GWJ Conference Call Episode 369

Conference Call

Battlefield 4, Batman: Arkham Origins, Eldritch, Typing of The Dead: Overkill, Sir You Are Being Hunted, Rocksmith 2014 From the Newbie Perspective, Annualized Franchises, Your Emails and More!

This week Cory, Allen, Elysium and Shawn talk a bunch of games and annual franchises.

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

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Caught in the Beat - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 45:36

At the Count - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 1:02:58

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

Yes, I know you can select different scopes on the Battlefield 4 starting sniper rifle. Yes, I was wrong in the show recording.

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Arkham Origins has burnt me irrevocably.

Last Friday they released the patch that fixed the vent Certis mentioned but I was already up to Firefly, which I discovered is firmly on a straight line to the end (ie I couldnt' do anything except progress to the end of the game).

I went ahead and finished the game thinking I could go back and complete everything else afterwards only to discover that I couldn't interact with anything, so restarted the game that inexplicably now thought I hadn't started the game!

The boss fights are also too much like quicktime events and they don't explain anywhere that you're supposed to scan the Anarchy symbols spray painted around the city - I only found out because there's an achievement for it!

Urgh, just thinking of the game makes me angry.

I think Rocksteady Studios are aware of the lackluster reception of Arkham Origins because I've read a few stories that sound like they're trying to distance themselves from it, saying that they've been working on the real sequel.

Thanks for the new episode!

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Batman in Japan needs to happen.

Possible titles:

Batman: Arkham Tokyo Division
Batman: Arkham Japan
Batman: Tokyo City
Japanese Batman: Origins
Arkham presents: Batman in Japan

Funny you should ask if the repeating franchises are a little like junk food at this stage. I'd just been wondering the same thing. With a few games recently I've enjoyed them and found them packed with content but after finishing the game have found myself strangely dissatisfied. I can't pin down why. The games are chock full of things to do and they are sequels to games I want sequels to. Possibly nostalgia is making those older games better or maybe it's the fact that I've done the things the games are offering many times already.

I do feel for the developers who create these sequels. They pour their heart and soul into making the best damn Assassin's Creed game they can and then someone asks them to make another one but with slightly different solutions to some of the problems they encountered last time. I guess that's all part of the job.

I haven't listened to the whole thing yet, but nothing more about Hilden?

Higgledy wrote:

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Batman in Japan needs to happen.

How about a Batman - Hello Kitty crossover?

"Hello Kitty-woman" perhaps?

No love for trackballs? My m570 is easily the best way I've found to get that console 'lean back' experience on a PC.

Nevin73 wrote:

I haven't listened to the whole thing yet, but nothing more about Hilden?

Not for now.

Thanks for reading my email out, it's always nice to hear you discuss what question has spewed out of my head

I do have a gripe over how you managed to talk about annualised games yet skipped over the biggest selling sports one, which is FIFA. It's of special interest as it I believe it is the only sports game that has a rival in the form of Pro Evo. But considering few of you actually play FIFA I wasn't that surprised you missed it. Pity really as that game is so packed full of features it goes way beyond just being a simple sports sim. I know of many people who just buy FIFA and CoD every year and are more than entertained by both. There are times I'm even envious of them, until I remember that if I did the same I would have never played Hotline Miami, Proteus, Gone Home, Primordia, Torchlight 2 and so on...

I think the 'work experience' podcast needs to be named the DTFCast now.

I am sorry everyone has been having such a hard time with Batman - but I have been absolutely LOVING it. For me it is a serious selling point that it is so derivative from the original game. I feel like the city is tighter, the combat is super clean, and the graphics look great. I have also enjoyed the story the most out of all three games. For me, this is the best Batman game yet. It is absolutely my GOTY 2013.

I agree it has been buggy, and I wish there weren't MP attached, but man what a great Batman game!

SallyNasty wrote:

I am sorry everyone has been having such a hard time with Batman - but I have been absolutely LOVING it.

Yeah! I've finished now, and I really really enjoyed it.

Aeoringas wrote:

I do have a gripe over how you managed to talk about annualised games yet skipped over the biggest selling sports one, which is FIFA.

I had some people reach out to me on Twitter about this, too. The fact is, we don't play FIFA. It's just not on my radar, even though my UK counterparts go nuts for it. Chalk it up to cultural differences, I guess.

We're actually the same way about CoD (Ghosts will be my first one since the original, believe it or not). Just not our scene.

Aw, don't worry, Shawn, you'll always be "that purse guy" to us.
Loved the podcast, and was listening to the hardware section feeling a bit inadequate. I only have a lowly Logitech G500 mouse, and I've had the same 10$ Logitech keyboard for the past seven years (got ya beat, Shawn! ). Honestly, they've served me well, and I haven't really felt the need for anything better.
Haven't played Arkham Origins yet, but I've definitely gotten bored with Assassin's Creed. AC2 was awesome, Brotherhood was meh (sorry Higgledy ) and seemed more of the same with henchmen thrown in, and then Revelations just killed it for me. Aside from the zip-lines, it was just more of the same, and I got major fatigue for the franchise. Probably timely, considering all the negative feedback I've been getting regarding AC3. I'll probably get around to AC3 & AC4 eventually, but I'll be waiting for sales. In the meantime, there are plenty of other games out there to keep me occupied and to keep things fresh.

I've only seen a little of the new Batman game, but the scenes where you're reconstructing the scene of a crime are cool as hell. Hope they stick with those, they're great. I hope they reduce the downtime in the next game, there seems to still be a lot of "Where do I go now, or which door, or how do I get past here", which I honestly don't like too much.

Demiurge wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:

I am sorry everyone has been having such a hard time with Batman - but I have been absolutely LOVING it.

Yeah! I've finished now, and I really really enjoyed it.

Yeah, I just don't get how rabbit and shawn can be down on batman which adds in incremental improvements to the game (original combat + exploration, second city + improved gadgets and movement, third crime scenes + in profess crimes along with improved systems for rewarding player mastery) but the turn around and praise the Assassin's Creed series for exactly the same thing: only with way more games in a given time period.

If I didn't know better and could get away with saying it without loads of criticism: this game series just isn't for you.

Personally, I really like both but lean more towards batman purely because I find the world less of a confusing Lost-esque landscape than Creed.

(Yeah, I know rabbit was last week but it continued on into this show too. :p)

I would absolutely play another batman game next year or the year afterward and still the series wouldn't feel stale to me. I don't even need the game to be in another environment but one thing I would really like is if they stopped lumping in everyantagonist into a game. I think it'd be great to have a game focused on a single case perpetrated by a single super criminal (not the joker). I'd love a game where I have to piece together the evidence and stop something happening.

tetranomad wrote:

How about a Batman - Hello Kitty crossover?

"Hello Kitty-woman" perhaps?

Batman vs Hello Kitty should be the first DLC.

(I have a mental image of a slightly grubby Hello Kitty chuckling to herself while surrounded by massive goons sporting Hello Kitty face paint and pink bows in their hair.)

Duoae wrote:

Yeah, I just don't get how rabbit and shawn can be down on batman....

If I didn't know better and could get away with saying it without loads of criticism: this game series just isn't for you.

Despite championing the inevitable Batman in Japan I realised last night, while playing Arkham City, that the Batman games aren't for me. With Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell I feel I can move around the environment and take out enemies very easily. In the Arkham games I'm constantly tripping over trigger and button combinations (except in the fist fights which are a delight.)

As you say, sometimes a game series isn't for you and I've accepted that I am just not on the same wavelength as Rocksteady in terms of controls.

I loved the section where you talked about mice. Personally I get very particular about the mouse I use (to the point where I bought my own for the office). I use a R.A.T 9 which is great, you can adjust the size, grips, and (most importantly) weight. The only downside is that it is expensive and you will need to use a mouse pad with it.

WB is really missing something by making their "Batman" franchise annually. I put Batman in quotes because they do not need to use him for every game, but using the system for other characters (Green Arrow or Nightwing) ever other year in an interconnected story would be a great experience.

Personally, I never had an issue of a game sequel being "more of the same." The prerequisite of course is that the original must have been good! A new story and some new settings for a game I enjoyed with the same engine/graphics is very comforting and welcoming to me.

Games like Thief 1/2, Jedi Outcast/Jedi Academy, Assassin's Creed, Batman Arkham, and the old Sierra adventure games spring to mind as games that were very samey, yet I had no problem that they weren't very different from their predecessors.

PaladinTom wrote:

Personally, I never had an issue of a game sequel being "more of the same." The prerequisite of course is that the original must have been good! A new story and some new settings for a game I enjoyed with the same engine/graphics is very comforting and welcoming to me.

Games like Thief 1/2, Jedi Outcast/Jedi Academy, Assassin's Creed, Batman Arkham, and the old Sierra adventure games spring to mind as games that were very samey, yet I had no problem that they weren't very different from their predecessors.

Best example I can think of is KOTOR 1/KOTOR 2 - same engine, same gameplay, but a hugely different experience (bugs and incompleteness aside).

Flintheart Glomgold wrote:

WB is really missing something by making their "Batman" franchise annually. I put Batman in quotes because they do not need to use him for every game, but using the system for other characters (Green Arrow or Nightwing) ever other year in an interconnected story would be a great experience.

Er, what? On two fronts there... A batman game starring another character other than batman? Sounds a bit like metal gear solid 2... And if, by annually, you actually mean every two years? (2009, 2011, 2013) But then again, Glumgold, you always were cheap with the facts...

*YEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHH!*

/Scrooge McDuck & CSI Miami.

Another nifty thing about the Razer Death Adder is that it comes in a version for southpaws. There aren't all that many left-handed ergonomic mice out there.

Batman would without a doubt be the most popular of the series; but the 3D world style can be presented with other characters. To be clear I'm not suggesting a Batman: Arkham Coast City staring Green Arrow - I'm proposing that whatever engine they are using for the Arham games can be used for other DC characters.

In this way they can release a game every year then reserve the "Batman" games for when they introduce a new engine as he is the most popular DC character.

To me, I don't mind sequels, so long as there is iterative improvement.

I loved the jump from AC1 to AC2, because many of the things that became repetitive towards the end of the first game were dropped or tweaked for use in the second game. In my eyes, Ubisoft didn't do enough improvements between AC2 and BroHood, so I skipped Revelations entirely - and didn't feel like I missed any of the plot when I dove into AC3 (which, to me, must say something about the story in the first place, but that's for another day). I do plan on jumping into AC4 once its released on the PC, because I enjoyed the new parts of AC3, and it looks like Ubi did some iterative improvement on those pieces for AC4.

Flintheart Glomgold wrote:

Batman would without a doubt be the most popular of the series; but the 3D world style can be presented with other characters. To be clear I'm not suggesting a Batman: Arkham Coast City staring Green Arrow - I'm proposing that whatever engine they are using for the Arham games can be used for other DC characters.

In this way they can release a game every year then reserve the "Batman" games for when they introduce a new engine as he is the most popular DC character.

I agree with you - somewhat (my other post was mostly for humour) - but I think nightwing would be best kept as an expansion or DLC. I don't think most of batman's supporting cast (aside from the first batgirl and catwoman) would make for either a) an interesting story or b) a game selling protagonist. That goes for the majority of the DC stable.

I wrote a blogpost recently (in the Sig) about how I consider batman to be pretty much the perfect game superhero character... and I stand by that assertion. The two main reasons are: a) relatable character motivation and abilities and B) antagonists that make a statement and whose stories can be framed in relation to human nature... Much like good sci fi.

Very few heroes in either DC or Marvel's stable have those two - let alone coupled with the possibilities of gameplay that batman allows. He's a fighter, a detective, a mentor, a collaborator, an inventor, yet also human and fragile, weak and vulnerable both in himself and through his comrades.

How many other main heroes have all of this? I can think of only two: robin/nightwing and batgirl - both of whom spawn from batman.

I haven't played Batman: Origins yet, but I'm a little sad to hear it's not actually focused on Black Mask as the villain. I was really looking forward to exploring something really different in Batman's rogues gallery. I mean, Joker's cool, but we just did the Batman-Joker thing. Twice.

I'd really like to have a Batman game where I can have someone join my game as Robin, Nightwing, or Bat Girl. I loved getting to play as Robin in the Harley's Revenge DLC. I'd like to see those characters get play in the series.

I really hope that Shawns board game group has a facebook page with "DTF with pretty much any board game" as the slogan.

I vote Batman: Hello Cat-Woman as the Japan crossover.

I've been using a Razer Mamba. It's not big on buttons, but the performance is absolutely competition-worthy.

the other thing that makes Batman such a great character for video games is that he mostly stays in Gotham City so you do not have to fool around with traveling to multiple locations. Just model one city.

I was trying to think of how Marvel could do the same and really Spiderman would be it. Combining Just Cause and Arkham City to make a Spiderman game does have merit.

Flintheart - that's assuming that you're trying to make a superhero open-world game.

I mean, Spiderman, Batman, and Superman all generally "stay in their home cities", but nothing stops a developer/writer from dropping any superhero or team into a new environment custom built to be an open-world game.

I'm about an hour in to Arkham Asylum, and I'm yearning for more open spaces. But I also watched my roommate play through this in the past, so I know that there aren't many "wide open spaces" throughout the course of this game.