Idle F***in' Thumbs Podcast

SuperDave wrote:

With Jeff Green's tweets about Remo sitting behind him on the flight from PAX, I really hope Chris leaned forward and whispered the "video games" melody in his ear at some point.

Being the guy in the back seat really pays off in that situation...

The thumbs share a lot of my opinions on BioShock Infinite.

Now I don't fell so lonely in my disappointment!

I wish I could play BioShock right now, missed out on the podcast for two weeks :X

gore wrote:

The thumbs share a lot of my opinions on BioShock Infinite.

Now I don't fell so lonely in my disappointment!

Same here. They put into words most of my issues with the game. Unfortunately I almost bailed when Sean mentioned DOTA. Thankfully Chris understands that there might be a few fans that rush for the off button when that happens so he nipped it in the bud. At least so far. I'm halfway through the cast.

Oh, and I love the thing about their competition on the diamond ladder.

DSGamer wrote:

Unfortunately I almost bailed when Sean mentioned DOTA. Thankfully Chris understands that there might be a few fans that rush for the off button when that happens so he nipped it in the bud. At least so far. I'm halfway through the cast.

This is the podcast where Chris spends 2 hours across 3 episodes talking about Zuma's Revenge. If you're only interested in hearing about games you're interested in, this isn't the podcast for you. I know you are well aware of that fact.

I get that the DotA chat isn't for everyone, but I personally love it. I wouldn't want to discourage these guys from talking about what they're currently playing, even if it's not a game I'm interested in.

And yes, I'm so glad that Nick is back.

F*ck that guy.

Dyni wrote:

I get that the DotA chat isn't for everyone, but I personally love it. I wouldn't want to discourage these guys from talking about what they're currently playing, even if it's not a game I'm interested in.

I have absolutely 0 interest in a DotA but I've found the discussion of DotA in past episodes (I'm two weeks behind at this point) to be really interesting at least from a general culture perspective. At least they're entertaining about it.

F*ck that guy.

I found an old ShackNews article today penned by a Mr. Breckon. My first thought when I saw the byline? F*ck that guy.

gore wrote:

The thumbs share a lot of my opinions on BioShock Infinite.

Now I don't fell so lonely in my disappointment!

Bear in mind I haven't played Infinite, so anyone can rightfully ignore anything I have to say about it. But their discussion is confirming my feelings about it. I'm not looking for validation for schadenfreude over the shine coming off it in the brainysphere. I admit I did kind of want to gag when I saw enthusiast press pull quotes like "a breathtaking achievement in videogame storytelling", since it just looked like shoot dudes, get story snippet, shoot more dudes. It didn't sound like it's doing anything more groundbreaking than Half-Life 2 did a decade (!) ago.

Maybe I'm way out to lunch, but on the other hand I feel I'm spoiled by Dishonored—which I can't stop playing—where I'm not killing anyone, because it gives me more verbs and options than "shoot".

Dyni wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Unfortunately I almost bailed when Sean mentioned DOTA. Thankfully Chris understands that there might be a few fans that rush for the off button when that happens so he nipped it in the bud. At least so far. I'm halfway through the cast.

This is the podcast where Chris spends 2 hours across 3 episodes talking about Zuma's Revenge. If you're only interested in hearing about games you're interested in, this isn't the podcast for you. I know you are well aware of that fact.

While we're assuming that people are well aware of stuff, I assume you're well aware that I'm an Idle Thumbs backer and a big proponent of the podcast. I really liked the Zuma's Revenge stuff because it spoke to something more general in video games. Those games that tap tap tap on your brain and otherwise don't provide anything generally considered "good" except a Dopamine hit. I find that interesting and fascinating. DOTA 2 strategy, especially Sean's "career"? That's the least interesting thing to me. And that discussion has taken place across far more than 3 episodes and far more than 2 hours.

Dyni wrote:

I get that the DotA chat isn't for everyone, but I personally love it. I wouldn't want to discourage these guys from talking about what they're currently playing, even if it's not a game I'm interested in.

You couldn't be more off in that characterization. I'm not a PC gamer and the Idle Thumbs crew shows almost zero interest in most games in my favorite niches. Chris is slightly interested in Dark Souls, but no one else really is. No one on the podcast seems to care about JRPGs or SRPGs. There's no Fire Emblem talk or portable talk in general. That hasn't stopped me from enjoying the podcast in the slightest. I like hearing about Cart Life and games I will probably never play because of my preference for consoles, particularly handhelds. And obviously the best kind of Idle Thumbs is the kind that includes horse bags, Clockwork Orange eye peripherals, Gold Games and other stuff like that. I just am really tired of hearing Sean talk about DOTA 2, honestly. I listened to Brad and the gang at Giant Bomb go on about DOTA 2 the day before and had no issues with it. It wasn't riveting, but it was a new angle. I just really am bored of what Sean has to say about DOTA 2 right now. If something interesting happens aside from his budding semi-pro career I'm sure I'll enjoy listening to that discussion as I usually do.

Gravey wrote:

Maybe I'm way out to lunch, but on the other hand I feel I'm spoiled by Dishonored—which I can't stop playing—where I'm not killing anyone, because it gives me more verbs and options than "shoot".

Yes. Dishonored is working its way up the list of my favorite games of all time precisely for this reason.

DSGamer wrote:

I just really am bored of what Sean has to say about DOTA 2 right now. If something interesting happens aside from his budding semi-pro career I'm sure I'll enjoy listening to that discussion as I usually do.

I hear you on that. I bailed on podcast once due to hosts going on hour long tirades about MMOs when all I wanted to listen to was single-player offline RPGs. It happens.

If Chris tried to change the topic during the latest episode, he probably knows they're spending too long on DotA 2 and not really saying much of interest.

Gravey wrote:

Maybe I'm way out to lunch, but on the other hand I feel I'm spoiled by Dishonored—which I can't stop playing—where I'm not killing anyone, because it gives me more verbs and options than "shoot".

The comparisons to Dishonored are interesting to me (I haven't played Dishonored yet) mostly because you can trace both Dishonored and BioShock back to Looking Glass and the two System Shock games (which I also haven't played). Personally, I think it's ok that both games focus on different aspects of that lineage. Irrational is obviously very focused on the narrative while Arkane sounds more focused on player agency (or whatever the term is for empowering the player and letting them make choices and do cool stuff). We're very lucky to have two different takes on the same style of game released within 6 months of each other*, especially when said style of game isn't made very often.

* Probably more for the B:I thread, but I wonder if part of the reason B:I was pushed back was due to Dishonored's release.

Whereas I wrote in my wish journal for everyone to talk about Dark Souls, Monster Hunter, and LoMas and Giant Bomb came through. Sorry you don't enjoy it, but there are those of us out there that do.

drdoak wrote:

Whereas I wrote in my wish journal for everyone to talk about Dark Souls, Monster Hunter, and LoMas and Giant Bomb came through. Sorry you don't enjoy it, but there are those of us out there that do. :)

I feel bad for that one Idle Thumbs fan that really hates Far Cry 2

We should spam mail at Chris to finally play Dark Souls. Chris loved Demon's Souls when he played it. Those games embody almost everything these guys are always saying they want more of in games.

They should organize Idle Thumbs v Giant Bomb Dota 2 matches and live stream them with commentary. That will be hilariously bad.

DSGamer wrote:

Oh, and I love the thing about their competition on the diamond ladder. :)

Oh yes, so great.

Again I have to say: I love Nick so much. He does not seem to talk very much, in fact I am fairly certain that he talks less than anybody else on the cast, but his presence seems to facilitate some of the most hilarious discussions.

gore wrote:

The thumbs share a lot of my opinions on BioShock Infinite.

Now I don't fell so lonely in my disappointment!

Exactly. I was beginning to feel like maybe I was the problem, so I'm happy to hear that someone came out of that experience with similar disappointments.

Dyni wrote:
drdoak wrote:

Whereas I wrote in my wish journal for everyone to talk about Dark Souls, Monster Hunter, and LoMas and Giant Bomb came through. Sorry you don't enjoy it, but there are those of us out there that do. :)

I feel bad for that one Idle Thumbs fan that really hates Far Cry 2 ;)

Ha! Actually, I really hate Far Cry 2 it seems to me that the most talked-about game on the podcast has been StarCraft II. I have zero interest in SC2, so when they talk about it, it sticks out while I patiently wait for them to move on. And on one of my run-throughs of the old episodes, listening every day, I realized: they talked about SC2 a lot. Hells of a lot. Holy crap did they talk about SC2.

LOMA discussion hasn't held a candle to that yet, especially since only one Thumb is hardcore into it. So I can (-■-■) deal with it.

I still find the Thumbs' discussions about MOBAs and SC2 interesting, even though I don't play either actively (I played vanilla SC2 online for a little while, but obviously nowhere near the level of Chris and Nick).

Now that said, I don't love the DOTA discussions quite as much as some aspects of the show, for one simple reason: they kind of turn into the Sean show (although possibly less so now that Nick is back). I know Chris played DOTA somewhat, but he really doesn't seem to have the same degree of understanding or enthusiasm as Sean, which means the discussion feels lopsided when they go down that rabbit hole.

Dyni wrote:
drdoak wrote:

Whereas I wrote in my wish journal for everyone to talk about Dark Souls, Monster Hunter, and LoMas and Giant Bomb came through. Sorry you don't enjoy it, but there are those of us out there that do. :)

I feel bad for that one Idle Thumbs fan that really hates Far Cry 2

We should spam mail at Chris to finally play Dark Souls. Chris loved Demon's Souls when he played it. Those games embody almost everything these guys are always saying they want more of in games.

Yeah. The biggest missed opportunity is that they're really big on ambient storytelling. That's basically all Dark Souls is. The story that's told is "your" story, but also the story told by the architecture and decay of the world. It's really very beautiful and I'm surprised they haven't latched onto it.

I don't care that much what games they're talking about honestly because they usually have interesting things to say regardless. It's like the reverse of most podcasts.

I don't think I've ever said "Are you on crack?!" out loud while listening to a podcast before but their discussion of BioShock Infinite and how BioShock 1 (and Minerva's Den) were superior in just about every way made me do it. They're free to think what they want of course and I actually agree with some of their points (won't post here cause this ain't the place for BI spoiler talk) but so much of what they faulted Infinite for were issues that both existed and to a larger degree in BioShock 1. It really sounded like they were holding it to a different standard entirely, maybe because they know people who worked on it, I don't know. But then again, it's a podcast, not a "journalistic" review so to each their own. I guess it just really surprised me but that's a good thing from people you think you know the taste of sometimes.

DSGamer wrote:
Dyni wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Unfortunately I almost bailed when Sean mentioned DOTA. Thankfully Chris understands that there might be a few fans that rush for the off button when that happens so he nipped it in the bud. At least so far. I'm halfway through the cast.

This is the podcast where Chris spends 2 hours across 3 episodes talking about Zuma's Revenge. If you're only interested in hearing about games you're interested in, this isn't the podcast for you. I know you are well aware of that fact.

While we're assuming that people are well aware of stuff, I assume you're well aware that I'm an Idle Thumbs backer and a big proponent of the podcast. I really liked the Zuma's Revenge stuff because it spoke to something more general in video games. Those games that tap tap tap on your brain and otherwise don't provide anything generally considered "good" except a Dopamine hit. I find that interesting and fascinating.

I've only started to listed to IT recently, after the kickstarter. I was also happy to hear about Zuma's Revenge, particularly because it's a game I've played for hours. It's obviously doing something right for me, and it was refreshing to hear how it hooked a game designer. I guess it's the sort of game that's often perceived to be a guilty pleasure, or so casual as to be beneath notice/discussion by serious gamers. Anyway, I always like hearing smart, curious people talk, so generally this podcast suits me well.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

I don't think I've ever said "Are you on crack?!" out loud while listening to a podcast before but their discussion of BioShock Infinite and how BioShock 1 (and Minerva's Den) were superior in just about every way made me do it. They're free to think what they want of course and I actually agree with some of their points (won't post here cause this ain't the place for BI spoiler talk) but so much of what they faulted Infinite for were issues that both existed and to a larger degree in BioShock 1. It really sounded like they were holding it to a different standard entirely, maybe because they know people who worked on it, I don't know. But then again, it's a podcast, not a "journalistic" review so to each their own. I guess it just really surprised me but that's a good thing from people you think you know the taste of sometimes.

No, I think they just don't remember BioShock 1 that well. But they make that point, or similar one, a couple of times. All of their arguments sounded sensible to me.

BioShock was also 5 years ago so maybe they have higher standards now than then.

I haven't listened to the latest podcast yet, but I'm just playing Infinite now and I can definitely say that it's not grabbing me as much as Bioshock 1 did. It just seems off somehow. I definitely agree with others' comments that I think the story this game wants to tell isn't well served by the FPS genre. So they're definitely not alone in how they think. I can think of a lot of ways in which Bioshock just made more sense as a cohesive whole, where the mechanics, story and environment just worked together a lot better. I'm really enjoying the story of Infinite but I feel very disconnected from it, especially when I'm killing people.

kyrieee wrote:

BioShock was also 5 years ago so maybe they have higher standards now than then.

Also, in the 6 years since Bioshock 1 there have just been a massive number of linear, kill thousands of people, AAA FPSes. Budgets are getting bigger and bigger,but gameplay in AAA games seems to be getting narrower. I totally got the same sort of burned out feeling when I played through B:I, when I had to become the worlds greatest mass murderer for yet another video game.

I also agree that the game felt very "stitched together" at the last minute. So much of this game seems to be left on the cutting room floor. Especially when you look back at the early gameplay videos. They should have either limited their scope or allowed themselves more time (a la Valve).

I do disagree with them about the inherent nihilism of the plot, however. It does not matter to me whether or not Columbia's timeline could have ever existed or not. The ending does not invalidate the experience for me. In fact, I liked much of the plot of the game, especially the ending. I am sort of surprised the IT guys didn't jump on the "What is game?" themes I felt were being expressed at the end of B:I. The plot does seem to rely a bit much on telling the story through the voxaphones however. I mean they created a living world this time around, why not show more of the plot as it happens or through the tears?

Anyway, I guess this discussion belongs more in one of the B:I threads, so I will shut up now.

A little bit of drama about the Infinite talk
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthre...

kyrieee wrote:

A little bit of drama about the Infinite talk
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthre...

Honestly, I don't know how Chris could have been more respectful of the people who worked on the game in his criticism. He goes out of his way several times to talk about how talented they are and how well the individual bits are crafted.

Neogaf lives for the drama. That said, I fully agree with Jim Sterling's piece that a poster in there links to.

I just like hearing Idle Thumbs discussion on video games because at least they have a lot of thought and care into their opinions which makes it interesting to listen to. It's not like they are just making generic or vague statements like a lot of people do with games they dislike. Frankly, my tastes and theirs have never come close to matching up so it wasn't a surprise. I adored Far Cry 3 and Bioshock Infinite and 95% of their complaints never even registered with me while playing them. Meanwhile, I feel like Dishonored is a game with a lot of great concepts executed terribly and so I can't relate to any of the praise they heaped onto it.

kuddles wrote:

Neogaf lives for the drama. That said, I fully agree with Jim Sterling's piece that a poster in there links to.

Very smart and well argued article by Sterling. I haven't finished the game yet but see where he's coming from. My counterargument would be that the game doesn't do a good enough job connecting the player to the character of Booker - he's still largely a cypher to me. So while it might make sense for Booker to go on a violent rampage, and the dissonance between what he does and what he says makes sense for him as a character, I still feel more like it's ME doing these things than it's Booker doing these things, so it's still dissonant to ME. If the game was in third person, and Booker was better fleshed out early on (I can't speak to how well he's fleshed out later) I would be able to buy into it more. As it stands, I just don't think FPS was the right format for the story they wanted to tell, and that's where a lot of the critique is coming from.

I think Shawn is taking it a bit too personally, because I don't think any of that speaks to his ability as a level designer. It's more of an indictment of the overall creative direction of the game, which goes all the way to Levine.

I clicked on that GAF link.

Ugh. Elliot's response is a bummer and a half, especially given how reluctant and respectful the Thumbs guys were. I hope they hug it out.