Giant Bomb Bomb-All

Chaz wrote:

I'm debating not listening to the fifth episode. They're covering story and game of the year, and I kinda care about spoilers on both RDR2 and Obra Dinn. I'm guessing I'd have to do a bunch of skipping to avoid that. :(

Yes, they spoil both of those games extensively.

I loved most disappointing because I wish RDR1 had received the same treatment

Blind_Evil wrote:

I loved most disappointing because I wish RDR1 had received the same treatment :D

I thought it was hilarious that Brad mentioned towards the start that RDR2 was "divisive" and then argued for an hour that it could never be both on the best and most disappointing game lists.

Though I find the arguments often painful to listen to (in a can’t-stop-listening sort of way), I strongly agree with those who have expressed appreciation for the format change that allows a more open discussion of the games during the early ‘nomination’ episodes. I think I skipped last year, because the arguments were getting too drawn out, but I think this is a format that really works for the expanded GB crew.

I was really disappointed by the Hotest Mess category though: either Questionable Practices in the Gaming Industry should win outright, or it doesn’t qualify. I’m glad it was discussed, but was really bummed when they turned around and decided that the badly handled launch of a disappointing game could somehow be more important than social justice; simply disqualifying it from the category would have been a much better move that would not have placed dgamers above devs.

The new format was great. A 90% reduction in "I just want to put it on to take it off" "this doesn't hang" "I've said my piece" etc., etc. I stopped on the GOTY podcasts by the time I got to Best Moment out of spoiler fears (though I think the only games where that's in play for me are Obra Dinn and Detroit and possibly AC:Odyssey). I don't think I will bother listening to the rest. I'm surprised I still don't know what their final GOTY list was!

Hitsmas was not great until it got to Vinny, who is always a star. More Vinny playing Hitman, please! However (spoilers for those who haven't watched the end and care)

Spoiler:

OMG I wanted to strangle Vinny when he was standing right at the exit and instead basically threw the game. So frustrating! It makes me think of the thing in Roger Rabbit where the bad guy taps out the beginning of "Shave and a hair cut" and lets it hang until Roger can no longer contain himself and has to shout TWO BITS. 30 minutes or so of waiting for Vinny to beat the mission, he's standing right there and...decides to screw around and get killed. WHY VINNY? Oh well.

mrlogical wrote:

Hitsmas was not great until it got to Vinny, who is always a star. More Vinny playing Hitman, please! However (spoilers for those who haven't watched the end and care)

Spoiler:

OMG I wanted to strangle Vinny when he was standing right at the exit and instead basically threw the game. So frustrating! It makes me think of the thing in Roger Rabbit where the bad guy taps out the beginning of "Shave and a hair cut" and lets it hang until Roger can no longer contain himself and has to shout TWO BITS. 30 minutes or so of waiting for Vinny to beat the mission, he's standing right there and...decides to screw around and get killed. WHY VINNY? Oh well.

I think a lot of that was because they picked a level that was interesting, but also really complicated and that none of them were that familiar with. Most of the fun of the earlier ones was that they had a good handle on the level, so they could do some planning, and also make some more interesting challenges. This one, they were kind of sight reading and obviously doing pretty bad. I think level selection is where they messed up this year.

Spoiler:

I was amused by Vinnie's thing at the end. In the past, they've basically said you "won" if you fulfilled your objectives, and since he could've just walked out, I still give him the win. I hope they do another one after they've wrapped their heads around the levels.

detroit20 wrote:

(2) Not letting Abby Russell speak.

Linked to (1), I found that Abby tended to be cut off more than most. This comes across as boorish to me. In addition to time limits/paddles, perhaps agree an order for speaking so everyone can at least make their main points.

I'm only getting to them now, and it's really apparent during the section in day 1 about Celeste. When she did manage to get a word in, someone else would take the kernel of what she's said and just run with it by running over her.

I thought it was pretty apparent that they stepped all over Abby. Probably not as much as last year, which was my first year listening to Giant Bomb and their GOTY coverage. Maybe that was how it always was in previous years, but I found that to be a trainwreck. I didn't listen to the entirety of this year's coverage to avoid spoilers, but I loved the new format, as others have said. But it also was very obvious that she got side-lined much of the time.

Hell yeah, Mass Alex Season 2. I'd love time in my life to play this game again, but watching GB play it is close enough.

To be fair, Abby sometimes doesn't do herself any favors. To pick God of War as the example for everything wrong with sexist videogame stories was essentially painting a big target on her back. I get that she tries to bring the female perspective to the table, but she really needs to do her homework when she wants to go the route of qualified critique.

Kratos's wife wasn't assassinated for all we know, so that was not a case of the "woman in refrigerator" trope. Also, the writers stayed quite close to Norse mythology, so the entire Baldur and Friggin storyline was essentially adapted wholecloth. Including the mother affecting for her child to be undying and Loki being the one who eventually harms Baldur with mistletoe.
Also, the Valkyries are the most challenging part of the game, so interpreting these strong warrioresses who were cursed by Odin to signify the trivialization of sexist violence seemed disingenuous.

I do think Abby's ability to articulate and make a case improved significantly versus last year's GOTY discussions. But this was definitely the wrong hill for her to die on. It was a shame nobody challenged her on this, but then again that was maybe for the better.

No, the shame is that no one backed her up -- particularly Vinny, who generally seems to be good at accepting and processing that kind of criticism, and at understanding that saying "thing X is problematic" is not the same as saying "I don't like thing X."

God of War was light years better than previous entries in the series in its treatment of women, and should be lauded both for those improvements and for generally trying a lot harder than most games to take feminist critiques of the past failings of video games to heart. But even still, it also failed pretty hard in more than a few ways, including the ways that Abby discussed.

While I personally think the original intended application of "fridging"--a female character, loved one of a hero, being subjected to a horrific and gruesome attack, nearly always a murder, from a villain whose primary or exclusive intent is to make the hero feel bad--has value in quantifying and addressing a distressingly common trope, culture at large has broadened the meaning, so that beef isn't with Abby, but with most of the internet. While I might have been tempted to argue that the use of the term was inaccurate, the issues Abby raised--"plot motivated by a woman's death" or "woman's death provides avenue for man to have man-feelings"--are still present, and at that point I'd be smugly arguing some real tedious semantics, a major dick move. I sure as sh*t wouldn't say anything as condescending as "you should do your homework."

Happy to see The Dating Games return. It's a corner of the game scene I don't know much about, and it looks like they chose something legitimately insane for this run. Hopefully it continues past Valentine's.

mrlogical wrote:

Hell yeah, Mass Alex Season 2.

Happy to see this back as well. Vinny's energy and affection for the series is pretty great. Alex is...well, he's game, but all too often he lays down some really grating, like, Cinema Sins level snark that isn't funny and makes him seem like a dumbass. Also, I think Vinny made a huge mistake in talking him out of Vanguard and into Sentinel for ME2. ME2 is where Vanguard got its groove, it doesn't matter if he didn't use shotguns previously, he would with Charge.

Alex did not seem like the close-range person in the previous game, so I think he made the right choice. It wouldn't matter if he had Charge if he never ended up using it and kept going to the pistol.

My shep in all three games was a sentinel, so Alex and I continue to be very sympatico.

Glad to see Mass Alex back as well. Boy is he gonna get sick of those minigames soon.

I feel like Charge by its very nature encourages shotgun use because it plants you right in front of things. That's my bias, though, I didn't find Sentinel all that compelling until 3 when you could make yourself into a walking detonation platform.

I went soldier for my first playthrough of all three games. I just wanted the combat to be over for the most part and soldier let me shoot things until they were dead.

Just coming in here to say that Mass Effect 2 was robbed during the year it came out for GOTY. Vinny is (justifiably) still angry about that.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

I feel like Charge by its very nature encourages shotgun use because it plants you right in front of things. That's my bias, though, I didn't find Sentinel all that compelling until 3 when you could make yourself into a walking detonation platform.

Yeah, Charge was always my favourite power in those games because it is literally a great implementation of risk/reward. Using it without thinking meant almost a guarantee of instant death, at least in the first half of the game. But if used strategically it was great at instantly breaking a crowd of enemies apart.

Vrikk wrote:

Just coming in here to say that Mass Effect 2 was robbed during the year it came out for GOTY. Vinny is (justifiably) still angry about that.

ME2 won GOTY when it came out.

Yes, Vector's right; I think the thing you may be thinking of, Vrikk, is that I believe Vinny often references ME2 as game of the generation for that generation, which there was some argument at some point about whether it was Red Dead Redemption or Burnout Paradise (though I don't think they ever actually made a pick, I just think it's a discussion they've had a few times).

I was pleased to hear at the start of this week's Bombcast that people had registered to Brad the complaint I was feeling--that, in his absence, we were getting subjected to way too much wrestling talk. The Jeff/Jason/Ben/Jan combo is probably the least appealing crew to me, as it means talk of wrestling, fighting games, anime, DOTA, Pokemon, expensive retro game stuff...really just a classic collection of topics in which I have zero interest. Yay Brad's back!

mrlogical wrote:

Hell yeah, Mass Alex Season 2. I'd love time in my life to play this game again, but watching GB play it is close enough.

Also Vinny + Alex play off of each other so well. I'd listen to the 2 of them play almost anything.

I'm starting to suspect that Altered Beast might be really sh*tty.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

I'm starting to suspect that Altered Beast might be really sh*tty.

Heheh... I kinda wish they'd just take a cart out into a field and hit it with baseball bats.

Episode 14 was absolutely hilarious. It's amazing how bad this game is compared to how good I thought it was back in the day.

The Left Alive quicklook is one of the best I've seen in awhile. So funny.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

The Left Alive quicklook is one of the best I've seen in awhile. So funny.

I'm half way through, but the enemy on the roof of the van/truck had me cracking up. There's something special about Vinny's ability to break video games.

FridgeGremlin wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

The Left Alive quicklook is one of the best I've seen in awhile. So funny.

I'm half way through, but the enemy on the roof of the van/truck had me cracking up. There's something special about Vinny's ability to break video games.

Vinny is the Everyman Dad that we strive to be.