GWJ Conference Call Episode 342

Conference Call

Monaco, Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen, MLB 13: The Show, Don't Starve, Injustice iOS, A Graham Rowat Reading, Let's Watch Other People Play, Your Emails and More!

This week Shawn, Cory and Jonathan talk about the proliferation of Let's Play style videos. We also have a new reading by 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
00.01.28 Don't Starve
00.08.27 MLB 13: The Show
00.15.57 Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
00.22.26 Real Racing 3 and Injustice
00.27.14 Monaco
00.35.59 Graham Rowat reads Certis' Bearing Witness!
00.41.33 This week's topic: Watching people play games!
00.58.20 Your emails!

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Comments

Eroticism is not graphical nudity. Your brain is the greatest sensual organ. The best erotic video games leverage that. There's nothing wrong with Dating Sims. The Japanese ones are generally the products pushing the envelope or holding the fort.

Frankly, I don't understand the obvious contempt GWJ CC has for dating sim games. Uncomfortable with sex?

It's odd you think a lecture followed by a poor assumption is a good way to start a conversation. It's left me completely uninterested in engaging with you.

It was an honest question; the one I thought was less presumptive. I can't think of any other possible reason that might be considered a less poor assumption. At least one of you is generally open to games that the others might consider "bad." "Chasing dots" space games you gave a good college try, Certis.

What makes it a poor assumption? It is offensive in some way? If so, I apologize. It is not intended to be offensive. Does anyone on the CC have a heart for Datings Sims? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Cory, you might want to try some of the more strategic baseball games out there, like Out of the Park or Baseball Mogul, that focus less on the twitch and the rules, and more on the long-term strategy of balancing player acquisition and team economy. I'm pretty terrible at MLB The Show (I have the '12 version on my Vita) and I understand the game down to the core of my DNA.

I think there is a way to get The Show playing somewhat like R.B.I., and it would involve timing hitting, classic pitching, and button (not auto) fielding with the throwing meters disabled. The menus can be a bit confusing, however.

I'm curious if Cory or Jonathan have played far enough into the Injustice iOS game to hit the ridonkulous difficulty spike?

I was really enjoying it until they started throwing in enemies who were twice the level of even my highest character, and were able to one-hit kill not just 1, but 2 of my squadmates. I'm not kidding, Bane has a 1-2 punch power move that will instakill one of my teammates on the first punch, and instakill another teammate right as they get tagged in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NNb-...

I got to the same level at this ^^^ guy, replayed it ~30 times or so, and finally uninstalled it from my iPhone.

It's interesting to see that on the exact same battle, aside from Bane, I had a totally different team of enemies I was fighting against.

Slumberland wrote:

I think there is a way to get The Show playing somewhat like R.B.I., and it would involve timing hitting, classic pitching, and button (not auto) fielding with the throwing meters disabled. The menus can be a bit confusing, however.

That would be fun (RBI was a blast back in the day) but I also want to learn how The Show plays, too. I think I have the hang of beginner pitching and hitting, but I want to learn fielding.

nel e nel wrote:

I'm curious if Cory or Jonathan have played far enough into the Injustice iOS game to hit the ridonkulous difficulty spike?

I was really enjoying it until they started throwing in enemies who were twice the level of even my highest character, and were able to one-hit kill not just 1, but 2 of my squadmates. I'm not kidding, Bane has a 1-2 punch power move that will instakill one of my teammates on the first punch, and instakill another teammate right as they get tagged in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NNb-...

I got to the same level at this ^^^ guy, replayed it ~30 times or so, and finally uninstalled it from my iPhone.

It's interesting to see that on the exact same battle, aside from Bane, I had a totally different team of enemies I was fighting against.

I did hit that point, but it was also around the time I was playing the full Injustice game, so putting it down didn't bother me as much. And I admit, I haven't gone back.

Demiurge wrote:

I did hit that point, but it was also around the time I was playing the full Injustice game, so putting it down didn't bother me as much. And I admit, I haven't gone back.

Yeah, I haven't picked up the console version, so between that and the - what looked like - rather underwhelming unlocks, I wasn't really inspired to continue.

It was an honest question; the one I thought was less presumptive. I can't think of any other possible reason that might be considered a less poor assumption. At least one of you is generally open to games that the others might consider "bad." "Chasing dots" space games you gave a good college try, Certis.

What makes it a poor assumption? It is offensive in some way? If so, I apologize. It is not intended to be offensive. Does anyone on the CC have a heart for Datings Sims? Inquiring minds would like to know.

I'll bite, and I warn you in advance. My answer is not satisfying at all.

I am not interested in playing what I think a dating sim is. Which is to say, I've never played one, but I have a preconceived notion of what I think it is, and to date no one whose gaming opinion I look toward has actively disavowed me of that assumption. I take no general issue with sexuality in video games, but I fear that the way dating sims have been described to me sounds like a version of gaming sexuality I'm not interested in.

Like I said, it's not based on my actual experience, and I realize that means I may very well be completely incorrect about what these games actually do.

Elysium:

That's about what I surmised. One thing I admire about you is that you're not afraid to own up to your preconceptions. It's a little disappointing in this case, but not unexpected and certainly not unsatisfying.

I think you've played one, though. The format and technique of both DA2 and ME are broadly dating sim-ish. They simply lack the gratuitous nudity, but several dating sims have versions that scrub those away for those who prefer a cleaner experience.

+1 for "sports ball"

And, as always, another great reading by growat.

RE: eroticism in gaming. I'm with the CC crew on this one - when I'm looking for that, games aren't even to the uncanny valley yet to be able to treat it as art. And to tack on where Cory was going, let's get love and strong female characters in place first before we start trying to handle eroticism without, what I feel is the current norm, of exploitation.

Corey, give Monaco single-player a try. Multiplayer is definitely a lot more yakkity-sax than you probably want in a stealth game (to be fair, I imagine any stealth action game with more than 1 player is going to be a giant comedy of errors because that's just how multiplayer games go). Single-player will let you proceed at your own pace without all the systems going haywire because people.

Also, it gives you 3 tries to complete the level. Each time you die that character is dead for the rest of the level, so you have to be smart about the ordering for the characters you use.

LarryC never misses an opportunity to talk about dating sims.

Getting a taste of game-feel is a great raison d'etre for these LPs (which brought visions of my dad's record collection every time Jonathan said it). I don't know that I'd have purchased Injustice without being sufficiently impressed by a Twitch stream.

I find that I like written LPs and AARs more than video/commentary ones, but yeah - style and personality make all the difference.

Slumberland wrote:

Getting a taste of game-feel is a great raison d'etre for these LPs (which brought visions of my dad's record collection every time Jonathan said it). I don't know that I'd have purchased Injustice without being sufficiently impressed by a Twitch stream.

I was totally jarred every time someone said, "watching an LP."

IMAGE(https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/4994391296/hB3E19313/)

I laughed every time Cory said 'sportsball.' I like sports but I could totally relate to Cory's experience. I played quite a bit of MLB 2K11 in college with one of my roommates. I only understood it because my friend figured out the mechanics on his own and showed me base-running, hitting, and pitching. Neither of us understood fielding, we just let the computer play that part. I never would have figured it out on my own and didn't find much help on the interwebs to explain the parts of the game that confused me.

About physical media/EB Games/GameStop:
I'm a minion at GS, and think the pawn shop approach was awful. I'm excited about the diversification through some stores offering board games, and I truly hope it comes to my store.

On the other hand, on top of the frustration of being forced to sell iPods, iPhones, and prepaid cell phone plans, we're asked to push things like notification lists for the PS4, which I assume is corporate trying to gauge interest in upcoming systems. I don't understand who this list is aimed at. I know how to use the internet, I follow r/games and r/gaming, and know when games are coming out (like COD Ghosts) before they're official. A week later, I can finally tell people to preorder. At least it's a game I'm looking forward to. This year feels kind of desolate for me as a gamer, because I don't follow the hype machine well, though I'm supposed to spew it.

The other frustration behind not-games being sold is our selection doesn't seem to change, and the price structure makes as much sense as the the rest of our store. I'd love to have iPod touch 5gens in stock, but we've sat on 1st and 2nd gens. [For instance, the only reason I wanted the 3rd gen touch I own is it docks better than the 4th gens, and I don't even want to to think about explaining the peripheral difference for 5th gen aftermarket speakers.]

I hesitate to fully open up about my job frustrations online, because I want to KEEP my job, but the corporate climate seems so disconnected from actual gamers. I love most of my customers, and my favorite interactions usually start with "I'm here to pick up..." pause, pull out the cell phone, scroll for a second, "[the game that just came out] for Johnny." I like helping parents that don't get it, but I'd love to talk to people my age excited for things coming out, but most 20-somethings see the beauty in pre-ordering from Amazon and not attending midnight launches.

I get the feeling that GS execs have no idea how to keep the company afloat, as proven by the services we're forced to push. Elysium, the three-part article you wrote back in 2005 still hits the nail on the head, and very little has changed about the corporate culture. I was expecting part of this coming in, I love the store I work at, but am glad this is my part-time gig (if I manage to keep it after being honest online) and is not the only work environment I have.

Great article. It perfectly captures a state of limbo we all experience from time to time. It was nicely read as always.

When I was into Myth I used to watch matches in the 'Myth World Cup.' It was facinating to watch great teams going up against each other. You could even hear the chat of the team who recorded the match. Very exciting.

I watch some videos for tips and ways to get around blocks in single player.

There are also games that I know I can't play myself, because I have an extremely low threshold for frustration, but I enjoy watching other people play. DayZ is a prime example.

nel e nel wrote:

I'm curious if Cory or Jonathan have played far enough into the Injustice iOS game to hit the ridonkulous difficulty spike?

I was really enjoying it until they started throwing in enemies who were twice the level of even my highest character, and were able to one-hit kill not just 1, but 2 of my squadmates. I'm not kidding, Bane has a 1-2 punch power move that will instakill one of my teammates on the first punch, and instakill another teammate right as they get tagged in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NNb-...

I got to the same level at this ^^^ guy, replayed it ~30 times or so, and finally uninstalled it from my iPhone.

It's interesting to see that on the exact same battle, aside from Bane, I had a totally different team of enemies I was fighting against.

Yep, the game is brutal with its difficulty spikes. It happens multiple times, and the only way to power through is by grinding earlier stages to get you character levels up, and earn enough coins to buy higher tier characters. I am currently on battle 32, so it is possible. I just resorted to mindless grinding while watching TV.

Oh, totally forgot about watching games.

I'll watch LPs for games I'm on the fence with, or if I know it'll be crazy (Nerd^3's play of Surgeon Simulator, for example).

I'll also check vids when I'm super stuck on a part. And then, of course, I get to see that one stupid weak spot that just wasn't obvious.

I haven't gotten to the point of watching LP Series, in lieu of playing a game.

Shawn, I just noticed that you forgot to link to the interactive fiction thing Cory described as a dating sim.

Wait, I thought the GWJ forums were intended as an online dating sim with Elysium... wink wink <3

Mex wrote:

Wait, I thought the GWJ forums were intended as an online dating sim with Jeff Goldblum... wink wink <3

FTFY

Great reading by Graham Rowat!! I was super glad you guys picked that piece to read, because I hadn't actually read it on the site (must've missed it), and it was really thought provoking. I couldn't actually relate, because I myself won't systematically sign in on Steam, but I could understand where you were coming from. There's definitely a shift in how we game and relate with other gamers.

I never watch Let's Plays. Okay, very, very, very rarely. The only Let's Play I had started to watch was the LP of Legaia 2 by Graham & Paul over on Escapist Mag. I quickly lost interest, and the only LPs I watched since then (thanks, by the way, didn't know "LP" was a thing) are videos of jumping puzzles in Guild Wars 2 when I'm truly stumped and the wiki's description is just unhelpful. That's it.
I don't watch people playing in real life either... The one glaring exception was my husband playing Walking Dead, and even then, I was doing something else, not 100% watching.
Then again, I haven't bought a strategy guide since King's Quest Companion (second edition).

Oh wow, you read my e-mail! Sorry about that, I should've provided a pronunciation guide for my handle, it's "ehleh-EE-mah" (sorry, I can't write in phonetics, but you couldn't read it anyhow, right? right? ), it's supposed to sound elvishy/medievaly, whatever. I am aware that it has too many vowels in there, though, I really am. Which is why I provided the alternatives. ^_^ Interesting that you guys mostly talked mostly about pediatrics, kids with autism, I was thinking more on a larger scale. While I basically with all you guys said, we as gamers tend to forget that the public is often dismissive of video games, and doctors are sometimes slow to change. Anyhow, just a tidbit I found interesting, and nope, I had no idea you had lazy eye, Cory. A lot of adults have it to a degree, it's not that uncommon.

Did you guys really find that Mass Effect's sex scene was that bad? Granted, the scenes in Dragon Age (particular Origins) were really, really bad, and I'm not a fan of the scenes in Mass Effect 2 or 3, but I thought ME1 did it pretty well. Kinda the "less is more." They didn't show much, just short flashes, and suggested more than showed. Your imagination does the rest after that.
Was positively giggling when you guys mentioned Leisure Suit Larry. Yeah, like Larry said, it was good when I was 10. Definitely not a work of art.

Anywho, another great podcast, hear you guys next week!

S0LIDARITY wrote:

Shawn, I just noticed that you forgot to link to the interactive fiction thing Cory described as a dating sim.

Good catch! Added.

Great reading by Graham Rowat!! I was super glad you guys picked that piece to read, because I hadn't actually read it on the site (must've missed it), and it was really thought provoking. I couldn't actually relate, because I myself won't systematically sign in on Steam, but I could understand where you were coming from. There's definitely a shift in how we game and relate with other gamers.

Thanks! I wrote that one years ago.

Eleima wrote:

I am aware that it has too many vowels in there, though, I really am.

Say what now?

Duoae wrote:
Eleima wrote:

I am aware that it has too many vowels in there, though, I really am.

Say what now?

*cough* Let me try that again. I am aware that my handle has way too many vowels. Better?

Duoae wrote:
Eleima wrote:
Duoae wrote:
Eleima wrote:

I am aware that it has too many vowels in there, though, I really am.

Say what now?

*cough* Let me try that again. I am aware that my handle has way too many vowels. Better?

I'm not sure... Let me roll your handle on my tongue a few more times...

To be fair, I read your name as Eh-lee-ma... because usually "e" and "i" merge together. I can't work out how your version works because it's really hard for me to say and I think I must be reading it wrong.

Eh-lay-ma to my eyes. I tend to diphthong things though, and it could be Eh-lay-ii-ma.