elizabeth pick the locks so that there at least are one or two reason to keep Elizabeth around. But from a gameplay standpoint this is really a sad part of the game.

Lets face it: From a gameplay standpoint Elizabeth is just a glorified walking voxophone.

All that considered I must say Alex from Half Life 2 left me more impressed and that game is way older than Infinity.
Or even the presidents daughter in Resi 4! She was not invisible to the enemies. And there was a lot of cool interactivity with her: She duck when she was in the way of your shooting line. You could tell her to hide in boxes. Zombies put her over the shoulder and ran away with her so you had to carefully shoot the zombie down to free her. That was really memorable and way more sophisticated than the invisible "push a button" Elizabeth.

Amazingly interesting is the "Aliens Colonial Marines" Effect. Yes you read right. Why did the high court of Forum bashers let Irrational get away with the stuff they crucified Gearbox for.
When I finished the game I missed the sequence with the dead horse or that hanging of elizabeth with Booker at the sniper rifle I saw in all the trailers.
Also the skyline areas are significantly smaller now than the ones they originally presented in the trailers.
And the tears also had way cooler implementations in all the preview footage.
Elizabeth was also fleshed out way more in the preview footage. For example they showed a gameplay scene where you entered a store with her and she took about every item from the store in her hands and commented on it and so on. in the final game these moments are far and seldom! Also you could interact with your plasmids with her.

Wasn't Bioshock Infinity delayed? Maybe they cut all that stuff out because they didnt get it to work? I dont want to repeat myself but all the walking voxophone is good for in the final game are those one button events that require no skill whatsoever by the player.

Also I think this game is a whole lot like the other Bioshock or even Systemshock games.

You know there have been numerous Tomb Raider incarnations that were released over the years but they achieved to make the latest TR game feel fresh even without a dubious delay.

Dont get me wrong. Bioshock is not a bad game but 9 or 10? Or the ravings of our beloved GwJ podcasters about Bioshock and Elizabeth in particular.... that made me realize you can not only rate videogames you can also rate game reviewers and podcasters. There are good and biased ones....... I kid, I kid - hold your horses I love the GwJ podcasting gang!

I'll leave it assumed that I pleasantly disagree with large swaths of that, except on one point.

There is no doubt. I'm completely biased on certain games and games makers. I'll be the first to admit it. However, I've written about bias before and the fact that not only do I feel it's inevitable, but also that it's not a bad thing. I'm not biased because someone paid me off -- I'm biased because I like the company, the history of the games, the people I know at Irrational, the style of the game and the themes. Same's true for a few other developers. I'm comfortable with it at this point.

I am such a glutton for punishment, I played the game twice, then I bought a Season Pass.

Throughout that rant about Bioshock Infinite, it seems like you didn't once mention the setting, the plot or the questions it raises.

It's totally 100% fine if you weren't really interested in those things, but that's one of the main reasons why it gets rated so high -- if not THE main reason. Speaking for myself, I find the gameplay pretty average, probably somewhat above average. It's the setting that is amazing.

Was this the fastest turnaround on a spoiler section ever for the Conference Call?

Elysium wrote:

I'll leave it assumed that I pleasantly disagree with large swaths of that, except on one point.

There is no doubt. I'm completely biased on certain games and games makers. I'll be the first to admit it. However, I've written about bias before and the fact that not only do I feel it's inevitable, but also that it's not a bad thing. I'm not biased because someone paid me off -- I'm biased because I like the company, the history of the games, the people I know at Irrational, the style of the game and the themes. Same's true for a few other developers. I'm comfortable with it at this point.

I have to agree bias in general is inevitable the minute you begin any research on a subject, too many factors can play a part in pre-judgement. As long as someone is up front about bias, I can see no issue. The only type of bias I am against is payed for bias, but then again, if someone is up front you know what you are getting.

Great spoiler section!

Spoiler:

A couple of things:

- BioShock had ghosts too, but not zombies in the traditional sense. I think you can argue some of the splicer types were analogous to zombies, but that's a little bit of a stretch.

- Definitely got the feeling they cut a good amount of content. Like I said in the spoiler thread, I really wish there was a "Final Hours of BioShock: Infinite", because I have a feeling part of the reason the game was pushed back almost a year was due to editing the game to change the focus and pacing to what we see now. I really think it's a shame they had a huge marketing campaign before they went into a blackout because the game seems to have gone through some major revisions in the intervening year. I want a Director's Cut too, although if that can't happen I'll gladly take DLC focusing on some of the things like Songbird and the Vox v. Founder conflict that were shoved to the background.

- While I agree BioShock's narrative did a better job reinforcing it's world, I think BioShock: Infinite's narrative is a lot more confident in what it was trying to do, and it's certainly a lot more focused in the pacing (even though the 2nd act kinda drags/meanders)

- Hard difficulty wasn't worth the extra effort, and I dropped it about 4-5 hours in and had a much more enjoyable experience because of that. There really needed to be a difficulty halfway between normal and hard.

- I had a similar problem with Fitzroy's characterization in the game. I think it's a disservice to the player/narrative when developers tuck backstory into the expanded universe. Starcraft II had a similar issue by introducing a number of characters in their expanded universe following Starcraft I and then roping those characters into the core experience in Starcraft II. As I had no exposure to the expanded universe I had a really hard time figuring out why I should care about them when they're poorly realized in the game. That 30 page novella prequel to BioShock: Infinite is the sort of thing you used to see in manuals which would help flesh out the story and world and were considered part of the core experience because they came with the game. I almost feel like we've lost something by removing manuals from the experience of owning a game.

I finished Bioshock Infinite last night, and so I got a chance to to listen to the spoiler section today. I thought it was a great discussion, and I look forward to the Levine interview.

Spoiler:

Upon reflection, I felt that the game was very much a father/daughter story. Both Comstock and DeWitt make really poor decisions regarding their daughter(s), and trying to recover that relationship is part of the redemption story being played out. Even the fact that Elizabeth looks better than other characters can be chalked up to a father's view of his daughter. I wonder if these issues will be addressed in the interview, since both Sean and Julian have kids, while this crew does not.

At 1H04M Shawn talks about an episode of A Life Well Wasted regarding Gasketball, which episode is that? It wasn't clear to me looking at the website.

S0LIDARITY wrote:

At 1H04M Shawn talks about an episode of A Life Well Wasted regarding Gasketball, which episode is that? It wasn't clear to me looking at the website.

It's the latest one. http://alifewellwasted.com/2013/03/2...

Thanks Shawn.

Hi - first time poster, big fan of the show. I've got to ask, because I've been eagerly waiting for this Ken Levine interview for awhile now --- when can we expect to hear it?

sclpls wrote:

Hi - first time poster, big fan of the show. I've got to ask, because I've been eagerly waiting for this Ken Levine interview for awhile now --- when can we expect to hear it?

Sadly, the Ken Levine audio got garbled and we lost it. We're still planning to have him on at some point!

Certis wrote:
sclpls wrote:

Hi - first time poster, big fan of the show. I've got to ask, because I've been eagerly waiting for this Ken Levine interview for awhile now --- when can we expect to hear it?

Sadly, the Ken Levine audio got garbled and we lost it. We're still planning to have him on at some point!

Follow up question: DARK SOULS EPISODE????????????

Dyni wrote:
Certis wrote:
sclpls wrote:

Hi - first time poster, big fan of the show. I've got to ask, because I've been eagerly waiting for this Ken Levine interview for awhile now --- when can we expect to hear it?

Sadly, the Ken Levine audio got garbled and we lost it. We're still planning to have him on at some point!

Follow up question: DARK SOULS EPISODE????????????

:D

Hey, we got and hour and a half of video for it right here! http://www.youtube.com/user/GWJPlays

Certis wrote:
Dyni wrote:
Certis wrote:
sclpls wrote:

Hi - first time poster, big fan of the show. I've got to ask, because I've been eagerly waiting for this Ken Levine interview for awhile now --- when can we expect to hear it?

Sadly, the Ken Levine audio got garbled and we lost it. We're still planning to have him on at some point!

Follow up question: DARK SOULS EPISODE????????????

:D

Hey, we got and hour and a half of video for it right here! http://www.youtube.com/user/GWJPlays

I know! Watched all 3, and they were great.

I mention it only because I remember you guys stating that you were trying to arrange a Dark Souls podcast discussion at some point. Is that off the table? No complaints if so. I mean, 3 let's play videos is much more than any other game has gotten, but I'm always eager for more Dark Souls content.

You can't blame a guy for trying

Certis wrote:
sclpls wrote:

Hi - first time poster, big fan of the show. I've got to ask, because I've been eagerly waiting for this Ken Levine interview for awhile now --- when can we expect to hear it?

Sadly, the Ken Levine audio got garbled and we lost it. We're still planning to have him on at some point!

That is sad! There has been so much good commentary surrounding this game after people finished it, and had a chance to discuss what they thought about the game, various theories, critiques, etc. I hope you have a chance to get him on, although I imagine it will be challenging because it seems like Irrational is now under a lot of pressure to grind out DLC for the game!