GWJ Conference Call Episode 377

Conference Call

This week Allen Cook, Jeff Cannata and Jeff Green sit down with Shawn to recount their favorite games and experiences of 2013, A Reading By Graham Rowat and More!

This week Allen Cook, Jeff Cannata and Jeff Green sit down with Shawn to recount their favorite games and experiences of 2013!

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.

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Waking Up - Dexter Britain - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/De... - 29:23

Comments

Nice capstone to the year, and I can't wait for the wild predictions for 2014.

Waiting for the recap of last year's predictions and the new bold ones!
Still have to listen to this podcast btw.... :)

Great podcast. As ever, love the parts with Jeff Green in it best!

My two favorite Jeffs on the same podcast. Nice way to end the year.

McIrishJihad wrote:

Nice capstone to the year, and I can't wait for the wild predictions for 2014.

++

I had no idea that Jeff Green left Pop-up. I'm tempted to go watch his Dark Souls stream now.

Has anyone ever submitted an audio question? I can't recall one... .

And I am thoroughly embarrassed that I forgot KY Route Zero in my Games of 2013 roundup.

In many ways, I feel like KY Route Zero is such a holistic experience, it'll stand the test of time way better than any of the current high-polish AAA shooters that came out this year.

PyromanFO wrote:

And I am thoroughly embarrassed that I forgot KY Route Zero in my Games of 2013 roundup.

In many ways, I feel like KY Route Zero is such a holistic experience, it'll stand the test of time way better than any of the current high-polish AAA shooters that came out this year.

It's also not done! You can hit it in 2014 too.

I love these end of the year podcasts. It's a great way to kind of sit back and reflect on the good times (and some bad) we've had over the year. And Jeff Green is right, it HAS been a really great year. Sure, I guess some bad stuff has come out, but there's been so much good and awesome games. Gamer's paradise, for sure.

Pretty sure we'd already heard Graham Rowat's read of that great piece by Cory Banks, but I sure don't get tired of it. Walking Dead + gaming with a significant other = win.

Looking forward to next week.

I think there is always going to be bad games in any year, but the best has gotten so much better this past year, and I think the fact the stuff I've loved has been appreciated and seemingly profitable for the creators, I'm pretty excited for 2014.

So glad to have GWJ as a resource to find the best to play in the year. Half of my top ten I wouldn't have found if not for the conference call and the community.

Thanks guys.

This is the year where I really started to take notice of Indie games. I'd always checked them out here and there but the quality and execution seemed to just go through the roof this year.

Also, some aggressive competition in the market gave us amazing deals all year long.

Just a great time to be a gamer.

Great podcast. Nice way to end/start a gaming year.

I must watch Jeff Green's Dark Souls videos also.

Edit: I just watched Jeff's successful take down the Gaping Dragon. He gives us older gamers hope.

McIrishJihad wrote:

Nice capstone to the year, and I can't wait for the wild predictions for 2014.

Same here. Thanks for a another batch of 52 episodes (and a wonderful community). Looking forward to this year's episodes (and hopefully some live shows too?)!

I find it interesting how similar everyone's 'best of' list is, as well as how the nee indies really dominate those lists. Does 2013 mark the rise and beginning of mainstream success of the indie game?

I feel so strange hearing everyone talk about how amazing this year was, while I sit here thinking "yeah, lot's of good games, but not that many great ones". In fact, the whole first half of the year I found myself more disappointed than anything.

We'll see what 2014 holds, but while others will have found 2013 to be great, I'll likely view it as one of the less interesting years in terms of games.

Great podcast as always... I just don't get the Tomb Raider love.

Jeff was really into it as opposed to Bioshock Infinite et al but I just don't see it. As a game, the mechanics, it's really well defined and is very strong. As a story (especially an origin story) and from a logical point of view it's terrible. Conversely, Bioshock Infinite is (IMO) pretty good as a story but pretty poor on the mechanical side of being a game. It's the 2002 variant with nicer graphics and a really good story. Even worse is the comparison with The Last of Us that has a very intense and involved story between characters (which you don't get anywhere, virtually ever) it's acted out and not implied or player developed (as in, "it's in your head") and the mechanics are almost as good as Tomb Raider - though not as well refined and comfortable... but in totality, TLoU makes sense - it's a total package.

I couldn't say what my games of the year are because the best games I've played this year are expansions of last year's games (XCOM and Dragon's Dogma) but I enjoyed TR and loved TLoU and BI. Maybe it's because I'm a Tomb Raider fan and I'm more sensitive to the pitfalls of that franchise than other people...

Personally, I think 2011-2013 has been a great period for gaming and this year has given us so much, overall.

Tomb Raider is really a weird chicken. I wrote it off after the first few hours because it felt like the same old action/adventure that preceded it. Then I revisited it and gave it an honest chance and bam it clicked and I never thought twice and finished it.

The other weird thing, was that I didn't feel compelled to recommend it until I had finished the storyline. I doesn't make a lick of sense, but in retrospect the whole package was damn well done and entertaining.

Hi GWJers, just wanted to wish you all a happy new year. I've listened to the podcast for a little over two years now and it is honestly one of the highlights of my week.

I did want to share a thought I've been having with all of the Game of the Year discussions both on this and other podcasts and it relates to what I can't help but feel is a wilful desire to dismiss the accomplishments of GTA V due to the legacy of the franchise and the clout of Rockstar as a studio. GTA V offers a game of remarkable depth and detail, with engaging story arcs and entertaining side missions. The relatable dynamic between the protagonists evolves as the result of vastly improved character writing while the switching mechanic is a seamless slice of genius. This game has presented an incredibly realised world which varies so wildly in mood and tempo from place to place and has captivated and amazed like no previous gaming experience.

While I appreciate that all lists are subjective, I can't help but feel that in Game of the Year discussions GTA V is raised with a distinct taste of big budget AAA bitterness, where the zeitgeist touchstones of sexism and torture are used to disproportionately beat the game and discredit its worth. In balance, the lack of 'gameplay' (excuse the can of worms) in a Gone Home or the graphic violence of a Last of Us is not nearly as formative in the conclusion of podcasting panels (including GWJ), despite the fact that these factors are arguably more pervasive.

I realise that my thoughts on this are from a relatively new member of the gaming world and that perhaps with a fair few more years of same-same gaming experiences I would take greater delight in a Stanley Parable or a Gone Home as a breath of fresh air. All the same, it would be a shame to discard this absolutely fantastic open world experience of GTA V, even if Rockstar hasn't redefined gaming conventions with this latest edition.

legopirate27 wrote:

While I appreciate that all lists are subjective, I can't help but feel that in Game of the Year discussions GTA V is raised with a distinct taste of big budget AAA bitterness, where the zeitgeist touchstones of sexism and torture are used to disproportionately beat the game and discredit its worth. In balance, the lack of 'gameplay' (excuse the can of worms) in a Gone Home or the graphic violence of a Last of Us is not nearly as formative in the conclusion of podcasting panels (including GWJ), despite the fact that these factors are arguably more pervasive.

I realise that my thoughts on this are from a relatively new member of the gaming world and that perhaps with a fair few more years of same-same gaming experiences I would take greater delight in a Stanley Parable or a Gone Home as a breath of fresh air. All the same, it would be a shame to discard this absolutely fantastic open world experience of GTA V, even if Rockstar hasn't redefined gaming conventions with this latest edition.

Thanks for the comment!

Ultimately, I think this comes down to the subjectivity that you mention. There are certainly merits to GTA V, just as there are merits to all the other titles that get mentioned on the call, and they all have their own faults as well. What I think probably happens is that, as someone spends more time actively thinking about games and while feeling pressure to take in lots of different games in order to be "relevant" and "part of the conversation," one's standards shift. It becomes easier to dismiss things as "more of the same" and novelty gains a higher value. GTA V does a lot of things well, but a lot of those things are the same sort of things and they're done in similar ways. It's a firm tentpole at the center of the genre, and critics tend to see the edges of the genre as where the interesting things are happening.