GWJ Conference Call Episode 359

Conference Call

Splinter Cell: Black List, Europa Universalis IV, Flashback, Your Emails and More!

This week Shawn, Julian, Allen and Graham talk about all kinds of games, their favored platforms and more. After the credits we have a FINAL spoiler section for Gone Home.

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
00.02.22 Flashback
00.09.40 Divekick
00.14.32 Splinter Cell Black List
00.23.43 Asphalt 8
00.30.16 Europe Universalis IV
00.35.10 This week's topic #1: Pre-orders and #2 main platforms!
00.46.37 And #3: Scheduling Game Time!
00.54.20 Your emails!
01.12.28 Final Gone Home Spoiler Section!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

True (Game Edit) - BigBot Audio Drop - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 34:43

Die Anyway (Game Edit) - BigBot Audio Drop - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 53:50

Comments

Holy crap, I loved Flashback! It looked great for the time, wonder if they'll bring it to PC. The new Xbox version looks amazing too.

Ok so in my brain it looked way cooler than this but back then it was awesome

Haven't listened to the podcast yet but, mex, you ever play fade to black? I actually enjoyed it even though it had crap controls! As a sequel to flashback it was pretty awesome, if not in the same genre.

Really glad you gave Asphalt 8 some love!! I'm not a fan of racing games myself, but my sis works at Gameloft and it's always nice to see their hard work pay off (seriously, you would not believe the hours they work).

Also super glad to have Graham back on the show!!

Definitely looking forward to the Gone Home spoiler section as soon as I finish the game!

Only about 30 min into the show, but I had to chime in with an AMEN to Shawn's comment about iOS gaming. I play a lot of stuff on my phone and enjoy a great deal of it (currently in double digit hours for PvZ 2), but there is most definitely a huge amount of slack given to phone games just because they are on phones.

I'm pretty sure that game you referenced is the upcoming Ocean Horn. The first trailer for that game looks terrible and would be ridiculed beyond belief if it was a Vita or 3DS game, yet the iOS community seems to be really excited for it.

If you glance at the top scores for recent games on Metacritic, it's now pretty common for over half of the top scoring games to be mobile titles. Touch Arcade and similar sites regularly give high scores to action titles or games with awful virtual thumb stick controls. I don't think I've ever lasted more than 5 minutes with virtual thumbsticks.

I just don't see any reason why we should be giving mobile games a pass when we wouldn't otherwise. I don't care if the game is just $.99. It's still a waste of my time.

Mobile games are a bit like soccer for pre-schoolers. Everyone gets a trophy for showing up.

I was ok with the killing in Manhunt because you had no choice. You were trapped in carefully engineered spaces and your only way out was past guys who were absolutely up for a little mayhem and casual homicide. It was you and your horrific makeshift weapon or them. That was the brilliant aspect of the games horror. You were the person committing the horrendous acts in the game but, if you wanted to survive, there was no choice (I had a knee jerk reaction to Cory saying that Manhunt was a bad game last episode before the more sensible parts of my brain reminded me that it's fine for people to have a contrary opinion. I enjoyed Manhunt There was a mechanic for seeing even more violent kills that I thought was a bit skeezy.)

In any game if people are actively trying to kill me, or would actively try to kill me if they knew I was there, then I'm ok with killing them.

In Assassin's Creed Revelations they toned down the guards so they wouldn't chase or attack you as you passed. I found that very unsatisfactory. I enjoyed big scraps with guards but couldn't quite bring myself to start a fight from cold. I needed to feel that the guards were responsible for the ensuing violence. I guess that's a little like the guy in the pub who wants a fight but has to manufacture a pretext, in order to feel justified in his actions, by taking offense to some random glance or casual comment.

Certis wrote:

Mobile games are a bit like soccer for pre-schoolers. Everyone gets a trophy for showing up.

3/5 Stars - TouchArcade.com

shoptroll wrote:
Certis wrote:

Mobile games are a bit like soccer for pre-schoolers. Everyone gets a trophy for showing up.

3/5 Stars - TouchArcade.com ;)

I read this on my mobile device, so more like 4.5/5 stars.

Ack, another GH spoiler section? Between that and Brothers you guys are making it tough for me to stick to my completionist nature (I listen to every GWJ podcast) as well as my cheap nature (I like to wait for sales to buy games).
Now I've got podcasts in my pile!

I asked about the relation between money and responsibility, and I'd like to ask a follow up. If a free-to-play game like League of Legends or a 60 dollar game like Call of Duty, locked everyone out of voice chat, unless you were either in a party or paid 5 dollars, would the community experience improve noticeably? Also how much public backlash would there be before people noticed benefits if any?

It's not about arbitrarily changing some feature or item. You have to design the game around ideas you have to improve the community, build from the ground up. I think Blizzard's new card game Hearthstone is a good example. It is a collectible online competitive card game that doesn't have chat. It has an emote system you can use to interact basically with players, but it has systems that prevent abuse. As a result, I would say yes, the public experience of playing random matches against online opponents will be better than it would have been otherwise.

I have seen TotalBiscuit play a lot of Hearthstone, looks like fun. Worms for facebook had that too. So if I was playing against a random opponent I could just use the speech bubbles, but I still had access to FB messaging to talk to my friends if I was playing them. The problem there is, how could you possibly communicate with a partner in Splinter Cell: Black List?
Has another game found a good way to maintain decency among its chat? I think Portal 2 and Journey might have worked a bit.

Bit of a long stretch, shoptroll. Monoco is an arcade game in speed and intention. Blacklist really isn't.

Shawn, if you liked some of the systems in Blacklist maybe it's time to revisit Monaco? Some of the things you describe like Blacklist not penalizing you for being caught on Normal difficulty or giving an indicator for where the AI last spotted you are present in Monaco as well.

Just trying to suss out why Blacklist works for you but Monaco didn't (if I'm remembering the Monaco episode properly).

So it's more the pacing/style than the raw mechanics or their execution?

Also, if I had a dollar for every long stretch comparison I made, I'd be rich by now.

I'm glad to hear Divekick getting a little love. I think that it's going to remain one of those games that's talked about for years to come because it strips the fighting genre down so perfectly. I've heard almost universal acclaim for it once people have given it a chance, even those who thought it'd be terrible going in. It's on sale right now for the big ol' Greenlight sale, so now's a great chance to get it.

gravity wrote:

I'm glad to hear Divekick getting a little love.

ONE OF US!

I really am baffled by the dismissive take a lot of folks have here. This isn't Surgeon Simulator. It's super smart and well designed. I'm kind of in love with it.

Come on History Games guys, Crusader Kings 2?!

Dyni:

I think that ties into a previous CC discussion where indie games are also given a pass for things the crew wouldn't forgive in a $60 game. The cost does factor into it. I'm a lot more willing to forgive cut corners and focused experiences in a $0.99 product, whatever platform it might be on.

I like these multiple topics/longer shows we've been having.

LarryC wrote:

Dyni:

I think that ties into a previous CC discussion where indie games are also given a pass for things the crew wouldn't forgive in a $60 game. The cost does factor into it. I'm a lot more willing to forgive cut corners and focused experiences in a $0.99 product, whatever platform it might be on.

To an extent, but it's not the same thing. Price is only a minor factor. Well regarded indie games usually get a pass because they're trying to do something unique and interesting. Mobile games usually get a pass because they're on a phone.

Let's look at some of the highest rated 2d platformers of the last decade.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/plays...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/ios/m...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/ds/ne...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/ra...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii-u...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii/d...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii/k...

One of these is not like the others. Would Mikey Shorts be the 2nd best reviewed 2d platformer in that list if it wasn't a mobile game?

No, it would not. And yes, I have played every game on that list (except Rayman Legends).

I looked up the ending to Gone Home

Spoiler:

I teared up a little. Why was Lonnie having to leave in the first place?

I was gobsmacked at Graham's tales of offstage gaming during a show! I told my wife, who used to be an actor, and she said "That's great, such a good idea."

I dips me lid, sir.

RolandofGilead wrote:

I looked up the ending to Gone Home

Spoiler:

I teared up a little. Why was Lonnie having to leave in the first place?

Spoiler:

She'd been in JROTC and was headed for basic training.

I'm sure I remember someone on the podcast recommending TouchArcade at some point

As much as I enjoy iOS gaming (Walking Dead anyone?), it's embarassing reading mobile reviews sometimes. PvZ2 going Free To Play was pretty depressing too. I'm actually looking enviously at the Vita at the moment for games like Disgaea and Wipeout.

Dyni wrote:
LarryC wrote:

Dyni:

I think that ties into a previous CC discussion where indie games are also given a pass for things the crew wouldn't forgive in a $60 game. The cost does factor into it. I'm a lot more willing to forgive cut corners and focused experiences in a $0.99 product, whatever platform it might be on.

To an extent, but it's not the same thing. Price is only a minor factor. Well regarded indie games usually get a pass because they're trying to do something unique and interesting. Mobile games usually get a pass because they're on a phone.

Let's look at some of the highest rated 2d platformers of the last decade.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/plays...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/ios/m...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/ds/ne...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/ra...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii-u...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii/d...
http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii/k...

One of these is not like the others. Would Mikey Shorts be the 2nd best reviewed 2d platformer in that list if it wasn't a mobile game?

No, it would not.

Actually, that looks pretty slick.

But then the one I singled out as "not like the others" was Fez.