GWJ Conference Call Episode 340

Conference Call

Metro: Last Light, Guacamele, Monster Hunter 3, Age of Wushu, Battle Block Theater, Company of Heroes 2 Beta, Age of Empires 2 HD, Lots of Your Emails and More!

Julian, Rob Zacny and Shawn get caught up on emails and talk a ton of games!

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
00.02.44 Metro: Last Light
00.11.51 Age of Wushu
00.19.44 Guacemelee!
00.24.12 Battle Block Theater
00.27.04 Monster Hunter 3
00.30.15 Company of Heroes 2
00.37.44 Infinite Crisis
00.43.35 Age of Empires II HD
00.44.47 Mario Kart 7
00.48.26 Your emails!

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Comments

Great show.

Seeing screenshots and videos of Age of Wushu makes me want a Jade Empire 2.

For A.I. I used to love it the original Ghost Recon when one of your squad way off on a flank would whisper, "Enemy spotted," and then, "Enemy down." There was something about an encounter happening out of my sight and being dealt with efficiently by my men.

Gunnar glasses reduce eyestrain, right? I'd be interested in getting some if they work.

Edit: I googled gunnars and now every advertisement I'm seeing on websites is for gunnars. Thanks Google, I guess?

Forte wrote:

Gunnar glasses reduce eyestrain, right? I'd be interested in getting some if they work.

Edit: I googled gunnars and now every advertisement I'm seeing on websites is for gunnars. Thanks Google, I guess?

I also use em and love em

Good show although the sound quality sounded off this week. Would love to see the site revisit the 1998 week concept at some point.

Thanks for reading my question, I don't think I could've timed that better with 2/3rds of 3MA on the show Very good answers!

Weird to hear Old Man Murray and NGJ dropped into the discussion. Also formalism, which I didn't realize was a huge deal lately despite recently getting into a debate about Thirty Flights of Loving on another forum.

I hadn't noticed it in previous episodes but I could hear everyone breathing into their microphones a lot this episode.

I just started Xcom: Enemy Unknown this week. I immediately wished it was on a portable platform. I don't think I'll be springing for an iPad anytime soon though.

I will probably move on to Battleblock Theatre for a good palette cleanse based on Julian's recommendation.

I would also like to thank Mr. Andrich for turning me on to Dark Souls. I am now in NewGame+ and loving the way things have scaled. I don't often play through a game a second time, but there is something about the environment, combat, and zones/bosses I missed in my first run which keeps me going. The way the multi-player is integrated, when it works, and community you can find through it creates a very Fight Club-esk connection with everyone else. I should stop talking about it...

I'd be interested to know how excited you are for the sequel!

On the topic of Gunners, I use to see them on Starcraft 2 pros, but they seem to have disappeared. If anybody needs Gunners it is those guys. Anyways, I am still intrigued by them, as I work at a computer all day, and often spend a few hours at my home computer at night. I assume they don't open a portal into a mystical world of higher resolutions, sharper images, and more accurate interfacing, but I'm curious.

In what ways have they improved your monitor viewing experience? I have multiple monitors and often notice it takes some time for my eyes to focus when jumping between them as they aren't always the same distance away.

Maybe this was better as an email.

Gunnars: I...uh...also have 2 pairs. One for work, and one for home.

Guacemelee: Would love to play this, alas, no Sony in the house :/

DC: Infinite Crisis from Turbine: Got a catch-all right over here. Got a friend over at Turbine, and the only thing he could tell me at PAX East (before it was announced) was "everyone has been playing a ton of DOTA and LoL recently". And I'm totally with Rob - I'd rather be playing established characters than random new characters.

Board games: I'm with Julian - I need quick decisions, and can't deal with a long time between interactions. I played Of Power & Glory a few weeks ago, and the subtitle for that game should be "Analysis Paralysis". It's "you go, I go" round-robin worker placement, but EVERY placement forces each player to recalculate their position and decisions. It's also a game where going LAST can trump going first, and is especially painful if you're behind the curve on unlocking workers. All three of us tried to rush getting workers, but only one player made it out, kept that advantage, and then turned it into generating VPs and hit the "auto win" condition and bypassed the rest of the scoring.

XCOM on iPad: I can't wait for this, and will totally triple-dip for it I'm with Rob's comments - strategy games are totally going to be in a sweet spot on tablets.

1998 podcast: I loved it, but please don't over do it.

McIrishJihad wrote:

Board games: I'm with Julian - I need quick decisions, and can't deal with a long time between interactions. I played Of Power & Glory a few weeks ago, and the subtitle for that game should be "Analysis Paralysis". It's "you go, I go" round-robin worker placement, but EVERY placement forces each player to recalculate their position and decisions. It's also a game where going LAST can trump going first, and is especially painful if you're behind the curve on unlocking workers. All three of us tried to rush getting workers, but only one player made it out, kept that advantage, and then turned it into generating VPs and hit the "auto win" condition and bypassed the rest of the scoring.

If you can imagine it, we had a 5 player game of Small World that descended into people becoming visibly annoyed because one player grabbed a very fiddly race/power combo (Sorcerer and something else) and promptly went into AP mode.

I strongly considered picking up a chess clock after that. If you can't plan moves when it's not your turn or can't make an non-optimal decision and live with the consequence, you're not being respectful of your fellow players. Obviously, there's exceptions to this (new players, long-form game, etc).

shoptroll wrote:
McIrishJihad wrote:

Board games: I'm with Julian - I need quick decisions, and can't deal with a long time between interactions. I played Of Power & Glory a few weeks ago, and the subtitle for that game should be "Analysis Paralysis". It's "you go, I go" round-robin worker placement, but EVERY placement forces each player to recalculate their position and decisions. It's also a game where going LAST can trump going first, and is especially painful if you're behind the curve on unlocking workers. All three of us tried to rush getting workers, but only one player made it out, kept that advantage, and then turned it into generating VPs and hit the "auto win" condition and bypassed the rest of the scoring.

If you can imagine it, we had a 5 player game of Small World that descended into people becoming visibly annoyed because one player grabbed a very fiddly race/power combo (Sorcerer and something else) and promptly went into AP mode.

I strongly considered picking up a chess clock after that. If you can't plan moves when it's not your turn or can't make an non-optimal decision and live with the consequence, you're not being respectful of your fellow players. Obviously, there's exceptions to this (new players, long-form game, etc).

EXACTLY! Do your best to plan on other player's turns, but also be willing to live with non-optimal choices.

However, if the player that wound up winning had made any sub-optimal choices, he wouldn't have won. But by entering AP mode, he also dragged the game on for an hour longer than it should have taken.

Nice to hear a mention of Battleblock Theater. I'm really surprised at how little love it's seeming to get around these parts. FYI: the "plot", such as it is, is threaded through both the single player and co-op versions. Where the game really shines is co-op, I think. They do a good job of making the two players work together at certain points in each level, but not so much that you're sitting, waiting for long periods of time for your partner to catch up if you get ahead. Also, the other co-op modes — basketball, king of the hill, etc. are a total BLAST. Everyone with an XBox should run out and buy this, if they like fun.

I feel that the whole "do I own games that I paid for on PS +" should be a FAQ by now. I'm glad you guys cleared it up during the podcast, since the guy next to me on the freeway seemed annoyed that I was yelling at my stereo.

So, I was listening the email question and answers and couldn't help but think of my time with older CRPGs. ...wait for it... Neverwinter Nights, and Neverwinter Nights 2.

I know, nobody wants to hear about decades old games like these; again; from me.

The experience of positioning your character, deciding how he will be part of the scene, and playing to make him fit the context is a rewarding experience. Now imagine that you offer input which would boggle any scripted A.I., or predetermined game plot. Now imagine that the input you offered is taken and built upon in a way that you couldn't have anticipated.

This is the roleplaying experience in an engine like the original NWN. It boggles my mind that, a crowd as sympathetic to pen and paper role playing games, LARPing getaways, and thought experiements, as (video)gamers are, hasn't demanded more of this. The usability of the original engine was undisputed among the NWN crowd, and hasn't been duplicated since. In fact, the one developer that could (I'm looking at you Obsidian) actively veered away from it.

I still believe that an open engine like this, for which it's as easy to create custom content, like in the community expansion pack for NWN1, could thrive as a versatile CRPG role playing product. Perhaps with plug-in themes. Heck, they've created everything from Star Wars, to Steam Punk as mods to the original NWN.

If you can stand bare bottom basement polygon counts, it's a worthwhile experience. A modern engine for this would be a godsend. As mentioned later in the podcast, it's not the graphics which create the enjoyable experience. They're as "stand in" as 2d tokens in an engine like Fantasy Grounds 2.

shoptroll wrote:
McIrishJihad wrote:
Board games: I'm with Julian - I need quick decisions, and can't deal with a long time between interactions. I played Of Power & Glory a few weeks ago, and the subtitle for that game should be "Analysis Paralysis". It's "you go, I go" round-robin worker placement, but EVERY placement forces each player to recalculate their position and decisions. It's also a game where going LAST can trump going first, and is especially painful if you're behind the curve on unlocking workers. All three of us tried to rush getting workers, but only one player made it out, kept that advantage, and then turned it into generating VPs and hit the "auto win" condition and bypassed the rest of the scoring.
If you can imagine it, we had a 5 player game of Small World that descended into people becoming visibly annoyed because one player grabbed a very fiddly race/power combo (Sorcerer and something else) and promptly went into AP mode.

I strongly considered picking up a chess clock after that. If you can't plan moves when it's not your turn or can't make an non-optimal decision and live with the consequence, you're not being respectful of your fellow players. Obviously, there's exceptions to this (new players, long-form game, etc).

EXACTLY! Do your best to plan on other player's turns, but also be willing to live with non-optimal choices.

However, if the player that wound up winning had made any sub-optimal choices, he wouldn't have won. But by entering AP mode, he also dragged the game on for an hour longer than it should have taken.

I agree BUT allow my soft heart to doubly reinforce Shoptroll's sentiments about those first learning the game. While those of us who learned the game on our own or are quick studies want things to flow smoothly, I'd hate to think what it would be like if you were new to a game night or a chosen game on that night and had to endure the ire of the "experienced" players who most likely invited you in the first place. What better way to learn than play the game!

Can't remember the name of the horror novel that was suggested.

Bboy_Izilla wrote:

Can't remember the name of the horror novel that was suggested.

House of Leaves

Thanks!

Aristophan wrote:

I feel that the whole "do I own games that I paid for on PS +" should be a FAQ by now. I'm glad you guys cleared it up during the podcast, since the guy next to me on the freeway seemed annoyed that I was yelling at my stereo.

hahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahhaha

Sony can't even be bothered to put a link to the PSN webstore on the playstation.com website. Do you really think they're going to do an actual FAQ?

Are Gunnars really worth it? Couldn't you get shooting glasses for 1/4 the price (http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Company-Adult-Blade-Yellow/dp/B000KK8ZRU/)? Granted they may not be as stylish but they would double as safety glasses as well.

Gunnars aren't for shooting, they're meant to reduce eye strain from computer screens. I don't know how they work, though. Sorcery, I guess.

Yellow tint, polarization, and slight magnification. Or magic.

What is this "new games journalism"? I must have missed this.

RolandofGilead wrote:

What is this "new games journalism"? I must have missed this.

There's a lot of reasonable stuff in the first page of Google results, but Cameron Kunzelman's bit on NGJ is one of the better recent pieces on the subject. (Cameron is a smart dude and personal friend.)